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When the road trip laundry is done

Hey, come home soon from your road trip because my list of ideas is starting to pile up.

Yeah, I know you'll have five suitcases of laundry to do when you get back. But I also know you'll want (need?) sneaky, creative ways to put it off. Here are a few linkies to the things that are inspiring me lately.....

1. You know my love for Deep Space Sparkle's blog of amazing art projects for kids?

Well, I was totally inspired to make these with the let's have a Winter Craft Wednesday. And how I love owlies. These white ones look wintery and mysterious, huh?

2. Then, I want to go to the Goodwill (or somewhere like that) and buy lots of old books (preferably with green covers) and make these.

But we'll have to come up with a waaaay less messy way to make the snow. I'm not okay with snow that looks like "shaker cheese" all over my house. Maybe we can cut thin wavy strips of white paper, glue on tiny white pommies, or there's always cotton. (p.s. the hot pink background in this photo makes me sad and almost ruins the really good idea.)
3. They can go in the same Christmas tree display as these guys.

Save your magazines, friend. Maybe the big kids can even help, though the folding does get boring.  We made some last year and added stars to the tops. This idea of hanging ornaments on them is interesting too. I loved how the trees turn out primarily white with spots of colorfulness. Aren't these trees so me? 

4. And what in the world. Did you see how cute this idea from A pocket full of posies is for using teensy little flag banners?

It is tied to colored toothpicks on the cupcake-sized ones. I love it. I see New Year's Eve all over that idea, right? (note: don't go snooping around any further on Jill's blog because she inspired my idea for your Christmas present. I know you're not so great at surprises. Stop yourself right now!)

5. Speaking of New Year's Eve (wow, now I'm really getting ahead of myself) we'll need a new mix CD to ring in the new year. It will be the groovy, winter counterpart to my amazing summer mix 2010. Let's start making a playlist, which will most definitely feature my new boyfriends. You know who they are. I'm a little ashamed to admit how much they stir my soul...but don't tell anyone...mum(ford)'s the word.

6. This is not a together project, but I am really wanting to have an excuse to make this. Looks amazing, huh? My husband loves cheesecake, so "because I love him" may be my good excuse.

OK. Think I'm done with ideas for now.
You have any lately? I know you do, little sunshine! 
Can't wait to hear them when you get back.  


road trip!

Ever taken a 15 hour road trip with your kids?
Neither have i.
But here is one of the ways that i am planning on managing it
(besides lavishing them with movies on the portable DVD player).

Activity bags:
In each bag there is:

a coloring book
a new regular book
a freshy box of crayons
newly sharpened pencils
2 pens
eraser sticks
two toy jets
hand sanitizer
a snack package(crackers/juice box/fruit snacks)

and my favorite,
a travel journal, made by yours truly.
The journals were so fun to make.
I made each one special.
Asking different questions and requesting pictures of certain things that i know they like.

They each have little envelopes.
Right now they are filled with stickers, to add to their drawings.
When the stickers are used, the envelopes are for little things that they are going to collect on our trip.
Leaves, flowers, little papers or kids menus....

I even made one for Reedo and I to share.

We are both so curious about how the trip is gonna go,
with all those kids in our little pathfinder.
What an adventure.
But with our travel journals, a well documented adventure....


Extreme Makeover: Twilight edition

This cold of mine has been lasting forever. And I realized a couple days ago, when I finally felt good enough to try to look cute, that being sick causes a change in one's appearance that calls for a temporary makeover.

I normally have pale skin. Indeed, the English and Irish roots are pretty obvious with my fairness and red hair. I always have to select the skin-tone products...powder and the 01 slots at Sephora. The M.A.C. color of concealer I use begins with "NC" which I'm pretty sure stands for "No Color". If not, it stands for "Not Cool" since the people at M.A.C. probably know I could never tan in high school (try as I might back then) and not-tan teenagers in California are not cool.

But sick-me is another level. Sick-me looks like a character in Twilight. You know I've never seen any of those movies (you secretly love them, don't you?) but I HAVE seen a lot of pictures of this guy.

That looks just LIKE sick-me!

And when I tried to get dressed and apply my usual makeup routine the other night, I looked in the mirror only to discover that I still had some major Twilight Pale going on. So un-pretty.

I know you can tan, you cool California girl. But you must get the Twilight Pale when you're sick, right? Doesn't everyone? 

So here are my 5 makeover tips for getting back to looking like a human. I've been applying such rules for the past few days and have totally tricked society into thinking I'm alive and well. 

1.  Double the blush. Absolutely necessary. I even threw in extra bronzer on my cheeks and forehead and that helped make me look like actual health was making my skin pink.

2. Steer clear of all blueish and grayish eyeshadows and liners. I tried a cutie turquoise shadow I have, and when I stepped back to survey the scene which is my face, I discovered that it did a beautiful job of matching and emphasizing all the blue veins and dark circles under my eyes.

3. Because all sneezing and coughing makes your eyes water, use mascara only in case of emergency. Emergency means a date-night, or any time you can't wear sunglasses. The exception is church; don't wear it to church if you expect to have a touching moment during worship and are prone to tear-shedding like I am.  

4. No white or grey or flesh-toned shirts. Thankfully, I don't think you have many of these. Grey is all that vampire dude wears, and it's not by accident. They know it makes him look pale and vampirish, and that's not exactly the look we're going for.

5. Put color on your lips, but not too much. A light stain is best, like our Stila favorite in pomegranate crush. (Thank you, Stila, for this happiness.)

But neutral lips AND dark-colored lips are just too overwhelmingly Twilight. Again, not the best look for us.

So those are my tricks of the trade this week. If you get sick (and I hope you don't), you should try them. OR, you can just scrap the 5 steps, and stay home watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy Season 1 (trust me, it's really good), while chain-drinking jasmine tea.

Yeah, that sounds way better.    


Pumpkin and spice and everything nice

Tonight I had a quiet house. I had so many choices of how to spend my time and I decided to bake.

You know my love for science makes me love baking in a special way; mix a lot of things together and they make something entirely different. A lot of cooking is not really cooking, in my book. It's assembling. A recipe for a salad, for instance, is not cooking. It is just gathering things into one yummy space. The ingredients don't change one another and interact and explode into something unexpected.

But baking. Baking has a special place in my heart because there is specific, measurable, predictable science involved. (Did you know that about me?) Flour, eggs, butter and sugar make magical things happen. And that magic has a way of trickling from the mouth to the heart.

Tonight, while listening to the Reed Life mixpod over and over, I made my favorite fall treat, Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip cookies. And you'll be so proud. I even took photos along the way. And even more surprising is that I even changed the recipe a bit, and it turned out even better. Whew, have you recovered from the shock of my spontaneity?

This recipe is doubled from the original because they are so yummy and I like to give some away.
It makes 50 large cookies.
Oven @ 350.

Here are the goods. BTW, I always use whole wheat flour and no one knows. You can't even tell the difference in my best-ever macroons.

In a large bowl, mix together (in a mixer or with a handheld):
2 t vanilla
2 C canned pumpkin
2 C sugar
2 eggs
3 sticks of butter

(works best in a cutie apron)

In a small bowl, mix together:
4 C flour
2 t salt
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg

You know the drill. Add the dry, in batches, to the wet.

As if the batter is not beautiful enough already, stir in a whole bag of chocolate chips. Yea.

Here is my favorite baking friend.

He loves uniformity like I do. You'd probably never have one of his kind, huh? You'd probably take pictures at the sea of misshapen, irregular cookie shapes coming out of your oven and write something inspiring about them, like how they represent something about humanity.

But I say, "Cookies, if you don't look like the others, I will eat you at once so you won't be on my pretty plate."

So above is the original recipe. But this time, I added 1 C oats in place of one of the cups of flour, since I love oats in cookies. And the oats gave a little more structure to the fragile cake-like texture that is caused by the pumpkin.  You should try it. In fact, next time, I'll do 2 C oats, 2 C flour.

Bake for about 15 minutes per batch.
Then, magic.

And dinner. Then breakfast tomorrow. Hey, pumpkin is a vegetable, after all.


you get a treat!

look what i got you at Michaels today!
isn't the typewriter so cute!
i am sorta annoyed at the saying....since you are all about GOD being the author and all,
but still it doesnt cancel out the cuteness does it?

typewriter note cards

and transfers.
have you ever even used transfers?
they seem like a pain.
but now you have a pack.
i heart you.


Guilty love for plastic bins

Did you know I have a lot of plastic tubs? I know by purchasing them I will eventually contribute to the deterioration of our earth when I throw them out. The earth does not love plastic bins. (So maybe its actually better if I hoard them and never, ever throw them out? We'll cross that bridge when we get there.)

I have three under the laundry table for sorting. Like giant ones. Then I have three extra empty ones stacked next to that table for whenever I need to house piles of things, or tote things around, or transport lots of stuff in my car. Or when one of the sorting ones gets broken from having been used as a space shuttle (they are so big that they can fit two children in them.) Two children romping around in them breaks them. My containers are not for transporting children.


Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Are you totally confused about this? I know. Cool and weird at the same time. Are there seatbelts? Is it basically one giant piece of tupperware anchored to a bike? Would your kids jump out? Well, I know the answer to that question. It is Yes they most certainly would.

What do you think?? I kinda want it really badly, except how bummed would my husband be to store that thing in the garage? I guess I could share it with him, and then maybe not so bummed.  He could be like this guy. This guy loves to look at the giant tupperware bike in his garage. Look how ecstatic he is.

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

My weiner dog Cal would love to ride in that thing. Wind blowing in his ears and all. I know how much you heart dogs. Little, snuggly, bike-riding dogs. I'd let you pedal him around my neighborhood if I got one of those bikes. (And I may win one, since I'm blogging about them - click on one of the pics above to do the same).

I know you kind of want one too...the aqua one (did you catch the tiny pic above?).

Those Madsen people are good at turquoise tupperware transportation.

So where would you rock this vehicle? What would you put in it?



Shauna, myself & our little company Tidbit will be appearing this weekend at two Christmas boutiques. If you're in the Orange County area, we hope you can visit us!

{If you're a newcomer, Tidbit is our line of girl's clothing and accessories, blankets, and NOW home decor items for big girls like us! We have been making up wreaths, banners, and pillows, and can't wait for you to see them. Here's a peek.}

On Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., we will be at the Mariners Church Christmas Boutique in Irvine, which can be found on this map.  The Mariners Church boutique benefits MOPS, the Mothers of Preschoolers ministry there. Tons of other great vendors will be here, and I'll be regularly sneaking out of my booth to do some Christmas shopping myself. One thing I'll be snooping around for is the booth housing Julie's signs. Super cuteness for your home. Also, I'll totally ignore what I can "afford" so that I can freely peruse the jewelry handmade by Mimi who owns Mimi Beads. My absolute favorite! (sorry no link for'll just have to find her there).

Then, on Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., we will be at the Safari Sisters Christmas Boutique in Tustin benefiting an awesome non-profit organization called Acres of Love, which provides homes for abandoned children in South Africa. We want to support our friends involved in Acres, so we will be at this boutique.

Time to yourself. Shopping. Supporting great causes. Can you think of a better way to spend a weekend? See you there!

funny little fairy

ok, so i did it.
i dressed up.
and i have to say that it kinda changed halloween for me.
i mean, i CAN multi-task, but this added an extra challenge for me.
it is hard for me to multi-task when one task is to serve and one is to relax and enjoy myself, ya know?
usually i am concerned about the details of everyone else's costumes, and the jack-o-lanterns, and the food, and all the "STUFF" that goes with a special night.
but this dressing up deal demanded that i be a participant and not just be a hostess.
it was fun!
i just had to let go of more things.
i forgot to turn on the music or light the jack-o-lanterns and the finger-shaped, bread-wrapped mini weenies got a bit over cooked...but no one else seemed to notice.
but, do you know what EVERYONE in my family noticed and LOVED???
that i was tinkerbell.
that i had a hideous blond wig instead of long brown waves.
and that it somehow made me more carefree and fun.
that change effected everyone in my house.
that was WORTH IT!
great idea friend!

p.s. as you can see, i got reedo a little coordinating captain hook action...he is a very convincing pirate...just so you know...


Rainy Day Taste (curve-challenged)

I'm having trouble labelling my body type; if you're curvy, then what am I? Straight? Boyish? Parallel?

Bodies are so strange. My challenge is creating the look of curves by wearing things that nip in at the waist or broaden my shoulders and/or hips. I thought having two kids would help in the hip department, but no dice. I went right back to parallel.  (We're not even going to discuss what having kids did to the upper curves.)

Here are a couple things I do to achieve both, as featured in my Rainy Day Taste, photographed by my 5 year old. (He is such a funny and slightly bossy photographer).

1. Skinny Jeans.

I was NOT on board for years with the skinnies, but now I am, particularly for boot-wearing weather. Gosh darn if those things aren't the best ever for staying neatly tucked inside rain or any other tall boots. You'd think the skinnies would make me look more parallel, but I don't think so. They make me look like I have more hippy curves and butt than I do. Also, I hate the super tight skinnies. I go for what they call at The Gap Easy Straights. They are semi-skinny jeans for grown up bodies.

Here is my second favorite semi-skinny pant. Make sure you try the Matchstick, not the Toothpick style. I wish I had them in every color for the colder months. My friends at J.Crew really do understand me. (That's where I got the rain boots and umbrella, incidentally; rain boots were off-season, clearance for $19, otherwise I would have not bought them for the whole four days a year it rains here.)

2. Optical Illusion top.

I look for tops that will help me out. If I'm spending money on it, then it better work for me. This cutie top from H&M was very inexpensive, yet has a lot of interesting and helpful detail.  For one, it has a fake wrap waist line, again, creating the illusion that I have a waist. For two, it has feminine, puffy shoulders and some ruffles on the chest, giving me something to subtly broaden my upper body visually. Plain tops emphasize my narrow shoulders and bony frame. Optical illusion tops give me a little somethin' extra.

3. Jacket with a perfect stance. 

Stance. It is ALL about stance. That is a word to describe a jacket's fit and where the buttons hit you. If the stance of a jacket is wrong, put it back on the rack. It should neatly button under the bust, not over it, and should give you a nipped-in waist, creating a more hour-glass shape. Yes. This is magical. Try it.

Mine is Roxy, in a fine-wale corduroy. Everyone makes a cord blazer this time of year. But if money grew on trees, I'd get this one. Shut up with the gold color. Perfection in a jacket.

So there's my Rainy Day Taste!

Now, if only the sun would stop shining.

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