Friday, May 30, 2008

Maybe She Was Born With It, or Maybe....

Today just so happened to be one of those days, that had a slight stir about it. I decided to take the girls out this afternoon, even though I knew in the back of my mind, that I should have stayed home. Our outting pushed back dinner, no big deal right? Well, kind of because we had to be out of the house by 6pm, to make a very special, 8th Grade Graduation in Boulder.

With that said, there was a bit of a mishap right between the water boiling and the macaroni being placed in the pot.

The girls were running around the upstairs, through the bathroom into the hallway, into my bedroom and back through the bathroom. Round and around. I envisioned someone falling or hitting their head on the doorway. I was bumped a few times.

All the while, I was curling my hair with a very hot curling iron. Then out of sheer dumbness, I started to put on mascara. Don't ask me why, I wear mascara about once a month, I guess with May ending in a couple of days, I thought I should get my mascara quota in for the month.

Yes, girls running, screaming. Yes, water is definitely boiling by this point. And yes, I started to apply mascara.

Apparently I was functioning at about 75% of normal mental capacity, because I was disappointed in the eyelash curling job that didn't take affect on my left eye. So after putting my mascara on, I used the eyelash curler.

Please don't try this at home.

Sj stopped running, just in enough time to bump my leg while I was using the eyelash curler. I lost my balance. In that moment, that little ill fated moment, the curler came away from my eye in a forceful manner. I felt like I had just waxed my eyelashes. I opened the curler, that was closed when it left my eye, to find it full. Full of my precious, fine, never had enough in the first place, eyelashes.

Not good. Not pretty.

But please get a good laugh from this photo, if my husband was in town, I would have him take a better photo than this. Yes, my eyes are hazel.

Now my only question is, how the hell long does it take for eyelashes to grow back? Guess I need to go with a sweeping bang look.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

13 Things To Do While Mom Is Gardening

Keeping two mischievous girls occupied while trying to work around the yard has proven to be a challenge. Maybe even more of a challenge than actually all the physical labor. In case you were wondering, I gathered 13 photos of what the girls have been doing around here the last couple of weekends.

#1- Sneak the neighbor's dog treats, even though "she is on a diet".
#2- Remove my pa#3-Help of course, I can haul quite the load. Everyone, watch your toes!#4- Pout, sometimes what we do best.
#5- Vacate the premises. Mom's favorite of the bunch. Yes, the girls are back there!
#6-Sand, sand, and more sand. So much fun, until GL realizes she loves the reaction from others when she throws the sand.

]#7- Swing! Wee.. Still working on the pump on your own.#9- Eat a specially prepared Bento lunch, mom fixed me. American Bento, a beautiful thing!
#10- Umm, create "glop", so mom thinks I ate my lunch. But really I stuffed it all in my cup of milk. Eeew.. Then I can drop it on the floor. Fun, so much fun.
#11- Make friends with the spider colony that has inhabited the bottom of our wheelbarrow.
#12- Play hide and seek!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Difference A Day Makes

Weekends always seem to end too soon. How can it already be Sunday night, when it feels like the weekend just started?! I love the difference a day makes. I think three day weekends should become the norm. Even though we had something going on everyday from Friday night to Monday dinner plans, it was just right. It didn't fly by too fast. We were so accomplished with one extra day. To top it off the week goes by faster because we already blew through Monday. 

So many times I can reflect on those little twenty four hours and how different life can be a day later. Take for example Miss GL's cold last week. Sunday was the onset of the runny nose, Monday was the onset of cough after sundown, Tuesday a bit better, Wednesday was fine. Each day the progression of the illness lessened, just the way my racing mind likes it. Thank heavens!

Or even better yet,  a day later when deciding on airplane tickets. My hubby and I have been looking into purchasing tickets to visit family in New York. We were settling in on dates that work best for him to travel, where we wanted to fly into (the city or Albany), looking at ticket prices. Literally overnight our options went from $275 a ticket to $450 for the same tickets to NYC and the flights to Albany went up to $600. So, $1800 to fly to New York, yeah not so appealing. If I am spending $1800 to fly my family, the airplane is going to land in a destination that I don't understand the language or there could possibly be a beautiful beach within a stones throw. Bummer.

Just for a chuckle, you'll get what I am so into these days. One day you have an idea, you pick up some cedar lumber. Within twenty four hours the raised garden bed is built, seeds are busy germinating, and plants have been planted. Delight.

The next time, I am all wrapped up in the moment, unable to look ahead, I just need to stop and remember. Remember the difference a day makes.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Take Back The Ground

Let me apologize, as for some reason with the change of weather has come a change of blog talk. It seems as if I could start some gardening blog, maybe I should call my blog Eat Play Love Dig or Eat Play Love Weed or Eat Play Love GrowaGarden. Ha.

You see, I am a little eye lid heavy and very sleepy right now. I should be in bed, sprawled out, snoozing away. We've been busy little bees around here. No, no photos. I want the before and after and my after isn't quite where I want it to be at this moment. I suppose the walkway inspired me to re-connect with the earth, the weeds, the backyard I have so casually turned my back on. It grew out of neglect, sometimes rampant with weeds that I paid dearly for the last two days.

While re-connecting with my space, I simply used old fashioned means to remedy my yard. I used hoe, a pitchfork, a shovel, wheel barrow, and my hands to take back the ground from the weeds. I didn't run out and buy chemicals as a quick fix. I loathe chemicals, I fear chemicals in my body and around my family (I googled Round-Up, I don't recommend it). I put my hands on every little green growth with bark like stems sprawling in a maze like system through out the ground. All interconnected.

All dug up.

My thighs and gluts (gluteus maximus) ache from bending over and you know what, it feels good. It feels like I am doing good, for my body, for my idle racing mind, and for my family.

The raised garden bed was born and currently contains some seeds and some transplants. The plantings will be finished tomorrow. I can admit to paying a hefty buck for all of my yard tangents, for my garden. I know stopping by the farmer's market would have proved much more thrifty.

But now my girls have the experience of putting their hands in soil, having it collect beneath their nails. Poking their chunky little fingers into the organic matter and placing one little itty-bitty seed into the hole, brushing the soil over the opening, and whispering a little good luck "see you soon". Soon, a little sprout will grace us and in a month or two the fruits of our labor and love will nourish us.

No matter what vegetables or flowers come from my little patch, I know my soul and body has already been nourished.

Photos will follow...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Overflowing Baskets are Hindering the Bubbles

With it being a wonderful, glorious holiday weekend, I have visions of running free in the mountains in my head. Sun shining on my face, the girls giggling, my hubby chasing them. 
Maybe we could even blow some spectacular bubbles, watch them float off into the sky, and pop with little sprinklings of bubbles landing on our faces. 
But, I am home. Amidst some laundry. That was a joke, some.... I mean lots of laundry. Can you find my daughter in that laundry? She's there, I swear she was a minute ago.....
Boy do I wish I was Hammy (my doggie nephew) right now, lounging around, being fed, outside playing fetch, someone scratching my ears.  Can I get some kibble? 
Have a wonderful weekend my friends. Gardens will be born tomorrow. Barbecues will be fired up. Graduations will be celebrated! I think I can smell summer.  Fun, fun!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stuffing Envelopes and Unpainted Walls

Today's the day that I reveal, 13 Uninteresting ...aka Boring Things about myself. I was tagged by Kristin H. over at Jilli Java and The Garden of Eden...

1. I have 3 older brothers, which all live within 5 miles from the house I grew up in where my parents still reside to this day, I however live 1,800 miles away.

2. I loathe unloading the dishwasher, but don't bat an eye at a big pile waiting to be loaded.

3. I never like the way I look in eye make-up, although next month I will be getting a little help from some ladies at Sephora to work through this problem.

4. I was a strict vegetarian for about 10 years or so, now I am just a strictly natural meat eater.

5. The equivalent of nails on a chalkboard to me, is the sound of someone trimming their toenails. Eeew. Might have to do with my disdain for feet.

6. On the fourth of July about 14 years ago, I pierced my nose. I still wear it.

7. I've had two volunteer positions this past year, Scholastic Book Clubs for Sj's entire pre-school and Moms Club Secretary. Within weeks both of those positions will be over. My love of stapling will be suppressed.

8. I have a love of Apple Computers, I have never owned a Microsoft based PC.

9. I wear a tiny silver ring on my pinky, it's been worn on that finger for at least 20 years. A couple of years ago I thought I lost it, but it turns out I had used it as a marker when knitting a hat.

10. There's a funny part of me that goes into EMT mode when I am awakened in the middle of the night by a seal like barking cough, although I have no formal EMT training.

11. I would love to find a cute pair of sandals for the summer.

12. There is a can of paint waiting to be used on my bedroom walls sitting in a closet upstairs. I've had it for 5 years. How depressing.

13. My work ethic stems from my upbringing, I can work just as hard and get just as dirty as a man. No problem. Then I can shower and put on a dress and feel very girly.

So now, I am tagging The Clothesline andCarpediem-Love2Cook to take this one and have fun with it!

This other MeMe was a fun one, I was tagged by Domestic Accident. I feel proud to actually recall what I was doing 10 years ago, I will admit they were some pretty big life changing events.

4 Things I was doing 10 years ago-
1. Graduating from college with a BA in Anthropology (I took the long winding path to a degree), although I skipped the actual University Of Colorado Commencement ceremony.
2. Preparing to get married in 2 weeks.
3. Living in my favorite rental in downtown Boulder.
4. Taking the best dog in the world on a hike everyday.

4 Things I was doing 5 years ago-
1. I was about 5 months pregnant with Sj.
2. Packing up my classroom in anticipation of not returning to teaching after giving birth.
3. Living the dual income, no children lifestyle, meals out all the time, buying whatever my heart desired, sleeping in, treating my dog like my child, all those things. Seems like lifetimes ago.
4. Earning a salaried paycheck.

4 Things I did yesterday-
1. Took GL to the doctor for her cough, where she was totally freaked out once again by her doctor. Oh and where I found an empty vial of vaccine in the parking lot next to my car!!!
2. Texted with a friend that’s out of town on a business trip.
3. Stuffed envelopes and mailed 45 invitations to a Moms Club bbq.
4. Fell asleep for the second time while watching Becoming Jane.

4 Shows I like to watch-
1. Top Chef
2. The Hills (yes, it’s true, why? you wonder? I really don't know.)
3. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
4. Everyday Food on PBS

4 Things I Love to Do:
1. Bake and cook.
2. Spending time with the man I’ve been in love with for 17 years.
3. Snuggle my girls in the morning.
4. Dream.

For this one I am tagging Welcome To The Circus and The Soapdish, to join in on the fun!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In The Beginning...

***Click on Photo to Enlarge***

Here is the monstrosity I call my backyard. Oh how naive my husband and I were when we snubbed our noses at small lots, in favor of this large yard with huge mature trees. Now, looking back on it, I would love one of those smaller yards, quaint yards as we so longingly refer to them. Yards with out Cottonwoods that drop 40 bags of leaves every fall.

We are taking it all in stride. Our first major project was ripping out the concrete that was buckled serving as a carnival attraction patio. We created the tumbled Pavestone patio and it's held up wonderfully. Not much else has transpired in the landscaping department, except the wonderful additions of the shed, swings, and sand box. Well, in my mind I have a million and one plans, but lack the funding. Maybe I'll win a backyard makeover, don't you think it desperately needs it?

The photo was taken last week, before we started the finished project. I took the photo with my new camera that I was surprised to receive on Mother's Day. My former camera worked just fine, but my hubby's was better. Every time he took it on a business trip, I missed it dearly. So I got an upgrade. It wasn't until this morning that I realized the camera came with panorama software. Ironically enough I shot a panorama last week and all I had to do was plug 6 photos into the software and the photo above was born.

Can't wait to shoot an "In the end" panorama come September. On the agenda this weekend, raised garden beds. More to come!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tiled Oasis

The art of adjusting the shower with our new "tankless" water heater has been a work in progress. After five months, I believe I have honed in on my comfort zone. Something wonderful to understand with a tankless water heater is that the hot water supply is endless (unless you are trying to be green) and it is not affected by flushing toilets , dishwashers rumbling, or a load of laundry. Pure Bliss, until my reality creeps into the zone.

The reality is, I never knew my love of showering until I gave birth to Sj. The shower was the only escape for my postpartum fog that would not allow me to venture off anywhere, not even to the market alone. Well, I did go to Target once when she was a newborn, I was there and back with the little hand mitts in 7 minutes, roundtrip.

Yes, that neurotic. Trust me, not so neurotic the second time around, not even close.

Truthfully, the shower became my little oasis. A place I could slip into, feel refreshed, maybe cry for ten minutes, sing, laugh, but most importantly where I could be alone. I never quite appreciated showering in such away, until I became a mother.

Now fast forward to life with two girls, I still relish the shower. I always feel a bit bummed out when I have a quickie business shower. Or when I am mid body scrub and I hear someone calling my name, asking where something is. Or when my hubby stops by for a little peek, an eye brow raise, and an attempt at an inviting response. Unfortunately those reciprocating responses don't occur too often.

There aren't many things I can say are mine, all mine. Ten minutes in the shower, all by my lonesome, I am keeping coveted like a prized possession.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Digging, Shoveling, Leveling, Laying, Aching...Result Crushed Stone and Pavestone Walkway!!!

I believe I am notorious for setting myself up with an easy Backyard Project. It sort of goes like this, we'll just whip this out in a day, here's my vision, we've got these supplies, we need these, no problem. Well for starters there are always problems, but the better saying would be there aren't many problems with out solutions. We solved the major problems and time will tell if our hard work was done properly.

So my vision was taking up some flagstone that was haphazardly thrown down to create a walkway. It had become covered with weeds, mulch, and various other oddities. Then I thought we could make a crushed stone walk way from our current patio to the gate at the north end of our home. We had enough tumbled pavestone left over from our patio project in 2004 to use for a border. See where I am headed, heck we only need some paver edging and the crushed rock for the walkway. That would be a thirty foot walkway about five feet wide. Easy, peasy!

There was digging for an entire day, to only fill it back up with various other gravelish materials. An unanticipated 1/2 ton of road base to compact down before we laid the brick and stone. And, I stole some sand from the girls' sandbox, I thought I should use the year old stuff and buy them fresh sand for their sandbox next weekend.

Funny enough, I saw this as a one day project. It's Sunday night and we are 90% done. We need more rock, but can't buy it now, which happily puts us at a standstill. I'll call my one day project a two day and change project.

Can you say elbows are aching??? Yes, very random aches and pains to accompany my hard labor.

Here are the photos:
Exhibit A, The pitiful walkway, the inspiration for "anything" different:

Exhibit A part 2: Danger Zone, I mean walkway for the girls. EEK!
Day One: Clear out all debris, dig trench where walkway will be. 5ft x 30ft long. We have this jetting out concrete that can not be changed, so we had to make do and let it flow into the walkway. We could have curved the walkway, but that would have involved cutting bricks and trust me, cutting bricks is not fun. So concrete meanders into walkway, I'm ok with it!

Day Two: Aaah, remember that huge hole we dug yesterday, well today we get to fill it! We used roadbase to fill the hole. Creates a compacted surface, with the notion of cutting down on shifting rock in the walkway when it's completed. 
Hand Tamping to compact the roadbase. In the foreground, cheap labor.

Ok, so we dug out all the fill, and we piled it up under our cottonwood tree. Now we have a ginormous mound of fill. Not sure what to do with it. Possibly Craigslist, only if hubby is around. Had one too many creepy Craigslist experiences.  Added sand for the Pavestone. Pavestone must rest comfortably upon sand, they go together like PB&J.

Finale: Wonky Walkway. We met a point of frustration and decided to go with it. We didn't want to spend hours adjusting and leveling the sand/roadbase for the bricks. So it's a bit wonky on the sides where the Pavestones are, but I am so OK with it. Added Rainbow Chips from our local rock supply company. We still need about 1/2 ton more. That will be tomorrow. 
I am content, now I need a nice shower to remove the layers of walkway grime, and a good night's sleep. 

Friday, May 16, 2008

They Call It FLUFF

So it's Friday and this woman, with 2 babies in her tummy is all over the place! Yes, it's Angelina Jolie. Everytime I hear her name, I wonder where are the babies going to be born? In which foreign country will these two little Brangelina's thrust their way into the world??? Normally, I could care less, but considering it's fair territory and quite early in the game for predictions, I am going with France. How about you?
The second random thing I couldn't get out of my mind is the whopping Government Stimulus check Jon & Kate will be getting! $3,600.....
but then I thought oh what about those baby making Duggars...$6,300..... Damn. I'll happily take my $1800 and run.
So now, my brain can return to it's normally neurotic state worrying about my children, how I didn't pay the bills yet today like I should have, the state of the laundry is there a load waiting to dry, who's crying , when is my husband coming home, how I need to read my two chapters in A New Earth for Sunday, and how it would be nice to have some alone time....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Parents Please Take Your Seats

Last week I attended my very first "parent of a kindergartener" meeting. It was the official orientation for us first timers and a sprinkling of well seasoned parents chiming in with their "been through this" knowledge!

Yes, I was completely dumbstruck by the fact that my first born is actually going to kindergarten. Wasn't it just yesterday she would cry for me when I dropped her off for her big-girl-45-minute-all-by-herself "twoodles" class? My mind continually raced to wrap itself around the notion that Sj is going to school. Not touchy feely sing and play pre-k.

Real School!

Sj is seriously going to "10 page orientation hand out" school. Kindergarten. Like go school shopping school. Buy school supplies from a long laundry list of specifics school. That would also remind me "please learn to wipe your own bottom after pooping by the time you start" school. My summer may be more intensive than I envisioned.

About mid-meeting, a friend points out to me a large piece of paper that has a perfectly hand written colorful list on the white board. I start to read it, "no side conversations", "respect everyone's ideas", and "no busy work or grading papers", with a few others to fill the page. The list begins to ring all too familiar to me and my former life. Hands down, I would bet it was the staff meeting rules. I would also bet it was created by the entire staff at the very first meeting, so everyone would feel ownership for the rules. That's how they get you in education, they reel you in hook, line, and sinker.

My friend and I both chuckled as for not too long ago, we were both teachers. It was a few years ago we were accustomed to giving the presentations to a room full of parents, not being the parents. Total and complete role reversal. Wow!

Aah life, I have to admit, it just grabs you by the seat of your pants sometimes. What an adventure!

***btw, for those of you wondering, Sj is going to kindergarten 2.1 miles from our home, in our hometown, which oddly enough is a neighboring school district. It's a wonderful neighborhood school! I am thrilled and feel silly that I was wrapped up in the whole open enrollment showdown in my school district. I called them, they said stop by, I dropped off a piece of paper and was in like that. So easy, so refreshing. My mind, stomach, and heart are at ease!***

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oprah Set Off The Flashback

A long, long, time ago let's say way back in 2001, before children mind you, my hubby took me on a film shoot with him. It was closing weekend in Telluride, so they offered up lots of perks to get him out there. One of the perks was pampering for me, at the Golden Door Spa as well as lift tickets. But you see, my hubby makes a living solely based on the skiing industry and me, his love of 16 years, doesn't really care too much for skiing or snowboarding. Yes, we are working on this, but honestly I really do enjoy the spas much much more.

One evening, I was invited along to have dinner with "the talent" (a professional skier), his wife, and my hubby. We were eating at Harmon's, it has the classic Colorado restaurant feel, gamey meats, fireplace roaring, dimmed lights, and antlers adorning the chandeliers. The food and conversation were flowing.

When all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye, there he was. Tom Cruise.

My initial thoughts were, holy shit, there is Tom Cruise. How crazy is that!!! Tom Cruise.

But I said nothing. You see, I was trying to be a good wife, not a nutty Hollywood fanatic and yell out, HOLY SHIT THERE IS TOM CRUISE. So, I tap my hubby under the table on the leg and let out a whisper. Give the nod. 9 o'clock, Tom Cruise. Calm, cool, and collected.

My mind is still thinking the holy shit, it's Tom Cruise.

Apparently, Tom was having a birthday dinner with some friends and family. This was during his highly publicized split with Nicole Kidman.

He came walking by our table, when the professional skier let out some remark, very loudly. Stood up and introduced himself. I sort of chuckled inside when Tom was stopped rather abruptly at our table, making small talk with a complete stranger. I wonder if movie stars ever get use to that. I smiled and said hello.

And once again thought Holy Shit Tom Cruise!

With this being before the ever popular digital camera era, I did not get a snap shot of the moment. All though my memory very clearly recollects how Tom Cruise looks walking away in a pair of khakis. Tee Hee.

After he was gone, Harmon brought by the remainder of Tom's birthday cake to our table. We continued our conversation, just like nothing happened. And, I proceeded to enjoy a slice of Tom's favorite cake.

So last week, when Oprah ventured to Tom's estate in Telluride, I couldn't help but think, I wish I had the invite for a little snowmobiling on Tom's sled!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

20 Itty Bitty Toes

Aaah, Spring! The arrival of sunshiney beautiful days followed by snowy rainy bizarre-o weather all in 48 hours. Today would be the 42 degrees, snowy-rainy bizarre-o day, yesterday would have been sunshine filled 78 degrees. 

On those days it's beautiful out, the first thing I reach for when heading out are my sandals. Only problem is I like to have freshly painted toes, it helps welcome the change of weather in my mind. Naked nails on a 70 degree day are such a drag.

So, I dug out my little box of nail polish and decided to give my toes their first adornment of the season. Occasionally I allow Sj to have her toes painted after i've completed mine. She waits so patiently, watching my techniques. Sighing when I make a big oops. She runs her hands over the bottles, eyeing the color she likes best. 99% of the time, it's some shade of pink. Not like I have a wide array to choose from, but hot pink it always is.

As it turns out this time, after I finished painting my toe nails, Sj had her turn. She choose a different color this time, to my amazement! And guess who moved in, eyeing the bottles, putting her feet right next to her big sister's, yes GL?

I had to give in. I couldn't resist the image of those itty bitty toes all fancied up with a fresh coat of nail polish.

Now the actual task mind you was a bit of a challenge, but it was worth it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Berry Flower Birthday Cake

When friends gather for a birthday, my immediate response is, Can I make the cake? Sometimes they are happy to hand over the task, other times they have something perfect in mind, so they pass. See the thing is, I love*L O V E*love making cakes, well more like decorating cakes. Having frosting just oozing through your veins simply from handling it, what a joy.

This weekend the opportunity arose for me to offer...a cake. And the host accepted. Happy, happy, joy, joy!!! My first step was honing in on flavors and decor of the cake. I went with vanilla cake and frosting to compliment fresh berries to adorn the cake. It turned out splendidly, with a few little oozes from the juice coming out of the sliced berries. I learned making this cake why professional bakeries always coat fresh berries with that gel/shiny glaze, because if you don't they leak. The leaking berries held up.

Step 1, always place a little frosting on the top of the cake holder, in this case a cutting board, acting like a lovely sweet glue to hold that momma in place. Slipping layer cakes are a little frightening to their creator.

Step 2, create a crumb coat of frosting, which is just a thin base layer of frosting, I also added freshly sliced berries in between the two 9 x 13 layers, frosting was the key to hiding the HUGE gap in between layers. In the past I have trimmed cakes, but this time I didn't. When you trim them they seem to get awfully crumb filled, and I love a nice clean looking frosting job. After this step, off to the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up, for the final frosting layer.

Step 3, Decorations, created a fresh layer of frosting all over the cake. Didn't get overly hung up on it being a completely smooth surface. Added the pink writing with a Wilton #3 tip and the bottom trim, with a # 32 tip. Then came the berries, I spaced the center of the Berry Flowers with the inside blueberries first, then added the strawberry petals.

Step 4, Voile! Cross your fingers the transport across town will be a safe journey.

Step 5, Add candles, sing, and enjoy!

Happy Birthday KDV!

My other cake creations Hubby Surly Bicycle Cake, Under the Sea Cake, or One Big Cupcake Cake.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Have a Wonderful Day!!!

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Friday, May 9, 2008

...For The Very First Time

The other morning, I ventured out of the house a bit earlier than I typically do to meet some friends at a coffee shop. It was an early coffee to kick start a birthday. While my girlfriend was celebrating her coming into a new age, I was also celebrating a first.

It was a bit rainy and there were puddles scattered through out the parking lot and sidewalks, that particular morning. Now this may sound really funny to like 95% of you reading this, but I was in complete amazement that the bottom of my jeans were soaking wet. I was wearing flats and my new jeans were so LONG that they hit the ground and may I add, maybe even puddle a bit. In these jeans, I could actually wear a small heel and make my legs look even longer. Woah!

Dun, Dun, Dun, Dun! Do you hear the music playing behind me as my arms raise up to the sky and the heavens open?

I had to joke about it in that moment because mind you, never, ever in thirty some years have pants been too long for me. Yep, 5'11" in case you forgot the stats. And to top off this breakthrough moment these jeans are so damn comfortable. They have a secret weapon in jean technology, but don't tell anyone, it's just between you and me.

2% Lycra

The next time you slip into a pair of jeans, check the label. If you see 100% cotton, like most of my other jeans you are not living to your full jean potential. Unless those 100% cotton jeans are super comfy, don't cut into your waist or aren't too tight in the thighs. Hmmm... Lucky you.

98% Cotton, 2% Lycra has changed my life. My weight fluctuates more rapidly than gas prices these days. One day I am feeling good, the next I wonder where did all that skin come from?! On some mornings, I stare into my jean drawer and look dazed and confused, not sure what to do. On those same mornings, I usually open up the drawer directly above and pull out something with a drawstring waist. Sigh. But not with the 2% lycra, I know my comfy jeans will take me through the day.

Technology, what a beautiful thing.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

a Trip To The Market- Thursday*13

ONE day while perusing the empty kitchen cabinets, I realized we needed more than a few things from the store. Out of nowhere, the cabinets were bare. How does it always work that way, in the morning they are fine, but by dinner time empty. So I loaded up the TWO girls and made my way to the market.

THREE tomatoes on the vine, placed gently in Sj's kid sized shopping cart. Beware other shoppers, a FOUR year old is in full control here! I contemplate if it's a bonus or a hindrance that this particular market has kid sized shopping carts. FIVE freezer items; edamame, mini blueberry waffles, flax and fig waffles, peas, and a broccoli-cheese pocket. Hey Sj, pick out a SIX packet of yogurt, which ever flavor you like. SEVEN more items on my list. And of course, to top it off there must have been no less than EIGHT distractions trying to get to the check out.

I count NINE employees, as I stand in a long line impatiently waiting for my turn with one of the two cashiers actually doing their job. Oh no, how did it get to be TEN after four? We must rush home to get dinner made. Each girl consumes at least ELEVEN cheese puffs during the car ride home. Sj asks about TWELVE times, "are we there yet?". Finally a frazzled mom breathes a sigh of relief, THIRTEEN minutes later as we pull into the driveway.

ONE THOUSAND times I thought to myself, is your dad on his way home yet?

*** This story has been edited to not complain about the worst service I received at this grocery store.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What in the world?

See that rating with stars, right down there (look below, end of post). What in the world is that? Why don't I see it on other blogger blogs, and why do I want it? How can I make it go AWAY? bizarre!?!

Now, that I have given this some thought, I feel like someone is messing with me. Even.More.Bizarre.

This Is What I Found Out, Here:
Some users may be seeing star ratings on their blogs without having opted in to this new feature. This is an experimental feature that was accidentally enabled on some users' blogs. We're working to remove star ratings on all blogs currently. In the future, you'll be able to choose to opt-in to this feature; it won't appear automatically.

So obviously they are testing this out on the top blogger blogs! Mwaaaaah hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

But seriously, I am ready for it to go bye-bye!

**Ok Blogger took the stars away** Disregard this post!!!
Now, I don't feel so special.

Collective Consciousness

If someone offered you a pair of glasses that changed your view of the world when you put them on, would you wear them?

That's exactly how I am feeling about A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. I feel like he is giving me new lenses to see the world through. Not like my old way of seeing the world was wrong, but I felt a little nudge within me to discover things a bit deeper in my life. Of course the book kept coming up in conversation and I thought, I may as well give it a read. Honestly, I had nothing to lose.

Turns out just in the first four chapters, I have started to discover what I have to gain. Reading this book, grounded me in the reality that life is a journey. My path is always changing and I can help steer it's course. I can learn to let go of notions and feelings that held their grip so tightly on me it affected my sleep, or my mood, or how I mother my girls, or how I love my husband, or how I nurture my friendships.

Right now, I am embracing the opportunity to examine the negativity in my life, chronic complaining, and how to let things go. Working on my perspective, my attitude and seeing where the change leads me. Keeping track of my distractions and are they really fulfilling the emptiness I am feeling or creating more wanting?!

I firmly believe opportunities for growth can happen in your life when the timing is just right, even if you didn't know it was the right time.

Last month, after picking up the book for a steal at Costco (and no bananas, may I add), I sat down and gave the book a quick glance. I decided I would see if I could gather a group of women to read the book with me. Oprah has fabulous resources with workbooks and Podcasts, so the work for the group was essentially done. I just needed to find a time, place, and those that were interested.

Much of the content of the book touches upon topics which can have such different meanings to the individuals gathered reading the book as a group. We all seem to open up in our way, learn things about ourselves as we are learning about one another. My hope it to have my hubby read the book. I know I will be re-reading the book, many times over. Book club will continue over the next month or so, as we are taking it slow.

Maybe you'll notice a new spring in my words, for Tolle's words are speaking to me loud and clearly.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Recipe Club, Come Join Us!

The house is about to be brimming with food, moms, and children. I am hosting recipe club, the theme is appetizers. It's a monthly event we have in MOMs Club on our calendar.

I am making Bruschetta with a recipe from my dear friend, Love2Cook, who should be here today! Instead she is loving life, chasing her two kids around, in our Nation's Capital. We miss you, we'll be thinking of you with our full tummies.

Roma tomatoes (as many as you want) chopped
basil (as much as you like )
red onion - I add about 1 tablespoon finely chopped
garlic (1-2 cloves)
balsamic vinegar - 2 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons

Mix everything together and marinate in the fridge for as long as you want. As you let it sit, the flavors meld together better and it's really delicious. Serve with toasted bread of your choice. I like baguette slices. I also use the leftovers for pasta. It's a really great spring/summer dish.

Here it is:

Here's the Spread:

We ended up eating-" 6 ingredient" 7-Layer Dip, Potstickers, Veggie Pizza, Buffalo Dip, Bean-Avo Dip, Tortilla Rollups, and the Bruschetta! Yum! I definitely have happy belly!

Monday, May 5, 2008

I Never New oLOVE Like This Before

Through out my entire childhood, I watched my mother clean the floors on her hands and knees. I don’t think our family ever owned a mop. Oh wait, I do recall we had a dust mop, but not a wet mop. Sometimes she would use a little rubber pad underneath her knees, but for the majority of time, she just went for it. I will not go into the details of her arthritic knee and the correlation between her dedication to cleaning the floors on her knees and the current state of such knee.

I too became a hands and knees floor cleaner. A mop could never compare to such diligence and elbow power. I’ve introduced numerous mops into my house over the years, as I personally don’t see the need to get down on my hands and knees every damn time. Nothing really got the job done, the way I liked it. It was only a make-do situation. Still, I found myself going back to my old fashioned ingrained ways.

But my life may be changed forever. Will there still be a need to reacquaint myself with all the little nuances and dings, extra tough stuck on stains with the special hand and knee detailing? Old habits die hard. Better yet, what old habits are being passed along to my two girls. Do they need the neurosis of hand and knee scrubbing?

Having wood floors in my entire home except for one floor has left me longing for a better solution. For quite sometime now, I’ve been eyeing the Method oMop Wood Floor Kit. It’s $24.99 at Target. Sigh. I waited for a sale, waited for some magic coupon to appear in my inbox, until I could wait no longer. I purchased the Floor Cleaner and the Micro fiber cloth separately, not the kit, totaling $10 bucks. I thought I could get away with out the mop. It was the cheaper alternative to what I really wanted. But, I had to get on my hands and knees with out the mop. Sigh.

I bought the kit. I deserve the kit, I am worth it.

I LOVE the oMop and the entire kit. Yes, that good. You simply squirt the cleaner on the floor and mop it up. Yes, that's right no bucket, no water, no dirty wet rags. It’s an interesting feeling with the micro fiber cloth, not like regular mopping. It takes a bit more arm power, all the better no trip to the gym, I mopped. The cleaner is almond scented, so the floors and your home are not overpowered by some intense chemical smell. Did I mention how much I love almond, so we were a match straight from the start. Does anyone love the smell of vinegar or chemical laden Oil Soaps, not really. I truly never new love like this before.

The folks over at Method really seem to be onto something here. The packaging is no longer plastic, it’s 50% bamboo and 50% recycled paper. The pre-mopping cloths or sweeping cloths are corn based so they easily biodegrade.

A cleaning company after my own heart.

If you have wood floors in your home and have been torn by the cleaning options, RUN to your local Target and give the oMop a shot.

Go, Go, you can thank me later.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

And the W I N N E R is....

With the help of my very own Vanna White, we have determined a winner of the EatPlayLove, contest for my Peeps.


Friday, May 2, 2008

This Kinda Week

Hubby is away,
oh it's trash day as the truck,
rumbles down my street!

Sometimes I miss those
that no longer invite me
into daily life.

Sigh, Colorado.
Sunny 80 on Wednesday,

Meltdown, tantrums, wow!
Let it all out, set it free,
mommy will hug you.

Monkey all day long.
Constant climbing, being W I L D,
can you play nice please?

It's so nice to reflect on the week in a new way. You Haiku?
More info here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Some LOVE For My Peeps

Contest has closed!!!

Remember that Bloggy Give@way last week? The one where your jaw dropped because over 100 folks left a comment. Around this little blog. My friends keep on mentioning it, trust me I found it just as interesting. It was a bit bizarre.

If I had an addictive personality, I would consider diving into the Blog Give@way genre, head first. I can honestly say, I was curious to find out what it was like, to have a ton of traffic. Things are pretty mellow around here at EatPlayLove. It was a rush!

I now equate that little whirlwind experience to a naughty affair with an amazing musician or a shopping spree with an American Express Black Card. Yeah, that good.

But now that I am back into the swing of my little blog that could, I really want to share some love with my peeps! YES, YOU!

There is no website linking random folks here for a give@way. It's just you happening by like you normally do. Or like you sometimes do. Whenever you take a moment to leave a comment, it always makes me smile, so it's my turn to pay back the love.

This is what I am offering up:
A Body Shop Olive Body Scrub, just in time for bare leg and bathing suit season. You'll smell sexy, and not like a doll from the 80's:

A couple locally produced Chocolove Bars, from Boulder, Colorado, Yummy:

If you haven't found a reason to comment yet or the courage to, but you stop by regularly, now's your chance! I know what it's like, I read lots of blogs, but only comment on a dozen or so. Sometimes, I just don't know what to say. But I am going to make that part super easy!

If you don't have a Blogger account with an active email linked in, and I don't already bug you on a daily basis, please leave a email in your comment. You don't need a Blogger account to comment, just use anonymous and sign it with your name!

Here's the catch, you need to comment on SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU SMILE?

I am going to draw one name Saturday morning. Open to all readers. Good Luck!