We are kicking off the first week of summer break with summer colds coupled with 5 days of rain. Other than driving through the bank and taking a few walks outside in between rain showers we have been home bound. I set up the tent in the living room three days ago and we have been recovering with high doses of TV and unsynchronized naps (which I can’t stand), but we are also going a little batty. Ellis just asked me “when daddy will be home?” It is not even 9 am, so I am calling this day as a rough one.

I do best with routine. I was excited to get into the swing of things and set the pace for summer, but since my kids are snot fountains we can’t go anywhere. In lieu of all the fun things I had planned and had to scrap I have been keeping busy with simple updates around the house, remedying some pet peeves, while we wait out these colds.

Pet Peeve #1: Pet Food Pandemonium
We have a lot of animals (2 cats, 2 chickens and 1 dog). The animals have a lot of supplies and the pet feed was disorganized and getting out of hand. There were bags of feed in the mudroom and overflow in Adam’s office. The food was so disorganized that it was hard to see when we needed more and we either ran out or had too much surplus. I think we also were attracting some other pets: mice. I decided that all the pet feed needed to be corralled in the same place and contained in a critter proof way. I grabbed three tins (that can stack if necessary) and free-handed some animals on them. At first I tried to color them in with sharpie, but it didn’t work so I switched to paint. To keep the paint from chipping I sealed it with my favorite mod podge. Now all the food is in one place and labeled (without words) so even the kids can grab a scoop and help feed the animals.



Pet Peeve #2: Dish Swap
I LOVE our dishes. We started collecting them before we got married. We add a couple of plates or bowls at a time. They are Japanese and handmade and only available in weird places (like the Smithsonian gift shop). It was becoming increasing hard to replace pieces as they broke. If we could find the dish in the right size it was crazy expensive (like $30 a dinner plate, which is too rich for my blood). I was also becoming increasingly neurotic about using the plates (or having people wash them which is a drag when you don’t have a dishwasher). Last week I stumbled upon a great set of dishes at the thrift store. They are handmade Japanese stoneware, just like our dishes, but the pattern is different. The pattern is actually Adam’s favorite. He has one mug that he drinks his coffee from everyday. Initially I was only going to buy the one mug as a spare for him, but the more I stared at the dishes the more I thought they might work. As fate would have it we ran into a friend in the thrift store who was able to watch Cal while I purchased 24 new dishes (for only $15!). When I got them home I realized they go enough with our current set (not a match, but similar in a way that won’t drive me nuts). I decided to keep everything once I saw it on the shelf. We only have open shelving on our upper cabinets for now so the dishes needed to look ok together for this to be a solution to the endless chase of replacements of the first set. Because both patterns have the same edge you can barely tell the different. So now we are dish rich instead of dish crazy. A much better way to be.

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Pet Peeve #3: The Yarn Overflowith
I store (or should I say stuff) all of my yarn into 5 cubbies of an expidit shelf in the office/guest room. It is color-coded (which I believe in for yarn, but not books). Anytime I want to select yarn I slide out a bin and skeins pop out like accordion snakes and balls roll everywhere. I have longed for a less dusty more visible solution. For years I thought that would be a barrister bookcase, until I realized that a glass front china cabinet would be even prettier, curvier and less expensive. So my sweet husband gave me an early birthday present when he trekked out to pick up a bow front glass china cabinet off craigslist for me. It is waiting in the wings for Calvin to graduate to a shared big boy room which will free up the nursery as a dedicated office space for me. But I couldn’t resist trying out some yarn in there in the meantime. I can’t wait to actually be able to see my whole stash and not have to spend 10 minutes cleaning up and re-stuffing yarn into the open cubbies.

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City Mama, did you see the bonus room reveal over at YHL? I thought the triple chaise couch/bed thing was pretty genius. Do you have any rooms big enough for that in your new abode? How are you settling in and getting organized in your new space?