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Friday, November 27, 2009


I was invited along with a lot of other bloggers to the etnies hub for a tour of their Sole Technology Institute and to learn about the launch of the latest addition to the etnies brand... Grow with Me toddler shoes!
It was fun.
Wanna read about it?
No. (you're thinking)
You'll get to see how Hot Hubby dressed our children like vagabonds AND how Eli was kind of a pill with the super nice owner AND how Cora was dripping green boogers on everything AND how I always seem to look like an idiot AND a picture of me in Jr High AND Eli's year of wearing etnies AND some cool other stuff about the shoes.
See I told you you'd want to read on!
Hot Hubby took a family day off work, so he had the kiddos while I headed on over to the etnies Corporate office aka Sole Technology Institute (Which happens to be right across the street from my Joann Fabrics... I may or may not have taken a detour there to get stuff for this).

I pull up and see this awesome place: (building designed by the amazing owner!!)
Then the bloggers got to chat and pretty much snoop around the office. Who doesn't love a good snoop!?! My favorite thing was a huge company timeline display. See the online version here.
We walked on over to the Sole Technology Institute.
It's a Biomechanics Skate Lab.
You read that right folks "biomechanics!" The one and only biomechanics lab out there.
The ONLY one.
They brought in a skater kid who jumped down some huge stairs in a funny suit, landed on a special impact mat, while being recorded at all angles by computer cameras. All the information they compile gets... um... computed? Then someone smart makes better shoes.
(Those are totally the technical terms... ha!)
See for yourself...
They do all sorts of durability tests for the shoes. The ollie machine below simulates an ollie over 2,000 times to see if the shoe will last. After a new shoe is tested in the lab they give them to local skaters for a street test. etnies has a great blog, check it out here. After our lesson we got to ask questions. I asked about the baby shoes but mostly I just wanted to tell them how much I like the Velcro kids shoes (those things are the best!).
Per the suggestion of my friend
Marcy, I carry a few Eli's Lids around for gifts...
During the Q & A the owner and passion behind etnies,
Pierre Andre Seinzeruges, mentioned that he has a 14 month old son. So, I thought I would give him some Lids. Of course, I felt like a total idiot. It went way better than the Ralphie May incident. In fact, he seemed to like them. (Dear Pierre, If you steal my idea for practical/stylish Lids for infants that fit for up to 4 years I may or may not egg your building. Warmly, KN)
On our walk back to the office for lunch I heard someone screaming "Mommy"... it was MY someone. Hot Hubby had picked Eli up from preschool and cruised over to to see if I was done.
I was, and they let the whole fam-damily stay for lunch.Hot Hubby is good at a lot of things... dressing the children ISN'T one of them. Eli's shirt was just a tad too small with holes in it. Cora had an orange bow, green dress and pale pink crocs on... so much for them being instantly asked to be etnies models... ha!
Lunch was AWESOME! Catered by a local favorite Jay's Catering! And the cupcakes from Frosted Cupcakery were to-die-for!! (Dear Frosted Folks, I know a great cupcake gal, Kristen, from Meringue Bake Shop. You should be her friend. Kisses, KN)
Hot Hubby did get one thing right when dressing Eli. He remembered to put on his etnies... probably because they are one of Eli's only pair of shoes. They were hand-me-downs from our good friends. Don't tell the etnies folks, but Eli has been wearing those same shoes for over a year.
What you don't believe me!?!?!
See for yourself! This picture was taken October 9th, 2008 on a family walk... Because that picture of Cora is horrible, I must show proof of her cuteness as a baby...
Now, here is a pic of Eli in the same shoes on November 11th, 2009 (He was the star of the day at preschool).Proof that the shoes REALLY are durable... and that I'm not very good at fitting shoes on my kiddos.
But I did wear this kick a&$ flannel vest for my 8th grade picture in 1994.
What? You don't believe me!?!?
Why do I love this picture so much!?!?

Dear Folks at etnies,Thanks for an awesome day... even though Eli acted like a snot and Cora got boogers all over your nice office (probably infested with the flu... which we got the following week). Especially, thank you (Don, Brenda & Ashton) for staying after to chat about my lil' ole' business AND for the chance to shop it the company store. We love our new etnies (we needed them) and have sported them proudly since we got em'. (I even wore my new tee in my latest She's Crafty Video!)Much Thanks,

Dear Readers,Buy anything from the etnies online store from now to December 4th and get $10 off for every $40 you spend AND free shipping!!! Enter the coupon code: ETNIES FAMILY while checking out!!Hug,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What did Lincoln say?

In case you wanted to know what Lincoln says about Thanksgiving... (wasn't he the kind of president you can really respect!?!)

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation:
Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Crafts...

Are you looking for something fun and Thanksgivingy to do tonight!?!
You've found it!
Check out what my alter ego She's Crafty has been making:

Make these adorable Turkeys here... Spice up your Thanksgiving table with these awesome napkin rings here...
Or if you are feeling super silly, make your family into Indians :) Just like we did last year...You'll need...
~Printed pictures of each family member
~Indian coloring sheets. Click here, here, here, here and here for the ones I used above.
~Crayons or markers
1. Print out pictures of your family and enough Indian bodies for everybody.
2. Cut out faces of family members and glue them on the bodies where the face should be. Note: It doesn't have to be true to size... it's funnier if the face is a bit bigger!
3. Color
4. Glue picture onto cardboard
5. Cut out around body and face
5. Glue feathers to the top
6. To make them stand on their own glue a scrap of cardboard in a T shape on the back.

Found this craft last year here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Smores in the Fireplace...

One of the great things about being a mom (and dad) is that you are the boss of your own house.
So, if you want to be super cool (and who doesn't) you should make smores in the fireplace...
(or on the gas stove top if you don't have a fireplace!)

It takes Hot Hubby about 10 minutes to roast the perfect smore.
I can make and eat 3 in that time span.

Visit She's Crafty (my alter ego) for some awesome Thanksgiving Crafts!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

etnies has cupcakes and stickers...

Yesterday I met some people who love your children's feet
MORE than you do!!
But more on that later... for now I'll do a quick Wordless Wednesday from our day and share with you a fun (free) photo editing site I just found...
Below are these pix
after a few clicks at BeFunky.
The free service is kinda slow and has a watermark you have to crop (or photoshop) out of the top left.
You can upgrade if you are that impatient. I haven't paid yet and I was still able to have some fun.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fierce Ostrich at the Santa Ana Zoo

Auntie Sarah, being the best Auntie ever took Eli around "to animals." We were lucky to catch this moment on film...

The Fierce Ostrich nipped Auntie Sarah!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Eli's Birthday at the Santa Ana Zoo

We like birthdays!
Around here we use birthdays as an excuse to get together with friends. We nix the gifts (though a few friends brought some, thank you!) and just par-tay.
This year we had a double birthday party with Eli's Best Buddy, Iris. Their birthdays are only 2 months apart so we had the party smack-dab in the middle.
(Having a double party is an awesome way to cut costs AND if you have a lot of the same friends then they don't have to give up two Saturdays for two parties).
The favors were adorable. (Each one was under $1.00... contents included!)
See... While we (Hot Hubby) was packing the wagon to lug all our stuff to the SAZOO party area Iris' cake was dropped.
"Oh, she won't even notice" (We thought)
She noticed.
We told her it was the "adult cake" and that her Uncle Eric was going to get her "real cake."
Luckily, she bought it.
Luckily Uncle Eric and (hopefully soon-to-be-Aunt) Keri high tailed it to the store and bought a new cake. Iris got to put the animals on it, and all was well.The Santa Ana Zoo is an awesome place for a birthday!
REALLY!(FYI - I'm not getting paid to say that. I PAID to have the birthday there)
There are a few party areas. We were in the SAZOO area, which is the farthest walk BUT has loads of grassy area for kiddos to go wild while the adults chat. It was awesome!
(The little fellows below have known each other since birth!)
We noticed Cora had a lot of extra energy.
"She's practically bouncing off the walls... we might need to lock her in the monkey cage... ha ha ha."
I wonder why...
During the Happy Birthday Song Eli was giddy. I mean he was just glowing. It was adorable and I wish we had it on video.

Just before the party was going to wrap up I had the bright idea to get a picture with ALL the kiddos (there were 27).
I know... it is always a huge pain in the a$& to do but it's so worth it later!
I mean who knows? One of these shots may be in a wedding slide show someday!?!
We started lining them up...
...and adding more...
...and adding more...
...and adding more...
...yep, more... (we know how to procreate... next year there will be at least 5 more!)
(Notice one little guy, Noah from Mom Mode, in the front row is wearing his Eli's Lid. Thanks Dude.)
That's everybody... except Mia and Jacob who were asleep.
The party was quick (only an hour with the package we bought) then families got to have their own family fun at the zoo.
Included in the party package is a ticket for the train for each kiddo. The parents have to pay. It's $3 a ticket... which I think is beyond steep! When I take the kiddos on a normal day we never go on it. It's $9 for the 3 of us to go on 1 time. If it was $1 we would go every time... probably even twice!
(Dear Santa Ana Zoo, You should really lower the train and carousel price. Though the rides are fun, they are WAY overpriced. The carousel at Fashion Island is only $1 and the train at the Irvine Spectrum is only $2 AND you don't have to pay to get in. Show some love during this slow economy. AND I know you would make more money... from me at least! Warmly, KN) By 3ish Cora was konked out in YaYa's arms...
Then hot hubby and I got some fun alone birthday time with the Birthday Boy.
(If you think the fact that they are both wearing green is a coincidence, you are sadly mistaken. You know I love matching! Cora and I are both wearing pink and the kiddos are both in stripes. No matter how you slice it all outfits will "flow" in the pictures.)
Happy 3rd Birthday Eli Benjamin!
We are so proud to be your parents.
When we found out you were coming it was a total surprise and you continue to surprise us everyday with your silly sense of humor, your sweet compassion and your natural ability to be AWESOME!

(If I look tired in this picture, it's because I was!)
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