Friday, September 30, 2011

five on friday

as we celebrate the last day of september i am feeling super excited about october.  october really says fall to me.  and although we don't see a huge change in the weather in so cal, it does cool down just enough to give you that cozy feeling.

what i'm looking forward to:

1. sofia's birthday

my girlie will turn 6 on the 7th.  i can't believe it. she acts like she's 16 already.   i'll be reading to her kindergarten class in the morning.  i know she's looking forward to that. and then family and a few friends over for pizza and cupcakes.  i'm thinking pink would be good.

2. soup

i'm excited about making some soup and enjoying that once a week.  it seems too hot in the summer to eat soup.  but a bowl of delicious chili, chowder or tortilla soup sounds perfect.

3. starbucks pumpkin latte
image from
yummy!  but i am also secretly hoping to have a cup of salted caramel mocha.

4.  changing colors

in the leaves, the fashion and the decor.  orange, brown, rust, gold.  i love them all.  looking forward to a manicure with a dark brown polish.  lovely.

5. halloween

we'll be trick or treating for sure.  plus our school has a great halloween carnival with rides and booths.  it's always a fun time.  i think the kids have settled on costumes so now i have to get to work putting them together.

have a great weekend.  enjoy the end of september and welcome in october.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

never say never

a month ago i said i would never spend 2 hours at the gym.
every monday i'm doing that.

a month ago i said i could never make it through a cycling class.
yesterday i made it through my first one.

a month ago i thought i would hate to be in a packed room of women sweating and looking uncoordinated.
every thursday you can find me dancing zumba like a fool.

a month ago i was making every excuse not to get to the gym.
now, i plan my day around it.

it's part of my life now.  the crazy thing is that i really enjoy it.  i've been a gym member on and off my entire life.  the best was when i worked on the paramount lot and i was able to get a free membership.  i would make it to the gym everyday, no matter what.  and sometimes i would work out next to denzel washington. no wonder i was there everyday, right?

then there was the gym in my office building that i would go to everyday at 6am, shower and head to work.  i had a trainer and would work out with my co-workers.  that kept me motivated and it was a great way to start the day.

over the years i've done kick boxing, step classes, stair climbers, cross trainers, yoga and even the occasional swimming.  in january i started running and ran a 5K in march.  after the race i took a break to "let me ankle heal" and until now, haven't run much since.  the thought of a half-marathon is still in the back of my mind.  the far back of my mind.

i know it's a committment.
i know it's important for my health and well being.
i know it's important for me.

the great thing is that the ymca where i go now is on my way home from the kids' school.  i can drop them off, go to the gym and then home to shower and get on with my day.

i love how i feel, during and after.  i love how strong i feel.  i love how committed i am.
my focus is on staying on this routine for as long as i can.  hopefully working it out so that even if the kids have a day off i can still work out in some way.  it's possible.  i know that now.

here's to staying motivated and getting strong.

Monday, September 26, 2011

weekly menu:: week 39

humming right along as we start the 4th week of school.  everyone seems like they've adjusted to the new schedule, even me.
over the weekend we had dinner with some friends and then went to our school for family movie night.  this is one of my favorite events of the year.  families come, set up blankets and chairs and watch a movie on the grass.  saturday night the feature was "tangled".   it's a great way to enjoy a movie under the stars.
sunday jordan had another swim meet.  he's been improving so much this season thanks to consistent coaching and more interest on his part.  he swam all four strokes and the freestyle leg of the team medley relay.  he ended up with 3 medals and took 14 seconds off his butterfly stroke! he's looking better and better every week.  

nothing too exciting this week other than the staff luncheon that we are hosting on friday for the teachers and staff at our school.  we have a little surprise in store and i can't wait to see how it works out.

ready for the menu?
macaroni and cheese from last week

making this week:
monday: autumn chopped salad with chicken
tuesday: grilled shrimp with lemon basil pasta (hoping to lighten up this recipe)
wednesday: enchilada casserole, salad
thursday: apricot glazed salmon, roasted potatoes, green beans
friday: chicken mole and rice - going to my brother's house to celebrate his birthday
saturday:  hoping my sister-in-law will share some mole to make enmoladas (enchiladas with mole sauce)
sunday: eat out

baking this week:
i wanted to make banana bread this week, but the kids ate all the bananas.  the good thing is that i have a huge zucchini in the fridge so chocolate chip zucchini bread it is.

hope your week is delicious!

Friday, September 23, 2011

five on friday:: fall favorites

today is the first day of fall or autumn.  or in california just a milder summer.  it is my favorite season.  i love the crisp air.  the light wind.  the changing colors.  i'm a fan of fall.

and i've been thinking about fall for a while.  even when the weather was 105 degrees, i was thinking about sweaters and boots and pumpkin lattes.  so here we are.  maybe not ready to use any of these but definitely ready to start building up the fall wardrobe.

on my list:

1. skinny jeans.
from old navy

am i late to the party? yeah.  but that's ok.  do i need another pair of jeans?  heck no.  but i could use an update.  dark, slim, perfect for boots.  i'm getting a pair.

2. cream sweater
from jcrew

this is the one must have item for me.  i love a good sweater.  i'm cold all the time.  and i've worn out the ones that i have so it's time for a new one.  and this color, it will go with everything.  so expect to see me in something like this all the time.

3. boots
from nordstroms

brown. flat. calf length. with a pair of jeans. with a skirt. with a dress. that is all.

4. autumn song necklace
from lisa leonard
i've been drooling over lisa leonard's designs for a long time.  but i've never ordered one. this one took me over the edge.  the leaf.  the little stones.  you can see a better picture here.  LOVE it.  and i love this one too.

5. tony bennett duets II
from target

picking this one up today.  i'm sure i'll be playing it over and over.  i might even sing to it. this music makes me think of sitting by the fire, drinking a glass of wine and just relaxing.  or playing it at thanksgiving while the turkey is roasting, drinking a glass of wine and not relaxing.  either way this will be the soundtrack of my fall.

care to add to my list?  i'd love some suggestions.

i'm off to get a pumpkin latte, an iced one. have a warm autumn weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

recipe:: easy cinnamon rolls

my mother in law gave me this recipe a few years ago.  these rolls are so yummy, sweet and addicting.

i've made these for pto meetings and bake sales at school.  they are foolproof and so easy to make.

it starts with a package of bridgeford ready dough that you get in the freezer section of the grocery store.  in fact the recipe is right on the package, with one small modification.  it contains 3 1lb loaves.  i usually make all 3 loaves and end up with about 54 rolls.  sounds like a lot but they go fast.

here's the recipe:
1 1lb. bridgeford ready dough loaf, thawed
3 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

roll out the dough into a rectangle about 10x12.  i just roll it out to the thickness i like, trying to maintain the shape. brush the dough with 2 tbsp. of butter.

in a small bowl mix the sugars and the cinnamon.  sprinkle evenly on the dough.

starting at the longer side of the dough, roll it tightly.

cut the dough in half.  then cut each half into nine even slices.  place on a greased cookie sheet, cake pan or muffin tins cut side down.  brush with remaining butter and let it sit until it's doubled in size.

i make these the night before and then put them in the fridge overnight.
bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

remove from the pan immediately so that they don't stick.  the butter and sugar will create a yummy, gooey syrup.

enjoy!  no frosting necessary but by all means add that if you want.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

for love and community

friday our school honored the first responders, fire fighters, police officers and paramedics of our community. our school was in the center of the chatsworth metrolink accident a few years ago.  the sports field was used as the triage area, and some of our teachers and parents were the first to get to the victims when it happened.  a few weeks later there were fires that got a little too close to the school and the fire fighters were there once again to help us through.

every year since 2008 we have held a rememberance ceremony to honor the heroes of our community.  they do so much for us and this is one way of saying thank you.  the kids sang songs and gave them cards that each student had made.  it was touching when they sang a hero thank you and waved their flags.
saturday we were back at school for a community project as part of save chatsworth.  our art teacher  designed the mural to be displayed in various areas throughout the community.  the middle school students will do the actual painting but we went on saturday for a priming party.
you can read an article here and see pictures of jordan and sofia.
finally on sunday we headed out to laguna beach for a wedding.  it was an absolutely beautiful day.  and we were so happy to see aunts, cousins, and babies gathered together for another family wedding.  this one marked wedding number 3 for us this year with one more in november and 2 more next year.

the wedding ceremony took place on the beach of the laguna hotel.  it was so cool to listen to the waves as the vows were read and to have our toes in the sand.
then we walked over to the reception in the hotel.  we had appetizers, filled our bags with candy and checked on the football scores.
by the end of the reception the kids had pulled up their pants and dresses and were playing in the water.  it was such a beautiful sunday afternoon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

weekly menu:: week 38

no time for chit chat today.  running late and still have lots to do.

so i'll get right to it.

making this week
monday: hummus and goat cheese salad with salmon (bobby will be happy.)
tuesday: middle school back to school night. we'll eat out.
wednesday: homemade macaroni and cheese, salad
thursday: lower school back to school night - leftovers or scrambled eggs
friday: homemade pizza
saturday:  pork chops, mashed potatoes and steamed veggies
sunday: dinner with my family

baking this week
first let me tell you that last week's apple cake was not a success.  very dense and dry.  although bobby says  it's good with some oregon apple butter.  i used a different measuring cup than my normal and i think i added too much flour.  it was ok, but probably not something i will make again.  live and learn.

this week i'll be making cinnamon rolls for the pto meeting on wednesday.  i don't think i've shared the recipe on here but it's so easy, yummy and totally not good for you.   i'll share it as a separate post.

i have lots to share about our weekend activities but it will have to wait.  

have a sunny monday.

Friday, September 16, 2011

five on friday:: for the home

one of the things i've been thinking about doing with "all that time" is decorating a bit around the house.  i've always had a fear of decorating.  not sure what goes with what.  color combinations.  and what style i really want.

i've been keeping a board on pinterest called "for the home."  i like to pin designs that make me happy.  some of them are for my dream home but there is no reason i can't incorporate that into our current home.

here are five things i have in mind.

1.  a mantle
the thing is we don't have a fireplace.  but this would look great over our tv in the living room.  it is a great space to decorate for the season but i love this look for year round.  i see us making this happen, and soon.

2. for the kids' bathroom
we remodeled the bathrooms when sofia was born and they are in need of a little uplift.  this would be so cute along one of the walls with a towel hook for each one.

3. photo gallery
i love this idea but maybe on a smaller scale.  we don't have a wall this big to do something like that.  but i'm thinking in one of our hallways with 4x6 photos and 8x10 frames could work.

4. backsplash
we have a buffet in our kitchen that is a workspace.  i want to add an interesting backsplash to give it a little something special.  i'm a huge fan of subway tile and this is just perfect for that area.  let's forget the fact that it doesn't go with the other tile already in the kitchen.

Source: via Jordan on Pinterest

5.  our bedroom
we recently moved into the smallest room in the house.  and that's all we've done.  i'm thinking of going with a white bedspread and adding color with pillows, throws and decor.  it seems to be the most versatile way to go.  and i love the clean look.

we won't be starting any of these projects this weekend.  we have a school project to do and a wedding to go to. so i'll keep looking for inspiration until the time is right.

you can check out all of my pinterest boards here.

happy weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

all that time

the question i find myself answering a lot these days is "what are you doing with all that time?"  the kids are in school from 8-3 everyday.  there is potential for a lot to be accomplished.

this isn't the first time that i've had all three in school but the time was a lot shorter and it was broken up by drop-offs and pick-ups.  sprinkle in the field trips, pto meetings, snack mom duties and other responsibilities for 2 schools and that doesn't leave much time for anything else.

it's great to have them all in one school.  one route. one set of responsibilities, although divided equally between each child.  it definitely gives me time to do...something.

on monday i went to 4 grocery stores.  and took my time at each.  getting exactly what i needed.  even comparing prices.  then home to shower and have lunch.  did i mention the 90 minutes i put in at the gym that morning?

friday i went to the movies to see the help.  bobby didn't want to see it.  so i knew i'd have to catch it on my own. i loved it by the way.  i am a huge fan of the book and the movie stayed true.  i did feel a little guilty though.  it seemed like an indulgence to go to a movie when the rest of my family is working and learning.  but i didn't say i'd never do it again.  sarah jessica parker movie next week anyone?

yesterday it was a halloween carnival meeting and then a dentist appointment.  then laundry and working on pto stuff.

it really feels like time just goes by.  whether you have more of it or not.  stuff still needs to get done.  it feels like i have more time, but it also feels like i have more things to fill it with.

the biggest change is that i don't feel so rushed.  i'm not running to the store dropping things off at home, unpacking the cold stuff and putting it away, before making it to pick up on time.

i can breathe a little.  i can take my time a little.  i can slow down.

cause after i pick up the kids it's chaos.  swim practice, homework, papers, dinner, getting ready for the next day.

at night i tend to focus on all the things i haven't done yet.  cleaning out sofia's toys, packing up the kids' old clothes and taking them to goodwill, working on a fun scrapbook project.

is there ever enough time?

i know it's not realistic to think that in 1 week i'd be able to get the whole house organized and spotless, get a head start on dinner everyday, have an hour for some creative time everyday, and make it to the gym.

i'm trying to balance the things i have to do, the things i want to do and the things others need me to do.  but aren't we all.

maybe having some breathing room in my life is what i need right now.  breathing will lead to balance.  balance will lead to clarity and then i will have it all figured out.

just in time for the thanksgiving break.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

weekly menu:: week 37

this weekend 
sofia lost a tooth
jordan brought home a first place medal in freestyle
we watched shows on september 11 and relived that time in history
we watched football and realized that the risk didn't pay off
had fun at a friend's birthday party
rested from the first days of school

heading into our first full week of school.  lots to do on my calendar but looking forward to this new routine.

here's what's for dinner:
monday: healthy baked chicken nuggets, tater tots, salad
tuesday: grilled halibut, rice pilaf, steamed vegetables
wednesday: cheese ravioli lasagna, salad, garlic bread
thursday: chicken machaca burritos
friday: pizza
saturday:  leftovers or eat out
sunday: going to a wedding on the beach

i'm feeling a little uninspired lately in the kitchen.  but hopefully this is the week i get back on track.

baking this week
hoping to make this apple cake.  if it goes well i will be making it again for our remembrance assembly on friday to give to the firefighters and police officers in our area.

Friday, September 9, 2011

i will never forget...

...where i was on september 11, 2001.  it was 2 days after a road trip.  the phone rang in the early morning. jordan was 2 and sleeping in his room.  i got to the phone just as the answering machine picked up.  it recorded the first few minutes of my conversation with bobby (it stayed on our machine for a few years).  he was at the gym and saw the news on tv.  he called to tell me about the airplanes crashing into the world trade center.  i was in disbelief.  i was saddened.  i was scared.

that's what i remember most about that time.  feeling scared.  feeling like we weren't safe.

i watched hours and hours of news coverage over the next few days.  i laid in bed with bobby and cried. it was devastating and depressing. i hurt so much for the families, for the kids, for our nation.  a few days later i found out i was pregnant with andrew...

at my first dr.'s appointment, she asked how i was doing with the news.  i told her that the joy of being pregnant was what was getting me through.  it was hopeful and filled with love and made me happy.  i never felt saddened that i was bringing a baby into the world amidst this dark time. i believed that my children would make a difference in this world.  i had to believe that, and i believe it even more now.  we are bringing up children that care about the world.  that have compassion for people.  that do what they can to help.  big or small.

that got me through.  that made me realize the good in the world.

i actually liked the mood over the next few days here.  people were friendly and helpful.  there was support for one another.  we all shared something in common.  that moment.  yes, we were all scared.  we were all victims of the same tragedy.  and now there was a bond.  a camaraderie of some sort.  i felt united.

i will never forget that day.  i will never forget the lives lost.  we will continue to pray for the families, the soldiers and our country.  on sunday i will kiss and hug my children and be thankful for what we have.

wishing everyone a peaceful weekend.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

hi. my name is sofia and i like nothing.

introduced herself to her classmates like that yesterday.  i'm not sure if she was nervous or trying to be funny.  her favorite part about her first day of school was "going to the bathroom."  she said everyone was nice to her.  she made a friend and for homework she drew a picture of her family.  today, she wants me to pick her up at carpool and not walk up.

she is familiar with the school, the teachers and some of the kids,  so the transition was easy.  it is still hard for me to believe that my little girl is going to school already.  but her confidence and excitement made me feel so comfortable.

is missing his best friend but had a great day.  he only has 2 more years of middle school.  we'll be touring some high schools this year to get an idea of what's out there.  he will be taking mock trail again this quarter.  excited to see how that goes.  i think in some ways he's still holding on to his childhood.  i'm not sure that he's ready to let himself grow up.  but when i saw him with his friends yesterday i knew that this will be that year.  i hope we are both ready to move into teenage-hood.

was so happy to be reunited with his friends.  the 3 amigos are back together.  he couldn't find his lunch, so he bought one from the cafeteria, and then afterwards found his lunch in his backpack.  pretty typical of him.  he's really excited about his cha bucks, a rewards system for his class.  today  he had to bring in pictures of things he likes to do; baseball, rafting and skiing.  he has a book report due in 3 weeks.  getting right back into the swing of things.

the day went super fast.  bobby was home so we did drop off and pick up together.  i was excited to go to sprouts which opened in our neighborhood yesterday and then left because there were too many people and the lines were too long.   bobby and i had lunch, and then it was time to pick them up.  today should be more of a regular day for me.  cleaning, more school clothes shopping and getting organized.  and i'll try to find a new rhythm.

everyone had a great day. everyone was excited to go back today.  that makes me happy.  we'll see if the excitement continues next week.

happy thursday everyone.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

the day before

we're home from san diego.
we're rested from our massages.
we're so thankful for your comments of love.

we have kindergarten orientation this morning.
we have back to school picnic tonight.
and in between we will be grocery shopping, packing backpacks, loading books and trying to enjoy the last day of summer.

tomorrow it's back to the routine.
no more tv or video games.
no more sleeping in and staying up late.
it's homework and pto meetings and sports and birthday parties.
but we're all ready for it.

i asked sofia is she was excited about starting school tomorrow.
she said "i'm a little excited and a little nervous."
that would describe my feelings too.

Friday, September 2, 2011

in 17 years

tomorrow we celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary.  here are a few things we've learned.

we have learned which fights are worth fighting and which ones to let go of.

we have discovered that life is so much more special because we have each other.

we have struggled and triumphed.

we have gone from a small family of 2 to a "big" family of 5.

we cherish our time together and our time apart.

we accept the injuries, set backs and hard work of doing what we enjoy.

we believe that prayer and faith can get us through anything.

we appreciate the stolen moments and stolen glances.

we have traveled and discovered and adventured together.

we have fine tuned our priorities and stay focused on the things that matter.

we've cheered each other on and picked each other up.

we respect each other's hobbies, interests and time wasters.

we have laughed more than we ever thought possible.

and we have struggled more than we ever thought possible.

we have worked through so much.

we take over when the other is at the end of their rope.

and we have learned to let go.

we are strong individually, but we are unbreakable together.

we are open and honest.

we trust in what we have built.

we get it.

we are grateful.

i love him.

and he loves me.

have a lovely weekend.