Sunday, March 30, 2014

Busy Bee

This is what the living room looks like from my front entry way
This is what the TV wall looked
like prior to paint
Photo wall prior to pain
(front door is to the left, kitchen to the right)
The past week I have had no school so I have started the 5 week vacation from class with a bang. I finished painting the living room, and even completed making some new pillows for the couch.  Let's just say that the stripe wall was inspired by a coworkers recent home painting job :-) , but I must say I LOVE how it turned out. I got the colors from the fabric that I picked out for dining room chair slipcovers and the couch pillows.
The paisley fabric is what my dining room
chairs will be slip-covered in as well. The link
design will be the cushion cover for the wooden
chairs at the dining table.

(I'm a horrible photographer)... Did not even consider the light coming through the giant window behind these pillows. But you can get the idea :-). Yep sure did sew these pillows all by myself, all I did was purchase the pillow inserts.
I've begun to live out my motto "if you can't find something you are in love with, make it!"  
Little Spooner has already initiated the pillows and has thrown them all over the room and kicked them around, and cuddled with them. Now I need another manicure to repair my poor fingers from all the painting and needle sticks... The room is not completely done.. but it is getting there!

What is one thing you have shopped forever to find "the perfect one" and had to settle with something else? 
-Mommy Spooner

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ladies Who Brunch

So one of my oldest friends was in town this weekend.  We were headed down to the West Side Market, with Nana, before we hit up the Cleveland Home Remodeling Expo. Well turns out there was absolutely NO parking at the Market this morning. So needless to say we did not get to shop inside. Instead we decided to try something new for Brunch.

That's when we drove by BonBon.  I have seen this place a couple times and just figured it was out of my price range.  It is so "New York" looking to me (or at least what my brain imagines NYC might be like considering I've never been there).  

So when I first walked in I thought well this is cozy... Big windows let the sun shine in. You are greeted by a display case full of amazing looking cupcakes and other pastries (I noticed mostly cupcakes... I love them). Apparently they won and episode of Cupcake Wars... I'm dying to try their fig cupcake.

We grabbed a few menus and waited to be seated. Prices were reasonable, if not surprising.  No more than you'd pay at Bob Evans or some big chain. Nana went for the breakfast nachos, My friend grabbed the breakfast sandwich, and I HAD to try the Vanilla French Toast (after my experience in Vegas I've been craving yummy French toast).  

The French toast did not disappoint.  3 pieces of delicious bread (not crazy thick either). It was topped with marscapone, warm banana type syrup, and of course powdered sugar.  This dish did not last long. 

I sampled some of my friends "home fries" and they were crispy but edible. And Nana's nachos had amazing vandalized onions on them which paired with the chorizo perfectly... So yummy. 

This is a place I can picture taking Little Spooner for brunch and making it our "place". I've always wanted to have something like that with someone, and I can see us doing this every other weekend.  :-) because sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name (-:  

Do you have somewhere that is considered "your place"... Let me know- Mommy Spooner

P.S. The home remodeling show was the same thing as the ix center home and garden show... Unless you need a roof, new siding, or a steam mop, there was not a lot of inspiration to be found. I did get to hear Nicole Curtis (rehab addict) speak, highlight of the expo! She's amazingly creative, smart, and funny! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cleveland Auto Show

Took a break from the mundane tasks of school last night. So I decided to torture myself last night by going to the Cleveland Auto Show.  I do this to myself every year... one might think I'd learn. NOPE! I am like an addict when it comes to the sparkle and shine of the pretty polished cars.  Not to mention the smell of the fresh leather interior. It's intoxicating, really.  I do not think one person should ever be able to say "this is super cute" as many times as I did yesterday.  This is how I gauge what cars I like. It has to be cute from the outside.  Rounded, smooth, have "cute" headlights and come in an acceptable color. How a car has cute headlights is beyond me, but they can... Newer BMW's have headlights that make them appear to be smiling (I'd be smiling too if I was driving in a BMW, BTW).  Anyway, back to cars I can feasibly afford... The inside of the car is what really matters though. It needs to be functional, and not just cute but "super cute". Most girls/women will understand what I am saying when I speak of "super cute" vs. just plain cute.
To qualify for "super cute" a car must have the following... The inside of a car must have a pretty dash board with lots of blue and red lights (or "ambient" lighting). The cup holders must be convenient, and there should be 2. The ford fusion really completes this mission. It not only had 2 cup holders but there were blue lights around the tops of them. I have a friend who drives a fusion, and her car is super cute inside (I'm pretty sure she can change the color of those cup holder lights in her car too which is great).  I have never been one to oogle over "American" cars (I know I'm horrible... I am European at heart) but I stopped and took a second look at the fusion on the way out of the show.  So pretty lights and proper, ergonomic, placement of needed amenities is VERY important to me.
Another issue is space.  I have a small child, still in a large car seat, with really looong legs (or so it seems because she cannot help but put her snowy wet feet up on my passenger seat these days).  Not that I am ever in the backseat of my own car, but I am sure that future passengers would appreciate my thoughtfulness.  The car that accomplished this for me was the Hyundai Sonata.  Having almost purchased one of these a while back, that was one of the huge selling points for me.  Little Spooner could sit in her seat and almost not reach the seat in front of her.  But my Dad during the test drive sat in the back and did not feel cramped in the least.  The Sonata also accomplishes the task of cute, sleek, outside and "super cute" interior.
So needless to say there are several cars that I will have to chose between when the time comes for me to make that big purchase (my stomach hurts just thinking about the buyers remorse that will ensue with making such a LARGE financial commitment).  The line-up of cars that I would consider are as follows... Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6 (I was pleasantly surprised by this car), and perhaps a Ford Fusion.  Having had an SUV for the past 6 years, I think a change is needed (although I was BLOWN AWAY by the size of the trunks that these sedans were sproting)... but if I could get a good deal the GMC Terrain is the vehicle that really has my heart.
2014 GMC Terrain Small SUV in Quicksilver Metallic with available equipmentThen there is the side of me that wants to be impractical and fun and get a Jeep Wrangler or a VW Beetle Convertible (ONLY a convertible one). Little Spooner would love either of those last 2... but alas I am a practical person... So I will now spend the next week or so in new car envy, jonesing for a hit of that new car smell, or a glimpse of the sparkliness. However car dealerships provide me with a sense of stress just walking onto the lot that I will not endure until absolutely necessary.
If you did not attend the car show this year, it is highly recommended that you attend next year.  It is fun to see some of the concept cars, and to be able to daydream of what car you would buy if there was no financial limit.- Mommy Spooner

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Meatball Stroganoff

The other day I was seriously jones-ing for some meatballs. After passing up what was supposed to be "phenomenal" meatballs at Lavo in Las Vegas, I was cursed with the craving.  But I did not want store bought frozen meatballs.  So I decided to venture a little into my own "cooking" expertise.  This is what I used...
For the meatballs...
Ground Turkey
Bread Crumbs
Cheddar Cheese

I mixed all the ingredients together and formed them into little balls and baked them at 400 degrees (I think) for 20 minutes.

For the sauce...
Sour Cream
Beef Broth
Salt, Pepper
Garlic Powder
Garlic Salt

I started by sauteing the mushrooms in butter.  Seasoned them with garlic salt and powder. Once they were done I added some beef broth to help cook off some of the good flavor that was on the bottom of the pan.  Then added some sour cream along with a little more seasoning.  The recipe that I adapted this form called for adding cream cheese, but I found it to be unnecessary. Little Spooner and I ate this over egg noodles with edamame on the side (may seem odd, but we love it). Music Man was upset that he never got to try this... the leftovers went fast at lunch time the next day. - Mommy Spooner
P.S. Lot's of projects are going to be happening around the house this week... pictures to follow!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Making Progress

Some of you may be aware that Little Spooner and I have relocated to a new home. For a "seasoned" blogger, I have been terrible at taking before and after photos of the house as we make changes/paint/decorate, etc...

One if the biggest projects I've taken on has been painting all of the trim in the house. It was a natural wood color, and I have painted it all white! One of the first rooms I wanted to tackle was getting Little Spooners room pained and decorated. She was not incredibly sold on the idea of moving so to excite her I let her pick out her new bedding and wall color. We have gone away from the Disney princess theme, and moved on to a more neutral decor (and by neutral I mean won't have to buy new bedding for a while decor).  Needless to say that did the trick.

The picture you are seeing is the project I tackled today. I have been wanting to buy a bookshelf for Little Spooners room for quite some time. All the ones I wanted to buy were upwards of $70 or more. And being tight on space I took an idea straight out of Pinterest... 
Rain gutters for bookshelves! I went to Lowes and purchased a 10ft piece of vinyl gutters for $6 and cut it into 2, 4 foot pieces. I also purchased the end caps for the gutters.  Lowes would not cut the pieces for me so P-papa did it in the shop. All the Pinterest directions said a hack saw would do the job but I'm just not strong enough or didn't have a sharp enough blade... Plus everything is waaay easier with power tools! 
Then I un-systematically (is this a word?) measured out where my screws and drywall anchors would go. The stud finder I was using was a little inaccurate so I didn't chance it. Then I drilled holes into the gutter itself to allow the screws to pass through easier. The tape acted as my guideline so that the shelves were straight. And voila! Bookshelf! I am going to be hanging a piece of string above this with some cute mini clothes pins I found so Little Spooner can hang her artwork in her bedroom.
As you can see I still need to paint her window frame and her closet door. . She loves the bedroom and bookshelves! I will try to be better about taking photos and blogging about all the projects and changes we make... Young House Love better look out :-)- Mommy Spooner

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

If you can't find'em......

Happy Holidays from Mommy and Little Spooner
Make them yourself! I spent a good chunk of time this year looking for new Christmas stockings. To my dismay there were not any that I found that I REALLY loved.  Well I did, but they were at a higher end store and cost between $30 and $40 dollars a piece... That's a little too rich for this mama's blood.  So Little Spooner and I set out on a journey to make the perfect stockings... and oh did we!  I even had an genius idea.  It will not always just be my little family of 2 (hopefully, God willing).  So instead of having to try and find the perfect stockings (again) in a few years... I bought enough fabric to make 5 possibly 6 stockings, for the possible future "Mr" and "Littles".  Believe it or not, this was MUCH easier than you would think.  I bought 2 yards of burlap (which already had the red dots on it- SCORE), 1 and 1/2 yards of patterned fabric for the lining, 1 yard of cream colored muslin, 1 yard of frilly "ribbon", red shiny ribbon, and 4 buttons.  I already had cream colored string (if you ever take a close look at my sewing projects you will often find that the thread matches nothing... luckily the thread I had at home matched almost perfectly).
The Boy stocking
The Girl Stocking

Inside lining of stockings
So all I had to do after purchasing the materials was download a stocking pattern off the internet.  This is a big blogger no-no, but I cannot remember the link that I got the pattern from.. but super easy to find one.  Then just begins the outlining and the cutting. I found it works MUCH  better if you fold your fabric in half and line up the edge of the stocking with the crease.  Then there is less sewing and less cutting.  Like I have said before, I am terrible at recording my progress... so when it was all said and done, all the extras added on I had 3 amazing stockings (yes, I made a "boy" stocking for Music Man)... It is called "The Boy Stocking" because it does not have any frills on the edge.  Like most of my projects, I am incredibly surprised at how these turned out.  :) I did make a burlap table runner this past fall that I did not post, so I will get that up here ASAP as well so you can see... It turned out great too, and I got a lot of compliments on it.
Twinkle our Elf on the Shelf finds them snuggly

So what would have cost me $30-40 dollars for 1 stocking... I ended up spending probably close to $55 dollars and now have 5 stockings... Mommy Spooner: 1, high end home store (PB, eh' hem): 0!! Hopefully a few more crafty posts to come before 2013 is over!- Mommy Spooner

Friday, September 27, 2013

4 and Fabulous...

Already to go home from the hospital 10/2009
(Hold onto your hats... I'm crying as I type this... There is a song at the bottom of the page that is quite fitting)
For the past week I have been avoiding the fact that Little Spooner is turning 4 this weekend.  Mostly because I cannot even believe it.  When someone asked me at the park how old she was and the words "she will be 4 this weekend" escaped my lips, my heart broke inside. I mean, just yesterday we were packing her up into her seat that seemed 10x too big for her to leave the hospital.  Never in my life could I have imagined then, the little girl she would be now.  Excuse me while I gush...

First Birthday
Even before she could speak, her personality shown through.  Always the smiley baby.  Very rarely fussy, and an amazing sleeper.  When I say I was truly blessed with an amazing first born, that is no exaggeration.  She even survived a giant snow storm in early October a few days after we got home and had no power (or heat in the house) for almost an entire morning/afternoon.  There was A LOT of cuddling going on in our house that day.  

To look at her now, I can hardly even grasp how much she has grown.  I am pretty sure she has been twirling and dancing since she could walk. With both parents being pretty athletic in their younger days, of course we would be blessed with a ballerina.  Watching her dance just brings so much joy to all of us.  She is the light in all of our lives.
Second Birthday

It is common knowledge that I once made the comment that "babies are not even fun until they are 2"... That comment was made before she was born.  I was never a "baby person" before I had my own.  I was never dying to hold another persons baby.  I told my mom at one point I never wanted to get married or have kids, and I was going to just be "Cool Aunt Jess". There are days now though that my favorite time is in the morning when I wake up and she has "sneaked" into my bed, and she is quiet and so peaceful and I can just hold her. 
I couldn't even begin to imagine my life  without her.

3 years old- I wish I could have froze this moment in time
Over the past year she has shown me how resilient she is.  Her being so young through the divorce is probably a blessing in disguise.  Not that it was a bad or messy situation... She has taken all the change in stride, and it's like she didn't even skip a beat. I thank God that she always knows that she has 2 parents (along with step-parents if they ever enter the picture), and 2 families that love her unconditionally no matter what our family "dynamic" might be.

Little Spooner is truly her own person. She is loving, caring, smart, stubborn (not sure where she gets that attribute), hilarious, not to mention beautiful. When I see her, I see everything I have ever hoped for her to be (easy Bette). I would normally say something about how I cannot wait to see how she changes over the next 4 years...and while I can't wait, I hope and pray it doesn't go as fast as the past 4 years have. I know that in 4 more years she really won't be a "little" girl anymore (at least in her eyes she won't). As the birthday weekend commences, I am sure I will be a basket case for the next few days. Then it will be over, and I will be fine until this time again next year when she turns 5...- Mommy Spooner