April 30, 2010

goodbye april

Today was the last day of April and I didn't even realize it. I had myself a very bizarre end to a fast paced month filled with nothing much to write about. I feel like my body is in today but my mind is in last Tuesday. I just haven't been able to keep up no matter how many times I consult my calendar. Not to mention, I think my memory is going. Is that a sign of old age?

These past four weeks have been on a tipsy-turvy, overloaded crash course with baseball games/practices and softball games/practices and Mr. Hawthorne marathon training and doctor appointments and dance classes and social outings and babysitting detail and sick children and sick mommy. Really I'm surprised I remember to pick the kids up at the right times every afternoon.

To top it off I totally forgot I had made plans earlier in the week to stop in and visit friends today. I feel horrible about it. What a lame-o I am. I know life happens and mistakes are bound to litter our lives, but, I just hate knowing that someone was waiting and I didn't deliver. So, I had myself a strawberry margarita at dinner to squash the guilt. I hope to share a margarita with Ms. Preggers in roughly 21 weeks to make up for my lame-ness.

On a brighter note. I came across these most fantastical velum mobiles via Design Mom this evening. I'm currently trying to stockpile this idea into the right side of my brain. I'm envisioning them in blue and green hues over the lunch table for Miss Divine's Under the Sea birthday party. They look pretty easy to make. You can find them at project wedding and the directions are here.

Another super fabulous, new fave is Birthday Girl. I'm pretty sure I love her.

Oh and in other news. I am delving into the email realm of blogging. You can say hi just by heading over the right side of this screen and finding that little box labeled "email". I'm sort of excited to see what might be waiting for me in that little inbox. But nervous too. Not everyone is nice like you.

Did I tell you that I am having a little internal organ looked at next week to see what it's up to? No. Well, I mentioned I was very sick this past weekend with flu like symptoms but it wasn't the flu. Coupled with a lot of pain, I started fitting the puzzle pieces together of past similar situations and I came to suspect my gallbladder as the culprit. Mr. Hawthorne asked me if it was my goal to get all my unnecessary organs removed. I told him I would weigh less that way. Har. Har. Har. My ultrasound is on Cinco de Mayo. Maybe I'll bring some chips and salsa with me. You know, make a party out of it.

Today's challenge (see below) has been kicked into gear. Once I opened that door, there was no going back. Although after getting half of the "stuff" out I realized I didn't remember this room being as big. I pictured it smaller. But judging by the amount of "stuff" I had in there I was wrong. Although all the "stuff" is lining the hallway and some stacked in our master bedroom, it is all organized. That alone brings me a little hope. It's a big job. More to come.

Are you still with me?? I won't be offended if you've clicked away by now. That strawberry margarita has me a little long winded. Jeesh! All this chatter just to say April has been a tough one. See you all in May!

today's challenge

There is door, in our house, on the top floor at the very end of the hallway. Behind that door is a small room with a challenging roof line. The room itself is over the garage and this doorway will one day lead to the bonus room and office we plan to add. For now, it's a small room with a challenging roof line.

Currently I'm storing "stuff" that I didn't know what to do with when we moved in. All the "stuff" I didn't have time to think about, couldn't find an immediate spot for but needed it out of the way. This small room with the challenging roof line is NOT organized. And, it bugs me knowing it is there unkempt and in disarray with no real purpose. Believe it or not, one of the previous owners used this small room for their tanning bed. No joke. We actually have a switch in the breaker box that says 'tanning bed'.

This morning I was trying to plan out in my head how to organize each of the girls' bedrooms so they can keep them tidy on their own and have room to play. Miss Divine has a few too many pieces of furniture and Petite Artiste has all the play space items. We have an adorable play kitchen that both girls play with and it's often a gigantic mess in poor Petite Artiste's bedroom.

So. I got the brilliant idea to turn our small room with the challenging roof line that onced housed a tanning bed into a little play house. I would move all the kitchen and baby doll things in, setting up an area for a the girls to entertain their imaginations while keeping their sleeping spaces tidy.

First! I need to empty out the room. Wish me luck!

I'll need it.

April 27, 2010

rain, rain, go away

Maybe it's the buckets of rain being dropped on my little city that has me holed up dreaming of studios and adorable little cottages for play. Or maybe it's a sign that I need to follow my heart's desires in our backyard beautification project. Complete with raised vegetable garden beds, a chicken coop and a teeny apple orchard. Whatever the reason, I keep finding myself gazing at wee structures and dreaming of all the possibilities.


This playhouse is from MIKODESIGN. I love the little porch and how one has to step up to the front door. How sweet a similar house would be tucked in the corner of our yard filling my girls' (and maybe my son's) heads with loads of imaginative play.

April 26, 2010

studio dreams

Yesterday I spent the entire day in bed sick. I've not slept a day away like that in a long, long time. The upside is I misplaced seven pounds. The downside is my house looked like a hurricane touch down right in the middle of my kitchen.

Today the weather is dark, weirdly warm and rainy. I've been having studio dreams all day. How I would love to sneak off to my adorable studio with my cup 'o coffee in hand. What I would do in a studio I do not know. But I would rather enjoy saying I had my very own studio in my backyard. A place to be creative I suppose. A place children could not encroach would be bliss.

Maybe one day my very handy Mr. Hawthorne could build me a little shed like these adorable James Ward beach huts. Aren't they fabulous(!) The minute I saw the pictures, I wanted to be in one with my computer, away from messes and on the beach of course.

April 24, 2010

closet take-over

Yesterday I decided I was tired of looking at my office/craft/scrapbook clutter in the living room. I had unsuccessfully crammed left over house bits and bobs into the downstairs coat closet. In other words....anything I had no idea what to do with, I shoved it into the closet, shut the door and forgot about it. Therefore, I embarked on my "Closet Take-Over" project.

First I emptied the closet. Oy! What a mess.

Ta-Da! Cleaned out but the walls looked terrible. I couldn't make an awesome craft closet with the walls looking horrible. So I painted it! We had left over paint from the downstairs bathroom. It's name? Silver Lining. Love it!!
I had a shelf I was using in the corner of the living room that was overfilled with crap and looked very cluttered. Most days I avoided looking at it.
Then I had to decide how I was going to get all this stuff into the closet in a neat and organized fashion.
Here is what I have today. Looks good so far.

make overs


Now that things are feeling more settled in our new house, I've been itching to "decorate". This house is a TOTAL blank space. The only walls that were painted were the master bedroom and bathroom. One bedroom has wallpaper...which I'm grateful for. Our last house was riddled with wallpaper. Very ugly wallpaper. Almost every room. Mr. Hawthorne spent many, many, many hours removing wallpaper.

Miss Divine has the only wallpapered room in the house. And it's not even on that great so it should be an easy job to remove. I bought her a really cute chair off Craigslist last week and I've been squishing ideas around my brain to give her a more "big girl" space.

This morning I came across Centsational Girl and her bedroom makeover. Much inspiration was had! Miss Divine is stuck on pink or purple for her wall colors but I've been thinking I want to talk her out of a little girl color and into a more big girl color she can grow up with. I'm loving turquoise right now or a aqua. We will see how successful I am.

April 23, 2010


Finding much inspiration from Weelicious this morning. My preparations in the food department for all I live with have been lacking. Although, last night El Fuego whipped up all the sides for dinner and not only did he eat everything but he encouraged his sisters to eat too. He was either hungry or very proud of his skills. Either way, it was a fun experience for both of us.

April 20, 2010

it's in my blood

When I was a young girl, my Grandma Donna would take me "garage sale-ing" as it was called back then. Now the trendy word is "thrifting" or if you are fancy, "antiquing". It's all the same really. You browse people's old stuff and try to find anything you may want or need for cheap.

My Grandma! She was a real pro, she was! Her knack for buying crap was something to be revered. Truly. After witnessing a few deals go down, I became accustom to her system and could do nothing but stand back and let the magic happen. Mostly she would buy loads of paper back romance novels. That was her favorite. Her father didn't believe girls needed educations when she was small so she wasn't sent to school. She taught herself to read when she was a teenager after her younger brothers started bringing their school books home. And read she could. I would wager her talents were of a speed reader if I were a betting woman. She poured through anything with words.

Her garage sale trick was to pick up the items she really wanted. The thing she couldn't leave that yard without. She would pretend it didn't mean that much to her and living without it would be, well, easy to do. She made the proprietor seem like she was doing them a favor by buying the item. Then she would pick up a few 5 or 10 cent things here and there.

Then the magic would happen. Sometimes so fast that if you weren't really paying attention, you wouldn't notice what just happened. She would toss her wares down while doing a little circle motion with her finger and keeping her head down as if looking at her wallet. Then only lifting her eyes (and sometimes one eyebrow) would say: "25 cents for all this." as if she was telling them, not asking. And do you know what?? The people selling their stuff would always and I mean always agree. Sometimes without even taking a second to think about what all my grandmother had laid out in front of them. Most often not even realizing that that one thing. The one thing she really wanted. Was like 10 bucks.

Grandma Donna would throw down her quarter, collect her treasures and high tale her curlers out of that garage as fast as she could. It was amazing I tell you. Amazing!
I must admit I posses some of that garage sale/thrifting DNA. Walking into an old building housing somebody's old stuff makes my heart skip a beat. I love the hunt of treasures and the thrill of a good deal. It is so much fun!

Found Raggedy Ann and Andy at Value Village. Actually hand painted. I have an old book from childhood. A birthday party is lurking around these two I can feel it.

This pair had to come home with me since we live with the Adventures of Franklin and Mavis.

Found this adorable charm at an antique barn. I plan on giving it to Miss Divine for her birthday.

And this lovely shell box will be what I give her new trinkets to her in.

My most favorite find to date. An adorable chair perfect for a little girl's room. Swoon!!

April 19, 2010


My friend, Erin, is a chocolate queen. She puts much time and compassion into her chocolate dreams and I know she will succeed. This weekend I found myself at not one but two evenings filled with chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. We had chocolate martinis and chocolate moose and chocolate candies and....well you get the picture. It was loads of chocolate and a very delicious weekend. If you are local and want to know more about Erin's chocolate mission, check out her website or email her. She's quite friendly and an all around fantastic person.

April 18, 2010

today's challenge

One day I was at the dollar store and I came upon a gigantic bin of coconut cups. I loaded up as much as I could and brought them home. My thinking was that I would give each little mermaid a coconut to drink from at Miss Divine's Under the Sea birthday party. Mr. Hawthorne pointed out that mermaids are under the sea and coconut trees are not. And really, there begs the question do mermaids really drink anything?? Well, these mermaids will so after much thinking and searching for cute ways to serve drinks at ocean themed parties (there is none) I decided I would dress up the coconut cups I already had instead of trying to purchase something else. I thought a few (or 15) coconuts might roll into the ocean now and then right. After bobbing around, they might collect a few barnacles and/or shells.

Therefore, today's challenge was to remove the silly flowers and make the coconut cups look like they are indeed under the sea for parched mermaids to quench their thirst.

Coconut cups came ready for a luau. Aloha!

I removed the flowers and cut apart a sea shell lei which resembled barnacles.

After hot gluing on shells and adding a straw.

April 16, 2010

swoon worthy

A recent list of blogs worthy of swooning over. Enjoy!

Also check out Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database. It had me rethinking many products we use on a daily basis. If only the stuff that truly won't hurt us in the least possible way wasn't so darn expensive. I can't imagine a family living pay-check to pay-check and wanting to live healthier, being able to "splurge" on these products. And, not just cosmetics but in food as well. Something has to change. It's not fair that the stuff that is better for us is so expensive and yet we are made to feel guilty for not buying and spending. However, the stuff that is really, truly bad for us is cheap and often found on really good sales. It's crazy!

April 15, 2010

i present you...

Fun with the Bendable Party Mustache courtesy of El Fuego:
The Quick Draw
The Friendly Barber
The Dapper Dandy
The Frowny Bear

The Stern General

hoof it

My mom is a Hoof Rehabilitation Practitioner and she has put together the first of many DVD on barefoot trimming. Check it out and order yours today. Would make a great gift too!!

lunch date

I had myself a lunch date with Petite Artiste this afternoon and what a good date she is. First of all, she eats like a bird, so I don't have to buy her her own plate of food which makes her a cheap date. Second, she is easy on the eyes which makes her a cute date. Third, she doesn't talk your ear off which makes her a relaxing date. Fourth, she dances to the music next to the table which makes her an entertaining date. And, fifth, she gets not one but two fortunes in her fortune cookie which makes her a lucky date.

Top two fortunes are Petite Artistes. Mine is the bottom one. In case you were wondering.

the eyes have it

So check this out! I'm in love with this little product from Jurlique. Love, love, love I tell ya! A few years back my lovely Mr. Hawthorne gave me a spa certificate to a fancy spa at a fancy hotel. Oh la la. The products used for my facial was Jurlique and I have to say I was pretty much hooked from then on. I bought a little travel kit at that fancy spa and was impressed how a little really does go a long way. I'm not very up and cool on all the facial products. I don't even wear make-up and I wash my face roughly once a day. My skin is sensitive and prone to burning and breaking out. But I can honestly say, this stuff is just super. Especially the eye cream which has Euphrasia and Arnica. I've noticed a deep wrinkle between my eyes slowly become less deep and less noticeable.
The problem. So far I've only been able to find Jurlique at the fancy spa or I simply order it online. Sephora also has online orders but I've haven't been able to buy it in the stores yet. However I did find it in Seattle at Pharmaca which also sells it online.

April 14, 2010

the story of bangs

Last summer Miss Divine had oodles of hair.

Then one afternoon in October, she watched the movie Parent Trap and decided she wanted "bangs" just like Lindsey Lohan. So she went into her closet with a pair of school scissors and cut herself some. She showed me her new hairstyle and with school picture day in just two days, I had myself a little freak-out.

We managed to hide the little snafu with some fancy hairstyling and use of hair gel. No one was the wiser.

A few weeks later, Miss Divine got herself an actual hair cut with bangs.
There was still a really short bit, so we've been patiently growing her bangs out and trimming them up so the two bits would match in length.
This evening was the very last trim and I'm happy to say her bangs are all one length. Yippee!!

new tricks

I've written about the adventures of living with Franklin and Mavis before. I shared Franklin's sneaky way of sniffing out crumbs left on the table too.

Well turns out Mr. Frankie has the DNA of an agile cat, not that of a low-center-of-gravity Scottie dog. Or rather it's the DNA of a two year old boy. Whatever it is, he manages to get himself in places I have never seen a dog get into especially not a dog with short legs like this guy.

Yesterday, I came into the eating nook to find Franklin on top of the table having himself a little snooze. Both chairs were tucked in and he was content just chillin' out.

He was all cute and like "what?"

And I was like "what the heck are you doing on the table?!?!?!"

I'm nervous where I'll find him next. I'll keep you posted.

April 13, 2010

petite treat

I picked this most adorable meringue pedestal up the other day. I love the idea of cake stands. Just adding one under your favorite dessert makes it instantly cuter. This one is made by Rosanna. Isn't it sweet?!?! Just perfect for a cupcake.

won't you be my neighbor

The best part about being a blogger is the other bloggers. There are some not so great ones too, but for the most part, they are great. It's this whole world of talented and inspiring people writing about their families, their crafts, their loves, their struggles and their proud moments. Sometimes you have to really search around, but when you find a few you enjoy, it's hard not to feel invested in their bloggyverse and that investment keeps you coming back. I gravitate towards the crafty, party planning, mommies. I have friends I keep up on their goings-on through their blogs too. And, I peek at the inventive and creative blogs.

There are occasions I stumble across bloggers that are residing in the same area as me. In fact, there is a network of women doing some of the same things. Recently, my memory was kicked into high gear after one of million trips taking my daughters to dance class. I realized I had seen things in a blog and now I was seeing them in person. Talk about deja vu!! I stumbled across the tres chic dottie angel ages ago. Amazingly, after my mind was defibrillated, I found her blog again. Even more amazing, turns out we live in the same neighorhood. Crazy small world I tell ya. Ms. dottie angel is pretty super. Go see for yourself!!

April 12, 2010

come and knock on my door

My mom gave me this chalkboard for a Christmas present when I was about 9 or 10 years old. Then, it had a brown wood frame and I played school with it. When I became a teenager, we sprayed glued a classic 1980s poster on the backside and it hung in my bedroom as a frame. (The poster is still there by the way.) When El Fuego was born, I had Mr. Hawthorne paint the frame red to match the other hand-me-down furniture and it hung in his bedroom for eight years. In October we moved here, as I've said before, and I needed something to hang on the porch. I thought of that old chalkboard I've had forever and voila(!). I leave chalk outside in case someone wants to leave me a note. And, we enjoy putting seasonal messages or party greetings as well. I love it!! It feels retro, in a farm house sort of way, to me even though it's not. I find joy in the fact that it's been around for so long used in different ways.

So come and knock on my door.....unless you are a solicitor. In that case, don't come a knocking because people trying to sell me stuff on my doorstep at 7 o'clock at night makes me angry. Unless you are a girl scout, then you don't count as a solicitor and I will buy as many thin mints as I can.

April 11, 2010

she, me and archie mcphee

My fabulous friend, Amanda, turned me onto this store called ARCHIE McPHEE in Seattle. I had been itching to get out of the house so I rounded up my middle child, Miss Divine, and took her out for an excursion. She's a good girl to go on excursions with. She likes to hold my hand and I never have to worry about her straying off away from me too far. We enjoy each other's company which I love. I wish I had more time to spend one-on-one with each of my kids. It's a great way to get to know them as individuals. I adore the little bits of time I get to sneak one off at a time.
Anyhoo, ARCHIE McPHEE is a hilarious mishmash store of odd things and rare finds. We had a great time wondering around. We even doubled back a few times because there were things we didn't see on our first go around. Miss Divine was oogling this very large tulip.
Afterwards we headed to Trophy Cupcake. We spied some very cute seahorse napkins and decided to buy them for our upcoming Under the Sea birthday party in June. To which Miss Divine announced to the sales clerk that they were for her birthday. The sales clerk assumed it was her birthday today so she gave Miss Divine a candle in her cupcake. We didn't argue.
Happy "FUN" Day Miss Divine!!

April 10, 2010

girl got game

This morning was a chilly start to the girls' softball season.