Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Random Weekend Goodness

Sophy's new favorite item.

She demanded her new hat when we were strolling through Target on Friday night. Girls night! Daddy took us to dinner then went home to mow while we hit Target visiting all the girly sections. Mostly those that interest a toddler. I'm not sure he didn't have more fun sans his ladies. We can be a handful. I know. It's a shock.

Going for a ride in the convertible. Might play some ball while she's at it.

Cutest baby ever. Please ignore the lack of back fence.We've complained to everyone we can think of and still no fence. At least they mowed earlier this week. I'm pretty sure small children and dogs had been lost in those weeds. Ugh.

Uhm, I was wrong. This might be the cutest baby.

Wait, maybe this one. Also, my herbs have gone crazy with the rain. Nope, above is my favorite. Look at those cheeks. And eyes. And smile. SO CUTE I could die.  To paraphrase Despicable Me. I can't wait until she's ready for cartoons. She's toe dipping with Peppa Pig.


Miss Robin took pity on us and watched Sophy on Saturday night while we ran wild. And by wild we pre-ordered movie tickets for Red 2 and went to dinner. It was Heaven! I'm actively working on figuring out how to be Helen Mirren when I grow up. Or at least get her clothes and accent. She's amazing. Love! Rolland found it good but liked the first one better. I loved it equally as well and can't wait to do a Red marathon.

We also crossed off one of the many restaurants on my list around Dallas. The British Beverage Company. It seemed like a good casual option for Rolland's birthday dinner as he requested nothing fancy. The food was super tasty, except the mac and cheese, not so yummy. Sophy rejected it as well and that baby loves any kind of pasta covered in cheese. The fish and chips, outstanding. As was the french onion soup. Soooo good. Rolland loved his Cottage Pie and Brussels sprouts cooked in Angry Orchard Cider. Yum. We got there about 7:30 and thought it might be getting crowded but pretty empty. Crowds have much later bedtime than we do. Would highly recommend a visit.

Fish and Chips

French Onion Soup

Sprinkles cupcakes for dessert, and babysitting pay off. I wanted to visit the cupcake ATM but the line was nuts. Turns out, the line inside was worse but once you've squeezed in you're committed. Tasty but totally not worth it. I just don't want to turn on my oven. Starting my chant for Fall, Fall, Fall...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Scott Simon

I've been following Scott Simon's twitter feed following his mother's illness and death. Heartbreaking and heart soaring. The best of what the internet can offer and I feel lucky he was willing to share it with us.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Birthday and Le Creuset Greatness

Yesterday was Rolland's birthday so went to the new Texas Land and Cattle Co. in Allen. It's the "fancier" version. Truthfully, it was a little fancy but not so much that I worried about Sophy. This was her dinner. Macaroni and Cheese (Kraft) with creamed Parmesan spinach. Spinach was in place of applesauce and our server couldn't believe she preferred this to applesauce but she did. She ate the sauce like soup.

This was my selection. You get to pick the meat for the entree and then the rub/spice and sauce option. I went with salmon, truffle salt and Bearnaise sauce. Holy smokes it was good. Garlic confit in the mashed potatoes was a big hit too. This is quickly becoming a new favorite meal. Their version was yummy. In the blurry background is Rolland's steak with cheese grits. Those grits were fantastic.

Sophy showing off her spoon skills. She switches hands but she really is right handed so that often goes much better. Gotta love her persistence though.

After dinner we came home to find this box on the step.

With this inside.

To reveal my new saucier pot!

A few weeks ago, there was apparently an incident where my Le Creuset chocolate pot fell, nearly braining the baby, and Rolland deflected it to the floor where the non-enamel handle broke with some enamel chipping off the pot itself. The details around the falling of the pot are sketchy. As I wasn't here at the time, he was able to formulate a game plan which included us hot footing it down to Williams-Sonoma when I got home. We were pretty sure they no longer made the pan (they don't) but a suitable replacement was found. My super smarty husband mentioned the incident to the salesclerk and she suggested we contact them since there's a lifetime guarantee for their products. He did and they sent this.  All we had to do was send in the broken one ($20 bucks in shipping) and viola! New saucier in Marseille blue.

Smarty pants is forgiven.

Blog Note: Neither TXLC or Le Creuset asked me to pimp out their products, although I'm not opposed to free goodies that I love and offer tasty goodness. This wasn't the case here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Journaling... Project Life?

I've been trying to do some journaling every day. It's a helpful mini-meditation. I also feel like I'm doing something, even something small, that's creative. My poor little journal has been covered in tea and soda (multiple times) but it's hanging in there. I picked it up at Barnes & Noble a couple of years ago but it's finally being used. Luckily, my hoarding tendencies have served me well and I have a large box of new journals to work in if this gets irreparably damaged. I would love to do some more intricate journaling using my own bound books but for now, baby steps. This works for me and it's easy to carry around with my little pencil case with pens, highlighters and a few markers.

My new favorite journal trick is to doodle with highlighters. It's a quick color add to the page and a little lettering then good to go.  I'm still working into the fancier lettering. It's tougher than you might think. I always forget which way the sun is shining to create "the shadow". Ugh. 

Earlier this week, I did a quick note on "Intention" which my yoga instructor has been setting for me which is kind of handy. And the one she set was about resolution and being firm, mostly in practicing my yoga, but it got me thinking about commitment and trying to do some documentation regularly. I've been following Pam Garrison's lovely Project Life updates and decided I'm trying it next year. There's some hope that the studio might be in shape to handle an ongoing project like that. Might even get it's own cubby. But I don't want to over commit. :) I can also start gathering the supplies slowly, use what I've got and set aside for this as I go through supplies and reorganize. Relatively low cost beyond binder and inserts is my hope.

I'm also working on how to use my fancy DSLR along with taking better iPhone photos. Signed up for SnapShop (yay!) so with 5-6 months to practice with both I should be fairly proficient by January. I also ordered a super cute camera strap for the DSLR. If I can accessorize, it helps create the habit for me... at least that's my story and I'm sticking with it!

Also really loving the idea of getting started and involving Sophy. I would love to see a week through the eye's of Sophy. That baby has serious opinions.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I was reading an article on why travelling alone is a cure for loneliness. The article didn't really sway me as a few of the reasons would make me feel even more isolated versus connected but I could see a case being made for it. The real highlight for me was the quote in the piece. Indra Devi’s description of yoga. “Yoga, is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness.”

I've mentioned a few times that I've started practicing yoga on the advice of my doctor and I'm loving it. Mostly. It's a bit of a struggle and outside of my comfort zone. Friday's class was just me and Abby and was super hard since she's trying to get me ready for class. She was really nice walking me through what I could expect and picked up the pace to be closer in line with a class environment. Result? I could barely walk on Saturday after pulling something in my back and having fallen on my ass during warrior II. Awesome. Plus, I had sweat dripping down my face making my vision all blurry and beads of sweat dripped all over the mat. Sexy. Clearly the beauty and elegance of the practice was alluding me.

But, I sucked it up and attended a group class yesterday with my confidence pretty much bottomed out. I wanted to back out. Badly. When I found out the class had moved rooms I wanted to just scoot on out. I tried but ! But I didn't. I timidly walked in and plopped down in an empty spot. Halfway through class when I was pretty sure I was going to vomit, I found a comfortable position and held on. Thanks Abby and Ann! I just to comfort that my instructor yogis repeatedly told me it was ok. This may be a good time to share that this was "Slow Burn" class. Room was hot and you hold the positions for a decent amount of time. I was fairly certain Dante left out a ring of hell. I made it through though. The teacher kept reiterating this was MY practice. Do what felt right to me. If that means going through with the class, hanging out in child pose and breathing, it's all ok and it's what's best for me. For the first time, I believed her. 

It's all what works for me and I can compare myself to the full on yogis next to me with gorgeous form and full pigeon - to be clear, I have no idea what that means but people were doing it. Beautifully.  I was busy wiping sweat off my face and gulping water. Or, I can do the best I can and be happy with that. I felt strong and was a pretty good role model to the kiddo with the whole finishing what I started thing. It makes me feel good

Now, I'm not sure about the anguish and loneliness business but I did learn a little about overcoming fear. And sweating. A lot.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was lovely with some tasty goodness. I forgot to take pics of lunch yesterday but Babe's was awesome. Rolland had the fried chicken but I went with smoked. So good. I could've also eaten my weight in mashed potatoes. This was breakfast this am at Jonathan's. Rolland's fancy egg dish was yummy but my biscuits and gravy not so much.

Sophy was very happy to greet everyone

At the bead show she had plenty of friends. She wears the monkey backpack when she wants to roam. She got tired and apparently still needed to snuggle.

Friday night yoga was pretty tough and I ended up wonking up my back a little. Upside was I had trouble sleeping and finished some new pieces. This one is a vintage metal flower with a non-working rhinestone clasp stringing swarovski creamrose pearls. The actual clasp is a vintage eye. I kind of love it.

This piece was super easy. I trimmed all the pin backs off and sanded it down. Drilled two holes and attached vintage rosary chain with a clasp. Love that blue.

I had a hankering to make a fabric bead and use up my leftover oblong beads. This one has a great boho kind of feel with no clasp since it's fairly long. I added extra length with the vintage rosary chain. The silver beads add just a touch of sparkle.

And finally, the loot from the show today. It was super small but I had a budget and stuck with only those things I had kind of in my mind for new projects. I was loving all the pyrite and got a few different sized beads, skull beads, and rose carved beads. Swoon. I can't even begin to convey my love for the quartz stones. New favorite beads in the bead chest.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Five on Friday

I saw this over on Elefantitas Alegres and decided to be a big ol' joiner and participate. The meet up is at A. Liz Adventures.
My Five 
1. Trader Joe's yogurt squishers  and a super cute toddler. These, yogurt not toddler, are super cheap and as we found out last night, perfect when frozen (smart husband) for a teething toddler on a hot summer night. Also, it blends in nicely when dripped on her chair. Side note: I could put this adorable little toddler as an item in all 5 since she is the bestest. Real word. Anyway, these yogurt squishers are normally just a big squishy thing of yogurt that can be a giant mess. When frozen, healthier popsicle. Ideally, half that size is best but now that I know that I'll just cut them in half (while frozen seems prudent) and put the other half back in the freezer. That's how you do it in these fiscally conservative times. 
Trader Joe's has a lot of family favorites that deserve their own post at some point.
2.  All things jewelry related. I've made a few new pieces this week (this one and this one and a couple with no photos yet) and have the creative juices flowing. I've got two pieces in progress and another 2 brewing on the back burner. I've been gathering a ton of inspiration and have noticed a turquoise trend going. Will have to add some more projects to brew list.
3. With all of this jewelry making, I've been obsessed with the West Wing again. I'm starting Season 4 and deep into re-election campaigning. Last episode of Season 3 was tough. I knew it was coming... sob. Anyway, sooo good. Major West Wing love and it's amazing how many issues going on now are still relevant. The questions and issues they're tacking via fiction, are pretty real and relevant now. Maybe this is why I have to watch while making something pretty. :0
4. Local food joints. We're trying to eat at home more and save the food budget, now that we've gotten around to having a food budget, for a few super tasty treats out vs regular helpings of meh. This weekend I have a couple on my list. First up is Babe's, that everyone has been talking about forever, but I have yet to try out. So after swimming lessons, we're hitting the chicken and Costco. I know. So glamorous. Then Sunday, as bribery to drive my ass to Ft Worth and look at beads he couldn't hate more with me while wrangling a toddler, I'm taking Rolland to Jonathan's Oak Cliff in hopes it's tasty enough to forget the imminent hell awaiting him. They have a build your own Bloody Mary Bar! What more could I offer? Also, it's a tie-in with the jewelry making and more bead hoarding. On a budget.
5. Yoga. So, I had this hip thing going on for a long time and finally mentioned it to my new doctor. Love Dr. Bonny! Turns out, the muscles are too tight and have gone all wonky. She suggested I hightail it to a yoga class if I wanted to avoid physical therapy. Sophy's school has a Wee Yogi's program - and that name is adorable - which I was checking out at the same time since I'm kind of self conscious about attending a group class. So now I'm doing a weekly private class with Abby. Who is awesome. I'm loving it. The goal is to work on some specific areas then hit the group classes. Although my usual Sat morning got rescheduled for tonight and I may just fall asleep in the meditation.
And finally... it's Friday! Woo hoo!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Saint Jude of the Puppies

Odd title, I'm aware. But, I'm having a failure of imagination. I finally finished a piece I've had on my desk for months. The image below was the first iteration. I really liked the oblong beads and tried it on at a few various stages with no issues. But once I had it all put together, wire wrapped for sturdiness, not so much.

It was a really odd fit with the beads laying oddly and just not comfortable. There was nothing to do but cut them off and start over. Ugh.

I still liked the closure, which I picked up in Omaha at Silver Bella ... that tells you how old that clasp is! I used some rhinestone disco balls to add a little sparkle at the back since I often wear my hair up. To save myself a little step later, I cut the wire off of the bead end leaving the clasp wrappings in place so disc balls and clap pieces were all set! Whew, I mean to have to rewire those little beads... bitterness is showing isn't it? I know.

And this is the newly finished piece with ebony round beads. I still liked the weighty-ness of the oblong beads so I kept them close to the focal piece (which is a fantastic rosary part I got at Beads of Splendor - my new very expensive favorite bead shop in town).  The dangle is a vintage rhinestone cabochon I've had for a while with clear dog cameo (?) that I picked up in Santa Fe a couple years ago. I'm pretty sure I glued the cameo into the cabochon before Sophy was born (yeah, at least 17 months ago) and it has just been sitting on my desk.

Finished piece hanging off of my new favorite photo spot. Statue hanging on the back patio.

I'm really happy with the finished piece and love it. This does not take the sting out of all of the wasted silver wire (that had been patinaed with liver of sulphur).  More wire has been ordered.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mightee Kids

Nearly every morning I take a picture of Sophy for her Grandparents in Kansas and Facebook for the rest of the clan. The Grandparents are not Facebook fans. Some days she's a willing model and others, not so much. Today was kind of an in between but she's still super cute and we got a pretty good pose.

What  you can't really see that well is her adorable Mightee Kids t-shirt. Mightee Kids creates a new shirt every month for a different cause with a portion of the profits for that shirt going to that month's organization. You can purchase individual shirts or subscribe monthly and they'll automatically send a shirt. That's the option I've picked and this was her first one. So adorable! They're is fantastic and a great gift option for people too. I found out about them via Under the Sycamore when she was promoting the Love Without Boundaries folks. Also a big fan of that foundation.

I'm trying to be more conscious about giving and making it more of a priority. We don't do too much right now but places like Mightee Kids make it a lot easier. I should also say we were in no way contacted to promote anyone and I'm just mentioning everyone because I like them!

p.s. Sophy has recently discovered Peppa the Pig and her snorting like Peppa will have to be recorded. I apologize to her future teenage self now.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Studio Planning

While Texas is doing an imitation of the surface of the sun, it seems like a good time to think about some house projects. Truthfully, I'd like to treat it like a giant Etch A Sketch and start over. This is not a realist plan.

In reality planning, there's a snag in some of my make over ideas as Rolland and I have regular disagreements about  my love of Sarah Richardson. He feels, and it's a little tough to argue, that she decorates in various shades of white. Even her husband mocked her about it when she was decorating the nursery for their baby. Thus making it difficult for me to win these disagreements. I love all white walls and neutral furniture allowing for regular swapping out of pillows, accessories, etc changing the look up without a big investment in time or money on big pieces. The husband would like to live in a cave with little, or no, natural light. Sigh.

In an effort to further avoid this continuing disagreement, I'm starting in my studio/guest room. Right now it's a giant hairball that needs major sorting out. I think the queen size bed is coming out and being replaced by a daybed. This is a bit of the inspiration which I know is confusing since that is in fact a queen size bed but the idea is totally neutral with bright pops of color. I have a kantha I picked up somewhere, here looks like a good option if you would also like to add a pop of color with something slightly exotic, my particular blanket includes various shades of pink, black and I can't remember what else. It's buried in the top of the closet (OY!). It seems like a perfect candidate for layering on a white bed. I'd also like to treat the daybed as more of a couch most of the time. Maybe the husband would come visit while I'm playing with beads, paint and wire. His iPad travels anywhere.

The overall color inspiration from the swatch below is ideal to tie-in with the rest of the house and a lot of the art I already have in the room. A little bit of red would be a great addition in replacement of the pale yellow. Not a fan.

 Unlike past projects, I think I'll try to do some significant planning and measuring prior to re-arranging the layout or purchasing anything new. This may be the hardest part as I've been seriously trying to justify an Ikea visit. But maybe a few trips to Anthropolgie for inspiration could be worked in? A major reorganization and clean out would also be in order. I worked on it a bit before Sophy was born with a massive giveaway but it wasn't a really thoughtful approach. Mostly because I was pretty pregnant and kind of out of my mind. I gave away a lot without much thought and made some odd choices for what I kept. I plan to stick with this story for some time.

Back to the planning, I have some shelves and a desk that I'd like to try and repurpose. I'm hoping to end up with something similar to this with shelves overhead for regularly used supplies and the chalkboard "backsplash" for inspiration board and general doodling. I'm hoping magnetic chalkboard paint is something readily available.

This is definitely an aspirational image since there's only about 6 inches of usable space on the desk. Typically, I end up with about that much usable space when working on a project, I need a lot more room to spread out since I tend to be an "out of sight out of mind" kind of girl. This is also why I end up dragging out tons of stuff across the room just to ponder. Instead of thinking I'm going to change my approach (which is never going to happen) I need to figure this into my planning and leave some empty space just for "planning/inspiration". It would also be nice to have some "guest artist" play space too.

Weekend goal: studio planning. Graph paper, Pinterest and HGTV are on the docket!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

When you're informed your baby is kind of acting like a brat

Yesterday I picked her up, the new gig is a little more flexible so I pick her up on Tues/Thurs, and got an update from her teacher. She's been teething like a fiend (over 6 coming in at once!) and I gave them a head's up on her cranky factor when I dropped her off. At pick up, her teacher started with a teething update but then I got more info. Turns out, she wasn't that great. She threw a major tantrum waking up all of her class, and I'm fairly certain she refused to allow them to go back to sleep, she pushes the little kids, big kids and teachers when they try to direct her in a way she doesn't want to go and firmly says "no" to any and all requests. Uhm, yikes.

I felt like a complete failure. My baby is acting like a brat and I really had no idea. I see her when I come home where we make dinner, she demands to be held so I get to have more guilt that I can't hold her and chop up stuff with a very sharp knife at the same time so she has a mini-meltdown. Often she quickly contents herself with her pans or books so it didn't seem like it was all that unusual to me.  We eat dinner, snuggle with books and/or get a bath with a little playtime then bed occasionally she acts out and gets deposited in her crib where she cries briefly but then plays with her animals until her "time out" is up. Even on the weekends it's just a longer version of this schedule and then back to the lather rinse repeat schedule of our weekday life. Previous reports she was great and everyone loved her, now I'm worried she's become "that kid" overnight (or while I was at work and then at home not paying attention to less than charming behavior).

I know I'm overreacting, I know she's fantastic and everyone still loves her, I know she's incredibly independent and has no desire to do anything that isn't exactly what she wants to do which is fantastic for avoiding peer pressure but not so great for getting her diaper changed and I know she can throw herself down on the ground and have a major meltdown and that ALL kids do it. But right now, I also know that I feel like I'm failing her. My time away is leaving her to be raised by strangers where they are teaching her everything and they know all of her little quirks. Where I get updates on what she likes, what her accomplishments are, who her friends are, people know her name and I have no idea who they are. It's frustrating.

There are no good answers since the socialization is good for her. She's fantastic in new situations, we can usually take her anywhere without freak outs, we are good parents and everything really be ok. Today, just isn't a good day.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Woo Hoo it's Friday!

Because of that, it seemed like a good time to give a little reading round up.

Also, a sidenote that I love this little blog quickie by Anahata. It's perfect and a reminder we all need to take time for ourselves.

As part of that taking care and getting ready for the weekend, I'm continuing to pretend I have a summer vacation and have jumped into some summer time reading. I may have a little too much summer reading at the moment but I'm determined to get some of them complete. It didn't help that I got sucked into Dan Brown's Robert Langdon books. I had read the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons back when the craze swept the world but the follow up just sat on my shelf and when I saw there was now a fourth, Inferno, I got a little obsessed with catching up. Oy! I read the Lost Symbol over the 4th, which seems appropriate and timely, now I have Inferno on the kindle app ready to go.

Also on the night stand and/or my iPad mini  that are partially complete:
On deck if I finish any of the above or decide to jump into another book are the following:
This does not include any of my cookbooks I've been eyeballing waiting for it to cool enough to turn on the stove. I've also been eyeing my stock of travel memoirs since nothing says summer like a road trip! I have no idea what's happened. It had been that I would never dream of starting a book until I finished the one I had going, I would even not read for a while if I was stuck trying to get through one and now, look at that list! It's crazy.

Anything else I should be adding to the list?

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


Our anniversary was on Sunday and we ran wild! Or, went to Target bright and early to check out all the Feed stuff. We purchased a fair amount and I loved this bag so I got it and one in orange. Pretty much everyone but Sophy scored in the Target trip and even she could ride IN the bag when tired so a win for everyone! After shopping we let the wild baby run free at the park by our house. We'd gone before and she liked the swings but everything else was kind of eh. She went with Granny and Aunt Anita in March and loved the swings and a little more play. This time, she was everywhere! The jungle gym has all kinds of openings make the plummet to the ground range anywhere from 6 inches to 4 feet. Mama was a little freaked out but did ok. She ran through everything. She played with the chimes, the rolling drums, the swings, the steps, etc. There's also some water features that kids can frolick without submersion in the pool so next time we'll go with the swim diaper and suit.

After a nap and a fair amount of time doing nothing we went out for dinner at one of my favorites, The Porch. Yum. Rolland ordered a beer that turned out not to be what we thought. Not a fan of stout, and as you can see by the color, it was super stout. Hehehe. New beer replacement coming up! The Porch is kind of awesome, not just because they'll bring new beer, but they have a great menu that works for everyone. Sophy had the fancy mac and cheese (waiter couldn't believe we wanted the full order and not kids version. Rookie.), Rolland a hunk o'meat with brussel sprouts and I got a club sandwich. It was a fancy club sandwich! And a shared lavendar and blackberry sorbet for dessert. Soooo good! Oh, we also had the fried port salute cheese with tomato marmalade. I could've eaten 3 orders of it. Sophy approved.

Perfect anniversary day.