Sunday, December 4, 2011


I decided this was the year to get a nativity set to display at Christmas.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What's Eating Us, Part 2

I've been walking around with a giant question mark over my head for the longest time, wondering what crazy stuff was going on in my kids' bodies and in their brains.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What's Eating Us

Those that know me well know that I'm frequently at odds with the neediness of my kids.  I feel like half my Facebook updates are something to the effect of, "OMG, why can't these kids stop crying and give me a break?"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The End of October (with some grainy iPhone pictures)

Things have gotten pretty wild around here, so I haven't been consistently blogging.  Here's a little household update.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Design Sponge Book Event

I love design, design books, design blogs, and books about design blogs.  Are there blogs about design books?   If there are, I'm sure I love them too.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Zig-Zaggy, Part 2

More of the Missoni for Target collection that I got my paws on...

Fortunately, not everything was as cheap and flimsy as the multicolored trench.

This little girls' cardigan looked pretty cute.  When I made my online order, the 18-24 month size was already sold out, so I nabbed the 2T-3T, thinking Punky could grow into it.  But I changed my mind almost immediately.  I feel like cute cardigans abound at discount stores like Target and Old Navy, and I'm going to find many more, for less money in the near future, so there was no point in keeping this one.  

The sweater dress.  One of the most popular items.  Sigh.  The online pictures looked pretty good, but they did not show a close view.  I was thinking the fact that the zig-zags ran vertically, made it look more slimming.  What I couldn't have known, was that the stitching gives it definite horizontal lines that stretch across every bulge in the most unflattering way.

I do love the color combination.  This knit fabric would make a lovely throw.  But, there was also a bit of an itch-factor that I had been dreading, even though there was an attached polyester slip inside.  I mean, I know a budget line means using budget materials, but I would almost call this chintzy.  I can't imagine how it would lose it's shape after being washed, even if dried flat, which would make it all crunchy.  

Smirking.  Yeah, even the neckline of this dress is unflattering.  What a disappointment.

One of the duvet sets.  I grabbed because it's really beautiful.  A good weight and texture.  Fun colors.  In the end I returned it because I just couldn't justify spending $99 on a new duvet set when I just bought a (real) Marimekko set last spring.  It occurred to me that this was a great opportunity to get my crafty little hands on some serious yardage of Missoni-print fabric, but as a beginning-level sewer, I'd be afraid to cut into it.  If it had been less money, I think I would've kept it around just for fun.

Headbands.  Honestly, I love how they look except for one little thing: no teeth.  If I had seen that in the store, I wouldn't have bought them.  Boo.  So pretty, though.

Makeup bag.  I do actually need a makeup bag, but even as I was buying this one, I suspected I might be returning it.  It's made well and it's cute.  Just not my style.

The tote.  Oh, man.  If there's anything that caused me to deliberate, it's this tote bag.  Again, it has that gorgeous print I love.  It's large and sturdy, perfect for the library or the beach, or a weekend.

Generous inside pockets.  And again, made really well.  No pulling seams or loose threads like that horrid trench coat.  The reason I ultimately returned it was because I just don't need another canvas bag.  In a house where we're already tripping over a variety of diaper bags, shopping bags, and backpacks, I had to reign myself in and say, "I don't need this."  Even though it was only $35.

Target, you're breaking my heart.  These girls' shoes are darling.  And the box is so elegant, I wanted to keep them just to have it.  A bit impractical, as the material definitely makes these indoor-only.  They fit Punky perfectly, which made me think she might have worn them for only a month or two anyway.  And, to be honest, Punky already has four or five pairs of cute shoes in her current size.  It's excessive to throw another pair into the rotation no matter how adorable.  I was so sad to see them go back, but I'm imagining another mom probably went into hysterics finding them on the remaining Missoni rack at our local Target.

So there you have it, a lot of things I really wanted to like, but ended up returning just because I didn't need them.  I still have a few items out in shipping limbo and, if the confusing emails intermittently sends me are correct, I should get them in late October.

If one good thing has come out of this, I've decided that the earth-tone chevron print is so gorgeous that I'm going to try my hand at quilting.  I think a small crib quilt for Punky in the same color scheme would be a great beginner project for me and would make me feel better after missing out on the throw I wanted more than anything else in the Missoni for Target collection.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple Mania

It's apple-harvesting season in Minnesota!

The Good, The Bad, The Zig-Zaggy, Part 1

Here's the rest of the Missoni for Target story from two weeks ago.  It's been a slightly annoying couple of weeks as I've been trying to track down my online order.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kids + Markers

The other day, while Punky was down for a nap, I got out our box of crayons and markers to keep Boo busy so I could go online for a little while.  He drew quietly for a few minutes, then showed me his picture.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missoni day at Target

It's been all over the news that the Missoni for Target line launched yesterday, creating stampedes in some stores and crashing

Friday, September 9, 2011

Punky's Latest

It's been quite a while since I've updated on Punky's progress with FPIES and new foods.  I felt that we weren't accomplishing a lot this summer, but when I look back, I can see that we made some good progress with her diet.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge- The Big Finish!

Whew!  I'm kind of glad to be done with this challenge.  I think it brought to light certain facts that I didn't want to think about every day: a) uploading photos from my camera to my laptop is an excruciatingly long process; b) my kids cannot leave me alone when I am either holding a camera or using a computer; c) The Mister sure travels a lot for work lately and sometimes all I can do is take care of the kids and I have to put aside all the "extra" things I want to do; d) the photos stored on my computer, my external hard drive, and my photo hosting site are horribly unorganized and I will probably never catch up on putting them in order.  But I did play around with some of my camera functions and now have some inspiration for future photos.

Friday, August 26, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge- More cheating, and I don't care!

I'm feeling really good about all this cheating on my 30 Day Photo Challenge.  As a SAHM, I'm running around after the kids, cleaning up stuff all day.  It's not until the kids are in bed that I think of using my camera or computer, and by then most pictures are out of the question.  I'm filling in the last four days of pictures with ones taken yesterday (at the MN State Fair) and one that was taken at Minnehaha Falls last week.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge- Day...whatever

I'm totally CHEATING at this point, and I don't feel that bad about it.  So I've missed a few days taking pictures, and I made up for what I didn't have today.  Who cares?  It's not an actual contest.  The point is to get me thinking about how to take different kinds of pictures, right?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge- Day 14

This was the best day of the challenge yet.  While we were sitting around in our pajamas this morning, we were talking about the things we wanted to accomplish yet this summer.  We realized we still hadn't gone to St. Croix Falls like we had talked about.  We checked the weather and when we found out it was going to be a sunny, dry, 80 degree day, we couldn't pass it up.  We packed up snacks and all the necessary kid stuff, and were out the door in less than an hour.  Who says people with kids can't be spontaneous?

30 Day Photo Challenge- Day 13

Yourself with 13 Things

30 Day Photo Challenge- Days 10,11,12

Once again, way behind in posting these, and they're not really worth it, but for the sake of completing my photo challenge, here are three pictures.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge- Day 9

The Mister was off on a two-day business trip to L.A. and it was a rough time at home without him.  He texted me from the airport when he landed this evening, and the kids and I went outside to watch for him.  I brought the camera thinking this would be a great opportunity for today's challenge.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge: Days 4-7

Taking pictures isn't the hard part.  I carry my iPhone everywhere, and our camera is usually close at hand.  It's finding, and hooking up, the cables to upload the pictures to my computer that is the real job.  

Monday, August 1, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge- Day 1

Ohhh, I don't know.  I take a ton of pictures, and sometimes I get lucky and they turn out beautifully, but I don't actually know all that much about photography.  So I think by doing this 30 Day Photo Challenge, I might have to learn how to do a few new things.

Tonight We're Gonna Potty Like It's 1974

I am the last person who should be making fun of a potty-training book.  My three year-old has no interest in the cute monkey potty chair or the Go, Diego, Go underwear I've recently bought him.  I'm sure he'll be one of those rare kids that shows up for kindergarten still wearing some sort of giant diapers and, when asked to pull his own pants up or down, whining, "I CAAAAAN'T!"

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Do You Have The Time (To Listen To Me Whine)?

I'm supposed to be trialing new foods for Punky, right?  We discussed a food trial plan with her GI several months ago, and the idea was to be able to trial a new food three times over a period of 12 days.  If there were no reactions by that time, the food could be considered safe.  I remember thinking, when I heard this concept, that in no time at all we'd have tons of new foods added to Punky's diet.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Saga of the Giant Bolster Pillow

We've lost some of our momentum in finishing the projects we've started in the upstairs of our house.  The good news is that the new wood floor is installed in all the bedrooms and the new white baseboards are also up.  The bad news is that our stairs are still a mess of stripped, splintering wood and we can't make up our minds about the proper covering for them.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What Do Kids Eat When They Are Allergic To Food?

Like many other parents of young kids, I've always heard there were "special" formulas out there for babies that couldn't tolerate regular formulas.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So Much For the 30 Days...

Well, I didn't do it.  I have a million excuses, mostly centering around a sick family and several sleepless nights.  Why is it the mom doesn't get sick when the rest of them do?  Anyway, I didn't create anything (or anything worth taking pictures of) for the last three days of June.  And I'm fine with that.

Monday, June 27, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 27- A Hat for a Royal Wedding

I've had a little obsession since watching the highlights of the wedding of Will and Kate.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 26- Memorial for an Old Friend

While I was at my parents' house, I asked if there were any boxes or bins of my stuff I could sort through in hopes of getting rid of some clutter.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 25- The Fastest Birthday Cake in the West

I should probably be ashamed of myself for not trying a little harder when it comes to the kids' birthday cakes.  I took some cake decorating classes a few years ago, and even invested in a bunch of the tools.  I have everything I need to make some fabulous birthday cakes when the time comes, but I just don't have the energy to put into a project of that magnitude.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 24- Framed Vintage Book

It's another quickie project, yet something I've been wanting to get done for awhile.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 23- Fancy Falafel

Even as a vegetarian, I don't make falafel very often.  It's messy, and after I cook it, the garlic smell lingers in the house for hours.

30 Days of Creativity: Days 21 and 22- Patchwork Rug and Another Animation

For Day 21, I made use of the pile of FLOR modular carpet tiles that have accumulated in our basement.  I love, love, love FLOR.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 20: Illustrated Grocery List

I will apparently do whatever it takes to get the kids to the grocery store with me.  I could go shopping in the evening after they are in bed, but I really want that time to be "me time."  The best way to organize my time is to take the kids along on all the mundane errands during the day.  Unfortunately, there are days when the kids don't want to cooperate, and that's when the crayons come out. 

30 Days of Creativity: Day 19: Little Herb Garden

I worry about the dumbest things.  I've been growing different potted plants on our back patio for years, where no one can see them, but I never put anything out in front of the house.  The reason is that many of our neighbors are dedicated gardeners and really know what they are doing.  I usually kill plants after a few weeks, and I like to keep that private to save myself the embarrassment.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 18- Chicago Highlights

I didn't have time to do much for Day 18, but I did spend time organizing my pictures from our family trip to Chicago.  We went to Chicago during Memorial Day Weekend because The Mister had some business to do at the Building Department.  We had talked about going this summer anyway, so when the opportunity came up we decided, two days in advance, this was the right time to go.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 17- Homemade Cards

Father's Day and my mother-in-law's birthday fell on the same weekend this year, meaning I needed to pull together four cards.  Spending something like $12 for Hallmark greetings, seems like a waste of money when I have two perfectly good crayon and marker artists-in-residence.  

30 Days of Creativity: Day 16- Kaleidoscopic Living Room

I had a lot of trouble getting anything done for Day 16.  The Mister had to fly to Chicago for the morning and was supposed to be getting on a 2:00 flight back home.  One problem after another had him switching planes, trying to get other flights on standby, waiting on planes that ended up needing repairs.  He finally found out around midnight that his last chance for a flight home wasn't going to happen.  He was sent to a hotel, where he napped for a couple hours before going back to the airport to get on the first flight out in the morning.

Friday, June 17, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 15- Strange Butterfly

Okay, this technically wasn't my idea.  I have an extremely imaginative boy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 14- Fun with Candy Laces

 When I go to Ikea, I sometimes stop by the little food market area on my way out.  They sell some great frozen desserts, cheap pizza slices, and sparkling apple juice that surprisingly doesn't contain high-fructose corn syrup.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 13- Colonel Mustard. In The Lounge. With the Candlestick.

Here's another reason I love cheap little frames from Ikea.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 12- Postcard Frames, Two Ways

This is another thing that I've been meaning to do for a long time.  Again, things I brought back from the 2007 trip to Europe, are haunting me, begging me to take them out of my storage bins and display them.  I'm actually really good about not buying a lot of souvenirs while on vacation.  I feel like photos and journals are the best ways to remember a great trip.  If I buy anything, it's rarely a tchotchke that will sit and gather dust.  I like museum prints that I can hang on the wall, or an accessory I can wear, or good chocolate that I can share with people when I get back. However, I somehow end up coming home with a stack of postcards.  They don't take up a lot of space, and they are inexpensive, but I have almost never found a use for them.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 11- Skirt from Old Jeans

Of all my creations so far this month, this one makes me most proud.  I consider myself to be at a beginners level of sewing.  It still mystifies me that people can make their own clothing, and other than some little baby pants and bibs, I haven't attempted anything that someone could actually wear.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 10- Friendship Bracelet

It's hard to find time to be creative some days.  So I decide to work on something that I think should be quick and easy.

Friday, June 10, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 9- Beginning Animation

If I could come up with anything else, I would not be posting this.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 8- Another iPad Tracing

I've been crazy busy and only had time to do a few things on my iPad right before bed.  So here's another tracing that I wish I could say I actually sketched.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 7- Sneaky Stain Cover-Up

I save some pretty random things, thinking I'll find a use for them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 6- Felt Ravioli

This is one of the projects that I've been meaning to do for a long time.  I bought the felt for it over a year ago, and it's been sitting around in a bin in the basement ever since.

Monday, June 6, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 5- Pedicure Quick-Fix

I've been digging the color yellow lately.  It's so cheery, like sunshine and daffodils and...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 4- A Leafy Sandwich for a Little Boy

Maybe it's because he watches too much "Go, Diego, Go!" but Boo is obsessed with what different animals like to eat.  I keep bags of organic mixed greens in the fridge, with the intention of The Mister and me eating more veggies.  Never in my wildest imagination did I think Boo would make the connection that we eat leaves "just like a giraffe does."  He will eat them plain, in his hands, after digging them out of the bag.  But I've introduced to him the idea that they are also good on a sandwich.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 3- Lamp Revamp

This time, I choose a project that has been begging to be done for several months.  As we put the finishing touches on our master bedroom, I'm finding that I gravitate toward light wood, white and yellow accessories, and glossy finishes.  Our old dark brown lamps just didn't fit anymore.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 2- Activity Calendar

This isn't creative in the artistic sense, but I did create it and I think it's pretty useful.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

30 Days of Creativity: Day 1- iPad sketch

I've decided to take the 30 Days of Creativity challenge.

The nice thing about this challenge is that there are no rules.  The creating can be as complex or as lazy/last-minute as I want it to be.  So here's my completed project for Day 1.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Project: iPad Case

I love my iPad2.  It is the most perfectly designed toy I have ever owned.  Perfect!  Well, except for one little thing.  It's super sleek, and light-weight, and thin...and almost impossible for a toddler to hang on to.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our Lovely Local Library

Going to the library is such a treat in our household.  Minneapolis has many great libraries, a handful of them  within short driving distance (even walking or biking distance) from our house.  The one we frequent the most is the Washburn Library on Lyndale.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Surly Brewery Tour

Last month, The Mister and I had the good luck, or good timing, to get ourselves signed up for coveted spots on one of the Surly Brewing Company's tours.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Food Allergy Awareness Week/Mothers Day

It's seems strange, yet somehow appropriate, to me that the start of Food Allergy Awareness Week coincides with Mothers Day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Winter Renovations

Every winter we seem to find ourselves involved in a tedious indoor project at our little house, and this winter was no different.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bowling Party

On Saturday we went to a bowling party at Pinstripes, Edina's upscale "bowling, bocce, and bistro" venue.  I have to admit, I had driven past the place before, and snickered, as I do whenever I see some sort of giant suburban entertainment mecca.  It's next to The Container Store and West Elm, hardly the nightlife center of the Twin Cities.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nothing New

No news is good news, right?  Actually, when you have a kid with a weird health issue, it's nice to suddenly realize that a week or two has gone by and everything has been kind of...normal?

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I got a call I should have expected, that Punky's iron and vitamin D levels were low.  In fact, at a "12," she's not getting enough vitamin D to support healthy bone growth.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Visual Aid

I'm laying the groundwork for something.  It's been a long time since anyone's watched Punky and Boo, in part because we don't have family very near by, and in part because the thought of someone unfamiliar with FPIES and food allergies makes me imagine all sorts of horrible scenarios.  But it's got to happen, and soon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vitamin Reaction

I'm still almost too exhausted to blog this, after Sunday's events.  I started Punky on a multivitamin at lunchtime, and a couple hours later she was writhing in pain and crying.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The U of M Gastroenterology Appointment

We've been hit by the Plague.  RSV?  Common Cold?  I'm not sure.  But it's been a disastrous week in this house.  I've got plenty of updates, but the most important is Punky's pediatric gastroenterology appointment on Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Easy Eggrolls

At our house, it's near impossible to find something The Mister, Boo, and I can all sit down and eat together.  To accommodate for all our particular lifestyle choices and allergies, we need a meal free of: sesame, soy, lentil, peanut, most tree nuts, dairy, rice, meat, and seafood.  Add to that my goal to not serve my family foods containing high-fructose corn syrup or trans fats, and there aren't a lot of conventional foods left for us.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I was having a great day yesterday.  It was warm and sunny.  The kids were being unusually pleasant.  And as Boo sat and munched on his lunch of homemade zucchini muffins, I suddenly made the decision to feed Punky some prunes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One-handed Tortilla Soup

I admit I'm on a bit of a soup kick.  I made this recipe up, which might be obvious if you are at all familiar with authentic tortilla soup.  I had tortilla soup once, in Mexico, about 10 years ago.  And I think it had chicken in it, which I no longer eat.  So maybe it's not the real deal.  But is it not a hot liquid you eat with a spoon?  Does it not contain tortilla chips?  OK, then.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Cheese-less Soup

It's become apparent that Punky's FPIES is somewhat affected by what I eat.  Small amounts of dairy and soy don't seem to bother her, but she's thrown up twice in the evening after a day of me eating large amounts of either one.  And I mean LARGE amounts.  Having fried Brie appetizers before the bowl of beer cheese soup- smooth move, Mom!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Assumed The Bullies Would Be Children

Having two kids with food allergies and intolerances makes me worry about how they'll handle being "different" when they're older.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Verdict on Wheat

Was wheat a pass or fail for Punky?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Where You Least Expect It

The limited research I've been able to do on FPIES always seems to come to the conclusion that the "treatment" for FPIES is to simply avoid your child's trigger foods.  So I've already come to expect that I'm going to be scanning a lot of food labels in the future.  But something happened today that opened my eyes to the difficulty of avoiding Punky's triggers.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself.  I got up early on Saturday to go to the gym and got this great shot of myself in the mirror as I was getting ready.  I walked right out the door looking like this.  No makeup, hair all a-frizzle, and wrinkled tee-shirt plucked off the bedroom floor where it had been balled up since the evening before.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wheat Week

On Sunday, I gave Punky her first bite of cooked wheat cereal (Bob's Red Mill).