Tuesday, April 29, 2008

John and Kate plus 8...how do they do it?

So, I watched the John and Kate plus 8 episode last night when they went to the Oprah show. WTH? She IRONS for these kids? Are you kidding me? I can barely pee without one of my TWO kids interrupting. What's with this ironing nonsense?
Of course, you know this tirade has been brought on by something...
My dear friend MommyDoc left me with her adorable four year old twins this evening so she could go be with her father who is having surgery. Play time, dinner, and bath went very well. Bedtime...well that was another issue completely. The twins had these super cute sleeping bags with their names on them, detachable unicorn stuffies...you get the idea. Of course, BabyGirl was having NONE of that. She HAD to have her OWN sleeping bag. Well isn't that just PERFECT. We don't have one for her, much less one that looks JUST LIKE the ones her friends have. SOOOO, after many tears (we're talking Oscar performance here, people) Dr. Daddy was off to Wal-Mart to buy a sleeping bag for her. Can we say DIVA? Freaking ridiculous. One of the twins decides she'll sleep beside BabyGirl and that will make everything better. NOTSOMUCH. Cause the other twin is then left ALONE. Which apparently has never happened. They sleep in the same bed, bless their hearts, and are always having the whole body contact thing. So then the first twin decides she really does need to be next to the second twin and they do the whole lovey dovey huggy thing and BabyGirl is totally left out and totally FREAKING out...AGAIN. Good God. BabyBoy is just lovin all of this cause he gets to hang out in his room playing Legos WAY past his bedtime. The whole scenario started at about 7:15...Dr. Daddy was still at work and had to go to WalMart on his way home...which was not on the way AT ALL. Sainthood, I'm tellin ya. It is now 9:00pm and I can say that they are all in bed...asleep. Lord only knows what psychological damage has been done...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekend Recap

Actually, it's a week recap. We went to DC on Wednesday to visit friends and take the kids to the National Zoo. First of all...the trip there sucked. What, you ask, bad weather? Oh, no. Just BAD KIDS. Road trips are the only thing I don't love about my Volvo Wagon. There are just not enough degrees of seperation. Actually, I think BabyBoy would be fine but BabyGirl nagged the ENTIRE time and when we didn't indulge her, she picked at him. UGH!
We got there and hung out with my Dad Wednesday night. He has a corporate apartment in Manassas so we stayed with him. Took the kids to a Japanese restaurant. Hilarious. They were really good and we had a lot of fun.
Now, just in case you don't know, Manassas...NOT EVEN CLOSE TO DC. We left the apartment at 10am Thursday morning to avoid early morning traffic. We finally made our way to the Zoo at about 11am. Parking lots were full. NICE. So we parked behind the zoo on a neighborhood street that had two hour parking. We just figured we'd suck up the ticket and hey, atleast we didn't have to pay to park. I had to push the double stroller with a 40 lb. five year old and a 35 lb. four year old because Dr. Daddy had both carpel tunnels operated on last Tuesday. Great exercise. Needless to say, the double stroller has now been passed on to my dear friend so that she may someday walk her ass off. Literally.
The Zoo was fun but not as great as I expected. I've been told the Carolina Zoo is better. The kids had a great time, though, and that's all that matters.
We fought rush hour traffic to get from downtown DC to Alexandria where my friend lives. Now, admittedly, I have a bit of a potty mouth. It seems to have gotten worse lately. At one point in traffic I yelled out "What the F*CK are you doing?" to the person in front of me. At which time BOTH children started SINGING in unison "What the F*CK are you doing, what the F*CK are you doing?" Dr. Daddy was smart enough to keep it zipped at that point. I'm sure he was just DYING to criticize that whole catastrophe.
We finally got to Shannon's house and had fun playing with baby Abby. The most adorable baby ever. BabyBoy instantly became a Wii addict. I must admit, I kind of enjoyed the tennis myself. After dinner, it was ALL THE WAY BACK to Manassas.
Then, the next morning we headed East again. This time only as far as McLean, where we met Shannon and Abby at the most amazing park ever. Clemyjontri.It was amazing. The kids had a blast and afterward we headed off to my favorite lunch spot, La Madeleine. After that, we were on the road home.
The weekend was busy with birthday parties and the local garden tour. The homes were fabulous and I had a great time working as a "tour guide" at one of the homes. It's always fun to get new ideas for decorating and floral design.
Saturday night we had our cocktail club and our supper club. Luckily, they were right across the street from one another. Our supper club had a french theme. I was so excited that we seemed to have the best food ever! I took this wonderful dish from the Barefoot in Paris Cookbook.

Beef Bourguignon
Copyright Ina Garten, All rights reserved

1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound frozen whole onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
For serving:
Country bread or Sour Dough, toasted or grilled and rubbed with garlic clove
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.

Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.

Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

To serve, toast the bread in the toaster or oven. Rub each slice on 1 side with a cut clove of garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.

And now, the photo recap...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rock the Vote!

Hey, folks! I've been out of town for a few days so I'm sorry I haven't had any great entries! I'll be back tonight or tomorrow with new posts. For now, you need to go to this link and vote for me! Just kidding. Do go and vote, though. There are some really cute entries and I love the idea of the competition and getting good PR for this awesome company. Then, go on the website and check out their new templates. They're adorable!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fresh for Spring!

I LOVE this coat from Robin's Egg Pink on Etsy. She has it in several colors and patterns and also has the matching ones for little girls. How adorable! Dress it up at night with a pair of smart linen pants or dress it down for day with jeans or a denim skirt. Either way, you'll be the epitome of style and grace!

Pardon my confusion, but...

Do we not spend countless hours and DOLLARS babyproofing our homes? How often have you AGONIZED that your house might not be babyproof enough for your crafty little houdinis? I'm walking through that mecca of germs and money wasting mess of a Toys R Us yesterday and this is what I find. Perfect. Let's buy a puzzle that teaches our kids how to open a window latch?!? Cause we want them to know how to open a window and potentially FALL TO THEIR DEATH. Cute idea, I guess...but people. COME ON! I love Melissa & Doug but I think we'll have to stick to the naming the states puzzle for now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Good Food, Good Drink

I had the most fun girl's night out this weekend. We went to a really yummy Italian restaurant and they served Strawberry Basil Martinis. Basically, if you say strawberry and/or basil...I'm in. These were FABULOUS. So light and refreshing and perfect for a light spring evening! I found this great recipe online and tried it last night. TO DIE FOR.

Strawberry Basil Martini

2 strawberries, plus 1 thin slice of strawberry for garnish
2 basil leaves
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
1 ounce gin, preferably Tanqueray No. Ten
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries with the basil leaves and Simple Syrup. Add ice and the remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain (using a fine strainer) into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the strawberry slice.

Then last night we had our most favorite friends over for dinner. They have twin girls that are BabyGirl's age and a boy two years older than BabyBoy. We used to always joke that SOME DAY we would actually be able to sit and eat without infinite interuptions. That seemed to happen last night! It was wonderful. They are vegetarians and it seems like I always make salmon when they come over. I've deemed it "Salmon with the Shermans". Here's what I made last night:


Serves 8

4 pounds fresh salmon filets
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound haricots verts, stems removed and blanched
2 pounds small cooked Yukon gold potatoes, thickly sliced
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges (6 small tomatoes)
8 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut in half
1/2 pound Kalamata black olives, pitted
1 bunch watercress or arugula
1 can anchovies, drained (optional)


3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 tablespoons good olive oil

1. To grill the salmon, get a charcoal or stove-top cast-iron grill very hot. Brush the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill each side for only 5 minutes until the center is barely raw. Remove to a plate and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 15 minutes. Arrange the salmon, haricots verts, potatoes, tomatoes, eggs, olives, watercress, and anchovies, if used, on a large flat platter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

2. Make the vinaigrette: Combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion.

3. To serve, unwrap platters and drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the fish and vegetables, and serve the rest in a pitcher on the side.

Traditionally this meal is made with tuna...but it worked really well with salmon. They brought the most delicious bread from Fresh Market and we topped it with a dill finishing butter also from Fresh Market. It could not have been a more perfect pairing. Fantastic.

My Greatest Gift

It seems that March/April is THE month for girls around here. We've had so many birthdays lately! I hate going to Target and buying the latest Barbie or whatever. I'm a big theme person so I tried to come up with a cute theme gift for all these absolutely adorable four year olds that keep celebrating their big days. I finally came up with this super fun gift.
A beach blanket bingo gift bucket. Pottery Barn Kids has these great toddler towels for $16 that you can have monogrammed for around $6.00. Adorable. So, you roll up the towel and tie it with some raffia. Go to the dollar store and buy a bucket, some squishy water balls, some fun sunglasses and another water toy and put them all in the bucket. Add some crinkly paper stuffing and voila! You have an adorable gift that you didn't have to wrap and the kid will use it all summer. Throw in an spf face stick and the mom will love you forever. You can do it for girls or boys. Here are a couple of the super cute towels offered from PBK...

You gotta love it.

Ugh...I've been tagged

Okay. I hate the tagging thing, I have to say. I'm not going to follow the rules at all. I'll list five random things but I'm not tagging anyone else. I'm just NOT that organized.

1. I am a HUGE procrastinator. You have no idea how much fabric I have in my attic just WAITING to be transformed into beautiful projects. I've learned recently that this is a fine problem if you're a worker bee/follower but if you're in a leadership position the procrastination thang just doesn't work AT ALL. I'm workin on it. This is also why I hated being a student. I was a good student...always got good grades...but hated school. HATED IT.

2. I'm an etiquette snob. It's kind of stupid and useless and a total waste of time but I really am. I can't STAND people who chew with their mouths open. Now I've discovered that BabyGirl has the same issue. She refuses to go to any of her girlfriend's birthday parties if she deems them "one who chews with their mouth open". I try to RSVP (this has become more difficult with kids...WAY too many social obligations). I always try to write a thank you note. Even if it's late...atleast I made the effort.

3. I like to stay out late. I've never been a "party girl" per say, but if I'm going out, by God, I'm gonna do it right. If you're in a cocktail club and folks are leaving at 10:30pm then you MUST go out somewhere for drinks afterwards. I mean, seriously. What better do you have to do? You can sleep when you're dead.

4. I have a prerequisite for girlfriends. If you can't throw an F-bomb every now and again then you just can't be in my circle. I'm sorry. A real lady says F*CK. They just do. Maybe it's a southern thing. Maybe it's not. I don't know. I just have a real problem with someone who is so tight that they can't let loose and talk some trash once in a while.

5. And speaking of talkin some trash. Everyone who knows me that's reading this will laugh. I have issues with secrets. I just can't keep them very well. I've actually gotten much better, though. I have a circle of about five people that I'm willing to gossip with and that's it. But really....what fun is life if you can't throw down and talk some really good gossip? Isn't that what life's all about? My mother used to always say..."I don't repeat gossip...so you'd best listen carefully the first time." I maintain my belief that she was a genius in her own right.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I THINK I'm flattered...

Elisa Strauss' Confetti Cakes created this $1,500 Coach bag-themed cake for a 10-year-old girl's birthday party.

My girlfriend sent me this article from CNN with the byline "Why did this make me think of you?"
It's true, I'm a bit freakish about my kids' birthday parties. And it has been said (more than once) that when it comes time for a Sweet 16 I'm screwed. Oh, and thank God we arent' Jewish. Can you imagine me planning a Bat Mitzvah? I would be completely out of control. I've already started saving for BabyGirl's wedding. Forget college...we're going to have the wedding of the century. I mean, she is. Yeah, that's what I meant.
Anyway, enjoy the article! There are some great websites linked.

(LifeWire) -- Two years ago, Stephanie Kaster of Manhattan set out to plan the birthday party of a lifetime for her daughter. Granted, little Sophie didn't have many parties under her belt with which to compare it: She was not yet 3.

"I just thought, 'If I go to another paint-a-ceramic-bowl or stuff-a-bear party, I'll shoot myself,'" says Kaster.

So she booked a fondue restaurant, hired a musical troupe to perform as the Wiggles (her daughter's favorite group) and ordered a four-layer cake. Each guest took home a Fisher-Price guitar and custom CD.

The price tag? $5,000.

"I couldn't believe that I'd ended up spending that much," Kaster says.

Some birthday parties now rival weddings in scale and price -- with some costing tens of thousands of dollars. Maybe it's the ever-growing number of millionaires; maybe it's the conspicuous consumption celebrated on reality shows like MTV's "My Super Sweet 16." Whatever the reason, it's keeping Corinne Dinsfriend in business.

She owns Over the Top Productions in Orange County, California, a full-service children's birthday-party planning company. "We really promote a healthy balance of living year round," Dinsfriend says, "but it's OK to indulge your child once a year, because it's about making a memory."

Each Over the Top party has a theme and is run by a team trained in child development, says Dinsfriend. Her events -- from tea parties with fine china to military-themed parties led by former Marines -- usually take six weeks to plan and cost as much as $10,000.

That's small potatoes compared with some celebrations. FAO Schwarz, the New York City toy retailer, rents out its store several nights a week for parties. The base cost is $25,000.

Even more extreme is the $10 million that former defense contractor David H. Brooks of Long Island reportedly spent in 2005 on his daughter's bat mitzvah. That soiree, at the storied Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, featured 50 Cent, Don Henley and Aerosmith, among others.

Other trends: lavishly sculpted confections like those by Elisa Strauss, the designer at Confetti Cakes in Manhattan, who charges at least $1,000 per cake. Invitations are custom-made.

And the activities?

"You can get cotton-candy machines, jumping castles, you can rent a gym or movie theater, or have a real astronaut come, do it at Yankee Stadium ... you can do anything," says Lyss Stern of Divalyssciousmoms. She recently organized a fair where 40 high-end birthday-party purveyors pitched their services to parents at the private Park East Day School in New York City.

Wrong message?

Some parents, however, worry that expensive parties for children result in mixed-up values -- and leave many feeling obliged to overspend.

Last year, a group of five parents in St. Paul, Minnesota, started Birthdays Without Pressure, which promotes simpler celebrations.

"We are trying to raise awareness that lots of parents are feeling pressured to throw bigger parties than they are comfortable with," says co-founder Julie Printz.

"I have friends who've spent $1,000 on a party and then (felt) remorseful. For me, it was more about the insanity in my head. I'd go crazy trying to figure out the perfect craft, special foods, gift bags ... I'd get caught up in this birthday anxiety."

Two years ago when her daughter Emily turned 6, St. Paul stay-at-home mom Laura Forstrom threw her a birthday party for the first time. Emily invited sixteen friends to celebrate at a Color Me Mine ceramics painting center.

"I didn't think all 16 would come, but they did, and it was $15 a person," she said. Add in the cake, favors, pizza and soda, and Forstrom spent over $1,000.

"After we got the bill I was like, 'Oh my God!' It was more expensive than fixing the dog's broken leg. It just got out of control so quickly," she said. "There are so many other things we could've done with the money. ... We haven't had a birthday party for any of our kids since."

This year, Kaster decided to try a slightly simpler approach. For Sophie's party, she booked a small theater that does plays for children, hand-decorated a sheet cake from the supermarket, and got inexpensive favors from a discount store. The whole event cost less than $500, "and everyone said it was the best party they'd ever been to," Kaster says.

"I want to give my children all I can, but it's not a monetary thing," Kaster says. "A $500 party doesn't mean I love them any less than if they had a $5,000 party, as long as they have a good time. And that's what it's all about."

Parties under $50

Lynnae McCoy, of Talent, Oregon, runs BeingFrugal.net and has never spent more than $50 on parties for her two children, ages 5 and 10. Here's her advice:

• Do it at home, even if it means more cleanup.

• Make the cake yourself. Decorating it together can help the kids get excited for their party.

• Limit guests to close friends and family.

• Plan a late-afternoon party to save money on food by serving snacks instead of a meal.

• Find low-cost art projects, like painting pet rocks.

• Use the library as a resource. You could rent a dance instruction video, for example, and have that be your activity.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I promise I'll be back later today with a longer post but you HAVE to check out Celebrity Babies today. They have a post about the How Fast They Grow scrapbooking "competition" and two of my pages are featured. How exciting!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A piece of S*it

This pretty much sums up the past couple of days. To put it into perspective...I've been "spring cleaning". This basically means that my house is an ABSOLUTE disaster. I have craploads of surface mess but I really am getting down and dirty and cleaning out the old, stored up junk that just has to go. When we moved last August I saved a ton of craft stuff and old seasonal decorations thinking I might use them again. Well...needless to say I haven't used any of it and it is OUT! Now I just have to get reorganized and clean up the surface stuff.
Then, I can get down to the business of sewing my bedroom curtains (I KNOW, that was supposed to have been done months ago), sewing some things for BabyGirl's room, and working in the garden.
This weekend I bought six big photo collage frames from AC Moore and filled them up with photos of the kids. We hung them on the stairwell wall going up to the playroom. They turned out really cute! When my camera battery is done charging I'll be sure to post a photo.
This morning, as I was hanging the frames, BabyGirl ventured upstairs. "Mommy", she said. "Um, hmm?", I said. "This necklace is a piece of sh*t.", she said. Well, I have to admit that the necklace in question is, in fact, a piece of sh*t. However, after I stopped laughing hysterically (really driving that discipline point home, right?), I did explain that sh*t is a word for grown ups and even then it's not really okay to say. Of course, she knew that, but took great delight in the fact that she had used it...and used it appropriately.
This past Friday was our annual Book & Author Dinner that my physician's spouse's group hosts. It was really a great event. Cokie Roberts spoke and that was pretty cool. I've started reading her book Founding Mothers. Pretty fascinating stuff, but I think I'll probably stick to the stuff I really love (you know, soft porn meets mama drama) after I'm through. At any rate, I did get to do some fun flower arrangements. Here's a pic of the one I did for the VIP Cocktail Party that was held before the dinner. (I was kind of going for a patriotic theme...)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kitchen of the Month

I love kitchens...they are the first thing I check out when looking at a house. I love to save pictures from magazines that have cool kitchens.
This particular kitchen caught my eye in the June 2006 edition of House Beautiful. It's certainly not a kitchen that I would ever do in my own home...but I'm SO GLAD that SOMEONE did it! It's adorable.

A quote from the homeowner:

"I wanted to make this heavenly CandyLand. I wanted people to walk in and feel like they could lick the walls, like it was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I asked myself "What is chocolate and everything else sweet?" And the answer is French. A patisserie. A mix of French and chocolate and heaven."

The walls of the kitchen are chocolate brown and the floor is chocolate and strawberry, painted on a diagonal check. The curtains are pink and white Scalamandre silk with pom poms. All the counters are white marble. There's a white Viking range and fridge. Don't forget to check out the murals! I especially love the "time out" bench.


Check out How Fast They Grow on Celebrity Babies' blog. Looks like I'm not their only "famous" client (he, he!).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I thought it might be fun to do a post about one of my favorite childhood pasttimes...Barbie! I love learning about all you bloggers out there and it's neat to think that we might understand one another's style just from what we read. Sooo, I've tried to match Barbies with some of the bloggers that I read about everyday. If I'm totally off...let me know!

First, this one is SO obvious! Clemson Girl and the Coach

Ashley's Closet...because I swear you are the only person besides me who readily admits how much time is spent in loungewear/sleepwear.

Little Southern Sister....You ARE Campus Sweetheart Barbie!

Preppy Wedding...DUH! Vera Wang Wedding Barbie

Life Under the Big Top...a nod to your love of all things SCI FI. Marvel Comics Barbie.

Monogram Momma...Knitting Pretty Barbie Doll and Skipper Doll. You're so crafty, it just fit! By the way...we miss you!

Mrs. LSL...a nod to your gaellic roots. Burberry Barbie.

Preppy Napkin...you're always so PUT TOGETHER! Perfectly Pink Barbie.

Happy Housewife...no contest. The Lilly Pulitzer Barbie!

Peyton Place...I couldn't resist, since you just got back from Jamaica! Beach Barbie.

Tres Posh Preppy...Peppy Preppy Barbie.

Biscuits are Never Boring...Australian Barbie.

Impoverished Preppy...Schoolteacher Barbie.

Journey To Our Daughter...for that beautiful baby girl that I KNOW you will see soon...Maiko Barbie.

For brother Aaron...Beyonce Barbie.

For Dad and Jett...Army Barbie and Ken.

For BabyGirl....Barbie Learns to Cook.

And finally, for me, Kate Spade Barbie. Ahem...minus the pooch.

Beach Packing List

Someone had asked me to repost this sometime last week...hope I'm not too late!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

For Dana


I'm pretty sure your kids NEED these.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

This is Life Changing

I know, I know, the post title seems a bit melodramatic and all...but I gottatellya...this is AMAZING! I love scrapbooking but hate the mess and all the cost involved and all the time it takes! Let's be frank...our time is at a premium and while I want to have memories of all the fun things I've done with my kids, it's a little more important to me that I actually make time to do those things in the first place.
Now, there's a website that allows you to publish adorable scrapbook pages, have them printed and mailed to you for only $7.50 PER PAGE. No, you did not read wrong. Can you believe it? They have super cute templates to choose from (including some done by our friends at Boatman Geller) and all you have to do is plug in your pictures and text. It couldn't be easier.
Now until tax day you can enter the code APRIL08 at checkout and get a free page if you've already ordered four.
The website is How Fast They Grow.

Here are some of my completed pages...

Now...get to work!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Trip Advisor

Oh, and we've decided to go here in October instead of Hedonism (do I hear a hell yeah?!). Anyone have any reviews? It's relatively new...


My birthday was wonderful and relaxing. Some friends took the kids for the afternoon so we could go see Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, which was adorable. Then we went to an early dinner at a great Greek Restaurant. It was so nice to do the early movie/dinner thing and not have to pay a sitter!

Today I have to take a meal to a family from my son's class as school. The father has stage four colon cancer and they have two small children. So sad. We're doing meals MWF and today is my day. I've made this yummy and easy recipe the past few times I've taken dinner to families with kids. It's really delicious and the kids seem to love it. They don't even realize they're eating something good for them!

Crescent Chicken Bundles (this will make enough to serve eight people)

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I use light cream cheese)
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted, divided
2 tablespoons small diced yellow onion
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large cans cooked, shredded chicken (I use the kind from Sam's club)
3 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls (I use Pillsbury)
1 cup crushed seasoned croutons

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, onions, milk, salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in the chicken. Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into eight rectangles; press perforations together. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture onto the center of each rectangles. Bring edges up to the center and pinch to seal. Brush with remaining butter. Sprinkle with crushed croutons, lightly pressing down. Transfer to two ungreased baking sheets. Cover one baking sheet and freeze until firm; transfer squares to a covered container. May be frozen for up to 2 months. Bake remaining squares at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. To use frozen squares: Thaw in the refrigerator and bake as directed.

Another delicious recipe I tried last week was from Katie Lee Joel's new cookbook. You can get it here. I saw her on Oprah and she was adorable. The recipe was for meatloaf and it is truly one of the best meatloaf recipes I've ever had. Dr. Daddy loved it. It's definitely right up there with the Neiman Marcus turkey meatloaf. Here's the recipe:

Katie Joel's Meat Loaf
Courtesy of Katie Joel
From the show Music Legend Billy Joel and Katie Joel—First TV Interview
Serves 6

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium red pepper, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with oil.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions, garlic and bay leaf until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper and cook until the red pepper is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and let the onion mixture cool. Discard the bay leaf.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, eggs, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of ketchup, the Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and the cooled vegetables. Use your hands to mix everything together.

Transfer the mixture to the center of the baking sheet and form into a loaf. Coat the meat loaf with the remaining 1/2 cup ketchup.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (depending on the shape of your loaf), until the meat loaf is firm. Let set for about 5 minutes before slicing.