Signing Off.

July 29, 2010

{from yesterday: little e watching her naked sister and cowboy brother play}

The house is tidied.
The refrigerator has been emptied.
The housesitter has been prepped.
We've said good-bye to friends and family.
Snacks have been tucked into the carry-on bag.
Tons and tons of toys and treats have been hidden away in there too.
Our bags are packed.
Passports in a neat little stack.

I will miss you all terribly. Don't know yet if I will be blogging live from Italy, as we want to get as "unplugged" as possible. I do, however, have some fun guest bloggers to entertain you while I am away...a couple of old favorites and a few new fun ones too.

*kisses*

Recent AA for Kids.

There is something about preparing for a trip that puts me in shopping/acquiring mode (much to my husband's dismay, I might add). We need to be prepared! Everything needs to be just right! Won't JuJu look so flipping cute wearing this while eating gelato! Something tells me you might be able to relate.

Anywayzzzzzzzz.

I was at American Apparel the other day, and after I put my sunglasses back on (all that blinding hideous neon!) I realized the place isn't for me anymore. Something about how they sold to some big horrible corporation like BP and now it got all weird. Like weirder than before. Like scrunchies and stretch lace and gold lamé. The saving grace, however, continues to be the kiddie section. What is it about finding basic, cotton essentials for kids that are not riddled with licensed characters that continues to be so difficult? Luckily the American Apparel designers (at least the ones in charge of the kid department) know what is up.

Hello, basic (organic!) cotton diaper cover. Where have you been hiding all these years?And you sweet, sweet little cotton tank dress:A perfect little red backpack for JuJu to carry to carry on the plane filled with, you know, a 2 year old's "essentials":I don't know about your mom, but mine put us in white cotton nighties (slip-style ones) on hot nights. However, they simply don't exist anymore....except in the form of this little soft dress. JuJu will wear this on hot nights in Italy:

Letter T's:

And, of course, the ribbed tanks. All three of my kids live in these during the summer:

An Afternoon Pick-Around* with C-Man.

{three types of cucumbers and a whole mess of peaches}
*that's what jamie oliver calls a trip down to the garden....charming, no?

Harvesting Honey.

Folks, we (OK, B and the two older kids) harvested our first bits of honey yesterday. I hope to show you some much better photos of the whole family eating honeycomb very soon (they are super cute!), but these will have to suffice for now. {straining the honey through cheesecloth...see the bit of honeycomb in there?}

This Weekend....

July 27, 2010

...we had our dear friend Chris and his kids come stay with us. Which meant I discovered what it was like to have five children. Maybe I had a wee bit too much sangria over the past few days, but I have to say I kinda liked it and now I see how all you big families out there do it. Raise super awesome, nice, helpful, fun, all around cool kids like Sydney and Joseph and ta-da! Mama has two helpers, and the little ones are in luuuuuuuv with the big ones.
{see? there they are. all five of them. one-two-three-four-five, yup.}
{i had the kids making their own dinner: pizza...check out c-man's tongue action!}{although c-man looks afraid of joseph in this photo, that is really his "i want to be just like joseph when i grow up and joseph can do no wrong and when is joseph coming back, mama?" look} {don't even get me started with how much i adore this sweet girl here...if my daughters turn out half as sweet and helpful as sydney is, i will consider it the ultimate parental accomplishment.}
{yeah, she pretty much didn't put the baby down. and little e didn't mind it much...can you tell?}
{happy, chubby baby....that is all}

Favorite Things Party.

July 21, 2010

I absolutely LOVE this idea from Brooke at Inchmark: have a party with your girlfriends twice a year and exchange your favorite things (under $6)...."a favorite lip gloss, favorite kitchen tool, favorite gift wrapping supply, a gift card for your favorite frozen yogurt..." Brooke took a pot of fresh basil and a list of her favorite basil recipes. What a great way to turn your friends on to some good things, find out about lots of others, it's inexpensive, I can't think of anything that isn't totally awesome about this idea!

OK, who in San Diego is in?

{read more about the party here}

Lucky Charms.

I'm not a huge fan of kiddie jewelry, but these sweet charm necklaces are almost too much for me. How perfect would they be on a little one?

via here

9 Months.

July 18, 2010

Always with the tongue. Always. Also, four teeth, crawling on all fours (sometimes), pulling herself up (but can't get back down yet), waving, swimming (I can put her face in the water and comes back up happy....can you believe it?), following her brother and sister everywhere, and still with the soft, pink, yummy, chubby baby rolls. LOVE.

News.

July 16, 2010

Friends. I have some exciting news to share. (AndnoI'mnotpregnant. Whew. Glad to clear that up.)

In just about two weeks, we are leaving for Italy. For almost a month. With the kids. We are insane. And super duper excited.

My manic list-making self has kicked into high gear. Things to get. Things to pack (which, of course, includes many sub-parts). Things to tell the house sitter. Things to find out before we go. Places to visit while we're there. And more that I won't (further) bore you with.

Truth be told, I have some anxiety about the trip, which I am told, is normal for a mom with three kids under age 5. Most centers around the plane ride. I dunno. Something about entertaining three youngsters in a small space for 18 hours or so that makes me start to hyperventilate, and you? I have taken to picking the brain of my sweet friend Charity who has logged something like a million miles with her two and a half year old. She's the pro. Of course, one of her tips is bring many fun new toys to delight the kiddos.

I'm thinking this cute little travelling family house would be perfect for C-Man....Just a heads up.....I'm sure I'm going to be asking for your tips for travel with little ones over the next couple of weeks.

Just Some Pretties.

July 15, 2010

How seriously perfect is this here clutch? (via here)
Loving pretty much everything from this line, but esp. this sweet little dress.
Perfect swimsuit. For me, anyway.
One more thing. I would like to be this pretty girl just for one sunny afternoon. (via pretty mommy...which happens to be a favorite new blog!)

Meal Planning Monday.

July 12, 2010

vegetable fajitas
avocado and mango salad

stuffed zucchini
prosciutto and melon
pasta

bbq brisket
rolls
coleslaw

chard frittata
roasted potatoes

soup au pistou
crostini

photo via here

Summer List.

July 11, 2010

{Taking a cue from Molly....}

Things I hope for this summer:

Beach days
Outdoor concerts
Picnics
Nap outside
Eat cold soup
Swim at night with B
Eat tomatoes straight off the vine
Put basil in everything
Have fruit for dinner
Take a walk at night
Drink sun tea
Sleep in our new camper
Get a tan
Paint my toes the perfect pink
Eat lunch on the deck
Pool parties
Take the kids to the library
Paint with the kids outside

What about you?

photo via flickr and loveliest days

Help!

July 10, 2010

Who knows how to work with Blogger? (Not me.) As I'm sure you've noticed, I screwed up my header and my normal go-to gal for help on this subject is MIA (Ellie????) Who out there can help me? I hate being html illiterate. :-(

(you can email me at missjora@gmail.com)

Please Meet My Friend....Romesco.

July 5, 2010

What can I say? I LOVE THIS SAUCE. It makes me happy. It goes on everything. It's always happy to see me. Wait. Never mind.

Confession: this version is the only one I've tried (making or eating). I wanted to make Deb's one evening last week, but alas I was fresh out of ancho chiles. Ha. So, a little research on the Internets led me to a recipe which did not require me to go to the store. And you know what? It was perfect. I urge you to try it. On roasted baby potatoes. Spread on grilled bread (drizzled with a little extra olive oil). As a dip for vegetables. On grilled shrimp. Perhaps on a spoon straight from the bowl. Just sayin'.

Romesco Sauce
(Tyler Florence)

3 tomatoes, halved
10 garlic cloves
2 slices crusty bread
1/2 cup whole almonds, with skin
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 pimento or roasted red pepper
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Arrange the tomatoes, garlic, bread, and nuts on a baking sheet; roast for 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer to a food processor and pulse to roughly break up. Add the pimentos, vinegar, oil, and paprika. Pulse again until well combined, add salt. This sauce is best if allowed to rest so the flavors can meld (may be made a day in advance).

photo via chef a la porte
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