Sunday, July 31, 2011

things i don't like

in no particular order...

white chocolate

tropical plants

the word 'sherbet'

also the word 'slice'

people who say those words repeatedly because they think it's funny to bug me

skinny jeans (sorry- i just think they're ugly. please continue with your fashion; just know i think the pants are hideous, not you.)

caramel scented things

having to pee right as i was starting to fall asleep

also the fact that i have to pee at 2:00 a.m. almost every night

and that i have to cross my legs when i sneeze so i don't pee a little- i was under the misguided notion that c-sections avoided this little gem of motherhood, but it is not so

people who choose a soapbox and truly judge you for not taking it up as your personal crusade

also people who will never ever admit that things are not perfect in their lives... we all know it's not true, but it still feels a little icky to think 'i'm the only one who isn't superwoman.'

mosquito bites. especially on babies.

shaving my armpits. i still do it; i just don't like it.

being sweaty for 6 weeks straight... such is life in st. louis

when my pins won't work on pinterest. i know: get over it. i usually do.

being old enough to get the kind of running injuries that only old people should get

realizing that i look old to 20 year olds

the fact that i did not wear more sunscreen when i was 20

the screeching sound my 3 year old can make

the way everything falls apart at the same time- bats in the attic, broken a/c, leaky dishwasher, ice encrusted freezer, leaky gutters, funky sounding car engine

warm public pool water

dusty lampshades (annoying to clean)

razor burn

there. that was somewhat therapeutic. please don't berate me for being whiny- i just felt like getting it out there.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feather Your Nest: housewares swap party II

a few weeks ago, i hosted the second (annual? maybe not) housewares swap party. the idea was for women to offer up those items in their home that they didn't love/want/use and go home with things that they did!

in my mind, this is easier than a garage sale: no major organizing, no pricing, no sitting outside for 6 hours & haggling with neighbors over $.50.
not only that, but this was just another reason to get together with women that i love for good food & drink and fun conversation! add in some 'free shopping,' and what's not to love?

this time around i chose an evening event instead of a saturday morning- you capture a different group of women when you move the times around, which is fun!

here is what i think you need to do this kind of party:

stuff to swap
(not the dog)
lots of great stuff- all (mostly!) delivered the day before so i could arrange it somewhat nicely... obviously, 15 different kinds of candle holders don't look perfect arranged together on a shelf, but i did want everything to be visible to the shoppers!

a nice assortment of housewares... the only 'rules' were no electronics (lamps are okay, but no blenders/electric knives) and no broken stuff or half-burned candles. we got a lot of great items in all different kinds of decor styles!

food, of course!

veggies and dip (in individual cups- easier to eat!)

chocolate tart with shortbread crust. love!

drinks! look, they're French- i'm so fancy.

small canning jars make great drink glasses when you need a bunch of them!
herbs for mixing into the lemonade, limeade, iced tea, water, etc. sorry for the bad picture- there is mint, basil, rosemary & lavender here. makes for a yummy drink & a nice smelling kitchen! (side note, does anyone else love the way their hands smell after cutting herbs? just me? awesome.)

i didn't get pictures of all the food everyone brought- it got a little busy once everyone was standing in my kitchen (don't all parties end up like that?)! my kids were also running through randomly, so i didn't document things too well. however, we had TONS of great appetizers, cupcakes, dips, desserts, drinks and yummies! my friends know how to cook, and i love it.

and finally, something to keep the shopping civilized!
i'm kidding, of course- this wasn't really an insane, pull-your-hair-to-steal-your-stuff kind of crowd! but it is nice to have an order to the event...
everyone gets a pile of tags with a number, and this tells them which group they will be in to 'shop.' we had about 20 women, so we divided into groups of 5 people. if you bring 5 items to swap, you can use all 5 tags for shopping. just choose the items you want, and place a tag on it to 'mark' it as yours!

*a hostess tip- if you're planning to do this, i would box up or cover up your personal decor items that you don't plan to swap! otherwise you could have some stuff missing after the party! : )
* one more- save the bags, boxes and wrapping paper that everyone brings their items in! you'll need it for sending home their new stuff, as well as for boxing up the donation items.

i DO have pictures of all the ladies at the party- thank you, bailey! however, i did not ask permission to put their faces on the internet, so i'm going to keep those private.

i do NOT have a picture of the pile of things left after the party- the unwritten 'rule' of the swap party is to leave your unclaimed stuff behind for a donation to the women's shelter. honestly, there wasn't too much left- maybe 10-12 items out of 75 total? not bad! the charity pick up truck came about a week after the party, so i didn't even have to take it to Goodwill.

next challenge? a clothing swap. i can't get my brain around it, but it needs to happen.
anyone want to help?? : )

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

caroline the ballerina

i don't know if words are really necessary with this post...
caroline took her first dance class this summer.
(and yes, i was the annoying mommy with the camera. but it was the small camera (less annoying?) and therefore poor quality pictures)

Caroline's First Dance Class

love her.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


just like her big sister wore a plastic tiara for close to 2 years (without cease, i might add),
Miss Julia Paige has transformed herself into Tinkerbell almost without cease... we have managed to put her in real clothes for leaving the house about 75% of the time.
a few of her best moments:

Tinkerbell on the drums
(we love the drums, kerry!)

Tinkerbell waiting for her clothes to come out of the dryer...

mean mommy taking pictures of sad, impatient Tinkerbell...

Tinkerbell going to get daddy to rescue her from mean mommy.

Tinkerbell napping...

Tinkerbell annoyed at mean mommy for waking her up...

garbage scavengers

i've become something of a scavenger lately... i get pretty excited about driving or walking around our neighborhood on trash days. that's weird, right? but people throw away GOOD STUFF! seriously- here are the things we've gotten in the past few months:

this was actually our neighbors chair... there's a story behind it, but basically it has been sitting in their garbage can 'nook' for 2 months. in the rain, in the tornados, in the crazy heat & humidity. we share a driveway, so i stare at this nice, solid wood desk chair (which has great lines, in my opinion) everytime i leave my house... it's just rotting away in the elements. i asked them about it once- offered to take it off their hands (nice of me, i know). long story- many weeks go by... they decided to give it to us, and it's in my garage waiting for some TLC! i'm going to see if i can revive the finish with sanding & stain & poly, but it would also look nice with a good paint job!

the only problem i can see is these razor sharp nails sticking out of this leg... i think those could be nipped off or smoothed down, though. right? we all know i would be the one to tear my leg on them every single day, so it must be fixed! love the chair, though. love it.

this is not a gratuitous picture of my handsome husband... although he does look hot & sweaty, right? (what kind of bad blog traffic do you think i'll get for those words? ha!) anyway, he was leaving a friend/neighbor's house a few weeks ago & saw a man putting this Nordictrac Elliptical machine by the curb. seriously- they are moving, and they 'don't feel like moving this with them.' nice. and lazy. but i digress- this isn't an old, crappy model- it has an ipod dock & speaker, heart rate monitor, and a fan.

don't be jealous of the 80's model Airdyne bike in the background... we know it's amazing. and loud- so loud.

it's a $1500ish exercise machine & matt scored it for nothing! well, he did replace a broken piece for $125. but you can't get anything decent for that price, so i consider it a great find! proud of you, honey! sorry you have to ride it in our nasty, moldy basement. : )

these may be less exciting, but we found these saw horse legs on our way to church last week. saw horse legs are infinitely useful! make a little table in the garage, a potting area in the yard, or put a cool door across them for parties. and these are cute ones- old, chippy & with lots of character.
told you- i'm a little weird.

another find for matt! he mentioned a 'gold sofa' that he wanted to go pick up from someone's curb, and i though, 'not a chance you're bringing a flea-bitten, fuzzy gold sofa into my house.' there's a history there... he has tried to sneak nasty urine soaked furniture into the house before, so i'm wary. but i stand corrected- this is actually a really heavy, well constructed piece, and i even like the color!

it's not in perfect condition- there are worn places on the arms & seat, plus the springs are all lumpy & poky. okay- it's really really uncomfortable to sit on. but it was FREE! can't i fix it? i know O about re-upholstering a sofa, but what better piece to try it on than something found on the curb? i think matt's bummed that i didn't let him take it up to his office... thanks for letting me steal it!

horrible picture- i know. our neighbors (different ones) were using this in their garden as a trellis, but it's actually a working antique wrought iron bed- full size. i couldn't get it out to take a picture, but i will next week when our friends loan us their mattress to put in it! it's lovely, and it will be perfect in Caroline's room!
side note- i HATE when people spell wrought iron "rot" or "wrot." drives me bonkers, and i see it at antique malls (on sales tags) all the time. someone care to correct me? is "wrot iron" some new kind of metal of which i'm not aware?

these galvanized metal washstands were a particularly gratifying find... i see them all the time in antique malls (yes, i frequent about 3 of them in town- if you're local you can join me anytime!), and they're usually priced between $40-$100. i don't know why- they're old washtubs. laundry sinks. dogwashing basins. but they are attractive & useful... maybe that's why the $$$?

anyway, i found one on my way home from a run... carried it 2 blocks on my hip. luckily it was 2 pieces & not super heavy!

matt carried the other one home on his head when we walked to the park with the girls... he loves me a lot. : )
what am i planning to do with them? well, one idea is to use them for ice & drink coolers at parties. like this:

from Pottery Barn.
the stand is $49, and the tub is $59.
i'm quite pleased with my $0.

or i might put plants & stuff in them. like this:

found here. via Pinterest- my newest love.

saving the best for last:
i've written about these adirondack chairs before, but they are still my favorite find of the year! two fun, different, shabby, chippy & comfortable chairs- just laying on the side of the road. love them!

do you trash hunt for treasures? find anything good lately?