Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday Mumblings

It's Monday and guess what? I'm in a mumbling/rambling mood... who knew, eh? VACATION TIME IS FINALLY HERE!!! So, I don't even know how I am finding time to blog or blogsurf because I am crazy busy right now. We leave for St. Louis this afternoon, right after Jon gets home from work (around 5:30 pm or so) and I haven't even started packing. We are only going to be there a couple of days visiting Caty, Asja & Jason and then we head to FL for a week... YAY!

When we return next week, Jon and I will be kidless. And again I have mixed feelings about that. Sometimes I get excited thinking about all the projects that I will be able to complete without the endless interruptions, but then I find myself staring at the girls and getting teary eyed. The longest we've been apart from them is 4 days and now we are making a huge leap to 2 weeks! Will I survive? I know I will be hurting more than they will. They'll be going to the beach, the pool, the park, Disney, etc. Mami & Papi will spoil them rotten. I'll be cooped up at home cleaning, organizing, panting and working. Although I do plan to have some much-needed adult fun (maybe a girls' night out with my buddies and a few date nights with Jon?) :)

Anyway, that's what we're up to but other than that, I have officially started designing my next line of fabric and I am beyond thrilled! Yes, I know, I haven't even received my first strike-offs for Andalucia (although I hope to get them next week!) and I'm already working on my next one. LOL! It's a madness, I tell ya. I seriously cannot be happy unless I have a HUGE project hovering over my head. I tried relaxing the past couple of weeks. Going to the park. Sleeping. But I felt empty. Sad, even. As soon as I decided to start my new collection my mood improved and I felt healthier... I know it's all psychosomatic but hey, it sure beats moping around the house, and I'd say as far as vices are concerned this has got to be one of the healthiest. ;)

I am going completely out of my comfort zone for this line... trying some new things. I am always up for a challenge and this is definitely one. But I am still equally as excited about Andalucia and I even have some smaller side projects in the works to really showcase the designs and give you guys some options for owning coordinating pieces. I can't divulge much right now as it is still in the estimating part of the process but I think you will like them. I am leveraging my graphic designs skills and taking advantage of some special vendors I have gotten to know through the years while I worked as a Creative Director back in Orlando. Exciting stuff! :)






So, what's going on in the Cook It. Blog It! front? Oooooh, lots of yummy stuff, my dears! I perused the blogroll (20 & growing!) this morning and found a few new recipes to share.

Kristen has been making super yummy salads (picture on the left) with her produce delivery from her CSA share. I have to get into that CSA action! Just looking at those pictures of all her fresh veggies & herbs is making me salivate. Check her out!!

ChezMish has been at it again with her awesome Asian recipes. This time she shares with us her mixed tempura dish using seafood and veggies. YUM!

Amii made some hot potatoes on the grill. Her pictures rock! Check her out.


And last, but certainly not least, is this awesome "Cupcakes for Dinner" idea from Andre'a. This one is a definite MUST for me. So creative and fun... and whatever will make the kids actually eat, I'm game for! Thanks for sharing with us, Andre'a!

You girls have been busy out there! And I'll bet your families are lovin' ya! I hope to share a couple simple things of my own on Wednesday before we head down to FL, but only if time permits.

Have a great week, everyone!!!

PS... thanks so much for all the comforting comments regarding Sydney's new do. It's so crazy to see how common this occurrence is! WHOA! We took her to Cookie Cutters and they sorta fixed her up but not really. They were scared to cut off her bangs as short as the shortest ones cause it would have been like 1/2" from her scalp so they just cut the rest about 1" shorter than they were so it will catch up faster... she still looks pretty crazy but not as bad. LOL!

They also cut 5 inches off the back... WHOA! I do like the new length much better and I think she does too. I'll share new pics soon!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I should've knocked on wood

I know this whole "self-haircut" thing is something that happens in most families at one point or another. I've seen so many pictures on other people's blogs and seen it first hand on my friends' and family's kids but I've always been happy & proud to proclaim that my kids have never done that. They've done this and this but never that.

Well, as my title says, I should've knocked on wood. ARGH!

She didn't do it to herself, Sophie did it to her. Don't ask me why. And apparently you can't ask her why either cause she doesn't know and gets very upset when you ask her. But what she does now is that she lost slumber party privileges and has to clean the playroom top to bottom for getting creative with her sister's hair.

As much as I was furious about this happening just days before leaving for vacation, I was more scared about the thought of my 6 year old putting a pair of Ginghers half an inch away from my 3 year old's eyes. EEEEEEEK! You'd better believe I am putting my sewing scissors way out of reach from now on. :(

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Asian Invasion on Cook It. Blog It!

I'm so ecstatic about the incredibly warm reception of Cook It. Blog it! We have 18 participants already (check them out!) in only 2 days of being up and I have spotted our logo all over blogland. YIPPEE!

This is especially exciting to me because it not only gives me new, creative mealtime ideas, but also gives me instant blogging topics even when I don't have anything cool of my own to share. LOL!

So, this morning, as I was perusing through the club members' blogs, I came across 2 recipes that I absolutely MUST try because they look amazingly delicious and also because my family is nuts about Asian food. We eat Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese every chance we get!

First of all, check out this amazing Sukiyaki recipe from new blogger, Michelle of Chez Mish. The dish looks complicated but she assures us that it's easy to make. It has all of my favorite ingredients so I think I might have to try it. Plus, Jon took one look at that picture on my screen and said "I want that for dinner!" Uh-oh! Thanks, Michelle, for sharing your amazing recipe and photos with us. I look forward to learning more from you.

Next, I came across this amazing tempura recipe, courtesy of Katarina from LikeFlowersAndButterflies. She said she combined Jamie Oliver's recipe with her own photos and since I am a total visual person, I was drawn to Katarina's awesome imagery... and salivating all over my keyboard... thanks, girl! She takes you step-by-step through the preparation of her tempura batter, even giving you little tips here & there. I love that because, as I mentioned above, I am a visual person and often times reading about how something is made doesn't actually register until I see it.

I will be featuring your recipes from the Cook It. Blog It! club hopefully every day (unless I'm on vacation or way too busy doing something fabric-design-related), so if you have something new up, please let me know so I can check it out and link to you. My family is gonna LOVE me this Summer thanks to all you guys and your awesome cooking skills! :)

Oh, and a special THANK YOU goes to Lisa of TheMommyDesigner and Pam of SewGracious for promoting our club on their awesome blogs. It was such a delightful surprise seeing our logo up there. Thanks so much, ladies!

If you'd like to participate in our Cook It. Blog It! club, please leave a comment with your URL after this post and I will get you added to the blogroll. Don't forget to grab the logo for your side bar, link to the blogroll so everyone can check you out and join our Flickr group (there's already lots of lovely photos to peruse on there).

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cook It. Blog It! Key Lime Pie
by Patty Young























My family requested ceviche again, so I went to the store in search of regular limes (what they call Persian Limes) but they were fresh out and instead they had bags of Key Limes, so I figured what the heck, right? Well, I had so many of them leftover after making my ceviche and even a citrus punch that I will share on another installment of Cook It. Blog It! that I thought it was about time I learned to make one of our all-time favorite desserts: Key Lime Pie.

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Key Lime Pie Recipe

What you need
Key Limes (lots of them!)
One 14-Ounce Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 Large Eggs (yolks only)
Pie Crust (I used a pre-made shortbread crust but generally people use graham cracker crusts, and you can certainly make your own crust if you are feeling extra crafty)

keylimepie1

How to make it
The first thing you need to do is grate enough limes to make 2 teaspoons of lime zest. Believe me, it will be easier to grate them before you juice them! I grated about 10 of them to get this amount. Oh, and check out this nifty grater from IKEA. It comes with its own little storage container... lid & all. LOVE IT!

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Next, you need 1/2 cup of fresh key lime juice. I squeezed 21 limes to get this amount! If you have a juicer, this will be a much easier, less painful and quicker task, but it took me about 20 minutes by hand.... eeek! Oh, and yes, in that picture, you can see that the pulp and seeds are still in the juice... don't worry, I strained the juice before adding it to the mixture (sometimes I do things out of order for no particular reason!)

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees now.
Next, you need to beat the 3 egg yolks until creamy. I did about 3 - 4 minutes on high. And then add the condensed milk and continue mixing on high for another 3 - 4 minutes. Finally, lower your speed and add the 1/2 cup of lime juice and the 2 teaspoons of lime peel (zest) and mix until even.

Pour mixture onto your pie crust and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

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While the pie was baking, I made some whipped topping with the leftover egg whites and some confectioners sugar. I guess it's more of a meringue, but since this is the kind of thing that needs to be eaten right away (and the pie needs to cool for a long time) I ended up pitching it.

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Your key lime pie will need to cool on a rack and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. If you try to slice it before it's completely chilled, you will end up with a gooey mess... believe me.

Finishing Touches:
I topped mine with a dollop of whipped cream and garnished it with a fresh raspberry for a bit of color pop. I also did a little plate decoration á la expensive French patisserie using this condensed milk in a squeeze bottle (no, I didn't buy this for this purpose... I always keep this at home!) :)

Enjoy! The pie was tart & delicious!

keylimepie7

Note: If you are interested in joining our Cook It. Blog It! club, please leave a comment under this post with your blog's URL and I will get you added right away! Don't forget to snag the sidebar logo for your blog and if you Flickr we even have a nifty little group to join as well.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


So, I did it! I started a Bloggers' Cooking Club and you are all invited to join. The rules are simple:
  1. COOK IT. Make something yummy for yourself or your loved ones.
  2. SNAP IT. Take plenty of pictures.
  3. BLOG IT! Tell us how you made it.
And since this is Summer and I know everyone is busy with Summertime activities, I won't add any requirements as to how often you need to post or what day of the week you need to blog about it. I want this to be fun and stress-free for everyone... and I'll admit that I am doing it for my own selfish reasons... I need to get more ideas of what to make for my family as I am quickly running out! ;)

So, if you are interested in joining us, please leave a comment under this post and make sure you leave the URL of your blog so I can add it to the COOKING CLUB BLOG ROLL. Yes, that's right, I made a special page for us... a central location where anyone can come and link right to your blog and check out what culinary wackiness you've been up to! :)

Feel free to snag this smaller logo for your side bar and make sure it links to: http://www.modkidboutique.com/cookitblogit



So, go on... grab the logo, leave us your URL and get cooking! Can't wait to see what you all cook up this Summer!

I'll get the fun started tomorrow with my very first made-from-scratch Key Lime Pie. YUMMMMMM! But, meanwhile, if you'd like to try a recipe of mine that turned out AWESOME, check out my ceviche recipe. Or, if you're up for some laughs check out my baking disaster from last year. Let's just say I've come a long way! ;)

**UPDATE!** I just created a Flickr group for our Cook it. Blog it! club... just another way for us to share photos, link to our blogs and see what we've been cooking up. So, if you Flickr, go ahead and sign up. Just like out club, this group is open to the public so anyone can join!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Mumblings

I didn't think this would be a regular feature on my blog, but it seems like every Monday I am in a rambling/mumbling mode, so let's see how long we can keep this going. And, yes, I know the word 'ramblings' would be more appropriate, but since I have a silly obsession with alliteration, I am keeping it as Monday Mumblings. ;)

First off, I'd like to thank all of you who commented on my new blog look. I think I'm pretty much done with the makeover now. I needed a new face for the Summer... something more cheery, bright & fun. :) Hope it brightens your day.

Secondly, I finally got around to picking the winner of the MODKID 2nd Anniversary Contest. Thank you so much to all who commented and told me of your Summer plans. I had a blast reading through all your comments... and thanks also for all the great wishes. You all are so sweet! So, since I haven't reached my 100th sale on Etsy yet (although it's only 3 purchases away) I've decided to draw 2 winners here on my blog. So here it goes...

I used the trusty old randomizer to draw numbers for me and the first number it drew was...


Comment #39, Jess, who said:

Happy Aniversay & Congrats on your new line with MMF. I can't wait to see it in the fall!

The second number it drew was:


Comment #2, Annie, who said:

Congratulations on your anniversary! I'll be checking out your store shortly. I plan to spend a quiet Summer at home with the kids... if you can call that quiet! hahaha

CONGRATULATIONS, Jess and Annie! Please email me at info@modkidboutique.com at your earliest convienience to claim your prize. Please include your mailing address and your choice of prize: a MODKID item or a sewing/crafting care package. Oh, and please keep in mind that I am leaving on vacation in 10 days, so if I don't hear from you before then, it will have to wait until I return from Florida. :)

OK... more ramblings...


So, what have I been occupying my time with these past couple of weeks?? Gymnastics Camp. It's loads of fun and I know I mentioned before that I was gonna be sketching for my new line of fabric during the 3 hours I have to sit on the bleachers and wait, but that's not working out as well as I planned it.

First of all, how can I bury my face into a sketchbook while I have all this excitement right in front of me? This is truly captivating! Secondly, the girls are not in the same class. Sydney goes from 9:30 am to 10:30 am and Sophie goes from 10:45 am to noon. So I have 1 child with me at all times nagging me about being bored, tired, sleepy, hungry, etc. the whole time. And yes, I do come prepared with plenty of snacks and entertainment (books, music, movies) but somehow it's never enough. I'd be satisfied just sitting there watching my girls tumble. Oh well.

Here's a few more pics... sorry about the crappy picture quality. The lighting in there is terrible and I guess I should start bringing in my regular camera instead of always relying on my iPhone...

Inserting a quick ramble right here...

I mentioned a few weeks back that I was going to get some bloodwork done to determine if I had iron deficiency or a thyroid hormone imbalance because I was feeling so fatigued all the time and was experiencing a few other symptoms of those conditions. Well, I am happy to report that my bloodwork came back totally normal. They also checked all the usual stuff... blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. and I am in perfect health (on paper at least). So as of now we are assuming that my tiredness was either due to prolonged lack of sleep or old age... or I guess maybe both! ;)

Ramble, ramble, ramble...

I was delighted the other day when one of my blog readers emailed to tell me that she tried out my ceviche recipe and loved it... and blogged about it! WHOA! You have no idea how much I was smiling when I read that! Thanks for making my day, Amy! I am just giddy to know that I actually wrote a recipe that works (for other people)! WOOHOO! Oh, and she has beautiful pictures of her ceviche too! Go check out Amy's blog... it's a fun read to boot!

Hmmmm... more ramblings...

After the warm reception of my ceviche recipe I have been thinking of starting a Blog Cooking Club. But first I wanted to see if you all would be interested in something like that.

The rules would be very simple:
  1. make something
  2. take pictures
  3. tell us how you made it
Maybe we could call it: Cook It. Blog It. or something simple like that. Ya know I'm all about simplicity. So what do you think? Would you be into that? Would you participate? I am thinking we could blog once a week and I could have a link right here to a page I would create on my website that would include links to all the blogs that are participating in this. Don't have all the details ironed out yet... just came to me a few minutes ago. If there is already a club like this that I am not aware of, please let me know... there's no need for duplication! :)

OK, I think that's enough mumbling for today. Have a great week, you guys!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pardon Our Dust

I am playing with a few fresh looks for the Summer so it might look a bit messy around here for a bit. Let me know if anything looks totally off on your end. I work on a Mac and sometimes what I see is not what the rest of the world sees.

While I put the finishing touches on this blog make-over, don't forget to leave a comment on my 2 Year Anniversary post to be entered to win a fabulous prize. There is still time! You can also win a prize by purchasing my 100th item sold in my Etsy store... we are dangerously close!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lookie, lookie what the postman brought!
(psst... don't miss a great discount code at the end of this post!)

Last December I ordered a couple of those fabulous personalized books offered by FlattenMe for Sophie and her cousin, Asja, as Christmas gifts. I wrote a short review of them here on my blog as soon as I received them because I was so impressed by their quality and beauty. The nice folks at FlattenMe found my review and have kept in touch with me ever since, even giving me some much appreciated linky love on their testimonials page. Well, when Margo, the Founder & CEO of FlattenMe, emailed me last week to ask if she could send me a sample of their new book design, which is geared towards the younger kids, I was ecstatic! I scoured my digital photo files in search for the perfect Sydney face for this book, emailed it to her and waited with bated breath. After all, Sophie loves her book soooo much that I was actually thinking of getting one for Sydney too.

Well, the book arrived today and OMG is it fantastic! Sydney couldn't keep her eyes (or hands) off of it all day long... good thing it comes in a practically-drool-proof board book format cause that girl's jaw just dropped when she saw herself as the protagonist in all these magical adventures.


She made me read the story to her 3 times within the first 30 minutes and the rest of the day she lugged it around the house, pausing every now & then to take another peek. She had such a quizzical look on her face... it was hilarious! I'm sure she was thinking "I don't remember doing all this, but... COOL!" hee hee


Just take a look for yourselves at how gorgeous this book is. The quality is top-notch... hard cover with a full-bleed, high-resolution image and a sleek, glossy coating. The story is captivating and age-appropriate and Sydney's picture is seamlessly and expertly merged into the background image.



The background artwork is amazing too...so whimsical and fun!


The book I ordered for Sophie and Asja last year is the fairy book (picture below)... and it is perfect for the older girls & boys. But if your kid is into pirates I know they have a pirate book too that looks like loads of fun. Oh, and they even have a potty training book... how perfect is that?!!



I want to thank the wonderful folks at FlattenMe for anther amazing keepsake book. This will be something my kids will cherish forever.

And as a thank you to all my readers, they are offering a 10% OFF COUPON valid until July 31st... just enter the coupon code: MODKIDS at check out to receive your discount. Click HERE to visit the FlattenMe site today.


Happy Shopping!
Come see the softer side of... Market?

It's been pointed out to me here & there by several Quilt Market attendees that I have somehow neglected to share with you all some of the more... shall we say... colorful events surrounding my 4-day stay in Portland. I guess my Market Report was a bit desaturated, eh?

So, since I am in between things right now and itching to blog, I will countdown my list of the Top 5 Most Colorful Events of my Quilt Market Trip:

#5. Left my PayPal card at Oba!
On my first night in Portland, I attended the fabulous Fabric 2.0 party, a meet & greet for all bloggers & fabricnistas attending Market. I treated my friend Myrinda to a Mojito and let the bartender start a tab for me. Well, I never did visit the bar again and when Kathy Miller said Let's Go, I went and left my card behind. The following day, after I realized what I had done (and that I was totally moneyless!) I bummed rides from any person who would take pity on me in hopes to retrieve my card. Eventually, it was the wonderful Eva and her sweet friend Tara who came to my rescue. They not only retrieved my Paypal card from Oba!, but came and picked me up off a random street corner in downtown Portland. Thanks, girls!!

#4. Took an unplanned scenic tour of Portland
On Friday night, I met with a dozen or so boutique designers in Downtown Portland for dessert and laughs. After midnight, when we all decided to retreat to our respective hotels, I bummed a ride with Chelsea, of PinkFig Patterns, and that's where our adventure began. As soon as I got into the van, Chelsea turns and says to me, "I'm not so good with directions" to which I responded, "Can't be any worse than me." We laughed it off, but not for long. Half an hour later, we were still driving in circles. Then within a matter of seconds we were off the map entirely. Every street we turned into had a detour sign or was a one-way street. Somehow, miraculously, we made it back to the Convention Center area where both of our hotels were located. Chelsea announces ecstatically, "There's the Double Tree" and I said, "That's great, Chelsea, but I'm staying at the Holiday Inn." We took a left turn and went down a couple of blocks in search for the elusive Holiday Inn and Chelsea announces again, "There's the Double Tree". By the fifth time we saw the Double Tree we realized we were driving in circles... again! It didn't matter if we turned left or right after the damn Double Tree... we still ended up there. It was like Hotel California. We were laughing uncontrollably and I think because we were laughing so hard and not paying attention to which direction we were driving anymore, we somehow ended up at the Holiday Inn... at 1:30 am!

#3. Made Michael Steiner eat a raw oyster
On my last night at Market, I was invited to eat dinner with the Michael Miller crew at a wonderful Peruvian tapas place. I was having the time of my life and decided to order a dozen raw oysters because I thought "Who doesn't like oysters?" Little did I know that the answer to that question was... "Most people." ;) When the oysters arrived, I offered one to Michael Steiner, co-founder of MMF, to which he politely responded, "Oh, no, thanks. I don't eat oysters." Well, I guess I must have been feeling extra confident -- and persuasive -- that night because I somehow convinced him that he would love the way I prepared them to which he reluctantly agreed. I proceeded to garnish a raw oyster with a little bit of this and a little bit of that (some Peruvian dips & sauces they brought us). Michael swallowed it whole without hesitation and declared that it was actually good. I'd like to think he was being truthful and not just polite because... it actually stayed down. :) Believe me, I've seen those things come up before... not a pretty sight.

#2. Made Joel Dewberry turn 10 shades of red.
I visited Joel's booth right after he had been presented with the famous Fabric PIMP button by Myrinda of Fabric Hound. Joel, being the cool and go with the flow guy that he is, immediately pinned it onto his badge and smiled for the camera. There was about a half a dozen boutique gals gathered around him when I don't know what possessed me to say "Yeah, Joel, you're the Fabric PIMP because we're all Fabric Ho's!" and waved my hand -- Vanna White style -- around the crowd of shocked, open-mouthed boutique gals.

Yeah, nice, Patty. But wait... there's more:

#1. Made a crass remark at a textile matriarch.
Let's rewind a couple of days back to the Fabric 2.0 party at Oba!, shall we? I was standing in the middle of the room chatting with someone... I don't recall who because the event that followed wiped all my memory prior to it and apparently after too, since I'm pretty sure it was partly to blame for why I left my only monetary source behind. So, anyway, as I was chatting merrily, I feel a bit of a tug in the back of my shirt... kinda near my... ehem... bum? I turn around quickly only to find this sweet elderly lady smiling at me and saying "Oh, honey, I saw that your beautiful blouse was a bit tucked into your pants back here, so I thought I'd help you out." Well, any normal person would have thanked the sweet lady and got on with their conversation, but apparently I am not normal. I proceeded to say, "Well, since you've had your hands halfway down my pants, I feel we should be properly introduced. I'm Patty Young, new licensed designer with Michael Miller." Short pause. "Ooh, nice to meet you. I'm Donna Wilder, founder of Free Spirit Fabrics." ... GULP!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Honoring the Dads

On this special day I honor the two most important men in my life, the man I call Papi and the man my girls call Daddy.

Papi (my dad) is an incredible guy. He is loved by everyone who meets him because of his generous soul and his sense of humor. He is charismatic, funny, has amazing experiences to share and has a heart of gold. You can always count on Papi to help with whatever you need assistance with because he loves helping others and never asks for anything in return.

Papi loves to travel, and with him and my mom (Mami), I have been to over a dozen countries. When I was only 3 years old, he converted a van into a cozy 'apartment on wheels' and we drove from Houston, Texas down to San Jose, Costa Rica... a journey that took almost 2 weeks. Oh, the stories he will tell you (over & over again) about that adventure! Papi also loves to sail and he recently purchased a sailboat so he could fulfill his dream of spending every spare moment on the water. Papi loves to build and repair things. He has transformed their Florida home into something that looks almost nothing like the original home he purchased 20 years ago... home project by home project. Papi is the life of the party. No matter where we go, people will gravitate towards him to hear him retell his hilarious accounts of growing up with his identical twin brother in Puerto Rico, or attending school at Georgia Tech, or traveling through Central America with his wife and child. Whatever story he is telling, he says it with such gusto and humor that it engrosses his audience... even if they have heard them a half-a-dozen times before. ;)

The name Papi has clung to him like white on rice and now everyone calls him that... from his daughters, to his grandchildren, to our friends. Happy Father's Day, Papi!


I didn't think I could meet a man as wonderful as Papi until I met Jon. It was amazing to me to see how similar we were but yet how incredibly different. We were attracted to each other at the beginning because of our similar sense of humor. Very crass, I must say. And it seemed like in social situations, we were the only ones who "got" each other. It was great! Still is. But on the other hand, we are so different. He is practical, rational, logical and a planner. I am impulsive, crazy, wild and a dreamer. We balance each other perfectly!

Together, Jon and I have had some amazing experiences. We've traveled extensively and done some wild things... from scuba diving to parasailing... and loved every minute of it. He "gets" my eccentricities and tries to indulge me every chance he gets. Plus, we share a love of ethnic foods and imported beers so meal times can always be an adventure whether we are traveling or staying close to home.

As a father, I couldn't have dreamed of anyone better... he is sweet, caring and dedicated. Sophie & Sydney adore him to death and as a matter of fact, when he comes home from work, I am chopped liver. When we go out to eat the girls fight as to who gets to sit next to daddy. I should be a tad jealous, but I am just so ecstatic that they love him so much... plus it gives mom a little break after being with them all day long. ;)

Thank you, Jon, for being such a wonderful husband and father. Thank you for working so hard so that I can stay home with the kids and realize my dream. I only hope that one day I can do this for you too. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

MODKID 2nd Anniversary SALE!

OK, so our 2nd Anniversary was actually on May 20th but that was my first day back from Portland so I don't think I was in any shape or mood to do much but sleep. So, here we are... better late than never, eh?

I have decided to celebrate our 2nd Anniversary by having a HUGE SALE on our Etsy store. I just finished listing several ready-made items and I have priced them really low. But the catch is that once they're gone, they're gone and there's only 1 of each design in small & large sizes.

As of right now, I have 92 sales on Etsy and I've been told that hitting your 100th sale is a big deal over there, so what I am gonna do is reward the buyer of my 100th item with a special matching surprise item. Since I don't know which will be my 100th item sold, this surprise item will be custom-made after the sale, so please allow an extra couple days for completion. :)

And since I am feeling happy & generous, I will also reward one lucky blog reader with a surprise package in the mail from moi. Since I know some of you don't have small children (or girls), I will give the lucky winner their choice of: a sewing/crafting care package from my extensive collection of fabric/notions OR a custom-made MODKID surprise item.

All you have to do is leave a comment below this post and let me know what your plans are for this Summer. Are you traveling, hanging out at home, taking on a new project, learning a new skill, sleeping a lot??? Tell me, tell me, tell me.

I will draw the winner in 1 week.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Own Ceviche

One of my resolutions for this Summer was to eat healthier and make more of my own food from scratch. I've never hidden the fact that I'm no Martha when it comes to cooking, baking or any other culinary arts. It's definitely not my forté. But I try. And I sure love to eat homemade food made from scratch.

So, since I had a little time on my hands I decided to jump right in and try to make my own ceviche without actually following one single recipe. I did look at a few different ones on the web but none of them sounded just right, so I took ideas from here & there and added my own twist and I must say that it turned out amazingly, mouthwateringly delicious... if it hadn't I wouldn't share my recipe with you all. ;)

Shrimp & Scallop Ceviche

Here's what you will need:

1 lb. medium shrimp, raw, peeled & deveined
1 lb. small to medium scallops, raw and thawed
2 - 3 large lemons
3 - 4 limes
1 large orange
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 large onion
2 tomatoes
1 cucumber
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt

Here's how to make it:
In a medium pot bring water to boil with a pinch of salt and a squirt of lemon. At the same time, heat the olive oil & salt in a large saucepan, on medium heat. Boil the shrimp and sautée the scallops no longer than 2 - 3 minutes. The shrimp should turn pink and the scallops should turn white, but if you cook either of them longer than that time, they will be rubbery.

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While the shrimp & scallops are cooking, juice up the lemons, limes & orange and mix it all together. The idea is to have equal parts lemon juice, lime juice and orange juice ... so you can decide based on the size of the fruits how many of each to use.

After the shrimp have been boiling for 2 - 3 minutes (or until pink) remove them from the hot water and throw them in a bowl with ice water to stop the cooking process. You can do the same with the scallops if you want. Then chop up the shrimp into 1/2 inch pieces and if the scallops are small enough you can leave them whole or half them.

Pour your citrus juice mix over the chopped shrimp & scallops and refrigerate, covered, for 1 hr.

While the seafood is marinating, proceed to chop up the onions, tomatoes, cucumber & cilantro and mix together. I chopped all of my veggies into small cubes... no bigger than 1/4". You may choose to chill these as well, but it's not necessary.

After the seafood mix has chilled for 1 hr., pour it over the chopped veggies in a large bowl, mix well, add salt to taste and VOILA!

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Serve your homemade seafood ceviche immediately in a clear cup or bowl. Garnish with a whole shrimp or a sprig of cilantro and eat with tortilla chips, pita chips or toasted French bread.

There are many variations you can try with your ceviche. If you prefer the spicy variety, you can add hot chiles or cayenne peppers to your veggie mixture. I opted against it only because I knew my girls would be eating some and they wouldn't like the hot peppers in it. If you like the taste of bell peppers, you can add these as well. You can also try making it with fresh fish instead of shrimp & scallops. Red snapper would be divine in it!

Note: when they make it with fish they usually don't cook the fish first. They just let it marinate in lemon juice overnight to sort of "cure" it.

But whatever you do, there are 2 important keys to making the perfect ceviche:

1. Use fresh ingredients! Don't buy pre-cooked seafood or canned veggies. Freshness is the key.

2. Serve chilled! There's nothing yuckier than room temperature ceviche.

Enjoy! If you try this recipe, I'd love to hear about it. :)

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Monday, June 09, 2008

monday mumblings

I feel a bit out of sorts. Not in the way I felt 2 weeks ago, but just a tad odd. My fabric designs are officially on their way to the mill... I believe they left last Friday, so now I just sit & wait. Sitting & waiting is not my specialty. Patience is not my virtue. So as you can imagine, I feel like an empty nester right now. I keep pacing around the house not quite knowing what to do with myself... with my extra time. I feel myself drawn to the computer thinking I need to work on something but it's all done... all gone. Weird.

This weekend I started cleaning my folders on my computer, ya know, organizing all my designs and pitching stuff I'm no longer using and I saw the date on my very first Andalucia design... a repeat pattern inspired by a picture I took of an authentic Moorish tile from Granada. Anyway, the date on that very first design was May 11, 2007 (!!!) That means that as of now I have been working on Andalucia for nearly 13 months. And by the time my strike-offs are approved and I receive my printed fabric, this baby will have had an 18-month gestational period! WHOA! No wonder I feel bloated!

I'm not complaining. These have been some amazing 18 months! Being able to stay home with my girls and still exercise my creative juices, do what I love and get paid for it is more than I could ever ask for, so I am extremely grateful for this opportunity.

But now I have to occupy my time with other things so I don't go completely batty waiting for my first strike offs, which I've been told could be any time in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th week in July. I was looking at my schedule today and wondering what kind of project I could start that I can just leave for a week when we go to FL. Do I want to start sewing again? Do a home project? Start a new fabric design collection? All of the above?? We leave for FL the first week of July so I really only have 3 more weeks here until I have to pack up & go. It's weird for me not to have a million things going at once... just weird.

So, I decided to make a few ready-made pieces to stock up my etsy store with. I am starting today... actually right as soon as I finish this post. I will make a few skirts and maybe some new yoga pants and some easy knit tops that I can list in my store as ready-made, ready-to-ship items. I figured, whatever doesn't sell between now & July 1st is going to FL in the girls' bags... instant Summer wardrobe! ;)

I have a few new knits that I haven't shown you guys yet, so I'm excited to get sewing. Oh, and I've been making headbands for myself to wear and wondering if this is something that others would be also interested in. They are simple, knit headbands... quite stretchy so they don't squeeze or hurt your head but perfect for keeping unruly bangs out of the way or even for exercising, gardening or working around the house. Any feedback is welcome... I can make these in kids-size and adult-size. :)

I think I will also start sketching for my next fabric collection. I just registered the girls into a Gymnastics Camp for the next couple of weeks, so I will be stuck in a noisy gym for 3 hours every M/W/F for 2 weeks. I can't think of a better way to pass the time than listening to some cool tunes on my iPhone and sketching away while the girls tumble.

Oh, I also took some time to clean out my iPhoto files. Check out these random funny photos I found... can't believe I never posted these before!!

This was the first picture I ever took with my iPhone... not too shabby, eh? Sydney went through a 2 week long period in which she wore her fairy wings 24/7... I miss those days:


Awwww, they make such a cute couple:


Yup, he has made-to-order ones:


What happens to Jon when he disobeys me ;) :


Good times.