Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We have a new home

We have a new blog home, here. I am working on domain forwarding right now, but eventually, the address should be www.thisabundantlifeblog.com. Right now, it's hooked up to my business blog, so ignore the web address for now. Hope y'all will stay with us!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Talula's Summer Solstice Birthday Party

Yesterday, we celebrated Talula's 2nd birthday. She was so happy to wear her pretty pink polka-dot party dress.

We had her party at the new lodge that Joey helped to build. Here is her sun pinata that Tania, Tutu, and I made.

Of course, I had to take some photos of the food I made. Cantaloupe-mint salad...

Chunky guacamole...

Pico de gallo...

Of course, by the time the barbecued steak, chicken, and asparagus, and artichokes with lemon garlic butter were served, I was wayyy too involved to take photos, but I assure you, Joey is a barbecuing god.

Of course, at a Summer Solstice party, you have to serve mead, the drink of the gods.

Talula pretty much opened presents throughout the day. Here she is, opening a set of musical instruments.

Then, Tania and her friends put on a puppet show, Little Red Riding Hood. Tania and Tutu made the puppets, Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, and Grandma. I love how you can see the grape vines through the window/stage.

Then we got to the pinata. Tania's friend M hits it.

Tania gave it a few good whacks.

Tania's friend A is the one who eventually broke it.

Little Lu has a turn.

Finally A whacked it so hard it went flying across the room! Feathers, confetti, and art supplies burst out!

The girls then used the supplies to craft to their hearts' content.

Tut helped Lu.

Then...more presents!

Then...birthday pie time! We all sing to Lu and she blows out her candles.

Of course I had to take a photo of my lovely raw strawberry pie. It was delicious, and the only ingredients are strawberries, lemon, dates, and walnuts. We also had homemade strawberry ice cream. Lu had to have lots.

As the party winds down around sunset, Lu plays with her new Cabbage Patch doll sent from Grammy in Arizona.

She has to end the day by picking a beautiful pink rose to match her outfit.

Happy Birthday, my sweet baby Lu. I cannot describe in words how blessed I am to be your Mama. You bring new joy to my life every single day, and you force me to grow and change and better myself. I love you so much, and I hope you will always know that.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

Just so you know we're not dead

We've been in Portland, enduring some weird weather, and my camera has been sad and lonely in the bottom of my purse. It did make it out to snap this shot of Tania in a field, no, I think I'll call it a meadow to be all old-school and whimsical, near our house.

And to take this shot of Lu boobing her baby. With no pants on.

And to capture how beautiful the vineyard is in the spring with all the wildflowers going crazy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day was awesome...

...but I wish my kids weren't so ugly.

Well, at least my husband is a gem. He surprised me with a picnic down by the river. And he got me an ice-cream maker and the Barack Obama book, The Audacity of Hope, which I have already started and am impressed with. We had a really great weekend, the best Mother's Day I've ever had.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

I got my hair did

Goodbye, sweet borderline mullet. Goodbye dark winter hair. Hello, awesome haircut and highlights that I love. I just want to stare at myself all day long.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spring is here...for two days.

So you think you can read while you're nursing me? I don't think so.

Sisters in the sun.

Sunny day wagon rides.

Sunny day kitty.

Doesn't everyone hold a baby in a sling while they sit on the potty?

Friday, April 11, 2008

That's Candice, Esq. to you!

I just found out that I passed the bar exam! I'm an official lawyer now! Yayyy...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Nerd Alert! My Special Binder Friend.

I have been blabbering about my new "home management" binder for a while now, and some of my friends wanted to see what the big deal was. So let me walk you through my new friend. I got the idea from a friend who linked me to this blog. I also used this site for some more ideas. The reason I started the binder is because I was getting overwhelmed with cleaning, cooking, homeschooling, etc., plus thinking about what I was going to do when I start my law practice. I needed to get organized.

So, without further ado, here she be:

The Cover

You have to get a 3-inch binder with the clear pockets on the outside. It's just some yellow printed scrapbooking paper that I slipped in, but I may jazz it up with a photo of the fam or a picture that Tania draws.

The Pencil Holder

It's a 3-hole punched pencil holder. I keep some mechanical pencils, some pens, scissors, and dry-erase markers, which are key to the binder.

The To-Do List Notebook

This is a 3-subject, 3-hole punched notebook. In Section 1 is my general everyday to-do list. I start it the day before as I think of things I know I won't do until tomorrow. Section 2 is my "work" to-do list, which, as of right now is a list of things I need to do to start my firm. Section 3 is a miscellaneous to-do list, which includes crafts and writing projects.


Next, is my inspirational picture of a pregnant Rosie the Riveter, which I ripped out of Wondertime magazine. It reminds me that I am a strong and capable woman with many roles to fill.

Vital Info

The binder is divided into sections, and the first is "Vital Info." The first pages have all the important phone numbers, like the grandparents and doctor and dentist, poison control, etc. I almost posted a photo of that page, but thought maybe I'd not like all that info online. Also in the Vital Info section is an Emergency Supply Checklist from Real Simple magazine that I plan on getting together pretty soon.


My calendar is printed off of Google Calendar. Each page is a week, and I printed two months at a time.

Meal Planning

This is my favorite section. We have cut our food budget in half since I started this. Here, we have my shopping list with a receipt attached. I go over the receipt and gasp at the expensive things and consider whether they are worth it and swoon over the deals and make a note to buy those items again. Going to the store with a weekly meal plan and a list of groceries prevents me from buying anything on impulse.

The weekly meal plan is in here too, in a sheet protector. I write the plan with a dry-erase marker and wipe off at the end of each week.

I also have magazine recipes in here. I love the little 4-per-page cut-outs from Martha and other mom-type mags like Woman's Day and Family Circle. (Hey, no dissing, it's called the free bin at the library!)

This one is a whole bunch of risotto recipes. Rice is so cheap and risotto is so delish.

This one is a whole bunch of chicken recipes from Better Homes and Gardens. Chicken is another money-saver if you buy the whole chicken or thighs.

This one is a whole bunch of ground beef recipes, another affordable meat.

Also in the meal section are some of my self-created recipes. The one you see is my chicken soup.

I have another folder for recipes. It's an accordion file folder, so recipes can move from here to the file. I try to organize the accordion file by month, so that id it's September, I can reach into the September section and pull out a recipe with ingredients that are mostly in season locally (i.e. fresher, cheaper, and better for you).

One of my money-saving techniques is to plan two or three meals together. Like meat loaf and mashed potatoes one night, then a shepherd's pie with the leftovers. Or, grilled salmon and asparagus one night and then a creamy pasta with the leftovers. Or, cooking a whole chicken and using it to make two different meals plus broth.

Another money-saving technique is to plan meals around affordable meats, like whole chickens, turkey thighs, ground beef, etc. Look for recipes on the internet.

You should know that I mostly buy organic and local, and I'm still keeping it affordable.


The cleaning section has been a real relief. Basically, I have daily chores...

And then each day, I focus on a particular room. For each room, I have weekly and monthly tasks. It's in a checklist format and I check the tasks off with the dry-erase marker.

It's made cleaning so much more bearable. I decided to do basic kitchen and living room cleaning and laundry every day. On Monday, I do thorough kitchen cleaning - things like cleaning the fridge and stuff like that. Tuesday is living room; Wednesday is bathrooms; Thursday is bedrooms; Friday is laundry room and hallways; Saturday is yard and cars. I love this because if my room is a mess but it's Monday, I don't care because it's kitchen day. I also love it because I know that my sheets are getting washed every other week. I never have to stop and think about how long it has been. And once a month for each room, the task is to get rid of stuff. Decluttering is the best...although I have yet to part with that collection of size 6 jeans that haven't fit me for years.

Also in the cleaning section is this stain removal sheet from Family Circle.


This section has my health goals and things like workout sheets. Right now, I'm doing the "Self Challenge" from Self magazine...sort of. Mama likes her wine.


This has records of what we do every day school-wise with Tania.


The craft section is not just crafts. It's basically a "things to do" type of section. Like this page from Martha of wild edible greens that I want to go search for with Tania soon.

Or this trip planner from Sunset magazine for the Southern Oregon coast. I smell a getaway coming on.

There are also print-outs of activities from the Family Fun magazine website. Great site for kid activities. If you ever have a rainy day or need to spice up your mommyness, go there.


Spiritual right now is basically my worksheet printouts from my Oprah.com class on the book "A New Earth," by Eckhart Tolle (another thing that has changed my life). I have plans for studying other spiritual books, so I'll probably journal them in this section.


This is yet to come, but will have all things holiday in it - meal planning, gift lists, ideas, activities, etc.

And that is all.

Having my life organized into one place gives me more time for things like this...

And this...

(That's what a kiss looks like.)