May 31, 2011

Just like my mom?!

Yep, I am sometimes just like my mom. I think that one day the kids will want to come play at my house. Why you ask? Because every day is a holiday at our house. Some mornings, I wake up in a good mood and decide to make breakfast more fun than usual. I make nametags for our plates and whip up a batch of banana bread just because. I'm no super-woman, and sometimes I find it hard to balance my job, my life, and eating all the delicious food I want. But a 3 day weekend? Umm yes, sign me up for cooking breakfast and setting a cute table while I'm at it. And if you asked my mom if this is right up her alley, she will say yes. Then she will show you her extensive collection of decor for holidays (even minor ones) and tell you that you should send your kids Cheryl's cookies for every holiday (even minor ones) to make them smile.

On Monday, I let J sleep in because well, he was sleeping... and that never happens. His usual bright and early wake up time is 7am. At 8:30 he was still in bed and I got to work. I decided that since we had no plans to go to a parade, or a BBQ, or even do anything patriotic, I'd set the table in a fun Memorial Day decor. Little did I know that my hubby would be dressed in red, white, and blue fashion to match (he claims this was not purposeful).

I set the table with a few standby materials I had. I grabbed the blue & white striped pillows from the couches, whipped out my fiesta ware blue plates from my shower gifts, and some chargers from pottery barn. I also took some red craft paper and wrapped a cutting board in it to add some red- then the red candles are actually citronella candles from the deck, and the blue & white striped vase was my good old target buy that usually sits on a shelf in the kitchen. Oh and I put little red flags (just craft paper & toothpicks) in our banana bread (this time I actually used EGGS to bake-brilliant).  Oh, PS, if you have rotten bananas (seen below) use them in your bread instead of oil. So much healthier and just as good, if not better.

So good. J gave this one a 10/10. Then again, he gave the no eggs dry as hell bread 7/10, so I'm not sure how much we can put into his rating. Back to my table.

I love this vase from target, it is so versatile. I just keep throwing it in different places in the house. Memorial day is easy. Halloween would be harder. But I've got blue and white all over my house and red accents are not hard to create.

Yum mimosas and coffee to go with the table settings and the meal. And the sunlight was streaming in. And J is wearing a red and white shirt and blue shorts, though you can't tell with that not so good lighting.
Delicious Memorial Day breakfast (oh btw those are Morning star farm sausage- aka veggie sausages- and I tried to eat regular sausage about a month ago and almost puked. I hightly prefer these).

After a fantastic day of work & relaxing with the hubs, we opted to leave the house and head out to dinner near the riverfront. The upside of living in this town is that everyone heads to the beach on the weekends and it's empty at the restaurants. In keeping with the spirit of Memorial Day, we ended the day with some more red, white, and blue.
Okay, mostly red. But I had white wine, that counts right? And we ate on the riverfront, with (murky greyish) blue water, so that ALSO counts. Maybe. What says start of summer more than a seafood platter with a bright red lobster and some amazing shrimp with cocktail sauce? Oh yes, a glass of Sauv Blanc. PERFECTION.

Happy Summer Days!

May 30, 2011

I'm moving into the guest room.

No, there are no marital disputes. J can come to the guest room too. I just finished the headboard project that I started months ago. And I LOVE IT. By started, I mean I got the idea probably at YHL and also I think Bower Power. They told me it was a "1-2 hour project". That is assuming you have all your supplies, and that you use canvas. Neither of those were true in my case. So a few months ago, with a coupon to JoAnn fabrics, I bought the fabric for my headboard. I think it was $24/yd or something like that... but I had 40% off. And I needed padding too. But that was also 40% off. I spent more than that in the store because I bought other things I loved. But I spent around $35-$40 on all of my supplies. Pretty good if you ask me, considering I'd been eying a few headboards online that ran nearly $400.

Those supplies got sidelined while the kitchen got finished. But with a long weekend, I decided to get this project done. We took a trip to home Depot and found some plywood that would be perfect. We had them cut it there, too, which does not cost extra. My plywood was $12. I also decided to splurge for some good sturdy hanging devices, which were about $20. The price of my project, as per usual, was increasing. Maybe. I found a bunch of HD gift cards before we left... and actually spent at total of $0 on this stuff. Here's my plywood, cut down to fit into the Jeep. On days like this, I miss J's old truck. Oh also sorry for the crap quality, these are cell phone pics.

Oh yeah, so we bought a new microwave too.... our old one looked really ugly in our brand new kitchen. That was a surprise purchase, but I was happy with it. Also, #1 giveaway you are DIY-er? You have a tape measure on your belt at the depot.

Sooo here's a big day!! I actually am IN PICTURES DOING SOMETHING! This was totally my project, and J let me lead the way (until we had to hang it up- then I heard "measure twice cut once" EIGHTY TIMES).

I had to clear our some space on the floor... and then I went to work. I just needed a staple gun and the supplies I already had. Surprise, surprise, we own TWO staple guns (which is one of MANY events that led to us cleaning out the garage and our tools yesterday- we buy things we already have).
This is what you look like if you try to use the wrong side of the staple gun. I'm lucky I didn't staple my hand.

Jamie  told me to "peek over it", so I did. Hence this cheesey photo. But I do have to say, this entire process of MAKING the board was super quick. Maybe a half hour. Just lay, flatten, staple. It's nice to have an extra pair of hands if you are using material that has stripes on it (note to self and others: use either plain fabric or something with a design that does not have to be exceptionally level). Oh, and while I said nonchalantly that we bought brackets to secure this before... we didn't buy them the FIRST trip to Home Depot. Nope, we went back a second time. Giveaway #2 that you are a DIY-er? Two separate employees at HD said "oh are you guys still here or did you come back? you're here as much as us!" But with another quick swipe of the gift card, and a few stakes for our tomato plants, we were back at it.

These brackets mounted both on the wall and on the board. But we were so busy trying to make the ones on the wall level I forgot to take pics. But these are cool because they come with levels inside the brackets... so you can just put the bracket up and it says "yes, you are level. proceeed". Juuust kidding, but it does have a little level of its own in the metal. Very helpful.

Here's the bed before:

Totally fine and useable, but also totally boring. I also bought new sheets for this bed awhile back on Overstock during a bedding sale. I've been saving them for this point until the headboard was complete. So I whipped them out... and I am obsessed. Here's our after:

Obsessed. I also did the hotel tuck of the sheets and comforted. And flipped those blue pillows over because as much as I love some design, that was just a bit much.

So I'm moving in. It is sooo cute in there. I love how the stripes and the hexagons don't match but accent each other. And I love the tray table on the left of the bed. It was J's grandmothers she used for glasses. We put flowers and always some clean white towels on it for when guests come to stay.

So overall, huge success of a project. And I'm seriously wanting to move into the guest room.

Total Cost of this Project:
Material & Stuffing: $40
PlyWood: ($12) but used HD gift card= 0.
Brackets: ($20) also HD gift card.
Sheets from Overstock: $30

Wayyyy better than the $200 I would have spent minimally if I had shopped around for one. But also something that looks good and I'm proud we made. I love long weekends. Can we have them every week?? I'm off to nap in in the guest room enjoy the afternoon! Have a good rest of Memorial Day weekend!

May 28, 2011

Reunited and it Feels so Gooooood.

While I scored almost negative points in taking care of the cats and their crazytownness last week, this weekend has showed a major improvement. We are on day 8 of prozac (Umm... what do we do if we go to the beach one weekend? Do we leave a prozac mashed up applesauce mix and hope they just eat it?). I know that it should take 4 weeks to really set in, but I think it is working. That, combined with no more construction going on in the kitchen, and Feliway. We kept hearing and reading that Feliway was fantastic, so I ordered the diffusers online. We have 6 in our house now. Are you surprised? Do I ever manage to not go overboard? Nooope. Oh did I mention I also paid $72 for a whole big box of refills so we never run out because god forbid we run out of something that I DON'T EVEN KNOW ACTUALLY WORKS. Oh, this post is not sponsored by Feliway. Or anyone else. But, i will say that if you want to sponsor me, Feliway, I would greatly appreciate it. You are expensive. Big time expensive.

Hiding in all sorts of corners. And I can tell they are emitting something because when I get close, they are warm and I can very vaguely smell something (maybe). But, really they don't make it smell any different in the house. What they doooo change is cat behavior. Maybe. This could alllll be placebo, ya know? But this was my lovely sight today after a trip to the home depot (I was verrrrry nervous leaving these two alone for an hour or so).
Cuddle. Love. Relaxy faces. What more could I ask for? They purred. Next to each other. Purring cats next to each other. Especially when last time they interacted for more than 2 seconds they looked like this:
No, of course I am not exaggerating. Our cats turned into siberian tigers in the snow and almost ripped each others skin off of their faces. Okay, maybe a little. And after I saw them all cute laying there, I offered to pet them to be nice.

They were so happy. Then Dex decided to be a model and he posed like this.
When they are being nice, they really are pretty. I still say if you are doing to take your pick, it should be a dog, because cats are just ridiculous. They make you feed them prozac, and then they make you put pheromones pumping through your house. So basically now my house is a cat breeding ground for peace, or something like that.

The Cat Whisperer.

May 27, 2011

Ghost of Memorial Day's Past

Yay labor memorial day! I love this time of year. For some reason, I always call it labor day even though I know it's memorial day. Both red white and blue holidays. Anyway-It is OFFICIALLY summer (sorry June 21, you're out and memorial day and its bbqs are in). Sure, I miss the days when summer meant "break", but I get almost as excited as an adult. I did a few really smart things in my adult days to preserve the love that is summer. The first one was sort of an accident (sort of). I married a man with a beach house. Okay, it's not techhhhnically his, but it's his family's. And it's on the beach block. And I am sort of obsessed with it. The best part? Even when other parts of the family are in the main house, there is an apartment over the garage we can stay in too. And outdoor showers to boot. Thanks J, your great grandparents must have built that house knowing you'd marry a beach lover. They were correct. Another thing I've done is schedule our summers with summery events and make sure to change the food in our kitchen to "summery" foods. We also grow our own fruits and veggies. If that doesn't say summer, then what does?

Oh, and also, we are not even going to the beach this weekend, but I do plan to do some time consuming awesome projects for the house. There are a few I'm thinking of, and I'm hoping I can at least finish one or two. Maybe we will repeat Relaxy Saturday. Maybe we should repeat it every Saturday. That's not possible, but it's a good dream.

For old time's sake, let's reminisce of memorial days past....

There was last year, when I am 99% sure we spent memorial day in Ohio. I can't remember. I loved my days in Cbus, but time away from J was not my favorite, and I have somewhat blocked it out. Let's just pretend this was from that weekend and go with it:

Two years ago, me and five of my grad school friends used husband's family's aforementioned beach house and had a week of farewell before we all took off for internships. It was one of the best weeks I can remember. Even on the rainy days, we outlet shopped, watched movies, and drank wine. Oh, and Kelly and I managed to break the dryer on the last day.... and J's mom had to find a replacement in a mom and pop shop because they didn't have any that we could find.... Oops. Sorry, Mimi.

Wearing all of our clothes we bought that day at the outlets. Classy.
 There was the days of late college and grad school when memorial day meant my friend Laurie's birthday (which is actually today!) in OCNJ/AC. Laurie is now a mommy to be(!) and our daily talks consist of what blog we read and what nursery items are cute. Oh and oggling Kim Kardashian's engagement ring (we like Khloe's better pre-halo). Hello, Murmur & Princeton. Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAURIE!

Jamie used to rave with glow sticks and old school blackberrys....
In college memorial day consisted of parties (maybe even toga parties) on friends' decks and day trips to the beach. It's a wonder that I survived those days. It's a wonder anyone survived those days. But they were the best of times. I also have some sweet mixed CDs from those days.

My brain doesn't reach far enough back to high school to know SPECIFICALLY what we did on memorial day, aside from walking down to the parade in Yardley. And in elementary school, riding my bike down the street fully decorated. I can probably tell you where I stood at each parade I observed. I can definitely tell you that our objective in middle school and high school was to find cute Yardley boys. Check out Yardley, who wouldn't love to grow up in this town?
That's Yardley on a non-parade day. In the right hand side of the pic you can see Yardley Pizza  (second to Vince's Pizza if you ask me). But on parade day, either one is quite satisfying after watching firetrucks and other red,white, and blue-age go by. Here's Yardley on Parade Day:
Look at all those bikes. I think one year I won the bike decorating contest. Did I mom? Is that true? Well, let me tell you, I am taking my our future kids to the Yardley memorial day parade, hiring Shannon to help me come up with a brilliant decor plan, and my kid will kick some memorial day ass. Well, they will win.
Such a cute town and such a cute parade. Summers in Yardley were the literally picturesque, family-centered apple pie eating, (fine, we didn't eat apple pie, we ate carrot sticks and the occasional ice cream man treat- thanks mom) pool swimming, firefly catching, amazing days and nights. I'm so thankful for that.

And now that I'm a big kid, I'm thankful that we get to have a three day weekend from work. And when you can't be in Yardley or swing a trip to the beach (and don't want to because your commute took ALMOST 3 HOURS TODAY- seriously, I'm lucky I have any brain cells left right now), you can comfort yourself with some dessert made of your strawberries in your backyard. A little something like this:

Yum! Happy Memorial Day!!
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