Night Ryder

We spent a long and convivial evening with our supper club last night.  Hosts L&D served up a scrumptious fall inspired meal – think caramel apple martinis, roasted veggies, a hearty pasta and toasted gingerbread with ice cream and caramel.  *what I wouldn’t do for another piece of that dessert*  After dinner the gals curled up fireside on the porch while the boys headed out with glow in the dark golf balls for Ryder Cup inspired Night Ryder tourney.  And while I can’t give a first hand account of that outing, I can tell you that the captain of the winning team came home drinking scotch out of his trophy.  I’m guessing they had a pretty fab time out there :-)

I couldn’t be more thankful to have such fun friends.  And I can hardly believe that three years ago I’d yet to meet a single one of them!


Game Ball

The PCP was just thrilled to leave yesterday’s game with the game ball. 

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And while I’d never tell him this, (I mean, what good is a mother if she’s not the kid’s biggest fan?!?)  I knew it wasn’t the best game he’d played all season.  So later that afternoon when he said “Coach S didn’t give me the game ball because I played the best.  He gave it to me because my attitude was the best” I couldn’t have been more proud.  It was a tough game and a hard loss but he’s right…he DID have a great attitude through and through.  It’s moments like that when I think maybe, just maybe, we’re doing something right :-)



First Grade Science Fair

Yesterday wrapped up the science fair at the PCP’s school and it feels just super to have that big thing off my dining room table and this to-do scratched off the list for another year.  Participation is optional and parental involvement is encouraged so, being the math and science kind of dorks that we are, we were giddy to give it a go! 
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When we were hanging on the porch one afternoon, John observed a whole crowd of ants gobbling up a popsicle drip and asked me what kind of food ants like.  Well, that question became the impetus for the entire project...What sugar do ants prefer? 

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We started by researching some basic facts about both ants and different types of sugar on the internet.  The key things we learned were:
  • Ants like sweets and can smell sugar from far away. Sugar gives them energy.
  • Ants need water to survive. They get some water from the food they eat.
  • Brown sugar has more molasses syrup in it than the other sugars.

After talking through these facts (and a few others) with John, we coached him into making a hypothesis - Ants will prefer brown sugar.  Our assumptions:
  • Ants can smell really well and brown sugar smells stronger than the other sugars.
  • Ants need water and brown sugar has more syrup in it than other sugars.
  • Brown sugar is small enough for ants to easily carry.

After school one day we set to work on the project.  We looked through the pantry and came up with six different sugars to test: white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, stevia, splenda and sprinkles. 

1. Write sugar names on the plates.
2. Put 2 teaspoons of each sugar out on the plates.
3. Leave plates outside where you have seen ants.
4.Count the number of ants on each plate at 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour and 1 day.

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With 132 ants on the plate after one day of measuring, as expected, brown sugar was most preferred by our ants!  Powdered sugar was a close second.

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The PCP was thrilled to show off his work to the school and told me on the way out that we need to start deciding what to study next year.  I’m thinking we should at least take the weekend off :-)


Big Boy Bedding

Slowly but surely the baby’s big boy room is coming together!!  Burlap and checks and velvet and monograms abound…
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While Mother was here she was a doll to help me out making burlap euro shams and buffalo check standard shams.  When I had the chair reupholstered I also had this heinous denim bolster covered in the velvet.  With free shipping it was much cheaper than any of the other bolster pillow form of this size that I found.
  • I always order my burlap from Online Fabric Store.  I generally get enough to qualify for free shipping.
  • The velvet fabric is Como Gris from Calico Corners.
  • The buffalo check is Berta Ruta from Ikea (ringing up at under $9 a yard!)
  • The sheet set is from Pottery Barn in Sandalwood.
Just a few more to-dos and the room will be ready for little one!
More big boy room projects:


Must See TV

I mentioned it the other day and just have to know…are y’all watching Revolution?  I mean, it is SO fantastic. 

The show is already so chocked full of twists and turns that all I can really tell you is that in the pilot, the all technology – think computers, cars, plains, phones, electricity, everything – is suddenly and permanently blacked out.  The story then jumps forward to 15 years after the blackout.  Cities fall, government crumbles, and people struggle to survive.  It’s intriguing, it’s suspenseful, and it’s a total nail biter.  And all the while I just can’t stop thinking what if this really did happen???

So that’s my plug for the day.  I am really trying to drum up some interest because I swear that every show I get into seems doomed for failure.  Reunion, American Dreams, Sunset Beach, Gilmore Girls, Guiding Light – I could go on for days – all no more.  I mean, even Gossip Girl is nearing its end.

There’s plenty of time to catch up online before the third episode airs on Monday night!  (The added bonus is that this saves me from the football that Honey is inevitably tuned in to each and every Monday night.)



One Smart Cookie Reprise {Free Printable}

It just so happens that the PCP came home from school last week begging to make cookies.  And it just so happens that I had everything on hand for our favorite Chocolate Cherry Heart Smart Cookies. Aaaaaaaand it further just so happens that I realized were were about a month into the school year before every last one was gobbled up.  So, I bagged up a few in a brown waxed bag (Whole Foods), tied them up with Divine Twine, printed out an already made tag from last year’s Smart Cookie teacher gift, and had the PCP carry the treat in to Mrs. B the next day!
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I’m trying out three ways for you to get the tags this time…
1. Click on the picture below, save it and then print it like you’d print any picture.
2. Download from Scribd.
3.  Order a personalized version from my etsy store!  You can put a different to: and from: on each of the six tags for $3!

Easy peasy!  And I know it sounds trite, but where does the time go?  Seems like yesterday were were celebrating the first day of first grade!

See more teacher gifts here and school related posts here!


At Long Last

At long last, I have finally completed the project for which I originally purchased my Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue Chalk paint…nearly a year ago!
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I piddled around with a mirror, a frame, a monogram, a chair and odds and ends and finally bit the bullet and painted the dresser for the baby’s big boy room.  I’ve never re-done a piece of furniture like this and was terrified!  But boy am I glad I finally did it because 1) it was incredibly easy and pretty much fool proof and 2) I ADORE the new look.

I started with Honey’s childhood dresser.  It’s a solid, well made piece but the wood color didn’t go with the rest of my stuff.
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Here’s how it all went down…
1. I stripped the finish off the top by following the directions on the bottle of Stripper.  It took two rounds of it and was incredibly fast and easy.
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2. I sanded it down to a smooth finish using Honey’s handy dandy sander.
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3.  I applied two coats of Minwax stain in Jacobean, by following the directions on the can.  I love love love how this stain let all the character in the wood show through.  You really didn’t see it before and it’s just gorgeous!
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4. I applied two coats of  Minwax clear varnish in satin finish by following the package directions.  I did sand between them, as directed, using a block sander rather than Honey’s power tool.

5. Mother and I painted on two coats of Duck Egg Blue chalk paint to the body of the dresser and drawer fronts.

6. I waxed the dresser in Annie Sloan’s clear wax.  I did one good coat and buffed it to a nice sheen. 

7. After it sat in my garage for a week to dry and harden up, we moved it to the baby’s room and I put on the gorgeous mercury glass knobs from Anthropologie.  I purchased them at the Howell Mill store in March with my birthday coupon.
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I could not be happier with the piece and, from start to finish, it took about a day and a half!

Oh oh oh... any of y'all tuning in to NBC's new show Revolution??  The series premier was a nail biter and I cannot wait for the next episode to air tonight!!


More big boy room projects:


The TECH Game

Saturday in the South in the fall can pretty much be summed up by one word…FOOTBALL!  And the PCP was beyond excited to attend the Tech vs Miami game with his daddy yesterday.  (Sporting his team signed tee, no less!)

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When I’d not seen hide nor hair of them by seven thirty, I inquired as to their whereabouts only to find out they were having the time of their lives at the SAE fraternity house.  Oh my!  John adored meeting some of Honey’s friends and recounted his visit to me like this:  “"I loved Mr. T's house (he thought the house belonged to our friend BT) and I wanted to spend the night. They have a movie theater and a server thing and I got to throw tennis balls inside and sometimes they hit the windows!!! All boys live there! Oh, and can Mr. L pleeeeeeease be my babysitter??"

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I can't help but smile :-) I never ever in a million years could have imagined my very own son (and the spitting image of the “the cutest boy in school” standing on that front porch back in the day!

As for the rest of our weekend, we played a baseball game, did some yard work, baked our brand new neighbor (with 15 month old triplet boys!) some banana bread, went to meet blonde Amanda’s new baby boy, played ball in the yard and had a little slumber party with Bird.
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It was exactly the low key kind of weekend I was hoping for! 


Crowning Glory

Honey just completed a project that literally drove him up the wall – installing crown molding for the first time.  He is generally the most even keeled, laid back kind of guy you could ever wish to know.  But if you’d like to see him huffing and puffing and muttering unsavory words under his breath then invite him over to put up crown molding.  Good gracious alive!  And after proclaiming it the “worst of my crazy ideas” and “the last time he’ll EVER do something like this again”, it looks fantastic.  It’s the crowning glory of the space for crying out loud!

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He painted the room in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak and it’s the perfect complement to the buffalo check I got for the duvet, shams and drapes.  The trim is Benjamin Moore Alabaster.

Lord knows what I’m going to have to do to get him to put molding up in the guest room…

More big boy room projects:


Fall Out Front

It’s fall on the front porch, y’all!
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I put up my fall florals, broke out the ten year old pumpkin topiaries and dressed up the dogs with brown satin bows.  I suppose it was time.


House of Turquoise Porch Piece

Hanging out over at House of Turquoise is positively one of my favorite ways to spend a morning, so y’all can imagine how excited I am to be sharing the porch over there today! 

And you can see me previous HoT gigs here and here while you’re at it :-)


On My Bedside {Divergent & Insurgent}

For all you Hunger Games fanatics, I cannot possibly let another day pass without insisting that you add Divergent and Insurgent to your must-read list for the fall. 

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Good Reads says…In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.  During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

Good Reads says…One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.  Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Be forewarned that they are addictive page turners.  Like with Hunger Games, be prepared to let your littles run wild and your house turn to disrepair because once you start they are hard to put down.  There’s one more to come in the trilogy and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be first in line for that one!

I’ve also recently read and enjoyed Delirium, Evermore: The Immortals, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Matched.  Next on the list are Stranger You Seek and Stranger In The Room by Amanda Kyle Williams, The Violets of March and The Bungalow by Sarah Jio, and a whole slew of Southern stories by Karen White.  Thanks Mother and PP for all the recos!!

Lastly, whenever I write about books I always get the question “how do you find time to read?”  The answer to that is easy…I sacrifice sleep :-)  I usually read at night after the littles are asleep and will stay up until the wee hours of the morning if it’s a good one.  This summer when I was in Savannah or at the beach it was an easy choice because there were plenty of other responsible adults around to wake up at the crack with the littles.  It’s harder this time of the year when we all have to be up and at ‘em as the sun comes up!

I'm off to enjoy this glorious morning with a cup of joe and my baby on the porch!!


Catherine Lovett’s Crab

While at Tybee Social on our last trip down to Savannah, I came across a pair of paintings by Catherine Lovett that stopped me dead in my tracks…

…this photo hardly does them justice because what you can’t see is her signature use of gold leafing.  I mean, I was literally head over heels in the matter of two point five seconds.  When I found out she was local to Savannah, I became crazy captivated and spent the balance of my evening pouring over her website and driving Mother and Sister batty by rambling on about how I MUST GET ONE OF THESE PAINTINGS!

After talking with her a few times (she’s a doll and I’m convinced we’d be bffs if I still lived down South), we laid out plans for a mixed media coastal crab on 24”x24” wrapped canvas for the baby’s big boy room.  Mother picked it up (and adored her as well) and brought it with her last week and it’s PERFECTION!!!   Fingers crossed the baby doesn’t think it’s as “scary” as the nursery’s balloon curtains.
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Speaking of the baby’s big boy room, we’re making great progress!  I hope to skirt his two bedside tables and frame and hang stuff on the walls this weekend.  Now, excuse me while I go ogle Catherine’s crab…

More big boy room projects:


Southern Living 2012 Idea House

After mass, Honey took the boys and I spent the day with Sister, Mother and Daddy-O down in Senoia at the 2012 Southern Living Idea House.  We’d all already poured over pictures on blogs and in the magazine but it was well worth the hour trip to see it in person and kick around the little historic downtown area.  Now, on to the good stuff…

The house is a revival of an early 19th century cottage-style farmhouse whose interiors were smartly appointed by Tracery of Rosemary Beach, of all places! Nearly all of the furnishings are from Ballard Designs and Ikea and it was impressive to see them in person – I have to say that all of us were surprised at the quality of the wood pieces and comfort of the upholstered pieces.
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The front porch was host to three separate vignettes – including an impressive farmhouse dining table, porch swing and luxurious little side sitting area. September 2012 214 September 2012 212 September 2012 211 September 2012 265
We loved the planed wood in the entry foyer and that both sets of doors were framed with burlap curtains.
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Just to the left of the foyer is the main living space of the house.  There wasn’t much to dislike in this gorgeous room!  Along with the breakfast room it was my favorite space in the house!
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The living room was open to the Ikea kitchen.  Some of the vignettes took the country farmhouse theme a little too far, but overall it was quite nice.
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And off the kitchen was my other favorite space.  While the gorgeous upholstered settee and dining chairs wouldn’t work for my crew, they were really beautiful in this little window filled nook.
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Behind the kitchen was the keeping room – and the gingham wall treatment that’s been pinned one gazillion times on Pinterest!  It was really, really gorgeous in person.  I was gaga over all of the Old Try prints throughout the house.
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Continuing down the hall was the chalkboard-walled laundry room and a mudroom type entry.
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The back stairway led to a bed/bath suite overlooking the back courtyard.
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Going straight down the main entry foyer is the master suite.  It was very large and overly luxurious. 
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And, before heading upstairs, we checked out the main floor powder room and one of my favorite nooks in the house.  I adore that deer painting and the collection of vintage trophy cups.
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Upstairs was the bedroom that inspired some of the fabric choices in the baby’s big boy room.  I also loved the ensuite – especially that gorgeous shower curtain.
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The other upstairs bedroom was also very nice.  We all loved the bed side chests and baseball painting.  All of the bedding is from Ikea!
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Outside was a nice screened porch with the retractable phantom screens (ahhh…loved those!) that opened onto a small back yard with a sitting area and fire pit.
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Overall, I’d say the house was one of the more practical and attainable show houses I’ve ever toured.  Nothing was really jaw-dropping, but it was certainly worth the twelve dollars!  After the tour we headed downtown to a few shops and for a “snack” at Maguire’s.  We all raved about our food and I’d definitely recommend checking it out.
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I’m signing the PCP out of school early for a dentist appointment and he’s literally over the moon.  Keep your fingers crossed that the baby goes in half that excited to have his pearly whites checked out :-)
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