Monday, February 28, 2011

california {part one}


I’m really not trying to milk two posts out of our California trip, I just have that many pictures!  So here comes the pictures of our trip down.  The drive was over eight hundred miles one-way and we spread it over two whole days, making many stops for the kids’ needs, as well as fun stops along the way.

The first fun stop we made was the Heaven on Earth Restaurant on Grant’s Pass in Oregon…


We were just about to call Ty’s mom and ask her where she had said the place was with the awesome cinnamon rolls when we saw their big sign!  It was really rustic inside.


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We were waiting to order and this man got up to leave and the waitress said, “Oh, sir, don’t you want me to box up the rest of your cinnamon roll?” and he said no thanks.  I looked over and his ‘leftovers’ still occupied half the dinner plate!  I was tempted to say, “We’ll take them!”  Then I realized that was kinda weird.  Maybe a lot weird.  But I took a picture to show you how big they were (not at his table – that would be for sure weird!)…


For some reason, that picture does not do it justice.  That is a round cake box and the roll filled it even though it doesn’t look like it in the picture.  They were truly the size of a dinner plate.  And very delicious, though they are the “bready” (vs. “gooey”) variety, but the bread was really, really good!  And I am usually on team Goo. 

Anyway, the little coffee break set up the format for the rest of the trip…


His and hers coffee was my life support.  I felt the need to text friends about random things along the way because I was stuck in a car with toddlers for hours on end.  And I took many, many bad pictures out the window of the car.  Really, I know they rarely turn out good but I just couldn’t stop myself.  On to the good stuff.

Near Grant’s Pass Oregon we took exit 55, leaving I-5, and taking the Redwood Highway 199, which would lead us to our first tourist attraction.  A short time later, we crossed the line into California and we did NOT like what we saw.  There was a very frequent, “Really?” and “You’ve got to be kidding me.” muttered during this time…


Yes, we were greeted with a foot of snow.  Granted, this was not on I-5, since we took the Redwood Highway, it was a more mountainous route, but still.  Snow?!  Really?  On our Cali vacation!?

But it soon cleared up and the scenery was really beautiful…


We turned off the highway for our destination which was basically a logging road which takes you to the park and then back to the highway. This is the point where Mr. B. started yelling, “There’s a big’un!!!” about every thirty seconds.  I can’t tell you how many times we thought we had found the biggest one and had to stop and take pictures all over again.


And we hadn’t even arrived at our destination yet.  But it wasn’t a bother, it was a beautiful drive and the trees were mammoths.


The road literally weaves in and around these trees, some of them even had scars where cars had scraped them many a time.  And this was our destination in the woods…


There was a little trail about a mile long that wound through the forest full of giant Coastal Redwoods, putting us in our place, in awe of God’s creation…




We paused at the biggest tree in the grove (we think) and took a family picture, balancing the Nikon on a slimy, wet log!


So that was the biggest (as in, ‘fattest’) tree in the grove, but Coastal Redwood trees are actually known for being the tallest, not the fattest.  The fat ones are Giant Sequoias and we didn’t see them on this trip, though they are in the area.


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I kept trying to get a whole tree in the picture with something to compare it to for size, but they were just too tall!  I couldn’t even come close to capturing the whole thing.


Except at this angle…


So we continued down the logging road back toward the highway to look for a place to camp out in the van.  The forest was so shaded by the giants that there was tons of moss, making these trees look like creatures rising up out of a swamp…


And the last picture of the night, before it got officially too dark to take pictures, this big ole stump, almost as big as our van…


I might have been a little bit sad that Mr. B. didn’t jump out with his pocket knife to add our initials. 

So that is the first leg of the trip.  Hopefully my teething daughter will be nice and afford me enough time to show you the rest of the trip tomorrow!



Friday, February 25, 2011

snow day


Okay, some of you know we took a little vacation to California last weekend, and you are just going to have to hold your horses for the post about that.  I am halfway done editing photos and hope to do the post in the next day or two.  Yes, I edit almost everything.  I am IN-sane. 

But, I have good news.  I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.  Just kidding.  The good news is that I am holding my OCD in check and posting this little snow day post without enhancing the photos.  You can hardly contain your excitement, right?  Well then, let’s get to it.

This is what we woke up to the first morning we were back from Cali…


What it continued to do the next day…


And what it looked like yesterday morning…


Not a crazy amount of accumulation, but enough to have me and the kids feeling a little cooped up.  Mr. B. mentioned taking the kids out in the snow yesterday… um… Susie is 1 and she doesn’t even have shoes right now, so that was not happening.  But it reminded me of a friend’s post about bringing snowmen in the house to watch them melt…  That is when I got the idea to bring the snow to her.  A sensory experience for sure!

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I just didn’t realize that taste was the main sense she would be exercising during this experience…

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It was literally like she thought it was a bowl of popcorn… she ate and ate until it was gone/melted.


Look at her hold the bowl with her legs like she is an ape…



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I think she thought that foot was gonna steal some of her precious snow popcorn!



So that was our snow day in the house.

Cali pictures coming soon!


Friday, February 18, 2011

lamp love


So, the hint photo you saw for the mystery item at the end of the thriftaholic post was this old wooden tripod…


It caught my eye in the thrift store because Pottery Barn used to sell a tripod lamp (I think it was in the $200-$400 range), and Target carried a knock-off for a while (I think it was around $70-$80 plus the shade).  I always liked them but I never put up the bucks to get one, and missed out, until now…



A lamp kit from Home Depot (and a little trip to the garage for some epoxy action to keep it in place)…



And a high-end looking shade from Tarjay…



And wa-lah!   I am so thrilled with this little corner of my world.


And Target has a lot of cheap lamp shades but I am super happy with this one.  They nailed the linen texture and the oatmeal colored trim is a very nice finish.


As for the bottom line:

$15 bickered to $10 tripod + $10 lamp kit + $25 shade =

$45 for an amazing lamp that would have cost me loads more at Pottery Barn or even Target!  I have serious issues finding any lamp that I like, but right now I am experiencing lamp love for the first time, people.

By the way, would you all go check out the flea market at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds for me this weekend!?  (on that link, it looks like it is Friday only but keep scrolling – it is Saturday, too).  It kills me, but I can’t make it and heard good things about it last time they had it. 

Peace Out,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

swap meet party


I saw a magazine article a while back that caught my attention, so I snipped it out and saved it…


The whole idea is that you get your girls to bring their best ‘donation’ items and you all swap stuff.  It is a win-win: you were going to donate the items anyway, and now you and your friends saved money by getting some free stuff in return for your donation items.

I copied the article and made invitations out of tags.  When I sent them out I included a photocopy of the article so guests could get an idea of how it would all go down.



The tags were $5 for 100 which I thought was a good deal.  I just printed out the text on regular old paper, cut it out, and stuck it down with a couple squares of double stick tape.  Oh, and I sent the invites out a couple months in advance so people could hold off on donating their best items and have something to bring to the party!

Here is a picture of my contributions set up before guests arrived…


I placed the brown paper (like in the article) where the items would be displayed around the house so everyone knew where to stick their stuff and what stuff was up for grabs.

So, here is a description of the whole swapping process.  You bring, say, 5 items.  You write a description on a tag for each one and attach the tags to the items. 


Then you take five clothespins (one for each item you brought) and write your name on them.  Now you shop!  You go around putting your clothespins on the tags of the items you want to take home.


When everyone is done shopping, if yours is the only clothespin on an item’s tag, that item is yours!

But when, as above, multiple people want an item, all the pins are put in a bowl, stirred up, and one is drawn – that winner gets the item.  The person who didn’t win gets their pin back, so they can go put it on something else. 

As the guests arrived, I kept making announcements about how to tag your items and how to shop, so I did a really bad job at taking pictures!  There were some great items, too!  Better than I had hoped!  Here is a tiny, random sampling…



A cool little bench I snagged from a friend’s mom.  I didn’t know where I was going to put it but I loved it.  It ended up fitting in Mark’s room perfectly and I piled books under it.



I snagged this chair from the same friend’s mom at a garage sale last summer!  I never got around to recovering it and in the mean time, my plans changed and I didn’t need a chair like this any longer.  Never fear, Leah is the new proud owner and I’m sure she’ll tell us all about it when she freshens it up.  =)



And I snagged this flameless candle from… I don’t know who – I lost track! 

So, I know, bad Tasha for not taking pictures during the party, but it was a success, if I do say so myself!  Everyone seemed happy with the process and happy with their items!  I have also been to a clothing swap party, and even though only 4 of us showed up, we still each came out with something and had fun.  I would highly encourage you to try something like this!