Saturday, May 30, 2009
I really enjoy getting the Kraft Food & Family recipe idea magazine each season. There were several yummy looking salads in the Summer '09 edition. The recipe featured here today is the first one we tried. Yummy!
Fruit & Almond Salad
5 oz. salad greens
11 oz. mandarin oranges (drained)
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup light raspberry vinaigrette dressing
Combine all ingredients (except dressing) in a large bowl.
Drizzle with dressing just before serving.
Toss to coat!
If you are wondering how to toast almonds, here are some notes:
Spread nuts in a single layer in a shallow baking pan
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown
Please add a link to your salad recipe in the comment section. I will add a permanent link to the post after I review your comment. Thanks!
Heidi @ Sacred and Profane shared her recipe for Swiss Apple Pasta Salad.
Katie @ Katie's Nesting spot posted another yummy Kraft Foods salad full of tasty extras!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
As a bit of an introduction to my family, my interests, my blog, and me I've come up with a little list (of course!).
I must preface this list by saying that my favorite picnics are the impromptu, pick up Jimmy John's on the way to the beach, ones. However, if I must plan ahead here's what I'll pack.
The Perfect Picnic Packing List
~Kevin: My handsome husband of 9 years
~Gavin: My inquisitive, days away from being, 5 year old
~Anne Hope: My dramatically independent 3 year old fashionista
~Gibson: My 7 month old sweet, smiley sonny
~Camera: To capture the moment
~Napkins & Wipes: To organize the messes
~Play Equipment: For making new memories
~Food: I'm not a huge hamburg/hot dog gal, but I love picnic salads, sweets, and side dishes.
~Blanket: Something floral, pink, or purple(better yet pink & purple)
~Diet Coke: Yup, pretty much addicted...ask my Tweeps!
~Reading Material: I love to read to myself and to the kids
~Off Lamp: To keep away all the pesky bugzzzzzzz
~Conversation Starters: To prompt some interesting picnic table talk & reflection
I can't resist a cute bag, so I am most likely to shove all my stuff into a cloth tote instead of a basket.
Once I'm packed, I'm ready to head off to one of our perfect picnic destinations - ANY Lake Michigan beach between St. Joseph & St. Ignace.
I'd love for you to join me!
Pack your bag (or basket) and I'll look for you at the picnic!
On a side note:
It certainly isn't a summer picnic food, but I just found out my Easy Potato Soup recipe is the champion for the May edition of The Iron Chef Challenge. Thanks to those of you who voted!!
The kids are enjoying the personalized books sent to us by Frecklebox. This week, as part of ABC and 123's Summer Prize Picnic, there is a fantastic opportunity to win a personalized book for a little one in your life!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
My reaction -
"I found myself getting a little choked up about my babe reaching his first school milestone. I wonder if I'd feel less emotional if I had a clue where he was going to go to Kindergarten."
Gavin's reaction -
"I am going to look RIDICULOUS in that red dress and hat!"
After the ceremony all of the Cherry Lane grads and their families celebrated at Timbertown, a fabulous wooden playground in our area. Post park, we took our little after party to Mickey D's so Gavin could treat himself and his sister to a Happy Meal with the graduation $ from Gram ("because Gram is the only one who lets me get a Happy Meal with a toy in it.")
Friday, May 22, 2009
Check out the list of monikers our kids have collected already:
Binky T Barnes
Pipa (she has many variations on this theme, referring to the unique noise she was famous for as an infant)
Doodle (short for Hope-y Doodle, Momma's Noodle)
Bubby (that would be a baby/buddy slur)
I do love having special names for my babes and I tend to use them often. I think a nick name has to grow on a child, they can not just be assigned. (I would have never dreamed up BT for Gavin). However, it super douper urks me when others, who overhear our special pet names, think it is okay to use them when addressing our kids. Excuse Me! I gave those children perfectly lovely real names. Please use them....;)
How about you? What endearing nicknames have you acquired or assigned?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
If you read Katie's Nesting Spot you have already seen this and know that I am all out copying her in presenting this beautiful piano arrangement. Since she introduced me to this particular song this week, by Jon Schmidt, I am hooked. I have been listening to song after song on his site. I have a whole list (of course) of the songs I want to purchase for download.
I LOVE his music!
Here is the amazing song he has arranged and performed that drew me in!
It's Taylor Swift meets Cold Play or as Jon has titled it,
Love Story Meets Viva La Vida
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Along with ABC & 123's big summer reveal coming soon, I have been busy working on another blog project! I'd love to officially share Beauty in Backlight with you. Some of you may have already checked it out, as the button joined my sidebar in the midst of last week's makeover.
My new shop was inspired by paper silhouette suggestions I browsed when looking for Mother's Day gift ideas. I have developed a way to make your favorite photographed silhouette's into digital designs. Through Beauty in Backlight I will be able to offer this service to you to help with your gift giving and memory capturing.
I hope you will take a minute to take a look at my new shop. In fact, right now I am offering a special opportunity for those of you willing to give me feedback. Thanks for taking the time to check it out!
Last week I wrote about the kid's new favorite way to pass time by playing make believe.
I never enjoy playinig make believe as much as they do. I have not found great pleasure in participating in the unique games, specifically the doctor game. I don't know who in the world would want to be the patient every round. Certainly I would not take on that role. We all know the patient's only job is to lay on the bed with their eyes closed. This time I took one for the team and acted sickly. Even though I was the patient there is no way I would enjoy those few minutes of time off my feet while being poked and prodded by wanna-be surgeons.
Upon asking the doctors to tell me their names, I did not take delight in Gavin pronouncing himself to be "Dr. Green" - the name of our real life pediatrician who seems to be a professional worth emulating.
It was not me who also giggled to myself thinking about said doctor - who Kevin would never (I mean NEVER) call the in real life, Doctor McDreamy. I could not secretly agree with him even though Kevin isn't the most handsome man I've ever met.
(Better clarify that for those who don't get the whole NOT Me thing. Dr. Green is good looking, but Kevin is the most handsome man I've ever met).
Okay. I digress.
My giggling, while under anethsia, did not give way to a full blown belly laugh when Anne Hope chimed in, "And I'm Dr. Purple!"
After my extensive medical procedure, it was not this momma who declared that playing make believe was very fun today. Thankyouverymuch. But, game over.
When the worn out doctors asked me to move on with them to a game of ice skating cowboys I did not tell them it was time for me to make dinner - you know, since I was all worn out from my surgery.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Warning: Eating this week's salad is like eating dessert! Probably not the healthiest choice, but Oh! So! Yummy!
2 lbs. washed, dried red & green grapes
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. sliced almonds
Mix the sour cream, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together. Stir in grapes until they are all coated. Top with sprinkles of brown sugar and sliced almonds.
Do you have any desserty, delicious salad recipes? Please share!
Update: There seems to be a problem with Mr. Linky today. If you have a salad to add please leave your link in a comment and I will add it to this post.
Katie shared a Saturday Salad post all about Greek Salad.
Four Turtle Racers shared a recipe for a Cabbage Salad.
Friday, May 15, 2009
This Friday I am hooked on my new blog design. As you may recall, about a month ago I won a blog makeover through a giveaway on Family Traditions. Jen from Trendy Mom Blog Design did such a fantastic job of capturing my favorites in this new design. I'm so hooked that I've checked my own page repeatedly just to enjoy the colors and designs again & again - watch our stat counter!
You might notice that with the new design I also tweaked my title just a bit. It always bothered me, in that scratch your nails on a chalkboard kinda way, that listmaker was not a real word. I originally chose to have it as all one word for alliteration sake, but for spelling sake I had Tara correct it. For goodness sake...
Working with Jen was a dream. She cooperates with several great digital designers to be able to offer a huge selection of paper & elements choices. We began with a questionnaire where she was able to get a bit of an idea of my personal preferences. After she put together my design I was able to view it and make changes on her test page. She was incredibly patient with me when I made one specific change that was timely to switch.
If you have ever considered a blog makeover, I suggest you get in touch with Jen. You will be SO glad you did & you "I'll do-it-myself-ers" will be so thankful for the time & headache she will save you!
If you follow A List Maker's Life in a reader, you might have to click over and check out my new look today! Yup, I'm hooked!
To find out what others are Hooked on this Friday head to Hooked on Houses.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I love childish imagination!
Here's the top 10 from this season's pretend activities Hot List!
1. Pterodactyl Tag
2. Dinosaur Races
3. Dinosaur Red Light
4. The Yarn Train Whistle
5. Cowboys on Ice Skates
6. Beauty & the Beast
8. Alligator vs. Monkey Wrestle
9. Dr. Purple
10. Rock & Roll Band
I'll let you use your imagination to figure out the crazy rules for each of these clever kid games.
I must get back so they can teach me to play "maple leaf" too!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I love my kids . I am blessed to have this time home with them. Yet, I still find some self definition in my education, my career, and my job? I still introduce myself as the "teacher who is home with my kids right now."
This "retirement" of mine is temporary, yes. But the title MOM & wife are quite permanent. Why don't I function at 100% here? In the day to day, hour by hour events, am I mindlessly reacting to my postion or am I conscious of how I carry it out?
Right now, in this moment I'm given...
I spend my days at home cleaning, cooking, correcting, cuddling, chasing, crafting, and communicating. I fill the hours. I fill the minutes. I fill every second with activitites. I search for things that make me feel productive and professional. Being a mom doesn't seem like enough so I organize events, run a business, build a professional blog, write agendas, correspond with educators, compile activities, read professional literature, and plan learning centers for my kids.
Each second that's passing is filled with so much meaning...
I think I'm missing it.
This morning something was different. I snuggled the kids in bed as they woke up. I served breakfast while I was still in my own jammies. I really played trains, with my hands and my heart. When I did get dressed I chose the fuzzy sweatshirt and flip flops (you know the one - it probably screams SAHM). Today I was okay with that.
We didn't run errands. We didn't "hustle up."
We didn't prop the bottle.
We talked. We listened. We laughed. We wrestled.
We were all more content, more amused, more entertained, and more peaceful.
Without any conscious change on my part I found myself appreciating the opportunity to carry out the mundane chores of the day: laundry, trash, mopping, laundry, bathing babes, laundry. I didn't wrestle with myeslf about what I should be/could be/used to be doing. I found joy in our moments. I appreciated the pace of this "season." I embraced the job I've been given.
As the day ends I feel better about what I accomplished in the here & now, instead of feeling like I spent my day stuck between then & now.
I'll treasure the breath I'm breathing...
Monday, May 11, 2009
Several of the things that came to my mind right away would be repeats for those of you who have been reading A Listmaker's Life for any amount of time... reading, strawberries, scrapbooking, diet coke, toothpaste, etc. Well, come to think of it, those things are all pretty darn important;)
6. the soft rabbit pellet-ish ice that is sometimes in fountain drinks - (Note to Simon - ice for lunch is a good thing)
5. wearing flip flops with manicured toe nails
3. chenille bedspreads, blankets, and little girly clothes
1. etsy - it's SO fun to browse & Katie and I are currently working with several etsy shop owners to set up some great giveaways for ABC & 123!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
...first time moms
...mind molding moms
...meal making moms
To all of you.
Who are all of these.
Happy Mother's Day!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Last month my friend Shelby was the winner of the Iron Chef Challenge. I agree that Shelby's crockpot recipe was a winner! This month I decided to join in the new challenge - potatoes! There is a potato soup recipe that I love, love, love! You may remember this specific recipe from one of this winter's Souper Saturdays, but I will re-post it now.
Easy Baked Potato Soup
3 to 4 medium baking potatoes, baked
5 bacon strips, diced
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
3-1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash Liquid Smoke, optional
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Peel and dice the baked potatoes; set aside. In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 1-1/2 teaspoons drippings.
Add the soups, milk, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, pepper, Liquid Smoke if desired and reserved potatoes to the drippings. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Stir in sour cream, cook for 1-2 minutes or until heated through (do not boil).
Garnish with cheddar cheese and bacon.
Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
1 head lettuce
chunks of feta or cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups cashews
1 cup salad oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. mustard
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tsp. grated onion
1 tsp. poppyseed
Shake occassionally & refridgerate overnight.
Mix together before serving!
Do you have a salad to share this Saturday?
Friday, May 8, 2009
In honor of Mother's Day I interviewed the kids. I asked them a few questions about our favorite moms...their Grandma's.
What is a grandma?
Gavin: A Mom. Like Gram is your mom and Gramma Great is Gram's mom.
Anne Hope: A Gram E, or a Grandma M, or a Grammy Great.
What do grandmas like best?
They would love me best.
Grandmas love bears.
What do grandmas do?
They play with people. They bake some food and eat pizza from a real pizza place that's good.
They talk, play, and read books.
What do grandmas say?
I Love You.
Let's play cars.
Let's put on your clothes to go to Lowes or something.
Who did that???
What does grandma smell like?
Um, I don't want to answer that one!
Anne Hope, not really...
What are your grandmas' favorite colors?
Grandma E. - pink
Grandma M. - purple
Grandma E. - red
Grandma M. - yellow or black
What is your favorite thing to do at your grandmas' houses?
Coloring & Art, Abby & Emma
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I like listening to bands.
Our Parade Highlights -
Parade descriptions are taken from the Tulip Time website.
This month Heidi challenged us to craft something with ribbon! I spent quite a bit of time trying to think of some clever, out of the ordinary, project to try using ribbon. However, when it came right down to it I realized I have many homemade ribbon projects I have made or used throughout this month.