Monday, December 22, 2008

Boys = Trucks, what is the fascination?

Last week we headed out to East County, San Diego. Lakeside, in particular. My FIL's friend owns a couple of big, life sized dump trucks! (Lakeside, naturally. Doesn't everybody?). If anyone out there has ever met a three year old boy, they probably picked up on the fact that they are mesmerized by big trucks. Anyhow, moving forward, my boys were in hog heaven out there in the dirt, surrounded by heavy equipment. There was even an enormous dirt hill to run up. We got to get up inside of the dump trucks, honk the big horn (you all know you've always wanted to do that!), raise and lower the big dump truck bed and Em even got to drive the truck! No kidding. I've got video, it is pretty funny stuff. Anyhow, who knew that a trip to the 'yard would be so much fun.
Lakeside; don't hack it until you try it. You might just get to honk the horn of a big rig, after all.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


On Friday the Hubs and I took the boys to the tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument a.k.a the Pt. Loma Lighthouse. It was a gorgeous day and my friend Jennifer over at The Fox Den told me that the lowest tides of the year were that day, perfect for tide pools! We hiked down a short trail to the beach and navigated the rocks with Evs on my back and the Hubs patrolling Em. We looked all over the place and found several gems of sea creatures. Hermit crabs were the favorite however the anemone proved the most wary sea challenge.

Daddy tried with all of his might, over and over to get Em to touch the anemone and watch it close up. Em protested, he is one stubborn boy! (Gee, I think that might be my genetic make up-oops!) The Hubs even tried bribery by cupcake and that didn't seem to get him to want to touch the anemone. It was as if it were a right of passage, something that all boys had to do, at one point or another. I insisted that the Hubs stop challenging Em, I felt it bordered on bullying, but something inside of me said, "hush, this is what boys do". And I did hush. It seemed that through this prodding there was something greater at work. Bigger and more instinctual, more male, more....basic.

I believe that at times mothers unintentionally emasculate their sons by being too protective. I am guilty of it, although I try to monitor it. I believe that if I do not let my sons learn certain lessons for themselves, and experience them firsthand, that I am doing them no favors for their future.

I also believe that it was as hard for Em to touch that anemone as it was for me to let his father egg him on to do it. But you know what? Em did it.
Barely, swiftly, but he did it.

Vanilla cupcake with lots of icing.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Just finished knitting what was supposed to be a cute little dinosaur Christmas present for Em. Well, I couldn't hold out. Actually, I gave it to him before the arms, legs and tail were sewn on. He was so excited and loved it even though it was missing it's appendages. And (gush) I adored seeing him love something so much that I had made! He has never been excited about a hat that I had knitted him, or, well, I guess I've just always knitted hats for him. Alas, I am almost done with Ev's Dino. Exactly the same T-Rex but smaller and a different color. So, not quite exactly the same. Okay, anyhoo. If you are interested in the pattern, you can get it here.

I am also in the middle of the February Lady Sweater and in the middle of a really cute scarf. Once I finish the Dinosaurs, I'll get back to those. And after those are done, I'd like to knit up a pair of socks, but I'd like to knit them both at the same time, so I don't have to suffer from "second sock syndrome". I dread that. Any how, can you tell that the C1000 coffee maker was delivered back to me this afternoon? I am so jazzed about it, really I am!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What's Cookin' Darling?

Tonight I felt so much better that I was in the mood to cook! I stole the beef, barley, leek soup recipe that Jora over at Domestic Reflections featured on her blog a la Smitten Kitchen and am whipping up Kittencal's roasted chicken recipe which you can find here. Last night I baked an apple pie which has cooled, yes indeed, and I am very excited to munch that down after dinner. Yahoooo, should be fun. Later this evening when I am too stuffed to get up from my chair, just throw a blanket on me and turn out the lights. Tomorrow will be a brand new day with exciting culinary possibilities!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I've got an "itis" and it ain't pretty...

Well, I thought I was past this point seeing as little Evs is almost 11 months old, but I've got a case of mastitis. Blah. I've had it once before, just after Em was born over 3 years ago, it was awful then and it is awful now. I guess it most commonly occurs when you first begin nursing and then when baby has teeth. That's right, I've got a biter. OUCH! Is exclaimed about once a day while nursing Evs. He is not a patient, passive nurser, no, this boy does gymnastics and funky dance moves while feeding. Needless to say, I don't think I'll last as long nursing him as I did Em. In fact, I was pregnant with Evs before I quit nursing Em. Yes, I do feel immense guilt about my planned weaning one before I did the other. We'll see. Maybe my outlook will improve once I start feeling better. But for now, this stuff has really knocked my socks off.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Still. No. C1000

Sent my C1000 back to the shop and have not gotten it back yet. Losing faith.
Hope to get it back in yummy, crema like perfection sometime this week.
Gees, I wasn't aware that as a decaf drinker I could still be so addicted to my love.

Friday, November 21, 2008

So Sad

I am so sad right now. A few minutes ago I was very, very happy. Darn that few minutes.

You see, several weeks ago our beloved C1000 coffee maker was on the fritz. I called the service number, packed up the machine, sent it back to the manufacturer, paid $250.00 to get an "overhaul" and just got our beautiful machine back tonight! YAY, well, uh, not really.

When I went to plug it in, reset it and start it up I could smell the luxurious coffee in the grinder, I anticipated the carmely golden brown drink to flow through the spout and into my cup.

Nada, nope nothing. I looked at the manual, repeated procedures multiple times and still. It doesn't work.

And my next thought, $250 for wha??? Luckily I have my trusty french press to fill in the gap (and a phone call to make).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Love Tree

Who knew that a boy carving in a tree...

would lead to this

which would eventually lead to these...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Love this Photo

Have you ever felt like this? The Hubs and I were driving down the freeway when I spotted this horse with it's head in the wind.
I loved the expression on the horse, as if it were experiencing total bliss. I crave that feeling too.

Simple Decisions

Several years ago when the hubs and I first moved to San Diego from a then very expensive San Francisco, we made a decision that would change the course of our lives. When we chose to move from San Francisco to Golden Hill, we weren't yet married. In San Francisco the loft apartments across the street from our place were renting for $5000 and month. That is not a typo.$5000!
We moved to San Diego to be closer to our relatives but also for the hope of getting ahead, of starting a life for ourselves.
We chose a small one bedroom apartment in Golden Hill. We weren't rolling in cash, however Michael was selling his artwork at a gallery here in town called Exclusive Collections, and we were making rent. It wasn't until we made the fateful purchase of a hat, that the sales and subject matter of his art started to evolve into something a bit more curious. I was in a (now defunct) antique store in South Park with my then MIL to be, about to walk out of the store when I looked up at the most gorgeous, antique cloche hat I had seen. It was $60. Michael and I didn't really have a lot of money to spare so I called him and discussed with him, my desire to have the hat. The rest is history.

That $60 hat sure has turned into many more $'s than we ever could've imagined.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Em and Evs at the Pumpkin Patch

Emmet and Everett at the Pumpkin Patch
Originally uploaded by studioflohr

Recently we went to the pumpkin patch. Here is a great shot from that day. It has become one of our family's traditions to go every year, the weekend prior to Halloween. It feels good starting a family tradition of our own. Something to customize the legacy that our Grandfathers and Grandmothers place in our care. So, in addition to eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, we will be heading to the 'Patch for many years to come. What are some of your family traditions?

Monday, November 3, 2008

I love this quilt

(photo courtesy of

I would love to be the proud owner of this quilt. Unfortunately it has already sold at the Etsy shop. But...tutorial and quilt kits are available here. When I finish all of my holiday projects, maybe I'll have to whip up one of these. Hmmmn.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Elvis on Toast

Elvis on Toast, originally uploaded by studioflohr.

You know you are out there! You folks who had dogs before you had your kids. Remember when Fido was your only baby and you never imagined anything could trump your baby (except for, well a baby!). Kids of the human kind sure displace doggy down a bit on the attention giving scale, but every now and then we amuse ourselves and Charlie a.k.a "Toast" a.k.a "Tos" (short for halitosis) with a little dress-up. He really likes it, can't you tell?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Building Blocks

I love these blocks! They are on the pricey side, but they are sooo cool. Get them here.

I recently purchased two sets of blocks. One set is by Haba and they are available here.

They next set I found on ebay. Vintage, American made Holgate Toys blocks. New they would run about $60+ but I scored them for about $10. They were unused, dead stock from the 1950's. Fab find. You can find them new here.

I love seeing my boys play with blocks and use their imagination. A plus for me is that I love the sound they make as they are played with, and when we gather them up to put them away, they "clack" against one another it's such a great sound. A better alternative to blinking lights and the annoying sounds of most battery operated toys.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall Organization

Well, the time change is coming up and I'm in the mood to ORGANIZE! Why is it that whenever I want to organize it always involves buying new things to organize with, shelves, baskets, ikea trips? This fall I am going to try really, really hard to avoid any purchases that are "necessary" to aid in organization. Well, enough typing. I'd better get my buns upstairs and start cleaning!

Monday, October 20, 2008

All About Evs

I do realize that I often write about Em but rarely do I blog about Evs. I think that Evs is due some props. Ya see, he is about 10 months old and doesn't really talk as clearly as Em. Evs repertoire of words goes something like this: mama, dada, hi, and he knows what the word milk means. So, forgive me if I, more often than not, shine the spotlight on his more well versed, older brother. Today's blog is all about Evs.

What a sweet baby. He is constantly smiling with his eyes and his cute little mouth. What a sweet disposition this little one has.
He is practically constantly in motion. His nickname is "Slinky". Always bouncing, crawling or pulling up on furniture.

This past weekend we had a pirate themed birthday party for his now 3 year old brother. Evs represented pirate-wear pretty well. He can say "arrrgh"; did I forget to mention that he has that one down pat? Evs is quite fashionable, as he gets to choose from the cream of the crop of his big brother's hand-me-downs. (P.S. That's Jen from TheFoxDen holding him!)

Even though Evs is only 10 months old, I can tell that he is very strong willed and has a lot of energy. He has a very different personality from his sibling. Turns out, when Evs gets upset, he throws up. Yup, he's a puker. His brother was never a puker. In fact, Em has thrown up once. Evs, yeah, I'm pretty sure, Evs is gonna be a sleep resistant puker. We'll keep you informed on this one. Could just be a passing phase.

Ah, my little guy, I love him soooooooSoooooo much. Can't believe how lucky I am to have not one, but two amazing, sweet, gorgeous little love bugs. I suspect the teen years will bring adjectives such a "stinky" into the mix but luckily I have a decade before then. I'll keep my eyelids peeled in hopes to slow time and drink up the small,
soul-enveloping moments of their childhood.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Birthday Bliss at City Farmer's Nursery

Em's real birthday was yesterday, but we celebrated it early with a pirate party on Sunday. It was a great party filled with lots of pirates and friends. Great time. We celebrated the real deal during the day on Wednesday with a trip to a place called City Farmer's Nursery.

It is a true oasis in the city. A great escape. There we were one minute at the warehouse signing books, prints and putting the final touches on an original (the hubs had forgotten to put his signature on one) and just around the bend was kid-bliss. I'm talking goats, chickens, ducks, a horse, bunnies, koi pond, even a turtle next to the see-saw! And they give you fresh eggs for free!

I came across this place on the internet when I was searching for a fruit tree for our garden. After Em kept stopping us walk after walk and pilfering kumquats from our neighbor's tree, I decided it would be a great gift to go down to City Farmer's on his birthday and buy him a kumquat tree so we could grow his own. Unfortunately, there is currently a quarantine on all citrus in California. So even though they had citrus there at the nursery, they could not sell it until the quarantine is lifted. However, the visit to City Farmer's was gift enough.

What a great experience, it made our day. The staff is friendly and informative, incredibly welcoming. We met with Martina, Wyatt and Bill and they were so kind. You have to stop by on one of those days when you are feeling wilted, it will lift your spirits.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


We are celebrating Em's 3rd birthday tomorrow with a pirate party! Arggghhhhh. Can't wait. Just fixin' to make the rum punch, rather, fruit punch with a bottle o'rum on the side for the adult-types. Finishing up the stuff we can do the night before and verrrry excited to try my friend Adriana's famous chili! Perfect for the cool weather we've had today. I'd better get my booty back to party planning and will hopefully post some pictures of the event soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tick Tock

Has this happened to any of you? Last week the hubs, boys and I were out to dinner. Another boy about, say five-ish walked past our table and headed to the restroom all by himself. And it occurred to me, SNAP! Em is not a little baby anymore. His third birthday is coming up next week. My eyes moved from the five year old boy and I rested my gaze upon my eldest, beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy and I noticed something different, he had changed. My eyes filled up with tears as I looked at him, I couldn't stop looking at him for fear that if I did, I would miss something, some moment, maybe it would happen so fast that if I took my eyes off of him, he'd change even more, mature more. Or maybe, just maybe I was afraid that he would stop looking at me with those innocent, boyish blue eyes, full of wonder.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mama's Making Some Dough!

You know, it just occurred to me that I haven't blogged since Tuesday! Travesty. So here I am in the middle of making homemade playdough with Em when I run short of 1/2 cup of salt! Blasted. Luckily that lovely man known as, "Hubs" was heading out for coffee with Em and took my honey do list with him. Good, good man. Love him! So, so much. Anyhow, Em and I are going to a kid-party tomorrow and we decided to make the gifts this year, instead of buying them. If you'd like the recipe too, go here.
The boys just got back home and I'd better get off my mom-butt and get back to making some dough. Ha, ha. Tomorrow I have my first ever sweater knitting class. I am so very excited. I have knit hats, scarves, dishcloths and toys, but never a sweater.
It is called the February Lady Sweater. Check it out.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Okay, I know I'm feeling better when I start shopping for things online. I am so excited, I found the cutest dollhouse for Em's birthday! I am on a "not made in China" less plastic, no batteries required toy kick this year. I want these toys to last and I have found that the toys I donate are all made of plastic and the one's I've kept are made of fabric or wood. So that said, here is the cutest farmhouse ever built, in Germany. I bought it through this company. I think it is the perfect gift for Em and it will encourage dual play with his brother. The figures that go with the farmhouse are large enough so that little Evs won't choke on them if they are chewed on.
See for yourself...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sick, Just SOOO Sick

Ack. I have caught the miserable cold. This is especially not fun because the Hubs is out of town for a book signing. Sick mom, sick kids, ack yuck. Fortunately things might be looking up after I eat this soup, recipe from Jennifer, via Jora at Domestic Reflections. Might I channel my inner Yo Gabba Gabba, "there's a party in my tummy, so yummy, so yummy yummy." Oh, just check it out here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Book Signing

The Hubs had a book signing this evening. It was his first ever since our publishers delivered the gorgeous book of his works.
There were many familiar faces at tonight's event and it was so great to be able to share such a special moment with many of his collectors. Several clients had been patrons of the Hub's since his paintings were first published, so it was touching to share the moment. I wish my parents and in-laws could have been there to celebrate. But before you feel bad, don't. They are in Hawaii, lucky things!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's Snot. What'cha Think?

I admit, I am a bit of a germaphobe. I am always trying to get my eldest son to wash his hands after we've been out and about.
I avoid having my boys play with other kids who are sick, and try to steer clear of others when we have colds. I'm not an anti-bacterial fanatic, but I do like the old frequent soap and water routine before we eat. The Hubs doesn't want me to turn our boys into mini Howard Hughes.

All of my preventative measures went down the pot of late: Em has a cold. A snotty, whiney, uncomfortable cold. The Hubs feels like he is coming down with something too, which is another reason why I try to keep our kids healthy. So that the Hubs nor I get sick. You see, the Hubs travels. A lot. His travel involves schmoozing (which he loves) and being on his feet. It is constant and unforgiving and requires one to be on their toes and feeling great. Hubs has a book signing here in town in two days and he has to travel up North for another book signing/art show. I am praying he gets over whatever it is he's coming down with.

I'm a big believer in B vitamins. I've popped my share of them whenever I feel a cold coming on and my symptoms usually dissipate relatively quickly. Trader Joe's even has a readily absorbed one that you place under your tongue. Wish I could give these to the kids when they get sick. But with kids its basically kid's motrin, fluids, rest and tissues. Which brings me to the sweet moment of the day.

A fella that we run into from time to time at our local coffee shop has a great little Yorkie named Jenny that he let's Em walk around the cafe's outdoor patio. He loves that Em can repeat any word and Em loves that he gets to walk around with a pint sized pooch. On one of Em's laps around the vicinity he sneezed and the snot went flying across his cheek. Our acquaintance quickly grabbed a tissue, wiped Em's cheek, held the tissue up to his nose and said, "Blow!" Em blew his nose with all his might and then he was off running more laps. The Snot didn't even phase our coffee shop friend.

What do you think? Does snot send you running in the opposite direction, or are you not afraid of the boogie monster?

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's a Mouthful: Honey Lavender Ricotta Ice Cream

I promised the E's that I would make ice cream this evening. I chose lavender. It is still churning but in liquid form it tasted so delicate and lovely. To borrow from my fav show, Yo Gabba Gabba...
Here is the, er, scoop.
Infusing the syrup with lavender imparts a subtle floral flavor to this ice cream. Look for fresh ricotta cheese at gourmet markets, or you can make your own—go to for our homemade version. It lends the ice cream wonderful richness. Garnish with lavender sprigs.

1 1/2 quarts (serving size: about 1/2 cup ice cream)

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
3 cups fresh ricotta cheese (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Combine sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 45 seconds or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in lavender. Let stand 30 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl; discard solids. Cover and chill 1 hour.

2. Combine fresh ricotta cheese, honey, and salt in a food processor; process until smooth. With processor on, slowly add lavender syrup through the food chute. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm.

Nutritional Information
190 (29% from fat)
6.2g (sat 3.8g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.2g)
Kathy Farrell-Kingsley, Cooking Light, MAY 2008

I like wood

My eldest son Em is turing the big 3 soon and the Hubs and I have decided that we should try our hardest to avoid buying toys that are Made In China and are made of plastic. We are focusing on wooden toys. We know that family and friends are going to find it very hard to avoid buying gifts for his birthday. Grandma's you know who you are!!! As fun as it is for the kids to receive gifts, it is pretty fun for us to buy them; the toys are as much for me as they are for the boys. You know what I mean. There are so many different, creative (non-Chinese) companies producing such innovative designs in wood. In fact, there are so many wooden toys that are made right here in the USA. Why not try and support our own companies for a change? Novel idea, I know.

Well, this year I am aiming for unfinished, un-dyed, un-oiled wood toys. Maybe all of that equals Un-Fun, I don't know. All I know for certain is that I have donated bags and bags full of broken, plastic, possibly toxic toys from China. And I haven't parted with one toy that has been made of wood. I want the toys I purchase today, to last long enough for our other children tomorrow.

Just a note, I have been eyeing a dollhouse that uses non-toxic paint, but am aiming for unfinished toys. The main goal is to buy toys not made in China and not made of plastic. Because although we have restrictions here in the USA for the use of pthalates in our children's food containers, we don't regulate for, say, baby teethers and toys that kids will inevitably place in their mouths. They still contain harmful chemicals.

If any family members are intersted, I've made a wish-list for Em's birthday and you can find it here:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Byyyyye The Way

It is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. See for yer'self. And marrrrrghhhk it on yer calendarrrghs for next year. Arrrgh.

Gorgeous Weather at the San Diego Zoo

This morning the boys and I met up with our friend Shanna and her son Maz and daughter Ava for a trip to the zoo. We live a little over a mile from such a gorgeous destination, we are so lucky! The boys are close in age and they had a blast with each other. Em seemed especially interested in the snakes and Maz showed us where the turtles, frogs and lizards hang out (such boys!); we had never seen those on our previous trips.

For all the parents out there who have ventured into the world of more-than-one-kid it is certainly a handful more than before! A true balancing act at the least. At this point in time both Shanna and I have infants and toddlers. So we basically do what the toddlers want to do because the infants just really don't care much. I know there will be a time in the near future where the concept of taking turns, sibling rivalry and "mine!" come into play. Heck, we've already mastered the, "DON'T TOUCH ME, Evs!!" or "he's DROOLING on ME, get it off ohhhhh yuck" etc...

Keep in mind the little one is barely 8 months.

I suspect future visits to the World Famous San Diego Zoo are going to be filled with splitting time between who wants to see what exhibit first, many more stop touching me's and the boys running from snake to snake, turtle to turtle and frog to, you guessed it, frog.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vegas Art Expo

The Hubs just left for another art show, of sorts. This one is the Las Vegas Art Expo. It is a schmooz-fest for artists, publishers, buyers, galleries but on a GIANORMOUS scale. Usually the Hub's work is represented at the New York Art Expo, but for the past two years, he has been keeping it closer to home. It is always interesting seeing the new work that is out on the scene, the familiar and of course there are the folks that try to knock-off another well-known artists work. This happened to an artist friend of ours. Not only was his work being sold at a kiosk in the same vicinity where his home gallery was, the replicas were featured in a well known home-goods catalog called "Horchow". From time to time I'll ask my husband if he is nervous that someone will try to knock-off his signature style and he says, "they can try to copy what I have already done, which would be quite challenging, but they'll never be able to know what I am going to do in the future". What an optimist! I tell you, I love that man. And you will too, check out his work.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Doesn't this sound Dee-lish?

I was searching for a good lavender honey ice cream recipe using a lavender simple syrup I have that you can buy, but I found this instead.
Way less fattening.

Lavender Vodka Tonic

1 tablespoon lavender simple syrup

2 ounces of vodka

6 to 8 ounces of tonic water.

Combine the lavender syrup and the vodka in a cocktail shaker and shake with plenty of ice.

Strain into an ice-filled highball glass.

Top off with tonic water and stir before drinking.


Ms. Domestic Reflections aka Jora tagged me with a fun meme. Drumroll, please:

What are the last three things you purchased:
1. A Veggie Burrito from El Zarape
2. A pair of white Jack Purcell shoes by Converse
3. A new Dr. Hauschka pressed face poweder to replace my old one

What are the last three songs you downloaded:
1. Somewhere Only We Know (Keane)
2. I like to move it (Zoo Gang)
3. The Hokey Pokey (Sha Na Na)

What are the last three places you visited?
1. Julian, CA
2. Laguna Beach, CA
3. San Francisco, CA

What are your three favorite movies?
1. Fletch
2. Frida
3. Manhattan (my first kiss with my husband)

What are your three favorite possessions?
1. My sanity
2. My lingerie
3. My house

What are three things you can't live without?
1. My family
2. Lipstick
3. Soft, downy pillows

What would be your three wishes?
1. To live in Rome with my family
2. Stop people from being so greedy, it has brought ruin to our world
3. Health and Happiness for my children

What are three things that you have not done yet?
1. Learned to play the banjo
2. Owned a Spider Monkey
3. Biked the entire distance of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

What are your 3 favorite dishes?
1. Black-eyed Peas, okra and cornbread
2. Lemon cake from Crumbs of Paris
3. Hearts of Palm salad from La Frite (in Sherman Oaks)

What 3 celebrities would you want to hang out with most?
1. Steve Martin
2. Natalie Portman
3. George Clooney (purely for comedy)

If you could describe yourself in 3 words what would it be?
1. Resilient
2. Pensive
3. Goofy

What are 3 things you are currently coveting?
1. Road Trips
2. An Airstream (ditto Jora I've been keeping my eyes peeled)
3. A bigger house

Name 3 things you are unusually good at.
1. Cooking
2. Figuring mechanical things out
3. Talking with my mouth closed

What 3 bloggers would you like to tag?
David Patrone
A mom two boys

Monday, September 15, 2008


Em loves trains, so we set up a small train table at Grandma and Grandpa's house. There is so much to explore in their home filled with collected treasures but the train table seems to be a favorite. Oh, did I mention the swimming pool? If we strap on a life vest, Em jumps in and swims on his own. Needless to say he capital L loves going over to his Grandma and Grandpa's. I'm so glad we live in the same town. Wish we could be so close to all of our relatives.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Day

Okay, I've had a fairly restful night's sleep. Only up twice to feed Evs. Darn that regression! Anyhow, I've had my cup of coffee, albeit decaf, and I put a load of laundry in. My perspective is better today and the house actually looks clean, huh? Could it be the daylight, or do we really have "house fairies"? Will ponder further...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Can't Stand the Clutter

I am going crazy trying to deal with the clutter and lack of things getting picked up in my home. Two kids can wreck the house pretty easily, but I have a feeling it is partly the adults in this homestead who are at fault. Somehow no one seems to know that we do not have a "clutter fairy" who magically picks up all things left out, and throws them away, or returns them to their proper place. Items do not "levitate" back to their destination. Laundry is not miraculously washed, dried, folded and put away. Yes, I've had a really hard day. I would really like to have an estate sale where most items have a sales tag on them. I crave simplicity, cleanliness and a personal masseuse who comes bi-weekly. Ack, the clutter. Do children really need 100+ toys? I'm thinking no, they do not. So maybe if I have 3 more garage sales, we will be at peace.
That or a bigger house.
Wish me luck

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Meal Plan for the Week or How to Get Rid of Canned Food in a Cluttered Pantry

Okay, I have accumulated WAAAY to much canned food since I expanded our pantry, so this week, my goal is to actually use it!
What on Earth? Yes, I will use up the Black-Eyed Peas, that I fetishize and the low sodium diced tomatoes. The 12 pack of baked beans that I purchased at Costco are history baby! Garbonzo beans, black beans, cannellini beans...ALL HISTORY!
Here is the plan. Wish me luck and stop by for dinner if you are in the 'hood...

DONE! Veggie Tacos with garbonzo's lime and avocado. Sides of black beans and rice

Hoppin' John with black-eyed peas, mustard greens, diced tomatoes and andouille sausage. Side of corn bread

Veggie Fried Rice, with edamame, red pepper, tofu and scallions

Organic Chicken Tikka-Masala. Side of rice and zucchini with lentils

Nicoise Salad, tuna, eggs, cannellini beans, olives etc... and a quinoa salad

DONE! Basil-turkey burgers, sans bun. Side of baked beans and beet salad (or roasted beets, carrots and more).

Homemade hummus, dolmas, roasted red pepper, feta in basil leaves, parsley, pita and tzatziki.

Homemade red bean ice cream

Carrot ginger soup
Crackers and cheese
leftover madness.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Flyin' High

They grow up so fast, don't they? Em had a blast getting a tour of the cockpit. The hubs was equally stoked.
When we left the plane, Em brought the pilot his hat and the pilot said, "Keep it, it's yours". Mouths agape
we said, "REALLY?" and he responded, "No, I could get fired for that, but it sounded cool".

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bay Area Bliss


> Back in our old city by the bay, this time with both of our boys!
> Planning on having breakfast with Fred at the Buena Vista Cafe on
> this typical San Francisco day; cool, overcast, nostalgic, perfect.
> Had dessert last night across the street from our hotel at
> Boulevard, gorgeous flavors! I was at my Mom's in E Bay & I drove
> across the Bay Bridge toward the city the other night, late, and
> My chest hurt. It was THAT beautiful.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Last night the Hubs, Grandpa, the boys and I went out to the new Bing Crosby's restaurant (at Fashion Valley)
and saw our dear friend David Patrone sing. He has an amazing voice and if you haven't seen him in person, you must.
Anyhow, David just got back from hiking the Appalachian Trail, he had a hernia for the last 400 miles, mind you!
What an amazing man, huh?  Check out his adventure here. He is a much better writer than I am, so read on!
Wish us luck, we are taking the fam. up to San Francisco for a little vacation and visit with Grandma B.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008


Have you ever seen the beginning of something and you just know it is going to be grande? The hubs is working on a new piece and I just know it is going to be groundbreaking. A master work. It is so exciting to see a painting in its beginning stages and just from the first thin coat of underpainting, you can tell that it is going to be magnificent. My hubs is an artistic genius and his movement of paint on canvas, of capturing light and reflection is extraordinary. See for yourself, go and google "Michael Flohr, artist".
Here is one he painted of me:

Train Trip to Solana Beach

Saturday we gathered up the troops and braved the rails with our friends and neighbors! The kids woke up early and the hubs and I grabbed what was necessary for our trip
1.) coffee
2.) bagels.
We barely made it onto the train before the doors closed and phew, we found our seats, "ALL ABOARD" called the conductor, and we were off. Adriana was waiting to greet Em at the end of the aisle and help him to his seat. Karen, Ed and Cory saved the seats and we were off on our adventure. The kids were so excited and the parents were happy to be able to have a half hour of basically uninterrupted conversation! (Amazing, I know). When we got to our stop, the beach was a short walk down the hill and we had a great morning in the surf. Em did not want to leave the beach. He howled like a professional, but when we got to the pizza place and the hubs introduced him to video games, that all changed. Pitchers of beer for the parentals and pizza down the hatch we made it back to the train and headed home just in time for naps. It was a great day indeed.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Do you remember how soothing falling asleep in the car was when you were a kid?
I do.
I recall road trips with my Dad and Stepmom, heading home I'd be exhausted. Seems the best sleep I've ever had was as a kid in the back of the car, getting lulled to sleep by the song of the tires against pavement and the breeze of the wet Texas air.

Friday, August 29, 2008

These are ADORABLE!

I just saw these bloomers on the purl bee blog and I have to make them. They are so divinely cute. Evs will love them. Once I finish my scarf (pic below), this will be the next project.