Six On Sunday, The Monday Julia-Is-Sick-Again Version

1. Girls Night Out. On Friday night, I got to do something very rare- I went out for a Girls Night Out! Don’t get me wrong- my husband is always supportive of me taking time with my girlfriends; life just seems to get in the way. On Friday night, one of my besties was in town. She invited me not only to hang out, but to spend the night at the St. Regis with her- a bona fide slumber party! In true slumber party form, we had a ball and were both exhausted the next day.

jen girls night out Six On Sunday, The Monday Julia Is Sick Again Version

Keeping it Klassy at the St. Regis

2. St. Regis. The St. Regis is a fabulous hotel- from the incredible floral arrangements in the lobby to the doorbells on the suites. It is also a place where the fabulous people go. I love my current roles in life- suburban wife and mother- but it was so much fun to be Fabulous again, at least for a little while!

3. HDMI cords. You loyal readers will remember that my husband seems to have the worst luck with cables- they always seem to be too short! Once he gets the correct cords, the man is a wiring genius! In the past week, he has wired a sound bar with hidden cords and hung a TV in our bedroom- again, with no visible cords.  In related news, he has also built another shelf into an exisiting set of shelves, hidden more cords with cord keeper and hung pictures from a decorative knob. Thanks honey!

family pics Six On Sunday, The Monday Julia Is Sick Again Version

I need a little help with the ribbons… not sure how to drape properly- any ideas?

4, The Superbowl. Who cares? I don’t. I did have a great time with more great friends and greater wine- woops, I think I said that backwards!!  I think the Superdome has bad karma after Katrina… props to everyone for staying calm and being reasonably well behaved during the blackout.

5. Buffalo Chicken Dip. You need to make this immediately. It is life changing.

buffalo chicken dip Six On Sunday, The Monday Julia Is Sick Again Version

I never thought I would be one with foodie pics on my blog! Moving up in the world…

6. Almond Milk. Vanilla. Warmed up. AMAZZINGG!!!

Six On Sunday, Version 19

1. Dark Nail Polish. Lincoln Park After Dark is my favorite (Dark Cherry Chutney a close second). Now that it is officially Fall (even though we still have our A/C on), I can wear them! Yay!

 lincoln park Six On Sunday, Version 19

2. Hot Rollers.  I am hair stupid. I can handle the hair dryer and the flatiron, but that is the extent of my hair repertoire.  I found some courage, marched into Sally Beauty Supply and purchased said rollers. I have practiced… and let’s just say that more practice is needed… any tips from any pros out there? Please help a sister out!

 

3. The Most Beautiful Weather In the World. Enough said.

 

4. Home Crafting Projects.  Right after college, I made the most adorable night-light for my future nieces (at the time I did not want any children).  It is a small lamp that has its shade covered in peachy pink roses.  We used it while Emma was in her crib. Now that she is in her big girl bed, the color of the roses clashes so badly with her new bedding my head exploded.  The new lamp is covered in cream roses (with a touch of pink) and are WAY more pleasing to the eye! I will post pictures when it is completed, which will hopefully be before next Christmas.

 emma contrary Six On Sunday, Version 19

5. Mistress Mary Quite Contrary.  AKA Emma, my daughter. I don’t know what was up this weekend, but she was not her usual sunny self. In fact, she was the exact opposite and was a brat all weekend long.  If I said “up” she said “down”. If I said “black” she said “white”… you get the idea. Here’s to hoping next week is better!

 

6. Political stuff on Facebook.  It might just be me, but I really don’t see the point of putting political things on Facebook.  Let’s face it- no one is going to change their entire ideology based on link to a news article.  The folks that agree with you already agree, and those who don’t aren’t going to change their minds.  In a well thought out discussion where ideas are exchanged, minds can be changed. As Facebook is not the place for well thought out discussions, I think it alienates more than it brings together. But that might just be me.

 ecard facebookpolitics Six On Sunday, Version 19

 

Six On Sunday, Version 15

1. Mental Health Days. So, I wasn’t really around this week… hopefully you noticed! Suffice to say a busy week, computer issues, and general mental apathy are to blame. I won’t bore you with details (and I suspect you don’t really care), but I am back!

mental health day Six On Sunday, Version 15

2. Stupid ‘polite’ questions. I get asked all day long ‘How are you?’ I always say ‘Fine, thanks’. (NOT GOOD. People are NOT GOOD, it is grammatically incorrect.) I say Fine when I am not Fine, I say Fine when I am better than Fine.  Nothing freaks people out more than an honest answer to this question.  For all of our connections Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc-, people don’t want to engage with an actual person.

3. Birthday Candles (or the Parental FAIL continues). If you remember, I lost the birthday candles for Emma’s birthday cake last week at her party.  I found the candle (it was so cute- a pink sparkly 3) this week.  We brought cupcakes to her class in school on Friday for her birthday. I thought this would be a great time to use this candle (because I clearly cannot use it next year).  We lit the candle, she blew it out, and everyone clapped. I took the candle off the cupcake, and Emma started screaming. I thought she was pitching a fit because I took the candle away.  Turns out, she was screaming because her finger was covered in hot burning wax… (Thankfully, she was fine after we ran it under cool water and she got a band-aid.)

third candle Six On Sunday, Version 15

Caution: Wax is HOT

4. The Terrible Threes. All I heard last year was “The Terrible Twos” are coming, and to get ready.  So, the terrible twos are amateur hour compared to the Terrible God Awful Threes.  Emma goes zero- everything is lovely, roses and sunshine- to utter and complete meltdown complete with throwing herself on the ground, tears, and wailing.  It’s great, especially in public.

crying girl Six On Sunday, Version 15

Ready, Set, Meltdown

5. My Mom. Is Wonderful.  She was in town this weekend, and watching her with my child inspires me to be a better mother. I have a lot to learn, and some big shoes to fill.

6. The Furniture Project (Or My Husband’s Extreme Patience). Emma has outgrown her changing table (not diapers. The changing table.) I have been searching high and low for some shelving for her toys in her room.  I suddenly realized that I had the perfect thing already- her changing table. I found this awesomeness on Pinterest, and commissioned my husband to help me with the transformation.

282319470361037417 7lL6jZnP c Six On Sunday, Version 15

 

He has only said ‘Well that is information that would have been extremely helpful TWO HOURS AGO twice. (OK maybe three times.) I will keep you updated and post pics of my (his) completed genius soon…

Six On Sunday (I know it’s Monday, Shut UP!)

Painting.  I am not really a big fan of painting. Problem is, I am a big fan of the nice, freshly painted look and so I found myself this weekend with a paint brush and a container of paint. After almost five years of trying to convince me that we needed new doors, my husband finally won. And he was totally right. (Love you honey!) Our old doors were really ghetto. We had our hard wood floors refinished five years ago, and the doors were still at the carpet height they were all two inches to short. (Young readers: this is a life lesson.  Perseverance does pay off!) Thomas hung the doors, and in the spirit of wanting to help out, I volunteered to paint them.  In a complete and total Julias Math moment, I found that I could only use the smallest paint brush because the large one was to heavy when filled with paint and made my hand cramp (Oh, well, now your back’s gonna hurt, ’cause you just pulled landscaping duty. Anybody else’s fingers hurt?… I didn’t think so.) (Oh Happy Gilmore, I love you!) Small brush equals s-l-o-w progress… and makes a painful chore more painful.

happy gilmore Six On Sunday (I know its Monday, Shut UP!)

 

 Packing. We are leaving for a week. Packing for myself is a nightmare, let alone myself and a three-year old. Thank goodness Thomas is self sufficient.  We practically need a moving van for all of our crap.

 suitcases Six On Sunday (I know its Monday, Shut UP!)

Road Trips. Blah. Not a fan. Thank you Sweet Jesus for head rest DVD players. And the mifi wireless card.

The Internet.  I have a mifi card, which turns me into a hot spot (you totally already knew that!)- a mini wifi zone.  We are able to stream Rush from Atlanta the entire way to St. Louis, instead of trying to find a local station and dealing with all the static.  Depending on who you are, this is a very good or a very bad thing!

internet Six On Sunday (I know its Monday, Shut UP!)

Extreme Temperatures.  It is stupid hot. In college, I had my TV set to Local on the 8s, and if it was legitimately below zero, my roommate and I did not attend class…. Kind of missing the cold right now…

cold Six On Sunday (I know its Monday, Shut UP!)

Terrible Service. I need some guidance on this. I have never been a waitress (and my career as a babysitter was rather limited), so I have never depended on tips.  I have many friends who have, and even ten to fifteen years later they remain bitter over poor tippers.  I get it that it is so important, and I tip accordingly- usually 20%. This weekend, I experienced some of the worse service I have ever had to endure.  We tried to order from the  bar, and were refused because we weren’t planning on staying at the bar. We were assured that someone would be right with us.We waited at least fifteen minutes for someone to even acknowledge us. We did get our drinks, and then waited another thirty minutes to order another round. If attitude is everything, then we were a total waste of our server’s time, because her attitude convyed to us that she was surprised we could tie our own shoes and walk and chew gum at the same time.  So, my question is what appropriate? No tip doesn’t seem right, so that’s not an option. Can one tip 10% as a tip is supposed to be a reflection of the service one receives?

 

Errand Hell

Errands are such a bore. And they are never-ending… it seems like the more errands I run, the more errands I need to run. It is a self fulfilling prophecy.  Also, it seems, errands never seem to go smoothly- I leave a receipt in the car, or I cannot find a cart when Emma is with me, or the weather conspires against me, making things a soggy, miserable mess.

As previously mentioned, I spent the last couple of weeks on a Quest for the Perfect Baskets for my beautiful new furniture. Past attempts had resulted in an epic fail, so I was back to square one. As a general rule, when I buy something for the house, I buy two of them.  Things look better in pairs according to Julias Math.  When Emma was itty bitty little, we had toys all over the house (in conjunction with Operation New Furniture, I am executing Operation Take Back Our House From All The Toys Everywhere). A direct result of my OC-Do is that things must be put away, so baskets appeared everywhere. I even used a laundry hamper (that looked like a basket) in our Family Room for toys!) I found the cutest tan crocodile container for our bedroom. I bought one. Only one. At the time, I had a mental disagreement with myself- should I really only buy one?!- and the conservative Only One camp won.  Last winter, these containers went on clearance and I again had the mental argument with myself, and ultimately, I didn’t buy another one…. So you can guess what looked PERFECT in my new shelves- that’s right, the single, lonely container.  I spent one afternoon driving around looking for a forgotten, dusty clearance rack with my red container.  Total failure and waste of time.

I40 1 Errand Hell love saving money even more than I love baskets, so I was forced to wait a week until I could redeem the Michael’s 40% off coupons that I had hoarded from last week’s Serial Return episode.  On Sunday, I loaded Emma and the baskets that almost-worked-but-didn’t-really into the car, and reviewed our objectives: find the perfect baskets (Me) and not touching everything pretty and shiny in the store (Emma) and set off.  Did I mention the monsoon conditions? Once we got to Michael’s, I was faced with a choice: did I leave Emma in the car and get a cart or did I drag her and the baskets in the rain, through the wet40 2 Errand Hell parking lot, into the store? Because I am scared to death of DFCS (the GA Division of Family and Children Services), I opted for the latter and we trudged through the wet into the store.  Thankfully, one of us finds the rain amusing and so was in a great mood (guess which one of us?). We left our return (if you have your receipt you are exempt from the Naughty List restriction) at the front and went searching.

monsoon Errand Hell

Current Weather Conditions

We did it! We found baskets for the cabinet and for the shelves! Yay us! Outside, it was still pouring, and I again chose to rodeo a toddler and four baskets through the parking lot.  At home, we put the baskets in place… and… 50% success rate. Because we are the kind of girls who only settle for 100%, we reloaded the car and went to another Michael’s, hoping they had a better basket selection.  Same drill through the rain into the store. This trip (number two) was a total waste of time! This Michael’s had no selection from which to choose the perfect baskets! We would have been better off going to the original Michael’s.  Unfortunately, we were closing in on nap time. And as any mother knows, you Do Not F with nap time.  I don’t care if we could have gotten the perfect baskets for free- we were going home!

After Emma’s nap (during which I may or may not have turned on the baby monitor every ten minutes to check and see if she was awake), we set off. Thankfully, the rain had stopped, which we took as a good sign.  We were greeted like old friends at the original Michael’s, which, by that point we were.  I had the brilliant idea to cruise the clearance rack… and there they were! The perfect baskets. Well, visually anyway they are perfect.  They are not so great for storage because

happy basket 150x150 Errand Hell

SUCCESS!

they aren’t very big.  However, that does give me the added bonus of being able to throw more stuff away!

I believe Emma learned some important life lessons: to never settle, and to never give up. The ‘perfect’ whatever is out there; you just have to be dedicated (and maybe a tiny bit flexible).  Also, keep all of your receipts!

The Baskets Make The Room

Every time I walk into my family room, I sigh with happiness. My new furniture is beautiful! It’s not scuffed and scarred and kicked with divot holes from where the vacuum ran into the legs.  Divine! The only thing standing between me and

mountain of toys The Baskets Make The Room

The Mountain of Toys

complete utopia is the stuff oozing from everywhere.  It is obvious what the solution is: It is time to stream line! It’s time to get rid of the goo, the grime (extra points for P90X reference), and the old worn out stuff that no one uses anymore. (We went to sleep one night and woke up in Toys R Us. Seriously. My daughter has so many toys it is beyond absurd.  Has this happened to anyone else??)

If I have learned anything in my thirty odd years (Yes, I know I look so much younger! Thank you!) it is that nothing goes as planned for me- Julias Math kicks in and even the best intentions can derail in a heartbeat… One lesson learned

(but always forgotten) is that the more things you try to simplify, the more complex things become.  It is so ass

olympic medal The Baskets Make The Room

My Organizational Gold Medal

backwards, it is ridiculous.  I live to organize things.  One of my favorite places on Earth is the Container Store.  I also LOVE to streamline things. As organizing and streamlining are like soup and sandwich, so this shouldn’t be too surprising. If throwing things away was an Olympic sport, I would be a back to back to back Gold Medalist.  I have been known to go on binges, throwing away everything in sight (and even things that are not in sight that my husband has attempted to hide from me).

I shall spare you the details on the purging- just know that it was either long and painful or short and exhilarating; depending on if you are Julia or if you are Thomas.  After everything was organized into piles, including Emma’s mountains of toys, it had to go somewhere. I am a huge fan of baskets. They look great and can hide a mess.  (My penchant for total neatness is really only on the surface, façade one might say- please don’t open drawers or check under sinks.  My house is Really Small and things have to go somewhere!) My love of baskets means I also love Michael’s. 

cart The Baskets Make The Room

Stupid Itty Bitty Cart

As soon as the furniture was set up, Emma and I set off for the first of many Michael’s trips.  I had purchased a few baskets in anticipation, which of course didn’t work, so I was anxious to obtain the perfect baskets.  If anyone at Michael’s is reading this, please take note: Your itty bitty teeny tiny carts SUCK. Once I get my kid and my purse in there, I am out of room.  I would probably buy more of your lovely items if you had carts like Costco.  I managed to make it into the store with four baskets and a toddler in the stupid tiny cart. I don’t think anyone was permanently harmed in the process.  I dropped off the baskets to be returned at the front and proceeded to the basket section.  Success! We found the perfect basket… we found only ONE perfect basket and we needed four.  Not to be deterred, we had an employee search the backroom and found two more. Score! Now we just needed to make an exchange we were on our way to furniture bliss.  Except I lost the receipt. Thankfully, we were able to make the exchange. 

At home, the baskets looked OK. Not as great as I had hoped, but because I was missing one I wasn’t sure if that was throwing off the whole thing.  We headed to another Michael’s, bringing with us two more baskets to exchange (because I forgot them the first time).  No basket love at this Michael’s, but we were able to return the other two baskets… barely. I am now on the Naughty List at Michael’s for having done too many returns without a receipt. I just hope my daughter doesn’t succumb to the terrible influences she is surrounded by and become a Serial Returner like her mother.

Back home again, Thomas and I (really just me. I am being nice here and including him in household decisions, but in reality, he didn’t give a shit as long as I am happy. This mantra has worked well in our marriage, and I suggest it to new husbands frequently.) decided we needed to start all over- the baskets weren’t going to work.  Thus began Errand Hell

hell 300x204 The Baskets Make The Room

New TVs! (Does anyone need any extra cords? I have 54 left.)

As I have mentioned, we just joined everyone else- including those in prison- and got flat screen TVs. Yay, us! After a long and heated ‘debate’ (is it really a debate if you aren’t speaking to the other party?), the TVs were hung on the wall.  Whether to hang them on the wall or not was never a question, as Emma tries to hug puppies on TV, kiss kittens, etc,

tv on wall New TVs! (Does anyone need any extra cords? I have 54 left.)

Safely Hung!

however, the actual height at which to hang them was intensely discussed. So, we finally reached a compromise: Thomas could hang the TVs at any height he wanted to, and I could buy whatever furniture necessary to accent the height of said TV. (Thomas waited and waited for these TVs. As a result, he had time to research the details that would enhance our viewing experience.  He spent a few DAYS on Google, searching things like “height to hang TV” and “distance from TV to sofa”. And so, the TV was hung at a height that did actually did improve our viewing experience. Our new, fancy TVs have made our traditional TVs stands look ridiculous.  As you might have picked up on by now, I have respectable non-college standards for furniture (yes, I am in my thirties as my BFF pointed out)- yes, it has to be functional, but it also has to be CUTE.) However, hanging the TVs to the height he wanted wasn’t so easy… And why should it have been? I mean, as everyone knows, something that is simple and straight forward is NEVER simple and straightforward.

After we ordered the TV mounting kits (Amazon I heart you! You saved me over 75% !), the Quest For Cables began in earnest. Fancy TVs require fancy cords that have a lot of letters.  Despite Thomas’ best efforts, we never had the correct length of cable.  Every single time I turned around, we were ordering more cables. The only downfall to Amazon is the delayed gratification.  In this case, delayed gratification looks like a stare down between shiny brand new TVs and old, fat, slow TVs.  Because we are Amazon Rock Stars (also known as Prime Members), the cables (all fifty-six of them) were sent next day delivery.

t j barbadoes 150x150 New TVs! (Does anyone need any extra cords? I have 54 left.)

He is my own Handy Man!

Girls: always marry a man who can fix stuff around the house- my friend Caroline told that me they paid three hundred dollars to have their TVs hung (granted they do live in CA where even air is expensive)! So, in Julia’s Math, this means I have saved three hundred dollars which I can now spend on furniture!

Fast forward a few days, and my new TVs are hanging on the wall (and we have fifty-four extra cables laying around which I am forbidden from throwing away), and furniture shopping has begun in earnest. Furniture in our house collects stuff- really random stuff like old screws and business cards and X-Acto knives and extra buttons.  Instead of transferring all this crap into new furniture (Thomas’s way), we (I) decided to clean everything out and toss what we didn’t need any more (which is, in all honesty, basically everything, but I am trying to be nice and stay married so I went through all of it before throwing 99% of it away).  Thus began The Saga Of Simplifying…

Six On Sunday, Version 4

baskets Six On Sunday, Version 4

These made the cut!

1. Baskets.  I know you guys are sick of baskets, and to be honest with you, I am too! We made three round trips to Michael’s today, and I think we finally have a workable combination.  On a side note, I hoarded 40% off coupons all week- they are good starting today (June 10) and baskets were already 40% off!

2. Mob Wives.  This show is awesome. The ladies are caricatures of themselves! I keep thinking “they cannot BE serious!” but they are! I would like to say that they are very lovely and very nice and I don’t want to get on a Mob Wives Naughty List in any way, shape, or form.

3. Wine.  Actually, the lack there of.  I am on a crazy medication (I AM NOT PREGNANT AND NEVER WILL BE AGAIN FOR THE RECORD) that makes even discussing alcohol somewhat of a liability (I was warned against using mouthwash for crying out loud).  Turns out I am surprisingly productive when sober all weekend…

4. Grocery Lists. I am a fanatical list maker. I seriously make lists of lists. My grocery list for the week begins as soon ashandwritten grocery list 150x150 Six On Sunday, Version 4 we get home from the store (not really but by that afternoon!). Emma and I have a routine on Saturday mornings- we go to the gym, then we go to Trader Joe’s (LOVE) and then Walmart.    We were walking into Trader Joe’s when I realized our list was at home! I tried to wing it, which resulted in two (count them TWO) trips to Walmart in the same day.  I can go to Target all the time and think it’s fun, but Walmart is somehow a chore. I don’t know why…

5. Cookie Cups. We went to a birthday party this weekend and instead of using regular cups for ice cream, they used cookies! Genius. It turns out that it was genius to get the cookies to form cups.  The first try- putting cookie dough in muffin cups with a hollowed out center didn’t work as the cookies rose as they baked. The solution was to bake the cookies regularly, and invert them OVER an upside muffin pan while still hot

cookie cups 150x150 Six On Sunday, Version 4

So Genius! And Yummy!

from the oven.

6. Paint. As I might have mentioned once or twice (or fifty six) times, we got new furniture. Removing the old furniture and pictures left what looks like Morse code on my walls (that or the cat has been leaving desperate messages for years now). Guess what? Paint stored outside will be RUINED by the elements. Thank goodness for the new mini size trial containers of paint at Home Depot. I now have every color in my house and they are stored inside, ThankYouVeryMuch.  BTW the absolute best thing to use for touch ups is eye shadow foam brushes. You will thank me later!