Friday, June 1, 2012

Sometimes you gather information in life that you think may come in handy to others.  With that spirit of sharing in mind, here is a simple list I have compiled of places you might want to check, should a child sleeping on the top bunk of a shared room lean his/her head over the safety rail and projectile vomit:

1. the wood floor
2. the area rug
3. the ladder leading to the upper bunk
4. the sheets on the lower bunk
5. the child in the lower bunk
6. the roof of the dollhouse
7. the goldfish bowl
8. any walls in any way adjacent to the beds
9. artwork hung on said walls
10. the feet of the child who wanders in after being shuffled out, to ask if everything is clean yet
11. the tiny speaker holes of the sound machine
12. the underside of the ladder mentioned above
13. your own hair, having brushed against the underside of ladder, upon discovering the sound machine
14. Your shirt, having brushed against the wall, when you recoiled at the sight of the underside of the ladder
15. all of your clothes and exposed skin, as you slowly realize the true extent of the damage.
16. all the clothes and exposed skin of your spouse after they take over in the second hour

To clean this volume of mess in partial darkness after very little sleep, I recommend using hand towels from the closest bathroom, your spouses old t-shirts (generally found in a bottom drawer), paper towels, soap, water, lysol spray, hand sanitizer, and baby wipes.  Going downstairs to where you keep usual cleaning products is not mandatory.  You may work up to that in the second hour, but initially, stick with what is close, and keep hope that this is not going to take the rest of the night.

Miraculously, there is no need to check the sheets on the upper bunk.  They will be clean as a whistle.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Making Friends Salad

Making Friends Salad

(there are no quantities on purpose--it's salad, do as much or as little as you like)

mixed greens/field greens-any kind of greens you like, preferably pre-washed and ready to go
shredded carrots-again, buy them pre-shredded, no need to be a hero
red seedless grapes, sliced lengthwise
diced apples or pears
mandarin oranges, canned (yeah, white trash it up with canned fruit, and buy the ones in the light syrup because--live a little--you are already eating salad)
avocado, cubed
Grilled chicken, cubed (I grill 5 lbs of chicken on the weekend, cube it all and freeze it.  No time for that *&$% during the week, right?)

1 part syrup from the oranges
2 parts balsamic vinegar
2 parts tahini paste (the only completely annoying thing to buy on this recipe)
3 parts Olive Oil

Put it all in a container and shake.  Adjust to your taste

Toss the dressing with the salad.  Garnish with tortilla chips (blue corn if you are cool like that) and serve.

The Story:

After terminating my long standing, on again/off again relationship with dairy (that bastard had explosive gas in his arsenal, so, that's right, I surrender) I found a new love in my life.  Mayonnaise.  Which, by the way, is NOT dairy.  Common misconception.  The problem with mayonnaise is this:  it is DELICIOUS and super fattening.  Not a little fattening, not the way I use it.  I don't mind a little junk in the trunk, but months into our exclusive relationship, me and mayo, I was packing for a year-long safari. That said, I spent last summer renewing my relationship with salad.  Ah,salad.  I don't like to eat salad all the time because then it makes you one of those women who eat salad all the time--ladies, you know what I mean.  But, desperate times call for desperate measures.  I also don't want to eat salad all the time because you have to buy a bunch of stuff and do a crapload of prep.  After some experimentation, I came up with this salad that used things I buy anyway (not just for salad) and was still good enough to make me want to do the prep and eat it.  I also make it when friends come over and together we dispel the myth created by the Simpsons, that You Don't Make Friends with Salad .

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nothing says class like packing tape

You know it is Spring in my house when my Swedish Mexicana tablecloth is out!  But how can I have a tablecloth with two small children who have turned spilling into a competition, you ask?  Easy, packing tape!

My husband grew up in a tablecloth family.  Personally, we were place mat people, but my mother-in-law, a lover of all things fabric, always had and will have a tablecloth.   Wanting to follow this cozy tradition, I unpacked all my grandmothers tablecloths when we moved to the "country".  When I realized they would require laundering almost daily, I thought, #$(*%  this.
Then a friend introduced me to oilcloth.  It is totally wipe-able and comes in all kinds of kicky designs.  The problem is most of it is 45" width, which just doesn't cut it on my (and most) kitchen tables.   To make an oilcloth tablecloth would involve sewing, a skill I greatly admire but do not possess.
Months passed until I found myself at Ikea in the fabric section.  Well, talk about kicky designs!  But totally not wipe-able.  The solution, a $5.00 clear vinyl tablecloth from Wal-mart.  Thank goodness for my neighbors, the DePalmas, in 1982.  Mrs.DePalma had clear vinyl over EVERYTHING-the sofa, the carpet runner, the tablecloth-everything.  Taking a page from her book, I put a table pad under the Ikea fabric, the clear vinyl over, and then taped the hell out of it on the underside of the table so that there is absolutely no chance a child can pull the tablecloth out from under the dishes.  Once you go vinyl in your interior design scheme, it is a very small leap to packing tape.  Because nothing says class like packing tape...

Here are some other seasonal fabrics from Ikea:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Glue gun

Aaaw, sh*(&^,  I bought a glue gun.  There is no turning back now.  I like to be all white rapster about it because this is as close to a gun as I will ever get, but that might be a little too poser, even for me.  (Reminds me of that fantastic Smirnoff video from a few years back, Smirnoff Tea Par-tay) Anyway, why did I buy it, you ask? To make Fairy boxes, shorty...Okay I'll stop.
Seriously, I have seven little girls who are requiring presents this month so I thought it was time to get creative. SPOILER ALERT: If my daughter is attending your daughters birthday party this March, this is her gift. I started with some dowdy decorative boxes from Jo-ann's

went crazy with sponge paint, mod podge (to which I added two kinds of extra fine glitter), ribbon bows (a la glue gun), butterflys (paper & fabric), flowers (paper & fabric), birds and gems.  I then personalized them for each child with a stencil from Stencil Ease . I even let Lucy help. In the end, I have boxes that I think would do Tinkerbelle proud (copyright Disney) HINT-If you want to make these yourself, lightly sponge the boxes first to tone down the background and then mod podge it. I did not mod podge them at first and the paint kept chipping off when I tried to glue anything on the box:

Maybe I should revive my etsy site?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

And here are some of my favorite SNAPS photos (for more see   will update with new photos as work rolls in

Stencils/Wall Art for Grown-ups

Here is some stencil...artlike stuff I have made over the last year for adults (see previous entry for wall art for kids). The rectangular canvases list everywhere (or significant places) that couples have lived or traveled together.  The others are quotes that hold significance for one reason or another.