Lilly Pulitzer for Target Postmortem

We all know I love me some Lilly Pulitzer.

So it was with great anticipation that I waited for Sunday, April 19 for the Lilly Pulitzer collaboration with Target.

Lilly

Like seriously great anticipation.  Marked in big letters and highlighted on my calendar.

We had a family game plan – we were going to all go early on Sunday morning together and then out to breakfast.  And then around 11:45 as I was getting ready for bed it occurred to me perhaps it would be easier to buy online instead.  So I double-checked my account was all set up and ready to go and waited.

And no luck.  After more than an hour of refreshing {while searching Pinterest ~ I am nothing if not a multitasker!}, I gave up and went to bed.  And then because I’m old, I had to use the bathroom around 3 am as usual, and tried again.  First time, nothing.  And then the second time ~ victory was mine!

I popped the items I wanted for The Cuties and our home in my basket and tried to checkout.  With no luck.  So I continued trying.  After about a half an hour it was clear the system was completely crashed and I gave up and went to bed.

We’re early risers in the Felt So Cute household, so around 7 am I got up and opened my laptop.  Everything in my cart was sold out, as was basically everything online at Target.

Bummer.

I asked Big Cutie if she wanted to give it a go and we headed to our nearest Target.

We arrived at the store at about 8:06 where the shelves were bare.

Completely.

As we made our way around the store, we were able to pick up an abandoned headband and makeup bag or two here and there, but what we saw is what I really want to talk about.

Greed.

Women with carts piled with ten of the same item.

Women with carts filled with what was clearly an entire rack of clothing in assorted sizes.

Women standing over salespeople as they opened additional stock boxes, grabbing whatever they could and throwing the packing onto the floor.

Big Cutie and I were appalled.

What about taking what you could use yourself and leaving some for the next person?  What about sharing?  What about basic manners and common courtesy to the employees who were surrounded by hoards of shoppers grabbing around them?

I’ve read online all day as people complained and bad-mouthed Lilly Pulitzer and Target, but I have no issue with either of them.

I’m disappointed with the shoppers.

It was awful and shameful.

The good news was that I had some great conversations with my daughter.  We talked about why it’s better to have a few things we love as opposed to dozens of things just because.  We talked about quality versus quantity.  And we talked about how we just didn’t want to be the kind of people who threw elbows and were rude to the strangers next to us over some pink and green beach towels.

I love Lilly because it makes me smile but today I felt sad to be hanging out with the prepsters.

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A New Old House

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus.

Life has been my usual crazy with two kids in two different schools in two different towns (neither the one in which we are currently living, by the way), on two completely different schedules.

I’m spending an unbelievably excessive portion of my day in my car.

And since I last posted we closed on a house and made the decision to renovate the kitchen before we moved in as long as we were already in the apartment and almost all of our belongings were in storage.

The house is a late 1920s Dutch Colonial that is fairly traditional and classic in style.  However, the kitchen must have last been renovated in the early 80s.  Which when I type that it doesn’t sound that old to me, until I realize that was close to 35 years ago.  And off the kitchen, was once an attached garage that was converted to a family room.

They both needed a little love and a lot of work.

Spacious kitchen opens to large family room

Kitchen

Not dysfunctional, by any means, but dark, dated and a laundry list of things that could be improved upon.  Additionally, both the kitchen and family room floors were so uneven there was a differential of close to two inches in places.

So here’s what we decided we wanted to do:

*new cabinets & countertops, including adding a peninsula between the kitchen and family room just big enough for The Cuties to sit at stools and a dropped baking counter next to the refrigerator.

*new lighting – decorative fixtures over the peninsula and sink, add recessed lighting throughout the kitchen and remove the fluorescent lights.

*remove the bump out and header to make a smoother transition between the two rooms

*find space for a pantry as none existed

*new appliances

*replace flooring in both rooms with white oak to match the rest of the house and even everything up (the kitchen floors were red oak)

*remove the popcorn ceiling in the kitchen

*paint walls & trim in both rooms

That being said, I’m quite certain I have set some sort of world record for making decisions and choices for a renovation as everything was picked out in about a week’s time in order to work with our contractors’ schedules.  I had quite the tote bag of samples I carried from place to place (note to self:  in the future, one might not want to make a countertop selection early on if planning to carry a piece of marble around all week!).

Kitchen Remodel

This gives you a sneak peek at where we’re headed.  Brighter and lighter, traditional with a bit of modern, and in general a space that makes us all enjoy cooking and baking together.

It only took a few hours to look like this:

demoday

And then a few days to get to this point:

day3

And then insulation {after this year’s winter that wasn’t such a hard sell!}, a new ceiling and walls!

kitchenprogress

The past week has been amazing to watch as cabinets, counter tops and tile were all delivered and installed.  I am mesmerized by the skill and artistry of master crafts people.  Today I stood and watched tile artisans for hours.

And of course, we fell prey to the most dangerous words in home renovation:

While we’re at it, why don’t we also….

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Buried

At the risk of sounding like Wendy Whiner this has pretty much been my word of 2015 so far.  And so I’ve stayed off the blog.  But we’ve reached the stage in life where we can laugh a bit at things and also see the light at the end of the tunnel.  So I thought I’d start to return to you all and give you an update.

Let’s start with the literal.

We have been buried in snow here in New England.  We’ve had several feet of snow from many storms.  The Cuties have only attended school on Monday once in all of 2015.  And here we are on Sunday afternoon and it’s snowing again!  Now normally, I’m all about snow days; we bake, we craft, we snuggle up by the fire and then I kick them outside to play when everyone gets stir crazy.

Except we are still in the 1,000 square foot apartment.  All four of us.  Without really any of our stuff.  No yard, no craft supplies, just a couple of board games, and minimal space.  I tried to make a game out of scrubbing toilets the other day, but The Cuties are pretty smart cookies, and didn’t really buy into that.

And there’s no garage.  So each time it snows and I have to drive them to school, I head down to the parking lot in the dark before 7:00 AM when it’s 5 degrees to scrape the snow off my car and warm it up.  And then do it all over again the next morning. Can you see how this has gotten rather old fast?

We’ve been buried.

Meanwhile, we’ve been house-hunting.  I believe at one point I saw almost every house on the market in three zip codes.  As you can imagine, most people don’t list their home for sale over the holidays so the inventory when we arrived back in America wasn’t the most desirable.  When I tell you I saw some real doozies, I really mean it.  I think one of my “favorites” was the listing stating a “three-car garage” that turned out to be three individual one car garages on the property – none of which connected to the house.  I kid you not.

I got a bit down about it.  In a I know I’m being ridiculous that I’m teared up in a house for sale because it’s not the one so now I’m laughing at myself kind of way.

You know, buried by it all.

And so we took a breath, realized we’d fine something eventually and moved on to the next house.

Which of course, was it.

And so we are under contract on a lovely house.  It has great potential.  Which means it’s filled with projects.  Which really means you will soon see a LOT of activity on the blog as I show you Before and Afters, both big and small.

I’m looking forward to unpacking our things from Japan and the full trailer of things we left in storage all these years.  There will be lots of sorting, purging, some repurposing and a little shopping.

Sort of like digging yourself out. ;-)

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Out of My Comfort Zone

We’re at a point with The Cuties where they are old enough and curious enough that we are regularly trying new things as a family.

And me?

I’m not really a swing from the seat of your pants, try new things, daring kind of gal.

I like comfort, familiarity, and my feet firmly on the ground.

But I don’t ever want to be the Mama on the sidelines.  I don’t want to not participate, miss out on being in the moment with my kids and my husband, or not share an experience with them.  And I’d never ask them to not do something they want to do just because I’m scared or hesitant.

And so being a Mom has often found me out of my comfort zone.

Parenting has often put me there ~ from the very simple first days of How the heck DO I change a diaper? to the more awkward singing aloud in front of others {despite being totally tone-deaf}, because it was the only thing that would make a crying child happy.  And now, recently, The Cuties have enthusiastically embraced experiences on our vacations that have me literally shaking in my boots.

Things like zip lining in the mountains of northern Thailand…

momzipline

or this week, snowmobiling in the White Mountains of New Hampshire…

readytoride

Before both of these excursions, I woke up desperately hoping for pouring rain, or even perhaps a child to not feel well and need and adult to stay back with them. I’m not a dare-devil, I don’t do speed well and heights do not thrill me to say the least.

But I don’t want to share my fears with my kids before we go.  I don’t want to ruin their enthusiasm and I don’t want them to second-guess their excitement.  I LOVE that they’re bold and always up to try new things.  I WANT them to find new things interesting and have an attitude of why not? instead of reticence.

And for me, one of the greatest things about being The Cuties’ Mom is that they regularly encourage me to step outside my comfort zone because I really want to be fully in their world.  I want to share their joy and I want to be there for their happy as long as they’ll have me.

And that is way more important than my fears.

And so I’ll strap on yet another helmet.

And as hard as it is to admit, I’ve LOVED every one of these experiences!

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Monograms & Mountains

It’s almost Winter Vacation and we are off with The Cuties to New England for a week of fun: skiing, sledding, snowmobiling and more.  All that winter wonderland activity of course necessitates helmets and at the rate The Cuties have been growing it was time for a shopping trip.

And well I’ve never been one to spy a wide open surface and leave it alone now have I….

Thank goodness my daughters are my daughters and so when I proposed monogramming their ski helmets they were not only interested but excited and had opinions as to style, fonts and colors!  We even made sure to note where the goggle straps would hit so the monograms would still be visible when fully geared up!

So we got to work~

SMGhelmet

LGGhelmet

2helmets

Now I just have to decide what to put on my helmet and we’re ready to head to the mountain this weekend!

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Hanukkah House

In my continued quest to find small holiday projects we can do in our temporary housing, I set The Cuties up with a gingerbread house this weekend.

While I was thrilled to see this product for the first time ~

hanukkahhouse

The Cuties really wanted gingerbread and not vanilla cookies, so it was quickly vetoed.

I did not share with them that I had seen this product online and neglected to purchased it because well, let’s be honest, with a price tag of $50 it just wasn’t happening when I knew the Christmas gingerbread house kits were marked down to $7 at Michael’s already.  Sorry, kiddos.

hanukkahginger

But I was inspired a bit.  So I purchased a regular gingerbread kit, a few packs of silver and blue Sixlets, some frosting in shades of blues and a bunch of Hanukkah gelt.

gingerbreadsupplies

And because The Cuties are older now, I totally let them go to town!

BGdecorator

I love that they even added a menorah in the window!

menorahhouse

And of course, The Cuties being MY daughters, felt it very important to add their monograms to their house.  Clearly, I would add my monogram to my roof if I could!

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Oh Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel!

I am so excited about my new Hanukkah wreath, I’m spinning in circles.

You know, like a dreidel.

Hardy har har.

I first thought of this idea while we were living in Tokyo, but knew it would be cost-prohibitive to ship the supplies to me in Japan and well, you know ~ there aren’t exactly a lot of local dreidel shops in Minami Azabu.

So now that we are back in America and Hanukkah is just around the corner, I knew this was the first crafting project I wanted to tackle.

So here’s what you need for this project!

A wreath form {I used a styrofoam one because it was cheap and the right size, but wrapped straw would work fine, too}, glue gun & glue sticks, ribbon {I bought mine at Michael’s on Black Friday for 70% off ~ how many of you were there scooping up rolls and rolls, too?}, and about 150 small dreidels!

wreathsupplies

I loved the selection of metallic ones at ChocolateGelt.com and put together a custom order in royal blue, turquoise and silver.  Aren’t they so pretty?!!!

dreidels

I first wrapped the wreath in my ribbon.  This is an important step for two reasons: first, it covers the ugly green styrofoam and prevents it from showing on the project and second, it will give you a bit of a base so that the hot glue doesn’t melt the styrofoam.  I kept the ribbon on the roll as I wrapped it and used approximately 18 feet on my 14 inch form.

IMG_3909

Then I simply started hot gluing dreidels in a random fashion all around the wreath form.  I mixed colors, directions and of course letters on the dreidels!

dreidelsonwreath

It took a while to cover the whole form, but this is an easy project to do while watching a movie or to work on a little bit at a time.

finishedwreath

All those dreidels make me so happy!

closeupdreidels

And one more peek ~

sidewreath2

And because I over-ordered as always, I have plenty of leftover dreidels.  So now I’m wondering what else I can cover in tons and tons of dreidels!

Linked to:

Creative Jewish Mom, Nesting Place

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