Play Dates!

I’m a bad, bad blogger. I went on all kinds of fun play dates these past couple of weeks and didn’t take a single photo! All those cute babies and not a single photo-for shame.

X and I met Kira of Rain or Shine, and her lovely little lady P at Cafe Au Play this past week. The two littles had fun looking at each other and babbling away. Cafe Au Play was an awesome, kid-friendly spot for a play date. I was impressed by how easy they made it to be out with the kids. I also loved not feeling overwhelmed by X’s not-so-quiet self drawing attention to us in the middle of a coffee shop! The other patrons expected it and even thought it was cute!



X telling mommy how much fun he had on his playdate. At least that is what I assumed he was saying.

Over this past weekend X went to Gymboree Play and Learn and played with all kinds of new toys. He lit up with excitement from all the songs, playing, bright colors, and other babies. We really had a good time and can’t wait to go again. I’d highly suggest the gym for other moms looking for some activities to do with their little bitty babes.

Today X and I got to meet with Adi from Garden of Edlen, and her baby J! The boys are super close in age. They were so sweet together trying to give each other kisses.

Of course X then got fussy due to teething and tiredness. I don’t know anything that can make me feel so utterly disheveled as searching in my bag for something my son needs while he is crying in public! I was quite relieved when he finally sacked out right there on the couch in the coffee shop! Afterwards X told me how much he liked Baby J- just look at his grin!



We went to Urban Grind in NW because it kept coming up as a kid-friendly joint on my google searches. And, while everyone was super nice, (especially with X totally making a ruckus) I didn’t find it to be overly kid-friendly. For one thing the bathroom didn’t have a changing table! (maybe the table was in the bathroom that was out of order?) I’m looking forward to many more playdates in the future!

What is your favorite place to bring your little ones on a play date? Any great tips for calming a little one in public?

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Real Parties Soon I Promise

I’m a bad blogger. I got the amazing opportunity to get some freelance (PAYING) writing gigs and I’ve been swamped. It makes me sad to be missing out on blogging time though, because I actually have several real party posts to write about!

Here is a sneak peek of the upcoming real party posts:

Fancy Pants Birthday Party

Woodland Baby Shower

Valentine’s Day Blogger Meet-Up

And, a party I’m working on: A Hunger Games Birthday Party



So, I’ll totally be back soon. I’m just tired of writing. I still love you and parties though.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Kitchen Tip: Easy Pear Prep

Okay, not sure how to say this… But, I have a great tip on how to core (de-seed?) a pear. It’s so super easy. I saw it on a tv show a while back and thought it was brilliant. And, it is.

I forget what show I saw it on– sorry!

Tools: peeler, knife, melon baller, and ripe pears

1. Peel the pears
2. Cut the ends off the pears and then slice in half
3. Use the melon baller in the seeded area of the pear.

Easy peasy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Just some things I thought you’d like

I wanted to share a few things I’ve discovered today that made me laugh and want to share.

1.  Google Reader lets your sort your feeds by newest, oldest, or by MAGIC. Yep, I choose magic.

2. The smartest most amazing kid (besides my own, of course) lives with the blogger at Sweetney. Freakin’ awesome is all I can say. The kid sure is acute. ;)

3. I will be writing a letter soon with the greeting, “Dear Self.” I agree that many of us (a lot of moms I know for sure) need a lesson in talking kindly to ourselves

4. I often think on how much originality is really out there any more, how much of my “inspired by others” projects should I post on-line, and the best ways to give credit where credit is due. Ashley Ann starts a great discussion on these topics.

I’m spending my weekend working at slinging drinks and food at the bar I work at and a BUNCH of writing. I have three big deadlines for stories I’m working on and have to somehow get 50 pages of actually useful and interesting writing done in just two short days. 
Procrastination is going to kill me one of these days.
What is on your plate for the weekend? 
Hopefully its full of tasty sweets, unlike my healthy and piled-high plate. 
(Metaphor taken too far—example above.)

Nursery Tour: Orange and Robots

My nursery (from when I was a baby) was made with love by my mom and my dad. It was a a Care Bear nursery. My dad did wood burnings and paintings of all of the carebears for the walls. My bedding was handmade. The curtains were handmade. My dad even surprised my mom with a beautiful rocking chair that had roses wood-burned all up the back of it. My mom put so much into my room and it was something I always looked forward to doing when I had my children. 
Our first painting job as husband and wife… crazy.
Painting the baby’s room
B put together X’s crib (with very little help)

I knew I wanted bright colors and robots for the theme for X’s room as soon as I found out that he was a boy. I spent forever looking for orange crib sheets (found some for $70, but decided to make them for a lot cheaper instead) and robot decor. In the end I made most everything in his room just because if I did find something it wasn’t baby appropriate or it was too expensive. 
Anyways…enough chatter, on with the pictures!
Sources and Tutorials will be linked at the bottom.

hand-made bed skirt and crib sheet

hand-made pillows and paintings with a hat wall

Hat wall, paper chains (left over from a party), and hand-made mobile

Painting from a friend, Etsy made robot, Ikea spice racks as bookshelves

And, the nursery in use:

Crib: Graco Lauren Style Convertible Crib from Walmart
Bedding: Made using this Prudent Baby tutorial and my own ingenuity for the crib skirt
Mobile: Made from a Martha Stewart Modern Baby Shower Story
Dresser: Malm from Ikea
Changing Table Cover: Land of Nod
Book Shelves: Beckvam Spice Rack from Ikea (painted white)
Stuffed Robot: Gift that came from the Snow Machine Etsy Store
Orange Diaper Buckets: From Target in their $ Section
Robot Paintings: Solid Colored ones painted by me, The cute robot and gears by my friend Alicia
Couch: Convertible Couch from Ikea —Style no longer carried
Lamps: Target—found near the college dorm decorating time

I do sell paintings similar to the ones pictured and do take special orders for other images.
If you are interested in one of my paintings, please just e-mail me!

Blogging and child safety

See this guy?



Well, he and my hubby are pretty much IT for me. I have hobbies and passions…but, this year I discovered so much more love and an unreal amount of care for someone(s) other than myself.

So much that I want to write about them and my experiences as a new mom. I want to share with other moms, soon-to-be moms, and everyone else out there what my experience is like. But, if something I wrote ever put them in danger, embarrassed them, or came back to hurt them in some way I would never forgive myself.

As a blog reader, I really enjoy reading about people’s kids and the experiences of blogging moms. I love seeing kiddo photos. I really enjoy birth stories and stories about people’s weekends out and about their towns.

But, how safe is it for blogging moms to post about their kids? Which is what I’d like your opinion on. What do you think is safe and unsafe? What is the line? Should I leave out his photos? Leave out names, birth dates, whereabouts?

I’d love to hear your opinion on this topic. Blogging moms- where do you draw the line? How did you decide? Have you even thought about this?

Thanks!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Happy Valentine’s Day

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Mine was filled with lots of love from my two Valentines.

Oh, and LOTS of cupcakes.



My big Valentine’s Day surprise? Well, my hubby high jacked my other blog and left a sweet message.

What did you do for Valentine’s Day 2012?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Valentine’s Day blog take-over!

Hi, this is Jenni’s husband, Brian. I know Jenni’s password, and I’m taking over her blog to post this. I’m sort of a last-minute type of guy, especially when it comes to important days like Valentine’s Day, her birthday, or our anniversary. But look what I have to compete with! Jenni is a planner, obviously, and she’s a really intuitive gift giver (last week she randomly bought me a $15 iTunes gift card!) So, my measly, last-minute gift to her on this Hallmark holiday, is this guest blog post about a couple of our previous Valentine’s days. She can choose whether or not to delete it ;).
Our first Valentine’s Day date was the worst, so at least I managed to set a low level of expectation. I bought us Subway footlong sandwiches and took us to the park. In February. And that was my whole plan. Oh, and I bought her an essential oils burner. (Seriously, what a dumb gift. It tells the person, “your house doesn’t smell so rosy, so I bought you this.”) She graciously tried to appear happy, but it wasn’t long before she started telling people the story of “our first Valentine’s Day.” I got better at this kind of thing, and our date in 2011 was much better.
We decided I would plan the date, for once. I cheated, and used a venue that she had discovered, but hadn’t been to yet. The place was an art bar: you could paint or craft while drinking and eating bar food! She painted a picture of a bird, since, you know, we do live in Portland. She also made something for the baby’s room, before we knew whether the baby would be a boy or girl. I drew a robot. I’d like to think my robot picture was the inspiration that led Jenni to design our nursery (but it probably wasn’t).
I’m not known for my drawing skills.
 After the art bar, we walked to our dinner location. I think we had Mediterranean food? I just remember I forgot my favorite umbrella there. I had had a few drinks by then.
I know the next place we went was an Indian restaurant. We went for their dessert. I had a lavender cheesecake, and she had…details are hard to remember when you’re having so much fun! The restaurant’s proprietor was from London, and we had a great time hearing him tell us about his favorite cocktails. Unforunately, both the dessert place and art bar are closed, or I’d tell you where to find them.
I’m not a fan of Valentine’s day. I think it shows your partner more appreciation if you give them flowers or chocolates on random days throughout the year. But, since I’m lazy and cheap, I have been remiss, and my beautiful wife has received no tokens of my love this year. So this is my statement of love for you, the most amazing woman on the planet. This, and the gift card I ninja-hid in your purse from Anthropologie, while you were reading this. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day 2011. Sorry for the cell phone camera fuzziness.

Outfit Post: Crayola Inspired

I loved this outfit… Well, until I saw the photos afterwards. But, it made me HAPPY with all the bright colors.

Things I realized too late with this outfit: 1. Impossible to nurse in…I had to unzip completely before feeding my son. 2. My new nursing-enhanced, breast friends were too large in the dress and hid away the lovely red belt. 3. Someone might have mentioned that it looked like a Crayola box threw up on me.

But, I sure did feel adorable.

Outfit details:
Dress- H&M
Tights- Mustard!!!! From Target
Shoes- red maryjanes from Kmart
Jacket- Green trench from Old Navy
Purse- White (and $3 on clearance!) at Payless
Bracelet- Made by me! Tutorial coming soon.

I hope you had a fabulous weekend and are ready for an awesome Valentine’s Day week.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone (yep, my life just got easier!)

Monthly Photos: Six Months Old

I’m taking photos every month my little guy gets older. 
(Idea comes from Making it Lovely’s Monthly Photos of her children)
Six Months Old

What a HAM!
Okay, it finally happened…
I started crying thinking about how fast he is growing. 
He now has two little teeth working their way out of his gums.
He can say “Mama.”
He is SO CLOSE to crawling. 
So big. So fast. 

Making Beets Better

I’m not a big fan of beets. 

I’m trying…. and, I know some people love them.
But, I’m just not a fan.
Beets in their raw form. My hubby took the photo which explains the very large hand holding the beets.
Yet, I still get them occasionally in my weekly delivery of local & organic produce. 
(By the way, if you live in the Portland area I HIGHLY recommend Organics to You for local, organic produce delivered straight to your door. They give a great selection of in season produce. They try to get produce from the Oregon area, but occasionally source from Washington or California for a wider selection of fruits and vegetables. I have really, really enjoyed the boxes. Oh, and if I didn’t want beets I can request to not get them. I’m just into trying new things.) 
So, back to the beets… 
I decided to make pierogis for the first time.
Step One: Cook Down Beets, Step Two: Make Dough, Step Three: Fill Perogi, Step Four: Seal Perogi

Be prepared though… 
you’ll have pink hands for a bit after this project.

Beet Pierogi
Recipe by me adapted from All Recipes
Ingredients
Filling:
3 Cups chopped beets
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup water, stock, or wine
(I used 1/2 cup stock & 1/2 cup wine)
Dough:
4.5 cups flour
2 eggs
1 cup water
extra flour for rolling surface and to dust finished pierogis
Directions
1. Place the beets, onion, garlic and stock into a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until beets are tender.
2. Drain the beets and add them to a food processor along with 1 Tablespoon butter. Pulse beets til everything is finely chopped. No food processor? Mash them!
3. Whisk together eggs and water, then slowly add flour. You might find that your hands work well for mixing the flour in. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
4. Divide the dough in half and form two balls of dough. Roll each ball of dough out into a flat disk of about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out circles with a drinking glass or a biscuit cutter.
5. Stretch each disk out with your fingers then add a small spoonful of the filling. Fold over the dough and pinch shut with fingers. 
6. Dust each pierogi with flour so they don’t stick together when going into next step.
7. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Drop the pierogi into the water, 1 or 2 at a time. Stir to prevent sticking. When the pierogi float to the top they are done! 
Drain and serve warm with sour cream on top!
These little treats can be filled with things other than beets such as potato, meat, or sweeter items. They can also be frozen to be used later in the day!
To freeze place them individually on wax paper covered cookie sheet and freeze. Then place frozen pierogi into a freezer bag to be used when you get the pierogi craving!

Catching Up!

I was fortunate enough to receive a great freelance job that I had to whip out in 2 days…. 
so, I’m running a bit behind on the blogging!
But, no worries… I will be back later today with a Valentine’s Day themed post!

Catching Up!

I was lucky enough to get a contract job that I had to whip out in 2 days flat…. 
so, I’ve been busy. 
But, I’ll make up for it with two posts today! 
So, check back soon for a post on 
and an outfit post

Weekend Update: Beets, Bloggers, and a Baby

It was a busy, busy weekend. I was actually looking forward to the start of the week just so things would slow down a bit… but, it was also a FUN weekend. 
Beet Pierogis with cabbage, polish sausage, and beet mashed potatoes

One of my goals this year is to cook one new thing each week and this dish was this week’s “new dish.” I’m not the biggest fan of beets, but, we keep getting them in our veggie box. So, I’m trying a lot of new beet dishes. The pierogi dish was tasty… but, the mashed potatoes were so amazing! Recipes will be going up sometime this week!

Glasses and Straws from this weekend’s Blogger’s Brunch— the straws were made by Sam Rosen

I had such fun at this weekend’s Portland Blogger’s Brunch. We did a Valentine’s Day theme this time and it was ADORABLE. I’ll be posting more about this event shortly!

I had fun wearing BRIGHT colors this weekend.
Winterhawks game

Had a fun double date at the Winterhawks game on Saturday night. Dinner at our place, a MAX ride out to the Rose Quarter, and then the game. They unfortunately lost in the last 30 seconds…
but, we had a good time nonetheless!

Photo by my hubby

After work on Sunday morning we enjoyed the great weather by going to the park with the little guy. He had his first time on a swing set and loved it!

Well, that was my weekend.
How was yours?

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