stick 'em up

Well that was a longer-than-intended blog break. 

sooo close.

The pink nursery dresser is awesome and basking in its new-found russet-pink glory.  It's been done now for over a week.  However, it is still in the garage because the giant dresser that is currently in the room needs to come out and go somewhere.  Any of my local friends need a huge mission style dresser with 8 drawers?  I'm totally serious.  We don't have a vehicle that can haul it, so you might have to get creative.  But you all are good at that.  ;)

Remember in that photo last week, of the top of my kitchen cabinets with the white pumpkin and the witch silhouette?  I decided it needed More Fall, so I also replaced the contents of glass containers (from lemons and shells) and threw in some sticks from the yard.  Know what?  Five minutes later it totally looked festive.  Go.  Go get some sticks.  And say 'totally festive.'


Next up?  You all have got to try roasting plums.  Oh My Goodness.  Yes, the recipe is on its way. 


So random, I can't come up with a title.

leftover temptation 

I can't seem to put these away.  The candy canes are the only thing left from Christmas around here; major cleaning is still in process. 

Today the sofa slipcover is in the wash, which is a necessity when you can see shoeprints on its kick pleats and bookclub is here next Monday.  I have to say, having an off-white slipcover shows me exactly how dirty things can get.  It makes me look at my other furniture and think, hmmmm...  It doesn't help that we have a golden retriever who likes to snooze with her back to the couch in the same spot every day.  A lot of that dirt is from her.  But I'm pretty sure the pen marks and smudges on the cushions are not.  Anyway, I don't mind washing it.  I really like knowing it's clean. 

Speaking of bookclub, has anyone else read "The Double Bind" by Chris Bohjalian?  I really enjoyed it, but it is the kind of book that you can easily ruin for someone just by talking about it.  Just imagine The Great Gatsby + photography + mental illness.  I'm sure that cleared it up for you.  Ha.  The end did catch me by surprise, so I can't wait to discuss this with my fellow bookclubbers.  Now I just have to figure out what to serve for dinner and we'll be ready.

16 weeks

One more note.  I promise I am not going to turn this into a pregnancy blog.  But I did go to the doctor today and we have a strong heartbeat, which is such a relief.  Also, since I am considered 'high risk' due to my 'advanced age' (ahem), I automatically qualify for a Level II ultrasound for my next appointment in February.  There will be lots of detailed measuring to confirm healthy growth and normal development.  I'm hoping not to be so paranoid after that session.  

Oh, another thing.   We really don't want to find out the gender, so hopefully they can keep that under wraps, too. Fingers crossed.  I found out with the other two, and since this is my last chance at experiencing this miracle, I want to look at my husband and have him tell me in his own words whether we'll need the blue or pink going home outfit.  I can't even imagine how awesome that would be :)

Have a happy weekend!

A little bit organized

Well, it wasn't, to start.  This is pretty much what my recipe bin/folder/cookbook stack in my desk cubby looked like before yesterday morning's burst of energy.


See that manila folder under everything?  That housed it all.  And boy was it ever handy hard to sort through.  Actually, it wasn't that bad. Things that I tend to make more than others had floated to the top, and other things (like a group of dishes I make for a holiday) ended up stacked together.  Maybe that was a good thing.

So.  I finally remembered to buy a 3-hole punch worth it's salt on one of my daily weekly trips to Target. And now...


Wow.  I don't have my dividers going yet -- and honestly, I can't decide how I want to break them up.  By meals?  Occasions?  Food groups???  I need to think on that some more.  Obviously, putting all my food prep stuff into a 3 ring binder isn't an earth shattering, original idea.   But it's something that I have PUT OFF for how long?  And it took what, 15 minutes???

It's funny how I prioritize.  Because my Home Ideas binder has been put to steady use since we bought this place 4 years ago.

See?  I have everything, and I mean EVERYTHING (inspiration, ideas, receipts, whatever) in this binder, organized by room.


(Like the tattered kitchen towel on the right?  Who's in charge of this photo shoot???)Paint

Original paint chips and other random things are in sleeves.

And other stuff gets thrown in there, too:


Which really works.  I even used that mounted butterfly pin idea on the left for my Grammy's brooches

We throw all sorts of stuff in it -- fabric swatches, room and furniture dimensions, etc  -- and take it shopping.  Or I flip through it on occasion, when my scattered brain cannot focus on what part of my home needs attention next -- or where to go with it.  It's getting time, though, to go through my stack of beloved magazines for a good rip-and-toss.

How do you keep it -- whatever It is -- together?   

The Vodka Solution

I buy a big ol' plastic bottle of cheap-o vodka about once every two months.  Not because I drink it.  (Heavens, no.  I only drink the stuff in the pretty glass bottles, flavored with vanilla.  But I digress.) I use it on my clothes / linens / upholstery / whatever... It's wonderful.

I'm not sure where the idea began.  My sister used to mix a spray bottle of fabric softener and water and use it to spritz her furniture and carpet because she had two very large, very smelly dogs.  So I started to do that too, because I was in love with the Downy Lavender Vanilla liquid, and Febreeze didn't have anything that came close. 

Then I read about Madonna ordering up a bottle of top-shelf vodka backstage for every show and having her staff spray all of her costumes with it between gigs, because it kills bacteria, evaporates, and doesn't leave a smell behind.  (I also read that anti-bacterial part in Real Simple, but it was after I had already heard the Madonna anecdote -- and Madonna makes this sooo much cooler, don't you think?)


So I thought I might get the best of both worlds if I cut the vodka with some fabric softener.  And you know what?  It works like a charm.  My friend's (very young) brother came by not long ago to help move some furniture and he said I have "the prettiest smelling house (he's) ever smelled."  So now you have to believe me. LOL

Anyway, here's the (not-so) secret recipe. 

Vodka and Downy Spritzer:
   1 squirt bottle
   3 parts Vodka
   1 part liquid fabric softener

USES: I spray mine on my sheets every morning before I make the bed.  On my sweaters that I haven't worn in a while.  In shoes!!! (My word, does my 11 year old have stinky feet.) Also, in luggage, etc.

I have a whole army of friends in town (and out) who have converted to my yummy vodka cocktail.  One was 6 months fully preggo when she went out and bought her huge bottle.  Got some looks, that one. 

Anyone else have a special shortcut like that?