Four months ago we made the rather large decision to sell our home and simply rent another. Why? Well, for several reasons, the first and foremost of which was location. The home was well-built and spacious, but we found ourselves driving 30 minutes everytime we wanted to go somewhere or attend something. I personally loathe driving and prefer a lifestyle where the car remains parked on the weekends so I can bi-pedal it on a bike or my own two legs. The other reasons we decided to sell was the house was huge and took forever to clean. I see no purpose in living in a home where I don’t go in every room every day- otherwise it’s just wasted space. The last and final reason was that Roscoe is school age next August (holy moly!) and I was not pleased with the schools in our district. With all these reasons (and a few more) we said hasta la vista to the homestead and were lucky to list and sell it in less than 30 days (talk about whirlwind!).
After many nights searching in that hectic thirty day period, Aaron found a cute little house we could call home for as long as we needed. Me being me, I still couldn’t help myself from looking at the online real estate listings from time-to-time- just for curiousty sake of course. While looking through the online database of homes in the area I came across one that took my breath away. It was an almost 100 year old craftsman bungalow in one the most desirable neighborhoods in Greensboro. What’s more is that it’s current listing price had been dropped nearly $70,000 over the last year- talk about motivated sellers! A quick call to Aaron and a home tour that night with our friend and realtor Robert Smith with Ed Price (he’s truly awesome), and we were ready to make an offer. Seriously.
So here we are- entering into a new year and getting ready to pack everything up again for yet another move. Hopefully this time, however, we’ve found a home that meets all our needs. It’s within walking distance of the baseball stadium, our friend’s pizza joint, Roscoe and the future new baby’s school, and is right in the heart of downtown. Not to mention it is right next to a great park and the greenway for easy walking trail access. Only 15 more days until we are in if everything goes smoothly with the loan processing- more news to come as things progress!
Holy Moly Batman- it has been a whirlwind of a Christmas season! In the midst of all the excitement I took a voluntary break from blogging. As much as I enjoy
oversharing, having one less to-do on the daily must’s list was quite helpful. During these last few weeks we have been uber busy, as I am sure most everyone can relate. Christmas sort of creeped up on us this year and we spent the last 14 days accomplishing what we should have done in 30, but accomplish it we did! So what exactly did we do? Well, of course we made cookies (of course): Peanut butter with milk chocolate hershey kisses.
I was also given the honor of baking the most amazing Cream Cheese Braid with my MIL using a recipe that was her mother’s and is not shared with anyone. It is a two day process to make and while I only assisted the second day, I felt quite special to be a part of the tradition. I cannot even explain how delicious this bread is!
Other than baking there was of course the last minute present making chaos, including homemade pajama pants for all of our nieces and nephews and several adults.
Then there was the actual wrapping of the presents, including all of our last minute gifts to Roscoe’s teachers. All I can say, is thank goodness for If It’s Paper! They have such gorgeous boxes that I don’t even have to use wrapping paper (major plus during this time crunched season).
After all the baking was done, presents bought and/or mostly made, items wrapped and under the tree, Aaron and I were able to unwind Christmas Eve and enjoy the simple pleasures of looking at the lights on our tree and making it appear as though Santa had really come to visit. The next morning, it was back to a frenzy as Roscoe excitedly opened up his gifts.
Yay for us he loved what “Santa” had brought him. Aaron’s parents then came over and we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast feast together before we had to fly off to Myrtle Beach to visit my family. Spending time with brother and sister’s children was so wonderful and I felt ridiculously blessed to be their Aunt, getting the pleasure of holding and loving on them most of the day. We arrived back home yesterday, left to unpack and settle back into the rhythm of everyday life once again. Even though life is back to “normal”, we are left with special memories of a wondeful Christmas and plenty of love shared. I hope everyone else had a terrific holiday as well!
My latest redecorating efforts have nothing to do with the holidays, but rather were born out of necessity. Let me explain. We love having house guests and are blessed with good friends and family who visit us on the occasional weekend. This was easily managed in our old house since we had plenty of spare bedrooms to accomodate. In our new place, however, we don’t have this same luxury; not because we can’t, but rather because the current furniture configuration isn’t arranged to maximum efficiency/effectiveness. Take Roscoe’s room for instance.
It’s obviously a boy’s room and that means that’s there are constantly trucks and blocks everywhere. That’s fine and dandy except that it’s hard to make this room useful for anything else other than snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails in its current configuration. My plan was to change out the exisiting bed to two twins while rearranging the furniture. That way, when we did have house guests, they would have a place to sleep. My initial intention was to accomplish this plan over the next several weeks, but when I was aked to babysit my adorable niece and nephew this past weekend that time table got majorly accelerated.
Luckily, my MIL was remodeling the family’s beach condo and had two twin headboards for me to use. My plan was simple. Cover them with foam and batting to make padded headboards and then topping them off with slipcovers. Easy as pie!
Foam cut to size and stapled on.
Batting stapled on.
And the fabric I selected for my slipcovers, picked up at my favorite fabric place for $5/yard.
I’ll post pictures of how they turned out tomorrow (hint: they look awesome!).
On Friday it dawned on me that I had yet to design, print, and send out our Christmas cards for the 2011 holiday season. Over the years, it has become our tradition to make homemade cards so running out to the store to buy a few packs simply was not an option. I had originally planned to have professional family photos done for use on a card design, but scheduling conflicts and unexpected events derailed that idea. By Friday afternoon I was sufficiently fixated on sending out cards prior to 2012 to actually get around to creating one using a photo I already had on hand. Behold, Roscoe hanging an ornament on the Christmas tree this year.
I retinted this photo to sepia and merely printed on manila cardstock. Then I created a top design of holiday-themed shutters that would “open” to the photo and our text. With a little exacto work on the shutters and glue stick to hold my pieces together, I had our holiday card.
It took me about a half hour to put everything together and our cards were done. They are in the mail as we speak and I can cheerily check another item of the to-do list. Joy!
I have been a little lazy on posting this week; not because I don’t have plenty to update you on, but rather because I’ve been traveling time zones for work. The good news is that I am back and relishing in sleeping in my own bed and being amongst my favorite people and I have a new product to tout. Let me first offer a disclaimer(s): 1) I did not make this product and 2) I am not receiving any compensation for this endorsement. With that aside, let’s discuss the glories of a foamer/frother wand.
Your first thoughts on what a foamer wand might be conjuring up images of princesses or some new handy dandy cleaning too, but alas neither is correct. In fact a foamer wand is an ingenious kitchen tool for whipping your milk/creamer into a frenzy so you can make the perfect cappucino, etc. I first heard of a foamer wand a few months ago (yes- I am way behind the curve for those of you already in the know!) and immediately began scouring the internet for the best price. I found this Ikea one that was only $2.50 through Amazon.
The reasons I didn’t purchase immediately was that it had terrible reviews about the motor lifespan and the shipping cost was astronomical. The flip side was that now I was fixated on owning a foamer wand and hence the search ensued, landing me at one of my favorite places: Sur La Table. This cooking store always has awesome deals, a friendly staff, and is way more approachable than Williams and Sonoma (not to say I don’t adore W & S, too).
In their Christmas display in the front of the store, do you know what they had on display? Yep. A Bodum foamer wand! For only $12.95. Vini, vidi, vici. In other words, sold!
I was anxious to use it and can attest that I had an awesome cafe au lait this morning courtesy of this wand. It took all of 40 seconds to whip my creamer into a slurry of foamy goodness.
Making me feel even more satisfied with my purchsae was Sur la Table’s guarantee. When I mentioned the reviews I read about these wand’s short motor life, the sales lady informed me that if my wand should stop functioning just bring it in and they would either give me a refund or a new wand. That’s a deal I can handle. Three cheers to a good cup of joe and merry (early) Christmas to me!
Here I am sitting in my kitchen, packing up my bags for a trip to Anaheim, California for work. And you know what? I am actually relieved to have a full day of travel before me! The reasons why is that the last week has been crazy busy and sitting on a plane flying across the country is equitable to a day at the spa in comparison. The most anxiety producing event of these past few days was by far the First Friday Indie/Holiday Market this past Friday. Between the preparations and the stress of wondering whether anyone will buy my homemade goodies, I was a tad frazzled. Luckily for me, Aaron agreed to help work the market and my in-laws were gracious enough to watch Roscoe for the evening.
Perhaps I was a little overzealous with my preparations, but I felt it necessary to pre-plan my table layout. I actually created a blueprint. I kid you not.
In all honesty, doing this type of preplan did help to calm my nerves and give me a plan of attack the day of. All in all, I was rather pleased with how the plan turned out.
I had picked up the suitcase in front at a rummage sale a while back for a few dollars for the sole purpose of displaying all the pillow covers I had made. I am pleased to report that the covers sold like hotcakes!
I also dug up a Charlie Brown-esque tree to use as a display for my homemade paper ornaments and earrings. I thought it was rather charming and amusing at the same time.
Last but not least, I organized all the bath/beauty products I made on one side of the table. There were bath bombs, body lotion, bath salts, and massage bars- all organic all awesome. The bath bombs were a big hit and seller, too!
All in all, doing the market was a great experience. We met some great folks (vendors and customers) and had a ball talking to everyone about our stuff. I will certainly plan on doing another market but am glad it won’t be occurring again until April 2012. That should at least give me plenty of time to make some changes, new products, and gear up for another successful market!
Yesterday, I shared my efforts at readying our living room for the holidays. Now it’s time to reveal the kitchen- can you even contain the excitement?! Getting this room ready was really just an instance of jockeying existing decor around and scrounging outside for some added natural elements. Here it is before I attacked it with my holiday cheer:
First things first, the rug had to be changed out. Not that I don’t love the previous rug, particularly because I picked it up for $5 at a yard sale (score!), but its color scheme wasn’t exactly festive. So I made a few switches amongst the other rooms and ended up with this.
Then I went to work on a little tablescape. I had spotted a little evergreen growing in the yard the other day and I decided it would look much better on our table. I decorated the planter with some stray ribbon/edging I had and then placed votives I painted to mimic mercury glass on either side.
Last but not least, I hung a wreath of bittersweet I made the other day in front of the antiqued mirrors on the wall.
These few steps helped to add a little festive spirit to the room. The warmer tones make it feel so much cozier setting the perfect mood for this time of year.
Of course, the process of setting the holiday mood is not done yet- I still have to tackle Roscoe’s room. With everything else going on at the moment (the Indie Market we’re participating in is tomorrow!), that just may have to wait. Until then, I’m sure my imagination will at least be active in the redecorating.