Showing posts from October, 2013

Happy Halloween!

My Super Heroes, Batman and WonderGirl. 

I've been holding back the kids' costumes for weeks now, trying to ensure they won't tire of them (and destroy them) before the big day. On Sunday I gave in and let them see their costumes for the first time. We had a Halloween party to go to that evening and I figured they'd waited long enough.

Batman quickly got in character. Serious and intense.

For some reason WonderGirl was really interested in sweeping the sidewalk. Perhaps it was the swap of her red boots for pink slippers, she thought she was Cinderella.

Still in character, Batman and CrazyWonderGirl.

Showing me their magic cuffs and gloves...

I have to say I feel a little like WonderMom, getting their costume pieces collected and assembled a good week in advance.I even found Batarangs for Charlie! Time to trick and treat...

Mudroom Inspiration

We've been in our new house since the end of June, but it is far from complete. After the rush of finishing up various aspects of the construction (installing vent grates and floor trim, hardware on closet doors, etc), it is time for the fun stuff and adding the finishing touches that make a house a home. We're tackling room by room. We're not going out and buying new things all at once to fill up and finish the spaces. We're slowly finding inspiration and only purchasing things we truly love. It isn't a fast process. But the upside of taking our time is that we've found new uses for furniture and objects we already have - putting them to a different use in a new space is a win-win. And the best part about being slow and deliberate with each space is that you end up with a design you really love.

With the cooler weather and the need for coats, hats and gloves, the mudroom has become our priority. We don't have a coat closet on the main floor and the pile o…

Back in time

I seem to have turned back the clock this fall to 1988, 1993, 1996...It started with a fun trip to see my best friend since junior high (aka middle school, that alone dates me!) and her family in their new home on the East Coast. We decided a trip centered around a concert would be a good excuse to pick a date - and it just so happened that our favorite band OF ALL TIME was touring....what luck!
I had high expectations for a fun weekend in NYC with Ryan and seeing my friends, but I was somewhat indifferent about the concert. I knew it would be fun because we were all going together, but I hadn't seen this band in concert since 1993 and 1994 (scratch that, in full concert since 1994. I saw them in 2006 and they cancelled the show after 4 disappointing songs..I was crushed.). And let's face it, they are getting up there in age - Dave and Martin are 51 and 52. As a loyal fan, I was looking forward to the show, but I didn't have high hopes. 
I was completely surprised. They w…

the weekend mommy

Some weeks I feel incredible satisfaction at work and in my profession. I feel like I am making a difference and accomplishing many things - things that matter. Some weeks I am inspired and excited about the work I do, the people I get to work with. There are times when I feel I have the world on a string.

Not this week.

Perhaps it's because our new house is feeling more and more like a home and I just want to spend more time there - with the kids. Perhaps it is because very soon I will be signing Charlie up for kindergarten, and the many years of school that will quickly follow frightens me. My babies aren't really babies and I'm missing so much. Perhaps it is the fun of Halloween and the desire to make ghosts and spiderwebs and carve pumpkins. Lately, the weekends just don't seem like enough time. 
Perhaps it is because I want to try something completely different with my career. Find a new challenge and a new form of inspiration - one that fits more comfortably with…

Pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing, yes please!

I've had this recipe saved in Evernote for a long time and have hesitated to make them because the recipe calls for piping the dough onto the cookie sheets. Just seems like a lot of work for cookies (also why I typically don't use Martha Stewart recipes). When I bake, the recipe needs to be quick and kid-friendly (i.e. there is some margin of error with the recipe as I can't keep track of exactly what the kids are adding and subtracting from the mixing bowl when my head is turned).  I finally made these cookies last night, with the kids, and it was well worth the effort. They are easy to make and the piping just adds a little more time, really not as bad as I thought. Although Martha would not be impressed with my piping technique. If I make them again I might live on the edge and skip the piping. They will still taste delicious and that's what counts in my house.

Note: I used a pastry bag without a tip as I don't own any. I've had luck asking the bakery at my …

Lately when it comes to exercise, snuggles trump goals. What to do?

I've talked about Exercise is Medicine on Speedbump in the past here (and a series of exercise posts can be found here). It is something I am increasingly passionate about, both personally and professionally.
I've always been an exerciser - whether through sports, running or yoga. I like to exercise. Exercise makes me feel good about myself. My body feels 'right' when I'm exercising regularly. I don't relate well to those that don't like to exercise, that hate to exercise. I know those people exist and I try to remember that when sending out messages about exercise.  But I don't get it. 
My problem is not that I don't want to exercise, it is that I find it harder and harder to find the time. 
And I think that is the case for most people. Even those that hate to exercise know they should do it, and time is also a hindrance for them (a double whammy - to hate something and not have the time for it - no wonder so many people don't exercise!).

P is for Pumpkin

We spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Schaake's Pumpkin Patch in Lawrence last weekend. Perfect weather, happy kids, awesome selection of pumpkins.

How tall are these two? More importantly, what are they staring at so intently?

There were chickens and pheasants to check out...

and calves to pet.

There was a pumpkin slingshot (these are the targets above) that Charlie will definitely get to do next year (we did not come prepared with cash on hand for sling shot tickets, oops. All the other activities at the patch were completely free and that was very much appreciated).

Both kids liked running through the maze in the hay bales - just like Curious George (have you seen that one? I've seen it about 200 times).

The pumpkin patch was close enough to walk to, but we could take the tractor back when loaded down with pumpkins. We actually made two trips to get a second batch of pumpkins. It was fun to see how many different ones we could find - white, red, green, yellow, striped…