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Small Things are Big Things!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Haunting

Blessings on this "holiday" from our family to yours!Silly photo effects done at Picnik!

Wondering what to make tonight?
Try this EASY croc pot recipe (I got it from my friend Rachael). It is delicious! It's really more of a stew than a soup. It's thick so it can stand on it's own for an easy meal.

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Makes 6-8 servings:
4 chicken breast halves (option to cube)
2 15-oz cans black beans, undrained
2 15-oz cans Mex stewed tomatoes
1 cup salsa
4-oz can chopped green chilies
14.5-oz can tomato sauce
tortilla chips
2 c grated cheese

1. Combine all ingredients (except chips and cheese) - I only use 2 chicken breasts for two adults, two toddlers, and there are still some leftovers.
2. Cover - cook on Low for 7-8 hours (or on med-high for 4-6 hours)
3. Just before serving, remove chicken and cut up (I cube the chicken so I don't have to do this step) and then mix back in
4. To serve, put a handful of chips in each soup bowl. Ladle soup over chips. Top with cheese, sour cream, Tabasco, avocado, etc.
5. Enjoy! Super easy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Picking Pumpkins

Eli's class took at trip to the Tanaka Farm Pumpkin Patch. Hot Hubby took a long lunch and we had a delightful afternoon... mostly...

The tractor ride takes you through huge beautiful fields (in the middle of OC... it's strange) to the petting zoo...

Cora Jane had a bit of a "thing" for a certain goat. She wouldn't stop hugging it which was pretty gross.

Eli had to go potty in the middle of the Corn Maze. We may or may not have watered some corn... Then you get to pick carrots, radishes, green beans and onions right out of the ground!! A few days later I put everything together for a slow cooker pot roast.

After I buckled Eli in I noticed Cora was eating a lollipop.
Where she got it... we'll never know!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Produce at The Swapper

How much do you think all this produce cost?
The box on the left was $3 the box on the right was $7.
I'm a Swapper produce veteran now... but let me tell you about my first time...
Circa October 2008 I heard through the grapevine that the OC Marketplace had great deals on produce. The one tip I got was to get there near closing time (4pm).
I arrived at 3:45pm.
There was a huge crowd of people around the produce.
Right after I joined the gaggle a seasoned veteran took me under her wing (I must have been an obvious swapper virgin). I reached for a basket. She touched my arm and said, “Wait honey.”

The seller yelled, "Bag of grapes, $1." The bags were huge!
I looked at my mentor
She shook her head, “Not yet.”
A few minutes later "3 bags of grapes, $1!!"
Surely it can’t get any better than that!
I was itching to start loading my basket.
“Wait” my mentor said
About 5 minutes later "5 bags of grapes, $1"

It was a free for all. It was about 4:30 and the deals were crazy!!!

Moral of the Story:
Get to The Swapper at 4pm (it's free that late in the day) and wait till the deals are crazy. Though the longer you wait the less the pickings!
I'm talking basket of strawberries for .50 cents. Bag of artichokes $1. You name it!! They want to get rid of everything because they can't keep it for the next weekend.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Things you should know about the OC Marketplace

There is a short list of some of the greatness of the OC Marketplace.
Or as we call it around here "The Swapper."
1. More people drink beer at 9am than you think.
2. While you are setting up don't tell the umbrella sales men next to your space that you sell umbrellas too, but for $5 cheaper. (They won't talk to you for the rest of the day.) 3. Old men in designer jeans look stupid.
4. The Chocolate dipped ice cream is delish. 5. If you put trick-or-treating candy out parents will grab and go without making eye contact.
6. Very few parents enforce manners. 7. If you were looking for a place to wear your umbrella hat, you've found it... 8. Jack in the Crack at 5am is heaven in a bun. 9. If you look at any clothes long enough you consider buying. 10. You might meet a delightful pirate named Captain Edward James Teague. He is awesome! Check out his info here.11. I love my husband. 12. Eli's Lids ROCKS... ...and I'm thinking of some new styles inspired of The Swapper.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pillocase Surprise & Jen Johnson Photo Shoot Winners!

The Last Winners of the Birthday Bash!!
Wow that was one amazing Whirlwind of giveaways!!
The Winner of the Pillowcase surprise is...
Her daughter Jenny has already received the first one and it was a total hit!!
The winner of the Family Photo Shoot with Jen Johnson Photography is...
Jessica from Fringies!

Thank you to all the amazing people involved with our 3rd Birthday Bash. It was AWESOME!!
Didn't win?
Check out all the sponsors. They have stunning products AND amazing blogs!!
Get ready to add them to your reader!
There is one Suzie Says apron giveaway that we decided to push closer to Christmas AND we liked the giveaway thing so much we decided to keep up up... but only once a month!!
In alphabetical order a review of all the great stuff...
Blah Blah Blah Blogger – Free photo session!!
BYOG – Hip mama’s delivery gown
Domestic Chicky (aka The Apronista) - A custom header/button combo. See her work here.
Eli’s Lids – Your choice of a Rock n’ Roll Lid AND an iPod Shuffle
The Glamorous LifeBlogging T-shirt (Bloggers - you will laugh out loud when you read these tees!)
Joy’s HopeMessy bow (I have my eye on the owl one)
Monkey MoonFamily photo sitting & and up to 10 high-res images free to print as you choose!
Sewing the Seed – Two precious onesies. (see our X-mas shirts here)
Single Mom Sanctuary – Up to $50 worth of loot for Pampered Chef
Suzie Says (that’s right folks, my mom) - 5 vintage inspired cake plates, & one special kiddo will win a fun new pillowcase in the mail for 6 months!! (Everything lovingly handmade by my mama!!)
Thank you, my friends!!!

Side note:
I didn't receive anything free for these giveaways.
Nada. Zip. Zero.
They are REALLY just my friends (in real life or via the blogsphere) who were gracious enough to participate and who I wanted to promote!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

El Matador

Eli's Lids had a night out on the town last week with my peeps in BlogCrush.
This month's stop was El Matador in Fullerton.
Oddly there were no guys there this time... except Hot Hubby. He gladly opted out of the Brazilian Blow Out conversations and took pix of the girls with our new camera.
El Matador is in the heart downtown Fullerton. (you know you love it down there!)
Fullerton is a college town. I went to college there!!
Typically restaurants in a "college town" tend to have booze and the worst food in the world?
This is not the case at El Matador!!
The food was delish!
See...That is the Chile Relleno that I couldn't get enough of.
See...After our pseudo date night Hot Hubby and I took the token self photo.
I love that guy!We left the kiddos at GG's house with 4 grandmoms to watch them.
We left them there longer than planned.
Luckily they only broke one glass hurricane lamp and our family hasn't disowned us.
Thank you to the 5 ladies who love my children as much as I do! (GG, Nanny, Ya Ya, & Grandma Sara)
El Matador Stats:
111 N. Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832
Follow El Matador on twitter here.
See their menu here.
See my fellow blog crushers blogging about the night...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Simple Pirate Costumes!

Let's face it Halloween in a lame holiday... yep I said it.
Parents spend gobs of cash so their kid can go door to door at night begging for sweets (which you could buy for like $5) .
Why do I love it?
Because I'm LAME!
And I love sweets!
The only thing I don't like is the spending gobs of cash part.
Halloween costumes should be homemade and CHEAP!
This year we are going to be pirates.
Yes folks, "we" as in the whole fam-damily. (Because that's the way we roll!)
I was able to outfit all of us for about $15.00!!
Here's How... Pirate Eli
Vest: 1/2 yard of brown fabric for a vest. 1. measure your pirate's back across the outside of the shoulders (Eli's was 11"). 2. Measure from the bottom of their neck to their mid bottom (Eli's was 15").
3. Cut 2 11"x 15" pieces of fabric.
4. Leave one whole and cut the other one down the center longways.
5. Sew or hot glue (yes you can hot clue costumes!!) the tiny rectangles to the large one on the top, to form the shoulders, and sides leaving arm holes. (I didn't sew the whole way across on the shoulder of the vest so I could fold/iron it in for lapels)
Tee: White tee (from Sewing the Seed) with a skull and crossbones double stick taped over the picture.
Sash: About 1/8 of a yard of red knit fabric tied twice around his waist to create a pirate sword belt.
Pants: Brown Hurley pants we have rolled up to the ankle.
Hat/Sword/Hook: From the Dollar Tree
Pirate CoraKerchief: 1/2 yard of red knit fabric cut into a 25"x 17" triangle
Tee: Plain white tee we have.
Skirt: I made this one out of some fabric scraps I had. If you don't sew you can use anything you already have... jean or brown skirt; red, brown or jean pants rolled up.
(tip: If you buy or make a skirt keep it simple. This skirt will take us through Christmas because it looks like candy canes)
Boots: 1/4 yard of brown fleece. 1. Measure around your little pirates calf and add an inch (Cora's was 8.5") and from knee to ankle (Cora's was 7").
2. Cut into two 8.5"x7" rectangles.
3. Sew up the back and wear with brown shoes.
Waist sash: After looking at the pictures I think I'm going to cut out a large knit brown triangle to tie around her waist so she will look like a true pirate wench!
Pirate Daddy:
I made Hot Hubby a black vest, red sash, and brown "boots." He is just going to wear black pants and a white shirt he already has.
Pirate Mommy:
I made myself a red knit headband and a cut out a large red knit triangle for a girl waist sash. I'm wearing my own brown skirt, white shirt and boots.
Fabric totals for the 4 of us:
1.5 yards of red knit (boys' waist sashes, my waist sash, my headband & Cora's kerchief)
1/2 yard of brown fabric (Eli's vest & Cora's future waist sash)
1/2 yard of black fabric (Hubby's vest)
1/2 yard of brown fleece (Hubby and Cora's boots)

To my mommy friends,
Keep this "holiday" simple, get together with friends, be lights in your neighborhoods and most of all have Fun Fun Fun!! Halloween is a great time to be silly with your kiddos!
... but not too sleepy to cry the first half hour of my nap because I wanted to sleep in my pirate costume!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Disney Memories

I'm a finalist over at Just Spotted for their Disneyland Giveaway!
To enter we had to submit a Disney memory and now the blogsphere gets to vote on the winner.
Vote for me here (Eli's Lids, 4th one on the list) because I have the best memory ever...
Flash back to 1986.
I'm in Kindergarten and have the coolest parents ever... My favorite Disney memory includes Alice in Wonderland Japanese tourists and two Tweedles!!One morning before Kindergarten my mom said I could wear my Alice in Wonderland costume to school. Big news for a 5 year old!! I was excited to say the least! Then my mom told me that my dad was going to drive with us to school. I remember thinking “That’s odd. We usually walk and Daddy is usually at work by now.”
But, being a kiddo I just went with the flow.
We piled up in the Big Brown Osmobile Station Wagon and headed to school. The ride was taking longer than expected… especially considering that my school was only about 4 blocks away. My dad said he got lost and then I looked out the window and saw the Disneyland sign (the vintage sign, not the lame one they have now). My parents said they just ended up here and since we were here already we should just stay.
I agreed!
Right after we entered the park a HUGE group of Japanese tourists saw me (blue eyed blond girl in Alice in Wonderland garb) and swooped me up for pictures. A lot of pictures.
This made my parents laugh… still does. But is scared the p-diddy out of me!!
Later on in the day Tweedle Dee and Tweelle Dum almost nabbed me. I really thought they were going to take me to the land down the rabbit hole.
Now that I think about it the whole day was pretty traumatic!!
In a good way :)

(below is a snippet straight from my parent's scrapbook)
The pix from the day & entrance ticket from our adventure!
Now please go vote!
Check out Just Spotted and vote for Eli's Lids. We are the 4th one down!!

Monday, October 19, 2009


I'm having a blah day.
You know... the kind of day you can't seem to get anything done but you have A LOT to do.
I'm studying Sarah in this. (Read the whole thing for free. I'm in chapter 3)
And I thought... at least my husband doesn't want me to pretend I'm his sister.
In fact, it's quite the opposite.
When I told him I was having a blah day, the conversation went like this:
Me - "I'm having a blah day."
Hot Hubby - "I'll pick up dinner on the way home."
He just gets me.
About 5 minutes later the phone rang again...
Hot Hubby - "Why don't I just take the kiddos OUT to dinner and you can stay home and do whatever."Me - "Ummm... YEAH!!"Yep, he really gets me!

I'm thinking the evening won't be blah.

Coming soon...
~Pumpkin patch fun
~Make your own Halloween costumes (see last years' here)
~Fall/Halloween Crafties
~A Big Announcement (No, I'm not preggers, Grandmom!). It has to do with this.
~Our last 2 3rd Birthday Bash Giveaways (there will be loads of winners!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Joy's Hope and Design Chicky Winners!!!

The winner of the Messy Bow from Joy's Hope is... AmyMom24 from Our Journey into Parenthood & My Journey into Photography

The winner of the Custom Blog Header & Button from Design Chicky is...
Mommy Daisy

But don't fret! If you didn't win you can get your own Messy Bow here and recreate your blog here!!

Don't forget to enter all our current Birthday Bash giveaways...
...Family Photo shoot for OC folks
Ends 10/22
...Pillowcase surprise in the mail for 6 months(you have to read about it to get it)
here. Ends 10/20

Thursday, October 15, 2009

#16 Jen Johnson Photography

Remember last month when we got our pictures taken by the fabulous Jen Johnson...Awesome right!?!
You also may remember that I've know Jen a long time... so long that I still call her Jenny and she doesn't even care.
Jen's work is awesome and I love her fresh modern style... see...
Just to prove to all of the OC her awesomeness she is offering one of our lucky readers:
90 minutes at a location of your choosing.
10 high res images
5 low res images for blogging and Facebook on a disc
another 20 images in an online slideshow available for purchase.

Do you think she is being so generous because our moms are buddies?
It doesn't matter.
Just enter to win so you'll be the only one in the play group with your Christmas card pictures done!!

Here's How You Win...
*****MUST be a Southern California Resident or willing to travel to Orange County, CA for the shoot!!!*****
Main entry (mandatory): Click on over to Jen Johnson Photography, then come back here and let me know one of your favorite shots! (FYI - Our shoot was September 2nd and it is fantastico!)

In addition to the main entry you can get loads of extra entries if you...
~Subscribe to the Jen Johnson Photography RSS Feed in the navigation bar. (3 entries)
~Follow Jen on twitter HERE! Leave your Twitter ID in the comment or let me know you already do (2 entries)
~Tweet about the giveaway, can be done daily. Copy and paste this for the tweet: "So Cal residents!! Enter to win a free photo session from @ElisLids w/ Jen Johnson Photography here http://bit.ly/16RnRP Pls RT!" If you don't have twitter you can FB for this one. (3 entries per day)
~Follow Jen's personal DYI blog the Blah Blah Blahger (2 entries)
~Subscribe to the Blah Blah Blahger RSS feed (2 entries)
~Add the "Eli's Lids Giveaway" button in our sidebar to your blog or let me know you already did (1 entry per blog)
~Follow the Eli's Lids blog (2 entries)
~Follow Eli's Lids on Twitter, leave your Twitter ID in the comment or let me know you already do (1 entry)
For every extra entry, be sure to leave a separate comment on this post! i.e. If you the Eli's Lids blog leave 2 separate comments.
***Giveaway open one week! Ends Thursday October 22nd 9:00pm PST***

Now you get to have a little chat with Jen...

Tell us a bit about YOU…
I'm a southern CA lifestyle photographer who loves vibrant colors and natural moments. During the day, I work as the director of public affairs for a large developer and have spent my career in politics and government affairs. In the evenings and on weekends, I'm building a photography business, attend Mariners Church, spend time with family and friends, and love nothing more than an afternoon of wine tasting.

Three words that describe your blog
Three words that describe my personal blog: DIY, cooking, irony.
Three words that describe my photoblog: crisp, colorful, emotional.
2 DIY tools you couldn’t live without.
I can't live without the following tools: electric screwdriver and electric sander.
What do you try to capture during your photo shoots?
In photo shoots, I like to capture organic and natural moments. Laughter, eye contact, and sweet smooches make every photo beautiful!

Favorite photo shoot?
I don't really have a favorite photo shoot because they've all been special. There's something about the trust your clients place in you that makes you want to make it the best shoot ever. Having said that, this year, my friend Clare has allowed me to practice on her a number of times and although at times I likely didn't have much confidence in myself, she loved
the photos and made me feel great about the end result!
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