Sunday, March 24, 2013


Once upon a time, we used to have cable, and I used to watch a lot of Food Network. My favorite chef was Ina Garten. Do you know Ina, the Barefoot Contessa? I'm not really sure why I like her so much, considering that our philosophies on life are quite different. I mean, Ina's all "oh, it's Saturday and I have nothing planned, let me invite a few of my closest pals over for bridge and tuna tartar," whereas I'm more "it's Saturday and my house looks like a hurricane hit it, let me throw in a frozen pizza for my toddler." But it's all good. Ina represents the state of homemaking I would like to someday attain - a state where I whip out asparagus frittatas for breakfast, grow my own floral centerpieces, and put together baskets of organic body products and homemade jam for overnight guests.

Ina's world is lovely, tranquil and full of free time. Mine is chaotic, messy, and (mostly) sleepless. Do you see why I respect Ina? Anyway, there are two things I've been doing lately that make me feel at least a little bit like I'm stepping my pinky toe into Ina's world. One is making my own granola. We all like granola in this house, and let's face it, good granola is expensive at the grocery store. Turns out it's super easy to make and it tastes awesome when you make it from scratch! I use Ina's recipe as a base, then deviate a bit to mix it up. I've added different nuts and fruits, quinoa, chia seeds, and peanut butter. They're all delish! Hubs like his in a bowl with milk, I like mine over Greek yogurt, and Sweets'll take his straight up (in a bowl, no milk or yogurt).

The perfect work breakfast.

The other thing we're loving right now is homebaked bread. Have you seen this book?

Now, I don't know about the "5 minutes a day" part, since there is quite a bit of waiting around for dough to rise, bake, and cool before you're actually eating artisan bread, BUT, the concept is great - you mix up a big batch of dough that you store in the fridge, then pull out a chunk and bake it daily. It tastes wonderful - is there anything quite like warm, fresh bread? 

There usually aren't any leftovers!

Clearly, I'm a long way from being the next Barefoot Contessa, but it makes me happy to tinker around in the kitchen and feed my family delicious homemade food. Now if I could just find the time to press my own olive oil.....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Frog Posse

Oh, the frogs that are amassing at our house! Sweets has a *little* frog obsession. Meet the frog that started it all:

This little guy is known as Froggie Augie and he is Sweetie Pea's BFF. He was a baby gift when Sweets was born and we couldn't have known at the time how he would inspire our son's love of all things green and croaky. Froggie Augie is a member of our family, and he pretty much goes everywhere and does everything with Sweets. I secretly love how he always smells like baby spit. Is that weird? 

From one frog, many. I also not-so-secretly loathe stuffed animals. Let's be honest, they take over your house! But, it seems I (and many others) are far from immune to Sweets' frog-loving personality because we now share our home with nine amphibious friends. From left to right:
A. Hopping Frog
B. Cuddly Frog
C. Camo Frog
D. Taggy Frog
E. Sparkly Frog
F. Jumping Jack Frog
G. Talking Frog
H. Silky Frog
I. Puffy Frog

Sweets named each and every one. Original, no?

  Oh, this poor frog. Do you see him, clutched belly-up in my son's death grip? This photo was taken last summer, and was Sweets' first encounter with a real frog. Hubs found him while mowing the lawn and was so excited to show Sweets, who instantly wanted to hold him. Before we could utter the phrase "be gentle!" he snatched him out of Hubs' hand, much to my chagrin, germaphobe that I am. I don't think he cared for the fact that real frogs are cold and slimy, not warm and fuzzy, because a split second later he tossed him into the little pond they're standing in front of. Rough day to be a frog.

This frog-holding session went much better for the frog. Back in January we had a brief thaw and Hubs found this frog near the woodpile, sluggish and a bit out of his element. Turns out a tired frog is perfecting for holding, because he just sat there like a, well, like a frog on a log while Sweets admired him. 

Nothing says little boy quite like a frog obsession ;)