Monday, November 29, 2010

not your ordinary Thanksgiving leftovers

Behold the best use of turkey leftovers EVER.

Homemade turkey pot pie with puff pastry crust.
This was delicious. I roughly used a recipe from my Country Living magazine. Basically this is what you do:

Saute onions in a little olive oil until nice and golden. Add diced carrots, sweet potato, and garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Add fresh parsley, zucchini, a little salt and pepper (any veggies you want really). Add 3 tablespoons of flour to the veggies and cook until the flour is light brown. Add a cup of milk, cup of chicken broth, tablespoon of Dijon mustard, tablespoon leftover turkey gravy (if you have it), and a dash of white wine. Cook until the sauce thickens. Add leftover turkey and fresh thyme. Spoon mixture into a pie plate or ramekins. I used two pie plates. Roll out your defrosted puff pastry dough and then cover the pie plates with it. Cook at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until it's bubbling and the puff pastry is golden brown and flaky.

Devour immediately at 4PM if you haven't had lunch that day. Eat the children's portions if they decide to give you the stink face or pretend like they aren't hungry (it WAS 4PM). Take them to the park and let them run then dish them up more pot pie when they come home hungry. Ignore their whines of dislike and stealthily get a bite in their mouth so they can realize it's actually delicious. Then watch them clean their plate. Proceed to finish off the second pot pie with your husband at 8PM.


There comes a time in every girls life when the first pony tails go in and everyone admires how the addition of hair accouterments somehow turn babies into little girls.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Traveling families need apps!

I really wish I would have had this list prior to our travel to NZ. Luckily, we will have it for all our additional flights and car rides. Addie loves the iTouch and all the apps we have already for her to doodle with while we travel. This list opens up a whole new world for us. I'm so excited. And I must share it.

Holiday Travels? There's an app for that! at Classy Chaos.

Happy Thanksgiving

I love planning for and cooking the Thanksgiving meal for my family. I was busy in the kitchen from about 8AM until dinner was served that evening. Yaya was my sous chef so she did my peeling and chopping. It saved some time so I could make everything fresh the day of the meal. Afterward, Yaya said she didn't want to get in my way because she could see my mind plotting and scheming when to do this or that. It's so true. Thanksgiving is a lot about timing and logistics so that everything is hot when everyone sits down to eat. The girls seem to sense when I'm out of pocket and demand mama even more than normal. Kids are so funny. I see them all day long, every day. I am never gone! The one day I need to be in the kitchen and Daddy is home to play suddenly they act like they haven't seen me in a week. The other day, as the only school board member in town, I had to deal with a school issue so I asked Cora to take the girls to Addie's room for 20 minutes so I could run some numbers and make a few phone calls. You would have thought I was packing my things to leave town. The girls took every opportunity they could to run out and come hug me. Bella threw herself on the floor in a fit because Mommy was unavailable for 20 minutes. Crazy.

Anyway, I digress. In Manila we have a very intimate family Thanksgiving dinner. The table is set and we all sit down to eat a meal. I grew up with more casual pot luck meals for this holiday and I really like having everyone sit down together. It's just nice. This year we were honored to have a friend and colleague of Justin's over to celebrate with us. It was his first home cooked meal in 9 months. Needless to say he was genuinely thrilled to be eating with us. I love seeing the pride in my husband's eyes when he tucks in to our amazing meal and the food coma rushes in on him. The girls devour the turkey and everyone is happy. Thanksgiving just tastes like home. It was another successful Thanksgiving.I didn't have a moment to sit and ponder what I am thankful for yesterday while I was cooking and then the tryptophan kicked in and I was sleepy. This morning my head is a little clearer. I have many things to be thankful for. So many I can hardly count really. I am immensely grateful for my wonderful husband who just burrows himself a little deeper into my heart every year we are together. I am overjoyed to be the mother to two amazing little girls. I am so very thankful to have my family and friends as a support system behind our family every step and move we make. Ultimately, I am thankful for the safety and security that my little family of four have been allowed in life. We have a home, food on the table, a steady source of income, each others love and laughter. It's so much more than so many people have and this year I am humbled by all the basic life necessities that we are blessed with.

Monday, November 22, 2010

what's your favorite?

I love these snow covered mini trees on the top of our book shelf. I have a bunch of these little trees in all shapes and sizes. They bring to mind Burl Ives Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Some day the girls will lay down fake snow first then dot the snow with these little trees and make holiday scenes with our ornaments. I used to love doing that with my Mom's Christmas decorations.

What's your favorite holiday decoration? Does it evoke childhood memories for you too?

my two princesses

Addie and Bella inseparable. I see two of everything becoming necessary in the near future. They played fancy birthday party yesterday. Addie said this was her in-front-of-the-Christmas-tree pose. Where does she get this stuff? I swear she's never seen an episode of Top Model in her life. She cracks me up!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

linen love

I'm a little obsessed with table linens these days. A pretty Thanksgiving table is the ultimate goal. I don't want it too matchy matchy but along the same color tones. Get my drift? Last year I picked up the hand embroidered cream place mats with the zig zag.

This year I couldn't pass up the beige/mauve square plates I found at the bazaar (8 plates for $16-I'm kicking myself for not getting 12). They are microwave and dishwasher safe and can be used for numerous seasons. I love them!

But my love for table linens wasn't quenched last year. This year I wanted to experiment with the tablecloth/runner look with two runners running across the short length of the table. The beige is really versatile but coordinates well with the pumpkin napkins I found (sad there was only 4 but for $1 each oh well). Anyway, should I use the place mat as pictured here or just use the runner under the plates? Do the zig zags work with the floral on the plates? Is it too much? What do you think? I need advice. It's not like I'm hosting a dinner party of 20 but still. If you aren't going to have a pretty table set for Thanksgiving, then when are you?

the tree is up

The girls and I waited to decorate the Christmas tree until Sunday with Daddy when he returned from his business trip. We turned on the Christmas music and let the girls decorate the lower part of the tree with the unbreakable ornaments. Bella was interested for about 20 minutes and then wanted nothing to do with all the fuss of the ornaments. Adelaide on the other hand was thrilled with each ornament and wanted to find a special place for each one. This year she has memory of the previous Christmas so she recalled a few favorite ornaments. It's sweet to see her so excited for the holiday. We keep talking about Thanksgiving but her mind immediately goes to the fact that Christmas is after Thanksgiving. And that's all that matters for her.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

monotone design inspiration

You'd never know from my colorful household decor that my eye really tends to prefer a neutral palate when it comes to interior design. I find it extremely pleasing to look at photos of homes that utilize natural elements and decorate with a base of white and cream tones. On top you throw in the color (pillows, throws, art). Whatever color you fancy at that time! And it can change! Country Living photo (the mirrors, the staircase, the light, perfection!). Sadly, it's not practical to upholster anything in white or beige with my small children (who generally run around with this or that goo stuck to their faces and hands-ALL THE TIME) and I don't get any say in what the furniture we are using right now looks like. I mostly feel completely design un-inspired when I look at my old drab 1980's Ethan Allan bulky wood furniture. Our walls are white and that pleases me since they are a blank canvas for lots of our holiday projects. I guess I mostly dream of monotonal rooms, natural fiber throw rugs, rustic old wood pallets turned into coffee tables and lots of natural light streaming through the big windows to illuminate the many shades of white. I've done a lot of design dreaming in my days.

I really love our one level apartment though. I especially love the built-in bookcases and storage that it has. My very favorite part of the house is the built-in shelving in the master bedroom. We've used it to store our book collection that just grows and grows (we left all our books in DC and have now accumulated an entire new collection in Manila-hello, used book sale at our house this spring). I tried grouping the books by color which looks better than just randomly stacking them but overall just leaves the eye distracted and looks cluttered no matter how many times I rearrange them. I've seen some really great design photos where people flip the books around so the pages are pointing outwards, thus the monotone color scheme.
I gave it a try and it ended up being the perfect back drop for my new porcelin seashell candle holders. I bought these gorgeous white creations from a lady at the American's Womens Club bazaar. I drool over her delicate porcelain vases, statues, and bowls every month and I promised myself I'd leave Manila with some of her collection. How can I pass it up when they each cost around $8? Seriously! The sea urchin is my favorite but the other two are just as sweet. They are heavenly all lit up at night. Look how the light seeps through the tiny holes on the urchin and the shells look like they are on fire. I'm in love. I have my eye on a few decorative vases now too. The entire collection guessed it, white!Have you ever designed something in your house and then just sat there and stared at it because it made you so happy?

Monday, November 15, 2010

customer service is NOT lost

I'm a big Piperlime fan. A while ago I hoped on the website to browse the shoe selection and was immediately bombarded with a pop up telling me that I was searching from another country and could I please select which country I would be shipping to. Of course there was no way for me to click U.S., it wasn't even an option in the drop down menu. So I had to ignore the pop up. I logged in to my account and made sure my shipping specifications were in place and hoped that would do the trick. Nope, EVERY time I clicked on something the "We see you are in the Philippines" pop-up arrived, until I got so fed up with this stupid thing that I closed my browser and went over to Zappos.

I went back to Piperlime a few months ago just to see if I could search again without being annoyed by the pop up that couldn't figure out I was logged in as a U.S. user but living overseas. No, same problem with the pop up.

You wanna know what I did? I got on Skype and called Piperlime customer service. I gave the gal on the phone the story and explained my problem which she could clearly sympathize with, even after she asked me to do the log-in and save my shipping preferences thing. So she said she'd take it back to her manager.

Ask and you shall receive folks, cause I popped on Piperlime today and they fixed the problem. The pop up now asks the right questions and when I select U.S. in the drop-down menu it goes away and leaves me alone to search the new Rachel Zoe picks in peace.

Thank you Piperlime! What great customer service. I'm happy to have helped fix this annoying issue for all my shoe loving FS/Diplomat/military friends. You are welcome!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

U.S. Marine Corps Ball Manila 2010

Happy 235th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps! We celebrated in Manila this year in style at the Sofitel on the Manila Bay. Justin and I packed our overnight bags and draped our fancy clothes over the seats of the Jeep for our night away from the girls. The event always humbles me when I whiteness the Marine Corp celebrating the tradition of passing the birthday cake from the oldest Marine present to the youngest Marine present in a symbol of passing on the responsibility to protect Americans from generation to generation. Often the glamor of the event overshadows the true meaning of the celebration. The embassy community is really attending the ball to thank the men and women who serve in the Marines and specifically those who serve in Manila to keep our embassy safe. The twelve Marines who guard our embassy were the guests of honor tonight. I love that we get to celebrate and honor them every year.I won't lie though, the embassy community knows how to party and we clean up well. The Marine Ball is the annual event that everyone gets excited about. Gowns are made, shoes are ordered and tuxedos get pressed. Its fun to see how amazing everyone looks for that one night when we all get to be adults in fancy adult clothes; eat adult food (sea bass for me) and drink adult liquids (none for me thanks to the damn metronidazole). I have to say everyone looks smashing for the first few hours. By midnight Lady Gaga and MC Hammer are leading a crowd of sweaty, tipsy, satin draped women on the dance floor in a moment we all get to relive our Prom night. Only we aren't 18 any longer and it will all take infinite more amounts of time to get over the late night for us at 30 than it did back then. And still, grown up parties are awesome.

My dress turned out great. When I got it out of Frankie's dark turquoise walled shop into some natural light I fell in love with it again. It fit like a glove and looked very 1940's Hollywood glam (or so I was told all night by friends-Thank you very much it made my night-since I was completely sober dancing to Imma Be in front of my husband's colleagues when usually I'm dancing in our living room with my three year old to that song. Don't ever try to dance sober when you turn 30. It's hard.) Anyway, I was really happy with the dress in the end. I wore a pair of vintage earrings from my Mom as my only accessory. Although I guess the red lips kind of accessorized too. I ended up going with NARS Flamenco, it really tied the whole look together. As always, Justin was a gentleman all night. I love dancing with my husband and being introduced to new friends and colleagues at the office that I never run in to. In turn, I love introducing him to my Mom and Dad friends I see every day at school. We talked and danced and had a fabulous time. At the end of the night, after a piece of birthday cake and Justin's shot of whiskey (his boss insisted); I love that the two of us went upstairs to our hotel room and removed all the glamor of the night and just snuggled up under the big down comforter and fell asleep like any other night together. Fancy red dress or t-shirt and jeans, the end is always the same. This is one of the reasons I love my marriage. It was a perfect night.

I insisted

Saturday was the Marine Ball! After returning home from getting my hair did at Philippe's by Thomas (he did a fabulous job-up dos are his secret passion he shared with me-and it shows), I forced my husband to don his tuxedo and threw the girls Christmas dresses on them quickly so we could get a family shot all fancied up. We left our shoes off cause we aren't THAT classy. Plus I don't have a stitch of make-up on since we were getting ready at the hotel that night. I couldn't pass up the chance to get a photo of us all in our pretty clothes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

portrait of my 18 month old

Arabella Jun is going to be giving her Dad and I gray hair and heart attacks until, well, probably forever. This girl has lived up to her "spirited baby" title and now she's graduated to "spirited toddler". She can throw a tantrum like no other. She likes to stand and lean backwards on the couch so her upper body is precariously leaning over the edge. She likes to dance on the coffee table, bounce in the bathtub, leap off stairs, run in a crowd. ("How dare you hold my hand?"), smack the dog, and stand in the rocking chair while it's rocking. She likes to do everything by herself. She doesn't want any help using her fork or brushing her teeth, coloring, reading a book, stacking the blocks. "Don't you dare help me!". Bella's temperament is displayed well in her moments of mayhem at night when she wakes up screaming, then screams even harder when we try to pick her up and comfort her. "How dare you soothe me!?"

She's still having issues choking on things but it's not for lack of teeth. She has four molars now. Mostly the issue is that she shoves fist-fulls of food in her mouth and tries to swallow before she's sufficiently chewed them. I'm afraid Justin's going to start requiring her food to be pureed if she chokes any more.

Another gray hair inducing trait she's developed is cyanotic breath holding during intense crying. Basically after a fall or injury she'll scream and then do that silent cry for so long that she passes out. Immediately after she looses consciousness (we can tell because she goes from tomato red to pale as a ghost) her body involuntarily takes a breath and she starts crying again. After these episodes she's kind of tired and woozy. It was really scary the first time but now we know to expect it if she falls or hurts herself. It by no means happens all the time but if she really gets whaling and moves into that red faced silent cry we know now to keep her horizontal so the blood can flow to her head and blow in her face to help her snap out of that silent cry/breath holding. We kind of chalked it up to Bella being Bella. She's just that kind of kid.

Even with all her challenging traits, she is equally amazing in every way. She's playful and has this adorable deep chuckle laugh that is completely infections. She loves doing everything with her big sister even if Addie gets exasperated with her sometimes. Arabella is feisty and curious and fearless. Her smile lights up the room.

On most days Bella is running around hiding behind the curtains and jumping off the couch cushions at 6PM. By 7PM she's curled up in her blanket, on my lap, squealing at each page of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?", and then kissing her stuffed animals goodnight. Our youngest daughter may be graying us prematurely but she's an absolute delight.

metronidazole round 3

I have the awesome pleasure of having Entamoeba histolytica again. I know I'm in trouble when I no longer have to Google the parasite to get the spelling right. This is the third time I've been diagnosed with this amoeba in the last 5 months. This time it was topped with some kind of stomach virus that put me in bed with a fever, chills, muscle aches, and of course, lots of the big D. This time when I came to the medical clinic, the nurses were all busy giving flu shots so I saw a real doctor. Hallelujah. When my sample came back positive for E. histolytica instead of E. coli (which the doctor thought it was initially), and then she looked at my chart and saw that I was diagnosed with the same amoeba in July, September, and now November she said that we never got rid of the damn bug the first time. So lucky me, the amoeba is in my upper G.I. tract hanging out in the cyst form waiting to live it's disgusting little life cycle every two months. The meds I've taken in the past kills the amoeba in my lower gut and causes me to have a clean follow up lab test, all the while the baby amoeba buys its time in my upper gut. This time I am taking the metronidazole to get rid of the lower gut amoeba and then an additional drug for almost a month to kill off the amoeba that has made it self a little too comfortable up higher.

Third world living at its finest.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

holiday inspiration (and too many links)

I know I've mentioned this before; I'm so excited for the holidays. Don't worry, I'm not playing our Christmas music yet (soon though) and we don't have any other decorations up other than the girls new Filipino tree. But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy thinking about Christmas!

I've been browsing through shop after shop at Etsy. Whatever catches my searching fancy really. I decided to give more handmade gifts this year. For a number of reasons really (one being that the Philippines is the land of handmade items). And the handmade toys on Etsy are unique and seem well made. No garish colors and bright plastic lights flashing. I like the idea of gifts that inspire creativity and imagination. Something that a child can use in endless make-believe situations. Not that we won't be getting normal toys for the girls. And not that there aren't amazing mass produced toys on the market (Melissa and Doug, PlanToys, Play Mobil, anything eastern European made). I guess I just feel a little better about sending money to a woman in the States who is crafting felt food out of her sewing room to make a little extra cash for her family; over fueling the Made-in-___(fill in the third world country blank) toy productions. I love the idea that Etsy allows anyone to sell their handmade items.

I admit, sometimes I can't justify the extra cost for the handmade toys. Generally things on Etsy are more expensive because they are hand crafted and made in small batches. I get that, but I still have a budget to work with. This year I will be purchasing locally made handmade items as well as some Etsy items.

Anyway, that was a long blurb just to say that often I'll find something on Etsy and say to myself "I could make that". I found a gorgeous paper Christmas garland that I could definitely reproduce.* I think it's going to be my next holiday craft project. Buying the supplies just to make one garland wouldn't make much sense so if you usually receive gifts from my family for the holidays you could quite likely be getting a handmade garland. That is if I can get some great paper. So far the other items haven't been too tough to locate. I've been wishing for a Paper Source the last few days. I love that place.

Please share with me any holiday crafts you have in mind this year.

*This is not to say that the individual selling her garland on Etsy is not making a wonderful product. I love it. But have a hard time paying $25 for something that I could make at home. Even if mine doesn't turn out like the original.

Friday, November 5, 2010

rain rain go away

I'm getting really sick of the gray rainy days in Manila. It gets so dark and rainy in the afternoons that I have to turn on all the lights in the house so we can see what we are doing. It's like one long gloomy night that never stops.

Bella eating the rubber baster. Mmm good. I always feel a little giddy on Friday afternoons, knowing the weekend is here. Maybe that's why I let the girls do things like paint tattoos on my legs. After Addie painted us both and Bella had finished getting in Cora's way while she was cooking; we all jumped in the bath. Arabella looked at me like I was crazy when I jumped in with them. Then she grinned.

Friday afternoons get a little silly here. Think we're missing pool weather much?

hello gorgeous Brazillian shoes, you make me happy

Dumond has the most amazing selection of womens heels. I've been drooling every time I've walked by since the first time I spotted this shoe boutique. I finally pulled the trigger on a pair when I needed a neutral heel to go with a dress I was wearing to a wedding. I tried on every style just for fun. The shoe I bought also comes in a blue and white animal print which was pretty fabulous but screamed a little too much Jersey Shore for the occasion I had in mind. To be honest, I don't think I'd ever have an occasion for shoes that scream Jersey Shore but they were were unbelievable. You'll just have to trust me on this one. The nude leather are much more classic and versatile. Isn't a nude heel the new black dress? Everyone should have one.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Filipino Christmas

My impressions of Christmas in the Philippines have changed drastically every year we've lived in Manila. The first year I was appalled to hear Christmas carols in September and alarmed when our friends had their tree and decorations up before Thanksgiving. The second year we put our tree up before Thanksgiving and enjoyed the abundant holiday celebrations around the city much more. This year I'm ready to assimilate even more. Halloween is done...bring on Christmas. I am so excited that I've already started taking notes, drawing sketches, holiday shopping, working on our Christmas card. Filipinos are really good at glitzy sparkly over the top Christmas (not just Christmas but anything really) and I kind of wanna jump on the bandwagon this year. It's our last year in the P.I. so why not? I guess you could say I've gone a little native when it comes to celebrating Christmas.

I was truly inspired by a friend's Halloween party we attended on Sunday. She LOVES Halloween and has her entire life. It was the most immaculate Halloween party I've ever seen. The decorations and food and the passion she put into making everything look so wonderful was amazing. It got me thinking about Christmas.

I LOVE Christmas! This year I am going to really go for it. My first project was planning a small Christmas tree for the girls. I went to Rustan's for inspiration. I love their home floor during Christmas. Here's just one section of the Holiday decor. Every corner is a new theme and style of Christmas decorations. I'm pretty traditional in my decorating for the holidays. Silver and purple just doesn't say Christmas to me but I'm willing to push the envelope a little this year. I picked up some coordinating shatter proof ornaments for the girl's tree and then on the way home from getting Addie as school we stopped by a roadside vendor and bought an $8 handmade painted twig tree. Addie was so excited to decorate it.

Here's how it turned out. Complete with Addie's handmade star on top with leftover jewels from her Halloween costume. And a baby blanket wrapped around the base Charlie Brown style. It's the first coordinating tree I've ever done. I love the bright green, silver and a hint of pink. It's way more sparkle than I've ever done. It's the girls' Filipino Christmas tree. Last night Ayala St. turned on their Christmas lights for the first night, so Christmas has officially started here in Manila. I say, "bring it on".

Gown making 2010: step 5 different day same changes

Today I had the same issues with the dress as I had two weeks ago. I am hoping this time they get addressed. Structure needs to be added to the sleeve fabric and the waistline is still too loose. In the end I'm not getting a sharp point in the front of the waistline because I've asked every week and it never gets done. There isn't the fabric to do it I guess. Filipinos hate to say "no" so I'm just assuming it's impossible and they don't want to tell me so. That's kind of the Filipino way. I'm not happy with how the fabric lays after the waistline seam. It's rippled and it definitely should lay flat. Hopefully slimming the sides should help. We've got a week to go. I'm crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

who's going to snatch this up first?

Titled, Home is where you take it. By lauramiss at Etsy. I'm in love with her designs. There are print versions of this too. I especially like the mixed media with textiles though. This and this are great too.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Garment Project after (mens suit coat)

Remember way back when I started the Garment Project? The trench outcome was perfection and I am just as pleased with how the mens suit coat turned out as well. It took a long time to get the gathered padded shoulders correct. The extreme reshape of the jacket was tough because we started with a garment that was way too big for me. There are limitation as to what can be changed versus what has to be kept in an original design. Or so my tailor explained to me.

We've been too busy for me to enlist my husband to snap a few photos of me wearing the jacket so I could post a before and after shot of the project. In the end someone else snapped a photo for me. It was the strangest thing.

It was date night and after debating over whether to go to a movie or dinner Justin and I decided to scarf some pizza at home and catch a movie after the girls went to sleep. I traded my stay-at-home-mom attire for my new jacket. I didn't bother with anything else and we ran out of the house. I insisted on gelato after we bought our tickets and I had a mouth full of chocolate peanut butter goodness when two little Filipinos stopped me after I exited the escalator. One had a camera and told me I had been selected as one of their sartorial picks of the evening for the mall's promotional Sartorial Fridays; and could they please take my photo. I was both proud of my awesome jacket being noticed and mortified that I had not spent one ounce of attention on the rest of my appearance that night. I was really regretting not blow drying my hair (yes, it was totally that same day-talk about ironic). Anyway, I tried to look pretty on the inside and smiled for the camera. The Filipino gave me a free movie pass and told me to check the mall's facebook page for my photo.Funny enough, I'm a big fan of the original sartorialist, Scott Schuman and found it perfectly fitting that Power Plant Mall in the Philippines was trying to "knock-off" the fashion-of-the-streets photography that has made The Sartorialist a powerful fashion influence. I found myself hoping that, as Scott Schuman often does, this skinny little Filipino guy might ask me some details about my outfit. I could have then spouted off about how nothing I was wearing was from over-priced designers or shops located at their mall; it's all vintage second hand pieces that cost me next nothing.

Anyway, my jacket played more than an aesthetic role that night. When we got to our assigned seats (assigned movie seating in the Philippines-no kidding) I immediately almost lost my gelato all over the floor. Had someone rubbed their filthy body all over our chairs? Oh no, it was just the folks sitting in front of us. I think it was a cultural thing if I can say so without being too un-PC. I was cursing Degree for not reaching all corners of the earth and trying to focus on the words Shia Labeouf was saying (my new crush-what a cutie-although I think I'm way too old for him). The only thing that saved the movie for me was being able to pull my jacket up over my mouth and nose so I could breath in peace.

It's a multi-purpose jacket really.


It's Tuesday. I've had a full day of recovery without this Halloween function or that Halloween party. I'm still tired. Upon returning from New Zealand I barreled full force into Halloween without a break and I'm feeling it now.

Saturday night we attended the annual embassy Halloween party and trick-or-treating extravaganza. I'm not sure what we are going to do someday when we are back in the States and all the girls have to look forward to is walking around in our neighborhood for Halloween. These embassy Halloween parties are off the hook.

I needed a photo before we entered the crazy party. The girls' eyes are on the crowds of kids.Super girl spotted a cool purple treat bag.She also ate half my burrito.And flew around the party when she got a little crazy. Had her smiling in no time.After the costume parade and getting ready for trick-or-treatingSuper girl bouncing on a balloon-best fun she had all night.

Checking out their loot.