Tuesday, 29 December 2009


This is what Isabella did with her friend Kathryn when we went to London for our anniversary.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Friday, 18 December 2009


Today has been the most wonderful, Christmas-y day! We decorated sugar cookies with cool frosting and xmas sprinkles and had a blast with the snow. In all seriousness, today with Isasbella was magic.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

More Holiday Stuff

first gingerbread house

homemade jammies

We have been so busy for this past week. I committed myself to making most of my Christmas gifts this year, and I have to say I don't think I can do this again. All of last week I had a neckache that almost drove me to the doctor - I could hardly hold Isabella. I've been painting, sewing, knitting, Christmas-carding, party-prepping, you name it! But I'm so excited for the holidays this year that I almost don't want them to get here just so this holiday stuff can keep going - it has been so fun to show Isabella the traditions of Christmas now that she can understand a lot of what's going on.

Isabella update: The day of our anniversary, she started saying "I LOVE YOU." She has a passion for chatting on the phone, and is a kid who will actually talk to you! Her legs are growing so fast I'm not sure what to do about her pants situation - skinny waist and long legs make sizing hard. She can kind-of sing the first verse of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." I have some great videos to post one day in the not-so-distant future, I hope.

Before and After

Inspired by this great blog designsponge, I bought this beat up chest from a thrift store for $5. With a little sanding, new paint, and some gorgeous fabric it's like new again! Of the million and one projects I'm working on, I am most proud of this because I actually used a handsaw to recreate the broken lid. I also cut up a ratty old comforter to re-cushion the lid - so this project ended up costing me very little indeed.

And here is the full effect - please disregard the debris on the floor, my little helper is sometimes too helpful.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Monday, 23 November 2009

Happy Anniversary! Nine Years!

the decor was...interesting

Typical European dining at its best (close tables) - our neighbors kept watching us eat!

lucky the restaurant rides on Jamie Oliver's celebrity, otherwise no one would know about it - it's in the middle of nowhere (if that's possible in London)

Isabella spent the day with my friend Karalee and her daughter Kathryn. She had a blast - no tears all day. Parks, play dough, and awesome toys - she wasn't ready for us to take her home!

Fresh From the Oven!

Being home with Isabella affords me the opportunity to making beautiful pies like this! I can't wait to cut into it. It's got cranberries, apples, pears, and figs and way too much butter to be healthy.

My constant kitchen companion. A little finger paint in the pot makes everything taste better too.

Monday, 16 November 2009

21 Months

We went from summer to winter within the span of a month. We left England for the US and came home to cold. We had a pretty wet weekend and our being caught in the house for most of it left both Pedro and I with cabin fever. We're spoiled rotten- we really are. We went out with friends on Friday night and spent Sunday afternoon keeping warm in a local pub - all with Isabella in tow. In between, I spent hours sewing up Christmas gifts and finishing my latest quilty creation to keep us warm on the couch for many wintry weekends to come. But I think what makes us feel gloomy is dealing with a little one who has spent the last year teething. She has been cutting at least four molars in the last six weeks and those buggers are taking their time to fully emerge, leaving us with a very temperamental toddler.

In other news, Isabella has been forming real sentences now. Most of the time we hear, "I like it," or "I dropped it," or "hold that." I have also been taking her to a new play group in the village, but she doesn't seem to be enjoying it very much at this point. Although it's an amazingly well organized group with lots of art and play, she just isn't used to the high decibel level and the concept of delaying rewards at snack time. Is it really possible to ask a not-yet two-year-old to resist chomping down on that cracker before the snack song ends, all while keeping her fingers under the table for good manners???

Next weekend is our ninth anniversary. Pedro and I are going to escape to London for lunch at Fifteen (Jamie Oliver's restaurant!!!) and an exhibit on Montezuma, while Isabella enjoys an extended play date with her friend Kathryn. We can't wait!

Sunday, 1 November 2009


This year was Isabella's second halloween and was more enjoyable than last year, when I was rushing around trying to get things done after work. We went to a Halloween party for kids and then did trick-or-treating afterwards. We finished the night with a few pints of Hobgoblin brew at a pink pub with friends and came home to watch the Halloween classic The Lost Boys (after the little one's bedtime, of course) . Having a kid grants you free license to live the best parts of childhood all over again.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Autumn Bliss

at the village park

changing every day

hiking with friends this past weekend - hoping to make it a weekly event

We are settling into the Fall over here. This year it is absolutely stunning. The leaves are all falling at once and the weather has been mild and dare I say it? Pleasant. Today I hung my clothes out on the line outside, which says a lot. There are sloe berries and elderberries to be had along the trails and I have several batches of each liquor brewing in preparation for a Christmas bash this year. I've decided to put up a photo with me in it since I have been getting complaints that it's like I'm a ghost. Hope you are all having a wonderful autumn week!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Long Lost Minnesota Pics

being with family is the best!

exploring Great-Grandma Lu's garden

she would have a nasty fever only hours later

learning colors from my brother, Uncle Adam

first lipstick with Auntie Lisa

cuddling with Cousin Kaitlyn on my handmade quilt

"lips" for all the girls

warm welcome from Cousin Sacha

with Grandma Sue after a long journey from NY

with Uncle Adam and her new souped up trike

patty cake with Great-Grandma

Friday, 9 October 2009

A Bunch of Beach Bums

only about 20 minutes from home

April, Isabella, and sister-in-law Kathy - Isla de Ratones

Notice the great tan Aaron got while he was here - Jobos Beach

We really can't complain.

Photo post!

snorkeling in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

Aaron donning snorkeling gear - it was so beautiful down there

Pedro's brother Luis with friend Pablo in the mangroves

Aaron in a mangrove canal in La Parguera
my brother Adam with Isabella and my neice Kaitlyn

Thanks to Pedro's brother Walo and his technological expertise, we got back some (but not all) of the lost photos. Unfortunately, most of the photos from Minnesota are still gone. We did have the presence of mind to upload them to my mom's laptop but since she doesn't have internet, it's unlikely that we'll see those any time soon. I'll post a few of the pics we found here and more in the sidebar slideshow. Have a look and be sure to leave a comment. We LOVE comments :).

Friday, 2 October 2009


Our month-long trip is going really well. New York was just as fabulous as I thought it would be and I hope to travel there again with a good babysitter on standby so that we can enjoy more things that the city has to offer. Claudia and Jesus were wonderful hosts and we took our time and enjoyed a few things to the full. Little Daniel was so adorable with Isabella - he behaved like her older, wiser friend who protected her from areas she wasn't supposed to be, held her hand, and showered her with baby kisses. Those two ran around Ellis Island just as happy as can be and it was precious to watch.

Our time in Duluth, Minnesota flew by. We drove into town from St. Paul and were greeted by balmy weather and a mini-family reunion - just about all of my immediate family made it out to see us. My mom watched Isabella several times during our visit so Pedro and I went out with my brothers and tried to enjoy the area a bit before we were taken down by a disgusting cold. Our plans for seeing everybody and making at least one hiking trip were nixed. We did manage to convince my youngest brother Aaron to come with us to Puerto Rico, so our farewells were made easier knowing he'd be along too.

Before we left, we found out that Pedro's uncle Vitín suffered a fatal heart attack in Puerto Rico and passed away. Ours hearts are heavy for his family as we missed the funeral by two days. Vitín's brothers and kids were still here when we arrived so we got to visit people Pedro hadn't seen in years and some that I hadn't yet met. Despite the sadness, we all had a really nice time at a party Pedro's brother Walo hosted the day after we arrived.

Since then, we have been trying to show my brother this area of the island. Yesterday we went snorkeling off Walo and Luis's boat in the mangrove islands of La Parguera. It was breathtaking. We got minorly stung by jellyfish a few times, but it was quickly forgotton in beauty of those coral reefs.

For the rest of the week, we are hoping to get in as much beach time as possible before Aaron goes back to the cold climate of Minnesota. This post is without photos because our memory card proved defective and our shots from the whole trip were erased (we may get them back yet - we're trying!). But there will be more, so I will make a photo post soon.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

New York!

We're in New York with our friends Jesus and Claudia. We spent yesterday in Manhattan and today in Ellis Island (where my great-grandfather arrived in 1919 from Sweden). We're having a great time but we are already leaving tomorrow for the Minnesota leg of the trip. I would love to post more photos but I don't want to waste much time being online! We'll find an internet cafe in Minnesota, so I will try to keep you posted.