Thursday, August 30, 2007

Superbowl, Here We Come!

Sorry about being so bad about posting this week. We've been sooo busy! But guess what? J started flag football this week. Ya know how sometimes you think your kids are getting so big? Well, put them on a football field with a ball in hand and they look tiny. It was adorable.

Speaking of which I have to stop using that word...or as happy hubby would say "that word." What word? Adorable. I now have both of my sons saying it with great frequency. Yes, I have an almost 6 year old boy who will see something like a miniature version of a batman action figure and he'll say, "Oh Daddy it's just so adorable!" I don't even have to look. I think I can now hear the sound of hubby's face cringing. So at least now that he's playing football, he can tackle anyone who tries to beat him up for his lunch money when he does something like comment on a bully's "adorable outfit" (something that he's subjected to hearing his mother say with great regularity when I see other moms wearing really cute outfits).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fantasy Friday

Let's just focus on the dreamy kitchens. I never realized how much I love creamy white kitchens until I started looking through pictures and magazines. Almost all of my kitchen files have white or ivory cabinetry. I guess there's something just classic about it. I have a white itchen with nickel pulls and white appliances. We've got a really nice 12" creamy tile backsplash that was installed on an angle so it's in a diamond shape. Rather than a traditional kitchen light fixture, I found an old brass and crystal chandelier which I spray painted cream and hung over the kitchen table. At some point I'd love to add either soapstone or granite countertops. I just added red toile valances to the windows which I'm loving! Again, as soon as the digital camera is up an running, I'll post some pictures. Until then, here are some kitchens that inspire me:

This one is blurry, but I love it:

New Eye Candy

Check out my slideshow above. I've added new pictures from the fall catalog. We've got some great stuff!

An Apple for Teacher

Today I gained a different perspective. All this month I've been dreading the day that the kids go to school. J started kindergarten and C starts preschool in about a week. There is that little part of me, however, that has been craving some "me" time again. It's been 6 years since I've had consistent quiet time or days to run errands without car seats and snacks involved.

Today we had preschool orientation. The preschool director spoke to the parents about the school, the program, dropoff and pickup, etc but then she really caught my attention. She started talking about thinking about your "free time" in a different way. Think about the teachers while you're away from your kids. While you're running errands or typing at your computer or working, there's someone loving your child. Someone who is reading to them and teaching them how to paint with a sponge. There's a teacher who is giving them a hug when they're crying and someone engaging them in play.

I'm ashamed to say that I've never really stopped to think of it that way. I've always appreciated our teachers as J was going through preschool, but never really thought about the day to day engagement, love, patience and care they take to teach our children.

So as we start our school year, thank you teachers for all that you do and all you accomplish with our children. You are truly appreciated.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pimpin' the Blog, Yo

Anybody familiar Salt n' Pepa's song "Whatta Man?" LOVE that song! Well, to quote Salt (with just a minor change from me, "I give props to those who deserve it and believe me y'all she's worth it." Who should get all the glory and accolades? drumroll please.....
Why? Have you seen my new pimped out blog???!!! Nap Warden created the new header for me. Isn't it fantastic! When I showed my husband, he even said, "Hey, that looks like your new haircut!" (I just had 8 inches cut off - and had mega highlights put in - oh, but I digress!) I just think it's the cutest thing!!
So, Keeper of Naps and Sanity.....thank you sooooooo very much for creating this fabulous, kitschy, trendy and cute header for me. I absolutely LOVE it!!!!

McDonalds Meltdown

Ya know I was not so "lovin' it" at McDonalds last night. Yesterday we had kindergarten orientation and J and I were so excited. He got to dress up in his uniform for the first time, see his new classroom, meet his new class mates and see his teachers again. He did great. He was a little anxious, but for the most part he was truly over the moon.

To celebrate his new kindergarten status, we told him to pick any restaurant and we would take him and his little bro C there for dinner to celebrate. He chose McDonalds. Go figure. They do, however, have a fabulous indoor playland and a stacked stone fireplace. You kinda feel like you're in a ski lodge. But then you remember you're in the south, it's 105 flippin degrees and just the thought of a fire almost makes you spontaneously combust.

So we've finished our food, the boys are playing and hubby is at the register ordering apple pies. As I'm watching the boys play and I see J in his school uniform and the gaps in his teeth, I just started thinking about how he's not a baby anymore...not even a preschooler anymore. And then it got me thinking about how much I love the toddler and preschool stage and that it's whizzing by and I got really, really depressed. My husband walked back from the register and all he had to do was look at me and the waterworks started. At this point, hubby knew that something had seriously gone wrong in the 3 minute span of finishing his quarter pounder and then reappearing with pies in hand.

Of all places to have the kindergarten meltdown - the playland at the McDonalds ski lodge.

I do have to report, however that J officially started today. He (and I) did great at drop off. And when I picked him up, in his little lispy voice he said, "Mommy, I had sooo much fun today!!! Kindergarten rocks!"

Monday, August 20, 2007

I remember when I was 23 and living with 3 other girls in an apartment we all had very distinct personalities. Three of us were very close friends from college and the other was the older sister of one of the girls. One day out of boredom we created Indian names for each other (I have no idea why). My best friend was dubbed, "Me Drinkum Slimfast." She lived on the stuff and was about as big as your pinky finger. My other friend had the good fortune to be called, "Man Makeum Bitter."

And then there was me, "Lays on Couch." Was I lazy or what?! I would have to say that not much has changed. I think napping and sleeping-in is completely underrated. I think cleaning ladies' feet should be kissed at least once a day and I truly believe that the personal chef is an absolute necessity in any household. The only problem is that pesky issue of income. I would like to live the lifestyle in which I'd like to become accustomed. Imagine the day when dinner consisted of a well balanced, gourmet meal rather than spaghetti noodles and Ragu (and when I'm feeling crazy...frozen meatballs!)

So if you had an Indian name, what would it be?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Muwahahaha!!!! Can you tell I'm off my exercise routine and feeling um, a little bit bitter?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

So who decided that a SAHM also has to be the maid? Now I know there are those of you out there who are neat freaks, and I truly, from the bottom of my heart, wish I was one of you. But somehow the clean gene has missed my DNA altogether. Now let's get this straight: there's nothing I like better than a clean house...I just don't want to be the one who does it.

I think it comes down to my "doer" nature. I want to do something, get it done, and move on. I've found that when it comes to cleaning, especially with kids, when you clean something within milliseconds (and I'm being generous) it's completely undone. This drives me nuts. So nuts that I've now gotten to the point that I don't even want to bother cleaning in the first place. So as I sit here, looking at my house which literally looks like a tornado not only swept through, but decided to hang around for awhile, I feel overwhelmed and a little defeated.

What? What's that you say? School starts in a week? Preschool starts in 2 weeks? I'll have 3 mornings to myself?! First time in 6 years! I think I might be starting to feel better. There's light at the end of the tunnel after all. Wow - imagine being able to mop the floor and being able to walk on it for at least a solid hour without feeling grit, slime or stick. Sheer bliss.

Eeek! I'm reading my own writing and I've decided I must have some kind of illness. When did the highlight of my day become the thrill of cleaning without my kids in the house. Wow, next I'll be scheduling minivan drag races in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot at midnight.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why Are 5 Year Olds So Smart?

We were eating breakfast this morning when a funny thing happened. My 3 year old, C, was eating a waffle when all of a sudden, in a surprised voice he said "Mama, there's a wadybug (that's ladybug to you and me) on my waffle!" I looked and sure enough there was a wady, er, ladybug crawling along the side of his waffle. I picked it up and held it in my hand for the boys to see. My 5 year old, J, wanted to keep it in a jar. I told him we should put the ladybug outside.

"Why Mommy? I want to keep her. "

"Well, I think we should put her where God intended her to be. She's supposed to be outside in nature."



"Then why do we have a dog and he lives in the house?"

UGH. 5 year old - one , Mommy - zero

(By the way, as this conversation was happening, C went ahead and ate the wadybug waffle. I'm sure this is akin to the 5 second rule when you drop food on the floor. This just had a ladybug for 5 seconds - or thereabout.....)

And just as a side note, J lost another tooth on Sunday and he looks adorable! Now he's got one missing on the top and the bottom. He's got the little toothless lisp going. I love it! So he got $2 for this tooth. Is this in line with average tooth fairy earnings, or is she being overly generous with our child (or miserly for that matter)? What do y'all give your kids?

Big Summer Sale

We're retiring many of the products in our 2007 catalog (including the hamper above) to make room for our all new products in the fall/winter 2008 catalog. I wanted to share the sale flier with you in case you're interested.

Also, here's a link to our new 2008 catalog:

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Break Out the Argyle

I went to the website below and found out that from now on I'll only answer to Kiki.

Your Preppy Name Is...

Barclay Heatherly Eckley the Third
But most people know you as Kiki

What's Your Preppy Name?

The funny thing is, when I entered my husband's name, he came out with a different last name and a nickname that's actually the name of a friend of ours. I can't wait to tell my friend Peggy that her husband is officially a prepster. She and I now have permission to buy the hubbies clothes exclusively from LaCoste or

Your Preppy Name Is...

Pym Godfrey Osborne the Fifth
But most people know you as Tad

Here is a sampling of the 2 Tad's (my husband and Peggy's) new fashion look. I'm sure they'll be thrilled. it me or is one of those lobsters a little too close for comfort?! OUCH!

Soooo Tired

This has been a hard week. My little one has been fighting some super virus that has kicked his bum and mine. Fevers, throwing up, tummy aches - and most of it in the middle of the night. UGH! After projectile vomit yesterday, I thought we had finally reached the culmination and were hopefully seeing light at the end of the tunnel. He seemed so much better by bedtime. Yeah! Fast forward - 2AM - my five year old comes in with a raging fever. Here we go again.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Fantasy Friday

In this edition we're focusing on living rooms. I love cream/white furniture. That's what I have in my house. It goes with everything. You can change the accessories anytime, and it just looks fresh (until of course a sippy cup leaks - hate when that happens!)

I love the country, fresh feeling of this room. And check out the harlequin floors. At some point I would love to attempt this in my house. I'm a chicken though. If anyone would like to help me and is handy with a straight edge, give me a ring!

I've died and gone to shabby heaven:

I love the sconces above the mantle on the picture below. I have similar ones above our mantle, although they hold candles rather than bulbs.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I Need Some Volunteers

I need some volunteers to look at some products for me and give some honest opinions. If you're willing to be a trendy guinea pig, let me know. I'll send you an email with some product pictures and an explanation. Thanks in advance!!

Another Picture of the Clan

This one includes Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles and Sisters (and one four legged friend). That's me in the back wearing the white sweater. My husband's aunt and uncle from New Zealand had a wonderful vacation where they were able to travel to Scotland, England, the US and Canada to visit with different family members and to see the sights. One of thehighlights of the trip was when Uncle John was able to suit up and head to Charlotte Motor Speedway and drive in a Nascar at 150 mph.

Kindergarten Chaos

I'm back from the mountains! What a fabulous time we had!! It was great going with another family who has kids the same age. The boys played the entire weekend and just had such fun together. They were messy and dirty and muddy and loud...they were boys! My friend's son even caught a crayfish in the creek. He was so excited!

Well, now we're back and I'm facing the chaos that is......Kindergarten. I can't believe my son is starting in just 2 weeks (boo hoo). Things started gearing up yesterday. We had our first get together with 3 other families from our school to get to know some other new kindergartners. Now at times I may run a little, ahem, tardy but I guess I didn't realize that my kids noticed. So for this play date we met at a local park at 10:30. We actually arrived around 10:25. My son said, "Well, finally we're the first ones to get someplace. That NEVER happens!" Score one for the procrastination crowd!

In the next 2 weeks we have a hot dog blast, volunteer fair, orientation, convocation, etc.....I just got all of his uniform pieces, but I have no idea if I actually bought the right things or not. I think so, but it gets a little confusing. I'm overwhelmed. Can anyone relate???

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Climb Every Mountain

We're heading to the mountains this weekend. I'm so excited. While we're there we're going to a place called Tweetsie Railroad. Apparently it's an old fashioned western-themed amusement park. They have an old steam train that you can ride (and apparently get robbed by some bandits), they have cowboys, indians, an old fashioned jail, shooting gallery and country fair. They also have an area where a you can go gem mining or panning for gold. The kids are going to love it!

We're going with friends of ours who have kids the same age and I'm just so looking forward to the last getaway before school starts.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

New Products

Woo hoo! I'm excited. In just a few short days I'll get to see all of the new products we're launching over here at Thirty One. We've decided to go almost entirely with exclusive products so most of the items we have in our current catalog will be retired by the end of this month. We are going to launch over 150 brand new, exclusive products in our Fall 2008 catalog. I can't wait to see everything! Of course I'll give all of you a preview as soon as possible.

If you'd like me to put you on my monthly newsletter mailing list which shows all of our sales and monthly specials, let me know and I'll email it to you.

View our end of season sale products here:

And lastly, you can see one of the products we'll be launching in the new catalog. The "Polka Dot Sassy Sac" is our customer special during the month of August. The small bag is on sale for $21 (normally $26) and the medium bag is on sale for $31 (normally $36).