Monday, January 30, 2012

a word on crafting & political borders

While I am trying my damnedest to fool others into thinking I possess some level of domestic skilliness (the Betty Factor) I am also trying to rock the Martha Factor too.  Since I am weak and submit to peer pressure with ease I have a Pinterest account and it makes me feel productive even though I have not really had anything to show for it yet.  I find myself seeing other people's pins and thinking "oooo that's some cool shit!" but then I notice that they pinned it via ME ... and I wonder if I can't remember the cool shit, I don't make the cool shit, then what is the point of this shit?  Alas, I have no answer, but Pinterest is like crack for this stay at home mother Martha/Betty wannabe.

Doing good until we hit Cali
Anyhoo, I have seen a bunch of pins like this and that one that have some kind of cute map art.  Being that I have the shortest hallway known to man and want to do something cool with it I decided that this would need to be something I actually did from Pinterest.  Yay me.  The husband is from Iowa, I am from Arizona and we got married in Hawaii so I had three states and I also happened to have 3 Ikea frames that needed usin'.  Feeling pretty thrifty, crafty, and thinking I was hot shit, I got started.

I went to this website and got blank outlines of each state because my OCDness was really freaked out by how I had to cut off names and stuff on the labeled maps on things near the border.  Hell, by the time I finished Hawaii would have been "Haw" and had no cities to speak of.  I took the blank outlines and flipped them over in Photoshop so I could cut along the lines and have solid white states at the end.  

Damn volcanic islands!
Thinking I was pretty rockstar still at this point I busted out my scissors and went to cut out Arizona on the cardstock first ... it was then I discovered my theoretical love for political boundaries.  You see, Arizona was cut up like a pizza, then the Colorado River screwed things up.  Lots of careful cutting later I had my 4 inch tall Arizona and an aversion to natural borders.  

Then I looked at Iowa.  

Then I looked at Hawaii.  

Well crap.

I figured drinking at 9 in the morning while using scissors and being responsible for the baby was a bad-mommy-idea, so I did it sober with lots of swearing.  

Long story short, I managed to get them cut out, didn't loose any islands (a monumental accomplishment, I assure you) and then spent like 30 minutes agonizing over what paper to glue them too.  I never said I was any good at this stuff, just that I want to try.

Here is the end result.  I added pics of my kiddos as newborns and one of the hubs and me to make it not be a wall of boring maps.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

advice, or something like it

James Young, please come find someone
who actually needs your help! ME!!!
I had a little rant yesterday and decided to share it here too ... it really is part of the driving force behind this blog ... me complaining.  But this time its about small houses.

Actually, its about "advising" people on how to utilize their space in small houses better ... when the houses you use to reference aren't small. Or at least aren't as small/built like mine.

This rant started when I sat down to feed the baby. Breastfeeding is a teeny bit boring when the baby isn't pretending to be a Cullen (I have a bitey baby), so I turned the boobtube (so much more aptly named now) on. It was on the DIY channel and a show called I Hate My Kitchen. Since I have uttered the show's title a few times I thought to myself:

Self, maybe I will figure out something useful on this show!

And with great hope I started to watch this episode. The home owners had little sound bites saying things like "Its so small," "Its so ugly" ... I eagerly nodded, agreeing and sympathizing with them. I hadn't seen the full kitchen shot yet, but they showed a picture of the cabinets and I thought to myself with sudden trepidation:

First World Problems:
I can't remember where I stashed the Pop Tarts!
Um, Self, they have more than two lower cabinets next to each other ... that suggests some length in their kitchen ... I don't have that.

Then they showed the whole kitchen. And my jaw dropped, blood boiled and the yelling commenced. The baby was much displeased with me.

These people are whining about their "small," "ugly," and "outdated" kitchen while they have at least three times the space I have, about 40 times the counter space, black (and not almond) colored appliances, shiny cabinets ... ugh, I could go on. Lets just say I would trade them their kitchen in a heart beat.

Reaching to turn the channel, I heard the guy gripe about how you can't walk out the entry way when the fridge door is opened because you get pinned between it and the island. I had a momentary lapse of logic where I thought to myself "okay, that would be annoying" ... then I realized that you can't open the door to my fridge and walk by at all, not because of an island, but because its basically galley style.

I changed the channel and moved on with my life hoping these people wind up spending $4,000 over budget because I'm spiteful like that.

Later I was reading one of my fave blogs* and there was a guest post titled 5 Tips For Living In a Small Space.

Yay, I thought, I love this blog, there is always practical stuffs here! I bet I can use this!

So I eagerly started reading. Tip One: Do not compare your home to other's homes. Ugh, yeah, that is probably reasonable, but, so not happening.

But lets give me something to do, not something to not do! I thought to myself.

Creative use of space: Kids don't need rooms!
My shoes do!
Tip Two: Embrace the space you have. Ooooooookaaaaay, I can hug my shoe-box-sized master bedroom closet but I fail to see how this is helping me!

Don't worry, it went down hill from there.  Fast.

Tip Three: Be creative with your space! Yippie! Reading on I hoped to hear something uber useful like a clever way to store kids toys, how to put an extra roll of toilet paper in the bathroom without it becoming a kid toy, or anything another human being/mom would like to know. What did I get? Ideas about how you can store things in bathroom vanities ... {insert sound of tires squealing to a halt here} wait hold up, people can use bathroom vanities to hold more than their hair drier? I don't even have towels in either bathroom because they are too small to hold them.  Seriously, no towles in the bathroom.  No room at the inn.  So I am not particularly receptive to shit like "you can store spare paper towel rolls in bathroom cupboards!" Next little helpful tidbit mentioned by the author involved mentioned that she has one whole side of her closet filled with stacked plastic totes. Allow me to just say that if you can fit even one of those (I assume) big assed 5 gallon muthas in your closet and still put clothes in it AND access any of that stuff I do not want to hear you whine about storage solutions.

Moving on, and slightly less happy I read into Tip Four a bit and saw that it dealt with organizing and keeping things clutter free, which I am all for and was okay with. Until I read this: "One of my nightly goals is to clear off the kitchen island" ... bitch, please. That is one of my lifetime goals -- to have a kitchen that has an island! It discussed organizing drawers and stuff, but seriously, when you only have 4 kitchen drawers total, and only 2 of them are full sized its not so much about organizing as it is about swearing and not owning much.

Tip Five dealt with managing your "stockpiles" and I think if you can store extras of anything anywhere I don't want to speak with you anymore, and certainly won't be reading your tips on organized living.
Oh now we are talking *practical* storage,
Mommy <3s this kitchen island!!!

So here is my goal: I want to either find an actually useful/applicable article that will give me tips I can use or I want to write one myself.  Problem being I gotta figure out how to make it work if its me doing the writing.  

So, if you have a home built in the 80s when storage was apparently very un-trendy, your backyard is bigger than your house, you have no laundry room but rather a section of your garage with a washer and drier crammed into it, and the biggest closet in your house is actually the shed in the backyard then I want to know your tips for storage and organization! Otherwise I'm going to mope in my 1500 sq feet of mess and work on a new blog series of my own!

*This is one of my fave mom/money/practical blogs, but I am not linking to the original article (you can search for it if you really wanna) because this isn't exactly a friendly commentary LOL  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

So who is you anyway?

Here we are, the first post in the chronicles of how sucky I am at this. Lets get this out of the way, as the little blog description up there suggests, on the day the fairies were handing out skills that could be useful later in life I must have done something massively offensive to the Domestic Skills Fairy. Reason being? Bitch skipped me entirely.

I have zero BettyCrockerMarthaStewart skills to my name yet somehow I woke up to find myself the mother of two and a housewife. After years of education and working outside the home my family made the decision that I should be a stay at home mom. I like that part, the mom stuff is okay, I haven't managed to completely ruin either child thus far. Dinner? Ruined it many-a-time. Clothes I am attempting to wash? Iron? Remove stains from? Ah, yeah, that doesn't always work out so well either.

A little about me?  Well, I am a mom of two boys and a husband (yes, I am including myself as his mother too  -- you're either married and get it or not married and ignorant), former work-out-side-the-home-mom, current stay-at-home-mom, and over-user-of-hyphens.  I can't write in cursive to save my life but can mix some badass cocktails and talk craft beer.  I don't know how to cook, but I like to bake, it just doesn't always look good or taste quite right.  I am massively unorganized, a pack rat, but watched a segment of Hoarders and was traumatized so I am now trying to clean up and out.  I am cheap, but that is a new development because I actually have very expensive taste.  Love reading blogs, but I find that motherly blogs make me feel grossly inadequate because I am not a homeschooling, uber religious, crafty, make-it-all-look-so-easy in my pumps and apron kind of gal.  Quite the opposite.  Love my kids, husband, and life, but really am just trying to be better at it ... its a lofty goal I assure you. 

So here we will chronicle my failures, massive failures, and maybe every now and then successes too as I attempt to become June Clever, except in flip flops and much less coiffed hair.

~ The DomesticRocketSurgon