It's really yummy, and it's a light and healthy meal - perfect for summer. Would be great with a nice glass of white wine. It's also super easy - if you make the dressing ahead of time, it's a 6-minute meal. Serve with rice.
Here's another find on Etsy: A photographer named Alicia Bock. She has beautiful pictures, particularly if you like soft pinks and blues. These fruity shots caught my eye, and I was thinking of them for our dining room. K likes the pears, but vetoed the cherries, so I guess I'll keep looking. I still like them, though.
And I still very much like her pictures. My next suggestion was this picture, perhaps for our entryway - it needs a nice splash of color. K likes it, but we need to work out the specifics (size, placement).
Jack Johnson makes me think of being at the beach, and Ben Harper is just cool. Here are two songs that they perform together.
1. I ask the little boy for a "rub noses", and he grabs my face and pull it towards his. He has a big grin on his face and he giggles as I rub my nose with his.
2. I step out of my car when I get to work, and I'm greeted by fresh salt air. I love the smell of the ocean. I don't get to the beach often enough, but I love that I get to see the ocean every day.
3. We got to watch a thunderstorm approach us - the sky crackling with spectacular lightning. It's great to go to sleep with the sky pouring and rumbling outside.
The first blessing? An 8AM wake-up call. Seriously! 8AM! I haven't slept that late since the little boy was born. I rolled over and looked at the clock, and I jumped up - I was startled that it was so late and that I hadn't heard the little boy calling for us yet. Then I realized that it was dark and rainy outside - I'm sure that kept him quiet longer than usual. Just then, he lost his patience and said "Mom! I'm up! Come play with me now!" (In his own, 18-month way, of course.) I was happy to oblige.
That set the tone for the day. The second blessing? Although the rain kept us indoors, we were all feeling good and happy to play inside. For the little boy, he played with absolutely everything in the house, as we moved from room to room. For me and Kev, it meant that we didn't have to do yard work, and we didn't have to feel guilty about not doing it. It was raining - what could we do?
The third blessing was that the rainy day somehow motivated Kevin to go through his clothes. He finally finished swapping out his summer and winter clothes, and he managed to part with a rather sizable pile of items. I scheduled a pick-up for this week. Hooray!
Baby Bjorn has a similar one out there, and we actually have one, but I much prefer this kind, as does the boy. The Bjorn one is very hard, and it's not very comfortable for him to wear. This one is much more portable, too - just wipe it off and roll it up! We use this one bib for every meal now. It's great!
Check him out! He's already so expressive - seems like he's ready to conquer the world. Or at least play with Mom and Dad. A can't wait to meet his new West Coast buddy!
Kevin and I visited here while on our honeymoon, which makes it extra special for me. The painting above is enormous in real life, and I adore it. Of course, I am the bride and Kev is my "green guy". Almost six years ago... We had so much fun touring around Provence. Don't we look young and happy?
This was the view from our hotel room. We started every morning with cafe au lait and pan au chocolat on our balcony. We must go back!
Etsy is a really great web site where you can buy all things handmade. It's kind of like eBay, in that it gathers a lot of sellers together, but it's not an auction, and there's a ton of really great stuff out there. Jewelry, posters, clothes, paintings, photographs, pottery, you name it.
I am in the market for some wall art to decorate our dining room and hallway, so I've been perusing the aisles of Etsy. Here is a shop that caught my eye - not for my dining room, but maybe one of the silhouette prints in the upstairs hallway by the kid(s) rooms in the future? Or not. Sometimes it's just fun to browse and see what creations exist. I'll share other sites along the way in my quest to find handmade items to decorate the house.
Now, however, that beautiful dress is preserved and packed in a rather large box in my house. I don't want to put it in either the attic or the basement for fear of it getting damaged, and every time I see that huge box, I wonder what I should do with it. Should I sell it? But what if I have a daughter who may want to wear it? Or what if I don't have a daughter, or she doesn't want to wear it anyway? Then I've kept it stored in my house for 30 years for what exactly?
I've told K several times that I'd really like to wear it again. I'd like to throw a dinner party and have all the women come wearing their wedding dresses and the guys their tuxes. How fancy! Would you go to a party like that? Of course, then I guess I still have the same problem afterwards, only then my dress would need to be cleaned and preserved all over again. Sigh. What to do, what to do.
Maybe I should sell it. It would probably feel good to know that somebody else got to enjoy wearing it on their special day. I'm going to have to continue to think about this one. What did you do with yours?
How many magazines do you subscribe to? Are you able to keep up with them all, or do you end up with piles of them around the house? If you're like me, even the ones that have been read often don't immediately make their way into the recycling bin. This is one source of clutter that needs to be tamed. Here's what I'm doing:
1. Eliminate some subscriptions. I have already convinced K to eliminate some of his subscriptions, so now it's my turn. I used to like reading Self. It's a good magazine - great for bringing to the beach or reading outside on a sunny day. However, I don't have time for it anymore, and I think perhaps I've outgrown its demographic. (All the health and beauty tips are starting to sound familiar at this point.) Also, I received several free subscriptions when ordering various baby items. At the time, I thought, "Sure, why not, free magazines", but now I know better. I think I'll keep Parenting and Wondertime - I like them, and they contain interesting articles, particularly on child development and learning. But Cookie and FamilyFun simply make me feel bad about myself, because I don't have time to make homemade window decorations or to cut my sandwiches to look like cute little animals. Perhaps if I wasn't working outside the home, these would be more valuable resources to me, and maybe I'll like them more when the little boy is a few years older, but I think I'll pass for now. Lastly, Bon Appetit must go. I love looking at the beautiful pictures of fancy food, but I rarely actually use their recipes. They are all available online anyway. Once I cancel all of these, I think I may actually be able to keep up.2. Work through the backlog. In some cases, this may mean throwing away unread magazines, and that's okay. My biggest project is to review all my Cooking Light magazines to pull out all the recipes I may want to make one day and put them in my recipe binder. I'm almost done. I am also going to start recycling any magazines from the prior month, whether they've been read or not. If we haven't read them in a month, chances are we aren't going to catch up.
3. Store them out of sight. Or at least designate a place for them that eliminates the clutter effect. I do have a few on our side table in the living room, but that spot is for the ones I want to read next. K's This Old House magazines will be immediately stored in a magazine storage box in the office. I don't mind one or two in the bathroom, but I'm going to designate a spot in a vanity drawer for them, so I don't have to read the cover of the same magazine for weeks.
1. I ask the little boy, what color is the dandelion? "Yeyow", he says. That's right! Yellow. What color is your shirt? "Yeyow." No, it's not, it's blue. "Yeyow", he insists, with a devilish grin. He knows it's blue.
2. K gets home from work after the little boy has gone to sleep, and he immediately starts loading the dishwasher. He finishes that, cleans the counter, and then asks, "Anything else?"
3. My sister sent me a note containing her flight confirmation - she's coming to visit next month.
Okay, anyway....my point is that my mom is a gardener. And I am not. I don't know how I grew up not picking up this skill, but I didn't. My little sister seems to have it - pretty quickly after moving back to our hometown and buying a house of her own, she started planting a garden and suddenly new the names of all sorts of plants and flowers. Looks like she has the gift.
I now have a house of my own, and we've at least done enough landscaping to include some new flowers and bushes. I don't know the names of most of them, which exasperates my mom, but I'm trying. I'm now going to try something more daring: tomatoes. There is no comparison between a fresh tomato and one bought in a store. If I grow nothing else, I'd love to have a few tomatoes and some basil. My older sister sent me a packet of seeds, and I also picked up a couple seedlings from the farm up the road. Here's what they looked like about a week or two ago:
I'm going to let you follow along on my adventure to grow tomatoes. I am nervous. When I asked my husband how many we thought we'd get in our first year, he said "nine". Well, I guess I'd be happy with nine. But my mom got frustrated with my pessimism and said I needed to be more optimistic. I'm working on that. Wish me luck!
My next project (yes! two in one week!) was to clean out the car. I eat breakfast in the car, so there were empty bottles and cereal bar wrappers. Lots of CD cases and mis-matched CDs strewn about. And the entire back seat was full of books, toys, and other distractions for the boy. Steps I took:
1. Clean out the trash.
2. Take out all CD cases, and put a selection of CDs into a travel CD case.
3. Put a small storage box in the floor in the back seat. Use this to keep toys and books for the boy.
What an improvement!
I woke up Saturday morning to bright and warm sunshine. Oh, and the boy let us sleep in until 7:30! My gosh that's a good start to the weekend. We spent all morning outside, playing in the yard, swinging, taking walks, planting... (The little boy loves picking up dirt, filling up containers, and dumping them out. He also occasionally gets a little silly, as shown below.)
On one of our walks, we ventured up to our local fire station. Since A adores trucks, I thought I'd show him the fire truck. A fireman came out and invited us in, let us sit inside the truck, touch the ladder/boots/etc, and then he gave A a fireman's hat and coloring book. What a fun surprise! I think that will be a regular stop from now on.
The first thing I found was a partially-used jar of red currant jelly. Since I can't remember why I ever bought red currant jelly in the first place, it's probably time to use it up. The second thing I noticed was that I have two containers of horseradish. And the third was a jar of pesto. I've made the chicken cakes and ziti before, but the pork chops are a new one for us. Here's what I came up with:
Spicy Chicken Cakes with Horseradish Aioli
Mashed sweet potatoes
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Red Currant Sauce
Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes