Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu planning: week #5

You might have noticed (or not) that I didn't post a menu plan the last two weeks.

I was feeling very uninspired. It seems like I've leafed through my little supply of cookbooks a million times, nothing screams out to me anymore.

I feel like a raid at the local used bookstore is in order. I'm wanting some Jamie Oliver and something homey.

This morning while getting my grocery list I dug through my "recipes to try" and "food" folders.

Feeling more inspired this is what I came up with, maybe something will inspire you too!

linking up with Menu Plan Monday @ I'm an Organizing Junkie.


Menu Plan Week #5:

Monday: Stromboli
sides: simple salad
new recipe

Tuesday: Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders flip ahead to #9 - the recipe it takes you to is not the one that is originally pictured, but it's easy enough to figure out. In fact, check out the rest of the burgers...yum!
sides: bacon wrapped tater tots (might as well go all the way!), carrot slices
new recipes

Wednesday: Strawberry Chicken Salad
new recipe

Thursday: Sirloin Steak
Sides: simple salad, veggie
The Hubs idea

Friday: Chicken Potpie
new recipe

Saturday: anything goes - left overs

I like themes. I like having a routine.

I'm liking that I'm clearing out my favorite folders.

I think I'll dedicate October to recipes I've come across while browsing the 'net. That'll give me a month to acquire some new books. And maybe you'll come across something new too!


p.s. of course I've gotta throw in some of The Hubs ideas - the guys got some good ideas.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Reading: French or Foe?

French or Foe?: Getting the Most Out of Visiting, Living and Working in France
via goodreads
This year I have steadily been making through the French history/culture section at the library. And in no particular order this book happened to be next, French or Foe? by Polly Platt.

Originally published in 1994, then revised in 2000, it's written by Polly who had moved to France in 1967 and started a company 20 years later called Culture Crossings which helped newly transferred corporate employees and their families adjust to their new country.

Because of her own experiences and those of her clients she has a lot of funny anecdotes to draw from, from getting pulled over by the gendarmes to school life and the dinner party. Polly reveals hidden codes and the "Ten Magic Words" to use that will get a visitor by in France without looking too touristy and thereby getting your point across to get what you want.

It read well as it was wrote in a conversational tone and it was funny. At 272 pages this is easy reading and one could finish it in a week (I did just by reading it night).

Now the down side, it was revised in 2000 so it is a bit outdated (again) and Polly Platt passed away in 2008, but not before her last book "LOVE À LA FRANÇAISE" was published. (looking through the website it's seems French or Foe is on it's third edition). I'm definitely going to look up "Love à La Française" next time I'm at the library.

I would recommend this book to anyone who's interested in french culture as it's interesting, humorous and makes me one want to book the next trip with Rick Steves to see if those 10 little words and a little flirting really do work!   Another one to check out that I like a lot is "French Women Don't Get Fat." That one is also written in a conversational tone and it gives some great tips and answers the question "How do they eat croissants and all those butter sauces and still stay thin?!"

Anyway, today yesterday was Theme Thursday hosted by Reading Between Pages... and the

Theme Thursdays

Theme is: music/sound.

My snippet today is kind of a long one but it really stuck with me when I thought about sound....

"I promise you, it was a beautiful and sensual experience watching these authors...speaking their word. Slowly. Up the throat, through the mouth, lips forward, the word emerged into the room, and into the rooms of perhaps seven million viewers. "Nuance, because it's sonorous and is the finesse of our language". "Tendresse....because it's both active and soft." "Silence..." "Nostalgie..." "Plaisir..." "
pg. 158 - French or Foe - Polly Platt


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reading: City of The Snakes

City of the Snakes (The City Trilogy, #3)
City of The Snakes, by Darren Shan, is the third installment of The City series. I did not read the others but I wasn't too completely lost. The others probably have more background of the characters featured in this one and if I was totally enamored of this book I would check them out. But I'm not.

It's about a dirty foul city somewhere, geographically and chronologically. (I have no idea, maybe it says more in the previous books). There are gangs ruling the city and the common folk just seem to live the daily grind and hope they don't get shot.

It starts in the voice of the leader of one of the gangs, Capac Raimi. Something happens to him then it switches to another voice (and a whole 'nother font), that of Al Jeery who has been a killer/vigilante for the past 10 years. He gets coerced to go looking for Capac Raimi. You start to feel for Al Jeery when you hear his back story - for the past 10 years he's been killing baddies and looking for the guy who's been "haunting" him and made his life hell. So you got the main mystery of where's Capac and the secondary one of Jeerys own man-hunt.

I have two more chapters to go, the whole wrap-up if you will. It's not my favorite and I'm not going to visit The City again but it wasn't horrible. Like I said you start to feel for Al and that was what carried me through.

Because I love books I went looking for other blogs and what-not and came across this fun linky party. Hosted by Kavyen at Reading Between Pages it's called "Theme Thursday" where each week a different theme is chosen (like health, or school) and you post a sentence or snippet from the book you're reading (click on link above for the complete rules). This is my first week doing it but it sounds like fun!

This weeks theme is: feeling

" "I'm not afraid of dying," I mutter. "And I won't regret it, not if I take that lot with me." "
pg. 281, City of The Snakes, Darren Shan

 Theme Thursdays

p.s. went to Cupcakes freshman "back to school night" last night which made me feel old (:/) and reflective on "where did all that time go?!" but proud on how Cupcake is growing up.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Slim Down Sunday: but on a tuesday

Heartfelt Homeschooling

Thank you to April over at Heartfelt Homeschooling for hosting this new meme I found, Slim Down Sunday.

I want to slim down and it's good to find others too. I'll be posting updates every other Sunday (or Tuesday- ha) Are you on a "diet" or an exercise plan? Yes? Then please join us, misery loves company the more the merrier they say.

Goal: lose 40 pounds

Weight now: {big breath} 170 (eeekkk!!)

Plan: yoga every day with alternating days of cardio and weights.

Food: smaller portions, eat breakfast (!), cut back on starches, at least one meatless dinner a week.

Now: Did not eat breakfast this morning. I have a problem with that as I'm not usually hungry that early in the morning and the thought of food (or the smell) can sometimes make me queasy. This all happened after having children, my stomach can't handle things like it used to (spinning in circles, swings, smells, The Hubs driving). And, to be honest, I'm eating a salami sandwich from Togo's right now, without mayo though. But I'll do some weight toning today while watching "Lovers in Paris" and will fit yoga in at sometime.

I don't have a scale at home so went to Target on Sunday, took one out of the box, weighed myself (was shocked!) and put it back. I thought that my clothes had been fitting better and that I had possible lost something but those numbers don't lie. I don't feel or look like I weight that much (at least I think so). I'm like where is all that weight at?!



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wearing: How do you solve a problem like this skirt?

Three layers - yellow on top with sparkles and beads, white in the middle then another layer of yellow.

You try to wear it for Inspiration Monday, that's how.

Keira Knightley via Two Birds

Then you find that the slits are just a tad too short - so short you feel like your tookus is sticking out.

How do you solve a problem like this?

You put on a slip, that's how.

Now you feel better and the slip actually looks kinda cute sticking out like that. You realize this skirt is pretty and light and makes you feel very feminine.

Soon other ideas pop into head....white tank with brown belt and heels...(other brown heels that are more mary jane type)

Well, that's pretty much that comes to your you turn to your fellow bloggers...

And pose the question:

"How do you solve a problem like this skirt?"

for inspiration*


linking up with two birds: inspiration monday, The Pleated Poppy: what we wore and for the first time(!) That Kind of Beautiful hosted by Laura over at That Kind of Mom.

* or maybe not. i've just had this song running through my head all day.

p.s. it's still in the 90's or so here folks, so i'm not feeling fall-ish yet, can't dig out my boots or!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu planning: week #4

Another week of simple, inexpensive, but still yummy dishes.

Along with September comes my bi-annual deep clean. A Spring cleaning in the Fall, if you will.

It's all about purging and organizing and the finding of lost things.

So, organized meals to counterbalance the disorder of the house. Should work, right??

Recap week 3: Last week had no frills and no mishaps either. I did not make the polenta as The Hubs seemed slightly suspicious of the recipe. He kept giving me the raised eyebrow and would say "I dooon't knooow..." when I would mention making up a batch. Will just have to do it when he's not around.  Did not make hamburgers either, found some chicken breast in the freezer & made pasta with chicken instead.  Our reward was the new "Bacon, Bacon, Bacon" pizza from Papa Murphy's - the take and bake pizza place. Do you have one in your area? I highly recommend this, it's only $9 right now and it soooo worth eating at least once....mmmm...bacon.

Linking up with: Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Week #4*

Monday: Cheesy Italian Chicken Bake (on recipe page)
new recipe The Hubs idea (must still have had last weeks dinner on his mind)
sides: crusty bread

Tuesday: Potato Soup
new recipe
sides: bacon crumbles, crackers

Wednesday: BBQ Hamburgers
sides: homemade onion rings, salad

Thursday: Pork Steak
sides: mashed potatoes, broccoli

Friday: BBQ Chicken
sides: salad, veggie

Saturday: Stuffed Shells from allrecipes
new recipe
sides: crusty bread

Snacks: polenta (from With a Heart Full of Daisies) , jalapeno poppers (from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes)

Three new recipes to try, any suggestions on which one to share?
When we sit down for dinner, I put on jazz. I turn off the t.v. or radio (usually listening to talk) have the kids sit down at the table, take a deep breath and just relax. Usually the kids are wound up from school or playing or poking each other and this helps them to calm down and breathe. The computer is in a corner of the dining room so I'm able to find some great stuff online. I'll put on some jazz, bossa nova or even some classical crossover and we'll sit, enjoy some relaxing music that's not all "up in the club" and just really enjoy our meal. (those websites have a great selection of jazz and others)

What do you guys do when you sit down for dinner? Do you listen to music, watch t.v. or catch up on the day?

*menu order subject to change as I seem to have opened the cream cheese and am now eating celery slathered in said product.

p.s. I crack myself up. Conversation I had:

picky pants: why do we listen to jazz?
me: it's good for your digestion.
picky pants: where did you hear that?
me: me, myself and i. they had a good idea and i agreed.
picky pants: {grooooan} maaahhhhaaamm!!!
me: hahahahaha.....

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Catching up: frock it like it's hot!

Because it is. It really is.

Around 100 today. Yikes!! I'm usually not one to complain about the weather, but I've found that the older I get the less I can tolerate the heat. So...I'm gonna complain a li'l today.

The Hubs says it's because I don't go outside to get myself acclimated to it. I say "Because it's too hot!!"

But he's exaggerating (as always). I go for a walk every day, sometimes I even punish the kids by making them go.

Anyway, hence the reason for my sun frock:

From my MIL. Don't think I like it too much though, it's a bit big and makes me look stomach-y (as opposed to hip-y). It's the first time I've worn it - and truthfully, I changed as soon as I saw these pics.

Whip off the hat and look - nouvelle coupe de cheveux!!

I got tired of the medium length and, truthfully, was mad at The Hubs so last saturday I chopped it off.

Isn't that why we cut our hair, ladies? Because of men...we break up with 'em,we get mad at 'em, we wanna exact a little what do we do?? Snip, snip!!  LOL!! (by the why, The Hubs liked it & I'm no longer mad...hehe!)

But my new haircut goes with....

My new car!! A "retro" VW Golf. So cute and zippy. Perfect interior and exterior and was practically a steal!! My previous was a Mercury Mountaineer named Frank (yes, I name my cars). I couldn't stand the horrible gas mileage or how big it was so sold him and bought this cut li'l thing. 40 freeway, 31 in town - alot better than what I was getting. Now it's time to plan a trip!!

See how cute I look!! Well...I think so!

"What did you name this one?" you're all asking, right?

After some deliberation and driving around a bit, I've decided this car is a girl and I've named her Dawn. Why? Because she is a 5-speed, I've never really drove a 5-speed before and it's a bit of a learning it has become a love/hate relationship.

"But I still don't get it" you ask in confusion.

Well...there's a certain morning talk show here called The Rob Arnie and Dawn show. It's on from 5am-10. Dawn is the girl you love to hate. She's always laughing, friendly, the type to make cakes for her neighbors, remember everyone's birthday, would be a hoot to hang out...but....her political views are maddening!! Sometimes we yell at our radio because of her views and you can see she gets her co-hosts all riled up. It's a very funny morning show, none of that "war of the roses" junk, just talking about current topics. Rob is very analytical, always has all the facts. Arnie is a "good 'ol boy" from Texas, hard exterior with a soft heart and Dawn....well....just listen. Give it just an hour a day for a week, I can almost guarantee you'll be hooked. You can listen online here:

What else?? Hmmm...We cut down our corn and will be makinga little teepee today in our backyard and having a cook-out. Might even borrow a projector from a friend and have a movie outside. I'll post the pics later, I have a feeling the kids are gonna dig it! (They don't know yet...shhhh)


p.s. to my new followers and old


Linking up to: Pleated Poppy and Momma Go Round.