Sunday, December 26, 2010

the hangover

wait, before you get any ideas.  this is not the kind of post that will include embarrassing pictures, at least not embarrassing pictures that i can't remember.  i am talking about a holiday hangover.  it feels like we have been celebrating all week month.

let me start by saying that this is the first christmas in a long time where i never really felt overwhelmed by all of the christmas rush.  we had things under control and were on top of lists and money, 2 things that usually having me going crazy by christmas.  there were some last minute decisions and adjustments but in the end it all worked out, thanks to santa and his helpers.

the real festivities started at the brockett christmas celebration last weekend.  the commissioner of christmas (for our district) laid out the plans for the traditional family gift exchange.  no seriously this group has a commissioner of christmas.  we exchanged gifts with just the little ones (under high school age).  and it worked out so well.
much needed new books
a barbie convertible
right up his alley

we had turkey with stuffing, ham and all the fixings.  and this is where i made my first chocolate trifle.  this dessert is so easy and lovely.  thanks go out to uncle ed for helping with the structural plans.
trifle with hot fudge
as always, it was a wonderful family day.  thanks to becky and mike for letting us come over. and to gigi and great grandpa for this beautiful family.

next celebration was with mom and tom.  they made the brutal trip up to see us.  brutal because it took them 4 hours to get here from orange county.  at one point they were literally standing on the freeway for 40 minutes. although the trip was rough we were so glad that they spent some time with us.

and the kids got more of what they wanted.

we had pizza and cookies from our favorite pizza place.  everyone was happy.

on christmas eve while we were busy getting ready for christmas the kids turned these 99 cent trader joe's gingerbreads

into these works of art.
alien gingy and rapunzel

we went to burbank for christmas eve with the family.  there was italian food,  more presents and the second chocolate trifle.
trifle with chocolate pudding
we opened up our christmas pajamas
thanks mrs. claus
got the kids to bed and watched midnight mass at the vatican.

in the morning the kids stayed busy playing with their toys from the night before.  they were so patient while we waited for my parents and the coffee.
then it was gift opening time.

and, ok, one embarrassing picture of all of us in our pajamas.
and hot chocolate croissants for breakfast.

for the afternoon session bob, d, angela and mike came over.  more presents were opened.
i made angela and mike an album with pictures from their engagement party, engagement photos, bridal shower and wedding.  it came out really nice and i think they liked it.

others of us got piggy banks with lots of change, a new point and shoot camera, a trip to disneyland, and a kindle.  so excited for that.

then we prepped for the evening portion of our day, the camacho family christmas.  this year we were able to get all of our families together on christmas day, instead of christmas eve.  and it was at our house.

we had the world's best lasagna, that really is the name of the recipe, fettuccini alfredo and salad.  we exchanged gifts and had such a great time.

after a bit of a battle we were able to get sofia into her christmas dress and out of her room.  but i never got her to brush her hair or a good picture of her.

and i am so excited to try out my new cookbook.

wow.  did that make anyone else dizzy and pass out.  it was a week full of amazing memories and some pretty awesome food and gifts.  we are recuperating today before we head off to the snow.

we hope everyone enjoyed their christmas as much as we did.

Friday, December 10, 2010


listening: my holiday 2010 playlist.
eating: huevos rancheros. i know it's 4pm but it's been a long day. making pizza for dinner.
drinking: cafe con leche, what else should i drink with eggs?
wearing: mickey mouse t-shirt, black velour pants and flip flops. 
feeling: scattered, and preoccupied. hopefully that will change.
weather: crazy.  warm and beautiful today.
wanting: to do reverb 10.  love the concept, just need to write.
needing: to address our christmas cards.  it's pathetic that we've had them for over a week.
thinking: about christmas, presents, food, parties, cards, lots to get organized.
enjoying: that it's friday afternoon and a good weekend awaits us.
wondering: if i should order a gift from etsy or just make it myself.  it's a matter of time v. money.

we've been:

to disneyland.  well california adventure with sue and the kids.  and then b and i went to disneyland where the decorations were beautiful but the lines were too long.  we did see the candlelight procession which was worth it.

making art.  i was art helper for andrew's class and the kids made holiday cards based on the artist henri matisse.  we learned about abstract art, positive and negative images and how to use the color wheel.  and i got to make a card too. i didn't do much helping, the kids are pretty independent.  but i did get to make my own card.

baking, decorating and eating christmas cookies.  loved the star wars cookies, the santa and reindeer balls and the refrigerator cookies.  oh who am i kidding?  we loved them all.

christmas shopping and loving the holiday campaigns.  even if they are geared toward consumerism, they still have a sentimental message.  i guess it is what you make of it.

playing loteria.  this girl is obsessed with this game.  it's fun to listen to her repeat the words in spanish.  spanish is her thing right now.  she's been calling me "nena" and b "capitan".  those are my families nicknames for us.  but it's funny to hear her say them.  and she also like to pose like this

what . .. what.

enjoying the boys' holiday concert.  can you spot them? 

devouring these.  i got the last 2 bags at trader joe's today. they are dangerously good.

have a good weekend.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

welcome december

can you believe it?  december already.  yikes.  trying not to freak out. but there is so much that needs to get done before the end of the month.

  • work at the holiday boutique
  • celebrate bobby's birthday (happy birthday love!)
  • celebrate mikey's birthday
  • celebrate mom's birthday
  • celebrate dad's birthday
  • go the CHA holiday concert
  • send out christmas cards (already ordered, that's a plus)
  • work on my december daily.  that's my cover.
  • bake cookies, lots of cookies.
  • make tamales
  • celebrate posadas at weekday
  • buy some gifts
  • make some gifts
  • wrap all the gifts
  • tweet
  • celebrate christmas with our various families
  • go to kernville
  • plan jordan's birthday
  • organize the middle school holiday lunch
  • go to the weekday holiday party
  • go to jordan's swim banquet
  • see some lights
  • drinks lots of caramel brulee lattes from starbucks, ok just a couple
  • pick my word for 2011
the good news is that the house is decorated, the tree is up, and we have lots of lists and a few things checked off already.  this is such a great time of year for us.  and we will try to get it all done and have fun.  

happy december everyone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

gratitude :: holiday edition

so i am supposed to be at the grocery store right now.  but sofia decided that 10am was the perfect time to take a nap.  it was a long weekend people, with a lot of partying and a lot of late nights.  i hope the boys can get through their day.

thanksgiving: good food and good company. 18 of us gathered at my parents' house for a traditional dinner.  my mom made the turkey and stuffing, my sister made cornbread, my sister-in-law made the ham, i made the mash potatoes and salad, and my other sister-in-law made dessert. we were set.  everyone filled out these thankful cards and i will add pictures to them and put them into an album.

after dinner the kids watched movies and the grown ups including my niece monica, played "things".  it was so much fun.  we laughed at the answers and people's guesses.  and some of the questions had many interpretations.  it was fun that we all hung out and had a good time.

tangled: friday i did not head out for black friday sales.  instead we slept in then went to my parents' house again for posole.  yummy! (i know my mom worked hard.  that's why i love her.) everyone came over at various times and we looked at ads.  talked to those that did brave the craziness, monic waited 2 hours in line at urban. in the afternoon we took the kiddos to see tangled.  i was looking forward to it and was not disappointed.  it was funny, and sentimental and cute and a bit scary.  i loved every second of it . . .and so did sofia.  at least i think she did.  she was sitting with gaby and jessie.  andrew and i got really nervous at the end.  but it all worked out.  we loved that it was a return to a disney classic.  kind of like aladdin or emperor's new groove.  i would definitely recommend.

sushi with friends: saturday was another casual day.  slept in, then i headed out to the mall to check out some sales.  i really think i just needed a breather.  i looked around but didn't end up getting anything.  that night we went out to dinner with our friends bill and juliet.  her birthday was last week and bobby's birthday is this week.  so it was a perfect time to celebrate.  we see them a lot but always with the kids.  so getting a couples only night out was a little out of the ordinary.  we took them to a good sushi place on ventura where the rolls do not disappoint.  i even tried sake for the first, and maybe last, time.  after dinner we went to a coffee shop called aroma cafe.  i was stuffed from dinner but they ordered caramel cheescake, creme brulee and chocolate mousse.  i sipped on a delicious cappuccino.  it was lovely.

a day of rest: sunday was all about relaxing and staying in pajamas.  the kids played video games while we started putting up christmas decorations, lights and the tree.   we pulled out the box of decorations and let the kids have at it.  i made just a few tweaks since sofia can only reach so high.  and we only broke one ornament which is good for us. it looks great.   but i'll save the after picture for another day.  all i know is that we are ready for some good cheer.  we finished the day off with homemade pizza and toy story 3.  ahhh, the good life.

hope everyone's holiday was relaxing.

Friday, November 26, 2010

scrapbook basics (or more than you ever wanted to know about scrapbooking)

ok, so someone, who shall remain nameless, sent me an email asking what are the basic tools i use for scrapbooking for their christmas wish list.  after writing an entirely too long email i thought i would just share it here on my blog.  in case others were interested too.  and this way i can share pictures and links.

you know I'm a big fan of ali edwards.  she has a great list of  basics on her blog.  i use a lot of the same items, albums, paper and page protectors.

the mini stapler is great for getting small items on your pages, ribbon, tags, bits of chipboard and i love the look of the metal.  

i love these pens for journaling.  especially the .03 size.

this is the tape runner i use and you can get it at joann's,  michaels and target.  

i also have the crop-a-dile and i use it to punch holes in cardboard for mini books.  it's also useful when you want to punch through a lot of paper at the same time.

i've started using a lot of punches.  fiskars makes a bunch that i love.  so does martha stewart and ek success.  you can find a lot of them at michael's and joann's.  i especially love border punches.  this is my favorite right now.
i love how stephanie howell uses them. 

staz-on stamp pads.  i use the black one mostly.  you can pretty much stamp on anything.  also available at michael's and joann's.
i love these letter stickers.  they come in a million colors, fonts, sizes.  they are so easy to use for titles.  love them.

other fun ideas:
-a membership to a kit club - you pay on a monthly basis and you get one kit a month.  or you can pay a little bit more and just buy the kits you like.  i love that they coordinate the paper and the embellishments for you so you don't have to think about it.  there are a lot out there, but i belonged to studio calico. i'm not a member right now but when i was i really only spent money on that.  so in a way it was cheaper because i wasn't going to the scrapbook store and buying a lot of stuff. they also split items for you.  so instead of a package of 25 buttons you may only get 10.  that helps because you hardly ever use the entire package and it's cheaper. each kit includes the latest products to be released and an exclusive stamp. they are some of my favorites.  they have an awesome design team and i still get a lot of inspiration looking at what they do with the kit each month. in fact tomorrow they reveal the kit for december.  i'm hoping to see it under the christmas tree this year.

-take a class - i love classes because it forces you to get some pages done and it teaches you a specific skill.  some of the best pages/projects i have done have been after taking a class.  they always include downloadable instructions and range in topics.  i especially love classes from big picture classes.  the self paced classes let you take the course whenever you want and you are on your own.  the workshops start and end at specific times.  you follow along with the syllabus and do something different every day or week.  there is a gallery where you can view other people's projects and post your own.  it's a good way to do a specific project. my all time favorite class was yesterday and today.  i took it right before i turned 40 and it was the perfect way to tell meaningful stories from my past and my present.  

i have also taken classes from kelley purkey that i loved.  those are offered at a specific time on her blog.  many more designers are offering classes like this on their sites.

-mini books - another huge trend is mini books.  it's basically a small scrapbook, 4x6 or 5x7 that is about a specific event or theme.  I usually make them for trips or seasons.  I'm working on my december daily right now.  but they are also fun for keeping little bits and pieces about your life.  movie and concert tickets, one photo from an event that you wouldn't necessarily do a whole scrapbook page about, etc.  you need paper cut to size and binding rings that you get at the office supple store.  they are really easy to make and so much fun.  but if you want to get them already done elise blaha makes some great ones and sells them on etsy. she doesn't have a lot listed right now but I love the city mini book.  check out her blog for the one she did about san diego.

with all that said, i have to admit that i haven't done a scrapbook page in a while.  right now my space is not set up and i have my supplies scattered between my room and my garage.   but this post reminded me how much i love it.  my hope is that next year i incorporate more scrapbooking into my blog.  it will be a challenge but i really want to do it.  thanks for the inspiration.