December 8, 2012

santa 2012

yes I'm that mom. crying santa pictures are a right of passage.

December 1, 2012

gingie the elf

the kids waking up and discovering that our elf has returned for christmas!

August 24, 2012

menu of the week

lately i have tried so many great mexican dishes from pinterest i decided to do a bit of a round up on my blog. bon appetit! or should i say ole!

sour cream chicken enchiladas
healthy turkey tacos
chipotle mango bbq chicken salad
light mexican chicken casserole
turkey enchilada casserole

ok as i linked all of these recipes i realized these can barely be passed as mexican food and are surely not traditional. we americans sure love our casseroles when attempting mexican. well at least the family gobbled it up.

August 7, 2012

ozzie's 4th birthday party

ozzie celebrated his 4th birthday party with a cowboy theme on a real working farm. just like every other party i host, i love to introduce the theme with the invitations. after finding the perfect cowboy font online, i made these invitations and wrap around mailing labels myself then printed them at my local printing shop. i added red envelopes and  was happy with how they turned out.

the little farm at windwater was the perfect setting for his 4th birthday party. the farm owners gave us full access to the farm allowing the kids to feed the ducks, bunnies, chickens, horses, pigs, goats and sheep. the peacocks happily (and noisily) wandered the farm welcoming our guests. inside the barn, kids held and fed the bunnies and guinea pigs and visited with the horses. these two extremely patient horses gave each child a horse back ride (or three, some took a few extra rides and the owners happily obliged) and posed for a perfect photo opportunity. there were tractor rides, horse shoes and a bull lasso game. 

just like olivia's first birthday, this was a pinterest inspired diy birthday party. i made ozzie a felt applique t-shirt of a sheriff star with the number four on it. the tables were covered in gingham clothes with center pieces of mason jars filled with white daisies that I wrapped with burlap, bandannas, and twine. my friend lent me antique horse shoes that i laid next to the centerpieces and on the buffet table.  each child's place setting had a straw cowboy hat, a red bandanna and sheriff star pin waiting for them to put on while enjoying the party. 

everyone ate from the "chuck wagon menu" on aluminum dishes just like real cowboys. i wrapped forks, knives and spoons in napkins with gingham ribbon. lunch was a buffet of pulled pork sliders with coleslaw, potato salad, fruit salad, hot dogs and chips for the kids, cupcakes and cowboy lassos (licorice). The "watering hole" provided cold drinks to cool off from the sun. i used my silhouette to cut the cup cake toppers of the little cowboy silhouettes and sheriff stars. on a side note, the silhouette is in my opinion the best crafting tool available. i actually made all of the paper banners, signs, die cuts, etc with this awesome machine!

The barn was the perfect place to hang the burlap happy birthday bunting. i made paper mustaches on a stick and my sweet friend brooke provided sheriff stars, pistols and other cowboy photo booth props from her etsy shop little retreats that i scattered on the tables for kids to grab. guests were sent home with a bag of "happy trails mix" as a party favor along with their cowboy gear. 

ozzie is such a happy boy, celebrating his birthday is always a joy and every year i find myself reflecting on how much he has grown. this year i am particularly proud of the young man he is turning into. his care and compassion for his little sister, his desire to cooperate and be helpful, and his ever curious mind with never ending questions fills me with an overwhelming amount of love while completely fascinating me at the same time. children are truly amazing, wonderful little creatures from God. my cup runneth over.

August 1, 2012

my friend shared this article on the chick-fil-a debacle via facebook. thought it was interesting. regardless of your stance, i can think of a hundred different health reasons to avoid chick-fil-a.

July 18, 2012

where's your beef from?

my csa posted this on facebook today and i found it interesting. my dad always wonders why i preach grass fed, organic, free range and local. this is a great and quick explanation for beef. when my dad was in his youth, the grass fed beef column was the norm. will we ever get back there?

July 13, 2012

what we are learning now

ozzie wants nothing to do with number and letter recognition. he knows his abc's and can count but refuses to learn what the letters and numbers look like. one evening on pinterest and a light bulb went off- counting with m&m's! of course he cooperated!

miss olivia is learning how to dress herself... sort of.

June 12, 2012

menu of the week

soba noodles with ginger scallion sauce
cilantro thai grilled chicken- i added the juice of one lime
asian turkey meatballs with lime sesame dipping sauce
pan roasted chicken with vegetables- i love the versatility of this recipe. i added brocoli and kale instead of spinach and loved it. such a great way to add more vegetables to the dinner table.

June 7, 2012

June 6, 2012

watch me grow

ozzie's fantastic preschool teacher traced pictures of the kids bodies. he is now fascinated with measurements and we are currently on the hunt for our own growth chart. have i mentioned how much i love his teacher? sneaking math in and making it fun!

good read

i really enjoyed reading this article, 10 things i want my daughter to know before she turns 10, that a friend posted on facebook. words every mother could and should share with her young daughter.

May 31, 2012

childrens books

ozzie and i attend a cooperative preschool that both of us love so much for many different reasons but the main is his teacher; she has been teaching at the preschool since 1979 and is the "child whisperer".

cooperative preschools require parent education and at our last parent meeting, she suggested we check out helen lester's books hurty feelings and me first. so like the good student that i am, i promptly reserved both books at the library and i am so glad that i did. helen's stories perfectly blend a lesson with a hilarious and fun read. she often team ups with lynn munsinger whose illustrations are delightful.

after reading the first two, i checked out as many of her books that the library had and we are quickly reading our way through all of them. ozzie was particularly drawn to tacky the peguin, who marches to the beat of his own drum and never follows his friends named goodly, lovely, angel, neatly and perfect. for those of you that know ozzie, you know how fitting this is.

with school coming to an end, if you are in search of some fun summer reading with a cleverly hidden lesson, check out her books. some of our favorites are:

  • the wizard, the fairy and the magic chicken
  • the revenge of the magic chicken
  • wodney wats wobot
  • tacky the penguin and all of the tacky books
  • it wasn't my fault
  • the wolf in sheep's clothing

day at the park

my mom and i discovered a fantastic park a few blocks from her house the other day. it is always nice to find a new place for the kids to play that is a-close to home and b-not overly crowded with every preschooler and toddler in a 5 mile vicinity. i snapped a few pictures of the kids and made some fun  collages with one of my favorite iphone apps- picframe.

May 11, 2012

the bandito returns

it's been a few years but our bandito returned this cinco de mayo

don't carpe diem

i really enjoyed reading THIS ARTICLE that a friend posted on facebook today. there is not much more i can say that she hasn't already, except that it is refreshing to read honest feelings from a mother of small children. a good read after a long day.

May 5, 2012

cinco de mayo recipes

i made coconut lime cookies for a mom's only cinco de mayo party today. pretty yummy- click HERE for the recipe.

for the family, i made cilantro lime pesto tacos. another good pinterest recipe! 

May 3, 2012

nutella, take me away...

reason number 372 why nutella should not be kept in my home:

at lunch today ozzie decided to eat his turkey meatball soup on the floor after i threatened asked him to eat at the table. he then dumped the bowl on the living room rug forcing me to run into the laundry room for the, properly named, nature's miracle carpet cleaner (it works miracles and is heaven sent). while i was grabbing the cleaner, olivia decided to climb onto the kitchen table and pour ozzie's entire glass of water all over it. she then began to paint the water with her hands and feet in between licks attempting to drink the puddles. i was immediately forced to decide which mess to clean first. i went for the soup since it would stain and stink up the rug. ozzie sees that i don't go for olivia's throat and decides i'm okay with the wading pool now sitting on our kitchen table and decides to help his sister by creating waterfalls of water onto the floor.

after losing my schmidt, getting both messes cleaned up and both kids in their rooms for quiet time/nap time/flat out punishment for unacceptable behavior, do i go for a jog on the treadmill to let off some steam? nope. complete something on my to do list to give me a sense of accomplishment and remind me that there is life outside the gates of hell? nuh uh. i scoop up a gigantic dollop of nutella and melt it over banana slices, sit down on my lap top and begin this blog post. ahhh nutella, take me away....

May 2, 2012


guess i should get the easter pictures posted before mother's day! every year the community where my parents live put on an easter egg hunt for the kids. it's small, easy, free and the kids get to spend the day with nanay & pepa.


April 28, 2012


we have upped the ante since our last volcano. i guess that is what older cousins are for. ozzie sure does love when andy visits!

April 27, 2012


oscar and i both celebrated our birthdays in april. i was lucky enough to have my favorite nephew andrew join us on my day. oscar surprised me with a coconut cake, my favorite, from a great local bakery. ozzie and andy helped me blow out the candle.

on oscar's birthday ozzie and i made him his favorite dessert, oatmeal raisin cookies. ironically our birthday desserts couldn't sum us up more. me = coconut cake. super complicated, lots of layers and you either love it or you hate it. oscar = oatmeal raisin cookies. everyone's favorite, reminds you of home, comfort and love. oye!