Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thank Goodness For Children!!

When I am stressed (which is a frequent feeling these days- and something I am constantly working on), I try to find peace and humor in the little things. A little self-therapy exercise I've been doing lately to ground myself and put my mind (and heart) at peace before bed is identifying three things that I'm greatful for...they can be very small (or hugely significant), here are a couple examples:

1. Bridge tofu
2. yoga pants
3. sweet old dogs

1. being able to walk (huge....I know)
2. 50 degree days in January
2. bare feet

1. 2nd graders innocence and listening skills- (especially compared to 6th graders)
2. fireplaces
3. the color turquoise

Give it a try- I feel better already;)

Speaking on the subject of things I'm grateful for.....
Zella came downstairs from "rest-time" (a.k.a- Mommy's quiet time) the other day in this crazy getup

I call it the "Queen-of-Pullups" look.
 I nearly peed my pants:)

and one thing I will NEVER tire of-
children's art

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Furniture, My Hoarder Son, and Pure Inspiration

A little while back I scored a FABULOUS find at the local Salvation Army-this insanely awesome dresser- perfect for the little man's room- for $40!!!

Isn't the style perfection? Even the colors are awesome (I love the white, cream, gray/blue, gold combo)- although the top is laminant (and just needs to be shined up a bit), the body and drawers are slightly dingy (from a smokers house I'm thinking or possibly just old age?) so I will be repainting it in a similar color scheme.

The hardware- I'm drooling- seriously

and the biggest selling point for me was the size. The little BIG guy was running out of space BIG time!

Onto the next project of late:
This little table (in the corner to the right of the door).

How I got this guy is a long story- but basically, I got it at a community tag sale- (but it wasn't really for sale, just to hold cookies for a bake sale)...but I thought it was for sale, so I paid someone and put it aside, then someone approached me-totally embarrassed and was like "I'm so sorry, but it wasn't for sale (someone else had put a sticker on it not knowing)- SO AWKWARD- so I, of course insisted that she keep it- and she insisted that I take it- even though I explained that "I really don't need another old-wooden-need to be redone-furniture-project, and my husband will probably make me move into the garage along with all my projects if I bring something else home" even though I really secretly wanted and loved it...anyhow- she gave it to me! So, it's been sitting near the entryway for nearly a year now- and I finally got around to painting it this weekend.

I used two coats of Rustoleum's oil based enamel in smoke gray. Its a super stinky (mask worthy) oil paint. But the shine and finish is divine- and it's a small piece:)

I especially love the little acorn detail on the bottom rail!

I was in the "book room" with the kids the other day and I noticed some serious hoarding tendencies in Mister Moses- slightly concerning I must say;)

While we were at the Wadsworth- we were also able to check out their amazing art collection. This piece in particular left me reeling with artistic inspiration.

Clyfford E. Still, Number 5, 1951 Oil on Canvas

I have big plans in the studio tonight- especially since I am DONE with my hellish winter session class! Hallelujah!!

Oh- and if you are still reading- you are lucky you are because I am also throwing in one of my all time favorite inspirational song for good measure!! Take a listen;)

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Have a Dream

The children and I went to the Wadsworth Atheneum today for a MLK celebration. It was a wonderful day of arts, learning, laughing, and being both grateful and inspired by everything around us.
Civil rights, and the history of our country is something that we talk openly and frequently about with our children. I think that children's books are a great way to open up conversation about difficult- yet important topics to young minds. Here are a couple book selections for children, that we have in our home library:

The first is called Let Freedom Sing- and is written by Vanessa Newton. The text of this book is interspersed with the words from The song This Little Light of Mine, and stories of various civil rights activists. A quick example of the impact of these stories- we were talking as a family about Martin Luther King Day (last week), and little Moses (nearly 3!) got very excited- he started talking in rapid speed about "Dr. Martin Luther King, and, and, the marching, and Washington CD, Washington CD!!!"- so cool.

And one of Moses' favorites- it's called Ron's Big Mission, written by Corinne Naden, this book is about Ron McNair (a scientist and United States astronaut who died in the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle)- it is a story from his childhood- growing up in South Carolina in the 1950's, and his fight for equal rights. I cannot get through this book without choking up- it's that moving. I highly recommend both books!
The look on my little angels faces when we sat today, at the museum with a group of other families watching the I Have a Dream speech in one of the art galleries was so moving to me as a mother. They were both so excited, and attentive, and really listening to his words. His amazingly powerful words.
Today, I hope we all can take value in the life and freedoms that we have, and have hope that the freedoms that some of us are still fighting to acheive, will someday be a reality.

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Quick Snack

I'm sure that popsicles for a snack is probably the furthest thing from most of your minds right now- considering it's JANUARY....unless of course you are under the age of 12- then it is a year round treat. BUT- I thought I'd share this anyway....
I picked up this grrrreat popsicle mold around the holidays for the kids.

We had another one, purchased years ago for cheap at Target- needless to say it didn't hold up.
There have been times that I have also seriously considered purchasing this bad boy- instant popsicles anyone???

But I decided it wasn't really worth the price.

The one I opted for is totally fabulous! Star shaped pops, sturdy plastic handles, fits in my freezer nicely-we couldn't be happier.
The possibilities are endless- the recent favorite is a frozen smoothie pop (the one in the picture is blended honey Greek yogurt (apx. 3/4 of a cup), 1/2 cup OJ, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup frozen mango chunks, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks) DELICIOUS and nutritious.
We had a Tupperware brand pop mold as kids, my Mom would make frozen jello and frozen pudding pops which were always great, and even just frozen juice works too! YUM!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Newest Painting Commission and ME Time

Before the holidays I got a commission from my sister- 2 paintings for her boyfriends Christmas gift- here they are: (they are 12"x 24" in size)

and despite the fact that I was as busy as a bee before the holidays- this was a blessing in disguise- you see, I have been taking SO LITTLE time to do the things I love- because there has been so little time to take- and I really do love to paint. I had to get these done before Christmas- so I forced myself into the studio for some much needed (paid) self-therapy;)

They are inspired by the beautiful beach at Block Island where we mini-vacationed last July.

Along the same lines- I am taking a little "me time" right now to hang out in my cozy dining room, catch up on the computer and enjoy a delicious- 2pm brunch with myself (yes- this is the first meal I've eaten today- ridiculous, I know)
But, this is the ultimate comfort food to me

Supper crunchy and tasty rustic Italian bread from Hartford Baking Co. (for all the local yokels who are reading- it's THE BEST bread) with salted butter and fresh raspberry jam (Christmas gift), and a delicious salad with romaine, red kale, candied walnuts, goat cheese, and honey mustard vinaigrette.
I am one lucky lady!

Monday, January 2, 2012

An Improvised Hearth and a Simple New Years Res

The other day I posted a Christmas recap...and among the beautiful and thoughtful gifts both given and received was a lovely Sturbridge Village play set for the kids- from my Mom and Dad. On New Years Eve I was both inspired, and had an unsightly burst of energy (something rare these days due to the too-much-school-work- syndrome I'm still suffering from;),  so I decided to run with it and create a little "hearth" in the playroom to go with their creative play set.
It is not the typical "style" mural I prefer, at least design-wise, but it works well in our basement playroom space for the kids:)

and it gives them options for their cooking style: open hearth or traditional stove top

I had D attach a couple of cast iron hooks to hold the pots, and a 2"x4" above for a little mantle shelf, the kids love it! It kind of feels like a little mini children's museum:)

As for the New Years Resolution:
Last year- I did a whole, lovely New Years post- recapping all of the major events of the year and a list of resolutions for 2011. While some were met- many, were forgotten and overlooked. This year- in keeping with my sole resolution- I'm keeping it simple....
my only resolution is: to be better to myself by taking one day at a time

and in keeping with my resolution- I'm going to bed- early-at least for today!

That's all I got