Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bless this Stress

Collage Art by Michelle Littlefield

I just burned the toast, handed Dear Daughter her brother's vitamin, and laid the cheese for her lunch sandwich on her breakfast plate... at which point she looked at me and said so very sweetly, "are you OK, mommy?"

Collage Art by Michelle Littlefield

It's the same old song and dance... too much to do, too little time.  Seems like the multi-tasking should get easier after all these years, somehow it never does.  But as most of the women I know do, I will carry on... and keep burning the blasted toast.

Archival Print

Several Days of Burnt Toast Original Drawing

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bunco Baby!

Custom Bunco Sign

Last night was Bunco night... for those of you not familiar with this classic suburban game, it basically involves dice, money, prizes and hopefully lots of food and frivolity.  Mimi played bunco when I was growing up, it was one of the ONLY nights the entire year there was soda and candy in our house... my brother and I used to sneak around the card tables and try to grab the extras.  Considering the abundant amount of frivolity going on among the 12 women (who must have desperately needed to get out of the house), either they didn't notice or they didn't care.  

Bunco Cupcake Toppers

My bunco group has been together for 15 years now... we started as a group of mostly young moms or newlyweds, looking to meet our new neighbors and take a night off from mac and cheese and snotty noses.  Over the years we've had theme nights, baby showers, movie nights... you name it.  We've lost a few members, gained a few, but amazingly we are now back to almost our entire original group.  Most of those babies are either grown or nearly there, we've even added a couple of grandkids.  Many of us have moved to different neighborhoods and can no longer just walk down the street in search of a rollicking evening of bunco fun.  

There were a few years it seemed like it might just fade away... everyone was busy with kids and didn't have quite the same need for a night of freedom... but we've managed to hold on stronger than ever, and I so look forward to reconnecting with my old friends every month over spinach dip and M&M's.  And of course, there is always the exciting chance that I will go home a winner with a whopping $15...Mama needs a new pair of shoes!

Roll the Dice Earrings

Roll The Dice Bunco Soap

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dang it, I blinked again...

Sweet Son and his BFF were inducted into the National Honor Society last night... watching them walk across that big stage all dressed up it hit me HARD that they truly are young men now.   I know it is such a ridiculous cliche, but for those of you with little ones, do yourself a favor and DON'T BLINK.  Holy cow, these two man children were just in first grade LAST YEAR.  I swear.  Chubby cheeks and crooked teeth are long gone and now we have these  wonderful smart, funny, handsome, kind MEN.   
Why on earth did I blink?

They are still not quite finished, not quite ready to release into the big, wide world... but they are so close, it nearly breaks this mama's heart.  A heart that really couldn't be any prouder of a couple of chubby cheeked little boys... 

When I Grow Up Print

Never Grow Up Print

Monday, March 28, 2011

Makeover Monday: DIY Fabric Embellished Vintage Shelf

I mentioned a a few posts ago that I have an issue with keeping things my mother (a.k.a. Mimi) gives me to sell.  Some things just never seem to find their way out of my house...  Recently she sent two boxes of goodies over with the intention that they be sold. I really do have intentions of selling MOST of it... but this little vintage shelf/paper towel holder caught my eye and I just decided it was entirely TOO heavy to ship (that's my story, anyway) and it needed to find a new purpose in Dear Daughter's bathroom.

I forgot to snap a pic before Handsome Hubby sanded and wood puttied, but here it is just after he worked his magic...

It was a cute little oak colored shelf like it was (before the sanding, you get the idea)... but I have bigger plans.  Hubs gave it a light sanding to take the finish off and make it easier for the paint to stick, then filled any nail holes or obvious cracks with wood putty.  Now it was my turn to get busy. My vision is for it to match Dear Daughter's fabulous new shower curtain ...

I have quite a bit of the fabric left over, and that VISION in my head... out comes my trusty spray paint.  I painted a couple of coats of this pretty blue, and decided to paint the rod a contrasting green color, just for fun.  

Of course, you know this is likely to involve a little Mod Podge, which I used to apply the fabric.  I use the pastry roller (yeah, Handsome Hubby who is also the household chef was not so happy about that) to smooth down the fabric.  I have looked high and low for a craft brayer for this purpose, to no avail, but the pastry roller seems to do the trick just fine.

After I played around with some fabric combinations, I measured the inside of the shelves and cut the fabric to fit.  I also traced the top and cut a fabric embellishment.  Then I applied one fairly thick coat of Mod Podge, smoothed down the fabric and let dry for 15 minutes.  Finally I went back and applied a nice layer on top to secure the fabric.  
Here's the finished product... 

It makes me so happy when the end result turns out better than my VISION (not always that lucky, but this time VICTORY)... here it is hanging in her bathroom.   Isn't this more fun than a boring old wooden shelf?  It is so easy to make things for your home that are original and can't be found on the pages of the Big Box store catalog... find some ordinary and make it extraordinary.   In the wise words of the good Dr. Seuss, "Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"

More GREAT Mod Podge projects here:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

High Flying, Flipping, Flexing, Singing, Saucy Insects...

Normally I'm not a fan of creepy crawly things, but last night I developed a newfound respect for bugs.  Well, at least for some very talented people dressed like bugs.  Handsome Hubby and I attended the Cirque Du Soleil production of OVO.  WOW.   Those folks perform some seriously mind boggling acts... I sat wondering at what point in life do you realize you can wrap your leg over your head and touch your belly button with your big toe?  I snapped this contraband pic during the finale... figured if I got thrown out at that point it was over anyway... not bad considering it was with my iphone and taken from my lap.

This was our second Cirque show, if you have never seen one I highly recommend adding it to your bucket list.  The entire show is a sensory feast... amazing costumes, jaw dropping stunts, beautiful music, just a complete EXPERIENCE.  

Last night we were also fortunate to be guests in the Tapis Rouge, the VIP lounge at the Cirque.  In true Cirque tradition, they were not just serving your ordinary hotel banquet food.  It was too dark to get a pic with my phone, but imagine this... Sweet and sour chicken on skewers wrapped in BLUE COTTON CANDY.  Yep, you read that right.  Oh, and Cranberry Chicken Salad inside an edible ORCHID.  Seriously... who thinks of this stuff?  It felt like I was in an episode of Top Chef.  In case you are feeling adventurous, the cotton candy chicken got two thumbs up from our crowd.  Can you imagine serving that to your kids for dinner?  Four words... MOTHER.OF.THE.YEAR.  

Duo Trapeze Print

Acrobats in Love Necklace

Cirque du Soleil inspired Masquerade Lady

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Social Network

This cracks me up. I have to admit, I'm a bit of a Facebook junkie.  It started innocently enough... Sweet Son hit the age where he decided he wanted to be on Facebook, and as every parent should, I followed suit in order to keep a watchful eye on his internet activities.  Only problem is, three years later he is RARELY on facebook, and I am on every day. 

I have several friends who have given it up for lent (blasphemy!)... and while I'll admit it can be a time sucker, and in some cases detrimental (if your posts make me crazy, I just hide you!), I have found it to be a great tool in my life.  I have happily reconnected with friends from other decades (some I would rather forget after being tagged in old photos where my hair is... well... QUESTIONABLE). 

Don't Tag Me In This Photo T-Shirt

These days I "visit" with faraway family and some of my dearest high school, junior high, and childhood friends nearly every day.  I look forward to "coffee talk" in the mornings with a group of girlfriends who are all up way too early getting their kids ready for school... some of whom I hadn't even SEEN in 20 years prior to the FB revolution.  Instead of just catching up in an annual holiday card, I am "virtually" part of their daily lives and they are part of mine.  And with the crazy lives most of us lead, my neighbor and I joke that we talk more on facebook than we do in person...
well, at least we're talking!

Like it or not, it has become the way of the world... the recent revolution in Egypt which was driven by social media astounded me.  To think that a government was overthrown and it all started on facebook and twitter... well, that's kind of mind boggling.  I'm not planning to overthrow anyone, but I do find out tons of useful (and  not so useful) information from my FB connections... and being that my business is almost completely
virtual, it has become something of a necessity.

Bi-Polar Betty Card with Envelope

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor... Or Not

Love Your Neighbor Original Painting

Sweet Son had a rather disturbing encounter with a neighbor yesterday when he was out chasing our goofy escaped poodle... rather than trying to help him corral the big lovable dork, this man and his wife chose to stand in their yard and scream at and threaten SS, despite him trying to explain that he was NOT walking the dog off his leash (which is what they apparently thought), he was trying to CATCH him.  They even repeatedly threatened to call the police, which is almost comical considering the completely non-threatening demeanors of both my dog AND Sweet Son.

SS doesn't get rattled easily, but this clearly rattled him... and upset me for several reasons.  First, it is so not indicative of most of our neighborhood (thank goodness).  Second, I firmly believe if it had been an adult chasing the dog they would not have reacted the same... I can't stand people who automatically assume teenagers are bad just because they are teenagers.  Third, take some anger management courses. people!  Good grief... life is too short to get flipped out over your dang GRASS.

You Kids Get Off My Lawn Original Painting

Get Off My Lawn Print

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stylish Blogger - Or 11 Things You Probably Don't Really Need To Know About Me

My friend, Janet from the Etsy Blog Team has bestowed on me the "Stylish Blogger Award." I don't know how stylish I am, but I'm definitely a blogger.  Thanks Janet! Be sure to check out her shop, Custom Sepia... cute stuff like this:

Custom Platter with Family Name and Inside Jokes or Quotes

In the Stylish Blogger tradition, I am supposed to post 7 random factoids about myself and then pass it on to other deserving bloggers.  Well, I couldn't decide on seven, and I am feeling  rebellious today.  I had WAY too much fun with this...  

1.  I can tie and untie knots in cherry stems with my tongue... it's an inherited family talent from my daddy's side. 

2.  I am a HULA HOOP QUEEN! I have yet to be beaten at our annual swim team party mom hula-hoop contest... 

3. I love themes... theme parties, theme days, theme weeks...
Dear Daughter has the same affliction. 

                  4. I don't eat meat... even though I was addicted to cheeseburgers in my earlier years. 

5. My ideal vacation is a beach with my family, a lounge chair, an umbrella, a good book and a cocktail for as many days as I can get away with it...

6. We got to go to Paris for the first time 4 years ago when Dear Daughter guilted my daddy into sending her on a trip there for her Christmas present... oh, the powers of granddaughter persuasion. 

7. I usually send 250 Christmas cards... Oh, and if you are sending one to me, it better have a picture of your family included. 

Our 2010 Christmas Card

8. I love to go to movies by myself and I think a large pretzel and a Coke Icee is a complete and perfect meal. 

9. I took piano for 12 years because Aunt Orangie wanted me to be Miss America... I hated it and am pretty certain the only thing I can still play are the the first three bars to "The Sting".

Hi mom... what?  What are you looking at???

10. I have owned and loved 4 standard poodles in my life... Ricky, Thriller, Tex, and Hollister... the funniest dogs ever.

11. My kids behave better
on long car trips than I do, 
in fact, my kids behave 
better than I do most of the time.  

- My Aunt Dorine at Dorine's Place
because I love her and her blog (nepotism at it's finest)... 
because her writing most often takes my breath away...
- Mr. B at A View From the Furry Side because
he is almost as cute as Hollister!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Night of the Super Moon

Last night was one of those evenings you can only hope defines your kid's memories of their childhood... a perfect spring night, grill fired up, nowhere to be but in our backyard enjoying our own company.  

We have about 9 days in Houston when it is not either too hot, too cold, too wet, too humid, too muggy or too buggy... yesterday was one of those days. Our goal was to watch the Super Moon, but we had some time to kill before it made it's appearance.  The evening started with a fabulous grilled shrimp dinner, complemented by my favorite new wine find (root beer and chocolate milk for the munchkins)...

This is one half of our resident dove couple... they live in our backyard and usually hang out on our garage roof...

but last night, they joined us for dinner.  I love them because they are never more than three feet apart... her partner was hiding on the other side of the fence when I snapped this pic.  Or maybe his partner... no clue how to tell a boy dove from a girl dove.

After dinner we had a little poolside entertainment...  

But this is by far my favorite photo and the way I will forever remember the Night of the Super Moon... 

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