Thursday, March 31, 2011

What's Under Your Stairs?

I often dream of having lots of storage. In our cozy home with three kids under the age of 8, often our house is cluttered from one side to the other with toys and clothes and other odds and ends.  Add to that my mess of entertaining platters, bowls and serving utensils, crafting projects, jewelry making supplies, and sprinkle in a bit of CD's books galore and camping/fishing/hiking gear and I find myself wishing we had more space.  Between us, our garage is our storage space. Not very pretty and not very practical.  Since moving is out of the question, I've been dreaming of ways to make better use of the space we already have.  I've found a few beautiful ideas for under our stairwells.  Now, if only I could find someone to do it for free...

I want this in our basement. We have a bench, so we're already sorta kinda half way there, right?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sewing Sunday - Curtains and Smelly Sachets

I spent the majority of Sunday in front of my sewing machine.  I started off the morning making my curtains for the laundry room (yea baby!!) and finished up the afternoon making lavender sachets for our drawers.  I did take some tutorial pics on how I made my curtains and I'll upload those as soon as I can hang up my curtains.  First, I need to get the deep pleat tape I ordered online since I like to hang my curtains on rings, not on the rod directly.   I have to tell you, the curtains came out really nice - much better than I was hoping for.  I loved being able to choose the fabric I wanted  and I loved being able to add a liner to keep out the cold/heat without paying an arm and a leg for something "custom."  Keep checking back to see how I did. I should have the pics uploaded in about a week :).  I may even throw in another surprise there...

I love the smell of Lavender almost as much I love the smell of Roses - mmmmmm mmmmm - so, I really enjoyed making my latest project: Lavender Drawer Sachets.

organic dried lavender...yummy

I only made 7?
I hate the smell of clothes that sit in drawers. They get that drawer-y smell. All of my workout clothes smell that way.  Drawer-y.  They come out of the laundry smelling Tide and Downy fresh, then they sit in the drawers and suck up that drawer smell. Yuck.  A few weeks (or was it months...) ago I ordered Organic Dried Lavender from a fellow Etsian just to combat this problem. You'll be proud to know that yesterday I finally got my butt in gear and started on making those magic little pillows of smelly goodness.  Started being the key word.  I think I made 7 sachets.  I'm sure we have over 40 drawers in our house that need a sachet(!!!!!).  If anyone is looking for me, you'll find me hunched over my sewing machine and dried lavender...for the next month.
cute little paisley lavender sachets

I used scrap fabric lying around my house and stuffed each sachet with about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of dried organic lavender.  I wanted to make sure I didn't have an overpowering knock-you-off-your-feet lavender smell permeating through the drawers, just a subtle smell of lavender in the clothing.  The entire room smelled soooo good while I was making these.  Did I mention I *love* the way lavender smells?  As soon as I was done, I put a sachet in the drawer that holds my t-shirts and other workout clothing.  You see I have Pilates on Wednesday morning and I'm bound and determined to smell lavender, not drawer, fresh....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A picture is worth a thousand words

I just have to share these pics because the difference in reaction to a sparkler between lil' man and his cousin J is so funny. We celebrated lil man's 6th birthday party yesterday with all of our family.  Instead of getting a regular candle for him to blow out, we got him a sparkler to shake it up a bit.  Fun, right?  Yes, for his 4 year-old cousin J.  But apparently sparklers are beneath 6 year olds.  It *almost* looks like he is crying here, but between you and me, I think this is his attempt at trying to look "cool" and nonchalant (and do I see a hint of embarrassment here as well?).   Oh goodness. Do they really start this young?

And of course I have to share pics of Alina at the party yesterday wearing the fabric rosette headband I made for her:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Making Fabric Rosettes

I've seen these cute little headbands all over the place recently and I've got to tell you that I'm in love with them.  They are just so sweet, aren't they?  I think they look just as cute on kids as they do on teens or even adults.  I would totally rock one of these to work, but since I don't work (hehehe), my playdate moms will be the lucky ones to see me in my new head gear instead :).    These are seriously so simple to make, and considering that I have like a million pieces of fabric scrap hanging around my house from making my pillow covers I may have a new hobby!!  **Cue eye roll from CD here.**

Today was my first time making these, and trust me, if I can make them, so can anyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Homeopath/Naturopath doctors vs. Medical doctors - My journey and Experience

I suffered a long bout of "sickness" last summer.  I put it in quotes because I'm not exactly sure what happened or if it was any sort of a sickness at all.  My youngest, then almost 2 years old, had a seizure in my arms last July due to a spike in her temperature.  It was one of the scariest things I have ever gone through. I'm actually embarrassed to admit that I never knew what a febrile seizure was until we were in the emergency room and the doctor had to explain it to me.  Three days later I got "sick."  And I just couldn't get better - I was weak, I had no energy, I couldn't breathe, I felt faint when I stood, I couldn't eat, I felt depressed, I had heart palpitations. It was so horrible, but looking back I can say that my "sickness" was probably a culmination of so many things converging and my body just not being able to handle it anymore.

Monday, March 21, 2011



I'm being featured in a giveaway!!  Check out for a chance to win one of my custom Birthstone or single stone Mother's Necklaces....wait for it... for FREE!  Valued at $46, this is a sweet little sentimental gift perfect or any woman.  Want to see the gorgeous stones you get to choose from? Head on over to my Facebook fan page and check out my photo album titled "GEMSTONES."

For all you early birds who are looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift (Mother's Necklaces or Birthstone Necklaces) - check out my newest listing on Etsy: to customize something just for your momma (or wife, or MIL, or sister or stepmom, or grandma, or... well, you get it).  Now get moving! Hear those birds? See those daffodils, buds on the tree in your front yard and sweet little white and pink blossoms while driving down your neighborhood?  Those are all SIGNS... signs that Mother's Day is right around the corner.  In the meantime, I'll tempt you with some more of my purdy pictures:

Amethyst and Sterling Silver finished with petite Tourmalines
Oh, and before I forget, I'm offering a Mother's Day Special to all the Early Birds out there. Head on over to my Etsy shop and convo me to set up a special listing for you and for a *secret* (cuz that's how I roll) 20% off coupon code!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The big 0-6!

Happy Birthday Lil' Man.  He's a big 0-6 today!  How fast are the years flying by??   Per Lil' Man's request we celebrated his special day with Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast, Sushi for lunch and Spaghetti for dinner.

I think he was so tired of me taking pics of him at this point. He he he. I can just see it in his face. He's thinking "hurry it up old lady and move along so I can eat my cupcake..."

The cupcakes were from Wegmans. If anyone has a Wegmans near them and have yet to taste their cakes/cupcakes, do it! They are so good! We always get all of our birthday cakes from there, they usually have all the themes the kiddos are into and they are cheap to boot!

Nom Nom Nom

DQ was too full to eat cupcakes when I was taking pictures so I couldn't get one of her scarfing hers down, but rest assured she did it justice.

~ Happy Birthday Lil' Man ~
I love my family!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucky Green Finds!

Some of my favorite Green Finds on Etsy:

And from my own collection:

Simply Lucky Collection - Necklace.  Olivine Green and Sterling silver Lariat Pendant

Use Coupon Code: LUCKY for a lucky 17% off your entire order in my shop until Sunday 3/20.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

I have a love, love relationship with Irish Soda Bread.  Actually, I think that goes for all kinds of breads (naan, anyone?).  So with St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, I thought what better time to enjoy this little loaf of deliciousness - with half the guilt - since I actually have a reason, besides a craving,  for making it?  Irish Soda Bread is a little sweet, a little savory, you can eat it with stew for dinner, you can eat it with butter for breakfast, you can have it with a spot of tea at high noon.  I could keep going, but I'd rather get to the eatin'.  So...shall we get started with the cookin'?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Home Gym

CD doesn't have a Man Cave in our humble home - which he grumbles about on a constant basis - but he does have a home gym.  You'll notice the stark white walls and lack of curtains - yes, this is in our basement. Note to self: Go to Sherwin Williams this weekend and pick out paint colors.

The tread climber/mill is technically mine since he feels awkward and clumsy on it.  He's more of an outdoor runner, which is a good thing because I don't know if my cute little machine could handle him.   He's ex-Army and  recently he's gotten into something called SEALFIT which all these Military guys are doing.  It has people do crazy, impossible things they call workouts.

If you're invested in SealFit to get into shape, apparently you have to invest in the gym equipment, too.   Meet our new barbell and rubber weights. Oh hello, nice to meet you.  

I've been told we've got a medicine ball, a jump rope, a few kettle bells and a pull up bar coming as well. Wondeful. I wonder if I'll be expected to work out too...?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time to Get the Garden Started!

Hello my pretties!

I think we over did it with the seeds and plants.  Who knew home depot could be so exciting for three little munchkins?  DQ (aka Drama Queen, aka our 7 year old) picked out a strawberry plant and raspberries and a few seeds packets.  Lil Man (our 5.98 year old - birthday coming up! - picked out a strawberry plant, blackberries and a watermelon seed packet.  Princess (our 2 year old) picked out - yep you guessed it - a strawberry plant and grapes.  Apparently you can never have too many strawberries.  

CD (my hubby) is the gardening expert, not I.   He grew up on a piece of property with land where they grew their own veggies, fruits and I even think they had chickens for farm fresh eggs. Yum.  I'm a suburban girl myself and, unfortunately, I've got a black thumb.  I kill every plant that has ever had the misfortune to know me.  But this year I'm determined and motivated to get a garden going, keep it alive, and even eat some home grown goodies in the process.  

The dilemma: we've got a small backyard and, thus, a limited place to grow these bad boys in a semi- organized fashion. 

The answer: Raised Veggie Beds!!!!!!!  He he he (sorry honey, I'll help this time I promise!)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Projects....Part 1

Spring symbolizes a fresh start, a new beginning, a rebirth.... and spring cleaning.  Call me weird, but I LOVE spring cleaning!  Cold winter weather slows me down, makes me lethargic and lazy and as a result projects start to pile up and lists start to get made.  Spring-time projects and lists.  You know the list: organize closets, make a pile of clothes for goodwill, paint laundry room, basement and upstairs hallway, build a raised veggie bed, make curtains for basement, replace the carpet downstairs.... oh wait, that's my list.   There's nothing like being cooped up in a germy house for months on end to truly come to terms with all that needs to be done.   I see little baby buds on my trees and dandelions poking out of the ground of my neighbors yard, so open up your windows because it's time to get started!!

I've decided that my first major spring time project is going to be making curtains for the basement.  We've been in our home for 6 years now and the basement still feels unfinished.  Besides needing new carpeting and a good paint job, we're missing curtains down there.  Nothing makes a home feel more cozy than curtains.  At least to me.  And since curtains are the cheapest and easiest of all the projects that need to be done in the basement... I'll start there.  Actually, I'll start in the laundry room down there.  Small baby steps, right?

I've picked out a beautiful damask fabric for my curtains (thanks Saima - your wedding theme inspired me):

And here is the bare, stark area that I'll be working on. We'll call it my canvas:

I'll post a tutorial and pics as I work on this. Wish me luck!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The best Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake...Ever.

When I was in the 7th grade in the very early 90's, I took home-economics as an elective.  That's probably where my love to cooking and sewing developed.  In that large classroom with florescent lights, gawky 7th graders and badly sewn projects, we were given a recipe for a Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, told to walk over to the kitchen, assign duties to each person in our group and make said cake.  Who would have expected much from a bunch of 7th graders who were probably more concerned about whether their mile-high permed bangs needed more hairspray or whether they had enough time between classes to run to the bathroom and apply more blue eyeliner and pale pink lipstick? Ah, yes, the early 90's how I miss you. But, I digress.  I didn't expect much, and boy am I glad I was wrong.   This was the BEST Bomb-diggidy Coffee Cake I had ever had.  At that time it was probably the only coffee cake I had ever had. My mom didn't do much baking when we were growing up. I think we ate Little Debbie Cakes for our chocolate fix (shivers). Again, I digress.  This coffee cake was SOOO good - moist, tender, a bit of chocolate in every yummy bite.  I ran straight home (after school) and promptly shoved the recipe in my mom's face.  She promptly shoved it back in mine and, needless to say,  I've proudly been making this cake for 20 years now.  It's always been met with rave reviews to anyone and everyone I have served it to.  It's my go-to cake for company, for Christmas gifts to the neighbors, for snowing winter days with hot cocoa, for potlucks... actually it's just my go to cake. Period.  I don't really need a reason for eating cake, do I?

Much to the horror of my mom, you'll find the recipe below. I promise you won't be disappointed.  And your friends and family will thank you! And you will thank me :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yay I've finally made it to the 21st Century!

Woot Woot!!

(That's my happy dance)

I just started my blog (yes, it's pretty empty - bare with me while I get used to this thing and pretty-ify it up).  I just joined twitter and I just recently started my facebook fan page for my Etsy Shop (  I've come a long way from, say, 2010.

Technology and I have never been friends, but it's time to kiss and make up :).  Muah!

Fun stuff coming soon............  Stay tuned