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Five on Friday

This has been a weird week. Because I’m technically on vacation, but I didn’t go anywhere. And I wasn’t working…except for I was. So even on this Friday of vacation, I’m exhausted. Here’s why:

1. It seemed like a good idea to invite more 4 year olds and 6 year olds over to the house, so I did.

We had a total of six kids but this is the only photo I got. Because six kids are busy. But I got to catch up with the other mom who was crazy enough to jump into this situation and that was fun!

2. Pickle party!

A friend who is trendier, craftier and generally more talented than I invited me over for a pickle canning party. Truth: I sat on the couch eating cheese and crackers, talking with friends while other people canned pickles for me. It’s the best way to do your canning.

3. I made soup for a friend who just had surgery.

Tomatoes are so good right now I used this recipe with a little variation. It turned out great!

4. Speaking of so good right now, I never want to buy a bag of baby carrots again.

These carrots from our CSA box were so good, even J Man commented on how delicious they were.

5. What should two girls do when both boys are at school?

Mani-Pedi’s, obviously. She chose her favorite color: sparkle.

 As you can see, from my friend’s tweet, sparkle should be everyone’s favorite color.


WIAW: sugar addict?

I haven’t “What I Ate Wednesday’d” in 60 days.

And as I look back at today’s line up of food, it seems that I should do this more often. Why?

Because traveling = eating out for every meal.

And eating out for every meal=an extra 5 lbs. 

And an extra 5 lbs. isn’t a lot, but it’s enough to make my favorite grey capris a little uncomfortable. I like being comfortable.
Anyway, I was certain that once I got back into my regular non-traveling routine, the 5 lbs. would drop away.

Not eating like I’m eating they won’t.

Oatmeal with pineapple, blueberries and walnuts. And coffee. No shame here.

But I had the morning off with my girl and we went to the patisserie and you know my weakness for the patisserie.

Peach brioche. And more coffee (unpictured.)


Soymeat, lettuce, tomato, pickle on a baguette.

With all the watermelon:


Salad and spaghetti plus garlic bread. Well, only the buttery garlicky part of the bread because Miss Rae ate the other parts.

And part of a donut for dessert.

In general, I don’t think I ate bad food today, but for someone who says she wants to lose 5 lbs. I sure eat a lot of sugar!

I might be addicted. I might need an intervention. I might need a juicing day.

I’d better wear my grey capris tomorrow to remind myself.

First day/First grade

I’m just going to leave this here:

One year ago, today. First day of kindergarten.

This year, sans the sippy cup. Why is he so tall? Why does he look like a teenager? Why is time going at the speed of light?

I swear, when I picked him up from his first day of first grade, it looked like he had hair on his legs. Manly hair. Between 8 am and noon today, he grew man hair on his legs.

I need to make myself a hair color appointment. I’m thinking of going blonde. Maybe that will hide the excessive grey hair situation I’ve got going on. And maybe I could get some extra blonde dye for this dude’s legs because I don’t have the emotional skillset to handle man legs.

Green Gage Plum Crostata

I kind of wish we lived in Europe.

In my fantasy Europe life, we eat baguette and cheese for every meal.

We have awesome accents.

And we know about things like grams and kilos.

Our CSA box this week had green gage plums.

I’ve never seen, heard of, or tasted green gage plums before. So naturally I turned to the gods of Google to tell me how to eat these fruits that look like green olives.

Apparently, no one in the U.S. has ever heard of green gage plums but everyone in Europe knows all about them. Recipe after recipe called for 675 grams of this and 275 milliliters of that.


Whenever I don’t know what to do with something, I put it into grandma’s pie crust.

To the random observer, they might think that I was making avocado pie.

Which, to Matty B, would have been equally as appealing as green gage plums, that is to say not at all.


So I made half green gage plum, half apple because I’m an enabler.

350 degrees for 40 minutes.

If I were from across the pond, I might say that I fancied this. Or that it was really spiffing. I really was just chuffed to bits! 

See? Bring on the baguette and cheese.

Green Gage Plum Crostata


1 1/2 cups +1 TBS flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup shortening

1 egg

1/4 cup hot water

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup sliced green gage plums 

1 TBS butter


Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and shortening until sandy in texture. Add egg and hot water. Knead into a ball of dough.

Roll out onto a floured surface into a circle shape. Combine sugar, 1 TBS flour and plums. Dump into the middle of your dough circle. Tab with chunks of butter. Fold sides of circle up roughly.

Bake at 350 for 40 mibutes.

Thursday Thoughts, XXXIV

1. Try stand up paddle boarding, they said. You’ll look just like Jennifer Aniston, they said.

To be fair, I am standing up, and I am on a paddle board, but that’s the end of the similarities. Also, I might’ve chosen Joey over Ross, so J. Aniston and I don’t have much in common.

2. I tried the new Graze snack boxes.

 Basically, you pay a fee per box, ($12?) and they send you fun snacks every two weeks.

The snacks in my box were (clockwise, top right corner) the cheese board, oatmeal raisin cookie dippers, kettle corn kern pops, and chai latte trail mix.

I actually liked all the snacks- they were creative flavors and I felt like there was a good variety of options. However, the quantity was disappointing. For the amount of money we paid, I thought we should have had more.

3. One of my favorite traditions this summer has been Twitter club.

Confused? I’m an old lady who does social media for my job but my skill set is sorely lacking. Twitter club is me bribing hip college students to teach me how to tweet in exchange for pastries. This is the huckleberry almond croissant from the Colville St. Patisserie and it’s to die for.

4. A really good read from the New York Times: The wedding toast I’ll never give.

Best line: Epic failure is part of being human. 


5. Food tastes better when it’s smiling at you.


Coffee crumbs and violins

It’s here. 

The crazy. The “new school year/new baby-sitter/you want to take violin lessons?/no Miss Rae that doesn’t actually match but we don’t have time for you to change” crazy.

My grocery list has the words “PE shoes” and “violin” on it. Walmart has those things, right?

It’s possible that there is a school supply list somewhere, but I haven’t seen it. I’m too busy sending emails to the violin teacher that say, “am I supposed to have a violin by now?”

The schedule doesn’t help.

Matty B starts school Wednesday. (Our anniversary. We will be celebrating by not dying.)

J Man starts next week.

Miss Rae starts after Labor Day.

Convenient. I didn’t want to use my vacation days for vacation anyway.

Also. Also.

Apparently children grow over the summer? All of J Man’s pants are high water and Miss Rae’s belly shirts are bordering on inappropriate. Add “entire wardrobe for two kids” to the grocery list.

It’s a good thing I haven’t given up coffee yet. Because you know it’s only going to get worse.

Six months ago, when I was at the dentist, I found this recipe in a waiting room magazine.

If I knew what magazine it was from, I’d absolutely give credit. 

And I’d give a lot of credit because it’s pretty awesome. It? Them? I’m not sure how to title it/them. “Crumbs” is plural, thus them seems appropriate, but now I’m just overthinking it/(them?)

Over coffee ice cream (go big or go home), this is a day changer. Make this if you like coffee. If you don’t, make this for someone else who does.

Also, I need a violin.

This girl

Can I tell you a story about this girl?

This girl with her bowling shoes and her socks pulled up and her hair in her face?

This girl is a beautiful example of compassion and caring and unconditional love.

The story:

Yesterday was a tough day for J Man. There was a coloring book incident and a Lego incident and both culminated in sobbing. He was being a pill, to be perfectly honest. We talked about kindness and respect. We talked about solutions. (His solution? Stop going to church (where the incidents took place) and just go camping instead.)

Anyway, by the end of the evening, it was apparent that J Man should not receive the “show respect” sticker on his behavior chart. 

AND. And. As such, he only received $2 instead of $3 for his weekly allowance. Needless to say, the boy was absolutely distraught. He let me know straight-up that he was mad at me. Mad.

It was bedtime and I felt bad, but knew that he’d get over it. 

This morning I walked into their room and was surprised to see Miss Rae’s wallet open on the floor. (Don’t worry. It’s not what you think. No thieves in the house.)

And when both kiddos woke up, they told me the rest of the story. Apparently, after Matty B and I told the kids goodnight and left the room, Miss Rae said, “I’ve got it!” And she got out of bed, found her wallet and pulled out a dollar for her brother.

Two things to note:

1. Much of J Man’s aggression this grumpy day was directed toward Miss Rae.

2. J Man is rich. He’s got more than $100, easy. Baby girl is a spender and had $8 to her name.

But she loves her brother 110% and would do whatever it took to make him happy.

She got her wish. J Man was happy and proclaimed her the best best best best best sister ever!

(And then Matty B snuck into their room and took a dollar from J Man’s wallet and put it in Miss Rae’s. Cause he’s still gotta pay the consequences.)

Being a kid is hard.

Being a parent is harder.


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