Friday, May 28, 2010

Would you like some Whine with that Cheese?

My guess is "probably not".

The kind that comes from grapes is A-okay,

But the high-pitched, "fingernails on chalkboard" sound

Emitting from a litte person is another story.

Smarty Pants just turned 4.

I'm wondering when the whining will cease,

And does the selective hearing ever go away?

Frightening thought....

Maybe this is just "how it's going to be",

Maybe this is a character trait!!

The thought gives me the munchies.

And nothing satifies the munchies better than

Trader Joe's White Stilton Cheese with Apricots.

My friend with 3.5 kids introduced it to me.

She knows a thing or two about good food,

And most important of all,

She's an expert on what goes best with whine!



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Latest Crush- TOMS Shoes

I've been stalking these shoes for a few weeks now;  I've been waiting for them to restock size 6.  I may have to check Whole Foods and Nordstroms since I know they carry them too.

I think they'd be cute to pair with jeans, but what I love most it that there is a social  benefit to buying these comfortably, stylish shoes.  The "One for One" concept is simply amazing--  With every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.  Simple as that. Business at its best.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lego Party - Welcome to Legoland!

We had Smarty Pant's Lego Party this past weekend.  It took a lot of prep, but the kids had a great time and Smarty Pants really enjoyed celebrating his 4th birthday with family and friends.

He was so excited about his birthday this year that for the past couple of weeks he'd wake-up every morning and the first thing out of his mouth was "Is it my birthday yet? Am I four?".  His actual birthday was a few days before the party, so he was so excited when we finally said "Yes, today's your birthday. You're four years old!".  The morning of his party the first thing out of his mouth was "Yay, today's my birthday!.... I turned four at my last birthday, so now I must be five! Wow!".  Aw, gotta love my clever little guy!

So our Lego Party was ready to go when Mother Nature threw us for a loop by deciding to blow some arctic, gale force winds our way.  We had planned for an outdoor party in our backyard, but it turned into a mostly indoor/sometimes outdoor party.  At the end of the day, it turned out just fine and, when the winds did take a little break, it was actually quite comfortable in the sun.

::the invite::

see this post for more detail


our backyard:  a beautiful day, but unfortunately no one could eat outside because of the crazy, cold wind.

::Lego details::

one of the lego box centerpieces

I created a few signs for the entry using this lego font and this website to create a custom lego person

Lego candy dishes & juice boxes - I wanted to make a fun tablescape for each table, but the winds nixed that idea.

close-up of the juice boxes

close-up of the candy "bowls" with Lego-shaped tarts... you can actually build with the candy!

and another close-up of the Lego bowls filled with the tarts and M&M's (I removed the brown ones)

Lego-shaped jello made with a lego ice mold


Lego Racers game:
I set out a couple of art mats with bins of Legos and Lego wheels so the kids could build race cars.

The kids raced them down ramps made from old wood valances-- I saved them when we replaced our window treatment a few months ago.

Throw-a-Brick game:
Lego "bricks" made from styrofoam blocks covered with felt.

::the spread::

on the menu:
fruit, chips & salsa, artichoke spinach dip, jello, stilton cheese & crackers
chinese cabbage salad, cranberry salad


chocolate with nutella frosting & vanilla bean-coconut cupcakes
I topped the cupcakes with lego pieces made from Wilton chocolates & a lego mold.

And lookie, I got to play with Lego too!
We served the cupcakes with vanilla ice cream

::party favors::

the favor bags were filled with haribo brixx gummies, a Lego Racers car, a Lego-shaped glycerin soap (created with a lego shaped silicon mold) and Lego-shaped tarts

didn't want anyone accidentally taking a bite!
i used this lego jelly mold to make the soap brick

::birthday boy::

the birthday boy with his custom shirt and Lego party hat

For the hat, I created the 4 out of  Lego stickers.

I made the Lego shirt using an iron-on transfer that works with ink-jet printers.  I wanted to create a football jersey-type shirt with our last name and the number 4 on the back for Smarty Pants and a bigger version for the Mister with 4.0 (he's almost version 4.0-- ha ha!)... but I ran out of time.  Cest la vie!

the birthday boy enjoying his new ride!
btw, this mini kick scooter is great for a 4 to 5 year olds. this is definitely his favorite outside toy.


linked to:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Antidote to May Gray

Dear Sun,

Where art thou?

It's colder now in Southern Cal than it was in January.

But that's okay,

I like not having to wear sunscreen,

and the cool air is moist and refreshing.

In a couple of months I will be wishing for

More fog.

On cool, overcast, gray May days, I have to break-out some caffeine and color.  These are my favorite pick-me-ups:

Lorac Sheer Lipstick in Martha

Old Navy Origami Applique Cardigan in Melon Ball

A steaming cup of Zen is good for a gentle jolt of afternoon energy


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Anthropologie Big Bi-annual Sale

Thanks to Kim from Anthroholic, who is a really bad influence (in a good way!) who did some hands-on sale investigation and Happy Vee who woke me up at 1:30 AM, I was able to get in on Anthropologie's Big Bi-annual Sale.  According to some, apparently it isn't all THAT big this time, but it was big enough for me since I picked up a bunch of stuff that I've been eyeballing these past few months.  Aside from missing out on the lovely Plaza Cardigan (Darn!)-- should've pulled the trigger early this morning because by 11 AM my size was gone-- I did pretty well without completely breaking the piggy bank.  Hey, it's my belated Mother's Day present!

Here's what I picked-up~

parted petals cardigan

soft patch cardigan

bougainvillea cardigan

nearly gossamer cardigan

Yes, I have a thing for cardigans.  It's perfect for Southern California.  Good for the cool mornings and evenings and easy to remove if the day should get too hot.  I had my eye on a few cute tops for summer, but none were on sale this time around.

I really want to check out what's going on at the Anthro store... supposedly there are some good deals to be had.  And maybe I can find the Plaza Cardigan in my size.

Plaza Cardigan


Monday, May 17, 2010

The Great Pacific Northwest Adventure

I'm Back!

Oh wait...

You probably didn't know that I was gone.

I kept the ol' blog populated with some pre-scheduled goodies.

One of the few times planning ahead actually came together for me.

We had a wonderful time traveling the Pacific Northwest--

2 adults, 2 kids, 2 suitcases, 2 strollers,

Traveling for 2 weeks.

1 week by water and 1 week by land.

From Los Angeles to Alaska and back

With a few key stops along the way.

Aah, many memories were built,

But it sure is good to be home!

I have tons of pictures and fun things to share, but I thought I'd start slow since I'm still trying to tackle the Himalayas, otherwise known as a giant pile of laundry that seems to keep growing.  So I thought I'd just drop off a few photos that capture key moments of our trip~

Choppy 14+ foot waves = 3 days of sea sickness

Everyone got the sea sick bug... Everyone except for this guy, who ate everything in sight and would.not.stop.moving

7 nights of shows that the kids LOVED and actually sat through without one squirm.
My usually shy Smarty Pants insisted on meeting some of the talent.  Funny guy!

14 days of rich, yummy food - both on and off the ship

and beautiful scenery with absolutely NO rain!

a seriously awesome bathroom - Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver B.C.
my toes long for those heated marble floors...

a little drive from Vancouver BC to Portland, Oregon

and fun with friends in Portland

Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat.  And I don't even like cruises.  I'm looking forward to visiting Alaska again and visiting more places further north... maybe when the kids are a little older.  Hopefully the glaciers will hold out for us.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lego Party - Sneak Peek

After some procrastination, which led to a little fretting, then a bit of a scrambling... the upcoming Lego Party is finally taking shape.  Here's a peek at a couple of things I've been working on.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Inspired by - Suzanne Kasler for Ballard Designs

I always enjoy browsing through the latest Ballard Designs catalog, but the March issue really caught my attention when they teamed up with celebrity interior designer Suzanne Kasler.  She uses a lot of neutrals with pops of color and her designs have an elegant and clean, yet warm and comfortable, aesthetic... So right up my alley.  Here are some of the rooms that she styled for Ballard~

I love how she groups the frames around the round mirror.  I may have to incorporate this... somehow... somewhere...  I also like the chandelier-- it's so unexpected.

Lovely white... I adore how she styled those shelves...

A functional and pretty mudroom entry. A reminder that I need to get ours together soon.  I'm tired of tripping over shoes and backpacks.

I love the round mirrors over the bed and how the chandelier grounds the otherwise light and airy room.  I would never think to paint my walls pink (had enough of that as a child), but it's so unexpected and she makes it work.

Could you imagine having a laundry room like this?  I would be doing laundry every day... just for fun.

And it gets better... she has her own Ballard line coming out this fall.    Ballard continues to move away from country farm and is moving towards comfortable, elegant chic.  I like it.