Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Toddlers are Weird

Taking a page from Jen's obsession, I started using Evernote to record funny things Juliana says (Samuel only says things like "no!" and "pirate" and "plane!" so I haven't made a note for him yet).  The list was getting long, so I decided to share some highlights (a la Grace):

This morning as Stephen was leaving for work, Juliana asked to wave to him from the door.  As he got to his car door she called out "Have fun! I love you! Adios!"

After putting my sunglasses on top of her head (like I usually do): "Wook! I wook wike Wacey!"

We've been working on letters for a while now and I thought she had a pretty firm grasp on most of them until I put a foam letter H on the wall in the tub. "What letter is this baby?"
J: "I!"
Me: nope
J: "It's a puff!"
Me: That's not a letter
J: "oh, I know, it's an Elmo!"
Me: no, it's an H
J: "No, that's not an H"

So we have some reviewing to do.

In the car leaving my mom's house (whom we normally refer to as "Gaga"):
J: "bye Patti!"
J: (to me) "I say 'bye Patti!'"
Me: why do you say "bye Patti?"
J: "because I wuv her"

While eating scrambled eggs the other day:
"This wecipe is good! I wike this wecipe!"

Eating grits Stephen decided to try (they're less common in California):
"Oh, this a wittle bit doesn't taste good."

To Stephen, while we were driving home the other day:
"oh! I want to go home and play wike Mommy is gone!"

I need to practice my fun mom skills.

Alright and a Samuel video. I know all kids do this, but his expression cracks me up:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

7 QT Vol. 5(?)

Some questions: Did they shoot this at Sears? What's with the crushed velvet backdrop? Also, is Chris holding a watch? Why? 

1.  (I'd love to link to the moment, but there are no decent Youtube vids available. What kind of fascist state are we living in??)
Listen, I know I'm supposed to be up in all kinds of arms about Mileygate, but I honestly couldn't get through 30 seconds of that awfulfest, so I skipped it. I've read some lovely essays and analyses of the cultural momentum we are riding that led to that, but mostly I'm just disgusted by the 50 year old executive(s) that undoubtedly agreed to and vetted the whole mess. The only reason I even knew the VMAs were happening was because in my heart I am still 16 and wearing sparkly blue capri pants and an ill-advised amount of glitter to my first NSYNC concert and that girl would smack 29 year old me for missing their (very short) comeback. I loved every bit of it and I may have done some Wade Robson choreography in my living room in a fit of joy.

2.  We are sort of not doing dessert right now and these are seeing us through. They are currently selling them at Costco and Stephen and I are totally obsessed. They come in little 100 calorie packs and are the best dessert if you're not really having dessert. SO delicious.

Disclaimer: not my work.
3. I've been trying to journal lately, and a combination of these fine point Sharpie Pens (in lots of colors!) and the awesome selection of journals at Target has me very motivated (I have these for little things and these for the journaling). I'm a terrible, terrible scrapbook/memory book person, but I thought I could manage a bit of a journal for each of my kids. We shall see.

4.I love and want these earrings. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.

5. Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded and L'oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe
Together these two make a very easy, very pretty natural eye look that lasts a reasonable amount of time. I toss on some mascara and look reasonably polished, which is the most that I can ask for from my makeup on the regular.

6. Is it obvious this post started as a five favorites until I realized that not only is it not Wednesday, it's almost Friday (!) and I turned it into a 7QT?

7. We started "real" dance this week (Juliana was in a "Wiggles and Giggles" class last year, but this year she is in a real class with real leotards, tights, ballet shoes and buns) and it is the cutest darn thing in the whole wide world. I took way too much video of the first class, but I just couldn't help myself.

I told her to dance. This is what I got. Sammy wanted to join. 

Go see Jen for many, many more takes!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Seven Quick Takes

1. Might I be the least consistent blogger on the planet? Perhaps. Onward!

2. Grace requested a mascara recommendation, so I told her about my new favorite mascara (there is one every quarter or so, so don't get too excited until at least three months have elapsed and I'm still using it), Revlon Lash Potion. I like big lashes (not spidery, but emphatic, let's say), and this one delivers for me. It also stayed on through a pool session with my crazy water babies without running and -- get this-- it's not waterproof. Amazing! It also supposedly makes lashes healthier? Which I can't really speak to at this point, but sounds good.

3. Yesterday was crazy. We ran a million errands in the morning and I started dinner early (miracle!) because we teach the baptism class at our parish once every other month and last night was the night.  I put up the baby gate to keep the kids in the dining/play area so I could see them (is this good parenting? Shouldn't they obey obediently when I ask them to stay where mommy can see them for the 12th time?) while I cooked dinner, but! The gate was around corner down the hall about three feet, and in that nefarious, unseen three feet of hallway, Juliana managed to get a hold of a Costco-sized bottle of hand lotion and pump it all over Samuel's head. I'm going to guess at least 15 pumps of extra-rich moisturizing hand lotion. When I found him she had styled it into very fashionable spikes while he sat happily enjoying all the attention.

4. Oh, and this was her outfit yesterday. She doesn't like to wear clothes during and after naps (in the morning it's fine; we don't run into a problem until naptime when she strips herself naked every day). Sometimes we make compromises to get her into clothes. Any clothes:
Princess dress: check.

Crown and apron: check.

All taken within 10 seconds of each other.

Vamping while cooking.

5. We got a little vacation in before the madness of the school year descends, and it was wonderful. We spent two mornings at the zoo and two afternoons in the hotel pool. Both kids were in absolute heaven. I even managed to get one whole picture of the kids and me.
Sammy gets his deadpan from his daddy. 
6. In case anyone is keeping score, I'm still totally addicted to these (Costco size, obvs.). As far as I can tell, they're health food. Antioxidants, right?

7. Is anyone watching Project Runway anymore, or is it just me and Tom and Lorenzo (lots of salty language at that link!)? This Timothy kid, am I right? This week got gnarly and I'm not sure who came off looking worse: Tiny Tim, his crazy mean partner, or the Russian guy. I think probably the Russian guy. 

Go see Jen for lots more takes!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Secret Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies

A quick perusal of my Pinterest boards would reveal a few things: first, I recently chopped all my hair off (I obsessively pinned hair pictures for weeks beforehand). Second, I am a sucker for a good DIY idea (as who is not?) and third, I can never have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes.  I am fairly confident in saying that, if forced to only have one dessert forever, that dessert would be some sort of chocolate chip cookie.  It's a love story for the ages. 

My favorite sort of cookie is extremely chewy, a little crisp, has sea salt and no nuts (I will post my favorite recipe for that at some point-- it's my excessive modification of these). I could live on them for days. My poor husband, though, prefers crunchy cookies with nuts and lots of other ingredients (sacrilege!), so I like to find recipes for him too. Just the other night I was going through my mom's giant recipe box and I found a "Secret Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies" recipe. It had some unusual ingredients (lemon juice, ground oatmeal) so I thought I'd give it a try.  Verdict: excellent.  They're flavorful and soft and unique.  The cinnamon doesn't make them taste like oatmeal cookies, it just gives them a depth and (apparently) the lemon juice helps to activate the baking soda? Sure!  Here's the recipe:

Not a great photo, but the idea is there...

Secret Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
2 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F. Place rolled oats in food processor or  blender (I used our Magic Bullet) until finely ground. Combine ground oats, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. 

In a mixer, cream butter, sugars, vanilla and lemon juice together. Add eggs and beat until fluffy.

Stir in the flour mixture and add chocolate chips and nuts. Drop a couple inches apart on a cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden and set in the middle. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


This afternoon we came home from a playdate with all the cousins (five total) at the "bouncy place" (one of those indoor bounce houses, a la Bounce U) and as we were walking in, I saw a package in our mailbox.  I was excited that my book finally came, as I am planning on painting up a version of one of the illustrations inside for Juliana's room.

by Claire Keane from Rapunzel's Amazing Hair

This is my progress so far...
Step 1
So, pretty much done.

I grabbed the package (which seemed a trifle light) and opened it up with Juliana's help. It definitely didn't have a book inside, but it did have one of those little drawstring mesh bags inside, you know:

And I thought, oh, Stephen got me a present!  How fun!! So I (thoughtful wife) pulled out the packing slip instead, so I wouldn't ruin the surprise. Logically. And on that innocent piece of paper I read, regarding the contents of the box which was lying open on my dining room table while my two babies played on the floor nearby: "Shipped: praying mantis eggs, 400."

I screamed (as one does) and threw the box outside, scaring both my children and causing them to cry. 

After some digging I figured out that they were sent here as a (wildly misguided) birthday present for my husband.  Well, not that misguided I suppose, as he is thrilled, but they definitely will not be taking up permanent residence with us.  I'm not sure any bug gives me the heeby jeebies as much as (shudder) this:

I couldn't even bring myself to Google "praying mantis" for a real picture. Had to go with "cartoon praying mantis."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Birthday Fun and More


Samuel just had his first birthday party (Pixar's Up themed) and I loved how the decorations came out! Mostly thanks to my crafty sister and her new Cricut (that I gave her for Christmas... definitely not in order to extort cute decorations from her).

Family 1
The banner says "Adventure is out there." I saved it to go up in Samuel's room.

And here's one of the birthday boy and his floating house:

Sammy Cute 2
Carl Fredricksen never looked this cute.  Do you see the adorable "Grape Soda" bottle cap cutout?  It was all just so darn cute.

I mentioned in my last post that we got a new Peter Rabbit teapot and have been having tea parties in the afternoons.  I actually got the idea from the Ambleside website. The essay suggested an afternoon tea to help with the evening pre-dinner sugar crash as well as to sneak in some poetry and conversation. I loved the idea so much I implemented it immediately.  Here is Juliana with her very own teacup listening to some Beatrix Potter (appropriately enough).

And she only spilled three times!


I don't know why she does this.  Do your toddlers do this??

Yes, that is our dog's bedtime crate. She loves to go in it. So. Weird.

I recently had the really brilliant idea of letting my two year old finger paint inside ("Well, that's understandable, it had to be inside," you're thinking, "it's winter!" Nope. California. It's 82 outside.).  At the kitchen table, which is white, without paying much attention to what she was doing (I was painting too).  I looked over after about 10 minutes, and this is what I saw:

I just. I mean. I really should have seen this coming.
So, you know, business as usual around here.

Go see Leila for everyone else's pretty, happy, funny and real this week.

round button chicken

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Five Favorites - Volume 1

I love favorite things lists (mine and everyone else's)... such a fun way to reflect on the little things each week.

1. We found a new item at Costco this week: Lee's coffee concentrate.  Oh my goodness. Have you had this coffee?  It is AMAZING.  And now I have enough of it to last me an extremely long time and it's at HOME.

2. This new L'Oreal lip gloss in Endless Red. It's sort of a weird formula that's part stain/part gloss, but I really like the color and the stain stays put quite well.  It's definitely a bolder color than I normally wear, but I like it.

3. I am mildly obsessed with these.  They are SO GOOD.  I make up excuses to go to Sprouts so I can buy them. 

4. If you're a stay at home type, you want to read Quotidian Mysteries. An excerpt:
We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing and even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we wish we were. We must look for blessings to come from unlikely, everyday places-- out of Galilee, as it were-- and not in spectacular events, such as the coming of a comet.
I love Kathleen Norris, and this speaks to me where I am right now.


5. I found this Peter Rabbit teapot at a thrift store last week and Juliana and I have been having tea parties with it.  Tea and literature!  It doesn't get better than that!

Hallie has lots more at her place-- go visit!