Monday, January 31, 2011

Wanna freak out your kids?

Put on a mud mask! It's awesome.  You become a swamp mama. 


This is Borghese Fango: Active Mud for Face and Body. And it's awesome!  My lovely husband got me a whole line of products from Borghese for Christmas.  So far I'm loving this mask, the Botanico: Eye Compresses, the Curaforte: Moisture Intensifier, and the Cura Di Vita Protettivo: Protective Moisturizer, spf 15.   The last line on the little jar of Eye Compresses says: Lie down and relax for 10 minutes. BWAHAHA! That's a crack up.  But really the products are gorgeous.  Try them out and tell me what you think!  I'll post a rundown of some less expensive products that I love tomorrow. Stay tuned.
(I promise no scary pics of me in face masks..maybe.  I love to humiliate myself online.)

Monday Meal Planning

This week we're eating:

Pam Anderson's fabulous Salsa Verde Chicken with Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings

Porkchops with Mushroom Bourbon Cream Sauce from Simply Recipes

Chicken Florentine Style,  Giada Laurentiis

PW's Sherried Tomato Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

I'm off for a Girl's Weekend!!!!!  So I'm guessing my husband will feed the girls mac and cheese and he'll eat leftovers and a salad.  If I was a better person I'd make a lasagna for them. But I'm not.

Yesterday, I finally made Marcella Hazan's famous, life-changing tomato sauce. You know the one that every food blogger in history has written about at some time or another.   I can't believe it took me so long to make it.  It is heaven and only three ingredients.  Anyone can make it.  It takes zero patience and not a ton of time.  Whole tomatoes, an onion, and butter.  That's it.  Oh, and salt to taste.  Jaden, from Steamy Kitchen, blogged about it here.  Deb, from Smitten Kitchen, blogged about it here.  Katie, from The Parsley Thief, blogged about it here.

This sauce is insanely good.  Make it today. You have the ingredients.  And if you don't,  you should.

Happy Monday!  My husband is coming back from Florida today after being away for 5 days.  Thank god he's almost home!  WHOOOT!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Weekend with Friends

Exhaustion is setting in! My best friend in the world came up to visit this weekend with her two little ones. It was funny, messy, loud, hilarious, and crazy!  Her kids are very close in age to mine. Her oldest will be 5 this summer (7 months older than the Big One) and her little one is 3 weeks younger than my Little One. We've known each other since we were 3 and have been attached at the hip since 6th grade.  It was a wild weekend. 

 Last night we made Jadens' Broccoli Beef.  If you're not familiar with her blog, Steamy Kitchen, you should be!  This recipe is beyond delicious and super simple.   My husband has been requesting it once a week lately,  it's really that good. Try it this week!

Happy Sunday! I gotta lie down.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Put a bird on it!"

This is hilarious!!! Pee in your pants funny. Enjoy!

Design Sponge - "Portlandia" - put a bird on it!

p.s. Design Sponge is such an awesome design resource. Check it.

p.p.s. These are the icicles of doom.

A room for girls

I love Ohdeedoh. Don't get me wrong.  I look at it almost everyday and get tons of great ideas. But, I sometimes look at those gorgeous, perfect rooms and think, "Do real children live there?" And this is coming from a former designer!  I love my girls' room. It's my favorite room in the house. It's happy and cheerful. It has an awesome tent that they can play in or read in. It has a wonderful cozy chaise lounge that I can sleep read to them on. And it's completely not finished. The baseboards haven't been put back up. There are no curtains on the windows. The massive amount of artwork I have for the walls hasn't been put up. (let be honest, it isn't even framed yet) The monogram vinyls I have for over their beds are still sitting, rolled up in their containers, in the closet. Oh, the closet, whose doors are still a hideous lime green. Sometimes, it looks like this.

But most of the time.  Most of the time, it looks like this. 

What?  Don't you have bathing suit trying on parties the morning after a blizzard? Well, you should. 

p.s. You really should check out Ohdeedoh

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My 52 week project with Paint the Moon

For Christmas, Papa Bear (aka my husband), got me a gorgeous new camera.  I have a degree in photography but have been neglecting it for awhile.  To challenge myself, I decided to join Paint the Moon's 52 week project.   And yes my tiny/blessings is the same as my "Innocent Wonder".  It just worked, sue me.

week 4/52 Tiny/Blessings

week 3/52 Doors

week 2/52 Togetherness

Template Challenge: preparing for the storm 


 p.s.  I can't even believe I'm going to say this but...I think I like Jlo and Steven Tyler as the new AI judges??!!!  It's sort of entertaining again, right??!!  And with that, I'll go to bed. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

i heart faces photo challenge: Innocent Wonder

Clearly I've lost my mind, and I'm only on my second blog post!  I'm entering this weeks I heart faces photo challenge.  The guest photographer judge? Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things. One of my favorite blogs of all time. But here it goes! My Big One, full of innocent wonder, on a realllly cold day, with a mason jar of shells.  

Check out I heart faces for lots of inspiration and awesome pictures. And don't leave me out in the cold, join the challenge with me! PLEASE!!!?? 

Monday, January 24, 2011

And so it begins.

I've been meaning to start this blog for, well, forever it seems. So here I am. This "blank canvas of a page" has been boggling my mind. I've decided to just take the bull by the horns and write something, anything at all.  It is 6 degrees here today. 6!! My crazy beast children are riding around the house on their plasma car and little bee car. The Big One is still in PJs. The Little One, an odd combo of her big sisters' old black leggings, a too small onesie and an adorable little apron skirt that's two sizes too big. They both keep taking their socks off, I think just to torture me. It's FREEZING!!!! "Put your socks back on!!!" We've watched the most recent Shrek twice already. My parenting skills abound! 

I always thought my first blog post would be an awesome recipe I was trying or some fun creative project to make with your kids. But, oh well. I'll leave you with this. A picture of the Big One from yesterday afternoon, doing her best Sophia Loren and eating some kick-ass veggie lasagna from Pam Anderson's new cookbook. Perfect One-Dish Dinners. Which is awesome and brilliant and maybe life changing! The Salsa Verde Chicken with Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings is insanely delicious! And so was this lasagna.

(recipe below)

Quick, Creamy Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna
Adapated from Perfect One-Dish Dinners, by Pam Anderson
Serves 10

15 oven-ready lasagna noodles
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lb. sliced mushrooms (baby bellas)
2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1-1/2 teaspoon dried basil
12 oz. cream cheese, softened, divided
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
4 cups (1 lb.) grated part-skim or whole-milk mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.  Dissolve 1-1/2 tablespoons salt in a 9"x13" glass lasanga pan and fill with very hot tap water.  Add noodles and soak until softened, about 10 minutes.  Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender and well browned, 5-7 minutes.  Add spinach and continue to cook, stirring and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, until heated through.  Transfer to a medium bowl.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil and garlic in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  When garlic starts to sizzle, add tomatoes and enough water to make a sauce that is neither too thin nor too thick. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to simmer, partially covered, to blend flavors, about 10 minutes.

Mix mushroom-spinach mixture with basil, 8 oz. of the cream cheese and 1/4 cup broth.  Mix remaining 4 oz. cream cheese with remaining 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl; set aside.

To assemble: smear 1/4 cup marinara sauce over bottom of baking dish, then assemble 4 layers as follows:

3 lasagna noodles
scant cup marinara
scant cup mushroom-spinach mixture
3/4 cup mozzarella
2 tablespoons Parmesan

Top with remaining 3 noodles, cream-cheese broth mixture, remaining 1 cup mozzarella, and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Spray one side of a large sheet of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray.  Cover baking dish with foil, oiled side down, and bake until bubbly throughout, 40-45 minutes.  Leaving lasagna on same rack, turn oven to broil.  Remove foil and broil until lasagna is spotty brown, 4-5 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.  Cut into squares and serve.