May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

This year we celebrated Memorial Day with a family road trip to Bellingham to have a mini-holiday with our friends Stacey and Lisa and their son Trey; who is also our God son.

It was our first family road trip. Ozzie did great, he slept the whole time both ways thanks to our impeccable timing of his naps. Unfortunately we did not have the same luck with bed time. This was Ozzie's first time not sleeping at home and it did not go well. His surroundings were unfamiliar and he was not happy. Needless to say neither of us got much sleep this weekend.

Amazingly enough he was in great spirits during the day even without much sleep at night. He loved playing with Trey and his toys and was especially amused by their dog Chase.

It was great seeing old friends and spending quality time with them. We have always enjoyed our special friendship with Stacey and Lisa. Their home is lovely and always welcoming. Oscar fell in love with their boat and has vowed to make another trip up this summer.

Here are some pictures from our adventure!

Oscar and Ozzie on the boat

Trey (begrudgingly) hugging Ozzie- just kidding!

Trey feeding Ozzie puffs

Boys playing with Oscar

More puffs

Oscar and Ozzie

Happy Memorial Day!

May 19, 2009

Hummingbird Cake

Last week was my Grandmother's 81st Birthday. Pretty amazing huh? 81 years on this earth is an accomplishment in and of itself. Since Grandma pretty much has everything she wants {81 years of birthdays will do that for you} Ozzie and I decided to make her a special cake for her birthday this year.

I always wanted to try Martha Stewart's Hummingbird cake and thought this was the perfect occasion. The cake is really easy to make which is not typical of Martha; her recipes can be complicated. The dried pineapple flowers however required patience patience patience. They took three times longer to dry at 225 degrees in my oven than the 30 minutes per side as stated on the recipe. But since it was for Grandma, I held on and resisted the temptation to yank those puppies out of the oven and toss them in the garbage!

The pineapple flowers really are pretty neat when they are done. But if we're being honest, they don't taste too great. I guess like most cake decorations they are there for the aesthetics more than adding any flavor.

The cake itself is very sweet, hence the hummingbird label. It basically tastes like a sweet banana bread. The walnuts really make the cake so don't opt out of those if you try it.

It was fun to try but may be a one hit wonder in my kitchen thanks to those darn pineapple flowers. The good news is Grandma liked it {although I bet she wouldn't of said otherwise}. Happy Birthday Grandma! Thanks for all you do for everyone!

May 18, 2009

Home on the Range

This weekend was a "weekend warrior" kind of weekend. Yard work and house work was on the agenda. My dear sweet hubby worked H.A.R.D. on the landscaping in the front yard. Have you ever removed old bushes, mowed the lawn, trimmed the edges, pulled weeds, laid down fabric, planted new flowers and bark all in one day? It's a hard days work! I have a new appreciation for landscapers.

Anyway Oscar did such a great job. I only wish I would have taken before pictures so that you could see the difference. Gone are the ugly bushes of yesterday that hid my cozy front porch and suffocated my pretty Japanese Maple. Now lay my lovely azaleas, hydrangeas and lilacs enticing me for a nice rock in one of our chairs on the front porch.

We are almost done with the yard. We hired a landscaper to fix the debacle that was our backyard. That job required professionals. Of course, we forgot before and after shots for the backyard too.

Last week we planted our organic vegetable and herb garden. All that is left is a few yards of new sod, a little more weeding in the front and viola a whole new yard. There will be a celebration. I am so excited to enjoy our yard this summer!

Here are some pictures of Ozzie helping us pick out plants and flowers a few weekends ago at a local nursery and Home Depot. I'm pretty sure riding the carts was the highlight for him.

Who ever invented the car cart is a genius!

While Oscar worked in the yard, Ozzie and I stayed in and tried a new Rhubarb recipe for our pancakes. My gift to Oscar for his hard work was a yummy pancake breakfast. Pancakes are a favorite around these parts.

This was my first rhubarb recipe ever actually. Every Spring I see it at the market and think what do you do with that? Enter the blogosphere. I ran into rhubarb recipes all over the blogs. This one looks good but cobbler is not really my thing. Although I love me some Smitten Kitchen recipes so I'll probably still try it some day.

I decided to go with this one from Tea & Cookies which is actually a modified version of this one from Dana Treat. I'm really glad I did, it was a perfect pancake topping. The rhubarb was just a little tart so we didn't feel the sugar overload that can happen with blueberry or strawberry pancakes. And boy was this easy! When you are toting a 9 month old around on your hip {he's going through a slight separation anxiety phase} easy recipes are your favorite recipes. I will definitely try this again, I think I read somewhere that it's great over vanilla ice cream too. Yum.

Here's to home improvements and trying new foods!

May 15, 2009

Lovely. Period.

I saw this on Design*Sponge and I don't normally post about events or weddings because, let's face it, it's not my strong point. I leave that for my buddy Brooke but this wedding is JUST.SO.LOVELY I had to share their beautiful pictures.

When I got married, I told all of my vendors that I wanted my wedding to be {organic lovely}. I wanted everything to look beautiful but not fussy. As if you were walking through a garden and fell on nature in all it's organic beauty. Just as charming and inviting as the Willows Lodge where we wed. Whether or not I pulled it off I don't know but this wedding is exactly that- {organic lovely}.If the hubby and I ever renewed our vows, I would copy every last detail.

Photographed by Jose Villa click here for all of their gorgeous pictures.

*photos courtesy of Design*Sponge and Jose Villa

May 14, 2009

Home Tip

Did you know that your mattress needs to be flipped four times a year to keep it at optimal performance? Especially true if you and your hubby are different heights and weights and I'm assuming most of us are. Please excuse the horrible shots from my phone (when am I going to learn to stop using the camera phone?) but I wanted to share this simple home organization tip since I am Spring cleaning.

Label a small piece of card stock with January & April (see picture one), laminate with self adhesive laminating sheets and pin to your mattress. Do the same on another piece of card stock labeled with July & October (see picture two). When the corresponding month arrives, flip your mattress so that the month is at the foot of the bed. Easy pleasy!

Martha would be upset with me that I am two weeks late in flipping my mattress!

May 12, 2009

She Can Make My Lunch Any Day

I stumbled across Wendolonia today via Everyday Celebrating and fell in love with the bento boxed lunches she makes for her son, Wyatt.

Here is where you close your mouth. It's okay mine was wide open with AWE too!

What a great way to "say" I love you to your child everyday and how clever of her to get fruits and veggies AND TOFU in her little guy! Really you must visit her site and see the 175 lunches she's made for her son over the past year.

Do I smell a Mommy of the Year Award or is it just that yummy tofu lunch?

*Photos courtesy of Wendolonia

May 11, 2009

Do Just One Thing and Do It Well

Just when I committed to electronic tasks and to do lists on my Blackberry- save a tree right?- I find these lovely and free downloadable lists from Baca Creative, also featured on Le Blahg. Oh the agony of not being able to use these! Can I cheat just this once?

Photo courtesy of Le Blahg

Aren't they pretty? I love lists. The only thing better than a good list is crossing off a task once you've completed it. Call me crazy but the shear joy of looking down at my crumpled piece of paper with my cat scratch notes and a crossed out "completed task" makes me {swoon}.

It was so hard for me to commit to an electronic to do list. Honestly I hate it. Just not as much fun. Once you complete a task, it just gets deleted. Goes away into space. No fun crossed out, wrinkled page to look at with a feeling of accomplishment. Boo!

Imagine all the fun I'd have with these lovelies? Every addict has to fall off the wagon once right? I can rationalize anything and have officially convinced myself that this is okay. Off to download...

May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

This year marks the 1st Mother's Day for me as a Mom and it was a great day! Oscar made sure I woke up to flowers, chocolates, a gift card to my favorite boutique/gift shop, those awesome recordable cards from Hallmark with a special greeting from my son and him AND a very large breakfast (it's funny how husbands cook the amount of food they would like to eat) of pancakes with strawberries & whip cream, eggs, bacon, orange juice and coffee! He did such a great job! Thank you honey for making my 1st Mother's Day perfect!

We spent the afternoon getting our organic vegetable and herb garden planted. This is something I've wanted to do since reading Animal Vegetable Miracle and I'm so happy everything is finally planted. It's so rewarding to see the fruits... err... I mean the vegetables of your labor.

We planted three different types of tomatoes, two types of bell peppers, two types of lettuce, spinach, jalapenos, snap peas, artichokes, celery, leeks, walla walla onions, basil, cilantro and parsley. I still want to add lemon-verbena and oregano.

Here is my yummy heirloom lettuce up close. Crossing my fingers that everything gets harvested. Normally I do a ton of research to make sure everything is perfect before I start a project but this time I just went for it. Oscar and I went to the nursery, bought what we like to eat and threw it in the ground. Here's to hopin'!

Even Ozzie joined in on the fun and helped water the veggies once everything was planted. Although I'm not quite sure why my husband has him dressed in pajama bottoms here but who really knows what goes on while Mommy is busy outside in the garden.

After a long afternoon in the garden, I tried this yummy new recipe from Bethenny Bakes as a special but somewhat healthy dessert for us tonight.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 16 cookies

1 cup oat flour
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup plain soy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 ripe banana, cut into small pieces (although next time I think I'll use the whole banana)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or another favorite nut
1/3 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips (not gonna lie, we used regular old organic chocolate chips not vegan chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine first 6 ingredients (through sugar) in a bowl.
Whisk together oil, soy milk and vanilla in a separate bowl.
Add wet mixture to dry ingredients; stir to combine.
Fold in banana, walnuts and chocolate chips.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Scoop dough onto pan with a small ice cream scoop.
Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown, turning baking sheet halfway through.
Let cool on a wire rack.

Calories 138, Fat 8g, Cholesterol 0mg, Protein 2g, Carbohydrate 16g, Sugars 9g, Fiber 1g, Iron 1mg, Sodium 114mg, Calcium 16mg

If you read my blog, you know that I've been obsessed with oatmeal cookies lately. These were really good, especially for being a little better for you than your average cookie. I love Bethenny on the Real Housewives of NY and was excited to try her recipe.

It was a perfect day spent with my two boys! Pretty low key since my Mom is out of the country on vacation. Ozzie made sure to call Nanay and wish her Happy Mother's Day too. Happy Mother's Day to all, hope your day was as great as mine!

May 8, 2009

Mother's Day Card

photos courtesy of Party Perfect

Just saw this adorable card on Party Perfect. This Mommy is copying the idea for Father's Day. Thanks for the inspiration!

Mother's Day Door Hanger

Saw this free download by Twig & Thistle on Twitter today via The Invitation Lady and had to share the laugh. I may want to keep it up all year!

*photos courtesy of Twig & Thistle

May 7, 2009

Looking for a CSA?

photo courtesy of cook local

Are you in the Seattle area and looking to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)? Cook Local is currently showcasing local farms to help you choose the perfect one for you.
What is a CSA? Community Supported Agriculture is a community of individuals who pledge support to a local farm by becoming farm members. Farmers and consumers share the costs and benefits of growing fresh, seasonal produce. Funds collected in advance from members cover anticipated costs of farm operation, including supplies, equipment, and labor. In return, members enjoy a share of the farm’s bounty throughout the season, as well as the satisfaction of knowing and supporting the people who grow their food.

South 47 Farm in Redmond is even offering a free choice CSA! Support your local farmers while giving your family the gift of health- sounds like a win-win!

May 6, 2009

Mother's Day Brunch

photo courtesy of MS

Mother's Day is this Sunday, are you ready? In preparation for my first Mother's Day as a Mother I can't seem to get sauces and spreads out of my mind. It must be because Mother's Day is the most "brunched" holiday after Easter and nothing says brunch better than a yummy sauce or spread over homemade waffles.

For whatever reason, I am craving some fruity tooty sauces and spreads for this Mother's Day. Here are some I think we should all add to our brunch repertoire. All sound like a perfect topping to these waffles.

Mango Sauce

Orange Cream Cheese- spreading it over Ina's Date Nut Spice Bread in my mind right now.

Blueberry Sauce

Orange Cream Cheese- Ina Style
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, sugar, and orange zest on medium speed until just combined.

Aside from being delicious these recipes seem pretty easy too. Nothing like a quick and yummy sweet treat for you and for Mom!

May 5, 2009

Strawberry Margarita Pie

Although next year for Cinco De Mayo I think I'll make this. Yum!

*photo courtesy of superape

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

This year we celebrated Cinco De Mayo by inviting Pepa over for chicken tostadas on Trader Joe's famous corn tortillas, cumin black beans, homemade guacamole and choco tacos for dessert. I made the tostadas and beans for Oscar a few weeks ago and he loved both dishes so much he requested the combo again for Cinco De Mayo- thanks Colleen! The tostada recipe is a little labor intensive but it is so good, it's worth it for special occasions.

Of course a Cinco De Mayo celebration wouldn't be complete without a sombrero and bandito mustache for Ozzie. Ole!

Here is my recipe for homemade guacamole

1 to 2 ripe avocados
1 to 2 tomatoes
1/2 small onion finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno finely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 large lime

Mix all ingredients and squeeze lime over guacamole before refridgerating.

May 1, 2009

What Every House Needs

Saw this article from House Beautiful on Twitter and thought it was great to share. If Ina says I need it for my kitchen, I need it for my kitchen!

*photo courtesy of House Beautiful