Welcome to my less than perfect life!

Embracing the imperfections that make my life practically perfect in every way.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Best Day of the Month

My favorite day of the month is whenever this baby arrives in my mailbox:

It makes my heart go pitter-patter just seeing it lying there in my mail box.  I begin each reading with great debate over whether to plow right through it in one self-indulgent evening or savor it, stretching the reading out over the course of a week or so (I don't think I've ever made it last longer than that, save for possibly during those early, sleep deprived days of parenthood).

I was lucky enough to marry The Mister whose father and step mother had been getting this magazine which I somehow NEVER KNEW ABOUT for many years.  My first visit to their home became an opportunity to read as many back issues as down time would allow.  It was fabulous!

Lucky for me, those same wonderful in-laws got me a subscription to this magazine after seeing my zest for it at their home (and possibly wondering about this strange new daughter-in-law who would rather read magazine after magazine that interact with her family).  They thankfully accepted the introvert in me and have renewed this most awesome gift every year.

If you have never checked out Real Simple, I highly recommend rushing to the store to purchase one or heading straight over to the website: www.realsimple.com where you will find proof of its divinity.   There is a bit of something for everyone to savor in here.  Recipes, practical tips for every day living, fashion advice, organizing and human interest stories.  Just a few things I have learned to do (or do better) due to Real Simple's advice: cook on the grill, shave my armpits and throw easy get-togethers (not necessarily in that order).

Plus, I so love curling up with a magazine.  For me, on a quiet evening while The Mister is at work and The Nugget is in bed, there is little that tops curling up on the couch with a blanket and a Diet Coke to relish my magazine time.  The next best thing is the Pottery Barn catalog, which I feel counts as a magazine as it is so large and beautiful that it can often take me more than one sitting to pore over.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Smack Down

Oh, how my toddler taunts me with her rapidly changing emotional currents!  And so early!  I thought it was the terrible TWOS, but we are clearly in the one year old range now at 16 months.  Is there no mercy?

The Nugget has recently taken to tantrums.  Screaming.  Twisting.  Kicking.  The works.  She has always been a very well-behaved child, and, though I knew tantrums would come, I was still shocked by their arrival and by the ferocity of the things!  She has always had her own voice and an opinion about things, something The Mister and I have encouraged, but this voice is so angry and loud.  And embarrassing, I might add.  Totally, utterly embarrassing.

Some family came to visit the other day with their adorable four month old baby.  He is sweet natured and lovely and super smoochable.  Needless to say, I smooched.  How could I not?  I hold up the below picture as all the evidence you need:

 As you can see, the nugget was enjoying his company.  They  were sharing a moment with Elmo and having what I would consider a lovely time.  I knew to expect some jealousy; after all, the Nugget is an only child.  She is not used to sharing her parents very often.  I took care to make her feel loved, included and involved with me as well.  See:

Smooches all around!  Pretty soon, however, the Nugget thought that adorable little man was smelling like day old fish.  If he so much as looked at a toy of hers, she came and took it away.  Where she had been kissing and petting and showing him things, she now gave him one good WHACK on the head.  At first I thought she made a mistake, saying to her, "be gentle".  To ensure I understood her intent, she gave the poor little guy one more good WHACK on the head.

GAH!  Needless to say, this earned a time out along with much apologizing.  Vanishing cream, anyone?  I could have died!  My cousin handled it very well.  I know I would have been fuming if it was my baby who got smacked!  In the Nugget's defense, she was over-tired, but STILL.  

Maybe I will stop trying to steer her toward math and science oriented careers and start looking toward WWF.  At least the putting the smack down on someone is not only acceptable, but fully expected.  Of course, in the intervening years, I'm not sure how I'm going to channel that energy.  Let's hope adding chores as she grows older will wear her down a bit.  Until then, watch your babies, people!

The Nugget is on the loose!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Writing is on the Wall

I have been pondering what to put on my laundry room wall for...well, I suppose for about two and a half years.  Admittedly, I wasn't putting my FULL attention to this subject up until recently.  The topic has, however, had my full attention for some time.

We got a lovely platter as a house warming gift when we moved here.  It has mostly been in storage as it doesn't really go with most of my other serving pieces and, yes, I get a little nutty about that kind of thing.  I did think it was pretty, though, and it recently occurred to me after reading other blogs and seeing the general popularity of chalkboards that I could make the platter into a chalk board.  So, without further ado, I give you: the chalkboard project!

Here is the platter in question:

Isn't she purty?  Sadly, I realized only AFTER I dug out the platter that it had all of those frilly, scalloped edges to tape up.  In my mind's eye, the platter had been SQUARE on the inside and this project went much more smoothly.  Nevertheless, I forged ahead and attempted to tape up the scalloped edges.  I could not find my masking tape, so I used Scotch tape.  What?  Everybody's doing it!

I then turned to my Valspar fast dry chalkboard spray paint.  I put on about four coats over the course of a 24 hour period.  You don't really need to take that long, it dries in about an hour, I was just sidetracked by life.  Of course, I was spraying outdoors in a well-ventilated area and almost as soon as I started spraying, a moth flew into the paint and got stuck, leading me to cry out, "REALLY?"  I plucked him out and moved on.  The paint covered up his tracks pretty well.

I proceeded with great caution when it came time to peel the tape.  Unfortunately, my caution didn't really help.  Here is what it looked like:

Curse you, curvy edges!  I know it can't have been the tape I used that caused this problem!  Never fear, though, I have a solution at hand.  I will just make my ragged edges disappear beneath a beautiful, decorative trim edge:

I then applied my Disc Hanger http://www.dischangers.com/.  These things are super groovy and pretty affordable.  You do need to let them dry for 24 hours.

And, finally, I used my chalk marker (how sweet are these things?), hung the finished product on the laundry room wall and stood back to revel in my accomplishment!

Do you like her?  I thought the color of the plate went particularly well with paint in this room.  Plus, it was a very cheap project.  I had the chalkboard paint from another project, the platter was free, I had the chalk marker already as well.  Really I just paid for my Disc Hanger and then the cord trim to cover up my ugly tape work.  Less than a five dollar project!  I may hire a friend with better writing to re-do the sign, but all in all, I am pleased.

Hope you enjoyed it and would love to see any projects you have to share as well!