Thursday, October 28, 2010

mother me

My mom is coming into town tonight. She lives in a different state and let me tell you, I really miss having her close. She hasn't seen Frankie Valentine since we brought him home from the hospital. She's dying to get her hands on his squishiness.

I've been in a bit of a funk lately and I'm hoping that she will be just the thing I need to get back in my groove. Moms always make you feel better. Unless you are sick in the nurse's office. Then, when your mom finally shows up to take you home you fall apart. After all, the whole class saw you throw up. After an incident like that you can hold it together for the school nurse, but not for your mother.

I'm going to ask my mom to make me some of her chicken noodle soup.  I'll set the table and fill the glasses with water. Just like old times.

Sometimes you just need your mom.  When mothering gets tough, you just need your mom.


Because I love all you readers (really I do, I'm not kidding, you keep me blogging and blogging keeps me sane) I'm offering another wall paper for November. This one has a calendar which is kind of delightful, if not overdone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

i don't know

I have two friends struggling with life right now.  One girl lives thousands of miles away. The other lives very close.  One girl has been my good friend for some years. I meet the other girl through this blog but we have never met in person. One friend has a wayward husband, the other a wayward teen.  Both friends mean a lot to me.

In the last week, both these friends have come to me with their trials.  They have laid them at my feet.  I have listened to the desperation in their voices. I have worried and fretted along with them.

And I feel so very inadequate. I have no experience regarding the issues they are facing.  I don't know why they have been given such heavy burdens. I just don't know.  And I've told them as such.

I've been thinking and thinking of something wise or profound to say to these friends to make a small difference. I've racked my brain. I've got nothing.

Sometimes I wonder what exactly I have learned in this life.  I find myself, more often than not, simply perplexed by what goes on.  I know people that have the gift of perspective. They always seem to be able to help me see things a little clearer. I'm not one of these people. I usually make things worse by saying, "Man, that sucks" or "I just don't get it."

So, after much thought, I decided to create a little graphic for them.  It's a small offering considering the magnitude of the issues they are facing. I don't know how to solve their problems. But I know they will need courage for the battle.

I wish I could wrap up courage in a box and give it to them. Instead I will remind them to find it within themselves everyday.

And I'll be here to listen when they need to talk.

You are free to download my graphic too. Put it on your mirror or fridge or tucked away where only you can see it.  

"Courage dosen't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." - Mary Anne Radmacher

Monday, October 25, 2010


I'm not one for facial hair. It's not that I don't like how it looks. It's that I don't like how it feels. I can't abide a brillo pad scruffing up my face.

The Sugar Daddy has a penchant for facial hair. And so goes the battle...

I'm in the kitchen, in my bathrobe, chopping carrots and tossing them into the crock pot. Sugar Daddy comes into the kitchen and pours himself a bowl of cereal. Very nonchalant like.

"I see you haven't shaven today." I say not looking at him.

"Uh huh." He mumbles through his cereal.

"Growing a beard again?" I ask, still not looking at him.

"I thought I'd let it grow and enjoy my manhood for a while."

"Well that's fine. You know what it means though." He ruminates on this for a while. He stands and brings his cereal bowl to the sink. The Bird runs over and affixes herself to his pant leg. "Da da da da da" she says looking up at him with silver dollar eyes.

"You know", he finally says turning to me, "It doesn't really matter because if it isn't you putting the kibosh on that, it's one of the kids. I'm becoming accustom to a life with no affection."

"I see. Well I'm sorry to hear that you are leading a life of solitude and desolation. I mean, how do you even carry on?"

The Bird is now twisting in and out of his legs repeating her mantra. "Da da da da da." He looks down at her and she says, "Hi." and flashes him a big tooth smile.

"You think it's a joke but I am seriously the one person in this house that doesn't seem to count. I mean, are you even making that dinner for me?"

"What? What are you talking about? I'm making this stew for our family. Would you like me to make you your own special bowl? I could make a smiley face out of cheese for the top."

The Bird has lost interest in legs and has decided to dismantle the Tupperware cupboard. Frankie Valentine is working up a fuss, which he tends to do when people argue. Sugar Daddy picks him up and comes back into the kitchen to deliver his retort.

"You could be married to Jeff." He says with his eyebrows raised nodding his head like he just gave me the what for.

"You could be married to Denise." I say softly.

Frankie Valentine is patting Sugar Daddy's spiky cheeks with his fat baby hands. His eyes are wide. At some point he decides he must have a taste and he comes at Ben with his mouth open.

After a moment I say, "Look honey, I just don't like the feeling of a beard on my face. It gives me the ebee jebees. You know that."

"Yes but do you know how many times I've had to deal with your sticky lip gloss? You don't see me refusing to kiss you."

"What sticky lip gloss?"

"You know that pinacolada crap you wear."

"Ben, I had that lip gloss when you were in law school. That's like twelve years ago."


I let out a sigh and put the cover on the crock pot and set it for eight hours.

"All I can say is if you choose to keep that beard, you better save any piece of food you find in it because not only will you not get any lovin, you probably won't get any of this stew tonight either."

At this point The boy comes down, ready for school. He ignores me and goes strait to his dad. "Dad, tonight is man's night right? Just you and me right?"

There is a discussion about what will take place during man night until it is time to leave for school.

Ben is taking The Boy to school because he's helpful in that way and not at all like Jeff.

"One last thing," I say before they walk out the door. "Once you grow this beard, and start living as a hermit when nobody loves you, will you take the children with you?"


How to make a yarn beard

sewing machine

Step one:
Cut the felt to fit your face in the shape of a beard.  Draw three lines as guides onto the felt with a Sharpie.

Step two:
Loop the yarn in two to three inch loops. Following the guide lines you drew, sew the top of each loop onto the felt.  I find it easiest to loop the yarn as I sew.

Step three:
Sew elastic in between the rows of yarn on each side.

Step Four:
Snip the loops on the bottom.  Trim the beard.

Step Five:
When wearing your beard only speak to people with an accent.  Hillbilly or Irish brogue work well.

The winner of the "Toil and Trouble" Girl's Loft kit is Jenny K. who said, "I'd love to be the winner of one of those great kits. Those candy cones would be great for the "Neighborhood You've Been Boo'd" tricks. Hang one of those on your neighbors door, ring the doorbell and RUN! Thanks for sharing!"  Congrats!  Send me your shipping info!

Friday, October 22, 2010

toil and trouble

My good friend Margie Romney-Aslett is a designer who has her own line of products for paper crafting.  She also has a kit club that she runs with her daughters.  Every month The Girl's Loft sends out a kit full to the brim with fun crafting supplies.  The kit for October featured Margie's Halloween line "Toil and Trouble".  The girls sent me a kit to play with because they think I'm the shiz. That's what I like to think anyway.  I finally found a couple of hours when the babies were sleeping to dig into my goodies.

I made candy cones. Okay, they may not be original, but hey, who doesn't love a candy cone?  And candy cones made with Toil and Trouble products? Uh. That's a yes. Any day of the year.

And now, as if this post isn't festive enough, I get to give away an October Girl's Loft kit for you, yes you, if you be the winner.  Believe you me, it's a package of fun.

You can see all that the kit contains here.

You can enter to win said kit by leaving a comment.

You can have a second entry by tweeting this exact comment- @suaviloquy I really want to win @thegirlsloft kit because it rocks and so do you.

I really do love being Queen of this domain. Everyone should be the Queen somewhere.

As Queen I decree that a winner shall be chosen on Monday, October the twenty-fifth in the two hundredth and tenth year of our Lord.  Let it be written. Let it be done.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

girl crush

I have a girl crush on Anna Marie Horner.  Her fabrics are so my style.  I would love to spend an afternoon in her studio with her. Just watching her create.

This woman has six kids.  She runs her own successful business. She creates amazing things. She makes the most artful quilts. She's on my short list of people I want to be like (minus three kids).

I don't have the time to sew all the projects I want for the kids in Handmade Beginnings.  I'm a beginning seamstress and it takes me a long time to get things right. So I handed off my projects to my mother-in-law who is a sewing maven.  Like seriously.  Back in the day she used to sew dress shirts for her husband.  She's hard core.

She did a beautiful job on the kids pants just like I knew she would.  I love to dress my babies alike. Obnoxious I know, but I think I'm entitled to a wee bit of obnoxious mothering considering all the time and effort I put in.

Yes that is a bald spot on the back of Frankie's head. His hair style just keeps getting better and better.

I used the fabric I had on hand to make these pants, however, if I had been more patience, I would have bought some of Anna's.

This  is my all time favorite fabric from Anna's collection. I used it in my studio.

The above photo shows the Folksy Flannel collection. Dying to get my hands on some of this.

All of Anna'a patterns are dreamy.  Me thinks I need that skirt.

You can buy a signed copy of Handmade Beginning as well as fabric and other goodies directly from Anna in her on-line shop.

I just ordered the fabric to have my mother-in-law sew jackets for the babies. I really like this arrangement.  I get meticulously sewn clothes for my kids and she gets, well..., a project. Hmmm. I might have to throw something her way to sweeten the deal.

All photos are via Anna Marie Horner except the ones of my kids of course.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

going going gone

Holy crap. Do you realize after today there will only be ten days left in October?  That's like, just a little more than one week.  I can't believe it.  This has been the fastest passing month in the history of me. Which is saying a lot. I'm thirty-six you know. I've been through 438 months and this one is the fastest to date.

I'd really like to get to the bottom of the time space continuum. But considering I suck at math (had to use a calculator to figure out how many months I've lived) and I have a hard time with abstract concepts, I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

You might also find it interesting to note that this month contained one of the longest days of my life wherein Frankie Valentine screamed for six of the seven hours it took to drive to St. George to finalize his adoption.  You'd think the kid didn't like us or something.  Too bad for him.  He's stuck with us.

I've been sketching up a storm in my free time, which isn't much, but I make do.  I thought I'd offer a freebie here on Suaviloquy.  I know I've really slacked on the paper dolls, and I promise to do better, but for now I give you a wall paper for your computer.  It's an early (but not really all that early) November present.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

halloween parfait

This Halloween idea comes via  This is the kind of thing my kids go apes over.   Here's the recipe:

1 box of instant chocolate pudding (or homemade of course)
1 box of French vanilla pudding (or regular vanilla)
Cocoa Puffs
whipped cream
candy corn
yellow gel color
orange gel color
Halloween sprinkles

Get all of the components ready. Make the chocolate and vanilla pudding. Divide the vanilla in half. If you are using French vanilla, it is already yellow, but if you are using plain vanilla, add a few drops of yellow to it. With the other half, use the orange food coloring to make it orange.
Layer the ingredients however you like.  This is the order that I layered mine:
Cocoa Puffs
yellow pudding
whipped cream
candy corn and Cocoa Puffs
chocolate pudding
orange pudding
candy corn and Cocoa Puffs
whipped cream, sprinkles, and a few candy corn for garnish

Chill for about 30 minutes to an hour or until the puddings are set.

You can click on over to to see more photos of this recipe.

Also, I wanted to say, for the holidays, don't underestimate the flower section at Costco.  The roses there seem to take a beating, but sometimes, if you hunt, you can find some that look really good.  They also carry florist bunches that are really fun.

I recently ran across a bunch of Solanum Integrifolium (you know I had to look that one up) at Costco that almost got rid of my Costco rage.* Miniature pumpkins on a branch. Who would have thunk it?

This tag came on a gift given to me by the talented Michelle Hill of Polk-A-Dot Whimsy

* Costco rage is a little thing I suffer from when I shop at Costco. I become infuriated at people who stop in the middle of the isle, and stand like pigs to the slop for minutes on end, blocking traffic,  just to sample a half a cream puff or a piece of salami. Seriously? Get a life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

lost and found

1. our indesputable romance, 2. study of the inchworm, 3. trophy wife, 4. tin roof rusted, 5. ripples in a pond, 6. destiny, 7. tumbledown soldiers, 8. bridal stuff, 9. Empty belly, 10. all bets off, 11. Bluebeard's lament, 12. Bennett

It dawned on me the other day that I'm finally found.

I've spent thirty-six years finding myself and now I think I finally found me.

I thought I was found in college.  I read a lot of books and philosophized on religion and politics.  If the twenty year old April could see me today she would be disguised. "What is she doing with her life?" I'd ask. "What good is baking apples and doing crafts? Why would anyone want more than two kids? Doesn't she know the world is overpopulated? Whatabouttheforestforheavenssake!"

So I've changed a bit.  I think for the better.  No, I didn't make it through to receive my Masters in English Literature.  I didn't wander through the Amazon pontificating the meaning of life.  I didn't even get published in the University journal.

But I have been entrusted with the happiness and well being of three little people.  I've found the meaning of life through motherhood.  And I write about that everyday discovery experience right here on my blog, which I publish myself.

I'm a different person than I was then. I'm I different person than I was five years ago.  There are still things I 'd like to work on and change about myself, but at thirty-six I finally found perspective, and that seems to be the key.

I'm thirty-six. I know my beliefs both spiritual and political.  I know my sense of style. I know what is most important to me in life. I know who loves me unconditionally.  I know what I want.

I'm found.

But that doesn't mean there won't be changes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

black magic

I love me a good antique store. I mean I really love it. However, antique stores are like Chinese restaurants. There are a billion of them and only a few good ones.  You have to hunt them out. It takes time and patience.

My mother-in-law discovered a gem. They have unique stuff. Not junk. Special, one-of-a-kind like items.

I hyperventilated a little when I spotted these shoes and saw that they were my size.  According to the owner of the shop, they were part of a whole ensemble but the dress and clutch went home with a women who wasn't a size eight. The shoes stayed right where they were, waiting for me.

They make me feel pretty and stylish and fancy, these shoes. I haven't worn them out yet, but I have worn them around the house, you know, when I need a little lift. Like when I do the dishes and such. No, I'm not kidding. Some times I wear them with my pajamas.

Isn't it funny how an item of clothing or an accessory can change the way you feel? For me, it's like music.  What I wear and listen to, determines how I feel at that time. It's like magic.  

I saw this head dress on Emma Lamb's blog. It is from  It has sold (for $300 if you can believe that), so I think I will try to make one similar.

And now I just need somewhere to wear my sexy sling backs and feathered headband. Is it too over the top for church? Tell me true.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I promised guests that I would post the recipe for the chicken we served at the party soooo without much ado... via Jenny Hurst...


20 or so Chicken Tenders (I bought the Foster Farms tenderloins and used 3 of the prepacked bags - located in the fresh meat section)

I used a 9 X 13 pan, and a pie pan and it fit 3 packages of chicken just fine.

2-3 eggs (beaten)

Bread Crumbs:
1 cup Italian Bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Parsley flakes (finely chopped)
Garlic Salt (sprinkle a little)
Flour (I didn't use this, so try just a little)
salt and pepper (sprinkle a little)

1 cup half and half
1 stick of butter
Juice of 2 REAL lemons (not the juice from the store)

Optional: capers, mix a half of jar into the sauce after you have blended the 3 above ingredients

Dip tenders in egg, then in the crumbs. Brown in hot pan with melted butter. Do not cook through. Just enough for each side to be a little crispy. Place in baking dish and put in oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Be careful to not overcook.
My suggestions: I made this recipe last night and the family loved it! It was very tender and moist! Try mixing the sauce in a blender to get a better consistency (I didn't do this, and I think it will make the sauce smoother). Also, I did 1 cup of butter for the sauce (the first time) and it was a little too much, because when it came out of the oven, you could see a layer of butter in the pan. So, using 1 stick of butter worked better instead of two sticks. Another thought: really coat the chicken with the bread crumbs. The ones that were coated were the better ones. :)

Also for inquiring minds, the transcendent apple crisp that Joan Crandall brought and everyone snarfed down before I even got a single spoonful is an Ina Garten recipe.

AND, if you live in St. George, make sure you head on over to Jazzy Java at 285 N., Bluff St. on Saturday night. Mindy Gledhill will be there, singing her heart out.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

woodland wonderland party

Last summer the Boy came tearing into the house like a bat out of hell screaming about a bird in the garage. So I went to investigate. Sure enough, a humming bird was sitting on the windowsill dazed and confused.

I gently cupped the tiny bird into my hands and we took him out into the daylight. We held our breath as he sat on my palm trying to get his barrings. He was blue and green with sparks of bright red and he looked like a jewel all shiny and bright.  We slowly let out our breath and just like that, he was gone.

Thom and I stood with our faces to the sun looking at the tree tops to see if we might just catch a glimpse of him one more time and contemplating the miracles of nature.  It was one of those moments when you know you have been given a gift and you want it to last just a little bit longer.

This past weekend felt a little like that moment.  Mindy Gledhill fluttered into my backyard on Saturday afternoon and proceeded to practice her music with her guitarist Joe.

Amelie played and danced on the patio.

I was upstairs sitting at my vanity, listening to Mindy sing, trying to apply eyeliner and crying it all off. Such was my disbelief at my good fortune.

The guests starting arriving at five.  They bought raffle tickets. They mingled and talked and munched on appetizers.  Dinner was served buffet style.

The sun set and we turned on the lights.  Ben had strung market lights above the tables and they looked amazing twinkling like they tend to do.

And then Mindy sang under those lights, in a vintage dress, with her hair in a braid and her heart on her sleeve.  Her voice floated high above the lights, and out into the darkness. Who knows how many ears she reached?  Mothers putting their babies to bed? Friends sharing an evening on the back porch? Lonely souls?  One can't really say.

But I will say this: I will never forget that night.  It will be in my memory during my last days on earth and I will be glad that I put forth the effort to make it happen.

Thank you to all my friends that helped. You know who you are. Please call in a favor soon. I hate to be in anyone's debt.

Thank you to all my guests. You were extremely generous and because you were, we will be able to give our family in need a big helping hand.

Thank you Kelly of Bubba-loo for snapping some pics at the party so these here blog folk can have a looksy.

And Mindy- girl, you flew away too fast for my liking, but I will be looking towards the sunshine, watching every little thing you do.