Favorite Posts

Messy Room, 7

ROOM

I over-think everything, including home security.

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On Netflix

What to watch on Netflix. Read the comments!

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365: Body, Mind, Spirit | Week 12

I married a “still waters” guy.

Nico Rocks

Nico, A Love Story

His is the Dominator of Joy.

Nico, Vol 3

Stuff Nicholas Says, Vol. 4

“Oh, no, mama. This is exactly what I want to wear. I look fantastic.”

How to Make Cola Bombs--The Easier Way

How to Make Cola Bombs (The Easier Way)

I mentioned last week that the cola bombs were the highlight of Mikey’s birthday party. They were so much fun! Cola bombs (aka: Cola Geysers, Mentos Bombs, Soda Rockets, etc.) are easy to make and all over the internet. A few of you asked me last week how we made them, and while I can direct you to the thousands of pages and youtube videos with directions, I thought I would toss out a tip we learned from Mikey’s 1st grade teacher the day of the party. It’s a total lifesaver, especially if you’re setting off several bombs at once or in succession like we did. This tip also allows little ones (preschoolers) to participate…

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The Intentional Home

This post is part of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that details the steps I am taking to create an intentional home. To learn more about this project, start here. I am so happy to hear many of you are starting your own projects or will be working alongside with me! Please link up each Thursday and share your progress. Sing your praises in the comment section ff you don’t have a blog or collection of photos online. The mundane, when done as a group, can become extraordinary. I promise. If it wasn’t for this blog–knowing I had to report here every week with a project of some sort–I wouldn’t get done half…

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31 Days of William Morris

This is it, the big project I committed to do for the month of October. I’m participating in Nester’s 3rd annual 31 days series, which is open this year to anyone who would like to join the fun. I knew I wanted to participate and have spent the last month month waffling on the subject matter. I debated 31 days of writing tips, 31 days important rules of grammar I always screw up, and seriously considered Nester’s suggestion to write 31 days of Unstyled Life posts but realized that was a lot like agreeing to 31 days of chiffonading my soul for public consumption. There’s a reason those posts come only once a week. I…

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Unstyled Life

I’m sitting at my desk, alone in the family room, listening to the chorus of “A Spoonful of Sugar” on repeat. If I turn my head to the left I can see the Mary Poppins DVD menu on our TV screen. Mary and Bert and a handful of penguins are dancing what is meant to look like a waltz while they wait for me to press play. They are indefatigable with their constant swirling and waxy smiles. I’m not so easily influenced. I watched Mary Poppins once today with a sick Nicholas. I get up and turn off the TV. The silence is loud and welcome. It’s time for me to write, but I don’t…

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Two

Twenty eight days after the diagnosis, eighteen days after her mom’s death, and five days after the dog from college decided to do the same, her dad died. We spent the day together going through pictures and planning. This one is a favorite, she said. The memorial needs to be like this, I said. These apricots are yummy, they said, and it was surreal to see the boys sitting in the same booth we sat in twenty years ago to eat fried zucchini after every work out. Later, they ran up and down the stairs, in and out of rooms, feet slapping the worn wood floors until I yelled they were being disrespectful. So help…

Buster

Unstyled Life

We have two beagles named Buddy and Buster. We brought home Buddy when we were newlyweds. We loved him so much, we brought home his cousin, Buster, not six months later. He was with us two short days before we almost took him back. He barked. He cried. He terrorized. The Mister had a friend from work who loved beagles, and for a split second we debated calling him to see if he would take Buster. I started to cry. “I’ve never given up on a dog before.” “I haven’t either,” said the Mister. “Let’s not start giving up now.” So we didn’t. Beagle puppies are a lot like babies. Both Buddy and Buster woke…

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Unstyled Life

The boys sit on books because the new table is too high. Or, the old chairs are too low. We haven’t decided which of the two is the problem, perhaps it’s a combination of both, but the end result is that when it’s time to eat, Mikey sits on A History of Art and Nicholas, Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. At first I thought it was charming, the sight of two small boys perched on thousands of pages. Then the jackets started to fray. A spine weakened. I grumbled to the Mister that they were ruining the books, that we needed proper boosters, that it was just our luck that we gave away the boosters we had…

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P is for Paper Towels

She would later go on to win the Nobel Prize for her work in discovering the thirteenth Immutable Law of Gender Communication, which proves, in part, that when a woman states, “Please stop at the store and pick up paper towels,” a man will hear, “Please stop at the store and pick up the thinnest, cheapest, most ineffective paper towels you can find, preferably with an ugly pattern.” TweetFacebookLinkedInTumblrStumbleDiggDelicious

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The Product of a Bad Economy

Mario Giacomazzi wasn’t always a Trader Joe’s checker.  He is older than most by around 30 years and whatever he did before checking my groceries, it required a back straight like a plank with pulled back shoulders to match.  The short gray hair so perfectly pomaded atop his utilitarian head is probably only a requirement for Mr. Giacomazzi, but I trust his former employer appreciated the effort.  A good countenance counts in business.  Or the military and engineering, which are the other professions I like to imagine Mr. Giacomazzi steadfastly pursuing for 40 odd years before life landed him shocked but dignified on an OSHA approved rubber mat in front of a register. He is…

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Clean House

{Life with two dogs} The Mister and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to preparing the house for company.  He mows the lawn and hoses down the windows.  I take a more practical approach and clean the house.  The house is that 1800 square foot section of our suburban homestead where company will actually congregate. Tiffany flies in this morning from Virginia, and together we will spend the rest of the week getting ready for the reunion on Saturday.  In preparation for her visit, I cleaned the house top to bottom so that when she sees my home for the first time she will think I have never once impaled my foot…

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The Crackers Nobody Likes

July is trying to kill me. Several small things have happened, small enough that I would have weathered them fine on their own, but since there is a new problem, event, or social gaffe every other day, the result is a dog-pile of stress and angst.  Thanks, synergism. I’ll start at the beginning.  We were days away from leaving for Florida when I received an email asking me if I would like to be interviewed for an article in one of my favorite magazines about–you guessed it–how to remove permanent marker ink from fabric.  It wasn’t a for sure thing, but I went ahead with the interview (!!) and waited to hear if I would…

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Two Women

On that morning, despite a church full of bodies, there were only two women in the congregation relevant to the story.  The first one arrived promptly with her husband and two young sons, even though she spent the better part of the morning agonizing over the propriety of wearing jeans to church.  She decided it was okay, this one time, since her dresses were dirty and her pants in desperate need of alteration. Dark jeans, white tank, and a linen, deep v-neck tunic with exceptionally thin magenta pinstripes that looked nice with the red in her capiz-shell dangle earrings and wedge shoes.   She was trying, but not too hard.  Or at least that was…

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A Glimpse

I can see it in this picture. The loping gait of young man who jumps a pony wall to reach his friends faster. Jeans heavy from the weight of teen necessities (keys, phone, wallet) hang just below the hollow of his hip bones, and he pulls them up out of habit with ropey hands that hint at the man he will one day be. One day, but not today.  Today we play on the swings. TweetFacebookLinkedInTumblrStumbleDiggDelicious

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The Accidental Indiscretion

{8th grade graduation “portrait,” circa 1986} There are two things you should know about Harvey: he wasn’t always so tall and he is a side hugger.  Since we went to different high schools, I have no idea when he surpassed the 5’2 inches of space we shared in 1986.  He claims it happened between his sophomore and junior year.  Suddenly, like a magic trick, he grew 12 inches and now stands over six feet.  As for when he adopted side hugging, that good-natured, shoulder squeezing embrace normally accompanied by a knuckle to the crown and a hearty This guy!, I remain in the dark. I wore flats to mass on Ash Wednesday.  I figured comfort…

Favorite Moment | The Mister

I never intended to be a stay at home mom. I went to one of the top ten colleges in the country. I had a master’s degree in health care administration and ten years real world experience before I entered law school. My career path, while circuitous, promised to be fulfilling and financially rewarding. I had big fish to fry, so I wasn’t going to waste my time baking fish sticks. And then came Mikey. To say we had a rough beginning would be a heinous understatement, but we survived and bonded. The Mister and I were completely taken with our bald baby, and suddenly, after years of scoffing at “The Oprah Set,” we realized…

Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.