Top Ten Tuesday...things I want to do this summer with the kids

These are in no particular order.  But here are the top 10 things I want to do with the kids this summer (and I will do them all!)

1. See fireworks

2. Stay up really late for no reason

3. Sleep in a tent (camping would be great or the yard)

4. Visit new places

5. Go to the movies

6. Float in the lake
7. More Nature Hikes

8. Play in the rain
9. BBQ a lot (especially with friends!)

10. Smile more!


Nature Hikes

Look:: It's summer now and around here that means lots of outdoor time without all the bundling up gear. We live in the most beautiful state, Pennsylvania.  Near our home we have some spectacular natural areas free for roaming.  When we visit the poconos there are even more awesome places to hike and trek with the kids.  A perfect day to me is heading out in the morning not knowing what fun "adventures" we'll encounter out in nature.
Learn::  On this day the kids got to see and touch a salamander while playing in the water....cool.  Gavin fell in the water and then it became fun for the kids to see how wet they could get.  I stopped carrying around extra clothes because my kids are trained...but what I learned is to always leave a set of scruffy clothes in the car for when we get wet or muddy or both on our treks.
Love::  This day reminded me that kids need very little to be happy.  Everyone was entertained by some water, some rocks and a cool salamander!

Tried and True Grilled Veg and Steak

Need a great suggestion for this terrific grilling weather.  We recently got a new grill. This dish will be one of the first I make.  The combo of veg is great.  You can do the steak skewered or mixed in.  If you prefer your steak whole, that works too.  What is excellent is you change up the marinade (think italian dressing, cilantro lime sauce, teriyaki...you name it ) and the veg or protein and it's a new dish. Easy, Peasy!

Grilled Veggies and Steak

Portabella mushrooms (diced)
Pearl onions
Halved cherry tomato
Sirloin cubed
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Marinate ingredients in vinaigrette.  Drain and grill



I forgot a few photos this week and of course they were my cuter outfits.  Glad to be back on the horse of trying to put more effort into my clothing.  This week the kiddos were sick, so some of these were just to hang out at home.  What I learned is a little effort makes me feel better.  What else I learned is that it is time for a haircut.  Linking with Pleated Poppy, so go and check out better outfits there.

Jeans, tank and tee::Old Navy
Scarf :: Gap Outlet
Shoes:: Keens
Hair:: needs help!

Dress:: Kohls
Cardi:: Taget
Necklace:: Old Navy
Shoes:: Born
Photo:: Blurry

Jeans: Levi
Shirt: Kohls (wish you could see the sweet floral print)
Shoes: Keens

and here is my hair in messy bun with cute pins


Tried and True...Orecchiette alla rustica (adapted from RR)

Have you ever watched a chef show and thought I can make that better?  or I can make that using different things? or I can make that with what is in the pantry?  That is where this recipe came from.  I used more things from a can, so this would be a great winter recipe.
Orecchiette alla rustica

1 lb orcheiette pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 can cannellini beans (not drained)
Some pitted Kalamata olives
½ cup each fresh parsley and diced bottled roast red pepper

  1. Cook pasta
  2. Heat oil, add garlic.  Saute until golden, add beans with their liquid, olives and seasonings (save some parsley)
  3. Transfer ½ cup cooking water to skillet.  Then then add pasta.
  4. Toss to mix. Add remainder of parsley to garnish



Look:: This year we've enjoyed numerous wonderful mornings at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia.  If you are ever visiting with children, this is the place to go!  We got a membership for the year and have used it so many times I can't count them all.  On this day we were celebrating Spring Break with my teacher friends.  We played in the grocery store, pretended to eat at McDonalds, rode the carousel and much more.
Learn::  Looking at these photos and recalling all my time spent with Sue and Em, I realize how much our relationships have changed (in a good way!).  When I met Emily and Susan seven years ago our common bond was being new teachers in the Wissahickon School District.  Then we grew to be good friends because of loving teaching.  Oddly enough we all bought homes within miles of each other and proximity made it even easier to be friends.   After being friends for many years now it's moved on to enjoying time together with the kids too.  It's such fun that our friendships have grown and changed since meeting at Stony Creek.
Love:: I loved Jack and Bruce the first moment I met them and even more when I held them.  But that doesn't compare to getting to know their little personalities too.  It's such fun to see smiles, laughs and even sad times  ( I think we had a bit of each at the PTM that day!).  Hoping the summer provides a few more great chances to spend with all of our friends.

Meal Plan Monday

Monday:: Cooking a Roast.  The plan is to make some awesome sandwiches on my new deli slicer for the week.  On Monday I will serve hot roast beef sandwiches with au jus and fresh veggie sticks.

Tuesday:: Pasta with homemade sauce from the freezer.  I will reheat it in my crockpot.

Wednesday:: Chicken Nuggets... going to try yet again to make some from scratch that they will enjoy.   Plan to make a bunch and freeze some for our own easy version.

Thursday:: Roast Beef Sandwiches (or as Chelsea says Brown Meat please!) and Salad.  After this if there are leftovers I am going to attempt freezing some deli meat.

Friday:: Not sure, going to leave this night open to make something special for my husband.

Saturday:: Grilled Burgers, potatoes and Veg with a cilantro sauce ala Bobby Flay

Sunday:: Chili


Wordless Wednesday

A Chair Built for two

Fitness Friday

So it's been a few weeks since I have posted fitness.  My walking slowed down to just a few miles each day because of a sore heel.  Then while we were on vacation we walked 10 miles a day easily.  So let me just give you some totals and I can get back on track as of this week.

Total in 2011:: 445 miles

Some of the good news in my quest is that I"m almost half way there!  Go me!  In addition my main reason for walking was to keep in shape to keep up with the kids.  I can report that on our fabulous trip I had no problem walking at any speed.  I also wasn't totally exhausted at the end of the day.  It was fabulous to feel energy that walking provides.  A side great benefit of feeling good is that my clothes are fitting well.  I am closer than ever to reaching my long term fitness and life goals.  Insert applause here!