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Matt alerted me to a pea coat, originally $120 on sale for $5.99. With Shipping my total was $11.63. Ridiculous! He didn’t snag the black or brown in time for me because the site was so clogged but I was able to get it in Red. I had to settle for a Small instead of Extra Small, so I hope it fits well and looks good. I’m excited to get it in the mail and try it on!

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Just a few funny exchanges with the girls today that I simply cannot resist sharing. First, with Felicity:

Felicity: “Mommy, Aunt Christine and baby Grace are my friend.”

Me: “Oh that’s nice! What about Uncle Josh?”

Felicity:”No, he’s a boy.”

Apparently we’re at the boys have cooties stage or something! lol. Silly girl.

And then Matt and I ran errands with the girls during his lunch break today and when I dropped him off, his coworker (whom some may know from working at Master’s previously) Mike Long was outside and came over to say hi. We chatted for a few minutes, Emma told him tomorrow is her birthday (which it isn’t…..she’s obsessed with her birthday. When will it be, what will we do, etc. And she wants to go to Disneyland. She knows all about it, and I don’t know who told her but they get to buy the tickets!)  and the girs all seemed to enjoy to show off for someone new. They also like mirrors. They definitely have some Carrillo blood in them 🙂 Anyway, we say good bye and head home and this is what she asked me about Mike:

“Mommy, does Daddy have a Daddy at work?”

HI-larious! Sorry Mike 🙂

I ADORE this fabric…am creating a quilt for Matt’s mom to make for Emma’s new twin size bed (how did she get so big, so fast?!) and fell in love with this whimsical mushroom fabric. Am unsure if we’ll be able to use it since it’s jersey but I love it so much, I am desperate to find a use for it!

 

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Isn’t it adorable?! Here were some other fabrics I was wanting to go with it:

I love this Dragonfly Pattern; the color is fresh and soft looking, and the dragonflies are whimsical in a more subtle way than the mushroom fabric. 

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I also love something bright and every year around this time I start craving some fresh, bright colors–my favorite being grass green.

 

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I would also pick a pink fabric, yellow fabric and purple/lavendar fabric.

BUT this quilt looks like it won’t be made because I think we’ll be sticking with my original plan, a fun hawaiian themed quilt, like this one from Pottery Barn.

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Matt’s mom surprised me and bought the sheet set that goes with this, which is all pastel (shown in the picture and VERY fun!). I love this quilt because it has fun island themed fabrics in colors perfect for my energetic and fun-loving little girl, but not in loud, gawdy colors. And I want the fabrics I choose to go with the sheet set, just like the PBK quilt does. But I have been searching for these color combinations with an islandy theme in quilting fabric and have had hardly any luck. All I keep finding is dark, bold reds, oranges greens and blues–not what I’m looking for at all 😦  Help!

Peanut ButterUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you know by now that many peanut butters have been recalled and pulled from store shelves, specifically if it was in a package, like celery sticks with peanut butter, because of a salmonella contamination. In fact, at Starbucks we have a Protein Platter (that has a hard boiled egg, whole wheat bagel, apple slices, grapes and peanut butter) and had to pull it from shelves until our distributor sent them without the peanut butter.

I have personally banned all peanut butter from the house, name brand or not, just to be safe . Matt is especially sad about this because he has an unusually strong love of peanut butter–for example, he likes to mix a heaping spoonful of peanut butter with chocolate ice cream (apparently he is not the only one who does this, two guys at my work also do this and looked at me as though I was crazy for thinking this was a little off). He also likes to take a spoonful of peanut butter and dip it in a bag of m&m’s or chocolate chips (both ideas the guys at work thought was genius and were eager to try out). I, however, miss peanut butter solely for the conveniance of sandwich making for the girls.  Anyway, that’s a little off topic.

This is what I really wanted to address. The Peanut Corp. of America (PCA) shipped their peanut butter even after they discovered there was contamination. Gah! It is unbelievably reprehensible that they were so lazy, greedy (to not lose money on throwing out whatever was contaminated) or indifferent they couldn’t even muster up the decency to follow health regulation standards and do the right thing. This is what happens when no one has any personal accountability for their actions–individuals, businesess (Auto Industry, I’m looking at you), Wallstreet and government act in their best interest in terms of financial or career gain but cannot be held responsible when it all goes wrong and they get caught red-handed.  I hope they are severely punished, especially considering many people have gotten very sick and even died because of this situation. Ok, rant over 🙂

I love to be pampered. I love beautiful things. I love to relax and enjoy some quiet. And I love to do something that’s good for me. I got all of these things and more in my visit to the Kate Somerville clinic on Saturday.

 

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It’s located in the most fabulous block of L.A. Melrose Place is a small offshoot of  Melrose Avenue and is home to such incrdible stores as Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuiller, Mulberry and John Freida at Sally Hershberger Salon. Closeby are also Hollywood hotspots Fred Segal, Urth Caffe’, Dolce’, Area and Carolina Hererra. Also, on an interesting sidenote, the clinic used to be the former home of Johnny Depp. 

 

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 I always enjoy spending time shopping and people watching in L.A. but the drive there was horrendously stressful. LOTS of traffic that made me nervous I would be late but I miraculously made it to my appointment with a minute to spare. The waiting area is perfectly decorated with beautiful white wallpaper, dark wood floors, a beautiful chandelier and gorgeously modern-chic fireplace. It’s stunning.

 

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The private room I was in to receive my facial is painted a cool, relaxing blue, with touches of white and dark hardwood floors  while soothing music plays on an iPod stereo. The chair you lie in is covered in a plush duvet, matching blue blanket and green accent blanket.

 

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My aesthetician, Kristy was warm, kind and knowledgable, happy to answer any and all of my questions. She identified some dry patches on my face and was able to assess exactly what my skin type currently is after cleansing and opening up the pores by having steam directed at my face for what seemed about 10 minutes. She then did an extraction, getting rid of all of the junk clogging my pores. Truthfully, it felt like pinching but was really not painful, just a little weird 🙂 After the initial cleansing, she wiped my face with toner to get rid of any bacteria and then used the Clarisonic Skincare Brush to deep clean my skin. She then used the ExfoliKate to exfoliate and slough away any dead skin cells.  In between each step, she wrapped a hot towel around and on top of my face (which felt so wonderful!) She then put on a mud mask of some kind and while it worked it’s magic, she massaged my neck, shoulders and arms with the Quench Hydrating Syrum, which felt A-MAZING! After the mud mask was rinsed off, Kristy moisturized my face using the Oil Free Moisturizer (mostly because I had been using free samples from other product lines, looking for a richer moisturizer to combat those dry patches I have due to the colder weather, and my skin freaked out on me and has breaking out in acne due to the overly rich moisturizers clogging my pores) and put on Anti-Bac Clearing Lotion on the trouble spots.

 

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Although she used the Oil Free Moisturizer, we agreed that my skin is not usually that oily and the better moisturizer in the long run would be the Goat Milk Cream. She was very honest about the products and did not try to sell amuyhting other than the basics– Gentle Daily Wash, ExfoliKate and Goat Milk Cream–I love simplicity! I also scored some free samples so I could try the products without having to commit. My entire experiance was wonderful and relaxing! And my face looks and feels so much cleaner!  This was my first facial, and I truly hope it is not my last.

Well here we are in 2009! How crazy is that?! Today was our first day back to pre-school and I have to say the girls had a bit of a rough time getting back into the swing of things. There are some things I am planning on blogging about when it’s not so late at night but I just wanted to say I’m here and I fully intend on posting more often 🙂 And just a quick little feel-good story, the other night I was helping Emma wash her hands…it had been a long day and I was tired, and she said, “Mommy, I love you. You’re my best friend.” It made my heart happy. 🙂

Gingerbread Loaf

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays but this year it has been harder to enjoy them, mostly I think because life just feels too busy. But, Christmas has always been marked for me by holiday baking and so that is just what I did! I had leftover cream cheese frosting I made Emma’s preschool snack (which could be another post) so I sought out a gingerbread recipe. I found a copycat recipe of the  Starbucks Gingerbread Loaf (which I love). The frosting was for a large batch so definitely cut down the recipe unless you want extra for icing another cake or cookies!I also made the candied orange peel myself, which although it was time consuming, was very interesting. Next time I have a couple of tweeks I’d like to make, possibly adding some baking powder and eggs to help it rise better but other than the issue of it not rising as high as I would like, it turned out great!

 

 CANDIED ORANGE PEELS

3 Oranges

1 cup Sugar

Using a citrus zester or vegetable peeler, shred long strips of orange peel.

Place strips in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain; repeat two more times with fresh water.

Place sugar in a clean saucepan with 1 ½ cups of water; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add the orange strips to the boiling syrup; reduce heat, and simmer until strips are translucent, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat; let strips cool in syrup for 1 hour. Remove and let dry on paper towel for 1-2 hours; roll in granulated sugar and place on parchment paper. Let them set overnight (or 8 hours).

 

 

STARBUCKS-STYLE HOLIDAY GINGERBREAD LOAF

 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 1/4 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon orange extract, optional

1 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon baking soda

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in orange extract if using.

Dissolve baking soda into applesauce and mix into creamed butter mixture.

Add flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes (I do 45 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out just slightly sticky.

 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Frost cake when it is completely cooled. Decorate with chopped candied orange peel or candied ginger.

Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to upload my pics and video from Thanksgiving until today, but still wanted a special post for her. Sophia turned 2 years old on November 28, 2008. She has grown up so much in the last year! She has been able to make progress in the physical areas of life, like walking and running, so that she can now keep up with her older sisters. She also has a great vocabulary–the doctor said she is advanced for her age, and says such funny things that she hears her sisters say. But most of all, she has continued to be such a sweet blessing for both Matt and I as we watch her grow. Here’s everyone singing to her on her birthday–she loves the birthday song!

 

Here are some pictures I’ve been needing to post 🙂 The girls went as 2 Cinderellas and a Snow White for Halloween, Emma’s pre-school went ice skating at the beginning of November, Matt and I were able to go on a surprise date for my brithday, Emma was an indian in her pre-school play (and the picture of her in tears is QUITE a story, which I will post soon), I love Felicity’s smile (here she is at the park day after Thanksgiving), we celebrated Sophia’s 2nd birthday and a family picture we took when taking pictures for my mother-in-laws’ Christmas card. Enjoy!

Somehow I thought I would have the time and energy to write a post about all of the happenings in October, like my family visiting (yay!) or what Emma’s been up to in pre-school and things like that, and I will—I definitely will. But October came and went and November is about half way through and I am clearly behind SO I thought it’s be fun to give a run down on how my week goes…..I’ve been asked by quite a few people what my schedule is like with all of the driving I do so here it is! (Also, something new was added to my schedule for November, a fitness boot camp/program here in Camarillo, it was a birthday present from Matt, but more on that later.)

Monday morning I go workout from 6:30-7:30, race home to shower and get dressed, then it’s off to SC for pre-school at 9am (cutting it very close to make it on time), Pre-school ends at 12 and we usually head back home, eat a late lunch, girls take a late nap and I try to get a few things done….not always successful. Because I workout every morning at 6:30, I have been going to bed much earlier, about 10:30 or 11pm. That’s early for me!

Tuesdays are pretty low key during the day since we don’t have anything scheduled other than my morning workout. Usually try to do homework from pre-school, work on Cubbies verses and get some laundry and general tidying up done around the house since I am gone a good portion of the day on Monday. Not always successful, but getting better 🙂 I work on Tuesday nights, about 7-11:30pm…..it’s tough waking up at 5:45 the next morning!

Wednesdays I workout again (I skipped this week, I was so tired from working so late!) try to get the house in a somewhat decent shape while girls play or color, and we head to SC… somtimes for the day so we can see Grandma and Grandpa and have dinner with them before Cubbies, and sometimes I leave after Matt gets home from work and just take Felicity and Emma. Kinda just depends on how things are going that day. Cubbies from 6:30-8:30pm, then we do our hour drive back home. Sometimes the girls fall asleep, sometimes they don’t….this is usually when I call my mom since I have a good block of time to chat.

Thursday morning I workout and finally don’t have to be anywhere! Yay! AT this point, laundry has piled up a bit, usually there’s dishes that need to be taken care of since I haven’t been home much and the constant need to keep the house somewhat presentable for unexpected house viewers…..I have become more relaxed with how the house looks with this because it is just impossible to be gone so much, keep the house spotless AND let the girls actually play.

Fridays can be spent doing errands, picking up my check from work, etc or they can be spent packing for a weekend in SC. The packing for all 5 of us, for the entire weekend, (plus church clothes and making sure everyone is packed weather appropriate)….well that alone is quite time consuming and can make it tough to get other things done. If we’re not home until Sunday evening, we really don’t accomplish much but it’s just kinda the way it is right now.

Sunday night we get home about 5 or 6pm, eat dinner, let the kids run around a bit and get them in bed. Then there’s the unpacking, putting away toiletries, bags, etc and cleaning up kitchen and dining room from dinner….if we even have enough energy to do that! We try to veg a bit together, watching Sunday night football. And the next day we start all over!

I have to say I am tired of the driving but still feel the same about the girls and our involvement, so it’s a sacrifice I am more than willing to make; I look forward to when we won’t have to pack and unpack and stop our life at home so we can have a life with family, friends and church and am trusting that the day will come in the perfect time. Anyway, this is why I haven’t been blogging much and am behind on posting pictures and updating my family’s Christmas Gift lists….I haven’t forgotten, just trying to juggle a lot 🙂