Lynn
I Want An E-Reader!

I have actually wanted one from the first mention they existed.  My mouth salivated at the thought of 100's of books in one tiny case, my spine tingled at anticipation of technology that would enhance my literary world.

I am a crazy reader!  Which does not mean, hey I read a lot of books, it means I read EVERYTHING!  I read like fat dogs eat scraps or plants need oxygen.  It's my top of the line, life long addiction and there is no cure.  Don't even get me started on cookbooks!  Are you kidding me, food and the written word together is the best possible combination.  The e-reader concept is perfect for someone like me to get their fix without opening their own in home library.  

Seriously, when I go on vacation I take a shopping bag of magazines, books, and puzzle books.  Even then I run out part way through the trip.  I'm not reading 24/7, I just happen to be a very fast reader and when opportunity arises I get through a lot of material.  I get laughed at, mocked, and sometimes even condemned for my love of books.  People who don't read much or who don't enjoy literary pursuits think it's just boring old junk.  I don't care what they say, I know that reading has served me well in my life and I enjoy it.


My problem is this......which one is the right one for me?  I have this problem every time I decide to make a big purchase.  I always fear buyers remorse, you know bringing home something and then finding out something else would have been better, it makes buying really difficult.  One might call this affliction kicking your own arse.  The funny this is I have no desire to keep up with the Joneses, that would make the decision simple, buy expensive.  I simply want the one that is best suited to me. I am not one to buy something and trade up, most often it's first time better last a long time.  This is the reason I still don't have front loading laundry machines (well that and funds ;) ).  

I have read reviews, gotten feedback at the bookstores, and now friends are purchasing e-readers themselves.  I can say I was half tempted to tuck my girlfriend's Kindle under my shirt and head home after touching it's techno-prettiness but I'm simply not suited to a life of crime, even for my book loving cause.   I know she loves it, even enough to purchase another for a family member, but would I love it as much? I just don't know.


You know what I want?  A list.  I want a literal checklist of every single option available on the various units and what options they lack.  A side by side, check mark for check mark comparison of all these bundles of book love.  If anyone has ever seen such a list, please send it to me, it would help so much!  

One day I will own an e-reader but it won't replace books entirely.  Some things still need to be bound and covered, it's just the way it is.....at least in my world.

Have a fabulous day.......with a book LOL!
God Bless,



Lynn
Wordless Wednesday

Winter

Ice Rink





Brrrr!

Lynn
Virtual Coffee Tuesday



Is it really Tuesday?  I keep thinking it's Friday, but thus is the life of a shift workers wife.  One day I will actually know what day it is without the aid of my calendar or my iPhone!  I am so glad you could stop by for coffee with me today.

The first thing you will notice is that I'm not drinking coffee.  I feel a bit of a sham attending Virtual Coffee Tuesday with tea in hand but it's sooooo good!  Today I'm drinking Sweet Orange Spice by Tea Forte which was a gift from a dear friend.  I hadn't heard of this brand before (amazing I know), but I love everything about it.  The taste is smooth and look at the little pyramid style tea bags in the picture above, so cute!  What can I say, I've fallen in love again!

You will also notice the sound of a Vick's Nyquil commercial coming from the other room even though the television isn't on.  Unfortunately my little guys have been attacked by the late winter virus season.  It was bound to happen really, as every single oxygen breathing individual we meet seems to be drowning in their own head while coughing up their internal air balloons.  Ah well, this too shall pass (and a few little treats will bring on a smile or two).

I've had a busy week by my standards as hubby was home and it seemed we were always on the run.  I had the pleasure of meeting up with my book club for our late Christmas gathering and it was a blast (this is where I acquired the lovely tea).  We get together for Christmas, for a restaurant festival in the summer (where you get samples of dishes from over 20 restaurants while you walk around outdoors listening to live entertainment) and a few other times for pizza and such.  Of course we still see each other for tea or shopping individually, but these are our main group gatherings each year.  

The people are fantastic, all endearing and interesting in their own way. I honestly couldn't say enough good things about this fine group.  It's such a treat to relax with good friends, good food, a glass of wine and discuss everything / anything that strikes our fancy.  Our conversations are so diverse with literature, politics, history, humor, travel and everything else in between.  Our meetings energize me and remind me that even though I am a SAHM who is submersed in the mothering realm I am also a cerebral being. Sometimes I need that little reminder because it's all to easy to forget about that part of myself.   Did I mention that our gatherings often result in some fantabulous recipes as well?  I am eagerly awaiting the recipe for curried beef pockets that we had this time, and I was told they were actually done with buffalo.  DELICIOUS!

Aside from that, I am trying to get organized for my son's birthday which is a task in itself.  He wants to do laser tag, so off I go to get a price list and make invitations.  Tonight I will decide on the date and he can decide on the guest list if he's feeling up to it.  Hopefully I will get a chance to finish watching Downton Abbey uninterrupted before Friday.  I have been trying to watch it for weeks but something always seems to come up.  Funny the same thing happens when I want to read a good book, unless I am page turning after the kiddos are in bed.

Anyway, I hope you've had a great week and if you have time to share your own Virtual Coffee, meet me at:

Photobucket

I would love to hear all about it!

Have A Great Day!
 God Bless!
Lynn
Goodbye winter blahs, today has been awesome!  I feel so blessed that even though the weather has been iffy, I have had so many reasons to smile:

Today
A nice relaxing day at home with my family.  Nothing extraordinary, no one special thing to make today stand out.  Just an overwhelming feeling of peaceful contentment.

Yesterday

Finally my boys agreed to a haircut!  I know this seems like no big deal but in our house this is huge!  B has sensory issues so any attempt at a haircut without consent is chaos.  It goes without saying that little brother J goes along with anything B says.  Here are the before shots, look at how much hair is sticking out of that hat!

After driving 20 minutes to the children's only hair salon where fun and haircuts meet:

This Week

Arriving at the Science centre only to discover that Narnia the Exhibition has arrived!  We LOVE the series and the subsequent movies so this was super huge for us.  Authentic costumes, props, information, it was fantastic.  I only wish it had been bigger and longer because we couldn't get enough!

Time With Friends

I was very fortunate to spend time with some of my dearest friends over this last week.  Winter comes with a million viruses that always seem to interfere with play dates and dinner nights but I got lucky for the most part.  I had a lovely time dining, relaxing, and catching up with some VIPS ;)  I am so blessed to have really wonderful people in my life.  I only hope I give as much to them as they give to me.



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Lynn
Wordless Thursday, Because My Photos Wouldn't Upload Properly Wednesday (and I was watching Chronicles of Narnia - Voyage of the Dawn Treader instead of fixing it!).

My Poor Deceased Socks (Focus on socks not fat ankles LOL)


Frogs Playing Darts, Not Dart Frogs


What I See Whenever I Sit In The Upstairs Bathroom


The Reason I Breathe



Lynn
When I think of my childhood so many random memories spring to mind.  I love how a smell, a song, or a phrase will pull me right back into a warm fuzzy moment from years past.  I think it's wildly cool that some of the things I remember as a wee girl are surfacing again for the new generations or have transitioned with me through the phases of time.  Here are a few things that give me the warm fuzzies:

I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke - 70's Hilltop Sing Song Advert



Kool Aid Commercial


School House Rock


Hanker For A Hunka Cheese


Dr. Pepper


Lip Smackers Lip Gloss
Do you remember the super giant sized ones?  I swear they were like the size of a toilet paper roll, and everyone had one!

Mojos Candy
Banana was my favorite!  I actually stole one from the drug store when I was about 7 and felt so guilty I had to go back and pay for it to ease my mind LOL!  

Speak and Spell and The Little Professor
I LOVED these things! Maybe this was the start of my fascination with typing ;)

Super Star Barbie
I thought she was the most glamorous thing I had ever seen!  I married her to my Ken in the blue and orange jumper with orange sunglasses, they were perfect together!

Free To Be You And Me
I remember getting so excited to watch this in school.  We got it at least once a year in grade school music class as a 'free' day.  The other movie day was always Mary Poppins.

So there you have it, a few ditties from my early years that I will never forget.  What childhood goodies stand out in your mind?




Lynn
The Laziest Pizza Recipe Ever!

   
I love recipes that are quick, cheap, and versatile.  If I can make it sneaky healthy, all the better!  So without further ado, here is one of our staple, go to, speed meals we call the laziest pizza recipe ever!  I'm sure a lot of you already pull together your own versions of this from time to time, but it never hurts to be reminded of a good thing.

Ingredients:
Crust - We like whole wheat pitas or garlic naan bread best, but you can also do smaller versions with bagels or english muffins.  It's all good, really!

Sauce - We used squeezed ready made sauce today but you can substitute with homemade marinara if you have some handy in the fridge or freezer.  If you want to really health it up go ahead and add some pureed veggies to the sauce, it just adds flavor and no one has to know ;)  Making your own sauce is also a good way to track the sodium intake.  So anytime you are making your own pasta sauce, freeze a little extra for speedy meals like this.

Toppings - Anything your little ol heart desires!  One of the great things about this meal is that you can customize for each person you serve.  My kids are in the picky phase (or should I say one is and one is pretending he is), so they go basic with sauce, cheese, and occasionally meat.  Okay don't go crazy on me, I know wieners are not to be classed as real meat.  We were in a hurry and they were there, so animal leftover bits and nitrites it is.  I'm not thrilled about it but whatever, food in, grumpy out. ;)  

The best is roasted chicken in my opinion (off your roasted bird, not the preservative laden stuff at the store if possible because it tastes so much better fresh cooked!).  Again when you roast a bird or bake a ham, throw some extra in a baggy for stuff like this! Myself I like it all, especially black olives which I didn't have today *sniff*.  You will notice that the can of mushrooms in my picture is low sodium, don't be fooled.  Even low sodium canned goods are packed with the stuff, so give it a rinse first and wash away that salty nastiness LOL!

Cheese - You can use so many different kinds of cheese, but we love something with some stretch to it.  Shredded cheese like we used today is faster, but buying block cheese is much cheaper and stays fresher longer.

Step 1

Slice up your meat or meat by-product of choice. LOL

Step 2

Slather on that sauce!  Don't be shy, slap that stuff on, leave nothing exposed.

Step 3
Get those toppings on!  Yes it's true my pizzas are in pie pans because most of my cookie sheets were in the dishwasher, don't judge me LOL!

Step 4
Cheese of course!  You can go as heavy or as lightly as you wish, it's all good.  As you can tell we looove our cheese ;)

Step 5
Into the oven it goes!  15 min at 350 then broil for 3 min on low.  You can also do these in a counter top toaster oven or convection oven but keep a close eye because they cook much faster.  Closer to the element means easier to burn!

Voila pizza is ready!  Mine is a little crispier than usual after it sat for an extra few minutes while I sorted a boy  on boy dispute!

I hope you enjoy this little goodie as much as we do.  As a side note, we sometimes make lunch part of a theme day involving the kids in the cooking process.  These pizzas are excellent for younger cooks and pretty much no fail.  My kids aren't old enough for the oven, so I do that part but otherwise the creating is a lot of fun!  Here are a few things we would include if we made this a theme meal:

A game is always a good way to learn, so our choice for this would probably be Fractions Supreme by Discovery Toys.  My son isn't a huge fan of math, but somehow if it's game related it's all good.  I like that the pizza fractions are true to life pictures allowing the kids to mingle math with real world experiences.  Warning if you don't eat first, this game induces hunger!

As always a good story nourishes the mind.  One we like is Dragon's Don't Cook Pizza which is part of a series called The Adventures Of  The Bailey School Kids.  We borrowed it from the library once, but when I went to see if I could get it from Amazon it appears it's all sold out at this time.  It was carried by Scholastic originally, so if your kiddies are in public school or if your homeschool board has access to Scholastic book sales you might be able to grab it there if it's still available.  I am always one step too late LOL!

Finally, making pizza pictures is fun!  String makes awesome cheese if cut into tiny strips and you can totally play with buttons and other baubles for toppings.  Toss it up a bit and make alien pizzas with green sauce for something different! Give it a few googlie eyes or other funny trinkets and tada a pizza only a Martian could love.  Imagination rules!


Lynn
Greek Penne Pasta

This recipe rocks!  I found this little ditty on the Weight Watchers Canada website a while back and it has become a family favorite.  One of the easiest and healthiest things you could ever make!  I just realized the feta is missing from the picture above, oops LOL!

 Ingredients:

12 oz Uncooked Penne Pasta (I use whole wheat for more flavor and nutrition but white works too).
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp Minced Garlic
10 oz Chopped Frozen Spinach, Thawed
1lb Plum Tomatoes, Chopped
4 oz Feta Cheese, Crumbled (both seasoned and unseasoned work well).
2/3 oz Pine Nuts (about 2 Tbsp)
6 Medium Olives (or more if you wish). 

Instructions: 

Cook pasta according to directions (without butter or oil), drain and set aside.  If necessary cover to keep warm.

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray (can go without, I do).  Add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat until oil sizzles.  Add pine nuts and garlic.  Cook and stir (important!) until pine nuts are golden brown,  about 3 minutes (happens very quickly do not turn away!).  I meant to get a picture but accidentally hit record and missed it LOL!  You seriously have to watch the nuts and garlic as it can overcook very quickly! Stir in spinach and tomatoes and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.


Add spinach mixture to pasta and toss until combined.  Add feta and olives.  

Mix together to combine flavors and voila, you have a masterpiece for the mouth!

Yields about 1 1/2 Cups per serving.  For those who are interested each serving is 5 WW points.