1.29.2010

100 Things I Love

#100 - Wildflowers

1. family photos
2. fresh cut grass
3. daisies
4. Tom & Jerry
5. oranges
6. colored glass bottles
7. mix CDs
8. tiny European cars
9. burt's bee's lip balm
10. apple trees
11. homemade bread
12. christmas music
13. snowstorms
14. boston
15. farm stands
16. live music
17. road trips
18. clawfoot tubs
19. pedicures
20. ice cream
21. hugs
22. big bridges
23. new york city
24. cold, dark beer
25. campfires
26. root beer
27. notecards
28. warm socks
29. fireplaces
30. green
31. beaches
32. to-do lists
33. clean counters
34. fresh tomatoes
35. cartwheels
36. scrabble
37. aveda hand relief lotion
38. pashminas
39. sunsets
40. tea with honey
41. panda bears
42. baseball
43. cilantro
44. antique stores
45. built-in bookshelves
46. olive oil
47. singing
48. goat cheese and figs
49. barcelona
50. guitars
51. my pillow
52. sunday morning pancakes
53. vermont
54. front porches
55. my kids' works of art
56. fall leaves
57. A full night's sleep
58. cello music
59. origins lip shine lip gloss
60. lemons
61. fast-moving clouds
62. Boston Pops
63. colored christmas lights
64. full bookshelves
65. raspberries
66. junior mints
67. naps
68. hoodies
69. blogs
70. march madness
71. my engagement ring
72. yard sales
73. black and white photographs
74. foreign languages
75. small art museums
76. books
77. lemonade
78. stained glass windows
79. turtles
80. sailboats
81. macaroni salad
82. choral music
83. small movie theaters
84. warm breezes
85. disneyworld
86. shooting stars
87. magnets
88. bud vases
89. wine
90. painted toenails
91. crossword puzzles
92. yoga
93. bubbles
94. pools
95. porch swings
96. thermoses
97. other people's dogs
98. cameras
99. maps
100. wildflowers

This was so much fun to do. Let your mind wander and think about all the things you love. It forces you to focus on all the beautiful and fun things in the world. See how quickly you can do it, too. It's harder than you might think - I started repeating myself pretty quickly and had to think a little harder.

Inspired by this post. I swear I didn't steal from it, although after completing mine and looking back at his, I realize there are quite a few things we both love. Nothing wrong with that, of course, and really, who doesn't love those tiny european cars?

Kitchen Inspiration


*Image from Elle Decor via PointClickHome

I wish I could see more of this kitchen. What I can see in this photo makes it feel so inviting. Maybe I need to have a big bowl of lemons next to my sink.

J.D. Salinger

*Image from Associated Press

An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's.” - J.D. Salinger

1.27.2010

Menu of the Week

*Image from Cooking Light

I'm trying to do better about menu planning, because it really does take a little stress out of the week. Not having to think about what to make for dinner, especially when you have boys who are ready to eat the second you get in the door in the evening, is not just nice, it's necessary. I'm finding that some of my "easy weeknight dinners" are not quite fast or easy enough for the days I have to go into the office, so I'm adding some easier and faster meals to the rotation. There's nothing wrong with sandwiches or eggs or other super-easy options, and certainly my 3-year-old won't complain.

Here's what this week looks like:

Sunday - Spinach tortellini, peas, salad

Monday - Turkey and cheese paninis, apple slices

Tuesday - Fish sticks, corn

Wednesday - Italian sausage and white beans, wheat bread

Thursday - Burgers, sweet potato fries

Friday - Happy pasta with shrimp

Laura Veirs


My music pick for today is Laura Veirs. I've been listening to her new CD - July Flame - for the last few days, and I liked it immediately. You can get a little taste of her via this video, but I'd recommend you check her out the next time you're looking for something new on iTunes.

Or even better - she's based in Portland, OR, but she's touring, so go see her when she hits your town. I have a feeling one of her shows would make for a cool night out. She's coming to Cambridge in a few weeks. Wonder if I could get a sitter. Hmm...

1.26.2010

The Power of Half

*Image from The Hunger Project
"It all began with a stop at a red light.

Kevin Salwen, a writer and entrepreneur in Atlanta, was driving his 14-year-old daughter, Hannah, back from a sleepover in 2006. While waiting at a traffic light, they saw a black Mercedes coupe on one side and a homeless man begging for food on the other.
'Dad, if that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal,' Hannah protested. "

That's how this op-ed piece in the NY Times begins. It's an interesting story about a father-daughter project entitled The Power of Half. This family sold their house, moved into a smaller house, and donated the proceeds to The Hunger Project to sponsor 40 villages in Ghana.

Impressive. Crazy, but impressive. And definitely food for thought. Give it a read, and then think about it. Do you have areas of your life where you could give "half"?

Chowder

*Image from marthastewart.com

I've been meaning to post some of the yummy new recipes I've tried recently. Actually, I've been meaning to write about a lot of things, but I just haven't had time. I'm sure you understand. Anyway, we made a lot of really good food over the holidays, and I wanted to share some of those recipes here. I was going to do a full roundup of recipes, but it's just not happening, so we'll do it little by little.

First up: Corn and Butternut Squash Chowder. Vegetarian, super simple, and so satisfying, especially for a cold winter night. I love recipes with short ingredients lists, and this was incredibly easy to make.

And a reminder: this Corn and Clam Chowder is now one of our favorite recipes. Easy and seriously good.

1.25.2010

500 Days of Summer

I was by myself this weekend with two sick boys. The little boy needed hugs, so we stayed up late watching movies. Looking at the bright side, I chose to rent a few movies that Kevin would probably not be interested in.

The one that stood out the most was 500 Days of Summer. It is a very sweet and quirky movie, and I very much enjoyed it. It is pretty rare when you see a romantic comedy with any sort of originality. For example, one of the other movies I watched this weekend was "The Proposal". Not a bad movie for what it was, and I like (looking at) Ryan Reynolds, but it was totally and completely predictable. The same formula used by 99% of romantic comedies. So it's nice when one tries to do something a little different.

I won't attempt to write a full review, but you can read this one if you're interested.
The soundtrack is really good, too. I enjoyed the music during the movie, and the collection of songs is fun.

1.19.2010

1.15.2010

George

*Image from People

Here's a little George to brighten your day. And here's another article. After all, we can all use a little more George in our lives. ;-)

1.13.2010

Appalachian Journey


I love music. If you've ever read my blog before, you already know this. I adore all kinds of music, and I love finding something new that touches me. Every now and then, I'll put something on that makes me stop whatever I'm doing to just listen. How often do you do that? Just be still and listen to music.

My mom gave me this CD for Christmas - called Appalachian Journey, with Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor, Stephen Foster, Alison Krauss, James Taylor, and Yo-Yo Ma. It is beautiful. The song in the video above - Hard Times Come Again No More - is an example of one that made me stop and listen. Spend a few minutes with James and the other musicians if you have the time. The whole CD is wonderful.

Thanks so much, Mom!

1.12.2010

Vegetarian Guinness Stew

*Image from thekitchn.com
I haven't tried this yet but think it sounds good. I'm always on the look-out for vegetarian meals that my meat-loving boys will enjoy. This one looks like it will fit the bill. It made me think of my brother-in-law, who is a vegetarian and avid Guinness fan, so I thought I'd go ahead and share it. Em and David - if you guys try this first, let me know how it is, kay?


Vegetarian Guinness Stew

*I saw this via this post containing the best vegan and vegetarian recipes of 2009 on the kitchn.

1.11.2010

Brothers

Here are my gorgeous boys...


Here's a recent picture of the little boy...
...and one of the big boy when he was the same age.

What do you think? You can tell they're brothers, right? ;-)

Best Brownies EVER!


One of our discoveries this holiday season? Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix. After listening to a woman rave about them at Costco, I decided it'd be good to have an extra chocolate dessert offering during the holidays, so I picked up a box. Oh. My. God. They are perfect. I will never buy Betty Crocker again - I don't care if they do go on sale for $1/box.
Oh, and my sister got me this silly pan for my birthday. It feels a little indulgent to have a pan for such a singular purpose, but I love it! I am definitely a fan of the edge piece, and everyone enjoyed the brownies from this pan. Now I just have to figure out how to keep from making brownies every single weekend.

1.08.2010

Goals and Resolutions

*Another lovely image captured by Alicia Bock
I guess it's that time of year. A lot of people start the new year by making resolutions or goals for the coming year. It's certainly a common theme in blogland this week. I've talked a little about some of the things I'd like to do this year with my family, but I thought perhaps I should capture some of them here. Some of them are what I'd call resolutions, or things I want to do more or less of. And some of them I'd call goals - very specific activities or accomplishments I want to check off a list.
I loved doing this list, and I thought it was a fun way to keep track of my accomplishments, both the serious and the fun, the big and the little. I'm working on this year's list of goals, which won't include the birthday deadline this time. I'll share the list in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here are some of my resolutions for 2010:
  • Sleep more
  • Don't ever complain about having to play with my sons
  • Entertain more and nurture my local friendships
  • Write more letters to friends and family and nurture my long-distance relationships (Facebook is fun, but it doesn't count). Perhaps even pick up the phone every now and then
  • Spend lots of time snuggling with my baby boy, who is rapidly outgrowing the snuggly phase
  • Find a time to exercise each week, even if it's just once
  • Hire our neighbor to babysit and begin more regular date nights - at least monthly
  • Read at least a book a month
  • Do whatever it takes to make life easier so I can focus on what's truly important to me - my boys, my husband, my friends, my family, myself

Do you make resolutions? If so, please share! What are you focused on heading into 2010?

Alicia Bock



I've written about her before. Alicia Bock is a great photographer with tons of gorgeous pictures on her website and in her Etsy shop. She's having a sale - 20% off all orders - to celebrate her 4th anniversary since starting her Etsy shop. Simply type the code: "happy anniversary" into the "message to seller section" and you will be refunded the discount after checkout is complete.
Hurry! Only good through today!

1.06.2010

Happy New Year!

I'm sorry I haven't been able to post more regularly. Life sometimes gets in the way of my blogging. I'll continue to do the best I can. I do love my blog, and I miss it when I am away from it for a while. I've found that it's a wonderful way to keep me focused on all the beautiful things in life. Enough apologies.

Just a quick post to say "Happy New Year!" I hope you all had a happy and fun holiday. I will admit I went to bed before midnight, but my 6-month-old decided I needed to be up to usher in the new year, so we celebrated together.

Take a look at these these stunning pictures of new year's celebrations from around the world. Some of them truly take my breath away. More reminders of how vast and gorgeous this world really is and how much we all have in common. I love that everyone starts each new year in such a hopeful mood. I'm going to keep my hopeful mood throughout the year. How about you?

Images from: www.boston.com







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