October 27, 2010

little irish giveaway

I was recently contacted by CSN online stores about hosting a fun giveaway here on little irish. Well ain't that super fly!?! Check it out peeps!

CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find anything you need whether it be a stylish handbag, a classic dining room table or even cute cookware! And the good people at CSN have kindly donated a $35 gift certificate as the prize. What fun!

Want in on the action? Here's what you do:

1. Become a follower and/or a facebook fan of little irish

2. Leave a little comment in this post (so I can enter you into the contest)

3. Post this giveaway on your blog or facebook page AND link back to little irish

Contest winner will be announced Friday, November 5th. Stay tuned.

Ohhhh, this is so exciting!! I can't wait! Good luck!

October 26, 2010

take a load off frankie

One chilly, blustery day I found the pups hanging out together...

...like this.

Which totally cracked me up!

I tip-toed away to search out my camera. Five minutes later, they were still just as I found them before.

This is Franklin's chair. He sits either on the back like lounging kitty cat, or he props himself up on the arm (always the same arm) of the chair like an elderly man settling down for an afternoon nap. He is mellow guy.

It is very unusual for Mavis to find a spot that makes her stop and rest. She is either in my lap, under my feet, or patrolling the house for anything out of sorts. She is not a relaxed dog with an easy going temperament.

So, you see, the scenario of these two hanging out together, Franklin taking a load off on his baby sister was a site to see in more ways than one.

October 25, 2010

indi chocolate launch

This past weekend was the exciting launch of my friend's company, indi chocolate, at the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle Wa. It was so exciting to see the positive reactions to the products. My stomach was slightly queasy all day from the anticipation. But I'm here to say, everyone was extraordinary friendly and lovely to talk to. I would say the launch of indi chocolate was a huge success.

Maya from Warm 106.9fm stopped by and snapped a few pictures (below) of us working hard. Keep in mind this is at the end of the event and we both finally sat down after standing all day. I was super duper pooped out! But in a good way. Thank you Maya!


October 22, 2010

starts with a dream

Roughly seven months ago my friend, Erin Andrews, approached me with an idea. She had embarked on a journey of business partnership in "from bean to bar chocolate making" and she wanted to start up her own chocolate company in the states. Her idea was to use the chocolate by product and implement it into body care products like sugar scrubs, soaps and lotions.

I consider myself a "can-doer" and lover of all things DIY and crafty. But, I'll be honest with you my friends, I never in a million years thought I could make soaps and lotions. I was awe of people who could but I never wrapped my brain around actually doing it myself.

Erin was not convinced I couldn't make spa products and she enlisted me as her product developer. She and I took a class with the Soap Queen herself  and we learned the basics of soap and scrub making. We left with oodles of oils, butters and what-nots hoping that I could turn this new found knowledge into honest to goodness soap.


I struck out on the soap so far. My luck with incorporating the chocolate by-product into soap has befuddled me time and time again. But I hit four home runs so far. I just couldn't believe that I could put ingredients together and make lotion! And sugar scrub!! And lip balms! And cute little sugar cube scrubs!! I am so excited!

Erin has been busy getting her business up and running. She launches her company tomorrow, October 23rd, at the Northwest Chocolate Festival. I'll be there so if you happen to be in the area, stop by and say hello.

FEATURED: under the sea

When I stumbled across the birthday blog, I knew if we were neighbors we could be fast BFFs for sure. Birthday parties for kids is one of my favorite things and friendly people who share fun ideas are nothing short of awesome in my book. I don't normally reach out to authors of blogs but I love it when people reach out to me, so I thought I would write a note to Stacy. Turns out, she's as friendly in email as she is in her blogs. Love it!
Today the birthday blog featured our Under the Sea party we hosted this summer for the Divine Miss O. Thank you Stacy!

October 21, 2010

make a promise

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and with current trends in mammography rates (15% decline in Washington State alone), the good people at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance have started their second annual Make a Mammogram Promise. By collecting promises, they are hoping to reiterate the importance of screening and encourage more women to take action towards healthier lifestyles. For each promise made, $1 is donated by Safeway towards research that assists women in need to access mammography.

In hoping to celebrate the sisterhood that comes with being a woman while encouraging everyone, young and old, to take action against this disease; to make a promise and pass it on. With October more than halfway behind us, SCCA is asking for a big push in support for the remaining days and they would really appreciate YOUR assistance in reaching their goal of 10,000 promises and $10,000 towards breast cancer research. Show your support and get involved.

Click here to make your promise today!!

October 17, 2010

chocolate chapstick sea

M'm M'm! That right there, my friends, is a sea of chocolate chapsticks. Or "lip chap" as Petite Artiste has coined them. My only wish right now is that scratch and sniff computer screens were available. These babies are creamy, smooth and chocolate. After sampling, Mr. Hawthorne announced his craving for a treat after dinner was gone. Who knew. Not only are our chocolate chapsticks fun to wear on your lips, but will help you avoid the dessert table too.

October 15, 2010

scrubby dub dub

Today was completely spent in the kitchen making coffee butter lip balms, chocolate sugar scrub cubes and emulsified chocolate scrub. My partner in crime and I did some testing of recipes. Some that flopped slightly and some that ran off to label themselves awesome.
These little beauts are almost perfect if I say so myself. I was testing a little recipe so the batch was a little too small for the mold which is why they are so skinny in size. But who doesn't like to be skinny?! I heart the crinkle cut big time.
And isn't little fellow handsome! He's all emulsified and smelly like chocolate. Almost good enough to eat. Don't eat him though, the emulsified wax and stearic acid doesn't taste that great. Not that I would know.

No really! I don't know!!

So anyway, some of our successes will be available October 23&24 at the Northwest Chocolate Festival. I'll be there Saturday hanging out around the "indi chocolate" booth. If you happen to be in the area, stop by and say hello.

October 13, 2010


Last week I spent a good chunk of time trying to figure out whipped butter (lotion) but wasn't completely pleased with the result. I loved how it smelled and looked, but had a hard time with the consistency.

This morning we tried a somewhat different lotion recipe and voila!, it worked. I'm so excited!! And aren't these little tins so gosh-darn cute?!

chocolate-peppermint whipped lotion

October 11, 2010


I must apologize, I didn't make it very clear in my first ramblings on my weight loss journey. I am NOT considering lapband surgery. I was at first. Like, years and years ago. Mostly because I didn't think I would qualify for any other options. But, upon my first meeting with the weight loss surgeon, I quickly decided the lapband was NOT for me. Although, I think it's a fine tool for many people, having something foreign put into my body was not in the cards for me. I much rather have things taken out, than put in. That, I'm OK with.

I was almost scared away but through much research and much observation and many chats, I have decided (for the most part) to have gastric bypass surgery instead. With that said, I fully understand many people have strong opinions on this subject. Just like, I fully understand those said people just don't really understand.

Gone are the days of barbaric surgery. It's all very civilized really. No more invasive than getting a gallbladder removed. Patients who've undergone this procedure go on to live full, happy, healthy lives. Happy, healthy, productive lives of not being hot all the time or out of breath, shopping for clothes where ever they want and wearing summer clothes, not having people "judge" what they eat, having pictures taken, and just basically feeling good. They do not live the rest of their lives on baby food. Quite contrary in fact.

I know having surgery is not for everybody. It can be scary. It's life changing. But not taking risks only to continue on a path of failing diets, low self esteem and medicines is not the life I want to lead.

I. Am. Being. Proactive.

I'm not too far gone. I haven't lost hope in myself which is exactly why I started this journey. I want to be around for a good long time to bug my husband, travel to see my friends and enjoy my grandchildren. I am choosing to live my life, not watch it pass me by from my chair.

Need more information? Check out:

The World According to Eggface

Chef Dave

Your Bariatric Surgery Guide

There are many, many resources but these are a few of my favorites. I believe with all my heart I am making a very well informed decision. I've started going to support groups, see my doctor regularly and continue to gather information.

With that said, I move on. And, I expect any naysayers to move on as well. I'm happy to talk about my decisions in a positive manner, but I object to any negative comments or passive aggressive behavior.

October 8, 2010

sample event

This morning my chocolate friend and I gathered a super group together to sample some of the spa products we've been working on. The gals were very serious about their task at hand and gave us outstanding feedback. I now feel like I'm loaded with valuable information so I can head back to the drawing board to work out some kinks.

busy trying samples
taking lots of notes

I have to shout out a huge, big 'ole "thank you" to those who joined us this morning. We couldn't have gathered the information (in such a sort amount of time) without you all. We heart you!!

chocolate friend, Erin

cacao beans
cacao bean sack

scrub samples
whipped butter samples

ready for sampling

October 7, 2010

carmel apple baskets

I stumbled across another blog oozing fabulous-ness. She wears flowers is chalked full of great ideas and inspirations. I fell hard over her teacher appreciation gifts. Since September feels like it's long time gone, I decided a sweet carmel apple basket works just fine for October too. I'm so excited to send these off with the kids tomorrow to a couple of most excellent teachers.

October 5, 2010

be good and enjoy life

I was cleaning out a few boxes that were still sitting around from the move. And, while putting some books away this envelope floated out, falling to the ground. At first site, I thought it was trash but upon further inspection I realized it was a note my paternal grandmother sent to me for my twenty-first birthday. I remembered she stuffed a $20 dollar bill inside.

From the informal "Hi gal" to the way she spelled "Grama", this was so her. She didn't take sentimental things to heart. Shoving money inside an envelope half-heartedly and scribbling a few words on the outside was nothing to her.

I'll be honest with you. She wasn't the best grandmother. The warm fuzzy feelings eluded her. She was gruff. She was an alcoholic. She tanned her skin. She smoked long skinny cigarettes, storing them in a silver cigarette case. She took pride in her rose bushes. And, she had way of stinging your very core with just one flippant comment. (A flippant comment I've never forgotten by the way.)

But, there was always something about her that was oh-so intriguing. I'm not sure if it was the way she kept seashells in her bathroom, her love of Hawaii or her storage of a sponge at every single sink in her house. Maybe it was the need for always having a white terrier dog(s) by her side, the tube tops she kept in her middle drawer or the smell of her home that was truly unique. It could be the way she carried herself in that self-important manner, her gravelly voice or the look behind her eyes that seemed to tell a story without words. I can't quite put my finger on it. In some ways I was in awe of her while not understanding why she chose to live her life the way she did. If nothing else, she was memorable. To me anyway.

Something else though. I only realized today when by chance this little envelope I've saved for 15 years happened to float into my day.

This is also so me.

I am sentimental which is why I hung onto to this scrap piece of paper for so long. I still enjoy the "Big Water" adoringly. And, most likely unbeknowst to my Grama Glory, my motto, unbeknownst to myself as well, has always been "be good and enjoy life".

October 4, 2010

mint chocolate lip balm

After feeling like I was blowing it in the whipped body butter department last night, my spirits have been lifted today. Turns out, the whipped body butter is not as horrible as I thought. After it sat in it's jar all night, it seems pretty great today. I'm still working on the overly greasy feel, but with a few kinks worked out, I think it will be awesome!

Another reason for my spirit lifting is these most excellent mint chocolate lip balms. I LOVE making lip balm. It's so easy and the results are fantastic. This mint version is especially lovely. Not only does it smell delish but it makes your lips tingle just slightly in a fantastical way.

If you are interested in some of these new products:: lip balms, sugar scrubs and body butters:: my chocolate maker friend, Erin, will be at the NW Chocolate Festival Oct 23 - 24 at the Seattle Center where they will be for sale for the first time.

October 3, 2010

whipped body butter

I've been experimenting making whipped body butter and tonight I spent three hours trying to perfect the art. I've learned a few things in the process. 1. Using a hand mixer is NOT ideal. I think I might be burning out the little motor in the hand mixer I have. 2. Corn starch helps cut down on the greasy-ness. Otherwise, it's light as air and very fluffy, but once you start rubbing it into your hands, it becomes an oily mess. And, 3. I really have no idea what I'm doing and I fear I sort of suck at it.

The picture above is peppermint whipped Shea butter. It's smells absolutely yummy but I'm still having trouble with the grease factor. It looks fabulous in the picture though. Light. Dreamy. Fluffy. I heart the way it looks and smells.