December 25, 2011

happy christmas

Hope your holiday has been merry and bright!

Ours started around 3:30 am this morning, but so far no one is complaining. Everyone is very happy and content. I was a gifted a new camera. A fancy new camera I'm learning how to use. Here are some of my favorite shots of the morning.


December 23, 2011

these are a few of my favorite things

In the spirit of the season, here are a few of my favorite things in no particular order.

Jurlique skin care. A few years ago I received a gift certificate for a facial at a fancy spa. The esthetician was using Jurlique products and I fell hard. I love these rebalance kits and my fave is the Sensitive.

One of my favorite treats this time of year is at Starbucks. I love the peppermint mochas. Yum-yum!

A new discovery: Physicians Formula eye booster liquid eyeliner. The idea is that you get that fancy eyelash growth good stuff while using your eyeliner. I've mentioned before that I love to get my lashes and eyebrows tinted. But, that whole tinting thing fades, so in between I like to wear a little eyeliner and mascara. It's a little cheat. However, I now know I need liquid eyeliner lessons stat!

Scottish Terriers. I LOVE dogs, all of them, really. However, I've always had a soft spot for scotties. That profile kills me and I literally melt when I see that beard and arched neck. All my life, the dogs that have shared my home have been rescues and believe me, they've all been super pets. But a few years ago, Mr. Hawthorne and I decided to get a puppy and the search for a scottie started. Angus (pictured) was our first. He was such a good boy! Now we have Franklin and Mavis, and although they are crazy, we couldn't imagine our family without them. I love me some scottie!!

Framed words. Little sentiments that say so much. Although, I'm not a fan of words painted on the actual walls of my home, but I do enjoy some framed and hung. Currently, my favorite words are "C'est la Vie" and you bet your bottom dollar I have that framed and hung on a wall in my house.

Vintage Airstream campers. Swoon! My dream is to own a fully restored and remodeled tin can baby one day.

Santa pictures! And, this one is truly my favorite of all time. El Fuego was about fifteen months old and wanted nothing to do with that guy in red. I crack up every time I see it.

I hope the end of 2011 finds you all in the company of your favorite things! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

December 21, 2011

snowflake lane

We took the kids to Snowflake Lane last night, braving the cold and the crowds. We've lived in the area for about nine years now and this was our first visit. It's good though. The kids are at a super age for it where it all seems magical, but they are old enough that I don't worry as much.

It was reminiscent of Disneyland with the loud, upbeat music being pumped in. The bright costumes and cheery make-up. The dancing entertainers. And, the snow. Oh how Petite Artiste LOVED the snow!!


Afterwards, we flooded into the mall with the rest of the crowd mostly to warm our toes but to allow the traffic to die down too. We hit up the Christmas store while we waited. The kids picked out their annual ornament for their trees. We hadn't done that yet this year and we managed to hit up a 60% sale which I was very happy about. Then we circled around to Cinnabon for a snack before heading out.

This might just be a new family tradition!!

December 14, 2011

hair today ...

... gone tomorrow!

More fitting is:

Gone today, let's see if I can style it tomorrow!!

Anyhow, there you have it. I have been inching my way to a short hair cut for months now. And, I'm not sure if I'm done yet. I kept asking my stylist to cut more off and with every snip, I liked it even more. I've always wanted a cute pixie style. I decided to go with this length for now. Let it grow on me before I go even shorter....if I decide to go shorter. Which really depends if this cut is easy for me to style in the morning. I base all hair cuts by how I can work with it. I am inept at doing hair, so if it's somewhat easy for me to style, then I deem it a good hair cut.

Now onto shocking my children at the bus stop and waiting for Mr. Hawthorne's reaction.

December 13, 2011


Mr. Hawthorne and I had ourselves one heck of a super duper weekend. Crashing back into the week was hard! Like HARD. Picture me on the floor kicking and refusing to get dressed for school hard. It's taken me a couple days to come back down from the cloud I was living in. Back to mommy duties and homework hassles.

I can't lie though. I'm still smiling over my new BFF.

A right fine entertainer, with the whitest teeth I have ever seen.

Mr. CeeLo Green.

Yes, that's right, the man behind "F U" and host on The Voice.

I saw him.

In person.

Doing his thang!

And, I was this close!!!

YES!! For realsies!! I actually took this picture (with my cell phone because Mr. Hawthorne wouldn't let me take my camera.) And, I LOVED EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF IT. Except for the ten minutes or so when the uber drunk woman tried to squeeze in front of me and when I wouldn't let her, she decided to dance, obnoxiously, next to me while jabbing her elbows into my shoulders. We managed to run her off though to the great relief of everyone around us.

After CeeLo, we hung with friends and pretended we didn't have kids, living the young people life.

And, that was just Friday night!!!!

Since the kidlets were down on the farm for the weekend. Mr. Hawthorne and I spent most of Saturday shopping and dining. We were smart too. We made our dinner reservations before we started shopping, so we didn't have to wait when we got hungry. I'm never on top of it like that.

Dinner itself was rather uneventful. We enjoyed broccoli beef and lettuce wraps. Yum! However, just when were about to leave and continue shopping, a stack of (cleanthankgoodness) plates came raining down on me, spilling drinks into my lap. I sat stunned while my pants soaked up most of the liquid. It wasn't left unnoticed by the manager who paid for our dinner, gave us a gift card and offered to pay for dry cleaning. Like I have anything dry cleaning anymore. And, since more shopping was on our schedule, I took my wet butt to the nearest sale rack to buy a new pair of jeans. So it wasn't all bad. We actually closed the mall down too. Haven't done that since I was a teen.

We slept in on Sunday!

That alone needs to be in a sentence all by itself. I mean, when was the last time we really got to sleep in like that? I don't remember so the act alone was pretty significant.

After sleeping in, we sipped on peppermint coffee and wrapped Christmas gifts. Which means, we are completely on top of it this year. Shopping is done. Wrapping is finished. Stocking stuffers are waiting to be stuffed. I feel so on top of it this year. It is really creeping me out!!

Then Sunday afternoon, we picked the kids up. They were worn out and a little on the crappy side. Reentry hasn't been easy for them either. Especially the oldest one. He now thinks staying up until ten o'clock is his new modus operandi. We've somewhat started to hit our stride today. All seems to be running smoothly without any major hiccups. Phew!

After this week, we are on official winter break. The holiday is right around the corner. I'm hoping to enjoy every minute of this vacation with lots of hot chocolate, new toys and quiet days. Wish me luck!

December 9, 2011

just when i thought....

.....I had everything under control, more or less, I show up to school to be confronted by "that" teacher face. You know the one, that look that things aren't so hot on Mount Peerland. I could feel my smile fade and I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach as I uttered the words "uh oh, what happened?" Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, I never wonder to myself what might have happened "TO" El Fuego because I know it is always something El Fuego has done. For the most part, I am about eighty-nine percent correct in my thinking at any given chitty chats with thee educational units. Oh to be a red headed, ten year old boy!

Didn't I just say two posts back how my son is a mixed bag of charisma and wit coupled with a mischievous spirit? And, how I have to work my backside off to be a step or two ahead of him? And, how frickin' exhausting that is?! Yes, yes I did.

Well, there it is. Just when I thought I was cruising along and things were peachy-keen I was told my devilish son with a heart of gold pantsed a boy at recess. You read that right. Pulled another kid's pants down. Oh the hilarity of it all!!!

(help me!)

Luckily, El Fuego's teacher really is the best ever. And, having two boys herself seems to show pity on me. For which I am grateful. She seems to take everything in stride. Having been at this only ten years myself, I've learned to roll with it.

Up next?


Oh gawd! Looking forward to that conversation.



I opened my comments up (meaning no security hoops to jump through) to make it easier for readers, bystanders, passerbys to leave a note or say hi when they stop in. But instead of getting hellos, I get tons of spam from gobblity-gook threads to click on link for your free pair of Jimmy Choos. It's annoying!

Baby, it's friggin' cold outside!! I am always so cold, it almost hurts. Once I traveled to Michigan to see my long time, bestie friend in the month of February. She told me it would be really cold and to dress warm. Her warnings could not prepare me (at all) for when we walked out of the airport and that kick of freezing air hit me. I have never been so cold, so fast, in all of my life. Except for now. This cold snap reminds me very much of that Michigan February.

Tonight is Mr. Hawthrone's company party. And, guess who is scheduled to entertain and delight the working folk and spouses alike?? CeeLo Green! For reals!! I'm super excited to hear the man in person.

And because of the party tonight, my mom is driving up to take the kiddos back to farm today. I've asked if they can stay through the weekend so Mr. Hawthorne and I can do some holiday shopping. She agreed. Thank you Mom!

Did I mention our little birdie was finally crowned a name? After much thought and many suggestions from the kids like "Greeny" and "Chirpy" and "Larry", Mr. Hawthrone decided on Ozzy. And, it fits him. As he moves around his cage like he is a little bit drunk, he is a very messy eater and we can't understand a word he says. So Ozzy is quite fitting indeed.

Our halls have officially been decked. Christmas tree is up, holiday cards sent, house is tidied, furniture has been rearranged (thank you Lisa!) and decorations are aplenty. I have this creepy feeling that I am really on top of it this year, like mostly prepared. And, I didn't even start in July. I decided a while back I was going to be mellow and not stress over what I might think is expected of me. My goal is to make the season cheery and bright for my little family. Everything else just doesn't matter. This attitude suits me well. And, I like it.

I had my first chiropractor appointment the other day. I was a tad nervous. It really seems like people have super strong opinions about ye olde back doctors. Some swear by them while other debunk their methods as myth. I'm of neither opinion right now. All I do know, is that my neck locked up something awful this last summer where I couldn't move for about a week. Since then, I have had troubles with my movement (read I don't really have full range of movement at all) and I'm sore most of the time. The stiffness comes and goes in waves. But since raising my right arm over my head has proven painful, I decided I had had enough and I needed to try something. I haven't been adjusted yet but all the xrays and scans say I'm wacked. So I'm eager to get this show on the road and see if some back cracking fixes me right up.

My constant quest to organize and declutter my homestead continues. You will know where I've been by the piles of 'I-have-no-idea-what-do-with' have been left about like a trail of breadcrumbs. My work is mostly powered by peppermint coffee and brief intermissions of facebook for comedy relief. I have some really funny friends which I love!

A while back I might have mentioned I applied (and was awarded) my very first passport at the age of thirty-cough-something. I know, a world traveler I am not. However, I believe I am going to start the new year off right with a trip to Costa Rica. Si! That's a good place to start my world traveler status methinks. My mom is going on a business trip and I am tagging along so it won't be the beach resort most might picture. Mom works with horses so we are traveling to farms and site seeing will include the jungle and volcano. The gal that hires my mother calls it 'the real Costa Rica' so I'm rather excited to witness this in person. Plus, Costa Rica is warm!

That's about all the rambling I can think of to ramble on about. Until we meet again my cyber friends, enjoy your holiday season. Make is cheery and chill!

December 5, 2011

parenting is hard yo!

I got a note from El Fuego's teacher about some homework he was supposed to do. He had turned up at school the next day without it finished. (In fact, he didn't even start it.) At first, I felt super guilty for not following through and making sure he was up to par. Like I schluffed on my duties as a parent. I did tell him to get his homework out. And, he did sit at the table for about forty-five minutes with his work in front of him. Then he cleaned it all up, put it away in his backpack and went about his business. I assumed he did his work. What he was doing actually, I have no idea. I never went through his backpack to check. If I'm being honest, I really just forgot to check because like every night, the night time routines are crazy busy.

Then I shook some sense into myself. I am NOT here to micro-manage my children. What valuable lessons do they learn if I'm the one always dotting i's and crossing t's? A helicopter parent that hovers over every little task is so not me. Life Under the Big Top has been talking about "free range parenting" and this book. I've since found Lenore Skenazy's blog. Good stuff people!

Sort of unconsciously and sort of on purpose,  I had been stepping back from El Fuego's school work responsibilities. Leaving him to lean on himself rather than me. He is in fourth grade after all. Study habits and organizational skills have been put in place last year. As bad as this might sound, I've been waiting for him to fail more or less. I really want my ten year old to learn that when he doesn't put his best effort forward, then he doesn't succeed. My hope is not succeeding will feel bad to him therefor he will put forth more thought and effort the next time. Learning lessons the hard way is the best way! And, I want him to learn these very valuable lessons now when the cost is cheaper.

So I wrote his teacher back explaining my reasoning. I let her in on the arguments El Fuego and I have had over his lack of applying himself. And, how I have been actively trying to find something that motivates him without hovering over him.

His teacher wrote me back stating "YOU are awesome!" Yes, with capitalization and everything. Which put her right up there in the fabulous teacher category in my book not only because she thinks 'I'm awesome', but because she agrees with me when it comes to these lessons of learning. She also wrote: I'm confident he will figure out that "If he puts in the honest effort, Then he will succeed." Three cheers for great teachers!! And, three cheers for being on the same page with great teachers!!

Finding motivation for El Fuego has always been difficult. He has never been a 'regular' kid per say. He is gregarious and precocious and mischievous and filled to the rim with charisma. I find these traits of his inspiring and frustrating all at the very same time. He is a difficult kid that keeps me having to be two steps ahead of the game at any given moment. Frankly, it's exhausting!

I'm testing a new motivation out. Money. Cold hard cash! My reasoning is this: In life, adults work. If they apply themselves and do a good job then they get paid. In dollars. I thought about what amount of money would sound like a lot to a ten year old. So, I told El Fuego if he earned himself all 4's in academic subjects on a report card, I would pay him one hundred dollars no strings attached. All 4's equals straight A's. His rebuttal was "you are just saying that because you know I won't get all 4's". Which made me feel a little sad. I told him I KNEW he could do it and how it might not be easy but that I had confidence in his abilities. He is a savvy kid after all. I'm holding my ground, staying true to my word and not hovering. We shook on it even. I believe he can do it.

All he needs is to believe in himself....

Sometimes that is the hardest lesson to learn of all.

December 4, 2011

reindeer festival 2011

We braved the cold and took the kids to the reindeer festival to see Santa Claus and his reindeer. This is probably our one family tradition that we do every year. The festival is at a little local zoo and we like to show our support by taking part in the festivities.

Santa was pretty magical this year!

After their conversation with the big guy in red, we headed down to the workshop to write thank you notes and get face paint.

Only the girls wanted face paint this year. El Fuego refused, but was patient during the process.

Cougar for Miss Petite.

Reindeer for Miss Divine.

The zoo has sleds aplenty for picture ops.

We couldn't pass up a crazy ride in Santa's sleigh.

Miss Petite trying to sneak a peek...

christmas tree 2011

We did something new this year on our adventure to the tree farm. We took the dogs with us. They, of course, LOVED it! El Fuego was one happy camper because of this too. However, because we were on dog patrol throughout the farm, I didn't get as many pictures as I normally do. That said, I got enough to order our Christmas cards with so it all worked out in the end.