Here are a few of the cards I made this year to show some love to my family this Valentine's Day- I found a book of reproduction vintage Valentine's at Borders bookstore- I love the look of these "old" Valentine's and their semi-corny but sweet sentiments, they remind me of the cards I used to get from my grandparents as a child.
Today got me thinking about Junior High and High School when you could send someone a rose or a note in class and how every time the door would open my stomach would drop a little in anticipation. And how more often than not the card or flower that came my way was from my friend Kathryn (usually a flower with a note about being "best buds") -thanks for always having my back K, because of you I always felt the love on the 14th!
Today Ben went off to school with a small bag of Star Wars Valentine's - ready to hand out cards but a little embarrassed that he would be getting some in return (and I am a little sad to say this is the first year he was not so interested in making a Valentine for his teachers).
Emma has spent the morning layering heart stickers on construction paper hearts that are covered with crayon "pictures". She seems to be the person who is most excited about sharing the love today.
And for those of you not smitten with Valentine's Day instead try wishing everyone a Happy New Year the way that Emma has this morning instead, it has brought a lot of smiles to many.
I love chocolate and when I saw this flavor I was at once both intrigued and sceptical of how it might taste. I am oh so happy to say that after brewing a cup and adding a splash of milk and some sugar that this is my new favorite flavor of tea. Now don't get me wrong, this tea does not quite give you the satisfaction of biting into a piece of rich, dark chocolate, or even the cheap thrill that comes from raiding your child's trick-or-treat stash (yes, we still have Halloween candy, and I don't know if that is a testament to Ben's willpower or to my inability to throw things away) but it is enough of a sweet afternoon pick-me-up treat to keep me out of the candy. I am going back to Fred Meyer today to stock up on a few more boxes as this is a "limited-edition" flavor- it's even on sale right now for $2.50 a box. I could go on and on hawking this tea like some crazed, late-night infomercial spokesperson, but instead I will say goodbye, I'm off to have a cup (because unfortunately those Reese's peanut butter cups are calling to me...)
One of my favorite projects ever, I made these paper candies for a Valentine's contest at a local art supply store- the faux truffles are cotton balls wrapped in brown tissue paper. I am thinking that this year I may just have to try and make a new one, maybe with Emma this time.
I love a quick,easy meal, and this lasagna "recipe" went together so fast that I will be sure to fix it again.
About a year ago I was at Trader Joe's and saw a box of no-cook lasagna noodles, I was sceptical at first, but boiling and draining lasagna noodles is one of my least favorite kitchen tasks (it is right up there with washing pots and pans). Not expecting much I nonetheless picked up a box, used it in my favorite recipe, and with joy in my heart (and kitchen) have never looked back; to me the no-cook noodles taste the same, cook the same, and actually hold up better when you freeze or re-heat leftovers.
To make the recipe above I used 1/2 a box of the TJ's no-cook noodles, a jar of marinara sauce, one container of part-skim ricotta cheese mixed with 2 eggs, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, diced, 1/4 tsp. of chili flakes and nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. I spread some marinara on the bottom of my 9x11 glass pan, added a layer of noodles, topped with the ricotta mixture, then covered with sliced zucchini, red peppers, spinach, and mushrooms, some sauce, pre-shredded italian cheese, and repeat (the top layer should be noodles, some sauce, and some cheese).
If you happen to have a favorite Trader Joe's product or kitchen short-cut, please feel free to share it here!
It is 9:30 a.m. and they have already played dolls, pretend check-up at the doctor's office, drawn with markers, made and played with salt dough. We still have over 6 hours left together and I may have used up all my good ideas for the day. After observing these two preschoolers this a.m. I have discovered some of their keys to happiness:
1. they clap and cheer for one another after they sit on the potty
2. they never work on one thing for more than 5 minutes if they get bored
3. someone else cleans up after them
4. they get to eat every 30 minutes
5. if someone gets upset they both get over it quickly and move on
6. everything they choose to do makes them happy
maybe we would all be a little happier if we tried to live this way ;)