Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a birthday

We threw a little impromptu birthday party for my sweetie last Friday. His real birthday was somewhat derailed by tantrums and bad weather, so we wanted to make it up to him and surprise him after a long work-week out of town. I stayed up late Thursday night baking (somewhat unsuccessfully) a frozen Daim cake, making banners and hanging streamers. The kids were so excited they were shouting surprise before we even got in the front door.

(that's just hideous. If this were not a rental, it'd be gone in a heartbeat. ok, I digress)

A homemade birthday banner

a little strumming on the guitar. This was my mom's guitar way back in the 70s. When I took lessons from one of the nuns at my Catholic school, this is what I learned on. Now we're working on cleaning it up so either me or one of the kiddos can learn on it again. I love having some kind of instrument in the house.

Some homemade Daim cake. Not the best attempt, but I'm making a promise to make it again and perfect it! I got the recipe from Carl's mother and it's a birthday favorite of his.

I love this little photo that Sutter took (you can see the shadow of his head in the foreground). He loves learning about the camera and he was super anxious to capture the pizza in all it's glory. We tried our hand at making Shaman Bread inspired by one of our favorite restaurants, Full of Life Flatbread. If you're ever in the Central CA area, it's a must-try - and don't forget to save room for their homemade s'mores!

All in all, it was quite a successful little party. We played records, strummed the guitar, ate pizza and cake and played until it was late. So much fun that we even found my little man asleep on the floor in his jammies.

Happy Wednesday everyone!!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

thrifted and new

A few peeks from around the house lately...

Thrifted a little enamel pot with wooden handles and a Dutch pewter pitcher with wooden handles. Hoping to shine up that wood a little, but they're nice for now.

The leftovers of a fun St. Patrick's Day bouquet. I could stare at lilies all day. They are so beautiful and erotic.

My new bag from Fabric & Handle. It's even more gorgeous and versatile in person and Salinya was such an absolutely lovely person to work with! It's quite perfect.

Some potatoes we started on St. Patty's Day. The heart-shaped one is so cute! Now I have something nice to look at while I do the dishes.

The kiddos are on Spring Break this week which makes for some chaos. Sutter gets to go to camp and Harper gets some extra time with family including my mom who is sure to spoil her rotten. Sutter asked me last night why I don't get a Spring Break from work. Good question, kiddo. At least I get to take Friday off so we can go camping...can't wait!!

Is anyone else on Spring Break? What are your plans?



Friday, March 25, 2011

Fancy Friday - 3.25.2011

Happy Friday everyone! I, for one, am extremely happy it's Friday. Not for any particular reason other than I'm excited to relax and create this weekend. I'm not sure how most people are, but it takes me some time to get in my creative groove - but then once I'm there I feel like things really flow. Now I see why people in creative jobs come up with amazing things. Carl says the same is true for coding. You need the music right, the mood right, food at the ready and a solid chunk of time. In any case, I'm hoping to "find the zone" this weekend.

Here's some things I fancied this week...

Some great around-the-house uses for vodka, if you're not drinking it that is.

Peach and mint never seemed so good together. I've been obsessing ever since I saw this pairing.

I made this pretty garland today and I love the way it turned out. Simple but sweet.

Thank goodness for Google Translate! Now I can read Annaleena's Hem without dragging Carl in the room to translate. Her home is beautiful and chic and her DIYs are perfection.

This Pantone magnet DIY is fun and cheery. Perfect for spring's colorblocking madness.

A fun ode to brown-baggin' it for lunch.

Is anyone else as obsessed with Pinterest as I am? Find me here.

Besides my get-creative plans for this weekend, I'm also excited for Spring Cleaning! Is that weird - that I look forward to cleaning? It's calming for me and always makes me feel like it's easier to get through the week with an organized (if not full to the brim) home. Plus, spring is time for changing things up around the house and making things feel shiny and new!

What are you up to?



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dressed - gray sidewalks

This has been a pretty wet week for us California folks. Unlike most everyone else - who seems to be beckoning spring like a siren at sea - I'm holding on to the winter. We rarely get what I call "weather" around these parts and it's nice to have a change once in a while. Plus it gives us a chance to break out the sweaters, boots and jackets that are usually saved for "cold" places. Yes, we are kind of sissies in California.  But the silver lining is that the thrift store run amuck with cold weather goodies. I scored this awesome sweater the other day and couldn't wait to break it out. I was so excited to wear it, that I enlisted my favorite little photographer for some impromptu snaps.

(sweater - thrifted,
pants - j crew minnie,
boots - sam edelman - amazing LF stores sale!!)

Not to be left out, this little miss wanted to show off her rainbow brights. I'm pretty sure her outfit picks these days deserve their own fashion blog. 

And Sutter wanted to be in front of the camera for a bit too! Showing off all his mad karate skills. Hi-ya!

I hope you are having a lovely week! I'm very happy that tomorrow is Thursday and this long week is coming to an end. I'm looking forward to a relaxing, craft-filled weekend!!



Monday, March 21, 2011

ultrasimple eating

Hi folks. I suppose, yet again, it's been awhile. Try as I might, life just seems to be getting the better of me lately. I can't keep up with it and posting at the same time. I'm changing that now. For reals. Lots of changes are happening in fact. Starting with my dietary habits. I'm feeling more energized than ever thanks to some cleaner eating habits.

I put my honey and I on the UltraSimple Diet and I honestly haven't felt this great in a long time. I know everyone and their mother is doing a cleanse, detox, whatever right now, but I love that this is real food, real eating, real changes that make for better habits. I tried it about 2 years ago, when Harper was about 2 and my metabolism was just at a standstill. It was amazing what it did for my body, my mind, my energy and my skin. These days I'm looking for some added energy - being a full-time working mama of two can wipe you out! And the slimmer waistline won't hurt either.

Last night's dinner was the end of week 1. There isn't technically a week two, but lots of tips about how to make the transition off the cleansing portion. We had butternut - coconut soup which I adapted from a Clean Eating recipe for pumpkin coconut soup. Unfortunately the soup isn't on their website so I thought I'd share it here!

Butternut-Coconut Soup

1 tbsp Coconut oil
1 chopped onion
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp chile powder - I used this amazing ancho chile powder we bought yesterday!
1/2 ground cumin
pinch nutmeg
3 cups low-sodium broth (I used veggie even though the recipe said chicken)
2 - 12 oz packages diced butternut squash (or real squash if you can find it!)
1 cup coconut milk
fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
raw pumpkins seeds to sprinkle on top

Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion until softened. Add the butternut squash and saute lightly. Add the spices and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to coat the squash. Add the broth, cover and simmer until the squash is cooked through. Transfer to a blender, or use a stick blender, to blend the soup. Bring it back just up to a boil and then remove it from heat. Stir in the lime juice, the coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste. Serve it up into your bowls and garnish with some pumpkin seeds. Deeelish!! This soup was so great I had it a second night in a row, although I swapped out the pumpkin seeds for pistachios and that was even better!! I served it all up with a side of Moroccan Roasted Carrots and Chickpea Quinoa Salad, which is a mouthful of a name but an amazing dish.

Please feel free to share any great recipes, I'm looking to build up my recipe box.

Here's to happy, healthy eating!!