he's making a valentine gift for his sister! "can i make a present for peyton, mama?" then, he proceeded to go through box after box until he found one of those makit and bakit sun catching kits i had left over from a birthday party. he's proud and it cost me like one buck at michaels! we will wrap it in 20 sheets of tissue paper and presto...we will have one happy little guy and pressie for baby girl!
i know, i know...i kind of suck at organizing my time, but i am trying...that is for sure.
hey, you wanna see something ridiculous?
we are doing some work in the kitchen right now, so aside from the exposed drywall...
i had a work day where, clearly, i made it my day's mission NOT to pick up one thing in the kitchen...
i don't know how or why my kitchen resembled grey gardens (so intrigued by that story though!), but it did and on top of all that...a friend came by and wanted to see the work in the kitchen. i told her that i could rock out a clean up in twenty minutes. we call that a twenty minute shake-down around these parts.
instructions are simple actually:
1. set the microwave time for twenty mins.
2. put on some cleaning house music, up the volume.
3. give the kids a job to do too.
4. light some candles.
5. start running...
twenty mins later:
polished and smelling like gardenias! i thought i had more photographic proof, but afterward peyton 'rescued' a turtle that was walking in the middle of our street in the front yard, so we all bolted outside so mommy could show her i-can-do-anything skills and picked up the turtle (with very sharp claws) and found a new place for it in the lake next to us. yes, my mommy cape was flying high that afternoon. the kids clapped...i'm just sayin'!!!
some time later that week, i was trying to make a menu for a girls' night that i was hosting at my abode, but because i had a week to think about it, i came up with nada. give me a week, i can't think. give me five minutes...i can rock anything out. procrastination is my friend. we get along like peas and carrots.
while i was twiddling my thumbs and trying not to doodle, (because if i start doodling...it's all over from there. there is something about making trees and love bugs that i find therapeutic. it's weird and a waste of time, so i try not to start) peyton made a 'festible' in our side yard...
"i'm the teacher, mama!"
a couple of little neighbors saw the set-up and ran right over to join the fun!
and speaking of fun, if we had one of those fun-o-meters, i am pretty sure that the little red indicator stick would have moved left through fun, funnier, and explosive kind of fun. mixed in with lots of work and obligations...we have found tidbits of time and have been lucky enough to have friends fly in from the blizzards of michigan to help us enjoy our florida winter!
sangria on the beach in january. check!
we took our fabulous and majorly fun friends to my favorite beach spot and sunday getaway! isle of capri! i'll never tire of it's quaint little sandy beach. jenn, actually requested that we go there. i knew i loved that girl!!!
if i didn't admire the blue and golden sky twenty times, i didn't do it once. it was STUNNING! the clouds looked like cushions beckoning each one of us to treat it as a hammock in heaven.
sea pencils, shells, birds, nature...
i thought it might rain, but it didn't and the feeling the gritty sand beneath my feet is to me the sign we are on vacation. a one day vacation!
we are waiting for the tooth fairy again...
(update: tooth gone! after much waiting, peyton is now asking 'shanta' for her two front teeth~we have a lisp folks...and it's really frickin' cute!)
more friends!!! my oldest and one of the best...my friend chrissy and her super sweet daughter, marley are here with us this week!
chrissy and i have literally grown-up together. our mom's were buds back in the day. chrissy, my sister and i have been friends since we were three!!! special kind of friendship for sure! i'm pretty sure i remember some potty training going on at her house...as in me potty training. i'm not sure how i remember that.
anyway, now chrissy has a little one of her own and we are pretty much in love with her...
***hi, grandma busia!!! i miss you.
we played it up with park visits and car rides in the front yard! please note: jeff's michael jackson glove. yes, his very own dancing glove! that pretty much sums up chrissy laughing her booty off!
chrissy without the glove. jeff wouldn't let her have it. he's possessive of it to say the least;)
ever see a kid on rollerblades swinging?
photo by beckham!
jeff scaring the pants off of these poor kids...look closely, you will see his hurdling legs in the air above the kids heads!
and i cooked...
to make my really good meatballs you'll need a few things, but mostly a bowl, good music, and your drink of choice. mine, red wine...but i'm tellin' ya, it makes my dinner experience better. not alcohol, but just anything you like to drink or have to make you relax and enjoy the cooking process. like lit candles!
a pound of ground beef (i used ground round)
a pound or less of ground pork
1 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup gruyere cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup romano cheese, freshly grated is better but store bought will do.
a bunch of flat-leaf/italian parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
teaspoon ground pepper
first, whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. then, place all ingredients including the eggs in a large mixing bowl. use your hands to mix very well all the ingredients together. then, form the mixture into meatballs about 1 1/2 inch in size. i think i made about 25 meatballs!
then, roll each one in a light dusting of flour. i rolled about ten at once.
in a skillet, put enough olive in the pan to cover the bottom. heat the oil and then put meatballs in the oil and brown them on all sides on med to low heat until cooked inside.
place the meatballs on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
i served mine with angel hair pasta and my bolognese sauce. it was fab and the kids loved it!
and for dessert:
strawberries and canoli cream
a bunch of strawberries, cleaned with tops cut off
a small container of whipping cream
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
i didn't put portions because, i kind of throw this all in a super cold metal bowl.
first, i make the whipped cream by whipping together a small container of heavy whipping cream, a teaspoon of vanilla, and a few tablespoons of of sugar and a dash of cinnamon. taste it as you go and see if you need to add more sugar. i used to use powdered sugar, but the last few times i have made it, i have used regular old sugar. you can choose.
whip until the cream forms stiff peaks...until it looks like whipped cream. stir the ricotta really well and then fold it into the whipped cream. done. keep in the fridge until you are ready to eat it. leftovers will last until the next day!
serve with your fave berries! or use graham crackers to scoop cream...yum!
make a pot of pasta, light a candle, and do something you love right now even it is just for two minutes.
i'm off to enjoy a naples sunset at the beach with my little toothless wonder and handsome boy, then, it's leftover night!