Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hot Hot Weekend

This weekend it was hot.  Luckily, there was a birthday party on Saturday at the ice rink.  So much fun.  And it was cold in there.  I want to go again.

There was also Sunday brunch at the Market Table Bistro in Lovettsville.  Notice the little hand above that cannot resist the plate of sweet bread long enough for me to take a picture.  Great food, great service.  I highly recommend it.  They even have a little herb garden in the back.  Daphne took our picture there.

There were also the long-awaited toasted marshmallow milkshakes.  I have to say it was a bit of a let-down.  WAY too sweet.  I think I should have used fewer marshmallows and really burned them to get the charred taste.  Live and learn.  That being said, we all three drank them all up.  And they looked really pretty.

 We are into Week 2 of Summer Camp now, and I am continuing the pursuit of Total Home Organization.  I organized the bathroom closet and threw away a giant bag of expired medicine and old half-empty bottles of hotel sample-size shampoos and lotions.  It looks so much better, and it's much easier to find stuff in there now.  If only the towels matched.

And I have also been working on the sitting room mantle.  I think I like it.  I want to light the candles tonight and see how it looks.  It's definitely an improvement.  I am thinking I'd like to have a small rug in there, and a floor lamp.  And if Kev can fix the fireplace pilot light thing, there will be some knitting by the fire getting done this winter.  Woohoo!

I went to a card-making class with my friend Suzanne last night (thank you Suzanne!).  It was really fun.  I sort of got into a groove while I was there and it was very relaxing.  So I was awake early this morning thinking about card design ideas.  I wish my brain had an OFF switch sometimes.

Three more days of camp, and I'm not sure how to spend them.  I'll figure something out.

Project Runway starts Thursday!  And friends from Texas arrive NEXT Thursday!  And my birthday is coming.  And New York.  It's gonna be a Big August. 

Friday, July 22, 2011


I'm not completely finished, but things are coming together in the sitting room and the bedroom closet.  I need some mantle inspiration.  And Kev's side of the closet needs help.  But all in all, I am happy with the progress I've made this week.

So, I sat down in my chair, on the hottest day of the year so far (102, heat index 112), and I knit.  Just working in a little fun.   

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Camp Continued...

Well, it's hot.  Just really really hot.  The kind of hot where it's hard to breathe.  But life goes on, and we're almost half-way through summer camp now.  Daphne has been having a blast in spite of the heat.  She's made some new friends and gotten to do arts and crafts and play outside and inside and at the pool.  Why, oh why don't they make Adult Summer Camp?  I would totally go.  She comes home exhausted and has taken a nap every day this week, except today because we had a playdate with one of her friends from swimming after camp.  That means an early bedtime tonight.  And that probably means a Star Trek episode for me and Kev.  Yay.

In the meantime, I have been kicking some major clutter butt.  Thanks to Emily for continued inspiration, and thanks to my recent mania groove,  I knocked out that bookshelf project quickly, and I am on my way to having a really organized bedroom closet and a new and improved sitting room.  I will post pictures when it's all done.  Kev said I should be doing more things that are "fun," but I am actually enjoying getting some cleaning accomplished.

I have been working in a little fun, too.  I went shopping yesterday and got a new shirt, skirt, and pair of jeans.  So that was good.  I am trying to be a more mindtful shopper.  It isn't easy.  But I try to imagine that Stacy and Clinton are with me, and that helps a little.  I don't like shopping at the mall, though.  Yesterday I had a hard time finding things I liked.  I saw a lot of UGLY ugly clothes.  I always see the coolest stuff on line, but none of it was anywhere at the mall.  Buying clothes on line is a beating though, because you never really know if it will fit or if it is made well. 

Like this dress, for example.  I found it on line.  So cute.  But, I can't try it on.  And it could be really cheaply made.  I guess I could always send things back if I don't like them, but that is a pain.  But it probably beats spending time at the mall.  I don't know.  Maybe I'll do an experimental online clothing purchase and see what happens.

So, maybe the shopping yesterday wasn't exactly "fun."  But I did have fun going out to dinner with a couple of friends last night.  And I got to go work out today.  And there has been a lot of iced coffee.  So, it hasn't been ALL cleaning.  Maybe next week, I'll sew or knit something.  But I won't beat myself up if I don't get to it.  Daphne will be starting school soon, and I'll have more time for such things then.  And I will have a nice neat happy place to sit while I do them.

Tomorrow is Friday.  I think I will keep plugging away on the closet, but it shouldn't take much longer.  Maybe I'll try to work in some reading.  That would be fun. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Project #1 - Check

Well, it's sorta hard to take a good photo in a narrow hallway, but as you can see, I made some changes to the little built-in shelf thing in the upstairs hallway.  I think it's better.  Definitely more inspired.  Someday when Kev recovers from the weekend, it would be nice to paint the hall.  Or at least hang some pictures on it.  But, one thing at a time.  Project 1 is done, and I still have 30 minutes before my Daphne's first day of camp is over. What will I do tomorrow?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Camp Project #1

Our upstairs hallway has this little built-in shelf thing on the wall.  I remember when we looked at the house, I thought, "Cool!  A little built-in shelf thing!"  Then, we moved in, and as we unpacked, we just sorta stuck a bunch of pictures on it.  Good pictures of people we like, mind you, but the whole thing was really uninspired.  Yesterday, I saw this picture in Real Simple magazine, and decided that Project #1 during Daphne's summer camp is to re-do that shelf.

I will let you know how it turns out.  Perhaps there will be at least one mason jar.

Nantucket update:  The jar now has $8.36!  Kev said that's enough for a Nantucket souvenir snow globe. 

During the weekend, Kev painted the TV room.  It is sort of a leathery coffee-ish color, and I LOVE it.  My job was to keep Daphne entertained for two days away from her favorite room in the house.  Kev said next weekend is going to be a Weekend of Fun.  I hope so.

OK, I am off to sleep and to make a mental list of Summer Camp project goals.  I will try to post them in the next day or two if I get them written down.  But one goal is to spend less time on the computer, so we'll see. 

PS.  I am totally rooting for Susie on Food Network Star.  She is the best one.  Project Runway starts soon!  Woohoo!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Daphne Claire Goes to Washington

Yesterday, I decided to take Daphne to Washington D.C. on the train by myself.  There we are, above, on the Orange Metro line from Vienna.  Things could have gone horribly horribly wrong.  But they didn't.  We had a pretty great day out aside from some complaining about walking and some silliness at lunch.  And the weather was unusually cool and delightful.  We got lucky.  It's hot today.

We visited the Air and Space Museum first.  We got to see some cool old planes and a Mars rover, Daphne touched a moon rock, and we rode in a Space Shuttle Simulator all the way to the ISS for a space walk and back.  I sort of prefer the museum on the Mall to the one out here by Dulles airport.  But we didn't get to see much of it before it was time to meet Uncle Jeff for lunch.

Because of the complaining, we decided to take a taxi to the restaurant on Capitol Hill. This was Daphne's first cab ride, and she thought it was the Coolest Thing Ever because she didn't have to ride in a car seat.  We went to the Good Stuff Eatery, which is one of Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn's restaurants.  The line was ridiculous and the food took forever, but I will tell you this was one of the best burgers I have ever had in my life.  Totally worth the wait.  And to go with it, we had awesome fries with thyme and rosemary and sea salt, and a toasted marshmallow milkshake, which was pretty amazing. ( I am going to attempt to make this at home - I found a recipe on line right here (notice they are in mason jars!).)

 After lunch, we got to see Jeff's office in the Department of Health and Human Services building, which is also home to the Voice of America radio stations, so we watched some of the broadcasters there.  Very cool.  So, thanks for the tour, Uncle Jeff.  Daphne has been playing with her eagles non-stop since we got home.

After we left Jeff's building, we crossed the Mall to go to the Natural History Museum.  Daphne stopped for a photo op:

Our feet were killing us both by then, so a nice man directed us to the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery to stick them in the fountain for some relief.  This may have been my favorite part of the day that wasn't food.

No wading allowed in the fountain, by the way!  But just sitting there sticking our feet in did wonders for our physical and mental states.  At the Natural History Museum, we checked out the dinosaurs as always, and then saw a cool 3D IMAX about orphaned elephants and orangutans.  Then it was time to head back home on Metro.  Daphne wanted to stand up and hold the pole.  That lasted about one stop.

So, overall, I'd call the day a success, and I will definitely do it again.  It would have been more fun with Kev, but I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it solo.  And it was easy.  No problem.

Kev is painting the TV room today.  It's very exciting.  I hope he can finish it up so we can have some family time tomorrow.  We'll be watching the Women's World Cup Final.  Then, Daphne's summer camp starts Monday.  I will have three hours a day all to myself for two weeks.  And I still haven't figured out a plan.  Maybe that's what I should be doing now.  Um...gotta go!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Not About Food

So, last night, while I was enjoying an episode of Eat Streets, it was brought to my attention that there is too much about food.  At our house, I cook food, I read blogs about food, I take pictures of food, I blog my own blog about food, and I watch food shows.  In response, I said, "That's ALL I GOT, man!"  And that isn't entirely true, but sometimes it feels like it is.  I spend a lot of time puttering around in the kitchen.  So, today, I am going to try to focus on other things.  Don't get your hopes up that it will be very interesting, though.

OK.  Um...let's see...

Mason jars!  Right now, I am really into mason jars.  I think they are cool.  I even went down into the scary basement to get one for my afternoon glass of iced coffee.  (Does iced coffee count as talking about food?)  I intend to incorporate more mason jars into my daily life.

Music.  I really like the Decemberists lately.  We listened to them a lot during our drive to and from Indiana.  The singer's accent makes me a little crazy at times, though.  But they are still good.  There's another group called The Civil Wars that I like too.  Did you hear that Morrissey got attacked by a dog?! That should inspire some good lyrics!

I think "Shore Leave" is my least favorite episode of Star Trek.  We are half-way through our Season One box set.  Spock is awesome.  Dr. McCoy wears too much eye makeup.  I used to think Star Trek was silly, but now I really like it a lot.

We just had a nice big rain storm here.  Too bad my car windows are down.

I took Daphne to a puppet show at the library yesterday.  She loved it.  I decided I would be pretty happy if I never ever saw another puppet show ever again.  Unless it was the Muppets.

In other Daphne news, she went to an art class with her former preschool teacher and drew and colored that Fish picture over there on the sidebar.  I really like it.  I think we're going to frame it and hang it in the playroom.  Her artwork is not typically so colorful, so this was a nice surprise.

I am getting in the mood to knit something.  Perhaps during Summer Camp.

Well, that's about all I have.  I am now going to leave the kitchen.  Perhaps I'll clean something.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Daphne doesn't like pizza.  She doesn't like anything with "melty cheese."  I guess it's not that big of a deal.  But I like pizza, and Kev likes pizza, and we never get to have it.  And Daphne is always getting invited to birthday parties where there is pretty much always pizza.  So, it would be nice if she actually at least sorta liked it.

Yesterday, in an attempt to send her down the pizza-liking path, we decided to have Family Make Your Own Pizza Day.  Everyone got to choose their toppings and make their own personal pizza.  Daphne wanted hers with chicken, barbeque sauce, and celery (!?).  And NO CHEESE.  We talked her out of the celery, so she added pineapple and prosciutto, and basil and yellow pepper (from the garden!).

Kev helped her roll out her crust, and then she started adding toppings:

Here it is, ready to go into the oven:

And here it is, all done!

And with that, the kid who doesn't like pizza ate pizza for dinner.  Yes!  She wasn't crazy about the sauce, but she managed to work around it and still eat most of the two slices we put on her plate.  I wonder if you can order pizza with no sauce and no cheese at Fireworks.  That would be nice.

Saturday, July 09, 2011


Well, last night we made it safely back home from our week in Indiana.  We had an action-packed trip which included two impressive backyard fireworks shows, a 4th of July family reunion swimming party and cookout, a pedicure, two trips to the Zesto, one trip to Pizza King, visits with relatives we don't get to see often enough, and a Big Day Out at Holiday World (formerly Santa Claus Land) in Santa Claus, Indiana, which is quite possibly the best amusement park I've ever been to.  There are MANY pictures from the trip on Flickr.  Lots of fun.  Thanks to all the people who helped make it such a good trip. 

Now, it's time to try to get back into some sort of groove.  It's never easy after a vacation, but I am determined.  One week until summer camp starts, and I need to get organized.

But first, I need a good long night's sleep.  It's good to be home.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Half-Way There

Well, 2011 is half-way over. Hard to believe. There have been highlights, including a weekend with Kev in DC, Easter in NY, sledding, Daphne's birthday and preschool graduation, homemade ravioli and boeuf bourguignon, Elvis Costello, berry-picking adventures, going to see the Rangers, watching the Mavs win the championship, and eating meals on the porch. There have been accomplishments like getting several rooms in the house painted, getting a new couch, cooking more with Daphne, remembering to take a picture every single day so far, reading more often, and Daphne sort of learning to swim. There have been low-lights, like ants, squirrels in the wall, and my uncle's accident. There are things I didn't get to do, like knitting and sewing. But there is still half a year to go to do that. And there is a lot to look forward to in the second half, so bring it on.

I'll be back after our trip with tales from the 4th of July, Indiana style. Have a good and safe week, and please don't do stupid stuff with your fireworks. You'll shoot your eye out!