Friday, August 26, 2011

Buggin' Out.

In a couple of days we are leaving for our vacation! We are heading down to Asheville, NC and we are all very excited! We have never been there before so as we venture in to the unknown with a van chocked full of kids, I decided to come up with some fun things to occupy them in the back seat. We have been meaning to buy them some backpacks for hiking/ballet/etc, so the timing was perfect to pick up a couple of these adorable Skip Hop animal backpacks. I let each girl pick one, Anastasia picked the frog and Isabel picked the owl, which coincidentally coordinates with rain boots that they each have. I took a picture of them, with their backpacks and rainboots as we went to a friend's house during the hurricane that I HAVE to post, but I can't right now. So sad.

For entertainment purposes, I picked up some cute Imaginetics playsets which we have had in the past and they have been loved and played with. I love the little fairytale forest! They fit nicely in a gallon ziplock bag, ready for the open road!

And nothing like some sweet Dover Little Activity books to keep the kids engaged in fun! I love how many different ones there are and you can coordinate them to your trip, or a theme of any sort. And for $1.50 each you can't beat the price! I think you can score them at Cracker Barrel too.
Last night I did a search for travel games, and found these awesome Auto Bingo cards!!! Did anyone have these as a kid? I remember we had them when I was little and it was so much fun to see who could get Bingo first! So yes, while everyone else brings DVD players and such, we are going to be those hokey parents who make their kids play Bingo and licence plate ABC's and they will roll their eyes at us and we will know we are doing our job. HAHA. Anyway, thanks to Amazon Prime, I should have Auto Bingo on my doorstep tomorrow morning. We will see!

Oh and I just love the Klutz books. I purchased a few of them a while back, including the Pop Bead Critters which are SO MUCH FUN! Unfortunately they are too messy for the back seat, but they make a great toy for sitting at a restaurant. My kids LOVE these. Honestly though, you probably don't need the book, you could just by a refill pack and get TONS of pop beads and put them in some plastic containers that are easier to manage. I also have the fold out castle which again will work well as a new toy for the cabin we stay at, but not so hot for the car. For the car we have the felt fun book for Anastasia and I bought some Body Art crayons for Isabel which is her favorite thing to do (draw on herself). Make sure you check Amazon for them because I found the castle there for $5 shipped!

Anyway, I also raided the dollar store and Target for stickers, flashlights, glow sticks, first aid kits, colored pencils, notepads, coloring books and found a couple more of my old Polly Pockets and I am working on some bendy "fairy princess dolls" that Anastasia has been begging me for... so I think we are set! I love packing fun bags for the kids, possibly more than they enjoy the fun of them!


And as we are heading out I am leaving my shop open for orders and I am having a little Sale:

Spend $20 or more (before shipping), you can purchase a leaf bedroom set for $6.00!

Spend $50 or more and recieve free shipping!

Spend $75 or more and recieve free shipping and a free leaf bedroom set!

Spend $100 or more and recieve free shipping, a free bedroom set, and 10% off via a refund or custom listing.

ALSO, if you are a returning customer, please convo me for a coupon code for 15% off your order (which can not be combined with the 10%off-- Sorry!)

Sale will last until September 3rd! Everything ordered between now and then will ship on September 5th! Hooray for sales! And gnomes also make great travel toys! They have accompanied us on many adventures! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A new, old chair.

A couple months ago, I covered a glider that was given to me when I was pregnant with Anastasia. It was a bit worse for wear:

And this picture doesn't show all the icky stains. To make the cover, I took apart the cushions and traced around them with 1 inch to spare. I added some loops with velcro to the back to attach to the bars the same way the old cushions did. I also traced the arm rest the same way, but the way it was shaped made it especially difficult. I decided for a fact, I never want to be an upholsterer. I really didn't enjoy this at all. lol. But the end result was worth it. My chair which had been evicted to the porch due to its sheer ugliness, has been granted a nice cozy spot in my living room. And the resident furniture testers give it 5 stars:

On a side note, I did make 8 pints of salsa yesterday! Another project that could have been more fun, but wasn't. And I now realize what a spoiled housewife you must think I am! It might have been more fun if I had gloves on when I chopped the jalepenos. It might have been even more fun if I hadn't been crying while chopping onions. It might have been great if I didn't taste test STEAMING HOT SALSA without letting it cool first. Beer is apparently the secret ingredient. But not for the salsa, for the salsamaker.

And on another side note, our local Target is getting produce soon. I really just wanted some Breyers mint chocolate chip ice cream, half and half and lasagna noodles last night. They didn't have any because they are reorganizing things. SO I had to go to Wal-Mart. I don't care what people say, Wal-mart is more expensive than Target. And you waste more time getting from Point A to Point B. So you lose money, and time. And the people there are mean.

And can you tell I have been cooped up in the house too long? I seem to be grouchy. LOL. I shouldn't be, because we have had fun watching David the Gnome on Youtube while painting unicorns, mushrooms and dinosaurs. And what could be better than that? Yes. I must be becoming a spoiled grouchy housewife. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Harvest time

Sooooo this was my biggest garden harvest EVER!!! Picked in one day!!! To many gardeners this is probably laughable, but I am SO EXCITED ABOUT IT!!! This picture was from last month though, and things have slowed down and died. I have some pictures of the kid's garden to share another day. Isabel harvested a pumpkin the other day, and loves it to pieces. It is currently on the small bookshelf beside her bed next to her special doll so she can always look at her prized, little sugar pumpkin. I love that kid. Even if she is a little crazy. We also picked 2 apple trees and made a couple gallons of applesauce, and now the pears are coming in. Between our first successful garden and the CSA share, we have more food than we can possibly eat... and then some! Today I am picking seckle pears and making salsa!! I do not look forward to fall and winter AT ALL. Summer has been too, too short.

I do look forward to cooler weather a little bit, so Kieran can wear his new hat everyday! Isn't it adorable?? I didn't make it, but I purchased it from Stella B Designs on Etsy, thanks to a heartsy deal. I am currently knitting him a pebble vest also. Can you imagine the cuteness with some little corderoy pants? I have to say, I do love fall fashion. Especially for little kids. :)

Here is a terrible, unflattering picture of the mermaid skirt I made. I made one for each girl and they are very cute and summery. They seem to have the right amount of twirl. I just wish I had some nicer pictures.

We have been to the farm several more times, and had a perfectly splendid day yesterday with beautiful weather in the 80s. They had a whole bunch of baby bunnies, we picked raspberries and I even knitted while the girls played and Kieran napped. It was lovely! And somehow, we completely missed the earthquake while we were there. Nick felt it pretty strongly at his work, closer to DC. There seems to be a significant amount of damage, and I am most sad about the castle in our old neighborhood (aka the National Cathedral). I am glad that not too many people were harmed. Other things we have been up to:

*Kieran is scooching at mad speeds. He looks like a little sea lion. He is adorable.

*The girls got backpacks today. Isabel wants to fill hers with stinkbugs.

*Speaking of stinkbugs, she is having a "stinkbug birthday" in 5 weeks, and I am stumped with decorations and cupcake toppers.

*Anastasia is starting Ballet in 2 weeks. She is walking on clouds thinking about it.

*I finally picked paint for my craft room, but have yet to get to painting.

*Made ratatouille in the crock pot yesterday. It was YUMMY and used loads of garden produce.

*I started making Kieran babyfood. Yesterday I made gingered carrots and pears, today was avacado with magoes and peaches. Lucky boy. I don't eat that well.

*My parents let me borrow their camera. Sadly I still don't have a cord that works.

*I am still in love with pinterest. I have no life otherwise.

*I found an empty water bottle at the farm yesterday, and I am filling it with beads and food coloring as a sensory toy for Kieran for our trip.

*Speaking of trash-to-treasure opportunities, I have been on a thrifty high lately. Vintage pyrex is my new vintage love.

*If I ever am to get salsa made today, I better do it now. Adios!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


(picture from Pinterest)

Am I the last person ever to discover Pinterest? I have been making albums and adding pictures to them from all over the web. Albums of inspiring things like elvin cottages, fairy tale bedrooms, and dream craft room ideas. This week I am determined to clean, organize and paint my craft room. While my space is very small, I hope that I can add more functionality to the little space I have. Is anyone else obsessed with organizing with Mason Jars? I am.
(Photo credit)

Sadly my own camera is no longer functioning. It broke the other day and I am at a bit of a loss as what to do at the moment. I can no longer take pictures for my blog and shop, and most importantly, I will be missing a lot of "firsts" for Kieran, and all those other amazing moments in childhood that should be documented. I do hope to remedy this soon.

(Pinterest photo credit)

I don't have nearly as much space as this room, but I love the freshness and how organized it is.
(Photo credit)

I will need something to fill empty space on the walls. I love the idea of putting fabric in emroidery hoops for decoration. It is like a quilt made of bubbles on the wall. (Photo credit)

I must say this last room is the most inspiring. Maybe it is all the red or the inspiration board. Or maybe just seeing the word "make" inspires me to do just that.

Can you believe it is mid-August already? I had planned on painting my craft room long before now. Actually I bought the paint when we purchased our house... 3 years ago. It is about time I get to work. I apologize in advance for the lack of posting and pictures. Until a new camera falls from the sky it may be a bit dull over here. :( Thankfully I have some old pictures to carry me through for a little while, and I hope to use this time to develop the 3+ years worth of pictures that I have on my computer. And hopefully I will have a new craft room to photograph by the time I have a camera again! :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

100 Years.

This past weekend we drove down to Dinwiddie County, Va to my family's ancestial church, St. John Nepomuk for our family reunion. This year marks the 100th anniversary of my great Grandfather, Charles Uzel, and his brother Frank Uzel's pilgrimage to America from Gernik, Romania. The church appears to be modeled after the Catholic church of the same name in Gernik, Romania. My great grandfather, his brother and their wives were all buried in the cemetary behind this small, beautiful church.

The church was simple, small and yet beautiful in every way. I felt at home in the pretty sanctuary built by my family. A very pretty statue of Mary.

The alter.

The infant of Prague.

The stained glass was also stunning.

St. John Nepomuk was a martyr and is a patron saint of the Czech people. He was drowned by Charles the IV for not revealing his wife, Elizabeth's confession. That is true honor. We had a very fun day at the reunion, seeing all my aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, cousin's cousins, etc. Anastasia had a blast with the other children, one little girl who was her age in particular. They danced, and played and moonbounced and blowed bubbles while we enjoyed delicious sour kraut, kilbasa, kalache and Czech Beer. Not to mention a huge building full of good company, family from far and wide who wouldn't exist if not for Charles and Frank's bold expedition across the Atlantic. Its wild to think of all the events in History that take place in a very particular way to lead up to the moment in time where we live our little lives.

I am so grateful to know our history that we may understand better who we are, and pass on the legacy that was started many years ago. I am flooded with so many emotions after a weekend with family who I see so little of now that I have my own family. It is hard not to come away a little sad that we are so far away from one another in this communication age. It is sad to think that others may not still be around at the next reunion as things and people change and move on to the next life. It is hard that in only 2 generations we have lost our Czech language and no longer know how to make a proper kolache. It is sad that I don't know my grandfather's gardening tricks, or how to make a bottle of my Uncle's blackberry wine or pickels. I don't know much about who my grandparents were, nor the amazing people who were my great grandparents. And yet when we all connect at a reunion, and see similarities and find that there are some things that are a part of us that could never be taught or passed on verbally. Hearing the stories and history and seeing pictures remind us of where we came from and shapes, in a small way, that who we become. And did I mention that there was not only a moon bounce, but also a Snow Cone machine at our reunion? They have become much more fun since I was little. I think Isabel had 10 snow cones.