Sugar and Ginger and Frosting, oh my!

Life has been sweet around here 😀

My friend Jen got me this adorable plate:

And then we proceeded to make a complete mockery of all the Christmas cookies on Pinterest. I shouldn’t have had such high expectations.

I discovered that the minimalist approach was best for me:

Steve, of course, rocked his detail work.

Jen and I needed to run some errands, so I ended up resorting to the good-old “frost and sprinkle dump” method:

What can I say, it serves me well.

My little one wanted to make gingerbread man cookies, so off we were on the next adventure. He, too, has embraced the minimalist approach, because he made this one and left, leaving his brother and I with tubs of frosting, sprinkles, and assorted goodies:

My oldest took the opposite view with a Ginger Zombie Apocalypse theme:

I chose to create a homage to my beloved Niners and their current quarterback:

And we all ate too much frosting.

The end.

The guessing game begins

My husband has started work on our oldest’s Halloween costume. It is pretty darn awesome so far – here’s a (tiny) sneak peek!

Here are a few of the costumes we have made in the past:

Aidan as Drago from Bakugan

Alex as Wubbzy

Alex as Godzilla

Aidan as the Xenomorph from Alien

Most of the work here is Steve’s. I sewed the wings for Drago and made the Wubbzy outfit while Steve painted the face on it and shaped the tail. Everything else was done 100% by him. Long hours of work, lots of attention to detail, lots of love for his sons to have a great costume. Most of the time he stays up the night before Halloween to make sure every detail is perfect, and then gets rewarded by the boys’ excitement in wearing their fab costumes at their school parades.

It has worked so far that whenever one of our boys wants a homemade costume, the other wants a store-bought one, so when Alex was Godzilla, Aidan was Captain America. Last year Alex wanted to be a monkey so we got his costume from Old Navy. This year, he wants to be a monkey again, which makes it easier on Steve 😀

I’ll be posting more sneak peeks of Aidan’s costume as progress is made!

First Day

This pair of goofballs is back in school:

The little one refused to pose unless he was making a silly face or sucking his thumb, and the big one refused to pose by himself.

I miss them. My house is a lot quieter and cleaner, but I really enjoyed having my monkeys home this summer, we had adventures, chilled out, and had fun. Now it’s time for another year of learning adventures – love you both, Aidan and Alex!!!

Road Trip, part 2

After a couple of awesome days with friends and family, we had a quiet morning and then headed out to the Space Needle. Somehow, all four of us were wearing black shirts ;D

At the gift shop, we picked up some fudge and a Seattle tree ornament — I love to buy ornaments wherever we go as a family — and went up on the Needle. The day was clear and the views of the city were just gorgeous:

We met up with some family members for a farewell dinner at Saffron Grill, where we enjoyed a delicious Indian meal. Alexander discovered that he loves Naan bread and ended up eating an entire platter’s worth. I had heard a lot about a local ice cream shop, Molly Moon’s, so we all went to a nearby location to enjoy some dessert:

Simply the best ice cream I’ve had in my life. I tried the salted caramel and vanilla, but ended up ordering the melted chocolate. My husband raved about the vanilla with hot fudge sauce, and everyone was thrilled with their tasty treats. I also bought a vanilla bean caramel lip balm that I swear I am tempted to eat. We had planned to start our trip down towards California on this evening, but our cousins kindly invited us to spend the night at their home. We woke up refreshed and ready to spend the next couple of days driving.

The next morning we started with some Krispy Kremes for breakfast. I honestly think it’s been years since we had donuts — Alex had never tried them — but we decided to have a vacation splurge and got a dozen for the day.

The Oregon coast is stunning, we cut over to start our drive down from Astoria (where The Goonies was filmed!) and began looking for lighthouses, since Alex had read a book on them and really wanted to see one.

When we found one, the boys ran giddily towards it:

We couldn’t get inside but the boys were super happy just to see it up close. Steve took a picture of a nearby rock with a few hundred creatures on it 😀

The last adventure of our trip was Wildlife Safari, a drive-through animal experience that a dear friend had recommended. It was SO worth it!

The boys loved seeing the animals up close. The bears were so funny, they were playing around and getting in and out of the water and generally having a great time.

With some changes coming up in our lives, this trip was a sweet way to close out the summer. Alex said “I love Seattle, but I am very excited to go home, mama.” We are so grateful to our friends and family for hanging out with us, feeding us, and showing us around Seattle. We will definitely be going back.

Alex’s 7th birthday party

I’m still going through 400+ pics from our Pacific Northwest adventures, so for now I will share a few pics from our youngest’s birthday party. It was a small, sweet gathering:

The birthday boy requested vanilla cake

AND brownies!

Aidan quality-tested the buttercream and declared it good.

We inherited a pool from some friends so our boys and their friends had a blast playing in the water:

After the party it was time to clean up and get ready for our road trip, which started the very next morning — stay tuned!


Our youngest, Alexander, turned 7 last week. We had a little get together over the weekend, and I have tons of pics to share but this one makes me smile every time I see it.

This is my husband showing my boy the card his friends had made for him. Alex hasn’t even seen the gift yet, his reaction is to the sweet homemade card, and that his friends had written stuff just for him. He read it all out loud, and yeah, then he got to the present itself.

Good times for my seven-year-old.

Alex turns seven

Seriously, how does this happen? I know that I ask the same question every birthday, but how is it that my chubbalicious chunk of goodness . . .

is now seven and entering second grade??? Seriously. How does that happen? And even though he is in a special day class because of his autism, he is doing work that is at grade level. He’s fearless, will throw himself off of anything and into anything and is responsible for many of my gray hairs.

We shall be celebrating a few days later. Maybe he’ll sing for us. He loves to sing 😀

Happy birthday, my little sunshine. I love you so much.

CuriOdyssey & Cupcakes

The boys and I had some adventuring to do yesterday – we went to a local animal/science place called CuriOdyssey. It was a gorgeous morning in the Bay Area and although the whole thing was geared to kids a little younger than my oldest, he was a rock star and both boys enjoyed themselves.

The animals at CuriOdyssey are rescues or unable to be released back into their natural habitats, there were otters, snakes, frogs, birds, all sorts of lovely local flora and fauna, as well as hands-on experiences. After a 10-minute stop at their gift shop, we headed back down 101 to get some cupcakes.

I got Cookies & Cream for my husband, the Oreo lover, Chocolate Paradise for me, and their take on a “vanilla with vanilla”, which is all my boys eat.

I am sorry to say the cupcakes were a disappointment. I won’t name the bakery but they won an episode of Cupcake Wars so we thought we’d give them a try. My chocolate paradise cake, which I had been “warned” was not recommended for kids as it had a very strong chocolate flavor, failed to deliver. The cake itself was on the dry side and the frosting was so oily that I couldn’t taste any actual flavor. My husband’s cupcake was so dry it flaked off all over and the frosting was goopy. My oldest said his vanilla/vanilla cupcake was ok, but that he’s “had better cupcakes”. My little one ate about a third of his and said he wanted no more. All in all, none of us were impressed and I don’t plan on going back.

So we won some and lost some, but our Friday was nice overall. Now we are enjoying time with Steve’s parents who are back from a trip, and I am avoiding the outdoors because it’s over 90 degrees out there.

To all my fellow Francophiles, have a wonderful Bastille Day tomorrow!

So proud

And the school year is over. 2013 is going by so quickly, and yesterday was the last day of school for my boys.

First and second grade were filled with learning, laughter, tears, friends, field trips, etc. One boy wanted the same thing in his lunch bag every. single. day. And it wasn’t the autistic one. Oh no. He wanted to choose from the cafeteria offerings, giving his unsolicited opinion on the menu, such as “this pizza tastes old!” or “the chicken sandwich is yucky!”. The teachers agreed with him.

In late August they will begin 2nd and 3rd grades. Until then, our days will have structure but will allow for plenty of fun, day trips, and friends.

Congratulations, Aidan and Alexander, you have earned yourselves a wonderful summer!

Cool mama

Yep, that’s me. The cool mama. I am sure it will last 2.3 days but I will enjoy it while I can.

My oldest has asked me to help him put outfits together. What what???? Seriously, my husband told him that I was really good at fashion (it’s news to me, believe me) and that I could help him with school clothes. So today I showed him how a crew-neck under a v-neck sweater looked nice and he went with it. He used to love button-down shirts and now hates them so that will be my Everest, seeing if I can get him back in a button down. Because he looks damn cute in one.

This is from mother’s day 2011, my boys wearing guayaberas, so sweet!!!

Now they were polo shirts every day for school

They each chose the same color shirt, I buy them the same things sometimes but I don’t make them wear them at the same time, this was just coincidence 😀

But now my oldest is wanting some oomph so mama is off looking for ideas to show the boy.

One of my favorite style blogs is Style Your Life. I find that Jennifer puts together cute, wearable outfits from stores I actually shop at (Target, Old Navy, etc.) and she’s done a few for boys, like this one:

So cute!!!

I’ve started a Boys’ Style board on Pinterest, feel free to stop by and also feel free to share any cool dude outfit ideas 😀