Every six months . . .
F (AGE 10.5)
FAVORITE COLOR - Blue, that will never change
FAVORITE BOOK - The Mother Daughter Bookclub series; When You Reach Me; Green Glass House; Goodbye Stranger
FAVORITE SUBJECT AT SCHOOL (just finished 4th grade) - History/VA studies; writing and reading
FAVORITE SONG - Can't Stop The Feeling; Work From Home (5th Harmony); Uptown Funk
FAVORITE FOOD - Steak; french fries; "I'll pretty much eat anything once, except onions and tomatoes."
FAVORITE MOVIE - Adventures in Babysitting (the original); Mrs. Doubtfire; Overboard; Zootopia
FAVORITE TV SHOW - Malcom in the Middle; Best Friends Whenever
FAVORITE TOY/GAME - The Hopscotch app; iMovie
WHAT ARE YOU SAVING YOUR ALLOWANCE FOR? - Nothing, I like to spend my money on candy and weird bets
FAMOUS PERSON YOU'D LIKE TO MEET - Malala
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? - I already am what I want to be when I grow up - an author
BEST FRIEND - I have a lot of really good friends
FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A FAMILY - Sometimes family game night; movie nights when the kids pick; I love traveling together
FAVORITE PLACE TO GO AS A FAMILY - Europe
FAVORITE THING TO DO AFTER SCHOOL - Introvert
FAVORITE GAME TO PLAY WITH P - Musicly when we agree
FAVORITE GAME TO PLAY WITH T - He's fun to have around, I give him piggy back rides
DREAM VACATION - We've gone everywhere I can think of. Maybe Australia?
FAVORITE MUSEUM - Natural History
FAVORITE SEASON - Fall because of my birthday and Thanksgiving. Fall's a good season for food.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS SUMMER? - Visit friends in Denver; make ice cream
FAVORITE MEMORY FROM THIS WINTER/SPRING - The blizzard was awesome, even though you seemed stressed at the end
FAVORITE SPORT - Soccer, soccer, and more soccer. and basketball.
P (AGE 9.5)
FAVORITE COLOR - Turquoise
FAVORITE BOOK - Holes
FAVORITE SUBJECT AT SCHOOL - reading, math
FAVORITE SONG - Try by Pink; Cheap Thrills by Sia; Lose Yourself by Eminem; Eye of the Tiger
FAVORITE FOOD - Tacos; apple pie; bee sting cake; ice cream
FAVORITE MOVIE - Adventures in Babysitting (the original); 10 Things I Hate About You; Read It and Weep
FAVORITE TV SHOW - Bunk'd, Malcom in the Middle
FAVORITE TOY/GAME - Sphero, Musicly
WHAT ARE YOU SAVING YOUR ALLOWANCE FOR? - An iPad mini
FAMOUS PERSON YOU'D LIKE TO MEET - Katy Perry
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? - Video game designer; interior designer
BEST FRIEND - Laney
FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A FAMILY - Go on vacation
FAVORITE PLACE TO GO AS A FAMILY - Paris
FAVORITE THING TO DO AFTER SCHOOL - Playdates
FAVORITE GAME TO PLAY WITH F - I play with her a lot - legos, card games. We like to Musicly together.
FAVORITE GAME TO PLAY WITH T - Catch
DREAM VACATION - Hawaii
FAVORITE MUSEUM - Natural History
FAVORITE SEASON - Fall because of the colors and Halloween; plus the weather is always perfect in fall
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS SUMMER? - Go on vacation; have sleepovers; have fun
FAVORITE MEMORY FROM THIS WINTER/SPRING - Snowboarding and sledding; Busch Gardens
FAVORITE SPORT - Soccer
T (AGE 7)
FAVORITE COLOR - Blue
FAVORITE BOOK - Ninjago; Elephant and Piggie; Henry and Mudge
FAVORITE SUBJECT AT SCHOOL (just finished 1st grade) - Read; game day
FAVORITE SONG - Shut Up and Dance; I Love It; Coco Got Run Over By a Reindeer "I made the last song up"
FAVORITE FOOD - Yogurt, tomatoes, applesauce, hot dogs, chicken drumsticks (only the drumsticks)
FAVORITE MOVIE - The Magnificent 7
FAVORITE TV SHOW - Bunk'd
FAVORITE TOY/GAME - Coco
WHAT ARE YOU SAVING YOUR ALLOWANCE FOR? - Gift shops
FAMOUS PERSON YOU'D LIKE TO MEET - Walk the Moon
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? - Journalist and author
BEST FRIEND - Coco
FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A FAMILY - Family movie night
FAVORITE PLACE TO GO AS A FAMILY - Awesome family vacations
FAVORITE THING TO DO AFTER SCHOOL - Fort building; playdates; the pool
FAVORITE GAME TO PLAY WITH F - Watch TV together
FAVORITE GAME TO PLAY WITH P - Read books together or hear P yell at everyone
DREAM VACATION - The arctic to meet polar bears
FAVORITE MUSEUM - The Museum of Crime and Punishment
FAVORITE SEASON - June because school ends
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS SUMMER? - Go to Meowwolf in Santa Fe
FAVORITE MEMORY FROM THIS WINTER/SPRING - I can't remember a lot - I guess sledding, sleepovers, the beach house and the beach
FAVORITE SPORT - Soccer
1. Grease - For better or worse, this is pretty much the classic summer movie. How many times have I heard "Summer Loving" in my life? Probably too many. (Rating PG; common sense media rating 12+)
2. Jurassic Park - Netflix just added the whole Jurassic trilogy to streaming. And summer movies are often over-the-top blockbusters, so cuddle in your couch and prepare to hide under blankets. (Rating PG-13; common sense media rating 12+)
3. Holes - Because summer is about digging for (maybe finding?) buried treasure (PG; common sense media rating 10+).
4. The 7 Year Itch - Every summer needs a classic. And Marilyn Monroe. (NR; common sense media rating 11+)
5. Adventureland - This is probably my favorite summer movie ever. It's about a group of kids working at a low-tier amusement park together. And there's a love story. And it's funny. But some scenes are a little risqué for kids. (R; common sense media rating 16+)
6. What's Eating Gilbert Grape - Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio star in this small town coming of age film, which will make you cry (but in a good way). (PG-13; common sense media rating 14+).
7. Back to the Future - Because Marty McFly is awesome and he just arrived on Netflix streaming. (PG; common sense media rating 10+)
8. 50 First Dates - Watch Drew Barrymore fall in love over and over again. (PG-13; common sense media rating 14+)
9. Addams Family Values - Wednesday goes to camp. (PG-13; common sense media rating 14+).
10. The Endless Summer - Because surfing. Lots and lots of surfing. (NR; no common sense media rating).
[Disclaimer- I receive compensation for posting about Netflix, but I decide what I want to write about and what I want to say.]
The last few weeks/months our meals have been embarrassingly lazy and I debated whether or not to post a meal plan. But (odd as it may sound) these food posts have become a diary of sorts, so i figured I'd share the good times and the really-you-ate-that-for-dinner? times. Because sometimes lazy meals mean a great life.
On the upside, we had a Chipotle picnic at Hains Point (photographed above), which I thought was the perfect way to bond as a family. But everyone else seems to prefer eating at home. Sadness. Oh well, we'll celebrate golden hour one way or another, just maybe not with food :)
MONDAY - Cilantro lime grilled chicken thighs (recipe via FoodieCrush, link via Not-So-SAHM). I'm mixed on this one, I love cilantro but the honey in the marinade made this a little too sweet for my taste.
TUESDAY - Dinner out with friends; hot dogs for the kids and Dan
WEDNESDAY - Dinner at the Edward Sharpe concert (carry out Taylor Gourmet); mac and cheese for the kids
THURSDAY - Quinoa tomato/cucumber/arugula salad (recipe here); pierogies for the kids.
FRIDAY - Dinner out in Charlottesville (sangria and tacos!) before the Josh Ritter concert. My in-laws feed the kids (THANK YOU!).
SATURDAY - Beach vacation with friends, all we are responsible for is breakfast on Sunday (yay for big groups of awesome!!)
SUNDAY - Beach vacation with friends, Jenny's shrimp boil.
MONDAY - Beach vacation with friends, Megan's tacos.
TUESDAY - Beach vacation with friends, leftovers.
WEDNESDAY - Dinner out in Nags Head (yum, fried green tomatoes).
THURSDAY - Chick-fil-a on the drive home.
FRIDAY - Quinoa tomato/cucumber/arugula salad (recipe here); mac and cheese for the kids.
SATURDAY - Jenny and Paras in town - flank steaks on the grill with chimichuri sauce (via It's All Good). Hot dogs for the kids. Watermelon salad (via vervlogen) without the feta.
SUNDAY - Sheet pan chicken tikka (via Smitten Kitchen). This has turned into a go-to recipe.
MONDAY - Pasta with eggplant spaghetti sauce (via Food 52: Genius Recipes). I love this sauce, absolutely love. (Though the kids still like plain marinara).
TUESDAY - Dinner at the Lord Huron concert (carry out Taylor Gourmet), the kids have pasta at home.
WEDNESDAY - Bacon, avocado, almond butter sandwiches (via It's All Easy). The kids opt for grilled cheese.
THURSDAY - Dinner at Silver Diner for T's birthday.
FRIDAY - Dinner at the Awesome Workshop (Dan feeds the kids).
SATURDAY - Dinner at the Awesome Workshop (Dan feeds the kids).
SUNDAY - Leftovers from the Awesome Workshop.
MONDAY - Chipotle picnic at Hains Point
TUESDAY - Quinoa tomato/cucumber/arugula salad (recipe here); mac and cheese for the kids.
WEDNESDAY - Black bean nachos (yes, super lazy).
THURSDAY - Dan grills chicken (yum!)
FRIDAY - Make your own pizza night (using Trader Joe's premade dough). This worked perfect as the girls both has friends over and this is an easy way to feed (and entertain) a group of kids.
SATURDAY - I have a photoshoot, Dan picks up carry out hogies for everyone.
SUNDAY - Fathers' Day dinner at William Jeffrey's.
MONDAY - I have a photoshoot; Dan makes dinner for him and the kids.
TUESDAY - Friends over for dinner (belated Father's Day meal) - rosemary lamb chomps from Trader Joe's with sweet and sticky tomato onion bake (recipe here).
WEDNESDAY - The Cure concert at Merriweather Post, so I make Bon Appetit's broccoli quinoa salad with pistachios (via Bon Appetite) for a super early dinner; kids eat mac and cheese.
THURSDAY - I know this is super lazy, but just spaghetti because I am exhausted.
FRIDAY - Our annual summer solstice/last day of school block party; Dan makes venison gumbo.
SATURDAY - Dan's parents for dinner - Dan grills chicken, hot dogs and sausages. I make a simple salad.
SUNDAY - More bbq on the grill with roasted veggies too.
MONDAY - Paul Simon at Wolftrap; pizza for the kids; Taylor Gourmet take out for us.
TUESDAY - Carnitas in the slow cooker for tacos.
WEDNESDAY - Spinach/walnut/basil pesto with zucchini noodles (via It's All Easy).
THURSDAY - Dinner out with Shannon at Chaplins. Make your own pizza night for Dan and the kids.
FRIDAY - Flank steaks on the grill with chimichuri sauce (via It's All Good).
SATURDAY - BBQ at a friends' house.
SUNDAY - Dan smokes chicken and salmon. YUM!
MONDAY - Dan makes grilled corn, leftover smoked fish/chicken, and blueberry cobbler for a very rainy 4th of July. Awesomeness!
TUESDAY - Huge salad, french fries, and more leftover smoked salmon and chicken.
WEDNESDAY - Bob Dylan at Wolftrap; Taylor Gourmet take out for us; mac and cheese for the kids.
THURSDAY - Dinner out with friends at Pepita Cantina. Spaghetti for the kids and Dan.
FRIDAY - I have to work (real estate photos), Dan makes the kids spaghetti (yes, two nights in a row, I think we're ready for vacation).
SATURDAY - Flank steaks on the grill with chimichuri sauce (via It's All Good). This appears to be our go-to recipe this summer.
SUNDAY - Leave for vacation, dinner on the road!
HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!! Don't forget to check out this week's awesome on Cherish This Day!
* Goop's quick, three day summer detox.
* 33 of the best documentaries on netflix streaming.
* Doesn't a watermelon margarita sound fabulous right now?
* No food is healthy, not even kale. YES!! Please read this!
* The best pool floats 2016.
* Easiest summer dinner ever. I so want to eat this right now.
* How cute are these shoes? I want every pair.
* 15 minute, 4 ingredient dinner, 0 pot dinner. Yum!
1. The Romanovs: 1613 - 1918 - On the way back from NYC, I listened to an interview with the author on NPR and was immediately entranced. According to Antony Beevor's review, this is "[a] story of conspiracy, drunken coups, assassination, torture, impaling, breaking on the wheel, lethal floggings with the knout, sexual and alcoholic excess, charlatans and pretenders, flamboyant wealth based on a grinding serfdom, and, not surprisingly, a vicious cycle of repression and revolt. Game of Thrones seems like the proverbial vicar's tea party in comparison."
2. The Girls - The New Yorker gave The Girls, Emma Cline's first novel, a huge write up. The book takes place in Northern California at the end of the 1960s and centers on a teenage girl's obsession with a Charles-Manson-like cult.
Apparently the characters, at times, seem a little removed (according to the review, "Cline has a habit of reaching for glamorous phrases, even if the glamour blinds the meaning. When she writes that 'the air was candied with silence' or that Evie’s father’s breath was 'notched with liquor,' she evokes little, except an anxiety to be stylish), but the writing is amazing.
3. Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer - I always have mixed feelings about Arbus's amazing, but oh so creepy photographs. I think I prefer happier things (or, I believe, that life really is mostly happy). But this biography sounds fascinating.
For example, Arbus "once said that she had sex with any man who asked for it, and described a pool party at which she worked through the various men, one after the next, as if they were canapés." According to the New Yorke article, "[w]hat’s remarkable is that such liberty extended to her pictures. An orgy counted as work and leisure alike. Look at a contact sheet of young lovers, a black man and a white woman, from 1966, and you notice that the naked figure sprawled across him, in frame five, is Arbus."
4. The Little Red Chairs - Edna O'Brien has been written a lot of great books, but several critics are calling this her masterpiece. The novel centers on a small Irish town learning that a notorious war criminal and mass murderer is living among them.
5. Before the Fall - I learned about Before the Fall through the Book of the Month website. Judge Liberty Hardy summarizes the plot:"[o]n a foggy summer night, a small private plane departs Martha's Vineyard bound for New York City. Sixteen minutes later, the plane is in the ocean. Nine lives are lost. The only survivors are a four-year-old boy, now the sole heir to a huge fortune, and a down-on-his luck painter named Scott. Immediately, there are questions: What caused the crash? How did a poor artist end up on the private plane of a wealthy media mogul? Does he know what caused the crash? Did he cause the crash?"
6. Another Brooklyn - Jacqueline Woodson is one of F's favorite young adult authors, so when I learned she recently wrote an adult novel about childhood friendships, I knew I had to read it.
7. The Nest - Another Book of the Month club recommendation the Book of the Month website. Judge Ellie Kemper describes the Nest as a book that "does not meander gently through the paths of four troubled siblings and their various problems; it flies." Kemper goes on to rave, "I apologize for the bird pun in the very first sentence of this review, but what can I say? I'm giddy. I could not put this book down. The Plumb family is a messed-up, dysfunctional, self-obsessed unit full of messed-up dysfunctional, self-obsessed members – much like your family or mine. What makes their journey a delight to read is the way that Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney seamlessly and artfully weaves their stories together."
8. My Family & Other Animals - I learned about this memoir through Miss Moss, as the story was recently adapted as a TV show (doesn't it look awesome)? The book tells the story of a family who moves from Britain to Corfu, Greece in the 1930s. And nothing says summer like a book about Greek island life.
9. Sex Object, A Memoir - I'm on a feminist reading kick lately, so this seems right up my alley. "A memoir that Publishers Weekly calls “bold and unflinching,” Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes on women’s lives, from the everyday to the existential. From subway gropings and imposter syndrome to sexual awakenings and motherhood, Sex Object reveals the painful, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti’s adolescence and young adulthood in New York City."
10. The Tin Drum - Because this is the classic novel that Gunter Grass basically won a Nobel Prize for and I haven't read it.