April 28, 2009

I'll Take One in Every Color... Thanks!

You will too when you see these aprons from Epicurean Style. Thanks Design Mom for another awesome share!

Who knew to use an apron when giving a bath? Another smart idea from the mommysphere (my new catch phrase for the blogosphere, think it will catch on?).

It's funny because aprons are one of the first things I wanted to make with my new sewing machine. I've vowed to learn how to sew in 2009. These aprons are some great inspiration!

*photos courtesy of Epicurean Style

Sesame Street Birthday

I caught this Sesame Street themed birthday party on Party Perfect and had to share! I love Sesame Street, my son's name is Oscar for goodness sake- how can I not love Oscar the Grouch?

Clever invitations

The cupcakes are even better. Are you seeing the fangs on The Count? Too funny!

These birthday themes are truly amazing! Thanks to all the moms for their inspiration.

*pictures courtesy of Lovely Sprinkles

April 25, 2009

Animal Vegetable Miracle

I just finished the book Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I first heard about it from Colleen at Over Cocktails but since then ran into it and the slow food movement everywhere so I decided to check it out. I am so glad I did, it is life changing. Truly.

The book is a memoir of their move from Tucson to a farm her husband, Stephen Hopp, owned prior to their marriage in Southern Appalachia; and their vow to eat food either grown by themselves or bought from their neighborhood. Their two main goals were to eat food that's not only better for them but better for the environment.

Filled with incredible facts about the amount of energy consumed by the production, packaging and shipping of food all over the world as well as the benefits (for both the farmers and ourselves) of eating organic and locally grown foods it's hard not to rethink your own food life. Their description of what occurs inside a concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is hard to swallow- literally. Let's just say I'm even more terrified of mad cow disease now than I was a month ago.

Here is an excerpt from one of Stephen's sidebars in the book, both he and their daughter Camille added to the book. This was probably one of the more eye opening facts for me.

"Each food item in a typical U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1500 miles. In addition to direct transport, other fuel-thirsty steps include processing (drying, milling, cutting, sorting, baking), packaging, warehousing and refrigeration. Energy calories consumed by production, packaging and shipping far outweigh the energy calories we receive from the food.

A quick way to improve food-related fuel economy would be to buy a quart of motor oil and drink it. More palatable options are available. If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That’s not gallons, but barrels. Small changes in buying habits can make big differences. Becoming a less energy-dependent nation may just need to start with a good breakfast."

Barbara does a great job of educating her readers on the season's harvest. Here is her Vegetannual, an illustrated calendar of seasonal fruits and vegetables. A calendar to live by.

A hip new term deemed for this movement is "locavore" or one who tries to eat only locally grown foods. After reading this book I really want to incorporate more local and organic foods into my family's diet. Not only for our health and the health of our planet but especially to help support local farmers. The information she shares about the lobbyist of major food corporations is simply disheartening. It's no wonder so many Americans don't trust government. If only every American family could make this vow, what difference we could make.

The book is non-fiction but truly reads like a novel and is even funny. Her turkey mating debacle is hilarious. I know I've shared some saddening statistics but most of the book is fun and truly inspiring. I think she has inspired every reader to make their own mozzarella, bake their own bread, grow a vegetable garden and support local farmers. It's not just the eat organic mantra so many health food experts repeat like puppets. The book and website are is also filled with many great recipes.

She has definitely inspired my goals:

  • Support local farmers and shop at farmers markets. 'Tis the season!
  • Buy produce that is in season and learn how to can or freeze for the winter.
  • Make her 30 minute mozzarella.
  • Bake my own homemade bread. I think my parents may have an old bread machine in storage somewhere.
  • Eat organic and avoid meats from CAFOs
  • Grow a backyard vegetable and herb garden. I really want to do this one!!

If you want to become a locavore or check out this movement, make sure to visit AnimalVegetableMiracle.com or Cook Local is another great site. Also go to Local Harvest to find local farmers and CSA programs.

I highly recommend the read, like I said it is life changing.

*pictures courtesy of AnimalVegetableMiracle.com

April 23, 2009

Monkey Lover

Have I ever told you that I love monkeys and collect them? Well if not, I do.

Oscar and I saw this adorable scene as it happened on our video monitor and he had to sneak into our son's room to snap a picture. Is there anything better?

The best thing about my baby and his monkey is that it's really my monkey. When Oscar and I started dating, 10 years ago!, I told him that I loved monkeys. So for Christmas of course I got a monkey stuffed animal. It was the first and only stuffed animal he got me since we were in our mid-twenties for goodness sake.

I knew Oscar and I would have babies some day (how did I know in our first year? you just do) so I hung on to that adorable stuffed animal for 10 years (pack rat?). I can't tell you how heartwarming it is to now see Ozzie love my monkey.

He is the perfect little monkey, don't you think? Perfect shade of tan, perfect furriness, perfect little monkey face and so so soft. He goes perfect with my little monkey- also perfect in every way.

Oh and for all of you freaking out that he's laying on his belly, he's 9 months old. We start the night on his back but if he ends up on his belly I'm not waking him up to flip him over! Pediatrician approved.

April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mom's birthday and you'll have to indulge me again because I took a video (okay three videos) of Ozzie wishing his Nanay "Happy Birthday" since she is out of the country on vacation. Not exciting to anyone not directly related to my son. The rest of you may want to skip this post.

It has been warm and sunny in Seattle this week so Ozzie and I have been playing in the backyard. He's still not too sure of the whole grass thing but he'll eventually get used to it. I don't think he likes all of the noise from the neighborhood kids. Our neighborhood is full of screaming kids- all day long! Family friendly neighborhoods have their pros and cons. He also seems a little weirded out by the humongous growling dog our neighbor has. Honestly I'm a little scared of that guy too.

You'll also have to excuse his hat, it really doesn't fit but I couldn't get him to keep his baseball cap on for longer than 2 seconds. For some reason the bucket hat didn't bother him as much. Boys?!

This one didn't turn out too well so I tried again. I don't really know why because I was never going to get a 9 month old to cooperate. Oh what did he choke on you ask, the cap to my water bottle. He's obsessed with my water bottle and yes I let him play with the cap right before he choked. Oh and yes he loves to growl, not sure where he picked that up but he won't stop.

Here's take two. I got him to "talk" a little here.

And here's take three. Yup he's still eating the bottle cap. At least he smiled in this one and kind of waved goodbye. He does that on his terms.

I'm not sure why it's so grainy, obviously user error. Have I mentioned before that I'm technologically illiterate. Thank goodness I married my husband!

Happy Birthday Mom, we miss you!

April 20, 2009

Latest Blog I'm Loving

is Diary of a Quilter by Amy. I found her blog through Design Mom, she was a guest blogger and I enjoyed her posts so much I decided to check her out.

I'm so glad I did because as I've mentioned before, I made a New Year's resolution to learn how to sew this year and Amy's blog is dedicated to sewing, quilting and of course her children. I know she will be a wonderful resource for me. I really want to try this as one of my first sewing projects.

Check her out, right now she has this fantastic giveaway. Keeping my fingers crossed that I win. I'm just loving all these mommy bloggers!

*picture courtesy of Diary of a Quilter

April 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Hubby!

Today is Oscar's birthday. I adore my husband! He is such a good person and I'm so happy to spend another wonderful year with him.

This is one of my favorite pictures of him on the beach in Aruba during our honeymoon. We loved our palapa on the beach so much, we didn't leave until well after the sun went down.

If you haven't visited Aruba, I highly recommend it. Please don't fall prey to the Natalie Holloway story. The locals are welcoming and accommodating. We went in September and it was so quiet and peaceful. We stayed on Eagle Beach which is more low key than the High Rise district. Because we wanted a relaxing honeymoon to unwind from a year of crazy wedding planning, Eagle Beach was perfect. We stayed at Bucuti Beach Resort. Best resort period! If you go make sure to get an ocean front room in the Tara Beach suites. We literally opened our doors and walked two feet onto the beautiful beach!

Back to the hubby's birthday. Sorry when I get talking about Aruba I can't stop. Such a great vacation! We had a pretty low key birthday this year. I made him these oatmeal cookies, which he devoured. It was a glorious sunny day in Seattle, so we went to the nursery to pick out some plants for our backyard and had a quiet dinner with the family. A perfect day for us!

Here is the birthday card Ozzie made for him this year.

I won't even begin to tell you about the ink pad debacle. Let's just say I was frantically scrubbing ink off of both of us before Oscar got home to hide the evidence. I tried to make it look like a 9 month old made it but now I realize it just looks kinda sloppy. Oh well he loved it!
Happy Birthday Honey!

April 18, 2009

Another Amazing Birthday Party

It's really hard to commit to a monkey themed 1st birthday party when I keep finding so many fun kids birthday parties on other blogs.

Just check out this party from armelle. I mean the invitations alone make me all a flutter. And why is it every time I find a cool new birthday party post, I find a cool new mom's blog that I want to start following? I guess us mommy bloggers rock!

The clown nose photo booth is too funny. I've heard of photo booths at weddings but at a kid's birthday party? That's a serious commitment to grand ole time.

Another great birthday party idea for a boy! Thanks for the inspiration!

*photos courtesy of armelle

David Wiseman Lighting

Just saw this over at Design Sponge. If I had a dramatic entry in my home one of these would be hanging from the ceiling. Lovely.

And of course I love the bronze bird cage. Check out more here.

*2nd photo from Design Sponge

Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Period.

I just made this deeeeeelicious recipe for Oscar's birthday tomorrow. Oatmeal raisin are his one of his favorites. Of course, I marry a guy who doesn't love chocolate! Jeesh!

Why am I baking for his birthday tonight? Well funny you ask. I'm so happy to say that we will have a busy day tomorrow running around getting stuff for the yard. We are having someone landscape our truly awful backyard- FINALLY! I'm so excited! Our backyard looks like a war zone. Really. I basically threatened Oscar with a mutiny of the troops if we didn't get the backyard fixed before Ozzie's 1st birthday. If you are lucky enough to be born during the summer in Seattle, you have an outdoor birthday party! Plain and simple.

Anyway, the cookies were so darn good, we both gobbled a few up tonight. Truly the B.E.S.T. oatmeal raisin cookie I've ever made!

Thanks again Smitten Kitchen!

April 14, 2009

Two New Recipes and a Garland

This year Easter snuck up on me so I didn't get to complete a lot of crafts that I had planned on for Ozzie's first Easter. It's amazing how one little munchkin can totally throw off your world. Since Ozzie has arrived, I'm finding myself with less and less time. I can't imagine how mothers with more than one child make it through the day. I just keep thinking about Kate of Jon & Kate Plus 8, how in the world does she survive?

But I digress, so Easter snuck up on me and I didn't get to make Thread Wrapped Easter Eggs and Paper Flowers but I did get to do this....

Bird Nest Cup Cakes- I knew my nephew, Andy, who is 7 was coming over so I wanted to make a fun cup cake that I thought he'd enjoy. I basically followed this recipe from MS except I added Hershey chocolate eggs instead of creating birds out of icing. I know my limits!

On that note, I went to Target on Good Friday to pick up Easter candy and they were sold out of Cadbury Mini Eggs, the original eggs I wanted to put on the cup cakes. Can you believe it? How do you sell out of Cadbury Mini Eggs before Easter? Mini Eggs are Easter!

The chocolate buttercream frosting was deelicious! I've never made homemade frosting before and honestly I don't think I let the sugar melt completely but it was still yum yummy.

Did I start with dessert first? Sorry, you know where my priorities are. For an appetizer I made Artichoke-Olive Crostini from Smitten Kitchen. I am trying to find a new "go to" appetizer to replace my baked brie. As I've mentioned in a previous post, I think the brie has out warmed it's welcome to all of my friends parties. Anyway, the crostini was a hit! If you haven't tried any of her recipes yet you ARE missing out.

Last but not least, I made the now infamous garland by Pamela Garrison seen on many blogs around these parts. I went the muffin cup route vs. the coffee filter. But I want to try the coffee filters too, I'd stain them with tea to make warmer colors though, I'm not a fan of whitey white.

Of course I made them with the pale pink cupcake cups I had at home along with some pretty pink papers so I ran out quick and my garland is small but I sure do love it. It's so pretty it belongs in a little girls room.

April 13, 2009

Ozzie's First Easter

This Easter was another first for Ozzie. We celebrated Easter on Saturday along with my birthday. My Dad and my nephew, Andrew, came over to decorate eggs, hunt eggs and an Easter/Birthday lunch. My Mom is on vacation in the Philippines so please indulge me as I post A LOT of pictures for Nanay!

The morning started off with Ozzie playing in his new tunnel. As I mentioned in a previous post, Ozzie loved the tunnel at Gymboree so we decided to buy him his own for Easter. He jumped right in it as you can see he's still in his pajamas.

Once Andy and my Dad arrived, we gave the boys their Easter baskets. No frills here, these baskets are all boy!

After that hoopla we started decorating eggs. Here is a picture of Andy decorating his eggs. I can't believe Andy is 7 years old!

As you can see Ozzie is beside himself "helping" Andy decorate eggs.

Andy's masterpiece!

After all of his eggs dried, Andy promptly placed all of them in his Easter basket (faking the hunt the weather didn't allow us to have).

Overall it was a great day. Andy was wonderful with Ozzie and kept him occupied all day. He is such a good kid. I love any holiday that we can celebrate with Andy and I love hanging out with family so I was very content. The only thing missing was Jon who had to work and Nanay in the Philippines. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day.

Pepa and his grandsons

So handsome even without his two front teeth.

Playing with his basket, plastic eggs and my 15 year old bunny!

I wish I could say he was super excited about the contents of his basket but he was mid-yawn when Oscar snapped this shot. It was obviously time for a nap.

Happy Easter!

April 12, 2009

April 11, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday...

... to me! Today is my birthday and unlike most women over 30, I L.O.V.E my birthday! This year is especially great because it's my first birthday as a Mommy. Oscar made sure I woke up to this

Oscar helped Ozzie write me sweet notes in my card along with a little scribble.

And traced his hand- adorable!

I'll spare you the mushy love note inside Oscar's card : )

My Dad and my nephew, Andrew, came over for dinner and an early Easter celebration. My Mom is visiting family in the Philippines so we took pictures for her. Miss you Mom!

Pepa and his grandsons

I love my Andy!

This is such a great picture I had to share it even if it's blury. I'm really upset that it's blury.

Here is a picture of my mantel with my birthday cards from family. Grandma always remembers us on our birthdays, she's so sweet!

To top off a great day, my sweet husband bought me this awesome gift! I know, is it 1955 and we're buying the little wife a sewing machine? Nope, believe it or not I asked for this.

One of my New Years resolutions is to learn how to sew. This year my resolutions are what I am going to do instead of what I am not going to do. I think it makes resolutions more fun!

I really think sewing is a great skill to have especially with a little guy who will inevitably need something hemmed or patched. Also my Dad tells me I come from a good stock of sewers. Apparently my Grandma is master seamstress. I'll have to ask her for lessons.

I can't wait to make my first creation. Perhaps an apron or maybe a quilt for Ozzie. So many new possibilites! Thanks Honey!!!

Another year, another wonderful birthday!