Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yes, It's Another Dinner Plan

I haven't forgotten my roots, folks, just got bored of solely writing down my menu for the week.  That said, I want to point out again that last week's menu included the recipes from Real Simple's article, entitled 
"Your Four Week Dinner Plan" which can be found here.  Using the recipes from week one, I made the roasted tilapia and potatoes, turkey burgers with creamy romaine slaw, pork cutlets with spicy noodles, and the steak with roasted carrots and onions.  Each dinner was super-quick and easy (without an insane amount of chopping), and all of them were completely delicious.  I highly recommend all five of these meals.

Last night I made little thimbles sciue sciue (the cutesy name is because it's a children's dish), which is always a fresh and yummy choice.  For Kyle's birthday dinner, I'll try my hand at Osso Bucco.  Wish me luck- I have a feeling I'll need it!

For the other days that we're home, I'll use a couple recipes from week two of the Real Simple article.  I'm assuming since the others were so good, these will be too, but you know what they say about those who assume...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Memory

Where Moms Who Blog Go!

The crisp autumn air hit the blond ponytail at the base of my neck, and I smiled at the array of bright orange orbs that lay before me- ready to be plucked up from their mucky plots and placed lovingly on my doorstep.

Crunching the amber-colored leaves that carpeted the ground, I traipsed excitedly over to the pumpkin patch to select the perfect one to inspire thoughts of this new, fantastic season to each person who passed by our house.

Looking out amongst the masses, I saw it. As though a spotlight shone upon the twisted stem, it sat there, waiting for me: the perfect pumpkin.

Completely circular with flawless skin, my breath became entangled in my throat. Could this be it? Calling my family over to see (after all, I couldn't pick up such a heavy object by myself), I got closer to examine my spectacular find.

My dad lifted it off the ground with a soft grunt (that he thought no one had heard), and it sat there in the center of the wagon. There was no amount of hot apple cider or roasted corn that could fill me up with the pride I felt from locating that perfect pumpkin.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Sunday Philosophy Club

I just started the novel The Sunday Philosophy Club, by Alexander McCall Smith.  Would anyone like to read the novel as well and let me know your thoughts?  It takes me a while for each book, due to a lack of (childless) downtime, but I'd like to take a look at something that, perhaps, someone else has read.

Here is the summary according to

Amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie is a philosopher who uses her training to solve unusual mysteries. She edits the Review of Applied Ethics - addressing such questions as 'Truth telling in sexual relationships' - and she also hosts The Sunday Philosophy Club at her house in Edinburgh.

Behind the city's Georgian facades its moral compasses are spinning with greed, dishonesty and murderous intent. Instinct tells Isabel that the young man who tumbled to his death in front of her eyes at a concert didn't fall. He was pushed. The Sunday Philosophy Club marks new territory - but familiar moral ground - from the author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. With Isabel Dalhousie Alexander Mccall Smith introduces a new and pneumatic female sleuth to tackle murder, mayhem - and the mysteries of life. As her hero WH Auden maintained, classic detective fiction stems from a desire for an uncorrupted Eden which the detective, as an agent of God, can return to us. But then Isabel, being a philosopher, has a thing or two to say about God as well.

Let me know your thoughts... give it a try, or scrap it and read another captivating novel by the likes of E.B. White?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

One Chick's Opinion: What's in Your Cabinet?

The Cabinet of Curiosities, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Don't try to click to look inside- I stole the image from

In the nineteenth century, New Yorkers assembled at what was known as “Cabinets of Curiosity” to view abnormal and grotesque marvels from around the world. These cabinets were considered the first museums, though judging by their description, they seemed more like freak-shows.

This novel actually takes place in modern-day New York, where a woman named Nora (beautiful, brilliant, perfect in every way- this book was definitely written by men) works at the Museum of Natural History. Her boyfriend, Bill, is a reporter for the Times. When old bones are discovered in the basement of a building that is being excavated, the two, along with Detective Prendergast (apparently the authors have written several books that include this character) are thrown into the midst of a 100-year-old mystery and a recent serial killing spree (fun!).

Okay- my thoughts: if you haven't read this book and are looking for a decent mystery, it's worth it. This book will not change you life (unless, of course, you're researching the different methods to undergo your serial killing).

The novel is a good enough read, but it takes itself way too seriously, making the characters seem a bit pretentious.

“Smithback loved this restaurant more than any other in New York City. It was decidedly untrendy, old-fashioned, with superb food. You didn't get the bridge and tunnel crowd here like you did at Le Cirque 2000...”

It goes on to describe Bill Smithback's new Armani suit with the paisley, silk pocket square, then describes his rare steak au poivre. We get it. He's classy.

If you can get over that level of pomposity in your reading, the plot-line of the story is pretty worthy.

I recommend reading this novel, but not buying it. Go to the library and pick up a copy (that's that place on the corner that you always pass on your way to Barnes and Noble- they have all the same stuff, but it's free!). Or, you can borrow my copy!

Has anyone else read this?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Narrowly Averted Demise

The truth is, perhaps a vacation at this time was just too extravagant for a newly married couple. This would be our last time, however, sans responsibility, kids, everything. So we went.

Turks and Caicos is a glorious tropical island- white sand beaches, clear azure water, magenta and golden flora. The day was hot, and my sunburned shoulders begged for a respite from the scorching rays. Feeling adventurous, Kyle and I chose to head down to the ocean, masks and snorkels in hand. Everything that we wanted to see, the hotel tour employee alleged, was a quick walk down the beach…just over a mile. Feeling no desire to further distress our sweltering skin, we both dove in right there. I blinked under the water, the mask jammed on my face, squeezing at my cheeks and forehead. I saw the submerged granules of sand first. Just as above the sea, they were colorless. The pallid slivers of coral and shells blended in with the naturally ashen underwater landscape. No fish swam by; no seaweed grazed my thighs as I kicked at the waves ferociously, trying to find something, anything to grab my interest.

A flash of color caught my eye and I spun around sharply. Kyle, a broad smile on his masked face, tried to pinch me under the water. We both surfaced, and agreed to go back to shore momentarily. I watched him swim away, diving deep to the bottom, then popping up, blowing the water out of his snorkel, remarkably like a narwhal.

Trying to kill a little time before my infantile husband finished playing, I looked around a little further. The sight of my wrinkled fingers in front of my face prompted me to stand- definitely time to go. I scanned the surface of the water for any sight of Kyle, and instantly saw his yellow snorkel gliding along, cutting through the sapphire waves. Suddenly, I was speechless.

People have told me that when something awful is about to occur, it is difficult to find the words or actions that would be appropriate for the situation. So was the case when I looked upon the ten-foot-long shadow that crept alongside my husband. Frozen in a state of complete panic, I wanted to warn Kyle of the monster directly next to him. I wanted to protect him from impending doom, but to no avail. Hell, I just wanted to move. However, I just stood there, my feet buried in the sand, like some sculpture, bronzed in fear.

Kyle must have seen the colossal fish just after I set my eyes upon it. I observed the two: nose-to-nose, man and beast, predator and undersea victim. I watched my husband struggle to the surface, gagging on the rubbery mouthpiece. His mask covered in a cascade of water, he kicked and hurtled himself away from the creature in his midst. I saw one of his flippers take to the air toward where I was standing, a gull soaring through the cobalt heavens. I was astonished by the sudden agility of this football-player-sized man. How he was able to nearly run atop the water, I’ll never know- they say that when one’s life is in danger, unbelievable phenomena are far more likely to occur.

The screaming man running into the water finally stole my attention away from the dire scene transpiring only a few feet away. Sprinting and waving his arms wildly, I could barely understand the words that this gentleman was shouting. As he ran closer to where Kyle was, his words became more clear. “It’s JoJo! It’s JoJo!” My eyes shifted upward from the sight directly in front of me. All of the children, as well as their parents, workers, and even the lazy beach-goers had happily run to the waters edge, trying to get a glimpse at Kyle’s “monster”: JoJo, the beloved dolphin, famous in all of Turks and Caicos for his playful and friendly disposition.

Perhaps next time we’ll read the brochure.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Point of No Return

There comes a time in everyone's life when they experience the MOMENT.

Perhaps it is a monumental birthday, the sight of their children running around in circles at their feet, or the first time being called “ma'am” by a prepubescent sales clerk at the local hardware store...

I am, of course, referring to the time in one's life when the realization sets in that youth has vanished; adulthood, in all its antiquated glory, has set in.

For me this moment, this epiphany, came with a single glance at the side table next to the couch. Perched atop was a magazine- but it wasn't Cosmo. It wasn't Glamour. The magazine wasn't even People. It was Ladies Home Journal. And I had been reading it.

Now, it should be stated that I didn't purchase the publication, nor do I have a secret subscription. I actually “inherited” the magazine from my grandmother-in-law, and it was one of many titles that were stacked in an enormous pile that she handed me last week. Now, I know why the digest made it into my house (not my fault), but I had picked it up and read it (completely my fault).

I've known for a while that I was a grown-up: husband, kid, mortgage, etc. I just always thought of myself as a “young” adult, but, alas, that ship has sailed. I might as well start using the phrase “When I was your age...” to any youngsters that I converse with.

So, the recipes I'm using this week come from another “adult-like” publication: Real Simple Magazine.
The article is called “Your Four-Week Dinner Plan.”  We'll see how it goes.

In the meantime, stay young!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Guinness, but not the beer (blarg)

Side note: Before I begin, I want to make a request that everyone who is reading this imagines everything that is said to be in a British accent. This will make even the most half-witted commentary seem more... highbrow.

I really don't have much to say- Avery is in her cage (er, pack-and-play) watching Elmo dance around with a box of talking crayons, and I am procrastinating with the knowledge that the entire house needs to be cleaned. 

This morning's weather is dreary and wet- a perfect day to do some tidying up, so, alas, I believe it's time.

I do want to let all of my 10 devoted followers (as well as anyone who accidentally stumbles upon my humble little blog) that I do have another article out on I was trying to be current by writing about Educational World Records, since Guinness published their 2011 book yesterday (I saw it on Regis and Kelly). So I thought I'd write a piece that was research-based (and by research I mean that I went on the Guinness website). The article can be found here.

Now, is anyone else suddenly in the mood for a stout?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

And then she laughed...

I wanted to scream...

My eyes red, my frustration peaked- and she just... laughed
She giggled at my tears.
She snicked at my sniffles.

In her laugh she made me realize my humanness.

The Little Irritating Things About Mommihood

I love my child, but sometimes we all need to vent.
Who me?

The Little Irritating Things (that no one ever tells you) About Mommihood:

  1. $30 worth of diapers do not even fill up half of the “diaper stacker.”
  2. Toddlers have the ability to ravage every other room in the house quicker than you can clean up the den.
  3. It's only when they're wearing a nice outfit and you're in a rush to leave when they pour an entire container of yogurt down their front.
  4. The car is in a constant state of, “Oh, no, it doesn't always look like that...”
  5. Are they child-proof locks on the cabinet doors, or are they me-proof?
  6. Children are constantly trying to severely injure themselves: running on the couch? Climbing on chairs? Knocking over... everything? Really??
  7. They know what the word “no” means, because they say it all the time, but if you say it? No response.

What else do these kids do in your household that drives you up the wall?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 AND a new recipe to try

“So Kirsten, what have you been doing for the past week that you don't have the time to write a simple blog post?”

Well, ladies and gents- I have been cheating on you... writing for another venue- and getting payed! Thus far I have racked up 17 cents. I'm super-psyched! Anyway, this news site is, and right now I'm a “New York Education Examiner.” PLEASE come take a look. I'm going to try to deal with issues that pertain to both educators and parents of school-aged children alike. When you visit, you can also subscribe; I will love you forever if you do. My goal is to be the most well-regarded and famous examiner of all time (judging by the 17-cent salary, I'm not so sure that that will happen anytime soon).

My first article, talking about a system of organization, is found here (I actually did my thesis on this method, so if there are any questions I know WAY too much about color-coding as a organizational strategy).

My second article is here. It is on the questions that are necessary for one to ask the teacher on back-to-school night.

My third article is here. It is the summary of a lesson that I've done on listing 100 goals. It is also something that a family can do each year to help kids to stay focused on their personal objectives.

Come and take a look around... I know you want to...
Kisses! Kir

ps- I will be trying out a new recipe this week- Chicken in Wine Sauce 
Wish me luck- I hope it's better than the pork from last time (ick)!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to school...

As the children all wait on the corner in their new school clothes, carrying the latest backpack and the hopes of a “clean slate” (I'm going to finish ALL my homework before playing my Xbox this year...), the giant yellow bus comes to a screeching halt in front of them.

The new school year has begun here in New York, and with this beginning comes a lot of change. Moms and Dads who are sending their children off to kindergarten for the first time, as well as those who are just anticipating the beginning of autumn can attest to the overwhelming climate of change that the day after labor day brings (and I don't just say this in reference to no longer wearing white sandals or linen).

The change that I'm going to make on this here blog is that I'm no longer going to write out a specific meal plan for the week. Instead, I will post one or two new recipes that I'm going to try (with their links). The remaining days, I'm going to repeat some of the recipes I've used in the past. If you are looking for some other recipes, please look at some of my older posts for inspiration!

Okay here we go...

Sounds good, right?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Accomplishments (reader participation needed)

Being a mom can be frustrating- like when your daughter refuses to give you a kiss and yet will gladly stick her tongue in the dog's mouth. It is, however, rewarding (which I detail in the post “I Never Thought...") (sorry, I truly feel that it's necessary to say “but it's rewarding” every time I talk badly about my motherhood experiences).
Avery's choice

I mention this because I think we all have things in our lives- things that may be frustrating at times, yes- that we've accomplished and are proud of. Today, as my 30th year has come and gone, I think it's important to reflect on some of these things.

  1. I scored a great guy who's bound by a contract to be with me.
  2. I have an awesome daughter who, at 15 months, is already model-gorgeous AND a genius.
  3. I've remained close with my greatest pals- I'm so lucky!
  4. I have wonderful family, with whom I'm super-tight.
  5. There are 9 people who follow me on this blog. I've made it to the second row... score!

I can think of so many other fantastic things that I have in my life right now, so perhaps turning the big three-one isn't so bad.

So I pose this question to you: what have you accomplished so far in life that you're proud of? Let me know in your comments!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Smell: A Love Story (okay, perhaps not)

     After reading the post "Rogue Meat" by Stef at 52 Weeks of Wordage, I have been inspired to discuss the unfortunate aroma that I was exposed to recently.

     A couple days ago, I noticed a grotesque odor emanating from the trunk of my car. I did the only thing I could. I told my husband that he had to clean it out (after all, what else is a hubby for?). The stench dissipated after everything was removed, but we still couldn't find the source. Could there be some old turkey burgers, escaped from a miscreant grocery bag, laying around somewhere? Who knew, I was just thankful that my car was now smelling as fresh as a bottle of Febreeze.
     This momentary happiness abandoned me, however, when I came to discover that the funk had taken up residence in my house.
     What could possibly be causing this offensive smell?
     Finally, we narrowed down the search. It had to be coming from the stroller- it was the only thing that had gone from my trunk directly into the house. As I moved in closer, my nose told me I was correct. I had won! (but, somehow I didn't exactly feel like a winner).
     Was it the tires? Had I inadvertently rolled through something that was caught in the treads?
     No- that wasn't it...
     My eyes were drawn suddenly to the pocket under the seat. I held my breath.
     There- among the nest of baby sweatshirts and extra diapers: a sippy cup.
     Still filled to the brim with milk.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One Chick's Opinion: Curiouser and Curiouser

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon

Sometimes you just need to read something short and sweet- cue this novel (whose title is so long that I will not re-type it).

Though geared toward an audience of adolescent readers, this book is so different, so unusual, and so incredibly well done that I suggest everyone read it (plus the fact that at 150ish pages, it can be read as quickly as an issue of “Us Weekly”).

What makes this story so unique? The main character and narrator of the tale, Christopher, is a fifteen-year old autistic boy. Haddon is able to capture the complexities of this disorder so clearly; Christopher is gifted in many respects, yet cannot understand or convey emotions. Through his eyes, the reader embarks on an adventure to seek the murderer of his neighbor's dog. Because of his practical account of the events that transpire during his quest, the reader becomes aware of a much more significant occurrence that has come to take place, and affected the lives of Christopher's entire family.

I cried a little (but then again I usually tear up during Folgers commercials too).
Tell me what you thought and if you cried as well.
Related Posts with Thumbnails