Sunday, August 31, 2008

lau, ana lapule

I've been absolutely drooling over this chandelier for some time now. It would look great in my guest bedroom. I just can't justify spending $1,400 on a light for a room that only gets used a few weeks out of the year.

The quilts I have seen here are absolutely amazing. Quilting was introduced to the women of Hawaii in the 1820’s by visiting missionary women and from these teachings, the women of Hawaii adapted their own techniques. The patterns used represent the bread fruit and other island flora. I would love to buy one. A truly Hawaiian made quilt costs anywhere between $150 to $2000. You can find knocks offs made in China and the Philippines for a lot cheaper, but who wants that? Maybe next trip.

Our plane leaves tonight at ten. I'll catch you all on the flip side.

Lau, ana lapule translates to design Sunday.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Camo Crab

Sugar Daddy says I pick up old habits when I get with my "clan". Habits like, popping my gum, pinching bottoms and a certain wicked sounding laugh us Campbell girls have developed over the years. I really can't help myself. It's not that I am a chameleon type of person, quite the contrary. It's just that the way I was raised is so much a part of the fabric of who I am that I will never, even when I am old and grey, out grow it. And I'm not sure I want to.

The last time my family was together in Hawaii was 1980 and we were minus the joker. He wasn't born for two more years. Here we are, I'm the sassy one in the front in the smart blue jumpsuit.

Heidi, Amy and me. We were already cackling at this young age.

Ohana: n. family. Ohana is comprised of the Hawaiian word that means ‘to sprout’ (‘oha) and the suffix ‘na’. Together, ‘oha and na mean ‘off-shoots’ or ‘sprouting from’.
On the islands, ohana is the not the most important thing - it is the only thing. Sure you have to work, but that is to support your family, sure you go fishing, but that is to feed your family, sure ... you even go out and party, but that is with your family, sure you have friends .. but they shortly become your family.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Ahhhhhh. Aloha from the Pacific Islands. The water is warm, the wildlife is amazing and the pineapple is like candy.

My entire family is here with me. We have been playing at the beach and laughing till our sides ache. In keeping with his track record, my younger brother ruptured his eardrum while diving. What can I say? It's the luck of the Scottish.

We celebrated Thom's fifth birthday with everyone today. I tell ya, he must be some kind of spoiled child to celebrate his birthday in a pavilion overlooking one of Maui's most beautiful beaches. We ended the day with a luau. It was too windy for birthday candles, but the fire dancing more than made up for that.

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a: The reef, rectangular, wedge-tail, or Picasso triggerfish, also known by its Hawaiian name, humu­humu­nuku­nuku­āpua'a, or just humuhumu for short; meaning "triggerfish with a snout like a pig", is one of several species of triggerfish. Classified as Rhinecanthus rectangulus, it is endemic to the salt water coasts of various central and south Pacific Ocean islands. It is often asserted that the Hawaiian name is one of the longest words in the English Language and that "the name is longer than the fish."

Monday, August 25, 2008

love for nie

I was recently contacted by a customer of mine about donating some jewelry for a silent auction. The auction will benefit Stephanie and Christian Neilson who were in a private plane crash on August 16th. The pilot of the crash died and Christian and Stephanie have substantial injuries. They have four kids. If you would like to bid on my jewelry up for auction, or donate an item of your own to be auctioned, please visit the wonderful blog of Leslie Horn.

Here are my earrings that she will be auctioning:

If you would just like to donate cash, please go to the benefit blog.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

design sunday

For all you folks heading back to school this week, good luck and I hope you go back in style. As for me and mine, we're headed to Maui.

Check out these sites for stylish school supplies:
And a little something for the Moms:

Friday, August 22, 2008

just bite the inside of your cheeks

Here are a few things that I find absolutely hysterical but could cause a fair amount of trouble should I be caught laughing at them:

Watching Sugar Daddy try to shove his massive hands into my Christmas snowman oven mitts.

Seeing a parent get bit by their child.

Watching someone choke and sputter on the sacrament.

Listening to my husband's best friend try to talk intelligently about a subject he knows nothing about. (He tends to use made up words like "bugology").

Seeing road bikers try to act cool in cycling bibs.

Watching the pest control guy through the blinds when I let Finn into the backyard and he races toward him. It's evil, I know. But oh so funny.

Seeing someone get hit in the achilles tendon by a shopping cart.*

Hearing children swear. (Really bad swear words excluded.)

There are a few more that I can't think of right now. I'm immature, I know. But sometimes, I little laughter goes a long way, even if it is at someone else's expense.

*I don't, however, find this at all funny when it happens to me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

forbidden fruit à la mode

I have been thinking lately. I have been thinking, that is, about food, specially sweets, because this is what I do when I try to diet. I think about sweets ALL THE TIME.

So I was thinking about Eve. You know, Eve of the Bible. Quite frankly, I'm not buying the forbidden apple story. I have serious doubts that it was any kind of fruit at all. I mean really, she choose to fall from grace over a piece of fruit? Was it sugared or poached? Was it served à la mode? I think what the bible really means by "forbidden fruit", is the fruit of the labors of a baker who was indeed an angel and thus made the most heavenly, most delicious confections to be found. I'm guessing it was chocolate, some kind of moist, gooey, rich dark chocolate ganache torte. That would do it.

I have a small confession to make. Yesterday, or really since I posted on Tuesday and mentioned coconut cupcakes, I have been craving them. I had a moment of weakness and broke out the muffin pan. I made myself feel a little better by taking half of them to a friend who is nursing and was just told she can't have chocolate anymore. I ate one after dinner last night and another first thing when I got up this morning. I am a weak, foolish woman when it comes to sweets. Thank goodness Thom just finished the last one.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

luck of the scottish

My little brother has lived a life of bad luck. Since birth he has always been a sort of Charlie Brown type kid. He was the one who received the deck of cards at the family Christmas party only to find that the entire deck was made up of jokers. He stood limply holding his cards and watched the other children open cap guns and remote control cars. This scenario was repeated year after year with various crappy gifts. In kindergarten, after an episode of throwing a chair across the classroom, he was diagnosed with ADD. After much thought, my parents decided to medicate him which started a decade of drug induced mild nausea. When he was nine, his beloved parakeet, aptly named Toronto, crawled under the dryer and died. Bad luck is a way of life with him.

Everything came to a head when adolescent stupidity collided with his knack for misfortune. There were several run-ins with local police. Handcuffs were involved and on several occasions, his face was pressed onto the cold hood of a cop car while he was patted down.

So it only stands to reason that I would be with him when I got my first ever speeding ticket. I've gone twenty-two years with no tickets, but as soon as I drive around with my charmed brother, some cop decides to pull me over. Evidently I was going 57 in a 35 zone. And there was the small matter of my expired proof of insurance and past due registration. I didn't take it too hard. After all, I had eluded the authorities for two decades.

So, here's a little tip for ya. When the officer writes your court date on your ticket, you may want to take it seriously. Apparently, this is an actual legal court hearing that you must attend and they don't take a spin class as an excuse. I actually totally spaced my court date and didn't even remember until a few days later.

Thom and I went to traffic court so I could clear up my little, now getting bigger, legal matters. We took a number. We waited next to the chain smoker who wasn't quite sure what to do with his hands without a cigarette to occupy them. We waited for 30 minutes.

I was informed by the contrite little man behind the counter that my fee would be $1,400. At that point, I had to do some major clenching for fear that I would loose my bowels right there in traffic court. After some meager attempts at flirting and leaning on my forearms to create cleavage (desperate times call for. . .) I haughtily handed over a check and said to Thom, loud enough for Mr. Traffic to hear, "Let's get out of this nasty place."

All this took place over a week ago, but I'm just now able to talk about it without a hateful, smarting sensation rushing through my body. Next week we go to Hawaii with my brother. The motto on our family crest translates to "Forget Not". Believe me, I won't be forgetting. I plan to give him a wide berth while we are on the island. I can just see me losing a digit to the beak of an octopus, choking on a lump of poi or more likely, getting arrested for trespassing.

If you are thinking of buying some Secondsister jewelry, now would be a good time. My bank account is a little depleted if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

in the event of my death

When I die, if my life flashes before my eyes, I hope it includes today. It was just a Tuesday, mundane in so many ways. I ran with the running club and then Thom and I headed over to the beach to meet some friends. We must have had some sort of miscommunication because we never found them. So we were alone, on the beach, just Thom and I.

We talked a little about his upcoming birthday and our trip to Hawaii. We sat on our towels with outstretched legs and ate our sandwiches and watched the Junior Lifeguards practice. He said, "Mom, we're lucky to live at the beach huh?"

We went out into the rolling surf and jumped the waves for over an hour. My face hurt from all the laughing.

At home we had reading time and he fell asleep in my arms. I can count on my fingers the number of times he has allowed me to do this. He's not much of a cuddler, never has been.

I was flying high as a kite. And then I started cutting the fabric for my Amy Butler tunic. Well- that brought me down to earth pretty fast. After cutting out the front and back panel in a size 6-8, I realized that in Amy's world I am really a size 12. Damn, the Gap for tricking me into thinking I'm on the small side with their size 4 (a.k.a. 8) jeans!

If you are an itty bitty little thing, watch my blog. I may be selling an adorable tunic pretty soon.
Oh and as long as I'm putting in requests for my life movie, please Lord, leave out the sewing part and splice in a moment of me eating a coconut cupcake at 25th and Main.

Monday, August 18, 2008

the zone

Pure Joy

Lately, I'm really in The Zone. In case you are unaware, The Zone is when you come to a time in the life of your child/kids and you no longer have to be Supermom, with bionic hearing and lightening quick reflexes. You loose the bulge in your biceps you got from constantly carrying a child around and the olfactory glands that once allowed you to distinguish your own kids poop from everyone else's kids at Disneyland shrinks back to it's normal function. You start to think about wearing white pants again. That's where I am. The Zone.

Anywho, you'd think I'd be thrilled to be here. After all, The Zone also means that you can remain parked on you butt, Diet Coke in hand at the beach while all your friends with toddlers, chase, wipe, comfort, pick-up, dig, change, rinse, adjust, follow, nurse and brush the sand off their kids. Me? I just bellow at the boy every now and then to make sure he stays in my sights. It's a wonderful thing. You'd think I'd be thrilled to be here.

But I'm not. Nope. I want a baby. I miss babyland. I wish I could go back in time and spend just one day with Thom as a one-year-old. In between the running around and supermom work, there are moments of pure joy. I want that again.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

design sunday

I wear aprons. I know this may seem a little passe', maybe even a little um, "Pleasantvillish", but I love them. They are practical and why women quit wearing them is beyond me. When my grandmother died a few years ago, I requested and got one of her aprons and her Better Homes and Gardens red check cookbook with hand written notes jotted in the margins. I felt like I inherited pure gold.

Maybe I feel that an apron is my mom uniform. I think people need uniforms. They give you a sense of capability and authority. Take security guards for example. Those guys think they are really in charge just because they have on a dark suit with a fabric shield patch. They get this Barney Fife attitude, telling me I can't park here or I can't walk there, that makes me want to reach out and thwack them between the eyes. But I digress. My point is just that people tend to become the uniform.

Back in March, the crafty chicks made crazy aprons. Here's the one I made.

I recently found this wonderful little book with simple patterns for making various aprons. I tend to like vintage patterns, especially bib aprons that cross in the back, but it is full of fun projects both modern and vintage inspired. One of my favorite projects is an apron with a tea towel sewn into the waist band to wipe your hands on. Talk about useful.

There are also some really great books on collecting vintage aprons and the culture behind aprons. Yes, aprons have their own culture. Check out Amazon for these fab books.

There are also a ton of super talented women making and selling their own aprons. I bought this one through Sundarose and I wear it all the time.

Check out the following links if you want to join my apron revolution. My motto is this: Aprons have nothing to do with repression. They are really about sensibility, fashion and self expression.

Apron Memories

Rick Rack Attack

Angry Chicken

Angry Chicken has more links for new vintage style handmade aprons.

Friday, August 15, 2008


My word, is August half over already? We have been busy, busy, busy around here. My crape myrtle finally bloomed for the first time. Isn't it beautiful? The last few tomatoes are dangling on the vines and the grapes are ripe and delicious. A back-to-school buzz is in the air. People are buying pencils and crayons. Backpacks seem to already be picked over, only the boring colors are left.

Thom won't start until after Labor day which gives us just enough time to fit in a late Summer family vacation to Maui.

I am getting excited to debut my Fall jewelry collection. It may include some island inspired pieces. Keep your eye on my shop around mid-September.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

the blinding high gloss of an organized life

As odd as it sounds, organized closets make me feel like a better person. Somewhere along the way I picked up the notion that being organized and tidy, is akin to being responsible. Maybe I heard "cleanliness is next to Godliness" too many times. Who knows.

The curious thing for me is that I am most creative in chaos. I try to keep my work bench organized. I really do. Every month or so I do a major clean up and put every thing in its place, but as soon as I sit down to work, things entropically end up strewn everywhere. I cook this way too, in a muddle of flour, butter, pots and pans.

I have realized lately that for me pandemonium spawns creativity. And yet, I continue to strive to keep things shipshape and June Cleaver clean. It is, quite frankly, an unrealistic ideal. I mean, seriously, who lives like this?

Someone with OCD no doubt.

The other funny thing is artificial nails. I have no desire whatsoever to have fake nails. Indeed, they would pop off the moment I hit the work bench, and yet, I see women with their nails all shiny and manicured and I think- man, that chick really has her shit in a pile (to use one of my little brother's phrases). The high gloss lacquer mesmerizes me. The fact of the matter is that they recently came out with a study that proved that artificial nails harbor all kinds of bacteria and disgusting stuff. And yet, if you are sporting fakies, and I see you around, I'm gonna think you really have it all together. That's just how weird I am.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

haulin' aspen, eucalyptus and oak

Trail Running is a messy business.

Yesterday I ran with a seventy-one year-old Norwegian man named Allert. He runs with the Racy Ladies. Allert broads over the women runners like a kindly old grandpa. He makes sure we are hydrated and educated on routes. He makes sure we stretch after every run. We ran a dirt trail in the variegated shade of the tall eucalyptus trees and I listened to him talk of his emigration from Norway and his travels around America. Allert is slight man, lean and sinewy. He told me he used to be two inches taller. Last weekend, he placed second in his age category at the San Francisco Half Marathon. He has no intentions in slowing down or taking it easy in his old age. I wanted to hug this man who I had just met.

I am really enjoying trail running. Don't get me wrong- it is totally kicking my butt- and my shoes are a filthy mess, but I am having fun. I am, however, spending a senseless amount of time cleaning the dirt from under my toenails.

Now to a small bone I have to pick with my readers. The response I have gotten to the Top Rockstar contest has been- well, underwhelming. Come on people! If you don't have a blog, put it on your my space page. If you don't have a my space page, blog or web page, you are probably over the age of thirty, not super web savvy, may or may not wear Dockers and not really into hip new music sites anyway, so you are excused.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

design sunday

I have a corner in my living room that is sad and lonely and has been since the day we moved in. I have spent two years wondering just what to put there. I spent a year or so looking at different house plants that might work until I came to the conclusion that I didn't really want a plant at all. I then thought I wanted to find a great pillar sort of thingy to put a vase or finial thingy on. So I spent the last year looking at stands and pillars and cement artichokes and the like and I haven't seen a single thing I liked.

The other day it finally hit me. I want a terrarium. Not a simple one either. I want a full on, Victorian glass and iron, free standing terrarium with orchids and ferns. Why, oh why can't I ever like the cheap solution?

The good ones start at around $300 and go up. It is an item I will have to save for and convince Sugar Daddy of it's artistic value. Wish me luck.

Terrariums were invented by Nathaniel Ward, an English physician and botanist who placed a cocoon in a closed jar for observation and soon noticed ferns growing in dirt at the jar’s bottom. They continued to grow and thrive in the protected, humid environment, although they died when he tried to grow them outdoors in London’s polluted air. Ward concluded that many plants that could not survive in the outdoor climate and air conditions could live quite healthily in the biospheres he built and called ferneries, one of which has been preserved by the Smithsonian Institution.

The doctor’s discovery led to a new horticultural era. Rare plants could be transported across continents and climate zones in what became known as Wardian cases, and wealthy British families started commissioning elaborate versions for their living rooms. The word “terrarium,” from the Latin ”terra,” meaning “earth,” is commonly used in the U.S.

If you have been blessed with simple taste, you need not spend a lot to create your own terrarium. A bell jar makes a fabulous, smaller, environment for a little garden, as does a apothecary jar or even, (if you aren't into aesthetics) a milk jug. Visit a good (read- not Home Depot or Lowe's) nursery and ask someone to help you select a few plants that thrive in glass house conditions.

If you are feeling inspired, and actually do assemble a terrarium, send me a pic. I'd love to see what other people are doing.

Friday, August 08, 2008

public service announcement

I am a total believer in yoga. I think it is extremely beneficial in reducing stress, losing weight, lengthening and toning muscles and preventing injury. I haven't been practicing lately because I have really been concentrating on aerobic exercise. I know that I need to get back into yoga to help with my weight loss, so today I went to class.

The public service announcement is this: at the end of class, when the yoga teacher turns on the hypnotic music and tells you to close your eyes and take the savasana (resting) pose, don't actually relax all the way or you may just fall asleep.

I woke up just in time to see the teacher leave the room. The thing that really sucks is that I really enjoyed the class and I was planning on going every week, but now I don't know if I can show my face there again. Did I flinch in my sleep? Did I droll, snore - or heaven forbid- fart, as I lay there? Did I look like a disheveled drunkard with my mouth open and yesterday's sunburn across my shoulders and chest?

I can't recall a time that I have ever fallen asleep in public before. So the question is- why am I so tired? Maybe I had so many toxins (ahem-Redbulls) in my system that they all leached out during my workout and I was left with no caffeine in my blood. If this is what life is like caffeine free, I'm staying on the sauce.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

don't cry mommy

It has become an everyday thing. It goes like this:

Thom: Mom when do we get our China sister?

Me: When Heavenly Father says it is time.

Thom: When will that be?

Me: I don't know Thom, I really don't know.

Thom: I wish he would hurry up and give us our China sister Mom.

Me: Me too Thom. Me too.

Yesterday for some reason (most likely hormones) I teared up when we went through this little exercise. Thom then said, "Don't cry Mommy. Heavenly Father will give her to us when it is time." Which was sweet, so I cried a little harder.

I have been going through stacks and stacks of old magazines and tearing out the ideas I like to put in my "inspiration" books, which are binders with plastic sleeves. It is high time I did this. Sugar Daddy has had it with my obsessive magazine hording. Anyway, in doing this I ran across a Martha Stewart recipe for french onion soup. For some strange reason, I decided it would be fun to make a massive pot of soup in the middle of August.
I was chopping up the FIVE POUNDS of onion that the recipe called for and my eyes were watering like crazy. Thom said, "Mommy, are you crying over that China baby again?" (He gets his sentimentality from me) I told him that the onions were killing my eyes and so a minute later he shows up with his swim goggles. At Sur La Table they carry onion cutting goggles. My son is a genius, but we already knew that. I stretch the goggles on and sure enough, they worked like a gem. Thom got a good laugh at me and he took the following photo.

The soup turned out great. Mind you, we were sweating our brains out while we ate it, but man it was good. Here is the recipe I found on the Martha website. It is a little different from the one I used, but I really don't feel like typing the whole thing out.

I love these little aqua blue ramekins I have. They make any dish look great.

I spent a lot of time thinking about our adoption while I cooked and clipped magazines yesterday. The wait for China is going to be a few more years and we would really like to have a child now so that Thomas can have a sibling to play with and this yearning ache in our arms will go away. They say one of the best ways to get a baby is to tell everyone you know that you are looking for a birth mother. Sooo- World Wide Web- if you know a birth mother looking to place her baby, and you think we'd be good parents even after reading about our crazy life, please contact me.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

run for your life

My life has been a little crazy. I've been on the run, both figuratively and literally. Thus, no posts.

We took a weekend trip to see our best friends from our law school days. They are like Army buddies to us. Friendships formed in the trenches are deep and lasting. They knew us when we didn't have two cents to rub together, when we were down and out. They were right there with us. Friendship between us really isn't a choice, they are family.

My computer crashed for the second time. I feel like Darth Vader. Shut my computer down and I'm just a blob of quivering flesh unable to function. It's scary really. I have been running to friends houses to check my email and such. The super "helpful" people at HP have told me that I must box up my computer and send it to them for diagnostics. I should have it back in an undisclosed amount of time. I'm so thrilled I could just gouge my eyes out.

I have been working on some ideas for articles for the Top Rockstar blog. I'd like to do some interviews with some fairly successful indie artists.

And I'm running. I need to lose about ten pounds of muffin top and I have found, for me, the fastest way depudgify is to run like hell. I joined a group called Racy Ladies. I'll be running 5-7 miles with this group twice a week. They are trail runs and I find them really challenging. I plan on running a long (8-12) mile run along the coast on Saturday mornings.

Amy, Dave, Ryan, Sugar Daddy, Me, Dad

Running is in my blood. My father has run for years. He does marathons, ultra marathons and super long trail runs. He is amazing. He and I are alike in that we really don't enjoy organized races that much. I ran a marathon a few years ago. I won't do it again. It wasn't the distance, it was the people. I can't stand the hype. As mean as it sounds, when people cheer from the sidelines, I just want to cover my ears and get away as soon as possible. I'll run the distance again, I'll just start from my front door and run with my dad.

My little sister convinced me to run in the North Ogden Cherry Days race on the 4th of July. I only agreed because my whole family, minus my older sister and mom, were running. I ended up having a good time, even when I ran the wrong way (evidence of my directional impairment).

The contest for the $50 iTunes gift card is still going (see previous post). Help me spread the word! The soft launch is August 15th.