Monday, September 17, 2012

Pan-Roasted Halibut with Chimichurri

Hey there!  Hope you all had a nice weekend!  We had a nice relaxing weekend with no commitments. I love, love, love, those types of weekends!  Last week for the first time ever I tried meal planning.  Last Sunday I went through my cooking bible, a green three ring notebook filled with old photo copied recipes, recipes torn out from magazines, and old recipe cards, along side my Pinterest food board, and I mapped out all our meals for the week.  Up until now, I've been an almost everyday grocery shopper. Crazy, I know.  Since my girl has started kindergarten, I can no longer be a fly by the seat of my pants cook.  I'm trying anything and everything to make the weekdays go smoother.  On Saturday I tried this recipe.  I've had it in my cooking bible for who knows how long.  I think it might be a photocopy of a recipe card I got at a grocery store a long time ago.  I googled the recipe and found a link to the recipe here.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Party for Three

My husband celebrated a big birthday this week.  We didn't do anything fancy, which was refreshing.    We just had a simple dinner and the only guests invited live under my roof.  The food was important.  I made some of my husband's favorite foods from his childhood.

I had this great idea to make this birthday banner out of painters tape and paint, but when I tried to peel the tape off, the paper tore.  Not all ideas/projects go as planned around here, so we went without a banner.  No biggie.

What did work out amazingly well was the cake.  Oh my goodness, it was good.  Baking scares me.  I'm not good at it and so I don't normally even attempt to make cakes from scratch.  I get too frustrated, but this cake was not hard to make.  Time consuming, but not difficult.  I think what helped me have a less stressful baking experience was pre-measuring all the ingredients before I even started cooking.  Maybe other people already do this.  I don't usually, but it sure made the process go smoothly, just like on a cooking show.

This food is not of the healthy variety.  I quickly unloaded most of my leftovers to a friend because I don't like eating this type of food, except on special occasions.  In limited quantities food like this is good for the soul though.


It was a fun night for the three of us.  My little girl was so excited about this meal and the cake.  She helped me make the cake and the meatloaf and couldn't wait to give it to her dad.

I read some great information about camera settings the other day.  Afterwards, I switched my camera to manual shooting mode.  I have ton of work to do if I want to take decent pictures!  For some reason I have, for all this time, been under the impression that shooting in manual means manual focus.  That is not the case!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Meet The Twins


It's been a hunt.  A long hunt, to find chairs for my front room that we redid last year.  When we started the project I hadn't planned on adding the brick floors, which was a pretty big expense, not so much the materials, but the labor.  After the floors, my budget for chairs was tiny.  Most of the new chairs that I liked started in the $1500 price range and I needed two of them.  Out of the question.

I've been searching and searching.  I found many single chairs that I loved but finding a pair of chairs was rough.  I found many chairs that were too small, more along the lines of large dining chairs or chairs that were too big.  I tossed around the idea of small upholstered chairs but thought that after I added curtains that the room might have too much upholstery or soft goods for my taste.  Wicker chairs were another option but I just couldn't find any that I liked.

On a whim yesterday I stopped by one of my favorite stores.  It's like a flea market with individual sellers, but without flea market prices.  Sounds funny, but I think it is cheaper than the Rose Bowl Flea.  I found these blue and white chairs.  They cost less than a shopping trip at Anthro...for the pair.  They are chippy in all the right ways.  The upholstery is ho-hum, but can easily be changed with a minimal amount of yardage.

Right now the chairs work great upholstered in the blue and white fabric.  I still have my 4th of July pillows out and I think the chairs blend perfectly with the Americana action I've got going on in the room without being matchy.

Calico Corners sells a similar chair that I've coveted for the past decade and Layla Grayce also has similar chairs, but I couldn't handle the price tag for either.

I think the twins will blend perfectly into our family.  I'm so glad I was patient and didn't rush out to buy something just to fill the space.  It's taken over a year to find the right fit for the room and my budget, but it has been worth the wait.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back to School and Cartwheel Shorts

Hi friends!  For many of you yesterday was probably back-to-school for your kiddos.  Not for us, we've been at it for two weeks, already had Back to School Night, and had to miss two days of school last week because Little Miss S had a cold.

If you've been reading here for any length of time you know my precious little girl likes to dress fancy, but sometimes she plays like a boy, which is totally fine.  The problemo is she only likes to wear dresses while performing acts like the one pictured above.  She is not modest or graceful at this point.  Little Miss S is also a little heater and doesn't like to be hot, so leggings are out at the moment.  When we are together I remind her to sit like a lady and to have manners but there's a big chunk of time when we're not together.  Plus she's a kid.  She should play freely.  If she'd wear shorts we wouldn't even be having this little discussion right now.

The phrase criss-cross-applesauce makes me cringe.

Until I found these!  Target, Gap, are you listening?  Why doesn't anyone else sell these?  These are more than boyshort underwear and less than a bike short.  Genius.  If your little girl likes to dress like a lady and act like a monkey, you'll probably like these.  I just had to share.  I've been in this situation for quite a while, so I was very happy to find these.

Besides her getting a cold and me having pick-up anxiety (major parking lot issues), the transition to kindergarten has been smooth as can be.  I was shocked, still am a little.  The little girl who cried at drop-off so many times at preschool last year, hopped in line in her new class like she's belonged there for years, gave me a "bye mom", and has been having the best time ever since.  I agonized over what to do about her and where to send her to kindergarten and now she's seamlessly moved into a new school, a huge school, with high expectations and what I think is very rigorous curriculum, she seems to be thriving.  She's in a large class and I think because of that it is extremely structured, with very defined expectations.  There is no grey area and I think she, and many other children, needs that.  They need to know what to expect and if things are too loosey-goosey, it can give some kids anxiety.  I'm so glad I tuned out the chatter, you know the chatter, we all do it and we all hear it, public school, private school, faith based school, charter, home school, half day, full day, AM, PM, etc.  It's enough to drive you crazy!  I spent a ton of time second guessing myself, even after kindergarten orientation I wasn't sure.  I was freaking out on kindergarten eve, ready to call up her old preschool to see if they could squeeze her into their kindergarten class, but I didn't.  I gave the school a chance and so far, so good.  I signed up for two volunteer positions in her class and I'm so excited about it.  I get to help out every Thursday for an hour and a half and I signed up to be one of two class historians.  The class historians take pictures at special events throughout the year, right up my alley since I love to work on my photog skills.

On my daughter's first day of school she came home with this poem and I loved it.  I think her teacher wrote it, but I'm not sure.  Aside from teaching, can you ask any more from a teacher than having them love your child like their own?

The First Day of School

I gave you a little wink and a smile
As you entered my room today.
For I know how hard it is to leave
And know your child must stay.
You've been with her for five years now
And have been a loving guide,
But, now, alas, the time has come
To leave her at my side.
Just know as you drive away
And tears down your cheek may flow
I'll love her as I would my own
And help her learn and grow.
So please put your mind at ease
And cry those tears no more
For I will love her and take her in
When you leave her at the door.

Happy back to school!