Thursday, July 31, 2008

Conversations with a 5 year old


Grandma walked right into this one!

Little O: Look, Grandma! I found the puppy I left here at Christmas. Do you know his name?

Grandma: No, Sweetie. What did you name him?

Little O: I don't know. You could look on the tag! What does it say?

Grandma: The tag says, "Warning. Choking Hazard."

Little O, in disbelief: His name is CHOKING HAZARD????

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Cheeks Together


Anna of Hank & Willie wrote a guest post over at Crunchy Domestic Goddess this week sharing all sorts of tips for taking photos of children. She suggested your kids "get cheeky" for a more relaxed and natural photo. I tried it with my granddaughters, both five years old. "Put your cheeks together" I said....and this is what I got!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Bloggy Giveaway


It's the great summer Bloggy Giveaway going on this week. Check it out!
If you're interested in living a little greener (and who isn't?) I'm adding some eco-friendly party supplies. Hop over and check out the eco-friendly birthday party ideas at One Mom and a Party. Come back here and tell me your favorite ideas or eco-friendly party supplies and you will be entered to win a party set - your choice of a tablecloth, 4 napkins and 4 favor bags! Here is a peek at our selection!

Cooking Live Pattern

John Deere Tablecloth

Flip Flop Pattern
Everything is handmade from durable 100% cotton so you will be reducing your paper consumption, always an issue at birthday parties. You can also reuse or repurpose these items long after the party. Just a fun way to make your party a little more eco-friendly!
Bloggers and nonbloggers are welcome. The winning entry will be drawn from the comments after 9:00 pm EDT on Friday, August 1st. Sorry, US addresses only.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Summer Bloggy Giveaway Carnival


Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Coming this Monday, July 28th! Check back here anytime between then and August 1st for our giveaway from One Mom and a Party and a link to the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival home at We Are THAT Family.
See you on Monday!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oh, Snap!


To all Moms of beautiful children,
Yes, that would be you!
Based on your Wordless Wednesday photos, any one of you could win the next PARENTING Magazine Annual Photo Contest. The contest runs from July 15th and ends September 30th (postmark deadline)or go to to enter online with your digital photograph. You know you could win!
Oh, and that photo above...I'm not entering it. It's just a sentimental favorite snap of my firstborn.....taken 34 years ago with a little instamatic!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sweeten Your Salsa


One of the easiest ways to add interest to your regular dinner menu is by adding a relish or salsa. A little chopping of a few fresh ingredients and you can reinvent almost any chicken, pork or fish that you've tossed on the grill. Pineapple salsa is great for this. Last week fresh pineapple was on sale for $1.99 so I scooped one up and made this salsa.
You'll need to cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple, slice off the rough skin, quarter and core the pineaple then cut into half inch dice. You should have approximately 4 cups. Then add the following:
1/4 c diced red onion
1/4 c diced sweet red pepper
1/4 c diced green pepper
2 t grated fresh ginger
1/4 c chopped parsley or cilantro
1/4 t red pepper flakes
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
This salsa keeps really well so you can make it in the morning or a day ahead and refrigerate until you serve it. Try my Corn Avocado Relish too!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Little Cottage in the Woods

Where the grandchildren come to play

Green Giveaway


One Mom and a Party is all about helping moms green up their kid's birthday parties. One simple way is to use our cloth tablecloths, napkins and favor bags to reduce paper waste.
Then you can use your own cutlery or buy biodgradable cutlery, plates and cups. The August issue of Parenting Magazine has recommended their favorite brands. For cutlery they recommend Jaya's (available at for it's durability and smooth comfy feel. StalkMarket's plates and bowls (also available at are microwave safe and oil-resistant. The winner for cups, both cold and hot, was Eco-Products (
In August, 25 lucky moms can win a set of biodegradable picnicware which includes a package of 50 Eco-Products drinking cups, a box of StalkMarket cutlery, a pack of StalkMarket dinner plates PLUS a Green Gourmet Cuisinart skillet (a $70 value alone!)Just hop over to to enter.
It's just a little step but that's how we can be kinder to our planet, One Mom, One Party at a time!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rambling Observations of a Foodie

Let me just say at the start that I am not a gourmet cook. I love to cook. I love to read about food. I love to eat and I love to watch the Food Network. In fact, I think I may have a small addiction problem with watching cooking shows.
I love Iron Chef America. Did anyone see what they did with zucchini last night? Amazing! It's incredible what they can do in only one hour. Bobby Flay's Throwdown is another favorite; it has shown a humble side of Bobby that is very appealing. The Barefoot Contessa can always provide great recipes although I usually cut back on the butter, cream and $$$ ingredients. Her Easy Lobster Paella is just as good without the lobster!
I'm hooked on The Next Food Network Star too, but let's be fair! They make those people jump through hoops of fire! Bobby Flay has two sous chefs to help him with a throwdown. The contestants not only had to prepare their own dish but also a second dish that their competitor selected....alone, without any help. And have you seen the early shows of Emeril, Molto Mario and Giada? Nothing like the polished performers they are today. They were allowed to hone their skills as they filmed their shows but the NFNS people are expected to be sensational from the get go. Still there are new shows popping up, unjudged by the Network panel. Who is Aida? Where did Sunny come from?
And speaking of Giada.....I love her recipes and she is beautiful, but would somebody please put some clothes on that woman!? Do her producers actually think guys are looking at her food?
Just my observations.........

Friday, July 18, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

Talking on the phone with a 5 year old is a blast. Mind you, I don't understand everything she says but a "That's great, Honey" or an enthusiastic "Really!?!" can usually keep the conversation moving.
However, I was at a loss for words in this exchange:
Little O: Grandma, can you hear me coloring?
Grandma: No, Sweetie. I can't hear you coloring
Little O: Here, Grandma, I'm putting the phone close to my drawing. Can you hear me now?
Grandma: No, Sweetie. I'm so sorry but I can't hear you coloring...
Little O: Why can't you hear, Grandma?
OK, there just isn't any good answer to this question!
Grandma: Grandma will just have to talk to her network and get it fixed. Then she will be able to hear you coloring.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Some Relief at The Pump

Gas prices at $4.29 per gallon. Pretty scary. Our local supermarket also has a gas station on site and offers 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent on groceries. Great for large families but not so good for small families like us or even for those super coupon clippers who somehow manage to purchase $200 worth of groceries for only $3.87!

So I was very impressed when an ad arrived in the mail for this supermarket. There were 3 coupons attached with 3 future expiry dates. All I have to do is take a coupon to the store pharmacy and they will add 500 points to my gas redemption card! That's 500 points. Along with my little 100 points I have 600 points total to redeem for gas. That's a 60 cent reduction per gallon!

At my next fill-up (and I think I will actually fill up this time!) my gas will cost me $3.69 per gallon. WOOHOO!

When did we ever think that we would be celebrating $3.69 per gallon for gas???

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: July Garden

After my battles with yellowjackets and poison ivy, I ventured out into my garden to take a few pictures. You'll see my astilbe, clematis one and clematis two, shasta daisy and daylilies. Please don't look at the weeds ;)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Eco-Friendly Birthday Party

I thought I'd post a weekly tip from my One Mom and a Party website to help moms give more eco-friendly birthday parties. Greening up a birthday party doesn't have to be intimidating - just start by taking little steps!

Here is a tip to give you some ideas for a summer party Adventure Theme that you can plan around your own locale and the interests of your child.

This green party theme goes outdoors wherever you are. Walk in a forest, a park, along a lakeside, river or beach. Set a time or distance limit and have the children collect whatever they find interesting then share their treasures with the others at a picnic. Or make it a scavenger hunt and give everyone a list of items to find. See our Montessori inspired party activities for ideas. Give older children a map or written directions and introduce them to orienteering. Or have children come on their bikes and hold a rally, riding skills contest, race or parade.

For more party ideas visit One Mom and a Party. Our eco-friendly favor bags are on sale until July 31st!

Shuckin' Corn

Local sweet corn has started to arrive at our produce stands and we're eating lots of it. Usually I just toss the cobs in some evoo with salt and pepper and spices or herbs that appeal to me that night but I've lately become fond of adding the corn kernels to salads and relishes.

That's why I loved Michael Chiarello's hint for cutting corn off the cob. Apparently he has a bundt pan he doesn't use for baking...the leap from baking with it to cutting corn on it borders on genius! He simply places the husked corn cob in the center hole of the pan to support the cob and as he slices down the cob with a sharp knife, the kernels fall into the bundt pan, all neat and tidy!

Here is one of my favorite corn recipes, based on a Bobby Flay recipe. He serves his on a crisp tortilla...I eat mine with a fork!


2 ears of corn, cooked (I grill mine) and kernels removed
3 T diced red onion
2T chopped cilantro or parsley if you prefer
1/4 c fresh lime juice
1/2 c diced sweet pepper (your color choice)
1/2 jalpeno pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
2 Haas avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped

You can combine all ingredients except the avocado hours before you intend to serve (great for a party). If you're sensitive to "heat" you can omit the jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, perpare and add the avocado. This is good with any grilled meat, fish or chicken. Serves 4


Saturday, July 12, 2008

And The Rash Goes On

I'm into the third week of the poison ivy saga...things are looking much better. Not good enough to wear shorts in public, but a big improvement.

However, the itching from the yellowjacket sting is unbearable and the hot zone is about 2" x 3" now. I can understand how animals chew off their own limbs. I am tempted to chew, claw or otherwise mangle my arm at any given moment.

The only relief comes from ice packs and so I think I have found the highest and best use for my Crate & Barrel ice snake. I cut it into thirds, wrap it in a linen dish towel then wrap it all around my arm...sweet relief!

Tomorrow has to be better! Grrrrr

Friday, July 11, 2008

Poison ivy comes a'creepin

So I broke down and went to the doctor. I had been researching my "condition" on the internet....a little information in the minds of the ignorant (that would be me) can be a dangerous thing. I was convinced that I had a staph infection spreading through my body.

So the doctor confirmed that it was, after all, poison ivy. His nurse said her sister had the same reaction and had a really hard time getting rid of it.

I said, "Thanks a lot."

So armed with a week long methylprednosolone treatment, azithromycin and Kenalog cream, I am showing some improvement.

My Flock Master and Flock Mother were over for dinner last night and I asked if they could show me where the poison ivy was lurking in my garden. No luck. They couldn't find any! Either I was very thorough in my weeding or it is still creeping around somewhere ele. That has me worried.

And then, the icing on the cake. As I was minding my own business, washing the barbecue in preparation for dinner, a yellowjacket gave me a nasty sting on my left arm just above my wrist! What did I ever do to him! Typical of my experiences this spring and summer, tweleve hours after the sting, the area is now inflammed and bubbly and spreading from a tiny sting spot to a rash 1.5" x 2.75" - what is going on here!? What message is Mother Nature trying to send me??

Monday, July 7, 2008

Late at Night While You're Sleeping.......

No, this is not a post about anything you need to hide from your kids. Nor is it about anything scary.

Unless the thought of poison ivy scares you.

About two weeks ago I awoke with what I thought were insect bites on my knee. No big deal, bites are not uncommon around here in the summertime. They expanded within days...more it seemed and they were swelling, some as large as a dime. Spider bites I thought!

Hydrogen peroxide followed. Then "smears" made from water and crushed aspirin or baking soda or salt. The itching was relieved but the "bites" were looking really ugly. I will spare you the details and will definitely not be posting any pictures. Trust me, it's really, really gross.

I was terrified to go to bed thinking there was a colony of insects lurking somewhere close by, waiting to feast on me during the night. Everything in my bedroom was scoured and disinfected.

More investigation followed (what did we do before the internet?) and I discovered that my ailment was possibly not insect related but perhaps plant related. I had been pulling weeds in the garden...had I found poison ivy or poison oak??? I have been weeding this garden for 15 years and had not run into the stuff but this has been a wet year and the weeds are thriving. I wear gloves so my hands were not affected, but perhaps I had kneeled on/near some poison ivy and then had transferred the toxin from my gloves to my thigh! Yikes!

Now the rash has spread to my other leg. My Honey has it on his knee and hand (he doesn't wear gloves!)but very minor compared to my outbreak. I am applying hydrocortisone cream half a dozen times a day and am ready to call the doctor tomorrow if there isn't a drastic improvement soon. I only hesitate since I took a course of prednisone and antitbiotics in May for that
nasty bite
(Poison ivy?) on my finger and I don't like to overdo on the drugs.

So now I am obsessed with cleaning every surface I might have contaminated with the poison ivy toxin. It could have been transferred from my gloves or the clothes I was wearing, my shoes, what touched my skin before I washed, is it in my house!?!?!?

And that old song keeps playing in my head:

Late at night while you're sleeping
Poison ivy comes a creeeping around!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Summer Sale at One Mom and a Party!


Our summer sale is now on at One Mom and a Party! All of our eco-friendly cloth favor bags are on sale so plan now for your summer and fall birthday parties. Many patterns will be discontinued after our current stock is sold so order now for the best selection!

Remember, we can be kinder to our planet, One Mom, One Party at a time!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008