Category Archives: Baby

Countdown to Christmas 2013

One of my favorite things to do in December is counting how many days are left until Christmas. This year, my mom helped my kids by giving them an Angry Birds Christmas advent calendar. It was a BIG surprise and a BIG hit. Even our elf on the shelf Wink had fun with the new toys a couple of days ago.

Our elf on the shelf playing with angry birds

Our elf on the shelf playing with angry birds

This year I decided to use our wall white board as a countdown to Christmas (remember how I used it for Thanksgiving?). With a little help from Google images, it only took a few minutes to create a new countdown every few days. My first countdown helper was Rudolph the red nose reindeer. That’s when I realized how hard it was not only to draw with thick dry erase markers, but also how to color with them.

Countdown to Christmas board with Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

Countdown to Christmas board with Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

A few days later, we brought our Elf Wink home. He felt eager to help out with the countdown to Christmas so he drew himself during the night. The boys loved his self-portrait.

Countdown to Christmas board with the elf on the shelf

Countdown to Christmas board with the elf on the shelf

Nothing says cold winter days like a penguin, and penguins are very cute so this little black and white guy was my next pick.

Penguin counts down to Christmas

Penguin counts down to Christmas

I then opted for a snowman. That should be Christmassy enough, right?

Countdown to Christmas with a snowman

Countdown to Christmas with a snowman

Well, my youngest didn’t like it so much (it’s boring, Mama!) so the next day he asked me to draw a “cute baby polar bear” instead. Thank Google images for the great ideas…

Christmas countdown: cute baby polar bear drawing

Christmas countdown: cute baby polar bear drawing

Of course you can’t have a countdown to Christmas without Buddy the Elf. Unfortunately dry erase markers don’t come in human flesh color, so Buddy looks like he needs a little sun. Not much of that in the North Pole in the winter anyway.

Countdown to Christmas with Buddy the elf

Countdown to Christmas with Buddy the elf

Today, we’re only one day away from Christmas so Santa is making his first apparition, at least a partial one.

One day until Christmas: Santa coming down the chimney

One day until Christmas: Santa coming down the chimney

I can’t wait to draw Santa wishing us a merry Christmas tonight after the kids go to bed. We have so many small and big presents under the tree, I told my kids they could open a couple of them tonight, so that should be fun. And Christmas morning will be fun of magic once Santa delivers the last presents under the tree.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Shop Black Friday today and Small Business Saturday tomorrow – 60% off my calendars

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your loved ones yesterday. My turkey wasn’t stuffed but I sure was at the end of the meal. My French American Thanksgiving meal was a success. The tarte tatin I made for dessert was a delicious way to wrap things up.

Tarte tatin - French apple tart

Tarte tatin – French apple tart

Tomorrow (November 30, 2013) is Small Business Saturday. This is the one day of the year (and hopefully you do it more often) to remind you that shopping small is good for your community. Make your purchases at your local mom and pop shop rather than at the mall or at a large online retailer.

I’m taking this opportunity to remind you that my 2014 nature photography calendars (choose between five different themes) are available for sale. For Black Friday, save 60% by entering code BLKFRIZAZZLE at checkout (valid on 11/29 until midnight). If you buy them tomorrow, look in the left sidebar on my website for the most up-to-date discount coupon code.

All calendars are made to order in the USA so you support the US economy with your purchase, and a self-employed single mom (me!). I also appreciate any referral through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course your blog or website.

Shop small - small business Saturday 2013

Shop small – small business Saturday 2013

Using summer fruit to make food art

If you miss my previous posts on food art, you can see them here, here and here. I’ve been taking enough photos of our growing food art collection to share a few more with you today.

Grape stems are a great medium for food art. Here are a few masterpieces we came up with:

The grape and bean dog

Food art: grape and bean dog

Food art: grape and bean dog

The happy grape man

Food art: happy grape man

Food art: happy grape man

The run-for-your-life grape man

Food art: run for your life grape man

Food art: run for your life grape man

If you go to Olive Garden, you can make Batman out of one of their breadsticks.

Food art: Batman with Olive Garden breadstick

Food art: Batman with Olive Garden breadstick

Hey, Mama, what’s for dinner? Fishsticks. Check!

Food art: fishstick check mark

Food art: fishstick check mark

We found this awesome Yoda watermelon head at a birthday party we went to. If you know a Star Wars fan, you should try it.

Food art: Yoda head made with watermelon

Food art: Yoda head made with watermelon

Finally, I found this photo online the other day and thought it’d be a great addition to this food art post. For this last food art creation, I present you nature’s masterpiece: the duckmato.

Food art: duckmato

Food art: duckmato

Goofy Monday: Playing ninja

Let me start this post by sharing a couple of links to my nature photography website:
– You can view my contribution to the WordPress weekly photo challenge on “from above”, which includes raindrops, flowers and butterflies.
– If you like roses, you’ll want to take a look at my Macro Monday contribution, which features several very colorful roses I photographed in San Diego’s Balboa Park yesterday. Here’s one, ust to give you a taste. I took more photos and I’ll feature them in upcoming posts, including one tomorrow.

Yellow rose in San Diego's Balboa Park

Yellow rose in San Diego’s Balboa Park

And now, without any further interruption, let’s get back to Goofy Monday. I know you’ve been craving for it. ;-)

My seven-year old LOVEs ninjas – everything and anything related to them. So a lot of his imaginary play revolves around this theme. Did you know Batman went through ninja training? Apparently the Batman costume I bought my son for last year’s Halloween makes for a great ninja costume too, which is very convenient for my wallet. Of course, I’m usually clueless about this ninja play and the results can be embarrassing.

Ninja Hide-Out
Me (seeing my son glued to a wall around the corner): “What are you doing here?”
Son #1 (whispering): “Quiet, I’m ninjaing.”
Me: “Oops, sorry…”

By the way, expect to see a new addition in the Webster dictionary soon:
Ninja (verb): to spy, to hide in secret, until your clueless mom blows your cover.

Ninja Concentration
Ninjas obviously need a lot of quiet time so they can concentrate, especially when they perform difficult skills.
Me: “Boys, let’s talk about what we want to do this weekend.”
Son #1: “Quiet, please. We’re having a competition.”
Should I mention it was a clementine peeling competition? Hey, I’m just glad they can peel their own clementines so I don’t have to!

Ninja Manners
The good thing about ninjas is, they seem to have good manners. Even when their mom doesn’t.
Son #2: “What’s that you’re making?”
Son #1: “I’ll show you, as soon as Mama gets a little bit out of the way.” (my arm was in the way)
I’ll take that any day over “Move, Mama, mooooove!”

Of course, Ninja Boy is very creative. He has to be, if he wants to outsmart his enemies. As I mentioned in last week’s post, he’s been writing his first books, on ninjas of course. He’s the writer and the illustrator of a series of 12 short books (shame on me for planning to write just one this year). I’ve offered him to lay out all his paper books on the computer, so we can make real books out of them (in print and electronic format). I’m planning to have one of these books printed for his birthday and he’s very excited to see it come to life. After that, he can start promoting his book on his own. ;-)

Here’s what he created a few weeks ago when he started his series. He has no idea he actually put together an ad for his book series but I love the idea of it! (I apologize for the poor quality, this was a quick photo job)

Ad for ninja book

Ad for ninja book

Have your kids ever created something  you thought deserved to be shown to a larger public?