lunch today

As I type this, my mouth is on fire. Woooo! One huge bottle of homemade salsa; purchased at our ward auction the other week.
This is MY kind of salsa. Tons of tomatoes, no huge onion chunks (I know the onions are in there but they're small enough that I don't get a huge ole crunch of raw onion. yuck.), cilantro, and some real kick! Reminds me of a salsa my mom used to make when I was a kid. Me and the cousins would sit out in front of our house, after-school snacking on chips and salsa. Gotta ask her for that recipe....


Lucy Crayon Hands

Let's hope there's no adolescent ostracizing down the road. Such a gift often comes at a price.
At least there's no crazy black hair or crayon marks on her cheeks.


Master Casey

A couple weeks, Casey graduated with his Masters Degree in Economics from Cal State LA. He has worked hard over the past two years, keeping his full-time career during the day and then heading to class at night and we truly are proud of him. He'll tell you that he got as much of a degree in Econ as he did in "how to jump through administrative hoops". Let's just say that Cal State LA is the DMV of colleges. And thus I'm even more proud of him for sticking with it, even when he was completely frustrated with his academic counsel. Here's to you Master Casey!
It was an early morning getting out of the house at 7am with both kids. But for the most part, they were really good sports. Having both sets of grandparents there was a huge help....and provided great conversation while we patiently waited for thousands of students to walk up, shake hands, and walk off with an (empty) diploma case.
Owen either sat on Grandpa Willard's lap or climbed on as many folding chairs as he could:
On the drive there, I had told Lucy, "we're going to Dad's graduation at his school! And he'll be wearing a black hat and black dress." So when we got there, all she wanted was to see her dad in his black dress. I kept telling her we had to wait till the graduation was over and she wasn't thrilled about that....
Finally, Casey's big moment arrived. I was able to walk down to the front for a few minutes to snap photos.
Standing with some class mates:
Ready to walk up, hood draped over his arm:
Of course we knew there'd be a picture like this, right? Fah-feddy, fah-fah
One of the professors, hooding the graduates:
A misplaced Renaissance festival-er (seriously, who comes up with these designs?)
And.....it's official! He has the hood. It happened. He did it.Walking away, hopefully feeling a little more accomplished and a little heavier with all that clothing on.
Congratulations! Our little family:
And our bigger family with Casey's parents on the left and my parents on the right:
Parry, Casey, and Linda:
Us getting kicked out of the stadium for being the last ones standing around, taking pictures:
And these were just too cute and funny. Gram and Owen....
After graduation, we navigated 4 different cars onto 3 different LA freeways and headed:
Where we brunched at:
Casey and I have heard about this place for years and it seemed like the perfect outing for a truly LA experience. We can't say the food was all that amazing, but the atmosphere was perfect. Check out where our table was! We could see exactly what was frying up.
the wall menu:
The kids were a little worn out by this point:
But we opened some gifts:
And we had plenty of this to go around (mmm, sourdough french toast):
Thank you parents for heading up and over for the occasion. And Casey, we are so proud of you and always appreciate the great efforts you put in for our family. We love you!


Summer Giveaway and some thoughts

Some you have seen this on MADE already. But in case you missed, I'm posting it here too. There's a huge summer giveaway on my sewing blog, MADE (that blue-ish button/box on the top right of my blog. You can always click on that and go right to it). The giveaway ends Wed night, so check it out!
This was the largest photo-shoot I've put together and it was really quite fun. Five little girls, acting giddy together and drinking sodas? It was way too cute. Such varying personalities. Such cute little faces.
The sewing blog has been such a fun adventure. When I started it almost a year ago, I really just wanted to share my ideas and create an online portfolio of things I've made. It began mostly with comments from friends and family. And I'm completely amazed at how the readership has grown. I've met talented, interesting, fellow mom sewers and crafters from all over the world, who leave comments on MADE and who also share their lovely blogs with the rest of us. It's the updated pen-pal system! I hate to sound late-90s, but seriously, the internet is AMAZING.

I've been flattered to be interviewed on a few fabulous blogs here and here, one being my favorite Wardrobe Refashion site. And I was able to Guest Blog on a great sew-along site called Presser Foot with the Shirt Dress project. A big thank you to such great ladies!

I'm not sure where the blog will go long-term. It's still mostly an outlet for sharing ideas. But I hope it takes me to bigger places one day. Life is always interesting that way. I can definitely say though that this (designing, sewing, photographing, and blogging) is something I truly love.....much more than any full-time job I had during my career.

If you have a talent, craft, hobby you love, I highly recommend starting a blog for it. Your eyes will be opened to how many hobby-peers you have out there. There's so much to share with everyone! Many thanks to those of you who've kept me motivated on MADE with your lovely comments. Your sweet words really do mean a lot to me.


Crackers and Frosting, circa 2009

If you ever had graham crackers and frosting when you were a kid, then I'm sure you still love it. I had some left-over frosting the other day and decided to make us a snack. But I realized that graham with frosting is too much sweetness. So....I put it on Ritz Crackers instead and YUMMMM. Excellent Salty/Sweet combo.

Grab a box of these (love the retro packaging):
Spread 'em with your favorite frosting. Mine was left-over THIS.
And enjoy. Cream cheese sweetness with salt-brushed tops:
Casey and I thought we had a money making combo on our hands! Then we saw a pre-packaged version at the store. Ritz beat us to it. But homemade ones are definitely much better.

happy Father's day

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there! We hope you had a nice day, got some chocolate or a tie or a good book, and ate yummy food. We love you Casey. Thank you for working hard for us and for being the fun dad who wants to play silly games and run around the house. I know the kids adore you.
We spent our evening at Casey's parent's house. We ate yummy food and yep, Casey and his dad got good books! We finished with a lemon cream pie. The flavor was delish but the recipe needs a little tweaking since it turned out like lemon soup. Back to the drawing board....


jeans that fit

Lucy is a skinny girl. So often her pants are too baggy and too short. I've been on the search for the perfect Lucy jeans, and I may have found them! GAP skinny jeans, found at Goodwill for $3, and with a great worn out knee (which took her a day to realize. She said, "uh oh mom, there's a hole in my pants!" I told her it was so that her leg doesn't get hot. She was pleased with that).
And since she was posing so funny, I snapped a barrage of pictures. We did two photo shoots this day....the other for this little outfit. I guess she's used to my camera by now! What a funny girl.
I'll probably fix the knee one of these days. But no rush, since she'll be wearing these for a long time. There's still a good 4 inches of cuff to unroll.


Random Happenings

We are alive! Just busy. And well, the blog has taken the back seat for a week. Much has been going on and much deserves its own blog post. But for now, here's the randomness...

For about 2 years now I've formulated a blog post in my mind called "does a skunk live in my backyard?" and I'm posting it now because the answer to that is, Yes. And tonight I saw him. But he's not so much like this:
He's a little more in this vein:
It's true, the city of Pasadena smells like a skunk. And since I have a greater sense of smell than Casey, I feel like I'm constantly complaining about it. It's not even that skunk smell is so horrible. But when you wake up in the middle of night because you can smell it seeping in through your creaky windows....well that's just obnoxious.
Tonight as I pulled in our driveway I saw the reasty creature skamper from our back door and into the foilage by the dumpster. EW.

On happier notes, Lucy announced yesterday (in these exact words), "today I'm going green!"
How thrilling! I soon realized, however......she only meant that her eggs should be served on a green plate and her liquids in a green cup.
I mean, how could this girl believe anything Al Gore says about melting ice caps?

Owen loves to push strollers and play with dolls way more than his sister does.He's usually the one that gets Lucy roped in to pushing them around the yard.
We bought our first watermelon of the season the other week and it was A.MA.ZING. The picture doesn't lie. Guess what we paid for this beauty? $3 at Vons! More please!

Our landlords had our backyard trees trimmed. I hadn't noticed how bushy and tall they'd become over our 3 year stay here.
Let's hope the summer's not too hot since our shade is now, gone.

Owen's personality continues to make me smile and laugh. How I love this little face:

And really, nothing is cuter than the kids gathering their chairs and waiting at the back door for Dad to come home:
They hear him coming!
And that's it for now. So much more to blog about.....Casey's graduation, parties, Laura's baby shower, Lucy's jeans, a yummy recipe. So, more to come.
Have a great day!