Tuesday, August 31, 2010

mini pizzas

aka: the fastest dinner in the world

-whole wheat english muffins
-fresh mozzarella
-your favorite garden tomatoes
-olive oil

stick them under the broiler, and while they're getting nice and toasty, throw together a quick salad.

The fastest dinner ever!

and it will disappear just as quick

you are welcome.
minipizza copy

ps. I get a ton of questions asking if I am a vegetarian. nope. we just eat as many veggies in the summer as we can, when they are perfect and fresh and taste like heaven. We eat a bit less meat than normal, in order to afford the good, unmedicated stuff:)

pps. What is YOUR fastest dinner?

Monday, August 30, 2010

the first day.

he did it.
I did it. (that was the amazing part)

Although he is so very tiny, I cannot believe how big he is.
Big enough to decide just exactly what he wanted for breakfast (waffles with bananas)
Big enough to choose his own first-day-of-school-outfit (although it did take him some time to choose between the shirt that actually said "Star Wars", or Darth Vader....oh the choices todays five-year-olds-face)
Big enough that he was (literally, as you can see from the photos) bursting with excitement and not a hint of doubt.

I wish I could be so big.
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Luckily, this morning it started to rain.
Poooooooooouuuring rain.
It was a nice distraction.
We waited in the car,
and then made a mad dash to the door.
Laughing so hard, and soaking wet.

The kids were handed a muffin and juice, the moms a package of tissues.
I swore I wouldn't need them (I have had enough "practice" cries over the past few weeks....I thought it was out of my system)
But as I was squeezed and kissed for "one more time",
and sent him off to line up,
the ugly face came.

You know the one.
The one where you try so hard not to let the tears out,
so your face stretches and strains,
and fights not to produce tears.
I kept my gaze low, as to avoid the other moms,
wearing their ugly faces as well.

I was so thankful for my phone, that caught that last photo of him happily waving goodbye proving he's not TOO big to still openly love his mama.

I waved back and wore my ugly face out in to the rain, where I welcomed it to mix with my tears as I took my time back to the car.


The rain began to let up, as did my tears. And wouldn't you know....the sun is out now! The boy is home, and we have (excitedly) gone over every minute of his morning away.
And it really didn't seem too bad:)

Tomorrow should be better...there looks to be no rain in sight.


Monday, August 23, 2010

happy camper

I am interrupting my August Break vow of silence because I have too many thoughts wobbling around in my head to only express myself in one photo.
And maybe I should warn you that this post may be considered a teensy bit gross if you are not a fan of the great outdoors.

Thoughts on camping.
Do you camp?
You know, leave the comfort of your home, sleep on the hard ground, not shower.......camping.

After our fun-filled first day, the boy asked me before bed,
"mommy why do we camp".


Why do we? Really?

It had been a rainy afternoon on our mountain top campsite the day we arrived.
The whole forrest was dripping.
The forrest we had intended borrowing our firewood from.

When the fire finally lit....wait did I say fire?? I mean pile of smoking wood.

We went to bed cold.
Like, dog-sleeps-on-the-kids-to-keep-them warm cold.
Or, hot-rocks-in-your-sleeping-bag cold. (ps. it really works!)
And also, wake-up-with-frozen-boogies-and-frost-on-the-ground cold.
And do you know how LONG cold nights are?? They are looooooong.
And make you dream of yourself sleeping in your own bed.

Shall we discuss cleanliness?
Dirty is not a strong enough word.
Black smudgy beards on my sweet little babes.
I still have unidentified objects under my fingernails, so I just painted them red, you'd never know.
I swear my kids' feet are still just a bit stained.
My hair looked like a nest the entire time, full of tiny woodland creatures....and that only took the first day.
Our house smells like a campfire/smoldering pile of wet wood,
and I'm afraid my washer just might up and die with all it's extra use.

Yes, camping is dirty.

And if you are a camper, then you know I would finally get to:

The Outhouse.

What is worse than opening an outhouse door and feeling that slight breeze hit you in the face?
Or your 3 year old saying
"mommy what's down there?"
Or being so thankful for all those chair poses you do in yoga to prepare you for those don't-let-me-touch-the-seat moments.
It's those moments I really truly wish I were a boy.

But you think that's bad?
Let me tell you what is worse.
Waking up in the middle of the night (did you know that high-altitude (we were around 10,000ft) makes you ahem, pee, more?? It's true-google it!)
(note: I would not normally suggest googling bathroom type things on this blog.....what has gotten in to me?)
So here I am in the middle of the night. Do I make the scary trek by myself to the outhouse, or choose a spot closer to my tent where my protective(snoring) husband and ferocious(ha!) dog could hear my cries for help, should a bear come to eat me while I squat-by-moonlight.
Would there be a worse way to die?

If you are wondering, I chose the latter, and somehow lived to tell about it.

So why do we go??

The s'mores are good. That's for sure.
The view? Perfect.
Spending time with family....
Wait, this is starting to sound like a MasterCard commercial.

All I know is that we go. We've always gone. And we'll go again. I'm hoping one more time before it snows up in those pretty mountains.

It is an amazing feeling to be out IN nature.....not just driving by or watching it on tv. You are a part of it. You start to understand just how tiny you are in this world.
And there is a sense of accomplishment when you realize that you can actually live without all that stuff you think is so important at home.

So I still don't have an answer. Why do we camp?

We just do.
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the end.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

or maybe all three.
lunch copy

(recipe here)
good crusty bread, grilled (this was a garlic and rosemary loaf)
goat cheese
basil and oregano
olive oil

on the grill for just a few minutes...


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


did I tell you?
last month I cleaned my room.
and then decided to paint it.
all in one day.
except it took a few days.
I painted it blue.
I like it.
and I like to take naps in my blue room.
the end.

Monday, August 16, 2010

tonight we had vegetables and cheese for dinner

and liked it very much.

a simple supper

summer squash with parmesan
grilled corn on the cob
roasted potatoes with feta
warm-from-the-sun tomatoes with basil and olive oil
fresh mozzarella


Thursday, August 12, 2010

fire grilled

-your favorite homemade crust
all thrown on the grill

-salty olives
-fresh mozzarella
-goat cheese

all grilled to melty perfection.


Monday, August 9, 2010


how sweet are they?
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we played hard this weekend.
and then crashed even harder.
but isn't that what summer is for?
time seems to be speeding up these days.....I feel like we are living our life in fast forward!
I'm doing my best to slow things down, appreciate the long summer days before they fade into fall.

I'm loving the idea of Susannah Conway's August Break.

Just a photo-a-day throughout the month for those days I am too busy playing for a formal post (because my posts are so formal, you know?)

Sometimes I miss my old daily blog--I love looking back at how I saw things, one photo at a time.

So here's my chance to do it again.....although I'm sure I'll still be posting recipes here and there....I can only go so long without talking about food!

can't wait!


(proof that positive thinking really works:)

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Be sure to check out Sandra's two shops--she's adding new stuff to tempt you all the time!

Friday, August 6, 2010

happy weekend!!!

Happy Weekend! I'm off to the dessert to shoot a hot and schwetty (yet very lovely) wedding! See you back here next week!!
mesa palms

ps. don't forget to enter to win the $25 gc to one of Sandra's shops! (giveaway HERE)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

artist spotlight: bricolage life and daisy chain vintage!

Today I want to introduce you to Sandra and her not one, but TWO amazing shops, Bricolage Life and Daisy Chain Vintage.

Bricolage Life if full of Sandra's creations....she's so talented she covers just about everything...necklaces, photographs, and pretty little things for your home.
Daisy Chain Vintage is loaded with vintage treasures...just my kind of place!

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How long have you been making all your cute creations? How did you get started?

i have been making things and sometimes selling them ever since i was able to hold a crayon and work a scissors. my mother taught me to sew and by high school i was making some of my own clothes. later i made everything from one of a kind clothing and jewelry to handmade shoes and hats to silkscreened cards and sold them at street fairs, boutiques and museum stores. after working in retail for ages, i opened my etsy shops a few years ago to sell my vintage finds, photos and ever changing handmade goods. the shops keep me busy while leaving me with plenty of free time to make more stuff. i like that.

leaf collection embroidery
Picture 2

Have you always loved thrifting?

yes! i first encountered this love when i was still in grade school. one summer day i walked into an old farmhouse filled with depression glass, knick knacks and fabric for sale and felt like i had entered a magical time machine. my heart still races a little every time i begin a new treasure hunt.

hans and heidi vintage ceramic containers
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What are your favorite things in your shops?

my favorites are always changing with my finds and art projects. it's not easy to choose just one thing, but currently in the bricolagelife shop it would be my embroidered portrait buttons. my favorite thing at daisy chain vintage is the metal frame stands.

hand embroidered portrait buttons

vintage chrome metal frame stands
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What are your other hobbies?

i love to cook, read, go for walks and bike rides, visit museums, putter around at home, hang out with my friends and family and watch movies and documentaries. i take photos everyday and i make collages, sew, felt, embroider, print on paper and fabric, paint, draw, make jewelry and rearrange the furniture. believe it or not, i even love to grocery shop.

I LOVE children's books....how cute is this one....and love her displays:)

mystery of the auction trunk illustrated children's chapter book

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What do you listen to while creating?

that is always changing, too. i love stories, so often i listen to npr or a podcast. if i'm in the mood for music i might play a mix cd (made by me or my brother). i never tire of sondre lerche, joao and bebel gilberto, pomplamoose, komeda, beirut, thao nguyen and cesaria evora.

vintage kitchen gadget set

Picture 3

Because I am a food lover....what is your favorite thing to eat?

dumplings. all kinds, sweet and savory. i am an equal-ethnicity dumpling lover.

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Today Sandra is giving away a $25 gift certificate to EITHER of her shops!
Check out Bricolage Life and Daisy Chain Vintage and leave a comment with your favorite item for a chance to win! Make sure you look through everything--she really has something for everyone!

Also be sure to take a peek at Sandra's cute blog for pretty pictures and her very clever creations.

One winner will be chosen at random, and comments will be accepted until Sunday, 8/8 at midnight, and the winner will be announced Monday.

Tell your friends--tweet/facebook/or blog and come back for an extra entry for each!
(if you don't have a blog, please leave an email address)


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

apricot leather

More apricots! Are you tired of them yet? no way.
These are SOOO easy! They take all day (er--all night if you forget them in the oven like I do),
but they are worth the wait!

Alot of the recipes I was finding called for anywhere from 1/2 cup to a full cup of sugar. I gave it a few squeezes of agave and they were great--I even think I could have skipped out on that. I like them a little tart!

Apricot Fruit Leather

4 cups of apricots, washed, pitted and sliced (you can use any fruit:)
Squeeze of lemon juice
2-3TBS agave nectar (optional)

Wash fruit.
Pit, and quarter.
Add apricots and lemon juice to pan.
Cook on medium low until the juices start to come out, about 15-20 minutes.
Get a bit emotional because it smells like babyfood, and you don't have babies.
Pull yourself together.
Pour onto a parchment lined pan.
Place in 150° oven for......all day.
I started in the afternoon and literally forgot about it...I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic, and when I checked them, they were perfect!
Slice, and roll.