one great read

January 19, 2008 at 9:00 am | Posted in essay | 1 Comment

Got a few minutes? Read this. Ree will make your day.

Want another?  Check this out and read the post for Friday, January 18, 2008.

Enjoy!

Karen

who me?

January 16, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Posted in essay | 2 Comments

Gretchen has introduced me to so many things…Celebration, rotel and Velveeta, Java City, missions in Mexico, blogging, but what on earth is a meme? When she “tagged” me, I wasn’t even sure what that meant!

Okay, okay, I’ve seen these come through my email, but never knew they had an official name. Now I know! Thanks Gretchen!

What were you doing 10 years ago?
1998- I was living in Santa Barbara, teaching kindergarten at a school that had a view of the Pacific Ocean, and was a newlywed.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Much of the same as today…taking the kids to preschool, hitting the gym and grocery store, laundry, cleaning, watching tv, reading books…wait a minute, that was today!

Five snacks you enjoy?
It’s all junk…cookies, crackers, bananas, sun chips, and lattes.

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to?
I think I remember all the words to “It is well with my soul”, “Cowboy Take me Away”, “This I promise You”, “If That’s What it Takes”, “Dancing Queen”.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire?
Just one million? I would pay off the house so we didn’t have a mortgage, save for retirement, save for college, travel, and get lasik.

Five bad habits?
I spend way too much time in front of the tv and computer, I rarely put the laundry away straight out of the dryer, I pick my nails, and I worry too much.

Five things you like doing?
I really enjoy baking, hanging with my girlfriends, spending time with dh, talking with my sis on the phone, and taking a bath at Burke Williams.

Five things you would never wear again?
Never again will I wear neon, blue eye-liner, my n’sync t-shirt, a mis-fitting bra, or a size 4.

Five favorite toys?
My computer, camera, Cuisinart food processor, Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and cell phone.

Tag, You’re It:

Meagan arimcg Kath

Excuse me…

December 20, 2007 at 8:26 pm | Posted in essay, Extras | Leave a comment

So I’m at the gym sweating, running, hair falling out of clip, red cheeks, when suddenly-

Pretty Girl: “Excuse me, but is your name Karen?”

Me (thinking): oh shoot, someone from high-school

Me: “Yes”

Pretty Girl: “I’m Reagan, I went to high-school with you.”

Me (thinking): holy crap, she looks great

Me: “I remember you, you had the black convertible BMW”

This is the perfect example of why I need to do better, because I live in the town I grew up in and I never know who I may run into. And it’s never when I’m shopping, lunching, coffee-ing. No, it’s moments like these, when I’m on the treadmill at the gym.

And not only is my hair not done, but the grays are all sticking out. And I need to go in for my threading. And I haven’t had a manicure since summer. And I’m wearing gym clothes. And I’m sweating, a lot.

…at least she recognized me, high-school was 17 years ago.

Christmas Candy Trains

December 18, 2007 at 12:08 am | Posted in Dessert, essay | 2 Comments

My mom and I were talking about how many long we’ve been making candy trains…27 years. I made my first train when I was 8 years old. And it has been so exciting being able to pass this tradition on to my own kids and their friends.

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Today after school we invited a couple of friends over for lunch and to make Candy Trains. Lunch was fun and simple. I made two kinds of sandwiches, peanut butter with marshmallow spread and jelly with cream cheese…dipped in sprinkles of course! A bowl full of cherries and another with green apples.

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After lunch it was candy train making time. I armed the moms with pastry bags full of frosting while the kids unwrapped candy, laid tracks and let their candy imagination run wild. And just as I did as a child, my kids will give their trains to their teachers (with a Starbucks gift certificate) wishing them a very Merry Christmas.

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Bah Humbug!

December 7, 2007 at 1:27 am | Posted in essay | 3 Comments
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Someone jumped to Santa’s naughty list today. As our Christmas lights came on this evening, we noticed our beloved Frosty and his two little penguin friends were missing. Everything, including the extension cords and adapter, were taken.

Noticeable Features:

  • Rosy cheeks
  • blue mittens
  • red and green scarf
  • stands about 7 feet tall
  • motors on his penguin friends are broken so they do not move up and down

…perhaps he melted and will return to life one day…

Family Traditions for Dinner Club

December 6, 2007 at 3:14 am | Posted in essay | 1 Comment
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I had the honor of hosting my Dinner Club’s December gathering last night. The theme: Family Traditions. There are ten fabulous women in our Dinner Club. Most are married, we all have kids, many love to cook, and we all enjoy getting out of the house and fellowshipping over a good meal.I made the turkey (because that was my family’s Family Tradition) and others brought along sides that were always part of their family’s Christmas Dinner. We had a better-than-traditional green bean casserole, savory cornbread dressing, and “sweet” sweet potatoes. Of course we had the mixed green salad, cranberry sauce and gravy. But the highlight of the night was dessert featuring a chocolate bourbon pie and cherry cheesecake. Add a few cosmopolitan martinis and some coffee with eggnog…well, it was just all so good.

But it’s not the food that keeps us together, it’s the friendship. We’ve been meeting for Dinner Club every other month for over two years. We take turns hosting. We bring something home made. We share recipes. We laugh, a lot. We commit to being there…Dinner Club and beyond.

no-fight-tonight calzones

November 14, 2007 at 12:50 am | Posted in essay, Family Meals | 1 Comment

I know I should do better. Fellow bloggers/nutritionists/parenting experts are bemoaning The Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious. “It’s wrong to deceive our children.” “Kids should learn to love veggies in their natural form.” “There is little nutritional value left in these veggies after they are cooked, pureed, and then spread over four servings.”

I am doing my best. I have been upfront with my family about what they have been eating. I’ve been serving lots of different veggies with dinner. I’ve been using my purees as a way to reduce the amount of eggs/oil/butter I usually would use in my baking and cooking.

But not tonight. We are having Calzones. I would have loved to have stuffed my kids calzones with chunks of turkey, fresh red onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms. But I don’t want the fight tonight. I don’t want to explain and come clean. I just want a nice relaxing dinner with my family. So, I pureed. Yep, I took the turkey and fresh veggies, threw them in my food processor, and pureed. I admit it. I pureed. I snuck good lean protein and fresh veggies in my kids’ food. Say what you may, it’s working for me tonight.To make these calzones, just get some of your favorite pizza dough. Roll to a circle. Spread with pizza sauce up to one inch around edge. On half of the dough, sprinkle mozzarella cheese. Over the cheese sprinkle pureed fresh veggies and cooked turkey then another sprinkling of cheese. Fold the dough over, pinch closed. Brush on a light layer of olive oil on top of calzone. Bake at 400 degress for 10-15 minutes.

Home Alone with the Cookies

November 9, 2007 at 6:27 pm | Posted in Diet and Exercise, essay, solutions | 2 Comments

I got in a good workout this morning burning over 350 calories on the elliptical machine, doing three sets of push-ups and crunches, and then finishing with a nice stretch.

But now I just keep thinking about the cookies my hubby made last night. Soft and crunchy, chocolaty with the touch of peppermint…soooo good.

However, I can’t ignore my growing waist line with this past month of cooking, baking and blogging. My solution…

  • Get to the gym a minimum of four days a week. (Confession time, I had been going only 2 days a week in the month of October, awful!)
  • No eating at home past 7pm.
  • When eating dinner at home, get in a walk afterwards.

I will be using this blog to keep me accountable with short posts about how my solutions are helping to reshape my waist, currently measuring at 32 3/4 inches (how embarrassing).

For lots of good information on waist size, visit Dr. Oz.

You have no idea how hard this post was to write (admission and confession) and then publish (accountability and commitment).

happy pumpkins day

October 31, 2007 at 7:06 pm | Posted in essay | 4 Comments
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It’s Halloween. I’m the daughter of Christian parents and the granddaughter of a dentist, so growing up this holiday was never much of anything. One of my earliest memories of Halloween involves wearing a “clown” costume. My let’s-not-make-a-big-deal-or-spend-too-much-money parents convinced me that my costume would be fine. Well, being a clown in my family meant three big colorful buttons pinned to a white shirt and a red painted nose. That was it. I actually remember being embarrassed by this costume.

In the school parade the other students would be dressed in real costumes and I would have to march around in my (pretend you’re a clown) clown costume. I even remember one parent standing on the side and saying, “oh, look at the cute clown”. I felt so undeserving of the praise. I thought that she was just saying that to be nice and that I really looked poor and pathetic. To top it off, my brother, sister and I would go Trick-or-Treating only to have to surrender the candy to my mom, and she would pass it out to the neighborhood kids. Pitiful, I know.

But six years ago, on October 30, 2001, I found out I was pregnant with the help of a successful IVF with a day two rescue ICSI. A couple of weeks later during an ultrasound, my doctor said, “well Karen, when you are lucky, you are doubly lucky…there’s your first baby. And there’s your second baby.”

My little pumpkins are now five years old. Tonight they will wear real costumes (but not too expensive), go trick-or-treating (to just a few houses) and enjoy some candy (just a few pieces).

Wishing you and your little pumpkins a safe and fun Halloween! Karen

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