Monday, September 29, 2014

today was a fairytale, you were a prince...

last thursday, i threw some quinoa and beef in the crock pot for dinner, headed to the farm, and for the first time in a very, very long time, i saddled up my horse and rode. and as always, it was the best feeling ever. ever ever! the whole world melted away and all that was left was the sunshine, the fresh air, me and casey.

there are a lot of questions when it comes to riding an older horse, and i've really been trying to sort my way through it. how much is too much? is it too cold out? is it too hot out? what if there's something wrong that i don't know about? earlier this year, the vet compared him to an 86-year-old human, suggesting it was time that he just sit out in the pasture for the remainder of his years, and i fought back tears at the thought of never riding him again.

but when it comes down to it, i know to go with my instinct. just like horses do. and that instinct tells me that riding casey is the best way to keep him alive and healthy. well, both of us, really! he needs it as much as i do, emotionally as well as physically... and hey, it's not like we're training for anything! just a nice, easy ride. it's pretty amazing how much better your outlook on life is after seeing it all from the saddle. and watching those fuzzy ears perk up the way they do, i know he loves being under it!

and so, as the afternoon faded into a perfect evening, i snuck off, saddled up, and forgot about absolutely anything other than heading into the enchanted forest on my valiant steed. because we're never too old for fairytales, and we're never really growing up. okay, case? okay! :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

"it is not happy people who are thankful. it is thankful people who are happy."

if you need me, i'll be over here begging the evenings to stay just this perfect,
and delighting in all of life's beauty with my favorite people. :) 
happy weekend!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

makey thursdays! chalk paint mason jars!

i am officially oooobsesssssed with martha stewart's new line of vintage decor paint, aka chalk paint! for so long i've wanted to do some chalk paint mason jars like these, but i never could decide which paint i wanted to go with. i'm a really horrible decision maker sometimes. but! enter MARTHA! martha is always my girl. martha says jump, i jump. martha says... buy my chalk paint, here's a coupon, and suddenly i hear angels singing, well then, i do!

anyway, i used linen and seashell with clear finishing wax, and i am in looove with the tones of the paint colors and the soft finish that the wax adds. and! it was the easiest thing ever. instructions come on the paints, but i did some extra internet-looking, naturally, so here are the basic steps that i followed...

1. wipe down clean jars with rubbing alcohol and let everything dryyy dry dry.
2. paint one layer of paint and let it dry for two hours. [i try to paint around the mouth of the jar first, then set mouth-down on a surface it won't stick too badly to, like wax paper or plastic!]
3. paint a second layer of paint and let it dry for two more hours.
4. distress the finish to your liking with sand paper.
5. apply a layer of wax, wiping away the excess lightly with a super clean, slightly damp cloth or paper towel. i actually tried a cloth at first, but ended up with dog hairs stuck in my wax! no cloth is safe in our house!
6. let your jars cure for about 24 hours, and voila! admire them and put things in them and love them! they have made my backyard rose bouquets just thaaat much more fun to admire and display, and now it's definitely time to search for my next painting victim. yay!

so now, really, what's next? i can't stop here! maybe some picture frames. i'll keep it small until i find something amaaazing to slather this stuff on. actually, i do have a table that will for sure get a makeover eventually, but right now it's holding my plants, so...

okay, okay, and WAIT! time out: i just noticed that isaac mizrahi has a new line of yarn at michael's, so i'm thinking i may have to brush up on my knitting skills for the colder seasons, too! [!!!] so exciting? whatever. i loved knitting in high school so, once a grandma, always a grandma, i guess! yep, cool saying, b. alright. enough of that! xoxoxo.

*also, i know mason jars are a thing right now, and trendiness on regular items is totally stupid, but as a southern lady, i'm really attached to my mason jars! we find chunks and pieces of depression-era mason jars on the farm from time to time, too, and it makes my heart aaall fluttery, i love it so much! so, i feel like trendiness didn't ruin cupcakes, and it won't ruin jars, either. i mean, they're practical household items! okay, super. back to my jarsies! :) 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

going summer to fall with my little bunny lady

the days are long, but the years are short... that's what they say, right! but actually, i really feel like the days are short, too, because we mostly have fun, me and the lady girl. i am so in love with her every single inch, and two years in, it's still pretty mind blowing. ugh, she's so cool! [total mom stuff coming...] and funny. and smart. and when she dances i fall over dead, i can't even handle it. and her little voice! i know every mom feels this way about their little one, but still, i just neeeeed to talk about it! and sure, there are days where i want to pull all my hair out, but those days end, and new ones begin, and generally the new ones get right back to amazing. at least that's the way i see it.

but really, now that she's not a baby, it feels a lot like we're just two girls hangin' out together ever day, and it's absolutely my dream come true. i was just never meant to be one lone lady during my days while husband charming is off slaying the dragons! and i sure as heck wasn't meant to be the dragon slayer, either. no, clearly, i was meant to be the one getting very little sleep and drinking much too much coffee. yep, bye sleep! see ya never, i guess! xoxoxo!

and so, we've been going from summer to fall around here, and it changes how we do things a little bit! i kind of really savor this seasonal transition, to be honest. it's such a calm before the storm, is it not?! oh yes, a big, glittery birthday/holiday storm is a-brewing, and i can feel it in my bones! and while i love it, love it, idoidoidoooo, it makes me straight up crazy at the same time, and then i'm only semi-recovered by the following june.

so!!! here we are. and it's officially fall. and i put cinnamon in my coffee today! and it was a whole new level of cozy, and i never argue with cozy.

aaand ps! photo cred to maddalena on the b&w solo shot of moi! i tend to think i look like an alien feline in many photos, but i was impressed, still. and while we're at it, a bonus shot by maddalena this morning...

...ahh yes! the man with the yellow hat and his secret lover, professor wiseman! i can't even with those two. why don't they just announce their love, already?! maddalena is pretty proud of this shot, by the way! "mia! take! picture! of! man wis yellow hat! and... fessor! sizemnnn!" oh, mornings with maddalena... and curious george. aka. confessions of a mom who will never be a morning person. :)

happy fall to you!

Monday, September 22, 2014

on a final summer's weekend...

my legit little farmhand filled water troughs in her pink carhartts,
and minnie was not so sure about her much-needed bucket bath...

i basked in the sun with a fluttery friend...
[and refused to believe this weather will ever leave me!]

fall planting officially began... pretty mums are everywhere!

madd and i picked a few sappy pinecones for some seasonal crafting...
aaand i wore my favorite new tee in full and huge anticipation of the outlander wedding episode!
[i maybe designed up a few to give as birthday gifts to my bestie sassenachs!
if you are as obsessed with outlander as we are, feel free to snag one, yourself!]

then, of course, there was "mia getting sun!"

we witnessed one more magical weekend summer sunset...

...and met a little froggy!

...who, after saying no to many suggestions, maddalena approvingly named hoppy.

minnie tried to undo the effects of her bucket bath...

...and we enjoyed the hint of fall in the air and on the ground!

i made a beeline for casey's therapeutic back
after cracking the stupid screen of my brand. new. freaking. iphone.
[seriously, i don't even have words for this. i had it not even 2 days. the worst.]

but my people were still cute as ever, and stevey and i wore matching white tees.
DAY = MADE! matching is my jam, and i'm sooooo thankful for my loves.

...and we ended it all with the cleanest and cuddliest little bunny we know.

not pictured? well, a mexican food dining hour at our favorite spot. best friend visits [had to give my bff her sassenach tee, duh.] little lady high chair snoozes. minnie's new sleep spot at the foot of maddalena's bed. our costco has had the most amazing plaid flannel shirts for only $15, by the way! so, emergency purchases of more of those! also, steak grilling. barn chats with barn visitors. a little bit of football on the screen for steven's viewing pleasure. some dancing. some singing. plenty of hugs and kisses. the usual me reminding steven to stop pretending to karate chop me. some insanely delicious fudge-iced brownies brought by my dad's favorite cousin-in-law. and! the actual watching of the outlander wedding episode [melt my heart!!]. also, about a thousand more toddler-driven listenings of shake it off. but mostly, it was just really, really, really important to use up the last of the summer weekending out in the sunshine and the fresh air! and that we did. thaaat we did! now to put in a call the apple store...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

m saddles up!

i know it would be way too easy for me to document every single thing that maddalena ever did for her whole life. it would be. i mean, if it were up to me, in 38 years i'd still be going strong with my documentation, all "maddalena's first jury summons! age 40!!" complete with photos of her husband kicking me out of their house because it's like 4am. oh yes, i'm picturing this scenario aaaaall too easily!

despite my tendancies, though, i do try to be reasonable! but riding in a saddle for the very first time?! oh gosh. now, that's a moment to be preserved! i mean, that's kind of right up there with taking your first steps, if you ask me!

there was one day last weekend that was just so beautiful, so we decided to throw my old child's sized saddle [still way too huge for maddalena!] on casey, and maddalena had her first ride as an official, saddled up equestrian. i was so so proud of her, and she was absolutely thrilled with herself! but also, totally calm and confident, like she'd been doing it for years. she has such a natural way of carrying herself on top of casey that keeps me asking myself over and over how on earth she's only two years old when she sits on that horse like she's so much older! and though i really, seriously don't want her to ever feel like i've forced horses on her, i don't see how she can't spend her life riding a bit! it just looks so good on her. fortunately, so far, it's truly all been her idea. :)

i think it's pretty cool, too, that the reason we even have a child's sized saddle is because not too long ago [but actually, so long ago!] i was the child. it's crazy every time i think about it... same horse, same saddle, and a new generation. i love it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

chillier weather, tiny helpers, excuses to shop! the usual things, i s'pose...

so, i realize that by saying this, all credibility i may have as a serious human being just flies right out the window, but... i still love matching. matching, just like i'm in 2nd grade, wearing pajamas that match my american girl doll [samantha!] and planning to match my friends at school the next day. and what's funny is that half the time i get maddalena dressed, then go dress myself with the very same getting-dressed vibes, and we'll end up with basically the same outfit on without me even meaning to! it's just that i'm in a particular mood, so i dress us both that way, because i probably haven't had enough coffee. [no. scratch that. i'm trying not to go as heavy on the coffee lately!] so, then, i'll either be like "no no no no, this is too much!" and i'll change... but sometimes i just go with it, because umm, i love it. and i always tell steven that he's next, and we're gonna go out in public matching one day soon... but that actually happens half the time, too, when we both walk out wearing jeans and a gray v-neck tee. we're a match made in heaven, yooou just know it!

anyway! this weekend the weather got cooold! and by cold, i mean... like... 60s and 70s and gray skies, but really, it's only september! and it's just not supposed to have dropped so much yet here in the south. fortunately for us, maddalena and i had a couple of new little peplum tops in our closets ready and waiting to enter the fall with. and so! we wore them. and we were matching. and iii... loved it. technically, we both wore riding-style leggings, too, but mine are all black and you can't really tell. so, the judges allowed it.

my top, by the way, was a total ASOS steal that i recently purchased from thredup! and ummm, have we talked about thredup yet? i am obsessed. thredup-sessed, if you will. it's like the best of ebay and thrifting and internet all wrapped into one, and i think it's the most genius company ever. plus, they have this app for the iphone that i can just lay in bed and browse on for hours. shopping in bed, so so great! anyway, not too long ago i sent a bunch of my clothes in to thredup [you can send for free in a bag they mail you!]. they accepted a lot of it [they're picky!], and donated the rest. works for me, works for me! then -- and here's what i feel like is super smart on their part -- they let me know the dollar amount that i would receive for my clothes, and the deal there is that you can either use it for store credit immediately, or cash out after two weeks! well, you knooow i used it as store credit, which made my next order that much more ahhh-mazing. and then when it arrived, i was super in love with everything i'd ordered. SUPER. in love. you'd seriously never ever know that someone else bought the items first! sooo, that's the story of my latest shopping obsesh. and ps! if you want to sign up with my referral, then you get $10 to spend and i get $10 to spend! and then you can give other people your link and get more $10 to spend, so, everybody wins! gosh, i love the internet. i really love the internet. and shopping. and not being cold. [already missing that feeling!]

oh, and while we're on the topic of things that are really great, here's the best development ever around our house: maddalena's mini laundry work has legitimately gone from "helping" with the laundry to actually helping with the laundry, and it is game. changing. she loves being super involved with everything we do and doing things "aaaaall by-e-self!" so, i usually give her some socks or underwear to toss into one room or another, and, you know, at least it gets in the general direction of where it's going. so, last week, i gave her some of my underthings to take to my bedroom, but when i came in the room a few minutes later, i didn't see them anywhere! so, i asked her where they were, and she looked at me like i was crazy, because as it turns out, she went ahead and put them away for me. oh, naturally! and i mean, bestttttt thing everrrrr. so, now, i hand her all sorts of things, and she legitimately goes and puts them away for me. in exactly the right drawer. and granted, i'll go and straighten a little later, but it really is helpful, and she comes back beaming and so proud. can i have 1 million two year olds please? this is amazing!

Monday, September 15, 2014

yo, i heard she went basket crazy...

so, i'm on this kick right now, and i am basket. ob. SESSED. gosh, i love a good kick, and i've really been in need of a good one!

anyway, you'd probably think i'd never seen a basket before in my life until just lately... but i have. i promise. it's just that somehow i'm seeing some baskets in a new light, and, oooh, i just have to have them! i don't really know what triggered it, really, but one day recently i was just like "BASKETS!!!" you know?! it's like suddenly i'm seeing beautifully woven baskets left and right, and i need to be in. on. that.

i think, actually, it started with those... floppy... market tote things? those are nifty. so, for a while, i was like "oooh, those!" but then they felt a little impractical for my purchasing needs, and the whole idea evolved into baskets... and soon pretty much all of my internet searching world began to revolve around the idea of a basket with the chunky weave of the beachcomber, but the rich tone of the havana! ahhh, a dream basket that would be! 

although my fantasy basket is yet to be found, some regular trips to the michael's basket aisle have proven to be quiiiiite satisfying. baskets... check! on sale... check! glooory gloria! i am particularly in love with the braided weave, and when i see it all i can think is, "more baskets! more baskets!"

and see also: spraypaint. because oh, baby, do i love a good bottle of that stuff. [the little white baskets were originally natural colored!]

now, tell me if you know, is there an underground basket market somewhere? like black market baskets? that would be amaze. i need a basket secret weapon here, because the beachcomber is still calling my name but notttt my wallet. so! basket ESS OH ESS, please!