Friday, August 31, 2012

Old School Sesame & to Charleston we go

I have no shame in the fact that I have turned our girl on to old school Sesame Street.  Yes, to the point now where she jumps on our bed and dances along to the opening number (while I, equally excited to re-live this memory, sing along..."come and play, everything's A-OK...." and so on.)  This is more like the kind of Sesame Street I when they would paint faces on the windows and have things that aren't like the others.
My husband and I watched the documentary "Being Elmo" the other night.  Oh my gosh was it good.  It was one of those movies that I had to pause every time I had to get up so I wouldn't miss a thing.  I had no idea Kevin Clash is from Baltimore, right around the corner from us.  So cool and his story is amazing....if you want to teach kids to follow their passion, this is a good one to watch.
On that note, we are off to Charleston tomorrow for some much needed R & excited to spend a full week together and make some memories!  And, I am really looking forward to some new inspiration.  You've probably noticed I haven't started a painting in a's not that I haven't had any ideas. 
I've actually had one image in my head involving these beautiful floor to ceiling windows from my old apartment in Italy...the doors would open out to the outside market and we would people watch for hours and talk to our neighbors across the street with those windows. I can't seem to shake this I just need to start.
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, August 24, 2012



I made some yesterday.  Like the kind my grandma used to make.  I loved her custard, warm and yummy with nutmeg.  Still among my top 5 favorite desserts, along with flan, tiramasu, chocolate cake with cream cheese icing and chocolate mousse.  Don't think my custard is anywhere near as yummy as my grandmother's so I am going to be on the hunt for the secret to delicious custard.  Any suggestions?

And, I decided to also hunt for the same custard dishes she used when I was little.  They were brown with a turquoise interior.  I searched Etsy and couldn't come up with anything...will have to keep looking.  BUT, I did find these from T-Party Antiques:

Vintage Aqua Green Pottery Custard Cups with an Embossed Basket Weave Pattern

Aren't they so sweet? Love the color and texture...!

And, had to share this amazing vessel I found among my Etsy search yesterday:

Gold Point Vessel

from the shop: up in the air somewhere

I am in love........

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, August 20, 2012

the epitome of motherhood grace and the re-loved suitcase

Remember this vintage suitcase I posted about a few weeks ago?

I've been seeing painted suitcases and trunks a lot lately and I knew this cool piece, which I've had since high school, had more life left in it. And, like most girls I have a slight obsession with jewelry which always poses a problem for storage...

Wanting something unique that was easily accessible and where I could have my earrings side by side (don't you hate being 10 mins late all because you were searching for the match?) and something where I could hang my necklaces...

This is what I came up with:

painted the hardware a metallic gold

I added cork to the inside door for my earrings and pins...

Meanwhile, I had a near breakdown last Friday and I have to share my story in hopes fellow moms out there will tell me they have been there....and reassure me that I am not turning into the mother they feature on 60 minutes who's child runs around barefoot in the middle of a trailer park looking gaunt and in need of a bath yesterday.  Because, that is how I felt on Friday.  When I was shopping at Wal-Mart.  Here goes:

I have not had to leave a store as a result of Leila being upset since she was an infant.  And even then, if I had to leave a store it was because she was hungry, tired or had gas.  Simple as that.

I had to run out to the store on Friday to grab some last minute essentials: milk, diapers etc.  And, it seems since I have had a child I have become a Wal-Mart shopper (gasp!)...I would have never thought the day would come but let's face is convenient and Leila's diapers and organic whole milk are a heck of a lot cheaper.  So, off we went for what was supposed to be a quick 15 min shopping trip.

It started when she didn't want to sit in the cart.  After some whining, I finally got her to sit down.  Not two minutes later she was telling me she wanted to take her shoes off.  Now, they are velcro and I thought they were hurting big deal, I took them off.  30 seconds later, she was standing up, refusing to wanting to get into the "main" cart.

Fine, this was not a battle I wanted to fight with her.  So, my shoeless toddler is now in the "main" cart refusing to sit down and she is looking every bit of what makes me cringe when I see this same scenario.  But, now she is crying because I have told her that if she doesn't sit down she is going to fall.  And she does fall.  She is screaming, crying, whimpering (in that order) over and over again.  A crescendo effect my daughter is providing the shoppers.  People are beginning to look at me and when I look at them directly as if to say "what are you looking at?" they quickly look away.

We are getting close to the end of shopping and my patience is thin and I am frustrated.  Things are piled around her and she now wants to get out (we are by the fish section).  "OK, but we have to put your shoes back on."  "No."  This went on for a few minutes.  Now, I was starting to lose it...fine walk around Wal-Mart without any shoes on.  This is a new low.  I put her down and she giggled, taunting me.  She loved this no shoe thing at the store while I thought I was going to vomit.  I picked her back up and told her again, "It is fine if you want to walk, but we have to put your shoes on." 

SCREAMING.  I mean, top of your lungs screaming.  I tried to pick her up and push the cart with one hand but she refused to let me prop her on my hip.  Moms, you know this trick right?  By the time I maneuvered my way to check out I basically was holding her on my side with her body perpendicular and head upside down, no shoes on, screaming and wailing.  I rounded the corner to check out and there was a lady in front of me with her 15ish year old daughter (both of them pretty much laughing) as if the mom is thinking "oh, been there, done that."  But, the last thing I needed was for her to blatantly be humored by my situation.  One look at me and they both stopped smiling, but instead stood there gawking.  Really people?  I wanted the mom to be sympathetic and let me check out before her and get the heck out of there.

By this point I was exhausted.  Leila was exhausted.  When I got her out of the store I gently told her I was going to now put her shoes back on... and she let me.  We got into the car and I sat in the front seat asking her why she can't listen to mama and do as I say (pretty much talking to myself)...And I will be honest, I cried.  Okay, I cried a lot.  Not sure where it came from but in between tears I heard a quiet little voice in the back say:  "sauweee Mama." 

And that was all I needed to hear....who really could be upset with this girl?  Here she is with her daddy over the weekend. 

So, what's your coping tool?  I wish I could be that mom who just laughs it off and sees the humor in the situation but then I feel like I am just telling our little girl it is OK to behave this way?  Seriously, I looked like a train wreck and would like to not end up in tears the next time!

Friday, August 17, 2012

keeping mum, say what?!!

Lord knows I can have a big mouth sometimes and I definitely know that I can be overly sensitive...two things that are a work in progress on improvement.  It seems like in the last week or so though I have wanted to say to people..."really, don't you think it would have been easier (and nicer) to just keep your thoughts to yourself?"  Case in point:

My husband and I were in line at the local Jimmie Cone enjoying a perfect Sunday afternoon last weekend waiting for our order.  The woman behind us asked me how old Leila was...then we got to chatting.  When she asked us what our daughter's name was, I said "Leilani...we call her Leila for short."  Her response:  "You kids and these weird a** names you pick these days!"  I kid you not, this is what she said.  Shocked and trying not to laugh at her clear as day insult...I tried to keep a smile on my face however, I probably looked something like this:

TJ and I gave her a quick explanation of her name: "Well, it's actually Erin's middle name and it is Hawaiian..." 

If I had had more time I would have explained the significance of her name...that it is actually my middle name which my dad chose for me and Leilani is a Hawaiian flower and means "heavenly".  That Hawaii is a special place for my dad was born and raised there and my grandmother, Aunt, Uncle and cousins still live there.  I would have told her that when my husband and I were dating he loved the name so much he would call me Leilani. 

But, I kept mum.

So, no...not so much a "weird a**" name which we just pulled out of the air to be "different."

What is up with people not thinking before speaking?  I can only imagine how horribly my mama bear is gonna come out when some kid picks on Leila at school (for her name or not)....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

drop leaf complete

I love a good drop leaf functional in so many ways!  I knew this sad little (but big) table had it is before:

previous owner's first attempt at refinishing it....good intentions, but they gave up :)

after cleaning, painting, sanding, painting, sanding, distressing, waxing and it is


this is a gray/slight green color

Feel free to contact me if you are interested...I will be posting it in all the regular places too!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

More projects, more furniture = endless possibilites...

{  I've now added a link to the right featuring before/after furniture projects!  Pieces will be available for sale as they are completed.  If you are interested in having something created custom for you, please contact me at:  }

Doesn't this piece look like it came straight out of the 70's?  This was my parent's growing up and I remember it so well.  It is now in my sister's house and when I visited her in RI back in June she put me to work to breathe some life back into it.

It was a tough job because it's not solid wood and obviously because of all the shelves and drawers.  Don't you just love the pattern on the back?!

I got as much done as I could before I had to leave, then my sister finished the rest...

Turned out cute, right?  I may have changed out the hardware or sprayed them white...but then again, I also kind of like the contrast in colors and their funky style.

And, remember that dresser from a few weeks ago that I picked up at Goodwill?

and then re-did?

I had tons of people interested and it sold in a I think I am going to take the plunge and start re-doing furniture more regularly since I love it so much. 

Next up?  A solid wood drop leaf table and two chairs that is crying out for some love....if only I had room for this (and needed it)...I found it for $10 (I am almost embarrassed to say)

Trying to decide on colors...there will be two.  Blackish Grayish/Cream or Turquoise/White....the entire piece will be distressed and very cool though...I can already imagine it!