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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

i've been lucky in the past...

but not so much today. today gavin found a red sharpie & decided to add a few "touches" to our leather ottoman. thinking i might be able to get it out, i rubbed at it with a baby wipe. instead of removing the permanent marker (& yep, it really is permanent) i simply succeeded in fading the coloring of the leather... pretty much making it looking even worse. perhaps a little brown shoe polish will do the trick for restoring the leather, but any suggestions on getting rid of the sharpie "art"?

image via flickr.

taking stock...

for the most part, the fires raging california are slowing dying out... thank heavens! living in orange county, the santiago fire has had a definite effect on us, friends & loved ones. as i've mentioned before, our neighborhood was one of the many areas evacuated. luckily, we weren't home & didn't have to deal with that ordeal. although it definitely got me thinking... if i had to evacuate what would i take? to be honest, not much. i'm happy to report that i realize that most of the stuff in our house is just that - stuff. really the most important thing, for me, are memories. and as oscar wilde once said:

memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us.
everything else is totally replaceable & for the most part, it wouldn't be that big of a deal to lose it. yet there are a few things i would definitely grab in a hurry. (so listen up! especially those of you who live close by. because as most of you know, we've been out of town for the last two fires. both of which get awfully close. so if another fires comes & we aren't here, feel free to barge it & grab some things.)

when i think about evacuating, the first thing that comes to mind is our upstairs hallway, probably my favorite "room" in our house. not because it has beautiful design, or incredible architecture, but because that's where we hang all of our photographs. cesare pavese once said:
we do not remember days; we remember moments.
each of the photos hanging there represent one of these precious moments. on one side of the hall you'll find framed snapshots of friends, family & places we love. on the remaining walls, hang pictures of the boys. each of these pictures, taken by ana brandt, document their growth & change over the first year of their young lives. luckily, these moments are one of the few things that can't be physically taken from us. however, our photographs are wonderful, because they provide something tangible to associate with these memories. (click on pictures to enlarge.) so, after grabbing all our portraits off the wall, the next thing i would grab is our external hard drive. just about every other photo i have ever taken is stored there. (not only all of our recent digital pics, but all of the older pictures that we have scanned in as well.) & finally i'd make sure to get our wedding album. (so any one who is out there reading... if there's an emergency situation at my house & i happen to not be around, here's your checklist of things to grab: boy's portraits, external hard drive & wedding album. you'll be in & out - thanks for watching out for us!) if i had a bit more time (say 30 minutes or so) i'd probably follow THESE suggestions.

so in case of disaster, what would you make sure to save? what things are really important to you? is there anything you can't live without?

Monday, October 29, 2007

project: recycle

to those of you who actually KNOW me (in real life that is), you won't be surprised to hear me announce that i'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. although i may dream of being a bit more fashionably chic (maybe wearing THIS sweater with THESE, or what about THIS little beauty?) but when it comes right down to it, jeans just fit my lifestyle. although, i was shocked to realize how many pairs of jeans i have. in my defense (although even i will admit it's a pretty weak defense), i'm a sucker for a GOOD pair of jeans, & when it comes to jeans, i'm not very good at following the golden rule of closet organization of: one in, one out... so i probably have pairs dating back to my college days. so this weekend, i hunkered down & went through those deep, dark & mysterious drawers. but now that i've decided which pairs to keep, what do i do with the rest? should i sell them? donate them? it would be kind of fun to make something out of them? perhaps an apron or a quilt? anyone got any other brilliant ideas? what else can i do to recycle all of my love-ly jeans?

image via flicker

Saturday, October 27, 2007

a year in review.

break out the birthday candles & wrap the presents because owen turns ONE today! crazy! he is definitely a little kid now. i may still call him my baby, but he really is a little boy. when i look back i'm amazed at how much he has grown & all the things we've done in just one year. o has been to hawaii twice, turkey, greece & france, utah half a dozen times & disneyland more times than i can count. heavens! what a busy little guy! as i watch him, i realize that in so many ways he is exactly like his big brother gavin, but at the same time, they are totally & completely different. little o just likes to sit quietly and take everything in. don't get me wrong, he can get very, very loud, but he just seems to be really aware & intrigued by his surroundings. he loves to follow gavin around... no matter what tortures gav bestowed upon him, owen is always quick to follow gavin again & again. at one, he almost has four teeth. i say almost, because his two front top & bottom teeth have begun to make an appearance. o seems to be on the verge of walking. he's at this kinda funny stage... he knows he can walk, he's done it before, but he's just not quite sure he wants to... he seems to realize he can actually keep up with gavin when he crawls, as opposed to walking. although, jeff thinks he walks when no one is looking - we're always finding him standing up, just chilling in the middle of the room. when owsers smiles it's like watching a cartoon character, his cheeks get all big & puff out to the sides like the are full of marbles. he LOVES to eat. he'll eat everything in sight, & most nights he would win an eating contest between him & gavin. i love my little guy... i can't wait to see what this next year brings! i'm so grateful to have him in my life.

Friday, October 26, 2007

yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me!

tonight we attended the first of many halloween parties... are you at all surprised to hear that we went as a pirate family?

We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate's life for me.

We extort, we pilfer, we filch and sack.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!
Maraud and embezzle and even hijack.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!

you know what they say... the family that pillages together, stays together. (i'm sure it was something like that.)

why doesn't he realize...

that sleeping in his crib would be so much more comfortable than the hard wood floor? seriously?! why can't he take a nap in his crib? he doesn't seem to have a problem at night (for which i'm very grateful).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

picked today.

what a treat... a freshly picked, ripe avocado, from my very own tree. nothing beats homemade, homegrown guacamole!

have you met my friend...

jessica? she makes and sells the most beautiful jewelry over at lost button studio, not to mention, she is dang nice. what qualifies her as being not only nice, but dang nice, you ask? she sent me the most wonderful little thank you for hosting this. (i really should follow her example, all i've managed to send has been an email to my recent swap hosts!) anyway, you can only imagine my surprise when the post man brought me a totally unexpected package, filled with the most beautiful & incredibly delicate earrings. talk about good mail! thank you jessica, you definetly have made my day! although, you may have created an addict... i'm thinking i need THIS & THIS.

when you neglect your kids...

like i have the last couple of weeks, they manage to take care & entertain themselves.

when you are too busy to notice that they might be a wee bit sleepy, they may find a nice little corner of the bathroom in which to take a nap in.

they may find the big costco tub of animal crackers, pour them into their dirty dump truck & zoom around the house carrying their "cargo", only to latter scatter said cargo all over the floor for the "puppy" (otherwise known as owen) to eat up off the floor.

or, they may realize they've heard you say "just a minute" too many times & decide it's high time to open the fridge, climb to the top shelf, get the oj, find a straw & proceed to drink straight from the container.

& for the men in the shiney red trucks...

a BIG, no HUGE round of applause, for keeping my little abode safe. we came home from utah to find that they had evacuated our little neighborhood... i guess when you can hear the crackle & feel the heat of the flames, it's time to head to safer grounds. lucky for us, those brave men took a stance, leaving us with a house to come home to. thankyou!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

i could say it a million times in a million ways...

but thank you just doesn't seem to be enough. this past weekend, the big boutique, was a huge success (if i do say so myself)... in large part to you! i was truly amazed, flattered & inspired by how many of you out there in the blog-o-sphere made the trip to visit with us. i enjoyed meeting & chatting with you, i only wish the afternoon could have lasted longer, in order to have spent more time with each of you... it was such fun! i hope you enjoyed yourselves as well! for those of you who couldn't make it, here are some quick shots of the goodies i had up for sale (click on the image to enlarge)... aprons (everything from 'lil girlie aprons to ones with lots & lots of ruffles), paci clips, hair bands, onesies, baby blankets & hand-stamped necklaces. (be sure to check out marta's blog for lots more pictures of the big event!) again... thank you! thank you for coming, thank you for inspiring me & thank you for believing in me. i think felix frankfurter said it best...

gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions, especially when it is deep. thank you.

Friday, October 19, 2007

sneak peak.

as you may or may not have known, i have been busy getting ready for THIS. (don't forget, it's tomorrow, saturday, october 20th!)anyway... a long long time ago, in what seems like practically another life, i was going to school here, to get this. while my professors were teaching me the finer points of accounting & organizational behavior, they probably imagined that i would be putting my newly polished business skills to work in some large company. possibly heading up the marketing department or maybe overseeing product manufacturing in china. i truly doubted that the idea of me being a one-gal sweat shop ever entered their mind. but, that's what i've become. crafts & projects have taken over my house. (i'm sure my hubby & boys will be thrilled when all this is over... they'll have their wife & mommy back. they've been a wee bit neglected.)

so without further ado, here's a sneak peak at the goods i'll be offering up tomorrow. (click on the image to see it bigger, in all it's glory.) i have to admit, i feel a bit like the wizard in wizard of oz, revealing what's behind the curtain...

interested in seeing some of the other handcrafted items the other girls have been working day & night on? check them out over HERE.
ta ta for now... hope to see you there tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

have you noticed it's a bit chilly?

sometimes i forget that utah tends to be colder than california. when there's snow on the ground, it's a no brainer. but when it's late fall (as it is now), i have a hard time remembering. that's why, early this morning, when i ran out to get something from the car i was wearing short sleeves and no shoes. not really a big deal. unless, your two-year old, in an effort to open the door & come outside himself, inadvertently locks YOU out. did i mention that it was cold? too bad jeffy was upstairs fast asleep, after driving all night... brrrr! shiver me timbers! luckily (after a LONG time out in the cold) i remembered there was a hidden key. now i'm all warm & toasty...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

there's a reason it's a classic...

just in case you forgot (is it even possible?) here is the recipe for the classic pumpkin roll:

Classic Pumpkin Roll
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)


1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper (or use wax paper). Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar.
2. COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and slat in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts. ** sometimes i go a little heavy on the spices: 2 t. cinnamon, 1 t. pumpkin pie spice & 1/2 t. nutmeg.
3. BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
4. BEAT cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

image via flickr.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

see you soon.

things are
bit hectic &
a little crazy around here. i'm busy finishing things up for THIS. that being said, posting will be sporadic over the next couple of days. but don't worry, i won't be gone for long!

Monday, October 15, 2007

i HATE carving pumpkins...

to be honest (and you might be surprised), i'm not to fond of the holiday decorating. (actually let me re-state, i like christmas decor, but i've never been very good at decorating for the "other" holidays.) but, i have a two year who LOVES pumpkins & everything else associated with halloween, so i find myself going a little overboard. yet, i've put my foot down about carving pumpkins. i don't know why, i just don't like it. they are all slimy & gooey, i don't like pumpkin seeds & they always end up wilting right before the big day. so, i usually just pile up a load of pumpkins on the porch & call it a day. but i came across this idea in the martha stewart halloween issue... instead of carving or painting the pumpkins, save yourself a headache & slap on mask. suddenly your plain jane pumpkin can be a pirate, skeleton, or a simple masked avenger. then, when halloween is over, take off the mask & you have instant thanksgiving decor! fabulous!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

i climbed the mountain...

not the metaphorical one (i'm still working on that), the literal one. this weekend we hiked mt. boney. & let me tell you, it was HARD. (it didn't help that it had rained the night before, making everything soft, slick & muddy). it's 9 & 1/2-ish miles, hiking up to an elevation of about 2,825 ft. luckily we had some motivation, because we were hiking in the memory of my uncle bug. we ended up taking a "short-cut" home... it being a "short-cut" in the loosest sense of the word. like most short-cuts, whether hiking or in real life, the distance traveled may have been less, but the obstacles proved much more difficult. we often lost the trail (that is if you call occasional arrows spray painted on random rocks a trail), we had to climb up & over boulders, slide down rock face & bushwacked our way through the overgrown brush. (to be honest, i felt a bit like joan wilder in romancing the stone.) but in the end, it was all worth it. i am proud that i accomplished this feat, & even more proud that my mom did. the view was incredible (although it was cloudy most of the day), & i was reminded of an important life lesson:

the experienced climber is not intimidated by a mountain -- he is inspired by it. the persistent winner is not discouraged by a problem -- he is challenged by it. mountains are created to be conquered; adversities are designed to be defeated; problems are sent to be solved. it is better to master one mountain than a thousand foothills.
- william arthur ward
now i just have to get around to tackling that metaphorical hill...

Friday, October 12, 2007

my mountain.

lately i've been feeling a little out of control, perhaps i've over extended myself? too many projects, too little time? (does this really surprise anyone?) it's almost 2 pm... the kids are wearing nothing but diapers, i'm far from dressed (although i have showered!), i haven't cooked in well over a week & the house is an absolute disaster!

in the midst of all this, dr. seuss has managed to motivate & inspire me, if just by the teensy-tiniest bit...

today is your day! your mountain is waiting. so... get on your way.

i guess i better get moving. my mountain is waiting & i want to make sure i'm well prepared for THIS. so enjoy the pictures documenting the other mountains i've climbed, or at least taken a train to the top of! find out more about them HERE & HERE. now go tackle your own mountain!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

bubble bubble toil & trouble

fillet of a fenny snake,
in the caldron boil & bake;
eye of newt, & toe of frog,
wool of bat, & tongue of dog,
adder's fork, & blind-worm's sting,
lizard's leg, &owlet's wing,—
for a charm of powerful trouble,
like a hell-broth boil & bubble.

double, double toil & trouble;
fire burn, & caldron bubble.

unlike the witches in macbeth, this witch's brew isn't made of toads and lizards. instead, i used spray foam insulation. after it was dry and hard i painted it green & hot glued in some toy eye balls, spiders & skulls... care to have a taste?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

no bed needed.

at least not for owen,
not during nap time that is. at bed time we're okay. generally he will sleep the night in his crib, no problem. but nap time is a whole different story. during the day, owen does not like his room. he doesn't want to play in there & he definitely doesn't want to nap in there. he'll sleep just about anywhere else... his car seat, the stroller, my bathroom floor, his jumper. but put him in his crib & he'll just cry. what gives?

Monday, October 8, 2007

not intended for consumption.

we spent the weekend crafting paper pumpkins. once again
my inspiration came from paper source (i don't think i'm able capable of original ideas, they are all taken!)... they were selling these cute pumpkin place card kits. but at 12 bucks a pop, i decided i was better off figuring it out on my own.
they were pretty simple to make after i got my supplies: pumpkin-ey colored paper, a small hole punch, floral wire & fake leaves (i found everything at michaels). all i did was cut the paper into 1-inch strips. then i proceeded to punch a hole at both ends of the strips. i stacked the strips on top of one another, creating a small pile of strips. next, i fed the wire through the bottom hole of every strip & then the top hole as well. you then kinda push down on the top of the papers & fan them out like a pumpkin. once you have your desired shape coil the ends of the wire so that your holes won't slip off & add a leaf or two.

okay, so it might sound a little complicated, but it really isn't. once you start making them, it will totally make sense & come together quickly. if you get stuck or are confused, just shoot me an email & i'll do my darnedest to explain it better!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

so here's the 411...

two weeks from today (saturday, october 20th, to be exact) i am lucky to be participating in a boutique with THIS & THIS girl, as well as several other incredibly talented ladies... & you all are invited!

we'll be featuring handmade goods (cozy quilts & mini diaries), holiday gift ideas (embroidered quotes & notecards), gourmet sweets (caramels & truffles), and one of a kind craft items (hip baby clothes & ruffly aprons... just to name a few).

so, consider this your personal invitation. if you're in the area, we'd love to have you drop in, take a look around & stop for a chat. be sure to tell your friends, neighbors, cousins, great aunts & anyone else you can think of. you know it's going to be good, if i'm coming all the way from california! i can't wait. it's going to be so much fun & i'm so looking forward to putting faces with so many names!

see you soon...

Friday, October 5, 2007

i'm loving...

THIS bag. (although i haven't actually seen it in person, it's quite nice on the computer screen!) it's no secret that i have a slight purse obsession. it doesn't matter if they are big or small, expensive or cheap, black or brown. i love them all! lately though, i have been favoring big, slouchy bags with lots pockets & enough room to carry all of my stuff. i like to think i'm emulating mary poppins, prepared for everything & practically perfect in every way.

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

1 spice cake mix
1 small (15 oz.) can of canned pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chips

mix ingredients together & drop by the spoonful onto a greased pan. bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes.

how easy is that? no eggs, no oil, no measuring cups! plus they taste good! since all the ingredients can be stored in the cupboard, you can always have it on hand, you know... in case company just happens to "drop by". or, even better... share it with your friends & nieghbors. wrap the ingredients up in a cute brown bag, tie the recipe on with a raffia bow & viola! instant gift! how simple is that?!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

i'm listening to...

actually before i tell you, i think it's imperative that i warn you - i'm not a musical genius. i'm definitely not known for my taste in music, i don't know bands & i'm generally the last to find out about the next big thing. phew! now that that's off my chest... ever since the new old navy ads have been playing i've had "the way i am" song stuck in my head. so, the other night, i instructed jeffy (who IS a musical guru & IS known for his taste in music) to go find it for me. so, long story short, i'm now listening to ingrid michaelson. (is it sad that i'm getting my musical cues from old navy commercials?) after doing a little digging, i was thrilled to find out she's opening for another old favorite of mine, matt nathanson. what a small world!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

busy. busy. busy.

life is busy lately, mostly because i'm trying to create lots of wonderful things for THIS. (by the way, lots and lots of details are coming soon... i promise! i just love keeping everyone on their toes. i will tell you this much - if you live/ work/ play any where near the salt lake city area, be sure to save saturday, october 20th for me!) anyway... my little head has so many ideas, for way too many projects... i think it's going to burst & there is no way i can get them all done. (i should probably write a few of the down, before i forget them! i'm good at doing that... i have had several earth shattering ideas, but i forgot them. duh!) i definitely know i'm no artist, but i kinda know how it must feel. i see fabric as my blank canvas - there are so many possibilties, the hard part is not the creating, it's deciding which idea to create!

good mail by kelly

this little beauty is off to the post office today, ready to be shipped to a special, unsuspecting friend. i hope wearing the words 'round her neck will give her a bit of strength, help her through some tough times & remind her that she is constantly in my thoughts & prayers. hope she enjoys it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

i'm packing my bags & moving to nyc!

because according to THIS quiz, that i found on heather's blog, that's where i belong! lucky for me, i love the big apple!

You Belong in New York City

You're the energetic, ambitious type.
And only NYC is fast enough for you.
Maybe you'll set yourself up with a killer career
Or simply take in all the city has to offer.

paper, scissors & glue

that's all that was required to complete this festive skull garland. we're on a bit of a yo ho kick. (that's gavin speak for pirate, if you hadn't already figured it out.) so when i came across THIS kit at paper source i knew it would be an absolute necessity for our halloween decorations... now go make your own!

Monday, October 1, 2007

take me out to the ball game...

the boys & i stopped by angel's stadium this afternoon to do a little "root root root for the home team". there wasn't actually a game going on it, but the pep rally was a good excuse to eat angel dogs! hip hip hooray... we're going to the playoffs!

can i interest you in an afternoon bite?

saw this in the october family fun magazine & i had to share...

these toothsome treats are a fun & healthy break from halloween sweets.

ingredients: apples & slivered almonds

1. just quarter and core an apple, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter, then press slivered almonds in place for teeth.

2. tip: If you're not going to serve them right away, baste the apples with orange juice to keep them from browning.

goodbye summer.

now that october is here, it's official - fall is here. that means that there will be a certain crispness in the air, it will soon be time for hot chocolate & fires in the fireplace, the holidays are just around the corner & i'll get to bundle up before going outside. (i know you are all probably laughing & thinking, but you live in california... sure, we don't get snow & ice, but it can definitely get a bit nippy!) it also means it's time to put away the flip flops & dust off some REAL shoes. although, to be honest, i pretty much wear the flip flops year round, i just tend to incorporate more real shoes into my wardrobe during the fall & winter. i can't wait to find some old favorites... like these cute ones i got in milan a couple years back. with the tweed & fringe in a totally unexpected green color i feel like a hip marian the librarian.