Friday, July 29, 2011

and the winner is....




Thanks so much to all who entered to win an Isabella charm bracelet this week!  It was so fun reading through all your favorite summer activities!! 

The winner {chosen by random.org} is...

Dominique

who said:

"We love hanging out in Lake Tahoe as a big family! Eating, beaching, eating, and waterskiing. Did I mention we eat too?"

Congrats Dominique!!  Email me with your custom info and ship to info and we will get your bracelet right out!!

If you didn't win, you can still get an Isabella charm bracelet at a great price.  The Isabella will be on promo pricing through Sunday.  But, snap it up quick because Monday it goes back to regular price and it is not going to be available for use with coupon codes and giveaways.

Happy weekend to all of you.  I am off for a family movie night!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Snapshots Week 6 {linky party!!!}


It's Wednesday, so you know what that means!  Time for Summer Snapshots!!


My Mom brought her sewing machine over and spent 6 tireless hours hemming drapes for our loft.  I would love to say that I was a big help, but sewing is not one of my talents, so I mostly pinned, moved her table around the room as we went and got her soda when she was thirsty.  They came out great and I am so glad she was willing to help!  Thanks Mom!!


Reid's room is finally coming together and he is really enjoying his space.  I love that he loves it and that he has a space of his own to read and play and build and hang out. 


My sweet friend Alison has this amazing backyard complete with a tree house her dad built for her boys {how awesome is that?!}.  She offered to host a water balloon fight and we had so.much.fun.  The moms got to visit and catch up while the boys chased each other around.   Speaking of Alison, I would love here to guest post sometime.  She has an amazing eye for beauty and her home is filled with treasures that she has painted, spiffed up and given new life to.  She always inspires me.  Alison, are you reading this?  I would love for you to guest post!!  We could all learn from you!



There has been lots of Lego building all summer around here.  The 2 photos on the right are from Mark and Reid's Daddy date to Legoland last Friday.   I think it might be Reid's favorite place on earth!

So there you have it, our week in snapshots!!

I hope you will link up below so we can all check out your summer snapshots from this week! 



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

a new bracelet {and a giveaway!!!}





I am crazy excited about the newest addition to the {starfish} line!  Up until now, I have only done charm bracelets on custom request, but now they are finally available in the shop!! 

The new sterling Isabella bracelet comes with 5 dime sized sterling initial charms.  The charms can be customized with Script or Block font, or you can mix and match the two.  Additional charms are available for just $8 each.  This bracelet can hold a ton of charms {up to 26!} so the sky is the limit!  A perfect gift for grandma, mom, or yourself!

The Isabella bracelets are not going to be eligible for use with discount and coupon codes, but for this week I have listed them at a 20% discount, so if you are quick, you can still snap one {or two!} up for a great price!  They will go back to regular price {$82} on Monday 8/1.  

And...you can also win one!!  Ready to enter?  

Here's how:  Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite summer activity with your kids.  Don't have kids?  Tell me your favorite summertime activity from your own childhood! 

Mine?  Flying kites.  It was on our Summer List and I never would have guessed how much fun it would be for all of us.  Even better if it's followed by ice cream!

Okay, your turn!  Leave your comment below and I will announce the winner here on Friday!

Want extra entries?  Share this giveaway with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, or blog about it and be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry!

PS Don't forget to come back tomorrow to link up your photos for Week 6 of the Summer Snapshots Series!

Friday, July 22, 2011

a love hate relationship

I love Legos.  I love that they encourage creative play and problem solving and that they keep Reid entertained for hours without the use of a tv or computer screen.

I also hate Legos.  I hate that the little pieces end up in every nook and cranny all over the house and in between the seats of the car.  I hate stepping on those sharp and tiny pieces in the middle of the night and I really hate that there is no way to get them "put away".

Until now.  My love hate relationship recently became a lot more love and a lot less hate thanks to my DIY Lego solution. 

If you've been around for a bit, you might remember our old black coffee table:



We got it at Pottery Barn about 6 years ago and it has been the workhorse of our Living Room.  But, I was ready for a change and it was really showing its age.  I repainted it light grey a few weeks ago and now it has found a new home in Reid's room as the dedicated Lego table and storage area:




We put it in between the windows, and added some big pillows so it works as a little window seat also.  When Reid wants to build, he can throw the pillows on the rug and go to town. 




When it's time to clean up, he can open the drawers, and slide all the little pieces right in!




 Aah...see that?  No Legos on the floor!  It makes me want to sing for joy!!  {Note to self: it would have been a good idea to make the bed before taking photos.  Oh well...next time!}

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

summer snapshots week 5 {linky party!!}


Wow, I cannot believe it's Week 5 already!!  We made some serious progress on our summer list this week.  We went to the zoo, made ice cream, went fishing, flew kites and clocked some beach and pool time.

I am getting so used to late and lazy mornings and long, relaxing evenings.  I can already feel myself dreading September.

I have been playing around more and more with the photo collage feature in Picasa.  {If you missed Emily's fantastic and easy collage tutorial from week 1, find it here}.  I hope you enjoy this week's snaps!











I have so much fun with this linky party and I have really been enjoying getting to know all of you through your blogs and photos.  Thank you for linking up with me each week and sharing your summer adventures with all of us!

If you link up, I would love for you to add a button to your post!





Monday, July 18, 2011

lets take a walk

We have been enjoying walks as a family down to the beach in the evenings and I thought it would be fun to take my camera the other day.  Want to come along with us?


It takes about 15 minutes to walk down the hill.



When you get to the bottom, you end up in the middle of town.  And if you follow that for about 3 more blocks, you come to this:



We like to head over to the wall and check out the waves. 



The surf was pretty big on this night so even though it was late, there were still a lot of people in the water.



Reid likes to pick a surfer and give us all play by play. 



I'm not sure what Grant was looking at in that first picture, but he looks pretty serious!  



We stay and check out the beach for a bit and then turn around and head back up the hill.  Sometimes we stop at our favorite ice cream shop on the way back.  Then it's back home for dinner, baths and bed. 

Thanks for coming along with us!

Friday, July 15, 2011

fantasy friday

Louis Vuitton Damier Canvas Trevi GM

I saw this amazing bag on a lady in Costco the other day and I have been obsessing about it ever since.  I finally went to the Louis Vuitton website only to discover that it costs $2,410...just a smidge out of my price range.  Oh well.  That's why it's called Fantasy Friday...

Happy weekend friends!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Snapshots Week 4 {Linky Party!!}


It's Wednesday and that means it's time to link up your summer photos!!  Last week I ended up getting strep throat {boo!} and so we did lots of napping and tv watching and wii playing, but I still managed to get some fun shots! 


It's kind of fun to see them in black and white for a change! 

Isn't it funny that what you remember being super fun as a kid doesn't always seem so fun as an adult?  I fondly remember making homemade donuts, so we added them to our summer list and guess what?  Not so fun.  After an hour of the oil getting too hot, then too cold, and getting splashed with hot oil in the process, I was totally exhausted by the time we sat at the table.  I think spending the $5 for a dozen and letting someone else cook them sounds like such a better deal!!

For the most part though, I've really been enjoying our summer list.  We are creating fun and seeking out new adventures.  It forces me to leave my big adult worries behind and remember what it's like to be a child again and that's such a good thing.

A few of you have asked about our summer list.  Just in case you are curious, here it is:

1. Backyard Campout
2. Legoland
3. Make Homemade Ice Cream
4. Build Lego Sets
5. Kayak in the Harbor
6. Lemonade Stand
7. Go Fishing
8. Surf Camp
9. Tennis
10. Disneyland
11. Camp on Catalina
12. Sea World
13. Zoo
14. Make Donuts
15. Sleepover Party
16. Fly Kites
17. Bike Around The Bay
18. Make Popsicles
19. Water Balloon Fight
20. SD Fair
21. Pillow Fight
22. "No Surf" Beach
23. Summer Reading Program
24 Ride Horses
25. Amma and Poppa's Pool
26. Family Movie Night
27. Paddleboats
28. Lighthouse Ice Cream
29. Dead Man's Cove
30. Make Play-Doh
31. Backyard Picnic for Dinner
32. Start License Plate Wall
33. Watch a Movie Outside
34. Scavenger Hunt
35.Start a Chapter Book Series

12 down, 23 to go!  Have you made a Summer List?  If not, it's not too late!  Rae from Armommy made a fun {and free!} Summer Do List printable!  Click {here} to check it out!

I hope you will link up your photos this week!  It's so much fun to hop around and see what everyone is up to!

If you link up, would you please add a button to your post?






 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Madison {large}

I have gotten so many requests for a necklace that will fit lots of characters and lots of names that would be perfect for a Grandma...and I am super excited because finally I have one in the shop!!




Introducing the Madison {large}.  At 1 1/2" in diameter, it will hold up to a whopping 43 characters!!




It's a larger version of the super popular Madison necklace and comes strung on a 24" sterling beaded chain. 




This one belongs to a super sweet customer {thanks so much for the inspiration Joy!}




If you would like to shop for the Madison {large}, you can see it in the shop {here}.

******

And, also today is a super special day because it's my Dad's birthday!!  Happy Birthday Dad!!  Even though I won't be there, I hope you know that I am thinking about you and I love you very, very much!!  Can't wait to see you Friday!!

******

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Week #4 in our Summer Snapshots series!!  I hope you'll link up and join the party!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

a tent, summer pasta, and fun drapery fabric

This post is all over the place...but, it's Monday so hopefully you'll forgive me.




On the 4th of July we had some friends over and Mark thought it would be fun to set up a tent in the backyard for all the kids to play in.  It was perfection!  Reid immediately filled it with his favorite chotchkies and toys and the boys were in and out of it all night.  And for the next few days, Reid and Grant would both head out there in their pajamas first thing in the morning to read books, play games and wrestle around.  Free entertainment for hours = mama gets a break = pure awesome.  I highly recommend it.

And about a week ago, I made this:




I decided to double the batch and we enjoyed the leftovers all week long, which was perfect, because we are having an unusually hot summer in San Diego and the thought of turning the oven on is almost too much to bear.  There have been nights where Mark and I have fed the kids, gotten them to bed and started cooking at 9:30 because it's just way too hot to consider it before that time.  Anyhow, I am running off on a tangent, but the pasta was seriously delicious.  The cream sauce is lemony and the tomatoes and arugula make it fresh and light.  You could also add some grilled chicken, but I never do.  With cherry tomatoes in season, this is the best time of year to make it!  It's a Barefoot Contessa recipe, and if you'd like to try it I copied the recipe below.

Lemon Fusilli With Arugula

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic {2 cloves}
2 cups heavy cream
3 lemons
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound dried fusilli pasta
1/2 pound baby arugula {or 2 bunches of regular arugula, stems removed and leaves cut into thirds}
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds, then add the cream, the zest and juice of 2 of the lemons, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until it starts to thicken. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta, and cook al dente according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.  Immediately add the cream mixture and cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until the pasta has absorbed most of the sauce.  Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl and add the arugula, Parmesan, and tomatoes.  Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add a few slices to the pasta.  Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot. 

I like to serve it with crusty french bread and a glass of wine. Yum.


And, lastly, after about 8 weeks of debating fabrics, I finally ordered the yardage of this print for our Living Room draperies:


Premier Prints Indoor/Outdoor ZigZag Blue Moon


I saw that fabric.com was having a 25% off sale and so I decided to bite the bullet and make a decision.  I have been back and forth about so many fabrics, but I think this one will be a perfect pop of color in the room and I love that it's an outdoor/indoor...I am hoping that means more kid resistant as well as stain and sun resistant...we'll see!  I am going to DIY them with my mom {thanks mom!} so I will definitely post about how we do it.  You can rest assured there will be minimal sewing involved!

I think that's all the randomness for today!  I hope you have a fabulous Monday!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Snapshots Week 3 {Linky Party!!}



I can't believe it's already week 3 of the Summer Snapshots series!!  As usual, our summer is flying by!  We are making the most of our days around here and it's seems like every day is full of adventure and the kids are falling into bed at the end of the day.



Here is a recap of some of the highlights of our week:

Monday: Lighthouse ice cream

Tuesday: Sea World

Wednesday: Trip to the library and made popsicles from Kool Aid

Thursday: Walked to the beach to check out the waves and stopped for ice cream on the way

Friday: Made a late trip to the pool and stayed for the "dive in movie".  The kids get to swim while watching a movie on a giant projector screen.  Super fun.

Saturday: Date with Daddy to see Cars 2.

Sunday: Pool day with friends.

We are making lots of progress on our summer list too!  I hope to make some play doh, have a picnic in the backyard for dinner and have a lemonade stand this week among other things.  Reid has been having a ton of fun marking things off the list and it's been a great motivator for us. 

Ready to link up so we can all see what you've been up to this week?  I can't wait to hop around your blogs and check out all the fun summer photos!  



If you link up, I would love it if you would add a button to your post!



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