Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stoooooopid B&E

Hi remember me?

 I'm a gal with so much to write about and a toddler in pre-school in the mornings - so I have actual time to write - and I can't write here in this blog. 


Because while I was on vacation this August and my husband was at work our house was broken into by some little punk who stole our Xbox, my MACBOOK Pro and smashed my daughters piggy bank to steal her coins.

I can't even begin to tell you what a piss off this has been!  

Luckily the robber didn't stay long, hurt anyone, take heirloom jewelry or vandalize anything but seriously yo - my computer? Uhhhhg. Thankfully iCloud was activated and I have my photos. Unluckily, four days before the home break in we moved out of our office and my husband threw out the box for the computer so we had no record of our serial number. Try to prove you had a MacBook Pro with out a serial number. 

I' m having a new BIG hard drive put in an old MacBook .... Soon I'll be up and running again.

Learn from my hard lesson people....

1. Photograph your belongings & serial numbers.
2. Record your serial numbers
3. Store those numbers in a safe place
4. Find a killer hiding place for your heirlooms.
5. Count your blessings daily that you do not have to steal to have the things most people have.

See y'all soon - be well and come back!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Never Ever Ever Ever Ever

... miss lunch at Rachel's House if you're invited!  

I'm pretty certain I don't even need to add words to this page to prove why you should never ever ever miss an invitation to lunch at my friend Rachel's house.  Honestly, she puts on the most beautiful spread at every occasion. This luncheon was for our dear friend Alice who was celebrating her 80th birthday!   I'm after Rachel to start a blog about her lunch and dinner parties and then turn it all into a book ... you can see why:

Hostess gift, birthday gift and party favours.
I make it a habit to never ever arrive to a lunch or dinner engagement without a hostess gift of some sort. I like to bring flowers, and while Martha Stewart frowns upon bringing fresh cut flowers sans vessel to a dinner party where the host may be too busy to source a vase and put the flowers out, I say poo poo to you Martha! My friends have got it all going on and can handle such a little aside.

Party Favour
The theme was Alice's Blue Dress so I bought Blue Belle and Iris bulbs then attached a note about friendship and some of the lavender from my garden

Rachel explaining the dishes to Doris
Asparagus with chopped egg

Quinoa salad made by our Kadra
My plate piled high!
Asparagus, quinoa salad and chilled lemon trout over baby greens...

Iced tea - a southern staple

Local cantaloupe and strawberries thank you Doris!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wave Babies

Last week, on what turned out to be a perfect beach day, my friend Susan; her boys Jonah and  Luka, Fin and I headed to Fort Macon Beach on the Atlantic Ocean in Morehead City NC.   We arrived in time to picnic lunch and spent the whole day exploring the beach.  It was AWESOME!

Happy Mamas 
Luka & his Boogie Board

Finner & Luka Dooo


Jonah catching sand fleas
Playing in the poodle

We have made some very good friends while living here in the south.  Our kids get along famously, our parenting philosophies are similar and it is easy and fun to hang out in a group...let's face it when parenting  - it's awesome to have allies!

The best part of having a three year old is having some autonomy.  There are brief breathing spaces where I can find myself separate from the attention I give my toddler.  At three she can entertain herself a lot better and play with friends more cooperatively.  I'm not saying there are no melt downs or me/mine behaviours they just seem to be a little further apart which is SUCH A RELIEF after the TWOS...Susan and I could actually hold a conversation ... that's HUGE!

Anyway it was a great day punctuated with ice cream sandwiches, shell collecting, attempting to swim in huge waves, dinner out at El Zarrape and a quiet drive home with three snoring kids in the backseat. I can't wait until we can go again!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

John Deere Birthday Party

Let me begin this post by saying the only involvement I had in this party was the cake and some of the food.  Otherwise this party was the brainchild of my sister in law Dee.  She and her husband live on an awesome horse farm in Eastern NC, our children all have birthdays within a few days of one another so Dee usually does up a party with her friends and our family and we join in.

This year Dee chose a John Deere theme and we took the kids strawberry picking.  We probably should have weighed the kids coming and going from the berry field! They ran through the rows eating more than they picked and all their mother's were chasing behind the kids picking up half eaten berries and throwing them in the baskets.  Have you ever seen a kid eat a strawberry? They take one bite toss it and move onto the next berry. It was strawberry field carnage.   

Finley (Birthday Girl!) chewing strawberry and checking out the field.
Noah (Birthday Boy!) picking strawberries.
Finley and Gavin cousins and birthday boy and girl!
The three birthday kiddos
Of course the John Deere was hooked up to the trailer for a hay ride.

Dee set up the tables outside and the kids ate in the open air.  Mini hay bales held organic lollipops and each child was given a fabric  John Deere ditty bag made by my Mother in Law.  It was a a really cute birthday theme and the kids had a blast ripping around the farm and the berry patch. 

Mini hay bales used as table decor.
Ditty Bags as treat bags. They were later filled with goodies from the pinata

The table set for the kid's dinner.

Our Birthday Girl wearing her John Deere birthday t-shirt -an Etsey special order.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tractor Cake ....

This year's birthday party theme was John Deere so it called for a TRACTOR CAKE. 

I surfed the Internet for cake inspiration and then settled on this basic concept for a cake. 

9X11 cake pan

I made a cup cake for the front tire and a small corning wear  dish was used for the back tire.

Place the tires on the cake and cut out the cake where the tires will fit.

Then use the left over cake to make the seat & exhaust.

Then ice it!

 What does the 533/ 12 stand for?   The kids birthday ages and the year!  Gavin turned 5 and Noah & Finley were 3.  The kids were all born a few days apart so my sister in law throws one party for all three kids. It's a blast!   Come back soon to see pics from the John Deere Themed Party!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recovered the Dining Chairs

It was high time I recover the dining chairs.  We have only one dining set and it is a family heirloom and we love it ...being that it is the only dining set in the house we use it every day.  I had been pretty lucky about keeping the chair's upholstery in good repair until January when it seemed everything landed on the chairs and by landed I mean the chairs were;  peed on (not by me...), drawn on,  poured on, there was the great chocolate cake debacle and finally the stain of all stains homemade butternut squash soup (Made especially for Fin by our dear friend Kadra - we LOVE it!).   The soup is a most delicious and naturally highly pigmented substance which was the last stain to land on the old upholstery.

After a quick trip to Hancock Fabric I picked out a great material from the remnant pile.  It was $39.99 a yard but since it was a pattern from a few years ago I picked it up for $5.00  a yard and this time I bought extra in case another catastrophic spill warrants a recover.  The whole tally came to $16.00 and I have more than I need left I'm thinking pillows for the outdoor area.

Tools of the trade include a screw driver, staple gun, staples and hammer.

It really is not rocket science to recover chairs...

The butternut stain for posterity.

First you remove the seats from the chairs with the screw driver ....

The honeymoon set. See the hearts in the chair backs & buffet doors?

Then you take out your material and lay it out on a flat surface and measure out your covers....

Material from Hancock Fabric remnant pile

I ONLY IRON when it's necessary - when sewing it's necessary.

Lay the chair back on the material and then fold the material over to cover the edges so you don't leave an edge to fray ... then use the trusty staple gun with "upholstery staples" ( they're longer) to attach the material to the back side of the chair.  I chose a material pattern that does not have an up or down which made it easy to cover.  You have to be more picky with stripes or florals that must have a visual accuracy....I won't even go there!

Fold over your edges before stapling.

Ta Daaa.  See it's that easy.

This time I bought Scotch Guard ... and once all the chairs were covered I took the seats outside and sprayed the snot out of them and let them dry and sprayed them again!

And here my friends is the final project.  

It's all about changing the material on a whim with a shoestring budget that way you don't sweat the dinner party spills.  Life is too short to obsess over stains I say!  Re purpose, redesign,  and be creative!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Toddler Tales

Today's GEM from the Mouth of MY Toddler

Finner there's apple sauce all over my chair!

The apple sauce did it all by itselfes.

I fold my face into my shoulder and walk briskly out of the room before I laugh.  
Seriously kid. NO ONE is gonna buy that story.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Back Yard Bok Bok

For years my husband Steve has been talking about getting a few chickens to raise for eggs and meat.  I'm totally on board the whole pets/eggs scenario, but, I don't eat meat and I really don't think I can get past our named backyard brood to eat our birds.  I digress, Steve raised chickens when he was a kid and so he has a grasp on the whole operation - this is entirely new to me, but, this Ship is on board 100 percent. Let the adventure begin!

April 10th - Fin's 3rd Birthday, Big Daddy P came home 
with eight day old chicks.   A gift for Finley.

Fin and honey Cat sat with the chicks for most of the day.

We have four pullets - We think they are Rhode Island Reds.
 And we have four black chicks that are NOT SEXED.
Time will tell if we have a rooster in the brood.
The chicks lived in this crate for about two weeks while we got the coop ready.
It was still pretty cool at night and so they needed the heat lamp.
Big Daddy P working on the coop.  It's built into the tree house.

Making the door for the coop.

Tadaaa the coop.

Once the chicks were about a month old we began to name them.  Some of the chicks are named after kids in Fin's pre-school class;  like Caroline and Sally.  Other friends of ours got to name the birds too.  We have Big George, Mario, Lyndsey, Poopie, Darla and ... I can't recall the last one's name  ahhhh - hit the comments and send us suggestions for new name?

Juvenile Birds - about three to four weeks old here.
 They're always sitting on one another.

Fin loves to handle the chicks.  They're getting used to us.
Bok! Bok! Bok!

Setting up the feed and water.
Fin is helping the chicken into her nesting house.

We let the chickens out to free range the back yard while we are at home.  At first I was afraid they'd take off  - you know like a dog would at the first chance to flee the fenced yard - but the chickens really are birds of a feather ... they flock together!  They graze and then head back to roost in the coop.  Usually all together.  They have established a pecking order and we've seen very few fights.   They sure are fun to watch!

Raised chickens?  Have any tips for us?