; Life is like champagne......: 2008-07-20

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Marinated Broccoli

I have grown broccoli in previous years and I find that I end up picking it all at once. This year seems to be different, we picked one head of broccoli this week and there is nothing even remotely close to being ready for another couple of weeks. It just goes to show, not everything is the same in your garden every year.
My knit/NY Yankee buddy gave me a wonderful Marinated Broccoli recipe that is great for not only a side dish but an appetizer.

3 Bunches of broccoli
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a zip lock bag. Marinate in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and serve.

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Toy Rotation

Also known as the toy shuffle, toy exchange, or even toy swap. What ever you know it as, it seems to work really well! Bugaboo Girl's friend HB has toys that are different from ours so we decided to mix it up a little, saving on the pocketbook and sanity. Basically a bag of toys for a bag of toys borrowed for a few months. It works out really well and the funnier part of it is when they go over to each others house, they recognize their toys. Right now, it is all about the telephone so I am on the lookout for a toy cell phone that looks pretty real.
What do you do to keep interest in the toys your child has?

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Friday, July 25, 2008

It's Aloha Friday.....

Sponsored by An Island Life.

If you could be a breed of dog, what breed would you choose to be and why?

Mine would have to be a Border Collie, always on the move!

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You can't do that at the YMCA

I started Bugaboo Girl on swim lessons at 6 months of age at the YMCA. Yea, I know it is not really swim lessons but more of her getting comfortable with the water. Not a problem now as we know. We had a small class of four, and I met one of my good friends Monique and her daughter "G" at the classes from the beginning. When the class was done, we took a sort of graduation picture of our small group, emailed everyone the pictures and seem to have no issues with having this done. The instructor even took the picture of us with the kids.
Now things have seem to change at the YMCA, or have they? I am still going to swim class with Bugaboo Girl, new age group, she is also at a new level, floating with a bubble on her back. The bubble is the ONLY float device they recommend, no arm floaties, no float shirts or any other type float clothing. We were at a lesson last week and I saw a camera flash and then a load comment was made "NO pictures in the pool area!". Being that I have had the same instructor since day one, I had to ask what the deal was. Evidently it is a YMCA policy to not have ANY pictures taken of children in the pool or locker room due to exploitation of child pictures. O.k., I can understand that but where is this world coming to? So I cannot take a picture of my child swimming for the first time, or participating in a swim meet? It seems there is as much chance of this occurring at the YMCA as being out in general public. It just seems a bit sad to me that it has to come to this situation.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Four Things Meme

Andrea from Simple Things has tagged me for a meme. Thankfully it is a short one as I am in the midle of zuchinni bread! So here we go!

Here’s the Four Things Tag:

Four jobs I’ve had:

Naturalist Interpretor
Design and sell bathroom products(yes toilets and bidets!)
Stocked Trout in CT lakes for DEP fisheries
Detailed boats

Four movies I can watch over and over:

It's a Wonderful Life(I live it also!)
Magnificent Seven
KElly's Hereos
The Wedding Crashers(Didn't want you to think I only watch old movies)

Four places I’ve lived:

Maui, HI
Bristol, RI
Clinton, CT
Current location, CT

Four TV shows I love:

BBA Kitchen Nightmares
Yes Network, need I say more
Dancing with the Stars
That's it!

Four places I’ve vacationed:

Madrid, Spain
Sidney, Australia
India(may have to whip those pictures out on the blog some time)
Costa Rica
(BTW, I have vacationed in the US also! Wanted it to be a little interesting)

Four of my favourite dishes:

Anything with chocolate
Did I say wedding cakes?
My husband's pizza

Four sites I visit daily:

Metropolitan Mama
An Island Life
The Martha Blog

Four places I would rather be right now:

On a tropical beach, my daughter would be happy with ANY beach.
Sitting outside on a chair overlooking the back forty drinking a gin & tonic
Moosehead, Maine
Certainly NOT driving Interstate 95 or I84!

I tag the following people for this:


And there you have it! Feel free to participate!

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Giftwrap With a Modern Look

I love the prints of this gift wrap collection as seen on Hostess With the Mostess! I could see using it to also cover storage boxes, backing behind a picture or covering file folders in the office! Of course after I do all of the gardening, picking blueberries and canning! This winter looks good!

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Bugaboo Book Review

I am into counting lately so a lot of my favorite books are related to numbers. This weeks book review is One, Two, Three! by Sandra Boynton.
I am always attracted to the cover of the book and this one is exceptional! There is a nice little window that shows three hippos dancing, did I ever mention I love to dance?
The book starts out with "One", describing what each number is fun to do with, illustrating an animal in the picture. What I like about counting with this book is there are animals I know, kitties being my favorite. I always know when "Five" is coming up because I love to see the car on the picture, mommy laughs when I go "vroooooom", so I say it a lot at the number "Five". This book keeps you excited about wanting to know what the next number is and what the animals do, with a surprise ending of what else, my favorite animal the kitty! Ask me t find this book to read and I have no problem digging it out of my pile of books!

This book review is Bugaboo Girl, thoughts of an almost 2 year old and translated by her mom.

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Martha's Cookie of the Month

Every month I get the Martha Stewart Living magazine and every month I say the same thing "I want to make this cookie!". You know, the one on the back cove that always looks so good! Well this month I decided to finally do it. Maybe it was the chocolate, or the fact it was a no bake bar, or that I just happened to have all the ingredients in the house. The ingredients usually stop me from making her cookies on the spur of he moment. But I did it, and it was well worth it! The Cookie this month was the the No-Bake Chocolate and Peanut butter Oatmeal Bars which were extremely rich!
Here are a couple of suggestions I have for this recipe, especially making them in the summer time.

*Let each layer harden longer than suggested.
*You can substitute the chocolate wafers with mint chocolate wafers, just as good!
*Add a little milk to the chocolate when melting, much easier to melt with.
*Store in a tin with wax paper in between in the fridge.

Try this for a wonderful dessert, serve with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, soooo good!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Attention Socialwork4kids!

I see you are posting for some contests and you won the ice cube trays! I need your address, email me!

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Sunday is for Celebrating!

Stay tuned for this Sunday! I am posting a very exciting contest to celebrate my new blog design and you will have a way to celebrate with me. Cheers!

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Turn on the Smellovision!

We often have friends over on the weekends. In the summer time, ribs are the most popular request with plenty of coleslaw and of course cheesy jalapeno corn bread baked in a skillet. My husband's strategy is low and slow and even though we end up eating at 10pm at night(nothing new in this house hold on the weekend), it is always worth the wait.
I was sent a couple of bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce to try out and what better way than to try them with ribs, our favorite meal. We happen to have over for dinner two couples, both husbands majoring in eating ribs! I know I can count on them to give me the what's what since we go back to about age 12! Forget about me giving my age out, it is a long time.
We had the usual rib dinner which was three racks of ribs, coleslaw and cheesy jalapeno corn bread made in a skillet on the grill. We had Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce for dipping the ribs and also had basted one rack of ribs. The rack that was basted had a sweet taste to them, more tangy than the other two. I could easily see using this sauce for grilled pork chops and also chicken. Being All purpose, baked beans would also fall into this category where the sweetness of the sauce would enhance the beans. Over all, Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce is just that, an all purpose sauce.


I have FOUR winner opportunities for two bottles each of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce to give away!

1. Post a comment on this post of what you would use Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce with.
2. US addresses only, please include you email address if not registered.
3. Contest ends midnight 7/31/08 with the winner announced 8/1/08. Giveaway must be claimed within 72 hours.

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Wordless Wednesday

Meet the new member of the family!

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Cold Green bean Salad

My green beans are now coming in fast and furious! I will be out in the garden every day picking, best when they are small and easy to freeze! I made a green bean salad with green olives, garlic, salt, pepper and a little red wine vinegar. This is one of my favorite ways to have green beans in the summer.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom!

What does this look like to you? Well besides the dead giveaway of the stick marked green beans, it is a long row of green beans and I have not picked yet. No time!

I want to get them before they become too big and tough to eat. It is going to be the season for green beans, soo many flowers on these plants and soo many beans to pick. I think I will pickle some, great in bloody mary drinks and freeze the rest. Of course some will go to the neighbor, maybe the one who has let me clean sweep their blueberry bushes.

I have Bugaboo Girl helping me with the green bean picking, handing them off to her while she throws them in the basket. She'll be a good gardener! Got any green bean recipes out there?

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Monday, July 21, 2008


If you have followed my blog, then you understand the title of this post. If not, my Bugaboo Girl loves the beach and would probably go every day if we could. I have been contemplating what to do(already) for her second B'Day and I think I have found it. Check out Hostess with the Mostess with her party theme, love it!!! I will need a little warm feeling come the end of November!

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I should feel guilty about this.....

I have my own bushes, heck we planted 7 more in our side field, with no growth and 6 of them not making it! But when my neighbor stopped over and said to me "Feel free to pick blueberries since there are only about a weeks worth left", my first thought was "Is he insane?".
Just a little history. If you have been reading my blog, remember the George Bailey outhouse story and how he built this house? Well, he also built three of the neighboring houses and they seem to have slightly the same design trait, but not cookie cutter like a lot of the new houses built. The house next door to me where my neighbor has the blueberry bushes was the mother-in-law house and the water line was actually connected to my house at one point in time. Thankfully when they built the barn garage, that was cut off. His house was a part of my home, and the blueberry bushes came from my yard a long time ago. My current blueberry bushes were moved from the same area to their present spot, which is not the best spot due to not enough light. So, needless to say, they were once a part of this estate. And my husband cringes to see how many blueberries they have, how big they are and the fact that they do not pick them!!!!!
Last year, we actually went over and told them they need to net their bushes and was hoping they would offer some, no dice. They netted them and never picked. So when he came over and made the offer, I took it and I ran with it!!! If this was the casino, I hit the jackpot on blueberries. Picking at least 8 pints, with so much more over there to pick! I had to stop, the guilt was starting to take over. But today I will go back and sweep as much as possible! Oh sure I left them some, with more to ripen. And I brought over about a half dozen cucumbers which I know they love. I figure someone has to eat them, not just the birds! Mmmmm....blueberry pie this winter!

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ice Tray Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Letters and Numbers Ice Tray Giveaway. The two winners are as follows.

Katy stated "I liked the Cracked Egg Candles. A lot of different things to choose from that I haven't seen anywhere else."

socialwork4kids stated "This site has a category for everyone! I'm ordering the Foot in the Door Door Stop for my friend who loves shoes (she has over 90 pairs!) What a fun place to shop!"

Congratulations! Please email me with your complete address with in 72 hours or the prizes are forfeited.

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Sailboat Pop Molds

My mom always finds the neatest things! Today she gave me these Sailboat Pop molds that are so cute! I love the fact they have the handle and the drip catch. Must have the girls over for some frozen smoothie pops!

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My Personal Masterpiece

My girlfriend Suzanne has a blank canvas hung on her playroom wall, I call it "the masterpiece". Her daughter will grab a crayon and swipe away at it, each time adding a new color. When the Bugaboo Girl comes over to play, she immediately goes to the canvas, grabbing a crayon and adding to "the masterpiece", talking away, like she is describing what she sees. To encourage her to draw more, I recently gave her the new Doodlebagz™ which as not only crayons and a pad but also chalk and chalkboard. What a wonderful new creative tool!
The Doodlebagz™ is a compact carrying case for the artist on the go. It has compartments for both the crayons and the chalk and zips up conveniently with a handle to carry. I was amazed with what the bag came with.

*Crayola Doodlebagz™
*10 Crayola washable crayons
*5 pieces of Crayola chalk
*Writing pad
*chalkboard eraser

The designs available are very cool such as the pick camouflage or the colorful stripping mirroring the rainbow of Crayola crayon colors. You can even personalize the front of the bag with the child's name!
Get 15% off on the purchase of Doodlebagz™ exclusive to Life is like champagne readers. Just enter code LILC.

WIN IT!!!!! I have a Doodlebagz™ in the design of your choice for one random winner! Here are the rules.

1. Pop on over to the Princess Linens web site, the maker of Doodlebagz™ and comment on this post what other product they sell besides the Doodlebagz™.
2. One post per person, US addresses only.
3. Extra entry!! Post about this giveaway on your blog linking both Life is like Champagne and Doodlebagz™ and let me know by posting an extra comment at this post.
4. Bonus entry!! Grab my button and put it on your blog, post a comment on this post with the link to your blog.
5. Contest ends midnight July 27th, with winner announced July 28th. Winner must contact me within 72 hours of being announced or the prize will be forfeited.

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