Monday, November 30, 2009

Laughter, The Best Medicine

I woke up this morning feeling like crap - a bad cold, aches and pains, fatigue - and all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed for the rest of the day. Once reality bore its ugly face and I realized that pop tarts don't count as a nutritious lunch in school these days I slapped on some clothes and zipped off to Walmart to replenish my pantry. Of course it's pouring freezing cold rain at this point and I have no coat. So I ran into Ross and found a perfectly good, perfectly priced Liz Claiborne coat for $36.99. Things were starting to look up. But not for long. I rushed home with my groceries, realizing half way home I forgot several things on my list. So now I have everything I need to make an awesome dinner, except for ONE stinkin ingredient!

Looked up at the clock and had an hour to go before the kids get home, so I rush to a friend's house to give some decorating advice. That was actually the best part of my day! Thanks Mrs. M! I got home just in time to get the kids off the bus and have a kitchen full of groceries still to be put away. Still cold and rainy, I grab a bag of trash to put out back and fall down the patio steps into a huge puddle. I hold back the tears just long enough to wash some dishes and cut my finger on the blender - OUCH!
Cue the meltdown.

It was a typical meltdown. The perfect blend of self-pity and helplessness with a teaspoon of melodrama. My makeup was almost completely gone by the time my girls came upstairs looking for me. Amy needed help with her homework and not knowing where I was she asked her big sister for help. This is where the fit of tears turned into a fit of laughter. I heard the conversation, but not wanting to be found in my current state, I just listened as Amy said, "Mallory, what's bigger, South America or the suhvet onion?" I thought about that one for a minute and then heard her ask again when Mal said, "huh?" "What's bigger South America or the suhvet onion?" Apparently Mal had the same thought I did at this point - a vegetable we never heard of. Which led to Mal saying "What's the suhvet onion?"..................Amy was getting frustrated at this point and angrily replied, "I dunno, it's in Russia somewhere!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Amazing Grace Indeed!

It has happened again. Today, while going through my blog reading list, I came across a post that changed me. For the better. I was moved to tears and asked for permission to share this post with you. There is a wonderful blogger, Traci at Beneath My Heart, who very recently lost her dear sweet mother, Wanda. Since then, Traci has been posting Wednesdays With Wanda. I have enjoyed reading these posts and learning about Wanda and what an amazing woman she was. Today, the post was about Wanda's grandson and Traci's son, Jonathan. I know we are all very busy today with preparations for Thanksgiving, but if you have a moment, go visit Traci's blog and read this very sweet story of Amazing Grace.

God bless you all and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Pretties

Just wanted to share some of the new pretties that will be available in my Etsy store this week.
This sweet bowl is going to be the hardest for me to part with. It looks so delicate and dainty, but it is actually made out of metal, not sure what kind, and made in Italy. I picture it in a powder room displaying decorative soaps, or maybe some potpourri.

A painted tin canister/ice bucket made in England.

A beautiful needlepoint pillow.

You'll have to excuse the next picture - it was a terrible camera angle. This is a milkglass compote - pretty common - except this one is PINK! I fell in love with this for it's delicate shade of pink.

I will also be sharing some pictures of the new vintage Christmas items I will be selling in the weeks to come!!

Thanks for visiting and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Side Affects May Include........

I learned something about myself yesterday. A few things actually. #1. I can't sit still; B. I've started more projects in the nine months since I started blogging than in the entire 16 years I've been a homeowner; 3. I watch entirely too much HGTV; E. lastly and perhaps most importantly, never leave me alone in the house with a saw.

Case in point.

The railing that separates my kitchen and family room.

When our house was built, we decided to have a railing instead of a half-wall in this space. Now, 10 years later, the more I look at it the more I'm reminded of how difficult it is to keep clean. I began this year with a new perspective on life - low maintenance. I've followed through in many ways. Like in the Spring I didn't plant as many flowers as usual. That was helpful, but by the Fall, on a complete whim, I ripped out all of the shrubs surrounding my patio. Ah, no more pulling weeds!

So as I began to shift my focus to the inevitable - holiday decorating - I thought about scaling back there too. Every year for 10 years I have taken much pride in how I dress up my railings. But even that was getting old and tiresome. I decided that I couldn't NOT decorate them, so the next best thing was to rip the darn things out!

To you this may seem a little extreme.

But in my world (a sometimes frightening place) it made perfect sense.

Having never taken a saw to a piece of wood before, I had no idea how long this would take or what I was in for. But a half a pound of sawdust later I had accomplished this.

Which led to me taking out this.

By now, I was having a ball! There was no stopping me. My poor children were slightly worried when they saw Mommy take a sledge hammer to a permanent structure in their safe, secure home. But I was not to be deterred. With each swing I felt relief. I could envision myself sweeping the floor and not having to get down on my hands and knees and reach in between those skinny spindles.

I almost finished too.

Except for this.

I wanted to surprise my man and have it all completed before he came through the door to what was supposed to be a nice relaxing evening with the fam. And he was suprised. Very surprised. I would say shocked even. Maybe a little scared too. What with the mounting pile of sawdust and his wife weilding a sledgehammer while his DNA were crouched in fetal position in the corner. What man doesn't want to come home to that?

I tried to rationalize that it made the rooms look bigger, ya know, the "open floor plan" thang. And I was quick to point out that I had just saved HIM the trouble of having to do all that work himself. Cause I'm nice like that. Oh, but those two huge things sticking straight up out of the floor just waiting to impale some innocent person making the transition from room to room? Yeah, he was gonna have to take those out. Um, and the holes in the place where the spindles used to be? He would need to fix that too. The big gauge in the wall? Just slap some spackle on there - I'm just sayin'!

At the end of the day, it's just a big gap in the floor.

Also at the end of the day I was prepping for bed when I grabbed my handy-dandy-helps-me-get-to-sleep-prescription medication and suddenly it dawned on me. Actually it hit me like a ton of bricks.....................side affects may include compulsive behavior.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And The Winner Is.......

Congratulations to Beverly at The Beverly Buzz for winning my giveaway!!! Beverly was chosen by Random.Org and now has $50 to spend in my new store, Larkspur Interiors. Thanks to everyone who entered for all of your support and kind words. I will be adding about 30 more items to my store by the end of the week, including some vintage Christmas decor, so stay tuned!! Again, thanks to all who entered.


"Money is an article, which may be used as a universal passport everywhere except Heaven; and as a universal provider of everything except happiness." source unknown

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Don't Forget To Enter My Giveaway!!!!

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the last day to enter my giveaway. Go to this post to for details on how to enter a chance to win $50 at my new Etsy store, Larkspur Interiors.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Woke Up To THIS!

For those of you who are die-hard yardsalers like myself, you understand the sheer joy that comes from finally getting the chance to sleep in on a Saturday morning.

Up here in S. Jersey with the cold weather season in full swing, yardsales have all but come to a complete halt. It's been months since I slept in on a Saturday and that's just what I did this morning. Even better, I bought meself a new pair of flannel pj's yesterday AND it's cold, windy and rainy outside, AND my man surprised me with a huge hot breakfast!

I'm in heaven ladies.

He even went out in the cold and brought me back this.

Amy and her BFF Katie enjoyed waffles and ice cream. YuM!

Later on today, I'm headed to the Jersey Shore for a girl's weekend with my pals. Does it get any better than this?

Can I Get An "AMEN"!!!!

This post is going viral in blogland! I just finally got the chance to read it and it seriously made me cry. It spoke to me. And it will no doubt speak to you too. So go on over to Suzanne's blog, Southern Inspiration, to read it and while you are there enter her giveaway. In addition to being a true lady, Suzanne is also a Southern Living At Home consultant (who doesn't love their stuff!!!) and is giving away some SLAH goodies!

Have a blessed weekend everybody!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Larkspur Interiors $50 Giveaway!!!!

I've been looking forward to this post for quite some time. It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally ready to launch my Etsy store, Larkspur Interiors.

And in celebration of this momentous occasion (for me anyway) I want to give each and every one of you a chance to win $50 towards the purchase of something from my store.

Here are the guidelines for entering:

1. Becoming a follower will get you 1 entry! If you are already a follower, just let me know.
2. Posting about this giveaway on your blog will give you 2 more entries.
3. Leave me a comment that you've posted and/or followed and you get an extra entry.

Simple enough! The giveaway will end one week from today, Monday November 16th, and the winner will be announced on Tuesday!

Also, be sure to visit Cindy from My Romantic Home to see her Monthly Giveaway Party!

Thanks for visiting and good luck!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pottery Barn Intervention

This post comes with the following disclaimer: While it is completely unintentional, Pottery Barn fans may inadvertantly be offended by my bluntness so I urge you to proceed with caution. And if you are a DIE HARD PB fan, do not go any further.

I decided to do an intervention after hearing far too many bloggers beat themselves up because they can't afford Pottery Barn prices. I've seen posts with inspiration pictures straight from the pages of the PB catalog followed by the self-depricating "this is MY on-a-tight-budget version", which, by the way, I ALWAYS like better. Your versions are real, personal and yes, beautiful!
So girls, girls, girls puh-lease don't take this the wrong way, but Pottery Barn is OVERRATED!!!! Sure their furniture is crisp and has "clean lines" (still haven't determined what that means) and yes, they have a nice assortment of linens and accessories. But at the end of the day, all you are paying for is the name.

If I've learned anything in the last few months since I started blogging, it's that most of us are on the same page when it comes to being frugal. We recycle, repurpose and reconfigure to save a buck where we can. We shop out of our own basements and attics to accessorize our thrift-store furnishings, use drop cloths from Home Depot to make window "mistreatments" and don't even get me started on our obsession with spray paint! Howeva, I understand the need/desire from time to time to splurge on a key piece. The one timeless piece that will withstand the true test of time. The old adage, you get what you pay for, is not lost on me. But why Pottery Barn? What is it about Pottery Barn that is so great?

I am a firm believer in fair and balanced journalism, so in keeping with that maxim I HAVE shopped at Pottery Barn myself, albeit the PB Outlet, so I do have a basic understanding of the wonderment that is Pottery Barn. And yes, just hearing the name evokes thoughts of style and comfort. But at the end of the day, all you are paying for is the name.

So here is the intervention part. And in keeping with true intervention form, I approach this as your friend, someone who is trying to help. I have only the best intentions at heart.

"You DESERVE better! You CAN find better! You SHOULD NOT pay ridiculously laughable, insanely over-the-top prices For.A.Name!!! It is not worth it!! You CAN find beautiful furniture/linens/accessories/lighting/rugs SOMEWHERE ELSE for a fraction of the price that is just as good! DO NOT PAY FOR A NAME!

I'm not going to be so bold as to tell you where to shop. My own home is filled with furniture that is mostly second hand, that has been acquired from either an auction, a thrift store, Craig's List or given to me by a family member or friend. But the best pieces in my home are the ones that are OLD. I mean, really really old. You can't compare the quality of today with that of days gone by. The pride of craftsmanship is not what it used to be. But you CAN find it! And for a reasonable price! Just look around. These blogs are filled with ideas of where to shop and how to get the most bang for your buck. That's where we have an advantage Ladies! We have eachother and that's better than any name I can think of ;)