A lovely morning

Yesterday I had a nice walk and cup of coffee with a good friend. We’ve known each other since our kiddos (her only, my oldest) were weeks old. We met at a mom’s club meeting and realized we lived around the corner from each other.

Here they are in one of their early dates ;D

You’d think we see each other often. How bad is it, in reality? It’s been so long since I’ve seen her that she didn’t even know my dad had died last July.

To be fair, she is studying to be a nurse and keeps a schedule that would drive me batty, but the light at the end of the tunnel is very visible and I look forward to congratulating her when she graduates soon. She has no classes this week so we walked to Starbucks – which we used to do all the time with our babies in strollers – and chatted for a while.

It was lovely. She is a calm, kind, gentle soul (VERY unlike me) and it was good talking about what what our kids are up to now and what we’re up to now. It’s good to make the effort, to find those precious minutes when we can reconnect with a friend. It’s what makes my life well-rounded.

Organizing: Meal Planning

I’ve been slowly getting into the Once a Month cooking idea. Not completely, because with my boys being picky eaters and my husband needing lunch as well as dinner (he works from home) I couldn’t possibly cook an entire month’s worth of meals in one day. But, three times now I have cooked and made more than one “batch” of the same meal, twice to freeze for future meals and once to share with a dear friend.

The two meals I made to freeze were from Fix, Freeze, Feast and they were both delicious, but you can find freezer recipes throughout the web, and of course, at The Martha’s website. Some recipes I will try next week are Chicken and Rice soup, Mini Meatballs, and her Basil Pesto, with one modification: I prefer to make mine half basil and half spinach. The original recipe with all basil can be a bit overpowering to me, and I like the idea of squeezing in some extra veggies wherever I can.

Got any freezer-friendly recipes you’d like to share?

Come on LOFT, wtf?

Okay, this is where “fashion editors” completely lose me. One of my favorite stores, Ann Taylor LOFT invited 3 magazine editors to style some looks. Here is one by the Glamour editor:
All I’m saying is that if I’m wearing a fricking anorak with a scarf, then it’s not the right weather for those flimsy little sandals.

One of my little fashion quirks is – the longer the sleeve, the more closed up the shoe should be. That’s just my personal rule because inevitably, that’s how it’s worked out for me. If I am out and about in a sundress and sandals and it gets chilly enough for a cardigan, then my toes are also cold. So to see a coat and scarf paired with barely-there sandals is ridiculous in my shoes.

Thank you for the kind comments on my comparison between White House Black Market and more budget-friendly looks.

In comparison

White House Black Market recently came out with their “Work Kit” – a collection of items that make up a complete wardrobe for the working woman.

However, the nearly $1,000 price tag – that’s $892 without taxes for one of each item – is a little much for me even if I were still making my high flying salary of a few years ago.

Here is my more budget-friendly version, coming in at just under $400:

Ahhh, much better!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

What’s been planted

Most of the veggie garden has been planted. We managed to get most of the plants in the ground in between bouts of rain. And when I say “we” I mean my husband.
Out lovely swiss chard, I saute it like spinach, with butter and garlic, and I have a recipe I want to try – a white bean soup with chard. We’ll see how it turns out.

This is what I call Onion Hill, there are yellow onions growing (I hope) in between the two patches of green onions.
These green onions are legendary in our house. You can grab a bunch and put them in a bowl in one corner of the kitchen and you can smell them from the other corner. Fragrant and flavorful, these have grown all through the winter for us.

Our peas and beans, my husband made a little structure for them to climb:
My picky 6-year-old who won’t touch anything green will happily pick them off the vine and pop them in his mouth.

Squash Row – we have grown baseball bat zucchinis in our garden, although I will be more diligent about harvesting when they’re smaller, because they’re much yummier then.
I have a feeling lots of zucchini bread and zucchini chocolate chip cookies (kids love them!) are in our future.

We’ll also be doing tomatoes, of course, I hope to do some canning this year as well as drying some with my awesome new food dehydrator. The grapes and blueberries are also planted, and the corn has a reserved spot as well. Thanks to my husband for all his work on “my” veggie garden 😀

Are you planting any fruits or veggies this year?