Thursday, August 30, 2012


Sometimes I can feel all sorry for myself and let the garbage in. But then I get sideswiped by a moment that is so sweet it just lets the light back in. I get to lay on the couch in our home with my favorite people. I don't like to wallow so I won't. Everyday there is something to rejoice. It's time for lemonade my friends.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Puddler Splasher

Little Man got a new raincoat. I was heckling myself when I picked it up because it's rained like four times this summer. But on Monday we got to test it out. It's mighty cute if I must say so myself. We were in and out of the rain that day making the most of our day together.

We splashed in puddles up and down the street. Then the sun came out so we shed the outer layer.

Then we found the mother of all puddles on the street. It was deep and reflective. He stuck his toes in.

Then he sat in it.....naturally. We were so close to making it through the day in one outfit.

And then a quick down dog over the puddles before we headed home. Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hey Chickpea

We went to the grocery store on Sunday morning to shop for the week. We've started a nice routine where we all go together so I'm not trying to do it all myself and entertain Mr. Short Attention Span. Once he's done shopping and sampling one of us takes him to the play area while the other finishes up. Anyway, I picked a recipe for Chana Masala which calls for two cans of chickpeas. But the only ones they had at the store were very expensive and I just couldn't do it. So on a whim, I bought the dried beans. I know that many of you use dried beans all the time so maybe this isn't all that big of a deal. BUT to me it was. I've cooked dried beans in the past and have never felt all that impressed with my results so I almost always return to the ever convenient can. This time it was a success and I'll tell you what I did.

2 cups dried beans (my guesstimate for the recipe that called for 2 cans)
Water, water, water
2 carrots cut into chunks
1 onion, quartered
2 juniper berries
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp coarse salt, I used a Hawaiian black salt

I used a teapot to quickly boil some water. Rinse and sort the beans and put into a large pot. Cover beans with two inches of the boiling water and let soak for about an hour, add 1 tsp salt (eyeball it). The beans will increase in size by about double. Pour out that water and fill the pot with fresh cold water and cover the beans by about two inches again. Add the remaining ingredients (including the new salt) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for about an hour until beans are tender but not too soft. This method helps to keep the beans intact without rupturing the skin. Then I went on with the recipe for Chana Masala which was also pretty good. But I have to say that the beans were the crowning victory of the day and the dish. I'm just happy it worked out. How do you cook your beans?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Too Short

My favorite question on Sunday night to my husband is "do you have to work tomorrow?" I always know the answer but I always hope that one day, he'll surprise me and say no! This weekend has been especially busy so I would have loved a surprise extra day. Ever have that kind of weekend that's so busy you may as well have been working? Yikes! Yard sale, packing, chasing this busy little dude, and playing! We did make some time for that too. But I sure wish we had one more day. Happy Monday, go get 'em!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Moving On Up

Moving is serious business. There's the looking, hoping, waiting, debating, cleaning, organizing, money (money, money) part of it and there's the mental toll too. It's exhausting to constantly keep your house super clean, it's tough to not take it personally when no one wants your house, and it sucks to look at 30 houses that suck. But in the end, we got exactly what we wanted. We sold our house! The idea and the reality have now met and we are scrambling to find our dream home, or a rental until we do. We are cleaning things out, parting ways with an unbelievable amount of stuff, and trying to look on the bright side the whole time. After all, it's what we wanted. But it's bittersweet, we love this house, we love our neighborhood, but it's time for us to move on. It's sad to think that the house that we brought our little wonder home to soon won't be ours. But we will make new memories, find new projects, and make a new life somewhere new. What an amazing thought. Here's to the bright side! Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On the Table: Colorful Veggie Roast

I have to admit that I go the idea for this recipe from an Instagram photo about baby food. BUT, these flavors are so amazing I couldn't help but give it a try.  I added the garlic and goat cheese on my own, genius, I know (haha). I'm not sure how she planned to cook it but here's what I did.

1 lb. purple potatoes
2 ears of corns, kernels cut off
1 bunch of asparagus
2 sprigs of rosemary
3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Goat cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice potatoes lengthwise. Chop rosemary and garlic, toss with potatoes in olive oil and S&P and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile cook the corn on the stovetop, fill pot with water and corn and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off heat and cover with lid to finish cooking. I found this recipe to roast the corn in the oven but I had already removed the husks so perhaps next time. After 10 minutes, I checked the potatoes to gauge how much longer they needed. I determined it was about 10 more minutes so I added the asparagus and tossed. Cook until tender. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix in with goat cheese while it's still hot so the cheese can melt. Cut the corn off the cob after it cools a bit and mix that in as well.

Serve warm or as a cooled potato salad. This colorful dish is a winner for sure! It's so bright and pretty it was a treat to eat! I made it to pack in lunches but it would also be tasty for dinner as a side! It was SO delicious and filling. JJ and I both seemed to really enjoy it and I hope that you do too!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An Apple Treat

I had to work last Saturday so Oliver and JJ had an solo afternoon. When I got home JJ was really excited to show my his handiwork for Oliver's lunch. He cut out these cute little shapes for him instead of just cutting the apple into slices. It was a real hit I'm sure.

JJ says that he remembers his parents doing the same for their school lunches. I thought it was incredibly sweet. Do you have memories of special lunch items?

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Greatest Lake

Saturday was the most beautiful day! The skies were an amazing blue and the temperature was perfect. We decided it best to head down to the lake. It's one of those things that we can forget about. It's 20 minutes away (although other beaches are a bit farther but that's not the point). I drive back and forth to the west side three times a week and manage to rarely think of it. It's right there, beaming with fun water activities and gorgeous views.

We walked all the way over to the abandoned Coast guard Station. There were lots of people out enjoying the views, kayaking by, and fishing too! Oliver got to see someone's catch of the day.

There were boats and airplanes to see. Oliver couldn't decide what he liked more!

 And when the road gets too rocky, Papa will carry you home. Happy Cleveland, happy Monday!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Snippets of Life

Having your house on the market if hella stressful. It's even more so when you have a kid that doesn't really care that his toys can't just be all over the place next to the yogurt that he dumped on the floor. That said, things have been a little stressful over here this week but we've managed to capture the sweet side of things with a few photos. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen a few of these and those you that don't, check 'em out! 

Making his new favorite "I'm about to spit out water" face at a friend's birthday party.

We had lots of time to play in the parks this week since the temperatures have cooled a bit.

I'm ending with a few colorful shots to wish you a very happy Friday and a great weekend! There are a few fun things happening around town, a closing reception, yoga practice on the reserve, and the Geauga County Fair, just to name a few.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

All Hail the Kale

Tell me, how do you feel about kale? I love it! Our kale garden is growing wild. We have some everyday in our morning smoothies but it hardly puts a dent in the six plants that I bought! I was a little overzealous. So last night I made some kale chips to snack on after dinner. Because I like to eat all the time. I found a simple recipe here but I would tweak it just a bit.

12 large kale leaves, middle rib removed
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Tear apart the kale into medium sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes but check them after 10 and toss. I let mine go for 25 because the recipe suggested 30 minutes but that was really too long. I would have preferred mine to be a little less done. A cookie sheet of fresh kale bakes down quickly so don't be stingy with your leaves. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Follow The Leader

And we're off, he barrels out of the yard with his favorite toy, runs across the neighbor's walkway, down to the path, and we follow. It's funny to see his little patterns, he walks up certain driveways and sits on specific rocks. All in his new shoes and pushing his truck.

I know this is blurry but I needed to express just how quickly he was running. Good things he was wearing pants because he would have skinned his knees for sure.

And then, just like that, he was done. He put his little legs up and I had to push him all the way back home. This is how Monday morning looks at our house.

Monday, August 13, 2012

To Aspen

Happy Monday! Next month we are headed out to Aspen for the wedding of some dear friends. We are beyond excited about this adventure and are really looking forward to taking Oliver to the mountains. We will be spending most of our time in Aspen (with a day or so in Denver) and have some free time while there. I am an avid trip planner so I'm starting to gather up ideas of things that we just can't miss. Have you been? What should we do?

Image: Aspen, Colorado

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hopes for Revitalization

Today it was announced that Dredger's Union, the newly opened retail store on E. 4th is closing. This news is sad to me for a few reasons. Mostly because Danielle and Sean are such nice people and deserve success because they work hard and saw a future for retail in downtown Cleveland. They are champions for this city and I truly wish them the best of luck in the future. It's also sad because this place was more than a store, it was a hope to bring retail commerce back downtown (thanks for that quote Karen). So this morning brought some sad news, but let's rally behind them and make their final days prosperous, get down there and check out the sale for the remaining days. Cheers to you Danielle, Sean, and your whole staff!

Image: Dredger's Union

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Youth & Beauty

It was a rainy Sunday morning and we had hoped to make our first trip to the zoo. But the weather was not permitting so instead we headed over to the Cleveland Museum of Art to check out the Youth & Beauty exhibit. It features the artwork of sixty different artists from the 1920's and illustrates modern realism,  the jazz age, industrialism, and the "uninhibited" youth culture. It was really quite impressive and it really fits into my book club book that is set in the same time period.

Oliver handled the quietness for about an hour, although we did end up taking turns carrying him around. He is not a fan of being in the stroller when it isn't moving fast enough.

We also got a chance to check out the very impressive atrium that is being built. This was O's favorite party because of the high glass ceiling and the tools! We also decided to become members so I'm hoping that means we'll venture down there more often. It is such an incredible resource that we have just 10 minutes away! If you haven't seen this exhibition, go check it out!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Library Date

We took a trip to the library the other day. It's one of our favorite places on a rainy day, so needless to say we haven't been there much this summer! But it's also a nice way to cool off and play. Oliver was overwhelmed by all the big kids there and had to take a little break on the windowsill. And I caught him in the cute little pose.

We went up to check out the walkway. I thought he'd be so impressed seeing the cars drive under us. He was like "ok mama, let's go back inside now." I guess I'll try that again another day.

There he goes quietly racing by the stacks. I had to pick up a new book for my (newly formed) book club, The Paris Wife. Have you read it yet? So far I'm enjoying it. It's a fictionalized story of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley Richardson told from her perspective. It's hard to find extended amounts of time to get in reading but I really do enjoy it. I do spend lots of time reading about trucks though.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Friendly Feast

When you have a zucchini that weighs as much as your child, you need some help eating it. On Sunday we planned to cook up our beast and then realized that we might need some help. So we had an impromptu fritter feast and Oliver's BFF came over to help. This photo above is not at all representative of the number of fritters that were made. We were eating them as they were done and I think I made 30 or so. I didn't really follow a recipe but I'll tell you what you'll need!

1 mammoth zucchini, or just a few regular sized ones, shredded
3 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 eggs
Flour & corn meal for thickening
1/4 shredded parmesan cheese
4 sprigs chopped fresh rosemary
Oil for frying

Combine all ingredients (except oil) in a large bowl and mix well. You want the batter to be on the thicker side of things to add flour and cornmeal as needed. Heat oil to 350. I used an ice cream scoop to portion out the fritters. Carefully drop the batter into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, turning as needed. Once done, scoop them out onto a paper bag to drain and lightly season with salt. Repeat until done. We served them with a side of Greek yogurt for dipping, strawberries, and a chick pea and tomato salad. They were really delicious! No, it's certainly not the healthiest meal, but as a friend said, sometimes it's just liberating to deep fry something. It was a well worth the effort and the boys loved them too! 

Here they are sharing a love headbutt and not fighting over toys, they are getting so big! Happy Tuesday friends!