Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Pasta

I'm easy to please when it comes to lunches during the work week. I will pick something and eat it everyday for several months before I get tired of it. For a whopping 1.5 years, I ate raisin, date, and walnut oatmeal for lunch. Every. Day. I haven't been able to eat it since.

When I got tired of oatmeal, I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Three months later and I started to bring a can of Campbells chicken & wild rice soup. Lately, however, I have discovered the wonderful world of Healthy Choice Iron Chef frozen meals. They are fantastic! 300 calories, 15 grams of protein, and several amazing options to choose from all for less than $2.50. My favorite is the chicken with roasted red pepper alfredo. I bought out the entire downtown Seattle Target (honest, I did!). And when they were gone, I was very sad.

But I'm a very persistent person. And I obsess easily. I wasn't about to let my obsession end with Target's stocking failures. So I found some recipes and made my own. Not quite the same as the frozen meals (yes, they are THAT good) but still amazing. This is the kind of pasta that is so good, you could serve it at a dinner party or just whip it up for Friday family pasta night.

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Pasta

3 whole red bell peppers (or buy canned roasted red pepper)
1 diced onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup whole milk
4 oz. goat cheese
Pre-cooked chicken breasts pieces (or rotisserie chicken)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated parm cheese
1/2 lb. whole weat pasta
olive oil
salt & pepper

1. To roast red peppers, place them on a foil-covered baking sheet in a 450 degree oven and bake until peppers are charred (about 30 mins). Remove from oven and tent with foil to prevent steam from escaping. When the peppers have cooled (at least ten mins later), peel the skin and dice them.

2. Pour olive oil into a pan over medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic until the onions soften. Then add cream and milk and allow mixture to heat up. Add the goat cheese and stir to melt.

3. Pour the mixture into a blender with the red pepper and process until mostly smooth or until the mixture has reached desired texture.

4. Return the sauce to the pan. Add the chicken breast pieces and basil. Add the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta.

So yum!

This Week's Finds - Easter Eggs!

Hello my friends!

Greek Easter is really really close (only 4days left) so I have to prepare my family's red eggs tomorrow morning. A wonderful custom, that became my responsibility the past few years.   But this time I will paint them with my daughter...or at least I will try it! 

As you can imagine, my finds for this week are cute Easter eggs... 

   So cute Crochet Easter Egg Toy

  An amazing Needle Felt Easter Egg

        A Unique Personalized Easter Egg

          An one of a kind Easter Egg Decoration

  A Cute Easter Egg Card

Happy Easter!!!!!


- Rhodes - 

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Mommy Crack

I kiss his chubby cheeks and smell his soft skin.

I breath in his angel thin hair. I pinch his fatty baby thighs.

Wrap my arms tightly around his entire body. Choke back tears over his natural sweetness.

I can't enough of his babyness.

I want to inhale it.

I am absolutely addicted to him.

He is my crack.

My sweet, pinchable, chubby, soft crack.

My crack who is slowly learning to walk (stop! stop it!).

At least once a day I find myself thinking back to Ryan's early days. His newborn photos. That moment he met his big brother for the first time. An old baby phase of his that is long gone. I can't stop my tears from falling. I just see so much beauty and wonderment surrounding this little boy. As if the entire purpose of life is slowly being revealed to me, piece by small piece, in every one of his smiles.

Google Does It Again

I'm so happy that the person who googled "accidental crotch sweat" was directed to my blog. I hope they enjoyed the pictures of my post-spin class sweat.

I'm confused how six people found my blog by googling "naked full figured women." I'm sure they were disappointed.

And I'm very curious about the two people who came to my blog by googling "peeing on your leg hangover cure." The only real hangover cure is to be sick for three days in a row and then be shown pictures of you swimming in the ocean with only half your clothes on. Then, trust me, you will never want to drink again.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Walking around in Nafplio - Our Past Future....

Oh yes, I know, Ive spoken about Nafplio already! Well we all have the tendency to say again and again how much fun we’ve had when we did have a great time, don’t we? I promise it’s going to be the last time …for this month at least!  

This time I am not going to talk about Nafplio as a town, but about its old railway station. It’s one of the city’s most famous landmarks. For some it could just be an ugly image of something old that’s been left without care. It may be thatbut there is another side to it. The side of something old that holds so many memories and experiences and brings old and new together in one. Paintings, images, simple words of young people filled with anxieties, ready to make their own journey… 

   The engine…carrying so many vagons filled with feelings hopes...

....now harbors simple talk filled with expectations… 

"One’s darkness becomes light when he finds another”

The entrance or waiting hall as the sign reads. Waiting for a better tomorrow? 

Simple words… “Ive lived in your lips

Ready to make its new journey! The journey as defined by ourselves…

 Because everything is a road!

Have a great day!

Not So Picture Perfect

When we were first married, I told my husband I wanted five kids. All boys. He looked at me like I was mad and asked "why?" I told him, "I love boys, they are so naughty."

He shook his head and said, "Only two." I told him we could compromise, with four. We are still negotiating.

Yesterday was pretty much a quintessential day with a house full of boys. It was crazy, unexpected, wierdly hilarious and wild. I loved every second of the chaos.

My morning started at exactly 7:19 when I heard Ryan howling from his room. He wasn't just whinning to be let free from his baby jail. He was howling. Without having to peek my head in, and even though it had never happened before, I instantly knew what was wrong. My mommy instincts are so finely tuned when it comes to pain cries.

I walked into the boys' room and found Ryan on the floor next to his crib. A long crimson trail of blood flooded from his ear, across his forehard and dripped down his face. I picked him up immediately to console him and then searched for the source of the blood. It took my a while to discover that he was bleeding from a gash in his forehead.

I cleaned him off, feeling 40% grossed out and 60% sympathy, and inspected the wound. It appeared to be gaping. It was smack in the middle of his forehead. And I swear I saw some fatty tissue peaking out from behind the cut. It instantly stopped bleeding with a bandaid, but to be on the safe side, I packed a quick diaper bag and rushed Ryan out to Urgent Care (where our family has been three times this year already!).

Thankfully, no stitches. The doctor said it was completely superficial. Phew, not even a glue bandaid was necessary. But we did walk out with the world's biggest bandaid. Such a brave daredevil!

Of course, as luck would have it, today we were scheduled for an outdoor photo shoot for family portraits. Turns out that getting a family of four ready (with two young boys), is much more difficult than getting a family of three ready (with one small boy). I had our outfits planned ahead for months but I guess I hadn't quite hammered out all the details. Jacob had no dress socks, so I convinced him to wear a pair of my black socks. He got quite the kick out of the fact that his socks went past his knees. Ryan did not have a single pair of clean matching socks. We improvised and hoped his pants would cover them. Jacob's brown belt clearly did not match his black shoes. Then, of course, there was Ryan's gory forehead and my gashed up kneed peeking out from beneath my dress. We were quite a sight.

At the last minute I stopped at a store and found a sweater for Jacob. It was meant to keep him warm (he kept complaining of being cold in the polo shirt I made him wear) but had the added bonus of hiding his brown unmatchy belt. Unfortunately, we did not look as put-together and coordinated as I had imagined, but you know what? That's life with two young boys. Chaotic, unkept, improvised, and a little frustrating. We definitely looked the part.

We met our wonderful photographer in Tacoma. Immediately my outgoing four year old turned into the shyest human on earth. He was stingy with smiles at first but finally warmed up after we kept insisting that he "better not smile this time!" In every other shot, Ryan was captured trying to smack his brother on the top of the head. Jacob wouldn't let go of his filthy, dirt-covered "special doggy" stuffed animal. When we posed them together for a sibling shot, they both kept falling over, while clutching each other. And then Jacob kept photo-bombing our couples shot.

Thank goodness we all had a great sense of humor! The photographer laughed at the chaos and captured the craziness in his photos. This is real life, people. This is our family. This is simply what little boys do. Thankfully, I know that there are at least a handful of great shots. And the photographer even promised to edit out Ryan's gashed forehead and my banged up, scabby knees. Phew!

After the photoshoot we took the kids out for dinner. It's not often we are all together and dressed so (mostly) nicely. We stopped at one of our favorite burger joints and, for the first time in a long time, all had a nice dinner out. I was enjoying our time together so much that I didn't even mind that Ryan kept trying to feed me every five second by thrusting his spoon into my mouth. I didn't mind having to shove my food down my throat while simultaneously pulling Ryan off the table and reminding Jacob to eat his burger and not just his fries. My husband and I were only a little irked that Jacob kept trying to blow bubbles in his milkshake causing it to spill all over the table. My husband and I didn't even mind taking turns interrupting our meal to take the kids to the bathroom and change their diapers.

As we piled into the car I looked back fondly on our day. It was chaotic. It was busy. It was frustrating at times. But we were together. As usual, the boys had filled our day with stress, worry, and frustration but these trying moments were interspersed with laugher, smiles, and candid, unplanned sweet moments. It was the absolute perfect picture of our life with two small boys.

I'm slowly learning not to view moments of frustration as black spots on the day but as opportunities to step up to the plate at this whole parenting thing and put our skills to the test. Not only do parents have to manage expectations (of their children and of themselves) but parents need to learn that the hard parts are the growing pains. They are evidence that our children are growing and learning and processing the world around them. Nothing is more wonderful than the journey of a child finding his place in the world and experiencing the unconditional love of his parents through their guidance and acceptance. And then your kid shits his pants and it's totally acceptable to scream at a wall.

I was almost tempted to ask the photographer not to edit the pictures. Almost.


Pippi I'm going to miss you!!! 

My sweet friend Pippi, Rhodes, April 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013


The Rhodes I'm going to miss...

A sea of flowers...



Sweet and at times stormy... (so much like me)

Not touristy at all...

And sweet kitty friends, of course!!!

"In Rhodes the days drop as softly as fruit from trees"

Lawrence Durrell, Reflections on a Marine Venus