Food and Drink

August Fun Miscellany

This week has been SO hot. And only a month ago it actually rained for a day. I can't wait for this much ballyhooed El NiƱo to kick in. Harper is going to need new rainboots

Rain

Rain2

Willoughby likes to play outside in the rain, but not always.

Rain3

Mostly, it's just hot and a little pool time is needed.

Pool

Pool2

Movies are a good place to cool off. Harper and I went to a couple this summer. Minions was first (or "Funny guys" as she likes to call them). Mostly she found it loud and covered her ears 2/3 of the way through.

Movie1

Next we went to see Shaun The Sheep. But first - movie snacks!

Movie2 

Again, a bit loud to start, but she put her hands down about 1/2 way through Shaun.

Movie3

Afterward - cool treat!

Movie4

When it's hot - cooking is really a pain! Always nice to go out somewhere else and eat. Especially when there is pasta.

Much concentration.

Spag2

Spag3

 


Going To The Beach

This morning I started a blog post about going to the beach in LA vs. going to the beach in Hawai'i. About one paragraph in I realized that it's not that different because I was remembering going to the beach as a kid.

As a grown up with a three-year-old in tow, going to the beach means bags of towels and dry clothes, snacks, drinks, hats, sunscreen, buckets, shovels, etc etc etc. It also means finding parking in expensive lots or parking spots, some times far from where the sand actually starts. Then schlepping all that stuff across the W I D E expanse of beach that lines the Santa Monica Bay to sit near the water.

Wide:

Santa_Monica_Beach_6

Compared to my three favorite beaches in Hawai'i:

Hapuna:

Hapuna_beach__gallery-alt

Ka'anapali:

Kaanapali

and Anaeho'omalu:

Anaehoomalu-beach

And Beach 69, but I think I've made my point. The beaches in Hawaii are small.

(Bonus points to whoever can tell me why it's called Beach 69!) (Dor, you are disqualified from competing.)

My main point is this. As a kid, going to the beach was a snap: put on your suit, grab a towel (and maybe a t-shirt) put on your slippahs and HELE ON! Easy! But of course the more I thought about it earlier this morning, I realized that whoever drove me to the beach had also packed a cooler, bags of snacks and all the other stuff. (Minus buckets and shovels - we dug WITH OUR HANDS!) So, in fact, it wasn't that different than today in terms of schlepping all that stuff. But at least once you got to the beach, the distance was much smaller.

So my original rant of a blog post fizzled out by the dawn's early light.

Then I got to thinking about going to the beach in high school. That, in my memory was also a snap. Bathing suit, shorts/t-shirt, sunglasses, slippahs, bag with towel and suntan lotion (not actually sunscreen...). Oh and someone might have had a small boombox. On the way we would stop and get manapua and/or arare and/or li hing mui (oooh my mouth waters just typing that) and sodas.

Steinlager-new-zealand-beer-lagerAfter a long hot day at the beach, catchin' rays, brah, all relaxed and sun-kissed, we would head home but usually with a stop at a store along the way for a quart of ice cold Steinlager. (A quart each, mind you.) And maybe more manapua if there was any left.

Okay, if I'm honest, sometimes it was Lowenbrau.

Going to the beach as a kid and later as a teenager was the best. I like taking Harper to the beach. I am just looking forward to when she is old enough to carry more of her own stuff and old enough that I don't have to hold her hand as we splash in the water. Sometimes it's nice to just sit at the beach and chill. With a cold Steinlager.

 

 

 

 


I Love Getting Stuff Delivered!

Have I mentioned I'm a bit obsessed with subscription boxes? I LOVE them! Okay, I don't have a lot of experience. I subscribe to three currently, two of which are new new new:

StichFix - A personal stylist! The box comes when I want one and I've bought three great dresses, two cute blouses and a jacket. While the styles don't always mesh (though they fall within the parameters I laid out) 98% of it has fit great. Always a great thing!

Try The World - a food box delivery with each box coming from a different country. We get one every other month and so far we received on from Argentina. We scarfed down all but one item so far. YUM! Can't wait for this month's box to come, apparently it will be from Japan.

IMG_2272PopSugar - a new one I saw and ordered because I'm a mom with a 3 1/2 year old and I want to feel young and cute and hip again, so I have to have "young" and "cute" and "hip" delivered. Also, I want something that is just mine. Mine alone! Which is why I'm not opening the FIRST box of my subscription today until after the said child is asleep tonight!

Also today I received my long awaited MemoBottle that I had supported on Kickstarter. I thought it was a genius idea all around - a book size water bottle that slips easily in your bag or briefcase.

Hooray for deliveries!!

IMG_2273

 

 


Father's Day Weekend

We had a lovely chilled out Papa's Day on Sunday. Kurt had to work on Saturday so Harper and I spent Saturday morning at Ikea buying critical things for the home - candles, small wine glasses, a stuffed pig, etc. Plus we then had to have meatballs. And ice cream.

IKEA1 IKEA2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(My new genius mom thing to do is to always order kids sized things - FOR ME! Never occurred to me before, but at places like Ikea or Disneyland, it's so nice to have much smaller food. But I digress.)

We got home from Big Blue Meatball Land and I said it was time to wrap Papa's present. Harper had picked out wacky emoji wrapping paper from Ikea and determined we needed pink ribbon. Done. Then she made a card and I asked her to write H for Harper (which she loves to do) and then she realized she could make a tic-tac-toe game as well, so we stopped in the middle of making Kurt's card to play a quick game.

Me: Harper, who taught you how to play tic-tac-toe?

Harper: Grace.

That's right! Thanks Grace!

So we had the gift all wrapped and ready and I said we should hide it until tomorrow. Harper decided her blanket drawer would be the best place. Done.

Kurt comes home hours later and as I'm on the phone with my mom I turn around and see that Harper has brought out the gift and is about to start "helping" Kurt to unwrap it. Gah! So I gently say "Harper!!! We don't give that to Papa until tomorrow!" She looks bummed, but then I say, "We have to hide it!" and she's off to hide it in the blanket drawer.

Next morning I remind her about the gift and she RUNS to get it and take it to Kurt who is lounging in bed. She helps him open it. Success!

Then we all get dressed and mosey down to our favorite bagel place for Dad Day bagels and juice. (Kurt is wearing the gift in question.)

PapasDay3

PapasDay2

We had friends from Macedonia over for a nice dinner outdoors and that was all there was to it. A fun relaxing Dad's Day weekend!


January 2015

SBS_Alt365_Jan_wordart-january

January (in Latin, Ianuarius) is named after Janus, the God of beginnings and transitions; the name has its beginnings in Roman mythology, coming from the Latin word for door (ianua) since January is the door to the year.

 

Hello New Year! Okay, well it doesn't look that much different than the old one, but my plan is to change that. Not making a list of resolutions, but I do have a few plans and goals. But I'm just going to start with January. A year's worth of goals is a bit overwhelming. I do have long terms goals, but I'm going to focus on short term right now.

January Goals:

1. 185 by January 30th.

When I get on the scale on January 30 it will read 185 (or less). I had been doing well losing weight last year then somehow got wildly off track. In April I was down to 182, heading toward my then goal of 175, then lost my way, went up and down then way up again, ending at 196 right before Christmas. I was really eating and eating and eating. I've been outside of my comfort zone a LOT in 2014 which is good for me, but clearly not good for my figure! So January is about reducing the amount of comfort food I put in my gullet and more about writing and journaling about my lack of comfort. And lots of hot tea. I still have the overall goal of 175, but am going focus on achieving the January goal during January.

2. Take Harper out to eat more often in more diverse places.

I have been using the excuse that she's a toddler, too fidgety to sit still at a restaurant for too long and so we have hardly taken her out. 18 months was great when she would just sit in high chair and play with toys and eat her food. But I really feel like it's time to get those skills going in her, all in age-appropriate venues of course. Luckily there are conveyor belt sushi restaurants and dim sum houses aplenty in LA. The key is that food comes at you right away, no waiting! (We had an attempt at one of the sushi places last night but they were clearly having an off night as next to nothing came past us on the belt.) The longer term goal is to increase the diversity of foods and experiences. But for January, more sushi and dim sum.

3. Spend no time on Facebook.

Facebook is fun, it can be entertaining. But I am letting myself get waaaaaay too distracted by it and am not very good at controlling my time there, not unlike eating too much comfort food. So I'm going to take a break, starting with January to see how I do. I have two scripts to rewrite and don't have time to faff about on Facebook! So if we're friends on FB, you'll see a notice about that shortly.

4. Write more on this blog.

And dovetailing with #3 is to write more on this blog. Almost everything I post on Facebook I can blog about here, so why not. There may not be as many comments or "likes" but I'm anti like-button anyway. Never use it myself. But if I'm a writer who already has this blog, why not just refocus back here? As Harper would say, "Well then, do it!"

That is the bulk of January. Let's DO THIS THING!


Part Time SAHM Adventures

We are fortunate that we have a nanny part time to care for Harper while we work on other projects that we hope will become well-paying projects. I'm still looking for full time VFX work and Kurt is currently employed on a few writing projects. So on the days there is no nanny, I am on full Harper Patrol. I am a part-time stay-at-home-mom. And in doing so I find myself being quite the throw back old-school mom. Maybe cuz I'm old? Whatever, it amuses me. And trust me when I say, as a mother to a two year old, you need all the self-amusement you can find. (Get your mind out of the gutter! This is a family blog!)

Sammich1Case in point -- sandwiches. On days when it's just me and Harper, I plan a field trip with other friends and their kids or just us. Either way, I pack our snack/lunch bag. Sammich2Lately I've been making sandwiches for us. But funny enough, I find I like to cut the crusts off. I've NEVER done that before unless I was making tea sandwiches for a special occasion. But I find myself doing it now. Then there is wax paper. I always have some around (why?) but now use it all the time to wrap the sandwich! Very handy, and folding that wax paper is somehow satisfying. Maybe I'm just losing my marbles. No matter, the sammiches are delicious. Ask Harper!
Sammich3

Someone gave us a Richard Scarry book called What Do People Do All Day? Harper likes to read it ("read" it) and so we've spent time going through it, though not really reading it word for word. In fact it took a few times before I found this gem:

GrocerCat

 

 

 

"She earned it by taking such good care of the house."

!!!!!

Mommy earned the dress, but she doesn't get to leave the house or get to actually, you know, choose the dress she might like. Or choose something better, like a high paying job outside the home. But nevermind.

Can I interrupt my own blog post to say this about being a parent? Thanks, here goes: The one thing I don't remember reading in any parenting book -- and I've read a few -- is how boring it can be. B O R I N G!! You hear about the hard stuff (tantrums, hitting, etc), the joyful stuff (too many to mention) but you never hear about how just downright DULL it can be to hang with a two year old day after day. I will say the dullness can be interrupted by some super awesome cute moments, that is for sure. But hours spent at a park watching Harper push her own stroller can be mind melting snooze fest. You can't read a book or talk on the phone or even text with friends, or if you do it's just to answer with LOL or OMG or nothing at all because you are standing under a climbing structure saying "How about the slide? Come down the slide!" You can't really chat with other parents who are there because you can't quite make eye contact and/or you are running after your own child in the opposite direction. You get three words out and then have to run, then come back for two more then have to run again. Sometimes it is super challenging. A lot of times it is great, most times, totally boring. My least favorite times are when we are playing in Harper's room, building her wooden train set. She'll get distracted with something else so I'll start building away and will actually be enjoying it, then she'll usually come over and Godzilla the crap out of it. Sigh. It's so hard at that point not to say out loud "DUDE! I WAS TOTALLY BUILDING THAT!"

But back to the fun parts. Like Breakfast In Box. Harper was acting like a cat for a few weeks, totally loving this big box we had around. Many a breakfast was had in-box.

BreakfastInBox

Meal times are good for inadvertent face-painting. Sometimes jelly, sometimes cream cheese, sometimes ketchup. OMG Harper loves ketchup! "Spicy!" She'll dip anything in it. Last night she ate a big pile of green beans by dipping them in ketchup. Cool with me!

Jellymustache

One of her favorite things is to have a surprise after dinner. Sometimes a cookie, sometimes a mini ice cream cone (one of our fave things from Trader Joe's), sometimes homemade berry smoothie. But she can't quite say "surprise." For some reason it came out "soapy prize" which I think is awesome. So now when we need more mini ice cream cones, I write soapy prize on the list. Kurt knows exactly what that means. Once she started understanding that it was a special treat, she started asking at breakfast with big eyes after one bite of yogurt "Soapy prize?"

SoapyPrize2

I truly can't complain. Yes yes, our personal projects move more slowly because we can't be full time on them, but they are moving forward. And Harper is pretty danged great. We are so lucky. And there are evenings when I'm making dinner and look outside and see this:

WindowScene

Life is good.

 


It's Pure, Look At The Label

Aji-msg-in-shaker-100gSo I was making green beans for dinner last night and while tossing the hot beans with butter I suddenly flashed on dinner at my GrandmaJane's house when I was a kid. She and Grandpa O lived in Makawao and I always loved going to the big ranch house for dinner. I especially loved her green beans. Her secret?

AJI-NO-MOTO!!

(For a certain few of you out there, you are now singing the tv jingle and will have it stuck in your head all day. Sorry!)

Look at that label: "Pure Monosodium Glutamate" MMMMmmmmm good!

Seriously, you just used to shake it on food like salt. Awesome.

 

 

 

I have so much to catch up on, blog-wise, but had to get this out first.

 


Weigh in Wednesday on Thursday -- STOKED!

SnowleopardI weighed in at 181 today. That makes 11 pounds down total since August 6. And finally past the plateau I've been stuck on (184). That is 11 pounds in 12 weeks. Slightly less than a pound a week, but slow and steady wins the race!

The fast diet has gone very well. I have only missed one fast day since I started. There are plenty of fast days where I just want to cave in around 4pm and have a...something. But that's the point - it's psychological. I just want something. Sometimes I am actually hungry at 4pm, most times I'm just responding to years of habits. But all is good and the number keeps going down.

My BMI was at 30.1, now it is 28.3. This puts me in the merely "overweight" category but out of Obese which is always nice. Again, BMI is not a perfect indicator of health, just another piece of info.

I'm very happy about this continued weight loss. Honestly, the only downside to the FastDiet plan is that I don't cook as much and man, there are so many recipes I want to try!