Friday, June 29, 2012

Back to bolognese

Don't worry, this isn't becoming a 'dog blog.'  Another thing I've been excited about is my new book. Have I mentioned it here yet?? It's Dinner, a Love Story, by the blog of the same name. Find it here

It's part memoir, part cookbook.  I've only made one recipe so far, but I am eager to really dive in.  Glass of wine, Real Housewives on the kitchen TV, and an hour or so to putter in the kitchen, aahhh. 

So what did I make? Lazy Bolognese (see, another cook's lazy is my 'big effort.') Here's the same (or a very similar) recipe in the archives of DALS blog, referred to this time as 'back pocket bolognese.' Don't you just love naming recipes?

Meet Cooper!

Here's the reason I've been an MIA blogger newest member of our family.

He's a total love bug.   Make that love addict. Every morning (This is day 3 1/2) he comes out of his crate crazed with excitement to see me. After he's calmed down, done his 'business' outside and has had breakfast, he is usually pretty chill for the rest of the day.
So far he has been an excellent dog!  It's kept us Rileys really busy, teaching him things, spending a small fortune on gear,  and looking up resources for vets, trainers, and doggie daycare.  (And taking him out frequently to ensure no accidents).  Please send any good tips our way! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Paige is shouting from the rooftops!

To: The World

Subject: Cooper [ a dog]


My family is getting a dog !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am soooooooooooooooo… excited!

This conversation has been going on forever it feels like, and finally it happens [it's going to happen June 26, 2012]

It's so exciting but it's been a very looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time

to wait to get dog, but in the end it pays off. It really does - paige, 7 years old.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Welcoming 40

As one of my girlfriends put it, I've now joined the '40 Club.'

We had a great time at The Cliffs in Shell Beach, although I don't know who the trip was more designed more for, me, or Miss P. The Cliffs is very kid friendly with a full itinerary each day of activities to amuse. Paige had the schedule and a pen and was very into plotting her vacation. 

This did of course allow Ed and I to do an ambitious bike ride, and for me to take advantage of the b-day right to bend his ear with, 'what have I done with my life so far,' soliloquies. Followed by, 'what should I do next,' games.

Hightlights of the trip:

I exercised a ton: biking, hiking, and swimmming!

Lots of laughter with Ed and Miss P; Paige is developing a strong sense of humor and loves to look for the hilarity in everything.

Awesome dinner at Novo in San Luis Obisop. I highly recommmend.

S'mores by the fire pit.

Patient Ed, allowing his girls to spend mulitple hours in the bookstore. I also received this book as a gift.

 Watching Ed and Paige bond in the water, and on dry land playing 'Where's my Water'

Lava flows at Happy Hour.

Participating in our local newspaper's scavenger hunt, and trying to get photos of things like 'a woodens statue' (check), 'a tree twice a wide as a member of the traveling party' (check), etc..

Internet access (sad to say), but it was fun being able to check fb and email on my b-day

And, as always, being happy to get back home!

We are busy trying to get back in the routine of life. Paige has already had another swim meet, where she finally qualified in the breast stroke, and had a personal best in freestyle (despite missing practice all week), : (, we froze our patooties (did I just say that - I'm really 40!) at the swim meet overnighter (which we left at 9:00 p.m.), and we are checking out a potential dog today! I have some new blog ideas rolling around in my head, more to come...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Last glimpses of 39....

As we speak, I'm preparing to leave for a beach trip designed to soften the blow of turning  40!! Yikes.  (May take more than a beach trip.) Anyway, here are some of my last outings as a 30 something. 

Club level at the Giants game! The three of us have been having so much fun together, laughing at inside jokes, and playing games. I don't know about 40, but (almost) 8 is great!

Speaking of 40, (seems to be the theme, here is girlfriend's 40th fete. (Little segway - have I mentioned that 40th b-days are the new 'sweet sixteens' of adulthood?  One of my girlfriends took several friends on a weeklong Mexican cruise. A couple of other girlfriends had trips to N.Y.  Another girlfriend had a wine country getaway weekend with friends, complete with limo. Another friend had a big party at home. This latest event had 30 friends taking a chartered party bus to S.F., stopping at a beach for a sunset toast and cake, and then continuing to a nightclub for a party. So much fun!! I was just glad to come along. : ) Here I am with my bridesmaids - the rare times we all come together are always special.)

Finally, Miss P has won her first two swim meet riboons!
I'm off now! Next time you see me, I'll be FORTY!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chopped Pasta Salad

I love 'build your own' dishes.  The kind where the basic meal is the same, but each diner can add/omit/increase/decrease the ingredients to their liking.  A chopped salad, perfect for lunch or dinner, is an example of such a dish. The dressing is courtesy of Jeff Mauro (The Sandwhich King). I find it is a helpful way to get Paige to eat tomatoes.

Chopped Pasta Salad
12 oz bacon
2 cups piccolini or ditalini pasta, cooked al dente and cooled
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
mixed greens salad
sliced cherry tomatoes
1/2 small red onion

Sweet Italian Dressing (optional)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil

Cook bacon until cripsy and then chop

Combine bacon, pasta, goat cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and red oninons. Add dressing and toss!

Monday, June 11, 2012

First Week!

Schoooooool's out for summah! We packed a lot into the first week.  Maybe it is something to do with the weather, or just adjusting to the change in routine, but I haven't been fitting in time to blog.  Here's a little recap of our highlights (I'll spare you all the work I did in my classroom to close out the year, or what Ed lovingly refers to as 'school scavengar hunt.')

We had a few playdates with close friends, culminating with a movie date on Friday to see Madagascar. The kids loved it, and I'm trying to convince Paige to do 'Afro Circus' as a Halloween costume next year. She is not on board.

Earlier in the week we met my dad in the city for a Giants game.  Not only did Paige bust out all her Giants gear, but she outfitted herself a backpack full of her must-haves for the train.  Behind her 'Puppy Palace' book, I too, have a couple of magazines.  That's how we roll. Giants won!

Thursday we did a girls shopping day to set up Miss P with a summer wardrobe. Great deals at Old Navy. This suit was $9. As we headed to Gymboree to find some longer length shorts (ones that wouldn't disappear under her tops!) I spied this Maxi dress at Gap and made a beeline for it.  It fit perfectly and I now have something to wear on my birthday. Apparently it was voted by bloggers as the #1 item to take on a getaway weekend. I guess I have good taste.

Ed had his last day on Friday and we greeted him with this poster. Summer break is really becoming a reality. It's not all fun and games though. I've been warning pre-loading Paige on her 'summer schedule.'  Besides her 45 minute swim practice three times a week, she must do roughly and hour of reading/writing/math practice a day (read every day, with math and writing alternating) and ride her bike 5 days a week for 30 minutes. The bike riding request might sound crazy, what kid doesn't want to ride their bike? But Paige has a biking aversion. Once she is on the bike and riding, she's fine and even enjoys it, but she is always fearful to begin if she hasn't been for awhile. 

So, that's our week! Has your summer started yet?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Another year complete...

You know that thing that happens, when you have a blog post or two rolling around and formulating in your head? Then something intervenes (sick kid, computer and camera not talking to each other, etc.) and before you know it, you've lost the momentum of those posts?

Yep, that's what happened to me.  End of school year has come and gone. We had our last day ceremony and all the report cards went to the right people. Final gifts were exchanged. (I received a scrapbook with a page from each student. My favorite quote is below!)

Parties were attended and songs were sung.  Now all that is left is cleaning the classroom, which I'm doing in chunks and should be done (if I can ever be done) by tomorrow. I can't believe summer is here!!

Friday, June 1, 2012


After eating everything in sight as I finsh report cards, evidence folders, party plans, and strip my classroom -- AND as I face 40 -- I need this.  Who's with me?

(Perfect timing as it is also the last day of school! I still need to do a few more things next week, but I am very close to being released!)