Gretchen Schock shares her love of recipes, crafts and frugal living. She also speaks very opening about the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. After a breast cancer scare in 2012, she decided to say goodbye to her nightly glasses of Chardonnay. It was time to get sober and live life with eyes wide open! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.

9/27/2010

Even the Obama's are canning!

This just in from our D.C. Bureau, a press release from the White House:
The presentation of gifts to visiting foreign dignitaries is a time-honored tradition that helps transcend cultural barriers and offers a symbol of peace and friendship.
In honor of the 65th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly, First Lady Michelle Obama has assembled an assortment of gifts that reflect her past 20 months in the White House. The White House Kitchen Garden, which provides the Obama family and White House guests with delicious fresh produce, is the central theme behind this year’s gift.

A special recipe of pickled, hand-picked ingredients from the White House Kitchen Garden, including sun gold tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, chocolate bell peppers, carrots, lemon verbena, and fresh herbs are presented in jars with the First Lady’s signature. The jars are topped with original artwork done by California artists, Michael Cronan and Karin Hibma, who were inspired by a photo of Mrs. Obama tending to the garden with children and a wheelbarrow.
Chamomile seeds were harvested from the White House Kitchen Garden for the first time this year and are being shared by Mrs. Obama. Also included in the gift is an off-white clay Tea Canister hand-made by Virginia potter Catherine White, whose work is inspired by the varied landscapes of nature.
I LOVE this!  I love that our President and his family are setting such a wonderful example of what gifts should be, simple expressions of love and thoughtfulness. 

9/22/2010

Target $2 Family Fun Night at Port Discovery in Baltimore, MD

Though I am still currently banning Target right now I do support the awesome children's museum, Port Discovery, in Baltimore, MD.  My boys LOVE this place.
On Friday, October 15 4pm - 7pm go and enjoy the museum for only 2 bucks per person!!

Also if you have a Port Discovery Membership you can get into the Baltimore Zoo for FREE until October 15th.

9/21/2010

Routine

I'm not exactly sure why or how this happens but I've seen many cars on fire while driving the beltway.  It's pretty scary.

9/20/2010

Fall Banner

It's that time again to change up the blog banner, I adore changing the banner for the seasons.  On my list of favorite things to do, I love going through old pictures and while choosing just the right ones thinking about the overall mission of this little corner of my world. 
Thank you all for reading!

9/17/2010

"What I am"

Inspiration comes in many forms, today this video was my inspiration.  I love when artists I enjoy cross over into the kid world.  I jam out to the They Might Be Giants kid cds right along with the boys and here Will.i.am makes an appearance on Seasame Street which is celebrating it's 41st season on September 27th on PBS!

And because I never really need a reason to make lists here is my What I am list.
What I am:
smart
creative
caring
compassionate
sensitive
enthusiastic
organized
strong
"I'm going to keep my head up high, keep on reaching high.  Never going to quit, I'll keep getting stronger"

What are you?, share in the comments.

9/16/2010

KEEN : Kids Enjoy Exercise Now

KEEN is a national, nonprofit volunteer-led organization that provides one-to-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities at no cost to their families and caregivers.  I will warn you that on their website they clearly state that there is awaiting list but don't be put off by that.  For the sports program the waiting list is not that long although the swim program does have a waiting list of over 2 years, also the programs coincide with the school year  The age range is very broad with the idea that once your child is in the KEEN program that they will grow up in it.  They have programs for children of 5 years old to 21 years old.     
KEEN's mission is to foster the self-esteem, confidence, skills and talents of its athletes through non-competitive activities, allowing young people facing even the most significant challenges to meet their individual goals.

If you know someone in the greater Washington DC area that would benefit from this program please pass this information along.  If you would like to support this non profit there are many ways in which you can do that from donating directly to volunteering your time.
Pass it on.

9/15/2010

Baby Shower Invitations

I am throwing my cousin a baby shower and while on a bike ride I got a vision in my head of how to craft up the invitations.  I created the invitations in word, typing the information 2 up on a page (I cropped out the location and RSVP info for the blog post) and printed them out on card stock.  I then cut each sheet of paper in half length wise, trimming a bit on the top and bottom so that it would fit into a standard business envelope.  To make the baby foot print I put my left hand in a fist, thumb facing towards the sky, and pressed it into an ink pad and stamped it on the page.  To make the toes I used my pinky finger.  It took a few times to get the foot print just right but once I mastered it the overall process was extremely easy.  I loved how they turned out.

9/13/2010

Recovered chairs


I picked up this dining room table and chairs on freecycle for my new place. The original covers were awful and stained, but overall the set was sturdy and fit the space. My aunt, as fate would have it, was purging her fabric collection and had exactly the right amount of fabric that I needed to recover the chairs. And it coordinates beautifully with the brick wall.

9/08/2010

Routine.


I'm adding a new feature to the blog, Routine. Each week I'll share with you a picture from my daily travels, something that catches my eye as I go about my routine.

9/07/2010

Weddings...



The family and I went to a wedding this past weekend and had an amazing time. There were so many aspects of this wedding that I just loved and will reuse for future parties of my own!
First of all it took place on the groom's family farm so the couple got married in front of a cornfield and being that they are two NY'ers now it was just plain awesome. The reception was held in a barn that the couple and their NYC friends have spent the last year renovating. The place settings were beautiful. Mixing chic and rustic in perfect harmony. I loved the mason jars with corn and candles to light each table and the flowers were all in mason jars too. The spread for the bread were in baby food jars. Atop each plate was a burlap bag with the bride and groom's name stamped on it and inside was a bird feed treat to take home and hang in your yard.
The couple did a wonderful job having things on hand to entertain the little kids, when the sun set glow sticks were brought out and in the field all you could see were glow sticks moving around as the kids ran and ran.
I loved how unique this wedding felt, I never felt like I was looking at something that came out of a bridal magazine or was the latest fad from theknot.com
Kudos to being individuals and having a wedding that suits you! We had an amazing time.

9/05/2010

Project Life


I was overjoyed when I saw that Becky Higgins released Project Life again. I was waiting for months to see it in stock on Amazon. My box came in the mail and I will admit I was hesitant at first to start it. I want it to be something great and the pressure I put on myself to create greatness can squash my creativity a bit. I just wanted to be sure that the way i started it would be what I wanted it to be...after days of not doing anything with it I laughed out loud at myself...what was I doing? Who cares if it doesn't start off exactly the way I envisioned it to. I can recreate it half way through. I don't have to stifle myself, this is my book after all.

Watch this video, she has some great ideas to get you started.


I decided that for my Project Life album I am capturing "a week in the life". I am combining pictures I've taken during that particular week, along with old photos that I have leftover from other layouts that are just taking up space and random photos of things that don't really have a home anywhere else but I love the look of the photograph so much that i want to add it somewhere. I'm also including bits of life, tea bag wrapper, to-do lists, receipts. I'm focusing on my story. My life. Sure the kids will be in there but instead of telling the story with the intention being that it is for them years later to know what they were like as kids, I'm telling it for me. I'm telling my story so that my kids will know who I was when they were kids. My thoughts, my fears, my joy. It's going to be brutally honest and beautiful. It's going to be me.

9/02/2010

Dedication.


I came across this website, Jewels of Elul, randomly today and it’s struck a chord with me, got me thinking about dedication. Craig Taubman began this site 6 years ago collecting short stories, anecdotes and introspections from many fascinating people including President Barack Obama, Eli Winkelman, Desmond Tutu, the Dali Lama, Sarah Lefton, Eli Wiesel, Deepak Chopra, Pastor Rick Warren, Kirk Douglas, Rev. Ed Bacon, Rabbi David Wolpe, Ruth Messinger, Jeffrey Katzenberg and over 100 other inspired voices . . . well known and not so well known. “There is a great Jewish tradition to dedicate the 29 days in the month of Elul to study and prepare for the coming high holy days. The time is supposed to challenge us to use each day as an opportunity for growth and discovery.”

I like this idea, a lot. A dedication to growth and discovery. How does dedication come into my own life? I’ve gone in and out of different types of dedication. I’ve done a 365 photography project and I’ve trained for 3 triathlons. I’ve dedicated myself to being healthy, creative and overall a good person.

And I’ve fallen out of dedication. I’ve slept in, chosen eating out over preparing a meal myself and I’ve chosen to hibernate in my own self pity than help others.
This website has awoken me today. If nothing else it reminded me that the dedication to be ME and to be happy is still alive, and for me to continue to be true to that.
What are you dedicated to right now?

9/01/2010

Logan is 7! Thank You Cards


Much like Zane's birthday thank you cards, I wanted to make a simple card for Logan's thank you cards too. I am trying to come up with create ways to use all the letter stickers that I have in my stash. On white card stock I adhered a picture of Logan and a "J" and then I had Logan stamp his fingerprint down for the "O" and used a stencil to outline the "Y". Joy, a perfect word to describe Logan. He is a joy to be around, a joy to have in my life, and his pure joy is swimming.

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