Category Archives: Valentine’s Day

Love List

This morning, I asked Dylan what he loves.  His answer was: “everyone.”  Riley’s response to the same question was: “waffles and diapers.”  (This, I believe, is a warning sign that potty training this weekend might be a colossally bad idea.)

In the world of astrology – if you like that stuff – my boys are like water (Dylan) and fire (Riley).  Just look in their eyes and you can see it.

In honor of this Valentine’s Day, here are some things I love (besides my husband, kids, dog and all that other obvious stuff):

1. Dancing in my kitchen with Dylan and Riley to Jack Johnson’s “Upside Down.”  Riley calls it the Curious George song.  (FYI: There’s more evidence of water and fire on the dance floor: Where Dylan is a breaker, Riley is a krumper.)

2. Pinterest. I was invited to join last night (thanks Carrie!), and it was love at first sight.    I have little to no idea how it works, but I can already tell it’s going to occupy a lot of my time.  (Sociology Mama moment: Social media has completely revolutionized motherhood, especially stay-at-home motherhood!  Another post for another time…)

3. My new alarm clock/iPhone dock.

The iPhone sits on top, but I needed it to take the picture. 🙂
This was Mike’s Valentine’s Day gift to me this morning.  Before you judge the (lack of) romance factor, you should know that I’m the kind of girl who thinks practical gifts can be extremely romantic (remember the electric toothbrush?).  That, and I asked him to buy it for me.
4. Owls.  Yup, still lovin’ the owl.  Here’s my newest, most favorite owl item:
Part owl homage, part vision board.  I’m going to frame this card and hang it above my desk.  Imagine a world where I had such cool office furniture and could keep so many plants alive!

5. Kale. Random, but I love it.  Sautéed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Yum.

6. Today’s weather.  I’m a New England girl in my soul (Jenny from the Peabody block!), but after almost eight years in South Florida, I have grown to appreciate Florida winters.  I’ll sing a different tune in a few months when it’s 92° with 100% humidity every day until Thanksgiving, but today’s weather – sunny, dry, and 75° – is a gift.

What’s on your love list?

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Filed under owls, Sociology Mama, Valentine's Day

Almost Meatless Monday

So, Meatless Monday turned into Sushi Night.  Mike and I had an unexpected opportunity to put the kids to bed and then go out for a late Valentine’s Day dinner.  I did have fish, but no meat, which thankfully is pretty easy to do at a Japanese restaurant.

Overall, it was a pleasant Valentine’s Day.  I bought chocolate covered strawberries for the boys for an after school snack.  Neither one of them ate a single bite and Dylan told me the pink sprinkles on his strawberry were “unacceptable,” but I didn’t mind.  I appreciated the sophistication of his vocabulary, and the strawberries didn’t go to waste.  I ate every delicious bite their dirty, sticky little toddler hands didn’t touch.
This morning, Dylan said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mommy!”  I told him Valentine’s Day was over, that it’s like Christmas and birthdays that come once a year for one day.  He said, “No, it is Valentine’s Day.”  Who am I to argue with this kid?  He might be on to something.  I thanked him for wishing me a Happy Valentine’s Day and gave him a kiss.  

It’s now Meatless Tuesday and I’m looking forward to eating Quinoa and Fennel salad for lunch.  Here’s the recipe:
This recipe began as a “Mediterranean Barley Salad” from Cooking Light magazine.   My version is slightly different in that I used quinoa instead of barley (I had quinoa in the pantry) and I added feta cheese (I love feta).  I also used a little bit more Dijon mustard in the dressing (one teaspoon instead of a ½) and a few more olives in the salad (I like kalamata olives as much as I like feta), and I didn’t toast the walnuts (I’m lazy). If you want the original recipe, you can do a search at  My version is right here:


1-½ teaspoons grated lemon rind

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard



1 cup uncooked quinoa (cook according to directions on package, should yield about 3 cups of cooked quinoa)

1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup chopped red onion

10 pitted, chopped kalamata olives

1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

4 oz. crumbled feta cheese

salt and pepper to taste



1.     Cook quinoa according to directions on package and let it cool in the refrigerator (unless you prefer a warm salad).

2.     Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir well with a whisk.

3.     Mix all salad ingredients together.

4.     Add dressing to salad and toss.

5.     Add salt and pepper to taste.

6.     Eat!  Yum!

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Filed under recipe, Valentine's Day