Archive for April, 2011
We’re pretty sure Clara has a new favorite holiday (although it could be that Easter is just the first major holiday that she’s finally old enough to really enjoy). Either way, someone had a fantastic Easter weekend.
Her love of Easter could also be skewed because as far as she knows, the festivities stretch over at least 5 days. We actually kicked things off last Wednesday with an egg hunt at a local park with her older cousins Jake (who turns 13 today! Happy Birthday Jake!) and Olivia (age 10), since they’d be spending Easter weekend with their dad’s side of the family this year.
She found two eggs (aka, Sherry and I handed her two eggs that my dad had left out in the open for her and her 18-month old cousin Emanuel to find). It was love at first sight. Literally, she couldn’t take her eyes off of them.
She refused to put down her beloved eggs as we continued to play on the nearby playground. Apparently the only thing better than swinging is swinging while holding an Easter egg.
That was Clara’s first of three Easter egg hunts. On Saturday we happened to be at the grocery store while they were hosting one (in the paper towel aisle, no less) for kids under seven. Clara left with one egg, a balloon, and a giant smile. But that of course was only another warm up for the official hunt that ensued on Easter morning.
The scene: the yard around my parents’ beach house in Delaware.
Clara’s mission (which she happily chose to accept): collect nine eggs.
Since her love of Easter eggs was still fresh from her previous hunts, we actually let her do some of the grabbing this time around (though most of the eggs still needed to be pointed out by Sherry and me). And since she has recently become fond of putting things away, dropping the coin-filled eggs in the basket came pretty naturally (though one egg always stayed in hand most of the time).
Her egg-huntin’ bucket was actually her Easter “basket” for the day. It was a tin from Target that we found for a few bucks and not only does it fit in with her nursery colors, it also fits in with her love of buckets (which probably slipped down a notch thanks to her newfound romance with Easter eggs).
You can read more about how we assembled a baby-friendly Easter basket right here on BabyCenter today (complete with details about those wooden Easter eggs that Sherry dyed with food – no kidding).
We also tossed in a bunch of Clara’s other favorite things (from cheerios to a big pile o’ ribbon, which always ends up exciting Clara more than the actual present that it comes with) so you can check out all those deets and some more pics here.
Oh yeah and of course we remembered to snap her weekly fabric-background picture, and we couldn’t resist giving it a bunny-esque slant. Yes that’s a real carrot. The girl loved it.
But as much as Easter baskets and egg hunts and bunny ears rocked Clara’s little world, perhaps the number one reason that Easter takes the cake for her is sand.
Since we enjoyed the weekend at my parents’ house near Bethany Beach, Delaware and we were graced with 80-degree temperatures, Easter involved an impromptu trip to the ocean (on both Saturday and Sunday, actually). Though the breeze on the beach meant it wasn’t quite bathing-suit weather, we definitely still had some good old fashioned beach fun.
Saturday’s trip got Clara reacquainted with sand, of which her only previous experiences involved being six weeks old and completely unaware of it and then having it blow in her face on our Valentine’s Day trip to Rehoboth Beach (which she didn’t like at all).
This time it was straight up sand love at first sight. There was lots of pinching it between her fingers, throwing it in the air and, yes, even a bit of “what does this taste like” going on (luckily the verdict was “not good” so that ended soon enough).
Sunday’s trip was a bit more dynamic (since it was already established that sand = friend, not foe). So there was a sandy crawling session…
…a hunt for seashells and apparently surfer boys (though neither were quite as exciting as the hunt for eggs hours earlier)…
…a brief fashion show (involving her new sunglasses from the nearby outlets, which were tolerated for about 10 seconds)…
…and spending some quality time with her mommy (who ditched her usual uniform of black shirts) and her fellow baby cousins (Emanuel and my sister Emily on the left, John and my sister Katie on the right). And yes, this was the most flattering picture of three babies on a windy beach that we were able to achieve. They’re squirmy little things.
Of course, all of adventures that made Clara fall in love with Easter also meant that it was a pretty darn good weekend for us grown-ups too. In addition to all of this, our cousins/BFFs Cat and Travis (who we mentioned here last week) had their baby! The Easter
bunny stork dropped off Edison Dean on Sunday afternoon, so we were even able to swing by the hospital on our way home on Sunday night for a brief meeting. Everyone’s doing well by the way, including new big sister Elsa.
Oh and after all of that what-does-this-have-to-do-with-your-house stuff, Sherry and I were actually able to make some progress on our next big project all the way from the beach: patio planning. My dad is also planning to add a stone patio to the back of their beach house, so we helped him brainstorm a few shapes to choose from and even sketched out a general plan for the one that we’re going to tackle momentarily on the side of our house behind the carport (it’s accessible from the sliders in the living room and the sunroom). I’m sure we’ll be blabbing a lot more about that as we go, but we’ll leave you with these photos of the side yard where we’ll be adding some fencing (for privacy) and a paver patio (for a lot more outdoor living space while keeping some of the green stuff around for shade/beauty):
Here’s our little sketch of the plan – at least as it stands today (Sherry had some Photoshop fun):
It’s only early days though, so who knows where we’ll end up with it. All I know for sure is that Clara’s party is less than three weeks away and my charming-but-sometimes-a-bit-too-optimistic wife thinks we’ll be done by then. Should be interesting. But enough about us (at least until this afternoon’s post) – tell us about your weekend. Were there egg hunts and Easter baskets and bunny ears and prop carrots involved? Are there other born-on-Sunday babies that you know of?
***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – look below to see who won!***
First, a reminder that you can always get 15% off your WallQuotes.com order with code YHL15. But the three people who are getting $100 credit to go along with that (thanks to random.org) are… Kaycie Christine (whose walls would talk about episodes of shows like American Idol and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Michelle (whose walls would say “these people are nuts!”) and Bette (whose walls would complain “too many photos already!!”). Congrats ladies!
WallQuotes.com is hopping on the giveaway train this week and hooking up a trio of winners with $100 worth of vinyl wall quote-y goodness. They’re removable and damage-free, so there’s nothing to fear (even if you rent). There are lots of design to love, from something cheeky for the laundry room to something romantic for your master suite – and even something playful for a kids room (you can design something custom if you’d like as well). Plus they’ve got a bunch of graphic and ornate decals if text ain’t your thang, chicken wang (sorry, had to finish what I started there).
- PRIZE: A $100 credit towards WallQuotes.com
- TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the words “QUOTE ME!” and…
- BONUS QUESTION: … if your walls could talk, what would they say about you and your household? Would they divulge how secretly boring / existing / hectic your daily life really is? Would they have hilarious stories about you dancing and singing while you clean? Or would they whisper that you strut around in your birthday suit all the time?
- GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Wednesday, April 27th at 8pm EST
- NUMBER OF WINNERS: Three
- PRIZE SHIPS: Anywhere in the world!
- USUAL STUFF: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winners will be selected using random.org and announced on Thursday as an update to this post. That’s right, come right back here on Thursday morning for the announcement of our winners. Good luck…
It’s official, the console is like Rocky and Batman movies. The sequels keep coming. Maybe instead of The Console Returns we should call this post “Console: The Final Chapter” or “The Console Strikes Again” or “I Still Know What You Did Last Console.” No? Fine. We’ll stick with The Console Returns.
Yes, after many (many) posts about our big console build, this is the official finale. And this one is the most exciting for me because it’s all about the fun stuff I put on it. Haha. I’m deep, what can I say? I’m sure it’ll constantly change, but here’s what it looks like today:
The lamps were more than we’ve ever spent on lamps (I have some sort of imaginary $50-a-pop maximum and these were $59 each) but from the moment I saw them at Marshall’s I couldn’t. walk. away. I even texted a picture of them to my friend Cat and she said “You’re a magpie, gotta have ‘em if they’re shiny.” So I said to myself: “Self, what’s $18 extra bucks when it’s true lamp love?” It did help that they were marked down from $125 each (for a total savings of $132). And it was even easier to swallow when I reminded myself (and my cheap hubby) how much loot we saved by building our giant behemoth of a console table ourselves (around $900+).
We also picked up that big capiz-topped black lacquered box from HomeGoods (on clearance for $15, down from $36) because I knew it would be awesome for stashing nearly all of the clutter that seems to collect on the sofa (a few magazines, books, notebooks, pens, remotes, and even my brush and lotion). And the sleek glammy vibe worked with the blingy lamps to bring some modern chicness to our rustic ol’ console beast.
Other than that I just brought in some stuff that we already owned, from a few stacks of pretty hardcover books that I love to flip through (which are also functional thanks to a handy coaster that I stacked on top for my nightly cup of tea and the smaller white capiz box that’s secretly full of my smaller sofa essentials (lip gloss, vitamins, nail clippers, etc).
And this cute $3 thrifted quatrefoil tray is perfect for all of the jewelry that I like to remove as soon as I sink into my special spot on the sectional (the chaise in case you’re wondering).
And here’s what we have going on in those hidden baskets in the middle compartment. The left side is full of board games since this the room where we usually get our game on. And the basket on the right has a lesser used remote (for the DVD player) as well as some books that we got for Clara from the library (we try to keep them all together so we’re not looking everywhere for one last book on the day that they’re due).
And of course we have a little ceramic animal action going on thanks to my old ZGallerie rhino friend. Probably just for a bit until Clara gets bigger and he becomes endangered. Then he’ll go live on the built-ins in the dining room again:
For some reason this shot kills me. The little ceramic rhino butt in the background gets me every time.
As for the bookshelf sides of the console, we found three of these $5 baskets at HomeGoods, so the one on the close side of the console on the bottom shelf is full of a bunch of Clara’s board books while the top shelf has some of our books and a fun little Cardboard Safari rhino going on.
… and two more baskets on the far side of the console have blocks and other small toys stashed inside.
We’re sure everything that we have on/in the console table will be constantly changing. For example, once Clara’s a bit more mobile I don’t think my beloved ceramic rhino will get to live up there anymore. Unless I want him to meet an untimely end like my ceramic pooch.
Heck, she might even try to murder the cardboard rhino on that side shelf (so far, so good though) so we’re just going to play it by ear. We might decide that we’d like more empty space for putting stuff down on the top of the console (we have that big expanse in the center for a large bowl of chips or something, along with plenty of room for more coasters for drinks, but you never know if we’ll want even more). So it’ll be fun to tweak it and watch it evolve as the rest of the room comes together over the next year or two (still on the list: breezy curtains to add softness, a larger and more balanced looking media cabinet, etc).
And now for the weirdest video we’ve ever made. We were in sort of a quirky mood so we thought it would be hilarious to make a sexy stroking-the-console-video of the whole thing in action (we even throw open that middle compartment for ya to see how it opens and closes in “real time”). The music kills me. And the slow motion. Yup, we’re still laughing about it:
Strangest video you’ve ever seen. Am I right? Oh and we have one more pic for ya. At night it’s all sorts of magical in the living room now that we removed all the weird ceiling fans and that off-center corner pendant light and use the console table lamps along with the desk lamp to illuminate the room.
This photo doesn’t even do it justice, but in person it’s so cozy and glowey and charming. And we can only imagine how the right curtains and a bigger and more proportionate media cabinet will take this work-in-progress room a whole lot further. Someday…