Monday, December 31, 2007

My readers ROCK!!!!

Thanks to all of my genius readers who offered me so many ideas and tips...I was able to locate two curtain panels at the Restoration Hardware Outlet in California!!! I'm pretty sure the girl I talked to on the phone thinks I'm a fruit loop since I was practically in tears I was so happy. Yay! Hopefully, I will have them by the end of the week!

Sunday, December 30, 2007


I am in desperate need of help from my readers. My stepmom is redoing her entire first floor and was kind enough to give me two pair of Restoration Hardware curtains that she had in her living room. I had planned to put them in my guest room but I ended up putting them in my living room just to see what they would look like and I LOVE THEM. Problem is...I have three windows but only two sets of curtains. I need one more pair!
They are the Thai Silk Botanical panels in the 50x96 inch size in the Goldenrod color. This is the listing on the website. Imagine my glee when I was reading the catalog and noticed they were still listed in the sale category. Then, with stunned amazement I went online and realized they were no longer available. I've called the company to no avail. SOOOO, if you have a pair you're willing to part with or if you just happen to be perusing your local Restoration Hardware store and they have some in the sale bin would you PLEASE let me know? I'm kind of willing to pay whatever since I got the other two pair for free...
Thanks, gals!
One small addendum: lots of you have asked if I've tried ebay. I've been checking everyday for a month! I actually bought one set that I thought looked similar enough but when I got it in the mail it just didn't work. Sooooo, still looking!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dig down deep...

In your wallet, that is. Are you finding crumbs and hair rubber bands like me? No expense account left at this point. So why was I out shopping yesterday?
I don't normally do the post Christmas sales...I just don't like crowds and find it extremely irritating that people actually push and shove to save a few bucks. I do, however, try to get over to Hallmark to see what collectible ornaments they have left. They're great for the kids' trees. Luckily, Dr. Daddy took the entire week off so I was able to scoot out without the little lambs.
Here's what I found. Not bad, I think!

I also stopped by my favorite local gift shop and literally bought the wreath off their front door. I've been wanting two of these for the larger mirrors in my house but wasn't prepared to pay full price. Lucky me, they were half off! I also picked up this adorable Christmas fairy. I love these little guys from Mark Roberts. The bigger ones are great for decorating wreaths with as well. A fairy and a bow and you look like you paid a decorater hundreds of dollars for your fancy decor!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wrap it up!

So...some of you might have guessed that I'm a little type A. Just a little.
When it comes to gift wrapping I am seriously losing my mind and need to tone it down. According to my husband, that is. The thing is, I have a SYSTEM. Why is it that men don't seem to understand our systems?
I have four different trees, three with presents underneath. I've decided that the best way to do presents is to color code them. BabyBoy's are all under the tree in the sun room. Thus, they are all primary colors with candy canes and Santas. BabyGirl's are all pink, white and silver. This makes it much easier on Christmas morning when they're tearing away at boxes and not paying any attention to whose is whose. Everyone else's presents are under the tree in the living room and are labeled on the back with pretty average tags. (I figure they don't need to be fancy if they aren't going to be seen.) So, here's a sampling of the gifts.

Obviously, this post is after Christmas ( I was having ISSUES with posting the pictures). Just so you know...the system worked perfectly. Even my stepmom managed to roll into town with perfectly coordinating paper. I love that my family "understands" my need for perfection. Actually, I think they just indulge me because they think I'm one antidepressant away from the loony bin and they don't want to have to take care of my kids for me while I'm there.
Hope your Christmas was as Norman Rockwell as ours!

This is what I'm paying the big bucks for?

Funny conversation with BabyBoy last night:

We were reading the book The Night Before Christmas and got to the part about the reindeer.

BabyBoy: Where's Rudolph?

Me: I don't know, maybe he's taking a break.

BabyBoy: Oh, I forgot. He went to history.

Me: (laughing) Yeah, I guess that is how the song goes.

BabyBoy: No, really Mama. He went to history. It's where things are in the past. We learned it in school.

It's Christmas....All Over!

This will probably be my last Christmas decorating post. Only a few days left and I have lots of cooking to do! Today I'm posting pictures of my sun room, den and foyer. The sun room has become one of our favorite rooms in the's so light and cheerful. The tree in our sun room is our "family tree". Each time we take a family vacation we buy an ornament for our tree. We have lots of beautiful, unique ornaments on this tree that help us remember all of the fun we've had together as a family. We also string real popcorn for this tree and I have lots of red balls to fill in the extra space. The tree topper and skirt were purchased from Pottery Barn Kids after I read Preppy Wedding's post about all the great deals you could get with free shipping.

The sun room does have an odd corner that we're not really sure what to do with. Two owners ago, the sun room was converted from a deck to a fully enclosed room. At the time, the man who lived here insisted that he still have somewhere to grill. So, they added a cabinet with a copper countertop and a built in electric grill complete with downdraft. Then the wife decided that if he was getting a grill then she would put an oven in, thereby giving the house two ovens. Not a bad idea in theory, but we don't use the grill at all and only use the extra oven on holidays. It's been a challenge to decorate but this is what we've come up with.

Of course, we all have one of these...

Our den is a warm, cozy place to watch tv and read. I used the bookcases to display our stockings, including Dr. Daddy's first Christmas stocking. I also used the window in between the two bookcases to display Christmas Cards. We used to hang them on a tree in our old den but that tree was too tall for this house so I had to improvise!

The foyer is your standard foyer. I put some garland on the stairs and I have two oversized velvet and leather stockings that I hang at the top and bottom. These are the first things the kids see on Christmas morning and we'll have some fun little treats in them to get the day started!

The dining room is pretty boring this year! I've been hoping to make some boxwood wreaths to hang in the windows and over the mirror but I just haven't gotten there yet! The centerpiece is miniature poinsettias and ivy and the side table has all the pictures of my kids and Santa from years past. It's getting pretty crowded already! I love to see how much they've changed.

And later...(hopefully today, maybe tomorrow) we'll share a word about gift wrapping. I know you're just on the edge of your seat...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Where to Buy

I've had lots of people ask me about the mobiles in my last post. The one with the two planes and the globe was from Restoration Hardware. You might be able to find some of the others here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Train Depot

When we moved into our new (old) house, I asked BabyBoy what kind of room he wanted. In our last house his room had kind of a travel theme. The roman shades had fabric with camels, pyramids, midevil looking tents, compases and maps. He has several mobiles and hot air balloons hanging from the ceiling. I used to buy him one each year at a little store in Corolla, NC. I love how they add depth to the room.
For his new room BabyBoy had only one request. "I want it to look like a train depot". No surprise there, but how the hell do I accomplish that without putting some cheezy mural on the wall?
SOOOO, I scoured catalogs for anything I could find that might add that "train depot" feeling (whatever that might be). I settled on a fun hanging light from Pottery Barn Kids.

This was pretty much the best I could do with the train depot theme. Then, we found this awesome rug shop in Farmville, Virginia. In our old (new) house we had carpeted bedrooms. In the new (old) house we have hardwood floors (which I LOVE). So, we needed three new rugs. The store we found is called
Rug Rats. They have a huge selection of decorator rugs. We picked the patterns we liked and then ordered them to fit. I love the rug we found for BabyBoy's room. It's definitely a style that will carry him from childhood up into adolescence (assuming he doesn't manage to destroy it by then!).

His bed, bookshelf and armoire are from Pottery Barn Kids as well. I'm not in love with the quality of their products, but for the price I think they're fine.

I've already mentioned the mobiles, and I also had a local artist paint a framed cork board for all of the little art projects, etc. that he'd so love to tape to the walls! She did a great job of replicating the compass images from the fabric that I used to make the window treatments.

I made his window treatments about four years ago for his old room and thank goodness they fit the windows in our new (old) house. They had to be slightly altered but that's nothing compared to having to make them all over again!

Now, for his tree! BabyBoy requested a tree with (eek!) colored lights this year. Thankfully, I had a four and a half footer stored up in the attic that hadn't ever been used. We set it up on his train table and he has loved building different tracks around it. His tree is unique in that the topper is a wooden Pinnochio that my Mom bought in Florence, Italy. I wire it to the the top of the tree. The other ornaments are mostly Hallmark with a Nickelodeon or Disney theme. He also has some trains and some sports ball ornaments. In the past we've done a popcorn string all around the tree but since this one was smaller we just did some sparkly stars. He loves to sleep with the tree lights on at night. My little scaredy cat.

Hopefully, I'll get to post the family room and sun room tomorrow. BabyBoy is home from school today with a "tummy ache". It seems to be catching, as when I picked him up this morning there were several other boys being picked up at the same time. They were all planning the football game they were going to play together this afternoon. Hmmmmm...maybe not so sick after all.

BTW...Eric! You're too sexy for my blog. Love ya!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Christmas Miracle

Finally! A great Santa picture. Last weekend we attended a Breakfast with Santa event that serves as a charity function for CHIP. It was hosted at our local "fancy" hotel. The deal was, you got a time card that told you when your sitting was with Santa. So, our time was 11:50am. We went into the main dining room at 11:30am when it opened and then found our way out to the line at 11:45am. The kids were understandably excited and running around. We threatened many times that if they couldn't behave they wouldn't get to see Santa at all. Not surprisingly, they were unfazed. Smart as they are, they surely realized that Mommy was not standing in that damn line for nothing and there was no way they would miss their chance with good old Santy Claus. The photographer took FOREVER. We're talking five or six pictures per kid and she was actually trying to pose them (hands in the right place, head tilted just so). It was killing me. Finally, when we got our turn, the kids marched right up to Santa, sat on his lap and performed swimmingly. Perfect smiles...hold that pose for a sec...ok, great! Done in 15 seconds. By the time we got back to the food it was cold and mostly picked over. Overall, a sucky event but I can't complain about the photo! We'll definitely be going to the club next year.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

SO not worth the effort

Well, I tried to make the fudge covered marshmallows that I posted about a few days back. All I can think of to say is that it reminds me of a glorified Moon Pie sans cookie. And what a pain in the ass to make! You have to make the marshmallows. Not too difficult...just messy. Then you have to make the marshmallow cream. Apparently, I do not know what the consistency of marshmallow cream should be (no surprise since I've never actually tasted it) and over mixed mine. Then, you have to make the fudge. I think if I had used a real candy thermometer as opposed to the meat one I used then it might have worked out better. I also think that I might have burned the butter mixture. At any rate, my fudge turned out looking like cornbread batter but brown. No dipping consistency whatsoever.
The only problem then became that I had over 50 marshmallows cut and dipped in corn starch and ready to be dipped in chocolate, as well as a three and a half year old who was absolutely certain that she would be eating one when she got home from school. Damn me and my fabulous ideas.
I ended up melting a pound of semisweet chocolate and dipping them in that. It took forever and I think they might be a bit sweeter than they should be but atleast they're done!
In the future, I will most definitely be
ordering from the company.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All I Want for Christmas

I thought it would be fun to do a little "what if" shopping today. If, say, I didn't still need the house painted, new curtains, a full retirement account, etc., etc., what would I want for Christmas? Here a are a few of MY favorite things...

The crocodile Hermes Birkin Bag. Oh, to be Mary Kate Olsen. What would I give to have one of these babies? I can just see me now, walking into preschool with my fancy new bag. Actually, I think if I had this bag I probably wouldn't need to go anywhere for the rest of my life. My bag and I could just hang out at the house and snuggle all day.

The citrine and diamond enhancer from David Yurman. Citrine is my signature color after all! Maybe Santa will hide this in my stocking. Oh, wait. No. He'll be hiding the opener to the new f*&$%$ng garage doors I just bought.

Every winter I indulge Dr. Daddy by taking a week long ski trip. I'm just not into it that much anymore but he loves it and now the kids do, too. Wouldn't it be nice for him to indulge me and buy this lovely fur trimmed coat from St. John?

Never in a zillion years would I admit it to Dr. Daddy, but I do so love the beauty of a fine Italian sports car. This Maserati would look lovely in a midnight blue with tan interior sitting in my driveway. Hey, it works for Eva Longoria!

Alas, I'll have to settle this year for happiness and health and the joy I'll have from watching my kids realize the fun and excitement of giving AND receiving gifts this Christmas. We're really working on that giving thing...

Monday, December 10, 2007

More Christmas Decor

As promised, I have another room to display today. This is the living room, which is one of my favorite rooms in the house because I love all of the warm colors. I'm still missing one pair of curtains, but let's pretend we don't notice, shall we?
My living room tree is very special to me because it is symbolic of the patriotism and political history in our great country. How so, you ask? On this tree, I have the White House Historical Society Christmas ornaments from the past 25 years. My Mom started collecting them when her neighbor worked as a secretary at the White House. She continued the tradition for many years and since she passed away I have been collecting them each year as well. Last year, my Dad gave me all of my Mom's old ornaments so now I have a complete collection.
This tree also has an animal theme. No surprise there, since I love feathers and fur. The overall picture of the tree didn't turn out so hot. It looks kind of crooked for some reason. I'll try to get a better one with the gifts under it later on.
The mantle is decorated with a porcelain Santa topped stocking and some really cool beaded plant holders I got a few years back. The bows are all made from Midori ribbon.
If you have a chance, you really should go to the White House Historical Society website and check out this year's ornament. It pains me greatly to admit that the most beautiful and stylish ornaments came from the Clinton years.
At any rate, all of the White House Historical Society ornaments have historical siginficance and are a wonderful collection to have. Check them out at the White House Historical Society webpage.

This year's ornament:

Now, the living room...