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Showing posts from August, 2015

Swatch Regenerated

While going through old clothing tubs to donate out to charity, I found this beloved circa-1999 Paella Swatch watch.

It was around 1999 that I finally had a little extra disposable income. And because I could never afford a Swatch watch growing up in the 80s when they were COOL, I gifted myself one. And then another. I had a pretty nice little collection by 2001. I stopped buying them when other fancies caught my eye and eventually their batteries died out and they got retired to the back of drawers and the bottom of sweater tubs.

When I found this paella Swatch a few weeks ago it loosened a piece of information I had forgotten: Swatch replaces batteries for free. Energy for a lifetime, is the slogan.

So, this weekend I dropped two found Swatches into my purse and stopped by the Swatch store at the mall near where Leah played in a soccer tournament. And BAM! new watches!

Me Last Week in the Bahamas

Oh yes, I was in the sun and sand all week. We'd wake up and decide: pool or ocean? Nothing like a family vacation to paradise.

Related posts:

More vacation stories

Back to School Go Go GO!

Summer's over.

The girls are back in school.

The big whooshing sound you heard was my deep exhalation. Finally, we'll get back into some semblance of a schedule!

... until we blow it all by running away to Paris for a week.

Worth it.

Kids Bathroom Complete!

My little weekend makeover is complete. And right on schedule. Hooray!
Here's the breakdown:

Light Fixture ($60 at Home Depot): I seriously dislike the Hollywood lights the builders used in the bathrooms. They're cheap, ugly crap. So, I replaced it with a REAL light fixture. It was a lot easier to remove that old fixture than I thought. And, though the new one included a trip back to Home Depot for different length screws, it was the easiest change with the biggest impact.

Wall Color (No cost): I'm pretty sure I liked that green color when I painted it on the wall three years ago but it started to look almost florescent during some parts of the day. No thank you. This aqua color is just as vibrant, but a little less electric. And it matches the new bike shower curtain. It took two coats to get the green covered. Plus, I had some "help" from the girls. Extra bonus: I had a gallon of this paint laying around the house, so no additional cost for the paint or supplies.…

Mirror Choices for the Kids Bathroom Makeover

Went with the sea foam blue color. it's really more like a teal. We like it.

Now, on to the the mirror. Single or double?

Decorating is fun!

Paint Choices for the Kids Bathroom Makeover

Here are the paint choices:

I dug around my house and found nearly-full cans of these colors. There's a sea-foam blue, gray (there are so many cans of gray paint in my house thanks to the dining room) and yellow. I'm trying to match the shower curtain. 
Which one?

Related posts:
Other Home Improvement adventures

The Susans Say Hi

This is the time of year that the Black-Eyed Susans remind me what part of the yard belongs to them. And to prove it, they double in population each year.

A few years ago, this patch was just a few plants I moved over from the other side of the yard. But it doesn't take long for this wildflower and spread out. (There's a little pine tree in there somewhere.)

Being the generous/lazy gardner that I am, I'm going to allow this. Go to it, girls.

The best part about these little sunflowers: their long blooming season. They'll be around into the fall.

An Ember in the Ashes is Killing Me Slowly

I started An Ember in the Ashes audiobook for my commute to work this week and WHOA it's intense. Within the first disc, the main character's grandparents are MURDERED as she watched. This is NOT my usual book fare.

But I'm enthralled by the story, the characters, the world that the author created.

I. Can't. Stop. Listening.

So every time I get in the car I'm petrified to hit play but I CAN'T give up on the story now. She's got to get her revenge. He's got to find his destiny. Do they find each other?

How does it end?

As much as it stresses me out, I will get to the end.

Related Posts:
More nerding out about Books posts

Summer Eating

Thanks to my CSA, all I eat for lunch in the summer is fruit ... and cheese, of course. Need to meet my daily cheese quota.

(Not shown -- homemade yogurt with a few berries.)

The Mighty Back to School Jigsaw Puzzle

This time of year makes me loony.

Getting the girls ready for back to school, rearranging schedules, the gap between camp and school -- it's a hectic time of year. All with the promise that, eventually, we'll be back in the rhythm of the school year.

Here's the overview:

There's a one-week gap between camp and school starting. As in, kids home. This is a working mom's worst nightmare, people. Work schedules are being tossed around, as us parents play a game of whose work day is more important.

The school supplies were bought this weekend. Though, Target was OUT of wide-ruled notebooks! Completely. (The Target workers made it out like it was my fault for waiting so long to shop. Two weeks early.) So, I will be conducting a scavenger hunt next weekend for appropriately-colored notebooks and folders. Goodie.

There's the after-school plans to make and sign up for. The coordination of activities, busing, homework, and caregivers. Throw in soccer, piano, drums and oc…

Paris Is A GO!

Huge News! 

We're heading back to Paris in just a few short weeks.

Holy cow!

The backstory: Dave was invited to a week-long meeting in Paris in September. Of course, I can't allow him to travel to my favorite city without me. Not that he'd even want to, we love traveling as a family. And we've been talking about taking the kids back to Paris -- as they were only 2 and 4-years-old the last time we were there. (Lucky I had to foresight to obtain new passports for them this summer.)

So, we're heading back. Voila!

Eight days in Paris then we're taking the train up to London for the weekend and heading home from there. I can't wait to show the girls the Louvre, the D'Orsay (where I once changed Alice's diapers on the front steps) and to see the Eiffel Tower! And they're going to LOVE the accents in London. And seeing the Tower, London Bridge, Big Ben ... oh, I'm spinning.

Dave and I took a trip to London for our 1-year wedding anniversary and we …

Allowance and Other Money Questions

I'm currently listening to this audiobook: The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber. And, full disclosure, I'm not in love with it. I'm not jibbing with his position on a lot of these money issues. But its got me thinking about how I'm teaching my kids about money in the real world.

Leah has been asking about an allowance and what she'll have to do to earn it for years. And the question stumps us.

I didn't get an allowance growing up. But we were encouraged to get jobs and babysit as soon as possible. There wasn't a lot of extra money for new Gap shirts or trendy jeans, so if I wanted to not live in my sister's hand-me-downs, I'd have to buy them myself.

And I especially don't remember earning money for doing regular chores around the house. We did them because we had to, we'd be threatened with a wooden spoon (to clean my room, which I hated to do) or, eventually, because we wanted our house to look nice.

The author of this book is not in fav…

The Two-Pencil Do

Nothing worse that leaving your hair down for work and then going crazy pulling it out of your face all day.

Thus, I mastered the two-pencil upsweep yesterday. Though it took me the morning to figure out the mechanics, it stayed secure all afternoon ... leaving my neck to bask in the lovely breeze of office air conditioning.

It'd call that a win for the week.

Steampunk Romance? Who knew!?

If your not aware Steampunk is a genre of book that takes the Victorian age and adds steam powered machines and ... hmmm... that definition isn't right, let me pull from Wikipedia:
Steampunkrefers to a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. I've read a bunch of these novels and there are usually filled with action/adventure, historical events slightly-altered and imaginatively cool machines. Philip Reeve has written a lot in this genre, including the books that pulled me in: the Fever Crumb series. (Don't get me started on how hard I fell for Fever.)

Another series to check out is Leviathan by Scott Westerfield. It's nonstop action, with sprinkle of a young romance. And my favorite word, perspicacious, was used often in this series. The term "boffins" comes in close second.

And I am waiting on the third audiobook from the Finishing School …

Road Trip to Minnesota

I grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, so each summer we take a road trip up to that lovely area to see my brother and family. And spend time in, and around, Lake Minnetonka. It's always trippy to see all the changes from when I grew up there. "That was just a field!" "Where did the Perkins go?" I like to pretend I remember road names and how to get where I'm going, but most of the time I'm lost.

This year was fun because the girls are getting old enough to understand I was a kid once and lived in a house with my siblings -- before they were born. A concept that takes awhile to fully get. I pointed out places that hold memories for me, "girls, that's the park where I celebrated my 10th birthday!" and they responded with more oohs and ahhs then last year.

Also, the boarding place was full so Benny the beagle came along with us. He did great in the car but was unfortunately noisy in the hotel room when we were gone. We had to change a few pla…

Baskets of Clothes ... Everywhere

Right now all I'm thinking about are the baskets of clean and dirty clothes all over my house.

Some have been folded.

Some have not.

Some are filled dirty clothes that are growing taller by the day.

Some are sitting next to the washing machine waiting for their turn.

And there's one that is brimming with pair-less socks. (I shudder when I think of it.)

And I'm far far away at the office just thinking about all those baskets.

Tonight's mission, should I choose to accept it, is sort through ALL the baskets. Even the one filled with socks.