Wednesday, June 29, 2011


decorating this room gives me hiccups.
I need your help.

maybe i hold my breath when i'm searching for inspiration.
maybe it makes my heart race with anxiety because i'm struggling with it so much.
this room is an interesting space.

here are the design issues i'm dealing with:
this room has 3 doors and 4 windows.
it was designed to be our garage, and in a last minute decision we decided to pay the school fees and turn it into our living room.
so basically, it's a very large square.
it serves lots of purposes...
it's where macy practices piano.
the piano needs to be on an interior wall, and this is the only one.

(i cannot get rid of my rocking chair...i nursed and sang to my babies in it, rock them in it when they are sick or sad, and it doesn't fit the room and it doesn't really match the room and it doesn't fit anywhere else...but i'm totally emotionally attached to it, so don't mention any design ideas that deal with that chair. it's off limits.)

i created a "reading zone" that is close the the large bookcases.
it houses all the books I've collected from my years in teaching.

the art above the piano was a gift at our wedding.
it once belonged to my godfather.
it is incredibly special to my heart.
not my "favorite" picture ever...but emotionally speaking it's tweeking to this either.
(i did paint the frame black that was once gold...)

Please help me figure out what to put in this.
candy is a no-go. something cool. colorful. collectible.
 the tv is centered in the room, and i'm finally happy with the arrangement of my couches/coffee table.
yes, macy is watching the fresh beat band on the disney channel.
and yes, i often shake a tail feather when i'm sneaking a peak at it too.i'm on the hunt for different typefaces of the letter "L" for above our french doors.
Please...share your lettering ideas!!

 my collection of suitcases that I use as photo props:
 I'm ready to change out my curtains too. ideas? I did these and pillows a few years ago for super cheap.
i need cheap ideas again...and something EASY.

Obviously, the fireplace is firmly planted in the corner.
I have some bead-board that is supposed to go behind it.
any offers to come install it for me.
that would be cool.
i'll cook for you.

the problem i have is that i feel like everything is shoved to the perimeter of the room, and i don't know any other way to do it.
maybe there isn't a way.
i would sure love some ideas to get me motivated again.

on a happier note, my computer corner is close to completion...close...very close.


i love her.

who inspires you?

she inspires me to add color to my life.
take my blank walls and add some life to them.

this has been one of my personal summer goals.
to add some color without spending a lot.

i've invested very little in spray paint and some new colorful prints on the wall.
I've tried really hard to repurpose things I already had, or purchase something used/garagesaled/thrifted.
I'll try to remember to reveal each time I tackle a new section.
I'm still working on the living room.
The kitchen entry is done.
Here it is!

When it's worth it.

Swim lessons can be expensive.

However, when your handsome 3 year old screams bloody murder and digs his nails into your shoulders and you just don't think you could ever swim with him ever again unless there was some serious intervention...

you call Sarah.

And she works her magic.
And your handsome 3 year old kicks his feet and puts his face in the water, and jumps from the edge and learns to grab the side in "life saving technique" effort and your worrisome little heart gets a bit of a rest for a while and then you realize.....


reflections and promises

I love Groupon.

I purchased a Groupon for the Victoria Rose Cottage Restaurant months ago.
I've been hanging it over Macy's head promising for some time.
We finally had the opportunity.

Macy has been reading our blog book from 2008.
(I print our blog on Blurb, it's my out from scrapbooking, but still feel success in recording our memories)
She remembers our last visit and giggles over the details of her little 2 year old self and her princess behaviors.

Once she absorbed the words, "I'm taking you to the tea house on a mommy date" she literally squealed in delight.
Immediately, she went to her room and grabbed her crown and picked out her fancy dress.
She then declared, "Mom, I'm going to wear this crown today, and not even at my forehead. I know where it belongs now.  AND mom, I don't think I'll even be stubborn."
See, she remembers.
Or at least the blog book helps her remember.
That makes me happy.

Sadly, we forgot the crown in the car and didn't get any nostalgic pictures with it on.
However, we had a blast and got a chance to just talk to each other.
No bothersome brothers.
No macaroni and cheese.

We had a girl date, just the two of us.
It will probably be one of my favorite memories, and I won't ever forget because it will be in our 2011 blog book, and I will relish in the reflection.

(her hair is still a little wet from her swim lesson just prior to our date)

sweet surprises

there is a local shop here in auberry called "stuff"
our friend leslie just opened a few months back and she really has some pretty cool things.

this side area in our house is pretty much mostly furnished with things from her shop.

i just picked up the chairs last week.
i got them for photo sessions, but really love them in the house.
it was a sweet surprise how well they fit in.

the white side table i purchased a few months back, it holds our modem and microcell tower for our phones. (i covered it with a coffee bean bag from our coffee shop)
i intended to have it outside full of flowers.
it was a sweet surprise that all our junk fit perfectly inside.

the pig was a TOTAL SWEET SURPRISE from steve-o.
he knew that i had been coveting this pig, and one day he came walking in the door with it.
i think i cried a little bit.
i love this pig.

then a few nights ago, steve walked in with happy colorful flowers.
i love my man.
i got super lucky when he walked into my physics class 12 years ago.
he was meant for me.
besides being the super-romantic husband that he is, i also think he was redeeming himself from this flower snafoo.
i love sweet surprises.

family dinner doesn't have to cost your mortgage

i like to cook.
i like to try new recipes.
i love family dinners.
sometimes they are a total flop.
sometimes my kids won't touch the food with a 10 foot pole.

this dinner was...

You can do it too.

I bought two whole fresh chickens on sale ($7.36)
I froze one, and cooked the other.
I stuffed one cut apple 1 potato and 1/2 cut lime inside the cavity.
Just under the skin, I stuffed fresh cilantro springs and quartered fresh limes.
I brushed the top with olive oil, added salt and pepper to taste, and threw a few more cilantro springs on top.
I baked the chicken in the oven.
(I don't know how long, I just check it often)

I found on sale at Smart and Final four artichokes for $1.99 (they were $4.00 off the original 5.99 price)

I made a delicious green salad with candied walnuts, golden raisins, avocado, red onion, croutons, feta cheese, cucumber and Breeana's Vinaigrette dressing.

Our last side was Trader Joe's red potatoes baked in the oven with a little butter and fresh rosemary from the garden.

As Rachel would say, it was YUM-O.
I used the leftover chicken in last night's lime chicken tacos.
Go get cookin.

i love us.

Summer Mantra Verse 14-

::"We will indulge in celebration"::

hold the phone.
joni made a layered cake.
with a fresh strawberry cream cheese layer.


it was fun.
and funny lookin'.
it was my very FIRST one.

the kids helped make a celebration cake for our family.
not a birthday cake.
no baby showers around here.

simply just a cake to celebrate our family.
i loved it because,
i love us!


Summer Mantra Verse 13-

::"We will rest"::

The sermon at church Sunday centered around the idea of rest.
It was encouraging.

Suddenly, I realized...we don't do a whole lot of "resting" around here.
Or maybe we just don't call it "resting."

Somehow being busy makes me feel validated.
There is probably some great psycho-analysis on this,
but I'm pretty content to ignore that I have "issues" here.

Resting takes effort with kids who are little.
They don't exactly rest unless they are sleeping.

I had to tweak my definition of "rest" a little to fit
the dynamic of our family.

Rest for us can be the absence of a to-do list.
Rest can be the intentionality of a family activity.
Rest can be the UNintentionality of a family activity.
Rest can be permission to be lazy.
Rest can be idle time.
Rest can be validating.

For us, REST is present...we just forget that's what it can be called.
I want to work on recognizing REST, and celebrating when we've found it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

winner winner chicken dinner!

This post involves chicken, gold stars, and z formation snaps.
see, the title totally goes with the post.

Summer Mantra Verse 12
::"I will teach, instruct and smile"::

Tonight Macy made dinner.
I taught her to use a paring knife.
I smiled when she finished with all 10 fingers still in tact.

She cut fruit.
Crushed pistachios.
Preheated the oven.
Measured and mixed the sauce.
Dipped the chicken.
Cut the squash.
Set the table.
Helped clean up.
Learned to wrap up the vacuum cord.

I'd say I get a gold star for being an awesome teacher.
She gets three snaps in a "z" formation for being a fantastic student.
BECAUSE.....dinner was the BOMB.

Here's a great recipe for kids...super family friendly.

4-5 thin boneless, skinless chicken breast (you can cut in strips if you like)
1 c. crushed pistachios
1/2 c. bread crumbs
2T dijon mustard
2T honey
2T olive oil
pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450.
Crush pistachio and add to bread crumbs. Mix mustard, honey, olive oil, and pepper.
Dip chicken breasts in liquid mixture, then in bread/nut mix.
Place breaded chicken in pan sprayed with non-stick spray.
Turn oven to 375 and place chicken in oven to cook for 20 minutes or until no longer pink.
Let us know if you try it and like it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

rAinBow fInGeRnaiLS

Summer Vacation Day 11

Summer Mantra Verse 11
::"I will make the time"::

I am the queen of the phrase "just gimme a bit"

meaning...I'll do it, just not RIGHT NOW.
In a little bit.

My kids are used to having to wait.
I keep my promises, but it often takes me a bit to get to it.

I promised Macy we would do rainbow fingernails over vacation.

We bought the polish on Wednesday.
She hasn't bugged me about it.

Today she asked, "Can we paint my nails today, mom?"

I wish I had a video camera to watch her surprise when I DIDN'T SAY, "just gimme a bit."
I said, "Yes."
(Remember Summer Mantra Verse 1??? Just say, Yes!)
Go grab the polish.

And we lacquered up.

I here I thought that I was finished with painting.