Wednesday, February 16, 2011

why living in SoCal in the winter rocks my socks...

Because we can have night-time, kite-flying, non-crowded, perfect-weather picnics on the beach.

In February.

Did I mention we ate Pedro's tacos? And it was Kate's first time ever at the beach? In winter.

I love it here.

Monday, February 14, 2011


It blows my mind how much my girls look alike!
Kate at 6 months
Maggie at 8 months
Kate at 6 months
Maggie at 8 months

Sunday, February 13, 2011

more Valentines-y things

For Maggie's class party last Friday, I made these yogurt parfaits. They were a huge hit! Instead of the suggested "X and O" in each cup (there were not enough in the cookie tub), I did each child's first initial. They loved it! I also whipped up some homemade vanilla whipped cream.

And Maggie and I also made these candies to pass out with her Valentines. So fun and quite easy (although because of the hot nature of the molten candy, I did most of the work).

Next year, I'd love to make these cards for Maggie's class; super creative!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Craft time: Valentine chalkboard jars

My creative friend Casey prepared this craft (which was given to her by her sister-in-law) for our biweekly MOPS group and I just LOVED it: the simplicity, the versatility, and the frugality. How's that for a great craft? In fact, I love it so much that I am making these in Maggie's preschool class this week for their Valentine's Day craft (and I listed some more uses for these jars below).

Simply purchase a cracker jar from Target; we used both the small ones ($3.99) and the large ones ($4.99). The important thing is that a few of the sides are square and flat, thus making it easier to write on.
Pictured above are the supplies you need, minus a paintbrush. But, I figured you all wouldn't forget that!
Use green or blue painting tape to tape-off your square (the lady at Home Depot swore to me that this green "Frogtape" was superior to blue tape; we shall see come Friday when I do the craft in Maggie's class).

Apply 1 coat of chalkboard paint (purchased at Home Depot for $8.99, but this stuff can last a long time AND they even have tintable chalkboard paint, how cool is that?!) and let it dry completely (doesn't take too long--3-5 minutes tops?). When dry, apply 2nd and final coat of paint.
Voila! A clever little jar of love. Set out in a prominent place in the home, place a stack of small pre-cut papers next to it, and ask family members to write down (or draw pics for the little ones) all the things they love about eachother. Use leading up to Valentine's Day and read together on the 14th.

Recently, I've been re-thinking what I like and don't like about V-day. Truth be told, I don't normally like it; it seems like a ploy by chocolate companies and greeting card companies to make money. And maybe it is. I also feel like I will be let down on this holiday that everyone gets to excited about. My husband and I normally mock it in some fashion, but really, deep down, I *think* I want to celebrate it. But, after reading this post by Shauna of "The Reed Life" I resonated with SO much of her musings and walked away with this: Valentines Day can be about celebrating our family's love for one another. And I want to be really purposeful in that, starting this year, and starting with this jar.

Other uses for said jar(s):
*How about pantry staples like pastas and grains?
*How about a seasonal candy jar?
*How about as a "birthday jar" for the week leading up to a child's birthday where you write his/her name on it, write down all the things you love about him/her, and open it on his/her birthday?
*How about as a "potty training" jar?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

this and that

Lately, we've been doing much of the same things in our weeks and I'm loving the stability and routine. Blogging has lapsed as I've been busy with the family and doing our weekly activities. Here's a bit of this and that to fill you in.

Lately, I feel like I'm really enjoying motherhood, really being purposeful in my time with my sweet, sweet kids. We all go through funks in this role, but lately, I've been able to see some personal growth when it comes to areas where I struggle in motherhood. As this new year began, I started to pray about what my words for year would be and God brought to mind several that have stuck with me: "pray more," "play more (with my kids)", and "give more (finances)." This article from Simple Mom nailed it perfectly. I encourage you to read it, too.

This article (also from Simple Mom) about leaving your children a legacy has been playing over and over in my mind for weeks. Weeks and weeks. Her words were absolutely haunting to me: "I don't want my children to remember me only in silhouette--a face turned toward a screen." This line was a catalyst for an earlier post of mine on rethinking social media. I want to be purposeful as much as possible in my daily interaction with my children.

I finally started exercising again; going to the gym 2x a week with my friend Casey and trying to do "30 Day Shred" on my non-gym day. Setting my sights on my a half-marathon later this year.

After an almost-2 year lapse, I've begun meeting with a new friend for early morning coffee and accountability. I first did this with my sister for 4 years, then with my friend Erin for 2 years. Now, we all live far, far away and I've been craving this fellowship. I love early mornings and love that I have this to look forward weekly.

We've been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather here in SoCal while most of the country has been experiencing insane amounts of snow. Lots of outdoor time, park dates, and even some kite-flying last week.

I've been loving new music by The Civil Wars. Beautiful harmonies!

I've been pining after Anthro's latest catalog, especially these boots, these shorts, this shirt, and this shirt. I'm going to try to piece together this outfit from more thriftier places using Polyvore as my guide. What a cool concept.

Happy Sunday!

Kate Evangeline: Month 5 and 6

Kate turned 6 months old on the 3rd of February and I never did get around to posting her 5 month pic. Both are here now.

My good friend Rachel (uber-talented graphic designer) designed Kate's monthly bumbo pics. I took the idea from her, too. I just LOVE how she designed this collage! She never ceases to amaze me.

Kate's 6 month stats:
Weight--19 pounds, 8 ounces, 95th percentile
Height--26 inches, 80th percentile
Head circ.--17 1/4 inches, 60th percentile