Sunday, September 30, 2012

Make Your Own Bagels

A couple people have asked about my bagel recipe. Here it is! I don't remember where I got it. I think it was just a random website I found during a google search rather than Cooking Light or Cook's Illustrated, my usual go-to places. 

Pretty easy. The hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise!


4 cups bread flour
1 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water

Topping (for Pizza Bagel)

Pasta sauce
Mini pepperonis
Mozarella or monterrey jack cheese
or anything else your heart desires!

1. Dissolve yeast in water about 5 minutes/until bubbly or frothy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to form a ball of dough. It's suppose to feel stiff.

2. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until smooth. Separate into 8 balls and let rest for 20 minutes.

3. Roll balls into a long snake. This only works for me if I rub the dough between both hands rather than a hand and a floured surface. Wrap the snake-like dough around your hand bringing and pressing the ends together. While the dough is still wrapped around your hands and with the end peices in your palm, roll the peices together (the same as you would roll the dough to make the snake-shape). If this makes absolutely no sense, then try this quick video.

4. Let the dough rest for another 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 and set a large pot of water to boil.

5. Boil each bagel (I did two at a time) in the boiling water, one minute on each side.

6. Place the bagels on a greased baking sheet and top with your toppings of choice.

7. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes.

Then...YUM! Carb alert!

Monday Moodboard: Smiles in Red!!!!

Just Smile, makes you feel better!!!

- Artist's Brush - Red - original watercolor painting by FluidColors

- Large Black Flower Brooch Fashion accessory by Freja

-Crochet wrap shawl boho fashion in tangerine, the Thalia Shawl By Polixeni

-  Portrait photography - Fine art photography print - girl - flowers - red   by Jetty Kolobaric

For many more Moodboards please visit 


After my first simple forms created with cold clay, I have been thinking about a way to paint the pieces so as to achieve a look and feel that would recall the colorful glazes used on ceramic... I love the look of glazed ceramics! I painted the pieces with acrylic enamels and varnished them with a thick, glossy varnish. I'm very happy with the results!!! They will be rings!

In a Pottery gallery with my daughter :)

Είχα την τιμή και τη χαρά να δεχτώ μία προσκληση από καλή φίλη να επισκεφτώ μία έκθεση κεραμικής που λάμβανε χώρα στο Δημαρχείο του Αμαρουσίου. Οι καλλιτέχνες είναι άνθρωποι που απλά το έκαναν από χόμπυ. Πήρα λοιπόν τ μικρή μου και πήγαμε και μπορώ να πω ότι δεν το μετάνοιωσα καθόλου. Η δουλειά τους είναι απίστευτη, γεμάτη χρώματα και πολύ καλά κατασκευασμένα. Δεν μπορούσα να πιστέψω ότι όλα τα έργα τέχνης ήταν από ανθρώπους που έκαναν μαθήματα κεραμικής περίπου 1χρονο τώρα. Καταπληκτική δουλειά. Συγχαρητήρια!!!

I accept an invitation from a good friend of mine to visit a pottery gallery in the town hall of Marousi, Athens, participating crafters that do it for hobby. I got my daughter and go down there and now I can say that I didn't re great it. The items were simply amazing, colorful, so well done crafted. I couldn't believe that all these crafted from arts that were studying it for a year only. Amazing job. Congratulations!!!

Δυστυχώς οι φωτογραφίες τραβήχτηκαν με το κινητό, λόγω προσωρινής βλάβης της φωτογραφικής μου μηχανής. Τουλάχιστον είναι καθαρες....

Unfortunately my photo camera had a problem the specific day, so all the below photos were taken with mobile camera. At least there are clear enough....

One Good Day

Oh man do I miss sleeping in....Ryan woke up at 6 a.m. today.  I fed him and hoped he would do his usual thing by going right back to sleep. He fought sleep for about 30 mins and right when he was about to finally drift off, Jacob's bedroom door opened and he rushed down the hall, grinning widely and stomping his feet loudly.

Sigh. I was up for the long haul.

So what to do next? I decided to make bagels. And just because I'm an insane person, I decided to make them from scratch. I had made bagels once before and they hadn't turned out so well. Ever since then I've been determined to make them again. I pulled out my recipe book, glanced down the ingredient list, and quickly realized I didn't have bread flour, the staple ingredient.

That should have been a sign to abandon my little morning project. But I had already made up my mind and, dang it, I really wanted some pizza bagels! So I packed up both kids (husband was sleeping and Jacob refused to be left behind) and off we went, to the grocery store, at 6:45 a.m. Never underestimate a mom's desire to carbo-load at the butt crack of dawn.

My hair was greasy, my yoga pants had the just-been-slept-in smell, and my sweatshirt had a huge spit-up stain in the shoulder area. I should have changed decided my chances were very slim of running into Jon Hamm at Safeway and convincing him to run away with me after throwing provocative glanes (ducklips anyone?) his way. Especially if I was pushing a cart containing one poop-grunting infant and one shoe-less child (I didn even realize he wasn't wearing shoes until we got there!). "People of Safeway at 6:45 a.m." is giving "People of Walmart" a run for it's money.

When we got home, Ry was crabby and ready for a nap. But I had come so far in my goal of making bagels to let something silly like naptime get in the way. With Ryan on my hip, I one-handedly mixed the dough, shaped the bagels, set them out to rise, boiled them, topped them with pizza ingredients, and plopped them in the oven.

They were well worth every freaking effort! Hmmmmm, carbs. Since I know so many people on the Paleo diet right now, I decided to enjoy a bagel for each of those people. That's just the supportive kind of person that I am. Yes, I know I'm kind. You are very welcome.

I didn't have an agenda for the rest of the day at all. I spend the day totally present with my kids. Jacob helped us re-arrange and organize his room. We set up his big boy bunk beds and somehow managed to fit bunkbeds, crib, dresser, bookcase and toy chest into his tiny room. Things ended up fitting with just centimeters of extra space. Phew! Jacob is now ready to share his room with Ryan. I am so excited for them to go this one step further in becoming best-bud brothers.

Jacob had a freaking ton of toys that he never played with. He refused to let me take them to Goodwill so I told him we were going to put the extra toys in a bag and take them to Grandma's house. Poor kid, he had no idea he was an accomplice in a bold act of toy-knapping. When he fell asleep in the car, I rushed to Goodwill and dropped those toys off faster than a hot-potato. Mommy win!

Before we went home, we took a spontaneous trip to a nearby creektrail. Jacob, Ryan, and I took in the scenes and explored some nature. We played "Pooh-sticks" over a bridge, helded caterpillers in our hands, made up some songs, and enjoyed some spray-paint graffiti ("Mommy what do those words say?" "Oh, they'I love rainbows'!"). I need to remember to do stuff like that more often. Nothing beats good, old-fashioned outdoor fun. Especially when it is free and doesn't involve puke-covered arcade games (looking at you Chuck E. Cheese!).

Today was one of my favorite days in a long time. This is true even though I fell asleep 20 minutes into the movie Inception during date-night-in with the husband. (Don't worry, I've seen it's very good.)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Buh-Bye Baby Weight

Another reason why my job is is a baby-weight killer!

My commute keeps me on my toes, literally. It's 2+ hours of car, ferry, bus, and walk travel (one way). This week, I started skipping the bus on my way home and instead have been walking to the ferry after work. This means, depending on the day (if it's not my turn to drop the kids off, I walk almost a mile from my house to the ferry), I can get up to 2-4 miles of walking in each day.

And just like that, I solved my lack-of-energy-to-go-to-the-gym-at-8pm problem!

I've struggled so hard with these last 5 pounds of babyweight. After Jacob was born, all the weight melted off within a month with NO extra effort. This time around, I shed a bunch of weight in the first month after Ryan's birth, but then my progress stagnated. I started running and then threw out my back. I started running again which only made me super hungry. I cut way back on my chocolate intake (notice I said "cut-back" instead of "cut-out" - I'm not INSANE). I continued drinking a gallon of water each day. Nothing worked.

Four months of no progress made me really depressed. I was in a pit of despair. I tried to just accept my new body and move on. I tried SO hard. But just those 5 extra pounds made me feel so horrible. It make me neurotic. It became a mind game. Those 5 stubborn pounds (located all in one place) were taunting me. No matter how hard I worked, they clung to me (damn parasites). This was war. I HAD to defeat them! I just HAD to.

It didn't help that my favorite clothes no longer fit right (I paid good money for those!). I mean how many more times can I really get away with wearing stretchy-waited yoga pants and oversided sweathshirts to run errands? I think I more than exceeded my new-mommy quota. In fact, I'm pretty sure I owe libations to the fashion gods for my fashions sins these past 5 months.

But things are FINALLY turning around! After just 1.5 weeks at my new job, I've already lost half of my remaining baby weight. Not only does the commute add 2-4 miles of walking to my daily routine, but being super busy with exciting lawyer tasks keeps me from snacking on junk. I'm far too busy drafting motions to think about buying candy bars.

I've already lost nearly half of my remaining baby weight! Only 2.5 pounds to go!

Unfortunately, I may have just sabotaged all this progress. This morning, I made (from scratch- with real yeast and sh*t!), pizza bagels! Cause really, what else am I supposed to do when my kids wake me up at 6 a.m. But, you can't just make pizza bagels and not taste one. Or two. Or three.  They had to pass my quality control of course. And to QC test a product, you need a decent-sized sample.

Good thing there's plenty more walking in my future.

black-orange saturday night


Thursday, September 27, 2012

ME TOO! :)

Zoe of course wanted a feature too! Here she is showing off her winter cave/igloo... where she likes to sleep when the days get cooler... after some cuddles with her mommy, of course! ;)

Halloween Necklace!!!!

Στην Ελλάδα δεν έχουμε ως μία από τις εορταστικές μας περιόδους το Halloween που έχουν στην Αμερική, Αγγλία και αλλού, αν και νομίζω ότι μοιάζει λίγο με τις δικές απόκριες.  Με αφορμή όμως αυτή την προ-εορταστική περίοδο  και  επειδή ο συνδυασμός χρωμάτων μαύρο-πορτοκαλί είναι από τους αγαπημένους μου, αποφάσισα να δημιουργήσω ένα κολιέ στους χρωματισμούς αυτούς για κάθε τύπο γυναίκας, για κάθε μας μοναδική εμφάνιση και για κάθε εποχή του χρόνου.

Even thought in Greece we do not celebrate Halloween as the Americans or English etc, I tried to create a necklace that combines the known Halloween colors black and orange (tangerine tango), one of my favorite combinations!
Μαύρη ηφαιστειακή λάβα, με πορτοκαλί (tangerine tango) μάτι της γάτας και ένα onyx-αχάτη σε οβάλ σχήμα και σε χρωματισμο πορτοκαλί-καφε-μπορντώ.  Η λάβα, αν και πέτρα που έχει συνδυαστεί με το καλοκαίρι, μπορεί να φορεθεί άνετα και το φθινόπωρο και το χειμώνα!

Black Volcanic lava with tangerine tango cat’s eye beads , a Multi-color (orange-brown-crimson) onyx-agate oval pendant and copper connectors. I believe that most people have combined lava rock with beach and summer. But I believe that this stone is perfect for jewels that can be carried due Autumn and Winter. Hope you will enjoy it J

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


When the days get cooler, Lilli and Theo, my Mom's sweet kitties, love snuggling up in a basket...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Not Just Easier, But Better

When I returned to work after my 4 month maternity leave. Things were....difficult. Mornings sucked as I had to pry myself away from my children. I wasn't used to giving up my baby on a daily basis. Up to that point, he was almost always with me. He was my little buddy.

Once I got to work, my thoughts were consumed by them. Everything reminded me of them and the fact that I was not with them. It was hard to focus. I couldn't have pictures of Ryan in my office because they would bring me tears. I cried often. Random things would trigger my tears. I would sit in my office, let the tears fall down my face, and try so hard to will them to stop before anyone saw me.

Things were hard for at least a month. Then one day, they were better.  The teary-eyed moments stopped. I would finish a whole day of work and suddenly realize that I hadn't thought about the kids that day.

It amazed me how quickly I got into the routine of dropping off the kids and going to work. This is especially amazing to me because for several weeks it seemed as if things would be hard forever. That crying at the office would be my life for the foreseeable future. That would suck, right?

I'm not saying it's easy to leave the kids in the morning. When I wake up, I only get about 20 minutes of awake time with the kids before I pile them in the car. That time is mostly spent getting dressed while listening to them talk and giggle with each other from across the room. Those first 20 minutes with the kids are so precious. I always hate to interrupt that time.

Somedays when I drop the kids off at my mom's house in the mornings, it would be very easy to let pity take over and to wallow in the fact that I don't get to be with my boys all day. It would be easy to let the pang of separation flourish. But on those days where it still feels hard to leave them and go to work, I make a conscious decision to not wallow. And usually, by the time I get to the office, I'm too excited to tackle the challenges waiting for me on my desk to focus on feeling sad.

This is why, for me, it has become so important to have a challenging job in which I get to use my lawyer skills and education. When I leave my kids each morning, it helps to know that I'm using my time away from them wisely. That I'm doing something worthwhile. That I'm learning, and growing, and using my (horribly expensive) education.

But you know what else? Even though I'm not with them all day, I'm teaching my boys something very important. I'm teaching them that women can play many roles. Women can be loving mommies AND they can be bread winners. They can be lawyers. They can be professionals. They can be valued for their skills and intellect. They can be independent. They can be confident without all the negative connotations that usually follow. They can be nurturing at home and successful at work. Women can have babies. They can go to court. Sometimes one shortly after the other. 

I hope when my boys grow up, they are unable to fathom that women, at one point in time, were limited by glass ceilings. I hope, when they go to their own jobs, that it never even crosses their mind to treat women differently than the way THEY wish to be treated in the workplace.  I hope the only world they know is one where women hold positions of power and are respected for their capabilities. When they date and get married, I hope they operate under the assumption that their girlfriends and wives can do great things, both in and out of the home. And, I hope their default setting is to support their significant others in any path that they choose. I hope, they are imparted with the knowledge that women can be strong and smart and successful in anything they do.

I hope that by going to work every day, I teach them a little bit of all that. And just maybe, I'm also making things a little easier for the future women in their lives too.

Monday, September 24, 2012

God And Sex And The Inquisitive Child

I had just picked the kids up at my mom's house and we were all piled into the car heading home. Sometimes Jacob falls asleep during our drive. This makes for a peaceful car ride and a happy, exhausted mom. But sometimes, like tonight, we just end up playing 143 questions instead.

(Oh and P.S., Jacob gets most of his religious education from my mom)

"Mommy, do only bad guys die to their bones?"


"Do only bad guys, not good guys, die to their bones?"

"You mean become a skeleton? Everyone will die and turn into a skeleton someday."

"But good guys will go up to heaven and bad guys will go down to the devil?"

"Yes. Our souls will, but our bodies will go into the ground and become a skeleton."

"Why doesn't the devil just leave if he doesn't like it down there?"

"Um.....because.....maybe you should ask Grandma that one."

"Why do bad guys have to go down to the devil?"

"Well, God likes it when people are nice to each other. He likes it when we help each other and not just help ourselves. He likes it when you share, love people, and listen to your mommy and daddy.

"Ok. I will listen to you when I turn 8."

"No Jacob, you need to listen all the time."

"When you were a baby was I in your tummy?"

"Uh......No, you were in my tummy when I was a grown up."

"When you were a baby, where was I?"

"You didn't exist yet."

"So where was I?"

" were with God."

"Ok. I was with God then I got in your tummy? How did I get in your tummy?"

"Um, God put you there." NOOOOO!!!

"Oh. But how?"

"Um....(getting a little uncomfortable here)....He's just special. He can do anything."

"Ok. But how?"


"God has a big button on his desk. When he pushes the button, a baby starts to grow in a mommy's tummy."

"Oh yeah. I know that."

Phew, I temporarily dodged that one.

Monday Moodboard: small gifts for young ladies!!!!

- Knitted dress, shoes by tenderblue :

- Crocheted Baby Girl Vest by SasasHandcrafts :

-.Pin brooch Elephant by bboutiquebeauties :

- Waldorf blanket doll green pink soft doll by Juddolls :

- Knitted pink linen toddler girl's summer dress by KriksisLV :

For many more Moodboards please visit 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Up High

We had a busy weekend of chores and fun the past couple days. Why is it I can spend every second of the weekend doing house stuff and yet all I've managed to do is just barely stay above water on the chores? Lately the chores come at me much more quickly than I can handle them. Maybe it has something to do with an extra person in the house?

But this weekend wasn't ALL chores....On Saturday we went to the state fair. Jacob had four hours of fully concentrated fun and we enjoyed re-living our childhoods through him.

Before we left for the fair, Jacob called out to me from across the house: "Mommy, where are you?"

"I'm trying to find something to wear." I called back to him.

"It's ok Mommy. Just wear what you are wearing. It only makes you look a little bit fat." He said sweetly, thinking he was paying a really nice compliment.

Gee, thanks kid!

I managed to STILL take him to the fair even after that comment. But man, I'm not sure if fairs are worth the trouble. I absolutely hate crowds. I easily get claustrophobic (at my old work, some guys were painting the exterior of the building and covered my office windows with protective tarp, that alone was enough for my phobia to creep in). I hate feeling like I can't quickly escape or get out of wherever I am at any given moment. When you're surrounded by a tons of fair-goers it takes 10 minutes just to walk 10 feet to the line for the bathroom! Speaking of lines. I hate lines! I'm the least patient person on the planet! It doesn't help that I don't even really LIKE fair rides. What's the point in waiting in line to do something I don't even like?

But....(highlight of MY day at the fair) at least I got some (kinda) nice family pictures to frame for my office:

I even took my baby on the ferris wheel! Ryan was totally unphased by it as he gazed down at the tiny specks of people below. My stomach was in my throat nearly the entire time and I kept firmly reminding Jacob NOT to rock the seats. Plus, I hate when they stop the ferris wheel when I'm at the top. All I can do when that happens is bite my nails and repeat fervently to myself, "What was I thinking?!" Obviously, I'm NOT an adrenaline junky.

Oh and Jacob had so much fun that he begged me to let him go again, by HIMSELF! I nearly freaked out as I let him load into a ferris wheel seat all alone and watched as the uncertain structure carried him up in the air and far away from me.

Thank goodness I've never read any caselaw about carnival ride accidents because my imaginaton was already doing a good job of helping me imagine the worst!  Oh, but I DID trip on an unsecure electrical cord while holding Ryan.  Luckily I did not fall to the ground but I quickly ran through the premises liability issues and determined that if I had fallen, I'd have had a pretty good liability case :)