Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mama Robin

Our backyard is turning into the wild kingdom.  The rabbits are playing leap frog, the bully starlings are puffing their chests out at one another, sunny gold finches have found our feeder.  And the other morning I noticed this.

So, this robin was sitting in my pansy planter, on my table, in the middle of our deck.  We had caught this robin making a nest in our daughter's playhouse on the deck and removed it since we assumed the bird would start dive-bombing the child whenever she went out to play.

But this bird was bound and determined to build her nest on our deck.  In the middle of the deck.  Even with our big black lab lounging around, snuffing out bunnies and squirrels.  She spent the entire day building in my planter and I just didn't have the heart to move it. 

The following day was beautiful and the dog spent much of it outside.  I noticed Mama Robin was missing and thought the dog had scared her off.   Maybe she's a crazy robin, building nests all over the place, I mean, something must be wrong with her to build one in the middle of our table.  

Today I found this:

The proud parents are patrolling the yard, fighting off those starlings and sitting on their eggs.  They aren't attacking us when we go out, I'm hoping we can still use the grill which is off to one side, but it will be standing room only for 30 days while we wait. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

From the Kitchen - Brussel Sprouts for Spring

Brussel sprouts are like little bites of Spring.  I don't know who started the rumors about them, probably the same person who's been boiling them into submission.  They don't deserve such treatment.  High in Vitamin A, C, Thiamine, Folate, Calcium, sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have anti-cancer properties, and indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which promotes DNA repair and may block cancer cell growth, these little sprouts are serious super food!

They are best prepared in the simplest of fashion, in fact, over boiling them reduces their nutritional content.  My favorite preparation is to chop off the bud end, slice them in half, toss the halves and any loose leaves that fall off in olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Pop under a broiler for 5 minutes or so until you start to see some golden color.  The loose leaves will darken and curl and provide a rich, nutty crunch.  The halves are like fresh little heads of lettuce, exploding with green earthy flavor.

What vegetable doesn't taste good doused in oil, salt and run under a fire?  I think I'm going to start buying all those weird veggies that I don't know what to do with and cook them up this way.  I think even a head of romaine sliced and broiled in this fashion would be yummy.  I broil asparagus like this all the time, and eat it with my fingers, because that's what the French do and I'm very Continental.

I paired my sprouts with some angel hair pasta tossed in olive oil, lemon juice and capers.  There may have been snow slush on our deck chairs this morning, but I'm eating like it's Spring.

Heart a Day - Day 57

This has been hanging in Kelly's room for months, I don't know, maybe they could have put a little more glitter on?

Heart a Day - Day 56

Lampwork bead

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 55

Kelly and I made homemade pizza tonight, per her request.  This is a child who eats strictly chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and fish sticks.  Every night. Every single night.  So her request took me by surprise but I jumped at the opportunity.  I let her knead the dough, sprinkle the cheese - we had so much fun and she ATE IT! While still eating her first piece she asked for seconds, SECONDS!

Getting this child to eat has been a battle since birth.  I try not to make it a battle, I never make her finish her plate or eat more when she says she's full.  I never make her try new foods, but when she does I tell her I'm very proud.  Some days I swear she lives off crackers and milk, but she's not under weight or over weight, she's perfect, so I figure we're striking some kind of balance.

I want her to learn how to feel full herself, and portion control - I've heard studies reported on NPR that show that children know portion control better than most adults and children that are allowed to self control their portions have less tendency towards addiction later in life.  I'm trying child, I'm trying. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 54

Kelly's new shoes.  We HAD to get Twinkle Toes shoes, ALL the other girls in her class have them.  We HAD to.  The tops are a lot cuter, they light up with these obnoxious LED lights that will probably last forever.  Good times.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 53

Have you ever noticed how many plants have heart shaped leaves? I do now.  I'm so thankful for this warmer weather, yesterday's 80s were a bit much, but today was like heaven.  Kelly picked out some pansies, we uncovered the roses, the bunnies, birds and squirrels have found the bird feeder - Happy Spring!

New in the Shop - Bridesmaid Gift Sets

I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner - I love these earrings and think they would be perfect for a modern wedding and make nice gifts for your bridesmaids.

They are available in a mix and match of colors, gold, black or silver, or all one color and in different sizes.  I'm hoping they'll be popular this wedding season!

Set of Six Original Petals Earrings - http://www.etsy.com/listing/71941024/modern-bride-bridesmaid-gift-set-six-of

Set of Four Original Petals Earrings - http://www.etsy.com/listing/71942129/modern-bride-bridesmaid-gift-set-of-four

Set of Four Small Size Petals Earrings - http://www.etsy.com/listing/71942697/modern-bride-bridesmaid-gift-set-of-four

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 52

Our grass is turning green!  I caved and even turned the A/C on today, it's been such a cold spring, the 80 degree weather today was wonderful, but quite a shock to the system.   We have a large swath of clover in the yard that Kelly calls "clover land" and the bunnies call "dinner".

Friday, April 8, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 51

Set up Kelly's easel in the front room the other day - I wish I had one room in the house where we could have our easels set up at all times - open painting!  One day. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 50

What's your favorite Jelly Bean?  I'm not a fan of Jelly Belly - the flavors are just too weird.  I got these Starburst Jelly Beans today since everyone says they're so good.  I'm not impressed.  I mean, I'll still snarf down the bagful but I probably should have gotten the tropical flavor instead of boring original.  So, what's your poison?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Heart a Day - Day 49

See his wee little ears, see what I did there?  We saw Hop over Spring Break - hastily thrown together slapstick children's comedy, but hey, Hugh Laurie did the voice of his dad, so I'm not complaining. It was pretty cute and has led to much candy consumption.