May 22, 2008

Doodle 4 Google

A middle schooler named Grace Moon won Google's 2008 Doodle 4 Google competition. Doodle 4 Google is a competition where K-12 students are invited to reinvent Google's homepage logo. This year ked U.S. kids were asked to doodle around the theme "What if...?" Grace described her entry, above, as:
Up in the Clouds: My doodle, "Up in the Clouds," expresses a world in the sky. This new world is clean and fresh, and people are social and enlightened. Every person here is treated as family no matter who they are. The bright sun heats this ideal place with warmth, love, and brightens everyone's day.
Sounds like a place I'd like to live.

Check out all the Doodle 4 Google finalists.

May 21, 2008

I wish I had been successful...

... at teaching myself to crochet when I was on maternity leave. Because if I had been I would make this:

You can buy the PDF crochet pattern for this ridiculously adorable capelet by leila & ben on I think I need to find a crochet class. Hmmmm.

baby... I mean tea cosy?

I've been meaning to post this for a while now. Our good friend Rosie Bee came to visit for Christmas and New Years and when she left she took one of LoVE's fleecey pairs of pajamas with her. She said she had a tea pot that matched it perfectly and she thought she could make a tea cosy out of it. Well, clearly she did. That's it, above. Cute as a button.

May 20, 2008

Magic with Virtual Pause and Record Buttons

I stumbled across this little gem today reading a new blog: Serious About Camo. (Yes, I found him on Twitter.) He recently posted about this service: Mixwit / Create and Share Mixtapes.

This is so cool! Remember the days? The magic you could create with the pause and record buttons on your little boom box? How many times did you bare your soul in a mix tape? I can't even count. And I still have them all. (I actually just found a whole box and considered transfering them to CD or playlist in iTunes... but you know it just wouldn't be the same.) Well, now you can apply modern-day technology to that old nostalgia. Reveal your deepest and most private thoughts and emotions to a friend, a lover, a crush in a mix and then share it with the world on Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, etc.

Have fun...

(Thanks to shortbeatnik, whom I borrowed the above mixtape from so I could provide you with an excellent example. )

May 16, 2008

you might as well give up now...

...because Lydia Violet is going to win the Parents magazine cover-model search. But, if you must try, only to have your fragile hopes most certainly dashed, you can enter your cute (but surely not AS cute) and photogenic kid at

May 14, 2008

Mother's Day Feats

Last Saturday, during a break in the rain, we had all the local mother's in our family over for a feast. What fun! It gave me an excuse to cook, which I love, and helped me meet a goal. For the first time in my life I hosted a party where I wasn't running around at the last second, frantic, and not nearly ready for anyone to arrive, let alone be entertained. The house was clean, the food was prepped and either finished or ready to be finished off for serving. Amazing!

As I'm writing this now I'm wishing I took pictures! Not just of the food but of the day. It was most excellent. So, I guess, though we weren't rushed or stressed we did fall down on the job there. (Aside from all the tender family moments, my food staging was superb and it's a shame we didn't capture it. Just kidding!)

We served:

  • Crud d'ete
  • Olives
  • Various cheeses with Simply Enjoy brand Apricot & JalapeƱo and Balsamic Onion jams. Simply delicious!
  • A variation on the Barefoot Contessa's Curried Couscous that is becoming a cookout/party standard (Thanks, Nati!).
  • Organic Simply Enjoy hot dogs for the boys and their dad, my brother.
  • Latin Pork with Lime Marinade from this random medical Web site. No matter it's origin though, it was SCRUMPTIOUS, so we can feel good about it being good for us too. Dima grilled it to perfection, as always.
  • Spice rubbed chicken (our secret: McCormick's Season All. Basic and tasty, it let's your sides be the star.) with avocado salsa (I actually forgot to put this out. Whoops!).
Now, for the rest of this and the avocado salsa above, I need to give props to The Domestic Goddess and her minions at Everyday Food. I got a subscription for Christmas from my aunt in-law and I love it, love it, love it! Every single recipe was delicious and easy. You can't beat that with a stick!
  • Cucumber-Carrot Bites - yummy little bites of hollowed out English cucumber stuffed with grated carrots in a sour cream/vinegar sauce. They were billed as after-school snacks. Whatever! I ate them on the weekend and am still eating the leftover carrots as a side salad.
  • Mini Corn Cakes with Scallions - these were super cute and tasty. A little cayenne pepper gave them a bite that was balanced nicely with... more sour cream.
  • Two-pea Pasta with Ricotta and Tarragon - This was delish and easy to prepare. The key is not over cooking the peas so they stay nice and bright green. Next time I think I'll try basil instead of tarragon.
  • Honey roasted baby carrots - again, quick, easy and divine.
For desert, we offered up a strawberry-orange ice cream (see recipe at the bottom of this post)—a variation on my constantly morphing ice cream recipe: avocado banana and ginger pumpkin—with my sister in-law, Carey's, fabulous fudge brownies. What an excellent way to finish off the meal and an excellent day. Yeah for moms! They rock! A point I especially appreciate now that I am one.

Strawberry-Orange Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart

1 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cups light cream
1 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange extract
a dash of salt

Throw everything in the blender and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to freeze. Blend a few more seconds before pouring into the ice cream maker just to make sure everything is evenly distributed. Follow your ice cream maker's instructions for freezing.

May 6, 2008

Meme: Excerpt from a book I'm reading

I peaked in on twitter today to see a former colleague, Cara, at hack Artist, tag various blogger/twitter friends with a meme.

What you say? Twitter? Tagged? Meme? Never you mind. If you're extra curious you can check out those links but here's all you really need to know... Even though I wasn't officially invited by being tagged myself, I've decided to participate in the exercise. I'm supposed to:
  1. Pick up the nearest book.
  2. Open to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
Well, I just started reading C.S. Lewis' Prince Caspian for the tenthish time. (I'm a HUGE fan of The Chronicles of Narnia—the first books I read without pictures.) And, I'm reading it aloud to my 10 month old. Yes, I'm interested in slowly losing my mind. Yes, I was totally influenced by Hollywood advertising. The good in this is that said advertising prompted me to stick my nose in a book rather than buy cheap plastic toys or a kiddie meal at a fast food restaurant. Which reminds me also: Who else hates the Hollywood versions of the latest made-into-a-movie literary classic? I believe their called movie tie-ins. For me they've always smacked of: the only way you can get people to read a book is to make a movie out of it. They steal people's imaginations by providing them with "characters" to focus on. (Kudos to J.K. Rowling for never allowing them to slap Daniel Radcliffe's face on any of her books.) And they make people think that you can get the same transporting experience that reading a book provides by watching the movie. I hate, hate, hate that. I like watching movies, I just hate that. It always prompts me to go to the library or the nearest used bookstore to get a version of the book from before it was ruined by Hollywood's PR machine. Hmmmm. So, there's good in that too. Uh, maybe I've got the wrong idea about Hollywood advertising.

Anyway. Where were we? Ah, page 123, where Susan says to Lucy:
I'm dead tired. Do let's get out of this wretched wood into the open as quick as we can. And none of us except you saw anything.
Now since I just started reading this again last night, at a 10 month old's pace at that, page 123 is about 121 pages ahead of where I am right now. So, I don't have much to say about the predicament that Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy have clearly gotten themselves into, AGAIN, in the wretched wood. What I can say is that I certainly know how Susan feels. And I ask, when will the older siblings learn? If they'd just listen to Lucy the first time around, pretty much every time, they'd save themselves a heap of trouble.

Now for step #5, like my friend Cara, I'm going to tag some of the people I enjoy on Twitter AND in other realms of the Internet:

chris_bailey also of (Whom is a testament to the smallness of this here Internet.)

writer.baker.musicmaker (Who is a master at all of her chosen endeavors.)

Scott Edward Anderson also of The Green Skeptic and another former colleague (Whom Cara already tagged, but I'm tagging him again. Am I breaking the rules? This is my first time.)

Dinosaur Mom (Whom I wish was on Twitter. Hmmm. Maybe she is.)

Expat with the Elephants (Because I know she'll appreciate this type of thing and give us an excellent post to boot.)

What are YOU reading? I last devoured The Time Traveler's Wife and am now looking for something I can finish quicker than reading Prince Caspian to a 10 month old.

May 5, 2008

If the shoe fits...

Image from

Well, mine doesn't anymore. I never believed it could be true but I think my left foot DID get bigger when I was pregnant. And is it possible? But I think my right foot got smaller.

I just bought a pair of Women's Converse® One Star® Skimmers in Glitter, which are ridiculously cute/cool. Normally a 10, I ended up buying a 9 1/2 because when trying them on in Target the 10 was flying off my right foot while the 9 1/2 on my left seemed to fit OK. But now my poor left foot is suffering. Out of the store, my big toe is smashed up against the end of the shoe and more than once I've checked to make sure I bought two shoes of the same size. (Yep. 9 ½. 9 ½.) The only explanation is that post-pregnancy my feet are two different sizes. (I really should go check on one of those foot-measuring devices to be sure.) I'm actually considering buying a second pair so I can have a good fit. 9 ½ for the right. 10 for the left. Crazy. But maybe worth it, because they're oh, so cute.