Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A little fun

I just had to share this. As much as I love Martha, I did find it absolutely hilarious.

Monday, October 11, 2010


It was a beautiful weekend here - very hot and sunny days, but it is getting dark very early now and it is chilly at night. I'm a little sad because I'm one of the only people who likes spring/late winter better than fall. It's not that there is anything wrong with fall, but I love days that get longer and the promise of summer, not the gathering gloom of winter. Enough gloom though, because there are a few things that I am loving right now.

Hula Girl Sugar is delicious on my morning coffee. I love the strong vanilla flavor! It may have been a touristy gimmick that drew my eye toward it in the gift shop, but I'm a convert. No matter how surly my company is in the morning, I can close my eyes as I drink this and pretend I am back on Maui. My surly company loves a little of this sugar sprinkled over greek yogurt with frozen blueberries :)
My morning routine is pretty minimal these days - wash my face, lots of sunscreen, a little concealer and blush as needed, and then a little something pretty :) This is the perfect sheer candy apple color. I could use a few other instant pretty things - any recommendations?

Mcintosh apples are my favorites. Their crispy sweet tart flavor is simply the best in my book for cooking and eating. I will dice one up and toss with cinnamon and sugar, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes at about 350. This beautiful image is courtesy of New York Apple Association© New York Apple Association
I like to try one new recipe every week. It is fun for me to expand the repertoire, and I think it makes life more interesting for the other folks in our house when we have different things to eat. So, in the spirit of fall, I'm going to try this recipe, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. Sounds delicious!
What are you looking forward to this week?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Haul from Old Navy

There may have been a time when I turned up my nose at Old Navy. I was just discussing this with a friend this past weekend. ON has totally stepped up their game in the last few years. It used to be sort of boxy tees and tanks, nothing really terrible, but not stuff that I was ever excited about buying. I limited my visits to about once a year for workout tanks.

Now, I'm leading a lifestyle were I need clothing that is cute, but that also doesn't cost an arm and a leg, in case something happens to it. ("Something" being baby food, cat vomit, and other unpleasant sundries from the domestic life). Specifically, while I am scrambling after the naughty munchkin at the park or out and about, I don't want to worry about snagging a nice sweater or getting muck on a very delicate shirt. But, I also want to look cute and presentable. Just because I hang out with a toddler does not mean that I want to wear mom jeans and frump it up.

For chilly mornings at the park, I'm hoping this sweater works out! For leggings and boots and a comfy day of running errands, this tunic looks promising.

BTW, how awesome was Glee last night? After I got Miss K distracted with some toys, I watched it again today.

Also, per my to do list post yesterday, I wanted to link to this awesome holiday to do list template. Isn't that neat?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail - Meal Planning for Type B People

I used to think that I was a Type A. Then I was a big firm lawyer for a few years. I quickly realized that I am just a relatively uptight and anxious Type B who likes to make lists. That said, I do like having a weekly agenda of meals. It makes me feel like I know what we are going to eat when, and it also forces me to use up the ingredients that I buy. Nothing annoys me more than wasting food.

I'm now starting to get into a rhythm for planning. Friday afternoon during K's nap is when I sit down with my recipe binder of all the recipes I've clipped from magazines, my laptop with Epicurious and my little meal planning notepad. I also have a cup of tea and cookies. I've decided that meal planning is the way that I'm going to try those recipes that I've always hung onto, but never made. When I sit down to go through the binder, I can scan exactly how long something will take, and can note whether I need to purchase anything different at the store.

I use the weekends to try stuff that is more time consuming, or that really requires my undivided attention. K and her dad have a lot of football to watch together, so they are pretty busy these days :). K and I go to the grocery store about once per week for a big stock up, and then we will walk to the farmers' market or to the grocery store a few other times to pick up the little incidentals and fresh produce as needed. So far, it's working! I am not really wasting food anymore, and I feel like we are benefiting from working some new recipes into the old standbys. How do you menu plan? Also, what is your pantry staple supper for the night when everything goes wrong, but you feel too cheap to spring for takeout?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

To Do: Organization

I am on mission plough through my to do list and get organized. This involves lots of time thinking about routines and rearranging things. I've been poking around and found some helpful stuff to share with you all.

1. A great to do list template that makes printing your list and keeping it tidy a breeze located here

2. This blog provides lots of great ideas for household organizing. I love how she suggests some habits to develop to keep clutter in line. If only I could adopt them!

3. This blog makes getting organized seem so chic. I love their vision, and I also love that they provide an 8 week plan for better organization. The visuals remind me of my beloved and no longer in print Domino and Blueprint!

4. I heart this store and their adorable notepads. I've been sticking with meal planning much more consistently since I picked up a little notepad that lists my meals for the week and the ingredients I need. I feel like I could be even more organized with more adorable notebooks.

In non-organized fashion...for those that miss Gourmet Magazine, what do you think of the new Gourmet?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where I've been

I was the only person in California who had never been to Hawaii. I was there for five days last week and am now plotting and scheming for my return. It was paradise, from the beautiful water to the delicious food, to the adults only "serenity pool." We stayed on Maui, and while it was probably not the most authentically Hawaiian experience, we left relaxed, refreshed and thoroughly in love. Everyone was so friendly, and unlike LA, the other drivers were unfailingly courteous.

This was the view from my poolside cabana where I napped and ploughed through the Twilight Saga. I'm all done!

Our hotel did a beautiful sunset ceremony every evening, and I was able to get a great picture of the performer. Sunset was amazing! They also had beautiful Hawaiian music and hula in the lobby bar. Seriously, I definitely recommend staying here here

So, I hope you all have a beautiful Monday morning. I'm back to the daily routine and it's good to be back. Because, as much as I needed a little break from daily life toddler wrangling, I missed her. Oh, I should have said that earlier...it was a child free holiday - second honeymoon I guess :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A typical day

Mrs. Preppy did a great post about this, so I thought I'd do one too. I'm always curious as to how other people spend their days, so please feel free to do one!

6:00 to 7:00 Generally around 6:20, Miss K starts rattling the bars of her crib and saying "Up." That means it's go time. I retrieve her, change her, and we go outside to get the paper. For some reason, she loves heading outside for the paper first thing. (My husband travels a ton for work, and he was out of town today. When he is in town, we bring her back into bed with us when she wakes up and we all watch Good Morning America and the local morning news together. When it's just me, I just head upstairs and get my coffee started).

7:00 ish - Breakfast. Oatmeal, milk and applesauce in the highchair. Throw in a banana or little bits of prune (I know - she has funny taste). I clean her up and have her play in the dining room and kitchen while I eat breakfast and read the paper. I also always need a very strong cup of coffee, because I really like to wake up at 7:00 - not 6:20. Today, I woke up at 6:07. That is a little early.

8:00 - 9:00 K goes and hangs out in her crib to watch a little Curious George or other PBS kids show, while I run around like a madwoman cleaning up the kitchen, dealing with feeding the cats, and getting myself sort of presentable for our morning activity. By presentable, I mean I put in my contacts, wash my face, brush my teeth, and put on sunscreen or tinted moisturizer depending on the activity. I firmly believe that if you put on workout clothing, you will work out, so my uniform is lululemon pants or shorts, a tank and a hoody. If we aren't going out for exercise in the morning, I will wear jeans and a top or a dress. I can squeeze the quickest of quick showers in if I have to, but my hair is not blown out. Apologies, but she won't stay in the crib for longer than 30 minutes!

9:00 to 12:00 - I love to walk for exercise, so most days we head out for about an hour or so walking. Today, we went for our walk, then came home and cleaned up to head over to the park to play for a while. Since there is no more morning nap, I'm pretty free in the mornings to go out and do some fun stuff or some errands. (There is a morning snack in here at some point - generally when we are out in the stroller for our walk - Miss K does appreciate some tasty baked goods with a sippy cup of milk).

12:00 - 1:00 This is when lunch is served. For K - not me! She is starting to get interested in utensils other than her hands, so I always provide them. So far, not a whole lot of success. She enjoys a grilled cheese sandwich, or some black beans or peanut butter crackers for lunch. More milk too! She plays while I clean up the kitchen. Or, she plays while I scarf some lunch and ignore how messy the kitchen is!

1:00 -2:00 At some point in here, Miss K goes down for her nap. I zip her into her little sleep sack and pop her into the crib. I sit in her room until she falls asleep. I know I need to stop, but I haven't figured out how to break the habit yet. Once she is down for her nap, I take my shower, and work on whatever needs to be done - returning phone calls, laundry, tidying up, bill paying, letters, etc. Today, for example, I sat around and read Twilight Eclipse in my unmade bed, surrounded by unfolded clean laundry. It felt like playing hooky and I loved it :)

3:00 - 4:00 Sometime in here, Miss K wakes up. Time for another small snack and milk. She has started not to eat quite as much as she used to, so this doesn't take long.

3:00 to 6:00 Time to head out again for something - either another walk or errands. Today, we went to the grocery store. She loves riding around in the cart, and is in a really good mood after her nap. This is the one good thing about being down to one nap. It means that I have time in the late afternoon to do one more errand or trip outside. When we were on two naps, she was sleeping from around 3:00 to 5:00, so there wasn't a lot of time to get stuff done after that second nap. We also love going for another walk to the park to allow her to run around.

6:00 Back home and time for dinner. If my husband is not travelling, I've spent part of nap time doing dinner prep - setting the table and preparing the meal. If he isn't, I eat a salad and poached eggs, like tonight, or something else really easy. Sometimes, it's really boring, like a bowl of cereal. Miss K eats dinner - tonight it was pasta with pesto...sadly, she did not like my homemade pesto and bowtie pasta. Another cup of milk.

6:30-7:45 More playtime. If we are on our own, like today, more PBS kids because I'm tired. Although, honestly, she seem to ignore the show and just play.

7:45 - 8:00 Time for a quick bath and bedtime. Miss K is pretty tired at the end of her day, so we do not have a very complex routine. I brush her teeth, zip her in a sleep sack, and let her turn off the light in her room. I miss her, but I know I'll see her again, bright and early.

8:00 - 10:00 Ok. She is safely asleep, so I can clean up the kitchen, run the dishwasher and then sweep around the living room picking up toys. Or, I can sit in the living room looking at all the toys strewn about and decide I won't deal with them until tomorrow. It all depends on the day :). Some days, I use this time to work on recipes or do meal prep. Other days, we sit and watch TV. I watched an episode of "Four Weddings" as I did this post. Then, it's downstairs to bed.

The days are long, but the years seem short. Especially now that she gives hugs and kisses.