Monday, December 21, 2009

Hey Walt, More the Kool-Aid please

Our latest trip to the happiest place on earth has done nothing but increase my desire for (almost) all things Disney. We buzzed down last Wednesday to spend Hazel's 9th birthday. Secretly, I'm thankful that no one takes us up on our offer to tag along, because I go early, go hard and stay late. I'm like a sorority girl on a mission. I'm not leaving with out the mouse. To put it mildly, this trip I got lucky. Not only did we get picked to be Guest Performers in Tiana's Showboat Jubilee but we also managed to secure VIP seating for the opening night of California Adventure's electrical parade. For every minute since we left, I've had to bite my tongue to not start yapping about planning our next trip. My retirement plan now includes the possibility of becoming a Fairy Godmother cast member.

Here's the girls at the entrance. They're impressed, because this tree looking strikingly similar to the one in our living room.

We always ride Space Mountain first. Notice how no one else is in our car? That's because I open the park. Here we are at 7:03 am.

People are always leaving backpacks lying around, if you get lucky you might find one with a wallet full of cash -cause those little umbrellas will run you close to $20 each.

Here's the afore mentioned Tiana's Showboat Jubilee when we were mere spectators.

And here are the girls as the stars of the show. Hold all autographs please.

Hazel asked me if I thought she wore a wig.

Somebody is still trying to get out of the carpool lane. Should have worn high heels.

I tried to force the girls THREE times to ride the Maliboomer. The first time we left the line because someone had to go potty. After that, not once but TWICE the ride malfunctioned and required a restart. I took it as a sign that we shouldn't be shot 180 feet into the air.

Aunt Tracie drove 50 miles, which in LA can take you over three hours, to meet us for dinner, It's A Small World, Big Thunder Railroad, fireworks and the accompanying impromptu holiday snowstorm.

We ended the adventure by trying to capture an image worthy of I've got great kids, I need a better camera.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What To My Wondering Eyes

I'm a sucker for someone else's gift guide or product reviews. So thank you if you assembled one. I'm sure I checked it out and probably made a purchase. Here's a sneak peak at some of the things that are going to be under my tree.

For your parents:

Whirley Pop. We love this popcorn popper. I picked up mine at a garage sale. Then I used the company's lifetime warranty to replace the top after our extreme use. How awesome is that? I got a new top and only had pay the shipping. (Hush if you think this is bad form. I resulted in more sales. The goal of product manufactures the world over.) Popcorn has become our snack of choice and there is a difference using this pan v. the same one you boil pasta in. This year, both of Erik's parents will be getting their pop on. Hopefully, they'll enjoy it as much as we do. Oh, and I got Erik some fancy popcorn spice toppings for stocking stuffers from Sur La Table. I passed on the dill pickle flavor.

For your daughter, niece, friend- anyone celebrating a significant milestone.

No. 9 Necklace. Hazel Bean is turning 9 in a few days. I spied something similar at the Alameda boutique Modern Mouse, but they only had a 7. After being inspired to buy her a necklace commemorating her last year as a single digit, I found this one on Etsy and I love it. I hope she does too.

For people who are hard to buy for:

Your favorite photo printed on canvas. Look for this in Lonah's ultra modern and grey pallet stocking. We love this picture of the girls. It hangs as a photograph in our kitchen. After commenting on it at Thanksgiving, I decided to up the ante and get it printed on canvas for my mom. We're having the man with the Coke photoshopped out of hers. I think I'm going to love it so much I'll wish I'd bought 2. Take one of your favorite photos and have it printed on canvas. I guarantee it will be a real crowd pleaser.

For yankees and stylish sisters-in-law.

Erik's little sister lives in Vermont. She incredibly beautiful and fashionable and smart and kind. I really think she'll like this handmade cowl. I considered a hat, but I thought this was really unique and cool. I have reputation for hitting it out of the park with gifts for her, so lets hope I don't strike out. Britta, do you read my blog?

For fancy lady friends:

Another purchase that I was pointed to via Dooce's gift guides. These are Poetic Shoe Clips in Red. Or, they're cute little things that clip into shoes to take your outfit up a notch. Yesterday, Hazel was making fun of me because I occasionally point out the ease of assembly of some crafty items when we shop. She thinks my middle name should be "I Could Make That." The real humor, is the fact that yes I could, but I rarely do. Before I pushed purchase on this one, I thought there were probably little hair accessories that could double as shoe clips at a fraction of the cost and the words "I Could Make That" floated through my head. These are another present for Lonah. Kinda going out on a limb, but she was just saying she likes to add color to her wardrobe.

For little Monkeys:

Ugli Dolls and Paul Frank our very popular in our house. But we've reached a point where the collections have grown to a sizable mass and there's the chance of duplication. Lula has a single Sock Monkey stuffed animal that has become her go-to toy as of late. I was looking for something to help expand her collection by 50% and bam! found this cute little guy. That's right friends, I can fill in a search box like nobody's business. My cynical side, gives it a few weeks to fall into the lost or broken category. But seriously cu-ute!

For everyone who has an iPhone and people you might still be to be married to this time next year and me:

I quickly ordered multiples of this little gadget. One for me. One for Erik. One for ? Of course now I wish I'd scooped up a few more of the iPhone Backup Battery Pack. I can't tell you how many times I could have used an little extra charge on my phone this past year. It doesn't happen every day, but when you're traveling or out until the wee hours a little boost is a lifesaver. It's only a fifteen dollars and what I would have given to have access to maps, or my email or a good attorney my husband. Let's just cancel the appearance on Dr. Phil call a this what it is, The Marriage Saver.

Well there you have it? I could add a few more mundane items - but I need to work. What do you think? What are you excited to give this year?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'll have what he's having

I told you about how my husband (nearly) won The Biggest Loser competition at his office, remember? I was thinking about what he eats.

1) Apples. Morning, noon and night. (Breaburn, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Fuji). We move through apples. I've got the cores to prove it. I read somewhere - if you're not hungry enough to eat an apple, you're really not hungry. I believe this. I don't often follow it, but you have to admit it makes sense.

2) Yoplait Yogurt. The stuff with lots of flavors and very little calories. I put these in the girls' lunches and half the time they return uneaten. Almost every morning, I clean a few empty containers off the coffee table.

3) Fake meat. He started our with veggie burgers. To mix it up –we'd try a new brand. Wheeeee. Nowadays, we're partial to the Fantastic Foods brand of box mixes. We've got a stockpile of their Chili. It's a soy product and it's great. Quick. Healthy and yum.

Good grief. I'm boring.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Par for the course

As you can imagine, I've been following the Tiger Woods car accident with peaked interest. Erik plays quite a bit of golf, so I've had the pleasure of watching many a championship golf tournament where Mr. Woods did quite well over the years.

The other night, when the story was still in it's infancy, I attended a Christmas party. I made conversation with Erik's co-workers and I kept telling my Tiger joke to anyone who would listen.

My Tiger Woods Joke © by Vanessa

Me: Did you hear about Tiger Woods?
You: You mean the car accident?
You: Yeah, he had sex with a cocktail waitress?
You: You mean his affair?
Me: No, today he shot 7 under par.


I seriously thought this was hilarious.

The story continued to unfold, and it got a little more serious and a lot less funny. Then the universe decided to send my husband on a business trip all next week. He's not taking his golf clubs or Ambian® and it's not Vegas. He's taking his snowboard and his Tylenol PM. Maybe he'll come home with a trophy and one of those really big checks.