AN OPEN LETTER TO MY SONS’ FUTURE THERAPIST

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Uncategorized | Posted on 26-06-2013

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Dear Future Therapist Of My Darling Boys,

First, I want you to know, my intentions were good. Like many who came before me, once upon a time I was an awesome parent. Perfect even.

Before I had kids. And that small yet glorious window where my visit with them was supervised by licensed professionals. The 48 hours after childbirth rule–I would so kick ass at mothering if I had a whole staff. Dugh. Rich people can suck it. (I’m looking at you Kardashians!)

We’re one week into summer vacation. The first morning, the little (what’s the word I’m looking for?) shitz beat me downstairs. Forgive me for not leaping out of bed, but in my advanced age you and I both know that could cause dizziness.

I know, I know. I shouldn’t have stayed up late watching Andy Cohen. (Is Andy Cohen gonna come watch my boys when they rise with the roosters? Um, no. Mazel that Andy–thanks for nuthin’! You too, Mama Manzo!) Whatever. Five minutes. To shake off the cobwebs. And not fall on my bed head. That’s all I wanted!

I came down, intending to make my children a delicious and nutritious hearty breakfast (Cheerios), and there was spilled milk all over the counter and the floor, 4 year old was sitting at the counter wolfing a huge bag of Cool Ranch Doritos that he somehow managed to split in two down the middle. (By the way, I do not know who brought that processed crap pms snack into our house! Naturally we only eat organic, whole grain, flax seed encrustedfortifiedenhancedbedazzled with vitamins and minerals and healthyfullness snacks here!) Six year old sat nearby in a mound of brownie crumbs, while 8 year old wagged his finger, “I had NOTHING to do with this!”

Fast forward an hour later to the dental check ups. I try to look Danica Patrick interested in the Car and Driver magazine after four year old locks himself in the bathroom, conveniently adjacent to the waiting room, and hollers, “Mom! I have to POOOOOOH!” Of course you do. Because Cool Ranch Doritos are the breakfast of champions. Do I know you? I’m just here to get my Car and Driver fix on.

While one reads quietly (thank you Je-sus!) the remaining waiting room occupant who belongs to moi opens and closes the Keurig coffee drawer 43 times, tries out the step lever trash can a half dozen times, asks if the girls’ hat hanging on the coat rack belongs to any number of girls we know, opens an end table and surmises that’s the secret lost and found, moves a chair back and forth, tests out the antibacterial soap three times, asks for a toothbrush, tries to break into the bathroom to converse with Sir Poops A Lot, closes the door to the waiting room, rifles through the toys as a very last resort, but then inexplicably acts angelic during the exam.

While the one who read quietly fidgets and freaks when he gets his fluoride treatment.

Huh? But I miss most of that because after Sir Poops A Lot finishes his biz, and it’s obvious the 12 year old in the waiting room isn’t going to claim him (his parents should really teach him to make eye contact with his elders—rude!) , he waddles to the door and whips it open—pants on the ground! pants on the ground! —and hollers, “DONE POOOPING!” aka come wipe my arse, woman.

So was I wrong to ask the receptionist and hygienist when we left if it was happy hour yet? (It was 11 AM. So sadly, no. I mean, they didn’t expressly say NO, because they aren’t my legal guardians, but I’m fairly certain they might have 911 on speed dial in case of dental emergencies and what not so I gave the hearty yet polite laugh to signal I was mostly kidding.)

I have been dutifully saving for my kids’ college education. Their 529′s are bursting with enough money for used books and dollar drafts. But I have to wonder if I should be setting a little sumpin’ sumpin’ aside for their therapy?

I mean, was I wrong to happily inform my kids there was 61 days left of summer break….and counting?

Was I wrong when I barked at them yesterday in the 97 degree 3 h’s (heat, humidity, haze) after busting around my backyard like a sweathog setting up our klassy blow up water slide, patching holes, hammering stakes, and putting together lawn games for a playdate when I asked them to simply turn the hose on and they answered, one after the other, um, I don’t really wanna.

WHAT!

I’m on an online moms group and I happen to know other kids their age make their beds, sweep the floor, set the table, and run Fortune 500 companies.

The extent of my kids’ chores that they fulfill without argument is running down to the basement to get me a beer out of the fridge. I even pour it into my own mug! Shouldn’t THEY be doing that? Oh, I told those moms that, too.

They thought I was kidding.

Those kids know I like the slim can and they better not come back with the Silver Bullets—I don’t even care if the mountains are blue or not. No thanks. A girl has her preferences, am I right?

UGH OH.

I had dreams. I had visions. My parents raised me with manners. They did! So I planned a treat today on a rainy day–we met daddy for lunch. YAAAAY. So as I sat at the finest kids eat free restaurant with my handsome brood assembled, napkin on my lap, elbows off the table, mouth closed as I chomped complimentary popcorn, we colored with the unwashable crayons (that damn well better not have been smuggled into my home!). We played tic tac toe, and I let 6 year old win one game to bolster his confidence but beat him in the second match because dude, no one likes a 6 year old bragger. All of a sudden, spontaneously, 6 year old spun the hanging light that teetered over our table while the mini Jonas brothers burst into song.

“I’m naked and I know it!”

What.

The.

Hell.

Thankfully, they weren’t naked. Bonus! And we were in the corner. (They know us! And remember us! Isn’t great customer service the best?!)

Should I have interjected and said, “Actually, the song goes, ‘I’m sexaaay and I know it.’”

I didn’t. Because I’m really working on being positive. Positive reinforcement! Because someone told me when you make one negative remark toward a kid, you need to make eleventycajillion positive ones to make up for it.

So I just smiled and clapped. “Great singing boys, great singing! I love you MORE than these french fries which, undoubtedly, were fried in unsaturated oil for your good health and mine!”

And then I sipped my Diet Coke. And looked at my watch.

59 days left of summer vaca. But only 4 1/2 hours til happy hour.

Shazamalam!

Love,

That Mom

 

 

SURGERY FOR THE HUBS? PLEASE STAND BY. HELP IS ON THE WAY.

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Uncategorized | Posted on 11-03-2013

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So, hubs found out last week that he needs to have surgery this week. Don’t bust out your rosary beads or your Buddha or call your Rabbi–it’s totally minor. (Which is why he’s feeling his pulse and pacing. But you need to know this IS the guy who turned ashen and shrieked, “What’s gonna happen to meeeee!?” when he realized I’d inadvertently given him a tuna sammie on a roll that had one TEENY, TINY, TEENY bit of mold on it. What? It wasn’t on purpose! Go to Burger King if you want it your way! I ain’t no Mrs. Patmore.)

WHAT IS SHE TRYING TO FEED ME NOW????

I know what you’re thinking. You. And You. AND you. What’s a little day surgery when he’s lived through almost 13 years of my culinary catastrophes. What’s a little day surgery when he’s survived at least a dozen common colds and three near misses with self diagnosed terminal Web-MD illnesses?

Right?

He’ll be fiiiine. I would be breaking HIPPA laws and probably marital ones too if I told you what he’s in for. Rhymes with kerplernia. 

Because I love him, I fully planned to see him through this. For better or worse. For poorer or poorer. In sickness breaking a collar bone racing a Razor scooter on Mother’s Day, blowing out a knee pretending to be a Solid Gold dancer at high school reunion, no hard feelings and in health. I have been there. I am there. I will be there. Like Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything. Only more. And better. (No offense, Peter Gabriel. This isn’t about you.) Instead of a boom box, I’ll have People mag. Trash tv. Ginger ale. I’ll make sure his TMZ app is working (Yes he has it. Would I EVEN make that up?!!) AND I’ll be keeping the kids from jumping on his recuperating kerplernia-ness. I won’t try to take advantage of him in his fragile state. (Just so we’re clear, slurred consent for me buying bling will hold up in court, yes? Any barristers in da house??)

YOUR WIFE WILL BE RIGHT IN TO SEE YOU. JUST AS SOON AS SHE'S BACK FROM THE JEWELRY STORE. MORE PERCS?

But seriously. I was all, “I got this!”

Then? He said something along the lines of—it’s all kind of hazy now—”By the way, I won’t be able to shower for like five days after the surgery. And, you’re going to need to change my dressings.”

WHACHUTALKINBOUTWILLIS!

Whatwhatwhatwhatwhat. Willis! Hubs! Soon to be Stinkyass! Whatever your name is!? What!?

I don’t remember much after that. I think I called my shrink. Oh wait, I don’t have a shrink. I mean, I opened my beer. And I said –to him–not the beer, “Now you are really taking this for better or worse chit a little too far lately. I am not yet 40–I have my whole half my life ahead of me! Can’t we save the Nurse Ratchet bit for Bingo time? If you want a dressing change, please, I am totally willing to go Italian to blue cheese–boom–just ask! I am here for you!” When I brought out the box of Elmo bandaids to be helpful, I do have to wonder—and I’m just throwing it out there—if he fleetingly wondered if maybe bringing English major flowers on a random Tuesday miiiight have helped my outlook?

I’m kidding.

Mostly.

But dude.

Five days of not showering? Changing dressings? While he’s laid up in bed surfing the net convinced he’s having kerplernia after shock complications that could cause blindness/ketosis/cirrhosis/deafness/impotence/male pattern baldness/typhoid/scarletfever/measles/sepsis/fungalungameningialcarpaltunnelness.

Who. Who’s busting me outta this joint?!!!

 

 

WE HAVE A WINNAH! AND OTHER RANDOMOSITY…..

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Uncategorized | Posted on 20-02-2013

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SO…

We have a winnah of the Honeywell Energy Smart 360 Heater!

As promised, the drawing was random:

YUP, THAT'S A DARTMOUTH HAT. NOPE, I DIDN'T GO THERE. WOULD AN IVY LEAGUER EMPLOY SUCH LOW TECH RAFFLE METHODS? I DID DRINK THERE ONCE AND WHEN I WEAR THE HAT, I FEEL ALL NH GOOD WILL HUNTING.

Child labor ensured the process ran smoothly, efficiently, and with the utmost of integrity:

NO PEEKSIES. HE'S A PROFESSIONAL.

 

AND, WE HAVE A WINNAH!

"BECKY B! BECKY B! BECKY B IS THE GUY WHO WON THE PRIZE! WAIT, WHAT IS THE PRIZE?"

 

I told him Becky B. is a gal, and that the prize is the heater. I don’t think he much cared. He raced around the family room with the slip of paper, “Becky BEEEEEEEEEEE.” Becky, five year old will never forget ya! Congrats! Email me your deets to janet@muffintopmommy.com and your heater will be on its way soon.

As for the rest of you, I am only sorry you couldn’t ALL be winners, kind of like child athletes. But I only had ONE special heater to give. I recommend the rest of you steer clear of state lotteries, casinos, and possibly even Bingo (Those octogenarians will trample you with their HurryCane. They will.). I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but you lost in a 1 in 18 chance raffle. Hold on to your money, honey!

I decided to celebrate Becky B’s win. And simultaneously drown my sorrows about your loss. We are the world.

ALSO, I HAD TO TRY OUT MY NEW FUN WINE GLASS. I LOVE IT--IT SCREAMS, "STEP OFF BOYS, THIS IS MAMA'S GLASS!", BUT IN FRENCH... IT MADE MY CHIANTI TASTE EVEN BETTER---THE ONLY RED WINE I CAN INGEST WITHOUT WINDING UP IN FETAL POSITION. YIPPEE!

Speaking of Vegas, the Boston weatherman said today that a funky storm system that is in Vegas today is going to whirl its way to Boston/the NH Saturday night and dump 6-12 inches on us!

I KNEW "WHATEVER HAPPENS IN VEGAS, STAYS IN VEGAS!" WAS A BUNCHABULLSHITE! THANKS FOR NUTHIN' , CHUMPS!

I told you gambling was bad! *exceptfreeMuffintopmommyblograffling

In other news, my office is painted its new color. I like to call it, “jailbird grey”. I like it. I don’t looooooove it. I like it more at night. And I think I’ll like it more when the touch up is done, and all my stuff is moved back in, including my colorful DIY curtains and chair. I’m working like a turtle to get my new Muffintop DIY blog up so I won’t bore those of you who only showed up for the funny and not the scary DIY projects!

LIKE THE DROP CLOTHS HUBS USED? I'M SURE IT WON'T BE HARD TO GET PAINT OFF MY HARDWOOD FLOOR. I'M NOT SAYING A WORD BECAUSE HE PAINTED FOR ME WHILE I WAS OUT RABBLEROUSING WITH MY GIRLFRIEND BUYING CHALK PAINT AND A MADAME GLASS. PAINT. WHAT PAINT? I DON'T SEE ANY PAINT!

 

FYI, jailbird grey is Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore. However, I cheated on Benny with Val. Spar. Valspar. From Lowe’s. They have a new low VOC, high def paint that I’ve heard wonderbar things about. It’s paint plus primer and Lowe’s said two coats should do it and one gallon should do the whole room. But the first can of paint was really, really thin and we (hubs) used up almost the whole gallon on one coat. So….we had to buy another gallon. Which was bizarroly thicker and seemed better. ?????? Someone on quality control must’ve been sniffing glue, the cracksmokers. It was like two different paints. All in all, not.a.fan. And, it didn’t wind up being cheaper than Benny in the long run. Take me back, Ben! Take me back!!!!

(I used to talk to real men. Back when I was single. And ready to mingle. As my friend likes to say. But now? Now I talk to paint. That’s totally normal.)

G’day, muffintoppers, I’m off to commiserate with Madame tonight over Downton Abbey being over. Love, hugs, and randomosity–peace out!

 

A VALENTINE’S DAY TRADITION—AN ODE.

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, Random Rage, Uncategorized | Posted on 14-02-2013

Happy Valentine’s Day, Muffintoppers! It’s getting to be tradition here—time for my annual ode to the hubs. Cheers!
NO, NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOO. Just, NO!!!!!!

 

Roses are red.
Violets are not.
Bringing me flowers on V Day
Just ain’t that hot.
Lemme sleep in,
Take the kids at witching hour.
Bring me some gin.
But keep yo damn flower!
A sweater, a scarf, even a purse I can do.
Of course, you know me likie shoes, too.
And don’t spend 8 grand on some huge sappy card,
Just say I love you–don’t make it that hard.
Save your cashola to feed the muffin top.
Some seafood or steak?
But please , no lamb chops. (BAA!)
If you show with even one stinking rose,
I swear to God I’m gonna break your nose.
Oy, do you know the mark up on V Day?
And seriously, could it be any more cliche?
If you really want me to swoon?
                     
Bring me a 12 pack some random day in June!
The only “Buds” I wanna see from my man?
Come in a lovely glass bottle or can.
Oh, don’t be afraid–I’m not starting a fight.
You always *mostly* get it just right.
And if you can’t find that perfect gift for me?
I know of one that is perfectly free!
You can *for once* just replace the TP!                                                 
It’s already bought and wrapped in clear plastic!
It’s so super soft and perfectly round.
Under the sink is where it is found.
And when you need it, it sure is fantastic.
What? I’m not even being sarcastic!
I love you, dear.
I love you so much.
You’ve nothing to fear.
Your gifts, always clutch.
If my demands seem mean or even nasty,
You knew when we married
I’d be bringing some sassy!
I must confesss now, I don’t care what you do          
As long as you read this and still love me, too!
 
 
Well, ladies? What say you?
 

CALLING ALL cold MAMAS! ENTER TO WIN!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Uncategorized | Posted on 11-02-2013

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. With three little kids and almost 13 years of marriage, I’m just hoping hubs will come home from work and sing something romantic to me.

“Let’s go Outback to-niiiight!” 

Curbside takeaway=porn for moms. Aim high. (I know. How greedy of me to hope for more after the promise of microwave slippers a few weeks ago. Don’t get all jealous, ladies. It’s not a good look!)

Hey, we can’t ALL live at Downton Abbey. My cook and lady maid are on extended vacay. Listen, we all have to play the hand we’re dealt! (Sometimes you get to frolic upstairs at Downton and eat with 27 silver utensils, sometimes you have to stir soup downstairs, and sometimes you’re stuck in suburgatory!) I’m not an addict. 

With arctic temps and over two feet of snow dumped on us this past weekend, it’s no shock my Valentine and I have our biggest rows over the thermostat. You’d think the muffin top would insulate but nooooo. Irish McFreezypants had to marry a hot blooded Italian who wears t-shirts inside the house in winter and fans himself with all the dramatics of a strange southern debutante with a Boston accent, “I’m sweeeeltahring!”

I’m sorry, Scahlett O’Hah-ra. Jeez. Since I’m shuffling about like a 4 foot kid from A Christmas Story, I’m not sympathetic!

So imagine my delight when I got the chance to review a Honeywell Energy Smart 360 Surround heater—just in time for the most wonderful time of the year! Along with mah gift of extra, energy efficient warmth, I received the following info which, I believe, demonstrates I am NOT the cray cray one in this house!

JUDGE AND JURY, I REST MY CASE!

MMM HMM. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

I have to say this is a great little ceramic heater. It’s perfect to put under my desk by my feet while I work on my next book read Peep, and in our playroom which is often chilly since it abuts the non-heated garage–and it’s lightweight enough with convenient carrying handle to tote wherever my muffin top desires! It’s super quiet so it will not disturb any important Mario Kart racing, Lord Grantham viewing, or wine slurping. It has a wonderful control panel allowing you to adjust the temperature depending on how Christmas Story-ish you’re feeling, and how energy conscious you are! (Hey super duper green peeps, tada! You can pre-program the thermostat and even see how much energy you’re using with this heater.) This heater packs a punch as it can blast heat all the way around–hence the 360– or you can just use the 180 for a more targeted effect, and has excellent safety features like an overheat protection device, so you don’t burn the joint down! Bonus! (No really. Remember when Italian boy almost burned the house down thawing a pipe last year?)

Here’s what this little beauty looks like in real life—so you can see the scale:

SEE? TOTALLY COMPACT AND UNOBTRUSIVE!

Good news, m’ ladies (and m’ cold lords), you too can have a chance to experience this gem. Honeywell has graciously offered to send a heater to one lucky, soon to be toasty roasty, muffintopmommy reader. All you have to do is leave a comment with your name, and we will have a super official drawing—probably someone under 8 years old will pick a name out of a mixing bowl. You don’t even have to subscribe to mah blog, like me on Facebook, leave a blood sample, follow me on twitter, Pinterest, or the grocery store! (But I surely love when you do— minus the grocery store stalking–I don’t need you seeing the processed snacks in my cart!) Please enter here by next Monday, February, 18th by midnight. South Floridians need not apply. (I’m kidding! I know it gets like 45 down there at 2 in the morning once a year, you lovelies!). Heaters can be shipped to U.S. addresses only.

So what are you waiting for? Even if you don’t win, microwave slippers and a fabulous portable heater? For $59.99, or roughly the price of a Lands’ End sweater, you’re totally in biz. Visit www.kaz.com for more information on this and other Honeywell heaters.

Stay warm, muffintoppers!

*Honeywell did provide me with a free heater for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. As usual. Ahem. 

SOMEONE LOOKS LIKE HE COULD USE SOME HEAT!

 

PSST….IS THAT A VINTAGE GOSSIP BENCH OR A MOMMY’S TIME OUT CHAIR?

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory! | Posted on 31-01-2013

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Have you ever heard the words?

Gossip bench.

If that alone doesn’t intrigue you just fuhget it and get off mah lawn now!

A gossip bench, or telephone table, are gems from a time gone by. Basically, it’s a chair attached to a little table. Way, WAY (and by way, way, I’m really not sure how long, lemme be honest) before cordless phones were even a thought in some MIT trained brain and people couldn’t yuk it up in every corner of the house, people had beauties just like this:

ONCE AGAIN, I NEED SOME PHOTOGRAPHY 411 BUT YOU GET THE IDEA. ISN'T SHE GRAND?

 

Look at this lovely detailing:

THAT'S THE WAY, UH HUH, UH HUH, I LIKE IT, KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND!

 

So the rotary phone went on top of the table part, and the phone book went underneath. And the gossipy hausfrau’s arse went on the seat. Amen. I really wish that table could talk. How many incredible conversations might have gone on? I believe this table might be from the 40′s, so my imagination runs wild thinking about it. A GI calling his girlfriend? A mom calling her newlywed daughter to share recipes? Two teenagers talking about what—I don’t even know what?! Two gossipy hausfraus talking about seeing so and so’s daughter at the five and dime with a too short skirt? WHO KNOWS!

All I know is I love this random piece of furniture! And hubs loved me enough to schlep it for me from some guy I found…wait for it….on Craigslist. A man who…let me just say, hubs said after picking up this piece of history, “I don’t want to speak of it again. Sanford and Sons. Without fun Sanford. Or his son.”

Okay then.

For better or worse, people. We took vows!!!

The wood on this table was actually in pretty good shape–you can’t see too well from my iphone trick photography, but it wasn’t the best stain job. All I did was unscrew the seat and slap two coats of miracle Annie Sloan chalk paint in the same Chateau Grey shade I used on my sideboard redo. It took no time at all.

SCALPEL, PLEASE. HA HA. JUST A PHILLIPS HEAD. I FIGURED IT OUT---THIS ISN'T BRAIN SURGERY, KIDS!

 

I bought some fun, sturdy (yet elegant!), upholstery grade fabric at Hobby (I love you!) Lobby, cut a square, and stapled it. I have skillz. (Not really. Noooo.)

WE MEET AGAIN, RUDOLPH SCISSORS!

THIS PART IS ROUGH. PAY ATTENTION. YOU FLIP THE CUSHION OVER, PUT IT OVER THE CHAIR FRAME, AND SCREW IT BACK IN. NEXT WEEK I''M TOTALLY APPLYING TO GRAD SKOOL AT HARVARD.

Before I put the cushion on permanently, I did wax and buff it so it would have a softer, less…well, chalky finish. I did distress it lightly as well.

So here are some pics of the almost finished product:

THIS WAS PRE-WAX AND DISTRESS.

 

I PUFFY HEART THIS FABRIC.

 

And…..now my gossip bench is ready for some 21st century action. I have actually renamed it the Chatty Kathy bench or Mommy’s Time Out chair. I love my kids, you love your kids, all of us who have kids LOVE OUR KIDS. But sometimes, they are ginormous PITAS! (Pains in the asses. You’re welcome.) At which point, we need an escape. Well, the French New Hampshire riviera is not always possible. I give you, Mommy’s Time Out Chair:

PEEP, A KINDLE, SOME VINO. YES, I DO BELIEVE THIS IS THE RECIPE FOR SOME MODERN DAY GOSSIP. I FEEL PROUD TO UPHOLD ITS HERITAGE IN A MODERN WAY!

YES, PLEASE.

 

ONE MORE SHOT. BECAUSE YOU KNOW I DIDN'T GET TO REALLY SIT FOR THAT LONG!

 

The funny thing is, with all of my recent Craiglisting, and seeing what these go for redone (and even not redone) on Etsy, Ebay, and Craigslist, I planned to sell the Chatty Kathy. But hubs —who wouldda thunk?? Has taken a shine to it and asked me not to sell it. What!? I know.

However, if you are reading this and you have a pocket full of cash burning a hole in your pocket, I will totally cut it free behind hub’s back  (For better or worse, people!) for the right price. Because the French Riviera Disneyworld is calling my name!

 

 

 

NO SEW UPHOLSTERY? DON’T MIND IF I DO!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Mom-ness, Retail Therapy, Things that make you go....awwww, Uncategorized | Posted on 24-01-2013

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Oh yes, yes I did. I’m talking no sew upholstery today. First, a friendly muffin top warning because I love you long time.

Do not read this post if you:

A. Are type A

B. Can sew

C. Are a perfectionist

D. Have reupholstered a chair the correct way or ohgodno are a real upholsterer person!

E. If you are all of the above, run, run for your life! AND DON’T LOOK BACK, WHATEVER YOU DO!

If you don’t heed my warning, I am not responsible for any injury that may occur, both physical or mental. I am not responsible if you throw up or break glass from your shrieking. My methods are not recommended for all, but only meant as a rough how to if  you would like to potentially upholster a chair in all the wrong wrongity wrong ways! Believe me when I say I searched hi and low for a slacker’s guide to upholstery and found NOTHING. Nothing!!!

So! Now that we have our muffintop surgeon general warning out of the way, the rest of you lovely readers type B slacking em-effers in da housee! who are still with me and wanna know how you can DIY upholster a Frenchy chair in 52 easy, totally wrong, and barbaric steps, buckle up!

You will need: a cheap chair to practice on (Don’t start with granny’s antique!), pliers, scissors, fabric, a staple gun, a glue gun, fabric, adult beverages, a spirited vocabulary, and Band-Aids.

So! New Year’s Day, I decided to grab this fabulously sh*&%y French Country armchair with ottoman (bonus!) I spied on Craigslist. Though it had great bones (Ethan Allen—excuuuse me) it was a grubtastic dog! The owners were very proud of its former glory, but hel-lo.

You can’t even tell how gross it is—YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME.

WAIT!

PLEASE IGNORE THE POST XMAS PLAYROOM SQUALOR. AND THE CUTE PHOTO BOMB!

Obviously, I did not think these “Before” pics through! You really can’t tell how grungy the ottoman was amidst the playroom squalor!

So, first, after I got home with hubs having not been stabbed with a pitchfork (We’re 3 for 3 on living through Craiglist purchases—not to get all braggy!), I vacuumed underneath the chair (don’t even bother to ask!) and washed all the wood with Murphy Oil soap. Then decided it needed a fresh coat of paint.

DUDE, THIS WAS AFTER WASHING. SEE WHAT I MEAN? BLEACH YOUR EYES! BLEACH YOUR EYES!

 

Hence, the paint. And the beer. To wash away the memories.

THE BEER HELPED FREE MY INNER PICASSO.

 

I’d planned to get the chair reupholstered, but after I got home (file under I can’t make this shizz up), my dishwasher went kaput.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO MEEEEEEEEEE!

LET’S REVIEW. Now I have:

1. a hangover

2. a grubby chair

3. and I’m getting jiggy with mah old pal from my apahtment days, Dawn, “It softens hands while you do dishes!” (Bullshit! That’s to make poor souls who have to wash dishes by hand feel better! To me, “NOT DISHWASHER SAFE” is just a dare. You take my dishwasher? You take my SOOOOULLLL! ) And  hey, nothing against you Dawn, but you ain’t my style! (Which is Lazy. Capital L. Party of one.)

Despite my obvious appliance emergency, and because I loooove to laugh out loud…I dared to dream.  The scene in mah head: Muffintop skipping through a meadow full of flowers….LOLOLOLing all the way until she plunks down in her pillowy soft, clean, newly upholstered in chic fabric, French Country chair whilst cradling an adult beverage and smut magazine….ahh. Then came the reality: I decided to get some upholstery quotes even though I needed to make a date with an appliance man. The upholstery quotes ranged from $275 plus fabric to $275 for just the OTTOMAN plus fabric PLUS $675 plus fabric for the chair.

L NO L to that fuzzy math!

Btw, $275 is a good deal as it turns out, but at this point, I figured this thing is going in the corner of my office (and by office I mean, the room I call an office but is really the place more accurately known as school paper graveyard/where I grab envelopes to send in lunch money/field trip money/conduct other super serious hausfrau banking/order shoes online). (Call me, Donald. I will totally hawk crap in Times Square on Apprentice! I have glue gun cred, Donald.)

I looked at the chair and thought, “I can do an ok job on this chair, stuff myself in the corner on it with my beer and Kindle, and that is good enough for meeeeee!”  Scratch the frolicking in a meadow. But seriously, if you can sew, you could for real do a kick ass job on a chair like this. Since the cushions aren’t attached like a regular arm chair, this is a good type of chair to start with! (And possibly, ahem, end with.)

I trolled online for fabric (the upholsterers said fabric would be $10 to $40 per yard and I’d need 7 yards). I found  Waverly Solar Flair Fruit Punch fabric for $8.50 a yard at Jo-Ann Fabric (coupon code–halala!). Suck it, upholsterers. I’ve not seen it for less than $16 a yard elsewhere online.

IT IS RAINING SUNSHINE UP IN HERE!

 

BOOM!

It’s not for everyone and I think speaks to a caged in muffin top’s psyche on a 5 degree January day. Ahem. I also thought maybe the pattern might hide mistakes?

So, I started with the ottoman, figuring that would be easier than the chair.

First I had to pull off the double welting trim–double welting trim is what covers up upholstery staples. If you’re fancy and you can sew (why are you still reading this?!) you can make new trim, but I can’t sew, as we know, so I had a plan (more later!).  I swear that trim was glued on and stapled to that chair better than my house is put together.  They must have upholstery ninjas at Ethan Allen. What. the. frack. I envision a mean man with a fireplace poker prodding hunched over, underpaid workers sneering, “More glue! More staples! If anyone should find a Craigslist bargain on one of our chairs, they shall never, never, never be able to pull it apart and must live with the original fabric forevaaaaaah!” in a meany, old school, 18th century, I own the whole world and several colonies, British accent. (I’m not talking about you Fergie. Or you Prince William. Let’s party sometime!) But that’s just me. I’m sure the good folks at Ethan Allen are just like you and me! (Nooooo.)

I needed pliers to start prying off the cemented on welting, and had to put some muffin top into it. Ultimately, the chair was no match for my laser beam focus. Actually, I bent my hub’s pliers I had to pull so hard and almost took my eye out. (Safety first! Meep. I recommend goggles! Can you see it? “Good news! I saved $275 upholstering this chair! Bad news, I’m blind in one eye!” Dum de dum dum dum….)

PULLING OFF THE DOUBLE CORDING TRIM. IT WOULD BE EASIER TO SKIN A CAT. NOT THAT I WOULD WANT TO SKIN A CAT. BUT IF I DID WANNA? I JUST KNOW I COULD!!!

The next step should be to pry off all the upholstery staples and then the fabric. But this is lazy ass, muffin top DIY, so after it took me like twenty minutes and one finger cut to pull out three staples, I said, “Schluck this!” , took a swig of my beer, and ripped the fabric off sans staples and decided I’d just staple the new fabric OVER the old staples. Sing with me Montell Jordan, “This is how we do it!”

FABRIC OFF. STAPLES STILL IN! YOU WIN, ETHAN ALLEN, YOU WIN. SMUG BASTARD.

 

Next I saved the ottoman fabric that was remarkably intact –despite my bastardization of the pulling off process–to make a template. I traced the old fabric onto the back of the new fabric, cut it, and stapled it.

YES, I DID. I CUT THAT FABRIC WITH MY RUDOLPH CHRISTMAS WRAP SCISSORS.

THESE ARE THE PROFESSIONAL GRADE TYPE TOOLS YOU WILL NEED…..

It looked like this:

I’M AN OBVIOUS PERFECTIONIST.

 

YOU DO THE CORNERS LAST. YOU PULL AS TIGHT AS YOU CAN AND FOLD AS NEATLY AS POSSIBLE.

AND THEN….

GIMP! A NO SEW PERSON’S BEST FRIEND! I GOT LIKE 800 YARDS FOR $12. OK, LIKE 15 YARDS. BUT STILL. I JUST HOT GLUED IT ON TO COVER THE STAPLES INSTEAD OF FANCAAAAY DOUBLE PIPING.

BUT WHAT, THERE’S MORE?

NOT BAD FOR A TYPE B, L NO L’ING, MUFFINTOPPER!

 

This was my best work, peeps. It got harder from here.

THE PROPER THING TO DO WOULD BE TO SEW A ZIPPERED COVER, BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT WASN’T GONNA HAPPEN. SO I DECIDED TO WRAP THE FABRIC UNDERNEATH.

 

Like so….

HELLO HOT GLUE, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? ALSO, I CAN NEVER FLIP THE OTTOMAN CUSHION, BUT, ETHAN ALLEN DIDN’T EITHER—THERE WAS VELCRO ON THE BOTTOM OF THEIR CUSHION SO EH, WHAT’S THE DIFF?!

 

And the finished ottoman:

LIVING UP TO MY TYPE B EXPECTATIONS–FABRIC IS NOT CENTERED, NATCH!

 

PART B, THE CHAIR. Dudes, this is getting long and I’m thirsty and want to schlump into mah chair, so I’m gong to illustrate most of the rest through pics.

The decking turned out to be the easiest part. I couldn’t rip the whole fabric bottom off because it was sewed on. No WAY was I was gonna mess with that Ethan Allen scary ass shizz!

I USED MY SCRAP MATERIAL FOR THIS PART. SCORE!

 

CAN I GET AN AAAA-MEN FOR STAPLING OVER STAPLES, PART DOS?! VIVA LA MEDIOCRITY!

 

THE FABRIC WAS SURPRISINGLY EASY TO SLIP BEHIND THE ARM OF THE CHAIR. I WENT BACK AND STARTED THE SEAM NEXT TO THE ARM SO THE GIMP WOULD COVER IT.

 

VOILA! AND HEY, WHAT’S A FEW THIRD DEGREE HOT GLUE BURNS! I AM MUFFINTOP. HEAR ME ROAR!

 

The arms weren’t bad at all!

I RIPPED THE FABRIC OFF THE ARM IN THE SAME PRECISE FASHION AS THE DECKING. AHEM. AND THEN USED IT AS A TEMPLATE.

STAPLE, STAPLES EVERYWHERE! SNIP SNIP WITH MY RUDOLPH SCISSORS TO GET RID OF HANGING THREADS!

 

OH GIMP! WE MEET AGAIN. YOU MAKE MEDIOCRITY MAHVELOUS, DAHLING!!!

And without further ado, meet my *new*, clean, BRIGHT and SHINY, if monstrously perfectly imperfect, fun French country armchair and ottoman!

DONE! THIS IS WHERE THE MUFFINTOP SHALL RESIDE WHEN SHE WANTS TO!

Is the chair perfect? Hell no! Far from it. The cushions don’t have double welting (piping) trim, can never be flipped, and the fabric is not as “tight” as I would have liked. The cushions are squishy so trying to pull the fabric tight underneath, to then (Gasp!) glue the fabric like I did the ottoman–which was firmer—was much more difficult. But hey, for only a coat of paint, some elbow grease, an inexpensive chair with only $60 worth of fabric, I have this fun-can-never-be-moved-from-the-corner-chair! Oh and bonus—I had enough fabric left over to upholster my desk chair (aka a Queen Anne style dining chair) and make two no sew curtains (deets to follow).

From shizz to shine, all on a dime! I gots to save my money for new shoes and wine!

Salud, Muffintoppers! I swear my wine tastes better in my fun chair!

Oh, and p.s. Yes, that is Mommy Mixology: A Cocktail for Every Calamity on the table next to the chair. Now available on Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, and other fine retailiers! (What? I have a new DIY habit to support! Forgive the shameless plug!)