Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ahead of the Times, Martha

Has anyone else noticed the upswing of silhouettes in the decorating world?

Martha was ahead of her times with this cover from October 1998. I'll be using this as inspiration for my mantle this Halloween.

One of my childhood best friends scored the ultimate find of Martha Stewart publications from a small town library. Among the 150 magazines she found Martha Stewart Baby and Martha Stewart Kids, both highly sought after past publications.

AND, the best thing of all, she offered me the duplicates of the lot. It was like Christmas in the mail today {or the December issues, at least}.

Thanks, Mel!

Not to get into politics, but...

My cousin sent this to me, and I like the overall message.

This is from: 'You ain't gonna like losing.'

Author unknown.

President Bush did make a bad mistake in the war on terrorism. But the
mistake was not his decision to go to war in Iraq. Bush's mistake came
in his belief that this country is the same one his father fought for in
WWII. It is not.

Back then, they had just come out of a vicious depression. The country
was steeled by the hardship of that depression, but they still believed
fervently in this country. They knew that the people had elected their
leaders, so it was the people's duty to back those leaders.

Therefore, when the war broke out the people came together, rallied
behind, and stuck with their leaders, whether they had voted for them
or not or whether the war was going badly or not.

And war was just as distasteful and the anguish just as great then as it
is today. Often there were more casualties in one day in WWII than we
have had in the entire Iraq war. But that did not matter. The people
stuck with the President because it was their patriotic duty. Americans
put aside their differences in WWII and worked together to win that war.

Everyone from every strata of society, from young to old pitched in.
Small children pulled little wagons around to gather scrap metal for the
war effort. Grade school students saved their pennies to buy stamps for
war bonds to help the effort.

Men who were too old or medically 4F lied about their age or condition
trying their best to join the military.

Women doubled their work to keep things going at home. Harsh rationing
of everything from gasoline to soap, to butter was imposed, yet there
was very little complaining.

You never heard prominent people on the radio belittling the President.
Interestingly enough in those days there were no fat cat actors and
entertainers who ran off to visit and fawn over dictators of hostile
countries and complain to them about our President. Instead, they made
upbeat films and entertained our troops to help the troops' morale. And
a bunch even enlisted.

And imagine this: Teachers in schools actually started the day off with
a Pledge of Allegiance, and with prayers for our country and our

Back then, no newspaper would have dared point out certain weak spots in
our cities where bombs could be set off to cause the maximum damage. No
newspaper would have dared complain about what we were doing to catch
spies. A newspaper would have been laughed out of existence if it had
complained that German or Japanese soldiers were being 'tortured' by
being forced to wear women's underwear, or subjected to interrogation by
a woman, or being scared by a dog or did not have air conditioning.

There were a lot of things different back then. We were not subjected to
a constant bombardment of pornography, perversion and promiscuity in
movies or on radio. We did not have legions of crack heads, dope pushers
and armed gangs roaming our streets.

No, President Bush did not make a mistake in his handling of terrorism.

He made the mistake of believing that we still had the courage and
fortitude of our fathers. He believed that this was still the country
that our fathers fought so dearly to preserve.

It is not the same country. It is now a cross between Sodom and Gomorra
and the land of Oz. We did unite for a short while after 9/11, but our
attitude changed when we found out that defending our country would
require sacrifices.

We are in great danger. The terrorists are fanatic Muslims. They
believe that it is okay, even their duty, to kill anyone who will not
convert to Islam.

It has been estimated that about one third or over three hundred million
Muslims are sympathetic to the terrorists cause... Hitler and Tojo
combined did not have nearly that many potential recruits. So... We
either win it - or lose it - and you ain't gonna like losing.

America is not at war. The military is at war. America is at the mall,
or watching the movie stars.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Too Retro?

I know my sisters won't agree with me, but I think this lamp is really cute. It plays a little song and the lion turns around to the tune. CUTE! I wouldn't buy this but I still love it, nonetheless.

Found here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More House Crud {and a recipe}

I know, this is getting a bit boring, but not to me! {muahahaha}

Finally, finally we put some things on our bare walls. Here's our entryway in its current state:
man alive, i hate the wood baseboards. I really need to be faster in painting them

But I'd like to replace that table with this bench
I just can't justify spending the money on it right now. Seriously, almost $200 for a place to hide shoes and occasionally sit on? No way...but it's pretty...

I hung my antique round mirror above the mantle. Me thinks it's too high, by just a tad {or 6 tads}, however moving it would show holes in a wall that we have no paint to cover with, so it stays for now. Unless I really, really hate it 3 months down the road. I'll at least get the mantle painted and everything on it that I want before I make a final judgment on its aesthetics.

Last but not least, here's a recipe for everyone who craves Cafe Rio nightly. I think they added nicotine to this dressing and that's why. Maybe not.
If you click on the picture you'll notice the container on the left looks more chunky. It is. On the second batch I pureed the ingredients without the ranch and then added the dressing in.

Creamy Tomatillo Ranch

1 packet of buttermilk Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing {prepare according to packet directions}
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 jalapeno
juice from 1 lime
2-3 medium Tomatillos
1 clove garlic

Add all ingredients to a food processor and presto blend-o, you've got yourself dressing to kill for.

*Chelsea's notes: I made my ranch with fat free mayo and fat free buttermilk. I wouldn't do it that way next time. I found my dressing to be less creamy and more runny, but still the same flavor. So if texture/consistency doesn't matter to you, make it low-fat. Also I found that a whole jalapeno was a tad too spicy for me. {purple lidded container} I made a second batch with half the jalapeno and it was delicious.

An Aunt & Uncle

Ryan's brother got married in May. They're expecting and are due in February. Yesterday they found out they're having a little boy, so Ryan will be an uncle {well, he is already with Hillary's kids, but it's not the same}!

Yes, we're sad we aren't having the first grand-child and the fact that we've been trying for over a year now makes it a little difficult to share in their joy, but I'm still VERY happy for them. I just would have been happier for us.

I debated posting this, but this is MY journal, my thoughts, my feelings...And I really AM excited for them to welcome a new little soul into the world and into their lives. but...

It still hurts.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Updated Bathroom {and more}

My mom and dad were out here a few weeks ago and my awesome mother {happy birthday today!} decided she'd not only jumpstart the progress on our house update, but she'd redo our main bathroom for us. Wahoo! She seriously is a master with a powertool. She's very detail oriented. I had to sit back and laugh {inside} as she was fraught with anxiety about the space behind the toilet being perfectly painted. In fact, even when cleaning it I didn't even think to look at it. Also notice the white ceiling. {who paints the ceiling the same color as the walls?!}

Anyhoo, this is the before and after:

My mom rocks. Go ahead, just dream about having her around your house. oh, too bad. she's taken.

I just finished putting the frame on the mirror this afternoon. The adhesive is probably still tacky.

So, one room down, 6 to go.

These are a few picture frames and mirrors I've picked up over the last few weeks.

I've decided to put a collage of mirrors on the wall by the stairs, sort of on the landing. I was going to do it above the mantle, but I think I have other plans for there. Who knows, it might change. Anyways, they'll all be white and in various states of distress. The large ornate one is wood coated in some sort of plastic finish. This made it much easier to paint and finish.

The mirrors are definitely antique. The finishing paper on the back was so worn through that I had to reinforce it with some tape. The littlest one is resin. It's actually a tabletop mirror, so I think hanging it with ribbon and ditching the little easel-backer-thingy will be the best solution.

I found a set of linen placemats, napkins, and a table runner at a benefit yard sale that have an intricate border crisply cut through the fabric. Not antique or even vintage for that matter, but a great find, nonetheless.

Finally, my Farmer's Market flowers for this week: $10

What a lovely way to welcome the Fall.

P.S. Ryan's gotten scarily good at catching flies out of mid air. With his hand. It's his new party trick.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

HomeMade Christmas

A few days ago I suggested to Ryan that we should make Christmas more meaningful by making as many of our gifts as possible. What does that mean? Well, for starters, a lot more work for me. It will take a lot of organization and starting projects NOW {as in, I should have already started} for me to be done in time for the Holiday Season {I feel Holiday Season should be capitalized - don't you?} without too much panic and last-minute frantic behaviors.

So, Evonne mentioned her desire to make felted food for her girlies to replace their plastic versions. I found the below pictures on Etsy and read the seller's profile. She used to work for Martha Stewart. THAT would explain the beautiful picture and craftsmanship.

Find them here. Also notice her really cute pin cushions. My favorite is the hostess cupcake.

So the question I have about making homemade gifts: I'm not sure I want to go to the work/effort involved in some of the projects unless I know the recipient will appreciate the fact it's handmade and so time-intensive. Does that make sense? What would you do?