Things to Watch - Netflixing (May 2015)

Now that we're knee deep in spring, I haven't watched much TV this month. So instead of sharing my reviews, I'll tell you what's on my "must see" list. As for the kids, they always have some new show they adore.


1. Force Majure - Several critics listed this as one of 2014's top movies. I've wanted to watch it for awhile now, but I haven't felt like reading subtitles.

2. Wet Hot American Summer - This movie looks awful, but how bad can a movie staring Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Poehler be?

Also, Nightcrawler and Rosewater are coming on to Netflix on June 10 (I'm really excited for both)!


The BBC Earth Shows - Tiger: Spy in the Jungle; Bears: Spy in the Woods; and Elephants: Spy in the Herd. And Planet Earth.


Our World War - "It's like the Band of Brothers for England. A terrific presentation based on the letters and diaries of the soldiers that were there, it brings home how unprepared they were for the technology of war at that time."



F's Netflixing:

Jessie - "Is is an entertaining story about a nanny and her four wacko kids. And they go on crazy adventures. Sort of." (P' interupts - "And they're really rich and their parents are snobs. Well, the mom is a snob, the dad's really nice.")


P's Netflixing:

Liv and Maddie P - "It's like real life, sisters who keep fighting. But the unrealistic part is that one's a movie star."

The Haunting Hour - "I like it because it's scary. The episodes aren't related, but they are all randomly scary. I really like the Pool Shark and The Red Dress, which is about a poor girl trying to steal a red dress and the mean shop-owner who makes her go blind. It doesn't end happy. None of them end happy and I like it that way."


T's Netflixing:

Max Steel - "There's a army. A cool army. They have a lot of big tanks. And the guns don't shoot bullets, they shoot lasers. Oh, and I like the Turbo Star, a huge gun that shoots turbo energy."

Lab Rats - "I like Adam, he has laser eyes and super strength. And I like that they go on missions."



Things to Do - Cherish This Day & Random Links

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HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!! Don't forget to check out this week's wonderful images on Cherish This Day.


* Feminists' favorite Mad Men moments.

* YES!! "Most of us will still have a family portrait taken from time to time. There is a place for those pictures. But even if you use your phone, I encourage you to give your children the gift of remembering who you really are. Messy house, love handles, tantrums, snotty noses, double chins, tears, all of it is your life. The life you chose. The life that makes you happy even though it is sometimes tedious and frustrating. The life that is not perfect like that family portrait. The only life you get. It may not be perfect, but it is beautiful." So excited to announce that this fabulous photographer is planning on taking our family photos this fall!

* I just started watching Empire and I have no idea why it took me so long. So so good.

* A webcomic about motherhood. funny.

* 21 books from the last five years that every female should read. I've read about half of these and liked most of them (esp. Beyond the Beautiful Forevers), I can't wait to check out the rest.


Things to Read - On the Bookshelf (May 2015)

Painted in Waterlogue

Lots of great reads lately. My favorites are starred.

1. Stone Mattress: Nine Tales - This is a really quirky selection Margaret Atwood's recent short stories. She calls them "tales about tales" and very few of the stories seemed to have much in common. Though almost all the characters are old and reflecting on life in some way or another. Not a bad read, but definitely not Atwood's best.

***2. Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" - I spent 2 months on the library waiting list to finally read this book. I love HBO's Girls. I love Lena Dunham. And, like Dunham, I'm a sharer. In conversations, I often receive a look like "whoah, too much information." I have a hard time with the line between appropriate and over the top. And civility. But, wow, some of the stuff Dunham shares made me uncomfortable. All I could think is "her mom read this? How awkward." No subject is off limits. I'm still not sure how I feel about all of this information, should some things remain private? I don't know. But for a Dunham fan, it's still almost impossible to not to enjoy this book, even while you cringe.

*** 3. The Girl on the Train - I can't say this is deep literature or anything close. But I could not put it down. Not for a second. The suspense, oh the suspense. And the end was worth it. A really fun book to read.

4. The Bees - I love the concept of a book about bees told through the perspective of a bee. And the author uses beautiful details to describe how Flora, the main character, sees/smells the world around her. But there didn't seem to be much of a plot, rather Flora stumbles from one situation to another. After awhile reading The Bees began to feel like a chore and I never made it past page 123.

**** 5. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze - READ THIS BOOK. Peter Hessler's memoir of the time he spent in the Chinese "river town" of Fuling during the 1990s made me feel like I was there with him. I love when a book has the power to transport you somewhere else, with people so real that you expect to meet them one day. This is that book.

**** 6. Date Night In: More than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationship - This is my favorite new cookbook. It's fancy, but doable. After Dan spent a weekend away for work, the kids and I made him the rainbow chip cake as a welcome home surprise. It was by far my best baked good ever. Amazing.


Things to Do - 12 in 12 (May 2015)

Is May always this hot? Seriously, it is just so so hot.

Don't forget to hop over to Not-So-SAHM and Where the Watermelons Grow to see how they spent Tuesday, May 12.

twelve (1 of 12)

7:45 pm - Wake up to T chilling on the couch looking at our newest photo album, which makes me happy all morning.

twelve (2 of 12)

8:15 am - T and Coco hang in the backyard after breakfast. BFFs as always.

twelve (3 of 12)

8:35 am - The kids play hide and seek/frisbee before we walk to school.

twelve (4 of 12)

11:00 am - Spend the morning editing a photoshoot of the cutest baby ever. Then head to Sterling to take real estate photos. I forget to bring the I-Pass and have no cash, which means I have to drive out the way to avoid tolls. Crankiness.

twelve (5 of 12)

3:45 pm - Pick T up from school.

twelve (6 of 12)

4:00 pm - Walk home from school. Our neighbor's peonies are in full bloom, so we decide to borrow one (she's a friend, so she won't mind).

twelve (7 of 12)

4:50 pm - Pick F and her bestie up from music class.

twelve (8 of 12)

5:00 pm - Pick P up from her playdate. She refuses to leave the swing.

twelve (9 of 12)

5:45 pm - Eat the quickest dinner ever and head to school for wax museum night. Babe Ruth makes everyone laugh.

twelve (10 of 12)

6:00 pm - P as Sacagawea, I kept pushing her button over and over, forcing P to repeat her speech numerous times. Truthfully, it was a parenting high. Everyone kept laughing as she rolled her eyes, glared at me, and then stated, again and again. "I am Sacagawea. I was born in . . . "

twelve (11 of 12)

7:30 pm - Our before-bed dog walk.

twelve (12 of 12)

7:45 pm - Happy (which is our puppy's newest nickname) tries to control her jealousy as P plays with every (and I mean EVERY) other dog in the neighborhood.


Things to Eat - Vignarola (a Roman Stew for Spring) & Our 4 Week Meal Plan

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A spring stew sounded amazing to me this month, but then I couldn't find fresh fava beans or artichokes, so I'm not sure spring had much to do with this recipe. Luckily, it still came together pretty well.

Vignarola (a Roman Stew for Spring) - based on this recipe.


* 2 cans of artichoke hearts
* 1 pound of frozen fava beans, defrosted (you can buy these at Trader Joe's)
* 1/2 package of prosciutto
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded
* 1 handful of torn mint
* salt and pepper to taste

1. In a skillet large enough to hold all the vegetables, cook the prosciutto in olive oil over medium-low heat. After about 5 minutes, remove it from the pan. Add the canned artichokes and the fava beans. Cook for about 5 minutes

2. Add the lettuce to the pan. If there isn't much liquid in the pan (from the canned artichokes), add about 1/2 a cup of water and stir for 2-4 minutes, until the lettuce has wilted.

3. Remove from heat. Add the prosciutto back to the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the mint.


Monday - Seared flank steak with tomato and blue cheese salad (via Cooking Light). This was fantastic with kids. They ignored the tomatoes and blue cheese (i.e. my favorite part) and ate lots of steak. Lots.

Tuesday - Taco Tuesday (just ground beef tacos and refried beans). F could live on refried beans.

Wednesday - Tomato and lentil salad (via IT'S ALL GOOD: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great); the kids have spaghetti.

Thursday - Sausage, cannellini bean, and tomato ragout with polenta (via Cooking Light). This was really good. Even the kids liked it.


Monday - Arugula/tomato quinoa salad (my recipe, click here for similar formula, just substitute the cucumbers for arugula). The kids ate hot dogs and kale chips.

Tuesday - Arroz con pollo (Dinner: A Love Story cookbook). Everyone loves this; it has become one of our regular dishes.

Wednesday - Grilled polenta with tomatoes and white beans (via Cooking Light) with chicken sausage on the side. F keeps asking for polenta almost every night, so I'm trying to find variations. This looked perfect for spring. The kids didn't eat much of the tomato mixture, but loved the sausage and polenta.

Thursday - Chickpea and kale shakshouka (via Clean Eating magazine). I'm making this a lot lately. The kids don't love it, so I made them a pizza.


Monday - Leftovers from Sunday night (lamb chops and risotto from Date Night In: More than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationship, my newest cookbook obsession.)

Tuesday - Taco Tuesday (Goop's zucchini tacos for me; ground beef and refried beans for Dan and the kids).

Wednesday - Arugula/tomato/quinoa salad (based loosely on this recipe) with hamburgers/hotdogs on the grill (Dan's home early!! Yay!!!)

Thursday - Leftovers again (Dan barbequed A LOT of meat on Wednesday)


Monday - Frozen pizza because I felt super lazy.

Tuesday - Chicken tinga tacos for Cinquo De Mayo (via The Splendid Table). Personally, I thought these were a little overrated considering the recipe was somewhat complicated, but Dan thought the tacos tasted great. And the kids liked them well enough.

Wednesday - Vignarola (a Roman Stew for Spring) (via Food 52). So this was SO YUMMY!! I could almost live on it. But the kids called the dish "bitter" and just picked at their plates (I blame the artichokes). Luckily, I defrosted plenty of edamame and bread as an "appetizer", which seemed to fill them up.

Thursday - Chicken with bacon and brussels sprouts (via Dinner: A Love Story). Dan loves this. The girls love this. Even T ate most of his chicken. A sure thing.


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