Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ten before 10/1

If you read a lot of blogs you may have noticed a lot of "30 before 30," lists or something to that effect, floating around the blogosphere. If you haven't, I have. And take my word for it: they're popular right now. I think they're a great idea -- I am a list-lover at heart and the thought of having all of my goals laid out right before my astigmatism-ed little eyes, WITH A DEADLINE, makes me happy.

The only problem is I am past 30.

31 actually.

And I didn't do one of these lists. And "32 before 32" sounds kind of, well, like I forgot to do a 30 before 30 list. (Although, being from Utah, I should have a soft spot for those two numbers.)

But anyhow, I have decided to do my own list: "10 before 10/1." Ten things before October. I figure that giving myself only four weeks will make me get my arse in gear and actually accomplish something.

So (drumroll, please!) without further ado: My 10 Before 10/1 List:

1. Replace the knobs on the Craigslist dresser I bought (and have been living with for more than one year) when I thought: "That dresser will work great but I can't live with it for more than one day without replacing those knobs."

2. Take pictures of Little A's nursery nook and write a blog post about my favorite part of it -- the changing table/dresser.

3. Put up a piece of art on the gigantic, bare wall that calls my name every time I walk by, reminding me how big of a procrastinator I am.

4. Finish reading the book I started a couple months ago and haven't finished.

5. Find new pillows for our living room couch. Either by buying some I love or making them myself. Which reminds me...

6. ...I need to use my sewing machine. I haven't made anything with it yet even though I've had it for a couple of years. I can't wait to try.

7. Burn the 19 months of video footage from our camcorder onto DVDs.

8. Print out (and put in an album) at least two months of photos from Anthony's first year. I know, I am wayyyy behind on this.

9. Have a picnic at the park while it's still warm.

10. Eat at a new restaurant.

I will report back on my progress. Wish me luck!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

And let the dinner party invites commence...

I admit it. One of the main reasons I wanted to have a child was so he could intentionally smear food on his face, I could say "show Mommy how the piggies eat!" and then laugh uncontrollably.

In the video below you'll notice that my dream has come true.

The bad news is that I had washed Little A's high chair just before this classic display of Martha Stewart-approved table manners. Time not so much well spent. The good news is that the hilarious little giggle you heard? Pretty much sums up his personality all day, every day.

I mean, what's there to be upset about when you have endless amounts of "GOGURT!" and Cheerios to smear on your face.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday Lovely: Today is the Day

Although our master bathroom has been finished for about a year and a half I haven't really gotten around to decorating it. I am s l o w l y getting back into the groove and picked up a shower curtain (we had just been using a plain white liner because I couldn't find a curtain I liked. How embarrassing. I have a severe, constant case of of Analysis Paralysis.), a towel bar (yet-to-be-hung) and some picture frames so that when I found some works of art I could just hang them quickly before I over-analyzed what kind of frames my future artwork needed.

Little A and I took a trip into Urban Outfitters to pick up some Father's Day items for Z (we found this, which he loves for its practicality and I love for its old-fashioned-key-lookingness) and I discovered a little bowl in the same shade of green that our bathroom is painted. It also features some bright reds, blues and other colors as accents. I decided this is the color scheme for our bathroom and I bought it (for $2.99 on sale). So now the hunt is on for vibrantly colored accent items.

A quick search on Etsy and I discovered a little treasure from this shop.

I love its motivational message (and, boy, could I use some motivating these days), bold color and great font.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

And the award for rosiest cheeks in a short film goes to...

Please click below to view a documentary featuring Little A modeling his dad's super sweet triathlon swim cap.

Bonus features include him making a frog sound and doing a little jig. We thought of holding onto this for a major Sundance release but decided to distribute it to the public free of charge instead.

You're welcome.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mama Mia!

We went to Price a few weekends ago to celebrate Mother's Day and party it up with the family. Little A and I headed down on Friday. Zach, since he had to work Saturday day and night, was going to stay home for the weekend. But instead, he was missing his wife and child (we are pretty incredible) and decided to surprise us by riding a train that left Sunday, Mother's Day, at 4 IN THE MORNING - like, when it's still dark, really dark - and arrived in nearby Helper at 7 a.m. That's still early. Like, really really early (especially if you're the one who had to roll out of bed to pick him up).

But what a great guy.

We had a fantastic time in Price (as usual). We went to visit a 500 million year old friend at a College of Eastern Utah dinosaur excavation not far from my parents' house.

(L) Little A touching a real dinosaur tooth. (R) Preserving the dinosaur vertebrae in plaster.

Little A being held by his Grandmother, who should also be known as the World's Best Mother,
and hanging out with his BFF, Grandpa Randy

Hosted an impromptu Valdez family hula hoop party. It was harder than it looks.

(L) Aunt Suzi showing us how it's done. (R) Cousin T.J. busting a move.

(L) Mal and mom (M) Sara (R) Little A

(R) Birthday Girl showing her dad and Uncle Jimmy the proper technique
(L) Linsey, Zach and Grandma Darlene

Celebrated Karley's birthday.

Celebrated Malarie's official college graduation (even though she finished her classes a year ago - she's smart like that).

Toasting the graduate, unfortunately the awesome photographer didn't get a picture
of the graduate during this toast.

And celebrated some pretty incredible Mothers on their special day.

Little A and his Great Grandma Inez and Great Grandma Darlene.

All mothers should be so lucky. We had a blast!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Lovely: Beautiful Bistro

Are you familiar with Terrain? News of this chic home/garden/landscape shop's online arrival has been all over the Internet like (expensively priced) moss on a stone. And I'm sure its popularity isn't hurt by the fact that it happens to be a sister company to the store that is to Utah women what crack is to junkies.

I was browsing through its pages and thought this red patio set was so dreamy. Can't you just imagine lounging around in this cheery, red chair, drinking a refreshing glass of lemonade and reading a favorite magazine? Yeah, I can't either. Who has time for that? But in another life I would totally be up for it. Especially with this chair's gorgeous, high back.

And I would love to set my cool, refreshing drink on one of this adorable flower-shaped table's wire petals.

If you like this table and chair, too but don't want to drop the pretty big bones it would take to buy the whole set, check out this option from K Mart. Just as lemonade-worthy, I think.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stay at Home Dad: I don't take drugs I get high on baby hugs

Before Little A was born Zach & I decided we would trade off being home with him so that I could continue to work without having to rely on babysitters (for the sakes of both convenience and my anxiety level). We're really lucky that Z's job allows for this kind of flexibility. Three days a week I go into the office and it's boys' time at our household as Z & A hang out together. It's working out great and they have a blast, even if sometimes when I get home two people (who shall remain anonymous) are still in their pajamas.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Monday Lovely: Better looking than the TI-85 I spent big bucks on in high school

Confession: I partially chose my college major based on the area of study that required the least amount of math classes. Yayyyyy for my bachelor's degree in communication. I do think, though, that if I could use a beautiful abacus such as this one from CB2 I would rethink my dislike for counting.

Anchored properly, I know it would be the perfect wall decoration above Little A's crib. He could slide the beads back and forth, and who knows, maybe use it to do our taxes.


Overheard: Partying Like Rock Stars

Me: Oh. My. Gosh. Tonight on Iron Chef it's Battle: Cabbage!

Him: I love cabbage.

Me: This is the best Saturday night ever.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Little A's Birthday Balloon Invitations

Back in December, the glorious birth month of Little A, we had a small family party to celebrate. But because of the size of the Valdez clan, our family parties are never small. We all squeezed together and had a great time although I did realize one of the downsides to having a birthday party in the middle of winter (and especially when your house is the size of a shoebox) is that there is nowhere to have it.

Anything outdoors is obviously out and since Little A was turning one, things like bowling or bouncing or skating were out for now. So we had a little party at our small restaurant. It was fun and we were very thankful for those who were able to celebrate with us.

Because we couldn't decide where to have this grand event, the invites were kind of a last-minute deal and went out mostly to just his youngest guests.

I liked the idea of using a balloon in/as the invitation, so after rounding up some blue balloons and left over heavy stock metallic paper, I (with the help of a lovely assistant) made some.

Step 1. Find a lovely assistant (preferably one who is full of hot air: see above.). After realizing that the recipients of this balloon invitation will likely blow up the balloon themselves, use the air filling tube to a seldom/never-used yoga fitness ball so that said lovely assistant's mouth is not directly in contact with the balloon itself.

Step 2. Once the balloon is filled with air, use a (red!) Sharpie to write the party details - what, where & when - on the balloon.

Step 3. Deflate the balloon. Once a bazillion balloons have been inscribed with the grand event's details start sticking them (printed side back, so that it's kind of a 'surprise' when they're blown up) using Zots onto card stock on which a little poem you've created has been printed and then cut to size of a pretty (red!) envelope.

Step 4. Mail them out to adorable little family members. Let the celebrating commence!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Lovely: Saturday Night 'White'

It's true! It's true!

Image from

She is hosting. What is more lovely than that? Not much. Although this one time, back in St. Olaf...


Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Lovely: Kinky Boots

Did you like the name of this blog post? Hopefully it got your attention. It did mine when Zach told me this was the film he watched when he was up with Little A at 2 a.m. a couple weeks ago (teething made our little guy restless so Z got up with him since this mama was working the next day). It doesn't exactly sound like a family friendly film.

But don't let the name mislead you. We watched this Sundance Film over the weekend (Z had DVR'd it, knowing that I'd probably like to watch it, too) and I fell in love. It's about a man who inherits his four-generation family shoe making business and has to come up with a plan to save it. So he decides to focus the company's efforts on a niche market: drag queens. Hey, those girls need cute shoes, too. Oh, and it's based on a true story.

Besides the drag queens' colorful, choreographed performances and the film's charming characters, it also teaches a great lesson about learning to accept others' differences.

And why 6' 4" men need extra reinforcement on their stilettos.

[Note: If you want to check it out, we found it on the Independent Film Channel on DishNetwork.]


Saturday, February 20, 2010

While the view from my home includes a trash-strewn parking lot

As you may or may not know, I am one of the world's most loyal Golden Girls fans. My favorite character, of course, is Rose Nylund. Besides our occasionally ditzy personalities, she and I also share a first love: Our hometowns.

Price is my St. Olaf.

So it should be no surprise that one of my favorite things to do is take Little A down there where we can breathe in the (fresh! clean!) air, look at the (clear! blue!) wide-open sky and enjoy long conversations with the relatives of my aunt's across-the-street-neighbor in the customer service line at K Mart. (Small towns are like real-life experiments of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.)

We also enjoy taking advantage of the beautiful scenery just steps out my parents' back door. So all the way back in November, just days after Thanksgiving (I have lost 5 pounds since these photos were taken, thankyouverymuch), we went for a little sunny-day walk.

The family set out on an expedition... look for these: seashell fossils.

The view wasn't bad.

The people-watching was riveting.

And the expedition proved to be a success.

We had such a fun day that I think that even Rose would be a tiny bit jealous (though she probably wouldn't admit it. She is surprisingly competitive.).


Friday, February 12, 2010

Bueller? Bueller?

A spider web I noticed at a castle in Italy. I imagine the spider that lives here wears a tiny cape and crown and goes around saying "ciao, bella!" to all the ladies when they walk by.

Hello Internet! Is anybody out there? I'm planning to dust off the cobwebs and update this thing shortly. Stay tuned...