Thursday, June 17, 2010

more furniture in the household...

in the midst of all this chaos over the last two months, my husband treated me to a massage on mother's day weekend. It was a Saturday appointment and I was more than happy to go, but strategically, I left a bit early so that I could just happen upon a garage sale or two. I managed to make it to one. it was 930 and the woman was already clearing out and packing up. there was this gorgeous and antique in-need-of-some-love dresser at the end of her driveway waiting for someone to make a last purchase before she closed up shop. i mentally told myself, "ok, no more than $25. " I asked and the most beautiful price came out  her mouth. FFFFFFRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEE! "take it" she said! i somehow managed to squeeze that dresser in my sequoia with one stroller and three car seats. my car is a boat but that was still pretty impressive.

I didn't take before pictures because...well, i don't know why. i start a project and just want to get it finished so i was too lazy to get the camera. it was a wood - no paint - just the original wood color. i sanded off the edges to add some age and didn't bother to fill in the loopy parts with paint. i am sure glad i am not in the furniture business because as you can tell, i know nothing about the vocabulary of furniture -- patina, or is it pantina? cherry vs. oak - i don't know so i won't pretend to know!

i used a gray-ish white "oops" can of paint and a tad of turquoise paint to the fancy parts of the dresser. i love the outcome. so much that we rearranged my entire living room that evening and i got rid of a couch that i've been wanting to get rid of but was hanging on to just for some place to sit -- this dresser booted that couch on out and it's now in my neighbor's garage playroom.

so here's the new dresser....and i still can't believe with all of my stuff, the drawers are still empty even after being inside for almost a month now! shocker if you know how much i truly like "STUFF." i'm lovin' it!...almost as much as that framed picture of all three of my baby girls' piggy toes! that's a keeper!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Time just flies on by....

with or without me!

what has happened in the last month?
i don't even know what to blame for my absence of blogging...
and as you read on, i am NOT complaining, rather venting with a smile on my face because its "all just temporary..."

maybe i've been a bit busy with...

the girls finished their last month of preschool...
izzy now pronounces NO quite well and quite loudly...making any task with her a bit more challenging now...
maddie fell out of bed in the middle of a night tremor putting us in ER to get 7 stitches in her eyebrow at 1AM
mia got bit in the face by a neighbor's dog, a german shepard of all dogs - small bite but enough to make us all panic when the dog jumps her fence and appears out of nowhere...
the lakers have made it to the finals and lakers hold a lot of priority in this household
the dishwashwer broke a month ago and i've been handwashing dishes every day, 5 times a day, - ok, i may sound like a big brat, but wow is that a time consuming task with 5 people using dishes.
the washing machine broke and flooded the lower level of the house - dehumidifiers and fans are all that i seem to hear in my house at the moment,
we had a neighborhood garage sale and about an hour into the sale, i wrote EVERYTHING'S FREE on the chalkboard and watched people hound the stuff like it was a child's first Easter egg hunt...i was literallly too tired to count money and bargain with customers. just take it please.
what else?
my mom had foot surgery today and my dad has knee surgery on friday - and i live gazillion miles away and can't be of any help
a neighbor who foreclosed on their home let their two pet pythons loose in the neighborhood on their move-out day -- apparently we innocent neighbors had something to do with their foreclosure? one was found and captured, the other, well, we are all waiting to see who is the lucky one to encounter him!
i finally cleaned out that hazardous garage of mine thanks to my neighbor Kim who saves the day for me quite often - 5 years i have been wanting to clean that out -- we did an awesome clean out, created a toy room and craft area.
that clean garage is now worse than what it was before we cleaned it because everything that was in it was taken out or scooted around due to the water damage. good intentions.

so i do miss my blog. preschool ended today and the house should be getting back in order early next week, i pray, so hopefully a wee bit of time will open up for me soon to return to my blogging habit - i haven't been a writer or a reader lately. i will be back....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

take time to be silly...

i've been sidetracked from my HAPPINESS PROJECT efforts. Well, to be honest, i lost the book for a bit. while i was away in Illinois, my husband found it necessary to clean off the bathroom vanity and stashed my pile of magazines /books that i leave by the bathtub, under my bathroom sink. i can't blame him for cleaning, but who knew to look under there for my pile. so just this week, i found my stash and there was the happy book.  my last chapter of reading was in march. catch up time for chapters "april" and "may."

love this book. i have to say - it's just such a great read!

so "may" is to focus on PLAY! may - play. easy enough to remember, right?

with the focus on  playing is the goal to TAKE TIME TO BE SILLY:

which brings me to this picture:

i posted this photo on my facebook, reluctantly, because it's "just not me." i'm not the silly mom. i am the mom who is usually taking the pictures, or the one who scrolls through the pictures and deletes the pictures of me before they can even be uploaded to the computer, because i either have black circles under my eyes, or i pushed my neck out too far to show elephant rolls in my neck, or my hair hasn't been washed in three days -- there is ALWAYS something that i find to beat myself up with. anyone relate? ridiculous, i know. i hate this about me. i grew up getting so frustrated with my mom for never wanting her picture taken or refusing to have her picture taken until she could put some lipstick on. i've become my mother!! not the lipstick part, but just not feeling worthy enough for a picture! enough already!


there were two comments on facebook under this picture:
1. from a high school friend --
Love the Krispy Kreme pics. Adorable. I'm sure you're a really fun mommy.
2. from my sister-in-law
!!!!! I LOVE THIS!! This will be used in her wedding someday! Can't you just see this in a slideshow?! Classic!

I smiled when i read those comments because I want to be the fun mom, the silly mom, the embarrassing mom and i am happy that someone else saw that in me in this photo. i am that mom in private, behind our own doors, when no one can see me or judge me for being too silly, but i want to be the confident mom who is happy and silly no matter who is watching. I looked through a few more pictures that i posted on facebook that same day, a small album of mother’s day pictures that were taken before attending the mother’s day tea at mia and maddie’s preschool:

and I like what I see. I am silly with my daughters. I am the fun mom. the girls’ silliness is contagious and I’ve caught it more than I realize. the girls insist on being called giggle box and goofball, two names that my mom, their nana, lovingly gave them...and quite fitting, wouldn't you agree?

and with all that silliness, i got a really good picture that i truly love - no elephant wrinkles in the neck, hair is washed, concealer covers the dark circles, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, i am happy and smiling and honored to be a mommy at the mother's day tea.

it had to be all that goofing off in the morning that created such a great picture!

( and yes, mia on the left cut her own bangs...5 months ago...let's speed up the growing back process please!)


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

now i know my ABC's...

It was headed for the trash - but I really did treasure this piece. It was originally a very colorful artsy piece from IKEA that my mom bought for me the week my father-in-law passed away back in 2003. It was a colorful splash of colors, looking a bit floral, but a bit more like just a pile of colors -- regardless of what it was really supposed to be, it reminded me of the vibrant colors in the movie of "what dreams may come...," the movie with Robin Williams that portrayed both heaven and hell. This picture matched their scences of heaven just perfectly.  But somewhere over the past few years, I decided to paint it and well, I botched it up. I couldn't let of the canvas however. So, the ABC's are a big part of our lives right now with the twins learning their alphabet throughout the last two years of preschool. A little paint and some whimsical freehand alphabet letters, and this is what I ended up with. Thank goodness for my little proofreader Maddie who repeatedly questioned me "where's the K?" as she sang the song over and over out loud. She was right - I left out the K.
You gotta be smarter than your preschooler, but sometimes, it's just the other way around!

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Monday, May 17, 2010

A few less flowers...

I'm on the bloggers MIA list once again. I have to admit - I've just been worn out. I am constantly on that endless search of figuring out how to balance it all. Having a husband who commutes over an hour a day has really changed our schedule over the past year. Jason has been blessed with becoming a State Farm Agent about 15 months ago, but his office is an hour away from where we live. So we've had a lot of time with Daddy out of the house - BUT when he is here, he is an incredible dad and husband. It's all a process of just learning how to make it all work. The talk of moving has been in the works for over a year but that too is stressful just thinking about it. Ok, I know I am preaching to the choir in terms of being a MOM who is tired, but just wanted to vent.. I went outside the other afternoon to find a few of my flowering plants                                                                          ...flowerless....
                                          and instead my flowers were scattered on the driveway...
But before I let loose into my speech of how not to pick the living flowers, let them bloom..blah blah...
                                                                 I saw more of the scene...

Who needs flowers on their plants when you can have a Princess Wedding with two 5 year old princesses?
I'll choose a princess wedding any ol' day over flowering plants. I saw the meaning behind this - "take time to scatter the flowers" -ok, or smell the flowers, but point being, I need to slow down, put the stress aside and soak in these little things that add beauty to my life each and every day.
a little (a lot) laundry, a late-to-arrive-home husband, a broken dishwasher? Who cares! I'd rather be the wedding photographer!
OOOOOOh, do I love those girls!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

lovin' the handmade...

Handmade Gifts are Priceless.
My talented neighbor Chamonix made this hat for Izzy's 1st Birthday.
Could it be any cuter?

Monday, May 3, 2010

let's lighten it up in here...

i've made the leap onto the ruffle bandwagon. ruffles are everywhere it seems. and little did i know that my limited sewing skills allowed me to create these ruffles. inspired by many blogs and by this shower curtain shown above from the influential Anthropologie magazine, i knew i wanted this look in my own home.

although in love with the curtain, the $98 price tag and i weren't so much in love.
solution - Grandma's Linen Closet.
once again.
using her old white sheets and white tablecloths, i created these curtains for my living room. it is amazing how much it lightened up the room.

my favorite part is how some of the ruffles are yellowed - this was from the yellowed stains on the tablecloth. i loved the mixture of the off-white and white together.
no measuring, no perfect lines - just cutting the tablecloth in strips, creating the ruffles and then sewing on the strips to the sheet. i used a king size sheet and cut it in two and hemmed the edges.
i think grandma would be proud.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Why do they do it?

I'm not going to lie. It's still a big problem with one of my 5 year olds. It's to the point that even she doesn't even know she is doing it. I have told her numerous times to stop, that it's ugly and it's full of germs, and well, JUST DON'T DO IT! I've even delivered the news that my mom used to tell me...
"I'm going to put it on a piece of bread and make you eat it."
But really, no matter how bad it gets,
I don't even think I could stomach doing that to her.

and see....she has been up to this for a few years now...
 (photos taken in july of 2006)
not just one time during this photo shoot but two times...

and three times...

and yep, let's go for a fourth pick...

and this one is complete with the smile that she knows she is funny and has our attention
and that yes, we are all giggling right along with her.

even the 4th of July favorite that I used for a family card included her little pick...
but without that little finger up her nose, she really was a precious little baby...
and still is at 5 today. 

BUT I am curious as to whether or not she has been working with Izzy on learning a few tricks...
It all started with "where's your head?" and "where are your eyes?" and "where's your nose?" and BAM! The finger found the nostril and that was it! I laughed and the more I said don't do that, the more she did it and on came the giggles! What is it with kids and nose picking? In my few seconds of online research, I realize I've tried almost all that they suggest -- carrying tissues, band-aid on the finger, explaining about germs, demanding hand-washing, blah blah blah -- but I am going to go with the last suggestion on their list.
Ignore it.
We'll see what happens as this is definitely not one I've used thus far.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

a sentimental PB knock-off

It's summer - well, almost; fair to say that we all have summer fever at least. so with that, it means new pillow covers in the Smith household - or its a good excuse for fulfilling that need to  make yet another round of pillow covers. A store called Tall Mouse carries fabulous quilting fabric and had a 50% off sale of their usual $9.99  a yard fabrics. So I stocked up a bit for pillows in our front room, pillows on the girls' beds and for a few dresses for the baby. I tackled the pillows first, using the purchased fabric and a few sentimental things I picked up from both my grandmother and great grandmother.

the blue and gold prints are fabric I bought; the pink "blanket" is a vintage tablecloth that I found in my grandma's linen closet. I love the whimsical and girly look of it. No one knows that it's a tablecloth unless I tell them, right?
the brown and orange on the left and right sides are bought fabrics, and the middle pillow was one of a pair I picked up at a garage sale for 25 cents each.

Although I have yet to actually sew these into throw pillow covers, I just love the yellow and white pillow cases that, again, were in my Grandma's closet. I remember choosing these pillowcases for my pillows when I stayed all night with my grandparents when I was a child. All the more reason to bring them home with me! And the fun flower one? Another half off fabric - the choices were endless at the sale!

Now on to my favorite pillow of the selection presently in my home:  Here are the ones shown in Pottery Barn - the vintage flower pillows:

...and here are mine that I made using vintage fabric that I acquired after my great grandmother died in 2002.
I've held on to it and finally found it justified to cut it up and create pillow throws - after all, if it's in Pottery Barn, it's justified, right? Who doesn't love their look? And I think I like "free" quite a lot better than PB's overprices. Now as I look at these photos of the pillows, I think I will break out the iron for a few obvious reasons...

Happy Day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

for the love of coral...

i wish i could be a blogger who had something profound to say each day, something meaningful to leave you pondering and thinking about the topic a few days later -- two blogs that inspire me daily and leave me in deep thought are The Goat and the Kidblogged by nancy and Lucky Number 13, blogged by amy. if these two gals ever wrote self-help books, I'd be the first in line at the bookstore to buy the books! Such inspiration  - and wonderful photojournalism to boot! Check them out!

but, I'm not that kind of blogger or writer. I just like to show you my frugal finds, obsess over my redecorating habit, and occasionally share with you some enlightening moments with my children. I guess if all blogs were the same it wouldn't be that fun.

So no deep thoughts, but I have a mantel to share with you - Inspiring ? ?  ?
Thanks to those that complimented my blog header, and yes, those photos are from my mantel. I have to admit this mantel might overdo it's stay this summer because I am loving it myself!

My inspiration?

which i "borrowed" from this gorgeous Hawaiian beach...

i had coral stuffed in shoes, in baby clothes, in my husband's shirts, in my make-up bag- wherever i could think to put it in my suitcase so that they wouldn't take it out of my luggage - it was the one and only souvenier i brought back from our trip, so i was begging "please don't take my coral!"
it all came home with me. smile.

back to the mantel...

now here's the pictures that i really enjoyed creating...
those of you that are interested in, or should i rephrase that and say, addicted to, decorating, and redecorating, do you find yourself doing this annoying habit? -- Sitting back and mentally itemizing each item in your house, recollecting where it came from and what you paid for it? I CAN'T STOP! Not that I have any time to sit back in this house with three little busy bodies to chase, but when i do actually sit and relax a bit after they've all gone to sleep, i visually move from piece to piece taking pride in how little i paid to decorate my home and how pleased i am with the outcome. here is the summer mantel i created and i'll be happy to break it down for ya -- not sure i have even $50 wrapped into this mantel....

not too shabby!

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