Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Homemade Sushi

Ava has been obsessed with sushi lately...she asks to have it every day! Last week she asked me if we could have it at home. Why not?! A quick (and fun!) trip to our local Asian supermarket got us some great looking fish and sushi rice. Ava had fun "helping" and even more fun eating.

We made spicy salmon and tuna rolls, Ebi (shrimp), tekka maki (tuna rolls), and then we basically just came up with a few of our own concoctions. Yum!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Meal Plan

Yep, it's been quiet around here. We've been doing the same ole' same ole'.

Monday: breakfast for dinner!

Tuesday: Chicken Paprika Casserole, roasted broccoli

Wednesday: Creamy Red Pepper Orzo, salad

Thursday: Smoky Shrimp and Cheesy Grits, Greek Chopped Salad

Friday: Get Yo' Man Chicken over brown rice, roasted cauliflower

Saturday: Out

Sunday: Lasagna, salad


Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Banana Oat Bread

Lemon Pound Cake

Monday, March 23, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

It's that time again...Even though it's spring, the weather is making me crave comfort food.

Monday: Penne with Potatoes and Rocket

Tuesday: Ginger-Garlic Turkey Lettuce Wraps, Chinese Broccoli

Wednesday: Lentil burrito bar

Thursday: Creamy Ham and Macaroni Casserole with peas, fruit

Friday: Sausages, custard filled cornbread, fruit compote

Saturday: Spaghetti and meatballs, arugula salad with lemon and parmesean, roasted cauliflower

Sunday: Ina Garten's Chicken Pot Pie

Friday, March 20, 2009

right now i'm...

enjoying the smell of spring - windows are open and the damp airs smells yummy

loving the picture of a robin driving a taxi that Ava drew for me

eating the last of the Irish Soda Bread...soooo good with some lemon curd

contemplating ordering some of these for Ava's birthday party

gathering supplies to make one of these Spring activity boxes for April

adding this pasta dish to next week's meal plan

thinking that this could be turned into a super cute card for Joel's side of the family for Easter

wishing i had more time to figure the whole couponing thing out, and wondering if it will actually save me money

eating gnocchi with Newman's Own Sockarooni and grapes for lunch

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


It's been a hectic few days - we hosted a St Patrick's Day party yesterday for our MOMS Club (everyone wore green and I made waaay too much Irish Soda Bread!), we went to music time at Mudpuddles, and we have completed a few art projects.

As I've mentioned before, Ava could do art all day long (although, lately Play Doh has completed with craft projects). And of course, Emily just wants to do whatever her sister is doing. I think that most of my miscellaneous household expenses go to the craft store! Here are a few of our projects and random pictures:

Working on our handprint butterflies (thanks to No Time For Flashcards):

making Play Doh yummies with the kitchen:

Working on glueing umbrellas:

The only way to paint at our house - naked!

Some crazy dancing videos:

The band is Lunch Money. The children obviously have inherited their father's sense of rhythm.

Emily loves rocking out to the Ting Tings:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

I know, you're all twitterpated in anticipation. Well, some of you are, anyway. Without further ado:

Monday: Whole Wheat Rotini with Tomato and White Beans, Salad

Tuesday: Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes (ugh, but it's for Joel)

Wednesday: Roast Chicken (x2), fricassee of vegetables (carrots, parsnips, radishes), possibly orzo on the side

Thursday: Corned Beef Hash on Cheddar and Sour Cream biscuits, eggs

Friday: Some sort of chicken soup...will see what's left in the fridge/pantry at that time

Saturday: brinner (probably pancakes, eggs, sausage, and fruit salad)

Sunday: Egyptian lentil and rice dish...can't remember the name...

Anyone making anything fun??

Sunday, March 15, 2009

the to-do list

I'm one of those people who has lists for my to-do lists...I love lists. I love to make them, I love to cross things off of them. It's completely genetic...my mother is the ultimate list maker. We plan Thanksgiving months in advance. Yeah, we're a little crazy, but in a fun way (plus, we can cook a kick ass turkey!).

This week is not too busy, so tonight I am making my to-do list for the week and I can't wait to start crossing things off. Hey, it's the little things in life that thrill me!

call pediatrician, schedule 4 year check up (gulp!)
buy supplies to make birthday invitations (gulp!)
bake soda bread for St Patty's Day play date here on Tuesday
do a St Patty's Day craft with the girls
figure out how MS Publisher works and complete MOMS Club's monthly newsletter (because now I am the president AND the editor...)
rotate toys in toy closet, bring in some new things from the garage
contact a few new MOMS Club members to welcome them to the group and see how they are doing so far
contact MOMS Club higher ups for monthly chat
make a meal to take to a girlfriend who recently had a baby (congrats, Meghann!!)
return library books
hit up free music class at Mudpuddles
vacuum out car/get car washed
all of the regular weekly to-dos (cleaning, laundry, groceries, entertain the short people, entertain spouse, get 5 minutes to self per day...)
buy a new notebook because this was the last page left...must make more lists!


Everyday is like Sunday

We started today with a winter storm warning...it's MARCH, people! What's the smart thing to do? Hunker down inside and watch the wind drop branches in front of our house. What did we do? Go to OMSI!

The girls enjoyed the sand pit and the water table (hey, they got wet before they went back out into the rain!) the most. There was also a little construction activity in the craft area - Ava had a great time pounding golf tees into blocks of Styrofoam and prying them out. Emily once again loved the ball tubes.

I'm now watching Rock of Love Tour Bus (yes, I have a problem. yes, I am okay with it.) and listening to the howling wind...waking up tomorrow morning in Munchkinland seems like a very real possibility...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

little mama

Sometimes, I wonder about my skills as a mother. We all have those days - we're short with our children, or we don't feel like playing Little People for the umpteenth time, or we just run away. Those are the days that I wonder if I'm cut out for this mothering thing. I gave up a career that I was pretty damned good at. I gave up my nice, tight tummy (and my very cute belly button). I color, sing, dance, run, and play with my girls all day long. But I'm human, and sometimes I have those days where I just want to hide from them.

Then there are days like today, where I watch my oldest child and marvel at her own mothering skills. She tucks her stuffed lamb into bed and kisses her on the nose and tells her to have sweet dreams, just like I do with her. The baby who lives in the dollhouse asks her mommy for cookies, and Ava pretends to be the mommy, "Not until you eat something healthy first - I want you to grow big and strong!" Just like I tell her. She shows her sister how to color ("No Emily, the crayons go on da paper, not in or mouth! Silly baby!"). She asks me if I need any medicine when I say that my head hurts. She is already a good mother.

Here's more proof:

Monday, March 9, 2009

story time

and this is why we don't ever leave our kids...who wants to miss out?!?!

And yes, Ava is wearing a nightgown OVER her jammies. She's a weird kid. Which is why we're so in love.

taking it to the nines

So last night we celebrated our anniversary by ditching the rug rats and staying at a swank hotel, The Nines, downtown. Between the upgraded room, the turn down service, and the HBO in HD, it was a great stay.

Yesterday afternoon, we saw The Watchmen, which was great...violent and graphic, but a fabulous movie. We also did some window shopping and coffee sipping. Poking around with no kids was so nice...and I will admit, a bit odd.

Joel's sister and her boyfriend gave us a gift certificate to the hotel's restaurant, The Urban Farmer, so we used it for part of our dinner - woohoo, it was awesome. Great ambiance (we sat in the section that was just like someone's pantry, with jars of preserved fruits and veggies all around us), great food, and free dessert (actually, three free desserts!). We rarely get out to a restaurant these days, and when we do, it's not to anything very nice as we are a one income family, so this was a huge treat. Thank you Maggie and Saam SO much. What a great way to celebrate!

This morning we ate breakfast at the same restaurant where we had breakfast the day after we were married - Pazzo Restaurante, which is located in the Hotel Vintage Plaza (yep, we've already agreed to stay there next year!). I had the exact same dish as I did the morning after the wedding. Their food is still so yummy. Next month is the anniversary of Joel's proposal, and he took me to dinner there afterwards, so it's kind of our special place. I can't wait to go next month to celebrate!

Here are a few pictures from this weekend:

The bar in our room:

The bed:

The chocolates they left us at turn-down:

A smooch on the way up from dinner:

Joel's last moments as a hunky bearded man...he shaved shortly after this was taken:

Monday Meal Plan

Here's the menu for this week:

Monday: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas (didn't make them last week) with salad and fruit

Tuesday: Thom Kha Gai (Coconut Curry Chicken Soup), rice, fruit

Wednesday: White Chicken Chili, cornbread

Thursday: Creamy Ham, Pea, and Macaroni Casserole, green beans, salad

Friday: Playgroup potluck - bring fruit salad

Saturday: Leftovers or out

Sunday: Enchilada Casser-Ole, salad


Cream Scones
Lemon Curd
Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

And, for Denise, here's the recipe for the Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas:

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Serves 6

1 large sweet potato
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 T cinnamon
2 cups cooked black beans (or two cans, drained)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
12 corn tortillas
2-3 cups enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheese (I used pepper jack, but you could use cheddar)

Heat oven to 400.

Peel and cube sweet potato. Toss with spices, spread on oiled cookie sheet. Roast 45 minutes or until soft. Decrease oven heat to 350. Briefly heat tortillas until softened. Fill each tortilla with black beans, sweet potato, and cilantro. Roll, place in a 9 x 13 inch pan that has been oiled and spread with some enchilada sauce. When all rolls are complete, top with remaining sauce (use more than you think you should - the corn tortillas will soak it all up) and cheese. Bake 30 minutes, or until bubbly. YUM!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

a happy anniversary

Hard to believe (well, for me), but 6 years ago today, Joel and I tied the knot. I wish I had a scanner so I could scan and post some pictures (haha, it was so long ago that we don't have digital pictures!). Even though I think I only knew about 20 people out of the 300 at my wedding, it was a blast. Everything went perfectly (at least to my knowledge!), the food was great, the flowers were beautiful, the DJ rocked, and the atmosphere was elegant but not stuffy.

Joel and I agree that the best part of our wedding day was the horse drawn carriage ride after our reception. We had about an hour long ride through downtown Portland from the ballroom where we were married to the hotel. We talked, rubbed our aching feet, and just enjoyed the fact that we'd taken such a huge step together.

Most parents I know will say that their children are the best thing to happen to them, but I say that it's being married to Joel. We are truly best friends and partners. I am so lucky to have him in my life, and know how much he appreciates having me beside him. Here's to another 50 years of wedded bliss with my best friend and partner.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

And what did you do today?

Because I did the following:

built a fort
played trains
played ponies
took Big Sister to school
took Little Sister to the grocery store (regular AND Asian)
attended a MOMS Club get together (morning coffee time...woohoo!)
picked Big Sister up from school
fed both girls lunch (forgot about myself...oops)
got Little Sister to nap only by having her little body draped around my neck like a scarf
moved two loads of laundry through, including putting them away
made chocolate pudding cake
planned surprise birthday get together for one girlfriend with other girlfriend
finger painted
colored pictures of Elmo. And stayed in the lines!
broke up several fights
took about 70 pictures of various things...the daffodils, the girls, the grass...
played with my new Cricut and scrapped 3 pages
did a little online shopping for my hubby
read two chapters in my book club book
counted to 25 about 25 times, twice in French and three times in Spanish, with Big Sister
attended a rock concert where Big Sister was the star...she wanted to practice her rock moves
bathed both girls, got them in their jammies in preparation for a late dinner out

It's currently 4:19.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

This week's plan really isn't that exciting, since we're not eating at home 3 nights this week (which is extremely rare for us!). If those plans fall through, I've got the staples for lentil soup...sounds good right now while the rain is falling, doesn't it?

Monday: Chicken Feta Orzo with Tomatoes and Artichokes, roasted cauliflower on the side

Tuesday: out

Wednesday: Black bean and sweet potato enchiladas, salad, pineapple

Thursday: Unstuffed Cabbage, fresh bread, fruit salad

Friday: Shabbat dinner at Nana's house

Saturday: Baked Chicken Terriyaki, brown rice, Chinese Broccoli

Sunday: out

Extras: sandwich bread, baguette, strawberry pie, granola bars

What's on your meal plan for this week?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

a lovely weekend and something new

Despite the drizzle, we managed to have quite a nice weekend.

We (well, I) kicked things off on Friday, when most of our hospital playgroup met at my friend Kristi's house for a pot luck breakfast for dinner (my favorite!). We brought a fruit salad and had a great time playing with new toys and good friends. Kristi has done some really creative repurposing and recycling of things to make new toys (a box into a grocery check stand was my personal favorite!).

After our playgroup ended, we came home and welcomed my bunco group. Joel even decided that he would join us - after all, bunco is just a game with a drinking problem. We had a blast and the girls slept right on through it. I've been hesitant to host wine night/book club/bunco because of how our house is layed out - the girls' room is right down the hall from the living room. But it worked out really well, and I am looking forward to hosting many more get togethers with my fabulous girlfriends!

Saturday morning was spent getting haircuts and running other errands. That afternoon, Joel and I got to drop the girls off at a babysitting co-op drop off and have a date night. We went to happy hour at McCormick & Shmick, browsed the book store and Anthropologie (can I just move in??), and had the girls in bed early, so that we could be in bed early too.

Today we ran a few others errands, did some organizing and moving of things and furniture, and then I got the afternoon to browse at some fabric and craft stores (where I splurged and bought a Cricut while it was waaaaay on sale! Woohoo!). This evening has been spent catching up on some sewing projects and also starting on a few spring skirts for the girls...I'm willing the weather to get sunnier! There might be some trashy TiVo'd TV on as well...I can't stay away from the tour bus or the drag race!

Finally, a few of you have asked me to post my weekly menu - so starting tomorrow (when I meal plan), I will! I hope it inspires you!