Don't cloche your eyes - you're going to want to see this.

Okay, I'm in love with these things... my MIL has several that I was oohing and aahing over a few weeks ago, and being the lovely that she is, she went out and bought me one of my own. There's just something so fun and new about them, but yet sweet and retro too. Awesome. I finally got the motivation/inspiration today to put stuff inside of it - who knew dollar store ceramic birds and some spray paint could turn out so cute??
Here's my question - what should it sit on? Do I need an elevated stand? Do the birds need to sit on something higher inside of it? How about the white plate it's on, (I did that because of the white birds?) Would a clear glass plate, like my cake stand next to it, be better? Something silver and vintage-y looking instead? Oh, and I'm thinking I should turn the birds to face eachother - it looks like they're having a fight. Ha!
And the cake stand with eggs and moss... yay or nay? I kind of like it, but now I feel like I need many more cloches in various sizes and heights, to create a better vignette, not just two random ones... oh, what have I started. Looking on Ebay and Etsy, these things aren't cheap. *cheep!* Here they are together:

House Project.

This blog is quickly becoming about decorating, and not much about anything else... sorry... it's just a good place for me to compile all my disjointed thoughts and ideas! I saw THIS bathroom today, and I've got a guest bath in the new house that's pretty much the same size and shape... and it desperately needs attention soon because the doors on the vanity are broken off. No, I'm not going to paint mine purple, but I do love the board and batten idea... I wanted to incorporate it somewhere in the new house! Maybe I can make new cabinet doors (Dad?) in this shaker style (my favorite door profile anyway) and paint the cabinet black like this too... this will be a good test for the master bath...
Problem is, the toilet and bath are bright white, and the countertop is cream. Grrr. How do you match both?




Other stuff I like.

I want to build these: I think they would be super fun in a playroom or in A's room.
Wood Ledges

and somewhere, somehow, I'm going to become a genius with molding and a miter saw and create something like this:Pantry Door Moldings

and I'd like to buy M this bedding: JCP Pink and Brown Daisy Quilted Bedding(these sites suck me in with their inexpensive prices on quilts (not comforters! Awesome!) but then they stick me with the shams, accent pillows and everything separate! grrr...
And something like this for A's room: Blue/Green Quilt Set

Some lighting options:  I know they probably don't all go together... I couldn't even name my style if I tried... I just know I like all of these very much!  What do you think?

I have always loved these moravian star lights, definitely need to find a place for one!
Drum-shaped chandeliers and lamp shades, oh how I love thee...
Another funky drum-shaped chandelier - - is it as cool as I think it is? Or just weird?
Darnit, why do I have to live in AZ  and need fans - I would so buy this for M's room.
I love the industrial, outdoor feel of these pendants... what do you think, with my white kitchen? Do they go? Imagine three hanging over a raised bar?  If  I went with nickel hardware on my cabinets instead of oil-rubbed bronze, there is a nickel version of this too...

Moving and such.

Last summer, I thought I found the house of my dreams. We had been casually looking in a certain neighborhood in Tempe for many, many years... waiting for a specific, rare floorplan to come up for sale. Well, it finally did, and it happened to be directly across the street from an old work friend of mine, and it happened to be a somewhat-affordable short sale, so we thought it was meant to be. I took pictures of EVERYTHING in that house, had the decorating all planned out, I had measured everything and brought friends and family to go see it... it was a done deal in my mind that this would be OUR house. So I thought. There was a part of me, however, that never felt at ease about the idea of moving into it right away - - so we decided we'd rent it out for a few years, and then move into it, finally, when the kids were ready for junior high/ high school. (I think it was N & I who wanted to live in Tempe so badly, but we weren't necessarily thinking about the kids - we were already making lots of concessions thinking "We don't need a playroom - and the girls can still share a room - and we don't need a big backyard, etc, etc") After 6 months of negotiating and waiting for banks and postponements and auctions and such, losing much sleep, getting our financing together and all our ducks in a row, the deal ended up falling through - - but after it was said and done, neither N or I were sad about losing that house. Go figure.

Less than 2 weeks later, N called me saying he wanted to go look at another house. In Mesa. (Bigger! Cheaper! he says...) I reluctantly agreed... I didn't want to waste any more of our realtor's time. But when I walked through it the very first time, (this was way back in January) I realized that THIS is where I wanted my kids to be. No question. This one just feels right, like the Tempe house never did. Located in east Mesa, it's is a diamond in the rough with an amazing floor plan, in a nice neighborhood, with perks I never knew I wanted (astroturf, anyone?) and we are so excited to live in it. I have grand plans for it - - and hopefully, someday, my wallet will be able to see all those plans come to life.

It tears me apart to know that I'll be leaving several dear friends, my volleyball crew, my free exercise class each week, the dynamic Finny-and-Joshy duo, and my very affordable current mortgage... my heart aches to think of leaving Janna or Jackie... but I'm very much looking forward to A & M having lots of LDS friends, A not being the only one showing up to Activity Days anymore, maybe having babysitter options, doing swim team at a city pool that doesn't have rowdy, potty-mouth inappropriate teenagers hanging about all the time, A & M each getting their own room and eliminating all sleeping-schedule conflicts, all the kids being in new, challenging school environments, and N being a bit closer to work, and me being closer to my business partner. (Seems that much of our social life and errands find us driving over to Mesa, Tempe, or Scottsdale a couple times a week - - silly - - why should I have to drive 45 minutes to go buy Costco cheese or a piece of scrapbook paper??) And eventually, when I do get the girls back into gymnastics, it will be less than 1/4 mile away from my front door, instead of 15 miles away. Oh, and we will FINALLY have a POOL! And for the first time in our married life, 2011 will see our Christmas stockings hanging from a mantle! (albeit an ugly one at the moment, but a mantle nonetheless)

Yes, we could have moved further west and gotten many of the benefits I listed (with a WHOLE LOT cheaper house to boot) ... but since N works in Tempe, the in-laws live in Scottsdale and Mesa... it was time to go east. I hope you'll still be my friend, Deirdre!


If wishes were fishes...

My house would look like something like this, with lots of woodwork and molding and wainscoting and dark, handscraped wood floors...
with a wall color painted just about like this...
And my master bath shower would look like this...
And my kitchen would look something like this...
and I would have a sectional like this in my playroom...
and in front of that sectional would be two ottomans like this, one red, one black...  (of course I want to build these, and have them open with hinges so there would be storage...

Lovely, isn't it? Wouldn't you like to live in this house? Yeah, me too.

A few great blogs to peruse.

To find reviews on books for A, because I can't keep up with her anymore and have no idea what she's reading most of the time:


And let me introduce my new best friends, Jake and Brett, who have a shop in east Mesa and re-finish furniture like no one you've ever seen. I didn't realize there was such a difference between joe-shmoe like me going to buy latex paint from Home Depot then slapping it on, versus the professionals... until I stroked one of my hands across one shelf they'd re-done. Wow, these guys are good, and they have all the knowledge and tools to do it RIGHT. Including the sprayers and LACQUER paint and such, and get this, they hand-paint many of the shading and distressed looks... it's impressive, let me tell you. I will be paying them to paint A's new dresser, not doing it myself. I recommend that if you have a piece of furniture you care about, and want repainted RIGHT, call them.


and this news, which you may or may not be aware of, the fact that Dave Meadows will now be teaching Let's Play Music here in Laveen! He's an awesome teacher and your kids will love him!



B-b-b-Bennie and the Jetsssssss

You know it was good when two days later, I've still got Haley's rendition of the Elton John song running through my head. LOVED it, love her.

Okay Idol fans - I know I haven't posted in a while, but believe me, it's not because I haven't been watching, I've just been short on time (and tired of talking about people I didn't like, because there were so many) Plus, I was a little resentful that the riff raff was moving on (Karen, Naima) and great singers like Kendra had been sent home.

But now, thanks to the awesomeness of America, we're getting somewhere. I applaud the judges for saving Casey last week. And thank goodness he trimmed up his hair and beard - he doesn't look so much like a uni-bomber anymore.

I have to say I am a bit impatient to get to the top six - which should be Pia, Haley, James, Casey, Stefano, and Lauren, and then on to the top five - - which should be, Pia, Haley, James, Casey and Stefano, and then on to the top four - - which should be Pia, Haley, James, and Casey... but after that I'm biting my nails because I don't know who should win... honestly!

I'm just crossing my fingers that America gets it right again next week and sends either Scotty or Jacob home. It's beyond me why everyone loves Jacob's voice. Gag. All I hear is over-singing and too many runs and weirdness, and all I see is a grown-up Gary Coleman who has a freaky mouth and poor fashion sense. Scotty, I'm totally bored with, and honestly I hate country music so I usually fast forward through his performances. Paul, I'm sure, will go home next week, but will be interesting at least to hear sing one more time. Maybe.

SIDENOTE - how cool is Will I Am?? Even singing a song for a cartoon, he rocks it.

Another sidenote - I'm loving how professional all the mentors are that they are having the contestants work with. Being with the same producers every week seems to be producing a much more consistent, higher quality acts instead of randomness each week coming from artists that may or may not have much music sense (Ahem, Miley Cyrus). Two thumbs up for all the changes they've made this year, including the judges and bringing on Interscope Studios. Also, I totally enjoyed having the small groups perform last night, versus a song that tries to incorporate Everyone (which never turns out great).

SO - - who's your favorite? And please, watch this if you haven't: