Happy Halloween & Costume Reveal!

Our neighborhood had a big Halloween Spooktacular on Saturday, so we were able to premier our costumes. Instead of pictures, J put together this little video for you all. :) We also won Best Ensemble, which the kids found very exciting. Happy Halloween!

PS  Yes, we really did shave his head. The horror! :)


Happy Weekend!

This week it finally --finally-- feels like fall. The air is crisp, the shadows long, and the days short. Perfect for a Halloween weekend!

Plans: putting the finishing touches on our costumes {tune in Monday for the reveal!}, going on a hayride with my honey {sweaters and cuddling will be required}, and watching classic Halloween cartoons with the kids {it's just not Halloween without that Trick or Treat song!}.

Now, if only we had autumn leaves!

Happy Weekend, all!

{image by Nico}


Caramel Apples

J and I have a running disagreement over apples. I prefer mine tart {a la Granny Smith} he prefers his Red and Delicious. Yesterday, I saw a bag of Honeycrisp apples and knew that they could be the answer to all of our {apple related} problems. 

Satisfyingly crunchy, slightly sweet, and with just a hint of tartness-- they are the quintessential autumn apple. In celebration over our discovery, we made caramel apples-- the quintessential autumn treat.

In the past, I've had difficulties with caramel apples. The caramel tends to slowly slide off the apple until it's left standing in a sticky, scrumptious puddle. This time, I made sure to wash and dry the apples thoroughly and I didn't add any water to the Kraft caramels {still my favorite!} as I melted them on the stovetop.

The result? Shiny, sweet awesomeness. If you happen to come over {and promise to say carmel instead of caramel} I may even share. :)


Never Again

This weekend, I got rid of the very last of my maternity clothes. I've sold all the baby toys, passed on teeny-tiny newborn outfits and cleared my drawers of nursing paraphernalia.

I am done.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I feel a monumental sense of relief at the thought of never being pregnant again. Pregnancy was never easy for me.  It pushed me to the absolute limits mentally and physically, driving me into the depths of depression and testing the strength of all my relationships. Not once was it embarked on without first having to steel my determination and faith. And while it was obviously worth ever second, I can't downplay the hardship of it. In fact, I'm sort of surprised that I actually went through it four times.

I couldn't do it again. And if, for some reason, I thought that I could-- J would point out that our marriage probably couldn't go through it again.

So I'm done. And for the most part, I'm glad. I'll still finger the ruffly, little baby-girl dresses a bit wistfully, but I'm happy with our rambunctious brood.

I'll buy the dresses for my grandbabies. :)


Happy weekend!

It's Friday! I'm planning on cleaning the house, finishing the sewing of Halloween costumes, and getting prepped for a hot date with my husband. How about you?

Have a happy weekend, all!

PS- Little L dressed himself this morning. He really enjoys being nekkid. :)


The Great Pumpkin

Yesterday, we saw a huge pumpkin at the entrance to the grocery. Little Miss C was rather dramatic about it.

They each insisted on being photographed with it, and dubbed it The Great Pumpkin.

To be honest, I'm not certain we'll even carve pumpkins this year. They're expensive {$5 each!}, time consuming {they have to be carved the night before, since the heat makes them shrivel up so fast}, and somehow I always end up finishing them all up myself while the family watches Halloween cartoons. Maybe we'll just skip it.

Do you plan on carving pumpkins? Do you get one for each member of the family? Do you use Funkins {the fake ones bought at craft stores}? Do tell.


Test Tube Obsession


Science has always been chic in my book, but lately I'm in love with test tube racks. They're surprisingly expensive-- even the new, plastic ones sell for quite a bit-- but I keep my eye out for a nice vintage wire or wooden rack with a nice patina. I dream of finding one in a forgotten corner of a garage sale for $5.


Of course, with Halloween on its way, test tube racks enjoy an added appeal. Fill them with mysterious contents, label them with scientific hang tags and cover with cobwebs. Done!


If I don't find something suitable soon, I may attempt to go the DIY route. I like the above rack that's made to look aged-- It's simple and streamlined and completely doable. 


But then there is this-- test tubes all strung together, allowing them to be arranged in all kinds of formations. It figures that my favorite is completely non-DIY friendly, not to mention the most expensive. {I saw it at Dree's in Olympia for over $100.}


If I get desperate, there's always the z-rack. I've found it as cheap as $17 online, and it would look cool as a pencil holder.

Still, I dream of that perfectly aged test tube rack sitting neglected in a thrift store....


Polka Dot Love

Every time I wear polka dots, I get this little twinge of sadness thinking that someday, I'm going to be too old to pull them off. Right now they're on trend {thank you Kate Spade} but in about a decade, I'll probably have to retire them in favor or something more sober. {Seriously, can you imagine Nina Garcia or Meryle Streep wearing them? Polka dots can so easily skew precious.}

This particular dress is vintage and recently enjoyed a re-introduction to my wardrobe {after a two-year hiatus!} thanks to a sturdy pair of Spanx and the removal of the annoying ruffle around the neckline.

You know, on second thought, forget retiring the polka dots. Since when have I dressed my age anyway? I'm going to be one of those Grandma's with a closet full of jewels, {fake} furs and high heels. I'm going to wear lipstick to check the mail and introduce my granddaughters to expensive dresses, sparkling water and really good chocolate. And every once in a while, I'll yell out "I'm ready for my close up!" amid a crowd of strangers just to drive home the point that I'm eccentric.

It's all going to start by wearing polka dots whenever I want, and it's going to be awesome.


Beach Glass at Glass Beach

My mom collects beach glass. {We always make a point of bringing her some from every beach we visit-- she has pieces from all around the world.} I've always loved the look of it, but haven't been able to figure out what I'd do with it... until now! I love the ombre effect in this photo by Jennifer Steen Booher and feel that to jump start my own collection, a trip to Glass Beach in California may be in order:

Apparently, it used to be a local dumping ground, but after a few years the junk was tumbled into beautiful, smooth beach glass. I want to go to there. ;)

{found via Liz}


Mid-Century Bullet Light

You see what I was hopeless to resist? That's right-- the mid century bullet light came home with me. If you follow me on Pinterest, then you've probably seen my search for a replacement porch light. I've hated the builder-standard one we've been stuck with, despite spray painting it silver.

And upgrading the light allowed me to finally install our new house numbers without feeling like they clashed too much with the rest of our exterior. {The picture shows J doing the drilling, but trust me- I did my fair share of work.}

 Et voila! It's a simple change, but one that makes me very happy.

I still have to do a little bit of paint touch-up, {I was too excited-- I had to take pictures before waiting for the caulk to dry} but otherwise, it's all good. Maybe someday I'll get a new doorbell button?

Happy weekend, all!


Treasures at the Antique Trove

Yesterday, J took two of the kids with him while he went off-roading and train-filming. Anytime I'm left with only half the kids, I feel liberated and take on things I wouldn't normally-- like antique shopping.

Usually, my method when shopping is to load things I like into the cart, then take a final assessment before checking out, weeding things out until I'm left with only one or two items that really speak to me. That's hard to do when antiquing, so I take pictures instead. I loved these black and white gloves for $16. And they actually fit! {Is it just me or did ladies in the past have freakishly small hands?}

These sets of children's books give me warm and fuzzy memories of reading similar volumes on the steps of my grandmother's house. Plus, the colors and illustrations are awesome. $10 each. Ack!

Don't they look like they would appeal to my boys? Stories of adventure! Brave deeds! Famous explorers!

What's this? A Herman Miller chair? $250 but surprisingly comfortable even without a pad.

And a hairpin leg coffee table! I've been eyeing hairpin legs on ebay because I'm dead set on making something similar for our house. Another high-ticket item. I believe it was $150.

Oooh-- here's a lovely typesetters tray. I can imaging using it as an advent calendar-- all those beautiful compartments would be perfect for tiny wrapped packages or simple little candies and ornaments. $25.00 isn't cheap, but it's better than paying the shipping on ebay or etsy....

A mid-century bullet light sconce! I die. Seriously.

Two pinecone shaped taper holders. I seem to remember them being $7 each, but that tag says $2. Too early to be thinking about Christmas?

I saw a bunch of vintage floral frogs, but this copper one was especially pretty. I like the bowl shape, and the patina on the copper is kind of intriguing.

Enamel pendant light for $25. I'm a total sucker for pendant lights and enamel, so this really caught my eye. Where would I put it?

A completely amazing Danish planter. Seriously so beautiful and would fit right in with the mid-century backyard I'm designing. Dang that $149 price tag! Dang my empty wallet!!

And can I get a collective gasp of nostalgia? My brothers and I were obsessed with He-Man and She-Ra and the Masters of the Universe. I think we even had one of these play castles. {Mom? Any idea where they went?} Look at the prices! $66.00! That's amazing to me.

Though I had vowed not to actually purchase anything, one of these items came home with me and tomorrow I'll show you what it was and what I did with it. Hint: it wasn't Scull Mountain. :)

Where do you find your treasures?


Planning for Christmas...

Yesterday, I was at a thrift store and snagged a few toys for about $2 a piece. As I stashed them in the closet to save for Christmas, I started to think more seriously about what we'll give each of the kids this year. We're pretty broke, but I'd still like to make a big impact.

The easiest solution is to gift things I've already had in mind as DIY projects. For the E and L, I'm thinking of making a play teepee. They're cute, they're impressive, and they're inexpensive if you use drop cloths instead of designer fabric. {I like this tutorial.}

For Baby R, I'd like to make a play stove out of one of our old nightstands. I like the style of the above kitchen, but will probably use this tutorial. And I'm toying with buying some stainless steel contact paper, like on the {amazing!} play kitchen below...

Now for the conundrum. What to do for Little Miss C? She's 10 years old now, and on the verge of outgrowing little girl things, but at the moment is obsessed with American Girl, bird watching, art and sewing. Any ideas?

What are you planning for your kids?


Dear Mrs. Looking...

You said you wanted to see an example of the outfits I've been dreaming up for you, so here are two. I purposely haven't included sources, because in the beginning stages of building a wardrobe and exploring different styles, it's more fun if you're oblivious to price tags. :)

Would you wear these or are they missing the mark? I'll have to get your input. Love ya!

PS- Thanks to everyone for the sweet comments yesterday! You're too kind. :) 



For someone who feels fat lately {I ran out of antidepressants a few days ago which makes me view those extra 10 pounds as soooo much more weight than it actually is} I'm about to post a LOT pictures of myself. :)

After sewing like a madwoman, I was able to enjoy the fruits of my refashioning labors while traveling around town in the beautiful fall weather this weekend. First up-- a Converse dress that I bought on clearance for just $7. I love the ikat stripes, but the pre-teen sundress shape on my womanly body always made me look pregnant. So I turned it into a skirt:

Much better! The a-line shape is super flattering.

Next is a dip-dyed linen dress from the Gap that I bought while I was in Washington for $5. {They were having a sale on the clearance items.} I could see its potential, despite the fact that it was a size 14 and I was swimming in it. After chopping off a bunch of fabric and taking it in, I felt ladylike and ready for a harvest-time picnic:

Last is a dress I bought from the custom-clothing online boutique, eShakti {I had a $20 off coupon}. I ordered this dress with 3/4 sleeves and a deep neckline, but didn't like any of the color choices. So I opted for white and then dyed it with two boxes of RIT dye in Kelly Green and Dark Green.

I'll be honest-- it's a whole lotta dress. I'm used to the pencil-skirt silhouette, and this full dress is a bit much. But I'm embracing the 50's housewife in me and vowing to dye it black when I get tired of the green.

What about you? Any favorite refashioning tricks?



All that late-night sewing caught up to me and now I'm sick. Again. But it's raining outside and I've got movies to watch and soup to eat. I may even do some more sewing...

This photo really doesn't have anything to do with anything, but I just like the way my 'city' art has evolved. I've got my NY painting, Seattle letterpress card, map of Paris and an old promotional yardstick from Phoenix. Silly things like these make me happy.

Oh, and since I'm sick:

BAM! Another picture of a bed. Because that's the way I roll.
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