25 September 2011

a few favorites, right now

:: A Friday morning drive to our favorite coastal spot. Maybe we always go on the cold days, but having a whole beautiful, dramatic, pebble-y beach to ourselves can't be beat.

:: A story of an unfolding (hopefully) adoption process that makes me tear up every time Alicia posts about it. Maybe it's her breathtaking pictures from a very important train trip, too.

:: Collecting crafty tutorials on Pinterest. I think this might be my favorite use of my favorite webaddiction.

:: Fall ankle booties. Especially shoes that 1) I really like (and look good with skinny fall pants); and 2) find their way into my basket while shopping for little boy underwear at Target. True, they're not Missoni, but I love um. Very comfy too.

:: Miso, this way: Gwynneth Paltrow's salad dressing from her cookbook. I think I mentioned it before, but it's like crack on lettuce. Or anything else you can dip in it.

:: Miso, that way: A crazy, nutty sandwich from Feeding the Whole Family, by Cynthia Lair. --> Layer a sandwich like this: bread | thin layer of white miso | thinly sliced apple | white cheddar cheese | another apple layer | more miso | bread. I thought it was a joke the first time I read it, but then I couldn't stop wondering about it... and it really works! So good! Jacky loves it too, did I mention? It's a pretty kid friendly sammy.

:: Knitting. As in, why don't I know how to do it?! I mean, when I could be making this owl that made me shriek at my screen? Come on. Someone teach me.

:: Kristina's salad. Kale, hazelnuts, tomatoes, yogurt dressing... oh my. Anyone made it yet? I must, I must, this week.

:: Homemade bread + homemade cultured butter. All I need sometimes.

:: A husband who spends his weekends covered in sawdust, in the garage with power tools, all in the name of making me a big-ass rustic table for the backyard. (I think he might be having fun, though.)

:: A simple morning: jammies till noon, play-doh, Elizabeth Mitchell.

22 September 2011

on cloud nine at D*S!

OK, so very soon, I'll be taking all this shop talk to another venue... but! Today I'm just too excited. Bear with me... and check it out on Design*Sponge (eeeeep!):

I'm fairly freaking out and so appreciative (again) for your encouragement, friends. xoxo

20 September 2011

the big boy bed

...is here. And we have a very, very proud little guy in the house. He has, in his opinion, arrived. Big time in the big boy bed!

And isn't the bed the cutest. It's a convertible number from Casa Kids (that sadly isn't made anymore--boo!) that goes from crib to toddler bed (above) to twin bed. Pretty sweet. I'm kinda in love too.

And, sigh. How did we get here so fast?! Just a moment ago, a little baby was just getting to know that crib. Sniffff. You know I was tearing up while snapping photos. Given.

13 September 2011

family music jam

I was feeling a little camera shy. Pardon the lap shot!

Sometimes, in that special time between the toddler dinner and bath/bedtime (you know, right?), the thing that's really called for lately in our house is... drumroll... Family Music Jam.


Because, really. After a long day of sitting in meetings (Dada), sewing/printing/breadmaking/laundry (Mama), and learning/growing/being (guess who), there's really nothing better than wailing on some instruments and singing... EXTREMELY LOUDLY!!

And, by instruments, I mean... yes, instruments. Xylophones, drums, recorders. But also: "banjos" (half of a Swiffer mop or random spatulas) or maybe a backup "drum" (random bouncy ball wailed on with a tambourine).

Number one song in rotation lately: Yellow Submarine. ("we aw wiv in da wewow sub-maween!") I'm sure the neighbors are loving it. Single family dwelling in the house.

Yep, we're loving music time. Jacky is the leader of the band, asking unruly members to play their instruments "nicely please." He's started singing along with us, which is hilarious and adorable. We definitely sound like a bunch of crazy jackals, but it's the perfect wind-down to our days.

Any special way you bring the day in for a sane landing?

11 September 2011

pizza | baby flowering zucchini, goat cheese & herbs

Friends, I've been on cloud nine since last week's new beginning... Yes, being in the craft business I've dreamed of for a long time is fun, amazing, and thrilling. But I've been pysched because of you: your heartfelt, encouraging comments. But also: the FB'ing, the Pinterest pins, the blog post (wow, Sara!), Tumblr, the word of mouth... the... gulp, orders! Wowzers. I don't intend to flood this space with shop talk (I'll take that elsewhere, soon), but I just had to say THANKS. Wow.

Amid all this excitement, nourishment and life goes on. We've been enjoying a beautiful September in San Francisco... dare I say, a pretty reliable time of year. The garden is loving the sun, I have an enthusiastic helper, and the summer squashes are having none of the "it feels like Fall!!" talk I've been spying here and there ;)

Zucchini in the hay-yowse. I have my eye on many recipes, including this, this and this (but I need more! And, how can I get my husband to eat zucchini? He really needs to pitch in with the slightly frightening bounty.).

But, right now, today: pizza, anyone?

I keep wanting to make a recipe from the Jamie at Home cookbook: baby zucchini with flowers, stuffed with herby, chili-spiked goat cheese, then battered and fried. Pretty straightforward squash-blossom fare, yes, but I can't get it out of my mind.

Tonight, I was going to kind of replicate that, minus the batter/fry, and plop my stuffed flowers on a pizza. Twas gonna be awesome... but, Sunday is our Family Meal night, and fiddling around with stuffed cucurbit flowers, at a certain point, was obviously not going to happen. Duh. So, I just plopped it all on the pizza. And it was just grand. Mostly, I just like how the flowers look in food: always pretty. Always Summery.


Pizza with Baby Flowering Zucchini, Goat Cheese & Herbs

basic pizza recipe + tomato sauce + shredded mozzarella
+ 3-4 baby zucchini w/flowers attached 
(slice in half & remove stamen from inside flowers) 
+ a few blobs of goat cheese
+ red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano
drizzle with olive oil, especially exposed dough. sprinkle with salt.
bake per recipe.
garnish with grated parmesan, chopped basil & mint.
slice and devour.


08 September 2011

it's go time

My other baby is launched. Woot!

Phew, that was a lot of work, what with the making, photographing, writing, jazzing up, Etsy-figuring-out, whathaveyou.

Thanks again dear friends, for your sweet encouragement from the beginning, through the middle, and to now.

I'm starving, gonna go make a big lunch and sit in the sun.


PS - I'm offering free domestic ground shipping all month to celebrate the launch!

01 September 2011

good ol' san diego

Have you ever vacationed in your home town? Me neither, until last week. After last Summer's endless fog, I decided that this year, we would go find Summer where it lives. Rent a house near the water. Soak it in. Warm up our insides. Get a little too hot maybe (I'm a bit of a heat-wuss now!). Check the box, you know.

This Week of Summer also coincided with my 20th reunion. So, there was that. (Check.)

Here's what else happened. (Unreasonably long post alert!)

We stayed on Coronado, which is perfect because it's quiet, safe, sunny and close to stuff like Balboa Park (one of my favorite places anywhere). Plus there's the cute contrast of meandering through a small town, right across the bay from the tall buildings of downtown. And, I mean right across. It's a small bay, so each night we could hear the train whistles from the downtown depot.

We stayed with my dear friend Nancy (also mentioned here) on the drive down. What a treat. We got to hang with her entire extended, crazy, fun family (lots of kids!) and Jacky got to pal-around with her two sweet, gentle daughters, who he adores and talks about all the time. Check out the keyboard trio below.

Splitting up the drive was KEY, especially after the heinous 405 traffic. Double key, especially since the following night was the reunion. Spending all day on I-5 is not a recommended way to prep for fancy dress-up night.

(Edit: You know what's awesome on I-5 though? Riding along (passenger!), reading all your generous, encouraging comments on my new endeavor! Wow, that was the best. You guys.)

But, speaking of the reunion. It was way better than the 10th, in my book. People were more relaxed, grown up (natch), and it was simply a better turn-out. And, like I said, I'm not really a high school reminiscer. Bonus was the fact that we prepped with delicious cocktails at the lovely Miss Jora's stunning house beforehand and went together to the big soirée. Of course, we got to finally meet Jora's amazing B :)

The reunion was, of course, Instagram'd. Addicts.

The night of the reunion, we stayed with my brother, who now owns the house we three kids grew up in. My Dad's hunting trophies still hang in the living room (for now), and the piano I learned to play on still graces the dining room. Taking Jacky to that house was meaningful (though he just kind of grasped it), but I think the highlight was playing a "duet" on the piano with him. Granted, I only remember how to play the first couple bars of Für Elise and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (sad) but it was a lovely duet!

When we settled into the Coronado house and the proper vacay part of the trip, we did some plain ol' chillin' and some touristy stuff, like driving a surrey around the waterfront. Which was actually really, really fun.

One of my reasons for wanting to go to SD for vacay is that my home town has been such a mystery to me. I left when I was 17, with trips back almost always spent in the suburb I grew up in, not really getting to know the "good parts." Add to that all the family history of loss, and I'd been keeping my distance for a long while. Taking Jacky to SD and rediscovering the town somewhat through his eyes was really healing and just plain fun. It's a stunningly pretty town, and the smells and sounds of it are still like home to me. I'm not moving back, but I, you know, like it again.

In addition to seeing old friends and some far-flung family, the trip was also an excuse to do a little blogger meet-up. We hung with Jora, who I obviously already knew from HS, but have come to somewhat re-know due to the magic of sharing on the Interwebs. Meeting her cute and precocious kids in person was such a treat. They gave Jacky one of the best afternoons in a while, frolicking in that gorgeous pool. The adults sipped cold-brewed iced coffee and sighed at the beautiful view. Amazing.

One of those adults was also the sweet, funny and creative Desi. After the fantastic Kim and her darling kids visited us earlier this year, I decided to be as brave and try to convert other interesting "friendternets" into actual friends. It's a devious plan. Desi, it was so great to finally meet you! And, let me tell you, she can cook. I'm still dreaming of the killer BBQ beans she lugged over to the beach house.

Of course, we hit the zoo! I may have teared up a little upon entering, as I probably spent half my childhood there, especially with my Mom. And it's better than ever, even if you just freak out about all the beautiful and rare plants (like me). So spoiled, you SD people.

On the last night, my brother Sam took us out on the bay in his handsome boat. It was a scorching day, and the coolness of the water was perfect. I took a silly amount of bridge photos and we motored right up next to one of my favorite Girl Scout outings, the Star of India.

Then we packed it all in our little city car and headed back up through the inferno of I-5. Of course, I managed to keep somewhat busy. Jacky was a patient trooper in the car, even when we got jammed up on the Bay Bridge, just in sight of home. Argh, that bridge.

Oh, and along the way: don't you love rest stops? Really, I do. We used to always stop and run around at them on the marathon SD-Montana drives. What's even better is it seems all the rest stops on I-5 have been re-done. Modern, breezy shade buildings and quite lovely landscaping. We had a nice picnic in the shade (on our amazing, indispensable blanket from here) and a quick rest. It's only civilized ;)

And, then, finally... with the Summer soaked into our bones... we were home. And the fog was a very welcome sight. Home, home, home.

That really is the point of travel, huh?

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