Monday, March 29, 2010

it's time to celebrate this blogging thing with a giveaway or two...

because it's been TWO years today that i started writing here in my corner of web world.

a place where many friendships are born without meeting. the where i have learned to keep it real and enjoy the smallest details of my life. it's this special place that i have learned comforts me when i just need to share...purge...laugh...and sometimes cry.

yes, there are many things in my life that i value and my blog is one of them. it would definitely be at the top of the list... if i ever were to write a list, but i haven't:) i have gone on and on in other posts about the joy writing in here brings me, so i won't do it again. i will say, however; that i am thankful for the friends, words, and love that i get because of this blog and all the others that i read or stop by.

i am inspired by so many people out there that i am truly amazed that there are so many wonderfully caring, creative and lovely women are out there. and like me, we are all just trying to be the best we can...the best mother, friend, daughter, neighbor. (okay, i suck at the neighbor thing since i want to be the neighbor that runs over to the newbies on the block as they are still unloading the moving van, with my freshly baked blueberry scones in an old basket lined in gingham cloth with some freshly sheared blooms added in at the last minute---yeah, not so much---but i desire to do day!) ...and i want to live on wisteria lane. what?! yeah, i watch it. i'll own it. ha.

moving on. i wasn't sure how i wanted to celebrate this two year blogging anniversary. i had just done my first giveaway ever earlier this month and wasn't sure if i should do another one so soon...but why not?!

so, Jewllori Foolproof Accessories noticed that my two-year blogging anniversary was coming up and contacted me about giving a gift certificate ($75 in value) to a lucky reader of my little ole' blog! so a commenter will be randomly chosen to win this gift cert later this week! good luck! she has some really pretty jewelry and i have my eye on one of these!

okay, i wanted to make a simple list of some of things that i love or am extremely grateful for: a warm and fuzzy list of things that make me happy, grateful,...

1. a thunderstorm at night. lightening is a bonus.
2. the little mermaid. the disney movie that we used to watch when we were younger. swear, i know every line of that movie (exaggeration alert!)
3. fresh flowers in my oldest non-vase sitting on my table.
4. that first sip of coffee in the morning.
5. nighttime invaders of my jammied up babies that crawl into my bed every. single. morning. when it's still dark and there are hours left to slumber before the alarm screeches at us angrily to get up!
6. strangers that smile at you.
7. sound of a lawn mower and the smell of the grass after it's been cut.
8. good light to take photos in makes me feel all warm and fuzzy!
9. laughing till it hurts.
10. phone calls from my grandpa!
11. thai food.
12. fitting into clothes that didn't before.
13. micky d's iced tea unsweetened.

it's hard to keep it at ten, but i want to keep it simple. please feel free to email me your own 'warm & fuzzy' list in honor of my blog-i-versary at
perhaps i'll post it here on my blog and i will enter you to win a little sumthin sumthin! a hint: i linked to it in my last post and i said i used it for inspiration.

whew, all this giving makes me happy! is there anything better than giving...seriously. little things that can make a person's day!

and here are a few photos from this weekend and some catch-up from last week...
auntie jenn and i took the boys house hunting...they had a FAB time;) maybe not, but we did! i can't think of a better house hunter than jenny girl with all her amazing talent for design, placement, ideas, and thinking outside of the box. thank you, jenn! xoxo
Photobucketgriffy and beckham just laughed and had fun together. not much sweeter than watching these two bond over not listening to their mama's. but those faces...yum.


and then we dyed easter eggs...this special time of year when it is completely normal to color perfect white eggs into something spectacular. colors everywhere, and mostly on beckham's now, red stained hand...

i had to google how to boil an egg that wouldn't crack. i wanted to hide this little google fact from hubby...but i owned up to it. i had no clue how to make an egg that wouldn't crck under the pressure. i learned that you need to add two teaspoons of white vinegar and one teaspoon of salt. sure enough...we had 12 perfect eggs!






okay, i am off to bed, but first...let's talk about the giveaway rules! the $75 gift certificate giveaway is open to anyone that leaves a comment. i will randomly choose a winner from at the end of the weekend.

inspiration by tricia guild can be won by emailing me your warm & fuzzy list. a list of happies. please list ten things and email them to
the winner,chosen by me, will be featured here! i may choose more than one to share here on kaleidoscope!

i am so excited!

Friday, March 26, 2010

randomness and a dead fish named hannah.

sitting here and watching, but mostly listening to julie and julia. it's the movie about a girl who decides to cook her way through julia child's cookbook and blog about it, and besides making me extremely hungry, i now want to eat my way through paris while writing a book with my new french friends! it's a great movie!

peyton and beckham's fish, hannah montana, died earlier this week. they still haven't realized it yet and i don't have the heart to so they keep feeding her. i just keep turning the bowl so the fish floats in the back instead of the front. jeff wanted me to flush it, but aren't i supposed to be giving our first real pet a proper goodbye. i'm torn, but i think simply flushing it down the bowl seems...cruel, so it will float until i make a decision or until peyton realizes something is horribly wrong with hannah and FREAKS out.

and...what is it lately that just about anything vintage makes me want to spend my last twenty on that perfect find? i was leafing through this book that my super cool friend, jenn gave me and instantly stopped on page 136 when the photo of pale colored broken or forgotten tea cups that were once part of a larger service or set, made me want to google the nearest antique shop and start collecting mismatched and fragile tea cups and saucers.
truth, i stole some of those words from the book 'cause you know girlfriend does not write like that even though i wish i did.

nothing will match, rather they will compliment each other in that romantic way that only an eclectic collection of creamers filled with oversizedrose colored buds would. buds instead of flowers...nice! truth is, i don't antique and i don't own one single tea cup. well, i have my favorite coffee mug, but nothing withhandpainted flowers or history.
my own decorating style is eclectic, and not vintage. i just find it all so beautiful and i wanted to share andnow i will plan my vintage-y brunch!

and since i am filling this post with a bunch of randomness...
last week, kelle and i were getting ready for her cnn interview (which rocked), okay...i was just there for wardrobe ideas and baby lovin's but a few hours later we got crazy and this video was born. yeah, it's funny and there's more where that came from! a few things we spent our time doing this week...nella's dedication was beautifully perfect and the kids...

just love each other so much.

and a few photos that weren't supposed to be cute, but they are...

this photo was supposed to be of kelle and i...a self portrait of the two of us. not easy with a big slr camera.

take 1: notice, i was cut out and kelle looks like it is her wedding day and nella's head looks like her bouquet. ha.

take 2!
okay, didn't work, but it was fun trying. my camera. love affair!
next up, a little painting with my little guy who did an amazing job at drying his pottery and choosing his own colors without any help from me, even though i wanted to help, i remembered that he can do this on his own even if his mug turned black from too many colors mixed together. it didn't and we had a great time together.

and of course, loving this girl so much. my sister, heather called me last night and said she could not see baby peyton all. she's all big girl now. she's thinned out and i can see what i think she will look like when she is older. oh, with a heavy heart i told her she was right. our little peyton is growing up, but she has a while yet before she's off. today she said she was going to live with me forever. i'm cool with that!
and then, an impromptu picnic in the front yard without a basket but with freshly made bowls of mac & cheese, a pillow, blanket, sidewalk chalk, strawberries, and the most beautiful florida day i have ever encountered.
our little strawberry loving monkey!
(having some color space issues, so i hope peyton doesn't look like an orange in these photos on your computer)
peyton darwish photography. ha.
we stayed out so long that daddy joined us when returned home from work!
okay, there could be a couple of things going on here based on my expression...
1. i'm really mad in this picture and peyton is happy about it. or
2. i'm trying to get my sexy-but-failing-face on and peyton is trying to save the pic with her sweetness. or
3. i think i'm fresher than wonder bread and peyton is the sweetest thing ever.

okay, after too many photos, i will end this with kaia. she is so beautiful and i had a wonderful time hanging with her mama during her photo shoot a few days ago. here is a little sneak peek...
and to end this, another recipe to use the next time you want something easy to throw in the crock pot. enjoy!

italian pot roast.

take crock pot out of garage...sprinkle the beef generously with salt and pepper. heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. add the beef and cook until brown on all sides. transfer the beef to a bowl. add remaining oil to the pan, add the onions and saute until tender, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes. add garlic and saute 1 minute. add the wine and boil 1 minute. take all of this and put into crock pot (could put into dutch oven at 350 as well) add in the broth and mushrooms. add beef, rosemary, pots, and carrots to the crock. actually put the pots on the bottom, then the beef, and then the other veggies.let it cook for...a long time on low crock pot heat. it should be super tender when it is done. sometimes, i blend the juices together with the rosemary at the end of cooking to make a gravy.oh, if your not in the mood to brown the meat... just take all of the ingredients starting with pots first and then the beef and finally the other veggies, and throw it all in the crock. add broth, cover and turn on. would take all of ten minutes.

whew, all done! coming up...two-year blogging anniversary on the 29th.

i need to think up something special.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

a kaleidoscope of colors & Hunter Wellies' love.

background noise: kids chomping on carrots and beckham starring as spidey in his kideo video!

okay, i am going to be super honest right now, and i am going to make up a word. i think it's fun to make up words... up until i start believing it's a real word and use it to someone who doesn't know i do this. often times they challenge my word and look at me like i'm off my rocker.

of course, i act all shocked--which i totally am because i've been using this mystery word so long that i start believing it is indeed in the webster's dictionary. i'm all, 'what?!!!, of course it's word!' jeeze, some people;)

i'm a wanter. actually, this word could actually be a word. i'll have to look. anyway, i am the kind of girl who constantly wants something. like. it. never. ends. i certainly don't go out and buy whatever my little heart desires...

for one, i am without my own little money tree in the front yard and two,...i truly see the joy in finding/needing a good deal. with that said, every once in awhile i think it's okay to ask for a big ticket item (mother's day...hint, bdays, christmas!) so last year i started dropping hints about these babies!

yes, they are fab. i'm pretty sure they take like a month to hand. i love them and have been foaming at the mouth to get my hands on a pair. red, vintage green, even the black...don't care.

i don't have them yet, but i did find these for a fraction of the cost.
they had me at green polk-a-dots...lemon & limes...??!!! i would grab a pair and wear them with EVERYTHING for the next month, but that's just me:) and the way i see it...i just saved $100!!!!

liberty of london rocks too...just sayin.'

okay, on to the spring mini-shoots...

they were so much fun. and funny, but i'll get to that in a minute.

right after the above photo was snapped...i felt a stinging sensation traveling up my legs. when i mentioned this to those around husband said, "make sure you didn't sit on an ant hill." well, needless to say, and to my horror i turned to view the moving hump of dirt. the same dirt my bottom just called home for a minute or two.

well...i have the pictures to prove this, but i'm not showing. i decided to start screaming (in front of the family i was just shooting) and proceeded to rip my yoga pants off, you read it correctly, and jump up and down while people started wiping ants off of my bare bottom.

note, my own husband, instead of helping...grabbed my camera and started snapping away!
i can only laugh...'cause let's face it, seeing my bare bottom had to be pretty funny!

leslie, thanks for helping a sister out:)

to see the rest of the spring shoot, please head over to my photography blog... this link doesn't seem to be working, in that case just type the url out!

after i downloaded these photos, i found a few that i don't remember taking...
hmmm. i guess that means that somebody, and i won't say who, was using my camera (HUGE no-no) without my permission. busted.

loving her budding passion...
and sito and gido for coming to visit us last weekend!

other good stuff...
*including a tin of eggs in my fridge that makes me think i raise chickens for a living and have a daughter named fern.
*a craft book we can't keep our hands off of. this week: we planted poppy's in an empty egg!
* beckham's smashed up face from falling off of a parking block. broke my heart, but he makes road rash look so cute.
*from a friend: homemade strawberry jam i can't keep away from.
*tulips in the spring. my fave flower and my vase stays current with fresh ones each and every week this time of year!
*easter excitiment!
*daddy won a big golf tournament and we are so proud of him. he is the best!
*nella beans's dedication tonight on the beach. can't wait!
*coffee downtown with the girls...and beckham. real and true and just what we all needed to start the week off right!

and lastly,
everyone seemed to like the recipe last week, so here is another, although i only have this one photo and it's not of the finished product.

my healthy version of a salmon patty.
disclaimer:i'm not sure if this is actually healthy or low in carbs...but i pretend it has to be because of less breadcrumbs. i have been eating these whenever i get hungry and i find them satisfying. they are sooooo good!

2 cans of premium canned salmon
little bit of chopped red onion
little bit of chopped green pepper
optional: fresh baby spinach
one egg
2 tablespoons or less of pregresso italian breadcrumbs
teaspoon cayenne pepper
tad of olive oil for pan

mix it all up, for into med sized balls, flatten, cook in pan over low heat until sides are brown.

i eat 'em cold right out the fridge, but maybe that is gross. not sure ;0