Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Book & Movie Review- The Tale of Desperaux

A few years back D was given a copy of The Tale of Depseraux personalized and signed by the author. We knew that we would always treasure this book. At that time I tried reading it aloud to him, he was about 5, and he was not interested. This past month we picked it back up again, he is 7 now. It is the first book that thrilled him to every bit of his being.

Book Review- In anticipation for the movie being released we read everynight. I often felt myself wanting to read on and on because I was so interested in how the whole story would come together. The writing was excellent and D was introduced to vocabulary and loved every minute of it. With that being said, I HATE sad stories and this story is sad. I bawled my eyes out a number of times. I found the book to be dark and depressing but perfect (?) for a 7 year old boy. I totally and completely recommend this book as a read aloud. Lots of great discussion will come of it.
Movie Review- I loved this movie! I am a complete Disney fan, but this movie kicked the crud out of Ratatoullie! All of the things that made me depressed about the book they changed in the movie. This movie was filled with goodness and great morals. I love little Desperaux...he is so cute that I would totally buy a stuffed animal of that little guy (move over Twilight). The animation was so good and pretty to look at. Go see it, it is so sweet!
Comments- If you saw it, didn't the narrator sound like Martha Stewart? I thought it was her the entire time until I saw the credits. Do you love placing the voices of animated movies too?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gal Pal Bonding

Christmas was great! The kids are content with Rock Band and a Nintendo DS so what is Mom to do? Go shopping on the 26th!
Not just shopping, but shopping with a friend who is a "professional shopper"!
We went to Walnut Creek, CA and hit lots of great deals! These girls were shopping for Christmas presents for NEXT YEAR! You go girls!
For me, I was all about ME, ME, ME! Some Pottery Barn ornaments, a Nativity (which I've never had) and a dress for a formal occasion that I now know has been cancelled. BUT the deal of the day for me was the Kate Spade store was having 30 % off everything. I had bought her perfume the first time at Harrod's and loved it. I was able to replace it at a great deal!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

♫These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things♫

Here is a peak into my home this Christmas. Below are a few of my favorite things .
This is my kitchen tree with all candy and food ornaments. Of course there is real candy nearby.My dining room with Shabby Chic Christmas colors, a white feather tree with last year's crowns and apothecary jars filled with vintage baubles as the centerpiece.

Here is my living room.
Last year I was ambitious and made that little village.

I think this is my very favorite place at Christmas. This is the entrance to my guest bath. Those pastel tree candles I picked up at World Market years ago. I never have burned them because I have not ever seen them again to replace them. The two white cake plates are made out of candlestick holders and plates.

This tree is in my entry hall and is all miniature tea pots, tea cups and organza rose lights.

My family room takes on the more traditional Christmas colors. Around the fireplace is an assortment of snow people. The window, on the right, is a glittery snowman painting that my mom painted.
The best deal of the season is at Costco with 25 feet of real garland for $15.00. I love it swagged around this window to our backyard. The antique silver "Winter Dreams" garland and snowflakes sparkle at night with the mantel lights.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Can't Get Much Easier Than This!

Forgive me for not remembering where I saw this idea last year.
But it really is the easiest project and looks so adorable!
Simply use scrapbook rub-ons or stickers to monogram an inexpensive glass ornament. The black and white polka dot ribbon is the piece de resistance.
I can never resist anything black and white or with a monogram!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Book Review- Love The One You're With

...by Emily Giffin

I was so excited to read this book. I loved Something Borrowed, Something Blue and Baby Proof. So when this book came out I waited until a 40 % off coupon and away I went.

"Ellen and Andy’s first year of marriage doesn’t just seem perfect, it is perfect. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo for the first time in eight years. Leo, the one who brought out the worst in her. Leo, the one who left her heartbroken with no explanation. Leo, the one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she’s living is the one she’s meant to live. At once heartbreaking and funny, Love the One You’re With is a tale of lost loves and found fortunes—and will resonate with anyone who has ever wondered what if." -Publisher Notes

This book was not gripping like the others. I didn't really like either relationship. The characters, to me, were not developed much for me to "root" for either. It is easy to relate to, but left me with an awkward feeling as I read. Who likes to feel awkward? I say...skip it.

Did you read it? What did you think?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Conversation with a 7 year old

7 year old: Mom, Do Heavenly Father and Jesus get presents?

Mom: They are all about giving, they don't need presents. Obeying them is the only present they want.

7 year old: Do the other people in heaven get presents?

Mom: Heaven is such a cool place, you don't need presents there.

A lot goes on in these little minds!


You know how your hear somethings and just always believe it?
Well, I had always heard "never have a tv in your bedroom, it will ruin your marriage". So when hubby began talking about putting a flat screen on the wall in front of our uber-comfy Tempur-pedic dual adjustable bed (it's not just for Grandparents) I was like, "No Way!"

When Hubby wants something he is a very passive bully (in the nicest sense of the word). He will send me emails, talk about it constantly and even get up at 4:30 on Black Friday to shop at Best Buy. He usually gets what he wants because I am always so sick of hearing about it, I give in. Like this time...

Now I have a 32 inch black rectangle in my pretty, feminine bedroom. Many would criticize that our bedroom is too feminine for a husband, but he actually really likes our bedroom. Since it replaced where our adorable dresser with a beveled mirror went, we knew we had to buy something to go underneath it. (To hold the cable box, of course)

If you've ever been in the market for something like this, you will know that Shabby Chic does not make anything to accomodate such technology. (I think Rachel is single)

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! A faux fireplace! It has always been on my list at flea markets to find an old mantel for my bedroom. I have often dreamed of a roaring fire as I lay in bed trying to keep warm (think Kate Winslet's Cotswold cottage in The Holiday). So, when I proposed this solution to Hubby he didn't even hesitate!

Isn't it adorable? Let me tell you, it was all TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! It came from here so I got it at a steal! It was tax free AND free shipping! It came in one week. It was so easy to assemble. It is exactly how I expected!
Please note that these pictures were taken seconds after assembly so "stylizing" has not been done yet. I can't wait!

So...some say that a tv in the bedroom will ruin your marriage. You know what? Compromise will save it!

Monday, December 8, 2008

♪♫It's Beginning to Look "a little" Like Christmas♪♫

When you enter my home, on each side of the entry way are two niches. I have huge cement urns in each and usually have a topiary in each. For Christmastime I switch it up. This year I was really excited about these "non-traditional" Christmas colors. I know fake flowers are not the ideal choice but let's face it, fake are so much easier to take care of and you only have to make the initial investment.
First, fill your container with florist foam.

Next cover the foam with Spanish moss.

Begin arranging the largest pieces of your arrangement. In this case I used pine greenery frosted with snow.

I added two sprigs of aqua pointsettias as my contrast and focal point.

Next, I filled in with sparkly white pointettias.

I added some beaded snow sprigs in spots to fill in and add sparkle.

Whether these colors are "your cup of tea" or not, you can create your own using anything you want. Right now, Michael's has all of their holiday stems 50% off.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A hostess tip worth sharing

A Snack Bar
You've seen this picture a hundred times, but I wanted to share with you something that really worked well.
Please remove all the "Spring" stuff from this picture and replace it with large glass jars of all shapes and sizes.

Looking back at Thanksgiving weekend where 14 houseguests stayed for four days (ages ranging from 4-74) this was a huge reason the weekend was successful. I really did not want to be a slave to my kitchen the entire time and I really wanted family to feel comfortable to "help themselves". So I took it a step further and instead of just saying it I displayed it all so that they were forced (tempted) to just help themselves.

When guests are fed, they are relaxed. When guests are relaxed, hostess is relaxed.

On the top I used every glass jar and container I could find, went to Costco and put out:

  • M&M's
  • Chex mix
  • Trail mix
  • Red Vines
  • Gummy Bears * these went the fastest*
  • Assorted nuts
  • Pretzel crisps
  • Assorted individually wrapped chocolates
  • Animal Crackers

On the bottom I put out all breakfast items. That way anyone could eat breakfast whenever they wanted, some ate at 7:00 while others ate at 10:00.

  • assortment of cereal
  • assortment of bagels
  • chocolate croissants
  • large fruit bowl
  • assortment of muffins

On nearby shelves in my center island I kept stocked an assortment of drinks, plastic cups and a Sharpie pen.

I hope you give this a try next time you have a houseful of guests.

Next time I think I will even take it one step further and have something for lunches. Any cool ideas?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Twilight Trailer Spoof- So Funny!

Book Review- The Thing About Jane Spring

Disclaimer:You can always count on me to recommend a book that gives you a laugh, that does not take very much seriously and it probably will not leave you with a deeper meaning of life...because I solely read for the purpose of entertainment. And I OFTEN choose the book by it's cover.

The Thing About Jane Spring by Sharon Krum is funny and lighthearted. It was a perfect read for me with humor, nostalgic references and a small love story. Mostly it is about a woman with a great career that just really needs to find out who she really is. Rumor has it that it is being adapted into a movie. Hope you enjoy it. If you read it, let me know what you think.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Post Thanksgiving Update

Well, we all survived the holiday weekend. Hubbys family came, there were 17 of us total for 4 days. It was sooooo much fun! The Wii was in the family room, Xbox 360 (RockBand) was in the bonus room, and Apples to Apples in the dining room. There were bodies all over my house and I was in total bliss! I really enjoy having people relaxed and enjoying time together in our home.
Here are some of the highlights of this unforgettable holiday weekend!
  • I made the entire Thanksgiving dinner all by myself from start to finish. I cheated on pies and rolls.
  • The only item prepared the day before was my pretzel jello. It did not turn out. The pretzel mixture was supposed to be the crust with a whipping cream/cream cheese layer THEN the jello on top. Welp...the jello sank to the bottom and the pretzels and cream layer rose to the top. Think of the catnip in Christmas Vacation. It still tasted good though.
  • Seeing all the cousins have so much fun together.
  • My 10 year old nephew peeling potatoes for a full hour without complaining.
  • Getting up at 4:30 to go to Best Buy on black Friday. Couldn't believe hubby wanted to shop!
  • The men going to Bass Pro Shop and coming home with an air soff (?) gun for D. They were threatening to use my Edward poster as the target!!!!!
  • Jupiter snuggling with everyone so calmly.
  • Staying up to the wee hours of the morning solving all the major global problems.

What is wrong with me? I am so not in the mood for Christmas! The last thing I want to do is to decorate. My calendar is so jam packed I am not sure where I will find the time to deck the halls...or the energy for that matter. I am so inspired by all the great holiday crafts going on in blogland, but it seems my creativity gene has been turned off. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so thrilled to have hubby's entire family (minus one working niece) here from today until Saturday. There will be 18 of us in all. I love throwing parties and just plain feel more comfortable when I'm entertaining. My great friend came over from 9 Am -3 PM on Monday and helped me clean. Thank goodness for her!!!
I have so much to be thankful for!
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Wish me luck on my first Thanksgiving meal!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

5 things I love *****

Allyson at House of Stephens was sweet enough to pass on this award to me. The rules are to list 5 things you love and pass along to 5 friends and link back to me.
With so much Edward spoken from my lips I knew I wanted to list five things I love about my real life man. I almost posted my five favorite lines from Twilight, but I didn't want you all to think I was off my rocker. I do not call my hubby Edward because he is just not him. Not that Edward is better by any means, just different. So here it goes...
  1. I ♥ my husband because he has a sense of humor.
  2. I ♥ my husband because he lets me be myself and doesn't conform me to a mold.
  3. I ♥ my husband because he honors his priesthood.
  4. I ♥ my husband because he is different from any other interest I have ever had.
  5. I ♥ my husband because he takes care of the kids and I.

So now it is my turn to pass it onto some of you...hmmm...it is hard. I feel like I tag some of you all of the time! Okay, well here it goes...

1. Kelsey 2. Emmy 3. Jessica 4. Danielle 5. Pam

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight ~ take 2~

Before you think I am absolutely nuts with a new shirt...my sis gave it to me at the theater as a late birthday gift. So cool!
It was really fun to see it again, this time with E! She loves the books and follows in my footsteps a lot. I still have a lot of influence over her, I know it will not last too much longer. If you would like to read about her movie experience (remember she is 10) go here.
I still really loved the movie!!! Go see it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight at midnight ~ my 200th post!!!

(picture courtesy of my friend. I am the only dork in a Twilight shirt)

If you wanted my opinion...


(as my friends could see).

Thanks, friends, for putting up with me and all of my whimpers of joy!

I can't wait to see it again tonight with my sis, my niece and E.

And so the Twilight obsession continues...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,

With your big day right around the corner I thought I should drop you a line . I have tried to be a really, really good girl this year. I know a few years back I told you I would never ask for anything else. You remember...the year I wanted to stop teaching and become a stay-at-home mom? Well, you did such a fabulous job with that I figured I'd give it a try. Plus, what would my little kiddies think if their mommy had no gifts under the tree?

So here is the beginning of my list. (Nothing big really)
Cuisinart: Just seems to be an essential for the kitchen that I don't have.

Vera Wang perfume. As you know she makes a few different fragrances. This one is the one I like the best.

Front loader washer and dryer. As you know, Santa, ours is almost 14 years old. Yes it still works, it just takes two full cycles to dry a load. Consider this a gift for the environment!

A freezer for the garage. Any size would be good.

Last but not least, a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4 door with removable hard top. I have never gotten over getting rid of our first Jeep. Since no babies are in our future :( this could be my new baby. don't tell hubby I said that Santa, I told him the dog was my new baby. :)

Thanks Santa for taking a look at my list. Be sure to check back often for any small additions I might add. My friend Tiffany is begging to find a spot on the list.

Merry Christmas!



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Harajuku Girls

On a recent trip to Tokyo we discovered the enchanting district of Harajuku. The area is known internationally for its youth style and fashion. Japanese Harajuku Girls and Harajuku Style has been used to describe teens dressed in many fashion styles ranging from Gothic Lolita (also gothic loli) Visual Kei, Ganguro, Gyaru, Kogal, to "cute" Kawaii style clothing.
*The Harajuku Girls are four young Asian back up dancers featured in stage shows and music videos for American pop singer Gwen Stefani. The women also act as an entourage at Stefani's public appearances.*
I discovered these little cuties. Gwen Stefani created a perfume franchise. I often choose my perfume by the bottle (just like I choose a book by its cover) and these not only look cute, but you are sure to find a fragrance you like out of the five. Let me introduce you to them.

This adorable set is each fragrance in solid form. I came to ♥ solid perfume as it does not go bad quickly, it is easy to throw in your purse and it does not stain clothes. Love it!

This one is "G". It is the tropical smelling with coconut flavors.

This is "Baby". Much like "Love's Baby Soft" from the olden days, powder flavors.

This is "Lil' Angel", my personal favorite, feminine and fruity.

This is "Music", my daughter's favorite. Definitely is the musky of the family.

This is "Love". Also a favorite of mine with floral flavors.

Hopefully you think these are as adorable as I do. I saw them at both Macy's and Nordstrom. Nordstrom has some really cool gifts with purchases coming up.
Enjoy shopping!

Monday, November 10, 2008

say it ain't so!

What is about this Twilight thing??
What is it that will make a thirty six year old, grown woman act like she did when she was thirteen?
What is that makes me buy a poster for my garage, two shirts, a soundtrack and two sets of pre-movie tickets?
What is that makes me make my hubby work from home to take care of the kids so that I can "camp out" to meet Edward a.k.a. Rob Pattinson?
I am a total control freak when it comes to details. So, after I decided to do this (it took 1.3 seconds to decide) I began plotting and planning how this event would go down. Here is an exciting play-by-play...
10/9 8:13 PM- My partner-in-crime arrived at my house.
10/10 2:17 AM- My alarm went off.
2:47 AM- Left the house.
4:18 AM- Arrived at destination. About 250 Twilighters had beat us there. Some were making an unofficial number system to keep things safe and orderly. We were #248 & 249. Perfect there were only to be 500 writsbands that will guarantee us into the meet & greet. Even if everyone got 2 wristbands we would still be okay.
4:45 AM - Moved my car in fear of getting towed.
5:00- 5:59 AM- Utter chaos. Will they honor the unofficial number system or will it be a free-for-all?
6:00 AM- RUNNING STAMPEDE! We are allowed on mall property, everyone dashes for the mall doors. So glad my daughter is not with me!
6:01 AM - Sardines packed is the only thing on my mind.

6:25 AM- Sun begins to rise.
7:00 AM- News helicopters begin to hover. We are about 12 feet from mall doors. They announce the beginning of order. Soon they will be taking 20 in at a time to purchase shirt and wristband. The end is near...we had no idea how true this statement would be!

7:37 AM- Pushing. SF police begin to show up.

8:00 AM- "The event is cancelled!" As we at the front are hurded out by police, we find the line is completely wrapped around the mall. Is it really cancelled? Well, if it is true we have lost our incredible place. Nobody is believeing the police.

8:10 AM- Police line goes up.

8:30 AM- We are still smiling. Bummed and disappointed but smiling.

8:50- Public spokeswoman from Hot Topic announces to cooperate with police and to go home!

9:00- On freeway headed to Pacifica for breakfast and a planning session. What to do?

9:30- Headed back to mall to access situation.

9:45 AM- Crowd has mostly dispursed outside of the mall. What? The mall doors are open? They said they would not open the mall until 10:00 AM. Is there hope?

9:47 AM- Major line inside mall starting at Hot Topic and going all the way down the mall aisle.

9:52 AM- Confirmed that event is cancelled for the day. The tour tee shirts will not be for sale. These people are just waiting for Twilight products. (which I already have plenty of)

9:53 AM- Decision made to go home. It is not meant to be!
10:12 AM- Minor detour off of freeway for impromptu shopping trip to IKEA. The day is not wasted afterall. But I din't buy one thing which proves I was a little depressed. :(
11:50 AM- Back at home. Saying goodnight to hubby and headed for a nap.
The moral of this story is: no matter how much you plan or prep it is never a sure thing! Also, Twilight is like an addiction. Next stop will be the midnight show,
do I ever learn?
UPDATE FROM HOT TOPIC!-Twilight Stonestown Galleria Meet And Greet On 11/10 Is Sold Out In the spirit of fan appreciation and to ensure a safe environment, Hot Topic is proceeding with a limited meet and greet with Rob Pattinson from the upcoming film Twilight. The event will begin at 6:00 PM at San Francisco's Stonestown Galleria, and is currently sold out.

Can you believe it? They went ahead with it! I am a faithful person who believes people a little too much I guess. I am very frustrated with the above update.

I feel like a two year old who needs to have a tantrum!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"Under Attack " ~ Mamma Mia (ABBA)

I try to keep my blog upbeat and light, but I needed a place to voice some of my personal feelings. I felt there was no better place than here.
My political view on Prop 8 is and was no secret. It is no secret that I live in CA and am smack in the middle of the war. I am not here to change anyone's mind or even defend my own views. Many of you know, that in light of the election results my church (therefore ME) is under attack.
As I was planning my Sunday School lesson this week I found some quotes that were answers to my prayers and provided peace in this scary time. I wanted to share them.
"Stakes are a defense for the Saints from enemies both seen and unseen. The defense is direction provided through priesthood channels that strengthens testimony..." President Ezra Taft Benson
"Christ has, on occasion, been rightfully angry with backsliding Israel, but that has always been brief and temporary-'a small moment'. Compassion and mercy always return and prevail in a most reassuring way." Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
This second quote shows me how Christ handles situations just like this. To be like him, I also need to show compassion and mercy. This is a challenge for me when I feel attacked, but I know that is how I will grow and become a little more like Him.
God bless the United States of America!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Friday!

I don't know about you, but I have felt a little anxious for the last couple of weeks. When I get a little overwhelmed I like to go to my happy place, a.k.a Paris.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

aches and pains

Things I knew to be true:

36 is not old!

you are only as old as you feel

sometimes you sacrifice for beauty

shoes are the ultimate accessory, so the more you have the better
But then...I started having foot pain daily and it hurt the second I got out of bed! I would think, "why do my feet hurt when I have been laying down all night?"

It finally dawned on me...all those "cute" shoes are also "cheap" and it ain't working for me anymore. When I say cheap I really mean cheap, we are talking $20 or less. I kinda thought, "why spend more if you don't have to?" Now I know.

So I bought these from here. Now, these are not the high end shoes that I wish I could buy, but oh my! They are so comfortable! And since my primary job is stay-at-home-mom they will be perfect with all my casual clothes.

a dinner your kids will ♥

photo: Kraftfoods.com what kid does not like bite-sized morsels? I actually put the leftovers in their lunchbox today, instead of a sandwich.

  1. spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray
  2. use 1lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
  3. mix in 1 pkg. Stove Top stuffing (unprepared)
  4. mix in 3/4 C. Ketchup
  5. mix in 1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
  6. fill muffin tin 3/4 up with meat mixture.
  7. Bake 350 degrees for 20 min.
  8. Add grated cheese to top .
  9. Bake additional 10 min.

This would be a great recipe to sneak in some grated veggies too!

Also, a great appetizer for a party!