22 December 2010

Bathroom library

I saw a cartoon that reminds me very much of my house. In the comic, a woman is giving her friend a tour of the house and as she stops in front of the bathroom she gestures towards it politely and says, "And this is my husband's library."

A pile of magazines starts to grow faster than the house plant in the first floor bathroom.

That's how my DH treats our bathrooms and I have to admit, I can understand it. When you have young children, there's pretty much only one room in the entire house where you can truly get some peace and that's the library, aka, bathroom. But, of the three bathrooms in this house, two of them are small and there's no room for a regular magazine rack. This means that I have to pick up piles of Solar Today and Popular Mechanics to clean the bathrooms or shuffle them aside to get to the things that really belong in a bathroom. So I came up with a solution I can live with.

The solution.
I know, you're probably thinking, what's that. It's my solution so the bathroom reader and the bathroom cleaner can coexist peacefully together in the same space. I'll let it speak for itself.

Ta-da! The most elegant solutions are usually the most simple. I transformed some scrap wood into a magazine wall rack. By painting it the same color as the wall (called Sugar cookie by Behr), I hoped to make it blend in as much as possible. I didn't want to clutter an already small bathroom.

What do you think? The rack holds up to five magazines close to the wall so no one will bump into it. Me likey. In case you want to build your own for the bathroom librarian in your life, I'll include the dimensions below. I built this one as a Christmas gift to my husband but couldn't wait a few more days to install it.

Slim magazine rack cut list:

(2) 1x3 8 1/2"
(3) 1x3 9"
(1) 1x2 9"

Note: You could also increase its depth by using 1x4s instead of 1x3s or change the style in front by swapping out the 1x3 for another 9" 1x2. If you look at the second picture, you'll see that between the horizontal strips of wood on the front, there's a 9" piece on the back to screw the rack onto the wall.

17 December 2010

Another farmhouse bed

While they were doing this, 

 I was building this.

Of course, William thought it was for him...

But, it wasn't quite his size.

I painted it white during his nap time and, under the direction of my daughter's aesthetic, sewed some pillows and a quilt for its future occupant. Can you believe this beautiful doll bed was made with 100% scraps and I didn't have to buy a single thing to make it? I love Ana's plans.

Want to see more? You can here.

15 December 2010


This month Savannah had her first piano recital with her new teacher. She played Beethoven's Ode to Joy, the simplified version to which her piano teacher accompanied her, and Candy Shop.  She is such a patient girl, never afraid of performing in front of an audience and waiting quietly when it's someone else's turn.

Savannah waits her turn to play her recital pieces.
For her recital I made her a new dress, an early Christmas present from Mommy. It's a long jumper-style dress in purple corduroy, very rich and warm with tights.

Yay! Savannah plays the first three lines of Ode to Joy solo without a hitch.
After the performance there was just enough time for a few poses in front of the poinsettias.

And of course, even William got to have his own little recital at home. It may not have been musical in nature, but he was the center of attention after stealing his Dearest's glasses, which is better than stealing her beer...

Happy William before his ear infection. The next day he grumped around for a day before we realized he had another ear infection. Now that he's been treated, he's his rascally happy self again. Whew!

04 December 2010

Cooking with William

Ever wonder what life is really like at our house? Have you ever tried to do something with your hands tied behind your back? Then you have some idea of what it's like to cook with William.

William opens my container drawer and makes room for himself. Perfect for Mommy to trip over on the way to get utensils.
It's a priority for us to have home cooked meals that don't start in a box or package. So, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It's one of my domains.

William likes to open my oven warming drawer, usually with great force on my toes, presumably so he can get warm.
The kids like to be where I am, so naturally, they also spend time in the kitchen. But in different ways.

William likes to open everything he can get his hands on. Everything. In the time it takes me to saute an onion, he has had the time to go through every drawer in my kitchen. He picks up my heavy cast iron cookware and transports it to new locations. Wouldn't you know it, All-Clad likes to travel in this manner too. With all the frequent toddler miles they've earned, they'll be on vacation in Hawaii by the end of December, first class.

He opens drawers, slides them out, rearranges items and then leaves them out so that when I'm carrying a large pot of pasta in boiling water to the sink, I get the added challenge of maneuvering though an obstacle course while trying not to parboil myself. It's great fun, really. I'm sure all the medieval cooks used to spice up life in the castle kitchen to see which ones deserved culinary knighthood.

What weapons can I reach in here?
Then there's the baking tool drawer and the cooking utensil drawer. They contain lead-free baby safe items like vegetable peelers, Henckels knife sets, microplanes (Did you know these were actually woodworking and metalworking tools before some brave woman stole one from her hubby to use as a zester in the kitchen?), pizza cutters, you get the picture.

None of them work as well as when Mommy does it...
Here's my kitchen floor, after William is done digging in my drawers. See that rolling pin? You would think it's pretty dangerous, like a rolling log or slippery banana peel but the item of top concern is actually the dough docker. Definitely one of the most lethal tools I own, similar to a spiked medieval morning star, awaiting its next victim when it's on the floor. The next time you come visit and stay for a meal at my house, you are welcome to challenge yourself in my kitchen. Not feeling that brave? That's okay because now when you sit down at our dining room table for a meal, you will really enjoy it knowing how many obstacles I had to overcome, how many battles I had to win, how many sharp objects I had to face, just to prepare a seemingly simple dish for you.