Monday, January 31, 2011

It's blue!!!

It's starting to come together.. but will now need to trade out the rug, as it clashes with both my vision and the walls. I'm thinking jute/sisal. And it needs to be cheap. Looks like I'll be heading back to Ikea if this storm doesn't get in my way.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Before Pictures

Here are some "before" pictures... fingers are crossed on the outcome.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I'm freaking out about what this blue color is going to do to my hallway. Spent the day putting up the first coat and so far it looks like I'm trying for an acid washed denim faux finish. Pictures to follow. Hopefully once it's all done my dreams will be realized and not shattered. Oy. The good news? I've been so busy that it has kept my crazy at bay.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Basket Case

Tonight my friend Lisa and her family are coming over for pizza. Lisa is pretty and kind and has the tidiest house I've ever been in. She is gracious and polite and will compliment me on the things we've done around the house and she'll mean it. That said, I am freaking out about the crazy mess that my house is right now. We are horizontally challenged in this house, meaning, if there is a horizontal surface, we will cover it with crap. I know it drives Tom crazy. He went to military school and detests clutter. He's not like the Sleeping With the Enemy Guy, but I think he may be impressed with what he was able to get out of Julia Roberts. We have a coffee table that I love. It is one of four pieces of furniture that we own from Pottery Barn. We bought it in Georgetown right after we got married. A coffee table, 2 end tables and a floor lamp. The lamp has been repeatedly knocked over and broken through the years and I keep putting her back together. My sisters would laugh when we were on the phone and I would yell to my toddlers "not the Pottery Barn lamp!!!!" The coffee table is constantly being sent to the basement. Frankly, we can't handle it. But we need it. I know when I walk into the living room there will be all variety of crap on the table, and I have no idea where to begin with the decluttering. So I keep buying baskets to hide our dirty little secrets in, all over the house. Tom hates this. A few times a year he goes around the house and returns all of these little items to their rightful homes and throws the rest away. Then he stacks the baskets in the basement until I find them and start the process all over again. We also have lovely built-ins all over our house. I hate them. This assaults my senses:
I feel like this could work if I just neaten it up a bit. And I desperately need to paint the shelves:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've Got the Modern Family Blues

Last night Modern Family was a repeat. I was so looking forward to it after Parenthood was boxed out by the State of the Union Address the night before. Luckily I was able to catch the finale and reunion episodes of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. I want to paint my front hallway today, but that would involve going to the paint store on a snow day. And get to the grocery store. Not going to happen with 3 kids in tow. I don't know how I used to take all of them shopping before they were in school. I find that task way too daunting now. So I will wait. And maybe sit in my kitchen and gaze at my pretty blue back hallway.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Uggggh. I need to keep busy. When I am not insanely busy I am so lazy. And disjointed and I forget simple things like taking my daughter to a music lesson. It's hard to get out of my own head sometimes and I can't get anything started. I sit at the computer and get sucked into internet for hours. No seriously, like hours. Look at my facebook page at any given time and you will see my little thumbnail picture "online." I'm easily overwhelmed with the simplest of tasks. Tom came home from work tonight and I had no dinner made. Not because I was too busy. I just couldn't commit. Laundry sits in the dryer. The hall is filled with shoes. The chaos of library books and papers in the living room is overwhelming.

I've never been neat. I'm clean, but definitely not neat. I never made the bed, would leave my towel on a chair and my clothes on the bathroom floor. I look back to before we had kids and cannot believe how I would leave stuff around. Cups on the coffee table, bra on the couch (ummm, eww), and my husband's favorite... medicine cabinet wide open. Then having my babies one after the other I never felt like I could get anything done. Sweet. My perfect excuse. So now I have no excuse. Three years ago, when my house was on the market I could get that sucker spotless in under 90 minutes. And that was with a 2, 4 and 6 year old. Now I sit around while my kids are at school, jacking around on the computer, walking around Marshall's or spending way too much money at Target.

When I get projects done around the house I feel so much satisfaction. And I'm good at it. I make time to work out. But when I get into these downward spirals I have no idea where to begin. These are the ways that my depression and anxiety can sneak up and get in my way. I need a little sunshine. And a trip to Benjamin Moore.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


So I guess the good thing to come out of me finding a dead mouse in my pantry/craft cabinets is that it finally motivated me to organize and clean down there. (((shudder)))) Apparently this mouse was super into Erin's Girl Gourmet cake decorating kit. Mickey (Mouse) tore into the packaging, had a feast, left a shitstorm behind and literally ate himself to death. What mouse dies right at the scene of the crime? Now I have a tidy and clean craft cabinet that is just begging to be painted inside.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tension Headache

I have an enormous tension headache. Tom is driving in this icy mess to New Hampshire for Coast Guard Training. The northeast is covered in a glaze of ice. I went to the store before to buy candles and logs to burn in the fireplace if we lose power again. We lost it for a few minutes twice today, but a few months ago we lost power for about 5 hours. When the power goes, so does the gas, and therefore, the heat. I am worried about the roads and the other drivers and hoping he just gets there quickly and safely.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Non-Lame Baby Shower Ideas

My sister is having a baby in April, and her sister in law is hosting a shower in March. I am in charge of decoarations -- very exciting for me. Last night I was searching for timeless, classic yet hip and modern baby shower ideas and inspirations. I checked Martha Stewart's website, but it was pretty limited. Racking my brain for ideas I tried to check the archives of the now defunct Cookie Magazine, and didn't find much there either. Finally I just started googling cool, hip, modern, blah blah blah baby shower decorations. So frustrated I finally googled "non-lame baby shower ideas". There were a ton of hits, but not much in the way of photos. I found this one, and am on a mission to add to it.  Let me know if you have any other ideas.
I am going to go with a subtle "baby bee" theme, and replace the blue and black toile with buttery yellow and grey. here is a cute cookie platter that i found as the ispiration:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Some more of my favorite things: (in no particular order)

  • hollandaise sauce
  • bearnaise sauce
  • sour cream
  • cheese and crackers
  • prosecco mimosas
  • fondue
  • peppermint mocha lattes
  • steak
  • eggs benedict
  • blow drying my daughters' hair
  • putting a bow in meghan's hair
  • when christopher sits next to me and he's reading and he plays with my hair
  • reading good books
  • decorating blogs
  • the "idea" of crafts
  • being near the beach
  • things that remind me of the beach
  • staten island pizza
  • reality tv

What a difference a day makes (a rant)

Yesterday we had a 90 minute delay, which was lovely.. I got up at about 7:45, had coffee, the kids watched tv, Christopher got to play his DS. We have a rule, no DS in the morning. Yesterday we modified the rule with a few exceptions: school mornings when there is a delay and family reunions. The last one was suggested by Christopher. I figured, why not. We parked a block from school and walked in the beautiful morning sunshine, everyone was happy. Two of my kids got invited after school for playdates. Bonus. I let Meghan have a friend over too. They had cookies and milk, colored on a huge cardboard box and played Moxie Girls. Bedtime went swimmingly. Totally a sepia moment.

Today there was no delay. I got up at about 7:40. Do you see where I'm going with this? Went downstairs and served the kids Honey and Nut Morning O's from Whole Foods. Everyone hated it. My kids will eat the knock off Honey Nut Cheerios from anywhere, including the dollar store, but the $4 box didn't cut it. So I dumped the cereal made eggs. Christopher asked me for apple juice. Erin pointed out that there was water all over the table. And the floor. Pouring in from the new windows. Sweet. Christopher asked me for apple juice. The eggs are still cooking. I'm on the phone with the contractor, explaining the situation. He wants to know if it's actually pouring or just dripping. Apple juice. "Well, it's coming in at a fast steady drip --- is that pouring??? I don't know heavy dripping then" Grrrrrrrrrrr. Contractor is on his way. Apple juice. Did I mention that the apple juice is on the counter and we keep the kids' cups in a drawer so that they can self serve. Then I went something like this "OH MY FRICKING GOD GET OFF YOUR LAZY BUTT (yup apparently i'm southern now) AND GET IT FOR YOURSELF. BETTER YET. STAY IN YOUR SEAT. I WILL SERVE YOU BECAUSE APPARENTLY I'M THE SERVANT. GODDDDDDDD"

Then I composed myself, apologized for flipping out and told them, ok let's just get ready for school. The bell is ringing in 6 minutes. Up and at 'em we were out the door and in the car. And stuck behind a school bus with it's hazards on waiting for a child who hadn't even come out of her house yet. We finally zoomed up to school, still with about 5 minutes before the late bell was ringing. Only we were stuck. Jammed for 10+ minutes between 7 foot high snow banks and cars coming from the opposite direction that had already dropped off their kids. My favorite was the woman in front of me who parked her car, threw on her hazards and walked up the street with her kid's bag of snow pants that he had forgotten. Leaving me stranded. FUCK!!!! I yelled it in the car. With all three kids in tow. Finally got around the car and realized that I had no where to park the car to drop the kids off. FUCK!!!!!! I pulled a U turn in the middle of the road. Slammed into one of West Hartford's fancy granite curbs, convinced that I popped my tire. MOTHERFUCKER!!!!! I yelled. Kids still in the car. Christopher is crying because he is going to be late. Erin is silently freaking out because she has 3 tests today. Meghan is remarkably calm. Parked the car. Tire was fine. Phew. Walked the kids up to school upon which Meghan got hysterical (she cries almost every day at drop off) and had to peel her off of me and hand her off to the secretary. Good Lord.

Got home. Put in some laundry. Noticed the basement is leaking from a place that we haven't had problems before. Perfect. Got on the treadmill, listening to Taylor Swift and ran for 35 minutes. Best workout I've had in a long time. Next up... Jersey Shore. Maybe some decaf.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Living my life in lazy

I'm mad at myself for not getting any pictures of the kids out in this massive snowstorm that we had. My sister said, "that's no way to live your life in sepia." I actually thought for a second to ask Tom, while he was snowplowing for almost 2 hours, to snap a few pictures of the kids. I'm glad I didn'tbecause I don't think he would have appreciated it. Lucky for me it's a beautiful sunny day today and will be the perfect photo op to get some pics of the kiddies!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Today I went to church. Let me start off by saying that I am not the best catholic in the world, and if I were married to a lesser catholic or non-catholic I would probably be non-practicing. Or who knows? Maybe once I had kids that would have changed. But it has taken alot of arm twisting and pouting to get me to the point where I don't detest going. I went to catholic school for 12 years and then taught in catholic schools for 2. But I've always been a skeptic, a grocery store catholic. I have a reeeeeally hard time with the Transmorgrification. That's when the bread and wine are changed into the actual body and blood of Jesus. Oh me of little faith, I suppose, but to me the representation of the body and blood is just fine. And I"m ok with that. But the church says that it's not ok to believe that. It gets tricky when my kids ask me religious questions, based on what they are teaching in ccd. I have a hard time knowing the right thing to say, and have been kind of going on my gut and winging it.

Anywho... we were at church and today was a mass celebrating the catholic school teachers and children. They had their children's choir singing and a boy about 9 played the trumpet so beautifully that I could barely swallow the lump in my throat. They should set that guy up with a steady gig. And I was praying for little Ty Campbell, and others who really need prayers right now. And the thought that came into my head was "I am placing these prayers on the voices of these children because then God will definitely hear them." I guess I believe more than I let on, even to myself. I pray when I'm scared or nervous. Occasionally when I'm feeling grateful. But I am definitely not a pray-er.

So I'm looking around at these kids in their uniforms (they had them wear them for the special mass) and watching them mouth along the words to the songs that the choir are singing while they are chewing their gum, or coloring in their coloring books; whatever it takes to get through that long boring hour. And I recognized all of the songs that the choir was singing from back when I was in school, or teaching at the schools as an adult. It struck me as a little sad that my kids are going to miss out on that bit of culture. That awkward, catholic school kid intimidation that I always felt around public school kids. But it was also something that stuck us together and is something that we all carry with us as adults.

Monday, January 10, 2011

new light fixture

my new light fixture from ikea... sooooo much cheaper than pottery barn.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chicken Lasagna

i just stumbled across this recipe. holy crap, it's a dream come true. i think i'm the only one who would eat it, but it would be fun to modify it as an appetizer. i would def go 1% milk and much less butter -- and there were onions in the original recipe, but i don't eat onions.

Chicken Lasagna


Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 55 mins

  1. 1 Make the Hollandaise sauce mix.
  2. 2 Coat a large skillet with cooking spray.
  3. 3 Stir onions & mushrooms over medium high heat until onions are translucent. Set aside.
  4. 4 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. 5 Coat a 13 X 9 in baking pan with cooking spray.
  6. 6 Spread 1/2 cup of sauce in pan.
  7. 7 Layer 4 lasagna noodles, chicken, salt, pepper, muchrooms, and onions, remaining sauce, asparagus, 2 cups cheese and remaining noodles.
  8. 8 Top with remaining cheese, basil, and oregano.
  9. 9 Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

3 good things..(to increase optimism)

  1. i have been holding on to a merchandise credit at rei for over a year. it was for $101, from returning a coat with a broken zipper. i have wanted gray cardi uggs for like, 3 years. (or 2 but it feels like 3). since i'm a "member" of the rei co-op i get a 20% coupon 3 or 4 times a year. i have been waiting and waiting in vain for the coupon to come, while at the same time waiting for the winter inventory to be gone when i need it. well, yesterday i decided that i would bite the bullet and pay the $40 out of pocket for the boots; still not a bad deal. well, weren't they on sale for $99.93? after tax they only cost me $4!!
  2. i am more than halfway done with my stairway ballusters. i figured out that if i use a 1" craft brush the job is 4000 times easier. hopefully that job will be completed by friday.
  3. last week i froze homemade chicken stock with a ton of chicken in it, and i am going to make a chicken potpie for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

babies, babies, babies

i didn't have a digital camera when any of my kids were babies. i was so happy that cousin kevin posted these on facebook the other day, so i could include them on my site. and now i want another one...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Something Blue

After finding and posting a photo of the Griswold Inn, which is where Tom and I spent our wedding night, I got to thinking how I didn't have any photos of it, or of The Lighthouse Inn in New London, CT, where we had our rehearsal dinner and I spent my last night as a singleton. It's a beautiful inn on Long Island Sound, and it was picture perfect for where I envisioned my wedding montage to begin. There is a long sweeping staircase at the entrance, perfect for pictures and Victorian kitch ad nauseum everywhere. I had to stay in the bridal suite. (alone, mind you) Here is a picture..
It's featured on the website, as it is the most grandiose and expensive room in the inn. It fit in perfectly with my "uptight newlywed phase" that I was in. Wedding obsessed. Registry obsessed. Like a kid in a candy store. Only a grown-up candy store filled with blue and yellow country checked and floral patterns.
I had the night of the rehearsal dinner choreographed (in my crazy bride brain) to every detail. I was wearing a blue silk shift from Ann Taylor (something blue) and reeeeeally high heels. (i don't wear heels - like, everrrr) We were in a rush to get to the church, and I shoved my feet in the shoes and quickly followed Tom down the stairs. Well, one shoe caught the other and..... wait for it....wait for it..... yup. I tumbled down the entire sweeping Scarlett O'Hara staircase. The last thing I heard while rolling feet over head was my sister saying "note to self..." (the bridesmaids were wearing the same shoes the next day). Needless to say, no pictures exist in my possession of the guilty party. Oh, and my dress ripped, right up the back. And I was crying hysterically and was starting to sweat, so my straightened hair was starting to curl and frizz.  We pulled up to the church and my friend Megan (good in a crisis) grabbed my honeymoon bag, found me a little black dress and set to work on me with someone else's makeup bag, and doctored me up in the basement of the chapel. Everything else, thank god, went as expected, less my bloody knees from the fall, and the wedding went off without a hitch. What is it they say, bad rehearsal, good performance, or something like that?

Wedding Night

I'm being a lazy blogger today, but finding lots of pictures of things that make me happy. I happened across this by accident.. it's where Tom and I stayed on our wedding night. The night was a blur and I was so exhausted that I barely remember it. I want to go back and remember.

green eyed monster

and this just makes me nauseated with envy and greed.... damn you restoration hardware.

modern family inspired hallway

ok, so i cleaned the balusters (is that what they are called, the spokes that go between the banister and the stairs?) so that i can prep the area with painters tape. i am promising myself that i will get this done this week.  they are so dingy and grimy and will be a step in the right direction for me to paint my front hall to mimic the hallway on Modern Family. it's tedious and painful but i can do it, right? it ticks me off that when we refinished the floors i asked for a dark stain on the stairs to match the banister, but it's an orangey-oaky color. one thing at a time i guess. and while i don't think there are any legal experts out there, i should cite that these photos are lifted from a blog called Reckless Bliss Modern Family Homes. they got the pictures courtesy of abc.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Get to work!

Here are some things I would love to do, and modify as need be. Look at this awesome backyard firepit area. We have a bunch of salvaged slate from removing our greenhouse -- how great would this be?
And as much as I am loathe to pay anything close to full price for anything at Pottery Barn or PBK, I think I must have this light fixture in my kitchen. It's actually reasonable, all things considered.