Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dirty Little Secret

I think most people who know me would say I keep my house pretty tidy. But what they don't know is I have a dirty little secret....I'm a closet shover. I tend to shove things into my closets until they look like this:

Yikes. This is the coat closet and the pantry. We'll call these the "before" shots, because I spent a few hours on Saturday to turn these from this into this:

I found some random things in these closets, including a power drill, 3 flashlights and tons of sidewalk chalk and bubbles.

The baskets in the pantry were on clearance at Meijer for $9 for the set. Pretty much everything else was already in there, buried under all the other junk. I now have a bag of coats and another of shoes/boots for Goodwill and, best of all, I can actually find things.

I was wondering as I was working on this if I like them get like this intentionally (subconciously) just for the sense of accomplishment I get when I clean them out.

Next up, the office *shudder*.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Book Club: Firefly Lane

This month I hosted my very first book club! I've always wanted to be part of a book club, but it never worked out for one reason or another. Then, about a month ago, I found a special offer from the publisher to host a party and in return get a free book for everyone you invite. I'm lucky enough to know lots of fabulous ladies who love to read, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

The Party: The book follows two friends from when they meet in the 70s as children to today, so for the party we listened to lots of Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty and drank Faygo and "fireflys" (grapefruit juice, citrus vodka, and grenadine) served in canning jars just like the ones we used to catch real fireflies in. I love how the chips are (unintentionally) 70s colors. We ate them with warm goat cheese dip, so easy and delicious.

I also decorated a little with tealights in jars. This party was totally easy to prep for, which is perfect for book club.

The Book: I've always loved reading, but it's a totally different experience to discuss the book with friends afterward. I really enjoyed hearing how others responded to or interpreted different things in the book. Everyone said they really liked the book. I, personally, had a hard time getting into it at first. Because there is such a large amount of time covered in the book, I felt like the author, Kristin Hannah, did a lot of "telling" rather than "showing" in the beginning 1/3 of the book. So, it took a while for me to get to know or care about the characters. The rest of the book I spent either hating one of the characters for being so self-centered and or the other character for being such a doormat. That said, I thought there was a lot of really good stuff in the book and everyone who read it could relate to something in it. I would definitely read something by Hannah again.

For March, we're (re)reading The Time Traveler's Wife, then watching the movie.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ava's Favorite

I forgot to mention, this is Ava's current favorite.

So, my three year old is totally cooler than me.

Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things right now:

1. the all new Emma on Masterpiece Theater (which totally rekindled my love for Jonny Lee Miller. Remember him in Hackers?).You can watch all the episodes on the PBS website. And, you can pick your favorite Jane Austen man right here (who did you pick?? This was really hard for me). Next up on PBS is Northangar Abbey and Persuasion, so don't ask me to do anything on Sunday nights for a while, because I'm goning to be busy : ) There is also an online Jane Austen exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum.

2. Imogen Heap
3. One Republic

Obviously my taste in music is about two years behind, but I know my chocolate!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I unapologetically love Valentine's Day. I know everyone thinks it's a commercial holiday designed to make people buy expensive gifts at the last minute, but growing up it was always more of a family celebration rather than a romantic holiday. And I'm all for any chance to celebrate how much I love my family. : )

This year, I wanted to make valentines that wouldn't cost a lot and that Ava could help with. She loves to help cook, so I thought these would be fun for her.
I picked up some fortune cookies and milk chocolate chips at the store, but had everything else on hand.
I melted the chocolate in the microwave, then my little helper dipped in the cookies (well the first five, then she got bored) and added the sprinkles.
Then, I tucked each one into a little cellophane bag with some wax paper and whipped up a little label. The labels could have been a bit bigger, but at this point I was too tired to mess with them.

We also put some in little take-out boxes for Ava's babysitter and her cousins.

Friday, February 5, 2010

From the mouths of babes

This is a conversation I had in the car with Ava yesterday on the way to dance class:

A: "Audrey has ugly hair."
Me: "That's not very nice."
A: "No, it's not nice. She shouldn't get a hair cut like that."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Inspiration: Kids Rooms

I've been really wanting to redecorate Ava's room into something more calming. These are some of the images that I've been drawn to lately.