Saturday, March 21, 2009

oh my husband

I woke up from a nap this very moment, came to my computer, and my knowing, dear husband had left me a note on the screen that said "refresh your blog."

He surprised me with this lovely new banner to celebrate the first day of spring! I am such a lucky, lucky girl. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vintage toys

I love the vintage toys that have come into my life since becoming a mother. They are so colorful and wholesome and lack the craptasticness of so many modern, plastic toys. Here are just a couple of my favorites.

I totally had this puzzle when I was a little girl. My brother (in the background of the picture) remembers it as his favorite, too. I picked this one up for 99 cents at Goodwill.

Thanks to Milton-Bradley, Addison can now name every state and knows where it goes too. He even takes bites out of square crackers and holds them up and says, "Hey, Idaho!" Priceless.

useful hands

This next one really did belong to me as a child. I adore it, and basically had to beg my mom for it before she gave it to me as a Christmas present a couple of years ago. Each car has its name under the puzzle piece, and includes a Fiat, Motor-Truck, Mini-Cooper, Daf, Porsche, Austin, and other loveable vintage cars. I feel so lucky that its mine!

the best puzzle

Renault 16

These are a few vintage Sesame Street Flash cards that I found in the garbage bin at my workplace. I'm happy I saved them, they are just too cute, even if they are a bit jumbled and mismatched.
70s vintage Sesame flash cards

More to come....

What are your favorite vintage toys?

Spring Soba Noodle Salad

This winter, I think I beat my all time record for how many pots of soup I made. It sounded good nearly every night-- all that warm, cozy goodness with some crusty bread and a salad.

But with spring peeking its head around the corner, just one week from now, I was ready for something different. I still wanted the hearty goodness and the veggies and the flavor, and in a one-dish meal...and I found it.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce
cold soba noodle salad with peanut sauce

This was so very very satisfying, and even satisfied my toddler since he was able to add all his own ingredients one by one.

Now let me just say, this is no ordinary peanut sauce. I have tried a number of recipes trying to find what I craved when my mouth and stomach would both yell "PEANUT SAUCE!". I was always disappointed when they turned out too watery, too spicy, too tart, when all I wanted was something rich and slightly sweet, gooey and delicious. I'd had it at restaurants, but could never seem to make it at home. I'm happy to announce that the search is over!!!

Here are the recipes for the Peanut Sauce, and the Soba Noodle Salad, which would also make a great dish for a potluck or barbecue (I am totally jonesing for summer!)

Peanut Sauce:
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (I used the fresh ground kind, but any would work)
1 1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated (I use the bottled stuff from Trader Joe')
4 garlic cloves, minced (again, bottled from TJ's)

Mix it all up and simmer until thickness resembles heavy cream.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce
(recipe adapted from here)

Cook 12 oz. of soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.

Cook 1 lb of cubed firm tofu (or chicken or other protein) in 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil until golden.

Put an assortment of vegetables (julienned red bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, or snow peas, scallions, etc) each in their own bowl.

Chop some honey roasted peanuts (or dry roasted) and place in its own bowl.

Get your bowl and heap with noodles, tofu, veggies, chopped peanuts and peanut sauce! Yum.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

late sensing

Oops. I totally said I would do Five Senses Friday with Abby and the rest of the gang, and I totally forgot! I can't say I'm altogether sorry because my forgetting was the result of one of the best days I've had in a long time (take that, Friday the 13th!). Lots of laid-back parenting, fun, sunshine, and being silly together.

But, I don't want to miss out entirely, so how about Saturday Senses for me?

- Mellow-sweet, juicy and plump cantaloupe.
- Herbed, succulent rotisserie chicken

- Moby lazing about on my grandmother's rocking chair
cat nap
- Gerbera daisies still looking beautiful on Day 8
Gerbera daisy

- Warm sunlight on and the soft cush of sitting in my new living room chair (a birthday present to myself)
new chair
- little one-inch size baby feet pressing on me from within

- My whole house fragrant with homemade chicken stock simmering on the stove
homemade chicken stock

- Children's songs over the speakers at Airplay Cafe this morning
- The household silence of a sleeping toddler and a husband out running errands

All of that is just too good not to share. Thanks for letting me play a little late. ;)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

She's so real

I dreamt about my baby girl last night. The vision of her was so clear, so real. She had a head of short dark hair and clear, light hazel eyes. She looked a little like me as a baby. But prettier...

She brings me so much joy already, even when she's kicking my insides in uncomfortable places. It just makes me giggle. I think this is how motherhood is supposed to feel.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

into spring

waiting to grow

Addison and I planted sunflower seeds in these empty eggshells on Friday and are watching them daily to see when they will reveal their green little sprouts to us!

Oh spring, you are full of new beginnings and opportunities!

Monday, March 9, 2009

treats for the day

I'm 29!

I managed to successfully complete the majority of the things on my list, while others will have to roll forward to a new list, which I'll post soon. :) And that's okay, because that's just how I roll these days.

Until then, here are some little treats from my birthday weekend:

I toasted my own coconut and made some delish cupcakes!
toasted coconut

ready to frost

carrot cupcakes

As you can probably imagine, they've all been devoured by now...



And I was lucky enough to have a cute, fun birthday party with my favorite people. Here was my favorite part of the night:

twisted birthday party

You know you have good friends when the party lasts til 3am, even on a night when we lose an hour.

And now, I'm off to have a birthday lunch with my hubby and do some shopping! :)

Friday, March 6, 2009



Ben took me to see Blind Pilot last night for an early birthday present. I've been totally smitten with this effortlessly talented band, and they did not disappoint. (catch em on the Carson Daly show from a few nights ago here.)

We were at a small venue called Mississipi Studios that only holds about 80 people (and I was pleased they didn't oversell it because it wasn't crowded), and we were able to get right up to the front with no problem (a necessity when you're a short one like me).

The only disappointment was when I realized my camera was in the car with the purse and coat I'd left to lighten my load. So no pictures... but my girlfriend, helped make up for the lost pictures by stealing the setlist off the stage and getting all the band members to sign it!!!
(Thanks Anne!)

We went to the early show and were home by 9:30 and got to bed on time. What a fantastic evening!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I want to make my own butter

Nicole over at the habit of being posted this lovely how-to a couple weeks ago.

I think this would be a great weekend project for us to do with our 3 year old. I can already imagine the giggles coming out of him as mom and dad take turns shake shake shaking the jar for 20 minutes, and him getting excited and asking for a turn to shake it too. :)

Plus, it would be great to follow it up with some biscuit-makin' (Ben's favorite pastime) with the buttermilk, and topped with the fresh butter. I might even want to mix some herbs in there. Oh yum!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

being real

A theme seems to have crossed my path this week, and it has really spoken to me. Call it authenticity, or simply being real.

I first came across it here, where Molly is brave enough to show us the sometimes messy reality behind the pretty but staged photography shots many of us take. I love photography, and I love beautiful things, but sometimes its just nice to see the imperfections and "the wizard behind the curtain." It makes me feel more human in my own imperfections.

Then I came across all these beautiful Flickr-folk posting real pictures of themselves, un-made-up or primped or anything. Refreshing (and you ladies are gorgeous all the time, anyway).

Next, I came across this beautiful passage (you can even download a pretty print of it here) that describes the way I really do try to live my life on a daily basis, with varying degrees of success. I feel that, unless we are being our true selves, things get tangled up and our communications and interactions with one another get real sticky real fast.

But sometimes this whole blogging thing starts to make me act funny. I get caught up in my perfectionistic little self and want to post the best photos, and stories of the days when I have it all (or mostly) together, and you know, put my best self out there. But then I start to feel funny. It sucks the joy right out of having this little blog. It's too much pressure. And my blog has been a little empty lately because of it.

Lastly, I watched this video on (which by the way has some amazing ideas and perspectives to share from really smart and accomplished people) on the idea of "glamour" and what it is: idealized versions of the real thing, whether its a movie star (Nicole Kidman doesn't wake up glamourous...there's a lot of primping that goes into making her look red carpet beautiful!), or a magazine photograph (look, no clutter! no cords!), or food (no drips, no weird looking stuff).

There's nothing wrong with a little glamour. I love blogs and magazines of picturesque apartments, clothes, food, etc. But as for producing that calibre of stuff myself all the time? Well, its just too much to ask of me when I'm a pregnant mom and wife who works nearly full time. So, I'm letting go of the ideal of glamour and the ideals, and I'm going to try and make this a place where I can just be real.

Ahhhhh. That feels better.

Oh...and to top it all off, here's a picture of me un-made up (and my husband), albeit its from a year ago. Whatevs.
going on seven years...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

uber funny

I grew up Mormon. I'm no longer a member, and haven't been practicing for years and years, but this is seriously funny. Whether you grew up Mormon or not.