Monday, November 30, 2009


Only one more day left!
Check here for more details.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Okay.... so maybe I am going a little overboard with the empty frames....... but I can't help myself - I just keep hanging them all around our living room. I had amassed quite a pile of them over the summer in anticipation of the living room change, and I can't quite bring myself to part with the ones I don't need. So for now they are randomly framing things around the room.

Today I ended up having a free day at home because Aidan is home sick again, so I finally took the time to hang some pictures on "my big wall" instead of just leaving them stacked because in a few short days the living room will be rearranged to accommodate a Christmas tree. Two of the pictures you see on the wall are waiting to be custom framed, so in the meantime they are just taped to the wall in their plastic protective sheets. And the frame in the top picture also makes the mirror look horribly imbalanced, so I will have to keep my eye out for a solution!

And for those of you who endured this post to the end I also have a giveaway.

I love this poster, and I hope at least one of you loves it too!

I will leave the drawing open through the weekend. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with your favorite decorating color. (And FYI- your poster will come unframed.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Long Overdue

Congratulations James-

This certificate does little to represent the long hours and missed dinners.

We are proud of you!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A sneak pic

A few weeks ago Kim, a friend and photographer, took some family photos of us.

And I must admit after all the dramatics I ended up wearing a black dress I have had in my closet for years.

Anyway - the point of this post is to tell you you can see a sneak peak of the pictures on her blog. I have to admit, while I love the photos of Aidan, I am not too enamoured with the photos of myself and James - I guess the truth is painful sometimes. Wrinkles? Big white bare arms? Eeww. I guess in my mind I had imagined we would be transformed into models, but alas all we have is a picture of ourselves.

She shot tons of photos, so hopefully we will be getting a disc with all the photos sometime next month and then my apologies to all of you blog-reading relatives out there, but our family photos might be under your tree in a few weeks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chocolate anyone?

Recently a friend and I were discussing dessert ideas and somehow she reminded me of one of my favorite dessert recipes that has been "in my pocket" the last few years.

I had a bunch of ladies over for dessert the other night and we enjoyed them again - although I had forgotten how rich they were and I could barely eat half of mine! I must be getting older.

Sadly, I did not take a picture for you, but I am sure you can imagine gooey chocolate goodness, and I usually serve them with ice cream and fudge sauce.

Also - they are a great make-in-advance type of recipe. I actually used to be so into being ready for guests I always had a dozen in the freezer. But then I found that the dough tastes amazing frozen when you need a before bedtime chocolate snack, so I had to put a stop to my over-preparedness before it caught up with me.

I found the original recipe here. I hope you enjoy them!

Makes 4 servings
Butter for ramekins
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Place baking sheet in an oven preheated to 400°. Butter four 2/3-cup ramekins and set aside.Using a microwave oven or double boiler, melt together the semisweet chocolate and the butter. Set aside to cool.In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar and flour. Add cooled chocolate mixture, and mix until blended. Fold in white chocolate chips.Divide mixture evenly among ramekins and place on baking sheet. Bake until tops are shiny and cracked and chocolate beneath is hot and gooey, about 20 minutes. Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve, reminding children that ramekins and chocolate are hot.

(P.S. I have tried varying the recipe many times. I love using dark chocolate and ancho chili powder, using mint chips, adding espresso powder, vanilla, etc. All with fabulous results!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Secondhand Magic

And this, my friends, is why you need to check out your local thrift stores.

No, I have not given up on this chair yet...... now I can take my time and my mom kindly offered to help me when she visits in a few weeks.

Another plus for my day - hopefully I will no longer be venting about my vehicle. ( I was going to try and link to a "venting post" but there were too many to choose from!)

We broke up.
It was the best break-up ever, and I am already on the rebound!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ever wonder what happens during an average day at Chinese immersion school?

Well- you can read all about it here.

Aidan's school, Yinghua, was featured in Time Magazine this month. The article will give you a little history of the school, and personally I enjoyed scrolling through the pictures and seeing exactly what Aidan does in a given day.

Speaking of school, we had our first parent-teacher conference this week and sitting in those chairs outside the door made me feel so old. We also learned that Aidan is a good student and a nice kid- so nice he lets all the other kids walk all over him. Who would have ever thought?????? Well- at this point at least I can say we haven't totally spoiled our only child.........

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


What was I thinking???????????
This one might just beat me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

First Day

Today was James first day at his new job. I had big intentions of getting up, making him breakfast and coffee and sending him out the door with a kiss and a smile.

Like I said, good intentions.

Then I wanted to call and wish him good luck, but he was spending the day with his boss, driving to meet some other exec's in WI. So I didn't want to interrupt.

So I decided to make him a nice candlelight dinner and have some of his favorite food- namely sushi. They have good take-out at Target's deli, (hard to believe I know) and then we rushed through Target so quickly I forgot all about it! Argh.

However we did manage to make a nice dinner and set a festive table. Aidan picked the flowers on the table and arranged them just so, and he also put the silverware on. He is such a good helper!

I also discovered a new use for the huge box of jello molds I bought at a yard sale this summer - tea light holders. They reflect the light beautifully! I think they are going to be a new favorite special-occasion standby.

As far as how the first day went I am not sure yet. As I write this he is still driving home. (It is 7:00) This is going to take some getting used too............


P.S. Thanks for the couch and rug love. The couch is from a thrift store- I found it years ago. But good news - there is one almost just like it at the thrift store in Roseville right now! The rug is from IKEA, it was super cheap, but it is nice and warm. However our corners are full of hairy dust bunnies now, it is almost like we have a dog. Maybe we should just get one.

My Big Boy

Last week Aidan brought home his first ever school pictures! I can't believe how big he has gotten.

(I couldn't get the scanner to work, so actually I uploaded a picture of the picture, which is why it looks a little funny)

But you get the idea right?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Can you tell

that I am still stuck at home with a feverish kid? All these blogposts - don't get used to it though.

Today we are going to try this soup. I had one like it years ago at Muffuletta's, one of my favorite restaurants. We will see how it turns out. I have lots of sweet potatoes, which have never been a favorite but I am learning new ways to make them, ones that don't involve marshmallows and butter.

I am also going to tackle the chair today. I picked up an old chair on Craigslist and I want to reupholster it for my living room so I can return the green chair to the guest bedroom. Aidan still has a fever which means he will be out of school tomorrow too. I have lots of sewing to do, but I want to get these big projects out of the way while I have a big chunk of time. We may have missed all the festivities this weekend, but my time has been very profitable! (And in case you are wondering why I can't just be happy keeping the green chair in the living room.... it is super cute but not very comfortable. I used to have it in the living room but it feels really awkward when you sit in it and guests always look uncomfortable. I think armless chairs in general are uncomfortable even though they look nice. )

We also had a super - hero visit us last night. Someone went trick-or-treating for Aidan. Wasn't that sweet? He only claimed half the candy as his payment. I ate the other half. (Not really, but I feel like I did! Ugh!)

How are you enjoying this perfect fall day?

Happy Birthday Mom!

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Well, in this case, that just isn't true.

I didn't want to risk mailing your gift, so I took a picture instead and when you come for Thanksgiving I will give it to you then. My photo doesn't show you very well, but the bowl is cream with subtle leaves imprinted inside of it. It is very simple and lovely.

Just like you.

Happy Birthday Mom.