Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What the heart wants

When Joji and I first bought our house, he got me a Feng Shui consultation as a Christmas gift. I was so excited. I'm a big believer in the energy that stuff has (good and bad). She divided out house into different areas called a "bagua" and each zone had different "rules". Our kitchen fell into the "heart" zone of the bagua. Since it was the "heart" she recommended painting it red. I had just spent 6 months going through 5 different shades of yellow and was not looking forward to painting the kitchen again. Red is a tricky color (just like yellow) and I decided to go with a cranberry color (Cranberry Punch) It took 3 coats, yikes. When it was done, I liked it. It was different it was bold and my blue and white stuff really popped. When folks would come over for the first time, they always commented on how great the kitchen looked. However, I think I'm done with it. My kitchen is West facing and it is just too dark on gloomy days and unfortunately I live in the heart of Gloomvile.
My favorite blogcandy is pictures of other people's kitchens. Some of you have pretty amazingly cute kitchens. I'm always especially drawn to blue and yellow kitchens with white cabinets. They are so sunny and happy. So that got me thinking... One of the major practices of Feng shui is to surround yourself with things you love, love, love. Right now not loving my red kitchen. When I asked Joji for his input he said I could do anything I want. (Did you notice there was no "we" in that statement) Anyway, I'm trying to figure out what to do.
My cabinets have kind of a gold tone to them, which up against the red make them look orange to me. Not a good look. So before I rid my kitchens of the cranberry walls (which I do like), I think I will paint my cabinets. I'm thinking a nice warm white. (If you have painted your cabinets and have "a good white" please let me know what you used.) I think the white cabinets will really lighten things up and white cabinets are just so fresh looking. Perfect for spring :0)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Miss Mina & yesteryear

Yesterday, Sammie went to a princess birthday party for her friend Zoe who was turning 3. Sammie was so excited to dress up. Of course, the "princess dresses" are not very warm so we busted out my mom's fox stole (Miss Mina). It is so soft and toasty. It has been to many proms, so why not a tea party? It was a big hit, everyone loved petting it. The dad was a little bummed it wasn't sporting the head and feet though :0)
It is funny how trends change. It used be everyone who was anyone had a fur. Now fur it a wee bit "incorrect". Speaking of days gone by, I caught another episode of "MAD MEN" and it was so funny to watch. There was a scene where the kids are playing "spaceman" and one of them is running around inside a dry cleaning bag. The kid was immediately scolded for emptying the bag, not the potential suffocation risk. There was another scene where the mom was driving and the kids are crawling all over. Even when she crashes the car and the kids are flown across the back seat it was all fun. I remember putting 12 campfire girls in my friends station wagon. We were all over the place and her mom never even raised and eyebrow. It is amazing we lived to tell :0)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Home again, home again jigity jig

I'm back from my little getaway and it was such a good time.
We stayed here and it was such a cool and funky place, I definitely want to go back. The hotel was an old "farm for the indigent" and each room is dedicated to the former residents and employees. The decor is somewhere between craftsman proper and HS art class, very funky. The rooms don't have bathrooms in them so it just like being back in the dorms. Holly had the good/bad fortune of catching some dude trying to make a quick bathroom run sans clothing, yup just like the dorms.
Since Holly and I could not find the girls we were meeting up with, we just hit the pool hall for some refreshments. It was funny to be back at a "meat market". It was pretty tame one, but still made for some good people watching. Even though we missed the concert (one of the reasons for the trip in the first place) we finally found our friends and still had a great time just sitting and talking. There were no kids to keep occupied or bored husbands, just girls and good fashioned girl talk~ slumber party quality girl talk :0)
The only bummer of the trip was that the next day was grey and dumping. We had planned to explore the grounds more, all of the outbuildings had been converted to restaurants, spas, art studios, etc, and maybe go into Portland and do a little sight seeing. I was hoping to check out some of the "cottage communities" I have read about, but no dice. We were also starting to get calls from the husbands "checking in" translation: come home.
We hit the wet road and made the drive back home. It was fun, but I'm tired and am looking forward to going to be early tonight. We are definitely going back, can't wait.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Was a sunny day...

There are just some days when you wake up and you know it is going to be a great day. Today is that kind of day.
First of all the sun is out!!! Western Washington, gray and gloomy~ not today. It is crisp cold and blue sky for miles. We live very close to the Cascade foothills, so on a clear day you can see them. Since we are also on the water, you can see the Olympic Mountains. They are bright white with fres snow and just pop off that blue sky. I had to work today for a couple of hours and I took the convertible. On my home I had the tunes cranked and when Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf came on, I had to pull over and put the top down. So much fun. I love driving when you hit a good run of songs. If that was my day, I would be pleased, but there is more...
In just a few hours, I'm getting the heck out of Dodge and me a couple of girlfriends are going down to Oregon. There is a brewery just outside of Portland. We are going to a concert and then kick back and enjoy ourselves. Best part, NO KIDS!!! Some might remember my last "girls weekend", this should be much better.
As I'm frantically getting ready to go (and take a little blogging break) I'm listening to a mix "tape" (Joji was a sweetie and burned it on CD) that we unearthed cleaning out the closet. Every year in college, my roommate and I would make a tape of all the songs that we listened to over and over during that year. Talk about a flood of memories. With the first note of each song, I'm instantly back in Ellensburg in our basement apartment. We had pretty eclectic music tastes so we have everything from B-52, Van Morrison, Go-gos even Elvis and Sinatra made the cut. So much fun, I haven't heard some of these songs in years.
Well, it is 3:00 here and the plan is to leave just after 4:00. I made a pot roast for dinner tonight so the husbands won't have to eat out. I got the recipe from the Pioneer Woman cooks. The house smells great, I hope it tastes good :0)
Wishing you all a great Friday!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tagged :0)

Kellie over at Acorn Cottage had tagged me, so here it goes

1. 4 Jobs I Have Had:
· Swimming Instructor and Lifeguard: 2 of the best jobs EVER!! Where else do you get paid to tan? I spent 10 summers basically living at the pool with my friends.
· “Concessions Slime” at the mall theaters. I worked candy counter a whole year and was never promoted to the box office. The manager told me I was too flakey to work the box office. The best part of the job was the free popcorn. Everyone said you would get sick of it, but not me.
· Morrow’s Nut House. After my year at the theaters, I got a job at the candy shop that was kitty corner to the theaters. This was a GREAT job. It was prime people watching and everyone would come by and say hi while waiting for their movie. The down side was my addiction to macadamia nuts and Swedish fish. I also worked there for about a year and when “House of Almonds” bought us, the manager “forgot” to tell the new management that I worked there. I guess she didn’t like it when I called her stupid for only having 2 girls work on the day after Thanksgiving (Hello, busiest shopping day of the year????)
· Bartender. I worked at a local tavern/ card room for about a year and half after I graduated from college. It was fun, but having a front row seat to people’s addictions is kind of a downer.
2. 4 Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again:
· Sixteen Candles: I know this movie by heart and quote is at least once a week. Classic, classic, classic John Hughes. Oh to be Samantha Baker and end up with Jake Ryan…
· Valley Girl: Young Nick Cage, great music and teen angst. Classic boy meets girl, boy looses girl, boy storms the prom and gets the girl.
· Bull Durham: I love this movie. Susan Sarandon is amazing, Kevin Costner is in his prime and Tim Robbins is so clueless. This is another movie that we quote a lot, especially during baseball season.
· Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House: My favorite line is when Carey Grant asks “How do the kids just starting out who aren’t making 15, 000 a year have a chance to purchase a home?” Anyone who has ever had to deal with contractors can appreciate the Blanding family’s misadventures.
Other movies that would be on this list: Spinal Tap: When I first saw this movie I thought it was about a real band, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that one of the guys looked a lot like Lenny from Lavern and Shirley. Young Frankenstein: Best Mel Brooks movie ever. Funny from start to finish.
3. 4 Places I Have Lived:
· Federal Way, Washington
· Tacoma, Washington
· Ellensburg, Washington
4. 4 People I E-mail Daily
· I don’t really email the same folks daily, I do comment on some blogs pretty regularly.
5. 4 Favorite Things to Eat
· Fresh fruit. Strawberries, grapes, watermelon, plums, nectarines and cherries are my favorites
· Potatoes: Hard to pick my favorite way to fix them, they’re al good
· Steak: We have a friend who manages a restaurant and when we go see him I always order fillet minion. It is so good; I love how it melts in your mouth.
· Salad. I practically lived off the Pizza Hut salad bar in college. I’m a little OCD about how I make them, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, cheese, ranch, bacon bits, sunflower seeds and tomatoes and I could eat these everyday. I’m also addicted to taco salad. Taco Time is my favorite.
6. 4 Places I Would Rather Be:
· On the swing on the front porch of my grandfathers house
· By the pool soaking up the sun
· Kid free with my girlfriends enjoying some cocktails
· Getting a pedicure
7. 4 Things I Look Forward To This Year:
· Going to Orlando in April. Boeing is sending Joji to some swanky hotel for a conference and I get to tag along. I’m looking forward to the pool.
· Taking the kids to Disneyland. We are going in October and I’m so excited. I’m the only one who has been before. My “musts” for Disneyland include: Submarine ride, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a small world, Jungle boat ride, Space mountain, getting a silhouette on Main Street and Mickey Mouse ears with you name sewn on the back.
· Continuing to work on getting into smaller clothes
· Hopefully painting the house this summer. Our house is a pinkish taupe and I don’t like it. I want to paint it a bluish gray, with sage shutters, white trim and a cranberry door.
Now I get to tag 4 people, lets see...
Jenny at Bits and Pieces
Kate at Our Red House
Marie at Little bit of Country on the Shore
Jessica at the Zimmermans

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday, Monday

Can't believe it is Monday already.
I have to say though, I had a GREAT weekend. All we did was hang out with friends. On Friday, we went to the Zimmermans for a little BBQ trial run. Every year they host a 4th of July party and Bob was testing out his new smoker. We had brisket and homemade bread, yummy. Usually the Z's drive down to our neck of the woods and it was so nice to go up there and let Jessica play hostess (she is very good at it) They kids ran around, the boys gamed and Jessica and I just sat and chatted. We have the best conversations :0)
Since most of the DND guys were also having dinner up there, I took the opportunity to do a little baking. I have had cupcakes on the brain and I have been doing a little research on local "cupcake" shops. It is interesting to see what flavors are offered and how much they charge. $2.50 seems to be the standard cupcake price. I love the "idea" of a little bakery. Something like the "barefoot contessa", but the reality is not as fun. If I had a bunch of money laying around, lots of minions to do all the not fun work and all I had to do was show up frost some cupcakes and schmooze customers I would be all over it. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be in the cards right now, maybe later, but not now. I did decide that I would do a little cupcake baking and try out some different flavors. I made 4 batches of cupcakes: Mocha, lemon, cranberry and Dr. Pepper. I saw the Dr. Pepper one on a couple of websites and thought I would try it. It was okay, definitely needed more tweaking. I must say, after all that baking and "quality control", I'm a little cupcaked out. Oh well, I did manage to finish my little hand towel. I can't wait to make more. Quick and easy, my kind of project.
Anyhoo, it was a very late night on Friday (we hit the sack around 2:30 am) and we were looking forward to a nice slothy Saturday. Our friend Matt called and wanted to know if Joji could play. They spent the day doing all kinds of fun boy stuff like working on broken lawn movers, cutting up wood and playing with backhoes. The boy stuff then turned into sushi with the wives. We went over there and spent the evening laughing so hard we were crying. Another late night, but it was so much fun.
Sunday rolled around and it was definitely a quiet day. The kids had spent the night at Joji's mom's house so we got watch the football games (poor Farve) and catch up on our tivo.
When I was pregnant with Ben we went and saw a production of RENT. I was 29 and had never felt so "old and unhip". The movie RENT was on and I taped it thinking I might get it if I saw it again. Not really. Maybe it is the "westcoast" in me, but every musical sounds the same. It was okay, but not the life changing experience that others seemed to have. Oh well. I was also able to catch an episode of Mad Men. I loved it. I'm going to see if season one is out on DVD. I love movies/shows about the 50's. It is so interesting and the styling is so beautiful. I love how everything is so neat and tailored. Appearance was everything and makes for great eyecandy.
So now Monday has come and the kids are out of school. The sun is out and it is making me feel semi inspired to work in the yard. It is so much easier to putter when the sun is out. Today is also laundry day. I'm really tyring to get our closet under control. Maybe I'll post a couple of pics when I'm done (nothing like a little blogging accountability to help motivate)
Well, I'm off to get to busy before the motivation wears off.
Happy Monday everyone!! :0)

Thursday, January 17, 2008


People always ask me "when am I going back to work". I miss working, but I'm afraid I've been away long enough to forget how much stamina is needed. Yesterday and today I was gone all day and I'm totally shot.
Yesterday was a rare day. Sam had school and then a play date. I was free for a good 5 hours. I went into town to pick up a few things and of course, I seemed to buy everything else except what I was looking for. I went to TJMAXX to a get one of those cotton bins for Joji's mail. For the past six months, they have had a TON of different colors and designs. I was really hoping for a blue and white toile. Surely they would have it. Nope, not one. grrrrr so off to Target.
Well, of course when you walk in you have to walk past their dollar section and of course, you have to take a peek at stuff you don't need, but for a dollar you figure couldn't hurt. I was almost free and clear when something caught my eye, cotton dish towels. Now normally, I would not have given them a second look, but I was reading on some random blog (you know how that goes... a click, click here and a click, click there) and the girl had the sweetest little embroidery projects. One was a cotton kitchen towel with a little cupcake on it. I have a thing for cupcakes. I also like to embroider. However, my attention span is not very long, so this little design instantly appealed to me. As I was reading the post, I thought to myself, where would you find plain cotton dish towels? Target's dollar section apparently. They had the best baby blue ones and so I grabbed them. Last night I sketched out a cupcake, dug out my colored floss and went to town. I'm almost done. I think I will finish it tonight and post a pic tomorrow.
Back to Target...they didn't have those bins either, but of course, I left with other stuff. I truly believe it is physically impossible to leave that store empty handed. I have yet to do it. There is so much stuff there and they clearance stuff gets me every time. Anyhoo, since they didn't have what I was looking for I was forced to go to 4 more stores. I finally found something I liked and of course it was at the last store which was closest to home. Figures.
By the time I got home from all that running around it was after 4:00 (I had left the house at 9:00) and I was pooped. When Joji came home he immediately wanted to know what was for dinner. Just as I was going to say something really exciting like sandwiches, the phone rang and it was my girlfriend who suggested we go out for dinner :0) Dinner was a blast, but we didn't get home until 7:30. A long day indeed. Today was no better, I worked in Sam's class and Ben's class, ran a couple of quick errands and returned home 6 hours later. Yup, I'm pooped.
If I'm this exhausted after shopping and doing fun stuff, I'm not sure I have the stamina to keep up with a groups of Kindergartners, let alone keep my house running. Nope, I think I will linger in "stay at home" land a little longer.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Time Warp

I can't believe it has been a week since my last post. I'm not sure if it was we were so busy or nothing exciting has happened, probably a little of both. Yesterday, my mom and I made a trip to Goodwill with a massive donation in tow. I was able to get rid off 6 boxes of stuff and 2 large bags of clothes. On all of the "teach me how to dress" shows they always say you tend to wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time. Well, I bit the bullet and donated that 80%. Kind of scary. I noticed that I don't have a lot of "work" clothes anymore. When I do work, if I'm not rocking the "kidnapper" look, I'm usually in khakis and a sweater. I'm trying to expand the wardbrobe, but comfort is key. I also need low maintance closes. I'm not the obsessive handwasher kind of gal, so I need wash and wear. And did I mention I do NOT iron. Yes, I own one and have used it recently, but that was on pants and even I can iron pants. Way back when, when I was still trying to impress Joji with my domestic skills, I tried to iron one of his shirts. It took everything I had not to launch the iron through the kitchen window. I vowed that would never iron a shirt again and if families at my school who were on free lunch could scrape the money for drycleaning then so could I. Thankfully, Joji's work clothes are jeans and polos, that I can do.
Anyway, I know have a pretty empty closet. Some might think, good news I get to shop. Well, I'm not there yet. I've been doing this thing called the daily plate and it is basicly an online food journal. I'm done with dieting and this seems to work. I still eat the same way, but just a lot less. It is a real eye opener and it helps you make better decisions. Since it is not a diet, there is no "cheating", no guilt and no "I've blown it, might as well make the most of it" binging. It is great. So far I have lost 20 pounds and hope to lose more. It isn't a "quick" thing, but I'm hoping a permanent thing. Anyway, don't want to buy new clothes until I can buy something fun. I was able to get into the next size down jeans the other day and I was thrilled. Slow and steady...
And now for something completely different...
A while back I mentioned that Joji and I did some work in our bedroom. Here is a picture of it. Photographing a room is tough and since our is kind of a funny shape it seemed to be even more tricky. Here is "my side" of the bed. I absolutely love the curtains in the room. I found them on clearance at TJMAXX and they are the perfect shade of blue and white. I think I would have blue and white everywhere if I could (maybe I will someday). The mirror over the bed was kind of a splurge, but I love its lines. The "distressing" finish leaves a little to be desired, but I plan to pain it and destress it so it won't look like a lepeord. This room has the best light of the whole house and waking up in here is so pleasant. I can't wait for spring when the leaves come back on the trees outside. You feel like you are in a tree house. My plan is to keep things very simple. I would love to put a window seat in, maybe for my birthday...
Last but not least, Kate over at Our Red House has tagged me for the seven random things meme. Here it goes...
1. I wish I had a mild case of OCD. I'm envious of those who find joy in cleaning.
2. I really wished I like more veggies. If only I could get excited over onions and peppers. I'm trying, but it is a slow going.
3. If you tailgate me I will slow down, so please dont'.
4. I hate to pump gas and will drive 7 miles into town to go the station that will pump the gas for you. I always tip the guys and enjoy the surprised look on their faces when they say thanks.
5. I wish I could paint.
6. I miss teacing swimming lessons-I was really good at it
7. I want to open a little cupcake shop called "babycakes"
I'm supposed to tag seven others, but everyone I would tag has been already tagged. So if you are reading this and need something for your blog,consider yourself tagged!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Spring Awakening

So my last post was about wanting spring to hurry up and get here. (Now, don't get me wrong, I would LOVE a little snow and "late start due to snow", but I'm pretty over gray and dreary) Well, today I got a little taste. I was out cleaning out my tomato beds and I started to wonder if any of my bulbs were starting to poke through. So I did a little poking around and sure enough, tender tips have busted through!!!
It must have also flipped that "spring cleaning" switch because I came inside and embarked on a MAJOR purge. For those of you who have young kids, you probably know who the Kratt Brothers are. Well, my kitchen cabinets are like the closet at Animal Junction (over crammed and ready to explode) So I just took the plunge and started taking everything out. It didn't take as long as I thought and it was actually quite easy. I "had" a stack of 6 fiesta ware platters that I had picked up at TJMaxx a while back. While I used to use them all the time, I now have platters I like better. I just couldn't bring my self to take them to Goodwill, so I called a friend who collects it and they will soon be on their way to a new home. She was thrilled and so was I. I did the same thing with some other dishes I had.

Here is a picture of my "new" cabinet. Since it is a blind cabinet I literally have to get on my hands and knees to reach stuff, but since there is so much less in there I shouldn't have to too often. I was so inspired I did another cupboard. It felt sooooo good. I really have the purge bug and I'm looking forward to war on clutter. I talked to a good friend of mine today is also and avid thrifter and she said the line at the local Desseret Industries was 9 cars long. I guess I'm not the only one bitten by the declutter bug :0)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dreaming of spring...

I know that 2008 isn't even a week underway, but I am starting to develop a slight case of spring fever. I was a bad girl and did not get any new bulbs planted this fall, so I hope some of my old bulbs made it through for another season.
Last year, I planted some sweet peas. Ever since I saw a story on the old (or should I say "vintage") Martha where she visited a sweet pea patch that was insane. The woman had a large plot with a bunch of trellises 7 feet tall and loaded with sweat peas. Amazing.

My luck with them is kind of hit or miss. (These pics are from my small crop last year)I suppose I should breakdown and actually do some research on the best planting conditions. My good friend told me you are supposed to sow the seeds on President's day so that is my plan this year. Where exactly I will plant them is TBA. I still have some (okay, a lot) of clean up left to do. The sun is out today and I guess it is as good of time as any :0)

Friday, January 4, 2008

We don't need no stinkin' badges...

Well, apparently I do.
Even though I consider myself a stay at home mom, I am lucky to have the ability to do a little freelance testing for our locat school district. My mom works with English Language Learners and my job is go and test the English of all new students. It is a very sweet gig.
These days school security is a big deal and everyone is supposed to have an official district badge. Since I am a contractor, I am not eligble for a badge. Most of the time, this is no problem, but today it was.
I was at one school this morning at 8:00 AM. My hair was done, I had make up on and I was wearing nice jeans, black clogs, gray sweater and a gray fleece jacket. Casual yes, but I have worn this before. I went to check in with the woman who gets the kids (I've been there a million times) and she is sitting there looking at me in kind of a weird way. She looks at my "visitor" badge (which is a avery lable with the date and my name written on it) and asked why I don't have a badge. I explain and then she says, "Well, you don't look very "official". I don't know if the teacher will let you take the kid. You look like you could be a kidnapper." What?????
I kept waiting for her to smile and say "just kidding", but she didn't. I'm so sure. I am in almost all the secondary buildings in the district and the dress code of the teachers is horrible. I went into one class and the teacher (who was young- early 20's) was wearing long basketball shorts, hitops and a hoodie. I haven't been out of the classroom that long, but we could only wearl jeans (and nice ones at that) on Fridays. You still had to look like you were at work and not about to putter in the yard. Anyway, so there I was thinking I looked pretty good for being up and aobut so early to find I look like a kidnapper. Nice.
My ego took another hit later when I was at my old jr. high. Of course, I walked into it, but still. I told the girl I was testing that I went to the school when I was in jr. high and she said. "wow, this is an old school."
Hope everyone's Friday was better than mine
:0) Laurie Anne (AKA the kidnapping granny)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

I hope you all survived New Year's Eve. This was the first year in probably 10 years we didn't do anything. It was so nice to just be at home and veg. I'm actually surprised that we even stayed awake until midnight. We watched the countdown from the Space Needle. I felt bad for the pyro guys because halfway during the show everything stopped. The local news folks who were covering the event said, "I bet the fireworks guys are really freaking out now, I wonder if Jim can get word with them." Yeah, right. Like they are going to want to chit chat in the middle of trying to get the show back up and running. Kind of funny.
Yesterday, I spent chipping away at the house. Cleaning, organizing, making piles for goodwill. My kitchen counters are cleaned off and that always feels really good. I was also able to do most of the laundry. I would have gotten more done, but Joji and Matt were building shelves for the preschool and I got recruited to stain. Today I will finish putting away the Christmas stuff and then it is off to Joji's mom's house for dinner. New Year's Day is a big deal in Japan. BaChan and Auntie cook for days and there is always a TON of food. I'm really hoping they make Gyoza. They are my favorite. I'm not a huge sushi person, so it is nice to be able to eat other things. My contribution will be Hot Wings. Akiko brought some home after our Christmas party and BaChan really liked them. Sushi and hot wings, quite the combo.
Ben and Sam don't go back to school until Thursday which is nice. I'm such a little kid when it comes to school vacations. I really enjoy them and it is a drag when they are over. There is just too much to keep track of sometimes. Although on the flip side, I need a little structure so school is nice for that. Structure always seems to be the theme of my new year's resolutions.
Here are mine
1. Take better care of myself (watching what I eat and working out more regularly)
2. Saying "no" to things I really don't want to do
3. Taming the clutter.
My plan is to start small and then each month, kick it up a notch. We'll see how it goes. Hope 2008 is a wonderful year for everyone.