Friday, October 09, 2020

Take 355

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
Up this week! Random things I've learned about famous people. 

Cary Grant is British! #SayWhat YES. And I always assumed he was a tall, dashing American... nope. He's a tall, dashing Brit. 
--- 2 ---
Do you ever have trouble identifying an old movie and can't remember the name of the actors in the movie?? This week I totally won that game by googling, "Actress that looks like Helen Hunt." And shockingly! It worked! Leelee Sobieski.
--- 3 ---
Next up: Sandra Bullock. Totally fluent in German. Good gracious. Go google. Go and be amazed. I had NO idea. 
--- 4 ---
Speaking of German, I had a strange experience this week of flipping through radio stations and landing on Opera. It was in German... and my brain shorted. I could understand them! Actually, no. That's not fair. I couldn't understand WHAT they were saying, but I could understand the WORDS. Crazy crazy.
--- 5 ---
Ok, so moving on. I know we're all dealing with constantly shifting expectations for this unbelievable year of 2020, myself included. In light of this, and other things... I set a new 2020 goal: vacuum faster than my almost 8-month old can crawl. #DreamBig
--- 6 ---
Other things I'm doing to keep 2020 sane? I started listening to to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone... Why? I just need something. Something brainless. Something with a twinge of nostalgia and joy. Something... juvenile. LOL. I'm totally eating it like candy... (And enduring boring set up stuff like how to play Quidditch.) 
--- 7 ---
Today was a big win and we captured the sunshine (which is not very common right now) and went south for apple picking... A lovely family adventure and I'm just still so in love with Autumn.

Happy Friday!

Friday, October 02, 2020

Take 354

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
We received so many sweet gifts on the occasion of Clancy's baptism... but I just had to share something that "takes the cake". In Germany, it's traditional to have a "first place setting" that's used when you start solid food, and is preserved in your baby box when you're done. Shout out to our friends who gifted Clancy a Seal Themed first place setting... just like my maiden name. :) 
--- 2 ---
I wore a beautiful silk scarf when I went back to church for the first time post-pandemic (!) last week. It felt so good to get dressed up and go to church... But I couldn't not share what I found on the tag: 
LOL. 
--- 3 ---
In Germany, it's not unusual for American movies to have different names... Sometimes in German, but hilariously, sometimes even in English. For example, the movie Chef is called Kiss the Cook. Too good, right?? 
--- 4 ---
Have you seen this product by Bombay? A bottle of Bombay Bramble. I don't know if it's new, but there are advertisements for it around Hamburg. Kind of cool, really. 
--- 5 ---
Three cheers for my sister-in-law, Meghan, who discovered this link of historical photos of New York City and sent it along... GUYS. Go enjoy. So cool!
--- 6 ---
Sometimes I forgot that we're all dealing with a pandemic on the outskirts of semi-normal life. I woke up with a fever last week, having dreamt that I was dying of COVID-19 and was so sad that I would have to die alone in a hospital.

People. Be kind to yourself. Even if you feel "OK", you might also find out that your psyche is doing a lot of work in the background. [Sidenote: my fever is gone and I'm fine. Not COVID...]
--- 7 ---
Last weekend Brian roasted a duck. Today is the first time I've ever  attempted to make duck stock. Can't wait to find ways to use it! I'll keep you posted. These ideas all look like a good idea.

Happy Friday!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Take 353

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
I'm here this week reporting on some things about the kitchen... First!

Hate cleaning your food processor? Want to make pesto and hummus? Make the pesto first, leaving a couple of tablespoons in the processor and then make your hummus. #NoRegrets #Cleanitonce
--- 2 ---
Second! We make Smitten Kitchen's Black Bean recipe from her first cookbook probably twice per month. After we've eaten our fill for one meal, I save leftover beans for future taco dinners, scrambled eggs, etc. But this year it occurred to me that we should be using the liquid (which I had always previously dumped down the drain... GASP!). Now we eat Mexican Soup every week following when I make black beans. I simply add some chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, and some more chipotle powder. Add quesadillas and... drool.
--- 3 ---
Third... This week was the first time I tried a sheet pan dinner... and I fell in love. One dish, roasted veggies... so good. It wasn't a beloved meal by all family members... but I fell head over heels for this one, and next time will actually chop it up and serve it in freshly made pita bread.
--- 4 ---
Finally, I just have to share that of all the things I'm proud of having learned from my own Mama, I'm very proud to say that I can cut between a chicken leg and thigh on first try, no problem. Like butter. No hacking away in multiple spots. My Mama taught me that! Thanks, Mama. 
--- 5 ---
I saw a video this week on Facebook about a family who lost their house in a fire. It really got me thinking... what would I grab? What would I lose?? Do you have answers to these questions?? I'm proud to say that we have two fireproof containers in our house for important documentation, but it really got me thinking... hard drive? Photo albums? 
--- 6 ---
At the same time, my computer storage space is full. And my battery is dead. And it's likely to die at some point... similar to the fire, I have to make sure I don't lose our stuff... It's hard to believe how much of adulthood is simply administration. It's not that exciting... but I really do have to organize files on my computer. Sigh. 
--- 7 ---
I'm still working on healing my fingers of what they're now calling eczema. I'm just chiming in here to complain about my vitamins that are supposed to help nail growth and want to say: 
Why would anyone make a pill that size?!? Perfectly shaped and sized to get lodged in my throat. Dumb. 

Happy Friday!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Take 352

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
I finished the book Better Than Before and I couldn't not tell you a small piece of information I learned: That by simply removing trays from college cafeterias (requiring the use of only plates when getting food), food waste was reduced by 25-30%! Can you believe that??? 

Note to self: keep dinner plates small. LOL.
--- 2 ---
Vote! Which gin bottle do you like better?? Same product, design change. Brian and I have complete opposite opinions. LOL. 
Find the answers below... just like those cool books we used to read in grade school.
--- 3 ---
Since the older kids are back in school, I've resumed my daily walking, which has been very nice. I wanted to share something with you that's on our walk to the mall: covered walk ways along a busy street for a more pleasant walking experience... fast bicycles go to the left along with traffic. Genius, no?
--- 4 ---
We roasted our first pumpkin this week and made pumpkin bread. I used the Betty Crocker recipe and  BOY, was it bland. I guess I'll try Deb's next... I've had a real problem with calorie counting and my love of Smitten Kitchen... there's simply no nutritional information on her recipes... and that doesn't work well for me right now. So, I've been trying to use allrecipes.com more because they have calories for everything. Shrug. Live and learn.
--- 5 ---
Public Service Announcement: It's the time of year to plant your spring bulbs! I've never done this before, but this weekend we'll be planting hyacinths and allium... spring bulbs that I used to love from our garden in South Bend... 

Side note: our first home was owned by a master gardener and I was able to cut bouquets of flowers all growing season long... I find myself planning my ideal future garden entirely based on what we had in that garden. It was my favorite.
--- 6 ---
With our third kiddo, I'm still a big fan of these. If nothing else, it helps them to "participate" in a family meal, even if they're not eating. Love those baby lolly pops.
--- 7 ---
In the blink of an eye, my trusty MacBook Pro, which still feels like my "new computer" is 3 years and 10 months old... the perfect time to have the battery completely die. It now needs to be plugged in at all times and we're venturing into the land of the (dun dun dun!) 

Family Desk

I've been thinking of getting a family desktop and owning one family laptop since we got our last set of laptops. The reality is that my photo work could use the bigger monitor and extra storage space... and I like the idea of having a printer (lol). So, we'll see! First things first: buy a desk! It will be our first desk in our marriage... imagine that! 8.5 years of marriage to a teacher and we've never owned a desk. Strange.

Happy Friday!

#2: the yellow on the right is the old design, and I LOVE the new design. Brian does not. :)