…Far from royalty.

Archive for September, 2011

Mommy, do I have chocolate on my face?

Macys baking cookies
Mommy, do I have chocolate on my face?

Macy and I baked chocolate chunk cookies this morning. She asked to lick the beater and I reluctantly let her– you know Salmonella and all. Eww. Grama lets me do it. She finished and asked me, “Mommy, do I have chocolate on my face?” Um… no, ok yes…but you’re adorable, so let me grab my camera. I used a Betty Crocker bag mix, and made big cookies, so it only made a dozen.
Macy: “Lillie is gonna be so surprised that we made cookies!”

Fourteen minutes later, queue the oven alarm. The dogs come running into the kitchen. Have I ever fed them directly from the oven? Noooooo, who do they think they are? Pssssh, like we’re gonna share with THEM? HA!

When Lillie gets off the bus, she always wants a snack, so I told her she could have a cookie. Then she comes back and says, “Can I have another one, I’m pretty sure Macy had more than 2?” Me: “How many are left? I told her she could have one, because they were big cookies.” Lillie goes and counts and comes back with a second cookie in her hand. Macy had eaten 4 HUGE cookies today. I’m running around cleaning and not paying attention, and she is pigging out and getting her chocolate fix…for the week!

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Today’s Macy-ism

After my staging partner (Nikki) and I spent the last two days looking for things to stage a house on a shoe string budget, Macy (4) was finished with us.  Stick a fork in her, she was done.

Tonight at bedtime Macy gave her Daddy hugs and kisses and went through the nightly routine of “Goodnight Daddy, love you, see you in the morning.”

He said, “What are you and Mommy doing tomorrow?”

“I don’t know.  But I’m NOT GOING JUNKIN’!”

Roadkill Rescue

It’s that time again….yep, that’s right…bulk trash week.  I’m a rubber-necker, and a “don’t think I won’t do a u-turn in the middle of a residential street” kinda girl.  I dropped Lillie off at school this morning and noticed several neighbors had large trash piles out on the curb.  Well, to the average person, it’s trash;  to me it’s “Oh my goodness, what were they thinking?!?!”

I made my way down the first street of my neighborhood and saw the coolest ladies arm chair.Ladies Arm Chair  The fabric looked great, so there must be something seriously wrong with it.  Being the nosey trash digger inspectigator* that I am, I had to see for myself.  I turned my car around (in an alley this time), and pulled up beside my possible patient.  The chair was setting on top of tree limbs, plastic landscape pots and a rotten water hose.  I set it flat on the sidewalk and it was sturdy–no broken bones, legs, or back.  The only visible damage was where someone’s puppy chewed up the corners of the skirt.  Pssssh, like that’s enough to dissuade me!

Hmm, will it fit in my trunk?  Of course not, , there’s always too much crap awesome stuff in there.  I managed to lay it on its back, and close the trunk down below the seat base.  It was steady enough for the short (2 two streets over) drive home.

I pull into the alley, pass my driveway and get ready to back in.  Macy, 4, who was doing a ride along, says, “Umm, you just passed our house.”  “Yeah, I know.  I do that on occasion.”  After unloading, I immediately vacuumed it with the shop vac.  It’s in great condition, except for the skirt.  Then I realize, said puppy also used the skirt for target practice.  Fortunately, the dog must have been vertically challenged, as the skirt was all it was able to hit.

I thought about taking the front skirt off (where the damage was) and exchanging it with the skirt on the back.  I lifted up the flap, and there was plenty of fabric tucked under the sides, so I wouldn’t even have to do that.  Given the fact that the chair’s skirt has been used as a fire hydrant, I decided to nix it altogether.  I found a pair of pliers and a screwdriver and began to operate.  I carefully worked the staples out.  Much to my surprise, the rest of it is in great shape.  And I loved the new “cleaner” lines.  I used the upholstery attachments on my carpet cleaner and gave it a once over and left it out in the sun to dry.  I think this one has made a full recovery!After Rescue

Oh, and just in case you think I’m making up words, spell check didn’t flag inspectigator.*  Rubber-necker, however, was a different story. 

 

I was featured on

Nail Head Trim Headboard

I’m famous for half started/never finished projects.  It’s not something I’m proud of, it just is, or rather, I just am.  My sister came to hang out with me not long ago, and we tackled some of those never started projects– we actually started AND finished some of them.

I found an old 5 panel door on Craigslist for $15.Wooden door headboard  My original intent was to make a king size headboard for my bed.  I’m not really into stripping paint, so 4 years later, it was still in my garage.  While in Hancock Fabrics one day, I came across their most awesome section of clearanced fabric remnants.  I found 2 1/2 yards of lined and lightly batted micro suede for $4 yd.  A little birdie told me to buy it all, so I did.Future Amazing Headboard

I was checking out some of the amazing posts at Knockoff Decor, and stumbled onto this amazing knockoff.  I knew what I had to do.

My favorite sister Donna, not to be confused with my favorite sister Claudia, used to have an upholstery shop.  She has the most amazing things left over from her business.  One of those things just so happened to be nailhead trim.  So I emailed for backup.  “We need to get together and do some projects…oh and bring the nailhead trim.”  Not exactly word for word, but close.

The door was 74″ long, perfect for my new headboard, so I whipped out my fabric remnant and my staple gun (have I mentioned my love of staples lately?).  And 187 staples later, give or take a few, I have the beginnings of an amazing headboard.A good start to an amazing nailhead trim headboard  I flipped it over, got out a yard stick and a piece of chalk and drew a line where I wanted the nailhead trim to go.  I commenced to hammering.  Fortunately, the trim is on a roll and 90% of the nailheads are fake, and I only had to hammer in about 30 of them.  I’m convinced if I had to hammer each one individually, I would still be hammering this dream headboard would never have come to fruition.

Ok, I have a headboard, now legs…need legs.  Must. have. legs.  I move the furniture around to much to mount it to the wall.  I scrounged around in the garage through my hubby’s half finished projects and found a couple of 1 x 4″ scraps.  I measured from the floor to the top of my mattress and subtracted a couple of inches, since I didn’t want the bottom of the headboard to show.  I cut the 1 x 4″s and painted them chocolate brown with leftover spray paint.  I screwed them to the back of the door and voila, a headboard!  A beautiful, so not $600— but looks just as good, if not better, headboard.My King Size Knockoff of West Elm's Nailhead Trim Headboard  I LOVE IT!  I made it all by myself.  My sister watched, and sometimes coached, but she made me do it all by myself.  Yay me!  I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Cost of the total project, $12 for fabric.  I think there has to be some statute of limitation on the cost of building materials sitting unused in the garage…say like, oh… 4 years.  Either way, $12 or $27, I’ll take it!

Lillie and Macy-isms (Oldies, but goodies)

Here are some I posted a while back on FB.

Lillie-isms

I have always called Macy Chicken Little, and she calls me Chicken Big.  Today we were getting out at the Library and I unbuckled her car seat and said, “Let’s go Chicken Little.”  So Lillie says pointing at Macy, “She’s Chicken Little, I’m Chicken Middle, and Mommy’s Chicken Big.”
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Grama and the girls are playing store.

Lillie:  “Macy!, Macy!, you have to pay for that before you leave the store.  If you don’t, it’s stealing.”

Macy ignores her.

“Hello, Police Department?  A girl named MACY just STOLE an apron!”

Macy:  “That’s a pretend phone.”

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Lillie came home excited about being able to check out chapter books at school.  “I’m going to use my new Junie B. Jones book to do my homework tonight, because the harder the book is, the more I have to think.”
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The kids are in the backyard playing…and quiet, so I stand at the screen door and listen.  Lillie is pretending she’s the teacher and tells her friend and Macy, “You two have to decide on one thing.  I’m only one person and I can’t be in two places at once.”

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Lillie came home and asked for a drink.  She wrote her name on a left over party cup, complete with hearts and peace signs.  What does a 7 year old know about peace?  She can’t even get along with her sister.

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(Re:  State Fair October 2010) Me:  let’s go ride some rides, see the animals, and the cars…  Lillie:  “I don’t want to see the cars.  They’re just there to look fashionable.”
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Lillie is listening to her MP3 player.  Mike put a bunch of music on it, one being Rascal Flatts.  She just told Macy, “Do you know what happens when you play a country song backwards?…You get your house back, you get your car back…”  She has no idea what that means, but she thought it was hilarious.
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We  went to the Heard Museum and Sanctuary in McKinney today.  They have a
small, tight parking lot.  Mike made a loop all the way around it, and  then commented about how they could make the parking spots big enough to park in.  Lillie who had just been asleep, snaps back with “It doesn’t  look like anyone else had trouble parking.”  We both burst out laughing,  and Mike says, “We’ll see that on Facebook.”
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(9/1/10) Tacky, but I have to share.  I was cutting out words for Lillie’s class & gluing them to make flashcards.  Lillie had too much glue on the 1st one, the word “white”.  I cleaned it up & set it aside to dry.  She sat beside me & helped. When she stood up ‘white’ was stuck to her bum.  I stopped laughing long enough to tell Mike “I guess that’s what Mom meant by ‘kiss my Lillie white ass.'”
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(8/23/10 1st Day of 1st Grade)
Me:  “So what did you learn in school today?”  Lillie:  “I learned that when you push the button on the paper towels, you only get to pull the handle down two times.  Cause two times is enough to dry your hands.”
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Probably my favorite Lillie-ism of all times…
(8/7/10) Lillie: “Daddy, why do you need that guy telling you how to get home?  As little as I am, I know how to get home.  It’s not like they move everything around when it’s dark.”
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(7/16/10) Me:  “Why is that kitten screaming?”  Lillie:  “Because Macy closed his tail in the microwave door!!!”
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(5/15/10) Today’s Lillie-ism:  “It’s so hot out there, it could make a pig sweat!”
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(5/6/10) I told the girls to clean the playroom before I get a trash bag.  Lillie just sneaked in behind me and set a note taped on a stick on my desk.  It says, “amoste cleen Mommy.”  Even when I’m frustrated, they always manage to make me smile.
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(5/4/10)  Mike stopped on the way home to get the girls a candy bar.  Macy said, “I want JUST CHOCK-LIT.  NOTHING ELSE!”  Mike said, “No nuts?”  Macy said, “Nuts are for sqwerls!”
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(2/14/10)  We took the girls to McDonald’s for Valentine’s Day (Macy’s repeated
request).  They had both been grumpy until we sat down at the table, and then giddiness kicked in.  Mike said, “You girls sure got happy when we got to McDonald’s.”  Lillie says, “Well, now you know why they call it a ‘Happy Meal!'”
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(1/22/10)  My sweet darling children are screaming at the top of their lungs over who drank the last of the PRETEND tea!!!  UGH!
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(12/27/09)
Lillie: I know what one “!” means, but what does “!!!” mean?
Me: It means the same thing.
Lillie:  Then why do you need three of them?
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(11/20/09) Lillie’s homework-rhyming words & a story. What’s the beginning, end, did she liked it?, change the ending. She chose Little Red Riding Hood & a scary ending. “The wolf ate her!” Nighmares @ 11:00 screaming, “No, no, don’t eat her! Run!” I wake her up, calm her down & soon she’s out. 10 min. later, she wakes up yelling……, “shoe, BLUE!”  “cook, BOOK!”  At least she was able to change the channel.
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(11/17/09)  I just asked Lillie what she was doing.  It was quiet and she is supposed to be brushing her teeth.  She responded with, “That’s not me!  Cali is drinking out of the toilet!”
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Macy-isms:
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Daddy, why do we have doors that we can shut and lock, on our bedrooms, if you don’t ever let us shut and lock them?
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I picked up my friend’s girls for a play date a little while ago.  Macy squeals, “Come see my new bedding!  Oh, but my bed’s not made and there’s a bunch of stuffed animals on there.”
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Macy:  “Mommy, where’s the flashlight?”
Me:  “I don’t know, why do you NEED a flashlight?
Macy:  “I’m gonna make bunny rabbit faces with my fingers (on the tent walls).”
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Macy got into the chocolates today, so I told her “No more, now go brush your teeth!”  She came back a couple of minutes later, so I asked if she brushed them.  She smiled a giant toothy-grin and said, “Ding!”  “That’s means my teeth are clean.”
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“Lillie, when I say abercadabra, you run away like you’re dissing appear.”
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Mike to Macy:  “Where’s your Mama?”  Macy (4): “She’s in her caaaaaave.”
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Quote for the day:  “Look what you did Lillie! I’m never gonna be your sister again.”
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“I want to watch a movie.  What’s that girl’s name who flies?”  Me: “Mariposa?, Tinkerbell?”  Macy:  “”Nooooooooo, Mary Poppins!”
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Macy is playing on the Wii. “Mommy, can you help me get rid of this mustache?” She was editing her Mii all by herself.
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Macy:  “daddy?  Daddy?  DAddy?  DADdy?  DADDYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY​Y?” Me: “What’s wrong baby?”
Macy: “I WANT DADDY!”
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Macy:  “Uh, I can’t do it!”
Me: “Do what?”
Macy:  “Put these shoes on my Barbie.”
Me: “She doesn’t have any clothes on.”
Macy:  “She doesn’t want clothes on, only these (high heeled strappy) shoes.”
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I’m cleaning house and find an empty Zhu Zhu Pet box and a paper plate in a laundry basket.  I pick them up and toss them in the trash.
Macy says, “Hey!  Don’t take that!”
Me, “Why not, it’s trash?”
Macy, “No it’s not, it’s my car!”
How could I be so blind?
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I gave Macy a banana this morning.  She was in the car telling me all the things you can do with it.  It’s a telephone, it’s a unicorn, it’s a happy face, it’s a sad face, it’s a mustache….   I was cracking up.  I love that child!
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(October 2010) I’m getting ready to head to the school for Grandparents Day–Macy and camera in tow.  Macy asked if she could go home with Grama and Grandad so she didn’t have to stand around all day being good while I take pictures.
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Macy is watching the Scooby Doo 2 Movie.  She said, “That place is like ‘Cool-Topia!!.'”
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I walked into the kitchen to find Macy unwrapping an ice cream sandwich.  When I stared at her with that disapproving Mom look, she said, “Well, I ate a good lunch!”
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(8/8/10) Macy just ran in, opened my desk drawer and swiped an envelope.  I said, “Hey, you can just take those without asking!”  She held up 5 fingers and said, “I have 3 more in there.  Can I have them too?”
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(8/7/10) We saw a guy in a convertible tonight with long white hair in a ponytail and a long white beard.  Mike said, “Look girls, it’s Santa Claus.”  Lillie (6):  “Daddy is that really Santa Claus?”  Macy (3):”Of course not, he isn’t wearing a red suit.”
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(7/20/10) Me:  “Macy, you can have a snack if you’ll finish your lunch.”
Macy:  “Um, no thank you.  I just bought the Scooby Snack Factory, I’m good.”
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(7/15/10) Macy: “Mommy can you bring me some toilet paper?  I wasted it all.”
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(7/7/10) I took the girls to Chick-Fil-A this afternoon.  Macy was too tired to climb and play, so she came and sat in my lap instead.  Big tears started rolling down her face and she said, “I wish I was as big as Lillie.”  I gave her big hugs and wiped away her tears and told her I’m so glad she isn’t.
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(6/17/10)  Macy is playing with a magnifying glass and said, “Whoa…Lillie looks HUUUUUUGE!”
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(6/12/10) Macy walks in with dark green bible school t-shirt down to her knees, hot pink socks and a Little Mermaid umbrella.  Mom can you babysit Neyat (her invisible cat)?  Me: Your invisible cat, sure.  She walks out.  Me: How long do I have to watch her?  Macy: “Ummm. 4 days.”
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(6/9/10)  Macy: “No that isn’t right!”  Lillie:”Yes it is, that’s how the rock stars wear it.”  Macy: “Well I don’t want to be a rock star.”
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(6/9/10)  Macy just said “Coodie Coo.”  She saw it on an Orbit commercial.
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(5/31/10)  Macy’s new favorite cartoon is Scooby Doo.  I think she may have seen one too many episodes in the last 2 weeks.  The girls were playing in their pool and she told me I needed to get in there because “the water feels groovy.”
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(5/28/10)  While eating breakfast this morning, Lillie says “I slept like a rock last night.”  Then Macy (who woke up twice screaming, but didn’t know why) says “I slept like a rocket!”
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(5/18/10)  This morning I made Mike a “to-do” list before I left the house..things like replace the thing on the girls toilet that allows it to flush (broke last night).  Only 2 or 3 little things, nothing major.  So Macy asks me, “Can I tell Daddy to fix my Vissy-arr?  “I can’t watch my divvy-deez.”  God I love that child!
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(5/1/10) Lillie is strumming her guitar and singing loudly.  Then I hear Macy yell, “Lillie, I can’t hear myself think!”
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(4/16/10)  Macy: “Mommy, say ‘What are you laughing at?'”  Me: “Macy, what are you laughing at?”  Macy:  “I can’t tell you, it’s a secret!”
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(4/2/10)  Macy:  “Mommy, ballet is my thing.”  (learned from an episode of Little Bill)  Lillie:  “I guess my thing is going to school.”  Macy:  “Mommy’s thing must be washing dishes, cause she does it every day!”
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(3/10/10)  Macy is singing Supercanafralagistics-esspiana​ (giggle giggle giggle) do shus.
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(3/4/10)  Macy and I were talking about tattling today.  “Lillie always tells on me!  She’s RUINING my life!”  I couldn’t contain the laughter.  My 3 year old has watched Barbie’s The Princess and the Pauper movie one too many times.
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(2/13/10)  Macy and Lillie are “ice skating” in the house.  Lillie fell down’ and asked Macy to help her up.  Macy says, “Ok Lillie but I think you might need some ice skating lessons.”
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(2/13/10) Macy:  “Mommy, can I have another piece of candy?”  Me:  “Is your playroom clean yet?”  Macy runs away yelling, “Lillie!  Mommy said I can’t have another piece of candy!”
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(2/4/10)  I asked Macy if she wanted macaroni and cheese for lunch.  She slapped her hand over her eyes, threw her head back and yelled, “Ew yuck!”….  Is that a no in Drama Queen?
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(1/28/10)  The girls are in the tub and Macy starts frantically yelling.  I wasn’t sure what she was saying (they are in the next room).  I run in and and she’s all but crying, and loudly whining, “I look terrible, just terrible.”  I finally figure out that she put bubbles on her face and in her hair, and it made her look “just terrible!”  Oh the drama these girls dream up.
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(1/27/10) Macy to Lillie….”GET OUT OF MY SPACE-SHIP!”
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(1/21/10)  Macy is sitting in my lap “writing her ABCs.”  I keep looking around her & she said, “what are you doing?”  I said I can’t see THROUGH your big head.  She said, “well, I’m tryin to see, too!”
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(12/18/09)  Macy is taking a bubble bath while I’m getting ready.  I turned off the hair dryer and looked over and the wall has foam sliding down…all over the place.  I said, “What are you doing silly girl?”  “Having a snowball fight…and I’m winning!”  LOL, ya think?
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(11/3/09)  Macy is in the tub giggling and laughing.  Then I realize she’s trying to wet Cali (cat).  So I say, “Don’t wet my bathroom floor!”  She pops back with, “I’m not, I’m wetting MY bathroom floor.”

Deserving Design

We all know someone who gives selflessly, never asking for anything in return.  My niece, Lalainia, is one of those people.  She’s a penny-pinching, coupon-cutting, money-saving wife and mom.  She’s mastered the art of ‘FREE’.  Thanks to coupons and buy one get one offers, she has a stock pile of laundry soap, haircare, toothpaste, and Hamburger Helper.  In addition to knowing how to stretch a paycheck, she is kind and patient.  She has taken on the role of caregiver, for her father-in-law, who suffers from dementia, and changes more than her share of poopy pants–and it’s not always her 3 year old.

About a week ago, her family moved to be closer to her brother and sister-in-law, so they can help take care of James, her father-in-law.  She sent her mom (my favorite sister) an email asking if she had seen any blogs on painting furniture, and what she knew about it.  Donna, forwarded the email to me, along with a link to a blog on painting furniture.  I responded, with “I’m up for a project, let’s have a sanding party!”  Friday night worked out for all of us.  Originally, that’s all it was going to be, sanding and trying out a new painting technique on Lalainia’s mismatched garage sale and hand-me-down furniture.  You know, let her be the guinea pig.

I remembered Lalainia had recently posted on Facebook a photo of a blue and brown comforter set she liked.  I had a blue and brown set in my staging inventory that wasn’t being used so I rounded it up, along with a single curtain panel, some throw pillows and several random pieces of artwork.  I invited myself to come stay the weekend and help work on her furniture.  A quick trip to Michael’s for some scrapbook paper ($5), and Home Depot for paint, primer, sandpaper and a bag of brushes ($39) and I head out.

My sister and I met there Friday afternoon, had a Hamburger Helper dinner, and proceded to get to work.  We started by rearranging the bedroom furniture.  Then we emptied dresser drawers (she had just unpacked a day before) and hauled the furniture out onto the back deck.  We set up an assembly line of sanding, and then moved out into the yard for priming and painting.  After a couple of hours we had the biggest part of the work done!  We worked until we couldn’t see to paint (by headlights) anymore.  Lalainia and I got up the next morning and wiped everything down and gave it one final coat of paint.  I must say, we did a pretty good job for painting after dark.

My youngest daughter wanted to spend the day with her cousin, so Lalainia and I dropped her off at my favorite sister’s house.  Donna used to have an upholstery shop, so she has quite a few materials left over.  Without hesitation, she took us out to the shop, opened the doors and told us to take whatever we needed.  (Now you know why she’s my favorite sister.)  🙂  We looked around, it was hot and dusty and no one really wanted to be in there.  That is, until I spied the perfect headboard for Lalainia’s new master suite.  Well, I saw it as this beautiful padded upholstered headboard.  Lalainia saw it as an old dusty door with water damage on the bottom.  Work with me here.  Donna knew where I was going with this (because she had just helped me upholster a door for my new headboard), so she asked Lalainia to go inside and measure the width of the bed.  60″.  The perfect queen headboard.  We were able to cut the 12″ off at the bottom and get rid of the warped and water damaged portion.  I found an 8 foot 1×4″ in the shop, and since the offer had been extended, I wanted it, too!  We cut the 1×4″ in half and nailed it to the back of the door for legs.  I scrounged around in Donna’s old upholstery stash and found a piece of black vinyl that would make the most amazing padded headboard.  She also happened to have extra batting, and plenty of staples.  I like staples.  A few minutes later, ta-da!  A new, custom-made, totally free (or gleaned, as my favorite blogger, Nike, would say) headboard!

We made a quick trip to GW Boutique for a $2.99 bedskirt in the perfect shade of dark brown.  She needed extra storage, so we also picked up a set of $12 bed risers from Walmart, so she could store things under the bed, and a 5 pack of 11×14″ poster board, and a peel stick wall art (Always Kiss Me Goodnight!) from Dollar Tree, and we were off.  The furniture was dry and ready to be brought back in and put the room together.

After bringing the furniture in and hanging a couple of pieces of artwork, she still needed just a little pop of color over the night stands.  We raided her $1 photo frame collection, and came up with 4 matching frames.  I pulled out the cardstock I picked up at Michael’s for $.69 each and the DT poster board.  I used Lalainia’s scrapbook cutter to make custom photo mats and the cardstock for custom artwork.  It was just what the room needed as a finishing touch.  The sign over the bed was a brown bulletin frame with hooks.  We removed the hooks, painted the frame black and the cardboard back blue, and used the peel and stick “Always Kiss Me Goodnight!” stickers for a one of a kind art piece.

The whole room redesign cost about $125, including the bedding I had orginally found new on Craigslist for $50.  She loves her new space and posted on Facebook  “We made her a hotel bedroom, and it wasn’t one of those $29.95 a night ones either!”    Lalainia finally has a place to call her own, somewhere she can unwind at the end of a mentally and physically exhausting day–she deserves that.