Thursday, July 28, 2011

Slightly Less Miserable

Well, I shared my disgusting Hallway of Sadness a while back a YEAR AGO. And then I hemmed and hawed over which  stencil to choose, and then I was too cheap to buy the one I wanted. AND THEN I decided, why buy a stencil, when painter's tape is so much cheaper, and stripes only require tape and patience?

I mean, that is a good-lookin' floor. Via Little Blue Chairs. 
I was looking at my nasty ol' fake parquet floor, trying to decide how far apart to space the stripes, what colors, etc., when it occurred to me that the parquet pattern would lend itself to something kind of awesome.

Do you see it? No, not the filth and sadness; the pattern that finally jumped out at me. Let me back up a bit.
I am fully on board the chevron/zig-zag love train. Half of my pins on Pinterest reflect this.

From Chez Larsson. Swoon.
 And I wanted to buy this Urban Outfitters light blue zigzag rug for Dean's nursery, but as with all things Urban Outfitters, it sold out in the thirty minutes between the time I first saw it and the moment I decided to purchase it.

So, when I was looking all cross-eyed, magic-eye-style at the Hallway of Shame, I was delighted (well, as delighted as one could be in the Pit of Despair) when this occurred to me:

Eh? EH? And would you believe, I am NOT a graphic designer? Seriously! I know--It's some sort of innate gift. Anyway, I know you thought there wasn't a way to make that hallway look sadder, unless some tool put Paint lines on it. But you get where I am going, I hope.

Then I consulted the wise and powerful Internets, because there is nothing new under the sun, and I knew someone would have already painted yellow and white zig zags/chevrons/Charlie Brown stripes/whatever the kids are calling them these days on a floor, and lo and behold this prettiness:

From Ish and Chi.

So yes. YES. Sign me up. I am sanding tomorrow, priming tomorrow night, and then making everyone leave the house on Saturday while I close off half of the rooms to paint these suckers. And hopefully by Monday (or perhaps  July 2012) I will have a new floor to show you. Pin It

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Backyard Bowl-o-rama Birthday

I can't believe it's been almost a year since Graham's Mappy 3rd Birthday party, but in a couple months, my little guy will be FOUR. I still don't understand how that happened. While Graham still enjoys his maps, he's picked up a few more obsessions in the months since his third birthday--mainly bowling, Legos, and watching Monsters, Inc. over and over until I want to put my fist through a wall. So in preparation for birthday number four, I thought I'd explore the themes of bowling, Legos, and a more generic monster-themed party. First up: bowling!

I'm not sure how this obsession started. Graham received a toy bowling set for Christmas when he was two, and he liked it well enough. Somewhere along the way he rediscovered it, and in the process, he tried to make everything into bowling pins or bowling balls. For example, rolling a marble into crayons standing on end. Or rolling a lemon at Mommy's collection of postpartum medication bottles (saddest. game. EVER). As a potty-training reward recently, my mom and I took Graham to the actual bowling alley, and it seriously BLEW HIS MIND.

Most of the bowling alleys I've called limit groups to six bowlers per lane. That would get pretty pricey for a lot of kids; plus I'm not sure all of Graham's classmates can handle the bowling alley just yet. Instead, we'll be relying on the backyard again for our Backyard Bowl-o-rama.

Activities. I am not about to construct a replica bowling alley on my lumpy, weedy lawn, but I thought this giant inflatable bowling set would be a great game for the kids (and um, the adults too). I'm a little concerned that all of the reviews mention the kids inevitably growing bored of the bowling and using the giant pins to beat each other? Only a little, though.

We'll also hook up the Wii to my dad's giant old big screen (currently living in my basement, where my parents like to store things indefinitely), and play Wii bowling in the shady under-deck area.

Lastly, if the kids are enjoying beating each other with the giant bowling pins, maybe they'll enjoy beating this bowling pin pinata? I don't know. There are only so many things you can do with bowling balls and bowling pins, people.

Food: Graham's Snack Bar. I could go in one of two different directions with this, either copying food you'd normally see at a bowling alley snack bar (pizza, nachos), OR giving into my aforementioned disease and creating themey food just for the sake of its dorky naming opportunities. SUCH AS: ham and cheese PINwheels, SPARE ribs, TURKEY wraps, banana SPLIT bites, peanut GUTTER BALLS . . . Oh, I could go on and on. One thing I know I want to attempt are these bowling cake pops. Amazing!

Invitations and Decor. As I was digging around online for bowling party inspiration, this little gem popped up in my Google Reader. I am a sucker for red and aqua, so I will definitely be considering those invitations, as well as the one in my mood board, both from Just Click Print. I will keep dredging up the red and aqua, relying on my ol' reliable red paper lanterns, which will be reimagined this time as bowling balls. I'm thinking maybe I can tape some little black circle trios (holes!) to them? We shall see.

For favors, I like these mini bowling sets (you're welcome, parents! Enjoy stepping on those little gems!) or these clever bowling-themed crayons. Pin It

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July Fun

Have I talked before about how much I love my neighborhood? What we lack in grand homes we make up for in awesome neighbors and proximity to all kinds of fun stuff. Our location is the one reason my husband and I can't imagine selling our teeny-tiny house.

My sweet little street has the best traditions: a neighborhood Easter egg hunt, an annual Memorial Day kickball game, and what has to be the cutest of all: a 4th of July bike parade. We got the kiddos all decked out for the parade, and I decided to set up a little "tailgating" station under the giant oak tree in my front yard, for all of our family members who came to watch the parade.

I mostly just scrounged up things from around my house that were red, white or blue. I did splurge and buy a blue sheet at the thrift store (don't worry, I washed it!) for a whopping five dollars, and some little metal buckets from the Target dollar zone for my citronella candles. (Honestly? I think five dollars is a bit high for a used flat sheet. I don't know what that says about me.) I hung some red and white lanterns (leftover from other parties) from the tree branches, made a quick bunting out of some leftover scrapbook paper and ribbon, and called it a day. The family appreciated a shady spot to sit and some treats to enjoy in during the parade.

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