February 28, 2010

colorful circus cupcakes

Petite Artiste is celebrating her fourth birthday this coming Tuesday. Her party is on Saturday and since she actually goes to school on her birthday we decided to make a treat to share with friends. My sis-in-law sent me a link to some fun cupcakes. I decided to do a test run this afternoon. They aren't pretty but I have a feeling the kids will think they are cool.

February 22, 2010

the party is rolling in

Today I've been wrapping up a few projects for Petite Artiste's circus party. Along with the wood frames (below), I also found these cute little wood train cars. They were on sale last month for cheap and each came with a little stuff monkey. I took the monkeys out and spray painted them in primary colors. I glued in these cute little wood cut-outs from Michaels. Petite Artiste picked out the animals. Currently, I plan on using them to hold the forks for the party. I think they turned out pretty. And, they were very simple to pull together.

fun frames

I was out and about the other day and came across these wood frames for a buck each. I picked up three and spray painted them in primary colors. Today I printed out a few pictures of Petite Artiste, popped them in and voila, instant circus party decor.

February 21, 2010

now hiring

I had quite a time trying to put shirts together for my family to wear at Petite Artiste's circus birthday party. I tried my old fashioned screen printing process, but it didn't work. I thought about doing the transfers again, but I couldn't work out a design I liked. Today I found these fuzzy letters and after a little trial and error I was left with five shirts that look just okay and four hats that don't. At all. So, I'm ditching the hat idea and just going with the shirts. If only I had a YUDU, this might have been easier.
*snicker, snicker*

organize: kid school stuff

Half the battle with the kids' school stuff is figuring out a system that works for all involved. Most the time, we have piles of worksheets and gluey art projects collecting on the end of the counter. Or worse, half dried painted bits and bobs floating around the mini van. Times that by three and it's a nightmare. Since moving to this house, I've put in place a way for the kids to keep their things organized for school and keep my sanity intact.

I picked up some cheap, clear wall files. And, I must say, I'm in love with these hooks. I use them for everything. You don't have to screw anything in or hammer nails. They stay put when you want them to and come off without fuss. Pure genius.

Each child has a wall file and two hooks. When they enter the laundry room from the garage, they empty their backpacks and file their paperwork. They hang their coats and backpacks on the hooks. (Put any dirty/muddy shoes in the laundry tub which I love having.) Then they walk their lunch boxes to the kitchen. Then I don't have to dig through backpacks to find notes home, school work or smelly lunch boxes. I can recycle what needs it, read notes from teachers and file anything that needs to go back to school easily. When packing up for school, they simply put their lunch boxes and whatever is in the wall file back into their backpacks. It's simple and effective. The kids love it because it's much like the routines they have at school.

February 20, 2010

who do, Yudu

We were veggin' out at my parents' house the other weekend and an infomercial about a little something called Yudu flashed across the screen. At first I thought "oh geez, give me a break." But, I have to admit, I paused to listen. It only took a pause. They had me at one word. Screenprint! After watching about three seconds of this little machine, I was drooling. I wanted to know the price and I wanted to get my hands on it. Fast!! Unfortunately it's out of my price range by a lot which makes me oh-so sad. I haven't stopped thinking about it though. I just read about it on Design Mom which only makes me want one even more. I would love to have it because I know I would use it. Currently, I'm trying to make "STAFF" t-shirts and hats for Petite Artiste's birthday party and I've bungled up two tries. It's not working. I keep thinking about the Yudu and how I would probably be done with the five t-shirts and hats right now. I would probably be showing you pictures of them all right now too. But sadly, I am not.

February 18, 2010


Here in our house we have ourselves a little crush on Shaun White. El Fuego is enamored with him. After the kids went to bed last night, Mr. Hawthorne and I watched the "Flying Tomato" take gold in snowboarding. This morning El Fuego got to watch the Olympic 2010 action online. Fabulous! Then he announced "I want to go snowboarding!" To which I replied "I had a feeling you would say that."

word of mouth

With this phenomenon of businesses giving "free" goodies or services to high profile bloggers in exchange for advertising and talking about their products is fascinating to me. I can't get over it. I want in on some of that action. I have complied a list of things I would advertise in a heartbeat if they wanted to, you know, give it to me for ffffrrrreeeeeeeeeeeee. Not that this will work, but hey, a girl can dream.

1. Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift

2. Tree removal/landscaping/fence

3. Pottery Barn home make-over

4. new Transportation

5. Replacement of carpet (square) in family room

6. A really good hair cut and color

7. Financial Planner (to make us rich)

8. fancy camera with cool lenses

9. Trip for five to Hawaii (or anywhere really)

10. Home remodel/addition

February 15, 2010

hips, who needs 'em?

The other day at Pilates, when we were on our backs and drawing D's in the air with our legs, I was reminded of something I don't often remember happened. Back in the summer of 1995 (I think) I fainted while riding my horse, Grandpa, who happened to be full-out running across a hay field per my request. Naturally, fainting caused me to fall off landing on my head leaving me with a concussion, a fractured pelvis and a broken tail bone.

I was working at Lamonts while going to school. It was summer time. I was working full time to build up my bank account. My weekends were often spent behind the retail desk in the Woman's Sportswear department. Someone in middle management had noticed I hadn't had an actual Saturday/Sunday weekend off in months, so they kindly granted me the gift. I was very much looking forward to the early morning trail ride with my mom, two aunts and cousin. I woke up, sleeping until the last possible minute, hurriedly inhaled cocoa pebbles and rushed out the door driving my little red pick-up truck down the dusty gravel drive with my dog, Frieda, riding shot gun. Two things you should know about me. I'm not of a morning person and I have a really hard time eating breakfast in the wee daylight hours.

We rode until lunch time and everyone was getting hungry. We came out of the trail into the hay field and decided the last hurrah of the morning was to race back to the barn. Shortly after gearing Grandpa up to take off, I felt that feeling of darkness and panic. I relate the feeling to when you are taking a pain medicine and your body slowly warms up and goes numb and useless. All you can do is let the sensation take over no matter how hard you fight it. I remember leaning towards Grandpa's neck setting my sight on his gray mane and feeling the rush of heat take over starting with my legs...

Two days later I woke groggy, and sore. I focused on TV playing the local cable channel. I slowly recognize a guy I went to school with and his band play Bob Marley like tunes. I quietly squeaked out "my friend", then a little louder "hey, that's my friend, Franny". He really wasn't my friend. I just knew him, of him really, from the frat parties and around school. His appearance was unmistakable being the large Hawaiian with a kind smile he was. That was the first memory I can recall after coming out into the field that Saturday morning.

My mom was in the room with me and upon hearing my first coherent thoughts, jumped to my side. She told me I had fallen and was hurt and in the hospital. I was confused and had to pee. She called the nurse to help. I was taken-aback by her lack of bedside manner. And, after getting back to my bed, I asked my mom why the nurse was so mean. She, then, told me my arrival to the hospital was quite an experience for everyone involved and that nurse took the brunt of my unconscious Mr. Hyde self. Apparently when I receive a good conk on the head I have myself a bit of a logger mouth. Who knew.

I went home a day or two later. I slept a lot and managed to get myself around the house with a walker. A month later, cane in hand, I started the fall semester and was able to get handicap parking around the backside because the entrance to the college I attended was about three flights of stairs. A few weeks later I was able to limp around without the cane and went back to work as well.

A decade and three kids later, I don't often remember the experience. Once in a while, however, I am reminded I fell off a horse and landed on my hip when I'm asked to sky write the letter D.

Post Edit: Mr. Hawthorne suffered a bit of hurt feelings because I did not mention how well he took care of me when I was laid up. Even though this post wasn't about the healing of a broken pelvis and head trauma, it was more about the actual event and how I don't often remember that it even happened now. It's only when I'm doing weird things with my hip joints like drawing letter D's in the sky, feeling my bones pop and creak, that I have to remind myself why they might be making those noises. However, I will publicly announce that Mr. Hawthorne took very good care of me. We weren't even married at the time. He was the best nurse maid a girl could ever ask for even when the job entailed hoisting me onto the toilet. So thank you Mr. Hawthorne. I wasn't trying to hurt your feelings or leave you out of a post. I love you and I thank you for taking care of my healing process. I knew you were a keeper right then and there!

February 14, 2010


In honor of Valentine's Day I give you a few of my favorite things.

February 11, 2010

* popcorn * peanuts * crackerjacks *

With the arrival of my small Oriental Trading Company order this morning, I was able to stuff and finish off the favors for this rocking circus party. When planning a party, I try to agree upon a theme with the birthday child early so that in my travels if I happen to come across things that work, I'm can pick them and save myself money too. I found these cute popcorn boxes for cheap months ago. Did you know they make cute mini microwavable popcorn bags now? They are totally cute and perfect for our favors. Along with the popcorn, we added other fun circus/carnival trinkets as well as a much needed clown nose. I love it when things come together.

sickie baby

My week has been filled with sick children. First Petite Artiste and now Miss Divine. Luckily she is on mid-winter break so she's not missing school. Although, she's not happy about how that panned out.

the greatest show on earth

I finished Petite Artiste's circus tickets for her fourth birthday party last night. I finally found a clown to hire this week so I was able to print out show times and I wanted to include a "ticket" in the invitations for the kids to bring with them to the party. The idea is they bring the ticket for admittance into the show and by doing so they enter a drawing for a special circus surprise. El Fuego has been demoted from ringmaster to ticket taker per his request. And because I'll be handling all the RSVPs I was promoted to ringmaster.

February 9, 2010

will she sleep there?

Since moving into our new (to us) abode, the youngest of our clan, Petite Artiste, has had a hard time adjusting. She doesn't like to sleep in her room or be left alone anywhere in the house. When she was born, the three (very close together) bedrooms of our old house were filled. We had her crib in the master bedroom until she was about five months old and slept through the night. We then moved her crib into her sister's bedroom which was also the smallest room in the house. Once cribs and toddler beds were a thing of the past, a bunk bed was put in their place. She's not had a space of her own since birth. She's always just bunked with someone and from what we know now, she liked it that way.

The weekend we moved, my mom happened to be in town. She took Petite Artiste home with her so we could get more accomplished in quick fashion. She loved her special time with Grandma, but when she returned from her weekend whirlwind, she didn't arrive at the house, and bedroom, she thought she would. We were swimming in boxes and living in chaos. This had more of an impact on her than we realized. She still refers to the old house, her first house, as the "born house". The house she was born in.

She's adjusted. And, the more settled we become, the happier she appears to be. We struggle with her sleeping in her bed right now. Every night, she stands at the side of my bed pleading to "sleep to you?" Today, she and I rearranged her living quarters. My hope is by helping move things and around and deciding where things go, she'll find ownership in her bedroom. I want her to enjoy her own special space. And, I really want her to sleep in her own bed.

Sleeping quarters.

Play corner.

And, just outside her window there is a tree with a shape that resembles a heart. We aptly dubbed it "the heart tree".

February 7, 2010

adventures of franklin & mavis: 1st grooming

Today was the big day. The day I've been waiting for six months. The day Franklin and Mavis get their very first official Scottish Terrier hair cuts. And, it didn't disappoint. Both pups are super cute sporting beards and fluffy skirts, smelling like coconut and panting from the hair dryer. Awe yes, today is a good day to be a Scottie in this house.

Frank before

Frank after

Mavis before

Mavis after

February 5, 2010

clownin' around

With Petite Artiste's fourth birthday party just thirty days away, I've been knee deep in circus/carnival/clown land. My hunt for a clown-for-hire hasn't been very successful. But, my party plans and supply buying has. It's taken over my brain, as well as my dining room table.

With March's weather being somewhat unpredictable, I've changed my focus from an outdoor sin dig to an inside soiree. I'm going with the classic red, blue and yellow color theme with lots of nostalgic candy and classic circus/carnival food.

quick and easy

I was browsing a party store the other day and I came across these cute little party favors/gifts. It was a clear paint bucket filled with candy, tied with a bow and a cute sticker. I looked at the price and it was $7.95. I thought eight bucks for that??!! Remembering I just seen cute clear paint cans at Michael's (the craft and art store for all your arts and crafts needs), I embarked on my mission. Miss Divine was invited to a birthday party recently and we don't know the little girl very well. Wanting to give something cute and fun without spending a lot was my goal.

I bought one of those cans from Michael's which happened to be double the size for two dollars and ninety-nine cents. I made my way to the bulk candy section at a local grocery store and purchased some cute candies. With a little ribbon and a homemade sticker made by Miss Divine, we created a cute gift for under five bucks. I am please.

you aint never had a friend like me

Miss Divine and El Fuego tried out their acting chops in Aladdin this week. Miss Divine enjoyed memorizing all the songs and thought it was pretty cool mommy had the actual soundtrack on CD from when the movie came out way back when. She thought I was pure magic when I belted out the tunes and asked, with wide eyes, "how do you know the songs??" El Fuego enjoys all the background preparations for these little recitals but being in front of the audience causes him to look like we are asking him to pull out his own teeth. One. By. One. I give you exhibit A.

I have about 57 other pictures where his facial expression looks like this. His best defense is to just not look at the people sitting two feet away from him and directing the other kids on their stage presence and feeding lines.

The kids with the acting teacher, Mr. H.