Dollhouses & Miniatures, Hobbies

The Next Project – Miniature Coffee Shop

IMG_5216While it’s entirely possible that I suffer from too many hobbies already, I decided to start building my 1:12 scale dollhouse. This is the first one I’m building totally ground up, and I can only find time to work on it in spurts, so I expect it to take a LLOONNGG time to finish. My husband just moved all of my craft stuff into the family room so I could still hang out with him and the kids.

My last house, a 1:24 scale pre-built, I didn’t enjoy as much I think mostly because of the difficulty in working with that size having long fingernails. (How precious can it get? IKR?!?) I still have quite a bit of decorating to do on it, but I’m setting it aside until the granddaughters are a little bit old so they can help me finish it and then have it to play with, since I already have all of the furniture for it.

 

IMG_4261The plan for this next dollhouse is a coffee shop / bakery — largely because I’ve already bought most of the accessories and need someplace to display them. 🙂 I couldn’t help myself. Cute stuff is cute. I have a couple favorite shops. When I’m in New York, I can’t resist The Tiny Dollhouse on East 78th Street, which is where the coffee shop idea started. Long story short, I fell in love with an espresso machine. I didn’t buy it when I first saw it due to a bit of sticker shock (I mean seriously – how can something so tiny cost that much??) combined with having already overspent my shopping budget for the trip. I couldn’t stop thinking about, tho, and went back to pick it up a few months later, along with a host of other coffee shop awesomeness.

Closer to home, I love Miniature Memories in Charleston, SC. There I found some more accessories to bring the coffee shop to life. Inspired by my favorite coffee shop here in Columbia, SC, The Local Buzz, I picked up some more books and puzzles and games. I’ve been ordering little things here and there from online shops, too – and perhaps planning the next few projects while I was at it. I put a lot of my ideas and inspirations on my Dollhouses and Miniatures Pinterest board.

Between visits to Charleston and my last couple trips to NYC, I have collected close to 50 pieces. If I don’t get around to building this house soon, I suspect my husband may ban me from bringing any more of this adorable stuff home.

I have plans on building some of the accessories myself, but we’ll see how ambitious I feel after I get the house built. This weekend I’ll be dying the shingles and varnishing the floors so they can dry all week. Over the next couple weekends, I’ll tackle the giving the exterior its first coat and sanding. Today the kids and I picked up an awesome family room present for my husband’s birthday this week — He’ll be nicely occupied for a while, LOL.

Reblog

Between Mom and Stepmom

Lovely intimate piece by @SarahMenkedick

Longreads

Sarah Menkedick | Longreads | May 2017 | 15 minutes (3,743 words)

 

Meg first appeared to me as a nimbus of curly red hair, looming above my top bunk late at night. The hair, backlit and aglow, was so remarkable that I reached up and patted it as though it were a rare creature. Meg offered the nervous, extra-buoyant “hi” of the girlfriend meeting the boyfriend’s kid for the first time. In reply, I stroked the hair.

I was five; she was 25. Just a few weeks before, she had met my dad at an art opening. He was up-front about the fact that he was 37, divorced, with a 15-year-old and a five-year-old. She was working the second shift at a hospital, reading dense Buddhist texts, hanging out with a band of artists whose blue velvet berets and psychedelic hand-stenciled trunks would later color our house. They met…

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Meet and Greet: 5/20/17

Check out some great new blogs to follow!

Dream Big, Dream Often

dreambigwallpaper-pinkombre

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!! Strap on your party shoes and join the fun!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post. It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times! It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want. It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media. Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

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Human Issues, Random Thoughts

Spammers, Stalkers, and Trolls – Part 2 (or possibly Part 947 :::rolls eyes::: )

Since getting called out in January for trying to comment on my blog, my stalker, Melissa David, has been so quiet we started hoping she had finally gotten help and moved on. She’s blocked from our Facebook accounts and we’ve stopped updating profile and cover pictures to try to make her lose interest. Our Instagram accounts are set to private, we stopped using Tumblr all together, and we don’t put family pictures anywhere she can get to them, since she really loves attacking our children and grandchildren.

sorryEven still, I can see when she lurks on my blog thanks to WordPress analytics, and my Pinterest analytics show a disproportionately high number of visits from the New York area. This inspires me to try not to post anything that might accidentally provoke her. Unfortunately, she’s perpetually convinced everything we do has something to do with her. I had to stop tweeting anything that would indicate where we are traveling at any moment, especially trips to New York, because those really set her off.

I do still haveimg_3454 her name on regular rotation for morning prayers. I can’t shake a lingering feeling she’s really needs all the prayers she can get. The IP address she used during the last comment spam harassment episode indicate she’s using Dunkin’ Donuts free wifi to appear she’s living in a respectable neighborhood instead of a shelter or the projects, which just makes me sad for her on so many levels. Single and alone, destitute, no family, childless, alcoholic. Wildly obsessed (for seven years) with someone she’s never met. I pray for her for all that and in general; however, I have to admit, she has rarely come to mind otherwise.

IMG_6572Then, a week or two ago, totally unprovoked and out-of-the-blue, we started receiving random letters and packages. At first, it was just a catalog here, a free sample there. Obviously it was her (using random homophones of my name is typical of her often middle school like tactics), but again, feeling more pity for her than anything, we chose to ignore it.

Unfortunately, narcissistic sociopaths do not like being ignored.

IMG_9318The mailings increased every day. More types of junk mail, more weird name spelling, more Jr. High obnoxiousness. Plus-size clothing catalogs. Religious brochures. Adult incontinence product samples.

She must have enjoyed some pretty intense drunken binges and several late night Google searches accompanying her daily visits to my social media sites. How miserable does a person have to be? I cannot even imagine how much time it would take someone to do all this. All just to get my attention? I might feel special if it weren’t so incredibly creepy. Of course we still ignored her. I’d still be ignoring this if it hadn’t continued to get worse and worse.

IMG_0900 3-downThe past two days, I finally reached the point where I decided to publicly call her out (and hopefully shut her down again) because of the OTHER victims in this ridiculous stalker prank. All of this costs people money to send, but the bulk magazine and bulk mail advertising is one thing — but making people send us things using Next Day Fed-Ex is something totally different. Especially when it isn’t a regular envelope. In just the past two days, we’ve received three books that cost the senders between $4.00 and $8.00 each. Why would someone do that to people?

IMG_7865The other victims are our postal workers. Today alone we received 14 POUNDS of junk mail. The mail carrier had to get out of his delivery car and make two trips to bring it all to the door. The ONE DAY pile is 9 inches tall.

Seriously? These poor people have to work hard enough every day. I could not possibly care less at her pathetic attempts to garner my attention, but I’m pretty irritated that she’s involving total strangers. It’s just so immature and gross.

Sadly, outside of calling her out on her obnoxious stalking, I imagine there is little we can do to help the other victims. We’ll cancel what we can, obviously, and we’ve reported it to the Postal Inspection Service. Will they be able to do anything? I doubt it. It’s not like anyone is going to set up a sting operation at Dunkin’ Donuts.

I used to wonder if my husband exaggerated her crude and bitter ugliness when he told miserableme stories about her, but I realize after years of her torment that he was actually generously flattering. What right does an uneducated, homeless, unemployed prostitute have to do this to people?

This tasteless prank illustrates how very basic she really is. The epitome of classlessness. These hardworking folks – just trying to make an honest dollar hauling mail in the South Carolina heat. WTH?

Just because someone she doesn’t even know is living the life she thinks she wants but doesn’t think she can have? If she would just get a job and take her meds regularly – plus get a sponsor and stay on her AA program – I’m sure she could find some guy to marry, get a little house in the suburbs, plant a garden, learn to cook. I’ll even unblock her on Pinterest so she can repin my life to her heart’s content – I would wish anyone a wonderful life like mine… even her. I am the first one to say I’m blessed far beyond what I deserve.

I guess I need to keep praying for her. Maybe I need to take her off rotation and add her to the daily list.

Luke 6:27-30 – 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Romans 12:20 –  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

If you feel so inclined, please pray for a woman named Melissa David.

UPDATE 5/21/17:

Sadly, the harassment continues. She must have wanted to make absolute sure I knew it was her since she’s using calling cards. “Ericunt” is, apparently, her favorite pet name for me. The fake email addresses she keeps using to order stuff online (from the U.S. Government!!) follow the same pattern she has used on all of her fake profiles and her personal gmail address (erroin76heroin – anais77nin).

Only someone with absolutely nothing to lose would risk felony charges for stalking, mail fraud, slander, and identity theft over and over again. It’s so sad! Continually attacking innocent people demonstrates a complete lack of morals.

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Just for Fun, Random Thoughts

Painting, Pinterest, and Procrastination #redecorating

We’re getting ready to redecorate. Well, I say redecorate, but we never really got around to finishing the decorating when we bought the house three years ago. Recently, my husband and I have started feeling artsy and inspired to take on the redecorating ourselves. I have a vision of a warm, inviting kitchen with a Tuscan color scheme and old world / southern country French accents and my husband is determined to master the Tuscan faux paint technique.

Innocently but inevitably, this drove me to Pinterest. The vortex. The black hole. The incessant time suck addiction which has, of course, taken over my every conscious free moment. A thousand pins on 20 boards later, we haven’t bought any paint brushes, but I’ve planned out my next 5K, 10K, and half marathon; created a reading list through 2023; and planned the next three vacations (India, Germany, and Budapest – I didn’t even know I wanted to visit Budapest).

Like most women, I pretty much planned my wedding on Pinterest. And our vow renewal ceremonies every five years until we die. You did it, too. Don’t lie.

Pin pin pin pin pin.pants

I mean, seriously. Look at these gold jamavaar cigarette trousers with diamantĂ© embroidery that I now have to buy!! —————>

Even with all the distractions, I managed to find a lot of great decorating ideas. The husband has at least four different painting techniques he’s going to try out and we actually landed on a color for the kitchen (three shades of color, actually) that will complement the living and dining rooms nicely (if we ever get around to finishing them).

Thanks to Pinterest, I also located my two artful contributions – hand-painted ceiling medallions and stenciling for the archways. Right now, since it’s all in my head and no where near a reality, the project will be easy, not at all exhausting, and a wonderful fun bonding experience for me and my husband. Aren’t you excited for us? Wanna help?

Random Thoughts

9 signs he loves you for who you are #Blessed

My husband and I will celebrate our anniversary in a couple days and today this timely article popped up in my blog feed. All these years together and we still look forward to seeing each other every day after work. These are my sweetie to a tee, and I can definitely say I am one lucky lady. I wish all my readers this kind of love… if not now, then in the near future. Cheers!

1. They love the things about you that you don’t necessarily love about yourself. When you’re running around your apartment like a chicken with its head cut off because you forgot where you put your keys only to realize they’re in your hands, your SO isn’t annoyed, they’re one part amused, and two…

via 9 Signs Your Significant Other Loves You For Who You Really Are — Thought Catalog

Fitness, Reblog

Just walk away from the junk food… #nutrition #health #fitness

Just walk away from the junk food… #nutrition #health #fitness

Think Smart

Food is fuel for your body. It has a direct impact on how you feel as well as on your overall health. Fast food isn’t necessarily bad, but in many cases it’s highly processed and contains large amounts of carbohydrates, added sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt (sodium).

These foods are often high in calories yet offer little or no nutritional value. When fast food frequently replaces nutritious foods in your diet, it can lead to poor nutrition, poor health, and weight gain. Being overweight is a risk factor for a variety of chronic health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.Fast food can effect on your body :

1.Digestive and Cardiovascular Systems:

Many fast foods and drinks are loaded with carbohydrates and, consequently, a lot of calories. Your digestive system breaks carbs down into sugar (glucose), which it then releases into your bloodstream. Your pancreas responds by releasing insulin, which…

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I’ma Keep Running ‘Cause a Winner Don’t Quit on Themselves

I don’t care how humble she is… Anne is my hero. đź’ś

Tomorrow Never Knows

Many of my blog titles are derived from song lyrics. Music is so important to me, and when I can’t find the words to express how I’m feeling there is often a song that does it for me. Some people may recognize the lyrics I choose, some may not.

This particular title is from the lyrics of “Freedom” off of Lemonade by Beyonce. My close friends know I haven’t cared for Beyonce since she split from Destiny’s Child, and I likely only enjoyed their music because Timbaland had his hand in some of it. Something about Beyonce’s voice typically makes me cringe (I may have used the word “hate” to describe my feelings for it in the past), and I just haven’t felt the emotion behind her singing. Until now. I realize I’m really late to the Lemonade train, and I haven’t quite hopped on; I’m chasing after it, just out of reach. But there…

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Fitness, Running

You’re doing what?!? #running #halfmarathon #areyounuts

Never say never. Isn’t that the cliche? When I finished my last NYC Marathon (with a stress fracture) a couple years ago, I gave up running. I didn’t intend to, really – but the doctor put me on complete restriction (including no swimming!) for 10 weeks. [Okay, technically 4 and 6 since “unintentional running” (I forgot! Don’t judge me!) landed me back at square one, but I digress…]11124442_10208074848699202_7965970397228468056_o

I’ve only run short (and shorter… and shorter…) distances since. When my running club started up around 6 weeks ago, my friend Tess asked me if I’d be interested a Run & Ride 5K. We both love amusement parks (especially ones that feature Snoopy), and had been tossing the idea around for years. I said Absolutely! Then, a couple weeks later, I got a message from Tess saying she may be off her rocker, but she’s considering the half marathon instead of the 5K… and then she got on a cruise ship and left! Really?!? I toyed with the idea the whole week, just like Tess knew I would. [I may or may not have gotten her to run a marathon in a similar fashion.]

So…apparently I’m a distance running again. I’m actually pretty excited about it since I can never seem to reach the level of mindfulness and peace I get from a long run. I’m running a 5K with my running club in May and then I’ll begin a proper training program for the half. I am putting something new into my training this time around, though. When I quit running solely in preparation for races, I quit focusing quite so much on distance or speed and starting just running a set amount of time. I always thought if I did that, I would run slower (no goal, no measure, etc.). The opposite happened. When I’m not looking – I’m just running? I’m actually faster! By quite a bit. Is there a such thing as a non-training training program? There should be! So while I will do one day of speed work and one long run each week, I’m doing all of my other runs freestyle. No Garmin watch. No distance goal. No per-mile requirement at all.

I’ll be interested in seeing how it goes. I already committed to play in my work golf league, so this season I’ll take on two sports at once. However, I’m hoping that mixing up the training plan will take off some of the stress that comes with training (and risk of overtraining). Ready or not, here we go…