Wednesday, December 7, 2011

That Time of Year

Last year we bought a Christmas tree and, because we bought a Christmas tree, we had no money for ornaments.  This year we already had the tree, but still not a lot of money for ornaments. Luckily, I have more than enough sewing notions.

Monday, October 31, 2011

totally logical

Saturday night I went out with my Tampa bestie, Angela. We donned Halloween costumes, ate, DRANK, laughed, and stayed out until the wee-smalls.

Pin-up and Miss Kitty

Come Sunday afternoon, Emily begged me to buy broccoli because it would be tasty to take to school for lunch.

Let's get this straight.  I go out and party on Saturday and the next day my seven-year-old demands steamed broccoli in her lunch. That's not coincidence.  Cause: hit the town like I'm still in college, Effect: my daughter wants a super food in her lunch.

That right there is science!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I bet you thought I'd never post photos

Some time ago I fin9ished Em's bathroom.  Yeah, yeah; I promised photos and then left you hanging.  It's part of my charm.

When I last clued you in I'd painted the bathroom beige and opted to shabby chic-ify the cabinets. In addition I made a shower curtain inspired by this shower curtain (from Anthro, of course).

Sculpted Mums Shower Curtain
I also added an accessory or two, bought bath mats, and got some pink towels. Wanna see? Okay, but fair warning: small spaces are super hard to photograph.

Wall one, to the left as you walk in the door: Cappuccino White paint, a few shelves thanks to our neighbor friends, accessories, and fluffy pink towels.

Wall two is pretty much the bathtub.  Feel free to admire my painstakingly constructed Anthro-inspired shower curtain.

Wall three, the one directly across from the door, has a lot going on - toilet, window, and vanity with mirror. If you look next to the toilet you can see my nifty toilet paper holder. Now Emily doesn't have to strain to reach the TP all the way on the opposite wall.  Funny how a small bathroom can seem so much larger when the toilet paper is out of reach.

Since these were taken I have also added a sweet little table top towel stand for Em's washcloth and a few headbands. It look similar to this one from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

The fourth (and final) wall has the medicine cabinet.  I removed the mirrored door early on because, really, it was just too much mirror.  Painting the remaining shelves has been a bust, however. Bummer. The towel ring looks good so that's...something.

And this concludes the tour of Em's bathroom. If I owned this house there is a lot more I'd do. I'd love to take some of the superfluous vanity space from the master bedroom and add it to this bathroom.  I'd also like to replace the floor (or at least re-grout it) and the bathtub.  There isn't anything wrong with the tub, I just think a claw foot number would be super chic. Most importantly, I'd add a vent fan.

Alas, I do not own this home. I am therefore, calling the bathroom "done for now" and moving on. Any guesses on which room is getting the Janice treatment next?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

You don't know me

My hallway is momentarily mystifying

Except you do know me and you love me anyway.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How to annoy me

It is about four months later and I am still going through my photos of our trip to Disney World. This one is quite possibly the photo that bothers me the most.

Forget the fact that my kid looks totally distressed by something; there is no way I will ever be able to tell that guy his tag is out. It will just be there, in my photo, forever. Seriously. It is like a small slice of my personal Hell.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mixed feelings

There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when your baby joyfully calls out "Come on, Mama!" as she rides her bike faster than you can run. Pride, happiness, sadness...

And yes, I said pride. Even though she is wearing this:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On the dietary needs of halloween costumes

Mikey (age 5): I'm gonna be a frog.
Emily: I'm gonna be a peacock!
Mikey: Oh, then you can eat me!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Snap

Rum runner, guacamole, and Sarah. It doesn't get much better than this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


If I spent as much time making clothes as I do shopping for clothes I'm pretty sure I'd have more clothes.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday Snap

I finally got a beach hat that (mostly) fits!

I wanted to tell you which shop sold me this long sought after goodie, but I can't remember!  I think it was on King Street, though, if that helps.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Snap

The view from our balcony is even better these days because our palm tree thingie blooms! Who knew?

Friday, July 22, 2011

How to charm me

Send me this message:

i miss our kid

with this photo (from 2008):

Sunday, July 17, 2011

If walls could talk they would die laughing at me

Okay. The bathroom. I have more or less sanded and painted it into submission (cue villainous laugh).

The gray paint (from waaaay back when) was a semi-gloss and the sheen brought all of the pock marks into sharp relief. I guess the upside is that it gave me the opportunity to do a more thorough spackling job. So even though the gray was definitely light in color, I had to prime all the walls so the new paint would go evenly over the old paint and the oodles of spackle patches. Some areas were actually more spackle than anything else.

This time around Kilz did not make an appearance. Instead I went with some primer our landlords had left behind.

It worked beautifully! But it stank with a capitol STANK! Ugh.  I seemed to have survived, but I must've lost some brain cells because I totally forgot to photograph the fully painted bathroom. You aren't missing much - it was very beige.

The walls are beige - ahem - Cappuccino White. The tile is greige and maroon.  The floor, old. So guess what no longer fits into the equation? The cabinets.

That's right, I was eight coats in to making the cabinets white. Well, that wasn't going to work any more. Out came the sand paper.  Really, it wasn't too bad. I decided a shabby-chic look would work well. Shabby is not too hard to accomplish.  It is the chic that requires all your energy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Saturday Snap

Well at someone knows how to beat the heat around here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Seven years

Once upon a July...

...and now...

Happy Birthday, baby!  I love you so much!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Snap

As you may have noticed, sometimes writing about my life gets supplanted by actual life.  This new series is going to take advantage of the thousand words pictures say and hopefully keep everyone a little more caught up.

First day at Disney World, May 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More making of music

Actually, this little ditty isn't all that new.  I found it while looking for a black page in an old notebook.  I believe Em composed this gem in the fall of 2009:

Do you love me or not
Somehow you do
Somehow you don't
You're always changing.

You're not as tall as a wall
You're taller than the cat
You're not tall as love
'cause love goes to space.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear man of a certain age,

I agree that your red motorcycle is very cool. However, your pot belly and the white socks with slacks and black dress shoes belie your mid-life crisis. Please work on that.

Oh, and please don't lift your visor to wink at women stopped next to you at red lights.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Did you miss this bathroom?

Okay, I lived with it for a couple of weeks. Occasionally I'd drag Ben into the bathroom with me and make him analyze the gray walls. Sigh, we were in agreement: no matter how much we love that shade of gray, it does not work in this bathroom.

Back to the paint chips we went. This time Emily selected Cappuccino White by Glidden.

I'm not in love with it, but it does match the tile.

We are pretty much back to singing our favorite refrain around here so we can get the walls ready for a new new coat of paint.

...Wipe, sand, spackle, sand, wipe, spackle, sand...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Saturday night is family movie night in the Bear household and the feature presentation this past weekend was Swiss Family Robinson. The Disney movie was made in 1960, but the story takes place sometime in the late 1700s or early 1800s.  Why is this important?

Well, at one point in the movie the two eldest sons, Fritz and Ernst, are about to embark on a little boat ride around the deserted island much to the dismay of Mrs. Robinson. As Mother sends the boys off with many warnings and other lovingly expressed reservations Emily furrows her brow at the TV and bursts out with,

"Oh, just get a phone!"

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

She strikes again!

A few weeks ago, Emily met one of her favorite fairies.

At first she suspected a fraud because "everyone knows the tooth fairy wears pink." But she asked the be-sparkled miss if she was really the tooth fairy and, since fairies never lie, she said yes.

And come Sunday night...

Another tooth gone to be ground into pixie dust!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The young play hard

Overheard coming from one Kayla Rose, age 10:

Come on guys, be serious and play the game!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Is it just me, or would this be the perfect room divider between out computer nook and our living room?

Cute, right?!

If you want to see this particular piece of inspiration in person get yourself over to The Lemon Wedge in downtown Bryan, TX. Besides loads of cute decor to admire, they have eggs benedict worth selling your soul for.

Oh, and take this lady when you go.  She makes fabulous company and looks oh so sweet sitting in that green dining room.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rise and Shine

Spring in Tampa is really not so bad.

view from master bedroom balcony

Monday, April 18, 2011

And the good parenting award goes to...

What kind of mom doesn't take photos of her daughter's first sleep over?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oh, we went and got "old"

Emily: And today Andrew actually high-fived with me! He used to not even like me, but today he was like "Yeah, I'm kickin' into this girl."

Me: Cooking into this girl? I don't think I am familiar with this phrase.

Emily: No, I said "kicking into." It means like starting to get along with me better.

Ben: Wow. I knew the day would come when I wouldn't understand the cool lingo, but I didn't think it would happen when my kid was six.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Advice - A guest post by Emily!

Fairies and wizards must always remember to mark their wands as soon as they buy and take the tags off of them.  All wands look the same but they do different things.
via Style Me Pretty
 If a fairy doesn't remember to mark her wand, and she sets it next to another unmarked wand, she might pick up the wrong one.

Once a garden wizard and a TV fairy each took their wands to a repair shop.  Because they did not have anyone's name on them in permanent marker, the repair shop got the wands confused.  The garden wizard picked up the TV- fairy's wand and the fairy ended up with the garden wizard's wand. Then, when the fairy was working on a TV instead of being fixed, flowers started to bloom all over it!  And while he was working in the garden  all of the wizard's flowers had tiny TVs blossom inside them!
photo by Farnum Ink Studio

Monday, March 28, 2011

How to charm me

Agree to let our daughter paint your manly toenails a less-than manly shade of bright yellow. I love that man.


So far, Florida has not been my favorite place to live. But sometimes other places are getting pelted with rain, chilly winds, and even snow but I can look up and think, "yeah, this isn't so bad."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Adventures in Decorating: progress photos

Eventually you guys are going to get tired of reading about my work in the bathroom. Right now is a particularly frustrating time because work is being done but results are barely visible which is never a rewarding combo. So instead of blah blah blahing, I'm just going to give you some photos of where things stand.
Cabinet Rescue coat #4

Cabinet doors sanded

Those outlines of the hardware? Yeah, that's grime. Try not to gag.

While we are waiting for next weekend when I can add more coats of Cabinet Rescue, let's look at some finished bathrooms. It'll help wipe the thought of cabinet grime from your mind.
from Rue via Design Darling
Houzz via Pinterest
Mmmmm. That's better.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Adventures in Decorating: Splish splash still working in the bath

When "renovating" a bathroom there is something you need to know. Painting cabinets is stinky work. Also, read the directions.

I actually did read the directions the day I bought my can of Cabinet Rescue. You know, over a week ago. It said I needed to sand the cabinet to be rescued. Obviously, the stuff needs a roughed up surface so it can stick. Naturally, that means I need to sand with 60 grit sandpaper (the lower the number the more course the paper).

 Yeah. About that. The directions definitely specify 220 grit. It makes a pretty big difference.
Turns out, there is a difference between roughed up and totally mangled. 

The next step is to prime.  This isn't necessary for laminate pieces, but our cabinet was (I think) stained  wood pressboard with obvious water damage. The recommended primer is an oil-based, stain blocking primer, which I had on hand. Considering my last experience priming with Kilz, I should have bought something else for this project, but I really wanted an opportunity to drive the point home: Kilz sucks. Okay, I take that back. Sort of. The Kilz did the job of priming the cabinet.
It is, however, ridiculously runny and does not live up to its label as being odorless.

On Sunday, my apprentice showed up to help with the first coat of Cabinet Rescue.
 I'm signing her up to do ads for this stuff! She's so stinkin' cute. And she did a good job. She was in charge of the front area while I handled the side and any necessary touch up. Note: when working with a six-year-old touch up is always necessary.

 There are a few things you need to know about working with this product. First, they are not kidding around when they tell you to work in a well-ventilated area. The vapors really sneak up on you, especially since the smell is no where near as prominent as in, say, odorless, Kilz. Luckily, the paint goes on quickly and our cabinet is small so we were only in there for 10 minutes. Second, give yourself plenty of time. (Also, read the directions). I stopped after one coat because I knew Em would need to be in there later that day to take a bath and brush her teeth before bed.  You can actually do your second coat two hours after the first. 
The total time needed for the new finish to cure is 20 days. Yeah, you read that right.  It can stand "light use" within 48 hours, is resistant to fingernail scratches in 72 hours, but will not be ready for regular use for 20 days. Wow. In the future, I'll wait 'til Em goes away for the summer before refinishing cabinets.