the little sister

September 30, 2012 § 3 Comments

Today I was reminded of how wonderful my daughter Sophie is and what a special place she has in our family as the little sister. Soph is sweet, shy, smart and silly; she’s a pistol, a crack-up, a kook, an actress, a troublemaker and a cuddler. She loves music and jokes and books and drawing. She loves her big sister Bella with all her heart, and her role as Bella’s little sister defines them both. We love the movie “White Christmas,” and when Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen start in on, “Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters” my girls can’t help but sing along.

Sophie has a hard road sometimes, not always able to keep up or do everything as well. She’s had to spend a lot of time watching and waiting while Bella leads the way. But give her time, because I know that one day there are so many things she will be able to do even better. In our family, we read the picture book Big Sister, Little Sister by LeUyen Pham, a little sister herself. Sophie’s favorite part is the end when it says: “My sister is very good at being the Big Sister. But I’ll always be better than her at being a Little Sister.”

Yes it’s a tough job to be the little sister, but Sophie’s a perfect one to do it. And she has a big sister that loves her more than anything; to have someone like that in your corner has to feel comforting and empowering. I just know that spunky, beautiful, amazing little sister Sophie will change the world – and lucky me, I get to watch.

asian salad

September 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last week for our school’s staff appreciation luncheon the theme was salads, and I had the perfect recipe. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE salad and that it’s one of my favorite foods. My girls also know it, and in first grade Bella made sure to tell her teacher this on a school report. (Of course, to be fully forthcoming, she also reported that my favorite drink is wine – a proud parenting moment to be sure!) This asian salad recipe came to me from my friend Stacy and is a wonderful combination of sweet and savory; and the crunchy topping – a mix of uncooked ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds – gives great texture. It is the perfect addition to any salad-making repertoire, and I love surprising people with its unique and delicious taste.

Asian Salad

1 whole shredded green cabbage
chopped spinach (about 6 ounces)
chopped green onion

2 packages oriental flavored ramen noodles (mashed)
1 pack of dry oriental seasoning from ramen noodles
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons butter (melted)

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Combine cabbage, spinach and green onions in salad bowl. For topping, mix together 2 packages of uncooked ramen noodles (I break mine up with a wooden spoon before opening package), 1 pack of the dry seasoning mix that comes with the noodles, the sesame seeds, and the sliced and slivered almonds. Melt butter and pour over mixture. Broil in the oven on a cookie sheet until toasted. Add toasted topping to lettuces, coat with dressing and mix well.

washi tape

September 13, 2012 § 3 Comments

With my girls back in school, I’m starting to find more time for myself and am happy to be able to craft. Last week I visited one of my favorite stores, Ben Franklin Crafts, to scout out the cool new supplies that had filled the shelves over the summer. The most noticeable addition was washi tape, something that was already on my radar but that I can never have enough of. Washi tape is made of Japanese paper and is similar to masking tape, but much more beautiful. I’ve been using it for a while to embellish cards and tags and to pretty up wrapped packages. I love stacking a few tapes, like layers of a cake, to decorate a birthday card or cutting smaller pieces into little flags. Washi tape used to be hard to find but now it’s everywhere, so try some the next time you need a little crafting pick me up. These tiny tapes make a big impact.

picking blackberries

September 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

Right now, all the blackberry bushes around here are covered with ripe berries, and the whole town it seems comes out to gather a few. Last year we were able to pick berries from the bushes in our neighborhood all the way through the fall; it was so much fun for the girls, and I loved all the sweet pictures I got. Today my dad and brother are visiting so we went on a nature walk and picked some berries along the way. I’m looking forward to making a berry crisp tomorrow after a day of sightseeing – just another little thing to love!

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