Martha Thinks

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ok, Orange Leaf!

So some of these West Coast shows that I've seen that may or may not have a Kardashian or Real Housewife in them often show the characters popping in and out of these frozen yogurt stores.  And they look awesome.   Hey, a lot of problems get solved over spoonfuls of this chilly stuff.

Today we went up to Newburyport for Yankee Homecoming and saw this store called Orange Leaf.  Yum-O!  You grab your cup, you pump your own yogurt from many, many varieties, you sprinkle your own toppings on...and you put it on the scale and pay by the pound. 

Very good.  If you are a fan of soft-serve anyway this is the best of both worlds.  I have heard that there is a frozen yogurt store coming to my town soon with a similar layout. I can't wait!

So the next time you spot an Orange Leaf and like me, had no idea what it don't walk inside.  I had banana and peanut butter yogurt with granola, coconut and just the TINIEST bit of butterscotch topping.  Smiling happy people.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Master Bedroom - Carpet Installation!

It's a beautiful thing.  I'm yelling.  Can you year me singing "It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away"  like Bono over an adoring crowd?  The first day of the rest of my life.  Am I being too dramatic?  Well, it's the room I've been dreaming of forever.  We are not totally done yet, nor are the rest of the rooms cleared out, but we will sleep in this room tonight after a very long, hot summer. 

Surrounded by boys my entire life.  No sisters.  No daughters.  Lots of dirty bathrooms.  Just speaking the truth, people.  In this space, I will shut the door, paint my nails, take way too much time picking out what to wear and play "Sense and Sensibility" in heavy rotation.  
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Monday, July 16, 2012

hard decisions, to stay or go

We all face this dilemma with things our kids have made.  Whether it's paper, a painting, a photo, an uneven bowl or funny sculpture from pottery class or in this case, a first attempt at knitting a scarf.  Carter was about 11 years old when I showed him how to knit.  He was forever making rubber-band balls and had great dexterity with his hands.

I was a total novice myself when it came to knitting, but took an adult ed class and was happy (and rather insistent if I am being honest) to share my new found craft with Carter.  He took right to it.  He made scarves, hats and cell phone covers that had pom-poms on them.  So cute!  It kept him busy and he had his own collection of yarn.  6th grade made way to 7th grade and by then it just wasn't cool to knit anymore.  That's what he thought anyway.  I tried to tell him that girls would think it was "wicked cool" to have a boyfriend who could knit them a hat, but no go.  
All of the yarn was banished to the back of the closet and eventually donated to the band yard sale.  Now that we are having a good go-through of the house we are having to face all of our collections.  Like a square dance, everyone is moving one room to the left.  And the things that were cherished as 7 and 10 year olds are no longer important (to them).  And then it becomes my job, as mommy, to make decisions about precious objects like hand-knitted scarves.  So now this story comes full circle.  I have gotten as far as writing about it and taking a photo of it, but it's still going in the "still thinking about it" box.
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Master Bedroom - Closet Doors

Another craigslist purchase.  I found two pretty doors that were actually a pair of gray French doors that I thought had that perfect vintage look for my house.  They were from an artist's loft and used as room dividers.  $30 each.  Hey, that's not bad at all!  Except that they weren't exactly the right color gray for the room and well, since I'm not using them as French doors one of the doors has to change the knob opening because it's on the wrong side.  If that makes any sense. 

Taking a break from painting these doors in the summer heat, my brother Andy and my dog Bono just love
to rough and tumble.

Andy has been working here almost daily for 2 months and the dog has never been happier.

Primed and painted.  Just waiting to dry and then he'll scrape the paint off the glass.  Saves all of that blue tape! 
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Master Bedroom - Handpainted Footboard

On another rather sultry summer afternoon I set up underneath the canopy on the back deck and got to work on the footboard.  While the after-effect is light and fluffy, just like I wanted, it was a bit of an arduous task.  I set a goal of one day for the headboard and one day for the footboard.  Hard on the back, though, and the artist is paying for it today!  I should have propped it up on something but at the time is was more convenient to just lay it on the table, but did require me to stand over it for a few hours. 

A few cold glasses of iced tea and with magazine tear sheets a references, I set about matching the design of the headbord.  I am very happy with the results! 

This is the backside of the footboard, the original color of the wood.  I do love taking something old, worn, scrappy or just something that someone has tired of and making into a real gem.  Goal accomplished!
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Master Bedroom - Handpainted Headboard

When times get tough, the tough get craigslisting.  And that's where I live these days.  Since I am forced to keep to a particular budget I use it as my playground.  I know I can paint anything to look better and I already like the "shabby chic" look so a little beat up works fine for me. 

Now this is a funny story.  This is a king headboard and footboard in the "Fontana" design sold about 20 years ago at Sears and many other places.  Sears unfortunately now just sells particle board stuff, but back then it had a big furniture department.   Remember when Billy Joel sang about "Brenda and Eddie" and how they "bought a couple of paintings from Sears"??  Maybe Sears should think about it's history and go back to that.  Ok, I digress.
As a newlywed, I picked out this very set.  BTW, it can still be seen as the Master Bedroom set in "Everybody Loves Raymond".  We used it for years and when it no longer suited our taste, donated all of the other pieces that came with it, chest of drawers, mirror, etc.  It was a queen size then and I did EXACTLY the same thing to the headboard.  I shabby-chic'd it.  That was about 5 years ago.  So the story goes that we did a big kitchen remodel, thought the big master bedroom remodel would come soon after and we would upgrade to a king-size bed.  The queen headboard was sold at a yard sale for $20.00. (YES YOU READ IT CORRECTLY - biggest yard sale regret ever!) 

Fast forward to July 2012.  I still had no headboard.  What to do, what to do.  I knew I wanted a big headboard but couldn't afford the luxurious upholstered linen ones from Ballard Design and Pottery Barn that I would get if money were no object.  So in the meantime, what do I find?  Yup.  A King size Fontana bed on craigslist including frame for $100.00.  So back to the drawing board.  I painted it a pretty light gray and added some "Marie Antoinette" highlights of turquoise, lilac and rose.  I used the scrapbooking paper design as a template.
Not the finished product yet, but I think I have taken a dandelion and made it into a rose. 
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Farmer's Market

My friend Dolly's very health-minded daughter has a booth at the local farmer's market making detoxifying drinks.  So I got up this Saturday morning and checked it out!

Brought Ronan along.  He loves retail therapy especially when he get to pick out his own flavors of jam.

For all of the lemongrass, spinach and many other things that were thrown in this green shake, if the 11 year old finished it, she's doing a very good job!

Yup.  Bought some of these.

Just inspired by all of this to eat better this summer.  It smells fresh and delicious.  When we got back we had the jam on fresh wheat bread that we bought and for lunch I had a lettuce, tomato and cucumber sandwich.  Now I am off to work where my usual cravings would typically blow my efforts all to heck, but I have my detoxifying brew working it's magic today!
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Master Bedroom - and so it begins

5 years ago we remodeled our kitchen and that turned into needing a new roof and well, yeah, please add two more feet to our side deck so we can put a nice table and chairs out there...and before you knew it we were plum out of cash to make the large room above the kitchen a proper master bedroom.

Enter my brother, Andy, to help us remedy the problem.  This dark wood was the former outer layer of the house, although it had been covered with siding.  Ever heard of "horsehair plaster"?  It really has hair in it.  Yuck.  It's also very crumbly.  But our house was built in 1900 so there you go.  Along with the pretty lines and high ceilings you get crumbly walls that you can't hang anything on without getting a floor to ceiling crack in the paint. 

But this soon to be little haven of mine is all brand spanking new.  New wallboard, closets, paint, windows.  This will be my view from the bed and as I've said to everyone, when this is done I may not emerge for a month. 

For now this is the reality.  And it's hard.  See, we kind of made this former unfinished space a catch-all.  We had rolling racks of clothes, winter coats, snowboots, etc. in there.  We had lamps and craft supplies.  It all had to be emptied out and not all of it has been gone through yet as I am the General Contractor for the project and have been back and forth to Home Depot more times than I can count.  I see a yard sale in my future.  I'll tell the 11 year old if he works it, I'll split the profits with him ; )
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