Archive for Holidays

Jam Sandwich

Happy V-day!

Ashland made this for me at school. “I love you because you give me jam sandwiches” …Jam Sandwiches?? Of all things! So I just wanted to clarify to the world in general that I also make Chicken & Dumpling soup [his favorite, or so I thought!] from scratch (takes 3+ hours) pretty much every week. And less frequently but also pizza, made from homemade dough. And we take him on many amazing adventures. And we recently bought him wii u!! But nope, he loves me for jam sandwiches.

Here’s all the candies I confiscated from kids’ valentine loot from school. Sheesh, it’s worse than halloween. They already ate a few before I had the chance to grab the rest. I told them they can have ONE tomorrow, maybe.


Speaking of silly kids, Lucian said the funniest thing the other day it still makes me laugh. He said:

“But Mama, dragons have no lips!”

I had to think about it for a second, but he’s totally right, Dragons have no lips. I never thought of it that way. But since he uttered those words I keep seeing lipless dragon faces in my mind’s eye and makes me laugh during the day and creeps me out in the dark at night. Seriously this kid, he is full of hilariously senseless truisms.

Merry Cookie Day

Despite their parents’ lack of enthusiasm for  holidays in general, kids LOVE all of it. I have no idea how that happened. Kids unanimously wanted reindeers on our front lawn, I drew a very firm line there. I helped them bake cookies and they decorated them. Merry Cookie Day! …says Immi.


Anyhow, I’m wishing you all warm and cozy longest nights of the year!


Ashland drew this picture, I love how cheerful it is.


Princess, Knight and Ninja

Happy Halloween!



Immi had so much fun handing out candies!


Little Valentine Date

…With my Immi! I never cared much for this holiday but Immi loves it for all the cards she gets to make for her friends, hearts, and candies, color pink, and everything nice.


Cinderella, Knight and Ashland

Happy Halloween!

Even though it’s kids’ favorite holiday, I almost decided on skipping the whole Halloween thing because [1] kids have been sick for past 2 weeks (finally starting to feel better) [2] I have been feeling kinda ill too [3] we are super super busy with work [4] we have many other things we are working on that’s keeping my mind preoccupied beyond capacity. But I felt too guilty about not doing anything. …So, Immi picked Cinderella outfit (I vetoed Immi’s first choice, princess Tiana costume, due to exceedingly poor construction) and Lucian is my little knight in polyester armor. For Ashland, matching knight costume and ninja outfit from last year were offered, but he said that he wanted to be “Ashland” because he is not a knight, nor a ninja, but an Ashland — he requested his favorite hat instead. I’m often amused by Ashland’s philosophical/poetic way of being.




Valentine Cookies

Made some cookies.


Immi came home with all these from school!


Happy New Year!

Last thing I made in 2011, is a rice krispies treats (made with all natural marshmallows, not jet puffs)! We haven’t made this in forever because Wholefoods don’t have rice cereal that are similar enough to Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, and Trader Joe’s don’t have natural marshmallows. This means that it requires nothing short of divine miracle for the two necessary ingredients to ever meet in our kitchen.


Todd has been obsessed with little sandwiches made with freshly baked dinner rolls. Luckily for both of us, I really like making little breads.


First bread of 2012! It turned out nicely, I’ll take it as auspicious sign for the new year 😀

…And what you don’t see is the batch I screwed up few days ago (first bread FAIL since the first try!). I think that it had to do with overly happy yeast which pouffed up the bread uncontrollably in the oven making it look scary, AND I forgot to set a timer, so it was completely under cooked.

And reflection on 2011?? Well, part of it, I’m sure glad is over. The not-so-fun bits started moving along once we met the right lawyer, a business accountant, and health insurance broker (when did our life get so complicated?). So much paper work and frustrating process! Doing things the “right way” takes a lot of time and effort. But a lot of 2011 was wonderful. Living in Portland. Learning new things like baking and practicing hand-sewing. Contemplating and working towards life we want to live it, and remembering to enjoy the process. And Lucian. I know he was born at the end of 2010 technically, but with him, our not-so-little-anymore family feels complete. I think that Immi, Ashland and Lucian enjoy each others’ company a whole lot and from my perspective, balances each other out. There wasn’t a day in 2011 that I didn’t have something to smile or laugh about. …So with that, 2012, here we come! My new year resolution? Same as every year — work hard, play a lot, eat well, stay healthy, enjoy life. Addition of “sleep more” would be nice, but that’s a wish, not a resolution…


Sticky Pecan Buns

I have always wanted to be able to make sticky buns or cinnamon rolls or such like, but never thought I could do it. I finally had the courage (It uses up a lot of butter and eggs, potentially messy!) to try it. ….And by amazing luck, it totally worked! I thought it would be difficult to roll out the dough to make the swirl, but as it turns out, dough enriched with butter is easy and fun to handle. This is right before it went in the oven.

And this is about to be eaten.

We are spending the holiday hanging out at home and making and eating yummy treats. Relaxing for a bit for change!

Pumpkins and the Princess

Monday is such a silly day for Halloween so we celebrated it on Saturday. Serendipitously, we were blessed with beautiful weather! We had no real plans for the day, but since we got up and about too late to go to the market, we headed out to Sauvie Island to seek out a pumpkin patch. There are many pumpkin patches here, we drove passed by two really big ones when we found this most beautiful one ever.

Immi loves pumpkins, I have no idea why, but she really does. I didn’t make her princess dress, but I did whip up her tiara to match the wand I made for Immi some time ago. I almost contemplated buying a mass produced made in china plastic and probably toxic crap of a toy tiara but made this instead. My goal (aside from refusing to pay for worthless item, keeping one more item out of landfill etc. etc.) was for durability and comfort. I doodled the design, glittered a fabric using non-toxic water resistant glue, stitched it onto wool felt,  added elastic band and attached a salvaged heart-shaped red rhinestone.



It’s 2 weeks late but… Happy New Year! This site is back up (Sparklandia is going to take just a bit longer) and I’m glad to say that migration of our digital homes have been a bit tedious but Todd and I are glad for having had the opportunity to clean up the digital clutter that we’ve created over the years!

It’s been chilly and drizzly out so we’ve been staying in a lot with fire in our fireplace. Kids don’t seem to mind it though. Immi’s been painting a lot.

And we’ve set up a little art space for Ashland. He loves crayons! We got rid of huge container full of assorted crappy crayons and got a small set of really nice non-toxic (sans paper wrappers!) big triangular crayons. We’ve all been much happier for it. We thrifted the metal bowl for the crayons — it’s solid cast aluminium which makes it perfect for the purpose (light weight but unbreakable!).

As for end of 2010 activities…we made trail mix!

…and had totally fabulous pumpkin tart.

…Winter Faeries (that would be Todd and I) came while kids were sleeping and got rid of all the crappy toys and replaced them with just a few nice (environmentally mindful, durable and safe) ones.

…and I watched Lucian get bigger and bigger by the minute.