Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Games people play

My younger sister did a marvelous blog post on playing games and because I lack creativity this a.m. I'm blatantly copying her idea.

As my sister wrote, our family LOVED to play games. Even my dad could be counted on for a quick game of gin rummy or other card game. My grandmother taught us canasta. We played Kaluki, a Jamaican card game, for hours and hours. I love outside games like tag, hide & seek, 7-Up, freeze tag, etc. I love card games and board games and kid games. Games can teach you so many things: fairness, the benefits of friendly competition, how to be a good loser, how to be a gracious winner, strategy, how to follow rules, and most of all, the joy of working things out. My sister remembers my mom playing with her and my younger siblings, but I remember mostly playing with my brother and older cousins. I'm pretty sure my mom was too busy WITH my sister and younger siblings to play much with us -- but we're much older.

Now that I'm a mom, I've made an effort to play games with my kids as much as I can. They are both very good at them, even Anders at not-quite-three is great at taking turns. Here are some of the games we all like to play together:

1) Cariboo
2) Ker-plunk
3) Hi-Ho Cherry-O
4) Candy Land
5) Hide & Seek
6) 20 Questions
7) Go Fish

Here are the ones Dagny and I like to play:

1) Othello
2) Ziggity
3) Qwirkle
4) Mastermind
5) Sorry!
6) Uno

Here are my favorites:

1) Scrabble
2) Upwords
3) Masterpiece (does ANYONE else remember this game? It was all about famous artworks.)
4) Jenga
5) Monopoly
6) Gin, rummy, canasta, etc.
7) Connect 4
8) Battleship

What's your favorite?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer vacation - week 3

Whew! It's playdatepalooza this week. Nice to get the kids out of the house and take a break from the usual cycle of play-fight-mope. It must be the boy-girl thing. Or the age difference thing. But man I'm sick of the bickering! And normally when they do that we go to the park or beach or go play outside. But in this weather? Notsomuch. It's way too hot and steamy out. Really, the only comfortable time to play outside is in the evening after dinner.

To help beat the heat here are my Top 10 Summertime Goodies:

1) Sephora Mineral Double Compact - stays put, beautiful buildable coverage, way less messy than Bare Escentuals

2) Nivea Lip Balms - not sticky, no waxy buildup, leaves your lips so soft

3) Burt's Bees Day Lotion SPF 15 - the ONLY SPF moisturizer I've ever used that doesn't make me break out!

4) Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock - non-greasy, great SPF, moisturizing. Plus their spray-on system really covers the kids in an instant. (Image not available.)

5) Organix Coconut Milk Mousse - I am (was?) a die-hard Aveda user, but I recently took a leap of faith and picked up this non-aerosol mousse. And guess what? I LOVE it! It has about the same hold as Phomollient, but it smells 1000 times better and is about 1/4 the price of Aveda. Plus they're organic, free of nasty chemicals, and have cool eco-friendly packaging. I can't wait to use up my current bottle of Shampure so I can try their shampoo & conditioner. But how to choose between Coconut, Vanilla Silk, Mocha Espresso, Grapefruit-Mango Butter or Passionfruit Guava?

6) Izze Sparkling Juice - the first time I tried this it was in a can and I was NOT wowed. All I could taste was the can. We love flavored sparkling water here, so we tried mixing our own homemade juice with seltzer water but it just tasted like watery juice. But THEN I found Izze in bottles at our local overpriced natural foods store and gave it another try and now I am hooked. Delicious, no sugar, very fruity flavors and so refreshing on a hot day. Dagny LOVES the pomegranate flavor and requested it as a beverage choice for her birthday party.

7) Honest Kids juice pouches - super refreshing, not-too-sweet flavors, half the sugar of regular juice boxes and a nice alternative to water on hot days. Dags likes the Tropical Tango flavor; Anders goes for Goodness Grapeness.

8) Havaianas - boy am I late to THIS party. The whole world raves about these flip flops, but I just bought my first pair a week ago - the super cute elephant print below. They are already my favorite flip flops ever, which is saying something because that's about all I wear. Now if only I could pronounce Havaiana.

9) Moleskine planner - we had our first Girl Scout planning meeting for the 09-10 year this week and it gave me the chance to break in my new planner. Talk about easy to use! Plus I love having a section for each week to jot notes. I go through 2 or 3 journals a year, plus a planner so maybe I can consolidate all my thoughts in just one book this year. (And yes, I still calendar everything on paper. Since I don't have an iPhone or Blackberry I would be lost if I couldn't tote my calendar with me.)

10) Angela Moore bracelets - pretty, colorful and fun for summer. Not too big and chunky or too small and delicate. Plus they match all my polo/capri/madras outfiits.

And finally a bonus SPLURGE item:

Kate Spade Penelope polarized sunglasses - aren't they cool? Maybe I'll have some money leftover after paying for our new sod, new a/c ducts, tree trimming, tuition for two kids, uniforms and school supplies...

Monday, June 22, 2009


My wonderful iMac is showing its age. We've been having troubles turning it on and it will just randomly power off. And then you can't turn it on. It's like computer E.D. So we're taking it in to Apple this afternoon and hopefully they'll say it's really a minor $50 fix and I can get it back tomorrow and not a major $500 repair and it's really not worth it on such an old machine and how about going home with a nice shiny Airbook tonight?

Cause we just spent beaucoup bucks installing a brand-new sprinkler system and sodding the backyard. And I love my iMac.

See ya.


Friday, June 19, 2009


I was swimming at my sister's pool yesterday. It was much needed because before we even got there we were unbelievably hot and sweaty from doing nothing more than watering some potted plants and having lunch. It's too hot to breathe right now.

While we were getting ready to go to the pool, my sis shared with me one of her homemade treats (she's an excellent baker and cook!): a homemade marshmallow. A marshmallow which has forever altered my perception of marshmallows, and perhaps the known universe. Boring? Plain? Spongy? Sticky? NOT! It was none of those things, but instead so fluffy, lightly sweet and utterly addictive that I've been thinking about them ever since. Mine was actually half-dipped in bittersweet chocolate and it BLEW away any of those artisanal marshmallows they hawk at Williams-Sonoma. You know the ones that are about $1 a piece? Right. Never again! I am sorely tempted to make them, except it is just way too humid in the house right now. I'm afraid they'd never set up. My sis managed it because her place is much smaller and easier to control the temperature. But in the fall... when the weather is crisp and the kids are clamoring for hot cocoa every morning.... mmmm. Can't wait.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer, week 2

We are home from a wonderful trip to Sea World Orlando. The kids all had a blast, we saw all the big animal shows, we got DRENCHED by Shamu, it was a wonderful short weekend trip. None of the kids are big enough to ride roller coasters yet so unfortunately we couldn't go on the amazing Manta, but in a few years... . Not that I'd want to stand in line for over an HOUR to ride anything. The best part is now we have our Florida resident Fun Cards so we can go back as many times as we want until the end of the year. My preferred day would be a random Tuesday or Wednesday in July or September when it won't be as crowded as the first few weekends in June when everyone in the world is there.

So far this has been a great summer though. The kids are old enough to play with each other (instead of constantly needing Mommy) and we've been able to focus on doing some fun things with the house - finally! We're sodding and fixing up the backyard right now and then we'll be able to move on to some of the random rooms in our house that we haven't gotten around to yet.

I'm loving being home with the kids right now though!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shhh....it's a secret

Don't tell the kids but we're heading off for a weekend at Sea World Orlando in the morning. They are going to be so excited. Right now, though, they're on the verge of killing each other.

Summer vacation: one week down, nine to go.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Parenting dilemma no. 23001

What would you do if you found out that the parent in charge of driving your kid for a school field trip 1) gave the children in her car extra spending money to use at a gift shop during the field trip and 2) bought the children ice creams during the field trip despite the fact that the children had their OWN money to use and have no need for ice cream in the middle of the day. The rest of the class, to my knowledge, were not eating ice cream or begging money from their drivers.

It's curious to me. She has told me before she thinks her kids are "good kids" and has a hard time saying no to them, but I didn't think she'd go that far with someone else's kids.

Mountain or mole hill?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Don't you love it when someone has a birthday, but they want to give YOU a gift?

Head on over to Preppy Paper Girl to check out her birthday box giveaway!

On a side note, only TWO MORE DAYS of school! Yay! Ack!

I'm baking jam bars, scones and granola all day tomorrow for Dagny's teacher gifts. I love to make/bake homemade gifts, but when it comes down to crunch time like this I always wonder why I didn't just get them a gift card.