Friday, June 25, 2010

a birthday

growing older
growing wiser
growing stronger
looking back
looking forward
peace, serenity, love
simple gifts
joy, grace, thankfulness
a wish...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dress Design for Shabby Apple dresses

This is my dress design for Shabby Apple dresses.
Like the first daffodils of spring, I envision this dress in a crisp fabric such as taffeta in solid lemon yellow. I also think it would be smashing in a pale grey or a white/black tiny polka dot with a skinny yellow belt.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

puke: curing what ails them

3 out of 4 kids are home sick from school today. I fully expect to get a call from school to pick-up the other one any minute now. So instead of curing, I am trying to clean puke from the carpets and blankets and pillows and trying to dash here and there juggling buckets to catch the puke before it hits the floor.

So I don't have my hallway cured, and the rugs I cleaned the other day are needing to be cleaned again. Two steps backward for my baby-step forward.

Well, my babies need mom-love today. And I need more Clorox.

Monday, October 20, 2008

fall cure: rehab

I know, I know, I'm a total junkie! I was jonesing for the cure to come along again, and have high hopes of finally seeing one through to the end without relapsing to total and utter chaos. My problem--I have a vision of what I'd like my house to look like in the end, but haven't been able to keep up inspiration and the momentum to get there. I have 4 kids and a husband to feed, clothe, soothe and chauffer, and I can't even keep up with the laundry and the dishes, much less keep the assorted ground clutter from accumulating in the corners and piling up on the steps. I'm tired. This time around, I want to finish what I start, and to develop some housekeeping habits that help me keep moving forward instead of finding myself surrounded with piles of junk. I've read every book, magazine and blog about living simply and clutter-free....why haven't I been able to accomplish this for myself and my family? I've tried flying, now I'm joining messies anonymous I need rehab, a twelve-step-plan, hope.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Week 4: the Office

About 2 months ago, we moved our master bedroom (if you could call it that) from the 2nd floor up to the attic, and moved our boys out of their bedroom into the bigger room we vacated. This cleared out much needed space for a home office/workspace/clothing storage area & guestroom. (talk about a multi-purpose room!)

The above picture (from is my inspiration for the room. I'm striving for a fun, eclectic vibe, and will introduce my collection of vintage globes and a large salvaged elementary school map, along with touches of bright saturated color. But I don't want the room to seem childish or silly (or overcrowded). Do you think I can pull it off?

So, this week I worked on Office Week instead of Living Room....I went through 7 years of papers and household files...shredded the bulk of it, and organized the rest: taxes in labeled envelopes in a metal file case; long-term files in a banker's box for the attic; active files in a desktop hanging file organizer; birth certificates, savings bonds, passports, etc. organized in another metal file case.

Most importantly all this work spurred my husband and I into finally drawing up our wills. We were procrastinating because it was hard to choose among potential guardians for our children. We bit the bullet realizing that anyone of our family members that we chose would love our children, and it would be better for us to choose than leave it up to the courts. We decided to each make a list and the first match would be the worked. To make the wills, we used a simple Quicken program found on and it was truly painless. I can't believe we put it off for so long because we felt intimidated. Some weight has lifted off of my shoulders.

Still a lot of work to be done in our new office:

1. Get rid of our king-sized mattress & boxsprings that are propped against the wall where the shelves belong. A friend is supposed to be taking the bed this week...if she doesn't finally come to pick it up, I'm going to be ruthless and put it on the curb (harsh, but I've been holding it for her for 8 weeks now).

2. Paint one wall (to cover monkey mural I painted when the room was a nursery). I'm considering either using chalkboard paint or a bright apple green. Eventually I'd like to cover the existing robin's egg blue on the remaining walls with a nice white for a brighter, more contemporary look, but am definitely not up to painting the entire room this go round.

3. Install a wall closet system to store my clothing (cobbled together from things we already own...2 IVAR units with a clothes pole mounted in between).

4. Put all clothing in its new home. (I'll do a mini-Wardrobe Therapy whilst doing this.)

5. Move in storage units from living room (containing my husband's vast collection of vinyl).

6. Move a small loveseat out of our attic bedroom into the room (eventually this will be replaced by a small sofabed or futon).

7. Hang map and other artwork.

All this work might take up the rest of the Spring Cure weeks, but that's okay with living room can wait. So, my Cure is not following the prescribed plan exactly--not that any of us are following the cure in a predictable, conventional fashion. I like that everyone can adapt the AT plan to their own needs and homes, and it is so inspiring to see everyone accomplishing so much during these weeks together.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Week 3: entryway update


New rug from Ikea in place. I know it looks wrinkled....I bought it from the as-is room and it needed a wash. I didn't want to put it in the dryer, so I hung it outside in the sun (finally a sunny day in Pittsburgh)...I think it will smooth out in a day or so, but if not, there's always the iron (if I can find it). I think the rug is a bit casual, but it does lighten up the space for the spring. Scrubbed and waxed floor...washed walls. Swapped oil painting by my father (will hang it in the living room) for a print of woman swimming (mostly blue, green and sepia tones). Hung a couple of little things above coathooks. Added blue/green pillow. The area probably needs a dose of bright color, so I'll look around the house for something to add to the table to hold pocket change, and I might hang a mirror somewhere. I would like a new lamp, but not hurrying on that. I would also like to paint the walls a brighter, lighter color, but not hurrying on that either...maybe next spring cure?

In the next month or so, we will install cubbies to the right of the kitchen door (above) and to the right of the front door (below).

Each unit will consist of 2 open lockers with hooks for coats/backpacks to hang, with boxes above and below for shoes, hats, sporting equipment, bike helmets, etc.

Am so eager to conquer the clutter that accumulates in this area every day. It is so nice to walk into a clean hallway. It immediately makes me feel more serene. The smell of freshly waxed floors helps also!
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Week 3 Flowers + Birthday Apple Pie

Week 2 Flowers + Apple Pie

My 9-year-old hates birthday cake. This year he requested apple pie instead. This was a big hit, especially compared to the very recent birthday party we attended where the candles were placed on deviled eggs (I'm not kidding!)