Sunday, February 20, 2011

Head over to my new/old blog!

So I've been having loads of issues trying to switch blogs, things just keep getting mixed up and it is proving more confusing and frustrating than helpful and fun, so I am heading back over to my original blog, PosyMosey, where things seem to be working much more smoothly. Come on over! (Maybe now I will be able to post more since all my time won't be consumed by frustration!) We may head back this way one of these days, but for now we detour!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Reality Check

So I have been ever so neglectful of the little bloggy world lately.

I am addicted to hopping about the blogsphere.

I subscribe to an obscene number of blogs

I am awed by the bloggers out there.
They seem so amazing. and perfect and creative and artistic and humorous. The problem is they are not real.

I have realized that many of the blogs I read have a few things in common -

She keep a perfect house - perfectly decorated, perfectly clean, perfectly organized. She has even decorated her organizers. Her house is drenched in beautiful daylight. Her childrens' toys and clothing also coordinate with her decor.

She just got back from another amazing blogger conference. It's hard for a mom to get away. She only does 3-4 a year, not counting the ones where she's a speaker.

She furnishes her perfect home with revamped garbage found by the side of the road or on craigslist for $7. Otherwise she builds it from scratch  - in an afternoon.

She sews darling clothing and creates gorgeous accessories and provide tutorials with dowloadable patterns for everything

She cooks wonderful meals from scratch and throws elaborate parties every weekend. She provides free printables she used for her party every Friday.

She creates perfect crafty projects to accent it all. 

Her latest Pottery Barn knock off is actually better than the original. She made it with an old shirt, a bit of paint, some wood she found in her backyard  and dryer lint. There are 412 pictures on flickr of the ones other people made using her instructions. None of them even come close to looking as good as hers. 

Oh, did you see the pictures of her three adorable children? They are perfect and amazing too. Yes, they are all under 6  - and she's expecting another baby baby any day. Yes, they love going thrifting and to the fabric store with her. All she needs is a few raisins and a skittle to keep them happy for hours. 

Her children have no interest in all the plastic toys and popular characters from tv and movies. They play with vintage, european, and handcrafted toys exclusively. That way if their toys are left out the house just appears to be charmingly accented and "lived in". They are thrilled with the lovely antique-french-inspired-shabby-chic-beach-cottage decor in their rooms. Especially the boys.

Yes, her husband does look like a Calvin Klein underwear model. But he's not. He's something better. He loves everything she does. When he's not at work he is watching the kids for her.
Oh, and I forgot - she does all of this while documenting everything in beautifully composed naturally lighted and artistically Photoshopped pictures that she presents daily with inspiring and engaging writing.

Oh yes, and she has a shop where she sells some of her handmade goodies.

Oh, and don't forget, there's that new book deal she just signed. 

Did you read her book that came out last month?

It's being turned into a movie. 

Kate Hudson is playing her. 

Kate's not quite as beautiful as she is (see gorgeous pic on her blog) But the producers wanted it to be more "real".

What does all this lead to?

It is inspiring.

But more than that, for me, it is discouraging.

I really have been thinking of it quite a lot. I feel I can never catch up and everything seems to be speeding by me and the day has not enough hours and I need my sleep and my kids and hubby need my attention and before I know it the day is over and almost nothing has been done.
I admit I am a perfectionist.
I can't help but think if all these bloggers are able to do it, why do I struggle so much to just maintain the bare minimum?

Why can't I get my home to look coordinated and beautiful? Why can't I find time to craft and sew? Why don't my meals look like the cover of gourmet magazine -ever? Why don't my kids look picture perfect and happy all the time? Why don't I look great and coordinated every day instead of resorting to t-shirt and jeans no makeup and maybe brushed hair? Why do I feel overwhelmed by 3 little ones? Why does my kitchen look like a disaster and the front hall resembles a scene from Hoarders? Why does my Craigslist only offer overpriced crap? (and it's not a lack of vision for what it could be, it is crap. Crap offered for ridiculous amounts of money.) Why when I stop to pick stuff up at the side of the road does it always seem to be infested with bugs, wet and mildewed, or stained with substances that could very likely be a bio hazard? Why can't I figure out my camera? Why do I forget it and resort to the camera on my phone? And why does it take me half a day to edit 3 photos? (Yes I know with practice I will get better, but when do I have time to practice?!)

I have been inspired by some of the reality checks bloggers out there are posting.
See this great post on Addicted to Decorating for an inspiring example.
Miss Mustard Seed strips it bare on her blog also.
There are a bunch of others also and I am SOOOOOO grateful to them for keeping it real.
It made me feel so much better to read that they don't have it perfectly together.

Some things I realize are up to me to fix and I am working on it.

I have decided to stop all the blog hopping.
I am going to stick with the blogs that make me laugh, inspire me to be a better me, and really motivate me to do some of the things I really want to do. If I stop following your blog, please don't be offended. I may love what you do immensely, but it just might not fit with what I want to work on right now. On the other hand, if you are not keeping it real, I may drop you due to that.

I will be spending bunches of time trying to get my house cleaned and organized and a schedule set so I can blog and craft or decorate or sew or whatever without guilt or complete lack of sleep (which leads to extreme crabbiness, not good for a mom of 3 little ones!)

First, I am going on on a cleaning frenzy. My house needs it badly. It is embarrassing.
REALLY REALLY embarrassing.
And it  is making me crazy.

Here is my own reality check.

(These photos were not altered in any way and they were taken using a flash because lovely daylight does not stream into my townhouse!)

My teeny-tiny kitchen. It is devoid of personality and so small it is difficult to keep it neat and organized. 

 My dining room. I love the color, (I have a thing for turquoise) but I think I might change to something softer. My plan has been to paint the furniture in here. It hasn't happened yet.

The pass through is always a mess. I can't decide what to do here.
 The Front Hall. Now isn't that the first impression you always dreamed of making? Me neither.
The bathroom. Not so bad. But so boring you might just not even see it. At least the mop is there to prove I do clean occasionally.
 More front hall disaster.
 My disaster of a living room

I'm going to press "Publish Post" before I chicken out.
Then I am going to try to straighten things up a bit before my husband wakes up, looks at the house and wonders what I have been doing all morning.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Creative Play

One of the things I have been feeling guilty about is the amount of time I spend on the computer. I have made a concerted effort to limit that time and spend more quality time with my kiddos. I have though, found a way that my computer time can benefit all of us. We are having a blast discovering new ways to learn and have fun at the same time. I will feature some of these projects here with reviews from my kids and notes on our experience.

There are tons of fantastic sites that feature great projects to do with kids. One of my very favorites is Mini-eco.  Her projects are simple and accessible and they appeal to all of my kiddos (almost 6, just turned 4 and almost 2) Today we experimented with her latest  project, Magic Potion 2.
I chose this project because I remember how much fun I had making volcano science experiments way, way back in ancient times when I was a kiddo. That, and it uses the most basic ingredients. All things I had in my kitchen. I gathered everything into a box and we headed outside.

It was a gorgeous day out so taking the mess outside was a definite plus. The experiment is a bit messy, though it is the easy-clean harmless kind of messy, and a little smelly, thanks to the vinegar.
The kids absolutely adored making their cups foam over and "EXPLODE!" everywhere. I did have to keep a close eye on Thomas, who kept wanting to taste the foam. They even added their own fun and swirled together the different colors of foam to make lovely marbleized foam creeping down the sidewalk like a pastel lava flow. Best of all, the mess just disappeared from the sidewalk a short time after we finished!
Amelie enjoyed it so much she insisted on repeating the experiment for Show and Tell at school.
This experiment gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from everyone!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bring on Spring

I've been very absent from the bloggy world lately.
I've had a bit of the winter blues with all this snow and ice and cold.
I really think there is some seasonal depression getting the best of me.
I haven't much felt like doing anything.
My outlook was unexpectedly brightened last week.
I was expecting an e-mail that I had not received, so I actually checked my spam folder (something I rarely do!) and I spotted the subject line "You Won!" and realized that it was from Amy, of Amy's Creative Side blog. (as opposed to the rest of my spam folder which is appropriately full of similarly titled e-mails from scammers trying to convince me I won a bazillion dollars in (insert name of country here) National Lottery if I would only send $299 to cover taxes.)

I Won.
I Won!
I WON!!! 
Now I'll be honest winning anything is fun. But winning something this delicious was amazing.
"What had I won?" you ask


I won a GORGEOUS set of 21 Fat Quarters of Sweet Divinity from Amanda of The Quilted Fish (the actual designer of all this darling girly lovliness!!!) in a giveaway Amy held on her blog. 

I was so excited when it arrived! 

I squealed in delight as my husband brought the box in from our doorstep and I immediately ripped it open. I wanted to rip right into the fabrics and spread them all out...

but I remembered I was attempting to be a blogger so in good blogger fashion, I grabbed my camera and took a quick pic. (I opened the card first, but slipped it back in, it was too cute also!)

I'll admit I didn't work to hard on the pic, I really wanted at that fabric
All spread out to admire
A bit closer- isn't it adorable!!!
The fabric really has to be seen to be appreciated. It is SOOO wonderful! 
My daughter's Ooh-ed and Aah-ed over it with me. It even had touches of yellow that I hadn't noticed when viewing it online. (That really pleased my yellow-obsessed Lili!) 
We arranged and rearranged the fabrics. 
We tried to choose favorites. 
That proved too difficult since it was all so cute.

(I was really happy the girls loved it so much since it will likely end up in their room!)

My hubby thought the whole thing was pretty funny. He doesn't get fabric love.

I felt like the dad on A Christmas Story,
"It's a MAJOR giveaway win hon!" I insisted

(he might have appreciated the leg lamp a bit more than my fabric)

He was impressed when I told him how much this haul would have cost me at the store.

I can't wait to cut into it! (but first I shall admire it a bit more)

Thanks Amy and Amanda
you swept away my winter blues with some cheery fabric sunshine.

Bring on Spring!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Return!

These are pics of my youngest daughter taken a few months ago -
Notice the glorious curls! I am not ashamed to admit I adored those curls! We even had a name for her hair - Crazy MoMo Hair. The curls were perfect and lovely and needed not a speck of attention. People stopped us almost daily to exclaim over her hair. Also notice my use of the past tense. Because there was "An Incident". After "The Incident" we had this-

"The Incident" involved her big sister with a pair of tiny scissors from my knitting kit and a request from MoMo. My reaction? Well, lets just say the neighbors probably thought someone had died or something equally horrible had happened when they heard my scream.
"The Incident" was traumatic for me (much more so than for MoMo).
Of my 5 children, only one had curls like I had when I was little. When my curls were cut by a friend playing Beauty Shop, they never returned. My hair is wavy and full, it even curls a bit when it is long with coaxing, but it never again was curly. I pretty much resigned myself to the idea that my MoMo's curls were gone for good.
Fast forward to this morning, I gave the kids a bath. Usually hubby does baths in the evening and brushes their hair after, but the kids were up late last night watching Alladin, so I did the bath this morning. They were brushing their teeth and I was getting ready to brush their hair and I noticed this -

THEY'RE COMING BACK!!!!! (insert me doing a dance of joy, here)
I feel a little guilty for being so attached to these curly locks. I can't help it. I love 'em.
Apparently when Jeff brushes her hair after the bath he has been straightening the curls. No more brushes allowed!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Defining My Style - the Pinterest Method

I am somewhat addicted (ok, seriously addicted) to Pinterest. I can get lost forever looking at other people's boards and pinning and repinning cool stuff from all over the web, lots of it is stuff I would never have come across on my own. It can be a real time-sucker sometimes, but it does have it's benefits.
For me, the biggest benefit is giving me a more solid idea of my style in decorating, fabric, and clothing. I am one of those people who has a difficult time when decorating or putting together a wardrobe. I tend to like a lot of styles and I buy things on a whim, rather than with a plan. It works on occasion, but most of the time it means I end up with a hodge-podge of stuff that doesn't relate or I end up making a decision based on the mood I'm in at the moment, not my real sense of style.
A great example of this is my blue dining room and yellow living room. I bought the paints on a whim. They don't work. I looked to my boards. Here are a few of my favorite decor and color inspirations

From the boards I can see that I love white. I also like aqua/turquoise blue and yellow.But they are not working in my home right now.

So what's a girl to do? I analyzed my boards for solutions.

My dining room will stay blue. It's a great blue that I am drawn to over and over. It doesn't work because the furniture in the room is all mismatched wood. I plan to lighten it up with painted furniture and rustic accents. I'm also going to throw in a bit of red. It shows up often with the blue. (should be easy with Valentine's Day coming up.) A touch of yellow may appear as well.

My living room is another story. The yellow has to go. I like yellow, but in my boards it shows up as an accent with white and gray. Not the main event.
We are planning on moving the tv out of the room and since when the tv goes downstairs, the ancient tv cabinet is going to go as well. that will expose even more of the color, and it's just too much, so it will be painted white or gray. I am debating keeping a little of the yellow on a focal wall by taping off a design when I paint. We'll have to see how that idea develops. (hmmm... A pale gray room with a yellow/gray/white chevron accent wall... Is chevron over?  IDK, but I love zig zag quilts so it's not over in my book... I just might try it.)

In between the dining room and the living room is the hall and kitchen. I want to bridge the rooms with white accented with punches of color. I have to get creative in the kitchen since we are renting and can't make any permanent alterations, but I am thinking about chalkboard vinyl and fabric to make some fun but easily removable changes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hiya Luv, You Changed my Blog, I Luv Ya For It

Bei Lexian- Owl Lover 2011 calendar

Recently I received an email notification that  I needed to moderate a comment I had received on a blog post I wrote about a year ago on a blog I no longer use.
The subject of my post - "Why I Am A Blogging Failure". I read and approved the comment, then I went back and read the post. Here is a bit of it~
I really would love to have a sweet blog and a few readers. I have ideas, really I do! But I never seem to be able to create time to blog on a regular basis. Why? You may ask, well, here is what I have come up with-
My excuses why I am a failure at blogging-
1. I do not wear a camera around my neck 24 hours a day, nor do I have an area of my home set aside for perfectly lit photos. Apparently lots of beautiful photos of every moment of my blissfully creative and beautiful days is a prerequisite for blogging.  (Ok, there is so much contrary to my life in that last sentence it is laughable)
2. I have active inquisitive children who have a passion for pushing the envelope and on frequent occasion, ripping the darn thing to shreds whenever the occasion (ie: mom’s not watching!) presents itself.
3. I am not perfect. I am incredibly imperfect, and not in a quirky bohemian way that makes people smile, but in a my kids watch too much tv, eat too much fast food, talk loudly in church and I end up yelling more than I should and my house is a cluttered mess of toys, dirty dishes, scattered shoes and laundry begging to be put away kind of way. (yes, clean and folded clothes, you are my nemesis…) Mrs. Cleaver I am not.
4. I do not crank out gorgeous handmaid items with blinding speed and astonishing creativity.  I look a lot, too much in fact.  I start a few. I finish even fewer. I forget to take photos along the way. Add that to I am slow and a perfectionist. = Not a lot to show.
5. I am tired – a lot. My 1 year old does not sleep through the night. My 3year old’s nap does not coincide with her baby brother’s naps. My 5 year old is vehemently opposed to napping. My husband works crazy hours.  I have a teenager who thinks 10pm is tragically early to go to bed.
So, that’s about the size of it. I’m sure I will think up more excuses. Maybe someday I will actually have a blog people will read, but most likely not. 
I realized that it pointed to a lot of the things that were still holding me back from blogging. Mostly things that are up to me to change or just not worry about.
I also realized that the voice in the posts sounded much more like me. I was not writing for anyone else (since my blog had no readers) so it was just written from the heart - to me, from me.
The comment I received, the one that headed me in this new direction, was from the very amazing, lovely, and incredibly wise Gina, who is the creative and talented woman behind the awesome blog, Hiya Luv .
She said~
hang in there luv. blogging takes time. don’t put pressure on yourself-I did that at first and it was a major fail for me. Let topics flow. If you are experiencing something with your child-good or challenging-could you blog about it? probably. do you have adorable pics of your family-probably. start off with a post or two like that. something you find joy in. Then visit other blogs-comment and keep going back to comment. Get engaged and people will visit you-keep writing. It will come…:)gina
Man, she was so right.
For some reason I thought having a focus would help me with blogging. I thought "My favorite blogs are craft blogs. I love to craft! I'll have a craft blog!" And so I went about creating what I thought would be a craft blog. But then I felt pressured to do it. To craft. And I am one of those ornery types who just HATES to feel pressured to do things. I will dig in my heels and resist doing it. So I was not feeling inspired or excited. I was just getting cranky with my lack of progress.
So here goes.
This is a blog about stuff I love.
Some of it will be really cool (I promise) some of it will be funny, some of it will be just for me.
You can read it. or not.
It doesn't really matter.
It's for me.
(though friends are nice!)

P.S. Thanks Gina! You are amazing! And wise - very, very wise.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Laundry Takeover

My kids have way too many clothes. 

This leads to me waiting way to long to complete the laundry chores. Mine usually gets backed up at the "put it away" stage when I inevitable discover that the drawers are too packed to fit all the clothes in an organized way.

The truth is I don't buy the vast majority. We are the lucky recipients of hand-me-downs from a multitude of cousins and my oldest daughter (who is 24 and a complete fashionista) loves to buy her little siblings adorable outfits that mom would never go out and purchase (like from J Crew's Crew Cuts) It all adds up to LOADS of clothes. The pic below is what my bed looked like when I was 3/4 finished with sorting and folding the long neglected laundry that was hiding out in my closet.

Now I hate doing laundry. Mostly because it is so never ending. So in order to bring more peace and simplicity into my life I am looking for a way to cut down on the ever expanding laundry pile.

Hubby and I don't generate all that much laundry, but my kiddos, that's another story.

I am trying to determine the minimum number of outfits my kids can get away with. Yes, it will mean I have to keep up with the laundry much better than I have in the past, but it will also kill a lot of this laundry clutter that permeates the house.

So how much clothing do your kids have? Are you also drowning in kids clothing on a daily basis? If you have a system for controlling the madness, what is it?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Project Inspiration

What I'm working on -
Since I stripped my house bare of decor now that Christmas is packed up, it seems the right time to change things up and create some new decor for the house. The project I'm working on today is inspired by something in this picture -
Pottery Barn
Of course there is little I don't love about this picture - you could show up at my door with any Pottery Barn room and I would be beyond thrilled (I'll be happy to give my address to anyone willing to do this!)
I'll be back with the finished project and my cheap and easy tutorial!

So much for keeping one resolution! I Need A Do-Over!

So I had resolved try and post every day or at least every other day, but sick kiddos kept me too exhausted to think for a couple of days and I do not yet have a backlog of ready posts to whip out at a moment's notice. But a resolution is meant to be broken and remade with new resolve - right?
So~ here is my Monday weekly menu, on Tuesday.

WEEKLY MENU (1/03/11 - 1/09/11)

MONDAY - Sausage and egg burritos with orange slices

TUESDAY - (Hubby in the kitchen!) Shepherds Pie

WEDNESDAY - Zuppa Toscana (I use this version - easy and beyond yummy!) w/ salad and bread sticks

THURSDAY - Roast Chicken with rice and vegetables

FRIDAY - Friday Open House Dinner at my parent's (almost every week!)

SATURDAY - Spaghetti with meat sauce salad and garlic bread

SUNDAY - Chicken fried rice with stir fry vegetables

~ Have a great week!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Keeping Track of 2011

These are some of my favorite calendars from Etsy sellers

1st row (L to R)
1. Everyday Is Special - 2011 Calendar  by handz - Amazing color and design to brighten your space all year. I pretty much love all the prints offered here!

2. 2011 Wallhanging Letterpress Calendar  by Brooklynbookbinder - Soft and lovely to add serenity and style to any space.

3. 2011 Modern Design Calendar 8.5 x 11 size printable PDF  by Pinkroses 1220 - Each month is an amazing work of art all it's own.

2nd row (L to R)
4. Mini Wall-hung Calendar Featuring Original Illustrations  by rayofsunshine27 Charming illustrations in a small size - Adorable!

5. 2011 Weekly Planner  by Nicopapergoods - I just love the clothesline design and the color! The laundry is endless in my house! At least this would remind me to do it and make me smile daily.

6. New Year New Plan - Printable Planner  by onesixtyeight - A whole home organization system you can print out as often as necessary. I am always on the look out for a new system to keep my family running smoothly!

3rd row (L to R)
7. (ACK! I somehow lost my info on this wonderful calendar! I'm searching for it!) - The colors would cheer up any space space, the resolution reminder would keep you on track AND it's printable, so if the resolution changes, just print a new one and get going again with new resolve.

8. Digital mini January Calendar  by rochepapierciseaux - Sigh... I just love this. Tiny, portable loveliness

9. 2011 Printable Clipboard Calendar  by Fibersandtwigs - Looks great and it's practical. Plenty of space to write important info and great illustrations each month. Add in that it's printable and we have a winner!