Friday, April 8, 2011

Take a week off, post a million photos...

 It was so good to take a week and do nothing... except that I didn't really do nothing.  (That sounded like awful grammar.) Which I'm sure isn't much of a surprise for those of you who  know me.  I give you, my week of "nothing," in pictures:
 First order of the week, was some fluffing of our nest.  We had a potential realtor tour, and a showing scheduled for later in the week, so we kicked off our Spring break by cleaning, straightening, mowing, weeding, beauty bark spreading, pillow fluffing, and flower arranging.  Cause ya never know.  And then the realtor tour never happened- the showing still did, but like most other showings over the past year, we heard nothing after they left... (I hate that so much!  I'm just saying.)  On the bright side, our home was shiny clean and tidy for spring break. 
 Having a bedroom filled with all white sounded nice and soothing in theory.  Not to mention, kind of trendy.  But then I remembered that I'd forgotten how much I love, need, and crave color all around me.  I'm not really a monochromatic kinda girl... I'm more like a rainbow I guess.  I remembered that, when color began slowly popping up all over the place in my bedroom, taking me by surprise with it's unintentionalness... in bright polka-dotted sheets from Target, spray-painted aqua frames from the box in my garage of things I didn't know what to do with, and ruffled pillows scored at TJ Maxx.
 I hand-painted soft, tan numbers on my dresser.  My bedroom, previously sorely lacking in fun... is now a fun place.  (That didn't come out even remotely close to how I intended it.) 
 Somewhere along the way, I decided that I needed an ottoman of sorts for the chair in our old classroom.  It's been dubbed the "snuggling chair," on account of the fact that it's been the chair I've snuggled babies, read to them, and kissed little sleepy early morning faces in, from day one. And I will never, ever get rid of it either.  Ever.  No matter what.  (Please don't hold me to that.  Thanks.)
 There are people, and I won't mention any names, so as not to call them out for their doubting ways, (cough-my husband-cough) who don't have much faith in my general competence, when it comes to building something from wood.  And though I would very much like to laugh in their faces, the whole story from  "Bookcase Gate of 1996" would get thrown right back in my face, along with much laughter at my expense.  (It was this ridiculous time where I thought I'd try my hand at building a bookcase, with aid of a hack saw, and a regular screwdriver.  My BFF and DIY sidekick Alli, sat in a lawn chair, cheering me on, fruity drink in hand, while I sweated and mumbled things about "proving Adrain wrong."  It was sad.  And it leaned.  And I wouldn't admit defeat for a good five years.)
 Adrain laughingly breezed in at some point during my project, and mentioned something about finding the circumference of a circle, and doing something with that... but all I heard was, "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."  It was most helpful.  Somehow, I found the center of the wood circle, found even places to screw in the legs, and the deed was done.  Clearly, I'm not the same girl I was, back in 1996.  Ha!  (DO YOU HEAR ME MISTER?  Oh, and um...Thank you for helping me with your screwdriver.)
 The trickiest part, by far, was cutting the foam.  (Evil makers of foam... you're lucky I don't know where you live.) 
 It all came out alright in the end.  Though I did say that I'll never sew anything ever again.  I believe I've said that before... Hmmm.  Well, I'd just like to say this, to close this segment: Never underestimate a woman who carries a screwdriver next to her lipgloss. Like, for real.  I do.  
 I also baked the best cookies in the world.  I've been eating versions of these soft chocolate chip cookies my entire life.  The secret ingredient is a package of instant vanilla pudding.  I have a weakness for recipes that list Jell-o products as ingredients.  It could be because I was raised on high fructose corn syrup and Kool aid.  (And didn't I turn out great?)
We put butterscotch chips in this batch.  My hoodlums are dunkers.  (FYI, I'll put the recipe at the bottom of this post, so you can relax and continue reading...) 
 We went to a Science center, where we saw an amazing Star Wars exhibit, that put stars in this one's eyes...
And we admired the butterflies in the tropical butterfly house.  So amazing...
 And before the end of the day, we got up close and personal to a snake that I really didn't like.  (Then again, I'm not a big fan of any snake.)  I didn't like the knowledge that this snake could squeeze my baby to death if it so chose.  Creepyyyy!  We crammed into a photo booth and made funny faces for a camera, played on many scientific structures, tried everything, got our hands dirty, and spent way too much money on bottled waters.  But we didn't have any meltdowns at all, and that might be a first for us, so I'd say the day was a success!
And believe it or not, I actually carved out a little bit of time to put a few more things in my Etsy shop that sold out so quickly last month.  I put some more chicken wire memo boards in it. (And I'm going to try and make some more as time allows.)  One has a lemongrass painted frame, and the other has an adorable shabby aqua frame.
 I couldn't let my daughter see it, or I know without a doubt, she'd be begging me to let her put it in her room!
 I also made one sweet little chalkboard with a creamy distressed frame.  Couldn't you just see this at Easter dinner, with a menu listed on it?  I might always love chalkboards...  
 And of course, I had to restock my supply of "eat" napkins before people begin planning Easter dinners! I got myself caught up on all my custom orders, and signs, so it felt really good to mail everything off.  Gosh, I love working for my peeps. 

I missed you guys, but it was a lovely week "off."  What did you guys do?? 

The best soft chocolate chip cookies ever: 
*mix in small bowl and set aside:
2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
*combine and beat til smooth and creamy: 
1 c. softened butter
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
2 eggs
*Add dry mixture to the creamed mixture and stir in one package of chocolate chips. 
*Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets, and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.  


  1. wow, what a productive week! i love how your ottoman turned out...and your hair is getting longer :) just lettin you case you didn't...

  2. Welcome back! I hope you had a great week- it looks like you did! The ottoman looks outstanding- you have some mad sewing skills (and building skills ). Have a great weekend!

  3. You get more done in a week than I get done in a month.

    All I do is write out to do lists.

    I love your room!

  4. such a busy week for vacation time...but well spent, i the ottoman, turquoise, cookie smiles...glad you had such a productive time.


    stuff and nonsense

  5. Wow! I think I'll just live vicariously through your week! K? LOL! You totally rocked that slipcover and ottoman!!!! Beautiful!

    Not much happening here...nausea (preggers), a short trip to order homeschool curr., a visit to JoAnn's (that was fun...haven't been there in over a year!), and of course more nausea.

    I do have plans (if the weather ever cooperates here in northern Indiana) to spray paint a chair and a shutter colonial red (for the porch), spray paint and shabby chic (is that a verb?) a few other shutters burgundy (for the bathroom), then spray paint a basket white and rough that up a bit, too (for the porch). Can you tell I'm all about the spray paint this weekend? LOL! I bought some lovely red silk geraniums for the porch, too. I need some flowers and with all the cool weather and rain we've had!

    So glad you're back. I don't comment much but I read it! I took a bloggy break, too. Good to do those from time to time! ;)


  6. Well yay you're back. Missed you horrible! Seriously. I need my daily dose of vit c!!;) Every little project is awesome. The house looks so pretty and definitely springy. YOU so rocked that ottoman. I need one for that new sectional and never in a million years thought of MAKING one! Now I'm gonna be on a mission. I don't know where to get long big legs from...mine will be a lot bigger. No pun intended...ha! But I'm sure I'll figure it out. Thanks for the inspiration girlie:)

  7. Welcome ack. It sounds like you enjoyed your time away. I love the little ledge shelf in your bedroom and the numbers on the dresser. Thanks for making me smile!

  8. You're house is adorable and if we were up there, I would totally look at it!!!!

    Cute post. I love that ottoman!

  9. Friend I remember sipping drinks and watching you attempt to construct that bookcase! Oh the look on Adrain's face (and my future husbands face) when they stopped by after work and saw the construction zone.

  10. Ooooh, your bedroom looks so fresh and pretty. Love all the little bursts of colour. Of course I also love the numbered drawers. I have an obsession with numbered things.... :)

    P.S. Love that pic with you and the power tool!

  11. your home is such a happy place my friend!
    aqua frames...too cute!!
    & i forget what's on your big sign behind you but it looks incredible!
    i think i need a chocolate chip cookie. now.

  12. I'm trying those cookies tomorrow. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  13. Wow, you were busy for trying to relax...but it sounds like a good kinda relaxing. Love your room bedding and paint on the wall. looks so soothing.
    Ottoman came out great!

  14. So many beautiful photos. Love them all!!!! Where do you buy chicken wire anyway? The hardware store? I've made these cookies before with vanilla pudding and chocolate chips and I've also had them with pistachio pudding. Both versions are yummy. :)

  15. Wow, you had a busy week, your projects all look great!! I love your ottoman, I will tell you the foam cutting secret, If you use one of those old electric knives it will cut like butter. You can usually find them at thrift stores or borrow one, anyone married in the 70's will have one.


  16. I am absolutely in love with your blog!! I am glad your break was productive! :) The chicken wire message boards are unbelievably cute! Thanks for always inspiring!

  17. Oh LMM, I am BEYOND impressed that you were able to SEW that slipcovered chair and ottoman. I just started sewing myself and I have to say, it can be very confusing! I can do pillows, curtains, and aprons, etc. but I don't think I could EVER sew a slipcover!

  18. You so rocked that ottoman girl! Love your house. The punches of color are great. Sounds like a fun day with the kiddos too. Have a great week ahead!

  19. Dang girl, if we were in the market for a house in your area, I'd buy your warm & cozy place in a heartbeat with one stipulation...that you leave your gorgeous decor behind for me!

  20. I was reading about the cookies I thought how I needed the recipe and then you told me to chill...and I did :) Love that you call mulch "beauty bark spreading" Way to go on the rock.

  21. What a great week "off"! LOVE that cookie recipe. I have cake recipes with Jello pudding mix and they're awesome too!

  22. An electric craving knife like the kind you use for turkey is the best thing to cut foam. Ottoman looks great!

  23. Wow! You are so talented! I am new to your blog and I absolutely love all the stuff you create! Thanks for sharing!

  24. that's the same cookie recipe i use. it really is the best. embrace the pudding!