Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Foods

I recently realized how drastically different our summer diet has become.  With the heat - the true heat - and humidity firmly entrenched, our diet mostly consists of: popsicles, cold cereal, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, fruit, Sonic beverages, and the occasional grilled item.



Not terribly diverse, is it?

Without A/C the last place I want to be is in the kitchen.  Doing dishes has become true drudgery, and cooking.... well, I wouldn't say that any of the above qualifies as cooking.

I absolutely miss it.

I haven't made bread in weeks.  I've been day dreaming of Hainanese Chicken & Rice, served with fudgy brownies for dessert.  I'd love to freeze trays of ripe berries, storing them away for muffins, cakes, and smoothies.... but am instead trying to empty the freezer, not fill it up.  Our local Sonic employees know us by sight, if not yet by name (Go ahead - try a Lemon Slush on a hot day & see if you feel refreshed. You'll thank me.  And then say it's the best 50 cents you've spent all week).

Do you eat differently in the summer?  Is it all Farmer's Market and CSA at your house?  Or do you retreat to the magic land of frozen treats and icy drinks?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Day at the Beach

Out of sheer boredom and a driving to desire to Get! Out! of the! HEAT!, we took a drive north.  It brought us to Port Huron, and the melding of the St. Clair River with Lake Huron.  Until recently, we did not know about the sandy beaches and calm waters of the Lake.  Nor did we know of the random beach closures due to E. coli.  By continuing our journey north, we prevailed.  A lovely stretch of sandy beach was found and claimed to be our own: Lakeport State Park  Day Use Area, to be exact. (Note: this location requires the Michigan Recreation Passport.  We didn't have one, but it was mid-week & the entrance wasn't staffed, so we took our chances.)


This man was in love with the sand, the water, and the sunshine. 


This girl paddled and dove and built a masterful sandcastle.
(Look at those legs!  I swear, she has grown 3 inches this summer)


Although the beach was far more rocky than my old Southern California haunts, we acclimated.  A few feet into the lake, the poky rocks turned to soft sand and I was content to hover in the water while my children plotted and dug and poured sand to their hearts' content.  Despite the sizzling sun, it was still 15 degrees cooler by the lake than at home.  After hours of sunscreen, paddling, rock throwing, moat building, and snorkeling, we headed home.  

Our evening was capped off by spotting this:


  Although we personally did not taste-test the efficacy of this statement, I stand by my credo: If you have to use neon to claim how great your food is, it probably isn't.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Do You Want For Your Birthday?

The question has been posed, so here are a few suggestions. 
  • West Elm gift card:  I love the clean, modern products from West Elm.  I am particularly in love with this duvet cover (seriously, I think I actually drooled), and this blue pillow. Not together, of course.  



  • Amazon gift card... or something from my Amazon wish list.  You can find my wish list via my email address.   Here's a sampling of what's on there: 

                                             

  • Paypal money: I adore etsy, and have been haunting eBay & Overstock for various items for the new house.  Again, you can make a deposit via my email address.  
  • Lisa Leonard gift card:  I am in love with this necklace, and would personalize it with my children's names.    

  • A Lowe's gift card.  There is lots of painting in my future (such as every room in the house), along with new lighting, and a garden in the Spring.  Yes, I'll probably spend it on this:

  • And if those don't float your boat, there's always Target, iTunes, Gap, Nordstrom, or Sephora. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Coming

Do you know what's coming up?

Do you?

Do you?

Other than.....

Closing on our house...
Moving...
Celebrating a newly anointed physician in the family...
New schools, parks, dance academy, playgroups...
Road trips.....
Family visits....

Isn't it enough?

Of course not, for we must throw a birthday in there too!

Mais Oui, my birthday fast approaches.

(Do you see the small bonfire above?  
This is what my cake will look like this year)

I usually post an oh-so-helpful gift guide, but this year it feels like I would be (extra) greedy & disdainful to ask for more than the much I have been given.  So instead, I say: Come visit!  We will finally have extra room, so mosey on over to the Buckeye State and stay a while.

But if my children feel compelled, I would humbly suggest some Jeni's Ice Cream (Bangkok Peanut & Salty Caramel) and a Harry Potter marathon while swathed in air-conditioned splendor.  (perhaps after we are settled in the new abode?)

Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tangled

It seems this is truly a year of changes, as Big Sis did something I never thought would happen.....
She had her hair cut!

We had talked about it for a while, but I really didn't think she'd go through with it.

Before:


(hair halfway down her back)



After!



She is adorable with her bob, and it seems to offer the best of both worlds.  Long enough to still use headbands, hairbows, and even form 2 ponytails, but short enough that 80% of her tangles have been eliminated. I think she loves her new Summer 'do!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ballet Recital

I'm only about 3.5 weeks late in posting this, but here are some snaps from Big Sis' ballet recital:




Her class did a dance from Tangled, and she did an amazing job.  
I don't have any shots from the actual recital because I had to pick between still shots & video (they only allow filming during the dress rehearsal, and they only do one run-through). I missed the video last year, so I had to give it a try this time.  

We'll be starting with another new dance studio in September. 
Although the lack of continuity is a little frustrating (another downside to moving often), it has given us good exposure to how different studios are run & the different methods of teaching. 
At least she still loves to dance! 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Fine Line Between Dishonesty and Cheapness



I took Big Sis to the movies yesterday.  It was an impromptu, last minute, we-only-have-20-minutes-to-race-across-town-&-make-it-there-in-time-decision.  But we made it.

In the car, she asked if she could get a Kid's Pak (popcorn, gummies, and a drink for $5).  I asked if she had her own money, and she said she didn't bring any.  My reply: "Then we're going to do it my way."

We rolled into the Meijer gas station parking lot and ran through the doors.  3 minutes later, we were back in the car with drinks & snacks for both of us.  Total cost: $4.97.

I explained that we would put them in my purse to take them inside.

And then I realized what I was telling her.

How to explain the concept of sneaking food into the movie theatre?  It's not ILLEGAL, but it's not HONEST, either.  There is a rule of "No Outside Food or Drink".  But it's not a LAW.  You can't go to jail for smuggling Twizzlers in your purse, but have you EVER seen anyone kicked out for bringing their own water?

Also, how to explain without making it sound like we were sticking it to "The Man"?  Because yes, part of why I chose to do it was so that the cost of our snacks did not equal the cost of our movie tickets.

{sigh}

I am morally just fine with sneaking a snack, but had a really hard time explaining to my 7 year old why I thought it was OK.  In the end, we had a rather long discussion about rules, consequences, choices, and treats.  I think I did OK, and hopefully I didn't warp her delicate moral sensibilities.  Too much.  No one ever said parenting was easy.

And Judy Moody was actually pretty cute.  Very light, no heavy message - just a lot of fun for the 11 and under set.