Sunday, December 12, 2010

I go loco for MAD MEN!!!

Hee hee ha ha. I "MadMen'ed Myself". How could I not? It could easily be my favorite TV show of all time. Don Draper is certainly my favorite character of all time. I mean, really, what's not to love?

Jon Hamm

Choosing my background scene was the hardest part. But I thought of Don and then it became an easy choice.... I tried to make myself look as "Betty Draper" as possible (although I am much more bootylicious than Betty)....

What do you think?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I heart WINTER & Dante Terzigni

I am a PINTEREST addict. I admit it. But I thank GOD for that site because it's where I keep track of random things I come across online that I want to save for later. Anyway, I came across this winter scene on someone's site a few months ago and I had tagged it to one of my Pinterest boards. It caught my eye again today so I decided to look up the artist, etc. Well, now I know all about Dante illustrator and designer who is based in Cleveland, Ohio. So I peeked through his gallery and shop and found that I like a lot of his work. Some of it I've shared below....

christmas tree

The winter illustration that originally caught my eye. Would make a great holiday card!


This one is called "Vacation Blues". It speaks to me because, when I was young, I always cried when one of our family vacations ended and we had to go home again.

Home Sweet Home 8"x10"

"Home Sweet Home". I like this one.

Sushi 7.5"x20"

I don't eat sushi but I love the graphics of this illustration. It would look great framed in a kitchen...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yes, I'm still here. Wanting to blog but not really having anything to say. I don't like that feeling although I know a lot of bloggers feel that way from time to time. I haven't had a good month. It's been one of the hardest months on record (EVER!) for me. And to be honest, I am really, really down. I know that time will make me feel better so I'm doing my best to soak up the life that I have even though it's not very pretty at the moment. I think that's one of those things that you learn by getting older (and surviving really awful post-partum depression). You know the difference between true depression and just a natural, healthy FUNK. Well, this is a natural healthy funk. On life's roller coaster ride, I'm on a very long uphill climb. I'm holding on tight, trying to enjoy the view as I climb and doing my best to get through each day. I know that, given time, the exhilarating downhill slide will come. Hopefully, in the meantime, I'm gaining more character and building strength. Not every day in life can be great, beautiful, fun, light, happy, warm, enveloping. I notice as I age, these down moments (which, thankfully, are quite rare) make me appreciate the good ones all the more. Even in the midst of my sadness, knowing that brings relief to my heart.

One of the things that makes me feel better is this photo. My two girls. The very human one who just happens to own my heart and the furry one who captivates my soul. I am so thankful for this photo.....

So, as I travel through this deep valley, I'll continue to latch on to those very small things (like this photo) that get me through. And I'll continue to dream about and look forward to reaching the next mountain top.

Friday, December 3, 2010

You could say that I am obsessed...

....with New York City hotels. I have this undying fascination. So I was particularly intrigued when I heard that The James New York was under construction in SOHO. It opened in September. I finally had a chance (and remembered!) to look up the website and check out the gallery. Swoon! This is definitely on my NYC Wishlist (which is quite long, thank you!)....

Below is a guest room. It's so very sexy....


A corner guest room....

The James New York Exterior Rendering

This is a shot of the urban garden up on the roof! A little zen for the city folk.

Urban Gardens

The rooftop pool. Ahem.

Guest Services

And I've saved the best for last. The exterior shot of the building.
I (heart) the architecture!!!

So the next time you see me and I'm looking a little *dreamy* and spaced out, I may very well be visiting here in my mind....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Great Quote

I came across this quote recently and have to share. Appropriate for me lately...

"We are like tea bags - we don't know our own strength until we're in hot water."
~ Sister Buche

(I miss this silly little blog and hope to return on a more regular basis once the party is over!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Breathe in, Breathe out.....

Reserved Item - Vintage Camper Birdhouse

Look what I just found on Etsy. Oh my! They're ALL sold out.....maybe you can make some more, Sweet Little Etsy Seller.....pretty please.....wrapped in beautiful paper and topped with bows and ribbons.....

I personally LOVE the lemon yellow one because that's the one I grew up with but look at these colors....

Vintage Camper Birdhouse

Some even have little custom license plates.....oh my.

Custom License Tag for  Camper Birdhouses

Images courtesy of "Strictly For The Birds" shop on Etsy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

School Application today I am completing a school application. We would like for Sophie to attend a lovely school close to our home and we're currently going through the steps of the application process. We attended the parent interview yesterday ~ check. Next step....actual paper application. Easy enough. Except for this question:


Um, come again.


Okay, so I've been mulling this one over for quite some time and I've come up with the below responses. Which do you think is best? Or maybe most appropriate?

*** Could you define discipline?
*** Discipline? What's that?
*** Would welcome your suggestions.
*** Don't you handle that at school?
*** Dad leaves it to Mom. Mom leaves it to Dad.
*** I don't understand English.
*** FEAR
*** Red Wine
*** I break a toy each time she misbehaves.
*** I am pretending like I don't see this question.

I guess I've never spent much time dwelling on my approach to discipline, or rather how to describe to someone else my approach to discipline. You see, my secret confession is that I don't really buy into all that "Time Out" silliness or "talking down to their level" business. I'm sure it works for other people (and maybe well) but it's just not my gig. I do what I do and I guess I have no idea what it's called or how to put it into words. Some days I do a good job of disciplining my daughter. Other days I am sure I fail miserably. SO, at the end of the day, all I do know is this......

I do what I have to do in order to survive each day without completely ruining my daughter. I try not to call her names. I don't tell her she's a brat or that she's acting like a baby. I try to focus on how she should be acting rather than concentrating on what she did wrong. I try to provide structure but also fun, joy, independence and creativity. I talk to her like a person. I AM NEVER CONDESCENDING. I don't use baby voices. Do I threaten? Well yes, sometimes, but any parent would be lying if they say they don't. I'm trying my best to teach her about know, "if you can't act properly in a restaurant, we won't be able to go out for breakfast", etc. I could go on and there an actual name or term for this approach to discipline?

So I'll have to keep thinking this one over and come up with a reasonable "answer" to this question. There's a lot hinging on my response after all.....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Life On The Farm

For Halloween, we decided to visit a local farm. I am BIG on farms...period. Local is even better. This particular farm has been encroached on by suburban sprawl to a ridiculous point. Still, what better place to spend an afternoon.....taking a hay ride, picking out some pumpkins and, BEST OF ALL, visiting the animals. Does Sophie get excited? Of course. Breathlessly so. But Mom might even get more excited. To say that I love animals would be the silliest understatement of the century. So I took a gazillion photos of their heavenly faces. Here are a few... Their eyes are so soulful. Really....amazing creatures.

A baby calf? Seriously, what could be sweeter than this.....?

We also had the opportunity to watch a cow being milked. That was the first time Sophie has witnessed that. I think it captured her attention. And I think it's wicked cool that she now REALLY knows where milk comes from.

I guess you could say that I really like sheep. When I went back through today's photos, they had the most pictures by far. But you can hopefully see why I couldn't stop taking shots of them....

My favorite animal of the day was probably this beast. She really took a liking to me. As I'd walk around and by her pen, she'd follow me and let out a sweet little "MOO" here and there. She was precious. Alain said she liked me because she knew I was a vegetarian (she's a beef cow). To think that someone might actually eat her one day in the future hurts my heart.

Who would eat this face? I'm just happy it's not me.

I kept trying to get a photo of these cute little turkeys (?) that were hanging out in her pen and she kept creeping into the below here....adorable!!!

Sidenote: I had to get a few shots of the McMansions that surround this farm. This is the view on all sides. I really admire the family for keeping the farm operational. Who knows what kind of offers they've received from developers! I'm going to make it a point to go there at least a few times a year to support them in my own little way.

Postscript: Being on the farm today reminded me of one of my most favorite quotes, for many reasons:

"You have to stand for something or you'll fall for anything".

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm turning into a Carnie....!!!

I am already hard at work on my next party. I am STOKED about this one. Just starting to collect all the props, paper, fabric, etc.... This party is a big one and it's only a little over three weeks away so forgive me if my presence here is a little spotty until then. Bet you can't guess the theme.....

The little birthday boy is turning one and he is SO ADORABLE!! Can't wait to share those photos...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blue Man's Exciting Day Out

Sophie and I love to go to IKEA. She loves the play room. I love the products, ideas, inspiration and reasonable prices. We love to eat lunch in the cafe. When we go there, we're happy and content for at least a good few hours. So we made an excursion to IKEA yesterday, at Soph's request. Sophie also decided to bring Blue Man along.

Background: Blue Man is a legit member of our family. I adopted (purchased) him a couple of years before Sophie was even born. My favorite color is blue and my favorite animals are elephants. I saw Blue Man lying in a basket at Anthropologie and I was smitten. Much to my surprise, when Sophie was old enough to choose a favorite "buddy" out of the hundreds she had, she chose Blue Man. I could not have been happier. Since then, he's been EVERYWHERE. All over the U.S., Canada, Europe. He's fairly adventurous.

Yesterday, Blue Man ventured with Sophie and I to IKEA. Below are some photos showing some of his adventures....

While Sophie played in the play room (Smaland), Blue Man rode quietly in the cart while I browsed around. He's such a good elephant.

Later, while Sophie and I took a potty break, Blue Man quietly sat in the infant seat....

We were so thrilled to find an elephant friend for Blue Man but, for some reason, Blue Man was intimidated....

I am pretty sure Blue Man liked the kids section best. He tried out a slide....


He pulled a "Goldilocks" and tried out some of the beds....

He was not fond of the egg chair that spins around and around. This is an "after" shot.

Soon after, he sat down to have a "tea" and recover from all the dizziness.

When we lost Blue Man for a few minutes, we discovered that someone had thrown him into a bin with a bunch of rabbits thinking he was just another animal for sale. Ahem.

He did not like that.

Soon after, we caught him sneaking a cat nap in the cafe.

The best part of all? Blue Man met some pretty cool friends, one with wicked cool socks, while we were there. They've agreed to meet up again soon for more IKEA fun....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Four Year Old Interview

Recently I came up with the idea to interview Sophie each year around the time of her birthday. One day we can look back at them but we can also give them all to her to see how her tastes, thoughts, etc changed over time. Sophie and I completed the four-year-old interview yesterday. I was amazed how my sweet girl with the teeny-tiny attention span LOVED sitting at the table answering all the questions I was throwing at her. So here are Soph's responses. My questions and comments to her are in bold. Any explanation by me is in parentheses.

What's your name?: Sophie did provide her full name (which I won't post here!)

How old are you?: Four

What's your favorite color?: Green, Blue & Pink. Plus Red, Lellow (yellow), White, Brown, Black, Grey and Purple

What's your favorite food?: Yogurt, the chocolate one. Oh, and cucumbers, mac & cheese, and the square things (ravioli)

Who is your favorite friend?: Rex and Nathan and Aadi

What is your favorite thing to play?: Choo-choo train, with friends.....and cars.

What is your favorite animal?: Ducks & Chickens & Baby Chicks

If you could hop on a plane and go anywhere in the world, where would you go?: New York City

Do you have a favorite letter?: H, because Hubbell starts with "H"

What's your favorite number?: 7

Do you like school?: Yes, I like playing on the playground.

What's your favorite book? : Curious George Any one in particular?: The one where he goes to New York City

What's your favorite word?: the jumping place

What's your favorite song?: The Puppy Song I don't know that one. How does it go?: I made it up, Mommy (she then proceeded to sing her made-up lyrics)

What's your favorite thing to do?: Jump with Mommy at the jumping place

What makes you the most happy?: when Mommy says we can go to Plaza Fiesta and the roller coaster.....I like when you ride rides with me

What would you like to be when you grow up?: A builder. What would you like to build?: A playground, a car, a boat and a truck and a house. And paint them. And plan a big party at the house. And paint lots of birdhouses.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Memories of Camp and Party Inspiration

The BIG party was yesterday and what a grand time it was! Everything went off without a hitch. The birthday boy was really happy and had a great time. My husband also overheard one of the little boys telling his mother that this was his favorite party ever. Could there be a better compliment? Some of the details and photographs are below....

One of my favorite details was the Camp Rules sign.....this was an easy and inexpensive project. I actually used an old piece of plywood that I had lying around. Since plywood is more porous than other wood, I had to prime it.....I used three coats.....then just painted with chalkboard paint. Due to shortage of time, I only used one coat of chalkboard paint but it still worked perfectly.

I think the birthday boy would say that the "Camp Wyatt" sign was his favorite detail. You should have seen his face when he saw it. It was priceless. This was also easy and inexpensive....a basic piece of foamboard with stick letters glued on. Also notice the pine cone bunting.....simple twine afixed to pine cones from my backyard.

I also made some simple stick frames from sticks and twine. Some of us had fun posing and taking photos with these.

As the main activity, we had a scavenger hunt. I created a list of nature items (sticks, rocks, feathers, acorns, etc) that the boys and girls had to find. Upon bringing me the complete list of items, each child received a "Camp Kit". Each kit contained a flashlight, handheld fan, poncho, compass, whistle and magnifying glass. This was a BIG HIT. The kids LOVED IT! I hand stamped each bag....

Personally I LOVED the kids table. I really liked camping when I was growing up and I always associate red and white checked tablecloths with camping. Since we had a tight budget for the party, I chose some cones and branches from a pine tree in our yard and used it to create centerpieces for the table. I was so happy with the end result.

One of the real highlights of the party was the S'Mores Bar. Of course. We had traditional S'Mores but we also had chocolate grahams and Reese Peanut Butter Cups on offer for a little twist. I highly recommend those....

Below is the shot of the pine trees I made from styrofoam cones and felt. They turned out pretty cute and provided a little detail on the gift table. I borrowed the moose from Sophie's collection of animals...

I think the party was memorable and magical for Wyatt. I'm very happy I could be a small part of that!!!

PS - Two great blogs provided inspiration for this party. I wanted to highlight those here!

PPS - I am always interested in creative people and where they find their inspiration. You can find inspiration in the oddest places. The stick frames and pine cone bunting were inspired by this image from a Pottery Barn Kids catalog!!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails