March 30, 2009

Jedi Birthday

I've seen hundreds of ideas on countless blogs for children's birthday parties since I am gathering ideas for my son's 1st birthday party and I have to say, this Jedi Birthday over at One Cool Pick from One Cool Chick takes the cake!

In a world filled with girl's birthday party ideas, it's so refreshing to see such a cool idea for little boys! You can tell the adults think it's a pretty darn cool party too! Plus it gives this Mommy hope that the next 12 years or so don't have to be filled with Spiderman and Batman parties.

My only question is can I have my next birthday party there? The light saber alone is worth it!

I'm making a mental note to remember this idea for one of Ozzie's birthdays.

Are you seeing the home made tunics?

Fantastic party favor

Even the cupcakes look cool!

Terra Cotta Easter Baskets

Just saw this awesome idea over at Hostess with the Mostess! Wish I had a little girl to make these for. So cute, cute, cute!!!

I love the butterfly on this basket!

There are so many wonderful Easter crafts, no wonder it's one of my favorite holidays!

Here are the directions as posted on her site:

TERRA COTTA EASTER BASKETS (please note: for decorative purposes only)

For Each Basket, You’ll Need:Small Terra Cotta Pot around 5-6″ or smaller Double-sided *scrapbook paper in 2 coordinating patterns & colors Easter grass filler Glue and glue dots or tape Small artificial flowers and butterflies (optional)


• Cut a strip from the scrapbook paper that is the same width and length as the rim of the pot and attach it to the rim with glue. (Depending on the diameter of your pot, 2 strips of paper might be necessary to cover the entire rim.)
• Cut another long strip of paper (also the same width as the rim) from your other paper pattern. Bend the paper to create a “handle” and use glue dots or tape to attach both ends of the strip to the inside of the pot.
• Add the grass to the pot.
• Embellish the “basket” with artificial flowers and butterflies. (optional)
• Fill with egg-shaped candies or other Easter treats!

Ask Design Mom Week

This week is Ask Design Mom Week over at Design Mom!

Design Mom is a blog that I follow written by Gabrielle Blair. It's one of my favorite blogs because Gabrielle offers her readers a great mix between children's topics, crafts, design and mommy topics. Basically everything I am interested in! I often find great inspiration from her posts!

Check her out!

March 28, 2009

Ozzie's Meetings

As a stay at home mom my husband and I joke around that my current employer is Ozzie and that my job is to keep him happy all day. My old job was in HR so my entire day was filled with endless meetings with employees. Meeting after meeting after meeting. I used to complain to my husband about the whiney employees on bad days. Since leaving my job I have never missed those meetings, until this week.

As I have mentioned before Ozzie learned how to crawl earlier this month. It's such a huge achievement for him and I am super proud of him, really I am. When he first learned how to crawl, Ozzie happily scooted himself around in his play area otherwise known as the family room. Now three weeks into crawling he's just not satisfied with the play area anymore. Go figure?

So for two days this week, I decided to follow Ozzie around the house with my phone snapping pictures of him every time we unexpectedly met in a random part of the house. I thought it would be funny to show Daddy all of the "meetings" Ozzie and I have through out the day as I try to keep up the house, cook meals, entertain Ozzie and maybe get a bite to eat.

Here are some horrible pictures (as I mentioned I used my phone instead of my digital camera- note to self never to do that again) of my unexpected meetings with my son.

Also, you may notice that he is still in his pajamas in these pictures. I will admit there are many days when neither Ozzie or I make it out of our pj's. Hope you understand and excuse this lazy mommy!

Day One
8:00am- meeting in the hallway. It all started out with the laundry. I brought the laundry sorter out and decided to throw in a load. Ozzie crawled on over and decided to lend me a hand.

8:05am- meeting in the bathroom. Ozzie soon got bored of the laundry and scooted himself over to one of the bathrooms to play with his bathtub.
Have I mentioned he can pull himself up on things now? For fear of him cracking his head on the hardwood floors, I scooped him up and took him back to the playroom.

10:00am- meeting in the closet. As I was putting away a load of the laundry I started, Ozzie decided to help me in rearrange Daddy's shoes in the closet.

10:10am- meeting in yet another bathroom. After reorganizing Daddy's shoes, Ozzie decided to check out the other bathroom making sure the curtain was secure.

Day Two
10:00am- meeting in the office. Mommy got a telephone call and rushed into the office to answer it. Curious, Ozzie soon followed to see who was on the phone. The usb cord for the camera distracted him.

10:05am- Ozzie got tired of eating the usb cord and quickly made his way to the paper shredder. Thanks for throwing the "to be shred" pile on the floor!

After I hung up the phone and saw the pile of paper on the floor all of the humor left me and I was over the meeting game.

Do you think I'll win a mommy of the year award for letting my son eat a usb cord and play with a paper shredder?

March 27, 2009

Oh the Joys of Motherhood

Have you heard about the new book It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita by Heather Armstrong? Heather Armstrong also writes the popular blog - Dooce. Which is quite hilarious by the way- her about me section is a must read!

But back to her book- here is what "they" are saying about it.

"Heather tells, with trademark wit, the heartfelt, unrelentingly honest story of her battle with postpartum depression and all the other minor details of pregnancy and motherhood that no one cares to mention. Like how boring it can be to care for someone whose primary means of communication is through her bowels. And how long it can possibly take to reconvene the procedure that got you into this whole parenthood mess in the first place. And how you sometimes think you can't possibly go five more minutes without breathing in that utterly irresistible and totally redeemable fresh baby smell.

It Sucked and Then I Cried is a brave cautionary tale about crossing over that invisible line to the other side (the parenting side), where everything changes and it only gets worse. But most of all, it's a celebration of a love so big it can break your heart into a million pieces."

I haven't had the pleasure of reading it yet but I know I will love this book. I joke that no one tells you how boring, exhausting and thankless motherhood is. You know the saying, there is a truth to every joke- so true, so true.

Don't get me wrong, I love being a mother but I there are days when I don't love it so much. Surviving Ozzie's colic, feeding issues and sleep issues (still not solved, improved but not solved) make more not so much days than I wish to admit.

Let's face it motherhood deprives me of many things I used to love (sleep or lack there of it being the ultimate sacrifice) and sometimes I resent it. And just when I feel I am at my wits end Ozzie does something amazing that reminds me how blessed I am to be his mother.

This little creature thinks I'm the best thing on earth and his smile melts my heart instantly.

For every moment that I want to rip out my hair (or *dare I say it* Ozzie's hair sometimes) I also have moments of a love so deep it's indescribable. The dichotomy of loving and resenting motherhood simultaneously is an interesting experience. One I never knew I'd have. Do fathers feel this way too I wonder?

Motherhood- who knew? And why doesn't anyone tell us before we have children?

This Weeks Flickr Find

I skipped last week- sorry! This week's Flickr find by Danske as part of her Flowers Set is in celebration of the the first week of Spring! This picture caught my eye because it's soft and feminine. These would make for beautiful Spring wedding flowers.

I know I post a lot of flowers on my Flickr finds but they are so pretty I can't help myself!


March 26, 2009

Got recipes?

Now that I'm officially a stay at home Mommy I try to take advantage of the extra time I have by making my family healthy and delicious meals. So I am always on the look out for new recipes to add to my repertoire.

Which is great because the hubby and I were in a bit of a food rut when we were both working all day. It's hard to muster up the energy to cook a healthy meal when both of us are exhausted. Don't get me wrong, motherhood is by far the hardest job I've ever had but I can sneak in dinner prep time when my little guy naps.

As usual the blogosphere doesn't let me down. Big ups to Stephmodo via Jordan Ferney for leading me to two new sites that I already know I'll love.

Myrecipes is a great site loaded with recipes from Cooking Light (one of my favorites), Southern Living (another fav), Health and Real Simple to name a few. I really like that I can save the recipes into separate recipe files. So when I'm searching for that fish recipe I wanted to try, I just click on the file I titled Fish Recipes. I know, great huh?! Plus it's a recipe sharing site as well. Always nice to see what others are cooking for dinner.

Another great site is Project Foodie which provides access to over 75,000 recipes from magazines, newspapers and cookbooks using one website. Why don't I think of these great website ideas? I haven't tried Project Foodie yet but I plan on it. Truly a great idea!

I've already saved this recipe for Almond Crusted Sole for next week's fish dinner. Sounds deeelicous!

If you are anything like me and you have way too many websites to keep track of, remember to bookmark them or add them to your favorites and create a recipe file to help keep yourself more organized. Organization, along with cooking healthier meals for my family, is another thing on my 2009 list of things to do.

Bon appetit!

March 24, 2009

Ozzie's 1st Play Date

Ozzie and I had our first play date today with my friend Trinette and her daughter Vivika. I really wasn't sure how Ozzie was going to react to an official play date because he is home alone with me all day and doesn't really interact with other babies. He did spend the holidays with his cousins but he was only 5 months old and not really interested in anyone but me and his grandma.

Now at almost 8 months old, I've noticed him giggling at other babies when we are out running errands. In fact last weekend at Costco, he almost jumped out of my arms when he spotted another baby walking behind us. So I had my fingers crossed that he would have fun actually playing with another baby. But as any mother knows, you can't predict what is going to happen. Especially with an 8 month old and a 1 year old.

Great news is he had a blast! No crying or shyness in the beginning. He jumped right in and played with Vivi. Or at least he played with her toys! He even dug the two cats. I found this interesting since he's never seen an animal up close.

At first, Ozzie was so excited he kinda pulled at everything; Vivi, her toys, her hair, the cats but after he calmed down and got more comfortable he kept his hands to himself (thank GAWD!) No one wants the rambunctious monster child. I had to remind myself that this was his 1st play date as I was mentally freaking out at him pulling Vivi's hair!

Hair pulling aside, I think Vivika enjoyed Ozzie's company too. She was such the gracious hostess happily sharing her toys and her high chair at lunchtime. She even let Mommy read Ozzie her favorite book while he sat on her lap. Sweet baby girl!!!

Of course I had fun too. Sometimes being a stay at home mommy can be lonely so it's nice to hang out and socialize with other mommies. Plus I miss my girl friends. Gone are the days of long dinners over several glasses of wine and great conversations.

Ozzie was in such great spirits from his play date he was still in a good mood when we got home. No whining or usual late afternoon grumpiness. I took a mental note to to do this more often!

Here are some fun pictures Trinette took

Following Vivi to her favorite hiding spot behind the chair.

You're right Viv, this is fun!

So excited!

Posing for the camera

Not sure what they are looking at but it must have been super cool.

March 23, 2009

Easter Workshop

It's here! Today is the first day of Martha's Easter Workshop. This is the first year I've participated and I CAN NOT wait to get started. I'm jumping in with both feet!!! The week one projects I am going to tackle are

Thread Covered Eggs
These are so lovely you'd never guess they are made from Styrofoam eggs.

Paper Flowers

I've always wanted to make paper flowers and now I have no excuse not to give it a try. I love paper flower decorations. I wish I would have incorporated them into my wedding somehow.

Although Martha has several other projects to kick off week one, I have to pace myself. As much as I'd love to all of them, I don't have the time and my son doesn't have the patience for me to complete all the projects. However, I will save all the projects for another year!

March 21, 2009

Monkey Birthday?

1st Birthday

So I know I still have a little over 4 months before Ozzie's first birthday but I know if I don't start planning now it will be here before I know it. I don't want to be unprepared. You only turn 1 once right? Mommy must do it right!

Since I lurve monkeys, I've decided to throw Ozzie a monkey themed 1st birthday party. I went straight to my new favorite website Polyvore to help me with my vision. I love an inspiration board and a digital one to boot; the possibilities are truly endless!

My inspiration for Ozzie's birthday, other than my love of monkeys, is this adorable monkey cake from Martha Stewart. Is there anything this woman can't do?

I also found these cute half coconut shells for serving dishes or drink cups from The Coconut King. I love that they are food safe.

My next goal is to find banana leaves for place mats. Anyone know where a girl can pick up some fresh banana leaves?

March 20, 2009

Crafters Dream

About six years ago (it could be longer) I gave up celebrity gossip. I don't remember the exact date but I remember Jen and Brad were still happily married (or so we thought). It's funny because my girl friends had to inform me of their breakup during one of our girls nights at our favorite dive bar in Bellevue. Sad things is today I don't even need to watch celebrity gossip television to hear about Angelina and Brad, their headlines make national news.

But I digress, I gave up celebrity gossip which meant no more celebrity television news and no more magazines. Since I was giving up the gossip magazines I figured I'd save a few more trees and cancel all of my magazine subscriptions. This included Martha Stewart (my absolute fav), Southern Living, Cooking Light, Self and more goodies I enjoyed. I was attempting to make life a little more simple.

It worked, not following celebrity gossip made me feel calmer. I did miss my other magazines but not enough to do anything about it besides I could read everything off the internet. In fact, the only magazines I've read, other than the occasional read when at the doctor's office, are parenting magazines; and that is only after I became pregnant last year.

So I've been magazine free for years (again except useful parenting magazines) until this week. I broke down and bought the April issue of Martha Stewart Living. Maybe it was the pretty pink cover with the enticing Easter decoration tips and crafts. Maybe it was because I had just finished my book and didn't have another one waiting on my bedside table. Maybe it was because I was itching for something sweet and decided to treat myself in a different way. I really don't know why I gave in but I did.

Boy did I feel guilty, I couldn't wait to open the glossy pages and soak in all that Martha had to offer. Easter is one of my favorite holidays so I knew her Easter special was going to fulfill that empty place in my heart that I just realized existed.

So you ask, was it worth all the guilt? YES!!! Why? If I hadn't bought that issue, I would have never run across a crafters dream, otherwise knows as Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts! Okay so I probably would have eventually found out about it, especially since I get updates via email from

Anyway, this mother of all craft books contains 200 projects from the last 15 years with more than 700 instructional photos. Can you imagine the possibilities this book has to offer? Truly heaven on earth, really. At least it is for an amateur crafter like me.

Oh Martha you make me weak in the knees.

p.s I really hope the hubby is reading this one because it's not only added to the wish list this is top priority folks! Top priority indeed!

Speaking of Books...

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently took Ozzie to the library for Wee Ones Story Time and we both enjoyed it. In keeping with the book theme, I thought I'd share his favorite books.

When I was still pregnant I wanted to start Ozzie off with a small collection of his own books hoping that he would love reading as much as I do. I read somewhere that the following books were always a hit with babies so I ran right out and bought all of them.

I have to say, the list was spot on! Ozzie loves these books and never gets tired of Mommy and Daddy reading them to him. Yes we do have most of them memorized by now. The other advice the list offered (I really wish I remembered where I read the list) was to buy the board version of the books because they will be eaten. Great advice, this definitely happened.

Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. His number one favorite book of all time. I guess there is a reason the book has been a best seller with children for 60 years. I think he loves the transition between the black and white images and color images, as well as the rhymes as the bunny says good night to everything in his room. Because this is his favorite book, it's already beaten up pretty bad. I'm hoping to get him a big boy copy once books stop going into his mouth.

His second favorite book is Good Morning, Good Night because of the touch and feel animals on each page. Every time I read this book to him I tell him to touch the animals' soft fur, now he does it on his own. Great sensory book and cute short rhymes make this one a Mommy favorite too.

Every child has to own a few Dr. Seuss books. Mr. Brown Can Moo Can You? Is a great start to Dr. Seuss because of the fun story where Mommy and Daddy can make funny noises. Ozzie loves the rain, "dibble dibble dibble dop" and the "soft whisper whisper" of the butterfly.

Go Dog Go another Early Learning Dr. Seuss book filled with quick rhymes and bright colorful illustrations. Ozzie's favorite is the page "go on boat", I think he likes the bright blue water.

And last but not least, Guess How Much I Love You. Honestly right now Mommy likes this book a little more than Ozzie. I think the story is a little long for his age but I'm hoping if I keep reading it to him, he'll grow to love it and he'll know that I will always "love him to the moon and back!"

Happy Spring!

Today is the first day of Spring. One of my four favorite seasons!

I can't wait for more walks with Ozzie- yay!

March 18, 2009

Library Story Time

I recently found out about story time at my local library and decided to give it a try with Ozzie a few days ago. He is just about the age where we can try new activities without a major meltdown (on either of our parts). Plus this gets the both of us out of the house on a rainy Seattle day.

Story time consists of two to three short stories, singing a few songs and playing a few interactive games all in 30 minutes. The perfect amount of time considering children's attention spans. They also have story time in three other languages (Spanish, Chinese and Russian). Since Ozzie is half Hispanic I may try the Spanish story time someday.

I am an avid reader so it is so important to me that Ozzie likes reading. There are so many wonderful children's books out there, I can't wait for him to really understand what is being read to him.

Unfortunately Ozzie did start to get antsy towards the end, 30 minutes is still a long time for a 7 month old. So we moved to the back of the room to not disturb the other kids. He calmed down once I stood up and changed his scenery a little. I really do think he enjoyed it though. He definitely found the other little kiddos interesting. If anything else, I learned a new song or two to sing to him at home. Luckily I live directly in between two neighborhood libraries so we will try the other one next week and pick our favorite.

Of course, I took a picture to email to Daddy at the office since he can't join us for these fun events. Sorry it's fuzzy, darn camera on my phone!

March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Dinner

The hubby and I invited my parents over for a casual St. Patrick's Day dinner since it's Ozzie's first St. Patrick's Day. Don't I sound like a new mother? Like he really understands anything that is going on at 7 1/2 months old.

Nevertheless, I was determined to celebrate it and start new traditions for Ozzie. So yesterday I searched the web for Corned Beef and Cabbage recipes. I knew I wanted to make the corned beef but eat it as a Reuben.

Recipezaar has this great recipe for NYC Corned Beef and Cabbage: Click here for the detailed recipe and shopping guide. Below is my modified version:

3 lb. corned beef brisket
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 head of fresh cabbage
10 to 12 medium red potatoes
1 (1lb) bag fresh carrots (I used baby carrots no chopping or peeling involved)
Fresh parsley
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 garlic clove
1 medium sweet onion
1 bottle of beer (we had Alaskan Winter Ale in the fridge)

Place brisket with seasoning pack (best side up) in large dutch oven or stock pot
Add two bay leaves and teaspoon of peppercorns
Cover generously with water and bottle of beer and bring
Remove outer leaves of cabbage, rinse, cut into quarters
Peel onion, cut into eighths
Peel and cut carrots into quarters (like I said I used baby carrots so I got to skip this step)
Rinse parsley and chop

After 2 hours of cooking brisket
Add potatoes, add more water to cover if necessary and bring to boil
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes
Add cabbage, onion and carrots, add more water if necessary and bring to boil
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes
Check cabbage to see if it is tender
If not, simmer another 5 minutes or until tender. Do not under cook cabbage

When done
Place potatoes in bowl while piping hot
Add stick of butter, chopped garlic and handful of chopped parsley
Gently stir until butter is melted
Slice brisket cross the grain
Serve cabbage and carrots as side dishes
Discard stock including onions and seasoning

The Reubens (we winged it and didn't look for a recipe, we ended up loving it!)
Dark rye bread
Muenster cheese (per my Dad's request- good thinkin' Dave!)
Thousand Island dressing
Butter for bread
Layer in this order- corned beef, cheese, dressing, cabbage leaves
Grill both sides until cheese is melted. We used a Le Creuset 10" grill pan and pressed the sandwich like a panini.
We served the Reubens with the potatoes, carrots, a salad, any extra cabbage and a bottle of red wine. Dinner was deelicous!! For dessert we had strawberries and whip cream (not green or Irish but yum yummy!)

Ozzie was stuffed! Just kidding he can't eat real food yet but doesn't it look like he just finished Thanksgiving dinner in this picture?!

While I was cooking I started to feel guilty that I hadn't decorated the house for St. Patrick's Day. I know Ozzie is only 7 1/2 months old but it is his 1st St. Patty's Day and I wanted to do it right. So I waited until his next nap and ran to the craft bin to see what I had.

Luckily I had large dark green ribbon and small thin brown ribbon. I cut shamrocks out of the green ribbon free hand (you can tell the shamrocks were cut by free hand if you look closely but I know you won't) and tied them to branches from my backyard with the brown ribbon. Add a tall vase and some river rock and voila I had a St. Patrick's Day centerpiece in 10 minutes flat!

I searched high and low for votives but I must have used them all during our last black out.

Don't look too close at those shamrocks!

Like I said casual dinner so we ate on the kitchen table.

When my little leprechaun woke from his nap, I tried to take a few pictures of him in his green err... olive outfit but he was more interested in throwing stuff off the edge of the sofa.

This is the best smile I could get outta him

Wow gravity!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day you!

March 16, 2009


Okay I know I'm a day late and a dollar short on the whole bareMinerals craze but I just bought the starter kit after one of my friends told me how much she loved it and boy do I agree!

This stuff is great. What I love most is that it's a powder and not a foundation. I'm only 33 and all I do is sit at home with a 7 month old, do I really need to cake on the liquid foundation? I think not!

This is why I like it:
  • It's 100% pure bareMinerals without any preservatives, fillers, or binders and

  • It is free of talc, oil, fragrance and other skin irritants. With all we're reading these days, carcinogens in baby products for crying out loud!, the natural ingredients of bareMinerals puts my mind and my sensitive skin at ease.

  • The coverage is great but light weight, I can barely tell it's on.

  • SP15 helps keep my skin damage free.

  • I love blending the two shades in the starter kit for a custom shade that matches my skin tone perfectly. Since I am half Filipino, I often find a hard time finding the perfect shade.
But like I said earlier, you already know this and I'm the newbie here. Although if you haven't tried it, give it a run, I think you'll be as impressed as I am.