Trip to the “big mall”

My friend J and I hit the big mall yesterday, but instead of a plethora of inspiration what we found was mostly “meh”. Maybe we’ve been on Pinterest too long (not) but there were a few things that caught my eye, and our noses:

This candle is awesome. The smell is so unbelievably yummy, I can’t wait to put these out around our living room once this freaking heat goes away.

Seriously. It’s almost September, people, I should not be sweating at 7 in the morning.

Then we hit Sephora and I found this gorgeous gloss, I think I had looked at it before, but it’s such a pretty and wearable shade, although it’s scary purple in the tube. It wore down to a shimmery raspberry.

I had no lipstick or gloss before so I got a pretty true representation of the color. It’s Givenchy’s Velvet Purple and it’s just gorgeous. Still not paying $29 for a lip gloss, though.

The last item that caught my eye was an orange skirt from LOFT. I have so many neutral clothes that it would go with many of my current tops, and it would be delicious with burgundy. Again, once this freaking heat goes away.

Other than that, and our yummy coffees, there really wasn’t much to capture our imagination. Pottery Barn was a big room full of tan and grey, and I’m sorry, I need some color in my life. We were, however, inspired by the pretty candles the autumnal atmosphere around many stores, so J and I decided to go home and decorate for fall. Sort of an “if you build it, they will come” thought, maybe “if we decorate for it, the weather will cool down” — at least we hope.

Thanks, my dear friend, for an awesome morning and even more awesome chat!!!


We brought more than great memories from our trip to the Pacific Northwest:

Steve’s uncle and aunt graciously gave us this steamer trunk, belonging to Steve’s great-great-uncle Carl Swanson.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

The boys were oohing and aahhing over it, and the trunk that previously lived in our master bedroom is now in our living room, housing various blankets.

We are so happy and honored to have this beautiful piece of family history in our home.

Introducing . . .

The newest member of our family:

It’s Foxy!
(Miss Foxy if you’re nasty. nasty!)
just kidding.

Foxy is a 6-year-old beagle we adopted on Sunday. She is darling, charming us and our boys with her sweetness and loving nature.

She has made herself quite at home already!

Here she watches Alex picking strawberries in the backyard:

The cats have not been as happy about her arrival. Bernie has engaged in a couple of staring contests and Willie-Boo ran for the back of the couch. Foxy just ignores them.

We had been thinking about getting a dog for a while, and always knew it would be a rescue, so this weekend was spent going from shelter to shelter, past hundreds of chihuahuas and dozens of pit bulls, looking for one who would be ok with kids and cats, not set off my allergies, and be grown up. Foxy met the requirements and the boys fell in love with her, so she’s part of our home now.

I am sure many adventures with Foxy are in our future!

First Day

This pair of goofballs is back in school:

The little one refused to pose unless he was making a silly face or sucking his thumb, and the big one refused to pose by himself.

I miss them. My house is a lot quieter and cleaner, but I really enjoyed having my monkeys home this summer, we had adventures, chilled out, and had fun. Now it’s time for another year of learning adventures – love you both, Aidan and Alex!!!

Road Trip, part 2

After a couple of awesome days with friends and family, we had a quiet morning and then headed out to the Space Needle. Somehow, all four of us were wearing black shirts ;D

At the gift shop, we picked up some fudge and a Seattle tree ornament — I love to buy ornaments wherever we go as a family — and went up on the Needle. The day was clear and the views of the city were just gorgeous:

We met up with some family members for a farewell dinner at Saffron Grill, where we enjoyed a delicious Indian meal. Alexander discovered that he loves Naan bread and ended up eating an entire platter’s worth. I had heard a lot about a local ice cream shop, Molly Moon’s, so we all went to a nearby location to enjoy some dessert:

Simply the best ice cream I’ve had in my life. I tried the salted caramel and vanilla, but ended up ordering the melted chocolate. My husband raved about the vanilla with hot fudge sauce, and everyone was thrilled with their tasty treats. I also bought a vanilla bean caramel lip balm that I swear I am tempted to eat. We had planned to start our trip down towards California on this evening, but our cousins kindly invited us to spend the night at their home. We woke up refreshed and ready to spend the next couple of days driving.

The next morning we started with some Krispy Kremes for breakfast. I honestly think it’s been years since we had donuts — Alex had never tried them — but we decided to have a vacation splurge and got a dozen for the day.

The Oregon coast is stunning, we cut over to start our drive down from Astoria (where The Goonies was filmed!) and began looking for lighthouses, since Alex had read a book on them and really wanted to see one.

When we found one, the boys ran giddily towards it:

We couldn’t get inside but the boys were super happy just to see it up close. Steve took a picture of a nearby rock with a few hundred creatures on it 😀

The last adventure of our trip was Wildlife Safari, a drive-through animal experience that a dear friend had recommended. It was SO worth it!

The boys loved seeing the animals up close. The bears were so funny, they were playing around and getting in and out of the water and generally having a great time.

With some changes coming up in our lives, this trip was a sweet way to close out the summer. Alex said “I love Seattle, but I am very excited to go home, mama.” We are so grateful to our friends and family for hanging out with us, feeding us, and showing us around Seattle. We will definitely be going back.

Road Trip: Pacific Northwest

On Sunday, the day after Alex’s birthday party, we left for a week-long road trip through Oregon and Washington State. We have family and friends in the Seattle area and it seemed like a nice way to (almost) end the summer with school starting on Monday.

On Tuesday, we did some sightseeing with relatives around central Seattle:

We also rode the Ducks, it was such a blast!

Our dear relatives prepared a delicious dinner of salmon, chicken mac casserole (supposedly for the kids, but we ate a lot of it, it was so good!), homemade biscuits, green beans, beautiful flowering tea, and for dessert, ice cream with blueberries. Needless to say, we all slept very, very well.

The next day it was time to hang out with our friends – they have three sweet kids and their boy and Aidan were friends right away. We took the ferry over to their house after spending the morning in the pool and at Pike Place Market – does this remind you of certain cell phone commercials?

We did not tell them to line up like that, seriously!

The views from the ferry were spectacular:

Then a viking welcomed us to town 😀

And our friend made the best. ever. vanilla. cake. Like, I will always make this cake whenever my boys ask for vanilla cake, it was that amazing.

We hung out for a while and then took the ferry back.

Thank you, Warcraft gang, for a memorable evening. We shall meet again!

More on our adventures next time!!!

Alex’s 7th birthday party

I’m still going through 400+ pics from our Pacific Northwest adventures, so for now I will share a few pics from our youngest’s birthday party. It was a small, sweet gathering:

The birthday boy requested vanilla cake

AND brownies!

Aidan quality-tested the buttercream and declared it good.

We inherited a pool from some friends so our boys and their friends had a blast playing in the water:

After the party it was time to clean up and get ready for our road trip, which started the very next morning — stay tuned!


Our youngest, Alexander, turned 7 last week. We had a little get together over the weekend, and I have tons of pics to share but this one makes me smile every time I see it.

This is my husband showing my boy the card his friends had made for him. Alex hasn’t even seen the gift yet, his reaction is to the sweet homemade card, and that his friends had written stuff just for him. He read it all out loud, and yeah, then he got to the present itself.

Good times for my seven-year-old.

Willie-Boo has a twin!

I’ve posted before about our cat Willie-Boo. This pic, probably the best of him, was taken by a friend during a birthday gathering.

So imagine my surprise when I read on one of my favorite blogs that the blogger’s kitty had also lost an eye. Even more surprised because Nicolas, the kitty, looks just like Willie-Boo!

I am glad Nicolas is recovering from his surgery. If Willie-Boo is anything to go by, Nicolas will be just fine. Willie has no problems with depth perception or anything else. He is getting on in years, but his missing eye has not made a difference in his quality of life.

So, best kitty wishes to Nicolas – Willie-Boo and Bernie send lots of happy meows your way!