Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Favorite Things Swap

Because you know that I love to get things in the mail ..... I had to do it..... I joined "My Favorite Things SWAP" over at According to Kelly. If you haven't checked out this blog yet, please do so. Kelly has great posts and well worth a look see. For this SWAP we will have to send our SWAP partner three (or more) of our favorite things. I have a few ideas already stirring around in my brain and have already purchased one small piece of a favorite collectible glass at the thrift store. I wont' reveal any more than that because I want it to stay a surprise for my partner. I will post pictures after the SWAP is complete at the end of June. Can't wait to open my mailbox!

My Cute Yard Bird

Have you seen my cute yard bird. I just wanted to share a picture of him! I think he has such personality. He is made out of all recycled parts and stands tall and proud while protecting our garden from its unwanted predators. I think you need one of these birds too! The price was fantastic! If you would like to order one of these fabulous guys for your yard and live in the Sacramento or surrounding areas, or don't mind driving to pick it up, please contact:

Please type "Garden Bird" in the subject line! Sorry the cute kiddos are not included, but it does give you a good idea of how tall they stand. I am really thinking about getting another one so he has a buddy. Who needs gargoyles when you have yard birds?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A couple of things...

I have missed so much blogging and the only excuse I have for it is the Peanut catching a really bad virus that turned into croup. Lovely stuff. The humidifier, 7-up and SpongeBob have been running pretty much 24 hours a day around here. Now, I have the creeping crud too. What a bummer! Anyway, I will have to play a bit of catch-up now, so there will be quite a bit of info in this post.

First and foremost, I have to catch up by posting about the Jazz Festival. It was weeks ago now, but wanted to post about how much of a good time we had. We have family friends Matt and Sherri Colby-Bottel that play in the Blue Street Jazz Band at the Festival. I have seen Matt and Sherri perform on many occasions but have always wanted to see them play at the Jazz Festival. We didn't purchase tickets because we were unsure how long we would actually be able to stay at the festival with two small kids. We checked out the schedule the night before and knew they were playing at the Downtown Plaza Piazza, so we went to check it out. They have the Sacramento Brew Pub and Grill convenient placed across the way from the stage so we decided to break for a little lunch and see if we could snag a patio seat to watch the show. We were able to score a table outside and had a nice lunch. The band showed up and played. Sherri wasn't singing until the next venue, so we definitely wanted to stick around till the next show. All of the band members were fantastic, and as you can see by the pic above, there was a whole lot of dancing going on. The band is situated all over the United States. Matt and Sherri currently reside in Louisiana where Sherri is finishing up her doctorate program and Matt works out of their home as a computer program designer. Their music is described as "New Orleans jazz with a mix of swing, Mardi Gras, folk song, marches, waltzes, Latin music, and hymns." Truly an eclectic mix. I would highly recommend checking out their website for a look see and a listen too. I just noticed that they also have a myspace with one of my new favorite songs, "Creole Song," which is truly amazing to listen to. We made our way over to the Pizza Pavilion for their next show. We didn't buy tickets, but there were places on the street that you could see into the show. To our surprise, Sherri worked her magic and got us in to see their show. It was great, and the kids enjoyed dancing it up. I always enjoy watching people perform when you know they love what they do. Matt has been playing the banjo for as long as I can remember. His mom and my mom have been best friends since kindergarten so I have known him for many years. Sherri does all the vocals and has been singing with the band since she was thirteen. Here is a pic that the hub took after the show. The band will be celebrating their 25th year together this year! Congratulations to the band and a big Thanks to Matt and Sherri for a great time at the Jazz Festival!

That same weekend we took our first trip ever to our local farmers market. It was fun. A little more pricey than what I had expected, but it was still cool seeing all the fresh produce and flowers. I did have to break down and buy some fresh flowers for my kitchen. I couldn't resist. They also had a man there that had bottled his own olive oil. He was Italian of course, and greeted my daughter with a "Ciao Bella," he was probably in his sixties but I was in love. The accent gets me every time. If I went to Italy or Ireland I may never return. Ha Ha. Sorry cute husband of mine, you know that I am just kidding! So I am definitely going to return to buy some olive oil from him when I run out of the 50 gallons that I just recently purchased from Costco.

We were on a mission when we went to the Farmer's Market, we were on a strawberry mission! We planned to go home and bust out some yummy strawberry jam that afternoon. The prices were pretty high for strawberries, so we jumped in the car and ran down the street to the local strawberry stand where we scored a flat for only $18.00. A true bargain especially when they were just picked that morning. The car smelled like a giant strawberry shake by the time we got home. My husband has made jam on one other occasion and I, myself, have never made jam. My Grandma makes jelly and jam by the droves every year. She is truly and incredible woman, one that I will have to dedicate a whole post to. Like I said before, I have never made jam so the hub took over the jam making process with the girls and I shot the pics. Here are couple of the yummy ones:
The jam came out great. We ended up having eight large jars. My contribution was the pictures and the artsy labels. We have already given away seven of the eight jars so we will be bustin out some more pretty soon here.

Another thing that I have been meaning to blog about was a great new blog and website that is from the creative minds of a few of my Craft Mafia sisters. Its called Pimp Stitch. If you love embroidery as much as I do, you will definitely want to check out this site. They are offering a free pattern a week until their opening of their site late this month. So head on over and check out the creative brains of Amy Cluck of Peptogirl, Missy Balance of Mohair Circus, Tamie Snow of Roxycraft and Lauren Brandy of Goody Goody. Please go and "Pimp Your Stitch!"

And speaking of Mrs. Missy Balance. I received a fun package in the mail the other day that had such cool things inside. I had ordered one of her spool doll cell phone charms off of her etsy shop. It is so cute and looks quite good with her dark bobbed hair and my pink razor. She also included some super cute tags that say "Hey Cupcake" made with one of her Amuse stamps that she designed. This girl is multi-talented! I love the cupcake tags and am now going to have to purchase this cute stamp because we are having a cupcake party for the girls birthday and this stamp is just what I need. So thanks Missy!