Friday, August 15, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 39)

August is a big birthday month for our family.  We have my birthday (today), then Stella's birthday tomorrow, and Sly's ten days later.  I wish we were all more spread out throughout the year, so we could celebrate each person better.  It's hard to make the time and effort to throw each of us our own shindig.  And we can't ask Tom's parents and sister to drive out to us two weeks in a row for the kids' parties.  So for as long as I can get away with it, Sly and Stella will continue having combined birthday parties.  So far, no complaints from them!

I admire the fun themed birthday parties some parents throw for their kids - which seem to get increasingly creative and elaborate each year (or maybe it's just the Pinterest effect).  They're fun, kids enjoy them (I think?), and some parents mothers really get a thrill out of planning them.

I find myself somewhere in the middle, though.  It can turn into more stress than its worth, at least if the kids aren't old enough to really appreciate it.  When Sly turned one he had a rubber ducky-themed party, and when he turned three and Stella turned one, they got a Beatrix Potter party (the in-between year was when Stella was just born, so Sly's birthday just got tacked onto Stella's baptism party).  So I decided that unless one of the kids is really itching for a particular party theme, I'm just going to make things easier on myself, and not do one.  I asked Sly what he wanted at his party.  He said, "cake, balloons, and party hats."  Just Good old-fashioned birthday stuff.  And you know what?  That's plenty to make a kid completely happy!

 So the kids' "theme" this year is going to be just that: "Good old-fashioned birthday"!

It will be easy on me, yet still festive.  Colored balloons, two cakes, ice cream, party hats, party blowers, plastic tablecloths, paper plates, maybe pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey (?!).  It will be so uncommon that it will seem like a novel idea, right? 

Anyways, the kids are only turning four and two years old, so it doesn't really matter.  They'll love it no matter what.

Myself, on the other hand, will be turning the big 3-0.  Yikes.  I haven't given much thought to the fact of rolling over another decade.  But something tells me my thirties will fly by much more quickly than my twenties, which seemed to last an eternity.

So do you want to see what we're giving Stella for her birthday?  Because I'm so excited about it!  It's an Ergo doll carrier.  It's even the same fabric as my real Ergo that I use to carry Linus (and Stella herself, sometimes, when she really needs to settle down). 

I have visions of us going out in public with me wearing Linus, and Stella wearing her doll in her little matching carrier....and the crowds just fainting away from the adorable-ness....

I have finally found a foolproof way to make vegetables taste delicious (and not just palatable).  I grew up with a very limited veggie selection.  Pretty much just green beans, peas, and corn (which is really a grain anyways).  I've tried for years to expand my palate and get myself to like more vegetables.  But it's hard to develop the taste for some of them.  I'm fine with most things if they're cooked into a soup, stew, or casserole.  But most days, a big ol pile of soggy (i.e. boiled or steamed) veggies as a "side dish" is just not appetizing to me. 

But I've discovered roasting them.  I just cut up some veggies (whatever I have in the house - beans, broccoli, onions, brussels sprouts, peppers, mushrooms, etc.), mix them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices of my choosing.  Then I stick them in a 450° oven for 15-20 minutes.  Absolutely amazing every time!

The trays of vegetables are in the background.  The vat of olive oil and the pound and a half of bacon were for another portion of the deliciously fatty meal I was cooking ;-)

I found this down in the basement the other day.  Just in case I wasn't sure who it was that transferred most of the cat's food to the water dish, the culprit helpfully left some evidence at the scene of the crime...

Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary


  1. Happy birthday! :)

  2. Happy birthday!!
    I love the mini-ergo! Its the same color I have too :-)

  3. Happy birthday!!! I love themed parties too, but not enough to throw any - I like to focus more on food than anything else, because I like being able to eat party leftovers for a while ;) We usually just do a big old backyard bbq for any party we have, except the girls all have winter birthdays so it doesn't work for them, obviously :P But yeah, there are no crafts and no decorations besides balloons, and everyone always has a great time! I do wish *a little* that we had planned our birthdays a little better, because we'll have a triple birthday in November and that would be AWESOME in the summer because we could just do a gigantic party with a moon bounce... But alas, November is usually not moon bounce weather!

    1. Planning a party with lots of food can be a little stressful, but you're totally right about party leftovers! Sometimes you can live off those for almost a week :-) That backfired once, though, when we had a huge potluck-style Mardi Gras party, and were left with HUGE amounts of leftover food, most of which we had given up for Lent!

  4. Happy Birthday and Welcome to 30! What a lovely day for a birthday.

    We love roasted veggies here. Our favorites are sweet potato, acorn squash, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. I haven't tried most of your veggies yet though. Mostly we grill our summer vegetables but it's good to know we can still roast those in the winter as well.

  5. I'm a little late, but... Happy Birthday!
    I have to agree with you on roasted veggies!! I could eat roasted broccoli or cauliflower every day. And my kids love roasted sweet potatoes, squash, and kale (not all mixed together ;) )