First haircut!

Before ...

I can't believe we waited this long to cut Joseph's hair.

First we had to watch brother get his hair cut.

While he waited, Joseph checked everything out.

Joseph's turn with Liz!

It started well but at the end, mommy had to hold Joseph for a few touchups. And even then we decided it was good enough. He was really starting to get upset and we didn't want him to hate the process.

... after!

I didn't forget Will. Here's before ...

and after!


Bracelets for Japan

I'm sure if you surf the Web as much as I do, you have seen several auctions/crafts raising money for the tsunami-struck region of Japan. Here's just one I hope you consider.

Eric Heins of Corter Leather is making these beautiful bracelets in his bedroom studio with two roommates helping with the shipping/handling. Cost is $20 (shipping $5) and it is available in three sizes. So far, he's raised more than $25,000 for the Red Cross. I'm impressed by both his talent and his spirit. You can keep up with the fundraising efforts by reading Heins' journal.

Apartment Therapy put together a good how to help guide

Baby washcloth sushi rolls by babeecrafts (Etsy)

Help Japan poster by W+K Studio


DIY: Butterfly wall

It was time for the hearts to go. But I really got used to seeing something cheery on that wall. Luckily some butterflies decided to come inside to make us smile. 

Total ripoff ... Dana of Made made a paper butterfly sanctuary that I bet quite a few of us in blogland are copying. I showed the idea to Will and he liked it. Nap time rolled around for Joseph so that gave Will and I a chance to work with markers, scissors and glue uninterrupted. 

I would give this craft an A+. The butterflies were quick and easy to make — the best kind of craft for my Will (and his momma!). 


Fabulous Friday — Dressing like a grown up

Recently I dropped off some pants at my favorite consignment shop, Zoe, located in Forest Park. Of course since I was kid-free, I had to look around and soon they started a dressing room for me. And this is what I found when I was ready to try on. (Sorry, just had the cell phone with me.) 

All the clothes sort of match color-wise. This really floored me. I wouldn't be able to voice what my favorite colors/combinations are but there that answer was, staring me in the face. I had subconsciously picked out complete outfits and items that could be mixed and matched to make more outfit combinations.

Whoa! When did this happen? I'm such a T-shirt and jeans girl. But maybe it is time for me to pay more attention to my appearance before the guys from "What Not to Wear" show up ... actually Stacy and Clinton you are welcome anytime!

Curious what I took home? The teal long shirt (first from the left) and the green shrug (fourth from right). I let my consignment credit build and consider it my mad money.

Folks who really know how to put together color combinations ...

Creature Comforts

Kristina Klarin old blog/new blog

Color Collective


New favorite snack

Joseph loves his bunnies ... here's the evidence. So I HAD to get him the Annie's Bunny Grahams. At first, he hugged the tiny bunnies and then made them "hop, hop, hop" on the table. Eventually, he tried one and LOVED it! Asked for them constantly and devoured the box (not in one day but close).

(He just came over to see what mommy was doing. Once he saw the picture, he ran to the pantry asking for  "bunnies!" followed by a happy dance.)

After the box pictured was empty, I opened the next box of bunnies, chocolate chip flavor, thinking if you liked the honey flavor wait until you try these. It did not get the same reaction.

Don't worry, very next trip to the store I got more honey bunnies. Happy dance!


What I see

My backyard is a mess. Half of it at least. Using an ancient tiller given to us by friends who didn't want to move it (Thanks Maya!), Chris tilled and sprinkled grass seed. I can't wait to walk barefoot on the lush and beautiful lawn. At the very least it will have a few less weeds.

Finding worms is easy after the soil is tilled. It took me picking up a worm to get the ball rolling. I'll be putting that on my application for Mommy of the Year! 


Think I can wear them anyway?

The big fundraiser for Will's school is the annual spring garage sale. It is huge and takes us parents all week to set up. As a thank you, we can attend a pre-sale the night before. Of course I usually spend the week taking note of all the things I want. This year I brought home a Cole Haan purse in the most wonderful light green for spring ($2, I prefer to think it is not a fake), a huge Hot Wheels track set for the boys ($3), several strands of vintage costume pearls ($6) and some Born sandals in my size ($1.50).

I love Born sandals and usually buy a pair every other summer. They are so comfortable and quality-made; worth the price in my opinion. So I was super excited to snag a pair that looked barely worn. There was just one problem that I didn't notice until I got home ...

Can you spot the problem? Since the shoes that did not sell were still at school, I checked today to find the missing mates but no luck. My theory is someone out there is going to realize soon that they grabbed the wrong shoes to donate. 

Did I mention how comfortable they are? I'm so wearing them anyway ... at least around the house ... and maybe to the store ...


Have a seat

You could call me cheap but I prefer the thrifty. Chris can be even cheaper than me, but we'll call him very thrifty. Even if we had the money, we'd rather pay the lowest price possible. Watching Chris shop online for hotel deals is like watching a master surgeon or painter ... very intense and impressive.

There are a few folks online that routinely share their thrifty finds. Some I follow include Life in the Fun LaneMADEIS*LY I still love you. I'll admit, I get rather jealous at all the wonderful things they find out and about at great deals. I love yard sales, estate sales, antique and thrift stores. One day I'll get to thrift to my heart's content but life right now only allows for the occasional shopping session. 

Recently, I found this fabulous folding chair (60s? early 70s?) in perfect condition for $4. I thought it would be fun to take a few photos in the backyard. Neighbor Laura, fabulous in her own right, was going to model the chair for me but you can see that everyone else, including the dog, wanted in on the fun ...

Favorite thrift store? Best thing you ever found at a yard sale? 
Please share.



Lucking out

Here's a roundup of St. Patrick's Day printables to help you celebrate ... 

I love buttons so I had to print this one right away.
Button rainbow printable ... Funky Polka Dot Giraffe

A good quote for any rainy day.
Rainbow quote printable ... Simple as That

These tags are best with magically delicious things.
Polka dot gift tags (and lucky pillow boxes too) ... Hello, Good Gravy!

There is no end in sight for "Keep Calm and Carry On" inspired posters. 
I want one for every holiday!
Get Your Irish On printable ... Flamingo Toes

Nice bag topper and fun detail on the bottom of the kisses.
Treat bag printables ... It is what it is

Here's a few crafts to make with the kids:
Rainbow cookies ... Can't Stop Making Things
Shamrock necklaces ... Home Confetti
Wee leprechauns ... Let's go Fly a Kite
Flower centerpiece ... Silly Eagle Books


Good stuff!

Will was asked to bring the treasure chest for children's church Sunday. He was beyond thrilled to be trusted with the job. He could put whatever he wanted inside and then it's the pastor's job to make it into a mini-sermon for the kids. I would say it's William's favorite part of service. (Then the kids leave for Sunday school and us adults can actually listen to the rest of service. That's my favorite part.)

Will flirted with the idea of putting army men inside the chest and then decided on bread. Because baking bread is serving God ... which Chris and I eventually translated into feeding the hungry is serving God. So Saturday found me and Will in the kitchen making bread. And Will was very specific that he wanted honey bread. Since the internet is a vast and wonderful thing, we found a honey bread recipe from Rwanda. Baking and learning geography was a nice way to spend the rainy day.

Boy was it tasty! I'm not that great at baking bread yet. But just look at it, all nice and golden. We enjoyed warm bread with butter for supper. And it was a big hit at church too. It's not my recipe so I don't want to post it and break blogging etiquette so you can find the recipe here. The bread has a sweet and slightly spicy taste thanks to the honey and interesting spices like coriander and cloves. I didn't have cloves so I used nutmeg. I don't think it changed the taste much.

I didn't stop with the honey bread. Monday night I made my first king cake to celebrate Mardi Gras. The recipe actually made two king cakes. It must have been very good because one slice is all that is left of the first cake this morning. It didn't even last for frosting and sugar. The recipe is from Southern Living; you can find it here. A big thanks to my friend Laura for sharing it!

I attempted to decorate the second cake with icing in traditional Mardi Gras colors ... It's not perfect. You can barely see the green and yellow but it is festive! I'm going to take it to Will's class for snack. And some beads if I can find enough to share. 

Laissez les bon temps rouler!



This is what my weekend looked like ... and so will the rest of the week. It's that time again to switch out the winter clothes for warmer-weather gear. So Chris was sent into the attic to bring down the hand-me-downs which of course got sorted carefully as shown before finding their way into the correct drawers. And into the attic will go what Will grew out of this year to wait patiently for Joseph in two years. Chris does not understand what a big job this can be so here is my outline for the task ... 

Operation Clothing Swap

A. Clothes down from attic DONE

B. Sort attic clothes into piles: consignment, pass to friend having a baby boy in August, keepers, hand-me-downs for Joseph and whatever I bought ahead for Will DONE

C. Tag consignment pile for big sale (drop-off deadline looming!!!)

D. Take small sizes/winter clothes out of Will's closet and drawers DONE

E. Take small sizes/winter clothes out of Joseph's closet and chifforobe 

F. Ready Will's old clothes for attic making sure boxes labeled correctly DONE

G. Put boxes back into attic

H. Put summer clothes in Will's drawers and closet DONE

I. Put summer clothes in Joseph's chifforobe and closet

J. Make note of things boys need and alert the grandmothers

K. Shop big consignment sale (I try to only spend what I hope to make)

L. Repeat in September

Of course, as soon as I started the switch, the weather here went from 70 to 40. 


Will's interview

I know I've been talking about books and libraries a lot lately. Sorry but I do confess to a small addiction to children's board books. Heck, I went thrifting Monday and spent another $3 on books. 

I told you that Will was interviewed at the library recently. Here's the video. No coaching folks. That's our kid and we couldn't be more proud of him!


What I see

This is what I see in the morning ... a hungry Mr. Shoes patiently waiting for me. I guess the longer we feed him the less of a stray he is. And you can see what a mess the porch has become. When it's winter, we open the door just enough to throw things outside. Now it's time to clean up.

You get a second picture because Joseph is just too darn cute right now. Here he is trying to put a diaper on bunny before bedtime. He wanted to change bunny on the changing table but couldn't reach. And notice the empty bowl. It was full of popcorn before Joseph was wearing it. That explains the flecks of popcorn in his hair. 


Trying something new

So Sunday, our neighbor Will had already cut down one tree in his backyard but didn't want to put his toy chainsaw away. Sadly for us, our beautiful dogwood tree did not survive last summer's heat. Cutting it down is now off the to-do list. 

Manly men! (That's Chris holding the chainsaw.)

Whoa! A safe distance away, our little manly-men-in-training watched in awe.

After watching all the men have a turn, I decided I wanted to try something new. 

Guinevere then wanted a turn. I'd like to think I had set a good example that girls are capable as boys but she's still at that age where she knows no limitations. Here's hoping she keeps that spirit for as long as possible. (YES, she is wearing safety glasses. YES, that is her daddy helping her. YES, he knows what he's doing.)