Thursday, December 13, 2007

Still Christmas shopping ...

Sephora is at it again .... spend only $25 and get this darling metallic clutch for free. Perfect metallic clutch to go with your holiday attire and fun festive events!!! Apply coupon code METTALIC and you will get this free clutch PLUS 20% off, all you need to do is spend over $25!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas cards are in the mail ...

Now that our cards are on their way to your mailboxes I have to share my favorite "out-take" from our impromptu Christmas photo-session. I have to also mention that keeping my camera in my car really paid off this day, I was not planning on capturing his Christmas card photo that day but had 20 minutes before the store opened and grabbed my camera from the car while he was outside playing in front of Santa's house! Lesson learned, having your camera handy certainly helps! I can also honestly say we used a fun "snapshot" of our son playing rather then a posed planned shot (don't get me wrong, I LOVE those too!).

So here it is, my favorite "out-take", I *adore* his expression here:

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Lighten your load while traveling with a little one!

I was recently talking to my long time and good friend AS about traveling with a little one. AS is my girlfriend that owns the amazing children's clothing line Remember her? If not, you can LINK TO THIS POST to hear more.

Anyway, she was talking about the difficulty of traveling with a little one by yourself and how hard it is to manage all the items you need to take along with you such as, a stroller, car seat, highchair, etc. with out any help. I immediately remembered a new site that my knowledgable friend KR told me about. It is In-the-know and ever so sweet KR sent me the information because I have been actively looking for a double stroller before our new little girl arrives (I have only 11 short weeks to figure it all out) and allows you "test drive" strollers. A wonderful feature for a gal like me that can never make up her mind even between the chocolate brown sweater or the cocoa brown sweater! LOL! I contacted them and got an immediate response (they also provide a great consultation service) and will be making an appointment in January to personally test the two strollers I have narrowed it down to: The Elite Urban Mountain Buggy or the Double version of the stroller we have now, the Valco Runabout Double.

But what I also noticed when I first went to the site was their first capture that read "Traveling to the OC? ... Don't pack it, we've got you covered!" How wonderful is that? They will deliver to most locations in Orange County, CA or you can pick it up after you arrive in Southern California. You can rent and use the items while on vacation and return them before you leave town. You can rent almost all large items you would need while traveling with your child(ren) including strollers, highchairs, playmats, pack-n-plays, etc. Even if you need a double stroller, they have you covered. The rental rates are also very reasonable. If you are not traveling to the OC soon, check out if the city you are planning to visit has the same type of service. In my limited research I did notice Tahoe, South Florida, and Martha's Vineyard. Less space needed for baby equipment means more space for your souviners!!!

I hope this helps "lighten" your holiday load!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I share, Daddy!

My DS is at the age where we are really trying to teach him about good manners. We are often reminding him about the big three (1) say please, (2) say thank you, (3) and share! He actually has been doing quite well with all 3 of them, especially for an active 22 month old boy.

Here is a picture of him sharing a cookie with Daddy at the wonderful St. Regis tree lighting ceremony after Thanksgiving (in Laguna Beach, CA).

Reader's Digest thought it was worthy of their top 10 Thanksgiving pictures and if you agree CLICK HERE to see and vote! (& boy, wouldn't a $100 come in handy during this holiday season!!!) :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Halloween ... again!

My Darling Son (DS) is in the final November's photo contest on Please check it out and we thank you in advance for any votes (wink wink)!

Happy Friday, hope it is "GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR"eat!!!

LINK HERE to vote!!! You can vote once a day, every day, for the next 3 days (until December 3rd).

Monday, November 26, 2007

Two for you, one for me, two for you, one for ...

I am not sure if everyone else is like me ... but I have a very hard time Christmas shopping and not picking up one or two things for myself too! I always feel guilty about it and have also been known to come home and give it to DH and tell him to wrap it for me for Christmas because I feel guilty that I bought it for myself during the holidays. It is just so dang hard when you see a great sale or better yet, find the perfect shirt (jeans, stationary, candle, frame .... lol). Well, as I was Christmas shopping on line today while DS naps (gesh, what did our Mother's do during this season when internet shopping wasn't available?) I found a great way to satisfy both my gift giving spirit and the occasional self-buying trap I fall into ....

Sephora is offering a 13 sample product pack free when you spend only $25
. WooHoo, a nice gift for that friend, sister, co-worker, Mom, Mother-in-law, etc. and a FREE packet of 13 fun beauty products for yourself (& trust me, I looked over the list first, these are the kind of samples you actually want). Enjoy! The pack even includes a sample of the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer ... gotta love 2-steps in 1 when your a Mom!

Christmas photo disasters!

DH and I took some time this weekend to try to get a good snap-shot of DS for our Christmas cards. Oh my, what a disaster ... when he wanted to laugh and smile I was either not ready or he was standing in front of the wrong back-drop. I hope the rest of you are having better luck then we are but I must say, we all are fully enjoying the process and have had many laughs while trying. I really think the Christmas card photo is yet another fun festive family tradition each year. I can only try to imagine how difficult it gets as your family grows. Once we confirm a picture we want to use I am going to post some of our funny out-takes ... and I would love to see yours too.

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone ... and as DS would say, "Gobble Gobble!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fall time fun!

Since I haven't shared many recent pictures of my DS recently I thought I would post DS with his favorite person in the world at the pumpkin patch yesterday ... his cousin Kay-ya (his pronounciation of his cousins name, MA). He absolutely adores her.

Loving my new curve(s)!

First off, sorry for the lack of posts. Pregnant while caring for an active toddler keeps me pretty busy. I am happy to say though, I am feeling better and better every day.

Secondly, yes, my Blog is still getting a face-lift. All I can say is that two pregnant women caring for toddlers makes for a lengthy process for design, edits, approvals, etc. But I have seen a sneak peek and it is going to be FABULOUS. So, please, stay tuned. I am hoping my face-lift gives me that boost to start blogging more. I really miss hearing my self ramble! :)

Lastly, I love me new curve(s). Yes, pregnancy is hard and really does a number on your body but .... oops, NO, I am not talking about those curves (not sure you can even call the extra fat curves), I am talking about my new Blackberry Curve. Please tell me you are not wondering why a SAHM needs a Blackberry?! Come on, we have just as many dates, times, events, contact numbers and the such to keep organized. I feel like I am failing every day with my Mommy organization but if I do forget my handy dandy sexy Blackberry Curve is by my side so I can "look it up"! I also couldn't help getting the newest addition to the Blackberry Curve family ... the RED one. Now that is certainly something I would have felt uncomfortable carrying in my "professional" life but now I just adore it! I had no idea just how new and sought after the red one was when the salesman offered it to me. I didn't see any out in the store and he had to say he "might have one in back if I was interested". I think it must have been my just-let-out-of-a-cage uncontrollable desire to chat with another adult that I found the need to go into great details about my past career in wireless dating all the way back to L.A. Cellular. Or do you think he thought I was a secret shopper? :) Did you know the new Blackberry Curve has full GPS? So even though my car is 10 years old I can now say "I too have GPS in my car"! Oh yea, and just in case I forget my dear camera it has a 2mp built in camera, woohoo, more pics of my DS!!! :)

Anyway, loving the new curve(s) and while I debated the iPhone I ultimately decided that I was a Blackberry kind of girl!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Summertime find for under $15!

Great hostess LG hosted our monthly Wine Club last month and the theme was "Summertime Wines". At first I was a little apprehensive about this theme since she specifically asked us to bring a "white" summertime wine and since I usually don't prefer "white" I thought I would be attending to just enjoy the wonderful company and yummy food. Boy was I surprised, EVERY SINGLE WHITE WINE was DELICIOUS! My intention was to post every single one but since my DH (although, Dear doesn't seem so appropriate right now) threw my notes away so I can only share mine.

It was a perfectly balanced white Savignon Blanc. It wasn't too sweet yet not oak-y and buttery either. Bacchus Wine Cellars recommended this wine but ultimately I chose it for the 90 point Wine Spectator rating (any wine under $15 with that type of rating is definitely worth trying).

If you are looking for a wonderful wine to help wind down the summer to:

Babich, Marlborough, Savignon Blanc 2005 for $13.99

Cheers! Oh, and by the way, the wonderful company and food was still the highlight of the night ... LG can make a darn good Cobb Pasta Salad, YUMMY!!!

(I would love to hear comments about your favorite summertime wines or beverages ... please share!)

Belated Birthday Shout Outs!

I am sorry for the delay and lack of posts. I will return next week, promise!

Belated Birthday Shout-Outs to:

My wonderful, supportive, intelligent Dear Husband (DH) on July 28th.

To my sweet, fun, beautiful brown-eyed girlfriend KG on August 7th.

and all the way to little Miss AJG in AZ on August 11th.

Happy Birthday to all you Leo's. :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Little. Mister.


Happy 4th of July! Have a safe and happy 4th of July. We will be celebrating this afternoon at The W Family's block party! Woo Hoo! Although, we will probably make it home before fireworks so both my boys can get some sleep (DH has work tomorrow & DS still has a 7pm bedtime).

Do you think it is wrong that we are celebrating the 4th of July with our favorite Mad Mike's sausage and beer, neither of which are too all-American?! (Bratwurst and Fischer beer)? Well, we did get a bag of Fritos too, that is pretty all-American, right? :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Belated Shout Out to .... me!

Sorry I have been so slow on blog posts and updates. My 17 month old DS has discovered dirt, snails and rocks so we have been spending most of our time outdoors. My idea of giving his dry skin a bath every other day doesn't seem so wise now.

I celebrated my Birthday on Monday. When I have more time to blog I promise to share two wonderful new restaurants, my new camera toys and other delightful gifts worth sharing.

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their summer. I thank you again for those of you that continue to check in to hear The Life and Times of Just the Sous Chef!!! I am getting a make-over in late July and I hope it is that push to get me back into blogging on a more regular basis (nope, not a personal make-over, although I need one of those too, but a "blogger" make-over ... I am having my Blogspot custom designed so it can better match and represent my personality ... so, yes, you can expect to see pink).

Self portrait, a peek at the girl behind the lens & a look at my other companion, my Nikon D80!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jesus Loves Me

DS loves this song. It is the one song he will sit still long enough to listen to for it's entirety. I think his DG (Dear Grammy) started singing this to him first. She always sings to him before his nap or bed time when she is with him. Maybe that is why he loves it so much ... he thinks he is about to get two Mr. Brown Bears, remember this blog post?! :) He smiles at her with complete adoration while she sings (I can't say he does the same for my tone-deaf sounds).

Regardless of the reason, I love that he enjoys this song as much as I do. It definitely is my favorite children's Christian song. I finally decided to look up the "official" lyrics today. My DH will be happy to know that once again I was making up my own lyrics to a well known song. It now is starting to even entertain me ... really, where the heck do I come up with these lyrics?!

Anyway, here are the "official" lyrics (makes me feel at peace just reading them):

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me! this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
they are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! loves me still,
'tho I'm very weak and ill,
that I might from sin be free,
bled and died upon the tree.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! He who died
heaven's gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
let His little child come in.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! He will stay
close beside me all the way.
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Oh, and if you must know, I was singing in the first verse:
"Little ones come near and far
For they are weak and He is strong"

Please tell me I am not the only one that sings the wrong lyrics with out knowing until someone (like your DH) says "what did you just say" followed by a giggle????

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Legoland here we come!!!

A BIG thank you to all of you that voted for my DS and DH in the OC Register Father Son Look-alike contest. We were one of the 10 winners and their picture was featured on the cover of the LIFE section of the OC Register newspaper yesterday.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the biggest thanks should be going to DS's Grammy and Nina .... so, thanks Mom and sis for all your votes. I certainly enjoyed seeing my two favorite boys in the newspaper and we are looking forward to Legoland soon.

This is a poor scanned copy of the newspaper by yours truly. The picture of my handsome boys was taken by the ever so sweet and talented Nancy Thompson Photography.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lions, panthers and gorillas, oh my!

Yesterday was our first family excursion to a theme park. We took DS to The Wild Animal Park in Escondido, CA.

The Wild Animal Park (WAP)
is 2,100 acres of land where you can view animals in surroundings most similar to their natural home-land and habitat. You can get up closely, see them freely with out cages and feed them. There are many exhibits. A few are: The Heart of Africa, Lion Camp, and Hidden Jungle.

Helpful Hints: wear comfortable shoes, wear sunscreen, dress for the heat and pack your own lunch. If you remember all those helpful hints you will surely enjoy this rare experience with the animals. DS's favorite was the giraffes. DH's favorite was the gorillas. My favorite, the rhinos ... what can I say, they made me feel skinny and svelte!!!

(picture of feeding time with the giraffes by yours truly)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Last chance

Today is the last day to vote in the Orange County Register's Father's Day contest.

If you have a chance, please stop by to cast your vote here.

We are thinking of going to Disneyland on Father's Day but maybe we will be going to Legoland instead!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Birthday Shout Outs!

May 21st ... Happy Birthday all the way to AZ to Miss SRM!!!

Today, June 4th ... Happy 10th Birthday to my niece MA!!! We had fun celebrating with her yesterday. Enjoy another piece of chocolate banana cake for your Uncle R!!!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Lexicon of love

I asked my DH what he was going to do with all his free time after his test? (He typically studied every evening after work and all day on weekends).

His answer in exact order:

1. Clean out the garage
2. Re-paint the entry way & up the stairs
3. Buy flower boxes and plant flowers for our patio

Do I even have to say, "I love this man more and more every day!". I didn't even once ask for any of these but they are all definitely on my "please, honey-do" list!!!

Now of course, I am sure this is after he takes a night off to enjoy a glass of The Bottler's 21 year old scotch and a nice cold Fischer beer .... oh and must not forget his over-indulgence on the box of Sees dark chocolates from the G Family for Good Luck!!! And of course he should, he has earned it.

Life is grand, I am with my life-long partner who I adore.

And to think, The Love Calculator gave us a 68% chance. Want to find out Doctor Love's prediction for your relationship? Click here and please tell the results! It is fun and only takes 3 seconds!

The picture below of my DH and I was taken last weekend at our next door neighbor's wedding, we had a great time.

Do you remember your Mother's advice?

With my new found interest in photography comes my new found interest in "photo contests". You might be wondering where I hear about these contests? 99% of the time from YOU and I really appreciate it. I not only am flatered that you think my photography is worthy of these contests but that you also think my son is as adorable as I do!

I typically do not like the "popularity" photo contests where voting decides the winner, especially when you have to "rank" the photo. But occasionally one comes along that I can't resist. This one is one of them! My sweet dear friend KC told me about this one. It is sponsored by our local paper, The Orange County Register, and the winner receives 4 tickets to Legoland in San Diego, CA. Since I often hear how much my DS looks like my DH I decided to enter them in the Father Son Look-alike Contest in honor of Father's Day.

Now apparently, not everyone remembers the advice their Mother was sure to give them when they were a teenager ... the one that goes like this, "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all!" How do I know not everyone knows this? Well, it has been brought to my attention from several people that after they vote for my DS and DH someone goes in soon after and gives them a 1 to lower their score (because, really, who gives 1's?! I can understand a low score, but a 1, come on, you are just trying to be mean). Shame on them. They ruin the fun for all of us. Isn't this just for fun? I had a blast looking through the pics and picking out my favorites. If you have the time, browse the entries, many of them look like they could be brothers!

By the way, if you do think my sweet DS and wonderful DH deserve a 10 please vote here and if you don't think so, please remember your Mom's advice, "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all!"

Did I also mention that you can vote as often as you like until June 5th?! *wink wink*


My DS's new word this week. This should not be a surprise since DH and I are both "foodies" too! He has decided that he now not only has an opinion about what he wants to eat but that he also wants crackers with every meal.

DS's favorite foods in no particular order:

White rice
Goldfish crackers
Apple sauce
Mexican seasoned chicken

... did I already say, goldfish crackers?! :) I think we need to buy stock in those Pepperidge Farm treats. This opinionated toddler prefers the "Goldfish Colors".

Did you know there is a "Goldfish Central Club" for kids? Check it out. There are games and even "card carrying" privileges. Apparently my son is not the only goldfish junkie. So, is it safe to assume this obsession will carry in to adulthood? I did catch my DH chowing down on a handful the other day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Just taking a break ...

Hello, yes, I am still here! Sorry for the lack of posts lately.

My DH has been studying like crazy for the level 2 CFA exam coming up on Saturday so that means I have been pulling over-time on the home front. I will be back in a few shorts days ...

Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend!

Good luck to my sweet, handsome, hard-working and brilliant husband. Please keep him in your prayers. He has worked so hard for this one!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Shout out to my wonderful Dad ... HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Too late but worth the wait

I recently took DS to the beautiful Flower Fields in Carlsbad, CA. It is a 50 acre display of brightly colored Ranunculus. I enjoyed the view from the top of the hill the best. From the top, you can see the hillside of Ranunculus, the rose garden below and the Pacific Ocean. It was a gorgeous day. I think DS mostly enjoyed playing in the water (mining for gems), the tractor ride and running around with the adorable R twins at the playground. A Mommy friend took her slightly older kiddos and said they loved the "Stamp card"/scavenger hunt the best.

The Flower Fields are only open 6 weeks each year. Unfortunately, I posted too late for you to take advantage of it this year but you definitely need to mark your calendar for this time next year.

Since our kiddos are only 15 months and still napping twice a day we weren't able to take advantage of the wonderful Carlsbad Outlet Mall that is right next door. (But we were able to have a quick lunch there with the kiddos and there are many quick serve places to choose from). Next time, I would like to make an entire day of it and after visiting The Flower Fields browse the wonderful outlet stores they have, such as, Coach, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, Barney's and more!!! (Yes, I know, many of you are in shock that I didn't go shopping?!)

This is something I am putting on the calendar for an Annual event. The flowers are spectacular and the view is exactly what you think Southern California should look like.

Why so many flowers? Their goal is to harvest over 6 million bulbs. You will find their bulbs for sale in most flower and gardening stores all across the country. While in bloom (Springtime) they open it up to public.

***Blogger has not been letting me upload pictures this morning, I will try adding again tonight.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Have a fabulous Mother's Day!

Well, since I am way behind on Shout Outs (sorry) I thought I would take the time today to not only say HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the Mothers but to also give some birthday shout outs that are long over-due!!

March 23rd - Happy Birthday to DM!
April 2nd - Happy Birthday to my niece MC!
April 7th - Happy Birthday to KC!
April 15th - Happy Birthday to SB and KR!
May 11th - Happy Birthday to my sister TC!
May 12th - Happy Birthday to my wonderful Mommy PM!

and ... May 13th ... HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the Mothers out there. Have a fabulous day!!!

By the way, the picture is my Mother's Day gift from my wonderful DH and fantastic DS!!! I LOVE it!!! But the best gift of all was the sweet cards and now spending the rest of the day with them.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The next best thing to making it yourself ...

I think I need more kiddos just to give me an excuse to put them in matching outfits like my Mom did. (I know, I know, not the most hip style but I can't always be "hip"). I have never seen anything more adorable then my Mom's hand-made matching dresses for us 3 girls on every special occasion. Now that I am a mom to one toddler (yes, only one) I can't imagine how she found the time to make all these adorable hand-made clothes for 3 ... but she did. Maybe that is where I get my love for all things hand-made. When I was nesting during my pregnancy I had this wonderful idea that I would hand sew cute baby items (please tell me I am not the only one in their 3rd Trimester who had visions of being the perfect home-maker and baking breads, sewing clothes and making my own jam ... not sure who that person was?!). I spent hours looking at fun new fabrics, choosing special ribbons and buying a new designer pin cushion. I had DH bring up my sewing machine from the garage, I dusted it off, and completed about 10 hand-made burp cloths before the nesting phase ended. They are adorable but I haven't made anything since. In fact, the sewing maching is now back in the garage collecting dust and I am spending unnecessary money on hemming my DH's new pants.

I still absolutely adore hand-made items. They are my most treasured gifts. Since I haven't been able to find the time to hand sew my own items (really mom, how did you do it?) I was really excited to stumble upon this site that sells only hand-made items. I haven't had the time to browse all the categories yet but I did browse the "children" category immediately. There are so many cute items I can't even begin to tell you about all of them, you must check them out yourself.

I think I can now manage to find the time to give home-made items to my girlfriends, thanks to For all you Ebay lovers, you must check it out, it is just like Ebay but home-made items only. (I also think it also gave me inspiration to once again dust of that ol' sewing machine of mine!).

PS I couldn't resist adding the picture of the sock monkey bib and burp cloth set (picture above) from The Rocking Pony's site on Etsy. I am not sure what it is about the sock monkey that I adore so much but he always seems to make me smile.

Friday, May 04, 2007

My dearest friend of over 20 years AS has always been extremely talented. She was the gal I recruited to help me put together my Senior Year photo album/scrap book. It is just darling with fun sayings, colorful writing with "paint pens" and photos that are arranged artistically (obviously with an 80's style from our era). None of this would have been done with out her guidance. I have always admired her creativity.

So I am not the least bit surprised that her Children's clothing line is doing so well. It is fresh, hip, cool and stylish. It is SO boy yet sweet enough for those girly girls too! Her inspiration came after getting pregnant with her first son, Max. Talented AS and her hubby S (her best friend for years before realizing their romantic love for each other too) both have a great sense of style and deep knowledge on design.

Check out all her cool t-shirts. I have a new favorite every time I look at their site. I think my current favorite is the Elephant Ride organic onesie. (but I do adore the bug shirt DS is wearing in the picture above and I think my next purchase has to be the Helicopter t-shirt and Ant t-shirt not just because those are his two new favorite words but because they are so dang CUTE!!!). Their items are in many boutiques through out the U.S., as well as, an International location in Sweden. They are also available through several on-line boutiques and you can now order direct too. WOO HOO!!!

And if you were wondering where she got the name ...

8 letters
3 words
1 meaning


She has been writing those 3 numbers on letters and cards to me for over 20 years. It has been her "branding" well before her clothing line came out.

I love you too AS and I am so proud of your wonderful children's clothing line.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mommy's fave picture from April!

As you all know, I am constantly taking pictures of DS. Here is my favorite from April 2007. I thought it was the perfect picture to post in May in honor of Mother's Day. His dear Auntie DM got this shirt for him. I don't think the saying could be any better, do you?!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Are you still trying to decide what to do on YOUR day?!

I found this list of suggestions for Mother's Day activities on Mom Agenda's website. I wanted to share:

Breakfast in Bed
Light a Candle
Take a Bath
Go for a Walk
Sleep Late
Read a Good Book
Sit in the Sun
Forget the Housework
Go to the Beach
Plant Flowers
Play with Your Kids

Monday, April 30, 2007

For all those wonderful Mothers you know, including yourself ....

Is anyone else still looking for new and exciting Mother's Day gift ideas?!?! I found some fun, stylish and different ideas at the site below (click on icon). Anyone have anything to share?!

As Seen at Cool Mom Picks

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Would you like to entertain but with out the hassle of cleaning before and after guests?

I don't think there is anything more intimate then dining with friends at a home versus a hotel, conference room or restaurant. It is one of the reasons I did not want to have our wedding celebration in a hotel ballroom. We decided on the private Pacific Club in Newport Beach, CA (not a home but a private dinner club and the closest we could get to accommodating 135 guests with a dining room ambiance). It was perfect. My entire Wedding Day was perfect. Oops got side tracked! I actually wanted to share a new concept my great friend KC shared with me (she recently attended a "surprise" wedding at the Palm Springs, CA location). The concept is being able to stay and entertain at luxurious private homes with all the services of a luxury 5-star hotel.

At Time and Place Homes
you can rent private luxurious homes with full service amenities. They are located all over the world from Kauai, Hawaii to Paris, France. Check out the locations here. I think this is a fairly new concept but it seems that other companies are doing the same thing.

Now for those of you that like to take entertaining and dining to new heights (yes, pun intended) you need to check out Dinner in the Sky. I got butterflies just looking at it.

Okay, none of these options are in our budget so if you are asked to a dinner party from us soon don't expect to be dining pool side or in the sky. Our townhome may not be as luxurious, big or exciting but I promise you won't complain if we serve my DH's wonderful BBQ pork, mmmmmmmmmmm!!!

Bubbley springtime fun!

I found the perfect solution to my inability to blow bubbles ... DS's GM (Godmother) gave him the Billions Bubble maker with Turbo Bubble Technology for Easter. It works great. He had a blast running after all the bubbles. The only drawback is that you need a lot of Bubble Solution. I used an entire small sized bottle in an hour of play time. It was well worth it. DS loved it and I didn't have to struggle to blow multiple bubbles.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Worn. Torn. Tattered. No more.

I knew for quite some time that I needed new sweat pants/exercise wear/leisure suits but being the cheap SAHM that I am I kept putting it off. Really, I had my eye on a new pair of Coach flats and I really didn't want to give those up for "play" clothes. That is until my DH recently demanded that I stop wearing tattered sweat suits, even to the park. Okay, I understand Starbucks, maybe even the Bank, but the Park?! Ouch! But I knew it must be bad when my DH told me this. The same guy who will not part from t-shirts from his High School days and still fights me on wearing shorts to church. Okay, it is definitely time for updating.

On one of our morning walks sweet and stylish Mommy KR told me she was lucky enough to receive a gift card from her Mother-in-law for her Birthday to Lucy and raved about their exercise suits. She was wearing the pants that morning and I thought they were exactly what I was looking for.

I went to the closest Lucy in Newport Beach, CA. I agreed with her assessment and walked away with pants, jackets, t-shirts and tank tops. If you have a Toddler you understand why exercise wear must not only be functionable but also fashionable. If you don't, let me explain, as a SAHM of a Toddler you some times have to go from exercising directly to the grocery store, Story time, Play dates, the Library, etc. before getting your first shower of the day. The first day I wore my new Lucy suit I actually found myself hoping that I would run into that stylish always-put-together old co-worker I hadn't seen in quite some time (& was actually starting to miss) while at Starbucks. This was quite the opposite of my usually hoping and praying that no one and I mean NO one sees me at Starbucks.

The low rise style fits just right ... hugging you in all the right places and loose and comfy in others. The best part for a shorty like me is that they come in multiple lengths - short, regular and tall. It was wonderful to walk away with a pair of pants that I could actually wear that same day!

On our same discussion on exercise wear KR also told me about Lululemon Athlectica. A little more expensive then Lucy (and Lucy is by no means inexpensive) but I think it might be worth it. I ventured into the Lululemon Athletica at Fashion Island, CA and really felt like a fish out of water. At first glance I thought Lululemon Athlectica was only for the true exercise, eat no-carbs, only organic foods, and sport gurus. It was definitely not for the SAHM's that push a stroller around the neigborhood and call that exercise. I was able to get over that thought when looking around I saw other shoppers that looked just like me plus salespeople that were surprisingly helpful and non-intimidating. Just as I am starting to feel comfortable I found out disappionting news - they only come in two lengths - regular and tall. Luckily one of the very helpful sales girls quickly added that all Lululemon Athletica wear can be altered and hemmed for FREE and available for pick up one week later. That was all she had to say before I began running around the store pulling pants, cropped pants, tank tops, and t-shirts to try on!!! Lululemon Athletica not only has more styles then Lucy but they also have more colors too. I found several pairs that I really liked. This visit I decided only on the Clam Digger's in black since the pants can run you any where from $54 to $98 and I had spent most of my "exercise clothes" budget at Lucy the day before. You are definitely getting your money's worth in quality, as well as, style. All their exercise clothes are flat seams for amazing comfort which also allows them to be worn reversible. I especially thought this was a great option for the pants that were all black on one side and had color waist bands on the other. The disappointing part at Lululemon Athletica was the matching jackets. I did not like any of the styles and was disappointed that they only have 3 styles to pair with over 15 styles of pants. That was okay with me since the jackets I picked up at Lucy look just fine with the my new Lululemon Athletica pants too! Plus, who really wears a jacket in Southern California?!

Oh and by the way, my sweet DH bought me those wonderful Coach flats for Easter. They are still sitting unopened and unworn in my closest. That is where they will probably sit until I realize I can take them back and get a great pair of Lululemon Athletica pants (& maybe even a t-shirt too). I guess he was right, I really did have more of a need for exercise clothes then Coach flats.

To find a Lucy store click here.
To find a Lululemon Athletica store click here.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

French Fries, French Toast and ... French Beer?!

I know what your thinking, most people think of Red Wine and Champagne when they think of French libations. What most people don't know is that they also make delicious beer. I am not typically a beer drinker. I prefer a glass of Red wine with dinner but there are occasions when a nice cold beer sounds better. My favorite is Fischer beer, made in France. I knew this beer was going to be something special when my German DH introduced me to this French beer (for those of you that know my DH, I am sure you are as surprised as I was!). I think he was determined to find an alcoholic beverage that I liked that wouldn't turn my teeth purple.

They make an Amber and a Blonde. Both come in a traditional flip-top bottle that makes drinking this beer even more fun! (I prefer the Amber but both have much more flavor then most U.S. beers)

This beer is not always easy to find but I have been able to enjoy it at Sun Dried Tomato Cafe in Laguna Beach, CA and purchase it at The Wine Pavillion in Lake Forest, CA.

So, what is your favorite beer?!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Will gladly give up two manicures and pedicures for ...

... a monthly in-home massage.

WOW, I can't say enough about my wonderful in-home massage last week. It was pure indulgence and such a splurge but worth every penny. I have always been a big fan of massages. Before DS I was able to indulge often but now that I am always running around with a Toddler attached to my leg it has become more difficult to find the time (& money) to drive to a spa, have an hour massage and drive home while having someone watch DS. Crazy thing is that I need them more then ever. My back is always hurting from running after and carrying a 24 pound boy.

I found the answer ... an in-home massage. She brings the table, the music and candles to you!!! Not only was it convenient but it was the best massage I have ever had. It did wonders for my mind and physical well being. If you are local (in Orange County, CA) you should check out her MySpace page at BacknBusiness. If you click on Spa @ Home under her Blog you will see a list of her services and prices. She also does Spa @ work and Spa parties ... how wonderful would that be?! She used to work at Spa Gregories in Fashion Island and The Body Centre, two places I have been to several times.

For those of you that do not live in Orange County but want to pamper yourself at home you can try Mommy friend MS told me about this site. Her and her hubby have used them several times and have been very pleased. They are available in many areas through out the U.S. Click here to see if they are available in your area.

With Mother's Day just around the corner I can't think of a better gift to give to an over-tired, over-stressed Mommy!!!

By the way, I couldn't talk DH into a monthly massage but I was able to get him to agree to one every 6 weeks after he saw how happy I was. I slept better that night and felt so refreshed the next day.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

As good as free ...

Don't you just love having a close girlfriend that knows you really well? My great friend KC knows me so well that her hubby used to ask if we shared a brain! LOL! It is wonderful having a great friend that knows you so well and last week KC gave me yet another reason to be thankful. Her message sounded something like this ....

"I thought of you and I know you will want to mark your calendar ... for $.31 cent scoop days at Baskin-Robbins." Yippee ... another Ice Cream deal ... calendar is marked!

(Ok, maybe not the best example of how well she knows me since my love for Ice Cream is no secret but I am still thankful for the tip!)

Don't forget about FREE Ice Cream scoop day this Tuesday, April 17th at Ben & Jerry's stores and next month don't forget to mark your calendar for .... .31 cent scoop days at Baskin-Robbins on May 2nd, 2007. It is from 5:00pm to 10:00pm and is in honor of the National Fallen Firefighter Association. Great cause and great taste!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I was Tagged

By the gal who finds all the wonderful and adorable things at Views from a Treehouse. It was a fun way to kick-off the weekend and a way to get to know everyone better. So, I thought I would start off the new week and L (lilypie) and DC (kmonkey) consider yourselves tagged now!

Three things that scare me:
1. Heights
2. DS getting abducted, hurt, sick .....
3. Semi-Trucks on the freeway going 70 mph

Three people that make me laugh:
1. My family - especially DH, DS and my Dad
2. The Onion (can that be considered a person, please, really, someone has to write that stuff?!)
3. My great friend ST, she makes me laugh every time I see her (or read her emails). She is hilarious even when she is not trying. :)

Three things I hate:
1. Bad manners
2. Tomatoes
3. People who "pretend" to be someone their not

Three things on my desk:
1. Bottled water
2. Picture of DH from 1980
3. Binder of my favorite recipes (only half way to being completed)

Three things I’m doing right now:
1. Eating chocolate
2. Uploading photos to
3. Typing :)

Three things I’d like to do before I die:
1. Take my kids to Germany
2. Go to Rome with DH
3. Finish watching Lawrence of Arabia (my DH favorite movie)

Three things I can do:
1. The Running Man
2. The Bucking Bronco
3. The Roger Rabbit
(what can I say, I love to dance and I am a child of the 80's)

Three things I think you should listen to:
1. Classical music
2. Your childs cues for attention
3. Your parents

Three favorite foods:
1. Mexican
2. Ice Cream
3. PB & J sandwich

Three shows I watched as a kid:
1. Saved by the Bell
2. The Facts of Life
3. Silver Spoons (who didn't have a crush on Ricky?)

Three things I regret:
1. Not getting an advanced degree immediately after my B.A.
2. Not giving my DH a kiss as soon as he walks in the door every day
3. Not keeping up with DS's baby book (I don't have dates for many milestones)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Time to go some where now that Spring Break is over!

Besides the usual Playdates, Park days, long walks and meeting friends for lunch we were able to squeeze in two fun activities despite the crowds. We are looking forward to going back to each of these venues soon since it was too crowded for us to fully enjoy. After this week I have learned to stay away from these type of venues on school holidays until my curious son learns to watch where he is going instead of only having his eye on his destination (or his cracker!).

First one is the Orange County Zoo located in Irvine Regional Park. I was shocked to find bears, deers, blad eagles and more at a Park that is FREE for kids under 3 and only $2 for those over 3 years old (including adults). Irvine Regional Park is surrounded by beautiful large Oak and Sycamore trees, has picnic tables every where and many parks for the kids to play at. 7 days a week they also run a train through the Park and on the weekends they have Pony rides. DS's Nina (Godmother) and cousin took him there. He actually really enjoyed the animals but I think his favorite part was running after his cousin MA and trying to copy her jumping and stomping. He was in hysterics.

The second activity was Bubblefest at the Discovery Center. It was so busy that we were unable to attend the original showing at 11am and instead attended the 1pm showing which is right at nap time. He seemed to enjoy it but only lasted 15 mintues into the 45 minute show before he was rubbing his eyes and yawning. The older kids looked very interested in watching all the different bubble tricks by famous bubble artisit and Guiness Book record holder, Fan Yang. Of course I was in awe too as DH likes to remind me often that I don't even know how to blow simple bubbles correctly. In fact, little girls at the Park will ask if they can help me when I am trying to unsuccessfully blow them for DS at the Park. Okay, back on subject, before the 1pm showing of Bubblefest we did get to fully enjoy the Discovery Center. Once again his favorite exhibits were Elmo's Body Exhibit (still in Orange County until April 29th, check out other dates and locations here) and DinoQuest located outside. Older kids that are able to stand still for 2 minutes (unlike my DS) can have their picture taken inside a large bubble located inside the Discovery Center (Mommy friends K & H had one taken of their son's). It looks very cool.

Monday, April 09, 2007

What could be better then a scoop of Ice Cream?

Getting it for FREE!!!

I absolutely adore Ice Cream. It is by far my favorite dessert. I got this Great Tip from a Mommy friend and I just had to share ....

GET A FREE ICE CREAM CONE from the guy's that made "Chunky Monkey"& "Phish Food" sinfully good. The one and only "Jerry Garcia" fan's Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.

Get your FREE cone at participating Ben & Jerry's stores on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 from noon to 8pm. Click here to find participating locations and more information.

By the way, are you a Chunk Spelunker? My DH definitely is. I now get my own pint after suffering through too many "chunk-free" bites of Ice Cream. No more sharing with my Chunk Spelunker Hubby. Click here if you are not sure what a Chunk Spelunker is.

Instead of your legs ...

As I was getting dressed this morning I had to use my nylon stockings once again and wondered for the first time today ... does everyone know about this trick? Just in case you don't I decided to post about it today.

If you are like me no matter how hard you try to avoid it you still get ugly white deodorant streaks on your shirts/dresses when getting dressed. A sorority sister KP (back in college days known as KS) told me aboutt this garment-saving trick: get an old nylon stocking (okay, you might not wear nylon stockings any more but you must have an old pair stuffed some where in your underwear drawer?!), cut it into a medium size strip, I tie mine also into a knot and use that to scrub away deodorant from your clothes. It works like a charm. I have never found anything that works better! I even travel with my tattered nylon stocking strips.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Delicious & Under $20

Recently my great friend KG hosted our monthly Wine Club at her beautiful new home. Besides a fabulous meal of stuffed pork chops and a scrumptious dessert of chocolate fondue we tasted FIVE FABULOUS and SCRUMPTIOUS wines that were all under $20!!! They were so fabulous that I had to share them with all of you and I must admit this is hard for me since I really want to keep these FAB FIVE FINDS all to myself so I can serve them to those with expensive taste without them knowing the cost! (hee hee)

(There were actually two that were my favorites but since the 2nd one wasn't technically under $20 I will share the first one).

Clearwater Creek Cabernet Savignon 2004. It is exactly what a Cabernet is supposed to be. Recommended to me by Bacchus Secret Cellar in Irvine, CA. I was anxious to try it when she told me the vintner is best friend's with the owner of the ever so popular Silver Oak Winery. Even if you don't normally drink Cabernets you most likely still know about Silver Oak Cabernets. She said that Clearwater is the only vintner to get Silver Oak Alexander Valley grapes and I was sold. Once I tried it I was convinced that it was the best Cabernet I have ever had for $19.99. I would serve this Cab to even the most discerning Cab drinker.

You MUST try this wine.

The other 3 wines we tasted that night under $20 were fantastic too:

Cardwell Hill Cellars Pinot Noir 2005 ... you can never go wrong with a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and for only $18.99 a bottle you might want to buy an entire case (purchased by SS at The Wine Pavillion in Lake Forest, CA)

Marques Phillips Sarah's Blend 2005 (purchased by ST at The Wine Cellar in Corona del Mar, CA for $13.99 .... this is a steal for such a great tasting wine.)

Water Wheel Shiraz 2004 (purchased by KG at BevMo for $15.99)

Saturday, March 31, 2007

March Madness ...

It is no secret, I take a lot of pictures of DS. Each month I pick out my favorites to send to my family (since I can't post all of them or can I?!). Here are March 2007's Top 3 Pics. Everyone may not agree that these are the best pictures of DS but they are Mommy's favorites of her little munchkin in March.

I would love to hear which one you like best?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Chop Chop ... no need to wait!

I think DS's favorite foods are steamed rice and teriyaki chicken. I am not too surprised since DH and I are both very fond of all Asian cuisine too. We actually just got back from our favorite Friday night family dinner place, Mitsui. (Click here if you are interested in reading a Blogsite about our favorite Sushi restuarant, and it isn't our favorite just because we can walk there!)

My fun loving Dad taught us at a very young age how to use chopsticks. I still eat all Asian cuisine with chopsticks, I know what you're thinking, I should be thinner, LOL!

When I saw these adorable Chopstick Kids I was envious. They are soooo much hipper and cuter then the folded up paper wrapper and rubber bands my Dad used when teaching us. It almost makes me want to learn how to use chopsticks again. Since DS hasn't quite mastered the spoon yet I think we are going to have to wait just a bit on these Chopsticks. But when the time comes he will use Chopstick Kids!

I know what your thinking, why does she always post about kids?! Well, I am also going to include something for the adults. I was thinking how fun it would be to host a fun Dinner Party and include chopsticks for your guests. But since you don't want anything to clash with your linens I thought these ones would work great for anyone. They are traditional Japanese Chopsticks with a "twist"?! I also found the perfect set for those dinner party guests that don't quite know how to use Chopsticks? Include a set of the "Rookie Chopsticks" from Sur La Table.

Oh and for the record, although I am very fond of Asian Cuisine my first love is Mexican Food and instead of Chopsticks to eat your rice (& beans) you use tortillas and that is why I am not-so-thin. Haha

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

You should have come when you were pregnant?

Location: Nordstroms Women's Lounge

I am feeding DS the rest of his lunch (veggies and chicken). Another woman is sitting next to me breastfeeding her 7 week old baby. She asks me how old is my DS?

Me: He is almost 14 months.
Her: Oh, I have a 22 month old girl.
Me: Where is she today? (because I admire women that have children so close in age & still able to do it all).
Her: She is at Preschool.
Me: Oh, nice, where does she go? (continuing the small talk in the lounge since DS is taking his time with his chicken bites)
Her: XYZ Preschool (don't remember the name) in Huntington Beach but I really wanted her to go to ABC Preschool (again, don't remember the name) in Huntington Beach but they didn't have room for her. I started calling when she was your son's age. They told me I should have came in when I was pregnant and put her on the wait list then. Have you started looking?
Me: No, not yet. (I leave it at just a No as I don't want to get into my views on Preschool and how I am undecided if I will even send him to Preschool and I definitely don't mention to her *whispering now* that I might even want to home school when he is school age.)

So, it got me thinking, what am I going to do? I know other parents with children DS's age have already been thinking about this and touring schools. I am still undecided but have now started to explore my options more.

3 days later I get an email from a wonderful Mommy friend (CD) with this wonderful website. I wanted to pass along the resource:

I was thrilled to find out that the school across the street (the one that I hear the bell ring from several times a day) is a TOP rated school in the country and received all 10's! Check out the website if you are looking into schools, summer camps, and more!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Girls in Green

So you thought I was going to talk about St. Patrick's Day on Saturday?! Nope, I am talking about Girl Scouts Cookie season. By now you should have already received your boxes and if not, you are sure to be approached from those patch-wearing Girl's in Green at your local grocery store any day now.

So what do you do with all those boxes you are sure to feel obligated to buy?!?! Well, I used to send most of them with DH to share with his office. But he wouldn't take them this year. He said there is already way too many boxes laying around the office (but really I think I just did a better job ordering for my "not so fat" DH this year and he wants to keep them all to himself - like the Somoas, Thin Mints and Do-si-dos). So, again, what do you do with all those boxes? Look what I stumbled upon today ... Dessert Recipes that use Girl Scout Cookies. I guess I will be bringing a Dessert to the next Family gathering. :) Let me know if you try any of these recipes and what you think.

By the way, in case you have ever wondered ... Here is a listing of The Girl Scouts top cookie sellers (taken directely from their site):

    25% Thin Mints
    19% Samoas®/Caramel deLites™
    13% Peanut Butter Patties®/Tagalongs®
    11% Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos™
    9% Shortbread/Trefoils

Shout Outs!

Another big Shout Out all the way to AZ to Miss EGC!!! Happy Birthday pretty girl ... and a Happy Birthday to your little sis CC that will also be celebrating her Birthday in just a couple days!!! We hope to come see you in AZ again soon!!! Hugs and Kisses from our family to yours. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Is this considered cheating?

So most of you know, I love coffee, really, I adore coffee. My all time favorite Coffee shop is Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. My local Coffee Bean shop is about a 25 minute walk from my home. My local Starbucks is a 5 minute walk so for the past 6 months I have been cheating on Coffee Bean and walking with DS down to Starbucks every morning to get my cup of java. I am not feeling too bad about this though. Coffee Bean is better looking (I mean, tasting) but just wasn't meeting my needs on a regular basis (remembering my order). And I don't have one of those long, weird, complicated coffee orders. Although Coffee Bean will always be my first love, I am enjoying my new relationship with Starbucks and they are giving me yet another reason on Thursday, March 15, 2007 from 10am to noon with a FREE CUP OF COFFEE. This promotion is at all Starbucks worldwide. I don't remember Coffee Bean ever being so generous?!?

Monday, March 12, 2007

A little encouragement helps a slow learner

My overly generous DH recently agreed to get me the new Nikon D80 dSLR camera to help encourage my photography interest. I absolutely adore this camera (but I need an entirely different post to discuss details .... promise it is coming soon ... I know several of you have been asking about this fabulous camera). In the meantime, just wanted to post a picture selected to appear on the new Editorial page in OC Family magazine. I am not sure if it was choosen for my photography skills or because of my DS is so adorable. Either way, I am thrilled!

OC Family magazine is a local family-oriented magazine in Orange County, CA. You can pick up a free copy at many retailers, such as, Borders bookstores, Gymboree, 24 Hour Fitness and more.

Tiny feet but he's no dancer

Every day at least one Mommy (or Daddy) comments on my DS's shoes. The comment most often heard is "they are so cute, where did you get them?".

If you have a boy I don't need to explain to you how wonderful it is to find something that is "so cute" for a boy. If you don't have a boy, let me explain. Shopping for a boy goes something like this: You go to your local children's boutique, you know, the one with all those adorable clothes in the window. You surely know you have to find something really cute in there for a boy and you are now willing to spend any price to get that cute outfit you have been dying for (one that doesn't say "My Little Slugger" or "I Love Trains". But you walk in and 90% of the store is filled with the most adorable girl clothes you have ever seen and the other 10% is the boy clothes you saw in the window and guess what, the size you need is sold out. Or maybe you head to an ever so popular Children's Clothing Store that is having the best sale ever to stock up on summer play clothes but you can't seem to figure out what sale rack is for boys out of the ten sale racks you see for girls. (oh, by the way, that is because there is no sale rack for boys, there is only a few sale items stuck in between the girl's).

Now you understand why I am so excited about these shoes. He walks wonderful in them, they are made well and they are stylish. They are made by ECCO. They are all leather & nubuck, soft, light weight, and very flexible. If you have ever owned a pair of ECCO'S you already know all this. I bought a pair that I wore every day on our European honeymoon which is why I didn't hesistate when the salesman recommended these for an early walker. I bought them at the Newport Bootery in Fashion Island (Newport Beach, CA). I know Nordstroms also carries them and other retailers. DS has the "Hide and Seek"Fisherman style but I am already tempted to get him another pair. I am leaning towards the "Jack Trailblazer" or maybe the "Raptor Dino" for summer. You will not be disappointed in these shoes. DS has worn these every day for over a month and they still look fantastic. Trust me, he has definitely put these shoes to the test.

(Author's Note: It might not be the best picture but I couldn't resist showing the sand sprouting out of DS's Ecco Hide and Seek Fisherman shoes).

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Life is as good as a box of (dark) chocolates

Did you know that the wonderful See's Candies now carries a box of all Dark Chocolates? I think this box has now passed my old favorite: the Nuts & Chews (which I still consider one of the best boxes of assortment chocolates). I thought this was a good time to remind you about the wonderful chocolates by See's Candies since we are coming upon Easter time.

My Mom always loves a great sale but when it came to our Easter baskets she never skimped on the Chocolates. Our baskets were always filled with WONDERFUL chocolate eggs and various chocolate bunnies from Sees (no grocery store bought chocolate for our kiddie baskets). I have kept this tradition going in my own family. (DH certainly made out last year since DS was much too young to eat his).

If you want the box of Dark Chocolates for Easter gifts (by the way, they make the perfect Host gift) you better get them fast. DH told me all the Valentine wrapped boxes of Dark Chocolates were gone prior to Valentine's Day. But lucky me, unlike his coworkers, he got me the plain white wrapped box of Dark Chocolates instead of the Valentine wrapped box of Assortment chocolates. I was thrilled.

Did you also know that Consumer Reports rates chocolates? See's Candy (even though considered to be a very small player in the chocolate industry) always gets mentioned as one of the best in the smaller brand category?!?! Gesh, what us Californians take for granted!?

Oh, almost forgot my great deal tip ... you can buy 1lb. certificates at discounted prices from Costco and redeem them for 1 lb. boxes at any See's Candy store (dark chocolate boxes included). They also ship to any where in the U.S. with gift cards included. I know this because my sweet sister TC sent our family a wonderful box for Valentine's Day this year (last year she sent us the other ever so popular & absolutely addicting Moose Munch from Harry and David.

(PS I choose the picture of Scotchmallows for my wonderful friend DM. Those are her favorite See's Candies)

Cat got your tongue?!

I have received comments (sepecial thanks to my most commenting friend kmonkey) and feedback from many of you, thank you! I have now changed my comment setting to allow anyone including non-registered bloggers to comment on my page. I would love to hear feedback, comments or even a quick Hello!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Shout Outs!

A great big Shout Out all the way to AZ to Miss KRW!!! Happy 1st Birthday sweetie!!! Hugs and Kisses from Cali to AZ!!! Have a wonderful day.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Who would have thought I would be so excited to go flat?!

Shame on you for thinking that! Just because I nursed DS for so long doesn't mean I am happy about those (really, who would be happy about that?!). I am talking about being 5'1" and happy about the new "flat" trend in shoes. Not only is this trend stylish, it can be so comfy too!

I finally found a pair at Macy's today that can take me from lunch with the girls at South Coast Plaza to a playdate at the park with DS. I have actually bought myself several pairs of this stylish flat shoe trend (& of course the ever so hip mettalic ones) but none that I felt comfortable wearing at the park (if you know what I mean, $$$)! But today, I found them! Woo Hoo! They are made by Keds. The good ol' affordable tennis shoe favorite. I bought the green ones ... the perfect green to pair with all the denim and pink I already own!!! They have a lower front so they are closer to the stylish "ballerina" style flat shoe but with a sporty slip-on tennis shoe look and super comfy. The Chatham style comes in a few colors and for the really fashion forward (like I can see my stylish dear friend LG wearing) try the "Nanette Lepore" animal print ones.

For all my college sorority sisters: Luckily these are slip ons so you won't be tempted to swap out the laces for gross-grain ribbons. :)

Where's Mommy's nose?

Darling Son (DS) is 6 inches from my face and I sing in a sing-song Mommy voice "Eyes, Ears, Mouth, Nose" while pointing to my body parts. I now look DS directly in the eyes and ask "Where is Mommy's nose." He lights up, laughs (I smile too since I know that smart little boy of mine knows the answer) and he lounges forward to grab my nose while accidently scratching my face along the way. I realize very quickly that this is no longer a fun (or safe) learning game to play. LOL

After wiping away the tears from realizing my baby is now a Toddler I reach for one of my new Toddler Workbooks I just ordered from I flip to the content page and look for "body parts". Bingo, now I have a new game and learning activity for DS that isn't too dangerous. The books is: The Complete Resource Book for Toddlers and Twos: Over 2000 Experiences and Ideas. It is organized by learning subjects and gives activities to enrich language skills, cognitive development, social & emotional development and physical development. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for new, educational and fun activities with their Toddler. I have enjoyed doing these activities with DS. Now if DS would only sit still. :)

Friday, March 02, 2007

"No Wonder" I thought coloring was so messy

We are getting ready to go to sleep at the W Hotel in Westwood, CA after having dinner at the Geisha House in Hollywood and my dear friend from college (DG-M) asks about DS's latest activities. (10 years ago we would have been talking at 3am about the hot guys we saw at the Club but since times have changed, we chat about our kids & hubby's after having a martini at The W Hotel Lounge). I tell her we have been playing with markers ... teaching him how to hold them and color with them. Having two girls that were once DS's age she quickly replies "Gosh, that must be so messy unless you are using Color Wonders.". I just as quickly reply, "What!!? This activity has definitely been messy."

The next day while she is searching the store across the street from Jerry's Famous Deli for a souvenier to bring back to AZ for her two beautiful girls she buys my DS Color Wonders (do I even have to say she is so generous and so sweet?!).

My tables, walls and most importantly his mouth and clothes have been saved. If you have a Toddler, these are a must. The color only shows up on their special paper. Leave it to Crayola to come up with these. They also carry fingerpaints.

And I just thought I was smart for buying the "washables". (By the way, the picture is pre-Color Wonders in case you were wondering!)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Bonus time .... Target here I come!

Prior to DH and DS being in my life, my Annual Bonus was a time for me to get in the car and head to South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. I would hit up all the designer stores and spend hours "trying on" purses and deciding which designer purse looked best on me. It was great fun but now most of those designer purses sit empty in the closet next to my DH's lonely tennis racket.

Like many SAHM's I now look forward to Annual Bonus time so .... I can splurge at Target!!! (Boy, have times changed). Yesterday and today I spent time (not hours and hours though because who has hours and hours when you have a Toddler?!) looking over the best plastic containers to organize toys, markers, cars, plastic bowls, wooden intruments and more.

I choose the Rubbermaid Revelations collection. I bought several sizes to fit the various objects I am trying to organize. The entire collection (every size) is on sale at Target this week. I love that they are clear so I can quickly see what is inside with out opening the lid. My DH thinks Rubbermaid makes the best quality for this type of storage product and since I couldn't find a specific rating for that category on Consumer Reports (those that know me I am sure are not surprised I checked there first, LOL) I agreed with him. Oh and I should mention - Consumer Reports does rate Rubbermaid "food storage containers" one of the best. If you are ready to get a jump start on your Spring cleaning/organizing head to Target before the sale is over!!!

I think DH will be happy that I choose to spend part of his Bonus at Target rather then South Coast Plaza, don't you agree?!?! :)