"me time"

I seriously think Tina Fey is genius.  I have previously used a passage from her book, Bossypants, as inspiration for a post.  Today I return to this side splitter with a few of Tina's ideas for carving out "me time" in your day.  "Me time"?  Those 5 minutes every mom is looking for to collect her thoughts, breathe deeply, and pee all by herself.

Tina advises:
  • Go to the bathroom a lot.
  • Take ninety-minute showers. (If you only shower every three or four days, it will be easier to get away with this.)
  • Stand over the sink and eat the rest of your child's dinner while he or she pulls at your pant leg asking for it back.  
  • "Sleep when your baby sleeps."  Everyone knows this classic tip, but I say why stop there?  Scream when your baby screams.  Take Benadryl when your baby takes Benadryl.  And walk around pantless when your baby walks around pantless.

I adore her take on motherhood.  Hilarious, with a touch of realism and self-deprecation.  She and I are kindred spirits.   If only I lived in Manhattan-I do believe we could be the best of friends. 
Buy your own copy [here]
or download onto your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or tablet

PS.  Saw this on facebook today and loved it.  Pretty sure Tina would love it too!
 built by Kate Hatton-Whyte
shared over 3,600 times!


supper, superfast.

my cast iron dutch oven + superfast suppers cookbook = tuscan chickpea stew

No need to ask tonight, "What's for dinner?" Got you covered.

I whipped up this dinner last night in less than 20 minutes.  Let me repeat that.  20 minutes. Had I known it was truly a superfast supper, I would have saved it until Monday. (My loss is your gain!)  Let's just say it was incredibly easy to make and delightfully tasty. 

Tuscan Chickpea Stew

2 T olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 Chicken Sausage link, fully cooked
1 T fresh or dried rosemary
1/4 t. pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onions, undrained
3 (15.5 oz) cans chickpeas, undrained
3 cups fresh prepackaged baby spinach
1/2 cup freshly Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 T. oil in sauce pan or dutch oven or medium-high heat.  Add garlic and next 3 ingredients.  Saute 4 min or until sausage is browned.   Add tomatoes and 2 cans chickpeas, scraping pan to loosen brown bits.

Drain remaining can chickpeas.  Add to pan.  Bring to boil: cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes.  Uncover and stir in spinach; cook 2 minutes our until spinach wilts. Place a slice of crusty bread in shallow bowl.  Spoon stew into bowls over bread.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese.  Done and done.  Let's eat!

Serving size 1cup:  calories: 331; Fat: 9; Carb: 49; Fiber: 10; Protein: 14

I used al fresco fully cooked roasted pepper and asiago chicken sausage.

This recipe was taken directly from Cooking Light Superfast suppers.  Find it [here].


[one can dream]

I occasionally let my mind wander.  What would I build if I could design my house for my modern housewife life?  The plans would not be grand, but my dreams are specific.  

1.  mudroom.
Let's be honest.  This isn't a frivolous dream....this is a necessity when you live in the Northwest. 
OmG!  This one is perfect.  Floors that can get wet and muddy, storage for all that 'stuff' that comes along with a busy family, and a work station for a modern housewife.  And look, a built-in for the printer and cabinets to conceal all that must be hidden. 

2.  a cavernous laundry room
I feel serene just looking at these shots.  I picture myself standing at that table folding my family's laundry and smiling.  How could you not smile?  One might actually look forward to throwing in a load of towels.  [ok. that might be stretching it a bit.]

3.  a welcoming entry way. 
[inspiration directly from Trove Interiors]
Welcome to our home, we're glad you're here.  That is what I would love for my entry to say.  [And I will take all that natural sunlight as well.]  
For most of us, we are dealing with the existing architecture of our home and the shortcomings of our creativity.  These scenes above are a far distance from the reality.  

Case in point:

My entry/mudroom?  Can't be the mudroom because we don't enter through the front door.  Yes, we have a place to hang our 'stuff', but all I see is old, dated wood.  An entire wall of brick and back packs that never actually make it onto the hooks. 

So, I will keep dreaming, planning and picking up back packs. 



Ventured out to the "New Seattle" last night.  That is what I call South Lake Union.  You seriously must run on down there- if you haven't already.  Brightly lit shops, inviting restaurants, a bustle of people, great architecture.  (Can you tell I liked it?)

I dined at Cuoco.  A newer Tom Douglas eatery.  It was delicious!  The ambiance was warm. The service was superb.  The food?  Fantastic!  

Our indulgences:

I shared with my sister in law:
20 month aged parma proscuitto, honey crisp apples, arugula
Roasted beets, mache, almonds, goat cheese, apples, cider vinaigrette

I ordered:
Bucatini - hollow dried wheat pasta, marinara, brasied beef meatballs 
Had planned on leaving some to snack on today but I couldn't stop myself.  It was that good!

She had:
Agnolotti dal plin - house-made filled pinched egg pasta, rabbit, veal, pork, marjoram butter
Tiny, delicate bow tie raviolis. Simple and perfect.  

**If you or someone you love must eat gluten free, they have a gf pasta that can be used as a substitute in almost any dish.   That makes us smile in this house.

Give Cuoco a try on your next night out.  Happy Weekend. xoxoxo


moving up in the world

For those who shop in downtown Seattle often or just every so often- the Nordstrom Rack is moving up in the world. Or at least up Pine St.

  Snapped this shot in front of Westlake Center.  Spring 2012 is looking brighter already!


Mad Men is back! (almost)

The wait has been painful.  March 25, our wait will come to an end.  Need a fix to hold you over?


real moms-it isn't always pretty

Want the real deal?  Motherhood isn't always pretty and it 'aint for the faint of heart.  I wanted to end the week with a list from what I'll call real life motherhood. [Please note this is not a glamorized mommy blog written for people.com that gushes about the true gifts my children are and how mothering has only made me a more complete human.]

Real moms:
  • drive their kids to school in their pajamas without brushing their hair or teeth
  •  yell
  • switch their kids lunches in the mad dash out the door and are bitter when they have to "fix" the f*#^ up.
  •  need to drink wine (insert alcoholic beverage of choice) to do homework with their children.
  • are exhausted by 9am
  • buy syrup for a class party which contains high fructose corn syrup [gasp.]
  • wonder daily how any of their children will turn out "normal".
These statements are all taken from true stories told by real moms.  Or they are all about me.
Remember, we are all in this together.


design inspiration: cuff me

The cuff bracelet.  Long forgotten in the winter due the fact that we are all covered from head to wrist!  Soon (let's hope soonER than later), spring will arrive and the cuff bracelet will be back in the mix. The perfect way to add color, personality, or fun to your outfit! 

Here are few I spied on nordstrom.com:

Moschitto Designs | Filigree

Tory Burch | Woven Turlock
Stephan & Co. | Beaded Chevron

Nordstrom | 'Gold Water' Textured


well, why not.

We broke out the fine china and crystal last night.  It was just the four of us, but I said, "Why the hell not?"  If not now...when?

What does Valentine's Day look like for a housewife in suburbia with 2 young boys?

The Table:
  • a glassybaby used as a vase for flowers
  • specially decorated votive candle holder my oldest gave me today (made for me at a party coordinated by other wonderful women!)
  • porcelain tea light holders {found at a local shop ~ c. michelle }
  • marble wine coaster
  • chalkboard napkin rings {at World Market or you can DIY}
  • Waterford Lismore goblets
  • Vintage Noritake China
Valentine's lessons from a modern housewife:
  • if you want flowers, buy them for yourself
  • boys, 5 and 7 years old, can drink from a wine glass and use a cloth napkin
  • keep it simple, but dress it up.  (I am referring to the meal.)
  • doritos look devine on fine china
  • a pan of brownies and a heart shaped cookie cutter.  (You never reveal how you baked brownies in perfect heart shapes.)


basically delicious.

I am a total sucker for a frosted sugar cookie.  I love baking them, and find every excuse to bust out the cookie cutters.  Hey, hey-it's Valentine's Day! My little boys and I cut two pans of cookies last night and lovingly frosted them.  We keep our frosting and decorating super simple.  Icing and colored sugars.  (Anything more complicated and I get frustrated..which ruins all my fun.)

I do have the MOST amazing recipe-which I will share with you.  It comes straight from the domestic-goddess herself.  Who else? Martha Stewart.  I have two tips which should ensure the perfectly baked cookie.  First, roll your dough thick-approximately 1/2".  If they are too thin, they turn out crispy.  Secondly, don't over bake them.  Watch them carefully and pull them out of the oven when the bottom edges are just golden.

The Basic Sugar Cookie (with a few tips)- from Everyday Food | Holiday '06

2 cups flour
½ tsp. Baking powder
¼ tsp. Salt
1 stick butter  (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Whisk together flower, baking powder and salt.  In mixer, beat butter and sugar.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  With mixer on low, add dry ingredients gradually. Beat until combined.  Divide dough in half; flatten into disks.  Wrap each disk in plastic. Freeze until firm-at least 20 minutes (or refrigerate overnight). 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove dough and let stand for 10 minutes.  Roll dough and cut out shapes on floured surface.  (First tip is to roll dough thick.  This makes softer cookies.)  Bake for 10-18 minutes.  (Second tip is to pull cookies from oven when edges are JUST golden.  You don’t want to over bake your cookies.) 

Easy icing:
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
3-4 Tbs. Milk.

Whisk together.  Add food coloring if you would like.  Frost cookies and let harden, about 20 minutes. 

**If you are domestically challenged or just short on time, order the GORGEOUS cookies pictured above from this Etsy shop!  Sugar Me Desserterie **


Target: color me happy!

New commercial from Target. {makes me happy, happy}
Add color somewhere!  Happy Monday.


I couldn't help myself

For the first time in 7.5 years I had a night off AT HOME. I have plenty of nights out, but I have never-since the birth of my oldest son-had a night off and got to stay home.  My husband openly admits he enters a full "lock down" when I am gone.  No one comes in, no one goes out.  The boys are getting older and he is beginning to lift his self-inflicted isolation.  Even venturing out with both of them when I am home (gasp!).  Another perk to my boys learning to ski.....night skiing with dad on Thursday night!   "Party rock is in the house tonight!'

What did I do with my time, you ask?  I couldn't help myself.

First stop, manicure/pedicure.  I totally splurged and treated myself!  Usually I just have them shape and buff my finger nails.  Not tonight.  Check it!

Spring has sprung.  At least on my nails!  Color me happy.
butter | London in Slapper

Next stop, take out.  Picked up Pho soup to enjoy at home.

And finally I got to watch Season 1: Episode 1 of Downtown Abbey.  Reminds me of a Jane Austen novel. (Love.) Totally indulgent and worth the chatter.  Can't wait to watch the next episode.

Can you appreciate my enthusiasm?  If I am granted another night, it most likely will be filled with dishes, laundry, and tidying the house.  Since nothing in life is guaranteed (including nights off), I lived this one to the fullest!


odds and ins

The CHAOS got the best of me this last week!  I am totally behind and so I will not give a new task for the week.  (Oh, it is secretly great when you control the homework assignments.  But that is entirely a different blog post!)

A few odds and ins:

1.  I Loved with a capital L ...... Smash last night.  Did you see it?  I can't wait until next week.  This was my favorite scene. 

2.  Love that App:  Where's my Water?
I recently downloaded this app and played it Saturday morning with my youngest for 2 hours.  We were in the ski lodge with time to kill.  We both think is was pretty super!  Produced by Disney, it is thoughtful in its design.  My kids adore the graphics and all the levels to unlock.  I appreciate that it is a physics based game with tons of reasoning skills needed to complete each level.  Cause and effect is taught through the introduction of toxic ooze, algae, traps and triggers.  Bottom line though, it is just plain fun.  (Plus, I love the price at $.99!)

3.  Vitamin D is good for the soul (and spirit and mental well-being)!  


go out and SMASH it!

NBC 10pm.

Love, love that Debra Messing is back on TV.  Along with Anjelica Huston and cutie pie Katherine McPhee...it might be more than I can take on a Monday night.  Steven Spielberg produces.  I truly hope that it lives up to all the hype.  Check it out tonight.  

Just can't wait, like me?    http://www.nbc.com/smash/


nutella lovers unite!

Ask my youngest what he wants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and his response will quickly and emphatically be, "A chocolate sandwich."  Sadly he has one at least one a day.   A chocolate sandwich?  Uh, that would be Nutella between two pieces of bread.  The only redeeming nutritional value is that I serve it on two pieces of whole wheat bread.  I do draw a line somewhere. 

This Sunday, February 5th, is World Nutella Day.  The official website declares:  Nutella lovers unite for one day!  Well wouldn't you know....a day made just for my little man.  I could have contributed an idea for the website's recipes.  I have grilled the sandwich in the morning with each piece of bread buttered.  I think if you added a sliced banana, it could be pretty darn delicious. 
Interested in celebrating something other than the Super Bowl on Sunday?

OR if you live in the Seattle area-you may indulge your Nutella tooth on Sunday!

Zeppole, Nutella Mascarpone, Ginger Sugar
airy, deliciously yeasty dough that’s fried crisp, dusted in a ginger sugar and then filled with a rich Nutella mascarpone

In honor of World Nutella Day, High 5 Pie will be serving chocolate Nutella tarts with a pretzel crust on Sunday.  @high5pie

OR head down to your local grocer and pick up a jar.  it sits right next to the peanut butter. 


feet first

I came across this website today and immediately thought....how ingenious! 

Tom Robinson writes:
"While sitting on Brighton beach (England) back in 2005 with my new girlfriend Verity I suddenly thought the view of our feet pointing out to sea would make a nice photo. Ever since then, we’ve continued to document our travels in this way, resulting in a collection of over 90 photos. In 2011 the series took a new twist with the arrival of a third set of feet – our daughter Matilda."
 third set of feet

Don't you just love it?  I am a little late in the game, but if you know someone who recently started dating.....pass along the idea. You never know where your feet might lead you! 

His website:  http://www.tomrobinsonphotography.com/feet-first/

PS.  insanely jealous of all the amazing places they have traveled together! 


design inspiration: flat out cute!

TOMS ballet flats!

I already have my name on a pre-order list at Nordstrom!  They are so darn cute in person.  You can't try them on, but you can stare longingly at them through a glass case.  Funny, right? Once again, sticking to my new motto.  I am not allowing myself to buy them in black!  Color me happy!

check out everything TOMS at http://www.toms.com/
Remember their amazing One for One mission.  Guilt free retail!
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