Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas recap.

This year it was just the three T's for Christmas and it was really nice. On Christmas Eve, we spent the day gathering our eats and getting ready for mass. We went to 7:30 mass and then came home and had ham. It was nice. There were two pretty darn cute elves running around. One that was so excited about all of the presents.
We opened our new pj's and then we set off to gather all of the goodies for the man in red. We made the traditional pineapple upside down cake, wrote a nice letter for Santa and put Rudolph's carrots out.
Gia did indeed get her hot chocolate and some marshmallows too. Santa left snow on the carpet which was really cool. She was so excited for everything. Really, opening presents was such a burden because she just wanted to play. We then headed to Fresno and got to give cute little Jace some huge kisses and do some Christmas celebrating with him. Hope your Christmas was fantastic!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sleigh day.

One of the absolute best parts of living in Northern California is our proximity to pretty much everything. An hour and a half one way, you are at the beach. An hour and a half another way, you are at some of the countries premier ski resorts. But a mere forty five minutes East, you will hit snow and hills and loads of people sledding.

Growing up in Texas, you have to go pretty far to find this kind of fun, so as a parent it is just so much fun to watch Gia play in the snow like this and still not have to shovel my car out or the path on our front lawn.
We built a miniature snowman, went down the hill, wiped out just as many times and had Christmas cookies.

Ralph and Gia made snow angels. The smiles and laughs that came from the two of them were contagious. Not only to me, but to others at the Sno Park as well. Such a treat to be one of the Three T's.

And of course, RT could not resist throwing snow balls at me every opportunity that presented itself. So, my camera and I were covered in snow by the end of the afternoon.

I am confident that this will be a regular activity that we partake in this winter. What a fun afternoon of good ole fashioned, wholesome fun.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Perfectionist? STOP IT!!!!!

I am not a perfectionist. But I am married to one. It is an interesting dynamic and there are pros and cons to both sides but combined, they really do make a great team.

One of the benefits of being married to a MALE perfectionist is like many men, he does not seem to let it bog him down. But I see so many of my girl friends that are perfectionist paralyze them. They just don't do things because they can not make them perfect.

I think that if you stop trying to be a perfectionist, you get more things done. Making your expectations of yourself or others to out of reach leads to doing nothing or being eternally disappointed. Cut yourself some slack.

You have to expect that if you are trying something new, whether blogging, hanging curtains, starting a new job that there is going to be a learning curve. You may make a few mistakes, but seriously you are not performing neuro surgery or anything....or are you?

I think a lot of perfectionist (including my husband) take on so many tasks that they become overwhelmed and bogged down in the details. If you limit what you are doing you can be a perfectionist like your natural tendency.

Just know that there are really two types of people in the world. Those that are going to be appreciative of your efforts and those that will criticize your efforts regardless of how perfect or imperfect they are. Keeping that in mind, I chose to surround myself with the first and limit my interaction with the second. With the latter group, I do my best and know that really their criticism is there own shortcoming not my perfectly diced onions.

And finally, be good to you. Would you chose to spend all of your time with someone that constantly MADE you do everything perfect? (If the answer is yes, SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY) So why are you so mean to you?

So, during this holiday season stop fretting about EVERYTHING being perfect and celebrate. Celebrate the tree, celebrate time together, early evenings and time with those that you love. And who doesn't love hot chocolate....I don't think anyone can mess that up. Even a bad cup of hot chocolate is good.

All I want for Christmas....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas in San Francisco.

This past weekend we went to San Francisco and met my mom for a weekend of fun in our beloved city by the bay. I know that NYC has loads of charm during the holiday season, but SF has it without the bone chilling temperatures. It was rather rainy (and cold), but we had so much fun with all of our SF favorite activities. {The Three T's, and SF's finest Cappuccino}
{Macy's Windows}
{Gia's Santa writing efforts, she has now asked for hot chocolate four times}


{Gia pretending to sleep post lunch at Bocce}
We had a blast. I will be in SF a few more times prior to the close of the Christmas season, but it was so nice to be there with my mom and enjoy the holiday spirit together. We will have to make it a T family tradition.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gia and Jace visit Santa.

On Friday, Gia and I headed to Modesto to meet my mother in law and Gia's Aunt Corina. It was ridiculously rainy and cold, but everyone made it there in one piece. This is the best picture that you can get with two tots under four. Pretty darn cute if you ask me. Gia asked for hot chocolate. I think I am going to have to find some seriously fantastic hot chocolate for this kid.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday simplicity.

I have stated before that I never knew of any stress surrounding the holiday season until I was an adult. And much of that stress is created because we live pretty far away. A three hour drive from my husbands family and nearly two thousand miles from mine.

One of the reasons that I think my mom never had any stress was because she is so dern organized. She has everything in a folder. Every recipe. The shopping list. Everything. Down to a t.

So, because I do not want to even TRY to reinvent the wheel, I copied my moms goods when I was home. Here is the shopping list....if you want the menu, just let me know!

Holiday Shopping List:

Meat and Dairy

Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage


Whipping Cream

Frozen Yeast Rolls


Sour Cream

Cream Cheese

Cool Whip



Green Onions


Fresh Cranberries


Sweet Potatoes

Baked Goods


Pillsberry All Ready Pie Crest

Karo Syrup Light

Stuffing Croutons

Corn Bread Mix


Solid Pumpkin

Pet Cream

Green Peas

Water Chestnuts

Cranberry Sauce


Whole spinach

Carr Crackers

Cheese Ball Stuff

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas shopping complete.

And that is a relief. I should rephrase. Christmas shopping for all thirty two people BUT my husband is complete. And now it is the most difficult person on the planet. What do you get the man that has everything that he wants and gives you everything you want?

Any suggestions out there? Because I am pretty sure getting this one gift is going to be the most difficult and time consuming.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mothering and guilt.

What is it about being a mom and having guilt? No matter what "kind" of mom I talk to, they are all guilty. If you are a working mom you have the guilt of dividing time between your career (which we were raised to work so dang hard to have) and your kid. If you are a stay at home mom it is the guilt of not spending enough undivided attention doting on your child. If you are a part time working/trying so darn hard to be a stay at home mom while keeping your career that you worked so hard for somewhere in your existence.

I have had the glorious pleasure of experiencing each and every one of the above guilts. And yet, I see NO men that have any of this guilt. Not just my husband, but NO MAN I KNOW. WHY!?!?!?!?

I think that they are on to something. I know that when Ralph is working, he is working. He is 100% consumed with all things AB and being the best darn KAM in the nation. And he is. When he is in dad mode he is the worthy of father of the year. And he is. He even finds the time to be an amazing husband as well. And he is. PLUS, he gets a great nights sleep and while things weigh on his mind and heart, guilt of being a good employee, father and husband never seem to be an issue.

How is this possible?

Every woman that I have a conversation with struggles with the mom guilt. You either feel guilty because you are not following what you worked so hard to accomplish, guilty because you don't have the time to be a great wife, housekeeper, chef, guilty because you are so ADD that you do not know up from down or if you are going to end up reading a flash report to your child at bedtime and bringing "Five Little Monkeys" to your next big presentation.

This is really more of a rambling post because I have no thoughts on how to make it go away. As stated above, I have been all three. I am now the part time working mom. Because I can not work full time and I can not stay home full time. I am pretty darn miserable at either when I do not have the other. But I still have guilt. Guilt. Ugly dirty guilt.

And I am a converted Catholic. This guilt is not something that was ingrained in me from the day I was born.

So, are there any suggestions out there for getting past the guilt and enjoying the time of our lives that I know we will all look back on and remember so fondly? One thing I know for certain is that this is the time that our parents talk about with youth being wasted on the young. I know my mom regrets spending so much time feeling guilty and not just enjoying every moment to the fullest capacity. I want to live in the moment and cherish. Cherish my husband, my daughter, my career. All of it. I want it all. How do you have it all?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas cards.

{Our pictures through the years}

I don't know about you, but I have always loved the Christmas season. It was not until I was married and had a child that I ever realized there was any stress that could be a part of the holidays. In an effort to eliminate stress, I am looking to be as organized and prepared for this season. Starting with my Christmas cards.
Christmas cards. Oh, how I LOVE them. I love picking them out, I love receiving them. I love looking at vintage ones in little boutiques and could spend hours on the Tiny Prints website. I think in many ways they are the one time of year that we chose what we want others to see of our families. The best part. Our cute kids, the beaming parent faces.
So, how do you get your Christmas card to be one that you are really happy with and excited about compiling the addresses and getting them out the door without adding stress?
First, I think it comes with a well planned out picture. (If you chose to send a picture card, and these are my personal favorites.) The best piece of advice that I can say for this is first to get someone outside of those you want in the picture to take the picture. While I use my cameras self timer, but lets face it it does not always work the way you want it too. Just enlist a neighbor, a friend or grandparent to take the picture. But make sure you instruct them on what you want...full body, close up, face only, focus on kids, adults blurred, etc, etc, etc.
I think that using the light that is available is always the best choice. Camera flashes wash you out. Using diffused sunlight (9am or 3pm I find creates the best looking shots) or the lighting that is in your home will eliminate red eye and make everyone look their best.
Make your subjects (and yourself) act natural. One of the many things that I have learned in being the mother of a toddler is that I can not get a posed picture. If you just laugh and have a great time you will get a semi posed shot with real smiles and capture your family's personality. Which is really what you want isn't it?
AVOID PATTERNS. Lets face it, we've all seen the seventies pictures and made fun of them. Just stick with solid, brights and focus on the subjects. Also, you won't have to look back and groan.
I also like the idea of sending a holiday e card. Which is so easy because with many photo cards you can save the jpeg and send it digitally. This way you can send a card via snail mail to those that you know want one or those that do not use the Internet and those via email to the others. Saving on postage. Because with postage prices today sending Christmas cards can add up!
You can download templates at, and many other websites offering something different than Walgreens, Costco, Target and the others offer. Which are super cute as well.

So, what are your holiday greeting card suggestions?
And, if we don't have your address, please email it to us at allison dot talamantez at gmail dot com!

How cute is this!?!?!

Go enter to win!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

This is my MOST favorite time of the year. I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT CHRISTMAS......let the joy begin! {very proud monkey}
{My letters to Santa and the Three Wise Men}

{More Christmas Decor}

{Even MORE}

{My mom brought these Trolly Cars home from SF in 1984...they are my favorite and Gia's too....pretty sure one day we will have an entire Trolly Tree}

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas tree hunting.

This is the most wonderful time of year!!!! Nothing makes me happier than searching for a Christmas tree, decorating the house, the hours and hours of endless Christmas music. It just makes me down right giddy!!!!!

We officially have our tree. It is officially NOT up. But that is half the battle. We had a great time and the two little elves were just precious.

How is your Christmas tree hunt going?