Friday, February 28, 2014

Cheap Thrills

1$ bowling night.
5$ pizzas
non stop fun. 


We met Denise and the girls Wednesday night for dollar bowling this week and it turned out to be the most fun we've had in quite a long time - mid-week on a school night - that is. 

At first there were a couple major meltdowns to deal with - mostly Rex not understanding having to wait his turn (he may have sent a couple balls down our neighbor's alley, neighbors who happened to be engaged in some very serious bowling leagues it appeared, the first couple of times, making me want to hide my shame behind the snack booth for the first part of our game, in addition to getting upset that he couldn't get  the ball to actually knock over the pins, in his own alley, with the same intensity as *Arlo) Eventually the competitive streak wore off, though and they all ended up having a blast so if all goes well we just might be back next week.

Treating Wednesday like the new Friday.



*Arlo, by the way, stole the show with his apparent knack for pulling strikes with careless ease. That kid, I swear he nails just about everything he attempts. Never ceases to amaze me. . . 






Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tried & Tasted : Gluten Free Banana Bread

Not sure if it's the change in weather (rain on the horizon!) or just good old perks of pregnancy, but I woke up today with a serious craving for home made banana bread. Luckily I have a handful of friends I can count on to pass on solutions to these sudden, particular desires. 

Be it tasty salad dressings, salmon seasoning techniques, or healthful baked good options, it's usually Anne Parker who has all the answers. 

Here is a recipe she passed along via this site here.



Basically I used all the same ingredients provided - only substituting butter (and a little extra to boot) in place of shortening. AND, lots of chocolate chips. 

So: 
3 bananas 
+ 3 Eggs  
+ 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract 
+ 1 tablespoon of honey 
+ 1/4 cup of shortening (butter) 
+ 2 cups of almond flour 
+ 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt 
+ 1 teaspoon of baking soda 

* And as many chocolate chips / walnuts / raisins as you might prefer. 




- We tossed the bananas, eggs, vanilla and butter & honey in the food processor and pulsed until thin enough to add flour, salt, baking soda & chocolate. 

- Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 50 minutes and serve. 




We're all looking forward to waking up with some real rain, and this bread with a bit of maple syrup for breakfast tomorrow morning. 


Also, speaking of Anne - here is a great little interview & kitchen tour she was featured in this week.
Excellent taste, that girl.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sand Before the Rain

At some point, you stop complaining about your lack of winter and the ridiculous mask it's been wearing that looks and feels an awful lot like late June. Because, while you were really wanting some Rain, and still come to mourn that unused "respectable" winter coat you keep hoping to wear because you really need to, instead of just want to, you finally head to the beach where suddenly it feels downright silly to openly criticize 75 degree temperatures in February, complemented by a slight onshore breeze, blue skies, and the crew of children you came with ending up stark naked, splashing like wild hoolagins all around that icy ocean with the kind of rampant delight you haven't seen since, well . . .  sometime last summer. 



Clearly, the kids are alright with mixed up seasons.
Happiest here. Always.
Barefoot on the sand, in little (or no) clothing.
California babes through and through.

And Evie and Iris make for such a well balanced, complementary pair on these playdates with my boys.
I always say, if there were ever a girl who could truly hold her own around Rex Michael, it's Evie.
And I love her for the very fact of it.


Oddly enough, the forecast is now claiming rain. And lots of it by the end of this week.


Honestly, I don't believe a word of it.
But my coat,
my coat probably wouldn't mind . . .



Friday, February 21, 2014

Thrifted

Vintage REI junior canvas hat + handmade elastic denim pants =
3$ & the prefect excuse for a mid winter photo shoot. 
And popsicles.

For the record: 87 degrees on the 21st February.

We get it California.
You're over winter.




Sidenote: Turns our I am home alone tonight. First time in ages. I have my sights set on coffee flavored ice cream and a whole new season of House Of Cards.

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Week 28

"Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be."

- Carrie Fisher



































And If old wise tales carry any merit, then this baby must already have a full head of hair, as heartburn has set in far worse than I ever remember experiencing with any of my previous pregnancies. Though I suppose the increase in chocolate treats isn't helping matters. . . I keep telling myself I'll lay off, but the craving is full effect, and therefore pretty hard to talk myself out of these days.

In other news, I found the most beautiful antique music box at a yard sale this week on the way back from dropping the boys off at preschool. A first "gift" for this baby, from me. A tiny mandolin with a wind up key that plays the sweetest song. Hopefully a keepsake he or she will have forever.

As for the wardrobe situation. Options are shrinking drastically as the weeks go. Luckily I scored a couple pretty 'Mexican dresses' on Etsy, decently priced, to get me through this last trimester. The only downfall being they are both pretty sheer - the fact of which has forced me on a half hearted hunt for a good full length slip, which, oddly enough, hasn't been so easy to fulfill. Suggestions?

Other than that, I've been taking it easy. Mike has had the past two weeks off so it's been a huge help in the mornings before school to have those duties divided. Plus he's finally hired some help to finish up the never ending project that is our backyard, mostly remaining rock work, waterfall features and a big concrete fireplace. All of which should be done by the start of summer. A huge relief considering I most likely won't be able to be out & about as much as I like during the summer months, but can still entertain here at home with playdates and bbqs that we enjoy so much.
Can't wait.


Now if only I could keep up my energy. Feeling so guilty for largely neglecting the bulk of regular housework while trying to get some rest, and focus on spending time with the boys doing little things I know can get easily overlooked with a new baby in the house. Reading stories at night, playing out back and mostly just watching. Seems each of them are desperate for one of us to witness every new trick, drawing, building or endeavor they come up with throughout the day so it takes some effort to force yourself to really stop what you're doing and WATCH what it is they are involved in at that very moment. It's constant, with three of them, but they know when you attention is faint, so we've been working on keeping it focused.



* Aside from pregnancy news, I have a post coming up soon that I hope will foster some honest feedback in regards to the new project I mentioned awhile back as I am currently working out the details of a new blog I have been thinking about for months now, set to debut in March. Was hoping to start a conversation about some of the things that seem to be lacking in current "mommy blogs" as well as things you'd like to see or learn about in this new forum. I'll try to set aside some time this weekend to get it done because it's something I am feeling really excited about and naturally looking forward to hearing some of your thoughts and suggestions about it here for sure. 



Xo
J

A Suburban Superhero

The stuff four year old dreams are made of.

Your beloved superhero sailing down the culdesac, in the middle of your birthday party, to personally wish you well on your special day. 



Needless to say, Rex was wholeheartedly delighted, and in awe the entire time. Completely collected, though, playing it "cool" in spite of his obvious excitement because that's what you do when Batman is there for the celebration, sitting next to you while you blow out candles, open presents, or trade skateboarding tricks with all your friends gathered in equal shock along the block.

It was so much fun to see him so enchanted. This age, always one of my favorites. The magic of imagination in full bloom. All thanks in part to our vibrant Costa Rican neighbor, Jannio, who played Batman to a tee. Paid, no less, in a 30 pack of Budlight. And lots & lots of grateful little boy hugs.



Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine Bust

In between washing sheets soaked with vomit (Arlo + the stomach flu) and burning two dozen gluten free cookies for their preschool parties, we managed to finish some pretty cute hand painted valentine cards (our tradition for the past few years, or at least as long as the boys have been fairly handy with their art supplies) . . . Valentines, which, sadly, did not hold up so well at school. Arlo told me most of his fell apart before the passing began. Product of a midnight endeavor I took on with complete exhaustion plaguing my every effort. 

All that work for such a lousy outcome. .

And then our own Valentine date, just the two of us for lunch near the beach at our old favorite Mexican restaurant where I tried my hardest not to fall asleep at the table during our only lunch putting in more than a couple months. Food was delicious. As always. But left me with a kind of heartburn I can't possibly even begin (or want) to describe. Apparently seven months pregnant, it maybe wasn't the wisest choice? 


So now we're all off to bed. In freshly washed sheets. Kids collapsed, drunk off all their sugary indulgences, heads spinning from all the enticing treats tossed their way these past couple of days - most of which will conveniently end up in the trash come tomorrow morning, so they can regain their senses just in time for another celebration Sunday afternoon. A little birthday bash in honor of batman himself. The promise of a restful weekend feeling so far away. 



But, today I was loved. And gave love. 
It took a lot out of me. But in the end we made it through. 
Messier than I would have wished. But memorable still. 


Ok, Enough complaining. 



From bed, with love,







Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tree Top

I mentioned us building a tree house in one of the old oaks in the hills behind our house here awhile ago, but progress has been slow so not much to report.

Not that it's mattered much to the kids. In fact we spent all day there yesterday and everyone was happy as could be raking leaves around the grounds, foraging old wood and various sticks, rope for swings and whatever else they envisioned these little scraps might have to offer as way of "tree house construction."

So far, we've added nothing more than a couple swings: one build out of an old, discarded skateboard deck and the other, a tire swing from a motorcycle Mike crossed at the scarp yard on his way to meet us. Funny how such simple concepts make for such a magical afternoon. Ropes and dirt. Sticks and leaves. . .

I can only imagine what the start of summer might entail, when plans are complete. A full loft nestled in those big heavy branches, pulley cables to get all the lunch buckets up high enough and a couple wood benches or a wide plank platform at the roots to park our selves under the shade all day when the temperatures grow hot enough to make you ill.

Piece by piece, week by week, it only becomes more and more enchanting.
Though really, to them, it's already pretty much amazing.