time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life - brian andreas

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I don't know where the time is going.
March is almost over, and I feel like it just started. 
I spent much of the month organizing our new apartment.  It is completely done, other than a few outstanding projects.  By few, I mean several.  I have a swag lamp that needs a chain cover (this requires sewing, which I don't do.  Should make for an interesting project).  I have 2 lamps that need to be painted and shades recovered.  I have a side table to paint.  Harpers room needs 3 canvases decorated...paint, fabric, or paper??? (this is not rhetorical, I'd love suggestions).  And lastly I found a DIY blog with a lovely sunburst mirror that is calling to me....I feel that April is going to be busy.
I'm excited about the way Harpers room turned out.  Not because of it's cuteness, but because of the cost of it all.  You know, the important things, good prices:

this is the best view i could get...the room is just too small. 
curtains: $6.24/set. lamp: $9.00.  bedspread: $.70.

cube shelves: $3.24.
 harper picked out the trinkets.  notice the metal piano...it plays music and is lined with red velvet. classy.

ceramic owl: $1.99
Harper is really excited about her room, and has already stuffed her bedside table with necklaces, Barbies, Hello Kitty slippers, and books.  It's already feels more like home.
Here is a picture of the smallest bathroom in the world (excuse the awful lighting...another plus):

I would have posted more pictures, but I couldn't squeeze inside.  You aren't missing out though, the toilet/tub are the only unpictured items in the bathroom.  No, I'm not exaggerating and yes, it really is that small. 
In addition to the moving/organizing/cleaning, we ended the month with a visitor:

aunt betsy and beckham
Betsy came to stay with us while Dylan was away.  It was SO fun.  We had 5 days of eating, laughing, and shopping.
The eating: Aside from our daily soda runs, we found time to be in the kitchen a little.  We made grilled salmon with snow peas and red potatoes.  The next night we had tilapia fish tacos with home made guacamole:

We also made a roasted vegetable orzo with lemon sauce.  Oh, and there were a few bags of salt and vinegar chips tossed in there.  And a few (dozen) white chocolate macadamia nut cookies:

making cookies for aunt betsy
don't worry, these didn't last long.  we ate them for breakfast. and lunch. and maybe dinner.
I think I gained 12 lbs.
The laughing: We had an afternoon alone (that's right, no kids...it was heavenly) and decided to go shopping (surprised??).  On our way home, we noticed a carnival in the Winco parking lot....that's right, Winco.  Are you fearing for our safety?  Me too, a little.
3 words: Ring of Fire. 
We bought our tickets from a little old carnie, with no teeth.  We snapped pictures of ourselves and joked that the carnies had webbed fingers and smelled like cabbage.  As we hung upside down and I again questioned our sanity, I realized how long it had been since I'd laughed like that.  My stomach hurt and my cheeks were sore from smiling.  Sisters make everything more fun.
The shopping: During our time together, I think we went to the goodwill 11 times.  Some we visited twice.  They were just that good. 
The diamonds in the rough??   Leather purses, skinny jeans, Banana Republic sweaters, vintage Talbots black skinny belt, J. Crew sweater...the list goes on and on and on.  And on.  If you don't believe me, ask Betsy.  She had to take 2 extra suitcases home...completely full.
Aside from the clothes, I've had a few other finds. 
Prepare to be envious:

vintage floral suitcase

brass bird.  a must have.

i've been wanting a cake plate, but fancy glass did not seem my style (or safe with the little rats running around my house).
  i found this '50s metal one with a plate, square cover, and long wooden handle.  it is just what i wanted.
Doesn't it make you want to grab a flight to Portland?
I promise to deliver a wonderful vacation full of good food, great laughs, and tons of shopping. 
Oh, and cookies for breakfast.

ps: we had a little photoshoot while Betsy was in town with the kids.  They were cooperative (mostly) and she captured a few good ones.  I might be bias, but those are some of the sweetest faces I've seen: 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This post is going to be short...unless I get off track and ramble on and on and on....which I never ever do.  Ahem...
Dylan is in Nicaragua for 10 days with a club from school...I know, unfair right?!  I'm in the torrential downpour, and he's basking in the sunshine...drinking pina coladas, eating out, and shopping.  Oh, and helping the people of Nicaragua maintain their eyesight and eye health... but that's just a cover I'm pretty sure.  Since he was gone the entire Spring Break, the kids and I decided to make a trip to Boise to surprise our families.
It was such a whirlwind...in a good way.  We saw both Conklin and Hatfield (there are no pictures of the Hatfields...because most of our time together was spent chasing kids, or in a noisy playplace...those are all just excuses.  Really, I'm just a slacker) grandparents.  We spent time with aunt Jen, uncle Daniel, and cousin K (the kids loved her and were in her face the ENTIRE time).  We saw Uncle Jake, The Chatterton family (including cousins, although there are no pictures because again...total slacker), and wonderful friends.  It was so different from our normal monotonous routine, which was a nice change. 
Our trip included: the McDonalds playplace, outings to the park, making smoothies, playdate with friends, family dinners, Target shopping trips, laughing, a trip to the library, fabric shopping, eating...the list of fun goes on and on. 
It beat our usual daily activities: school, naps, annoying each other, meals, bedtime.  Boring.
I have a lot to say about the trip, but am committed to making this post short, because my eyelids are drooping and I'm running strictly on Diet Pepsi right now. 

Boise made me:
- Miss my family even more.  It is so hard being away.  It's like a giant gaping hole that nothing else can fill.
- Remember how dry my skin is there...and my hair.  The mullet looked even worse in Idaho than Oregon.  If that's even possible.
- Realize that no thrift stores compare to the Forest Grove Goodwill.
- Admit that I hate pumping my own gas...I've gotten spoiled.
- Understand how much I miss selling real estate.  I had forgotten the thrill of showing a house, discussing features of a kitchen, and thinking about things other than diapers, toddler tantrums, and wiping noses (and other body parts too).  I miss it more than I realized and think I left a little piece of myself behind when I left it.
- Remember how much I hate sales tax.
- Realize that I NEVER want to go to McDonalds again.  I'm embarrassed to say this, but we ate there 4 times this week.  By we, I mean the kids.  Unless McFlurrys and Dr. Pepper count as eating.
I am so thankful we could go and for every ones efforts to make it a great trip.  Here are a few pictures of some of the people we saw (if we saw you and there is not a picture it's because I failed to take one, or my kids were making ridiculous faces in it...they're not cooperating very well right now for photos):

with grandma conklin

harper and cousin k

love baby k

playdate with friends

reading with papa conklin

kisses from great uncle jake

While in Boise, I did a little thrifting (a big thanks to my mom for tending the littles so I could escape  go shopping alone) and had a fabulous find! 
I have been keeping an eye out for sunburst mirrors.  I wanted something that was not metal.  I already own a metal one that I found at an antique store for $1, so wanted either an all-glass design, or wood. 
I went into a consignment store called Ricochet and laid eyes on this beauty.  I immediately knew I had to take her home:

After putting it up on the wall, I'm so glad I scooped it up before someone else did!  I need one more to complete my collection and put them in an arrangement above my green credenza.  I'm debating making one myself and have been pouring over DIY blogs.  I'm halfway tempted...
Oh, and we decided to pack up and drive home in the middle of the night to beat a snow storm.  We got home at 2am, and this is what I looked back to find.  Cute, and also a little sad:

They were such good little travelers. 
It was wonderful to spend time with family and friends.  But it's always good to be home.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

worst. dinner. ever.

This is going to be a picture less post...I'm just throwing that out there right now.  Lame, I know.
Tonight we decided to invite friends for dinner...we've never had this couple over and were really excited to spend some time with them and their sweet daughter.
Dinner was supposed to start at 5:30p.  I started preparing around 4:15p: boiled chicken, made alfredo sauce, and got out some dough in preparation for the delicious calzones that were going to grace our table.
Side note: the man coming to dinner spent 2 years in Italy, being fed some of the most perfected Italian food on the planet.  He has been said to have a 'critical palate'...not in a snotty way, but in a 'I wish I'd tried all those foods and knew half as much about food as he does' kind of way.  He also cooks frequently AND makes his own pasta, which I've heard is divine.
I was frustrated when I realized at 5:20p I realized that the meal was a TOTAL DISASTER. 
The dough did not rise.  It was flat and sticky.  I literally could not even roll it out. 
The sauce was runny (and a bit bland in my opinion) and oozed out of the sticky dough semi-circles.
The home made oreos had a runny center that wouldn't even stay put inside the cookies. 
I was so mortified.  I threw my cook book across the room (and ripped the cover in the process...serves me right) and almost called to cancel. 
I wanted to cry.  I didn't know what to do, and my guests were arriving in 10 minutes.
I did the only thing I could do: dumped the half-finished calzones in the trash and turned my chicken alfredo calzones into chicken alfredo fettucini.  My (irrational) hope was that the man would somehow forget, or not make it to dinner.  The very last meal on earth I EVER wanted to feed him was ANYTHING Italian.
So instead of fluffy flavorful chicken calzones, we had store bought fettucini with bland alfredo sauce and flat breadsticks. 
And it was 35 minutes late gracing the table. 
Don't forget the the runny cookies.  Sick.
I must say, I don't have many kitchen mishaps.  I'm no guru in the kitchen, but I can usually pull together an edible meal.  This was not one of those times.  Totally embarrassing.
The conversation was great and we were so happy to spend some time with their family, despite the   meal (the woman brought a salad and it was delicious, luckily).
I'm anxious to have them to dinner again.  And attempt to redeem myself.  I will not be serving Italian.

ps: I just couldn't do it...the blog with no pictures.  They're just boring and lame. 
Here is the new (to me) owl trivet that I got at the Goodwill for $1.99.  I used it tonight while making my disastrous dinner.  It is the cutest :

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

our new pad

I've been MIA from the blogging world for the last week (I'm sure the 6 of you reading this, took notice), but it's only because I've been trying to get unpacked from our move.  Which is no excuse...not a good one anyway.  Mostly because in all honesty, we are completely unpacked...with the exception of my bedroom which looks like a tornado has has hit. 
Although we're unpacked, things are not totally put away...I'm sure that won't happen for months.  However, I am going to post some really poor quality photos that I took last night (with no sunlight, and a flash).  The pictures are awful, I'd like to just throw that out there. 
I did take a few more this morning that are equally as craptacular...because it's raining here.  Are you shocked?  I am (that last comment was dripping with sarcasm, in case you couldn't sense my tone through the computer).
First off, as promised, here is a picture of my wretched haircut...one word: mullet.  Keep in mind that I had NO layers when I entered the salon, and asked for a T-R-I-M.  Instead I received a 'nice framed face'...aka mullet and tons of layers, starting at my cheekbones.  Awesome.
Don't judge:

Also, please note the look of joy on my face.  I can't stress enough how awful my hair looks. 
PS: I'm slightly dramatic, but if you know me at all you already knew that.
Oh and it's been raining for 2 weeks straight.  Which makes my hair frizzy. 
But on the bright side (not literally bright...remember, no sun), I woke up to these this week...:

...courtesy of my sweet husband, who was trying to brighten (again, not literally) my life day.  So beautiful.
Now on to the house pictures:


kitchen 2

wall between kitchen and entry hallway

living room

dining room...look at those cute kiddos

always in our entryway
sitting area in living room

above coat rack in entryway

hallway, taken from entryway
entryway (taken from living room)
A few things: first off, note the 'new' carpet.  Although it looks like it's straight from the '70s, it's actually very fluffy and soft and lovely.  And new...it's the first time I've ever had new carpet.  I'm pretty excited about it. 
Also, the humongous storage shelf is new to us since moving....we bought it for the wall between the kitchen and entry hallway, and then realized it did not fit once we moved.  We need it to store Dylan's 18000 school books and very expensive eyeball equipment.  So for now it's living on the same wall as the television...just taking up lots of space.  Until I make it to IKEA for some natural fiber bins, I am storing all my various treasures in the spaces instead of books. 
It was fun to pull out some of my favorite things and finally have a place to put them (for now at least):

cast iron keys...these literally weigh 20 lbs and we hauled them all over s. california...that's how much i love them

cast iron jacks...yellow, red, and green

vintage tins

bird candy dish

a gift from my sister jen...skeleton keys that hang on my front door. one of my favorite things.
these also double as an alarm when my children are trying to escape.
All in all, we're settling in.  The kids all slept through the night for the first time last night.  Which makes for a happy mother.  And because of my new-found energy, I actually cooked a real meal tonight.  As long as pancakes count as a meal.

ps: I'll post upstairs pictures soon.  promise.