Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Brunch: Egg & Cheese in Ham Crisps

One of my favorite meals of the day to prepare is brunch; there is something so fun and fancy about it! This Sunday is Easter Sunday and the hubby’s family will be accompanying us to Easter Mass. After Mass the Garcia Foodies and I have decided to prepare an Easter Brunch, before taking JD on an Easter egg hunt. So here is one of my favorite brunch recipes, it’s super easy to make and pretty yummy too! I hope to post a few more recipes before Sunday, so stay tuned.

Egg & Cheese in Ham Crisps
  • 12 slices Virginia or Black Forest ham
  • 12 large eggs
  • 12 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • thyme sprigs (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Fit 1 slice of ham into each of 12 lightly oiled muffin cups (ends will stick up and hang over edges of cups). Add 1 ounce of cheddar cheese, a pinch of chives and crack 1 egg into each piece of ham. Bake in middle of oven until whites are cooked but yolks are still runny, about 15 minutes. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Garnish with thyme sprig and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

iPhone App: Everyday People by Cathy Thorne

Sometimes we just need a good laugh! Yesterday I received my weekly email from and I came across this cartoon in the email and immediately thought “that’s me” and I’m pretty sure a lot of you feel the same way!
Cartoons about women and the people who love and annoy them.
by Cathy Thorne

I decided to visit the Everyday People website and spent about thirty minutes giggling at the little bits of truths, displayed in every cartoon. Cathy Thorne really has a knack for turning our everyday predicaments and emotional meltdowns into something we can laugh about; and yes “There’s An App For That” and a blog! You can also follow Everyday People on Twitter and Facebook. I’m pretty sure you’ll find at least one cartoon that relates to you and your life, if so leave a comment (with the cartoon number) and we can all laugh at ourselves together!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my Mother’s Birthday and I felt that this poem would be the best way to describe my feelings for her. Now that I’m a mother, I truly understand and appreciate everything she has done for me and continues to do for me and for my little family (especially JD). She is the best Mother a daughter could ever ask for!

My Miracle Mother
Mom, I look at you
and see a walking miracle.
Your unfailing love without limit,
your ability to soothe my every hurt,
the way you are on duty, unselfishly,
every hour, every day,
makes me so grateful
that I am yours, and you are mine.
With open arms and open heart,
with enduring patience and inner strength,
you gave so much for me,
sometimes at your expense.
You are my teacher,
my comforter, my encourager,
appreciating all, forgiving all.
Sometimes I took you for granted, Mom,
but I don’t now, and I never will again.
I know that everything I am today
relates to you and your loving care.
I gaze in wonder
as I watch you being you—
my miracle, my mother.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Los Angeles Festival Of Books 2010

It's that time again, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is just around the corner, April 24 and 25. I'm so excited because this will be JD's very first time visiting the festival, but definitely not his last! The 2010 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is where readers can meet their favorite authors, kids can watch children’s books come alive and families can enjoy the fun of reading together. Best of all it's free, we hope to see you there!

Date and Location:
Saturday & Sunday, April 24-25, 2010 at:
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Friday, March 26, 2010

JD and Mousey-Mouse...

I probably take about a hundred pictures of JD every week and some of them, like this one, literally take my breath away. This is a picture of my little monkey sleeping soundly, holding his "mousey-mouse”. I gave that mouse to the hubby a few years ago (I can't recall why) and JD has recently adopted him and sleeps with him every night.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why I Love Goodwill...

I have been donating to and shopping at Goodwill for almost 20 years now. If you’ve never donated to or shopped at Goodwill, I’m hoping that this post will encourage you to stop by your local Goodwill and see what you’ve been missing. Every month I round up stuff from around the house that we no longer need and head to Goodwill to make a donation; but for some reason I always wind up inside the store, with a shopping basket. Well yesterday was one of those days and as usual when I least expect it, I find exactly what I’m looking for, like these Converse All Star Toddler Slip-ons that I have been wanted to buy JD for some time now.

Retail: $28.00
Goodwill: $4.99
(brand new)

and this DVD for my dad!

Retail: $14.99
Goodwill: $4.99
(new in box)

So What is Good Will Donation?
Goodwill is a non-profit organization that will take a variety of your used, seldom used, or even new items in efforts to give people a better quality of life. All donations go towards helping those who are in need, get the education, training, and support they need to succeed in life. When you donate your used goods, the Goodwill sells them to the public and uses the profits to help teach people a variety of things. For example, they help teach English to those who need it, in order to help them obtain employment. They also, help those who may need training or an education, in order for them to move forward in life. They are working to reduce the number of people who are homeless or depend on welfare and working to help those with mental, emotional, or physical disabilities.

How does it work?
There are essentially two ways you can help with Goodwill donations. First you could donate items to any of the 3,000 donation locations across the country. The items you can donate should be new or gently used and can include:
  • Clothing – Men, Women, and Children (infant through teen)
  • Appliances – Stove, Refrigerator, Washer, Dryer, Toaster, Microwave, Hair Dryer, Etc.
  • Furniture – Beds, Couches, Sofas, Chairs, etc.
  • Household Items – Bookshelves, Computers, Night Stands, Coffee Tables, Toys, Curtains, Bed Linens, etc.
The other way you can help is to shop at a Goodwill store or auction site. Each time someone purchases an item either through the auction or at a location, the proceeds go towards helping a person gain the financial and personal stability they need to succeed in life. Goodwill puts 85% of all proceeds back into helping others meet their goals.

There are so many reasons to love Goodwill!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Baby's First Easter Book & Little People Easter Figures

Now that Easter is right around the corner, we purchased a Baby’s First Easter book to add to JD's Easter basket. From the triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the resurrection, this beautiful story retells the events surrounding the very first Easter. Although JD may be a little young to understand the true meaning of Easter; I think this a great book to add to his collection and a great way to introduce him to the Bible stories the hubby and I learned as children!

Baby's First Bible Stories Series Board Book

But of course no Easter basket is complete without toys. So, we also purchased these absolutely adorable Little People Easter toys for JD from Target.

Little People Easter Basket
(on sale)

Happy Easter Figures
$1.98 each
(on sale)

Long after the candy is gone, your little one will enjoy this adorable collection of Little People characters, their bunnies and an assortment of Little People vehicles including new colors for Easter! A Little People DVD adds some spring to the holiday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Children's Music by Twin Sisters Production

Last Wednesday, Books Are Fun held a book fair in the building where I work and I came across these really entertaining CD's for JD. Each CD has 30 well-known children’s songs and you can download and print the lyrics of each song from your own computer! I bought all four CD's in a bundle for $12.99, we've played them for JD a few times now and his favorite song so far is B-I-N-G-O. If you’re interested in purchasing these CD’s or any other children's educational music, visit Twin Sisters Production or click here for stores near you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

JD's Swimming Adventures: Introduction to the Pool

Now that JD is at an ideal age to begin learning how to swim, we took some time to introduce him to the swimming pool this weekend! Lately he's had what we call "mamitis" (wanting to be held and be near mommy at all times), so he was pretty hesitant to get into his new baby canopy float; but he didn't seem to mind being in the water as long as he was holding me tight. The hubby and I feel that it is really important for JD to learn how to swim (especially since we have a pool in our building). We've signed him up for swimming classes which begin in May, but until then we will be taking advantage of this wonderful Southern California weather and will continue to take him for an occasional dip. I'll be sure to keep everyone updated on his progress!

Infant Swimming Facts by
We have observed that the optimal age to start babies (swimming lessons) is between 6 months and 12 months old. At this stage the majority of infants are ripe in the water. They are comfortable, the water feels natural. These very young babies still seem to have a memory of the fluid environment in the womb. However, a window of opportunity for smooth learning still exits up to approximately 18 months old (especially for water adjustment and initial submersions). At approximately 19 months to 24 months toddlers can begin to enter the "challenging twos" phase. It is easier to teach water adjustment and breath control before this stage begins. However, it is never too late when utilizing a creative and interactive curriculum. The group class structure works miracles and motivates children to participate with their peers, at any age.‏

Sunday, March 21, 2010

JD's 1st Trip to the LA Zoo

On Friday we took JD on his first trip to the LA Zoo. Now that he's 10 months old it's much easier to take him on little day trips like this one, because he's very curious about everything around him. We had a really fun time at the Zoo and JD has already picked out his favorite animal, the zebra!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Party Planning Mommy: Monkey Jack-in-the-Box Centerpiece

The Monkey Jack-in-the-Boxes were one of the first items I purchased for JD's 1st birthday party; I had the idea of using them as centerpieces after coming across a picture that featured a clown jack-in-the box centerpiece that looked like a present. I had a chance to work on a prototype today while my boys napped and I have a few more details to add to the centerpieces, but so far they've come out exactly as I pictured. I'm amazed at how much I can get done with a few minutes to myself! 

The Melting Pot

On Thursday for our anniversary, the hubby and I went to The Melting Pot in Torrance. He made reservations in advance and requested a private table (which I highly recommend). I don't know where to begin, with the food or the service; this place was just amazing all around. We had the Big Night Out four course dinner which included cheese fondue, salad, the main course and a chocolate fondue dessert. The manager arrived at our table with complimentary champagne and wished us a happy anniversary, our waiter was wonderful and took time to explain everything in detail. It took us almost 3 hours to go through three fondues and a salad and we were impressed the whole way through. We even received a phone call the next day to thank us for coming in and to ask about our experience. I highly recommend this restaurant, the fondue was delicious and the experience is unforgettable. The Melting Pot is a fabulous special occasion or date night restaurant, but also a great place to hang out with friend, they even serve fondue at the bar!

Spinach and Artichoke Cheese Fondue

Fondue Fusion
(lobster tail, kiwi lime shrimp, dumplings, ahi tuna, steak, chicken and pork)

White Chocolate and Baileys Fondue

Desserts for dipping!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Party Planning Mommy: Wilton Cupcake Wraps' n Pix

Just as I finished posting about cotton candy and snow cones, the mailman arrived with three more packages (all for JD) and one of those was the cupcake wrappers we ordered for JD's party! I found these a couple of weeks ago while looking for baking supplies and after the Party Planning Committee voted, these won over the rest, they were just too cute to pass up. You can find them on for $3.49, you get 12 wrappers and 24 pix in each package.


The Party Planning Mommy: Cotton Candy & Snow Cones

One of my fondest memories of carnivals, fairs and circuses are the yummy sweet treats, especially cotton candy. I’m 31 years old and I never miss an opportunity to enjoy cotton candy. When we began planning JD’s Monkey Carnival Party my first thoughts were cotton candy and snow cones; JD has already had the pleasure of tasting both of these treats (shhh… don’t tell grandpa) and he really loved them, so since it is his party we’re having both!

Check with your local party
rental store for snow cone machine rentals.
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