Just Checking In

Hello!  Hi!  Hola!  Salut!  I’m spending the weekend with friends and with family that’s in town visiting for the week so I’m going to trade in my usual Saturday blogging brain dump for quality time with them but I won’t leave you hanging without a little bit of my business. 

THIS made my week:jan262012 004 See the new coffee table?  Yeah, that.  I’ve been hunting and searching and hunting some more for a round coffee table with a shelf underneath (to store toys) to turn into an cushy ottoman so that no matter where you’re sitting on our sectional, you can prop your toes up.  Well, this week during one of our little family outings I quickly ran into Goodwill while Anthony waited in the car with the tots and found this little beauty for $12…$12!!!!!  I LOVE the octagon shape and I can’t wait to get started on ‘ottomatizing’ it!  Of course I’ll share all the diy deets on this here blog when it all goes down!  Maybe it’s silly, but I’m over-the-moon excited about it!

You might also have noticed that we moved our big oil painting from the wall above the loveseat to the wall above the sectional, switching out these frames.  It’s previous positioning had always bothered me so I finally had Anthony move it over.  As soon as I find some, I’m going to flank it with some sort of mirror or two or three…we’ll see. 

Anyway, I don’t want to keep the fam waiting so I’m going to skidaddle!  I wish you all a fantastic rest of the weekend!   

Bean Sprouts: 6 Months

Well, we managed to squeeze a six month photo shoot into our busy agendas last week and good thing too, because three, four, and five months got skipped.  Unfortunately, both girls were sniffling and sneezing through it, Seraphia almost oblivious to it per her usual nothing-bothers-me temperament, and Cecilia wondering if her entire life was going to be this miserable.  Nonetheless, we got some goodies of our little squirts on the still unfinished loveseat (we’re going on over a year now…will we ever finish it?) that I’m sure will amuse our family for decades to come.

jan162012 023Still working on ‘cheese’ and synchronized staring at the camera.

We thought we’d throw the two stuffed peas back into the picture, hearkening back to the days when they could fill the same pod:IMG_0235edited 

Just for kicks, here are the little chicks at two weeks:july232012 007A little jaundiced and a lot mushy…but we’ll just call it tan and cuddly.  :)

Ah, the first-born: phia6mo Winning the “Happiest Baby on the Block” award four months in a row now, Seraphia is all daddy from the neck up.  However, her future inability to ever find pants long enough is all my fault.  We’re wondering where her thick mane has gone over the past month as she is slowly taking on the hairstyle of a certain creature by the name of Gollum.  jan162012 010Sleeping is not really her forte and eating anything other than that which I provide isn’t really worth her time.  On her list of accomplishments includes rolling from front to back and vice-versa, smiling a whole lot, spewing slobber for miles, grabbing anything and everything within her reach, and an inhaled and quite weird shriek of a laugh.  You’d never know by her joyous disposition, but she’s got two pearly whites just under the skin of her lower gums ready to make their arrival any darn day now.  As excited as I am to see her little toothy grin, I have to admit I’m deathly afraid of what those two pincers might mean for her food source…    jan162012 005

And then there’s:c6moWell, at first judgment we thought she’d be the calm, cool, and collected one.  Wrong-O.  When she’s hungry, you know it…and every meal is wolfed down like it’s her last.  When she’s tired, you know it.  When she’s filled her pants, you know it.  When she’s been set down in the wrong spot, you know it.  When her pants don’t match her shirt, you know it.  When her sister is sad, you know it.  When you’re not feeding her this new “mushed banana” stuff fast enough, you know it.  She.is.a.handful.   jan162012 015 Looks-wise she’s almost all mommy except for that dark, glossy soon-to-be-mullet hair with the few long stragglers that curl up at the ends, the shape of her eyes, and the shapes of her fingernails…and her attitude.
As far as talents go she’s always a step ahead of her sister – rolling over and back first, bouncing away in the little exersaucer first, eating from a spoon gracefully first, learning and spouting gibberish first, and giving us a hearty little laugh first.  You’d think she thinks she’s got somethin’ to prove being five minutes behind at birth or something…  She even sings with me!jan162012 012 This chunky monkey (only in comparison to her elder) has the BEST laugh and the most contagious smile.  Whereas anyone other than Mommy or Daddy has to act like an incredible clown for Seraphia to even give them one little smirk, Cecilia will give bare her mega-watt gums for you at a simple glance.  She’ll turn any gray sky blue.  Did I mention that she has the most gorgeous big eyes? jan162012 014


I think I’ll conclude with some outtakes of our little shoot.  Turns out six month olds don’t find being photographed that fun…especially while they’re stuck with some pesky cold bugs.
*jan162012 024Girls, girls!!  Over here!  Look at mommy!  Girls!!!  (I begin the lunatic waves.)

jan162012 025Lean on me. 

jan162012 026Zoned out and petrified.
 jan162012 027Personal space?  What personal space?

jan162012 028Don’t touch me.

jan162012 031BFFs.
(You might’ve noticed Cecilia repaid our efforts to make memories with a bomb of a diaper, the likes of which we noticed only after the whole shebang by the massive wet spot she left in her stead on the loveseat…thankfully, we captured it on camera and can laugh about it now.)

Hooked Up

I finally roped Anthony in and away from lots of studying and work last weekend to help me ‘hook us up’, after being super-inspired by an idea found on good ‘ole Pinterest that I’ve been crushing on for quite some time now.

Exhibit A:3799980905189354_wPBlkqtn_c One super-cute and functional hook system in an entry way by Jenna Sue at Jenna Sue Design.

Exhibit B:193584483952656126_VoO9EJt3_c Another cool and so-darn-pretty entry way by Casa de Lewis.

Our entry way definitely has the potential to sport some hooks and functionality and is just begging for some more color and character, as you can see:entry - fsbo On the count of three, everybody say “blah”.  Boring, boring, boring.  But the above inspiration in mind, it’s taken a turn for the better.  Here’s what happened:

 jan82012 001First, we picked up a 6 in. by 1/2 in. piece of wood and cut it in two to fit both walls to the right of the door.  (We found it at local lumber store after not being able to find lengths over four feet at Lowe’s and Home Depot -we needed a five foot long board.  The lumber store we went to actually had to cut our piece from a 14 ft. board since that was the shortest they had.) 

I sanded it down and filled in a couple of nicks with wood filler: jan82012 002

Then I primed and painted it (Zinnisser oil-based primer to keep stains from seeping through and Olympic water-based trim paint, the same used throughout our entire house), once again turning our living room into a workshop.jan182012 001

Up went the primed and painted board.  Anthony made sure to screw it into the three studs along the wall for maximum strength…a diaper bag carrying contents for two can get quite heavy you know.  :)  He also made sure to countersink the screws so that they’d be flush with the wood, creating the smooth, trim surface we were going for.   jan182012 003

After the board was up, Anthony filled in the exposed screw heads with spackle and I later went over them with a fine sanding block to make sure each area was smooth before I touched up the paint.jan182012 004

All that was left then was mounting the hooks.  After looking at both Home Depot and Lowe’s, I found these on Ebay for half the price either of them offered:$(KGrHqR,!pwE8Wlw5Nt(BPOrqVUpMQ~~60_12

These hooks were actually my first pick but then I read that they had to be mounted from the back; not an option in our case:$(KGrHqV,!jUE9HsbmL0iBPbk43I1ow~~60_12

So, here’s our little project corner right before naptime Thursday: jan182012 006

And here’s what the same place looked like after a little naptime drilling courtesy of me:jan182012 008

Still on the entry way agenda are replacing the bamboo shade with a colorful fabric roman shade, stenciling/painting a flat woven rug that will replace the current ‘blah’ rug, possibly (crossing my fingers it’s so) a new light fixture, and adding some art and the most awesome mirror I found at Goodwill many moons ago.  Stay tuned.

In case you’re interested in the measurements of our new little storage spot, here ya go:  jan182012 009lab

Oh, and as for what we spent:
Wood:  $4
Hooks:  $2 each plus $6 shipping = $14
Primer, paint, wood filler, drill, countersink bit, and spackle:  had on hand
Total:  $16

.           .           .

How do you stash your stuff?  Are you a have-it-hidden closet type of person or an out-where-it’s-easily-accessible type?  As of yesterday each and every hook on that wall was occupied…I had to lay down the law and tell Anthony that his coats belonged in the coat closet across the way and weren’t allowed to clutter up our little nook.  It’s strictly for baby paraphernalia and/or an umbrella or two.  Obsessive?  Maybe.  :)

P.S.  Linking up at Watch Out, Martha for Martha Monday again!  Hop on over for creativity in abundance!

Unconventional Artwork

I had big plans for the shades of these two lamps.  I executed and they looked awesome…only, that was all in my head.  What actually happened is another story.

It all goes back to the curtains I whipped up for the girl’s room. 4 005

After shortening the ones I made for the window, I had a foot of so of extra fabric.  My thought was to grab some pastel pink spray paint, paint the leftover fabric, and then reupholster the not-so-perfect lamp shades, thereby putting that pattern to good use elsewhere in the room.  Out to my good ‘ole spray painting plywood I went:jan42012b 001 (Yes, the fabric was too close to the edge of the board and I knew in advance the ground would get tainted pink but lucky for me our lawn needed to be raked real bad so up with the leaves meant up with the spray paint.)

On a side note, how cool is the pattern left behind?  I’m envisioning it on dresser drawers or maybe a rug?jan42012b 002

So, I painted, it dried, I came in, and…jan42012b 004 …not what I wanted.  For who knows what reason (maybe one too many coats?) the ‘pink’ spray paint turned out ‘peach’ and too matchy-matchy with the curtains.  It definitely didn’t look bad; I was just going for a difference in color.  So I sadly put away the now peach fabric remnants for later use.

After a little brainstorming, I came up with another, very temporary idea until I can find some fabric I like to reupholster the shades.  I drew on the shades with crayon.  Yup, pink crayon.  Putting my second grade skills into good use folks.  Here’s what I used (mind you, it was what I had on hand, a.k.a. FREE):jan42012b 005sup Little Seraphia was bound and determined not to miss the action during naptime and Mommy was bound and determined to spice up these shades and not deal with a crying baby hence, my audience.  :)

First I penciled some tiny, equally distant marks around the entire base of the shade.jan42012b 007 

Then, using the ever-so-handy tray of the bumbo seat for it’s nice curves, I traced a curved line from one pencil mark to the opposite side of the shade.  (And added to my spectators as Cecilia decided she’d had enough sleep.) jan42012b 009

All the way around and now I had this going on:jan42012b 010

To create a geometric vibe, I did the same thing again only backwards, causing my curved lines to overlap:jan42012b 011

Done:jan142012 002

And done: jan42012b 013

Like I mentioned above, I’m still going to reupholster these shades because they’ve got a few little dents and scratches that a nice layer of fabric will hide but at least they have a little bit of flair while I hunt down some perfect (and cheap) fabric! 

Anybody else drawn on lamp shades or other unconventional mediums lately?  It feels quite adventurous and a little bit rebellious, don’t you think?

.           .           .

P.S.  I know I owe y’all an updated picture of the nursery and I promise I’ll getcha some…next week maybe?  Stay tuned.

P.P.S.  In the mood for a party?  I am!  Linking up with fellow DIYers over at Watch Out, Martha!

(Very) Amateur Electrician

Among the many hats I’ve topped off with has been a little title called “Electrician”, only recently though as I’ve taken to fixing/restoring a couple of lamps:1

I found these two at a local Goodwill about a year ago for $6 each, just waiting for someone to come fix their sad state of paint peelage:2

The only problem was that the paint was inside the glass bases and never have I ever messed with electrical stuff but where there’s a will there’s a way and I wanted two sleek, glass lamps so two sleek, glass lamps I was going to try to get.

So first I googled “How to fix a lamp” and came up with some helpful websites (of which I can’t remember to clue you in on in case you’re as crazy as me) and I came out with the basic gist of how a lamp was put together.  So, with my limited, newly found knowledge, I got to work.

My initial strategy was to take a picture of every single piece as it came off showing where it went so that I’d have a detailed reference to look back when putting the lamp back together.  The first lamp was a little bit of a learning experience and much more of a complicated process (due to my lack of know-how) than the second.   Long story short, I mistakenly removed the electrical wire from the long, metal tube and it involved much frustration and eventually Anthony, lots of olive oil, a wire hanger, and a mess to get it back inside. 


Once I got the glass base free, I scrubbed the paint out of the inside and referred back to my pictures to put the lamp back together (after the whole wire-in-the-tube-with-olive-oil-and-Anthony thing).5

One lamp down, one to go. 

I’m not sure if it was the frustration with the first lamp, pregnancy, or just getting plain side-tracked, but several months and a set of twins later, I finally got to the second lamp.  This time Smarty put on her pants and kept the wire and tubing intact.  Also to make things easier I nixed the camera idea and laid out each piece in consecutive order as I removed it: 4

Glass base off and scrubbed out, lamp put back together and now we’ve got two of these chillin’ in the still-unfinished-but-getting-there nursery:  7

The shades are another story for another day this week!  Hope to see you then!

Have a great weekend!

Here’s The Skinny

I’ve had these magenta cords since college, where I found them on a clearance rack in Fashion Bug for seven bucks:  jan42012 002

They had them in light pink and powder blue too so, since a deal I spotted, all three I bought(ed).  I’ve since given the blue ones to a loving home via Goodwill (a decision I now regret) and haven’t worn the pink ones much in the past few years because I’ve grown a little weary of the fit.  They originally had a six inch fold in the bottom complete with a nice little slit up the back.  Long legs over here took out the fold right after the purchase which still left me with the slit…something I thought actually gave them character whilst walking campus (“oh my, did she really just say that?”). 

jan42012 005

  Well, I came to my fashion senses and decided some time ago that they’re just a little too baggy and much too long for my more mature, post-college self.  So, out came the sewing machine and in went the legs.  Now I know I’ve posted about turning wide legs into skinnies before but this time I thought I’d write up a proper tutorial.


(Before I started, I ripped out the seams along the slit in the back and sewed it right up, perfectly aware that I was taking away the awe-inducing flash of my sexy heels…meeeow.)

So, first I brought out my fave skinny jeans and, working on one leg at a time, laid them over the top of the inside-out pink cords – making sure they lined up along the outside thigh and crotch – and traced a dotted line along the inside edge of the jeans onto the cords.jan42012 007    

Then, making sure the leg I was working on was perfectly flat on the table and folded along the outside seam, I pinned along my dotted line.   jan42012 008

I sewed two stitches, 1) a straight stitch along my dotted line and 2) a zigzag stitch along the outside edge of the straight one to insure a nice strong seam (lazy man’s serge).  I actually sewed the straight stitch into both legs, tried the cords on to make sure they fit the way I wanted, and then went back and sewed the zigzag stitch.jan42012 009Side note:  I once read that when turning boot/wide leg pants into skinnies, you should take in both sides of your pant leg for the pants to fit right in the end but every pair I’ve altered by only stitching up the inside has turned out great.

Last, I cut off the extra fabric with a pinking shears and sewed a half-inch hem into the bottoms.  jan42012 011

With a snip snip of a few threads I had new pants that would even make Barney jealous.  :)


Who knew that the colored corduroy investment I made almost ten years ago would pay off circa 2012-3?  Might have to rethink those ankle length denim dresses complete with metal buckles found in abundance at the local thrift.  They might be keeping a secret only time will tell.  ;)