Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Do Your Friends Know the Real You?

What would the world be without friends? Where would Eeyore be without Pooh or Tigger without Rabbit?

Over the past week or two I have been going through some pretty tough times. Probably some of the toughest and most trying times I have gone through as a mother in a long time. I was at a loss for words and didn't know where to turn.

Photo courtesy of Disney

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Even a Child Can Make a Difference

After watching the news with me this morning and seeing footage of the East Coast, Dylan said I wish we could help those people Mom. I told him that it's hard to help people when a natural disaster occurs because we really have no control over it. I told him that unlike earthquakes, Hurricane Irene gives a warning. We can track the progress and estimate where the hurricane will hit. This gives people some time to evacuate and get to safer ground.

What came out of his mouth next practically put me in tears. He asked what would happen to all of their food and clothes that they couldn't take with them ... what about their new backpacks for school?

Remember, Dylan is only 8 years old.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fill In The Blank Friday

Simplicity is Good Sometimes

  1. One of life's most simple pleasures is ... my morning cup of coffee.
  2. People talking on the phone or texting while driving makes me want to punch someone.
  3. I like dolphins because, they are always smiling.
  4. Humuhumunukunukuapua'a is a funny word. 
  5. If I had to choose one beauty product to use for the rest of eternity it would be Philosophy's Purity Made Simple.
  6. I'm happy that I can relax by the pool this weekend. 
  7. I would never intentionally cause harm to an animal.
Share your random thoughts in the comments below 
or over at the little things we do ...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Do You Live an Earth-friendly Lifestyle?

Recycling is the most common thing people do to help the environment. Many think that this is all they need to do and nothing else really matters. Well, have you ever thought about how you recycle your aluminum cans and plastic bottles? Most people grab a plastic bag and start filling it up. When the bag is full they head over to the recycling center and collect the money.

Well, that plastic bag is usually just thrown away. Plastic bags do not go away. Plastic bags end up polluting the ocean, harming marine life, and filling up our landfills. Think outside the box when you recycle your cans and bottles. All those reusable shopping bags you have ... I know I have at least 15 in my trunk and about 10 in my home. These reusable bags make a great way to collect your recyclables until you make a trip to the recycling center. Especially if you live in an apartment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Aquarium of the Pacific Visit and Giveaway!

Earlier this week Dylan and I were invited to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California as part of the aquariums first Mommy Blogger Event. The doors opened an hour early for this event and we were provided a lovely continental breakfast before touring the aquarium.

We had the opportunity to meet the staff, learn about some great programs and events offered, and best of all enjoy the aquarium before it opened to the public. Knowing how much we both love the ocean, I knew this was going to be another wonderful day. One sure to make memories for both of us. If you have a child who loves the ocean half as much as Dylan does, you need to make a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Any day he can touch an animal is a great day in his book!

Wordless Wednesday - Sea of Blue

Monday, August 22, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I have always loved gardens and the peace I feel when my hands touch the soil. I don't think of it as getting dirty because it's not dirt ... it's soil. A place where my plants will call home and flourish. Living in an apartment certainly has limitations when it comes to a garden, but after my recent visit to The Dragonfly Shops & Gardens the creative juices are flowing again.

Located in historic Old Town Orange, The Dragonfly Shops & Gardens is nestled away from the busy streets and shops. When you walk through the archway of this vintage 1920's house that has been converted into a retail store, you are instantly transported to a land of nymphs and fairies. I could have spent an hour just wondering through the front yard. Inside the house, you will wander through various rooms filled with unique treasures made by local artisans.

Can I just take this entire collection home?

Dylan and I had the opportunity to attend a class with OC Family and learn how to make our very own fairy garden in Dragonfly Hollow. Yes, I said fairy garden. What, you don't believe in fairies? How else do you think those little rocks get moved in your garden?

Dylan said he didn't want to get his hands dirty ... haha

Carefully placing the rocks

He refused to have fairy dust put in his garden because it was purple.

Ever try getting 7 kids to look at the camera?

Dylan's garden, complete with a pirate!

The kids had so much fun and I can't wait to go back so I can make a garden or two of my own in Dragonfly Hollow. Just look at all of the items you can choose from.

These are my favorites...

Dragonfly Hollow Fairy Garden classes ($10) are offered the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month at 10:00 am and Children's Fairy Garden classes ($20) are offered on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 9:00 am. Call 714-289-4689 to reserve your spot in the garden.

If you are in Orange County, you should definitely visit The Dragonfly Shops & Gardens ... I promise you won't leave empty handed or disappointed.

The ladies of Dragonfly Hollow were so nice and they even offered all of my readers a 20% discount just for mentioning Life with Dylan.

You can find The Dragonfly Shops & Gardens on Facebook and Twitter

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Take Time to Play in the Sprinklers

Ever feel like all you do is work, and then more work? Do you watch your children playing and laughing, longing to have the days of childhood back?

I had what seems like the longest week and realized that summer is almost over. I need to laugh and play with my son like I did when I was a child. Who says you can't be silly when your 41 years old?

Today we played in the sprinklers at the Post Office.

Not planned, just a totally random thing. We went to check the P.O. Box and he noticed that the sprinkler was broken and shooting water all over. I looked at him and said, "You're already in your swimsuit ..."

Today my son and I laughed.

Today we rocked out in the car to Taylor Swift on Radio Disney. Music blasting, windows down, singing our hearts out. She wears high heels, I wear sneakers, she's cheer captain, and I'm on the bleachers ...

Today we played.

Today I was a child.

And I loved every minute of it.

When was the last time you played in the sprinklers?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Fun Activities at The ENC

I recently had the pleasure of spending some time at The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) with Dylan and learned about some of the exciting events coming up this year.

You can read about some of the upcoming ENC activities in the article I wrote for the OC Moms over at the Orange County Register.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Delightful Raspberry Cupcakes

Remember that bridal shower I was planning for my sister?
The one with the beautiful Bridal Shower Invitations from Wedding Paper Divas.   
Well, her shower was last Saturday and the cupcakes were a huge hit!

Being that the theme was black and white with a splash of hot pink, I just had to make cupcakes that would stand out and be the center of attention.

So here goes ...

Vanilla cupcakes with a raspberry Chambord puree filling, vanilla bean buttercream frosting, topped with shaved organic white chocolate and a fresh raspberry. 
Now if that isn't a mouthful, I can promise you the cupcakes were! We even served them with a fork.

perfectly baked cupcakes ...

plus fresh raspberry puree ...

carefully inserted into the cupcakes ...

with shaved organic white chocolate ...

atop beautiful cupcake stands ...

Resulted in delightful raspberry cupcakes for all 25 guests at the bridal shower.

Wordless Wednesday - Content with Nature

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

LEGO Club Weekend at @LEGOLAND_CA

Another week, another visit to LEGOLAND, California! This time was extra special though because it was LEGO Club Weekend; which means lots of fun stuff, a special brick, and a scavenger hunt in Miniland USA for little green creatures, and what else ... LEGO's.

LEGO Club Weekends are a blast because you never know what is going to be in store for you when you walk through the entrance. The first thing we saw was a black and green table with a crowd of people around it. Better stop by ... here they were promoting LEGO Club Magazine (it's free ya know) and the LEGO Club Weekend Alien Conquest Scavenger Hunt. Even though Dylan already subscribes to the magazine, they still gave him a copy of the latest LEGO Club Magazine and a LEGO Club pin to wear.

Before hitting the scavenger hunt, we wanted to get our special LEGO Club Weekend Alien Conquest brick, so we headed over to the LEGO Club House located in Fun Town.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Snickerdoodles Recipe Swap

I don't know about you, but I love getting new recipes to try out.
I had the opportunity to work with Kyna over at Great Expectations this week as part of her Quick Recipe of the Week feature. Each Monday, Kyna features a guest blogger and the result is an amazing recipe swap!

Head over to Great Expections and get my Grandmothers recipe for delicious Snickerdoodles! Who knows, you may find some other recipes to try out like I did.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Vacation - Day 3 at @LEGOLAND_CA

Last day of summer vacation. So far two days and two parks ... can we make it three parks in three days?

Of course we can ... how could we drive right past one of Dylan's favorite places and not stop?

Besides animals, my son is addicted to all things LEGO ... and his face lights up every time we visit LEGOLAND California!

First stop, The Studio Store, to see what new STAR WARS items might be available. He didn't even make it into the store before he spotted something he wanted. I foresee a very clean room in his future to earn enough money to buy this one!

However, he did have enough money to buy a coveted Lego Minifigure. Of course, we had to open it right away to see which one it was.

Home Cookin' Made Easy

I have been spending some lazy days by the pool and trying to catch up on my magazine reading over the summer. I recently read a poll in an issue of Redbook Magazine and was a little shocked at the results.

The poll asked How many nights a week do you cook a meal from scratch?

Photobucket Image courtesy of mareesme

The results were as follows:

  • 6 or 7 nights - 10%
  • 4 or 5 nights - 44%
  • 1 to 3 nights - 20%
  • Never - 26%

Am  I the only one shocked by this? I realize that schedules can be hectic and so many options are available to make cooking a convenience, but what happened to the Joy of Cooking? (no pun intended) I'm not saying that every night you need to make homemade biscuits and soup or a four-course meal, but does everything we serve our family need to be pre-packaged?

Salad in a bag, spaghetti sauce in a jar, frozen lasagna, pizza delivery, and the list goes on. 

Take the time to cook with your family and make cooking fun. It doesn't take much time and it's easy!

Grate the cheese from a block of cheddar. Chop the lettuce from a full head of lettuce. Cook the chicken and shred it in a pan with some seasonings or taco sauce. Place all the fixings for some wonderful tacos on a sectioned platter and you have a home cooked meal that was easy to make.

This entire meal only took me 30 minutes to make! Each person got to pick what they wanted on their taco and because we prepared the ingredients and cooked dinner together (rather than buy it pre-made) dinner became fun. I knew exactly what I was feeding my child ... No hidden ingredients that I couldn't pronounce.

How many nights do you cook from scratch?