Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa Trains

How do you please kids and parents this time of year?  Leave it to wine country to come up with wine and Santa on the Santa Trains.  I gotta say…great idea! 
The boys are a little small now, but in the future, we will definitely keep this in mind.  It really gets a lot of things crossed off your list in my opinion.
Tell Santa what is on your list…check. 
Santa photo…check. 
Train ride (ala Polar Express)…check. 
Hot chocolate for the kids, bubbly for mom…check.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Books

My kids love to read books.  They will just sit down and flip through the pictures or EJ will plop his little behind right in my lap to let me know he is ready for a story. 

As much as they love to read and I would like to encourage that, I feel like I can never have enough books.  Design Mom has a list of amazing books on her blog and I feel the urge to buy every last one.  I suppose that is what library cards are for.  :-)  Over the break, I think we will hit the library up big time.  Here is her list.  Enjoy browsing! 

These photos are from last Christmas, but still apply. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The "To Do" List

Ok, Christmas is practically here.  I feel like I have so much to do, but as I look around the house (as messy as it may be) I realize although I have a “to do” list that feels overwhelming, there is not that much. 
Wrap gifts, no problem. 
Plan the meal for Christmas day, ok, Conn does most of that.
Clean…a never ending chore.
I totally have this covered.  I think I will sit back, enjoy the boys and watch another Christmas movie.  I am way behind on my favorites.  Anyone up for making snowflakes?  This is one of KJ’s new favorite activities thanks to Elf.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Don't Forget to Say It

I have spent a lot of time this past week telling people I love them.  I come from a family who says it a lot.  My mom says it about 10 times every time we talk on the phone.  We are a very outward loving family.  I like it.  I like the idea that people don't have to question where they stand with me.  If I love you, I tell you.

I saw a lot of faces this past week that I haven't seen in years.  High school friends who have meant a lot to me in the past and that continues on with me now.  I love them because of the experiences we have shared together.  I love them because they were a huge part of my growing up process. 

But seeing everyone reminded me that they may not know how much I love them.  So, I was telling people.  Leave it to me to make people feel weird. 

My point here, if you love someone, tell them.  You may not have another chance.  Love comes in so many different forms that it is ok to tell someone and not have them thinking you want to get all romantic.

Say it if you mean it.  I love you!  Such a nice thing to hear!  And if you can say it with coffee, even better in my book.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Music

I am feeling connected to the more solemn Christmas carols this season.  Silent Night and O' Holy Night are two favorites.  The Marin Symphony does a Holiday Concert by Candlelight and it sounds amazing!  This may have to be a date night in the future.  I just love the idea of Conn and I enjoying this together.

My mom and I and one of my bestest friends and her mom and sister all go the Nutcracker in the city every year too.  I have done this with my mom since I was 5 years old and it wouldn't be the holidays without Tchaikovsky.  I adore the music and the company.  So, in the spirit of tradition, we will do it once again this year.  I look forward to it!

Check out the San Francisco Ballet.   They don't disappoint.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

I have to say, kids definitely keep you honest.  No matter what happened over the weekend, I promised a certain 3 year old that we would get our Christmas tree.  So, we did.

It was a short trip, but the boys enjoyed it just the same.  I forgot that I wanted to bake cookies to make the day special, so I rushed to get some out of the oven before the day was over.  And the fun of decorating the tree and putting lights on the house made my spirits brighten. 

The boys wanted to help and so they have been...every day the tree has been up. EJ loves to take the ornaments off the tree.  And KJ likes to put them back on.  I especially enjoy his style, the more on a branch the better.

I love seeing this magical season through their eyes.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Heavy Heart

This weekend was a tough one.  In amongst the fun we had with the holiday season, getting our tree, decorating, eating cookies, I received some terrible news.  A long time friend of mine was killed in a car wreck.  I can't stop thinking about him, crying for his family and trying to convince myself that everything will be okay.

It won't be okay.  He is gone. 

The memories are what I cling to and even though I haven't seen him in a while, he is one of those friends.  You know the see every once in a while and pick up right where you left off.  The true friends who know you and like you anyway.  And vice versa.

Shaun was a great person who I have shared so many memories with.  I feel like a grown up today.  Grown ups have to deal with things that are hard.  This has to be one of the hardest things I have had to deal with ever.

Shaun, I hope you sleep in heavenly peace.  Your smile is with me now.  We will pick up where we left off...eventually.  All my love!  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas in Sonoma

I can’t wait to get our Christmas tree.  I am counting down the days and feeling uber jealous every time I hear of someone else getting their tree.  This weekend!  Whooho!  In the spirit of the season, the hubs sent me this article about celebrating Christmas at the mission we live very close to, Mission San Francisco Solano. 
I could probably go on and on about Christmas activities in the area, and ok, maybe I will.  But how fun is this.  Singing under candlelight, so great! 
But with two little monkeys who don’t sit still, and there is fire involved… hmm sounds like we may have to wait a few years for this one.
Welcome to the Season!

 Oh and BTW, more on Disneyland later...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jedi In Training

While doing a little research and planning our trip to Disneyland, I found this fun activity, Jedi Training Academy.  KJ would love this.  Let me introduce to you the "hi-ya."
It is a favorite activity in our house, playing hi-ya.  Pretty much every evening I hear "wanna play hi-ya?"  The answer is always yes, with little reminders to just hit sticks (or golf clubs).   He is a jedi in training and he doesn't even know it.
Let me also introduce the "star hi-ya."  Please do not confuse this with a fairy princess wand, it is indeed the star hi-ya.  The most coveted of them all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Disney Bags

This holiday season, we have decided to make a trip to Disneyland.  Another family with little ones will be joining us in the fun.  We are super excited to go and when I saw this post from MADE, I had an idea.  Bags for the kiddos to tote around the park.  Perfect for all the little things they will collect while we are there.  So, here is my attempt.

I bought canvas bags and decorated them and I think they turned out pretty cute.

They have handles and then I put straps on the back so they can use them as backpacks too.

I had fun making them!  Disneyland, we are ready for ya!  And thanks Dana at MADE for the inspiration.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanks and Giving

This time of year most of all, I am thankful for the life I have.  I lack for nothing.  I have healthy food for my children, a roof over our heads, generous and loving family and friends and much more.  Teaching this to a three year old is not easy, but as time goes on I hope both boys know how much we can be thankful for.

This time of year also reminds me of how many people are not as fortunate.  As a mom, I can't help but think of children who don't have enough to eat or clean water to drink.  Children without food and water for their little bellies is something I have a hard time with.  It is painful to think about and I wish I could do more.  I donate to my local food bank and to an international organization call Heifer Project International.  A friend turned me onto this organization a few years ago (thanks Britt) and I like the idea of helping families become self reliant with animals. 

So, this Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks and hoping to make a difference for someone else out there.  I hope you give back a little too.

Happy Almost Thanksgiving to you and yours!  Smooch them lots and give bundles of hugs!

photos via and

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oxbow Market

We had a rainy weekend last weekend, so we decided to head over to Napa and check out the Oxbow Public Market.  Let me just say that this is not necessarily a kid place, but we had fun.  We stayed inside for the most part, but got to check out the cool restaurant/lounge areas and there was an array of food to choose from.  Conn went for the oysters at Hog Island Oyster Company.  While he was doing that, the boys enjoyed some yummy ice cream from Three Twins.

And mommy had a cupcake from Kara's Cupcakes.  Seriously, I couldn't pass them by.  Yum!  But shh, don't tell anyone, I'm supposed to be watching what I am eating these days.  Oh well, it was so worth it!  Thanks for picking out the yummiest one boys!

So, we started with dessert, obviously, and ended with dinner at Gott's Roadside.  Sometimes you just have to do dessert first.  Life is uncertain.  Ha!

The boys were getting a little tired by then, so games on the phone were a lifesaver.

Fun was had by all and we went home happy!  Thanks Oxbow!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Time Change

Before I had kids the time change in the fall meant an extra hour of sleep.  Now, it doesn't quite mean the same thing.  The boys are up early, so no change there.  Extra sleep, um...nope.  But the main thing I dislike is not being able to see their cute faces on our car drive home.

If I haven't mentioned it before, the boys and I commute to and from school for them and work for me.  We have great fun in the car most days.  Eating leftover lunch meat, thanks for the visual KJ.

But with the time change, their laughs are all I can hear coming from the back seat.  I would gladly give up that hour of sleep for another hour of daylight in the evening.

Three cheers for Spring forward!!!  It can't get here soon enough.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Backyard Camping

The weather has been treating us pretty nicely up until a little cold spell the last two days.   In fact last weekend we were wearing shorts.  I don't know if it is the end of nice weather, but this will probably be a bucket list item for next year.

I would love to get out the tents and set them up in the backyard.  Sitting by a campfire, marshmallow roasting and hanging in the backyard all night sounds like a fun time.

The boys know camping, but I look forward to no packing, just playing!  Maybe in the Spring.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Maybe Next Year

There was an article on the front page of the Sonoma Index Tribune this week mentioning that the Garden Park held a month long fall festival every Saturday in October.  Hello, where have I been and why did I not know this till now?

Definitely on the bucket list for October 2012.  I live for fall festivals and this one is a month long, sweet!

I just can't get enough of pumpkins...and tiny feet for that matter.

Well it is only November.  Plenty of time left for pumpkins!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Very Halloween Weekend

Is it bad when your husband comments that there hasn't been a blog post in a while?

Well, so sorry, we have been busy with Halloween festivities.

Parties with friends...

Carving lots of pumpkins...

And trick or treating of course.

Gnomeo and Benny with the big hat (at times) were a hit with the boys!

Happy Belated Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Girl and the Fig

I can’t stop thinking about the cheese plate I shared with a good friend at the Girl and the Fig on the Sonoma Square this weekend.  “The Works” is what it was called.  You can choose your own cheeses from a long list, or you can ask your server to choose for you.  We had such a lovely server who was so excited about the cheese, so we asked him to choose for us and he was very happy to do so.  
So yummy! 
I have been wanting to go and check this place out and this was the perfect occasion.  Catching up with a friend over champagne and cheese.  Who could ask for more? 

I would like to take Conn there some time.  I know he would love it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

And Another Project

I have been busy with the white paint.  I figured while I had it out and the free time to do it, might as well go crazy.  Why not right?  So here is the TV closet in the converted garage.  We use the space mainly for watching movies and just hanging out.  It is still a project in the works...  here is the before.

I just hate the bare wood, so I thought an update would look nice.  I didn't want to have to move the 1000 lb TV, so I didn't and I left a little wood showing.  I actually like it.

I think it fits nicely in the room.  Do you like?  I sure do!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


A while ago I wrote about wanting a Date With White Paint.  Well this weekend was date time.  I have been staring at this fireplace and had a few ideas as to what I wanted to do.  White was the plan. 

So, here is what I ended up with.

What do you think?  I like the white, but it is a big change, so I have to get used to it.  Then, I go to the mailbox today and what do I find?  My Sunset magazine..

and this photo.

Thanks for the validation Sunset!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where does the time go?

The weeks are flying by.  I can’t keep up.  No really, I am trying to keep up, but every time I turn around it is Monday again...and well Tuesday now.  How does that happen?   
We are definitely in Fall mode at our house.   
(EJ loves to put just about everything on his head.)

Pumpkins were picked this weekend.    

Halloween d├ęcor is out and I am working on costumes.  Gnomeo and Juliet are the inspiration.  Gnomeo and his friend Benny with the big hat are what we are going for.   Garden gnomes for those who don’t know the movie.

I am excited!  This is my favorite time of year.  It is time for me to watch my favorite movie of the season too, You’ve Got Mail.  I have my own happy daisies sitting on my desk at work.  Cruising right on through the best three months of the year in my opinion.  Enjoy! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Love

I pretty much love all things pumpkin and tis the season for it.  Lately I have been eating my own version of a fall breakfast.  Oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon and a big spoonful of canned pumpkin.  It is so good, like fall in a bowl.  Yum-o!

I also find it very hard not to buy every pumpkin in site this time of  year.  Last year we grew our own pumpkins, which was great because we got rained out and didn't make it to the pumpkin patch.  Huge disappointment on my part, but we still had fun.

So, we haven't been to the pumpkin patch since this...

Seriously, look at that little boy, wowza how he has grown.

So, we MUST get to the pumpkin patch this year.  Hoping for clear weather this upcoming weekend!