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Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Wii Little Token

I am the parent of a nine year old boy. He is currently on summer break.

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I try to fill his days with trips to museums, tennis lessons, the library, arts and crafts and water sports.

But there is one activity he would rather do above all others: play the Wii.

The first week of summer vacation I gave him free reign to do whatever he wanted. Big mistake. I had to take back the power.

Enter in the Wii Little Token Jar.

I typed up a list of non Wii activities and chores. It included such things as:

Read for 40 minutes

Wash the dog

Fold and put away laundry

and about 30 other tasks or activities.

Each activity completed was worth one token. Each token was worth 30 minutes of play time on the Wii.

No tokens? No Wii.

There was much fussing and crying the first few days. Sweet Boy too.

I quickly realized I had to set a 30 minute timer because I would lose track of time by getting side tracked doing things like…cleaning toilets. Word to the wise: a 9 year old boy can’t be counted on to remember either.

I created the jar with some vintage poker chips someone had given me a few years ago. I filled another jar with antique dominos and nestled the two into an entertainment center vignette.

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Sweet boy lines up his earned tokens much like quarters on a pool table. After thirty minutes of play the spent token is placed back in the jar. He is also able to turn in unused tokens for 50 cents each. After three weeks this system is working beautifully.

If you happen to need your own Wii little tokens (aka poker chips) I’ve packaged up some vintage tokens and put them in my Etsy shop.

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Game on,

Laura

Linking to:

Funky Junk

The DIY Showoff

Today’s Creative Blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

R.W.W. Monaco Edition ~ All The Pretty Details

The next Royal wedding is now only two days away.

Regarding the details, here is what we know. The bride’s dress is being made by Mr. Giorgio Armani.

The civil wedding will take place at 5 pm on Friday, July 1st in the Throne Room at the Prince’s Palace~ just as Prince Albert’s parents did 55 years ago.  The ceremony will be performed by Mr. Philippe Narmino, President of the Council of State and the Sovereign Family’s civil registrar.

At 5:50 pm the newlyweds will make an appearance on the balcony of the Hall of Mirrors to greet the people. At 6pm Monegasques (Monaco residents) will be offered a buffet cocktail in the Palace Square. (Pretty nice of his Serene Highness!)

At 8 pm residents of the Principality will be invited to a reception in the harbor.

At 10 pm the Eagles will perform in concert, compliments of the Royal couple, at Port Hercule.

On Saturday, July 2nd at 5 pm the religious wedding will take place in the Main Courtyard of the Prince’s Palace. Miss Wittstock will walk along a red carpet from the Carabiniers barracks to the altar accompanied by her father, Mr. Michael Wittstock. His Grace, Bernard Barsi, Archbishop of Monaco, will celebrate the mass.

At 6:30 pm the royal couple will leave the Palace for Sainte Dévote’s Church so that the Princess can lay her bouquet at the altar. The procession will pass along Avenue de la Porte Neuve, Avenue du Port and Boulevard Albert I, and return to the Palace using the same route.

The official wedding dinner and ball will take place in the Opera Garnier and the Casino terraces beginning at 9:30 pm.

Throughout the evening a wide range of musical entertainment will take place. Dinner, which will be prepared by Mr. Alain Ducasse, will conclude with a firework display.

Monegasques will be able to follow the ceremonies and festivities on giant screens in the Palace Square. I am hopeful that this will mean  American camera crews will also cover the wedding and we will be able to view the wedding on television, or at least online. The beauty of the wedding being held in the evening is that American viewers will not have to arise in the middle of the night. Thank you Prince Albert II!

Here is a recent interview with the couple. Check out the painting of Princess Grace in the background.

May your own home be your castle,

Laura

 

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When A Car Becomes An Accordion~ Or Why I Haven’t Been Commenting

Please forgive my recent lack of comments. My daughter was involved in a car accident in which her vehicle was totaled. She was not at fault and thankfully received only minor injuries. But given that she is only 22 we are having trouble finding her a rental car. (You generally have to be 25 to rent a vehicle.) So, this means I get to drive from one end of Phoenix to the other (30 minutes in good traffic) to pick her up at her apartment to take her to various medical appointments, etc.

We are also spending a great deal of time looking for a replacement vehicle. While the Fashionista is dreaming of something along the lines of this….

Born to run

We are thinking we can afford this….

In the meantime I have been in bed for the past two days. Whenever my body has decided it has had enough stress the evil doer known as vertigo pops into my brain to give me a wild ride.

Yep, double ugh. I hope to be well soon.

Laura

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever~ Craft

In last months Country Living I saw some darling strawberry sachets. It brought back a sweet memory of my grandmother who had a similarly styled pincushion. So I decided to give a berry good try in making one myself. 

Country Living Strawberry sachets

I did not like my first prototype AT ALL! The Country Living sachet had two unhemmed stars masquerading as leaves. I found that since I hadn’t used fray check (a liquid applied to fabric to stop it from fraying) after just a bit of handling the leaves looked horrible. I try not to use fray check very much as the down side of using it is that it makes your fabric feel somewhat crunchy. So I put on my thinking cap and finally a thought occurred: “Why don’t I just make a bigger strawberry sachets so it can do double duty as a sachet AND pincushion and create the top out of a yo~yo?”  The result, I thought, was pretty cute.

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Of course one reason they might be so cute was that I made the berries and leaves from vintage fabric scraps and buttons from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s that I have been hoarding collecting.

There are red, white and blueberries…

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…pinkberries…

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and traditional red berries all filled with sweet smelling organic lavender that I purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs.

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I cut and sewed the berries while watching Sweet Boy at his twice weekly one hour tennis lessons. It helped keep my mind off the fact I was sitting in 115 degree sunshine. They measure 3 inches by 2 inches and hold about 20 pearl headed pins.

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If you don’t happen to have a stash of vintage fabric on hand or perhaps enough time to sew, never fear, I’ve stocked a few in my Etsy shop.

Laura

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mint Green ~ It’s Not Just For Ice Cream

While I love just about every color in the spectrum, mint green has a special place in my heart.

To me there is nothing prettier on a summer day than a soft green sundress.

My favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip.

Mint green in interiors is absolutely lovely. It it almost like a neutral as it pairs well with so many colors. Turquoise and mint creates a soothing space for sleep.

Springtime slumber is sweet with mint and lavender.

For a spa like feel try mint in the bathroom. (Mint green was first paired with black during the Art Deco period.)

DecGalFall2004_Mint Green Geometric Bathroom With White Accents and Black Round Mirror

Mint truly feels fresh and clean.

HHBath05_Mint green walls in Bathroom

Mint with natural linen and light colored woods is perfection in a living room.

A bit of chartreuse and aqua provides a mod vibe compliments of the 1960’s.

An all mint room might be a bit much for some. 

But paired with cream it’s delightful.

My favorite combo? Hot pink and mint green. I never tire of this delicious decor pairing.

I like so many things about this space.

I could cook in a mint colored kitchen forever.

Ah, pink again.

But it also looks great with red, which was a popular look in the 1950’s.

Recently I was desperate for a pedicure and as my little boy is on summer vacation he accompanied me to the salon. (In the future he’ll either need therapy or have a very happy wife.) When we arrived I went straight to the pink polish area and he said, “Mom, you always get pink. Try something new. I’ll pick it out.” (This was accompanied by the puppy dog look.) So I agreed and he handed me a bottle of mint green polish. Truthfully I felt a bit green at his selection. But I agreed and he was VERY happy. But in the end?

Mint green should probably not be applied to 40 something toes. But if you see me, try not to be green with envy.

Laura

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Royal Wedding Wednesday~ The House of Grimaldi

While the upcoming wedding of His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock is not getting quite the attention the recent nuptials of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did, there is still excitement in the air.



Prince Albert is of course the only son and second child of the late Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace.
He was born on March 14, 1958 in the Palace of Monaco and christened Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi.


Prince Albert was described by his mother as a sweet and easy going child.


Prince Albert has two children from previous relationships. His daughter, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi was born March 4, 1992. She is currently attending Fordham University.


Prince Albert’s son, Alexandre Éric Stéphane Coste, was born on August 24, 2003.
It should be noted that according to Article 10 of the Constitution of Monaco only "direct and legitimate" descendants of Monaco's monarch (or of the monarch's siblings) may inherit the throne. So neither child is in line for succession.

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Prince Albert’s older sister, Princess Caroline of Hanover, (Caroline Louise Marguerite Grimaldi, Princess of Hannover, Princess of Monaco) is just fourteen months older than Albert. The two are said to be very close.


Princess Caroline married Philippe Junot, a man 17 years her senior, on June 2, 1978 but the marriage ended on October 9, 1980.



On December 29, 1983 Princess Caroline married Stefano Casiraghi, heir to an Italian industrial fortune.


They had three children together before Stefano was killed in a speed boating accident in 1990. All three children are in line behind Princess Caroline for succession to the throne.


The eldest is Andrea Albert Pierre Casiraghi, born on June 8th, 1984.


Their second child, Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi, was born on August 3, 1986.


Their third child, Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi, was born on September 5, 1987.


Princess Caroline married Ernst August Prince of Hanover, head of the House of Hanover, on January 23, 1999.


They have one child together, Princess Alexandra Charlotte Ulrike Maryam Virginia, born on July 20, 1999.

Princess Alexandra In this handout image provided by the Monaco Palace, Princess Alexandra of Hanover attends the 35th Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival on January 23, 2011 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Prince Albert’s youngest sister is Princess Stéphanie Marie Elisabeth Grimaldi born on February 1, 1965.

Princess Stéphanie married Daniel Ducruet on July 1, 1995. They later divorced on October 4, 1996.


Their first child, Louis Robert Paul Ducruet, was born on November 26, 1992.


Their second child, Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet, was born on May 4, 1994.

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On July 15, 1998 Princess Stéphanie gave birth to her third child, Camille Marie Kelly Gottlieb. The Princess did not name the child’s father, Jean-Raymond Gottlieb~ a former palace bodyguard, as the father on the birth certificate.

Princess Stéphanie married Adans Lopez Peres on September 10, 2003 but the marriage ended in divorce on November 24, 2004.

Miss Charlene Wittstock will join the Grimaldi royal family on July 1, 2011. As Miss Wittstock did not grow up in the public spotlight not as much information is known about this lovely, soon to be princess.

Charlene Wittstock's evolving style: Victoria and Daniel's wedding

Charlene Lynette Wittstock was born on January 25, 1978 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Africa to Michael and Lynette Wittstock. She has two younger brothers, Gareth born in 1980 and Sean in 1983.

Miss Charlene Wittstock - 2

She developed an interest in swimming at a young age and won the South African Championship when she was only 18. In 2000 she participated in the Olympic Games.



Later that same year she won a gold medal for the 200m backstroke event at the "Marenostrum" international swimming meeting in Monaco. This is when she met Prince Albert for the first time as he was presiding over the international competition.



Miss Wittstock is now a global ambassador for the Special Olympics and since 2010 has been associated with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. She regularly participates in fund raising events for charities such as Amfar.


Miss Wittstock and Prince Albert share of a love of sports and art and seem to truly enjoy one another’s company.


This will be the the first Royal ruling union where both parties were at one time members of their country’s Olympic team. Charlene of course for swimming and Prince Albert who has competed in five Olympic games on the Monaco bobsled team. Prior to this couple Princess Anne and her first husband, Capt. Mark Phillips, were also both in the Olympics, but of course will never rule England together.

Both of the Prince’s sisters are said to be very happy with Prince Albert’s choice of a bride.


Comparisons of the blonde bride to her late mother in law are inevitable.


Charlene does appear to have captured the same qualities of timeless beauty and elegance as Princess Grace.

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The citizens of Monaco have great hope she and Albert will reign just as beautifully as his parents did.

Next week, wedding details!
Laura