Friday, January 30, 2009

Motherhood Moment

Can I brag for a moment...? This sweet, young girl is my 11 year old daughter. Today she is dressed up for GREEK Day at school. We had to sew up this costume and make a Greek food dish (we made Greek Almond Tea Cakes) to bring in. She also had to make a Greek mask and will be acting out a small skit with a few other classmates.

They will be doing Greek Olympics today - good luck with everyone dressed like this!

We had to set the alarm a little early today to manage the hairdo! Hard to see but the updo portion is braided and coiled into a loose bun.

The costume was simple enough to make but a bit more challenging when you have a houseful of sick patients and are stuffed up yourself! Yes, we have been hit with some virus that keeps circulating around the house.

But the bragging part of this post is not about the outfit but the special little girl wearing it. Not only is she smart, earning all A+'s, but her inner beauty just makes her shine (my husband and I like to "argue" on who she resembles most!) Her caring heart & compassion has given her many friendships (this little girl will draw a bath, lay out my pj's & make me a cup of tea just because she wants to pamper me - oh, I am welling up now!) and her quiet confidence & composure has allowed her to challenge herself and face any fears (she will be attending a Jr.Nat'l Young Leaders Conf. in Wash.D.C.) We feel truly blessed with our special girl.

So please indulge me...I am having a Proud Motherhood Moment! :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

I've been bad...

I have a confession to make....(gulp)..... I've Strayed!!..

I reposted pictures over at RMS. I feel like a traitor to Blogland! But hear me out... For over a year I had password trouble - no matter how many ways I had tried - I could not get access to my rooms. But now - for some reason, I was suddenly receiving emails of new comments on my spaces. It had been nearly a year since any comments had been emailed to me. When I went over to check them out, I was aghast at how outdated my rooms were! Even laughing at how "naked" they looked without all my current homey touches.


(haa! Oh go ahead - you can laugh too, I won't hear you!)

So after a little playing around - got my password reinstated and I figured I would just update my rooms and be on my way, right? Welllllll, it took me two days to upload pictures (you remember my internet issues from before..) Then while on RMS, I noticed the whole style layout is completely different and now you can't use exclaimation points!!!!! (I mean really? that's supposed to stop the fighting?) But by then it was too late - I was in too deep.... there I was checking every 10 minutes to see if I had a new comment or a better rating. I am ashamed to admit I got SUCKED IN AGAIN!!

(before adding green checked trim to the curtains, raising the curtain rods or buying the red armchair & sisal rug - phew!)


I figured I had grown up enough to not care what anyone thought, to not be disappointed when I started to receive negative comments. I was beyond that, right? I mean, I decorate for myself & my family, not for some faceless person with a name of "9678011" right?...right?


(before I even glazed my cabinets or added extra trim to them -see if you notice!)


Wrong! As much as I tried convincing myself that nobody elses opinion matters - it still hurts to hear (read) someone saying to "declutter" (did I title my room "Minimalist"..?? No!)...sigh... when will I ever learn? And don't even get me started on those ratings! To think someone hates your room so much that they would give you the lowest possible score so that you couldn't possibly rate even a "Good" room? To not even find one redeemable quality in your decorating?


(no window benches & before my rooster plant died!)


Do those faceless people know the time & effort and hours of shopping (ok, that part was fun!) and the arranging & rearranging of furniture? The wrestling with my sewing machine? The dust & toxic fumes I inhaled while refinishing furniture? The arguments my husband and I had over building those window benches?.. But not everyone is bad on RMS. There were a few well wishers with some real compliments - but why do the bad remarks always erase those good ones?


(before refinishing table & chairs or building window bench or even curtains!)


I think its perhaps I gained so much more acceptance from fellow bloggers that I thought RMS would somehow be different this time around....but some things never change...including the same kitchen posted on the main page under "Most Viewed". Come on people!

(Look!.. No piano, screen or wingbacks!)


So while my rooms are still posted on RMS, (what are you crazy? it took me TWO DAYS to upload all those photos!?) I vow never to stray again...I found the comfort & reassurance I was looking for right here in BLOGLAND.

There are some good things that came out of RMS - I got to meet some of you there :)....and I never would have taken so many "BEFORE" pictures to laugh over now.

Now if you'll excuse me,...I am off to declutter my rooms....... Just Kidding! ;)
**P.S. - All of your comments mean the world to me! I know this subject hits a nerve and I really appreciate all of you taking the time to comment & boost my spirits! I will be by to visit with all of you & see those lovely blogs & pictures that are calling to me.... after I sew my daughter's Greek costume & make a food dish for school! ....sigh....can't wait for summer...remind me I said that when I start complaining then. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Giving The Husband A Hint....

Do you think this is a subtle hint that Valentine's Day is coming? I know it's a bit early but I wanted to give my husband plenty of time to notice. Remember ~ he's a bit oblivious of his surroundings...but he's a good guy!

(this cherub was reg $49.99 - I paid $14.99 @ Jo-ann's After Holiday sale)

(I updated my "faux" flowers a bit for some "Luuuvvv" colors. Don't you just adore those little sparkly hearts!?.. & the candles smell sooo good!)

Sorry not too much to post.. started way too many "Spring Cleaning" projects all at once that now I am a bit overwhelmed!! Also the kids have been keeping me busy with their school projects ...speaking of kids, looky what I found as I was loading my pictures into the computer just now....

That's from the 4 year old. Sneaky little guy figured out how to turn on my new camera & take a picture faster than I did! Give him some time and I bet his pictures will turn out better than mine too. Have a great weekend! :) ~ P.S. - Bo at Blinks n Winks nicknamed my little guy "Cherub" I think that's so appropriate - not only because he loves to run around in his underwear with his little cherub belly hanging out but he does bring love & joy to all of us around him! Thanks Bo!~

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Little Project...

I went looking for an armchair to use in our Dining & Living room. I found this one in an antique store for around $65. It had a pretty carved back and was nice & sturdy..but the finish was kind of worn, the upholstery a bit stained and the "fruit wood" tone wasn't what I had in mind..

Neither was hand-sanding for about an hour! But I had a burst of energy & sudden urge to start this project late on Saturday evening and didn't want to venture out in the dark in search of the electric sander. At about this point, I was questioning my sanity...Why did I want to do this again?

But after a coat of Mahogany stain, my faith was renewed in what I was doing....(*note to self - buy more latex gloves & hide them even better than the last time so kids don't find them and use them as balloons and you don't walk around with "mechanic's hands"* yes, I have pretty grimy fingers!)

Then on to the upholstery. I didn't want to take the time to undo 500 staples on the old fabric and I was a little leery of what I might find underneath in lieu of padding. (One antique bench I had reupholstered had horse hair in it! Ick!) Don't think this chair is all that old but I wasn't taking any chances! I just applied a new layer of cotton batting over the old upholstery.

And then my new fabric ...

After allowing the stain to dry in the sun the next morning (we had 70+ degree weather in CA this weekend!!) I re-attached the seat and Voila! My kind of project!

I have been playing around with its placement in the room and found it to be very versatile!

Over here by the window bench...

Or brought over for Piano enjoyment....

Or neatly tucked away....

What do you think......? Oh and since you are already here ;) let me show you just one or two little things that I added to combat the "No More Christmas Decor" blahs that I had previously mentioned in another post.

The black rectangular tray on the end is new. Who needs food on a buffet when you can "feast" your eyes on this? ;) (Doesn't work so well on my husband...)

And it's smaller companion on the piano...

And that cute little rose plate for $5!

That's it! Thanks for stopping by.....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sibling Rivalry

My older two children (daughter, 11 & son 9) fight & bicker terribly. They argue from the time we wake, all the way to school in the car, upon picking them up -we aren't even out of the school parking lot and the teachers are getting an earful - mainly from me hollering for them to "Knock it off!! I'm trying to drive!" It always made me wonder why car manufacturers don't make that "limo driver window" in minivans or suburbans so Mom's don't hear all the wracket from the backseat and can safely drive their brood home.

These two, when they were younger were like buddies. Only two years apart but little "Bubba" would run to "Sissy" for hugs if he got in trouble or hurt. She was his other mother. Now this fighting has become habitual & normal and I was envisioning them grown & having to divide up the holidays spent at home!

So this morning, when another explosive moment was happening and I am in the midst of tears, wails & moans of "He jumped on my bed when I was sleeping!" & "She kicked me in the stomach!" Inspiration struck!

I said in my most authoritive voice "That's it! Both of you hug each other right now & apologize!" and then "..but wait til I get my camera first!" (ha-ha!)

They both got this stunned look, kind of like "deer in headlights" expression. My daughters teary face actually started to laugh and we had to put up with gagging noises from the 9 year old boy.

Here are those tender moments....

My daughter is always eager to pose for pictures... 2 minutes before she was crying her eyes out!..go figure...

Eww! Cooties!

Owwww! So painful the 9 year old collapsed! My daughter looks like she is sniffing an odor...

Awww! The good ole' days!

But you know it least for the time being. After this, they actually AGREED to play a Wii game together and I could hear them "asking" each other for things instead of demanding or taking control. AMAZING! Now I know I have to wield this new found power carefully so as not to abuse it's use, only reserving it for those special times - but I saw a mini miracle today! So if any of you have bickering children whom you want to sell to the gypsies, try this tactic first & let me know if it works for you. We, Mothers have to stick together! ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009


HOLY COW! This post was a week long in the making! Sure in the beginning, I was going to sheepishly apologize for taking so long on updating my blog. I had gotten caught up in the holidays and how wonderful it felt to be in pj's and to read a book! I lounged around, ate chocolate, read a few novels, ate some more chocolate.....(this week I started a Pilate's class to combat all that indulging and now can barely move my legs! :) But then when I finally stopped hibernating, I found that I couldn't post.. no matter how many ways I tried ! It literally took DAYS to upload a few photos. It would sit there for hours - sometimes I got lucky and it actually posted them and then others all that time was wasted and I would have to start over...agonizing frustration! Agh! was ready to tear my hair out! But anyway here I, just don't expect another post from me too soon...;)

We so enjoyed our holidays and I really did like having the kids home - even with their bickering & squabbling, but they were "mine" for two weeks. Aside from a few Must Attend birthday parties and play dates, our schedule was pretty carefree (i.e. no homework or parent volunteering). But I foolishly thought that they would be entertained with all their new gadgets & gizmos from Santa. Whatever was I thinking...? They are back in school this week...I suspect there are a few "Hallelujah!" 's out there from THE MOM's. :)

My husband's a good guy...but he most often is clueless as to what to buy me for Christmas. He pretty much gives me free rein to buy what I need or want for the house. Even the time I was only going in to get an oil change and ended up coming home with a brand new!! (well it was a good deal, we had just had our third child and needed more room..see how convincing I am?) But getting back to him, he knows I have specific taste in clothing (though I get the usual new pj's & robe for Christmas!) and of course I am particular about the house decor so I usually end up with a pretty pair of earrings or another gold watch (I mean sweetheart how many arms do I have!?) that I don't get dressed up & go out often enough to wear. I know, I know, my mother would be appalled that I would think JEWELERY wasn't very exciting and I do love jewelery but I usually don't wear these Beautiful Baubles unless it's Christmas. But this year was different...He got me a Camera!! I don't know what clued him in that I was in dire need of one. Maybe it was the tape holding the batteries in...?

Or maybe the fact that the symbols on the turn dial had completely worn off and it was always a gamble as to what function the camera was in..?

But the funny thing was, that I unknowingly WRAPPED MY OWN GIFT! Yep, the clever man hid the camera box inside of a another box with "Fuel Pump" or something equally uninteresting to me on the front and claimed it was a gift for his brother and would I mind wrapping it for him...? It's probably because the jewelery store does wrap jobs and my husband has never had to bother! Imagine my surprise as I went to open this package...I thought my husband had flipped his lid and was giving me something unromantic. Not that a camera typically exudes those warm, fuzzy feelings...but I was happy that he had paid attention! Yay honey!!

Anyway - he did good! It's got the simple 'point & shoot' or the more elaborate manual focus/shutter speed/aperture stuff on it that I still am trying to figure out but am having fun learning... but it's not too overboard for a beginner. As you may be aware of the difficulty I have had in years past of trying to get the kids to sit still long enough for pictures, I have been "staging" my home decor! They make much easier subjects! ;)

On New Years Eve, after going out for some Chinese food, I got in the mood to take down all the Christmas decor. Even had to send the husband out to Target at 8pm for some more storage tubs! There was some decorations you all didn't get to see as I got too busy to post those last few days before Christmas. We had another tree set up in the Study. But taking it all down was a good way to pass the time until midnight.

But then you know how empty your house looks after all the glitz is gone? Just so sad and lonely? Well I have a remedy for that. I always buy a little something and save it for after the holidays. Some new candles, maybe a new plant or a pretty plate to display to perk things up. So taking my new camera I went about the house snapping away. See if you spot anything new...Lord knows my husband doesn't! ;)

To fully grasp that my husband doesn't notice a whole lot...this little sofa table, was being stored under our bed - it comes apart. My husband watched me carry this piece by piece downstairs (he was laying on the bed watching tv at the time!) and it still took 3 days with me finally pointing it out for him to "notice" it!..see what I mean?

This heavy guy I hand carried back all the way from Paris.....Paris Hotel in Las Vegas that is! :) Took a real quick trip the first week in December and he caught my eye. It sort of shocked the airline security. They didn't know what it was, especially wrapped up for protection in my pink Pj's in a shopping bag! (hey, either my pj's or a hotel towel and my conscience wouldn't let me do that!)

No More Christmas Decor.....sigh....

Yes, it's a cake plate! But it was sooo cute! I like to keep my kitchen counters clear and this room is open to the kitchen so...why not?

Back at the front entry - no more garland or stockings...phew! that was hard work.

This little lady was inspired from "VANNA" at Delusions of Grandeur and her amazing "Bust" (can I keep a straight face?) collection. ;) If you haven't seen how beautiful they are & her home is...GO!

And looky here's another one.....just a little reproduction but she exudes romance! And those new candles (& holders) smell delicious and I haven't even lit them yet.

Well that's almost it..working on a little something that I picked up at an Antique shop for the dining room but that will be another post. Hopefully we won't have to wait as long though..thanks for being patient with me!