Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Circus Act

My circus-themed Scripps book club meeting was a great success a couple of Sundays ago. The book wasn't my favorite, but the company and the munchies more than made up for it.

No, the H had absolutely nothing to do with this clever snack presentation. Or with the freshly-squeezed lemonade (not pictured). Whatever would make you think such a thing???

Me and My T3

Frustrated for years by the lackluster performance of many a dime store flat iron, I finally sprang for the T3.Behold! It heats up to 450 °F, meaning it dries and straightens in a single pass! Begone frizz! Begone bad hair days! Begone blow dryer that I never learned how to use properly anyway. And hello time-saving, multi-tasking, dare I say life-changing T3. I don't think I've ever felt this way about a handheld appliance before. I do think I'll call her Bianca. Doesn't that name just conjure up voluminous, bouncy, shiny, sleek hair images?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Double Take No. 6

We went with the tropical rainforest theme for Bubs' activity mat as a baby. Bright colors, animals, good interactive play. The activity mat is some of the best money you'll ever spend on baby gear, by the way, since it kind of grows with the kid. First they lay on it, then they roll on it, then they sit in it, then they pull to standing- you get the picture. Snook was even fighting Bubs for his when he was just a little guy because by the time she was two-years-old she was ready to turn it into her own personal fort. (And she wanted everything that was earmarked for the new baby.) Here Snook is in her own activity mat circa Summer 2006.And here Bubs is next to his rainforest version circa Summer 2008.
I thought about Bubs' rainforest when we lunched at the Rainforest Cafe yesterday with my longtime girlfriend Eugenia. Turns out the rainforest is not only a great theme for a kids' toy, but it's also the perfect theme for the ultimate in kids' restaurants. The animatronics in that place were incredible- so realistic in fact that Bubs was scared to death by the trumpeting elephants and the snapping alligator. But he loved the aquariums and the waterfalls. I loved that when he was scared and fussy, nobody could hear him over the cacophony of drums and animals noises. And that they offered bananas as a side with the kids' meals. Heck, I'll eat a soggy Cobb and fried calamari (minus the squid?) any day if the kids are happy, entertained and properly nourished.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Light Up the Night

So the Scripps Book Club ladies are coming over this Sunday, and . . . . . . I really need to finish this book before then. Especially seeing as I'm the hostess and all. But pleasure reading doesn't happen during the day, and at night, it's, well, dark. To clarify, I like to read in bed, but sometimes I get to bed after the H is already asleep, or else he's winding down to his nighttime stories with the lights off. What's a bedtime reader to do? Get herself one of these handy dandy magnifier/flashlight combos (or some other similar book light) that's what. I've been using mine for a week now, and let's just say finishing my book is not going to be a problem. It's been so nice to steal a few extra moments to myself, buried deep in a book, before drifting off to sleep. Without bothering a soul. Nights are looking brighter, indeed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fly on the Wall

I was just lamenting to my mom the other day that I wish I could be a fly on the wall at Snook's preschool. I mean, by now I know what her daily routine is, who her teachers and friends are, and that she's happy there and generally has a grand old time. But still. How she spends each and every minute, what she says, what she does - it's all a complete mystery to me. Well, last week I got a little glimpse. It was her good buddy's birthday, so her good buddy's mom took lots of pictures of the celebration, and was kind enough to forward them to me. Because I'm at work while Snook is at school, this is the closest I'll ever get to being there during the day. But if these pictures are any indication, if I were stuck to the wall all day long doing my fly thing, I would like what I saw!

Sitting patiently, getting a kiss, using a napkin. Of course, it didn't hurt that on this particular day, cupcakes were involved.

Don't Know Much About Decorating . . .

. . . But I do know that I love any centerpiece where fresh fruit takes center stage. Especially when the fresh fruit is a bunch of tangerines from my in-laws' orchard. Nature's candy at its sweetest. Not that I'll pooh pooh a sour grapefruit. Nobody else in the family likes them and we really should help ourselves because there are so many and . . . Don't mind if I do!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Okay By Me

I just got my first pair of OKA b. sandals! I say my first pair because hopefully there will be many more. I've been wondering when flip flop technology was going to move beyond these oldies but goodies. Now I have my answer. What's not to love about a shoe that boasts "Massage Beads," Non-Slip," and "Arch Support." And the list of attributes continues. They're made in the good old US of A. They're odor-resistant. And how cute that their tag line is "Love at first step," they invite you to "Experience a love affair," and their website is www.shoesthatloveyou.com. I picked up the "Chloe" in Popsicle Pink, but I have my eye on these styles as well:The "Madison"The "Emily"The "Jasmine"
The "Caroline"

Lots more super stylish reasons to be so excited that the warm weather months are upon us!

P.S. She's selling the "Chloe" and the "Marion" at this store for $9 and $5 less, respectively, than listed on the website.

Forever Mashed Potatoes

I think it's weird that the food my mom craved when she was pregnant with me was my favorite food when I was a kid. Weirder still is that it is STILL my favorite food. I just cannot get enough of mashed potatoes. Here's a batch I mashed up the other night. With some buttermilk, which gave them a nice tang. I'm pretty sure when I reach the ripe old age of ninety (God willing) this will still be my favorite food. Which is lucky. You know, lack of teeth and all.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Twinkle Toes

So we've been going to ballet class for about a month now . . .. . . in this majestic building, which is home to the San Diego Ballet. Gorgeous, isn't it? There's no place inside the dance studio to sit and watch, so parents are relegated to the two-way viewing window. Or else there's a luxurious green room, complete with leather couches and a full kitchen. Not bad, especially when I have my one-year-old with me.And here is Snook with her friend from preschool on their very first day of class. So far so good!Here they are meeting their teacher and fellow classmates.Hard to believe this is how all the greats got their start. Maria TallchiefMargot FonteynAnna PavlovaNatalia Makarova

I'm not thinking too big, am I?
Hi Mom!

Monday, April 6, 2009

La Dolce Vita

No, we did not jet off to Italy this past weekend. But thanks to the meal that was so skillfully prepared and presented by my hubby yesterday afternoon, for a few moments, I definitely felt transported.The weather was gorgeous. The kids were at my parents. I was finally, mercifully out of my Saturday funk (spent the entire day in bed with a yucky stomach bug). So we seized the opportunity to eat a grown-up lunch outdoors.
And what a glorious lunch it was. I can think of nothing better to eat on a warm afternoon than a light, flavorful salad paired with some crusty bread and lots of EVOO. This particular salad consisted of prosciutto, mozzarella and melon over mixed garden greens. There was even some mint thrown in from our itsy bitsy vegetable garden! Molto bono!The sparkling Italian wine and opera music playing in the background didn't hurt the mood either.

The whole thing kept reminding me of an analogy my friend, Amber, regaled me with recently. It went something like this: Having kids is like planning a trip to Italy, getting your tickets, boarding the plane, taking off, but then getting waylaid in England. For a really long time. The point being I guess that you'll get to (scintillating) Italy someday. But for now, just enjoy all that (not-so-scintillating) England has to offer. Well, on Sunday we cheated and got a little taste of Italy. And it was really nice.

Bounteous Brunch

The H was not messing around a couple of Sundays ago when he said he was making brunch. See what I mean . . .
We started off with poached eggs over prosciutto and baby asparagus.
Followed by a bagels and lox platter . . .
. . . from which I partook in copious amounts.
And we ended with a fruit salad. Yummy, yummy. What can I say? The man can cook. Stay tuned for this past weekend's offering . . .

You Know You're a Mom When . . .

You spend all day at Sea World and don't take a single picture of a sea creature. Not a shark. Not a bat ray. Not even Shamu. Nope. You just take picture after picture of your little girl running with reckless abandon down a grassy knoll.

No accounting for inspiration, I guess.

Bare Necessities

When the inimitable Emily tells you that nude sandals are a must-have for the warm-weather months, you get thee to the nearest store and you buy thee some. Which is exactly what I did.
Pretty slammin', don't you think? And dressy enough for work. I found them at this store, where for my shopping trouble (okay, I may have picked up a few other odds and ends to go with the shoes, but they were having such a miraculous sale, and the kids were actually letting me shop) the lovely shopgirl threw in a cute Mondani cross-body bag. On the house. Plus balloons for the kids. So everybody wins!

P.S. In addition to clothing, this store's owner has impeccable taste in selecting quotations to paint on her walls. Remember this one: "I like my money right where I can see it . . . hanging in my closet." Carrie Bradshaw

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Princess Party

Once upon a time, in the faraway kingdom of San Diego, there lived a delightful little girl who was about to turn three. Now this little girl liked the Disney princesses very much. So much in fact, that whenever she could, she would play with princess dolls, read princess books, and wear princess underpants, among other princessy pursuits. So in celebration of the little girl's third birthday, her parents decided to throw her a big princess party. This was in part to make the little girl happy, but also in part to help get princesses out of her system once and for all.

In preparation for the big day, the little girl sent out . . . . . . invitations to a good number of her closest, most darling little friends. Unbeknownst to the little girl, her parents also sent an invitation to a surprise royal guest. Then it was time to order the decorations, including . . . . . . a princess banner or two, a princess centerpiece,
princess blowouts, and lots of spangly princess danglers.

Next, it was time to fill the . . . . . . goody bags with some . . . . . . lip gloss necklaces, big, fake, jewel rings, and
oodles of stickers. There were boy-appropriate goodies too, but let's stick with the theme here, shall we.

Finally, the day of the party arrived. And what a day it was. Sunny, clear, and unseasonably warm. Perfect for an outside party. The guests began arriving at 12:00 sharp and were greeted with . . .. . . a welcoming sign created by the little girl's Grammie.

Shortly thereafter, . . .. . . the lovely Cinderella herself arrived and gave the birthday girl a big hug.
All of the little girl's friends were very surprised and excited to meet Cinderella.

After assisting the little princesses with their glittery transformations, Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother taught all of the royal guests some amazing dance moves to get them ready for the ball.First, there was the Chicken Dance.Followed by the Macarena, the Running Man,
the Robot,
the Roger Rabbit.
and finally, everyone's favorite, the Hokey Pokey.

By this time, everyone was very hungry. So it was time to partake of the . . .
. . . royal feast!
Using princess plates, andprincess napkins, of course.

But the activities were far from over. After the royal feast, it was time to play with . . .. . . a parachute,
blow some bubbles,
and march in a princess parade.There were some fine princess waves, indeed. The grand finale was a private reading from Cinderella's autobiography, entitled simply, Cinderella. All such fun!

But the highlight of the day was the arrival of the little girl's Uncle Neal (her Grampie's brother) who flew all the way to Southern California from the very faraway kingdom of Tennessee just to meet the little girl and her brother for the first time and to join in the festivities. The lowlight, of course, was that the little girl's mommy did not bake the cake.

But because her grandparents, great-grandparents, Uncle Neal, friends, and friends' parents were in attendance (and because she felt the love from distant friends and relatives),the little birthday girl was beside herself with joy!

Yes, all in all, the little girl had a most wonderful time at her princess birthday party,and was most appreciative.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The End.