Tag Archive | design

Three things Thursday

I’m interested in not just spewing my thoughts on life, universe and everything into the void – but – finding sites of like minded people.  To that end, I’m going to try and participate in some recurring challenges.  Today’s Three Thing Thursday is the brainchild of Nerd the Brain~ basically three cool things from my week.


Thing 1; My friend is a genius.  He has a pop up bar called “Tilted Tavern”  Look at the ring he designed (then look at it upside down)


Thing 2; Vaccinations.  It seems to be ‘the thing’ to talk about right now but with my sad sounds tot sniffling and not being herself I can be basically sure it is a cold and not any of the really really bad things out there because she is vaccinated.


Thing 3; Snack mom.  I know… I’m ‘that’ mom but I think the kids deserve a fun treat and I LIKE doing it once a month.  This month snowmen; popcorn in a clear cup with the face drawn on, the ‘hat’ is black table cloth cut into a circle and rubber banded on.  (If anyone wants more of a how-to let me know.)


I’m a busy bee

Occasionally I feel like I don’t have anything to do.  There are always things I could do but things like laundry, bathrooms, cleaning etc are just not inspiring….  Two weekends ago we were at semi loose ends because our weekend away plans didn’t happen so last weekend I didn’t let go to waste and we did lots of little projects.  This weekend things are going in an upswing as we get ready for thanksgiving visitors and one of those visitors will be building me a pantry in the garage 🙂


I would say we are building it together but dad has far more actual real life skill in all things building.  We facetimed today to go over the area and look at the site and by mid morning I had a shopping list that will literally require a forklift.  We are building a 7×8 ‘box’ in the rear quarter of our garage.  Inside will be the freezer that already lives in the garage and a ton of organized storage for all the bulk things we like to buy.  It will be semi-heated to stay above freezing so I can put all the jars of tomatoes someplace other than Lars’s office.  It will also be the new home for all non essential kitchen items hopefully freeing up some space in our kitchen.  Step one of this is to demo what is out there now so that is what I’m going to do as soon as I publish this.


Lets hope next time I show you a picture of this area in my garage it is 100x more functional and beautiful


Halloween is coming!

It is well after my sisters birthday (Sept 28) so we can all officially talk about halloween.  Since I had 3 costumes to create, plus, one for Lars I started early and as of this weekend I’m nearly done with Fiona’s Anna

This came together really easy and fast.  The cape is a fleece blanket from walmart so no edge work.  The dress was tricky with some of the construction details but I gave up and started hand sewing to make it look right.  Painting was daunting but in the end pretty easy.  The hat took 5 min or less and the braids/hair were disgustingly easy for such a cute outcome.  I did not do pictures or a how to for this since there are plenty out there and Elsa is more popular anyway, but, if anyone wants a how to on this I could write it up.


Half done with Zoe’s SheRa

kids shera costume, other ‘wing’ somewhere…. I hope to find it soon

I am documenting this one since FireStar is just a huge hit on my blog.  No joke, no fewer than 3 people every single day of the year hit this site for DIY for Firestar.  Maybe my goal should be 80’s cartoon female hero childrens costume central. (catchy right?).  It has a TON of components and I copped out on making a sword because I found one that worked fine for $5 but my to-do list includes; boot covers, headpiece, cape, skirt, belt, bracers, bodice with details and I am going to buy a wig.  Nothing too hard but just a ton of little things.


A quarter(ish) done with Niamh’s Princess Sofia.

sorry, a huge tulle skirt just kinda looks like a pile

I ran out of fabric for Niamh, other years I’ve had so much left over I went conservative so yesterday I had to go get more.  Not a problem but cost some weekend work time.  On the positive side we got some fun new decorations and we decorated yesterday and had a good time.   She actually has a fairly easy costume and it will be super easy if I can find the right color leotard.  The odd thing for Sofia is that she has an enormous head in the cartoon and Niamh does not…. I think it will be recognizable but not ‘perfect’ since the character is just no person shaped.


Finally Lars is 5% done.  As in I got a hoodie today.  I like the concept of turning a hoodie into a good ‘dad’ costume.  This year he is going to be Olaf (the snowman from Frozen) so all he really needs is a carrot nose and the face so once I get there it will be fast.


For me?  no idea, didn’t decide on anything yet and will totally be up to timing ~

Hope Halloween is fun for you too!  Anyone know any costume contests I could enter?  I’m pretty happy with what I’m doing this year….

The project of the weekend

I feel like we are in an ever evolving house.  I’m sure when it is perfect and organized and everything is ‘done’ we will just have to move 😉


Sometimes I plan things to the smallest detail.  Sometimes I see an opportunity and just jump on it.  Totally different ends of the spectrum and poor Lars has trouble keeping up sometimes but since he generally leaves the kid stuff to me I bet he just figures I told him and he forgot.  This project was kinda a mix.


When Fiona was ready to move into a crib we had to displace Zoe from the upstairs bedroom so we adventured to Ikea for a bunk bed BUT only put up most of it.  I left the front/side off and constructed an extra leg to make the bottom rung of the ladder.  That left a  nice space for Zoe in a toddler bed plus some storage.  Recently I started thinking Zoe was getting big and on a vague whim I ordered a mattress last week.  2 days later it arrives!  Zoe is very excited and I contemplated painting the bed and decided to take the easy route and just put the bed together and did not paint.  I’m proud of myself that 2 years later I still had all but 1 tiny piece of the bed!  Somehow we lost a bolt so off to Ikea we went to get a replacement.  I love that Ikea will give you a reasonable amount of replacement parts no problem!  Since we were there we had to shop a bit and it was a nice random outing.  We left with down comforters for the kids and a few little storage things.  They were sold out of the duvet cover so that is on order for us now.

I rolled through the reorganizing of the room like it was my job.  We bought nifty under bed storage when we got the bed and I loaded it up with a few nice ‘baskets’ to semi organize the huge space.  They are very very big and practically all their little toys fit in just one (the other is empty still!).

Sunday Lars ended up sucked into the sharknado of work and I saw him briefly around lunch but he was on a short leash all day chained to his desk.  In the afternoon he had a lull so he played with the girls and I finished up the room and got into the play room too!  Except for the dress up stuff the entire level is organized and it is so nice to be in there right now~

The REAL spur of the moment change was putting the displaced toddler bed into Fiona’s room.  I was not sure she was ready because she is such a good sleeper in her crib but she took the lead on this one and declared the bed sitting in the play room “my bed!”  so into her room it went.  She chicked out the first night and last night too but this nap she slept in the big girl bed.  She is 6 months behind her sisters on this change but hey, nobody is pushing the issue.

The only zone of discontent left is the kitchen level and we just need to ‘fix’ it.  A very good designer friend recommended a layout and now that is all I can see in my head.  I don’t even want to clean the kitchen anymore because I want to level it and restart.  Not going to happen today, or tomorrow… but we need to talk to a builder.  Even if we do end up moving for more total square feet a new kitchen will not hurt us at all.


That is the weekend and this week I need to step up the kid activity because I thought we had camp but we don’t.  I missed the fact that there was a 2 week break so for the next two weeks we have far less to do then I expected!  Time to go look at the calendar~

Throwback Thursday

So I’m misusing this title too (its a theme).  I’m throwing it back alllll the way to the weekend.


I have a ton to say but only one short nap time to say it, and, I need to boil eggs for easter so I will keep it on the brief side.  If you want more on something e-mail me, the address is in my about.


Flight – I can’t skip the random ups and downs of air travel in any story.  We have been using sun country and SWA so much that I don’t’ remember the last time I was in terminal 1 but Delta was the winner this trip and they have changed things up.  In MSP you can put a lap infant on your ticket at a kiosk!!!  Amazing.  Too bad I waited in line for an agent for him to tell me that but I will know for next time.  I also had to trek hither and yon and I’m glad Fiona was amused by the stroller because even if she is a good walker it was a ton of walking.  We were there early but still ended up boarding as soon as we got to the gate.  Fiona was pretty good but the people next to me were having a very juvenile work affair.  They work together and took pains to not be seen together in the airport (based on me over hearing but seriously, I’m a centimeter away, they knew I could hear) and they even had to swap seats to sit together and then I was subjected to a painful ‘date like’ encounter for the next 3 hours.  They were weird, they were still in the very polite ‘oh yeah, I would LOVE to see this concert thing on your phone for 40 min that I can’t hear and can hardly see and then have you narrate…” phase.  They also talked about their respective kids and then would randomly and awkwardly make out like no 40+ year old people should.  ANWAY the bright side is no small talk needed….  We arrive in NY early but our gate at JFK was so far away it took 15 min walking briskly to get to the luggage claim but hey, no waiting for luggage.

Parents house – oh so nice to be there.  The odd thing was having only one child and that child being Fiona.  She was looking for sisters and just not finding them.  I remember a time when I was with Niamh as a nearly 2 year old and her cousin Connor who is the same age but he is #3 in his family and how different they were.  Now Fiona is the #3 and Chase (sister who lives in NY son) is the #1 and I see the difference from the other side.  Chase and Fiona played really well and look like twins



Too bad most of the time Fiona felt like this

That, by the way, is my parents heated kitchen floor.  The cats do this often but it was a first for Fiona who lay there for 20 min at least.  She did play plenty with Chase and everyone but she was not herself. We suspect ears but we may never know, she is back to normal now.


The Shower was a BIG portion of the weekend.  We went to help prep until midnight on Friday and then Sinead was there again at 10 and basically didn’t leave the kitchen until the lunch was over.  I was doing the cake the morning of and it turned out almost like I wanted

It is a cupcake-dress cake and if I had just a little bit more icing it would have been perfect!


The party went well, it was almost all people I knew since I remembered most of the groom’s side from other parties and other than the regular stress of putting on a party everything went very well.  The big negative was due to poor communication, feelings (including mine) were fairly hurt but whatever – this is the only time I’ll be working on this style project with this person so I’m moving on with the lesson learned that I need to be the boss or make triple sure someone is since I thought I was doing the right thing stepping back but the person who I thought totally ready for party leadership felt left adrift. Deep breath – moving on…


Josie, the bride, had a great time and looked smashing in the dress we scoured suffolk county to find – then we added many ‘special’ accessories


We were off to the bachelorette party in a limo for 10 to NYC

the limo made our eyes demonic… yeah, the limo

at 7-11 where all good parties start

Other then a quick stop (at sevs) we went directly to a very fun drawing class where we drew a nice looking man without his clothes on.  It was fun and funny and there was champagne and it was 100X more classy than a strip club or a string of bars and I am very glad we went to it.

Next some time in Times Square where there was an insane number of people dressed up as characters for 11pm but I’m not judging, we just took pictures.  When you have a bridal party you can do almost anything – it is an awesome super power.  I’m going to keep a ‘bride’ sash in my pocketbook for future use…

Finally we did go to a real bar that was full of stripper poles.  Yes I tried it, yes there are pictures, no I’m not publishing them because they are silly.  Same goes for everyone else there but it was very fun and someone even tried to buy me a drink (I said no thanks, I was planning on driving in 2 hours).

We got home safe and that is all I have time for today!  Fiona awakes and we have a busy afternoon so I need to put in pictures and publish. Sorry – my day is totally off because of the snow so we were an hour late getting out to the gym and +1 kid and after nap we cleaned and then directly out to pick up my HotChocolate race package to dash back home to a board meeting I was hostessing, so, now I’m finally done and can add the pictures I intended to do hours ago.  Tomorrow will be more of the same I’m sure but with egg dying and then Saturday my race is at 8am! That is way too early!  I am going to end up running in my pjs….

Refreshing my house

Our ‘green room’ (named that because it is painted green) was once our office and when I started to stay home we played tetris with the house and moved the office down to the lowest level and the green room was supposed to be a playroom.  Open areas for dancing or bouncing.  A cozy chair for reading.  A futon for watching the occasional VHS and for visiting relatives.

The reality of that was that the open space got full of random stuff.  The cozy chair was used to read bedtime stories but it was not a favorite place.  The futon sees plenty of use but the room lacked that ‘something’ that makes kids want to be in it.  It became a pass through room.  The kids would play pony or barbie far more often in their room that is a quarter of the size and aside from a few fun dance parties the space was never really used.


A few weeks ago we decided it was time to create a space for a kid computer.  Niamh can use a computer just fine and Zoe is getting there and Fiona is a key smasher so the desk had to be tall.  We also lacked storage in the room so I thought about solutions and figured out how to meld the storage with a desk and divide the room into a more cozy set of areas BUT the divider is not too visually dividing so the room still feels open.


Here is the before

and after (don’t mind the bediapered baby, she was fresh from the bath)

The space has been used 100% more even though the computer is not actually set up yet.  They have played in the space, I’ve chosen to sit in the chair times other than reading.  It must be a room that just craves a computer 🙂

There is still a barstool style chair to add (on the way) and I need to tidy the shelves a bit and do something with cords but it works.  Not shown, the pink table is on the other side of the divide so there is still a nice place for Fiona to chew crayons color.  The shelf is deep enough that I have two rows of books, each facing out on a different side.  Overall I am very happy with this change and I’m just as happy with the price and I know in the future I will be happy to repurpose the pieces since none of this is permanent.

In a related story I’m working on summer plans and floated a few to Lars and his reply was; “Isn’t the computer the summer plan for Niamh?”.  No honey, I might be frosting 3 nerds, but not 3 potatoes.


If you want this combo;

Expedit Ikea shelf, 2 row, on its side – $85

LINNMON desk top WITH pre drilled holes – $5

Olov legs – $15.  We needed these because they adjust tall enough.

Floor mat – $25 *the mat is clear, the ‘rug’ under it is fabric.

Rug and pillow – Joann’s fabric and sewn by me

Not show; 4 3M velcro picture hanging strips that attach the top to the shelf.