Back to School Book Bag...

Math starts his new school September 1st so we're on the look-out for back to school paraphernalia. One of the requirements is each student must have a laptop so I've been searching for a new backpack. Math's not a big kid so it can't be overly cumbersome, and he wants it to be cool looking.

Here's some ideas thus far:

This JCrew one is by far my favorite. Math has a whole Indiana Jones thing going so this would fit nicely.
The Chrome Mini-Metro has a cool belt buckle strap.

Lacoste makes a nice looking messenger bag.


The Counter

Last night we hit up The Counter for dinner. They have two locations Bay Area, one in Palo Alto and the other at Santana Row. It's a gourmet burger joint, but it's still a very family friendly spot. The Counter at Santana Row is located right across from a gated tot lot, and it makes for easy waiting during busy times. The restaurant is always a little on the noisy side and always chock full of families with young kids.

I've got to say The Counter's food is consistently tasty. The burgers are pretty good (you create your own by checking off a list of selections). The onion strings are out of this world! I'd definitely recommend getting the 3x3. It comes with onion strings, potato fries, and sweet potato fries...a little bit of everything plus a bunch of dipping sauces. Waitstaff tends to be a little hit or miss, but really it doesn't stop us from coming back again and again.


Dinner Club

If you love food and aren't part of a Dinner Club you should join or start one immediately. Here's why:
  • It's a great way to meet new people
  • New recipe ideas are never a bad thing
  • You get to experience new foods you might not otherwise try or run across
  • It's a good way to get some "me" time away from the kids
  • It'll inspire you to get creative
  • It's a ton of fun
I like to meet new people. I especially like to meet people who aren't just like me and don't think just like me. Or maybe I hang out with other people who also enjoy hanging out with people unlike themselves...in which case then I do like to be with people just like me. Maybe it's because I know and am happy with who I am. Or maybe it's because I don't and I'm not. I'm not really sure which, but I still like meeting new people regardless. *shrug*

I started a book club several years back, and it's taken off in many ways. We have a diverse group of smart and insightful women who return month after month to discuss life with kids, relationships, politics and religion, which leading man of the hour looks the hottest with his shirt off, gripes, and hopes for the future. Sparked by books that have made us horrified, dreamy, angry, or blissfully haunted we've shared tears and laughs and our most embarrassing moments enveloped by a supportive and warm environment. Oh, we cover it all in our beautifully open minded, fun-loving forum. So far it's been free from insincerity or designs. It's great! It's almost Utopian really...

Anyway, one thing we do to make things interesting is try to bring a potluck item that coincides with the theme of the book we've read (i.e. Suite Fran├žaise: French food, French wine, French fries...just kidding...no one brought French fries). The gastronomic portion of the evening is one most of us look forward to the most. And while I won't ever give up Book Club I did think it'd be fun to have food be the main event.

This year one of my New Year Goals was to start a Dinner Club because I am a glutton for punishment (I love to cook and eat, and it's taking a toll on my middle regions). I sent out a post into our neighborhood moms group and told anyone who liked to cook and/or eat to contact me. I got a great response back, and we formed a group that would prepare and enjoy foods based on our pre-determined themes once a month.

First, we picked 11 themes for the year so everyone would know ahead. Some themes for this year were Budget Meals, International Tapas, 30 minute meals with 5 ingredients or less. And the whole thing has been fantastic. Again, much like book club it's full of diverse women from diverse cultures and backgrounds with diverse opinions. The one thing that brings us all together each month is a mutual love of food and cooking.

Last weekend we decided to share the fun with our families and had a kid themed (Camp Food) get together for the members of our family that have only heard in whispers of the good time they're missing out on. A member pitched a few tents in her garage and backyard, and her hubby made a campfire complete with s'more fixings. Here's some photos from the night:


We're on Vacation!

Check out our current adventures on my personal blog :0)


Help A Mother Out at Baby Buzz

Yesterday was a very long day, but one of the highlights was a diaper drive hosted by Baby Buzz in Willow Glen through the organization Help a Mother Out. Help a Mother Out is a non-profit that collects and distributes diapers to families in need. I found out about it via Twitter and fellow tweep, Sarah. Karen, the owner of Baby Buzz, was also on hand to host the festivities.

I grabbed the rest of Alexi's diaper stash and we headed out for a day on the town. By the time we got to Baby Buzz I was burnt out from a long day. But Sarah and Karen were two laid back friendly ladies! They offloaded the diapers, gave the boys a snack, and poured me a nice glass of wine. Hello? Can we say new best friends to moms everywhere?

I thoroughly enjoyed my little rest, and explored the glorious store. I picked up a beautiful shower gift, and a really cool water bottle for Math. Before we left we got to witness an amazing surprise! The goal of the evening had been to hit 1,000 diapers. The Willow Glen branch from Valley Credit Union apparently got wind of this over Twitter and walked in with over 1,000 diapers! Totally unexpected, and a very ecstatic Sarah was overjoyed. It was a great night!

Just goes to show the power of cool people, and a little Twitter action, goes a long way for a great cause :0)