Author Archives: Tricia Gillespie

About Tricia Gillespie

Tricia Gillespie is a mom to two teenagers, wife, paper flower artist, and blogger. She's obsessed with sunshine and chocolate. When she's not making flowers or writing, you'll find her at the beach, on her paddle-board. You can visit her flower shop at http://www.bloxomblooms.com or her personal blog at TheDomesticFringe.com

The Library: My Office Away from Home

Hello Monday

Since this weekend was a bust, I decided to show you our library, my office away from home.

I mean, I could talk about how FringeMan came down with the stomach bug, but that’s not a good Monday morning topic.  Let’s just say I declared the second floor of our house a contamination zone and I slept on the couch.  The kids and I stayed as far away from home as possible, so of course that meant at least one trip to the library.

Library: my office away from home

This room is my office away from home.  I plant myself here every time I come to the library.  Usually the entire table is covered with my junk, a few books, and a random magazine or two.  I use the power strip on the floor to plug in my laptop and I go to town.

They have a coffee machine too.  What more do you need?

Books – Coffee – WiFi

Antique bookcases in the public libraryThese bookcases are in my office.  They help me feel smart.

vintage book caes - library

Our library is part old house and part 70’s mod addition.  If you walk from room to room too quickly, you end up in a time warp.

I’ll just show you the old part today.

conference room in library

sitting area in libraryIsn’t this a pretty little nook?  It’s the perfect place for a game of chess or lunch with a friend.  At Christmas, they had a pretty tree right in front of those windows.

vintage lighting fixture on old tray ceiling

The ceilings and moldings are the true masterpieces.  They just don’t build modern houses with such artistic details.

antique lighting fixture, mirror, American flag

As the story goes, and I hope I remember all the facts, our library had a great big fire that made their building unusable.  A family in town donated this house to be used as the new library.  Some time after the addition was built.

antinque light fixture in library

The library is right in the center of town and we often walk to it.

reflection of a women in the mirror

You would think I wouldn’t have any late fees, but I do.

I have long history with libraries.  I’ll leave it at that.

libraries conference room antique furniture

vintage Jaddte lampThis lamp looks like Jadite, but I’m not sure.  Maybe I should convince them to let me bring it the antiques roadshow or something.

collection of vintage ceramic dogs

The library also has random collections of old things, like these ugly ceramic dogs.  They change the collections out from time to time so the patrons can enjoy them.

antique bronze statue of a man

And no library tour would be complete without a naked man on the mantel.

Yes, this is in my office.

So that completes my library tour, at least the really old portion of it.  Despite the antiques, the card catalog is computerized and the librarians are absolute dolls.  They teach us the history of the town and area, get us whatever books we want, and know us by name.

I love my library.

What about you?  Do you visit your library very often?

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The Cold War: Man v. Mouse

I’m deep in the throws of a cold war and my enemy is a mouse.  His name is not Micky.

This morning I woke up to a frozen house, only to discover a mouse or possibly mice came in for some warmth.  They have a habit of nestling into the kitchen towel drawer.  I can’t really blame them.  It is the perfect place to settle down for a long winter’s night; however, my sympathy only runs so deep.

The Mice Chronicles - One woman's battle with a mouse

I freaked out, yelling about mice and not even drinking my cup of decaf coffee yet, and then I opened the next drawer.  Mr. Mouse chewed through the plastic top on the my can of cocoa.

I understand the need for a hit of chocolate.

My love for the stuff boarders on addiction, but I don’t share with my mice.  Heck, I even hide chocolate from my kids.  Share and share alike does not apply to anything that comes in dark and milk chocolate varieties.

And so the battle wages on.

I scooped up the pile of soiled dish towels and took them over to the washer.  when I poured in the laundry detergent, it fell out in thick globs.  Yup. It was cold.

When your laundry soap is next-to-near frozen, it’s time to move south and leave the house to the mice.

Now I am alternating between feelings of being completely grossed out and mad.  I mean, we’ve only had a few months of mouse free living.  When will these vermin learn that there’s no room in the inn?

So I march on to battle, but not alone.  I drafted FringeMan into my army and he’s in charge of all tactical moves.  The plan is total annihilation.  When it comes to mice, I don’t have a heart.  Sorry if that offends you.

Wish us luck.

For more mouse-capade reading, check out the following links.

It’s raining cats, dogs, and long-fanged mice.

Attacked by a Nutter-Butter Eating…

My Husband Didn’t Marry an Ax Murderer

Chocolate Lover’s Cake in A Mug

chocolate microwaved cake in a coffee mug

I resisted attempting one of these chocolate cakes in a mug because I know my own weaknesses.  Chocolate cake is like kryptonite for me, along with m&m’s, potato chips, ice-cream…well, you get the idea.

Eventually good sense gave way to a craving and all it took was my son saying, “I wish we had something sweet” to send my mind into a tizzy.  Chocolate Cake in a mug became my sole focus.

I think an alternate name could be PMS cake, but maybe that’s just my imagination gone wild.

In the spirit of full disclosure, this is a cake cooked in the microwave, so don’t get your expectations up too high.  It’s good, but the texture is a little rubbery.  Don’t skip adding the chocolate chips.  Those help a lot and they’re not bad for the taste either.  I mean, chocolate on top of chocolate is Love + Love.  It cannot equal anything less than good.

I first followed and tried this recipe from Completely Delicious; however, I’ve looked at a million recipes and they are all pretty much the same.  Use the normal cake ingredients and you really can’t go wrong.  I like this particular recipe because it adds the chocolate chips.

microwavable chocolate cake in a cup

The Recipe:

3 TBS Vegetable Oil – I’m betting you can substitute butter, or if you’re like my kids, use olive oil.

3 TBS Milk

1 Egg

1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract, preferably Fringe Vanilla.  Oh, and I never actually measure my vanilla.  I just pour.

3 TBS Flour

4 TBS Sugar (ok, I never claimed this was good for you.)

2 TBS. Cocoa Powder

Pinch of Salt (whatever that means)

3 TBS Chocolate Chips (Don’t skip this step.  Trust me.)

Mix all the ingredients in a large mug.  My mug is pretty big and gives me room to put a small whisk inside of it.  Then pop it in the microwave for two minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and it’s read to eat.

One mug of this cake is a lot.  It’s too much for one person, even me.  So plan on sharing it with someone, unless of course you need it all.  Then by all means, indulge.

Valentine's Day chocolate cake

This might be a fun Valentine Day treat you let your kids help make and then share.  I think the novelty of eating cake out of a cup is enough to make this recipe special.

Enjoy!

P.S. I know today is Wednesday and I usually participate in What I Wore Wednesday, but I only have one picture from this week.  I intended on getting more pictures, but the timing, the snow, and the photographer (aka my kid) just didn’t work out this week. If you want to see my one outfit (and believe me it’s nothing special), head over to my facebook page and I’ll post it there.  Thanks!

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Help to Adopt

Hey guys!  Christie from Satisfaction Through Christ is about to adopt a little girl, and she needs some help.
One of the things I absolutely love about blogging is the community we create.  We are more than just online friends or bloggers.  We are real people living real lives.  We are on our own journey, but we need others to come along side of us and helping us out every now and again.  Just like you do.
Here’s my chance to come alongside another blogger and have a little teeny-tiny part in her story.

Please read and then follow the links and read some more.  By donating towards her adoption fund, you will changing her family and also the life of a little girl.  That’s a lot of change for $10.

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Friends, I have been so overwhelmed by the generosity shown towards our family over the last few days.  The response has been amazing and I’m at a loss for words on how to say thank you.  I’m praying that the Lord will give me the proper words at some point.  Words will never be enough, though.

For the full story and to read our adoption announcement post, visit here!

Today has been an emotional day, but I now know {without a doubt} that the Lord has called us specifically to bring this baby girl home.

Last night we had a $10 donation come in from a friend.  I emailed her thanking her for her donation and she quickly expressed sadness at not being able to give more.  I told her that every little bit helps…and it does.
If you’re anything like me, all you’ve seen is $35,000 and thought, “There’s no way I can help with that.
I get it and I know — it’s so much bigger than any one of us but it’s not too big for God!

This morning the Lord laid an idea on my heart and I’ve fought Him all day about presenting it to you, but I know that He hasn’t called us to walk this road alone.  So, I’m excited to present our biggest fundraising effort yet….

Operation {Adoption} 10:10:1
10 Days: $10: 1 Baby Girl
Goal = $10,000
 
Our adoption agency has given us 15 days to raise the initial $10,000 we need.  The remainder will be due in increments until she is born.  But for now, we are praying for 1,000 friends to come alongside of us and donate just $10 each.  
 
I know $35,000 is overwhelming.  
 
I know $10,000 is overwhelming.
 
But $10 is a little less overwhelming.
 
So, would you commit to partnering with us and would you commit to praying for us?
 
If so, simply use the PayPal donation widget below (if you don’t see the PayPal widget you can donate here, too).

Please leave a comment with your first name.  I’d love to use each of your names in a special project for our little girl; something she can always have to remember how many people helped bring her home.
 
And, if you’re so moved, would you share this post?  On your blog, on social media, through email?  May the LORD be glorified in it all…

Romantic Dinner for Two: Where Reality & Romance Collide

Did you ever try to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget?

My budget includes borrowing art supplies from my children and crafting a card that would rival any second grade artist, but I wanted more for this year’s love fest.

I asked myself if I could make a romantic dinner for two at home, after tucking the kids snugly in their beds. Sounds budget-friendly and doable in theory, but allow me to demonstrate a real-life romantic dinner at home.

valentine's day romantic dinner for two at home with the kids: love birds

5:30 pm – Throw several dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets in the oven, rescue favorite stuffed animal from the grasp of the dog’s jaws, inspect and sign homework papers, and throw the clean laundry into the dryer. Take the dog outside because she’s chewing on your slippers. Answer the phone.

6:00 pm – Get OFF the phone and scrape all black residue from the chicken nuggets. Serve your kids dinner.

6:30 pm – Listen to reading homework; make sure the kids shower and brush their teeth; do the dishes; don’t kill the dog; go to the bathroom.

8:00 pm – Assign your daughter the job of setting a ‘fancy’ table. Make her promise not to lick each fork to remove dishwasher spots. Send your husband down to the corner market to get the cashews for the cashew chicken.

8:30 pm – Tuck your kids into bed, and take a much-needed shower. Put the dog in her crate so she doesn’t push the bathroom door open and run off with your clean underwear.

8:40 pm – Tame your hair, paint your face, and dress in the first clean outfit hanging in your closet.

8:55 pm – Snack on the burnt crisps leftover from the kid’s nuggets.

9:00 pm – Start cooking. Again.

9:30 pm – Serve a lovely cashew chicken dinner minus the cashews, because apparently there was a run on cashews this afternoon.

9:40 pm – Light the candles and take out the crying dog.

9:45 pm – Just as your husband leans into the flickering light of the candles to smooch your lips, the dog freaks out because your neighbor decides he’s going to shovel the sidewalk. Save the kiss for later and grab the dog before she wakes up your kids.

9:47 pm – Too late. The kids filter through to use the bathroom and get a drink. It’s an emergency, of course. You can faintly see symptoms of dehydration in their eyes. Let them taste your cashew-less chicken.

9:55 pm – Explain the importance of alone time between parents and threaten their lives with ten years of morning-til-night homework, year-round school, and a chore list that stretches to New Jersey and back.

10:00 pm – Throw out the cold chicken and go straight to dessert. Assure your spouse that yawning and drooping eyelids are the latest signs of true love.

Reality says, when you have children, romantic dinners at home do not work. My heartfelt advice to you is, forget the budget and GO OUT. Beg your parents, friends, coworkers, family, neighbors, and the teenagers next door to watch your kids for a few hours. Even if you have no money, go sit in the car (without the kids) and steam up the windows. Just get out of the house!

On Parenting, Cherry M&M’s, and all the Reasons I Need An Intervention

Source: littlewhitelion.com via Tricia on Pinterest

I’m skipping the whole Hello Monday thing today.  I tried, I really did, but I am suffering from a million calorie hangover brought on by all the ridiculous food I ate last night.  Let’s face it, I only like the Super-Bowl for the food, and the commercials, but I didn’t get to see the commercials because we watched it online.  No cable and all.

I did, however, get to see the half-time show.  Forgive me for laughing out loud at a few of Beyonce’s exaggerated bootie calls.  Ok?

So I tried really hard to stay up until the end and I did, but only because of a Wicked Good Whoopie.  We are just close enough to the far North to get Maine’s famous Isomax Whoopie Pies.

I wasn’t even lying about the million calorie hangover.  It was Fat Sunday, but that’s in the past, because today is Skinny Monday. I shall eat accordingly.

Source: someecards.com via Tricia on Pinterest

This weekend nearly sent me into a stroke.  A report card landed in my mailbox on Saturday afternoon and my child’s (who shall remain nameless) world tilted on their axis.

I paced and I yelled and threatened World War III if things don’t change.  I am not proud of my emotional outburst, but I felt like I was trapped in a cartoon and the line of red was creeping over my face, higher and higher, until smoke began pouring from ears.

My lid popped.

Then I spent the remainder of the weekend emailing with one nameless Math teacher and plotting to make my child’s life a living hell until the next report card comes in the hands of our mailman.

Source: someecards.com via Tricia on Pinterest

There’s no capability problem.  It’s quite the opposite.  This is an advanced Math class, the kind where your GPA must be kept above a certain number or you get kicked out.  The problem is that one said child would rather draw than do algebra.

I hate math as much as the next person.  I really do, but schools are funny about this subject, they insist on making you take a math class every year until graduation.

In all the madness, I ate one entire bag of cherry m&m’s (not all in one sitting).  I’m like a m&m addict.  I sat in front of the fire taking deep, cleansing breaths and popping in a bright red m&m.  Someone launch an intervention please.

This morning, I woke up to the sound of a plow truck.  I have a headache and my daughter almost missed the school bus.  I would wish you all a happy Monday, but I would totally be faking it.

My wish for today is that m&m’s would come in a low calorie version and my other child would just remember the capital of California, because if I have to say S-A-C-R-A-M-E-N-T-O one more time, I may need another bag of cherry m&m’s.

Now I’ll stop talking, because when the headache wears off, I will regret my rant.

Source: google.com via Tricia on Pinterest

Oh, and happy Monday.  Sort of.

If you really want to have a Happy Monday, go visit Lisa Leonard and say Hello to something nice and sunshiny for me.  Deal?

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Wild & Precious Life

Source: etsy.com via Tricia on Pinterest Originary art found here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/93115625/wild-and-precious-life-11×14

So tell me. What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

The clock is ticking and the pages on the calendar are flipping.  What’s your dream – your goal for 2013?

What is it you will do this year?

Everything we do today counts towards where we want to be tomorrow.  Either it moves you closer to your goal or farther away.

Go forward.

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