Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cool Things

This has been a fun week with cool stuff:

1.  I got some great mail this week, and it's no secret that I love mail.  I got two great thank you notes.  They weren't the typical "thank you for blah blah blah, I'm sure I'll love using it."  No, they were gracious, thankful, and best of all they ended with the hope and invitation to hang out with each of the girls that wrote the notes.  Especially, because they are somewhat new friends, and I really want to hang out with these girls more!
2.  I got the best card ever from one of my cousins.  {Back story, for several years, I was the only girl cousin.  When my aunt got pregnant, my grandmother told me that I could pray and ask God to give me a girl.  Well, I got FOUR MORE girl cousins.  And they aren't regular girl cousins.  They are top notch girl cousins.}  One of those cousins sent me a regular card for no reason but to say hello and to pay some of the sweetest compliments that I have ever received.   It wasn't just sweet, but it was so cute!!!  She spent some time decorating and making it pretty and that meant a lot to me.  
3.  I saw something cute that I wanted to make and I actually made it.  Not only did I make it, but I had enough guts to wear it.  Side bun and big honking flower.  Not me at all.  I rocked it all day.  Not only that, but several friends put want one-including a bunch of high school girls at youth group.  {High school girls are the best audience to try things.  I love going to them for a "cool check."}  Here it is at the end of a very long, very fun day: 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sink Time

Burl has WAY outgrown his little baby tub.  For about a week, we have been using the sink.
 He loves it.  He loves grabbing for the water (and anything else he can get a hold of), eating the washcloth, and playing!

I also got a snap of his newest face.  It cracks us up.  We'll call it the "what was THAT?" face, 

because Burl does not miss a thing.  When he hears something, he looks for what it was.

Bath time, yet another joy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Le Flower

I just came across this, and I L.O.V.E. it.  See that cute flower in her hair?  She made it.  I want to make one too...maybe definitely more than one.

Someone come over right now and we'll make this together.  There are instructions here!

Monday, September 27, 2010


My Friday night date brought be flowers.  I was pretty excited.  
 So was my date.
He found a new flower shop where the ladies were nice and the selection was great and he could buy by the stem.
 I think I'll be getting more flowers from here.  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This Week's Menu

In the blog world, there are weekly rituals.  What I Wear Wednesday, Tutorial Tuesdays.  They're fun.  What about What I Make for Dinner?

I love grocery shopping, cooking and even washing dishes.  I don't love coming up with a menu.   Since John and I are always calling the good meals "make-agains," but we never remember what they are, I am starting a Sunday routine of posting my Monday-Thursday dinners. 

Cream of Broccoli Soup and Salad
Taco Soup
Chili Mac, taco soup style
Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Wilted Spinach

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reach For It

I'm trying to encourage Burl to crawl.  I know, I know...I'll regret it later, butfor now, it's fun.  

I put him on the bed and place some prizes just out of his reach.  A cell phone and an orange notepad.  Basically, baby gold.

He was pretty eager.  He wiggled and squirmed.  Knees were drawn.  A little rolling.

He worked hard.  He even had to take a break and pace himself.

Eventually, he got there.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Summer is gone.

Summer, I'm going to miss you! You're my favorite
and your heat that encourages everyone to go swimming

and to have extra parties and celebrations!

You move us outside.  On the porch.  Or downtown streets.  Or buildings' rooftops.

Whether it's day or night.  Summer, you bring me excitement and freedom and you create the perfect casual atmosphere that keeps me relaxed.

I'll be waiting, summer.  Come back soon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Snail Mail

I LOVE snail mail.  Besides the junk, I love it all.  I love letters, I love packages, I love catalogs, and I even love bills.  
Bills...I love putting a stamp on my bills and mailing them off...not sure why.  Something about the fact that I'm sending it to an actual person who will open it and process is cool to me.  Now, we pay most of our bills online and that makes me sad.  A little part of me dies when I write the confirmation code on the bill that got paid online and didn't get mailed.  That might sound strong or dramatic, but it's the truth.  I wondered if there are people sitting at Accounts Receivable just waiting for mail that will never come?
Catalogs...My favorites are Pottery Barn and Serena & Lily.  Pottery Barn quit sending them to me because I never ordered anything...but I found a loophole.  If I see a friend who is registered at PB, then I go straight there for their wedding gift.  Keep them coming, PB.  I'm pretty sure that I'll NEVER order anything from SL, so I don't know what I'll do then.  Maybe order a $2 swatch?
Letters & Invitations...make me weak at the knees.  When I thumb through the stack of mail and see a handwritten address, be still my heart, I'm so happy!!!  I almost rip it open right then and there, but I make myself get back to the house and in a comfy place to read it.  I feel like I'm in an old movie where letters were the main form of long distance communication.  One time, I even laid on the bed on my stomach and kicked my feet up in the air.  
Packages...if I open up the mailbox and see a package, I collapse.  If it came as a complete surprise, I collapse and wake up crying.  I love it.  Someone could mail me an empty toilet paper roll and I would smile for the rest of the day, nay, week.  Why?  Because for some reason, they thought of me and went to the effort to package it and mail it.  

The post office should let me be their spoke person.  I think that I could get mail circulation  increased by 10%, at the very least.

Got the pics from here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cousin Dinner

I have some great cousins.  They're purty funny.  Every.Single.One.  When we get the chance, we all get together for Cousin Dinner.  There are 9 cousins, one cousin-in-law (John), and one baby cousin (Burl).  {One was missing.  Alex, we missed you.}

We are: A soldier. A babysitting queen. A nurse. A coach. A photographer. A finance guy.  A political guy. An engineer.  Me, the cook.   

Our time together has evolved from hide-n-seek at Mimi's house.  Now, we eat and laugh and sometimes play Pictionary.  It gets intense.  There's been blood.  Mostly we laugh.  

I think that we are all funny in our own way, but no one is as funny as my cousin Ryan.  Here he is with the best pictionary drawings of the night:

The words were Polar Bear and Candelabra.  The polar bear was on ice skates.

His stories are epic.  Usually when I tell a funny story, my audience gives me a sympathetic laugh and says, "huh.  Guess you had to be there."  With Ryan, he finishes a story and I think, "MAN.  I wish that I could have been there."

He had one for us.  It goes into my "top 5" Ryan stories.  I'll butcher it, but stay with me.

He's in college and joins a speech class a week late.  He gets to class and the teacher says, "So you join the class late and I have to let you in now?"
Ryan-"Yep.  That's how it works."
Teacher-"well I'm not letting you off the hook.  You have to give an instructional brief today.  Does anyone in the class want to tell Ryan what an instructional brief is?"
Ryan-"I think I've got it.  I give instructions and they have to be brief.  Ok."

He sits down and the guy before him mentions what a cougar is-and it's not the animal.  He gets up and decides to do a speech on how to pick up a cougar.  

"Alright.  Head on over to the Palms.  You know where the Palms is?  It's over on Lee Highway and that place is crawling with cougars.  Loosen your tie, head out on the dance floor, do a couple of these moves {he does the moves for the class} and the cougars will be pouncin' off the walls."

He said the whole class was cracking up.  A huge football player just kept his head down and shook because he was laughing so hard.  When he got done, he sat down, and the teacher said, "oh, that was REAL cute."  She was the only one in the class that had been to the Palms.  

He got an A.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Girly Present

Recently, we went to a 1st birthday party for a little girl named Madison.  For her gift I embellished two shirts & gave her a Fancy Nancy sticker book.  {I LOVE Fancy Nancy!!!}

I bought the shirts at Walmart.  Walmart has a ton of cute, solid tees and onesies for boys and girls...and the prices are always cheap.  Always.  {Insert funny joke about Walmart being cheap.}

On the first one, I ironed an "m" on the front.  I think that I got the fabric at Walmart.  I cut a small rectangle of fabric and a small rectangle of iron-on material.  (There is an actual name for this stuff, but I can't remember what it's called.  It's really cheap-like $2/yard-and available at any craft store.)  Instructions come with the material. SUPER EASY TO USE.  Then, I printed an "m."  I used the Goudy Old Style font at size 250.  For most letters, this font works well, but I always like to play around and see which font works best.  Then, I cut out the letter and traced it on the fabric rectangle with the iron on material on the back.  Then, I cut out the fabric "m" and ironed it on the tee.  Wa-la.  Done.

For the pink, linen flower, I'll try to give directions, but I might need to go in to more detail on a later post.  First, I cut out four circles, different sizes.  For the three larger ones, I took each one and ran a needle and thread around the center and pulled to gather/ruffle it.  The more pull, the rufflier it gets.  I laid them on the shirt, with the smallest circle laying flat.  I ran a needle and thread through all the layers and the shirt to attach it.

I've never done this on a shirt before, so I asked Madison's mom to tell me how it holds up in the wash.  There could be a bunch of pink linen threads in the washing machine, or it could roll up even more, making it cuter.  Let's hope for the second outcome.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Yesterday, I ate ice cream right out of the tub before I worked out.  
It wasn't the first time.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My order arrived.

A few weeks ago, I received 100 of my new fancy, smancy custom stationary. was like water for the thirsty or food for the hungry or paper for the stationary junkie.

I was so excited.  I placed an order with my good friend Heidi, who worked with me and came up with something that I really love.  (I hid my last name because that's the safe thing to do.)

I got my supplies {good pen, return address stamp, stationary and the cutest stamps the post office had} and got-to-a-writing.

 *** side note: I go to the post office often.  For the record, they have pretty cool stamps.   When I ask if they have any new stamps, they are more than happy to show them to me.  It helps that I have 20 lbs of pure Burl attached to me in the Baby Bjorn.  It's quite exciting.  Quite.***

Heidi was great to work with, and I really enjoyed the whole process.  She does custom designs as well as a cute stationary line that she just started.  Her stuff comes packaged nicely, just like this:

It's all very exciting.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Someone asked me once when I knew that I was becoming an adult.  Well, there are a lot of times.  

How about that 2nd grade field trip to McDonalds?  The one where I was playing on the playground with the rest of my class.  The manager told my mom that I had to get out because I was over the maximum height.  

Then there was the time were the times that I wasn't allowed to eat off the 12 and under kids menu.  This happened frequently when I was 8-10 years old.  By 11, I NEEDED the adult portions. 
All those made me feel like a freakishly big kid or a small adult (which is worse), but nothing has made me feel more like an adult than signing 4,873 documents to buy our home.  Then comes the cleaning.  Kids make messes.  Adults clean, and I clean a lot sometimes.
For the most part, I enjoy cleaning.  Not all types of cleaning though.  Not the sponge, mop, bucket,  and bleach kind.  I like organize, put things away, and purge kind.
I have even been asked how I keep things "so clean."  Well, I don't.  I can't remember the last time that I mopped and I don't even know where my Pledge is...or if I even have any.
Instead of actually cleaning, I organize and tidy and constantly find a home for things.  I try to be thoughtful about why and where I put things (method to the madness) instead of stashing  and piling.

I'm so in love with organization that I'm going to make a big fat nerdy list of things that I do to make my house look clean without actually cleaning it.  Maybe I can be on Oprah like Peter Walsh.

1.  Find a home for everything.  This is the most important thing!  Bills, mail, travel size toiletries, magazines, hand towels, gift wrap, spices, and other random items end up getting stashed any odd place.  That became a problem for me.  One day I decided that I wasn't cleaning, I was just moving my clutter to a better hiding place.  Once everything had a home, it became easier to pick up.  And...if I don't have room for something, then should I really have it? {Insert meaningful thought about obtaining too much stuff.}
2.  Keep things off the floor.  I am really bad about throwing my clothes down in my bathroom (which sometimes means the floor).  If I must throw them down, and sometimes I must, I try and go for the chair.  It gets the clothes off the floor (sloppy) and somehow makes the floor look bigger and nicer and neater.  Eventually I have to put them away...the chair can only hold so much weight before it tips over.  Been there.  Done that.
3.  Get rid of piles.  Piles of stuff just aren't cute.  There I said it.  Not even if I throw a Pottery Barn catalog on top of them.  At one point, there was a pile of something in each and every room.  Sometimes more than one.  It was U-G-L-Y.  I don't want to be on Hoarders, so I got/get rid of the piles.  For example, I keep a pile of stuff on the printer of things that need to be filed away.  It's always there.  I hate it.  It is looking at me right now.  Fine.  I'll file you away, pile!!!  Then, I'll feel relieved and happy and stress free and the room will look fancy.  See, it's that easy.
4. Use bigger stuff. My super cool aunt is a really awesome decorator.  She was in my house one day and mentioned "scale."  Like...knowing the scale of my room and accessories.  For some reason, that has stuck with me.  Scale.  Like, don't hang an 8x10 picture above a full size  couch.  I try to think of scale when I decorate.  Instead of 93 4x6 frames lying around my house, what if I used a few 8x10s that were matted?  I've done this once and it worked out for me.  What if instead of 2,655 little nicknacks on my coffee table, I just had one or two big chunky ones?  Check...that worked out too.  Instead of a bunch of free furniture I hoarded, what if I tried to use less pieces, but they were bigger?  Working on that...
5. Talk to people or read things that are inspirational. When I started reading decorating magazines, that got me motivated to keep things in order.  Looking at all those cute homes, I found one thing in common: no clutter.

I found a cool post by Emily who has four kids, runs a little business from home, and has a cool blog.  She made a list of things that she does that help her stay sane.  Below is a picture of her home cute!
Then, I read about how the Nester has become inspired by all the Hoarder shows.  She's making some changes about the way she collects things and how she decorates.  Below is a picture of her main living space.  She has three boys and a white sofa.  In her main living space.  With three boys.  And a white sofa.  Which makes me me feel just fine about my white sofa.  

Now, how's that for rambling???  To be honest, I have more.  Like Peter Walsh's 3 types of clutter...more on that, later!

First four pics from here.