Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: Year in Review.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2012. Being the end of the year and all, it is customary to look back and reflect on the past 12 months. I always like to define one specific thing about a year that defined a change in my (and my family's) lifestyle.

2012 will henceforth be known as the year we went veg. We became veganish vegetarians in March, we haven't looked back and it's changed me in ways I wouldn't have imagined it would have. Call me crazy, but I feel I have a totally different bond/viewpoint on life in general now that I don't rely on the demise of another living creature's life to satisfy my hunger.

Veganish... perhaps I should define this? Since we also found out this year (in February) that Riley has a milk allergy, the majority of our family meals are vegan.

I spent the time going through my iPhoto this morning. It took me hours, but I completed my task of creating a collage/picking a photo to define each month this year. Initially, I thought I could just pick one photo per month, but there were so many cute, awesome, exciting moments this year. Picking just one per month is impossible.


January 2012: Roxy celebrated her 6th birthday. She had a Princess Leia/Star Wars birthday party in the park. I remember a bunch of sickies around here and that pretty much summed up our month. Speaking of which, I guess I'd better start planning a 7th birthday party, huh?


February 2012: I always love February. It gives me a reason to decorate everything with hearts. A couple of my 'Valentine's' decorations actually became permanent fixtures around here. The things that stand out to me the most about February are (1) we learned Riley had a milk allergy (2) Lilly's birthday party, which to me, was such a beautiful and loving night, and (3) my cousin Paulie dying in a tragic car accident on Super Bowl Sunday.


March 2012: March is the month we became vegetarian. It was mainly Roxy's decision, but everyone was on board to support her, no questions asked. We were lucky enough to stay a few days in Kissimmee with good friends and had an awesome Spring Break. Immediately following our Spring Break, my Mom, Dad and Lala came to visit us from up north. It was a busy, eventful month.


April 2012: April seemed to be a month of working out the kinks in our whole change of eating. Looking back, it seemed we were homebodies and was a pretty chill month. Oh yea, April was also the month we welcomed Leia (the mouse) into our family!!


May 2012: In May, we had our third Star Wars party. This time, it was for Cameron who turned double digits (the big 1-0) and we held it at a bowling alley! Hey, we had to switch it up somehow! I also did a 31 day blog challenge, which was kind of amazing for me. I celebrated my 7th wedding anniversary and I longed for the end of the school year.


June 2012: We were free from the confines of school schedules!! We swam a lot. Played a lot and it was just awesome.


July 2012: Was the month I began to get itchy for an adventure. I thought about it. I planned. Then I ditched my plans, deciding I couldn't handle it on my own. Then I got a last minute bout of braveness and just went for it. It was the month we started our Summer Adventure. It was such an adventure for me and the kids. I learned SO MUCH about me, and the kids seemed to just absorb everything in like sponges.


August 2012: We were still smack in the middle of our Summer Adventure when August rolled around. We ended up our Summer Adventure at our yearly vacay spot in the OBX. Then, we ended up our August at our own Clearwater Beach. It was a perfect way to end our summer. Oh yea! And Riley started Pre-K and Roxy started the First Grade....


September 2012: Our ZoBo turned TWO! I potty trained my last child in diapers, and my dear friend Sam had the most beautiful backyard wedding I could have ever imagined.


October 2012: The Deneweth family favorite holiday is Halloween, so this month was monopolized with Halloween crafts, costumes and activities. For a slideshow of our Halloween awesomeness, click here. My Christopher turned 35, and I got to attend my cousin in Orlando's wedding. The wedding was awesome for a couple of reasons: (1) I haven't seen my cousin in FOREVER and it was amazing to see him share his love in front of all his friends and family, and (2) I got to enjoy having some of my extended family (who all reside in MD) in my state! 


November 2012: We lost Sidney. :(  We had our very first vegan Thanksgiving. And I turned 29. Again.


December 2012: Riley turned 5!! We had an awesome Christmas and the kids got to experience 'snow' at Busch Gardens. It was the closest they've ever come to the real stuff ever. Paying $100 and standing in line for two hours was so worth it.

......

Phew! That was a lot! I guess you can say this is my version of the yearly letter in review some people tuck in with their Christmas cards... but more interactive. ;)

One point five days left in this year. What will you do to make it count? What will I do?? Hmmm.

Love you guys.

<3, Tabi :D



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday Confessions.

  1. My kids are bigger wusses than I am when it comes to the cold.
  2. Speaking of the cold... we spent $100 and waited 2 hours in line to play in 'snow' for 15 minutes. And it was worth it.
  3. My house is in utter disarray in the aftermath of Christmas.
  4. I read a post on twitter about a comedian who re-tweets ungrateful Christmas tweets. I was being very judgmental about those people and then felt guilty about being judgmental. Also, because I already have a white iPhone 5, sooo....
  5. Christmas came and went so freaking fast! I've heard some people took their tree down Christmas night!! I thought they were rushing it, but Chris has me convinced it's just the procrastinator in me. So, my confession is that I'm procrastinating taking the tree down.
  6. I haven't bought presents for my Mom, Dad, Sunshine or Lala yet. (procrastinating again!) But it's okay, I won't see them until sometime in January. 
  7. I have to make breakfast now, so I'll add in some more confessions later. 
<3, Tabi :D
 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tabi Happy's Guide to Last Minute Christmas Shopping.


I am an expert at last minute Christmas shopping. In fact, it's all I know. I don't believe there has ever been a year I started shopping for Christmas more than one week prior. Christopher always says we should start earlier next year, but I don't think I could do it any other way.

The pros to last minute shopping:
  • Lots of sales!
  • You get it done in a much shorter amount of time.
  • The attitude of 'it's either this, or nothing' makes the decision of which gift to get a lot easier!
  • Time constraint and lack of choices forces you to get creative, which is good!
So, here are my (very experienced) tips for all you last minute shoppers out there:
  1. Most importantly: Have grateful children! The kind of children that are down with the whole 'you get what you get and you don't get upset' mentality.
  2. If you have kids, it's best to do this in two parts: (a) First trip, take the kids and shop for extended family members and friends. Having the kids with you works for you here, not against you. They will point out on the shelves what things they'd love to see under the tree for themselves. This will give you an idea of what's left that they will be ecstatic about. (b) Second trip, find a sitter willing to watch the kids for at least 5 hours. This will be your last shopping trip... it's go time.
  3. On that first trip, if there are items you think won't last until the second trip, we employ the two parent, second secret cart trick. Second parent will exclaim, "Oh, honey! I forgot to get <insert boring, non kid related item here>." Then revert back to aisles to pick up low stock items and stash in a cart in a non-conspicuous area. Be sure to check on that cart pretty often, so other crazy last minute shoppers don't mistake it as a restocking cart. When going to check out, parent two exclaims "We should pick up a frozen pizza for dinner, I'm way too tired to cook!" While parent 1 pays and loads the kids in the car, parent two grabs frozen pizza, a bottle of Chardonnay or Bailey's, second secret cart and pays. Distracting the kids in the van with an interesting movie is very important here, so they don't really notice the extra bags Daddy is loading into the back of the van.
  4. You are already halfway done! One trip, one store! Note, this store must be of the Target variety. It could work at a mall, I suppose, but would require much more skill and take a lot longer.
  5. Second trip, I suggest picking two stores maximum. Traffic is killer those few days prior to Christmas, so at least half of your allotted sitter time is sucked up sitting in the minivan. Although, the traffic does give you some precious minutes to use your iPhone to search which stores have certain things in stock. Our two go-to stores are: Toys R Us and Super Target, unless the other Target has something Super Target is out of...
  6. During this last shopping trip, remember: breathe... the universe is on your side.
  7. Allot a dollar amount per kid. This way you don't go overboard in the overabundance of toys and deals.  Also, if you stick pretty close to your budget, when you get home and the 2 year old has 20 presents and the 10 year old only has 7, you'll feel okay about it because, they are overall receiving an equal amount of 'love'.
  8. Try to get at least one large (in size) present for each child. It makes for awesome presentation value Christmas morning.
  9. Whatever you can't find at store 1, you will at store 2. (If not, then you will have a procrastination induced creative surge and come up with a more awesome idea.)
  10. Stocking stuffers! Don't forget the stocking stuffers. I usually skip the 'stocking stuffer aisle' and get all these in the Target dollar section. Those stocking stuffer aisle items are crazy expensive for not so awesome things. Plus, the Target dollar section always seems to amaze me with their offerings!
  11. Also, don't forget tape, wrapping paper and batteries.
  12. Once everyone is done, drop the presents off and hide them at the house before picking the kids up from the sitter.
  13. It's okay to break the rules. I do all the time.... this year, while at store 2, I did have a last minute awesome idea, but Target was out of both the Kinect AND the Kinect Star Wars game. So, Christopher called Game Stop and it turns out, they had both the items needed, they were used/refurbished and saved us about $50!! SCORE! This would add a little extra time, but we worked it out by dropping off and hiding the loot at the house and then split up. I went to pick up the kids while Daddy went in his car to GameStop and to get Smoothies (in case the kids ask where Daddy is).
  14. YOU ARE DONE SHOPPING!!! 
  15. Remember that imperative bottle of Chardonnay and/or Baileys you bought on Trip 1? You'll need that for your late night gift wrapping sessions. I suggest Baileys and espresso if you are going to be up till the wee hours. While wrapping up, keep in mind that beautiful paper will just be a pile of crumbles on your floor in the morning. Perfection is not necessary in this case.
It might sound crazy, but this system WORKS! I've never done it any other way, but I sometimes think starting shopping any earlier sounds exhausting.

Do you have any last minute tips? I'd love to hear your tricks!

<3, Tabi :D


Friday, December 21, 2012

Five Things.

It's Friday!! & that means I make a list for you of 5 things that make me happy (for the moment). 

  1. It's Friday and I have a shopping date with my Christopher tomorrow. <3
  2. The world didn't end.
  3. We have TWO WEEKS OFF OF SCHOOL!!!
  4. We are going to Busch Gardens Christmas Town tomorrow.
  5. Christmas is shaping up.
<3, Tabi :D

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bits + Pieces.

Inspired by Bleubird.











  1. Riye's baby tree.
  2. Building our fire.
  3. Our stockings are hung by the "chimney" with care ( minus Cameron's stocking ).
  4. Roxy's snow scene.  I'm not sure why Ken is in his beach gear.
  5. Christmas card wall. ( I know you've seen it before, but I am smitten. )
  6. Our Dr. Seuss Christmas tree.
  7. Roxy and her never ending hair.
  8. My first panorama with my new phone. Christopher looks so hysterically creepy here. It makes me laugh every time I look at him!
  9. Zoie Boie putting her dishes away. 
  10. Our Christmas wreath, made with love by Gramma.
This will be our last Christmas in this little green house. It's bittersweet. So strange that after 7 years, it only recently feels so... homey.

<3, Tabi :D

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Eye love you.

Eye have not started Christmas shopping yet.

Eye seriously wonder why Otter Box makes their cases so ugly.

Eye am trying so hard to stay away from my Facebook feed.

Eye am skipping Christmas cards this year.

Eye have a 2 year old still awake at almost 11 pm!

Eye have a headache in my eye. (Is that a migraine?)

Eye made the biggest mess with glitter today and it was so much fun.

Eye love my baby girl's curls. <3

<3, Tabi :D

 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cloudy Monday.


Generally, on Mondays for me, it's a time of non-stop things to do, people to drop off/pick up and no time to think.

Today: I'm thinking. Inside my head is way too cloudy and confused right now. I need to stop and sort these things out. I don't know what else to do.

Last Thursday, we began our Christmas decorating. Saturday night, our tree was trimmed and most of our decorations up.

On Sunday, I was overwhelmed in my to do list and didn't get half of it done.

This morning, I made Christopher turn around and drop Roxy off at home. I just couldn't let her go to school this morning. Then I cried because my toaster is on the brink of death.

I haven't watched the TV news at all. I've only read a couple of articles here and there and seen the many many short thoughts, prayers and sentiments come across my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Yet, I'm still feeling the overwhelming wave of emotion from the whole Connecticut tragedy.

Somehow, I feel so... isolated right now.

Today, I will clean. Get the kids in gear and put them to work on getting the house holiday worthy. Hopefully, that will clear up a little of the cloudiness. A clean floor is always a great first step in clear thinking for me.

Maybe a little holiday craft? New stockings, perhaps?

I wish I knew of a service I could give $25 to and they would in turn organize all of the LEGOs in my house. I've had boxes sitting unopened in a pile for 5 days now and the thought of doing it myself is overwhelming.

My mantra this week: Love. Love. Love.

<3, Tabi :D

Friday, December 14, 2012

Vegan Cupcakes. nom nom.

Happy Friday!!

Mini Vegan Chocolate Chip Cupcakes.
I was lucky enough to sample one of the leftovers and wish I had a dozen more! They were THAT good. nom nom.
Remember Wednesday... when my Bear turned 5? How could you forget? It's all I've been blogging about it seems. :)

Well, I wanted to bring in a special treat that day for his whole class to enjoy at his preschool. The preschool requires food to be store bought, so it presented a teeny cupcake problem to me. Dairy Free cupcakes aren't readily available at our local Publix, so I almost settled on bringing in a box of Oreos, when I came across an article on our local news site spotlighting a new start up: Guiltless Cupcakes. If you read the article, scroll down, she's below the Snarly Dog. ;) She's in Brandon AND she delivers!!

So, I contacted her for 2 dozen mini chocolate chip cupcakes, giving her only 1 day notice and she was super pleasant, very reasonable and absolutely willing to help me out with my short notice order.

Sometimes, as in this case, it's necessary to purchase specialty items and usually it's not so convenient.  So I really wanted to share this amazing resource with you.

I asked her to share a little bit about herself and Guiltless Cupcakes: 

I've always wanted my own bakery. I went to Johnson and Wales in Miami for baking and pastries, but moved home shortly after. I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I remember one day though, I was sitting in one of my classes and the professor was telling us, "Everyone that wants to be 'The Next Big Thing' comes to JWU. And everyone wants to own their own restaurant or bakery." I remember him going around the room asking us "What sets your bakery or restaurant apart from everyone else?"  Just like everyone else answered, I said I had no idea.

When I moved home, I continued with school at HCC but gave up my dream of owning a bakery. I had no idea what I was going to major in. I still baked here and there, but I left the desire in Miami. All of that was about to change. I had gone to my doctor a few weeks earlier for her to draw blood. She just wanted records of my cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. I remember not being nervous because I watched what I ate and I considered myself somewhat healthy. I had gone back the following week to get the results and what I had heard was devastating. Everything was through the roof. All of my numbers were out of the normal range and pointing closer to pancreatitis or diabetes. I was shocked. I remember thinking how could I be this unhealthy? I was in shape. I watched what I ate. Nothing made sense. My doctor didn't want to put me on any medication because I was young and she wanted to see if I could get this under control first. She handed me a packet of what I should avoid. "No read meat, no dairy, limit intake of eggs, no white flour, no white sugar." I remember crying on the way home because I was so stunned at the news. My mom came to the rescue though. She called a family friend who is a nutritionist and he came right over to inform me on what I could eat. Long story short, that was the day I started to eat vegan and it was the best decision of my life. I just quit everything cold turkey because I had 3 months to get this under control.

That's what sparked my business venture. I loved sweets. I could stop eating it for 3 months, but for the rest of my life? Absolutely not! I knew there had to be other people that were either in the same boat as me or had other issues. So I got to thinking and came up with Guiltless Cupcakes. At first they were just vegan. But as time went on, I started noticing my stomach would hurt after every time I ate. So I went back to the doctor, and come to find out that I might have celiac disease which is an allergy to gluten. So now Guiltless Cupcakes are dairy free, egg free, and gluten free. I guess you could say whatever health issues I go through, my cupcakes get a new make over.

I use all soy based products like soy butter, soy yogurt and almond milk. I get most of my flavor inspiration from Pinterest and experiment with them to make the cupcakes taste good and vegan.

...

I give Guiltless Cupcakes my full recommendation. Tell her I sent you. ;)


<3, Tabi :D

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

5 More Things about that Bear.


Well, I no longer have kids spaced 2 years evenly apart any more. There is no order, it's all chaos. 2, 5 and 6, pssht. Today, on 12/12/12 my middle child, turned 5 years old.

We had a fun little weekday with lots of goodies and blue icing. We ended our day with big bellies and passed out children strewn about the house.

In honor of my Riley J. Bear's 5th birthday, here are 5 more things about that Bear:
  1. He is a Smarty McSmarterson. He was only 2 years old when we realized that he knew all of his letters. Sometimes I'd catch him helping his big sister out when she got stumped.
  2. He loves Fifi. He must've skipped right over the whole 'girls have cooties' stage. You say Fifi, Riley gets a huge smile on his face. He's not even one bit embarrassed about it, either. I heard Roxy trying to taunt him with her little first grade "oooohhhs" and giggles and he just looked at her like she was immature. (For the record, I don't think he could've picked a more awesome girl to dote on. This Momma approves.)
  3. His bedtime cuddles: Jack Skellington and now, his 'cuddly laser' aka his Plush Turret he got for his birthday.
  4. When I first laid eyes on him, my first thought was, 'Wow! Where did you get such bushy eyebrows?!?' and then, 'How did I give birth to a red head?' He has always been such a surprise to me: being a boy (I somehow never pictured myself having a son, but I am sure happy I do), his in womb kung-fu kicks surprised the breath right out of me, his red hair, his mild manner, his incredible intellect, his milk allergy, his empathy, his creativity, his intense ability to be and stay in his own little world without waiver in spite of my pleas to come back to reality. 
  5. He's a perfectionist. These drawings, if he makes one little mistake, they get thrown away and he starts all over. His bed has to be flat and wrinkle free or else.
Happy Birthday Riley J. Bear, aka Riye. <3

<3, Tabi :D

Monday, December 10, 2012

5 Things about my Bear.

  1. The biggest sweetheart ever! He told me today he wished Santa granted wishes instead of brought toys to boys and girls.
    What would he wish for? He would wish that no one got sick ever.
  2. LOVES Portal. ATLAS is obviously his favorite character ever. Every day he maps out his ideas for Portal 3 levels and characters.
  3. Likes to draw cute things to make me happy. See his cute bunny?
  4. Was born Riley, but wants to be called 'Riye' ( his choice of spelling, pronounced RYE ).
  5. Has only 1 more day left of being 4 years old...
<3, Tabi :D

Portal Party.

This weekend we had a fifth birthday party for my not so little anymore guy. The thing about my kids that I LOVE is that they are into what they like and it's usually not what is so mainstream at that moment. It's also what challenges me to throw them the perfect party when decorations for their theme of choice just aren't readily available. I can almost guarantee you won't see another 5 year old party with a Portal theme anytime soon. For those of you who have no clue what/who... a Portal is: it's a video game. Riley walks, talks, draws, dreams Portal 2 all day every day. It's not so much a video game marketed towards children, but it's not a violent one. The main guys are robots, and those huge guns they are holding, they shoot portals, not lethal bullets, lasers, etc.

Now, the thing about myself that I would LOVE to change, is that I am a master procrastinator and generally throw these things together in much less than a week's time. I'm pretty good at working under pressure, but in review, I always think how much better things could've been if I just had more time!

Anyways, here are the highlights of our Portal Party.

the Invitations
 yep. I threw these together last Sunday... a week ago. Those guys look so darn cute in those party hats, dontcha think?

the Decor
My husband couldn't be more proud that his son is a huge Portal fan. So, he really got into the decorations at this party. Most of the decorations he made will double as new room decor for the boys' room, since we are redecorating Portal style. He made a 2 foot ATLAS cutout, that 20" x 30" ATLAS and P-body poster and some rad portal mirrors. 

I made that cute Happy Birthday banner... isn't it cute?? ATLAS guarded the snacks and we also had a tray full of blue repulsion gel (aka Jello) that pretty much no one touched. I guess Jello is not so popular anymore... We also served baked potatoes in honor of GLaDOS (I'm still on the fence if that was too cheesy or not). 

When the guests arrived, we armed them with our own little Deneweth Labs Portal Guns (dollar store nerf guns spray painted white with the Aperture logo) to go start their adventure in the bounce house. Sadly, I have no pictures of those...

the Cake
I feel like 'the Cake' is such an inside joke as far as Portal goes. I only sort of understand it and it's been explained to me many times. I'm no gamer girl. Apparently, in the first Portal game, there was promise of cake if you beat the game. When you did beat the game, you find out the promised cake was all a lie. So, I found a picture somewhere on the interwebs of this cake going through a portal and decided to reproduce it. I think it came out great, if I do say so myself. 

At this party, the cake was NOT a lie. And it was dairy free and DELICIOUS! I had zero cake left over. 

the Pinata, the Birthday Boy and his LOOT!
Christopher made a super cute Companion Cube pinata and we were both a little sad it had to be busted open. But I'm also super happy he captured the exact moment of pinata explosion on camera. What a great shot!! (Pinata busted by my nephew, Christian.)

Then there were presents, he got many many many cool things. In trying to not overload blog, I only chose to post the Portal presents. He got a "cuddly laser" or a plush turret, who lights up and talks and shoots on motion sensor. It is pretty cool. Oh, and Uncle Mike scored major points for best Uncle EVER when he got the Bear his own official Aperture Science Portal Gun!! 

If that wasn't enough excitement... after the party, we checked the mail and got another surprise. A while ago, Riley sent a letter to Valve, the company who makes the game he loves, to try and persuade them to make Portal 3. It read, "Make the Portal 3 Game. ... And I love it so much. Please make it so fast." So Gabe (the creator of Portal) signed his letter and sent it back to us so we could frame it. How awesome is that??

Today, we made little Lego ATLAS and P-body guys. I had to include them since they were cutie patooties. :)

Phew! I'm not kidding when I say that after all that, we stayed in jammies all day today. We all had Portal Party hangovers.

Last night I asked Riley if he like the party. He said it was, "the best birthday party ever!" I asked him what made it the best, he said because Fifi came. :)

GOD, what a sweetheart!!! I love that his favorite parts aren't the material things. I also LOVE his little 5 year old crush on Fifi. It's too cute. <3

That was our Portal Party. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. 

<3, Tabi :D    


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Some whining + Panda

This week I can't think about Christmas being 20 days away.

I have a party in 2.5 days to prepare for. The Portal party is beginning to become real to me, despite being 2.5 days away, I'm just starting to grasp the reality that it is coming!

The bounce house has been reserved. My lists have been made. The banner is ready to be printed and strung up. Dollar store shopping has been completed.

So, yeah - tomorrow I've got a lot to do...

Besides preparing this week for Portal Party, I'm dealing with the left side of my face on the verge of exploding. I can't be the only one in this world that gets ill unilaterally, right? I was a sickie last week and was greeted on Monday with a stinking cold sore (ew!). That stupid little blister on the left side of my bottom lip is causing some major pains in my jaw, my ear, my eye, my sinus cavity and clouding my thinking abilities.

Seriously clouding my thinking abilities.

Anyways, this post is brought to you by: Panda.

During the summer, on our trip to the National Zoo in DC, Roxy got a little stuffed floppy panda souvenir. The other kids got different trinkets they picked out for themselves. But, floppy panda has been, since AUGUST, the object of desire around here.

Two weeks ago, I decided enough was enough and ordered two more.

Which was genius! except for my two year old is being a two year old sometimes and must have the panda that belongs to Roxy or Riley and not the one that belongs to her. Despite the fact that they ALL ARE EXACTLY THE SAME!

The panda babies are always around these days. I'm challenging myself to take a photo with Panda at least once a day & post it to Instagram if/until this phase is over.

Hopefully my little self challenge will pull me out of my monthly photo rut.

Enough rambling. xo

<3, Tabi :D


Monday, December 3, 2012

So. Much. CAKE.

Friday was my birthday, so of course there was cake. Saturday was a pottery party for one of Roxy's classmates - cake for her (Roxy - the rest of us skipped on it). After pottery party, we checked out our little local Winterfest. There we got to pet some cute animals, went on a "hayride" (... around a parking lot), the kids bounced, I got my free Starbucks birthday coffee ( and freaked out because I was almost Facebook hacked ), then home with 3 cranky kids. Sunday brought us to birthday party #3 at Chuck E. Cheese's (more cake). Me + 3 kids at Chuck E. Cheese's on a Sunday was enough for me to declare mental breakdown, but somehow I made it through to make an actual dinner, shower 3 children then make some of the cutest Portal Birthday invitations EVER.

Today, I'm determined to break back into my workout routine. Hopefully it will work to get the remaining nasty amoebas out of my body and get me into gear to create an awesome Portal party for the Bear in 5 days.

Ready. Set. Go!

<3, Tabi :D

p.s. Do you guys love/hate my massive photo collages? Just wondering...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Five Things.

Happy Birthday to me! Here are Five Things that make me happy: Birthday Edition.

Oops! I meant to post this yesterday...
  1. This song! I hope you get it stuck in your head and it makes you cheery all day long.

  2. All the Facebook Happy Birthday wishes!! I always feel like a rock star on my birthday on Facebook. :D ( btw - are we friends on FB? No?? Let's hook up! )
  3. My special morning gingerbread latte Christopher crafted in my kitchen.
  4. We ate out at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse for my birthday dinner! We don't eat out much, so this is definitely a treat! It was my vegetarian trip & I don't know why I just didn't get double veggies all the time. OMG they stir fry up some delectable veggies. Oh, and I love sake!
  5. My new ombre hair I got for my birthday. I love it!!! Expect lots and lots of selfies on IG in the next few days of my ombre hair. :D
<3, Tabi :D
 
p.s. Now that it's December and my birthday's over, let's focus on Christmas. Oh, and Riley's birthday!!
 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oh hey! + A few Thursday Confessions.

(( Today is day 29 of Thankvember. What are you thankful for? ))

I am thankful for: these days.
Thankvember is just about wrapping up. I've been a sicky over here these past few days, so all my energy has been directed towards the necessary things, you know... laundry, children, feeding children, cleaning children, etc. But even though I've been a sicky, I am still reflecting on everything I have to be thankful for, and it is oh, so much!

Today, I'm thankful for these days. These days I get to spend with my ever so fast growing children. The lazy days, the crazy days, the grumpy days, the overly excited days, the busy days, the days we have time to run around the park. Even the sick days. I am thankful for all of them.

+ + + + + + +
A few Thursday Confessions:
  • Tomorrow is my birthday. It will be the 5th time I've turned 29. (p.s. I LOVE what my daughter wrote about me in her above mini bio: "I don't really know how old my Mom is but I know that she's very young.")
  • My 6 year old daughter learned the 'F' word from me.
  • I'm not justifying that ^ ... BUT when I asked her to clarify what she said, her reply:
    "Like, 'that shirt is so f***in' cute!" ... at least it's a positive use of the F word.
  • The fact that my husband's hair is long enough to tuck behind his ear excites me way more than it should.
  • I haven't been to the gym in 3 weeks. eep! 
  • Roxy lost her other front tooth on Monday and now she talks funny. Don't tell her, but I giggle every now and then at her funny little lithp talk. ;)
  • I want it to be summer again. This winter stuff is for the birds!
  • Okay, so maybe that above 'confession' was more of a whiny complaint... but what do you want from me? I'm a sicky. 
You may leave your confessions in the comments below.
<3, Tabi :D

Did you know this was a blog hop? Check out all the other gratefulness going on in blogosphere. 
Blog Hop Linky after the jump...  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Very Veggie Thanksgiving

(( Today is day 25 of Thankvember. What are you thankful for? ))
 
Today, I'm thankful for: MY FAMILY

We just finished up our remaining Thanksgiving leftovers tonight. I better go ahead and post my Very Veggie Thanksgiving photos before they go bad.

We stuffed ourselves full of delicious vegan food, here's a generous helping of Deneweth Thanksgiving photos for you to fill yourselves with.

Pace yourself, it's a lot to take in.

I thought I kept the menu simple, but it sure was a lot of food. We had: a 5 pound Tofurkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, Homemade Dinner Rolls and a Pumpkin Pie. All vegan.

The kids and I made all the table and wall decor the day before. The night before, Chris and I stayed up until 1:30 doing all the prep we could so the day went by smoothly. Chris even made a tight cooking schedule for us to follow. We were having dinner for lunch so that we could still have extended family time. All the prep work was successful, our first home Thanksgiving went off without a hitch. The dinner couldn't have been yummier. The decor couldn't have been more beautiful. The day couldn't have been dreamier.

<3, Tabi :D
Did you know this was a blog hop? Check out all the other gratefulness going on in blogosphere. Play along with us! There is still 5 days left of Thankvember.

Blog Hop Linky after the jump...  

Friday, November 23, 2012

the BEST VEGAN PANCAKES ever

(( Today is day 23 of Thankvember. What are you thankful for? ))
 
It's been a while since I've posted a new recipe on here, and I think I've finally perfected my vegan pancake recipe, so today's a good day to start back up.


I made a batch of these on Wednesday morning before the big Thanksgiving Day prep, so we'd have leftovers to eat on Turkey Day morning while I was making pumpkin pie, prepping a tofurkey, etc.
Did I mention they are great leftovers, too? Just pop them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and voila!

Pancake leftovers and lots of Thanksgiving leftovers means no big meal prepping for this Mama!
So today, I am thankful for: Great Food and Leftovers!

Without further ado, let's get to it:

Best Vegan Pancake Recipe on the Interweb (that I've seen anyways)
makes a hearty amount for 6-8 people
 
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups Self Rising Flour
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 pinches of sea salt
  • a splash of lemon juice
  • 2-1/2 cups of plain soy milk (or almond milk or vanilla soy milk)
  • a splash of vanilla (if you like vanilla, or not so necessary if you're using vanilla soy milk)
  • 6 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce
  • Cooking Spray
  • Vegan Butter (we use Earth Balance)
  • Syrup, Powdered Sugar (known around here as: Snow), Nutella or whatever you're favorite pancake topping is.
Directions:
  • Preheat your skillet to a medium high setting.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt).
  • In a measuring cup, pour in a splash of lemon juice, then fill in your 2-1/2 cups of soy milk and your splash of vanilla if you're using it. Let it sit for a few minutes until it gets sort of chunky.
  • Scoop the applesauce in the bowl with the dry ingredients.
  • When the 'buttermilk' mixture looks a tad gross and chunky, pour it in the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well. (I promise it's supposed to look like that. I also promise this tastes deelish.) If the batter seems too thick, add in splashes of soy milk or soy creamer until you get the right consistency. When the batter is stirred well, let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • After the five minutes is up, spray your skillet and drop spoonfuls of the batter on to cook. You'll know when to flip when bubbles are peeping through the top of your pancake. Flip and cook the other side for a minute or two. 
  • When the pancakes are ready to come off the skillet, I like to butter them right away.
  • When I make my batches, I generally make half regular and throw in about a half cup of mini chocolate chips to the remaining batter and cook up chocolate chip pancakes too. They are my favorite. MMmmm. Chocolate for breakfast is the BEST way to start your day.
  • Divy out onto plates, top with your favorite pancake topping & ENJOY!
I hope you like these as much as we do. This is a rather large batch, but I love having leftover pancakes in my fridge. I'd estimate they stay for a good week in the fridge in a ziplock bag airtight container.

If you make these & have any questions/suggestions, I'd love to hear from you.

p.s. A big thank you to my friend Nicole who taught me the sub applesauce for eggs trick. :)

<3, Tabi :D

Did you know this was a blog hop? Check out all the other gratefulness going on in blogosphere. Thankvember Blog Hop Linky after the jump...  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving


I have so much to be grateful for. I could never list it all in entirety on this here blog.
This Thanksgiving, my official endorsement is this:  

I am grateful for LOVE and KINDNESS.

Have a wonderful holiday. Share some laughs, stuff your bellies and give eskimo kisses.

xo,
Tabi :D

Monday, November 19, 2012

Silly.

(( Today is day 19 of Thankvember. What are you thankful for? ))
 

I am thankful I have my silly kids to be my silly self with.

Kids know that laughter is the best medicine. That's why when they see Mommy or Daddy sad, they do silly things, tell silly jokes, draw silly pictures to cheer us up. 

I am so grateful (and lucky) that, when things get overwhelming and stressful, I am able to crank up music and sing out of tune, with all the wrong words, and dance like an insane person. Those silly kids of mine? They join right in.

Mondays always feel like 3 days packed into one, but I seriously wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Monday!

<3, Tabi :D

Did you know this was a blog hop? Check out all the other gratefulness going on in blogosphere. Thankvember Blog Hop Linky after the jump...  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lazy Day

  (( Today is day 18 of Thankvember. What are you thankful for? ))


Totally lazy today. 

In fact, as I type (1:23 pm local time), I'm still in jammies and haven't even brushed my teeth yet.

Yet, still productive (sort of). I created a new board on Pinterest that actually has a purpose and is my basis for planning my week of getting ready for my first ever Very Veggie Thanksgiving.

Interested? You can check it out here: A Very Veggie Thanksgiving.

I still have to make my shopping list and figure out my list of things to do ahead.

... and I decided that today: I will NOT do anything I don't want to do. Ha! 

xo, Tabi :D


Thankvember Blog Hop Linky after the jump...  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankful For Giving


Today I am Thankful: to Give

You've heard the saying, "It's better to give than to receive." Receiving is pretty freaking cool, but you get super cool warm fuzzies from giving. Giving is hella cool in that way.

Christmas is a bit overwhelming to me in that: (1) I always wait until the last minute to start my Christmas shopping, and (2) there are so many people on my list. I like birthdays and baby showers, etc because it allows us to focus on one person and put actual, quality thought into the gift. 

Today was my bestest Florida friend's baby shower. She's having her third boy and I wanted to give her something that was unique and something that she'll be able to create a cute record of his first year of physical changes. Plus, I just thought the baby needed a little Star Wars in his life.

So, I bought a bunch of plain white onesies (15 to be exact)... newborn size up to 18 months, created graphics starting at 1 week old to 3 weeks old (since they change so much in that first month), then 1 month old up to 1 year old. I printed them out on iron on HP paper and ironed them on. I thought about buying those Picky Sticky things, but I thought the graphics available were too busy. We want those pictures to be more about the baby, so I chose to create something a bit more subtle.

...

I was browsing Etsy one night... window shopping for Star Wars goodies (as I often do) and came across a diaper clutch. I thought... 'Nicole needs one of these for baby R!!' So, I found a tutorial and went ahead and made one for her. (Thank You, Mr. Sewing Machine for your cooperation.) It's a little ditty that opens up to two pockets, one for diapers and one for wipes. When your done changing baby, close it up with an easy peasy, no fuss magnetic clasp. (Brilliant!) No, she's not a Star Wars geek like me, but her baby Daddy and son is, so I'm sure baby R will be, too.

I absolutely love how these came out. And, more importantly, she loved the gifts, too! :)

<3, Tabi :D

p.s. If you're interested, I'd love to craft something like this up for you!  Let's talk!

>> Thankvember Blog Hop Linky after the jump...  

... go ahead, jump on.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Five Things.

(( Today is day 16 of Thankvember. What are you thankful for? ))
It's also Friday & that means I make a list for you of 5 things.
Today I am thankful for:
  1. The sparks of rebellion in my children. That piece of a person's conscience that makes them question what they are told. Rebellion nurtures the seeds inside us which grow into social movements which brings the world forward: socially, scientifically, spiritually. Rebellion is good.
  2. The gifts I get to bestow on one of my favorite people tomorrow at her baby shower. I'm so excited about my little crafty gifts. I've been wanting to post pictures for days now. 
  3. My kids not riding the bus. There was a little girl that died crossing the street about a mile from our house this morning trying to catch the bus. My heart is breaking for that little girl's family and friends. And for the Mom who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, who's vehicle struck her. I hear horror stories about kids and buses all the time. These stories scare the bejeezus out of me. I don't mind the morning/afternoon momma cab driver job so much. Plus, I get to take awesome self portraits while waiting in pick-up line.
  4. The next 9 days! Routines kill me. KILL ME. For the next nine days: no routines. Whoo!
  5. My little pilgrims. <3 <3 
I'm also kind of looking forward to our first vegetarian Thanksgiving. We usually do the big family thing, but since we're sort of outcasts in the eating department now, we'll have our own little veggie Thanksgiving at home, then join the rest of the family for post tummy engorging dessert. I'm excited to begin new traditions into our mix and venture into the unknown territory (to me) of that which is Tofurkey.

What's making you happy today? 
<3, Tabi :D

>> Thankvember Blog Hop Linky after the jump...  

... go ahead, jump on.

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