Friday, January 31, 2020

#girldad







I think Kobe Bryant’s death hit most people hard in its suddenness and the fact that his young daughter was with him, compounded the tragedy.  Also, it is well documented that he had an amazing and supportive relationship with this oldest daughter and they were in fact going to her basketball
practice, which he was involved in coaching.

We have two daughters and from the minute they were born, my husband has shown that he too is an amazing girl dad.  There was no wishing for a boy or gender roles being played out.  They were just as likely to be serving him tea at a tea party, as playing basketball in the driveway or hockey at the back yard pond. They went water and snow skiing together, took crazy rides on our jet ski and threw the football around in the yard.

He attended every sporting event and while they didn’t participate in the most macho of sports, he cheered them on in gymnastics, diving and pompon with enthusiasm and support.  Golf is something our whole family shares and he was so proud when Megan shot her best score at her high school state golf tournament.  He coached CYO basketball for Melissa at one point and while it was clear it wasn’t her thing, she was proud to have her Dad as the coach.

It’s so important for girls and their confidence to have a strong father and to feel that unconditional love.  At Megan’s wedding, in my husband’s father of the bride speech, he shared how every night before the girls went to sleep, he told them “ you’re pretty, you’re strong and you’re smart and I love you with all my heart”. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Volunteering




In Michigan, I lived in a tight knit community with many opportunities to volunteer.  It was the norm and I even have a good friend who started a non profit when she saw a need.  I was involved in my daughter’s parochial school activities from room parent to brownie leader.  I designed and sewed costumes for school musicals and served on boards and committees from elementary to high school level.  Even my last job had a element of volunteerism in recruiting and scheduling workers for a city wide festival.

Now in Florida, I feel like I haven’t missed a beat.  I live in a new development with an active HOA and I have gotten very involved.  But it is landscaping related, which I am passionate about, so I do enjoy it.  The city I live in is somewhat small and by also volunteering for a hard working landscape group, I have met great people and feel really connected to the area, even after living here only a short time.

After retirement (early for us) there is a period of finding your way in a new normal.  You do need time for yourself, but there are a lot of hours in the week to fill and as long as I get my golf and yoga in, there is time available.  Volunteering is rewarding and really there is something out there for everyone.  Communities need volunteers and I find those who get involved to be the best kind of people.

My husband told me the other day that I was working way too hard on a volunteer job.  But, isn’t there a saying - do what you love and it’s not work.  That’s me right now.

Happy Thursday!


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Empty the Fridge Fried Rice





I love fried rice, but I have never attempted to make it myself.  There was some leftover rice in my refrigerator from the gumbo I made over the weekend (make my recipe - it’s delicious) and I decided now was the time to try.  This recipe can be modified based on what you have and I had containers of chopped green onions and tomatoes, so that’s what I used.  Next time, I would not use tomatoes, but probably add broccoli and carrots and some type of onion,  all of which I usually keep on hand.  Also, I prefer brown rice.

The method remains the same, no matter what you use and I love something quick and easy like this for lunch rather than a boring sandwich.  I also usually have frozen shrimp on hand and if you wanted protein, how easy would that be.

Enjoy!

Heat 2 T olive oil in a large skillet.  Add 2 cups leftover rice, 1/2 cup chopped veggies (any variety and mixture). Heat through and add about 3 T soy sauce.  Make a well in center and add 2 eggs, beaten.  Scramble eggs within the well, and then mix them together with rice and veggies.  Add more soy sauce if desired.



Thursday, January 9, 2020

January...ing










The start of January has been so, so busy and I’m ready for things to slow down and spend some time by my new pool. Here’s how I have been January...ing.

 (Thanks to Christina at A Colorful Life for the idea)

Exercising - getting back into my walking and yoga routine and enjoying the cooler temperatures and low humidity for both.  I went to yoga at the beach on Monday, and every time I go, I ask myself why I don’t go more.  I enjoy it so much.  The setting sun, the sounds of the surf and the seagulls, along with the fresh gulf breezes, are perfection.

Volunteering - it’s been a busy week of volunteering.  I’m now the HOA Landscape Committee Chair
for my community and I’ve been emailing, making spreadsheets and problem solving.  I enjoy it or I
wouldn’t take it on and if you know me, you know that I am particular about weeds, so I’m the perfect person for the job!  Also, this morning I’ll be at my other volunteer job for the city, landscaping related as well, but hands on.  It’s dirty and sweaty, but very rewarding and I love it too.

Celebrating - we went out on New Year’s Eve and it was just as we like it.  I’m perfectly happy to stay home and just relax after the busy holidays, but I can be persuaded to ring in the new year with friends, a lovely setting for dinner and a martini or two.

Reading - no matter how busy, I always find time to read and I did read a good book this past week.  The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda was a nice surprise.  The format was clever with both the
past and present narrative leaving a trail of breadcrumbs leading to a surprise conclusion.  There was even one final surprise after the main plot point was revealed.

Entertaining -  preparing to host some Michigan friends in my neighborhood for a Euchre night on
Friday.  (Euchre is a Michigan/Midwest card game).  Just need to make a few appetizers, dessert and organize drinks, so not too much, but still have some to do lists to get through.

Watching - MSU Basketball!  We have high hopes for our alma mater this season and having the number one player in the country is exciting and amazing to watch.  I watched the team beat our rival (University of Michigan ) with fifteen other Spartan fans at a watch party on Sunday and we were loud.

Planning - there is something about a new year that brings out the planner in me.  No word of the year or resolutions, but a positive movement forward with goals on how I want to live life.  I did see a quote that has stuck with me though.  “ less things and more experiences”.  So many fun times ahead this year with family and friends.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Brown Sugar Glazed Turkey Meatballs



I still use Pinterest quite a bit;  mostly as a recipe file.  I don’t get nearly the page views anymore  from recipes I post and don’t feel like it’s the great blogging tool it used to be.  But, it’s still fun. If you like to try new recipes like I do, there is always something new that sounds delicious.  Sometimes I go back and look at my boards and think, why have I not made this or that recipe.  This meatball recipe is one of those.

Saucy meatballs are really not a favorite and if you want to serve something on a platter, this is a great recipe for that.  I did not make my own meatballs like the recipe calls for, but used a good quality frozen brand and they were just fine.  The star of this recipe is the glaze.  It coats the meatballs with a sweet, vinegary flavor and if you bring this to a party, get ready for the compliments.

To serve, I lined the glazed meatballs up on a platter and stuck a cocktail toothpick in each one.  To keep warm, you could easily place in a microwave over the course of the party, but room temperature is also fine. They look very festive and your guests can easily grab and go.

Enjoy!


Thursday, January 2, 2020

Top 3 Recipes in 2019




When I was blogging more often each week, I posted a lot more recipes than I do now.  But, my life changed since I started this blog in 2012 and the blogging world changed too.  I’ll never stop trying new recipes and even coming up with a few of my own; it’s just a different season of my life right now.  A lot simpler in every aspect.

The top three viewed recipes in 2019 were two savory and one sweet.  I find it interesting that a sheet pan dinner was the number one viewed recipe, because I have been saving and pinning quite a few of this simple type of cooking to try.  And, I love any three or four ingredient recipe and you have always responded well to those type of recipes too.  The shrimp recipe just fits our casual Florida lifestyle.   Maybe we are on to something?  Simple, quick, casual, but delicious cooking and baking.

Happy 2020!


Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner 

Old Bay Shrimp

Four Ingredient Peach Cobbler






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Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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