Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Birthday

Hello friends!
I've been neglecting my blog for quite awhile now. I have plans to change the name and the design and have been playing with a few ideas behind the scenes. BUT, I just realized that I'm almost up to 50,000 visitors, and I thought that was a great milestone, and THEN noticed that I've missed my blog's birthday. Happy Birthday Doodlebuds (soon to be called something else)! Thank you readers who have stuck with me through slim posting this past year!

P.S. You'll noticed that my header changed...I was playing around with a couple ideas, but seem to get hung up on the name change!

Cute card from Long Live Snail Mail (check her website for many other fun cards!)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Why am I so stressed?

They say with times of trouble come great insight and learning, and I did try to embrace this philosophy (a bit) during our 10 day power outage thanks to Sandy. In some ways I succeeded...remain calm, keep the child cheerful, treat it like an adventure, take showers at the Y,  etc, etc, etc. HOWEVER, it was really stressful, and I ended up exploding about 4 minutes after the power finally came on 10 days later. It's hard to try to maintain your normal life/responsibilities when you are coming home to a dark house, worrying about the heat, and food, and everything else. So, I learned I can be calm under pressure...until it all bubbles out after.

After several days of the power back on, the house is almost back to normal, the trees all over our yard should be removed today, and Jake is feeling much more happy (as we all are). So, here's a little taste of what it was like for those of you who have asked...ABOVE, two huge oak trees fell on our neighbor's roof. Yikes! I was worried they were going to fall on our bedroom, so we slept downstairs the first night. We had just blown up the air mattress when the power went. We brought Jake's old crib mattress down, but he was SCARED and refused to sleep on it. He  had to be wedged between my husband and I, so I found myself on the crib mattress at 1:30 a.m. Ouch!

We told Jake we were only sleeping downstairs to be EXTRA careful, and that the trees really wouldn't fall on the house. As you can see, we have lost all credibility in that department. He woke up in the morning to this view of the backyard, and trees from the other side of the house on our roof.

This looks terrible, but it was a branchy tree, and I don't think it broke through the roof. The tree guys are here now cutting down the mess, so I'll let you know!
Unfortunately, the cute chalkboard walls I made Jake last summer were on this fence.
There were THREE of these huge trees resting on the road near our house. I sped through each one on my way to work in the morning. You know, because trees resting on power lines are totally normal, and safe.
Thank goodness for superheroes! What would I have done without one? And, I have to say that although my husband did not dress up, he was pretty super during the ordeal as well!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Decorating

Let's just's not going well!
Does anyone have any ideas about how to deal with this problem?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Some things I'm thinking about

As Halloween fast approaches, we've been starting to think more and more about Halloween costumes. I would love it if Jake would let me dress him up like a yard gnome, but he's having none of it. Even at age 4, I can see how some costumes just aren't "cool". (But he would look pretty cute, wouldn't he?)

I marvel that some parents are able to dress their kids up in crazy cute/original costumes. As much as I think this MIGHT be a possibility for us, I'd rather have Jake pick what he wants to be, and it's kind of fun to see what he comes up with. I think he's going to pick something like this:
Jake thought I could whip up the costume tonight. I thought not. It's probably going to take a little more polar fleece than I already have. 

I've also been thinking/wanting/hoping to finally get our dining room finished. In the last year, I've managed to replace the (horrendous) chairs, and get a great lighting fixture, but it needs to be painted. I've been stalling because I want to replace the art that's currently there, and I think the wall color will depend on what we hang on the wall. We've been toying with framing an enlarged photo, and I recently discovered an online source where you can get your photo printed on watercolor paper...might be cool? I'm thinking something like this:

The photo would be toned down a bit (I think) because it would be printed on the watercolor paper, and hopefully look a little more like a painting than just a photo. It's of the Amalfi Coast...a lovely trip we took when we got engaged. Perhaps the interesting destination will make up for the fact that it's really not a superb photo. Do you ever have projects that just stall because you can't decide on one element? I'd love to know I'm not the only one! In the above photo I made the walls greige and thought I'd add a few more pops of color on the other walls.

Oh, guess what? I'm a soccer mom! How cool is that? Doesn't he look handsome in his crazy orange uniform?

If you need a fun Halloween activity...check out this Halloween playset I designed. It's got lots of punch out pieces that you can set up in any of three fold-out scenes...

If you want to get here.

Now that I've finally gotten back to my blog after several months...I hope to keep at it! If you've stuck wtih me for this long haitus...thank you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Terrarium Centerpiece

Ever since Jake and I visited the New York Botanical Garden in the spring, I've been thinking about terrariums. They had a great kids activity where volunteers helped kids make their own terrarium using a plastic container. Jake had a great time, and our terrarium is thriving, and getting bigger.

On display in the kids center they had charming terrariums created by old friends, Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow, owners/creators of Twig Terrariums. I thought they were so clever, incorporating tiny figures into the plants and displaying them on the walls in these cool containers that lay flat against the wall. They've definitely made terrariums a popular item these days. They've done a great looking book called Tiny World Terrariums, A Step-By-Step Guide to Easily Contained Life.

Wouldn't you be smitten if someone sent you this little terrarium? (It's available at Twig Terrarium). Kudos to the guy that makes the guy in the terrarium look like him!

Since our terrarium is such a happy memory for me, I've been thinking it might be fun for us to replant and expand it. Perhaps incorporating some figures of our own, and using it as a centerpiece in our dining room. I'd like to use a large glass container with a lid. Something fancy which might offset the fact that our figures will most likely be several of the Avengers characters. Something like this:

I like this shape better, but I don't think it would work, because the lid needs to be on the top:

I'll also need to look for some tiny Avengers characters...

Stay tuned! We'll see what happens with this crazy idea! In the meantime, I'll be furiously watering our outdoor garden, hoping to keep the "elevendy billion" flowers I planted alive!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What summer looks like...

It's almost time for summer...and I don't quite feel ready! Perhaps it's that most days in NY have been half rainy lately, or perhaps it's been because Jake has been sick for many days (poor little guy), so we've been hunkered down inside for awhile. But, as it's my favorite time of year, I'm attempting to kick start the feeling, and (probably too late in the season), planted about a gajillion flowers in the past week in between Jake's bouts of lying on the couch.

The above photo is of ME on the left...looking grumpy (and much like Jake when HE'S grumpy), and my (identical) twin sister Martha on the right. I really love some old photos I have of Martha because they show such attitude. She rocks. We were about the same age that Jake is now (4) when the photos were taken. About a million years ago.

So, where will I be hanging out this summer? Some of my favorite haunts on Cape Cod...

There's Arnolds, on Rt. 6 in Eastham. Really the best fried clams, and clam chowder ever. But, the sprinkles on the soft chocolate cones are lacking, so I suggest you head up to...

Mac's on the Pier. You'll probably want to have 2 ice cream cones, because they're just that good. Jake chose hard chocolate but that's because he's little and doesn't know any better. He'll learn.

Mac's Shack is really good too...

The idea of all these great treats is definitely helping the summer mood! Now, I'll have to sign off and have some sugary juice...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I have to go feed my pet

After spending 2 days at the National Stationery Show and Surtex last week, I have to say I'm overwhelmed by the talent there. I go every year to buy art for the company I work for to put on journals, notecards, and you name it. I typically spend most of my time there at the Surtex Show, and after half a day, I'm typically overwhelmed, and am already forgetting half of what I've purchased! We ended up getting lots of great stuff, and meeting new and old artist friends.

One of the things that really caught my eye this year were these crazy, adorable walking pet balloons. I didn't have time to get one for Jake, but this is the type of pet I could really see us having! It was fun seeing people at the show walking around with these happy balloons. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of this trend, and I know I'll be looking for one for the next addition to our family!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

We happened to be killing some time in Target today while I got a new tire put on my car. How is it that it's very hard to leave Target w/o spending $100? I find it to be one of the most expensive stores I shop in. Had we browsed through J. Crew for instance, I might have left with one shirt for $75...quite a bargain in comparison. But, then we wouldn't have had a new Hulk costume, light bulbs, Avenger books, and a wireless computer adapter (that doesn't work).

What about you, would you have bought the Hulk costume?

Happy Mom's Day everyone...and esp to mine!

P.S. That lovely font? I just got it (but not at Target). It's on sale at!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ready for a photo op?

I've been wanting to go to the Orchid Show at the Bronx Botanical Gardens for several weeks now. The photos and Instagrams that people have posted on line are great, and make it very tempting.  Today, I seized the opportunity, and took Jake for our weekly "Jake and Mommy Day". I felt it was a bit of a stretch to keep him interested in a flower show for too long, so I turned it into an adventure.

I reminded him that Peter Parker (aka Spiderman) was a photographer for The Daily Bugle, and we stopped to get a cheap (pink) digital camera from the drugstore for him to use on our "photography adventure". The little camera was perfect (except it's a piece of junk, and I can't get the photos off it). He was so proud of it, and it kept him interested for the entire day. I handed it to him at one point and asked if he wanted to play with it, and he said, "Mom, you don't play with it, it's not a toy!" I guess that message sunk in!

The show was designed by French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc. The orchids, displayed in different climates are turned into amazing vertical gardens throughout the Conservatory. I played with various settings on the camera, trying to create some artsy shots. The subject matter was inspiring. You can also visit the show for the Orchid Evenings (with signature cocktail). It would be a great date spot...(trés romantic!) How do you think my artsy shots came out?

My sidekick was a trooper (or maybe I'm the sidekick?)

After touring the Orchid Show, we made terrariums at the Children's Garden which was also really cool. Jake was getting a bit tired by that point, so I knew we had to make a quick get away. 

It's exhausting being a super hero w/ a dual identity. On the way back to the car though, he still kept wanting to take more photos. He's say, "Mom! Stop! Photo op!" Such fun!

If you happen to go for the Orchid Evenings event...please tell me how it was, and have a "signature cocktail" for me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Super Heros Unite

(design © Heather Zschock)

As always, we've had a busy several weeks with lots of birthday fun, lots of work, and not enough time. Thus, this blog has not been updated quite as much as I would like. For one thing, I think it needs an overhaul, and I'm starting to gather a few ideas of things I'd like to do. Like most of my larger projects (like our guest bedroom, and basement), it seems that things take about 6 months to come together if I'm truly honest with my time constraints! I also have a tendency to play with Jake at any given moment. Redesign blog, or play with Jake? Clean out basement, or play with Jake? Hmmmm...which would you decide? (He is pretty cute, isn't he?)

In March, Jake turned 4, and we celebrated with a really fun Super Hero party. I had a few indoor games like "Pin the Badge on the Super Hero" planned, but I really didn't have enough to keep 11 kids reasonably happy and under control for an hour and a halaf. FORTUNATELY the weather cooperated with us. If it had been a rainy day, I would have been in big trouble!

(design © Heather Zschock)

The highlight was a visit from Spiderman himself (who wishes to be anonymous). When the children arrived, we gave them bags with capes I had made, masks that my sister graciously made, with stickers to decorate. (I made 12 capes!??! What was I thinking!?!?) When that activity was winding down, Mr. Anonymous snuck upstairs and put on his Spiderman costume (doesn't every man own one?). I announced that a "bad guy" had taken the goody bags...which may have scared a few of the kids (oops!), and then I asked them to all call for help from Spiderman. They obliged, and out popped Spiderman! Who also scared them, until we told them who he really was (can you guess?).

Spiderman led the little super heroes on a "clue finding mission" around a nature preserve by our house. We had set up clues and goody bags with "power rings", "heat ray vision" glasses, etc. At each stop, Spidey would pass out the goodies and announce that his "spider senses were tingling", and it was off to the next stop!

They all had fun, and I think this will be a memorable party for him...which for me, is the most important!