Archive for July, 2013


Ring Master MomJuly 30, 20132 Comments

Things to do in Mountain View – Outdoor Movie Nights

The city of Mountain View has great programs for citizens of any age in any given season.  Every Spring, the Mountain View Voice has a handout  for the city’s Summer activities, and the Outdoor Movie Nights are one of my favorite things to do with kids on a Friday night.

We have been attending these since my kids were babies – which is nice because they were great at nursing and then falling asleep in my arms while the movie played.  This was the first time Alice wasn’t able to go.  She just turned 2 and is an angel when you put her to bed on time.  Since the movies start right at her bedtime, I thought it would be fun for a Patrick & Mommy night.

I met a super fun gal up at Alt SF who lives a hop, skip, and a jump away from me.  Her name is Katelyn, and she writes a blog called Love, Luck, Kisses & Cake  Check her out! She had a fantastic spread before the movie started and invited us to share.  And I introduced her to Blue Line Pizza a few days before and she loved it, so her hubby grabbed some of their to DIE for garlic bread.  This is just the beginning…

Patrick handed out glow bracelets to nearby kids

Getting himself set up with Hippo and Stomp

Having a blast with selfies

And Wreck It Ralph begins!!

I love these nights because most of the parks are within walking distance of our home so we don’t have to worry about driving and parking.  Also, they serve popcorn and drinks so all you need to bring is a blanket!


Ring Master MomJuly 29, 2013Leave a comment

Making necklaces & bracelets

I am a huge sucker for the dollar bins at Target.  As a Mom, getting great craft items at an amazing price, is almost as exciting as someone handing me a margarita.  Almost.

Last week I found bags of beads for a buck.

I always tape one end of the string or ribbon on the table to minimize frustration.

Kids loving to be creative and I’m enjoying the quiet!!

This craft is great for little ones to work on placing small beads through a ribbon.  Watch your kiddies if they like to eat everything!!  Alice just turned 2 so she’s happy to recognize each color going on.  “LOOOOK, BLUE MOMMY!!” and Patrick who is 3 enjoys making patterns.

Creating things like this is fun because the kids get to make something for themselves and then you, Dad, Grandma, etc.

One of many creations!


Ring Master MomJuly 24, 2013Leave a comment

Magnetic Alphabet Letters

What is it about little ones who love to follow you wherever you are?  Near the end of a long day when I’m starting to prep dinner, I love how Patrick and Alice want to be literally at my feet while I’m in the kitchen.  Last year when we were living in a condo, it wasn’t as easy to maneuver around them in my small galley kitchen.  I found that bringing out a toy they hadn’t played with in a while would entertain them as I chopped and started cooking.  One toy that captured their attention was magnetic alphabet letters.

This was a perfect toy because I could ask them what color the letter was, was it lower or upper case, or which letter they were holding.  The only thing that I really disliked about the letters were that they were attached to the fridge in an area I needed to get in and out of as I was cooking.  I was thrilled last year when we moved into a house and had a much large space to cook and entertain.


As you can see from the picture above, there are only magnets attached to one section of the fridge.  Yes, that’s right, only the top left part is magnetic.  When we bought our home last year, we had to redo everything from plumbing to flooring to roof to doors.  Everything was taken out of the house and I made every decision as to what would be put back in.  I suppose I didn’t have the time to check the details such as having magnetic doors because I had assumed that they always came that way.

Now I had magnetic alphabet letters and numbers with no place to live!!  The kids really wanted to play with them as I cooked but I didn’t want the mess of the magnets on the floor.  I considered installing a piece on the wall that would hold magnets, but I was afraid to ruin my brand new walls.  It occurred to me a few days later that a drip pan might be able to hold magnets, and low and behold, it does!


I really enjoy having the letters and numbers on the drip pan as it’s easy to store and the kids aren’t sitting in front of the fridge which is where I need to be sometimes as I cook.  We are now using letters to make words and we also point to a certain letter to practice what sound that letter makes.  We even get our silly Elf on a Shelf involved in the fun!

Hopefully if you need a distraction for your little ones as you cook, this will be a great help for you and learning toy for them.


Ring Master MomJuly 23, 20134 Comments

Sidewalk chalk fun

Do you want a new and fun game to play with your kids that’s guaranteed to have them listen and quiet them down?  I know, sounds too good to be true.

We were getting down to the last nubs of our huge bin of sidewalk chalk, so it was time to open up a new box.

I drew three lines on the ground – one straight, one zigzagging, and one rounded.

Patrick and Alice had to wait and LISTEN for directions and walk slowly on whichever color I picked.  With the slow walking, they practiced their balance which for some reason required them to be quiet for a few minutes.  BONUS for me!

Alice didn’t understand anything that wasn’t the red line, so Patrick was really patient and loved showing her again and again how it was done.

“Mom, I think my feet got stuck!”

It was great to see them help each other out and encourage each other to finish.

I love having a fresh box of chalk and hope to find some more creative uses for it other than the usual coloring and then rolling around in it – ha!  What is your favorite way to use chalk with kids?


Ring Master MomJuly 22, 2013Leave a comment

Rustic wood slabs turned chalkboards

Walking into The Makery in Downtown Los Altos is like walking into Target.  I come in with a plan, but I always leave with much more than was written on my list.  I went in for washi tape and party bags for a baby shower I’m throwing next week, but left with much more!

I strolled by these kits, and knew they had to come home with me!

I got one for Alice and one for Patrick.  They contain a rustic wood slab, a great quality paintbrush, and a piece of chalk.  I love how it comes in a glassine bag with washi tape – the devil is in the details.  P.S. I have never seen equation washi tape before – gotta find this for the hubby!!

They also sell chalkboard paint and since I was in a rush, I grabbed the basic charcoal color since I wasn’t sure if I could decide on a color that both Patrick and Alice would like.

The paint goes on easy and smooth, and I love the wood.  It’s a thick cut and very sturdy.

Now to let this dry, add a few more coats, and let the kids create!  The Makery also sells rainbow chalk, so I picked up one for each kiddo.

I can’t wait to see what they create on their boards!


Ring Master MomJuly 16, 20132 Comments

Alt SF

Hi friends from Alt SF!

I am new.  Not to blogging.  I had my first blog 11 years ago, but this site was rolled out last month.  with the awesome help of my web designer ( and graphic designer (, we’ve been able to get this up and running!   I got a surprise email from Alt Summit stating they still had room in their conference that was previously full.  This was all after finding out that my thyroid was done with me and I was going to take a bit more time to get my health on track first and foremost.  Now that i have my energy back, I’m here to chronicle my crafts, recipes, activities, fun stories, and adventures with my family.

Please feel free to leave feedback – I’m loving to learn about the blogging world again.  I encourage pro tips like “Girl, stop using your camera phone and use a professional one!!”  I’m incredibly thrilled that you’ve stopped by, and I hope to see you again soon!


Ring Master MomJuly 16, 2013Leave a comment

Business cards

After getting a late invitation to Alt Summit, I wasn’t really prepared since the domain had just been bought and a few ideas jotted down in my notebook.

A quick meeting with my friend who just started designing business cards brought me to this lovely lady

Which is perfect and had been what was sitting inside of my brain for the past year.  But then I started feeling overwhelmed.  Like really overwhelmed.  I looked at the other business cards online and on Pinterest and knew I needed a bit of a wow factor.  After contemplating a yummy treat that was circus related, I couldn’t find one that was small enough or wouldn’t get totally squished in a bag.  Cotton candy, animal cookies, clown noses…these were all too much.

Then I remembered a fun treat I got once at the circus.  It’s carnival related too, but just the right size for what I need.  Fortune fish!  Does anyone else remember these?

I am burning the midnight oil and need to catch up on my beauty sleep for tomorrow.  I hope these little packages have a big impact!!


Ring Master MomJuly 16, 2013Leave a comment

Summer Fun List

We had a whiteboard in our kitchen that for the fun things planned for that month.  I am a big fan of adding fun things to my to-do lists, and thought it was a great visual for the kids to see what was in store for them soon.  I found that some months had a lot more fun than others, so I’ve changed it up a bit and sometimes do seasons.  Since the little whiteboard was too small, I upgraded to my old chalkboard from my childhood room.  These are our plans this summer – more or less.  And yes, it was made a full month before summer this year!  We had some sizzling temps early on, so I was inspired by the heat to do our summer fun list.

What do you think I left off the list?


Ring Master MomJuly 15, 2013Leave a comment

Bastille Day

Or La Fête Nationale is celebrated by the French every 14th of July.  I have relatives in France and have only been there to celebrate Bastille day once.  I was 12, and I remember a lot of eating and fireworks.

As my kids grow up, I think it’s important for them to know and understand the world around them.  We have a great book that lists every country, flag, and a few fun facts.  Since they’re still 2 and 3, they don’t comprehend everything I tell them, but it’s fun to find the country on our large map in our office and practice speaking a few words in that language.

Local produce and baguette, but the cheese and drinks were from France!

My Mom perfected her little veggies in our new ratatouille recipe we found

I made coq au vin for the first time.  Never had it before so I don’t know how it compares to other recipes.

And since a local bakery does macarons the best I’ve had outside of France, well, I had to pick a few up.


Ring Master MomJuly 13, 2013Leave a comment

Plum Crazy

My husband and I bought a house a year ago.  That whole process plus remodeling the entire place from floor to ceiling to plumbing to doorknobs in addition to a revamp the the front and backyards will be a few posts within itself!!  We knew we bought a property on a former fruit farm but were not aware until a few weeks ago that a random tree we decided at the last moment not to cut down (i.e. it was not a bottlebrush that I was allergic to) was actually a fruit tree!!

It was overgrown with weird branches and someone thought it was a fig, while others thought maybe plum or apricot.  All I knew is that when we moved in a year ago, there was no fruit on it then, so I figured there would be no fruit on it again.  Sometimes I am so happy when I am wrong.

Beautiful peach colored fruit appeared and I was overjoyed that we had apricots!!  All of a sudden they changed color, and became plums.  Okay okay, I know they didn’t change, but they did in my mind.

Luckily we share a tree with our next door neighbors that yields apricots so I’m happy for the variety.

It is like watching a rainbow because after they light colors, they even out.

Hopefully I have some happy neighbors:

Mayhem after my 4 chickens are allowed to roam around:

Back to being full and purple:

And then consumed in an apricot plum tart:

What are your favorite recipes with plums?