Saturday, July 31, 2010

Williams-Sonoma Catalog

One of my favorite days is when I get a Williams-Sonoma catalog in the mail. Don't ask me why, but I love sitting down and just looking through the catalog.
It brings me peace and joy.

Weird, I know.

Well, today was one of those days.
My son checks the mailbox almost every single day, except Sunday.

No post on Sunday.
If you're a nerd like me you'll know what book that's from.

Today my son handed me a small pile of mail and I didn't mind the bills because I saw the Williams-Sonoma catalog right on top!
My blood pressure went down instantaneously. aaahhh....

I look though the pages and dream of having a Miele rotary iron.
Doesn't everyone?
Wrinkled linens are so embarrassing!

And what about pancakes?
Whenever I use molds my pancakes never come out looking like this.
Why is that?
I have to scrape the batter from the mold, bang it on the side of the pan and, usually, I end up ripping it and saying to my kids, 'there! it looks like'....well, not what the mold looks like anyway, but it usually looks like something!

And a pasta attachment! For my Kitchen Aid!
This is definitely on the list.
On an episode of Oprah, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali were the guests and they said it was so easy to make your own pasta and that everyone should have an attachment for their kitchen aid. And, whatever Gwyneth says, I do! I'm easy like that.

So, what catalogs get your boat a rockin?
Do tell...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth

Sometimes, we all feel a little self-conscious.

Hey! It's okay!

Embrace it. Throw your chin out, stick your chest out and say, yes, I feel self-conscious, but, hey! it's okay!

It'll make you feel better instantly. I promise.

Plus, it will make you forget what you were feeling self-conscious about because now you will feel self-conscious about the fact that you are sticking your chin and chest out for the world to see. Okay, maybe I'm not much help. Sorry...

Hey! It's okay!

Sometimes your teeth fall out and you don't want to smile for the camera.

Sometimes you'd rather the world not know that you look like you went 10 rounds.

Sometimes, you forget yourself because you are having so much fun that you fall backwards in fits of laughter and show your gap-toothed smile after all.

Hey! It's okay!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Swan Thieves

I recently read this book for our book club meeting:
The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova.

Let me tell you, it was a good book!

But, before I wax poetic about the book let me get the negative stuff out of the way. I want you to know the whole truth before you go out and read it for yourself.

I did not like the ending.

The author obviously put all her energy into the first two thirds of the book (which were wonderful) and maybe ran out of steam towards the end? I feel like she wrote the ending this way: '...and there you have it. The End.' There was a major point that wasn't discussed or explained and it was something for which I was hoping to be thoroughly explained.

However, the book had me at hello. I mean, prologue. The book had me at the prologue. One of the best prologues I have ever read. It's something that you want to read over and over again. It washes over you. A perfect shower. Just the right temperature and pressure. You can't help but turn the page and bask in the words.

Once you have turned the page and then turned more pages you will want to visit museums. You will want to visit France. You will want to visit museums in France. You will want to study Impressionism. You will want to buy an easel and sit by the sea and paint (even if you have no artistic abilities). In that sense the book is inspiring. The book intertwines two stories. One from modern day and one from the late 1800's. I found the story fascinating.

I really don't want to tell too much about the story. I would love for everyone to read it. Even though I did not like the ending I still very much recommend this book. Who knows, you might like the ending! Please, let me know...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Things to do with your big brother

Play the piano together:

Play soccer together:

Eat cupcakes together:

Watch TV together:

Ride horses together:

Look for shells together:

Go trick-or-treating together:

Meet him at the bus-stop after school:

Go sledding together:

Watch his baseball games:

Paint his toenails:


And, please, let's not talk about the fact that my little boy is getting hairy man legs. It's too depressing. How can we keep this growing up at bay??

Monday, July 5, 2010

I love to read and you should too!!!

I started writing this particular blog post about the last book we read for our book club meeting.

And then it turned into a blog about book clubs and why you should start one (I'm bossy that way).

And then it just became a blog about how much I love to read and why everyone should do it (see? bossy).

Then I realised that I had 3 posts rolled into one and decided to edit a little bit, just so it made more sense to the reader of this blog (I am pretty sure there is only one ;~)).

Then I rejoiced because I have more blog posts that I can post at any given time (it'll be a surprise. it'll just sneak right up on you) and I don't have to think that hard about them (not that I think that hard in general. thinking is generally an easy going thing that I do. and yes, I do do it! teehee, I just said do do. teeheehee).

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program:

As some of you might know I have a book club that meets about once a month. I really enjoy being in a book club and I highly recommend you create one with your neighbours, friends, etc... I love to read and when I have finished a book (especially a very good one) it stays with me for a while (sometimes forever) and I find it very cathartic and refreshing to discuss the book with others. It’s these reasons that make me enjoy a book club so much. Now, when I finish a book, I think ‘I wonder what so and so thought of that’. Or, ‘this part reminds me of Jen-I can’t wait to discuss it with her’.

When you discuss a book the general consensus is (usually) the same. The overall theme of the book people either liked or didn’t like. People liked this relationship; people didn’t like the ending. However, it is the little bits and pieces of the book that people remember differently.

It’s like if 10 people see the same movie and at the end you ask them what was their favourite scene or line you will most likely get 10 different answers.

A book is the same way.

A line that you read and didn’t think twice about another reader will have marked. That line is underlined and highlighted and there is a sticky tab at the edge so she doesn’t forget what page it’s on. She is ready to discuss that line/paragraph/page and how it resonated with her.

Someone always says something that you never thought of.

Another reader will think that a character was not nice at all, but instead very manipulative and you will exclaim, 'but but but WHY?! WHAT do you mean? HOW could you have interpreted it that way?' and once you hear all her reasons you think, 'oh, maybe that character wasn't really nice after all.'

Other people's points of view take what you know and mash it up--squeeze it together. It makes your head hurt. All of a sudden you feel your mind broadening and then you go 'huh'.

That's all, just a 'huh'.

But it's enough.

Your brain has done a somersault and it's all because of a book.

Maybe you start looking differently at people you know who you thought were similar to that character. Maybe, because of this other person's viewpoint you start giving people the benefit of the doubt.

All because of a book.

A fictitious book that some writer just created out of thin air.


You have opened your own mind because of it and looked deeply into your own soul.

As we all know a book is a very powerful thing. It can take you places you never dreamed of going. It can introduce you to your best friend; your romantic soul-mate; even yourself.

Read. It’s good for you.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Golden Crisp

I was raised in a country where they had yummy chocolates and biscuits (cookies) and crisps (potato chips). Every Sunday, after Mass, we would walk to a little shop where my father would buy a newspaper and then treat his children (there are 6 of us) to a, well, a treat! We would all pick a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps and then eat it on the way home.

Sometimes some of us would not eat our treat right away, but save it until he/she got home and then torture us young innocents who had already eaten her treat by savoring it right in front of us and not even sharing a tiny morsel!
Torture I tell you! Torture!!!!
ahem, sorry, got a little carried away there...childhood memories can take you to dark places!!

When we moved to the US we could not find the treats that we were used to growing up. It was all very sad. American 'candy' was different. Some things were the same, but called different names. Like a Marathon bar is called a Snickers. Mars is called Milky Way, etc, etc, etc...

After a few years little stores would pop up here and there that carried the 'candy' from our youth. It was so exciting, but I could never find my one, true love. A Golden Crisp. So, one day, very recently, I mentioned that all I wanted was a Golden Crisp. Is that so much to ask?? For some reason I had a hankering and it would not go away. I needed my fix and I needed it now!!

Well, my childhood best friend, Chuckles, heard my plea and knew she just had to do something about it.

Well, what do you think my best friend did?

You got it. She sent me a little package of Golden Crisps.

Pure joy.

Now, how do I thank her? I want to send her something in return.
I've got some ideas. Do you?

ps...she even included a little hand written note.
She knows I like to feel like Jane Austen.

Happy Fourth!