Thursday, February 24, 2011

happy.



[styling & photo by Camden]

[can you guess what's going on here?]

*****

Congratulations, Becca!

HAPPY TALK is yours!

Thanks to all who entered the Shabby Apple dress giveaway.
Don't forget to take advantage of the 10% discount!
[coupon code: cookiemondays10off]

Have a happy day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

six months!

Happy half-birthday, Baby Boy!
Where does the time go?
xoxo

Monday, February 21, 2011

best banana muffins

These simple muffins make the perfect breakfast treat!

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup sour cream or organic low-fat yogurt
2 small ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tin.

1. Beat butter and sugar until light & fluffy. Mix in eggs (one at a time), vanilla, and syrup. Scrape down bowl.

2. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into wet ingredients. Mix on low until just incorporated. Scrape down bowl.

3. Add sour cream (or yogurt) and banana. Mix and scrape.

4. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. Bake for 24-25 minutes.


Watch little hands have at 'em!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway

Have you heard of the fabulous
Shabby Apple?
Of course you have.

Shabby Apple is one of the cutest vintage inspired online
boutiques out there, offering stylish women's dresses
(including maternity) and little girls dresses.

Their collections are timeless.
It is impossible to pick a favorite!

{Penelope and Odysseus}

{Jardin}

{Mt. Greylock}

Shabby Apple is also commited to the fight against global poverty. Through their charitable work with women throughout Asia and Africa, they are able to convert dress sales into lifestyle changes for women and children. Love that!

{Happy Talk}

Shabby Apple is generously offering my readers the chance to win 'Happy Talk'- which is brand new this Spring- part of the South Pacific collection! Two sunny, spiraling rosettes adorn the bodice, while the simple, elastic-drawn waist gives a perfect fit to every shape. Falling just below the knee, the straight skirt has a retro feel. Oh, how I love summery yellow dresses!

In addition, they are offering Cookie Mondays readers a 10% discount on all their other great stuff!
{coupon code: cookiemondays10off}
You have no excuse not to go shopping immediately.

***comments are now closed! thank you!***

You'll have up to four chances to enter the 'Happy Talk' giveaway:

1. Comment, telling me your favorite Shappy Apple dress. It's gonna be hard.
2. Go 'like' Shabby Apple on Facebook, then leave another comment.
3. Go 'like' Cookie Mondays on Facebook, then comment again.
4. Share the love. Blog, tweet, or FB about this giveaway, then leave one more comment!

Comments will be open through next Wednesday 2/23, and a winner will be chosen at random and announced on Thursday 2/24. Winner will have one week to claim their prize!

Open to U.S. residents only.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I love this guy.

With several small children in the house, our environment is rarely conducive to one-on-one quality Mommy & Daddy time. So when a day like Valentine's rolls around, we do our best.

I made Kevin my version of the first Valentines dinner out that we shared- even though I knew he wouldn't make the connection. He brought home my favorite bottle of chardonnay- even though he knew I'd take about three sips.

Chloe was kind enough to take the little kids upstairs, so we could engage in some serious adult conversation over dinner for once. We covered the day's happenings on Facebook, rose ceremony predictions, and whether or not we should go tanning prior to our San Diego trip next month (his idea). I think it took a total of two minutes before they were all circling the table again.

Dishes. Laundry. Baths...

Fast-forward to bedtime and we (I) dive into the Trader Joe's ice cream sandwiches, then both pass out on the couch during House.

Another romantic Valentine's evening at home... good thing I had the world's best husband to share it with. I wouldn't have it any other way.

(Kevin on the walk to the Farmer's Market last weekend...
Walk in a straight line? Ridiculous. Hard core Parkour? Of course.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cookie Monday

{happy heart day to me.}

Saturday, February 12, 2011

pie testing

The Northern California weather has been incredible.
We love farmers market Saturdays, especially when it's this nice out!

I can't wait for summer produce.

After years of walking past the amazing aroma of the rotisserie truck, we finally bought an organic free-range roasted chicken and rosemary potatoes last weekend.

To die for! Our new Saturday afternoon tradition is a chicken, potatoes, a loaf of fresh Santa Cruz bread, and whichever veggies look yummy. Sandwiches couldn't get any better.

And to top it all off, pie.

As I've mentioned, Amanda & Bobby's wedding will be very homemade, right down to dessert. We will be hand baking around 50 pies (ten or so varieties). And so, between now and August, we will be testing pies!

Last night I made Lucinda Scala Quinn's Old-Fashioned Apple Pie, using her cream cheese crust. I think it's a really good recipe. It's very tart and not overly spicy, which should be a great contrast to some of the sweeter pies. The crust is light and flaky, not mushy. I'm more of an apple crisp girl, unless the crust is really good.

Can you help us out? We are on the hunt for the best pie recipes to try. What are your tried and true favorites?

Friday, February 11, 2011

valentine(ish): heart-free.

How to trick your too-cool 'big' kids into dressing festively at their Valentines class parties:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

smooth as a baby's...

Cole is the first {and final!} baby I've gone the cloth route with. One thing I LOVE is the cloth wiping. Based on cost and eco-friendliness alone, I'd never go back to solely using disposable wipes. But truly the greatest advantage for me is the beautiful baby bottom left behind.

We went through a period of serious diaper rash his whole first month, while I was using organic cotton balls and plain water. So I started experimenting with different combos of natural ingredients to find a good homemade cloth wipe solution, and this is the one that finally made a world of difference. Literally within a few diaper changes any sign of a rash was completely gone, and has never been an issue since! Obviously every baby's skin reacts differently, but I just love this!

One batch lasts me about 2-3 days.

Mix:
1 cup distilled water
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon tea tree oil

Pour into some sort of squeeze bottle (like the one from the hospital), and squirt directly onto the skin, or onto the cloth wipes.

Tea tree oil- a natural antibacterial- is amazing and I could do an entire post on it, alone.

As for the cloth wipes, I made 25 or so before he was born, which for me is enough to last the two days between washes. They are about 7" square and double-sided: organic bamboo knit, and organic french terry. I do keep Seventh Generation disposables on hand for really messy jobs and for travelling. I find them to be the most sensitive commercial baby wipes available.

But even if cloth isn't your thing, consider trying a vinegar/tea tree solution for diaper rash as an alternative to your typical zinc oxide cream!

Happy wiping!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

share the love!

Camden's first sharing day at school.

I spent a little time cleaning up my neglected sidebar.

<-------------------------------------------

Still a work in progress, but it was waaaay overdue. The header is next on my list!

When I started blogging I was always eager to link up to all the cool blogs I was slowly discovering, over in the sidebar... but what to do when you get to following a bazillion of great blogs?! You feel guilty for not having all bazillion buttons up!

I love the idea {like many other bloggers have had} of instead linking up to favorite posts, tutorials, ideas, recipes, products... So my new 'Share the Love' section will be chock-full of good stuff and ever growing. Keep your eyes peeled!

I hope you are inspired.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

rescued

I spotted this gem on the back of my neighbor's truck yesterday, just before a dump run. Yet another treasure for our graveyard garage.

This summer I get to be in not one, but two friends' weddings- Tegan's in September and sister-in-law-to-be Amanda's in August. So my brain is spinning in planning mode pretty much constantly.

Amanda and Bobby (Kevin's brother) are going rustic antiquey/casually elegant/fun backyard barbeque style. Colors are creamy white, "paper bag" brown, and barn red... lots of burlap, wooden elements, old Coke crates, and homey handmade touches everywhere.

I'm not sure how yet, but I know this old hutch will make a fabulous addition somewhere. For starters, I'm thinking a few coats of paint... knocking out those door panels and inserting chicken wire... finding funky old hardware. Maybe even adding fabric covered panels to the back.

Any grand ideas??

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cookie Monday

We greeted our new neighbors with a jar of chocolate chip cookies today. Baking half-tablespoon sized balls of dough makes small enough cookies to fit inside wide-mouthed mason jars.

This was also sort of a practice run for a part of Camden's 4th birthday party next month. Yep, you guessed it! A little girls' cookies & milk party is in the works.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

what not.

Have you heard of fan kiwis?

Yeah, me either. But when I asked the lady at the farmer's market (and I quote): "What is up with your kiwis?!" She insisted they were a special variety. They were organic... they were 75 cents each... so why not? I do find it slightly sketchy that I can't find a thing about them online. Hmmm.


Superbowl Sunday...

Somehow Heather and I left all the kids home with Kevin and Tony while we shopped, then crafted. (Crafted?) We also managed to rack up a $75 take-out bill... for just pizza. Oh, and we promised the guys that recording the game while they picked up the pizza would be fine. How were we to possibly predict the DVR was too full, and the final two minutes would be cut off?


I thought my (new) vintage doilies were antique white.

Turns out they were full of antique filth. Ashley told me I'd be surprised at the color change after a good OxiClean soak. She wasn't lying.

Oh, the sunshine? It was in the 70's today. Sorry, snowed-in people!


Guess who can sit up?!

Just long enough to realize he needs to get those toes back in his mouth ASAP. Yes, I am aware they look more like fingers.


Happy birthday, Holly!

My favorite Christmas gift this year was from my Secret Santa, my sister Holly. First off, how could you not get excited by an Anthro box? But I never imagined it'd be this cool frame with a photo of when we were probably two and four. I love it. And I can actually remember wearing those PJs! Thanks for the awesome haircuts, Mom!



[happy sunday!]

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Manipulation

Then Sarai said to Abram: "This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she's pregnant she treats me with contempt..."
Genesis 16:5

How often do we manipulate and concern ourselves with the business of others, then pass the blame for the whole mess?
Something to think about...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

friends.

Could this room get any happier? Nope.