Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chelsea wishes you a Merry Christmas

Chelsea says Merry Christmas and so do I! I'm going to be taking a blogging break through the Christmas holiday so I can get all of the presents wrapped, house cleaned, menu set, family visited, etc. etc. - you know how it goes!

A very Merry Christmas to you all.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Outdoor Decor

As is the case with many this year, our budget is tight. I wanted to dress up our outdoor areas for the holidays but I didn't want to spend the money on the usual mixture of greens and miscellaneous bits and bobs that I usually do. So I went to the Dollar Tree and found a treasure trove of goodies! The green poinsettias above are velvet, I opted for green as the window boxes will stay this way through winter. I also found the felt snowman scene. I stuck a few skewers in to keep the little family in place and good to go! The greens were snipped from some trees in the backyard.

All in all a very affordable project.

I also found faux holly and the gold Christmas tree at the Dollar Store. Mixed in some more of the free backyard greens and the front stoop is all set.

I snapped these photos quickly before work and neglected to straighten the tree. My neighbor was outside at the time I was taking these and I think he though I was crazy!

This has nothing to do with outdoors but I wanted to show you a photo of the stocking my mother-in-law made Chelsea. I had to use the flash in order to get the details as the house was too dark. This baby is huge! It is much longer than Mommy and Daddy's stockings. I think Santa may have to stuff some newspaper in the bottom of this bad boy or he will go broke.
Warm hugs.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Want, Love, Need!

I have stumbled across a fabulous English company, Ella's Kitchen Company. Just look at these fabulous products! Love these drawer systems developed for holding dry foods and spices - they do ship internationally as well! Now I just need to save my pennies.


All photos taken from Ella's Kitchen Company.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our Christmas Village

Following up on my previous post I thought I'd share some scenes from our Christmas village. The previous post was a compilation of some of my favs from Flickr. This past weekend Jeff set up a small portion of our village pieces in our kitchen window. We have Radio City where we can take in the Christmas Show. Have you ever been? Even though I have been to NYC countless times and only live 90 minutes away, I still have not taken part in this holiday tradition. Perhaps in a few years when Chelsea can come with us...

I love the idea of walking around the snow covered streets and picking up some fresh mistletoe.

We can even stop off at Rockefeller Plaza for some ice skating (if I knew how to ice skate that is).

Here is an overall view. Also a bargain hunter tip - Lowes has packs of 4 street lamps for less than $6.00! We found this out after purchasing a Dept. 56 pack of 2 for $20.00. Needless to say, hubby returned those and purchased two Lowes sets at a fraction of the price.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Villages

I adore Christmas villages. From the time I was a kid I have been fascinated by them. I would always want to make myself teeny tiny and jump into one for a bit - have a truly Dickens Christmas and sing carols. Of course, I think I would be mighty lonely with all those ceramic figurines! One year, my father brought me to our local department store (Caldor's for those that may remember!) and bought me all of the village pieces they had. I had a great time setting up this village each year and I even named it Kringleton. I still have all of these pieces and they have been merged with Jeff's Christmas in the City set. We have QUITE a few pieces but not that much display space so for now we pick a handful each year and display them on our mantel. As Chelsea gets older it will be fun to set up the village with her and perhaps let it take over a room in our house for the season.
I also wanted to share this great post on creating some new family traditions. Love most of these and I think we will be putting some in place this year.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Local Harvest

Sharing some photos from one of our local apple orchards. I love they way they come to life in the fall. Such beautiful displays.

Love the greens and oranges together. Hope you are all well!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Easy Halloween Ideas Courtesy of Martha

I was perusing Martha's site for some holiday decor inspiration. Mainly I was looking for some super easy ideas as I don't have the crafting time I used to (presently I have NO crafting time - [insert my tearful face here]).

I love Martha's ideas but often find they require time I don't have. I was happy to find these simple and inspirational project photos. Above is a faux rose wreath made black by simple spray paint. The dollar store has a wide variety of faux flowers and foam wreath forms - this little diddy can be whipped up in no time and for under $10.

Loved this one too. What a great idea for Halloween night - my only concern would be that the pumpkin would be naked after the first few trick or treaters - some major sweet teeth in my neighborhood! This would be fun for a party or as an everyday candy display. I love to have seasonal candy on hand around the house - though I may have to change this as Chelsea gets older. Don't want to give her bad habits - definitely don't want her to take after her mom who considers candy a food group!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Wishes

Chelsea wishes you a Happy Fall!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flashcards for Baby

Country Living

I've been wanting to get some flashcards for Chelsea, simple things like numbers, the letters of the alphabet, colors, and some simple words. I searched but did not find anything that fit what I was looking for and that also had a low price tag. I decided to create my own flashcards and I wanted to share them with you. Now mind you, I am not graphics or design oriented (in a technical way at least) and do not have PS so I created these as Word documents. They are not the beautiful flashcards I envisioned in my head but they will do. I also figured a 6 month old needs simplicity and not a lot of extra design and do-dads.

I cannot figure out an appropriate way to attach a Word document or get a screen grab - I feel like I should be a bit more up on technology for a 31 year-old but it is what it is! I used Google Docs to create these links and some of the font sizing and formatting was lost (for example, the font size doesn't go above 36 in Google Docs). If you know of a better way, please leave me a comment. For now I am linking to the documents below.

Alphabet and Words Flashcards

Update: I only linked to the Alphabet Flashcards. The formatting is very off for the numbers and colors flashcards docs. If you are interested in these documents, I can e-mail them to you directly.

I also found this free download for numbers 1 - 4. Much nicer than mine!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Farewell Summer

Some last beautiful blues of summer. Time to bring on the fall oranges, browns, and yellows.

P.S. I have no idea why Blogger is putting in white space around these photos!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cookie Dough Brownies

I saw these brownies on Bakerella and knew I wanted to try them. Mind you my photos are no were near as nice as hers but I wanted to show you the results.
The fabulous thing about these yummy little morsels is that they are made with boxed and bagged mixes making the process that much faster. Perfect for me as I search for fast things I can cook and bake during nap time or within the short attention span of an almost 6 month old amusing herself near by.

The recipe can be found on Bakerella's site and also on the back of the Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough package. The recipe calls for a frosting topping or you can use Bakerella's ganache. The first time I made these I didn't have the frosting or ganache ingredients so they went (gasp!) naked but were still quite a hit. The second time I whipped these up I used the ganache and it definitely kicked them up quite a yummy notch.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11/01

U.S. Air Force photo

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Day at the Orchard

This weekend we decided to take Chelsea and Jeff's niece Juli to a local orchard. We had a great day picking peaches, feeding ducks, and just spending time together.

The orchard is beautiful. Acres and acres and acres of fruit trees. You can pick apples, peaches, raspberries, and squash flowers (I LOVE these tasty buds fried with a bit of egg and bread crumbs, yum!).

Though it ended up being quite a warm day, Chelsea did great. She didn't cry or fuss at all and was happily smiling and watching all of the activity around her. She is getting to an age where I feel a lot more comfortable bringing her out and about. First time mom, what else can I say?

The clouds were so beautiful. It made me slightly mournful for the inevitable end of the beautiful weather but we still have a few good months before winter sets in. Let's enjoy them!

So I've been thinking about my blog a lot lately. I so want to be able to change the look and post more often and work on all of the creative projects that are floating around my head but alas, that is not my life right now. My days are mostly filled with Chelsea and work. Working outside the home all day makes the time with Chelsea all that much more precious and I don't want to miss these precious baby months. All this to say, my blog is taking a turn towards things that occupy my day to day life and weekends and won't be focused solely on my creative endeavors. I guess that has been pretty obvious over the last few posts but I wanted to make it official. Now, I just have to get around to attempting to play with my blog template to reflect some of these changes. Something tells me that might take a while! I do want to send a big shout out to Monica. I asked her how she made her column headers and she very generously offered to make me some. I'm quite liking them!

Another thing I think I can make some time for is Natasha's fabulous party - It's All About Me. She is giving us a very generous 6 weeks lead time so I think I can come up with some time! This party is truly unique and a wonderful idea. Check out her blog for more info or click on the icon to the left.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Product Review: A Few of My Not So Favorite Things

We interrupt the usual creative, crafty, homey posts for a product review. Are any of you like me - sucked in my new products and informercials? Well I thought I'd let you know how my experimentation with a few new products has gone. In a few words, not so well!

Have you seen the infomercial for Wen? It promises to be the most wonderful thing for your hair and banish those "bad hair days." Well I happened upon this infomerical the other day while feeding Chelsea and I was mesmerized - imagine - only having to use one bottle of product! Having fabulous full hair full of body and bounce! But the price tag seemed a bit steep so I decided to research a bit further.

In doing some searching for reviews I found pretty mixed results and I also found many references to Sally's Beauty Supply version of Wen, Hair One - at a fraction of the cost of Wen I decided to give it a try.

First time around it wasn't too bad, by the second time I tried it my hair was left greasy, lifeless (even more so than usual!), and just felt icky. I persevered and decided maybe my hair was just getting used to it. Well it never did get any better. I give this product a big thumbs down. Now, my hair is pretty fine so perhaps it works better on thicker hair? I'm being an optimist here. It also adds time onto your routine rather than shortening it - you have to rinse your hair for so many minutes, massage the product in for so many minutes, rinse for so many minutes, massage more product in - ahh! Who has time for this?

So bottom line - don't get suckered in by Wen. Try the Hair One version first - it even comes in trial sizes.

I was also intrigued by the ads for this Dove deodorant which promises to "minimize the visual appearance of hair over time." Well I've been using it for a few months and I notice absolutely no difference. I'm not sure what they mean by "over time" - perhaps a year or two or three or four? As a deodorant it works just fine but be wary of their other claims.

If you have had different experiences with these products, please do share!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Flea Market Style

Computer problems persist but I had to pop in via my work comptuer to help spread the word about this wonderful new venture. This fabulous magazine will be making its debut in 2010 but we don't have to wait - Matthew, Ki, and Linda have just launched a fabulous new blog. Click on the link to the right to go there and help get the word out!

I cannot wait to see what these three cook up for us. It is sure to be quite a delight.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Dreaded Computer Problems

I have been felled by the dreaded computer problems. I think it was my cockiness that did me in. I would see others talk about their computer problems and think "that isn't going to happen to me." Well ha! The computer had other ideas. Jeff thinks he can fix it but needs the all important free time that we just don't have much of to do so. I'm on my work computer right now. Luckily I had given Jeff an external hard drive for a birthday gift (I know, its awfully romantic isn't it?) and he was able to save everything on our computer including all of my photos! I'll be visiting but probably won't be posting for a bit.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vintage State Trays

We have a small mudroom connecting our garage and kitchen. This room has been a challenge for me in terms of decor (okay, most rooms are a challenge - I need an interior designer to interpret what is in my head!). It houses the usual mudroom staples of a bench and boot tray as well as our wine refrigerator and our coffee area (a bar table holding our espresso machine and Keurig). Jeff recently laid down new flooring and I updated the white ruffle valances with some pumpkin colored velvet rick rack bought here. Those of you that know me, know I do not sew! I used a hot glue gun to secure the trim and thus far it is holding up rather well, close to a year later.

Jeff caught the fish on the wall. It was a prize fish and he was even awarded a certificate for it. Much to my dismay, he had it hanging in the mudroom, I wanted to move it down to our basement craft/man cave area. Over time, I came to realize that he was very proud of this fish and I was very proud of him for catching it, it symbolized something and meant something to him and isn't that what the decor of your home should invoke? So I decided to make peace with the fish and just go with it, especially since it is not in the most prominent room in the house. Still, the space was empty and needed a little injection of Karla, enter these adorable vintage state trays. I found four of them at an estate sale for next to nothing and sought out the Florida tray on ebay (Jeff lived in FL for four years). I glued a wire loop on the back of each and viola! I'm really liking the way they look on the wall, now I just have to get around to painting the beadboard!

On a somewhat related note, I had to share this adorable photo. Jeff went out to the garden to pick some lettuce. It seemed he was gone for quite a while and when I went to see what was going on, he was playing with Margot and they were relaxing in the grass. So cute! As many of you know, Margot hates the camera so I had to snap this from a distance.
Happy Tuesday!

Summer Sweeties

I recently attended a beautiful bridal shower and the favors were cupcakes! I wish I had brought my camera as they were displayed in a sugary delicious tower of pastel perfection. The hostess had these cupcake boxes all around the base of the tower and you simply popped your cupcake in as you were leaving. Genius! Perhaps I have been living under a rock but I have never seen these boxes before.

They held each cupcake perfectly and allowed each tasty morsel to reach its destination unscathed.

I'll give you one guess as to how long this little beauty remained in tact...

On a yummy related note, I recently saw this in Martha Stewart Living and thought it would be the perfect hostess gift for my neighbor's July 4th party. I neglected to photograph it before I wrapped it up (and I also forgot to get clear cellophane and had to use a leftover snowman version!). It was a big hit with the kids and adults alike. The homemade marshmallows don't really hold up to an open flame very well but they were gooey and delicious none the less!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Where Can One Find Affordable Cottage Style Slipcovers?

Those of you that have read my blog for awhile know that I really dislike my living room. It is painted yellow, which I thought would be fabulous at the time we painted it several years ago but I've pretty much not liked it since the moment the paint was dry. We have the couches and furniture that hubby bought when he was a bachelor. Definitely not my style at all. I'm not complaining, in these difficult economic times I'm happy to have a roof over my head and a living room to dislike. I really want to redo our living room but it simply isn't in the budget. I floated the idea of repainting the walls a neutral creamy white (the color we originally painted and I deemed too bland - I've since matured!) as a birthday gift (my b-day is in October) but the look on hubby's face made me think I should reconsider. So I floated the idea of at least slipcovering the God awful green couch and loveseat (I try not to feature this furniture on the blog but you can get a glimpse of it in this recent post.) This idea received a much better response (and maybe I can convince him that we need to paint after he sees how the great the slipcovers will look!).

Now I just need to figure out where I can get cottage style slipcovers similar to the styles I pictured here (I was Web surfing and bad Karla did not catch all the spots she lifted these photos from - I think most are from Country Living). I was cruising the Internet but I couldn't really find anything. I think custom is going to run too expensive. The seamstresses around these parts are not cheap! Maybe I can haggle with a talented sewing friend. Does anyone out there have a good source for slipcovers?

Friday, July 3, 2009


I've loved this project by Danielle Thompson since I first saw her post back in April of last year. Now that I have a child, I figured it would be the perfect time to try it out! I'm thinking I'll take Danielle's suggestion and make one a year to chart the change. It will be fun to hang them as a group as the years progress - not that I'm looking to speed up time. Chelsea is already 4 months old and I can't believe it!

P.S. I've had several people ask how I made the cupcake liner flowers. I hope to get a tutorial photographed and posted very soon, however, a certain little baby has been keeping me from getting much crafting done (no I'm not complaining). In the meantime, this post and this post were the inspirations.

Have a great day!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Roses and Soap

I had a few quick minutes while Chelsea was napping and decided to fore go cleaning up the house (so not me!) and make over the soap dispenser instead!

I planted three rose bushes last year. These are the first flowers, both are Abraham Darby.

We have had non stop rain and cloudy skies here in the northeast, sadly the rain is drowning my poor roses and they no longer look like this. I'm hoping all of the rain and zero sun won't permanently do them in. I'm new to rose gardening and hope to keep it up for many years to come as long as my plants stay alive!

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