Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New towels!

I know, I know, so very exciting. But you see, we haven't bought new towels in about, oh, 6 years? My husband had his, I had mine, we didn't register for them, and aside from some towels we have received as gifts, we've been using the same old, same old.


World Market had some on clearance - 50% off - that I thought would look smashing in my yellow bathroom, and I had one of their '$10 off/purchase of $30 or more' coupons, i.e. 33% off. I lie. I had TWO of their coupons, one from a flyer I get in the mail, and one because I signed up for their Explorer program. Go sign up, it's free.

Mine are the Jade Green Quito striped towels and I LOVE how they look with my warm yellow walls and our newly painted chocolate brown fixtures - my hubby did that for me and I love how it looks:
I got to debut my new towels for a lovely family get together we had on Saturday. My beloved Auntie and Uncle from Peru are in town and I had the pleasure of having them over for the afternoon. We had tamales (sold by a sweet old man who comes by every two weeks), lasagna, and a sinful dessert concoction that was too rich for words.

Then the next day I had an allergy attack like I haven't had in months. Boo. I sneezed all day long and felt like crap warmed over. Thank goodness it lasted its usual one day and on Sunday I was feeling much better.

Hope you had a great long weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A pretty makeup look

Lisa Eldridge is one of my favorite makeup artists and here she is showing a pretty summer look!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summery set

First of all, let's keep it real, I have no idea where I would wear a white blazer. Or rather, how long it would stay white considering my youngest does not accept the concept of "napkin" as an item to wipe his hands on.

My chair, my desk, they all hold souvenirs of his day, so I don't think a white blazer would stand a chance, but isn't it pretty? I figure I'd wear the thing out on a kid-free date, rather than within Mr. GrubbyHands' reach.

Just a pretty outfit, simple and light. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Garden update

A quick review of some of our fruits and veggies:

Our onions have decided to get ready to flower:
I don't know about you but seeing those bulbs remind me of being engorged with milk - I know, TMI!

Our blueberries are the right size:
Now they just need to be the right color :D

We tried some of the peas and they were so sweet:
My oldest, Mr. I-Don't-Try-New-Stuff, was eating them like candy.

We have serious plans for our corn:
This is only one side of the corn plantings we have.

I think we'll have some green peppers next week
Maybe in a yummy stir-fry.

Our carrots are about as long as my finger - both my husband and I have peeked:
0521carrotstomatoesThe tomatoes are getting taller every day.

And my beloved roses keep filling my house with beautiful color:
That's all the happenings in the garden for now, we've enjoyed many strawberries and a few peas and look forward to the rest of our harvest!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gallery wall

First, a happy birthday to my mommy today!

Recently my husband had the idea of framing some of the many (believe me when I say many) pictures we have taken. He wanted a large-scale gallery wall, with 18x18 photos surrounding our TV.0520grid

We had recently purchased a new console for all the TV components and really liked the look, but wanted some more color = photos!0520grid1
We had the photos enlarged and printed at FedEx Office and then we trimmed them down to size and matted them on laminated backerboard.

We used large velcro dots to mount them on the wall so we can easily switch them out when needed. I chose some of my favorites - 0520grid2
On the right side there are two pics of our youngest, with me in all his bald-headed glory, and below in what we call his "Blue Steel" pose.

On the left is my oldest - the top photo is his first time at the beach with daddy, and below is a fairly recent shot that I just adore.
It was really tough to choose just a few shots of my boys, there are so many that I love!

The top center shots were taken during our first (and so far, only) cruise last year.0520grid4The left is the shore in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the right is one of the islands we visited. Lovely memories.

Our plan is to print out new pics for fall/winter and swap them out as we like. I love seeing my favorite faces every day - not just in real life, but also up on my wall :D

The Girl CreativeTodays Creative Bloghandmade projectsSomewhat SimpleIt's a KeeperWeekend Bloggy ReadingJoin us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up party!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pop of color

I don't love the color on my house's exterior. It's a medium gray. With black trim. And an orange roof. We've lived here for 7 years, so sometime in the next 5 years we will probably paint the exterior.
I'd prefer a warmer gray, something like one of these:
In the meantime, I believe in being as happy as I can with my surroundings, as they are, so I decided to brighten up the front door. Please don't mention the hideous mailbox and light fixture. They are evil. They are brassy. They will be destroyed, er, repainted.

I got an urn at a garage sale a couple of years ago and never really found a good place for it inside the house, what with kids and cats and dinosaurs all over the place. But I wondered if it could find a home right outside our door.

The color was very blah, though, so I decided to paint it a happy, sunny yellow:And I love it!!! The color is Bauhaus Gold by Krylon, it is a rich and saturated golden yellow, and I love both the contrast between the warm yellow and the gray and black, and the fact that it pops against the wood door.

That's how our front door is looking these days, bright and cheerful and ready for summer!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Beautiful nail

No, not that place where they make your finger go like dat! I mean the wonderful package of nail goodness I got in the mail from my college friend Carina and Overall Beauty.

The nail color I won is called Glampyre - I mean, how am I supposed to resist? I won it in Carina's giveaway but really, it's a gorgeous color and I would have so hunted it down otherwise, just look at it:
My nails are crap right now, so these are pics from Carina's blog. And her manicures are so much better than mine!

I also received from Overall Beauty a pedicure set, a gorgeous mineral eye shadow, and some sweet nail art.

After all my work jazzing up my office area, I'm going to get some pampering done - have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My new little office

Ever since my youngest was born and his room went from office to nursery, my husband and I have had our office space in the playroom.

It gets messy. Dinosaurs go everywhere, and seem to have a fondness for being on my desk and under my chair, so that more than once I have nearly toppled backwards because one of the wheels got caught on an ankylosaurus. Furthermore, my desk was so massive that I couldn't reach all the way to the back of the desk and things that got put there were, inevitably, forgotten.

Knowing well that "the bigger the purse, the more you stuff in it", I decided to get a smaller desk. I ended up with an IKEA desk, and I LOVE it. It is small but with all the space i need, and it is a lot more manageable for my needs.

Since I had some extra space, I appropriated a white shelf tower from my youngest's room. No more diapers and wipes for him, so it became mine, all mine!!! But I decided to pretty it up with some peacock paper I saw at my favorite paper store, Paper Source.As much as I would like my office to look like something out of Martha Stewart or Real Simple or something, it is simply not my style.

I love color. The more the better. Up on the shelf above my desk I have turquoise, green, hot pink, red, brown, etc. There is a mini album my husband made for me on my second Mother's Day, it is from my oldest, telling me all the ways I have been a good mommy to him. I love it and read it all the time. My darling dad watches over me every day, I made a collage of pics of him and his sweet smiling face keeps me company.

I recently made a family binder with some tips from Simplify 101, and that rests on the right, underneath the paper station with current mail I need to address, etc. I also have a weakness for cute notebooks, so there are about 2 (or 7) back there.

On the tower itself, lovely IKEA baskets corral items, below is my spray paint shelf and finally a couple of paper boxes and a magazine file. The item on top is the egg crate from Anthropologie, it holds some of my everyday jewelry.

So that is my new office area, messy and colorful, like my life. I love it, aside from the fricking ankylosaurus that still plague me ;D

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Working on a project . . .

that is tall and currently not very colorful, but with the help of a little bit of this:I hope to make it rock!

Stay tuned!

Monday, May 16, 2011

On Friday, we harvested . . .

Did you know "grabbling" means digging around for baby potatoes? Yep, it's not "grabbing", but "grabbling. On Friday, we got our first new potato and 9 strawberries. I would post some pictures here, except we ate them before I could get the camera.

It was joyful, my oldest boy and I, giggling as we found more strawberries to eat, him with the bowl yelling at me to give them the berries, and me jumping from raised bed to raised bed, trying not to step on anything too scary.

Did you know there is such a thing as white broccoli? I didn't. Good thing I googled it because I was about to go yell at the nursery people because I thought they'd sold me cauliflower instead of broccoli.

We have two bell peppers in our near future, tons of plums and pears growing on the trees, and hopefully some tomatoes down the road.

Hope your Monday is a fabulous one!

Friday, May 13, 2011

And the winner is . . .

Comment #2 - Lori, I will be contacting you to get your cookbook to you ASAP.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Very excited

My dear friend K is getting rid of her coffee table and has promised it to me! I love that it has tons of drawers AND a lower shelf, so lots of storage. Looking forward to having it in my house!

Don't forget to enter my book giveaway!

One of my favorite book series

I love to read. A lot. I always have, since I was little. But whereas my husband likes a good story more than anything, I like good characters more than anything. Back when I used to review books, I discovered The Nora. You know, Nora Roberts. The grande dame of romance herself. My favorite Nora Roberts books, however, are not to be found under her name; she writes futuristic thrillers under the pseudonym of J.D. Robb.

The thing is, while I love Nora's J.D. Robb books, and the trilogies written under her own name, I absolutely cannot read her stand alone books. I don't know what it is, but I have tried to read 3 of them and have hated every single one of them.

Anyway, the J.D. Robb books are great, and at the center of them is Eve Dallas, the tough police lieutenant who fights for justice in every book. She is a complex character, and she is what keeps me coming back to these books. The hottie husband, crabby butler, and rest of the characters don't hurt, but it's Eve who is at the center of these books.

Some of them do get a little gory and the language is rough, but if neither of those things bother you, you might want to give the In Death series a try.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book Giveaway: Vegetarian Suppers by Deborah Madison

This week is book week at Casa de Berry, apparently, because this week I am giving away a copy of the fabulous maven of healthy cooking Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers. I first became acquainted with Deborah Madison when I bought her fabulous Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone; and this latest book is just as wonderful - tons of great ideas for lunches and dinners, and you don't need to be a vegetarian to enjoy the book. These ideas also work as sides next to some meat, chicken or fish, if you so desire. If you ARE a vegetarian, this book gives you lots of delicious options, most with suggestions on how to make them vegan as well.

What you need to do to enter to win:

1 - be a follower of my blog
2 - leave a comment (a nice one, preferably, heh)

for extra entries

3 - tweet about this and leave a comment saying you did
4 - post on your facebook and leave a comment saying you did

that's it!

I will announce the winner of this book on Friday!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The book that started it all

Three years ago I decided I wanted an herb garden. Then I gave up when the darn things died because I never remembered to water them.

A few months later, right before the holidays, I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - I don't remember if it caught my eye at the library or I read about it somewhere - and I found my calling. I despaired that it was the middle of winter and I had to wait MONTHS before planting my own vegetable garden.

The book is about one year in Barbara's family life where they choose to only eat locally: either they grow it, they buy it from local sources like farmers' markets or farmer friends, or they do without it. Her narrative is so straight-forward and natural it feels like she's talking to you across the dining room table while you both sip some (sweet) tea. The book includes sidebars by her husband and essays by her daughter, and many great recipes.

This is my third year of growing veggies and I love it more and more each year. except the weeding. Weeding sucks, let me tell ya, although I am impressed at the resilience of those little suckers. This year, I have a water-bath canner and a food dehydrator for my veggies and fruits; I look forward to using them both, a lot.

Don't be daunted - Barbara has years of experience growing things and I certainly didn't. I have a backyard, she has LAND. It doesn't matter. You can grow delicious tomatoes in a container, herbs on your windowsill, it just takes the impulse to say: I'm doing it. And for that, I thank Barbara. Maybe someday I will meet her and say it in person.

Has there been something that inspired you to make a change or start a venture?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

La Brea Tar Pits

Knowing that we would be making several pit stops on the way home, we got an early start (8am) and packed the van full of clothes, souvenirs, and us.

Given our boys' love of all things prehistoric, we decided to stop at the La Brea Tar Pits on the way home.This is a recreation of some animals that got trapped in the tar pits tens of thousands of years ago.

There was also an enclosed area where you can see what some of the scientists who work there are doing - they each have a sign saying what they are currently working on.I asked my oldest if that's what he wanted to do and he said no, he wants to be the guy who finds the animal fossils, not the guy who analyzes them ;D

We made a couple more stops for food and leg-stretching, and got home around dinner time. It was a lovely trip, but like my mother-in-law said, it's nice to sleep in your own bed!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 6, 2011

San Diego Zoo

This is truly the best zoo I have ever been to, not just because of the sheer amount variety of animals they have but also for the way it was set up: tons of benches all over, lots of shade, and lots of interactive things for the boys:
My oldest pretending to be a ferocious bear.

Godzilla was a very important part of our trip.Don't leave home without him!

The elephant statue was a favorite:We had to drag the boys away so other kids could have their pics taken.

I'm lifting my oldest here:so both boys could be in the picture ;D

I loved this little guy:

And this one!

Lots of good memories from the San Diego zoo, that's for sure!