Saturday, June 28, 2008

pb knock off

I loved this.

so I made this.

I went to Michael's and bought 3 8x10 white canvas's. Then I bought 3 colors of paint, mod podge, and some scrapbook paper to cut out the flowers. I painted first, arranged the paper flowers and mod podged. That's it.

Instead of spending $90, I spent $16

Check out the other's here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Confession #2

I bought this. And I LOVE it!

Okay, I know it's an extravagant purchase but guess what? I got it for $88 dollars!!!!

Here's how:
Originally priced: $579.00 (I know, so expensive. Pick those jaws up off the floor, there's more.)
30% discount online
total online: $428.00 (with free shipping)

So to make this dollar amount a little less of a blow to our checking account, I frantically did this:
Sold existing double jogger: $125 (bought for $75 off craigslist)
Sold baby backpack: $65 (bought for $50, CL)
Sold Double stroller $150 ( LOVE this stroller, good one if you want a mall one, highly recommend)

After all said and done, Bob Revolution Duallie - $88!

I'm going to give myself a big pat on the back for that one.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chef Secrets

As some of you know, I'm a personal chef. I don't really think of myself as one, but I guess that's what I get paid to do.

I've never had culinary training, but I've had, and continue to have, hands-on training. I'm never afraid to try new things and I'm always looking for new resources.

I am often asked if I have favorite recipes and if so, could I e-mail them. Well, instead of that, I'll post a favorite here every now and then so that I can reference it whenever asked.

Before the recipe, you must know that I have a strong dislike of cookbooks. It's not that I don't see value in them, but I often find that the recipes have been created by a few chefs and not widely sampled. Therefore, I have found magazine publications to be my favorite place to find new and, 90% of the time, fantastic recipes that are VERY good. My all-time #1 that I use is, Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking (formerly Light and Tasty). I have yet to try an awful recipe. There have been a few so-so, but for the most part, there has been nothing but goodness.

With that said, here is my favorite of the last few weeks.

From Healthy Cooking, April/May 2008, pg. 33

Mexican-Inspired Turkey Burgers
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
3 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
4 hamburger buns (I think this makes about 8 small, 6 medium, 4 very large)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except turkey. Mix well, then add turkey and combine well. Form into patties and either grill covered over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until meat thermometer reads 165 and juices run clear. You can also add lettuce, tomato, and if you have 1/4 cup salsa and 1/4 sour cream you can mix and add as spread.

Side Dish (same publication and page)

Oven Fries
4 medium potatoes (I like Yukon Golds)
1 T Olive oil
2 1/2 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder

cut potato into wedges. in large bowl combine oil and spices and toss with potatoes. Transfer to baking sheet 10x15 coated with cooking spray and bake at 400 for 40-45 minutes, turning once.

I know the above recipes are good b/c my kids eat them! That's a successful recipe in my book.

If you love to cook, and love to cook healthy, this is a must for you to cook with. Enjoy

Monday, June 23, 2008

hope this makes you all feel better

I hope I'm not the only one with days like this.

That's my 6 loads of laundry in need of folding. Don't worry, Lily has a diaper on. She is hyper-focusing on Baby Einstein.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Do you ever have those moments when you wish you had a personal photographer to capture all those cute moments with your family?

Today, I did.

Without thinking, I dressed myself and the girls in bold flower print dresses and white sweaters. I'm not kidding when I did this on accident. I'm not into matchy, matchy. Thankfully, no one noticed.

We are teaching Eloise and Lily to hold hands and it is quite possibly the most tenderhearted thing I've ever seen.

We told them to hold hands, and with the other hand, hold mommy or daddy. We all walked out of church hand in hand. Eloise kept telling Lily that she couldn't let go yet b/c cars would squish her and Lily tried to steer the family into jumping puddles.

It was such a sweet moment that I wish could have been captured. I'll have it in my mind for a day when they are in their teens and don't want to be within 15 feet of each other.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

can't think?

Moms of kids under 5:

Do you sometimes feel like you can't think? As if you know there is valid information in your brain roaming around, but you just can't manage to bring it up to the front of your brain to formulate a thought?

And then there is actually communicating those thoughts! Is it possible for you to have a conversation with another adult when your children are within 20 feet of you? And I'm not talking about them misbehaving near you, I'm just referring to their presence.

I have inability to focus, for more than 30 seconds, on any conversation, phone or in person, while my children are around. I simply cannot do it.

If we ever happen to be conversing and I'm looking at you, but you know my mind isn't there, I'm sorry. I love you dearly and deeply desire to focus on what you are saying. I think it's best we do coffee or e-mail. The phone? No that won't work either. Below is an example from tonight.

Calling Anglea:
me: Hey, how's it going?
A: good. What are you up to?

me: well.. (
about to divulge the day)
A: Willy starts crying. Just give him the milk (
talking to big Will)
me: do you need me to let you go?

A: no. Willy starts crying. yea, I'll call you back

Angela calls back:
me: okay where were we. Oh, so my mom just left.
A: how was that?
me: great. (eloise crying in bed) Eloise is crying, I'll call you back in 2 minutes.
A: okay

I call back:
A: that was quick
me: She just needed her books. She likes to sleep with books now.
A: lovely. So it was good with your mom.
me: (explaining the time. about 2 sentences in.)
A: I'll call you back.

It's a good thing Angela and I are such good friends, b/c I think someone else might bail and look for a new friend.

The above conversation happens multiple times a day. Most of the time I don't even think we have alot to say, we just want to converse with an adult.

This is something I NEVER knew about the impact of kids before I had them. Why didn't anyone tell me this?

Monday, June 16, 2008

My favorites

Summer dinner outside.

The beginning of self-feeding.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Our Daddy Rocks!

Today we celebrated Dave by the girl's wearing, 'Our Daddy Rocks' shirts to church. He thought it was so great. Lily even got super excited when she saw him after church and she yelled, 'Daddy' and ran as fast as she could to jump into his arms.

I love these shirts. The one Lily has on was worn by Eloise on Dave's first father's day. The one Eloise is wearing was given to us by my friend Katie. Her daughter Langley wore it (at age 2) to celebrate her daddy Cory who died 3 years ago next month. It reminds me to be thankful for the wonderful husband and father I have in Dave. I appreciate all that he is and strives to be as a dad. We feel honored to have this shirt in memory of Cory.

Langley now has a father in heaven and her daddy bill here on earth. We hope she, and all the other little ones had a great time celebrating their daddy's.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I've never taken my kids to the grocery store. Just thinking about it right now makes me anxious.

When my friends tell me they just went to the grocery store, I always ask shockingly, "Did you take your kids?". ummm, yeah. I guess, what else would they do.

Dave is home during the day so it makes it easy to do things without the girls. I just picture major meltdown's if I take them to places I really need to get things done, like the grocery store. My friends are starting to tell me that I can't come meet them for errands without bringing my kids. I think they are bitter.

Ladies, I'm just not ready. We'll stick with our Target play dates, but the grocery store, we won't be gracing those isles anytime soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A family Vacation

We went to the beach this weekend with my parents. Don't think Hawaii beach, think Northwest Oregon beach. Cold, rocky, very frigid water, crab, rainy weather, and sometimes a beautiful, rare sunny day. It was the most perfect beach weekend. The kids had a blast and my parents enjoyed the one-on-one time with the girls.

We stayed at our favorite little beach housing community. We played at the beach, played in the grass, took trips to the playground and even visited the aquarium. It was a fun filled, busy, little sleep, ate way to much weekend. And here are some great pics to prove the fun.

(I had grand dreams of adding music and making this look really great, but it's late and I would rather sleep. I'm letting go of the perfectionist in me, at this point.)

Let's hope this works

Friday, June 6, 2008

Can you tell me why...

...toy makers put two volume settings on toys that make noise? Normal and slightly louder. Do parents really need to turn the volume up louder on the offending, catchy, annoying tune a toy or fridge magnet plays? And is the volume increase there to help children who can't hear well? The switch just becomes a point of contention between parents and toddlers once they figure out how to turn the switch to the highest setting. get shocked to death when you take your child(ren) to the local playground? When my kids come down the slide and I see their hair standing up straight, I know I'm in for it. I brace myself and take the shock for the team so my child doesn't bail off the slide and end up crying. And even then, I think I still get shocked.

...children eat crayons? Are they really that much more tasty than carrots?

...dino bites? Okay, so I don't want to offend anyone here. My kids have eaten these, my friends buy these, but why a dino? Is this a gender neutral animal? Why not a chicken b/c it's chicken? or a horse? And don't most parents cut them up resulting in the child missing out on the cute little dino anyway? There is something that totally creeps me out about shaping chicken into the shape of a dino.

...when your children wake between 5:45 am and 7 am it often throws off the entire day? And if the early waker makes it to 5:45 am you wake up slightly nauseous and can't think of anything besides when you could possibly squeeze in a nap. This early wake up also means you get to watch all those Disney shows that drive you crazy, i.e. the Wiggles and Jo Jo's circus.

...children playing so sweetly together often results in crying or yelling between them 15 minutes later? And the fact that they played sweetly for 15 minutes, is a huge success?'s June, 50 degrees, and my heat is coming on at the same rate it did in March? I've been eager to get some walks in with the kids, but I feel like i need to bundle them up in fleece before we venture out. Where is the sun?

These are just some questions milling about my head. I know there are no answers, but sometimes I really wish there was a wikipedia for moms.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

wee wee's and nu nu's

Eloise is obsessed with boys and girls and their different "parts". If there is a baby within 10 feet of her getting their diaper changed, she is right there to make sure the mama knows what anatomy that baby has.

Here in our house we call the girl parts, nu nu. This is taken from the Davis household.

Boy parts are called wee wee's. This just happened.

Tonight as I'm putting Eloise to sleep we were talking about the baby brother's and sister's of our dinner club. I then started talking about how she is a big sister and her friend Jack is a big brother. This is her response.

Eloise: "Yeah. Jack has a wee wee and I have a nu nu."

Sunday, June 1, 2008

six years

Six years ago today, Dave and I, and our newly married selves, packed up a U-haul and moved from Bellingham, Washington to Portland, Oregon. It's been a crazy ride ever since.

We had no idea what we were jumping into, let alone who we were as a married couple. I knew this was the move God had for us, but I didn't know how I was going to cope without my wonderful friends.

The moment we pulled into town, I sobbed. Uncontrollable sobbing. The "Ugly Cry". I didn't stop for 9 months. It was a LONG nine months. And just today, as Dave and I were talking, he told me for the first time, he knew the job wasn't right and had to hold it together for me. Man, that must have been tough.

If you would have asked us that day where we thought we would be in 6 years, I'm sure we would have told you that high school youth would be the center of our life. I pictured kids but didn't think much beyond that. I just pictured bliss and that's the way ignorance works.
Today, we sat in almost the same pew we sat in when we arrived at our church, and watched the high school seniors graduate. They were the entering class when we left. The pastor made reference to the fact that they didn't want to be the class that was forgotten and it stung just a bit. I loved those kids and desperately wanted to minister in whatever way I could to them, but I needed to be first to my husband and he was being called away from his position. They have made their mark and will not be forgotten.

What the last 6 years here has brought I would never want to go through again, but I would never trade it for anything. We suffered through some of the rockiest times yet in our marriage and we came out 100 times stronger b/c of it. Our faith grew in ways that it needed to for us to be compassionate to those suffering in ministry. And we developed a stronger sense of God's direction in all areas of our lives.

Beyond ministry, personally, we have many friends now. Friends that enrich our lives and our children's lives. In those 6 years, we have developed a dinner club with four other families that has continued to meet every Thursday for 5 years. We are approaching baby #13!

I can't say that we haven't pursued moving back to Bellingham many times. We dearly miss our friends there too, but for now, God has said, stay. And here we are living day to day in Portland. We are learning more about what it means to love God daily and most of all, Love others and teach our children to do the same.

To our friends here, we love you and thank you for your support. To our friends in Bellingham, we love you, miss you and thank you for your support too. We'll see you this summer.