The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Baby Shower Fun

One of my downstairs neighbors (remember I live in stairwell housing) is expecting a little boy any day. She already has one little boy who is 3 and adorable and we are all looking forward to their new edition. Another neighbor, Classy Lady (seriously I love her because she's classy and classic, also her house is so homey I just want to stay there), the Contessa and I went in together to throw her a small shower. We all learned a very valuable lesson. When 3 people host a shower, it's super easy because no one has to do too much. Awesome. We held it at Classy Lady's house (thank goodness because I was not up to making mine party clean) and had such a great time. I made the cake and I was thrilled with how it came out. This is the first time I've ever used fondant icing and holy cow! it could not have been easier. I made a yellow cake and put strawberry cream filling between the layers. Check it out!

Here it is with some of the very simple decor we used.

For food we had smoked salmon, turkey, apple and cream cheese pinwheels, ranch cream cheese (dry ranch dressing mixed with cream cheese) and green chili pinwheels, fruit, hot artichoke dip, egg salad sandwiches, and candies made with pretzels, Rollos and pecans (at the request of the mom-to-be).

See these sweet little flags? I purchased the online kit (which comes with big banners, small banners, and 2 sets of beautiful place cards and menu card templates) from Notes from a Cottage Industries, Online Emporium. Aren't they adorable? One flag says "Welcome" and the other says "Baby." We forgot about a corsage for the Mom-to-be so I used 2 of the little flags, a bunch of ribbon and some pearls to whip one up quickly. You can see it further down.

Little baby clothes!!!

And here is Mom-to-be with the cake. Isn't she cute? If you look closely, you can see the corsage I made with the little flags.

It was a very casual, laid back event and we all had a great time and can't WAIT to have a little baby to coo over.

Oh, I was also in charge of favors for the guests. I wracked my brain for a few days (don't worry, I didn't hurt myself) until the other day when Indy and I were in -real (seriously, that's how they spell it -real, pronounced REE-al) and I came across these cute little candles for 1 Euro each. I loved them and thought they were almost perfect. Almost.

I took out the little warning insert (hey, we're all adults, we know how to burn candles), and removed the raffia. I added a little wired butterfly pick and a green ribbon. Now they were perfect!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Way to make me feel like a slacker

I've been working on a super fabulous paper bag/butterfly wreath by MaryJanes and Galoshes for about a week now. It's been all over the internet since Kimba posted it last week on her DIY day recap. Mine is slightly different to the original (mostly because I don't have a scalloped 2.5 inch punch), but will be similar and hopefully just as beautiful. Seriously, it's gorgeous and I keep going back to look at it again and again.
Anyway, like I said, I've been working on it for a while. Oh, sure, I probably could have had it done in a few hours, but, you know I've got to check the blogisphere compulsively to see what other fab projects I can add to my ever growing to do list stuff to do. I worked on it for an hour or so earlier and then had to check the blogisphere decided to take a break for a while. One of the many, many, many blogs I follow is Musings From A French Cottage and I saw that there was a new post up and decided to check it out. It involved grain sacks and stuff. My favorite! She made a table runner and covered her dining room chairs and it looks fabulous. You know, just a little something she whipped up. Oh, and BTW, she's also in the early stages of labor. Labor people! With her 4th child. Are you kidding me? When I was in the early stages of labor the last thing you would have caught me doing is recovering my dining chairs. If you've never been over there, she posts amazing projects. She must be a power house of creativity. No, I've got creativity, what she has and what I lack, is activity. She's a power house of creative activity. She recovered chairs. In labor! I'm such a slacker. Must go finish my wreath off before she pops out a kid, cooks a 5 course meal, recovers her sofa with a homemade slip cover and hand weaves a new rug.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Random Tuesday; EuroSport rocks my world


Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday. How I loves thee.

*Indy: "Mom, who invented the pencil?"
Me: "I have no idea."
Indy (flapping his hands in the direction of my computer): "Look it up."

*Spiders! They're everywhere!

*Thank you EuroSport for playing the ice dancing finals. Yes, yes, the Today Show already told me the outcome, but I still wanted to see it. Suck it AFN. I'm now a EuroSports fan. Until the Olympics are over, so what, like another week?

*Indy and I walked approximately 855 miles today. Seriously. I'm exhausted.

*While we were out Indy wore his Wellies and jumped in every single puddle we passed. He had his pants tucked into his Wellies, but the part above them still got wet. When we got home, he took them off and laid them on a radiator to dry. He's now running around in an Old Navy hockey jersey (that he knows I hate) and Cars boxer briefs. Good times.

*Ice dancing rules.

*Indy is working on yet another puzzle. Dalmatians this time.

*We are planning a trip to Egypt! I'm so excited. Indy and I were going to go by ourselves in May, but we really wanted Mr. HH to go with us and because of his work (stupid job!) he wouldn't be able to go until June or July when it's crazy hot, so we're now planning for Oct. Pocket Indy is so ready to go.

*Germans pronounce EuroSport "OY-row SPOrt" It makes me laugh. I don't know why.

*How cool was it to see the whole stadium erupt in "Oh, Canada" at the ice dancing medal ceremony? I'm so happy for them.

*Mr. HH said the Canadian ice dancers looked like that guy and that girl I like from Twilight. WHAT? Okay, I can actually see it now that he points it out. But I need to clarify something he said. First of all, I don't like Bella (aka, that girl). Nobody likes Bella, except for Edward and that's only because he hasn't me me yet. Shut up, it could happen. How do you know Stephanie Meyers isn't a vampire herself and spilling the beans? Never thought of that did you? And what about JK Rowling? Huh? Maybe she's a witch and telling the story to all the Muggles. Not that I've ever had a lascivious thought about Harry Potter. Edward is another story. My point though, is that he could be real. Shut up. Let me dream.

*BTW, good on Mr. HH for knowing who Edward and Bella are, even if he called them "that guy and that girl from Twilight."

*Speaking of, when is New Moon coming out on DVD? I need to see it again.

*When is Glee coming back? I need some awesome singing and high school drama. Plus, what about THE KISS????? Arg! I hate mid-season finales.

*I'm bored with my house. It's actually semi-clean, but I'm bored with it. What to do? What to do?

*Oh the irony.

Need to let out some randomness? Head over to Keely's to link up.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Puzzle is a weird word to type. It just doesn't look right even when it is. Anyhoodle, Indy is really, really, really, REALLY into puzzles lately. Like puzzle a day into them. He's had boxes of puzzles in his room for the longest time and showed absolutely no interest in them until a few months ago when he went puzzle mad. I'm not sure what started it, but one day he carted out a puzzle box and said he was going to put it together. He occasionally whined and asked for help, but for the most part put it together himself. After that first puzzle he went nuts. Has to do them all the time. Every day he carried a puzzle box out and announces that he's going to put it together. I usually help him (what else have I got to do, clean the house? Ha!) and often it becomes a race to see who can get the last piece in place. He's a cheater though and when we get down to the last few pieces usually grabs a handful of them and holds them so I can't put the last piece in. I have to admit it's fun, and really interesting to see how he does puzzles so differently from me. I'm a frame first kind of person, where he likes to do the inside first, and I think that's just madness. Who does the picture first? Interesting, like I said but I am getting tired of pictures of Spongebob, Scooby-Doo and Zach and Cody (today's puzzle) and those are the only puzzles that interest him. We were at the store yesterday and I showed him a puzzle of a pretty village, but no, he was not interested. Yay me.
While I know puzzles are actually very good for both mental skills and dexterity, I'm also afraid he may turn into one of those crazy puzzle people. You know the kind. The only art in their houses are glued together 5000 piece puzzles that they framed and can talk about the making of puzzles, puzzle conventions they've gone to and how they plan to one day make the world's most difficult puzzle for hours on end. Those people weird me out (I have known one or two in the past) and while I'll love him no matter what, I hope he doesn't become one.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dear So and So

Dear So and So...

Dear Mud,

I understand that you are a part of the ending of winter (thank heavens for that), but really, do you have to be everywhere??? OMG! Indy and I walked to the post office yesterday and when we got home our boots were caked, caked in you. Yes, I know, we didn't have to walk through the courtyard, but taking the sidewalk would have added at least 5 whole minutes to our walk each way, and in case you forgot, it's still bloody cold out there and who wants to be out there 10 minutes longer than they have to? Not me, I tell you. If it's going to be cold, could you just freeze up a little and not be quite so mushy? Maybe you can push all that water a little further down and dry out a bit? I'd appreciate it ever so much.


Dear AFN schedule,

The Olympics are on and there are lots and lots of events! What? You knew? Oh, so the decision to air only skeleton races and races and cross country skiing is on purpose? WHY? You know we're all really only interested in figure skating (though I find curling oddly fascinating), so do you think you could perhaps air some? I'd really appreciate it. It's not often I can indulge in hours of figure skating, and every 4 years I have 2 weeks to pretend that I could have been a contender if I'd only tried (or, you know, learned how to ice skate as a child, but whatever). Could you help me out here?

Skating in my dreams,

Dear library,

Not having book 2 of a 5 book series in any of the European libraries sucks. Yes, I love the fact that I can request a book from any library and have it within a few days, but when I want to read a series and you lack one of the books, it really irks me. Seriously, how can you have books 1,3,4 and 5 but not book 2? HOW???? Now I have to order book 2 from Amazon (thank goodness for the used section) and then I'll be stuck with book 2. Unless I'm feeling incredibly gracious and donate book 2 to the library system to keep some other poor reader from running into the same problem.

Waiting impatiently to read,

Dear Kat,

Thanks so much for making Friday one of the best days in blogland and for keeping me wildly entertained with stories of living in England. Smooches and pancake days!

Your fellow military spouse in a foreign land,

Dear readers,

If you like Dear So and So and have something to get off your chest, join the fun and link up over at Kat's place. You won't be sorry.


Monday, February 15, 2010

What a Metz!

ETA: I'm adding this to Nester's yard sale post in June 2011. Technically, this isn't a yard sale, but they don't really do those in Europe, so flea marketing it is!  There are a lot of photos of Metz before the flea market itself, but they're worth a look.

What a Metz!!!! Hahaha! I crack myself up. After the debacle of arriving in a timely fashion, I was so grateful to get to my hotel. I forgot to take a photo of the exterior, but it looked pretty much like any other building in a city in France. All smooshed together. I checked in and got Ulrika to her parking spot (you know, the one I had to go 12 blocks out of the way to get to, even though it could be seen from the hotel entrance) and hauled myself and my bags upstairs. This is a view up the old, winding, crooked stairwell. The banisters have been painted purple for some reason.

Here's a view down from my floor to the reception level. Reception was on the first floor, though the first floor in Europe is actually the second floor, or the first floor above the ground floor. Very confusing. My room was on the 2nd floor, which is really the 3rd floor, but whatever.

Oh, look, I'm in the Tanners room. Great, I hope it doesn't smell like leather and sweat. Just kidding. Each room is named for a historical event, place or person in Metz's history. Apparently tanning was a very important industry.

From the door.

Looking back at the door. I'm not sure why the second door with is there. The wall framing it doesn't go all the way to the ceiling.

Looking toward the bathroom.

I found this really interesting. It was an exposed beam. The lady at the desk told me the existing building dated from the late 1600's. How cool is that?

Oh, hey! Who's that?

The fireplace was marble and non-working.

The buildings across the street looks green because there is an optical shop with a green light up sign at street level.

The next morning I got up bright and early (far earlier than I intended thanks to the singing deliver guy), ate a quick breakfast, checked out and headed over to the Expo Hall. Oh, what wonders my eyes beheld! Row after row after ROW of sheer awesomeness!


I loved this little stove! He wanted 200 Euro for it.

An antique crib.

These old prams (or pram wheels as the case may be) really wanted to come home with me, but where would I have put them?

Look at that blue ceramic heater!

China and transfer ware galore!

There were a lot of old doors and windows, but they were way overpriced. I thought these were beautiful.

So many things to look at!!!!

I discovered at the end of the day (the flea market shut down at noon!) you could score some really, really, really great deals. A bird in the hand and all that jazz. Have a look at what I brought home with me!!!

The binoculars are from the late 1800's. I love old cameras and binoculars. I paid 10 Euro for the accordion camera, 10 for the binoculars and 7 for the other camera. Score!

Silver! REAL silver. Lots of it!

These spoons caught my eye. They were unique. I wished they'd had more of them.

This bowl is silver and super heavy! I got it and most of the silverware for 10 Euro (end of the day bargain!). I wish I knew more about silver because there is a silversmith mark on the bottom. I'd love to know more about it.

This mandolin caught my eye and since Mr. HH has decided he wanted to start collecting old instruments, I thought, why not? It cost me 10 Euro!

And here is the big score of the day (according to Mr. HH). They originally wanted 25 Euro, but I talked them down to 15. Haha! Yay for end of the day! It needs a lot of work to be playable, but Mr. HH says it's doable and he's up for the challenge. If it were up to me, I'd just take it down to Herr Jonas at the music shop where we bought Indy's violin and have him fix it.

What I really liked about it was the case. It's made of wood and looks like a little coffin.

Here's a close up of one of the latches. Isn't it beautiful?

There was so much more I wanted to buy while I was there, but I had to hold myself back. I saw a ton of antique linens, but couldn't find any grain sacks. One lady told me that she'd had several, but they were all snapped up within 30 minutes of opening.
I discovered how abysmal my French is and was so grateful that most of the vendors spoke German. I can barter in German! Funny little story about the violin. I even learned a valuable lesson. I bought the violin from a vendor and on my way out I stopped by another booth to look at something. I set the violin down between feet and browsed for a moment, picked it up and walked further down the table. I was just glancing, so I put the violin on the table in front of me, keeping my hand on it at all times. The vendor babbled something at me in French, which I told her I didn't understand, and she switched to German. She was trying to charge me for the violin. She thought it was from her booth. She wanted 40 Euro (I originally paid 15). I explained to her that I had purchased it from another vendor and she argued with me. WHAT? I had to go get the other vendor, who thankfully was only a few booths away, and get him to come down and tell her that I had indeed purchased it from him, and did not owe her any money. They argued in French (I love how the French argue!) and he finally convinced her (vehemently!) that she was crazy (at least I assume that's what he said to her) and told me (in a mixture of German and English) that I could go. I hauled out of there before a) a fight broke out, b) I had to pay again for a violin I'd already purchased and/or c) the French police showed and I ended up thrown in jail for stealing a violin. So, the lesson from this? Never, ever, EVER put your purchases on another vendors table because they have so much junk stuff on their tables they don't know what's theirs and what's not.

I hope you enjoyed taking this little trip with me!

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