Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmakkah 2011

If my memories is correct, my family has spent the last 15 Christmases at home. Some years with family in from out of town, some by ourselves. This year we met up with my sister and her family in CA. It was so fun!

Christmas eve we all splurged and stayed at the Hilton at Huntington Beach.

 This is the lovely view from our balcony. We put our stockings out there for Santa to find, since we had no chimney!

We had Christmas eve dinner at BJ's in the little Huntington beach downtown area, where there was a total of 21 of us! We did a really fun white elephant gift exchange.

 After dinner, drunk Santa pulled up on his motorcycle and handed out gifts for the kids. He thought Alexa was the mom, and was oblivious to the fact my sister's kids are jewish. Must be the first time they got gifts from Santa!

Christmas Day we had a yummy brunch at the hotel before heading to the beach for a bike ride. It took 2 double seaters, a four seater, and two beach cruisers for our group! We must have looked like an interesting crew!

After the ride, the kids swam in the ocean, then warmed up at the Hilton's heated pool and hot tub.
Then it was back to my brother-in-law's parents house for a "Christmas Dinner" (or the traditional 6th night of Hanukkah dinner, since they are Jewish!).

 And here are a few pictures from the pier. All 7 cousins together for the first time in 2 1/2 years!

It was a merry, if unusual, Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pinterest Sunday-Better Late Than Never

I am really loving Pinterest Sundays. Sunday has long been our laundry and grocery shopping day, so it's nice to add in a little fun! I would really like to try more crafts/sewing/home decor, but cupcakes seemed to have topped the list of what we make. They're just so fun and easy.

From the amount of booze cupcakes I have made, one might start to think I have a little problem. I actually have an alcoholic drink only a few times a year, but for some reason the boozy cupcakes appeal to me! On the rare occasions I do drink, one of my favorite mixed drinks is a Colorado Bulldog (Kahlua, vodka, soda, creme). For this reason these "white Russian cupcakes with Kahlua buttercream" really appealed to me. I used the recipe, for the most part, but substituted peppermint mocha Kahlua for all the alcohol:

I may have had to sample some of the ingredients, strictly for quality control of course! Yum!

The recipe turned out well. It only made one dozen, which was probably good since only a few of us could eat them!
 Aren't they lovely, sprinkled with a bit of the Trader Joe's Peppermint hot cocoa mix?

 My friend Debbie made this super cute stand for me, how nice was that? And guess where she saw it? Pinterest, of course!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pinterest Sunday- Secret Santa

Every year at work we do a secret Santa gift exchange at our Christmas party. This year I got Jenny, and was so excited! She shares my love of all things shabby and I immediately knew what to make for her. What better than one of my old farmhouse windows I got last October in Oklahoma?!

Thanks to Pinterest, I was full of ideas. I wanted it to display photos, and I also wanted to incorporate fabric, as Jenny is one of our store's sewing extraordinaires! I started by painting the frame Swiss coffee, an off white color. It was still too light so I diluted my charcoal gray and gave it a little color wash to tone it down. Next I printed the words as a template and hand painted them to the window frame.
Then came the boy help. I wrapped peg board in fabric and Michael fastened it to the back of the window. He also helped me add the antique clips and handle for the photos to be displayed.

Thanks to Facebook, I was able to put actual pictures of all her children and grandchildren on it. I am sure she will change them out for better ones in the future, but for now I am so pleased with how it turned out!

Celeste asked me if I am going to make us one. Of course I plan to, but I have a few more I would like to do as gifts first!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving, a Pinterest Sunday, anmd Randomness

 Thanksgiving came and went so fast. I had my parents in town, as well as my little brother. Did I get any pictures? Not a one. My camera did not even come out once. LOSER!

We also did not go around and say what we are thankful for. My kids think it is silly, and always say something like "apple pie". Here is what I would have said I am thankful for:
*my kids who make me proud, every single day
*my husband who works hard to support us and make a better life for us
*my family for all their support and unconditional love
*my mom for telling me my kids are great and that she loves being with us
*apple pie

And we are now 2 for 2 on Thanksgiving breaks. Literally two breaks in two years, last year with Celeste's ankle break, and this year Sophie broke her arm/wrist! She hurt it playing flag football in PE the last day of school. It did not get better all weekend, so xrays on Monday confirmed a break!

 Also, my mom has liked reading about the fun things we do on Pinterest and wanted to have a Pinterest Sunday with us. She would have preferred a craft of some sort, but we did not want to make a run to the store so...Cupcakes it was!!! We settled on Raspberry Lemonade cupcakes due to it's simplicity and lack of exotic ingredients.

 These pictures do not do them justice, the were really pretty. Light pink frosting and lighter red berries, but oh well!
 I think they earned a "B" across the board. They were light and tasty, but did not have quite enough flavor.

And just because, a picture of some fried goat cheese, another Pinterest recipe. Celeste said, "I don't know if I will like it.." I replied, "it's cheese and it's fried, what's not to like?"...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy 14th Birthday Celeste!

Celeste had not had a real birthday party for 3 years, so we figured we better go big for this one! We decide on Airworx a super fun indoor trampoline center. On Friday nights they have a DJ, so Friday 11-11-11 was going to be it!
We settled on a "theme" of neon, inspired by our highlighter t-shirt idea.
 Our attempt at "highlighter" colored decor
and cake...

 The goodies for each guest, white t-shirt, highlighter, and glow sticks.

We set up our own photo booth with props, and thanks to Alexa, got pictures of Celeste with each of her guests. The kids were all so willing to humor me in that. Here are just a few:

 I am never sure with this age group what kids will find fun and what they will think is silly, but they LOVED the shirts. It was a frenzy of nearly 30 kids all over the room signing each others shirts.
Just outside our party room were the black-lights, and the shirts TOTALLY glowed. It worked so well some of the boys drew funny things on themselves with the highlighters! It was fun to see them all out there jumping and having fun with their matching white/glowing shirts.
Group shot, we may have missed a few....

And the birthday girl:
 Happy 14th birthday Celeste!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pinterest Sunday: Pillows, Pillows, Pillows!

 Well, 3 pillows to be exact. My friend Robin wanted some pillows for her bedroom from this fabulous Joel Dewberry fabric, Aviary 2 (the same fabric I chose for my bedroom too!). She enlisted Jamie and me to help her, as she is sewing challenged!

Jamie got hers done in 2 seconds flat, me, not so much! I have had the fabrics for weeks now and finally had a Sunday free to sew. Here is what I came up with:
 14" pillow

 16" pillow
and an 18" pillow

And here are all three:

Between the 2 Jamie made, and my 3 I have some fun ideas for my room, when and if I ever get around to it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sweet 16

Last weekend Tony, Sophie and I traveled to Oklahoma for our niece Cecilia's sweet 16 party. It was so nice to see family and be there for her special day.
Isn't Cecilia gorgeous?

Tony's sister Nanci did an amazing job with the whole event. I had never been to a Quince before. Here is a brief description:
A QuinceaƱera is the Hispanic tradition of celebrating
a young girl's coming of age - her 15th birthday.
Today's celebrations embrace religious customs, and the virtues of family and
social responsibility. The Quinceanera tradition celebrates the young girl
(la Quinceanera), and recognizes her journey from childhood to maturity.
The customs highlight God, family, friends, music, food, and dance.

Interestingly, many families today are merging their Hispanic and American
heritages by choosing to celebrate a Sweet Sixteen. For their Sweet 16 party,
the families do the full-blown quinceanera traditions – the religious ceremony,
the reception, the tiara with the number 16, and more.
It started with a mass in her honor. I am sure it was very spiritual and important and all that, but I was lost because
A) I am not Catholic and
B) it was all in Spanish
Next came the fun part, the paaartay!
The hall was decorated with a masquerade theme all in purple, green and gold. Nanci and her friend(s) did a great job:

 One of Sophie's favorite parts was the doll with a matching dress to Ceci's

Cute picture of Tony and his Mama:

  The group did a super cute, choreographed waltz, my pictures do not do it justice:

There was dinner and then more ceremony at the hall including honoring the com padres (Tony was one), and then the DJ took over and the party started.
And here is Sophie with her cousin, she thought Ceci looked like a princess. I hope she doesn't get any ideas about a quince for herself!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sophie's 9th Birthday!

We celebrated Sophie's 9th birthday at "As You Wish" pottery painting. It was perfect for her, our little crafter!

We had a whole painter/artist theme, from the invites (shaped as pallets with circle punched colors for the paints), to the cake from Hollie's Hot Cakes :

It slid in the box on transport, sorry Hollie! The pictures do not quite do it justice. It was also delicious. The birthday girl wanted vanilla with strawberry filling. Hollie makes her cakes FROM SCRATCH! One of our party guests said "that was the best cake I have ever had in my whole life". Pretty good review from an 8 year old!
Our goodies for the guests were paint tins with a set of paints and some "paint splattered" (sprinkles) Funfetti cake pops:
Each child got to choose a piece along with colored glazes. It was a good age for this type of party, they all had a good attention span for it.
Especially the birthday girl:
 What attention to detail!

After painting we did cake and ice cream then presents!

 We get to pick up all their fired pieces on Tuesday, can't wait to see them. Happy Birthday Sophie!