Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bump, Set, Spike

Sweet Pea is officially a middle schooler, sort of. Fifth grade is a time of transition at our school and although it isn't "technically" middle school, fifth graders are learning the tough lessons that will help them survive the middle years and beyond. So, athletics are offered. I think this is partly to prepare these kids for middle school and partly because our wonderful, yet small school needs the fifth graders to field enough players for teams. Whatever the reason, Sweet Pea is stoked and rocked the court at her first volleyball game last week.

Have I ever mentioned that my darling girl is a tad competitive? Don't ever tell this girl she can't do something, because doggone it, she will. I must admit though, she is a good little athlete. I love watching her play. I did get in trouble though (by her) because I cheered. And other people heard me cheer. And in fifth grade, that is apparently not cool. Maybe this really is middle school. The attitude sure reeks of teenage angst. Anywho, this year, Sweet Pea has decided that not only is she going to conquer the volleyball and basketball courts, she is going to get her pointe shoes in ballet. She took a year off of ballet to pursue jazz and musical theater and now has to make-up for lost time. I think that the fact that the cards are stacked against her (and the fact that her bestie is already in her pointe shoes) make this even more attractive to her. I'll keep you posted on that one. I have a hard time with the whole ballet thing. Give me a good jazz hand any day.

Hope you are enjoying your pursuits whatever they may be!



Monday, August 29, 2011

Pool House Inspirations

Classic Cape Cod

Low Country Style - don't ya just want to sit on the porch with a mint julep?

Not sure what to call this, but I luv it.

more Cape Cod shingle style

Ahh! Cape Cod, gambrel roof perfection!

I have been helping a sweet friend with ideas for a backyard redo. I absolutely adore coming-up with ideas to spend someone else's money. Don't you? My friend wants to remodel her garage and back house into a larger garage with an upstairs game room/guest get-away with a veranda and pool cabana below. I so can help her with this. These pictures were what I used as my inspiration for my designs. (My designs that I did not photograph before I gave them to her. I still draft by hand. Hey, I'm old-fashioned that way!) The main house is a classic, Georgian design. She wanted the back house to be a little different. I thought a Cape Cod, shingle style or maybe a little low-country influence would compliment nicely. We will have to wait and see what happens, as they are still planning. Me? I'll take any of the above. Enjoy!


photos via Pinterest

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Before and After - Mumsie and Popie's Kitchen

My parents moved into their current home a little over a year ago. This is big news, as they had lived in the same house, the house I grew-up in, for thirty-one years. They had grown tired of the house and complained about this and that feature of it, but move? Never. Looking at houses has been a favorite pastime that I share with my mom. So, when she wanted to go along and look at houses with me when we were searching, I thought nothing of it. I enjoy having her input and company. My mom is good about keeping quiet and only giving her opinion when asked, so it was all good.
The search was not yielding any likely prospects, so my mom found one and encouraged me to see it. I was not crazy about the house from what I could see on the computer, but went to see it anyway. My mom thought it was wonderful and my normally quiet, non-butting-in mom would not let this one go. She kept talking about it and all it's potential and how nice it would be. Me? I wasn't feeling it. It was not the house for me and my family. I finally couldn't take my mom's harping anymore and suggested that she and my dad should just buy it since she loved it so much. And you know what? They did.
The house is perfect for them. It is one story and the lay-out is just what two empty-nesters, who love to entertain need. The house just needed some updating. It really is nice. Do I feel sad that I didn't jump at the chance to own such a gem? Not on your life. But I am thrilled for my mom and dad and so are the mini-pearls. They love Mumsie and Popie's new home.
I thought I would share their wonderful, new kitchen. Hope you enjoy!

Before: the kitchen was a cramped and dark 1960's space with mix matched appliances, Formica countertops and old cabinetry.

After: bright and airy! New appliances, honed marble countertops, farmhouse sink - wonderful.

Before: the kitchen and breakfast area were divided by this awkward wall

After: the wall is gone and the kitchen now occupies the entire space. There is seating at the bar and a breakfast table beyond. I love the soft blue paint my mom selected for the island and the walls.

Before: another shot of the cramped, breakfast area

After: the wall where the built-in hutch was before, is now where the ranges sit. Yes, ranges. The monstrosity of a commercial range that my mom and dad wanted was out of budget, so they got exactly what they wanted by placing two ranges, side by side. One side has a warming drawer, the other, storage. Genius.

This is the place where we all gather when we are together and it is wonderful. There is enough room for everyone and we have already made some great memories here.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy and Sad

The mini pearls: 2nd, 7th and 5th

Today was the first day of school for the mini-pearls. I feel some sadness. Sadness that yet another summer has come and gone and my babies are no longer babies and are spending more and more time away from the nest. Sadness that the calendar is full with a set schedule once again. Yet, I am happy, too. Happy that summer is over and I can confidently say that we did everything we set out to do and more. Happy that my babies are going to be spending more and more time away from the nest. Happy that we have a full calendar schedule and I no longer have to play activities director. I am now just the chauffeur. It's a love/hate thing for me but here we are. I guess it really is possible for something to make you happy and sad or I am just indecisive. Please keep those comments to your self.

I am most happy and joyful about the fact that all three minis are at the same school for the first time ever! Wahoo! One drop-off in the morning, all sports practices at the same place (for the older ones, as they play on school teams), one place to volunteer, one place to remember. Yes, this makes me happy. I think they are happy, too.

I must say that I did enjoy my few hours off today. After the "back-to-school parent coffee", I played hooky with a sweet friend and had a lunch date with her at the movies and saw The Help. Go see this film. It was wonderful. Happy and sad. I plan on playing hooky again next week and taking my mom to see it. It's that good!

The minis brought each of their teachers a shiny apple for their desks.

My favorite part of the first day of school: a brand new box of Crayons!

Happy day!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Reno Memos - Progress (finally!)

The old saying "slow and steady wins the race" seems to be the mantra for our remodel. Every step has taken three times as long as anticipated, but we are finally rolling! The back of the roof has been removed and the new second story is on. This is the space for the boys' rooms and they are beginning to get excited and are already placing their furniture. Downstairs, Sweet Pea's suite has been framed out and the new game room has walls. Progress is fun!
The budget has been a point of contention throughout this process. For some reason, we can't make our budget fit our list of wants. Go figure. I'm sure we are the first people to experience this... not. I am just trying to keep a good attitude about this and see it as a fun challenge instead of rain on my parade. For now, I am so happy that everyone can begin to see what I have had in my head all along - a wonderful family home.



A second story!

The carport that will be the game room

Stairs!!! I can't help but think of the scene in The Money Pit where Tom Hanks learns that he now has stairs. It's the little things.

The upstairs hallway that leads to the boys bedrooms and will contain a built-in study area and storage.

The kitchen - this is the main area affected by the "budget". Oh, what to do.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Roughing It

I mentioned that Fisherman went to camp a week ago. He had an absolute ball. This was not the typical swim, play sports and do crafts kind of camp. This was strictly fly-fishing, fishing (there is a difference), bow, rifle and shotgun shooting, canoeing, kayaking and hunter certification camp. None of that frilly stuff. My boy roughed-it in the Texas Hill Country for a week.

This is the lodge Fisherman called "home" for the week. We were worried that it would be difficult for him to stay.

The inside of the Lodge wasn't much better. No comforts at all. This was the space where Fisherman and the other campers were expected to spend their quiet time each afternoon to get out of the heat. Yes, only the bare necessities.

This is the bunk room where my boy slept. Yes, it was going to be tough.

Fisherman actually used this apparatus more than his fly rod this week. I guess fire arms trump rods and reels. I can't imagine how much ammo the camp went through in a week. Fisherman, by the way, is an awesome shot. (I see scholarship money.)

The campers took a field trip to a taxidermist. Fisherman could not stop talking about all the mounts. I forgot to mention that if you are squeamish about dead animals, you might want to disregard this post.

Fisherman had a wonderful week. He won the "Outstanding New Camper" Award. We are always proud of him, but that was a big one for him! For some reason, he cannot wait to get back to camp next summer. I can't understand why.



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Seeing Green

The kitchen from the Change-Up reminded me of another one of my all-time favorite kitchens. Both have a green tile backsplash and a warm, cozy, cottagey kitchen feel. My other fave? Kirstie Alley's kitchen that Nate Berkus designed. It has been a few years but I feel that it is timeless and I love it! I even have a sample of the Ann Sacks tile in my sample stash. I never think of myself as a "green girl" but perhaps I need to rethink that. Green just seems to be seeking me out.

Happy Friday dear ones!


photos via

Monday, August 8, 2011

Best Date Ever and The Change-up House

Happy Monday all! Mr. Pearl and I picked-up Fisherman from camp in the Texas Hill Country this weekend. (I'll post more on camp later, as my boy had an amazing time and won an award!) Mr. P had a business meeting down that way, so we took the two younger minis (who have already been to camp this summer) and went with him. We stopped-off in New Braunfels and went to Schlitterbahn. For those of you not from Texas and not up on your Travel Channel "coolest water parks in the world" info, Schlitterbahn is an enormous water park on the Comal River. The park boasts the "coolest water ride" winner with it's water roller coaster and the "world's longest water ride" winner with it's raging river ride. We had a blast and as a former employee of a water park (Wet-n Wild lifeguard - good times), I can say it is a wonderful, family experience - crowds and all.
My sweet mother-in-law took the mini-pearls for one last trip to the lake after camp pick-up and that gave the mister and myself an entire Sunday to ourselves. Oh what luxury! Hey, I never said I was hard to please! What did we do? Well, as it's still 100+ degrees around here and too hot for golf or other outdoor fun, we headed to the movies. I chose the first one and selected one that I felt would appeal to Mr. P (ok, I really wanted to see it, too. I mean Ryan Reynolds is in it.) So, we saw The Change-up. I will now reveal my true colors to you and I may loose some readers over this, but I laughed so hard I cried. More than once. This movie is obscene and offends just about everyone in some way and it really isn't a good movie but it was good adult fun. Please don't hold my frat boy sense of humor against me! The real star of the movie though was the house that Justin Bateman's character and his family live in. Perfection! Right down to all of the celadon accents (see the movie). I had to share these with you. So, if someone you love wants to see this movie, bring earplugs and your smart phone to keep you entertained and have them let you know when the house scenes are on - so worth it!
This kitchen - not crazy about the polished granite counter tops - honed? soapstone? - my preference. The backsplash tile was gorgeous and the fabric for the curtains I am now on the hunt for. I just adored this space!

You can't tell much from this pic, but the family room was so cozy and I love the different stripe fabrics on the sofa and chairs.

The master bath is marble perfection!

How did me and the mister end our free day? We indulged in popcorn and Reese's pieces and saw Crazy, Stupid Love. Really cute movie. No offensive language, although I would not let my thirteen year old see it. This is a good, married couple date movie. I don't think that I have ever gone to two movies in one day. I felt so frivolous! I highly recommend it!
I am off to pick-up the mini-pearls from my mother-in-law and take them to the dentist. This week, we start our back-to-school countdown and have one thousand things to do before school starts next week. Not the least of which is finish our summer reading assignments. Arggh! I'm not ready!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Triple Threat

How awesome is this? If I had this room to do laundry in, I would never complain again. Thoughts? It also looks cool in there, unlike the 110' we are on tap for today.

Cool thoughts,


photo source unknown - I am finally on Pinterest, so I should be able to start giving credit where credit is due!

Monday, August 1, 2011

That Touch of Pink

It's 106' outside. All the grass and plants are turning brown and all the humans I know are well, tired and hot. My solution? Staying inside under the ceiling fan with a cool glass of raspberry tea, some good movies and the mini-pearls to snuggle with.
I ran across this wonderful room with the perfect touch of pink. What do you think? I am loving the whimsy of the birds in the chandelier. A hot pink living room... I wonder if Mr. P would go for this in the new house? I let you know on that one! In the meantime, stay cool!


photo source - unknown