Wednesday, April 30, 2008
In honor of both Cinco De Mayo (just 4 days away!), and my father, a chocolate lover, whose birthday is May 5th and who always told us when we were kids that all of Mexico was celebrating his birthday, a recipe for a chocolate cream pie that I posted some time ago.
In birthday parties for my kids, I try to go with the
simplest party that still looks like a lot of effort went into it.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
If you had asked me who was my favorite actor 20 years ago I probably would have said Kirk Cameron or Uncle Jesse from Full House. Oh, and Leonardo DiCaprio when he started out on Growing Pains. Later I would have picked Harrison Ford, then David Duchovny. Now it's a toss up between Owen Wilson and Hugh Grant. But we own (*) more Hugh Grant movies, so maybe he's our favorite.
I was at Target yesterday and saw that they had Music and Lyrics on sale for $7.50. I had it in my cart until I realized it was the Fullscreen edition, which I refuse to buy. But that reminded me that after my husband and I watched the movie (B and I are both Hugh Grant fans, you see) we downloaded all the songs from Napster. So I've been listening to them today, wanting to watch that movie again.
About A Boy*
Two Weeks Notice*
Music and Lyrics
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Sense and Sensibility
Mother's Day is May 11th.
As I'm already obsessed with Etsy (so many talented people making all the crafts I can only dream of creating with my own hands), I searched there first for Mother's necklaces. Sort of more for me than for my own mom, but then I know we're going to have more kids than we have now, so I can't actually get my very own without it being out of date someday. And having been the final kid in a family who had to stick their tiny wallet sized school picture in the corner of the massive, portrait painting of the family picture (minus me), I don't want any tail end of the family kids to feel left out. But, I found these great finds that I would LOVE to own... someday.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
image from gap.com
I'm a T-shirt and jeans sort of girl. Always have been. Some told me that in high school like it was an insult. It's not insulting. It's just who I am. Funny too because my mom is not a T-shirt and jeans sort of person. I can remember having to be dressed up in my fanciest clothes as a kid for a shopping trip to the mall. The mall! But times were different then. No one dresses in their best to go shopping anymore.
But I think I'm going through a sort of early mid-life crisis. I turn 30 in June. THIRTY! It seems unfathomable that I'm not still 22. So I decided I need to dress better. Now, I don't think I dress bad. I don't wear any of the clothes I wore in high school. I don't think I even own any of the clothes I had in high school. Even looking back to pictures of me in college, my T-shirts are grubbier T-shirts than what I wear now. So at least I've progressed in the past decade. But I still think that there has to be some way to pull of being a T-shirt and jeans loving person, but not looking like a sloppy teen, or even a sloppy twenty something. I decided the other day that I should wear casual skirts more often. So I'm on a hunt of decent priced casual skirts. Any suggestions? I found a cute brown linen one at H&M tonight for under $10. (Love H&M by the way. Love love love it.)
Along the same lines, I need a new hairstyle... but that's a post for another day.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I realized today that Martha Stewart's show isn't on cable. This means that our bunny eared TV might allow me to watch her show. Now I don't love her show, or her for that matter, but I miss the Food Network and The Learning Channel. While looking around her website today, I found this fabulous idea... turning your kid's drawings into a stuffed toy. Princess Sparkley already picked out some crazy fabric for me to make a real teddy bear since I wouldn't let her cuddle with the one we made out of construction paper in her history lesson on Teddy Roosevelt.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I've turned into that mom. No, my kids didn't open our car door into another car, but really, it's only a matter of time. I was that other mom. The one circling her way through the store with the screaming kid throwing the world's largest tantrum. My kid was screaming hysterically while chanting "I want that excavator truck." At least it was Walmart, so I was sort of among that element of screaming kids. I tried to smile at people sending them a friendly, "Yeah, my kid is annoying me too" vibe.
So, I just want to publicly thank Princess Sparkley and Baby X for their excellent behavior in the midst of chaos.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I was born and raised in southern California, as was my dad. But we are avid Boston Red Sox fans. Obviously, he instilled this obsession in me. And like any good daughter, and fan, I've instilled it in my kids.
If you haven't heard about the above baseball jersey, it's going for about $70,000 on ebay right now.
From the ebay listing:
The rivalry between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees is one of the longest and the most dramatic in professional sports. The latest chapter was written when a construction worker—a diehard Red Sox fan—secretly buried a David Ortiz jersey in the concrete of the new Yankee Stadium in hopes of "cursing" the new ballpark.
Rumors of the worker’s activity were verified, and the jersey was located under two feet of concrete. Following the discovery, Yankees President Randy Levine indicated that the shirt would be given to the Jimmy Fund to be auctioned off, a move that proves that when it comes to cancer, everyone is on the same team.
Oh, and this:It still has some of the cement still on it!
I called my dad to see if he'd seen it on ebay. He joked about how he should bid on it (I never thought I'd say this about my dad, but he's not THAT big of a Red Sox fan). Then he voiced dismay at the fact that it had been discovered so soon. That worker who secretly buried it should have kept his mouth shut for a few years and not bragged about it. I agree. But with three days left, there's still time, and with some deep pockets, this jack hammered, cement encrusted jersey could be yours. Start your bidding!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I saw in some parenting magazine a few years ago a story about a mom who took a picture of her baby girl in her old bathing suit every year on the girl's birthday. At first it was just this bundle of cloth, then a dress as the baby grew into a little girl and then it actually fit her perfectly at age 16 or so. I saw a similar story of a mom who took a picture of her baby each month of its first year. It was really neat to see how a newborn (who, let's admit it, is never really that cute), turns into a baby.
So I've been taking Baby X's picture every Saturday (excluding the Saturday he was born and when he was back in the hospital) with this alligator. Here are his first twelve weeks.
Friday, April 18, 2008
|1 1/2||lbs lean ground beef|
|3/4||cup chopped onion|
|1||can (15.25 oz) Green Giant® whole kernel corn, undrained|
|1||can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes, undrained|
* I also add 1 can of kidney beans
|1||can (8 oz) tomato sauce|
|2||tablespoons chili powder|
|1||teaspoon red pepper sauce|
|1 1/3||cups Original Bisquick® mix|
|2||to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, if desired|
Cook beef and onion in Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Reserve 1/2 cup of the corn. Stir remaining corn with liquid, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder and pepper sauce into beef mixture. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Mix Bisquick mix and cornmeal. Stir in milk, cilantro and reserved 1/2 cup corn just until moistened.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto simmering chili. Cook uncovered over low heat 10 minutes. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer or until dumplings are dry.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
To get her to agree to be home schooled, we had to promise Princess Sparkley that she could still have "recess." I'm not sure how she even knew about recess, having never been to school, it must just be part of being a kid. So we've done Language Arts and Science for the day and still have to get through Math, Art and Phonics. And it's almost time to start dinner. Today has been one of those days.
First I had to get the four of us ready to go before 9 AM. A task I try to avoid. Due to the extreme windiness we drove my husband to school rather than making him ride his bike through a wind tunnel. After dropping him off, we picked up my visiting teaching companion and headed out of town to visit a woman for the first time. Then, since Ice Cream Alice 2 died last night, a trip to Walmart (because they have fish supplies AND fabric- - see, I'm multitasking) to buy a supply of everything I read about here, to try to save St. Louis Race Car, who was exhibiting similar symptoms. While at Walmart we have to get fabric for Buddy's reward for being fully, cross my fingers, *potty trained, (*warning, this link includes a picture of poop) I'm supposed to sew him something out of this race car fabric we saw at Hancock Fabric forever ago. I thought I'd seen the same fabric on a Walmart trip, and probably cheaper. So we checked, and it wasn't there. But there was another race car fabric. And he liked it. Success.
future apron because I don't have the pattern yet (I'm bidding on it on ebay) and I don't know how much fabric I'll actually need. So I've added another stack of fabric to the too much fabric I already own and more sewing projects I don't have time to sew.
Then home where it turned into a feed the starving baby/save the dying fish frenzy. I'm happy to report that the baby is full and napping, and the dying fish seems to be moving around a bit more. AND, we've accomplished 3 of 5 school lessons. But now recess is over, all I've accomplished is a scatterbrained blog post, and now the craziness must begin again.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Ice Cream Alice 2
I can't even believe the difference between Ice Cream Alice 1 and Ice Cream Alice 2. This fish swims all over. And it even seems to have livened up Buddy's fish, whose name is too long to type. I think we showed up in the pet store this time on the day they got all new Bettas because let me tell you, the first time we had to tap on all their little containers to make sure they weren't dead, and this time they were all swimming around like crazy. Hopefully Ice Cream Alice 2 will be with us for awhile because next on the list of pets my kids want are: birds, a cat, a puppy, a pony. The unfortunate part of all of this is that now Buddy wants his fish to die so he can get a new one. Apparently a huge part of the fun of having a pet fish is going to the store, picking out a fish, buying it, and bringing it home. After just one week they no longer need to "kiss" the fish goodnight. The novelty has warn off. If I had only known, we could have just "adopted" a fish that we visited on occasion at its home at PetCo.
Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups
1 pkg. of Nestle Toll House refrigerated chocolate chip cookie bar dough
1 bag of mini Reeses's Peanut Butter Cups
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease or paper-line 24 mini-muffin cups.
Place squares of dough into prepared muffin cups; press down lightly in center to make a well.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are set. About 5 minutes before removing from oven, place a Reese's cup in the center of each one. Finish baking. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Glazed Chicken Wings
3 lb. chicken wings
2/3 cup soy sauce
½ cup honey
2 tbsp. oil
2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice
2 cloves garlic
Marinade for one hour.
Cook at 375 for one hour.
I think it was this love of all things cooking that attracted me to being a Pampered Chef consultant for a very short time... just long enough to earn hundreds of dollars worth of free products. Yippee.
What are the latest kitchen gadgets I want? Well, they aren't so much gadgets, but here's my list:
I love homemade ice cream and have never had any success making it. There is a couple from church who always bring the yummiest varieties of homemade ice cream to any church activity so I made my husband ask them what kind of ice cream maker they used. Someday, I want one.
Tall Mousse or Parfait Glasses
For smoothies and milk shakes and mousse. Yum
To reach the bottom of the glass when eating milkshakes, root beer floats, etc.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
When we were first married we had a rule: For every book we bought, we had to put money into a jar and that would eventually pay for a new bookshelf. It didn't work so well. And while we've been very good about using the library more in the past few years, our book collection is in fact out of control. We have one giant bookshelf full of books. Another, smaller one mostly filled with books (and my husband's folded map collection). Then we have two entire bookshelves filled to capacity with kid's books. And if we clear out the box of books that each of our kids keeps in their bed to look at after bedtime, there's no where to put them. That's not counting the twelve or so boxes of books currently residing in my in-law's basement in St. Louis. Or the two boxes of fancy books decorating my brother-in-law's built in bookshelves. Yikes.
Yet our local library is having a book sale, and today is the day when you can buy an entire bag of books for $5. You can't expect us not to go. The problem is, not only do we all like to read, we all like books. Love them in fact. But were will we put them all?
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
As a Young Women's project, I assembled the above recipe box of my favorite recipes so that when I was off at college on my own without mom and dad cooking for me, I'd have some recipes I could make. The problem with this recipe box, which my husband often kids me about, is that it's only about 4 inches deep and 2 1/2 inches are desserts. I realize that this must really be a problem as I'm busily baking a cake, (just because), with no idea what to make for dinner and already planning my next dessert (Wendy's grandma's cookie recipe I got from Wendy's sister when we were roommates) I'm wishing that dinners could be that much more fun for me to make. Someone enjoys baking meals, right?
Several years ago I decided to assemble all of my family's recipes into a cookbook, sort of like schools or church groups do on occasion. I gathered dozens of recipes, typed them into my computer and then kept waiting for my mom to find her mom's such and such recipe, or for my brother-in-law to email me his recipe for something. Then I'd discover several new fun recipes to include, and my sister would make something yummy for Sunday dinner and I finally just gave up on ever completing it. We are a family of evolving recipes. We have the old standards, but I think each of us has a subscription to a cooking magazine.
Then, two Thanksgivings ago my sister-in-law showed up with a binder of recipes in plastic protective sleeves that she'd brought along to help contribute to the Thanksgiving feast. I thought this idea was great because I get a lot of recipes from magazines (ie: Taste of Home, Food and Family, Family Fun) or I print them off of various websites. Then I read this on The Pioneer Woman's website about her mom's enormous, coveted recipe binders. And I knew that this was definitely the way for me, to have all of my recipes organized. Although I might need a separate binder just for desserts.
*While trying to find the exact "hint" in a web search I found a lot of useful purposes for cereal bags that you couldn't do with just regular wax paper (ie: crushing up cornflakes or potato chips--- since they rip through regular and freezer ziplock bags). So maybe I was too quick in my laughter, but I'm still not sure I'd ever find myself washing out a cereal bag.