Thursday, June 23, 2011

Craigslist Addiction

So I think I'm addicted to craigslist. Buying and selling things. Aubrey has been asking for a desk ever since we found one for Addie on craigslist. I started looking and came across this little girl's desk that was just begging to be repainted. It was quite a drive to get it, about 45 minutes away, but I saw its potential. The only bummer was that the top, front and sides were actually laminate, which complicated my supposedly simple do-it-yourself paint job. Turns out you can paint laminate and have nice results. I consulted several websites to figure out how to do it. Sanding, primer, paint, then polyurethane. I am so happy with how this desk turned out! It looks perfect in her room, like it was meant to be there.
I found the pink crystal knobs on clearance at Anthropologie for $2.95 each, versus the normal $8 each. Target had darling pink and white polka dot drawer liner.
I left the chair as is, just found a cute fabric and replaced the pad.
I bought the desk and chair for $40 total.
Total cost of materials: $66
Grand total: $106 for this adorable desk and chair
Next up, I just bought an antique chest of drawers for my guest room for $25. Needs some TLC....

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ski Trip That Almost Wasn't

Didn't I mention that crazy/strange things seem to happen to us?

Well, this past weekend we were so excited to take out first ski trip of the season. The girls love skiing, and I had found the perfect little cabin in the woods to spend the holiday weekend.

I spent hours packing all the ski gear, clothes, food, games, and everything else we would need. I even had the bright idea to rent our skis in Vegas at Sport Chalet, so we wouldn't have to waste time on the mountain renting gear during a holiday weekend.

I put everything in the garage and by the door so it was easy to load. Matt loaded the car and I went back into the house to make sure I got everything. Yep, all is good.

We head to Sport Chalet and find a small line at the rental desk. That's when the trouble began. There were two men working, but neither was very competent. The line wasn't moving. An hour had passed, and I was still in the same spot in line. Not good. Kids are getting anxious. Other employees keep coming up and asking if the other workers need help, but they are turned away because they don't know how to do rentals. Finally it's our turn, but it takes FOREVER. I think the employee that helped us doesn't even know what skiing is. He is unsure what size skis to give the girls, and I swear my boots feel wrong. More time passes. Now it is dark outside, and we are not even on the road. The wheels are falling off the bus. We push the cart up to the check-out, where we find another line. I see the manager, and tell him we just waited two hours for skis and could he please help us. He leads us over to a counter where the line suddenly clears, and says something like: ''Here you go, no waiting! No line!'' He is being a jerk. He apologizes and says they are so busy because of the holiday weekend. That is when my husband loses it, and says: ''Look around your store! It is empty! Do not blame it on the holiday weekend. You have employees back there who don't know what they are doing, and other employees who want to help but don't know how to rent skis!'' There were some other choice words said.

All I know is we got all those rentals for free. Probably more than $100 in rentals.

Finally we are on the road, thinking certainly we have had our glitch for this trip. Then here comes a Highway Patrol car. Yep, a ticket. I was certain we weren't speeding because the speed limit was 75, but we had just come out of the Gorge, so apparently it wasn't 75 yet. I don't even care about the ticket.

We get to our cabin, which is absolutely adorable! It's tucked back into the woods and has a Little House on the Prairie fireplace and bunk beds for the kids.

The next morning, we are ready to hit the slopes. I get the kids dressed, then ask Matt if he brought in the ski coats. ''There weren't any coats in there.'' What? Surely we brought them inside? Nope. Those ski coats are sitting on the back of a chair in Henderson, NV. And I am the one who forgot to put them in the car. Panic!

We pile into the car again, but now we are stuck in the snow. The cabin owner instructed us to back in, so we could get out better. Clearly this was the wrong decision because our tires are stuck in a low part of the driveway. Curse words. Lots of curse words. And some new ones were invented I am sure. The girls had a 9:30 a.m. lesson, and we are not going to make it. And they don't have jackets.

Somehow, Matt is able to get the car out without calling a tow truck. We check in for the lesson, and buy Addie a coat. The ski school actually had a jacket Aubrey could borrow, so we were in luck. I ended up borrowing a jacket from a ski store down the street, and Matt got a new one. But when he goes to use his credit card, it's declined. We call the bank, and they just wanted to make sure we were in Utah!

At this point, Matt discovers that he's been walking around the entire day with his ski pants unzipped.

I'm sure there was something else that seemed to go wrong, I just can't remember. It was a comedy of errors.

Strangely though, despite the forgotten ski jackets and getting stuck in the snow, we had one of the best trips we ever had. It was wonderful. The girls got to experience their first Jiffy Pop popcorn on the fireplace, we skiied all over the mountain and we just had a great time overall.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Wagner Morning

My husband is scared to go to the dentist. I mean really scared. The last time he had to have a cavity filled, he was put completely out, IV and everything. I think it must go back to having a bad childhood dentist.

This morning he had an appointment for a deep cleaning, and the dentist had given him medication to take last night and another medication this morning. (Anti-anxiety stuff to CALM him.)

So that meant I had to take him to the dentist for a 7:30 a.m. appointment. So I start making Addie's lunch, get both kids some breakfast and we pile in the car, all in our jammies except Matt, and take him to the dentist. I drop him off, then head back home to finish getting Addie ready for school.

Then I drop her off at school and a few minutes later, Matt texts that he is ready. Actually he texts a total of 18 times basically the same text. ''Ready.'' "Readyo. ''xup%&ryReady.'' Um, clearly he is high. Can I get sedation medication for myself?

So I pull up at the dentist, still in full pajamas, slippers and a robe. Aubrey is in her nightgown. I hadn't had time to get dressed or even brush my teeth. I text Readyo to tell him I am waiting downstairs. He texts that I have to come up. Um no, I am in my pajamas. Yes, you have to come up. OMG!

Off I go into the elevator, in full pajamas and slippers and holding my daughter in her pajamas. Man on elevator looks confused. We enter the dentist office, where the lady behind the counter tells me I have to come back into the office to discuss Matt's treatment. Mind you, I have still not brushed my teeth. And we are at a dentist office. In my pajamas. She does her routine, blah, blah, blah. The patients waiting in the office don't really know what to think?

The dentist woman talks on like it is completely appropriate for me to be in my pajamas with hair not combed and bad breath.

I get the patient into the car, and he is clearly still high. Doesn't remember sending me the ''Readyo'' texts. He passes out at home on the couch while still eating chocolate chip pumpkin bread. I take the plate away and see that he has chocolate on the side of his face and lips. Clean him up with a baby wipe.

''Am I drooling?'' he asks. Um, no. You have chocolate all over you.

I finally took my shower and brushed my teeth. Matt recovered somewhat and decided to go to work. I didn't think he should be driving yet. So if you see him on the road, steer clear. You people know his track record.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

For the first time, my daughters are really into Mother's Day this year.

First, there was the Mother's Day tea at Addie's school. Tea + 22 kindergarteners singing how wonderful moms are and reading certificates declaring "My mother is as pretty as a red rose'' = lots of crying moms. Then yesterday I told the girls we would be going to Mother's Day Brunch this morning.

That's when the excitement began.

''We have to get mommy a present,'' declared my 6-year-old. And she wanted to use her own money. So we opted to take Mommy shopping so I could pick out a few things. Addie toted her purple and yellow round box full of $7 all the way to the store, plopped it on the counter and announced: ''I am buying this for my mom!''

It was all very cute. She wouldn't let me hold the shopping bag, and when we returned home she insisted that we wrap it up so she could present it to me on Mother's Day. So I wrapped my own gift, with assistance from a 6-year-old, and put a pretty bow on it. Aubrey wanted in on the action too, so we put some cropped pants in a hot pink bag and stuffed some tissue inside. Then they put the packages in their rooms and went to bed.

As I'm tucking Aubrey in, she said: ''Will it be Mother's Day when I wake up, after I sleep?''

Gee, I really hope they are not disappointed. I hope they don't think it's like Christmas.

Turns out, I didn't have to wait long for Mother's Day to begin.

At 3:30 a.m., a small presence hovered over me while I slept. It was a 4-year-old. And she was holding the hot pink bag, ready to present it to me.

Me: ''Aubrey, honey, it's not time to wake up. You better go potty so you don't pee your bed.''

Her: ''I already peed in my bed!!!!''

Yep, she was right. She peed in that bed like a champ. And I had never felt more motherly, stripping sheets and making sure her favorite blanket wasn't wet. Back to bed she went, clutching her gift.

At 5:30 a.m., she was back, but this time was joined by a big sister. They were both holding their gifts, ready to pounce on an asleep mother. I told them they had to go back to bed and couldn't return until the clock read at least 7 a.m. (I must note that my children are great sleepers. They rarely wake up at night.)

One came back at 6:30. I faked asleep.

Then they came back at 7:30, and it was present time! They climbed all over me, smothered me with hugs and kisses and gave me the presents I had wrapped. Aubrey also gave me a small envelope that held a leftover Easter eraser and a miniature bowling ball from a game. Then I got a tray with breakfast: OJ and a blueberry muffin.

It is now almost 7 at night and my 4-year-old wants to know if it is still Mother's Day.

I loved that they were so excited about my special day. And I am still laughing about my 3:30 wake-up call, and my 5:30 one and my 6:30 one. And my 7:30 one.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love you girls!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Great Day Trip

How could I have lived in Las Vegas since 1996 and never discovered the Eldorado Canyon Mine?

Thanks to an article in the local paper, the girls and I set out on to explore this old mining town that happens to be a mere 45 minutes from our house.

What a gem of a day trip we found! The Eldorado Canyon mine was the oldest, richest and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada. As we got closer, the yellow and purple wildflowers dotted the road, and Joshua trees stretched as far as the eye could see. Beautiful.

Our tour guide met us in the general store, which is one of many buildings that have been restored. Then he entertained us with stories of claim jumping, murders and the life of miners long ago. Next we headed deep into the mine. Now, never having been in a mine before, the girls and I were fascinated. The guide warned me to grab both girls by the hand because to cross a bridge in the mine means to look down so far that one slip would mean certain death for a miner or a little girl.

The mine is lit by lanterns along the way, and the guide does a good job detailing life in the mine. The best part was when he explained that each miner was given a few candles to take down into the mine with him. Some would light the candle, get their bearings, then blow out the candle and work in the dark in order to save their light. Our guide demonstrated how dark the mine was by turning off the lanterns, lighting a candle, then extinguishing it. The result was total blackness. You can't even see your hand in front of your face.

After the tour, we took about an hour hike up the canyon. The girls found some horse tracks and wanted to follow them. They followed them all the way to a horse stable and back. Then it was time for a picnic lunch, and more exploring of the buildings. This place is a popular one for movies and musicians. There's an old airplane crashed into the desert that was part of the film ''3000 Miles to Graceland.'' Beyonce was photographed here. Donny and Marie. And catalogs like ''Anthropologie'' do entire shoots here.

The girls had a blast exploring and collecting rocks. I can't believe we had never discovered this place before.

Next time you're in Vegas, remember Eldorado Canyon. They do tours, and since the town is right near the Colorado River, there's also canoeing and kayaking.

Check out:

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Pretty Little Desk

I really enjoy stumbling upon special ''finds'' for my daughters' rooms. So when I was looking for a desk for my 6-year-old, I made the rounds -- Pottery Barn Kids, Land of Nod, Company Kids, etc. Desks are really expensive.

Then I went to Craig's List. Love Craig's List. And I found a man selling a child's desk and matching chair. I went to look at it and immediately saw the potential. It was painted cream with gold accents and little fruit appliques on it. But imagine my surprise when I opened the drawer and saw the words ''Ethan Allen'' stamped inside.

Guess how much he wanted to the desk and chair? Only $25! For both! I was thrilled.

Our painter friend buffed out some of the rough spots and repainted it white to match her room. I found the lavender drawer knobs at Lowe's. Perfect to match her purple walls. The painter charged me $75.

Grand total: $100 for this Ethan Allen desk and chair that I happen to think is pretty darn cute. She loves it, too.

Check out the desk ''before'' and ''after.''

Lately my 6-year-old has also been taping up pictures and color pages all over her room and into the hallway. It drives me crazy not having a contained area for all this art. She doesn't want to hang it where I hang the rest of the kid art. Nope, she wants her own space. So I was on the hunt for a bulletin board to go with her room.

Her room is done in a vintage-style, so obviously this was the style I was looking for. I found one on (Love that site!) This lady takes wood from old houses and makes the wood into something else, like picture frames and such.

This bulletin board is perfect for my daughter's room, which is lavender with yellow accents. As soon as I saw it, I had to have it! The yellow wood is actually from an old door. You can see the brass hardware at the top still attached. I bought it for $30, and I am so happy with it.

And, as you can see, gone are the pictures hung up in the hall and on the doors and walls. She loves her little bulletin board and is doing quite well at keeping it organized!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


So my friend Jen is a devoted Jazzercise gal. Even has a Jazzercise bumper sticker on her car. So when she invited me to a class, I said no. Then I said no again. And probably again. Not really my thing.

I picture old women in leg warmers and unitards. My husband says he pictures Richard Simmons and ''Sweatin' to the Oldies.''

One day I give in because the class coincides with Aubrey's cheerleading class. I have to be there anyway, so might as well pull on the leg warmers, right?

It kicked my butt. I thought I might die, pass out or throw up. Or all three. I looked around and the majority of the class is definitely older than me, but there are a few younger people. Mostly I found out that I am really, really out of shape. And that 70-year-old women are much more coordinated than me and in better shape.

So I went back a few more times. And then I realized I kind of liked it. The music is great and the instructors always mix it up so you're doing something different each time.

Now that I'm past 35, things are a bit different with my body. No more eating whatever I want and not paying the price, like in my 20s. Nope, after two kids and making sure the girls are eating right, I forgot about myself. Some days I swear I could pass for four months pregnant.

I need to lose a few pounds. And I'd really like to become more fit. Now I'm not going to go crazy. I really hate to exercise. I am never effective when I go to the gym, and honestly, I don't really want to go anyway.

So I joined Jazzercise and am making myself go to classes. Strangely enough, I think I am really enjoying it. There are still times when the entire class is going one way and I'm going another way or I just can't figure out a particular step. But it's fun, and if I happen to get in better shape, then I would be thrilled.

I haven't seen any leg warmers yet, but they do play the theme song to the ''Fame'' movie.