Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cole's Graduation and Party What an exciting time for all of us, especially Cole. We are so proud of him. My friend, Laurie, gave me some great advice. I am very emotional so I really appreciated this advice. She told me not to be sad but to really enjoy all of the festivities. It worked!! I loved every minute of his graduation and had a blast at his party. Cole graduated with honors. He was 11th in his class of around 500. He wore a National Honor's Society Stole, 5 Honor cords and 2 Tassels.
With his proud little sister.
With Grandma and Grandpa.
His best friend since 5th grade.
One of our projects was to tear down the kid's playhouse that their grandfather built for them. I wanted a keepsake from the wood, so we made a sign for our "candy bar" out of the wood.
I made cookies with my William's Sonoma "Message In a Cookie" set.
I cooked pork for pulled pork for four weekends. Friends and family brought salads and desserts and my dear friends, Carmen and Tina helped in the kitchen. Wish they wouldn't have work so hard, but things sure went smoothly.
We had over 75 guests including my Aunt Betty and cousins and their spouses, my Bunco friends, Mark's family, Cole's friends and our good friends and neighbors.
At the end of the night, my husband and I presented Cole with his graduation gift. Needless to say, he was one happy guy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It all started with the darling little robin-egg blue birds from the Easter section at Target. My friend Loretta called me to tell me about them. I'm sure that she heard the lack of enthusiasm in my voice, so she announced that she had to bring one over to show me. Well that did it. I was on a search and ended up with five of them. We just had our son's graduation party. To say that I am behind is an understatement. About four and one half years ago, I went back to work full-time. My husband works about a gazillion hours a week and that leaves me to do just about everything. Well, I can't do everything, no one can, so I got behind. I must say it is very motivating when you are inviting 100 people to your home for an open house. I wanted to share a few of our projects. We had a bought a new cushion for our front bench a few months before. Once I added the new blue birds, I realized that we need a few new pillows. Hello Pier One. Have you been there lately?? Their outdoor selection is amazing. Loving my green flower-petal pillow. We are having issues with feral cats. They knocked over two of my faux-stone bunnies. Since I love to decorate with threes, I bought the new bronze lanterns for the side tables. We also have a new baker's rack next to the front door. There sits another blue bird, along with a new lantern, topiary and moss ball. Looking good now. Once the new cushions, pillows, lanterns and birds were added, the rug looked tired. A new green and white one did the trick. My daughter had been commenting that my moss Pottery Barn wreath needed spruced up. I thought it looked just fine, but then I fell in love with this huge green flower with script writing from Poppies Home Decor and incorporated it with one of the burlap flowers my friend Tina made for me. We also re-painted a pretty Welcome sign replaced the red paint with robin egg blue. Hopefully our entry is welcoming now. Next, my two black urns that belong on each side of the bench needed repainted. They were hiding in the back yard. I spray painted them and planted new plants. They are happy now and so am I. My husband has been grilling vegetables with olive oil and spilled onto one of our bar stools as he walked by. Luckily I picked up a small roll of home decor fabric at Hobby Lobby for $3 just because it was only $3 and it was cute. With the help of our son, Cole, and my next-door neighbor, we recovered our bar stools. Are you tired yet? There is much more. Now onto the inside of the house. I decided to spruce up the kid's bathroom upstairs, just in case anyone needed to use it. Wow, things get outdated quickly. I bought two new rugs, a new shower curtain and a new picture that Taylor selected. New rugs for our master bathroom - just in case. Now back downstairs. Wow. Have you every noticed how everything, all at once, starts looking dated. I threw out my two rugs that help with the traffic flow in my family room and found these that I love. Chloe loves them too. Do you have a Dyson? Man do they ever have a ton of suction. I decided to vacuum one of my lampshades and it ripped it. I just turned it around to the back, but later realized "Oh my gosh, someone could see it now" so a new lampshade purchase was made. I was shocked at how messy our wall unit had become. Apparently, I had just been dusting around all of the messy books, etc. I shopped my house and re-merchandised everything. One of my former, part time jobs was merchandising so I always think of it that way. Wouldn't you know that one of our sofa cushions ripped a few months before the party? Gee Whiz. What next. Over spring break, I found some new fabric and had all six of the cushions replaced and recovered. Guess what? Now the pillows looked old. After several weeks of searching, I found Paris and London and a French script pillow to go in between. Other than hours and hours of cleaning projects to include the inside of the china cabinet, every imaginable switch plate, light fixture, baseboard and dust-able surface, I think the only other major ordeal was to finish painting Taylor's room. Now onto the backyard. This was, without a doubt, our biggest project. Our enormous putting green had finally bit the dust. My husband had been cutting it with an Exacto knife for weeks to dispose of it a little at a time. Everything went crazy all at once. The part-time landscaper got a real job. Our sod arrived a week early and my husband and son worked until midnight or later about five nights in a row installing the irrigation. Then they work for several more days installing the sod. We removed the pool fence and sold it on Craigslist. We had curbing poured around the grass, planted pots and pots of flowers and I did lots of fun shopping. We also had pavers installed to extend the patio and finally have a place for our new outdoor kitchen. I think our home is happier now. I know we are.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! Taylor and I visited the "LOVE" statue in Scottsdale for a little photo shoot. Very fun. We had to wait our turn. In fact there were wedding photo shoots and several other families and couples taking advantage of this great Valentine photo opportunity.