Archive for October, 2013


Ring Master MomOctober 31, 2013Leave a comment

Halloween Dinner

My kids were having more fun with making olives with eyes this year for Halloween lunches and dinners!!  I decided to cook spaghetti noodles with pesto, and add mozzerella balls and of course sliced olives for the eyes.  Here’s the finished product, and yes, they asked for more “eyes”

My husband and I had a similar dinner – I just cooked chicken on the side and added tomatoes and took out the olives.

Everyone was happy with one silly Halloween dinner!


Ring Master MomOctober 22, 2013Leave a comment

Things to do in Mountain View

One of my favorite places to go as a child was a small market in Fremont.  It was located on the corner of Mission and Washington and sold fresh produce they grew right behind the building.  It was smaller than a grocery store, yet larger than a roadside stand.  The floor boards weren’t even but the produce was just picked and cheap.  My Mom always let me pick out my favorites and I loved the selection.  As do most wonderful things, it did not last forever.

A new farmers’ market picked up near our home when I was in high school (I believe?!?) and once again, off we went to get the best of that season.  It was great going with my Mom as we could get a great haul together.  Lots of melons during the summer meant toned arms for months!

When I went to Davis for college, I kept the tradition of shopping at our local farmers’ market.  Late Fall and early Winter were my favorite as my good friends knew because that meant just pressed apple juice and caught that morning crab along with a sourdough baguette were the first three items on my list!  The seafood guy knew me immediately and always had his biggest crab waiting just for me.

After moving to Mountain View, I was extremely excited to know that there is a huge farmers’ market here.  In fact, I just read that it’s rated the best farmers’ market in the Bay Area, and #2 in California.  I have waddled through these stalls 9 months pregnant, with newborn babes carried on me, and with two kids in tow.  I usually enjoy going first things as I want to grab bread from Acme before they run out, and quickly grab what I need before it becomes too crowded.  I know there are good deals at the end, and I’ve taken part in “helping” farmers get rid of their haul, but I hate missing out on other things when they’re gone.

I always start with a coffee

and then it’s off to the market!

For the most part, I buy as I go.  If something’s in season like strawberries, I’ll walk around to find the best deal.  Hint: it’s at the stand with everyone in front of it.  Sometimes people are willing to make deals, and sometimes they’re not.  Most of the time I have my kids, they get an extra apple or fruit when they’re helping me pick.  This is good for their return business I’m sure as I’m always back next week!

I am pretty sure they have some activities for kids, but we haven’t done them yet.  Just in and out for produce!

I am a sucker for a sweet setup, too.  These vintage boxes and leaf garland caught my eye and we bought some nuts and golden raisins.

Who can resist these lovely ladies

Or these bags of perfect lettuce and edible flowers

Part of our haul

Patrick walked past the seafood stand and said, “Mommy, stop!!  I want fish for dinner.  That smells sooo good!!” and started licking his lips.  Ha – your wish is my command, kid.  He also picked out lots of fruit and loved the persimmons.  Especially since he got about 5 samples!

What are your favorite things to buy at your farmers’ market?  And where do you go for your finds?


Ring Master MomOctober 18, 2013Leave a comment

Halloween Dinner

I wanted to share a fun and very easy Halloween Dinner idea!

I sliced a few hot dogs into quarters lengthwise and boiled for a few minutes.  They look like spooky worms!  Added some boo chips, grapes, and milk for one simple and creepy meal.


Ring Master MomOctober 18, 2013Leave a comment

Halloween Party

As those who know me well know that I’m a big Halloween fan.  When James and I got married, we thought it would be fun to host a Halloween party each year.  We’ve done it every season – even when we were in Australia.  This year was great as the kids are getting a little older and into games and hanging out.

I didn’t get as many pictures as I wanted this year.  My Mom has been in the hospital for the past month (but out again, yay!) and I was finally able to see her for the first time the morning I threw the party.  I spent a few hours with her, then raced home to shop, cook, and decorate!!  I was thrilled to have been able to give my Mom a hug and catch up and was floating as I prepared for this party.  When my friends arrived, I spent a lot of time catching up with them and giving everyone updates that I did not get a chance to be the photographer as well.  I have a few shots, so I’ll share here along with details of what I didn’t get to shoot.

We have to start with the candy bar

I love a good candy bar at a party despite not enjoying it much myself.  I enjoy colors and themes and seeing what people pick out.

I had candy corn, candy pumpkins, giant malt balls, and a Halloween mix of fruit gummy bears.

Sugar cookies and a Fall M&M mix

Gingerbread cookies from Williams Sonoma, chocolate covered caramel and marshamellows.  Also some Autumn colored lollipos (love the black and white!) and some Halloween shaped sprinkle cookies

Halloween oreos, candy corn oreos, licorice, caramels, and my favorite – a giant licorice rat

Cupcakes and vintage toppers

I put the sugary stuff in the kitchen away from the regular food and make the kids ask their parents if they’re allowed to have any if/when they find the stash.  For games, I had a pin the tail game, Halloween twister, and a bean bag toss.  I also set up a craft corner on the small table with stickers, crayons, pipe cleaners, and paper.

I am big into paper straws for all my parties, and had fun putting a Halloween collection together for the milk and juice bar for the kids.

On the big food table I had a carrot jack-o-lantern

with clementine “pumpkins”

“Spider eggs”

Mummy pizzas, chili bar, and a 7 layer dip “graveyard”

And treat bags for the kids filled with glow in the dark bracelets, Halloween pencils, glow in the dark fangs, stickers, and silly glasses.

The fun part about throwing this party every year is trying to mix up what I’ll serve.  I think we’ve done Mummy pizzas every year for the fact that they’re simple to prepare and you can make a ton at once.  What are your favorite Halloween recipes or treats?


Ring Master MomOctober 17, 2013Leave a comment

Halloween pizza

Patrick and Alice really love holidays and fun food surprises as much as I do. Which is great because I’m always happy to mix it up for them.

We have an annual Halloween party and I’ve always served Mummy Pizzas because it’s easy to make ahead of time and can serve a lot. But since we were making individual pizzas the other night, I thought I’d change it up.

Spread pizza sauce over a small store bought crust. I used a ghost cookie cutter with mozzarella cheese and sliced a black olive in half to make the spiders’ bodies and another in several pieces to make the legs. Sprinkle with italian seasoning and you’re ready to bake at 450 for 8 minutes. Enjoy!


Ring Master MomOctober 8, 2013Leave a comment

Things to do nearby Mountain View – Pumpkin Patches

Even though I am a Bay Area native, I had a hard time finding a local pumpkin patch in Mountain View with Patrick and Alice.  Two years ago we went back to my childhood patch in Fremont at Ardenwood Historic Farm for my lack of finding anything in Mountain View.  Last year I located one closer to us in Sunnyvale but it being on El Camino and next to a Jack in the Box wasn’t having me excited to return.

We grew 4 pumpkins this year despite not planting any seeds last season.  I’m thinking they were dropped by squirrels that run across our back fence and just so happened to plant themselves nicely and appear!

Since I love a variety of pumpkins to display during Fall, I had to look elsewhere.  The Botanist in Los Altos has the best selection of the non-orange pumpkins.  I got these two and can’t wait to go back and get a few more

How great is the contrast on the pink one?  Girly and pink & warty and gross!!  And since there’s another pumpkin patch just down the road from The Botanist, we stopped by to pick up a few small ones.  I love this picture of Alice.  She’s eyeing a giant skeleton behind me.

This patch also has tons of creative classes on how to carve or paint your pumpkin, story time, and face painting.  There’s also a cool corn pit filled with bones

Oh, and fresh popcorn.

Also a cool haunted house through the windows

I love Halloween as most of you know, and am jumping with joy for great local activities and ways to celebrate.



Ring Master MomOctober 7, 2013Leave a comment

Things to do in Mountain View – Parks & Rec Classes

I try not to sign my kids up for many activities while they’re young.  I feel that playing is a great way for them to learn and grow without having to be rushed from one event to another.

The one class I will sign them up for in the Fall is youth soccer through the city.  Mountain View like most cities offers a variety of classes and events and with our beautiful Fall weather I think that soccer for my kids is a perfect match.  This is Patrick two years ago

And very focused

Our first week started off great with Patrick really enjoying his class.  He said his hands are in his pockets so he wouldn’t touch the ball as he kicked. (He’s in the Giants jersey and gray shorts)

And as Alice started her session, she had a major nosebleed so we went home to attend to her!  We’ll have to get a nice pic of her next time.

I am incredibly blessed to be a stay at home Mom with my two kiddos and feel that classes like this are great for them to have them listen to “coach” and have some fun.

What did you enjoy playing as a kid or have your child enrolled in this year?


Ring Master MomOctober 1, 2013Leave a comment

Real Housewife of Mountain View

I am often asked how I came up with the tagline/slogan for this blog.  When I married James, I took his last name – Ring.  I’ve heard all the jokes, “Oh, that has a nice RING to it!” and “Are you the Ringmaster now?”

On a semi-related note – I am a huge Real Housewives fan.  Fun fact about me: I’ve seen ever episode of every Real Housewives show ever.  I DVR ’em so I don’t always watch them right away, but I’ve been watching since the first season.  I don’t know what it is about these ladies, but it’s so unlike my life that I really love watching.  If you haven’t seen an episode, it begins the same way.  A quick flash of one of the ladies along with a horribly cheesy line about themselves.

I had asked my friends on FB a year or two ago what their tagline would be if they were a Real Housewife and NOBODY ANSWERED.  Fail.  I have tons of friends who watch the series, so they knew exactly what I was talking about, but maybe I asked during a busy time or nobody was feeling creative that day.  That’s when I felt like I had to embrace the teases about being a Ringmaster.  Yes – YES – I am the Ringmaster, and for a most fabulous circus, daaaaah-ling.

What about you?  What would your tagline/slogan be?  Even if you can’t think of anything right now, come back when inspiration hits!