MUFFIN TOP DIY—OOPS, I DID IT AGAIN.

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-01-2013

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Itch, itch.

I’ve been bitten. By the DIY bug. I started and now I can’t stop. All aboard the cray, cray, crazy train????

Backstory…..Hubs promised 7 year old a desk last year so he would have a quiet (?? Under this roof? Dude.) place to do his homework. In theory, I like this idea because often wild hyenas little bros jump all over him, literally, when he’s trying to do homework. But this promise, made by a well meaning man, did not take into consideration that a first grader generally needs supervision and/or help with homework by a trusted adult or zookeeper. So, I procrastinated and then, to be honest, suffered from desk sticker shock. A little kids desk should not cost more than grown up furniture or a bender to Vegas. Wolfpack!

I'M SORRY, WHAT POTTERY BARN? YOU WANT $500 FOR THIS THING? FOR $500 IT BETTER GET MY KID INTO HARVARD SOME DAY!

 

What.a.racket. Even a simple desk at the unfinished wood store was a few hundred bucks and then you still need to prime and paint it.

No, Homie, no.

Enter my fun Craigslist furor! Feeling emboldened that hubs didn’t get stabbed with a pitchfork on the last Craigslist run I sent him on (let’s review…still alive….yay!), I had him grab this little beauty (and by little beauty, I mean, please disregard my Appalachia garage once again. The rest of the garage, like where I keep my beer, is extremely pristine. Note the funny angle because I was wedged between a bumper and a desk. Good thing I’m so skinnayyyyy! I mean, aren’t I getting to be a pro at this! Better Homes and Gardens will surely call me for these professional before and after shots!) Let me say we are 2 for 2 with no bodily harm–woot. Desk guy is a hipster and it was his dad’s desk—a cool, sturdy, dovetailed, well made Maddox desk. (Oh son, you might regret selling that one day but….fitty US dollahs says that ain’t my problem!) The top even has a glass top so 7 year old can put old ticket stubs and baseball cards underneath, or I might put a world map under there because he’s really into geography all of a sudden. (No, we can’t go to London for school vacation, dude. I am buying you a desk on Craigslist, connect the dots you high fallutin’ little thing! God save the queen and you save your pennies!)  So here she is:

I KNOW. I KNOW. AT THIS POINT I DON'T EVEN THINK A MOUSE WOULD LIVE IN OUR SCARY ASS GARAGE. COOL DESK THOUGH, HUH?

So this is the part where I tell you after I gushed all over the Annie Sloan paint that I used for my sideboard that I actually didn’t use it on this piece. Ahh. WHY, GOD, WHY?!! For this, I wanted a vibrant, glossy, strong red.  So I went with Heritage Red by Benjamin Moore in the semi-gloss (they can’t do gloss in red, boo) and I LOVE it. What I didn’t love? Priming and then painting that $hit thing three times! Wedged in a small space in my basement. (Again, skinnayyy! Not. I couldn’t walk for two days because twisting an almost 40 year old muffin top like a pretzel ain’t coo. But I love my boy!!!!! And he, in second grade now, needs a quiet place to do his homework all by himself. Not really. No. Not at all. )

GUYS, GREAT GAME BUT I GOTTA RUN. MY MOM PAINTED ME A DESK AND I CANNOT WAIT TO SIT DOWN ALONE AND DO ALL MY SPELLING WORDS. TWICE. .

No really.  Here is the result of my blood, sweat, tears, and salty linguistics:

WHAT'S UP, POTTERY BARN?!!!

I forgot to mention, I probably could have kept the old hardware, but I really wanted a total update so I scored those pulls for roughly $3 each at Lowe’s. I love the look with the red.

You know, even my brandy new slippers from Santa took a hit on this project…..

THIS IS NOT EASY WORK, PEOPLE. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW MICHAELANGELO'S DEARFORMS LOOKED.

The pink slips are now striped in red in places—every time I get something pink it gets sucked into the vortex of this frat house, I swear. But how about his chair?

HERE'S THE DESK IN ACTION....THAT LOOKS LIKE SERIOUS HOMEWORK HUH? AND THE CHAIR!

 

So I thought I was all DIY sly. I had a Windsor chair in my basement collecting dust that I was gonna paint, and boom, the seat was too wide to fit under the desk. DIY disaster! DIY disaster!  So I shot down to the local consignment shop and picked up that awesome ladderback chair with rush seat (in primo condition) which I LOVE. $15 dollahollah!!! It was a reddish cherry stain which would have clashed big time. I primed the chair and used some blue paint with primer combo (Behr–could not read the name on the label. Probably because I’m OLD!!!!). We had it kicking around from some previous furniture painting shenanigans. This thing took four coats and honestly? It needs one more.

Annie Sloan, I bow to your genius.

$15 and not over $100 like rhymes with Lottery Smarm!

 

So that’s it—I think I scored another muffin top DIY bahgain. If I can do it, you can too.

$50 bucks for desk

$15 for chair

$18 for paint

$21ish for knobs (They were $3 and change each. I forget! I’m an obvious accounting major!)

Swearing and multicolored slippers….free

For a grand total of….$104 and change!

(Plus the cost of admission to Harvard. I’m sure I can find some used textbooks on Craigslist!)

OVERACHIEVERS AND CELEB MOMS? LET ME BASK IN THE GLOW OF MEDIOCRITY ALREADY!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!! | Posted on 26-05-2011

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I try not to pay too much attention to what other moms do. (What shoes they wear, sometimes. You know I love me some shoes!) What they do, not so much.

Hell, if you can find time to make your own organic baby food, knit your kids hats and gloves, not let them watch any tv, bake yummy treats from scratch, and scrapbook all your family memories and milestones and do it all WHILE looking size 4 perfect in your Better Homes and Gardens house where everything has its place and not lose your head….who am I to sneer?

I AM DOING THE BEST I CAN OKAY!

I’m perfectly happy to cruise around in my size *&%! duds, feed my kids break and bake cookies while they wear their Targ hats watching Backyardigans, while they color on the wall because we’re outta paper, in our family room that looks like we just had a rave in it.

Ah, the frat house good life. But enough about that. We really need to elevate the discussion. I am SO above comparing myself to mother of the year and the gang, and if these overachievers make  me the rest of us look like we are basking in mediocrity then BRING.IT.

I can tolerate the overachievers, though, I really can. Actually, I respect them a great deal. You know why? Because they’re really doing it. They work hard to achieve success in the home. They’re the ones who are size 4 because they get up at 5 a.m. to work out before the kids get up (while I hit snooze 8,700 times because I stayed up late reading War and Peace People mag). They have an action plan (I have….a breakfast plan?) and they execute it like a six figure exec or a five star general. Besides, I’m not stupid. They’re the ones you need to make sure the school fundraisers are successful and the town soccer runs seamlessly. They will happily remind you when the preschool tuition signups are so you don’t miss the cut off.  Oops, did that anyway. Damn I do suck!. They’ll tell you when school supplies are on sale (I’ll forget. Or I’ll go to the wrong store. On the wrong day. For the wrong school supplies).

Let’s face it, if people like me were left in charge, the bake sale would have twenty dozen box brownies and every soccer team in town would show up at the same field, at the same time, for a game. Oh, I’m happy to help out—don’t call me a slacker, but you just assign me my task and I’ll show up with my box mix baked goods (watch out for those egg shells) just as soon as I spin through Mickey D’s to feed my family. Come on, something has to give.  So what if my 2 year old answers, “Chicken. French fries. Milk. And a toy!” when I ask what he wants for lunch?  Shame on you—it’s not nice to judge!

But… what about those celeb moms? Like the overachievers, they look great. You see them in those mags (well, I see them when I am vacationing at the dentist), looking like they just stepped out of a photo shoot—hair and makeup perfect, perfect bodies in perfect clothes…looking, um, wait for it… perfect? They’re talking about how they only feed little Gunther and Esmerelda whole grain food with no preservatives while they cavort about in clothing made from environmentally friendly 100% organic—not made in China—cotton that costs more than my house. Oh, I’m not bitter. Don’t misunderstand me. Yay for them that they look this good and can spend more on locally grown organic produce than I do on groceries for the five of us. But just don’t compare them to us mere mortals who sleep on *clutches chest* less than 300 thread count sheets and cook our own processed foodstuffs! That’s right. Things are tough ALL over.

DONNA, JUST GET YOUR SCRAWNY ASS BACK TO THE PEACH PIT AND NO ONE GETS HURT!

Jaysus, the 2 year old is bigger than she is!

The thing is…. I read.

I know ALL about those people! They have personal trainers, personal chefs, personal assistants, nannies, mannies, house cleaners and gobs of money for clothes, hair and makeup. Maybe I could look good too if I had a “team”! Face it, they aren’t buying their clothes off the rack at Targ and eating Lean Cuisines standing up, trying in vain to lose the back fat, while they ladle out mac and cheese (YES from a box, why even ask? Orange cheese…holla!) to the brood.  And they’re not counting running up and down stairs with laundry and scrubbing floors as cardio, and slapping on some foundation as their entire makeup regimen because the mascara and blush have gone missing, probably tossed into the black hole of a toy box. They aren’t blow drying their hair while a two year old is trying to swim laps in the toilet. They aren’t packing their kids up and doing a full days work before they even get to the day care, like my friends who work outside the home. They aren’t paying the bills on line (hoping they didn’t spend the mortgage money at Targ—eek) while trying to cook something resembling dinner.

 What? I said I’m not bitter. Why do you think I’m bitter?  I’m not saying they aren’t good people or good moms, that they don’t cry real tears when their kids paint them a picture for Mother’s Day or they wouldn’t be fun bunch to roll with—after all, those Hollywood types are entertaining as hell.  Hel-lo, that’s why they are rich and famous, and why it’s just not a fair fight!

So listen fun smut mags, do the rest of us a favor….just STOP putting them on your covers with titles like, ‘Lost the baby weight in only four weeks’ and quit doing spreads of them with captions like, ‘Plays with the kids at the local park, just like us!’ and ‘Stops for a latte, just like us’. And don’t EVEN tell me they wrote a book on motherhood that I can relate to. You show them cleaning up puke at 2 a.m. and paying their Visa bill online a few hours later because they remembered, whilst cleaning puke at 2 a.m. , OH! They forgot to pay it in the light of day and oh shitsky, it’s due, like right now….yeah, then call me! I want some glossy photo spreads that say, “They clean puke, just like us!” and “They do laundry while children hang on them like monkeys on a tree, just like us!” and “They try to hide their muffin top in a $10 frock from Target, just like us!’

When you’re ready to roll in mediocrity, call me. Until then, the least you could do is feature the real overachievers and save the rest for the red carpet!

SAVOR THE SEASON? CHECK YO’SELF BJ’S–IT’S SUMMER!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in STFU Friday, Uncategorized | Posted on 29-07-2010

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Muffintopmommy Disclaimer: A few of you who’ve seen this title have gotten, um, the wrong idea about what “BJ’s” is all about….(you dirty birdies, you!). BJ’s= BJ’s WHOLESALE Club…it’s like a Costco or Sam’s. I forgot BJ’s is not a nationwide chain, so I was causing quite the stir with my non-New England readers! C’mon, you might have known that’s not muffintopmommy’s schtick! So stop the presses–I’m still a hopeless nerdprudelosah!

Read on, muffintoppers!

xox,

MTM

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“Savor the season” beckons the cover of my new BJ’s Journal that arrived this week. In July. When it was 92 degrees in New Hampshire. The blazing sun bounced off my Caspar skin as I clutched my prize like a four year old with a lolly pop, wondering what budgetastic finds lay inside. Because you know I love me some warehouse shopping!

After schlopping through six months of winter, you bet your arse I’m savoring the season. Hats, mittens, ski pants, boots, runny noses be damned! Savoring. It’s what we’re all about here with our corn on the cob, lemonade, wt blow up pool/slide…..water ban and gigundo electric bills.

Savoring. Summer.

So I whip open my mag expecting to see glossy pics of some funtacular beach chairs or maybe a caprese salad recipe?  Some Italian ices? Riveting beach reads?

Annnnnd…..nothing.

Apples…. Page 1

Soups……Pages 3-5

School supplies. School supplies? ……Pages 8-9

What. What?

Apples + Soups + School Supplies = FALL.

YO, HOW 'BOUT THEM APPLES?

Fall, damnit!

Indignant, I flip back to the cover. “Lookey there.” I grit, for in the top right hand side, four teeny tiny block letters spell FALL. Sonofabitching bastards!

BJ’s….you’re dead to me.

How could you?  When we go so far back? Where’s the R-E-S-P-E-C-T? I vouched for you. On this very blog. Oh marone….you best check yoself, BJ’s. You need some schooling on your seasons. My four year old learned them in preschool this year. Whatisthematterwithyou?!?

Damn you, BJ’s, I haven’t even gone on my summer vacation yet. Remember? How much I’ve been living for it? Especially after the Wicked Witch of Cape Cod screwed up my original vacation plan?

When I fell on my arse on ice this winter, you know what got me through? Mental fortitude. I thought:

 1. Ahh, thank God for the junk in my trunk.

 2. I can do this. I’m a survivor. I can pick myself up from my bootstraps  Costco FUGGS, because I’m gonna be sitting racing around like a rabid animal on the beach in my bikini  Miracle Suit with a coldie warm juice box in only153 days!”

Yeah!

So, you will let me savor my summer. Every last week, day, minute, nanosecond of my grilled farm stand veggie, ocean breezey, Coppertone-y fun. It’s mah par-tay! Mah summah! So step OFF!

Look, I know it’s not just you.  Better Homes and Gardens? Yeah, you. I saw you, sneaking in the apple crisp recipe on page 150 of your August issue—that came in early July. Even my beloved Tarjay is taunting me, with its Crayola and lunch box ads. And  Kohl’s? I don’t need your stinking credit card and I don’t need no parka.

You all just need to stop rushing me.

Joie de vie? Stop and smell the hydrangeas? You follow? Fer crissakes, you’re like those insufferable parents who don’t let their kids be kids. Pushing them to do more and grow up too fast. Hold up, Jack! What’s the damn hurry? Let’s live today, today and worry about apple crisp in September after I’m sick of corn and tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and maybe wanna think about putting on a LL Bean knitted number to hide the muffo de toppo while I segue into hollering for the Pats and eating nachos. Okay?

And fall, please don’t take this all wrong because I love you too, I really do. You know that, right? I love the way you smell, the crisp air with maybe the hint of burning leaves at dusk. The way you sound….the crunchity crunch of leaves under my feet ensconced in toasty shoes. The way you look is an optical delight…your vibrant golds and burning reds. And do I have to say it again? You? Are the gateway to sweaters. *Swoon.*

YIKES, I DON'T THINK I'LL EVER BE READY FOR THIS SWEATER! BOOM BOOM POW!

But fall, it’s come to Jesus time, ‘kay? I’m just not ready for you yet. It’s not you. It’s me. I earned summer…with every nose I wiped, temperature I took under the glow of a nightlight, and snow boots I wrangled on a flailing boy. So I’m savoring it. WE ARE ALL GOING TO SAVOR THE FUN. SAVORTHEFUNSAVORTHEFUNSAVORTHEFUN! With dry noses and bare feet. Got it?

So… (I am not hysterical!) Here’s how it’s gonna go down, BJ’s. Imma gonna sit on the beach for week, tumble in the surf with my boys, crash my kite, clog my arteries with too much fried seafood and beer, whip some Scrabble ass on the hubs, and probably have the best sleeps I’ll have all year…..until then you just back the hell up and eat your STFU sammie. Might I suggest the half sammie/soup combo? I’ll even throw in apple crisp for dessert. You’ll just need to eat it at the beach, that’s all.

P.S. And don’t you dare be sending me a catalog with a holly wreath on it at Halloween. Just……NO!

UGH OH. I THINK I LIVE IN A FRAT HOUSE!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, TMI? Says who! | Posted on 05-11-2009

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It finally dawned on me. I live in a frat house.

I didn’t plan to live in a frat house. I didn’t want to live in a frat house. When I got married and bought beautiful furniture and excitedly brought home paint swatches and fabric samples, I wanted to live in a picture from Better Homes and Gardens.

Three boys, two houses, countless hacked up baseboards and dinged walls later, I realize that’s a virtual impossibility. I’ve come to grips with the scratches on my china cabinet and the dents on my fridge and my oven (FINE! I might have accidentally kicked the oven when I burned the chocolate chip cookies one pregnant night.) What? I had a craving!

 My coffee tables are bare; my kitchen table, sadly naked. Most of the household accessories….have indefinitely retired to the basement. My tv stand is missing the doors because someone tried to hang from them, or on them, or…yeah, I actually don’t even know what he tried to do to them, but suffice it to say….the stand is now shabby chic minus the chic. Thanks fellas!

Then there’s the leather couches. When I say the leather is buttery….I don’t mean because it’s soft…I mean…they really might be buttery on any given night. Twice now (how dumb am I that there was even a second time?) I’ve left a stick of butter out on the kitchen counter to soften, only to find my two year old smearing it into the leather couch.  They’re scratched and worn and are slowly becoming discolored in places (that we bought them off the cement floor at BJ’s Wholesale Club in conjunction with a pack of diapers, a 500 pound drum of pretzels and a 30 pack might exonerate the boys on that one…..)

I can deal with all that. I’m totally over the whole Better Homes and Gardens thing. That’s not real life. Hey, if I’m not gonna look like I walked off a photo shoot (please see, “THIS IS JUST NOT RIGHT”), why should my poor house be expected to? I know my home isn’t my own now, nor should it be. A home with kids should be lived in and be comfy–and hopefully still look relatively good, too. I want my house to be a fun place where my kids feel like they can bring their friends, where everyone feels welcome.

When I had my third ultrasound and realized I was having another boy, I knew my visions of pink and green sundresses were over. There would be no Princess Barbies or patent leather Mary Janes. With no pink on the horizon, I thought I prepared myself for a life of Transformers and Spiderman, mud pies and bugs (help). It hasn’t been hard—they’re adorable, easy to love, and so much fun….despite the occasional broken picture frame or culprit dancing on a table.

I can sort of wrap my head around this place turning into a little boys club. But I did NOT sign up to live in a frat house!

The other day, when my four year old said he had to go potty and I heard some major hooting and hollering coming from the bathroom, I realized you can never really be prepared. I’m really in for it.

My son was on the toilet while my two year old was stomping up and down (think Lucille Ball in the grape crushing episode) with his brother’s Power Ranger tighty whiteys on his head as they both laughed hysterically.

“YUCK!” I shrieked. “Get those off your head. Disgusting!” I admit it though, it was kinda funny, in a completely gross/ wrong Vince Vaughan/Will Ferrell movie kind of way.

But I had to ask myself, if this is what they’re doing NOW, what’s next? And what is this house going to look like when I have three teenage boys? And never mind look…what’s it gonna smell like? EEWW. Febreze…I’m so very sorry I trash talked you in my coupon post!

A  girl’s gotta put her foot down sometimes. And today, was one of those times.

I was changing my two year olds diaper—something I’ve done more times then I want to know— and he started hollering to his brother in the other room, “Come see! Look at dis! Look at dis!!”

OH.MY.GOD.

He was trying to show off his poop! He was proud…of his poop! (And if he’s that damn proud he can show it off in the toilet and not in a diaper, thank you very little.)

That….is just not right. All of sudden I have a frightening flashback from college. One of my housemates from college recounted a story to us girls that her boyfriend’s roommates at Harvard showed off their #2’s to each other sometimes! (At Harvard they do this. At Harvard! Don’t you kind of think you’ve done something right in the child rearing department if your kid gets into Harvard? But no! Guys are guys and if some of society’s most intelligent are doing this at Harvard then can’t I logically deduce all hope is lost?)

 Yet, I still assumed I would never—could never— raise such a son!  But he beat out the Harvard boys by about 20 years.

This just proves…..that my two year old is more advanced than a Harvard undergrad….or…that a  Harvard undergrad has the maturity of a two year old… or….doing foul stuff when you’re a boy is just inherent!

I think I’m just gonna put all my cute accessories in a pink padded room in the basement….moms of boys….feel free to join!