a little hello!

Labor Day Weekend

Henry and I have been spending some time in Phoenix this week before I head to San Francisco on Thursday, and I've had so much fun the past few days being able to see my Phoenix friends, hang out with family, and act like I'm 16-years old again. What? You don't revert to your teenage self whenever you spend an extended amount of time at "home?" It's seriously funny to me because last night I found myself on my parents' couch, eating some chips out of a paper towel (typical "Hawthorne" snacking style), yelling "Mommmmmmm! Can you get me a glass of water???" to my mother in the kitchen, while watching The Bachelor in my pajamas. The only difference between my 16-year old self and my current 29-year old self is that there was a baby monitor next to me.  I don't know what it is, but being here makes me feel like I'm right back in high school again.

Anyway, Henry and I ventured out to the mall today so I could try and find an outfit to wear this weekend. We had no luck, of course. Why is it that when you are looking for something specific it's impossible to find anything, but when you have no agenda it seems as though there are cute things everywhere you look?  Henry actually did get a few new fun things at H&M, so it wasn't a total flop. He is finally kind of okay with hats (kind of meaning he doesn't rip them off as if I've placed a burning piece of cloth on his head) so I'm hoping the clearance-priced beanie I bought for him will work. A couple random thoughts from today:

1. The elevator system at Scottsdale Fashion Square is pretty much the worst thing ever. PCLL? 1st Floor? 1st Floor Barney's? I'm so confused. Once the elevator made it's way down to us I ended up just pressing all the buttons and hoping for the best. I can't even believe I used to work there, or more so, how I ever made it to work on time!

2. I wish I could take naps. I have never been one of those people who can take a nice little 30-minute nap in the middle of the day and wake up refreshed. I occasionally find myself trying to be a nap person, but I either end up sleeping for Henry's entire 2-3 hour nap and cause myself to stay up hours later that night, or I stick to the 30 minutes, wake up groggy, and still can't sleep that night. It's a lose-lose for me. But on days like today where I feel exhausted out of my mind come 3pm, a nap would be so nice!

3. I have really, really loved reading all of the 11 Things posts around the internet! Some of the girls I've tagged have completed it, so check them out if you get a moment - Jen, Jess, Katie, Kaelah, and Mandy.

4. And finally, today was my Dad's 66th birthday! He's really the best guy I know (tied with Hank of course) and I feel so lucky to have such a good relationship with him. It's been amazing seeing him as a Grandpa and to watch him and Henry grow so close. It's really the best. Happy birthday, Dad!

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Tattoo Tuesday V.111

Name and blog name: Kem // Chronicles of a Sweet Tooth
Age: 29
Occupation: Practice Manager of Dental Department
Age of first tattoo: 20
Favorite tattoo: My Tooth Crest
Featured tattoo/location: 3/4 "sea" sleeve
Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Left arm // Scott Shickman // The Mercy Seat Kansas City MO // Scott has done all of my tattoos

1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story about why you chose it, or maybe a special meaning? 

For as long as I have lived, I have wanted to be a mermaid. Watching Disney's the Little Mermaid, is probably where the obsession began. That, and my sweet cousin had a swimming pool. We would pretend that we were mermaids, without a care in the world. As I grew up, I knew that I couldn't be a mermaid, so I thought I could commemorate that in an art form, to be that constant reminder to dream. One of my favorite quotes is "The cure for anything is salt water: Sweat, Tears, or the Sea." PS my artist told me I would make it into a full sleeve within a couple of years, and he was totally right! I already know what I am going to fill the last 1/4 of my left arm with :)

2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where? 

I have quite a collection. That is what I tell people, I collect art in the form of tattoos.

1. Bows on my ankles. I am a girly, girl through and through. These were a spur of the moment tattoos. Scott, my artist, was working on drawing up the sleeve for my right arm, and he wasn't quite finished, so instead of wasting a session, we just did these bows. I love them, and probably get the most compliments on them.
2. Society's Finest Thigh Tattoos. These have dual meanings. First, it is the name of my husband and friends car club. Secondly, I think it is the most clever words to describe someone with tattoos. So many people, these days, are turned off by tattoos, and think that I probably don't have a job, that I am uneducated, and basically the scum of the earth. Well, little do they know, I am Society's Finest! I am college educated, hold a very prestigious job, and am way better than scum!
3.Cherries on my Calves. These have no meaning at all. I love cherries and wanted calf tattoos :)
4. Left arm 3/4 sleeve. The meaning was a long one, but I loved how it turned out. Especially the compass rose. I always have to be reminded to focus back to "True North" or my "True Self", to not get caught up in what others think/say/do
5. Beginning of Right arm sleeve. So far, on my right arm, I have my Tooth Crest. I have a CRAZY sweet tooth. I mean CRAZY! Ha, I even named my blog after my sweet tooth. Since I work in the dental field, thank goodness right(?), I thought I would dedicate an arm to my love of sweets! The tooth crest says "Brush the teeth you wanna keep", which is totally the truth. The top part of my arm is a whimsical tea party featuring well dressed animals and will be filled in with cupcakes, cookies, candy, and tea! I have a great deal of English Heritage, so to pay homage to that, Scott and I incorporated this idea of an over-the-top tea party juxtaposed against this tooth with a toothbrush. I love how it is coming together. It is my work in progress!

6. Chest piece. I wanted my chest piece to be beautiful and feminine. (This is actually a cover up!) I had cherries on my chest, that we just couldn't get to work into a good layout, so we just covered them. This was the first big piece I did, and wanted a little dedication to my parents. We choose swallows to carry a banner for them. My parents and I have had ups and downs, but without them, I wouldn't be here, so that is my little reminder to carry them with me.

7. Lip Tattoo. I played roller derby with Kansas City Roller Warriors for 5 years. Some of my team mates decided we should get the inside of our lips tattooed with our skate names, you know, to commemorate our 'time served'. It has no started a trend in most of KCRW skaters to get it done. I love it!

3) Do you plan on getting more? 

Until I run out of skin :) Although, I will never get my neck or face tattooed, that is just personal preference. I would love to get my knuckles tattooed, but right now, my life (read: Job) won't allow that.

4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos?

Most of my friends are tattooed/heavily tattooed. Really it is just part of the culture I surround myself with. As everyone that has been interviewed here before, I do run into the adversity, or the down side of being tattooed. Surprisingly it has come with pin-up modeling. There are some hardcore fans out there that HATE tattoos, and make sure that they comment on my photos that they hate my tattoos. I have had people say things like "Pretty girl, but horrible tattoos." or "Beautiful, but why did she ruin the photo with tattoos?" Ha, ha, right, cause I can't take off my tattoos people! Why even say that? It's not like commenting on an outfits, that I could change, it is commenting on something, that I have chosen to do, that can't/won't be reversed. It makes me laugh.

My husband has tattoos, and I love them. His first piece was his chest piece. Go big, or go home was his motto. All of his tattoos are by Scott Shickman too. We are kind of loyal to him :)

5) What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos? 

I think I just covered that regarding comments made by pinup fans. Some people love them, some people hate them. I just like to remind the people making these comments, that I appreciate their feedback, and thanks so much for liking my photos, but my tattoos are mine, and I have no plans of changing them ;)

6) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet? 

My only advice is "Cheap work ain't good, and good work ain't cheap." ~ Sailor Jerry

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Henry's first trip to the Zoo!

Today was so much fun. And I'm pretty sure Henry had fun too, although it's kind of hard to tell when you take a 15-month old to the zoo since he can't really say "hey this is SO fun!" But I'm guessing all of his pointing, laughing, and "what's that?" meant he loved it too.  It was a beautiful day (let's ignore the insane wind and focus on the sun!) and we met a handful of my friends and their kiddos for the afternoon. Our group spent a few hours walking around, playing, and snacking. We'd never been to the Phoenix Zoo and after going I think we will probably get an annual pass next fall. There weren't too many animals out today, but we did meet a huge rainbow-bummed baboon and some silly monkeys. We also saw tigers, giraffes, and an elephant, and pet some goats in the petting zoo. All in all, tons of fun. Here are some photos from our day:

Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12
Phoenix Zoo, 2/27/12

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Where is the supplies

An Italian, a Scotsman and a Chinese fellow are hired at a construction site.

The foreman points out a huge pile of sand and says to the Italian guy, 'You're in charge of sweeping.'

To the Scotsman he says, 'You're in charge of shoveling.'

And to the Chinese guy, 'You're in charge of supplies.'

He then says, 'Now, I have to leave for a little while. I expect you guys to make a dent in that there pile.'

So the foreman goes away for a couple hours and when he returns, the pile of sand is untouched.

He asks the Italian, 'Why didn't you sweep any of it?'

The Italian replies, 'I no hava no broom. You saida to the Chinese a fella that he a wasa in a charge of supplies, but he hasa disappeared and I no coulda finda him nowhere.'

Then the foreman turns to the Scotsman and says, 'And you, I thought I told you to shovel this pile.'

The Scotsman replies, 'Aye, ye did lad, boot ah couldnay get meself a shoovel! Ye left th' Chinese gadgie in chairge of supplies, boot ah couldnayfin' him either.'

The foreman is really angry now and storms off toward the pile of sand to look for the Chinese guy ...Just then, the Chinese guy leaps out from behind the pile of sand and yells...


a Monday playlist

Happy Monday! Today Henry and I are meeting some of our mama and baby friends for a day at the Phoenix Zoo. It's Henry's very first visit and I'm really excited. We have a busy day ahead of us, but I thought I'd pop in quickly to share a fun playlist for your Monday morning. Enjoy!

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Beer Careful Guys

University scientists released the results of a recent analysis
that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer.
Men should take a concerned look at their beer consumption.

The theory is that beer contains female hormones (hops contain
phytoestrogens) and that by drinking enough beer, men turn into women.

To test the theory, 100 men were fed 8 pints of beer each within a 1 hour
It was then observed that 100% of the test subjects:

1) Gained weight.

2) Talked excessively without making sense.

3) became overly emotional.

4) Couldn't drive.

5) Failed to think rationally.

6) Argued over nothing.

7) Had to sit down while urinating.

8)refused to apologize when obviously wrong.

No further testing was considered necessary.

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11 Things

One of my most favorite bloggers Lauren tagged me in her 11 Things post, and unlike my typical non-participating self, I thought I would actually do this one!  Thanks, Lauren! :)

There are five rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you've tagged them.

New Jersey Shore, Summer 2011

11 Random Things:

1. I LOVE rap and hip hop. In fact most of the time I blog, workout, and drive I am listening to rap. When Henry is with me I usually try to stick to more kid-friendly things of course, but when it's just me, 75% of the time I am listening to it. Some of my favorites: Tribe, Wu-Tang, Aesop Rock, Dead Prez, Biggie, Too $hort, and stuff like Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Drake too. I could go on and on. Many people are surprised to learn this about me.

2. I am afraid of birds. Crows are the worst and they make my stomach turn when I see them. Their oily feathers, beady eyes and pointy beak completely freak/gross me out. I attribute my fear of birds to seeing these huge turkey vultures perched on the soccer goalposts at the elementary school my Mom taught at while we were growing up. The adults always warned us to never lay down for fear the buzzards would think we were dead and swoop down and peck us! Terrifying. That, paired with a very early viewing of The Birds, has scarred me for life.

3. When I like a song I will listen to it over and over again until I finally get sick of it. It's a bad habit but I can't seem to break it. I'm sure people who follow me via Spotify are like "why is she listening to the same song, all day, everyday?"

4. If I could live anywhere in the United States I would choose Vermont. It's my most favorite vacation spot in the world, and it's just the most magical place. My Aunt and Uncle live right on Lake Champlain and every summer Hank and I fantasize about permanently extending our vacation. I love how green it is, I love the beautiful scenery, the vibe, the people...and even the insane winters. I think it makes the summers that much more enjoyable.

5. Being a stay-at-home Mom is the most fulfilling "job" I have ever had. A lot of people in my life have been really, really surprised that I chose to stay home with Henry and would love to keep on staying home, life's circumstances-permitting. I loved college and got my Bachelor's and Master's pretty quickly (both by the time I was 23) and before I became a Mom I was very into the idea of pursuing a PhD. It may sound crazy to some, but I get so much joy from staying home and taking care of my family that at this point in my life I would love to just keep doing what I'm doing for a long while.

6. I have a weird thing where I remember every word to every song. It's bizarre. I'll hear a song once, and somehow I know all the words. It used to drive Autumn crazy in college because we'd be out and literally any song that came out I would know.

7. I cry often. I am the biggest sap and I tear up at basically anything- commercials, the way Henry laughs, Hank being sweet- and I find myself getting happy emotional over something at least once a day.

8. If I could eat one sweet treat the rest of my life, it would be Cadbury Mini Eggs. Are you familiar with them? They're the little eggs with the candy shell and milk chocolate inside, in the purple bag. I don't know what it is but I love these things so much and have been obsessed since I was a kid. I never, ever buy them for our house (I have no self-control when it comes to them!), but my Mom always keeps a bag around during Easter and it's such a treat whenever we are at her house. They are beyond delicious.

9. I was born and raised in a small New Jersey town and have such NJ pride. I think it's the best, and we typically go back and visit every summer. Before Hank met me he thought all of New Jersey was like the Newark he saw from his tour van while passing through on the turnpike. He had no idea how beautiful it really is, and now he's in love with it too! We can't get enough of the boardwalk, Island Beach State park, and all of the gorgeous green forests. It's such a wonderful place.

10. I have a bad, bad addiction to reality television. Our DVR is full of my favorites: The Bachelor, ALL of The Real Housewives, Real World, Teen Mom, Bethenny (and basically every other Bravo show), Sister Wives, MTV's True Life...the list goes on. I seriously love it and love meeting people who are into my favorite shows too. It's so fun to discuss them and nerd out.

Questions from Lauren:

1. If you had to wear skirts for the rest of your life, or jeans for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
A few years ago I would have answered skirts, but now I'd definitely say jeans. Can I choose my maternity skinny jeans? So comfortable.

2. What was your favorite PBS kids show growing up? 
Reading Rainbow for sure.

3. Who is cooler? Zack Morris or Cory Matthews? 
Zack Morris. I grew up watching Saved By The Bell!

4. What is your least favorite smell in the world? 
Hmmm, I'd have to say dirty feet or shoes. Gross.

5. What's the worst injury you have ever had? 
I tore my ACL and meniscus playing soccer on my club team in high school.

6. What book have you read more than once? 
So many. The most times though? Probably The Crucible.

7. What do you take the most photos of? 
Henry, of course!

8. What is the first perfume you ever purchased/wore? 
hahah. Either Luvs Baby Soft or Sunflowers. SO junior high!

9. What is your ideal date? 
Getting take out Mexican or Thai and curling up on the couch with Hank, watching a movie. We are total homebodies.

10. Tell me your favorite thing about the state you live in. 
All of the charming small towns and beautiful scenery.

11. Most frequented website? 
right now: Pinterest!

Questions for the ladies I will be tagging:
1. If money, schooling or time was no obstacle, what career would you choose?
2. What's the one thing you look forward to every day?
3. What is your number one, all-time, favorite blog?
4. Biggest online pet peeve?
5. What is your all-time favorite book?
6. What would your "last meal" be?
7. Do you believe in love at first site?
8. What would your ideal Sunday morning consist of?
9. Why do you blog?
10. If you had to choose one color to wear forever, what would you pick?
11. What is your all-time favorite band?

And finally, I tag: Amber Joy, JessJames, Mandy, Jen, Kaelah, Melissa, Katie, and Katie...and ANYONE who wants to participate (link me so I can check out your answers too!).

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Weekend links

Happy Saturday! Today is the most beautiful day and it's starting to feel a little like spring. It's one of those weekend where we don't have many plans, besides planning on not having any. I'm looking forward to a lot of relaxing, a trip to Target, and maybe some frozen yogurt. Tomorrow we will be celebrating my Dad's birthday and I'm excited for him to enjoy a day just for him. We're having a family barbeque, some park time, and ice cream cake, of course.

I'll be back later this weekend with a fun "tagged" post. Wishing you all a happy day!

Do you read Bekah's blog, My Little Loves, yet? I really love it, and she is the sweetest thing.

Remember when I teamed up with Funk Off! to make a fun scent? They have a few left still so head over to their shop to scoop 'em up!

Maddie on things. So weird. But really cute. I want to give this dog a big hug!

If you're an Instagram user you'll probably be interested in Copygram over on Jess' site. Very neat stuff.

I love Diana's blog for a few reasons, but one of them is that everything is so darn pretty. See for yourself.

Holli Zollinger's fabric is to-die-for. That fox print? Amazing.

How to blow-dry bangs.

I am DYING over James' recent vintage finds. Just take a look at those dresses!

And speaking of kids' clothes, this is the cutest shop.

I may have already shared this article, but I stumbled upon it again this morning and it's just such a good read. Change your attitude, change your life.

Amy was sweet enough to include me on this list. I was honored!

Double coconut muffins. These look amazing.

Some sponsor love: say hi to Katie, With Care, Krista, and Ink Butter. Also if you're in the market for a new blog design, check out Sweet Faerie

Leigh-Ann is back! And I'm so happy.

Could Tessa be any cuter? 

An interesting teething chart to see the average age for certain teeth to come in.

Free, pretty, vintage-inspired arrow clipart for your blog. Super cute.

This lemon orzo salad would be the perfect summer side dish.

Can Rifle Paper Co. do no wrong? (answer: no)

I love Lauren

These cinnamon roll waffles would be such a fun treat for a Sunday breakfast.

I can't wait to try this homemade olive oil scrub.

And finally, a couple blogs I'm loving right now: one, two, and three!

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African Roulette

An African ambassador visited Russia and was entertained by his opposite number, the Russian ambassador. For three days, the African ambassador was wined, dined, and generally treated to the best hospitality that Russia had to offer.

On the last day of his visit, the Russian ambassador said, "As your stay is coming to an end, it's time for you to play our traditional game, Russian roulette. One of the six chambers of this gun is loaded - you spin the cylinder, point the gun at your head, and pull the trigger."

This phased the African slightly, but he was a proud man of a warrior people, and to show fear would be unthinkable. Both men took their guns, spun, and pulled the triggers.

Both chambers were empty, and both ambassadors breathed a sigh of relief.

The African ambassador was impressed with the couragous game, and thought hard about the subject before the Russian Ambassador was due to visit his country the next year.

When the visit came, the African ambassador treated the Russian with all hospitality, until the final day of his stay. Leading him to a private room in the palace, the African ambassador spoke, "Now, time for you to sample our game, African roulette". He then led the Russian into the room, the only occupants of which were six stunning and naked women.

The African ambassador said, "These women are the most beautiful members of one of our tribes. Any one of them will give you a oral sex take your pick".

The Russian was not entirely averse to this idea, but he couldn't see the connection with Russian Roulette. He said, "Well, ok, great, but where's the roulette part? Where's the danger?"

With a big grin on his face, the African ambassador answered:

"One of them's a cannibal."