Thursday, October 27, 2011

25 things you don't know about me

So they say it's my birthday, and in celebration of the fact that I am a year older, here are some things you probably didn't know about me.  I can do that since this is my blog and all.

1. Most of the time I listen to 'Frank Sinatra Radio' on Pandora, but sometimes I jam to Beastie Boys when the kids are napping.

2. Part of my lower lip is still numb from my wisdom teeth extraction 14 years ago.

3. If I had it to do again, I'd hyphenate my last name.  Sometimes I do it for fun.

4. I love fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, fruit gushers, etc.  The more sour the better.

5. I won a medal for Latin ballroom dancing in college.

6. In middle school, I played volleyball for a year.  I was on not A, not B, but the C team.  I was that good.  I still remember the time I got the ball.  Yes, the time.

7. I have a sneaking suspicion that my left foot is slightly shorter than my right.

8. I have a bad memory, and it can usually retain only good things. 

9. I think maybe I was meant for another time--one where people wear more pearls and cheek-kiss 'hello, darling'.

10. When I was little I had bad excema and even my 'best friend' called me red fungi face.  Since then I've never really put weight into how I or anyone else really looks on the outside.  I see beauty from the inside.

11. If the scale could bear it, I'd eat cheesecake every day.

12. I've played hide and seek in the Utah governor's mansion.

13. I'm a little afraid of things that have more or fewer legs than I have.

14. I've never completely agreed with the order of the alphabet.  I've always thought Q should go later, like maybe by V or something.

15. One of my favorite all-time jokes is from my high school physics teacher "There are three kinds of people in this world--those who can count, and those who can't."

16. I have a total crush on my husband.

17. If I could pick an imaginary mode of travel, it would definitely be bouncing.

18. I sang an opera-style solo in a recital while at BYU. 

19.  When I was little, I'd go into old beautiful buildings (like our  Andrew Carnegie city library) and I'd imagine that I lived there.  I'd decide what all the rooms would be, which one would be my bedroom, etc.  I still do. :)

20. My friends are like sunshine to me.

21.  There's a part of me that wants to pack up and move to the country with big, wide open spaces.  I think someday I'll probably do it.  I know, I wouldn't have pegged me as farmer material either.

22.  I find water chestnuts very creepy.

23.  My favorite interior "look" is "things that have been salvaged from old buildings".

24.  Every day I'm grateful for something. Usually it has something to do with my kids.

25.  I can't think of a 25th (it's too early), but it seemed like an appropriately-sized list number.

Tell me something about you.  Or something you know about me. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Checking in

In the flurry of life, I've neglected posting.  But we are here, and doing well.  We've been having all kinds of fun, but as I have forgotten to document much, I'm sure the kids will all look back, see the lack of pictures, and wonder why I didn't love them enough to plan fun activities.  Halloween is a big deal around our place.  We do 'calendar', where every night they find a note in the appropriate pocket directing them to hunt for a fun game/activity/treat/craft.  We've had dance parties ('Monster Mash', anyone?), played 'Pin the Eye on the Ghost,' and today's caramel apples if we have enough time before the church trunk or treat. 

This year the kids are going to be BYU cheerleaders and football players.  I. cannot. wait.  J and I are going to dress up and be BYU fans, too.  Look at me, all catching the spirit of Halloween.  So many chances for candy, too--we've got the trunk or treat, regular trick or treating, and the Microsoft Halloween party.  For the latter, I was given strict instructions "Nice trick or treating bags (no chintzy grocery sacks), the kids need to be nice and clean (no grubby crumbs on faces), nice hair (no just-up-from-a-nap-pigtails-fell-out-and-now-I-look-like-a-mad-scientist hair, I suppose)."  Microsoft is sure picky about whom they give candy to, huh?

Fall colors have reached us in the Northwest and they are a sight to behold.  It got just hot enough at the end of summer that I didn't put up a stink when it was time for autumn.   The insanely beautiful tree colors-- vibrant oranges, deep reds--and gorgeous clothes colors--rich plums, hazelnut leather.  My kind of eye candy.  I've been loving soft cardigans and boots (J is not a fan of boots over jeans, and when I brought them home he dubbed them my "equestrian hooker boots").  I've been baking all kinds of breads and treats.  Did I mention I killed our microwave?  Four {very expensive} minutes of cooking nothing in the microwave will kill it.  You've been warned.  So, for a couple weeks I've been a total pioneer.  Heating up the stove everytime I needed something hot.  Digging out the toaster oven.  But our new microwave got here last night and so I'm hanging up my bonnet and my flint, and rejoining modern life. 

I'm experimenting with recipes for caramel apple cider, and I just found one that promises to rival Starbucks'.  I'll keep you posted.   Sweetie is now over her 'I hate chocolate' phase of life and it's been ...well, delicious.  A little too delicious, if you ask my scale.  I would say my scale is lying, but my jeans concur.  And, in the mouth of two or three witnesses...  One of my friends lost 50 lbs.  She was inspirational to me.  I don't want to lose quite 50, but, hey, we all have our own Everest, am I right?  My Everest just happens to be made out of Costco's salted caramels and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

The kids are doing fabulously well.  Girlie is lovely as ever, and is quite the little artist--just ask the  apple and pear still life she drew.  Sammy is loving kindergarten and comes home with little Spanish phrases and songs. Buddy is rocking co-op preschool, and sings the "monkeys jumping on the bed song" incessantly. Sweetie, oh, Sweetie...I cannot get enough of that girl.  Seriously, she is so amazing and delightful to me that I can hardly stand it!!!!  She toddles around chattering in the cutest voice ever, wrestles with the big kids, lets us cuddle her.  The girl is like sunshine.  I'm going to cry just thinking about her.  I realize that this makes it sound like she is my favorite, but I don't have favorites.  (But there is something to be said about the cute, tiny one that doesn't talk back...)

Enough.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween 'Vision'

Do you LOVE this eye chart?  I discovered a website ( that lets you put in whatever letters and words you want.  Really, the possibilities are endless.  I came up with this one for Halloween (I'm getting really excited) and can't wait to put it up.  So, go wild!  Check it out.  (FYI, to save the file and print, you have to right click on the finished image and save it to your computer).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Little Spooky {Halloween Mantel How-to}

Buddy has been very excited about making our house "spooky, spooky".  I thought I'd share what we did for our Halloween mantel this year. 

Left my window up.  It just makes a nice backdrop.

Added some spiderwebs.

And some tarantulas.

Placed a bunch of black candlesticks, some of which hold 'fake flame' candles.

Then I added some 'creepy cloth' that I found at Dollar Tree. It's all gauzy and holey.  Creepy indeed.

Then I added some small jack 'o lanterns, which I will rearrange in a minute.

I added a bigger pumpkin to the middle (click to enlarge), and a pack of black silhouette rats running around.

Spooky, spooky--yes?

Topped the whole thing off with some fake pumpkins that are not, for the thousandth time, balls.

The rats are attached with artists tape.  It holds well with no residue.

After I did it, Buddy said it was "too spooky, spooky" and asked me to take it down.
Happy haunting!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Style is Where You Find It

Here's our living room when we first moved in.

Most recently it looked like this...

Then after my sweet sister, Hannah helped me paint, it looks like this...

The color is Behr 'Antique Leather'

What a difference it makes!  Exact same mantel arrangement as above, totally different look.

Calming, don't you think?

I love this color, because is it warm and neutral without being boring (to me, anyway!).  J said he was (pleasantly) surprised because I usually go for more color, but maybe soothing is just what I need right now.  He bought a shirt this color for my birthday last year, and I have loved the color ever since.  You never know where you'll get inspiration!  I had a college professor that said "Style is where you find it--at a thrift store, an antique find, or an expensive furniture store." 

Once I found a gorgeous 'pineapple' design accent table for a client.  The table was perfect for her entry way.  It was well made, but by a 'value' furniture store.  It took her months to even bother looking at it, because she didn't want to buy something from that store.  When she finally did, she loved it and it looked stunning in her entry with a custom floral arrangement I made her. 

So look around, and find something that inspires you.  It might be something in nature or in your closet or your best friend's dessert plates that inspire a whole room.  Style is where you find it.