Friday, June 27, 2014

atomic wedges

As I headed to the checkout at Old Navy, I spotted them. There they were, at the back of a floor table, lonesome, no other 'sunkissed lime' wedges to keep them company. A size 7? Surely they wouldn't fit. But lo! A quick slip-on proved that they did indeed. Sole-mates? I dare say.

The entire store was basically on sale for $6, so I figured the odds were good that these would not be their full $27 price tag (now, that's not to say they aren't completely worth the $27, I just have a moral problem with spending full retail at Old Navy. I just won't do it). A price check at the register...baited breath...score! On sale for $14, and I had a $5 off coupon - 9 whole dollars to own these.

My mind is already combining outfits and coming up with occasions for which to wear them. Cobalt fit and flare skirt, with a chambray shirt...black and white striped jersey cotton dress....white jeans with a silk navy tank top and statement necklace. I want to wear them with shorts, how do I do it? The new cutoffs? What kind of top? If not the cutoffs, then what style of shorts do I go with?

What have you scored recently? Is it wearable? A dining room table for Lon? A designer dress you just couldn't leave behind a la Juls?

til the lime slices,
Em

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Search for the Perfect Dining Room Table

We’ve lived in our house now for almost two years and our search for the ultimate dining room table is still as much a process as it was back when we first moved in. Only now, we’ve accepted our tablecloth covered bridge table in our dining room as if it was that perfect, somewhere out there table that I yearn for. 

I’m far from your traditional fancy shmancy dining room table kind of gal. I want something unique, I want something different … like me!

I want a farmhouse style table … but the problem is do they make other pieces to go with the look that I want? I want a server, and I want a china cabinet (for the china that’s still sitting in my mother-in-laws basement, that I still don't think I needed, but was told I would get lots of great use out of it!)

I have these beautiful chairs that a family friend gave me – so really if I could find the perfect table problem solved right?! Ha, I wish it was that easy, they apparently don’t make a table for me, or they do but it’s only something a millionaire could afford.


While I haven’t actually gone into stores to look, I have combed the Internet - Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Overstock, Crate & Barrel, of course I’ve pinned up a storm on Pinterest and designed my dream home (and dining room) on Houzz.


These are just some of my faves … but maybe one day my dreams will become a reality and I will actually transform my bridge table dining room into an elegant, rustic, adult space (china and all!)





Until I win the lottery or find somewhere that has what I truly want, we will have to continue fooling our guests with our bridge table. Shhhhhhhhhhh - but that's only between me and you! 





Friday, June 20, 2014

DI to the Y denim cutoffs

What better way to tell your 30's to talk to the hand than a good ol' pair of denim cutoffs? I blame it on the fact that they weren't really "trendy" back when I was 22 (right, they weren't? or was I just out of touch?) and that I was pregnant or losing baby weight during the height of their resurgence.

So I made myself a pair of festival-worthy denim shorts - and if by festival you mean you wear them while running to Target in the rain with your 2 kids in tow because you're out of paper towels and diapers? Then yes, they are totally my festival shorts (siiiigh. seektobemerry can totally rock the legitimate festival look, totes jelly) And I am really pumped about wearing them with my Hunter boots (one of my all-time fav gifts, thanks mom!).

I did not own a pair of jeans suitable for this mission, so I've been checking thrift stores every now and then for a pair that fit the bill. I found them on Tuesday. American Eagle jeans (my fav) - one size too big (nice and loose in the waist and thighs), low-rise, and an even lower price tag - $6. Woot woot. 


mere seconds later...just keepin it real y'all
I held them up to my shortest pair of shorts, and marked the inseam length with a blue sharpie. I tried them on to make sure I liked the length, and then followed this tutorials suggestion of cutting on an angle and knowing that you'll lose some length with fraying, etc.

one side down (up, actually) one to go
Once one side was cut, and I tried them on again to be sure I liked the length. Indeed I did. So I folded the jeans in half and marked a line along the still-in-tact leg and used it to cut the other leg off.


the deed is done, now for the fun part
Then following this tutorial, I used my Microplane to give the bottoms some not so gentle lovin.
Begin Scene
Justin doing dishes: Hey honey? Whats the blue stuff in the grater? I don't remember anything blue with dinner?
Me: About that.....
End Scene

post-grating. not much of a difference....yet

 Then they went for a spin in the washer and dryer. Bingo! Just trimmed off some super long stragglers and they were ready to go!


I've worn them once, and I see 2 potential problems/changes that need to be made. More distressing, stat. Some rips in the leg and along the waist and pockets are in these sho-tay's future. And, they are stretch jeans, so they don't get as wrinkly in the leg as I would like. So, I'm enjoying them for now, but as inexpensive and easy as they were to make, I think I'll continue to keep my eye out for non-stretch jeans (with a similar price tag).

Any DIY's for you lately? Up to any destruction?

til the seam stresses,
Em

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Words of Wisdom from my Dad

In lieu of Father’s Day – this one goes out to my #1 fan … my dad!

Growing up my dad always provided a level of comfort and security to me (and still does). He was the one I would run to as a little kid when I got hurt and he would make it all better, the one I would ask all my “why” questions to because in my eyes he was (and still is) the smartest man I know and the one who’s unconditional love and support comes from his genuine heart.


My father is a great man, an honest man, a man everyone in the world should have the pleasure of meeting at least once in their lives. He’s a devoted father and husband, a smart businessman, a great athlete and I’m proud to call him MY DAD!

Some words of wisdom I’ve learned from my dad over the years are to mean what I say, and say what I mean – he's always taught me to stick up for myself – and to speak my mind (which if you know me, you know that’s exactly what I do!)

He’s also taught me to be kind to others, tried to stress the importance of patience (apparently I’m a bit of a hot head) and taught me to love with my whole heart.

At 30 there’s still nothing like getting wrapped up in my dad’s arms for a great big hug.

I share in my dad’s passion for photography, gardening, sports, boating and family.

No matter the distance between us, I know he would be there for me at the drop of a hat. He proved that last summer when I sliced my finger on a mandolin (long story, PS – use the guard!) and came up on a Monday night after work to go with me to see a hand surgeon.

My dad and I danced at my wedding to Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl,” and for anyone who’s heard the song lyrics, they couldn’t be more fitting for the special relationship I have with my dad. While we danced, I held him a little tighter that night, as that was one of those special father/daughter moments I’ll never get back but cherish forever!


I love you dad!


 

Friday, June 13, 2014

the great printing of 2014

Sorry about all the paper, Earth, but I just can't have my recipes on a technological device. I never know where I saw the recipe, or where its saved, or if I've even used it. And so many online recipes have notes in the comments, and I read the comments and make the changes that people suggest, but then I have no way of capturing, or remembering those changes. And frankly, I want something that's pass-on-able. So I'm in the midst of compiling every recipe I've bookmarked, pinned or put on a recipe card. Since I haven't figured out how to email my bookmarks, I've been copying and pasting every link into an email to myself. So far, I have 5 emails with 20-30 recipes in each. Yikes. The plan is to go to each link, print the recipe and keep them all in one binder in the kitchen. I've got quite a few cookbooks as well, but those recipes will stay where they are.

I've been wanting to do this for quite some time, but you know the silly reason I haven't done it? I just could not find the right binder. While at Target (of course) earlier this week, the clouds parted and angels sang when I came across this...

striped + organized

Perfection, and just what I needed to get this project going. I'm hoping to keep the recipes on one page each, but I don't plan on editing them all to look the same (because lets be honest..ain't nobody got time energy for that.)

I'm sure this is how I will feel at the end of this whole thing

How do you organize your recipes? Or are they unorganized, like mine? Do you use recipes? Do you have a method for keeping track of what you've made? 

til the print previews,
Em


ps. its Friday the 13th! And a full moon! Good luck out there.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Not Enough Time in the Day!


I’m finding lately there are not enough hours in the day to truly accomplish all that needs to get done (oye!)

I thought summer was a time where things slowed down a bit – in my case it’s been the complete opposite. Running every weekend, working late, coming home to housework, gardening, blogging :) and more.

We’re a family of two right now, what will it be like with more? Double the laundry, double the mess, double the food (but lets not forget – double the love).

I joke with one of my cousins and call her super mom, but she truly is. She has four kids, all involved in sports, a small zoo (16+ animals), a husband who works late and not to mention a career of her own ... Oh and did I mention no nanny?! She's doing it the old school way (herself) and she still manages to get everyone where they need to go, run a household, and survive the mayhem that is her life (and she loves it!)

Where can I order my super hero cape from? I've been feeling like I need one lately.

I’m a big note person, things won’t get done or remembered without notes, but lately my notes have notes. Thank god for the iPhone and the calendar reminders!

The carefree days of summer seem like a distant memory. Sleep until noon, eat, work on your tan, hang out with your friends and repeat the very next day. I'm lucky nowadays if I get home and I'm able to enjoy dinner out on the deck (after I shop for it and make it of course). 

Don’t get me wrong, life is good, but it’s hectic. If I ruled the world (god help us all), I would implement a relaxing summer for everyone – life is too short after all, shouldn't we get to enjoy the warmth of the summer?! (Especially after the winter we had here on the East Coast).

What I would do to be at the beach right now with a margarita in my hand. 



Until that dream can turn into a reality, I will put my super woman cape on, and focus on working hard now so that I can play later.

If anyone else knows a better way to fast track retirement let me know – I think I would make a great 30-year-old retiree.



Friday, June 6, 2014

seasonal garland: popsicle edition

First of all, aren't we soooooo excited for Juls!!!! She's going to be a wonderful mommy.



It's not technically summer yet, but it is in my mind because Sally had her last day of preschool on Tuesday, which means its full-time summer-time around here! I've armed myself with a list of places to go (mostly free, or with minimal expense) on sunny days or rainy days. I made a "summer fun" list with ideas to occupy the 10 hours a day I'll be solo with both of my munchkins. And obviously, I switched my mantel from spring to summer (isn't that 3rd on everyone's priority list? Oh, its 1st you say? I like your style).

My best friend yellow label and I had the exact same idea for a summer garland at the exact same time (clearly, this is why we're BFF's). We were litcherally sending each other a text at the same time. The thought was to use paint chips (free from home improvement stores) cut into the shape of popsicles with little sticks at the bottom. So the kids and I killed some time at Home Depot (its like little kid heaven in there - riding mowers, fans, doors to open and close, mirrors to dance in front of, etc). I picked out some summery colours and got to work once the kids were in bed for the night.

It's not rocket science, but I did take a few step-by-step pics to share with you, in case you want to try it but maybe your brain is fried and thinking through how to make a garland out of paint chips just ain't gon' happen.

First, pick your popsicle shape. Twin (maybe for Juls, eh?), rocket, classic, etc. I chose classic. I used this as a general form (I was going to print it and then trace the outline, but then the printer was downstairs and with the walking and the plugging in, it was all too much) so I just free-handed it while using the outline as a reference.

  
Then, I traced the first one directly onto the front of the paint chip, so I could choose the proportions of the different colours and then once I cut it out, traced onto the backs of the others, so I didn't have to worry about cutting exactly on the trace lines, while still ensuring the correct colour-gradient ratios.


 Instead of going with actual popsicle sticks, which would have required purchasing some, I just dipped into my stash of striped coloured straws (you have a stash too right? oh good) and snipped one in half and then taped it onto the back of the paint chip. 



And four, repeat steps one through three (just kidding...but sorry, you will definitely still have that song in your head in a few days, because I do). So after cutting out all my paint chips and playing fight-the-urge-to-match-everything-Em while pairing up straws and popsicles, you're ready to string 'em up! I just taped the finished popsicle directly to the string.

oh, crooked blue one, how you mock me










 I switched out my spring stuff and put up some summer-themed objects, but it still needs a little more. Any suggestions??


Maybe putting the potted 'plants' into sand buckets? Putting a small inflatable beach ball in place of the candle? I just don't know. May this be my biggest problem right now, sheesh.



til the sand boxes,
Em


ps. I totally added a 'u' to color - I like to have fun.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Siblings – Your Live In Friends Growing Up

From the moment my brother was born, he was my real, live baby doll (and I was not a big doll girl), but there was something about him that was so special and those feelings are still the same 26 years later.


Growing up my brother and I could play together for hours and completely occupy ourselves (a Mother’s dream!) We also never fought (I swear), there’s 4 years between us and I think the combination of the age gap and our completely different personalities is why we've always gotten along so well. If there was ever a time where we disagreed on something (and this did happen - we are both hot heads and very stubborn), my Mom would always say "work it out," and we did! Which I believe is why we grew up to become such great communicators. From an early age we were taught to express our feelings, talk things out and work through them. 





My brother is so laid back and easy going and I’m more uptight and like being the center of attention - hence why we get along great (he was the peanut butter and I was the jelly that made up the delicious staple in our house, he was the pasta and I was the butter - long story, maybe for another blog).

Even though he’s younger, there have been countless times where I’ve leaned on him during a hard time, asked him for his advice or opinion, relied on him for something, counted on him to cheer me up or make me laugh and I have always known that I can depend on him no matter what!



One of the hardest days for me was when we dropped him off at college. I had just graduated and moved back home, and it was the first time since my brother was born that he wasn't home when I was – such a weird feeling!

Fast forward to present day, I live in New Jersey and he’s in Philadelphia. We don’t go more than a couple of days without speaking to each other and we see each other whenever possible.

One day, when I have a family of my own, I wish for my kids the relationship that my brother and I had growing up and the relationship that has developed as we've become adults (which is still debatable at times - more like "kidults").




Here’s to my friend, my partner in crime, my ally, my buddy … my brother – I love you Pressy!