Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Elusive Upholstered Headboard

I've been searching for the perfect upholstered headboard in what seems like FOREVER. Then I discovered blogs and I realized that apparently I'm not the only one... upholstered headboards are IT-- quickly followed by chalkboards, nailhead trim, pretty laundry rooms, repurposed frames and burlap... who knew??!!

I even fiddled around with the idea of a DIY project-- Then I got real.  If the kids can't leave me alone even when I'm in the bathroom, how in the world would they stay out of the way when I'm armed with a staple gun? 

So I started looking... and looking... and looking.  I even have a file of images that I saved as inspiration:

via {freckles chick} - BTW, she MADE the headboard and isn't the vinyl branch wall decal gorgeous!





Well today must've been my lucky day, because I finally found and purchased an upholstered headboard that not only is everything that I was looking for, but surprisingly wasn't too hard on the pocketbook either.  Pictures to come!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Discovering San Diego

We love San Diego and are lucky enough to live just a couple hours away.  In fact, we love it so much that a few years ago we bought a condo there and we make a point of visiting every month.  The Mister and I are travel bugs by nature, but traveling afar with little kids can be ah... interesting.  Dealing with airports, adhering to nap and food schedules, staying in a one room hotel where everyone must go to bed by 8:00 PM... It's like taking the show on the road, but without the conveniences of home-- So NOT my idea of traveling! 

So when we're down in San Diego, we make a point of going on a "little adventure" every time.  We still do Legoland and The Children's Museum, but it's our little adventures that we hold near and dear.  In November, we decided to check out Ocean Beach, or "OB" as the locals call it.  It's a funky little beach town that time forgot.  The only sign of modern times is a Starbucks that somehow made its way there-- apparently with a lot of protest from the natives.  So other than Starbucks, it's pretty much an eclectic haven for beatniks, artists, surfers, activists, antiques shoppers and of course, a tourist here and there.

Veteran's Day display, OB-style

Supposedly the BEST burger in the world (or at least San Diego).  Unfortunately the kids weren't having the 2 hour wait so we settled for a cr*ppy meal at a Mexican dive across the street.  The food probably wasn't all that bad, but the memory of Smarty Pants having a full-blown meltdown and Happy Vee almost stabbing my eye out with a fork won't soon be forgotten.

So after that disastrous experience, we decided to go for a walk (best decision we made all day!)

After aimlessly walking around, we decided to head for the pier.  And lucky for us, the lifeguards reopened it right as we walked up.  The pier is pretty low and during high tides, the water can actually submerge the walkway.  The seagulls were a little bummed that we were disturbing their naptime AND didn't bring any snacks to share.

The waves break pretty far from shore, so we were close enough to talk to the surfers and also get a few pics!  For some reason, these pictures remind me of my high school days... sigh.  Not that I surfed or anything.


Which was a GOOD thing!

And look at this handsome fella!

I'm just going to assume he's a "fella", because I *think* he was flirting!

Look at these amazing waves!


Here comes a big one!

Ack!  Yup, my camera got wet!

So I'm looking forward to our next trip to San Diego.  I'm not sure what "adventure" is in store for us, but I'm sure it'll be memorable-- note to self:  Don't hold Happy Vee while he is wielding a fork.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just for Fun - Make-up

I'm a Make-up girl.  Have been since the days of baby powder scented Tickle deodorant, Bonne Belle Lip Smackers, and royal blue Wet &Wild eyeliner-- do those still exist?  I have many fond memories of roaming the aisles of Drug Emporium with my girlfriends, scoping out the cosmetic aisles with pre-teen anticipation and searching for the best price-- back then, they used a manual sticker price tag and... well, lets just say that they were very inconsistent with their prices.  So fast forward several years, and even as a mom with a kidcentric schedule, I still do love my cosmetics.  I may have bad hair days, or have on a top with Happy Vee goo on it, but doggone it, I never leave the house without "My Face" on!

These days I usually buy makeup only once or twice a year-- Sephora's Friends & Family event in November when I stock-up on all the essentials and sometimes I'll pick up a "must have" if I can find a good deal (at least 20% off) online.

Here are my latest Favs, in no particular order--

Smashbox Eye Wish Palette
Whoa! Since it's a limited edition, on sale for only $33 with free shipping on the Smashbox site

I love Smashbox cosmetics, especially their eyeshadows, cream liners and lipsticks, but the Look Book that comes with this palette is worth the $33 alone!  I've actually gotten compliments on some of my "eye" looks-- wowza!

BareMinerals foundation by Bare Escentuals
Love this stuff-- full coverage, yet doesn't looked caked-on and has SPF to boot.  I find it works even better with the kabuki and concealer brushes.  I also use the mineral veil powder which I like to dust on first to set, then a layer of foundation powder, then another layer of powder to seal.  Aside from the occasional mess (I've dropped these suckers a few times), it's a great product.

Shiseido Benefiance Concentrated Anti-Wrinke Eye Cream
The name says it all.  It's very moisturizing, yet can be worn day or night.  I don't have a problem with it messing with my eyeliner, so I wear it during the day too.  My favorite part though is the teeny tiny applicator that keeps fingers and germs out of the pot of gold eye cream. Stay Away wrinkles!!!

Make Up For Ever: Full Cover Concealer

After having two beautiful children, no one told me that I would be "gifted" with hyperpigmentation too.  I've been told that it's supposed to go away, but almost 2 years later... I still have several dark spots hanging around.  I guess they're called "sun spots" or, ahem, "age spots", but I just call them "freckles gone wild".   This stuff is great.  Wouldn't recommend it for under-eye circles since it's pretty drying, but for the "freckles", it works great!

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

If I don't have time for make-up, I'll at the VERY LEAST curl my eyelashes... Makes all the difference in the world. This one is so much better than the drugstore variety.  I think it's partly the design and partly the silicone cushion that doesn't fall apart like the rubber piece in the cheaper models.

Lip Treatments

I couldn't pick just one, so these are my 3 favorites.  They are all different, but work so well.  Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm leaves a minty tingle on my lips and keeps them smooth and hydrated.  The Mister is a fan and always carries one in his pocket.  In the summer, I use the Smashbox Lip Treatment because it has SPF built-in.  It really does cure dry, chapped lips and has a light honey smell to boot-- yum!  Lately I've been gravitating toward my Rosebud Salve.  My lips have been ultra dry and when I put it on before bed, I wake-up with happy lips.  Really happy lips, actually.   It's a classic for good reason and apparently is the "secret weapon" for many stars... that's what I read in InStyle, anyhow.

Liz Earle Super Skin Moisturiser
I'm usually not impressed by face cream, but this stuff is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!   Unsolicited, even my mom commented on how smooth and soft my skin looked one day.  I stumbled on this by accident when The Mister and I were at a charity dinner and I placed a bid during the silent auction.  I won a kit worth over $200 for a mere $40.  Apparently Liz Earle is all the rage in England and is only available in a few select stores in the US.  Lucky for me, she has an online store because I need to stock up pronto!

If one can lust after a scent, then this one does it for me.  Apparently I'm not the only one because when I went to my local Macy's, the store display bottle was empty.  When I asked to try the perfume, the sale person pulled out a full bottle that she had hidden behind the counter-- Apparently many of the employees were treating themselves to a daily Madamoiselle spritz and it was more economical just to hide the lovely stuff.  Yes, it's that good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Noodles - Kid Tested, Mama Approved

Smarty Pants is the world's pickiest eater... No, really, "The World's Pickiest".  So when I find something that he'll take a couple of bites of, I take note and it goes into the meal rotation.

So here's our latest Picky-Kid-Tested, EASY, QUICK and HEALTHY (so therefore, Mama approved) find:


Somen Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables Stir Fry

8 oz. Somen Noodles (you can also use capellini)
3 tsp. vegetable oil (I use olive or peanut)
1 lb. chicken tenders, seasoned with garlic powder & pepper and cut into bite-size pieces
1 stalk green onions (or in a pinch, a small reg. onion will do)
2 med. carrots, coursely shredded

**you can also add 1-2 cups of any other vegetables that you have on hand.  I would just make sure to shred them if you have a picky eater.  In the past I've added red bell pepper, bean sprouts, cabbage, etc.

1 T. soy sauce
1 T. oyster sauce
Cook noodles. I take them out early, around 2 minutes (package instructions says 3 minutes), so they don't get too mushy when stir fried.

Heat large frying pan or wok.
Add 2 tsp oil and coat pan. 
Add chicken and stir fry until browned and cooked through.
Remove chicken from pan.

Heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in same pan and add vegetables.  Stir fry for around 1 minute until soft.

Add noodles, chicken, soy sauce & oyster sauce to pan.
Cook 2-3 minutes until heated through. 
Season with more soy sauce or oyster sauce if desired.
Remove and serve!

Yummy and Easy, can't beat that!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Year's Resolutions... Er, New Year's "List"

I've never set New Year's Resolutions before-- too much pressure.  But lists?  I love lists.  I live by lists-- grocery lists, things-to-do-today lists,  bills to pay lists, birthday gift lists, wish lists, etc.  And there's something so gratifying about crossing that important "to-do" off the list too. 
So this year, in lieu of ignoring a New Year's Resolution, I thought I'd do a New Year's List-- A list of things that I hope to accomplish this year.  Some practical, some silly, and some mundane.  Then I can come back every few months or so and cross off the stuff that I've accomplished-- crossing off stuff... that's the gratifying part.

2010 - The Year of the Organizer
Lookie, I already got to cross-off some stuff!

Set-up and organize my craft room/mud room
circa January 2010
  • buy desk and shelving unit
  • buy baskets to organize shelving unit
  • buy not too spendy shelves and other organizational gizmos for the walk-in closet
  • buy/create a gift wrapping area for not too much $$
  • buy/create a message or chalkboard
  • buy mudroom stuff-- hooks, bench, shoe storage, etc.
  • hang wall art
  • actually unload boxes and organize all the stuff!
Set-up and organize the office
circa January 2010
  • Order office furniture
  • Hang wall art
  • Organize files (ick!)
  • Unload boxes and organize the other stuff (double ick!)
  • The electronic/computer set-up is all The Mister's "to-do".
Set-up and organize the kid's playroom
the playroom in all it's glory - circa January 2010
  • Buy shelving to organize toys
  • Buy system to hang kid's art
  • Set up organizer
  • Set-up art wall system
  • Set-up photo wall
  • buy/set-up a magnetic wall for all those magnetic toys that don't stick to our non-magnetic refrigerator.
  • Buy/install more lighting... aside from the family room, the 2nd dimmest room in the house!
Set-up a wall calendar, mail sorter, bulletin board area to keep us up-to-date and on schedule
  • order/make large reusable monthly calendar
  • organize mail bins (already bought but never set-up at old house)
  • buy/make a pretty message board 
  • set it up so it's both lovely and useful
Organize the walk-in pantry and kitchen drawers
photo circa January 2010
  • figure out how to organize a walk-in pantry... don't know how since I've never had one before.
  • buy canisters, bins and drawer organizers
  • make those canisters cute!  Very important-- ha, ha!
For the Rest of the House
  • Hang wall art, frames and mirrors in all rooms
  • Set-up decor
  • Figure out what we're going to do with the random tables and wall art.
  • Window Treatments... We're in desperate need of new window treatments. The ones that came with the house are literally falling apart, or are broken and can't be opened or closed.  I'm sure they're hazardous to the kids as well (sigh).
  • Lighting...Either buy more lamps or call an electrician to install ceiling lights in the kids rooms, family room and bonus room.  It's very dim at night.
  • Set-up Happy Vee's big boy room.
  • Clear out the old house, minor touch-ups and either sell or rent it.
  • Set up the kid's playset in the backyard.
Fun Plans for Me
  • Blog more... it's a great creative and stress outlet.
  • Read more... should be easier with the Kindle.
  • Cook more... without groaning.
  • Create a monthly meal plan... less grocery shopping on the fly.
  • Hang out with my girlfriends more. 
  • Actually go to a theater and see a movie in 2010-- that's a BIGGEE... it's been a couple of years since I've seen a movie from start to finish, let alone in a, gasp!,  theater.
  • Find a babysitter
  • Make homemade marshmallows-- I'm not even a marshmallow fan, but supposedly homemade ones are to-die-for and they just look Fun!
  • Figure out what to do with all the baby stuff (sniff)
  • Go on dates more-- Spend more personal, kid-free time together... that's a hard one!
  • Take a zumba or yoga class... or maybe a bollywood class-- fun!
  • Get my hair cut (at least more than once per year)
  • Enjoy every precious (and sometimes, not so precious) moment with my two awesome boys.  They just grow up way to fast (sniff sniff).
  • Oregon - I'm hoping we can make a trip this spring to visit friends and also sneak in a spa treatment or two.
  • Alaska - The Mister and I have always wanted to go on an Alaskan Cruise-- even though I'm not a big fan of cruises due to one unfortunate Norovirus-tinged Mexican Riviera cruise we took 7 years ago.  But evidently there are deals to be had, and although the kids are still on the young-side, they do travel pretty well...
  • Hawaii - We missed our annual trip last year, so it's up there on my list.  I'm hoping we can visit with family and also get some R&R at a nice, kid-friendly resort.
  • San Diego is always on our list... try to get there one weekend a month.
  • Maybe do a roadtrip up north to San Francisco or Monterey-- It's doable with a few stops along the way.
  • Wow, there's no way we can fit in all this travel in 11 months... but I'll just keep it on the list.

This list is a work-in-progress, so I'll be stopping by every now and then to cross-off stuff and add more to-do's.  Wow, writing that all down was really therapeutic!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Organize this madness!

I'm not sure if it's the New Year or the recent Move, but I've been desperate to get organized these past few weeks-- Obsessed really.  And it doesn't help that I look at THIS madness every day. Let's just revisit the insanity that is supposed to be my craft room ...

Scary, huh!!!  So anyhow, here are a few finds that will hopefully put me on the right track and maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to get some of my sanity back.


So on the spur of the moment, we jumped into the mini-vee and headed down to our nearest Ikea and Pottery Barn.  After seeing it in person, I decided pretty quickly that the Expedit desk & shelf combo would fit my needs... plus, the attractive price doesn't hurt either.  I just need to clear out some space in this dump, I mean craft room, so we can assemble it.  If all the stars align, maybe it'll be this weekend--

Also found these lovelies (Ikea Knipsa) to organize the Expedit.  They are collapsible and smell wonderful since they're made out of sea grass.  Now I'm bouncing around ideas on how to cutely and effectively label these baskets--

Also, since this room doesn't have any ceiling lights, I bought these cabinet lights (Inreda) to attach to the top of the Expedit.  I have to be able to see what I'm crafting, right?

I'm thinking of turning this into a message, chalk or magnetic board for the craft room.  The Mister looked at me like I was crazy (not his type of decor, I guess), but it's right up my alley.  Now I just have to figure out what kind of board it's going to be--

Since they're having a "Storage Event", we did purchase one thing from Pottery Barn Kids for the bonus/playroom... by the way, it's cheaper in-store--

  I can't wait to get started!  Now, if I can only convince The Mister that we must assemble N-O-W.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Super Heroes!

"Jeepers, Super Smarty Pants, how many pictures is that crazy lady going to take?"

"Not to worry, Super Happy Vee, revenge will be ours... No Naps Today!!! {insert evil laugh} Boo-ha-ha-ha!!!"

My kiddos love to play "super hero" with all the disarray still happening in our house. They just run by, capes a-flappin', pushing boxes & pillows out of the way and occasionally bouncing off the mirrors and frames that are still lining the walls...  I guess you aren't a super hero if you haven't risked life and limb-- or at least a scolding by that scowling lady who keeps threatening Time-Out.

Capes & Masks from Super Fly Kidz

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Craft Room - Martha Inspiration

"The Craft Room"... just saying these 3 words, brings a smile to my face and gives me the warm and fuzzies.  It's really not just a room to do crafts, but I think of it as my own little piece of sanity... at least that's my goal, anyhow.

So right now, it looks like this...  A freaking dumping ground for all things that have yet to find "a home".  This could be bad folks, so I'm taking control-- Will buy organizational items so I am forced to clear out this wayward junk.

And look who's here to inspire me.  None other than the great dame of organizational divinity--
I'm already digging that galvanized bucket filled with wrapping paper.

What a neat space!  I wish more homes in California had useable attic space and basements.  I'm not half as crafty as Martha, so I definitely won't need all those desks, but wouldn't it be awesome to have all that organized, horizonal space on which to create?--

Great way to organize a desk hutch.  I think I'm going to pick up some jars when I'm at Ikea next.--

While I would LOVE to have Martha's craft room, I'm still looking for something different... something else. 

Right now I'm stuck on the Ikea Expedit...

Which would become something like this ...

or perhaps this...  The price and the functionality of the Expedit truly amazes--

I'm also thinking about the ridiculously expensive Pottery Barn Project Table or one of it's knock-off cousins... the price keeps driving me away though--

Pottery Barn always upsets me.  Why are they so inconsisent on their store, catalog and web prices?  And what's with all these surcharges?  I have a feeling a $1,000 splurge on a veneer table will not be happening... at least I have my common sense!

Well, as you can see, I'm chomping at the bit to get started.  Now I just have to convince The Mister to take a little drive to visit Pottery Barn and Ikea ASAP.  Can't wait!!