Friday, August 17, 2012

Vintage Red and Blue Little Girl's Room

I recently redecorated my daughter's room.  She is three, but I wanted to give her a look that was age appropriate but also fitting for the little lady that she is.  I also did not want to buy anything for the room other than paint and possible coordinating linens.  

I began my search by browsing Pinterest (aka the "time sucking devil") for ideas.  I wanted to do something with the color red, so I started there.  I found inspiration here and here.  The theme we decided to go for was vintage red and blue.

We began by painting the walls a beautiful shade of sky blue.  The color we selected was Valspar Woodlawn Blue Angel (5003-9B).   

To furnish the room, we repurposed our antique guest room furniture.  I had a headboard, wardrobe, chair, ottoman, and dresser for the room. The only piece of furniture purchased for the room was a night stand, which we scored for $100 at an a local antique store. 

I then gathered accents that went with the theme from around the house.  A woven bag and vintage mirror purchased during a 2007 trip to Daytona Beach when moving to Florida was merely a possibility for retirement, my old Nancy Drew books, and various other odds and ends accented the look.  I used a new mirror from IKEA as bow storage.  Our picture frame shelf was repainted to a gorgeous shade of red.  A framed tapestry and similar pillow featuring playful kittens (because what little girl doesn't LOVE kittens) were added.  A lamp that had once been in our den was moved in.  My kitchen valances from a house I moved out of in 2006 worked perfectly with the vintage theme. I manged to find a great comforter set at Bealls Outlet for just $15.

The entire look was completed for under $150!

Here is the finished room:

Party Punch!

This non-alcoholic party punch recipe is always a hit at parties and receptions!  

I got the recipe from my mom's next door neighbor years ago.  So, a special thanks to Mary Ann Malone, who came up with the recipe that I am sharing with all of you!

Party Punch

  • 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 2-liter bottle lemon-lime soda
  • 2 cups fruit punch (you can use the traditional red, or you can use clear and leave it as pictured above or use gel food coloring to make it a specific color - see below)
  • ice
  1. Add orange juice concentrate and pineapple to a large punch bowl.
  2. Pour lemon-lime soda on top
  3. Add fruit punch.
  4. Add ice to almost fill the bowl.
  5. Add food coloring if desired.
  6. Stir well.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Ants Strike Again!

When I left the story, we had battled the ants back with a can of Raid and had managed to speed home.

Luckily, this was a Thursday and I had nothing to do Friday.  We set baits.  Eddie kept fighting them with the Raid. 

And the darn things kept reappearing.  Eddie had managed to abate them enough to drive the car, but they still kept trickling back in.  The question was, where the heck were the little devils coming from?

A few friends had suggested using Terro.  So we placed those. 

Then Eddie decided to search the Freestyle for the freeloading pests.  There had to be more of them somewhere.  He found the mother of all hidey-holes in the spare tire cubby.  Eddie once again whipped out the Raid and went to work.  Boy, that must have been a huge can. 

Between the Terro and the Raid, the ants were finally defeated.  They ruined the spare tire cubby cover, but other than that a vacuum quickly erased all vestiges of their reign.

I have now resumed use of my vehicle.  And you know what?  I still get phantom ant bites.  Darn little things are haunting me even after their demise.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Attack of the Fire Ants...

Being a native Virginian, fire ants were a foreign concept to me.  We heard rumblings and urban legends of them making their way up the coast, for sure.  There was one knarly old cowboy who drove the hay ride at the pumpkin patch who told stories of them building huge mounds and children being killed by them. I even had a cousin in Carolina whose foot was swarmed by them, causing her foot to explode (well, not really, but it WAS pretty sore). 

I never would have suspected that I would one day fall victim to these little nasties. 

It started mundanely enough.  With a Ford Freestyle loaded with the fossilized remains of discarded french fries, McNuggets, and possibly even a piece of string cheese.  If only I had known what was coming and that I would be feeding the horde, I may have cleaned up the mess.  But I had a two-year-old and  a one-month-old, who had time to swab the decks?

I should preface my story by adding that my husband is arguably the biggest cheapo in the planet.  He is SO cheap that my nephew, when he was still a baby, practically learned to call him "Uncle Cheap" before he learned to say "Uncle Eddie."  My mom even bought him pajamas (because she buys us pajamas EVERY year for Christmas) that said "El Cheapo" all over them. 

But I digress.  Back to the ants.

My husband, whom I have to keep reminding myself that I love dearly, decided it would be a good idea to save $2 on airport parking by selecting a lot online.  Now, I was slightly dubious about this, mainly because the last lot that he tried to save money on ended up being surrounded by barbed wire and no where's near the airport.  Plus, all the money he saved on parking was spent on tolls to get to said parking.  However, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. 

When we pulled up, in the rain no less, at the Howard Johnson in a seedy part of Tampa, I realized that my husband had picked "airport parking" that really should have been called "empty lots behind the HoJo that are not secured and are miles away from the airport."  He proceeded to look for a spot. 

And look.

And look.

We finally MADE a spot in between two cars in one of the fields.  As I grabbed an umbrella out of the back of the vehicle, I began to feel stings.  I looked down, and there were fire ants swarming my leg.  I quickly did what is affectionately referred to in our household as the "bug dance."  This is made by jumping up and down screaming while madly shaking whatever part of your body happens to have one or more critters on it.  While loudly praising the Lord that I decided to wear actual sneakers that day as opposed to my usual flip-flops, I climbed into our other vehicle and off we went on our road trip to Virginia.

Eddie returned home to Florida after driving us to Virginia, and when he picked up the car noticed that it "had a few ants in it from the rain."

Almost three weeks later, I returned home.  We went out, and I noticed the ants, but there were only a few of them.  If only I had known what lie beneath. 

On a family trip one evening to the grocery store, Eddie began being bit by ants in the car.  Then one bit me.  We decided enough was enough and we would vaccuum the car to get rid of their food supply.  So, we stopped at a gas station, took the children out of the car, and started cleaning. 

Then I heard a shriek and the sound of a floormat being dropped on the ground.  I saw my husband running away from the car like a scared little girl.  I decided to investigate. 

This is roughly what the floor of the driver's seat of our car looked like:

Yes, it was completely covered with fire ants.  They were angry little buggers, too.  They were swarming out from under the floor.  So we started vacuuming...

I literally felt like I was in a scene from the classic sci-fi movie Empire of the Ants.  Except that my ants were much smaller and there were like millions (possibly billions) more of them. 

We had to walk across the street to Wal-Mart with the kids in tow in the dark to get a flashlight, Raid, and ant traps. I am sure this cost much more than the $2 we saved on the parking.

We managed to get enough of the with the vacuum and Raid combination to quickly throw the kids in the car and get home. 


Friday, March 9, 2012