Monday, November 30, 2009

The Easter Bunny Made Me Do It

Let me begin by saying I am a cynic, delightfully so, but a cynic.
All this "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" stuff drives me nuts.
Why can't be just be kind and happy all year (as if!)?
Nice way to start a holiday post, eh?
I am not sure why the holidays and I do not get along
(OK, I probably am sure - more of those stories later!).
I have tried, really I have! But alas I now have kiddos,
so I put on my (semi) happy face and deal.
Just so you don't think I am not willing to see the light,
 so far the holidays are proving to be quite fun!
I am crafting and the kids are too.
Is this the year that breaks my holiday curse?
We'll see... Now on to the story...

The Easter Bunny Made Me Do It
The most amazing thing happened in our new home that April of 2006. It was Easter, and it was our first away from the family. Honestly, I try to ignore Easter (that is a whole other story). I do not make a big deal about it, but it is hard to do that when you have a kiddo...and then here comes the Easter Bunny to mess with things even more.

Joe was 4-going-on-5 that year and we were still adjusting to life up here - carving out our niche in the community, creating new traditions, and learning to deal with the fog. That Easter we were sans was just the three of us. The Easter Bunny must have known this because he was awful nice that year. When Joe awoke on Sunday morning, that silly bunny had filled his entire room with balloons and left him a treasure map.

Joe was beyond excited - he raced around the house collecting his treasures. He thought this was just about the best thing that had ever happened...and I agree! At the end of the festivities, Joe looked up at me and asked, "Can we write Santa a letter so he can do this too?" I sure didn't want to hear the conversation between Santa and the Bunny that night!

Fast forward to December 25, 2006...
and Santa came through! What a guy! Ever since that Easter in 2006, the Easter Bunny and Santa have left a special surprise for Joe (and I assume he knows to leave one for Jules this year, now that she is older). This is one of the things that could actually make me change me cynical ways...Joe loves it and I cannot wait to see what Jules does this year.
Just in case you want to let Santa know you like this idea, I thought I'd share a snippet of Joe's past hunts.
  • In 2006, he got a map of the house and backyard with X's to mark the spot of his treasure.
  • In 2007, the kid was seriously into the Magic Tree House Books, and just starting to really read on his own, so the map became a list and it included rhymes as the clues (like the ones in the books...Santa could work on his rhyming ability...maybe he can chat with Matty?)
  • Well, in 2008, Joe was all about I Spy. Santa sent him on a hunt using abstract photos from around the house (boy was he sneaky...I never heard him!)

The treasures Santa leaves are simple little things like rocks, small books (I am sure he gets them from thrift stores), Pokemon cards, playing cards, etc. Santa seems to know just what it is Joe is "in to." Santa is great because he always reminds Joe of the things we want him to work on too!

These are some of the clues he left for Joe...once Joe began the hunt, at each location throughout the house, there was a photo to send him to the next location, until he ended up back at the Christmas Tree.
Mom and Dad really get a break too, because while Joe opens his treasures and admires them (he is very thorough about examining his gifts and appreciating them), Mom and Dad get to make coffee before diving into what is under the tree.
How are your holidays going? Do you have a special tradition?
I would love to hear about it!
 This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre

Thursday, November 26, 2009

How to Make a Beautiful Bride Ugly

This weeks writing prompt "How your audition for a trashy reality show would go?" Boy do I have material for this!

For some background...It was the height of wedding craziness in L.A. Wedding planners were vying for top billing and over the top weddings. New bridal magazines were being published... and television shows developed on what seemed like a daily basis. In the email inbox was a constant flow of teasers for auditions. So, no, my tale is not one of taking my top off to date a has-been rock star or a middle aged (although HOT!) soap opera trashy reality show had much more tame content, but was trashy nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Divorce...Fine! As Long As I Get The Sweet Potato Pie!

I originally posted this for Thanksgiving
but it is also our FAVORITE dish for Christmas!
So, I am linking up to  The DIY Show Off
for the Show and Tell Surprise Party

My family always argues about what's for Thanksgiving dinner

(Christmas dinner too- it is our hobby!).
I am not joking...a simple question about cranberry sauce
turns into a two hour ordeal about which of the 5 recipes to use.
Don't even ask about bringing the turkey last year!
However, with all of our opinions floating around,
there is one thing we must always have...
B's Sweet Potato Pie!

Legend has it that the recipe for this most heavenly sweet potato pie
was a term of a divorce. All B walked away with,
and all she wanted was the sweet potato pie recipe...
and here I go, sharing it with the world (or a small portion of it). 

Jules decided to help me make this one...
this particular pie was a trial run to see what would happen
if I substituted the refined sugar and white flour
with healthier worked...
more about that later (see notes below the recipe)...
but clearly I need to substitute these ingredients,
because Jules chanted "sugar, sugar, sugar"
the entire time she was mixing and sprinkling.

"sugar, sugar, sugar"

B's Sweet Potato Pie
1 Large Can Sweet Potatoes, drained
(sometimes I mash or puree them for texture)
2-3 Sweet Potatoes, baked until fork tender
(skin the potatoes and mash or puree for texture)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter (less 2 1/2 tsp)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup milk (or organic whipping cream)

Combine potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Add milk and beat until smooth.
Spoon into a greased 2 qt. casserole dish.
(I don't grease the pan. If you do use some melted butter)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp melted butter (from above)
1/2 cup pecans
Mix above together and sprinkle/spoon over filling.
We often double the topping recipe

Bake at 350 for about 25 to 30 minutes

1. I substituted pumpkin (and some fresh ginger)
for sweet potatoes and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
The requests are now to make if with pumpkin always!

It took longer to cook, about 45 minutes to one hour...
I just kept checking in on it.

2. To "healthy it up" and trying to use more natural,
less refined, healthful ingredients, I substituted
the sugar for 1/8 cup Grade A Maple Syrup.
It wasn't quite enough, so I did add a little more...
you just need to taste it and decide for yourself.
I also swapped out the flour in the topping for brown rice flour.
Finally I used organic butter, vanilla, etc.
The kids (mainly Joe who would eat the entire thing...if I let him)
just said "this is so good"...see they didn't even know!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! !


PS-If this recipe belonged to Betty Crocker at one time
or someone else,I am not stealing it.
I have no knowledge of the original origins...
my recipe is typed on a blank sheet of paper.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A little something for me...a lot of somethings for you!

Wowie...another crazy week and lots of awards to share.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
to all those bloggers who have passed on the following awards!

There are a lot of names on this list...
it could take days to notify everyone...
so, check the list...and I am working on it!
I still have a Theta Mom tag to finish!
And a turkey dinner to prepare!

Wanna know who won the giveaway...
go to the bottom of the post.
Thanks everyone for playing along with me.
I really wish I won the lottery
(I almost did...that would be a good post!)
and each of you could have a stamp,
but alas no such luck! Only one winner here!

From Jenn at Rook No 17 passed on this award...Muchas gracias!

The rule to this award is simple: 
Pass on the award to 10 other people while notifying and prompting them to do the same.
My nominees are:
  1. Candyfloss and Persie
  2. The McDonald World
  3. Sandwich 365
  4. Pink Flip Flops and Wine
  5. Blonde Episodes
  6. That Crazy Baby Mama
  7. Low Expectations
  8. Theta Mom
  9. Leigh vs. the Laundry
  10. Peeling an Orange with a Screwdriver

Kori at Blonde Episodess created this sparkling award (my favorite kind) and passed it on to me...XOXO!

1. Link the person who gave you the award.
2. Pass the award on to 10 blogs and link those who you gave it to.
3. Let those bloggers know you chose them!
4. Post your award on your sidebar if you so choose.
5. Recopy the rules for someone else.

And, now I pass it on to...

  1. Blonde Episodes...I am not regifting...I just think Kori did such a great job that she deserves one of her one awards!
  2. How to Survive Life in the Suburbs
  3. NYC Gal
  4. The Mother Load
  5. Hormones, Headaches, and Hot Flashes
  6. Batcrap Crazy
  7. Life Laugh Latte
  8. Stir-Fry Awesomness
  9. Speaking from the Crib
  10. Stilettos and Ink
  11. MJ
From Caitlin at Candyfloss and Persie passed on this sweet little award to me...

I'll play the game and list 10 random facts about me, per the rules of acceptance of the award! My list is a little lame..sorry!
  1. I love serial killer movies, books, anything. When I was younger, the Night Stalker was "loose" In So. Cal. and my brother and I decided that it would be a good idea to have a camp out in our backyard.
  2. For my next career switch, I am going to design wedding gowns.
  3. If I could live anywhere in the world, I would probably move back to L.A.
  4. I would love to try living in NY for at least one year...I wish I would have went to design school there.
  5. My house (in L.A.) was on Jack La Lanne juicer commercial. We were not home when they filmed it...I was having a baby!
  6. I had to ask someone to my senior prom and pay for his tux (how embarrassing!)
  7. My favorite sandwich is pickles and cheese...Oh yeah, it is really good (and nutritious!)...white bread, processed cheese, mayo, and sliced dill pickles. I have not had one in ages, but was FAMOUS for them in school.
  8. I go to bed at 1:30 am, get up at 7:00 am and drink A LOT of coffee.
  9. I am a magazine junkie...seriously you have no idea how many I have...and neither do I.
  10. I fight the urge to put on sweats and "call it a day" everyday...I do sometimes wear yoga pants, but I always wear mascara and lip gloss!
    This goes to...
    From my friend Matty at Matty Thoughts...

    From Holly at In the Kitchen with Holly and Lisaloo at One Step at a Time

    There are conditions to accepting this award and they are as follows:

    - put the lemonade logo on your blog or within your post.
    - nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude.
    - link the nominees within your post.
    - let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
    - share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award
    So, I would like to pass this along to:
    1. Twenty First Century Housewife
    2. Sevin Family
    3. Matty Thoughts
    4. Show Me The Mom
    5. Facts from a Fact Woman
    6. Muddy Runner
    7. This Stop Willoughby
    8. Tattoos and Teething Rings
    9. Simple Sweet Inspirations
    10. Warm Chocolate Milk
    11. Family Soup
    From the lovely Katrina at Sevin Family...

    Here are the rules:
    -Display the award logo
    -Nominate up to 9 blogs that make you feel comfy or warm inside
    -Link to your Nominees and leave a comment on their blog telling them about the award.
    -Link to the person whom you received the award.
    And now for last weeks whoopsie...SORRY!
    Shannon from Show Me The Mom also awarded me the Superior Scribbler
    Click HERE to see my recipients

    Oh, you thought I was done...NOT YET!
    Risley at Adventures of the Wilkinson's tagged me for the Happy List

    Here are the rules:
    List 10 things that make you happy.
    1. Hugs from my Jules
    2. Hugs from my Joe
    3. Really cool boots
    4. Great fitting jeans
    5. Laughter
    6. My hubby (when he isn't driving me crazy...J/K)
    7. Crisp clear sunny days
    8. The perfect Mocha!
    9. Looking for sea glass at the beach
    10. Being creative in any way shape or form!
    11. My hubby's contribution is this: "comments and followers"...he thinks I am obsessed!
    Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day
    Make sure to link back to the person that tagged you!
    Seriosuly, I cannot do another list,
    so If you are reading this...
    consider yourself TAGGED!

    Who won? Who won? Tell me NOW...

    I couldn't deal with the random-number-computerized thing, so everyone's name (each entry, as per the post, got one ticket). I threw them in the good old orange bucket and picked a winner! Just like the old days!

    I promise I am done.


    PS- Is my font easier to read now?

    PSS-I am working on my button/badge display. If anyone wants to swap buttons let me know!

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    The Day Started Off Awesome!

    Time again for Writer's workshop over at Mama Kat's!
    I have selected prompt # 4:
    "Share a diary entry from when you were 13...
    feel free to make one up"

    I did not keep a diary or a journal when I was younger,
    maybe sporadically, but nothing long term
    (hmmm...I am sensing a pattern).
    I did keep one when I was in my twenties...
    now that would be a hoot to read, but for now,
    I take you back to the 13 year old Holly...

    April 4, 1984

    Today started off great. In second period, Mrs McGee brought in her computer for us to work on. It is so cool because we are the only class in the whole school that gets to work on a computer. It is called an Apple. I have my Texas Instruments computer at home but I only have a typing program and I am soooo bored with it.

    Then my day just got bad. It sucked! Terry showed up in the same outfit. I mean she knows I shop at Contempo. She knows I went shopping this weekend and l was totally excited about my new outfit. I even have totally cool earrings and socks to match. She does this all the time. I do not want to hang out with her anymore.

    Jennifer and Gary are going-around now. He is so cute, but Ramon is cuter! He is a babe! He said hi to me today.

    There is a big birthday party at Stephanie's this weekend. I am going to ask Chris to do my hair. She is really good at it. Maybe Ramon will come. He hardly ever gets to go to parties, but maybe he'll be there. He is a babe!

    Maybe I can talk my dad into going shopping with my mom and I. I need a new outfit for the party and he always buys me something even when mom says no.

    Off now to make posters for the student council elections.



    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Do I have something for you!...A Giveaway!

    Way back in September when I decided to start this blog, I had no idea how much fun I would many great people I would "meet"....or how many amazing ideas I would discover. Much less, did I think anyone would actually want to read what I had to say...but fast forward a couple of months and here I am with over 100 followers! WOW...who knew?

    So, since I {heart} you all, I have decided to have a giveaway (and a pretty cool one at that!) to celebrate. Compliments of me and my pal Cynthia at A Legendary Affair (it is not just a wedding can grab all kinds of cool stuff online at her shop), you can win one of these super cool personalized stampers from PSA Essentials. I saw these during my trip to L.A. in October...and I fell in LOVE! Check these stylish! 

    Here's what you get:
    You win the stamper body and one personalized stamp. The great, no amazingly fun thing, is that you can then purchase other stamps, to use on the stamper because PSA Essentials has cool peel and stick technology.

    Here's who can win:
    Residents of the U.S. or Canada. I will ship to these countries only (sorry!).

    Here's the requirements = 1 entry:

    1. You must follow this blog publicly to win - this is in celebration of followers!
    2. Just leave a comment and let me know you are already a follower.
    3. If you are a new follower, leave a comment and let me know.


    1. 1 more entry = follow my other blog, Hip, Stylish and Totally Cool Weddings. 
    2. 1 more entry = comment on Hip, Stylish and Totally Cool Weddings.
    3. 1 more entry = Visit PSA Essentials web site and let me know which stamp design you like.
    4. 1 more entry = Follow me on Twitter (504 Main) and tweet about the giveaway with a link.
    5. 1 more entry = Follow me on Twitter (hipweddings) and tweet about the giveaway with a link.
    6. 1 more entry = tell me what your favorite post (of mine) is.
    And the winner is....
    The winner will be selected on Sunday, November 22 at 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time. I will randomly select a winner by pulling names out of a hat, unless I can figure out how to use the random number generator.

    I am not good at the legal speak, but I am responsible for this stamp giveaway myself. The company did not and is not providing me with a sample or with the prize.

    Good luck!

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Holiday Inspirations

    The DIY Show Off
    I am determined to not get taken by surprise this holiday season. I am looking forward to crafting and enjoy this time with my family. So, I am participating in the DIY Show Off's Holiday Highlights Week #1 with my Christmas Tree Cards. Click on the button above to take a trip over and check out the DIY extravaganza and all the great projects for the holidays.


    PS - I look forward to catching
    up with everyone over the
    next few days.
    I am just drained from
    the crazy (but WOW!) weekend!

    Awards Season...

    I am about 30 days late a many dollars short of accepting
    and passing on these awards in a 
    timely manner. I apologize! I {heart} these bloggers
    and if you have not already done so, go check them out NOW!
    I think I managed to get them in the order in
    which they were received! If not, sorry!
    And If I screwed up..sorry too (but let me know so I can fix it!)!
    It has been a very enlightening and busy weekend...
    I will be back at you all tomorrow posting and commenting away!

    From Low Expectations, the Your Blog is Fabulous award

    There are rules for this one...share 5 things that you are obsessed with and then pass the award along to 5 of the most fabulous blogs you read.

    I am obsessed with:
    1. Fashion - clothes, shoes, purses, makeup, etc.
    2. Motherhood - I try to be a better mother every day!
    3. Sparkly things - the way they catch the sunlight and shine make me smile!
    4. Putting my life in order - making time for me (even just 5 quiet minutes a day), feeding my family the proper foods, exercising again, fueling my creative side
    5. Mochas - Oh, coffee - I {heart} coffee
    This award goes to...
    Leigh vs. Laundry
    Batcrap Crazy
    (Yes, I can count, that's 6! Report me...)

    From Dirty Little Confessions, the Silver Shoe of Sincerity

    This goes to:

    From Who Has the ThymeShow Me the Mom, and Running with Letters (wholly cow!), the Superior Scribbler

    The Scribbler award comes with some rules:
    • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
    • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
    • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
    • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor
    • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
    So, drum roll please, the 5 people I want to pass this along to, in no particular order are:

    (yes...I can count and that is three, but I am burnt..and will figure the rest out later!)
    From Pink Flip Flops and Wine, the Friend Award

    This goes to...

    From Leigh vs Laundry, the Heartfelt Award

    This goes to...

    This goes to