Friday, January 20, 2012

Books! Whatcha Reading?

since getting my nook...i have been able to read more than i ever had before - partly due to the convenience of it all - buying a book from my couch! - carrying a 600 page book in my purse! - reading one-handed! and partly because my kids all sleep through the night, so i am able to lull myself to sleep reading. i find that if i watch TV or a movie before bed, i need to read to relax my is a natural sleep aid for me! the problem is that i can't quit a good book, so sometimes it ends up preventing sleep...

anyway - here is my book list from last year in order of how i read them:

1. Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Miller (i had started it before - so i read the last half on my nook)
2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (awesome trilogy - young adult dystopian - highly recommend)
3. Freeing Your Child from Anxiety by Tamar Chansky (got this to learn more about Tics - very insightful)
4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (haunting and beatifully written fiction)
5. The Sherlockian by Graham Moore (highly recommend - part historical fiction - part murder mysetery - very fun!)
6. John Adams by David McCullough (did NOT think i would have loved this book like i did - biography about John Adams but written like a story)
7. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (part 2 of the maze runner)
8. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (another young adult dystopian - awesome!)
9. Bossypants by Tina Fey (hilarious! good short read)
10. The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson (i really liked the first one...should have stopped there)
11. The Girl who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (it was alright...)
12. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (i didnt finish - i was so over it - too political!)
13. Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos (young adult fiction - interesting read...not sure if i would recommend)
14. Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell (young adult...although not sure why its young adult - such a sad life - about an orphaned girl who has to fend for herself on the river)
15. The Death Cure by James Dashner (part 3 of the maze runner)
16. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (look at me - how mature i am - i got so into this book!)

currently reading
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - just finished! loved it!
2. Sleepwalk with Me: And other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia - just finished yesterday! LOVED! a bunch of funny stories from someone born the same year as me, so especially funny...i am a big Birbiglia fan - based off his stories from This American Life more than his stand-up, but i could hear his voice the entire time i read, which i think is a good indication of a good story-teller!
3. Sense and Sensibility - by Jane Austen - currently reading
4. Hunger Games - by Suzanne Collins - already read them, but i am currently reading them with my husband to prepare for the MOVIE!!!

i tend to read about 3 books at a time - i like different options depending on my mood...just like movies - i can't watch a comedy every night...sometimes i am in the mood for something i am like that with my right now i am reading a classic and a fun fiction - i probably need a biography or something along those lines - any suggestions?

let me know if you have any questions about any of the books i read...and are there any other young adult fans out there? let me know your faves!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Great Dough Experiment of Twenty-Twelve

this is probably the oddest of my kicks so far...especially considering that i still hope to lose 10 more pounds...this is probably not the wisest idea i ever had...but i decided during the holidays that i want to make a conscious effort to learn the art of bread making this year. 

Bodie just making pasta naked...totally normal...

i started with my mom's recipe and have made it about 3 times so far. i wanted to try a bunch of different recipes and figure out the different methods and ingredients and what difference it all makes, so then i moved on to Jamie Oliver's basic bread recipe...(i like my mom's better). i also made PW cinnamon rolls, and the Best Recipe Cook Book's pizza dough...holy schmoly...the best pizza dough ever! can i just gush about this pizza dough for a minute? so perfectly chewey and soft and fluffy and...oh dear...i might be drooling right now just thinking about i guess i am saying if you were thinking about trying it out - do it! one recipe made plenty for my family - we had a bunch leftover, which happily went into lunches the next day. 
Fettucini drying

If you have any great bread recipes you would like to share -bring it! i am trying to make some sort of dough at least once a week..i mean once a month...i should say once a month, that way if i do more then...winning!

also - for Christmas my husband gave me a pasta maker and the pasta making has commenced! with great success i may add! it is quite labor intensive, but what a difference fresh pasta is! absolutely all worth it! 

i am not that far into my little experiment, but already i am starting to realize some very important things about cooking and family and preserving memories. i learned somewhere along the way that the olfactory nerve is the shortest nerve to the brain, hence the sense of smell triggers memories strongest. when i worked at an Alzheimer facility after High School part of my job was to bake bread in the bread machine twice a day - the purpose being aromatherapy. Hoping that just by smelling the bread baking would trigger memories (hopefully fond ones) for the residents. 

Handmade Tortellini - isn't it beautiful?
I thought about my own home growing up and smelling that smell when my mom would bake bread...and how many countless times i saw her kneading the bread and rolling it out...and what fond memories they in a sense i think i am trying to create that home for my boys as well. a home full of yummy that when they are all grown up and out of the house, i will be with them with the simple whiff of baking bread. its a comforting thought...but also makes me feel a little manipulative...its all part of my evil sensory plan...mwa hahahaha!

but really...this is how we pass down our cultural ideas and values the easiest way - through food. with my husband's family being mixed and my family having their ways, food is one easy tangible way to share with our kids their heritage and values even. we had his Italian mom help us fill raviolis on our dining room table...i know it was a special time for Bryan and i love that we have pics like the first and last ones to show our kids they participated in this process. its showing them the value of doing it yourself, the value of more than one person in the kitchen, the value of taking time to do it. plus its just fun to play with your food! can you see the joy on bodie's face? 

its a journey anyway...and i think to get really good at anything you got to do it A LOT...and fail A LOT...and then try something else...and then go back to square one...anyway - you get it - its a process and i am excited about this one...and i know my boys are too - how awesome is fresh baked bread with a healthy slab of butter on it? pretty off to find a bread diet weight loss plan ;)

Christmas Re-Cap - Handmade Goodies

i was absolutely horrible at picture taking this Christmas. in fact...not a single picture was taken on Christmas morning. i left my camera the night before at my Aunt's house and my little camera was out of battery and it just has become so difficult anyway to try to take pictures and manage chaos at the same i let it go and enjoyed the moment and i am so glad that i did...but also a little sad i dont have the pictures now...i think we will be okay though...i think we can work through this.

i did manage to take some pictures of the Christmas jammies i made my boys. this was a total last minute decision in a rare burst of creative motivation...which doesn't come along too i went with it.

i have had this Star Wars sheet i found thrifting for a while now...a couple of years at least. i have been total hoarder-crazy-lady about it because you NEVER find star wars sheets thrifting...i have been looking since high school....i was sorta way too into Star Wars then...but it pays off when you have three boys who love it least bryson does...bodie still has yet to discover how awesome it is...but i have confidence that he will come to love it also...i will play jedi mind tricks on will like this will wear these pajamas and think they are that...

so anyway - i was looking at this sheet and just thinking that if i dont let it go, they will be all grown up and think Star Wars might not be as i thought if i cut it up right i would be able to squeeze out three pairs of pants.

i was happy that it all worked of bobby's legs is upside down because i was running low on they were all made in one night so they are not of the finest quality made pants around. i used their existing pants as patterns to keep it simple and they do their job...boys are not so very hard since they lack curves, so they came together pretty easily. i made bodie's a bit long so that he could enjoy them a little longer. i wont say this will be a tradition, but it was fun to see them all matching...i dont ever do that to them...but its fun...its almost like - look! i have a set now! ha!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Recent Music Obsessions

i dont typically listen to music in the car...i should say when i am in the car alone...i prefer talk radio and have since high school...but i was recently turned on to this video and had to share - it has helped spark some interesting conversations...hoping you enjoy it too!

then that video sparked a girl crush on Kimbra...had to share this video too and i dare you not to fall in love with her a little bit :)