The Cool Kids

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A bad case of the Mondays...

"Is seven too young of an age?" asks the youngest.

"For what?" I ask, nervously.

"For not wanting Monday to come. The weekend went by so fast! I need another day to play." he explains.

The old-school teacher in me wanted to say, "Yes! Seven is much too young! First grade is so much fun and it's almost over! Enjoy it while you can!" (Yes, the teacher loves exclamation points.)

The momma in me wanted to say, "Yes. You shouldn't dread Mondays...but why don't you just stay home instead and bake cookies with me?"

The tired, grown lady in me, the one who spent most of her Sunday nights panicking about Mondays, wanted to say, "No, you're not too young. It's about time you figured it out! Welcome to our club. Now. GO pack your backpack and lay out your clothes. Monday morning comes fast."

At the moment, I use the teacher-explanation. The kid IS only seven.

The eldest child, the middle child and the man all give me the same look. You know. The one that says "Oh, that poor, poor child sure has a long road of Mondays ahead of him.." Yes.Yes he does.

May your Monday go smoothly, friends.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Woo Hoo!


I received a sweet e-mail today from the people at "NEW LOOK". They are part of the Simplicity Pattern Company. They are also the makers of my three "pattern reviews".

The skirt I made,  New Look 6873 and my blog were featured today on the company's Facebook page!

How fun is that?

Go take a look and give them a like. I am so happy!

See, girls who fall UP stairs can have good days too :)

Happy Thursday, friends :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Have you ever...

Yelled at a toaster?

Have you furiously pushed the lever up and down, turned the whole thing over, dropped the bagels that were in it on the floor and THEN realized it wasn't plugged in?

Have you microwaved something and forgot about it? Twice?

Have you warmed up something on the stove and used the wrong burner? Did the burner have a plastic bowl on it?

Have you ever taken out the trash and then fallen UP the steps while people were walking by?

Yeah, maybe.

But, have you done all of that before noon on the same day?

I have.

Happy "I'M-GOING-BACK-TO-BED" day, friends.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Convo with an inanimate object..

Oh, hello crispy apple.

Yes, I know we had a date this morning. Right after yoga, I was going to eat you up. "Be healthy" I said, knowing that I halfway meant it.

But yoga was hard, man. I couldn't get into the groove. It was impossible for me to focus on "letting go", when I knew I had so much to do today...

Regardless, I see you sitting there, all full of juicy goodness... Of course you're lovely. I chose you over that bunch of bananas and plateful of cuties, didn't I?

The thing is, I went to pull crock-pot stuff out of the freezer before my snack. It was then that I saw these:

I suddenly remembered that I had purchased those cute plates last week for a dollar.

Oh, and those cute candle holders for a dollar-fifty...

Hmm? What's that? Yes, I know. I ducked out of meditation for some Pinterest time. It was wrong. BUT I found some cute ideas on there. I had this glue on hand..

and decided to make this.

C'mon apple. You know you and all of your fellow Gala friends couldn't fit on that little plate...

I made some all of the cookies. They were so warm. And gooey. And they fit perfectly on that new creation of mine...

I had some milk on hand. I really can't drink milk with apples. No, milk is better suited for cookies.

What? I hate milk? Oh that's right. While I was making cookies I must have inadvertently also made coffee. Dang. Coffee goes really well with the cookies I just put on another plate. Where did they go? Hmm.

Anyway, little apple. I apologize for not snacking on you. Yes, you would have been the healthier choice, but... I'm talking to an apple. Isn't my mental health a little more in need of fixing right now? I have to be honest and say the cookies were a bit better suited to deal with that problem. I didn't even talk to them. There simply wasn't really any time for us to get to know each other.

But you. Let's see. I do believe I can fit you in somewhere between lunch and dinner...say, 2:30 ish? For now, I'll just put you back with your friends.

We'll meet in a little while..

Hey! Perhaps you can join some other friends. Like cinnamon, sugar, flour and butter... Yes. We'll definitely catch up later in this:

Say, little apple. Would you mind terribly if we kept this conversation to ourselves?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tax Day!

Dear State and Federal government,

Ouch. Seriously.


Me (and the man, who is currently rocking in the corner)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bring on the rain..


Did I, lover of all things sunny really say that? I did!

We've had a bit of rain the last few days, but it's been "helpful" rain. I can see beautiful weather on the horizon and couldn't be happier. Here are a few reasons why I haven't minded this week's precipitation:

1. Yesterday, my friend introduced me to a brand-new craft store that had just opened up. It is super-close AND it carries fabric. The outing was a perfect respite from the dreary weather. Score!

2. Aforementioned friend bought me a Carmel Macchiato :)

3. Aforementioned store carries Carmellos.

4. I was able to watch the cold rain fall and cut out fabric for new summer bags.

5. I've been able to play that silly Draw-Something game off and on with two of my kids, the man and a crazy-good drawing girlfriend. Yeah, you know who you are.

6. I can look up at the new mountain top snow and know that a few of my friends are loving the last-chance skiing.

7. I can look out my own window and see my own lawn greening up beautifully.

8. I dropped off my son at school yesterday, then watched as he ran to hold his half-working umbrella over a very cute girl's pigtails. I could tell that half of his jacket was getting wet, yet knew he didn't mind one bit.

9. I can wear flip-flops AND a cardigan at the same time.

10. I grabbed the paper off of my porch this morning and smelled something wonderful. No, not bacon from the neighbor's. Sweet smells. It wasn't until after work (when the sun was finally peeking through the clouds) that I noticed them. The wonderful scents were from these:

Thank you, rain.

I hope you can find some "beautiful" this weekend, friends.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pattern Review- New Look 6873

Here is a review I wrote for "Pattern Review" of a cute (but very short) skirt.  I love the style, but will have to pass it down to my equally-cute daughter, you know, because she's 18. And well, I am not.

I'm going to try to make another, in a longer version. Till then, here it is.
Yeah, I'm old. No judging.

New Look 6873
View C

Pattern Description: 
This pattern includes 3 different kinds of short skirts, shorts in two lengths and a pair of wide-leg pants.

Pattern Sizing:
I bought the Size A 8-18. I'm a RTW 2-4 on the bottom, so I made the 8

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Very much so.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
There were only 6 pattern pieces total for the skirt I made. (view C). The skirt came together quickly and easily. The steps (drawings) were easy to follow along with..

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the pockets in the skirt, the wide yoke and the way the skirt flows. I also like having the zipper on the side- It blends in very well with the shape of the skirt. The only dislike I have is that the skirt is a wee bit short. I knew that from the picture; I'm just not a spring chick any more. For a younger woman, this is adorable.

Fabric Used:
I used a cute grey cotton with yellow flowers. I got it at Walmart last year for 2.97/yard. Can't beat that!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made the pattern without any alterations. I did zig-zag the hem.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would love to sew this skirt again. For my daughter, the length is perfect. For her mama, I'd have to add a few inches. I would definitely recommend making the skirt- keeping the length in mind. I think I will, however give the skirt a try in a Lycra to fit over my yoga shorts. 

This was a very easy skirt that is perfect for spring. The pockets are wonderfully deep and the yoke is thick enough to lie nicely on your hips without rolling. It comes together pretty quickly. Keep the shorter length in mind. 

cute skirt...

that is really short!!

but I love the pockets!!!

and that it doesn't "ride up" in the back.

Here's the back view where you can see the yoke and side pocket.

There it is. Fit for this lady's 18 year old :)

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter, Everyone!

Hello friends!

We have rented the movie "HOP" and are getting ready to color Easter Eggs for a small hunt tomorrow morning. Church services, followed by some serious family time. By family time, I mean sharing-of-the-jellybeans, peeps and chocolate rabbits.

However you are spending your day, I wish for you a blessed Easter Sunday full of love and light.

(and marshmallow chicks)

Happy Saturday, friends :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Basement Bathroom is Finished!

Well you know, nothing is ever REALLY finished, but for now, we are "DONE!"

As you know, this wasn't our favorite redo. But, I love the finished product and am so happy that we were able to make even the smallest of improvements. One of my favorite parts of this little room is that it reminds me of something I might have found in my great-grandmother's house. Nothing fancy, but not bad at all for a basement bathroom. I'm secretly in love with the "shabby chic" look; even more in love that the plumbing and electricity are working properly...

Here are some before and after pictures. I hope you like feminine, because there will not be any "seats up/missing aimers" action allowed.  Also not allowed: newspaper reading, toilet texting, or using of the "good towels". Yup, it already feels like grandma's...

Before: Green bathroom with water-damaged floor and soggy cabinets.

After- Pink bathroom with "wood-like" laminate floor and pedestal sink.

Before: Medicine cabinet/ Acrylic sink top 

After- Pedestal Sink ($50), Mirror from Savers 4 bucks, baby!

Before- Water damaged floor, moldy baseboards (gross, I know.)

After- Laminate floor,  bigger baseboards, LOADS of caulk

Before- Sink top, faucet

After- Pedestal sink- Lowe's cheapest faucet. I thought it looked retro.

Before- Hollowed out bathroom. This is the floor in its pre-scraping, pre-cursing, pre-crying state. Peeling up the floor and glue was ridiculous. I almost said "Forget-it, use a glue-stick!" Actually, I know I said that.

After- I do love the new floor. It's water resistant. Woo Hoo!

Before- I can't begin to describe what we scraped off the walls, what we had to patch or how much of that old wax ring was missing.....UGH times three :(

After- replaced green board, wax ring AND toilet handle. How cute is that little thing-a-majig? The man almost suffocated me while he was balancing a sink and I was attaching that meaningless handle. I say whomever uses that toilet won't think it's so meaningless..

Before- Our light, which is about to find it's home in another room.

After- This one took some begging. $39 dollars at IKEA. After the man started to cry and scream about it, I gave in. He can have his fancy lighting. This time. Boys.

Before- another pic of the medicine cabinet and wall lights.

After: I liked those lights! We switched the bulbs to crystal shaped ones. They're supposed to last longer. The candle holder on the wall and the mirror were brass. The middle child sanded and painted them for me. 

So there it is. I still have to finish painting the moulding and hang the curtain on the see-thru door, but for now, I'll kick everyone out and take a bath. Or a shower. But I'll do it upstairs because I am NOT messing up this room....yet.

Leave me your thoughts...

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"Who WOULDN'T join the Air Force?"

That was the rhetorical question from the seven year-old today, after he saw a sign in our local Carl's Jr.

We live near Hill Air Force base.  The fast food restaurant is now offering free burgers and sandwiches to all current soldiers and vets.

"Free food AND already getting to know what you're going to wear everyday?...I'm going to join the troops!"
-Question and quote brought to you today by a future Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.

Happy Thursday, friends :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Advice from the eldest.

Hello friends! I'm so excited to present to you my very first guest blogger... I've been begging her to help me write for a while now because she is the funniest person I know. No pressure. At all.

Make it awesome, Alice!

After eons of begging, I finally caved in. Being the eldest child, I'm naturally the favorite, most talented, and best child my mother has. I mean, the boys are alright, but come on! So out of the kindness of my heart (and questionably to prevent any further slipping down on the favorite child totem poll ), I agreed to be the guest blogger. No pressure at all.. I must warn you: A. I'm a comma freak.. and B. Don't get your hopes up too much, but  I am just as hilarious as my mom says.. ;)

First guest blog post.. What could I write about? Well, the good thing about this being the first post by a guest is that I have no rough draft or previous awesome post to compete with. I thought about it a little- most people are on spring break, so no one really wants to read a deep and inspirational post and short and sweet is nice, but I've got to leave a first good impression as a guest.. I've chosen the topic of:

Top Five Things You Should Not Do on Spring Break:

  1. Renovate the downstairs bathroom you've been working on for many weekends now.
    • You may be asking yourself 'Why not?' The break is a perfect time to finish any previous home projects, right? WRONG! Tip #1: If you're hoping to enjoy yourself this spring break- especially with your family-do not get yourself into any situation involving  one or more visits to Lowe's. Nothing is worse than spending time off of school/work to pick out paint colors, and follow the Lowe's employees around acting like you're not intentionally annoying them until they tell you where they are truly 'hiding' the new shipment of that specific type of molding you're looking for. Lowe's does NOT count as a family 'outing'.
    2. Lay out in the sun all day everyday of break. 
    • Alright, let's get real here. Who doesn't love a relaxing day in the sun? The only thing I have to  say about this is that SPF is truly a beautiful thing! Coming from a teenager, being redder than a cherry and trying to convince your mother that you're not sunburned without crying by barely moving your toasted-arms, is much more difficult than you would presume. Tip #2: Just wear sun block! You'll thank yourself one day when your skin isn't equivalent to the texture and color of your overly-priced, Peta-protested, hip purse.
     3. Spring Clean.
    • It's the best feeling in the world to have a clean house, wouldn't you agree? Cleaning is a lot like working out. No one wants to do it, but in the end, everyone loves the outcome. I don't know how the whole cleaning process goes down at your house, but here's what happens at mine: Usually it all starts with the clank of a dish. It may seem like not much, but really it's the theme song to every kid's nightmare. Next, you've gotta analyze what it is that you're doing exactly. If it's not something that could pass as productive in the eyes of our parents, you best rush your sorry butt down to the dishwasher, or at least turn on the vacuum so that your participation can be easily noted. During this whole process, you say nothing. Absolutely nothing. If even a word of complaint comes out of your mouth, you've just earned a sly, despising  smirk  from your siblings for at least a few days. By the time the whole process is over, the house is clean and everyone is glad it's done. Tip #3: Save the cleaning for before or after the break. Deep cleaning is miserable for everyone.. why not save it for a time slot not considered to be utilized with leisure? 
    4. Give all of Your Time to Other People.
    • Okay, okay. I'm not knocking charity work here, people! Helping others rocks, truly! I'm only suggesting that you be careful who you promise your time to. So aunt Carol needs her cats groomed, Susie needs someone to help her paint her fence, grandma Pat hasn't seen you since Christmas, your best pal Kate expects you to attend her interpretive-dance party. (Let's get real here, who doesn't love a good interpretive-dance party?!). A few little promises here and there, and all of the sudden.. WHAM! Happy end of spring break! Where did the time go between filling twenty million plastic eggs for your lazy co-worker who promised their roommate's best friend it would get done, and pulling weeds from that one friend you can never say no to their garden. Tip #4: Say No! Don't let people take your time from you. It's your vacation time, and no one should be able to guilt you into thinking you owe them any of your time. Still be considerate, of course! If Susie really needs help painting her fence and you enjoy painting, go for it! Unless it involves going anywhere near a Lowe's. (Make sure the paint has already been purchased.) 
    5. Create a To-Do List.
    • A little organization never hurt anyone, right? WRONG! Haha
In short, I would like to thank you for reading this far.. You are my heroes, truly! To keep it short and sweet here, have an awesome spring break! Relax, stay safe, and have fun! :) Thank you to Shellybean for letting me be the guest blogger. I'm definitely not a natural like you, but I appreciate the chance! I know you don't keep count or anything in particular, but if you did, this should definitely boost me up like 734 points on the favorite child spectrum.. At least until Chris writes a post for you! ;) 

-Love Alice.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Just call me Picasso...

My kids have been trying for a while now to get me to play a game with them on my phone. It's an app called "Draw Free."

I refused for a long time because my daughter already had me hooked on "Words with Friends". One night, the man, my daughter and I all played WWF for hours. While sitting in the same room. Then we went to bed and played some more...I was AWESOME at that game!

But when you're lying next to your partner in bed and the most action you're getting is on an ipad, you've got yourself a bit of an addiction. When your husband calls you from work to tell you he played a word worth 92 points against the eldest, well, let's just say HE was a bit addicted. It was getting a little out of hand.

A normal mom would delete the app. I just decided to "leave it be" and not engage. Then my daughter showed me a game created by the same monsters as WWF called "Scramble Free". You have to find as many words as you can in a limited amount of time from a grid of letters. It's like the game "BOGGLE".

My eldest was amazing at Scramble. I was terrible at it. I can create words (like in crossword puzzles or WWF,) but am completely useless at racing to find words. I hate racing at anything, actually. It was pure embarrassment; losing every game, so Scramble was for me, easy-peasy to quit.

Like I said, the kids have been begging to play "Draw Free." Today, I gave in and started playing my son. You get to choose one of three words and draw a picture of it. Your opponent/partner has to figure out the picture. The fun part is, you are working as a team. You want to see how many pictures you can guess of one another's. My son and I have been playing off and on and have guessed 24 pictures so far. Let me tell you something, though. There has to be a bit of "knowing someone well enough" to play this game. I say this because my son has guessed the most pathetic drawings of mine known to man.

I'm not kidding. There is an awesome reason that I taught Kindergarten. Those students were too young to judge someone who had my lack of skill. Do you doubt me?

Please, Please check out my awesome version of the word, "BUDDHA" and tell me that my son doesn't have some sort of telepathy...Either that, or I'm being too hard on myself. Yeah, I didn't think so.

I'll be giving the game up as soon as one of the kids call me out on my drawing deficiency. Until then, my game name is shellybean70. KNOW you want to...

Perhaps I'll catch you in the world of apps, friends.
Happy Tuesday :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fool's Day!

Yeah, you read that right. I waited in angst all day yesterday to get tricked by the middle child. Our eldest is on a Spring Break trip, otherwise I would have been doubly nervous. They are pretty sly children, especially when they're given a free pass like April Fool's Day.

The whole day went by with out any silly surprises. Last night I forgot all about it. And then came this morning....Because what good is an April Fools trick if you're expecting it? What better surprise than to wait until April 2nd? Who is prepared for that? Not me.

I woke up to find this on my refrigerator door. Pretty good, eh? All I could think was, "How in the world did he get that nail in there? That door isn't even magnetic!"

The thirsty question on the paper? Oh that was because my joyous son also included the youngest in his pranks, and changed the color of my milk and Oj.

Now, there was no way on God's green earth that I was touching that aqua colored Orange Juice. And I hate milk. Plain milk that is. SO for a short minute I thought, "What if that milk is strawberry milk? What if as a trick to the dairy drink the youngest mixed in that strawberry syrup? He's ALWAYS asking to do that... Yup, that sounds just like him!"

I do not hate Strawberry milk at all; in fact, if milk isn't strawberry or chocolate, I don't touch it.

Being the thirsty, naive 41 year-old me, I drank the tiniest bit of that pink milk. It wasn't until that putrid liquid touched my tongue that I realized my kids could never be that kind. That milk was just milk, and I think it was spoiled. Ick.

The middle child met me in the kitchen with the devilish smile that he wears so well. All I could do was shrug my shoulders, pour the grossness down the sink and speak the words  only a mother who watched too much TV in the seventies would say, "Pretty Sneaky, Sis."

Yeah, I know. He's a boy. He's also a boy who's paying for new breakfast drinks. I will take him shopping with me tomorrow. And I may hold his hand the whole time. Nobody messes with mama :)

Happy Monday, friends !

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 40 of Forty: Sunday Gratitude

You guys. Look at that title. I believe it says Day 40 of Forty. What? I can't believe I kept up with it! I can't believe you kept reading! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that.

Why is it not Easter Eve? How are the forty days already over? They're technically not. Usually Sundays are "free days"where people can have some of the things they gave up, so they're not counted. Our family chooses to go straight through, even on Sundays, until Easter.

I can't regret that I blogged on Sundays though, because as I look back, I'm able to read about all of the things I was grateful for. Only a handful of things were blogged about, yes. But each one of them was heartfelt and true to me. I probably will still blog until Easter. That seems to be the right thing to do...

Anyway, Thank you, Thank you for following along on this silly journey of mine. I've said so many times before that my blog is here to enjoy. Here to share with you. Of course it's not a play by play of "real life". You would be bored to death or appalled if you saw the goings-on that occur in our everyday lives.  I've enjoyed beyond measure the opportunity to record my thoughts; even if it's only on a "crazy-momma"kind of blog.

I've loved your supportive, helpful, hilarious and loving comments. I thank each one of you who took the time to let me know my words were read and deserved some sort of reaction. Most of all, I'm so very grateful you came along for the ride :)

Here are my grateful five for this week:

1. Youtube. Man o man, who knew I'd be spending my days with the men of "This Old House"? I'm thankful for all of the videos I was able to watch on everything from putting a wax ring on a toilet to making doors hang straight to shimming a floor for a pedestal sink. Who knew? Not me! But I now know how to do a few more things..I also learned that it is completely okay at times to call a plumber :)

2. That "theatre-like" room. Our family was able to sit down there and watch "The Muppet Movie" together. We were able to microwave popcorn, eat some of our treats and sit in the dark together, watching a $1 Redbox movie. It's moments like that, that bring tears to my eyes. I was either really happy to have my family in one place or I was crying because I knew all of the words to the Muppets theme Song. Who can tell?

3. My sister. Yeah, that's probably an easy one, but I had a full-blown break down on Thursday. The kind where someone hurts you so badly, you not only want to, but need to cry. You want to hide in a corner like you did when you were little, when you thought you could become invisible. My sister was the only person I could talk to about my situation that afternoon. I texted her to ask if she could talk and when I heard the home phone ring and finally heard her voice, I ran up to my room, sat in my closet and cried like a five year old. She had me calmed down in five minutes. The thing is, if I talked to anyone else, I would have had to explain back story and a million other things. For a half hour, she was there; understanding every slurred word I could muster. At the end of that thirty minutes, I was completely better. Not one ounce of me was upset anymore. I couldn't be more appreciative of her words and her love when I need them most.

4. Fresh-Mex Salad and an iPhone. During my afore-mentioned breakdown, the man had brought home dinner. I love when it's his night to "cook" because it's always something that a take-out place creates. Believe me when I say that I am as grateful as if he had slaved over a stove; I really am... From texting my sister in the first place, I had my phone with me in the closet. It started to buzz. Through my tears I looked at the phone and there was a text from the man. It said, "When you are ready, there is a salad outside your bedroom door." Maybe that's why I was feeling better. Maybe I should be thanking the man. Again. If you have read enough of this blog, you already understand why he is my best friend. The fact that I'm thankful for him has to be a blanketed- given from now on.

5. FB friends and a hairdresser. I changed my profile pic this week to one that my girlfriend took of me on Tuesday night. I have had more cute comments and "likes"on that pic than any other I've ever posted. I know that it wasn't because all my grey was finally covered. I know it wasn't because I was in the beautiful lighting of a Denney's. I think that what people might have seen instead, was a silly "hair-shot", taken by my very good hairdressing-friend at 11:00 pm, over hot fudge sundaes and cheesy fries. Let me say that again. Over Hot Fudge Sundaes and Cheesy Fries! Can I get an Amen? I never enjoy getting my picture taken. I never feel like I can genuinely smile if I'm "posing". But I posted that photo because it makes me remember the super-fun night I had with an understanding, extremely funny, equal opportunity chocolate-loving friend. That alone makes me smile. For real.

Happy full-of-Grace Sunday, friends
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