Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I have been working on one project lately- and one project only. No Christmas Cards this year:( I know, kind of sad, but it just wasn't a priority....take a look at the link above to see the history of my family portrait card making endeavours:)

Every year I say/think- we need to down size the gift getting at Christmas- this is so NOT what its all about. So this year, my guys are getting one big gift each from us- and that's it...I'll let you know how it goes:) And beyond the one gift thing- the big gifts that they are getting are used! Got them off of Craigslist and I'm super excited to share.

I found this dollhouse for Zel- it was $50 and needed some SERIOUS TLC

The craftsmanship is amazing. I have enjoyed working on this more than you can imagine!  The decorator in me is getting a  whole lot of satisfaction out of renovating an entire house in a matter of weeks;)

The whole interior wallpaper was stripped (minus the last pic above with the red and gold floral ) I decided to leave it for the kitchen area:) everything else was raw wood- including the exterior- so here's what I've done thus far:

I did a limed white washed exterior with charcoal gray trim- pale pink shutters and a hot pink door (which has since gotten a second coat of paint) Zella's gonna love the pink!!
I like how you can see the "clapboard" lines through the white wash- these were drawn on the wood by the previous owner:)

I am trying to either make the furniture or buy stuff off of Ebay for cheap- the kitchen set is this little white vintage set I found- there is a fridge and 4 blue chairs coming later this week. The bedroom on the left is the only fairly "complete" room- although it could use a night stand and a dresser/armoire eventually along with accessories:)

The stairs are one of my favorite parts- I made a "runner" out of pink snake skin print fabric- and I continued the rug in the upstairs hall and landing.
I made these two beds out of a leftover foam pillow filler that I wrapped in fabric, and the headboards are scrap wood wrapped in the same. The wallpaper is scrapbook paper, as is the zebra print "rug".

The blue room will be the bathroom (making yellow curtains for that tonight), still need to get a bathroom set
The right hand bedroom needs to be papered, and beds made for it
The attic will be a nursery and storage space
The living room needs furniture
Eventually Id like to add shingles to the roof

I'm excited about this project! I am also excited to be able to work on it and add to it with Miss Zella!! She will be using her Calico Critters in it, rather than dolls- who couldn't love these cute thangs?!

and this house has so much more character than any modern plastic dollhouse you can get in the store!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Melty Mint Tea Fluff Post

So I stumbled upon this tea at Trader Joe's recently....

and I've fallen in love. The name may suggest a taste similar to this favorite Christmas time treat...

But don't be fooled folks- it took me a few cups to realize why I love it so, so much- it tastes JUST LIKE MELTY MINTS!!! They added a little vanilla and cinnamon with the peppermint to create the most perfcetly sweet and warm mint that seriously replicates the melty variety- and although I don't sweeten my tea- I can only imagine how much a little honey would kick up the candy-like flavor!!


RUN, don't walk and get yourself some, you won't regret it!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What's Up??!!!

Well, it's been quite the week here- between a three year old with bronchitis, a traveling partner and our bikes getting stolen out of the garage:( -I am left feeling slightly defeated and depleted- so I thought I'd post today about some of the positive things that are happening round these parts- to counter balance what seems like a lot of negatives:

Look at these two little buddies

I seriously CANNOT imagine my life without animals

animals OR children for that matter...instant LOVE and JOY

Here's my current BFF

yup- that's right, it's a digital recorder. I am an interviewing maniac!!! 4 down, 2 more to go!! Trying to get my research work done this week is CHALLENGING to say the least- I had an interview via Skype with a woman in Ohio today and planned it when the kids were both going to be at school- then ended up having to get Mosie from school early (still sickly) an hour before the interview was gonna start!!!- but he was a champ and didn't interrupt me during the interview:) - thank you to the technology of television and movies on demand! PHEW!!

made this for dinner last night- big sister EM has been whipping up these great root veggie casseroles- that was my inspiration (not the best pic- but you get the idea)....

INSANELY GOOD- here's what it is- I used my new fabulous food processor (thank you Grammy Sheila) and thin sliced potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips and acorn squash. Tossed them all in EVOO, salt and pepper, a few cloves of garlic, goat cheese, and dill in a tube (genius product here)- into a casserole dish- topped with a little shredded parm- baked for 60 min.'s at 400 degrees- PERFECTION- so easy and SO , SO TASTY!!

I have some how?????made time to paint in the last month- thank goodness.
The first piece is a commission of sorts- someone won my services at an auction last spring for mural painting- she was concerned about the permanency of a mural and asked if I could do something on canvas instead- OF COURSE I CAN!

She emailed me this inspiration shot of the beach she grew up at

Here's what I came up with.

What do you think? I am still going to work the foreground a bit more, but I'd love some feedback:)

I also did these two little guys- (BOTH FOR SALE - contact me if you're interested!!)

I attended a mindfulness based meditation workshop a couple weeks ago and was blown away- and inspired- so the next day I went with it-and rearranged my only own personal space in our home (my studio) and set up a spot for meditation

Here it is

and below is where I plan on making a small meditation "shrine" type of thing on the wall out of reclaimed wood (will be looking for some this weekend!)

it was also a great chance to reorganize the studio and clean things out- I picked up these super-duper cheap shelves from IKEA to assist in the process

it feels so much larger- and more peaceful in here now- I also whipped up some of my favorite- super-simple-grommet drapes out of a Target shower curtain- 4 curtains out of 1 shower curtain- BARGAIN! I have these drapes here, here and here in our house:)- and also in a hallway that I don't have a picture of:)

I also have a couple special pics I wanted to share with ya'll-

This is a figure study watercolor panting I made my first year of college- still love it:) Contact me if you're interested in this piece too- it would be lovely in a bathroom;)

and I recently acquired a bunch of old photos from one of my grandmothers- this is a picture of my Dad as a little guy playing in the sandbox with his little sister and father after work- so precious!!

That's all I got:) Hope you are all well- thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A River Runs Through Us

We had a little bit of healing today- after a very long, very difficult weekend of cat searching, calling, crying, meditating, and coming to grips with the fact that our sweet Frida girl may not come back- I finally feel a little sense of relief knowing that I CANNOT control this situation- and what is meant to be will be. Accepting that has given me some peace.

This little man has given us all some peace, a little bit of hope, and whole lot of healing...

His name is River- I call him Baby Riv.

and yes, it can get even cuter...

 I SWEAR I did not prompt or set this up in any way shape or form- my kids are just that cute;)- and the cat was literally looking at the pages during the entire "read"

Me and D are sitting listening to the various projections, feeling grateful to be back in this "baby stage" of animal-parenting. And Beau is being his sweet self...laying quietly, but inquisitively so curious to meet the little guy- he's warming up- I predict they will be friends buy the end of the week:)

I am thankful for new life, new loves, and the sense of hope that adopting a baby kitty has given our family.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankfullness Posts 1 and 2

I thought I'd do a daily quick post for the month of November. It's a busy month for us already- LOTS of things scheduled and things needing to be scheduled, etc. SO- following a lot of my good ole' FB friends I thought I'd *try* to do a daily blog post on things I am personally thankful goes nothin'


Earlier in the week I, like many was thanking my lucky stars for my family, home, and the security that came with all being in one piece after the hurricane hit the East Coast. I am thankful that we live in a country where there is aid to help people in need, and resources that get to people who need it most in times of crisis such as this. I am thankful that people are pulling together and assisting those who are feeling the effects of this horrible storm, and I hope that all of the efforts ease the pain that so many people are feeling right now.


Finding out TODAY that the floor tiles that I recently removed in our kitchen (in prep for the hopeful kitchen reno we will be doing this spring) are in fact NOT asbestos as me, D, and a contractor had all seriously questioned at one point in time. I AM THANKFUL for sure!!

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Check out my cutie booties

After much much much too much deliberation on their indecisive behalf's I decided on a peacock and bat- thankfully they were cool with it. Initially I VOWED to buy their costumes this year and give myself  a break- and I tried- but once Moses' dino costume arrived and it was 12 inches too short (yes, I know, I know- HE'S TALL...but not THAT tall) I said forget it and went to Joanne's and slapped together these 2 fairly simple costumes in a few hours (inspiration via Pinterest).

And if you want to see Halloween madness- come to my block. We gave out $90 worth of candy and we shut the lights off at 7pm because we were out---- FOR REAL!!!

We had a fun night- but honestly my heart is heavy tonight. Between the insane devastation and aftermath from this weeks hurricane- so many people lost their homes, lives, and family members.
That coupled with the personal sadness we have been experiencing since last night when my sweet kitty Frida did not come home for dinner (just this summer we began letting her outside and she has been SO much happier, she usually stays very close to the house, we have scouredd the neighborhood, sent out crazy neighborhood-wide emails, etc.-tomorrow I'll be posting LOST CAT signs).... my heart is feeling pretty low right now. Please send positive thoughts to the animals guardians out there to help her find her way home soon:)

Love you Free

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I've been meaning to post this for a LONG time- and I am home sick with the little man today- so while he plays with his Duplos- I'm gonna take some time to share an awesome field trip I went on this past summer...I was lucky enough to take my big sis and little Zel along for the ride.

MASS MoCA or the Massachusetts museum of modern art is a hidden gem in New England located in the old mill town of North Adams MA- and it's AMAZING!  Totally and completely worth the trip. Even Zella- 5 at the time had an awesome time. There is a ton to see- lots of fabulous installation pieces that are fun for kids to explore and they have an awesome collection to boot- oh- and a great menu at their eatery (all local ingredients, etc.)

Auntie Em and Z posing in front of the amazing Sol LeWitt installations- Mass MOCA has an entire building filled with his amazing designs.

This piece was in a HUGE room- there were broken mirrors all over the place, and crazy stars and then this whole lifted alter scene in the front of the indoor football field sized room- INSANE!

Mama, Zella and Sol:)

She's a superstar:)

Here's a great example of the installations- this was in the Oh Canada! exhibit and it was this crazy crafted igloo/tent- with felt boots of all sizes lined up around the exterior perimeter-you stepped into the boots and entered the "snowy world" and sat on these wooden stumps amongst the snow and watched this crazy snowy silent movie- very cool.
 I love art that makes you feel transformed.

On our way home we stopped in this amazing field of flowers to snap some pics:)


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mixin It Up

I have been out of my groove lately...not sure if it's stress, or what but I'm far from my A game.  So Friday I had a burst of creativity and rearranged the house a bit...I really think I just needed a creative outlet (I have NOT been making enough time for myself in the studio, and it shows!) but this seemed to do the trick!!

New foot stool/storage ottoman purchase from the new Target line- it was on clearance to boot!! and super chic and versatile (although the kids can both hide in it and sit on it- so I have a feeling it will not stay chic for long;)

Instant house face-lift and Hannah mood-lift! DONE!!

We are in the midst of SLOWLY planning our kitchen remodel. By slow- I mean it probably will not happen until I am done with school...i.e JUNE (mainly beause we will be doing as much o fthe work as possible).  But the key here is we are doing it on a super-duper small budget, which requires a whole lot more planning/shopping/scrimping/saving and research.

SO, if I can indeed successfully pull off a full kitchen remodel for under $10,000 (not including appliances) but including floors, counters, cabinets, electrical and plumbing and potential wall removal- I will be sure to document the process because it will be a MIRACLE!!

Below are my main sources of inspiration:

The must have list right now is as follows:

1. New Floors (I pulled up 2 tiles last week- and we have concerns about what I found -D is sending some crazy old nasty substrate for testing to make sure its not asbestos- PLEASE keep your fingers crossed for me!!! Because if it is- that will throw a SERIOUS wrench in my budget!! )
The options on the table now for flooring are new ceramic tile (possibly chevron in configuration, we would be doing this ourselves) or salvaging the questionable flooring underneath (looks to be one sub floor from the 1920s- but not sure how far it goes...
OR getting new hardwoods installed to match the existing in the rest of the home.)

2. Expansion!
We are looking into having the wall removed between the kitchen and dining room!- then creating a "peninsula" type configuration which would contain the oven/stove in its current location (to save $ so we don't have to move the gas line, etc.)

3. Cabinets!!!
Super excited about this one- still trying to decide which way to go...IKEA perhaps? independent cabinet guy maybe? simple clean white shaker- or white flat glossy front, or dark flat bamboo panels???

4. Counters
Still not sure on this one too- it will either be straight, clean, white corian OR a light colored granite (white base with gray/cream splotches)

5. Back splash
We have discussed a clean painted glass back splash- maybe a creamy pale turquoise color? OR I am started to really lOVE subway tiles to the ceiling (just on one wall)- There is a marble subway tile at Home Depot that I am totally loving (price especially) and I really love a chevron pattern here too (if we were to salvage the existing floors and not do tile on the floor)

That's the idea list thus far...hope you are not incredibly bored;) Ill keep y'all posted on the progress!!