Last night after a fun-turned-frantic evening out with friends, I plopped myself down on our old, worn sectional in my favorite corner spot with a bowl of pasta and an episode of Frasier. I was in my total comfort zone. But 20 minutes later when I stood up to take my dish to the sink, I felt it. My entire bottom was soaking wet straight through to my skin. The blanket was wet as was the cushion. Not only had I been in my comfort zone, I was also in a giant pool of dog piss.
After admiring his accessories and home decor for years, I finally took the plunge and bought a thomaspaul pillow!
If you aren’t familiar with his work, Thomas Paul started his own company over 10 years ago with pillows, but has expanded his brand to a whole world of whimsical accessories including bedding, rugs and (next on my thomaspaul wishlist) scarves!
Throw pillows are indeed a relatively cheap way to change the look of a room. I mean, yes, it’s less than buying a new sofa or chair, but they still cost a pretty penny. It took me a long time to make this pillow purchase, but I hope it to be a first of many. I love my fish, but he’s very lonely. Perhaps he needs a friend?
Start ‘Em Young
Want to be that annoying friend who refuses to give a baby gift that’s on the registry? You should check out the thomaspaul baby line. SO stinkin’ cute with bunny pillows and blankets:
Modern and Nostalgic
While not technically part of the baby line, there’s a collection of thomaspaul pillows inspired by antique toys and dolls that are perfect for any child’s room. In a world with no budget, Jed would be holding court with the whole gang on our playroom sofa:
I could have spent a little less and bought a throw pillow that I was less than enthused about. But I’d rather take my time and invest in pieces that really make me happy. And I can’t look at a thomaspaul print and not smile.
What home decor are you saving up for?
I’m not a neat freak by any means. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to keep a clean sink, yet I remain in an arduous cycle of emptying the dishwasher so I can empty the sink only to immediately refill the dishwasher and refill the sink…
But one thing I will not stand for is an icky sponge. When I do finally get around to washing the dishes, I want a clean sponge for the job. I can’t stand it when my sponge gets all mildewy. One of my biggest pet peeves is when the sponge is left waterlogged in the bottom of the sink.
There are so many uses for baking soda, from cleansing and deodorizing to beauty treatments. So many in fact, that one can get blurry-eyed reading through all of the lists and scanning all of the online slide shows. I can’t attest to them all, but this is one that I use on a regular basis. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Use a sauce pan and fill it 3/4 with water
2. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda
3. Bring to a boil
4. Throw in your sponge (make sure it gets fully immersed)
5. Let it boil for 3-5 minutes, then drain
6. Wait for it to cool before ringing out
That’s it! Your sponge will smell like new. I’ve been able to recycle one sponge up to three times.
I hate birds. Okay, that’s not true. But they don’t like me and hence, I have a respectful fear of them.
It all dates back to a family trip to the San Diego Zoo. I was 14 years old and we were walking through the aviary when I was attacked by a flock of lorikeets. They say it’s good luck when a bird poops on you. I got a lot of good luck that day. I ran out of the exhibit screaming and crying. So did my sister… I had borrowed her favorite shirt.
The weird thing is, they didn’t bother anyone else, just me. I’m not making this up. My parents are as rational and reasonable as they come (politics and Kentucky basketball excluded) and they will attest to this aviary anomaly.
To this day, I still cross the street at the site of a pigeon on the sidewalk. And Alfred Hitchcock and his Birds did not do me or my hyper paranoia any favors.
That all being said, I have an odd fascination and fondness for things with birds on them (“Put a bird on it!”) and have recently coveted a number of bird abodes. Yesterday, I was at a friend’s house admiring the Airstream bird feeder on her front porch:
It was so cool, I’m seriously considering getting one myself. I even found a similar one on Etsy, along with a few other options. Perhaps if I place it far enough from my house, say, across the road, I can enjoy the beauty of the birdhouse and maybe even the birds without fear of retribution.
$125 – allmodern.com
$79 – designpublic.com
$60 – etsy.com
$45 – bambeco.com
I have what is known as a domestic deficiency. One who suffers from a domestic deficiency does not enjoy living in cluttered chaos, she just doesn’t have the drive or innate sense to keep the house clean on a constant basis.
My mom used to sweep while she was on the phone. Or wipe down the counters, or unload the dishwasher. This would never occur to me. Vacuuming while on phone or while Jed is napping is out of the question for obvious reasons. My “disease” combined with the obstacles of motherhood led my husband to enlist some help:
She doesn’t do windows or dust or mop. But on the other hand, she doesn’t leave me shaming messages on the kitchen counter that say, “Is too much dust and dog hair.” (True story. Scarred for life, thank you very much, Maria.) She’s slow, but thorough. And Jed squeals with delight watching her glide around the room, bouncing off the walls. At first, I felt threatened. Was my husband insulting me? What exactly was he trying to say about my housework? That a robot could vacuum better than I could? That I couldn’t handle housework, watching Jed and working part-time? What else are they going to come out with that robots will do better than me? (Please let it be a laundry robot!)
Well, I know what he was trying to say because I live here, too. I can recognize my shortcomings. I can make room for another lady in the house without letting in the green monster. Roomba can vacuum, but does she know all the words to the really fast part of Hook by Blues Traveler? Or can she peel an orange in one long curl? I can’t do the second thing either, but I know someone who can, and it’s not a robot.
Suck it in, suck it in, suck it in…
There’s a store in Asheville that’s been on my “must” list to check out for some time now called ScreenDoor. With more than 25,000 square-feet of furnishings, decor, hardware, clothing and accessories for you, your home and garden, it’s not the most kid-friendly shopping locale. So I waited until my parents were visiting and Jed was in school. That way I had someone along with me to elbow and scream, “Oh my God! Look at this!” but not someone at which to yell, “Don’t touch that!”
I’m definitely putting it on my list of places to take friends and visitors. Even if you’re not in the market to buy something, the store is full of decorating ideas for repurposing, reusing and upcycling. And you never know what you might leave with. I didn’t walk in there looking for a metal roller skate to go on a shelf in our upstairs alcove, and yet…
I also got this jacket for $18! I just LOVE the color and the stitching.
No, Dad, it’s not real leather. (He asked. Thrice.) It’s vinyl and it’s from KMart with a circa 1970s “Satisfaction Always” on the tag. Upon seeing and touching it, Dave remarked he always wanted to know what it was like to hug the seat of a Gran Torino. I say he’s lucky to have a wife who gets stoked by a new-to-her plastic coat!
I wish I’d taken a picture of my most favorite thing I saw. Right when we walked in, there was a pair of ambulance stretchers repurposed as chaise lounges with a matching stretcher repurposed as a coffee table. (For the table, they had used the base of the stretcher and topped it with glass… SO clever). They were all sold and the price tags were torn off so I have no idea what they went for, but not only were they great conversation pieces, they actually looked chic!
I also found some wooden textile spools that I’m going to go back and buy this weekend. I plan on turning them into a coat rack. If it goes well, I might start making them and selling them as a side business! I came up with the idea myself, but upon Googling, it turns out I’m not original. However, I do have the resources and know-how to do it well and for less than I’ve seen them on other websites. So when I do it and if you like what you see, let me know! I will happily take your order:)
If it weren’t for Pinterest, I’d never remember the wonderful ideas I find all over the Internet — like this dynamic yet simple hanging how-to I found from MarthaStewart.com:
Measuring accurately to keep that inch and a half of negative space between the top and bottom row of pictures drove me to the brink of insanity… and turned my wall into baby Swiss. Much like a new nurse with her first patient trying to find that pesky vein. Lots of trial and error (despite my measuring tape and level). Lots of holes.
I finally gave up and eyeballed the last three frames. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out:
I still have plenty of room to build out on top and underneath, but the difficult part is done — I’ve established the line. My next wall project awaits me in my Pinterest account, also via MarthaStewart.com:
To know me is to know that I put the “mess” in domestic. So I should not have been surprised when my mother-in-law sent me these as a “just because” gift:
I’m sure she didn’t mean anything by it, she’s actually a very loving person, so I’m doing my best not to take offense or to take it as a hint. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was a thoughtful gesture in light of my recent clean sink resolution (which is actually going pretty, kinda sorta okay).
At any rate, I do love the retro Wonder Years vibe of these dishwashing gloves. And I’ve found that if I have the proper cleaning tools — i.e. they’re fun and/or cute — it makes the drudgery of desmudging and scrubbing all the more bearable.
Now all I need is a bubble flip and an oppressive husband and it will be just like Mad Men!
The way Dave acts about meat and his manhood, you’d think meat alternatives like tofu and tempeh were actually injected with estrogen. Before Jed, I’d have no trouble cooking up some tofu when Dave wanted a steak, but with Jed, we’re all trying to eat the same dinner at the same time for his sake. He can develop irrational food biases in his own good time… but it can be quite the challenge.
Still, whenever Dave’s out of town, I take advantage and cook up something that would make his stomach turn. True, I tend to eat like a college student when left to my own devices, but I’ve elevated it a tad to include some fresh ingredients as well:
You are looking at a MorningStar Farms spicy black bean veggie burger cut up, topped with turkey bacon (for some reason I love the combo of veggie burgers and bacon!), havarti cheese, spinach (something fresh), and my latest obsession, Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch Yogurt Dressing — only 45 calories per serving, three grams of fat, and it’s just as creamy and dreamy as the real thing!
A healthier person would add more spinach, make this a salad and call it a day. I turn just about everything into a wrap or burrito, and this was no exception. And I had a side of Imagine Organic Creamy Broccoli Soup topped with some shredded cheese (I add cheese to just about everything). It was yum! Very Lindsey. Very anti-Dave.
For fear of what a spicy black bean burger would do to Jed (although he loves black beans) I made him a Gardenburger, which he gobbled up. Made his momma so proud.
Do you eat differently from your family? How does it affect your dinnertime?
I love looking at the world through the eyes of a toddler. While I fear the day he starts saying things like “I hate you!” and cringe at every “No!”, most of what he says amuses and amazes me.
When we registered for our wedding, we were fresh off a stay at a W Hotel and envious of their clean, modern-meets-natural decor. It showed in our registry choices as our bed and bath felt like a hotel room for the longest time (minus the Heavenly Bed, boo). We’ve evolved past a lot of that look, but have held on to some of our favorite decor, like this faux grass piece from Pottery Barn:
There were a few loose blades and Jed pulled them out. He held them up to me and said, “Grass feather!”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.