Wednesday, December 14, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

Colorful Joy Christmas Card
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Friday, August 12, 2011

No way my child will be a picky eater!....oh ok.

Am I the only parent that is over the creative ideas to get your kids to eat? I read so many articles about “Kid Friendly Meals” and my son more so than my daughter is not eating ANY of these things. It's either too "adult like" or too cutesy cutesy and I am not up for doing it. Do we really want our kids to only want to eat food that is cut into stars and hearts? A smiley face pancake is one thing but sometimes it’s so over the top.

My friends and I have all types of eaters, the ones that eat veggies but no meat, the ones that eat fruit but no veggies, the ones that love to dip everything in something and those that want it all super plain. One thing we all have in common is that we all have made the speech that we are no ones short order cook or that no child of mine will get their own meal different from the rest of the family or we will also eat every meal together and NEVER in front of the TV! Clearly we don’t seem to have as much control as we thought we would. Add it to the list of parenting things not going our way. Of course I also know some kids that eat everything. Their parents usually claim that it's because they eat what the parents eat and offer no options. The key is not to waiver. What's for dinner is what's for dinner. And to those parents- WHATEVER! You lucked out, trust me you don’t hold the key to getting your kids to eat everything so stop judging the rest of us! …yes I am a little bitter.

The best advice I ever heard is to keep offering it. So I put a little of my tomato salad next to his mac and cheese, or a new fruit with his pb and j in the hopes that sooner rather than later my children will eat everything. And instead of dreading mealtime I will love every minute of sharing recipes, planning the week’s menu and preparing our meals with my little ones. Until then- let the battle continue and the non stop screaming, "PLEASE take one more bite!!" This week however we did have a little breakthrough of sorts. A turkey and cheese sandwich, strawberries and celery sticks!! He used to eat these things when he was younger but stopped and wanted nothing to do with them. It was like Christmas morning for me. We are practicing lunches for kindergarten. Yes kindergarten!

Here is an article that I did think wasn’t bad. Some healthy ideas that my kids may actually go for.


Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad - From Alice at Savory Sweet Life

This is my go-to summer salad. Fresh, full of flavor and easy peasy. Think of this the next time you need to bring a salad to a BBQ. My favorite food blogger- Alice from Savory Sweet Life posted it and her pictures blew me away so I included one. Thanks Alice!

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad

 Recipe Type: Side Dish
Author: Savory Sweet Life
Serves: 4-6
A simple but flavorful recipe for Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad.
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 ounces fresh “mini” mozzerella pearls
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 18 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  1. Add the cherry tomatoes and mozzerella cheese to a medium bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and mozzerella. Add the basil, salt, and pepper, and gently toss all the ingredients.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Niroga Institute brings the benefits of yoga to minority and at-risk communities.

I stumbled upon this 2008 Ode Magazine article.  It is about the impact of yoga for minority and at-risk communities. Interesting. Check it out.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Library....

I recently just re-discovered the library. I grew up going to the library almost weekly. I always left with stacks of books as a child. Then of course I used it in high school and then I spent a ridiculous amount of time there in college. I remember I had a college friend admit that he never stepped foot in the beautiful Paterno library the entire time he was in college. Not sure how that is possible or that I would admit that to anyone.

I couldn't wait to get my son into a story time program. When he was about 2 years old I called and was told that the story times for "Mother Goose Story time" fill up quickly and unfortunately it was full. I asked about the times so that I could be on top of it for the next session. They were in the middle of the day during the week. I guess working moms aren't interested in a story time with their child on the weekends.

Some time passed and we went here or there but not consistently. A few months ago I went with Miles because I wanted to start reading the Kindergarten suggested reading list with him. I fell in love all over again. Miles, who loves books wasn't interested in looking at them when we were there he was more interested in playing on the computers which was fine. I gathered his books and it worked out perfectly. Since then we've gone almost weekly. I also started checking out classic Disney movies for them. Which is great because they are free and then I can decide which ones they like enough to buy.Free is the other amazing thing. I buy books like some women buy shoes. Always building my collection. Not only for myself but tons of children's books have been purchased in the 4 short years my son has been here. Of course a great collection is important but this makes much more sense. Every book is not worth owning.

If you are not a frequent library goer, check it out. My library has an awesome website that allows me to hold books I want for myself and you can also renew on line. Super efficient. 

And I am happy to say that next weekend Miles and I will be attending our first story time together. Finally one on a Saturday!

My review of "The Lion & the Mouse" By, Jerry Pinkney

I decided to review a children's book.  Miles and I loved this book. It is the classic fable of two unlikely friends. There are literally hundreds of editions of this classic story. What makes this edition extraordinary is that it is word-less. The illustrations tell the story. We "read" it together and I may have enjoyed it more than Miles. There is nothing better than watching their minds at work. He was using context clues and making educated guesses about how the story would play out. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.  We got this one from the library but it is totally worth buying. I would recommended it for any preschooler.  A younger child may also appreciate the pictures.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In honor of his day....

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Two of my favorite comfort foods which are perfect for this cold wintery weather.

My mac and cheese is my wonderful, amazing, fantastic cook, Gram Rae’s recipe. After she passed I started to make it from memory and this is what I came up with. Wow that was 14 years ago. I have realized over the years that we are very similar cooks. She used to prepare the entire Thanksgiving meal. Now I know why, she wanted everything exactly as she imagined and likely thought her recipe was the best for the things she wanted to prepare.  I will admit that I have been known to do that. I get it Gram.

Mac and cheese

1 1lb elbow noodles
1 lb American cheese (I use Land O’Lakes yellow American from the deli)
8 oz sharp shredded cheddar (I use Sargento)
3 cups milk (add more if needed)
2 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Put on a pot of water to boil the pasta. At the same time combine the milk, butter and both cheeses, salt and pepper in a sauce pan. Reserve a little of the shredded cheddar for the top before baking. Keep the temperature at medium low heat. Melt the cheese and the milk until slightly bubbling, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to boil over.

When the pasta is done pour it into a baking dish. If it is glass or ceramic, no need to grease the pan. If it is metal I would grease it with butter. Pour the cheese sauce over top. If there is not actual sauce in the pan stir in a little more milk until it is creamy and sitting in a little of the sauce. Sprinkle with the reserved cheddar cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350 for about 30 minutes. Until the top browns a little and the edges and corners are bubbling.


This is my own recipe for meatloaf that I think I have perfected over the years. I like to make it for people that think they don't like meatloaf. My rule is that I don't use too many breadcrumbs. I want it to taste like a juicy burger not mystery meat.


2lbs of ground sirloin
1 red bell pepper- chopped
1 small Vidalia onion- chopped
¼ cup of breadcrumbs (eyeball it)
2 eggs (beaten)
Ground cumin
Salt and pepper

Chop all vegetable and combine. You can use a green pepper but I find the red is nicer because it is slightly sweet and mild. When adding the cumin be generous. It offers a nice smoky flavor and you need more of it than you think.

I bake my meatloaf in a baking pan. I shape in into an oval shape and cover with foil. Bake it at 350 for about 45 minutes. I take the foil off for the last few minutes to let it brown.

These two recipes would be perfect enjoyed together with a side of some green vegetable. Kale, Green beans, Spinach or Broccoli would all be great.