Oscar Apple Seed

My colleagues came over this week with an apple tree and planted it in our front yard in honor of Oscar. 

So so sweet!
They all shared with us their wishes for Oscar and our family. I guess going back to work on Monday (can you believe it's been 3 months?) won't be so bad?! Truly, if a gal has to work, working with these folks is as good as it gets!


Junk Bonanza or Bust

For a year I looked forward to hitting up the Junk Bonanza in the big city.
I knew Oscar would be hangin' around (born) by the time it rolled around, but I was certain I could tote him along. As the date was approaching I came to terms with the fact that Oscar was not ready to spend a day junking...yet. So, we prepared around the Lovely Residence for me to be away from my little man for our first extended period. I woke up at 6AM, spent some time getting Oscar ready to face the day, kissed his chubby cheeks, a lot, and hopped in the car for the 3 hour drive to sift through piles and piles of junk.

I went by myself, because the only person I know that would have truly enjoyed the hunt and squealed with excitement over the piles of junk lives in Oklahoma. Tia, I miss you girl! 
The line to get in was long and my fellow junkers were crazy for their potential treasurers. It is more my style to walk around with my hands in my pockets (mostly, so I don't knock anything over) and take it all in before making any big decisions.

Check out my trophy purchase...
Isn't she beautiful? The gal I bought her from was throwing in the antique business towel, so she sold me the decoupaged bust form for only 70.00, which is a fab deal. Believe me, I have wanted a bust form for a while:) As I proudly walked her to my car I could feel the jealous eyeballs looking my way.
Henry was thrilled thrilled thrilled when I carried her into the house. His exact words were "I think I am about as excited as you will be when I buy my hunting bow." Insert eye-roll as I marched her up to our bedroom. Tia, I miss you a ton!
Here is our lady all dressed up.
I also bought an old screen door that I am pondering what to do with it...it's been in the back of the SUV for a week now...I needed it! 
I was back in the door by 5PM. Would I go again? Probably not. The thing about shopping from vendors is they are trying to make a living or a quick wad of dough off their junk, so they know what it's worth and what some crazy junkers are willing to pay. I think garage sales are where the real deals occur...people are just excited to get rid of all their shit. However, I would not consider my bust form shit.


Dressing the Bedroom Windows, Part II

One of the great upgrades that the previous owners did to this house was fitting all the windows with custom shades that keep heat out in the summer and cold out in the winter. Practical, but not super pretty. So, I wanted to find a way to gussy up the windows without removing the oh so practical shades...Faux Roman Blinds!
You can see the custom shades here and a small area where we Henry removed the trim so the new faux roman blinds tension rods would fit.
I hemmed the material to fit inside the window and created a pocket for a tension rod on top.
Then I created the layers by folding the material to my liking and pinning each layer up in the back.
 Here is the finished look.

Sure, they are just for looks, but we are all about looks in this house. Check out Dressing the Bedroom Windows, Part I.
By the way, I bought some new  full length curtain material that I think we will all agree on.  So exciting! Stay tuned for Dressing the Bedroom Windows, Part III.

I am linked to...

Tip Junkie handmade projects


It's Backwards Day

Oh yes, I will do what others tell me to do. If people are decorating with backward facing books, then I will decorate with backward facing books, and I will like it. 
Here is some backward book inspiration...
There is nothing practical about facing the titles of your books backwards. It is not easy to lend out a good read or allow others to peruse your titles. Turning your books backwards is all for show, which is fine by me.

All of these titles were just collecting dust and nobody in this house has ever reread a book anyway. After I finished stacking the books backwards I asked Henry, with a big satisfied smile, what he thought. He said "how can we find what we are looking for". I repeat, nobody in this house has ever reread a book. Later in the evening my friend, Gina, came over and I asked her, with a big satisfied smile, what she thought. She said "how will you find what you are looking for". I feel sad for these two. The backward book phenomenon is just passing them by.

Give it to me straight, what do you think?


Dressing the Bedroom Windows, Part I

The obsession over our bedroom never ends. The naked windows were starting to feel embarrassed so I spent some time measuring and hemming...
When I originally laid out the bedroom plan I was convinced I had a winning combination of fabrics...
Way Before...
More Recently Before...
Welcome to our Master Ice Cream Parlor! That's right, it just doesn't look right to me. I have tried living with it and loving it, mostly to save my energy. The fabric was on clearance so 7 yards only cost about 14.00, which is a  steal for fabric, much less full length curtains. I bought a rod from Target and these little alligator clips, so now I just need to buy some fabric I like and spend some more time measuring and hemming.
There you have it. I am usually going on and on about my good deals, thrifty design and clever ideas. This one would be no exception if we were serving Old Fashioned Malts and Banana Splits out of our bedroom!


"Light Me Up"

That's what our dining room would say if it could talk.

My in-laws were recently in town from Oregon and for an afternoon of fun we hit up a few estate sales. Nothing screams fun like rummaging through someone else's junk. I purchased two old throw pillows to re-cover and...
I know, it's beautiful. Dina, Henry's step-mom, and I eyed this beauty up, tracked down an employee to make sure it worked and then left without buying it. The chandelier was filthy, it plugged into the wall and it was marked 175.00. All contributing factors to us abandoning the light. However, I did not leave without putting in a bid for 100.00, that's how much I thought it was worth. If the light did not sell then it goes to the highest bidder the following day at noon. You may have guessed by now, I was the highest bidder! We were meant to be together.

We went and picked up the light and of course I was dying to clean 'er up and get 'er hung. When I say I, I mean I was super excited and Dina cleaned 'er up and Henry got 'er hung. Who was it that talked who into white washing the fence? Huck Finn?..."it will be super fun to clean up the light and wire it from the celling!"

The original light was quite small for the space and was lacking in character, I thought...
Sure did shine up nice...

After our new chandelier was hung we took turns going outside and pretending we were strangers walking by and admiring how perfect the family must be that lives inside the house with such a grandiose and expensive chandelier...hehehe. Jokes on them. Oh wait, we were the strangers.
Here is the room all lit up for the bargain price of 100.00. Dina and I did some online research and discovered that similar chandeliers sell for nearly 2000.00. You can imagine the high fives happening up here that night.
The light sparked my desire to paint the room, extend the table, recover the chairs, buy a rug, make a window treatment...you get the point.


9 weeks and 1 day old

When do parents stop measuring their baby's age in weeks? Oscar is 9 weeks or 2 months old. Can you believe it? Yesterday we turned on the fanfare because he grabbed onto a blanket and lifted it above his head while he was laying on the ground. What ever did we do for fun before 9 weeks and one day ago? Today was his two month doctor appointment and we are happy to report that he is as healthy as a salad. (no kidding, I just made that saying up! You can use it if you want:) 

Oscar's 9 week collage...
Oscar's weekly photo is taken on Sundays...or Mondays. We lay him down on a piece of black fleece that I grabbed out of the scrap bin at the fabric store for 2.00. I have wasted a lot of time obsessing over the fact that different light makes the black fleece gray or glowing. The solution would be to take the photo on the same camera setting at the same time of day, which isn't going to happen in this house. So, my solution is to get over it. Plus, I kind of like the variation in the collage, plus the model is so stinkin' cute, who notices the backdrop anyway? Oscar wears one of his BumGenius diapers because we are trying to get a sponsorship. Just kidding, we thought it was a good idea to keep him in his diapers for consistency, plus they are pretty stylin'. Our goal is to photograph his weekly growth for the full first year, since sometimes he changes significantly in the night. 43 more weeks before the finished collage.

This just in...

Blogging is a family affair. You may also notice that I think the boppy is better suited to support the computer than the baby. I do love sharing the energy that goes into each post these days.

Signing off, 
Nikki, Oscar and Stella

P.S. Check out Road Kill Rescue. My pink stenciled chairs have been featured...ahh shucks!


Time Sensitive Thank You Notes

Getting married? Having a baby? Getting a truck load of gifts from all of your super generous friends? 

The generosity of our friends and family started way before Oscar was born showering our new family member with toys and books and clothes and hand me downs and hand made blankets and all the necessities we would need to get us off on the right foot. I wanted to make sure every one of those people knows how grateful we are for all the gifts and love. So, in preparation for Oscar's arrival I put Thank You Notes on my list...

Before Baby Arrives
get eyebrows waxed
take Stella to the groomer
finish gallery wall
thank you notes

I printed a postcard size design I created in Microsoft Publisher, cut out the cards with a scissor and stamped the envelopes with our address. Time isn't gettin' in the way of us letting you know how grateful we are even though we are up to our elbows in snuggles and baby talk.


Please Sir, I Want S'more!

If only Oliver Twist could have got his little hands on one of my S'more desserts. Unfortunately, these sweet treats were headed to a g-friends Birthday Potluck. Maybe next time Oliver.

Who needs a bonfire to enjoy a s'more?
I was hunting down some clever dessert ideas on the World Wide Web and there are certainly some clever ideas, but many too too complicated for this faker baker. So, I found an idea I liked and improvised.

Here it is...everything you need to create s'mores in a jar...
Crush a package of grahams...
Mix the grahams with a couple tablespoons butter and pack into the bottom of jam jars, use the end of a kitchen tool to pack it down. Mix the batter as the box directs and pour evenly into 8 8oz jars.
Put the jars in a cake pan with about an inch of water in the bottom. Why? I am not sure, but I think it's so the jars don't break from the heat. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. It will take a while since the brownie is so thick, mine took about an hour.
 Stuff the mallows on top. Just stuff 'em in.
Put jars back in the oven until mallows are melted. Keep an eye on them, this step only took a few minutes. Even better, I would advise you to broil them for a genuine roasted mallow top...our broil function doesn't work:( so I threw on some mini choco chips for extra cute factor.
Screw on the tops and head to the party. Who wants S'more?