Saturday, May 23, 2015

recipe share

i wanted to share a few things we've eaten recently that are worth passing along.

we had chicken pho last week.  the key to this soup is a slow cooking flavorful broth. i found this recipe but didn't have the time to let it cook that long.

i used a box of chicken stock and a box of chicken broth.  i simmered it with coriander seeds, star anise, whole cloves, minced ginger and garlic, fish sauce, sugar, salt and chicken. i cooked the rice noodles separately and strained the broth into each bowl. then i topped it with lime, cilantro, bean sprouts and garlic chili sauce. it was pretty good and close enough to the one i like from the pho restaurant.

this week i tried making brussel sprouts one more time. i'm determined to make them in hopes that the kids will like them.  it's a running joke around here.

these were pretty good. i used this recipe. they were quick and tasty.  the key was cutting them into small pieces and being generous with the seasoning. jordan said they tasted a little like kale. andrew didn't really like them.  i liked the addition of nuts. i used almonds because it was what i had on hand.

a few weeks ago i made chicken tacos for dinner. i saw an instagram post that said they threw some  chicken breasts into a crockpot and added broth and one jar of trader joe's green salsa.  easy.

the chicken was really tasty. i love the handmade tortillas from trader joe's. then you add shredded cheese, lettuce, guacamole and salsa. another great meal.

let me know if you try any of these recipes and tell me what you think.

Friday, May 22, 2015


on tuesday we had sofia's softball team party to mark the end of the season.  and what a season!

from the moment she started playing with this group we knew it was going to be about learning and working. she was on a team with two coaches who have been with the program for a while.  they had everything under control, perfectly organized and running like a true team.

she was the littlest one on the team but she made her presence known from day 1. she had little experience but was willing to put in the work to get better. the coaches let the team know from the beginning that they were there to work hard; run your hardest, make an effort and have fun.

my favorite story was at one of her first practices the coach told them that if they weren't giving their best effort he would have them do push ups.  he had her run to first base as fast as she could, and she ran but not that fast. so he made her do push ups.  after the practice i asked her about it and she said "i didn't run my hardest. but man, i did some awesome push ups." that's when i knew she was tough enough for this sport.

she worked really hard. there were days she would go from school to volleyball practice, to softball practice or game and then home for homework, dinner and bed. it was a huge sacrifice of her time.  but she did it willingly. it got to her a few times but she didn't want to let her team down and pushed through.

she made friends right away, as is her personality, and figured out how to fit in with a group that seemed to know each other pretty well. she learned the cheers and made herself at home in the dugout. and the girls encouraged her along the way.

she played second base and outfield. and wow, did she improve. at first she didn't want the responsibility of getting the ball, so she would let the other girls get it. yep, she would stand there and watch the ball go by.  there was a lot of yelling, but she figured it out.

during the last playoff game, she made 2 outs in the first inning.

she was a hitter... in the cages and at home.  but when she came up to bat the nerves got to her and she walked a lot. walks from coach's no swing signs, and some from getting hit by the ball and some because her strike zone is pretty small.  either way, she made the most of her time on the bases and would often score. eventually she will get a hit and then there won't be any stopping her.

she wasn't afraid; of the ball, of the coaches or of making mistakes. she has grown to love the sport. when she gets home from school and if it's still light outside she and bobby go outside and play catch, and practice pitching.  she's a fan for sure.

we are so thankful that she was on the daring divas this year. the coaches were so patient with her but also pushed her to do better. we would play with any of the coaches, girls or parents again.

we are so proud of what she was able to do this year and can't wait to see her improve. in spite of everything else she takes on; school play, volleyball, schoolwork, and friends, i think softball is what really matters to her.  at least until the next thing comes along.

the other day she told me she wants to play for the notre dame softball team when she gets to high school... and volleyball, soccer and maybe basketball. dream big sassy!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

10 things that make me happy

in honor of david letterman's last show last night, which we haven't seen yet but will watch tonight, i wanted to do a top ten list.

10. paint - i had made time to work on some projects yesterday and had fun playing with paint and stencils. far from perfect but having fun was what i was going for.

9. student showcase - next week the kids will have their student showcase. this is their chance to show us what they have been learning in their units of inquiry. sofia is the mayor of a mini society and will be "selling" yoga lessons. andrew is doing a project on the renaissance - "out of the darkness there is light". excited to see what they have planned.

8. pitch perfect 2 - hoping to see it this weekend. i'm sure it won't live up to the first one but i'm looking forward to seeing it.

7. music - i've been listening to a lot more lately and i love what i'm hearing. like i turn the music up in the car and sing out loud. and the kids do too. our current favorites - uptown funk, honey, i'm good, budapest, shut up and dance, and anything by taylor swift.

6. chef's table - this series is on netflix and i've only seen the first episode but it's everything i love.  getting to know the way chef's think about the food they prepare. my favorite quote from the first episode is "one of the most important ingredients in his food is memory." YES!

5. 3 day weekend - looking forward to everything this weekend has to offer, including seeing family on sunday, a birthday get together for andrew, baseball game and time off.

4. disneyland's diamond celebration - i've been seeing lots of pictures on instagram and hearing details from my mother in law about the fun stuff going on at the park. we'll try and schedule one trip over the summer and then again during christmas.

3. irish knight band - i can't put into words what an incredible experience this has been for jordan, and for us. we love the community within the community. the kids are so talented. it will be hard to say goodbye to the seniors and their parents, many of who helped us get through our freshman year. #goknights

2. peonies - i have a few favorite flowers; ranunculus, gardenias and peonies. i really love the soft colors that these come in. happy to see them at trader joe's this week and i had to buy a bunch. lovely and delicate.

1. end of the school year in sight - always a mix of emotions, but overall it's a happy time. no more schedules and homework. time to be together and relax. jordan has finals next week and the kids get out in june. it's all winding down now and we're ready for summer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

day in the life | 5.14.15

a fun project that i participate in at least once a year is a day in the life. the idea is to capture a day and what life looks like at the time.

i love that this year this project happened right as things were settling down. if i had attempted this project even one week ago the pictures would have been completely different. and when i do this project next year, i'm sure the story will look different as well. that's what i love about projects like this.

the usual wake up time for me. bobby and jordan get up at 6:15. andrew get's up at 6:30 and sofia around 7:00.

i woke up to discover i hadn't put the laundry in the dryer before going to sleep. oops.

i also found a stack of folded clothes on the ironing board. thanks grandma.

jordan's lunch.

and a daily dose of medicine.

packing up his lunch and trying to ignore the lady with the camera.

grabbing his backpack and swim bag from the stack.

carpool buddy is here.

fresh fertilizer and flowers.

sleepyhead comes to the table.

and for the other sleepyhead.

making lunches.

off to school.

morning light, dirty window and carpool drop off.

pto executive board meeting.


and breakfast.

out with the old, in with the new.

home for a blog post and instagramming.

just one bite.

gas guzzling.

the afternoon wait.

back in the car.

 prepped for a game.

and a school function.

looking a bit different.

rain or shine, it's baseball time.

i hadn't seen the banner until today.  i love it.  can you spot andrew?

 it's all about the snacks at the baseball field.

he got in a pickle.

i made the trek to nd for a leadership dinner.

so many wonderful parent volunteers were honored for their generosity of time. and so many grateful parents for the community they get to be a part of.  lot of goodness here.

thank you gifts.

and a thunderstorm for the ride home.

peace out.

this is just a peek into what our days look like. i ended up taking a bunch of photos mostly on my iPhone.  i'll print these and either put them in my project life album or make a mini album. depends on what i have time for. but i'm glad i have this documented somehow.