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Monday, March 31, 2008

there's still time.

i realize that tomorrow is april fools...
so i thought i'd share with you my all time favorite prank. it's quick & easy, & more than likely you already have all the ingredients. all you do is take an oreo cookie (preferably of the double stuff variety), twist the top off, scrape out the cream & replace it with plain white toothpaste. replace the top & voila! you've got yourself the easiest (& in my opinion) best prank ever. put them in your kids' lunches, or leave them out on a plate for everyone to enjoy as an afternoon snack! (just make sure that no one really swallows the cookie, as i'm sure you already know, toothpaste is NOT edible!)

how i hope to live my life.

i don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, & with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. i want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. i want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing sister schenck's lawn. i want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children. i want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. i want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks & tears of a friend on my shoulder. i want the Lord to know i was really here & that i really lived.
-marjorie pay hinckley

image via flickr.

a slight mishap.

you know how i thought my most quilt was done? well, i guess gavin didn't agree. he found a pair of scissors ( & when i say "found" i mean he climbed up onto the counter & got them off the top shelf in the cupboard where i was hiding them) & cut the binding. i guess he didn't love it as much as i thought he would. so now i have a bit of repair work to do.

Friday, March 28, 2008

arrgh! i found me treasure map matey!

my little guy's love of pirates runs deep. so i can't think of anything better to grace his bed than a quilt made up entirely of "yo ho!" fabric & backed with a super soft minky. now i just have to work on getting him to actually sleep in his bed, instead of trying to escape all night long. (as always, click on the pictures to enlarge the detail.)

it's 1:30 in the morning, what are you doing?

care to join me for a big 'ole bowl of mint 'n chip? i also have rocky road, or coffee heath bar crunch, if you'd prefer...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

in the spirit of sharing "tmi"...

so yesterday a friend & i were busy crafting in the kitchen. (actually we were doing a dress rehearsal for next week's not your mama's craft night. you know, ensuring we can actually make all of our purposed craft ideas & that the projects really aren't just figments of our imaginations.) so there we were, standing at my kitchen island. owen was napping & gavin & her little guy had been watching baby einstein. all of the sudden, out of the corner of my eye, i see a streak of skin rush by. what?! so i look outside, & out in the backyard is my little gavin. totally naked - no shoes, no clothes, no diaper. & not only is he flashing anyone that can look into our backyard (which is actually quite a few people, remember we live in southern california... where builders don't believe in the concept of a backyard, it's more like a patch of concrete & houses that sit two feet apart), but he is squatting out on the grass. yep, you read that correctly. he was squatting, trying to do you know what. when i got him inside he mumbled something about gigi. i guess he's seen our dog use the grass as her "facilities" a number of times & thought he would do the same. i guess, the silver lining of the situation is that maybe he is finally getting the concept of when he has to "go", something that we've been working on for a long time, yet until yesterday, has never really sunk in.

if you embarrass easily, don't read.

actually it's really not all that bad... it's more of a case of "tmi" (too much information). but it was funny, so i thought i'd share.

so on our recent vacation, i had my "little friend" came for her "monthly visit". and being me (i blame on being naturally blonde), i didn't even to think to plan for this when packing. (mom & everyone else this is proof that i'm not "announcing" anything. i'm starting to think that either: a) people think i pop out kids like crazy (which is odd, because i only have two), or b) i'm getting a little chunky & everyone's wondering if i'm preggers, or c) people are starting to get ansty & think it's time i was once again "with child". as of late, i've been getting all kinds of comments & side glances. too be honest, i'm not really sure if any of the above choices are good options.) anyway, back to my story... finding myself without "supplies" i had to pop into the hotel commissary to pick up a few necessary items. as the cashier totaled up my items, she cheerfully asked me if i needed anything else - sunblock, something to drink, lots of chocolate? it kinda cracked me up. i'm usually one to embarrass easily. & buying a big old box of "feminine product", poolside with practically everyone in the hotel looking on, was no exception. & for the cashier to announce to anyone who maybe wasn't paying attention, that i was in desperate need of chocolate - i actually thought it was funny. either she has a really good sense of humor, or the hotel has a really good commissions program in place.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

somewhere over the rainbow.

somewhere over the rainbow
way up high
there's a land that i heard of
once in a lullaby

somewhere over the rainbow
skies are blue
& the dreams that you dare to dream
really do come true

whenever i'm missing the islands (can you believe some lucky people actually get to live there?) anyway, as i was saying... whenever i have a little bit of island fever, i like to play my favorite version of this song over & over. check it out check out HERE. (i'm guessing it'll be on repeat all week long. i'm not quite ready for "real" life.)

no fear.

it's almost scary how much owen loves the water. he'll just run & jump. now we just have to work on him learning how to float on his back - he prefers to swim with his face in the water & blow bubbles.

it must be lunchtime.

what every boy needs.

a pair of hot pink googles.

remember, they're boys.

they don't care that we're in paradise. they don't care that there's a waiter nearby, ready & willing to deliver whatever our little hearts desire. they don't care that the beach can be their playground, or that they can swim all day & night. all they care about is playing with trucks. they are definitely boys.

total relaxation.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

gavin got lie'd.

welcome to island life.

you know your vacation is going to be absolutely wonderful when you walk in the doors of the hotel & are greeted by an artist's palette of cookies (including edible markers that the kiddos can use to decorate their soon to be eaten cookies with), bath sponges spelling out each child's name & a popcorn bucket full of all sorts of yummy goodness. do you think they'd mind if i just moved in permanently?

they say "there's no place like home."

& while i will admit this to be true - i must say i LOVE to travel. near or far, exotic or ordinary... i'm always ready to pack a bag & be on my way. so here i sit, with a pile of luggage stacked neatly by the door, loads of vacation laundry to be done & a house that needs to be tidied following the "we're leaving for an island paradise & we're running late as always" hurricane. of course, there are zillions of other things i should be doing, in order to re-enter the world of reality, but instead, i'd rather just relax a little bit longer, look at some pictures & relive our week (and then some) in paradise. so, put a cute little umbrella in your drink & join me as i do a little reminiscing.

image of waimea bay, taken yesterday, as we whizzed by in the car.

Friday, March 21, 2008

remember this?

so a while back i spilled the beans on a friend's secret project & offered you all a sneak peak. well, i'm happy, no... thrilled to announce that miss carrie & her "this is me - a kid's first keepsake journal" have officially opened their doors for business. check out the new website HERE. take a look around - i love the kids' self-portrait gallery. (if you have a child ages 3-8 you can send in their self-portrait to be entered in the monthly drawing for a free journal.)

still don't have your very own "this is me journal"? buy one HERE, or go HERE for a chance to win your very own. (be sure to enter before midnight est, saturday.)

we've had our journal for awhile now, & i absolutely love it. i love cuddling up with gavin to record his thoughts & feelings. one day we will look back on this & it will be an absolute treasure.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


greetings from the beautiful state of hawaii. when i'm not too busy playing at the beach or laying out at the pool drinking cool, frothy drinks, i might get around to posting a picture or two. but i'm not making any promises as to when that will be... until then, you'll just have to settle for this picture of gavin showing off his swimming skills. (i still can't believe that he did belly flop after belly flop.)

Friday, March 14, 2008

my toes are tapping.

i'm loving my most recent playlist... kerry put it together for me last week & i haven't stopped listening to it yet. it's perfect for every occasion. (click on picture to enlarge... you know, so you can actually read the song titles & artists.)

the bags are packed.

actually, they aren't. i a huge procrastinator. and unless it's last minute, sometimes it's hard for me to get anything done. but, i am pleased to announce that the last of the laundry is being done, so that the bags soon can be packed, & i'm hoping to pack light (we'll see how that goes!). still on the checklist? i must not forget to charge the ipods,
& load some new movies for the kiddos (i love technology! movies on the ipod keep the little ones entertained for hours & i no longer have to lug around a portable dvd player), pick up some new aquadoodles & few other surprises for the plane, & most important - i can not, must not forget the airplane harness. (i don't know if i could travel without it, it definitely helps save my sanity while on an airplane). so what tricks do you have for traveling with kids?

image via flickr.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

life can be an uphill battle.

blog-o-sphere, i'd like to introduce you to my newest training parter & friend, big red. if you haven't noticed already, beach season is almost upon us. (i think i just heard a collective gasp, followed by a long sigh.) i, like most of you, i'm sure, have a bit of a love/ hate relationship with summertime. on one hand i love all that it has to offer: warm weather, longer days, promises of bbq's, etc. but on the other hand - all of these goodies mean, it's bathing suit season. i think my whole outlook on wearing a bathing suit was shaped by a coffee mug by mom had in her cupboard (& still has to this day) that reads "things could be worse. we could be trying on bathing suits." with the fear of having to wear a swimming suit sooner, rather than later, i asked jeffy to help me get "bathing suit ready." that leads me to how big red & i met. it was monday, & jeffy & were out for a run. when we came across big red, jeffy announced, with a huge grin on his face, that my task for that day was to run up & down big red 10 times. although i didn't make the full 10 laps, my legs were like jello, i did manage to make 8. & seeing that i didn't bring my nano along, i had lots of time to think... & ya'll know that means i'm ready to dispense lots & lots of wisdom, because as i was running up big red, i started to think about how climbing this hill related to life, & i realized a couple of things.

first of all, that old adage is true. "slow & steady wins the race." about lap 3 or so, i was really pushing hard, trying to get up big red as fast as i could. on the way up i passed an older gent, who was walking. a little further up the hill, i lost my steam. i didn't stop running, but my steps definitely got closer & closer together & my pace slowed way down. & although he didn't pass me, i could really feel him on my tail. i for one know that this a lesson i need to take to heart regarding life. too often in life, whether it be a new project or simply cleaning the house, i start off going full throttle. usually though, it doesn't take long for me to get bored, or tired, & start to slack off. personally, instead of "go! go! go!", i need to remember to slow down, enjoy the scenery & just run along at an even, constant pace.

in addition to "slow & steady" i realized it's important to remain forward looking. what do i mean? in running, cycling, snowboarding (& probably several other sports i don't play) it's important to keep your eye on what's coming up ahead, instead of just the immediate future. by doing this, you can see obstacles like rocks or bumps, & have enough time to to respond. however, if you're only paying attention to the immediate future, no such luck. you'll see a rock, & you might side-step it, but without enough time to really process what's going on & your surroundings, you might end up in a hole or tripping over an even bigger rock. in life, it's easy to get caught up in "the now." sometimes i get so busy with what i have to do today & tomorrow, that i don't take the time to really plan for the future. things end up getting done at the last minute, are always rushed, & i'm constantly complaining that there isn't enough time. however, with some simple foresight & planning i think my life would run much smoother.

which leads me to my final thought. as much as i want to, i can't skip this whole "process" & immediately become bathing suit ready. i'm sad to say if that were possible, i would have no real appreciation of it, because i didn't have to work for it. a saying i often hear is "life's short eat dessert first." think about it. on the most literal of levels, is this really a good idea? if you were to constantly be eating dessert first (which really does sound divine), you would be filling yourself with sugar, chocolate & cream. although, i must admit, this is quite delicious sounding, it's not exactly the makings of a strong nutritional base. & if i was always eating dessert, i don't think i would really appreciate how good it really is. life works the same way. there are things i want to accomplish, places i want to travel, & i'd like to eventually be "at a certain place in life." i'm the first to admit, i'm totally impatient. i want it all, & i want it now! but just like learning to appreciate my "bathing suit ready" body, or a yummy dessert, if i could have it all & have it now, i wouldn't really appreciate it. instead, i need to better understand what life is truly all about - learning & preparing, so that one day, when have all that i want, i will be able to truly appreciate it & not take it for granted.

so with that, i'll step off my soap box & go snack of THIS (just don't tell jeffy, after all my hard work he'll be disappointed. but let me tell you... after working so hard & eating so well, i'll definitely appreciate a bite or two.) but before i say adieu, i'll once again reiterate the lessons big red has taught me:
1. slow & steady wins the race.
2. remain forward looking, keep your eye on the prize.
3. if you eat dessert first, you'll never gain a real appreciation for it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

a shameless plug.

i've been working on a shop update as of late. i've had so many people emailing me for custom order jewelry, aprons & other things. (& that is in no way a complaint. i love creating things for other people, i'm just still trying to figure out how to request extra hours in my day.) anyway, i just haven't had enough time to pay the shop, the attention it deserves. but i'm hoping to change that. i'll slowly be updating & adding some "new" items in the next little bit... i'm just busy "road testing" a couple of newbies. so come pay us a visit & if you'd like to see something special in the shop, let me know - i'm always open to new ideas. xoxo.

i'm trying hard to resist.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

cutting on the bias.

let me be honest here, this post is mostly for my benefit. one day, i may want to cut my fabric on the bias again. & more than likely i'll have forgotten how. (what's cutting on the bias you ask? basically, instead of cutting your fabric in horizontal strips, you cut it on a 45 degree angle. it's great for strips, checks... makes them lay at an angle. still confused? check out THIS picture of my quilt. see the how the stripes on the binding lay at angle? that's because i cut the fabric on the bias.) and yes, before i get started, i realize there are lots of tutorials out, showing you how to cut on the bias. but all the ones i came across involved math & looked super confusing. although, the perk of using THIS how-to, is that when you are done cutting, your strips are already sewn together... but just looking at the diagrams gave me a headache. so, here's how i do it... (a big thanks to abby for teaching me how!) click on each picture to enlarge & show all the fine little details.

step one: lay out your fabric, similar to a piece of paper (i use the selvedge edges as my top and bottom). now mentally, or literally, which ever works for you... mark each corner. starting with the top left & going clockwise, mark the corners with A,B,C & D (as shown below.)

step 2: fold corner A down diagonally, so that the top (selvedge) edge lines up with the side. when folded, corner A will be above corner C. (see picture below)

step 3: fold corner B down diagonally. you will basically be folding the crease created by step 2, in half. when folded, corner B will be above corner D, and your fabric will look like a little house: a triangle roof (we will call the tip of the roof or triangle: E) & a rectangle below. (see picture below)

step 4: fold corner B up to point E, once again, folding the crease in half. (see picture below)

step five: carefully flip the fabric over. instead of seeing the right side of the fabric near corner C & the wrong side near corner D, you want to see the right side of the fabric near corner D & the wrong side of the fabric near corner C. you also want to make sure that corner D is pointing down, with the long horizontal edge at the top. (see picture below)

step six: this step isn't necessary, but i've found that if i fold the fabric in half, i can cut a strip with just one swish of my rotary. simply take corner C & fold it back over the fabric (to the left), making sure to keep the horizontal edges lined up. (see picture below)

step seven: line your ruler up with the horizontal edge & cut strips to your desired width. (see picture below) i prefer to cut them about 2.25" wide.

step eight: viola! bias cut fabric.

it's beach weather.

the sun is shining & it's a beautiful 80 degrees. (i'm not trying to make you jealous, it's just one of the perks of living in southern california.) the toughest decision i'll be making is should we go to the beach or the pool? either way i'm set, because at the most recent craft night i made the perfect bag... just the right size for a couple of towels, some sun block, a bottle of water & a magazine. the greatest part (other than skulls i sewed on?) it's waterproof, because it's made completely of garbage bags... gotta love that. plus it smells nice too (we get the scented garbage bags). so have any of you attempted to fuse plastic yet? seriously, you've got to give it a go, it's super easy & fun! (click on the picture, in order to enlarge it so you can see all the "awesome" detailing.)

getting my swap on.

i have no problem admitting that i am totally addicted to swaps. what's not to love? you get the chance to both give & receive, & to be honest, i haven't quite decided which i like better. anyway... i most recently participated in the sassy apron swap. (how could i resist, it combined two of my most favorite things... swapping & aprons.) so, now that i know mollie has received my package, i'm posting a picture of my latest apron creation.

Monday, March 10, 2008

enjoy life.

in all living, have much fun & laughter. life is to be enjoyed, not just endured. - gordon b. hinckley

Thursday, March 6, 2008

saving the planet, one craft project at a time.

tonight "not your mama's craft night" is going green. reduce, reuse, recycle is the theme of the night. a few of the projects we will be tackling are:

t-shirt bags - reuse an old t-shirt & make reusable shopping or grocery bag

magazine bowls & coasters - reduce your magazine stash! turn an old magazine into a bowl/ plate/ coasters

fusing plastic - recycle all of those plastic store bags (you know from target, the grocery store, etc.) into a reusable shopping or grocery bag, or a wallet, or a cosmetics bag...

feel free to craft along from the comfort of your own home... all the projects are super easy & totally addicting! personally, i can't stop making fused plastic bags.

quick fixes.

thanks to a recent swap partner, the lovely laura, i have been introduced to a fun austrailian magazine called real living. the issue i received was full of quick tips for decorating your space & i wanted to share an idea or two... (click on picture to enlarge)

in the first picture they hung silver trays on the walls instead of mirrors. genius! and the second picture is a collage of magazine pages & pictures taped to the wall instead of wall paper. simply beautiful.

quick, easy, & fun. not to mention, both of these ideas use things that you probably have lying around the house - gotta love that!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

it's going to be a great day.

how do i know? the sky is blue, the sun is shining, the weather is warm, & i've already seen a rainbow this morning.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

i felt like chicken tonight.

well, remember my big plan? you know, the one about planning 6 weeks worth of dinners? yeah, i still haven't crossed that one off my to-do list. but, thanks to rochelle i may be closer to that goal than i thought. see, rochelle had a similar-ish idea. she does a month's worth of meals - 18 different ones to be exact. but here's the kicker... she triples all of the amounts she needs, & then shops for the next THREE months in just one shopping trip! absolutely amazing! i can only dream of being so incredibly organized, until then, it's fun reading about her adventure. anyway, so tonight i was in the mood for some creamy chicken, & i remembered that the sunday chicken was one of her favorite recipes, so we tried it tonight. & i'm happy to report it was a big hit. i don't think i ever really doubted it would be though. it's bacon wrapped chicken, you can't really go wrong with that!

sunday chicken (aka bacon wrapped chicken)

½ package frozen chicken breasts
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 package bacon (you want bacon with lots of meat & very little fat, because the fat doesn't really "crisp up" in the oven. does that make sense?)
1 16 oz tub sour cream

wrap chicken breasts with bacon. mix sour cream and soup & pour over chicken and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours.

serve over brown rice

pinching my pennies.

i'm the first to admit that i'm terrible at finding the deals. but, seeing as we're financing the start of a new business or two, we're really trying to watch our spending. so, i decided it was time to start clipping coupons. i've only been at it a couple of weeks & i'm absolutely amazed. shopping for groceries is always an expensive process... just the necessities can run us well over a hundred dollars. so you can imagine my surprise when i was able to cut that bill in half. with help from THIS website i clip my coupons, shop for groceries & save a buck, or two, or eighty. oh, & for all you nay-sayers out there... let me point out, that i only buy specific brands, & i don't buy anything just because it's on sale. yet, i'm totally able to feed my family & save me some moola. check out today's receipt:
no, that's not a mistake, i didn't get it mixed up. i really & truly bought an ENTIRE cart full of groceries (including 3 gallons of milk, apple juice, cereal, tri-tip) for a grand total of $64.85. and yes, with $80.93 is savings, i actually saved more than i spent.

Monday, March 3, 2008

i'm tired.

jeffy's tuckered out, the boys are exhausted, & my feeties are pooped. (wearing four inch heels all day & night can do that to them... although, as i'm discovering, it does make for an excellent leg workout - boy am i sore!) anyway, we were lucky enough attend the most incredible wedding this weekend. my fabulous sister-in-law alison & her newly pronounced hubby tied the knot on saturday. you can only imagine the busy weekend we've had... parties galore, tons of food & lots of running - after two little tux clad boys, that is. i'll be back tomorrow with lots of pictures. xoxo!