Game on!

Sometimes Greg can be terribly annoying. Today was one of those times. He likes to tease me and he’s often funny, but when you combine that habit with his vast knowledge of useless trivia, always available at the tip of his tongue, it’s annoying.  He tells me outlandish things, which most often prove to be untrue, along with enough surely-BS-but-true things that it’s hard to tell one from the other.

While I’ve learned that the days or our week really are named after Norse and Roman gods, some trees can actually talk to each other kinda like Avatar and the antioxidant levels of coffee and tea are much higher than brightly colored fruits and vegetables, it is categorically untrue that Gyros are made out of vermin and last week’s Saturday morning appointment in his calendar with a Mr. Meego Hawkey was not a business meeting at all! (I had to say it out loud a few times. Me.Go.Hockey).

I’m left wondering how can I monetize this useless data. I’d considered signing him up for Jeopardy, but let’s face it, Watson would clean his clock. I’m open to ideas if anyone has them.

That brings us to today. Mr. SmartyPants tells me he can remove the skin from garlic without touching it. It’s a common chef’s technique and as someone that has had some culinary training, he’s surprised that I’ve never heard of it. Ok, he set the hook, I have to bite.

I cover the bases, he cannot win with a technicality, like gloves or using a a knife and tweezers and I proudly remember that somewhere we have a garlic skin remover, a little tube-like thing you roll the garlic in, but he says this is not what he’s talking about. I call him out and we eventually set a wager.

This makes me very happy. I have visions for this weekend of Greg the Dog Washer, Greg the Dog-Poop-Picker-Upper, Greg the Toilet Scrubber and me telling him at least twice, “Again, that bowl must sparkle!” in my best “Miracle on Ice” voice, maybe even using the whistle too??? Every so often I catch him and this doesn’t just feel right, it feels AWESOME! {mentally begin writing out a massive honey-do list, oh how I love lists!}

Greg went “Medieval” in the literal sense. Should he win, I simply have to go to the farmers market and prepare a feast for him and the heirs to his throne (Mateo and Lucas), of which I am also to serve them, beginning each course with a flowery description and a courtsey. And for good measure, I have to call him “My Lord” or “Oh Great One”, in both public and private until the midnight hour on Sunday. This would be really unpleasant, but since the weekend has sparkling toilet bowls in his future, I agreed.

I will be posting the video later today……

Happy Valentine’s Day

While the boys pretend to dread this, I think it’s pretty clear they somehow manage to have a little fun too. For this Valentines, we invited a few friends over and set up shop outside. They were all so cute and eager to participate in the photoshoot; I got so many impromptu smiles… Check out the valentines we made for the kids’ classmates at the end of this post.

Valentines Day Photos of the kids with red hearts in the background

Valentines Day Photos of the kids with red hearts in the backgroun

Valentines Day Photos of the kids with red hearts in the backgroun

Valentines Day Photos of the kids with red hearts in the backgroun

Glass Jar Labels a.k.a. Total Pantry Domination

I’ve been daydreaming about this project for quite some time now and finally, finally did it.  I LOVE labels and I love seeing everything organized and in its place. I’ve loved labels for a long time. Many years ago, I purchased a label maker and went seriously crazy labeling everything- nothing in the office was safe! It was soooo much fun, for me. Greg on the other hand, wasn’t quite so enthused. That may have had something to do with the label that I printed out and affixed to him, but that’s another story for another day.

Today’s story is one of total pantry domination. No matter how hard I try,  I can never keep it organized. We use a lot of  spices, flours and loose cooking ingredients that all come in different packaging, none of which seals or closes well and no two packages are the same size.

I’m not going to name any names, but three of the four members of this household appear to lack the basic life skills of resealing a bag, properly placing a clip on one or even at times, simply closing a jar. With the proper treats and training schedule, I’m certain Joey and Zelda could outperform them on a variety of simply pantry tasks, with paws alone.

Yesterday was the day. It was a rainy afternoon, which I love and the boys were dispersed, one working, two playing. Time to get organized.

This project turned out to be much easier than I expected. The part that took the longest was deciding what to type on the labels and choosing the right font, which is really important- you’ll be looking at these every day for years and you don’t want to wake up one day wondering how you ever thought Papyrus was such a cool font. The rest was relatively easy.

For some jars, besides putting the ingredient’s name on the labels and a cute description underneath, I also added my favorite recipe for that ingredient on the back. Little jars were used for spices and spice mixes, that have all the goodies for a particular dish already mixed like “Chorizo”,  “Picadillo”,  “Berbere”  “My Favorite Yellow Curry Blend” all of which we like to mix from scratch.

Before I show you how, let it be known that I chose these jars very purposefully. They can be opened and closed with the motor skills of a two year old. I’m not going to take any excuses boys …

Here are the steps (Links provided at the bottom):

Instructions on how to make labels for glass jars using magic coating water slide paper.

Water Slide Decal and Magic Coating Paper purchased at Robin’s Eggcetera
Glass Jars purchased from Hobby Lobby

Happy Labeling!

Andrea - Gen, I see label making in our near future :)

Genevieve - Coming from a person always striving for organization….this is a thing of BEAUTY!!! It makes me want to cook and I am a terrible cook. Wait…Wait…can you hear it? My pantry is calling your name. Deia! Deia! Come to Gen’s house to label!

Giving Back

We live in a great neighborhood in Carlsbad; there are lots of nice kids for the boys to play with and really good neighbors, one of which is Stacy. She’s almost a next door neighbor, her house is across the street from us and when we first moved here we noticed the Arizona license plates in one of their cars,  inevitably we started talking about AZ and kids and house stuff. Stacy is a super sweet person that happens to be married to another Greg, too funny.  A few months ago I had the pleasure to photograph their baby daughter Bryn when she was just 6 days old.

We are always bumping into each other and during one of our conversations Stacy mentioned that she works with a non profit charity called  The Parent Quest here in Carlsbad.  They help parents improve their parenting skills through parent to parent mentoring, by pairing them up according to their experiences and needs.

In the past years we’ve supported many charity organizations in Arizona such as Positive Impact, Desert Cancer Foundation, Packages from Home, Gabriel’s Angels and many more. We  like to help causes that mean something to us, usually family and kid oriented,  supporting soldiers and their families and animals (both Joey and Zelda were rescue pups).

So when Stacy approached me about donating to the the Parent Quest’s  auction, it was a pretty easy decision. It’s a really neat organization that’s right up our alley. If you get a chance, check them out and maybe even donate a bit if you can.

We donated a photography session and a 20×30 Artisan Fine Art  wall portrait.  The winning bid belonged to Trish and her husband William from San Diego.

It was so nice to spend time with Trish, William and their lovely baby, Liam.  Would you look at those cute cheeks! It turns out that this was their first official family photo too. Here are a couple of our favorite images.

Family photo at a San Diego Park

Family photo at a San Diego Park

Family photo at a San Diego Park

Baby with stuffed animals on top of his bed

Mother and baby smiling

Father looking at baby holding him up

Father kissing baby

Hunter – High School Senior Photos

What a great time in life: high school graduation, bittersweet for the parents and full of promises for graduates. I can not even fathom my boys graduating high school, leaving the house in search of their dreams. In Brasil, most kids live at home until they get married!  Two years ago I photographed Hunter’s brother, Bo, and we took a few shots of the two brothers together, it’s crazy the difference that a couple of years makes. I am always surprised by how much they grow physically and as individuals. Hunter graduates high school this year and unlike most of his classmates, he already knows exactly what he wants! Good luck in your adventures Hunter!

High school senior boy photo in front of train

High school senior boy photo in front of train

High school senior boy photo close upHunter with his brother Bo and mom Chris

High school senior boy photo with family

High school senior boy photo full body

High school senior boy photo on train tracks

High school senior boy photo with girlfriend

High school senior boy photo with girlfriend

Two years ago: Bo’s High School Senior Photos

High school senior boy photo with his brother

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