Wednesday, June 30, 2010

little junebugs

and then there is just the essence of summer....i am drinking in summer like a thristy toddler sipping water from the hose or the kid trying to catch the drops of water on their tongue from the sprinkler. it's refreshing. it's calming. i don't know whether i am in a new place this summer and am able to enjoy more or if this summer simply has more to offer. obviously hudson is at a totally different stage....he is a walking/running mobile this year and ava is at a totally different stage as well with her miss independent, i can play mama stage.
it is such a virbant world out there....i'm finding myself ..... happy. my kids are a rich blessing making me so entirely happy.

in summer, we make lists. we make lists of all the things we want to do or plan on doing....not that we actually do everything .....but the talking and process of writing a list is exciting. just like talking about the vacation i dream of. envisioning islands that seem so far away where there are colors and sunshine and clouds that stand out against vibrant skies so amazingly, just talking about it makes me crazy.

so, now that june is ending, paul and i did one of our dreamy let's do more chit chats.....let's have more barbecues. let's chase fireflies at night and watch the stars come out. let's make lemon-lime mojitos with friends while the kids dance around the yard playing hide and seek. let's take the kids on a duck ride have to live in wisconsin to get this one....

i can feel it. that peek of childhood wonder that brews within and gets stirred up now and then to release a storm of happiness. Like the waves of the ocean swirling, rising and crashing awakening an adventurous spirit.
that's what summer does. frees me. inspires me. to relive childhood happinesses and somehow strive to create some magical land of never-ending happy days and colorful memories for my kids.

so, the list goes on.

spend the day with friends at the lake...Check.

blow bubbles in the summer heat and throw water balloons....maybe a giant one...

visit the beach often and watch my summer sprites take on the waves and sand.

let's go mini-golfing.

splash in the puddles with my children. check.


dance in the rain. check.

catch this kid. he is out that door as fast as can be. give him lots of hugs and kisses. check.

play outside. color outside. have picnics in the shade. everything is better when you are outdoors. check.

make an after dinner trip to get ice cream in our pajamas. why not.

"the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely, aware." henry miller

i am living my happies. to sidle up next to little bodies and kiss tiny feet, hold tiny fingers, wisp away blonde curls from sun-drenched checks and tell stories of summer adventures. like barbecues. and trips to the beach and diving into pool waters for late night swims.

so far, we have had one delicious june. and i'm loving my little junebugs.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

the randomness and fullness of june

june is such a random month and there is so much to do. or maybe because it is the first month of summer and summer flies by, you feel as if there is so much to do because you want to fit it all in. these are some of the happenings around here this june and just some happy thoughts to end another great month.

first, i need to start with this photo. in the land of mommydom, our meals almost always arrive in a split second and come piping hot. hudson is now officially ready for his next birthday. he can blow a fierce wind. watch out candles, you do not stand a chance!

check out how sly and smooth this guy is. he ever so charmingly goes in for the kill.
there are lots of festivals and parades to attend. horses to ride. planes to fly. burgers to eat. i absolutely love the ferris wheel. we even rode one after our wedding while still in my dress.

watching the stars come out!
my girl, the racecar driver. she had a blast in last place. she loves to race us at home but, in public she seemed a little shy. still made the frontpage of the paper and won a brand new bike.

strawberries in june. i think i may have had my fill for the moment. hudson still needs his berry fix. everyday we search the bushes for more.  
the lake and good friends. who could ask for anything more. well, let's add suncreen and bug spray.

sand in all places. just a reminder of a day well-spent at the beach.
 june is also all about weddings. happy anniversary, honey. i love you more each day and only wish that we had more moments together.
june really is a happy month. it is full of popsicles, sprinklers, suncreen, boo-boos, kisses, naked bums and toes, and laundry (piles and piles....again evidence of a day well-spent).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

my mayi

i would like you to meet mayi. she is the owner and creator of mayi carles. this is her story.
What kind of house do you live in, are you happy there?

I live and work in Panama (not as in Panama City, Florida, but as in Panama City, Republic of Panama) a very beautiful, sunny and tiny country in Central America. My studio, which is also my home sweet home, is located right next to my parent’s, in front of my grandmother’s and diagonal to my aunt and uncle’s house. So, as you can probably imagine, my work is greatly influenced by the very loving and supportive family I have. And as you could also guess, I am the happiest when I am close to home with the ones I love the most.

Where do you look for inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?

Everywhere. I find inspiration in the colors of my back yard, in the sound of the waves breaking, in running in the rain, in blasting my ipod speakers to my favorite tunes. But I also find inspirations in people, other artists that I admire and respect and in the web. Some of my favorite places to visit are Etsy, Paper N’ Stitch, Décor8, Design Sponge, Imaginative Bloom, Modish and Bloesem.
What do you like to spend your time on?

I love spending time in my studio. You see, I have a very serious creating addiction. And to top that, I’m an irreparable workaholic too. I create all the time, including weekends and completely love what I do. Making is not my work, this is my passion, and it makes me so so really happy. I also love spending time with family and eating the delicious food my grandmother makes. But what makes me the happiest of all is being with David (my boyfriend).

What are your favorite items in your house?
I love antiques and have started collecting vintage typewriters, phones and keys. These are my new favorite items in my house.
How would you describe your work?
My work is not about aesthetic games, nor is it only about color or shape; it is about an obsessive search journey to reconcile the inner child I have within (free spirited, passionate, naïve, super creative and curious beyond belief), with the adult I have become (expect in technique, dense knowledge about art, but full of biases, dogmas and emotional baggage). In this sense, my work is about the inner tensions and playful struggles we have within. The outcome is a beautifully orchestrated body of work that brings harmony and balance between my child and grown up dialectic.
How long have you been pursuing work as an artist?

I was 2 years old in 1984, the year my parents framed my very first crayon doodle, which still hands in my mom and dad's bedroom in its flashy gold frame. So you can say I’ve been making art even since I could. Now, I have a few career diplomas under my belt to decorate my studio wall and other fancy stuff. I studied Art in Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy; received a dual Bachelor degree in Communication Studies and Art Theory and Practice, with a minor in Art History from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; and a Masters in Art in Visual and Critical Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois. My exhibition curriculum includes individual shows and artists collectives in both Illinois and Panama. In 2009, I published my first book self titled, Mayi - a quirky autobiography. In January 2010, I was invited to join the Board of Director of the Bio Museum, designed by Frank Gehry and curated by Bruce Mau. In February, I quit my job to become a full time artist and one month later I opened an eco-friendly Etsy boutique. Today, my passion for creating and love for making is as present and prominent as it was at age 2, when I did that first doodle.
Links to Make Note of:

personal website –

Saturday, June 19, 2010

i am so honored... contemplate, to ponder, to mull things over in one's mind

ruminations opened today featuring so many great artists in my small town.  everyone from baby on up was there for opening night. we even helped weave our own cow out of recycled materials. i am so thankful to be a part of this show and to have met so many new wonderful people. it blew my expectations out of the water.  
i am also amazed at how much i don't know about my small town. there is so much to discover and so much to do with my children not just the things that i remember enjoying as a kid...that is a list to ponder.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

it's a cow, it's a farmer, it's super boy!

on the ride home from the dairy breakfast, my daughter turned to me and said 'he's my superboy. he'll hold my hand.'

seriously, mom! how does this work! 

i'll take good care of her. let's take her home.

we had a great time down on the farm. the end.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

ultimate playbook

graduation is over and summer has started. here is a list of free or almost free activities to keep your kids busy and happy during these short months. yes, they really do fly by!

1. sign up for your library's summer program. right now ours is offering {beach tuesdays}, you can lay out your blanket, have a snack, and read a book all while soaking in some good words. most local bookstores host story hours as well.

2. rock it out at the rec center. our community offers tons of activities for those balls of energy roaming your house and most are free or low-cost. anything from swimming to day camps, soccer, music, arts and crafts, etc. national recreation and park association website.

3. play at an indoor park. some days are just too hot to be outside yet, it is still nice to get away from home. smaland at IKEA offers up to 90 minutes of parent-free fun for little citizens. also consider the bowling alley{check out to register for a pass}, indoor waterparks {can be pricey but, if they are not too crowded they are well worth it}, indoor courts, or a bouncy world.

4. let's get physical. i am not talking you and your hubby, although.......for the kids, try building a backyard obstacle course complete with sprinkler water challenges, hula hoops, jump ropes.

5. organize a neighborhood game night. get the whole street involved and pick one house, one evening a week or month to converge at. try moms and sons versus dads and daughters and play games like softball, kickball, capture the flag.  go to for rules to lots of sports.

6. say thanks to your local heroes!! make sure they know you appreciate them by stopping by the fire station with some homebaked goodies and take a tour.  who knows, you might even get to sit in the driver's seat of the fire truck. woot! woot!

7. view a free movie on the big screen. lots of theaters offer a free family film festival each summer. check out or for details.

8. do the wave and take them out to a doesn't have to be under the dome or at wrigley field. check out the action in the minors or even little league. bring your pom-poms and root for the home team. our little league teams play right next to the park. you can bring a blanket and bag of popcorn and run between the game and the swings.

9. throw an unbirthday party. make it a big deal just like the real thing. send out invites and blow up the balloons. roast some hot dogs and make smores in the backyard while playing flashlight tag.

10. check out your local craft store to see if they offer classes. sometimes the library has these as well or a local art exhibit hall.

11. mix up some playdough you can find the recipe here. or try a bowl of oobleck....strange word for a strange substance....mix one cup water in a large mixing bowl with a few drops of food coloring and then slowly stir in two cups of cornstarch.

12. take a tour of your hometown. check out to information and trivia about your piece of the world.

113. step into history or the future or a kid's world by making it a museum day. for the first full weekend of every month some 120 museum's offer free admission if you show your bank of america card. visit for info. if you don't have a card check out the museum's website and look for family day discounts.

22. let's get cooking. take some time to look through a cookbook and come up with a menu that you can create together or if the kids are a little older by themselves. go shopping together, prep, and cook the meal, set the table in style complete with printed menus and enjoy! bon appetite!

23. volunteer....i wish i did more of this. will give you the scoop on plenty of ways to keep the kids busy and help you teach compassion and responsibility all while paying it forward and giving back to the community.

24. get hooked on fishing.

25. decorate the bikes and put the kids on the block on parade. parents line the sidewalk and appauld as they cruise up and down in their tricked out bikes. make it even more interesting by stashing watersquirters for the parents to help cool down those hot kids.

26. showcases everything from pony rides to farm tours in your state.

27. check out your favorite blogs and the internet for some great crafts. such as the crafty crow

28.  venture out into the wild. there are lots of acres of public lands for you to explore, hike through, swim in.  don't forget your bug spray and suncreen, binoculars and boots. also bring a notebook to draw and record some of the new species you discover.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

bloom where you stand

there is just something about these giant blooms that come in every shade of pink and that create a smell that perfumes the whole backyard. i am just crazy in love with them.

Monday, June 7, 2010

love sweet love

i love to bake. i love to eat strawberries {straight from the garden}. my mom recently brought home a basketful from the amish greenhouse and they were absolutely perfect on shortcakes. i love this recipe. i even requested it as the dessert for our rehearsal dinner after which we commenced with the waterfights and fireworks. i love that my mom made this recipe for me and now i can do the same for my kids.

strawberry shortcake
2 cups flour
3/4 milk and sour cream mixture
1/3 cup butter melted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
mix ingredients, form into 6 balls and place in a baking dish. bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
sliced strawberries and whipped cream for toppings {i also like to add a little milk when it is served}

Friday, June 4, 2010

colour my world

look at these awesome rainbow cookies from the cookie blog. another way cool site i recently found is belinda moon's blog and i am so in love with her everyday creativity. she offered up her playdough recipe to me and my kids wanted all the colours of the rainbow as well. i hope you will try this in your home. i am now on the hunt to find alphabet cookie cutters....a great homeschool activity, don't you think?

2 cups plain flour
4 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup salt
2 cups of water
mix in a saucepan until congeals and is hard to stir. you can add food colouring during cooking or make it plain and then mix it in by kneading with your hands.

photo from moonmum

here's hoping you have a sunny weekend full of bright cheery colours.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

june love

yea! the unofficial start of summer is here. i will be forever in flip flops, sunscreen that smells of the islands, and sunglasses! somewhere on me i will probably also have remnents of where one has placed their sticky ice cream fingers. ahhhh, i do love summer.

june to me also means time to celebrate dad and weddings galore: ours, my parents, grandparents, and about 6 couple friends or more.

for father's day the goal will be about spending time together as a family. what to get my wonderful hubby? i ask a lot of him so i am offering him coupons for the things that matter---a day of golf (without me nagging about when he will finish his round and come home), a husband and wife date night (note i say husband and wife not mom and dad), a family day trip to somewhere HE enjoys, and a no nagging coupon from me valid for a one time use, and a framed photo from the past year.

check out these other great finds for summer loving.

recess monkey cd you'll dig what sounds like everything from classic rock to grunge influences.
golden dove ring bearer bowl the paloma’s nest ceramic dove design has been updated to become your cherished ring bearer bowl™- and given the lavish touch of pure gold leaf on the edge.
vintage hair elastics i am in love with this shop. perhaps with a few of these in our home my daughter would be more willing to let me brush her hair.
silk letter pillow this just has a little something extra to make it special.
girly wall stickers they are made of fabric, completely reuseable and washable!!!

dates to celebrate this month

National Candy Month
Potty Training Awareness Month

6/1 National Step-Parents Week
6/1 Oscar the Grouch's Birthday
6/5 National Donut Day
6/6 National Yo-Yo Day
6/10 Judy Garland's Birthday
6/14 Anniversary of the Caldecott Medal
6/16 Fudge Day
6/20 Father's Day
6/21 Summer Solstice
6/26 our 6th  anniversary
6/27 Captain Kangaroo's Birthday

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