Thursday, January 27, 2011

Instead of a dozen roses...

I like getting flowers, usually. Honestly though, I am more partial to the cheapo grocery store flowers than roses... they are cheaper but usually more colorful and happy to look at. But eventually they die, or if you live in my house your cat nibbles them or knocks them over and stomps the crap out of them. (My cat is strange, he seems to be offended by flowers. I don't know... I don't get it either.)

But roses and sweets are the old Valentines Day standby - maybe a little someone in your house would appreciate a rose they could keep?

I've showed you the Etsy store by Pat at Sunshine and Drizzle before, and I'm showing you again. I just think that for such a reasonable price you have no limits to what you could have put on an umbrella. Spring is coming! (I promise).  I had asked Pat to whip me up a rose covered umbrella when the bath salts went tragically awry and she delivered!

You guys should see some of the other things she has going on over there, monkeys, and princesses, and dinosaurs... super cute.  Plenty of time for a Valentines gift, I think.

Thanks for saving me Pat!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A project gone wrong.

It happens to all of us, right?

So far my worst project gone wrong was one I had created before Christmas to post in my never quite happened "Favourite Things" series.

I struggled with that whole "raindrop on roses" line... but then I had a brilliant idea involving rose scented bath salts. (I was going on the thought process of "what is so great about raindrops on roses?"... that means it's raining, Maria! Raining! - but I realized it must be the smell! Told you, freaking brilliant thought process on that  one.) SO, I set to work to find a recipe to make such a concoction. It seemed easy enough.

I put rose petals in Epsom and sea salts and let them work their smelly magic. Then I put them them in cute little jars and thought maybe I would put a cute tag on or something jazzy.

Pretty cute right? Who wouldn't want a little gift of rose petal bath salts? It would be lovely, romantic, relaxing... bringing about thoughts of roses after a spring rain.

Except it smelled more like a farmers field after a spring rain. A field of rotting plants. It was putrid. Horrible. I mean... gross. A few days after I put them in the jar they turned on me. They weren't great smelling before they went in the cute jars, but I had hope...  the Internet said it would work.

So, hey, it happens. The Internet lies sometimes, or can make things look easy. I blame good ol' Martha.

Speaking of, I remember when her TV show restarted and she had on Marcia Cross who she was teaching how to make a simple breakfast look fancy, and she was piping HOT eggs back into their shells, and suddenly she stops and exclaims that it's burning her hands off and declares "I would NEVER do this!!"
Best Martha moment ever.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

3 Little Kittens Lost Their Mittens...

When they finally found them they were covered in dog hair, and were only lefts. UGH!

I am sick of the "where are your mittens?!" question I keep asking, and it's only January (cry? yes).  The best part is that day in and day out I find myself shocked and surprised by a) the lack of matching mittens and b) the amount of freaking dog hair on the ones we do find. There is nothing more "supermom" than picking clumps of pet hair off your kid in the school line up.

So I created a solution! I mod-podged scrapbook paper onto a piece of scrap trim and hot glued clothespins (also mod podged in a kicky coordinating print!) to that trim.

It lasted about 2 days. Then my pain in the adorable son picked the damn clothespins off. Yeah. Insert your own brand of expletives here.

So... just to reiterate my challenge of  little boy plus his hairy companion and their equal yet unique contribution to the daily (freaking daily) mitten hunt, I'm dealing with these two:

Yes, the small mister is holding a super soaker... and yes he is doing exactly what you think he is doing. And, yes, that is taken from behind the screen door where I was unnoticed, and yes, there is an entire series of them. Don't judge! These moments are nothing without photographic evidence. This kid will have to brush my teeth one day, we have to be prepared.

Wow, tangent! You came for mitten organization!

So easy. No podging required.

It's a regular shoe organizer. It comes with hooks to hang it over you door, and you can hang it up as is, or personalize it as I have done. I just hand embroidered some cute simple images, such as our initials (to designate a row or two per person).

Yeah right. I used a sharpie. The day I hand embroider a $6  shoe rack, feel free to commit me, OK? If you want to go the sharpie route, just remember that it's cheap fabric so put a piece of cardboard inside the pocket to keep the marker from bleeding through.

That's it! Mitten organization conquered! In theory anyhow.

Party for organizing - my kind of place!

Domestically Speaking

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Yesterday when I got home from work I ran about setting up my little mitten storage project to share with you. Once I got it figured out I set about taking a picture while I still had a little bit of daylight left, and I even thought ahead and had put the camera batteries in the charger the night before. Seriously? Who do I think I am being so organized?

Exactly. Who do I think I am to think being organized in my house was something that could ever be achieved?

I noticed there was only one battery in the charger, and the other one was staring up at me from under the floor grate (along with a couple of Nerf darts, a plastic food french fry, plastic army men and 85 pounds of dog fur). So I asked the small mister "What the heck? Did you do this?" - but imagine this being said by a woman who would honestly mark herself quite a few rungs lower than Mary Poppins on the patience meter. Quite a few.
"Yes" says the small mister "I was playing a trick!" he calls over his shoulder as he runs away making "pew pew pew" noises at the bad guy du jour. "I'm so funny!" he yells.

"I'm not laughing!" I reply back at him, deciding in that moment that I am not reaching into that floor vent... what about the mouse?

"Well, I am!!" He giggles past me on his next lap through the house.

So on that note I really would like to recommend this wine and this book to my fellow mothers of future men. Have a nice afternoon!

Monday, January 17, 2011


The new year means putting all the holiday crap back into storage... and that means remembering where it all came from, which box contains which thing... fitting in the new things... it's like playing jenga with large items. Not fun. Honestly I still have a few items to poke away still, but I am suddenly afraid of my basement and being attacked by the Jedi mouse. I'm sure he's a Jedi... he is mind tricking the peanut butter off the trap without setting it off, enough said.... moving on.

So in an attempt to avoid that task I reorganized my bedroom in order to accommodate a TV. *gasp*
I said I would "never" have a TV in my room, TVs are for watching, beds are for sleeping. Then I became out numbered... and when my choices are Superhero Squad or football.... TV in the bedroom it is.

My next "avoid the basement" trick will be the hall closet. I'll even take pictures. I used to be so so smug proud of my linen closet. With it's Martha-esque labelled bins of Bath Towels, and Dog Bath and Baby Towels etc. It was a dream. *sigh* Then the baby was born, and it kept up for a while, I even reorganized the thing to make it all work for the new addition. Then I got lazy. I hate folding sheets. Lets just say that and leave it there.

Martha's closet
 I also have a cute cheap mitten storage solution coming up. You're going to like it.

Blue Bird and Red Mittens by Constant Dreamer - via Etsy

Did everyone get their new 2011 calendar up already? Seriously? I'm not even there yet. I've decided my new year starts in February, apparently. I can't commit to a new calendar. I have to look at it all year, you know? I like the ones you can jot notes into the squares, that hang on the fridge...  easy reference... I like the way the dry-erase and wall decal ones look, love it actually, but I need the paper version I can flip ahead and see what date the second weekend of August is. I don't know why I need that, but I do.

I'm leaning towards this simple, printable one from an etsy seller (Fibers and Twigs, which has quite a few cute printable ideas on their shop!)

Fibers and Twigs on Etsy

So - that's my Monday. The usual "bite off more than I can chew", that's how I roll!

Jedi Mouse. Really! (Via Etsy - House of Mouse)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Speaking of future craft rooms

Yesterday I kind of tossed out there that I would like to use that giant frame as some kind of cork board in my "future craft room". I said it all blase like I could snap my fingers and blink and it would appear.
The truth is I have cleaned out "The Red Room" more times than I can count and after hours of sweating and donating and re-homing the crap that piles up in this room, it's more like I blink and it refills.

We do not have a big house, but "The Red Room" might as well have a garbage shoot attached to it. It's the only room in the house that doesn't have a function. It's supposed to be a third bedroom, but in our little 1940's home it's more like a forgotten closet. You can fit a single bed in there, along one wall. Not any other wall, it literally won't fit, as in, you wouldn't be able to close the bedroom door, or open the closet door if it were anywhere else. So what's the point of a spare single bed? Better yet, what's the point of an unused single bed, under a pit? None. So right now the "The Red Room" hosts a pile of suitcases, some lost baskets, and random toys, a dresser full of craft supplies... and that's it. Yet, it's a pit.

So I think I am going to finally make it mine. When I broke the news to the Big Mister that I needed it because my craft things are taking over the living room, he said "and the whole house!" - It needs to happen.

I'm thinking "The Red Room" might just go white. That room needs a breath of fresh air. Plus every time I say "Red Room" I think of The Shining... which I know is "redrum"... but I'm Canadian so it sounds the same. Hee!

Via A Mad Tea Party - photo unknown

Jeremy Samuelson Via My Home Ideas

Wish me luck. Going into "The Red Room" aka - The Pit - gives me anxiety. So much stuff! So little room.
Ah... but what these little 1940's four squares lack in storage they make up for in charm... and killer baseboards. Right?

By the way if you like things a little bit retro chic - you need to see this site seriously cute things. WISH I had found it before Christmas so I could not mail those cards instead of the ones I didn't mail this year.
(Anyone else do that? I buy cards every year, I get small misters school pictures ready... and sometimes I even address them... but rarely do I mail them. )

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


It's official, all of the members in my house are now suckers to the almighty infomercial. It started with me and the Cricket. Had to have it. Had to. So I got it... and I like it. It does it's job. When I use it... which is about once a year. Then my son ran towards the display in Canadian Tire yelling "SHAM-WOW!" so, we had to get it. I mean when the kid gets a choice of a dinky car or a piece of cloth, and he picks the cloth, you know the commercials work. Now, my husband is finally guilty of the same infomercial spell. Except he is using what he bought, and has compelled me to use it too. It's not even fun. It leaves me feeling like I got hit by a train. Even worse the next day, if that's even imaginable. Freaking P90X. Have you heard of this torturous set of exercise DVDs? It has a buff, and very chipper man as it's spokes person. It's really hard to hate him, he seems like a nice guy... so I feel a little bad when I mutter expletives under my breath as he is counting out his 500th pull up and urging me to do more... than the 2 I did. Screw you Mr Happy Muscles.
The crazy part is, it's a pretty good system. It's doable, well, mostly. Actually at first you feel like you might die. This is just my first week, and I am pretty sure Mr Happy Muscles is trying to kill me. My husband is mid-way through his second week, and going strong.  Good for him.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I can hardly lift a glue gun I am so sore. Hence the slacker blog posts lately. I have a few things up my sleeve, unfortunately I can't bend my arms to pull them out.

I did get a HUGE frame from the sidewalk boutique this weekend. I am excited about that! I have lots of ideas for it...  decisions, decisions!

Will it be a shallow bookcase?
Via Country Living

Or perhaps a giant memo board? I could use one of those in my future craft room, right? Plus a magnetic one would be pretty fun!

Via Country Living

I've been playing around with the idea of using it as a headboard too! I'm telling you, it's HUGE.

Via Sunset

But before I can do that I have promised my sister that she could use it for her table seating chart at her wedding, which isn't until November! But I think this baby will have a few lives before then...

Friday, January 7, 2011

The returns and the sales.

So, we are firmly set into January. The Christmas decorations are stored away (well, they are in an organized house, where the men do not outnumber the women... how about that?) and you find yourself in a store... then you wander down the aisle that is picked over, messy and - what's this? - full of sale signs. It's the Christmas Clearance!
I found myself at the local Zehrs Loblaws on Monday and for some reason bought 5 frames for less than a dollar a pop! Maybe they can be painted, or used next year... I have no idea... I was high on discount madness. Madness, I tell you.

Then I combed through the piles of ribbons - Regular $3 and up and I bought a butt load of them... for about $0.35... thirty-five cents a roll. Eeeee!!! Ribbon is handy. Love ribbon. Clearly.

Then I bought a tree that I thought earlier in the season that I could make for less than the $8 price tag.... but can I make it for less than 97 cents? I don't even want to try!

THEN I decided I needed some mini fake trees that come with their own decoration! Why? Again, people, high on discount madness. I'm sure I can come up with some clever amazing way to use these that will make my husband sit back in wonder and marvel at my mad sale buying skills. "All that for less than a dollar?!" He will marvel - "you should have bought more!" - he will exclaim... then he'll call all his friends to tell them how awesome I am with a fake tree.

OK that probably won't happen.  BUT -- good story right?

How did you all do out there in sales land? Or are you busy fighting the returns line?

Ugh. Sale buzz kill:  Returns. Uggghhh. Luckily I have only one return. The big mister bought me a lovely coat. I tried it on and he made a face one would normally reserve for walking into a fart cloud at a perfume counter. So... it's a thumbs down on the coat, in other words. I have been putting it off... but perhaps this weekend I should finally pull the trigger and make that post holiday schlep to the depressing mall that is naked of holiday song and cheer... my least favourite thing after the holidays... said the girl who tunes her car radio to the Christmas music station promptly on Dec 1.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 2011!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope the holidays at your house have been all you hoped, and as we head into this year I wish you all health, happiness and hope.

When I started this blog a few months ago I debated about how much I wanted to share about my personal life, my family. So far I have kept things pretty "sterile" in regards to what I have shared. Being that this is a start to a new year, I tend to mull things over these first few days, set some general goals without loudly proclaiming them for all to hear, this way no one knows when I don't follow through! Accountability is a harder thing to swallow than those vitamins I promised I would take daily, and speaking of, what is with those things?! Good grief! They are massive!

The person I thought of most as we came into this year is my grandmother. She was not the type to sit around. She cooked, she visited family, she made time for friends, she had hobbies, she went on trips. This woman lived life to the fullest of her capabilities... and this was in her golden years. Even when she began showing signs of Alzheimer's she didn't let it slow her down. She took walks, she did puzzles, she watched I Love Lucy, and Young and the Restless, she shopped, she took vacations... It really was quite a long time before the disease slowed her down. When she passed, two days before Christmas, she was almost 95 years old, and while we were all very sad to lose our "matriarch" of our family, I didn't feel robbed. I think it was because she was so present in her day to day life that you knew she had to have squeezed at least two lifetimes into her one. If  I could glean anything from having the pleasure of knowing this woman it would be to enjoy all of your moments in life. Go with the flow.

So while I have many many projects to share with you in the New Year, I'm going to try to enjoy my moments and not sweat the small stuff.

This is my grandmother, in Vegas, gleefully counting her chips. I think she may be about 80 in this one.