Thursday, May 31, 2012


We are fish.

And sad when we have to get out of water.

This summer is shaping up to be hot hot hot.  So having a pool (which I thought would be too much work, and just a waste) has been the best asset of our house.  It's still a lot of work, and Brian has become obsessed, but we are appreciating it so much.  Who is ready for a pool party?  Me! 

By the way: does anyone have any ideas for landscaping around the pool?  Cheap and easy seeing as how we'll only be here 2 years?  Thanks.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

diy doily wall hanging

No we're not actually making a doily here.  I don't know how to make those.  But I do like them a lot, and I recently picked up a long cream doily with pink accents.  I was thinking about draping it across a dresser in Rowan's room, but it just looked, well, grannyish.  I do like using doilies here and there, but I didn't want Rowan's room to look grannyish!  So I came up with the idea to hang it on the wall as a base for a picture grouping.
I think it's pretty for a girl's room.  But, it just kind of hung there limply and draping when I first tried it.  I realized what I needed was fabric stiffener!  So here's just a quick little tutorial on getting a doily hang-ready.  You'll need:

doily of your choice
fabric stiffener
wax paper
big bowl or bucket

{If your husband is mentally 12 years old, you may want to hide this brand of stiffener from him.  Just trust me.}
Spread out some wax paper in the same size/length as your doily.
Pour a thin layer of stiffener into your bowl.
Stick your doily into the stiffener and coat it, adding more stiffener if necessary.  You don't need to saturate the doily for this project.  Mine was barely wet. 
Spread the doily onto the wax paper, and let dry for at least 12 hours.  I let mine dry for more than 24.  Not on purpose, but that's when I got back to working with it!  Pure honesty here.
The wax paper helps the doily just peel off, and then you don't have a mess left behind.  Now your doily will be fairly stiff and ready to hang!  I hung mine with white thumb tacks because that's what I had handy, they blended in, and just because I'm fancy like that.
And now you are ready to hang whatever you wish on top.  Or if you just love the art of the doily, you can leave it plain!  I have a lot of lovely art and plaques that have been made, passed down, and gifted to Rowan to put up.
{pheasant pin recently passed down from my mom- you can bet I'll be "borrowing" it in the fall; little girl on black plaque on my wall as a girl; wooden "R" from my great aunt; painting by me for Rowan; framed cross and other "R"s gifted from Rowan's godparents}
We're slowly getting things on the walls in our new house, and it's finally feeling like home.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

springfield, mo

Brian had a 4 day weekend (more like 3 1/2, but that's the Army for you).  So that meant one thing.  Well, maybe more than one thing.  But it DID mean that we'd be going on an adventure!  So we decided to take a day trip out to Springfield.  I got some last minute advice from a couple former locals on what to see and do.  Brian and I got the car packed up the night before- which NEVER happens, so we were pretty much ready to hit the road once the littles woke up.  First we headed to the historic district, perused a farmers market, and took in the architecture that all old downtowns in a America have.
And that was when Fletcher spotted a train yard down an alleyway.  And so of course we gave into spending a chunk of time looking at train cars.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  My husband is 12.  He not ONLY pointed out this sign, but INSISTED I take a picture.  We're also super responsible parents and let our littles stand up on a train car.  At least it wasn't connected to a moving train or anything, right?  Fletcher loved it and we had to DRAG him away.  The day was heating up to be a scorcher, so we ducked into a coffee shop to cool down.  Fletcher was pleased that he could watch the trains come and go through the back window of the coffee shop.
It's out of focus, but the sign below the menu said "Decaffeinated coffee is kind of like kissing your sister." Ha!  We had a good chuckle at that one.  After we cooled down, it was mama's turn to spend a chunk of time at Red Velvet, which was right next door.  It's a great vintage shop, carefully curated, and full of fun things to see.  They had the most lovely little collection of darling little girl dresses. 
I did get one treasure- a sweet capelet that I won't be wearing anytime soon in this heat!  After my little shopping trip, it was Brian's turn.  We found out there was a classic car show last weekend, so we headed that way.  We all started melting pretty much instantly.  Poor Brian.  He was trying to look at all the cool old cars, and the rest of us were a whiny, sweaty mess.  Fletcher perked up when he laid eyes on "Mater." 
But then the littles hunkered down in a patch of shade and refused to get up.  So we did one last mini-lap on the way back to our car.  It was hot, hot, HOT.  And somewhere on those fairgrounds I lost one of my favorite turquoise necklaces.  Sad.  We all needed a cool-down and something to eat, so we headed to Aviary for a late lunch.  Such a great recommendation from Rachel!  They have really delicious crepes, and there were so many fun things for the littles to look and marvel at.  I wish I had taken in my camera, but you can see a glimpse below from our instagrams, bottom right.
We had lots more we wanted to see and check out, but the littles were toast at this point.  So we packed it in, and drove past the Pythian Castle, as promised to Fletcher.  He has a thing for castles, apparently.
We all had fun despite the heat, and I'm looking forward to spending a little more time there again.  It's a fun little city that seems to have lots of little gems sprinkled through it.  We spent the rest of the weekend in the pool, trying to beat this heat! 

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

MAJ William Hecker
CPT Christopher Petty
SFC Stephen J. White
SGT Johnny J. Peralez, Jr.
PVT Robbie M. Mariano
Thank you. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten. Your family's sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Thank you to the thousands more that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for my country and my freedom.

Friday, May 25, 2012

banana + blueberry popsicles

 I don't know about where you are, but where we are, it's already hot as blazes!  So the cure for any hot and humid day is a popsicle.  Well, really the cure is air conditioning and a pool, but a popsicle can really help.  My mom recently passed down the popsicle molds she used when I was a child, so now I'm inspired to create all sorts of popsicles.  I'm sensing a summer recipe theme here, people.  If you'd like to try your hand at these tasty frozen treats, you'll need the following.

2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup yogurt (I used plain greek yogurt)
2 T honey
juice of 1/2 a lemon
popsicle molds (or paper cups with popsicle sticks)
makes 8 popsicles

 Combine your ingredients in your blender, or use your immersion blender if you have one.
 And blend it all together.
 Pour into your molds or cups evenly.
Set in freezer.  I froze mine overnight. Run the popsicles briefly under hot water, and they should pop right out!
So so easy, and so so yummy.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

feeding fish

We found this really beautiful park recently that has a natural spring.  It is also a rainbow trout hatchery, so you can feed the fish.  Which the littles adore.  These fish are voracious eaters, and do amazing leaps and wriggles just to get to the food that gets thrown in.  So that's fun to watch.  The scenery is gorgeous, and there are a couple of waterfalls to top it all off.  Not to mention the incredible turquoise waters of the spring, where it is so clear you can see straight to the bottom.  It's a treasure!  If you're ever in the middle of nowhere Missouri, check out Maramec Spring Park.  There's even a pretty interesting museum, too.

But the littles mostly wanted to just feed the fish.
But my favorite was the waterfalls.
But the spring was pretty gorgeous, too.
Can you see the fish in the pictures above?  Amazing.  You can also see them wrestle in the picture below.
It's a beautiful place to while away a morning, and then end with a picnic. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

a bit of green

I finished many little projects while my parents were visiting.  One was planting all the veggies and herbs that Brian and the littles got me for Mother's Day.  My mom actually helped with these, too.
I'm doing all container gardening this year.  Between the deer, rabbits, moles, bobcats(!) and birds, our yard has more woodland creatures than a Disney movie.  I figure the safest bet for my herbs and vegetables are to be high up on the deck near the house.  We'll see.
I have already used the herbs in pretty much everything I've cooked since planting them.  I've even thrown some into a drink!  This is my first time with eggplant and leeks.  I'll try not to kill them.  I love to have gardens and flowers, but I'm not always spot on with maintenance.  Here's hoping for a greenish thumb this year!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

diy decorated letter

One of my favorite books growing up was Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things that Go.  I loved, loved looking for Goldbug on each page, and it was well worn by the time I was out of childhood.  And when I passed it along to Fletcher, it couldn't take the extreme love he had for it, too.  Not that he was too brutal with it, but it just got well used.  This past Christmas we gave him a new one and retired my old book.  I've kept it around thinking I'd come up with something, and well, I did! 
A decorated letter "F" to hang in Fletcher's room.  This is a super easy, quick project to do.  If you have about a half an hour of free time, you can whip one of these out, too! 
All you'll need is:
1. Mod Podge
2. a craft knife (I'm using this one)
3. a brush or foam brush
4. letter of your choice (mine is pressboard)
5. a well worn book

First rip strips out of your book.  I chose the images that I knew Fletcher loved best. 
Now start brushing your Mod Podge on in a thin coat on the back side of your strips.
Working with one strip at a time, start covering your letter, overlapping the strips.
Cover the entire letter, pressing down firmly where the strips meet the letter.  Make sure to smooth out any bubbles.
Flip your letter over onto a safe cutting surface.
Using your craft knife, cut away at the negative space around the letter, cutting as close to the edge as possible.  This is why a swiveling blade comes in handy!
When you're finished cutting, flip her back over and brush on a coat or two of Mod Podge.
 Let it dry completely, and that's all there is!  Except now you have to figure out where to hang it.  This little project gave me a good kick start to put up all of Fletcher's pictures.
I think it fits right in, and more importantly- Fletcher loves it!  He pointed out all his favorite pictures and named what they were.
{clockwise from letter F: Arian Armstrong print, picture of my dad as a child- Fletcher's namesake, a frog poem plaque Brian's grandma made when he was a child, Winnie the Pooh painting by my uncle, Fletcher name plaque picked up at a fair, Lionel tin plaque thrifted}