Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's going to be a fun Summer

Whipped up this quick little project today.

We made notebooks out of snack boxes. I was really surprised at how much the kids liked these. The Scientist made his a little "mood" book and is going to draw his mood everyday. Cutecumber will be using hers until there is no white paper showing. She's almost there already lol

I highly suggest the smaller sized pads because the hole punches get tiresome. The scientist was thrilled to do his Mini Oreo book but he crapped out on me during the Tangled Fruit Snacks and as I finished it my hand was getting sore. I did make them fairly thick (folding the white paper and binding the folded seams to go faster) using the box for the front and the back pieces. I used kite string to tie/bind them together and Wa-La!
Cutecumber's actually has an attached pencil.

Now for a few funnies:

Me: "What are you doing in here?"

Scientist: "Eating a cookie. You want one? It's fresh from the jar!"


Me- (cleaning the stove after Honey made breakfast): "Look at all the grease on this towel!" (I show the Scientist with a look of disgust) "That went into our bodies!"

Scientist: "Yeah but nothing looks good on a towel. If I wiped a cake on it and showed you, you wouldn't want that in your body either."


Few more pops of turquoise

Ok, I'll admit before I even start this that it's sort of a crappy picture/little content post. I'm trying to get back into the swing of it and even though I have better projects and only had early morning light to work with, I wanted to blog SOMETHING before my day really started. So I took these pictures this morning and then my day started. :S BUT I'm taking a few minutes to post after lunch. I really need to get used to this new summer schedule.

Anyhow, I've been adding more punches of turquoise into the living room and thought I'd show those here before it got to the point where I posted a picture of something in there and people would be all "Where the heck are you at in that photo?" lol

(I think everything I do in there makes a dramatic difference cause I see it everyday but really, no one probably even notices lol)

Ok, so here is the fireplace area, and you can see my new chair/reading area. I love how it's coming together. On the fireplace stoop(?) I glued a glass vase to a silver candle stick and LOVE it.

The color is off in the photo but you get the idea. The candle was at Ross and is a really pretty blue, almost and icy aqua, and it smells yummo!

I've been finding great deals on pillows here and there over the past couple of months and added those in..

I really need a better picture, but the one on the right is a chartreuse and brown silk type fabric with little embroidered flowers. The larger white has embroidered scrolling leaves in chartreuse and olive green. The blue is more on the aqua side than it appears in the photo and has a glass button in the middle. The one closest on the far left is the same blue but has a harlequin pattern lined in brown. There was also one with the popular chevron stripes you are seeing everywhere lately, but those havent grown on me yet. I think they are...well, lets just say they ain't got no aliby. :P

Again with the color being way off in this photo. I painted the two circle wall plaques and did some antiquing on them. They look really good. This picture does them zero justice. The Scientist decorated the table top for me in April and I've just left it. I really REALLY want a new table/dresser/credenza here so I'm sort of ignoring the decor and pouting until I get one. Since we are saving up for our vacation, this might take awhile, but I want the vacation more than the credenza. (We are going to the Grand Canyon in July!)

And I just had to point out that Cutecumber woke up this morning and threw on her rain boots. She was still tired and ended up falling back asleep shortly after this photo lol. Crazy kid...

Also have you ever heard that orbs in photos are ghosts or spirits? Well if that's true then Casper loves my newly painted plaques too! But I suspect some dust got in my shot. I'm a skeptical party pooper.

So that's how I've added a bit of color to keep things from being too (as my daughter says) Matchy-Matchy, but really, I'm just matching it uniformly throughout the room. I'm a matchy type of girl and I can't help it! lol

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lamp for the Scientist

When I saw the new trend of "naked-lamp-shades" taking over the blog craft world, I knew I wanted to do one up for the Scientist. He LOVES light bulbs. He's the first one to notice when one goes out (and will tell you daily until you replace it). He is fascinated by any bulbs that stray from "ordinary" and studies each one he can get his hands on, figuring out what went wrong and why it burned out. He's always questioning why various shapes are used and wants them (begging for them more than candy) so he can test them out and do hands-on research to find out what outcome the differences will produce. It's borderline obsession, but at this point I'm still calling it a healthy interest in science. He is aptly named on this blog. lol

So with a little spray paint (in red, currently his favorite color) and a lot (more than expected) of elbow grease to rip the stained cloth from an old lamp shade...

He absolutely loves it. Yay! I found the red party bulb at Walmart (they also have green, blue, and yellow) which works really well and isn't overpowering through the "naked" shade.

It was as easy as it looks, except taking a bit more muscle than you'd think to get the cloth off of the shade. Whatever glue was used was doing it's job extremely well lol. My only tip is to roll up a piece of paper (into a tube) and insert it into the socket (where the bulb goes) so as not to mess up any of the electrical working parts. I didn't prime it, and it's holding up really well. You know he's touching it more than necessary lol.

The shade, lamp, and red spray paint were all on hand. At just under $5 for the bulb I've got a really happy kiddo who thinks he has the coolest mom eva! :)

Friday, May 27, 2011


I just love this pic of the Scientist. Two minutes into Summer Vacation and his face says it all.

We've only been home for about an hour and my hands already smell like coconut-y sunscreen goodness.

Here is my little froggy getting her skin sun kissed!

Ms. Thang headed off to her dad's right after school, but I do have this picture she took on the phone of her and her English teacher (a fav) before she says goodbye to 7th and hello to 8th.

Beautiful! Does her charisma shine or what?

Yay for schedule free days and lazy mornings. Good bye rushed after school activies and hello easy going playdates at the park!

Of course this feeling will end as soon as the kids start to fight and cry with bordem, but until then, I'm soakin' it in!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Meeting with the Scientist's Teacher

He's smart and kind hearted. That was the gist of the meeting, and of course those are 2 things I totally already knew. :)

He'll be going into the 2nd grade next year. I hope we are as lucky as we have been so far when it comes to his teachers.

I'm a very sheltering and protective mom. I have trouble letting go of the reins, but I'm aware of the importance of independence and force myself to do an unnatural thing and let go in the name of being a good mother. Having done the entire SAHM/preschool thing at home, and not ever doing daycare or a babysitter (other than a handful of times with a close relative) for his entire preschool life, releasing him into the world of Grade School was a really scary thing for me.

Will they even notice him in an entire classroom full of children?
Will he be over shadowed or neglected?
They can't possibly care for him the way I do, noting the little things he does when he's stressed and addressing it quickly, or appreciating his delicate touch and sweet demeanor when dealing with younger children, animals or bugs. If that isn't nurtured and noticed will he harden?

These are the types of things that ran through my head. This network of people are not family. They do not love him. They are there to do a job and that scared me.

Today his teacher told me how bright he was, (which I knew) and I questioned his behavior and lack of focus to which she replied "He does get distracted." with a twinkle in her eye. "That kid, I swear he can be in the math center making elaborate castles out of the blocks he is supposed to be using to count out mathematical problem,s and I'll say "G, is this what you are supposed to be doing with the blocks?" and he apologizes, finishes his work with accuracy and ease, then helps others that are a little behind. He's a pretty great kid."

That sounds like love doesn't it?? She notices him. She cares about him and she smiles when referencing him, even when he's been a bit naughty. When he's had a rough day, he knows she will come to talk to me. He tries to hide behind a tree while she tells me what went wrong. It makes her laugh and she'll say "Oh yeah, he's hiding because he knows I'm going to tell you that he was throwing pencil erasers today during lunch, like hiding helps at all." and you can tell by her smile that she loves him in all his tree hiding, eraser throwing glory.

Just yesterday, I walked over to pick him up after class and he was trying to plant a broken tree branch back into the ground.. I chuckled to myself over his proud stance, hands on his hips, thinking he was pretty awesome for saving that poor little branch, and I look over and there is his teacher, mirroring my smile of endearment.

She really cares for my son. That hits me straight in the heart. Because of teachers like her, I can send my son to school and know he's cared for, listened too, and best of all learning and flourishing.

I'll miss this one. I love her!

Monday, May 16, 2011

How to Donate the NICE Way.

After reading THIS article today, I was reminded of how disgusting some people really are. Having spent many hours going though boxes that others donate (ok, maybe I was working there to get first dibs but still!) I was shocked at how many people literally donate their trash and garbage, and when I say garbage, I mean garbage. I think we all know I have low standards when it comes to what counts as actual trash.

I have found:

hamster cages with everything still inside of it (urine, poo) everything except the dead hamster (I hope, but it's not like I dug through the cage trash to find one.)

Box of mud covered outside "toys" including a ripped up basket ball net stiff with dirt and sun-dried age, and a deflated basket ball so faded I thought it was a giant baseball at first glance. It was crispy!

Multiple bags where it looked like someone dumped the contents of the "bottom of the raisin and milk encrusted toy box" into a bag, tied a knot and sent it over. GROSS! I've even seen Halloween buckets with melted or sucked-on candy still inside!

And you don't have to be a volunteer to see this first hand. Take a trip around to the dumpster behind Goodwill, Salvation Army, Helping Hands etc.. and take a look at the shredded couches, urine stained mattresses and array of appliances that just LOOK like safety hazards that were donated rather than hauled off to the dump. It's sad!

Now I know that the people reading MY blog would never stoop so low, but I do have a few tips that make your donated items better received..

Here is my mountainous pile after a good, long, spring cleaning episode. Shortly after, I got sick and then it sat there for way too long, but I'm getting it out of here TODAY!

One very helpful thing you can do is box things in groups of similar items. I have one box of decor, one of kitchen items, one of toys etc... I put all the smaller items in ziplocks, like flashing bouncy balls, hot wheels and accessories, barbie clothes, kitchen toys. If you don't do this, the smaller loose items will just become a hassle and end up in the trash. We don't want that because it isn't very green to throw them out when someone could have enjoyed those small but usable treasures, and the dollar that ziplock bag of goodies brings would have never ended up in the register of your favorite donation organization!

Another helpful hint is to sort clothing by size (clean and folded too please!) and then label the bags accordingly. Women's Jeans, Men's Plus size, Teen Girl, Toddler boy, Infant ..you get the gist.

This helps a lot, and just imagine which bag you would choose to open, a properly washed and labeled bag, or the overflowing box of smelly shirts with a few half melted candles poking through the mound? When in doubt if an item is worthy, ask yourself "Is this something I would give to a family member? If the answer is no, toss it or recycle it.

I can't wait to get my stuff out of here. My house will feel about 100lbs lighter. Literally!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sick- Woe is me

I hate being sick! (Who doesn't?) But not because I feel so terrible. I hate everything else about being sick. My house is a wreck. For two days I have lived as a pink snuggie burrito on the recliner in my den, watching Tori and Dean in an atmosphere comparable to hoarders, if people hoarded tissues, toys, empty water bottles and craft-paint-splattered TV trays. Being sick also gives me WAY too much free time to think about things like how fat I am, and how I can't currently do anything about the filth or the weight while I'm down and out, and how I'm contributing to the issues by forgoing a nice healthy home cooked meal and opting to grab something from Wendy's because I'm not up to standing at the stove, stirring, coughing and infecting the whole lot of us. That is, if I even had anything in the house to cook. I REALLY need to go to the store. We're drinking water from the cooler without ice! The horror!
Oh, what's that? I could be making better choices by picking up something from a place with a healthier menu? Yeah, well you and my conscience can kiss my fat, sick...

The Scientist has a stack of FINISHED homework in his backpack that he's failed to turn in "because he forgot" since the middle of last week and I don't have a chance to talk to his teacher about it because I look as bad as I feel and keep waving him over to me from a safe distance near the van after school. He came over to give me a hug last night before bed and smelled like dirty hair. I made him get back in and wash it again, but I'm sure it's too late and he is already known as the stupid smelly kid who's mother doesn't love him or care if he does his homework or not. Honey told me that he sent him to school in ripped jeans this morning because I am so far behind in laundry there wasn't anything else available. Lets just skip "smelly" and "stupid" and call him what he actually is, FERAL!

I'm a real ray of sunshine when I'm sick. I don't know if the prayers for my returned health are actually for me anymore or for themselves.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Me- "Do you want a piece of cake?"

Scientist- "No way! I HATE that cake!"

Me-"Well hate is a strong word for cake don't ya think?"

Scientist- "Yes, but it's the right word for that cake."


Ms. Thang- "Turn off all of these extra lights!"

Scientist- "Why?"

Ms. Thang- "It's bad for the economy and kills polar bears."


I wake up to Cutecumber giggling a mere 1/100th of an inch from my face and I smell something.

Me- "I think you need a diaper change. Shewww wee!"

Cutecumber- nods in agreement

Me- sitting up in bed I notice her diaper is already off and then I see the well-marked trail up to my pillow where I was peacefully sleeping just a few seconds ago.

Me- "It's going to be a shitty Monday."

Cutecumber- "It's going to be a shitty Monday."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother's Day Questionnaire

I did one of these for my Dad last year, and he really enjoyed it, so now I'm doing it again. This time, for my beautiful (inside and out!) Mom. :)

Mother's Day questionnaire

1. What is your Mother’s middle name? Lynn
My name and my oldest daughter's name begin with an "A" so when my youngest came along, I needed another "A" name. My Honey and I also wanted to incorporate both of our mothers and so Cutecumber became Ashlyn Ramona. Ramona being my mil's name and the "lyn" being my Moms. :)

2. Where was your mother born? I'm not 100% positive that it was Orange County, but I know she was born a California girl (like David Lee Roth wishes we all were.)

3. What was the most influential piece of history that took place during your mother’s childhood? Kennedy assassination?

4.Who were/are your mother’s role models? My guess would be Mary Poppins cause she's practially perfect in every way.

5.What is your earliest memory with your mother? I really don't have many childhood memories without her. She's been very involved and close to me my whole life. In the early years I remember her asking me to point to the light and then tickling my arm pit, something I did/do with all 3 of my kids.

6.What is your favorite childhood memory with your mother? It's hard to pick one, but Yahtzee night always brings a smile to my face. We'd have a night of games (her, my brother, and I) playing together and eating fun "Yahtzee" snacks. It was a fun family time that she made special for us when she was a single mom, working long hours to keep us afloat.

7. What color eyes does your mother have? Blue. Her and my two daughters are blond and blue. It totally skipped me!

8.Did you buy your mother a Mother’s Day gift? I did. An itunes gift card. When I bought it, along with a card, the cashier asked me if it was for my mom. She was shocked that my mother knew how to use one for an iphone because apparently her mother can't even text yet lol. My mom is way more phone savvy than I am. I call HER when I have questions about my phone.

9.Is there anything you would like to tell your mother that you could or did not? I'd like to tell my mom everything that happened to me in every minute of every day and I would if I could but she had to go and get a job and then I have this thing called life. lol But there isn't anything I regret not saying to her. She knows it ALL and laughs with me, cries with me, helps me through it and praises the good times.

10.What was your mother’s biggest influence on you? Being a mom. Everything I do as a mother is an attempt to copy everything she did. I don't ever deviate from her example on purpose. I just can't always be as awesome as she was/is.

11.What good advice did your mother give to you? It's not advice, but it's the best thing she ever gave me. Unconditional love. Not everyone gets that on earth. I'm blessed!

12.What would you like to pass on to your children that your mother passed on to you? #11! and faith in God.

13. What famous mother would you not mind having as your mother? Jenny Craig. I could use a little help! But mom is working at Curves now so... lol

14. What three traits do good mother’s have in common? Nurturing, patient, and understanding

15. Give us your most favorite quote made by your mother. "Stop it right now both of you, or I'll come eat lunch with you at school and laugh until milk comes out of my nose! Do you want that?!"

I love you mom!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Let There Be Light (by my new reading chair!)

I have a bunch of projects finished, but I'm going to post them individually rather than trying to cram them all in one post. First on the list is my lamp revamp.

Remember the lamp I got for a $1 on THIS shopping trip to Helping Hands?

I had actually planned on fixing it up and placing it on the console table under the giant clock, but it just so happened that I finished it right when my new little seating/reading area came together and so that is where it ended up.

So cute right!? I can take credit for the idea of how it was finished, but the actual work was done by my kiddos! I'm so proud. *beam* We actually did it right after dinner on a school night.

We didn't use primer. I just handed over the can and let them go to town. (ignore my yard, we are in a severe drought and I'm going to play that excuse up.)

See all that "snow" in the photos? That's spray paint in the air! You can't see it, but it's there, making this an OUTSIDE only project.

*I think the shirt Ms. Thang is wearing is the nerdiest thing I've ever seen, but my comments won't sway her lol

I set my camera down for a minute and of course the kids used it in my absence. You know how that usually leads to multiple pictures of extreme close-up eye shots, and a bunch of ground shots? Well this is what I found on the camera...

I big fat LOVE it! He is inside of a giant road cone my mom brought over for him to play with.

So add photography and decorating to my kids long lists of talents. Lets take a look at their handy work again..


and After:

I still needs the perfect little pillow for this chair, but I think the area is coming together really nicely. The chair came from Target when they recently had all their furniture on sale. I sold both my recovered chairs on craigslist and it covered the cost of this new one down to the dollar with a few cents left over. I never was happy with the fabric choice on those anyway. It really opened up the room to take out the two chairs and replace the hall tree with this one chair. The hall tree is now in the corner of the kitchen. I accidentally broke one of the turquoise plaques above the chair and now only have three. Of course it was my favorite in the bunch, but 3 is the magic decorating number anyway. Still, I miss it!
The little aqua glass bowl was a thrift shop find. My husband actually pointed it out. Its details are so pretty and the piece is flawless. Honey said it was probably an antique. Antique or not, I loved it and bought it for a dollar. After a little searching online, I found out it's vintage KIG Indonesia, circa 1960s. Here is an online shot of my candy dish. Exactly!

The detail is so pretty and so is the color. I found it listed HERE on Etsy for $16.99, and listed for up to $20 on other sites. I think I got a pretty good deal!

I added the little framed picture (actually a piece of handkerchief my brother-in-law brought me from his trip to Japan, the rest is tucked inside the frame) to complete the decor for now. It was originally a part of the collage above the sofa. It was just tacked onto a brown corduroy covered cork board I picked up at the Salvation Army a few years ago. I replaced it with a plaster pear (you KNOW how I feel about pears) that a got at a consignment shop and although it hangs off a bit, I really like it there. This time I had to really secured it on to be safe.

You can click HERE for an older photo of the area with the handkerchief in place.

The side table is a really heavy spindled table I got in the Target clearance section for $22 marked down from $89! I left the tag on the underside of the table cause I'm just that proud of it lol. Such a pretty pedestal right?

If you look closely at at the "ball" portion of the spindle, a little to the left there is a natural crack in the wood and the reason this table was marked down. I'll be turning that back towards the wall and no one (except you) will be the wiser. ;)

Chair- major online sale (paid for by selling 2 recovered craigslist chairs)
Table- $22 marked down from $89
Lamp- $1 plus a shade I had in the closet (traded a friend 2 smaller shades for it)
Art- Souvenir from Japan, stolen from another area of the room
Vintage bowl- $1

One last look:

Now I plan on making a throw pillow with some vintage linens my mom gave me, but I'll save that for another post and if it goes well, I might just do a really fun give away :)
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