Sunday, December 30, 2012

Trying To Find The Good Stuff

This whirlwind of a weekend has my head still spinning and the sound of a thousand temper tantrums ringing in my ear.

Yesterday we drove from the Seattle-ish area to Clackamas County, Oregon to visit my husband's grandma. Ryan slept the whole way and Jacob nearly talked our ears off. If we knew his nonstop chatter would eventually turn into nonstop complaints about being bored and hungry and thirsty and tired, we would not have complained.

Then we arrived at grandma's house and we discovered a whole new kind of adventure. Ryan was on a quest to chew through the cords of grandma's oxygen tank. I was, no joke, pulling the clear plastic cords out of his dragon-like jaw every five minutes. When I wasn't prying Ryan's teeth from the oxygen tank cord, I was keeping Jacob from knocking over Grandma's table which showcased her half-completed 1,000 piece puzzle. There were several near misses and each time my heart stopped as I imagined the hell that would ensue if we had to track down every one of those 1,000 pieces out of grandma's thick, orange shag carpet. Ryan probably would have helped by putting several of them in his mouth. When we removed the children from the dining room, thereby seperating them from their respective temptations, Jacob decided it would be awesome to play with grandma's flashlights, turn on her air conditioner, try to stick his fingers in her fan, and practice Olympic swim diving by jumping off of grandma's furntiture. 

After trying to keep the kids rounded up and entertained for several hours within a small area surrounded by fragile objects, I decided that I would invest in two pint-sized straight jackets before our next trip.

After our visit, we swung by Portland to visit the zoolight display at the Oregon Zoo. It, in every way possible, was quite a zoo! We somehow survived waiting in line for over an hour in 39 degree weather during which time Ryan decided that he did NOT want to wear a hat. So we played an hour long game of...Ryan Takes Off His Hat and Mommy Forcibly Places the Hat Back on His Head.

All bundled up!

Unfortunately, I had completed a 20 oz bottle of water during our drive to the zoo. Minute 49 of waiting outside in the freezing cold with a near-bursting bladder, I resigned to answering nature's call in the woods behind one of the zoo shuttle busses. Of course, that sole private area had to also be the home of expertly hidden prickly bushes. It was not my favorite moment of the day.

Finally, we got inside the zoo where we, desperately cold, waiting another 15 minutes for hot cocoa. All of that waiting led to a 40 minute waltz around the zoo before we rushed back to the car for warmth.

I didn't get that many pictures. My hands were too cold!

While the zoo lights were awesome, unfortunately, their awesomeness was diminished by our freezing, long wait to get inside. It was pretty. But we probably won't go back.

After yesterday's adventures, I was hoping today would be more relaxing and laid back. The kids, per usual, had other plans. The morning started with some friends stopping by to visit. Then we ran to Target to return some poor quality gifts from Santa (tsk tsk, you elves!). I explained to Jacob that when we return toys to Target, Target sends them back to Santa at the North Pole and gives us giftcards from Santa to buy new toys. Thankfully, he was so excited to pick out a new toy that he didn't ask too many questions.

Tie clipped onto nice sweater over camo shirt...typical Jacob.

By the end of today, I was grumpy and exhausted. There were so many times this weekend when I thought Jacob was going to make me lose it. I swear that 85% of this weekend was spent threatening time-outs and following through on those threats. I swear I am going batshit crazy.

At one point this weekend, someone said to me, "You have two kids and a full time job. I don't know how you do it." I thought about going off on a rant about how my house is an absolute mess. How we are frequently eating leftovers and frozen pizza. How the dirty and clean laundry sits in piles all over my house for a week before it ever gets put away. How I easily lose my temper and scream at the drop of a tantrum. Fortunately, I caught myself before I could go off on a soliloquy about how hard my life can be. Instead, I just smiled and said, "How do I do it? Simple. I DON'T."

Based upon occassional comments from friends and family members, I guess people often assume I have my life perfectly together (or maybe they are just being nice...). I will admit, I am very blessed. I have a great lawyer job, a husband who also works, a home, two kids, etc. But even when I seem "put-together," the reality is so different from the outward facade. If only people could spend one weekend with me. One weekend precisely like this past weekend. They would see how crazy things can be.

But luckily, my days are never truly all bad, or even all good for that matter. The reality is, there is always some goodness in a rough day and some badness in a perfect day. This is necessary. It's how we learn to adapt and be flexible. To be grateful and discerning. And....this was true even this past weekend.

Ryan, trying to grab Jacob's tongue.

Happy boy.

Randomly, during the moments I though I would explode, I'd suddenly catch Jacob giving Ryan a kiss. Or singing Ryan a song. Or picking up his toys without asking. These little glimmers of sweetness are the only things keeping me from running out of the house, repeatedly throwing myself against a wall, or guzzling pitchers full of Costco Ready-Made margarita mix.

At the end of today, an especially trying and exhausting day, I put the kids in the bath. As I was getting ready to wash their hair, eagerly looking forward to their bedtimes, they started to play. My clenched jaw slackened and a smile spread across my face. Jacob was filling his mouth with water and spitting it out in a steady stream across the bathtub. Ryan was giggling hysterically. Then Ryan would reach up to grab Jacob's mouth causing Jacob to laugh and dribble water all over himself. This made Ryan laugh louder. Suddenly, they were crawling all over each other, sharing toys, and laughing. Before I knew it, I was exhaling deeply and joining in their laughter.

Jacob giving Ryan a mohawk (or, as he calls it, a "mohog.")

Jacob squirting water over Ryan's head.

Ryan tries to make his escape.

Those are the moments that make all the roughness, exhaustion, worry, and frustration that comes with being a parent seem so small.

Dec 22 Treasury Contest Winner

Etsy Treasury Contest  Winner  for the week of Dec 22. Our Winner  is …


 with Her entry “In Christmas Mood ! It is filled with wonderful Handmade Gift Ideas in traditional Christmas Colors! 
 She did a wonderful job of putting together this beautiful treasury! It is filled with creations by some very talented artisans. Some are members of the On Fire for Handmade Team and you will find all of the items here on Etsy!

Thank you all for your votes!!!

The Wonderful World Of Parenthood

Sometimes, when you're a mommy, you become oblivious to the world of the kidless. I'm convinced that sometime between changing your first and 1,000th diaper, you lose all sense of your pre-kid reality and become a whole new person. A person who makes frequent references to Thomas the Train, who always parks next to a cart return (baby carseats are HEAVY!), and looks forward to dentist visits as much as any tropical vacation because it means sitting in a chair without kids for an extended period of time!

It's easy to forget that some people live a life completely free of diapers, cartoons, and fruit snacks... until, like me, you make a tastless joke about Elmo which is completely lost on your boss. Or you start to absent-mindedly sing songs from Dora the Explorer ("Mermaids are the heroes of the ocean!") while waiting at the copy machine for your print job to finish only to receive strange looks from your coworkers. As they flash you worried/confused looks, you wonder how someone can escape life without having experienced Dora.

The other day, I was walking aimlessly around a new grocery store. A clerk came up and asked me if he could help me find something. Without skipping a beat I replied, "I'm looking for Butt Paste." His eyes widened in what appeared to be a mix of embarrassment and horror. I can only wonder what he thought I meant. I quickly explained to him the intricacies of diaper rash creams so he wouldn't think I had some kind of embarrassing medical condition.

I don't think kidless people will ever understand how wiping someone's butt can become just another mundane daily routine.

Friday, December 28, 2012


You haven't seen 'real fog' until you've been in Northern Italy on a foggy winter day :)

It seldom reaches the hills and mountains, but this is thick fog at 500 m altitude.

Υπέροχες ιδέες για δωράκια για εκείνη- Great Gift Ideas for Her Part 2

Λίγες μέρες ακόμα μέχρι την Πρωτοχρονιά και οι προτάσεις μας για ξεχωριστά, ασυνήθιστα και οικονομικά δωράκια για εκείνη, συνεχίζονται. Έξι ακόμα αγαπημένοι δημιουργοί, με φαντασία και μεράκι φτιάχνουν πράγματα που σίγουρα μπορούν να αγαπηθούν.

So a few days left until New Year's eve and today we have more proposals for unique, unusual and low cost gifts for Her. Six more favorite crafters, with great imagination , create items that can be loved for sure.

Ας ξεκινήσουμε:

Let's start:

- Gift No1 :  Asymmetrical statement necklace browns and golds polymer clay by HunkiiDorii

Asymmetrical statement necklace browns and golds polymer clay bib necklace irregularly shaped tiles
Dori made this brown and gold necklace of irregular polymer clay tiles, which she then strung onto tiger wire with small gold colored clay beads. The necklace ends in a line of tiny golden clay beads and closes with a lobster clasp.It is quite lightweight.

total circumference: 45 cm / 17.72 "
the center part of the bib is about 4.5 cm / 1.77 " tall

-Gift No 2 : boot toppers in burgundy by Homelab

These boot cuffs are the perfect finishing touch for all your autumn/winter outfits! Made of a fine acrylic/wool blend,which makes it easy to care, in a mix of black/burgundy.They are sure to keep your legs warm while looking effortlessly fashionably peeking out of your boots.

They measure approximately 6" (16cm) long so that they fit nicely in your boots without bulking them up. It fits to almost all sizes but if you have any special request on sizing ,Fotini can craft them for you.Never been worn.
It was made in a smoke-free and pet-free environment

- Gift No3 : BUTTERFLY -Colorful handmade leather earrings by korinajewellery

Great for any outfit to add a touch of color!

Chakil(military), purple and yellow BUTTERFLYs

Handcraft soft italian leather butterflys with sterling silver

The earing with the 3 butterflies has length 10cm (3.9 inches) while the couple with the one butterfly has length 5.5cm (2.2inches). This design is available in other colors.

- Gift No 4: Modern gold plated textured beads on black coated brass chain by antigonidesigns

Simply and sophisticated.
♥ Matte gold plated round textured brass beads, 8mm in diameter, 4mm thickness
One side is hammered and the other is brushed.

♥ Black coated brass cable chain 2,8x2mm
The chain secures at 18" / 45cm with a spring clasp

- Gift No 5: Natural light- handwoven lace cotton shawl- capelet by ERGANIweaving

A unique, airy capelet perfect for breezy spring days and cool summer nights.

It is made from a piece of handwoven fabric with crochet edging.The fabric is woven with two different cotton yarns- one beige and one ecrou boucle. Cotton is an excellent choice for the warmer months. It is soft and gentle against the skin, and the open lacework gives coverage while still allowing the skin to breathe.

This capelet can be easily pared with a variety of outfits and styles. It looks particularly great with strapless and sleeveless dresses. You can wear it simple or with a brooch.

One size, but fits better to S-M.

Hand wash cold water, roll in towel, lay flat to dry.

- Gift No 6: Female symbol charm, gossip girl necklace by largentolab

Necklace 18 inches length. The thought behind this pendant is that woman is very important to our lives.

The titanium part is hand sawed. There is a custom color option available, for the titanium part and waxed cotton cord. Please click on the following links and choose your favourite colors.


Waxed cotton cord

DIMENSIONS: The pendant measure 2.5 cm(0.984 inches)height, 0.95 cm(0.374 inches)width. Total waxed cotton cord length 45 cm(17.716 inches).

*NOTICE* Titanium is an hypoallergenic material and is the same that used in surgery. It is absolutely safe and causes no any allergies at all. The clasp is made of sterling silver so unless you have a sterling silver allergy you can fully enjoy wearing this!!!


Tέλος και για σήμερα!  ελπίζω να σας άρεσαν οι επιλογές μας.  Αναμονή για τον τελευταίο οδηγό προτάσεων για διακοσμητικά σπιτιού. Μέχρι τότε, καλές αγορές!!!  

 So we finally finished this guide also. We hope you enjoyed our proposals. Be patient for the last gift guide for Home Decor.  Have a great shopping day!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Υπέροχες ιδέες για δωράκια για εκείνη- Great Gift Ideas for Her!

Eδώ είμαστε πάλι!!! Ελπίζουμε να περάσατε υπέροχα τα Χριστούγεννα, αναμεσα σε αγαπημένα πρόσωπα, γεμάτα χαμόγελα και αγάπη! Επανερχόμαστε στις προτάσεις μας για ιδιαίτερα δωράκια για εκείνη, αφου έχουμε ακόμα περιθώριο αγορών μέχρι την Πρωτοχρονια!

Here we are again!!! We hope you had great Christmas, with beloved friends and family, full with smiles and love! Today we continue with our proposals with unique, unusual and beautiful gifts for Her, since there are a few days until New Years Eve.

Επειδή είναι πολλοι αγαπημένοι crafters στο κομμάτι αυτό, οι προτάσεις μας χωρίζονται σε δύο μέρη! Ξεκινάμε λοιπόν με το πρώτο σε χρώματα καφέ, λευκό και μπεζ, χρώματα αγαπημένα όχι μόνο για το χειμώνα αλλά και για κάθε εποχή του χρόνου!

Since many favorite crafters create pieces for women, our proposals are divided in two parts! So we can start today with the first one in brown,white and beige colors perfect not only for winter but for every season!

Ξεκινάμε λοιπόν:
So let's start:

- Gift No1 : Crochet beret by Lasunka

This crochet beret 100% hand knit and crocheted by me using white acrylic blend yarn and should fit the average adult head.
Amazing flower adorn this beret.

- Gift No 2: Minimal long geometric necklace by PinezaJewelry

An industrial inspired necklace featuring a handmade rubber pendant hang on a delicate long gold plated chain.

This modern,geometric necklace is made out of:

♥ a delicate gold plated chain with a total length of approx. 24 inches from the one pendant connection to the other..

♥ a handmade rubber pendant in antique gold tone which measures about 2,3inch length

- Gift No3: Wire Wrapped Resin Triangle Copper Earrings by ThePurpleBalloon

Wire Wrapped and Resin Triangle Copper Earrings are made with copper wire and painted with colored orange and brown resin.

Every triangle measures 4cm (1.6in).

- Gift No 4 : Genuine suede leather custom ballet flat shoes by Erinbonnie

Handmade suede leather ballet flats in beige with subtle gold sparkles. So soft, lightweight and comfortable. Suitable for both indoors and outdoors. These flats are great to be worn everyday with casual clothing. Wear them to the mall, or for a cup of coffee or just to go for a walk. Also great for your wedding day before or after the ceremony or even for bridesmaids.

- Gift No 5: Fall in Paris - adjustable resin ring by beYOUtifulhandmade

Customized ring by laser printing the image on high quality paper and then seal it under a fairly thick layer of glossy liquid glass (resin). This listing is for a ring with a b/w photo from Paris, view from a window to the Eiffel Tower.

Christina can create your own ring by including a message or a photo of your preference.

The ring base is matte antique silver plated, nickel free. It measures approximately ONE inch (2.5 cm) in height and it is adjustable to fit any finger!

- Gift No 6 : geometric round brooch by Pergamondo

This brooch is made using mustard yellow plastic, amber brown, clear and frosted white seed beads, dark and amber brown round beads and steel wire. A metal pin is attached on the back.

Its diameter is 4 cm.


Τέλος και για σήμερα!!! αύριο πάλι με τις επόμενες προτάσεις μας για δωράκια για εκείνη!!!
The end for today!!!! Tomorrow we will continue with more gift proposals for her!!!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


The lovely picture I chose for my Christmas greetings yesterday is a painting by Italian artist Marino Di Fazio, so with this occasion I would like to show you more of the work by this talented native Genoan painter who specializes in lovely naif scenes from the Italian province! These naif, sweet, peaceful and timeless snow scenes from Northern Italian villages touch my heart... because this is my little world in the Alps! I feel like I have already walked through many of these scenes... Enjoy!