Monday, August 26, 2013

Blinged out bottles

My best friend's birthday is this week so we celebrated this past weekend with a day of fun. 

Carmela's Forever 31 Birthday Bonanza!

The day was spent at the beach, the spa, the Texas Roadhouse for dinner, and private shopping at Maurices. Such fun times with wonderful ladies. 

Anyway, I love to create things and be a little crafty. Last week when Carmela was visiting me and telling me about her recent trip to Chicago, she mentioned this drink called Rum Chata. I had never heard of it but thought it would make a fun addition as a gift for her birthday. I had already ordered some Golden Girls lip balm off etsy (when she calls me, her ringtone is "Thank you for being a friend".)

Once I got to Specs to grab a bottle, I noticed that it was super boring. But it did have some pretty golden accents. So after a quick trip to Hobby Lobby for some rhinestones and glitter, I came home to bling out this bottle. 

This was easy, fun, and the decorative possibilities are endless. I chose to do something simple, but pretty. And if you want to do this as well...go for it! Here is how I made this one. 

First, I got all my supplies ready. I needed a paper bag to cover my counter, the bottle to decorate, Modge Podge, bottles of glitter, paper plates and a sponge brush, rhinestones, hot glue, and ribbon. 

Lightly brush one side of the bottle with MP using a sponge brush. Try to get it as even as possible so that they glitter doesn't get clumpy. 

Sprinkle with glitter. Repeat this process until the whole bottle is covered.

Let this dry for about 30 minutes or so.

Brush a coat of MP over the top of the glitter to seal it. I did three coats and waited about 20-30 minutes between each coat. It will look like it is covered in glue, but don't worry, it dries clear and will seal in all the glitter so it doesn't flake off. 

Decide where you want to put the rhinestones on and glue away!

Here is where I made my mistake. I used gold glitter ribbon to attach the baggie with the lip balm in it. The glitter from the ribbon flaked off and went everywhere! Beware when using glitter ribbon. Ugh.

So anyway, here is the finished product again. I thought it was really cute, and now no one else on earth will have a bottle exactly like hers :). 

I am glad we could all spend time together and I am super glad that our friend Jenny could make her a cake for our shopping event!

Thank you Jenny!!!!
Happy Birthday, Carmela!!!!

First Day of School!

Well, the day has come. It is finally the first day of school for the 2013-2014 year!

Boy, I have been both dreading and looking forward to this day for the past month or so. Feeling excited for Jansen as he gets to have his elementary school all to himself. Feeling scared for Caleb as he starts intermediate school, full of Autistic and non-Autistic nervousness. 

As luck would have it, it is pouring down rain today. I was able to drive Jansen to school and there was no drop off line! It was great. He jumped out of the car, smiled, and practically ran in, full of excitement. He was ready, even though he was complaining this morning as he woke. 

Caleb then moaned and groaned all the way to school. He was quite nervous, as was I, although we kept talking about how intermediate school would be so fun. He would be seeing old friends, new friends, and will be making all new memories. I was fine until Caleb got out of the car and started walking into the school. He grabbed the door, turned to wave to me, and my heart just shattered. I cried as I drove home, but I know he will be fine. I am just ready to go pick him up and see how his day went. 

Oh first day of school. It's so bittersweet!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Closet Organization Friday

My kids spent the night last night at my husband's parents' house so that they could so swimming and play with their cousin today. 

This gave me the chance today to work on laundry and get more organizing done. My hope was to get all the closets done today, but I only got through mine. 

This is why...

So much stuff...

Well, at least it's something. I threw away so much junk!!!!!! My entire bathroom was a total wreck, full of broken hangers, miscellaneous paperwork, pairless shoes, old books, jewelry, suitcases, wrapping paper, knick knacks, clothes both too big and too small. 

What a great feeling! I ran out of Command hooks so I have to go grab a few more packages tomorrow to finish organizing my jewelry, but everything else is neatly hanging and organized. 

I need more shoe storage, for sure. 

My husband needs his own closet so I can move my stuff into his small section. 

Want to take bets on how long it will last? I think maybe a month. 

Meet the Teacher for my third grader....

And with that, we are ready for school to begin on Monday. 

This afternoon we went to Meet the Teacher for my now third grader. I just cannot believe it. 

Jansen was happy with his new teacher, he dumped his school supplies on his new desk, and left the school happy and skippy. 

Come on school!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Intermediate School Orientation

Tonight was orientation and meet the teacher for my oldest child, who is following in the footsteps of his mother and father at Clute Intermediate. 

He went into it very scared, but left feeling quite excited. 

We have done everything possible to prepare him for the transitions that come with moving to a new school with new responsibilities. And with all the chaos of children, families, lockers, schedules etc...I was feeling very scattered and worried and my sweet Autistic child was pretty confident. He didn't cover his ears and cry as usual. He made pretty good eye contact with each teacher. He introduced himself with a handshake and a formal, "My name is Caleb Powell." I am so proud! And when we left he said, and I quote...."When are you going to let me make my own decisions?" 

To which I almost cried and said..."Right now! What do you want to do?" He said, "eat pizza". Well, it wasn't exactly what I thought he was talking about, but it was his own decision. 

Here he is with one of his best friends, Macy, and they were upset to find out they had no classes together this year. So sad. 

And he was excited to learn how to open a locker. It only took him two tries, and he was able to open it! He practiced a bit more and we left when he felt comfortable. 

So while I was feeling overwhelmed, he surprised me with his relaxed and excited demeanor. After all, it isn't how I feel about it, it only matters how he feels!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Memories, at the corner of my mind....

School is over for the the summer for me, just in time to send my kids off to school next week and for me to begin the Fall semester. Thank you sweet, baby Jesus, I got an A!!!! 

I have been going full steam ahead for so long that the last 5 or so days, I have been having a lot of down time, which leads to me cleaning and organizing, and feeling nostalgic. Once that happens, it's all downhill. I am thankful for school to begin, so that I can once again get back on a nice, little schedule. I need to study, craft, shuttle, clean, and do so many things to keep myself busy and not busy reminiscing and feeling melancholy. Here is what I have been thinking about recently. 

When I was little, I was an only child, and my parents only let me watch a Nick at Night. I have vivid memories as a child from about 3 years old up, and even then, I felt so much older than I was. When I was four, my imaginary friend was Carol Burnett. When I was five, I was dreaming to be either Lucille Ball or Annette Funicello. I had almost every song from 1950-1990 memorized by the time I was 10. 

Anyway, my parents were super over protective and wouldn't let me watch "contemporary" movies, TV shows, or listen to "contemporary" music. I never really understood that because in my mind, I was always in my 30s at least. I remember begging my parents to let me watch The Golden Girls at 5 years old and to go see Steel Magnolias...I was 7. 

The Golden Girls is one of my favorite shows and I would sneak watching it until it was in syndication, and then I was 13 and "old" even to watch it, even though my mom totally disapproved. It became a nightly ritual, coming on at 10 and 10:30pm and I would stay up every night to watch it. 

In the early 1990's, our town got a Target store. My parents were out of time and my grandmother was staying with me and I was about 12. For some strange reason, for the grand opening, Rue McClanahan came to Target to do a meet and greet and sign autographs. I begged my grandmother to take me! It was so cool. I was so excited to meet her. 

I remember getting her autograph on a promo photo, telling her that I thought she was even more beautiful in person, and then asking her if she wouldn't mind signing one for my mother, who was out of town. She went to grab another photo, and her agent, or representation, or someone...told her, "Rue, don't sign extra autographs. You'll get writer's cramp." She looked at me and smiled and said, "Oh don't be silly. I never get writer's cramp. Here you go, Darlin'!" in her best Blanche Devereaux accent, and handed me another signed photo. 

My grandmother and I giddily talked the whole way home about how nice she was and I remember looking at her and thinking how much prettier she looked in person, if that were even possible. Thinking back, by this time, The Golden Girls was finished taping. And even at 12, I wondered what the heck she was doing at a Target opening in Lake Jackson, TX. But I didn't worry about that too much because it was a happy day for my grandmother and I. I always loved Blanche the best, and my grandmother's middle name was Rue. 

When I left for college many years later, you couldn't hold me back in this tiny Texas town. I was ready to get away from this conservative Southern town, away from my overprotective parents, and head out on just my own. Again, mentally, I thought and felt grown since I was 4 or 5. My parents dropped me off in an off campus dorm, to live with a roommate who just dropped off her boxes and then went back home. That first night, I was completely alone and felt miserable. I started to doubt myself and panic a bit, but I couldn't show my parents that after I put up such a fight to move out. So I called my grandmother and talked to her. I begged her not to tell my mother and asked her what I should do. 

She told me to do what I do every night. Get in a routine, and go to bed. She was right. So, I got up, washed my face, put on my pajamas, got in bed, and turned on The Golden Girls. I fell asleep watching them and woke up the next morning with much less anxiety. Each night, I would just do the same thing I did at the Golden Girls, until I felt really comfortable. 

I still love to watch The Golden Girls. I was very sad when Estelle Getty died in 2008, and almost a little heart broken when Bea Arthur died a year later. When Rue McClanahan died in 2010, I was super upset. She was my favorite Golden Girl. Eddi Rue McClanahan shared a name with my grandmother, Billie Rue Seay, who was my hero. My mom wanted to name a daughter Blanchie Kay when she was a child. In Jr. High, I was nicknamed RuRu by a favorite teacher....all coincidentals for sure. But this makes me feel close to my grandmother. We used to watch the Golden Girls together sometimes...and I just miss having a connection with her. Watching the show gives me a similar form of comfort that I got from my lovely grandmother. 

I write all this because I just finished reading Rue McClanahan's autobiography. Autobiographies and biographies are my FAVORITE books to read. I remembered meeting her and getting her autograph, watching her since the time I was little, and still watching her several times a week on the Golden Girls. Those are happy memories I have that I was able to share with my grandmother before she died. And I hope that in going through all of my old stuff, I will come across that autographed photo. 

Um, I watched too much TV as a child....and I have probably read too many biographies....Chelsea Handler, Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Woody Allen, Al Pacino, Carol Burnett, Annette Funicello, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Rue McClanahan and on and on and on.

But anyway, that is what is going on in my life at the moment. I miss my grandmother and I am sad that so many of the people that formed my childhood are no longer alive. I am thankful for the memories that we share and hope that my children will feel the same as they get older. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Kids' pottery artwork and a Goodwill Haul....

The last few weeks I have been killing it in college, spending almost all of my spare time studying. I didn't realize how much I would miss just spending time with my kiddos, just doing the day to day basics. I stopped using Facebook for the most part because it is a distraction from spending time studying, and because I was getting jealous watching everyone having fun, sleeping late, playing at the beach, and taking trips. 

Saying "no" to so many activities was getting me down, so yesterday, after finishing test number 3 of 6, I picked up my kiddos and we went to Missouri City. We just wanted to spend time together. We grabbed some lunch and then went to The Glazery, a pottery shop in Missouri City, to pick up the kids' painted masterpieces. 

They turned out amazing. The boys were so proud of their painting. We hung out there for a while just looking at some options for our next art day. 

Then, I just HAD to go into the Goodwill shop there. They have two MEGA stores within about 5 miles of each other and I am HUGE thrift shop junkie. I drug those boys to both of them and they were less than excited. At their age, I was begging to go thrift shopping, and my kids were just not about it. 

But I scored some great deals. 

So here is the low down...

I got Jansen a pair of The Children's Place khaki shorts and a Nike athletic shirt. He also found a football Game Cube game that he wanted (not pictured because he is currently playing it). It turned his frown upside down, thank goodness...little brat.

I got Caleb a new Reebok Texans jersey, 2 Old Navy short sleeved shirts, and 1 black and green long sleeved shirt with a hoodie. Caleb was most excited about the pockets built into the front of the shirt. It's the little things, really. He also found a pair of sunglasses he we got those too. 

All for a grand total of about $30. Boy, I wish I could have stayed in there and dug around forever. I wanted to look for some things for the house, some things for me and the hubs...maybe some small kitchen appliances, but I will save that for a day without the kiddos. 

After I finished my test that morning, I didn't even glance at any of my paperwork for college. Sunday I will spend all day studying for my 10th of 12 lab tests on Monday. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's either that, or the headlight on a freight train barreling toward me ready to mow me over.