Friday, July 31, 2009

When I should have been sleeping

What I was thinking about at 2 o'clock in the morning...when I should have been asleep.

*Jennifer Aniston-Brad Pitt-Angelina Joile is similar to Debbie Reynolds-Eddie Fischer-Elizabeth Taylor
*If I put the top coat of polish on my toes, and then fall asleep, will I have sheet marks?
*Where did my Lilly pants go? I can't find them anywhere!
*How is it possible that the new guy at husband's office didn't know who Walter Cronkite is? Am I that old?
*How is it that it looks like 12 year old's are driving? Yikes, I am that old!
*And Morty, a playmate of the kids, had never seen a record! Are you kidding?! I told him it was like a big CD, he didn't know what that was either.
*What am I going to feed Mary at the cottage? She is a vegetarian, and also a picky eater.
*What stuff still needs to be packed for trip to the cottage?
*Did Jen's mom read her blog, and that is why her post was gone? I really hope her mom didn't read it, and hope my mom didn't read my response (this of course would be impossible, since my mother doesn't know how to use a computer)
*I need to get uniform pants ordered for the boys.
*I need to start planning S's birthday party. Breakfast birthday still, with pancakes and fruit smoothies.
*Should I order my own birthday cake? Pathetic or realistic?
*How many new pairs of pants will the boys ruin this next school year?
*Will I find any pants at the Lands' End Warehouse sale?
*How much cashmere will I find at the sale?
*Why can't I have Irish hair? Every person I know with Irish descent has full, thick, beautiful hair.
*Where is the Farmers Market in Door Co.? I need to look that up.
*Should I pack rain gear for the weekend? because if I pack it, I won't need it............
*By this time, my nails would have been dry, and I wouldn't have sheet marks.
*Maybe I'll find new sheets at the sale?
*How am I going to make a Rough Riders costume for J for Halloween? And make it different from S's Teddy Roosevelt.

How I wish I could turn my brain off!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Backyard Campout

I set up our new tent yesterday, in the backyard, and the boys had a blast. They really wanted to sleep in it, so at 9pm, we went out there, they with their flashlights and lovies, me in my Lilly pj's, flashlight, and reading material. They slept soundly, as only a child can. Me? Not so much. But it was worth it, making them so happy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lunch at Rookies

Saturday we took the kids to Black Earth to get new school shoes at The Shoe Box, followed by lunch at Rookies. This is a great place to take kids. It has a miniature baseball field, with whiffle balls and bats for everyone to play with. There was a private party going on, so the kids didn't get to go on the field, but they enjoyed watching the game in progress out the window. The restaurant, bar and even the bathrooms are filled with sports memorabilia (especially for the St Louis Cardinals, who is the owner of Rookies and The Shoe Box, Steve Schmitt, favorite). The door pulls are baseball bats and the parking lot lights are huge baseballs. It was a great time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Setting a table

(Last nights table, in progress)_
When we were married almost eight years ago, I registered for fine china, sterling flatware and crystal. I use them with great frequency, and have added formal and informal Christmas patterns, plus Thanksgiving dishes to the collection. I find it so disheartening when people come for dinner and say they never use theirs. What are you waiting for? I know the world has changed, everything is more casual (much to my dismay!), but isn't setting a beautiful table important anymore? Has the country become so disposable that putting a cloth tablecloth on is getting fancy, or is too much work? Some people don't even know how to set a place setting, fork on the left, etc. I enjoy picking out the tablecloth and napkins, setting out the Waterford stemware and Reed and Barton silver. I like to make the people, that eat at our home, feel that they were important enough to set a beautiful table. Am I old fashioned, and just clinging to some sense of what I consider a standard? Is it not noticed or valued? What do you set a table?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blooming Butterflies at Olbrich Garden

Jameson enjoying Blooming Butterflies at Olbrich Gardens in Madison
The Thai Pavilion

The Cousin Steps

Looking at the Koi

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lands' End Warehouse Sale

Any one who loves Lands' End, must make the pilgrimage to their Warehouse sale in Dodgeville , Wisconsin. A scenic drive from Madison to a huge pavilion of treasures. It is amazing! I have picked up cashmere throws, needlepoint stockings (already embroidered), beautiful sweaters, barn jackets, bean bag covers, kids clothes............ you never know what you will find! I would be happy to show you the ropes! I always leave with a trunk full of goodies.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For the Dreamers in all of us... My Date with Drew

If you need a laugh, a cry, someone to root for and something to dream about........ watch the movie My Date with Drew. It is about one man, Brian Herzlinger, and his quest to get one date with Drew Barrymore, in 30 days with $1100.00. The documentary was filmed by his buddies with a camera from Circuit City, which needs to be returned in 30 days. See a clip here. I have watched this twice, and have finished the film with tears in my eyes. Especially when he talks about being a kid and a dreamer.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Family Dinner and recipe

My husband's Aunt Gladys and cousin, Vicki, arrived for a visit from the D.C. area. We had a dinner for the family at our home on Saturday.
For an appetizer, I made Heirloom Tomato Tarts with goat cheese and fresh rosemary. Delish!

Recipe from Sara Foster's Casual Cooking
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk
4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (or thyme)
tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced (I like to use red, orange and yellow. The contrast is beautiful.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

*Cut the sheet of puff pastry in half lengthwise and cut 1/4-inch-wide strip from each edge of each sheet, reserving the strips. Place the pastry on a baking sheet (I put it on either parchment or a silpat).
*Whisk the egg and milk together to make an egg wash. Brush the edges of the two sheets with the egg wash. Place the cut pastry strips along the edges of each of the large sheets to form a raised border and press the strips gently to adhere.
*Stir the goat cheese and half the rosemary together in a small bowl until the cheese is soft and creamy. Spread the cheese in an even layer on the bottom of each tart and arrange the tomato slices over the cheese. Brush the tomatoes with the olive oil, sprinkle with the remaining rosemary, and season with salt and pepper. Brush the pastry edges with the remaining egg wash and place the tarts in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
*Bake the tarts for 18 to 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and puffed up. Cut into servings. Serve warm

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's in the Bag

I am loving this purse! It is made by a company called Oughton Limited, which started out as an Equestrian Company, but who can resist their designs! All are made with beautiful leather, classic designs. They have a great shopper, too. Maybe for my birthday? Hint! Hint!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rub a Dub Dub

Aren't these the cutest boats? My friend, Maheen, gave them to the boys. They are customized for them with their names, initials, birth dates and interests. J's even has a George Washington on it! This is her "go-to gift" for little ones. They are made by a company in Minnesota called Bath Boats. What is your go to gift?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dinner is served

We are having a bunch of kids over for a playdate today, and I made these for dessert. Aren't they cute?! Sugar cookie fries, cupcake buns with brownie burgers. I saw the idea on the Bakerella blog. Check out her blog for lots of cute ideas.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good Grief!

I give the boys their dinner, and step into the bathroom. Suddenly I hear screaming, yelling, MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! I am thinking "what the hell if going on?". I am rushing out of the bathroom, pulling everything up as I am sprinting into the kitchen. What is the emergency? J needs a fork. Ah..yeah. Thank God they can't read my mind! "Are you #@&*ing kidding me?"

Hello, my name is Gwennie and I'm addicted to...

Hello, my name is Gwennie and I'm addicted to food porn. I can't help myself. I just have to look. I find myself staring at the French Laundry site, and then move onto Chez Panisse, L' Etoile, Foster's Market. There are so many. I know I should stop, but I can't. I look at the menus, wanting to caress those beautiful images of artichokes, tomato salads, those tiny cones filled with a taste of greatness. Will I ever be able to achieve that level of excellence? No. But, for a brief moment I become inspired. And aroused, to go to the farmers market and try.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fish were Biting

We took the boys and our nieces, Megan and Sarah, and my sister-in-law, Sue, out on the boat, Saturday and today. The girls had never been in a fast moving boat, and they loved it. Today we went fishing, and all the kids were lucky. It was another beautiful weekend in Door County. Megan is pictured above, isn't she beauty?!
J as The Thinker
Sarah, enjoying the spray

Friday, July 10, 2009

Decorating Dilemma - Help!

We have lived in this house for close to eight years, and I still struggle with how to decorate this mantle. At Christmas it is filled with pine garlands, ribbons, pine cones and berries. In the fall, it is filled with grapevine, Indian corn, pumpkins and the like. What do I do the rest of the year? For parties I put flowers in the silver containers, but I can't afford to do that year around. Do I decorate both upper and lower mantles? I tend to ignore the top one, except in December and the fall. Any ideas? This dilemma drives me crazy! Help!

Creativity Crew

It rained this morning, so the mosquito's are out in force. The boys played outside for awhile, but came in because of bugs. Now they are on the sun porch creating...... ah, actually I have no idea what they are making, but they are sure having a great time. I save all the good trash, egg cartons, berry boxes, plastic tubs, tubes, ribbon, etc., then hand each kid a roll of masking tape. They have been playing with this stuff for hours!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Good Idea, if it had worked!

I get this brilliant plan to invite a bunch of stay-at-home moms to bring their kids over to swim and play, enjoy a picnic and relax. I wake up yesterday to find it cold, overcast and raining. So I grilled in the rain, everyone enjoyed their indoor picnic and the kids played in the house. Everyone had a good time and we are trying for the original plan next week. Let's see how that goes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Long Weekend in Door Co.

Madeline, with Aunt Gwennie, enjoying the spray.
Madeline's first fast boat ride!
My sister-in-law, Wendy, with a sleeping Natalie.
The boys fencing with ribbon sparklers.
J, Natalie and S
Enjoying the lake with Archie, the bulldog
The faster the boat, the better.

Sitting on the porch swing at the house where their Great Grandmother was born.
Picking up a twist cone at Frosty Tip on the way home.