Welcome to Paisley Petunia…part two!

I find inspiration in pretty pictures, endless possibilities in a bowl of Meyer lemons, the meaning of lifetime devotion in the wagging tails of our 3 rescue dogs, end-of- the-day bliss in a glass of red wine and now, the boundless, soul clutching meaning of life in the faces of my 2 little angels.

It's a happy, creative, joy-full life we've got here in the LA sun. Come play! Bring wine.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wait, what? Summer is almost over?

{sun setting on summer}

Oh drats. Are you kidding? The unofficial close of summer is like a few fingers of days away and I have not posted once. Oh man. That is painful. I totally don’t expect anyone to read this blog anymore because *gasp* I’m barely even able to remember how to log in much less post anything of substance. Shame shame shame on me.

Not sure what it is about fall and the sudden surge in blogging. I guess summer makes us look outside and fall makes us more likely to look inward. You start thinking about your house, the holidays, kids go back to school (so some people’s days are a little easier), you aren’t constantly packing and unpacking, food starts to get heartier and for us here the days goes from holy hot to just nearly perfect (still waiting on that one So Cal, ahem 102 today.) So in keeping with that…here is an update and a renewed (almost with no credibility) vow to get back to this blog which in theory is about our happy little home.

{tinsley blaire}

{aiden quincy}

Tins and A are 18.5 months. Full of twin sass, babbling up a storm, dancing all the time, practicing their gymnastics (thanks to a little Olympic viewing) and basically just getting cuter by the nano second. But whoa, toddlers is like a whole ‘nother Oprah. You think a mewling infant is tough. Oh just you wait until they have two speeds: sleep and run.

{bumper crop}

My garden did so well. We enjoyed the fruits of my rookie labors until we had squash and cucumbers and snap beans coming out our ears. I adored the beans, loathed the lemon cucumbers and will definitely edit what I plant next year (talking to you 10000 zuchinnis). The honeydew melons were like candy and the corn looks promising. The pumpkin and butternut squash patch are taking over and if it all works out my house here in the “pumpkin city” will have a bumper crop of its namesake. I’m prepping for second season planting now and already feel giddy at the possibility of growing my own kale. I learned A LOT about the backyard farming and will try to share some of my hard learned lessons in the next few weeks.

We have almost finished phase one of our house remodel. The only thing left is the atrium and that should be finished in the next few weeks. It is my most treasured space in the house and in fact, it was what sealed the deal for me. I’ll post some pictures soon.

So, what’s new with you? And what blogs are you loving these days? I think I need to update my daily reads so send your loves my way.

xoxo~your girl C


Posted by c at 7:04 AM Add a comment
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kale and Brussel Sprout Slaw


You remember last year when that hilarious video “Sh$t people in LA say” came out? And remember how they totally mocked the fact that anyone could really like kale (despite the fact it is a staple everywhere these days.) Anyways, I actually really like kale and I love the kale/brussel sprout slaw from Whole Foods but sadly, they don’t always have it (maybe sprouts and kale together is just too much for some people.) So, I set out to recreate and maybe slightly amp up the taste of their slaw and I am so happy with what I got.

I looked at a bunch of different recipes but ended up combining parts of each and then basically experimenting until I got the flavor where I wanted it. Even my husband (who loathes the thought of chawing on a raw, green veggie like kale) thought this was good. Of course, the addition of bacon to just about anything can help make it husband friendly. I feel like this is the kind of salad where every time you make it you add something new.

Kale and Brussel Sprout Slaw

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • Aprx 10 large brussel sprouts
  • 5 strips of bacon
  • EV olive oil
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple
  • Dried cranberries
  • Dijon mustard
  • Champagne vinegar
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Garlic, salt, pepper to taste

Use a mandolin to shred the sprouts and a really sharp knife to cut the kale in the same kind of long shreds. Peel and shred your apple. Whisk the oil, dijon and vinegar together to create your dressing (I also added in some of the bacon drippings.)  Crumble the bacon, add all the other ingredients together, toss with the dressing and the lemon juice and enjoy!


Posted by c at 8:31 AM Add a comment
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ta da. The kitchen revealed…

It took us almost 3 months to the day but here it is our shiny, new kitchen! I added the {awful} pictures of what it used to look like so you could fully appreciate how far this room has come.  {Don’t ask me why all the “before” pictures are totally crooked. Maybe we were drunk when we decided to buy this house??}

The kitchen is the only room that is 100% finished in the house but I feel like we are getting close and maybe by summer’s end we can have a full fledged house warming.






shiny new kitchen!


shiny new kitchen!


shiny new kitchen!

breakfast room before...sad


breakfast room after...happy

Posted by c at 7:51 AM 2 comments
Friday, May 25, 2012



{photo credit- ckm}

I’m two days back into the blogging groove and the blog crashes for those who use IE. Of course. Anyhoo, we have the whole IT team working overtime to fix our little problem.

In the meantime, enjoy your long, holiday weekend. It appears So Cal intends to be cold and drizzley but we intend to be warm and sunny even if our GPS coordinates won’t cooperate.

Leaving you with the link to the bizzaro video which accompanies my current music obsession: Iceland’s own Of Monsters and Men. Seriously, cannot get enough of these guys (and girl) right now.  Click here to {hopefully} love them as much as I do.

Happy Holiday.


Posted by c at 5:00 AM 2 comments
Thursday, May 24, 2012


IMHO (working title: in my humble opinion)

It seems like if you are a mom and a blogger you were required to weigh in on the recent Time magazine article. I am both (though much more mom than blogger these days) and I’m just not going there. I will say this: I don’t attachment parent but I don’t care if you do. I reject the notion I am not attached to my kids because we don’t co-sleep. But I also don’t know any of these women who openly criticize, sneer and generally aim to make other moms feel bad. I really don’t. I know they exist but by in large I know really nice, trying-their-best-and-wishing-you-the-best-moms.  My twin mom friends and I do compare notes but I think we usually come away feeling inspired, connected and reassured. I don’t know too many of those other moms but maybe it’s because my time for socializing is limited and I carefully choose who I spend that time with.

Here are some of the things I believe and do; these are just my ideas. My own shaken-not-stirred way to raise my babies. You do whatever feels right to you and solider on momma.

We listen to music everyday, all the time. We listen to live music and bang on instruments whenever the opportunity arises.

I talk to them, a lot. I assume they can understand and I believe that because I believe in them they rise to occasion. I hold my language and conversation to a higher standard because I know little ears are always listening.

I am committed to raising bilingual children. I am not bilingual but they will be. Finis!

We play outside, in the mud everyday. I don’t care about dirt, I don’t care about grass stains and occasionally they eat something they shouldn’t but we only use organic stuff in the back so a fistful of potting soil probably isn’t the end of the world.

They go to bed every night at the same time. Sometimes it is painful but I am the momma, they are the babies and it’s lights out at 7:30 p.m.

I give them choices. I believe this empowers them and they relish the bits of independence associated with choosing which piece of fruit to eat or shoes to wear. It doesn’t matter that they are only 16 months old. They have an opinion and sometimes the vote goes to them.

I do get frustrated but as our teacher told us “better that your babies cry for you than from you” so when I find I am in the mad zone, I make sure they are safe, I walk away and remind myself it’s just a phase.  They aren’t being vindictive. They want to tell me what they need and want; they want to be heard. They are communicating the only way they have right now.

I am a stay at home mom who does not feel guilty about the great fortune of having a full time nanny. My job is to raise these babies, but it would be crazy to not accept all the help available to me.

I am not obsessed with scheduled activities or playdates or classes. We are spontaneous. I don’t really know what mood we all will be in when we wake up, so we take it day by day.  Some days we wear pajamas all day and eat watermelon for lunch. Sometimes we wake up, put on our fancies and go to Neimans.

I don’t make my kids carry my baggage. I do my very best to compartmentalize the emotions and experiences they don’t need to be part of BUT we are a human, living breathing family and sometimes the reality of relationships is unavoidable. It is ok (in my opinion) to be a real person, with real emotions around my kids. But I impose the same limits for tantrums and outbursts on myself that I would ask of them.

I don’t spend every minute singing to, playing with, talking to or frankly, annoying my kids. They love their carefully monitored, free time sans mommy. My egomaniac ways need to remember while they love me every minute- they don’t need me every minute.

I don’t care if they eat some sugar. No twinkies but homemade cookies or a mini cupcake at a party. Fine by me. Even better if we cooked it together. Sugar isn’t the enemy. Over indulgence is.

I try to be a no drama mama. Being stressed-frazzled-exhausted-neurotic and talking about it constantly doesn’t mean you are trying harder than the rest of us. It means you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Calm down and get it together, woman.  If you freak me out after 15 minutes of your company imagine how your kids feel. And trust me, they feel it. Figure out what you need to do to be even a tiny bit in control of your day, do it and you will find everyone benefits (and probably likes you more.)

We haven’t mastered it yet completely but I don’t respond immediately to tantrums, squabbles and complaints. As the French say “attend” or wait. We wait a few beats to see what can be resolved without our interference. Sometimes we step in, sometimes we don’t. We are all learning about boundaries and consequences at the same time.

I don’t over document every minute with 10,000 iphone pictures and video clips. I like to be with them not behind the camera. I think we have more than enough memories and moments captured on film.

I do love my family. I do love my husband. I fiercely love my children. I teach by example, show up for work everyday and hope for the best. 

Posted by c at 11:23 AM 1 comment