Friday, April 29, 2011

Another Book Review - Tina Fey, Bossypants

so, like you, i love tina fey...what? you don't like her? what-ever...just are entitled to your "opinion". but if a supremely right wing libertarian can enjoy some tina fey than you should too...just sayin..

well...good thing we got rid of those tina fey hatin' people huh? (insert fist bump)

so my book review is not a very in depth review, more of a - read this book - its freakin hilarioius!

i was a little confused at first because i thought it would be about her in a male dominated business...yahda yahda yahda... but if you haven't read it, you should more read it like a series of freakin hilarious essays...

my favorite quote:

"the days are short and the years are long"
- stay at home moms and prostitues

and i dont want to go too in depth because it may or may not sway you to read the the way - read the book!!! but i particularly love the way she talks about breastfeeding and being a working mom....

in one chapter she talks about the most annoying question "how do you juggle it all?" and she makes a snide comment about the accuser asking what is falling in the wayside...i particularly fell in love and made out with that chapter. not like i am a "true" working mom...i would consider myself a part-time working mother...but lets all be honest here...can we all be honest here? thanks...for that...i get the whole jugglin thing a lot and it annoys me as husband and i chose to be part time parents together and there is not a whole lot of people who understand that....but i do have to say that she makes a good point of wanting the dream and the snobs who try to de-rail that dream...

did i dissuade you on reading this book yet? i hope not...let me end this book review on saying - you will laugh you out loud!! she is a BRILLIANT writer....i hope to be half the voice she make my writing feel like conversation like she it...gum darn it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Dystopian Book Review

i dont know exactly why i get on book kicks....but recently i have been all into dystopian literature...maybe because its the fact that i am a libertarian and have a constant government phobia hovering about me...maybe its because i love to picture the "what if"...i wont even try to psychoanalyze it (too late) but i have simultaneously loved and hated all the books i have read...which are:

1. Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

i highly highly recommend these books. in fact i have been personally responsible for at least 3 people being totally hooked. there is rumors of the first book already being made into a movie, which is not hard to believe since the book reads like an action movie. the books are so completely visceral and anxiety laden its ridiculous. what i love most about them though is the discussions i have had about them. i can discuss them with my teenage nieces and "more mature" colleagues alike. they touch on the primal instincts of humans versus the control of government. they touch on the adolescent angst we all experience. they touch on survival. they wrap you up with the non-stop action - they never let you let your guard down as a reader.

i think the thing i love most is that they are written by a female with a kick-ass female lead character. they do not only belong in the "young adult" many amazing YA books are so easily placed...they belong in the "kick-ass" category...but i dont believe the library has that one yet....

just a premise for those of you undecided if you want to venture can read more here.

2. Maze Runner by James Dashner

right on the heels of Hunger Games i stumbled across this book. There are only 2 of the 3 out right now...the blasted third book apparently comes out this fall and i am waiting on pins and needles to read it! i was so so mad the day i finished the second book and found out i couldnt read the third yet...i almost wrote the author and yelled at i had the letter drafted and never sent...because its not his fault he wrote these amazingly captivating books...oh wait...yes it is!

i loved these books and can not wait until the third. i still want to have discussions with random people about this book, but no one i know has read PLEASE read it and talk to me about it! so good! so filled with juicy topics...i describe it as such: its like if Hunger Games and 28 Days Later had a baby.

the book opens up with the main character Thomas not knowing who he is or how he came to be in this compound of boys. you are just as confused as Thomas for most of the intriguing book...for more info read here.

3. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

of course after those 5 books of dystopian action and adventure, i was not satisfied so i picked up this book. it is also as confusing as Maze Runner in that you have no idea what the book is about until the end. It reminded me a lot of The Road by Cormac McCarthy only it wasnt as depressing and it didnt take me over a year to finish...

The book was a good read...i would recommend it...however, much like The Road, it left a big WTF hovering in my brain...again...would love to talk to someone about it...books are meant to talk about...

PS...its ONLY because i got a Nook for Christmas that i have been able to read this many books in this short amount of time. i can pack it easily...i can hide it easily from the kids...i can always pick up where i left off...i can read with one hand...i can easily take it with me in the bathroom (ummm...TMI?) its been amazing...i was once a "book snob" and am now a "nook snob" AMEN

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Love It! Spring Edition

  1. Love this idea for a sweet little birdie!

2.  Happy Art

3. Beautiful Spring Lookbook from Beth!

4. Of course I need some Spring Dresses! Like this one (goodness, i need a vintage hawaiian dress, don't you?)...or this one...or this one...

5. My little golfers need some sweet threads! Cutest little golf line!

6. Beautiful Necklace!

7. The Sweetest Little Bunny Ever!

8. I am in love with this little kids retro patio table and chairs set at Lowes!

9.  Lovin' Some Spring Leggings

10. Thinking of some perty cute little outfits for Bobby B. with this fabric!

so nice to daydream! happy Spring folks!

little reader vintage

i forget how i came across this darling little shop...but i saw this amazing cowboy shirt and knew a certain cowboy would look just dapper in it! my brother took this photo, and you can't really see how amazng the details are...the original photo is on the right. the original listing is here (only $7!)

Check out more of her kiddo vintage goodness here!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Artsy Antlers DIY





Done! Thanks Jake for the darling self-portrait!
i am so proud of this DIY folks...because it was truly a DIY for me...and it involved power tools...which, by the not my specialty...that is, if you don't consider a sewing machine a power tool...but perhaps it should be...which is the topic of a different post entirely!

the story starts with me wanting some antlers. actually, it starts with me really wanting a deer head, or boar's head, or any other taxidermied animal posted up...which my husband is very adverse to...turns out. but i happened to be at a flea market one sunday without my husband to tell me not to buy a pair of antlers and a couple of girlfriends encouraging me to buy said i came home with a pair of antlers and not a clue of what to do with them.

(a sidenote for all you PETA still won't like it, but i did speak with the seller of the antlers and it was his father who shot the deer and he used ALL the deer...and ate all the deer...if that makes it any better) of my girlfriends with me was searching for frames to have chalkboard paper underneath and it started the seed...i started to envision mounting these antlers on chalkboard backing and being able to draw the animal...i initially envisioned an oval gaudy wood frame that i would maybe need to spray paint gold...but after searching a dozen thrift stores i settled on this rectangle plastic gaudy frame.

so here goes the DIY

1. find your frame - whatever suits your aesthetic - modern or vintage or gaudy - you can fit it with your decor!
2. find a backing - i had to take mine to ACE - they cut a piece of plywood to exactly fit the back of my frame (and i got to keep the cost me $12.99)
3. spraypaint the back with "chalkboard spraypaint" - (do i need to add to follow the directions on the can?) i applied 3 coats...they did not have it at my local ACE, so I had to go to Home Depot- it cost around $4
4. screw the backing into the frame ( i took the original backing, made marks on my plywood with a sharpie and drilled holes accordingly, then screwed the screws in to the appropriate holes)
5. mount the antlers into the plywood (what worked best is to drill a screw from the back of the frame to the front and cover the tip of the screw with some glue and leftover fur)
6. apply the appropriate frame hanging backing ( i hung some wire from a frame hanging kit we had)
7. hang the frame (i was lucky and we already had a nail in place!)
8. draw and enjoy! (i make everyone else draw since i am artistically handicapped)

the total cost of the project: $20 for the antlers, $17 for the frame $4 for the spray paint = $41

now...friends and family can enjoy tagging your art whenever they visit!

i was missing a big art piece and i feel like it finally completes my mantle. Plus - it fulfills my longing to constantly change up the artwork - just a simple eraser and a new drawing adds new life to the mantle!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Leo" The Lion Zoodie...or...The Zoodie that Grew a Tail!

i know...i know...i said i wouldn't put tails on them...i turned down everyone's suggestion at tails.."too costumey" well...guess what...i sold out...but i put that little bunny tail on the bunny and it was so cute with bobby crawling around - gave a little fun to the back!

i have only ever sold 2 lions. this is a problem because American Apparel no longer sells the toddler sweatshirt in yellow, so i bought some and needed to make them cute to actually sell. i didn't want to do a chicken, so here we are. so i thought to revamp my lion and see what happens...what do you think?

see the original lion here

i only have this style in size 18 months (or American Apparel size 2 -i have 2 of those) and (pictured here) size 4 (or American Apparel size 6)

let me know your honest thoughts. bryan was not thrilled with the brown belly and tail...but i wanted to match the mane...i still have two blank size 18 months i could turn into a different yellow animal...thoughts?

also..why is it that my 5.5 year old and my 2 year old can wear the same sweatshirt?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sports Crafting

now that bodie is getting a bit older...he is also getting opinions...and man do 2 year olds have opinions! but what is fun is that he is getting excited about certain things and i love it when i can make something that any of them get excited about!

i found these striped shirts at target for $4.50...i asked bodie if he wanted mommy to make him a shirt...da! (that is his "yes"). i asked him if he wanted a baseball shirt...DAAAA! score.

it is so sweet to watch him watch bryson. he always asks for a river cat (bryson's t-ball team) shirt and river cat hat. so i made him this little shirt - right before practice tonight...took me all of 15 minutes (if you can tell...surely) but he was so excited he wanted to sleep in it tonight. which cracked me up because he has never asked for any clothes up to this point (i realize this will change!)

i also needed to personalize bryson's baseball bag since a lot of the players have the same one. i tried to embroider directly on it, but my hoop was not having it, so i did it on fabric and sewed it on instead. looking back...white was NOT the best and learn.

i have started labeling things B. Barnes...because it will easily transition :) and i am glad to have had the brain power to do this to his bag. #22 is a family number...its bryson's # now in t-ball...bryan's dad had it in football and bryan sported it, and his cousin matt also sported it on a number of teams he played on. anyway...its a i figured it may be around a while :)

it has been a little funny to me sewing sport-y things. i think i always envisioned myself sewing appliques on dance uniforms or little girl dresses, and yet - here i am a mom of 3 boys sewing baseballs on shirts and patches on t-ball outfits. it gives me such satisfaction that my boys ask me to make stuff - that just because you have boys it doesn't mean they don't appreciate home-made.

i have a feeling this isn't the last baseball shirt i make and that is just fine with this mama!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

who do my kids think they are?

that title probably doesn't come across in the tone i was intending...i was more thinking of a spin-off title from this show: Who Do You Think You Are on NBC.

i love this show. i have watched every episode so far. my favorite ones are Sarah Jessica Parkers (and her hubby's was amazing too) and Everett Smith's. is the get my kids to try more tasty (read: garlic laden dinners) my husband would tell bryson (our oldest who is 5) that he should like it because he is Italian. he says it often enough that the other day when we were eating pasta bryson says, "I love this because I am Italian...what are you mom?" I explained that I am Swedish...almost 100% swedish...which makes him more Swedish than Italian..thank you very much. Bryan then launched into an explanation of how Daddy is Black and Italian and Mommy is Swedish, so Bryson is all of those things. He said, "That is why you aren't as dark as Daddy and you aren't as white as Mommy" ( be fair...90% of humans are darker than Mommy...but whatever). Anyway - we both realized in that small moment that maybe since he is getting older he might need to know a little about heritage.

I am realizing that a lot of my family traditions of celebrating St. Lucia Day and Name Day are special, but we also need to honor Bryan's heritage as well. I think the show has given me a desire to look more into my family and his to teach stories of our ancestors to our kids.

Usually in the show the celebrity starts with a family rumor then goes on a journey to confirm or deny that rumor...there is one particular story in my mother's family I would love to find out...

I was always told the story that my Great Great (?) Grandfather was the bastard son of the King of Sweden, and because the King wouldn't grant any parental rights, my GGG Grandmother emigrated to the States to start over since her son was ridiculed for being fatherless. Apparently the King would travel around if he had to stay the night at a home it was customary for the Father to offer his Daughter to keep the King company...if you know what I mean...which is how my GG Grandfather was allegedly produced.

Bryan calls me his bastard princess...i love it :)

I also am super curious about Bryan's heritage - both the African American side and the Sicilian side. he has some interesting stories too about his Italian side, involving Al Capone...and his African American side is somewhat of a mystery since his dad's mother is somewhat estranged from the family.

But it is all prepping me for a journey to look into all the pieces that make up our genetic puzzle of a family and the show is really encouraging me to delve further!

Where would YOU start?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Living Room Make-UNDER

Living Room BEFORE
After visiting good friends of ours (and eating at their AMAZING restaurant - please do yourself a favor if you ever find yourself in the Portland area and check out St. Jacks in East Portland) i left so inspired by their house. my girlfriend has done such an amazing job decorating her house - so peaceful and filled with art and soft light and i came back to my den of a living room and knew that i needed a change!

Living Room AFTER
These flowered curtains came with our house and i never changed them because...well...moving in always takes extra cash and changing out curtains was not in the budget...also i felt like i would need to spend a lot of money and so i put it out of my mind.

I dont know how you are with changing up your decorating - or making rooms "new" but i always think i have to go and redo i go big or dont do it basically. i am trying to re-train my brain into thinking about corners at a time and especially tackling things that i look at and hate or rub me the wrong way - whatever...these curtains were definitely that. i went to IKEA and found their cheapest canvas white curtains - and changed out all 8 panels for $80. I find that a bargain! i also found this fuzzy white throw pillow at Target for $20 - i normally dont buy throw pillows, but i loved the furry little thing. and that is all i spent - everything else i made or repurposed form elsewhere in my house - so i got a total room makeover for $100.

Reading Corner BEFORE
they made the room so dark - they were a pain to open and close, plus the room was so cluttered that i didnt want a lot of light exposing it i de-cluttered...i took away a lot of useless furniture and all those silly throw pillows and the result is understated in these pictures, but has been so amazing. i love this room now. i am at peace in this room now. sometimes the best way to tackle a room is to remove the unnecessary parts.

now i want to sit in that supremely uncomfortable knock-off Eames. I also want to keep the room i have vetoed all noise making toys and send them off to their own room if they so wish to pollute their ears.

I plan on changing up the mantle every so often. i already have an idea involving some antlers i found at a flea market...if my husband lets me...we'll see!

What do you think? Did you like it better with the tropical curtains?

Reading Nook AFTER

Living Room AFTER

Mantle AFTER


Sweet Camping Print - thanks Jena!