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Life for Dessert

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Drop-In Friends....

My house is a wreck today. No...seriously. Look at just my laundry room....

It looks SO bad!

I'm under no illusions. It's a wreck! And yes... on the far wall, that would be some paint that I put up a couple of years ago to see how I felt about painting the laundry room that color. I never wanted to do it because the laundry room stresses me out and I have to spend enough time in there as it is.

I'm showing you my laundry room though to show you what a friend of ours saw today when he came to look at putting in some shelves and more cabinetry. I'd tidied up at least the stuff on the floor that was making it hard to walk, but it was still bad.

This friend that came, J, has a really amazing wife who I think is truly great. She apparently thinks I am more well put together than I actually am. It's such a flattering thought that I'm tempted to keep it, but then I'd just be living with a lie, and that's way worse than being honest about who I am...deficiency load and all.

So in order to make sure she knows how very un-put together I am typically, I texted her this picture. And this is just the laundry room. I'm not saying I live with a mess because I really don't all the time, but I have 2 small children who can wreak some serious havoc on a room in about 5 minutes and sometimes it stays that way for the rest of the day. Whatever's real life.

A few years ago when we first bought this house, we were painting the cabinets in the kitchen...they were ugly glossy wood and so we painted them cream. It was a horribly tedious process that we eventually gave up on and paid someone to finish, but we got most of the way done. All of the cabinet doors had been removed for priming and I decided that we needed to have a party for Memorial Day....sans kitchen cabinet doors and all.

I don't know how your cabinets are when you open them, but I have a few that are disasters waiting to happen...the tupperware cabinet in particular. All that business was in plain sight...and we had a party with about 50 people. I'll never forget how many people commented "I can't believe you don't care that you don't have cabinet doors on...I could never let it go enough to have a party with my house in disrepair." I'm pretty sure they all meant it as a compliment, because they're my friends and if they'd judge me for that...well, we probably wouldn't be friends long anyhow truth be told.

So yesterday was kind of a mess around here. And 3 different friends stopped by for various reasons. One had about 20 minutes to kill before we had to pick up our kids from school (and we live behind the school,) one came over for an impromptu lunch when I invited them in the carline, and one dropped by to borrow my coffee urn for a party she was having....and I didn't stress about my imperfect house. Would I prefer it look nice when friends come...yes. Would I avoid letting people come by just because it's not perfect....NEVER.

When I throw a big party or a dinner party, I definitely straighten things up....everyone does, but in daily living, some of my favorite moments happen when friends just drop in for a visit out of the blue. I love it. I love having "drop-in friends" who text you when they're in your neighborhood, or who are out walking and will come in for a cup of coffee, or who need to kill time before having to be somewhere, or will come hang out because they care more about time with people than they do about what everything around them looks like right then. Those are my favorite kinds of people.

I heard someone once say...

"If you want to see me, stop by anytime. If you want to see my house, please call ahead."

So that's my mantra for visitors....I love the time with you way more than the time I spend endeavoring to achieve cleaning perfection. I want to enjoy my life and the people in it, and not "sweat the small stuff." Noone ever dies and people stand up and talk about his or her capacity to keep a perfect home as much as they remember the way they loved others....and I hope that's more what people would remember about me once I'm not around anymore too!

How about you? Where do you fall in the cleanliness versus friendliness question?

DON'T forget that all next week I'll be hosting AMAZING giveaways each day!  Each one will only be open for 24 hours, so don't miss out!  Check back every day for your chance to win really awesome stuff!  And I can't wait to hear what you all think about the new look that Life for Dessert will be revealing then too!!!  WOOHOO!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Intelliglobe....It's Smarter Than I Am!

I've been meaning to post about this for ages and was thinking I'd wait til closer to Christmas, but with the school year getting into full swing for most people, I figured now is as good of time as any to share about an awesome product.

I'm working on a possible giveaway for this one too, so cross your fingers and let's hope it works out!

There's something really annoying to me about having toys that only hold a child's interest for a few days or couple of weeks at most.  I'm a big fan of toys that promote continued creativity like Lego's, blocks, pretend play, etc.  Last year at Christmas we bought our then 4 year old a "toy" that we thought seemed interesting albeit perhaps a bit too old for him.  I think I first noticed it in any one of the gaggle of toy magazines that start flooding our mailbox around the first of November.

Have I made you wonder what it is yet?  Well, wait no more my it is.

The Replogle Intelliglobe
Source: Buy One HERE
Don't just shrug now and say "That is ridiculous, they bought a 4 year old a globe?!?  Idiots!"  And if it's too late because you already said that, then let me explain.

See that pen looking thing at the base of the globe?  Well, when you touch it to any place on the globe it will tell gads of different information about that location.  Tid Bit has loved learning the names of different countries, oceans, and continents.  He has learned about natural resources, national anthems, and examples of local music in all different parts of the world.  There is a booklet that works the same way but teaches more specifically about individual continents and countries, common foods, animals common to different parts of the globe and more.  It is the one thing in our house that will keep Tid Bit occupied for ages, but better than that, he learns ALOT!  And he loves it. 

I wish I could tell you that I am a wealth of the same information, but I'm not.  Truth is I was horrible at the "find that country" speed game on the globe until I'd played SEVERAL times.  Our entire family has enjoyed looking and learning together, and as a result our 5 year old has a pretty good understanding of geography at this point.  Now, I'm not saying my kid is a genius, because he's not...I don't think....but he's a regular kid with a keen interest in different parts of the world.  When the Hubs went on a mission trip to Haiti, Tid Bit looked it up on the globe and learned as much as he could about it.  When the earthquake hit Japan....again, he wanted to learn more about that part of the world.  We have been amazed at the global curiosity that has been awakened in him from this "toy."

Here's how the product's website describes it: 
The Intellipen uses an infrared scanner to read microscopic symbols on the Intelliglobe.  Touch the wireless Intellipen to the globe to play games, explore, and discover amazing educational facts about the world.  The Intelliglobe is the most advanced globe featuring thousands of facts in 4 different languages: English, Spanish, French & German.  Information for the Intelliglobe can be updated through the Replogle Globes website. 

Anyhow...You know when I find something worth mentioning, that I'll pass it along, and this product is awesome for ALL AGES.  Don't think your child is too young at age 4, and don't think you're too old at 35, or 45, or 55.  It is an awesome product and one worth investing in for sure!

 PS.  I put a link above, but it looks like has the best price for the Replogle Intelliglobe at about $82.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Just Be Awesome!

So, yesterday I was feeling kinda sad...with saying farewell to the stay-at-home childhood of my now kindergartner and all.  But then I remembered something I once saw and decided that I need to turn that frown upside down.  Check this out...

YES! That's it!  Be awesome instead!

PS.  I love you Doogie Houser!

So I think today I might just be awesome.  That sounds better doesn't it?!

The truth is though that today I've been up to my eyeballs in laundry and that's about all I have been able to handle.  I've been avoiding it since last week...well, folding it anyways.  So, I spent the morning practically buried under piles of laundry at home while Little Bit played around me.  And then we went to the park because it's a pretty day here and I can only take so much housework at once before insanity strikes.

The rest of the day though...awesomeness awaits.  I'm not sure what that looks like, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve too much more laundry or tears over life happening and children growing up.  True Story.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Bye Bye Baby

Get a load of this guy.

That would be my KINDERGARTNER!

Say Wha????

Yes, I now am the proud parent of a very excited kindergartner.  And I can hardly deal with it.


Today when I dropped him off, I walked him in to make sure he knows where to go and all, and I have to admit that I was honestly a little sad when he bounded into the classroom, put his bookbag in his cubby that he found at orientation the other night, and then said "Bye Mama, I love you.  Have a great day!" before walking off to get started with his own day.

I mean, I'm SOOO glad he's happy to go, but this day has been so bittersweet for me.  Today marks the end of an era for our family.  There will be no more lazy mornings save for weekends and vacations.  I will always be heading out in the mornings to take someone to school.  I won't have all my little chicks home anymore every day.  And the reality is that now, an outside source will tell us when we can vacation, where we have to be every day, how to spend parts of our days (especially once homework begins down the road), and how much facetime my children have with one another.  I find myself I ready for this for the rest of my life?  My first response is "no."  And if it weren't for some unbelievable generosity of my family to help us pay for a private school that we LOVE, I am pretty sure I'd be dipping my toes into the waters of homeschooling.  Not because I think any one kind of schooling is better than another...I don't, but because I know that there are certain hopes and expectations that for our family are best met in the private christian school where Tid Bit goes.  But I still have to wonder if I'm the mom that could hack it homeschooling.  If I'd still enjoy my kids as much if I was the one who taught them day in and out...and I honestly don't know. 

Tid Bit in particular is wildly social and came home today just gushing about his first day.  He's worn a proud grin on his face since he hopped into the car and told me about his job this week to carry the 911 box in case of emergencies.  He beamed when he told me that "in K5 every day is different because we're big enough to change it up alot."  He's getting big...and he's so loving it.  I do too, but I see my little boy slipping through my fingers as he becomes a man.  When I stopped nursing I felt my hand open over his life, and today, I feel that grip loosening again.  I want to hold tight to these days of young children, even the days I am at my wit's end and throw eggs at the wall and completely lose it...I want to cherish this time of being over tired, under appreciated, and sometimes pushed to the brink of what seems sane.  These days are so much shorter than the days of grown children will be.  I've heard it said that the days may crawl, but the years will fly by....and I'm already seeing that ring true.

So today I said goodbye to a baby and hello to a kindergartner ....and that my friends is an idea that is hard to loosen my grip on.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Life for Dessert DOT COM Ya'll!

I have to show ya'll a couple of the super fun things I've gotten in the mail recently.  I ordered them both and they came within two days of one another.  This first thing I ordered for my sister who's having a baby in February (EEEEK....I'm so excited to be an auntie!,) and the second was a present that I ordered for the Hubs for our anniversary.

Gussy Sews Wristlet

Red Letter Words Cafe Print

Aren't they both so great?!  

And here's where it gets better for YOU!  Life for Dessert will be getting a serious facelift and upgrade to dot com on Monday August 22nd.  That entire week will be full of awesome prizes for you guys to win.  Each day there will be a separate giveaway and you'll have just 24 hours to enter for that day's product.  And I have some AMAZING stuff lined up to giveaway!  Of course it's stuff that I love, because I'm not a sell-out and I won't tout something that I don't think isn't completely great.'ll have a chance to win products from both of the above talented ladies (Gussy Sews and Red Letter Words), as well as some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint from a brand new Distributor (Jennie Leigh Designs based right here in Greenville), some Hanky Panky Undies (my personal fav) and a pair of my newly designed Goody Goody knock offs, and Keen Footwear will be giving away both adult and children's shoes of your choice.  Cool beans huh?

So...don't forget...mark your calenders and tell your friends that Life for Dessert will be making your life sweeter...
the entire week of August 22nd! 

I can't wait to show ya'll the great new look for Life for Dessert that my friend Erin from Design by Insight and I have been working on.  It's gonna be fun and I can't wait to roll it out for ya!

I'm off to take a shower now....I foolishly took another spin class today and now feel that I could collapse from utter exhaustion at any moment.  I figure if I'm gonna be a heap on the floor, I might as well be a clean heap.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Instant Party Pizazz

I just have to share with you one of my new favorite things.  My friend Tonia found them for her wedding that I just styled, and now I think I want them in every color.  They are awesome.

Paper Straws

They come in loads of colors and patterns.  I'm thinking I need to have them on never know when you might need a little extra pizazz in a drink.  And they do add that extra fun factor for sure!  Plus, there are loads of crafts you can do with them too...think little flags, make a sunburst looking mirror or wreath with them for some extra whimsy, use them as sticks for chocolate dipped marshmallows...who knows what else. Get creative...they're so cute!

Just thought I'd share.

Happy hump day!

PS.  HERE is a link to a blog that I found yesterday that has some suggestions about great places to pick these beauties up without breaking the bank!

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Oh Goody Goody....almost!

Remember when I wrote about my most favorite slippers ever a LONG time ago?

Goody Goody Bon Bons
Well, my friend Lindsey sent me a link the other day to a PDF pattern for some slippers and said, "I think you should make these."

Cute huh?

I've never made slippers though, but what's the worst that will happen?  About the worst case scenario I could come up with was to spend $6 on a pattern and make a disaster of them ...and that's not so bad.  So I ordered the pattern pretty much immediately.  HERE is the link to the pattern if you love them too.

And now, I might not need to spend $40 on slippers anymore because I adore these!  But you know I can't leave well enough alone, so I had to do more to them than just the basic pattern.

Here's a picture of the first pair I made for myself.  Well, one of them anyways.

I love them, but made some changes in the second pair to improve them.  I added elastic in the back (about 2 inches of it perhaps) to help pull them in on the heel, and I also made an insert with a 2 inch piece of foam sewed inside to make them super cushy.  The other thing that would make them better I think would be to put a piece of suede or something on the bottom to wear better.  That's probably not gonna happen til my 3rd pair though.

Here's the second pair that I made to give to a friend at a baby shower this week.  It's her second little girl....time to give Mommy something too I think.

These I really love.

I'm not going to bother showing you the steps because should you decide to order the pattern from THIS LINK, then you'll have the directions with all the steps printed out for you to reference.   There were great pictures to follow for the more timid seamstress out there.  It wasn't hard though.  Really.  If you can use a pair of scissors, read directions, and sew a straight line on a sewing machine, then I think you should give them a shot.  It was fun, and the embellishing part is really fun.  I'm thinking I have a great new gift on my list of things I can make myself!

I learned how to make those great fabric flowers on both pairs from a cute blog I like to read called Jones Design Company.  HERE is where she has a fabulous group of tutorials you can check out for more fabric flowers and other crafty goodness.  Plus...she seems like she'd be nice in person...and I really like nice people.

Thought I'd share.  I do love a good project.

PS. It took me about an hour and a half to make the first pair.  I probably spent as long making and deciding on embellishments for the second pair as it took me to make them.  And just so you don't think I'm ultra efficient or anything, it took me about 3 different times sitting down at my sewing machine to actually finish them for all the real life I had to tend to in between.  Oh yeah....I also ignored some housework to get them done.  Priorities people....priorities.

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