A hidden paradise...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today I took the kids to a hidden paradise where old historic buildings are and peacocks roam free. For those of you who live in San Diego you might recognize it as Leo Carrillo Ranch in Carlsbad. It is a unique little place. It's full of beautiful views. One of my favorite places was the stairs that led to nowhere...

What was surprising about this place was that it used to be a personal home. I kept thinking to myself it must have been gorgeous in it's day. It had so many buildings I'm not really sure what they all were. But they were old which was really neat for the kids to see. There aren't a lot of old buildings where we live so it was nice to be able to take the kids a few steps back in time.

One of the coolest things about Leo Carrillo Ranch Park is the peacocks. They are everywhere!! And a lot of them! The kids were able to get really close to them....when they walked slow....which didn't happen very often.

We even watched one munch on a flower...

It was lovely to be able to escape for a few hours. I hope you all can take a little escape in your week too. 

With love,

Relief for Japan

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to decide who to donate to. My husband and I have picked out a few groups that we donate to every year. But when a natural disaster hits, especially one like what happened to Japan, my heart aches to help the people. One organization that was brought to my attention was Soles 4 Souls. Last year a moms group that I'm a part of did a shoe drive for the Haiti earthquake victims and were able to donate over 70 pairs of shoes.

                Join the relief effort in Japan by donating your gently worn shoes at Sport Chalet now through April 10, 2011.

You can go onto Soles 4 Souls website and get to know this great organization that helps so many people. This is a really great way to teach even the littlest ones about giving and sharing with those in need.  They can personally put their used shoes into the boxes at their local Sport Chalet store. The organization also welcomes new shoes which you can often find for a few dollars on Walmart clearance racks. They want any size, male or female....and lets face it, who doesn't love shopping for shoes ;)

Happy Shoe Donating!
With Love,

My Week...Written Down

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

As a mom of two young children I am constantly on the go. My days tend to get very busy, very fast and I don't carry my calendar around with me. So I created a weekly to-do list that I've been keeping in my purse. I named it "My Week...Written Down." It's come in really handy these past few weeks. I find that as I am making plans I can pull it out and jot down a note for myself. Anything that makes my life easier and keeps it better organized is something I love. So I wanted to share it all with you! I hope you enjoy! Click here to download and print your own.

With Love,

Under Construction

Friday, March 18, 2011

Please excuse the mess. I'm trying to find the right look for my blog and it might go through a few changes over the next few days. Thank you all for sticking with me during the remodel!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I hope you all are having a wonderful St. Patrick's Day. Did a leprechaun visit your house last night?? A leprechaun sneaked into our house and caused some havoc. He placed our shoes high up above our fireplace, placed jackets over our piano, brought bikes inside our house from the garage (he must have been having a grand old time), turned our milk green, and he left the evidence of a midnight snack on our dining room table. The kids thought it was so funny. But their favorite part was finding the gold covered chocolate coins in the leprechaun trap.

If a leprechaun didn't visit your house don't despair! There are still lots of ways to enjoy the day. If you are looking for a St. Patrick's Day word search, crossword puzzle or coloring page for kids click here. 

Tonight I'm making corned beef and cabbage. I'm also doing some roasted potatoes on the side. Corned beef and cabbage is such a simple meal to make. Click here to view one of my favorite corned beef recipes. As a side dish I'm roasting some red potatoes. I cut them into wedges, leaving the skin on, and coat them in oil. I find that vegetable oil works just fine, but you could substitute olive oil if you prefer. I season them with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Then I place in a 350 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes or until tender. You could also add some fresh herbs to this recipe, it's so versatile and yummy! 

(I like to add carrots about 10 min. before cooking the cabbage)

And to finish up your evening, Gwyneth Paltrow has rounded up some cocktail recipes. To view the Gwyneth Paltrow "GOOP" Newsletter featuring St. Patrick's Day cocktail recipes click here. Whatever you do this St. Patrick's Day I hope you enjoy!

Leprechauns...The real story

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What is the real story of the leprechaun? Many of us have forgotten...but I know the story very well.

After reading the story about the leprechaun, you will understand why it is fun for kids to make a trap. My son made his trap this year all by himself. I recommend if you are trying to find a way to make this St. Patrick's Day special you can print out the story and make a trap. We started our trap with a cat litter box and lots of construction paper and glue.

We cut open one side of the box and added weights (aka...bubble bottles) so that it would shut when triggered.

We placed the "gold" inside to attract the leprechaun. We even put footprints to help guide the leprechaun to the gold. We used a campbell's soup can to help add weight to the back of the trap so that it wouldn't tip over when the door was open. 

Notice how the string is attached to the gold?? That string is also attached to a skewer that holds the door open. When the gold is touched the door closes.

It really is amazing what can be done with a little glue and masking tape and string...  Go ahead and give it a try!

The Wedding Cake

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The cake was finished last weekend :) Yes, it did take me a full week to recover - lol! The cake was a lemon cake with fresh cut strawberries and a whipped cream cheese filling. It was covered with vanilla buttercream and then covered in fondant. The bride loved her cake and so I'm a very happy baker....who now needs to figure out her next big adventure :) Here's some pictures of the cake: