Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene

After the scariest night of my life we survived Hurricane Irene virtually unscathed.
We felt we were pretty well prepared. Stocked with non perishable foods and water, bathtub filled, bags packed in case we had to flee...we set up a makeshift shelter in our kitchen since it is the innermost room under the most roof protection.

Of course the kids were delighted to have a camp out.

The garage is packed with everything and anything that was outside.
Including my old furniture which was sitting curbside (wet & gross) awaiting bulk pick up.
We carried into the garage for fear high winds could pick up a piece and slam it into someone's home.

Hubby had taped up every single window and door in the house to keep it from shattering in a worst-case scenario.

My biggest fear was these bad boys.
There are alot of them!

See how high they tower over my roof?

Not to mention they are pretty chunky too!

Around 8pm the winds had picked up enough that we knew it was time to head into the kitchen.
We laid there dozing on and off listening to things hitting and falling on the house.
Between 10 and 11pm I was texting my brother telling him how bad it sounded and how scared I was.
We were hearing noises that really had me fearing the worst.
He texted back telling us to get the hell out of the house and go across to our neighbors who have a home with a lower level.
"This hasn't even begun yet. Get out of there now!" were his words.
He works for NJ's biggest power company as a linesman and was already out in it.
I quietly showed hubby his text as to not frighten the kids.
We silently debated through eye contact, ultimately deciding to bide by our decision to stay.
Going outdoors in those conditions with the kids and dogs could be more dangerous than staying put.
All we could do was lay there listening and waiting.
Texting and calling the neighbors and loved ones.

Around 2am had downgraded wind to under 60 mph which really put my mind at ease.
Between 2 and 7 am I just dozed off and on praying for daylight so we could get an idea of what had happened.
I thought for sure this morning we were going to see some mass destruction.
Hubby got up shortly after 7am and walked the house looking out the windows.
He came and woke me, "We lost a tree".
I jumped up fearing the worst ~ on a neighbors house, on the cars, where did it fall?

It fell on top of ANOTHER tree which is holding it up from taking down the power lines in front of my house and blocking our entire street.
Talk about a miracle!
We called the police to report it and were told they will be out here to take care of it as soon as possible.
I threw on some flip flops and headed out to survey the damage.

We do have some minor roof damage over the back of the house.
Lots of small debris everywhere.
But in light of what it could have looked like, I am just thanking God that we dodged one hell of a bullet.
I will happily pick up all these branches and leaves with a gracious heart.

Praying still for the safety of everyone else who has been affected by Irene.
Our thoughts are with you.
We were lucky.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Falling For Fall {JCrew}

Around mid August I find it hard to even think of putting a bathing suit on, I start craving all things braised and roasted, and begin counting down the days til Labor Day when it will finally be acceptable to pack away the coral and seashells and fill my home with the warmth of fall.
Since it makes no sense to braise and roast in the heat, and Labor Day is still a few weeks away, I have begun to fulfill my fall fixation with a wee bit of a shopping spree at JCrew.
Once again, I cannot resist their newest offerings...and will soon be counting down the days until those rewards points come!

The Tippi sweater was worn immediately upon it's arrival...

The cafe capri in blue and this turtleneck are soooo being worn with my vintage camel blazer...they are both waitlisted...I am also counting down the days until they arrive!

Why, yes please!

These CeCe ballet flats have been worn almost every single day since I bought them...and I am head over heels in love!

What fall items have you reaching for your wallet?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Divine Inspiration: Natalie Wood

I'll never understand why Natalie Wood is not mentioned more frequently as the style icon she truly was.
I swoon.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Columbus Flea

I have always loved rummaging through flea markets and yard sales.
As a child growing up on a fairly busy road at the junction between two other streets, I would anxiously look for signs to be posted telling me which families in my neighborhood would be having a yard sale that upcoming weekend.
I would hop on my bike and go digging through the unwanted piles uncovering childhood treasures.
Star Wars action figures for my brothers, Barbies, doll always seemed the possibilities were endless.
Fast forward to adulthood and the thrill of the hunt remains the same.
My children's bathroom has old wooden boardwalk signs I uncovered in the early 90's at a flea market here in NJ a good distance away from any boardwalk.
One of my favorite end tables was found at a yard sale almost 20 years ago and refinished to suit my decor.

As the painting winded down and it was time to begin reassembling our family room I decided to omit a shelf that held random framed photographs and suggested we head off to Columbus Flea Market in Burlington County, NJ on Thursday morning to see what treasures were to be had.

An hour's drive from my home, I have been going to Columbus off and on for most of my adult life.

Amish families run a bakery, butcher, cafe, and wooden crafts shop inside the main building.
They also have a counter where they sell hot pretzels which is always the first stop on the way in.
Those pretzels are divine!

Tables are packed with a mixture of trash and treasure.
You never know what you will find!

Within the past 10 years, I have started collecting vintage cameras.
Working, is my adoration of the art of photography and the uber cool vibe they exude as a decorative item that makes them so appealing to me.
My collection has been quite small as my flea marketing has been minimal in recent years.
The ones I do own though are proudly displayed on shelving in our family room fitting right in alongside framed vintage Guiness beer posters and a set of framed original Beatles albums.

I had no idea on Thursday that I was about to strike the motherload of cameras to add to my collection.
I bought 9!
Five were purchased from one vendor and the remaining four from another, both eager to offload their entire lots at once.
In the past, I have paid $10-$20 a camera and on Thursday, after some wheeling and dealing, bought all 9 for roughly $35!

Once home and wiped down they fit into my empty shelf perfectly.


Now that my collection has reached substantial numbers, don't think I am through aquiring them.
I know there are plenty more out there just waiting to be found.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Room By Room

Being a working mom who keeps crazy retail hours, I always feel like I am chasing my tail when it comes to keeping house.
The husband and I are officially on "staycation" this week and after taking the weekend off, yesterday we had to buckle down and tend to some housework.
Our family room and home office need to be repainted because we have new furniture being delivered on Saturday.
My husband agreed to donate his chocolate brown leather recliner to the family room and I decided the area rugs in the two rooms need to be swapped.
Thus the two room redo.

Since I never feel like the house is 100% clean, the laundry 100% done, and all other chores 100% complete, the thought of tearing the house apart has me feeling anything but excited.
I know the light at the end of this tunnel means I finally get my custom sectional from Pottery Barn...and my 11 year old sofa set that has seen better days, hits the curb for trash pickup.
But I am still dragging my feet and even threw a 2yr old hissy fit (complete with foot stomping) at my husband yesterday.
Sometimes I am mature like that.

So the dismantling began.

And my formal living room is now a holding tank for everything from the family room.

Some people love all the chaos. They are having a blast dancing around on the about to be discarded furnishings.

Over the weekend toss pillows were selected and purchased as well as new decorative accents.

Some people also find painting fun.
I do not.

Booty shakin' paintin'

And lest I forget the patron saint of painting....hubby.

Aside from the house being in total disarray, I really love all the decorative elements we have had in our family room for the past 5 1/2 years which made taking it all down even worse.
My antique camera collection, framed Beatles albums, and my vintage Guiness posters are all going right back on the walls where they were.
My new paint color is only 1 shade lighter than the existing one.
I told you I liked things the way they were.

But new furniture deserves fresh paint, and I cannot wait until Saturday night to sit on my new sofa in my new/old room.
If I can make it to Saturday.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Life's A Beach

No matter how crazy and stressful life gets around here, I will always find a way to spend as much time at the beach as possible.

Last week my mom brought the kids back home and then was whisked off on a mini vacation with my baby brother, sister in law and my niece.

She watches my kids for almost a month, then my brother treats her to a vacation....guess we know who the favorite kid is now, huh?

Anyway, they came back home Thursday night so on Friday morning we packed up the cars and headed out for a day on the beach.

It wasn't the sunniest day of the summer, but we kept ourselves busy collecting shells, splashing in the waves and spending some quality time together.
If only every day could be like this.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Hometown

Last Thursday night my daughter attended her friend's birthday party.
It was held just over the bridge at the boardwalk.

For almost 30 years I have lived on the other side of the bridge from the town MTV has made so famous.
And yet I have scarcely gone there for all the reasons you watch weekly on MTV.

Then, this summer with the children away, the husband and I found ourselves spending every.single.Saturday.night going from bar to bar and consuming more alcohol than two people our age should.
(Until the following morning.Brutal. )

Thursday night, the kids were given bracelets that afforded them all the rides they could stomach until 9:30 pm.
When hubs phoned on his way home from work I suggested he meet us there.
We would grab some pizza and let Ryan indulge herself until her bracelet expired.

At first she wasn't so sure about these rides.

Is it too late to change my mind Mom?

First rollercoaster

Glow jewelry is mandatory dress code.

Not sure who liked the bumper cars more...Daddy or Ryan?

We skipped this one.

We had so much fun!
I realized how sheltered my children have been from Seaside when Ryan started crying when we told her it was time to leave.
A mixture of adrenalin, exhaustion, and simply not wanting the fun to end.
Hubs kept saying "We only live a few minutes can come back here anytime!"
But she didn't understand this concept because she has never been there.
She was terrified that once we left, she would never be back.

We waved goodbye to Daddy as he headed off to his car then I suggested we play some games at the stands before leaving ourselves.
The tears disappeared immediately and we marched proudly into the house an hour later arms laden with all sorts of stuffed animals.

Although indulging her this way was probably not the best form of parenting, sometimes we need to break all the rules.
And if you think I was the hero then, wait until I tell her that we are going again this afternoon with my childhood best friend and her daughters.