some random etsy finds

Okay. That’s enough laughter at Deborah’s expense. Well, for now anyways. And just to prove to all of you that I don’t suck at skiing I am going to find some footage of me from that trip actually skiing without falling. Yes, I will find it this weekend. I vow.

On other notes, it’s time for a little “my favorite things I don’t have but really love and would like to have” post. I’m sure you all love these.

I adore this blanket! I think it’s so cool, and I’m a little angry that my grandmas don’t knit. Sorry for the teeny picture, but you can see it bigger here


And how cute are these, Greta would die!


How cool is this robot print!


This bag quickly became an “i want it and don’t have it” to an “i ordered it already for my soso”. Yes, we like robots over here.


Doesn’t everyone need a cameo, even if it’s not from Italy?



Shapes and Colors

All skiers and snowboarders are very familiar with the little colored shapes that differentiate one ski run from the other. Greens and blues, squares and circles, easy. Diamonds, multiple diamonds, and black, harder. Well after not skiing for 11 years I really did not know what to expect on the first run. So Elliott started me off on a very nice little green square. It took that first run and I knew what I was doing. It really is just like riding a bike. It comes back to you. 

Now I am not familiar with the runs at Mammoth so I just trusted that my guide would be very careful about where I skied. Well I should’ve been more aware after the second run we took was a blue diamond. But a blue diamond was okay. I could handle it. I took it a little slower than my speed demon ski partner, but I didn’t fall.  A few runs later I saw out of the corner of my eye a sign that an intermediate run became an advanced run but I really thought I’d be steered in the right direction. That was my first mistake. Before I know it I am facing the steepest, iciest slope I have been on all day. I get down halfway and very ungracefully bite it bad. And in my falling without being able to stop I lose a ski and continue to plummet down the hill colliding into Elliott and taking him down with me. Normally, this wouldn’t be that big of a problem. Just take your skis off, climb the hill, retrieve your skis, put them on, and continue. Well, like I said this slope was really really steep. It became a black diamond, and truly I tried so hard to climb back up for my ski. It was impossible. I dug my ski boots in like they were ice picks, I would make it about 8 or 10 crawls and slide all the way back down. Now let me remind you, before this little accident I hadn’t fallen once. I am not a sucky skier. I am pretty decent. I really don’t buy it that it was an “accident”. How can you accidentally memorize an entire map of runs and forget where the black diamond run suddenly just appears out of nowhere?

After coming home and looking at the video it really doesn’t look that steep, but let me tell you, check out in the first video when I point the camera down toward Elliott, look at the incline. You couldn’t take your skis off because they would just fall right down the hill. I, of course, don’t have the actual fall video’d but the aftermath is there. Along with a really nice snowboarder who had the same idea as me. He was sitting up at the top on his butt, no doubt thinking how he was going to make it down, and fortunately he was able to retrieve my ski for me. Thank you nice snowboarder. So here is right after the fall, and after my many many attempts at climbing the slope to get my ski.

The more embarassing part came after I slid down the rest of the hill on my butt and once I reached the bottom I tried to put my skis back on. Unfortunately Elliott was holding my HD videocamera in his backpack and he captured the lovely incident. And he decided to narrate the whole incident as well. I seriously cut like 7-8 minutes out of this tape. I could not for the life of me put my darn skis on. So do what I do best, continue to slide, and crawl, and foolishly attempt to throw my ski at Elliott. So please be aware that the shapes and the colors of the ski runs are there for our protection. Heed them very carefully.

Mammoth Part 3

So the bangs distracted me a little. Sorry. Back to some fun Mammoth photos. And these are not all of them! I still have maybe 2 more posts of my favorite pics to share. Here are some fun sledding photos.

There was a little debate in the house over the correct term to use. This activity we did, I refer to as sledding. My husband, born and raised in the Midwest, also refers to it as sledding. Because well, you are on a sled obviously. The only Puerto Rican in the house insisted, no demanded, it be referred to as sleigh riding. Yes, that’s right. S L E I G H riding. Now, as far as I am aware a sleigh is something that is pulled by some type of animal. Like a horse, could be a dog, hey, may even include some wolves or a reindeer. But a sled is not a sleigh. So please feel free to let me know what you think regarding these terms. And if you live in the colder part of the nation, I believe you are more of an expert on it than this Angeleno, or that Puerto Rican.

Here are the girls, Mallory and Greta, chillin in the snow, trying to catch some sun.


And we still had Family Worship night. And ice cream of course was a part of it.


Our little future snowboarder taking a turn with daddy.




I love this one of the boys. Their expressions are priceless. The kids could’ve spent the entire day sledding, but the adults were the ones who got exhausted much faster.







Change. I Scoff In Your Face!


Ha! Change. You have no hold on me now! So I scared my husband a little bit today when he came to have lunch with me on my break and this is how I looked. I told him I was seriously considering a hair style change called bangs. His response? What’s bangs?

So after a little explanation which involved many pictures of women with bangs and women without bangs, he finally understood. And in the end, he didn’t really care one way or the other. So it was up to me. Now I know you’re thinking it’s some mid life crisis, right? Well, I’m not mid life yet, so that couldn’t be it. However this year I will be turning 29 and this is my final year in my twenties, forever. So I kind of feel like it’s important to act or at least look like an adult.  I know you’d think I would be adultish after bearing 3 children, but that all happened in my early/mid twenties. And I finally feel like I’m at a place where I can spend more than 5 minutes on how I look everyday. That was my max, 5 minutes. And a little hair gel, sunblock, concealer, lip gloss, and can’t forget deodorant, and my 5 minutes was up. But now I feel like I’m a person again. I don’t have to wear clothes that necessarily can endure spit up or leaking bras. 

I have had my hair all one length since probably 14 years old. And only recently have I been keeping it straight. So now opens a whole new realm of possibilities for me. Actual hair styles. I’m not so brave with color yet, I kind of like my mousy brown hair. And with all the heat my hair has been receiving with the flat iron, I don’t think it can take much color too. 

I went to work promising myself I would not do it today. But once I was there, and in my stylist’s chair, well, you kind of get a little adrenaline high and you don’t think straight and I just said, “do it, I trust you”! I am really loving them right now, and I look forward to all the possibilities in between, even growing them out offer me some cool options. 

And unless you’ve ever had bangs you wouldn’t know there’s a whole bang universe out there. So I created a short bang tutorial for all of you bang less people. 

The Buffalo Club

Adult evenings (I know, that kinda sounds naughty, but it just means no children) are becoming a little more frequent around the Harju house. Gotta love having a 12 year old neighbor living next door, who has 2 younger siblings which means she is awesome with kids, and it doesn’t hurt that my children adore her. Who am I kidding, I adore her. Anyways, we have been using her more and more recently and Saturday night we had her come over so Aaron and I could enjoy dinner at a restaurant we’ve never been to called The Buffalo Club.

Now, you have to remember, I’m really not cool. So not cool in fact that it was my parents who introduced us to this restaurant, made the reservations, and informed me to get a babysitter. I am born and raised in Santa Monica and I’ve never heard of this place. Never seen it although apparently I’ve driven by it almost daily. Here comes the cool, hip, trendy, part. It’s not obvious from the street. It’s so obscure that if you weren’t looking for the valet stand and the scary bouncer dude, you’d drive right by it. 

Once inside the place has a really cool old school style bar and dining room. But the coolest part is if you ask them when you make your reservations to put you in the back. There is this amazing patio with huge fabric tent like ceilings with dozens of paper lanterns and a second bar. We had a drink first and let me tell you, this place doesn’t skip on the vodka part in a vodka tonic. Good sign.

The menu is pretty cool and covers all tastes, they specialize in pork chops and steak but they also have a vegetarian selection. For appetizers we had tuna tartare, some lobster dumplings and a crab salad. And then for starters I chose their maytag blue cheese salad with chicken. It was very hard for me to decide between two of my favorite comfort foods, their pot roast or  the chicken pot pit. I went for the pot pie, and let me tell you, the best I have ever had.

Not a newsflash to many, but I’m not a wine drinker. I prefer beer or mixed drinks. However that doesn’t mean I am stupid. When the sommelier comes over and oogles over the bottles of wine my dad brought in, that tells me I must sip and try. Especially when I see how giddy the sommelier gets when my dad asks him to join us for a taste. Even more especially when the sommelier comes back and asks for my dad’s contact information. Yeah, that means the wine was so good that I even liked it.

I can’t tell you much about dessert other than the fact that everyone else at the table was in heaven. By this point my pants were so tight that I didn’t want to bust a zipper. And I’m not  glutton so I had to draw the line somewhere. 

Another little cool addition was that we dined next to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver. So I figure if our governor and his wife like the privacy and obscurity of this place, it’s gotta be good. And way too cool for me.  Unfortunately, this means Aaron has a new favorite restaurant, and it happens to be one that he probably will only get to eat at once a year for our anniversary unless we can talk my lovely, generous, wonderful parents into inviting us to join them the next time they dine there.

All in all an awesome evening with awesome food and awesome drinks. Highly recommend if you are in the Santa Monica vicinity.

A Trade

My friend had a little boy 3 months ago, and if I wasn’t so busy holding him every time I saw him I could have taken some photos of him to post. Just one word to describe him, delicious. I know it scares people everytime they see me holding him, cooing to him, smelling his head, but I tell you it’s only to get the baby crazy hunger out of my head that I do this. I cannot go down that road again. I cannot. Been there. Done that. But oh so much miss that stage. The one where they don’t talk back, the one where they don’t come to you and announce they’d like a new diaper because they have pooped in the one they are currently wearing, the age where you don’t have to lie to them to get them to preschool that morning by saying things like “it’s the law, you have to  go to school. do you want mommy to go to jail?” Yes, this delicious stage of utter dependence on mama. The stage where they look at you as if there is nothing else in the world. 

But don’t worry. Not going to have a fourth. I know we don’t gamble. Trust me, I don’t gamble. But there has been a wager made about me reproducing a fourth time, and the betting party will lose. Oh, yes. If for no other reason they will be paying for my family of 5 to go to Disneyland. That is reason enough to not have a fourth. 

Anyways, back to the topic. This little munchkin is named Jovanni. Surprisingly, my children have no problem with me doting on this baby. Tonight I held him for over an hour and they had no qualms about it. The only time they were irritated was fighting with one another over who would get him to smile first. So on the ride home this evening there was a little conversation about Mr. Jovanni.

Sawyer: Mama, Jovanni likes you.

Me: I like him too.

Greta: He is so cute, little Jovanni.

Gunnar: Mama, can you have another baby?

Me: No.

Gunnar: Well then why can’t Jovanni come to live with us?

Me: Because he has a family who would be very very sad if that happened. In fact they wanted him very much to begin with and they will be keeping him for a very long time.

Sawyer: I have an idea!

Me: What’s that baby?

Sawyer: I have an idea, why don’t we trade Jovanni for Greta?!!!!!

Me: Soso, that wouldn’t be very nice. I would miss her so much. And remember Jovanni doesn’t play yet, he’s too little, so wouldn’t you miss Greta playing with you all the time?

Sawyer: (silence)

Greta: I have an idea. Why don’t we trade Gunnar for Jovanni?!

Gunnar: HEY!! I’m the oldest and so mama would never trade me.

Me: That’s true, I don’t think I could trade Gunnar.

Aaron: Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t we trade Soso for Jovanni?

Sawyer: Nope.

Me: Yeah, I’d miss him too.

Sawyer: I’ve got it! Let’s trade mama for Jovanni!

Me: HEY! That would never work because Jovanni likes me, who would take care of him if I were traded? I’ve got it, let’s trade daddy for Jovanni.

Sawyer: NOOOO. I like daddy.

Greta: I like daddy too.

Me: How come nobody doesn’t want to trade me?


Me: Hello?! So the final consensus is trade mama for Jovanni.

Aaron: That’s what it sounds like to me.