Monday, January 28, 2008

Boden Monster

I just had to post Hunter's first collage. All monster body parts come from the latest Mini Boden catalog. I love thumbing through the Boden catalogs and being inspired by not only their creative clothing designs but for all the vibrant visual imagery in their pictures and ads.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

One of the most exciting times so far as a parent has been to watch my children develop a love for reading. I love watching Gray imitate Bryn and Hunter during reading time and there's nothing like watching a 4-year try and read his older brothers books. Throughout elementary school Hunter has struggled with reading and its always been a chore for him. Of all the things parents deal with a struggling reader was completely unexpected. Even though he still struggles it seems that the desire to read and read and read just clicked one day (just like that. no joke.) and we now have to tell him to put his book down to eat dinner.

So here's what he's reading and loving now....

Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

Bone 7 by Jeff Smith

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Latest books

I'm very glad that I got around to reading Love In The Time of Cholera. It will be one of those stories that I'll think about now and again. I absolutely refuse to see the movie because there is no way they could film this book and have you grasp the entirety of it in 2 hours. Not sure I would call it a love story but the life stories of two people surrounded by others who care about them but still lost in the world.

I couldn't put The Golden Compass or The Subtle Knife down. However, for The Amber Spyglass I was sorely disappointed in the end. Too many questions left vaguely answered for me. I love authors who create believable worlds and themes however I am sorely disappointed if they continue to write a series and the story line becomes more weak with each book. I do have to say that it was one of the most intriguing and original series I've read in a long long time.

Click is a book written for young adults but I devoured it. The book gets an extra rave review because each chapter is written by a different well-written author and all proceeds went to Amnesty International. There is a strange twist to the story that you know they have to resolve and when they do it took me a few minutes to fully understand. The cool thing was that it was an entirely different author that resolves the twist. It's a little odd but I went with it and truly enjoyed the tale. A book that will sit on the bookshelf for when the kids are teenagers.

Currently reading:
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Beautiful Film Week

I was so excited when Abby announced she would be hosting a Beautiful Film and here is it Thursday and I haven't even posted anything yet. I really enjoy seeing every one's Beautiful Film picks. Every time I click on a new page I'm shaking my head up and down in agreement. Some movies I've completely forgotten about while others are new to me. Since it's Thursday and I only have time for one this week I think I'd have to pick the first beautiful movie I ever saw and realized it was a piece of treasured art that I would carry with me forever. The Sound of Music.

It's one of those movies no matter how many times I've seen it I can watch it over and over. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when they are escaping under the cover of nightfall all wearing their travel clothes. I would love to own an outfit only for traveling. I might just do that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Soooooo Deceptively Delicious

All controversy and name calling aside I'm having a great time with my new cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. With only 1 week under our belts it really does work on those picky eaters. I'm actually pretty lucky when it comes to food and kids. Don't we all have all have our food quirks?

Our favorite so far is the spaghetti sauce. Nothing special right? Sean and I usually load our sauces with chopped veggies and many types of green looking seasonings(Italian Seasonings) which are not so appealing to kids. They have slowly stopped asking for sauce and ask only for noodles with butter and cheese. Tonight not a noodle or drop of sauce was left in the bowl.

Her version called for meatballs but I just ground up hamburger. Of course I had to modify.... my other addition was the onion and garlic puree. A stroke of genius (I might add) that I remembered from a recently made and devoured Tortilla Soup. I wasn't sure if Sean and I would like spaghetti sauce without onions and garlic so it was a perfect addition. I also resisted every urge to add additional Italian Seasonings.

From Deceptively Delicious

Jessica & Sarah's Spaghetti Sauce:

Saute medium onion and garlic. - Remove from stove and puree till smooth in blender.

Brown hamburger in same pan that onion and garlic were sauteed in.

Add to hamburger:
1/4 cup carrot puree (I steamed the carrots and pureed them in blender)
1 (26 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes - pureed in blender
Onion and garlic puree
Small pinch of cayenne pepper.
Salt & pepper


It turned out so creamy you would have thought there was a blend of cream cheese and sour cream included. It was so deceptively delicious that I'm just now finishing up a late snack of our new favorite family meal.

Up next... pancakes, blueberry lemon muffins, chicken nuggets, and chicken alphabet soup.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I've been shopping at Etsy for over a year now and I'm still absolutely in love with it. Did you know there are approximately 1500 robot items, 585 gnome items, and 11,955 star items. So much more than that with jewelry... cards... illustrations... collage art... candles... patterns... ceramics and the list goes on and on. Is there anything that Etsy doesn't have that's handmade?

Here are three of my favorite 2007 Etsy finds.

The Black Apple is by far one of my favorite places to shop. I bought these great Alice in Wonderland prints for Bryn's room. I also ended up buying gift cards, mouse pads, compact mirrors all with her illustrations for gifts and myself. Her packaging is just as much fun as the items inside.

Another favorite find is TAYLOR MADE designs. Even though I love making my own cards I am addicted to her line of gift tags. I even enjoy giving the gift tags as gifts. In fact I think I'm due for an order.

My last Etsy purchase of 2007 was from stOOpidgerl who does everything from fine art to photography to jewelry. There's a Ferris Wheel picture that is calling my name in her shop right now.

Can't wait to see what I find in 2008.

Monday, January 7, 2008

It's a new year!

I think I'm still might be on island time and only a little late in contemplating the year past and the year just beginning.

A year of trying new things… being in new places… daring… being remembered by others… being crafty(or the recipient thereof)… enjoying beautiful places… hanging out with friends… hanging out with family… being silly… meeting new friends and fitting in… enjoyed quiet and solitude… being married to a great guy… enjoying water wherever we were… watching kids growing up… developing own sense of art… and celebrating major milestones.

I'm looking forward to enjoying a year of happiness where I am in my life right now. With a little more crafting motivation and Japanese language learning.
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Friday, January 4, 2008


Aloha Pebble Beach we will miss you!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Millons of years in the making

Volcano National Park, Hawaii

You feel so small and insignificant when you realize how many millions of years it took to create the Islands of Hawaii. It felt amazing to be at a place in the world that has worked so hard to grow from thousands of feet below the sea to thousands of feet above the sea and then to host thousands of life and animal species. We learned yesterday that one new species would arrive to the islands by sea or air every 30,000 years. Then there is the realization that you can drive from the dry barren rim of the Halema`uma`u Pit Crater to the lush rain forest lava tubes in less than 5 minutes.

Thurston Lava Tubes, Volcano National Park

I considered myself a pretty environmentally conscious person. I have to admit that it's much easier here in 80 degree weather then back home where you're separating recycling in 40 degrees while being pelted by the rain. We are staying about 25 miles south of Kona in a rural residential area where hundreds of homes use only the rain water collected from their own homes for showers, drinking, toilets and washing clothes. They also have to transport all their own garbage to refuse stations located along the highway. Which is really two guys and a really big truck. When you are responsible for your own water and transporting your own garbage it really makes you think about what you're doing and using on a daily basis.

Rainbow Falls, Hilo

I know that they do these acts out of necessity but this past week has helped re-energized my commitment to incorporate environmentally friendly acts into daily family life. I propose a family 2008 challenge to be more mindful of consumption or better yet to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Jack Johnson would be so proud.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Turtle Update

Turtles were sighted yesterday at Hookena Beach only 10 feet off shore. A little overcast but that doesn't really matter to a bunch of Oregonians.

We've tried to rest at the house a couple of days to help Sean recover. Although, he doesn't sit still very long.

A local restaurant gecko enjoying the comics.

Bryn holding a seahorse.
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