Friday, October 30, 2009

Frugalicious Friday Fun

My baby's room is a collection of resale and free finds, but honestly, had i been given a shopping spree at a top-of-the-line furniture store, i would have opted for my thrifty finds instead - i love that the items have been used and loved before - if they could just talk to us and tell us their stories...

this was the very first thing i found - curbside - for izzy's room. this lamp was gold and black with a hunter green base - the crystals had been removed but i had crystals that i rescued from a chandelier that were just waiting for a purpose. the thing that captured my eye was the three cherubs circling the base of the lamp, which to me, once in my home, represented my three little girls. i spraypainted it in two shades of purple, used a lamp shade that i had purchased earlier, and replaced the missing crystals. i just love it!

izzy's lamp sits upon the first "shabby chic" purchase i ever made, back in 2000, way before children were a thought in my mind. i got it for $1 at a garage sale, and my grandma even treated me that day! so i guess that makes it a free gift. it has made three moves with us now, been in three different bedrooms and has finally found a great home in izzy's room.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

just one big rant....

i welcomed fall yesterday but last night, i could have had a little bit of warmth back. our heat is out - and rarely do you use your heater in california, but you do crank it each morning when your house feels like a hockey rink. i was up allllll night with a non-sleeping baby. i swore i was going to do it right "this time" and not make the same sleeping mistakes i made with the twins - no bottles in the middle of the night, no giving-in and bringing the baby to bed with us, letting her cry it out, or at least for 5 minutes. well, i messed all that up the minute i brought her home, now i am paying the price and can't figure out how to fix what's broken. so when i finally dozed off this morning, around 4ish, i woke up to one of the twins sleeping horizontally at the foot of the bed, the baby next to me, my husband in the empty twin's bed and me in my robe. i can't stand to be bundled up when i sleep - no socks, no long pants, just a tshirt - so i knew i must have had a doozy of a night if i woke up in my robe.

i had lunch yesterday with my MIL and it was the most expensive lunch i've ever had -- $450. let me explain - she treated me to the lunch, but i chipped a tooth on my other tooth - not even on a fork or food, just my own lousy tooth. so to the dentist i go, some bonding done, slap $450 on the credit card, and back home. ONLY to have the bonding and polishing make it all worse and TWO more chips appear in two different teeth that she messed with and apparently weakend. it was after  5pm so no luck in getting  back in - my neighbor next door borrowed wax from another neighbor-mom who has braces -- that stuff really works! and i found that i didn't snack with it in my mouth so maybe i should borrow more just to get a better start on this diet that awaits me. so back to the dentist this morning to get these wonky teeth fixed -- sooooo not how i want to spend my morning! and i BETTER not be paying another dime for this service, right?

on a happier note, here's what has been looking at us in our family room each day for the past month - i seem to keep the halloween decor at a minimum but would love to go crazy someday - i save that craziness for christmas i guess.  "2 more days til 'truck or treating' " is all that you will hear in our house today...

(i love the little handmade jack-o-lantern in the candleholder -- my dad made that when he was young - found it in a drawer in my grandma's house when we were moving her stuff out )

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

fall and a couple awards...gotta love them both!

 ooooh, am i happy today -
fall has made its way to California, thank goodness...
   i've made a store trip and came home with ingredients for my mom's favorite chili recipe...
   i bought a pumpkin pie from the bakery... and the cool whip is thawing out
   i have two little girls who are beyond excited for halloween, or at least for "truck or treating" and the candy
   that awaits...
   i have a friend who let me preview her halloween candy last night and i went overboard and was awake  
   until the wee hours of the morning...
   i dressed the girls in tights and velour dresses and sweatshirts today, such a nice break from the shorts and
   tshirts that i am so tired of seeing...
my windchimes are happily singing today...
   and izzy gets her first taste of the winter hand-me-downs from her sisters -- how fun to sort through the      twins' matching outfits once again and have so many smiles thinking of when their little bodies used to fit into them -- where has time flown to? ...
i've yet to find the fall coffee creamer flavors in our market, you know pumpkin spice and gingerbread, but a start to fall is good - i will be patient for all of the little traits to arrive.
welcome FALL, we've been waiting for you!

izzy's hand-me-downs include these Guess overalls that my oldest niece wore at 9 months - remember the GUESS jeans days - even babies had to have them i guess. so 14 years later, here they are with a little added  touch...

and the full package...

thanks to the AMY's in my blog world, i was given two awards last week --

Amy, at where a woman shakes her tablecloth presented me with the loyal friend and visitor award (am i right, does that teeny tiny word say visitor?) i really do visit amy's blog daily as she is one who can make you crack up out loud - i don't know amy personally, but honestly, i feel like i could meet her tomorrow and feel like i've known her for years -- lots in common and so fun to have found her!

and Amy, at LuckyNumber13,gave me the over the top award.

now i have known this amy all my life and i really do visit her blog daily as well, not only because she is creative and i love to see her ideas, but because i love to be able to follow up on her adorable children since we live long distance -- if we can't get together to share life in person, at least we are able to do it in our little blog worlds.

so thanks to the AMYs!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

that little four letter word...

my sister asked that i take some pictures of items to spell the word "love" for her bedroom in her new house - her sort of "new beginnings" following her recent divorce. you never have to beg me to take a picture - photography is an outlet for me! so this is what my 11 year old niece and i created on our photo hunt that day --

i plan to print her pictures separately in black and white 8x12s and frame them separately in black frames so it will make a statement above her bed.  i have seen these collages available at festivals and such and at the most recent festival, this 4 letter word was priced at $98! not to disregard anyone's talent or art, but really this is a simple do-it-yourselfer!

my niece and i had such a good time looking for hidden letters that we've decided to continue looking for letters and have made a texting game out of it - we find the letter, text it to one another, make one another guess the letter and then thankfully for me, it leads to more conversation through texting or an eventual phone call --the end result, i feel closer to her than ever before! that world of  texting for (pre)teens is like our world of blogging.

grab your cameras - you don't need anything fancy for this - just an editing program after you take - let me know if you post your collage - i'd love to see your creation!

and while we are on the topic of love, here are a few loves in my life:

pretty worthy of lots of love i must say!

Monday, October 26, 2009

matter the most monday

the little things that matter to me today...
1. sleeping in after a late night of U2 and lots of traffic
2. family who are willing to babysit, or rather, spend time with the little people in their family
3. a husband who loves me
4. disney dvds and an afternoon nap
5. this happy place in my life

what little things matter the most to you today? please share!

and because i just can't get enough bargains...i am participating in junkin monday today...

i discovered junkin' monday over at Cottage Charm and Family Inspiration while reading Coastal Charm so if you are feeling the need for a "beachy" feel, check out both of these great blogs.
since i am going with the little things on mondays,  trying to keep sight of the little things in life that count, here are a few of my little treasures i've discovered at recent garage sales that i will post for the junkin' monday post...

i love this mini clock - - purchased a box of vintage barbie/doll house furniture for $10 and this clock stays near me - the twins got the rest to play with and oh how i love when they choose the older doll furniture over the new piece - maybe the love for the old and treasured is a genetic trait i've passed down...
thrift store bottle - $3

a pair of baby shoes found at a garage sale for $1.00 and a birds nest that was in a fake potted plant - out went the plant and pot and i saved the bird nest. i love this unexpected combination and keep it on my mantel.

have a great monday all!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

going to my own little heaven on sunday...

i am going to experience my own little piece of heaven tomorrow as we are off to the Rose Bowl to see
my favorite,
my absolute favorite,
my to-die-for,
bring me to tears like the teenage Beatles fan favorite,


i am going to my 6th U2 concert and every one of them is just as exciting as the last! my husband got on board with my fan club when we first met  - he impressed me on our engagement night when he shuttled me off in a limo to the U2 concert (he wore my engagement ring on his thumb because it wasn't sized yet and i was dancing like a hooligan so he had a bit of anxiety of his new purchase). he surprised me again after having the twins with what i thought was tickets to see "wicked" in chicago and instead drove me to the U2 concert - where we unexpectedly got wristbands to be on the floor and of course we wiggled our way up to the front railing -- hence these incredible pictures -- and memories!!! so, no we won't be sportin' those magic wristbands this time and we'll be 71 rows up  in the crowd at the rose bowl but
and that's heaven to me!!!

and the big plus on this concert - Black Eyed Peas are opening up -- heaven just doubled for me!

 so  um, i just can't resist...
I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night

that tonight’s gonna be a good night
that tonight’s gonna be a good good night

oh yes it is!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

a first "FrUgALicOus FrIdAy" share...

i am more than excited to participate for the first time in Frugalicious Friday  over at Finding Fabulous -- i am one of those people who, when you recieve a compliment on a piece of clothing or some new item in my house, i for some reason, before even thinking about it, MUST announce to you that i got it for 75% off the already reduced clearance price - my 50-some dollar shirt that you were just admiring now became a $4 bargain. NOW WHY? why can't i just i just let you think i am a person with good taste and a nice new item? guess it's just the "humble" in me and the fact that i am darn proud of these fabulous "frugalicious" bargains!

my first great find is this vintage Ethan Allen chest of drawers that i scored at a garage sale for $30 earlier this summer -- my favorite find yet and the color couldn't be more perfect!

and my 2nd great find, an IKEA frame for 50 cents at a garage sale - I had it laying around for a bit, was ready to put it back into a box for my own garage sale, and decided to do a little DIY craftiness with it instead -- it now sits on the ledge by our front door and is one of my favorite frames throughout the house!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the impromptu party...

Part of living long distance from my family, is the unfortunate fact that we miss celebrating all of the birthdays with family. My nieces, in particular, always question whether or not we’ll make it home during their birthdays. Now I’d like to think it is just because they want to be together as a family, but accepting the truth of a child’s mind, I know a bit of it is worrying bout how the presents will arrive if we aren’t there. I assure them that they will be mailed if we aren’t able to deliver them in person. So while we were home in Illinois, in response to my two youngest nieces being bummed that we’ll miss their big days, I threw together an impromptu party for the two of them.

So, enter the makeshift “DIY as cheap as you can Halloween-themed birthday celebration the night before we leave” birthday party! I used the box of Halloween decorations that my mom already had, made cupcakes, grabbed the scarecrow from the lawn, did without a table and chairs, and reqholuired the girls to grab a mask as their costume when they entered the party. It was all of 30 minutes before they devoured the cupcakes, ripped open the gifts, and we moved on to other things, but they loved the surprise and celebrating with their cousins.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

the strength of a preschooler...

oh how i love my husband and hate AT&T -- thank goodness one of us in this marriage has some patience to make 20-some phone calls to get our internet up and running again. i could go on and on but i am moving forward and enjoying the computer while it works...lots of catching up to do...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

on a forced break...

i am out of order this week -- we switched phone carriers, internet servers, whoever they are,  a few months back and well, we've made more phone calls to this company than i've made to my own chatty girlfriends! it's pretty much not working 90% of the time -- so until we get our service back, which is in a week (really - why do you need a week to flip some switch? push a button?) i will be out of my blogging world -- and i miss it already - amazing how sitting down and writing your thoughts aloud with some cute accompanying pictures can be so relaxing!!!

p.s.  i am always surprised however how much cleaner my  house is when our computer is down!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

the power of nana...

the loving warm arms of nana...

the cuddling secure hands of nana

the lovely humor of nana.
thanks for my present nana

Thursday, October 8, 2009

going back to cali...

our trip to illinois to visit my family has come to an end -- it was a lovely and crazy two weeks, and as always, i'm sad to go but it's back to reality and palm trees. so today, we awoke at 4 am, took our first of two planes at 6 and we're home (cross your fingers for us please) in orange county by 12.
if you want to experience how these airplane days usually go with us and see the "fun"of it all, you might enjoy reading this post -

BEGGING you blogspot-savy bloggers -- please help me understand how to do the 'you might enjoy reading this' at then end of the post - where it links you to two or three previous posts on your blog? i will pay you with a big THANK YOU!!!

and we're off...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

what will it be? ...

my one and only wonderful sister-in-law and her husband
( he's quite wonderful too) have the
  big baby reveal today...
what will their new world be?

PINK  &  ballerina tutus

or a world of

BLUE & dinosaurs?

whatever this little bean will be, we are anxiously awaiting the february arrival of our new nephew/niece/cousin with open arms and lots and lots of smooshy kisses!
congrats jackie and geoff

ooooooooooooooooh, how i can't wait for that phone call today!

edited at 9:42 am  --thank goodness for those crack of dawn doctor's appointments. izzy will soon have a girlfriend to play with! it's pink and tutus -- it's a girl on the way!! woooooohooooo!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

the great pumpkin patch

the great pumpkin patch in arthur, illinois, in the heart of the Amish Country --

my first visit to this 63 acre patch and a week later, i am still raving about it. i think i had more fun than my own kids! truth be told, i feel fulfilled that i have taken my girls to a true midwestern, out in the cornfields, middle-of-nowhere, pumpkin patch instead of to the strip mall parking lot "patches" that we have found in our california city. i know, i know, some californians will argue with me that yes, there are some REAL pumpkin patches out there too, i agree -- but i want the color-changing leaves, mud puddles to jump over, country road to drive down, hot apple cider, and the cool crisp wind to accompany us to our pumpkin patch visit!

maddie searches for the best pumpkin - she found at least 15 until we put a limit on
just how many she could buy

mia is proud of her choice
izzy's first visit to a pumpkin patch - is she a lil' punkin or what?

lots of fun with all the kids - two childhood girlfriends and their little ones went along.

as i look into the history of the great pumpkin patch  i want to know where have i been? this is the 21st season of the pumpkin patch, and well, i am well over 21 and have never been here before? why? and who do i blame for that? my mom was asked that question just a few, ok 20, times during our visit! even martha stewart made a visit to this patch back in october of 2005 when she was just beginning her tv show.

the patch grows over 300 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds and has corn mazes, wagon rides, and a sweet shop with the most de-lish pumpkin ice cream (shipped in from indiana but it is made with real pumpkin  - i asked.) the kids had a fun time, and this mom was enjoying being a kid again herself. i am not sure how many times we will be able to return to illinois during the fall but when we do, this will be on the very top of our "to-do list."

some memorable photos...