So, have you lugged all those boxes out of the attic yet? Isn’t it funny how excited we are for a new season and as it comes to a close, we are itching to get all those decorations down and move on to the next.
When we got back from our Thanksgiving trip, the weather was in the 80’s, so what better time to bust out some Christmas carols and start trimming the tree!? Over the weekend I shared pictures on Instagram and Facebook of the Christmas decorating split with our time around the pool. Quite the anomaly!
When it comes to decorations, I’m a simple gal. I don’t like to go crazy overboard, just a little touch of something festive is good for me. So, for our table this year, I decided to mix some moss with a mini-red berries and pop in a little votive.
I think it turned out really pretty! I was thinking about tying some twine around the glass…what do you think? Should I or leave it as is?
Handmade gifts are the best. Recently a friend at church gave us a jar of Habanero jelly and I was excited to try it. I love bold flavors and idea of spicy and sweet together sounded pretty fantastic! She recommended serving it with cheese, so I bought a big slice of brie. Flavors like this need a serious cracker, so I sliced some rosemary bread from Costco into thin slices, brushed it with olive oil and toasted it in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Can I just say we are obsessed!? We had it as an appetizer with friends one night, then decided to have it for dinner the next night. It’s so yummy.
I apologize for that little disappearing act! I was SO on a roll with blogging. I got myself a little schedule and was chugging away. Then we decided to go out of town for Thanksgiving and anyone with kids knows that it takes longer to get ready for the vacation than actually taking the vacation. But, it’s so worth it. It was wonderful to unplug from it all and just focus on the kids. We made itineraries for each day and each activity was for their full enjoyment!
One of our favorite things was the view from our room. It was kind of amazing!! We got in late at night and the next morning I woke up to this. I couldn’t stop staring at it!
We did lots of tourist-y things like walking from Union Square to Pier 39. We used to do that when we lived there and it’s such a nice walk through Little Italy and Chinatown. On the way back we took a cable car…another city favorite!
Jillian took this photo of Pier 39 with my camera…she’s already loving photography!
And Cooper documents everything with his iTouch.
Another highlight was ice skating in Union Square. We weren’t sure how it would work out with the 3 kids and 2 of us, but they were pros! Cooper started running when he hit the ice and didn’t stop all night! Jillian was happy holding our hands, but the boys were weaving in and out of people like they grew up on the ice!
We did LOTS of walking, which I was hoping would balance out the amount of eating we did!
Jillian also took this photo in front of Nike Town, one of our favorite places to visit!
Thanks for letting me share our little Thanksgiving holiday. To all my friends that live there, I promise we’ll come back for a visit to see everyone! We were torn with wanting to see our friends and spending time with the kids!
Last weekend was fun and fabulous at Rascals to Rebels! It’s a blast to see all these cutie-pies dressed up in front of the twinkly lights. I’m wrapping up this weekend at the Huntington Beach store, but here’s a few I wanted to share from last weekend!
This summer I became obsessed with finding the perfect lunch bag. Half way through the year, you end up with a stinky piece of ripped plastic when you buy something from Target. I was always buying two lunch bags every year, so I decided to invest a little more up front. I stumbled upon Dabbawalla bags searching for neoprene lunch bags. Originally I thought I wanted a bento-style box, but the thought of washing all those pieces (times three!) made me re-think it. So, neoprene seemed like a great option because you can wash it in the washing machine.
Now, this might be a little ridiculous, but I didn’t want my third graders lunch bag to look like something a forty year old brings to his cubicle. I fell in love with Dabawalla’s quirky designs.
After ordering the bags and getting them literally TWO days later, I was thrilled to see how much fits inside. My kids pack thermoses a lot with heated soup or leftovers. This has plenty of room for the thermos, fruit, snacks, you name it!
After washing them every week for a few months now, I can tell you they hold up so well! They are “crafted from eco-sponge, an innovative fabric that has earned the rigorous Oeko-Tex 100 standard of safety in textiles.” So, I guess that explains it!
Even though I sound like I’m employed by Dabbawalla, I’m not paid to tell you how amazing they are! I just LOVE to have products that are worth the money!!
I hate to let things go to waste. I really shouldn’t tell you how much pleasure I get from disguising leftovers into a meal the next night! Anyway, when I recently bought a flat of berries at Costco it was wonderful the first day or two, but then the kids got tired of munching on them and I decided to throw them into a muffin recipe that I love. The recipe is technically a blueberry recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but I thought it would work with raspberries and blackberries. And my hunch was right! These turned out SO good!
I don’t like a cakey muffin. I prefer more of a crunchy topped hearty muffin…like a cross between a muffin and scone. I feel like the texture really holds up to those big ol’ berries!
These are also great to freeze for later. I made a double batch, and although my boys are hungry all the time, we can’t get through all 24 muffins in a few days! I end up pulling them out of the freezer and packing them into the kids’ lunches. It’s a healthy alternative to something pre-packaged.
Smitten Kitchen’s “Perfect Blueberry Muffins”
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces or 71 grams) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 191 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces or 105 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t bother defrosting) I used the same amount of raspberries and blackberries.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. Gently fold in your blueberries. The dough will be quite thick (and even thicker, if you used a full-fat Greek-style yogurt), closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more, so you might only need 9 instead of 10 cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (you know, except for blueberry goo). Let cool on rack (ha), or you know, serve with a generous pat of butter.
I feel like it summer turned into fall this week. Daylight savings only added to the feeling. I know, I know, the rest of the country has had snow for months, but I’m excited to break out the scarves and boots! It’s like a tiny change of seasons…we go from the 80’s to the 60’s!
Anyway, this is my last hurrah of summer-ish sessions for awhile I think!
Life has been so busy lately that I forgot to share a few favorites from the Halloween mini-sessions at Rascals to Rebels. It was SUCH a fun event! There were so many hand-made costumes and moms that poured their heart and soul into these creations!
Love this story-book combo put together by my good fried Heather and her sister Lisa!
Also, LOVE this Where the Wild Things are ensemble by one of my sweet clients, Mary.
Oh and this Toy Story set of sisters is to-die-for-cute!
When Missoni hit Target, chevron stripes were all the rage! I think it’s fair to say we’re obsessed. The crazy thing about the trend is that it’s hard to find a good Chevron stripe fabric. There are a few out there, but it’s hard to get the stripes in that just right width. I decided to try making my own. With a little Ikea striped fabric (which is dirt cheap) I practiced and practiced until I got the technique down.
Here’s how I did it:
Just keep repeating the process until you have enough panels to make the front of your pillow (or whatever you’re making). I made my panels about 5 inches wide. The pillows turned out so cute! I backed them with green flannel and added a zipper so they are washable.