Sunday, December 13, 2009


blue 1
first night
blue 2
holidays cookies

:: third sunday in advent ::
:: third night of hanukkah ::
:: third annual neighborhood progressive dinner ::

happy holiday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

that's a wrap

meRRRy christmas (3Rs)

presents wrapped with materials around the house.

a holiday mix cd curated by the girls.

santa waiting on the rooftop.

ho ho ho

the menorah is polished too.

hanukkah begins tomorrow and 8 nights of celebration. then we will hit the road and drive towards a christmas in the snow. i think we are ready!

(don't worry bubbie! pics of the shiny menorah to come!)

Monday, December 07, 2009

whipped shortbread

the girls are out early every day this week. i thought if we made a cookie a day we'd have a nice selection to take up to the cottage for the holidays. and it's raining, so my initial idea of some hiking during this extra daylight together, has given way to baking.

whipping up some shortbread

my mom's whipped shortbread

1 1/2 cups softened butter
3/4 cup icing sugar (sifted)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
nonpareils (who knew they had such a history?)

::whip together butter and icing sugar until creamy and light::add flour and cornstarch and mix fully::roll into a smallish ball::dip into red and green nonpareils::place on cookie sheet with silpat or parchment::flatten slightly with a fork (my mom never did this but it is k's favourite cookie making task so we add it in whenever we can)::bake in a 300 degree oven for about 25 minutes (or until just turning golden at the edges::enjoy with a cup of tea::

makes about 3 dozen

progressive dinner 2009

progressive dinner invite

every year a friend and i organize our annual neighborhood progressive holiday dinner. it is a blast. four families host - showing off their mid-century home - and serving one of the four courses (appetizers, soup/salad, main, and dessert). we are at each house for one hour - and have fifteen minutes between courses to walk to the next house. we map it out to devise the best route and take along holiday song-sheets for those in the mood for music. it is a wonderful opportunity to get to know fellow mcm loving neighbors, catch-up, meet new neighbors, trade information on restoring these wonderful houses and of course engage in some holiday cheer! it is our 3rd year, and we are now up to 30 invites! (multiply that out as this is a very kid-friendly family event!) it will be a good one!

(this year's invite was designed and printed by my very talented neighbors!)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

ready steady go




holiday portrait (outtake)
holiday portrait (not)

it certainly 'tis the season. how was your weekend?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

we are morning people.

we are morning people.
we are morning people.

good morning granola
(based on a recipe from stephanie)

about 8 cups oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup toasted flax seeds
::mix together in a large bowl::in a separate pot heat together 1 cup maple syrup with 1/2 cup canola oil::pour warm liquid into dry ingredients and stir::cook on cookie sheets in a 350degree oven for 30 minutes::stirring every 10 minutes::

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

good morning

morning I
morning II

this morning as we were heading to school E looked up at me and said:

"You look pretty today Mama. Like a farmer."

I think it was the finest compliment I have ever received.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

happy thanksgiving, pilgrim.

Happy Thanksgiving!

quiet holiday here. we will be staying put - and surrounding ourselves with family and friends. we have much to be thankful for.

i am thinking of renting The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. (where John Wayne routinely refers to Jimmy Stewart as "Pilgrim".) a new Thanksgiving tradition, perhaps?

happy holiday!

Friday, November 20, 2009



one of my finds at the thrift yesterday.

its a lovely wool. though a wee bit too small. but wearable. and the leather flowers had me at go.

happy friday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

bits and bobs

i have posted a few new items in the shop

owl and apple tree

some wonderful vintage cansiters i have been holding onto for a year. trying to find a place for them. my reality is that we don't need them. so there they are. there is also a small group of vintage vera scarves that i will never wear. no matter how hard i might want to. i kept one. and that will be enough for me.

i made this 30 minute chili for dinner the other night. and the girls loved it. jonathan safran foer's book is making me think more about the meat we do eat - and while i don't think we are ready to eliminate it, we certainly are working on cutting back.

i am reading another great book. nothing profound or earthshattering, but written by an lausd teacher i turn to when i need to be inspired about public education. and what it can be. all the while the reality of our public school system - and the cuts looming - are scaring me to death.

i started pilates. (thanks mom.) and am becoming a reformer junky. sad but true.

i am trying to convince myself that the girls' wishes for american girl dolls from santa would be satiated with this. but i think i'm likely kidding myself.

what do you think?

Monday, November 16, 2009

::monday smile::

"My dear girl, have you ever noticed that the human race is divided into two distinct and irreconcilable groups: those that walk into rooms and automatically turn television sets on, and those that walk into rooms and automatically turn them off. The trouble is that they end up marrying each other."
-- Laurence Harvey as Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Friday, November 13, 2009


::years of wedded bliss::

d and i celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary yesterday. and are continuing to celebrate today with a dinner at the restaurant that catered our celebration on a rooftop downtown way back then. the girls think 10 years is forever. though pointed out this morning that 103 years is much longer to be married and would be really something to celebrate. which we agreed.

it isn't always easy. but to walk with you is worth it.

here is to 93 more years honey. i love you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

not an app

of course my kids are fascinated by all electronic. my eldest has been asking for a cel phone / ds / wii / laptop of her own / etc. for the last year. and the little one echoes her. (though i think she is still about as tech savvy as her mama. i know that won't last long!) we have not conceded. and have no plans to. at least in the near future. we have an old, small television. which requires an antennae to work. a "sensitive" dell laptop (that needs replacing) and an outdated imac. i often hear, "but mom, i'm the only kid that doesn't have..."

and i have an iphone. they love it. (yes. i do too.) i have downloaded a few things for them. boomerang programs. math games. rainbow words. (we are working on our multiplication tables and sight words. i am not a big fan. but it is part of "the system". ahhh public school. a future post. perhaps.) but their favourite thing so far seems to be the clock. they are fascinated with the idea of time zones. we were recently gifted a globe by a favourite neighbour, and i was tickled to find the girls playing with it the other day.

iphone game (but not an app)

a game they devised of finding a country on the globe - then seeing what time it is there. i love it. to paraphrase miss hannah montana - perhaps the best of both worlds?

Monday, November 09, 2009

monday monday

something is wrong with the hard-drive on my laptop. it sounds salvageable, but for now it is with my favourite computer doctor. leaving me without an easy way to upload pictures. and i have pictures.

we made it to the artemide sidewalk sale. much to the disappointment of my eldest daughter, we purchased three more of these.

on our return home she wrote me a letter:

Mom, The lamps you bought are horendisly (sic) normal. I hate them. You said we were getting new lights and we already have five lights like that.

needless to say i was very impressed by her passion for design. and told her i loved her. and that i was so proud that she was not interested in the "horendisly" normal.

me and e
laptop back! thanks gary! yes yes - i will be better at backing up. and yes, i will start looking for a new machine. promise.

Friday, November 06, 2009



it feels like fall. at least a socal fall. it makes me happy.

we had an amazing violin concert in the school garden this morning. i am in one of those states where all the hard work we put into that place seems worth it. must learn how to hold onto that feeling. the look on those 400 faces while watching elizabeth pitcairn play a selection from bizet's carmen is unforgettable. it makes me happy.

killed time at the nursery yesterday. and have a bunch of plants to get in the ground to prove it. that makes me happy too.

happy friday.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

a peek inside

a peek inside

a tour of our home over at cafemom! (thanks sheri!)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

::Hallowe'en 09::

hound & fox masks

Inspired by Charley Harper I went for handmade masks this year for David and I. (When I told D I wanted to be a "fox" he had something completely different in mind involving satin shorts and rollerskates. But I think in the end he was happy how these turned out.) They were so much fun to construct. (I miss my sewing machine!)

We had a fabulous Hallowe'en! Biggest neighbourhood parade turn-out to date :: Fantastic Dios de los Muertos neighbourhood party with dear friends :: E's first visit to a "real" haunted house with her Papa, and her bff :: K and I watching Kiki's Delivery Service (I love this movie!) and handing out treats

And can you believe its November?

More Hallowe'en pics here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

boo (almost)


preparations have been made. i think we are ready!

full-on "boo!" tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

right now.


love in 1 1/2 hours.


all good. too busy to catch-up right now. but had to tell you i have fallen in love. Banana Nut Bread. pg.32.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

crewel weather

things are getting checked off the list! hopefully things to share by week's end.

i picked this little owl up at that out-of-the-way thrift yesterday. i thought it would end up in the shop, but the girls found a place for it on their wall, so for now anyway, it is staying here

inspiration 2

i am almost finished a crewel project, and looking for something with a wider variety of stitches. i love the eyes on this one. and am feeling inspired by a recent visit with this piece. (a true love of mine.)

it is cold and rainy and i'm happy. and i am feeling productive. i certainly am siding with the turtles (and not the chickens) on the wet stuff coming down. good stuff.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

this week


i am going to sew.
i am going to move more files where they are supposed to go.
i am going to visit that somewhat out of the way thrift shop.
i am going to bake healthier cookies than the ones we made today.
i am not going to stress over the small stuff.
i am going to check things off the list.

happy monday!

Friday, October 09, 2009


a nevelashka, or "chime doll"

d found this at a community white elephant sale and we all gasped when she was opened to reveal some sort of metal armature. further research lead us to find that instead of hiding her family inside, she is designed to play a tinkly tune. i think originally something would have hung from the tallest metal bar, i think on a string, so that when she wobbled the "chimes" would be struck. for now we have placed a couple of pichinko balls inside that roll around when she is tipped.

have a lovely weekend!

and thanks jan for reminding me! for my friends and family back home - happy thanksgiving! xo

Thursday, October 08, 2009

could it be?



pic taken on my phone during my walk the other morning.

i am constantly searching for a connection to the seasons in this city. great article about angelenos and their relationship to the outdoors (their swimming pools) in Los Angeles magazine this month. You can read it here

we are recovering from a round of head and chest colds.

oh yes. fall.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

darn it.

cute shoes i bought k are a 1/2 size too small. she wore them for approximately 20 minutes then couldn't take it any more! any chance you want them?

(you can find them retail here.)

my mistake
Morgan and Milo
Kids Avril Metallic (Gold)
size 11.5

(payments accepted through paypal)


and the book. well, since reading this biography, i have been watching the thrift for this one. and yay! finally found it.

sometimes you win sometimes you lose...

Monday, September 28, 2009

planting ideas

i always know that there will be good finds at the goodwill when i find a stack of vintage sunset books ... got me thinking about our garden.

sunset '53

it is cooler (only in the 90s!) and a holiday from school, so we have spent the day working in the yard. thinking about fall - and all the goodness it brings to our garden.


i took a bunch of succulent cuttings from a neighbor in exchange for tending her garden while she went on elderhostel to san francisco. i let them dry out and have stuck them in the ground - safely away from the chickens. (still want to go for a succulent wall. found the perfect foundation for it.)

thanks for all the bday wishes. it was well spent visiting theodore payne with two of my favourite people. then with those i love most eating at a new favourite restaurant. (love finding spots like this close to home.) then on to cake with my freighbours. i am a lucky girl.

happy fall!