Friday, June 4, 2010


Last evening at the dinner table:

Me: "Girls, tell me something interesting you learned today?"
Sammi: "Mommy, guess what! Jayden's Mommy is hatching a baby in her tum-ick"
Nicki: "Yes, and it's gonna be a big one!"



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Side Dish Recipes --- Easy Peasy!

As promised yesterday, here are two simply awesome and refreshing summer side dishes that I make (from much constant pressure from family and friends) at least twice a month. The best only requires minutes of easy-peasy preparation. The key is you must use fresh herbs....

Basil Marinated Tomatoes

4 large tomatoes
2/3 cup olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (must be fresh!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (again, yep, must be fresh!)
3 tablespoons chopped onion

Cut tomatoes into wedges and arrange in a large shallow dish. (I use a 9.5 by 11 casserole dish). Set aside.
In a jar or a Tupperware container with a tightly secured top, toss in the next 7 ingredients and shake it vigorously. Pour it over the tomato wedges, cover and chill for several hours.
Yields 8 serving….I very typically just double everything for 16 servings…..
The key to this recipe is the fresh herbs and letting it marinate for at least 3-4 hours in the fridge.

Marinated Cucumber Salad – there is nothing more refreshing than this one!!
7 cups peeled and sliced cucumbers (2 ¼ pounds)
1 large white onion, thinly (thinly!) sliced and separated into rings
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
¾ cup white sugar (do not skimp on the sugar and go less…it is key to this recipe!)
¾ teaspoon celery seeds
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (don’t go dried on me….use fresh!)

Layer cucumber and onion rings in a large bowl. (I use a huge mixing bowl). Combine water and remaining ingredients and pour over the vegetables. Cover and chill AT LEAST two hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Yield: 14 servings

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lots Of Pictures :)

It’s hard to believe it is summer already. June 1st. 2010. How does that sneak up so quickly? Parenthood really does equate with time-warps, doesn’t it? Seems like it was just a few weeks ago that we were bundled up in coats, scarves, wintery mixes and now it’s…..summer! Ah well, all good.

We are all doing so very well. The girls are wrapping-up pre-school and are getting prepped for their little graduation day (June 12th) as then kindergarten begins in July. We’ve gone on the kindergarten orientation tour to see the school, meet the teachers, and meet with the school leaders. The girls are going into a year-round school on Track 2 (which I think is awesome….) and they will be in separate classrooms (first ever for them!). Their classrooms will be next door to each other and the teachers integrate the two kindergarten classrooms during music class, lunch, and recesses so they will see each other a bit…... I do think the separation will be really good for their girls as they are so inseparable now but i don’t think it has quite sunk in for them…Ah well, it’ll be fine. (gulp again)


Gosh, the pictures in this post….in my opinion…are simply adorable. I am so proud of my girls and I am so proud that Ed and I are actually doing quite a pretty good job parenting (so far…). I think it shows in their sunny, happy, sweet dispositions and I think it shows in how healthy and thriving…and engaged…..they are. I am quite proud to say that Ed and I are both on the same determined front as it applies to our consistent approach to our parenting styles, to their diet and nutrition and to how important it is to let them play and be little girls. I am a strong advocate in lots of play and not so much stress in what they “should” be doing…..There is plenty of time for that!!

Nicki…her sunny smile and cutie-pie face lights up an entire room!


And then, with Sammi’s sunny smile and both girls’ (99% of the time) sunny dispositions and their oodles-of-giggles and sillies, we have quite a bright and happy (albeit loud) household. Many acquaintances (and some friends) note that the girls seem so quiet and subdued as they are so very shy and slow-to-warm-up. However…..I can assure you that they are the OPPOSITE of quiet and subdued. Their “noise” can be deafening at times and sometimes during the day I institute a moratorium on chattering for a few mins here and there just to get a bit of peace. But….i’m surely not complaining. It’s really quite a joy…


Ed….you are surely showing your best side. My goodness you are cute… :)


Sammi in pink; Nicki in yellow:


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Check out my little side herb garden. It is truly a joy of mine. I have rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, parsley, dill, chives, lavender (ahh…lovely lavender), tomatoes, jasmine vines, and some flowers. I simply love the ability to go outside the porch (it is right under my kitchen windows as you see below) and trim off a bit of herbs here and a bit of herbs there for simply delectable and fresh dishes. I think I will post two of my favorite summer dishes I prepare over-and-over throughout the summer that star these fresh herbs. Look for the next post later today with the two recipes.


Book time on the screened porch is one of our favorite things to do in the early evening as we wind up the day. I can’t even imagine life without our outdoor room. We so enjoy it……And the girls and their books…Ah, it’s what I envisioned making happen as a parent and we’ve surely succeeded on this front. We have books everywhere. Stacked here and stacked there. Bookshelves in almost every room. Stacks in corners. Stuck under chairs and tables. In the kitchen cabinets. In the cars. In their bathroom. On the porch in baskets. In our library bags. In our room. Just everywhere. And Ed and I both enjoy sitting back and reading and it’s certainly true that children want to do what their parents want to do so we have lots and lots of book time at our house.


Oh my….cute, isn’t he? :)


Nicki on left; Sammi on right….


Guess who took this picture of Sammi and me? Yes, Nicki did! Pretty good, huh… :)

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Play date with a gaggle of lovely and sweet children from their pre-school….We had a picnic and hike at a local conservancy…..great fun!!


Hope summer days are going well for you, too!