Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Current Giveaway - JolieBerry - Handmade Children's and Baby Items

Seriously, who knew you could MAKE children's shoes??? These are so stinkin' cute!!!

You HAVE to check out this adorable esty shop... I love that there are matching onesie and shoe sets. What a great gift! (I can just imagine sitting at a baby shower and the mom-to-be opening this amazingly cute and unique gift... from me! Oh... the gift-giving satisfaction!!)

JolieBerry is giving away ONE PAIR of darling shoes to a laughuntilyourcheekshurt reader! ooh la la!! Go to the etsy shop, JolieBerry, and find your favorite style of infant shoes. Leave a comment, with your name (and a way to get in touch with you if you don't have a blog (gasp) or if your blog is private), and tell me your favorite style. My favorite??? Sweet Treats Baby!!! Love them!!! The first pair shown below are the Sweet Treats Baby... sweet, aren't they?

Enter before midnight, on Tuesday, April 7 and I will post the winner on Wednesday morning!! Good luck!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Invisible Dog Leash Shoes???

Do you remember these invisible dog leashes? The gag of the decade... about three decades ago? I think the maker of those leashes gave shoe designing a shot...

Weird, huh? Actually made me laugh!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

The movie "Where the Wild Things Are" is coming to a theater near you!!! Yea!!! I am so excited for this release and am so hoping they do the book justice. There has been a lot of buzz about this movie... Spike Jonze is the director and is rumored to have held up the release date to make some changes! Oh, how I hope it was worth the wait!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Diana Krall

I LOVE DIANA KRALL! Love her!!! She is touring for the first time since 2007 and she is COMING to PHOENIX!!!! August 5 at Dodge Theater. Her next CD, Quiet Nights, will be released on March 31.
I highly recommend this artist... she is a great jazz solo artist and her new album promises to be her best ever! On Diana's website, the CD is described as having a Brazilian focus and being a very intimate CD.
To hear some samples of her music, and to see where else she is touring this summer, click here.
Oh, and guess who Diana is married to? Elvis Costello! Interesting, huh?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Moda Bake Shop

IF I ever start to quilt, it'll be because of this blog, ModaBakeShop. Seriously, some dang, dang cute stuff.

And the pictures make me think that maybe, just maybe, I could do this!

I've done a quilt for my son that turned out darling... but the truth is... I had two very good friends of mine who are almost as good at quilting as they are at being a friend (they are AMAZING AMAZING friends), looking over my shoulder the entire time. And even more truthfully, the did a good portion of the work, with me nodding my approval and support!

I would love to give quilting a shot.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Restoration Hardware Factory Cart

I need a coffee table for my living room. I would LOVE this one from Restoration Hardware. It is impractical as there is no storage... but sometimes I find myself tired of being so practical. So... having said that... this is the coffee table that I would LOVE! It is $910. Click here for more information about this restored factory cart.

This would make for a far more practical coffee table. It is also from Restoration Hardware and is called the Mayfair Steamer Trunk. I love it! I could store all sorts of extra pillows, blankets and even some seasonal decorations in it! And it is still very interesting. It is $1700, so I guess practicality has a price! Click here for more info.

Starbucks Blended Creme

A couple of years ago, I received a Starbucks gift card from a friend of mine for my birthday. I was totally perplexed at this gift because I am not a coffee drinker... at all. I don't even like the way coffee smells. I know that puts me in the minority, but... it is what it is.

So, after having this gift card for awhile, I finally mentioned to another friend of mine that I had this card... what did she think I should do with it?

Without even a moment's hesitation... she walked me directly over to the Starbucks kiosk at the outdoor mall where we were shopping.

And she ordered me a Vanilla Bean Blended Creme. With caramel and whipped creme.

I have never spent a gift card faster than that one.

It was so yummy!!!

And then, during the summer they offered some sort of Orange-Creme Blended Creme. It tasted... exactly... like... an... ORANGE CREMESICLE! Not kidding.

These are a guilty pleasure. Very GUILTY, but also a pleasure.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

NoRTH Modern Italian Cuisine

I recently had the pleasure of going out to eat, sans kids, with my husband. We chose NoRTH Modern Italian Cuisine!

We had a fantastic meal! Actually... we have nothing to complain about. Wait... one thing. Read on.

We ordered the Zucca Chips ($5) and seriously wish we could have eaten two more bowls of these. They are thinly sliced zucchini chips that are flash fried. They melt in your mouth. They were so very good.

I ordered the Strozzapreti ($16), which is a light cream sauced rotini pasta with fresh spinach, toasted pine nuts, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. Delish. (I ordered mine without mushrooms, but I did add Grilled Chicken ($6), which made the dish a complete meal, in my opinion.) It was not an enormous serving, but was more than enough for me. Small lunch for the next day, too.

Phil ordered the Chicken Parmesan with Fresh Tomato and Butter Rigatoni ($17) and it was very possibly the best chicken Parmesan we've ever had. Seriously, we cannot recall ever having such yummy chicken Parmesan. Phil ate the entire serving, with a few bites being reluctantly shared with me. It was a perfect portion for him.

My complaint? Very few dessert items and nothing sounded *amazing* to us. But that is ok... we left full and looking forward to a return visit. Phil really wants to try to the Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin and I want to try the "Margherita" pizza!
Let me add... the service was great and the ambiance fantastic. Prices are on the high side for Italian food, but I think it was a great place to go for a special night out for just me and my husband.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tikki Tikki Tembo

This is one of my very favorite books from my childhood. I love it!!

The story is set in China and was written in 1968 by Arlene Mosel. It is about a boy named Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo. (I have never forgotten his name... ) He falls into a well and his little brother, Chang, runs to get help, but is delayed because it takes so long to say the very long name of his brother. Finally, he is able to get his mother, and the Old Man with the Ladder to get Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo out of the well.

I love saying Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo!

I read the story tonight to my seven year old daughter. I think she loves it too.

In 1997, the book was selected by The New York Times as one of the 50 best children's books of the previous 50 years.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

2 Cute 4 Me!

Click here. I have been 'published' again!

I'm kind of addicted to this license plate stalking thing...

The other day, I was out running errands and FREAKED out. I totally forgot my cell phone and I didn't have a camera either. What on earth was I going to do if I found a good/bad plate???

So... I refused to even look at license plates. Seriously. I avoided even looking at a single plate.

Horrible License Plates ... I wish I had thought of it!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Perpetual Kid - Food Face Plates

I recently found a fun website. I spent too much time checking out all the fun stuff at Perpetual Kid. They bill themselves as the place to "entertain your inner child" and they have a ton of great gift ideas!!!

Love it.

Here are a few, very random, things that I fell in love with!

This is a rug, designed to look like a sewer cover direct from the streets of New York! How clever? $26.99 Click here for more information.

This Lil' Sprout Growth Chart is p.e.r.f.e.c.t. Especially for families with more than one kid! I love everything about this fun way of keeping track of growing kids!! Place a picture in the slot as each new height is reached. Can you imagine how fun this would be to hand over to your son or daughter, at the birth of their first son or daughter? $19.99 Click here for more info.

Food Face Plate set... reminiscent of Dan the Magnetic Man... how fun! I wonder if this would help my 4 year old son with some of his eating issues?? It would sure be fun to try! $8.00 Click here for more info.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Studio M Photo Session Winner is...

corbin6 said...
me,me pick me! I haven't had pics taken of my family since....Well, Rylee was a year old. It's time and I love her work!

Congratulations Corbin6!!! You are going to be thrilled, thrilled, thrilled with your photos. I can't wait to see them!

Thanks to Melissa from Studio M! Her work is fantastic... and she just posted some new pics on her blog... check it out!!! Thanks also to everyone who entered.

A new giveaway will be announced in a few days! Stay tuned.

Note: I used Random.org and the generated number was... 5!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Supreme Sacrifice Day

Today is Supreme Sacrifice Day!

I'm not making this up! Click here.

The website explains...

Supreme Sacrifice Day recognizes the ultimate sacrifice made by some for the good of others.

History is filled with examples of people who offered the supreme sacrifice for other people.

Today is a day to reflect and offer thanks and appreciation to those who made the supreme sacrifice for us.

Note: I am making fun a little of this holiday... that is why I edited some of the information from the website. I don't want to be irreverent.

So... in honor of this holiday... I would like to pay tribute to a great sacrifice that recently took place in my home. After three-plus years of faithful service, we said goodbye to a big part of our daily lives today! Today... Supreme Sacrifice Day, we recognize the dependability, the reliability of our good friend. She was there for us, day in and day out... always willing to do the icky work, and always doing it so silently and efficiently.

Yes, our dishwasher died a very ugly, loud death today.
But, due to the remarkable advancement of appliance repairs and after a very short wait on the transplant list... our beloved friend received a motor transplant today. Oh glory be!

So, the Supreme Sacrifice that I hail today is not only that of our dishwasher, but also that of my husband's wallet!

Thank you! Thank you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nick's Coves

Nick's Cove... located in Marshall, California, offers a dozen private cottages that are set on stilts along the shore!!! Muffins and fresh-squeezed juice is delivered, with the morning newspaper, to your front porch!
Sounds like a little piece of heaven to me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mental Floss

Mental Floss claims to be...

where knowledge junkies get their fix!

It is a fun blog!!

I played some of the Lunchtime Quizzes... it was fun! I really enjoyed the Sesame Street Song Quiz and did pretty good. The Name that City quiz was fun too... I only got 60% on that, but it was interesting!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Construction Cutlery

My little boy would love these... I wish I had found them when he was just learning to use a fork and a spoon. The set of three is $20 at Flying Peas. Click here for more information!

Be sure to check out the links for Daddy Gifts when you are at Flying Peas. They have some cool lullaby CDs that would make great gifts!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Martha Stewart Cookie of the Day

Almond Cookies... don't they look soooooo yummy?

One of my favorite websites is MarthaStewart... not because I am anything close to be a "Martha Stewart" but because I find inspiration from her way of doing things.

I even have a subscription to the Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Anyway... on the website there is a feature called "Cookie of the Day" and I like to pop over and take a look every once in awhile. Yesterday's cookie, Almond Cookies, looks so yummy!

Click here for the recipe.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Winner of the Disney Tote...


Maren said...
Does it help your chances if you are the first post? Pick me, pick me!

Sometimes it does help your chances if you are the first comment posted!!

Congratulations! And ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Current Giveaway - Studio M Photography Session

I just booked an Easter portrait session for my little ones with a great photographer and I'm so excited. Melissa, owner of Studio M, does some amazingly creative work!! I've not seen a single picture that she has taken that isn't simply stunning. She is able to capture the real personality of her subjects!!
Check out her blog, Studio M, for more examples of her work! Prepare to be impressed.

Melissa has generously offered a free portrait session to a reader of this blog. Melissa works in the Phoenix area and will work with you on picking a location for your session! (She has some great ideas!!) Leave a comment here by midnight, Wednesday, March 18 to be entered into this giveaway! I will use Random.org and then post the winner on March 19. Good luck! And tell a friend.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Lion Called Christian

Click here for an amazing video. It is worth watching. It'll make you laugh... and maybe shed a tear or two!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Horrible License Plates... Goo Chick

Check it out...

click here...

I made it to the Horrible License Plates blog... again!!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009


I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse.
Walt Disney

I think this is one of my favorite Mickey images... ever! I just love the 'happiness' of this picture! It reminds me of how excited my little kids get when they get their very own FUN DIP... the long, multi-flavored kind!

My ten-year old daughter got her first Disneyland Mickey Mouse shirt this weekend. This is the image on the shirt... it is called "vintage Mickey." Makes me feel old.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hollywood Tower Hotel

I asked Phil what his favorite ride at Disneyland was...

he answered...

The Hollywood Tower Hotel.


Because I love him, I went on the ride.

It was terror-ific! I'd probably ride it again!
This is how Disneyland.com describes the ride...
Dare to scale the heights by checking into the once-glamorous, and now vacant, luxury Hollywood Tower Hotel! Explore the mysteries of what happened that fateful night when lightning struck, then plunge 13 stories into the most thrilling recesses of The Twilight Zone®.

Encounter the hotel's ghastly ghostly guests.
Experience the mysterious atmosphere from the classic television series.
Confront awesome special effects.
Get an adrenaline rush from the view at the top of the abandoned elevator shaft before the delirious drop into the fifth dimension and beyond!

This is Phil standing in line to ride the Hollywood Tower of Terror... I snapped the picture with my cell phone!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Current Giveaway - Green Totes - Disney Style

Disneyland was selling these great reusable totes at most of their stores. They are the typical bag (every grocery store sells their own version with their store logo on them) and are designed so they can stand open. Each bag has a tree, in the shape of the infamous Mickey Mouse head and the tag line... "Every Tree Has Character."

The reason for the Disney theme this week is that this past weekend my husband and I were able to get away to Disneyland to see our 10-year old daughter sing with her choir! We had an incredible time!! I love Disneyland!

Leave a comment to this post by midnight, Wednesday, March 11 to be entered in a drawing for your very own green Disney Tote!! I'd love to hear what your favorite souvenir from Disneyland is! I'll post the winner on Thursday, March 12!

Good luck!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Soarin' Over California

(Publicity pictures for Soarin' Over California... I did not take these photos)

One of our very favorite rides at California Adventure is Soarin' Over California. It is such an amazing ride. On this trip, we were able to ride this three times! Going to Disneyland without kids meant that we were able to do a lot of rides as single riders... cutting our waiting in line time to almost nothing!

Wikipedia has this description of the ride: The simulator attraction takes 87 guests at a time on a simulated hang glider tour of the Golden State, flying over San Francisco, Redwood Creek, Napa Valley, Monterey, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Palm Springs (actually shot in nearby La Quinta over the golf course at PGA West), Camarillo, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego, Malibu and Los Angeles. The ride ends with a flight over Disneyland at Christmas, with a Christmas parade traveling down Main Street, U.S.A., decorations on Sleeping Beauty Castle, and fireworks.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monte Cristo Sandwiches from Disneyland

Disneyland's Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Served at the Blue Bayou and Cafe Orleans inside Disneyland

My grandma C. introduced me to these sandwiches. Oh man... they are so good. When she found a restaurant in Phoenix that also made them, she would arrange to take me on occasion. I remember the day she called me (I was living in Utah at the time) to tell me that the restaurant was closing. She suggested we meet at Disneyland to share a sandwich. In high school I had a boyfriend that my grandparents actually quite liked (that is speaking ONLY to my taste in guys...) and one time I was staying at their house when he picked me up for a date. My grandpa slipped him a twenty-dollar bill and said... "if you are hoping for a good-night kiss... take her to The Chimney and order for her. Order the Monte Cristo Sandwich." How funny is that?

I've only attempted this recipe once... and I did not make the sauce or compote... instead I served it with Knotts Berry Farm Mixed Jelly!

note: there is nothing healthy or diet friendly about this recipe... NOTHING

Recipe from RecipeZaar. Click here.

12 ounces red currant jelly
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon half-and-half

1 (12 ounce) jar red currant jelly
1 (15 ounce) can peaches

2/3 cup water
1 small egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

8 slices white bread
4 slices roasted cooked turkey (1 ounce each sandwich)
4 slices Swiss cheese (1 ounce each sandwich)
4 slices smoked ham (1 ounce each sandwich)
vegetable oil, for frying

confectioners' sugar, for dusting
fruit, compote, currant jelly sauce


1 CURRANT JELLY SAUCE: Combine jelly, water and half and half in blender and mix until smooth. Makes about 3/4 cup.

2 FRUIT COMPOTE: Combine your favorite fresh and canned fruits and chill well. Yield is about 1/2 cup per person.

3 BATTER: Place water, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl and using an electric mixer, mix well at low speed. Add flour and baking powder and mix until batter is smooth. Chill.

4 SANDWICHES: Make 4 sandwiches, putting cheese between ham and turkey. Cut into fourths and put a toothpick through each quarter.

5 Heat about 6" of oil to 340 degrees in a fryer. Dip sandwiches in batter to cover all surfaces. Deep fry sandwiches until golden brown, turning as needed. An alternate way of frying it to put approximately 1/4" oil in a large pan and fry the sandwiches on both sides until crispy and brown.

6 Remove from oil and take out toothpicks. Drain on paper towel to remove excess oil. Sprinkle sandwiches with confectioners' sugar. Serve with fruit compote and currant jelly sauce.