Valentine's Day Mugs O' Love

I personally think that Valentine's Day is a bunch of bullshit. 
Expensive flowers that inevitably die...
Everything dipped in chocolate and pink...
the pressure to show everyone around you that you love them...
blah blah blah.

With that being said, I also like to make stuff. 
And I like to show appreciation to the village that helps raise my son; 
teachers, doctors, babysitters, friends...

So, on this cold winter's day, I busted out my inner crafter and made these little mugs of love...

Just a little something for those that care for the little boy when I'm not around.

A heart bookmark, hot chocolate, mini-marshmallows + a mason jar = Mug O' Love

I hope you all survived the pink explosion!

Happy Monday!

Halloween is Coming...Halloween is Coming!
This weekend we pulled out the lugs and went to town.
Apparently Halloween is pretty cool to a three year old...which in turn makes it cool for me I suppose.
The genuine excitement and enthusiasm of a child is undeniably contagious.

My son kept me well entertained with a soundtrack of Halloween riddles, songs and diddies as we filled our house with all things spooky. 

Thank you for your help little man!
"Halloween is Coming, Halloween is Coming..."

Freaky Buckets 

I was going to make my own, but why reinvent the wheel!?
Target banner on sale for 10 bucks = more time for fun.

(For some reason this guy reminds me of Jack Black?!)

A great use for old corks (and old candles...these are from our wedding!)!

Our Annual Halloween Tree
(Ornaments from Pier One)

Elias' Contribution!
Love This Guy

The Fall Mantel

Spiders Everywhere...

Some toddler loves to break the appendages off of these guys...Luckily we picked them up at the dollar store a few years back...

Autumn Dinner Party 

I have officially achieved cheesy housewife status...

These are actually pencils I found at TJ Maxx this past summer!

Sadly, my husband forbids me from getting this for our son...

Um, ya....I don't think so...

he he he he....

Could you imagine waking up to this face!?

I believe it is true when they say that children make you young again.
I'm officially in the mood.

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!
We are not going to let this weather get us down, right!? 
It is Memorial Day so bust out your favorite barbeque apron, shake yourself a cold beverage and put on your red, white and blue.
Let us celebrate the beginning of summer!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Easter Egg Fun!
This year instead of filling eggs with candy, I stole an idea from Pinterest and filled the eggs with puzzle pieces. 
In order to get all of the pieces of the puzzle, our son had to find all twelve eggs. 
Not only did it give him a goal, but the reward at the end was an Easter basket, plus a fun activity to do once we got back to the house!
I fully expect to win 'Mother of the Year' with this one.

 Oh, and thank you Easter Bunny! 
You are so smart!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!
Pinterest had me tempted to make elaborate eggs this year...but then I looked at the three year old across the table and thought differently. 
Here are a few of the characters we made by simply using food coloring in different concentrations and a medicine dropper.
Maybe next year we will go for detailed decorations....

It is Egg Hunting Time Again!
These are 2012's Creations
Time to run out and buy dozens of eggs to decorate and hide, and hope for a cooler day so that they don't spoil before your toddler finds them all.
(Did somebody say egg salad?)
This year, think past the store bought kits, get yourself some regular food coloring and go to town. 
Here we just dipped and poured regular food coloring over hard boiled eggs in different concentrations to get an Abstract Expressionist type of effect.
Have fun with it!
So easy even a caveman...I mean a toddler...can do it!

Jackson Pollock Fans Rejoice!
Happy Decorating!

St. Valentine
Shortbread Love

1, 2, + 3 Drops of Red Food Coloring
(Frosting: Butter, Cream Cheese, Confectionery Sugar + Almond Extract)
 Teachers Need Sugar Too
School Snack-Time Treats for the Kiddos
Does This Promote The Healthy Living Initiative!?
E's Quote of the Month
E's Breakfast Snack
E's Favorite Valentine's Gift from Nannie!
Cheesy, New, Valentine's-Inspired Nook Cover

Dada's Valentine
(Thank you Pinterest for the Inspiration)!
"Dr. Love!"
(Thank you Gap Outlet:)

Happy Valentine's Day Friends!
I hope you all find yourself around something you love tonight!
xx, k

New Year's Eve Dinner


PKR Cranberry Vodka on the Rocks and Kettle One Up with a Twist


Roasted Rabbit Terrine and Truffle White Bean Dip with Crusty Bread and Olives

Baked Shrimp with a duo of dippers:
Raspberry Chipotle Sauce and Lemon Garlic Remoulade
Fried Artichoke Hearts with Seared Lemons, Capers and White Wine over Wilted Spinach
*Rainbow Fruit Kabobs for Elias
To Drink: Pouilly Fuisse and Bear Boat Pinot Noir
Cowgirl Steaks with Gorgonzola, Truffle, and Cracked Black Pepper Butter
Baked Onions
Seared Porto Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze
Red Bliss Potatoes Au Gratin with Rosemary
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
*Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter for Elias
To Drink: Brunello
Duo of Miniature Creme Puffs; One Sweet and One Savory
Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberry, Balsamic Vinegar, and Black Pepper Drizzle
To Drink: Bust out the Single Malt Baby!
Happy New Year!
Stay Tuned For Pictures!

I hope you are all having a festive, fun, and friend-filled holiday season!
As we approach the New Year's weekend, I try to remember to balance the good with the not-so-good; This is why I run and do yoga. I read, and I write and play memory games. I love my family and friends, and try to tell them as much as possible. Then I drink copious amounts of red wine, eat blocks of cheese, and swear like a truck driver.
It is all about balance, my friends.
I like to think that this cranberry infused vodka is a great way to get my red fruits into my diet while celebrating the season.
Made by two of my favorite people on earth, I know they have my best interests at heart.
Cranberries are great for the kidneys, liver, digestive and urinary tracts; so go ahead, sip up, and think of all the good you are doing!
Like I said, it is all about balance.
Happy Friday!
xx, k
PS. I stand corrected from my last post...this was my favorite gift!
Dark Chocolate, Cherry and Salt Oatmeal Cookies for Santa

Energy Treats for the Reindeer

Some of my favorite characters: 
Give your centerpiece a festive and youthful edge this holiday season by adding giant lollipops to your bouquet. The only drawback is trying to keep your eager toddler from gobbling them down...

So, I'm off to shop for myself. I mean, I'm off to shop for the holidays. Here are a few of my ideas to make holiday spirit's bright. Mind you, some of these gifts exist in a land without medical bills, house bills, food bills or other life necessities, but a girl can dream...and window shop...or max out her credit card...Others are totally doable regardless of your personal budget.

Dreamy gifts for me...I mean her:

Serena and Lily's Navy Blue Pom-Pom Throw + a bottle of nice Pinot Noir = Happiness

ps. sale until 12/18!!!

Any piece of jewelry from my friend Katie's site, Adler-Grier, or the Sundance catalogue. Fetching!
Classic Gift for Him:
Macallan Single Malt Scotch
Great gifts for co-workers, groomers, friends, friends of friends, teachers...
My good friend Jo brought me these Bequet caramels as a hostess gift. At first I thought, "Oh, that is nice." Then I ate one...then two...then I hid the bag and didn't share them with anyone. Including my husband. I know that sea salt is all of the rage right now, but trust me, there is a reason. Order the sea salt caramels. Decadent.
Another great gift my girlfriend Jo brought: She made a batch of biscotti and put it in a large glass canister. In addition she gave us glass bottles of 'La Colombe' Pure Black, Cold Pressed Coffee. This stuff is crack-cocaine for housewives. I drank one before my half marathon in June, and I was good to go for the first nine miles. I haven't slept since.

 Sur la Table's fun and festive holiday ornaments. Some of my favorites; slab of bacon, eggs benedict and the bbq food truck.

"Cookie of the Month Club." I have never done this, but I love the idea! You don't use a website or bakery. You make the cookies yourself and send them to your loved ones every month. What a great way to show somebody you think about them all year long. Thank you Maryanne! I'm totally going to steal this! :)

Anything homemade. I know this is a craze, but there is a reason for this craze. Last year's favorite was Paul and Kathy's homemade 'Cranberry Infused Vodka.' It arrived in a decorative bottle, adorned with a homemade label. Kathy's script was the finishing touch....except the floor...where I ended up after enjoying the entire bottle with my brother.
For the kiddos:
Again, I have to give a shout out to Serena and Lily. They collaborated with Hanna Andersson and made pajamas. The result is the Hanna Andersson style we all love with the Serena and Lily textile patterns we can't get enough of. Pair these with a set of Hanna Andersson Swedish moccasins = baby bliss. Elias will be rockin' these this year.
Okay. Serious shit. For any of you who know me, know that I have a problem...a serious addiction to 'Jellycat' stuffed animals. Elias has five million of these, and I give them for gifts to everyone I know who has a child under the age of 16. I am pretty sure I buy them for myself. This season's favorites are 'The Babbington Cat,' or any of the 'Mad Pets Collection, especially Matilda.'

The past year I started to give the gift of books; cookbooks to be more precise. It is a risky venture since we all have different and diverse tastes in what we read and eat, so I always tuck the gift receipt in the front page, but to me, there is nothing that feels as good as a brand new, unbroken, hard-covered cookbook in my grasp. I pair it, wrapped in the ribbon, with a seasonal favorite; a set of ceramic measuring spoons, a cookie cutter, a good cooking knife (I'm not superstitious about that one)...maybe one of the fun Sur la Table ornaments I suggested above.
Here are my top 5 cookbooks for this holiday season:
Edible Selby by Todd Selby. This Brooklyn photographer goes behind the scenes in restaurants from around the world; paired with watercolor illustrations and text this book is a beaut.e.
What Katie Ate: Recipes and Other Bits and Pieces by foodie blog/photographer Katie Quinn Davies. Her food photography makes you want to lick the pages.
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. I, like the rest of the world, love this woman. She is not a chef, which is her appeal; she is approachable, and for the rest of us, makes us feel like we are not alone in this culinary adventure. She is a celebrated food blogger, and her cookbook delights both the eyes and the stomach.

The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook by Ridge, Gluck and Kilmer-Purcell. This keepsake cookbook makes a lovely gift that can be passed through friends and family. Bonus: It contains a recipe for Utica Greens!

Tender by Nigel Slater. A staple on my shelf and a gardener's dream.
My Top Five Gifts to Never Give Anyone. Ever. Ever.
1. Fragrance. Unless she/he has been wearing it for years and has specifically asked you for a refill.
2. An etiquette book...although I've been tempted on many an occasion...
3. Fruitcake.
4. Pets. If somebody gave me a puppy I'd knock their block off.
5. Diet pills.
Happy Holidays Everyone! We are very close!

HaPpY hAlLoWEeN!!

I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween. Don't forget to brush your teeth tonight before you go to bed!

Halloween Tree!

The best part about having a Halloween tree is that in a few days, I can just switch it over. Considering stores have been selling Christmas crap since last month, I better get on it before all that is left are pink plastic ornaments.
Oh, and it is fake, so I don't have to worry about vacumming pine needles until the end of time.
ps. Thank you Pier One for the groovy zombie ornaments!

Oogily Boogily

A twist on the traditional pumpkin.
These gourds are generally less expensive than your traditional pumpkin + craft kits that include googly eyes/pipe cleaners etc. are cheap and easy to come by at any craft shop, Target etc. Plus, no cutting involved = safe for little ones!
My son named this guy 'Oogily Boogily,' but he makes me keep him in the corner because it scares the crap out of him.

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