valleygirl: back from vacation and now completely obsolete!

i have managed to lose both my cell phone and my camera cable within the past 4 days. add to that a very fussy laptop battery and you've got the recipe for total technical dysfunction. welcome to the valleygirl home. we have always been (comfortably) behind the times, but we're currently rivaling my grandparents for least technologically advanced. at least they have a t.v.!

the losses of the phone and cable were isolated incidents. not sure i can blame it on moving as we are currently in a holding pattern until jeremy finishes the kitchen remodel. with half our stuff at one place, and half our stuff at the other, there are a lot of items that have temporarily disappeared. i fear the cable and phone have met a different, more permanent type of fate. not sure if the kids had something to do with it or not, but i am keeping my eye on them. perhaps they have an underground storage facility which i am not yet aware of. i did just come across a ladle, a cookie sheet and a teapot half-buried in the sandbox, so i wouldn't put it past them.

we've taken a sort of oath to not buy anything new for a year. this began a couple of months ago. i say sort of oath because it's difficult to get around some things. especially home-remodel-related things. today we found ourselves at the hardware store buying paint, sandpaper, masking tape. all items which could eventually be found secondhand, but needed with a sort of immediacy in order to begin painting what will be lucy and hudson's new shared bedroom. photos of our progress to come, you know, sometime in the future. first i have to get my hands on a used camera cable. better yet, i have to get my hands on my old camera cable. keep your fingers crossed for my success, i've got loads of photos that i'm hoping to share very soon!


and we're off...

off, in search of a real swimming hole. forget this old sink business!

today was a blur of planning, packing and cooking--peach jam, empanadas, easy beans, and the best cookies ever, among other things. i think i have given links to all of those recipes before, but they are standbys in our summer kitchen, and a must when we're taking the kitchen on the road. which we are--nearly a full week of camping at one of our very favorite places. our gear is piled high and ready to be loaded into the truck, the food is prepped and pretty much making me delirious with good smells. summer, you have officially arrived at the valleygirl home. no offense, but it took you long enough.

i had hoped to write a few posts and have them pop up spontaneously over the next week, but as usual my time management skills are lacking. better luck next time.

we shall return, with many photos and stories under our belts, i'm sure.

until then!


this moment...

as always, inspired by soulemama.


make your own...

making your own playdough is one of the simplest things you can do with your kids. seriously, it just takes a pot and a few ingredients that you've probably got on hand.

i remember making playdough myself as a kid, loads of time while i worked as a nanny and now with lucy and hudson. this go-round we used the natural food dye that you can find at whole foods--with all colorings coming from plant-based sources. truth be told i wasn't totally ecstatic with the way the colors turned out, and we had to use a lot of dye ($$$) to get bright color. but at least i know it's safer for them in the long run--especially since hudson has a tendency to sneak tastes of the dough despite the high salt content.

anyway, if you haven't done this already, you should do it soon! the homemade variety is much softer than the storebought, and it lasts much longer without getting hard. plus it doesn't smell funky--you can even add a few drops of essential oil to get all the senses working! there are recipes all over the internet, but here is the one that we use. happy playing!!!


you, i adore...

we here at the valleygirl household are smack-dab in the middle of a move across town. as i'm sure many of you know, packing up an entire household is no small task. add to that all of the things we've got hanging around for our reselling business, and you've got stacks and stacks of boxes, piles of furniture, and genuine disorder pretty much everywhere you look. needless to say, acquiring more stuff has not been high on my list of things to do as of late. in a moment of optimism (weakness?) i found myself at the thrift store this afternoon. don't know why--it kind of just happened. the kids are always up for a trip--the sea of plastic, battery operated toys is absolutely enticing. like moths to a flame.

i browsed the aisles, noticing an alarmingly high rate of my old stuff. a general rule of thrift store thumb should be to not shop for at least a couple of weeks after you have taken carloads of your unwanted things for donation. but i digress. anyway, there i was, pawing through junk that looked eerily familiar, when i came across this vintage gallon jar. the decal did me in, people. it ended up in my cart, despite my best efforts not to add more stuff to my must-pack pile. for 69 cents i couldn't help myself. i have a weakness for burros. it's a good thing the new house comes with a whole lot of property. are you listening, jeremy???


this moment...

have a fabulous holiday weekend!!!