look at this!

look whose little christmas table scape got a tiny little feature post over at simply grove, one of my favorite design blogs (just recently gone dot com). MINE! i'm very flattered.


skimming the fat

today i discovered the perfect technique for skimming the fat off the stock in your pot roast pan.
shove enough cut potatoes and carrots around your roast to bring all the liquid to within a 1/4 inch of the lip of your pot.
cover with the lid.
leave the house in a hurry for dance lessons and scouts and return three hours later.
when you return there will be no trace of fat in your pot.
no need for skimming to get to the good stuff for making gravy.
now, if you can just keep your kids from slipping in the puddle of grease that's spilled down your cabinets and all over the floor, you'll be set for a feast.
bon appetit !!



what do you do with an exchange like this between you and your barely-two-year-old?

devan - mom, guess what!

me - what?

devan - poopey butt!!! (followed by loud, bawdy laughter.)

do i tell her she's on the naughty list?


yes, i have a giant elk head in my entry

and yes, it was hung withOUT my permission.
two years of threatening to take it down myself and i've actually grown a bit attached to the thing.
or maybe i don't notice it anymore.
whatever the case,
those lights are pretty sweet.


i freak myself out

just the other day i had a conversation with max about how we sometimes scare ourselves with our imagination. he told me sometimes when he's playing all alone he'll feel like someone is watching him or touching him but no one is in the room. and i tried to explain to him that a good imagination sometimes works against us in these situations.
like when i was little: my parents had a winding hallway to their bedroom. if i was ever leaving their room alone i usually did it running as fast as i could because i knew there was a full sized tiger right on my tail. i know. stupid, but real...to me.

so, i'm on the lookout for THE perfect buffet for a nook in my entry that i want to paint. like this. i know, it's beautiful.
well, i found it at this great antique store in this bazzar old building/barn/warehouse. well it turns out it's 3 inches too long. sob.
so while i was there, with my girls and this kid who runs the store, i started to feel all creepy and paranoid.
i was there, all alone, in this secluded building with this guy.
it did not help matters when he left the room i was in and returned with a LARGE pair of pruning shears, leather gloves, and rope along with the measuring tape i had requested (dang it! why hadn't i brought my own tape?!)
i kept it cool, asking questions about this or that, making sure i had each of my girls by the arm and at least two large pieces of furniture between us and the guy at all times.
when i saw him start to pull those thick gloves on all i could think was that he'd thought this through and was going to make sure there was no incriminating evidence. he gave me a strange look because i'm sure he had detected my internal panic through what i was trying to present as a cool and calm smile.
i ended what could have been a very fruitful scavenging trip with a, "well, i'll just come back sometime soon to see what you've got. okay, bye." and took the most unpredictable rout to the front door for our escape.
got to the door and i couldn't get the latch open, which, of course, meant we'd been locked in. my heart was pounding so hard and i was just starting to look for a window we could climb through (all the while checking to make sure he hadn't followed us wielding those abnormally sharp shears) when the latch went "click", the door swung open and we were free...
but not out of danger yet.
home base was in the car with the doors locked and engine running.
"buckle up, girls!! let's get the H out of here."

so i'm still in full search mode for the perfect buffet, and now i can't ever go back to that store by myself. i'm gonna have to bring a bodyguard-caliber friend with me everytime.

when has your over-active imagination put limits on the way you live your life?


halloween round-up

an alice,
a white rabbit,
a cheshire cat,
a random wizard.

i'll show you wade's costume next time.


birthday shout-out

happy birthday, little monkey.
four is quite the number, and it suits you so well.
we love you so much.


playing hookey

the second week of school we took max, nik and whitney to the bahamas, which apparently was a great time to go cause' no one was there. i guess all the responsible people had their kids in school. lucky for us.

pretty much our routine consisted of beach, water slides and pools, snorkeling, aquariums, more beach.

whitney had this look on her face the ENTIRE time. put this girl in water and she knows no greater happiness. put her in water for seven straight days and...well, you get the picture.

this resort was amazing. it had miles of water slides and rivers, three gorgeous beaches, 12 pools, humongous aquariums, reefs for snorkeling. it was perfect for parking your butt for a week and keeping everyone happy. kind of a lazy way to vacation, i'll admit.

and this is the look wade had on his face the ENTIRE time.

aren't these fish disgusting?!

every tiny speck of shell was of magnificent importance.

wade almost peed his pants every time we saw this yacht. he almost went so far as to knock on the door and beg for a look around. and when he saw people coming off the yacht he made us all wait and watch to see what kind of people they were. he was sure they'd be movie stars or something.

one of our favorite things was the snorkeling. we took the kids on an open ocean snorkeling trip. whitney got her finger devoured by a rabid fish the second she jumped in. but she got over it quickly.

max and nik had to drive the boat, of course.

then we all swam with the sharks. not whitney. she was a bit too morsel sized for that.
more pictures of that later.

we got caught in a terrific rain storm on the way to a pirate museum and then found ourselves almost frozen to the bone once we entered the over air-conditioned building.

a little pirate jig.

then we all got sent to pirate time-out.

would you like some chips with that sand?

every night we'd walk to the little village, eat, shop around and enjoy the live music. wade REALLY got into it.

this is how we survived the LONG LONG trip home: movies, naps and about two million games of uno.
good thing we left devan at home or i don't think we would have ever come back.
the major success of the trip: no one got burnt. after two bottles of 50 and a bottle of 30 i think we were covered.