Thursday, August 30, 2012

Las Flores Amarillos

Pinterest is pretty handy, you know? My husband's cousin is getting married in October, and I'd noticed a few pretty necklaces pinned to her wedding-wishes boards. Umm... I make jewelry. We've just met, and this kind of crazy, but let me make necklaces for all of your bridesmaids maybe? ( I love making jewelry, and I love giving gifts, and I LOVE when people actually use their gifts! This is an amazing coup for me.).

(Seriously, until the family reunion this summer, I hadn't seen her in nearly 9 years.)

Happy brides are the best to work with- I start by getting an idea of what they are wanting, then I do my own research to find similar styles and suppliers for the parts. I design something that keeps the original idea, but it's always a bit different (of course, right?). And because I work with happy brides, they LOVE! EVERY! THING! So very fun.

Here is what I've designed for Miss Jessica- I love the lacy setting I found for the flower, and this length (18 inches, or "Princess") is my absolute favorite. I think hitting right on the collar bone is so flattering on ladies.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Latest In Kitchen Fashion

The must-have kitchen item for every mother this Fall. Get yours today!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mr. Gumpy

We read a story about Mr. Gumpy today- he lives in a house by the river, and goes for a ride on his boat. Of course, every child and animal he passes wants to hop in. Sure! But everyone comes in with a caveat. Don't squabble. Don't muck about. Don't bleat.

Of course everyone does, eventually. The boat tips, everyone dries off on the shore, and they all walk back to Mr. Gumpy's for tea and cookies.

It was a sweet story, and the girls got a huge kick out of the play scene I set up afterwards, with a blanket river and big plastic tote for a boat. All their animals asked so nicely to climb in, but later...uh oh!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

Perhaps you're as hungry for hands-off, simple, wholesome meals as I am?  Here's what we ate last week.  I'm bringing back Meal Planning Monday!  If you want to join in, leave a link in the comments.  Please.  Mama wants more easy recipes!

Monday: "Leftovers buffet", watermelon lemonade (used this whole fruit limeade recipe as a base- blended the watermelon first, then added a halved lemon and let it blend a little longer.  I strained all the pulp out, and didn't need any extra sugar.

Tuesday: chicken salsa soup (chicken broth, salsa, leftover shredded chicken, corn from the freezer) with tortilla strips, sourdough bread, sliced cucumber (Bread baking day)

Wednesday: quinoa cooked in broth, sliced cucumber, brown sugar chicken thighs in the crockpot (it was OK, nothing spectacular, but sometimes that's best for kids!)  Used up the rest of the strawberry ice cream I made Sunday, with lemon-lime soda from the chicken (it calls for a 1/4 cup) and had the kids' first-ever ice cream floats.  They were seriously impressed.

Thursday: Mushroom and egg tart with criminis.  A family favorite- easy to pull together if you caramelize the onions and mushrooms earlier in the day.

Friday: Family outing for sushi, to celebrate Ernie's successful performance in the summer camp play production.  (Bread baking day, and pie.)

Saturday: Sandwich and movie night with the kids.  Baked s'mores for dessert.  (Bread baking day again.  Turns out we really, really like sourdough.)

Sunday:  Shared a meal at our friend's house- he smoked an enormous brisket, and we brought sourdough bread.  He served greens, melon, baked potatoes, and corn.  Dessert was a dutch oven blueberry cobbler and homemade dulce de leche ice cream.  Yes, he and his wife are PHENOMENAL chefs.

An easy week, with very little hands-on prep at dinner time.  I like it, the kids like it, and everyone ate well!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dining al Fresco

There is quinoa in a five foot radius around him. He's got quite the arm.

We love summer!



You, son, are banished to the deck for the rest of your meals this summer. Enjoy the quinoa! I know the squirrels, blue jays, robins, and finches thank you.

Mama is tired of sweeping six times a day.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stars and Beads

We needed a quiet activity one afternoon for Cocoa- I pulled out the old sensory bucket and let him sift through, and use a spoon and cup to scoop and dump. He loved it, but when fistfuls started flying through the air I banished him to his crib till I could scoop everything up. I promised I'd get him when I was done, but he fell asleep before I could get back.

Being a toddler is hard work.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Help

Aunt Bert has come to help out this week. Hooray! Can I do everything on my own? No. Can I do enough to get by? Yes. Am I grateful for an extra set of hands? ABSOLUTELY. Today, while she played with the kids and helped for six hours, I taught two piano lessons, dropped Ernie off at camp, cleaned the kitchen a few times, got a batch of sourdough bread going, moved three loads of laundry through the machines, got two loads of kid laundry folded and put away, cleaned up the toy room, and picked a bushel of weeds. Tomorrow, I will stay with the kids so she can do chores and REALLY get something done. I hope.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Someone Is Excited

Ernie started summer day camp today- at 6:30 am she was in my room, dressed and ready to go. When we finally left at 9:15, I found her countdown next to where we packed her sack lunch. She's waited all year for this camp! It's run by a few teens in my sister's congregation- the morning is drama camp for big kids, and the afternoon is themed day camp for three and up. Today is weird science day!