Monday, August 31, 2009

Antagonizing E

Recently, after a morning of following his sister around and being a normal pesky little brother, Abbie had had enough of her brother Ethan!  She looked pointedly at me and pleaded, "Maaaaa- oooooom? Can you help me?  He is driving me crazy!" 

I instantly sympathized because I, too, was the big sister, and there were days when my younger sister drove me batty too.  I nodded yes to Ab and turned my attention to Ethan who was hiding behind the door in an attempt to scare Abbie as she walked by it.

"Ethan.  Can you please stop antagonizing your sister?"

He paused and hopped out of his hiding place.  I knew that that was too easy, so I waited for his next move.

"Mom, what's tag-o-nize?"

"Antagonize.  It means to try to drive your sister crazy on purpose.  It means to do things that you know that she does not like just because you can do them, " I reasoned.  "It makes her not want to play with you."

He pondered my words, hopped off my lap, and went to play with his Star Wars men in his room.  I figured that he had understood my explanation and that was that.

But it was not.

Yesterday, after our Sunday dinner, the kids asked if we could go get an ice cream treat.  Ice cream sounded good to me ( and really, when does it not?), so I loaded up the kiddies in the mom mobile and headed to the local ice cream shop, a Dairy Queen.

On the way there, Ethan asked from the back seat, "Mom?  Can I get a tag-o-nize blizzard?"

I didn't understand him right away.  "What E?  What kind of blizzard do you want?"  I questioned.

"A tag-o-nize blizzard.  I saw it on a commercial,"  he explained.  "It has peanut butter cookies and it will make me drive Abbie crazy."

This time I paused.  What in the world was he talking about?  Hmmmmm.  Then our earlier conversation dawned on me, and I had it figured out.

"Do you want an antagonizing blizzard Ethan?"  I asked.

Instantly, he smiled ear to ear and said, "Yep!  I want peanut butter and to drive Abbie crazy."

I laughed. 

Abbie did not. 

 "Ethan.  There is no antagonizing blizzard.  There is no blizzard that will magically give you power to torture your sister.  There is, however, a Tag-along blizzard at Dairy Queen, and it has peanut butter and chocolate cookies in it."

His smile disappeared briefly and he said, "Well, I suppose that I'll get that one instead."

He was quiet, but as a mom, I could spy into his heart, and I knew . . .

he really wished there was a tag-o-nize blizzard. 

Poor guy.  

Although, after a dose of sweet cream and sugar, he was certainly back to his pesky, antagonizing ways.

I should say . . . poor Ab.

Because really . . . any blizzard is an antagonizing blizzard when it comes to little brothers.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Parlez-vous francais?

When we moved into this OLD house and my daughter said that she wanted a "French" bedroom, I seriously was at a loss for what to do. Her room at the time was a teal green hue everywhere. Molding, baseboards, doors and walls were all bluey green. Not hideous, mind you. Just not my Abbie girl, and definitely not french.

So, I pondered the room and the situation for a bit, and finally I was struck with inspiration. I was out shopping for the girls when I spotted a darling lavender swing top with navy blue grosgrain ribbon detailing. The Gymboree tag said that the top was part of their Paris line, and voila! I had it. I knew what to do!

That weekend, with swing top in tow, I headed to my local Home Depot. I used their color matching system to create a dreamy lavender paint for Abbie's walls. Step one was done. Then I ordered their decorator white paint ( yes, that is the official name of the white) for the trim and moldings.

That weekend I spent painting, painting and more painting. My hair looked gray from the specks of lavender and white that the roller deflected there. Then I hit my first dilemma.

The former wallpaper boarder was applied incorrectly and would not come off. Try as I might, I couldn't strip that paper ( and I have stripped loads and loads of paper). I was frustrated that my vision was not going to be, until . . . I figured out a creative solution. I just painted that border with the decorator white paint. Instantly, the border looked like it was part of the room's molding. It looked great, but I knew it was lacking . . . something.

Later, I discovered just what it needed. I found navy blue grosgrain ribbon, just like the inspiration shirt. I took the ribbon and hot glued it between the border and the wall. It was perfect!

Then, I knew that the beautiful doors that were so shiny and so white were unlikely to stay that shiny and white with my three kiddies running through the house. I decided that if I couldn't beat them (and have shiny white doors), then I could join them and let them get those doors good and dirty. So, one afternoon I painted the interior squares of molding on the doors with chalkboard paint. Instant character and instant fun! Abbie and the other kiddies love them!

For the windows, I found some navy blue and white toile fabric at the local fabric store for 50% off. Score! I hemmed them on the sewing machine (to this day, I can only sew straight lines)and then, I gathered them up with more ribbon. I used the existing window hardware and sheers leftover from my old house to create the whole window look.

Finally, what french room would actually be a french room without the Eiffel Tower and some french phrases? I used three leftover white shelves of varying sizes from my old house to create the tower base and then I used oops paint to freehand the tower. The french phrases we checked online ( I wanted to be sure that I was putting up G rated phrases.) and then I freehanded those too. I could have used vinyl stick phrases, but frankly, I was too cheap.
The furniture and bedding was already white so there was no expense there. I did buy some navy pillowcases from ikea for a boost of color. The total cost of the room for paint, ribbon, fabric, and pillowcases was approximately 75.00. Not bad for a whole new room!

The result?

A darling girl's room that is not too juvenile, but not too grown up either.

Just perfect I think. I just love, love, love it!

What about you?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sweet and Salty

There was an article in my local paper today about a bacon candy bar.


I am not joking.

And, at first, I'll admit that I was a little bit . . . shall we say . . . grossed out.

But then, I got to thinking about two things.  One,  my love affair with all forms of bacon, and two,  my love affair with any and all chocolate substances.

So, bacon and chocolate . . .

Hmmm . . .

I just may have to try it.

Until then, I will just have to satisfy my sweet and salty craving with Pig Candy. (Yes, that really is the name of this dish.) It is a recipe I love, love, love from the Sweet Potato Queen's cookbook.   If you too are craving a little something something that is sweet, salty and crunchy,  make up a batch of Pig Candy right away.  I guarantee that once you taste this concoction, you will have to hide the batch from the rest of your family so that you can eat yourself happy without having to share.  Better yet.  Make a double batch.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Pig Candy

1 lb. of bacon 
1 cup or more of dark brown sugar

Take the bacon out of the package and chop it up into small pieces.  Then, toss the pieces until coated in the brown sugar.  Lay the pieces on a broiler pan and put into a hot oven (400 degrees?)  until bacon is crispy.  Remove and let cool ( if you are able to resist eating it right away.)

The Sweet Potato Queen also recommends tossing the bacon pieces with pecan pieces as well as brown sugar.  I can readily attest that this version is ridiculously yummy.  I, myself, have tweaked the recipe a bit and put in some chili powder with the brown sugar to make a sweet, salty, and spicy combo.  Super yum.

Any of these options are great.  I mean, really, how can you screw up bacon?

So there you go.  Sweet. Salty.  Easy.  My kind of recipe.

And now, I'm off to find the grocery store that sells the bacon candy bar. 

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time to Laugh

*******In honor of this week's bog hop theme, Time to Laugh,  I thought I would share the following little bit of insanity from today.


What goes . . .

slam . . .

gurgle . . .





Ellerie "practicing" going on the big potty by herself . . . then . . . falling in, with her clothes on and butt wedged into the seat hole.

If I wasn't laughing so hard, I would have snapped a picture, so you will just have to settle for this one!
Hope this "cracks" you up!

Happy Tuesday!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, August 24, 2009

Not My Child! Monday 8/24

Although I was not planning on writing a Not My Child post today, my kiddies have been such stinkers the past few days, that I decided, what the hey!  I will indulge myself and expose my kiddies and their insanity in the hopes that I do not eat my way through pans and pans of brownies  (see my last post) .

Onto the craziness . . .

It was certainly not my child that stripped down to his birthday suit to use the facilities at the local Home Depot.  My child would know that to get naked in such a public place is just, well, gross.  My child would recognize that his mom is a germ-o-phobe and that she gets completely weirded out about public bathrooms.  And, during our Home Depot moment when I shouted a hearty, "Hurry up E!"  my child would not have shouted back through the stall door and the industrial sized outer bathroom door for all of the male Home Depot employees to hear, "Why mom?  Do you have to poop too?"  Nope!  Not my kid.

And it was certainly not my girl that threw such a fit in the grocery store today that the manager came over to ask if he could help calm her down in some way.  Ellerie would never scream at the top of her lungs with a tantrum.  Nope.  No way!  It was also not my child that when presented with a balloon from the manager stopped screaming immediately, smiled a cherubic smile at him, and said very clearly, "Thanks!"  No, my child would not be bribed with a balloon.  Nor would she be able to turn her dramatics on and off like a light switch.  That would take talent.

It was also not my child that when asked her opinion about a new outfit I modeled said, "Mom!  That's totally unfashionable on you."  Pause.   "But it would look good on me!"  My child would not assume to have a fashion sense that is better than her mother's at a mere 8 years old.  Ridiculous!


Just a snippet  of insanity from the last few days.

Now you know why I am craving the brownies.

Waxing Nostalgic for Summer

Goodbye my summer. . .

Goodbye to 

sleeping in . . .

playing at the park . . .

(Ab at the spray park.)

picnicking . . .

swimming . . .


morning quiet that lasted for hours.

Hello school days . . .

Hello to . . .

waking up with an alarm . . .

walking to class . . .

packing lunches . . .

packing bookbags . . .


morning noise that disturbs my coffee time.


I need a pan of brownies to get me through. 

**** Please indulge me for being summertime nostalgic.  I love summer, and although it is not technically over, school begins tomorrow, so summertime freedom is over.  ( This post is part of I heart Faces, nostalgia week.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Beauty of No Technology

There are just some things that are hard to explain.  

Like say, rocket science, or astrophysics.  

But, I wasn't schooling the kiddies in higher sciences.  I was talking about cartoons.  The conversation should have gone silky smooth, but, it didn't.  

Expecting a brief talk after days of rain and some comfort cartoon watching, I stood up, clapped my hands, and stated emphatically, "Ab.  Turn off the cartoons.  Your brain is going to fry. Time to put it to use."

Instantly, the whine started, "But, mom . . ."

And this time E joined in, "Mom, I don't want to use my brain today!"  I chuckled at his turn of phrase, but remained firm.

"Nope.  No whining and no more cartoons.  Find something to do!"

With that, Ab grumpily trudged over to the TV and turned it off.  Her poopie face told me that she was not pleased (and that I was probably doing something right!).  Trying to lighten the mood, I tried a new tactic.

"You know, when I was little, there weren't all of these cartoons."

Her interest must have been slightly piqued, because she said, "There wasn't?"

I grabbed the opportunity and answered, "Nope!  We had to wait for a whole week to watch cartoons.  They only came on on Saturday morning."

She laughed, shook her head, and said, "Mom!  Stop it.  You are lying."

This time it was time for me to laugh!  "I am not lying, kiddo.  Saturday morning was the only day for cartoons, and we only had three channels."

She thought about that for a second then countered, "Well, that's not so bad.  Three channels of kid shows means you had Disney, Nick and one other one." (She must be learning her rationalization skills from her mother!)

"Ab,"  I answered patiently,  "Three channels total!  Not three kids' channels. No Disney.  No Nick.  Just stuff like the  Smurfs, Spiderman, and Scooby and the Harlem Globetrotters."

She just stared at me with that open-mouthed awe-filled look.  Finally, she said, "Mom.  I am so sorry that it was so bad for you when you grew up."

I found her concern so, so, so funny, but I held my giggles in and threw out another doozy.  "And . . . "  I paused for dramatic effect, "you had to change the channel with a pair of pliers."

And before Ab could give her reply, E piped in, "Did you lose your remote like we do?"

I laughed and explained, "No.  There were no remotes."

I could tell by the expressions on their faces that I could have just as easily been describing the depths of hell.  They just could not grasp a world without remotes.  

"No remotes?"



"None.  You had to actually get up, walk across the room, and change the channel on the TV with a knob."

Silence.  Their little brains were whirring with all of this new information.  It's amazing that I didn't smell smoke.

And with heads shaking in disbelief, my kiddies departed to a rainy day afternoon of building towers and playing with action figures and dolls.  Just pure,  no technology fun.  Beautiful!

That is, no tech, if you don't count the movies they took of their action figures as they scaled the block tower.

Still beautiful, none-the-less.

****** Check out The Inspired Room for other Beautiful Friday moments.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My "Gifted" Girl

As I showered this morning, I reveled in the relative quiet of my house.  That is, I celebrated  until I realized that it was too quiet.  Way . . . too. . . quiet.

Never a good sign in a household with 3 kiddies.

With the sounds of silence pounding in my head, I quickly hopped out of the shower and went to investigate.  I didn't have to go far to find it.  I just followed the trail that my little curly headed devil cleverly left me.  The open linen closet . . . hmmm. . .  the trail of strewn paper . . . and then voila!  

A masterpiece!  

Ellerie had found my box of panty liners,  carefully pulled off the paper backing on each liner, and then stuck them in a random design all over my hallway wall.  The artist had struck again.

Creative little booger, isn't she?  Using an everyday item in an abstract way was nothing short of inspired I tell you.   First poopie, then pudding, and now panty liners?

A creative genius, obviously.

She must be gifted.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bubbly and Beautiful

Could this bubble blowing cutie be any sweeter?

I think not!

Go blow some bubbles for yourself . . .

or take a bubble bath . . .

or enjoy some bubbly . . .

You'll be glad you did!

*** This post is part of I heart faces Bubble Week. Hop on over and check out some more bubbly photos!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Busy Weekend . . .

Busy, busy weekend . . .

Ellerie pee-peed on the potty. Hooray! And then, she promptly ( and proudly, I might add) pooped on the floor.

Ethan jumped off the diving board for the first time. Hooray! And then, he proceeded to jump in 257 more times, got whistled at by the lifeguard for jumping a little too recklessly, and then spent 20 minutes crying about how he got in trouble by the lifeguard.

Abbie went to an intergalactic space princess sleepover party. (Say that 5 times fast. Or not. But at least think about that theme. Whew! Even that tires me out!) Hooray! And then, she came home and announced that while she had slept only a little, she had, in fact, eaten a lot.

Paul began phase 2 of the kitchen remodel . . . tearing down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Hooray! And then, he and I both remembered the sheer joy of dust that accompanies demolition of this old house.

I finished up staining the deck rails. ( Did I mention that hubby had power washed and stained the main portion of our deck this weekend too?) Hooray! And then, the heavens opened up and it began to rain heartily all over my finished work.

It is a good thing that I like to laugh, because otherwise I may have cried!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On My Pantry Shelf . . .

I have discovered that being a mom to three little ones, a wife to a teacher and a coach, and a tutor and trainer myself leaves very little room in my brain for anything else. There are days when I feel like my brain is running through congealed oatmeal. Not efficient to say the least! I lose my keys daily, I forget to turn off the coffee pot, and just Monday I left my keys in the car with the radio turned on and consequently drained my battery dry. Yep, that's me! That's my existence. I am happy, tired, and usually forgetful.

Blame it on my 8 years of sleep deprivation.

Anyway, in my quest to keep (and remember) all of my ideas for this OLD house, I started an idea file. Any time I saw anything that I love, love, loved and wanted to use to decorate or remodel my house, I would promptly rip out the picture from the magazine or catalog, and put it in my red idea folder. Amazingly, this has worked!

Recently, I found this bulletin board gem in a Grandin Road catalog page in my idea file. I had completely forgotten about it until that moment, but when I saw it, I knew that I would try it for my newly built walk-in pantry. (More pics of that to come soon!)

Cute right? A bulletin board with a damask print design. Unique. Useful. But still . . . stylish! Perfect!

That is . . . perfect . . . until I saw the price tag.

Hold on. Get ready for it.


No. I am not joking.

I was completed floored that Grandin Road wanted to charge $139.00 for what amounted to some paint and your garden variety bulletin board. So, I decided to try my DIY skills to replicate a similar Annie-fied version.

First, I found a bulletin board at a garage sale. Price? $1.00.

Then, I found a unique design that I wanted for the cork part of the board. I went with a Fleur
de Lis shape from Hobby Lobby that I got on sale for $4.00.

I traced the shape on the board. And, then I painted it with some leftover paint from my dining room shelf project.

And, voila!

A $5.00 version of the Grandin Road bulletin board to rest atop my new pantry shelves. I am tickled! I think that I will let hubby know that I just saved him $134.00. (Did I mention that I am gifted in creative financial rationalization?)

What do you think? I am love, love, loving it!

****This post is part of Kimba's DIY Thursday. Hop on over and check it out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Brotherly Love

Just thought I'd stop for a smooch while swimming by . . .

**** This photo is part of the weekly blog hop by MckLinky.  Hop on over to see more favorite photos.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Guess what this is . . .

Just check out this craziness . . .

I know. I know.

For those of you that remember this post, this is not what you think it is. Our little poopie painting artist moved on to another medium today.

Chocolate pudding.

She is still a mess . . . but she smells oh so much better.

Muggy Monday Not Me!

Let's just call this Monday, muggy Monday.
It was 77 degrees at 8 am this morning.    The dew point was 75.

Can you say sticky?  YEEK!

So as I sit here and drink my hot coffee on a too hot morning,   I  am now ready to divulge my hot-headed craziness of the past week in a Not Me! Monday post.  (For more, Not Me! insanity, hop on over to MckMama's blog and join in.)

It was not me that considered smacking a woman in the grocery store the other day.  (See ?  hot headed!)   I certainly would not have shot that woman a dirty look when she commented about Ellerie, "She's beautiful . . . (pause) but, heavy."  I would have realized that some people do not have control of their speech, and consequently say hurtful things.  I would not have let her one comment bother me when I know that El is just stinking beautiful, chubby baby-ness and all.

Ellerie and Ab posing for me.

(Truthfully folks . . . does she look heavy to you?  I just see all of her blond, cherubic loveliness.)

It was not me that continued to hang some accessories in my house without first patching holes in the plaster walls.  I would have patched those holes first and foremost.  I certainly wouldn't have strategically placed artwork and pictures over those holes.  Ridiculous!

It is not me that is having a hard time going back to the gym after all of our vacations.  I would realize the benefits of going to the gym, especially since I still hold a personal trainer's certificate.  I would not just sleep in each summer morning (enjoying my lovely sheets and fluffy comforter) and forgo the gym and exercise.  Not me!  Never!  And, knowing that I realize the benefits of gym participation, I would also not have eaten 2 brownies and one smore at our recent BBQ.  That would have just added salt to a wound and I know better!

It was not me that washed the same load of clothes 3 times, because I continued to forget to change the load from the washer to the dryer thereby causing the wet clothes to get a bit smelly.  I am more on top of the chores than that.

It was also not me that left the paint roller out for El to get after working on our kitchen remodel. Clearly, I am more responsible than that.

It was also not me that photographed the red paint on the new floor for posterity.  I would have seen no humor in it whatsoever!  Ha!


I feel much better after purging!

How was your week?


There's sand in my suit!

Just developed these vacation pictures( finally )and had to share this one of Ellerie. I mean seriously, folks.  What is going on in her head?  She is too much!  

I just love, love, love all those scrumptious, yummy rolls and bouncy curls.  Don't you?

*** This is part of   I Heart Faces Crazy, Silly, Funny Faces.  Hop on over and check out some more crazy faces.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Relax. Just Do It.

After a morning of running errands and garage sale shopping (one of my faves), the kiddies and I stopped at one of my girlfriend's homes.  I got a chance to gab and all of the kiddies had a chance to play.  It was great except for one thing.

The problem?

I forgot my phone in the car.  Normally, this would have been no big deal.  I was only there for a couple of hours, so I didn't even think that hubby would worry about me or the kids.  If anything,  when I realized I did not have my phone handy, I figured that hubby would have had some alone time to unwind after a 90 degree football practice.

My intentions were in the right place.

Unfortunately, when I checked my texts, there was a "CALL ME ASAP!"  from hubby's cell number.  A million things raced through my mind (well, not really a million, but quite a few for sure).  Was he OK?  Was my family OK?  Did the house burn down because I forgot to turn off the coffee pot again? (I really should invest in an automatic off switch, but I just love that  coffee pot so much.) I raced home to see what the ASAP was all about.

"Paul?  What's wrong?  Why the ASAP?" I asked breathlessly.

"Oh nothing except I invited Jay, and Brian and their families over for a cookout."

And, I swear to you it was like one of those movies where everything seems to be in slow motion for the main character, but instead the character's thoughts zoom through her head at a mile a minute.  That was me.  Those were my thoughts. And the slow motion pan of the camera was the mess that was my house being ready for guests in less than 2 hours.  I took in the cereal on the floor, the construction dust on, well, everything, the 2 baskets of dirty laundry in the hallway, and the rubbermaid tub full of various and assorted tools from our remodel.  I could have passed out right there on the spot, but hubby and the kiddies were looking to me and my reaction.  I didn't want my kids to see the crazy mom that runs around the house before having guests, so I just, swallowed, smiled, and sucked it up. Plain and simple.

"OK, "  I said.  And then to hubby, "What's the food plan?"  He detailed that one family was bringing some pulled chicken and rolls, and the other was bringing snacks and a salad.  Not bad, I thought.   I knew that we had chicken thawed to BBQ, corn on the cob to roast, and I remembered that we had the makings for s'mores too.  "Alright!  Food is covered."

Then to the kids, "Straighten up the basement.  Dad and I will straighten up these rooms."  With a clap of our hands, we were off.  And no sooner than 30 minutes later, we were done. 

I won't say that my house was spotless.  It wasn't.  There was still the whipped cream stain on my curtain, and the cherry juice stain on the floor.  I am sure that there was still dust in places and let's just say that my glass doors could be the before picture for Windex.  But, my house was presentable, guests were due to arrive, and for once, I was not stressed.

This was momentous.

I was not stressed, because, well, I just decided not to be.  There was no way that I could help some of the messes in my house, but I realized, that if I was going to let my remodeling mess bother me, than I may not be able to see my friends for a long, long, long time.  That was just not acceptable.  So, I let go.  I relaxed.

And, you know what?

Without all of the stress, the prep work for a "planned" party, and the over-reaching expectations, I had a fabulous time.  There was more than enough food, everyone enjoyed contributing, and my friends got to see our work in progress that is our OLD house.  We ate, enjoyed each other's company, and when it got dark, we made a fire and roasted marshmallows.  
A super evening, all in all.

So, I am glad that I didn't have that phone on me yesterday afternoon.  If I had, I may have rushed home to needlessly prepare my home.

Instead, I learned that I only had to give myself a break.

****Special thanks to the Reluctant Entertainer blog.  I have been reading this blog for awhile, and she believes that entertaining in your home should be relaxing and low key.  After last night, I get it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Eye" Think I'll Keep Him

After several remodeling days, and the start of hubby's football season, the family was quite pooped last night.  So pooped, in fact, that my plans for dinner were forgotten long about 3:00 p.m.  When all of our tummies started to rumble and grumble at around 6:00, I remembered that I had not thawed out the pork chops, had no eggs or pancake mix for a backup breakfast for dinner, and 4 other starving people anxiously looking at me for answers.

When in doubt, punt I say.  So, punt I did.  

We loaded up the kiddies and went to the local wing joint.  We hadn't been there since the beginning of June, so by the time we arrived, our mouths were watering and the kiddies were itching to "play" in the game room. (I say play because typically the kiddies have to watch other kids play, because we don't give them an unlimited supply of dollar bills for the games.  We are mean like that.)

As the kiddies played, hubby and I had a chance to gab.  The topic of conversation? One of our favorites, of course.  Eye size.  ( If you are new to reading my insanity, you need to click here to understand what I am talking about.  If you are not new but you want a refresher or just another good laugh, you can also click.  Go ahead. Do it!  It's worth it.  Be warned, however.  This is bizarre.)

I know.  I know.
We are weird.

Love us anyway.

So, hubby starts in with, "Did you notice Ethan is a right eye?"

I laughed and then said, "No hon.  Remember that I don't notice which eye is smaller on people?  That is you."

He replied, "I know.  But today, E was watching a video and I noticed it right away.  I can't believe that you don't notice it."

I made a point of putting down my drink and deliberately looking over at E.  Then I admitted a bit sheepishly, "OK.  I can see it, but that is not what I first notice. "  Then I threw in, "Did you ever think that you are a bit odd for noticing a small eye instead of say a smile or a cute nose?"

And he returned with a simple, "Yes."

Then, we looked at each other, paused, and started to laugh.

So, I am married to a man that analyzes a person's eyes.  Weird, yes.  But, he makes me laugh, he makes me coffee, and he loves my weird ways too.

I think I'll keep him.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Peek into My Dining Room

Well, as many of you know, I am in the throes of a kitchen remodel, and I am glad to say that stage one is almost complete. Stage 2 and Stage 3, however, are still looming and I am itching for things to look pretty once again.

You know, without construction dust like this . . .

(Yes, that is a lovely message, but still . . . it's dust!)

And, quite frankly, you know that the dust is bad when you see your hubby, and you think that he is looking rather old and gray, and when you look more closely, you realize to your amazement that his older and more distinguished look is really just construction dust. (On a good note, however, after a shower, hubby is back to looking like his handsome, young-looking self. Whew!)

So, through the haze of dust, I have been longing for a pretty place to rest my eyes, and I have found it in my dining room. Hooray! This old 1927 house came equipped with some very pretty built-in cabinets that flank one side of my dining room. When we moved in, they were rather, ummm, shall we say . . . boring. They were painted in a beige color and the wall was a beigey light yellow color. The shelves and cabinets literally just faded into the walls with no pop or
pizzazz. Definitely not my kind of room.

So, I went to work. I painted the walls the same mustardy neutral color that is in my living room. I picked the color for two reasons: 1) I love,love, love the neutralness of the shade and 2) I had leftover paint from the living room (Did I mention that I am a bit thrifty??) This perked the room up right away. Then I painted all of the dingy beige molding with decorator white paint. Wow! Instant pop for all of the woodwork and cabinetry. But, looking at the space for a bit, I knew that I wasn't quite done.

Next, I found some fabric for 50% off at the fabric store. It was quite bold, even for me, but there was something about it that I just loved. I no-sewed a swag (read- spray glue . . . love, love, love it!) and used the swag to balance the slightly off -center window. With this OLD house, creative concealment is my friend for sure. And finally, Voila! I was beginning to love this space.

My last little tweak for the dining room involved one of my favorite colors. I knew that the cabinets and shelving needed just a bit more to really show them off. I decided to take a color from the fabric, a vibrant red, and then painted the backs of the shelves only to really show them off. I completely stole this idea from many different magazines and even some of your blogs that I read. It is genius I think.

The result?

A pretty place that I absolutely love to rest my remodeling tired eyes.

What do you think?

**** I am linking this to A Soft Place to Land's DIY Day. Hop on over for more great ideas!
I am also linking this to the Inspired Room's Beautiful Life Friday.  Hop on over for some bee-u-tee!

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