Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ellie's Jessie Party

 As Jessie would say...Yeeeehaw! 
We had a fabulous time celebrating Ellie's 4th birthday this weekend.  This "Jessie Party" has been a year in the making (in her little mind) and turned out super cute.  With a serious shortage of Jessie paraphernalia (thanks to her more popular Toy Story costars), we got creative with the cowgirl theme.  And we had a root tootin' good time!
 The Facts:
Goodie bags- squirt guns, trail mix, Toy Story gummies, western silly bands (Oriental Trading Co.)
Stick horses/hats- made from stuffed socks, felt, yarn and dowels (super easy tutorial here), red cowgirl hats (Party City)
Table decor- Jessie dolls, hay bales, buckets filled with peanuts, gingham table cloth, cow print fabric, rope
Bunting- bandanas, cow print fabric tied together
Menu- BBQ chicken sandwiches, baked beans, corn on the cob, pasta salad, watermelon, root beer and lemonade
Cake- made by Grandma of course!

The Fun:
Each girl was greeted by Jesse and received her own Bullseye horse and hat (every cowgirl needs a horse and a hat!).  They then colored pictures of Jessie and Bullseye, made cowgirl necklaces and cowgirl boot magnets (Oriental Trading Co.).  Dinner was served to the cowgirls out on the patio on their own little tables.  They grubbed on chicken, watermelon and lots of root beer.  After dinner, they played a beanbag in the hat game and finished off with presents and cake.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Up until last week, when you walk in the front door of our house you would see this:

Now the girls are thrilled to have a mantel/fireplace (for Santa and stocking purposes of course) but I've found it a bit awkward and hard to work with.  Its pretty big, its the focal point of the room, it has an arch and bull nose corners, doesn't have a cool mantel, and its off centered.  So for almost 2 years its looked like this.  Doable, but not quite right.  The pottery barn candle holder was in our other house, also above the fireplace also, and I've gotten tired of looking at it.  So without reconstructing the whole area (which I would love to do), I had to make a few simple, inexpensive changes.

In comes Happy Jose.  A handsome man inside an even handsomer frame.  The lady at the thrift store commented that she had been wondering who would buy this portrait (since obviously the people who loved him best didn't even want it).  So I knocked Happy Jose out (not literally), gathered a few other thrift store finds, spray painted them all red and then antiqued them with stain (Ashley Ann will tell you how to do it here).  The frames all sat empty for a while but were crying out for a little something more.  A little something like burlap, paper, and chicken wire.  You can't go wrong with those these days. 

For this frame I bought some chicken wire from Home Depot (the little square kind looked better in this smaller frame) spray painted it brown, cut it to fit the back of the frame, and staple gunned it on.  Its metal so its also magnetic!  Of course it needed a little doily and burlap love as well.

This one got little book paper flags that say faith, hope, and love.

And this one got a little specimen art inspired by this.  To make the twine letter, I printed  and "S" out on card stock and used lots of hemp twine and hot glue to wrap and cover. 

So here you have it. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

nap head

You've heard of 
hot head, 
bald head,
hat head,
bed head.
But have you heard of nap head?  
Leighton has and this is what it looks like.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bye Bye Kinder!

Its official.  Brooklyn has completed her first year of school.  She is no longer a kindergartner, but a proud first grader! 

favorite thing about kindergarten: doing art (see exhibit A and exhibit B below)
favorite lunch: soup (although we could rarely get her to eat anything we put in her lunch- even soup!)
favorite subjects: PE and orchestra (looks like she's taking after dad)
best friends: Cielo, Zalia, Cara, Blanca, and Paula
hardest subject: nothing! (now there's some confidence for you)
easiest subject: PE (so why was this her lowest grade, an A instead of her usual A+?)
favorite field trip: Legoland (what kids get to go to an amusement park for school!?!)
future aspirations: nurse or doctor
GPA: 4.0 (off to a great start, don't you think!?!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

all tied up

I can do!

Not only will Brooklyn finish kindergarten this week, 
she has learned to tie her shoes (finally!).  
My little girl isn't so little anymore.   

PS- Don't ask about the 1/2 laces, its the way the shoes came.  A Sketchers thing I guess.  She has begged to wear them sans laces (7th grade Keds style), but I've refused her, just like my mom did me (we've got narrow heels that make everything slip off).  I distinctly remember getting a pair of shoes for church that had straps you could move to the back and wear them as slip-ons.  As soon as mom was out of sight, I'd slip those babies back and feel oh so grown up.  What do you want to bet Brooklyn has considered doing the same...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chocolate Chippers

I have a thing for chocolate chip cookies.
A major thing.
Its such a major thing that I could eat them all day.
In a perfect chocolate chip cookie world I would eat:
one for breakfast with coffee,
one mid-morning with leftover coffee or a diet coke depending on the weather (hot day- diet coke, cold day-  coffee),
one for lunch dessert,
one for a mid afternoon pick-me-up with another diet coke of course,
and finally one (or two) with a decaf coffee in the evening to close out the day.
I told you it was a major thing.

And in the search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, I made these this weekend.  Not sure if they are the one, but they are good.  Good enough to where I can't tell you how many I've already eaten.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 Cup Brown Sugar
¾ Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter (softened)
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
3 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Kosher Salt (1/2 tsp of regular)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
2 Cups Chocolate Chips
Cream the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking soda. Add in chocolate chips. Bake at 350° for about 11-13 minutes. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

craft spurt

I've said before that I go through major craft spurts.  Where I have at least a half dozen projects going at the same time and another dozen projects brewing in my mind.  I am currently mid spurt.  Here's a little something that was brewing for a while and has finally come to fruition.  Ever since seeing Lindsey's tray centerpiece on her table, I wanted to try something similar.  For the past 2 years, its been a bowl of potpourri (am I my mother or what?) that has completely lost its aroma and become a major temptation for wandering fingers at the dinner table.  We needed something more functional and fun. 

Red metal tray: $4 ETSY was formerly yellow with a hideous 70's kitchen pattern.  Nothing a little spray paint coat and sand paper rough up can't fix.
S&P shakers: $1 thrifted (not as cool as Lindsey's though)
Napkin Holder: $1 estate sale, another hideous design but spruced her up with more paint
Lovely Turquoise Mason Jar: $2.50 thrifted
Fabric flowers: scrap fabric, kebob skewers and this tutorial (I had been snaking roses form the rose garden in front of our community pool but I think I may have picked them clean- these will last longer anyway).

Much more to come...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Ellie snuck into the bathroom while I was "using it" and started chatting with me about the day.  After a few minutes she said, "Pew, it stinks!" To which I responded, "Yeah Ellie, Mom is going the bathroom you might want to go out." "No that's okay I'll just stick my nose out here."  She stayed in the bathroom but turned around and put her nose to the door crack for "fresh air".  A few seconds later she said, "Yeah, I think I'm going to go out now."

The girls were eating lunch with their cousin when they saw a dandelion (or a "wisher" as they call them) outside.  So of course they all had to leave their food and go out to make a joint wish on the single flower.
Adina- I wish for my baby sister to grow bigger
Brooklyn- I wish for Adina's sister to be healthy and strong
Ellie- I wish... (which she made with eyes closed and arms thrown back with dramatic flair)
I wish to fly.

After having a rough afternoon Ellie stated, "I don't like this day  I hate this day.  I want to move to another day."  Oh haven't we all felt that way before?!

After spending an hour outside in the wading pool, I informed Ellie it was almost time for naps.  To which she replied, "Oh no, not the nap again!"

Monday, May 16, 2011

See these beautiful children? 
I love them all (of course especially the ones on the far right!). 
And I love them because I love their mommies. 
Big time. 
The ladies that instruct and guide these little ones to help them become all they can be,
have encouraged me.
The ladies that listen to the same stories over and over again,
have truly listened to me.
The ladies that wipe tears from the eyes of these little ones,
have comforted me. 
The ladies that say bedtime prayers each night with these little ones,
have prayed for me.
I see the mommies in each one of these children and that is why I love them so.

Thanks for a wonderful weekend friends- looking forward to having the other two three kiddos join us next time!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Brooklyn lived for her precious passie, Elllie still hasn't given up her beloved thumb, and Leighton is hardly ever without her lovely blankie (or "gankie" as she calls it).  It is yet another example of just how different three human beings taken from the same gene pool can be.  She can't fall sleep without it, must have it near her mouth while she sleeps, and insists on holding it close when she drinks her "baba" (Should a 16 month old still take a bottle? She should if she's your last baby!).

I, like Leighton, was a blankie girl.  I liked my blankie cold, so I would hang it out the window on road trips or put it in the fridge for a few minutes before bed (weird I know).  Anyway, I remember the day when I decided blankets were for babies and I must get rid of mine.  I was 5 or 6 and was having a playdate with an older boy from across the street.  I snuck my blankie out to the dumpster in the alley and threw it in.  That was it.  Never slept with it again.  Probably because I quickly moved on to a stuffed bear that was my nighttime companion until my honeymoon night when I turned it in for one that could cuddle back.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Calling all cowgirls...

Look what we're gearing up for...should be a root tootin' good time!  Ellie has been talking about her "Jessie Party" since last year when she had a Buzz and Woody party (hopefully next year she'll get over Toy Story and we wont have to do a Mr. Potato Head party-actually now that I think about it, that could be pretty fun!)  Anyway, Jesse party supplies are pretty hard impossible to come by since she has been greatly overshadowed by her male companions, so we are getting creative (my favorite thing to do you know).  For the invites, I took a picture of Ellie's Jessie doll, added the wording on Picnic, and had them printed at Walmart.  I didn't want to pay $7 for the 5x7 envelopes (trying to conserve here) so I made them by using some red paper folded and sewed up the sides.  Turned out pretty darn cute right?!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mommy Day

These girls gave me an absolutely wonderful Mother's Day... not because of the extra effort to be good (which lasted until about 7:30am), the thoughtful cards (that I'll save forever), or the hand picked gifts (the "okwa blue" shirt, pjs, and strawberry lip gloss) but simply because I get to be their mom.  I love these girls with a love I never knew I had before they came into the world.  And I wouldn't change my role as mommy for anything.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pretty Cool

Okay, this is pretty cool I think.  My bloggin' buddy Katie at Minivan Diva gave me this very special award.  I love getting a peek into her life that is so different and so similar to mine.  While she deals with legos, bmx bikes, and mud, I've got my hands full of princess, pink, and glitter.  But we both love Jesus and are seeking to honor him with our roles and wife and momma in 2 amazing families.  Thanks so much Katie!

Anyhoo, the rules are as follows:
1.} Thank and link back to the blog that gave you your award
2.} Share seven things about yourself
3.} Award 5 great bloggers
4.} Contact the bloggers to let them know you've given them an award

So here comes the big 7: (all things that have happened to me today that give you a sneak peak into who I really am)
1.  I awoke to the sound of someone/something rummaging through our garbage can.  We don't live in the hood so I knew it couldn't be a person, which only leaves and animal- a nocturnal animal, which I loathe.  It was indeed a rat (I could tell my the infamous screech and hiss as it ran away) apparently feasting on es cargo (did you know rats eat snails?).  Rats are my most detested animal, tied only with opossums.  I can hardly stand to think about them.  I could barely read the parts with Templeton in Charlotte's Web.  I couldn't even watch the first 5 minutes of Ratatouille. Obviously not a pleasant wake up call.
2.  Had my first diet Coke of the day at 10:30, which surely won't be my last.  My mom calls it my chemicals, I call it my life line.  Yes I believe I'm addicted.
3.  Bought my girls the popcorn combo at Target.  Yes, I frequent the Target snack bar.  I have been known to splurge on Monster cookies and get my diet coke fix there.  But my main stop is for popcorn for the girlies.  I have found it to be the best $1.50 investment the store has to offer.  I've got at least a half hour uninterrupted with their moths full of popcorn.  And yes, that includes Leighton, contrary to popular belief one-year-olds can have popcorn (under strict supervision of course!)
4. Broke one of my financial goals and bought over $20 in Mother's Day Cards.  I was going to be so good this year and make all of our cards (I probably have enough scrapbook supplies to make a card for every mother in the state), but alas, with only 2 more days to get them there I caved.  I think I'll make the Father's Day cards tomorrow to avoid this issue next month.
5.  Found this year's first superhighway of ants on the side-yard.  Which makes me insane.  Ants drive me over the edge.  Like make me want to cuss over the edge.  And there were too many times last year that I woke up to a superhighway in my kitchen with an off ramps at the marshmallow bag, syrup, and chocolate chips.  Lord help me if they make a come back this year.
6.  I caved in to the chocolate covered bridge mix at Henry's.  Just a little bag full.  It was my reward for making it though Office Depot, Target and Henry's with 2 girls in tow.  If it were up to me, I would be on a strict diet of chocolate and sweets alone, but my teeth and my rear end have to say no once in a while.
7.  I maxed out the pump at the gas station.  Which would lead you to ask, what kind of car are you driving that would require over $75 for a fill up? (if you live in Cali would know gas is insane right now)  It's true, I cruise a mini.  And I'm not talking mini cooper- minivan folks.  Its the nicest one on the road and sadly most of the time its the filthiest.  And unfortunately they haven't made a hybrid Odyssey... yet.

And now- Here's the inspiring bloggers I am passing this award on to:
1.  Amy at Amy Janelle Smets (my amazing sis)
2.  Shauna at The Reed Life (my fave blog as of late) 
3.  Stephanie at Walking Lazy M (whose country life I wish I often lived)
4.  Gina at Not So Random Stuff  (who pulls off the role of mom, teacher, homemaker, etc. so well)
5.  Sarah at Handbags and Pigtails (the friendliest gal in blogland)

House 8810

I found a new fun online store that you have to check out.  Its called House 8810.  Its anthro-esque, vintage, and totally affordable.  I would like... 

this pillow ( I actually would love the throw but that would be a total splurge for me)

 these pot holders

 and this tablecloth.
What about you?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Take a seat...

I've been on the prowl for some new seat cushions for our patio chairs. The faded out, ripped out, at least 5 year old ones weren't cutting it.  And lookie what I finally found.  I loved the fabric.  I loved the price (Home Depot $5.88!!!).  I didn't love the size (about 2 inches too big all the way around).  But I love my sewing machine.  I ripped those babies apart, gave the batting a good trim, cut down and resewed the covers, and stitched it all back together (in less than a half an hour even).  Now I am picturing myself sitting here, in the shade, sipping a diet coke- a big one with ice- watching the girlies play in our picket fenced in yard and just lovin' life.  So come on over- I'll even share my diet coke with you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's hot!

When its over 90 degrees outside, what else is there to do besides get wet?  Leighton jumped in clothes and all and had a blast with the water hose.  What kid doesn't like playing with a hose? 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


from our balcony overlooking Oceanside Harbor- yes that is a train

It had been over 2 years since Brett and I left the girls overnight and got away.  Leighton had never spent a single night away from her momma.  And the older girls hadn't slept on grandma's famous "pull out bed" since Leighton has born.  So this week we took the plunge, went all of 45 minutes north and had a fabulous 24 hours to ourselves.  Brett showed his true love for me eating "rabbit food" at Naked Cafe in Solana Beach (my fave) for lunch on the way up.  Then we split for a little solo time- him surfing me shopping, of course.  Later we met up with some of our greatest friends and had dinner overlooking the harbor, followed by coffee and mud pie over a mad game of hand and foot.  Slept in a king size bed without little ones in between, until 7:30am (woohoo!), got a shower before 8, and had breakfast at one of my all time faves IHOP (don't judge, a girl's gotta have her pancakes.) Then I got to raid the glorious fabric shop Maisonette before heading back home.  Super fun, super relaxing (unlike for my mom who was up at 2 am with a baby who apparently had pack-n-play-aphobia), and super sure to do it again soon- at least before 2013.

Monday, May 2, 2011

leighton's room lately

Leighton's room has been getting a bit of a makeover lately.  Changing table out (sold on Craig's list along with the exersaucer and 2 strollers- which I was glad and sad to see go-my babies are all growing up!), new bookcase and girls play kitchen in, and some furniture rearranging.  So here's a little peek for you...

I got this dresser from my favorite thrift store before Leighton was born for $12 (only some minor fortification and about 4 cans of spray paint to make it work). Cut out the letter "L" and stuck it to some pretty paper on a clipboard.  Used scrap fabric to fill some more hoops and added the numbers.  Still waiting for a picture to fill that Target frame though...

found these tiny vintage alphabet flashcards on etsy and strung them up with some itty bitty clothes pins on baker's twine...

  framed pages of this children's book that was part of a collection of books I got from my grandma when she passed away (IKEA frames of course-already painted)...

and a rainbow collection of chunky board book favorites. The cute little globe bank (which is raided daily for gumball purchases) was thrifted too.  
So there you have a glimpse of the cheeriest (and most often cleanest) room in the house.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Something Royal

In honor of the royal wedding Friday, the girls dressed as princesses.  Brooklyn even got to leave her uniform at home and wear sparkles and tulle with the rest of the girls in her class. (Ellie obviously wasn't wearing her royal undergarments)