Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So this AM Aidan woke up hurling again.

He has had on-going, intermittent flu symptoms for almost two weeks now. We have missed birthday parties, school, fun outings, and more school.

Super frustrating.

We ended up in the ER because his primary clinic wigged out when I mentioned the words "abdominal pain."

But I finally had time to catch up on my mail while snuggling with my child.

Now we are home.

While I was reading my mail I read about this product.

I figured for $12.00 I might as well give it a shot since I am driving my family a little crazy these days.

So next week I will have to report back.

In the meantime, you can welcome my neighbor to the blog-world.

Another blog to add to the list! Love the sweet picture Ali.

Valentines Day

I had my first ever breakfast in bed on Valentines Day.

And just to show you how much I appreciate my men and all their hard work in the kitchen, I will leave the photo as is. In other words, I won't crop myself out, which is my usual behavior.

Thanks guys.

And this was the Valentine treat I left Aidan - a mini- muffin message!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


So I alluded to the fact we had a neighborhood party this weekend.

We had lots of good times and even more good food.

But- the highlight of the entire night was that my neighbor Jim volunteered to fix these lamps for me.

And do you know what? He finished them before I had even finished cleaning up the house on Sunday.


Monday, February 22, 2010

More recipes....

This post is actually more of a confession. Even as my fingers are flying across the keyboard I wonder if I should really share the secret I am about to divulge. No, it is nothing juicy or gossipy or big, it is just that while I am typing I am eating this dip like it is my job. It is one of my absolute favorites, and I rarely make it because I can't help myself when I do. As a matter of fact, I gave away most of it to a few of my neighbors so I wouldn't eat the leftovers, and I on purpose included all the dipping items I had thinking then I wouldn't be tempted as much and the bowl of dip would go bad before I finished it off.

Wrong. So wrong.

I had one of those days today. Then tonight, in a real display of good parenting, I took my kid to McDonald's and Chuckie Cheese's with a friend, (Aidan's first time there, and maybe last) and then after a whirlwind stop at Urgent Care, I came home to sit at the computer and get to work - both on my real work and the art fair. Then I had some wine........ and I started to relax and lose focus........and then my mind started wandering towards the fridge and the almost-empty bowl of coconut dip.......... and I had a brilliant thought........... "Who needs cookies? Why don't I dip Aidan's leftover Valentines chocolate in it????"

Seriously. Brilliant. Idea.

Forget vanilla cookies and pineapple - make this dip and then serve it with chocolate.

I was supposed to have a picture for you, but all I have left is the empty bowl. And no, I didn't eat it all tonight. There was actually only about 2 TBSP left. But if there would have been more I probably would have eaten it.

Coconut Dip

2 blocks cream cheese, softened. ( I use the fat free.)

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 carton cool whip

1 bag flaked coconut.

Mix the cream cheese until smooth, add the sugar and vanilla and the coconut. gradually add in the whipped cream.

Be creative - serve with fruit, cookies or chocolate. So good.

At our house.........

..........we like to have sleepovers.

Sometimes in a tent (thanks James for taking this oh-so-flattering photo of us while sleeping.)

Sometimes on a mattress.

The mattress makes a great place for a wrestling match later.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I have been tardy in posting this recipe on my blog..... a neighbor reminded me last night when she brought her empty bottle over.

Another friend found the recipe online after we ate at Spoonriver this past summer. We had tons of great foods that day but the only thing we really remember is the bois boudron sauce.

So here you go - but even if I give you the recipe, know that you still may be receiving a bottle next year at Christmas.

Bois Boudran sauce:


150ml groundnut oil

50ml wine vinegar

85g ketchup

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

5 drops of tabasco

100g shallots, chopped

5g chervil, finely sniped

5g chives, finely snipped

20g tarragon, finely snipped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir with a small whisk then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, chopped shallots and all the snipped herbs. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and keep at room temperature.

Recipe here.

Here is a picture of the sauce at Spoonriver. Mmmmmm....... Enjoy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another venture

I admit, I have been MIA this week. I thought the week after the Chinese new year would be one of relaxation and a time to enjoy the Olympics. Did I say how busy we have been? Right.

And I bet you would be really surprised if I told you Aidan was sick again. Yes. Last weekend through Tuesday, then he recovered enough to go to school, eat some ice cream and beat me on the Wii, then he was sick again, missing the end of the school week. These days will come to an end, won't they?

Thankfully he made a full recovery yesterday as we are expecting a houseful of neighbors tonight. All the kids are going to a different neighbors house, and then we are hoping to have a nice adult-only evening here with appetizers and desserts. (And for any neighbors reading this- I have been running around the house with a bottle of disinfectant, so you should all be safe!)

Another project that has been occupying my week is here. That's right - I'm helping organize an art fair for Aidan's school as a fundraiser. I am pretty excited, but that also means I have lot of sewing to do in the next few weeks. So if you don't see me here, I may be busy here, or I may just head out of town in search of some sunshine and R & R. Not sure but I am keeping my options open.

So - if you are a local artist and you read my blog (or if you know an artist that may want a prime spot at the NE Art-a-Whirl) , feel free to contact me if you are interested in a table at Yinghua, or if you live far away (ahem, Mom) you can participate too! For more information you can email me at

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dreaming of..................

Days like these. Winter has to end eventually. Right?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese New Year

The day finally came and here is the video for your viewing pleasure. It is a little shaky at first, but stick with it.

We sat through almost two hours of performances, and I admit I may be a little biased but Aidan's class was seriously one of the best!

We also enjoyed a Chinese meal, thanks to Kitty Grandma. We all remarked how big and old Aidan seemed now that we have entered into the world of school performances.

Next on tap for Yinghua - hopefully an art fair for the spring. I may have to take my sewing machine out of retirement.
(p.s. The story behind the socks is that Aidan has a wart on the bottom of his foot and he didn't want anyone to see it. )

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's not just me!

This month one of my empty frames has a Valentine in it.

Have I convinced you yet? I am serious, empty frames are so much fun to decorate with !

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Start them young

Yes, you are correct. That is indeed a picture of Aidan with a massive knife.

He chopped up a whole leek for me.

And then he ate his pea and leek soup with pleasure, because he knew everything that went into it. I am telling you, it works. What kid wouldn't want to eat the food he chopped with a massive, dangerously sharp knife? (although I did add the sauerkraut when he wasn't looking, but he never noticed because it looked just like the leeks in the soup. And no, I don't like sauerkraut but it was great in this recipe.

(The orange stuff on the bread is smoked Gouda spread from Whole Foods. A friend brought some over a few weeks ago when we were sewing and now I can't get enough of it! I need a recipe to make my own. Anyone have one?)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The best lunch treat ever

Look what I found in my lunch bag today!

I ate my lunch with a huge smile on my face, a smile that lasted the whole day.

I think this will rank as one of my favorite mom memories of all time.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I see Red

Here are some pictures of Aidan and his classmates as they try on part of their costumes for Friday's big New Year celebration. They have little red satin pants to wear as well and I still need to make more headbands for the boys. We are trying to get a "karate kid" look, which may be a little difficult considering the boys are wearing halter tops just like the girls, but I am learning to let some things go...................

Friday is the big celebration and the children have two totally sold out shows and a big Chinese feast to look forward to. Every time I pick Aidan up from school the staff has done more to decorate it for the big event, and the whole place is looking so festive. They have lanterns and tigers hanging up everywhere.The Chinese believe the color red symbolizes good luck and fortune so they have all of these ornate red cutouts decorating the windows and halls. I am also volunteering at the school the whole day................. so I am thinking I probably should find something red to wear too, in keeping with the occasion. (Didn't I just have this problem last week too???) Maybe the anticipated sale finally came through for me. If only the snow would stop so I could make a trip to Anthro and find out!

Why I love Trader Joe's

$4.99 tulips

Smiles are free.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Puttin' on the miles

Yep. That's what I have been doing all weekend.

No, not on the treadmill, I only wish. I am still wearing the same clothes I had on yesterday, I have stood up my friends, family, skipped church and the gym and have now added an extra layer of padding to my sewing chair. (Not my own silly, I had to add a big furry blanket to sit on!)

My poor judgment in Netflix movies has made for a very long, boring weekend. ( I need to learn to pick movies by their description, not the picture on the front cover!)

I wish sewing machines had odometers.

6 rolls. Count 'em.

Enough said.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Tomorrow at work we are supposed to wear red for heart disease. I surveyed my wardrobe and I have no red shirts. No pink either, just grey, black and brown with a few random deep teal or orange sweaters thrown in. Ugh! When did I turn into "Miss Neutral?"

However............there is red popping up all over my house because I love to decorate for Valentine's day.

Here's a little Valentine red from me to you.

p.s. I am thinking this might become a colorful addition - after it clears out. I tried it on last week hoping it would clearance out, but alas, not yet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

So excited for a friends baby shower this weekend.
I found this cute mobile on sale at Sundance.
I should have ordered two.