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Comfort Me

My baby starts Kindergarten tomorrow. At one point recently, I did not think that Kindergarten was going to be that big of deal. The school we go to still has half day Kindergarten, so I get my boy back every afternoon. As the time has neared, and as we have gone to the Kindergarten Round-Up and School Open House, I am really starting to not be able to hold it together. What is it about Kindergarten that stirs up such emotions? He has gone to preschool for the past three years. We have been apart before. He loves school and has zero anxiety about it whatsoever. For me, I think the emotions stirring are from the time we have had over the past five years. Have I spent enough quality time with him? Did we build memories that he will look back fondly on? My friend Sara, whose daughter started full day 1st grade this year, summed it up perfectly. "I feel like I have just wasted the past 6 years with her." I know that I haven't wasted the past five years with Jacob, but I cannot help but feel like we could have done more. I should have worked less and played more. I should have scolded less and hugged more. I know that I am a good mom and I know that Jacob and I have a great relationship. I also know that he is going to be exposed to things that he has never been exposed to...kids and people that I have been able to protect him from in the past. The real world is inside those school doors, and I don't think I am ready for him to face that. As you can imagine, there is … [Continue reading]

One of “Those” Bloggers….

For the past couple of weeks, I have turned into one of "those" bloggers. You know...the bloggers who take the time to update their own blog but do not go and visit all of the blogs of those who make comments. I really believe that it is important to frequent the blogs of those who frequent Dine and Dish. I love and appreciate your comments and I love your blogs...I so miss reading them, but life has been so hectic lately and to be frank with you, my need for at least a few hours of sleep at night is starting to take over. Soon, very soon, things will slow down. In the meantime, can I make it up to you with chocolate? This was a rich and delicious cake...even better the next day after it had been in the fridge! Fudgy Pudgy Cake - from the most recent issue of Taste of Home12-14 servings 1 hour 30 min prep 1/2 cup baking cocoa 1 cup hot water 3/4 cup butter, softened 2 3/4 cups packed brown sugar 3 … [Continue reading]

Meatballs Need Friends

 Why is it that all that I can think about when writing this post is the You Tube video of Faith Hill recently telling off a concert groupie for groping her husband? I know, I have the mind of a 5th grader, don't I? We went to an Italian restaurant a couple of years ago and  I ordered spaghetti and meatballs. To me, meatballs means lots and lots of meatballs and I was looking forward to my heaping plate of pasta with a pile of meatballs. When our food arrived, I looked at my plate and my expectations for the pasta were fulfilled... it was a heaping pile of pasta. Much to my dismay, my expectations for the pile of meatballs fell very short. On my plate was one, single, solitary meatball. It was a large meatball, but there was only one. This was all wrong. Meatballs belong in groups and piles. Meatballs are not loners. They need other meatballs to be by their side to be complete. That was the final time I ever order spaghetti and meatballs at a restaurant. From that day on, I stuck to things like Chicken Parmesan at Italian restaurants and skipped the meatball(s) all together. I could not be sure that the restaurants I went to had my same philosophy on meatballs and I was not willing to be disappointed again.My favorite recipe for meatballs is my mom's and I will share that with you some day soon. My old stand by meatball recipe for things like BBQ meatballs and rice, Meatball hoagies, or Meatball Calzones is the one I am getting ready to share with you. This recipe … [Continue reading]

Less is More?

 The concept "Less is More" and I just don't see eye to eye. Did you know that when you are shampooing your hair if you cannot get the shampoo to lather, you need to add more water, not more shampoo? I'm always piling on more shampoo! Oh - and those concentrated cleaning products where you just need to use a thimble full for an entire load of laundry? I have such a hard time believing that. To me, if I don't have a full measuring cup of laundry detergent to add to my laundry, I do not feel like it is going to work. There are some things in which I truly believe that "Less is More"  does not apply. Those things would have to do with butter, garlic and onions. No way could less be more. Yes...with butter less is more "fitting into your skinny jeans", but less butter does not make a dish any better. I made a dish the other night that was a delicious combination of tons of butter, green onions and lots of garlic.  Less was definitely not more with this dish as I added more garlic and green onion than the recipe called for and ended up with a completely wonderful meal. If you are a believer of "Less is More" you might want to skip this recipe. If you believe that the more the better, than add a little extra of what you love to this recipe and enjoy!  Chicken Scampi, from Recipezaar3-4 servings 30 min 10 min prep 3-4 … [Continue reading]

Good Hair Day

 If you are anything like me, how well your hair behaves for you in the morning can be a great predictor of how your day is going to go. If my hair falls limp and is unmanageable before I even walk out of the bedroom, I know the day ahead is going to be rough. If my hair is full of body, laying at all the right places and looking good, then I know that I am in for a great day!On good hair days, I often find myself a little happier...a little more chipper. I am a better parent and therefore my kids respond to my happiness with their own happy moods. I am productive, energetic, and I seem to be more balanced.  It seems odd that something as simple as looking good can help you to feel so good. On my most recent good hair day, I somehow managed to get all of my work done, spend a lot of quality time with the kids, get my cleaning done and find time to bake something. Since I have been working more, my baking time has gone completely down hill and I have been itching to bake something...anything! I have had a chocolate cake bookmarked to try for the past 3 weeks and I really wanted to make that, but it was 7pm and a cake would be too time consuming. Craving something chocolate, my mind went back to some photos I saw on a blog the other day corresponding with a Whoopie Pie recipe. I couldn't for the life of me think of which blog I found it on and I had forgotten to bookmark the recipe. I decided to Google Whoopie Pie recipes and stumbled upon an Emeril recipe for Whoopie … [Continue reading]