Fast Food.

30 June 2010 | 17 Comments
I am not a size 2.  You know this, I know this. When I have my principles about something food related, you know it's big.  Giant.

I wasn't really going to discuss this because it was a decision I made quietly, but my friend Jess wrote a post that I found interesting.  It provoked me to share my thoughts with you all.

For the last few months I have completely written off McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Arby's, and all the rest.  Basically anything with a drive-thru window.  I won't even get a high fructose corn syrup laden drink from there.

It wasn't watching Super Size Me or Fast Food Nation.  I still haven't had the nerve.

It was this.  For those of you who don't want to click over {and really you should read the whole thing}, allow me to summerize.  A Happy Meal sits on a shelf for ONE YEAR with zero decomposition.  Oh sure the fries are a little worse for the wear because the water in them has evaporated.  The bun is dry.  Other than that, it looks the same.

Day 1 Photo Courtesy of Baby Bites

Day 365 Photo Courtesy of Baby Bites

So, it took that visual to creep me the fuck out.  I don't want to feed that to my son.  I'm sorry.  I know everything in moderation, yada yada.  A YEAR people.  A whole year and that stuff didn't rot, it didn't smell funky, it just sat there on a shelf in her office.  What the fuck are we feeding our kids?  And why is it ok?

I should also say that I am not judgemental in the least if you chose to eat fast food.  My husband enjoys a double cheeseburger so that is his choice.  He is an adult.  It is your choice.  I did it for years.  I am also not going to be a total freak about it with Finn, but I am not going to take him there and I would hope that extended family who might have him in their care would respect my wishes.  I am not delusional that other kids and their parents go there and that he may in the future eat it. 

I am posting this because I am interested in the discussion. 

Your thoughts?

Cake Pops.

29 June 2010 | 7 Comments

You thought I was kidding when I told you that my attempt at the Fourth of July Flag Cake blew up? Dave was a little mad because he claims this was the best frosting I have ever made.  Of course, I don't remember what the hell even went into it because I was preoccupied with a cake mess.  Maybe he was just angling for a bowl of the cake & frosting... I promised him I wouldn't throw it away, so I popped everything into the deep freezer to make cake pops for the Fourth of July.

Here is the mushed up cake and frosting.  Oh the dreams of a pretty flag cake dashed!

Balls ready for another stint in the freezer, pretty for the fourth of July, no?

After a quick dip in some white chocolate...

I'm thinking of putting together an ice cream cake with the rest of it.  If you've ever done one, won't you pass along the recipe?

Green Beans. Green Kids.

28 June 2010 | 10 Comments

When I was little, my Meme had a patch of green beans right outside her back door.  She also had tomatoes and some herbs and a gorgeous garden full of flowers.  But it was the beans that remained in my mind.  We would go outside with her old plastic collander and pick beans, spending what seemed like forever snapping the ends off.  The novelty of pulling the beans from the plants and eating them at dinner that night never wore off for two little suburban girls.

It was the same thing when we would visit my Aunt Linda and Uncle Jim in California each summer.  They had a huge garden, I remember smelling rosemary for the first time there.  It was the simple lemon tree that stood out though.  We would choose the ripe lemons right off the tree, bring them inside, squeeze the juice and make gallons of lemonade.

With Finn, we do things like strawberry picking and apple picking.  Dave's parents have a large garden and have him help and I use that term loosely.  Mostly he goes out and theives raspberries from their bushes and shovels dirt and watches Grandpa use the tiller.  We pick up fresh produce at the farmer's market and grow herbs and tomatoes.  This year we added strawberry plants and a blueberry bush.  In a year or two, our little lime tree will produce fruit, though it will need to live inside with us in the winter. 

We also added green beans.  They are Finnegan's beans, a gift for his birthday from his friend Jackson.  He sewed the seeds in a little greenhouse-like tray, allowed them to grow for a couple weeks, then we planted them outside.

He has asked us approximately {and this is a conservative guesstimation} 1.5 million times when he could eat his beans over the last couple months... beginning about twelve seconds after they were planted.

Tonight, we were able to pick some and enjoy them for the first time.  The sheer pride on his face as we excitedly gushed about how he grew the beans and picked them, made the meal one of the best we've ever had.  We're looking forward to many many more through the summer.

Do you teach your children about gardening their own food?  I'm interested particularly for those who are in the city or suburbia where farming or growing a large garden might not be commonplace.

Fourth of July Let Them Eat Flag Cake

26 June 2010 | 26 Comments
A couple months ago I came across this cake at 17 and Baking via Lorie at Be Different, Act Normal.  Many have tried it, but Elissa was the original.

So I attempted it.  And it was almost awesome.  And then it blew up when I went to frost it because I stupidly used a heavy frosting and didn't let the layers cool properly. 

Hello, my name is Michelle, I am impatient.  And I was highly dismayed. 

Where was I?  Oh yes, my friend Stephanie the overachiever.  You will see in just a moment why we are friends.

She's a baker and a confections maker, just whips stuff up in her spare time.  You know, in between being an amazing single mom, working full time, throw in a dash of sports and a pinch of throwing together parties like this, oh yes, Mario was hers.  Now you're seeing why we're friends, right?

I was telling her about my cake debacle and she immediately lept into action {after she laughed at me and made fun} for you sweet readers, plus she took it up just a notch.  Just in time for the fourth, I give you via Stephanie's awesomeness... the Flag Cake!

Incredibly awesome, no?

With all of the leftover cake, make cake balls a la Bakerella. 
If you are local and would like Stephanie's contact information, I would be HAPPY to give it to you, just shoot me an email.

Summer Guest Blogger Friday!! Lo from The Margarita Glass is Half Full!

25 June 2010 | 0 Comments
I hope you will give a sweet welcome this week to Miss Lo from The Margarita Glass is Half Full.  She loves bentos {me too!}, dark chocolate, and just moved herself across several states in a truck... did I mention she hates to drive?  She is brave, she is cute as can be, she is fun, she is compassionate and she is only 23.  Oh to be back having crazy ass fun in my twenties...  where was I?  Oh yes, you need to get over there and check her out for yourself as soon as you read this awesomeness...

Look, I know it's summer and everyone is writing light-hearted posts about frolicking outside and making daisy chains while they wear heart shaped sunglasses and toast tall glasses of lemonade that never attract bees. But I'm going to have to burst that perfect summer lovin' bubble and share with you the darkness in my soul that is... PANTS SHOPPING.

Just typing that gave me shivers. You'd think I would be safe since it's summer now and doesn't that mean I'm pretty much required to be half naked all the time? Well, I've been told that flying free isn't really in this season and I have to cover up every once in a while. Which is too bad because trying to buy shorts is essentially 8x worse since now there's the whole avoiding showing the bottom third of my butt cheek to the American public to contend with. "Oh don't mind me sir, I'm just trying to grab a bottle of sunblock and simultaneously keep my shorts hem from riding up to my eyebrows, tee hee!"

So since I was unfortunately not born with whatever mythical proportions clothing manufacturers believe women possess, (Do they give the designers LSD before they hand over the drawing pencils? Because there has to be some sort of altered consciousness going on there.) I've had to develop some weapons for the Battle of the Bottoms shopping.

1. An ally
NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER go pants shopping alone. There needs to be someone else there to stay sane on your behalf. Because the pants frenzy will turn you and things will get ugly. You don't want to bring the kids to this and ruin their innocence, this encounter is for adults only. So bring someone that you can trust to soothe your ravaged nerves and remind you that you are not in fact shaped like a bizzaro Pez dispenser/ elephant hybrid.

2. Reverence for spandex and lycra
I want to kiss whoever invented these fabrics full on the mouth. Maybe some tongue. 'Cause if I had a nickel for every time I pulled on a pair of pants that were otherwise perfect except for that one fatal flaw (too short, waistband gapes, won't actually fit over my badonkadonk etc.) I'd be writing this from my yacht in Key West. I've realized that over time I have pretty much weaned things with real person waistbands out of my wardrobe completely and you know what? I'M OKAY WITH THAT. So viva la stretchy pants!

3. A reward
You went to war and sacrificed your wallet and self-esteem, you deserve to be recognized. Even if you didn't find anything that fit, (though in that case Plan B is always a pair of black yoga pants. Trust me on this one.) I personally prefer a good stiff drink or two but whatever floats your boat sister! A trashy magazine, a nice chunk of dark chocolate, force your significant other to rub your feet,anything to help you wash away the horror and carnage will do.

So I hope this helps you on your journey towards clothing your rears. Feel free to print this and keep it in your wallet for unplanned mall attacks. I wish you all a summer full of breezy fabrics and flexible waistbands and may your booties never unexpectedly fly in the wind again.

Birthday Dinner for Eight {and a Midget}

24 June 2010 | 15 Comments
This party idea came to me in the midst of a sleepless night.  My mom gave me the criteria that she just wanted to have dinner to celebrate her birthday and specifically requested that I make a batch of Sea Salt Chocolate Covered Oreos.  That isn't much to go on, but once I started thinking of her favorite things, it all came together.  White roses, Michael Buble, and white cake with chocolate frosting all needed to be included.  And her friends and family... but how to do that AND keep her request for a small dinner celebration?

I wanted something summery {which equals grilled} for the menu, but then we figured out it would be 91 degrees with the added bonus of rain and I didn't want to stick Dave with grilling after working all day.  So, here is the menu that my sister and I came up with...

The Menu
Romaine Salad {mandarin oranges, strawberries, green apple, feta, & toasted sunflower seeds} with Strawberry Basil Vinagrette
Pistachio Encrusted Pork Loin Chops with Apricot Glaze and {homemade} Plum Sauce
Basil Rosemary Garlic Smashed Fingerling Potatoes {red, purple, & gold potatoes}
Balsamic Roasted Carrots
Almond Birthday Cake with Chocolate Raspberry Frosting

Everything was outstanding!  I was a little nervous because pork can be so touchy, one wrong move and it's dry.  I'll be happy to post the recipes later because I would make everything again, especially so the potatoes. 

Favor/Place Card
Sea Salt Chocolate Covered Oreos

I used a favor box, lined it with some waxed paper, added two of the chocolate covered Oreos sprinkled with merlot sea salt, and used some pretty paper and a paper clip for place cards.  It was nice to send the Oreos home instead of stuffing more food in after cake.

A few days before the dinner, I sent out a mass email to everyone I could think of asking for their birthday wish for my mom.  People sent some really funny, heartwarming remarks about my mom that I knew she would love.  I compiled everything and printed them out on paper that matched the cream, grey, sage, & blue color scheme.  I found cute paper clips in the blue & green so I used those to clip the notes and some black and white photos of my mom to ribbon that I attached to the wall.  It was similar to a clothes line.  She absolutely loved it and read each and every one.  When she left, we wrapped them all up so she could keep them.

Happy Birthday Mom!  I hope it was everything you'd hoped, good food, wonderful company, and a relaxing evening.  May you have many many more!

The Hurt

23 June 2010 | 16 Comments
I talked a bit about our first round of battling infertility here that one, it had a happy ending.  His name is Finnegan and he is about the best thing I have ever created {with a healthy dose of DNA from his daddy as well}. 

We waffled about taking the leap to have another one.  People asked.  A lot.  And made assumptions that we were trying, even when we weren't.  We wanted to enjoy every second with Finn, we wanted to be financially ready for the responsibility of another, we wanted to space them enough that they would be friends and not insanely competitive. 

But now, I am older by four years and I thought for sure when we were ready for a second that he or she would arrive in much the same way as Finn did.  We would decide we were ready and start the clomid and numero dos would be here 9 months later.   

But life, it has other plans sometimes.  It's a lesson I am learning daily.  You see, I am not the one who believes patience is a virtue, I am more the control freak who wants things done on her schedule.  We were finally ready, and it would be this year.  It is difficult when life decides to work on its own timeline.  The worst of it, aside from not being pregnant, is practicing what I preach.  The universe knows when the time is right, or if the time is right.  I am learning patience.  I am practicing confidence that my path is on the course it should be.  I know this to be true.  Maybe he or she isn't ready yet, maybe there is something I need to accomplish first, maybe Finnegan needs me to himself a bit longer.  Maybe it isn't meant to be, and that... well, that right there is the possibility that is hardest to swallow.

So, here we are.  I've been through three rounds of clomid with zero result and I am not sure how I feel about persuing something more invasive.  We're exploring options, but I am not willing to send my chances for multiples through the roof nor am I willing to conceive in a test tube.  Just to be clear, it isn't for religious or moral reasons, I just know the limits of what I can personally take and/or put my family through.  It kills me a little inside with each ovarian ultrasound that this is my problem, I am the one failing.  This is harder to admit than I like.  I don't like being the one who fails.  Ever.

The hurt, it is soul crushing some days.  I was in agony when packing away Finnegan's baby things.  He is three, there is no need for rattles and playmats that were stored under his toddler bed.  I kept thinking that someday, someday we would need them again.  Downstairs the crib went.  Clothes packed away.  Should I just get rid of it?  I'm pretty certain that we could finance a vacation if we did.

And with every announcement of a new baby arriving a little piece of me hurts.  Holding the cutest most lovely babies in the world makes me ache.  How much does it suck to say that out loud?  I feel like an asshole because I can not even express to you the happiness I have for my family and friends, it's the little piece that screams, "why not me???" that is hurting.  I try to shut her up, but she is still there, waiting in the wings.  Jealousy.

This man of mine though?  He is unbelievably supportive.  He laughs when I make jokes about being broken and point obnoxiously to my uterus or do the Mary Katherine Gallagher "Barren!" instead of "Superstar!"  He holds me tight when I cry packing baby things away and Finn tells me he's not a baby anymore.  When I was waffling about going to see a specialist or just saying "I'm done," his words to me made every doubt I had dissapate.  Those words?  The parable of the drowning man.  That sometimes the message isn't, "it isn't meant to be."  Sometimes the message is to take the steps one at a time, to help yourself.  So I am, with him by my side.  And just as before, Dave is my strength in all of this.

So maybe send some fertile thoughts or kind words my way?  Right now, I could really use them. 

And maybe quit asking when we're having another or telling people that we're trying, because it sucks to be reminded.  It's even harder when the reminder pops out of the blue and smacks me right in the face. Next time, if you feel the need to discuss my uterus because you feel like gossiping, now you can tell them all of this instead. 

And tomorrow I'll have a really pretty party for you and not a depressing rant about the suck that is INFERTILITY.  {Because in my head it is yelled.}

My Brain Function is Nil.

22 June 2010 | 7 Comments
I swear my {undiagnosed except by google} Adult ADD is in full effect today.  So you know what that means... a random post of loveliness better known as a brain dump.

Tomorrow we're having dinner for my Janet's birthday and it should be a good one.  We're still hashing out the menu since she isn't giving us anything to go on, so if you have any summery (non-seafood) recipes, I would LOVE any and all suggestions.  Super bonus points to anyone that suggests something awesome!  That also means a fabulous dinner party post for all y'all on Thursday.  I can't wait to show you the little surprises we have in store for her.

I am pretty sure that when my husband sees this grilling tool at Incredible Things that he will order it immediately.  Go ahead honey, you have my blessing.

He's probably pissed because I just posted on Facebook that Finn slept till 10 am this morning!  Woo hooo.  Maybe the grilling tool will distract his mind from the fact that on weekends when he can sleep in, Finn gets us up at 7:30.  Maybe.  So that is why my post is up late too.

We saw Toy Story 3 yesterday.  It was Finn's first trip to the movie theater and he LOVED it.  It was an incredible movie and I cried my eyes out!  Have you seen it?  Plans to see it?  Without adding any spoilers I think they did a fabulous job wrapping it all up, yet leaving it open for the possibility of a fourth.

I would like to welcome BlogHer ads to my sidebar.  I can pretty much guarantee that this will mean that I can buy several things at the Dollar Store after six months or so... I aim high peeps.  I hope this isn't a distraction, I thought long and hard about it before leaping and I think it is a good fit for So Wonderful, So Marvelous.

And lastly but certainly not least, my dear friend lost her Mama to cancer last week.  The funeral is today.  I would ask that you just take a moment today and please send comforting thoughts to Lindsay and her family as they try to heal.  This girl means the world to me, she is such a wonderful, thoughtful sweet friend.  The kind of friend who would do anything for you and all I want to do is hug her right now.   

Hope your Tuesday is wonderful.

Dear Diary.

21 June 2010 | 2 Comments
Reading this article about the Open Diary project made me pull out my diaries.  I'm thinking about photographing an entry or two to submit.  And I have to say, I could sit there all day and read the entries of others.

Did you keep one?  Do you now?  I mean other than your blog.  While I don't keep a written journal anymore, I do love reading my journals from years ago.  It is amazing who I was at different points in my life. 

The eighth grader.  Can you tell I went to Catholic school?  I wonder how the test went...
I have a Confirmation test tomorrow.  I hope the Holy Spirit guides me.  I need the help.

The angsty teen.  I didn't even write why she was so unfair!
My mother is SOOO unfair!

The traveller.  Trips to Florida, California, Oregon, France, & Belgium chronicalled. 

The girl in her twenties in love with someone who didn't love her back.  Apparently I don't even listen to my own advice and I continued to sleep with him all the way through that journal.
DON'T SLEEP WITH {name} bad news, get over it and realize it isn't going anywhere!

And my favorite...

My quarterlife crisis... forever memorialized.  HA!  Really???  Really I was that girl?
I'm turning 25 in about 45 minutes-- crisis has set in... WHAT am I going to do when I turn 30?!?

When was the last time you dug out your old journals?  Do you recognize that girl?

His Daddy.

20 June 2010 | 5 Comments
That Dave of mine, he does stuff like throwing his dirty clothes on the floor next to our bed and then I am supposed to determine by some miracle if he intends on wearing those jeans again or not.  Oh, you didn't know I was a mind reader?

He squeezes the toothpaste from the middle.  And leaves the shower on so that when I turn on the water I get soaked.

He's sometimes grumpy and is either the best or the worst cook in the universe, depending on the day.

And he tells jokes.  Corny jokes.  Really really corny and sometimes inappropriate.  And I try to get my friends to not encourage him, but they do... and because they think he's funny, HE thinks he's funny.

But for all of that imperfection, there is a greater amount of perfection.  It is at the same time maddening and endearing.

He plays the saxophone and keyboard and the bass guitar.  Computer programming, fixing cars, re-wiring things, and yard work are among his talents.  He is intelligent, he also {infuriatingly & just barely} had a higher ACT score than I did and knows the most random information.  He also looks amazing in a suit.

He builds the best train tracks and can fix broken toys.  He teaches Finn things like how to carry screwdrivers carefully, with the point down and how to put air in the tires.  His daddy teaches him to ride a bike safely with his helmet on and takes him to swim lessons.

He leads by example.  Even on days when he loses his cool, he is man enough to apologize to a three year old when he has been grouchy and feelings are hurt.  He teaches kindness through his actions, loving me deeply, playing ball with the poodle, laughing with his son.  His daddy appreciates his life and makes sure that he shows it. 

He works hard for his family, for me to be able to stay home with Finnegan, for us.  And then he comes home and works even harder, without complaint.  He sometimes doesn't realize that I watch him, I see him going above and beyond... and for every compliment I give him, I know there are five other things he has done that go unnoticed.  His daddy, my husband, is the hardest working man I have ever met.

He is generous with his love and affection.  For Finnegan, there isn't anything that can't be fixed with a hug from his daddy.

But all of that awesomeness?  It comes second to this...

Finn, why do you love your daddy?
Cause we are BEST friends.

Thank you for being imperfectly perfect in every way and for being Finn's {and my} best friend.  I hope it is always that way.  Happy Father's Day Dave!

Did you write a blog post today about your Mr Wonderful?  Head over to Five Crooked Halos & link up!

Daddy O.

My dad is a gifted musician, completely self taught.  The sort of gifted that you wish even a bit had trickled down to you, but aside from being able to sing as a child and those few years of piano, not a lick has stuck.  He's already started Finn on the drums... I'm guessing it's a bit of hoping his musically gifted genes have come out somewhere and a bit of choosing the most loud obnoxious instrument to torture me.

At 53, he has a mohawk.  Not in an ironic sort of way, in a just because he likes it & marches to the beat of another drummer sort of way.  You can poke fun and he still doesn't care, he loves that mohawk.

My dad, he is the sort of man who gives days of incredibly hard labor to do something nice for us when we decide to start new 'projects' like kitchen remodels or bathroom remodels or when our basement floods or when you decide to secretly redo your bedroom while your husband is out of town.   

We are insanely competitive in the cooking & baking department.  That guy up there?  He can decorate a cake like you would not believe.  He also thinks he makes the best chocolate chip cookies.  He is delusional.  We've had chocolate pie baking contests, cake baking contests, and I'm pretty sure there was a meatloaf incident I don't want to talk about.  We've already decided to have another contest later this summer, we just haven't decided what the medium will be yet.

My dad?  He gave me the best piece of advice before he gave his blessing for Dave to ask me to marry him...
The person you marry is the person he is going to be in ten or twenty years.  You better like who he is as a person and make sure you can deal with the stuff that drives you crazy because he isn't going to change.  Don't expect him to.
I'm pretty sure that he's proud of the choice I've made.  I'm also pretty sure that he loves Dave more than he loves me.  That's neither here nor there.  Ahem.

So Daddy O, happiest Father's Day to you.  I love you.

Summer Guest Blogger Friday!! Amanda from There Are 2 Sides!

18 June 2010 | 7 Comments
Hi, hiya, howdy.  It's Friday peeps and that means another summer guest blogger!  Wooo hooo!  Miss Amanda is near and dear, we've known each other for years and she never fails to amaze.  She always remembers birthdays and anniversaries with a sweet card, she is so chipper and fun to be around that Dave started calling her Sparky in a drunken bout of brilliance.  She loves Twilight, cotton candy ice cream with marshmallows {I maintain this is totally unnatural for an adult}, knows British comedy as well as I do and she hates to shower.  Enjoy, and be sure to stop over and visit her!

Happy Friday!

I was flattered when Michelle asked me to contribute to So Wonderful, So Marvelous today!

I have known Michelle since I was planning my fabulous wedding almost 6 years ago. So Wonderful, So Marvelous is such a great spot for so many ideas… I am not so sure you will get any of those from me today.

I was worried about what to write…fathers day? No. Hatred of showering? Nah. My want for a tequila shot at 11am at work most days? Um…maybe.

A little about me…

I am a semi-step mom. What does that even mean?

I am dating a guy, Jeff, who has two kids. I am the ‘mom’ at our house. We are not married but we may as well be. Over 3 years later and I have been there most of the kids’ lives.

I procrastinate like it is my job. Hell, I procrastinate at my job. The boss still hasn’t caught on yet so I don’t see it as a flaw at all.

I like to post odd pictures of myself on the web.

I have an unnatural love of marshmallows and fruit roll ups.
I like to swear in my everyday language when there are not virgin ears surrounding me.

I am, first and foremost, a consumer. Not a saver. Give me a dollar and it’ll be gone before you realize I snatched it outta your hand. Spending = fun for me.

I also recently realized that the girl scouts have effed me up for life.

Yup, those cookie toting vixens have me all screwed up.

I followed all of their rules.

I sang their songs; Alice the Camel, Boom Chicka Boom and Singing in the Rain (a personal favorite).

I ate their snacks.

Earned their badges.

Wore their cutesy brownie uniform and then was upgraded to the Girl Scout uniform of kelly green and a new badge sash.

I am pretty sure my mom just super glued the badges on because she did not know how to sew at all.

But when the Girl Scouts told me to be prepared. I took them uber seriously.

Perfect example. Saturday Jeff and I went to Put-In-Bay, an island on Lake Erie where driving golf carts while buzzed is the pastime, and highlight, of the trip.

Before we left I struggled with what to wear, naturally. The weather was iffy at best. It could rain, it could be blazing with sunshine, it could have a cold snap with some lake weather…hell it coulda snowed. Tank top? Hoodie? T shirt? Capri’s? WHAT DO I WEAR???

I had a bag packed with another shirt in it, in case mine was wet from the rain, a hoodie, more makeup, toiletries and some snacks. Also some advil, some candy and some pop.

It took me about half an hour of feeling traumatized for having left out a book and a pen, you know justincase, that I realized I am freakin nuts.

So I left the bag at home.

It didn’t rain once.

It was a perfect day.

I coulda used the pen…but what can you do.

I blame it all on my days as a Girl Scout.

Be prepared can really mess a bitch up!

I also blame my extra 10 pounds on those damn, delicious, delectable cookies they peddle.

The world would be a cold, dark place without them.

But a day of winery hopping and golf cart driving ended up like this.

And by winery hopping I mean having 4 bottles of wine at the same winery.

Happy Friday and Happy Father’s Day!

Thai Pasta Salad

17 June 2010 | 5 Comments
I wish I had invented this recipe because it is like crack.  Alas it isn't mine... I have my Aunt Anita to thank for this one & I am not sure of the origin before that.  This is one of my "go to" summer recipes because it is delicious and relatively easy to make... plus it is something that can sit outside for an hour without making people sick... essential for summer entertaining.  I have messed with the original just a bit {as I always do} it is definately one of those dishes that always brings recipe requests.

{the green onions are missing from this one because I was too lazy to run to the store.}

Thai Pasta Salad
1 lb of pasta of your choosing {I recommend bowtie, campenelli, rotini, or other twirly pasta}
scant 1/3 c. canola oil
1/4 c. sesame oil
1 t. red pepper flakes, crushed
1/4 c. honey
3 T. soy sauce
1/3 c. peanuts, chopped
1/4 c. green onions, chopped
2 T. toasted sesame seeds {found in international aisle of the grocery already toasted, or toast your own}

Cook your pasta & rinse well with cold water.

While pasta is cooking, prepare your sauce by adding the canola oil, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, honey, and soy to a small sauce pan.  Cook, stirring often until the honey is fully incorporated and the sauce thickens just slightly.

Pour the sauce over the pasta reserving about 1/4 cup and refrigerate overnight.  {Now, you can skip this step if you want, but it is twenty times better the next day after the sauce soaks in.}

When you are ready to serve, pour the remaining 1/4 cup of sauce over the pasta and toss.  Then, top with chopped peanuts, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds. 


For The Birds.

16 June 2010 | 11 Comments
Remeber how I was lamenting the fact that my mother signed us all up to decorate a birdhouse for a charity auction? 

And then she feigned 'non-craftiness' so she didn't have to do one... just the rest of the family.  I can not make this stuff up, that Janet is a wanker if there ever was one.  She laughed about it too.  If it weren't for the fact that it was for charity she would be evil.  Pure evil.

The charity auction benefits Veggie U, an incredible organization that promotes a healthy lifestyle for children.  They partnered with our local farmer's market to put on an auction of 50 bird houses, each unique in design.

There were some incredible designs.

My sister covered her roof with wire and beads, it was so awesome in person, she painted it fun colors and glittered the roof.

My over-achieving step-dad made a copper freaking roof for his little cottage.  There was one that had a garden that would actually flower and grow on its roof.

My personal favorite was one made out of the city paper, everything was rolled just so that you could read the text on the paper, it was so incredibly creative!  I also loved the little cottage that was knitted.

There was one covered in metal that actually opened up like a really freaking cool lunchbox.  And this cute pink one that had moss covered balls for feet and on the roof. 

And here is mine.  Needless to say that it was inspired by Pixar's Up! movie.  I used decoupage to cover the birdouse with bright colored paper in the style of the Up! house & heavy gauge wire to adhere the balloons to the chimney that Dave cut out of some blocks of scrap wood.  I wish that I had more time, but after thinking about a completely different design for two weeks, I scrapped everything a week before it was due and went with Up!  I hope whomever it went home with is enjoying it immensely.

Up BirdhouseUp Birdhouse

Up BirdhouseUp Birdhouse

This post is linked to Show & Share Day at Just a Girl

Screwing Up Elsewhere.

15 June 2010 | 1 Comments
I am over at Mommy's Nest today, totally screwing up and swearing on Lisa's blog.  {Sorry Lisa!}  Go over there and read a hilarious story about my first 'incident' with a car.  I promise it is one not to be missed! 

Well, go on then...  See you right back here tomorrow.

Facebook Intervention.

14 June 2010 | 10 Comments
You know that show Intervention?  Well, if I had cable I might know what the hell it is about, but I don't.  But I would imagine it's about, well, interventions.  So I am going to send an email to the show.


Wait... first... whole internet, I would love to introduce you to Midge.

Isn't she like the cutest thing ever?

I love Midge.  She is my BFF.  She used to be Elise's BFF, but no one really likes Elise, so now she is mine.

Poor Midge needs an intervention in the worst way.  And since she loves to make fun of Elise for this post I wrote about Elise with fifteen guys and a crack whore in an attic, I thought perhaps we should do an intervention So Wonderful, So Marvelous style.

It might be the only thing to save her.

What, might you ask, is she doing that is intervention worthy?  At last count she had 176 197 203 pages "liked" on Facebook, with more added daily.  DAILY!  Oh, it's not all stuff like "I knew Drake when he was Jimmy on Degrassi" she's into the hardcore "like" stage. 

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

What Midge Likes on Facebook:

I hate it when I'm in a awkward situation and I can't find a twix.

Flipping the pillow over to get to the cold side.

Ok, If we get caught here's the story...  {I'm starting to see why you and Elise are friends...}

Yelling "GET IT" When You See Your Friend Flirting.  {I just don't "GET IT"}

I hate it when your seatbelt randomly locks and you can't move.  {Ok, I hate this too, but I don't 'like' it.}

"Oh you're going to ride my ass? Welcome to 20mph jerk."

"i'm tanner than you!" "nuh-uh!" *stick arms together* "....dang it" {This one had almost 238,000 likes!  What?}

If you're a bird, I'm a bird.  {Please tell me this means something.}

"You like that song?" "Nah, I just like Lil Wayne's part."  {WTF is a Lil Wayne?}

I'm paranoid because the spider I saw five seconds ago isn't there anymore.  {Fair enough.}

"Having a sweatpants, hair tied, chillen with no make up on" day.  {Finally, one I can like too!}

So, Midge we love you, but you need to stop liking.  It's killing you us your Facebook profile.  I know there are new temptations every day like when you realize you overslept and you jump off the bed like a ninja, but you have to be strong.  But not, "Thanks phone, for being strong everytime i dropped you" strong.

One thing I "like," So Wonderful, So Marvelous... saving Facebook, one Midge at a time
Umm, no one start this FB group ok, because then I will be forced to actually 'like' it.

Cars Pancakes.

13 June 2010 | 6 Comments
I am not an artist, but I am quite possibly the coolest mom in the world.  Of course this is according to a three year old that says often, "I like you now," as if he didn't before.  Back to that whole coolest mom in the world thing, ahem.

Ever since I came across Jim's blog, I've been dying to make fabulous pancakes in fun shapes.  Go on and click over, just be forewarned that you're likely to spend all damn day there.  I am guessing whomever the first pancake mix company to scoop him up will be sitting on a gold mine.

I attempted to do the Eiffel Tower.  Let's just say the french won that battle.  It was freaking AWESOME until the flip.  The damn flip gets me every time! 

And then, I grabbed my AmeriColor Red and turned that batter Lightening Red.

I made the batter a bit more thin than normal and put it into a plastic squeeze bottle that I usually use for flood icing, I then cut most of the tip off to make it easier to squeeze out.  I added two chocolate chips to serve as eyes.

Granted, other than the color, it doesn't much look like Lightening, but to Finn it sure did.  He was so excited and can't wait until the next installment of Mommy cooking crazy pancakes.  It is the little things people, the little things.

How was your weekend?  Did you spend some time enjoying the little things?
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