August 12, 2011

A New Obsession

Now that I’ve put my SONIC BLAST addiction on hold, (public accountability really does work) I’ve picked up a new habit.  This one, thankfully, is healthy, cheap, and lasts longer than ice cream.  I bring you…

McKay’s is a giant store that sells/buys used books, CD’s, DVD’s, and games. I had heard about this place for years but never thought much about it.  But, when my good friend Sharon told me she had been driving 45 minutes one-way to experience this place, I thought it was worth paying attention to.  So, three Friday’s ago, I grabbed 7 old books I was certain they wouldn’t want and decided to give it a chance.

I’ll spare you all of the details, because there’s no way I could give this place justice.  Bottom line: I traded all those unwanted books for almost $9 store credit!  $9 goes a long way when perfectly good hardbacks sell for 50 cents.  Since that Friday, I have returned 2 more times and left with 3 National Bestsellers.  All 3 are in very good condition, and I only used $1.90 of my credit.  

Unbelievable. I'm hooked. 

Mae Mae

August 11, 2011

mama's on t.v.!!

Woohoo!! You can check out Blue Monarch at, the bakery at, and the granola at

Mae Mae

Kids' Rooms...

It’s an odd thing not being able to picture what your kids will look like, how old they are, what gender they are, or even how many you’ll get at once.  I lay awake some nights thinking, “What if it’s one girl? What if it’s two boys? What if it’s one boy? What if it’s two girls? What if it’s one boy, one girl? What if it’s one baby, one toddler?!  What if it’s one toddler one older child?? What if it’s two toddlers? What if it’s two older children??? What if it’s two babies??!!!”  Eventually… I relax my mind by picking one of the scenarios and designing a kids’ room in my head. And then if I think it won’t totally drive me into “I WANT KIDS NOW” hysteria, I’ll surf for some pics of kids’ rooms on the internet.

Here are some rooms that I LOVE!

I LOVE this reading nook.  

 The framed map, hanging globes, cozy quilt, and books within arm's reach...It's too much for me to handle and I LOVE IT.

 I love everything about this room...the worn trunk,  polka dotted duvet, kids' books, and retro curtains.  Check out the owner's blog.  It's amazing.

I love the idea of having a teepee set up in a child's room all the time. 
So fun.
I love how this room accommodates four kiddos while maintaining their individual space.  Cozy, cozy, cozy.

 I want to take a nap in there right now.  Also, the painted floors are awesome. 

I love the old sleigh bed, striped linens, and cute teddy bears.  I also love how they managed to fit a bed, nightstand, and desk into a small space without feeling cramped.

I love how both beds share one platform.  Something about this is way more fun than two twins.

Thanks for daydreaming with me J
Mae Mae

August 10, 2011

A Quick Shout-Out...

I ate lunch with my dear friend Katye last week.  I met Katye in the 6th grade.  At the end of elementary school, nearly all of my friends lived in the city and were zoned for fancy middle schools with really cool mascots like the VIKINGS and the WARRIORS. I was zoned for Page Middle School (PMS).  Our mascot was an unprovoked but relentlessly furious panther... go figure.  With nearly all of my friends going to other schools, I was left to venture into adolescent-ville alone. I was at a new school, with new people, and the only soul I knew (one of my best friends, Katherine) was assigned to a different team than me.

For a month, I wandered from class to class without many friends. I wasn’t lonely, but I wasn’t necessarily comfortable.  (Don't feel sorry for me...I talked to people, I just didn't necessarily connect with anyone.  Everyone was obsessed with bad words,  no fear t-shirts, and our science teacher's ferrets... It was an unsettling time.)  One day in mid-September, God sent me a miracle.  My school secretary walked into my 1st period science class, told me to gather my things, and meet her in the hall.  When I walked out of the classroom she explained that there had been a mistake and I was supposed to be in the gifted program.  (I’m brushing my shoulders off as you read this.)  (What is my "gift" you ask?  I'm still undecided but know that my double jointed thumbs and amazing yoda impression are among top possiblities.)

The secretary led me to my new classroom and as she explained to my new teacher what had happened, I  quickly grabbed the only open seat available.  I was excited for the change.  But still… no familiar faces.

Later that day, this really pretty girl sitting next to me started asking me questions:  Where did I live, what school did I attend last, what was my favorite Ace of Base song...important things like this.  The next day she initiated a conversation again, and the next day, and the next.  By the 2nd week of my new class I had made a new friend!  Somehow, Katye had looked beyond my awkward, "new student", clumsy exterior and decided I was worth getting to know. 

A few months later she invited me into her circle of friends (everyone else had gone to school together since kindergarten) and the rest of the gals welcomed me in too.

When I moved to the mountain, Katye did not forget me.  For years, she sent me letters and packages.  We visited each other in high school, and as adults we still stay in touch.  Even though we only get to see each other once or twice a year, things pick up exactly where they left off and I leave feeling so blessed she decided to take a chance on the quiet new girl who looked like this:

See how sweet she was? (For the record, that sweater was the bomb. Warm but breathable, soft but not soft enough to leave small threads around.  To all the Page Middle students who were jealous of this look, it can still be found at Gap in the men's section.)

Here we are after lunch, 16 years later.  

Thanks Katye!!!
By the way, PMS rules and I'm a PANTHER fan forever.
mae mae

August 9, 2011

A Dream Come True

I’m a sucker for office supplies, monogrammed items, and... office supplies.  For years when my grandmother asked me what I wanted for Christmas, my only response was, “Office Supplies.” 
“What kind?”
“Any kind.”
“What do you need?”
“All of it.”
"If you could have anything what would it be?"
"A really fancy tape dispenser."

Each year, she was faithful to answer my request and I was always thrilled to tear open wrapped boxes of pencils, pens, erasers, journals, tape, tape dispensers, whiteout, paper clips,  staples, and more.
Ohhh the wild, untamed days of childhood.

As an adult, my love for office supplies increased, as did my annoying inner need to be frugal. Sean and I went shopping last year and as we strolled through the aisles I told him there was something I’d had my eye on for two months.  I eagerly led him to the office section and when I pointed to a hot-pink clipboard he was bewildered.
“It’s $2.19. Why didn’t you just get it?!”
“The plain ones are 99 cents…I couldn’t pull the trigger.”

Long story short we got the clipboard… BUT I have NEVER been able to pull the trigger on the holy grail of office supplies… personalized stationary. While I know personalized stationary is pretty cheap these days, I still can’t bring myself to pay for something I don’t reeeaallly need. But then again I don’t reeeally neeeeed pints of ice cream, fancy eye cream, or caramel macchiatos... Life is so confusing.

Anyhoo, when I saw this project in the September issue of Country Living, it caught my eye.  I already had all the necessary tools and wouldn’t have to pay a thing.  Plus, I’d get that monogrammed notepad I’ve been wanting since '97.  Yess!!

So here you go:

First, I made a template for my notepad. It was a bordered rectangle with a fancy M in the bottom right corner. I formatted my page to be in “landscape” with 2 columns. When my design was right, I copied it in the second column.  It looked like this:

Next, I copied and pasted my entire page 10 times.  Now I had a ten page document of the same template.  I went back in and changed the colors of the letters and then printed the entire document TWICE.  I then cut out the squares…

Next, I cut a piece of cardboard (an empty box of rice) the same size as my paper.  This would be the bottom of the pad.

I stacked all the pages up, put a healthy layer of Elmer’s glue at the bind, making sure to cover the tops of all pages and the cardboard backing, (Country Living suggested Aleene's Tacky Glue), and then clamped it with binder clips to let it dry.  Once it was dry, I applied another coat of glue.

Once the glue was dry, I removed my clips and VOILA!   A real-life, monogrammed, notepad! The pages peel off nicely and everything. In the future I will try different kinds of cool paper,  add quotes or verses to different pages… the possibilities are endless!  Can you HEAR how excited I am?!??  PLUS it makes a great gift!  If I ever give this to a friend or family member, I plan on typing inside jokes, funny memories, or unexpected profanity on each of the pages. Life is good.

Not bad for 30 minutes, and since I have my template saved, it will be a lot quicker next time.

Thanks Country Living!
Mae Mae

P.S. Cue “She Works Hard for the Money", spin around in your chair one time, and get pumped! Statistically people are more productive on Tuesdays than any other day of the week.  LET’S DO THIS. 

August 8, 2011

Kisses from Katie...

Last fall, an old friend of mine posted a link on facebook to a blog written by her friend Katie. Being bored and somewhat curious,  I clicked the link and was immediately struck by the line, "mother to 14 adopted girls." What?!?!? This woman looked really young, unbelievably gorgeous, and overwhelmingly happy. I had to know more.

After reading a few posts, I decided to go to her very first blog entry and start at the beginning.  As I read her first-hand accounts of graduating high school and teaching in Uganda, I was stunned. I called Sean, told him about Katie, and as I read, he did too. We spent hours reading Katie's amazing journey from high-school prom queen to mother of 14 girls in Uganda. Within a day I read her entire blog and began begging people to go read the blog for themselves. Her story has been an inspiration to so many, and in October she is releasing a book about her journey.  But enough of my chit-chat... watch for yourself:

You can visit Katie's blog HERE

Much Love,
Mae Mae