June 28, 2010

race day

This weekend was the Rock 'n Roll 1/2 and full marathon in Seattle. I was relieved to see familiar faces in the crowd like my pal, Lisa. I did the half and Mr. Hawthorne ran the full. It was a fun weekend as the kids and dogs were at Camp Grandma, but I must admit I'm so glad the race itself is over. With ever step I am reminded of the movie Run Fatboy Run and it's hilarious blister scene. Watch if you are brave. Sadly after the 13.1 miles I subjected my body to Saturday morning, I can now relate. Ouch!

Congratulations to my husband and friends for kickin' it like rock stars!! You are all awesome!

June 24, 2010

eleven months

*photo credit: Petite Artiste*

The puppies, or poopies as we like to refer to them (our loving nickname), turn eleven months today. In other words, we have survived 11 months of puppy craziness aka potty training hell . And, finally, finally (knock on wood) I think they are finally starting to the hang of doing their actual business outside. Oy!

Also in these eleven months, their personalities have become pronounced. Franklin is big and fluffy. Named after FDR whose constant companion was Fala. Plus, it cost a few Franklins to "adopt" these two pups. His bark is deep and long, almost like a howl from a hound-dog. He has big puppy-dog eyes looking like he is wearing too much eye liner and he likes to look up at you pleading for treats and love. But don't be fooled, this lug of a guy has a super sensitive tummy which results in lots of unpleasant things dropped around the house. Which he promptly tries to eat. Blech! Franklin is mellow and very patient, except when he uses his big nose to push open the door and run down the street in search of the neighbor Scotties. Which was exactly what he did yesterday afternoon. He somehow gets on top of tables in search of leftovers, and sits in chairs like an old man. It's pretty funny.

Mavis is a whole other dog. Really I'm surprised they came from the same litter. She is quick and spunky and oh-so very testy. Named after the song thrush. At the time we had no idea how fitting the name would be for her. Mavis talks all the time with this high pitched, bone jolting bark. And, for its weight, the Mavis bird has one of the loudest bird calls. Coincidence? She has a hard time sitting still and being quiet. She requires puppy Valium to be groomed. She bosses Franklin around and firmly believes she is the sole owner of me rather the other way around. Mavis was the only black dog of the litter (dad is black, mom is wheaton) and also the runt. She is little, but has the classic confirmation people most often attribute to Scottish Terriers. She sports the best beard in the house by far and her favorite sport is tug-o-war. She looks tough but she is really a big scaredycat. When she isn't patrolling the house and outlining outside areas, barking at anything that moves or is suspicious, she is either at my feet or on my lap.

June 23, 2010

chew chew candy and cafe

We decided to take a drive this sunny afternoon out to our favorite (and cheapest) destination. Nothing better than cheap! We headed for the hills and hit up the train depot and ice cream shop in Snoqualmie WA. Fun way to burn a little steam and some daylight too. Our first stop was ice cream which was totally yummy. Then we explored the trains and tracks. Before leaving the quaint little town, we bought the biggest home grown cherries from a local vendor who because they also had a redhead son, gave us extra for our two dollars. Yup, El Fuego is handy to have around.

spies are us

This is a fun and very cool websites for kids wanting to brush up on their spy skills. Check out: Top Spy Secrets.

June 18, 2010

sixty years young

Happy 60th Birthday Grandpa Rich!

fraise frappe

Today I faced the one nagging question I haven't prepared myself for when looking into our summer vacation together, the kids and me.
"What's for lunch?"
My first look is to the pantry.
Second, I opened the refrigerator.
We had some strawberries going south hanging around. And, since our groceries are on short supply this week, we decided to make a fun lunch in honor of the sun finally peeking out. I've never made smoothies or homemade milkshakes before in my life, but I've been around the block and have seen them made a time or two. Making these yummy treats is not hard at all and a great alternative to everyday PBandJ.
I simply cut up some strawberries, added some yogurt plus a splash of blueberry juice I had on hand. I added ice as I blended and voila. Totally easy. The kids loved it. They love anything with a straw. And I was happy to sneak in a few ingredients they don't normally eat. Gotta love that!!

June 17, 2010

secret agent inspiration

Fab*Blog +++++

El Fuego's ninth birthday has been called to the agency's attention. We have selected agents for a highly secretive and dangerous operation. Their mission if they choose to accept it is to meet with Agent Fuego at headquarters in August. However, if they are caught during the mission the agency will disavow any knowledge of the operation.

Be careful........ This message will self destruct in 30 seconds.

feeling famous

My family of five hit the high life on Tuesday night. Well, sort of. We went to an XBox event checking out the new Kinect. Which is going to be pretty darn cool I must admit. Like the Wii, you get yourself off the couch to play games, except with the Kinect, instead of holding a controller, your body is the controller. The games look pretty cool and I'm eager to get my hands on one in November.

Microsoft held the event at the Lincoln Square movie theaters. They had very cool drums playing and we were able to get all the movie snacks we wanted. Then we settled into a theater and watched the promotion of Kinect. The kids were in awe and would shout out which game they wanted the most.
Then we took our crew out to pizza. It was a fun evening.

under the sea party

The Divine Miss O celebrated her birthday in true mermaid style. We invited her friends over for a swimming good time under the sea. The day of her actual birthday, she took treats to school and then we whisked her off to the most upscale of restaurants, Red Robin. Ahem. Her choice. She very much wanted the RR cast and crew to sing her Happy Birthday. Which they did while she acted embarrassed.

The big shin dig was the day after her birthday. We got the house ready with decorations which consisted of lots of paper mobiles and green tulle. Blue table covers and fish netting. Plus lots of seashells to complete the look.

Oyster cupcakes for dessert anyone?
Of course no sea party would be complete without blue ocean water to drink. (blue Gatorade) I had tried to get the girls believing if they drank enough, their teeth and tongue would turn blue and when they went to sleep, the metamorphosis would start to take place of their turning into mermaids. But they never fell for my trickery. It was fun trying.
Here is something I've seen at many fancy party blogs. Custom labels for the water bottles. I did this the night before the party. It was super easy. I just cut paper into 2 inch strips and used double sided tape after wrapping around the bottles. This is my new favorite trick for parties.
After all the girls arrived, we had ourselves a mermaid feast. It was a fancy affair as you can see all the girlies are wearing their mermaid crowns.

After we ate, we played: going on a swim under the sea seeking out treasures from sunken shipwrecks.
I haven't opened gifts with the party guest for a long time. When the kids were younger, the process was pure chaos and I always felt like it was cruel to set all the little kids in front of someone opening presents all the while telling them they can't get involved. So we've always skipped the torture and trying to give all the party goers a good time instead. However, this year, Miss O really wanted to open her gifts with her friends. And since everyone is older now, I obliged making sure I took pictures of each of the girls with their gifts. If they wanted to, we also gave them a little time to explain why they like this gift and that made them feel special. Then I added their photos into their thank you cards. Even Grandma got her picture taken.
Then we sent all the wee mermaids home with their tails and this little favor bucket filled with their very own mermaid soap.

June 10, 2010


It's hard to believe our sweet-face Divine Miss O (with legs from here to China) is turning the ripe ole age of seven tomorrow. I now lump her into the group of "big kids" with her almost nine year old brother. How strange that is to wrap my brain around having big kids. Even odder to say we share our domain with big kids plus a preschooler. Gone are the baby daze; the days of strollers and diapers and pacifiers are a distant memory. Now we have big kids. Actual, honest to goodness, big kids. Wow!!


I've developed a wee crush on these super fantastic souffle cups. I baked cupcakes in them tonight and I've never had a cupcake turn out better. Not only that, the cupcakes look down-right adorable! Why have I not known about these little wonders before now?! Swoon!

seashells by the seashore

We've swung into full party mode around these parts. Yesterday, we made seashell chocolates although I haven't decided if we want to pass them out as favors or have them out to eat at the party. Either way, they were super easy to make. I borrowed these cute candy molds from a friend and I used those melt and pour chocolate disks from Michael's. Easy peasy!

June 8, 2010

it's been lovely

Well folks! My eight foot tall kindergartner is wrapping up her school year. To celebrate, all the kinder classes performed an adorable music program with their sweet teacher they all affectionately called "the boss lady". Miss Divine had a little solo with a few classmates while the rest of the classes performed back up. And, I must admit, the song's genre was quite fitting for my little barn gal.

under the sea mobiles

A couple months ago I spied on Project Wedding these adorable paper mobiles. I decided right there and then, I would make some in blue hues for Miss Divine's Under the Sea (mermaid) party. I've had the vellum for a long time but with the party this Saturday, I finally got my rear in gear to get this project finished. So last night I cut the paper into 1 inch strips. Sewed them together with transparent thread. I used a cute little seahorse my friend brought me to weigh down the mobiles because if you don't the vellum will curl up. I also hung some cute little jelly fish on the chandelier. Voila...cute huh?!? I'm on the fence about making more. They are easy and I have enough paper but I'm not sure I want to over do it. Some are cute....but a lot gives it that 'WOW' factor. We will see. I also want to put some white balloons in the corner to represent bubbles but I wonder if my efforts will be lost on the girls. More to come...

June 5, 2010

we are family

Miss Divine tap dancing to We Are Family!

hippo in my tub

Petite Artiste starring in There's a Hippo in my Tub!

June 4, 2010

my side

Can you guess which side of the bed is mine?
Phase one of the master bedroom revamp project is complete. Sort of. I need to work out the pillow situation. I took three of my most favorite face shots of the kids and had them printed out as 8x10s at Costco. I used frames I already owned. Total cost: $3.75. The purchase of the headboard (found on Craigslist) was actually $20. Total cost: $60. including material and supplies. Although I could have done with a little less material but as this was the first time I've reupholstered anything, I didn't want to come up short mid-project. Edward approves.

June 3, 2010

our time together has gone too fast

This morning was Petite Artiste's last day of preschool before summer vacation. The event was more bittersweet for some than others as these ten months went by in a blink. We have another year at this little school so although we are one year closer to closing the book on this chapter of our lives, I wasn't sad about "never" going to see this little school where "play is the greatest research" again.

Miss P started off doing a little exploration with water and mixing colors.

Then she sampled the sensory of feet painting.Then a little bubble blowing. The tubes were her favorite.
After she rode the hay bails western style with her bestest buddy.
The sun peeked out just in time for some lunch...
...and smores making at the fire pit.
The pond was the next draw.
Petite Artiste searched for her tadpoles.
But only came up with mud.
And then,
just like that,
it was over.


Three cheers for a happy summer!