Wednesday, May 30, 2012

beauty box winner

Congratulations to Cecil from Minneapolis who wrote, "Thanks for the chance!!" She is the winner of the Beauty Box 5 Giveaway! 

Cecil, you will be receiving an email from me shortly. 

Everyone else, thanks for playing!!! There are more giveaways coming up in June so stay tuned!

Monday, May 28, 2012


Pre-cyst rupture, Mr. P. had a random day off of school, so we grabbed my mom and decided to explore LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

I knew he would not be one to peruse exhibits hours on end because he tends to move through life quickly (unless playing chess). In order to help get him excited for the trip, I decided to investigate the art at the museum, pick a few that I thought would resonate with him and make a little art scavenger hunt for him. 

But first, he spent some time (and I mean a lot of time) with this hands-on dangling plastic yellow thread installation:

Then we went to see Chris Burden's Metropolis - a kinetic rendering of a city including trains and cars that move during certain times throughout the day. We got there just before the switch was flipped so it was fun to see the piece some to life! You can hear him yelling "There! That silver one! It's coming out!"

After a snack and maybe some whining, it was time for the scavenger hunt. He got really into this and the pieces of art he was looking for were just so much more meaningful since he got to study them at home first. 

We found this Picasso (he liked that it was mostly blue like his shirt and I wondered how Steve Buscemi made his way into a Picasso painting?)

And this one titled The Centaur (also by Picasso) - although after a few times around, something about it spooked him and he avoided that gallery for the rest of our visit. 

Magritte's "This is Not A Pipe". We talked about the concept and he totally got it and decided he wanted to do his own versions...such as a drawing of  a light saber and write, "This is not a light saber."

It was a fun trip (we were there just over two hours) and it's getting me excited for summer break!!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

back to baking

Well, I'm still in bed, however, I managed to make it downstairs twice. Once, to peruse the garden (I heard a rumor that the first of the squash blossoms had arrived.) In addition to about 15 glorious blossoms, there was also a small Japanese eggplant peeking through the leaves and a purple pepper! It felt so good to be outside and breath in some fresh air. 

My second adventure downstairs was making this Blueberry Dutch Pancake. You can find the recipe here! It would be fun to experiment and use different berries and citrus rinds. 

The June issue of Martha Stewart Living arrived yesterday and after seeing this recipe, I had to try it. I wasn't sure I'd have enough energy but my husband measured out all the ingredients for me and placed them on the counter, so all I had to do was mix it all together and bake it. The kids came out with me to forage for fresh blueberries. 

I love the way this looks, baked in the skillet! An easy and delicious brunch item. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

my tummy hurts

Well, I tried to power through, but the three recent trips to the ER culminated in a two-night hospital stay. 

My official diagnosis....that nasty ruptured ovarian cyst left me super sick and super sore!!!

But I am so happy to be home. Taking it easy in bed. Actually, I'm going a little nuts doing nothing all day. 

I'd be lying if I said I didn't document the last week, but I think for vanity's sake, I'll just share the following two photos with you...prepare to laugh. 

The first is a photo of me after a shot of the pain killer dilaudid (a narcotic apparently akin to heroin.) 

As you can see I was shocked at how droopy my eyes were and I convinced myself that i could take a wide-eyed photo and no one would ever know I was on drugs. 

What do you think? Did I pull it off?? This crazy-looking blogger is signing off.....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

1st tooth gone!

Mr. P. recently lost his first tooth! Quite an exciting milestone around here. Of course he lost it while sleeping at my parents' house (and I mean literally "lost" it as in either it went down the drain or he swallowed it.)

And even though his inquiring mind was interested in combing through his next poop to find it, we decided to let that one rest. 

I still got to use the tooth pillow I made him! 

(by the way, apparently the tooth fairy that lives at my parents' place is MUCH more generous that our tooth fairy.)

Tutorial Here

Monday, May 21, 2012

beauty box giveaway!

I was recently approached by the people at Beauty Box 5 asking if I'd be interested in reviewing their product as well as hosting a giveaway. 

For $12 a month (or $30 for three months) you can subscribe and receive 5 sample beauty products in the mail. Products range from makeup, skin care, hair care and perfume. The idea is you may be surprised by something you love or discover something new that will prompt you to then purchase the product.  

Craving a little surprise in the mail, of course, I said yes!

A few days later I received my turquoise box!

Products in my box included:

Pssssst! Instant dry shampoo: this stuff is kind of crazy cool! And would be perfect for a camping excursion where you don't have easy shampoo access. 

Skyn Angelica Line Smoother: I don't usually buy products that claim to reduce or remove any sort of lines or wrinkles, but that doesn't mean I won't try them when they arrive in the mail! 

Supergoop! Face & Body Lotion SPF 30: I am a big fan of the Supergoop sunscreen line. I love their sunscreen wipes, so this was a nice addition!

BECCA eye tint in Baroque: I'm not a big makeup person, but it was fun to try this on. Not quite my color, but if I used the BECCA product again, I'd simply choose another shade. 

Lavera Mango Milk Care Treatment: I had never heard of this product, but it smelled excellent and made my hair soft. 

If you're the type who gets excited at the prospect of roaming around departments stores accruing free samples, then Beauty Box 5 is something you should invest in. If you'd like to become a subscriber, you can sign up here. 

Beauty Box 5 has generously offered to giveaway their May box to one of my readers. All you have to do is leave a message at the end of this post AND become a follower of this blog. This giveaway will close on May 28th and a winner will be announced on May 29th.

While I won't ruin the surprise by telling you everything in your box, I will say, your box will include both Tree Hut Certified Organic Shea Body Butter, Hawaiin Kukui Scent, 2 oz and Comodynes Convenient Cosmetics Self-Tanning Towelette in addition to 3 other products. 

This contest is open to U.S. mailing addresses only. Please enter only one time per person.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

little distractions and a winner!

I realize I had planned to post the winner of the 250 stickers yesterday....however, I was thwarted by a devious little ovarian cyst that decided to cause me all sorts of trouble yesterday. So instead of posting a winner, I was getting poked at prodded at my local ER. 

All is fine now but Hawaii Week might need to be extended by a day or two!

So, the winner of the 250 sticker giveaway is: pontowd

who said, "great giveaway.. i am now an email follower.. looks fun"

I will be emailing you shortly!! Everyone else, thanks for playing! And guess what, there will be another great giveaway starting on Monday!

Happy, healthy cysts to all.......

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

vacation food

Is it odd that I come home from vacation with as many photos of the food I ate as I have photos of my kids? 

You know the term food pornography? Well, that's what I feel like all these photos are. 

The saddest part is I took so many photos of all the fish I ate.....where did they all go? you have those photos? Well, if I find them, I'll update this page. 

For now, feast your eyes on the above (okay, fruit loops are by no means a Hawaiian delicacy, but Mr. P. was beside himself when he discovered them at a breakfast buffet.

And these pictured below?

Lemon souffle pancakes. 
To die for. 

The first time I saw them on the menu, I ordered them, but I was told they would take 20 minutes and the kids were being unruly, so I cancelled the order. I couldn't stop thinking about them for days and dragged my family back to the same restaurant. I was met with a lot of "not this place again!" Armed with toys and writing utensils for the kids I ordered them again and not-so-patiently waited. 

So worth the wait! I will try and recreate them at some point and post the recipe here. They were so light and fluffy!

To see my favorite Hawaiian food spot, the local farmer's market, click here

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

pog tutorial

Pog is the quintessential Hawaiian drink (well, at least the kid-friendly island drink). It's the first thing my kids want to drink when our plane lands. 

Here's what it looks like in Hawaii....

The acronym stand for P: passion fruit, O: orange juice and G: guava

So as to avoid pog withdrawal on the way home - I came up with this recreation. 

orange juice
passion fruit juice
guava juice

Simply mix 1 cup of orange juice with 1 cup of passion fruit juice with 2 cups of guava juice (you definitely want it to taste more like guava juice than orange juice for some real Hawaiian flavors.)

The juice is also great as a frozen popsicle!!!

See you tomorrow for more Hawaii Week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

hawaii week

Welcome to Hawaii week with tutorials and posts all about my favorite place in the world!!!

About two months ago, we took the kids to Kauai. This small island holds a special place in our hearts as it's our third year in a row going there and it now feels very much like visiting an old friend.  (a 6 million year old friend!)

I love how connected the kids feel to the island (there were copious amounts of tears on the way to the airport to return home). 

And when we're there, the kids look like this most of the day, which cracks us up! He looks like some sort of exotic sea monster. 

Kauai is the oldest of the main Hawaiian islands (as in 6 million years old) and the most unadulterated. Its pristine landscape has been used in many films including Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean to name a few. 

We always stay in Poi’pu, which is on the south side of the island as it houses a multitude of kid friendly beaches and lagoons. But this year we ventured north to Princeville to visit friends and I have to say, it was spectacular! Cliffside beaches and gorgeous mountains! 

Here's just a few snapshots from our trip....the landscape, flora, brothers, lagoon and swarthy husband......

As you might recall, last year's Hawaiian debacle where my husband has his appendix out on our first day of vacation. This year was much less eventful (thank god!) and we spent most of our time in the water. 

Here's a lovely photo of the flat frog that met its fate in our driveway. (FYI we did not kill it - it was there when we checked in and looked like it had been there for weeks.) The boys examined it every day....kind of like a pressed flower, but in frog form. Okay, kinda gross, but also oddly fascinating?

No more dead animals. I promise. Hawaii week, 2012.....there will be food and pog and sari's and more! For now....aloha! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

giveaway: 250 custom stickers from PrintRunner!

It’s time for another giveaway, don’t you think?

And the people over at PrintRunner have a little something fun in store for you!

PrintRunner offers a host on online printing services including sticker printing. Today, they are offering one of my readers 250 custom made stickers! Here are the details:

Shape: standard
Flat width: 2”
Flat height: 3.5”
Paper: Premium Sticker Stock
Colors: Full color (4 color process), black and  white

The winner’s stickers will be ready to ship in 3 days (and I get a set as well to try out!)

If you were brainstorming ways in which to beautify your Etsy store or business, this prize is for you!

To enter: please leave a comment on this blog post AND follow my blog! Giveaway closes on May 17th at 11:59 pm et. A winner will be announced on my blog on May 18th. This contest is open to people with U.S. mailing addresses.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

crochet your shoes

How cute are these shoes from the sak

I don't crochet, but if I did I'd make myself a pair in orange. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinco de mayo Black bean soup

I was supposed to post this yesterday in honor of Cinco de Mayo, however, too much frivolity got in the way....

Black Bean Soup:

I like this soup as a light dinner.

2 cans of black beans 
1/2 red onion 
1 crushed garlic clove 
2 cups chocked or veggie broth 
Fresh cilantro 
1 tablespoon Olive oil 
Shredded cheese 
Plain yogurt 
Tortilla chips 

Place oil in a pot. Add chopped onion and garlic. Sautée for a few minutes. Add cans of black beans, straining liquid first. Add broth. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Spoon the soup into soup bowl and squeeze 1/2 lime into each. Top with a dollop of plain yogurt (or sour cream) And shredded cheese. This soup was created with my kids in mind, but if you prefer things spicy, add cayenne pepper or a poblano pepper while cooking. You can even get really crazy and substitute beer for the broth. 

Serve with tortilla chips on the side. It's a dense soup - great for dipping tortillas into!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

how does my garden grow?

Judging by today's drippy, droopy, dismal weather, you'd never guess summer was around the corner. 

But that didn't stop my boxed gardens from getting a facelift. Over the weekend it was time to replant and turn soil. 

Here's an overview of the new garden box!

Up close, that's Japanese eggplant, squash, cucumbers and patty pan squash. 

This will one day be purple peppers!


Our front there's tomatoes and basil (regular and this Thai variety). And hard to believe that this little sprout will turn into a sunflower!


Here's more basil, peppers and kale. Notice the marigolds? Not only are they a sweet flower, but they're also a natural pest deterrent. Next, I kept the swiss chard from winter. It didn't grow at all. But it didn't die either -which gives me hope that with some new soil, it will thrive. I also left the chamomile that has taken over this barrel.

 And, as you can see, the blueberries are ripe for the picking. Mr. P. decimates that bush every day when he comes home from school. It is safe to say that there is 0% chance of me trying this year's blueberry crop...unless I sneak out right now...gotta run! Have a great day! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Snap pea and cucumber salad

This is a fresh and simple salad to get you in the mood for summer. It goes great with fish or tofu. 

Sugar snap peas, ends trimmed and cut   lengthwise
2 Persian cucumbers: peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 tablespoon crushed fresh ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. It's that simple!