Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Coming to you from on location...

Here's what I'm looking at right now:

View from the back patio

    Any of you who have been to my house know it is far from perfect. It's tiny and it's on a busy road. Our growing family desperately needs more room, and our eyes are always on the market for something bigger! The one thing I will miss when we move (besides all the wonderful memories we have from living here), will be this view. You can see for miles down the valley, with only one far away house in sight. We love to watch the small airplanes fly overhead to the municipal airport, whose light can be seen circling in the distance, at night. There is plenty of privacy for our little ones and their dogs to play and make as much noise as they want, and for Mommy and Daddy to have late-night bonfires. It seems like every 5 minutes my two-year old is asking me if we can go outside, and we usually do.
    One of my favorite aspects about having this incredible view to enjoy is watching it transform from season to season. Though the leaves are just beginning to change, within a few weeks this same picture from above will look like this:
Red, orange and yellow as far as the eye can see
And a few short weeks after that, it will look like this:
We get to watch the deer in the garden all winter
    Since I became a mother, the years are truly flying by. Everyone always warns you that this will happen, but it's  hard to believe until you experience it first hand. It seems like every time I look out the kitchen window (at this view), it has changed to the next season. Soon, winter will cover us with it's frosty blanket and we will be able to watch the storms roll down the valley, just as we do in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Each season brings its own view, its own gifts. It's so beautiful to see the land slowly peel back the brown layer left behind from months of snow and cold, to reveal the bright greens of Spring that promise new life and new beginnings.

As I get ready to finish our Fall cleaning and to button up the house for the cold months to come, I know in the blink of an eye we will be excited to see the buds on the trees and my two-year old will be asking me if we can go outside. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Easy Way to Warm Up On a Rainy Day


  • 3 Carrots, halved and sliced
  • 3 Celery ribs, sliced thinly
  • 1 Medium onion, diced
  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 15.5 oz. can chick peas, drained
  • 15.25 oz. can black beans, drained
  • 2, 14.5 oz. cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil 
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
Makes 6-8 Servings

  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. Cover. Cook on low, 9-10 hours.
May be served over rice. If you prefer a thicker soup, use only one can of broth, instead.
Garnish with Parsley and some reserved tomato and onion, if you like.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Because I have 2 sons...

I was feeling creative this morning, and decided to construct a baby girl's dress out of some leftover fabric I had laying around. I recently refinished my sewing desk, chair and lamp, and had some beautiful black and white fabric leftover... 
Here are some shots of the sewing desk:

Please excuse the ugly blue carpeting- a project my husband will be tackling this winter (maybe I should tell him?)
Here is the chair:
And, finally, the lamp:
Before- very juvenile, I know!

After- it's hard to see how many beautiful details there are in these two ribbons

SO, anyway, I had these materials leftover and decided to make them into a dress (funny, considering I have two little boys). Here is the dress, it is now listed in my Etsy shop for sale, because I'm pretty sure my husband won't like it if I let our youngest wear it, instead :)
The resulting dress:

If any of you feel so inclined and know a little girl in need of a sweet dress or top, feel free to click here and buy it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Repurposed Skirt

Last week I wrote about a skirt I loved, and ruined, that I planned to turn into a bag. Well, between chaotic days of flooding, wind, broken tree branches, plus all the usual stuff that comes along with taking care of two little boys all day (+ their dad), I actually got it done. 

If you have a skirt that you love, but can no longer wear, this is a great way to keep it a part of your collection. I started by taking my seam wripper to both sides of the zipper, to remove it. Then I continued down the rest of that seam so the skirt was completely open (I did the same to the lining). I then cut off the waist of the skirt, to expose the top of the pleats, and opened those as well. I saved the zipper and hook and eye closures to use on a different project. At this point I had one gigantic rectangle of fabric. I took the pattern I made and plotted where I wanted the design on the skirt to be positioned on the bag, and pinned and cut all the pieces accordingly. This skirt was made of linen, and I can't even begin to tell you how much pressing it took to smooth the original pleats. I then constructed the bag the same way I do all the others, and ended up with truly beautiful and unique bag. I think I'll keep this one for myself :)
LOVE how this turned out

I added my own pleats, after taking the original ones out of the fabric

This bag is super light weight, yet spacious and strong.

I wore this bag out the other day for the first time and got so many compliments. I am so glad I was able to take a skirt I loved, and missed being able to wear, and gave it a second life.

<3 Domesticated Queen

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fashionable Rainwear

With the recent weather we've been having, and all of its consequences, let's take a moment to look at one of the positive aspects of all this wet weather- fabulous rainwear! Ladies have been finding fashionable ways to stay dry for decades, and I think most of us would love to borrow some of their looks, even today.
Fab 1950's Leopard Swing Raincoat

I love the bell cuffs on this red patent leather one

Super cute, structured coat

Coral is such a cheery color for a rainy day

POLKA DOTS- which I always love + sunshine yellow!

Great vintage Rheingold raincoat ad

Do yourself a favor and go look around your local vintage or goodwill shop to try to find one of these gorgeous glimpses into the past. I was lucky enough to find one a few years ago (mentioned in a previous post as the one I finally mended), and I fully intend to search for another one as soon as I get a chance...
Today would be the perfect rainy day for a new raincoat, but I think I'll stay snuggled inside with my little ones, instead :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Serious Note for the End of Summer

As the long Labor Day weekend is upon us, marking the unofficial end of Summer (boooo), it's time for everyone to take a few minutes to save a life- your own! We have all been spending as much time out in the sun as possible, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who wasn't most the cautious under the rays. This summer actually offered up a lot of beautiful days to enjoy the great outdoors; let's hope memories are the only thing we took from them. 

PLEASE- Take a few minutes to really look at these photos of different types of skin cancer, and make sure none of your "beauty marks" match up. If any of them do, get to a dermatologist STAT!
Learn the ABCD's of Skin Cancer!
Also, pay close attention to any moles that seem to be "evolving"- getting bigger, wider, etc.

These carcinomas are usually found on the most sun-exposed areas of the body (shoulders, neck, chest...)

If you notice similarities to any of these, please do yourself a favor, and CALL A DOCTOR!

It only takes a few minutes, so please check yourself over and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same! If this post helps save the life of one person, it was well worth the time. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Trending Now

I admit, sometimes when I see the new trends that come out of Fashion Week, I wonder to myself, "What were they thinking? Who would actually want to wear that?" I am happy to report that I am actually in love with some of this fall's trends!!! I can only assume that my fondness for vintage looks can take the credit, as many of the fads are reminiscent of decades past. 
My first fav is polka dots!!! They were all over the runways and have made it to the streets, and they. look. great!

Rust-colored garments also made a big impression, and I am digging the natural, autumn inspired looks.

Pairing a great maxi dress with an uber comfy sweater is a fantastic way to bring some of your summer favs into the fall. Add a belt and your frame is instantly elongated!

LACE! Beautiful, classic, feminine lace. Add it to the black and white combo and I am head over 3" heels in love!!!

Bright pants. Anyone who knew me in high school will not be surprised I am into this. They may recall a pair of magenta pink Esprits I scored while in Munchen, Germany.

Be bold, try something new- embrace one or all of these trends and heat stuff up as it starts to cool down out there  : )