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Showing posts from March, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: I've got a girl say she long and tall, she sleeps in the kitchen with her feets in the hall...

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ps...know where the title came from, with out cheating? There are 2 answers, the original and the modern remake.

Tiffin Picnic Lunch For 3

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Years ago, I picked up a Tiffin lunch box in Brattleboro, Vermont. It was on a whim and way before I had ever given bentoing any thought. I was lured by the stainless steel of the Tiffin Box and even the cute matching insulated bag. Tiffin boxes are most common in India. Tiffin is a term used in India for a hot light meal or snack anytime of the day.
The other day I met a friend for an outting at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. As I was packing up our lunches, I decided to bust out the Tiffin. Our Tiffin is large, so it's more like a picnic lunch size. Rather than pack 3 separate bentos, I just packed one Tiffin! It has three stacking trays that lock into one another. I used the top as a plate for one of my daughters. One tray contains our sandwiches or meat/cheese wraps, Whole Foods 365 cheese puffs, and some fresh strawberries with decorative picks. Easy and waste free.
Very convenient and fun!
If you like the ease of a Tiffin, I recently saw a personal size one for ve…

It's official, I have lied to my children. It was in their best interest...

Well, part of our situation with having to remove Milo from our home was complicated by what we would ultimately tell our girls. Anyone that is a parent or basically with a functioning rational brain knows you can't tell a six year old their dog, the one they love more than everything, needs a new home because THEY are allergic.
Wasn't gonna happen.
My daughter is very sweet and caring, a bit of a joker, but takes things very close to the heart. She's always worn her heart on her sleeve and with maturity has learned to work through feelings of hurt or frustration, rather than just shutting down and pulling away. She has a infectious smile with beautiful large dimples. All I could imagine was the tears. Lots of flowing tears.
J and I danced around the talk so many different ways. We had to text one another in the same room, I may have even gotten an email, we phoned each other. All of our processing was Top Secret! Maybe I have some potential to be a spy. All of our process…

But I Thought We'd Be His Forever Home...

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Well this week has turned out to be a bit more emotional than I anticipated. There are things I'd like to talk about and other things I don't feel quite like discussing. Long story short, I found out this week that one of my daughters is allergic to cats and dogs.
When we were sitting in the Doctor's office during the allergy test, the dog test lit up like a light bulb as soon as it was placed on her skin. I believe my eyes instantly welled with tears. I've been worried she had a dog allergy from the first time hives appeared on her face when our first dog Guinness innocently licked her years ago. I asked our Doctor about it and she brushed it off, no big deal. I told myself she has sensitive skin, hence the hives. No hives mean a reaction, an allergic reaction. I feel stupid for kidding myself.
Then this past summer, after 4 years of not owning a dog, we stopped by the Humane Society. We found a wonderful dog, ironically enough 4 years to the day after our first black…

Tuesday Tips: Cheap and Effective Way To Reduce Dust In Our Homes, Cheesecloth!

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A couple of weeks ago I received a newsletter containing Healthy Home Tips from the Environmental Working Group about dust. It contained tips on how to get rid of the toxic dust that is in our homes. Dust is toxic because it is known to contain chemicals that have been shed from products in our home such as furniture and our televisions. One type of chemical found in household dust is flame retardants, which is a known endocrine disrupting compound. Dust also contains pet dander, fungal spores, soil, and fibers. Yuck! And all along I just though dust was made up of our shed dead skin cells.
Read more here about how to remove dust safely and effectively or how to create dust that's less toxic in the first place.
My Tuesday Tip is one way i've tried to reduce the dust that is being circulated via our forced air heating system. I once read about using cheesecloth as a tool to reduce the dust and allergens. There are two ways to utilize the cheesecloth, one is to put it over the &…

Well, It's Spring Break!

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Colorado schools are kind of funny. We have different breaks for neighboring towns and school districts. Our posting will be scattered from March 20. We are definitely back April 5!
Enjoy a peek of my delicious breakfast in bed. Frittata!

Walking In A Fog, But I'll Always Remember A Face...

Two days back to back this week I found myself at the Pediatrician's office. They were both long, draining visits. The kind of visits you just want to be over with. It's like a fog seems to settle into your mind, your legs and body move, but sometimes I wonder how present I really was. I told my husband who didn't have the honor of joining us at the Dr, that I wanted to lock him in the closet for two hours so he could feel what it's like. I have a mental image of all the wall decor of the room, what the view looks like from the office window, the small tattoos on the wrist of the nurse, the coloring of the horses off in the distance. There's a little plugin animated faux aquarium that sits on the counter next to the sink, it's never plugged in. I am always tempted to plug it in while we are sequestered to our checkup room, but I never do. I also want to peek in the cabinets, but I refrain.
After the second visit I ran out to do a few errands after J came home f…

Wordless Wednesday: Mischievous Leprechaun

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Bento Tips! Easter Eggs Aren't Just For Easter...

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Have you ever packed your child's lunch and thought, I hope they wash their hands before they eat? I believe in my daughter's class they do wash their hands in the classroom before lining up for lunch, but I'm not sure if they get to it everyday. Sometimes time slips away and they are running late, sometimes the teacher may forget.
I like Sj to be prepared, so I always pack a little hand wipe in her lunch for her. Now is the time to pick up some plastic Easter eggs at your local store and put them to good bento use. The eggs are a perfect reusable place to store the hand wipe! Better yet, you can find really neat ones that have characters on them. I always keep my eye out for cute and interesting eggs and definitely hit up clearance sales.
Fair warning, sometimes the eggs are hard to close. It's nice to have a big go to selection so you don't find yourself struggling for five minutes during the morning rush. The new Hello Kitty eggs I just picked up for $2.00 for a…

Ugh, Mud Season!

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I'm sitting here laughing a bit. Last week I posted six times, this week it's looking like life just got the best of me. The weather has been wonderful all week. I felt compelled to make the best of it. For some odd reason I had it in my head that it was going to snow, on Wednesday there was a little tease of snow and rain mix. Luckily for us, it was just a tease and the sunshine has come back in full force!
Our friend Milo, the goofy black lab loves our backyard. Unfortunately with the snow sticking around longer in shady spots of our yard, it's officially mud season back there. Muddy paws make me cringe and quite frankly tired. Off the back of our house we have a garage door and french doors. I decided to build Milo his own potty aka dog run. The other day when it was 50 degrees, I headed out back, tore down the wire fencing I had on my planting bed and made better use of it. See my work below!
Luckily for us, our 75lb big dog doesn't realize he can literally just step…

Tuesday Tips: Easy To Make, Magnetic Door Weekly Organizer!

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At the start of the school year, I had a really hard time keeping track of the days my daughter needed to keep things straight for school. On Monday and Tuesday she must wear sneakers for gym class and on Thursday library books are returned. The first day she came home in tears because we dropped the ball on sending back her library books, I knew I needed a system to help me stay organized.
I thought, well where do I look when I'm heading out, where is the best place to put reminders? I found myself writing post it notes and sticking them on the backside of our front door. Sometimes overnight the sticky notes would fall off, which is of no help at all. Then I decided to take it to the next level, I would create a calendar on the back of the door that is reusable. My front door is made of metal and in turn, magnetic. I decided to make the best use of that feature when I made the weekly calendar. Cost to me- $0, as I had all the necessary supplies on hand. Make due with what you ha…

Where Colorado Locals Go: Ooka Sushi and Asian Cuisine

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The intersection of 120th and Main Street in Broomfield has turned into an Asian food mecca. Dim Sum to Pho to the Pacific Ocean Market are some of the offerings within a quarter mile radius. Where once there was a Boston Market is now a Sushi and Asian cuisine restaurant called, Ooka.
Of course we had to give Ooka a try and I am glad we did. This is what we ordered:
Summer Roll with Shrimp (spring rolls not fried, in rice paper) Spicy Salmon Roll Avocado/Cucumber Roll Sesame Tofu Yaki Udon Brown rice
Definitely liked the spring rolls, the peanut sauce had great flavor. The sushi was nothing to write home about, don't expect high quality. Go with vegetable rolls and you won't be disappointed. We are very fussy about where we eat raw fish, so keep that in mind when ordering. I always think when in doubt avocado/cucumber is a safe bet.

As far as our main entree dishes, I was very happy with our order. The sesame tofu had a nice body of flavor and was mild enough for our girls to enjoy. …

The Brits Are So Proper...

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Strolling through the side streets of London on a Monday morning, a friend pointed out the signs on a few doors. Apparently this row of flats was known to house friendly women. Well not anymore, but let's just have a plastic placard made up because that darn hand written sign keeps blowing away. Those Brits are so proper, aren't they?

I Love This Community, I'm Scared of Blogher, and Sometimes I'm Just Left Wondering...

So the story goes, a couple of years ago I naively started this blog. When I say naively in some regards I had no idea what I was getting into. Realistically speaking I joined the blogosphere well after it was established. I just thought, I'll write and let's see what happens. If it turned out two years later it was STILL only my mom reading this via email and my group of supporting friends than so be it. I was ready to take on the adventure.
My life at the time had become dominated by motherhood and my career became a distant memory. I had no idea how wonderful and powerful the blogosphere was at the time. I started slowly finding my way around to the most read blogs, but then started clicking on the names of those that commented on the big blogs. I found their writing to be just as wonderful. Before I knew it names became more and more familiar and relationships just naturally formed. It's community building at it's best. I was amazed at how organically I found blog…

Countertop Aesthetic, Good Bye Coffee Pot, Hello Water Kettle...

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Come step inside my kitchen. Countertop aesthetic is something my husband and I have always agreed on. We prefer to have space on the countertops and cluttery appliances tucked away. Cookbooks are stored in my office and piles of papers have to be removed nightly. For years, I've fought the coffee pot on the countertop. J is the coffee drinker of the family, so I just see it as an eyesore. We've never invested in a top notch coffee pot because they wear out or we break a carafe, so cheap and easy to replace is the way we go. Well taking that route has a price, they are just dreadful to look at. We have a special space in a cabinet for ours, but getting it put in there daily is a chore. Instead most of the time, it gets left out. I am happy to share I've found a solution to our eye sore!
First let's see our other counters.
Below you will see the two countertops that are adjacent to our range. Simple, fruit basket. I will admit, I tend to allow cookbooks to accumulate t…

Scaling Down, The Time Has Finally Come...

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It may have been just four short days after I returned home from London when I called my husband into the bedroom. I told him, it's time. Of course he inquired as to what in the world I was talking about, really it could be time for anything.
It's time to sell the house, I said in a very nonchalant calm tone.
Just like that. Bam. Let's move. I'm done, I'm ready, next phase. Let's do this.
You see, it's always been me, the resistant one. I'm comfortable in our current home. Where we want to move to is way more expensive, which means less house for more money. But I'm over worrying about the size house we are going to buy and more concerned about the life we want to live. We are moving back to the town my husband works in and where our daughter attends school. Our move out to the suburbs wasn't a move into our dream home. It was our first home. A house i've cherished from day one, but I am ready to say goodbye to. Now it's time to move on…

Tuesday Tips: The Secret to Fast and Easy Meatloaf, In Less Than 30 Minutes...

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I miss Tuesday Tips, they were some of my most popular posts. I've decided it's time to bring Tuesday Tips back. I've had some informative posts brewing and Tuesday Tips are the best place for them.

So meatloaf?

Yes, we are huge fans of meatloaf in our house. 99% of the time I make ground turkey breast meatloaf. Have I ever mentioned I am not particularly fond of ground beef? Well, I'm not. Turkey meatloaf gets the job done just splendidly for me. I don't ever feel like there is anything missing. I make meatloaf often because it's so easy and quick to prepare, I don't need special ingredients, all items I use to make it are always in stock. If I am missing something, it's pretty easy to just replace it with an item on hand. Take for example bread crumbs, if I'm out, I just use quick cooking plain oats in place of the bread crumbs.

The only problem with cooking meatloaf is that it takes so long to bake. 45 minutes at least?! I never have 45 minutes when…

Mom Has The Photo Evidence, Better Eat Up!

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The other morning I made my daughter a bare bones bento. By bare bones, I mean thank goodness for canned mandarin oranges and peanut butter sandwiches. I hadn't been grocery shopping for the week yet, so I had to fall back on pantry staples. It's my goal to pack a nutritious lunch everyday with fresh fruits and vegetables, but sometimes it's just not possible.

Below you will see, just a half peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some mandarin oranges are hiding under the piece of wax paper I slip over the wet items in the bento to protect them from getting the crackers wet. Also filling the reusable silicone cupcake cups are some vintage cheddar cheese and Annie's graham bunnies. Just like a nice mom, I put one girl scout cookie, broken in half to make it fit.
When my daughter got home, I noticed she only had a few bites of her sandwich. I couldn't remember if I made her a half or a whole. I inquired if she had a half or whole, but said it slipped her memory (do I see…

Sea World, Do I Support You or Shame On You?!?

Today over at the Rocky Mountain Moms Blog, I've written a post about Sea World. Before the tragic loss of a trainer's life and some heavy national press, I never really had a vocal opinion on the matter. Do I support the captivity of Orcas or believe they should be at home in the wild? Find out here.