shower required

I giggled when I read this article about Elle MacPherson and her panache for dressing as the "ever always" super model to grab her kids from school.  Check her out!


While I did not splash out for a new ensemble or a new hair style, I did up my game a bit today.  A shower was required.  Well, at least for the first day of school.   I established a rule for myself that the first day warranted a little effort on my part.  Hey, I even put on a little mascara this morning.  That is probably the best I have got.  For the next 179 days you will find me in work out gear or sweats at drop off.  Heck, if I am being brutally honest- on dark, dreary days in the doldrums of January it might even be my pj's.  (That is when you say a little prayer that your car doesn't break down and you are stranded on the side of the road as everyone you know drives past!) 

Here is to a great school year and to never getting caught in your pjs!


I am intrigued....

Pinterest.   Maybe I am WAY behind the time and you all know about this? 

As described on the website:
"Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.
Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests."

It is a collection of virtual bulletin boards to which people post everything imaginable.  Categories include style, photography, DIY, weddings, and many others.  Not sure exactly how I would use it, but I came across a few images that caught my eye.

wardrobe ideas

crafty ideas

holiday decorating ideas

Check it out.  If you already use it, tell me all about it. 


throw back snack service

This is a post that many, many moms have asked me to write.  Now seems like the perfect time!

Sunday marks the beginning of a new era for us.  Our first soccer jamboree.  A real team, with a real jersey, and real games.  (Up to this point it has just been micro soccer with a scrimmage.)  This is also usually means the creation of the snack calendar.  You know what I am speaking of, right?  Each family chooses a game in which they will provide snack for the entire team (and usually siblings).  Just like the dreaded goodie bag (see my previous post the goodie bag dilemma), this has gotten out of control!

Gone are the days when a family provided orange slices and water for half time.  Oh, no.  The snacks are usually consumed after the game, so it can be pretty much anything.  Some mothers freak over the nutritional value and spend precious time trying to provide a kid friendly snack that is healthy.  Others totally cave to their little angels and buy cookies, cupcakes, or doughnuts.  Don't get me wrong.   I love a good cookie, but do our kids really need a reward for spending an hour playing a game with their friends? Or if you are more like me, you forget until 15 minutes before game time and have to stop at the store and grab the first thing that catches your eye. 

Once the calendar is created it is like an ominous cloud hanging overhead.  Is it our snack day?  With so many children with allergies (some very serious) you must make sure that everyone can safely eat your snack.  Do you also provide drinks with your snack?  How many siblings will be at the game?  Small children dissolve quickly into tears if they aren't also treated to a snack.  The hassle goes on and on.  It is hard enough to have a clean uniform and to get to the game on time.  Must we cause ourselves another headache?

I already know I am not the only one who feels this way.  BUT, who will be the one that says anything?  (Probably no one!)  Maybe I should suggest this season we follow the trend of many pro teams wearing a "throw back" jersey.  We should serve "throw back" snacks.  Oranges and water for all!  Not a totally elimination of snack, but a step in the right direction.


love that app

This is too fun.
As described in the App Store:
"Doodle Games is a collection of some of your favorite pencil and paper games, brought to life on the iPhone and iPod Touch."

Great for kids, but pretty sure adult will love to play too!  Plus, a $.99 app....can't beat that.


flip out!

Look no further.  I have the perfect, "it is really hot out here", summer drink.  The Flip

How to make it:

A glass
some ice

inexpensive red wine (this barefoot zin works great)

original citrus Fresca

slice of orange

Pour equal parts wine and Fresca over ice.  Serve immediately with a slice of orange.
Tastes very much like Sangria, but extremely low maintenance.   This drink is seriously good!  
Ahhhh, enjoy!


camp recap

It has been a fun-filled week.  Here is our recap:
  1. A trip to the Museum of Flight
  2. 3 bike rides (mom on running shoes) equaling 8 miles or so.
  3. 3 days of swim lessons
  4. 60 minutes of tutoring.  60 more minutes reading for fun.....(in my dreams!!)
  5. gift shop purchases totaling $5.40 at the museum
  6. a trip to the Adventure Playground  (unbelievably fun for all)
  7. one karate lesson
  8. 2 soft serve ice cream cones at McDonald's
  9. teeth cleaning
  10. pool time
  11. 2,000 points at Power Play=1 hour of fun on video games
  12. one snack attack!  vitamin water, apple juice, bag of chips

They paid for everything with their budget and they officially have money left for today.  Looks like a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo will be on the agenda in the morning.  The week ends with mom handing them over to a sitter at 5pm.  Man, that glass of wine is well deserved.  


oh, soy vay!

Who doesn't want an easy way to fake being an amazing cook?  Well maybe not everyone, but I am always looking for simple (preferably in a bottle) ingredients to make the food I make taste better. 

I have two words for you:  Soy Vay.

Soy Vay-Veri Veri Teriyaki could be the answer to every problem.  Well not literally, but it is the best marinade ever!  You can use it on almost anything.  Our favorites are flank steak, chicken breasts, and salmon.  I first had this sauce on Chilean Sea Bass over 14 years ago-back when you could buy that yummy fish.  The main ingredients being soy sauce, sugar, garlic and ginger.  Seriously, it makes everything taste better!  It is easy to find in almost every grocery store. 

If you are gluten free ( by choice or otherwise), you sadly you cannot use Soy Vay.  I recently found a marinade that has many of the same tastes.  Like everything gluten free, it is close to the real thing. I used it last night on salmon. It was delicious.
Happy grilling!  These sauces will make you look good.


coming soon.....

.....to Bellevue Square!  This makes me smile BIG.
Spotted this on the main floor of Bellevue Square as I was scurrying through last week!  Couldn't be more excited about it.  I have been less than pleased with the additions and deletions to the mall in the last year or so. Not sure who is shopping in most of those stores....maybe someone who lives in nearby Clyde Hill or Medina?  However, I will splurge at this shop once its doors are open!

Stripe attack!
Best known for their cotton stripes......

 but their solids are pretty darn cute too.

Oh, but the very best is when you can purchase a Splendid treasure at the Nordstrom Rack for a fraction of the price.  Check back regularly....you never know when they will pop up!

Check out the whole Splendid line at http://www.splendid.com/


camp mommy

oh, the dog days of August.  Although the days are not sweltering, the summer is, sadly, coming to an end.  With just over 2 weeks of break left, I find myself smack dab in the middle of Camp Mommy.  What is this exciting camp you ask?  Let me explain.

My kids have no, I repeat NO, planned activities this week. So, I have dubbed it Camp Mommy and the boys think it is the greatest thing.  They are completely in charge of our week.

Here are the rules:
  1. They have been given a budget for the week. 
  2. They may choose any local activity but every cost must come out of their budget.
  3. Any food or drink ( or treats!) purchased during the day must also come out their budget.
  4. There must be at least 1 hour of physical activity each day.  This could include bike riding, swimming, a hike.....anything that gets them moving and burns some calories.
  5. They have to read at least 20 minutes each day. 
With Day 1 under our belts, it is off to a great start.  I will recap our week on Friday.  How are all of you surviving the last unstructured days of summer?


we do love this city!

taken on one warm August night....

Some of us are wavering on the "unconditional" love for our city this summer, but we do love it all the same!  Came across this city guide by Sunset Magazine. 

One of favorite past times is to find new great restaurants! 

A few I already know:
Monsoon is totally yummy.  Eat in the bar and share some small plates over cocktails.
Licorous is right next door to the all-together delicious Lark.  Drinks at Licorous, dinner at Lark!
Steelhead Diner.  Am I the only one that thinks this place is a little overrated?

Salumi!  My husband has attended the 5-course private lunch.  It is served in the back of this well-renowned deli only on Wednesdays and, from what I am told, totally amazing.  Great for a special occasions.

Others were new to me:
I am thinking I really want to try Lunchbox Laboratory.  Who doesn't love a great burger?

Check out the other restaurant suggestions and the unique Seattle shops list:


mini van anyone?

I say, yes please!!  My friends are appalled. 

Would you like my top 5 reasons?

1.  Sliding doors.  Parking spaces are so darn tight that you can hardly get out. Throw a couple kids in the back that simply fling open the doors, and we are constantly causing massive door dings to all who are lucky enough to have me park next to them.  Sliding doors solve this problem. 

2.  Third row.  Yes, I know other vehicles have a third row, but mini-vans have been doing it right for a very long time.  Captain chairs in second row-bench in the third.  I occasionally need help from a friend in transporting my children.  I would like to return the favor. 

3. Vertically challenged.  As many of you know, I am short.  Very short.  The min-van is lower to the ground than any SUV-including the one I currently drive.  It would be nice to get in without having to heave myself into the driver's seat.

4.  They are just better than an SUV.  Sorry, but numbers don't lie.  Mini-vans have more passenger room and more cargo room.  Uhh...who wouldn't want to be more comfortable and haul more shit at the same time?  Don't believe me?

5.  Because I can rock it!  I say Respect the Van.  Why does what I drive determine my coolness factor?  I think that I am secure enough to not only drive, but rock a mini van! 


brush your teeth!

Looking for an easy way to inspire your kids to brush more (or at least without complaint!)?  I picked up two of these at Target the other day.  The My Way-Spin Brush by Arm and Hammer! My boys LOVE them.  The brush itself is plain white and comes with 141 water proof stickers for your child to apply-including letter stickers for their name.  The picture above is the "boy" version.  Everything from dinos, to sports, to vehicles. There is a separate set for the girls in your life.

For the mom that really doesn't do crafting at home because of the mess, this is perfect.  My 4 year old easily completed it by himself! That is a miracle unto itself.

Happy Brushing!


3 oz. rule

My first remote blog post, via the SeaTac airport wifi! Off for a super fun weekend with some of my best girlfriends! Napa-be warned.

As I packed last night, I had to make a crucial decision early in the process. Check or carry on? Of course I want to avoid the ridiculous baggage fee, but the 3 oz. limit for fluids is what gets me every time. All of my essential items in my bathroom bag are larger than the limit. I am never organized enough to have small travel containers to transfer my needed liquids. I am thinking women should be allowed a larger fluid limit We already have to pay so much more for bodily upkeep- it is like being penalized twice!


deliciously easy

In the spirit of June Cleaver, who prepared meals day after day for her family without complaint (or at least it wasn't in the script):

Hot days call for easy cooking.  Love. Love. Love me a meal prepared in my slow cooker.  Throw it all in the morning and enjoy in the evening without a fuss.  This is one of my favorites and it is a true crowd pleaser.  Just made it on Sunday for a family barbeque.

Pulled Pork

2-2.5 lbs pork tenderloin
1 medium sized onion (sweet onions are particularly good!)
Tom Douglas's Rub with Love, Pork Rub
1 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Barbeque, Original

  1. Dice onion and put in bottom of slow cooker
  2. Cut pork loin into 4-5 inch sections
  3. Use rub to coat both sides of pork sections. 
  4. Place each pork section into slow cooker.  Arrange so that none of the pieces overlap.
  5. Pour Sweet Baby Ray's sauce on top.
  6. Cook on high for 1 hour.
  7. Turn down to low and cook for another 6-7 hours.
  8. Remove pork and shred with two forks.  It should just fall apart
  9. Place pulled pork back in slow cooker and mix with onion and sauce
  10. Allow to cook on low for 30 minutes or until you are ready to serve
Serve on buns or rolls of your choosing.  Oh, it is so, so good!
Now, get outside and play!


tech tricks.

love it.  I held out for a very, very long time.  I literally get no cell coverage from AT&T at my house, so it made no sense to invest in a super fun toy and not be able to use it at my house.  Verizon came to the rescue.  I brought mine home in early spring and have not regretted it once.

I swear I learn to do something new everyday on this little thing.  One trick that many, many people ask about are how to take screen shots.   It lets you save images of anything you are looking at on your phone. Then you can post or send in an email or in a text message (MMS). I recently posted this screen shot on my facebook page.
How do you do it?
1. Have your screen on the image you want to save
2.  Hold the home and sleep buttons down at the same time.  You will hear your camera shutter click.
3.  The image is now saved in your Camera Roll.  Open Camera.
4.  Select Camera Roll and find your screen shot. Now you can send it via email or text using the bottom left arrow on the image screen.

Anyone else have any super fun tricks I might not know about yet?


not so cute.

It's good to be back!  My trip with the kids was out of this world fun!  Plan a trip to the Canadian Gulf Islands.  Incredibly gorgeous and the people are all together, too kind!  Now, on to my latest conundrum...

Raccoon eyes or wrinkles?
Now that the sun as made another appearance this summer, I battle with this question each day.  I was blessed with olive skin that in the winter looks a bit hollow and sickly, but in the summer tans very easily.  Should I wear my sunglasses and end up with raccoon eyes that are difficult to camouflage even with make up OR go sans eye wear, squint all day, and increase the depth of the large wrinkles right between my eyebrows?  I know that they say wrinkles are the sign of a life well lived and wisdom (or some other crap), but let's be honest.  No one wants them!

Truly, one of life's difficult questions!  
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