Friday, February 25, 2011

Mixin' It Up (in the family room)

So I fell in love with a rug.  It's beautiful, plush, big, and a lot less money than you'd expect for something 8'x11'.  I planned a whole room around it, too.  Picked out paint, planned to swap out the current window panels for my summer ones, new art, new accent colors, new pillow covers to sew, new wall treatment, everything.  It was going to be grand. 

I explained the whole thing to J.  Many times over the last few weeks, in fact.  I always got a "Mmm..." type response, so during our weekly 'Relationship Inventory', I honed in on him.  It was committment time.  He listened this time.  And then said "No."  So vexing.  He pointed out the cost--I explained why it was actually saving us money (he went to sleep still laughing about that one).  I explained that "This is what I do, though" and he countered with 'you already did this a year and half ago'.  He pointed out that we already have a rug and it isn't all thrashed; I pointed out that, actually, it's damaged in a few spots; he pointed out that, actually, you can't see the spots from the surface.  I told him I just 'didn't feel inspired by this room'; he suggested I go to a different room.

I refered to him as DC (Dream Crusher) for a few days.  It's not my fault he doesn't care if a room is inspiring or not.  He suggested maybe we 'need to get you working again.'  (He doesn't actually want me to work, he would just rather spend my 'need for inspiration' on someone else's home).  I kind of heaved a lot of heavy, dramatic sighs that night.  Designers and finance guys don't always see eye to eye.

But designers are tough people.  As Karla Nielson, my favorite BYU teacher would say "Designers are problem solvers."  I don't know how you deal with problems.  Everyone has their own way.  Some crazy people go running to soothe themselves, some eat, some do yoga.  Me?  I rotate artwork and rearrange furniture, redo my mantel and re-accessorize. 

My spirit wouldn't be crushed for long, and in an act of...defiance?...I dug through my stores of decor-in-waiting.  I grabbed some nails and a hammer, and raided my closets for forgotten pretties.  That's right, just try and stop me from hanging the maps we got on our cruise 4 1/2 years ago and moving the little apothecary to the mantel and putting those little 'useless' ceramic balls front and center.  Oh, I don't stop there!  I will go to Home Depot for a dowel to hang that linen towel on the wall, and plate hangers to mount those beauties I found at that boutique in Kansas over Christmas! (We've moved onto the kitchen now).  No, don't bother asking me why, oh, why I keep putting things above our cabinets.

What a rush.  When I finally put the hammer and the candles down and took a deep breath, I felt happy.  It looked good, maybe even a teensy bit inspiring. And J came home and loved it.  A win-win.   And I didn't spend a dime.  Well, any  additional dimes anyway. 

{Framed maps that I bought for a few dollars in two of the ports on our cruise)

{Pillows that I re-covered with cloth napkins I found for $1}

{Garden decor I found at the end of the season for $7}

{A Christmas present that one of my (incredibly talented) best friends made me}

{Most of the books were bought for 50 cents at Goodwill}

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

If I May...

If I may put in a little plug ...announcing "Life is so Delicious" Etsy style!  I've opened up at teensy little Etsy shop, and I'm kind of excited about it.  So, I'd love for you to take a minute, check it out, tell me what you think.

And to celebrate, I'm offering sets of my Personalized Notecards for only $12 (reg $18). (sale ends Friday).  Or, use coupon code DELISH for 15% off anything in my shop! (coupon ends 2/28)

Have a delicious day!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crazy Hair Day

So last Friday was Crazy Hair Day at school.  Unfortunately, I forgot until we walked onto the school grounds and saw all the green, blue, and red hair all around me.  I dragged the littles back home to grab a brush, some hair elastics and blue hair spray and headed back to call Girlie out of class.  Sometimes you just have to interrupt education for the greater good.  We crazied up her hair and both felt much better about the day.   It actually looked really, really cute.  This picture was taken after a whole day of playing, so it just looks crazy-crazy and not Crazy Hair crazy.  But, it was inspiration for the evening's "Family Crazy Hair Night".

Apparently, Crazy Hair Night meant that you must make the rest of you look crazy also.

More crazies.

We had a pizza party and played Xbox Kinect all night--River Rush and dance battles.  Somehow Sammy beat Daddy and Girlie out-boogied Mommy.  Guess we're just not very good dancers. :)  Even Little Buddy got into it, and it was hilarious to see his little body jumping up and down like Gumby.

You can't tell, but the boys both had faux-hawks that we're sprayed with some ineffective blue hair coloring.

Even the wee one got in on the crazy action.  Her first product. :)

No, I didn't do my hair.  I totally should have, but by the time I'd gotten through all that crazy was time to make pizza.  And J...well...I guess I could have spray painted his scalp...

Fun, fun, fun crazy night.  Did I mention I'm crazy about these crazy kids?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's Okay

I love life.  I feel blessed to have wonderful friends and family, and I truly enjoy my day to day.  I'm a happy person, love to laugh, and think quite a few things are really funny.

But not every day.

There are days that are hard, some really hard, and I think that it's important to accept that.  To know that it's okay to not be happy all the time.  Sadness, disappointment, and frustration are part of life too.  I sometimes think that, especially as women, we feel like we're supposed to be happy and perfect all the time.  Like life should be, or appear, full of white picket fences and flower arranging.  Well, it's not.  

I think it's important to know that everyone, whether they admit it or not, has events or periods of life where they want to throw themselves to the floor and yell "Too hard!  Too hard!"  We all have times (hours, days, years) that we just don't know how we're going to do it, and how we could possibly go on.  But we do go on, putting one foot in front of the other, because that's the only choice.  And eventually it passes, things improve, and hopefully we even learn a lesson or two.  Maybe we even look back and laugh.

My muddled point here is that it's okay.  It's okay to have the 'dark chocolate' parts of life, not just the sunshiny vanilla.  We learn to appreciate the highs and lows, to have empathy for others, and to grow--sometimes painfully--into the amazing, capable person we can be (whether we know it or not).

So, give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel.  And know that it's okay.  And then, when you're ready, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and take life by the horns.  You're awesome and strong, and you can do it. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day of Love

Me:  Hey, love, we're going to trade babysitting with our friends so we can each go out for Valentine's Day.  When should we go out?  Maybe Saturday?

J:  Sure.
{End of Valentine's conversation}

Me:  Babe, if we plan on celebrating Valentine's Day this year, we should probably decide what we want to do.

J:  Didn't we already have a plan?  Let's do that.

Valentine's Day went a little differently 10 years ago. ;)

So, I've made a little tradition of making this yummy treat for a teacher gift on Valentine's Day.  It's super easy, cute, and delicious.  You need:

Big marshmallows  (if you can find the pink ones, they are so cute)
Lollipop sticks
White or semi-sweet chocolate (the white chocolate ones are pictured at the very top)
Red food coloring
Canisters of play dough

1-Melt chocolate, as directed on package. Pour in small bowl.  Mix in red food coloring to make desired pink hue.

2-Stick marshmallows on lollipop sticks.  Dip in melted chocolate, roll to coat. 

3-Sprinkle colored sugar or sprinkles onto the chocolate while still warm.

4-Stick in play dough until hardened.

5-Try to give them away before you eat them all.


Then, with all the leftover lollipop sticks, make some of these:

Rice krispie treats!!  I have a heart shaped pan for these, but you could easily form the rice krispie 'mix' into a heart shape with a cookie cutter and then insert a lollipop stick.

Pipe on some pink frosting (click here for my favorite cream cheese frosting), toss on some Valentine's m&ms and VOILA!  These were for a class party, so I saran wrapped them and  finished them with a little curling ribbon.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I {heart} the Dentist

Part of me dreads taking my kids to the dentist.  It's like some parenting tribunal.  Somehow your kids' oral hygiene translates into the quality of love and parenting with which you provide your offspring. The dentist looks deep into your eyes, "And do they floss...every day?"  Of course you'd love to respond that you brush, lovingly floss and flouridate each one of their chompers morning and night.  The truth is that, just maybe, occasionally, you yell up the stairs for them to get ready for bed and hope for the best, just sometimes.  I've heard.  After a bit, the hygenists call you to the back and the dentist pokes around in their mouths murmuring about tooth numbers and millimeters. "Mmm-hmm.  Mmm-hmm.  Hmmm."  Was that a good mmm-hmm?  There's a fair bit of pressure.

However, aside from all that, I love taking my kids to the dentist.  I kid you not, we have the best pediatric dentist.  My little circus and I show up at the office, which looks like a really expensive hotel lobby.  Ellen, the receptionist, greets us serenely and offers us drinks--small bottles of water for the kids, coffee, tea, or bottles of chilled Perrier for the grown ups.  I sit, the kids play in the corner with big blocks.  Smiling, well-groomed hygenists float out (a little Stepford Wife-ish) to explain what the visit holds and take the kids (also smiling and holding hands) to the back.  I sit with Sweetie, sipping water and skimming through People and Martha Stewart Living, texting my sisters, kissing my baby. 

Then comes the nerve racking part (re-read the first paragraph).

Then my kids take off their sunglasses, get their token for the toy tower, pick out stickers to put in the 'treat bags' that the hygenists have hand decorated and colored for each child (Buddy's was Elmo, above).  They give Sweetie a little pink toothbrush for her cute gums, rave about what lovely children I have, give us huge smiles and thank us for coming.  Then small woodland creatures walk us to our van.

To be honest, it's a little surreal.  But that, friends, is why I love going to the dentist.

PS:  No cavities.  I think that means I passed. :)