30 September 2010

It's been a bad week.  No blogging here (lots of prayers being said), and despite it all I'm thinking...

22 September 2010

DIY Cheap Wall Art

Since we moved into this house almost 3 years ago, I have had a plan to do something really amazing on  the hallway walls.  To no avail.  I have struggled with what to do, whether I should do floating shelves, arrange family photos, hang some amazing vintage looking wallpaper, paint the walls a bright fun color or hang artwork.  After several attempts to make it look good, I left it empty with the holes from previous frames and it's been that way a LONG LONG time now.  I am one of those people that really gets bothered by emptiness.  Everyday I walk down my hallway & cringe at the naked walls.  

Then, I was reading the September Issue of Martha Stewart magazine and in an instant planted my eyes on the most inspiring thing.  A bachelor pad with HUGE canvases with very basic black lines painted on them.  Ah Ha, I thought to myself,  I can do that!

Well, canvases are not cheap and I didn't know the first thing about painting.  So I called my sister-in-law, who coincidentally is an amazing artist, she's got skills I tell ya, and got a little how to from her.  I went to Michaels and Hobby Lobby to price canvases.  Michaels had their 36 X 48 canvases on sale buy one get one 50% off.  That would make them $60 total.  Then I had a coupon that I printed from Hobby Lobby for 40% off.  In the end, I realized that Mr. Vaught could build them much cheaper and so that was the way of it.  He does build furniture and all so I knew he could build a simple canvas.  So, here's what we did.

Tristan had scrap poplar left over from projects in his shop so that was FREE.  I took my 40% off coupon to Hobby Lobby and bought the gesso primer (large container) which made it $10.  Then I went back the next day with another 40% off coupon and bought the canvas in the fabric section for $8 (about 2 1/3 yards of 60 inch wide canvas).  The small print on the coupon said you couldn't use 2 coupons in one day so it was perfectly legal to go back ;)  I borrowed 2 paint brushes from my SIL, but you can use any old paint brush lying around.  She also had a bottle of black acrylic paint she gave me, but it only costs $6.99 from HL so still cheap.

Total COST for two 24X36 custom canvas art pieces:  $18

I will post how to make the canvases, etc...and after shots in a couple of days.  I still have some work to do in the hallway, including finding a rug (unless anyone has a DIY on rug making...I actually do, but YIKES).

BTW, if you wanted to skip building canvases and just buy them, it would still be pretty cheap.  ou could easily do this for under $100.  That's muy cheapo if you ask me!  More on that later :)

Sorry for the picture quality (taken with my iphone at night)

20 September 2010

Bento Lunches

I'm sitting here stuffing my face full of chocolate & peanut butter covered almonds from the bulk bins at Whole Foods.  It's my latest addiction.  Well, that and Chick-Fila's chocolate milk shakes.  Anyways, while stuffing my face with sugar I thought I would post some pics of the kids lunches.  It will make me feel better.  At least they eat good, right?!

Bella's consists of white sharp cheddar, broccoli, tomato's and flower shaped cucumbers with ranch, fruit leather cut into a flower shape, an almond butter and jelly sandwich on ezekial bread, heart shaped kiwi with a few grapes and raspberry yogurt covered pretzels.  

Judo's lunch consisted of an almond butter and jelly sandwich on ezekial bread, star shaped fruit leather, cheese men, carrots and ranch, green grapes on food picks, and yogurt covered raisins.  He's a bit more picky than his sister.  

Anyways, I had fun  labored making lunches tonight.  I'm no super mom so this does NOT happen every day.  By the way, these are lame compared to some I've seen.  Just sayin'.  Also, I think I just figured out why Jude keeps using the word lame.  Oh well, I guess it could be worse ;)  

Just in case you're wondering, I bought the mini cookie cutters from Hobby Lobby for 50 cents each, the  food picks on the same isle at Hobby Lobby, the silicone cupcake molds in the Target dollar isle a long time ago, and the bento boxes are from laptoplunches.com.  I ordered some bento boxes yesterday from easylunchboxes.com.  They are backordered until October, but if you order now you get a free lunch bag with them that will hold 3 containers (great for family outings).  I also ordered from allthingsforsale.com, which has some great bento items as well.  Well, I'm off to bed.  I guess I should be off to the gym after all those choco almonds.  YIKES!

Sweet Paul Magazine

I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Ours was busy as usual, but memorable!  We went and saw the Pixies Saturday night at the Brady.  I'll post pics from that later.  The kids spent the night with there pawpaw and were spoiled rotten of course.  Good times!

I'm sure most of you are craving Fall as much as I am.  I have been holding out on making gluten free pumpkin bread.  Hopefully the days will cool off and I'll have the desire to go outside again.  But in typical Oklahoma fashion it's hot, humid and not comfort food weather.  Have you heard of Sweet Paul Magazine?  It's an online magazine, FREE, and completely and utterly inspiring and will make you crave Fall more than ever.  I'm dying to try the Roasted Potato and Leek Chestnut Soup as well as the Roasted Chicken Pies.  Or the Kale and Bean soup with Parmesan.  YUM!  Go check it out...NOW...I  promise you'll love it!

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                    Fall 2010                

16 September 2010

I'm so Hard-Core.

the most active, committed, or doctrinaire members of a group or movement : there is always a hard core of trusty stalwarts | [as adj. ] a hard core following.
• popular music that is experimental in nature and typically characterized by high volume and aggressive presentation.

I am now joining the ranks of hard-core iphone users, most typically known as teenagers. When I showed my sister, who will be 19 this month and technically still classifies as a teenager, my "hard-core" iphone, she said "Yeah, I guess you are, if you want to use that word." Ok well, if that word is no longer "cool" then how about "diehard, staunch, dedicated, committed, steadfast, dyed-in-the-wool, long-standing; hardline, extreme, entrenched, radical, intransigent, uncompromising, rigid"? Will any of those do?

I guess the new iphone 4 is calling my name :) But, if I really want to be diehard, staunch or hard-core, then I will continue to use my current phone, glass getting stuck in my fingers and all.

First Day of School, Tulsa Photographer

Here's a little first day of school action for you. This was actually Jude's first day since he started 2 days after Bella. It's an early morning shot and a snapshot at that. Not pro. I cannot take good pics early in the morning, hence why I ALWAYS opt for evening sessions ;) Judo was so proud that day to be sporting his big boy backpack and wearing a uniform like his big sis. I'm happy to report that he is doing really good, so far ;) I mean, boys will be boys after all!

15 September 2010

ETSY Wednesday

Just a few of my favorites on Etsy right now. Enjoy looking!

14 September 2010

Mr. Noah, Tulsa Photographer

Well, it's a rainy drury day in T-Town. Blah. Hopefully it will cool things off a bit, but knowing Oklahoma, it will just make it humid. Oh well, here's a few photo's to put a smile on your face. This is what happens when you leave your kid with me to babysit.

13 September 2010

Arizona & New Mexico Desert, Tulsa Photographer

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We spent ours in Fayetteville visiting family and doing a little vintage shopping. If you're ever there check out The Flying Dog Vintage Mall off College. We also found this amazing little store called the Himalayan Mountain Store right off the Square. Many of the locals don't even know about it yet. I bought a few things from them. It's all made in Nepal, except for the basket I bought which was made in Africa. Many of the handmade items were made from wool felt (I'm obsessed) and it was all super cheap. Oh, I just realized I forgot to post a few of the images of the landscape from our trip out west so I thought I would go ahead and post them now. We were in awe of the show that mother nature put on for us. It just proves the existence of a magnificent creator for those that doubt such an existence.

Mondays aren't my favorite, but I hope yours is good :) I was reluctant to leave my babies at school today. I miss them so much this morning :(

10 September 2010

Blogging for Bliss, Books and Bookshelves

I love books. The funny thing is that I don't actually like to read very much, but I love the photos in books. Photos, whether of someone's eclectic, modern, cosy decor or of a home cooked meal decked out waiting for it's close-up, are inspiring to me. They keep me refreshed, up to date and inspired. I love to look over at our bookshelf in the kitchen and see a variety of cookbooks with there colorful spines peering through the glass or my living room bookshelves adorning the collection of books old and new. I plan on filling them top to bottom with books one day.

Click here for for more book shelf eye candy.

Another thing I love are blogs. Blogs are like books with a vast array of intoxicating photography, scrumptious recipes and amazing artistry of all sorts that influence, rouse and stir a sense of creativity in me.

There are so many books out there to scour over and I hate to admit it, but I have bought books before that were not inspiring. They were a waist of money. I know harsh, it's true. Not ALL books are a thing of beauty. So instead of waisting money on books, I went to our local libraries website and put holds on several books. It was so easy and a few days later I headed to our library and picked up about 20 books I've been pining over. I checked out recipe books, craft books and home decor books as well as some chapter books for B. Several of these books I read about on blogs and some of them I am so glad I didn't buy. BUT, there were a few that were buzz worthy. One of them was Blogging for Bliss and I'm ACTUALLY reading it! Lots of good information for creating your own blog for fun or for business. Very informative and detailed as far as SEO's and traffic. These are just a few that I loved and since they are informative they are keepers. Well, i'll return these and buy my own copy :)

A few others worth checking out are The Family at Home, Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express and One Yard Wonders. I'm just sayin'...

Do you have any good book recommendations?

Happy Friday. Have a great weekend!

08 September 2010


California from Aja Vaught on Vimeo.

06 September 2010

Home Is Wherever I'm With You.

The drive through the west was beautiful, something we look forward to doing again soon. Maybe with an old airstream or even a pop-up in tow. There were several places to stop and camp, the old meteorite site would be cool or maybe the petrified forrest. The Grand Canyon was among them, but would have been 3 hours round trip out of the way. So we stopped at a gas station and showed our little disappointed monkeys a post card with a cheesy photo of it. Bella said "That's it?". We said said, "That's it. Now you've seen it." They were fine skipping it at that point. Not sure what she thought it was all about, but a big gigantic hole in the ground was not it. Next time, we'll camp there or drive up through Colorado and do some camping. Driving into to LA was crazy. TRAFFIC. That's all I can say. We stayed in Venice Beach (which was way more bazaar than we thought it would be), but we loved being so close to everything and the neighborhood we stayed in used to house Julia Roberts and Molly Ringwald. We took the kids down to Santa Monica Pier and there was a celebrity event that night so the rides were shut down. I was a bit relieved b/c I kind of mentioned I would get on the trapeze and swing like a crazy person. Darn, missed that opportunity! I think that night on the pier, the fog started rolling in and it dropped down to the low 50's. Crazy, sunny California was not all that sunny and warm in August this year. It was a nice break from the 104 degrees we had in Oklahoma. We went to a beach in Malibu one day, visited Huntington Beach for the US Open of Surfing, took the kids to Disneyland (most fun EVER), stayed in Beverly Hills, saw a concert on Sunset Blvd at the Viper Room (used to be owned by Johnny Depp), went to the Original Farmer's Market in West Hollywood, window shopped at the Grove, saw Rodeo Drive, went to a few vintage stores in West Hollywood and Venice, bought our groceries at the best Whole Foods in the world (I hate ours now), watched a drum circle on Venice Beach (and took in the sights and the smells that we were not ready to explain to our youngin's so we promptly vacated), shopped on Abbot Kinney Blvd and bought cupcakes from Cupcakes A Go Go, ate In-n-Out like 5 times (which I'm hankering for right now), hung out with Eric (who drove down from Modesto) for 5 days which was the icing on the cake for us, picked a lime off a tree in the backyard of the hills rental, got stuck in traffic, bought absolutely nothing except for food and a few sweaters cause' did I mention it was cold?, and had an amazing time together. We basked in the beauty of each other, the time we had each and everyday to wake up together, wondering what new and exciting thing that day would bring. Each day was exciting, new, and composed, filled with no expectations other than enjoying the new scenery surrounding us, together. We left there refreshed, sad to be going home, in reverence of the beauty that we came from and dreaming of what our next adventure west would be like. It was THE best vacation we have ever had together, but only for now. There will be many more to come. For now though, I'm glad to be home, where our family and friends are.