; Life is like champagne......: 2008-06-22

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Pasta Verde

This is the time of year for a very simple and quick pasta salad that you can use some of your vegetables from the garden. Here are the ingredients.

Spaghetti, half box (I use whole wheat)
Cherry tomatoes, 1 pints worth
Fresh chopped basil, 1/2 cup
Garlic, 6 cloves
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan
Olive oil

Saute the garlic in about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the cherry tomatoes to soften them, about 5 minutes. Cook pasta according to directions. Add the garlic tomato mixture to the pasta toss and add the chopped basil and cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. That's it! It's light, quick and easy!

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Edible Cupcake Decorations

It has been a while since I have posted about cupcakes so I did a search on the web and found Shop Bakers Nook who makes edible decorations for cupcakes. The detail on these small sugar decorations is awesome and they have several to choose from. I love the Baby Onesie designs which have a different symbol on each onesie. The prices range from $1.19 for 6 to $1.79 for 8 pending the design. If you need Cupcake supplies, they have all sorts on pans, liners, sprinkles, you name it! I am thinking ahead for my Bugaboo's 2nd B'Day with making cupcakes and I am sure to find what I need here.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Tutu's are so girly

When I was pregnant, my work place gave me a baby shower and one of the baby gifts was a Tutu. The funny part of it was I was insisting that my daughter was not going to be a girly girl....no pink and play in the dirt. The friend that gave me the tutu which is pink by the way stated "Every little girl needs a tutu!", Carol is such card and I miss her daily insights. Well my daughter is definitely a girly girl but also loves to play in the dirt and in the water. An Island Life is giving away a tutu from Sarah Rose Tutu as a part of her Summer Giveaway Event. Stop on over to Sarah Rose Tutu and pick out a color scheme then post your wish on An Island Life by midnight July 4th! If I can find the picture, even my dog when I was a child wore my tutu!

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It's Aloha Friday.....

No work 'til Monday....hosted by An Island Life. Stop by and see what question she has posted and play along.
Because this is the first official week of Summer and picnics will be in full swing, here is this weeks question.

Do you prefer hotdogs or hamburgers with mustard or ketchup?

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The Three Sister-in-Laws visit to NYC

I am an only child so when I married Eric, I gained two brother-in-law's which now in turn gains me two sisters-in-law's. I am fortunate that one is my best friend from as long back as 5th grade! The other will be married this fall and we all get along like we have been sisters forever. So Aunty Deb, Myself and Bugaboo girl planned a day trip to visit Aunty Melissa in New York City.

We left about 8:30am, powered by coffee and guided by Daniel(my Garmin name, British of course for Daniel Craig 007)and made it there in pretty good time by 11:00am.

First time we have seen the new digs which were in a beautiful area of Brooklyn. the weather could not have been better, sunny and in the upper 70's! We decided to go to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and walk through the open market on the way.

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden was beautiful! Everything was well marked, the paths through various gardens were well manicured and many of the walking areas were shaded by beautiful large trees. Many of the roses were just going to pass but a few of the climbers were quite impressive!

Our last view of the rose garden, we caught a glimpse of a couple who just got married! Perfect pictures among the back drop of roses!

Bugaboo Girl, along with the rest of us were hungry so we headed on over to a restaurant Aunty Melissa recommended, Two Boots, how fitting since it was Italian and Louisiana influenced. The weather started to get a little warm so we opted to stay inside and enjoy the AC, not to mention Bugaboo Girl had managed to get in a little power nap in the stroller on the way.

We ordered drinks some drinks, probably would have had another if we were driving home in a few hours. The food was very good and Bugaboo girl enjoyed her hotdog with the usual dipping in ketchup! I think I am done with hotdogs for a while. Moving on to hamburgers.

Our last stop was a few shops, some ice cream and to visit the neighborhood pet store for a kitty stop. Trash the kitty was lounging in the stuffed pet toys and came out to say hello to Bugaboo Girl. She gave the usual response to the cat which was a high pitched "Eeeeeee" happy kitty sound. This cat was probably 1/4 the size of ours!

We had a great time and wished we had stayed longer. The ride home had an extra hours worth of traffic which I attributed to the Yankee game we did not go to. Thank you Aunty Melissa for being such a good guide and host! We hope to be back soon. Wait...we will for the 4th of July weekend, yea!

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

One Word Meme

I caught one word meme at Mommie Daze. Much quicker and easier. Feel free to pass and play!

. Where is your cell phone? Backpack

2. Your significant other? E

3. Your hair? Brown

4. Your mother? Ma

5. Your father? Dad

6. Your favorite thing? Flipflops

7. Your dream last night? none

8 Your favorite drink? Margarita

9. Your dream/goal? Scotland

10. The room you’re in? Office

11. Your hobby? Knitting

12. Your fear? Rollarcoasters

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here

14. What you’re not? Aggressive

15. Muffins? Blueberry

16. One of your wish list items? Camera

17. Where you grew up? CT

18. The last thing you did? Breakfast

19. What are you wearing? Apron

20. Favorite Gadget? Garmin

21. Your pets? Crazy

22. Your computer? Laptop

23. Your mood? Good

24. Missing someone? Wendy

25. Your car? Messy

26. Something you’re not wearing? Makeup

27. Favorite store? Target

28. Like someone? Bugaboo

29. Your favorite color? Lavender

30. When was the last time you laughed? Now

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New Blog Added to My Daily Blog Roll

I love to cook and I love cookbooks. I have added smitten kitchen to my daily Blog check because not only does she have great recipes that are doable but also the pictures are real. This is also the only food blog I have added so far, beside listing the cupcake blogs in a separate category. Pop on over to smitten kitchen and check her out, tell her I sent you.

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Everything you wanted to know about Baking Soda!

Did you know that Baking Soda can be used as a yeast substitute? I had no idea! The Wifey Diaries has a very extensive list of what you can use Baking Soda for and I think you would be surprised about a few you may not know. Can you add any to her list or claim one that works?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Sponsored by 5 Minutes For Mom.

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Wish I thought of this, Parking Pal

Every so often a product comes along where I find myself saying "I wish I thought of this!" and Parking Pal is this product. It is a magnet with a hand print design placed on your car to teach your kids to put their hand on the car for safety purposes while you may be loading groceries or even looking for your keys! I know I have heard horror stories of kids running around in a parking lot dodging cars and this product is a great tool to help prevent a bad situation from happening. An Island Life is giving away a Parking Pal as a Summer Kickoff. Just pop on over to Parking Pal and see what design you would like then head on back to An Island Life and post which one. That is it! I'm thinking this would be a great gift for a mom or even grandparents!

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Weeding the Corn

So you remember that tool I bought to keep my sanity in the garden?

It does not work well between the corn!

This was my view for two hours weeding in between the corn.

With an occasional look up. What is that cat doing? He has to lay on my fleece!

An the results are weeding corn rows, sore back and a little bit of a sun burn! But hey, we will not be buying corn at ANY price this summer!

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How well do you know your library?

Most towns have a public library, but when was the last time you were there? Do you know what is new? How many floors are in your library? Is there a children's section? Do they offer programs such as book clubs or a music program for kids? Is there Internet access? What is the history of your library? You might not have thought of these questions or may not even know the answers but it is worth investigating! You pay for your public library and it is a jewel in your own town. Did you know the first library in North America opened at Boston in 1653 and the first Tax supported library was opened at Peterborough, N.H in 1833.

My library happens to have a web site, children and adult extra programs, DVD, CD, books on tape, Internet access and much more. Even though it is funded via tax dollars, they do need donations. This can be in the form of time given, charity functions, money and books! Before you throw a book away, check your library to see if they would like it, just another form of recycling. Our library also has a list of books requested on Amazon for donation. Another idea is to see if they have your favorite book available, if they do not, donate a copy!

Your assignment, if you choose to do so, know your public library!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's a Secret Identity We All Have....

Admit it, we have all done it. You call for a reservation or walk in the door at a restaurant, the Host or Hostess asks "How many in your party?", you tell them and then they ask your name. It can be your first name, last name, dog name, cat name, or your secret identity name. I can remember my mom even using her neighbors last name because it was shorter and easier to pronounce let alone spell! And yes, there is something to having your name called out, when it is not your name, but a name that just may turn some heads???

Thanks to Kelsey at My Sweet Life for the inspiration, she has used the name Lipton Backinheim!

So what is your secret identity restaurant name?

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Tackle it Tuesday

Oh this is an area that I generally only work on when it is raining or absolutely nothing else to do. It is my knitting/craft area and it needs help. So in honor of 5 Minutes For Mom, I will be tackling this area today, rain or shine!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

New Blog Added to My Daily Blog Roll

I have a routine every morning now where I take time to check on my favorite blogs, post any happenings or info and then do a little new blog search. Yes my blog list is pretty eclectic, but that is pretty much how I am. The Hostess with the Mostess blog posted about a Tropical Baby Shower designed by Joanna Dyckhoff who has a design blog LotusHaus. I popped on over to check out LotusHaus and was inspired within the first few posts I read with the product she has chosen. Her design posts make me feel like I can take even one small portion of the idea and use it for a project I may have. Check her out and drop a comment. I know I have certainly found some inspiration from this blog! Thanks HWTM for the introduction!

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5 Minutes for Books

Pop on over to 5 Minutes For Mom as she has today 5 Minutes for Books to review Comfort Food, the author of The Friday Night Knitting Club. I read The Friday Night Knitting club and enjoyed it, was a quick and easy read. She is also giving away copies so post your comfort food!

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How My Cat Helps in the Garden

Could he have found the scent to a mole or wood chuck?


No Shame what so ever!

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Plan a Weekend Using No Gas!

We use gas all week long whether it be going to work, a grocery store or just driving to a destination. So what if you wanted to cut back? How about two days off of not using any gas. Yes that means not going to the beach or driving to your sailboat or going to a mall. Now come up with a plan. Here is my Weekend Using No Gas plan.

1. Of course this starts with Friday night. Pizza made at home. It is amazing what combinations you can come up with. Try it on the grill, keeps the heat out of the house! Gin and Tonic sitting in the back yard overlooking the back forty(using a phrase my mom likes to use) catching the sunset. Then watching a Yankee game.

2. Saturday, aside from the usual chores of yard work, Sprinkler set up for the Bugaboo girl and turtle pool filled up and pull her around the yard for a garden tour. Grill some bratwurst up and sit down to enjoy a beer again overlooking the back forty catching the sunset. Heaven knows there is 400 channels of mostly junk on TV so On Demand movie is probably the ticket.

3. Sunday is sleep in late, if you can. Make waffles from scratch of course! Finger paint with the bugaboo girl. Hang up the hammock and lay on it overlooking the back forty(this seems to be a pattern) with a Gin & Tonic. Beer Can Chicken is perfect for a Sunday. What? You have never had it? Just in case, I did include the link to a recipe. Probably one of the best ways to roast a chicken, especially in the summer!
How would you plan a weekend without using gas?

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Favorite Pasta Salad

This recipe for Orzo with Roasted vegetables is one of my favorites and can be modified with so many different vegetables in so many ways! I basically use what I have available. Today it is purple onions and red peppers. Here is the list of ingredients.
1 red pepper
1 purple onion
4 garlic cloves chopped
1/4 cup chopped or crumbled feta
1/2 box of orzo cooked to directions

You can either roast the vegetables or saute them. I chose to saute on the grill keeping the heat out of the kitchen! Feel free to use the grill for roasting also.
Cut up vegetables(1 each is usually enough) in about 1 inch sizes, add garlic, a lot of garlic, salt pepper to taste and about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Mix all together in a bowl and then roast! Oven(375 degrees) is about 40 minutes, saute is about 25 minutes on med/low.
While the vegetables are cooking, cook the orzo and make the dressing as follows.
Squeeze 5 or 6 lemons(or 1/2 cup lemon juice), add about 1/3 cup olive oil and mix! Real lemons always seem to give it a better flavor but if you do not happen to have them like me, you use the already squeezed "Real Lemon" juice.
Add vegetables to orzo and the dressing. Let cool, then add the feta. Voila! I have also added sun dried tomatoes(about the only tomato that has taste right now), green onions and kalamata olives to this recipe. Again, use what you have!

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The Dip

Not a dip in the pool but a dip in the ketchup! The Bugaboo girl seems to love ketchup, not my favorite that is for sure. Must have gotten this one from Dad. She learned this trick when my friend Amy and I went out to lunch last Saturday after registering for Amy's baby shower. It was grilled cheese and even the oranges got dipped! I know can petty much give her anything, if I have ketchup, last resort of course when you are out at a restaurant! Of course here she is having a hotdog at her Great Grandma's picnic, no mustard, ketchup of course.

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