I hear wearing only one boot is totally in for spring.
During a recent trip to our favorite thrift store we found this toddler disney princess dress that was obviously well used in its previous life.
It wasnt exactly fit for a princess just yet, it was missing the plastic cameo from the center of the bodice and both armpit seems had been popped. (well used indeed) Not to mention that it’s just a bit….blah and cheap looking with its unfinished seems and floppy collar. But at $3.99 the price was right (disney princess dresses come in varying levels of fancy but when purchased new they are all too expensive for my taste) and this dress did have “good bones” in the sense that all the fabric was clean and unstained and the only tears were popped seams. I couldn’t buy all the materials to make this exact dress from scratch for $3.99 either.
So I googled sleeping beauty I did some online research so I could get a some inspiration for the recreation of this mass produced and tired ball gown. There are plenty of variations on the Disney Sleeping Beauty. Zoe has a Sleeping Beauty princess doll that is pretty much her most favorite toy, she never goes to bed or bath or anywhere without this little piece of plastic. Unfortunately she is not to flashy and duh! wearing Merryweather’s blue gown. that won’t do.
This is the sleeping beauty I decided to take inspiration from this image, as you can see she is top notch.
SO I took some scrap trim I had just taking up space….
And and my cat’s old ID tag
I just pinned the trim on the areas i thought could use improvement
and just jazzed that sucker up.
and in case you didn’t realize Aurora is a capricorn..
then without further ado I presented the gown to the princess. As you can see she refused to be photographed before she put on her shoes…
needless to say it was love at first sight, she stood and checked it all out in the mirror for a good long while, then went about her princess business in her newly revived gown.
So in case you need a reminder of the dingy, dark and dated kitchen and dining room we used to suffer with…
Oh yeah, remember those pointless bannister railings the seperated the living and dining rooms
The fuzzy brown wall paper that made you feel like you were dining in a burlap sack…
ok this one is looking into the kitchen from the dining room, notice this is after we stripped the god aweful paper last year, we weren’t ready to do a complete remodel but I couldn’t live with it a minute longer.
Standing in dining room doorway, looking into really tiny and dark kitchen
Yes, those are laminate butcher block countertops..
Ok so your all caught up on where we started. Now without further ado…
Standing in the new open concept eat-in kitchen.
Some artwork i made for the new space..
Well there you have it folks. It was a tremendous amount of work but we are really enjoying the fruits of that labor.
BTW we did EVERYTHING ourselves, and I mean everything. We both learned so much and acquired a ton of new skills (i.e. how to finish raw cabinetry, how to knock down a wall, how to move plumbing and vents, how to lay a hardwood floor).
I have to say there was a real shock once we started doing the demolition. This isn’t TV baby, where you see a homeowner knocking a hole in their wall and then an entire crew of men come in to clean it all up. Every nail, piece of drywall, cabinet and tile was physically removed by us and the amount of work involved in that is seriously underrated by HGTV.
We had an ongoing joke through the entire demo about “Old World Craftmanship” everything we had in the old kitchen, as ugly as it was, was built to last. Shit that is built to last, doesn’t come down without a fight. That’s why after 30 years the wall paper was still on the walls. (And that hideous tile floor really had the spirit of the warrior. It took countless hours and 3 machine rentals to get rid them.)
But now, 3 months after we started this crazy endeavor we have emerged from the process stronger, and with a huge sense of accomplishment for not only surviving a major renovation but for doing all of the work ourselves.
Today i am thinking about the past. I thought of hiding in blueberry bushes with a boy I was dying to kiss when I was 15. It was all so simple then, but I guess even in those days I thought life was complicated.
This weekend Scott and I climbed to the top of the tallest sand dune on south padre island. You could see the coast lines of both beaches. The sky was so vast and blue. It just melted into the water on the horizon. We had to bury our feet in the sand to stop them from burning, but it was worth it for that fleeting moment of precociousness and wonderment. To be humbled by the greatness of our world and realize our lives have all the importance of a grain of sand in the grand scheme of things.
So Scott and I are entering the realm of home renovation. Sure, we’ve taken down our fair share of wallpaper, changed out a light fixure or two, and thrown up some fresh paint with a cavalier spirit and a “we can do that!” chip on our shoulders. But now we are getting into some pretty heavy stuff with our kitchen remodel.
for those of you who haven’t been privileged enough to have experienced our cramped and dated kitchen in person here is a glimpse..
I’m sure we can agree that the fresh flowers and self made art work on the fridge are it’s only redeeming qualities.
We haven’t actually started the work yet but are elbow deep in plans. New cabinets, flooring, countertops, appliances and …a wall removal. As you can see our cramped kitchen and in-progress dining room are divided by a wall.
We aren’t actually sure if the wall is load bearing or not so we are trying to get in touch with some sort of professional to advise us. Who do you call when you need a wall verified as load bearing or not? The people handling our countertops put me in touch with “A very reliable contractor, he’s one of my closest friends”.
Problem is, that he says “You don’t need a contractor, you just need a handyman. I don’t do that kind of stuff, but i’ve got a cousin who’s great and he can handle this no problemo”
Thats the thing about home renovation and construction, everybody knows a guy for whatever your particular need is. The roto router guy won’t come in and unstop your clogged sink, but he has a cousin thats a top notch plumber who would be glad to help me out. (Thats how you get around that $75 an hour plumber price tag, just call it a “friends and family discount”)
My issue is that now that I am two people removed from my reliable source I am questioning whether or not to take “the great cousin’s” word for it. I mean if the guy says its safe to take it down and the house collapses that would be quite a situation.
Woke up at 7:30 so I could shower before getting Zoe and Grandma up and getting them ready to go to Grandma’s Doctor appointment. I start up the coffee maker and step out to the office to check my weather widget. That turned out to be completely unnecessary because one look out the window showed that it was raining fucking buckets! I hate it when it rains. (I’m not stupid, understand the neccesity for it, i just vastly prefer it when it’s sunny).
So I go about my business getting 3 people breakfast, 3 people dressed, 3 heads of hair combed, three sets of teeth brushed, snacks packed for Zoe and Grandma (never fails the minute we are in the car they both start complaining they are hungry even though we JUST ate breakfast) three pairs of shoes and rain jackets on, by the time I get Zoe strapped into carseat, and grandma in the car I am soaked from head to toe (guess i didn’t need the shower after all).
The entire 10 minute drive is comprised of Grandma complaining. About EVERYTHING she could possibly think of in 10 minutes! The seat got damp while I was loading her in, she is too hot in her rain jacket, the air conditioning is freezing her out, her stomach aches, she’s thirsty… She says “i don’t know why we are going to the doctor anyway, I feel fine!”
We make it to the Doctors office, its an outdoor plaza and of course the office we are headed to is smack in the middle of it. So after a long, extremely slow walk in the RAIN up to her office (Grandma walks with a walker and only has 1st gear). The three of us get in the door, I get Grandma and Zoe settled in chairs. Dripping water off every part of me, I go to the counter to check us in.
“Oh yeah, we tried to call you 10 minutes ago and no one answered.” said the woman behind the counter.
“Of course not, we were already on our way here. Why what’s the problem?”
“The doctor cancelled all her appointments for today.”
Today Scott and I hauled another load of yard rubbish to the dump. Our yard is a huge jungle forest and we attempting to tame it. Anyway, while at the dump we drove past a pile of old tires that was taller than our house and the moment Zoe saw it she exclaimed “Wheels! Awwwwwww so beautiful!” (yes, my not yet 2 year old can say the word beautiful) Scott and I shared a laugh over her aesthetic sensibilities and how she uses my language but clearly shares more personality traits with her father. Showing admiration for a pile of “wheels”, declaring that the dragons on Skyrim are “cute”, and watching with pure wonder a long line of marching ants going up a tree in the jungle yard.
Grandma frequently asks (dementia is like a perpetual interview with a reporter with only three questions.) “who do you think she is most like?” we usually reply “She’s a healthy mix” and its so true. A little of this and a little of that to create the best hybrid our genes had to offer. Of course she got some of the not so sterling traits of her ancestors too but thats another post.
A few weeks ago I started having intense pains on the right side of my abdomen. When I told my Mom she replied dryly “only your right side?” I nodded, “it’s your gall bladder finally catching up with you.” Further research into the mysterious aches would only reenforce that prognosis. (don’t you just hate it when your mother is right?)
Every woman I am related to by blood has had issues with their gall bladders. Mother, grandmothers, aunts, and cousins on both sides of my family all having their gall bladders removed close to age 30.
My sister and I are the only ladies I know for sure are still packing a gall bladder. She has been telling me for years to be kinder to my body, to get off sugar and processed meats. Obviously her advice went largely unheeded to this point. She is older than me and has managed to keep all her organs through a combination of flushes, fasts and following strict nutritional guidelines. It’s hard to argue with someone who is a shining example of the positive results.
“You think God gave you a fucking gallbladder when you didn’t need it??” she said to me last month, her voice raised several octaves. I’d never really considered before. That’s the problem, we don’t start appreciating the wonderment of our bodies until they start to fail us. I never heard anyone say how appreciative they are of having strong feet, but plenty complaining that their feet are aching from ridiculous shoes.
So how do I reverse 20 years of abuse on the holy vessel that is my body? Well for me it will be through baby steps. I am cutting my burger and fries intake significantly down to only one a month (which according to Super Size Me, still makes me a ‘super user’).
So today I entertained what I knew to be the only burger I will eat for the next month. It was a Big Mac, my favorite. I ate it slowly without distractions. My old friend deserved my undivided attention one last time. I thought of that scene from Pineapple Express when James Franco is sitting on a swing and crying into his cheeseburger, and I fought back a tear myself. It wasn’t a tear for the Big Mac, or even for the pain I knew I would endure as a result of it, it was for the baby girl watching me eat it.
How could I condemn such a sweet little person, whom I love so deeply, to this same fate? Nearly 30, fat, sick and killing herself slowly. If there is ever going to be a chance for her to keep her tiny pink gall bladder than I simply must change my ways. After all, if i continue on this path it’s likely I won’t live long enough to tell her that the ache in her right side is “your gallbladder finally catching up with you”.