We shut the party down! Then got sick in our bed! Well, one person pictured did that. The good news is that Disney is prepared for the good and the bad. Our midnight call to housekeeping was quickly answered by a team prepared for action. Within minutes, the victimized bed was stripped and re-wrapped in fresh bedding and our bathroom floor had been mopped. It's clear they had been through the drill before. Truly, minutes after the whole thing began, we were back in bed ready for sleep. Pro tip: don't let your kid eat an entire tub of popcorn by himself, then go on rides.
Luckily, the sick kid woke up with no memory of getting sick or the clean up. His first question was, "Where are my pants?" I'm worried about what he'll be like in college.
We were guests of Disneyland to get a sneak peek of Mickey and the Magical Map, which is an awesome new live show that's part of a revitalization of Fantasyland.
We didn't have a master bathroom, which means the before pictures aren't of of a bathroom, but of our old kitchen, where our new bathroom was built. What was a small, cramped kitchen is a large, lovely bathroom. In the photo below, the door has been filled into a wall, and the left side of the photo is where our shower is now, and the right side is where our vanity is housed. The door that became a wall? It's where the toilet sits.
The main wall of our kitchen is now the side wall in the bathroom. The bay window is now a smaller window, the tub sits on the left of this photo, where our range used to be.
Our medicine cabinet hasn't been organized, but make note of the mid-lower thick shelf. It has outlets, allowing us to keep our toothbrushes and Kevin's shaver plugged in, but off the vanity counter.
A vertical line of subway tile framing the ends of the shower, an idea I had to fight for.
Shower niche for shampoo, with a little corner lift for leg shaving.
I love the little niche behind the door and the counter for lovely glass canisters. One holds bath bombs and another holds bubble bars. Having a bathtub (that doesn't scare me) has made me go bath crazy.
I love this tub. It's huge and cozy.
And I love the bath fixture, especially because the middle control looks like it's smiling.
The hexagon tile floor is period, keeping with the overall house design, and it's heated, which is so absolutely worth the cost.
I love our bathroom. I love it not only because it is attached to our bedroom, my first private bath in my entire life, but because I aimed for a relaxed, spa-like bathroom, and that is how it feels.
The architech had drawn more walls - the shower pony wall was supposed to be full length, but with a small window, I wanted to make sure light would spread throughout the room. The pony wall, however, was to be between the toilet and the vanity, but that seemed to make little sense. It would take up space and provide no benefit. The full shower wall was turned into a pony wall with glass on top, and the proposed pony wall was scrapped. There was a wall at the doorway too, to allow the tub to be built in, but I didn't want a built in tub, and again, the wall would take space, cut off light and openness, and provide nothing but extra privacy for the tub. The same tub privacy is gained by closing the door, which is what I do.
Vanity - custom built
Vanity faucet - Rohl, Viaggio from the Country Bath Collection
Vanity knobs and pulls - clear glass, Restoration Hardware
Vanity lights - Chatham triple sconce, Restoration Hardware
Towel holders and toilet paper holder - Chatham series, Restoration Hardware
Medicine cabinet - Robern
Vanity mirror - Sussex pivot mirror, Pottery Barn
Glass canisters - Pottery Barn
Bath bombs and bubble bars - Lush
Bathtub - Zuma freestanding oval tub
Bathtub faucet - Rohl, Country Bath set
Tile - while Manhattan subway tile from Tileshop
Window shutter - San Francisco Shutter Company
Wall paint - Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments
Trim color - Benjamin Moore White Dove
Let's pause for a brief public service announcement. The Giants announced they would be selling poutine this year, but at the start of the season, it was impossible to find. We came across it by accident, not on one of our many trips around the park searching for it, so here is the location for other search parties:
We had looked at the Derby Grill closer to home plate, but didn't see poutine. Maybe it wasn't on the menu at the time, maybe we missed it, maybe it still isn't on the menu. The point is, it's not easy to find.
Unfortunately we were on our way to get ice cream when the discovery was made, so we still haven't tried the poutine. Next time.
I have spent an embarrassing amount of time thinking about coffee tables. It's pathetic, really. But let's discuss it, anyway. It's a smallish spot boxed in by an ottoman and a wall on either side.
There is this, but it's pine and I know those corners will end up in my shins. Once again, it's pine.
Or this, which is a pain-free circle, but it is espresso, when the rest of the room is mahogany. First world problem. The plight of an espresso coffee table in a mahogany world.
This is the one I love, not only because of the name, but because it matches our side table. Alas, it's too big for the spot.
Yes, I have looked at other places, if you mean Crate & Barrel, because I like to limit myself to places where I have rewards.
Unrelated, I bought 36 red Gatorades today. No one at Target batted an eye. It seems like something that should require an ID or Homeland Security questioning.
Looking back at photos, I'm shocked to remember that it was only recently that our new refrigerator was delivered. Our old refrigerator has been in our garage, which I thought was going to be just a little less convenient than having it in the house. Did I mention our garage is not attached? And downhill from the house? And the inside was slammed full of heavy boxes?
The kids survived mainly on Stonyfield Super Smoothies and trail mix. Food had to be easy, with little mess, healthy, substantial, and - here's the tough one - the kids had to like it. After months of living that way, the yogurt smoothies and the trail mix were the only things to stay on the approved list. I have boxes of granola bars that quickly fell out of favor.
The day after the new refrigerator arrived was the best day of Rocket's life (according to him, I would have aimed slightly higher): the TV was hooked up and Stonyfield helped stock the refrigerator. He pounded the YoKids sMOOthies. Both kids debated how many smoothies were too many to drink in one day. The ruling: three is perfect, four is too many. What they really meant was I'd allow three, but not four. They'd drink them by the case, if I let them.
Stonyfield Super Smoothies are large - perfectly sized for an adult or a hungry Rocket - but the YoKids sMOOthies are kid sized, which means they make a great snack, and before opening one, I don't need to quiz Rocket on how hungry he really is and making him promise to finish it. I like that it's a healthy snack, and that while the kids think they're drinking a strawbana (you read that right) or wild berry smoothie, they don't know that the drinks contain veggies as well. Ha! Rocket wouldn't mind knowing he was taking in some pureed carrot, radish or other vegetable, but Clover would. We grab the smoothies on our way out the door to softball or baseball practice, and the kids drink them in the car. Rocket's other key time is about an hour before dinner, when he knows I'm going to say no to most other snack requests.
The kids would not have done so well through the remodel without Stonyfield Smoothies. Our new refrigerator has a french door style opening, and at least twice a day, I catch Rocket standing in front of the open doors, admiring the food and counting the YoKids sMOOthies. Every day is a great day for him.
Disclosure: Stonyfield provided the YoKids sMOOthies for free. We have and will continue to purchase Stonyfield products because they provide healthy products that are organic and sustainably raised. Not all yogurts in the Whole Foods refrigerator can say the same. All opinions are mine
Recently it dawned on me that I am an unpaid project manager. This isn’t my job-job, but it’s how I spend a majority of my day, from carpool updates to monitoring our remodel to getting kids to lessons to making sure library books get found and returned. This doesn’t include lessons or camp or guilt for lessons they should be taking. I mourn martial arts more than my kids care to do it.
So much about planning kids’ activities is connections – whether that be getting a review from a friend or coordinating plans to ensure you child goes to camp or class with a friend. ActivityHero bridges the current connection gap by putting everything in one place.
Information on all kinds of camps and classes are in one place, and can be filtered by interest, age, and distance to end the burden of searching. Users can see recommendations from friends, and reviews from other users, plus, ActivityHero will help you register. Coming soon is a calendar tool to help coordinate kid activities with friends. Best of all, it’s all free.
Prior to school vacations or minor holidays, the local parents club message board is filled with lists of people looking for short-term camps. Or, my favorite, the requests for recommendations based on the most specific interests, like a morning program learning to bake for gluten-free dogs, or camps that are both about learning to mime and horseback riding. ActivityHero has the answer. I ran searches for possible activities in a 10-mile radius, and each time, found many options I’d never heard of before. Winter camp options look tempting. (There wasn’t a gluten-free baking class for dog lovers, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be offered soon.)
Things popped out at me without searching. There was a photo tab for baseball, and upon clicking, I got information on nearby skills clinics. Also, there’s a little map with arrows letting me know exactly where the activities are located. The options seem endless, and by using the specified search, I can find the programs perfect for our family. Searches that would have taken days are now finished in minutes, leaving more time for the rest of my project management job.
Giveaway: Sign up for ActivityHero by Feb. 28 for a chance to win a free week of camp in either the San Francisco Bay Area or Philadelphia.
The past two weeks were the vacation that was not a vacation. Add it to the long and growing list of things ruined by a remodel. We came home from Christmas to be told that the flooring wouldn't be finished in time for us to host our annual Superbowl party. Beleaguered should have been my word for 2012.
The good news is that four weeks from today, the house will be so close to done. But, I may have said that in November, too. The bad news, other than the fact that I may have made the one month announcement before and may be wrong again, is that the next four weeks will be incredibly chaotic as everyone returns - the plumber, electrician, painters, roofers - added to the builder and his one man crew, who will be joined by the flooring team.
Last month I was jealous of everyone posting holiday photos of warm fires near beautifully decorated Christmas trees or freshly baked and decorated cookies. Today, I am ready to unfriend all of the people relishing in a quiet home as school is back in session. I'm back at Starbucks, having almost completely forgotten what quiet or privacy was ever like. Some friends joke about carefully folding undergarments and hiding them under clothes while visiting the doctor or gynecologist. Recently, after teams of men had been working in my bedroom all day, I walked in to find three of my bras hanging in the closet doorway. Why had I wasted all of this modesty at the doctor's office? I have lost the battle for privacy.
Being close to the end means visible things are happening again. All of the counter tops are in, including the shower details, mantle base, and most importantly, the island of (my) dreams.
The mantle is almost complete, but it took a lot of negotiations. Our issue is that the TV needs to go above the mantle, which shut up, I know, some people hate, but due to the shape of the room, it's what we need to do. With the TV above the mantle, I didn't want the mantle high because that would make the TV too high, yet the mantle needed to be high enough to meet the safety requirements of the fireplace.
It was designed, negotiated, built, questioned, renegotiated, and rebuilt. Thankfully, now it's down to the finish details.
Things I never thought I'd hear during the remodel, especially from the electrician: "Uhhh, I think I woke the Furby."
The best home security device ever.
Enter Spotivate. This is good stuff that is happening now nearby. No hearing about what we missed over the weekend at school on Monday morning. I remember the depressed embarrassment I felt when I first learned about the May Fete parade in Palo Alto a few years ago. I was surprised I hadn't known about it when everyone else did. Spotivate's like an assistant who scouts out activities based on my interests that would have let me in on the May Fete secret.
Spotivate comes to me, which is perfect for my new scatterbrained status (I blame the remodel). I follow Spotivate on Twitter and Facebook, which means that even when I am not at their site wondering what to do this weekend, tips come to me. Last night it was a tweet about how kids eat free at a local restaurant, which couldn't have been targeted better. Being kitchen-less, we eat out all the time and are thrilled anytime we stumble across family deals.
I know what my friends are up to, not when it's too late after they check in on Facebook, but before, when plans are being made. The activity recommendations can be highly personalized. Spotivate knows which areas I like exploring best, and what we like to do, and highlights appropriate recommendations. It's not scrolling through a general calendar, looking for a golden nugget hidden among toddler activities. There's nothing wrong with toddler activities if you have a toddler. I don't.
Find me on Spotivate as Silicon Valley Mamas to see what we've up to. I'd love to find out what you're got planned, too. Even if your friends haven't tried Spotivate yet, you can highlight great ideas on Facebook with the click of a button, rallying friends for an activity you discovered on the site. Maybe we'll run into each other at a place that isn't the zoo.
This post is sponsored by Spotivate. Want to learn more? Check out the Spotivate Video
While looking for sketchbooks on Amazon, I noticed the list of similar items others had searched and four were sketchbooks, but one was the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This book is everywhere. My daughter has devoured each book in the series as soon as they hit the book shelves, and The Third Wheel (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 7) was no exception. She picked up her package after it arrived in the mail, went into her room, and stayed there reading until dinner time, when she'd finished the book.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are ones she wants to own, not check out from the library. She will read each book a few times, and will eventually pass them down to her younger brother, if we're lucky. He tries to sneak peeks of the books, even though they're above his reading level.
The books are funny for all ages. I picked one when trying to determine if it was a book, a graphic novel, or what, and I found myself laughing, and reading page after page. I can see why it's so easy to lose an afternoon in these books.
If you're looking for a holiday gift or a stocking stuffer, this is a clear winner.
Disclosure: We were given a complementary copy to review.