Friday, April 30, 2010

Menu for the week

Oricchiette with sausage, asparagus and spinach - recipe from here/salad
Yellow slip peas and red lentil soup/salad
Cassoulet/crusty bread/salad
BLT sandwiches on homemade focaccia/sweet potato oven fries

Breakdown:
Aldi/Kroger $40
Costco $17
Super H $8

This weekend we are getting together with some friends and going to Chastain Park to see the Gypsy Kings... Weather forecast?... Chance for thunderstoms... What to do in case of rain? Go anyway. We will be jumping around like kids in the rain. I cannot think on anything better that a fun concert under the rain. Hopefully they won't cancel.

I hope you have a good one too!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Things I want to make

Picture from Freshy picked

Knee patches for my little boy's pants... If you have a boy you know how they wear the knee fabric off. Just trying to make the pants last a little longer. Find the tutorial here

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Atlanta Botanical garden






I have been meaning to share these pictures with you. Some time ago I went on another field trip with photog's friends. We met up at the crack of dawn and went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. All was good until we got rained out... Don't feel too bad though... After the rain was gone it added another dimension to the shoot. I got to remember to do a little more in town exploring...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yard work and a little surprise

We spent part of the weekend doing some needed work in our front yard and while cleaning the bushes I found a little bird nest with four little eggs. The kids were so excited. I could not help myself - I had to take some pictures.
























The next day thunderstorms hit our area... The kids were so worried about the little nest and the eggs. Unfortunately, one fell but three others survived (the bush got a little banged up but it is still there). We will continue keeping our eye on the little nest. I hope we can see the baby birds hatch and take their first flight...

Monday, April 26, 2010

The trip to France (and the girl that didn't know how to get up the Eiffle tower)

That is the title of the book Miss V wrote. She loves making her own books...I thinks she gets that from her grandma Linda.

"Look the Eiffel tower, mommy!" / "How do you get up there, mommy?"

But her mom didn't say. "How do you do it?" / "Let's have some crepes." She said "OK." "She said but then tell me."

"NO!" She said, "I said no." (I guess mommy is getting mad at her!) / Then she meets a friend. "Hi!"

"Lets play." "OK. Do you want to go to the Eiffel tower?" / "Sure! I want to eat a crepe." (she is very excited about trying them...Can you tell?)

"I am going to pick flowers" / "Look! a French whistle"

"I like that one mommy." "OK." / "Let's play more and more and more!"

"I'll tell you." / "It's an elevator."

I love these little bursts of spontaneity... and can you tell how excited she is about going on this trip? She is even learning some phrases in French.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Menu for the week

Penne with butternut squash and goat cheese - recipe from here/salad
Chicken enchiladas/salad
Red bean soup/salad
Italian roasted chicken thighs with oranges - recipe from here/asparagus quinoa - recipe from here - I made changes to it :) /salad

Breakdown
Aldi/Kroger: $36
Costco: $20
Super H: $3

So many fun festivals going on this weekend: Touch a truck, Alpharetta art festival, Inman Park festival... Which one to choose? Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth day

In honor of Earth day I thought I would make a post about travel and the impact to our environment. I read this post and I started to think about the way we travel. I was able to check off just about all the ways she listed to be a little greener. Here is the run down:

Flying direct: helps to cut down the excess emission. Not always the best option as far as economics but it is a good idea when you travel with two small children.

Purchasing carbon offsets: not there yet. I have not done enough research to be comfortable with the idea. I'll keep you posted.

Walk and use of public transportation when abroad: A big yes. That is pretty much what we do once we arrive into a new town.

Trains instead of plains: We found it more convenient to rent a car for travel within countries (instead of flying or taking the train) due to the fact that our kids are under the age of 6. We are thinking once they are a little older and can carry their own backpacks we will be taking trains to go from country to country.

Stay put: We rent a cottage/apartment/villa in which ever place we stay. It works better for us and the kids. It is just too hard for them to be moving from town to town.

Eat local: and lots of it...There is no other way to experience a new country...We love every thing about it.

Staying on a Farm: Haven't done it yet but are planning to do it when the kids get a little older
Pack light: My mantra... Almost an obsession with me. We are able to pack all of our outfits for a two week vacation in 3 carry ons (not checking luggage at the airport). Remember, 2 adults and 2 children traveling.

Lastly, I bring my foldable tote: with me so I do not have to purchase plastic bags at the store. I bought mine here.

So there you have it...I just needed to get that off my chest :)

Of course, a picture of my little environmentalist and her "Save our Planet" tee!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What is she into right now...

Per little brother (not necessarily accurate, sounds more like his favorites, but this is his point of view)...

Favorite cartoon: Arthur
Favorite food: Arepas and pasta with pesto
Favorite activities: Painting
Favorite friend: Sean
Favorite movie: Diego
Favorite country/city: Paris (I wonder if that answer has anything to do our upcoming trip)

Other favorites: Karate moves with daddy, playing the exercise game like "Simon says". Putting all (and I mean all) her stuffed animals in bed before bedtime and my favorite: humming NPR's "All Things Considered" theme song (I am especially proud of that as I am a big NPR geek).





































Self portrait by Miss V

One more tibit to share:
A couple of weeks ago Miss V had her turn to be the Star Student. She had to prepare a poster to describe herself. I gave her a box with pictures from our last trip and she put it all togerher...I love the "Yo hablo espanol" phrase.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Go to desserts

From my small arsenal of dessert that I have on rotation...

Panna Cotta

Ingredients:
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch salt
2 cups assorted fresh berries

I added a vanilla bean...make a world of difference

Directions:
Place the milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Pour milk mixture into a heavy saucepan and stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, honey, sugar, vanilla bean and salt . Stir until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. remove the vanilla bean, cut open and remove the seeds. Add seeds to the mixture and discard the pod. Pour into 6 ramikens. Cool slightly. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours. Spoon the berries atop the panna cotta and serve.

Enjoy!

Recipe from Giada de Laurentis

Monday, April 19, 2010

Like father, like daughter

Our little girl has started her karate classes. She is so pumped about it. She likes to show off the moves she's learned... I had to take pictures of her in her little gi uniform.

Bragging rights

Ok, I have to share with you the beautiful things 2 of my friends are making. First one comes from my besty Cathy in Toronto (we have known each other since we were 19 years old) she is making these beautiful necklaces and bracelets...Just incredible. By the way, she gifted this beauty to me... Thanks Cathy!

The next pictures come to you from Hong Kong from my friend and colleague Ada. I did not know she was this talented. I especially like the Schnauzer... Really cute, huh?...
Ok girls, I have one word for you: Etsy. Put your beautiful creation for sale on Etsy and I guarantee you, you'll sell them...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Menu for the week

French lentil soup/Salad - A new fave... A little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil...Delicious. Hands down better than the regular lentils.
Spaghetti alla putanesca/Salad
Cauliflower soup with gorgonzola - Recipe from here/salad
Hamburgers/orzo salad/sweet potato chips (some friends will be coming over for some grilling)

Breakdown:
Aldi/Kroger $ 40
Costco $29

By now I am sure you have heard about Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I have always liked him but I have gained a whole new respect for him. The purpose of the show is to change the way our kids are being fed in school, starting at home, of course. I love his approach and I truly believe he is invested in it. I signed the petition and I hope you do the same. Here is a quote from his website "We want to make sure every kid gets good, fresh food at school. It's proven that real food promotes more effective learning. If you want better health for your kids the junk food must go" I agree Jamie. I am doing my part and passing it on...

I am also getting his book... I think the title says it all "Jamie's Food Revolution. Rediscover how to Cook Simple, Delicious and Affordable Meals" My mantra... Jamie, I think we must be soul mates!

Where have they been?

It is no secret that Mark and I love to travel, and ever since we had kids we've taken them along for the ride. I have been asked a lot about all the places the kiddos have been internationally (beside camping trips, beach trips and family visits) so here is a run down of the places they have been:

She:
Venezuela age 6 mos:
Playa Colorada, Venezuela

Canada age 1 yr:
CN tower, Toronto, Canada

Germany/Switzerland/Italy age 1
Donaueschingen, Germany

Luzern, Switzerland

Bellagio, Lake como, Italy

Italy (Tuscany region) Age 2:
Florence, Italy

Venezuela age 2.5
Los Altos de Santa Fe, Venezuela


Mexico Age 2.5:

Having lunch at the famous "El rey del cabrito", Monterrey Mexico

Germany/France/Austria age 4:
Bodensee, Germany
Strasburg, France
Halststat, Austria

England (Cotswolds and London)age 5:

Upper Slaughter, Costwolds, England

He:
Germany/France/Austria age 1:
Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany
Petit Paris, Strasburg, France
Stadtpark, Vienna, Austria

Venezuela age 2:

Castillo San Carlos de Borromeo, Pampatar, Venezuela

England (Cotswolds and London)age 2.5

Stonehenge, England

Next up... France (Burgundy, French Alps and Paris). Ages 6 and 3