Friday, September 5, 2008

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

This is by far one of my favorite children's stories. I think everyone should read this heartwarming reminder of life's simplicity.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Baby On Board?

I've never understood the rationale behind putting a "Baby On Board" sticker on one's car. The sign hangs in place as if a potential accident is not going to occur because of this warning. I just don't get it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Look what I can grow!

I have been known to kill cacti.

Because of my tainted plant care-taking history I am very proud to announce that these flowers came from our yard. Not only did I plant them and care for them but I give myself bonus points because I even remember their name! These are stargazer lilies and they are gracing our fireplace thanks to my green thumb.

Monday, September 1, 2008

to do list

I am a list maker. It is my way of organizing chaos, and today I realized my to-do list was quite humorous.

1. Change Bella's sheets asap! (rotten milk never smells good)

2. Buy hubcap (even though I replaced one two weeks ago....I really need to stop running into curbs)

3. Clean up dog puke (this seems like a recurring theme in my life now that Bella thinks it's funny to feed the dog)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

No time. No time.

Although I had high hopes of updating my blog regularly it's obvious that I failed. Sometimes I feel like I barely have time to shower regularly, let alone complete a coherent thought that is worthy of other's attention. Many things have happened in the past few weeks. The most monumental of these is that Isabella had her first birthday on August 16th! We celebrated this exciting occasion by staying home all day in hibernation from the 106 degree heat. I believe in not overdoing it at first, this ensures that there's always something to look forward to on the following birthday. Maybe next year we will increase the excitement level by taking a walk or even going out for a birthday dinner!

Ok, in actuality we did have a small birthday party the weekend prior and Isabella dressed up in a dreamy fairy princess dress. It was quite cute and I guarantee Isabella would much prefer to eat, sleep and bathe in the fairy dress rather than stare at it hanging so neatly in her closet.

All of the birthday action tired Isabella out....

I wish I had time to include more pictures and try to come up with witty comments but the night is short. In the past I would of said, "I don't have enough time," but I have made a pact with myself that I will not use the "no time" excuse. I promise that I will MAKE time for the things that really matter and unfortunately blogging is not on my top ten list. Goodnight for now!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Rat Race

At times it's easy to get caught up in the rat race. What am I saying? I always feel like I am in a rat race. This story is one of my favorites and it helps to keep things in perspective. I don't know who wrote this story, I received it as a forwarded email a few years ago.

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. "Not very long," answered the Mexican. "But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American. The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family. The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs...I have a full life." The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise." "How long would that take?" asked the Mexican. "Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American. "And after that?" "Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!" "Millions? Really? And after that?" "After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kitchen Color

I found this picture and the wall color caught my eye. I think it looks perfect, especially with all of the white accents. Doesn't this little kitchen just make you want to cook something delicious?

Because it cost $56.00 to fill up our Toyota Corolla yesterday....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This will make you cry!

Well, at least it made me cry.

Framed Wallpaper

I've never thought to frame wallpaper but after coming across this picture I think I may give it a try. I'm not a huge fan of the yellow but I will find a different color and print and try to work some magic. There are many bare walls that I have to fill and this would be a good way to make a room cozy without costing too much.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Weekend Projects. fun! fun!

We completed 2 things around the house today.

1) Painted the front door.
2) Cleaned out the refrigerator.

It is amazing how we lived in our house for 4 years with a total of 9 roommates and when we moved out our door was white and looked as good as new. Eight months and one family later our door was destroyed. It is amazing that our renters were able to cause the destruction they did in such a short amount of time. Not only was the door covered in scratches, scum, and god knows what else, but the entire frame was cracked- basically damage that could only be done if someone was trying to kick down the door.

Thanks to Chris's handywork and a can of paint, our entry is as good as new and we dig our new black door.

Our second project for the day was to clean out the refrigerator. You are probably thinking "What in the heck do you have rotting in there that would cause it to be a day's work to clean out the rerigerator?"

Well, it was one of the last projects caused by our renters. We have no idea how this happened but we're guessing that they let their 2 year old play with bright pink nailpolish.......IN THE REFRIGERATOR!!! Yes, there was spilled nailpolish, splattered nailpolish and just plain old bright pink nailpolish all over the inside of the refrigerator and freezer. Thanks to a few bottles of nailpolish remover and a few rolls of papertowels....we're back in business again and our refrigerator is as good as new!

Peek-a-boo and a little walking.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One lucky helen is one creative lady.

I think her pattern designs are super cute:

If you do look at the website, click on the little critters under the heading "pattern design" and it opens up tons of new designs that I didn't realize were there at first!

Oh the times they are 'a changin.

Now that one nearly has to sell their first born in order to fill up their gas tank, the demand for electric vehicles will hopefully spur a new revolution. Now all we have to do is pray that the patents won't be bought by oil tycoons.

Can't you just see this sexy electric station wagon bombing around the streets? lol- I just said sexy and station wagon in the same sentence. Isn't that an oxymoron?

My interest in electric vehicles rose ever since we decided it was time to sell our beloved truck. Man, I loved that truck but whenever I got behind the wheel I couldn't help but picture empty oil mines and $8.20 posted at Chevron. I felt like I was the typical suburban American with an excess of crap that I didn't need. Crap including leather seats, navigation and even a voice activated fan system. Honestly, who needs those things?

So now that we've simplified and are no longer living in excess I am looking to the future. I wonder what is to come, all I know is it better be change and it better be fast.

Here's a link to a website with some cars I was recently exploring:

I like this idea.

I came across this picture and it inspired me to begin a project. Chris has thousands of comic books and comic cards- a whole collection of dorkiness that fills an entire closet in our house. I am going to do something creative- one man's junk is another man's treasure, right? I will post pictures once I perfect my creation.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Finn is getting so big!

Isn't our godson Finn just the most adorable little boy you have ever seen? This picture stole my heart so I just had to share.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Just a little tidbit for the day.

I listened to an old favorite song of mine on my way home from work today.

The lyrics to Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen, by Mary Schmich:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wanna be photographer.

So I was perusing this blog when I ran across a link to a pdx blogger

I don't know whis lady but she lives here in Portland and I love her photography. I love how she can capture an image like the rusty old photobooths at the Rose Festival or an old grocery sign and make it look so intriguing. She also captures so much color that it just makes me want to see more.

I am sitting here staring at my camera. Hmmmm. It's not one of those fancy schmany Canon cameras with all the bells and whistles, it's just a Sony Cyber-shot. I don't even think I can change the shutter speed on it.

I am a wanna be photographer. I think throughout the next few weeks I will play around with my camera. Maybe I can find some amazing images to catch my eye.

4th of July

We enjoyed a classic neighborhood BBQ in someone else's neighborhood. It was something I have never experienced until yesterday considering I haven't even met all of our neighbors in the 5 years we've lived in our house. It was so much fun that now I am inspired to deliver some cookies or something so we can have a party on our street next year.

As you can see Isabella was sure tired out from all of the fun, festivities and fireworks. It was the end of the night and Kyle and I realized we hadn't taken any pictures so we snapped this one.

On a sidenote, please don't click on this picture to blow it up. I have VNHWVC. Don't know what that stands for? Visible Nose Hair When Viewed Closely.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Running Playlist

My iPod is refreshed and ready to go. I completed my first long run (a whopping 7 miles) yesterday. It's a little depressing when my long runs are the same distance as my short runs used to be. Oh well, I have to start somewhere.

Music definitely keeps me going and as dorky as it is, I thought I'd share my most recent playlist.
The only song missing is Automatic by Powerman 5000.

My newest creation.

I don't have a picture to fit this large frame so intead I just made my own thing to go inside. Referring to it as a creation is slightly exaggerating because all I used was construction paper, glue, a few retro stickers and a swatch of cloth with some words on it. If you want to see it more closely you can click on the picture!

Is it too noticeable that the lower right sticker isn't aligned correctly? It bothers me but I know that I'm an anal freak so I am keeping myself from re-making the entire thing.

Magazine Rack

I transformed this wine rack from IKEA into a magazine holder in our living room. I think it turned out looking pretty cool!

Laughter is the best medicine.

Sleeping Baby

There is nothing more precious than a sleeping baby.

Ping Pong

Our living room is now dedicated to ping pong. Although I feel like I live in a bachelor pad, the fun makes it all worthwhile. I am glad we decided to bring the table in from the garage because a few games here and there every day and I have never laughed so much in my life. Odin gets in on the fun by catching catch fly balls with his mouth and Bella sits in her high chair and cheers us on.
Only one picture frame has been broken so far, let's hope we don't go flying through any windows!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Just the perfect doll.

I somehow found this website and now I want to start a collection of these dolls for Bella. I just love them!

Monday, June 30, 2008

I am committed.

Today is day 1 of my training for the Portland Marathon. I am completely out of shape which leaves me only 14 weeks to transform myself into a rockin' athlete. Right now my schedule consists of only long runs- one per week but I am going to try to fit shorter runs in here and there.
Week 1- 6 miles
Week 2- 8 miles
Week 3- 10 miles
Week 4- 12 miles
Week 5- 14 miles
Week 6- 16 miles
Week 8- 18 miles
Week 9- 20 miles
Week 10- 20 miles
Week 11- 16 miles
Week 12- 14 miles
Week 13- Rest
Week 14- Marathon!
I am thankful because our renters did leave us one present that didn’t consists of a broken wall or stained carpet, they left a pretty nice treadmill in the garage. At first I thought it was destroyed, as was everything else they left in their path. Come to find out, not only does it work but it is heavy-duty enough for me to run on for extended periods of time!

I really don’t know how I am going to fit this into my schedule but I am going to try. I’m thinking that after Bella goes to sleep I will try to run- Yeah, that’s me the crazy neighbor running in the garage for hours on end in the middle of the night.

The farthest I’ve ever run on a treadmill is 21 miles and most would agree that anyone capable of running on a treadmill for that long is insane. I guess I am a little crazy because treadmill training is all I had in preparation for my first (and only) marathon and I ran that one when I was pregnant.

p.s. I apologize for my outright bragging in the last sentence. It is something I boast about although if I had known at the time I was pregnant, you bet it would of been my first excuse to NOT run.

So anyway, it's good to be back on the wagon and I am excited to start feeling like myself again!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I found this picture on a news site reporting the latest damages from the horrific floods in Cedar Rapids. I understand this lady was trying to make a statement but I wonder how long she sat on her couch? Did she finish drinking that cup of coffee? And who was taking this picture? Was the photographer hanging from a tree branch?

The rotating tower. Wowza!

I saw the most hilarious thing this morning.

I was sipping on my coffee while driving to work this morning at the wonderful hour of 5:30am when I looked up and almost choked.

There was a large truck carrying a crane. Not a big deal right? Well, it's what was written on the back of the truck that made me laugh.

"Just like Viagra- We get it up for you"

Can you just envision a bunch of middle aged business men sitting around a conference table while brainstorming their next marketing scheme. And I admit, I will remember their mottoa and next time I am in need of renting a crane I will definitely call Fulton.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Oh how I love thee.

There are a lot of wonderful things in this world, one such thing is diet coke. Although this fizzy drink is best when freshly released from a fountain machine, a cold can will often suffice. Something this quenching, tasty and addictive doesn't come without a sacrifice. When I read a study last year about the link between ingredients from diet coke and cancer I quit drinking it for 3 months. When I was pregnant I didn't want a shriveled baby so I stopped drinking it for another 9 months. Now, despite my previous bouts of self control I am hooked again.

an oldie but a goodie.

In honor of Father's Day (yes, I realize I am 2 weeks late), I want to share one of my all-time favorite pictures. This is a picture that I will probably have framed in another 60 years and reminisce about "the good old days" to people who who have much better things to do than listen to me ramble but are too kind to shun an old lady.

My vintage hook project.

Yeah, yeah, I know it isn't symmetrical and I know it looks quite odd right now. Just wait until I add some paint and a few more hooks and this piece of wonderful art that all began with a broken picture frame will be perfect.

I use the term art loosely, after all I still draw stick figures.

sour patch kids

My palette is raw from eating too many of these sour little creatures. I would think with all the technology in the world the creators of this delicious treat would invent some type of cancer causing material to coat the sour crystals so we could eat them without losing precious tissue.

A blog that I regularly visit.

This is a blog that I frequently read. I don't know this person but I began reading his posts a few months ago and have been hooked ever since:

you'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll just want to hug this family.

Painting is oh so fun.

The beautiful dirty handprints that our renters so thoughtfully left behind in Bella's bedroom are really bothering me. I got a few ideas from hgtv to rejuvinate the room but as you can see below my ideas are very labor intensive. But then again I seem to be one of those people that like to make things just as difficult as possible.

I have been mentally preparing myself to be taping and prepping and painting for hours on end until I came across this website :

Some of the decals are definitely not my style but I think a few could possibly look really cute. And frankly, painting the walls a solid color and then adding the stickers in a matter of seconds is sounding quite nice.

So what do you think about wall decals? Trendy or Tacky?

And yes, I realize Bella doesn't care what her walls look like.

Every baby needs a pair of vans with skulls, right?

You must also add a pink bow to make the perfect ensemble.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Look what I found!

My friend Elizabeth is selling these adorable handmade burp cloths and she recently emailed me a link to her website:

Aren't these just perfect?

Am I the last to know about this awesome website, etsy?

I found so many unique things, things that I by no means NEED to buy. Just really pointless items that would hang on our walls or decorate some unused space in our house. But sometimes pointless things are so tempting.

Check out these clocks, they are my favorite.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm turning even more into my mom.

I've always opted for simplicity when it comes to a home but over time I've found our walls getting more and more cluttered. Take for instance our kitchen wall pictured here. There is not even one more ounce of space for anything. In actuality this wall is busy enough that it even more closely resembles a grandmother's home. Who in the heck hangs spatulas on racks? I guess I do.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Pedicab Experience

I see them all around Portland but I've never actually rode in a Pedicab until Saturday night. I am now convinced that it is by far the best way to travel. Not only do you ride in style, especially when you fit four people in one, but it is the best legal way to travel between bars. The only drawback was the BO smell that was emanating off of the driver, rider, or whatever you call the person handling the bike. But hey, I'd probably stink too if I rode a bike for hours on end.

Re-Finished Rocking Chair.

Thanks to my feverish sanding and Chris's painting skills Isabella now has a new rocking chair. It was once a putrid orangey yellow wood and now it's a chipper pink piece of furniture that sits cutely in Bella's room complete with Raymond, the blue dinosaur.

Goodbye truck, hello motorcycle.

Fun and cold times ahead. We sold our truck and welcomed this shiny new piece of metal to our family. On sunny days it will seem like a wonderful trade, $30/mo in gas instead of $300 and no car payment! Just ask Chris as he's riding to work in the rain whether it's worth it or not. He may tend to disagree with me.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

blonde bombshell

Well, I don't know about the bombshell part but I am definitely blonde. I was going to try to take a picture of my new do with a super cute outfit and some make-up on but then I realized that my new hair wouldn't be new if I waited to take a picture until I was all put together. So here ya go- a quick pic taken today. It's fun, I like it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New teal wall.

We began another painting project. When we finish one wall will be teal, one yellow and one green. Yes, I know it sounds horribly ugly but I guarantee you that it will look amazing when we are finished! Here is the first phase although the pictures are not yet in the frames:

Attack of the baby!

In 1.2 seconds Bella goes from being Claire's best friend to wanting to wrestle her down.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Chris!

Chris is now 29 and wow, it's crazy how time flies! We got married when he was a youthful 23. Not that he's not youthful now but next year he will be 30! Not that 30 isn't youthful but just another 5-10 years after that and he will be almost middle-aged. But then again Chris plans on living until he's 120 so if you do the math, in his mind he is still -5 years.

Bella's first pool experience!

We were among the thousands of Oregonians that came out of winter hybernation to enjoy the hot weekend. Saturday afternoon when I saw the temperature in my car reach 103 degrees I decided that we must go directly to visit Kyle and enjoy an afternoon in her pool. Bella loved the water and is definitely a little go-getter even when the water is freezing cold! I think swimming lessons will be coming soon. There is a place down the street called "Children of the Sea" where we plan to enroll her. Of course I always mistakenly call it "Chicken of the Sea".

A small accident.

I succeeded at keeping my child safe for exactly 9 months and 1 day. The dreaded first accident could of been a lot worse but the scratch on her eye still makes me nauseous. I always put the step stool behind the ironing board between two shelves so it is out of harms way. This time I left it out, turned away for two seconds and it ended up on top of Isabella. My mother always told me, "don't look away for one second". Well, I did and poor little Bella's face is the proof.

A little slice of goodness.

You may wonder why I take pictures of random things such as artichokes. My friends think I am a little crazy because objects or scenes that most people may not consider to be kodak moments tend to catch my eye.

Artichokes are wonderful. They are wonderful for so many reasons. They are slightly overpriced, take a crapload of work to eat, each bite is only midly satisfying and they leave you always wanting more.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Good or bad?

Today I am wearing pants that I purchased when I was 16 years old. This means two things:
1. It's stupendous that I still fit into them.
2. I really need some fashion help.

I'm already slightly afraid that in 2065 I will be the woman in which everyone is giving the side eye because she is stuck in a previous era. I have recently vowed that I will not be an 80-year-old woman wearing Puma's and super short hair in a time when super short hair is NOT in style. This will take some hard work because I am very aware that I spend absolutely nothing on keeping up my wardrobe. In fact, today I am wearing a shirt that I fished out of my best friend's goodwill bag. Hey, it must not look that bad because I even got a compliment on it! My pajamas are even hand-me-downs and even my finest clothing comes from Marshalls (don't laugh). Most of the time I blame my lack of style on having a tight budget but reality is if I wanted to change this situation, I could take control. I am slowly starting to realize that possibly this lack of style is just me and for some reason I must like looking a little worn.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Has bicycling always been called spinning?

My first spinning class was a few weeks ago. I went only because my friend Kyle invited me. I won't go into the grim details but I learned one thing from this experience: I will stick with running for now.

It seems that with all the technology in the world there would be a kind soul who would invent a softer seat. Did this poor excuse for an inventor enjoy inflicting pain on unsuspecting individuals that just wanted nice legs?

I know, I know, you're about to tell me that they have shorts with padding in the rear end. Well, the LAST thing on Earth I need is padding in the back of my shorts. I would much prefer a nice cushion gracing the horrendous seat on my bike.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bella's bathroom is finished.

Chris painted last night and here is the final product, (or close to it anyway). I feel a little guilty that my last few posts have consisted of pictures of my decorating and projects when 18,000 people are still burried in rubble in China. My heart goes out to all the people dealing with such great loss. I feel lucky that I have not experienced any major tragedies but it makes for quite an uneventful blog. I guess I hope that my blog stays this uneventful forever, it's an indication that things are going well.