Friday, April 30, 2010

I think I need to make one of these

I found them here, but that doesn't help me much as I live in Minnesota. I will have to be on the lookout for a cool glass bowl like the one above.

I'll take that chair too.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

can't help but brag a little

I was helping Aidan put together a Lego set last week and while reading the directions Aidan identified these flags both in English and Chinese.

Even though originally I had some reservations about sending him to the Chinese school, I have to say that I am so thankful he was able to attend Yinghua! Being the mom of a Kindergartner is a blast and it is so fun to be able to watch him learn, as I can objectively gauge his progress since I obviously am not the one teaching him Chinese. Lately he has had more verbal recitation homework, for example, the Pledge of Allegiance in both languages. He also can count by 2's, 3's and 5's to 100 in both languages. So fun!

(Okay - I will stop bragging about my child now, but since I use my blog as a "scrapbook" I have to include some of this stuff!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Last Saturday I was clocking some treadmill miles and the only thing on TV worth watching was a cheesy Lifetime movie. (Sorry folks, just telling it as I see it.) The movie was "Lucky 7" which wasn't too bad considering Patrick Dempsey was the leading man.

Usually I read the movie and listen to music but for some reason that day I listened to the movie and there was a haunting song in the background during the wedding dance and I just couldn't get it out of my head. I had to look it up when I got home which is why "Eastmountainsouth" is now on my playlist and a new station on my Pandora. Love them - I only wish they had released more than one CD.

You should give them a try - they aren't exactly "treadmill music" but nevertheless I think you might like them too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I do not profess to be the world's greatest photographer, but I just have to share with you what makes me absolutely giddy these days.

There is nothing like stepping outside each morning and checking out the progress overnight.

Spring is amazing!

Monday, April 26, 2010

My boy!

Centerpiece courtesy of Aidan

Grandma's - you should be excited because guess what each of you are getting for Mother's day????? That's right, we have enough to go around.

We are just keeping one - it is a "love" one he made for James while he was traveling last week.

We also had to text James while he was gone to tell him that a kid at Aidan's school "almost totally halfway destroyed my day." I laughed so hard but that was a mistake because he was very serious about it.

Aidan also had to rescue me from a spider and a centipede while James was gone. I am sure glad he is getting bigger and I can delegate those "manly tasks" to him now! And I am also glad that he still loves to sit on the deck and do projects with me, like the one in the photograph above.

I love you Aidan!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Swell Life keeps having fabulous giveaways every week.
Here is a link to this weeks giveaway.

Isn't her Etsy shop just the cutest?
(picture from swell life)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Love these!

Do you like Ginger?

I found a little box of these at Target last week and I have been enjoying them ever since.

I have eaten alot of birthday cake over the past few weeks, but when I haven't been eating birthday cake I have made a conscious choice to eat much healthier, and I feel this candy is a good little treat. Not to mention ginger is so good for you!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A new lunch recipe

The last two weeks I have made a big bowl of this to take for lunch every day.

It may sound a little weird to some of you but it is sooooo good. And if you are short on time, you can by fresh, peeled, sliced sweet potatoes at Trader Joe's, and then the whole recipe will only take you a few moments to make.


1 Cup Dried Chickpeas/Garbanzos ,soaked in water overnight

3 Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled (about 3 lbs)

¾ Cup Finely Chopped Yellow Onion

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Cinnamon

2 tbsp. Honey

2 tsp. Fresh Nutmeg

1 tbsp. Fresh Grated Ginger

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 tsp. Salt

1 Lime Zest and Juice

Fresh Ground Pepper

3 tbsp. Fresh Thyme, leaves removed

Oven to 425’

1. In a medium pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add the soaked beans. Gently boil for about 50 minutes until the beans are cooked through. Drain.
2. In the meantime, prepare the peeled potatoes. Cut off the ends and chop them into one inch cubes. Try to make them equal in size, shapes can vary. Put them in a large bowl.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the lime zest and juice, oil, garlic, salt, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Pour the mix over the big bowl of potatoes, stir. Add the drained garbanzos, onions, 2 tbsp. of the fresh thyme and gently fold to cover everything in the spice mixture.

4. Spread the goods evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425’ in the upper third of the oven for 35-40 minutes, gently stirring halfway through for consistent browning.

5. Let cool a bit before serving, sprinkle fresh pepper, squeeze of lime,taste for salt and sprinkle remaining thyme on top.

I also used canned chickpeas and went a little lighter with the cinnamon and nutmeg. The original recipe also calls for butter but I am avoiding that these days.
(the original recipe and pictures can be found here.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thanks Alot!

All the toys in the store and you pick a crossbow????

That's what little brothers are for, right?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Back in the saddle again......

Yes, this disaster is what my sewing room looks like when I am in full swing. I had a day off and I did the right thing and stayed inside to sew and prepare for the upcoming art fair. It was tough..... I could hear all the birds singing outside. But then it started to rain and I knew I had made the right choice. So..... five down and fifty to go. Gotta love deadlines................

Thursday, April 15, 2010


You never cease to amaze me.

Caldrea at Target, people. At Target prices.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I came home from work the other day to find this beauty adorning the front of my house. My talented neighbor Mitch made this for me. (He also made one for both my mom and Jane for Christmas too)

Someday it will be all rusty and have a great patina.

Isn't it beautiful?????

Now I just need my clematis to grow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thank you

Thank you Bake it Pretty.

I can do alot of things but I cannot decorate a cake.

That is why I love you.

Kits like these make birthdays perfect.

They also have all those little kits and packaging supplies you see in magazines - things that take your homemade gifts up a notch.

Monday, April 12, 2010


No, not by me. But if you want to read more about it you can
visit the Swell Life and get all the details.
Please don't enter the contest though ........ I don't want any competition.

A Very Long Post for a Very Short Weekend

My mom and dad made a quick trip up here for Aidan's birthday. (so if you happen to be counting, the kid has alot of birthday parties. One with my fam, one with James' and then a party with school friends. That's alot of cake. )

When my folks visit Aidan and my Dad are usually the first ones awake and it is fun to hear them chatting in the morning.

Opening his first gift. Note Charlie laying there so peacefully. He is such a good dog.

James, Aidan and my Dad went to Home Depot to make a butterfly house and also to buy supplies for my Dad's project.

On Saturday Aidan delivered cupcakes to a few neighborhood friends.

Then we headed to the Mall of America to the amusement park. (FYI - Children get a free wristband on their birthday if you pre-register and bring their birth certificate.)

James didn't feel well due to his allergies so Aidan and I braved this ride alone while my Mom and James held our bags.

This is what happens when you let your child ride alone without really even looking to see what ride he has picked. I can't remember the name of the ride but he sunk down and cried the whole time. Poor kid!
Although I must admit it is nice to be needed sometimes. Especially by a SIX year old.

A little happier here thanks to Nana's gift of the hat.

Finally opening the rest of the gifts after a supper of homemade Chinese dumplings and fried rice from Que Viet. We were in such a hurry to make dinner that we didn't take any pictures. Our dumplings weren't quite as good as the
ones we made with Fang Laoshi but next time........ we just need a little more practice. And if you live in the Cities, you really should go to Que Viet.

A favorite present made by Mitch, our neighbor. James and Aidan both have been very entertained by this during the last week.


More presents..........

My present.
I have always wanted beadboard in my house. Last summer James and Nick knocked a hole in the wall to check out some pipes and beadboard seemed the perfect solution for covering it.
I will have to take a picture when I am finished painting everything. It looks wonderful and really brightens the room. Thanks Dad!

Egg hunt.

And that concludes my pictures, but as always words and pictures alike fail to capture all the amazing moments we spend with our families. We just came back from James parents and while I only have a few pictures to show for our weekend, I can't capture those special moments and little conversations that make families so wonderful.
So thanks to all of ours - I know I often fail to say how much we appreciate and love you.
And stay tuned as we have one last birthday celebration to blog about!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In the Kitchen

The best part about making a birthday cake.
That and the cake-batter-kisses you get when he is done.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sooo..... We did it.

That's right. It has taken us six years but we finally did it.

We had Aidan's first ever birthday party.

(Note to self for next year. Remember, if you only want 4 kids, only send 4 invites. Sending 8 invites expecting people to not make it doesn't work. )

Thankfully we had nice weather so we could send them all outside.

(This is Maya, the lone girl that he invited. All the boys like her because she is so kind to them)

Aidan requested a dinner of Chinese dumplings, sesame orange chicken and fried rice.

Have I ever mentioned he goes to a Chinese Immersion school?????

Afterwards they had a treasure hunt outdoors which was supposed to take 30 minutes. It lasted 5 and I have no pictures (but lots of movies courtesy of James) Oh well.

Later the kids sang "Happy Birthday" in Mandarin and we went to the park to run off some energy. They were all so well behaved but I still have to stop here and give credit to teacher's everywhere. We had nine kids and three adults. Aidan's teacher has 25 kids every day. Enough said.

I won't win any mom-of-the-year awards with this party because I totally cheated and bought pre-made food at Costco and Trader Joe's. And..... when I sat down with Aidan to look at recipes for cake I have to say I was sorely disappointed. He chose a box mix.

A box mix???

Whose kid is he?????

Friday, April 9, 2010

last week.........

my garden looked like this. Except I was so busy playing and having fun on spring break I never posted pictures.

Aidan and I had so much fun last week. We saw old friends, played in the yard, worked in the gardens and just enjoyed the beautiful Minnesota spring we have been blessed with.

What better way to spend a week?!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I am having trouble with my mouse and keyboard tonight so this is all you are getting.