Horseback riding in Ojai, CA

We took the kids horseback riding for their first real trail ride in Ojai. I didn’t really know what to expect but I prepared the kids that Sawyer and Greta would possibly have to ride with Aaron and I, how wrong I was. Each kid had their own horse and couldn’t have been more thrilled. Aaron and I got on our horses first and I was surprised that my little peanut of a 4 year old took direction from the horse trainer perfectly and saddled right up. Greta’s horse was tethered to the guide’s horse so I had no fear of the horse running off with her, but I was a little nervous about Greta falling off. But she got a little lesson in leaning forward and back whenever the horse climbed up a hill or down one. Greta is inlove with all animals, and horses are near and dear to her heart. We had only been on the trail for 10 minutes when she turned around and yelled out, “mama! can we do this again?!” I was in the way back and Greta was in the lead. She was quite chatty with the guide and really never stopped talking for the entire hour. By the end of the ride Sawyer had quite a few hives all over his hands and face and we think he may be allergic. Poor kid, but he was a trooper and the complaints and itching only began as we were nearing the end.

I haven’t riden in a long time, but oh how I love it too. The weather was perfect, the scenery gorgeous, a perfect way to spend a fall morning on vacation. I cannot recommend this place enough, they’re the contracted company the hotel uses and they have turkeys, goats, ducks, and chickens all over the ranch.


The boots

These are the boots that Greta picked out and waited patiently for their arrival in the mail. My mom has the habit of giving Greta a clothing catalogs and letting her go through it picking out her stuff. Yeah, can get crazy, right? Well, fortunately, and unfortunately, my daughter is very picky about what she wears so usually she only finds one or two things at a time. These boots and the skirt were what she chose. I have loved Livie & Luca shoes for years, their quality is beautiful and the prices are reasonable for what you get. I was thrilled she picked out a pair of shoes since she lives in her ballet flats and Vans and with it so cold here now, she needed something warmer. Greta lived in these boots while we were in Ojai and she went to school this morning with them on once again. She is a little boot obsessed, and who can blame her! I’m no better.

She does this new thing when I take a photo of her. The poses, where does she get this from?????

Home & a Sewing Project- DIY Hair Accessory

We are home. And it’s wet and rainy tonight. The kids cried this morning when we left our beloved Inn & Spa. I agreed with them, we should move there. Well, not really, but I could’ve stayed a few more days. We rode horses, played golf, went on walks, fed old and new horses apples, swam, played, read, snuggled and ate ate ate. It was pretty cold but in that perfect fall brisk way. Definitely needed sweaters and scarves during the day (don’t ask me how my children swam, I got goose bumps just watching them), and at night you better have had lots of layers and a nice big coat. There were frost warnings the first two nights we were there and it was just chilly enough in the morning where you didn’t want to get out of bed until you reached over to the nightstand and grabbed a long sleeved shirt to hold the warmth in a little longer. The first couple days I lost my voice and within a day of getting my meds I was so much better. And let me tell you, better to be sick there than at home. I had no guilt about sleeping in every day and indulging in the extra long massages at the spa. At night when everyone was asleep I would pull out Aaron’s Ipad, plug in my headphones and watch movies streamed through Netflix. Brilliant I tell you. Brilliant. Best invention. Gunnar and Aaron are currently at the USC/Notre Dame football game and as I watch it pour rain on TV, the score doesn’t give me much hope that they left early. The game is tied, so I can see the plastic bags coming out and they wait it out until the end. Took the other two to see Tangled, such a sweet movie. I may have cried a tear or two at the end.

I could barely contain myself to do this DIY tutorial. And I really shouldn’t title the post ‘sewing project’ since you don’t need to know how to sew a thing to do it. It was so simple.  Everything until the very last step was self-explanatory. But the last part, securing the clip to the felt, was a little confusing for me. If you’re going to try this at home, I decided to hot glue the clip onto the back since I couldn’t figure out a way to sew it on. And the glue is pretty great since it’s very secure. In fact, I made two and will be putting together a little giveaway soon. Just as soon as I can sort all of our laundry and get our house back in shape after being gone for 5 days.

Here’s the finished project and I can’t wait to make a few more with different colored fabrics so that I can coordinate them with some other outfits. And yep, that’s crow’s feet people. I’m thirty and now I have wrinkles. Sigh.

around the web. . .

Not much going on over here other than I have too much to do. Too much laundry. Too much packing. Too many errands. Too little sleep. So instead of more complaining, here’s some great stuff from around the web.

Design Mom- where I got that great skinny tie tutorial, has a great DIY project for monogram mugs just like these from Anthropologie. I could definitely see this as a winter break project for my kids, right in time to enjoy hot chocolate and eggnog.

I have had this DIY project from A Beautiful Mess bookmarked for months but with all the baby shower crafting I haven’t had much time to dedicate to “me” projects. But since my sewing/crafting for the shower is officially complete(that is until I have to put everything together) I plan to do this in the next week or so. Rachel, from Smile and Wave was a guest blogger with this fantastic fabric hair accessory project. If any of you attempt these before I get around to it, please let me know how it turns out!

I’m Gilty

Oh, Gilt Groupe has done it once again to me. Not a member? Join here. It has new deals daily and when they are good, they are goooooooddddd. Here’s some items I have scored in the last few weeks. I picked up Romeo’s Melissa and Doug shape sorter there and was tempted to pick up a few other items by the brand but held restraint.

I can’t wait for these twig crayons to join the kids’ art table.

Gunnar is loving his new messenger bag for school, with a padded shoulder strap and all.

Right now they have some adorable dresses on there. I just got back from doing a bit of damage at Gap’s 45% deal in store, so Greta didn’t score any of these, but aren’t they to die for. And all for $35 and under.

And also, beware, they have Splendid on there for kids at the moment. Pieces for $15, so cute and soft! They also have hotel deals, I saw Terranea on there, ocean view room for $235. Don’t get me started on the European deals they offer. Sigh, if only.




My sister being pregnant has brought up all kinds of conversations I wished would never occur in this house. For instance, if Greta had her way she would ask everyone walking by on the street if they came out of their mom’s belly or vagina. Thank you TLC’s Baby Story. She likes to talk all about umbilical cords and nursing, but she’s brought up some questions that are well beyond her years. For instance she wanted to know a few months ago just HOW Tati and Uncle Carl DIDN’T have a baby all this time. Hmmmmmm. A little magic pill that prevents babies from growing?

This time it was Sawyer’s turn and we all were driving home one Thursday night. Here’s the convo:

Sawyer: So I don’t get it. When two people get married, then all of a sudden they have a baby? Just like that?

Me: Well, no. Tati and Uncle Carl have been married for 11 years and only now having a baby.

Sawyer: So how does it happen?

Me: Well, the girl has the egg, and the boy has the sperm.

Sawyer(interrupting): What’s a sperm?

Me: It’s what fertilizes the egg. Makes it a baby.

Sawyer: What do you mean?

Me: Well, you know how we use eggs in baking, we crack them like we did today to make the muffins? Those are not fertilized, but if it happened to be a fertilized egg it would be a baby chick. So fertilized means when it’s a baby.

Sawyer: So the boy has to crack the egg and then put his sperm in it?

Me: Hmmmm. Dad?

Aaron: Ummm. Yeah. But you have to throw the shell away.

Oy vey. You see, Aaron is no help on this one. I don’t think his parents taught him about sex growing up and everything he learned on the subject he learned from a boy on the school bus. So I’m on my own and my son currently thinks that the eggs in our refrigerator are just waiting to be babies if he can find his sperm to put inside it. Oh lord.



– Aaron picked up my camera and it’s fixed and it only cost $25!! Such a relief, I was bracing myself for several hundred dollars, but this is such great news. Relief, sweet relief.

– Taught art today in Sawyer’s class. I tried very hard to keep it in sync with their current curriculum and I think it went good. The kids were busy and engaged the whole time so that’s a success in my book. I love spending time in the kids’ class and learning everyone’s name and who’s good and who’s. . . . active. 🙂

– Gunnar turned in and presented his big book report on Tuesday. Phew, so happy it’s over. And just in time for Sawyer to begin his next report on what he wants to be when he grows up. Paleontologist. He didn’t blink an eye when I read him the paper and asked what he chose. I was amused at some of the other occupations of kids in his class, professional dog walker, ballerina, ninja. They really crack me up. Sawyer has already began researching his occupation and began to tear up when he discovered there are no local dinosaur excavation sites! That means he would have to move away, and most likely to another continent! I had to hold back my laughter that this was seriously stressing him out at 6 years old. Man I love that kid.

– I just realized that my sister’s baby shower is only a little over two weeks away! I did some serious crafting and sewing last night to prepare for it, and I’m on the hunt for an old typewriter that still works. If you are looking to get rid of one, please let me know! I will even pay for it. I have a vision, but I need a typewriter, and one that preferably is pre 1970s. Not to mention I’d like to expand my typewriter collection to more than one.

– I am going to share a delicious recipe with the blogging community that Freya shared with me. And most importantly, it’s the easiest thing to make. 3 ingredients- equal parts for the marinade- mirin, tamari (soy sauce), and honey. I have tried it with chicken and pork and both are delicious! I marinaded it for a good part of the day and then bake in an open dish at around 350 for 45-55 minutes. So good. We serve it with brown rice and a veggie of some kind, this week’s pick was brussel sprouts for Gunnar. I NEED MORE RECIPES LIKE THIS! Please send me them!

-I have been toying with the idea of taking down the boys bunk beds. They can be two twins side by side, and I kind of am ready for the look of a bedroom. I’m not convinced we need all the floor space that the bunks provide, but Aaron has yet to be swayed. We’ll give him a few more months and then try again.

-The kids have all next week off school and I’m thrilled. Well, Greta has school, but the boys will be home. We usually pull them out of school on Tuesday for vacation anyways, so it’s nice to know they aren’t missing any work. I am so excited to spend some quality with them. I feel like we are in the cycle of school, homework, eat, sleep, repeat. And then our weekends fly by and it’s Monday before I can blink. I think we need to have 3 day weekends, as in this should be made a new law. 🙂