September 30, 2010


Miss Divine is invited to a school mate's birthday party tomorrow on the first day of October. Every year it feels like we get invited to twice as many parties. I love that my kiddos have friends. Friends that want to include them in celebrating their special day. But I try to be very frugal while still gifting something cute. Cute things "on the cheap" is my favorite thing!

So for this October baby I went total Halloween theme with candy corn and orange and black. I filled a little painter tin from the craft store with holiday treats and prizes. Cute right?! Let me tell you friends! I love these paint cans. They are so cute, so cheap and you can do so much with them. Plus they come in two different sizes. Yippee!!

Update: 10/7/2010
I love these tins so much that when El Fuego got a birthday invite for another October baby, I jumped into action making a little older version of this bucket full of Halloween treats and goodies. So much fun!

not a belly itcher

El Fuego has been under the weather the last few days. He came home sick on Friday and spent the entire weekend on the couch. This is soooo not like my son to sit in one place for longer than 10 minutes. He is a mover and shaker ya'll.

Along came Monday morning and he went back to school. Still a little sluggish and slow but acting better.

Then Tuesday was a giant grenade of unpleasantries in more ways than one.

So Wednesday he checked out and spent another day on the couch. However, he was on the mend and he had a make up baseball game ahead of him. And, what does any good parent do when their child stays home sick from school?? They force them to get out there and get some fresh air, chat with friends and play baseball darn it!! And, if it doesn't work out? Well, then you said you tried and you come home.

Lucky for all involved, it was a success and just what the doctor ordered for this little man going through more turmoil than just a tummy ache. It gave him the boost of confidence he needed and he came home feeling better all around.

Today, he woke with a smile on his face. Not to mention for a moment, I recognized that glimmer in his eye that tells me El Fuego is back in full force.

This guy can pitch too! It's so exciting to see him playing baseball and having a great time doing it.

Just like a pro!

September 29, 2010

slow motion

Monday had me feeling like I needed to be sitting in a rocking chair out on a screened-in porch sipping on a mint julep. Images of people fanning themselves talking in deep southern drawls filled my head. The weather was so humid. Muggy. Thick. So thick I felt like I was trying to breath soup through a straw. As a result, I was moving in slow motion all day long. And I haven't recovered. The humidity has moved on, but my body is stuck in first gear.

I'm suffering from a bout of writer's block as well. Not that I consider myself a writer by all means, but I haven't had the motivation to post. Maybe it's because every single project is only mid way done so I have nothing fun to share. Every family member of mine has battled some form of ailment over the course of two weeks as well. That right there sort of takes the zip out of your zinger.

Majority of my time these last few days has been consumed with eliminating stinky smells and germs that surround me. From dogs to kids to carpets to laundry and bathrooms. I've been slightly obsessed with ridding unwanted orders. I've also been on an organizational rampage which feels so good on one hand but a bit frustrating on the other. When I get set on cleaning an unsightly mess, I end up leaving a wake of unorganized chaos behind me. Anyone else relate to my plight? One step ahead, two steps back.

The sunshine is out this afternoon and it has perked me up. The sickies are on the way out (knock on wood) and my surroundings are not so stinky at the moment. I do love this time of year when I can crack open the windows and let the crisp fresh fall air stream in.

Anyhoo....more to come very soon. I promise.

September 26, 2010

diy wreath

Spied this easy DIY crate paper wreath at CountryLiving. It's perfect for Halloween, but you could easily mix up the colors for any occasion.

September 22, 2010


Look what happened to these old tubs!!

Fun and fabulous! I think any butcher, baker and candle stick maker would love these super upcycling ideas.
Check out DiggersList's blog for the full story and photo credits.

September 20, 2010

open book

For the most part I am a gigantic, walking, talking, open book. If someone asks what's new in my world, I tend to sing it like a songbird. Good or bad. I wear my feelings on my sleeve and can be overly sensitive to the smallest of innuendos. Sometimes I kick myself after, asking myself why do I do that?! And, sometimes I ask myself why didn't I say something when the timing is so perfect. I'm not brass and bold....I'm more touchy-feely I guess. However, I do know my limits and through the years have learned when I need to say "sorry, that just doesn't work for me."

With that being said, there is something I have been keeping under wraps for a while now. I haven't shared about my recent decisions because I know so many people have really strong opinions about this particular subject. Mr. Hawthrone is one of them. But he is supportive. Just extremely cautious.

So here it is. I have been researching weight loss surgery. There! I spilled it. Because I'm not going to be Star Jones and try to trick you all into believing yoga and pilates is the "only" key to shedding major amounts of poundage.

The journey started a long time ago although I only very recently started the actual process for the procedure. I tossed the idea of a lap band around for a good long while after programs like weight watchers and good old fashion diet and exercise wasn't proving fruitful for me. I love to feel healthy and I love yoga and pilates (don't get me wrong) but the more hot and heavy I got into really pushing my body, the more things seemed to break down. At the top of my most hated activities is going to see doctors but I decided I was going to feel better no matter how many doctor visit it took. One thing led to another and my weight seemed to be the number one factor.

Let me say this though, I've not continued to gained. I've pretty much maintained this weight for a good long while. But I'm stuck. Between a rock and a hard place so to speak. Too fat to be skinny and too skinny to be fat. If that makes sense. It's true I am overweight and I hate it. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate how it changes what I do. I hate how it really determines how my day goes as stupid as that sounds but it is true. I'm pretty sure people in my predicament know exactly what I mean by that. However, going forward with weight loss surgery, I was not heavy enough. So in order for me to get help, I had to be more unhealthy. And, that I just couldn't stand for. I want to be proactive. Not cleaning up an even bigger mess.

I almost stopped right then and there. When just visiting the weight loss surgeon wasn't going to be covered by insurance, I panicked. Not to mention words like "slippage" and "corrosion" and "fills" started floating around, I knew I didn't want to get a lap band after all. Something foreign being put into my body made me really stop and think.

Unexpectedly, the surgeon's staff talked me down from my panic and pushed me forward. Because it is their job? Yeah, probably. But I am thankful they understood my concern and made me feel like they wanted me to feel successful. The surgeon told me he was pretty sure I had sleep apnea. At first I thought he was off his rocker and this was all a shot in the dark. I thought sleep apnea was just when people snored really loud. Little did I know. Turns out I have "apneas" as the sleep doctor calls it. I now sleep with a c-pap machine and have two sleep studies under my belt. After a month of hooking myself up a tube at night, I can honestly say, I am feeling better. More energy. Less dragging. I was never getting a full nights rest because my brain was trying to keep me from dying in my sleep more or less. After a night of that, you don't wake up feeling rested and ready to start the day I can tell you that much. I still get tired. But it is a tired from having a day of activity not an all over body exhaustion. Which was what I was suffering from.

If I hadn't of continued with the weight loss surgery procedures, I wouldn't have searched out sleep medicine. For that I am thankful. Never in all the regular medical doctor visit have they suggested sleep apnea for the root of my problems no matter how much I complained. Which is oh so frustrating to say the least.

You might be wondering now that I am treating sleep apnea will I go forward with weight loss surgery. The answer to that is: I'm still on the fence. I'm pretty sure I will but I'm still afraid of the actual surgery to be honest, so I am hesitant. My gut says "go for it" while my head says "are you sure about this?" I continue to hop hurdles for the insurance company while remaining undecided for now.

September 15, 2010

seeing cherry red

Major falling head over hills for this adorable birthday party from stephmodo.

knobby knobs

I very recently acquired this dresser at a screaming deal. I wasn't really looking for anything because I have a handful of half started projects sitting my garage at this very moment. Mr. Hawthorne is teaching me the fine art of painting furniture perfectly, because he is pretty perfect at it. I have many things I've been packing around from house to house that are too ugly to display but hold too many sentimental memories to get rid of. Like my childhood dresser, my mother's coffee table and my grandmother's circle occasional table. Oh and a few months ago we brought home three bar stools from Mr. Hawthorne's parent's house. I very much want to give them all new life but I'm afraid I'll totally mess them up. Not wanting to eat up every non-working and non-sleeping moment of time on my painting projects, I've asked my handy hubby to help me learn. So when I found this little treasure, I decided it could be my learning curve.

Found this in the top drawer...
I'm hoping this means I earned myself one heck of a deal?!
It's pretty ugly right  now. The stain doesn't do much for the design. At first I thought it would be a super cute girl dresser painted white. But after sanding it yesterday, the legs and the little lip on top were telling me it needed to be black. Then I thought how cute it would be painted a shade of red for a boy. I'm still undecided.

Maybe these cute knobs from Anthropologie will help me decide.

Nope! Still unsure. What do you think?

gray vs grey

picture via and via

Decorating with the color gray is huge right now. You can't open a magazine or click on a blog without seeing this color taking over like gangbusters. Being a Northwest Washington native, I am a little reluctant to jump on the gray train since most of our winter/spring days are filled with this ominous color. It can bring a sister's mood down I can't lie. On the flip side, however, I can see the lovely-ness in gray. Beige is boring and can totally disappear or hide things. For example, I moved my beige couches into a beige/white-ish living room last October. I pushed those couches to an L-shape corner and forgot all about them. This weekend I decided I needed a mulligan. But, I also wanted to make the fireplace a focus, move my desk under the big windows, keep the dogs from barking at every single passer-by and make room for a tree in anticipation of the pending holiday. Once moved, a friend commented (Hi Amy!) about not remembering the couches even being in the room. The blah of our tone on tone color scheme made the furniture totally disappear. Not that it was a scheme. The color on these walls were inherited. I can understand the shift from boring tans and creams to splashing gray on the walls. People want something new and fresh without making huge bold color statements.

My recent Real Simple magazine came complete with an article on decorating with gray, tips on choosing the right shade and using pops of different colors to provoke specific moods.

September 8, 2010

cocoa lip balm

 In my travels through my garage, I found these cute balm pots my chocolate company friend, Erin, purchased as trial for her lip balms. She recently brought me some fabtastic cocoa butter and super fresh chocolate by-product too. So I whipped up a small batch of balm using a few different ingredients I haven't used before. I love the smooth texture and light chocolate color in these pots. I experimented in the end by adding a little vanilla flavor to the heart shaped pot. The vanilla made it smell delish but changed the appearance. But seriously peeps, I wish your computer screens were scratch and sniff because these babies smell good enough to eat. M'm M'm!

shaun white or norville "shaggy" rogers?

*cell phone picture*

This is my son, El Fuego, who naturally has a head of red locks but when I saw this bundle (brand new in it's package labeled '70s Guy Wig') at the Goodwill today I knew I had to acquire it. Why was I at the Goodwill you ask? Well, for starters I had no idea we had such a huge location so near to my sleepy town. Secondly, I wanted to scope out any furniture begging for makeovers. (Nada in that department by the way.) And, since I was there, we took a looksie around the clothing for any pieces of apparel we would snag for our Halloween costumes.

When Petite Artiste got her hair cut (professionally.....*cough*....) a phenomenon happened in our house. Reruns of Scooby-Doo started finding their way into our family room. All the kids were enthralled. Could. Not. Look. Away. Even I would find myself stopped in my tracks watching those meddling kids solve mysteries. Miss Petite decided she was Velma naturally because of their similar styles in hair dos.

And then it began. The seed was planted and my quest to recreate Mystery Inc was all lit up.

Petite Artiste will be Velma. Miss Divine will be Daphne and El Fuego picked Shaggy (not Fred, which I thought was an interesting role choice). This afternoon my friend sent me a picture of her wee Scooby-Doo....I think I'm forming my little incorporation plus a monster mystery case for the kids to crack.

September 7, 2010

back to life

Petite Artiste tried her darnedest to muster up some excitement about going back to school this morning. She has been sleeping mucho grande these last few days so I have a feeling, at 4 1/2, she is gearing up for a growth spurt which is totally exciting for poor El Fuego to have two little sisters taller than him. Good thing I bought her $4 dollar pants in one size up.

Of course when I picked her up she was all smiles and happily showing me the egg she found in the chicken house. Not every day that happens in preschool.

This year something new is in store for us. Another mom asked me if I wanted to do a playdate swap every week so that we would each have one to two days a week completely kid free. That's three days every two weeks we will be completely kid free until 3 o'clock in the afternoon y'all! We've known each other for about four years now with our different kids attending this school together. So of course I said "YES!" without batting an eyelash.

one for me, one for you

My very handy hubby, Mr Hawthorne, whipped up a couple of primitive benches for me this weekend. He decided to make two so I could keep one for myself and hopefully sell one to recoup the cost. Both are currently all put together (very well I might add) and waiting for the next step. I just have to paint these two beauts. More to come...


I'm visualizing this rug in my entry way right this very minute...

*Pottery Barn Geometric Rug*

September 5, 2010

sweet picnic

A few years ago Mr. Hawthorne made a cute picnic table for the kids. It sat on the deck getting rained on and baked in the sun. When we moved to this new abode, it found residence on the front porch where it continued to get wet and baked for another year. Because of all that, the wood had slowly turned a shade of gray from the reddish tones of it's cedar wood young years.

My original thought was that it would be cute in a shade of red and have it continue to live it's life outside on the porch. However, that changed when I was in the paint aisle and a can of yellow called out to me. Now I couldn't imagine this sweet little picnic table being any other color. I love it. So much so, that I want it to live in Miss Petite's bedroom instead of outside.

Lovely Yellow

school center

Most of our comings and goings is through the garage, which leads into the laundry/mud room. Because it's already a dumping ground for coats and backpacks and dirty shoes, I put some semblance of a school center together. The kids each have hooks and files for their belongings. I used a piece of plywood to make a chalkboard and Mr. Hawthorne put it up for me this morning. Yay!

September 4, 2010

This morning, I stumbled across my newest and probably my biggest blog crush to date. I love me some how-to projects yo!! Ana-White had me at "hello!" No joke! She's got plans and supply lists and painting tips and pictures galore. Somebody pinch me because I think I just fell over dead. For reals! I printed out the plans to a little farmhouse bench and showed them to Mr. Hawthorne. He asked if I wanted him to make me one today. And I said: "Uh, yes please!" Handy hubby totally knows my weakness.

Recently I have been standing in home improvement stores oogling over paint colors and studying glazing techniques. The miracle of paint and how it can magically transform something totally feeds into my instant gratification self. I've been shopping my house and drawing up plans in my head for all the items I want to paint and make new. Like this antique table I have hidden under a table cloth in my living room right this very minute. It's been passed down from my grandmother to my mom to my aunt, back to my mom and then to me. I've been practicing my skillz before I attempt to do anything drastic to this table in fear I'll mess it. But that's another story. For now, I've been trying my hand at painting, distressing and glazing on things I know I can't ruin.

And here's the secret peeps....with a little practice, it's really not that hard. Plus with Mr. Hawthorne around, I really can't go wrong. He has a way with paint as I've sent him to work on several furniture pieces already.

September 3, 2010

wait, let's do the math

It's almost like I've gained an extra year to my life. You see for the last however many months I've believed I was 36 years old already. (Kids can really age a person I tell ya) But, today is actually my 36th birthday. I even had to have Mr. Hawthorne do the math for me just to make sure. Thirty six! Crazy!!

September 1, 2010

most wonderful time of the year

Funny thing, I woke up this morning humming Andy Williams' "It's the Most Wonderful Time of Year". I am all giddy sending the kids back to school. Don't get me wrong, I love, love, love my chicklets but oh how excited I am to send them their new adventures of course. New school. New friends. New bus ride. And, new peace and quiet around the house between 8 and 3 for me. So yes, I have to admit it is "the hap....happiest season of all".