The Big Dramatic Peony Print

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The BIG engineer print came from Parabo Press (thank you Deborah for the tip!) and I finally figured out how to hang it! It actually came several weeks ago but I was not so smart and didn’t order the 36″ wooden rails that they offered to go with it. I thought I’d be cheap and order some off amazon instead and then I did and I ordered the wrong size TWICE. I’m not the brightest fork in the drawer sometimes. Creativity I have in loads but double-checking-measurement skills not so much. I was so steamed at myself. And then when I finally caved and decided to order the right rails from Parabo they were out of stock. Doh!

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But that’s okay because I happen to have a boyfriend who is handy with wood!  The real question is: why didn’t I ask him first?!!

I studied the design and figured out it was just four 36″-long pieces of wood held together with those super strong tiny refrigerator magnets. I gave Payam the measurements, ordered some magnets and he came back with perfect rails ready for hanging! And three weeks later I finally hung my amazing dramatic peony print.

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I love it. I love it so much better than that mass-produced Bed Bath and Beyond print that Payam had hung up in the dining room for so long.

I loved the sentiment of Payam’s old art though that’s why I left it there so long. But it offended me badly with it’s 90’s choice of fonts. You know how that can drive a graphic designer crazy.  It said “Teach music to the child and you give the soul a voice after you go.” which is really cool, right? I thought I would recreate it and keep the words somehow but nothing brilliant ever hit me. Then I fell in love with the giant peony print idea and now the 90’s music quote art lives in the office/kid’s tv room until I can somehow find a new way to keep that sentiment. I’m still perking on that.

Isn’t it cool that Payam loves me so much that he puts up with my redecorating? He puts up with a lot. Funny story: I have these really really eccentric palazzo pants in a crazy black and white boho print. I LOVE them. They are super flow-y and comfortable (except for the too tight waist band which is what I get for shopping at Forever 21 when I probably should be shopping at Ann Taylor Loft). From time to time I wear them and they are the kind of pants that stop you in your tracks. You can’t not acknowledge them when I walk in because they are screaming I’M CRAZY PANTS. So you can imagine Payam’s reaction the first time I wore them. And you know what he said?

“I love you and so I love your crazy pants.” He actually hates my crazy pants but he’ll never say that. He’s my guy.

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But back to the print. When it arrived the mailman brought it to me in big long tube that was mangled on one side. Of course that worried me so the mailman asked me to open it in front of him to make sure that it wasn’t damaged. Unfortunately it was a really hot day and I stupidly chose to open the tube and unroll the print on the hood of Payam’s black car that was really hot. The damaged tube didn’t hurt the print but me unrolling it on a hot surface did. Right away the print crinkled right down the middle. I realized my mistake and rolled it back up as soon as I could but the damage was done.

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The paper is so thin it is very easy to damage it. Thankfully, the center crinkle in it doesn’t really show BUT it does curl on the sides which kind of bugs me. I’m not sure why it curls other than the fact that the paper is very thin and it works like a barometer measuring the humidity in our house or something. So while the rail hanging idea is very affordable ($20 vs $400 to frame it)  it’s not perfect. I’m still not sure what we’re going to do. But it is a good temporary fix.

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In fact it’s so affordable I’m already plotting my next seasonal switch. :P

Father’s Day, Pan Party 2 and the Bathroom Redeaux!

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I am all over the place today. First off I need to apologize for missing my Thursdays posting. Who cares, you ask? I care! I am the meanest boss ever and I have failed myself. I set up this complicated blog strategy schedule and set a goal for myself to post every Tuesday and Thursday and I missed my Thursday!  Sigh.  Good thing I’m not going to fire myself. I just told myself that I’m not perfect and I can get back on it again next week and in the meantime here’s a bonus super bonanza Friday post! Woo Hoo!

So this Sunday is Father’s Day in case you didn’t know. (Get on that homemade card if you forgot.) In the theme of Father’s Day Payam and I worked really hard on this cool vintage clock radio planter craft for alphamom. It was so fun, probably my favorite craft ever, next to the tiny toolbox and snow globe soaps.

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I have a new hobby now: collecting vintage clock radios. It’s great for my hoarding problem. But I mean, how could I not?!! They are the coolest ever. That red one had my name on it the minute I walked into an antique store and it was staring at me from a way up high dusty shelf. Vintage clocks can set you back a bit. Some on eBay can run from $20-$80. So keep your eyes out at garage sales and estate sales. These babies are hot.

And speaking of hot…

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Pan Party Two happened last night! It’s a THING now you guys! I’m so happy.

It wasn’t hot, it was actually a bit chilly when the sun went down but we had such a nice time. Picnicking at the park during golden hour is something that I am a huge fan of. I will be preaching about it until the cows come home or it turns into a community of hundreds which honestly is my vision. I think it can happen too. I’m passionate about building friendships and getting outside enjoying the weather and each other’s company. That’s what we have to do to fight our addiction to technology. That’s really the happy part of life, right?

We’re only doing it once a month which is good because it takes some effort. Preparing a pan dish, lugging a tin of drinks and ice to the trunk and then the park, remembering table clothes, cups, silverware, paper plates, napkins… you know the drill. It can steal away half your day if you are not careful. Then add kids who want to swim to the mix and you’ll be busy from 2pm to midnight. BUT IT’S SO GOOD for everyone.

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Look at this photo Bug took? Isn’t it pretty? I’ve been pushing Bug to be more artistic in her photos (She is the product of two photographer parents after all) and she usually rolls her eyes at me and takes a picture of her foot or the leather of the car seat all blown up blurry and then types some words on top. But this photo really stopped me in my tracks. I love the angle. I love the colors, I love the lone dad sitting on the lawn chair waiting for his kid to get out of the pool already. This is exactly what I wanted Pan Party to be. Everyone getting outside, away from their devices to see how pretty this time of day really is.

Of course I’m kind of a hypocrite because I’m all about documenting this beauty and sharing it on social media but what can I say? I’m not a purist. I think we can have it all.

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More photos by Bug.

As you can see the beanie baby collectible fluff ball dog showed up. The kids had boba right before the pan party (big mistake) and couldn’t care less about eating. They ran around wild all over the park while we parents sat around stuffing our faces with enchiladas, lasagna, mashed potatoes… (no diets here) and those crack grocery store cookies with the neon frosting on top of them, you know the ones. It was great.

Then the puppy showed up and the kids squealed like Taylor Swift fan girls and went rushing off to fight over who could carry the puppy around for the rest of the night. That poor dog never gets to walk on it’s own. It doesn’t seem to mind though. It doesn’t even look like a dog. I think it’s a long-legged fluffy mouse. Except at one point it was walking on the table and it totally went after our food like a regular dog. Maybe that’s how you tell it’s a dog.

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I’m gonna say Pan Party Two was a big success and all of you who wimped out and didn’t come for whatever reason (I’m looking at you, Maria and One Little Happy) you guys missed out. You better make it to Pan Party Three which is scheduled for July 19th, 2018 at 7pm. Make a note!

In other news, I thought I’d just smash on my Bathroom Redeux post right here at the end of this post. It totally flows. Heh.

I was thinking it’s not really enough substance to be it’s own post. And the pictures are not that great. It’s kind of impossible to get flattering photos of a bathroom that has no natural light and it’s so small you can’t really get a photo of it all at one time. I haven’t splurged on a wide angle lens that will work in such tight quarters yet.

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I really wanted to share with your this small Ikea shelving unit that we installed over the toilet. It is a little tight and I wish it was just a smidge more narrow so it doesn’t hang over the toilet so much but it has seriously changed our lives when it comes to organization.

This is the girls bathroom so imagine bottles of shampoo everywhere, most of them empty and dripping all over because they have this theory that they need to keep their shampoo upside down with the lids not all the way closed. No matter how much I harped on the fact that the lids need to be popped closed until you hear a click they did not hear me. It was gooey sticky drippy mess everywhere all the time. Then add about a zillion bobby pins and rubber bands to the counter area that you see around the sink, smear some toothpaste here and there, add a few hairs and you pretty much get the idea of the bathroom. I had had ENOUGH. Those drawers? Full of girl crap to the point that they can’t even open and close easily. I don’t even want to know what’s in there.

So I got the girls each a caddy and laid down some RULES. Shampoo and conditioner bottles go in the caddy and they must be dry. I got them individual rubber band and bobby pin jars and told them that from now on NOTHING goes on the sink counter except toothbrushes and soap. They each have a cubby and they have to keep it neat because it’s on full view.

GUESS WHAT? It worked. It’s been weeks and the bathroom is tidy and orderly. I am sooo happy.

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It’s almost like a spa in there! The caddies work really well for the girls too because they often have to take turns showering in our bathroom. This way they can carry everything they need in one trip instead of yelling for one of us to bring them things they forgot mid-shower. It’s just an all around win. If you have tween/teen kids or just someone who struggles with keeping things neat, I can’t recommend it enough.

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The kids? They don’t care one way or another.

And with that I am OUT. See you back here again on Tuesday!