Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekend Roundup

Well, it's safe to say that I've been very busy these last few days! On Friday I took JD and ZD to the Newark Free Library and let them take home a few books to read during quiet time, it was a HUGE success!!

Saturday morning my friend Liz dropped off her puppy, Taylor, so I could puppysit for a weekend. Taylor is a part of the Seeing Eye program, and at school we have a club devoted to raising the puppies until they are old enough to go through training to be a Seeing Eye Dog! There are many families that can participate in this, you can find out more by going to the website for The Seeing Eye. It's really an amazing program and you get to know that you helped change someone's life for the better!

A picture of Taylor in the car:


This precious girl knows to sit nicely in the back seat while I am driving, and she wears her green vest so that people around her know that she's a working dog.

Sunday was a lazy day for me and RR, we did laundry, watched TV, and then caught up on House of Cards on Netflix. Easily one of our favorite shows right now!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Delaware Children's Museum!

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into my nanny “schedule” as the weeks go by…the boys really start to get restless when the midweek mark comes up! They have asked to go to the Delaware Children’s Museum, so that’s where we headed today. In comparison to the Children’s Museums that I grew up going to in Philadelphia, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised!



Every display was interactive and on the kids’ level, which is what you would expect from a children’s museum.  However, the layout of the building was what pleased me the most! The transitions from room to room, and subsequently theme to theme, were very seamless and exciting, making the kids want to explore at their own pace and not “giving away” too much about the room to come.  When you first walk in, there is a large sculpture/climbing structure that the boys LOVE. They easily spent 30-40 minutes here! There was a large kids camp group there, which was a bit of a stumbling block at the DMNH, but with the size of the DCM, it was barely noticeable that they were there at all.

I basically had to tear the boys away from DCM when it came time for lunch, we were still there and quiet time was due to start in the next 45 minutes! Sometimes plans need to be adjusted for that sort of thing, but I like to keep them as close to a schedule in the summer as possible.

More pics!






Be sure to check it out, it would be easy to spend an entire morning or afternoon here with a few kiddos!


-JMB

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

One of the things that ZD and JD have been asking for is going to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. They have plates, cups, and even little frisbees that have HTTYD2 characters plastered all over them. Finally, I was able to take them to see the movie!



We went to the local Regal Cinema for the 11:15 showing, and had quite a few technical difficulties. Luckily, we were given vouchers for a future movie when we left. 

Now, I'm a little bit wary of movie ratings these days so I made sure to read several reviews online before taking the boys, but none of them prepared me for this: 

IT IS SAD.

There were several times that the boys looked over to me and said that the movie was sad, I don't want to go into details in case I spoil it for anyone. It was a good movie, it followed Hiccup and Toothless again as they proved the positive relationship between humans and dragons. Hiccup's "family" was involved this time around, and there was a lot of team building going on through the duration of the movie. 



Overall, we loved it! It's a little bit long for ZD & JD when they have to stay in a single seat for so long, especially when they need to get up for the bathroom but try to wait because they don't want to miss anything! Remember to ask the little ones (repeatedly) if they need to go. I won't mind when this DVD comes out and they want to watch it over and over, but I could see how some younger ones might not understand what's going on, and if they do they might be saddened/upset by it. 

Enjoy!

-JMB

Monday, June 23, 2014

Easy Chicken Fried Rice

Wooo! My first recipe blog post!

Lately I've been cooking two-person meals for RR and I after we get home from our respective workdays.

Tonight was Easy Chicken Fried Rice, with a recipe I found through pinterest (see it Pinned here). Bonus - the recipe only takes about 15-20 minutes!

Image from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

I tweaked the recipe a little bit to suit our taste...I'm also terrible at measuring so I usually just wing that part of it...

You will need:

  • ~2 cups of brown or white rice
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken (or previously cooked chicken of your own)
  • Canned sweet corn
  • Canned peas
  • Small onion
  • Minced garlic or garlic powder (I use the powder!)
First, cook the rice! When the rice is about halfway done I use a large frying pan, on medium-low heat, and cover the bottom in sesame oil, then add in the (chopped!) onion and lightly coat in garlic powder. After 2-3 minutes I microwave a paper plate of the chicken (about 7 or 8 strips) and then add that into the pan. Stir this up for a few minutes, raising the temperature to medium, and adding in the corn and peas, and mixing everything together to make sure that it's all coated in the sesame oil.

Now that the rice is finished, add it into the frying pan and turn that temperature up to high! Here is where the soy sauce comes in. I tend to use low sodium because RR and I are both Italian and high blood pressure is common in my family. I put in a few splashes of soy sauce, covering half of the rice, then I make sure to thoroughly mix it all together for about one minute.

Voila! Ready to serve, and when all is said and done should take about 15 minutes.

Let me know how it turns out if you decide to try this recipe!

-JMB

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Retail Therapy!

Whew! Today was a LONG, exhausting day. RR and I started out early, leaving his apartment at 10am to drive to the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware! Luckily for me, that boy loves to shop ;)

He ended up with:



a green dress shirt, a white polo, and a belt all from Vineyard Vines,


and a navy t-shirt from Ralph Lauren.


I walked away with: a seersucker skirt from Vineyard Vines,


the True Prep book from Brooks Brothers,


red pumps from Cole Haan,


the mobile iPhone 5/5s charger from Lilly Pulitzer in Lobstah Roll (my current favorite!),


and the "Go To Tote" from Dooney & Bourke.


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We got lunch at Chipotle, and we stopped at an adorable little coffee shop on Rehoboth Ave. It's called Cafe a Go-Go and the Iced Caramel Lattes were perfect to have before the afternoon drive.

Unfortunately, it was cloudy and rainy all day so we didn't get to hit the beach, but I did wear my Topanga Tunic in Coralina by Lilly Pulitzer for National Wear Your Lilly Day, aka the first day of summer and Rob's dad's birthday! Funnily enough, Rob and I unintentionally matched, since he was wearing a white oxford and J.Crew pants in Nantucket Red...we got quite a few compliments from strangers on the street ... :)

Happy #NationalWearYourLillyDay !

-JMB

Friday, June 20, 2014

"Dinosaur Museum"

All last week JD (6 years old) and ZD (4 years old) were asking me to go to the "dinosaur museum." It took me a few days to figure out just where that was...turns out it's the Delaware Museum of Natural History! I got the go-ahead from Mama D, so we trekked out to Greenville for the morning.



This place is awesome. Granted, you definitely cannot spend an entire day at this museum, it's a single level and takes about 30-45 minutes to walk through based on the interest and ages of the kids you're with.  Luckily, JD & ZD love finding all of the "hidden" birds and frogs in each diorama, so this activity took about 45 minutes. The museum offers special activities on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but we just took our own tour and played in the "Nature Nook." There were several hands-on activities in this room, which makes touring with a 4 year old a lot easier! We explored a cave, pet different animal skins, and colored some pictures of different bugs.

Now for the best part of the DMNH...

The outdoor trails!



I decided to let JD take charge and we worked on his following skills as he led us from trail marker to trail marker. To him it seems like a fun game, but it definitely helped him feel like the big brother and also helped his navigation skills when we crossed paths we had already explored. We saw several birds and frogs on the trail, which the boys really enjoyed, even though ZD took a tumble and got quite muddy. We are working on him keeping composed and not crying, and he did fabulously despite the fall!

I highly recommend going to check out this neat little museum, and if you have walkers definitely explore the outdoor trails! The entire morning trip took us about 1.5 hours, not including travel time.

-JMB

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld



From the back of the book –

            “A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege. And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with-and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband’s presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and ace questions nearly impossible to answer.”

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with “House of Cards,” a Netflix original series.  Even though I didn’t love politics growing up, I’ve recently taken a liking to the stories of the people behind those “power positions”. This book isn’t about the politics at all; it’s about the families, the struggles and the triumphs, and the emotions that go into every decision.  If you’ve never been able to relate to the First Lady (or the President, for those guys out there), this is the perfect book for you.  Following Alice through her transition into being a teenager, then young adult, then married woman with a husband who wants to leave a particular legacy, helps us understand that there are real people in office, and they struggle with the decisions they make just as much as we struggle with ours.

This one is definitely going on my list of books to recommend to other people! There aren’t many books that I will recommend based purely on memory alone, but American Wife is one of them. 

Buy this book on Amazon!


I almost always keep the same topic throughout TV, movies, and books for an extended period of time.  What topics are you interested in lately?