Sunday, October 31, 2010

How To Eat A Cupcake

Miss MellonManners says that to properly eat a cupcake, one must make use of all available utensils. This is to avoid getting icing all over one's face and crumbs all over one's clothes.

Of course, it's kind of boring to eat a cupcake this way. Not to mention painstakingly slow. So after giving proper behavior a whirl, feel free to abandon it completely and just shove that baby in your mouth.

Don't be afraid to get messy now. See this young chap? He's totally got the process down to an art form.

Yep, he's been studying the art of cupcake eating for quite some time. A true master.


All photos courtesy of Miss Molly.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I am Mellon, and I just want to chop (clap) you up!

Lately it seems like all I've done here on the blog is babble on and on about myself, so I thought maybe I'd share a little random Mellon interior decorating tip today just to keep ya'll on your toes. Or rather, to give you a reason to come back and indulge my craziness a bit longer.

Anyway, I have a fairly nice sized family room, but it is oddly shaped with windows on two walls, a fireplace on one, two big openings, and only one uninterrupted wall. This can present furniture placement complications because

A) My husband insists that he have a direct visual line to the TV 

B) My kids have a plethora of toys and toy paraphernalia that needs to be housed somewhere

C) I want things to look as pleasing to the eye as possible given the constraints of A & B. 

So, to address problem B, I had gotten this lovely shelf from Pottery Barn. Before I show you the picture though, I want you to know that I had to go through a ton of photos trying to find one that had a decent view of this piece of furniture--a ton. Let's just say, I am not appreciating how Macs organize photos anymore than I am appreciating my lack of photo labeling skills. Grumbles were made, bad words were mumbled and at least one donut was consumed.  Now that you understand all of the sacrifice that went into finding this image, I feel you are ready at last to actually view it.

Functionally, this piece was perfect. It had lots of little cubbies for all of the little doodads and doohickeys that kids collect. Plus, it was aesthetically pleasing. The problem was that although it didn't take up a lot of floor space, I had to leave a wide margin of room in front of it so that my playful tots could get into those charming boxes and open those handy drawers on the bottom. This severely limited my seating options and decreased the amount of available romper room area. So, I had to come up with a new plan.

I knew that I needed to keep all of those cubbies, so I tried the shelf in several different locations in and around the family room. But none of the new placements really solved the problem while maintaining my needed 'prettiness factor'. So I pondered and planned some more, and here's where having a brain that functions a little outside the norm proved to be helpful rather than the deterrent it usually is. You see, I decided to chop that baby up. For reals. I took the top third off and turned it into this:


A lovely, little library for the wee folks. A couple of pillows, blankets and a stuffed friend or two and you have a cozy little reading nook for the under 3 foot crowd. Without the drawers to open, I could scoot my arm chairs back to free up valuable carpet area in the room. Brilliant if I do say so myself. At some point, I might look into adding some kind of feet to it. But not for awhile as I like the stability of it not having any legs to break since my two year old is a climbing monkey who engages in much jumping and bouncing. I'm hoping she'll grow out her death-defying ways in a year or so. Fingers crossed.

The bottom two thirds became this
 sofa table. Still contains the toy madness, but now also provides surface area for display purposes and drink holding. I was quite pleased. So the next time you're having trouble finding the perfect home for a piece of furniture, you might consider rearranging the piece itself, if rearranging the room has failed.  But just be careful if you're using power tools, we want to chop up the furniture, not ourselves. That's a funny one, ya.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Breaking News

I have bangs ya'll!



And once I get used to the feeling of having hair hanging in my field of vision, I think I'll love them. Until then, don't be surprised if you see me walking around with my head perpetually tilted to the right. 
 That's not at all uncomfortable or odd looking.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It was so much better in my dreams...

I had this thought that it might be fun to photo document a Drewless day in the Mellon's life. But like most of my ideas, my vision played out much better in my head. First problem, I didn't think about the idea until around noon after I'd already fed and watered the children, hand delivered them to more capable hands than mine, and spent significant time sweating in the gym. But don't worry, my first picture is not of me all soaking wet with stinky sweat. Nope, it's this one in which I asked the internet to give opinions on the hat.

Overall, my facebook friends said it was a keeper while my twitterers remained as silent as they usually are. Which makes me wonder if anyone ever actually reads my twitter feed. Well besides my own Mama who reads it here on the blog. It might be time to abandon the twitterverse...I'll have to think on it some more. But that's' neither here nor there at the moment so where was I? Oh yes, my Drewless Day. 

After the fashion emergency, I headed to lunch with Jan. But somewhere between my house and hers, I forgot that I should take a picture of this event. I guess I can no longer claim to be a follow through kind of girl.

After lunch, I took Chase to his keyboard lesson. Guess what. I forgot to take a picture. Shocked, aren't you? But... I did get this picture of Amaya entertaining herself while we waited for his lesson to be over.

And this one of her laughing at my day documenting failure.

All that learning (Chase) and smirking (Amaya) worked up quite a couple of appetites, so we headed to Panera for dinner.
Little Miss has two fingers up as a request for her two pieces of candy. You see Chase's music teacher gave him some candy after the lesson. Mean Mama that I am, I insisted that they eat their dinner first. This edict was way more painful for me, trust me. All through the meal, I had to listen to the them whine, beg, complain, bargain and flat out demand that candy. Have you ever tried to reason with a 2 year old in between bites of your own sandwich? Not a party, that's for sure.

I've read somewhere that it's always wise to take a walk after dinner, so we walked on over to Harris Teeter to get bunny food and ice cream for our dinner at Adriana's tomorrow.  Once again, this activity did not seem to wear them out as much as it did myself. Can't figure out why.

After our little shopping excursion, we headed home for cookie dessert and a little play time. Then it was bath, story and bed. I did try to take a picture of the evening routine, but Chase put his hands up and said, "No more pictures for me today Mama. Maybe Tuesday." What could I do but respect his wishes? And then console myself with some of that candy?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dear Santa


Please help my Mama. You see, she's always had very thick hair. The kind that you can pull back into a ponytail and it just stays there--no extra effort required. But my hair is fine and dainty, kind of like myself you see. And well, Mama just doesn't really know what to do with it. That's why I frequently look like a ragamuffin.  She does try bless her heart, but Mama just doesn't possess the needed skill set you see.

So please Santa, all I want for Christmas is for Mama to learn how to style my hair properly. And if that's not possible, can I please have a few hats and maybe a wig or two? Oh and another Bah-Beeee.

Lotsa love,
Amaya Rose

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just one bus away from being the next Partridge Family

In concert for one morning only, Chase & Amaya performing their version of Love Lockdown or as Chase prefers to call it: Love Knockdown.



And for those who have no idea what the song they're singing is, I've embedded the video below.  When I watch it on my computer, there is a slight delay between the video and audio, so apparently even the Kanye Wests of the world have trouble getting a video to play perfectly when uploaded to YouTube. Or perhaps it's the Mac's fault. Either way, I feel better.




Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I have a sudden urge to munch on a tin can.


Sunday was a beautiful day to go to the National Zoo. So beautiful in fact that I was quite surprised that we scored a prime parking spot in Lot B. Perhaps because everyone else was hitting up the pumpkin patches and apple orchards?

The little people enjoyed searching for animals if the relatively low number of complaints lodged is any indication. One could also draw a similar conclusion from the lack of decent pictures taken of them--they were too busy running and dancing all over the place to hold still for a photo op. Small price to pay for a peaceful outing, I say.

I did get this one though.

Is it just me, or can you see a glimpse of what she's going to look like in 10 years in this photo? Madness. 

I also got this shot:

Which admittedly did take a minute or two and several discarded attempts. By the looks of Chase though, you'd think that the process had taken hours.

I'm not sure how I can be such a cruel Mama. The guilt was eating me up, so there was only one thing to do:
Bribe away the pain with fresh donuts. I of course benefited in no way from this. While the kids munched away on their sugary treats, I spied this Halloween display across the path.

Tombstones for extinct animal species. Sad. But a very clever display--hard to ignore the massiveness of it.

The only other noteworthy event of the day was when Andy told me he thought that he'd at last discovered what I'd been in a former life.


A goat? Really Drew? Frankly I don't see it at all.

 Yet, it doesn't look like such a bad life, does it? Maaa!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Lesson in Time Travel--Mellon Style

I am a creature of habit. Well that is until the habit starts to bore me to tears. Then I find a new habit to partake in until the cycle repeats itself. Take lip balm for instance. For the past year or so, my habit has been to use the tubular chapstick kind as pictured below.


Birds? What birds? Ohhh those birds. Yes, well I thought I'd kill two--um birds--with one stone and show you a piece of my Halloween decor, too. What? You want to see the whole mantle? Sure. 
As Chase & Amaya would say: SPOOOOKY. 

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, chapstick. Right. Well, I've been using those tubes religiously, but now I'm bored. My lips are bored. It is time for a change. So now, I'm going to be using the pots. Ya know, the pots? 

I've been down this road before. In fact, when I applied my first coat this morning, the smell of the goop instantly transported me back to my Freshman year at WVU.  I could almost feel myself falling asleep in Chem 15 or filing cart after cart of microfilm at Wise Library.  For those few moments before my nose grew accustomed to the scent, I was 18 again. Isn't it cool how a smell can do that?

Which leads me to the real point of my post. I'm going to teach you how you too can travel back in time. It's simple really.  Whenever you're about to embark on a vacation that you would like to have the opportunity to vividly revisit in the future, buy yourself a new body wash, perfume, or shampoo. It needs to be brand new to you and have a very distinct aroma preferably one you actually like. Buy a big bottle--maybe even multiple bottles. Then while you're on your trip, use it everyday. Even multiple times a day. Inhale the fragrance as you think about all of the magical moments you've had that you never want to forget. When you get home, put the remaining product away for awhile--the more time the better I believe. Then when you feel the desire to recapture that blissful feeling, pull it out and let the memories waft over you as you breathe in the aroma. You'll feel for a moment like you're back on that beautiful beach gazing out onto the turquoise water. But use this magic potion sparingly, so as not to desensitize your nose to the smell. You don't want this to become your daily routine--save it for those moments when you need a little pick me up. It's the closest thing to a time machine I've found. At least in this universe.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Joyful Ooze

I love the light, the smell of the air, the feel of the crisp breeze on my skin. Pumpkins, changing leaves, apple cider. And that's even before I factor in all of the perfectly posed photo opportunities the season offers.


Sometimes autumn fills me with such joy, that I feel like it's just going to bubble up and explode right out of me.

It seems I'm not the only one who feels this way.  I love a good joyful ooze.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Scooby Dooby Doo Where Are You?

I went to open the blinds this morning and saw this:

See that skateboard at the top of the stairs there? Well, I've never seen it before. But it isn't unusual for Drew to buy things for the kids without telling me, so I asked him about it. But he denies any knowledge of said broken bone machine. Which isn't necessarily a guarantee that he didn't buy it, but upon closer inspection, I noted that it was a well used skateboard. As you know, Drew doesn't get into the whole secondhand shopping thing, so I do believe him on this one count.

So, I ask you--where did it come from? Yes, it is common for the neighborhood school-aged kids to leave bikes, scooters and skateboards in our front yard by the bus stop, but this one is in the back yard. As you can see, our back yard is fenced and the steps are on the opposite side of the yard from the bus stop. So again, I ask--where did it come from? If you can solve the mystery, you'll have yourself a Scooby Snack courtesy of one grateful Mellon.

It came on a wagon

On Saturday while Drew and I were at Mountaineer Field sporting our gold and blue, the kids were in the midst of constant entertainment via the Grandparents at the lake. When we arrived there on Sunday, we got to see first hand one of the many activities in which they had partaken in our absence:

Box play! Drew had ordered a new wagon for the lake since someone had mistakenly removed our previous one from under our deck and never returned it. I'm sure they didn't mean to steal it--who on earth would steal a kid's wagon? Well, it turns out that Chase was much more interested in the box than the wagon. 

video


I just love this kind of imaginative play. I have very fond memories of turning a microwave box into a playhouse when I was 4 or 5--microwaves were HUGE back then you know. Watching Chase in this box reminded me of one of my most favorite children's picture books Christina Katerina & THE BOX by Patricia Lee Gauch.




In this story, CK and her friend Fats change a box that 'came on a refridgerator' into several different things. Her poor mom always thinks that the box has finally become trash worthy only to hear "That's not a box, it's a castle/race car/dance floor". I think I might have to dig through my stuff and find this book to read to my own little box transformer. Or myself at bedtime.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To be brainwashed Mellon, you kinda need to have a brain--Take Two

Mellon's Video Log: Stardate--um--well today.

video

I do apologize for the horrid splice there at the end--the dog started barking at the end of the first one, and there was no way on this great green earth I was going to record that whole spiel again. Well not unless someone offered me a Mentos that is.

I was wrong

My mother's doppelganger is not Megan Fox. Not anymore, anyway.


It's Drew Barrymore. All. the. way.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Illustrated Tweets

I always feel so calm when I'm at the lake. Like one step above comatose calm. Sure, you could call it lazy, but I prefer serene.


Like I said, serene.



 Serenity gone.

Long gone.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Who's the Wise Guy?

You know, the joker who put a wig on my son?

Oh, wait. Never mind.

This is why I love Facebook. You can be going about your business and out of nowhere--POOF!--someone (Hi Becky!) posts a photo of you that gives you the heebie jeebies because the resemblance to your offspring is so strong that you can't even see yourself in it anymore. Creepy!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Mistaken Identity

I don't think Chase got yesterday's memo.


Listen kid, there can only be one Batman, no matter how cute you look in that shirt.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Can You Keep a Secret?

I have something that I simply must share--Real Housewives of DC confessional style:

video

Did I get that silky smooth, always calm tone down just right? I think I hear Bravo calling now. Oh, and remember, this is just between you and me, don't tell anyone now, ya hear?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Down to the Wire

As of this morning, my children will be excused from attending Career Day since they've both chosen their respective occupations. Chase will be a race car driver/rock star:


And Amaya will be a ballet dancer/dog groomer:
I'm glad we have that all wrapped up, I was getting concerned that they were dragging their feet on this most important life choice. Late bloomers.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Two Thoughts Tuesday: Volume Two

1. The other night, I had a dream that Jillian Michaels died in a car crash. I woke up 100% convinced that she was dead to the point where I was angry that my entertainment news feed was filled with Lindsey Lohan headlines instead of reporting on her passing. Of course, at some point I realized what had happened, and then I wondered--is this how all of those celebrity death rumors got their start?



2.  I found the coolest app for purposes of child entertainment: Pottery Barn Costume Finder for iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pottery-barn-kids-costume/id387049651?mt=8 
When I say found, I mean that Pottery Barn sent me an email telling me about it--but I clicked on the provided link, so I should get full credit here.

It is not only totally awesome, but also super simple--the perfect combination if you ask me. All you do is take a picture of your subject using the handy guide marks, and then you can superimpose all of Pottery Barn's Halloween Costumes over the image. The hardest part was actually getting my little airplane and butterfly to stand still long enough to snap the photo.


The kids have no problem independently using the app since it's just a simple finger swipe motion to change the costume. That's not to say that it's always a peaceful exchange, as I constantly hear squawks of "It's my turn now!" and "No, Amaya do it!" If anyone ever invents an app that puts an end to sibling squabbles, let me know. Send me an email or something.

Best part? It's free. Yes, I know that's because it's essentially one giant advertisement for PBK products, but I'm ok with that.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Because Gran Wondered What Happened to Pretty Mellon

Gran was not what you could call thrilled by my last post. She wants to see pretty photos of me, and you all know how much I like to please. So, here you go Gran:

Pair a plaid shirt with a blinged out tank underneath then throw on a grandpa cardi, skinny jeans, and boots and you've pretty much got my fall uniform. Easy, comfortable and it just screams "Welcome Crisp Weather!" right?

The key is to throw in enough girly pieces to make sure no one actually confuses you with her Grandpa. Observe:
Why yes, that is a disco ball around my neck. Doesn't get much blingier than that, now does it? Am I pretty now, Gran?

You're in for a very special treat today folks

Because do you now what I got? A MacBook Pro of my very own. And do you know what program comes factory installed on a MacBook Pro? Photo Booth. That's right people--digitally enhanced, self portraits. Oh the joys that baby is sure to bring to my blog. I'm practically jumping out of my seat right now. Just think of the possibilities...

There's the deranged Bratz Doll

Or The Scream Mellon Style

And Halloween is just around the corner...
I could go as a Klingon!

Of course, my very favorite effect is the Pop Art one. I love it so much I might just have to take a daily photo. A little visual time line of my encroaching wrinkles. 

Day 1: 

Day 2: 


I really can't ever see myself getting bored with it. However, I realize you all won't share that same enthusiasm, so I will try to limit my postings to no more than 4 per week--7 tops.