Saturday, July 31, 2010

All dressed up and no place to go....

Vintage pinup me, heavily girdled. Soon I will begin the big diet initiative, and one of my real goals is to be able to fit back into my darling collection of vintage and vintage-inspired day dresses picked from the thrifts over the years. This red dress *just barely* fits, but most of them do not. Neither do my skinny jeans. Hopefully I can get my act together and get into shape! My goal is to be back into my skinny jeans and hot-girl RUSH t-shirt in time for my favorite Canadian trio's next stop in C-bus, on August 29th.

I was inspired after watching this video on how to do "Victory Rolls" in your hair. Personally I think it looked better in the bathroom. I have no idea how women kept this look up.

I even convinced Ken to buy this retro shirt today while we were out school shopping for Zack. He looks good, but was absolutely against getting the porkpie hat to go with it.

The everyday me: bare feet, flat hair and clothes fit to pull weeds. While my husband likes when I wear dresses, he said my rolled hair made him feel like he was taking out wife #3 at the compound. Nice. It was fun to have a rainy day and time on my hands to play dress up.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I (heart) turtles and our Columbus Metropolitan Libraries!

The boys and I have been availing ourselves of our local library's story times all summer, and a few weeks ago we got to see the Turtle Lady. She is something of a local celebrity for the under-8 set around here, and I was so happy to finally see her and all of her creature friends.

Turtles can be stinky.

We saw all shapes and sizes of turtles; she brought something like 40 turtles, snakes and frogs with her.

I can't say enough about our libraries here in Columbus, and how thankful I am for their summer programming for kids. Basically, Library Journal named our libraries the 2010 Library of the Year. And they did that on a shoestring budget after the state of Ohio took away something like half their funding. Bravo, librarians!

(Footy-note: the turtle on the left is an example of a turtle who was not well cared for. Turtle Lady Nancy taught us that it is important to read and study about any creature we decide to adopt before we bring it into our homes.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thrifted Thursday

I managed to convince the younger son to accompany me on a thriftstore trip while the elder son was at a day camp. Well, being 4, he really had no choice. Thankfully he curled himself into a petulant ball in the shopping cart and sulked while we made our way through the glassware. I found these cool vintage whiskey decanters for under $8 for all of them. I originally bought them for resale, but Ken likes how they look, and I do too. (And I made this a quick trip so we could get home for a little Thomas the Tank Engine.)

I also picked up a few random things: doily, embroidered placemat/runner, old pattern to use for a collage project, and an unopened set of 3 snowflake stamps. I love getting cheap stamps, and I got this set for 50 cents. I find myself casting an eye to fall when I can hunker into my scrapbooking and a few art projects. But for now I am okay with just enjoying the summer and snapping the occasional picture.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rookie adventures in canning

Had to do something with this pile of cucumbers I harvested from the garden. The husband has been wanting to make pickles for forever.

Too bad he's been working late every night this week. I knew the cukes wouldn't last too much longer so I did this myself. I thank the Lord above that the sustenance of my family does not depend on my ability to preserve. What a mess I made! The good news is they are tasty, and should be just fine to eat for 2-3 weeks if refrigerated! So I guess we're having pickles with every meal for a while. Anyone for tuna salad?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Great Wall of Beans

Spent some time harvesting some beans for dinner today. They are a lush and happy part of my three sisters garden I did this year. I'm still waiting on the corn and squash, as I ran into some trouble in early spring and had to replant after putting up a metal fence to keep out the groundhogs and bunnies.

These beans are 100% organically grown. And this year we've not seen the beetle damage we usually do, so that is a blessing.

It was so hot and humid here today that my camera lens kept fogging up!

A nice bowl of beans for supper, to go with some sweet corn and breaded chicken. Yum!

While outdoors, I took a walk to see the's really as low as I've ever seen it. The neighbor added a lot of thirsty trees around it a few years back, and I don't think he gets that they are slowly drinking our farmer's pond up.

I am just loving the Queen Anne's Lace---reminds me of summer camp.

Oh, and the beans were very very good.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vintage Image from the 20's

I'm busying myself with a little cut & paste today, so I thought I'd share this image. It is from a 1923 Montgomery Ward Catalog I have. I'll post up more as I work my way through them. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My TV room refresh

My TV room was looking a little stodgy. Truthfully, I think I sort of picked a palette that I thought looked grownup, but really I never was wowed by. And thus I never went the next step to really give it any personality.

Freshly inspired by my new serious liking of aqua and turquoise, and a drive to really punch up the cool orange accent wall, I did a very inexpensive makeover which consisted of buying 4 yards of fabric (using my 50% off coupon from JoAnn's,) a new poster to put in the frame (with a Michaels 50% off coupon,) a few gerbera daisies from clearance, a big bottle of turquoise paint to repurpose the old lamps that were in the basement forever, and a couple of tchatchkis from the thrift store, and a mirror also from the thrift store that I had picked up a long time ago and repainted.

I really like it so far, and I want to add to the decor as we go on. I just feel like finally this really looks like "me" and not my parents or something, lol.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Simple birthday parties are best, according to the 7 year old...

We treated Zack to two birthday parties this year, one for "the guys" and one for the family, and managed to do so without busting the budget. Saturday's party we hosted a total of nine boys counting our own. We made the mistake of ordering 3 pizzas when two would have been fine, we made Kool-Aid, I baked cupcakes, made a fruit salad, and got a bag each of cheesy poofs and pretzels---I estimate we spent a total of $40 on food, but without that extra pizza would have done the whole thing for $30.

We lucked out for rain on this day! Just pulled out the slippy slide, the blow up pool and various sports equipment. If we had been indoors I had a few sketchy ideas for party games, and probably would have, much to my husband's chagrin, picked up a pack of canvases to let them paint. As it was it was a pretty perfect day.

Basically we've learned to properly estimate our food needs. We used to buy twice as much as we needed, and seldom planned ahead of time. This time around I started buying non perishable things on sale as early as a month in advance. The overall effect was that these two parties kept us well within our normal food budget.

The boys managed to find their own fun, too.

Sunday was our family party. Since my parents are gone, I feel it important to gather my siblings and our aunt to me frequently. And of course their Oma and Godparents and Uncle love to see them too. We did a barbecue, and as I mentioned I actually spread the cost out over the last month or so, catching the sales. The menu was burgers and dogs, potato salad from scratch, baked beans, chips, and Koolaid and Iced Tea to drink. I estimate that my total cost to feed about 20 people was $60.

I include this picture to keep it real---the cake I baked broke overnight, so we decided to call it an "Avalanche Cake." For me the trick to entertaining is to embrace the little accidents and imperfections along the way.

Zack said it was his favorite birthday ever. I have to mention that this year we actually spent less on his present than we ever have in the past. It really makes me rethink our priorities---people and community and celebration are better than things, and any little kid instinctively gets that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My 20 Year Class Reunion was Saturday

We had a blast! The festivities actually began Friday night at an informal meetup. It was so amazing to see so many familiar faces!

One face I didn't see was Abe's---he was my first love, and sadly I learned this weekend that he passed away a little over a year ago.

Senior Picture

I kind of hated my prom date, lol

Husband and me, on our way to the reunion dinner. I think I've aged okay.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Make a memory tonight!

Last night, last night I dumped our usual going to bed ritual (read: me yelling at the boys to get to bed and them refusing) and decided to let them take their sleeping bags and bug jar outside to catch fireflies and stargaze instead. It was fun, and I found myself sort of lost in the moment. A cool, clear night in the grass with my boys. They asked the kind of questions they would never probably bring up in the car on the way to the store or school. They waxed philosophic. They chased fireflies, and managed to catch 3 for their lantern (which they were eager to let go again, because they didn't want to worry the bugs.) The best part was I was so engaged that it didn't occur to me to try to photograph it or otherwise document the moment. I think we all finished the day grateful for a respite from the summer doldrums and general boredom mothers and kids can experience in the summer.