I Should Have Thrown Those Catalogs Away...

Thanks to everyone who commented on my playroom post. You had some helpful comments/advice. Seeing as my dining room has already been converted to a playroom, I'm really trying to clean up the clutter, make thing more inviting. I made the mistake of opening the Ballard Designs catalog this weekend. I now know exactly what I want to do! Unfortunately, I need to hit the lottery or... hit the lottery before I can have this look. I've also checked out the Pottery Barn Teen site for some casual seating. We actually decorated our sun porch with this seating and we love it...for a fraction of the Pottery Barn (adults?) catalog. Here goes:

Pottery Barn Teen's sectional is comfy and the color would work.

Ballard's storage bench...thanks for the great idea my loyal bloggers! I would need two.

Ballard's bench sectional is so cute...I would put 2 side by side.

This coral chandelier would top it all off.

So...what's your take on these pieces? Have you seen any of the Ballard pieces knocked off anywhere?


Someday I'll Have My Dining Room Back

Ok...so we've been in our home for 10 years. Ten great, productive years(in many senses). We have an 1830's cape that is an ongoing...and ongoing labor of love, sweat and tears. We designed and built our dream kitchen 5 years ago. That's when the dining room next to the kitchen became a playroom. Our kitchen is a big combo kitchen/familyroom, so it has been great having the kids close by. On the other side of the dining room is a living room. It is also called "Maggie's room" (our 18 year old house cat). The furniture/decor is not my favorite, but until Mags goes to kitty heaven, it will do!

My problem: When you enter our home through a lovely sun porch, the first room you hit is the playroom from hell. Oh, I have attempted organization...shelves, bins, you name it. But I would love to also make it look homey and inviting instead of frightening. It's bad enough that our first floor bathroom is hideous gold and green(definitely another post)...so we are not allowed to frighten guests away in 2 different locations during the same visit.

So help...I CAN'T show you the playroom. You would unsubscribe immediately and go straighten your sock drawers. But...how do I strike a balance, without feeling like I have a kindergarten and fifth grade in my home. I would be grateful for all of your advice.

(Please ignore dust, smudges, food, and basic clutter from my pictures)


A Relaxing Weekend

My husband and I took our 5 year old daughter and 10 year old son to Wentworth by the Sea in New Castle, New Hampshire this past weekend. We only stayed one night (budgets you know), but we had a blast. We shopped in Kittery, Maine, hit Yummies, the ultimate candy emporium, and then headed to the hotel. It's only a 10 minute ride from Kittery. We chose to stay in the "Marina Suites" this time. They are located in a building overlooking the marina. My in-laws came along, and we were able to have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Plus, there is a full kitchen, dining area, living room, and 2 patio areas. It is so relaxing. The kids swam in 2 of the 3 pools. Who needs Disney? This is actually one of their favorite hang-outs. We are particular about when we visit...checking for great rates. The pictures say it all.


My Favorite Toy... (Come on now, minds out of the gutter!)

I bought a great little gadget for myself last spring and I enjoyed it right through the summer. It is the Brill Razorcut 38 inch reel mower. I LOVE it. We have a pretty large piece of property, several acres...which gets mowed by DH on a riding mower. Near the house, we have a front and side yard that need "tidying up" more often than the entire property needs to get mowed. So that's where I come in. I am able to get out early because the mower is quiet. (I can also hear my kids screaming for me...or fighting with one another.) I get a little exercise, I feel good about the way the yard looks, and I am supporting eco-friendly practices! The mower is extremely light weight, and has blades that claim to never need resharpening. It IS NOT meant for tall, tough to cut grass. I also have to go over my dandelions several times (at least the extra large ones!) I give it two thumbs up, five stars, the green light, etc...

I ordered it from:

and I was very happy with the service. It needs basic assembly, which I did quickly (yes,by myself), and easily.


Tickled Pink

Ok all of my blogger friends. I've been holding out on you. I haven't shared. I received a fabulous (and completely unexpected) PINK bike for Mother's Day! This is exactly what it looks like. I am now on a search for the perfect bike basket. I'll probably need a bell as well, to alert my kids that mom's coming up quickly and can't stop. Ok, I haven't been riding lately, I admit it. I'll be practicing up and down my road. And yes, I will be donning a helmet!


A Jar of Memories

I'm one of those people who tears pages from magazines and files them away. You know... the perfect outfit, a great wedding cake, a beautifully decorated home, a charming garden, etc...I tore out a page from who knows what magazine at least five years ago, that showed a beautiful Memory Jar. I've wanted to make this for my mom ever since, and finally, this year, the pieces all fell into place. My oldest brother J in New Jersey sent me his childhood memories, my baby brother B in New York sent me his. My two sisters who live in a neighboring town (S and C) sent me theirs. Then I carefully chose my own. I wrote the messages on pretty paper, folded them up in a prettified jar, and it was ready to go. Judging from the smiles and laughter as Mom opened each paper, I think it was a success. So even though it's a little late for this Mother's Day...Father's Day is just around the corner!

(The picture above is the one that I made...jar from K Mart, notecards from Marshall's, ribbon from an old floral sale)


A Weekend of Outfits

This weekend I wore a few new pieces with a few old pieces. I wore the rolling ruffles in blush size S (a little saggy in the straps), with the short sleeve long cardigan size S. The capris (size 6) are J. Crew from 2 years ago. The enamel flower necklace is vintage.

I also wore one of my favorite tops, the tuxedo chiffon top in the cream color. The celery tank underneath is old...bass I think. The capris are J. Crew from 2 seasons ago.

I'm about 5'7", if you're trying to figure out where things would fall on you.


My Father Always Said I Was A Winner (ok...he was shaking his head as he said it...)

Stephanie at Sea Glasses was kind enough to tag me as one of the blogs to receive this great blog award. I did receive an award once...only to have the bestower (a word?) remove their post several hours later! So thanks Steph for not changing your mind. :)

These are my tasks:

1. List seven things that make me awe-summm.
2. Pass the award on to seven bloggers I read religiously.
3. Tag those 7 bloggers.
4. Don't forget to link the Queen that tagged me.
5. Copy the pic and put it into my sidebar.

The 7 Bloggers I tag are:

1.Gigi's Gone Shopping
3.Purple Sweet Tarts
4.These are a few of Christina's favorite things
5.My Style
6.Fabulous Florida Mommy
7.Cape Cod Memories

I am sorry if I have repeated anyone!!

Seven things that make me awesome are:

1. I have a green thumb!

2. I have summer's off with my kids, and we have a fabulous time playing in the sand, picking vegetables, swinging until our toes touch the sky, and belly laughing.

3. I manage to snag some awesome deals on J Crew's sale section.

4. I am 43 and feel like I'm 23.

5. I love to write, and hope to publish a book someday.

6. I have researched tons of my family's genealogy and find it fascinating.

7. I wish I still had a milkman. (A future post!)


In Memorium

Rest in Peace

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler J. Trahan of East Freetown, Massachusetts

Killed in the line of duty while serving his country in Iraq


Chiffon Ruffle Blouse

I ordered the Chiffon Ruffle Blouse in Grey and Navy, both size 6. For 19.99, I couldn't resist. I had read a few reviews saying it was thin and cheap looking, but I disagree! It is thin...hence the chiffon...but it has a lovely airy feel to it. I actually paired it up with the J. Crew chiffon ruffle tank, and it looks very nice. I am wearing it to a funeral this week :( , but could also imagine wearing it on a hot summer night when you want "a look", but don't want to be miserable achieving it. I may pair the navy with a similar tank, and the high heel jeans in white, or the cafe capri in white. I did find it roomy, as I am generally a 6, could easily have sized down.

If available again on sale, I would suggest grabbing it for 19.99.


Looking to purchase cafe capris in size 6 any color but white.


Hair Equals Stress

I have a hair appointment looming in the near future (Saturday), and I'm kind of torn. My last "hairstyle" has kind of grown out. It's been about 5 months (eeeeek) since I've been cut and highlighted. My hair is slightly past my shoulders. So right now I'm going through the should I just trim or go for a style...I certainly can't make up my mind. I'm a bit IRL shy, so I'll describe: I have hair that is medium thinnish with a slight wave, and a lot of frizz if I don't straighten with a brush or flatiron. I grew up with a dirtyblondish color that always had golden streaks in the summer. I long for a style, but mourn my longer hair once it's gone...a product of a house with three long haired girls who grew up in the Brady Era. I am very lucky at 43 to be free of grey hairs...thanks mom.

I love this crisp, clean look on Jenny McCarthy.

Nicole Richie's hair is gorgeous. I love the color, and the way it seems to fall casually.

Kate Moss's new look is fresh. My hair is similar in texture.

So what do you think? Which hairstyle do you like?

(Of course my 10 year old son would love me with a pink mohawk..."I think your
hair is short enough Mom." was his recent comment on the way home from little
league game...not a kid who enjoys change(s)...even on my head. )


Is it the Fourth Of July?

My husband and I took our kids out to dinner and then headed to Marshall's for a quick look around. I spotted this little red, white and blue number by Ralph Lauren on the sale rack for $29. They had obviously just been put out, because the bows were still covered with tissue. I searched the size 8's...nothing. I grabbed the size 7 1/2 (even though I usually size up, not down), and crossed my fingers. They fit! A little snug, but leather stretches, right? (Just go with me on this one.) I contemplated them for a few minutes. Too Fourth of July, American Flag? Then I decided to think of them as a nautical summer piece (that I could also wear on the 4th), and I was SOLD! Now I need suggestions. Help!

P.S. I had an absolutely incredible pizza at a restaurant called The Pasta House. It was Clams Casino! (After a generous portion of fried ravioli). No IRL's for me this weekend...time to get back to the Walk Away the Pounds Video...I need to drop a fast five.
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