31 July 2011

a pretty polka dot dress. / thinking about ALT 2012.

uh oh. the Boden catalogue came.

am seriously in love (obsessed) with this polka dot dress from Boden. i'd like it in every color with some cozy thick tights for wintertime. Boden brings out my greedy side. (and whenever i use the word greedy, i think of the Bernstein Bears book all about the gimme gimme's.)

perhaps it would be perfect for ALT 2012 design conference, which is another thing on my wish list. i'm still thinking about how awesome it was this year and all the ahhhmazing people i got to interact with. i really made some great friends. there is nothing else like it; networking with talented people (who get how rad blogging is) is hard to beat. i couldn't believe how easy it was to chit chat with complete strangers / cyber friends, exchange ideas and relate with their small business / crafty / bloggy / entrepreneurial goals. the conference as a whole was inspiring and motivating.

thoughts? anyone planning on going? wanna do lunch?

i loved ALT and wrote about my experiences here.

30 July 2011

craftivity / countdown chains

yesterday we spent the afternoon making countdown chains for the month of august.  i always have plenty of scraps; so i was thrilled they were used for a good cause. seven year olds are easily enthused (and don't you love seeing olivia's sweet handwriting)! each link has a favorite activity, outing, or craft labeled on the inside to ensure we soak up every last bit of summer. cousin olivia is counting down til school starts and benji is counting down til his 3rd birthday. i can hardly believe it's almost august already! we are loving all of the family events, lazy afternoons, outdoor barbecues and parties we've packed in thus far. happy end of summer, everyone.

p.s. stay tuned for two major recommendations from yours truly.

28 July 2011

what could be cooler / dinosaur crayons

+ these dinosaur crayons made me smile.
find these friendly four on etsy by polkadotty.
such a selection: fire trucks, trains, lego men and more

+ my friend, kimberly's little boy gave benji a homemade heart-shaped crayon with his valentine last february. ever since i've been charmed by crayons as the perfect solution for a sugar-free favor.

+ we've been dino happy all season long.
here are a few of our favorite dinosaur books:
Dinosaur Roar / Henrietta Strickland
Ten Terrible Dinosaurs / Paul Strickland
How Do Dinosaurs Eat their Food? (more in the series) / Jane Yolen

+ ever since reading this post by joanna goddard, which i love and wholly agree with, (don't you love her motherhood mondays?!), i've been keeping my eye out for a dinosaur-shaped balloon.

p.s. lately i have a hankering to watch jurassic park for some odd reason (i'm not big on scary movies). i read the book six years ago (it was good!) and now wanna snuggle up on the couch for a serious scream-fest.

26 July 2011

recently / family fun

+ the pioneer day parade. we love to watch it from my mom's seven story balcony. she serves up a french toast casserole and a trunk of dress-ups. her sticker mister mustaches were a huge hit. their stoic faces crack me up. thanks oma and opa! on a related note, as we go about errands, benji loves telling me who has a mustache and who doesn't. i think the people in his life sporting facial hair must sit on a special pedestal. of course when he is being hysterical, he says, mommy has a mustache! and then i'll quickly change the subject. that's no laughing matter.

+ one of the days during dan's family reunion, we headed to Lagoon. the morning of, i watched (and semi-helped) my mother-in-law package up lunches for the masses. it was awesome seeing her (a picnicking expert) in action. she even scooped up fresh mint from her garden for garnish! she froze water bottles and wrapped them up in plastic baggies so the condensation wouldn't ruin the lunch sacks. they served double duty as an ice pack and drink. it worked like a charm. benji loved the cars and boats. dan headed to colossus (a roller coaster favorite) while benji napped. my fave is the new bombora coaster and rattlesnake rapids. benji is still talking about pioneer village and the train ride. i forgot how fun amusement parks can be, especially with a little cousin bonding.

+ an evening with great-grandma bernice and her biggest littlest fan.

p.s. the navy reunion tee (and hats of all shapes and sizes) have been in heavy rotation this month!

22 July 2011

marta's coconut krispie chocolate chunk cookies

another cookie post. i can't help myself. i'm over the moon about this batch. so excited in fact, that i went ahead and named them after myself. how's that for vain awesome? whenever i go off the rails of a recipe, i am usually regretful. thus i am thrilled these chocolatey, thunderous babies worked out beautifully. the dark chocolate is nicely matched with the sweet coconut and rice krispies consistently make a cookie taste better, if i do say so myself. (i even sifted the dry ingredients. how's that for effort. am a new convert to sifting. thank you, miranda.) dan is toting them to work today; our introductory batch with the new firm. fingers crossed.

dan's favorite holiday (aside from thanksgiving) is pioneer day. pioneer day is utah's awesome official holiday wherein people shut down their offices, head to the parades, and celebrate the pioneers who pureed this land into farms, towns and, eventually, the city i love so much. i love the rich heritage in my hometown. i love being here for the 24th. (i love getting more use out of fourth of july paraphernalia.) dan requested utah sugar cookies for the office. (we have a utah shaped cookie cutter; it landed itself in dan's stocking one year and he was overtly enthusiastic about it.) but i had to decline. first, i have no idea where that cookie cutter is at the moment and more importantly, sugar cookies usually become a disastrous kitchen event. there are sides of my sugar cookies that my in-laws just don't need to see.

so, as wives often do, i talked dan into a dark chocolate chunk experiment. i found the bag of dark chocolate chunks at whole foods, which is where my mother shops. i hope that means they are more healthy / wholesome for the family. he was game. he goes ga ga for dark chocolate. also, i recently figured out how to attach the bowl and beater to shanna's vintage bosch mixer. all systems a go.

Marta's Coconut Krispie Chocolate Chunk Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart's chocolate chip cookie recipe
this recipe makes a whopping 6 dozen (minus the one you will eat)

2  1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1  1/8 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1  1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2  1/4 cups rice krispies (my favorite secret ingredient)
1  3/4 cups chocolate chunks (preferably dark)
1  1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour, soda and salt into a bowl and set aside. In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium-high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, beat eggs one at a time. Add flour and vanilla, careful not to over-beat the batter. Mix in rice krispies, chocolate chunks and coconut on low speed just until well dispersed. Eye ball it and see if you need any more of the marvelous mix-ins.

Roll dough into balls, a bit smaller than ping pong ball size. (I am a big fan of smaller bite-size cookies, but I liked these a bit bigger. It helps pack a punch, which aids the wow-factor of this special ingredient combination. I am starting to sound practically scientific. That's what happens when you name cookies after yourself. And yes, I think scientists use the term wow-factor all the time.)

Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 12 minutes, just at the golden softly set up stage. Let them cool on the sheet for one minute or two and transfer to wire racks. You are required to pour yourself a mini mug of milk and indulge in a warm cookie while baking the rest of the batch. This is your duty. Make those pioneers proud.

20 July 2011

these days. / the update.

unknown image via pinterest.

these days i'm reading more and computing less.
these days i am excited to settle in and put nails into new walls.
these days i wonder when exactly that will come to pass.
these days i am looking forward to re-launching and designing again.
these days i'm trying to enjoy all this downtime and spontaneity.
these days have been full of blueroof.com and sarah 101.
these days i pull off benji's clothes before he slurps down a popsicle.
these days i'm missing my favorite whipped cream clouds in idaho.
these days i miss my friends up there too!
these days i'm completely horrible at responding to emails. (sorry!) 
these days skinny jeans, a headband, and a loose tee are my go-to.
these days my little boy is already planning his birthday party.
these days i can't quit scratching my mosquito bites.
these days i'm pretty sold on shellac manicures; still going strong.
these days i can't keep up with google reader but am still pin happy.
these days i am texting my realtor (almost) more than anyone else.
these days i am so thankful for an awesome, supportive family.
these days i am so happy for hot weather.
these days i'm stoked about a new library card.
these days benji is very into being a dinosaur. rawr...
these days i'm still napping with my babe and staying up too late.
these days my babe is turning into a full-fledged big kid.
these days i'm dreaming about shower curtains and rugs.
these days i am so in love with my two handsome boys.
these days i'm glad they are such fun to be around.
these days i'm loving playing tourist in my town.
these days i am feeding off of your nice feedback. (merci.)

p.s. happy birthday to my number one blog fan.

19 July 2011

family reunion / backyard movie night

last week dan's parents prepared a few fun-filled days, aiming to please the grands while keeping in the spirit of tradition. they outdid themselves; taking a few classic favorite memories from their kids' childhood and recreating them. it was such a thoughtful (brilliant) way to remember their family's happy times while creating new memories with the next generation!

camping out in grandma bernice's backyard kicked off the celebration. a pizza party, ice cream sundaes and an outdoor movie. UP was the perfect choice; suitable (and entertaining) for all ages. not to mention amazing to see those balloons on the big screen (and out in the night sky)!! we planned to watch harry potter when the kiddies fell asleep, but they were wired into the wee hours. there were cots, comforters, tents and camp chairs. everyone was cozy. benji loved running around the lawn with his cousins, staying up super late and sleeping under the stars. the early morning sprinklers were the biggest surprise of all, but luckily ray jumped up and saved our sleeping bags (and sleeping children) just in time!

the grand kids slept in while their great-grandma bernice and grandma shanna plated up pancakes and berries. it was divine, like something out of a movie. i loved seeing those two women scurry around the kitchen side by side like professionals in the mothering field. i am so thankful for good examples all around. it was a sight / night i'll never forget.

p.s. hooray for the team of techies in the fam who made the show possible! luckily we had an opening act; riddles and shadow puppets.

18 July 2011

anniversary garden party / celebrating 50 years

pssst.. you can order your very own custom anniversary party invitations in my shop!

dan and his siblings hosted such a pretty party for their parents. way to go, party planning committee! it's fun to live underfoot and listen to shanna gush about the magical evening (dave, you pulled it off! what a night). shanna was a florist when dan was younger and is an amazing hostess; she's always pleased as punch (and appreciative) of such special occasions. amy did an amazing job with decorations. i enjoyed being the sounding board for her great ideas and helping pick out the right table topper fabric. am sad i didn't get any photos of everyone whipping this party into shape in those last minutes. as we were lighting the candles and tying ribbons, i couldn't help but chuckle at how this older generation likes to arrive on the dot. they all showed up right on time!

i snapped the last photo of my in-laws before they departed, well into the evening. i don't think they wanted it to end. (in fact they are watching the slideshow dvd right this moment. they were too busy mingling to watch it at the event! mary, i love the soundtrack.) happy golden fiftieth Elbert and Shanna..

the details.
the venue: gorgeous garden park ward
the invitations: custom, posted here
the outfit: urban outfitters skirt / tj maxx blouse
french themed sugar cookies: the cookie lady
fifty facts: compiled by their kids / inspired by megan's wedding
flowers: cut by dan from grandma bernice's garden
entertainment: a slideshow & sophie's antics
favors: crate & barrel gelato cups & spoons

p.s. can you spot the two red headed grandchildren? they inherited it from grandpa elbert himself!

17 July 2011

marta / july 2011

last night was the finale of all the family festivities. i plan to share some of the highlights of our reunion soon. the party was absolutely lovely and the garden venue had such cool features (like this pretty blue cove which has golden stars painted near the top archway). we decided to be goofy and snap a few glamour shots. am hoping this will satisfy those of you who can't stand haircut suspense.

p.s. thanks for caring! i'm still figuring out how to do it; side swoopy, shoved forward and moppy or tucked behind the ears. i keep telling myself: it's good to shake things up a bit and redefine yourself. (thanks to sophie and ashley for the photo shoot and thank you for indulging! happy sunday-ing. pancakes and church for us.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...