Archive for September, 2010

Wreath Re-Do

I gave my fall berry wreath a second chance (everyone deserves one, right?) this weekend.  The one I bought in Door County a few years ago was showing its age and was in need of some sprucing up. Plus, I was eager to check off SOMETHING from my 100 Things list. I found some berry sprigs 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby. I wasn’t sure how many I would need since I’d never re-berried a wreath before so I cleaned them out of their supply. I ended up buying 16 sprigs. I pulled out all the old sprigs (would recommend using gloves next time) and was left with the empty grapevine wreath.  Next, I laid out the sprigs on top of the wreath to make sure I would have enough to cover it entirely. When I decided that 16 sprigs would cut it, I went to town inserting the wire stems though the branches of the wreath.

I really liked that these stems had tiny fabric leaves. It helped to fill in some of the bare spots. I ended up intertwining some berries from other stems as I went along so that they would lie flat. Seemed a good way to secure everything, too, since I didn’t use hot glue.

Our little Cindy Lou Who proudly displayed mommy’s handiwork…please excuse the bed head hair. I know she’ll be so happy with me for displaying photos like these on the internet when she’s about, oh, 11. I figure I have a few years to prepare myself.

And here is the final product, proudly welcoming fall on our front door. I’m excited to get the rest of our decorations up, but for now, we’ll just make do with the wreath.

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You Light Up My Life

I bet you thought this post was going to contain a bunch of awww-inducing photos of little Miss S charming the pants off of everyone…well, not exactly. You see, J and I have sort of neglected some updates to our house ever since she came along. It just happens when you have a child. Priorities shift (and not to mention free time is almost non-existent). But now that she’s a bit older, we have some plans to tackle those big things that haven’t gotten much attention in a while. Like, for example, our dining area in our kitchen. More specifically the LIGHT FIXTURE in there. Ugh. It came with the house and it was gold. Now, I have nothing against gold fixtures, but it really wasn’t jiving with the Frenchy bistro theme we envisioned for that space. A few weeks ago, I got a Ballard Designs catalog in the mail with a 15% off coupon. I was surprised since there usually aren’t a ton of coupons put out by Ballard. So, I took a peek through the catalog and of course, noticed the perfect BLACK chandelier that was ON SALE. Being so busy, I didn’t mention anything to J. A few days later I noticed he was perusing the magazine and guess what he pointed out to me? Well, that pretty much sealed the deal. I also shopped through ebates and got 6% cash back. Can’t get much sweeter than that. A few days later, it was waiting on our porch when I came home from work and J hung it up this weekend. Here is the old fugly one that we put up with for way too long…

 And the new one!

The best shot I could get of the rest of the room (while not exposing the um, super clean and organized kitchen table below)…

 Ok, I lied. There is ONE cute pic of S in this post.

It is so wonderful to see it hanging in the room when I walk downstairs. I breathe a happy little contented sigh every time I look at it. And there is much more to come for that room…new floors and a new kitchen table are in the works…well, when we have time to pick them out, of course!

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Evening Stroll

Now that family time is at a premium, we try to do something together after dinner every weeknight. The weather was gorgeous today and Cooper needed some exercise, so we headed out to the nature trail. S walked the whole thing by herself…sometimes backwards, sometimes wandering off to explore a grasshopper or point up at the birds, but she made it (with a little help from Daddy towards the end). S, ever the friendly trail walker, said hi and bye to every lady, man and beast that we met along the way.

S on the bridge with her prized “picnic basket”. She won’t go anywhere without it…even sleeps with it! Who would have thought mommy would have found such a gem cleaning out her classroom!

But, it came in handy when they needed a snack!

Yes, that is golf ball toast…don’t ask.

See the grasshopper?

Seeing S being all “in tune with nature” makes me feel a little better as a mom considering S now knows most of the lyrics to Katy Perry’s “California Girls”. I’m not taking the credit for that one!

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Sunday Funday

I’ve been wanting to take S to the newly renovated Madison Children’s Museum….well, for a very long time. We finally were able to go today. Perfect Sunday for attending…most Madisonians were either viewing the Iron Man competition or gearing up for the first Packers game of the season, so we were pretty good when it came to the crowds.

Here are some photos of the experience. S had a very fun time…and from the looks of it, Daddy did too!

S found a few animal friends right away…

Daddy/Daughter Love

Daddy breaking all kinds of gender roles…


S and her birth city…someday she will know how much this city means to us!

Our little mad scientist. She had the most fun in the ‘water house’…good thing for the smock that daddy found!

At the ‘waterfall’ on the rooftop garden…

It was so nice to spend some fun time with S on a beautiful FALL day. Now that we are back in “school” mode, it’s wonderful to have our family weekends to spend together.

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Farewell Summer

Our happy family made the annual Labor Day Weekend pilgrimage to the WI Northwoods. After a hectic week of starting a new job, the beginning of a new school year, and some teary good-byes at daycare drop offs, we were all yearning for some R&R.

While the weather was cool (a sure sign fall is right around the corner) we still enjoyed the fresh air and freedom that the cottage provides. Cooper got to run free, from the top of the driveway all the way down the path to the end of the pier (about 300 times). S got to explore the woods, leaving no acorn untouched. I’m pretty sure all the squirrels are wondering what happened to their stash. She also found a special “little tree” which she gave many hugs and love. Our little tree hugger. Mom got to enjoy some much-needed SLEEP and got caught up on her neglected magazines (wondering how “Working Mom” stays in business…when do those busy moms have time to READ??). Daddy got some time to catch up on TV watching (including a Star Trek movie, which I was happy he got to enjoy by himself 😉 )

But it wasn’t all fun and games. The boys actually did some work. Like demolish the deck so the new one can be put on later this fall…

S got into the remodeling spirit and kept moving her chair. She even carried this all the way down to the pier to sit and watch the boats.

And a trip to the cottage wouldn’t be complete without a trip to “the bakery” as S calls it (also known as The Whistle Stop Bakery). Grandpa bought her this precious donut hole (and a smiley face cookie for later).

The ‘dults enjoyed a few tasty meals along with a bonfire last night. It was a chilly evening, but toasty warm near the fire. A little vino and some s’mores made the whole evening perfect!

The next morning we left camp early to avoid traffic. We said our goodbyes, not only to each other, but to a fun summer and lots of great memories of S being TWO. It was so much fun to see her exploring and interacting with her world. Thanks for a great summer, Miss S.  You sure know how to have fun!

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