Planting Party!

I used to party, now I plant.  I thought I would merge the two this past weekend and create a “planting party”!!!  During the past few months my family and I were hit HARD by the flu, cold and general sick-i-ness and are FINALLY feeling like our old selves (knock on wood/knock on wood) Trust me, being confined in the house with two sick kids, make it three (my husband is waaayyyy worse than two whiny kids when sick) is the kind of torture the toughest person could not endure.  During my time in torture isolation I began reading up on food.  How it is farmed, raised, GMO seeds etc…. the more education I got the less I wanted to know, which is completely twisted because WE ALL HAVE TO EAT!!  Finally I got up the courage and gumption then announced that we would be starting our own garden.  Yep that’s right planting green things in the dirt!  To my surprise the hubby and the kiddos were totally on board, in fact down right excited!!!  But here’s the thing…it is near impossible to find starter plants that are GUARANTEED organic from non GMO seeds.  After no less than 3 to 4 stops at nurseries and big box hardware stores the local farmers market (DUH!!) had a beautiful selection of starter plants.  Ok folks here is a super cool trick I learned from my farmer friend at the market–

(I explained that while looking to purchase plants, all we could find were healthy looking plants that had no smell and were sprayed/GMO seeds. Most organic plants actually have a strong lovely plant smell)

Simply rub the leaves of the plant and smell your fingers or simply smell the plant itself.  There should be an actual (GASP) plant smell!!  The GMO and sprayed varieties have little to no smell!!!! So simple right?! ( Be sure to check for certified organic labels on any plants that you buy)

I am so proud and happy to have spent some quality family time doing something that will better our minds, bodies and our planet. Planting in gin barrels or wood troughs are also very pretty and add a peaceful feeling to your yard, while taking up little space. Please view our photos and share any ideas, thoughts or suggestions with us!

I cant wait to blog a recipe using our herbs, fruits and veggies!!

Oh yeah….I’m so glad to be back blogging!  Thanks for hanging in  :)

We purchased a gin barrel that actually held wine! mmmmmm the smell :)  Before planting, flip it over and drill holes for water drainage.

We purchased a gin barrel that actually held wine! mmmmmm the smell :)
Before planting, flip it over and drill holes for water drainage.

Next, fill the barrel with mommy.....I mean dirt:)

Next, fill the barrel with mommy…..I mean dirt:)

If you want to keep the garden organic be sure to purchase organic mulch.....

If you want to keep the garden organic be sure to purchase organic mulch…..

After filling the barrel to nearly the brim, it's time to plant!!!

After filling the barrel to nearly the brim, it’s time to plant!!!

We wanted the kids to have a say in what they wanted to plant, since they would help take care of the garden and eventually eat the fruits of our labor.  We started with green onion, basil, mint, cucumber, tomato and strawberries.  YUMMMM

We wanted the kids to have a say in what they wanted to plant, since they would help take care of the garden and eventually eat the fruits of our labor. We started with green onion, basil, mint, cucumber, cilantro, tomato and strawberries. YUMMMM :)

YAY! What a beautiful family day and garden....

YAY! What a beautiful family day and garden….

Cant wait to eat, will keep you posted as to how things are going.....HAPPY PLANTING PARTY!!

Cant wait to eat, will keep you posted as to how things are going…..HAPPY PLANTING PARTY!!

Motherhood Monday-The Shoulda Woulda Coulda Edition

It’s been a while I know. I SHOULDA been sharing, but the past month was a dousy.  I won’t bore you with the details but here is a quick recap: The Elephant started school (and he LOVES it) hubby was traveling then capped off the month with a 4 day bachelor party in the woods with his Alaskan buddies (BTW more on this later) and little ‘ol me left to her own devices…..hehehehe!  To say the least I am happy to see September go and welcome October, (and what little Fall season LA can provide) with open arms.

I WOULDA never let The Owl play with my iphone if I knew that she thought it was trash.  My sweet little Owl loves to play with my phone because it talks to her, plays music and has all sorts of kid friendly apps like pinterest, open table and KCRW. The phone is kinda like her best friend, you don’t throw your best friend into the trash?! You see, she has this new habit of throwing just about anything within reach into the trashcan.  I found the following just before sitting down to write: plates, cups, pacifiers oh yeah and my flippin IPHONE.  Luckily, I found it.  No harm done except her best friend has dumped her for a much older woman (me).

You’re doing great, hang in there the whining is almost over.  All the time that COULDA been spent working on a holiday production for Squeeky Knees has gone into, well what you see above.  But that is okay.  That is why today, Motherhood Monday is dedicated to what it means to be a mother.  Things rarely go the way you plan, some get thrown out (literally in my case) but lo and behold the work and time for it is still there.  It feels so good to sit, write and look back on what I thought was so important or intense and laugh….yep thank God for Motherhood Mondays.

Glad to be back!  Fill me in on some of your stories….Image


Labor of Love

This past Labor Day was chill.  We stayed close to home, blew up the big pool BBQ’d and spent the long weekend doing our favorite things.  I went to TWO spinning classes, Ivan to capoeira and we all went to the last Latin sounds at LACMA.   My family loves to eat and I am finally getting back to the place where I am enjoying cooking new things.  For the past three years I’ve been up to my ears in baby food, milk and mushy salt-free meals that really none of us enjoyed.  Now the kiddos are eating what/how we eat and are really testing their palates.  I take a lot of pride in the fact that my owl and elephant are superb eaters, they will try almost anything and often enjoy it.  (I’m still working on kale though, cant seem to make that happen) This weekend was no exception.  We had a smorgasborg of grilled salmon, ahi, shrimp, chicken and (for my hubby) steak.  Corn, asparagus and grilled fruit rounded out the carnivorous feast but I ALWAYS need a salad.  I decided to put my skills to the test and try making two different versions of the standard caprese.  Not only was it delicious, I barely got any!  Ivan and the kiddos practically inhaled them before I sat down….check it out below and tell me what you think.

Fresh produce from our local farmers market. I LOVE heirloom tomato and fig season! The tomatoes are as sweet as

So pretty! Sliced heirlooms (green yellow and red) and fresh mozzarella

The finished salad! So simple and equally delicious.
Tomato, fresh mozzarella, chopped basil, salt pepper, drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste. Voila…..

This version was a hit for the kids! E actually said “Can I have more dessert mommy?” Refering to this salad!!! I died….Ok this time it’s fresh figs, mozzerella, basil, drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The figs are soooo sweet and the balance of cheese and vinegar is divine!

The boys grubbin!

The end! Please share your favorite recipies :)

Throwback Tuesday

I have always known that I shoulda been born in a more “delicate” era.  I am seduced by melancholia, charm and quiet.  I appreciate the “role” of what a woman means to a man (panties on ladies, I know who I am..) The seduction of feminine wiles..wilds? (which is it?) appeals to me, yet I know not how to “own it”.  I look to my Grandma Cookie who has it all….. quick wit, beauty and the quintessential matriarch she is my hero, sees and knows all with a beauty my generation can only hope to understand.  Okay, enough of this  seriousness… Yes, I love nostalgia the idea that the past is a forgotten golden era, but I happen to love the present.  The fact that we are who we are and to hell with nay sayers is liberating and allows me to sit here typing my thoughts….BUT here are a few of my favorite nostalgic phrases that I just find completely and utterly charming and wish we could bring back…

I was out with my pals in downtown LA on my birthday and “ear hustled  ” the end of a conversation between two gentleman:
“Stay up brother” was how they parted….I almost cried…
While watching “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” someone said is he “On the Level?”  I love that!

Do you have any old timey sayings you wanna bring back?  I would love to know……..

Weekend Warriors

I am a city girl through and through, my husband is from Alaska, aka the last frontier.  In this respect we are oil and vinegar.  I thrive in a city and am happy to have a variety of cultural events to pick from and attend every weekend.  Ivan craves sleeping on the ground under the stars without many people and little to no noise. (kinda my worst nightmare)  What does connect our two upbringings is the fact that we want our kids to have the best of both worlds, the diversity and culture of the city and the untapped beauty of the wild.  This past weekend we packed up and headed out for some fresh air and fun in the sun….Camping!!!! It was E’s first time camping out under the stars (we left Viv at home with grandma) and we had the best time.  We spent the day at the beach, then hiked into the woods for some family love, laughs, and SMORES!!!!  I would highly recommend getting outta town and into nature to my fellow city dwellers.  Rest assured, the city will be there upon your return, with a hot shower waiting.

Elijah as Spiderman. He couldn’t resist the climb, on our hike down to tressels beach.

Me and my beautiful boy

Campfire conversation with our besties

Yummm smores! Ivan and I are “foodies” We elevated our smores using a black salt and caramel chocolate bar


My mountain man making a hot dog roasting stick from a real tree branch!!! I love me an Alaskan!!

Look what I did mama!!

The September Issue(s)

The issue(s) that I have with the revered ‘September Issue’ of my favorite fashion mag’s are not how flippin heavy they are (and some are pushing 5 pounds) but that it seems as though I’m seeing the same thing over and over.  I mean, I subscribe to very different magazines for a reason.  I have the edgy, I would never wear this but it looks cool on the model,  the new looks that look good on everyone, and even the fashion bible magazine subscription.  You know which one ;)  I love them all but I’m telling you the first 75 to 100  pages of each one is identical.  So what is the point?  Sheesh….ok, thanks for indulging me in my rant.  Now on to the fun stuff…..

I’m obsessed with the following for Fall:

Gloves. From wrist to opera length, dark to fuchsia, or leather to well…. just leather  I am dying to get some.  Trouble is, I live in LA and it’s never cold so it’s either gloves with a tank and jeans (ummm no!) or travel time (YES!)

This satisfies me like a meal….is that weird?

I could rule the world wearing these gloves….or maybe just my hubby ;)

I tried on the fiercest fuchsia wrist gloves in NYC…kicking myself for not picking them up….

I have tons more to share. Right now I’m drooling over (and plotting to get) a ‘evil eye’ ring by Aaron Basha.  

Let me know if you have any September Issue Issues!

Let them eat cake!

Have you ever met someone who doesn’t love a cake?  Well look no further, I am one of the rare cases that can do without ‘le dessert’.  I know, what is wrong with me?!  I prefer the taste of savory over sweet and tart over chocolate.  My kiddo’s did not get this gene, especially Elijah who loves sweet, chocolate desserts. He has been talking about making his dad a cake for as long as I can remember,  yesterday he got his chance.  It was my hubby’s birthday and we did just that, made our first birthday cake together.  We did compromise, instead of the ooey gooey chocolate cake he wanted we made Lemon Pound Cake Layered With Fresh Berries and Vanilla Whipped Cream.  Even I can stomach this decadent dessert, in fact I’m eating a large slice while writing….yummmm!

If you would like to make this cake yourself, see the recipe below our photos!

My Elephant! He gathered all of the ingredients and lined them along the dining room table……

The whipping of the cream! Thank goodness for modern technology, imagine whipping by hand!?! Nothing tastes that good……

Still whipping…..

Le finished product. The cake was a hit…light, fresh and slightly tart! The perfect dessert.

My Owl all dressed up for her daddy

Click here for the recipe.  Enjoy and save a slice for me! :)

Squeeky (Knees) Sunday

My little owl is getting so big!  Time really does fly (though the day to day feels like eternity, what is that?!) and my Vivienne is trying to walk.  At 15 months we thought this day would never come  but low and behold she is (literally) like Frankenstein’s monster charging through the house before falling.  We have been burning the midnight oil filming her in Squeeky Knees before she refuses to crawl, and found that she REALLY likes to use them as a musical instrument.  Now my son want s to put his jeans back on so they can have a hoedown!  I’ll film that soon, but for now check her out doing a little diddy with her daddy.  If you like what you see and are looking for a gift or something for your little one stop by our website, Squeeky Knees.  You can save 10% by typing in:  the owl and the elephant

96* in tha sha-ya-yade!!  I mean the kind of hot where you sweat while standing, flies stick to you and the shade offers no refuge.  The owl and elephant don’t seem to be affected by the heat at all, which means Ivan (my husband) and I have to pull something together……QUICKLY!!  Before the kiddos, we would go poach a pool in some swanky hotel and lounge while sipping slushy cocktails….. ahhh memories. :)  Today we are blowing up the (rather large) kiddie pool while knee deep in sunscreen, sun hats and floaties.  We sip on juice boxes, plug in the ipod, spark up the grill and (hopefully) make it a backyard bar-b-que boogie!  I wouldn’t have it any other way :)