Monday, September 13, 2010

In a Hurry . . .

Back to car line the past couple of weeks, so extremely busy trying to get back in routine. Therefore, today I will only share with you a random thought:

How do you explain to your child's 27-year-old teacher that you are late for volunteering because you were having a helluva hard time trying to tweeze that chin hair??

Think about it and get back to me!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One Week and Counting . . .

Before I am sitting back in the car line.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Holy Crepe!

What's that you say? I am in the process of some personal changes this year. One of the things I am doing is trying to introduce my kids, and my family, to more dinner options. In the past, we seemed to have gotten into a rut. Monday was a chicken casserole, Taco Tuesdays, Make-Your-Own-Salad Wednesdays, you get the idea. So at the start of this year, I have been mixing it up - literally and figuratively! We have had Fried Rice, Spaghetti Carbonara, Shrimp 'Po Boys, Shrimp and Grits, homemade potato chips, Berry Summer Salad, Strawberry Soup and the list goes on. So last night, I decided to go back to one of our favorite vacation memories - buying crepes filled with bananas and chocolate, Nutella and Gruyere cheese (not all in the same crepe!) off the streets in Paris. My kids gobbled them up so I decided to give them a go.

I have four favorite recipe resources:,, and my collection of 40+ cookbooks! What I love about the websites is that you can save recipes that look good in your recipe box. What I love about the cookbooks is the wrinkled pages covered in chocolate or smeared with something! Then when perusing for something for dinner, voila! So I came across a recipe for Chicken and Asparagus Crepes - yummy. I bought all the ingredients but didn't get around to making it for a week. When I actually got all the ingredients out of the fridge, I realized my carnivore children ate all the ham (also included in the recipe) so we went without.

To make crepes, you first have to make a mixture in a blender and chill for an hour. Done and here's the delicious recipe we followed from (submitted by Eric Nesbitt):

2 eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

In a blender combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and oil. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into pan, tilting to completely coat the surface of the pan. Cook 2 to 5 minutes, turning once, until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.

Caitlin, my oldest, really got into making the crepes and took over the cooking of them. She also came up with a long line of other fillings you can make. I like the sounds of chicken, broccoli, bacon and Gruyere cheese!

Next came the filling, another recipe from (submitted by Angela Leinenbach):

1/2 cup condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 dash ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped cooked chicken
1 cup cut fresh or frozen asparagus, thawed
1/3 cup chopped fully cooked ham (We didn't use since we were out)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
1/3 cup mayonnaise


In a small bowl, combine the soup, Worcestershire sauce and nutmeg. Set aside 1/4 cup. Add the chicken, asparagus and ham to remaining soup mixture. Spoon 2 tablespoonfuls over each crepe; roll up tightly. Place seam side down in a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Spoon reserved soup mixture over crepes. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Cover and bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Gradually fold cream into mayonnaise. Spread over crepes. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Broil 6 in. from the heat for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

We served them with a simple salad of mixed greens, cranberries, sunflower seeds, goat cheese and a homemade dressing. The kids gobbled them up (my husband is a lawyer and currently preparing for a trial so he wasn't home until about 9:30 but gobbled them up then!).

So, my foray into cooking has officially begun this year. I have actually even started watching cooking shows which I used to find so annoying. I really don't like to watch other people eat. Something about the microphoned chomping that just drives me nuts! However, I can slowly feel myself being drawn to cooking more and more. What's the best part of it you ask? Having a fresh and exciting meal to serve my family? No. Having my family sitting together at the table? No. Having my girls clear the table and do all the dishes? You bet!!

P.S. I actually have photos of the crepes and the finished dish but am experiencing some camera issues. Will hopefully post soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Sights of Summer . . .

Can't. Stay. Ahead. Of . The. Dog. Hair! HELP!!! I spent a good part of Sunday sweeping and vacuuming up the hair from our black lab, Hattie. Now she is a really sweet dog and I love her to death however, she has a real issue with shedding. Now I know that is not her fault I just wish she could learn to clean up after herself. Wonder if I used Rogaine on her, would she stop losing her hair??

Yesterday, I dropped both of my Invisalign braces on the ground. I found one immediately, the other I couldn't find. I got down on my hands and knees to get a better look. I started gasping at all the dog hair hiding under the TV stand, the bookcase, the couch!! Never saw the brace literally right in front of me! The hair was everywhere - AGAIN! At that moment, my husband, his friend and his 3 kids, not to mention the 3 kids already in my house, all walked in the door. Yes, I am on the ground, covered in hair and they want to know what I am doing (somewhat reasonable question I guess!). I tell them and they all rush over to help! This would have been fine, and appreciated, but I was mortified by the little patches of dog floating around my house!! Have no fear, the brace was recovered, covered in dog hair (yes, it's been cleaned) and everyone headed to the pool. Except me who got out the vacuum!

Skip ahead three hours later, Rich (my husband) and I finally sit down to eat after everyone's gone and the girls are in bed. We sit by the TV to watch the rest of the Tampa Bay Rays game (Go Rays! They won!). I just put my feet up and what to my wondering eyes goes by, not one, not two, but three little hair balls!! If I was Martha Stewart, I would gather them and knit them into a holiday quilt however, I am not. I therefore, me being me, decided to name them and enjoy them being in my house! Now when the girls ask for another pet, we have several already in our home! Pick one. If you can't beat them, join them!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Sound Like a Broken Record . . .

Ok, so that analogy didn't go over well with my two girls. What's a record? That doesn't make any sense? Like a World Guinness Record? Mom, what are you talking about?? So my kids don't get that. In hindsight, I don't think anything will fill that void. We can't sound like scratched CDs or DVDs, they just freeze, not keep repeating themselves like a mom home with her kids on summer break.

Now bear in mind, I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom. It's the best part of my life however, we are now on Week 6 of summer vacation. I am trying REALLY hard to keep my house in shape (it is currently on the market and could be shown at any time). My kids are basically good but they are basically slobs at the same time.

Here is a sound bite of my typical day:
Me: Did you feed the dog?
Olivia: No.
Me (later): Did you feed the dog?
Olivia: Yes. (yeah, small victory)
Me: Where did you put the scoop?
Olivia: (no reply, just jumps off the couch and I hear her put the scoop back in the dog food.)

Me: Your purse in on the dining room table, can you please put it up?
Caitlin: (no reply)
Me: Did you hear me?
Caitlin (can't make out what she said).
Me (later walking by the dining room): Caitlin, your purse is still on the dining room table, I need you to put it away.
Caitlin: (no reply)
Caitlin (later - yelling): Mom? Where's my purse?

A broken record! I could give you many more examples but I imagine we all have them playing in our homes. My kids told me they were sick of me constantly repeating the same things - trust me kids, I am sick of having to say them!

We were all swimming in the pool on Saturday afternoon. We swam laps, had a frozen drink and were just hanging out in the pool. I went in to get some snacks and looked around the kitchen, it was clean. The girls had finished their lunches and put their plates AND cups in the dishwasher!! It was a major victory! I did a little dance, right there in the kitchen, to the sound of a broken record playing in my head!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

LOVE Having Girls . . .

So I mentioned in a previous post that my daughters, Caitlin and Olivia, were taking a cake decorating class They booked it about 2 months ago and were excited about it then but when the time rolled around, they were not so excited anymore. Since I was still working for the Census (last day tonight!), we hadn't had time to buy the $40 worth of supplies for the class. So on Friday, after an early shift at work, we run to Jo-Ann's. Of course when we get there, they are out of a couple of items. My oldest starts complaining about how they will be the only "freaks" without the right items and they will stand out like sore thumbs. Yes, I agree, she is extremely dramatic but remember, she is a Tween! I talk her down, we run to Publix to get some cake mixes (no time for real cake baking here!) and head home.

Saturday turns out to be one of those "perfect days"! We bake our cakes together and run to Michael's on the way to class to look for the missing items. Lucky for us, they have everything we need, plus we buy a few items we don't need, and we are off! I drop them at class, get them settled in and am off to shop a little (yeah for me!). I wander around Jo-Ann's buying a few things and decide to swing by the class to "peek" in to see how they are doing. I stand there for about 5 minutes without them even noticing me. I watch at the door while there are diligently listening to the instructor and then trying to replicate what she showed them to do. I catch Caitlin, my oldest, licking her finger and smiling big-time. My cue to leave.

I go do some more shopping at Home Goods and Barnes & Noble, spend WAY too much money, and then head back to get the girls. They won't let me come in the room until they cover their cakes. They are bouncing off the walls with excitement and sugar! We head home and time for the big reveal. They show me their cakes and they look amazing!! They are so proud and tell me all about the techniques they learned. Olivia is a little upset because her cake was jostled a little on the way home and kind of looks like she ran her tongue around the outer edge but she assures me that wasn't the case! We decide we don't need to eat two cakes so we cut each cake in half, so we can sample both girls cakes, and freeze the other two halves for company coming this weekend. Can't wait for dessert!

We head to the pool for some laps and fun time. My husband comes home from watching soccer with some friends and we swim for a couple of hours. Everyone gets along in the pool (extremely rare) and just laughing and having the best time. No one feels like cooking so we pick-up some Five Guys and Fries (delish!!) and watch a movie while a big storm hits. We are all safe and sound inside. We all go to bed with our bellies full of delicious fries and cake made with love and great memories running through our mind. Wish I could bottle this day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fourth of July Just Around the Corner . . .

FINALLY!! Here are my 4th of July photos. As mentioned before, it is just TOO hot for me to get motivated to decorate, even if it is 76 degrees in the house so I just put up some seasonal touches.

If you notice, I do buy a lot of "multi-holiday" items. Meaning, I bought a red pitcher with white polka dots. Tie a blue ribbon on it and it is good to go for the 4th. Pink ribbon tells me it's Valentine's Day and of course one of my favorite colors, lime green, signals Christmas is approaching. When I store my holiday items, I actually keep out solid-color pieces so they are easily accessible for any and all holiday needs!

On my mantel, you can also see that I do the same with frames. I actually bought a handful of frames on a good sale at Jo-Ann's (love my sales!) that were solid red and blue. I added a scrapbooking embellishment to make it more festive. This time I actually filled the frames. I am notorious for putting frames up with the intention of filling but you know what they say about good intentions. In fact, my mother always jokes about the new members of my family (the model photos that come withe frames!)

So enjoy!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

LOVE Holiday Decorating Except . . .

Alright, I am a BIG fan of holidays. I love to decorate but everything has to be just right in order for me to actually do the work. Decorating is a HUGE undertaking, at least in my house. Pretty much all pictures on shelves, decorations, candles, pillows, you name it, that are currently out for the season, go away! Lucky for me, my current home has a TON of storage. I say current because it is on the market but I will make sure the new place has lots too! I am a Material Girl and I am not afraid to admit it! So here's the perfect storm for me to get going: 1) Husband has to bring all the storage boxes upstairs to the main floor without complaining or dislocating anything! 2) I have to have a couple days of nothing else on my plate (always hard as any mom or woman knows!!) 3) The weather has to be right (why as a Floridian, I am NEVER in the mood to decorate for the 4th of July! Too friggin' hot! I would so much rather float in the pool with a good book and even better frozen drink!) 4) Has to be a holiday I really love which for me is Fall (yes, I know it is a season but I still decorate for it so it counts!), Halloween and Christmas. They are the big ones but they are also the ones I love the most! 5) Has to be the correct month. Usually in my house, Fall hits September. Halloween, October 1, and Christmas usually happens in November. For the past couple of years, we have taken a big vacation in November so since we are not home for Thanksgiving, we skip it and start putting up Christmas. That way when we get home from our vacation, we just need to buy the trees (yes again, more than one) and put them up!

So today is not really the perfect storm but since I am hosting a 4th of July party for family and friends and still working part-time for the Census (my last day is this Wednesday!), I need to get decs up today so we will just call it a tropical wave. Lucky for me, this holiday is pretty simple for me. I plan to redo the mantle since it is the focal piece, decorate by the front doors and add some glittery stars (got fantastic wooden stars with glitter on them in the $1 section of Target - dog ate one of my blue ones so I imagine she might be dropping some blue sparkly poop in the next day or two!!) and flags around the main rooms and that will pretty much be it. Most of the rest of the decorations will go outside for the party and those can't go out until next weekend because they will fade quicker than John Gosselin's current girlfriend!

Since I am new to blogging, I am far from being an expert but I am going to shoot some photos and post them, or try to, of the before and afters. Hopefully I will have them up by tomorrow. I do have to play mom today and take my girls to their cake decorating class at Jo-Ann's. While I was not happy to have to spend $40 on the supplies (and that's with them sharing most of them!) I am real happy about having 4 cakes to eat tonight!! Yummers! Monday will be here soon so I will start new then!! (see previous post for the joke) Off to put up some patriotic pride and go Team USA in today's World Cup match!

P.S. How do you like my clipart?? I am so proud to have figured that one out!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Today is My Birthday, Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Naaa . . .

Yes, I am now 42-years-young! I always thought that was cheesy when someone said that but now that I am old (!!!) I might become one of THOSE people! These kind of days are a great day for self-reflection (figuratively speaking, definitely not literally - I don't want to look at all the wrinkles on my face and butt!). I realize that I am probably half-way through my life. The big question is, am I where I think I should be?? All the important pieces are in place - I have a husband who truly loves me (just brought me breakfast in bed), two kids who are really great (still sleeping, love them!), I get to travel and have seen some great places/sites (one of my great passions) and have many great friends and family. Few things to work on - lose weight (been carrying it around since my first born, who now is 12-years-young - UGH! I did it again!), would like to have more in savings (who doesn't??), and would like to be a better friend to my friends. Now, I am not mean to them (like those ladies - loosely used term - on The Housewives of NYC), I am just saying I am not good about calling just to talk or going out to lunch. I have certain people in my life who I want to make sure stay in my life and that would be a great goal to have - Call my friends to talk and have lunch while dieting and saving money!! LOL!!

Anyway, Happy Birthday to me! Off to lounge in the pool with a good book and later today, a good drink!

P.S. The photo is from my "younger" days (sans make-up), just testing to see if I can post pixs.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thanks for the Feedback . . .

Well, I have a temporary job working for the Census (that will be another post another time!). I was running late for work one day and realized my clothes were a bit wrinkly. I pulled out my favorite grooming product - Downy Wrinkle Release, and got to work. As I finished, my oldest daughter Caitlin came in. I asked her if I looked too wrinkly. She started staring at me with a certain intensity and revealed her result "well, maybe a little around the eyes". Now I think Downy Wrinkle Release is REALLY one of the best things on the entire planet, right up there with air-conditioning and digital cameras but I don't think it will help me around my eyes!! Out of the mouths of babes!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

But There is No Car Line in Summer . . .

Yes, it is slightly ironic that I start a blog about "Life in the Car Line" the first official day of summer for our family!! I get it. Truth be said though, I won't miss it but I have learned how to be productive after 7 years (at least 7 more to go) of car-lining it! On my last day of car line this year, I did a little math. My oldest daughter Caitlin is now in middle school. In order to get her and her friends (I also carpool!), I need to get to the school by around 1:40 so I can get my spot in the car line, get them and get to the elementary school in time to get my youngest Olivia by 2:30. That being said, that's 50 minutes a day - a minimum, times 180 days of school = 150 hours! That comes to 6.25 days in CAR LINE!! Now, in all honesty, I have only done that for the past year. The previous six, I only spent about 30 minutes a day in car line (two kids - one school) - what did I do with all the extra time - LOL!! But this year, I have been more productive. The purse has stayed cleaned. The receipts are organized. I learned a little Italian (Non parlo l'italiano pozzo reale). Doctor's appointments made. Brownie meetings planned. And the list goes on. So this blog will be about being a mom who loves to decorate, volunteer, travel and all those other wonderful mom things that get planned, thought about and decided while sitting in car line. However don't expect lots of cleaning tips (I do have two I can share with you right now though 1) While I talk on the phone, I walk around the house and blow the dust off shelves! 2) Have children and train them young!) I will share with you great decorating tips I come across, recipes my entire family enjoyed, fun family trips and anything else that happens to me "in or out of the carline"! Sperare che lei piaccia esso. (Hope you enjoy it!)