Thursday, June 30, 2011

2011 TDL: Checking In

Well here it is again with just a few more things checked off.

1. purchase mushroom growing supplies and make preparations for logs
2. pot rack for kitchen
3. organize phone and message center in kitchen
4. clean and organize under kitchen sink
5. purchase supplies for maple tapping for next spring
6. new couch for living room and general living room design
7. paint dining room
8. figure out a better situation for shoes/recycling by the front door
9. finish reorganizing and clean dressing room
10. clean windows
11. start and finish handmade gifts for Jenny, Helen, Becky, Melissa, Allison, Carol, Sarah and Pat.
12. new lighting for Iris's room
13. organize and backup iphoto
14. clean out pantry and wipe down shelves and bottles (ANTS!!!)
15. find and purchase vintage ceramic egg holder
16. sort through wardrobe and donate, trash or repurpose
17. learn one new knitting pattern
18. learn one new crochet pattern
19. paint giant urn and candle stick holders
20. finish mending and repurpose projects
21. plant salad greens, tomatoes and kitchen herbs
22. keep blog up to date
23. start etsy shop
24. buy more vintage and hand make more of our clothing
25. run in at least two 5k's 
26. organize baby's outgrown clothing

I crossed off #21 even though I didn't plant any salad greens. I have to let myself off the hook for that one. That window of opportunity was consumed with baby-learned-some-new-tricks-and-mommy-needs-to-babyproof time. I did get my herbs in and we were gifted a tomato plant. 

However, #26 is DONE. It actually took less time and containers than I thought (about an hour when you factor out the baby-chasing time). I was originally going to buy 8 containers but when I went to buy them I thought I better just start with 6. Storage is at a premium in this house so I have to be careful not to shoot myself in the foot by overpurchasing storage solutions. Sounds looney, right?
Anyway, this was my inspiration.

And now I have this...

It's hard to see the labels but they are in order of size. One container houses socks, bibs, boppy covers, bassinet sheets (all organic cotton), etc.
Six containers with room to grow (pun intended).
The purple bag on the right is the stuff I want to keep for either my sister, best friend or even for the nugget herself. There is a coveted Bob Marley onesie, the onesies people painted at my shower, things I personally purchased, amongst other things.

She's proofreading my labels. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


This is getting ridiculous! Apparently It's not just the vintage gods smiling on me but the fabric gods as a whole.  I was handed this entire bolt yesterday by a family friend.

It's a simple print. I'm not sure how many yards it is exactly but the number 15 is scribbled on the top. I see a picnic/beach blanket, some kind of roll up bag for tools or brushes or maybe some farmer's market bags I have been itching to make.

I also picked up my gallon of paint for the dining room project (#7 on the 2011 TDL). I purchased Rendezvous by Olympic (Zero VOC of course).  There is very little wall space so I should be able to bang it out in a couple hours. I'm treating myself to more babysitter time today so I'll try to tape off the room that way I can just start painting when the opportunity presents itself.

#9 is STILL in progress. Here are some before and during shots below. I don't like the white curtains in this room. They just sort of disappear so I'll probably put the ones I had in there back up. It doesn't look much different than the before shot but some organization has taken place. I've purged a bunch of clothes and shoes (#16), put a shoe organizer on the back of the door, organized all my reference books and art/craft supplies and hung an organizer from the coat rack.


Believe it or not there are 2 storage ottamans under those clothes. There trash now.
I keep my long dresses in the actual closet.
If you look to the left of the book shelf those bins are  the beginnings of #26.

Lots of shhhhhstuff on the floor still.
Obviously this room is doing double duty as a closet and a place to store all my sewing/craft/art supplies. But hopefully someday I'll have this or this.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


This past 5 days has been full of moments of gratitude. My mother and sister coming to visit us and offering plenty of helping hands, treating myself to a babysitter so that I could do some REAL cleaning around the house, visiting my father for a belated birthday/father's day and loving that he lives on the beach and still surfs at 60 years old.

Tearing up toilet paper with Aunt Nicole.

My mom and sister live in Florida in winter and Jersey in the summer. My sister had not seen Iris since she was born and I was excited for them to meet again. My mom was able to visit a few times this winter. It is always such a relief when she is her. She is a huge help folding laundry, chasing nuggie around, helping me run errands and babyproofing the house. She loves her one and only grandchild and it melts my heart to see them together.

Iris's reign of terror.

Having a 9 month old who crawls and pulls up on anything she can get her hands on is tiring and sometimes downright frustrating. I have had to rethink my whole gameplan when it comes to getting things done. I literally can barely do anything while she is awake. She does not like to be contained anymore (i.e. exersaucer, johnny jump up). She wants to move, explore and taste everything. I can hardly blame her. That is why I have decided to treat myself to a babysitter for 2 hours a week (maybe not every week) just so I can get some things done and keep myself... afloat. She feeds the little nugget her lunch, takes her on walks and generally makes sure she doesn't hurt herself or crawl off a cliff. It's the best $20 I've spent in a while.

It was also Iris's first time on the beach (well technicaly her second but the first time was just for a photo). We forgot our camera so sadly there is no documentation. I plan on updating my technology and am getting an iPhone in August so I'll have no excuse and I won't have to lug around my giant Nikon (especially onto a beach where it can get sandy). She wasn't a fan of sand but she did like the water. It was nice to get some sun and some sand between our toes. My dad is a real beach guy still surfing, boogie boarding and paddle boarding at 60 years old. I love that he is so enthusiastic about the outdoors. It always makes for a fun visit.

My best friend was along for the trip to my Dad's and stayed at our house for 2 days after. SLUMBER PARTY!!! It was fun to lay by the pool, read some magazines, watch Trueblood and drink some wine with her. We needed that. We don't live far from eachother (in fact I could ride a bike to her place if it weren't so damn hilly around here) but we live in a small town so it's nice to just be out here in the woods and away from the sometimes-all-to-familiar-faces of town.

You didn't think we'd leave her out of the pool lounging did you?

For all of this... I am grateful.

Friday, June 24, 2011

{ this moment }

a friday ritual - a single photo - no words - a moment I want to pause - savor - and remember
inspired by soulemama

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More Fab Fabric!

The vintage gods must be smiling on me because this vintage fabric showed up yesterday via my BFF Danielle. She picked it up at an antique outing a few years back and never did anything with it and thought it might have better luck in my hands. She was right.
 Thanks Danielle!

I'm not exactly sure what kind of fabric it is but my Mom is coming to visit today and she can probably tell me with better accuracy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Too Much Anthony Bourdain?

I love Anthony Bourdain. I read every book he wrote when I was pregnant except Medium Raw (it wasn't out yet). I still have yet to read it but at the moment I'm working my way through Keith Richards' Life and it's thicker than a phone book. But you're next Anthony!

Anyway, I just love when Anthony travels to Asian countries with people cooking street food in large woks right on the side of the road. "I want to go to there."

Since I won't be traveling to any of these countries anytime soon I decided to fulfill my own wok adventures with some creative use of leftovers and an open fire.

G.'s been on a fried rice kick so this was a perfect pairing. I cooked up some brown basmati in my rice cooker (best $15 I ever spent), cubed up some leftover pork loin, chopped up some vegetables and drug a few choice bottles of this and that (Mirin, Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, Siracha, etc.) down to the fire.

After the wok was good and hot I added a little sesame oil and started sauteing the veg (bell pepper, onion, shitakes). Then the pork but only for a few seconds because it was already cooked and I didn't want it to dry out. Finally, the rice and the wet ingredients (see above). I don't measure the wet ingredients I just do it to taste. 

There's the little nugget being a good girl and paying with her blocks.

Final touches and...

dinner is served.

Grab a couple of cold ones and you're all set. I think Anthony would agree!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pillow Case Dresses

So here's what I've done with some of the pillowcases from the box of vintage sheets I scored. I always wanted to make these but never had quite the right pillow cases. These prints are charming. I found a tutorial online and combined several different methods so I'll let you do your own research in that department.

First I cut a portion of fabric straight across from the top to get my desired length (you'll see what I did with the extra fabric further down) and then cut the armholes and neckline. Super easy.

Next I sealed the edges of the arms with bias tape to give it a more polished look. I used a darker gray tape which I thought contrasted nicely with the vintage prints to give them a bit of a modern twist. It's hard to see in the photo above but be patient a better view is coming up.

I even had enough fabric from the top portion (mentioned above) to make a pair of matching bloomers! This is a project I'd been wanting to do for a while. It's from Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing and this provided a perfect opportunity to try it out. It could not have been easier. Literally took me 20 minutes to crank out 1 pair ( I made 2). I haven't gotten a picture of them yet but I promise they'll show up in a later post.

I used ribbon I had on hand for the shoulder ties.

One is for Iris's BFF Vivian and I can't wait to get a shot of the two of them playing together wearing there dresses.

Friday, June 10, 2011

{ this moment }

a friday ritual - a single photo - no words - a moment I want to pause - savor - and remember
inspired by soulemama

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Weekend(s) in review.

The past few weekends were pretty special. It was our first official BBQ and pool party of the season, Big Daddy G's birthday (and grandpa W's), our 5th Wedding Anniversary and our first time celebrating all of this with Iris. It was fun to bring Iris in the pool for the first time. She likes the water but it was definitely the most cautious I'd ever seen this mostly fearless baby. I swam alot when I was pregnant and she used to wriggle and flip in my belly. 

I also scored a box of impeccably cared for vintage sheets for $20 at a yard sale. This should keep me in sewing projects for years. There are already pillow case dresses in the works and pajamas are on deck. This will also keep me in step with #24 on my 2011 TDL.

A new favorite recipe was discovered by my co-conspirator and partner in crime Danielle. A green bean salad that was, seriously, out of this world. I'll share this recipe at a later date when I can tie her down to a chair and make her write it down for me.

Iris has also decided this would be the week to start full on crawling and pulling herself up on anything making me a bit of a nervous wreck. I've been cleaning the house like a maniac. Especially floors and anything from the floor to about 2 feet up. 

It's no secret that being a mother is challenging and that's putting it mildy. These milestones make me proud but also create new worries and concerns not to mention some new bumps and bruises along the way. 

I read something that really encapsulated what I feel as I travel down this long and winding road called motherhood. Here.


Friday, June 3, 2011

{ this moment }

a friday ritual - a single photo - no words - a moment I want to pause - savor - and remember
inspired by soulemama

A moment from the past. Married 5 years today!

Happy Anniversary my love!