Archive | August, 2010

My newest obsession…

29 Aug

Recently, I had to do a closet overhaul. I went through all my clothes, kept some, packed away others and donated the rest. I was left with a fourth pile.. my blank slate. I had been reading other blogs about re-fashions. Taking old clothes, making alterations and coming up with new pieces to work into your existing wardrobe. Giving clothes a new life… what a fantastic idea!

I had a lot of long sleeve tees, turtle necks, etc.. I wasn’t completely in love with the items I had in this pile. I could do with out in case I had some epic disaster with the scissors. I got some inspiration from pictures and went to town! This is what I came up with…

I started with a stretch knit, short sleeve, turtle neck. I used another shirt to get the shape and size I wanted. I cut along the sides which cut down the size and took the sleeves off. I also went ahead and cut the neck to a “v” shape and continued the cut down the front to create the vest. After I got the desired result, I sewed the finished edges.

I tried it on and decided it was missing something. I had some lace that was the same color as the top and decided to add it to the vest. I went with an asymmetrical design to keep it a little more modern. I think that this is going to be great for fall. The soft cream color and lace trim will be perfect over black or brown.. even grey! I can’t wait to wear it out!

Salty Goodness

28 Aug

Today was a rare occasion when I was (a) home with the kids with nothing else to do and (b) doing the cooking. While I do bake fairly regularly, I really almost never cook. Since Daddy was headed for a boys’ night out I took the opportunity to try a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis’ book “Giada’s Kitchen: New Italian Favorites” that I’ve had my eye on for some time now.

Prosciutto Mozzarella Pinwheels

My 4-year-old and I made this together.  It was super easy and while he isn’t a particularly picky eater, he doesn’t often give out high praise either.  As he took his first few bites he said, “Oh My Gosh!  This is SO good!”  And he was right.  The prosciutto is salty and that paired with the gooey mozzarella makes for yummy comfort food.  I think I was initially reluctant to make this dish because I wasn’t certain where to find pizza dough.  Seems silly now since it was readily available at my local Henry’s Market in both french bread and whole wheat varieties.  Kids will particularly enjoy rolling out the dough and placing the cheese, prosciutto, and spinach on top.  It will take bigger hands to roll it into a log but once that is done you just have to brush on some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Super easy!

We served ours with store-bought lemonade that I poured into a carafe with frozen strawberries and refrigerated.  Easy squeezy strawberry lemonade. 


In this house a meal isn’t complete without dessert so we also whipped up some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies a la Betty Crocker. 

Mission complete!  But Shhhh!  Don’t tell my husband that I can make a decent meal, I’d hate to raise questions about my cleaning skills too!

“Green” Dinner Party

23 Aug

Some months ago, following a rough week, Caasi and I threw a “green” dinner party for my mom and a few friends and family in an effort to cheer her up. It was a huge success!

Decorations: I purchased several yards of unbleached muslin and hand painted it with hot pink chandeliers and blades of vibrant green grass. We used recycled spaghetti sauce jars as vases for brightly colored gerber daisies from our local farmer’s market. In conjunction with our “green” theme we used bamboo flatware and rocks (found, not purchased) as markers for labeling all the food and drink.

Favors: I decorated plain canvas totes with painted images of leaves. (I actually saw my mom this weekend and was pleased to see that she was still getting good use out of the canvas bag!)

Menu: Caasi and I made parmesan, basil and lemon wafers as well as bruschetta for apetizers. For the main course we had Bollito Misto, corn on the cob sprinkled with parmesan cheese, lemon risotto in lemon cups, spinach salad in a parmesan fico cup. We also served a mixed drink, Blissini, sparkling water and wine. For dessert we had angel food cake with espresso marscapone cream. All recipes were courtesy of Giada.

What to do with my empty room….

22 Aug

I have an empty space that I want to make into a craft/sewing room. I’d also like it to be kid friendly so that the little ones can paint, etc. It’s an odd size.. about 8′ x 17′. It has a few great features, like open pitched ceiling (with a loft space we created for extra storage), lots of windows and a stone and bottle wall.

I am trying to think of other ideas of how to create the perfect space. It will be a work in progress. I have paint and some furniture that will be used as well. What do you think I should do? Any thoughts? These are some pictures I found that I liked…

Ella’s Kitchen

19 Aug

ok, I am being a mom now. I love, LOVE, love ella’s kitchen. it’s baby food but they also have snacks and these little pouches of smoothies. so easy to throw into your bag and take for the kids. they don’t really have to be babies to like ‘the red one’ or the ‘yellow one’ smoothie because i like them too!

so, the story goes like this: ella’s dad, paul , believed with a passion that his daughter and all children of her generation should have healthy, fun food. with that belief he created ella’s kitchen and has over eleven great tasting products! the company has also teamed up with TerraCycle to upcycle the used pouches.

lucas’ picks: the red one, the yellow one, the green one, and the sweet potato, pumpkin, blueberry one. we’re going to try the italian one next.

Brand new bag…

18 Aug

I absolutley love searching for patterns on Etsy. I stumbled across the Pleated Shoulder Bag from Ali Foster Patterns.

I made this on a Saturday evening.. it took me about 4 hours. It would have taken less time if I wasn’t also entertaining my 10 month old… he loved watching the sewing machine go! I found this cute fabric from my local Joann’s. I added a ribbon detail.. I may change to something else next time.. or stick to the normal pattern. It’s a simple design, so I kind of like that I can give it a little twist.

I can’t wait to make more of this bag! It was so easy! I’m thinking these are going to make great gifts!

Don’t Put All Your Eggs…

17 Aug

in your basket yet!

National shell egg recall; the recalled eggs are packaged under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps. The eggs are packed in cartons of various sizes, including 6-egg cartons, dozen-egg cartons and 18-egg cartons.

A little girlie…

16 Aug

I want my daughter to be a girlie girl so bad. I am always drawn to pretty tutus in catalogs and stores, but they are so expensive! Imagine my excitement when I was watching Martha Stewart’s daytime show and it was a segment on tutus!

I went to my local fabric store…they had tulle for 25 cents a yard! I couldn’t believe it! I also bought ribbon and fake rose petals. Martha’s tutu was for Halloween with spiders inside..but I changed it so that they were more like they kind I had seen in stores. 

They were so easy to make and are so adorable! I made one for my daughter and one as a gift. My favorite thing is that it ties like an apron…so any girl can look like a princess anytime of the day without being dressed head to toe as Cinderella!

Cheese Cave

11 Aug

being from chino i have a thing for farms, cows, and dairy products. i don’t mind the smell of manure on a sunday morning either. it feels like home so naturally i have a weak spot for all things dairy: cold, cold whole milk, ice cream, chocolate, creams, yogurts, and CHEESE! i was so excited when i saw a cheese shop opening in claremont, ca. if you don’t know where claremont is, the small college town is nestled in the foothills near mt. baldy about 30 miles east of pasadena (home of the world famous rose bowl). it seemed for months there where was brown paper covering the windows with the cheese cave’s story.

well, lydia and marney have brought their passion and cheese home at the cheese cave. it is so inviting you just want to touch, eat, and buy one of everything, doesn’t matter what it is. i had an emmentaler + speck + moroccan mustard sandwich with a side of cornichons (your choice: corn- nuts or chons). i devoured that sucker before i even got to my car! the taragon mustard (which i think lydia, purple hair, made) was a perfect combination with the dandelion greens, ham, and the mildly sharp swiss. marney (pink hair) was super helpful and such a gracious host. they might know a lot of somethings about cheese. my new bff’s for sure and i will be back tomorrow to try another sandwich (or maybe i’ll try their salad) and pester them about their love for cheese.

they’re not open monday so thank goodness for tuesdays and every other day in the week!

Bag a Baguette

10 Aug

I was once a starving student in Paris.  I wasn’t literally starving, but in order to afford a legitimate dinner at a decent restaurant I really had to make my 60 euros per week stretch!  While I am sure my mother would not approve, I was able to manage this feat by purchasing a half a baguette every morning from the corner patisserie for just pocket change.  I kept my wrapped baguette in my purse and toted it around to all my classes, eating on the run.  Then, come dinner I was able to afford a balanced meal at a real French restaurant that my mother would be pleased with. 

If only I had this bag back then!  I found this bag while reading my Lucky Magazine.  It actually has a separate pocket for your baguette!  It’s eco-chic and a percentage of its sales go to the Ocean Conservancy to make up for all the damage that those nasty plastic bags do! 

Even if you aren’t a starving student living off baguettes you can take this bag with you to the grocery store and avoid crushing the bread for tonight’s dinner!

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