Archive for December 2010

Visit to Santa

December 20th, 2010 — 11:48am

It went much better than last year!


She needed Mommy with her but at least there were no tears shed.  What did she say she wanted from Santa?

“A cookie.”

Can do!

5 comments » | Uncategorized

Thankful Thursday, 12/16/10

December 16th, 2010 — 9:16am

Today I’m thankful for business travel!  As much as I complain about it (really, who likes to be away from their awesome husband and beautiful daughter?), it really is nice.  I’m in the Bay Area for work right now and I’m staying at a fun hotel in San Francisco.




It’s funky!  I’m right across the street from the entrance to Chinatown (commence crappy phone pictures):


My room is REALLY small:


But wacky!  As are the hallways:


Last time I was here, I stayed at the Four Seasons.  That was nice!  All the rooms at other hotels were booked and it was a Quality Inn for $175 or the Four Seasons for $185.  I chose the Four Seasons!


I’ve also gotten to stay at The W in Manhattan because of work!  I took the red eye both there and back so that I could spend 2 days on my own in New York (travel time for my co-workers).  During that trip (which was over 4 years ago), I got to eat at a 3 star Michelin restaurant (Le Bernadin) and a 1 star (Gramercy Tavern). Le Bernadin was the most amazing culinary experience I’ve ever had.  The trip to New York was pretty extraordinary.  It’s the only time I’ve been!

Traveling for work is fun-most of the time.

I can’t wait to get home though!

4 comments » | Uncategorized

Heart Attack in a Pan Mac n’ Cheese

December 13th, 2010 — 10:17am

Our Thanksgiving Ham was huge and I froze 4 one pound bags of meat, one destined for Mac n’ Cheese. My friend Sarah made amazing Mac n’ Cheese at Thanksgiving but it’s a secret family recipe that she holds close.  I only got a little bit of the leftovers on Thanksgiving (my fault-there was plenty) and Shaun was sad so I promised to make him some of his own.  I found the Fannie Farmer’s Classic Mac n’ Cheese online and I based this recipe on that.



-1 pound macaroni-cooked
-2 sticks of butter
-1/2 cup flour
-1 tsp salt
-pepper to taste
-3 cups milk (I used whole since it’s all we have)
-1 lb medium cheddar cheese, shredded (thank goodness for a Cuisinart!)
-10 ounces muenster cheese, shredded
-6 ounces Mizithra cheese, shredded (this may be a regional thing-it’s like a hard goat cheese)
-1 pound of ham cubed (optional)


-Preheat the oven to 400*.

-Melt the butter over medium high heat. Once melted add the flour, salt, and pepper and stir well so that there are no clumps.

-Slowly add the milk while stirring, keep stirring and bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes (continuously stirring). Stir! Did you get that yet?  STIR! Winking smile

-Reduce the heat and simmer the milk mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

-Once it’s really thick (~10 minutes), add the cheese slowly and stir until melted-another 5 minutes or so.

-Add the cubed ham (optional).

-Put the cooked macaroni in a casserole dish and add the cheese sauce, mix well.

-Bake at 400* for 20-30 minutes or until browned on top.

-I actually used 1/2 cup breadcrumbs on top but I don’t think they are needed or necessary.


Shhh, even though this is FULL of things that make my tummy go HMMMMM (gurgle, gurgle, POP!), I tasted this. O.M.G. Heaven on a fork.  It should be for all those calories!  Lu and Shaun loved it.  Shaun ate 2 huge plate fulls and rated it 4.5 out of 5.

Seriously, delish.

I actually wasn’t planning on posting this recipe since it’s so bad for you but I decided that I couldn’t keep this from the world Winking smile.

2 comments » | Recipes

Green Curry

December 11th, 2010 — 12:50pm

It’s the second edition of Shaun Can Cook!  This week’s selection? Green Curry!



-Cooked rice (Use the rice cooker)
-Half an onion
-1/4 pound green beans
-2 heads of broccoli
-1 green bell pepper
-8 oz frozen peas
-8 oz-1 pound protein (I gave Shaun the choice of tofu or shrimp and he chose shrimp)
-2 TBSP honey
-1 TBSP Braggs Amino
-1 tsp green curry paste
-1 can coconut milk


Implements Needed:

-Cutting board
-Big skillet or Wok
-Strainer to defrost shrimp


-Measuring spoons


-Can Opener


-Lid for the pan.


-Make sure your child is sufficiently occupied. She likes to sort food into different colored bowls.  Sunflower seeds being a favorite.


-Place shrimp in the colander and run cold water over them or soak them for ~5 minutes. If you are using a different type of protein, cut it up into bite sized pieces.
-Cut the onion, first in half and then into longer pieces.



-Put aside on a plate (not in the pan)
-Trim each end of the green beans.  You can do multiple at one time.



-Set aside on a plate.


-Trim broccoli so it’s just the tree part.


-Cut the bell pepper in half.


-Cut out the stem, seeds, and white membrane.


-Chop into long pieces.


-Turn the stove on to medium high heat and put 1 tsp of green curry (more if you like it spicier and are not feeding a child) and the can of coconut milk in the pan and stir it up.


-Next add 1 TBSP of Braggs and 2 TBSP of honey. Stir.

-If you’re using meat or tofu, add it now and cook for about 5 minutes.

-Add all the veggies you chopped.


-Cook for about 5 minutes, covered.

-If you’re using shrimp, add shrimp and peas.

-Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes more-until the peas are no longer frozen and the shrimp is pink.


-Serve on a bed of rice.


-Sit back and watch as your daughter eats it all up and asks for more.


Another HIT by Shaun.  He’s doing great!  See?  Cooking is easy!


3 comments » | Gluten Free, Recipes

Thankful Thursday, 12/9/10

December 9th, 2010 — 8:58am

You get a twofor today since I totally spaced and forgot last weeks!

First, I’m thankful for my beautiful Christmas tree and the experience that we got to have finding it.


Second, I’m thankful that my dear husband is learning how to cook.  Not because he wants to but because he wants to make some of my evenings a little bit easier and to take some of the cooking burden off of my shoulders.  What a guy!

(Tell us how you really feel honey.)

Last night I taught him how to make Green Curry and it was seriously delicious. 


I walked him through the steps but he made it  Recipe to follow!

I have so much to be thankful for, here’s to NOT forgetting Thankful Thursday again!!!

6 comments » | Uncategorized


December 7th, 2010 — 12:12pm

I don’t think I have talked about my love of Vaseline.  I mean it, I LOVE Vaseline. I use it, without fail, EVERYDAY. Love it!


As you know, I now live in Boise.  What you may not know is that Boise is the high desert. What that means is that it is DRY here. There is very little humidity and what that results in is very dry skin. Now that I live here, I basically bathe myself and Lucy in Vaseline on an almost daily basis.  I realize that it’s Petroleum but I figure that that does come from the earth and it works.  Plus it’s CHEAP.

I do not use it on my hair.  We all know how that turns out. Need a reminder?


Yeah, not a great hair product.

But as a skin product? It’s awesome.  I use it on my feet, my legs, my hands, my elbows, my arms, my lips, to remove make-up, as an eye “cream”, as face “cream”.  On my face, I only use it at night-it gives me quite a sheen and Shaun always asks me “What’s wrong with your face? I can see you shining in the dark.” Apparently, it can be used as a night light as well Winking smile.  I use it on the rest of my body as soon as I get out of the shower and I apply it to my hands and lips multiple times a day.

I have a tub in my bathroom, a tub in Lucy’s room, and a tube in my car.  The only problem with the one in the car is that it gets cold and it’s hard to get out.  In that case, I sit on it with my seat warmer on and it’ll come out in about 5 minutes.  Sometimes I’ll forget that it’s there and I’ll get to where I’m going without ever using it. Evidently I am not a princess, nor would I feel a pea.

Lucy has super sensitive skin and I can only use Vaseline or CeraVe lotion on her skin. Even Aquafor (for whatever reason-probably the lanolin, which I have issues with) breaks her out.

On my birthday, I went and had a facial.  Usually, I get told that my skin is a mess and needs all sorts of help.  Not this time.  I was told that my face was in beautiful condition and to continue what I was doing which includes CeraVe cleanser morning and night and Oil of Olay (with SPF) moisturizer in the morning. I use make-up about twice a week that has SPF in it as well (Bobbi Brown). The esthetician did recommend that I use powder with SPF in it throughout the day as SPF wears off after about 90 minutes.  I haven’t started doing that, but I’ll try.  Those years competitively swimming, life-guarding, and teaching swim lessons have done a number on my face but it’s nothing a little Vaseline can’t fix.

For those of you worried that it will give you blackheads?  Worry no more-it’s actually noncomedogenic. Who knew?!?!?!

You do, now Smile

6 comments » | Uncategorized

December 2010 Menu

December 6th, 2010 — 2:35pm

How did it get to be December 6th already?!?!


1 comment » | Menus

New Traditions

December 5th, 2010 — 7:31pm

This weekend we started a new tradition-going out and finding our Christmas tree in the forest.  My sister and brother-in-law have done this for years and I knew that when we moved here that I wanted to get in on the tradition.

We drove up to McCall on Friday (it’s about a 2 hour drive) and then woke up on Saturday to go find our tree!  We bought our permit, rented our snow shoes, and set out to find the perfect tree.

It didn’t start off so well…


But it quickly turned around:


We hiked down hills with saws:


Staked out the perfect trees:


Got one! (We were on the lookout for four):


Got two! (Look at that stud):



Got three!


We still hadn’t found OUR perfect tree.  We went on the hunt and saw one on our way back, WAY down the hill.  Shaun got on the sled to get down to it and proclaimed that it was THE PERFECT tree.  He cut it down and got it back up the hill (with the help of my brother-in-law).

We were a happy family:


It’s the tree standing up behind us.  We stuck it in the snow and we’re below it.  It was still 10 feet and when we got it home we had to trim it down a bit.

Here she is on top of the car:


And outside our house:


That’s one beautiful tree!  Pretty trees that are under 12 feet are hard to find out in the forest.  They are few and far between.  We totally lucked out.

When we got home, we put the tree in the house (you should smell it in here!) and decorated with Christmas music going.  Lu LOVED it.  It was the first year that she’s really understood Christmas and got into it.  We had such a nice night. 

Shaun just came upstairs and proclaimed, “I love our tree.  This is the best Christmas yet!”


I think I need some more ornaments since I’ve never had a big tree before. My old tree topper also won’t work because it’s too skinny to fit on top of the tree.  Expect to see some improvements Winking smile.

I agree with Shaun though, this IS the best Christmas yet!

6 comments » | Uncategorized

We’re Not in California Anymore!

December 2nd, 2010 — 8:36am

We woke up yesterday to this:


Over 8 inches of snow. We had to get Lu in her snowsuit just to get her out to the car.


All the schools were closed and I headed over to my sister’s house to work so that she could help watch Lu.



Look at the North End!


In true snow day fashion, we had to get out and play in the snow.  Doesn’t it look like fun?


Who is that man?


She cheered up once we started throwing snow at her?!?!?!  Weird kid.


See, Frosty isn’t so bad!




Tessa made a snow angel.


With a little help:



Isn’t it pretty?


Frosty thinks so.  Can’t you feel his excitement!?


Now that we’ve been having real winter weather-weather that is NOT NORMAL for Boise, I get asked a lot if I miss California and it’s “great” weather.  I can honestly say that I do not.  There is something SO RIGHT to me about four seasons.  Even though I grew up in California and only had 2 seasons (Cold/Rainy and Hot/Beautiful), I really love four seasons.  I think that the snow is beautiful and fun.  I’m a little miffed that it’s heating up today and getting to 40.  We’re getting rain-BOO! 

This snow has also made me realize that I really am my father’s daughter.  He loves watching the weather and SO DO I.  I drive my husband nuts with how much I want to watch the news and look at the weather online and on my phone. Weather is cool! Right?

Another thing that this weather has made me realize is that I really like to shovel snow.  A LOT.  My friend Megan (who just started an awesome new blog) describes it perfectly.

Anyway, that’s a very long winded way to say that I’m loving this weather and the thought of moving back to California does not sound appealing at all.

This looks like one happy family!


Ask me again in February…

6 comments » | Uncategorized

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