Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Tibidgins

My sister Faith's spiced cocoa and homemade marshmallows was delicious.

Darin made Rowena this wonderful little kitchen-- she's a lucky little girl!

It's a big hit.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In My Own Little Corner

I really love this corner above our bedroom fireplace. It's the first thing you see when you come in. I think it's the combination of stuffed childhood friends, stacked hats, Fred Astaire, cherished books, and robin's egg blue that gets me.

I purchased the middle print during my most recent Michigan trip. My dear chum Natalie and I found it at a wonderful curio ship in downtown Plymouth. I also have an attachment to those seafoamy curtains. My mother bought them at a garage sale when I was a teenager, and I've had them in every bedroom I've lived in ever since. The dainty pale blue and yellow embroidery along the sides is just the best.

Long live pretty bedroom corners!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I am thankful for so much this holiday: family, friends, husband, daughter, cat, acquaintances, mild windy weather, Jesus, the ever-changing trees, warm and pretty clothing, French press coffee, good books, and my duvet... the list goes on and on.

:: Rowena's handholds

:: Mom hugs

:: Browsing through Etsy

:: Waking up at 3 a.m. on Black Friday to work with my friends.

:: Anticipating my Christmas stocking (I will always be six on Christmas morning)

:: Dad's repetitive lessons and observations

:: Sturdy boots to clomp around in

:: Darin's bedhead

:: Amazon DVD sales

:: My black shift dress and camel cowlneck sweater

:: Rowena, Rowena, Rowena. My heartbeat.

:: Any blog readers that I may have

:: Turkey, cranberries, garlicy mashed potatoes, ham with mustard, too much pie, and the like.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Love at $20 a Pair

I am always searching for a good pair of shoes. Lately, the criteria includes a versatile classic boot not made in China-land. Of course, the only boots really worth investing in are Fryes. I mean, Confederate soldiers wore the Frye Harness boot! Not taking sides here, but their military garb sure was cool-lookin'. Unfortunately, at circa 200 bones a pair, Frye boots are out of the question.

A shoe-mazing thing happened today... the story begins yesterday. On Craiglist of all places! I found 2 brand-spanking new pairs of Frye Harness boots for $20 dollars a pair. You should probably read the last sentence again, because it's amazing. What's even more fantastic is that I was the one who claimed them yesterday, paid and received for them today, and am currently wearing them! (Black on left, brown on right.) The nice, saintly lady who sold them was really surprised how popular they are: "I just can't wait to delete all those emails about those darn shoes!" The boots were just gathering dust and cobwebs in the back of her closet!

Darin is currently purchasing mink oil from Freddy's so I can give my new babies a bath. Sigh... I am just so materialistically happy about them.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For Shame

I have the best blog in cyberspace. In my head.

So sorry I haven't kept up. It's not that I don't have anything to say. In fact, it's just the opposite. Where the bloody hell do I begin?

Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.

The profession of Mothering has been on my mind a lot lately. This is probably because I have been a mother for almost 2 years. I thought I would hate it, but I love it extremely. Rowena is a wonderful little person and I adore her. I work barely ten hours a week outside the home just so I can laugh with her and play with her and cook with her and be with her. You really ought to meet this little nymphlet.

I often meet new people in Portland. One of their first questions is, "What do you do?" I automatically panic every time.

Will they judge me? Will they think I am wasting my young 26-year-old life? Will they feel sorry for me? Oh my gosh... am I wasting my life?

Last night at Ikea, Rowena joyfully puttered from one display to the next, unintelligibly chattering about the experience. It was really darling. As she toddled past a fellow customer, he said to his friend,

"That reminds me- I need to buy some condoms."

He did not say this in a cruel manner, but his statement truly hurt me. Doesn't he see what a wonderful person Rowena is? Doesn't he see that her existence makes the world a better place? Doesn't he understand that Rowena is the future and hope of the world he lives in?

I didn't react to what the man said, and perhaps I should have. I could proceed to explain what a noble profession I have, but I won't. It's been said much better by others. I really am proud of what I do, and I hope to gain the courage to show it more. The best thing I can do to get a little respect as a mother is to raise Rowena as a loving, happy, responsible person- and often read her "Miss Rumphius".

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Dearest Rowena,

Thank you for giving me such an incredible year. You are the sweetest, gentlest, funniest girl. EVER. You have made me a stronger, better person. You make this world more beautiful just by your existence. You are my reason. Thanks, kiddo. Happy birthday.


After noon Mass, (which Ro spent happily yelping in the back of the church) Darin and I went to Rocco's for a couple slices of pepperoni/garlic/artichoke pizza. We then met Patty and Keenan at Stumptown. Always delicious. (This was directly after a homeless man bellowed "Happy Birthday" to Little Ro.) I usually go to ST at night when all their pastries are snagged, but today we got lucky and enjoyed their chocolate chip cookie and flourless brownie cookie. Amazingly delicious and different. Darin enjoyed a raspberry Italian soda while I had a trusty ol' vanilla latte:

Rowena loves her Aunt Patty, who is simply phenomenal with children (and dons awesome t-shirts):

It was a lovely 75 degrees in P-Town today... thus all the bikes were out, including these beauties:
When we got home, Mom was waiting for us with a brand new, homemade sock monkey for the birthday girl!
Seriously, could she be any more like her mother? Just look at that mischievous face.

Please send happy thoughts out way, as we are FLYING tomorrow! I am off to clean up the bedroom while watching American Idol, that God-forsaken train-wreck I just can't stop watching. Then off to bed and up at 5. Ugh.

Happy Birthday, Rowena! Thank you for making our lives that much fuller!

Everything Old is New Again

So, what do you think? I think that my freshly painting craft station is just what the sewing fairies ordered. I really love it. I especially love the flower on the middle drawer:

I considered replacing the hardware, but I decided not to for two reasons.
1) I would have bought them from Anthropologie, thus spending fifty more dollars, thus forsaking my twenty dollar budget.
2) I actually love the contrast between the ultra-femme robin's egg blue and the gothic hardware.

Here is a peek inside one of the drawers, bursting with rick-rack, bias tape, buttons (gimme more), and old doilies:
I also lined the drawers with olive green floral contact paper, procured from our local Fred Meyer. I have enough left over to line my dresser and vanity. Thoughts? Criticisms? Hugs? Hanky-panky?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Before Picture

The minute I saw this desk on Craigslist, I knew I had to have it. I think it was the daisy in the center that did me in. And the Ten Dollar price tag. I knew it was the future home of all Louise Things Crafty. Darin was a darling and woke up early to pick it up, and found an ingenious way to strap the thing on top of Spence (our trusty Honda).

I cleaned, sanded, and painted it myself! (Well, Darin painted the second coat without my knowledge... he's quite a speedy helper mouse.) I haven't taken pictures yet, but it is sitting in my bedroom cheery and Charlie Brown sticker-free! I will post the 'after' picture asap. Have a super day!

And if you think about it, please say a little prayer for my beloved brother David, who left for military duty today. He insists that that worst thing that could happen to him is a paper cut, (he's a lawyer JAG guy) but I will still miss him terribly.

Monday, March 09, 2009

One Man's Junk

This past weekend, I attended the Antique and Collectible Show in Portland with meine Mutti. We had a wonderful time, perusing the random booths and bargaining with the sellers. I even met the actress who played Zuzu in "It's a Wonderful Life!" She was a lovely woman, but it made me a little sad... she sold IAWL cookbooks and posters and other memorabilia. I am glad that she wasn't a typical child star (crack by 9, dead by 15), but you could tell that Zuzu was all she had. Know what I mean? Sigh. I felt so guilty that I bought an overpriced cookbook.

Anyhow, here are some of my favorite purchases...

How sweet are these little fabric bundles? And I love love love that sunflowery concoction!

I heart the top clock pattern! Definitely my current favorite. The best thing about the fabric? The Fabric Lady threw in a pair of mint-condition hardbound 1930s Complete Sherlock Holmes! I was so grateful! Wherever you are, Fabric Lady, I thank thee.

Rowena wanted to put her little sticky fingers all over it, but restrained herself.

The darkness of the photo doesn't do my new doll justice, but I just love her. She was made in Hungary; any good name suggestions?

I also scored some new/old embroidered pillowcases for our bed:

They do this show every 3 1/2 months! I cannot wait until July!
I want to get my hands on more treasure.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Think I Need This

How adorable would this dress be with little white gloves and t-strap pumps? The collar is utterly delicious. This one is on my ever-growing Easter dress list.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Spring Awakening

I love spring.

The very day the WC rain subsides and the sun pops through the frigidity, I am instantly thrown back to happy college days on the quad, rosy cheeks, watching boys play football, fields of purple heather, rainy kisses, horseback riding...

I especially love spring clothes. All I crave this time of year are nautical pieces... blue stripes, canary yellow raincoats, halter-neck tops, flowy skirts, kelly green anything, with a side of tan shoulders. When Rowena goes down for her nap, (and the chores are relatively done... or started) I immediately browse online shops and magazines. I am (surprisingly?) very impressed with Old Navy's selection this season. Their spring collection is brimming with watercolor prints, frilly tops, deliciously saturated colors, polka-dots, and ruffles. There's something positively freeing about eschewing poly blends in favor of cotton voile. Sigh of happiness... I can't wait to wear the clothes I love.

What is your must-have spring item? Enlighten me, and increase my wants.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Year, New Life

Darin stands at the mirror with grim eyebrows, pounding his barely-there tummy, growling "Cellulite! Cellulite! Arrggh!" I half-smile indulgently, recalling my earlier aversion of the mirror at Jazzercise for fear of seeing that beached sea lion body I am currently trapped inside. Ah, me.

I have been coaxing/nagging Darin to take health and fitness more seriously for months now. It is extremely difficult to eat responsibly and exercise daily with an eternally skinny husband who frequently brings home pastries and chocolaty delicacies. Recently though, something finally clicked with the little man.

"Hey Louise, did you know that you can control your own metabolism?"

Yes, I've told you that before.

"Hon, to use the Abslide effectively, use your stomach muscles, not your arms!"

I know, I told you that 2 months ago.

"You can't spot reduce!"

O to the M to the G, my "Workout for Dummies" DVD has bellowed that info since I used it in college!

I am immediately reminded of this fantastic passage from Little Women:

Amy's lecture did Laurie good, though, of course, he did not own it till long afterwards; men seldom do, for when women are the advisors, the lords of creation don't take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do; then they act upon it, and, if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it; if it fails, they generously give her the whole.

I don't think anyone can seriously disagree with the above statement. Anyway, Darin and I have made some lifestyle changes and have been successful in implementing them! Proud? Surprised? You should be.

Limiting sugar. This sounds like a no-brainer, but pregnancy trained me to eat whatever I wanted when I wanted it. A terrible mentality to apply to anything. I don't let the last thing I eat for the day be sweet.

No eating past 7 pm. I wake up hungry now, sometimes in the middle of the night! Instead of grabbing crackers, I drink a full glass of water.

Keeping up with my exercise routine. I Jazzercise about 4 times a week, and with the nice weather, I will start bike riding again. Jazzercise is the absolute best! The trick is finding the best instructors- let's just say I avoid Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Same blasted class set every blasted time. She just alternates the stretch routine.

Eating until satisfied, not full. Doing this keeps me more in tune with my body and ups my energy.

These small lifestyle changes have made D and I happier, already healthier, and more in tune with each other. I greatly appreciate his encouragement and accountability. This is not a diet or fad, but a lifestyle. More about my motivation in my next blog post.

In the name of spring dresses, I will succeed!