Archives for June 2011

Thursday Ten: It’s Almost the Puppiversary Edition

1. Puppiversary. I made that up. Yesterday signified a year to the day where we went to meet our little pupsadoodle. And tomorrow (or the next day) the one year anniversary of when we brought him home.

2. On a related note, “puppiversary” reminded me of the show Friends when Monica and Chandler had a “planeaversary” so I went looking on YouTube for that episode and found that there is someone who posts a lot of music montage videos with clips from Friends and while, sure, I liked the show Friends (enough to remember a “planaversary” reference), I certainly have never liked it enough to devote time to setting Monica and Chandler clips to music.

3. This past weekend, I was able to join Nate & J$, the awesomeness behind Love Drop, on their SIXTH LOVE DROP. We went to visit a family in Michigan and it was an amazing time. I love watching the Love Drop process – watching as people brainstorm, come together and work to make life a little easier for an individual or a family. To be a part of the process is pretty much a “drops in my bucket” kind of experience – getting to see how a little bit of love can go a long long way – it’s good for the heart.
good morning

4. It’s official: The Princess is the queen of making frosting. She made cupcakes yesterday, and the frosting? Light and fluffy like little sugar clouds. I need to take lessons from that kid.

5. Last night I ended up watching an episode of “Toddlers & Tiaras” and I have to say… whoa. Those poor little girls were competing for some title that had the word “centerfold” in it and I have to wonder to myself, as a parent, I don’t really think I want my daughter to be a centerfold… much less…compete to be one.

6. I want pizza. Like, now.

7. Just over a week until I walk 39.3 miles in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in San Francisco! I’m so excited! Also? A little freaked out. There are no hills to walk in the Chicago walk. In San Francisco there will be hills. Also… the Golden Gate Bridge. The camera-happy side of me is like, “YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF PICTURES I’LL GET?!” The bridge-phobic side of me is saying, “Duuuuuude. A bridge. I hope I don’t puke.”

8. I often pull subscription cards and makeup samples out of magazines – I recycle them or use them as bookmarks, as it annoys me to have these loose cards falling out of my magazines willy nilly. I just opened my book to see today that the card I was currently using as a bookmark was not, in fact, a subscription card but rather a sample of a pantiliner. Uh. Fabulous.

9. I took Pumpkin with me to the store today to pick out a hair color (I may not fill my wrinkles with Botox, but the few gray hairs I have really annoy me). I let her pick my color. I hope to not be sorry later.

10. I have just gotten off the phone. I’ve been talking to my dad for nearly 45 minutes. THAT IS A LONG TIME TO BE ON THE PHONE. TOO MUCH TIME. My ear hurts.

I know how to mince garlic. And stuff.

I frequently say that I can’t cook. I don’t like cooking. Nah, my sister cooks and I’m the baker. I’m a rotten cook. If you don’t get food poisoning from my cooking, you should call it a victory.

Only… I’ve been thinking.

And that’s not really true.

When I was younger, I cooked all the time. When I was a teenager, my specialty was pepper steak (ah, back when I loooooved red meat). Tender strips of beef marinated in a soy sauce, ginger and garlic (and other stuff I can’t remember because THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO), tossed with lots of beautiful red, green and yellow peppers and strips of onion and served over a bed of steamy rice, and you know what?

It was good.

And I imagine I lost my love for cooking when it became mandatory. Being a grownup is stupid sometimes. Isn’t it the way of the world – if I want to do something, it’s great – but if you tell me I have to? I’m going to drag my feet and whine and gripe about it.

And so goes my feelings about cooking.

When you start having to tailor your menu around the palates of others instead of simply your own, sometimes you end up cooking things you’re not wild about. Conventional parenting magazine “wisdom” says, cook what you want, serve what you want, don’t be a short order cook, if your kids don’t eat, they don’t eat and there’s always the next meal… THEY’LL BE FINE.

Okay, maybe so.

But in the meantime, after I’ve worked hard, prepared a meal that they hate, I get commentary like:


That’s gross.

I don’t want that.


And frankly, after you’ve spent twenty minutes (or, most likely, more) slaving over a hot stove to put a meal on the table that the whole family will enjoy – negative feedback is NOT FUN.

And I avoid it.

But I flip through food magazines and I pull recipes out and I file them in binders and I drool over pictures of these spice-laden main dish meals and think to myself, Wow. Now THAT would be good. I never make 75% of the recipes I save.

I’m not inept in the kitchen and I need to stop saying I am. While I am truly passionate about baking (who complains about brownies? Um, NOBODY, that’s who) and I’m pretty decent at it, I’m not a rotten cook. It’s time for me to stop saying that I can’t cook.

I can.

Just… I’m the only one who likes my cooking.


Maybe I should just blame their palates: My cooking is great, it’s just that they don’t know any better.

Uh. Yeah.

Thursday Ten: Getting all homemade up in this kitchen edition

1. So, as some of you already know, my current favorite thing on the internet these days (Besides you, of course. Whoever you may be) is My Drunk Kitchen. And in the latest episode, she set out to make…ice cream. Well, I can do that. I think. So, the girls and I were on a mission today – and we made some. Here’s how.  Our recipe didn’t involve actually steeping a vanilla bean. Anyway, you can watch how she made it…not happen… below. Please note, if you don’t like “language”, you perhaps probably won’t like it quite as much as I do. Anyway, it was delicious and my kids are happy and my hands are numb from holding a bag of ice.

2. I am entering the home stretch on my mission to read 250 books over 1,001 days (With a few months to spare even!). Keep an eye out, in the next few weeks for the list of 250 books read, as well as my opinions (you love my opinions, don’t you?) of which ones were the best of the bunch. Some of them were pretty awful. And no, I didn’t count the books that were so awful that I couldn’t get past the first chapter.

3. Summer is making me craaaaazy. Even with fun activities like…MAKING ICE CREAM IN A PLASTIC BAG… nothing quite eases the pain of listening to two bickering siblings who are sick of being around each other. Whee!

4. On the bright side, however, it’s not 90 degrees. Win.

5. I needed some new music to listen to – ended up picking up some stuff from Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and a new Matt Nathanson song that I haven’t posted a video to because when I tried to find one on YouTube, all I could find was a YouTube concert clip where whoever was filming was basically filming his…lap region.

6. Back to books. If you decide the next book you want to read is Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, you maybe don’t want to open up the book and start reading it for the first time over lunch. Just…uh… FYI. I’m not easily grossed out, but I got a few pages in and a few bites in and started thinking, “You know, I’ll just finish this veggie burger thingy later.”

7. I have a second interview coming up! The interview process is pretty much as I remember it (terrifying slash kind of a rush). See, the thing is, ten years ago when I last interviewed – I was still pretty fresh in the whole professional world. I had some experience, but not a whole lot to back up my resume. Now? I think I’ve done a good job of honing my skills, getting a varied amount of experience and being able to support that and back it up. If I could get over my resistance to toot my own horn. It’s a difficult thing if you’re not a braggy sort, to interview.

8. I miss guitar lessons. A lot. I haven’t picked up my guitar in a month. Sad face.

9. I somehow managed to mangle my ankle and without a clear cut reason for how come it hurts so horribly, all I can think of is this: You know, Sarah, you’re just not as young as you used to be. You’re old and your joints are rebelling from all this cardio and stuff you’re doing to them. Maybe you should just tape your ankles (knees, elbows, whole self) up with some duct tape before putting on your sneakers for a workout.

10. The movie “Hangover 2”? Just…awful. Really, really awful. (File under: The more you know)

Thursday Ten: FINALLY IT’S SPRING edition

1. I’m talking about the weather again. It’s what I do. Finally, after that gruesome blistering 90+ degree weather last week, spring rolled in this week with some beautiful sunny days. Yeah, we got some rain too, but those gorgeous sun-filled blue-skied days? EXCELLENT.

2. School has been out a week almost, and so far we are…surviving. Sure, the kids are bored. I’m not great with coming up with activities – seems like locally there’s not much to do but get in the car and go not local. A trip to our nearby library yesterday (not my library of choice) evolved into a game of “dodge the yelling boys who don’t seem to have a parent nearby paying attention to them”. No fun.

3.  New music this week? After “The Book of Mormon” got lots of Tony attention, Amazon had the soundtrack on sale for under two bucks – so I picked it up. Admittedly, I haven’t listened to it in its entirety – OR IN ORDER – but I will. I’ll report back. I have a trip to NYC this fall – so, I’m not sure if this is worth checking out while I’m there.

4. I had my first interview yesterday – and I realized how much I hate the process of interviewing. Some people thrive on the whole interview experience, but… not me. It’s hard for me to say, “I am pretty awesome and I would be an incredible asset to your organization and you would be seriously remiss in not snatching me from the jaws of unemployment and giving me a paycheck…pronto.” But… I’m trying. Part of the whole unemployment process has made me realize there’s a great deal of things I do well – and when I find the right place and they find me – work is going to be this productive, amazing experience. And not at all soul-sucking.

5. I’m sure you’ve seen this already – but it’s been my biggest giggle of the week.  Love “The Whole Foods Parking Lot” – you’ve probably seen it on Facebook, at least five times. But, yeah.

6. Pumpkin’s reading skills are improving in leaps and bounds – it’s amazing to see the difference from where she was a year ago. As she read to me in the car the other day, my mind was blown by the words she was sounding out. Yay! Another reader.

7. The best thing Netflix Instant has ever given me was the entire series of My So Called Life. I’ve been watching episode after episode the past few nights and it brings back so many memories! Oh! Jordan’s dyslexic! This is when Rayanne ODs! Sigh. Love it.

8. Along those lines, it was way easier to be a teenager girl in the age of grunge when baggy jeans and flannel shirts were “the style”. Way easier than low slung jeans and fitted tops. I’m glad I got to grow up being able to breathe in my clothing!

9. I bought a bottle of body wash at Target the other day. I won’t tell you the brand because I’m about to tell you how weird it smells and I don’t want to be mean. It’s not its fault – someone probably really likes the way this smells. This bodywash, however, smells like someone took one of every color gumball in a gumball machine, half-chewed them all and stuck them together. Yeah. It’s a weird fruity smell. That’s how I smell right now: weird fruity.

10. In the spirit of summer and hobo-style, I have done my hair and worn make up exactly once this week (yep, for my interview).  I should probably get it together and at least knock it off with the ponytail thing because I look a little bit like I’ve given up on being presentable in public… though it gives me a great deal more time to ref my daughters’ arguments.

You Too Can Put Cheesecake On A Stick

A few weeks ago at dinner, the girls and I were talking about summer and the county fair and carnivals and that conversation evolved (as it SHOULD) to foods on a stick, how so many things taste better when skewered and portable. Pumpkin and The Princess rattled off a few food items (corn dogs was mentioned more than once), and I jokingly said…cheesecake.

Sure, I figured it was possible if you battered and fried it. I don’t want a battered fried cheesecake. I want a delicious cheesecake, maybe not a huge whopping cheesecake slice. I want it portable, walk-around-with-it-able. I want it tasty enough to satisfy that sweet tooth, but not that big slab of cheesecake that makes you hate yourself ten minutes later (don’t act like you’ve never had cheesecake remorse).

I decided to modify some of the techniques I’d seen in cake pop recipes (By the way? I don’t love cake pops – the frosting and cake mixture on the inside of the pop is too gooey, too someone didn’t cook this all the way for me). I was unable to find a recipe for a cheesecake on a stick that didn’t involve either a no-bake cheesecake box mix (boxed cheesecake mix? No thanks) or store bought cheesecake (ditto). So, I did what any desperate baker who promised to make 100 cheesecakes on a stick for her mother’s 60th birthday would do:

I improvised.

Here’s how I adapted a cheesecake recipe I’d used to before to make (insert trumpet fanfare here) cheesecake on a stick!

What you need:

1 ½ cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
3 Tbsp granulated sugar

3 eight-oz packages cream cheese (it can be regular, it can be the 1/3 less fat kind – both work equally well)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla (the real stuff – remember, we’re not cavemen – none of that imitation garbage)
3 eggs

The Yummy Outer Coating:
Two bags melting candies – I tried both dark and light chocolate, and yes, both were YUMMY

Also, lollipop sticks – these can be purchased at Michael’s craft stores (cookie sticks also work – but they’re taller and a little tougher to fit in your fridge. Trust me. Learned that one the hard way).

Okay, are you ready to make some cheesecake?

First – preheat your oven to 350°. Combine melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and 3 Tbsp sugar and press into the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking pan lined with parchment paper or foil.

Alrighty, now, on to the cheesecake.

Make sure your cheesecake blocks are softened first (this makes it so much easier and you don’t end up with globby cheesecake chunks in your batter). With your mixer, blend until creamy.  Add your sugar, vanilla and mix until smooth.

(You’re doing great! Keep going!)

Then, one at a time, add each of the three eggs, blending in completely. Once that is all blended and smooth but not TOO blended, pour the batter over the crust and bake for about 30 minutes.

While that’s baking, I recommend turning up the radio and dancing in the kitchen. You have time – because once the cheesecake is done, you’ll want to let it cool for awhile before you cut it into pieces.

How big you slice that cheesecake depends on how many sticks you have, really. You can probably make 24 – 30 pieces from that pan (Of course, I’m pretty sure the sticks are sold in bags of 20 – so you can either cut bigger pieces or just suck it up and buy two bags of sticks).

Once the cheesecake is sliced and cool, you’ll want to pop the pieces in the freezer to set a bit – it only takes a few minutes. Melt a bit of the melting chocolates – I’d say maybe 1/2 cup of them.

Take your cheesecake out of the freezer – dip one end of the stick in the chocolate and then impale the cheesecake. THIS IS THE SECRET TO HOLDING THE CHEESECAKE ON THE STICK.

Then, freeze ’em again.

I know all this freezing seems tedious, but that chocolate is your glue. Your sweet, yummy, edible glue. You’ll want it to set before each step. Really.

Once it’s set again, you’ll want to melt the full bunch of chocolates in a bowl and then one by one dip each cheesecake in the chocolate covering it entirely before placing it back on a parchment lined sheet or plate. Do this in batches, so as you finish you can (yep, you guessed it) put them back in the freezer or fridge to set.

And when you’re done? You can keep them in your fridge until you’re ready to serve them – because once you take them OUT of your refrigerator and people see that you’ve got cheesecake on a stick, those suckers are gonna disappear and disappear fast. They are decadent, tasty, and best of all – great at a party because they require no plate, no fork and they’re a tremendous conversation starter (“What is that?” “Why, it’s CHEESECAKE…ON A STICK!”).

Enjoy, y’all.

To My Daughters As Another School Year Ends

To my sweet sweet daughters (who are probably already fighting as this post goes live because I just jinxed myself):

Another school year comes to an end and I wanted to take a few minutes to sit down and share some thoughts with you – thoughts about the year, thoughts about the two of you, thoughts about the future, thoughts about snack foods and donuts.

This year, one of you rocked third grade and one of you started your school career in kindergarten and had fun doing it. And now, on the other side of it, I am proud of you both individually for your school experiences. Pumpkin, you learned to read this year – a skill that will follow you everywhere and always. Princess, you experienced challenge – something you hadn’t known until now, but will serve you so well in the future: sometimes things won’t come easily but if you keep at it, you’ll GET IT. It wasn’t easy to watch you cry in frustration over your math homework some nights – but the thing was, you knew the answer every time – you just had to dig a little deeper to find it.

There are things I want you to learn in school – reading and writing, of course. Math, most definitely. It’d be nice to know the state tree of Michigan – but you may or may not ever use it again. Actually, if you learn the state tree – tell me. I have no clue what it is. I want you to get all the book smarts you can possibly soak up.

But while you are learning long division and story problems and phonetics, I also want you to learn some other things in your life – as the summer goes on and in the years beyond.

How to be a good friend. How to choose friends that are good to you. How to value the worth of your contribution to the world – to know that you matter, and that what you have to offer is important. I want you to be kind, be courteous. I want you to use your manners, even if I’m not watching.

I want you to know the joy of being active and loving exercise. I want you to be strong. I want you to find an activity and sport that you love to do. Whether it’s gymnastics or swimming always – or if you find something else – I can’t emphasize how important it is to treat your body kindly – by feeding it mostly good things and being active – and I hope that you learn to love that. It’s fun – I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

I hope you learn to make the perfect pot of al dente pasta. It’s an important skill. One of you already enjoys cooking FAR MORE THAN I DO – but should your skills never progress beyond making pasta, perfectly, I think you’ll be okay.

Crunchy Cheetos are far better than Puffy Cheetos and CheezIts are superior to Cheese Nips. Wheat Thins and Triscuits aren’t even in the same ball park and donuts are just donuts – and when the store doesn’t have your favorite, know that they’re all pretty much the same anyway for the most part – just some are cuter than others. And to know that crackers and donuts and cookies are all super awesome – in moderation.

I hope you’ll start enjoying your puppy more. Yes, he’s an overactive circus freak of a dog sometimes, but he’s your dog and he’ll protect you and he loves you – even if he’s a little goofy and playful sometimes. Pets are a huge responsibility and I need a little more help with this dude than you’re giving me.

Princess, I want you to stop watching that awful “That’s So Raven” show on Netflix Instant. It’s awful and it makes me want to slam my head into a wall. While we’re at it, Pumpkin? I’ve had the theme song to Strawberry Shortcake stuck in my head for days (“Straw-buh-buh-buh-berry Shortcake!”) and I’m getting berry sick of it.

Okay, enough negative.

I could make a laundry list of all the things I want you to learn – I kind of already have, I suppose. But really, the bottom line is that I already like the girls you are and I like what you are becoming, and I think you’ll be okay. As each year goes by, I see in both of you that your heart and your capacity to love and kindness grows with time, and that even when I think I cannot possibly love you more than I already do – I’m wrong. You just keep getting more amazing.

How did I get so lucky to have such amazing kids?

All this school stuff I hope you figure out someday – you’ll learn it, and if you never know what the state motto of Michigan is, that’s okay with me. (By the way, I just googled it for you – in Latin it’s Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice, which I believe translates roughly into There’s a lot of water to look at so you can forget what the unemployment rate is here. Or something). The book stuff? You’ll learn it.

What will make me happiest is if you keep being nice people, keep being loving, keep smiling and making me smile, keep telling me jokes with convoluted punchlines that make no sense, keep knowing my coffee order so you can rattle it off at Starbucks, keep kissing my hand as we walk through Costco, keep leaving notes for me to find around the house, keep reading to your sister, keep asking to go to the library for fun, keep laughing that amazing laugh that pulls an instant smile to my face, keep doing the sign for “I love you” in my direction when you walk away, keep telling me my chocolate french toast is the best ever, keep asking me to tuck you in (but only once per night, please), keep doing all those things that you already do because…

All of those things are reasons why I love you both so much.

I’m so lucky to be your mom.

Love you both.

Thursday Ten: Summer’s Nearly Here Edition

1. Okay, weather aside, you know it’s almost summer when you send your kindergartner off for her LAST DAY OF SCHOOL and your third grader is off for her last two half days. Yep, as of tomorrow at noon – SCHOOL’S OUT. Until sometime in September (stupid Michigan tourism law) – we’ll have to find ways to fill our days and get things done and not go crazy. I’m not good with coming up with activities – there’s only so many watercolors you can do or trips to the park you can take (to me, there’s a limit on park trips – especially when it’s hot outside) – so, here we go.

2. Sometimes I cannot even explain my ear worms. Today? For some strange reason, I’ve had the Gin Blossoms “The Cajun Song” stuck in my head. Nothing says 1993 to me like the Gin Blossoms.

3. I am trying a new to-do list app on my phone – Teux Deux (I hate cutesy spellings). I am a pen and paper to-do list kind of girl, so this is a big step for me. I love the UI though, and I’m hoping that having my to-do list with me all the time (because face it, I go nowhere without my phone) will help me ensure I don’t forget things as often (LIKE I DID YESTERDAY WHEN I WAS SUPPOSED TO PICK UP MY MOM’S BIRTHDAY GIFT).

4. Speaking of my mom’s birthday (like that segue there?), I got an idea in my head that I was going to make cheesecake on a stick for her birthday party and after a trial run the other day, I have to say… dang, I’m good. It was good. It’s going to be AHHHHHHHHH-MAZE-ING. Yeah. I’ll post pictures of my “Sarah is such a rockstar she put cheesecake on a stick and made it better than it already was” cheesecake on a stick.

5. If you haven’t been following, this month Love Drop is helping a metro-Detroit area family who is grieving the loss of their husband/father. The goal is to pay the family’s rent for the next three months – to ease their worry of losing their home and giving them the time to just focus on healing. You can join Love Drop for as little as a buck a month and make a huge difference – or you can click the red button on the Love Drop home page to make a one time donation to the family. Have I mentioned I love the idea of micro-giving – love that if a bunch of people give just a dollar, it adds up to really help people out in a big way.

6. On Sunday, I ventured to Chicago to see my Avon Walk team cross the finish for their two day walk. I opted out of Chicago’s event this year because I’ll be walking with them in San Francisco. I was glad to be there with them as they finished two days of intense walking… and now? I’m REALLY looking forward to the SF walk. Can’t wait!

7. I have a lot of bruschetta to make for my mom’s birthday celebration. A LOT. It’s the only thing I can really “cook” – and it doesn’t really involve much cooking. I’m kind of known for it in my family – which is funny because I got the recipe from someone on Twitter, and I just managed to not mangle it too horribly.

8. What is the one household chore you most procrastinate? Me? FOLDING LAUNDRY. I hate it. Hate it. Hate it.

9. I was already given the school supply list for The Princess for fourth grade in the fall. I appreciate that there really is no way teachers can buy all of this stuff for the classrooms and school budgets are looking pretty sad, but this is a pretty hefty list. And I will probably ignore it until the end of August. Hell, I’ll probably have lost it by then.

10. I have a huge stack of books from the library – it’s rare that they have so many of the new books I want to read on the shelves. I just cracked open Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture – and I’ll probably pick up something else to read at the same time. According to Good Reads, I’ve already got 3 books going right now – including one that I have had stuffed under my nightstand for over a month (Thousand Splendid Suns, I’m talkin’ to you). This isn’t uncommon. I usually read more than one book at once. Are you reading anything good?

It was only a matter of time

I’ve now been off work for nearly three weeks. It’s been an interesting time, for sure – and admittedly in the first week or so, I floundered. A lot. I miss working. I do.

A friend once said that I’m like a hummingbird – constant motion – and while that may not always be true physically (this 90+ degree weather is showing how truly awesome I am at holding the sofa down), my brain is always churning. I am focusing on photography, I am focusing on some possible contract work with my old employer (oh yes), I am focusing on an upcoming interview (networking FTW), I am focusing on any of the 101 other things I have going on at any given time.

Even when I “had a job”, I had several other things going on – partly in anticipation that someday, my job wouldn’t be there and I would want options.

I don’t believe in being bored.

I am not bored.

The end of the school year events for my children alone are nearly a full time job (including the field trip for Pumpkin yesterday that ended up being a HIKING TRIP THROUGH THE WOODS. Uh. I didn’t know that when I went).

And after nearly three weeks, yesterday evening, I was asked “What did you DO today?”

As if I did nothing.

As if it was such a foreign concept, being home all day. As if I spent the day eating bon bons, catching up on daytime television and dancing on the sofa. Somehow, I felt the need to explain how I spent my day, explain how I went from A to B to C and back to A again. How, having a day with my children at school isn’t a “day off” when I spend three hours of it ON THE FIELD TRIP WITH THE KIDS!

It’s this notion that people think that I’m enjoying myself – that I’m sitting at home, loving every minute of it, that I’m relaxed and calm.

Reality? I hate this. My already churning brain is churning even more to keep my days busy. With no work obligation, I could be sunning myself outside while reading a book right now – odds are, that won’t happen (not even with sunscreen).

It’s been… tough… having to adjust my thinking from “I have a job” to “I need a job” – and while I have several really amazing things going on, filling my time, making me feel productive and useful – I haven’t truly followed my to-do list in a few days, and I feel sort of aimless.

Who knew.

What am I doing all day?

I am thinking about ways to fill my day. I am thinking about big projects and dreams and how to translate the things I love to do into a fulfilling career. I think about finding the nerve to maybe focus on photography for awhile. I think about how I don’t know how to interview anymore, and how do I prove to people who don’t know me that I am worth something. And sometimes I think about Wheat Thins, because let’s be real here – this is me we’re talking about.


Eye Don’t Know

My driver’s license says they’re brown.

Sometimes  they are green.

Sometimes they are hazel.

Sometimes they have funny gold flecks in them.

And sometimes they really are brown.

The older I get, the more they change – the more I am surprised when I look in the mirror what color I see in my reflection.

Back in the day, I loved the song “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison (right? Because my eyes were UNDENIABLY brown). But now? I mean, shoot… that doesn’t entirely apply anymore.

Someone needs to write a song for the girl with brownish-greenish-hazelish-flecky eyes.

Like, pronto.

Thursday Ten: Are You Ready for Some DONUTS? edition

1. Every Friday, I take my girls out for donuts on the way to school. It is a tradition we started over a year ago – it’s not our healthiest tradition, but, I find that I don’t even mind fueling their day with sugar one day a week. Sometimes in life we need those certainties, and once a week it’s FINE. BUT, tomorrow, Donut Day is even MORE official – tomorrow, June 3 is National Donut Day. Yes. So, you should virtually join us in celebrating by kick-starting your day tomorrow with a donut (The ONLY kind of donut I like is a glazed sour cream donut – in general, I find donuts to be kind of icky).

2. I’mma talk about the weather again. WHOOHOO for some spring weather today. It’s breezy – I’m wearing jeans and a long sleeve t and it is absolutely perfect. Y’all know, I’m not one for weather extremes. I give a big two thumbs DOWN to snow and to sweltering 90+ degree temps. When I can turn off the heat, the air conditioning and just open up a window and breathe in fresh air? Yeah, baby, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Perfect. (Also, much much cheaper for the utility bill.)

3. Yesterday, I went to my neighbor’s house to chat – Pumpkin wanted to go say hi and frankly we needed to get out of the house. We stood in her driveway chatting for awhile before going into her garage. Her garage is amazing – filled with doodads, knicknacks and whoosywhatsits — she saves everything. I’m particularly in love with these jars.
My neighbor has these jars of things in her garage and I kind of love them

4. Last night’s book club meeting resulted in me not really able to explain why I hadn’t enjoyed last month’t book (“The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake). I described it as tedious, but I think the story is one that could have been interesting… had it been told by a better writer. This month we’ll be reading Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, er, or…the other ladies will be. I read it not too long ago, and while I really enjoyed the book, it’s just too soon to re-read.

5. A week from today, Pumpkin will be done with school. A week from tomorrow, The Princess will be. The summer looms large and empty in front of us. What will we do? Admittedly, this is the first summer I haven’t had been totally tied to my computer (seeing as how I’m still unemployed and all), but, also, I am without that paycheck (minor details). I think of the adventures we could go on, and then remember, huh, yeah. Um. Maybe we should try to do things a little bit more frugal-like (there go my dreams of water parks everyday).

6. Speaking of summer – do you travel? Do you actually take a summer vacation? This is the first year in a long time that we’ll actually venture outward – going to California for the first time in FAR TOO LONG. I don’t really know how to vacation. I hate that about myself.

7. I am about to venture into the world of diabetic baking – my mom, a recently diagnosed diabetic, needs a birthday cake. I found a recipe for an angel food cake that subs Splenda for regular ol’ granulated sugar. Now, I don’t have a problem with food with Splenda in it – though I know some people do, but I’m a little iffy on baking with it. Have you tried it? What do I need to know? Is this cake going to be gross?

8. My favorite app these days is the free Nike Training Club app – I know I’ve mentioned it before. When you don’t have a gym membership and you’ve got kids in the house, it’s nice to be able to do a full body workout with just a few pieces of equipment. Yesterday, I did a strength workout that had me doing squats and dead lifts. Today? I am FEELING IT. Muscle fatigue is the best. Really. Yes, I mean it.

9. I hate lunch. I have long ago decided that lunch is stupid because the last thing I feel like doing in the middle of the day (or, okay…pretty much EVER) is cook yet ANOTHER meal. While I’m a fan of REAL FOOD and not eating overly processed stuff, I picked up some vegetarian black bean burger things the other day. I’m not sure why – I’m not a vegetarian, I don’t even really eat burgers, and frankly? When I have made black bean burgers, they are WAY better than this. But…these are okay. I haven’t looked at the ingredient list (because surely I can’t pronounce half of the things on the list), but… I don’t care. A girl needs lunch, apparently. And a girl who doesn’t like to cook sometimes has fake lunch.

10. Another week of not buying much new music. I did pick up a few songs from the soundtrack to the musical Wicked. Not sure why, and I haven’t listened to them yet.