Spring

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Coming... NOW!

These are only a few of the newer
patters for summer!
Ok.. So I have facebook'd about it... started a fb page about it... posted pictures... so now I need to blog about it (natural progression).
I recently signed up as a consultant for an up-and-coming company called Honey & Lace.  Here are the background details.... My friend Julie turned me on to this company, and if anyone knows me they know my not-so-secret addiction to Maxi Skirts. So this company was started by a Mother who wanted to provide her daughter with a skirt that was stylish yet comfortable (who doesn't love that?).  What started out as just a small company that sold in boutiques (Julie discovered them on Zulilly actually), has turned into a direct sales company.  H&L is only about 2 years old.  When I inquired with the company about starting as a consultant the CEO Diane Ingram is the person who called me back directly.  That is the second thing that sold me on this company... the first was the awesome maxi's (duh!).

Girls leggings


H&L not only has maxi skirts, they have pencil skirts, leggings and dresses.  But wait, there's more! They also have really cute skirts and leggings for your mini-me! Which I love!  One thing about the company though is that they operate on a boutique scale, so there is a limited amount of all patterns and skirts, so if you see it today and don't get it, it could potentially be sold out tomorrow.

So here is how it works...
1. Buy directly from the website.  You can visit Honey & Lace to find what you are looking for, and peruse what is available on-line. Sizes range from XS-XXL. If you order from the site, use the code: JESSICASHL (all caps) at check-out time and you will receive 10% off your entire order.  Downside to this is you have to pay shipping & handling, and you may not have as much of a variety to chose from.  You are kind of at the mercy of what is posted on the site.
2. Host a Home Boutique... I know I know, you've had so many 31, Tupperware, and Pampered Chef parties to last a lifetime.... but trust me when I tell you this is different.  What will happen is you will invite your friends over, I bring the skirts, and you all get to try them on and pick and choose what you want.  You pay right then and there, and potentially get to take it home that night (pending what inventory I have that day)! It's shopping with your friends without having to find a parking spot at the mall! Not only that, but you will have access to newer prints that may not even be posted on-line, and I have a direct contact with the warehouse to pull aside the items that you want.
More samples of patterns that are available, but not on
the site yet!
3. Ask me to see the goods! You can message me, call me, email me, fb me, instagram me, tweet @ me (true story- you could even yell "hey Jenn" from across the room and I will turn around because for some reason a lot of people think my name is Jenn)... however you can get a hold of me do it, and I will bring the stuff to you!

So if my excitement about this is not conveying well I apologize, because I am SOOOOOOOO excited about this! I am excited to see where this takes me.  For many of you who have tried the Direct Sales "thing" in the past you may roll your eyes at this, but I want people to join my team.  If you have any interest at all in the company or just love the way the product looks let me know.  I can explain further why this is a great time to get involved with this little company... you will be surprised!

So there it is folks! That's what I am up to these days!- Mommy Spooner (@Mommy_Spooner on Twitter)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mothers Day Post


Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms!  So I am a day late in posting this... but Mothers Day was yesterday.  I would have posted this yesterday, but I was exhausted and in bed by 9:30 after an amazing weekend with Little Spooner.  Our weekend was filled with the International Children's Festival downtown, 2 plays, Brunch at Market in Rocky River, swimming and dance class.
Last Mothers Day I reflected on how amazing my Mother is.  This Mothers Day I was reflecting a lot on how I would not be a Mother if it were not for Little Spooner.  It is because of her that I try so hard, and because of her that I constantly am trying to think of ways to better myself to be the best example for her.  Lord knows where I would be right now if I didn't have her to anchor me, and keep me in check.  Sometimes all it takes is a glance from her and I know she is saying "I love you mom", or a quick grab of my hand to cause my eyes to well-up with a few tears.  She truly is amazing, smart, funny, and caring little girl.  Before you are a Mom you only think you know what real, unadulterated, unfiltered love is... but really you have no idea. While surfing through the MOPS blog "Hello, Darling" I came upon this music video by JJ Heller- I Dream of you.  It kind of hi-jacked the original post that I had started (not to mention drove me to tears, how cute are those little girls).  The original post was going to highlight all of the fun things we did this past weekend, but honestly my favorite part of this weekend was just being "present" with her.  The Children's Festival downtown was fun. Brunch with our family was delicious.  We even took in a play with Nana.  It was all great and memorable, but the best part was not being distracted.

There are a few things that I am trying to change to better myself as a Mom.  I am currently making a pledge to be more "present" in my life, so I am trying my hardest to avoid a lot of things... I have come to realize that next year she will be in school half of a day, and the year after that she will be gone all day, so there is not a lot of time left to savor the moments at home or out and about exploring the world together.  So that is my goal for the next year.  When I am with Little Spooner, I am going to be "with" her, not just in the same room, or distracted.  Sure there are times when the laundry needs folded, or the bathroom needs cleaned, etc... but the times when its her and I, I want us to engage in each others presence.  I want to establish a relationship that is open, and she can feel safe to discuss anything with me.  As she gets older it might not stay the same, but I want her to look forward to our afternoons together. When we sit down to dinner I want there to be conversation not just about the day but about life, instead of each of us staring into our phones or eating in silence.

We are not supposed to compare ourselves to other moms or women, but I am sure we all suffer from the same amount of Mom-guilt at times.  What is one way that you think you could enrich the relationship you  have with your kids?- Mommy Spooner

Monday, May 5, 2014

Delicioso

This weekend I was introduced to possibly the BEST guacamole I have ever tasted, on top of a few other things.  If you know me, you know that me and avocados do not exactly get along (even though I do love their taste).  They just cause me to feel a little "off" if you will.

We enjoyed a nice dinner out at El Carnicero.  El Carnicero is the newest member of Eric Williams' (owner and chef extraordinaire) restaurant family (also owns Momocho, in Ohio City, and Happy Dog).  We actually had the pleasure of being able to meet Eric himself as he made his way around the restaurant.  The restaurant is located in the old McCarthy's in Lakewood on Detroit Rd for those who might like enjoy traveling to Ohio City where parking is not always convenient.  Parking at this particular location can be a little tricky, but the wait is well worth it.  The decor of the place was pretty cool as well.  Luchador (mexican wrestler) masks displayed nicely in the old DJ booth, along with some behind the bar.  The graphic art on th walls too was really neat, and the lighting was perfect (not too dark).

We were lucky enough to get a spot right outside the restaurant on the street.  The wait was only 30 minutes for a table, so we had a seat at the bar.  Being the indecisive female that I am, I went with the margarita sampler.  It was hard to narrow it down to 3, but I went with the pineapple, strawberry rhubarb, and the tradicional.  I was most excited to try the strawberry rhubarb and was not disappointed.  The tradicional was also amazing, you cannot go wrong with a traditional margarita.  The pineapple was delicious as well, but the other two were by far my favorites.  Not to mention the really cool "las vegas-esqe" tequila sign over the bar.

With our drinks we ordered the goat cheese guac which was incredibly creamy, and the goat cheese added a sharpness to the guac... amazeballs is the only way to describe it.  The chips were warm and hearty, not flimsy and thin like at most restaurants.  I could have ate the entire bowl of guac by myself... (note to self, NEVER go here alone... or DO IT).

For entrees I got the Camaron taquitos, and Music Man go the Barriga taquitos.  His was MUCH better than mine, mostly because it was pork belly and tasted like bacon (I'm pretty sure bacon out ranks most things). The one thing that did not get it's own picture was the papas fritas that we split. Skinny shoestring fries covered in Chimichurri sauce (which I have never had before and now want to put it on EVERYTHING).

Other than the guac, and the margaritas and the food, my last favorite part of this restaurant is this "piece de resistance" (my keyboard does not type french)..... A divider wall that is made from the pallets/crates that the avocados are shipped in.  I kind of feel like my house needs one of these... lol. Perhaps outside on the deck I can make one into a privacy wall??? This would be awesome.  The space itself has the same layout as McCarthy's, but this is DEFINITELY NOT McCarthy's anymore... The great part was is that I still remembered where the bathrooms were, and the girls is even a little bigger than before :)

Have you eaten anywhere new lately? If so where and what was your favorite part?- Mommy Spooner

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Busy Bee

This is what the living room looks like from my front entry way
This is what the TV wall looked
like prior to paint
Photo wall prior to pain
(front door is to the left, kitchen to the right)
The past week I have had no school so I have started the 5 week vacation from class with a bang. I finished painting the living room, and even completed making some new pillows for the couch.  Let's just say that the stripe wall was inspired by a coworkers recent home painting job :-) , but I must say I LOVE how it turned out. I got the colors from the fabric that I picked out for dining room chair slipcovers and the couch pillows.
The paisley fabric is what my dining room
chairs will be slip-covered in as well. The link
design will be the cushion cover for the wooden
chairs at the dining table.

(I'm a horrible photographer)... Did not even consider the light coming through the giant window behind these pillows. But you can get the idea :-). Yep sure did sew these pillows all by myself, all I did was purchase the pillow inserts.
I've begun to live out my motto "if you can't find something you are in love with, make it!"  
Little Spooner has already initiated the pillows and has thrown them all over the room and kicked them around, and cuddled with them. Now I need another manicure to repair my poor fingers from all the painting and needle sticks... The room is not completely done.. but it is getting there!

What is one thing you have shopped forever to find "the perfect one" and had to settle with something else? 
-Mommy Spooner

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ladies Who Brunch

So one of my oldest friends was in town this weekend.  We were headed down to the West Side Market, with Nana, before we hit up the Cleveland Home Remodeling Expo. Well turns out there was absolutely NO parking at the Market this morning. So needless to say we did not get to shop inside. Instead we decided to try something new for Brunch.

That's when we drove by BonBon.  I have seen this place a couple times and just figured it was out of my price range.  It is so "New York" looking to me (or at least what my brain imagines NYC might be like considering I've never been there).  

So when I first walked in I thought well this is cozy... Big windows let the sun shine in. You are greeted by a display case full of amazing looking cupcakes and other pastries (I noticed mostly cupcakes... I love them). Apparently they won and episode of Cupcake Wars... I'm dying to try their fig cupcake.

We grabbed a few menus and waited to be seated. Prices were reasonable, if not surprising.  No more than you'd pay at Bob Evans or some big chain. Nana went for the breakfast nachos, My friend grabbed the breakfast sandwich, and I HAD to try the Vanilla French Toast (after my experience in Vegas I've been craving yummy French toast).  

The French toast did not disappoint.  3 pieces of delicious bread (not crazy thick either). It was topped with marscapone, warm banana type syrup, and of course powdered sugar.  This dish did not last long. 

I sampled some of my friends "home fries" and they were crispy but edible. And Nana's nachos had amazing vandalized onions on them which paired with the chorizo perfectly... So yummy. 

This is a place I can picture taking Little Spooner for brunch and making it our "place". I've always wanted to have something like that with someone, and I can see us doing this every other weekend.  :-) because sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name (-:  

Do you have somewhere that is considered "your place"... Let me know- Mommy Spooner

P.S. The home remodeling show was the same thing as the ix center home and garden show... Unless you need a roof, new siding, or a steam mop, there was not a lot of inspiration to be found. I did get to hear Nicole Curtis (rehab addict) speak, highlight of the expo! She's amazingly creative, smart, and funny! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cleveland Auto Show

Took a break from the mundane tasks of school last night. So I decided to torture myself last night by going to the Cleveland Auto Show.  I do this to myself every year... one might think I'd learn. NOPE! I am like an addict when it comes to the sparkle and shine of the pretty polished cars.  Not to mention the smell of the fresh leather interior. It's intoxicating, really.  I do not think one person should ever be able to say "this is super cute" as many times as I did yesterday.  This is how I gauge what cars I like. It has to be cute from the outside.  Rounded, smooth, have "cute" headlights and come in an acceptable color. How a car has cute headlights is beyond me, but they can... Newer BMW's have headlights that make them appear to be smiling (I'd be smiling too if I was driving in a BMW, BTW).  Anyway, back to cars I can feasibly afford... The inside of the car is what really matters though. It needs to be functional, and not just cute but "super cute". Most girls/women will understand what I am saying when I speak of "super cute" vs. just plain cute.
To qualify for "super cute" a car must have the following... The inside of a car must have a pretty dash board with lots of blue and red lights (or "ambient" lighting). The cup holders must be convenient, and there should be 2. The ford fusion really completes this mission. It not only had 2 cup holders but there were blue lights around the tops of them. I have a friend who drives a fusion, and her car is super cute inside (I'm pretty sure she can change the color of those cup holder lights in her car too which is great).  I have never been one to oogle over "American" cars (I know I'm horrible... I am European at heart) but I stopped and took a second look at the fusion on the way out of the show.  So pretty lights and proper, ergonomic, placement of needed amenities is VERY important to me.
Another issue is space.  I have a small child, still in a large car seat, with really looong legs (or so it seems because she cannot help but put her snowy wet feet up on my passenger seat these days).  Not that I am ever in the backseat of my own car, but I am sure that future passengers would appreciate my thoughtfulness.  The car that accomplished this for me was the Hyundai Sonata.  Having almost purchased one of these a while back, that was one of the huge selling points for me.  Little Spooner could sit in her seat and almost not reach the seat in front of her.  But my Dad during the test drive sat in the back and did not feel cramped in the least.  The Sonata also accomplishes the task of cute, sleek, outside and "super cute" interior.
So needless to say there are several cars that I will have to chose between when the time comes for me to make that big purchase (my stomach hurts just thinking about the buyers remorse that will ensue with making such a LARGE financial commitment).  The line-up of cars that I would consider are as follows... Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6 (I was pleasantly surprised by this car), and perhaps a Ford Fusion.  Having had an SUV for the past 6 years, I think a change is needed (although I was BLOWN AWAY by the size of the trunks that these sedans were sproting)... but if I could get a good deal the GMC Terrain is the vehicle that really has my heart.
2014 GMC Terrain Small SUV in Quicksilver Metallic with available equipmentThen there is the side of me that wants to be impractical and fun and get a Jeep Wrangler or a VW Beetle Convertible (ONLY a convertible one). Little Spooner would love either of those last 2... but alas I am a practical person... So I will now spend the next week or so in new car envy, jonesing for a hit of that new car smell, or a glimpse of the sparkliness. However car dealerships provide me with a sense of stress just walking onto the lot that I will not endure until absolutely necessary.
If you did not attend the car show this year, it is highly recommended that you attend next year.  It is fun to see some of the concept cars, and to be able to daydream of what car you would buy if there was no financial limit.- Mommy Spooner

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Meatball Stroganoff

The other day I was seriously jones-ing for some meatballs. After passing up what was supposed to be "phenomenal" meatballs at Lavo in Las Vegas, I was cursed with the craving.  But I did not want store bought frozen meatballs.  So I decided to venture a little into my own "cooking" expertise.  This is what I used...
For the meatballs...
Ground Turkey
Bread Crumbs
Egg
Cheddar Cheese

I mixed all the ingredients together and formed them into little balls and baked them at 400 degrees (I think) for 20 minutes.










For the sauce...
Mushrooms
Sour Cream
Beef Broth
Salt, Pepper
Garlic Powder
Garlic Salt
Butter

I started by sauteing the mushrooms in butter.  Seasoned them with garlic salt and powder. Once they were done I added some beef broth to help cook off some of the good flavor that was on the bottom of the pan.  Then added some sour cream along with a little more seasoning.  The recipe that I adapted this form called for adding cream cheese, but I found it to be unnecessary. Little Spooner and I ate this over egg noodles with edamame on the side (may seem odd, but we love it). Music Man was upset that he never got to try this... the leftovers went fast at lunch time the next day. - Mommy Spooner
P.S. Lot's of projects are going to be happening around the house this week... pictures to follow!