Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Airport Tour!

Today we joined our friends from the Fairport Moms Club for a tour of the Greater Rochester International Airport (GRIA). They provide tours free or charge for schools, scouting organizations, senior centers, various clubs and societies, etc.

Our tour guide was GRIA Public Relations Director, Mr. Samuel Cooper. A former Airport Director, Mr. Cooper knows just about everything there is to know about the airport inside and out.

We began our tour with Mr. Cooper's office. The kids were captivated with the view he had of the airfield from his office. He also had a tower of Matchbox cars and invited each kiddo to select a car to take home. He had seven instant little friends. Next, Mr. Cooper made a phone call and our very own shuttle bus arrived to pick us up outside his office. We felt like VIP's. For the kiddos that would translate to "Very Important Peanuts".

On board the bus, we went for a ride around the air field. Our first stop...the New York Air National Guard hangar. And guess what we saw...

....and boarded! They were busy preparing it for departure later today, but we were allowed to go on it. The kiddos could even take turns sitting in the cockpit...

The Army helicopter was definitely a highlight of our airport tour! When we were finished there, they raised the hangar doors and we boarded our "private bus". The driver drove us out to the far end of the airfield where we waited to see a plane take off. Not through the bus windows I'll have you, we exited the bus and stood in the grass outside the bus while we watched the plane take off (photo at top). Very cool!

Next stop...the airport fire house.

Not as cool as the helicopter or watching a plane take off a few hundred yards in front of you, but these aren't your standard fire trucks. They are specially equipped to handle jet fuel fires with water and foam. One truck had a special infrared detector that could find fires from a distance and then a special hook on the truck could pierce a hole into the aircraft to target the fire. But, of course, not where passengers are seated the fireman pointed out : )

After our tour was over, a couple of us decided to hang out in the airfield observatory. It's a small area on the west end of the second floor of the airport. There is a small food concession stand that offers snack foods and beverages. They also have kid-sized tables and chairs and floor to ceiling viewing windows, so a great spot to wind down and have a snack before heading home.

What a fun morning we had!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

All That Jazz Antique Mall

All That Jazz Antique Mall is a great place to find antiques locally, in fact, they are the largest antique mall in Monroe County. They have over 100 dealers that offer a wide variety of antiques and collectables and decorative accessories.

So instead of fighting the Black Friday mall mobs, my brother Mark, his partner Gerrit and I decided to do a little antiquing. I haven't been to All That Jazz in a REALLY long time and honestly, it is so tucked away that I had almost forgotten about this gem. So of course, I was super excited when we got there and found out that they were having a Black Friday sale...20% off the entire store...woot-woot!

I found a few great treasures. Here's what I did with them... 

First find was this great old wire milk bottle carrier.

My dad gave me a great vintage milk bottle for in it. If you look at the bottle closely in the picture below, you'll notice it has a small bulb at the top of the neck. Before milk was homogenized, the cream would rise to the top of the milk bottle. A special spoon would be used to close off the neck between the cream and the milk, thus allowing the cream to be poured out of the bottle and the milk to remain. There's your history lesson for today : )

I rolled up a piece of paper and stuck it in the bottle to make it look like their was "milk" in it, put it in the wire basket and then placed it on top of my kitchen cabinets. Next, I printed out a vintage milk sign on photo paper from the internet and put it in a black 8x10 frame I already had to bring the whole "look" together.

Next I found these lovely wrought iron candle holders that look perfect displayed on my mantle.

I've seen these before and if you don't know what it is, back in the day they were used to beat dirt out of your rugs. I've been on a kick lately collecting old housewares to decorate my laundry room, so it made the perfect addition to my collection hung on my laundry room wall.

Now that's everything I bought on my antique expedition Friday, but I did come across several old oil lanterns like the one pictured below that I photographed at the shop.

My dad recently found an old oil lantern down in is basement that he made into a night light for Logan's room (upon my suggestion). It came off an old boat he used to own.

Cool, huh? They had similar reproduction lanterns at Pottery Barn Kids over the summer that were selling for around $40. This cost my dad absolutely nothing to make, he already had everything in his workshop...even the flickering light bulbs!

If you go...All That Jazz is located at 1221 Empire Boulevard, just east off 590 along the bay, and open daily 10am-5pm and Sundays 11am-5pm. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

1960's Flashback and How to Set a Proper Table

It's that time of year again for formal holiday dinners and even informal get-togethers. I'm amazed when attending a formal dinner party (or even casual for that matter) or out to dinner at a local restaurant, the number of people who have no idea which side of the plate the dinner fork goes on, what fork goes to what or even which plate is my bread plate (or water glass)..left or right? Don't get me wrong, it took me a while to figure all this out, but it's necessary people! It's as a sign of good manners and upbringing that has totally fallen to the wayside in today's culture.

Your Home and You is a home economics textbook printed in 1961 and was used to teach teenagers cooking, homemaking, dressing, decorating, caring for children and even personal and family relationships. It really makes me laugh, but I wish some of these things were still taught in today's high schools. Do they even still teach Home Economics class?

These days a Home Maker's bible is the internet... Pinterest, The FlyLady and A Full Cup...a few of my personal favorites.

So, our lesson for today: How to Set a Proper Table

Casual Family Meals
The knife and teaspoon go to the right of the dinner plate, the napkin (yes mom, it's a paper napkin) and fork to the left. The glass goes above the knife.

Informal Dinners or Luncheons
The knife and soup spoon go to the right of the dinner plate, the dinner fork and salad fork to the left, and the dessert spoon and dessert fork above. Water and wine glasses above the knife and spoon to the right and bread plate above the forks on the left. Napkin to the left beside the forks.

Formal Meals
Knife, teaspoon and soup spoon to the right of the dinner plate. Dinner fork and salad fork to the left. Forks are always placed in order of use from the outside in. Arrange glasses above the knife, left to right starting with your water and then wine glasses. Bread plate to the left above the forks. Salad plate next to the forks and coffee cup and saucer and coffee spoon to the right of the setting. You can also choose to not include the coffee cup and saucer and salad plate in the setting and bring these items to the table as needed. Traditionally, the napkin is placed on the dinner plate, but since my plates are so pretty I don't want to cover them up. I place my napkin in the glass.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beads, Pendants & Oh The Possibilities!!!!

I have recently discovered Bead Gallery strung beads at Micheal's. I think I may have found another hobby...jewelery making...like I need another.

If you've never strolled the Bead Gallery display at Micheal's, it is literally rows and rows of strung beads at fabulous prices. Most strands are about six to eight inches long and range in price from $3.99 to $12.99. They are almost always on some kind of promotional sale each week.

It really takes very little creativity to create a great statement necklace using Bead Gallery. The way the beads are sold are already in ready-to-create strands, so just pick a couple strands you like, throw in a pendant or a charm or two and you've got a great new necklace for less then half the cost you probably would have paid in a high end boutique.

In the picture above I am wearing two necklaces. The cross pendant I made using the Bead Gallery beads. It compliments my Brighton Full Moon Rising turquoise necklace quite well, wouldn't you say?

I paid $2.99 for the cross pendant, $3.59 for a stand of small pebble turquoise beads, and then bought two strands of the larger turquoise beads for $4.79 each. I already had the cord to string them all together, so in total, the necklace cost me, with tax, $17.37 and about a half hour of my time. My Brighton necklace...about $60.

Currently taking orders : )

Friday, November 16, 2012

Burlap Cross Fleur De Lis Rag Wreath

I love burlap : ) It's so versatile for decorating and did I mention... it's CHEAP! You can pick up a 24 ft. roll for around $12 at Home Depot. 

My latest creation is this burlap cross fleur de lis rag wreath. The burlap I already had, so I only needed to pick up a few items at my home planet...Hobby Lobby.

Wire Wreath Form- $3.99
Fleur De Lis Cross- $10.79 (originally $17.99, used a 40% off coupon)

To start, I cut my burlap into TONS of about 2" wide by about 5" long strips. Then you just find a good movie on TV and sit... and knot, and knot, and knot the burlap strips to the wire form.

For the final touch, I attached the fleur de lis cross with wire to the top of the form.

Another burlap creation! LOVE IT : )

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Easy Cornucopia Toddler Snack

These super cute cornucopia snacks are the perfect toddler treat for Thanksgiving. I recently made them for a small get-together and they were a hit! I made them up myself prior to the party, but a fun alternative would be to let the kiddos make their own.

What you'll need...

I filled the "cornucopia's", AKA sugar cones, half way with Goldfish crackers and then topped them off with a couple mini pretzels. Fill in the sides with M&Ms and some more Goldfish and voila... you're done! : )

I bagged them up in snack-size Ziploc bags for transport. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Silhouettes

Silhouettes are again making a comeback!

My mother has silhouettes of herself, her sister and parents that I have always admired. It looks easy enough!?

Turns out, it is! I found a great tutorial on-line and decided to make one of Lauren and one of Logan for my mother's birthday.

Here's how...

1. Take a photograph of your subject, on their level, preferably against a solid colored wall. Snap away...get a few so you have a couple different options...especially with kiddos, as they tend to squirm a lot : )

2. Upload the photos to your computer. Select which one you'd like to use, crop it and print it out on either 8x10 or 4x6 photo paper.

3. Cut out your subject's profile being especially careful around facial features.

4. Next, turn your silhouette photo side down onto a piece of scrap cardboard. Using a foam brush, apply an even, thin layer of black tempera paint. Allow to dry and apply a second thin coat

5.  Once dry, you're ready to frame! Affix the silhouette onto a white or off-white piece of paper and place into your selected 4x6 or 8x10 frame.

6. Enjoy!

Now, a little history lesson for you...Silhouettes became highly popular from 1790 to 1840 and were generally done by specialty artists cutting a likeness of a person freehand on black cardboard and then mounting it on a white background. The invention of the camera put an end to the silhouette as a widespread form of portraiture.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Decorating for Thanksgiving

This year I am hosting Thanksgiving. And if you know me (or have been following my blog), you know I go all out decorating for ANY holiday or occasion. With Pinterest as my inspiration, armed with my glue gun, nothing can stop me! (insert evil laughter here)

The mantel is always one of the key spots for decorating for any holiday. Here's my Thanksgiving mantel...

For the "Give Thanks" banner I found this great blog HERE that has FREE printable letters for making banners. I just printed out the letters I needed for my banner on a heavyweight off-white paper, cut them out, and mounted them on brown and black construction paper. Using a hole punch, I punched holes through the top corners of each letter and strung them together using burlap string.

I LOVE making wreaths and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way this Indian corn sunburst wreath turned out. Here's a close-up...

The inspiration for my wreath came from HERE. It was pretty easy to make. The hard part was finding the Indian corn past Halloween believe it or not!

Next, I needed a centerpiece for my dining room table. I used my existing candle centerpiece and just tied some mini Indian corn around it using the burlap string. You can see my tutorial for the new-sew burlap table runner underneath it HERE.

I didn't want to clutter up the kitchen since it would be the hub of Thanksgiving activity and cooking, but I had to do SOMETHING in this all important room. So, I found this fabulously appropriate sign on the internet (just Google "Keep Calm and Gobble On" under images and a ton of options will pop up), printed it out on photo paper, stuck it in an 8x10 black frame I already had and added the mini gourd.

Thanksgiving, I'm ready for 'ya....bring it on!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Proud Make-Up Mom

Recently, my friend Jenny over at The Flower City Fashionista posted on her blog about "Makeup Moms". You know, those of us who refuse to leave the house without make-up and the perfect coordinating accessories.

I am a proud Make-Up Mom. Now, I will openly admit that there are days I sneak out of the house under the cover of a baseball cap (when my roots are in serious need of attention), or you may catch me in a sweatsuit (only Pink or Juicy will do, however) at the grocery store. But, most days I try to pull it all together. I wash my hair at night, which means I can generally be ready to go, shower, make-up and all, in about 20 minutes in the morning.

I don't want to embarrass my son, granted he is only two...but still. I know there will come a day, when he is a teenager, that he will be embarrassed by my presence no matter what I am wearing. I don't want Lauren pointing me out to her friends in Heaven, looking down, saying "Yeah, the one with the stained sweatpants and torn hoodie, that's my mom".

When I am laying around at home you can most definitely find me in PJs or sweats. But I have been trying to make a better effort to live up to my Make-Up Mom standards. I never want to be a contestant on What Not to Wear.

Here is what I wore today...

Layered Tanks: Target, Plaid Shirt: Target, Denim Jacket: Banana Republic, Infinity Scarf: Lord & Taylor, Jeans: J. Crew, Boots: Bandolino, Handbag: Louis Vuitton

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Save the Dates!

Sorry for the lack of posts the past couple days. I have been a busy, busy bee. First and foremost, Andy and I along with two other local families who have also lost a child to Leukemia have decided to start a Western New York Chapter of Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation.

Every January Make Some Noise chapters hold a National Noise Night, the next to be held Saturday, January 12th, 2013...so save the date! Our National Noise Night will also serve as our "chapter kick-off event". We plan to have a DJ and local bands for entertainment, silent auction (accepting donations : ), and we would love to secure a local personality or celebrity to be a special guest or guest speaker (so if you have any connections...let me know : ). We are all super excited about the new venture in our lives and to honor the memory of Lauren,

Also, the next Golisano Children's Hospital Stroll for Strong Kids has been announced for Saturday, June 1, 2013 at Genesee Valley Park. Team Lauren's Legacy will be participating again this year and we hope to meet or exceed last year's record breaking total. Registration won't begin until March for that event, but in the meantime, you can vote for you're favorite theme on Facebook HERE. The suggested themes are Construction, Jungle/Safari or Pirate. I personally like the construction theme in honor of the new hospital.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Coupon Madness

It's Monday (again), so you know what that means at the Olander household...grocery shopping day! A bulk of our grocery shopping this morning was done at Wegmans with *GASP* no coupons, I know, SHAMEFUL! But, I also went over to Tops to take advantage of some deals over there this week.

Total out-of-pocket spent: $15.00 ...I saved $29.01 using my Tops Bonus Card and coupons (Tops doubles manufacturer coupons up to $.99). Here's a breakdown...

6 jars of Prego- 3/$5
Used 2 $1/3 coupon from yesterday's Sunday paper coupon inserts

Tops is running promotion this week where if you buy 6 specific items, you'll save $4 instantly. Pillsbury Bownies were part of that promotion, so I bought...
6 boxes of Pillsbury Brownie Mix- 4/$5

1 box of Fruity Pebbles- $2
Used a coupon for $.75/1 I found printed in a previous cereal box

6 Ronzoni Pasta Portions-$1/each
Used 3 $1/2 coupons from the 9/30/12 Sunday paper coupon insert

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Election 2012

With Election Day less than 48 hours away....do you know who you are voting for?

For more information on voting in Monroe County, click HERE.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

DIY No Sew Burlap Table Runner

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the thought of my bare dining room table against my beautiful new Johnson Brothers Wild Turkey dinner plates was appalling. I needed a new table runner...on the cheap...and did I mention I can't sew? Stitch Witchery is my best friend.

Enter the DIY no-sew burlap table runner! SO easy! Here's how...

You'll Need:
-About 2 yards of burlap (usually anywhere from $6-$10/yard)
-Sharpie to mark your burlap
-Measuring tape
-Stitch Witchery (about $3.50/roll)
-Iron (an ironing board to go along with the iron too!)

1. Measure the length of your dining room table and add 8" to each end for a slight overhang and the fringe.

2. Most table runners are about 15" in width, add an additional 2" for your hem, for a total width of 17". The one side of my burlap was already finished, so I only needed to add 1".

3. Lay out your burlap, measure, mark and cut!


After I cut my burlap, I gave it a good ironing to get out any creases. Note: Burlap is tough to iron, spray starch worked well for this task!

4. On each end of your cut burlap, measure 6" from the bottom. This is where your fringe will start and you do not want to "sew" this section.

5. Fold over the edge seam about 1/2", place the Stitch Witchery under the fold, and sew...er, iron.

It should look something like this when your done "sewing"...

6. Next, unravel reach end of your runner.

7. For the fringe, grab about six strands and knot them.

And your done! Now you have a beautiful table runner for your Thanksgiving table. SO Pottery Barn and how very Martha Stewart of you : )

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