get shorty.

There once was a good boy name was Sheamus. For cuddles and smoochies was famous. A mild mannered boy, what a bundle of joy. Our sweet little monkey named Sheamus.
But one day his mother did think, "he is awfully big for that Bink"(2 1/2!). So they gathered them all, gave "binky fairy" a call. "This plan, (this monkey thought) stinks!"
Then Kung Foo Panda they did see, that way "he could still feel happy", but this munchkin was smart and payback was an art, "oh how they'll wish that they never crossed me!"
It was this day "kung Foo Tiger" was stirred, he'd wake up like a buffalo herd (and also before the sun), while his mom tried to sleep, without making a peep, this "tiger" started acting absurd.
Our shy "Mo's" still in there too, he comes out when the growling is through, despite throwing toys at my head, throwing fits before bed, this boy is still sweet through and through!
the end.


SISTER shout out.

the Beauty Salon: an american institution...

(design by other very talented sister STEPHANIE of sayRED creative)

Strange then, that trips to your salon are about as satisfying as cutting your own bangs when you were twelve (thank you: unrealistic celebrity example pictures, bad neon lighting, and stylists who "know exactly what you mean"). Spare yourself this butchered fate: let Lisa Ebner give you the head of hair YOU intended. For once.

You don't like to complain... but it's not easy being gifted with good taste. You know what you want, and it has nothing to do with "mom" hair.  While we're at it, lets ditch the "mom" jeans and reclaim your dignity at that play date!

What happened, you ask, to the days when no matter how stringy or wind blown your hair was, it was still only a little hair spray away from "beach chic"? Admit it: we're just not that cute anymore.  At The Shed Salon get a taste of Lisa's appreciation of all things beautiful, where you can also find one of a kind vintage purses and jewelry to your hearts content!

So no matter to what extreme lengths we go to (oh, and we do) there should be nothing traumatizing about being pampered.  Therein lies her ultimate goal, which is to help you feel great, and that is by creating the best YOU!

(and yes, you'll keep that extra 3 inches thank you very much ;)
the Shed: (480).313.7747. blog.


the butterfly effect

Mid summer Elyott and I collected caterpillars, put them in a mason jar with twigs and leaves for food (awwwww). We watched as the first night one climbed to the top of a branch and hung precariously upside down wiggling back and forth as it started it's amazing transformation. soooo exciting. In the morning we ran to check it's progress only to find that it had fallen down...and died. :(
"Well, at least we have 5 more in there" i assured. Turns out that was the closest we'd come to hatching a butterfly. All others sat and eventually crusted away, unfortunately so did our dreams of experiencing some of "earth's magic". Elyott got over it almost immediately. I on the other hand, continue to be haunted by my handicap of all things nature: plants, and now apparently bugs).
As a plan"b"we made a mobile tribute to the butterflies that could have been (sigh):
yay for paper bugs!

"butterfly wood" by elyott
Buzz Lightgear "on watch"
Topless polly pocket came too, but died of boredom.
Elyott is happy to hang it in her room and "re-decorate more plain"...
Mom is happy Elyott is over her begging for a Tinkerbell room!
...oh happy endings!


death to "fun"

My baby blog has been eaten by my team boo, and now the two have become one.  Two blogs was one too many for me to organize ;)  FWTB is still in there somewhere, you just have to do some more digging in the "boo-sky"  (yikes, that sounds way worse than it did in my head).  

slow and steady.

In our home lately there seems to be added drama for every occasion:  after school meltdowns, bedtime aversions, wiggly family prayers, being-anywhere-but-your-chair meal time, kicking and screaming when playtime with friends ends, even "having" to go potty! Enter "toot sweets" jars (thank you Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Frankly, i am tired of consoling children when they can't eat chips for dinner. The persuasive power of earning a trip to peter piper pizza is incredible, and as a consolation all i ask is for a few less tension headaches :)

I suppose i am also never off the hook.  If only i had a toot sweets jar to keep tabs on my life's progress. If i can get there, i am betting on heaven serving way better pizza ;)  I love this quote:
"The pattern for spiritual development is 'line upon line, precept upon precept' here a little and there a little. Small, steady, incremental spiritual improvements are the steps the Lord would have us take. Preparing to walk guiltless before God is one of the primary purposes of mortality and the pursuit of a lifetime; it does not result from sporadic spurts of intense activity." (David A. Bednar) 
Click here to view talk in its entirety.


Nie Nie

This weekend, my friend Summer introduced me to a tragic story that i can't help but pass along, for this family needs all the prayers they can get. Being valley residents, many of you "Arizonians" may have already heard of this sweet family... 
Stephanie Nielsen is an amazing, dedicated, faithful, passionate, creative, inspiring, adorable, funny, (amongst many things) mother of four (not to mention excellent blogger). She has built up an amazing online following that is no surprise what-so-ever (take a look).  Incredibly hands on with her children and such a loving wife who has an outstanding take on life, she is an inspiration to me in so many avenues (and i don't even know this person!) 
Last week her and her husband survived a horrible plane crash and suffered severe burns on the majority of their bodies. They both remain in a chemical induced coma, in serious condition, and will be for at least the next three months while they undergo multiple skin grafting procedures. There are links from her site to her sister's blog who posts updates on their condition and their 4 sweet kids. Her incredible family's exemplary attitude, under these circumstances, is a great lesson to me of having faith in God's plan for us.  Check out their will be captivated.  
We all need reminders of living and loving life as Stephanie always seems to on her blog.  Life is fragile and always unexpected, but it is always in our power to strengthen our faith and live the most meaningful lives we can with the friends and family we love.
(At the top right of my page I've posted a link that was created for anyone to donate to this family to help sustain them in their time of recovery and rehabilitation, or if nothing else, just keep them in your prayers)


Ta da!

I am so in love with my new "ID" charms. A few posts back i posted about those fingerprint necklace charms, and then they went on sale, so i ordered two (for my two kids). The "kit" (don't be intimidated ...extremely simple) arrived in one business day, and after i mailed it back it arrived back to me just as fast. I couldn't be more happy with it. I told my husband had he thought of and surprised me with it I'd have cried fo sho! (but he didn't, so i didn't) but i love it, and him, just the same :) 
*sorry my camera blows and can't focus on a close up zoom. If you want a better look at the charms, minus the stringy hair, click here (for all you lazies who don't want to just scroll down).

deck the halls?

Despite yesterdays triple digit temperatures, my very decisive and imaginative daughter felt it an appropriate day to throw her "Christmas in the summer" party that she has been dreaming of since basically last Christmas. In the morning she picked out decorations, music, movie, prizes and food, and together we mocked up our best Holiday spirits. (FYI: don't be sad if you weren't we planned this in about two hours)  Here are a few moments of her debut as party extraordinaire...
FYI: she was also a "kitty" from an earlier themed party we attended that morning.
Santa has a cow skin rug, right?
"sledding" on the stairs into the "snow"
You can see the crumbling look on Jacks face when all he got for a present was some crappy candy.  This kid didn't get the memo that this was only a pretend christmas, and has now lost all faith in santa clause.
A snow hat and a bikini?....
Lofthouse cookies are the BIZzzest!
Good job sweet Elyott, your party was a major success!  Do i smell a new tradition??  


so simple!

I always marvel at the children of the world who don't mind a full cup of water being poured over their "tear free" shampoo infused hair. Oh how i envy the parents of these calm and wonderful "water tolerant" children. On the flip side, bath time in my home is what one might compare to ...ummmm to explain ....being trapped in a Pterodactyl cage. 
It all started with my daughters ear infections which bred her overwhelming fear of getting water in her poor ears. After my son's close observation of her bath time meltdowns, i now have two children with this tendency. Meaning, with every rinse of the hair, my kids shrieks can be heard in Canada. 
So you can imagine my delight when i came across this amazing contraption  ----------------------->
(good 'ole walmart)
They say you can't put a price on sanity....i say it's $5.99. May all our eardrums be spared!!....

love is ALIVE.

A while back i happened to be making fun of Adam, and his lack of romanticism, in front of his mother...a few weeks later she very thoughtfully gave him a pocket book of i think "1001 romantic gestures" where we thankfully found this page of wisdom:
#110...finally the answer to a healthy relationship...
After #110 we just added "and do each other"  to the rest of the suggestions and suddenly this book was our favorite present ever (for instance: "split the two halves of an Oreo cookie....and do each other" or "visit a cheese factory....and do each other"). If only we'd figured out earlier how easy love could be! Thanks Jeanine!


my lovehandles' nightmare...

I will be running the PF Chang's full marathon in January if anyone is interested in slowly killing themselves along with me.  I'm going to start training mid to late October.  Don't all jump at once, i know, but you will be soooo happy when it's over....and don't be scared, for what can be worse than "Laughing Sal?" (see above)

(I'm going to go ahead and directly correlate the number of takers on this one to how many people like my non-blogged-real-life company....don't let me down stalkers...i mean friends).


ummmm....that's cute.

photo by: nonchalant mom
You know those moms who are so annoyingly adorable you kind of want to...i don't know...steal their life (or at least their brain....okay and their skin). Well, i must confess that i have a slight internet crush on this one. I know this all sounds very Hand-that-Rocks-the-Cradle of me, but i think you will agree that Carina Schott who founded Nonchalant Mom, has an awesome website with all sorts of sweet products and ideas, and super cute blog to boot!
Frankly, I hate/love her. She has my dream business: A laid back and modern collection of toys, clothes, vintage, and parenting ideas that i covet on every level. Her home amazing home was also featured in Domino mag (another huge favorite of mine) a little while back. Okay, so maybe i got sucked into the "competitive mothers" vortex, my admiration masquerading as psychosis, but for reals her site is browse worthy (also, please don't be scared of me :)
images property of: nonchalant mom

words o wisdom.

Matthew McConaughey interviews are amazing.  He is so wack.  I think Camilla was just asking for it, 'cause she knew full well he did yoga on picnic tables, and uncalled for shirtless pushups in front of her poor foreign mother on the beach, who now knows: white people. are. crazy.
Anyway enjoy this excerpt from "their" recent birthing experience interview:
Matthew: "contractions started kicking in and we found a great rhythm. We had a 14 hour session, her and i did. I sat there with her, right between her legs. We got tribal on it. We danced to it. I was DJing this native Brazilian music."
Camilla: "For 14 hours!"
Matthew: "We were jamming! she was sweating, no painkiller, let's go....We'd been up for 40-something hours, and we went from dead tired to a really steadfast, lets handle this ...let's stay in the rhythm. Don't let this contraction be more than you!"
Don't let the contraction be more than you?!?  How about not shoving a surgical glove down his throat be more than you?  My favorite part was when the interviewer asked "what's with all this 'we' talk?"(ooooh snap). Matthew then went on to discuss, in a later interview, the placenta he planned to bury: 
"its going to be in the orchards and it's going to bear some wonderful fruit. While in Australia...the aboriginal tribes had a 'placenta tree' on the river. All the placentas went under that one tree, and it was this huge behemoth of just health and strength."
My husband knows that if he were ever to act even...a little bit this way while i was in labor, i would eat him alive (....or at least bury him alive....under that creepy afterbirth tree). 
Oh Matt.  Congrats, really.  You just keep "makin' a livin' with your life and a life with your livin' cuz when the J's for just and the K's for keep, that's livin'!" (another one of Matty McC's delicious quotes). Oh and Matt, when you get a chance, send me a slice of that placenta pie.  I could sure use a "behemoth" of something good.


true colors.

There was a time where I imagined that bedtime would be a sweet moment where parent and child would lie in their fort telling make believe stories and whispering their hopes and dreams. So sweet. so magical. so.....unrealistic. Closer to the truth: I am lucky to get through the bedtime ritual without my kids milking the crap out of all of their stall tactics for an hour and a half before i finally duck tape them to the bed. Don't get me wrong, it always starts off with stories and kisses, but after the 17th time Adam or I have to walk downstairs to put them back in bed it is not so cute.

A few nights ago, in such a situation, I was putting Sheamus back down in his room when a hear a quiet Elyott voice calling me from her room over an hour after she should have already been asleep. Frustrated, I open the door to ask her why she was still awake.  She quickly flashed the book she had been looking at (a "fancy" dress up girl book) and so genuinely requested that she get to dress "exactly like the girl in the picture" for school the next day (we all remember making the "body-less outfit" on the floor of our room).  I looked closer at the book as she shyly held up this photo:

"Okay, we'll find something just like that in the morning" I said. To which she very serious and timidly pointed down to the floor, where I then saw this:

I absolutely laughed my face off. 
As a child Adam actually convinced his OLDER brother that they had distant black relatives in their ancestral line and that they, in fact, were 1/16th black. Perhaps Elyott overheard this rumor and is just trying to reconnect with her roots.  Black or not, this moment was pure amazingness for me.

"I want to be cute just like her! They have that makeup that you can use to make your skin brown like that" she quickly began innocently negotiating.  I didn't have the heart to tell heart at that moment that her school doesn't allow children to wear fake afro wigs while wearing, what racist folks used to refer to as, "minstrel paint" to class (although i suppose i had just heartlessly gone into hysterics at her choice of identity for the next morning, but i couldn't have helped that). 

So I concluded that despite all the protests, the light switching, the sneaking, the whining, the wiggling, the resisting brushing their teeth, the potty breaks, the bedtime drinks, the monster sightings, and all of our trips up and down the stairs.....that that night can be fondly remembered after all ;)

team boo 's you


know your ABC's

artwork by: Robin Rosenthal
Art is to a room as shoes are to an outfit: any art will do, but special art can really make a space. With kids rooms we feel more confidence to be more casual or even make our own! This site only has a few options, but i think these posters could be a sweet and simple pop of color to any "kid" space.
Plus, kids will know you care about them when you teach them stuff (well kinda).



Man's best friend?  I don't know about you, but I've never had a best friend pee on my rug, have anal puss glands, or bite me in the leg.  According to all four dog owners whose dogs (big and small) have bit me over the years: "Oh Schmoopsypooh would never bite anyone!"...well, except for me of course.  Can they smell my inner reluctance? or maybe its my underlying disgust at how crazy people are about them?  Either way, to me, a dog is a teeth and all: made for chewing flesh (be it my thigh, my butt, my arm, or a jack rabbit's face).  The latest culprit: Kujo re-born.  She not only bit my leg (leaving a baseball size bruise and double puncture) but i am confident, were she not on a leash, she could have ripped my whole leg from my hip socket. 
The bad news: she tore my cargo army shorts too. Which brings me to my good news: my jean cutoffs were safely at home (pshew!)
this picture doesn't do it justice.
 "tiger" will protect me from naughty dogs.  (or is he being kujo?)
yes deb, you knew this was blog worthy.


sweet kid prints

I love little details like these. I am definitely a girl who wears the same simple jewelry every day. I'd wear this...(only i'd buy a cuter chain)
made, with your little munchkin's print, by Priceless Prints. Find it at:


Mom vs. Tinkerbell

Kids rooms are probably one of my favorite things to day dream about. Same for my daughter. Therein lies the problem. I hate all things "themed" (other than parties), she likes all things Tinkerbell; aaaand wants a purple and green Tinkerbell monstrosity of a bedroom ("oh Disney...why do you torment me so!") In a perfect world, my kids' rooms would look more like these...

Oh happy medium speak to me!....(I'll keep you posted).


Hello Goodbye.

Some summer romances are destined to fail (sorry Lindsay Lohan and 2-inch-roots "friend").

Others manage to stick around longer than expected (high five Vanessa and Zac Efron!...even if you are made of wax) 

Mine has come to a screeching halt...leaving me with nothing but a few new freckles and about ten loads of sandy laundry.  So, good bye summer love...but not to you heat. Just to the good part where we could fool around with other states while school was out.
Good bye afternoons in public pools, and the "anonymous poo log evacuations" (man kids are so lazy!) and where i also bid adieu to the scary one-toothed man trying to cop a feel in the whirlpool (thanks a heap scary Sloth from goonies. Your gap-toothed smile is about as flattering to your face as your creepy gesture was to my ego). Farewell to road trips where calories don't apply. Good bye sleeping in until Mitch starts knocking on our door at noon.  And most annoying, goodbye to having a good excuse to NOT go to the gym.

Yes, after 5 1/2 years of motherhood I am officially a carpooling-teacher conferencing-lunch packing-homework helping mother who now wakes up before 7:30 (barf). Sweet Elyott is a kindergardener (sigh).
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