Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Go Fish

Yesterday I stumbled upon an adorable little shop at the oceanfront. It was such a nice surprise to find it amidst all the junk souvenir and t-shirt shops that line the Virginia Beach boardwalk.

The Lemon Cabana describes itself as fine furnishings and gifts with a twist. I could have spent the day in there taking it all in.

But what really stood out was the Jonathan Adler pottery. It is cheery and quirky. It made me smile. I literally said out loud, "Oh my God! That is adorable!" when I saw this little cutie.

I also fell in love with these fish.

And this platter made me swoon.

Unfortunately, the price tags were a little steep to bring any of these lovelies home on a whim. I'm thinking they'd make great gifts though. Let's birthday is a long way away, and Christmas is even farther. Oh wait...Mother's Day is right around the corner. *hint hint*

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blogger Reject Here

This blogging is going to make me crazy! I changed my template from Minima Left to Minima Stretch. I think it looks better, but now my blog header is too small. Why won't the damn thing stretch along with the rest of the template? It looks ridiculous. Like I outgrew my clothes. Guess that kind of goes along with my theme, though. But not in a good way.

I also wasted two hours today trying to add some new fonts. I carefully followed a tutorial, had two windows open side-by-side, clicked back and forth, back and forth, did everything I was instructed to do, and NOTHING! Same boring font.

I am mad. I am frustrated. I am disgusted. Excuse me while I pout.

Can anyone help a Blogger reject out? 

What Am I Going to Be When I Grow Up?
6. Blog designer

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Slide Show Sunday

I haven't been very good about my Project 365 these past few weeks. I've been taking photos, but not as often as I'd hoped. I need to get back in the saddle with this project.

I recently discovered Tara Whitney's blog. If you don't know her work, you should check her out. She's a photographer who takes amazing real-life photos. There's nothing canned or posed. Her photos are relaxed and carefree. And her blog about her family is filled with love and insight. I always save her posts to read last because I look so forward to them.

Tara started a family project this year that she calls Six People, Twelve Times. Once a month she makes sure to take a picture of her whole family. HERSELF included. I immediately fell in love with this idea when she posted it. I swear out of the thousands of pictures in my photo library I'm in, maybe, 20. And those are mostly pictures of my nose hairs taken by the Little Ballerina when she gets a hold of my camera.

Since BSD travels so often, I need to be diligent about getting these portraits done however I can. (And there will be months that he won't be in the picture at all. Maybe I can use one of those cardboard cutouts like Ellen does during those times.)

This month was a prime example. I knew last Sunday that BSD would not be available for the rest of the month so, after the birthday party when we were all pooped, we piled onto the living room chair, set the self-timer and took some pictures.
Without looking in the mirror first.
Without combing our hair.
Without washing our faces or putting on makeup.
Simply and naturally.
Looking in any which direction.
Smiling and frowning.
Half in.
Half out.
Half on top of each other.

And I love these pictures all the more for it.

Because this is who we are. 

And this is where we should be.


Simply and Naturally.

Friday, March 26, 2010

No Love From Erma

It's early spring. That can only mean one thing. The Erma Bombeck essay contest winners have been announced.

Apparently, my love for Erma has not been reciprocated. Yes, I'm sad to say Erma has a crush on another. And it appears I'm not the only one who's been jilted by Mrs. Bombeck. A group of others who were similarly cast aside have banded together to create "Erma's Leftovers."

I need to contact these women to see if there's room in their fridge for my "victory-challenged" essay. In the meantime, I'll just leave it out here until it really starts to stink.

Lasting Memories
There are three days each year that fill me with dread and fear. The kind of days that are so bad I wish I had a fast-forward button on my calendar. Those three days are my yearly date with my OB/GYN, April 15th and School Picture Day.

Sweet faces smile up at me from the order form promising “lasting memories,” and all I want to do is choke them. Who are these kids? What school do they go to because they obviously don't go to my kids’.

You see, at their school the photographers are blind. They have to be. It's the only explanation for why, year after year, my daughter comes home with pictures only a mother could love.

Last year’s photographer was not only blind, but he must have thought my daughter was too. Why else would my adorable little girl be sent home with a school picture of Stevie Wonder? Hello! That’s a headband, not sunglasses. Push it back on top of her head where it belongs!

As if School Picture Day isn't bad enough, there's also the Night Before School Picture Day to endure. The night we spend hours picking out the perfect ensemble and bullying her curls into submission. The night the poor girl sits patiently as we diffuse her hair into big, bouncy loops. The night she smiles at her reflection and beams, "I’m so lucky. I love my curly hair!" Only to wake the next morning to find her beloved locks reduced to a frizzy, matted mess and wail, "It's not fair! I hate my curly hair!"

Desperately, I perform CPR on her lifeless curls. Spray. Spritz. Scrunch. Scrunch. Spritz. Spray. Over and over again until there's no hope left. "I'm sorry, sweetie. The damage was too extensive," I tell her as I stick a headband on top of her head. Her eyes fill with tears. I hug her and whisper, "Don't cry, sweetie. Your hair is bad enough. You don't want your eyes to be red and swollen too," which for some reason makes her cry even harder. Why is it so hard for kids to take constructive criticism these days?

Just as I’m finally getting over this trauma, my daughter leaps off the bus, grinning like the Cheshire Cat, clutching a large envelope to her chest. The familiar sound of crackling cellophane makes my stomach lurch. The proofs are in.

“Mama, I got my pictures!” she squeals, thrusting the envelope in my face. I break out in a cold sweat.

“Mama, why are you crying? My hair looks fine!”

“I’m crying because you’re not my little baby anymore,” I moan. The Kool-Aid mustache had nothing to do with it. I swear.

Note: I knew I should have gone with the reference to Lt. Geordie La Forge instead of Stevie Wonder. I bet the judges were all Trekkies.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Double Digits. Two Hands. The Big 1-Oh. Today the Big Ballerina became a ... preteen? tween? What is a 10 year old considered these days? 

I think I'll just stick with "my baby."

The Big Ballerina's Top Ten List
1. You have such a love of life. You throw your whole self into everything that interests you. Your entire face smiles when you're excited about something. I think you say, "This is the best day EVER!" at least three times each day.

2. You care deeply about "doing the right thing." You wouldn't dream of eating a raisin before asking first.

3. Dance is your number one activity. You sacrifice quite a bit to go to classes four times a week and rehearsals. Your flexibility is still off the charts. Your crazy hyperextended legs are currently an obstacle.

4. You love swim team. You would never dream of missing a practice. The meets are so much fun for you because you are happy just to participate. It doesn't matter that you're not winning ribbons for each event, although you'd like to.

5. You don't have a love of reading just yet, much to my dismay. But right now you're powering through the Mallory books, and even though they're below your reading level, I'm grateful for the series. Your timer bookmark is also a great motivator.

6. You still love arts and projects. You currently have an interest in learning to sew. I wish I was better at it to really teach you how to channel that creativity.

7. You continue to be a picky eater, but have added tacos and nachos to your approved menu items. You also love crab legs, sushi, kielbasa on a bun (yuck!), chicken, English muffins, waffles, Awesome Orange Tropical Smoothies and pizza (if it's homemade even better). Orange juice is your drink of choice. You have a major sweet tooth just like me, but you don't like cake.

8. You still love when Mommy or Daddy come to your classroom or to eat lunch with you at school.

9. In the summer, you love playing at the beach and will soon be surfing right along with Daddy. For now, you still need his help catching a wave. In the winter, you love going to Beaver Creek and taking ski lessons. Unfortunately, we didn't make it out there this year, but, hopefully next year, you'll earn your poles.

10.You are starting to like shopping. You still let me pick out your clothes (thank you!), but you are excited to go to stores, try things on, and help choose them now.

For your big night, you requested sushi at Sakura. 

The waitress treated you like a birthday princess.  
We never did figure out what those noodles were, did we?

You loved all your gifts.

And so did your sister. (uh oh!)

 Happy BIrthday, Big Ballerina!

I wish you a lifetime of continued joie de vivre.

I love you more than you love me,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Slide Show Sunday

Today was the ballerinas' double birthday party. We had it at Jungle Gym. A place filled with huge blow up slides and obstacle courses. Perfect place for a party. Both ballerinas had tons of fun. 

For the first time ever, we waited to open presents at home. Definitely the way to go. No bored friends. No worries about inappropriate comments. So much nicer.

But now our living room looks like Christmas morning.

 Serious gift overload.

The Big Ballerina dove right into her new perfume-making kit. 
She smells skanky pretty now.

The Little Ballerina is loving her new Barbies. 

We've already watched the new Barbie "A Mermaid Tale" DVD. 
There was surfing in it so even BSD enjoyed the movie.

And the best part, they're both exhausted.

But so am I. 
And I have a splitting headache. 
And I feel disgusting after eating too much pizza and cake. 
I need to eat a big plate of asparagus about now. 
But we're too tired. 
So instead, I'm going to take two Motrin and call it a night.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Never fails. When I finally make a decision and go forth with a project, a new chicken  walks by to tempt me. Just this morning I stumbled upon THIS picture over at the Haven and Home blog. And someone even commented that they love the pink stairs, "very beachy, yet cozy" were the exact words. Just what we're after.

Oh, BSD! Get your paint brush back out. We'll be out late tonight at ballet so that should give the steps plenty of time to dry before we get back. Don't worry about cooking dinner. I'll pick up Chinese.

I'm off to Sherwin Williams. I'm thinking a gallon of Coming Up Roses in high gloss may be just the ticket.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Project Stairway: From Blech to Better

It's been a week and I'm happy to say the stairway project that I've been planning for almost a year is coming along nicely. If you remember, we started with this:


 Here is what we've accomplished so far...

Step 1: Remove the yucky carpet.

Step 2: Clean up the mess.

Step 3: Know your limits and hire someone to replace the treads for you.

Step 4: Paint the risers white.
(yes, this picture is fake. BSD did the painting, but I forgot to get a picture of him.)

Step 5: Restain the hand rails to match new treads.

Step 5: Enjoy the new look, for now...

because the finished project is still a step or two away.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Six things about the Little Ballerina on your sixth birthday....
  1. Your bumpers are still the most important thing in your world.
  2. You are a total free spirit who loves to tool around the hood on your bicycle.
  3. You change into your pj's the minute you get home from school. You'd wear them 24/7 if it was socially acceptable.
  4. Music is becoming an important part of your being. You sneak my iPod and escape into your own world. You play Daddy's iPod on the docking station and sing along as you do your arts and projects in your "studio." You play your CD's and dance to the music in your room.
  5. You love apples, strawberries, cantaloupe, cheese tacos, sushi, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. But you would eat race car wheels for every meal if given the choice.
  6. You can play with your Barbies and other dolls for hours, but you also love playing with Meredith and Everett, Will, Baby Mia, Baby Nate, Lindsey, and of course, Miss Jan and Miss Debbie.
Happy Birthday, Little Ballerina. It's hard to believe you're already six years old. Where did my little girl go? There's a big kid staring back at me in these photos. I don't recognize her.

For your birthday treat, you wanted cupcakes instead of a cake. So, together we made cupcakes.  

For your birthday dinner, you chose...
(who says we're not klassy?)

Pancakes for dinner. 

And cupcakes for dessert.
(our sugar highs quickly crashed into carbohydrate comas)

Happy Birthday, Little Ballerina!  

I love you, 

And one to grow on...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Have Design ADD...

My friend loves this saying. Whenever we're having a conversation and one of us gets sidetracked, she stops and says, "Oh look!  A chicken!"

Well, that's been me this past week. I started off sprucing up my master bedroom. Then, I allowed BSD to get me sidetracked into rearranging the living room. And then, that damn chicken walked by.

So I stopped. Stared down the chicken. And decided to finally complete a project that I started about a year ago.

It's no wonder I have no clue what I'm going to do with my life, is it?

Design ADD. It's an affliction for sure. Anyone else here suffer from it? If not, I bet your head is spinning right now. If you do have it, then this should be just as exciting for you as it is for me.

The master bedroom and the living room have not been completely abandoned. They're just percolating on the back burner. At least until another chicken throw pillow comes along.

Here's a sneak peek at what's on the design chopping block this week...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gonna Make a Change

There's something about March that makes me want to make a change. When I was teaching this was always the point in the year where I'd start to wonder what else I could do with my life. Luckily, spring break was always right around the corner to provide the energy I needed to go back and enjoy the rest of the school year. 

I'm not teaching now, and I still wonder daily what I'm going to be when I grow up, but the changes I feel like making now are to our house. 

We've lived in our house for over eight years yet we have done NOTHING with our master bedroom. We did get a new slick bed last year. Because our old one broke. A fact BSD is extremely proud of. For some odd reason. But, other than that, our bedroom is just a yucka space with not one picture on the walls. Very depressing. 

My plan was to go to town finally feathering our empty nest. That is, until last night. Last night, I started showing BSD tons of cool ideas for adding architectural interest to our master bedroom and he was nodding in agreement to them all. 

"Yep, I can do that." 

"No problem." 

"Sure! I can use my new router to do that."

And, then he finally turned off his UFC match, realized what he had gotten himself into, and decided he needed an out. Pronto!

"Hey, MAW. I'm willing to give up my leather chair if we can make the living room look more beachy." 

And, that is how we wound up staying up wayyyy past our bedtime, moving furniture around and around and around, drawing up a new floor plan, and finally deciding that all of the seating in there must go.

Anyone interested in a gently used leather club chair? 

New, official ASID, living room floor plan

Stay tuned...