Friday, July 30, 2010

JD in the Courtyard

With my first photography class only a week away, I have dusted off our Fuji camera and started getting the hang of using it again. I took this picture of JD yesterday (he is obviously feeling much better) in the courtyard of our building and was pretty amazed at how great it came out with such little effort, then again I had a very handsome model!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I guess once you purchase tickets from YO GABBA GABBA you automatically get their monthly emails and when I got this email from them today, I just knew I had to share!

Hello Adriana!

Some early news for your holiday gift lists! Vans announces a special Yo Gabba Gabba! shoe collection for kids releasing in November. Available at better shoe stores worldwide and in the U.S. on, the Classic Slip-On and Sk8-Hi Deconstruct shoes include eight different versions, with each character represented on their own shoe as well as two versions of a Yo Gabba Gabba! group shoe.

The shoes will be available in kids and toddler sizes. Adult sizes are not currently planned. If you want to petition for adult sizes, let our friends at Vans know by posting a request on the Vans facebook page.

Let's just hope they will be here in time for YO GABBA GABBA Live!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Maribel's Roaring 20's Party

My hubby's best friend Maribel just turned thirty and wanted to get the whole gang together to celebrate! Her sister Veronica is also a good friend of ours and asked if I would help her plan Maribel's Roaring 20's Party and I of course said yes, I absolutely love themed parties. We only had a few weeks to plan the party and amazingly we managed to pull everything off just how we envisioned it. We had a roaring good time and best of all Maribel loved her party and had a chance to celebrate with all her good friends; who all came dressed to the nines in her honor! We enjoyed planning this party so much that we actually have another party in works. Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Maribel's Party, to see the entire album please click here.

Gorgeous Flapper Centerpieces 
by Veronica

Art Deco Lanterns
from Pier 1 Imports

Veronica did such an amazing job hanging 
these panels and lanterns!

You can't have a Roaring 20's party
without mustaches...

Feathers & Fedoras!

Candy Cigarettes and Hand Decorated Match Boxes

Maribel's very swanky cake...

and bar!

The Birthday Flapper!

Gaby and Vero

My silly hubby
Maribel and Javy


Monday, July 26, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words...

As a child my family took thousands of pictures, my mom and dad actually managed a business in the 80’s which provided photo processing and one of my mom’s many talents included film development, which I'm guessing accounts for all of our pictures. I began taking pictures at a very young age and I can still remember the excitement of handing my mom a used roll of film and getting back that little envelope with all my pictures. As an adult the passion for photography only grew stronger and I never left the house without my camera and an extra roll of film, remember those days!

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
- Aaron Siskind

The hubby and I actually purchased our first digital camera together in 2005 in preparation for our trip to Argentina. We purchased a Fujifilm FinePix S5100 and that's when my life changed completely; I was literally obsessed with taking pictures. Although our Fuji is only a 4 megapixel (I've seen cameras as high as 21.1 megapixels) digital camera, it still works great and has provided us with some amazing pictures for over 5 years now.  Our latest everyday digital camera is a Canon PowerShot SD870 IS, a gift from my parents and has surprisingly made it through JD’s first year with only a few scratches and tons of little fingerprints.

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
- Elliott Erwitt

When I started blogging last year, I had a specific desire in mind, I wanted a place to illustrate our little family’s life through our pictures; in doing so I have met many moms, artists and photographers who not only share my passion for blogging but my same passion for photography and I’ve been so inspired! For almost a year now I’ve been contemplating the idea and saving my pennies in hopes of purchasing my dream camera (yes! I have a dream camera). I’ve had the pleasure, thanks to my mom's coworker and friend, of using a Nikon D50 when photographing special occasions and I must say this camera is nothing less than amazing, but unfortunately not very affordable for a complete amateur like myself. Using his camera has further fueled my love of photography and has really helped me to understand the importance of choosing the best suited and priced camera for my needs. This purchase unlike most of my purchases has definitely been one I have put a lot of thought into. I feel that I must first take the time to learn about photography, especially digital photography, before buying a camera, so in turn I'm going back to school. I have signed myself up for a few photography classes this fall and I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can and hopefully I will have my dream camera before the end of the year. Wish me luck!

I have a very good memory, but it's short. Thank god for photography. 
- John E. Burkowski


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Our little sicky poo...

JD has been a little sick these last few days and it's so hard to see him this way. He's a little cranky, whiny and just wants to be held; so for now he's back in mommy and daddy's bed and daddy will be staying home with him tomorrow, nursing him back to health!

 Our little sicky poo

Friday, July 23, 2010

Carnival Prizes

Another commonly asked question about JD's 1st Birthday Carnival Party!

Where did you get the Carnival Prizes?

Carnival prizes are probably one of the most important elements at a Carnival Party! We purchased our carnival prizes from an online company named SmallToys on, but you can also purchase prizes directly from them at Their prices are reasonable and their toy selection is incredible. Amazon usually offers free shipping with a minimum purchase, so I suggest checking with them first!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who vacuums at midnight?

We have company coming over for dinner tonight; so, last night after putting JD to sleep I began tidying up the house, when I finally took a minute to look at the clock it was already past midnight and I still needed to vacuum! Just as I finished up in the kitchen, the hubby started vacuuming the living room (I thought he had gone to bed, but I guess he felt a little sorry for me and decided to help) and this is when the thought hit me “who vacuums at midnight”? Before having JD we would hear the neighbor upstairs vacuuming at the strangest hours of the day and honestly couldn't figure out why, but now I get it, she's a working mom with a toddler. The hubby and I both work full time and we hate doing housework on the weekend, that's our “family time” and we would rather be out and about having fun. When I was home with JD, it was much easier to keep the house tidy, I would clean early in the morning or during naps or swing time and our place always looked nice; but now that I'm back to work, the only time I have to clean, do laundry, iron and of course blog, is between 10pm and midnight (sometimes 1am). So, the answer to the question is, we do! I will never again look up in puzzlement when my neighbor vacuums at midnight and I will always be an awe of moms like my friend Vero, who works two jobs, has three boys and still manages to keep her house clean!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Urban Runway Baby

I just had to post these pictures of JD! I swear he is becoming more and more aware that mommy loves taking pictures, he actually follows directions and poses for the camera now. Here is my little model, strutting his stuff for the camera!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Gumball Machine Toy Banks

With all of JD's amazing 1st Birthday Carnival Party features I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful party planning mommies. I've received very nice emails requesting vendor information; so, I thought I'd take some time to post a few of the most commonly asked questions about the party and I'm hoping by the end of the week to also have a few tutorials posted. If anyone has any questions please feel free to email me through my "contact me" button and I'd be happy to help! 

Where did you get those gumball machines? 

I purchased the gumball machines from a wholesale company named RhinoMart. The gumball machines come in quantities of 48 for $47.70 and are actually Gumball Machine Toy Banks! Although the picture on the website shows multiple colors, I only received red gumball machines, so if you're looking for a specific color I suggest you call customer service first.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Goodwill Finds: Shoes & Accessories

I think I should officially make Thursdays “Goodwill Finds Thursday,” because every Wednesday afternoon I take my weekly trip to Goodwill and I haven't left empty handed yet! Here are my latest finds.

Cute for summer...

 Cathy Jean Studded Leather Sandals
Super cute for my friend Maribel's Roaring 20's Party
in two weeks...

Kenneth Cole Reaction Crocodile Purse

Naturalizer "Fountain" Patent Leather Pumps

Jockeys Cap

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daring Cooks' Challenge July 2010: Nut Butters

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

When I read this months challenge I was really excited because the first recipe that came to my mind was a Kung Pao Sauce. I love anything Kung Pao, but my favorite has to be the Kung Pao Spaghetti from California Pizza Kitchen; I looked up the recipe, made a few changes and of course added my homemade nut butter! The hubby and my sister-in-law loved the Kung Pao Spaghetti, I thought it was pretty good too and the homemade nut butter really added a wonderful taste to the sauce.

  The process for making various types of nut butters is essentially the same. Pour nuts into bowl of food processor. Grind the nuts in the processor until they form a paste or butter. The nuts first turn into powdery or grainy bits, then start to clump and pull away from the side of the bowl, and finally form a paste or butter. The total time required depends on the fat and moisture content of the nuts; grinding time will vary from roughly 1 to 4 minutes (assuming a starting volume of 1 to 2 cups nuts). Processing times for a variety of nuts are described below. You may add oil as desired during grinding to make the nut butter smoother and creamier or to facilitate grinding. Add oil in small increments, by the teaspoon for oily nuts like cashews or by the tablespoon for dryer/harder nuts like almonds. You may use the corresponding nut oil or a neutral vegetable oil like canola.
Kung Pao Spaghetti

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce 
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry 
  • 3 tablespoons pea-nut butter
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
Egg Coating:
  • 2 egg whites 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb spaghetti 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts 
  • 10-15 whole Chinese dried red chili peppers 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts 
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic 
  • 3 cups coarsely-chopped scallions
Kung Pao Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the chicken stock and cornstarch until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Stir in all the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
Egg Coating:
In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to stir together the egg whites, cornstarch, and salt until thoroughly blended; be careful not to beat them into a froth. Set aside.
Preparing Pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat, heat the olive oil for about 1 minute. Add the chicken pieces to the Egg Mixture and toss to coat them. Taking care to avoid splattering, add the coated chicken to the pan and cook like a solid pancake until the egg mixture sets; then, using a large spatula, carefully flip the chicken pieces over together and, with a wooden spoon, gently separate the pieces.
Gently stir the Chinese peppers and roasted peanuts into the pan. As soon as they darken in color, after no more than 1 minute, stir in the garlic and scallions. Once the garlic begins to brown, after no more than 30 seconds, add the Kung Pao Sauce and toss and stir to coat the ingredients. When the pasta is ready, drain it well and, in a large mixing or serving bowl, toss it thoroughly with the sauce.


Monday, July 12, 2010

and baby makes three... Is Under Construction

About a week ago I purchased this "Fun and Funky" blog template from Simplyfabblog on Etsy and I finally had a chance to install it today. Although the template was super easy to install (thanks to Lena's great tutorials), I still need to change a few things here and there and add a few of my own touches; So, for the next few days, I of course will continue blogging, but you will probably notice some big changes in layout and content. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I hope you all like the new look!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Angelini Osteria

About a week ago I was watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate on the Food Network and Giada De Laurentiis featured one of her favorites, Lasagna Verde from a small little restaurant in West Hollywood named Angelini Osteria. When I saw this lasagna I immediately thought of my hubby and his love of Italian food and thought it would be fun to take him there on a surprise date! I made reservations (which I highly recommend) and when we arrived last night we were more than pleasantly surprised. The atmosphere was amazing the staff was inviting, the wine list incredible and the food was delectable. We both had their Endive, Pear and Gorgonzola Salad, the hubby had the Trofie alla Riviera (Short Spiral Pasta with Shrimp,Cherry Tomatoes and Spinach) and I had the Lasagna Verde "Omaggio Nonna Elvira" (with Beef and Veal Ragu). The hubby has officially declared that it was the best Italian food he's ever had and I have to agree!

Midway through our incredible meal a couple sat next to us and we began having a full blown conversation about food, soccer, our ethnic backgrounds, marriage, our children and almost everything else you could imagine. The funny thing was, the wife happens to be a well known actress on one of the hubby's favorite HBO series. By the end of the night they handed us their business card and ask that we email them (their starting a new cooking show) and we said or goodbyes. Needless to say this was a pretty amazing date night, things like this only happen in L.A.!

 Photo Credits: and
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