Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Feeling kinda tweaky.

We are in the countdown for school with less than a week before the hoodlums return and it's been busy around here!  Also, I am starting to get ready for my shop re-opening, and I'll have more details for you on that soon, as well as details on the wait list for Christmas garlands. (I'm hoping to officially start taking your orders/names by mid-September.)  I've got a few fun promotions, coupon deals, and giveaways coming soon as well, so stay tuned! 
 In the mean-time, we've been finishing up a few house projects and I wanted to share this one with you today.  I've been a decor tweaker as long as I can remember.  A week ago my husband and I were laughing because on my eighteenth birthday, my parents gave me a room makeover.  Okay we weren't laughing at that... we were laughing because my mother basically handed me some packages of pretty sheets that matched the new bedding I had asked for, along with a footlocker trunk and some other accessories and said, "I have no idea what you will do with these, but I figured you'd think of something so here you go."

Those sheets became my very first DIY decor item.  I made some super cute balloon valance curtains.  And I realize I totally just dated myself by saying "balloon" and "valance" together, in the same sentence.  I might also add, that they were navy blue, burgundy, and forest green, and if you just cringed alongside me, then you know exactly what year that was, and you also know exactly what my first newlywed decor looked like.  Oh, the nineties.  What a glorious time of higher waisted jeans, baggy sweaters and teased bangs.  I miss the nineties.  Sometimes.  Normally only when I'm jeans shopping.  Not really any other time though, now that I think about it.  (I think that's a post for an entire other day.)

I'm a decor tweaker.  I can't leave well enough alone.  Our sweet office/guest room had been painted "Ivoire" (SW) over five years ago, when we originally converted that space to be our home school room.  (Yes I did paint some stripes on one of the walls a bit later.) It was fine if you didn't look closely but let's just say homeschooling for three years, then moving furniture around adding a bed, hanging things up, un-hanging things, installing a wall, doing spot touch-ups in a color that matched but had the wrong sheen of paint finish, and living life in that room had created a repaint need.  (I am purposefully ignoring the ceilings in our house that are desperate for a repaint.) I have a five gallon bucket of paint that we got for a song (under $5.00) in the mis-tinted section at our paint store.  It had been tinted "fleur de sel" by Sherwin Williams, and we have used it for kids rooms, hallways, bathrooms, the laundry room, inside closets, etc.  Let me just tell you, five gallons is a lot of paint.

I had finally decided that I would paint the guest room that color, when a great idea occurred to me.  If I got an empty paint can, I could pour a gallon's worth of paint into it, take it down to my local Sherwin Williams store and have them re-tint it another, somewhat similar color!  I know, right?  Stroke of FREE genius, right there people. Mark it down, cause it doesn't happen very often.  I chose a darker shade of gray (Pottery Barn's "Morning Fog" via Sherwin Williams.)  It had a blue-ish tinge to it but I figured that would be what I wanted and that room gets a ton of sunlight, and I wasn't thinking about how that might effect the hue. They happily tinted my gallon of paint and I painted the entire room with it.

It was blue, people.

A hideous, awful, glorified nineties-ish shade of blue, (no photos were taken) and it would probably have looked great (in a different room, or) if I still had all of my navy, burgundy and forest green decor. (I kid.) I loathed it immediately and that's only happened to me one other time because I am super decisive and very confident in any choice that I make.  My five gallons of paint was still going strong though, so I chose another gray color, this one with brown undertones instead of blue, got another empty paint can, poured it off, brought it in and did the whole thing again.  This time, (thankfully) the color was exactly what I wanted.  ("Pavestone" by Sherwin Williams)  It's a rich, calming gray.


We also had a fun Lowe's gift card from our sad dishwasher replacement earlier in the summer, (And yes I do miss my bead board covered dishwasher.) so I spray painted my turquoise lamp white and bought a fun new lamp shade at Lowe's, along with a pendant light kit.  The old shade got converted into a drum shade for my living room, which I had been wanting to do for AGES.  It was crazy simple.  

(I think I love installing new lighting.  If you want me to paint for you, forget it... but I can do your lighting, no problem.  I may have even said to Adrain at one point, "Hey maybe I should take an electrician's class and get my license." He ignored me and went and flipped off the breaker. Ha!)
I also spray painted my cheap, Ikea alarm clock to look more like these ones from Anthro.  Le sigh.

Finally, I covered some board in batting and fabric and used pretty upholstery tacks for the nail head trim.  Easy and fast and cheap and will save my walls from the black marks and scratches the metal bed frame was making.

So there ya go.  Decor tweaks.  I can't help myself.

And now I shall never photograph this room ever again.

I just lied to you. 

 **If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of Lemonade Makin' Mama, you can email me at for details.**

 A HUGE thank you to my August sponsors!  You can visit all of their sites by clicking on their buttons in my sidebar, or by clicking on each of the following names: Charming Lucy, Leen the Graphics Queen, Shades Up & Co, San Fernando St, Between You & Me, Deliciously Inspired, 163 Design Co, The Rustic Ribbon, Jeanne Oliver, and The Ironstone Nest.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Bitter... and the Sweet...

Time passes.

People stand there and sigh and tell you that "it goes so quickly" and you nod your head while pulling your toddler who is starting to wander off backward, by gently tugging on the belt loop of his little jeans, while simultaneously readjusting the baby who is balanced "just so" on your hip.  You smile at this well meaning acquanintance, while keeping an eye on the binky that keeps wanting to fall from your baby's mouth, making a mental note to put yet another "spare" into the diaper bag and remind your man to pick up another gallon of milk and some bananas tonight, on his way home from work.

Then you blink once.  Only once.  And you're smoothing down that silky cowlick, biting your lip because it's the first day of preschool and you're worried the kids won't like him.  Maybe they won't understand his meltdowns.  You take a deep breath and smile into his eyes, and tell him to have fun and mind his teacher, and then blink away the tears that want to come.

You turn around, and your last one is in school all day, just like a big kid.  You stand forlornly in the parking lot of the elementary school and watch as "seasoned moms" flash grins and shout greetings to each other because they know exactly what they plan to do with their whole day, be it work, errands or fun.  A few of them give you sympathetic looks and say encouraging things like, "It gets easier, I promise." 

And then suddenly you're here and you don't exactly know how you got here.  You should have listened a little more closely to that lady sighing and telling you how quickly time passed that day... that yesterday, which was actually so very long ago. Now you stand almost looking them in the eye.  You don't bend to hug them anymore, you simply lean in.  They smell of sweat and the great outdoors because they have been playing basketball down the street.  Their feet are the same size as yours and they keep stealing your shoes and turning up the music, and asking for something to eat.
You stand in the middle now.  Not wanting to blink because you know, but not being able to stop it from happening.  Crisply aware that you have spent more time with them than you have left.  Knowing it's only going to be a few more blinks until you stand there watching a young mom patiently deal with the meltdowns in a grocery store candy aisle, or see her juggling infants, toddlers and paraphernalia while running errands.  You know you will see the binky fall onto the Post Office floor and watch her roll her eyes.  Not long at all until you smile and sigh and say, "Oh how quickly it goes.... enjoy it..."

She will of course nod and slide the baby onto the opposite hip while reaching into her bulging bag for a rattle and you'll know she hears you but not really.  

Because you were her.  And it goes on... life goes on.... and how bittersweet are the changes. 

Today I am thankful for: 
A man who works hard so that I can have my dream job
The rare sound of making up from two hoodlums
School clothes, ready to be worn in less than a week

**Don't forget to check this post out and get your coupon code!**

Monday, August 26, 2013

"O Come Let us Adore Him" Between You and Me signs.

 When my dear friend via blogging, Tara of Between You and Me asked if I'd be willing to join her 12 Signs of Christmas Tour, I didn't hesitate.  (We currently have one of their beautiful signs in Joe's room and we LOVE it.)  When it arrived in it's big box my hands were almost shaking, I was that excited to dig into it and see what it looked like!! I know you can understand this.   


It's one of my favorite Christmas hymns painted in a creamy background with worn-in looking lettering, and framed in a rustic gray wood. Oh let me tell you, I fell hard over this baby. 

It's four feet long, super sturdy, and well made, like all of the signs in their shop.  The kiddos giggled as I dragged Christmas trees and decorations from the garage, in the middle of the summer time!  (I have to admit, that part was my favorite.  I love Christmas and I had a valid excuse for a mini-celebration in my entry way.)

 I am going to anticipate pulling this out year after year to enjoy as we celebrate the birth of Christ.  I know you will too! 

The fun thing about this 12 Signs of Christmas Tour, is that you get to see a different sign in each of these wonderful ladies' homes.  I don't know about you, but that's tremendous fun for me.  I enjoy getting inspiration from friends, and getting to see how each of them have showcased these signs in their own homes has been such a delight.  The tour began back on August 15th, and there are a few of us wrapping up the back end of it this week. If you click on each name below, it will take you to their lovely sites and you can see the many signs being made in Andy and Tara's shop.   

To make this an even sweeter deal, they are offering all of you sweet readers a TEN PERCENT discount on the signs in their shop!  The coupon code runs until November 15th.  When you purchase a sign and check out, just use the code LMM10. 

And now... I suppose I should pack it all up for a couple more months.  (Do you think people would look at me funny if I just left it like this? Ha!)

Monday, August 19, 2013

A recipe for yum.

 I just realized that I haven't posted a recipe on here in ages! The kiddos and I spent an afternoon in the country last week, with Adrain's "grandma."  (She was his grandma's best friend but all the kids just call her grandma too.)  She is precious.  When Adrain was a little boy he actually lived in her house for a few years and roamed the property so it's always fun to watch my kids climb trees and eat fruit and moo at the pasturing cows.  I wrote a bit more about it here

When we went, she was busy canning all kinds of things and sent us home with apples from one of her many fruit trees.  She pulled these apple pickers out of the shed and gave one to each of my hoodlums and sent them to work.  I had never seen an apple picker before!  It's a long pole that resembles a lacrosse stick, but with a claw-like rake at the end.  The kiddos had so much fun but of course all the best apples were "just out of reach." 

 Once home, we decided to make a treat and surprise their daddy after a long day at work.  I only had one crust pre-made in my freezer so we went with a tart.  It turned out so well I'll probably make it again really soon. 
Gluten Free Harvest Apple Tart
Prepared GF pie crust (I use the Gluten free Pantry perfect pie crust. *Substitute your fave regular pie crust if you don't have gluten allergies and thank the heaven's that you don't have to deal with the nasty-ness that IS gf crumbly crust. I'm just saying...)
4-5 small apples, cored and sliced
2 TBSP sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom (optional) 
3 TBSP cold butter, sliced
vanilla bean ice cream for serving

**Roll out pie crust into tart pan, with excess hanging over edges.  Fan apple slices in random patterns and slip sliced butter pats in between slices here and there.  Mix sugar and spices and sprinkle over the apples.  Fold the excess crust over top and bake according to your crust instructions. 
(I baked mine at 350 for approx 55 minutes.) 
Let cool slightly then serve with scoops of ice cream. Yum!
Have you made anything yummy lately?

Friday, August 16, 2013

County Fair

The county fair.  Is there really anything better than walking around smelling corn dogs and fried onions, checking out adorable baby pigs, hugging the necks of countless local friends, wasting dollar after dollar to get that top shelf stuffed toy/prize, and riding multiple carnival rides until you can't walk straight?

I think not my friends, I think not.

We invited my brother and his wife and my (crazy adorable) baby niece to come along, and we had the best day from start to finish.  We stayed until the sun went down and the lights began to sparkle in the sky.  We stayed until the smell of funnel cakes started making us sick.  We stayed through a few (surprisingly welcome) rain showers amidst a hot summer season, and we stayed until we'd seen everything but the bunny barn.  I'm still not sure how we missed that one, but we were getting really hungry and a local pizza joint was calling our names. 

I came home with over 300 photos. Yet I've once again done the seemingly impossible and narrowed it down to under fifty for you.  Ha!  I am sad that I didn't get anyone to take a photo with me in it.  I try to make a point to do that for the memories sake.  Anyway, I'll keep the commentary at a minimum and I hope you enjoy our day at the county fair almost as much as we did!

 Yep.  That's my Ava with her arms up.  Baby girl knows how to enjoy a ride. 

 See the blue car up at the tippy top?  MY BABIES ARE IN THAT ALL BY THEMSELVES PEOPLE! (I may or may not have been totally freaking out at this point.  My man may or may not have told me to calm down and chill.)

 Hip shot!  (Do you ever do that?  I do it all the time.  Just shoot a picture while walking by and see what you get.)

 This may or may not have been moments before the ride that caused a hoodlum to heave stomach contents into a nearby garbage can.  Allegedly. 

 Mine, all mine. 

 "Auntie Sasha, I really think you are by far the best, most wonderful, sweetest Auntie on the planet and I love you to pieces."

(Kids really do say the cutest things, don't they?)


 (We caught my niece deliberately squeezing herself in between the bars to get inside with this calf.  You can hardly blame her.)

 Laboring.  My heart really went out to this mama cow straining in the throes of labor.  Bless her heart. 

 I died.  Right here on the sawdust.  You can seriously die of cuteness. 

I may or may not have been yelled at by a 4H'er for petting the  black one on the far right.  "NO TOUCHING THE PIGLETS!"  (I don't much like that rule.)

As the light began to fade, tired and happy, we said good night to the county fair after a day of pure fun in every way.  (Well all except for that alleged garbage can incident...)
Lastly, I am so excited to share the 6th Street Design School blog post with you today.  Kirsten is sharing my lil home over there and I'd love it if you dropped in and said hello!

Happy Weekend dear ones! Go forth and make some memories with those you love.