A No-No

I am afraid this post will make some of you cringe…a few years back, Mother travelled to China and brought back these gorgeous hand carved plaques from an antique store near the Great Wall in Beijing.  The were promised to be hundreds of years old and taken from a bed.  (Can you imagine?!?!)

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As you well know, I am in the throes of a little guest suite gussy-up and, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, the plaques were not left unharmed.  Rather, they received a fresh new coat of duck egg blue, natch.  That’s right gals.  My name is Amanda and I maimed two who-knows-how-old antique relics from China just so they’d look  pretty in my guest room.

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Seriously, I positively mad for the new do!  After all, it was either a fresh coat of paint or the rest of eternity in the bowels of my closet.

Just a few more tweaks in the room and I’ll be ready to share!!


Sweet Dreams

Long before my littles were even a twinkle in their daddy’s eye, I envisioned a pair of sweet twin beds and couple of daughters to fill them up.  Weeeeeell, we all  know how the daughter thing panned out for me.  As for the twin beds, that vision finally became reality Friday night.
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After three botched attempts to let the littles share the PCP’s sleeping quarters, they finally asked on a weekend night and we could hardly say no.  They grew drowsy over a sweet discussion of Lego Ninjago and Pokemon nonsense.  My mommy heart must’ve grown ten times as I stealthily listened to the whispers and giggles coming from the room, and I had to stifle a grin as I admonished them to keep quiet and go to sleep for the umpteenth time.  They loved it so much that Saturday night went much the same way.

Sweet dreams, y’all!


Baseball Snack

Last night brought the game that is always my very favorite of the season…my snack night!!  This is the PCP’s fifth season and I invariably spend every game leading up to mine cooking up ideas.  I’ve done Cracker Jack cupcakes, Cracker Jack bags, Baseball Pies, Baseball Doughnuts and now the Baseball Glove cupcake cake!!  Some little stinker obvi stole one red m&m when I wasn’t looking :-)
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This was super easy to pull off and inspired by something I came across on google images.  Bake a box of cupcakes and be sure to get all two dozen out of the batch.  Lay them out in this arrangement on a your serving piece (this lovely thing is actually our checker board wrapped in foil and then a piece of plastic disposable tablecloth) before icing.  Once in place, ice twenty-three cupcakes in chocolate and the last one in white.  I stuck red m&m’s in the icing to make the laces on the baseball cupcake.  It was Honey’s fab idea to draw the glove’s webbing on the cake plate/checker board.  If he’d had this genius idea before the very minute we were walking out the door, I would have piped them on with chocolate icing.  Alas, I am sure we have many, many more seasons of baseball ahead of us between the two littles.

Speaking of cupcake cakes, I must admit that this one turned out immensely better than my last attempt at a cupcake cake…do not try this at home, ladies. 
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Neeedless to say, my “bat” cake didn’t make it to the pee wee ball game. *bwahahahahaha*  Though, it undoubtedly would have served me well at the one gazillion bachelorette parties I was attending a decade ago.
But I digress…the rest of the snack shaped up like so…
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The boys noshed on ball field hot dogs, orange slices with an Orioles baseball pick, and baby carrots with ranch dressing.  I got so into picking out orange food and drink that I had to force myself to step away from the cheese poofs (or so we call them around these parts.)
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And because I’m a glutton for punishment (and because WalMart seemed to have a plethora of orange food, drink and party ware), I painted a party favor cup for each little ball player and filled them with Cracker Jacks.  The cups came in a rainbow of colors and were just $1 (or was it $2?) for a set of six.  In fact, everything you see here came from my super WalMart – table cloth, plates, cups, napkins, food and drinks!
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I also managed to snap what is probably my favorite picture ever from five baseball seasons combined.  Daddy and son bumping fists after a great hit and run to third base.
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No, the PCP did not get hold of some really bad orange-ish self tanning lotion.  What he did do is roll around in the dirt like an old fat sow (anyone else familiar with Bugs Bunny’s Hillbilly Square Dance??)  in an obvious effort to challenge my laundry prowess.  Honey called the maneuver that resulted in this look “a face down snow dirt angel.”
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And no, the baby does not play ball.  Yet.  But he does gear up in the PCP’s old threads just in case he gets called up.
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Just as soon as the PCP laid eye on the “special baseball cupcake” in the middle of the glove, he made it his mission in life to make it his own.  His team had barely given the last “good game” clasp when he bolted off the field (faster than he’s ever run on the field, mind you) to snatch it off the plate and take a huge territorial bite right out of the top.  This, my friends, is the (exceedingly orange) face of victory…he got the cupcake and they won the game to boot.
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Happy weekend, y’all!  We’ll be back at the field again tonight!

Flattered for the features at DIY by Design and Tip Junkie!


I Couldn’t Have Picked

…a better TEACHER!
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After our day at Southern Belle Farm, the PCP trotted off to school with a fresh picked pint of strawberries for each of his teachers. 
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I recycled cherry tomato containers printed out tags (using last year’s Independence Day invitation) to cover the cherry tomato labels that read “I couldn’t have picked a better teacher!”.  Topped off with some red twine, they are gifts ripe for giving.
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Inside is another little tag that reads “Hand picked yesterday with love and care by the W family at Southern Belle Farm.”
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Happy Friday, y’all!

PS.  The wording is a shameless copy of the adorable printable from the ladies over at eighteen25 that’s been floating all about blogs and Pinterest for the last week or so.

Flattered for the feature at Design, Dining & Diapers and The Greenbacks Gal!!


Southern Belle Farm

We made our annual berry pickin’, animal visitin’, picnicin’ trek down to Southern Belle Farm this week and enjoyed a splendid day of good clean country fun just an hour away from city.  With the PCP at school, we brought our sweet neighbors A and C along for the day! 
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We each picked two gallons of the ripest, juiciest strawberries you could ever wrap your lips around…
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We visited the horses, donkey, goats, sheep, bunnies, chickens and cows…
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We laid out our blanket and lingered over a picnic lunch…well, A and I lingered while the littles ran wilder than the animals…
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If you go:
- We've tried other berry picking spots around Atlanta and Southern Belle is our very fave!  It's right at an hour drive from just north of the city.
- Call before you go!  After a big day of berry picking, they may stay closed the next day to let more ripen and they are not open when raining.
- Berries are sold by the gallon - this year strawberries are $10 per gallon.  They sell gallon buckets for picking for $1 each and they can be reused for blackberries and all future visits.
- They only take cash and checks.
- There are often field trips during the week and there are some activities reserved for just those on field trips.  You might want to warn you littles in advance that they will not be able to go on the cow train, giant trampoline or tractor ride.  This stuff is probably available on the weekend, if you are interested in that.
- Take a picnic lunch and a blanket.  The picnic tables are usually filled up with students but there are plenty of grassy spots to enjoy your lunch.
- Take a couple of quarters if your littles want to feed the goats!
- Save some room for the homemade ice cream.  It's $3 for a giant cup!

It’s days like these that are what being a mommy is all about!


Take Me Out To The…

…BRAWL Game!
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Is that not the cutest tagline ever for the annual Spring Classic meeting of Southern rivals Georgia Tech and University of Georgia?!?! 

Like last year, we scooted into town for a convivial tailgate hosted by a few college friends aka the brains behind Hunter Technical Resources (for those of you job hunting in the ATL.)  While the adults gathered round the bbq and beer, the 8 and unders dominated both the corn hole boards and the ladder golf.  It was probably the first time ever that tailgating with the littles has been just plain fun for all involved.
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Inside the stadium, we scored FRONT ROW seats directly in front of the pitcher’s mound and right next to the Tech dugout (Honey was just a tish worried about having me in such close proximity to all those tight white pants.)  The boys (all three of them) were over the moon.  I thought Cookie might have swooned when Jake Davies, who just so happens to have been named ACC Player of the Week, waved at him and said hello.  Of course, Honey – a Tech ball playing alumnus himself – was grinning like the cheshire cat as he explained the intricacies of a college ball game to our little coach pitch player.
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And, at the end of the night, Tech beat the mutts 4-3!  Down with the red and black...up with the white and gold!



How Does Your Garden Grow?

At home, finally!! 

After two years of sharing space in our community garden, we are so excited to bring our fruits, veggies and herbs home to a sunny spot in the back yard!
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We have more space than in past years AND we can just step out the back door to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  Here’s how we did it:

- After clearing the overgrown weed infested bed that previously resided there, Honey constructed three raised garden bed kits from Home Depot, giving us a 12’x4’ planting area.
- Honey constructed a basic fence of 2’x4’s and hardware cloth and painted it black.  We left a 3’ border on all sides to be able to easily maneuver inside the fence.  The completed size is 18’x10’.  The obvious goal of the fence is to keep out the rabbits and other large animals roaming around but it’s probably already saved our tender little vegetables one thousand times from stray soccer  balls and children in pursuit.
- The littles and I shopped for all sorts of organic fruits, veggies and herbs to fill up our plots.  After planting, we mulched with wood chips from our very own oak tree that fell flat out of the ground a few weeks back. 
- We fertilize with E.B. Stone Organic Tomato & Vegetable Food and in past years have used Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew to fight those pesky garden invaders.  I found both at Atlanta’s Pike Nurseries.
- I labeled our garden tags with vinyl letters.
- And, when the top came off the deck for the porch building project, we found a pile of slate stones left over from when the previous owners put in our front and back walkways.  We hauled a few over to make a nice little entryway.
- We’ve had two frost scares since planting.  In preparation, we thoroughly watered the garden and then covered the plants with newspaper tents. 

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We’re growing squash, eggplant, red and green peppers, three varieties of tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers and okra.  In the herb department, we’ve got basil, cilantro, mint, lavender, dill, chives, rosemary and oregano.

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It was honestly a LOT of work and took a LOT of time, but we couldn’t be happier about it.  We planted everything at the beginning of the month and have already watched our squash sprout from seeds and everything else double in size (at least).  We count the flowers popping up every day and can’t wait for them to turn into tomatoes and peppers.

But it hasn’t been all work and no play around these parts!  Yesterday sorority big sis and her littlest headed over from across town to play, lunch and catch up.  Just look at these two handsome boys…

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And last night I celebrated THREE friend’s birthdays on a fantastic night out at a local pasta joint.

Have a great week!

Sharing at Our Fifth House.


(Another) Before & After Chair

I'm slowly starting to redecorate our guest room in a color scheme that flows better with the rest of our house.  Believe it or not, the guest room as it stands today is almost an exact replica of my bedroom in my first college apartment.  I have the same furniture, much of the same bedding and the same pictures and accessories.  I only updated the wall color when we moved (knowing that I wanted to redo the rest) and added a new rug.

The first project on the long list was to trade the red on this sweet chair to BLUE!  Annie Sloan's Duck Egg blue to be exact.

Here's the before...
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Armed with two tiny paint brushes, mother and I simply painted over the red with the blue in no time at all. I then glazed the whole chair with clear wax, dabbed on dark wax over the blue parts and then buffed. I think both the before and after are equally as gorgeous. But the after will go with my plans for the room MUCH better!

And speaking of the after, here she is (along with a sneak peek of the room)…
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As for that gorg little pillow sitting in the smartly painted chair, that’s something I dreamt up in the shower one morning.  (I tell you what, I don’t get to shower every day but when I do they are long and fruitful.)  Mother whipped up the pillow cover out of left over fabric from my den drapes (Basha Dot fabric has been discontinued.)  I then attached these burlap rosettes (purchased on sale at AC Moore for $1.50 each) and further embellished with bedazzled brooches from Macy’s (a steal at $7 a piece after a one day sale and coupon.)
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So excited to finish up some other projects and have a big reveal!!  Stay tuned!!

So flattered for the feature at Savvy Southern Style!


Lego Land Discovery Center

The PCP’s big surprise reward for mastering ONE HUNDRED books was a family outing to Atlanta’s newest attraction…The Lego Land Discovery Center!  It was a spectacularly fun filled day of building, experimenting, learning and exploring.  There is so much to see and do – we spent three hours inside and didn’t miss a thing!


The first stop at Lego Land is the Lego Factory where you learn just how the bricks are made.  We each left with our very own commemorative brick!

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Our next stop was the Kingdom Quest ride, where we climbed aboard chariots and set out to defeat the skeletons, vanquish the trolls, and rescue the captured princess in a laser tag adventure!

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Miniland was just stunning.  The sights and scenes of Atlanta literally came to life with 1.5 million Lego bricks!  The room turned from day to night, while buildings illuminated and a Delta plane flew over head.  The littles were mesmerized and Honey and I were just completely wowed!

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On the Merlin’s Apprentice attraction, we pedaled as fast as we could to help Merlin conjure his magic.  The faster you pedal the higher you go, all while whirling around and around! 

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We spent eons at the Earthquake Tables – trying our hand at building all sorts of towering creations and then seeing which structures could best withstand the earthquakes.  

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At the Lego Racers Build and Test area, we teamed up to build two different cars and had a grand time trying them out on the ramps and tracks!  Cookie could have stayed here for hours.

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The last stop on our Lego adventrue was the 4D Cinema.  We sat on the edge of our seats, following along on Clutch Powers’ adventure, complete with rain, snow, wind and lightening!!

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If you go:

- Look on line at the Lego Land Discovery Center website for the best ticket price deals.

- Be sure the littles have socks.  They cannot enter the Lego Fire Academy play structure without them.

- Food in the Lego Friends CafĂ© does not come cheap.  Plan to eat before or after your visit.

- Don’t be scared to take the little ones.  Whit (age 3) had just as much fun as John (age 6)!

- The only exit is through the store.  We knew this going in and agreed on a set amount of money (saved from his allowance) that could be spent.

- Adults are only permitted entry with children in tow.  If anyone wants to borrow mine, just let me know :-)

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Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the PCP, the whole family enjoyed a fantastic day at Lego Land! 


Can’t wait for him to master 100 more!


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