September 24, 2009

Cannon Beach

As I mentioned earlier, Oscar and I took Ozzie down to Cannon Beach Oregon for a mini-vacation over Labor Day.

It was our first family vacation, although Oscar calls it a staycation because we didn't travel anywhere by plane. I was pretty nervous about Ozzie sleeping in a hotel room and how he would handle the long drive down and back. You really never know what is going to happen with a one year old.

I am happy to report that Ozzie did great! We requested a pack 'n play so that we didn't have to pack our own, with sheets and lovies {aka stuffed animals} from home Ozzie slept great! I kind of felt bad that I didn't give him enough credit until we had our first meal.

Ozzie decided that he hated eating at restaurants and took it upon himself to scream bloody murder at all of our meals. No kiddie toy or crayon would satisfy him. Oscar and I ate in shifts and scarfed our food down at record pace. I am so glad that I had the forethought to book a hotel with a full kitchen. This came in handy when we surrendered to our toddlers naughty behavior and stopped eating out. I would still like to offer a formal apology to all those restaurant patrons that had to listen to my son's ear piercing scream. Oh and another apology to the bus boys that had to clean the mess on the floor. Apparently while screaming Ozzie thought it would be super fun to throw all of his food, kiddie crayons, napkins, utensils, all of our straws and anything else within reach on the floor. Eating out was a joy.

So eating out was no fun but the rest of the trip was great. Ozzie loved the beach, the water and even managed to sit happily in his stroller while we window shopped through downtown Cannon Beach. The hotel where we stayed at had bunnies that Ozzie tortured every day. I am sure the bunnies were happy to see the Oroscos check out. Oscar took Ozzie for a late night stroll along the water and I got some much needed alone time that I used for more shopping. I could spend hours in little boutiques. In fact, I did spend hours in little boutiques. It only drizzled on us one day so we got in lots of beach time but are thinking next year we will go in July when it's super hot and we can hang on the beach all day.

Here are some pictures from our mini-vacation. If you want to see more pictures of Ozzie on the beach, posing by Haystack Rock, on the beach and on the beach click HERE. Enjoy!

Spotted the bunnies upon check in

More bunny wrangling

Walking with Daddy along the beach

Ready to shovel some sand

Got tired of walking, wanted a ride in his wagon.

Posing in front of Haystack Rock

An evening walk with Daddy

Posing for Daddy

September 22, 2009

Welcome Fall!

Today is the first day of Fall, my favorite season! I just love when the leaves start to change colors, the simultaneous brisk and sunny days, admiring how the neighbors have decorated the outside of their homes, all the kiddos dressed up in their Halloween costumes and spending time with family on Thanksgiving. There is so much to love about the Fall.

Today I celebrated by reading every last inch of the October MS Living {sigh}. Ms. Martha sure did it right this year. There IS something magical about the Fall, isn't there?

Can you imagine these lovely pumpkins and gourds adorning your front porch? I wish I had the time and creativity to do this. Sadly I don't but a girl can dream.

Speaking of pumpkins, I can not wait to hit up the pumpkin patch this year with our little pumpkin. We will definitely torture him again a la last years pumpkin carving below. I am thinking this is a tradition we'll keep until Ozzie doesn't let us do it anymore. Still cracks me up!

This year Ozzie will be able to sit among the pumpkins on his own {you can see me here crouched behind him and ready to scoop him up before he falls}. Now I may have to hold him down to sit still long enough for Oscar to snap a picture. Maybe he'll even smile this year.

Happy first day of Fall. I hope the season brings you as much joy as it does for me!

September 21, 2009

No Cook Pasta

On Saturday evenings Oscar and I try to listen to one of our favorite radio shows, In the Kitchen with Tom & Thierry, as often as we can. In the Kitchen is a great cooking show hosted by two famous Seattle chefs, Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau.

A few weekends ago Tom & Thierry paid tribute to the author of the Silver Palate cookbook, Shiela Lukin, after she passed away from brain cancer. Both Tom & Thierry talked about their appreciation for her cookbook since it is filled with many "go to" recipes. They also agreed that the book can truly help a new cook get acquainted with gourmet cooking.

Both Tom & Thierry, as well as several of their listeners, went on and on about her Summer Pasta recipe, also known as the No Cook Pasta recipe. Of course, after listening to all of them rave about this pasta, I had to try it for myself.

I was happy to use some of the last of my tomatoes from my own garden. I can see why it's called a summer pasta, this dish just would not be the same with out of season tomatoes and basil. It was really good and so so easy. A great recipe for a small dinner party because it allows you to spend time with your company instead of in the kitchen. My only suggestion is not to use a full cup of olive oil. It was pretty oily once the brie melted. I am thinking 3/4 of a cup would be just fine.

Silver Palate Summer "No Cook" Pasta

4 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 pound Brie cheese, rind removed, torn into irregular pieces
1 cup cleaned fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1 cup best quality olive oil
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds linguine

Combine tomatoes, brie, basil, garlic, 1 cup olive oil, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl.
Prepare at least 2 hours before serving and set aside, covered, at room temperature
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the linguine and boil until al dente, about 10 minutes.
Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato sauce. Serve immediately.

Another variation is marinate the tomatoes in lemon juice, sliced green onions, a dash of white wine and substitute fresh mozzarella for the brie. I definitely want to try this version but may have to wait a whole year from tomato season.

Perfect with a tall glass of white wine on a hot summer evening. I am glad I got it in on the last day of summer!

September 16, 2009

Full Circle

I recently came across the eco-friendly dish brushes, sponges and towels sold by Full Circle and I couldn't be more excited about it.

I know what you are saying, "She's excited about sponges?". Listen, if you are stuck in the kitchen washing dishes and loading or unloading the dishwasher as often as I am, you would be excited too. Washing dishes is not a chore I would miss if I never did it again; but it must be done so I am happy to find a company that has done it right.

Not only are their products made from sustainable and renewable resources like scrub brushes with bamboo handles and sponges made from cellulose. They have a brush line that stands up to to keep the bristles off your counter or sink. This makes for a faster dry time to help avoid bacteria growth. Plus they look pretty.

It's like music to my ears. Right now I use a glass to house all of my brushes because the thought of a brush sitting at the bottom of my kitchen sink makes me slightly nauseous but the petri dish effect at the bottom of that glass is also unsettling. These brushes solve all that! Now do you see why I am so excited? Germaphobes unite!

Full Circle makes several other great products like reusable cellulose cloths and 100% biodegradable sponges. Although I don't use sponges at all {more nausea} if I did I like the idea of using a biodegradable sponge since common household "sponges can take 1000 years to breakdown", as quoted from their website. Another good reason to shop from this eco-friendly company.

Make sure to check out their website to find retailers near you.

September 14, 2009

Chickin Feed

I saw this nutritional tracking chart from Chickin Feed in the October issue of Parents magazine and thought it was very clever.

The daily chart helps moms track what their child is eating to assure every food group is hit.

Now that Ozzie has entered toddlerhood his eating habits change hourly, on any given day he may gobble it down at lunch and spit it out at dinner. I fear he is headed down the picky eater path. So I definitely could benefit from this daily reminder. Also once he is old enough to understand, I could use the chart as a game to get him more interested in nutrition.

Chickin Feed also offers the cutest plates with portion sizes printed right on them for your kids to get a good visual of a balanced meal and a retro cookbook filled with activities and shopping tips. All great ideas!

I also love that the company is the brainchild of a mom who was trying to keep her own children's nutrition in check. Mothers really do know best!

September 11, 2009

In Memoriam

Today marks the eight year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Like many Americans, I remember exactly where I was when I first heard the news of the planes hitting the World Trade Center. I don't think I will ever forget.

On this and every anniversary, it is so important for all of us to remember the victims, nearly 3,000 men, women and children, who lost their lives. Take some time today to honor them in your own special way, whatever that may be.

May they rest in peace and may their families who are left behind be filled with love and memories.

September 5, 2009

Ready. Set. Fall!

Pumpkin Brown
Pumpkin Brown by allabouto featuring Anthropologie

September is here, Fall is just around the corner and I couldn't be happier about it. I love the fall. There is something about the leaves changing colors, crisp but sunny days and pumpkins galore that makes me swoon. Not to mention Halloween and Thanksgiving, two of my very favorite Holidays with family.

So while Oscar is out on a boys night and Ozzie is in dreamland, I am happily passing time creating a fall inspiration board on I call it pumpkin brown, you dig? I dig. Now if I could just find a way to afford all of these lovelies from Anthropologie.

Items in this set:
Sunlit Grove Coat -, $528
Toddler Girls bling graphic t - Juicy Tangerine, Weathered Grey, $7
Rugged Boots - Fall Essentials -, $248
Hot Colors - Clothes -, $228
3-D Nursery - Jewelry -, $38

September 4, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

Oscar and I are taking Ozzie to Cannon Beach Oregon over Labor Day weekend and the week after. Below is a picture of Cannon Beach's famous Haystack Rock. Look at those miles and miles of beach for us to explore. How lucky are we in the Pacific Northwest to have these beautiful destinations within driving distance?

It will be Ozzie's first trip to the ocean, Oscar's first time to the Oregon Coast and our first family vacation! Although Oscar likes to call it a staycation because we are not traveling anywhere by plane. I'm thinking that the definition of a vacation to Oscar involves a plane ride to a hot destination and fruity drinks served with miniature umbrellas. Anywhere that takes four hours to get to by car and requires a stay at a hotel is a vacation if you ask me.

Since I will be gone most of the week, I will no be posting any updates for awhile. I am wondering how I will handle a week away from my blog addiction but this is a much needed vacation for us since Oscar has been very busy at work and Ozzie and I are in desperate need of some new scenery.

I have no idea how sleeping in a hotel will be with Ozzie. God bless the other patrons is all I can say. Crossing my fingers, toes, eyes, anything that will cross, that Ozzie's sleep is not disturbed too much and we get some rest. I'm sure we'll need a vacation from or vacation but isn't that what summer vacations are all about? When the week is over, Oscar will be running back to work and I'll be so happy to have Ozzie sleeping in his crib again.

Rested or not the Oregon Coast has some cute little towns for us to explore and miles of beach that will bring us many new adventure I'm sure.

I hope your Labor Day is happy and safe and that you are spending it with your favorite people too!