Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I have lots of pictures from last weekend,

but they will have to wait until I have a little more time! So until then you have to be satisfied with this................



Spring in a jar.


I shouldn't complain - we are cold and tired but at least our homes are not flooded - but I could really handle some sunshine about now!


We have a super busy week ahead, things going on every night, a birthday to celebrate and some company to look forward to. I had planned to take Friday off work so I could finish up my shopping and cleaning before my parents came, but now we will have other plans. My friend Stacy lost her Grandpa rather suddenly this weekend, so if you think of it you can keep her family in your prayers. The funeral is on Friday.


I also realized {again} that Aidan is alot like me. I have so much to do this week, and he wants two birthday cakes, one for daycare and one for when my family comes. Since we are so busy I tried to talk him into a Star Wars cake straight from the Target bakery, but noooo...... he wants to make his cakes, and make them "very special cakes" and so we have chased around to 3 grocery stores trying to find what we need for the two he picked. I have to say- I literally begged him to have a store-bought cake but he would have nothing to do with it.


Again- I apologize in advance to his wife.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Our thoughts and prayers go out to all our dear friends in the Fargo - Moorhead area!

Chocolate for Breakfast?

That's right. I found this yummy recipe here, and it is the perfect combination of chocolate and sweetness for breakfast, (or as a late night snack at the computer with yogurt. Yes, that is what I am eating right now!)


French Chocolate Granola

3 cups rolled oats
½ cup raw almonds, chopped
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
6 Tbsp. mild honey
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
½ cup, or more, finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (Molly recommends Trader Joe's Bittersweet Pound Plus bar, which is what I used and it was perfect!)
Preheat the oven to 300°F.In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut, sugar, and salt. Stir well to blend.In a small saucepan, warm the honey and oil over low heat, whisking occasionally – watch out! the oil will want to splash - until the honey is loose. Pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine well.Spread the mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Set a timer to go off halfway through the baking time, so that you can give the granola a good stir; this helps it to cook evenly. When it’s ready, remove the pan from the oven, stir well – this will keep it from cooling into a hard, solid sheet – and cool completely.When cool, transfer the granola to a large bowl, storage jar, or zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the chocolate, and stir (or shake, if using a jar or bag) to mix.Store in an airtight container.
Yield: about 5 cups



Tuesday morning the Minnesota skies were grey and snowy so we stayed inside and had an indoor breakfast picnic with all of Aidan's toy utensils and dishes, and enjoyed big bowls of homemade granola. You should make some too! It's a wonderful accompaniment to a morning cup of coffee.



Thursday, March 26, 2009

We helped some friends move last weekend and although we meant to take lots of pictures to document their move we only ended up with a couple.


Have you ever seen anyone drink Gatorade out of a crystal creamer?

James tells us he doesn't like babies, but we know better.


Enjoying our lunch.



I couldn't figure out which way I should turn this picture. James is sacked out on the floor, while Aidan is watching a movie on a tiny little portable DVD player. They had a long day. And we were all happy that we have no plans to move in the next few years.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Weekends


Last weekend we went to see the circus. Not the Ringling Brothers, but a local circus school that was celebrating their 15th anniversary. Circus Juventus put on an amazing show.


We ran into some friends there, and Aidan enjoyed the balance beam and some eye makeup. (James was so proud!)


















On our way home we also stopped at a Chinese Supermarket. I have never seen such cheap food in my life! We bought 10 lbs of Mangoes for $10.00. Amazing! They also had all sorts of obscure foods you read about in recipes but never know where to find, as well as live seafood and a vast array of other seafood as well. ( I didn't look too closely because fish kind of wig me out.) I had an overflowing cart for around $60.00 and James added rice, beans and ramen to his "when the market collapses-rainy day" stash. ( I know if it ever does happen I will thank him, but right now it is rather depressing to live with!)


So if you are local, you have to check this place out! I only took a picture of the outside because I felt so touristy. We were the only Caucasians in the store, and the owners kept asking us how we found the place, if their advertising worked, etc. Lots of fun. Lots of food. And next year Aidan, after a year of Chinese immersion, might even be able to read the packaging on the food!


















Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Afternoon Outing

A few weeks ago we met a friend for lunch at McDonald's play land. Aidan brought a back-pack of little presents and his tattoo kit.
As you can tell, they didn't get much playing done, but their artistic abilities shine!










Monday, March 23, 2009

Want to have a sleepover?


Someone is ready. He has been sleeping on his beanbag and making lists of all the people he wants to invite over. He recently called "Kitty Grandma" because he would like her and Nick to come for a sleepover, and he figured James could go and "keep an eye on Grandpa" (His exact words.) So, in preparation of the big day he has been sleeping on his beanbag every night..... which can't be as comfortable as he claims, because he somehow ends up in our bed every night..........

St. Patrick's Day Part II

We had a pretty uneventful day, just stayed home and nursed out sore throats. We also made a stop at McDonald's for a Shamrock shake. Have you tried one? They are pretty yummy!

We enjoyed a very balanced diet of green pudding, green yogurt, grapes and pickles. It's only once a year.




James had his work group over that evening for a little party, and I think I mentioned in my previous post that he was ordering Holy Land. Now, I am a big fan of hummus, falafal and lamb, but we have enough food to last us a month. We sent food home with our guests, passed it out to the neighbors, froze enough to last two weeks and ate so much this week that we literally have garlic oozing out of our pores.

We also have a few pictures from our evening of festivities that I couldn't help but share with you. I am sure you will enjoy them!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

S-W-O-O-S-H!


Basketball hoop for Aidan's {early} birthday present purchased on Craigslist-
$40.00





Gas to fuel the drive to pick up the hoop, (along with some chocolate milk, root beer and Twizzlers............ after all, it was a special mother and son outing!)
$23.00







Countless hours of entertainment and exercise for our little family -
Priceless.




Oh - and James - You are sooo going down.

The past few weeks

I am so ready for spring. We have enjoyed some warm weather over the past few days, giving us all a little spring fever, and my fingers are itching to work in all of my flowerbeds. We have had a busy past few weeks, lots of friends, lots of work, lots of busyness. I have been working extra to cover some maternity leave and vacation- the joys of management. I haven't quite gotten into my groove yet, and every night I wonder how working moms do it. I actually have unfolded laundry in my dryer and dirty dishes on my counter next to the sink. My - how the might have fallen. We also had strep again this week for the bazillioneth time this winter, I had my first experience with a (polite) robber and that is just the tip of the iceberg!


But the good news is I finally had some time to sit down and sew and catch up on a few orders. Hopefully I won't lost my momentum because I have a show in a few weeks, and my sewing room is almost empty.








Here are some of the purses I finished this week.....

I think this is one of the cutest diaper bags I ever made.... (is it okay to say that about my own handiwork?)

This super fun market bag is made from towels I bought on clearance at Anthropologie.

Hopefully there will be more to come and a few to add to my Etsy shop.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Packing up!



One season is done........ and packed into boxes,







The next one is here!








Do you have spring fever too?

I am so behind

in my blogging. I have tons of pictures from the past few weeks/months that I have not gotten around to posting. But right now it's 8:30 on Saturday night, Aidan is in bed, James is out with some friends, and I have the computer to myself. I just poured myself a glass of wine, (this is my new favorite,) I have some Trader Joe's peanut butter pretzels to munch on, and I am going to catch up on blogging and even though I feel like I spend way too much time watching TV lately, I am behind on lots of shows and I am going to catch up tonight while I blog.

So stay tuned! If all goes as planned you might find some new posts this week. (Or the wine might kick in and I may fall asleep at the computer. We had a busy day helping some friends move!) There's only one way to find out!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!







Or as Aidan calls it- Happy Green Food Day! He has been soooo pumped to eat green food, and the sad thing is, (well, I don't know if it is sad....) James is having about 20 guys from his Ventures Plus group, (or something like that) and he is catering in Holy Land, which is pretty much the polar opposite of traditional Irish food.








Well, at least we will have these awesome wigs to wear.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today



we are home. Aidan and I both have some nasty bug. He spent most of the night coughing, while I spent most of the night mulling over my CSA options. ( I did decide, by the way! I am so excited. Our first box will be ready for pick-up in May. Anyone have any good recipes for sorrel or ramps? We also will be getting parsnips, spinach, rhubarb, and pussy willow's, among other things.)


We also made some progress in the TV department! It is now mounted, thanks to Mike and Nick (James' friends and his brother) who stopped by last weekend. (And thanks to Joey and Anna who gave us the mount!) I like having the TV mounted, because I feel like the chances of a stray basketball knocking it over are far less, but I don't like that I can't hide all the cords and equipment, and they look untidy no matter how I try and rearrange. I guess that is the cost of progress...........

So there, the television story is over. After 8 years of marriage we have finally become like all the other people out there with big TV's mounted on their wall, and my rear end is proof. I have wasted more time watching TV in the past few weeks than I have in the past 8 years. Honest. Although I am hoping the 60 degree weather and extra sunshine will help break the horrible cycle. Now, if I could just get off the computer............

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Debate




I am sure most of you have heard of CSA's. (If not, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture.) Basically, you join a cooperative that allows you to enjoy the fruit of another man's labors. So city folk like us, who have no sun for growing gardens in our backyard, can enjoy garden fresh fruits and veggies without having to make a weekly trip to the Farmer's Market. The deadlines for joining most CSA's are coming quickly, and I am debating which one I want to join!


The average cost for each ends up at about 30$/week, which is about what I spend at the Farmer's market each week, but the quantity and variety is much larger than what I would normally purchase on my own. There is also some risk, if we have hail storms all summer I won't get much for my investment, but on the other hand, if we have the perfect growing season our boxes of produce end up larger than promised. Here is a link to some pictures a local women took of her weekly deliveries. Looking at them all made me hungry, so watch out!


I am torn between a few different CSA options. A few of them offer extended weeks, so you can have fresh veggies into the fall months and in the winter they will provide you with veggies they froze during the summer, as well as tomato sauces and soups they made from their produce. Another offers you a fruit share and you can have 3 months of apples, plums, pears, blueberries and cherries to go along with your vegetables. Still others let you add eggs, cheese and meat to your orders......... so many tough choices!!!!! I am leaning towards the fruit package, but I also like the idea of vegetables delivered to me from June-January........



Anyway, regardless of which choice we make you can be sure that the three of us will be enjoying farm-fresh produce this summer, (from someone else's farm) and maybe next year we will implement James' plan to make our entire front yard into a vegetable garden. I am not sure how our neighbors would feel about that!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You might think


from reading my blog that all I do is cook and eat. I will admit, I do love to do both, however I am trying to cook healthy, fresh meals so that I can still fit into my favorite jeans. I made the mistake of wearing some jeans today that I have had for almost 10 years. Always depressing, as they just don't fit the way they used to, but at least the tight waistband helped remind me not to eat so much - which was a challenge today. Aidan and I started the day by making these delicious muffins, and then for dinner we had some friends over and enjoyed this, this and even this! (and I don't even like cabbage!) I know you can find the recipes online, but seriously people, you should buy this book! Each chapter weaves together moments from Molly's life and the recipes that accompanied them; simple, delightful, mouthwatering recipes, and a great read as well.


Yesterday I was reading the book while I waited for James to be done with whatever he was doing so we could go out to eat. Silly girl. I was all offended when he changed his mind and thought we should stay in for supper, when instead I should have been thankful he had just presented me the perfect opportunity to put my love of cooking into action. I dare say we ate much better than we would if we had eaten out - and that - in a nutshell, is the story of the book.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

He's definitely my kid.


Bread and butter?


Who ever heard of such a thing.


The other day when eating his chicken noodle soup Aidan requested his own little plate of olive oil and seasonings for dipping his bread. Music to my ears........ although if he ever gets married...... I should just apologize in advance.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I have alot of things to do this week.


One of my plans is to transform the contents of this bowl into some yummy guacamole. I think I may do it on a night when James is at class so I don't have to share. Avocado's are the good kind of fat, right?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

He Finally Did It!




Aidan has been waiting for this day for a long time. I have been too. All he had to do was get 5 more stickers on his "Learning to Read" chart and he could have the "Diego Dinosaur Rescue Mountain." We bought his treasure during all the post-holiday clearance's at Target, (as well as a bunch of toys for all the birthday parties he will probably attend this year! You can't beat 5 dollar gifts!) and we have been eagerly awaiting the day he could finally open it. He kept pleading, "Can't you just surprise me and give me the dinosaur Diego?" and I kept responding, "Can't you just surprise me and sit down and read for a little bit?"




Finally, last week he decided to really apply himself and he was awarded the much-coveted stickers and toy. All I gleaned from the experience is that I am not meant to homeschool. Who knew the word "the" could pose so many challenges to an almost-five-year-old and his not-so-patient mother. We wrote it out over and over, spelled it endless times, sang little songs about it and there are stacks of post-it notes in James' office that have Aidan's little "the" scrawled over and over.

So now we will see how many months and how much bribing it takes him to earn the next ten stickers. I will be sure and keep you posted!