Monthly Archives: May 2017

I’m currently reading the memoir of chef Marcus Samuelson, and something he wrote has really got me thinking. He wrote about chefs having a signature dish – “one you create or execute in a way that becomes forever associated with you.” Thinking about the food I regularly cook for my family, I realized that I really don’t have a dish that is uniquely mine. I want a signature dish and I’m now on a mission to find it. 
Here is the short list of dishes that I’m considering:
1. Lasagna

2. Enchiladas

3. Risotto

4. Gnocchi

5. Spaghetti carbonara 
My signature dish will probably end up being some sort of gnocchi dish. I feel like I have more ways to make gnocchi uniquely mine than either lasagna or enchiladas. There are many ways to cook risotto, but I love the way I cook it – with lots of blue cheese! The blue cheese keeps my family away from the deliciousness, but I’m okay with that. More for me!
Gnocchi can be used in soup or as a substitute for noodles in macaroni. I will do a little gnocchi research and probably search Pinterest for a little inspiration. Then I will start experimenting with some dishes in a quest to create my signature dish. I will post the recipe once I have perfected my dish and received my family’s approval. 
Do you have a signature dish? Leave a comment telling me what it is. 

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So the most ridiculous thing happened yesterday.  I put Lila down to sleep, and then I went outside for a little walk (I had to make sure I got my steps in for the day!), leaving my husband inside with Kora. They both enjoy their father daughter time in the evenings.

Fast forward to later in the evening when Kora is sleeping soundly in her bed.  Thomas informs me that Kora and gotten her hands on my phone and she had gone around the house taking pictures.  This is not the first time she’s done this.  She likes to take pictures of anything and everything she sees.  It’s actually quite funny to watch her as she’s snapping away – she has to get very close to the object she’s shooting and she’s talking the whole time as if she’s coaching the subject in order to get the best shot.

I grab my phone so I can look through the pictures she took.  I wanted to see our house through her eyes.  To my amazement, she only took about 150 pictures – I was expecting more.  There were pictures of her toys and pictures of shoes – outsides of shoes and insides of shoes. She took pictures of cabinets and got a good shot of our laundry hamper. She even got a picture of the inside of the toilet bowl! I’m just glad she didn’t drop my phone as she was getting that shot!  Many pictures were a little blurry and some of the pictures were just a total blur.  Kora did manage to get a smiling picture of her dad – “Say cheese!”


There were a series of pictures that made me giggle.  My husband explained that Kora got a little frustrated that she couldn’t take a picture of the mirror.  Because she takes close-ups, all she was capturing was herself holding the phone! I guess you can call that a selfie!


Then there was one picture that stumped us.  We could tell that it said ‘DEXTER’, but we could not tell what it was.  My curiosity was piqued, so I started searching for the mysterious object.  After several minutes of searching, my husband joined in on the effort.

 

We searched everywhere, but we couldn’t find Dexter.  We were baffled, yet determined to find it.  We were laughing so hard because Kora had stumped us.  We even joked that we were going to wake her up to help us solve the mystery! It was completely bizarre.  We searched for half an hour before we finally found Dexter.  She had taken a closeup of the embossed logo on the front door.  It sounds a little silly, but I felt a strange sense of accomplishment once we solved the mystery of Dexter.


It was the most ridiculous scavenger hunt unknowingly created by a three year old.  I’m thinking that I’ll start using this as a new activity for us to play. Kora can take pictures of things and then I have to go find what she photographed.  I know she would enjoy it, and I hope she can continue to challenge me like she did with Dexter.

Have your kids ever unknowingly challenged you?



Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the afternoon with my two girls, my mother and my grandmother.  We didn’t have any special plans or do anything out of the ordinary.  We just sat in my mother’s living room and watched the kids play.  Other than four generations of strong willed women in one room, it was nothing to write home about.

But that’s what made it a great Mother’s Day.  I was able to enjoy the company of my mother and grandmother while watching my two little girls play.  I know there are many people out there who wish they could have had a day like I had.

A friend from high school recently lost his mother in a tragic car accident.  I can’t help but think of him and his family this Mother’s Day.  I grieve for him and his children as they mourn their loss.  I know they would do anything to be able to spend one more Mother’s Day with her.

I also keep thinking of the friends and family that have lost children or who have struggled with becoming a mom.  Mother’s Day must be a terribly painful time for them. I happen to be reading a memoir about a woman who struggled with infertility before finally adopting a child.  In the book she writes about the staggering number of children in the United States alone that are in need of a loving home.  I ache for the children who are motherless and for the women who yearn to be mothers but aren’t.

Mother’s Day is the one day of the year set aside to honor the mothers in our lives – mothers, mother-in-laws, grandmothers, or any other motherly figure.  But is one day really enough? If the mothers in your life are anything like the mothers in mine, one day of celebrating is really not sufficient. Mother’s Day should be a yearlong celebration! We should appreciate all the things they do for us each and every day.

I love being a mother.  It is hard work, and it seems like it gets harder every day.  I have been pooped on, puked on, and as I write this, my daughter, who is sleeping next to me, reached up and pinched me! She’s sleeping and felt the need to pinch my arm. Motherhood hurts! But I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.  These two little girls are my everything. I am continually being amazed by the things they do, and I love being  a part of their lives.

Kora made me a mommy and Lila renewed my subscription.  I love these little girls more than they will ever know and it a blessing to be their mother.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

 


Early last week, my husband asked me if I wanted to go camping this weekend.  I’m always up for a camping trip, so my answer naturally was, “Sure!”.  Within minutes, my husband had us a reservation at a campground a half hour from Scarborough Renaissance Festival.

Camping and a Renaissance Festival in one weekend? Score! Now just to decide what to wear.  My husband secretly wants to be a pirate in real life, so I knew that his costume was set.  Since the girls had outgrown their pirate costumes from last year, I had to find them something new to wear.

A quick search on Amazon and I had the girls matching mermaid outfits! I could have purchased more elaborate costumes, but opted for simple and comfortable.  I didn’t want their costume to make them (and me) miserable all day.

I also found me a pair of mermaid pants! I was a little nervous about wearing such bold pants, but I have learned over the years that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is out of place at the Renaissance Festival.  That’s what is so great about Ren Fest.  The attire ranges from everyday clothes to the most elaborate costumes (dragons, fairies, barbarians, etc) and everything in between.  I like to dress up, but still want to be comfortable and able to chase two little ones around.

The night before the fair, I made Kora a mermaid tail out of foam to wear with her costume. She loved it and showed it off to everyone we passed at the festival.  She didn’t wear it long, but thankfully it lasted long enough to get a picture of her in it with the ‘real’ mermaids!

Throughout the day, I received several compliments on my pants and on the girls’ outfits. As I am the picture taker of the family, I don’t appear in many pictures.  This is the only picture of me in my mermaid pants.  Aren’t they so shiny? I think I may have to buy another pair in a different color.

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The girls had a blast at the festival.  Kora loved the mermaids and had to say hi to everyone she saw in an elaborate costume.  The dragon Fireflicker was her favorite! Lila could have spent all day at the petting zoo.  She loves animals!

 

We had such a fun, yet very exhausting day.    I absolutely loved our pirate/mermaid combination.  In fact, I think I’m going to do a little work on making my mermaid costume a little more elaborate before the fall’s Ren Fest.

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Since the beginning of the year, I have been doing monthly exercise challenges. Over the years I have found that wanting to exercise or start working out again wasn’t enough to actually follow through on any long term exercising.  When I say to myself, ‘I’m going to get shape,’ running is usually my exercise of choice. I run for a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks, and then I get burned out.  And then the cycle continues.

This year I decided that I was going to choose a different 30 day exercise challenge each month to help keep me motivated. The challenges usually start out pretty easy at the beginning and then gradually get harder and harder.  It’s not the most intense workout or anything, but it’s better than no exercise at all.

I think the simply fact that it’s called a ‘challenge’ is motivating for me. As a kid, my mother was always telling me and my brothers that she loved a challenge.  I am the same way! It’s a challenge, and I will be successful.  It also helps knowing that it is only for 30 days.  There is a concrete end to the challenge and I can count down the days.  I actually use a notebook to document the days I complete the challenge.  Having a visual aid is very motivating for me to keep working hard.  I don’t like having a missing day on my page, so it pushes me to get my workout done.

A couple of weeks ago, my sister-is-law happened to send me a How to Get into the Splits in 30 Day Challenge, and I’ve decided I’m going to try it! I have always wanted to do the splits, but I’m not very flexible (as you can clearly see below). In fact, I’ve never been very flexible.  This is going to be super hard! But I’m going to try it.

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If I manage to master the splits in 30 days, you better believe I will be posting proof.  I will be posting proof all over the place! If I’m not successful in 30 days, I will probably repeat the challenge until I’m successful.  And then I’ll post proof! Wish me luck!