Monday, August 31, 2009

Capture the Moments WITH Your Kids (and also, teach the 2 year old to SMILE!)

On Saturday afternoon, it occurred to me that the last time I was in a picture with my two children, was ONE photo from last summer. And the last time I was in a picture with just Gracie was ONE photo from last winter, and with Annelie... are you ready for this? This is bad.... two years ago. I know, I know. She is only 2.5 now, so that means the last photo of the two of us, she was only 6 months old.

So, without wasting a second, I grabbed my kids, grabbed my camera, and sat us all down for a photo shoot. I couldn't help but crack up when I saw Amanda's post over at The Mama Dramalogues yesterday - Great minds think alike!

In my head, I had this idea that we'd have a lovely smiling family photo - the three Hopkins gals.

Annelie... she obviously had other ideas.


She thinks she is so darned cute.

And funny.

And while these pictures are certainly something for the album... I think we may need to try for that super sweet smiling family photo another day!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Come Shopping at CafePress!

I've had an empty CafePress shop for about a year now... why it was empty, I do not know! But now, if you hop on over to

you can find a whole assortment of Elegant Snobbery goodies, from shirts (for the whole family!) to coffee mugs to baby onesies.

Here is a sneak peek of what you'll find:

Cute, huh?



Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quick and Easy 2-Tiered Skirt Tutorial

I just posted this over at The Mama Dramalogues... come on by!

If you have friends who might like our collaborative mom blog, please help us spread the word. You can also find us on Facebook at
and on Twitter at

Happy weekend!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Because I SAID SO!

Can someone please tell me - seriously, I beg you, please tell me - why my kids don't seem to think that I'm the boss?

Because I am. I am the boss. The BOSS, I say.

When we first moved to Texas from California, I was so impressed by the obedient little preschoolers in Gracie's play group. When their mamas told them what to do, the little kids replied, "Yes, ma'am" and then did it.

Gracie doesn't say "Yes, ma'am." She generally doesn't say anything, preferring to cross her arms over her chest and glare at me when I ask her to do something she doesn't want to do. Sometimes, she'll say something along the lines of "But I don't want to," but she surely never says "Yes, ma'am."

Today has been a very fun (ie not fun at all) day filled with me shouting things such as, "Gracie, I'm not going to say it again - If you don't put your toys in the toy box, I'm THROWING THEM ALL AWAY!" and also, "Annelie, if you say 'duh' one more time when I talk to you, you are GOING STRAIGHT TO BED!"

Now just in case you are wondering if I'm one of those train-wreck sort of parents often found on shows such as The Super Nanny... I'm not. Really, I'm not. I know perfectly well how to handle my kids... they just seem to have other ideas about it today.

"Cleaning my room is so boring, Mom," Gracie cheerfully informed me about 20 minutes ago, when she came out of her (still messy) room dressed up in a sparkly green ballet costume and dressy plastic hot-pink high heels. And to her, that was the perfect reason why she shouldn't have to clean her room.

I'm tired. I'm weary. It seriously doesn't help that Annelie said, "Because I said so, duh" about 20 times this morning (earning herself a 3 minute time-out each time) and Gracie has already lost allowance-earning privileges for the day.

It is only the early afternoon and I'm ready to skip town on the hunt for the best mind-numbing cocktail in Texas. And by golly, Gracie's room better be spotless when I get back.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts Note Card set of 4

I got this in an email from Will today and thought it was too funny not to share. Thursdays can be such a drag... time for something funny!

-I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

-More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

-Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

-There is a great need for sarcasm font.

-I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

- I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

- LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

- I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

- Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

- Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

- I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

- MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

- Bad decisions make good stories

-Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous?
Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

-Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

-I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

-I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV.
There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this.
It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room.
Will we still be friends after this?'

-I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?
Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

- I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

-I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

-Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

-I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

Hope you had a good laugh!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm Baaa-aack


Hello, hello! I'm back, I'm really back! And what did I do the first second I had my computer up and running?

I blogged, of course. My day at The Mama Dramalogues. Come on by!

And I have to say a big THANK YOU to Jim for fixing my computer. You are a legend!

And of course, thanks all of you lovely readers who made me feel very, very missed. Can't wait to catch up on my three weeks of blog reading!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Post In Which I Feel Very, Very Sorry For Myself

On a scale of 1-10, with one being 'I'm beginning to go crazy because of my broken computer and zero internet access', and ten being 'I've become flat-out insane with the need to blog, update my facebook status, add new things to my shop, work on the book I hope to finish writing sometime in the next decade, and email my ten billion email buddies ten billion times a day.... I'm at a ten. A great big fat TEN.

Even Gracie is beginning to feel sorry for me. "Here, Mom. I made you a new computer," she said yesterday, as she lovingly passed me a paper napkin covered in dogs-wearing-birthday-hats stickers. Gotta love the four year old, looking out for her mama.

But seriously, I miss my computer. I miss my fun-to-play-with photoediting software. I miss my word documents (which, let me just say, I didn't back up before my computer died its quick and pathetic death - stupid) I miss my email. I miss facebook. I miss my Etsy street team (FAMs! Represent!), I miss my daily blog reading and writing. I miss, I miss.. well, what don't I miss?

Yes, I'm sulking.

BUT on a brighter note, I've been super productive. I've designed and sewed my girls a new wardrobe (sorry, don't have photos to show you... stupid broken computer). I came up with an outline and some character sketches for a new book that I hope to begin writing for NaNoWriMo this coming up November. I've pulled out all of the children's books, dummy boards, and plays and such that I wrote back in college with the hope of sending them off to publishing companies whenever I had a free moment -- which I now have since I don't use my free time with blog reading and facebook status updating. I've baked countless batches of brownies and cupcakes and cookies (ridiculously tasty. And fattening). And I had a lovely weekend at the lake with my family.

So okay, perhaps having a broken computer was just what I needed to take a break from the daily internet grind... Maybe (in some crazy, alternate universe) it might even be a good thing, taking a break from the glowing screen of my laptop.

Whatever, I'm still sulking.

Friday, August 7, 2009

MIA for Who Knows How Long...

So. My replacement computer for my broken computer is now broken and I have absolutely no idea when I'll be back online...

In the meantime, using a public computer while trying to keep my kids quiet and obedient is what I'm stuck doing... which means I won't be around for a who knows how long!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's Not Neglect... It's Building a Better Bond Between Siblings... Seriously!

Pssssst! I'm over at The Mama Dramalogues today, posting about my kids again:

click the link

Come on by!


Monday, August 3, 2009

You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs...

The Frog Prince
8 x 10 and 11 x 14 prints available

This picture and I have a love/hate relationship. I love it with all my heart... it hates me with a passion. I think I spent more time on this illustration than I have on any other, because everything kept going wrong and I was forced to shred picture after picture in frustration.

Even the background has been done and redone and redone again, each attempt taking me hours to finish. Let me just say, after my first attempt at the background (which is a collage of vintage text from a book of fairy tales, acrylic paint and colored pencils), Will took one look at it and said, "I think you peaked at the mermaid picture."

Not the most constructive of criticism, but I knew I had to re-do it. I didn't want my friends and fans to shake their heads and think, "Poor Marisa... she peaked at the mermaid picture," also.

So, this background is like one of those paintings by the masters where, if you hold a black light up to it, you see an entirely different picture underneath. Only instead of it being a really great and mysterious piece of hidden art, it's just really very terrible. I think this final background is sweet, though. I love the castle and the incredibly long road winding throughout the painting.

This painting is called The Frog Prince, but any fairy tale fan knows the Brother's Grimm version (the most well-known) is Iron Heinrich or The Frog King. I don't really like that version, though. The princess tosses the frog to the floor in disgust and he magically turns into a prince and poof! they are in love and get married and live happily ever after, the end.

I much prefer my princesses to kiss their slimy frogs if they want to find that prince. They need to work for it! I know I certainly did.



Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happiness Is...

- one freshly baked batch of gooey double fudge brownies, a brand new jar of crunchy peanut butter... and a fork!

...happiness ISN'T trying to fit into my bikini after all of that.


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