Conversations with a special human

Running joke between us…

“Hey Theo-saurus, what’s my favorite color?”

*Giggling*

“Grandma, you’re silly; your favorite color is… ME!”

“That’s right, buddy, and what’s YOUR favorite color?”

“It’s…YOU, Grandma!” Jumping up and down, he adds, “And purple!”

No wonder I’d rather chat with him than most adults I know.

This brilliant, beautiful, funny little boy human will soon be three-years-old.

He is a force unto himself.

Up until this dervish was born, my son was the most amazing child ever created.

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I know, I know. That HAIR.

But no longer.

Theo sees the world in his own way.

Along with Dad’s favorite teddy bear, still for just a brief moment, contemplating cloud formations.

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Recent chat…

“Hey Theo, do you want another veggie burger snack before dinner?”

“I’m done with veggie burgers for today,”

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Time to put out fires and rescue dinosaurs. And Peppa Pig.

Look at this fashionable hipster boy in his fave hat wearing one of his many dinosaur shirts. We were at music class and he hoarded all of the purple shaky eggs.
Yes, purple really is HIS color.

And yes, he makes all of his daily fashion choices. He started picking out what he’ll wear the night before…definitely MY grandson and my genes.

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Listening to the beat of his own drum…actually patiently (bored) waiting for the class to be over so he could play Teacher Blake’s big drums, a special treat ONLY for this little music man.

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“Grandma, why do you have to go home?”

“So I can get your bedroom all ready for you with dinosaur sheets and make your blue dinosaur cake for your birthday and for Daddy’s birthday party. And to check on the bunnies and the coyotes in the garden…”

“But I love you. I don’t want you to go. I want you to stay forever and ever.”

STOP. MY. HEART.

One of those exquisite moments in time that make being alive and breathing the very best thing of all. That can erase any sadness or sorrow or pain.

But I love you.”

So I replied, “I love you too, Mr. T, and can’t wait to see you! Let’s think about all the fun things we’ll do. We can walk to the park and see the big turtle and go camping and hiking and bake cinnamon rolls, too. What else do you want to do?”

“I want to wake you up in the morning and say, Grandma! Wake up and make me oatmeal!”

“You can do that for sure. And we will have so much FUN, right?”

Daddy’s mini-me. Two curly boys.

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And soon he’ll be big brother to a little Princess!

OMG, you know she will be the best dressed little girl in the whole world.
Finally, someone I can share my love for all that is Hello Kitty and pink and frilly and fluffy so we can twirl together.

Thinking out loud here. Do you think Chanel does a line of children’s clothing?

I.CANNOT.WAIT.

 

 

 

One Year Older…

Happy Birthday to all May babies (and ME ME ME ME)

I’m reminded of my Hello Kitty birthday three years ago that was AMAZING and so much fun.

Hello Kitty is My Soul Sister…
https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/05/28/hello-kitty-is-my-soul-sister-princess-rosebuds-hello-kitty-birthday-party/

No Hello Kitty this year, no special plans — my life has undergone a planetary shift of gigantic proportions, but I’ll try to find a level of JOY, because why NOT?

Reasons to be happy:
1. I’m alive
2. I’m breathing
3  My new grandson is healthy and amazing
4. Birds are singing
5. The garden is thriving

Sometimes it’s the little things that mean everything.

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How To Recycle Old Coffee Mugs #DIY #Project

It’s SPRING!

What a great time to freshen up the yard with a totally 100% free project using items we already had. re_up cycleDon’t throw away those cracked cups with broken handles!

We all know I’m a collector of things, whether it’s empty boxes (‘cos you never know when you might need one) or bathrobes ( I have about fifty of them) or seashells (of course!) — and all the rest: shoes, jewelry, books…

I’m also a breaker of things — like coffee mugs and wine glasses.

At any given time, I have half dozen injured/wounded/disabled cups that’re in various stages of rehab on tugboat man’s repair table.

He’s the BEST fixer.

I might wield a mean glue gun, but he has the patience and fine motor skill to join together broken pieces of china, another of his great qualities, I might add.

Most of the repaired cups and mugs aren’t really usable for holding hot liquid, but I’ve held onto them because I love them and they’re special to me…Hello Kitty, Yale Mom, and the ones with seashell motifs — I mean, how can I just toss these guys in the trash?

One fine Sunday afternoon, I felt the itch to start another DIY project but nothing specific came to mind — just thought I’d wander around until something sparked interest — then I discovered an old boat ramp behind our greenhouse (not sure what boat it came from). I’d seen this ramp for YEARS and overlooked it a dozen times. This time, however, I had an epiphany.

It’d make an awesome shabby chic plant stand for the coffee cups!

Now I needed to find something to lean it up against, and chose a Brazilian Pepper Tree that we never really liked ‘cos it’s invasive, but it’s been here since the house was built, and the birds like it — because of that, so far it’s been spared. You can’t really grow anything under it (that’s only one of its problems) and the roots protrude and are gnarly.

Think Oklahoma dust bowl. Think Grapes of Wrath. That’s exactly what that neglected little area brings to mind. It was time to render a little aid and LOVE.

I filled the mugs with succulents that I already had growing in the garden.

View from the deck: A perfect location to turn into a bohemian hippie focal point.

coffeecuplanter3jupitersbeardI planted a square of Jupiter’s Beard from seedlings I propagated; it’s a drought tolerant plant with lush pink flowers — really easy to grow, and it’ll fill in an otherwise kind of ugly and barren spot.

I took a bird bath from the front yard and an assortment of other planters gathered from the garden and clustered them all together to create visual interest.  The worn and broken tiles add to the shabby chic feel.coffeecupplanters

Bonus upcycle DIY: Turn an old hat into a planter by cutting off the frayed brim and attaching twine. So simple to set inside a pot of colorful flowers; hang and enjoy!
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You can never have too much aloha spirit!

Share your best up/recycle #DIY project.

Where Fashion and Function Meet and Marry

There’s so much RIGHT with this.

versaceamaretto

…from a marketing standpoint.

…from a branding standpoint.

…a marriage of two MAJOR brands.

…aspirational and inspirational, quenching my thirst on a couple of levels.

Follow along with the way my brain works, OK?

Do you know Lizzi at Considerings?

She very kindly (after I twisted her arm) shared her amazing recipe for Lebkuchen  — a traditional German cookie — that I plan to bake in honor of the homecoming of my esteemed (German) Professor Angel Boy, also known as the boy/man who can eat more food than anyone I’ve ever known — a Guinness World Record contender – which makes baking and cooking for him a total and complete joy.

The frosting calls for Amaretto, something we don’t normally keep stocked in the Enchanted Seashells liquor cabinet.

After a massive shopping excursion at Trader Joe’s, I walked down the sidewalk (in the same shopping center) to BevMo.

I picked up a small bottle of Amaretto (along with a few other items, as long as I was there, ya know.)

In the center of the main aisle, my eye were drawn to a bright blue box — one of those promotional boxes of booze they feature around the holidays usually boasting a value added option like glasses or a shaker.

Wait, hold on a minnie.

This was DeSaronno Amaretto, but a larger bottle than the one I had in hand, and it was packaged with two pretty glasses.

OK, I didn’t really need more glasses that I’d just end up breaking, BUT I do like a bonus.

Chanel notwithstanding, I am a thrifty gal.

Upon closer inspection, the final affirmation of purchasing perfection was my realization (in slo mo) that the amaretto bottle itself was DRESSED IN VERSACE.

DRESSED IN GIANNI VERSACE.  amaretto11

Picture me doing a double take.

Wha?

Yes! Yes! Yes! A DESIGNER CLOTHED BOTTLE OF BOOZE!

(And only a few dollars more than the naked/undressed/unadorned bottle and THAT satiated my price point.)

Oh HELL YES, I said to myself as I grabbed it off the shelf.

SEASHELLS AND CHERUBS.amareatto16

I’m all verklempt, fanning myself with my shopping list.

OY. VEY.

Come to MOMMA.

A perfect marriage, a perfect union of form and function.amaretto10

A truly  brilliant marketing design.

hello kitty

Water bottle and iron on patch.

I haven’t been THIS excited since my son sent me a water bottle from Yale that featured Hello Kitty.

At the time, I thought THAT was the pinnacle of marketing heaven.

Backstory: Versace and I have a sad history.

When tugboat man and I were newly married, his father and stepmother gave me a Christmas present in a beautiful brilliantly white Versace bag with the iconic lion. Read all about my disappointment HERE @
Lesson #1. Never do this to your daughter-in-law. Ever.

The only Versace I own is that white bag.

Up until now, that is.

Now I have a stylishly dressed up bottle of booze.

Life is good, y’all!

P.S. I have the world’s worst in laws — world’s WORST. The Versace bag incident was the tip of the iceberg. It’s been downhill ever since. I have NO IDEA how my tugboat man turned into such a wonderful, loving, caring human with ‘rents like that. Truth.

Blogging Friends Are Found On Every Road

Words forge paths meandering around the country and across the world.

I have a friend!!

 

(Click and listen to Elton John. Super cute vid, too.)

 

I’ve met some awesome and amazingly talented peeps through this whole blogging thing.

Cowboys and Crossbones is one of my BBFFs (Blogging Best Friends Forever)

She’s gorgeous, smart, FUNNY, and loves animals and Chanel. Great criteria for a friend, right? Oh, and she LOVES a cocktail or two. Or three. You go girl with those Skinny Pirates!

She’s prolly closer to my son’s age than to mine, but we totes connected through this crazy blogosphere. If you don’t follow her, you need to for sure.

We’ve already started planning a meet-up, and the tugboat man will most def be pressed into service as our private chauffeur, driving us to South Coast Plaza so we can get our shopping fix, stopping for liquid refreshments along the way, and generally fulfilling the role as our bitch.

Yay for nice hubs, ammmIright?

Well, if she wasn’t already sparkly and wonderful enough, last week when I was suffering from my MONTY’S REVENGE (all recovered btw) she sent me a HUGE BOX OF PREZZIES!!!!!

Now y’all know that Princess Rosebud loves nothing more than to dive into hot pink and leopard print tissue paper swaddling treasure after treasure after treasure.

She is the BESTEST ever and so thoughtful and sweet!

Hello Kitty!!!

I’ve made no secret of my love for all that is HK. (Hello Kitty is my soul sister.)

“I’m a proud adult lover of Hello Kitty and I’m not ashamed to shout it from the rooftops.”

What’s better than a professionally framed and signed portrait of my soul sister, Hello Kitty? Thank you so much CBCX and Tedstar!
HKframe2 And what place of honor should HK be exhibited in all of her glory?

Right smack dead center on the wall where my son and DIL display their many academic accomplishments and successes.

I may not have a Ph.D. in anything, but HK rules!HKframe3

Pen and paper to write down lists and lists of wants and needs for retail therapy. 1. Black Loubys 2. Chanel necklace, the long one with the little pearls and CCs sprinkled all over. 3. La Perla underwear….
whengoingCC I’ve looked better, but HK is a beauty in black. Check out the HK cup. HelloPresents And a bag ‘cos a girl needs to carry her treasures home in style.CCHKbagJust in time for St. Pat’s Day! I’m rocking Chanel shades indoors ‘cos I’m cool. I might have the nicest hub in the world, but he takes the worst pics.

HKSelfie

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my bloggy friends!

Happy Valentine's Day

Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, Line Up! Yoo Hoo, Pinterest, I’m Calling YOU!

 I hope you enjoy a repeat of one of my most clicked on posts of 2012 while I spend a little time with my tugboat man and my son, Angel Boy.
…..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     

It was last year that I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–‘cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. (Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!)

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts hanging on it is a close second.

Now you can carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in.

The moral of the story is that it might not be a good idea to leave Princes Rosebud alone for long periods of time.

Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

decorated elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

Pretty In Pink

Elephants, wolves, coyotes; helping to raise awareness and rid the world of animal cruelty is a depressing mission, that’s for sure.

It makes me appreciate even more the beauty in a flower, especially flowers in every shade of pink.

Begonias
pink flowerMandevilla — I call it a “Hello Kitty” pink.
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I can’t wait ’til it completely covers the arbor in pink blooms.

pinkflowerFuschia
When my son was little, we lived in Hillcrest, an older part of San Diego. The next door neighbors were in their late seventies and fell in love with our little guy, the grandchild they never had. They were both amazing gardeners and taught me how to propagate and grow fuschias and I’ve loved them ever since. It’s so easy to cut off a small piece of new (or old) growth and simply stick it in a pot —  and wait. It might take a while, but they all root and eventually grow into these beauties. Hummingbirds LOVE them, too.
They grow well here in So Cal if they have lots of water; fuschias are very thirsty!

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Enjoy your Sunday; keep cool and hydrate!

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Hello Kitty Is My Soul Sister: Princess Rosebud’s Hello Kitty Birthday Party

Taking my son to the airport after a fun week of Mother’s Day and birthday celebrations, he says in that snarky tone he’s perfected after thirty-two years,

“What’s the deal with you and Hello Kitty?”

Hello Kitty 4My tugboat man, who also serves as my HK enabler ‘cos he thinks I’m adorable – uh, note to single girls — only marry a guy if he thinks everything you do is adorable — responded,

“Hello Kitty is for girly girls and your mom is one-thousand-percent girly girl.”

Well said, my captain, well said.

I’ve thought a lot about the reasons why I’m so drawn to Hello Kitty and I think it’s ‘cos she’s like my pretend soul sister.

HKwatchThe Urban Dictionary defines soul sister as “someone who fully understands you.”

Yup, that’s about right.

I’m not sure if I can pinpoint the exact moment when I first became aware of Hello Kitty.

With a son, it was never really on my radar as he was growing up. Shelves full of dinosaurs and skateboards were the aisles we aimed for at Toys R Us. We dug in the dirt; not so much matching dresses or spa days for us.

hello kitty pajamas and slippers

Sexxxyyy!!

I guess it was more of a gradual appeal;  a (grown-up) friend wore a Hello Kitty watch and I was drooling — drawn to the Swarovski crystals surrounding HK’s face and I HAD to get my own; I walked by a Hello Kitty display at Target (great point of purchase placement)…

OR

…maybe it was always hovering in my subconscious, fermenting and fomenting—until one day I succumbed.

hellokittycupI was hooked.

I fell in love with that adorable mouthless face. One watch led to a ring and to a matching bracelet and then slippers, and OMG the cutest hat with an anchor! (!!!! had to have it, right? It was a nautical theme)hkhat

OK, most people associate HK with little girls, but did you know that there is a secret society of adult women who collect HK?

More often than not, when I wear my HK tee-shirt, I’ll be approached by women I do not know,

Princess Rosebud wearing glasses.

Princess Rosebud wearing glasses.

“Pssst…excuse me” [pointing to my shirt]…do you collect?”

It’s like the Skull and Bones society for women “of a certain age.” Haha.

I confess: I’m an ADULT COLLECTOR of HK. Recently at the Baltimore Airport during a layover, a Southwest employee saw my HK watch and struck up a convo about her collection that includes the HK toaster, which I really need. Really.

We were whispering, “Are you one of us?” “Yes, tell me what you have” and we each listed the items in our collection.

There we were, two college graduated women of adult children — I am not kidding. It was surreal. I mean, who wants to talk about the depressing economy or the strange weather? BORING! Hello Kitty is a sweet, innocent diversion that makes us happy. What could be wrong with that?

Since I really can’t for the life of me logically explain the appeal,  I wanted to explore the psychology of adult women who are obsessed with  enamored of HK and thought someone should write their dissertation about the marketing genius of this huge pink kitty head with a bow. And sparkles.

I discovered a WordPress blog that seems to be a dissertation of sorts; check out http://hellokittydevotee.wordpress.com/dissertation/

BTW, HK is worth about FIVE BILLION DOLLARS yearly in licensing. And finally the ultimate…did you know that HK teamed up with one of Taiwan‘s biggest airlines? What a great experience–a Hello Kitty extravaganza; from meals to mascots to boarding passes.
hellokittyairlines2hellokittyairlines

HKparty1Which might in some small way explain the excitement I felt for my very first Hello Kitty Birthday Party! I’m not going to tell you how old I am; does it REALLY matter? I think not.

We spent the morning and early afternoon hiking Crystal Cove State Park (read about that HERE). When we returned home, hubs was exhausted and immediately fell asleep.

So much for that birthday cake he was sposed to make.

chocolatecoconuticecream

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

I threw together a One-Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting and Chocoate Coconut Ice Cream.

The cake was out of the oven and cooling before he woke up. Figures, right? If you want something done, ya gotta do it yourself. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I challenged my tugboat man and my son to create dinner all by themselves. OK. We’re talking a Ph.D. Yale professor and a maritime academy graduate with a BS in Engineering.

Two smart, functional, adult men, right?

OMG, watching them write a grocery list and take off to the store offered tons of fun.

“Mom, do you have jicama? Mom, where’s a knife?” “Rosebud, can you chop this onion for me? Uh — how do you chop cilantro?”

I kept looking up recipes on my computer because I felt sorry for them.

Birthday barbecue

Hubs chose to make Mango Salsa with Blue Corn Chips for his appetizer; my son’s contribution was a Jicama Kumquat Salad. It was delicious.

I thought it’d be a good idea to barbecue because I had a feeling the kitchen was going to take me a week to clean up. This was a smart decision. We had potatoes, asparagus, beets (from the garden), corn, Smart Dogs, and it was all absolutely yummy.

Best of all, it was made with love.

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Meow

Finishing up three or four posts that aren’t cooperating. They’re not funny enough, they have no point, no denouement, no zing–nada. Instead of a rational thought process, I’ll offer up a scattered smorgasbord of tasty appetizers instead of a whole meal.

Remember these cats?

bandit in a boxOur Bandit used to talk to us that way. After a while, I started answering her back. She’d say, “Meow“, I’d respond, “Meow”. She’d stroll into the kitchen and greet me with a head nod and a brief “Mew”. I’d imitate her head nod and answer her. She tried so hard to communicate with us! If we didn’t go to bed at the same time every night–if we stayed up a bit longer than usual–Bandit marched into the family room with an outraged sense of purpose-maintain eye contact–and kind of growly-meow, walk a few steps toward the bedroom, and then walk back to us. If we didn’t follow her, she’d leave in a huff and wait on the bed and if we didn’t move quick enough, one swipe of her her paw let us know she was pissed. She had the sharpest claws. They spoke volumes.

One day, the captain said something to me and I didn’t hear him. Instead of saying, “What did you say?” I said, “Meow?” He seemed to understand what I meant because he repeated himself. That one meow led to complete conversations in cat language. Angry meows, grunting meows, questioning meows, and mews in agreement. We just have to remember not to do it when anyone else is around. I’m not sure many people would understand. Meow?

We worked out at the gym this morning. Before we left, I asked the hubs to take a couple pictures of me. See the hairband with sparkles and the Hello Kitty slippers? Starfish?

me2 Pictures of me

Late this afternoon I heard a hawk in the eucalyptus tree across the street. It let me get really close for these pics! The colors were magnificent. I wish I took better photos.
hawk2 Hawk in tree
Chocolate cake was requested by my tugboat man; I whipped up an easy one bowl version. It was sooo good! It’s lowfat but really moist. The recipe is below.
choccloseup chocolate cake

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Glaze
from Better Homes and Gardens

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk ( I use half non-fat milk and half cold coffee)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • egg
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and lightly flour a 9×1-1/2-inch round or 8x8x2-inch baking pan.2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until combined. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg and beat 2 minutes more. Pour batter into prepared pan.

    3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Spread with glaze.

Chocolate Glaze
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1  cup confectioners sugar
3 tbsp. water or coffee
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Stir in cocoa and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens; do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, gradually add confectioners sugar; beat with wire whisk until smooth.

Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, line up! Yoo hoo, Pinterest, I’m calling you!

I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family. S

o, Cousin Fur and Aunt Cheeky and Second Cousin Far Removed Tracy F for Fantastic, this one’s especially for you guys.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–‘cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. {Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!} 

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I luckily don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts on it is a close second.

Carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in. Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical decorated elliptical