Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Streak of Bad Luck

It's all my fault. A week or two ago, I caught myself thinking how things have been running a little too smoothly around here. Pretty sure I jinxed us. Sure enough, our streak of bad luck began last Thursday at approximately 10:05 pm. Here's a rundown of events since that moment:
  • Thursday night, B hit a deer on his way home from work. Literally a stone's throw from our front door. He's OK. The deer's not. Poor thing. 
  • The next morning, we packed up and headed for Tahoe. Hudson experienced his first bout of carsickness. Thankfully, no throwing up. Just some stomach pain and pale-facedness. 
  • Charlotte's on a teething rampage. She's now sleeping in one- to two-hour stretches instead of the luxurious four to five I've become accustomed to. 
  • On our way home from Tahoe there was one of those "don't-make-me-stop-this-car" kind of incidents culminating with B veering off the highway to restore order to the backseat.
  • After that, we stopped in Sacramento for lunch only to find out that my favorite nacho establishment is out of business.
  • We finally get home to find the deer-damaged car now has a dead battery in the garage (my bad). It won't shift out of park, and because it's centered in the garage (also my bad), we can't pull the other car in to jump it. Oops.
  • There's a gopher digging up the dying grass in my back yard.
  • Monday night there was a stray toothpick on the floor (from a magic trick H and I had been perfecting). I shuffled barefoot across the floor, and said toothpick was rammed in between my toes. Awesome.
  • Tuesday night: I got Charlotte out of the tub. She desperately wanted the phone, which was on the floor. I gave in and let her have it while I finished diapering her. She promptly dialed 911. The dispatcher told me that an officer had to come even though it was an accident. The officer came, and Hudson was afraid that Charlotte was being hauled off to jail. {Even if they had taken her to the slammer, they probably would have returned her quickly when they realize she doesn't sleep. Ever.} Luckily, the officer was really nice.
  • Tuesday night, after the 911 incident: I trimmed H's toenails, only to find that his big toe is swollen and infected. Thank heavens that Dr. Dad has loads of experience when it comes to removing nasty green goo from infected extremities.
So here we are: Wednesday morning. It's "my day" with the car. I owe H some mini-golf for his patience with our house-bound week thus far. OK, so our streak of bad luck isn't all that terrible. Mostly just comical. But still. Sheesh. I hope your week's going smoother than mine. :)

Oh, and about the picture: I figured you wouldn't want to see the toothpick protruding from my foot, or H's gross toe, (lucky for you I didn't take pictures of either) so I'm giving you a picture of B jumping from the pier.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend Photos + a Winner

We spent a delightful weekend doing a lot of this: 

And a little of this:

And now the winner of last week's D & A giveaway:

Comment #10...Addi.
Congratulations, Addi! I'll contact you soon about your rug. :)
Have a great Monday.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Weekend

Hope you have a great weekend. I'm headed out for some fun in the sun. And hopefully a quiet moment or to so I can make some progress with Mr. Dickens. I've got three months to go and 500 more pages. :)

What are your plans for the weekend?

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Dash & Albert giveaway below!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ghost Nest

I have to say I'm a pretty huge sucker for cute knobs. So I was thrilled to find Ghost Nest, where you can customize knobs for any room or any project. The best part: they're totally affordable (like, less than ten bucks) and they're delivered to you within ten business days.

If you're not into designing your own, you can choose from their gallery of designs:
This little number would look so cute in my kitchen. 
I'm currently working on several projects featuring knobs from Ghost Nest. So stay tuned...can't wait to share them with you! {And now Mr. Hudson just saw the robot knobs and decided he's in the mood for a project, too.} 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Giveaway: Dash & Albert Rug

At the top of my kitchen must-have list is anything from Le Creuset. But a Dash & Albert rug is a close second. I actually just ordered a new one for my kitchen. The nice people at CSN Stores are offering one of you a chance to win the 2'x3' Dash & Albert woven rug of your choice. Click here to see your options.

Just a couple reasons I love my D&A Rugs: 
1. They're washable and/or scrubbable (depending on the fabrication). And when the cookie dough's a-flyin' a washable rug is a huge plus.
2. They're reversible. So when you've got friends on the way over, just flip that baby over and it's as good as new. 
3. They add some fun and color to the kitchen. Not that my kitchen floor needs more color (it's currently sporting watermelon pieces, strained peaches, and sprinkled with cheerios). But you know what I mean.

So here's three ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment here.
2. Follow my blog and leave a separate comment saying you're a follower.
3. Blog, tweet, or post on facebook about the giveaway and leave another comment with a link to your post.

Comments close Sunday night around 11-ish. I'll announce the winner on Monday morning, July 26. Good luck! Oh, and one more thing: but the giveaway's only open to residents of the US. Sorry, international readers. But you know I adore you, right?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I'm still here. Just catching up on several projects, and enjoying two awesomely grumpy kids who were up way past their bedtime for the A's vs. Boston last night. I'll be back tomorrow with a great (really, really great) giveaway, but until then here's a super-cute bath time kiss to get you through the day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finished Product, and a Winner

Here's a project I've been so excited to share with you. Katherine was the very first customer in my Etsy shop. Over the last four years, she has given me tremendous support, inspiration and friendship. Every shop owner should be so lucky to have someone like Katherine. But lucky for me, Katherine is so much more than a customer. She's a friend. I feel truly blessed to have her in my life.

When Katherine came to me looking for new business cards, I knew they had to be special. Just take a look at her blog and you'll see why. Everything Katherine does exudes joy and happiness. Not to mention that her photo of the cards is too cute (love that tricycle).

And now I have a winner from last week's Perricone giveaway.

Congratulations, Erin!
I'm so excited for you. {And a bit jealous}.

Photos copyright Katherine Marie Photography.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Wedding

Just a quick peek at a wedding I did a couple weeks ago.

Hey: Today's the last day in the Perricone Giveaway
Enter here, if you haven't all ready.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just a Mom

Recently, I was in one of those awkward getting-to-know-you situations where someone asked me the question, "So, what do you do?" I didn't see it coming. Last I checked, I had stay-at-home-mom written ALL over me. Definite awkward pause as I bumbled over my thoughts. The only thing I could think is, how do I even begin to explain what it is that I do? So, of course, I resorted to, "Oh, I'm just a mom." I hate that. Ugh. Why, oh why did I let that fling out of my mouth?!? I'm not just a mom.

For starters, being a mother is the purpose of my life. These little people bring me more joy than I ever imagined possible. To put it simply: I adore being a mom. Plus, I'm pretty good at it (if you ask me). My kids get plenty of hugs, kisses and encouragement. They get a bath every day, healthy meals, plenty of exercise and more play dates and fun outings than I should admit. I teach them manners, kindness, and all sorts of academic things, too.

In addition to my main job as "just" a mom, I also take on freelance editing jobs, design and run my own stationery business, take on numerous wedding projects, write a monthly how-to article, maintain my blog (somewhat) regularly, design retail window displays, teach jewelry-making classes, and occasionally hire out as an event planner/caterer. Oh, and if your kid wants to learn to tap dance, I could teach that, too. How, exactly, am I supposed to categorize all of that? And is it even worth trying to explain to people?

Now that you've endured the rundown of my resumé, my main question for all of you out there who are "just a mom" is:
How do you respond when people ask you what you do? 

I definitely need a better response.

And a note to all of you just moms: You are beautiful. You are smart. You are funny. Nobody on earth works harder than you. Even though much of your work goes unnoticed, you are more important than you give yourselves credit for. Keep up the great work. And while you're at it, do something nice for yourself today. You know you deserve it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Making Whoopie

My girl Em and I decided to throw a little girls' night over the weekend of the Fourth. We're in charge of our 20-year reunion, so this will likely become a tradition for the next eight or so years. Em's mom was gracious enough to host the party in their beautiful back yard. The party was complete with cafe lights strung in the trees, gorgeous flowers and paper lanterns hung from the umbrella. My contribution: the sweets. We snacked on mini cupcakes, candied popcorn, cookies and mini whoopie pies while we caught up on the happenings of the last year. 

I've adapted many of the recpies from this book to suit my needs (and my taste buds) but it's a great starting point, and offers plenty of inspiration. Speaking of, I've got a fresh batch of banana whoopies downstairs begging for some frosting. :)

{Sorry for my lack of pictures, but don't fret--I'm doing the mini whoopies for my brother's wedding next month...there'll be plenty more whoopie action to come}

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Natural Progression

{Just for the record: I scrubbed the bathroom floor that very morning. I don't condone this behavior, but you have to admit it's pretty funny.} 

Here's what happens when Brother's bath time splashes result in a huge puddle on the floor: 
The initial examination.

A little swishing.

More vigorous swishing.




Hope you had a good weekend!
Oh, and in case you missed it, there's still time to enter the amazing Perricone Giveaway.

Friday, July 9, 2010


There is nothing like being home.
I just spent ten blissful days in my hometown. Celebrating the Fourth, enjoying family time, seeing old friends and relaxing.

While it's not the house I grew up in; I feel at home in my parents' home. I leave my bed unmade, and dirty clothes on the floor. I nap on the couch, and cook in the kitchen. It's so nice to go home. To the place where I'm from. To the people who knew me when I was pigeon-toed and four-eyed.

And yet, as I returned home to California yesterday. I sat on my bed snuggling Charlotte, while I gazed out the window into the canyon behind our home. It was at that moment I took a deep breath, truly relaxed and realized I am home. There is nowhere I feel more myself, more confident, more comfortable than right here.

I don't know exactly where I'm going with this (is it obvious?) but the word Home is possibly one of the most important words in my vocabulary. So much more than a physical location, to me home is a feeling. An emotion. The people I love. The opportunity to be completely myself--to sing out of tune, cry, dance, play, and let a curse word (or two) slip--all without being judged.

I guess what I'm saying is it was great to go home for a visit; and now it's great to be back home again. So thank you to all the people in my different "homes." I love you all dearly. You are the definition of the word home to me.

P.S. These pictures have absolutely nothing to do with my rambling thoughts. Just a picture of H from our barbecue up the canyon; and Little C's "official" 8 month photo. More from our trip and other fun stuff later.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Giveaway: Perricone Advanced Eye Area Therapy

Thirty is creeping up on me faster that I want to admit. I've always taken good care of my skin; but now it's time to get serious. Every time I go home, I "borrow" my mom's NVPerriconeMD products. Needless to say, I've become a loyal fan. I'm a sucker for the sleek brown bottles; and the miracle inside is infinitely better. Really, who doesn't like firm, young, healthy looking skin?

If you're a Perricone fan, consider today your lucky day. If you've never tried it...prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. My friends at Perricone are offering one lucky reader a chance to win NV Perricone Advanced Eye Area Therapy. That's a $95 value, folks.

Here's how you enter:
1. Simply leave a comment here telling me why you want (or need!) Advanced Eye Are Therapy.

2. For an additional entry, follow my blog and leave a separate comment stating that you're a follower.

3. For yet another entry just tweet, blog, or facebook about the giveaway and leave another comment here with a link to your post.

Now the fine print:
  • The giveaway will close on Thursday, July 15 at 11 pm PST. And the winner will be announced on Friday morning.
  • This giveaway is only open to residents of U.S. and Canada (sorry, international readers...I still love you).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Party Banner

If you remember last month, I mentioned a Fourth of July project I was working on. I made these huge Celebrate banners for a window display. The main challenge was coming up with something that wouldn't fade in the sun. I printed a pattern on white card stock; because the ink won't fade as badly as will plain colored card stock. And for that same reason, I covered the letters in they'll stay shiny and new-looking the entire time.

I know party banners of this sort are a dime a dozen. And they're pretty self-explanatory; but I also used this project as my newsletter article for the month, so I may as well get a blog post out of it. (I think I forgot to mention that I write for a local mother's club newsletter?)

Heres's a rough list of supplies:
(Note: quantities for this project will vary depending on the size and number of letters in your particular banner).
  • Patterned paper
  • Plain card stock, or printer paper
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Mod Podge (or another spreadable adhesive)
  • Foam brush
  • Spray glue
  • Brads, ribbon, eyelets (or any other type of fasteners)

Let's get started:
1. Decide on what you want your banner to say. Mine says a generic, "Celebrate." Anything works...names, holiday phrases; or the ever-popular "Happy Birthday."
2. Cut out the letters used to spell your phrase. (I used my Cricut). You can also use a stencil, or just print them out and cut around them.
3. Cut circles out of the patterned paper large enough to go around your letters. You can trace around a cereal bowl, a glass, or use a circle cutter, punch, etc.
4. If you're using glitter: Using your foam brush, coat each letter with Mod Podge, then cover with glitter. Shake off the excess glitter and allow to dry completely.
5. Use spray glue to adhere each letter to a circle.
6. Fasten the circles to each other using brads, ribbon, eyelets, etc.
7. Hang up your new banner and let the party begin.

A few helpful hints:
  • I keep a roll of plastic table covering on hand for parties. It also works as a perfect floor covering when working with glitter and spray adhesive. I rolled out two sections: the first one for the glittering/gluing process; and the second to keep the finished letters clean while drying.
  • If you're using glitter: definitely use a heavier paper for the lettering. It will stand up better to the moisture in the glue.
  • If you use Mod Podge as a base for the glitter, try to brush it on as evenly as possible. If there are huge ridges, the letters will look a bit wonky.
  • Get creative. Use a combination of different patterned papers, or different fonts for the letters. Anything goes.
Happy July, folks! Now get out there and party.