September 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
Last week for our school’s staff appreciation luncheon the theme was salads, and I had the perfect recipe. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE salad and that it’s one of my favorite foods. My girls also know it, and in first grade Bella made sure to tell her teacher this on a school report. (Of course, to be fully forthcoming, she also reported that my favorite drink is wine – a proud parenting moment to be sure!) This asian salad recipe came to me from my friend Stacy and is a wonderful combination of sweet and savory; and the crunchy topping – a mix of uncooked ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds – gives great texture. It is the perfect addition to any salad-making repertoire, and I love surprising people with its unique and delicious taste.
1 whole shredded green cabbage
chopped spinach (about 6 ounces)
chopped green onion
2 packages oriental flavored ramen noodles (mashed)
1 pack of dry oriental seasoning from ramen noodles
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons butter (melted)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Combine cabbage, spinach and green onions in salad bowl. For topping, mix together 2 packages of uncooked ramen noodles (I break mine up with a wooden spoon before opening package), 1 pack of the dry seasoning mix that comes with the noodles, the sesame seeds, and the sliced and slivered almonds. Melt butter and pour over mixture. Broil in the oven on a cookie sheet until toasted. Add toasted topping to lettuces, coat with dressing and mix well.
September 13, 2012 § 3 Comments
With my girls back in school, I’m starting to find more time for myself and am happy to be able to craft. Last week I visited one of my favorite stores, Ben Franklin Crafts, to scout out the cool new supplies that had filled the shelves over the summer. The most noticeable addition was washi tape, something that was already on my radar but that I can never have enough of. Washi tape is made of Japanese paper and is similar to masking tape, but much more beautiful. I’ve been using it for a while to embellish cards and tags and to pretty up wrapped packages. I love stacking a few tapes, like layers of a cake, to decorate a birthday card or cutting smaller pieces into little flags. Washi tape used to be hard to find but now it’s everywhere, so try some the next time you need a little crafting pick me up. These tiny tapes make a big impact.
August 27, 2012 § 2 Comments
This is a nice time of year when the weather starts to cool, kids head back to school and the happy holiday season is right around the corner. Some of my favorite reminders, the September fashion magazines, are currently weighing down my mailbox and grocery basket. I love everything about the September issues – especially their heft – and feel with their size as if I’m getting a bargain (never mind that 90% of the issue is ads, because I actually love the artsy high-fashion advertisements in these magazines). They remind me of why I have loved fall fashion ever since I was a little girl back-to-school shopping with my mom and the joyful anticipation I feel every year during this season.
Although I am not much of a trend follower and prefer to stick to things that fit my style and personality, it’s fun to feel “in the know.” I’m happy to report that fall fashionistas and Versace wearers will be sporting studded leather this season; I will probably pass but may take a stab at the new full skirt or winter white trend. And while big hair and a mermaid dress might be a good choice for Lady Gaga on the cover of this month’s Vogue, I myself will choose to just be inspired by her boldness and perhaps try something a little out of my own personal comfort zone – I’m thinking red. Happy fall!!
August 22, 2012 § 2 Comments
I want to hold onto my girls’ childhoods as long as possible, but I know it’s important to embrace each milestone as it comes. We are hitting a big one this week as Bella starts Middle School. I can’t believe that my baby – who it seems just yesterday eagerly started preschool – is now eagerly anticipating this next phase. It’s a time of change for her as Bella also got her first pair of glasses this summer. I hate to see the baby go, but it’s so cool to see the big girl emerge. Time flies (something people always told me when the girls were little, but now I finally realize is absolutely true), and I want to savor each moment.
Bella is excited by the big new world she is experiencing, and she is handling both the glasses and the start of middle school with her own signature grace and style. I feel lucky just to be here, to take it all in, as my precious girls grow and find their path in this life. Today, I paused to document the moment with the girlies (now 5th and 3rd graders) styled up in some of our fall favorites from Crewcuts. Looking at these pictures, I can’t believe how big the girls look and how much of their sweet baby faces are still there smiling back at me. This amazing new chapter in our lives is definitely worth capturing.
June 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
Today was finally the last day of school for my girlies. Because of our crazy snow week in January, we had a lot of make-up days tacked on to the end of our regular school calendar. But we made it, and everyone is so excited – especially me! I have missed my girls and love that special summer time when we get to spend our days playing together. I realize how fast time is going and, though I can’t believe that they are already 10 and 8, I intend to soak up every moment I get with them.
As a little end of school/start of summer present, I gave my girls each a kendama this morning tied up with ribbon and a note that said: “Welcome to Summer, I’ve been waiting for you. Love, Mom.” If you don’t know, a kendama is a Japanese toy – a fancy cup and ball-type game – and it’s all the rage. Like yoyos and jump ropes and cat’s cradles, these kendamas make me smile and remember the joy of just being a kid. So this summer, that’s what I’m going to enjoy and celebrate: even though it’s going fast, for now, my girls are still kids, and they’ve got lots of playtime in front of them.
May 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
In Seattle, coffee is a valued staple in the busy work day. I love giving coffee cards as gifts, but it’s fun to make them a little more personal even when you’re in a rush. Earlier this year, I paired gift cards with monogrammed mugs from my fave Anthropologie. I noticed Starbucks is selling cards specifically printed for Teacher Appreciation Week – what a great last minute teacher gift idea.
May 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and we are so lucky that both our girls have wonderful teachers! I can’t believe how old the girls are getting. I remember when they were little and I had them to myself; I knew all the stories and tidbits that made up their day. Now it’s their teachers who get them all day, who witness the stories and are present for the tidbits. For all that precious time they spend with my girls and for all the important things they do for our family, I wanted to thank them.
It’s funny sometimes how an idea comes together. I have been thinking about making paper strawberries since before Easter when my friend Stephanie sent us some paper carrots she had made, filled with candy. I thought it would be so cute to package a few paper berries up with one of the stoneware farmer’s market baskets that I love at Anthropologie. Several times I tried to cut and fold paper to get a strawberry shape, but just couldn’t get it right. Then a couple of weeks later when I was in Florida, I made a trip to Violettes Scrapbook Store, a great shop I never miss when I go home for a visit. As I was checking out with some new stamps and Copics, I happened to glance down next to the register and spotted a little scrapbook paper basket filled with paper strawberries. I was a little (A LOT) excited and, with the help of the crafty lady behind the counter, made a quick job of taking one of the strawberries apart to make a template. My gift idea was realized: I made strawberries for each basket and added a little sign with wording I’d found on Pinterest. Voila, a sweet way to tell the teachers how much they are appreciated for everything they do.