Metal Mouth

As you might recall, I got braces a couple of months ago because my tongue is too big for my mouth. Sad but true.

All and all, it’s going fine. The first couple of weeks pretty much sucked my will to live, but it’s continually gotten better and most days I don’t have much pain at all. I’ve figured out how to eat, for the most part, and other than cutting corn off the cob and not being able to bite into an apple, it hasn’t been that big of a deal. My inability to eat popcorn, however, is very disturbing to Sam. Every once in a while he’ll randomly say “Poor Mommy can’t even eat popcorn at the movies!” or something along those lines.

I’ve been following the doctor’s orders really closely – I know how much I paid for the pleasure of orthodontic treatment and I do not want to screw it up – but there’s one thing I can’t bring myself to do.

I can’t drink coffee through a straw.

Everything else? No problem. I have even abstained from red wine. But there is just something unnatural about using a straw in a coffee mug. And I am not about to give up coffee.

So, I just live with the fear that I am irreparably staining my teeth and I’ll have bracket-shaped spots on my teeth whenever I get these things off.

But guess what!

I think this whole thing is working. I feel so good. I can get out of bed in the morning without calculating the minutes until I can go back to bed, I don’t feel the need to nap in the afternoon (and the few times I’ve tried, I haven’t been able to. Unheard of!), and I have more energy than I can remember having since… well, ever. It is really kind of amazing.

I saw my doctor (the one who diagnosed my giant tongue) last week and he said he couldn’t be more pleased with my progress. I’m still on hydro-cortisone for my adrenal system, but he thinks I’ll be able to wean myself off of it before too awfully long.

Oh – I nearly forgot… a few of you have asked to see a picture of me with my braces, so against my better judgement, here you go!

me with braces

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Kids’ Fall Fashion from Lands’ End

Okay I have to get a couple of things out before I can move on here.

A) OMG BFF have you SEEN the women’s fall clothes at Lands’ End? I went through the catalog yesterday and I want one of EVERYTHING. Check out the new arrivals here. Not kidding, I need one of everything. In every color. And they just redesigned their jeans.

B) In case you can’t live without what I’m about to show you here, you should know that there’s a promo code for 20% off your order today – the code is FALLBREEZE and the Pin is 1755.

C) I think I am going to use said code and pin to order this. I just need one of you to tell me to pull the trigger.

lands end handbag

Isn’t that lovely? Sigh.

So! Back to the subject at hand – fall looks for kids!

Fall really arrived here in Ohio over the weekend, and it was the perfect time to pull out the kids’ new Lands’ End clothes. Every time I pull a piece out of a box or their closet or whatever, I’m struck by the solid construction and the overall quality. We’ve said it before, but the Lands’ End clothes and outerwear that start with my kids still look great after they’ve been passed on to Jenny’s kids and then to my niece and nephew. It’s amazing, really!

Let’s start with Kate, since she was a bit of a better model than her brother! (although don’t ask me what is up with the glasses. They are from a 3D movie and she popped out the lenses.)

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Kate’s wearing the Long Sleeve Crewneck Sweater with the Solid Knit Twirl Skirt in capri breeze. She loves them both because they’re cute and comfortable, I love them both because they are age-appropriate! Which is another great thing about Lands’ End – the “big girl” clothes go up to a size 20 and are, without exception, tasteful, suitable clothes for girls. If you’ve been shopping in a girls’ section lately, you know what a rare quality that is.

Kate’s also wearing the Molly Riding Boots, which I am a little obsessed with myself. Aren’t they cute? She loves the braided strap on the front. They’re genuine suede and have a printed cotton lining.

molly riding boots

Another thing I love at Lands’ End are the printed Graphic Tees, for boys and girls both. Here’s Kate in the Soft Mineral Yellow Fox shirt.

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It’s super soft, but clearly made well and durable. Kate is super obsessed with both foxes and owls right now, so she was thrilled with both of these picks!

Another fall must-have is Lands’ End fleece. Kate has the T-200 Fleece Jacket in burgundy now, but it’s far from the first LE fleece that’s hit our home! In fact, we ran across some on sale a few years ago and bought one in every size for Sam – they’re a classic staple I know he’s going to use for years. Of course, Andy and I have a few for ourselves as well! The comfort and quality can’t be beat.

lands end fleece

I’ve waxed poetic before about how much I love little boys’ clothes, and this year’s LE collection is so cute I can hardly stand it. I mean, look at this hoodie.

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Have you ever seen anything this cute? I didn’t think so. The Pieced Long Sleeve Sherpa Hoodie is amazingly soft and comfortable. I love the cozy sherpa lining and that it is full-zip. This is another classic Lands’ End piece that we’ve had several of – Kate and Sam both had them last year. They’re great as an outer layer on chilly days, or as an added layer under a parka when it’s super cold.

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Sam was not in a terribly cooperative mood when I was taking these pictures! Here he’s wearing the hoodie (and giving you a good look at the sherpa lining!) over a graphic tee – this particular one is the Classic Navy Solar System. Sam’s a super science nerd (he gets it from his father) and he LOVES this shirt.

Quick story – last spring we were perusing the Lands’ End section at Sears, and Sam saw a graphic tee featuring an Anglerfish. Don’t ask me what that is – but he knew, because he’d been studying it in school. He and Andy discussed all the finer points of Anglerfish, and determined Sam had to have the shirt. He was so excited to wear it to school and show his teacher the next day!

lands end angler fish

In the picture above, Sam’s also wearing the Rinsed Indigo Slim Fit Iron Knee Jeans. Lands’ End’s Iron Knee Pants are ridiculously awesome. As anyone who has ever had a boy can attest, knees are the first part of the pants to go. These pants are reinforced in the knee, but the patch is invisible. They’re amazing. Check them out:

I am like a broken record here, but another staple in our house is the Navigator Rain Jackets. We first bought them for the kids three years ago when we went to Michigan for summer vacation. I kid you not, both kids are still wearing the same jackets we bought (a little big) then, and they look brand new. In fact, they both wore them on the first day of school (when it was raining and we were running down the street. I still need to tell that story).

lands end navigator

I love the new ColorBlock version they’ve got this year!


Finally, Sam needed a new backpack for first grade, and he picked the FeatherLight backpack, complete with an embroidered shark (?!? My kids are weird.). I know he’ll get several years out of this backpack, as Kate has hers – they really do stand up to the beating kids put them through all year long! Sam’s using the ClassMate Soft Side Lunch Box that he used last year, and it still looks brand new.

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Lands’ End has it all when it comes to kids clothes. What are the fall must-haves for your kids?

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The Moose are Gone!

Last week I posted about how I had finally had enough of the “decor” in our bathroom. In case you missed it – and so you can really get a feel for the drastic improvement – here’s the before:

Stenciled. Moose.

I looked at that for eight years!

In any case, last week when the boys were out of town, Kate and I were on a mission! I took the afternoon off from work, picked her up and went shopping. We started out at Sherwin Williams, and even though I had been researching Pinterest and Houzz and the rest of the interwebs for days, I still agonized over what color to pick once we were actually there. Eventually, though, we landed on Silvermist.


Then we hit HomeGoods, which, like its sister TJ Maxx, is my happy place, and got a little out of control! We bought towel bars, a shower curtain, a bath mat, towels and accessories. It was so fun! And affordable. I spent about $150 and got a ton of stuff.

Our last stop (or so I thought) was Lowe’s, where we picked out a lovely light fixture to replace this atrocity.

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But, when we got home, after I gleefully tore down the pinecone wallpaper border, I took off the old fixture (and I didn’t even electrocute myself!) and discovered this.

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Random holes in the drywall! Awesome. The base of the new light fixture was a small circle, and after consulting the google I determined that patching the drywall was out of my wheelhouse. So, the only other thing to do was to pick a different light that would cover that shit up.

I am all about quality workmanship, as you can see.

So, we trucked back to Lowe’s and picked up a new light with a much larger base. And also a pizza. We were back on track. Yay!

But wait, not so fast.

The first step in the installation instructions was to attach the fixture to the junction box, a metal thing that’s supposed to be attached to the studs in the wall. Except there wasn’t one in my wall – as you can see from the picture above, the wires were just sticking out of a hole. So there was nothing to attach the new fixture to. I turned to the google once again and determined I needed to install a junction box, but by this time it was after 8pm and our hardware store was closed. We decided it was time to start painting and deal with the light in the morning. Except that meant we were painting in the dark. Minor problem.

This is turning into a really long story.

Anyway, we rigged up some lights and extension cords and got to painting! By about 11:30, we were done… with the paint. Everything else was still a disaster, but we needed to call it a night. We headed to the hardware store the next morning, bought a junction box (from a man who was just slightly condescending, not that I’m bitter)… but the hole in the drywall wasn’t big enough for it. So I got out the hammer and made it bigger. Except I ran into two studs on either side before the hole got big enough.

At that point I started googling “hanging light fixture without junction box” and despite the fact that most of what I read indicated that said box was in fact necessary, I decided to try it anyway and hope for the best.

And it looks really good!

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I just hope it doesn’t fall out of the wall and/or burn down the house.

Things went quickly from there, and pretty soon we had an entirely different bathroom.

Finally - here are the after pictures!

Wait… just one more “before” because if any of you made it this far you’ve probably forgotten what it looked like by now:

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And now…

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Honestly the pictures don’t do justice to how much better it looks. I mean, there was nowhere to go but up, but we just love it. Andy couldn’t believe it when he got home and said he would never doubt me again in the realm of home decor (although he also said he thought it “looked nice” before, so I’m not sure how much stock we can put into his opinion). Kate spent a few days just hanging out in the bathroom.

It was well worth the 18 hours and $300 it took to complete this project. I just wish we hadn’t waited eight years to do it!

Now I just want to refinish the cabinets and countertop and replace the sink and faucet. I’m sure there’s a YouTube video for that…

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