Monday, August 31, 2009

Things I love about Portland: Fall.ART.Live

Anna trying the big-girl ballet class.

Last weekend, Oregon Ballet Theatre (OBT) put on Fall.ART.Live, a day-long festival with loads of free classes and performances. Since Anna has entered her princess-fairy-ballerina phase (see my previous post!), it seemed like a great way to spend the day.

Initially shy to jump on stage with the 4-6 year olds for a ballet class, Anna finally decided to try it with the 6-9 year old group. The real fun for her, however, was clearly the “movement theatre” class by the folks at Do Jump. These classes are now definitely going to be included in our fall plans.

We also got to see a variety of short ballet and modern dance performances by OBT, Metro Dancers, and the amazing Polaris Dance Theatre.

I am so grateful that Portland has such great arts organizations, and that they're so committed to arts outreach and education.

A future ballerina watching the Metro Dancers.

A mama and her tiny ballerina watching the performance.


Metro Dancers.

A ballerina from OBT. She was Anna's favorite, natch!


I just loved the juxtaposition of this new babe and mama with the dancers from Polaris Dance Theatre. It just felt so very Portland.

Polaris Dance Theatre doing one of the four dances they performed. They were really incredible.



Little Miss, finally ready to take the stage at the end of the day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009



When Anna was little, she refused to wear dresses. I admit to being a little disappointed, but mostly I was relieved. David and I had instituted a no-pink rule, convinced that somehow this would directly translate into her becoming a strong, independent woman down the road!

Because we are anti-Disney, anti-commercialism, and anti-TV (at least for our kid!), Anna has managed to avoid a lot of the usual marketing traps that are tossed in kid's paths everywhere. But somehow, you just can't totally avoid it. Although she has never watched a Disney movie, or read a princess story, she can name every single princess from Cinderella to Jasmine and then some!

Last weekend I took Anna to a garage sale/fundraiser. There, among the kids clothes, were 4 shiny princess costumes in just her size. I could tell by the gleam in her eye that it was time to surrender.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Princess Lavender Lily Katya (which I have been told I should have named her!). For now, a girly-girl after all (albeit, a strong, independent one)!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Peach salsa fresca

Heirloom Tomato and Peach Salsa

We go through a lot of salsa in our house. This time of year I simply can't make myself buy it at the store. Not when we've got a tomato jungle in our backyard!

When I saw organic peaches on sale for $1.99 a pound, I couldn't resist stocking up. The result, actually made by David this time, was a delicious peach salsa fresca. This batch lasted about 24 hours in our fridge before it was gone. I'm thinking I need to get some made and canned for those long, dreary winter months when fresh peaches are a distant memory.

David's peach salsa fresca:

2 large heirloom tomatoes, diced
½ red onion, diced
1 anaheim pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalepeño, seeded and diced
1 fresh peach, peeled and diced
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
¼ c fresh cilantro, chopped finely
1 tsp olive oil
salt to taste


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Family camp: the final days

Our last few days at camp were packed full of so many new activities. Some highlights included a blind tasting of wines brought by fellow parents, a beach BBQ for all the families, karaoke night (always the best night of the week!), the kids groups show, a beach campfire, the farewell show, and an ice cream social (got all that?)!

beach BBQ

Parents met up with kids groups at the beach for a BBQ lunch and some play time.

rock climbing

Doing her own rock climbing on a play structure at the beach.

at the beach

The true love of Anna's week (last year, too), Stephanie.

fancy girls

We shared the dining hall with other groups, including some high school leadership thing. There were tons of kids in costumes for the last few days we were there. Anna was particularly taken with this group of “fancy” girls.


And I enjoyed the bees.


David singing Rebel Yell on karaoke night. No, there's no video. Sorry!

hot hot hot

Cami, one of the counselors, showing how she can take the heat!

kids groups show

Anna has decided she's going to be on stage anytime she can. Here she joined some counselors doing a song before the kids groups show.

kids groups show

The ever-enthusiastic counselors.


Again, Anna taking center stage. In all these campfire photos, you'll notice the intense haze. There were forest-fires burning in the mountains and the air quality was really poor that night.


Getting ready for s'mores!




Singing camp songs.


See all those spots in the air? That's ash!

ice cream fit for a princess

Anna's version of heaven.

Goodbye Hugs

Goodbye hugs.

David's been getting his photos of the last days up on Flickr as well. As for me, we've been home 5 days now and camp already feels like a distant memory! I'm thinking about work, back-to-school, cooking, and moving on to new adventures to share with you. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The perfect summer dinner

tomato, basil and mozzarella

I've become spoiled. When I couldn't find local, organic mozzarella at the market this week I went home and made it myself! The tomatoes are from our overflowing garden. Paired with fresh bail and sea salt—heaven! Add some amazing corn on the cob, a little whole wheat baguette, yet more tomatoes (cherries), and a crisp rosé. I could happily eat like this everyday.

summer dinner

On an unrelated note, I promise to get the last of the camp photos up soon. The last few days were jam-packed, and there are a lot of photos to sort through. Stay tuned.

And then I think it's time to do some recipes again. What do you think? Cooking? Baking? What are you in the mood for?

Friday, August 14, 2009

An interlude

I'm taking a break from my Family Camp blogging today to share this little collection of signage I've found amusing during our stay in California.

In this case, it's not the sign so much as the instructions to wave your arms around and act intimidating that I found amusing.


Admittedly, this is not a sign. But I found the sweat pattern in the shape of a heart reminiscent of all of those Jesus/Virgin Mary sightings in things like toast!

More than I needed to know!



Hope these brought a smile to your face. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Family camp: days 2-3

Here are a few highlights of some recent activities. There are many other things we've been enjoying here but haven't captured in photos, including awesome yoga classes with Niav Connor, many hours of tennis played by David, a day of local wine tasting (which resulted in one of the best coffee epiphanies ever*), meals shared, pool silliness, and more.

rock collection
Organizing her collection of found objects from a nature walk with her group.

the men on the wall
A nighttime climb (our first) at the Rec Center while the kiddos sleep. David's on the far right.

Reaching for the Top
And here I am — finally getting the hang of climbing!

The Continent Song
Anna stole the talent show! She sang 3 songs. You can see the video here.

breakfast with Danee
Almost every meal we have a counselor join us. Danee is a lifeguard and surf instructor at camp this summer.

field trip
Heading out on a group field trip to feed the giant koi at the UCSB Student Center (they fed them goldfish crackers!).

new friends
Anna and Alexandra, two of the seven kids in the 4-year-old group.

gettin' down
Another event while the kids are in bed. The dancing took place between rounds of team trivia (our team kicked ass!).

fairy painting
The craft hut is stocked with ceramics which get fired every night in the kiln. Anna chose a sweet fairy to paint.

bunny at the beach
We came across this little guy on the path down to the beach.

throwing rocks
Anna's favorite beach activity — throwing things (rocks, shells, seaweed) into the water!

And my favorite beach activity — finding unexpected treasures.

And unexpected beauty.

* After hours of wine tasting on what felt like a very hot afternoon, we found a great, local coffee shop in Los Olivos. Instead of the typical sugar-laden coffee milkshakes, they offered an iced, blended coffee that was nothing but espresso, milk (soy, in my case), and ice. It was divine. There will be many in my future.