Guess Who Got His Very Own Bee Suit?

December 30, 2010

{crappy dark photo but it was late in the day!}

Tangerine Scream.

C-Man had a friend over today and I sent them outside to pick tangerines because, let's be honest, they were starting to bug.  Our tree has such better and bigger fruit this year.  We have been picking and eating since the end of October and will still have TONS.  Look:
{what the boys picked after about 10 minutes}

Sleeping Beauty.

Miss Juj has been transitioning out of naps.  But sometimes, during "quiet time," I go back to her room and find her like this.  I want to freeze her and keep her like this forever.


December 29, 2010

Hello there.  Long time.  We are back from a whirlwind (no exaggeration) trip up to B's hometown.  The trip was not without adventure!  It started by getting bumped from our (confirmed) second flight and then having to find a rental car to drive 300+ miles!  And this was after enduring the 2+ hour layover at SFO!  What's up United Airlines!!  And because it was December 23rd, there weren't any minivans or SUVs available!  So we had to cram 3 car seats into a Camry and drive possibly illegally and definitely unsafely (C-Man's booster seat was sorta sideways)!  And the Camry cost $190 a day!  Then JuJu puked all over herself because she was too low to see out the windows (which she has never done in my car at home)!  So that was how the trip started!  But who's bitter!

OK, now that I got that off my chest (we are still having words with United), I am happy to report that the kids had a blast, we saw most of B's extended family, the hotel was dreamy, we had some amazing wine and in general, it was a pretty nice trip considering the circumstances.  Of course it goes without saying that we are so happy to be back home and all snug and safe and sound.  While we are plugging back in and getting the house in order, I will leave you with the cutest commercial that featured B's cousin and his family (who we got to hang out with while we were up there). They are organic dairy farmers in Northern California and simply the cutest family ever.

DWR Sale.

December 17, 2010

DWR is having an awesome sale right now.  Including the below pictured most awesome woven pet basket (for $67.50!).  We do not have pets right now (unless you count the chickens) but I would totally get this if I had a dog.  Which means, you who have dogs SHOULD.


December 15, 2010

Time for some more confessions.

1.  I have a very hard time accepting things in life that are Just. Not. Fair.  And not right.  And rather screwed up.  BAH.  Why oh why can't I learn that some problems have no solutions?

2.  I haven't made a proper dinner for B and myself in more than a week.  (And he hasn't complained once.)

3.  Sometimes, after the kids go down, I just eat dessert and forget about dinner all together.

4.  I enjoy seeing unflattering pictures of B's ex-girlfriend.  (Bad, I know.  We're all supposed to stick together, right??)

5.  I find Joel McHale enormously sexy.

6.  I am addicted to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  I may even be following a couple of them on twitter.  *cringe*

7.  I still yell too much at my kids.  (Bad, bad, bad.  But it is getting better!)

8.  Annnnnnnd I still like sleeping with my baby.

And you?  Anything you need to get off your chest?

A Teeny Tiny Tea Party.

December 14, 2010

Sometimes, when brother is at school and daddy is at work, and it is just us girls, we have a little tea party.  In our PJs, no less.  Gah.  I love having little girls.

What She Wore.

December 13, 2010

I have recently become addicted to James' What We Wore features.  Seriously, the cutest family ever!  But why should they have all the fun?  Here is my sweet babe today:

{aren't i cute?}

{little e waving "hi!"...and sporting some good ankle rolls!}

{the all-important "behind" shot}
{she gives smacking kisses nice}

romper by olive juice,  felt birdie clip unknown

Thinking (Still) About Schools.

Even though I L-O-V-E C-Man and JuJu's school, every once in awhile, my conformist/nervous nellie side comes out (a side that I really, really wish would go away forever) and I worry that C-Man isn't in a traditional kindergarten class learning, your know, how to write book reports and memorizing all the states that border Delaware.

But then I read/hear/watch something that makes me feel like he is exactly where he should be. (Seriously, you should have been there this weekend to witness the Advent Spiral ceremony at their school ....too hard to describe here, but trust me, it was so beautiful and moving and I just know C-man will remember it forever.)  My friend Sarah posted this video awhile back, but I didn't watch it even though I always intended to (it is 20 minutes long!).  Then Kim suggested I really should take the time to do so.  It is really thought provoking and inspiring.  (It gets better toward the end.)  So when you have an extra 20, check it out!  And let me know what you think......

A Quick Trip to L.A. and the Two Sweetest Babies on the Internet.

December 6, 2010

Hi friends!  I took a quick trip last week with the bebe to Los Angeles to visit B who had work to do there. Here's a little recap:

Super easy drive up, Little E slept the whole way, I got to make calls to all my girlfriends.  An awesome lunch at Lucques with B (that may be my favorite restaurant yet), including a kabocha squash salad that I cannot get out of my head.   A visit to the Heath store, to the hotel to relax a bit, a stroll through Beverly Hills to put the baby to sleep, then a bottle of wine and a light dinner al fresco at some random Italian place.  Friday morning we walked with B to coffee, saw Larry King (say it in your head in his voice: "Do you have a job yet, Emilia?" and then later, "Good luck to you, Emilia.").  Fun lunch at Gjelina in Venice with Kristina and possibly the cutest 9 month old to date (hi Dashiell!) and some light shopping along Abbott Kinney.  A stop at Huckleberry and then a visit with our dear friend Angie, who also watched Little E so we could go to Osteria Mozza that night.  Like I said, a dear, dear friend.  Fabulous dinner with hubby at Mozza to end the eve.

Saturday morning I woke up feeling a bit off.  Went to breakfast and saw Larry King again.  He was stalking us.  Started feeling SUPER SICK.  Realized it was mastitis.  Don't ever get it.  It is awful.  Husband had to have an Inteligentsia coffee before we left town, so went back down to Venice.  Got "spotted" by a new friend named Rachel (and her cute baby Lilah!)....B was sorta impressed, I must say.

Drove back.  Stayed super sick till the next day when the antibiotics finally kicked in.  And just so you don't have to take my word for it, here are the two sweetest babies on the Internet (after our lunch at Gjelina):

{i told kristina i have already given little e the go-ahead to marry dashiell....isn't he the cutest?!}

180/360 Kills It.

November 30, 2010

Friends.  Sweet Kim came to stay with us a couple of weeks ago for a visit and to take pictures of the family.  My kids could not have been more uncooperative, more wiggly or less challenging.  Royal pains in the butt.  Not to mention I was in a mood because of it.  I am not just saying this.  Yet still.  She manages to come up with stuff like this.  That girl is amazingly talented.  

p.s. kim: i miss you!  come back!

Christmas Song.

Sooooo much christmas music around this year (more than normal?)  I'm not a particular fan, however this little song has had a special place in my heart for a very long time.  It's not a holiday song really at all, I don't think anyway.  (I know there are some Christmas music haters out there and for that matter a lot of Dave Matthews haters out there!  Please.  Don't be hating, people.)

Anyway.  I remember the first time I heard it.  I was with B and we had just met.  Mmmmmmm.
"One healthy little gigglin' dribblin' baby boy"....when I heard that I knew we would have a boy.  A boy first.  Yes.  I did.  And yes, we did.

"Why in all this anger do you fill me up with love?"  Love this so much.  Hope you do too.

(reminder) via wide open spaces

Harvest and Craft Faire.

November 15, 2010

Weekend before last, we went to the annual Harvest and Craft Faire at C-Man and JuJu's school. It is one of my favorite events. So refreshingly old-fashioned.

At the welcome desk, we were greeted with a cup a freshly-pressed apple cider (made from apples donated from a local farm) and each child is given a sweet little package of seeds (harvested from the school garden and packaged by the third and sixth grade classes).

There were also these cute little handmade necklaces for the children to wear. (And yes, those are little freaking gourds!)

{i like these so much i've been wearing one around town!}
There was lots of good homemade food.....chili (vegetarian, natch, and a version with grassfed beef, also natch), cornbread, burritos, quesadillas, good fair-trade coffee and tons and tons of cookies, bars, pies and cakes.

{oatmeal raisin cookie}
There was a highly-anticipated puppet show performed by two of C-Man's teachers.
{buddies in line, waiting for the show to start}
There were booths set up with crafts, activities and demonstrations. Here is C-Man checking in on the blacksmith demonstration.

{intensity and focus}
There was time to play games on the field (a favorite was a tug-of-war between the kids and adults).
{juju deciding whether she wants to join in on the boys' game}
And of course, bebe was there, taking it all in. Have I mentioned she is walking?!

{hay, droopy drawers}
{vegetarian chili}

Meal Planning Monday.

November 8, 2010

This week's menu brought to you by my friend Holly!   I can't get enough of her cooking and am going to try to recreate some of her dishes this week. 

grandma vi's minestrone (with christmas limas from our garden)
fresh bread

chicken paprikash
brown rice
green salad with mustard vinaigrette (we're starting to get lots of greens from the garden -- hooray!)

mashed potatoes
steamed green beans

spicy red lentil soup (again....can't get enough of it!)
applesauce spice cake

What about you?  What do you have cooking this week?

Meal Planning Monday.

October 25, 2010

nichole's bubby's stuffed cabbage
freshly-baked bread

turkey chili
corn and cheddar muffins

spicy red lentil soup with lemon
freshly-baked bread

potato pancakes
homemade applesauce

{can you tell i've made up with the bread-making?  i've decided to stop blaming it for the extra bit of baby weight that's hanging on because i've missed it -- the bread, not the weight! -- too much.... we will never be apart again.}

photo credit

I Know This Much Is True.

{babies are so content in grandpa's arms}

{my boy is happiest climbing a tree}

{somtimes an auntie's love is best}

{tory burch tunics in size 2T are reeeeeaaaaallllly cute}

{i love my nephew more than words can express}

{there is something about cousins}

{i want to eat this baby for dinner}

{my son makes one dapper ring bearer}

{and my daughter one sweet flower girl...even if we did have to bribe them a little}

{silly bandz make kids unreasonably happy}

{my sister and her brand new husband have a long, happy life ahead of them}

"Do You Move Your Lips When You Read?"

October 18, 2010

This is for all you fellow attorneys (or recovering attorneys).  I know you're out there.  Cuz every week or so I get an email: "OMG, my husband and I are attorneys too *le sigh*"......

Meal Planning Monday....Sorta.

This is going to be a very busy and interesting week.  My sister is getting married, B is insanely busy with work, I have a ton to do.  All this translates to not many sit-down dinners at home.  Still, I want to make sure we are not eating Joe's O's for dinner (again), so I plan to make a few things to tide us over. 

pumpkin soup with gruyere and sage croutons

italian sausages with pepper and onions

smitten's apple and cheddar scones

Also, I have a favor to ask of you.  Tuesday night is Supper Club (yay for that), but I am so far stumped as to what to bring.  The theme is All Things Apples, and I signed up for a dessert.  Any killer apple dessert recipes you'd like to share by chance??

Recipe Exchange.

October 15, 2010

Friends.  I have dropped the ball.  I signed up for a fall recipe exchange that Michelle put together and I.....have....nothing.  Boo, Jora, boo.  I had some really good ideas for things I wanted to cook and share with you, but it just didn't happen.  I've had a bunch of stuff going on this week, and well, I just didn't get to it. 

I will, however, share a recipe/technique for something that I make a least a couple of times a month all year long, but especially during fall and winter.  AKA "flu and cold season."  Homemade Chicken Stock.  Jewish Penicillin.  The best thing ever when you feel a cold coming on.  The only thing you should use in your recipes.  And, I'm sorry, the canned and boxed stuff just does not compare.
Homemade Chicken Stock

1 organic chicken (or the carcass and skin from a roasted chicken) (or pieces of chicken bones and scraps you've been diligently stashing in your freezer) (you should have 3-4 lbs. total)
1 carrot, scrubbed and cut in half
1 celery stalk (with the leaves, preferably)
1 onion, sliced in half (leave the skin on and it will give your stock a nice rich golden color)
a few sprigs of fresh parsley
a few whole peppercorns
a couple of garlic cloves, smashed

Put everything in the biggest pot you have and cover with cold water (the cold water will help leach all the flavor of the ingredients into the stock). Add a couple of tablespoons of salt. Bring slowly to a simmer. Skim and discard the foam that rises to the top for the first few minutes that it is simmering. Turn down the heat to the lowest possible setting while still maintaining a teeny, tiny simmer (if it boils too hard, the stock will be cloudy). Let it simmer at least 3 hours. I have been known to let mine go 6 or 7 and it just gets richer and better, if you ask me. Strain and let cool before storing in the refrigerator for a couple of days or the freezer for a couple of months.

Drinking this when you have a cold feels so right.  I don't know for sure if it does anything to the virus, but I'll take the placebo affect any day!
Be sure to check out all of the great recipes from the exchange!

What's Cooking.

October 13, 2010

OK, so I never got around to a Monday Meal Planning post this week.  Here's what I've got cooking this week (or already made).  Note the heavy reliance on other bloggers' excellent recipes!

spaghetti with tomato sauce (from the last of the garden helped make this)

 pumpkin spice cake

cauliflower salad with green olives and capers

warm mushroom salad with hazlenuts

baked potatoes with broccoli, cheese, sour cream, etc. (the works)

 orzo salad with feta and bell peppers*

*this is so good you should stop what you are doing and make it today.  be sure to get the valbreso feta, which rachel recommends.  costco sells it, fyi.

Stories From Italy: A Day at the Beach.

October 11, 2010

{monterosso, umbrellas}
I haven't quit with the Italy Posts. Hope you aren't sick of them. I'm not quite ready to forget about our trip, ya know?

Toward the very end of our stay, we had one especially glorious beach day. We took the train on a Sunday up to the Cinque Terre. Monterosso, to be exact. It has the best beach of the five little towns. Although B and I were a bit grumpy from the hot train ride and difficulties with the kids (hello, terrible twos!! and sibling rivalry!!), the weather truly could not have been more perfect and the crowd was all Italian. (Remember, in August, all Italians take the month to "holiday.")

A couple comments.  B and I like to play the game of "What does Italy do better?  What does the U.S. do better?"  (You can probably guess who wins that game... in our book anyway.)  We always wonder why a day at the beach is sooooooo much better in Italy than here.  We certainly have beautiful beaches.  So, we decided it is all about the people.  Going to the beach is a true family affair.  And not just families.  There are young couples in love, groups of teenagers, yes, but there is also la nonna and her friends lounging next to you gossiping and going in for dips in the water.  Everyone shares and enjoys it alike.  Nobody is getting wasted on Bud Light and Mike's Hard Lemonade disguised in paper bags.  It is a civilized affair.  Also, I happen to LOVE having the option to rent chairs and umbrellas.  And having a cafe and gelateria steps away doesn't hurt either.  Can I please go back?????

{picture perfect}

{everyone out on sunday}

{heading in}

{sweet slumber}

{crystal clear}

{coming out for a break}

{always with the thinking}


{toes + sand + water = happy mama}

{papa e bimbi}

{wave coming}

{happy face}
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