Monday, May 30, 2011


School is out, so it's officially summer around here... and that means lots of fun and sun!

My K - now a first grader!!

and GG... this is one of the few smiling pics from this weekend.  Apparently someone was in a mood.  ;)

And how about some fresh watermelon in my new summer-licious Target bowls?

Here's to a fun-filled summer!

Friday, May 27, 2011

{Friday Faves} Mason Jars

Today is the last day of school for my daughter (*sob* kindergarten grad!), so for her, summer officially begins tomorrow.  And summer in the south means swimming, sun, and big glass of sweet tea served up in a mason jar.  Mmmmmm. 

Since I've got mason jars on my mind, how about a roundup of some fave mason jar tutorials?

photo credit: Shanty 2 Chic

photo credit: Thrifty and Chic

photo credit: Chez Beeper Bebe

Here's to a happy long holiday weekend filled with sunshine and sweet tea!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So Much to Do I Don't Know What to Do!

I love you Google Reader.  I do.

Every couple of days I get to peek in on the amazing projects, recipes, transformations, home decor etc. by all of you talented bloggers. 

And every day... my stuff to make/to do list gets a lot longer.  So much so, that I get a little overwhelmed as to what project I want to tackle next!  Does this happen to you?  I want to paint, I want to sew, I want to refinish... the list goes on and on.

So Google Reader, I might just have to bid you a short adieu, cause I have a lot to do... and you're not helping with your never-ending offering of fantastic distractions.  (Case in point: I added three things to the list tonight!)

So what's next on the to-do?  Finishing up my March Bag once the handles arrive... Recovering and repainting my back patio settee... Refinishing the outdoor Adirondack chairs... and Refinishing my grandmother's curio cabinet.

Think that's enough?

Monday, May 23, 2011


I am waiting impatiently for a certain pair of bamboo handles to arrive for my March Bag... which I might add is almost complete, save for those handles and the addition of the fabric band for the top of the bag.  That's it. 

Darn snail mail...

or should I say...

Darn my procrastination ordering those things!

*sigh*  I could be working on covering my Nas - to - the - TEE cushions for my back patio settee, but no.  I'm having some incredibly glorious time with Google Reader and Pinterest!

And because of that Google Reader, I may delay those cushions some more cause it's Skirt Week Time!

I better get to sketching and scheming out some skirts!  Whee!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rain, Rain... Don't Go Away!

We are finally getting some rain here in Texas and trust me, I am not complaining.  The conditions have been so dry around here that we're already on watering restrictions... in May!  Technically, it's not even summer yet, right?!

So while I won't be getting any spraypainting accomplished today in this humid weather, it does offer me the chance to stay inside and work a little more on this:

Yep, the March Bag, finally underway.  I've completed the exterior pocket panels and next up is constructing the actual bag.  Hopefully I can also find some purse handles today so if I finish it tonight, it'll be ready to use!

 But first... a little gymnastics mini-Olympics action with my chickies and then a playdate at the house later with my bestie and her two adorable kiddos.

Hope you're having a wonderful Saturday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Slow Progress is Still Progress, Right?!

I'm in the middle of a couple projects right now, so bear with me for the time being...

I finally finished cutting out the pieces for my March Bag last night, so hopefully tonight I can start the bag construction process.  It looks like a fairly straight-forward pattern, so I'm hoping it will come together quickly and I'll be rocking a new bag soon!

I've also just begun a big project for our outdoor seating area that includes recovering a lot of cushions that are currently Nas - to - the - TEE!

Still on the hunt for the perfect bed for my daughter's bedroom makeover.  I've been visiting some local stores on the hunt for vintage accessories but haven't been able to settle on anything yet.  I'm sure my pickiness will pay off in the end, or at least I hope so!

Stay tuned for some project pics!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sewing for Me!

I whipped up a little somethin-somethin for me this past week: a happy little pocket clutch!  I used this great pattern from KeykaLou and a couple of fat quarters I've had for a while in the stash, just waiting to be turned into something fabulous!

And of course I need to show you the inside, right?

It's the perfect size for all of the essentials...

and I love how it just screams summer!  In fact, my clutch coordinates really well with my back yard right now:

How about you?  Are you treating yourself by making something for you for a change?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday Spotlight!

Since Blogger had some, er, issues yesterday... I wasn't able to do a Friday Faves post.  So I'm doing one today instead - and calling it Saturday Spotlight!  Here are some of my favorite crafty things in the blogosphere - enjoy!

Delia from Delia Creates makes this great produce bag from an old tee shirt!

photo credit: Delia Creates

Alison from House of Hepworths shares her water-bomb tutorial - fun!

photo credit: House of Hepworths

Another Alison, from Oopsey Daisy, shares a recipe for Watermelon Lemonade.  Shut.  Up!

photo credit: Oopsey Daisy

What are you up to this gorgeous day?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Motherless Mother

Mother's Day is always a little bittersweet for me as a daughter because I am not able to spend the day with my mom, celebrating her for all that she sacrificed to make me who I am today.  Today marked my tenth Mother's Day without her, and my seventh Mother's Day as a mother without her. 

While it's difficult not having her here period, sometimes it seems even more so since I've become a mama.  I wish my own mother was here to share in all the crazy things my kids do and say.  I wish my mom was here to see my babies be dedicated at church like the many I witnessed this morning.  I wish she could give me advice when I'm at my wit's end with my girls' fighting and fussing.  I wish she could've held my children and loved on them.  I wish...

I just wish she were here.

As a daughter, I look back at all the things left unsaid over the years in a family where "I love you" was just not something I heard very often.  Oh, I knew she loved me - she just didn't say it - and thus, neither did I. How I wish I would've told her more how wonderful she was, how thankful I was for everything she did for me, how someday I hoped to be as selfless as she was when we were growing up, how much I loved her.

How much I love her still.

For some reason, this year has been especially hard on me, maybe because motherhood has not turned out to be the great community that I once perceived it to be.  I've found myself more isolated since becoming a mom than at any other time in my life.  Balancing working with taking care of my family is a challenge.  Trying to maintain friendships with other moms whose children are different ages or go to different schools or are on different teams is a struggle.  Controlling my emotions when someone tells me "Oh, I could never let a daycare raise my child" is difficult. 

As a daughter, I really needed my mom.

I've spent a lot more time lately with my chickies as opposed to making, creating, and crafting (I'm sure you noticed).  I found I was spending too much time worrying about what my next project would be and not enough time working on the greatest projects of my life... my daughters.  I figure the best way I can honor my mother's memory is to do the same for my children as she did for me.  Sacrificing, selfless, being present.

And telling them, every second, that I love them.

That last part is from me as a daughter to my own daughters.  I don't ever want them to regret one day that they didn't say I love you enough simply because it wasn't something we said. 

Mom, I love you, wherever you are.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Scent of a Mother

There are many elements of our environments that can trigger memories... especially those connected to our senses. Certain sights, sounds, tastes, smells - they conjour up thoughts of trips abroad, lovers past, special occasions, burnt dinners, things you wish you could do again and those you hope to never make the mistake of doing again. Ah, those senses.

Just the other day, I was walking behind a woman when it hit me. The smell of her perfume wafted through the air, into my path and into my nostrils. My olfactory centers began sending signals to my brain - flashes of memories hit me, like those scenes from movies when a person's entire lifetime plays out in their minds. Her voice. Her laugh. The way she would re-enact her high school cheerleader chants. The shape of her face and the curvature of her smile.

I knew the scent.

I know it by heart.

Red Door.

It was the scent of my mother.

I remember right after my mother passed away, I had to move her car into the driveway and as I sat in the driver's seat, the smell of her perfume was in the air as it lingered on the seatbelt she had worn not a few weeks earlier. Instantly it was like she was here again, joking with me, talking with me, sharing my love for Harry Connick Jr and all things important to the 23 year old I was at the time. I must have sat in that car for hours that day, breathing in her scent, sobbing hysterically, wishing she wasn't really gone and it was all a bad dream from which I was about to awaken.

A few years later, I was walking into a department store past the perfume counter and there it was: that gorgeous red bottle with the gold accents, one that I recognized in an instant as the one which sat atop the bathroom counter in my mother's home. I went over, sprayed a little on my wrist, and breathed in deeply, feeling the warmth of her arms around me and yet the aching of my own arms to be able to hold her. I put the bottle down and walked away, half in an attempt to be rid of the saleswoman behind the counter and half to be rid of the pain it caused to be reminded that my mother was gone.

I knew that scent by heart, and my heart remembered.

Coco Chanel was famous for creating her signature scent, Chanel No. 5 (adored by Marilyn Monroe) and having it sprayed wherever she went, as a symbol of her uniqueness as a woman and as an individual. Even after her death in 1971, her scent remained, forever encapsulated in a gorgeous glass bottle with the number 5 embossed on the front. Perhaps that is what is so captivating about a smell - it is the one tangible memory you can have of a person long after they are gone from this earth.

When I smell Red Door, it as if my mother is right next to me, something that neither photos or video nor even my own thoughts are able to accomplish.

I have been wearing Victoria's Secret Pear Glace for over 10 years, and even my husband notices if I decide to wear anything other than that - he says it just doesn't smell like me. I'd like to think that one day, maybe my girls will remember me by this scent as well and think of me should they happen to catch a whiff from someone else.

It is my signature scent.

The scent of their mother.

So how about you? Do you have a signature scent? One that you wear religiously, that defines you, that makes others think of you even when you're not there? I suggest you explore this option if you haven't already. It is a legacy of memories for your loved ones, in a sense.

As for me, even if I stray for a little while, I always come back to my favorite Pear Glace, as it was, and always has been, my scent. I like the idea of lingering for a while after I'm gone... and one of these days, I might just go back to that perfume counter and ask the saleswoman for a little help finding the scent of a mother.

And my guess is, it'll be in the shape of a red door

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Inspiring Spaces

When we moved into our house in November, I was at the point where I just wanted to be moved in and didn't feel like messing with all of the decorating details.  Problem is, six months later, I'm ready for the details.  Where to begin?  I was thinking my office/craft room, but instead, I think I'm ready to get my big girl her own little getaway.  Here are some of the spaces that are inspiring me...

Love this gorgeous white on white room...

photo credit: Dreamy Whites Blog

A reading nook like this would be so fun!

photo credit: Country Living

She would love a fluffy little stepstool... yeow!

photo credit:

Love this idea for spice racks turned bookshelves.  Perfect for aforementioned nook...

photo credit: ohdeedoh

Now that I've got my inspiration... it's time to start the makeover and being the treasure hunt for the perfect decor items.  I'm doing this on a budget so I'm hoping to be able to score some deals or find some items secondhand.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Party Pooped!

We are having a relaxing Sunday here on Abbey Loop...right now I'm blogging poolside as the girls swim with their daddy and beg me to join them.  (The water's still a little too chilly for my liking...)  We are worn out after partying and entertaining friends yesterday but it was all worth it for the smile on this birthday girl's face!

This was the first time we've had a birthday party at a "party place".  Lil Sis wanted to have hers at the Jumpy Place - a party place full of jump castles and playhouses.  What child wouldn't want to have their party there, right?!  I have to admit, it was probably the most laid back party I've ever planned.  Minimal decorations, no activities to plan... just a little bit of food, drinks, party favors, and cupcakes. 

As always, it's all about the cupcakes.

In case you didn't figure it out based on the birthday girl's outfit... it was an Ariel party, just like her sister had when she turned four.  (She's just gotta do everything Big Sis does.)  My own fabulous big sis came up the night before to help me make cupcake magic.

The base of the "cake" were cupcakes iced with swirls to mimic the ocean.  We iced them all in white and sprayed on the blue water color and yellow/orange beach border.  Edible blue glitter flakes made the waves sparkle and edible pearls looked like bubbles.

We took a leap of faith and decided to make fondant extras.  Having never worked with fondant before, it was a challenge.  Once we got going though, it wasn't so bad.  We had starfish, a crab, a fish, flowers... and even an octopus!

My little princess loved it, which is really what's it all about anyway.  (Dig the sweat-head?  Courtesy of the Jumpy Place!)

Happy fourth birthday, my darling GG.

Love you to the moon and back.


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