Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Be My Valentine in 2009

Highlights from our Valentine events.

For the past three years (since having Noah) I can never seem to get my act together around the holidays to design and send out Christmas cards, so instead, I send Valentine cards. I justify this by convincing myself that maybe everyone likes to receive a card in February to brighten the sometimes gray days of winter. Maybe that's a stretch. Sadly, I usually find myself hard-pressed to even get the Valentine's out! You can see this year's version below.

Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

Noah making homemade playdough (see recipe below) for his friend Lizzie's Valentine gift.
The final product:
Valentine card, playdough 'cupcake' and homemade heart & butterfly crayons.
The playdough 'cupcake' would be great party favors for a birthday party too!

The Friday before Valentine's day, Noah's good friend Lizzie came over for our own little party. They made and decorated cupcakes. It was so fun to see the two of them make cupcakes together. They really enjoyed putting the cupcake papers in the pans. That was a nice quite job for each of them. Then a moment later...they were arguing over who was going to use the hand mixer first.

"My turn!"

"No, MY turn!"

"No, My turrrrrn!"

Eventually, Noah was convinced Lizzie should go first because she was our guest. :o )
Lizzie with her decorated cupcake - and her taste test.

Noah with his finished product. His taste test was a litte messier than Lizzie's.
What a great day. Thank you Katie, Lizzie and Mary for coming over!

Recipe for Homemade Playdough
(courtesy of my aunt Jeannie Diesel - thanks Jeannie!)
1 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
(a powder found in the spice aisle of the grocery)
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
food coloring
Cook all ingredients over medium heat until mixture forms a ball - about 4 mins.
Remove dough from pan and let cool.
Squeeze dough until completely mixed and smooth.
Make impression in dough and drop food coloring in.
Use gloves or put dough in baggies to knead color so you don't stain your hands.
Knead until color is uniform and to your liking.
Store dough in air-tight container. Refridgerator is best, but it gets a little wet.
Have fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Millie Milestone #2

Millie is now eating solid foods! Technically a baby food jar of peas
(or in the case of this picture, prunes) is not solid, but in the baby
world it is. We introduced it to her about 5 weeks ago in preparation
for our Utah trip, just incase she was still refusing the bottle...at
least she would be eating something. That didn't end up being an issue
after all and now she enjoys her new options!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Goodbye Babies, Hello Park City

Last weekend Jon and I traveled to Park City, Utah for a little vacation. We were invited to a destination wedding held there for friends of our who live here in Chicago. We thought it would be a good opportunity to go to a fun ski town to ski as we would proabably never plan a ski trip on our own. Neither one of us has skiied since high school and even then it was only a few times. This trip (sadly enough) was our first trip away, just the two of us, since before Noah was born...three years ago! It was tough to pull away that morning when we left for the airport, but I knew the kids were in good hands (thanks Mom and Dad!) and Millie was FINALLY taking a bottle after a week and a half of begging and pleading. She finally broke down a day and a half before we left! So, we were then free to have some fun.

Picture of the mountains taken from the plane as we landed. They were beautiful!
We did have lots of fun and it was nice to just hang out together without interruptions...although it did take some adjusting at first. For the first day I felt anxious, like I needed to be on a schedule! But I quickly adjusted, especially when Jon and I strolled down Main Street and sat in a cafe and read some books we bought, drank coffee and just watched the people walk by.
Jon and Tonya on Main Street

(this is where the Sundance Film Festival was just a few weeks before)

Saturday evening we attended the wedding. The ceremony was held in a beautiful, old Catholic church just off main street and the ceremony was held at the Silver Lake Lodge at the Deer Valley Ski Resort. It was such a nice wedding and we had a wonderful time! One thing I loved were their place cards and table name cards, etc...ha ha, I had to say that. I designed them for the bride. This was one of the projects that has been keeping me busy lately. It was pretty neat to see my work...at work! I do a lot of orders, but I am usually not invited to the event, so this was fun (and rewarding!) to see everything displayed.

We reserved all day Sunday for skiing. It was a lot of fun...eventually. We arrived at the resort, had breakfast at one of the cafes and then rented all the equiptment we needed. We chose a green (easy) hill to start on and away on the ski lift we went. When we arrived at the top we asked one of the men who worked there which run was the best for our skill level and he said he was headed that way and would take us...I think if he knew what he was in for he would have run in the other direction! We were so lucky to have him with us though. Howard (yes, we were soon on a first name basis) was terribly patient when he realized how clueless we really were and helped us all the way down. After a lunch break, we hit the slopes again and the second run was MUCH more enjoyable!

All in all, the skiing part was fun, but we probably won't be planning another trip anytime soon. Not to say we will never ski again, but just not anytime in the near future.

View from the middle of a run (Success) at Deer Valley Ski Resort.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Ok, so I am a little behind on this post. I have been busy with two invite orders (not including my own Valentine 'order' and haven't had as much time to write as usual.

Monday, January 29th was the first day of the Chinese New Year. It is the Year of the Ox. I decided to try to incorporate some elements of the Chinese culture into our day. Even if Noah doesn't fully understand, or even if he doesn't remember specifics, at least we did something fun to break up the monotony of winter.

Here are the things we did that day to celebrate (in our own way, of course)

For lunch we had chicken potstickers and Mandarin oranges (ok, so the oranges are probably a stretch, but Noah loves them and I was grasping at straws to find something else to add to the plate!) I laced two chopsticks together with a rubberband so Noah could try his hand at using them. He actually didn't do to bad, he did actually make it to his mouth with the food a couple times!

After naptime I planned a craft. The dragon dance is used each year at the Chinese New Year celebration because it symbolizes the coming of good luck and success in the new year...Noah likes anything that resembles a dinosaur, so I thought he would enjoy making one.

I had great visions of the potential of this craft...that is usually when Noah has the least interest. This was also the case this day. We had a decent start, but Noah quickly puttered out and I had to finish the dragon myself. He did play with it quite a bit once I finished it, so it wasn't a total waste.

The following Sunday was the actual Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown. We decided it might be fun to go check it out. We have been to Chinatown many times before (mainly to one particular shop where we buy inexpensive, live seafood (lobsters, crab, etc), wide rice noodles and spices, etc) but have never been to celebrate their new year.

Well, I underestimated the popularity of this event. Parking spots were not easy to come by, but we managed to find one not too far away. We found a decent spot along Wentworth Ave right where the parade would pass. It was a fairly quick, but good trip. A little cold, but fun.
Entrance to Chinatown - Wentworth and Cermak

Dragon Dance

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Sorry it has been so long since my last post. Jon and I had a
'getaway' over a long weeekend and I plan to blog about it, but I need
to sit down and load the pictures, etc.
In the meantime, here is a quick pic of Millie watching in awe as her
big brother 'performs' for her. You can see him in the background
through the reflection in the mirror.
Hope you have a great day!