July 30, 2009

Food, Inc.

I haven't seen this movie yet, but I'd like to. It's an important topic. If you have an opportunity to watch it, please do. Emily recently watched it and posted about it. From what I've read and seen so far, the basic message is that we can all influence the food industry by the choices we make. Buy from your local farms and farmer's markets when you can. Plant a garden. When you shop at the grocery store, try to buy in season produce and organic when you can. It's more expensive, but it's worth it.

I'll admit that I could do better. I do try to buy primarily organic products when they're available, but I still often buy vegetables and fruits shipped from thousands of miles away. I go meatless several days a week, but I do still eat meat and don't always buy organic. I try to buy products without high-fructose corn syrup (my god it's in everything!), but there are a few things I haven't found good alternatives for (my horseradish for example, oddly enough, and I can be tempted by a good sale on ice cream, cereal bars, etc.). I can do better. And I'm sure you can too. So let's educate ourselves and identify a few ways we can influence the food industry for the better. All-natural food is healthier and tastes better, and it should really be what we all demand.

July 29, 2009

Sleep, Gorgeous Boys, and a Yummy Dinner

He's definitely starting to put on some weight. Check out that double-chin!

This week's Three Beautiful Things:

1. 4 1/2 consecutive hours of sleep. Normally this wouldn't merit a mention, but this month it is a very beautiful thing.

2. I was reading bedtime stories to both boys. Aaron pointed to Nathan and then himself and said, "Mama, you have two gorgeous boys." Indeed I do.

3. Kevin took a bite of dinner Sunday night and asked where I got the recipe. Hm. "Cooking Light....why?" "Because it's awesome." Whew! I love trying new things and finding a winner. (p.s. It was the Pasta with Goat Cheese and Grilled Vegetables - even better when it's a veggie dish!)

July 24, 2009

Six Things To Do Every Day

Martha sent me a message about six things that are good to do every day. I thought they were good reminders, so I thought I'd share...

1. Make the Bed
Tidiness begets tidiness. A crisply made bed makes the whole room seem more orderly, which makes it less likely that you'll let other things -- such as clothes and papers -- pile up around it. (*I never understood this when I was growing up, but I totally get it now. It's the first thing I do in the morning.)

2. Manage Clutter
Whenever you leave a room, take a quick look around for anything that isn't where it should be. Pick it up and put it where it belongs. Insist that everyone in the household do the same. (*Now if only I could somehow get K to do this!)

3. Sort the Mail
Take a few minutes to open, read, and sort mail as soon as you bring it inside. Keep a trash bin near your sorting area for junk mail. Drop other mail into one of four in-boxes: personal correspondence, bills, catalogs, and filing. (*We sort of do this, but with our office currently a work in progress, our in-boxes are all over the place.)

4. Clean as You Cook
Instead of filling the sink with pots and dishes, wash them or put them in the dishwasher as you prepare a meal.

5. Wipe Up Spills While They're Fresh
Whether it's tomato sauce on the cooktop or makeup on the bathroom counter, almost anything is faster and easier to remove if you attend to it immediately.

6. Sweep the Kitchen Floor
Every evening once you've finished washing up after dinner, sweep the floor. This will keep tough-to-clean dirt and grime from building up, which will make the weekly mopping much quicker. (*I know I should do this, but I don't. I sweep a couple times a week. I'll try to do it more, though.)

July 22, 2009

Simple Salads

The NY Times online has a cool article containing recipes for simple salads. They are mostly just a combination of a few fresh ingredients, so they're very easy to prepare, but the combinations are interesting and unique and most are not anything I would've come up with on my own. Worth a read. And worth trying some of them.
Here are a few that look yummy to me:
A red salad: Combine tomato wedges with halved strawberries, basil leaves, shaved Parmesan and balsamic vinegar
Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half; toss with soy sauce, a bit of dark sesame oil and basil or cilantro. I love this — the tomato juice-soy thing is incredible
Julienne red, yellow and orange bell peppers; mix with thinly sliced red onion, olive oil and cooked crumbled sausage or chopped salami
Slice fresh figs — many, if you live where they grow — and top with crumbled bacon, balsamic vinegar (the best you have) and crumbled blue cheese
Soak sliced prune plums or figs in balsamic vinegar for a few minutes, then add olive oil, chopped celery and red onion, shreds of roasted or grilled chicken, chopped fresh marjoram or oregano and chopped almonds. Serve on top of or toss with greens.
D and F, want to try out a few while you're here? Can't wait for your visit!

Photos of the Day

He's already changing so much!

July 21, 2009

Favorite Song

I'm not kidding.  My little boy requests this song (Blondie - Heart of Glass) all the time, and he then wants to dance around the kitchen.

July 20, 2009

Summer Love

*This sand/water table was a great buy. Instant hit with A.

There are so many things to love about Summer. And it's fun making lists and thinking happy thoughts. Here are the first 20 things that come to mind when I think about what I love about Summer:

1. Playing outside
2. Pools and sandboxes
3. Ice-pops
4. Long days filled with warm sunlight
5. Afternoon rainstorms
6. Dinner on the grill
7. Fresh strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, corn, green beans, etc etc....
8. Watering the garden
9. Walking in the grass with bare feet
10. Picnics and barbeques
11. Baseball games
12. Sitting on the front porch with K
13. Talking with neighbors in our yards
14. Visiting the farm
15. Vacations
16. The smell of freshly mowed grass
17. The sounds of little league from our back yard
18. Sleeping with the windows open
19. Restaurants with outdoor seating
20. Fireflies

What are your favorite things about Summer?

*Gotta love summertime for pools. All we need at this point is a few inches of water for lots of fun!

July 16, 2009

Thanks Mom!

My mom left yesterday, after spending three weeks with us. She probably thinks I didn't let her help enough, but I promise she did plenty! The biggest help was taking care of Aaron while we were at the hospital, but she was also a much-needed extra set of hands for the first couple weeks with the baby. In addition, she did her usual cleaning and organizing and yard work. She kept up with our laundry, did the dishes every day, cleaned out the fridge, wiped behind the microwave, cleaned the oven....the list goes on and on. Thanks so much, Mom! (a.k.a. "Mema") We miss you already.

July 15, 2009

Keep Music in Schools!

This literally brought tears to my eyes. Every child seems to have such enthusiasm for singing. It's fabulous. And when I think about how much music means to me and how much I gained by getting exposed to it and participating in school, I simply can't fathom how schools can cut their programs. Watch this - you'll be touched, too.

July 14, 2009

Blog Love - Raising Foodies

Have you seen the new blog Raising Foodies yet? It's by Joslyn, the author of the great blog Simple Lovely. Her mission is to find nutritious - also focusing on staying local and organic whenever possible - foods that her kids will like. She has such a nice style, so it's a fun blog to read, and it's also a great source of food inspiration.

She is starting something of an online cooking group - basically, signing up some fellow bloggers to try new recipes and then post the results. What a great way to expand the food inspiration! Here is the post where she describes the plan. I'm planning to participate. My kids are young, but I already love having my two-year-old try new things. Give it a read!

My Firemen

Aaron loved getting quality time with Daddy while we were all home with the new little one. I captured this cute photo op when they both had their fire helmets on. Thanks, John, for providing the real fireman's helmet - it's too big for Aaron but he loves it on Dad!

July 13, 2009

Sweet Big Brother

I should go ahead and admit that my posts will most likely be pictures of my boys for a while. I'm soaking in my gorgeous new baby and thoroughly enjoying the quality time I'm able to spend with my toddler, so that's what's on my mind. I promise I'll get back to posting some non-baby stuff after a while, but in the meantime...

*Aaron wanted Nathan to have a car to play with, too.

Aaron is a fabulous big brother. Any concerns I may've had about his being jealous or getting upset about having to share Mommy have truly disappeared. Okay, occasionally he does still want Mommy to do something for him when I have an armful of baby and can't, but all in all, he's pretty awesome.

*Aaron wanted to show Nathan pictures of fire trucks. I can't wait until Aaron can really read to him!

July 10, 2009

Slings, Groceries, and Happy Babies

Today's Three Beautiful Things:

1. My sling. Oh my goodness how I love the magical sling. Calms my little baby right down and gives me free hands to push Aaron on the swing or the ability to kick balls with him in the yard. Awesome.

2. Online grocery shopping. Best thing ever.

3. The satisfied look on Nathan's face right after he's been fed. Pouty lips, wrinkled forehead, little moans. Love it.

July 4, 2009

Photos of the Month!

My gorgeous boys. A is a great big brother so far. He's very sweet and gentle, and he's super excited to have a baby brother!

Here's our new little lump. Gorgeous boy. 7 lbs, 8 oz bundle of love.

And I'm hanging in there so far. So happy to be home with all my boys!


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