Monthly Archives: August 2013

Using summer fruit to make food art

If you miss my previous posts on food art, you can see them here, here and here. I’ve been taking enough photos of our growing food art collection to share a few more with you today.

Grape stems are a great medium for food art. Here are a few masterpieces we came up with:

The grape and bean dog

Food art: grape and bean dog

Food art: grape and bean dog

The happy grape man

Food art: happy grape man

Food art: happy grape man

The run-for-your-life grape man

Food art: run for your life grape man

Food art: run for your life grape man

If you go to Olive Garden, you can make Batman out of one of their breadsticks.

Food art: Batman with Olive Garden breadstick

Food art: Batman with Olive Garden breadstick

Hey, Mama, what’s for dinner? Fishsticks. Check!

Food art: fishstick check mark

Food art: fishstick check mark

We found this awesome Yoda watermelon head at a birthday party we went to. If you know a Star Wars fan, you should try it.

Food art: Yoda head made with watermelon

Food art: Yoda head made with watermelon

Finally, I found this photo online the other day and thought it’d be a great addition to this food art post. For this last food art creation, I present you nature’s masterpiece: the duckmato.

Food art: duckmato

Food art: duckmato

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WWW Wednesdays – August 28, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

Wow, can you believe it’s been four weeks since my last WWW Wednesdays update? I have no idea what happened to this summer, but it seems to have flown by. I still managed to do some reading in the past few weeks, probably not as much as I like to. The books I’ve read were great, so I can’t complain. The kids have been pretty happy with their picks too.

Echo Burning by Lee ChildMy bookshelf

– What I’m currently reading
Echo Burning by Lee Child, the #5 book in the Jack Reacher series. I started with book #1 earlier this year and I only enjoy learning about Jack Reacher’s character even more with every book. He’s quite an interesting guy, that’s for sure! 

– What I recently finished reading
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Wonder by R.J. Palacio. What a wonderful book on not just physical differences but life in middle school – you know, that age when you’re not a kid anymore, but not a teenager yet. August’s extreme facial deformities and his first year of not being homeschooled are described from several points of view. I usually don’t enjoy books with different POVs but it didn’t bother me here, as the narrators tend to pick up the story where the previous narrator left off, while adding some insight on their relationship with Auggie. I think what I liked best about this book is how genuine and realistic every character’s behavior was, not too tame, not too extreme. Warning: I had to use a few tissues at the end of this book, but it filled me with hope and happiness. A must read for everyone  probably age 9 and over.

Heartburn by Nora Ephron. A very entertaining novel on the breaking up of a marriage that seemed doomed – or very happy, depending on how you see it – from the beginning. Although the story’s events are nothing to laugh about, Nora Ephron made me smile or laugh out loud at every chapter. It was hard for me to understand why the main character Rachel didn’t walk away from her cheating husband many years before and this short book felt a little too long in my opinion, but the funny ending made up for the wait.

Reliquary by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, the sequel to the Relic thriller. Another great thriller from Preston & Child and an interesting follow-up to Relic, even though you don’t have to read Relic to understand this story. It’s probably not a book to read late at night though. The gruesome details will keep you up and the suspense will make you want to read the next chapter. I guess that’s what good books do to you.

– What I think I’ll read next
Cross My Heart, Hope to Die by Sara Shepard, the fifth book in The Lying Game series. There will probably be another five books after this one before I find out who the real killer is, but at this point, reading this series is more of a guilty pleasure, especially since it’s an easy read.

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading
In the Trees, Honey Bees by Lori MortensenIn the Trees, Honey Bees by Lori Mortensen. A super cool book on bees, with very short, rhyming phrases on every page, as well as a short blub on the life of bees on the opposite page. My kids really like this book and we’ve learned quite a few things about bees. The detailed illustrations are beautiful and very helpful in understanding more about bees.
19 Girls and Me by Darcy Pattison. John Hercules is worried about being the only boy in his kindergarten class, especially since his older brother keeps teasing him he’s going to turn into a “sissy”. But once John gets the girls to join him on his wild imaginary play at recess, he has a great time. What will his brother say though, as he sees him surrounded with girls at play? This is a great book to show how girls and boys can play together and all bring their personal ideas to make the play even better.

 – What they recently finished reading
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff KinneyThe Diary of A Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. My oldest just turned seven and recently finished reading book #7 of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He’s read every book in the series before this one several times and seems to really enjoy the stories. The only thing that bugs me  is that this series describes life in middle school but it’s written in such an easy format that my son could read these in first grade (OK, he’s reading way beyond his grade level, but still). It seems few books out there cater to the young but advanced readers. The books he likes to read deal with issues he won’t get to experience for several years and he may not have the maturity to understand them all. If you know of some great books that are challenging but appropriate for a seven-year old, please let me know. He’s read plenty already, but I’m sure there are some we don’t know about.
Santa Calls by William Joyce. This is another GREAT book that belongs on the permanent shelf of classic children’s books. When Santa invites Art Atchinson Aimesworth, his little sister Esther and his best friend Spaulding to join him to the North Pole for a special mission, they jump to the occasion. But when they reach the end of their adventure, they wonder why Santa needed their help after all. Only the reader and Esther find out the real reason, and it’s a great one. A wonderful story to read anytime of the year, and definitely to siblings together.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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Goofy Monday: Animal mix-up

There are always plenty of interesting conversations going on at the house. Here are a few of them grouped under the theme “animal mix-up”.

dolphinDolphin tales
Son #2: “I can run really fast. Faster than a dolphin!”
Me: “I bet you can!”
I think he’s got to refine his animal analogies…

The other white meat
Son #2: “If you eat turkey, you eat pig.”
Son #1: “No, you eat turkey!”
I guess that’s what happens when I serve turkey bacon to my kids without explaining that it actually comes from a turkey.

True lies
Me: “Did you know the female peregrine falcon is larger than the male?” (reading a sign)
Son #2: “You’re LYING!!”
Sorry, son, the truth hurts more than the lies sometimes.

How to confuse your mom
My kids and I enjoy playing the 20-question game, when one of us picks an animal and the others ask yes-or-no questions to guess the animal. It was Son #2’s turn to pick an animal for us to guess.
Son #1: “Is it an insect?”
Son #2: “Yes! Actually, it’s a reptile.”
Me: “Is it a bird?”
Son #2: “Yes!”
Can you guess it’s quite a challenge to play this game?

WWW Wednesdays – July 31, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

Reliquary by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child– What I’m currently reading
Reliquary by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, the sequel to the Relic thriller, which I read a little while ago (read my review of Relic). Pretty spooky so far.

– What I recently finished reading
How to Remodel a Man by W. Bruce Cameron, the author of A Dog’s Purpose,  A Dog’s Journey and Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. This is the funniest book I’ve read in a long time! As in, laugh out loud funny. This is probably not the best book to read in a public place, where strangers stare at you every time you laugh, wondering what the heck is wrong with you. I enjoyed every remodeling tip, from how to get your man to help with housework without giving him a chance to sabotage it, to how to get a man to really listen to you. Cameron managed to gather the many things women complain about in men and how to fix the situation (insert Mission Impossible music). If you’re looking for a hilarious read, this is it.

Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath. This is a great book to read for anyone who needs to get ideas across. Many people have had great ideas over the years, or an important message to convey but their delivery didn’t bring the expected results. The Heath brothers explain in detail the best way to present an idea, a message, or a new concept. They apply the SUCCESs elements: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional and Stories. This book is full of real life examples to illustrate how any idea can live or die depending on the way it’s introduced. A really interesting read.

– What I think I’ll read next
Echo Burning by Lee Child, the next book in the Jack Reacher series. I think that’s the book they used to make the recent Jack Reacher movie with Tom Cruise.

My kids’ bookshelf

No Hugs Till Saturday by Julie DowningWhat they’re currently reading 
No Hugs Till Saturday by Julie Downing. Felix declares to his mom that there will be no hugs, snuggles, or super monster squeezes for a whole week. First his mom shows she’s having a hard time waiting that long, then Felix seems to be struggling too, as he changes the day when they can hug again. Both my kids have enjoyed reading this cute story several times over.

Monster mama by Liz Rosenberg. Even though his mom is a terrible looking monster, Patrick Edward really loves her. For his own protection, she seems to hide from the rest of the world. That’s until her son gets chased by several bullies and she decides to take the matter into her own hands. Great story about bullying, and the unconditional love between a parent and a child.

 We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow– What they recently finished reading
We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow . I love how this book shows the many benefits of planting a single tree in various places of the world (city, country, or arid landscape). My kids got to watch the trees grow over a few generations. The story uses few words but it really gets the point across and my boys really liked it (I heard several Wow! and Cool!).

Little Smudge by Lionel Le Néouanic. Little Smudge is, well, a smudge. An undefined black shape. He tries to make friends with more colorful and defined shapes but he gets rejected. When his father tells him what makes him so special, he gets to share his secret with the other shapes and make new friends. A great lesson on finding out what makes you unique and special in this world, even if you look different from everybody else.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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