Sunday, November 28, 2010

Postponing Decking the Halls, to Build Up Walls

It has been a whirlwind few weeks starting with the girls' birthday party (mermaid party pics coming soon I promise) to Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. While most people are busy decking the halls, we've been building some walls. And though we might be the last ones on our block to put up our lights this year, we are getting a jump on all those new year resolutions to get fit because the walls we are building belong to a new exercise room for me!
I confess exercise has not been part of my daily routine and it should be. I want to start exercising again not so much to get back in shape but to gain some more energy. Other times in my life when I exercised regularly, I had more energy, stamina and focus.  My life with twin four year olds and a demanding full time job is exhausting- more energy is high on my wish list. So an exercise room is what I asked Santa (Mr.Cabin) for this year.

I know an entire room sounds a little extreme but let me explain a few things.
#1 - It's winter. Had it been spring or summer, I would just go outside and take a walk. But it's dark and cold by 4:30 every afternoon. Walking outside in the dark and the cold does not appeal to me.

#2- Why not just join a gym? I could of course but it all goes back to the cold and the dark. I would not want to leave my nice, warm and cozy cottage to drive to a gym. I just wouldn't go.

#3- I already have some equipment. A gazelle, which got put in the basement when pregnant me got put on bedrest- the poor machine has not seen the light of day since. Four long years. I used to have it set up in the living room but the twins and their toys have taken over and that is just not a good option anymore.

#4- You may be picturing an entire room as a large space. Nope- this room is going to be tiny. The reality is the only room we could spare was some space in basement. The basement right now is dark and dinghy- basically storage and laundry space. We were able to figure out a little space I could call my own- all 8 feet by 9 nine feet of it.

#5- If I am going to use the space it has to be pretty. Who wants to work out staring at the pile of dirty laundry? An inviting, pretty little space all my own will make working out less of a chore.

So this is what Mr.Cabin was doing this weekend instead of putting lights on our house. First he replaced the window.

He installed a slightly larger window but first he had to cut out all this excess concrete. I was so impressed he knew what he was doing!

The new window and trim.

Here is the space- can you see now why I don't want to work out in the basement as is? Yuck!

The beginning of the framing.

And since I don't want to leave you with all dinghy, dirty basement pictures- here are some pretty pictures.

This is an idea I came across while looking for inspiring exercise room photos.

from Cottage Living

I am contemplating using this cabinet from the kitchen in the same way- TV/DVD player on top, exercise dvd's and supplies inside. I just repainted it when we repainted the kitchen except the color isn't quite right for the kitchen. I going to repaint it again but now I think the color might be perfect for the exercise room.

The rest of my inspiration so far- bright, happy, invigorating and pretty. What more could a workout room ask for?

Of course, Mr. Cabin has not seen the above yet. It drives him nuts when I start decorating while he is still working. I can't help it- I'm excited about my Christmas gift!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Party Prep: Placecards and Pearls

The girls' 4th birthday party is less than a week away now and I have mermaids swimming through my thoughts day and night. The girls themselves are giddy with anticipation and that's all that really matters.
The major components of the party have been in place for a few months, now it is time for a few last minute details. I love party details. They can make or break a party for me and they are my favorite part of planning.

Here are the placecards I just made to label all of the food. I tried to name the food to fit in with our mermaid theme as much as possible.

A little curious about this one?

First let me say, I swoon over all those gorgeous candy buffets you see in parties lately- so sweet and pretty.
Here is the beginning of what will be our own mini-mermaid version....pearls.

I picked up a few different size pearl candies for a pick-your-own pearl candy buffet.

The best party tip I have from planning this party is buying a digital scrapbook kit. I am not a digitial scrapbooker and I had never purchased one before but I am so glad I did. I used all the coordinated images for everything- the invitations,  the banner, the placecards, our Soup-er Favors  ...

I did use some of my traditional paper scrapbook supplies too. I cut pretty water paper into strips to make these napkin rings. The girls even helped assemble them by adding little sea creature stickers. 

I like how pretty it looks but it also makes the buffet easier when the cutlery and napkins are together in a pretty little package. I bought a wooden treasure chest to hold them all and some pearls to spill over the side as decoration.
Can't wait to post actual photos from the party- wish me luck,

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Our cabin is only 17 by 31 feet. 527 square feet of shelter tucked in among the trees but leaving it this past weekend for the winter was like saying goodbye to a friend who you know you will not see for a long time. Bittersweet.  As I reflect on the times we spent there this past year, I am grateful for so many things...

...special journeys.

Traveling down well worn paths towards precious new discoveries...

cherishing these moments through the eyes a child.

Sometimes traveling into the past and pondering from where we came...

Reflecting on the beauty of constant change all around us.

Spending time with friends and family...

... and some quiet stolen moments to enjoy the peace of the forest all alone.

It has been a wonderful spring, summer and fall at the cabin.
I will miss it dearly all winter long.
I feel so lucky and blessed to have this special little place. Life is good.
And I am so very grateful to share it with you...
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