Thursday, July 29, 2010

Being a Kid

Lateley, I've been thinking about when I was a kid. The one thing that goes through my head is "I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger." Can you imagine?

I was going to blog today about my favorite summer time activities. Which of course was going to the pool. I went on-line to see if they had pictures of my home away from home in the summer. They did!!! I was so excited and I started to cry because I have such great memories of summer time at the pool.

So here are some pictures of the pool and some memories!!!

Here is my Larchmont Swim Club:

This was the warmest pool in the Club. You guessed it it's the baby pool. I was lucky that I never had to swim in this pool. However , Gavin and Gared had to swim in!!!

This is the pool that I spent most of my time swimming in. This area is where the diving boards are. There was a low diving board, two regular sized diving boards, and the HIGH DIVE. I had no problem going off the lower diving boards, but to me the high dive was very scary. It would take me all summer to get the courage to jump of the board. By the end of the summer I was jumping off like crazy. I remember standing up there shaking thinking it so scary. However climbing back down the stairs is scarier to me. So I would just jump.

This is another angle of the pool I spent the most time in. We called it the Olympic pool. When I was 15, I took life guarding classes here and I would have to swim 25 laps in this pool. A lap would be back and forth. I was the only girl in this class with boys that often made my teenage years HELL!!!!! But I showed them by beating them when swimming laps.

This was the family sized pool. I would only go in this pool if someone had an accident in the other pool or during adult swim. Off in the distance you'll see blue and yellow umbrellas, that is the snack bar. My mom would give us 50 cents or sometimes a dollar for a snack. It was a special treat when we would eat dinner there.

The club also had a locker room with showers. Most days we would go when the pool opened and stayed until it closed at 8:00. By the end of the day my dad would come to the pool and play with us and then take Gavin and Gared into the locker rooms to shower them, when we got home the boys would be put to bed for the night.

I wouldn't change a thing about being at the pool all the time!! I wish I could take the kids to this pool!!

Where did you like to swim as a kid?


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This morning the kids and I stopped at a local garden center to get some local syrup and tomatoes. While we were there we walked around admiring all the flowers.

Ballerina found this little gem.

Hope you enjoy the flower!!!


Thursday, July 22, 2010


On Sunday, I made a huge patch of Orzo Salad. That means I cleaned out the fridge and put everything into the Orzo. I figured if I had leftovers Tommy and I could have it for lunch over the week and I could give it to the kids for dinner a couple of times.

Yesterday around 4:30ish the kids asked what's for dinner and I said leftovers. Well there was almost a stoning here. The kids started yelling and screaming that they don't want leftovers. I was in trouble because I haven't gone food shopping in almost 4 weeks. (Called Tommy and told him to pick up dinner.)

Pick your mouth off the floor, I get a gallon of milk here and there. I go to the Farmer's Market or a Farm stand once or twice a week. I also run into the store and get bread if I need it.

I just haven't had the desire to schlep the kids into the food store. They're at the phase that they are getting too big to sit in the cart. They want to walk around which doubles my time in the store. It's nice that they want to help me and be independent but I just want to hurry out of the store before someone has a break down. (Most times it's me that wants to have the break down.)

Tommy informed me last night we are out of milk. We also need a lot of other supplies and food.

I guess I have no choice but to go food shopping.

I am off to:

Make my shopping list

Bribe the kids with pancakes from McDonalds

Prayer that we have a un-eventful shopping trip

I already feel like not going but maybe I should bribe myself with a new magazine. Good idea!!!

Oh I wish I lived close to:

I would even be happy with a new Shop Rite.

Hope you have a great day!!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Big Mistake

This morning Ballerina and I went through a box full of old papers that needed to be shredded. Our shredder broke last year and I really wanted to get rid of the pile. So Ballerina and I took care of those papers old school style. We ripped them into little pieces. I could not believe that she had the desire and attention to help me with the whole pile. In the mix of the papers was an old "Better Homes and Garden" magazine. It was from October 2006, so I decided to look through the magazine.

As I looked through the magazine I started to crave Autumn. I was wishing for mums in my front yard. Dreaming of gourds and pumpkins in arrangements on the back deck. I even imagined myself sitting by the outside fire smelling the leaves while eating soup, no wait... chili, even better pot roast stew. Yummo!!!

I had to yell at myself to snap out of it. We still have most of summer. What is my problem? Well I don't have all day to tell you but I think that I want fall so much because it's been so hot. I also think it's because Tommy and I took our vacation early this year. We usually have vacation in August or September. As, I closed the magazine I said enjoy the rest of the summer. I continued going through the pile of papers and found my favorite Beef Stew Recipe. I have made this several times and it is so worth all the work. I thought I would share it with you!!
It's from one of my favorite chefs...Ina aka Barefoot Contessa. She is a goddess is my book.


2 1/2 pounds good quality chuck beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 (750-ml bottle) good red wine
3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
3 bay leaves
2 cups all-purpose flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
2 yellow onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally in 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 pound white mushrooms, stems discarded and cut in 1/2
1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 cups or 1 (14 1/2-ounce can) chicken stock or broth
1 large (or 2 small) branch fresh rosemary
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
Place the beef in a bowl with red wine, garlic, and bay leaves. Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Combine the flour, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Lift the beef out of the marinade with a slotted spoon and discard the bay leaves and garlic, saving the marinade. In batches, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mixture and then shake off the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and brown half the beef over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Place the beef in a large oven-proof Dutch oven and continue to brown the remaining beef, adding oil as necessary. (If the beef is very lean, you'll need more oil.) Place all the beef in the Dutch oven.

Heat another 2 tablespoons of oil to the large pot and add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Place all the vegetables in the Dutch oven over the beef. Add 2 1/2 cups of the reserved marinade to the empty pot and cook over high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken stock, rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat on top of the stove. Cover the pot and place it in the oven to bake it for about 2 hours, until the meat and vegetables are all tender, stirring once during cooking. If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 250 or 275 degrees F.

Before serving, stir in the frozen peas, season to taste, and serve hot.

Doesn't that look so tasty? Don't you want some? Come visit me in the fall and I will make you some!!

Back to the task at hand summer and getting the North Wing finished!! I saw an awesome idea for my little area.

Couldn't you just see me sitting in there with a cup of coffee making you your holiday gift. HAHAH!!!! Someone yell at me for mentioning the holidays!!! I think I should go jump in the pool!!!

Have a great day!!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Dirty Little Secret and Eggplant Parm

I'm going to tell you a little secret. Come close and listen very closely. I don't own a mop. I own a Swiffer Mop!! I am like the lady on the commerical who threw away her mop. My other secret is I don't buy the Swiffer wipes or cleaning solution anymore. I've make my own!! I know I am brilliant. I am doing something economical and good for the environment.

This is my Swiffer.

It takes a lot of muscle and elbow grease to un-screw the cap.

I went to the Dollar Store and bought some microfiber towels.

Cut them down to size of the Swiffer base and stick them on the bottom and start cleaning! When done cleaning throw it in the wash and and use again and again!!

My cleaning solution is my favorite Mrs. Meyer's All Purpose Cleaner. I add 1/4 cup of Mrs. Meyers, a capful of Murphy Oil Soap, and fill the bottle up with water. Then shake and insert back into the Swiffer unit.

Just for you guys I made my own label! I know LOSER!!! I have been using this for months and love it!! I will not go back to the Swiffer stuff again.

Yesterday the kids and I went to Race's Farm to pick some eggplants. It was so much fun because the fields were mud!! I was slipping and sliding all over the place. Ballerina was the only smart one who put on boots. Such a smart cookie!

Once we got in the car I was dreaming about what I was going to make with the eggplant. I really wanted to make eggplant Parmesan but it's too hot and heavy for the summer. So I thought about making an eggplant parmesan salad.
Everything in this salad is LOCAL!!
I used lettuce of course, grilled the eggplant on the Bar B Que, yellow grape tomatoes, fresh mozarella cheese, and I made my own croutons which was suppose to be like the breading on the eggplant. I threw in some basil and made my own balsamic vinegarette with lots of garlic. I will be making this again and again. Next time I will throw in some parmesan cheese!!!

Sorry I have been so absent lately!! It's been hard with the kids activities, going to the pool, and taking care of the house. I am back for now!!

Hope you are having a great day!!!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pictures of the Recital, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Vacation

Hope you guys are keeping cool!! We spent the morning food shopping and the pool. The water is not even refreshing! So as promised here are the pictures of the recital.


Ballerina was so excited she woke up before 6am. She got to have some time with Daddy while I set up for a little brunch before the recital. I didn't want the grandparents and Uncles getting hunger in the middle of the recital. As you might remember I was a stage mom, so I gave Tommy charge of the camera. As you can see he didn't take any pictures during the show. I will have to check with the grandparents. Speed Racer was a champ sitting on Gram's, Grandma's, and Maggie's lap. What a lucky boy!!! He was also so very proud of his sister. He is one of her biggest fans!! I was so proud of Ballerina. She did a good job with her class. Then for the finale she just danced her own little dance. Too cute. We will get video in soon. I'm sure Ballerina will be showing everyone!! So brace yourself!!!
On Tuesday of staycation we decided to take the kids to the driving range. We wanted to see if we had the next Tiger Woods minus a couple of his traits!! We learned very fast that we don't have the next Tiger Woods in our family.


We also stopped at Country Junction which is the World's Largest General Store. It also has live animals and dinosaurs. (Ok so the dinosaurs aren't live, but don't tell Tommy) Ballerina wanted to stop in front of my flowers to take some pictures with her favorite guys!! It was a very nice day!!

On Wednesday we headed to Wayne, NJ to see Great Grandma and Pappou. (Tommy's maternal grandparents) We haven't seen them since February and Tommy hasn't seen them since November. The kids were so excited to go!!! I love going to visit them when we get to have them to ourselves!! You know how much I love people over 70!!


After our visit to Grandma and Pappou's the kids were off to have their first over night with Gram's and Pops. They were so excited!! They love going to the camper but now they were going to stay overnight!! Yippy!!! Oh, that's what Tommy and I said!! The kids had a lot of fun. Pops made them an inside tent over their bed. They played games, ate snack, and watched a movie. They had a hard time falling asleep but around 10:15 they finally shut their eyes. I think my parents told me that Ballerina asked once to go home. My father told her that she was staying with them tonight!! She accepted that answer.


Come back tomorrow to hear what Tommy and I did after we danced a little jig!! Just kidding. Sort of!!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Did You Miss Me?!?!?

I am back!! I bet you thought that I fell and couldn't get up!!! LOL!!

Anywho, we were on vacation last week. Staycation which I won't do again anytime soon!!! A Stay at Home should go away for vacation!!

The staycation started out with Ballerina having her first recital. It was so awesome!! I had tears falling down my face. (I will post pictures tomorrow!!)

Sunday morning we decided we were going to go to Bushkill Falls, the Niagra Falls of PA. We drove up to the falls got out of the car. I announced we were all to use the potty before we go for our hike. We got to the front of the bathroom door and Speed Racer threw up. Then he started shivering. We thought maybe he had car sickness because he didn't really eat anything for breakfast. We drove home and got to the lake and he started throwing up again. UGH!! We got him home and cleaned up. Speed Racer was so tired and sick that he feel asleep on me, and standing up. Ballerina was a little disappointed that we didn't get to go on our hike. We gave her some snack and then 15 minutes later she asked if she could go upstairs for a nap. I looked at Tommy and I knew that she was going to get sick and she did. They both had fevers too. I then thought maybe it was food poisoning. They both took naps and woke up feeling better. No fevers!!! We decided to go to the pool. I figure the cool water would help them cool down. We got to the pool and they swam for a little bit. They started to say that they were tired. We quickly got out of the pool and went home. We got to the front steps and Speed Racer gave us another present. So Sunday was a day of sickness.

Monday we woke up the kids were feeling a little better. I told them that if they take it easy all morning we will take them to see Toy Story 3 in the afternoon. So I thought it would be a nice quiet morning. Tommy came back from his morning run and said that there was oil leaking from the garage. UGH!!! The oil has been in there from when a certain someone changed his own oil!!! Tommy used a whole roll of paper towels trying to clean it up. I suggested that we try kitty liter. Tommy asked if I could go to the store to get some. So I go to the store and come back and take a shower to get ready for my hair appointment. I needed to wash that gray right out of my hair by going blonde. I go downstairs to the basement to do a load of laundry and I smell something musty. I look around the basement and see a whole lot of water by the air conditioner and heater. UGH!!!! I think to myself, can't we get a break? I go up to Tommy and told him about the flood in the basement. We took care of everything in the basement. I went to get my hair done and met Tommy, the kids, and my parents to see Toy Story 3. I was a little late because it took longer to do my hair. When I got to the theatre Ballerina and Tommy were in the lobby. Ballerina didn't want to go watch the movie. So I sent Tommy back to the movie to watch the movie wth Speed Racer and my parents. Ballerina and I walked around the mall while we waited for the movie to let out. Speed Racer LOVED the movie he sat on my mom's lap the whole time and would not respond to anyone who spoke to him during the movie.

Well I don't want to bore you too much in one day. So I will be back tomorrow with recital pictures and what we did on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I hope that you are all keeping cool. We are headed back for another dip in the pool!!



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