Monday, July 23, 2012

The funny mind of a toddler

I love watching the mind of a toddler. Specifically  my 21 month old.  This is a recent picture of Charlie painting at the sitter's house. The masterpiece is now framed in the kitchen. But that's not the point of this post. I wanted to capture and share a very common conversation that occurs in our house AT LEAST daily...

This pretty much started a few months ago when we decided we were scared of all things that sound like a lawn mower. That currently includes the hair dryer, vacuum, lawn mower, and weed whacker. We are making progress. We aren't deathly afraid of the vacuum or hair dryer anymore but we still call them momos. And strangely enough the blender and food processors don't scare him.

Charlie (brows furrowed in question): "Momos?"

Me: "no silly, there's no lawn mowers! They went night night."

Charlie (grinning and shaking his head): "no momos. Wewa?"

Me: "no silly goose, there's no weed whackers!"

Charlie (grinning and shaking his head): "no wewas. Bow-er?"

Me: "no there's no blowers."

Charlie (shaking his head): "no momos, no wewas, no bow-ers. Night night momos. night night wewas. night night bow-er. Bye Bye momos."

We also like to go say "night night" or "bye bye" to the momos (in the shed or in the closet where the vacuum is kept) on a regular basis. In fact, as I sit here typing, I can hear Charlie having this conversation on the bed by himself. I think a motorcycle or plane went by and the sound triggered the idea.

So funny how a little mind works.

And not to be left out, here's a picture of Cole (also painting...ok and maybe sampling the paint as an appetizer):

Friday, July 20, 2012

I love all things fabric (take 2 boys and girls)

This is part 2 of my fabric sourcing spree this week. This one is dedicated to all you mommies trying to find an idea for your nursery or kid's bedroom. It's more specific for the girls but only because I ran out of time. I hope it will show you how not everything has to be traditional colors.

Let's start with the boys...

As you know from my boy's room, I don't tend to flock to the traditional or themed rooms. And my friend, Melissa, bucked tradition as well (you can see her room here). And there are other examples here.



bed skirt

So when I found this fabric I just had to take a snapshot. How cute would this be for a nursery and boy's room!? The colors are perfect and you could do so many things with it in terms of pallet. I just absolutely love it. I've already designed 4 rooms in my head just from this one fabric.

Now to the girls...

Option #1 started with this adorable pattern. So cute for had so many fun colors. Picture the walls a pretty mint green (light - maybe 4 shades lighter than the tree trunk) then pops of pinks and purples in the room. Adorable.

Option #2 has a mixture of fabric that could all started with this adorable doggie fabric. I incorporated some other fun fabrics with similar color schemes to have lots of fun color and texture. I would suggest the walls in a soft blue color. I know, against the typical girly color scheme with blue walls but it would balance out the pinks and greens in the fabric.

Option #3 is similar in color scheme as Option #2 but with a different fabric and a different wall color. Picture a fun light green wall with this set.

Option #4 and another one of my favorites stems from this fun owl fabric.

Seriously, how cute are those little guys? And they'd look so good with these fabrics mixed in the room...

In fact, if you go back through the girl options, you'll see that some of the fabrics would work with any of the options. Maybe my subconscious was trying to tell me something.

As you can tell, I ran out of time in coordinating the boy's rooms. Maybe I'll have to make another trip for a post about those.

If you happen to be having a baby and want to veer off the beaten path when it comes to color choices but don't know where to start - let me know! I would love to develop some ideas for you to consider.

Anyone else created a kid's room that's unique?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I love all things fabric

Yesterday I was meeting a friend for dinner at 6:30p but I had the itch to get out of the house and be inspired. What better way than to go to the fabric store? Isn't that what most people do or is that only reserved for weird people like me? 

I love going and looking at fabric AKA Fabric Sourcing. It is often the starting point for my design ideas and color schemes. It also inspires me and helps me think outside the box. I'm hoping for a new project soon that will help our church re-fresh the foyers and bathrooms,  so I wanted to get some color ideas that coordinated with what I know we can't change (like teal carpets). I did find some ideas but of course as I'm walking around I can't help but be inspired by so many other fabrics. I thought I'd share some of my favorites. This is going to be a two part post because I found too much for just one. I know that shocks you.

Let's start with Master Bedroom ideas. Specifically I was considering what fabric I could use for a headboard I have in storage. It will need to be recovered but I'm not going to tackle it until we save for a king size mattress. Who knows when that will be. So in the meantime, I like to dream of options. I know orange will need to be a part of the scheme since I seem to always gravitate to that color.

And of course, I found other fabric that I thought was pretty (if only it were in my color scheme). Like these blues and purples accented and grounded by white. These three would make a beautiful, tranquil bedroom color pallet.

bottom fabric: Duralee, Style: Pavo Peacock,  Color# 23,  Price $27/yd

Here's a better close-up of the middle fabric.

middle fabric from above: Duralee, Style: Westminster,  Color: Aquadisioc,  Price $26/yd

Then there was this fabric that I loved the funky colors along with the pattern. I could see this on a headboard or used as curtains. Picture the walls in a pretty taupe color and the bed with bright pillows in teals and limey-yellow. Put a white duvet cover on with a chocolate brown blanket at the bottom and viola - a bright but not too bright bedroom.

Covington, Style: Savannah Peppletex, Color: Surf, Price $16/yd

I LOVED this paisley pattern. It had so many fun bright colors to choose from. You could use it for curtains without color overwhelming the space and your bedding could be any combination of the colors in the pattern. Use a white duvet and have tons of colorful pillows and accents around the room. A pretty light grey on the walls would help everything pop. It would even look cute in a Tween's room or a kid's room. The colors are such that you could pull blues, reds and oranges if it were a boy's room or pinks, greens and raspberry if it were a girl's room.

B. Cheek Inc., Style: Taj , Color #01,  Price $27/yd

Then there were the more traditional patterns and color schemes I always like seeing. Maybe it's because I grew up with blues since my mom and grandmother love the color. This trio would work well together in any combination. The top could be the headboard, the middle could be the curtains and the bottom could be pillows. I also loved the blue/green floral print that could also work in this scheme for curtains or a headboard. I like the idea of mixing traditional with more modern fabrics. Keeps it interesting.

P/K Lifestyles, Style: Ara or Ava (?), Color: Luna, Price $27/yd

 I took a picture of this fabric because it would actually match what I have least I thought. Now that I see it again, I think the colors are right but the pattern just doesn't really flow with the spread I have. I'm starting to think the spread I "had to have" or thought I loved, while I still really like it, isn't as easy to coordinate as I thought it would be.

Robert Allen Home, Style: Vintage Blossom, Color: Citrine; Price $20/yd

I just liked the pattern of this fabric. It's simple yet interesting so it would make fun pillows.

 Now we get to my final two for bedrooms and my favorites. I've mentioned before that I'd like to incorporate more blues into the oranges I have throughout my house. This fabric showed just how pretty they are together. Could totally see this incorporated somewhere in my house when I start to make those changes. (maybe next house...)

Then there was this little gem. I had to restrain myself from buying a few yards of it...who am I kidding, the bolt. I LOVE the oranges but then it also has the grey to help tone it down. It's hard to see in this horrible shot but there is also yellow, dark grey, light ocean blue (like above) to go along with the grey and orange. I see this as a headboard option or maybe even fun curtains. I'm picturing this with a grey neutral wall.  Maybe they will still have it when the time comes for me to make a bed change.

How about you? Does anyone else use fabric for inspiration? Know of any fabric stores that I MUST see?

All of the above fabric was found at Forest Lake Fabrics here in Columbia. I've tried to list the information under each one in case you like something in particular for your own home. I ran out of time so not all are covered. I was literally getting kicked out of the store!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I could eat this pasta every day...

I'm not joking. I could eat this pasta, specifically the sauce, every day. And it's healthy! This recipe is from the July 2012 Southern Living magazine. My parents made it for us when we were there not long ago and honestly, if I looked at the recipe, I wouldn't have probably tried it. When you read the original recipe, it looks a little complicated and when it's veggie based, I tend to shy away. I know, shame on me. But this is DELISH and not that hard to make. The sauce is similar to a creamy white sauce (think fettuccine) but without all the cream, oils and fat. I've made a few modifications from the original recipe for taste and simplicity (and mine wasn't this pretty in the bowl).  Give yourself an hour to make it the first time but it really doesn't take that much time. Once you make it you will be able to do a few parts simultaneously which will make it go faster. If you read through my recipe, you'll see where I've tried to show you when to do things at the same time. And how great is it to get these veggies in your kids without them knowing the sauce is veggie based!?

Summer Pasta
Makes 4-6 servings

2 medium yellow squash
2 medium zucchini
2 medium carrots (or 5-6 baby carrots)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup vegetable broth
4 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
4 oz prosciutto, torn in to strips
1 to 1 1/2 packages of spaghetti, pappardelle, angel hair or fettuccine noodles (whole wheat is best)
1 Tbsp butter
3 green onions, chopped
4 oz mascarpone cheese (easily found in most grocers speciality cheese section)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  1. Cut 1 squash, 1 zucchini and 1 carrot into 1/4 inch thick slices (do not need to peel). Place in dutch oven or large skillet (with lid). Add the small chopped onion, minced garlic, 1/2 cup vegetable broth, 3 Tbs olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt.
  2. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 20-30 minutes or until the veggies are very tender.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup basil and 1/4 cup of remaining broth. Transfer to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  4. While the mixture is cooling, saute the prosciutto in a lightly greased pan over medium heat until browned and crispy.
  5. Cook the pasta as directed on the box (boiling water, salt, yada, yada, yada)
  6. While pasta is cooking, place the veggie mixture in a sauce pan and add the 4 oz of mascarpone cheese and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Cook on low-medium heat until cheeses are melted and well blended. You can use some of the pasta water to thin the sauce if desired.
  7. Also while pasta is cooking,  cut remaining squash, zucchini and carrots into very thin ribbon like strips (you can use a mandolin or Y-shaped vegetable peeler or if you don't have one, like me, just use your knife). Melt butter with 1 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add vegetable ribbons, green onions and 1/2 tsp salt. Saute 5 min or just until tender.
  8. Drain pasta and pour the sauce over top. Toss until well coated.
  9. When plating, top pasta with vegetable ribbons, prosciutto and a little Parmesan cheese. Can also add a little extra basil for color.

So good! Let me know what you think once you make it. You could also put other steamed veggies over the pasta instead of the squash, zucchini and carrots.

Bon Apetit! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Buying market...I hope

I don't know what it is but apparently I have the selling bug. No, it's not a nasty virus. I think after cleaning out all the closets, drawers, nooks and crannies of our house (in this and this post), I feel the need to pair down those items we don't use or don't need to keep.

I'm trying to figure out how to sell some porcelain china that has been passed down to me from my great-grandmother. It's hand painted in Japan and is the Chinese Rose Medallion motif. It's cute but not my colors or style.

I have 15 of these little salad plates plus -
  • 16 dinner plates
  • 12 tea cups
  • 17 saucers
  • small platter
  • medium platter
  • tea kettle
  • creamer
  • sugar
  • container for mustard or tea bags (not sure?)
  • 2 vases
  • 2 serving bowls with lids and
  • 1 large bowl/platter but it has been cracked
So you can see why I have the need to sell - it takes up a lot of room! The bottom of them all have this:

So from what I gathered in my research, they aren't the antique kind which drives down the value. But even still, I don't even know where to start in selling these. I decided I'd Google dealers and appraisers in Columbia. I finally reached someone and he said he'd help me but when I drove out there, I couldn't find the place. Literally all I found was a gas station. Unfortunately, all the other places didn't answer the phone. So back to the Internet. I found this site which allows you to upload photographs and descriptions of your items and pay a small fee to have them appraised. I just sent off all these pictures and hope I can get an idea of what and how to sell them. I'll keep you posted.

As if this undertaking wasn't enough, we also decided to list our house again. Yep, you read that right, we decided to try and sell our house again. We had it on the market last year but we got no hits. I've since learned that the market in our area has improved in the last 6 months, albeit not great. Since everything was recently cleaned and organized, we didn't really have to do anything to get the house ready so we figured what the heck! More on that to come as well.

Next on the list - a yard sale. Our attic is so packed full of "stuff" that we really need to sell a huge majority of it. I need to set a date so it motivates me to set up the advertising and organize it all. Maybe in the meantime, let's hope the china and house sells!

So anyone have any tips or suggestions on how or where to sell china?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Mission: Organization (part deux)

Remember from this post that I decided it was high time to re-organize our closets, drawers and baskets? Living in a small house with this many dependent life forms, you really have to stay on top of the clutter or it will take over.

I spent the better part of the Sunday after vacation and all of July 4th working on it. Keep in mind I had already tackled the boy's room. Here are a few before shots.

Under the bathroom sink...can you find anything? Yeah, me either.
Bathroom shelves/baskets...and these are open so they just looked sloppy.

Linen some point we just starting piling.

Office/Guest closet...and again we piled. With the exception of the top of the closet that stayed neat.

I started with the two worst offenders and the biggest challenges - the linen closet and the office/guest closet. I just started looking for a dresser to add to the boy's room in place of a small table they had. I knew I would need the extra storage for clothes once winter hit. It occurred to me that the dresser in the closet, which was one I had growing up, would probably fit between the cribs. Sure enough it worked. Score.

While that cleared out the closet it also left me with a lot less shelves/storage in that closet. I pulled out everything in both big closets and slowly started putting it back. At one point Daniel said he would just rather throw it all away because it was so intimidating. But as he says I "worked my magic". Alot of things just needed to be thrown out or be put in a yard sale pile.

I also cleaned out from under the bathroom cabinet, bathroom baskets/shelves, armoire in living room, two side tables and my bedside table drawers. Here are some lovely after shots...

Under the bathroom sink.

I used my trusty label maker to label all the containers for our medicines.

The linen closet which is now also a storage place for some of our files.

The office/guest closet. It doesn't look as neat but that's because some gifts are stacked on top of a few things along with some project bags that I'm working on currently.

In that same closet I used the extra clothing rod to hang our extra bags. It gets them off the floor and easily accessible.

Look at a before and after...

So much better, right? It seems so much more peaceful in our home when things are organized. Or maybe that's just my weirdness. Either way, it made me much happier! We have extra drawers available in a few spots and a huge pile of yard sale items. Well all this prompted us to take another leap (again). More on that later. Thanks for all the suggestions in organizing. I definitely find that storage containers and baskets are my best friends in this type of situation.

Any creative organizing going on in your home?