January 31, 2011

dolly favors

 After slobbering all over this Raggedy Ann party I was inspired to give little dolls out as party favors for Miss Petite's fifth birthday bash. There is only one hiccup with that idea. Lovely in theory, but I don't sew. Last time I tried my hand at sewing, in fact, I broke the needle on the sewing machine. Bad right! Who does that? Apparently, me.

Then again, I could probably try and whip up some dolls, but I have a feeling they would look more like something from a horror movie. And, scaring all the kids away is last thing you want to do at a birthday party.

*My inspiration*

I asked my mother-in-law if she would sew up dolls for me since she is a way better seamstress. She graciously agreed. Yippee!! This will be no-doubt the most labor intensive party planning activity I have ever attempted. It's a big job! I am very grateful and overjoyed for the help.

My second hurdle is Raggedy Ann and Andy patterns aren't made anymore. I did some hunting and landed at one of my favorite sites: Etsy. Wouldn't  you know it, there were a few different options staring at me. I chose this 70s version and according to the very friendly Etsy seller, she is mailing it today.

Last night I headed to the fabric store and picked out some material for the doll dresses. I am very happy with my selections. Lots of reds, aquas and some whites.  

More to come.....

January 30, 2011

blog crush sunday

After doing a little searching on Bing this morning, I happen to cross paths with two lovely blogs. Mrs. A in the Cove and My Life My Loves. They both call themselves 'mum' and live down under. Swoon!

I was actually searching for where I could get my hands on a few six packs of Santa Vittoria fruit nectar.

According to Mrs. A and Sharnel at Woolworth's. Trouble is, the last Woolworth store I remember was in the South Center Mall in the early 80s. It's long gone now, and so is the mall. So I'll be keeping my eyes peeled, unless I have a local peep who can tell me where to shop for these.

January 26, 2011

be careful

One thing I love about Facebook is how you can 'Like' groups you enjoy. In my case, I am a fan of a lot of parenting and DIY type pages. Every day when I open my laptop and browse the newest news, I am flooded with lots of inspirations and fun tips/ideas. Which I love. However, a running theme for parenting sites is homemade playdough recipes and about once a month, I stare at the newest and greatest recipe shared for thousands. Sadly, seeing these (and everyone going gaa gaa over them) makes me cringe. I could be totally off base here, but since having kids, it's always felt like, for some reason, homemade playdough is like a badge of "Good Momminess". Somehow by doing this activity with or for our children, especially more than once, we are thrust into the realm of greatness in the parenting world.

I drank the Kool-aid once or twice way back when. I would seek out the ingredients from my pantry and toss the gooey mess into some concoction of dough for my kids. And, I admit it, I felt like I had done something right in the Mommiverse while I gave myself silent kudos.

The reason I write this post this morning is because, not unlike any other day, when I opened my Facebook account and stared at my Home page. Right up at the top was a pretty popular parenting site post about, you guess it, a homemade playdough recipe. Normally, I'm able to just to ignore these posts, but this morning I felt compelled to introduce you all (who might not know) our first Scottish Terrier, Angus.

Oh how we adored this pup. He was a great dog! Smart, easy to train, a big baby, handsome and he loved us. And, well, look at him. How can you not fall for this dog. He was 27 pounds of Scottish goodness. Sadly, the time we got to enjoy his company was short lived.

What in the world does homemade playdough and Angus have to do with each other you might be wondering right about now.

Well, one rainy afternoon, when Angus was 18 months old, I decided we would burn some daylight by whipping out a batch homemade playdough to play with. There was a break in the rain and the dogs (we also had a long time family dog as well) were outside. The kids and I made playdough. I set the three of them up at the table in the kitchen. Then, it started to rain again. Before letting the dogs back into the house, I said to the kids, "don't drop your playdough on the floor, we don't want to the dogs to eat it."

Oh how I wish I could take that moment back.

As soon as I let the dogs in, a glob of playdough hit the floor and in an instance, Angus gobbled it up before I could stop him.

The result of ingesting the salty dough was almost instant. He started to vomit and I knew something wasn't right. At the time, I had no idea about sodium toxicity. I assumed dogs eating homemade playdough wouldn't be good, but I never thought it would reek havoc like it did.

After a stressful 24 hours, I drug myself back to the place Angus spent the night and decided to make the painful, heartbreaking decision.

So today, I'm here to say, "Please be careful." I will never make homemade playdough (or own playdough) in my house again. But, that doesn't mean you can't. I'm not condemning your decision to whip out the salt and flour either. I just want you all to be aware, especially if share your home with pets.

Check out this list for other items that are harmful.

January 25, 2011

pinwheel fun

In this age of evites and instant messages, I still love to make and send out party invitations. Especially for kids. Around little irish, we call it 'fun mail' and oh how we love us some fun mail. Who doesn't?! With birthday season upon us, party planning is on my mind. I try to dilute all the rambling here so not to annoy therefore I'll keep it brief. 

As I've mentioned, Miss Petite is turning five very soon. Her party theme is Raggedy Ann and Andy. Problem is, Raggedy Ann and Andy aren't very high in the popular cartoon crowd anymore. They are totally old school. I'm relying on a basic uniform color scheme to pull it all together. I love how aqua, red and white look together. And, what's more fun than pinwheels I ask. So there you have it.

The invitations probably need some pizazz I think but in order to keep assembly simple, I'm going with this version. It's cheery and fun. And, I hope the kids are excited when it arrives in their mailboxes.

January 21, 2011

local peeps

I recently hit upon some local bloggers with terrific sites.

The Crafty Clique

Making it My Own



Not local, but equally terrific.

Living with Lindsay

You Are My Fave

January 20, 2011

what do you think this is, Taj Mahal?

Sooooooo, one day, we had a friend over to play. We will call said friend, Grumpy. It was a regular sort of day. Nothing too exciting. Our house in it's regular state meaning clean but showing wear from three kids and two dogs and a mother in high "let's get organized" mode. I'll admit it, there were a few piles of things that needed to be donated and saved for a garage sale waiting to be moved into the garage so to a child's eye it might look like we were in the midst of a second hand store.

Anyway, Grumpy was a tad on the grumpy side, hence the name. The grumpies were getting on my last nerve, so I said "Kids, go upstairs and play. I pulled out some new toys." Thinking this would get the creative kid juices flowing.

"I don't want to. Your house is junky!" said Grumpy.

"Well, tell your parents to give me some money so I can fix my house up to your standards why don't ya" was my retort. Witty I thought.

Grumpy smiled at me. And I winked back.

But, then I saw my child's face. Looking horrified and panic stricken as if to say, "Really?! Is our house really (gulp) junky???" My insides got all mushy and I felt terrible.

Now believe me, I am fully aware kids are fickle and haven't developed that politically correct filter. Grumpy's comment didn't bother me so much as what I understood my child's thought process was doing did. I don't want my children to ever think they need to be embarrassed of their living environment. However, on the flip side, I don't want them growing up thinking that it's a competition either. Keeping up with the Joneses is not a value I want to teach.

I grew up living in some pretty interesting situations. I was never ashamed per say, but I was aware how different my situation was in various stages of my life. It often felt like we were constantly moving forward on a quest to make things "better". And, in some ways I wear that "fight" like a badge of honor as if to say, "Look, here I am. I made it, damn-it!" Growing up, I hung onto ideals and goals for when I had a family of my own. Little things mostly. I wanted a family unit all sharing the same last name. Siblings to grow up with. A stable home where kids could come back to as adults with their families. And, maybe a few trips and vacations along the way.

We live in an area where I've been witness to kids having this sort of entitlement. It's all about the getting of stuff and who has more stuff or better stuff or the newest stuff. I can't count the amount of times I've waited at a red light next to a teenager, barely over 16, driving a spendy sedan. It's sort of scary. And, I worry about my children's perspective.

I'm all about rewarding with words of praise and affection. Celebrating milestones with an experience. Enjoying the little things with gusto. Turning what we've already got into something magical.

Believe me, I like stuff just as much as the next guy. There is some truth to retail therapy. But as parents, it is our job to teach our kids the value of hard work and the value of a buck. In doing so, these small people in our lives learn how to spend money wisely, be proud of accomplishments and gratitude. Maybe that most of all. Gratitude. Being thankful for what we have right now. Because, just as someone might have more than us, there is always someone who has less.

January 19, 2011

bonjour mon ami

It was love at first site, I tell you! As soon as I laid eyes on this picture I was smitten. What's more, check out just how simplistically perfect the decor is. Major, major swooning here. Major!

You can find more adorable photos as well as lovely cake creations at Pink Peach Cakes. Love! You know what else I love? I love that this party was hosted in a studio. What a tres fab idea. Speaking of which, I have been dreaming of a "studio" of my very own.

Here's my idea. Mr. Hawthorne wants a shop to be handy in and to work on his muscle car project in. A small shop. Nothing too crazy (neighbors, if you are reading this). I want a space to be crafty in and to work on projects in. I'm wondering why we can't have both. We could build a shop out back that has an upstair/lofty area that can be accessed from outside (so we don't have to walk through a shop to get to).

Then, then!!!! I can host shin digs, birthday parties, craft nights, bunco parties (wink, wink). I'm dreaming of a wide open space with oodles of countertops and storage and a small kitchenette. How fabulous would that be?! Fabulous I say!

I dream.

January 18, 2011


Over holiday break, we took the kids "home" to see the grandparents. Mr. Hawthorne and I both grew up in Olympia. Many a nights, my teeny bopper friends and I would hang around the Capitol building being goofy because that's what all the cool misfits did. Not! Actually, there's not a whole lot teenagers can do around the old stomping ground without getting into trouble. And, getting into trouble wasn't really on my agenda probably because I was so not cool. So when the mall was closed, and the high school dance was over, and we had our fill of french fries and milkshakes, we would walk around under the lights of the government buildings.

Anyway, when you live near landmarks or great locations, you sort of take it all for granted. I would often forget that I lived so close to the capitol of the state I lived in and really wouldn't give it a second thought. The novelty wears off. At least, that's what I imagine people who live near Disneyland do.

Now that I don't drive by the site on a daily basis, my appreciation has grown. So on our way into town before Christmas, we stopped and took in the sites.  

January 17, 2011


Party season is upon us here at little irish headquarters. It's hard to believe but Miss Petite is going to be five in just two short months. 5!!! It's total crazy talk! I really haven't wrapped my brain around the whole idea of this pending milestone until recently when word of kindergarten registration came down the pike. Gulp!

Oh yes, it's true, signs of this have come into view ..... slowly. Like for example, we no longer have a car full of infant carriers and heavy duty car seats in the rear view mirror. Gone are the days of diapers and bottles and cribs and toddler beds and wet wipes and formula mixes and finger foods and pacifiers. Blues Clues and Dora very rarely visit our living room. Nothing is baby proofed. The gate on the stairs is to keep the dogs, not kids, out of the top level of the house. And, most recently, I realized, we officially grew out of 'months' and 'toddler' sizes. I now pass that little kid/baby section completely and head straight to the big kids where I can find sizes from 4 to 14. Streamline my shopping experience? Yes. Makes me a tad sentimental for all that baby love? Yeah, kinda. It's bittersweet on so many levels.

But, now, with this pending birthday so close, it's all really come into focus for me. The aging of my wee family and how childhood is so fleeting. Sigh.

But wait. I'm not sad, although, I realize this post is teetering there. You might be wondering where I'm going with this. Just had a lapse of direction there for a minute. Ok, ok, I'm getting to the point. The point. Yes, the point is that birthdays are cause for celebration. And celebration we do!

I've been collecting Raggedy Ann and Andy items for Petite Artiste's shin dig since her last party. My inspiration really comes from One Charming Party. I love the colors most of all. I think that is what really drew me in. The Party Dress has the same color scheme, just with a different theme. I love the red, white and aqua colors together. It's just so darn cheerful! Inspiration can be taken from both parties. I'm a visual peep. If I can see the big picture first, I am able to soak up all the little details. And, I love these two parties. Major swooning happening here.


Before Christmas (and before little irish sick house of 2010) we took a day trip to Leavenworth WA. I wanted something that would jolt us into the holiday spirit and what better to do that than this adorable
Bavarian town. This little city really packs it all in! Christmas spirit overload. Always, our main two stops are the Gingerbread Factory and the Nutcracker museum. Check! Then, we seem to make our way to the awesome toy shoppe and the Kris Kringle store as well. This trip, we enjoyed playing in the snow for a couple very cold hours and seeing the sites for the day.  

January 16, 2011

FEATURED: Adventures with The Sage

Over holiday break, I received a little note in the little irish email inbox from Andee from Majestic Mountain Sage. She asked if she could guest post my Eclipse party on Adventures With The Sage. I was thrilled of course. I had purchased the Twilight scented oils and lotion/lip balm kits for the big movie shin dig. We had so much fun and the scents and kits were perfect. Andee and the MMS crew are delightful and their products are just the best!! Thank you Majestic Mountain Sage!!

January 15, 2011


What started out as a little holiday break and then a house full of sick people break, turned into blogger block. Big time! I kept coming here, my wee spot, my last three letters staring back at me, and I would go blank. I had nothing but I had millions to go on about all the same time. I kept thinking I could post about Christmas, or how we all got sick, or post pictures of our trip to Leavenworth WA, or brag about my guest post (more on that later), or continue on with my "Letters" series.....but I would get here and nada, zip, zero! Something would sidetrack me, or I just wouldn't have the energy to write anything down. Lazy, I know.

Today, I decided to just get on with it. Rip it off like a bandaid. I knew as soon as I posted something I would get my mojo back. So here I am. Putting the kabosh on this blogger block!

To recap:

Christmas break was good. We played in the snow and took a trip. We went simple and low key. And, it was enjoyable.

Then we all got sick. And, not the same sick. One would be throwing up, while another would be coughing. It was a modge podge of illness I tell ya. The last week of vacation we spent cooped up in the house watching movies and chillaxing. Aside from not feeling well, it was nice.

Then the kids and Mr. Hawthorne went back to school and work. And, I was left with a touch of the nesting bug. I have been going through the house one project at a time decluttering and organizing. I've been weeding out all the toys and clothes and unused whatnots from my living environment. Which means, I leave a trail of piles in my wake. I plan to have a bang up garage sale this Spring so in my frazzled mess making, there is a plan. It's true though....the more you let you, the more you toss, the more you give away....the lighter you feel. Stuff weighs you down. And if there is one thing I don't need, it's more weight!

So there you go. What was blog silence, will most likely turn into post overload. I've got some catching up to do and pictures to share and stuff to chat about. Be prepared.