Thursday, December 26, 2013

happy christmas

i was so very behind schedule this year. it was as if i forgot how to host christmas. i still had to iron table runners after the kids opened their presents. this was a whole new level of procrastination. still, everything got done before the guests arrived and we had a great day.

the kids were so excited when they woke us up in the morning. connor ran out to the tree to find a shiny red electric guitar. a real guitar. not a toy one. he is probably too young for a real guitar but he is so happy. dahlia got a baby alive doll and an american girl doll bed. mason was thrilled to open his nerf gun and magna tiles.

my housekeeper gave the kids this enormous reindeer pinata for christmas. it was so big, as tall as dahlia. all the kids ran outside and had a blast breaking it open today. it was filled with tons of candy.

when we were done with the pinata and gifts, we served a delicious dinner. we made our usual beef tenderloin, salmon, au gratin potatoes, and green beans. my mother made our favorite blintzes for dessert. jen, ray, bodhi, and kira all stayed the night. it was a beautiful christmas.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

christmas eve

today was a whirlwind of activity. i love christmas. i took the kids to church in the afternoon in orange county. this has been our new tradition and i love it. most of my family meets us there and it is sweet to have us together. the service was very nice but not as spectacular as it has been in the past. a little understated this year. the kids got a little bored.

miles stayed home to finish all our christmas baking for his family gifts. i picked him up after church and we went to a party at his cousin's house. this party is always mellow and their house is so beautifully decorated. they served a traditional turkey dinner and then they all sang the twelve days of christmas. it was very funny and i was so happy i did not get assigned a solo.

now we are home and i have so much to do before tomorrow. i don't know why i always wait until the last possible moment to finish things. the kids are so excited that they could barely fall asleep. they really do make the holidays more fun for me.

Monday, December 23, 2013

our christmas card

miles had a great idea for a christmas card. we set up a really funny shot of the kids putting the star on the christmas tree. the picture is photoshopped together.

i think miles did such a great job. the card is really cute and love that it is so silly too. of course we mailed them out today. our usual last minute print job and mad dash to the post office.

2 days until christmas

our sweet little angles sleeping by the christmas tree. we left the tree lights on all night and they stayed there until dawn. it was magical.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

homemade wrapping

our dear friends sent us these amazing gifts. the amazing part was not so much the gifts themselves although they were very cool, but the wrapping. my talented friend designed the paper and had written our names in the most beautiful calligraphy. i don't know how she found the time to do this when i feel like i barely have time to wrap gifts at all. i love it so much i am keeping the wrapping with all our christmas treasures.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

party day

today was all about fun. i started my day at an elegant ladies luncheon at a friend's house. we had a simple gift exchange and a delicious lunch that looked like it could be served at a five star restaurant. it was so fun to be with all the girls.

later i met my husband and kids at a family party close by. this party is one we go to every year. it is at my dad's friend's car shop that has rooms intricately designed to look like movie sets from the past. there is always a band and lots of food and drinks. my kids love to play in the soda shop or sit at the piano in the salon.

the whole family comes to this party and it is always a lot of fun. there is tons of people there and the atmosphere is very family friendly. it gives me a small town feeling that is very nice to be a part of during the holidays.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

picking out a tree

we had a lovely morning. today was nice and sunny and was the perfect day to pick out our christmas tree. we went to our usual home depot where we can always get a nice tree for a good price. it is not quite as romantic as a tree lot but the kids enjoy the process just the same and we save about $40.00.

we got a really pretty tree this year. i think it is perfect. we just got lucky. miles only had to unwrap three trees before we found this one.

i love the look of a tree strapped to the top of a car. it is so fun to see everyone driving home with a tree on their roof. the kids were crazy excited to help unload it.

our tree is now safely inside with twinkly lights on it. we still didn't finish decorating but the kids put lots of ornaments on it and it is looking really pretty. i think i will finish it tomorrow.

cookie party

after the recital we had to rush home, change clothes, and head off to a cookie exchange party in huntington beach. i was up super early yesterday morning and late the night before baking all my cookies for the party and printing the recipe. this year i made cranberry-orange pinwheels. they are super good. i make them every year at christmas time. they are pretty easy to make and really pretty without being too fussy. my sister jen made these incredibly cute spice cookies that look like melted snowmen. i loved them.

we were an hour late to the party and most people were already leaving. that was a bit of a drag but because we are such good friends with the host i didn't feel weird hanging out after the other people left. in fact, it was kind of nice to have time to sit and chat. the kids went straight upstairs and had a great time playing with all the toys. they were so funny. connor was rocking out on a microphone singing the ninjago theme song. mason and the rest of the kids were building with magna blocks and jumping on a mini trampoline. they all seemed to be getting along great so we just sat downstairs and had a glass of wine. it was just a little bit of heaven to finally relax.

all the kids got to exchange gifts before we had to drive home. i brought home a box filled with a variety of cookies. i was so tired but it was a really fun day.

christmas recital

whew, what a busy day we had yesterday. dahlia had her christmas recital. she did great. i was not really worried about her. she loves to be on stage. she did a tap number to shake santa shake. it is kind of a strange song. i volunteered as a back stage mom this time. she likes having me backstage with her. the kids played hide and seek and watched arthur's christmas while waiting to go onstage. she had two performances at 11:00 and 2:00. most of my family came to see her at the 2 o'clock show. it was very sweet. jen and ray brought her flowers and christina and zena gave her a small gift.

i am kinda of annoyed that i didn't get a really good picture of her in her costume. she looked so cute. everything felt so rushed. we had an hour between shows to get lunch and then we had to be backstage again. oh well. i am so proud of her. she was so good and looked beautiful.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

kidspace with daddy

miles and i took the kids to kidspace today. he had never been there before and it is really close to where we live. it seemed like a perfect outing. after being stuck in the house yesterday the kids were ready to run around in the sun. no rain today! we had the best time. i love kidspace. it was a bit crowded but not that bad. we still were able to enjoy all the exhibits.

miles helped them build a big robot out of these giant foam building blocks. we also spent time looking at all the shells, insects, and toy dinosaurs in the nature exchange room. dahlia and mason love the shells. it always makes me want to organize our shell collection.

we walked all around the outside and the kids got to play in the water for a little bit. it was such a fun visit. miles and i rarely get to take the kids somewhere with just the five of us so it was really nice. we got ice cream before it was time to go.

Friday, November 29, 2013

gingerbread house

today it rained and the kids were going crazy sitting inside all day. they needed a project. i decided it would be a perfect day to make our gingerbread house.

i bought a kit again because the real fun is decorating it and not making the cookie dough. i am all about easy this year. miles' mom is still visiting so she got to help.

i always bring out different candies than the standard ones that come with the set so we have more to play with. i am not sure if more candy went into the kids bellies or on the house though. they seemed to be sampling while we decorated.

this kit was super cute and came with fondant to roll out and make trim with it. it also came with two little gingerbread men to decorate and place in front of the house. miles helped us this time so the house looked really good when we finished. much more polished than last years house.

yes, it is officially christmas time. yikes! so much to do.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


today was thanksgiving and this year we celebrated together at my sister's house. i was happy to have the year off after the two kid parties. i don't know how i did it last year.

miles and i made our traditional cranberry sauce and mushroom gravy. i also made an artichoke dip and whiskey sours for the grown ups. we were running late this morning with all the cooking. for some reason we didn't make anything last night. we were too busy finishing up the shopping and cleaning. miles went and picked up his mom from the train station and i had to get the guest room ready.

we were a little late to christina's house but it was fine. she had all the tables decorated so pretty and a large chalkboard where we could all write what we were thankful for. i thought it was so sweet that dahlia wrote "mom and dad."

dinner was delicious and the kids looked so cute sitting at their own table. my sisters were going to go shopping after dessert but i chose to just go home. we have a long drive and i am not really interested in shopping on black friday. i will just do my shopping online in my pajamas.

Monday, November 25, 2013

flower party

dahlia wanted a flower party for her sixth birthday. i loved the idea. we did a flower theme for her first birthday but she of course could not remember it. we had a great turn out. tons of friends and family.

to entertain the kids we set up a planting station. miles and i bought a bunch of paper white bulbs and little metal pots. the kids could decorate their pot with stickers and then fill it with pretty rocks and the bulb. the woman at the nursery told us the paper whites will bloom in about two weeks. they don't have to be planted in soil. just the rocks will work. they were so cute.

we also had pipe cleaners and foam flowers that could be assembled by the kids to make a bouquet. the girls all loved making flowers. of course we also had a bounce house so they could go jump if they got bored. all that along with our play set and tree house and the kids were very happy.

for food we set up a taco bar with chicken, beef, and lots of toppings including various salsas. my sister jen made these really pretty cake pops that looked like flowers. we had jello and cookies along with the cake for dessert. i had originally planned to make two round cakes but changed my mind around three o'clock in the morning when i had not even started them. miles went to the bakery this morning and bought some cakes which i decorated with paper flowers. they looked great.

the party was very laid back. i had a good time hanging out with all our friends. the weather was perfect for an outdoor party. so nice that it didn't rain. there were lots of cute decorations that i put up but i didn't get photos of them. i am so bummed. i always forget to take pictures.

happy birthday dahlia! i hope you loved your party.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

dahlia is six

yesterday was dahlia's sixth birthday. my little angel. she is so sweet. she has grown into such a beautiful independent little girl. i can't believe she is six years old. i know i always say this but really, six! it just makes me want to have another one.

we had a mini celebration for her birthday because her big birthday party is coming up this weekend. i wanted it to be special without going overboard. she had school and i dropped off goody bags for the kids. this seemed easier than making cupcakes for the class. her teacher was gone so it worked out great to just sent some treats home at the end of the day.

i went to whole foods and bought her the most beautiful little cake they had. chocolate cake with white butter-cream frosting. it was delicious and very rich. it had a drawing of a turkey and some flowers on top for thanksgiving. it was so pretty.

miles had the day off from work so he helped me make dahlia's favorite salmon dinner. after we were done with cake we set up the movie projector and air mattress in the boy's room. they watched despicable me while miles and i sneaked off to our room to watch world war z. i fell fast asleep about 30 minutes into the movie as usual.

happy birthday dahlia! i love you so very much.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

friendship feast

dahlia had a friendship feast in her kindergarten class today. it was so cute. they all wore their turkey hats and sat down for a feast. they were served turkey sandwiches, cranberry sauce, carrots, corn bread muffins, and pumpkin pie.

poor dahlia is not feeling well and tears started streaming down her face during the meal so i just took her home with me. she didn't really get to enjoy herself. she was still soaking wet from the pouring rain this morning. her teacher was super sweet and told me to keep her home if she was still sick tomorrow. they get all of next week off for thanksgiving. it will be so nice to have the time off from school.

gym class for connor

i enrolled connor at the little gym. i have been wanting to do this for a while now and was so happy to have a chance. they just changed dahlia's class to a combined class with four year olds. since he just turned four it was the perfect opportunity. the best part is that they can take the class together and i don't have to come to the gym three days a week. our schedule is already so busy i just didn't want to add anything else.

he loved the class. he had so much fun with dahlia. she was also super excited to have him in the class with her. i love their teacher. she is great. it is nice for connor to have an activity.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

cocktails and crafts

miles watched the kids for me last night and i got to go to a crafting party with my friends. it sounds kind of corny but it was a blast. there were four of us and we each brought a craft and a dish to share. i made a yummy tomato, feta, cucumber salad.

the party was at my friend michele's house and her husband made us the most delicious pomegranate martinis. we were all pretty smashed after one and then he made us another... that was probably a bad idea. he later made us coffee to sober up. needless to say we didn't finish all four crafts. we only got to complete two of them before it was midnight and time to wrap things up. it was almost one am before i got home.

we made these string wrapped sticks that are more interesting and addicting than they sound and decorated fairy houses. it was so fun. i has been too long since i have had a girls night and i loved every minute.