Monday, April 28, 2008
Monday: cleaned and got ready to pick up my mom from the airport that evening.
Tuesday: Quin and I left Maren with my mom and went on our very first kid-less getaway since Maren was born! That's over three years, folks! It was long overdue. We drove up to a small town called Leadville to explore and stay in a B&B. More on the trip later.
Wednesday: continued our little trip, then went home later that afternoon. That morning my grandparents drove up from Southern Colorado to take advantage of my mom being here and stayed at my house Wednesday night.
Thursday: Grandparents left, dropped Mom off at the airport. Came home and did some shopping to get ready for party-palooza on Saturday. Found out some terrible news--a dear friend who lives up the street lost her baby, at around 38 weeks, so basically full-term. It was completely unexpected and quite devastating news, as you might imagine.
Friday: Continued to get ready for the baby shower and other party on Saturday. Worried that the topic of conversation at the baby shower would be the tragic events of the week. Worried that no one would come to either party.
Saturday: Had the baby shower. It was fun, the decorations were cute and the food was delish! Attendance was really low--we sent out over 40 invitations and we had maybe a dozen there, including the hosts and guest of honor. We only had about that many RSVP in the first place, and half of those were regrets. Get REALLY PEEVED at the pathological inability to pay attention to an RSVP that seems to be the norm these days. Worry that this does not bode well for my party that evening, a Scentsy open house for which I sent out 25 invitations and had only a small handful of people RSVP. Get ready for party #2 of the day, drive all the way downtown to pick up the consultant, and then only 3 people showed up. They were 3 good friends and I'm thrilled that they came and we had fun chatting and sniffing wax, but 3 out of 25 is a pretty poor showing and I'll admit that I was a bit embarrassed. Nothing kills your self-esteem like inviting 25 people to a party and then having only 3 attend.
Sunday: Maren wakes up at 5:30 a.m. after having stayed up past 11:00 p.m. the night before. Try hard to shake it off and plan a last-minute Sunday School lesson, attend 3 hours of church, attempt to clean up the mess from Saturday's activities, and work on the swap that is due out today.
So yeah, it was a bit crazy and blogging just didn't quite fit in the schedule. This week won't be much better, I'm afraid--we're leaving on Wednesday to go to Utah for a few days for my brother's college graduation. The house is still a disaster, the swap isn't quite ready to go, I have errands to run, laundry to do and suitcases to pack, and tomorrow is a graveside service for my friend's sweet baby. I'd like to squeeze in one more blog entry before I leave--I had a great junkin' day last week and I've been itching to share photos! That means I've got to get moving!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Guess I should think about shaving, eh?
Friday, April 18, 2008
This red basket was $5.00. It looks to be a little newer than the one I bought yesterday but I can't really tell. It does have metal handles where the others are wood. I do love how they look stacked on top of each other!
I cannot keep buying these big huge baskets! So no more, really. Okay, maybe if I see another, I'll let myself buy just one more. But that's it! I mean it!
I am co-hosting a baby shower next Saturday and I need some help with the menu, so I hope you all can give me some suggestions! It is a brunch, held from 10:30 to noon. I know that in some places in the country, showers are frequently held in restaurants and such but in my culture, baby showers are pretty informal affairs. It will be here at my house and I think there have been about 40 invited, but I doubt we'll have that many attend. We're not doing games or anything, just visiting and watching the guest of honor open gifts. The food is just buffet style.
The other co-host has volunteered to make cinnamon rolls, chocolate cupcakes, and bread pudding--they are all specialties of hers. You can see we're heavy on the sweet/carb side of things, so I need to balance that out with what I make. I was thinking something savory, like a breakfast egg casserole? Also a fruit plate or a veggie plate might be a good idea. Do I need something else, like little chicken salad croissants? I need to get it planned out now because I have a lot going on next week and so my time will be limited. I'd love any suggestions and/or recipes you'd like to send my way!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I spotted this picnic basket across the room when I was literally in mid-sentence, and I had to say, "hang on!" and run to get it! It's quite large and even has a removable shelf inside that I assume is to keep crushable food safe. The top has some water damage and needs cleaning, but otherwise it's in good shape. $2.99
All of this trim came in one huge bag--what a treat! Tons of rickrack, lots of (evil) narrow bias tape, some seam binding, zippers, patches, elastic and velcro. Great stuff! I was surprised to find the four little bottles of Zirh products in the bag as well. Zirh is a fancy-schmancy men's toiletry line that Quin really likes--I actually bought him a bunch of stuff for our anniversary. So this bag was great--something to make us both happy!
Since Maren moved to her big-girl bed, I've been on the lookout for some colorful vintage floral sheets to dress it. This pink flowered sheet is exactly what I had in mind! It was $2.99 and may also end up serving as a tablecloth for the baby shower I'm throwing next weekend if I can't find another I like better. The pink napkins are also for the shower, and were 40¢ for the package. Don't they go great with the sheet? The BakePacker was a 50¢ gamble for eBay and the LeapPad cartridge was 80¢--they are normally about $15. I also got a new spool of brown satin ribbon for 50¢ and this book for Maren for $1. It's one of my favorites! The brown tube is a container of new wooden skewers from Williams-Sonoma, and it was 50¢.
The sucker sticks (just what I'll need to make these) and the little picks were in a baggie together. I couldn't tell if the picks were for cocktails or cakes but once I saw the pink poodles, I was sold! Now that I've looked at them closer they seem a little juvenile to hold a cocktail onion or an olive, so I think they must be cake picks, although I've never seen any like them before. I think they are darling and they may be my favorite find of the day!
The snow has mostly melted and the storm is on its way out, with sunshine forecast for the next few days. Hopefully that means there will be garage sales this Saturday, and Quin will even be home to watch Maren. Not sure if I'll go solo or with my friends, but either way I'm itching to get out there and find some more good junk!
This morning I have a little field trip scheduled at my favorite thrift with 3 of my friends from church. I've never thrifted with a friend before, so I'm excited! Hopefully I'll be back later with a few treasures to share!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
For a photo today I want to show you something I bought back before Valentine's Day. I was browsing a local antique mall and found a booth where everything was marked 50% off, including this old dresser. I bought it completely on impulse--in retrospect, I think I paid too much, even at half price--and even managed to wedge it upside down into the back seat of the little compact Mazda I was driving that day.
The dresser is small (you can see how large it is in comparison to Maren) and from the hand-written measurements I found on the inside, it appears to be homemade. I think it must have been stored outside at some point because it's in pretty rough shape. And once the weather here warms I need to take it outside and paint it with a coat of polyurethane because every time I move it, the paint flakes off and it's probably full of lead.
As it was an impulse purchase, I really didn't have an idea of where I'd put it--I usually buy first and sort that part out later. :) I still haven't figured out the perfect place for it, so for now it's in my front room, decorated with an old oak-framed vintage mirror and various thrifted ceramics in aqua blues and green. I have been looking for some sort of a console or buffet to put in this spot but haven't found anything perfect, so this will do for now. It's not ideal but I do enjoy having another horizontal display space to fill with my thrifted goodies.
Time to go brush my teeth and find the lipstick--wish me luck!
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Marbled Banana Bars
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter -- softened
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas -- (3-4)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
Powdered sugar -- if desired
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine sugar and margarine in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Add bananas, egg and vanilla; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; reduce speed to low. Beat, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes).
Drop 1 1/2 cups batter by spoonfuls into greased 13x9-inch baking pan. To remaining batter in bowl, add cocoa; beat on low speed until well mixed (30 seconds). *Add chocolate chips if using.
Drop spoonfuls of chocolate batter in pan over banana batter. Swirl chocolate batter through banana batter using knife. (DO NOT OVER-SWIRL.) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.
Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into bars.
Yield: 36 bars
Nutrition Facts (1 bar)
Calories: 80 Fat: 3 g Cholesterol: 5 mg Sodium: 105 mg Carbohydrates: 12 g Dietary Fiber: 1 g Protein: 1 g
And because every blog post needs a photo, here is a picture of the cute wreath I bought at the thrift last week for $3.83. I was looking for something to spruce up the outside of my house until it gets warm enough for flowers, and this pink faux berry wreath is just the ticket!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
This was the Bella's Bracelet class I took from Teresa McFayden. It was a class I was so excited to take but when the day came, I was all thumbs and could barely manage to thread my needle, let alone sew gorgeous creamy vintage velvet ribbon into a flower. Sewing the lace to the brown ribbon was ridiculously difficult for me, and sewing that fiddly ball chain on with a loop between each ball? Beyond impossible. I stuffed it all away and although I did make a few more ribbon flowers in December, mostly it has sat in its bag on my desk since I unpacked in November. But it's done and it was fun and easy this time around, and I think I might even make a few more while I'm in the mindset. I had to go to two separate craft stores yesterday to find fabric glue and more ribbon clamps for the ends, so I might as well make my search worth it.
The other project I worked on this weekend was another smock for Maren. I have had this cute thrifted fabric and the matching thrifted bias tape for months and months now and since I made the George Curious smock last weekend I figured I might as well get to it. I think what was keeping me from getting to it sooner was my dread at working with narrow-width bias tape. Bias tape is my sewing nemesis to begin with, but the narrow stuff is like my arch enemy! LOL On the very first smock I made for Maren I used narrow bias tape and it nearly did me in. I couldn't get the fabric caught securely in the fold of the narrow tape, especially around the rounded corners so it's in pretty sad shape right now. I was more careful this time and really tried to pay attention and go slowly, but I will readily admit that I said some naughty words while fighting with the stuff.
The lady at the cutting counter in JoAnn's once said that she tells everyone that if they can drive a car, they can sew. That analogy certainly doesn't ring true for me, unless you say that it's like driving a car where the wheels fall off and the hood flies up in your face every time you're trying to make your way down the road. My sewing skills are limited at best, and then I kept having my needle come unthreaded or the tape get caught and not advance in the beginning, causing the needle to sew the same place over and over and get all snarled in the thread. Add that to Maren who was changing the settings on my machine when I wasn't looking and trying to "help" while I was dealing with very sharp scissors, pins, and the machine needle, and well--I think you can see why the swear words just slipped out.
I do believe this will be the last smock I make for a while until I forget how much I hate to sew and drag it all out again. I predict that will be right before the start of pillowcase dress season. Those require bias tape sewn around the armholes, ack. Let's hope the memory loss happens quickly.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
....surprise Happy Mail from Sue (svelteSTUFF)! She sent two darling red and white crocheted potholders and the sweetest red and white enamel flower pin. Love them! And she had it all wrapped up and tied with these old spools of thread in my favorite aged aqua blue. What a treat!
....My new haircut! I went today and got several inches chopped off and very blonde highlights put in. I'll have DH take a photo later. It's a big change and I think it's just the boost I needed. Doesn't it feel great to have a new haircut?
Hope you're all having a good weekend!
Thursday, April 03, 2008
It's actually white with red polka dots, not pink as it looks in the photo and it has the cutest little dangling cherries! I wish it came in my size but I realize it will be a lot cuter on a 3-year-old than a 30-year-old with stretch marks and cellulite. Oh well! At least one of us will be a bathing beauty.
For Maren's George Curious birthday party this last weekend I served cupcakes with chocolate frosting, which I knew was wardrobe disaster just waiting to happen if I let her eat one without protection. Thanks to my trusty smock pattern, a George Curious smock came to the rescue and protected her outfit from both the P.B. & J. sammiches and the nefarious chocolate frosting.
I wish I could say that I just whipped it up but I'm a slow sewer and this took me a couple of hours, even though it's a really easy pattern. It didn't help that I was trying to keep an eye on Maren and about four other things at the same time so I didn't read the instructions closely and messed up a couple of times, but nothing that couldn't be fixed and no one will ever know.
And last, I'm excited to say that my partner for the Sweet Goodness Springtime in Paris swap is none other than Jen from Rosey Little Things. I'm so tickled to be partnered with Jen because I know we love a lot of the same things! Jen and her family just moved all the way from California to North Carolina and they're just getting settled in their new home. Stop by her blog and say hello!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
- One of my favorite bloggers, Bakerella, is going to be featured with her cute little cupcake pops on Martha's show this week! Check out her blog to see what materials you'll need to follow along with her on Thursday. I know I'll be watching!
- When Rebecca posted last week about checking out Technorati I was intrigued and found that my glittered letter h was featured on a fun blog called Cuteable that regularly posts, well, cute stuff from around the blogosphere and etsy. I'm tickled to be featured, especially among such company as Ali Edwards (the butterfly mobile above my letter h). Next time you have money burning a hole in your pocket or maybe just need some inspiration, check out Cuteable's links!
- These simply gorgeous free blog banners from Banner of Blessings. I love the image in my banner because it fits my blog title, but boy howdy, her banners photos are just beautiful and they're tempting me to change! Best of all, she's graciously offering them for free! If your blog needs some sprucing up for Spring, head over and download a new banner.
And because I can't do two posts in a row without photos, here are some snaps of the gorgeous bunch of ranunculus I picked up at Whole Foods last week. I love how ruffly and full the petals are! They've added a welcome spot of color while we're still waiting for the flowers to brave the chilly sunshine and show their heads outside.