Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And Their Off!

It's the first day of school and I have to say it went very smoothly. Everyone was up, dressed and ready to go at the appointed time. This is the last year all three of mine will be at the same school as next year AGB will march off to middle school. He and his three best buddies were thrilled to all be in the same class. They proudly informed me that they "ruled the school". Here are my three on the school sign this morning. I take this same picture every year and it is amazing how they have changed! Look out 2nd, 3rd and 5th grades! Here we come!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to School, Finally!

Well, it's finally back to school time. Tomorrow is teh first day of school. We are starting a little later but will go until the middle of June. The boys were making the most of it and were both still snuggled up in their beds when I left for work. Tomorrow will be a different story. AGB will be a big ffth grader. He and his buddies informed me that they will now "rule the school'. CMB will be in third and OPB in second. This is our last year with everyone at the same school before AGB heads off to middle school. Back packs and lunch boxes are all set and ready to go!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Birthday CMB and OPB!

It's hard to believe that my darling twins, CMB and OPB are 8 years old today! They are growing into such wonderful kids and I can't wait to see what the next 8 are like! Happy Birthday!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Which Font?

I was over at the Monogram Chick site the other day look at new backpacks for CMB and back to school. She really needs a new backpack since last years really took a beating at girl scout camp. We went back and forth over which monogram to choose and she finally settled on the circle. I'm partial to the diamond shape. Which do you like best? You can check out the other great things avialable to be monogramed by clicking on the link here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Parent Paranoia

It's hard these days to be a parent. When I think of the things I did as a kids, like riding me bike to school with just friends in first grade, I don't know why I am still alive. The world seems much more dangerous to me somehow these days. Or maybe it's not and it's just the view from the mommy chair that makes it seem so. Anyway, I read a post over on yahoo about a mother who couldn't bear to let her 7 year old daughter out of her sight, including when she showered, used the bathroom or slept. My apologies right now if that was someone reading this post. I don't like to judge other mommies. We are all doing the best we can under our circumstances. Still this seemed over the top to me. After all, the goal of raising a child is ulimtately that they can go out into the world and do without us. That's right, if you do your job well, you will have raised a person who can survive in the world without you. Hard to think about when your kids are small and need you for everything and seem so fragile. Mine are school aged. AGB is 11. I let him ride his bike 3 blocks (alone) to a friends house to play baseball last week. He called when he got there. Big step for me. Still he thought it was cool and that he was a big, responsbile guy. It makes it a little easier for me that he is super level headed and a little timid. I figure baby steps. Teaching kids to be independant is a balencing act today. We need to protect and keep them safe and yet teach them how to protect themselves and keep themselves safe.

Monday, August 22, 2011


There are few things in life cuter than little baby puppies and almost nothing cuter than baby hound puppies. These three cuties are 6 week old English Foxhounds at the LAH Kennels. My daughter CMB is in the center and the littlest girl and boys on the end are our huntsman's kids. Aren't they darling!

Friday, August 19, 2011


Today is my wedding anniversary! it's so hard to believe that 16 years ago today was our wedding day. We were together 3 years before that and lived together about 18 months of that time so in someways it feels like we've always been together. After three kids and varrious crisis modes later we are still going strong. It's one of the most important thing in a relationship, no matter how bad things get, neither of us considers giving up. We continue to work together to keep our family strong! We don't have any major plans tonight but are taking the kids to the water park tomorrow which should be really fun. At 3pm Iwill take a moment and remember our special day. It was truely a beautiful day. We were married at the Carmel Mission (an amazing church) and had our reception at the Monteray Plaza Hotel which was also lovely. A perfect day I will always remember.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to be Lovely and Why it Matters

My daughter's favorite expression is "isn't that lovely!" But her brother asked me the otherday what thay actually meant. I found myself explaining that being lovely was more than pretty and that being lovely was something to aspire to as a person as well as in looks. Here is a list of what I think a lovely person is.

1. She (or he) is kind. This person asks you how you are, how your fmaily is and is generally interested in your response. If you are having a rough time a lovely person listens to you and can sympathize. They will even follow up later with a call or note yo check on you. This is the same person who shows up with soup when she has heard you are sick or with flowers when your mother dies.
2. A lovely person respects others and their time. If he or she says they will be somewhere or do something, they follow through. You know you can count on this person. If they become aware they are running late or can't complete a task , they let you know so you can make other arrangements. They do this in a timely fashion, not at the last minute and which leaves you scrambling.

3. A lovely person treats everyone the same. She does not assume she is better than someone because of who she is or what she has. This person appreciates advice from others and does not respond to a rude comment with further nastiness.

4. A lovely person respects herself and is appropriately dressed and turned out for the occasion at which you might see them. Not wearing an oepra gown at the park or pajamas to the grocery store.

I'm starting to sound preachy so I will stop. I often feel that in today's hyper wired society manners and all that goes with them has gone the way of the 8 track. Why call someone if you can text, why write a think you letter if you can email? Manners and elegance seem to be less important to so many because they are a "bother" or "to formal". But that does not have to be the case. It is possible to be lovely and elegant and still be casual. Isn't that what we are all striving for?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I found this to die for receipe on the Everyday Food web site. Don't these sounds amazing? Bacon, egg and toast cups. Yes Please!


3 tablesppons unslated butter, melted

8 slices white or whole wheat bread

6 slices bacon

6 large eggs

coarse salt and pepper


1. Preheat overn to 375. Lightly butter standard muffin tin. With a rolling pin flatten bread slightly and with a 4 and 1/2 inche cookie cutter, cut into 8 rounds. Cut each round in half and then press 2 halves into each muffin tin, over lapping slighly and making sure the bread comes up to the edge of the muffin tin. Use extra bread to fill any gaps. Brush bread with melted butter.

2. In a large skillet cook bacon until almost crisp (about 4 minutes) flipping once. It will continue to cook in the oven. Lay one bacon slice in each cup and crack and egg over each. Bake until egg whites are just set (20 to 25 minutes). Run a smakk knife around cups to loosen toasts and serve immediately.

You could also use cooked and crumbled sausage instead of bacon on make a vegetarian version using spinach and bellpeppers. I don't cook much but breakfast and brunch are my specialities. I might just have to give this one a whirl!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hanging on to Summer!

Yes, I see all the fall fashions in the stores and the back to school sales. But I am refusing to accept that summer is over. The kiddies don't go back to school for another 10 days and I intend to milk it. I've down loaded the school supply list for the upcoming year but they are sitting forlornly on the printer. I refuse to by new fall fashions right this minute, for myself and my kids. Mostly this is because as soon as the kids go back to school it will get hot here. We have had a cool damp summer here in Northern Ca. This is normal. In September and early October we will have Indian Summer with a vengance. There is no need for cords and cashmere just yet! So hang by the pool as long as you can! Summer is not over yet!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Batter Up - Little League World Series

During the next 2 weeks I will know exactly where to find AGB if I am looking for him. he's glued to ESPN watching the Little League World Series. We watched several regional finals over the weekend and the actual series starts Thursday. The dedication and love of the sport is so great to see in these kids.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A "Weighty" Issue

Ok, another semi serrious post topic today. Apologies in advance. I'm seeking advice from mother of daughters. Mine is 8. She a beautiful, super smart girl. The picture above is from our Girl Scount Camporee where she canoed, rocked climbed, hiked and did archery with enthusiasm. I've noticed recently (as have her pediatrican, grandmother, father and aunt) that she is looking a little heavy. She's has excellent eating habits. We rarely eat fast food and I pack her a healthly lunch everyday at school or camp, not school lunch in otherwords. Snacks consist of fruit or yogurt mostly. Least you think I am miliant about this, there are occasional treats of course. She's active and spends very little time watching TV or playing on the computer. Yet, still she looks a little heavy, especailly around the waist. The pediatrican said there was nothing to worry about, she was just getting ready to grow again and some of the extra body weight would become breasts and hips when she starts to go through puberty in 2 or 3 years. Thus far I have made no reference to the fact that she is a looking as she does but I wonder, how do you talk to your daughter about weight and body image? School will start soon and I don't want her to be teased or to feel bad. She is going to be a big girl. She has long legs and broad shoulders as well as being the tallest girl in her class. Any books out there you suggest I read? Any words of wisdom?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Job vs. A Career?

Those of you who read this blog know I whine about my job sometimes. I was loving being a stay at home mom to my three but then the recession hit and Hubby and I decided we liked paying rent and eating more. So back to work I went (Hubby owns his own small food business). Going back to work for a major corporation provided us with benefits, a 401K and other cool perks. I've been at this job for about 3 years and I would say things range from stable to improving slightly. I've recently been approached by a recruiter about a couple of jobs that would be a major step up in private equity. I've decided nothing ventured nothing gained and am exploring these options. I was thinking about it and my hesitation stems from the fact that moving on and up the ladder would be an admission (and an acceptance) that this is not just a job I am doing until things turn around allowing me to return to my stay at home life. It's an actual career. It woul dmean longer hours and more work related stress. It would also likely mean a better salary Not that there is anything wrong with acepting this as a career. It's just a mental shift I am kind of struggling with. Thoughts? Suggestions? Words of Wisdom? Anyone?

Monday, August 8, 2011

How to Talk to Little Girls

I met my sister for dinner the other night with both our daughters (mine is almost 8, hers is 3). Both girls were dressed in their fancy best since going out with mommy night is a sacred ritual. I wanted to complient both girls on how nice they looked but refrained from starting the conversation out on that notes because I had read the totally amazing post on the Huff post Books site by Lisa Bloom about how to talk to little girls. To read the full article, just follow the link

The article makes an excellent point that if we want our daughters to think of themselves as people with ideas and opinions first then we need to treat them that way. That starting onversations with girls by complienting their appearance teaches them that appearance is what is valuable about them I mean, no one is going to open a conversation with my 11 year old son by telling him how cute he looks. They are going to ask him what books he has read, who his favorite baseball team is, what he likes in school. But conversations with my daughter often start with how nice she looks. I really took that article to heart. My daughter is extremely bright and has strong opinions about lots of things. I want her to know that this is what people are interested in first. That what she thinks is more important that how she looks or what she wears.

So next time you are introduced to a young girl, or just get home and great your own, remember to ask about what they learned in school, or what they read or something more than how they look.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Surrender - Wearing Glasses

Ok, I confess. I wear glasses. Interestingly I am not totally blind without them but I am pretty near sighted. My main optical issue is that without my glasses I have no, as in zero, depth perception. As a child people always wondered why I was so clumbsy, well without depth perception you run into and trip over a lot of things. I always hated them and started wearing contacts as soon as I could. I've always struggled with my contact though because of infections. I get cold sores in my eyes. Not on my lips. Something about contacts causes them to come back more easily and frequently. And of course, getting one while wearing contact imeadiately ruins the contacts. Over the years I have tried just about every type of contact out there. Even the wear once and through away kind. Those work best but I got through them way faster than VSP pays for them. So I am giving in, embracing my glasses.

This will require 2 steps. First I need new frames. My current ones look sort of like Harry Potter's frames. Round, tortiseshell wire frames. I think they date from college. Since have rarely worn them, I haven't replaced them. I like the ones the model above is wearing but they might be a little to trendy for me.

Second is I need to review my makeup look with glasses on. Bobbie Brown had some great tips for makeup looks with glasses. To start out she recomends that you wear less eye makeup since the glasses already draw attention to your eyes. She also emphasizes the importance of undereye concealor and corrector which does make sense. Her two step process is great since the corrector is pinkish and the concealer is yellowbased. I might check it out. I've never used it but my sister uses Benefit Boing and swears by it.

Another thing Bobbi suggests is eyeliner. I get this as it helps define your eyes behind your glasses. I love her gel eyeliner and have it in several colors. I really love the graphite and the black mauve shimmer.

It is also very important to define your brows when wearing glasses. I confess that I don't always do this. I keep my brows neat and tidy but don't always comb them or use a pencil/powder thing to define them. I'll have to work on that.

Lastly, Bobbi stresses that it is super important to wear lipcolor when you wear glasses. I can see this. I always wear lip color so this one isn't hard for me to follow.

Do you wear glasses? Have any special tips for me? What do you think about the tortiseshell frames the model is wearing? I worry that they might seem dated very quickly.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nautical by Nature - An Ode to the Navy Blue Blazer

There are few things as preppy as the navy blue blazer. Even Lisa Birmbach notes in her book "Treu Prep" that everyone of us, regardless of sex, age or sexual preference owns a navy blue blazer. That is certainly true in my house. At Christmas both my boys and Hubby came out dressed in nice slacks (the boys has camel colored cords and Hubby gray flannels) white shirts and black watch plaid ties. I also own one, ok several. My personal favorite is actually a Brooks Brother boys size 14. I wear it with everything! To the office, with jeans, you name it. The Brooks Brother blog, Rouge and Gentlemen has a great post on the naval history of this most prep of wardrobe staples. To read the whole article, click on the link.

Do you own a blue blazer, which one? I'm always looking for new ones!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to Town

I got a great email from Brooks Brothers the other day with their new fall line. It's called Back to Campus or Back to Town. I just adore it . It's so east Coast Prep to think of closing up your summer house and coming back to town in the fall. Obviously, I'm not the age to be going Back to campus. I just love this look. Clean, pulled together and ready for fall. Of course it's early August and it really won't be cold enought to wear this look here for a few months yet but, still love the look and what it represents.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cousin Cabin Weekend

Every summer my sister, my two cousins and I take all the kids up to the cabin for a long weekend of fun. The cabin is in a little town called Fish Camp about 20 minutes from the south gate of Yosemite. Our grandparents built it when we were small and all of us have great memories of spending time there when we were small. It's only about 50 minutes from the town of Fresno where we grew up and where my two cousins still live. For my sister and I, who live in the Bay Area, it's closer to a 3 and a half to four hour drive but since it's not Lake Tahoe, there is very little traffic. The cabin is called "the BaxStop" because our grandparents name was Baxter. Every year we take a picture of the kids in front of the cabin sign. Mine are the oldest 3, my sister had two (her's is the littlest daughter and the blond boy in the navy shirt). The other two the next youngest girl and the blond boy in the red tee are my cousins. One other cousin isn't married but she brings her great dane, Trigger. All the kids love Auntie B the best. We have great fun playing in the creek and hiking. This year the water was high and fast and the dads were able to move a bunch of rocks in the creek so the kids could ride down the creek in tubes. It was a ton of fun! I'll put up some more pictures of the kids riding the tubes later but wanted to share these geat shots first.

The younger generations!

The original cousins! Stripes and solids!