Friday, January 28, 2011

$100 Rule

Did you see this link on Design Mom?

This is the best shopping rule ever. Would I pay $100 for this? Then don't bother.

This Week on TV

Love to watch this kid play. Did you see his 43 points against San Diego State? Unbelievable. Amazing. Not to mention his third 40+ point game in a week. We are BIG fans of Jimmer Fredette in this house.

And I really didn't think I would, but I am loving these two on Idol. Jennifer Lopez is lovely. Steven Tyler is so entertaining. I didn't think he would take this seriously, but he does.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lego Poster Instructions

Step by step guide, not that it's Rocket Science but still. You may want one of these bad boys for your very own.

1. Buy the MiniFigure Ultimate Sticker Collection Book from Target ($12ish) and poster board. Determine the measurements. I went 8 Minifigs wide and 6 long. Before placing any stickers, I measured distances with a ruler and marked lightly with a pencil.

2. Let the sticker placement begin.

Best part about this book? They give you two of each sticker, so your kid will still have an entire set of stickers to play with when you finish.

3. Once I was finished putting on all the stickers, I erased the lines.

4. Frame it. Perferably in an old frame you have laying around.

Lego Room for the Boy

If you were, say turning 9, wouldn't it be fun if your mom re-decorated your room as a birthday surprise? Perhaps not. But if it was turned into a LEGO room you might be pretty excited.

First order of business: He needed new bedding. He inherited the bunk beds when his older brother got his own room. Big brother had the nerve to take half of the bedding with him! Bunk beds with bedding for one = problem.

I found this bedding from JCPenney. The colors matched his rug and I liked the idea of the dots with the Lego theme. Best of all, the sets were inexpensive and will therefore be easy to part with in a few years.

I made this SUPER Minifig Lego poster for his room.(Minifigs, just so you know, is what those in the know call the little Lego dudes. So if you were calling them little Lego dudes, you were wrong.) Not to brag but all my idea. All by myself. I will post how-to tomorrow.

Oh, how I wish I took better pictures.

But, the VERY best part of the room came with the wall art. I have some extraordinarily talented friends. I may have mentioned this before. They came over and painted minifigs on his walls. I helped paint. Ish.

The pictures don't do them justice, they are so stinking cool.

I give you Luke and R2D2.

Darth Vadar.
Indianna Jones.
Nacho Libre and Batman.

And the Ninja.
How did we do it? We began by looking up minifigs on the computer (thank you google.) Once we connected my computer with a projector, we traced the outlines on to the wall with a pencil. Next we painted with acrylic paint. Even a novice like me could do most of the work. Final step was using a permanent marker -both black and silver- for final details (outlining, etc.)

Maybe you are wondering, what happens in 2 years when he doesn't want a Lego room? All you have to do is sand, prime and paint. Easy.

Room views:

This shows the bedding. The ottoman at the foot of the bed (from Target) is perfect for Lego playing and storage. And it matches perfectly.

This book shelf provides more storage and oh look, there is my fancy poster.

He felt the need to put on his Nacho mask. How could he not?

He LOVES his room. Hooray.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Planning Ahead

Good news, I found the skirt for my Easter outfit. (And thank you Loft for the gorgeous copy of last year's JCrew Watercolor Floral Pastiche Skirt.)

(It's not that short on me.)

And bonus, good chance it will be marked down between now and the end of April.

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a JokerThe Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker by Louis Sachar

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

YA fiction. About Bridge. As in the card game. Can it be done?

Why yes it can. I certainly didn't follow all of the bridge but I did follow the story and thought it was very good. Recommended.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


If I was more vain, I wouldn't leave the house looking like this (many times a week):

Fancy hairdo and all.
(I've got to come up with a better post workout hair style.)

On the other hand, if I was less vain, I wouldn't care at all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Please, stop

I hit the Old Navy sale over the weekend, got a couple of great purchases including a much needed winter coat for my 6 year old. After a few other acquisitions, the budget for clothing is now gone.

But then. It FINALLY went on sale. After months and months of full price taunting.

Sigh. Sleeves. Length. This one has it all. I am not sure if I have the power to resist it. I must reconsult the Budget. (And by Budget I mean my husband.)

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Stolen: A letter to my captorStolen: A letter to my captor by Lucy Christopher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can't decide 3 or 4 stars. I hated this book. But I also loved it. The most insane premise of all time. The subtitle describes the premise well, A Letter to My Captor. Do you think you would ever be sympathetic to a kidnapper? You get completely sucked in and are fascinated but also kind of disgusted. And you have no idea how you want the book to end. Crazy I say!

I like books that make me think and so maybe I will change it to 4 stars.

View all my reviews

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Jr.

I am a really big fan of Martin Luther King. I am glad we take a day to celebrate him. I heard the entire "I Have a Dream" Speech on npr and got chills (and teary.)

You can listen to some of his speeches here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

True Grit

Go see it.
Really, you will love it. The dialogue, you will especially love that. You will think, that is just about the most cleverly worded movie I have ever seen. You will love the characters and the acting and everything else. You will be amazed and astounded. Then you will thank me for the recommendation. And I will say your welcome.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Word of Wisdom Living Blog

I found the best food blog. Not a recipe blog but a nutrition blog. The author (Skip, I believe) is not a doctor or a scientist but a self studied student of nutrition. He shares one healthy change per week. He links articles, reviews nutrition books, and seems to have a great common sense approach to healthy eating. Totally made my google reader. Check it out: Word of Wisdom Living.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Big Short by Michael Lewis

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday MachineThe Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So begins my smartypants reads for 2011.

I am really glad I read this book, although I am not sure I am smart enough to understand it all. (But then again, can anyone really understand the financial crisis of 2008, it was such a complete unbelievable disaster.) All sorts of new vocab: credit default swaps, CDO's, leverage, hedge funds, triple-b rated sub-prime bonds, tranches, mezzanine, etc. Thankfully I listened to quite a few Planet Money podcasts about the financial crisis over the last few years, so I had my head just above water.

Lewis is a fantastic writer. As the dust jacket explains, he tells the story from the perspective of the "unlikely heroes" of the financial crisis, those who saw it coming and bet against it. I spent the entire book shaking my head, saying over and over, How could this have happened? How is this even possible? I can't help feeling a little depressed. The greed and ignorance and lack of responsibility and accountability blows my mind.

A note to about content: the heroes use a lot of strong language.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years Resolution #1

Resolution #1- I've decided to upgrade some of my reading selections. 12 books this year, one per month. I will still read plenty of fluff and fun but I wanted to stretch myself a little bit. In my reading, I normally mix the cerebral with the silly but decided to make it purposeful this year.

Most of these suggestions are from my friend Jessica who reads these kind of books like the rest of us breathe. One suggestion was given awhile back by my friend Heidi and another was given by her husband. And some were just what I wanted to read.

In no particular order, I give you my high brow reads for 2011.

I am really looking forward to this. I will report back often. Tonight I am starting January's book, The Big Short by Michael Lewis.

Anna and the French Kiss

I have decided to start posting my book reviews from Goodreads on my blog. Not all of you are lucky enough to be friends with me on Goodreads, so think of it as a New Year's gift from me to you (that will last all year long.) Also, you will be relieved delighted to know that my reviews are almost always brief.

Anna and the French KissAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To paraphrase my dad, "Of all the [young adult fiction books] I've read that's certainly one of them." This book is all the things you expect from a YA romance. Not as lighthearted and innocent as Jeannette Rallison's YA romances, but not heavy or depressing. And it takes place in Paris so that's kind of fun.

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Belt love

I adore this belt from EmersonMade. I adore everything from EmersonMade. I will probably be posting about this (how much I adore EmersonMade) more in the future.

See how versatile it is?

Sadly, it is out of stock at the moment. But I saw this belt at American Eagle yesterday and thought it was a pretty darn good runner up. You all may be tired of bows, but I am not. And bonus, it actually fit nicely around my natural waist which for some reason, I seem to have trouble with.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I'll Take One of These

I will take one of these. Please.

To Party or Not to Party That is the Question

New Years Eve. As you get older it becomes less and less important of a holiday. My ideal way to spend the evening would be in bed. Asleep. Which is exactly what I had in mind this year. Except for problem: my kids. They had other plans. My oldest was invited to a friend's house and would need a ride home sometime after midnight. My youngest 3 had no plans and wanted to do something, so party we did.

Mark and I began the evening by going down to the Plaza for an early dinner with friends at the Classic Cup. Dinner was delicious and the company was even better. Much loud laughter.

I sent out an email to a few close friends (whose children happen to be friends with my children) very late the night before. Hows that for last minute notice? Happily, they cleared their busy schedules and came on over.

For decor, I hit Target and raided the Christmas clearance section where I found: Sparkly-edged napkins ($4 for all 8), antique glass candle holders ($5 each), the best smelling balsam & cedarwood candle in a darling antique glass holder ($6 each.) The glittery stars I bought a few years ago at Pottery Barn (in Chicago, in case you were wondering.)

I also scored some fantastic plastic champagne glasses ($4.50 for 24! Full price would have been $25) We filled the champagne glasses at midnight with Sparkling Apple Cider and Sparkling Peach Cider. And what New Year's Eve party would be complete without confetti poppers? I picked up a 48 pack (not on sale but oh so worth it.)

I made a Black Bean Avocado Salsa (this recipe is close) and some German Chocolate Bars. And deviled eggs per my husband's request. No comment. My friends brought some other delicious additions.

The party began at 9:30. It involved eating. Talking. When you get to be old, you don't get to see your friends very much, so it was really fun to catch up. There was also ping pong. Darts. Boys running around outside the house without shirts on in frigid temps. (Near teenage boys and teenage boys are so incorrigible.)

Here we are waiting for the ball to drop.

Putting the Confetti Poppers to good use.

Happy New Year! I think 2011 is going to be great.

Goodreads Account