Monday, January 30, 2012

Design Dilemma: Mismatched dining chairs...LOVE it!

from Coastal Living

I have had a dining table that I absolutely love sitting in my dining room for six years.  It is sitting on a rug that I coveted for over a year and a half.  The drapes on the windows are exactly what I wanted.  And everything is sitting in a room painted "Flint Smoke"- the perfect shade of blue gray.  There is just one problem- we don't ever use the dining room... because... we have no dining chairs.

It has become a joke at this point.  I have been searching six years for the right chairs, and I only just now realized that I am not going to find what I am looking for. Why?...because I don't want the expected.  I want the unusual, the striking, the one of a kind.  I want a room that has something to talk about everywhere you look.

I think I was waiting for the go ahead from my fabulous husband.  With his help...and blessing...I am going on a search for a set of mismatched chairs.  I love the look and I can't wait to bring it to life in my own house.  Here are some of the pictures that are inspiring me on this quest for the perfect dining chairs:

I can't wait to see how this turns out.  Maybe I will throw a dinner party to celebrate being able to throw a dinner party : )

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Friday, January 27, 2012

The Friday Five

There will be weeks where you may not feel may even be difficult to think of one thing that has brightened your day.  Those are the weeks, that it is very important for you to see the  highlights-  the small things that can lift you out of your funk.  

Keep your eyes open...the happy times will find you even if you don't feel like looking.

So, here are my five from a very tough week... 

 Looking for...and finding a four leaf clover.

Being sick has allowed me to do something I have not been able to do in a book... all the way through... practically in one sitting.

 Painting tiny little fingernails...

 Black and white drizzled kettle corn...delish!

 Dried blooms from my mom's hydrangea bush...

I hope your week has been filled with tiny highlights that are brighter than they first appear : )

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Words to live by...

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt is responsible for some of my favorite quotes,
but by far this is my favorite.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Make a friend of the dollar bin...

I love to give flowers in the winter. 

Sometimes, I will already know one part of a gift, such as flowers, but I want to make it more interesting and substantial.  You can do this without hurting your pocketbook, by keeping your eyes out for some good deals in the dollar bin. 

I found some great things in the dollar bins at Michael's. 

I loved these reusable bags.  They actually set the theme for the whole gift.

 I also found these hand-held garden tools.

 ...and these chalkboard plant markers that included the chalk.

 You may have to be willing to make what you are looking for, when you can't find it.  I wanted matching garden journals.  I found these stickers that match the bags, but I needed journals to put them on.  After digging a little deeper, I found these yellow striped journals discounted to $1.50 because they were out of season. 

I simply cut the stickers, and placed them on the journals so that they would cover the sand dollar. 

I also bought herb seed packets and a bag of wildflower seeds from other dollar bins.

Add the dollar bin items in with some other items you wanted to invest a little more in...

 ...such as herb pots, an aspirator, garden gloves...

...and what ever fresh cut flowers are in season.

Strategically place your items in the bags...

 ...and now you have a gift that looks like you just came from a flower market.

Who wouldn't want a little bit of Spring in the middle of winter?  

Now which ever garden lover you give this to will have a bit of Spring at three different times- fresh cut flowers while their indoor herb garden is growing and then wildflowers blooming in the Spring.

After everything is said and done, $7 of dollar bin items pulled together the whole gift.  So much better than just flowers.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Temporary Tragedy: 3 year old becomes her own hair stylist

 I want to pass on a cautionary tale that a lot of moms can relate to...I hope. 

Today...I was a flurry of activity.  I had sooooo much to do.  It was very necessary that I get these important things done.  So, I thought it was a good idea to distract my three year old with a cartoon, while I responded to some emails and returned some phone calls.  I turned on the tv, and got going.  
While I was on the phone with my sister, I looked back and saw Isabella holding a handful of hair straight up and was gone.  I went into crazy mom mode "Isabella, what are you doing baby?!!!!!!"  

I ran around the couch and saw this-

This was my first indication that the "snip" I had seen was not the only one.  My first look at her brought me to my knees and I began to cry. 

I really don't think that this picture tells the full story.  Let's look at it from the side...

...and maybe from the other side.

Let me go ahead and say that all of this damage was done with a pair of Crayola "kid-friendly" scissors.  Had I known that my child was such a fan of the mullet, I would have sat down with her and had a serious conversation.

I can't really explain why this "mistake" hit me so hard besides the fact that moms tend to see their little girl's hair as stages.  There is the small bow and baby headband stage when there is no hair.  There is the small clip stage when they start to grow a little hair.  There are also the big clip, headband, big bow, pigtails, pony tail and braid stages to look forward to.  With each stage the possibilities expand and you feel a little more freedom with making hair decisions.  

Needless to say, when someone says to you "It's only hair!".  Don't let them shame your absolute horror and distraught reaction to your child butchering their hair.  Go ahead and cry...for a long time if you really want : ) but remember there is a light at the end of the edward scissorhands tunnel.

I mean long can you stay mad ?

Maybe long enough, that your child will have to learn how to tear or gnaw through everything in life.  There will be no future for scissors in this house. : )

Monday, January 16, 2012

There'll be blue birds over...the White Cliffs of Dover...

On our way back to London, from the Cotswolds, we stopped in Dover.  We had been told by several people that Dover  had turned into a shipping town, and that it wasn't really worth going to see.

I wanted to go anyway- my grandfather had spoken of the cliffs when he was telling me stories about the war.

So, we drove...

and we drove...

until we began to see water...

We parked in a small gravel parking lot and walked down a green, grassy hill...

...and this is what we saw.  Okay, so maybe Dover is a shipping town after all.

So I looked to my right...

...and then, to my left.

And, we decided to walk.  Walking along the white, chalky path...

...we came upon Dover Castle.  Not in all of my time hearing of "the" White Cliffs of Dover has anyone said "Hey, did you know there is a fully functioning Norman castle on those white cliffs?".  Needless to say, I felt like I had discovered something special.

As we walked towards the castle...I realized that it is hard to say you discovered something when everyone else seems to know about it : (
So, we turned around and walked back in the opposite direction.

Along the way, we saw all kinds of beautiful plants and flowers.

 My favorites were the thistles.

We walked along this path, in and out of living, green tunnels...

Until we rounded a bend and saw this-

It truly was beautiful.  And peaceful.  It may have been the stormy sky... the light breeze... the absolute silence disrupted only by the wind blowing through the trees.  

  It was undisturbed...and lovely.

We continued to walk, until we finally came upon...

the mysterious White Cliffs of Dover.

As we stood there, the sky cleared and the sun shone down on the cliffs...

...and then, just as quickly, it hid behind the clouds again, and the cliffs darkened.

The sky continued to get darker...

But it never rained. The sun followed us back, peaking through the clouds the whole time.

Even though we did not get to see the cliffs as they should be seen (from the middle of the English Channel), we did get to see the view from the cliffs.  Dover was definitely worth the drive.

Anyway, driving in England was one of our favorite things to do : )