Tuesday, August 31, 2010


buds...bryson and asher. bryson had his first sleepover this last weekend at asher's house. i still can't believe i have an *almost* 5 year old!

and here are the two buds BOTH without training wheels thanks to a certain like-a-bike...or balance bike...whatever...that thing is awesome - i should rent it out! it took asher only a week on it...

(also update: STILL pregnant...still feeling great, which i take as a sign that it could still be a while...if nothing is still happening by tomorrow, Bryan is going to take me to Studio City to eat at Caioti's and eat their labor salad....for lunch)

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Sand and The Spray

my cousin Nate popped in this weekend from Phoenix. He drove out to visit our grandfather who recently had a stroke (he is doing okay, by the way) and we were able to have dinner with him Friday evening and breakfast Saturday morning.

at breakfast i was asking what he was going to do with his weekend out here and he mentioned he wanted to go to the fashion district in LA...which struck me as odd...then started to tell us all about these bags he makes...

holy crow - these bags are so cool...i can't believe this is his side job (he also works a 9-5 for a shipping company) - he designs and sources out all the materials (i think he mentioned buying the hide of a cow for all the leather) and a woman makes him the samples and takes care of the production...so they are still handmade...which i heart...of course...

His company is called The Sand and The Spray - and he is in a boutique in NY...or you can buy them online too.

i just found the whole thing so random and wonderful i had to share...plus if anyone is looking for a super nice fathers day/birthday/holiday gift for their super cool fashion conscious husband/father/man in their life - this would be pretty rad...just sayin...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

i got the best comment today...

<----a metaphor for my life right now....

so today was/is my due date...we celebrated by going to church and meeting up with my dad and grandparents for lunch and some shopping for bryson for fall at the mall.

i decided i shouldnt leave the house anymore.

i was in the store Crazy 8...the barely-legal-to-work girl at the counter comes over to me...

ANNOYING GIRL: "Soooooo...when are you due?"

ME: "Today, actually."

ANNOYING GIRL: "OOOHHHhhhhhhh...uhhhh...Please don't go into labor in my store!!"

ME (Through gritted teeth): "I dont know....I just might...watch out!!!"

ANNOYING GIRL: "Ha! Well....if you do....I got your back...I will call 911...the ambulance isn't too far."

ME: Exited store as quickly as possible...

What has kept me laughing is that Bryan kept recreating this song, with new lyrics:
"Somebody call 911...shorty havin baby on my store floor....oh no!!"

there was much more to his song...i was laughing so hard i thought he was gunna put me in labor...its still in my head...part of me wants to go back and break my water all over her store...

in case you are curious - i am doing really good...still feeling good and thinking it could be a bit of time yet...i think that was perhaps the dumbest exchange of comments i have ever received in all 3 of my pregnancies and i just knew you would appreciate it!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lilikoi Jelly Recipe: Compliments of Criswell Family

When I told my girlfriend I wanted to make this today she told me that there was no way I was going to have this baby soon...I have too much energy...alas...i think she is right - my due date is tomorrow and I don't feel too "due" yet...so to keep my mind off of what isn't happening, I make stuff...like this stuff...

Here are the passion fruit, or lilikoi, seeds. This is from 12 lilikoi and I still didnt have enough for 1 cup, so I halved the recipe...hoping that is okay...

Lilikoi Jelly:

1 cup lilikoi juice
4 cups water
7 cups sugar
2 boxes Sure Jell
½ teaspoon butter

Sterilize 10-12 8oz canning jars. Larger jars can be used if desired.
Prepare lilikoi juice. Scoop out the seeds and juice from fruit and put in blender. Add ½ cup water to help liquify. Pulse blender on lowest setting to separate seeds from juice. Pour through a fine strainer using a spoon to force the juice through. Measure 1 cup lilikoi juice.
Pour juice in a large pot. Add water, Sure Jell and butter. The butter will help to prevent foaming.
Measure sugar into a container so you can add it quickly to the liquid.
Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in sugar quickly. Return to full rolling and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off any foam.
Ladle jelly into jars leaving ⅛ inch at the top and seal with lids.
Place jars into a canning rack and immerse in hot water. Boil rapidly for five minutes and remove to a towel until cool enough to handle and lids have sealed.

And Voila! The final product...is this not the most beautiful color? 

I am a bit concerned though because the "jelly" at this point is really liquidy...will it condense as it cools i hope? when i attempted marmalade the same thing happened, but it never "gelled" but i didn't use sure-jell either, so i am hoping that makes a difference? thoughts?

Friday, August 27, 2010

The post where i tell off complete strangers...

i was laying awake last night and thinking of this and was chuckling to myself...

so...if you have ever been pregnant than you know it is an open invitation for complete strangers to not only ask you intimate questions, but also to divulge intimate details of their life as well without danger of social taboo...we know this...we complain about it, but we know this...

well - i totally remember why i stopped leaving the house after a bit with both of my boys - its because of people....people and their comments...and i just want to be left alone...and not stared at...so here are some of the comments i have received...enjoy!

these happened this week:

Lady at the Sandwich Store: "After you have baby, you bring baby here for sandwich" - hmmm - not sure if she meant for me to eat a sandwich or to feed my baby a sandwich...so i just smiled.

Lady at the Grocery Store: my belly was hidden by the cashier thingy and when i went to pick up my groceries, she just said, "Wow!"

Homeless Man: "Are we having a boy?" ummm....no...WE are not having anything!

Hygienist at the Dentist Office: "You don't look like you are about to have a baby....you aren't swollen or anything!" oh...wow...would you tell me if i were?

these have happened throughout:

Lady at the bank: "Awww...you are a cute pregnant person. Most of the pregnant ladies that come in here are in sweats. I want to look like you when I am pregnant" - uhhh...thanks...but dont be too impressed, i wish i were in sweats right now!

Inevitably around 7 months with each pregnancy someone says, "Any Day Now!!" and i say through gritted teeth, "Actually I have 6 more weeks, but thanks!" and hope they never tell another pregnant person that again!

Oh and there was the guy at the tire store who asked me if it was a boy or girl and when i told him we didnt know he said he would have given me a sticker to put on my belly.
ME: "Yeah - cause that is what i need, to draw more attention to my belly!"
HIM: "Why not? Its great!"
ME: "Because everyone feels they can talk to you because of it and ask annoying questions....not you, of course!"
(I actually said that...it was one of my bitchier moments...i'm not even mad at myself about it)

and anytime someone says, "You are ready to pop!" i hold myself physically back from saying..."Yeah - pop you in the face for using that stupid expression!"

oh wow! i feel much better!

and yes i am still pregnant...and yes i will udpate this blog or have Bryan update it shortly after the baby is born! i have been having stronger contractions and feeling like i did with my last days with Bodie, so that keeps me hopeful it could be soon! the weather cooled down for me and we are ready!!

(this pic above was taken with this recent heat wave...i love how tan Bodie is compared to my big white belly!)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Summer Nightie

it all started because my machine broke...well i thought just my embroidery part was broke, turns out there were several issues with my machine and the owner of the AAA Sew N Vac told me he had never seen a bobbin casing so destroyed in 2 years...oops! i told him i am a better sewer now...he scolded me a little, but out of love - he (Aman) and his wife (Amina) are awesome people! ...he also replaced my motor and tuned it up and my machine is absolutely purring!! its like brand new...so i have been all inspired all over again...

since B has been gone i took advantage of the solo nights and sewed up a zoodie storm...but then i saw this fabric sitting in my pile that my sweet niece Hope picked out for me and the book, One Yard Wonders and thought that the summer nightie might make for a good little project. Plus it also crossed off a goal of mine for this year to make something for MYSELF. what a concept!

i was also inspired because after i gave birth to Bodie -  i was at home and i had to change into something...what a concept, right? but my post-birth hormone brain could not think of anything to wear....i hadn't thought about it at all so i ended up wearing a boy-beater tank...dumb...plus you have all sorts of people coming to see you and the baby, so its good to have something to cover up, but still be able to nurse...anyway - i have given it more thought and now have a couple nighties that i can use. and now i have one that i made! wu!

it was super quick to whip up - the instructions were a bit weird to me...especially the attaching of the triangles to the bodice...i would do it differently next time - like i would double up the triangles and sew right sides together and then turn them out, attach the bias tape and then attach to the bodice...just in case you were tempted to make this number...just a suggestion! . I also added 5" length to the bodice because i like my nighties a little longer....plus right now i happen to have a huge belly!

and i even had some bootie shorts i whipped up (which i am wearing in this pic, but sagged them for your sake - no one wants to see a 39 week pregnant bootie)...a complete little outfit...somebody stop me i am out of control!

39 Weeks

today is very exciting for me. you see...i am 39 weeks along (39.5 if you go by my first due date) and my husband has been away all weekend in portland for his best friend's wedding. this has been a source of anxiety my entire pregnancy. i have had dream after dream after dream of him missing the birth...i have been crossing my legs and laying down as much as possible this entire weekend (and if you know me, you know how difficult that is for me!)...i even had my little sister come babysit me and spend the night *just in case*

but i am about to go pick him up at the airport and i can relax finally and enter labor knowing my very needed labor partner will be there...probably rubbing his hands and knuckles raw on my back again and whispering words of encouragement in my ear when i need them most of all! 

i didn't realize how much this was weighing me down until this morning and probably effecting my vision of this birth. i feel very excited *finally* and can not wait to meet this baby!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Angelina Ballerina Mouse

my auntie stephanie asked me to make an "Angelina Ballerina" mouse zoodie for her granddaughter Grey. i told her i would do it only if i could make the matching tutu and hair bow...and thought it would also make for a great Halloween costume as well!

i have been thinking a lot about the longevity of these zoodies too and decided to start using anti-pill fleece instead of felt whenever i can. that way, there are no special washing instructions and no pilling. i think they will hold up better over several washings, which i think is sorta important - especially for mamas like me, who like to pass things down and down and down!

for the bow i debated using a pin or utilizing a regular hair bow, so what i did is i sewed a strip of fleece by the ear and attached a regular hair clip bow to it - that way it can be removed in the wash - for a boy - or worn separately....i don't have a girl, but i would imagine that would be smart so she could use different ribbons or multiple ones if she wanted...cause i hear little girls can sometimes be particular when it comes to hair ribbons :)

i thought it came out darling and i just love any excuse to make a tutu anyway, so i think both Grey and I will be happy with the outcome!

Now available at www.zoodies.com !

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lilikoi Sauce Recipe: Compliments of the Criswell Family

(this is a passion fruit...or lilikoi...isn't it magical?)

its a pretty great thing that i happen to have not one, but two friends who hail from the islands next door. When my friend Julia was over a couple weeks ago i showed her our passion fruit vine (lilikoi, she corrected me) and she proceeded to tell me her father happens to make a fabulous sauce and jelly with them!

this is good because little miss socal over here had never seen a lilikoi before this year. so Julia was able to get the recipe from her father and just in time for me to take advantage of the ripe fruit - i guess from what i read you know they are ripe when they get kinda leathery and even fall off...

it was a 2010 goal of mine to start getting into canning. i have had this crazy obsession this summer with home-made canned jellies and jams...i can't seem to get enough of it! so, of course, being the DIY-er i am...i think "how hard can it be?" then a bit of research later and turns out...it can get pretty hard...so this little recipe is a good start!

Here is the recipe...which is more for my reference than perhaps would be of help to you...unless you too find a lilikoi growing wild in your backyard :)

Lilikoi Sauce:
1 cup lilikoi juice
2 cups water
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water

Prepare lilikoi juice. Scoop out the seeds and juice from fruit and put in blender. Add ½ cup water to help liquify. Pulse blender on lowest setting to separate seeds from juice. Pour through a fine strainer using a spoon to force the juice through. Measure 1 cup lilikoi juice.  Place the juice, 2 cups water and sugar in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Take 1/3 cup of the water and cornstarch mixture and add it to the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Boil sauce for one to two minutes until thickened.  Sauce can be used right away or canned for longer storage.

this is the sauce after it thickened...i may have mussed this up a bit...and added too much of the cornstarch mixture...but - i never get too hard on myself with a first try at anything...

and here is one of the three teeny jars it made - one for each of my Hawaiian girls and one for me! 

After the next round of lilikoi are ready to go, i think i'll give the jelly a go! Cheers!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dalmatian Zoodie

i know...i know...dalmatians are more white with black spots...but seriously, are there moms out there who would put their toddler in a white sweatshirt? maybe an infant...but a toddler? i think i am jaded because a) my boys are dirt magnets and b) i myself can not wear white because i ruin it every time...i guess i know where it comes from!

the only problem is that bryan's first reaction was, "cute cow"...ummm...i hope the ears are a better give-away that its a dog, not a cow...but i see his point...and i think a cow zoodie is needed too - different spots and ears and how bout a pink semi-udder where the pockets are? too much?

i dont know why i am having this zoodie craziness happening a week away from my due date, but i have all these ideas...like accessorizing your zoodie (i am making an Angelina Ballerina mouse for my cousin's daughter - and the bows can turn any "boy" zoodie into an instant girly one) and an infant line - where i can make all sorts of white zoodies - polar bears and dalmatians and a white mouse....

its just endless...how bout you?? yes...you!! have a good zoodie idea? spill it...i would love to hear! that is how about half of these were made to begin with!

The Dalmatian Zoodie is now available in the shop: www.zoodies.com

Fullerton Arboretum

we met up with good friends earlier this week at one of our favorite spots - The Fullerton Arboretum...and by "our" i mean rashelle and i...but i am sure it is becoming one of the kiddos favorites too...especially after our little adventure this week!

Huck Finn had nothin on these guys! we had a lovely little picnic...interrupted by dear Charlotte going for a dip in the duck pond...which also is a home for a bunch of catfish and turtles...which Bryson has NOT stopped talking about catfish BTW...he is ob-sessed! he kept talking about their sucker mouths...their vacuum mouths...they sucked the bread down under...he is amazed by these gross catfish...really? i am surprised? i guess not...he is obsessed with all things disgusting. yesterday i had to tell him not to play with maggots. i never thought in a million years i would have to tell someone not to play with maggots.

anyway...where was i? oh yes...so our dear charlotte fell in the duck pond and so we decided to go around to a nice quiet little creek and let the kids explore. well, really we were more sick of trying to keep them all out - we gave in and let them go...and they LOVED it! can you tell?

look at this face? is she not the cutest little thing? posing and everything? goodness me...

they were so adorable together - cracking each other up and playing in the creek...so cute...

bryson found a bunch of shells...obsession #2 - they look like mussels...but at the arboretum? i thought it a bit strange...he took some home (please don't tell on us) and that afternoon made up a bunch of "Shell Games" - where you had to throw the shell in various baskets/wagons/buckets for points. he is becoming vastly creative with his boredom - i love it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Giveaway! The Handmade Marketplace

Giveaway Time!

Its a nice little resource for those of you wanting to get started selling your handmade goods...or a nice little refresher for those of you who have gotten started and want to know what's next.

this book inspired me to get my blog going and get it out there as a means to help market my "brand"...its a work in progress :)  - there are all sorts of interviews and resources for crafters...good times.

Anyway - just need to leave a comment to win - how easy! 

Zoodies on "I Know a Mom"

Hey! Good News! i just found out that there is a listing for Zoodies on "I Know a Mom" - have you been there yet? you should! such a great resource for products for moms, by moms...

they have great product reviews...that are for real product reviews - used by real moms that is! and interviews of other "mompreneurs" and a blog and a shopping guide too. so please check it out: http://iknowamom.com/

You can find Zoodies in their "Kids" section - click here to see!

PS: is this the cutest little dino or what? thanks solera for sending me the pic - its my fave!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Dino Zoodie Color in Shop!

i have made this color combo a few times, but never in a size of a model that i live with :) so...it was time for Bodie to get a new zoodie for fall and i thought he might enjoy this one...

well...he is only 20 months, so he still doesnt have much of an opinion on clothes, which works out great for me...except shoes. he is very particular with shoes for some reason - so was bryson...they both had a particular fondness for these yellow rainboots...

anyway - this color combo is up in the shop!

available at: www.zoodies.com

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My little golfers

i came out in the backyard yesterday to this...how cute is this?

bodie is quickly picking up the sport - he now can successfully make contact with the ball about 80% of the time...which is approximately 30% better than what i can do...

this is how he holds the club...i love it...bryan is going to cut down some of bryson's old clubs for him, but i think this grip works...i'm gunna try it anyway....

big bro showing him how its done. Bryson just finished his third class through the city Parks n Rec golf classes. The teacher is Nancy Dunn - she is pretty awesome with the kids - she wrote this book and curriculum...

bryson is still a little ADD for the class, but he has improved a lot! he told me the other day that golf was his job...i told him that he would have to go to a lot of classes for golf to be his job...so maybe someday!

Garden Update

so our garden has done us well this summer! right now we are "reaping" the benefits of the million tomato plants that bryan planted. we have made lots of spaghetti sauce, salsa, caprese salads, BLT sandwiches, and B is in love with his fried jalapeno, egg and tomato breakfast sandwiches (i can't handle jalapenos before noon)

we are also growing a lot of things we never have grown before.

this plant is a transplant in our yard. Bryan cut me a gorgeous, but alien-like flower he found and luckily at patchwork the kind gardener lady next to us informed me it was a passion fruit! we now have several ripe ones that i am currently trying to figure out what to do with! anyone have any recipes? send them over!!!

more gorgeous tomatoes!

i dont know if you can spot this little guy, but this is the first time we have successfully grown a watermelon! we have attempted several times...and thought for a long time Bodie thwarted our melon dreams, but this guy survived! we are keeping it a secret from the Bodster though...so shhhh....

and our first pomegranate! remember our placenta tree? we have had this tree for almost 2 years and finally getting a pomegranate...very exciting...

and also a new plant - grapes! i believe these are table grapes...and the best thing we just found out - Loewe's now sells Mel's Mix pre-mixed! so that is awesome...

today we will probably plant some more plants to replace our beans and zucchini and corn that already gave us their wonderful-ness...

Friday, August 13, 2010

saying goodbye to the rat tail...

so sad...but i know this post is going to bring my mother and brother and sister such joy.

i dont know why a rat tail is so offensive to some.

but i do admit it was getting looooong. he wanted to cut it shorter, so i let him...then he wanted to cut it off completely.

he has rocked the look for awhile - since january - so perhaps it was time...but still...it was sad to see it go.

i am still trying to convince him to let B put lines in his hair...kinda like vanilla ice or kriss kross...whatcha think?

oh and this is why you dont let a 4 year old fidgety boy get his face painted...tragedy...

Thursday, August 12, 2010


i rarely listen to music when i am in my car...unless i am with the kids, then we listen to their music most of the time, but if i am by myself its talk radio. i have XM radio, which i have had for 6 years...which i got because of the talk radio and now i have 4 channels of NPR. one of the stations....my favorite...is PRX - public radio exchange. they play stories like all the time. they broadcast the MOTH program and SALT cast.
if you are already familiar with those guys...then you know how cool it is...if you don't - try downloading a podcast...or two...or five...and checking them out - they are trying to bring back the art of storytelling and its amazing. if you enjoy, This American Life - you will dig it...I believe Ira Glass (the host) was a student at SALT.

if you know me well...you may know that i have played with the idea of doing a stand-up open mic night...since i have been listening to PRX i know want to do storytelling instead...i am still frightened to death about it, but it seems more my style. 

at MOTH - they have open mic night for storytelling set around a theme - tuesday night's was "Narrow Escape" - when i was trying to explain to people what we were doing it sounded so lame...uh...we are going to hear people tell stories...but its not like your loud uncle who tells the same stories every thanksgiving and you are bored to tears...i mean, its LA...these are actors...but its true stories...which gives them a human quality. my favorite was this sweet sweet dorky guy telling his story of constructing a potato gun and the cops coming and then him asking the cops if they wanted to see him fire it off...but you would have fallen in love with this kid - he was so sweet. 

sorry for the lame phone pic...its the best i could do...the room was packed! so if you go get there early! because apparently there are a lot of other people who think storytelling is cool.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Represent...Barnes Style...

can you tell we are a little excited around here about our new Lakers edition??? i just need to order these in newborn sizes and take our babe to one of the games! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Bat Zoodie Prototype

oh man...never promise bryson something unless you are SERIOUS...this kid has a memory! so when i promised him back when to make him a bat zoodie, he has not let me forget it! 

i love it because just this morning bryson asked me if he could wear his Max suit to school. "no" i replied, "because you would be the only one wearing a costume and that might be a little silly". he paused and thought for a moment then said, "well, can i wear my bat zoodie then?" sure! 

granted...this may be a little "costumey" but with the arms down it isn't so bad...plus he will take it off - its summer after all - and his alter-ego will be exposed.

i finally found some material that some what resembled bat wings...shiny-ish and leathery-ish...the problem is that it is extremely hard to work with...too slippery and this whole little zoodie took up quite a chunk of my afternoon.

so i am thinking of modifying it out of jersey. that way the edges don't need to finished - they can be thrown in the wash easier and will stretch with the child.

So sadly...they will not be available in the shop until i am thrilled with it...which i am not at this point. but bryson is...so that makes a mama quite tickled!