March 31, 2009


9.30.07 - 3.31.09

March 30, 2009

a new week

Ever feel like your feet hit the ground running to catch up, but your brain is still back in Saturday? This is my state of mind today. Last Friday morning I stopped to get gas and like a big dork, I tripped over the hose while trying to step over it. With my foot tangled in the gas hose, my whole body came down to the ground, hitting hard. I jumped up hoping no one saw. I finished what I was doing and drove away. About three miles down the road, I realized my ankle was a little tender and from that moment on, it just got more and more intense until trying to stand on it, left me in pain. I'm pretty sure I sprained it. On Saturday I spent the entire day on the couch with an ice pack. Although today it's a little tender and I feel like I have a big charlie horse in my calf, I'm able to walk on it again. I'm soooooo relieved I didn't break it. What a set back that would have been.

El Fuego is on spring break this week but since Miss Divine is in a different school district, she is in school this week. I have grand plans to do a few special outings with my boy this week. We will see how it turns out. Today we are going to go pick out a brand new board game to play. He is very excited. Seven is the magic age for boys and board games. He is really into setting them up and making his own rules so that he always wins.

We started our official house hunt yesterday. We toured two houses. One was right around the corner from the house we just sold. (Is that weird???) It needs A TON of work from windows, paint, deck, finishing started projects, odd water pipes sticking out of basement walls, fence, carpet, a little something I like to call "the shower room", and lots and lots of elbow grease, etc, etc. But it has four bedrooms upstairs, a newly remolded kitchen, a huge family room and an even bigger daylight basement. I was amazed by all the space. We are not afraid of the work. In fact, it is sort of exciting to go into a place that needs mass amounts of TLC and fix it up. It's not that much different from this house when we moved in here. We think we could probably get quite the deal on it so the opportunity intrigues us. It is on our short list for now. The second house we saw just didn't have enough room for us....although it was bigger then our current home, it's floor plan was odd and the closet space was nill. We are a family that needs lots of storage. We have a house to look at this evening but I have a feeling although it will be lovely inside, it won't have all the things we are looking for. The search continues.

March 27, 2009

pending inspection

This morning we signed our house away and agreed to sell it. Our buyer came up a little and we came down a little. I should thank my best friend /slash/ lucky charm for flying out to visit. I knew as soon as she bought airline tickets, we would have an offer come in. As luck would have it, my gut spoke the truth. Two days after Kelly informed me of her visit dates, we had a buyer hooked and started negotiating price.

Much excitement is had on the buyer's end. I, however, am nervous as H-E-double hockey sticks about our potential for house buying pizazz. This whole process is one big stress and worry after another. I can't tell you how eager I am to have this all behind us. The good thing about the mid-June closing date is that it gives us time to go shopping. The bad news about the mid-June closing date is that it falls very close to Miss Divine's 6th birthday. What to do, what to do, what to do??? One last ho0-rah here a couple weeks before we move with her school mates or wait a month after we've moved and settled and school is out.

March 24, 2009

grace in small things 31

1. fabulous birthday supply finds

2. new ideas and fresh starts

3. Trader Joe's Roasted Gorgonzola crisp crackers

4. favorite black t-shirt

5. open houses

going vintage

I always love spying new fabulous blogs. While perusing Etsy this afternoon, I stumbled across a couple shops I instantly fell smitten with. Bellalulu and 26 Olive Street, also where I found this adorable mirror for Petite Artiste's future bedroom. While browsing the vintage goodness from both of these shops, I discovered bellalulu had a fantastic blog too!! And, we all know how I love kid parties so when I saw this I squealed with delight. I love the cuteness of little honey bear bottles turned into party favors which bellalulu's blog so nicely sent us to the fabulous spot of soap making supplies. Which was also where I found these babies for El Feugo's science 8th birthday party (that I've talked him into - oh yes, I did!). Gawd! I love the internet!!!

Check out Sweet Eye Candy Creations too. I'm finding many "fancy" ideas there for Miss Divine's Fancy Nancy 6th birthday party.

offer shmoffer

I had a feeling as soon as I wrote about our house sale being stale, we would get an offer. I also said that now that I have plans for my best friend to visit in May, we would get an offer and be in the middle of selling, buying and moving when she visits. Well, I can call 'em I tell ya. As soon as both above items became true, we had an offer come in. However, it was quite a low ball and although I am very sympathetic towards this buyers situation, I am not, in any way, prepared nor willing to "give" my house away just because the buyer's situation is not ideal. Bottom line, we are going to try and buy a house in this very same market and we are trying to fit a family of five into a bigger house, so we need what is a fair price for our current home. And believe me, our counter offer was very fair. The buyer countered our counter with a teeny, tiny budge but it still didn't meet our counter. So we countered with our same counter this morning. Have I confused you with all the counters yet?? We wait. The good thing about this offer however, is the closing date. The buyer wants to close in mid June which gives us ample time to go house hunting ourselves.

In other news, I am totally addicted to Trader Joe's Roasted Gorgonzola crisp crackers. Yum, yum!! I can't get enough. They are delish and satisfy that need to be munching on something when I'm bored or anxious.

I am still computer-less. What we thought was just an annoying pop-up turned out to be more. I had several viruses including one "back-door" in which someone out in outer-computer-land could sneak into my system and steal passwords and account info and send malicious things out via my computer. Good thing I only use my laptop for emails, facebook, blogging and storing pictures. "Take that stupid computer-hacker-stealer-bad-person!!!! Let that be a lesson to you!!!" Mr. Hawthorne talks in his computer lingo that I can't understand but he seems to know what he is doing, so I leave him alone and wait for him to buy me a new laptop.

March 19, 2009

coming to you from downstairs

I am somewhat laptop is taking it last few gulps of air before it's dies. Mr. Hawthorne is trying to revamp it but I think we've hit a point where we just need to buy a new one. So I'm typing to you from Mr. Hawthorne's computer. Hello!!

These last couple weeks have been busy. The weather has been dark and soggy. The big kids' schedule's picked up tremendously with the added softball and baseball activities. I've also added a new experience to my weeks as well. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet. I might share if I get a good grasp about my feelings on the topic.

Good news came in the form of my dear friend flying out to see me in May last weekend. I can not wait for her visit. I'm making plans for the two of us so she better be ready.

I also made plans to go see Heather Armstrong of at the end of this month. She is on a book tour and will be making a stop near my home town. I'm oddly excited and looking forward to the experience of meeting a celebrity of the blogger world.

The house sale has slowed down. We haven't had a showings for the second week. I'm eager to have this whole process behind us. I keep reminding myself that it took about two months for our last house to sell and that there is a buyer for every house. Not to mention the fact that we haven't found "that" house right for us either. I absolutely hate this feeling of limbo...always have. But, with the promise of Spring, the market has slowly started to pick up. Keeping fingers crossed.

March 13, 2009

cooking with trader joe's

A couple weeks ago my friend, Erin, mentioned she had checked out a cookbook from the library that used all the ingredients you find at Trader Joe's. Fabulous! I thought. I love Trader Joe's but never really can figure out how to make an entire meal out of the things I find on the shelves. I love their frozen steal cut oatmeal and the frozen jasmine or brown rice. They also have these mini sized pita pockets that works out so very adorably for my kids' lunches. But dinner??? The idea of making a dinner for five out of Trader Joe's products boggles my mind. In fact, I only shop at Trader Joe's when my oatmeal stash has ran low because I find I only come home with random frozen items and chocolate covered orange sticks. Delish!!

Today, I remembered I wanted to 'google' this cookbook and I'm glad I did. Titled, Cooking with all things Trader Joe's. They also have a blog loaded with great recipes and tips. I can't wait to get this cookbook in my hands!!

grace in small things 30

1. Kelly's visit in May - hooray!

2. Mr. Hawthorne's ability to fix computer after virus attacked it.

3. the time: 10 minutes to 5pm

4. Fridays!

5. four work outs in one week - yay me!!

March 11, 2009

grace in small things 29

1. husbands who bring home dinner

2. Chuck E. Cheese fun

3. Schedules that run smoothly

4. newly found local baby goods donation spot

5. making plans to see a "famous" blogger in person

adventure in cheese

Today, on a plain old Wednesday, the girls and I met friends at Chuck E. Cheese. Normally I'm not a huge fan, but being it the middle of the week in the middle of the afternoon, it wasn't at all busy. The kids did really well. Ate some lunch even. Ran around and burnt off some of that winter energy.

March 10, 2009

grace in small things 28

1. "real" Housewives of New York City

2. fresh, home made lemon-aide

3. Lucky Charms

4. Jurlique eye cream

5. Carmex

dear brain,

I miss you!! I feel like we haven't been in contact for a while. I look like an idiot without you. I'm lost without the ability to remember where I put things or recall my own phone number. I know it's been tough with the many, many things we've been asked to store up in that head of ours. I understand sleep is hard to come by lately too. But I promise to do my best to not fill the space up with worry and thoughts of things we can't do anything about. I'll write things down more often to give you a break, but I'll need you to remember where I put the paper I wrote the note on for us. I hope you've enjoyed your vacation away, I do. But, now it's time to come back to me. Settle in, make yourself comfy and let's get back to work.

Much love!
Little Irish

March 9, 2009

open wide

Last week, the day after her third birthday, our Petite Artiste went to the dentist for the first time. An actual, very own cleaning of her very own. She has come accustom to visiting the dentist and watching her older siblings get their teeth cleaned. She had everything down. She sat right down in that big, plastic covered chair and opened wide. However, the hygienist thought she needed to show everything to Petite Artiste and Petite Artiste impatiently ran through the motions all the while with her mouth opened wide.

Then the hygienist tried to lay the chair down and that's when she lost Petite Artiste. She wanted nothing to do with laying down in anything. So she got her teeth cleaned sitting straight up.

sweet sparrow

I really love Sarah Jane's site. Last night I came across her templates for wall art. Miss Divine was invited to a birthday party tea this weekend. Since school was cancelled for her today due to the snow we set off to make a gift for the party honoree. It was super simple and a lot fun.

Tadaaa!! Turned out pretty cute I think.

today, I wish

Today, I wish laundry would fold itself. I wish winter would go into hibernation. I wish I could make money doing something fabulous and creative while maintaining my stay-at-home status. I wish my hair didn't always look horrible. I wish things were easier. I wish my husband was happier. I wish I could make a spa appointment. I wish for a new laptop and fancy digital camera. I wish the ice maker didn't break two days after we got it repaired. I wish I wasn't always tired. I wish my brand new three year old was potty trained. I wish the dogs didn't track in paw prints when let inside. I wish our house would sell. I wish we could find a great house to buy. I wish I was a better speller and user of a bigger vocabulary. I wish I could lose weight. I wish dinners were always healthy and easy to make. I wish the news wasn't always so depressing. Today, I wish...

March 7, 2009

i'm in a party mood

I came across DESIGN MOM last night and read about her most awesome Young Einstein birthday party. I can't stop thinking about it's simplicity and originality. This morning I made it my mission to talk El Fuego into changing his party request from Star Wars to an Einstein Science party. He's not giving in, but I've got until August to wear him down.

Miss Divine's birthday is in June and she's been asking for a princess slash Tinker Bell slash pink and purple slash fancy slash girlie party. I've decided what's more fun and incorporates all Miss Divine's soiree desires then Fancy Nancy in all her fanciness. Have you seen the books? They are adorably delish and Miss Divine eats them up cover to cover.

Now I must go work on our Petite Artiste's Strawberry Shortcake birthday thank you cards. Since she is such a little artist, I might let her design her own.

grace in small things 27

1. mini peanut butter cups

2. lounge wear

3. a weekend day with no schedule

4. little girl giggles

5. ice cold water

March 6, 2009

drooling over these...

Creative Organizing Blog



.... enjoy!

grace in small things 26

1. strawberry margaritas

2. bunco fun

3. laughter

4. Tylenol

5. weekend schedules

it's friday

and I'm tired. The sun is shining brilliantly and I'm moping around the house. I think I'll take my shoes off....that's better. El Fuego did not have school today. Some crazy in-service day or something. I swear when I was going to school, we actually went to school on a regular basis. We dropped Miss Divine off and picked up El Fuego's new specs. The ones we recently picked out were just too small for him. They kept flying off his face. Literally, I'm not even kidding. If you looked at him sideways, they would just pop right off and land across the room. So a couple weeks ago, we went in and picked out a new pair. He found the same pair of frames only bigger and in green instead of red.

After picking Miss Divine up, we ran two errands. All four of us. What was I thinking???? Petsmart for dog food and Office Depot for a magazine file. Simple right?! Nope.

I often feel like I'm in the middle of a tornado. Bits and objects flying off shelves, innocent by-standers running for cover, pleads and cries for things to be bought, shopping carts abandoned in search of small children...we hit in a whirlwind of commotion and leave a trail of dust and confusion. It makes me sweat. It makes my head hurt. It's frustrating and exhausting.

At Office Depot, El Fuego announced he really needed to pee so we ran for the bathroom. For the most part our Petite Artiste stays close behind and when she can't see me, she'll yell "Mom! Where are you???" in a sing-song voice. An older lady out of nowhere started talking loudly at my newly three year old asking her "Where is your mama?!" and "Stay with your Mama, please!!" At first I just smiled at the old bitty, but then her constant little shouts of authority at my child started to really bug me. Then out of nowhere, she walked past me and said "She must be a real hand full!!" Maybe at that moment Petete Artiste looked unruly with her wild, un-combed curls and her little hippity, hoppity walk she does but she's my unruly haired hippity hopper and I don't need some old bat making any judgements about what is happening at that very moment. Because at that very moment it wasn't my child that was behaving like a hand full, but her and I was this close to putting her in time out for not minding her own friggin' business!!

March 5, 2009


Some days I wish I had secretly written a book that takes off like wildfire. A book that brings much enjoyment to many and brings me loads of money. I'm not a novelist but I have tons of ideas floating around my head. I love to plan birthday parties for my kids. I don't like to plan parties for other peoples' kids. Therefore I don't want to try and become a party planner. Rather, I would love to design a book filled cover to cover with ideas for planning kid parties. Not just your run of mill, go the party store and pick up all the princess themed crap off the shelf. But real fun, easy to make yourself, cheap and fabulous ideas from invitations to games. Where does one start? One who has never, ever done something like that before?

Something else that has been on mind lately...what is with all these family centered shows on the TLC channel. Don't get me wrong, I love Little People, Big World and Jon and Kate plus 8. 18 and counting makes me a little sick to my stomach and the newest one (I've not seen yet), Table for 12. And what about The Real Housewives of so-much-friggin-money!! Real housewives my ass! That's not how real families live. Here is an idea for TLC. How about following an average, run-of-the-mill family around. Like mine for instance. (I'm just saying) Showcase the hilarity of regular things majority of families REALLY deal with. We don't all have couple dozen kids (thank-you-very-much!) and we don't have gobs of money to throw out the window. We have kids that write on the walls, dogs that chew up toys, trips to the grocery store that fail miserably, clothes that turn pink in the wash, blankets that get lost at bedtime, dinners that get made that nobody eats, accidents that happen at school, orange peels that get shoved behind TVs, tiny houses are lived in with refrigerators that break, mowing of ones own lawn, manners and family values trying to be taught .... real life. Maybe if an actual real housewife and her family of five (not 8 million) was showcased, viewers could relate and feel better about their own struggles.

grace in small things 25

1. getting to go out with my friend tonight

2. new GAP sweatshirt found on clearance rack that makes me look like I've lost pounds

3. school not being canceled or late start because of the snow this morning

4. toys that entertain my kiddos for hours

5. not having any showings today

March 4, 2009

grace in small things 24

1. Hostess cupcakes

2. Duffy

3. Frederic Fekkai Glossing Sheer Shine Mist

4. LAVANILA Vanilla Grapefruit

5. Sephora

March 3, 2009


What is it about these jammies that makes little girls throw their hands up?

Miss Divine @ 3.5 years old

Petite Artiste @ almost 3

grace in small things 23

1. milk delivery

2. pink cowboy boots

3. good hair days

4. favorite black GAP sweater

5. gifts sent in the mail

book club

I love this book! It's a no nonsense guide to reshaping your diet and the way you think about creating a self you love. Not to mention it is chalked full of truths about the food and diet industry. A big thank you to the skinny bitch who sent it to me!!

"If you can't take one more day of self-loathing, you're ready to hear the truth: You cannot keep shoveling the same crap into your mouth every day and expect to lose weight." -Skinny Bitch website