We're on Spring Break in Palm Springs (which totally explains why I have posted two days in a row) and strawberries are fully in season here. They are red, ripe, delicious and most importantly abundant! We made a salad for dinner and I thought to make a fresh dressing. After googling several recipes for strawberry vinaigrettes - many of them included ingredients like dijon mustard, strawberry jam, or poppy seeds. Not being satisfied with my options, I ventured out on my own and went for pure and simple.
Red Wine Vinegar
A bit of Sugar
Of course, it doesn't hurt that the strawberries alone are divine and so distinctly fresh in flavor. But this was so good and easy. I blended it all in about 30 seconds with a Magic Bullet (adding that to my kitchen gadget want list). Next time I think I'll try it with Balsalmic Vinegar.
image via canadian house and home
...but perhaps mine could look like a bit like it. I pulled this image for inspiration because I love it! It is so extremely different than my previous sleek, white kitchen - but the whole vibe for my California home is much more rustic than my Utah home. One tiny problem though - I REALLY miss my white kitchen. So when I saw this picture my heart sang an "aha" song. Why don't I marry the two styles into one perfect kitchen? (At least as close to perfect as I can muster.) I need you to weigh in... What do you think? Would you paint JUST an island in a kitchen?
A Report of the past week and other random things:
Dearest friends, I have loved all your comments and emails. I am so happy you are checking in at my blog and saying hello. It means so much to me now more than ever that I am so many miles away from what was once my home - and many of you! I want to visit you on your blogs too - so if I'm missing any, please link me there.
If Ruby Jane were the first or second baby, she may have a lovely baby journal or scrapbook ;-), but since she's not, I have to write these little tidbits somewhere and it might as well be here. You know how all babies have a smell? Not the sweet scent of just bathed Johnson and Johnson pink (heaven knows how much we all love that) - but their own actual smell? Ruby's is the most distinct of all my babies. Of all things, she smells like HONEY. The irony of the sweetness of her smell and the sourness of her sleepytime demeanor is not lost on me.
I had a major win this week and got Josie into preschool for next year. She was previously wait-listed and we got in. I'm so relieved...and it is the favorite choice among many of my friends. Also, one of the most affordable - unlike the one closest to me that has a $6000/yr tuition!!!! Yep - the bay area is just as nutty and expensive as its reputation suggests.
Speaking of expensive, gas reached over $4.00 here. How much is it where you live?
The leprechauns are waiting for the kids to go to sleep so they can start turning the milk and the toilet water green. (Leprechaun Bryce came up with that last one a couple of years ago. Leprechaun amr thinks it's a little gross.) The kids are already prepared and have laid out their green outfits and silly green headbands. I was going to make green smoothies for breakfast, but eating cold cereal (Lucky Charms, of course!) with green milk is their favorite part of the morning so I think I'm just going to bag it. Sweet and simple.
My sister and niece went to Our Best Bites cookbook signing party last week. I was so ENVIOUS! We have been major fans of their blog for a while now... my favorites recipes are their sausage tortellini soup and buttermilk syrup (not together!) I don't have their cookbook YET, but plan on getting it when we visit UT this summer. Save one for me Mo-mos - don't buy them all out!
That's it for now.
If you've been wondering how the kids are integrating into the notoriously eclectic life offered in the city by the bay ... wonder no more.
At some point, I plan to go back and post the crazy story of how we found ourselves in California; but its much too long and complicated and I'm still too tired a bit emotional to even think of spilling it all out. That said, I would love to include a little update on everybody. We're just going to move forward...
Bryce: takes the train (bart) into the office almost every day - (we live about 20-25 minutes east of San Francisco.) He loves the consistency of a regular work schedule and we love having him home every night. Honestly, we *love* it. Our FAMILY life here in CA is better than ever. He still tweets here and writes a venture blog here.
amr: can be found smooching with Ruby and laughing at Josie most days, missing my old friends/making some new ones, decorating the house in my MIND ONLY cause these late baby nights are not as easy at 36 as they were at 25. Happily hosting various family members who have visited almost monthly since the big move from UT.
Kalli: rehearsing for the lead in the school play (I'm soooo proud of her, but more on that story later.) Blending her own personal style with California casual. Studying A LOT cause Jr. High is much more challenging than elementary school.
Ella: making friends, packing school lunches (she does it every night), loving Ruby - this girl is going to be some fantastic mama someday - but insists she's having only 2 maybe 3 kids. Whaaaattt? Don't I make it look so easy?
Max: loving daddy time so so so much. Losing teeth and growing tall. Being sweet. Going to loads of school mate's birthday parties. Loves going into the city to dad's office.
Josie: soo funny and soo loud. enjoying a preschool class - never stops talking, loves all princess and girlie things. Has broken more things than all the other kids combined. Yep, she's a swirlie, girlie tornado.
Ruby: first plane trip this month (Deer Valley), smiles so wide, up all night (still!), light as a feather - 14 lbs at 5 months. In spite of it all, having another baby in the house is the most magical gift to a family.
That's it for now...how about you? Are most of you all on Facebook, does anyone still blog? How about Twitter? You can find my tweets here.
After a long and exhausting day of diapers and feedings and homework and chaperoning, I went to anxiously check the time and found this sweet little conspiracy in place...tacked onto the microwave clock with duct tape. Max's bedtime is 7:00, but I can't EVER put him to bed if 7:00 never rolls around, right? I died. "Bring me my camera!" I cried, and Kalli smacks me with these words: "Why take a picture - you don't blog anymore!" And my heart kinda broke. She was right. I would take a picture, eventually download it when my card was full, and this sweet story would stay put in iPhoto forever. I would never print it for a photo album, for a class project, or to frame. But its little moments like these that are worth sharing...and more importantly remembering. I really miss that about blogging - how you appreciate things a little differently because you get to share them. So I'm back - really mostly for myself and this memory of mine that can't even remember my own kids' names. Amidst this chaos of new baby, new state, new house - the life behind it all is just the same. Mine. And I can't wait to share it.
Come along and melt with me...
Kalli had a packed schedule this summer with her first Beehive camp up at Brighton and her first girls camp with our ward. She had such a ball and it was unbelievable how empty and lonely the house was without our party planner and fun coordinator around. I always had visions of sending off my first girl to camp - and actually getting to go along as an advisor. Instead I'm at home nursing swollen feet and a third-trimester belly bump that grows with each passing week....I suppose there's always next year when the little pumpkin will be one! And hey, with four daughters - I've been assured there will be plenty of girls camps for me!
...what happens when you send the kids to the main street candy shop to choose one treat each for the Cody Stampede rodeo later that night?
My dad has been volunteering at the dam for the last couple of years...and don't tell the visitor's centers, but the kids' favorite part of the entire experience was riding to and from the building in the club car driven by our very fabulous chauffeur, Grandpa.
Josie had a fantastic time "driving" the 4-wheeler all across the
back porch...and as you can tell, Max was a great
|This girl is always willing to strike a pose.|
|Ella died and went to heaven simply from the fact that she |
got to drive the 4-wheelers this year. Max is willing to pony on
the back of anyone driving the machines...
|The kids got dose of the pioneer spirit by being hauled in a |
wagon - Grandpa style.
|A face only a mother could love...is that marshmallow in her nostril?|
|....the other day, I saw a bear, a great big bear, the other day...|
|Perhaps you can guess who won this wrestling match?|
Get ready - get set for a slew of hometown Wyoming posts! We had another great visit this year...can't imagine summer without it. Giddyup!
*This photo is taken just on the way to the cabin with just a few miles left to go.
The kids got to go to a special premiere of Toy Story 3...and were asked to dress as their favorite Toy Story character. As you can tell, we have a Little Bo Peep, a toy soldier, and Barbie....and they insisted their chaperone dress up as well - so Barbie had a hot date with Ken. (This is one of the many reasons we love him...he's up for ANYTHING!) Nice Ascot!
Probably THE highlight of our St. George trip was seeing Tarzan in the outdoor theatre at Tuachan. (The only place it has ever been shown off of Broadway.) We splurged for front row seats which was totally worth it because the beginning of the show starts with a shipwreck and tons and tons of water came rolling straight towards us and the drains were literally inches from our feet. We even got a little wet! The show didn't start until 8:00 p.m. so we swam early and napped the kids late and everyone was well behaved and totally engaged in the show. Such a fun night!
The last couple of summers we have experienced some chilly June days. If felt like as soon as the kids were let out of school, we'd end up kicking off the summers indoors. Boo! This June, we decided to trump that idea all together and headed down to St. George for a WARM summer kick off like no other. The week after school was over, we hit the highway southbound. We swam every day at the pool, played pickleball, football, and found a new waterpark. We wanted WARM and we got HOT! Long live summer!