August 31, 2010

dear summer

We bid you adieu!

We enjoyed the break from school work and extra curricular activities. We wore ourselves out with trips to zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. And, some of our fondest memories are of this year's camping trip. We visited farmer's markets, ate way too much ice cream, took in our local attractions, celebrated birthdays, and watched cartoons until late in the morning.

You've been great summer! Thanks for the fun.

P.S. can you tell Slip 'n Slide we'll see 'em around next summer.

Tonight is the eve of our 2010-2011 school year and many changes await us. First time riding the bus. New school. New teachers and friends.

Fall is in the air! It's quite fitting that today, the last day of summer vacation, it rains. All day. So we used the indoor time to it's fullest by getting the house ready for our new adventures.

Breakfast time was streamlined

Snacks are out

Lunch boxes are clean and ready to be packed

School center was cleaned and backpacks are ready

Morning reminders are up

August 30, 2010

house numbered flower pots

I recently found some inspiration from a new blog crush, The DIY Show Off and her adorable house number flower pots. I was on a kick for another project and browsing the hardware store when I came across some flower pots. I reminded myself of the cute pots from her blog so I gathered up some supplies. Mine aren't as cute, but I do love the instant gratification factor in these babies.

pots - $1.19 each
black paint - already had
white numbers - $0.59 each
gloss glaze spray - already had

I need some flowers and a little staging yet. This is mid-project you could say. We have a really cute child-sized picnic table Mr. Hawthorne built that is begging to be painted some sort of red shade. I thought it would be cute if these pots found their home sitting on that table on our porch. More to come....stay tuned.

August 29, 2010

for sale

I love to browse Craigslist. We've gotten some really good deals by clicking on that perfect item at the perfect time. We've been able to find furniture, building supplies, kid stuff, baby gear and even a dog run. We've also sold many of our household items too. It's the ultimate in upcycling if you will. Thrifting at it's at easiest. For you don't even have to get out of your pjs or brush your teeth to do a search. Heck, you can search at one in the morning if that's what suits your fancy. I'll be the first to admit, there is quite a lot of junk being listed too but if you are patient and have something specific in mind, you can usually find it on Craigslist.

I recently came across another "home beautiful" blog and she has some great tips on shopping Craiglist.

August 28, 2010

on the cheap (!)

This house has a lot of windows in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and angles. None of them have any sort of curtain or drape coverage though. A few have blinds but that's it. Mr. Hawthorne made new screens this summer for several downstairs windows so we could open things up and let the fresh air in while keeping the bugs out. But that is all we've done to the windows around here. Once in a while breezy sheers and light blocking drapes fill my mind's eye. Although I just haven't been eager to jump on the bandwagon to go around dressing windows. Have you priced out curtains lately? Ouch!! They can be spendy.

Tonight I came across this great tip on making your own drapes and I just had to share. And, talk about being "on the cheap!" What's not to love I ask you?! Now that's a super cost effective trick. Fabulous!
++Hi Sugarplum!++

You can find another cheapo drop-cloth made drapes at burlap and blue

Burlap and blue also has a great post of other dropcloth curtains. Clearly, I was the last to figure this little nugget of fabulous-ness out. I feel inspired to make some of my own.

August 27, 2010

days of change

Soooooo....I warned you I was developing a huge addiction to "home beautiful" do-it-yourself blogs right?! Well, I have another redonkulus, super fantastic blog to share.

Ahem! Internet.

Meet the Nester of Nesting Place.

Although you might already know each other. In fact, you probably do. Ms. Nester has quite a fan base and how can she not. She's great!

I'm crushing on her site hard. So much so, that I haven't closed the tab. I just keep refreshing it to see her latest posts. And, her latest launches her 31 days to a less messy nest. Fun! I'm excited to read some great tips and inspire my rump in my own home.

Moving is tough y'all! I can never figure out why it takes two days to move out, but it always takes forever to feel really move into a new dwelling. I will say this however, this move was hard! And crazy! And hectic! And chaotic! And such a long process!! But, this change has been super duper great for our family. With almost a year under our belts and a new school year upon us, I'm now realizing this little fact.

August 26, 2010

meet and greet

This afternoon was the official meet and greet at the big kids' new school. My first impression was love at first site! The staff, teachers and families all were friendly and inviting. And an added bonus: the new school campus is exactly the same floor plan as the old school. We pretty much knew our way around already. The kids are excited to ride the bus for the first time and eat lunch in the gym/cafeteria instead of their classrooms. I have a feeling we are going to do really well at this new school.
Miss Divine with her first grade teacher. The room is bright and not overly decorated. Mrs. L was super sweet and welcoming. And Miss Divine already has a friend in her class from her Pre-K days.
Every time we told someone El Fuego's 3rd grade teacher's name, they would get that look on their face when they really loved their teacher and was sad their turn with her was over. That is always a great sign and I am thrilled! Mrs. W already knew El Fuego's name (he's hard to forget) and she chatted Miss Divine up about her teacher.

We are excited for the year to begin!

revamp, refresh, redo...or die trying

Friends! I think I have to take myself to bloggers anonymous stat! I am addicted to blogs that showcase all the super do-it-yourself home decorating projects. For one reason only....because they are fabulous!! Totally inspirational. All the furniture painting. All the slip covering. All the thrifting. It's awesome. My blog love list just keeps getting longer and longer because there are so many really great people out there doing really great things in their homes cheaply. And, I love it!

My newest additions include Rhoda and her blog Southern Hospitality and Kristi and her blog Pink and Polka Dot. In the last 24 hours I've managed to scour both sites and soak up all the painting and slip covering goodness I can.

My goal is to create a put together home that is kid and dog friendly, yet pleasing to the eye. We have a collection of hodge-podge furniture currently. Which the thrifty side of me loves on one hand, but the "I want it now" side of me gets extremely frustrated. I would love to throw caution to the wind, and decorate with a Pottery Barn magazine in my back pocket and Martha Stewart at my side. But people! That ain't happening! So in the meantime I see beautiful things happening to things we have but I haven't been able to follow through. I have plans though....many, many plans. Probably to Mr. Hawthorne's dismay.

August 25, 2010

to paint or not to paint

This is half of our staircase.
At the top of this picture is a landing and a second set of stairs leading to the bedrooms.
As you can see, they are carpeted and nothing fancy. Oh they serve their purpose and that's fine. However, lately I've had a bee in my bonnet about painted stairs and I very much want to rip this carpet up and get crackin' with some floor paint. Which, by the way, is more cost effective and easier than installing new carpet. Mr. Hawthorne has recently installed some carpet for the family room and it was a job, he declared, he didn't very much like.

My hearts goes pitter patter for anything country farmhouse and creaky painted stairs scream out to me. In my research, I've collected some images of lovely painted staircases for pure ogling goodness. Although we don't have banisters, and that alone will make the painting revamp easier (wink, wink), I do love the look. I must admit, however, I didn't love them very much when the kids were little as I had to pry a few heads out from between those suckers.

These lovely photos were collected from the following sites/blogs: fresh nest, 247 reno,  Southern Hospitality, love home uk, katy elliott, Ticking and Toile, Concord Green
and to your delight. Have yourself a peek, they are all super.

P.S. Rhoda at Southern Hospitality has an excellent step-by-step from carpet to paint tutorial.

August 24, 2010

1001 uses

I've had this sweatshirt. A favorite sweatshirt. For a long time. But, it was stinky. It was stinky because I let it stay in the washer too long. Actually I forgot the entire load was in the washer and two days later it was a smelly, damp load. I tried rewashing it over and over again, but I could always smell that faint smell of dankness. Plus, since then, every time it got mixed in with other clothes and washed, the other other clothes would have that faint smell too. Blech! However, I liked the sweatshirt too much to send it on it's way.

Then! Recently a friend shared a laundry tip with me. She told me to wash the sweatshirt with vinegar. I was a tad skeptical because let's face it, vinegar doesn't smell that great on it's own.

Well let me tell you. It worked wonders. I simply add a splash of white vinegar to my regular detergent and "presto! chango!", my clothes have never smelled so good. Not to mention they are softer too. I've been putting vinegar in practically every load since. It might be safe to say I have a wee crush on vinegar now. 

Thanks to another friend tip, I added vinegar into the hot water of my carpet cleaner. The carpet that had a faint smell of potty training pups is now smelling fresh and it looks great. Not only that, the vinegar seems to be a deterrent for further accidents. Plus it's safe for kids and pets. And!! Bonus! It's cheap!!!

In the words of Martha: Vinegar! It's a good thing!

Check out this fabulous website: 1001 Uses for White Distilled Vinegar

August 23, 2010

the nose knows

Most know I haven't worn make-up regularly since 2001. But what most might not know is that I wear perfume everyday. Currently I switch between two fragrances and both happen to be from Donna Karen. Mostly I go for clean smelling fragrances that doesn't over-power the nostrils. I like to smell good but not offend my neighbor. I love DKNY Cashmere Mist for the soft powerdy scent. And, DKNY Be Delicious for it's spunky, up beat smell. Recently I came across Donna Karen's new scent called Liquid Nude. It smells lovely and I've been dying to get my hands on a bottle of my very own.  

August 20, 2010

fun surprise

My friends and family tend to be the only peeps that visit this here little bloggity blog of mine. Most know I tend to ramble on about my likes and dislikes, but mostly I share about my three kids and what we do as a family. Recently I highlighted some of my favorite parts of our camping trip to Cape Disappointment State Park. And, I still have some fun times yet to share. Excited? (I know you are....)

But what most might not know is that at the very bottom of the current right hand column, is a little button for sitemeter. It allows me to see who visits and from where mostly. Today, I randomly checked and discovered a little surprise.

The Visitors Bureau of Long Beach Peninsula website posted some of my pictures and blog excerpts from this wee blog about our camping trip. I'm pretty sure Mr. Hawthorne will be thanking me for posting that now-famous photo of him and the kids. I think it's pretty cute and it's a side not many people get to see of my huzbie. I think he should be proud.

Anyway, go have a looksie. I think it's kind of fun!

Pssst! Little Irish is also on the Seattle Square's press page. Another fun surprise!

wolf haven

Yesterday the kids and I got a special treat. Two of my mom's clients work at a wolf sanctuary in Tenino WA and we were invited to visit. Wendy lives in Wolf Haven and she was very kind to take us into the sanctuary and allow us some behind the scenes memorable moments. It was truly amazing and something the five of us won't soon forget.
Wendy would throw in sticks covered in a scent and the wolves would rub on them, chew on them and play with them. It was really cool to see the wolves come through the tall grass or from behind a hidden spot. Their eyes a brilliant gold glow. When staring into those eyes you would sense a wisdom about them. However, once they smelled the scent, they would turn into playful, happy animals like your very own dog at home.

This guy was waiting for whatever was going to be thrown in....and I'm pretty sure he was hoping for a treat and not a scented stick.
This was Caedus. We were able to go around and right up to the enclosure with Wendy. Caedus was a privately owned wolf raised from a puppy by a man in the military. However, when the man was sent overseas, he had to release ownership of Caedus.

This was Ladyhawk. Not as friendly at Caedus but she had a very sweet nature
My mom getting licks from Caedus.
Ladyhawk enjoying a lazy afternoon.

After visiting the wolves and coyotes, we strolled over to the cemetery. It was very sweet how each animals was honored.
This Mani-Stone Stupa was lovely.

We wrote the names of our pets we've loved and lost.

Then we adopted Pahana. His background was very sad but we were so happy he is able to live out his life at Wolf Haven. This little clip is of him.

howl in

The howls of the animals at Wolf was bit eery and a whole lot incredible to be standing there with all the howls, barks and sounds around us. What set them off? We are not sure. But all the sudden one faint howl from the back ground and then they were all "talking". It was amazing.

August 17, 2010


I had myself a wee bit of a crush on this little town called Ilwaco WA. One morning of our camping trip we headed down to the Saturday market. For a town that looks rather lonely and quiet, it's boardwalk was bustling of tourists and locals alike. Once I saw the line of white tents and vendors of all sorts, I fell hard. My heart tends to skip a beat when I happen upon a good outdoor market. This one was just the right mix of veggies, art, treats, soaps, antiques and crafts. Swoon!

I LOVED these little chalkboards made out of old frames and whatnots and painted in perfect shades just begging to be placed in a beach house.