In a pickle.

We had a busy Saturday with lots of running around for appointments and a birthday party. I was feeling really crappy so went to bed early with my books. I finished Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Loved them!

I was still feeling sick on Sunday, so I dragged myself around and didn’t do much. I made my first ever batch of Refrigerator Pickles. Chopping cukes was kinda therapeutic.

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I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. They seem way too salty, but maybe they’ll mellow in the fridge. It was a really fun project!  Tom is a pickle fiend so I might give it another try this week.

The boys washed our cars and thought it was great fun. Why didn’t we think of this sooner? Entertainment + clean cars.

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I found Littlest quietly drawing by himself in the dining room with Coal next to him. It was pretty cute.

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When we were at my parent’s house a few months ago, my Mom gave me these old Tupperware things that she used to make Jello when I was little. The boys wanted to make Jello today, so I broke them out. I texted this picture to my sister and we got a kick out of seeing them. Who would have thought that a bunch of old Tupperware could bring back so many memories?

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TGIF!

Happy Friday!

While on the cruise, I rediscovered my love of reading. I plowed through The Hunger Games (probably the last person on Earth to read it) and The Other Boleyn Girl. Both were so good! Last night, the boys and I went to the library so that I could check out Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I am already half way through Catching Fire. I can’t put it down.

Today I ordered a new sewing machine and I am very excited! Although my Mom worked as a professional seamstress for many years, I never picked up her talents. I can’t wait for it to arrive. Homemade pajama pants for everyone!!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Ship Shape.

Hi Blog! We are back from our vacation, and what a vacation it was!

I was nervous about going on a cruise, but OH MAN(!), we had fun! The 8 days positively flew by.

The highlights were:

Being with my little family.

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Boogie boarding.

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Tom and Biggest dressing like twinsies.

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Boys in ties.

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Molten Chocolate Cake for dessert.

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Almost every night.

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The whitest softest sand.

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Finding one perfect shell.

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Nothing but water for as far as the eye could see.

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Celebrating a special couple’s 50th Anniversary.

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Towel animals.

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Reading from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory every night before bed.

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Hours by the pool.

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Me and Biggest winning $1000 at Bingo!

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So much color.

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Wearing my floppy straw hat.

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Trophies.

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A full moon over the water.

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Starting this.

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These three…

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… Always make me smile.

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What did I do to deserve this?

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Finish & Start & Summer & a Boat Trip

Hi Blog! I can’t believe that it has been so long since the last post!

Summer has been busy so far. Here’s what’s been going on…

The boys are enjoying camp; swimming and playing soccer and doing archery each day.

Littlest switched to a new TaeKwonDo school which is super intense.

We have had a lot of playdates.  Everyone is pooped by the end of the day.

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We found our first red strawberry, only to have it stolen by a chipmunk or some other pest the very next day.

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I got my hair cut by a Korean lady who didn’t speak much English. I told her I wanted VOLUME and she smiled and nodded and just started cutting away. Now I have bangs and a lot of layers. It’s growing on me.

This is how I usually find Tom and Coal.  Tom: reading. Coal: anywhere that Tom is.

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Good Old Llama (Littlest’s favorite stuffed animal during the baby/toddler years) was rediscovered and has been seen toted around the house again. I love him.

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I finally baked a good loaf of bread! (No pictures, Darn, but trust me!)

Raven Bewitched is finished! This was SO FUN! Definitely my most relaxing stitch ever.

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We are leaving this Sunday for an 8 day cruise to celebrate Tom’s parent’s 50th Anniversary. I have never been on a cruise before and am nervous about 1. getting sea sick and 2. being bored.

To deal with #1, I went to Target and bought every kind of motion sickness medicine that I could get my hands on. To deal with #2, I am packing many books AND a new cross stitch project. So…

Introducing…

Floral Heart Pillow by Modern Folk!

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I’ve admired his patterns for awhile. I clearly have a thing for monochromatic symmetrical traditional looking pieces, so this fits the bill. Doesn’t it look like it will be such a bliss-out-relaxing-no-thinking-at-all stitch?

NEW PROJECT! YAY!

School’s out!

Today is a good day. Do you want to know why? Here’s why.

It is the last day of school! Actually, next Monday is officially the last day, but we are letting the boys SKIP on Monday! Rebels! Tonight we are going to go out to dinner to celebrate and maybe (definitely) even go for ice cream after.

Crabby Cross Stitch Lady called me to tell me that she found ONE remaining skein of Hickory Sticks! It was mixed in with another color. How lucky is that? How great is she? I LOVE CRABBY CROSS STITCH LADY FOREVER!

It’s Friday! This weekend we have a gazillion appointments and playdates and errands to run, but it’s still the weekend!

Since it’s the end of the year, the boys have been emptying their desks and bringing home all kinds of stuff. I’ve been enjoying reading through Littlest’s writing journal. This particular entry speaks for itself.

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Happy Friday!

Summer!

The last week of school is finally here. The boys (and I) are excited for Summer to start. I always seem to think that things will slow down over the Summer, but really they go just as fast.

On Saturday, I got it into my head that we needed a new couch for the living room. I was hemming and hawing about it, but then we came up with the brilliant idea to move the furniture from the family room to the living room and get new family room furniture instead. I don’t know what I was thinking when we got light colored furniture for the family room last year. Boys + expensive light colored couch = very bad idea. So, I picked out a new couch and it wasn’t custom order and it was in stock and, lo and behold, it was delivered on Monday and we are already busy breaking it in. How easy was that?

You can’t really see the couch in this picture, but Littlest and I are cuddling on it here. It’s huge! And comfy!

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We still need to find a chair though. Decisions.

So since I was on a redecorating rampage, I also got it into my head that I wanted to paint the desk black. It was previously a kooky chinoiserie number. Here it is in progress.

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I love it!

And in other news, Tom spotted the first tomato this morning.

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And, here I am stitching on the train again.

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Can I tell you how ANNOYED I am? I went to re-buy the threads that had blown away in the wind and the store was OUT of Hickory Sticks by Crescent Colours. UGH! Now I have to order online and pay to ship just one skein of floss. I suppose I could substitute the color, but the perfectionist in me is having a hard time coming to terms with this. I know. Someone (me) needs to take a chill pill.

Frameaholic.

So, I have this problem where I keep buying old frames at yard sales and thrift stores. I love the ones that are really beaten up and chunky and held together with big ancient looking nails and wrangly knotty wires in the back.

Then it occurred to me that I also have this problem of finishing my cross stitch projects and then not doing anything with them.

Can you see where I’m going here?

This morning, I had some extra time so I pulled out my finishes (and almost finishes) and frames and played a little game of match up!

Voila!

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First up, Raven Bewitched!

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Isn’t she bewitching? I got this lovely for $2 at the neighborhood yard sale last weekend. It is chunky and solid. The old man I got it from said that it used to hold a picture of his Grandfather, who was “quite a famous man.”  I started to ask him who he was, but got distracted (probably by another treasure). You can see the spot on the bottom where there was probably a placard with this famous man’s name. Now I’m wondering who he was.

Next up, my cute marriage sampler. Remember this one? I love her.

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This frame is understated and has a pretty antique patina. There is a price tag on the side for $7, so that must be what I paid. For once, I left enough fabric around the edges so that it won’t be a nightmare to frame.

And, finally, good old Quaker JOY.

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I got this frame at a really cool architectural salvage place in Philadelphia. I don’t remember what I paid for it, but it was more than I’d typically spend. I couldn’t resist because the wood was so pretty and the design so simple. This will need some kind of mat board to hide the stingy fabric edge.

Ta-da!

Frame hoarding pays off!

Casting on.

It’s a rainy Monday here in Pennsylvania. The weather over the weekend was lovely, so I won’t complain too much about the clouds today.

My friend had a Mom & kids happy hour play date on Friday. Littlest was in one of those moods where he thought everyone was being unfair to him. It started off rough, but then everyone mellowed and we had a good time.

Our neighborhood had a giant yard sale on Saturday. We walked the dogs so, of course, we had to stop and look at everyone’s stuff. I swore that I wouldn’t bring home more junk, but the call of good bargains was just too strong to resist. The best thing that I found was a hand made quilt! I’ve wanted one forever and have finally come to terms that I will never be able to sew it myself. This one was only $10 and pretty and in perfect condition! I know, right?! I had intended it for the beach house, but I love it so much that it might stay at the regular house. Squeeee!

The next best thing that I got was a bread machine, which I’ve also wanted forever! My sourdough experiments have been mediocre at best, so I rationalized that a bread machine would magically transform my bread into something delicious. I’ve already used it to make a loaf of white bread (bland… it was supposed to be french bread, but I messed up the settings) and a loaf of honey wheat bread (that one was mmmm…). Now I’m obsessed with bread baking again. Next up, tackling that sourdough again! A few online sources suggest using the machine just to knead and proof the dough then putting it in the actual oven to bake. Interesting. I’ll let you know how it goes.

And, (it keeps getting better) I bought a book on how to knit and the lady selling it gave me some yarn. We had dinner plans with friends, but they canceled and I was secretly sooooo glad and immediately ran right out to buy some needles, which led to this…

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Pathetic! I couldn’t even figure out how to cast on, which led to this…

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Seriously, how cute is he? Here’s Tom trying to figure it out so that he could teach me, which led to this…

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A successful cast-on!!! Wheeeeee! Neither of us could figure out what to do next… you know, the actual knitting part, but that’s a task for another day.

Sunday, I baked more bread, and kickboxed, and cross stitched, and hung laundry outside in the sun, and planted some green onions, and ate hot wings, which basically equals a perfect day in my nerdy introverted world.

Grumble.

What a difference a week makes. I am a Grade-A Grump this week. Work has been kicking my A$$ and I have been irritable and cranky. I am ashamed to say that I have been bringing my grumps home with me and even taking it out on unsuspecting boys. Not intentionally, or course, but… sigh. Guilty.

I CAN’T WAIT for this week to be over.

Hormones aren’t helping either.

And jerks.

And no cross stitching.

Or exercising.

Blergh.

Calgon… take me away.