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Showing posts from June, 2011

The Oregon Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Cookie Is Here!

I did it!  I forced myself beyond my comfort level and entered the State Cookie Contest sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens .  I figured, since I was asked, I need to at least try.  Here are a few pics of the creative process: Here are the main components:  Moonstruck Chocolate , Hazelnuts from Duyck's Peachy-Pig Farm in Cornelius, OR (picked up at the St. John's Farmer's Market ), Farm Fresh Eggs (from St. John's Farmer's Market as well) and a brand new Better Homes and Gardens Baking Sheet. Lily is busy mixing the wet ingredients Katie and Lily mix the flour, et al, with the butter, etc. Katie cuts the Moonstruck  chocolate bars into chunks.  (And yes, some chocolate pieces went "missing") Time for the placement on the baking sheet Around 8 minutes later they come out beautifully brown and slid right off the pan We couldn't wait to try them! The Oregon Chocolate Chunk Haze

A Baking Contest? Me?!?

I was asked if I would like to participate in a cookie baking contest.  Me?  Me.  Yes, I was contacted by a real person who wanted to know if I could come up with a cookie that would best represent my state - Oregon. Before I hit 'delete' I thought about the fact that my girls are on their 2nd week of Summer Vacation and I have already had my fill of  "I'm bored".  So I asked my girls, 'If you were to make a cookie with food items from Oregon, what would you put in it?  What shaped would it be?'.   Ah ha!  A project! So today we begin to create our entry for the contest.  Pictures soon to follow.

The Shoes! Of course!

I can't believe that never occurred to me

Virtual Girls Night Out - It's '80's Night

As the shenanigan's of the neighbor kids (see last post ) weighs on  some parents, with our lengthy phone calls compairing notes on "what did they do in your neck of the woods last night?", I'm going to take a break from the drama and have fun with my blog pals at our Virtual Girls Night Out! *The VGNO blog-hop is for those who want to party "virtually" with other bloggers. Add your blog link to the link-up below, get on your fuzzy slippers, make yourself a cocktail, visit those that have left their blog link and have fun! Happy VGNO!* Time For Some Tunes! Katy Perry " Last Friday Night T.G.I.F. " I absolutely love this video.  "What's Uncle Kenny doing on the couch?!?" Time For A Cocktail! Blue Lagoon Ingredients: 1.5 Oz Vodka 1.5 Oz Blue curacao, Premium brand like Bols or De Kuyper Lemonade, Prefer white lemonade Directions: Glass: Highball, Collins Step 1: Fill glass with ice Step 2: Pour the vodka and blu

With Age Comes No Wisdom

As the grass grows waist high at the vacant home across the street, the neighborhood keeps an eye out for anyone that might take advantage of this scenario.  So imagine my surprise when I see 2 familiar looking boys lurking around one of its doors, fiddling with the security lock. I called to my 13 yrs. old daughter to come check out the kids, to see if they were who I thought they were, and she confirmed they were her classmates.  Let the mischief of Summer 2011 begin! I yelled at them to come over to me and they did.  (Thank goodness they still have some minute fear of adults instead of swearing at me and running away.)  When they were standing in front of me all I could say was, 'What are you thinking ?!' I received the classic, "Wha' ?  Wha' ?" along with their puppy dog eyes. One of the boys has a history of being in trouble in school.  And, unfortunately, the other boy has been friends with my daughter for years, however this past year he's had

Healthy Tips For Parents This Summer

Since having my children home during the day isn't the norm, summertime can lend itself to being a bit stressful.  Arguments over the computer and the t.v.  Can we go here, there and everywhere?  "I'm bored!"  (My girls have told me they don't need to hear me say 'Only boring people are boring' one more time.  I, of course, say 'Then stop telling me you're bored'.  Round and round it goes.) I've found these five methods from Chicago Healers Practitioner Dr. Helen Lee very helpful in getting me through my days.  I hope they can help you too. Breathe – It may feel silly to remind oneself to breathe, but it is so important. There are two types of breathing: shallow and deep. Taking shallow chest breaths causes the body to operate in “fight or flight” mode, which is highly stressful. Less oxygen goes to the brain and the body continues to operate on high alert. It is important to take deep abdominal breaths, which stimulate the parasympat

Aleve Please Sponsor My Workouts!

I think the exercise industry and the pain reliever industry are in cahoots*.  You really can't have one without the other.  (And those of you doing 20 minutes of leg lifts know what I'm talking about!) At some point in the workout I wonder, 'Are my legs supposed to feel like this?' and 'How the hell do these women instructors keep smiling AND talking?!?' I am so grateful there isn't a camera on me... you wouldn't want to see, trust me. But I know this is the right thing to do, it's good for me and all that.  Right?  It's good for me.  Oh wait, maybe that's what the last Aleve commercial was telling me. Cahoots* I tell ya'! (*Cahoots = Old time cowboy talk   for "partnership")

Forget The Swimsuit - Where's The Cover Up?

Just booked a little vacation that will require the wearing of a bathing suit.  Ugh. I was so motivated last year.  I was so consistent with my exercise last year.  But something happened around February and I lost my motivation.  I don't know what happened. Well, here's hoping that that whole "muscle memory" thing I've heard about is true and it won't be too difficult to get back into the swing of things.  Who am I kidding.  I'm in my mid-forties and you have to work twice as hard to get half the results.  Oh well, maybe I can wear a sarong at the water park.

Virtual Girls Night Out - Where's The Sun???

Here we are, school is out for the year and it's supposed to be "summer" but the weather in Portland, OR is anything but shiny and frolicky (it's a word, right?).  I'm going to do a little Mind Over Matter and create my own sunshine at this weeks Virtual Girls Night Out.  Join Me! *The VGNO blog-hop is for those who want to party "virtually" with other bloggers. Add your blog link to the link-up below, get on your fuzzy slippers, make yourself a cocktail, visit those that have left their blog link and have fun! Happy VGNO!* Time For Some Tunes!  The weather is just NOT cooperating in Portland, OR this season.  It's raining and cold today.  Ugh.  Time for a little encouragement through music.   The Sundays " Summertime " Time For A Cocktail! Rosemary Lemon Margarita Ingredients 8 Lemons (Juice Only) 24 ounces Club Soda 4 Rosemary Sprigs 4 tablespoons Sugar 4 ounces Sauza® Blanco Tequila Directions Combine lemons, club soda

No More Playhouse Disney

When looking through your child's end-of-school-year papers and yearbooks you wouldn't be surprised to find that her contribution to the "Poetry Jam" project was titled "The End".  Ah... so poetic, so romantic, so 13 years old.  Then you read the poem and it involves black smoke... and a knife... and blood.  Um. You double check that the name on the paper is indeed your child's and not the brooding boy that talks of bombs and death on every field trip.  Yes.  It's your child's name. This was so-o-o-o not on my radar.  Where's the poem about missing her teachers and growing up, passing on to the next grade?  Where's the poem regarding the pain and devastation of not being able to see her secret crush every day through peek-holes in her binder? Black smoke?  Knife?   Blood?!?  I miss days of Dora the Explorer.

Is This Really Why I Became A Mom?

Now, if she had a glass of wine in one hand, we might be on to something ;-> (Thanks Mandie at Time 4 Mommy Community !)

Graduation Day

Great Job Lily and Katie!  You've completed another successful year.  Now a 5th Grader  Now an 8th Grader  Such wonderful teachers this year Lily and Mr. Camp  Katie and Ms. Sinnott   So proud!

Poor LeBron James

OK,  so I wasn't involved in watching the NBA this season.  However, I did catch the end of the game yesterday.  Congratulations Mavericks !

Virtual Girls Night Out - Ricky Gervais and a Heart Rock

The Traveling Heart-Shaped Rock Project is back on track! The first stop is Connecticut.  Would you like to take part?  What we are doing is mailing this "little gem" around the globe, having bloggers take pictures of it when it reaches them and posting those pictures on their blog.  After your "T.H.S.R.P." picture post you mail it to the next person on the list.  On and on it goes.  Want to be on the list?  Send an email to me at and I'll send you all the information.  Time to get on with our Virtual Girls Night Out! *The VGNO blog-hop is for those who want to party "virtually" with other bloggers. Add your blog link to the link-up below, get on your fuzzy slippers, make yourself a cocktail, visit those that have left their blog link and have fun! Happy VGNO!* Time For Some Tunes! (Am I the last person to know that Ricky Gervais was in an '80's New Wave band?!?) Seona Dancing "Bitter Heart" Wow.  H

Wise Words

Because I'm not quite done with Oprah... Important phrases from her last show; "I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me." I try to remind myself of these words when my kids are acting out.  It helps.

First Oprah Now Mr. Walden?!

I've been to school's in my lifetime where I knew we had a Principal, I just never saw them.  Or, I saw our Principal and just wasn't that impressed. The Principal of my daughter's school is leaving... and I'm incredibly sad. Mr. Walden has been the Principal of Astor Elementary School, Portland, OR  for 13 years.  He is involved, he presence is seen and felt, he is the kids biggest supporter and cheerleader, and a wonderful listener when you come to him with your concerns.  I know that there have been some bumps in the road with communication and understanding, but things are never 100% when you are dealing with the education and emotions of parents and their children. I know I won't be able to stand and tell my "Mr. Walden Story" at the gathering this evening, I'd cry the whole time - how annoying.  So, I thought I would write it out, get it out here in my own little blog world. **** Into the 3rd week of my daughters second grade year I dr

Fix It

I had this plate.  It was part of the collection Rob and I received when we were married.  We've had these plates going on 18 years now.  This particular salad plate became chipped along the rim where the design was so it was very noticable, to me anyway.  I didn't like it. Over the years we've added different styles of plates to our collection.  We have about 4 different colors and designs happening now.  I dream of having things match however, I can't imagine having everything look the same.  I make no sense. This plate, this chipped plate, had been bothering me for weeks, for months.  Probably years!  I don't know any more.  I don't know why I was hanging on to this "defective" plate when we had a dozen others to use.  I would even take this particular plate and put in on the bottom of the pile in the cabinet.  I didn't want to serve food on it for concern the receiver would assume I think less of them by giving them food on a imperfect plat

Hold Me

When it's Monday, and Rob and the girls leave the house for work and school, Benny gets emotional.  He needs some consoling, something comforting.  This is how I found him this morning: Time to go to the Dog Park

Virtual Girls Night Out - Traveling Heart-Shaped Rock Project Is BACK!

I know that some of you have kids that are out of school for the summer already.  My kids still have 2 weeks to go.  That's fine with me, I'm not ready to be "Julie, The Cruise Director/Party Planner" yet.  So let's get our Virtual Girls Night Out going!  (And guess what???  Notice the bottom of this post to see that the Traveling Heart-Shaped Rock Project is back!) *The VGNO blog-hop is for those who want to party "virtually" with other bloggers. Add your blog link to the link-up below , get on your fuzzy slippers, make yourself a cocktail, visit those that have left their blog link and have fun! Happy VGNO!* Time For Some Tunes! Kim Richey " Jack and Jill " "She wore that dress like it was a Saturday..." Time For A Cocktail! A Saturday Afternoon Ingredients: 1 oz banana liqueur 2 oz Malibu® coconut rum 1 oz gold rum 1 splash grenadine syrup 3 oz orange juice 4 - 6 oz ginger ale 1 slice orange Directions: Add

A Little VooDoo (Doughnut) In Our Day

There's a wild and wacky doughnut shop in Portland called VooDoo Doughnut . They create doughnuts that are rolled in Capt'n Crunch and doughnuts sprinkled with Kool-Aid. They have your classic maple bar only theirs is topped with a slice of bacon. (Think about it, it's a great combo.) They once concocted a doughnut that had a NyQuil center, however they discovered the FDA didn't really approve of that confection. On a sunny Saturday, while hanging out downtown, we asked our girls if they wanted to get a treat and they opted for VooDoo. On ward! When we pulled in the parking lot we noticed it was a bit more crowded than usual. At the door we are told a wedding was about to begin, however we could come in and observe. Sure, why not. Well,... this crowd was a bit different than what our daughters are used to and the look on their faces was worth all the calories of all the doughnuts in the land. We were "guests" at a Goth Wedding. Not only does Voo

Boobs Are Funny

With 13 y/o and 10 y/o daughters the topic of bodies and their ever-changing state seem to be daily discussions.  I don't mind.  I grew up with a fantastic mom who let me ask anything and honest answers were given.  (It was really up to my comfort level in what I wanted to ask.) I'm doing my best with my answers (thank you American Girl " The Care & Keeping Of You " !) but sometimes it helps to bring a little silliness into the mix. How Boobs Got Their Name : Silly is good