Friday, April 15, 2011

My Deck Needs a Make-Over!!

This post brought to you by Pier 1. All opinions are 100% mine.
My parents, God bless them, gave us an outdoor set when we first moved in six years ago.  Unfortunately, we haven’t kept it in the best shape, leaving it on the deck all year ‘round.  Consequently, the bolts have rusted through and now the backs of the chair are swinging in the breeze!
Now I’m looking around at outdoor furniture (with COVERS this time!) and I love many of the lovely outdoor items I’m seeing while prowling around the Pier 1website.  You know, I am such a plain Jane all the time (food, clothes, etc) I am really trying to make an effort this to branch out and use more patterns.  It makes it easier to decorate in the long run, with more colors to choose from in a multi-color pattern, like Pier 1’s Angelique pattern.  Soooo cute!! I am really drawn to more old-fashioned patterns.  I can’t say “retro”---it makes me think of the 70’s!  I’m thinking more: what was in Grandma’s kitchen?  No, not the olive green. Or maybe the olive green but with a lot of other colors thrown in!  And so much easier to grab a bunch of cushions to get the latest patterns and colors rather then trying to revamp your whole outdoor setting, you know, like we’re going to be trying to do!  

But what really surprised me when I went on Pier 1?  Their big papasan chair!!  I immediately remembered those from vacation at the beach when I was little.  I was kind of surprised they had them because even then we didn’t think they were that fashionable but you know what I else I remembered?  Sinking into that chair and curling up with a book.  And fighting with my sibs over who was going to sit in it every evening for TV time!!  And then I thought about that papasan  on our nice long deck in the morning sunshine or breezy afternoon shade, with a book, curled up while my kids play and thought, “That would be soooo nice!”  And if I could figure out a way to hang a swingasanfor my kids? Perfect!!! Hey, maybe we could hang that under the deck….hmmmm.  A thought for the patio we’d like to create on the underside of the deck in the near future!

Right now, we have that uncomfortable set of table and chairs (I should have just called this post, “Sorry I didn’t like the table and chairs you got for us, Mom and Dad”!  Oy.)  and the idea of furniture out there that is beautiful, has style and comfy cushions….ahhh.  I cannot express to you how fantastic it would be to have furniture out on the deck that we would actually USE!  You know what I love, when I watch HGTV?  When they go to those foreign countries and they have double sets of sliding glass doors that open all the way, so they merge indoor and outdoor?  Rugs on the deck, side tables, cushions---it looks just like my living room, only out in the sunshine!! Expanding my living space, that’s what I like to hear!  I have a large family and if I could utilize that deck when we have people over in the summer, that would be great!  They have these large, brightly colored metal beverage tubs($69.95) that I just LOVE and would be so convenient to put out there with some drinks.  I really need to stop looking, my wish list is getting longer and longer!
 And frankly, something that is easier to take care of as well.  I really like the idea that a lot their furniture is indoor/outdoor, so I could always bring it in for extra seating in the winter, without having to figure out how to get it from our second-story deck down to the front of the house and into the garage!   Things you don’t have to put into storage but can just rearrange every season? Sold!  NOR would I have to purchase covers and then [have to badger my husband to] go out and put them all on at the end of the season [only to end up doing it myself!].  I’m all about easy!
Did I mention that bright morning sunshine?  They have these awesome fade-resistant umbrellas.  I love the one pagoda umbrella!  (see?? I’m not a plain Jane after all---there is a funky, artsy, ethnic-pattern-lovin’ decorator trying to get out!!)  Fade resistant and all!  Plus, it’s not attached to the table or even the separate base.  We have our deck on the second floor up on the back side of the house (built into those PA hills!) and so I need something I can pull down quickly and get inside when it’s super windy and stormy.  This looks to be about perfect!! Actually, I’d go so far as to say, if I got nothing else, I’d get an umbrella this season, so we can use our deck more without forking out $2,000 for an awning.  But that’s just me!
Also, you might, if you love Pier1, want to check out these cool Pier 1 Tweetups they do!  Don’t know what a TweetUp is? Click here to check it out!

What are your plans for your outdoor spaces this summer?  Have an event you’re sprucing up for?  Share!  I demand it!  
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Movie Mondays: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

This movie is based on a comic book series, which…neither Jay nor I had ever heard of, let alone read! However, I liked the guy who plays the lead, Michael Cera. The hubby and I were talking about that circle of young men who are all geeky, around the same age, who are so popular in Hollywood right now; Michael Cera is one those of course! Cute in a totally nerdy way. What’s so funny is that he had all these fight scenes and he was pretty good!

The premise of the movie is that Scott Pilgrim becomes infatuated with one Ramona Flowers while dating a high schooler who is actually 5 years younger than he is, whose name is Knives. Yes, Knives. She is so sweet and innocent and just loves Scott’s band, he feels like he can’t break her heart, so he continues to date her as he woos Ramona. However, he soon finds he has to fight all 7 of her exes in order to win the right to court her.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's Cookin' Wednesday: My Anal-Retentive Kitchen

This is not the first time I have spoken of my anal retentive tendencies. I’ve talked about how not to pack my groceries and what not to do to my dishwasher. Now I’m going to talk about how my kitchen is organized.

1. Don’t mess with my pantry when you unload groceries.

We didn’t have room, really, for food once we had moved in and unpacked my kitchen 6 years ago. So we went to Ikea and bought a wardrobe and filled it with fixed shelves and slide-able baskets which would be our pantry. I filled it logically (duh) with heaviest items on the bottom. I need a stool, being 5 foot nothing, so that’s on the bottom with a bag full of paper bags we re-use, plus extra bottles of juice and our recycling bin. Then I have a shelf of cans (extra items that replace already opened ones in the fridge and other places) on the left to soups, veggies then fruit on the right. Then beverages (coffee mostly), bread and baking supplies. Then a shelf of carbs: pasta, rice, potatoes in a basket and a basket for items that won’t stand on the metal basket drawer: raisins, small container of sunflower seeds and anything in a zipper-top bag or packet. I put snacks all together in another  place. And then cereal super high up. I actually had to do that (PLUS put a baby lock on the handles!) because Ian, when he was about 3, started being all Mr. Independent and getting into EVERYTHING “like a big boy”! That included helping himself to cheez-its and cereal. So I put them up insanely high where it is almost uncomfortable to reach to keep the kids out of everything.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Movie Mondays: DVD Review of Beezus and Ramona

Beezus and Ramona is about a modern family with traditional values. They go through some tough times (dad loses his job, mom goes back to work, dad flubs being a stay at home parent, house needs work, etc) but they work in a determined fashion through each and every problem.

Now, it’s been a long time since I read this book, but I really like Selena Gomez (I think it’s because she looks like an older version of my 5 year old niece!) and John Corbett is in it and Ginnifer Goodwin. Not to mention Bridget Moynahan, Josh Duhamel and Sandra Oh as the ever-patient teacher.

I loved the mood of this whole movie. It really seemed to match what I remembered of the book (other than that, I don’t really remember what happens in the book!). But what I loved about this movie? No foul language. No racy scenes. Good old-fashioned family movie watchin’ fun! I thought it was adorable and if you’re looking for something to watch on family movie night, this is it! (Especially if you have little girls! But this is a softer version of Dennis the Menace with Ramona’s antics, so I don’t think the boys will mind it…much. My boys, 6 and 4, both watched it!)

I give it an A+.


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