31 July 2012 | 5 Comments

Dave: I switched the laundry and put the towels in on hot.  Speaking of hot stuff, it’s BEACH VOLLEYBALL time!

Me: *dirty look*

Dave:  Don’t think I didn’t hear you giving your approval during the men’s diving.

Me:  Duly noted.


Are you watching?  My favorites are gymnastics, synchro diving, swimming, and volleyball.

Orzo Pasta Salad.

30 July 2012 | 6 Comments

This is hands down Dave’s favorite summer dish.  I made it the first time for his birthday five years ago and it quickly became a family favorite.  Each time I make it, someone asks for the recipe.  It is definitely one of those dishes that having never tasted it, you might find it odd, but trust me it just works.  It has a little bit of everything, sweet cherries, a peppery punch from the fresh basil, a subtle nuttiness from the pine nuts, saltiness from the feta, and a light lemony brightness.  I love it because I can make it ahead of time AND it can be served for outdoor/hot weather potlucks. 

Perfect for summer. 

I never really measure ingredients for this, but I did this time and apparently, I should just call this “quarter cup Orzo” since it is all in quarter cup measurements.  Bonus, it’s easy to remember!


You will need:

  • 8 ounces of Orzo pasta {half a package}
  • salt for pasta water  
  • handful of pine nuts, toasted {approximately 1/4 cup}
  • handful of dried cherries, chopped {approximately 1/4 cup}
  • zest and juice of one lemon {approximately 1/4 cup of juice}
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • fresh basil
  • salt + pepper or seasoning blend, to taste
  • feta cheese {yep… 1/4 cup}

Salt the water and set to boil.  Add half a package of Orzo pasta and cook pasta slightly longer {a minute or two} than the directions on the pasta.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  I use a fine mesh strainer because the pasta is small, but you can use any pasta strainer.

While the pasta is boiling, lightly toast the pine nuts in a pan.  Shake the pan often and don’t leave them unattended.  You will burn the hell out of them… not that I would know that from experience or anything. Ahem.  Allow to cool.

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Zest the lemon. I just use a small grater and give it a quick once over.  Then use a citrus juicer and squeeze the juice out, reserve.

Chop the cherries.  Chiffonade the basil. {This just a fancy pants way of saying you roll it up and slice thinly.  It makes these thin ribbons of basil.} 

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Pour the pasta into a bowl and add lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil.  Mix.  Add pine nuts, dried cherries, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.  I usually shake on a seasoning blend instead.  {I love the Kick N’ Chicken from Weber, a lemon pepper blend, or a veggie blend.} 

At this point, you can cover and throw it in the fridge until you are ready to eat.  I think it just tastes better when it has had an hour or two for the flavors to come together, but you can certainly just eat it right away too.

When you are ready to serve, add the feta cheese and give it all a quick stir.


All Fancied Up.

27 July 2012 | 13 Comments

Hi, hello, howdy.  I apologize for the lack of posts this week, but I’ve been too preoccupied with the arrival of my family for their annual crazy trip home to Ohio.  There have been dinners and stories and swimming and wine drinking and crazy amounts of laughter.  Last night my cousin and I spent several hours listening to my aunts cracking up, sharing stories, and imitating my grandfather… the poor man had FIVE girls, one boy, and only one bathroom.  He is a saint.

Still on the agenda, a girls afternoon with Magic Mike and a Mud Hens Game!  {Wish me luck and count your lucky stars you won’t be in that movie theater, they can get a little nuts.}

I can’t get enough of having them here.

While I’ve been slacking, the amazing Sarah Morgan has been busting her ass to roll out my fancy new site.  It is all shiny and new and way more me.  I am kind of in love.   If you’re checking this out in Reader, pop over and see what you think!

Happy Weekend, I’ll see you Monday!


23 July 2012 | 7 Comments

*During Dinner*

Dave:  Finnegan!  You do not gurgle your milk.  You are going to get it taken away if you do that again.

Finn:  Yes Daddy, but did you know, it makes it taste more better?


Finn:  Mom, pretend I am on the phone with you and you order a picnic basket full of food and it costs like 39 bucks.  OK?

Me:  OK.

Finn:  OK.  So, uh, where do you live?

Me:  In Oscar’s garbage can.  Do you know where that is?

Finn:  Yeah, that is near Hooper’s Store on Sesame Street Lane.  What number?

Me:  229.

Finn: Got it.


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Finn:  I’m staying naked all day.  Naked in my underwear ALL DAY because, I can’t find shorts I want to wear.

Me:  Uh, ok.

Finn:  Actually, can YOU just find me shorts I want to wear?


Finn:  Mom!  Mom!  This is the best day ever.

Me:  Oh yeah buddy?  Why?

Finn:  Because we’re making cookies.  Can I put in the chocolate chips?

{Can I state for the record that I didn’t know that cookies were best-day-ever-making... apparently, I’m going to have to do this more often.}


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My Husband Is Smarter Than Your Husband*.

20 July 2012 | 14 Comments

*But probably NOT.

Just in case you’re new here, Dave and I have an unhealthy obsession with beating each other at Jeopardy AND keeping actual scores.

A spreadsheet. 

You know, so we can see who wins over time.

The answer is Who is Michelle?

By like a trillion points, but who is counting.  Me, duh.

That Davester isn’t quick for sure.  That’s what she said.  It takes him a beat to get the answer and by that time I’ve already shouted three wrong answers AND the right answer.

In case you haven’t figured it out, we don’t take points off for wrong answers.  It’s called the Michelle Rule for Kicking Dave’s Ass at Jeopardy.

I’ve always said though, that when it comes to Millionaire, he would beat me in a second.  Which is why we keep a spreadsheet for Jeopardy and only play Millionaire for ‘fun’ when Dave is home for lunch.  Those questions are so much harder.  You have zero ideas about categories, they’re all over the place.  Just when I think I know the right answer, one of those damn choices creeps in some doubt and bites me on the ass.  Either I know an answer or not, I’m terrible at deducing information.  The Davester though?  A total deducing champ.

He’s one tricky, analytical bastard.

He knows all kinds of random and useless information too, my husband.  He is always the person I want on my trivia team, but not on my fence hurdling team.   Or onion cutting team.  Or person who knows what to do in a foreign country team.  Someone else can pick him for those teams because I’m just not going to do it. 

Last week, when the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire peeps came to Toledo, I talked him into trying out.  I didn’t really even talk him into it so much as say, “the Millionaire peeps are here, go try it out and make us some hoverboard money.” 

Hoverboard money is enough money to buy someone to invent a hoverboard, obviously.

Then, our local affiliate, 13 ABC, posted something on Facebook.  If you were the first 25 people to email them, you won an automatic pass to the front of the line.  So, I did.  And he was stuck trying out because I said, “If you screw up my first in line pass by failing the shit out of this test, I’ll never let you live it down, Davester.”  Then, I mentioned several times that maybe I should go take the test because maybe he isn’t as smart as he thinks he is, you know, just to drive home my point.

He went and took the test. 

Thirty questions in ten minutes. 

Of course that smart ass Davester of mine did just fine.  He qualified for an interview and now he waits.  They notify you in a couple weeks to let you know if you’ve made the contestant pool or not.

But really, who wouldn’t want this guy?

First in line!  Hoverboard money.

009 Dave is Broken.


19 July 2012 | 8 Comments

Seeing – old Instagram pics and my glass of wine disappear.  This picture of Tate is quite possibly my favorite ever.

Smelling – I’m not smelling anything because the Method limited edition Lime + Sea Salt is sold out in our area and I refuse to pay three times the amount on Amazon.  Damn it.  I was mildly excited about cleaning.  Glad that passed quickly…

Tasting – secret ice cream sundaes after the kids are in bed.  Just us?  Ahem.  Right then.  Move along.

Listening – Jake Owen, Barefoot Blue Jean Night.  Totally dreamy and I typically don’t go out of my way to listen to country music.

Touching – glorious glorious new ‘school supplies’ just for me. Am I the only one with this addiction?

Tell me your currents!

Strawberry Vanilla Cupcakes

17 July 2012 | 6 Comments

Hot on the heels of the great Strawberry Vanilla Freezer Jam making extravaganza, we had Tate’s First Birthday Brunch.  I hacked a simple boxed mix and made strawberry vanilla cupcakes that were a huge hit.  I made them again for her actual birthday.  Now, you don’t have to make your own, but definitely use a good quality jam here.  It will make a huge difference in taste.  You can probably use any flavor jam you’d like actually, but the strawberry was really really good. 

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You will need:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Add the cake mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, and vanilla to a bowl.  Beat with a mixer for 3-4 minutes on medium.  Batter will seem thick. 

At this point, I dump the entire bowl into a gallon sized freezer bag and snip off the corner.  It makes filling cupcake liners really quick and easy, but you can also just spoon batter into the liners.  I fill about 1/3 full, then top with a heaping teaspoon {or two if you like them really fruity} of strawberry jam.  Then top with another small bit of batter.  The jam doesn’t have to be fully covered.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool completely and frost.

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16 July 2012 | 3 Comments

fourth of july 103

I am pretty sure this constitutes Bieber hair. 


13 July 2012 | 4 Comments

Our nephew Reece is home from the NICU.  His parents couldn’t be happier {or more terrified} and we got to take the kids over to meet him last night.  Finn was ridiculously excited about getting to hold him.  We talked about it all afternoon.  He was concerned about how wiggly he would be because he “doesn’t like holding wiggly babies.  Like Tate.”  He wanted to make sure that I had asked Aunt Mego if it was ok that he got to see him.

He just held him and stared at him, it was really really cute.

That devil girl of ours, on the other hand, is waiting for him to get bigger so she can tackle him. She looked at him, smiled and shouted hi at him.  Then she walked over to his monitor wires and looked for a way to yank them off. 

Ahhh nothing but love in this family.

Reece, you don’t know what you’re in for.

He is so teeny tiny.  After almost a month, he’s only HALF the size Finn was as a newborn.  Crazy.  He is still on the monitor for awhile and he’s taking caffeine right now, but he’s home.  Home with his Mama and his Daddy and his furry siblings.  Right where he should be.

Bucket List.

12 July 2012 | 12 Comments

I guess when you’re one, it takes very little to make your bucket list complete.

A Bucket.


tate bucket 1

tate bucket 5 

tate bucket 3 tate bucket 4

tate bucket 6

tate bucket 2

Bow Tie Baby Shower

10 July 2012 | 10 Comments

Last weekend we had a shower for my sister in law Megan.  If you’re a regular around here you’ll know that Reece made his arrival early.  I told Meg that we should stuff a pillow under her dress for the shower.  {For those of you who have asked, he is now 3 weeks & he is doing GREAT!  All of his tubes are gone, he’s eating well.  We’re keeping fingers crossed that he gets to come home this week.}

Her sister in law Heather and I co-hosted the shower.  Heather was so much fun to work with, we were totally on the same wavelength, great food, no games, relaxed atmosphere.  The melon baby + cute diaper cake below was all her and her husband Andy is a chef, so he took care of the menu.


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  • Invitations were designed by Lisa at Ellieoh.  She was fast, attentive, and so patient with changes that I wanted to make.  I found her while perusing Etsy and I’m so glad I did.  I would highly recommend her.  Bright green envelopes from Hobby Lobby.
  • Awesome {free!} Paper Bow Tutorial + Pattern from Ellinee.  {I used the pattern for this and my own paper choices.}  We used black pillow boxes from Michaels, filled with a sea salt chocolate covered oreo and topped with the paper bow for favors.
  • Idea for the melon baby carriage came from Pinterest.  If anyone has the original source of this I will be happy to link, I’ve spent close to an hour and I’m still not sure where it came from.
  • Lime green plates + turquoise napkins, Reece banner, and “new mom” sash from Party City.

Space Food.

09 July 2012 | 8 Comments

I forced the boys to stop at Hobby Lobby one day when we were out and they were both acting like sullen teenagers being dragged through the girlie craft store.  And then, from afar, the Davester spotted it.


I am not a boy. I know, you’re shocked.  Dave, on the other hand, was one… a long, long time ago. So, there are lots of cool BOY things that I didn’t do as a kid. 

Freeze dried astronaut food is one of them.

They were both beside themselves with excitement.  We waited until Tate was tucked into bed and the two of them tore into the package and started nibbling away.  I did try it, it was like a weird cookie that tasted just like an ice cream sandwich.  It is amazing what texture and temperature changes do to a food.  Finn asked for a glass of milk, but said it was cool and would recommend it to other kids.  We have another variety, Neopolitan to try.

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Have you ever tried space food?

I’m Bad at the Twitter.

06 July 2012 | 11 Comments

Someone please explain Twitter to me.

No, I mean really EXPLAIN it. 

Yes, I get it.  

But, I don’t get it

It’s been six months and I just don’t love it.  It’s like I might kiss it, but not French it.  And for sure it wouldn’t be feeling me up in the backseat of a car.

I don’t feel the connection like I do on Facebook.  I don’t have the visual treat like Pinterest or Instagram. 

I DO like that I can tag pretty much anyone my heart desires which is useful if you want to get someone’s attention.  It brings the six degrees of Kevin Bacon to like one degree… @kevinbacon. 

I also like pretty much anything that @JimGaffigan and @RainnWilson tweet.  They are both ridiculousness at its finest which is a quality I highly admire.

I just want someone to tell me what the big whoop is.

Photo: Happy start to her first birthday morning? Oh no, not for Tate. http://instagr.am/p/MYH053DLqV/

Photo: prosecco bomb pop drinks http://instagr.am/p/MrRgx1DLke/Photo: wine tasting plus handsome hubby = awesome Thursday night. http://instagr.am/p/J5pUofjLoX/

Photo: Nap time for both of us. http://instagr.am/p/MD8L17jLuI/Photo: Red. http://instagr.am/p/LgSUhpjLlw/

Photo: Thor.  http://instagr.am/p/Jse3KyjLk7/

And also? Can we give three cheers for Instagram for Droid? Hip Hip Hipster!  Come find me. I mean, I can’t figure out what I’m doing on the Twitter, so let’s enjoy pictures of baby girl screaming her head off and Finn in every superhero costume known to man! 

I’ll I can think is, thank God it was not available in the whole of the 90s. 

You know you want to be my friend.


PS Leave your Twitter and Instagram usernames in the comments!  Do it.  Do it now.  Right after you tell me how to work the Twitter.

America Rocks.

04 July 2012 | 3 Comments

We’re celebrating with my sister, the Statue of Lyndsey.  She is ridiculous.

Have a safe, happy holiday with your loved ones.

Stuff For Your Fourth.

03 July 2012 | 1 Comments

Here are some vintage So Wonderful, So Marvelous recipes that would rock for the Fourth of July.   These are some of my favorites for parties.  Plus, they’re EASY.  Well, the flag cake is a little time intensive, but the others can be thrown together in minutes.  Promise!

We’re celebrating at my mom’s with our usual rooftop dinner of slow roasted ribs and grilled chicken.  And of course, fireworks viewing.  It’s nice to have the best seat in the house, especially when the temps are going to be sky high. 

What are you doing for the Fourth?  And which of these yummy recipes are you going to try?

The FLAG Cake!  - Looks complicated, but I have instructions to break it down for you.  Even my non-baking friends have been able to do it.  Give it a try and wow your party peeps.


Fruit Salad with Vanilla Lime Simple Syrup – Don’t forget to make an extra batch of the simple syrup and use it in iced tea!


Cheesecake Filled Strawberries – pssst… you buy the filling!  Why not try some blue tinted?

Sea Salt Chocolate Covered Oreos – you can even add red, white, or blue stars to these


And a party just isn’t complete without Emily’s Cheesy Party Bread

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