Friday, September 23, 2011

Outta the Mouths of Babes: Afternoon Edition

GRACIE: Hey, Annelie. Did you know that 'leg' begins with 'k?'


ME [gives Gracie weird look]:...?

GRACIE: I mean 'knee.' Did you know that 'knee' begins with 'k?'


That's all! We're going to the hot air balloon festival tonight, which should be awesome. And then my hubs has a show tomorrow night, which should be awesome. And Annelie's training wheels are coming off on Sunday, which should be... interesting. And awesome.

Happy weekend, folks!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Ice Cream for Breakfast!

I'd say the biggest downside to having kids is that they eat breakfast. When you're the kind of person who likes to sleep until noon everyday, this is some serious style cramping. Even after 8 hours of sleep, if my eyes are open at 6 AM it's guaranteed I'll be a coffee-drinking zombie until closer to normal waking hours (ie. noon).

My kids are used to Zombie Mom. Heck, they love Zombie Mom! She lets them watch Sponge Bob AND eat cereal straight from the box... on the COUCH. Afternoon/Evening Mom is closer to Tiger Mom, and doesn't allow TV of any kind watched unless supervised reading has been done. And NO WAY is food allowed on the couch (especially not after finding 2 half-eaten apples and a peanut butter sandwich mashed into the cushions).

Which means that breakfast at Chez Hopkins gets about as fancy as dry cereal, a container of yogurt straight from the fridge, and a banana.*

Well, no longer, folks! After finding this super awesome grilled cheese sandwich ice cream picture on Pinterest the other day, I thought, HEY! Even Zombie Mom can make something like that for breakfast! (only minus the cheese sandwich)

And she did. 1 cinnamon waffle cut into a triangle, 1 banana stacked like ice cream, 3 scoops of vanilla yogurt as faux-whipped cream, and a handful of walnut sprinkles.

Breakfast was gobbled up in aprox. 3 seconds.

*pats self on back*

Happy Monday, folks!

*except Sundays. On Sunday, Zombie Mom pretends to be a baker and manages to pop a can of Pillsbury orange danishes in the oven. Bon Appetit!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tampon Crafting!

To those who are sensitive (i.e. my husband): this post contains the word "Tampon"


Every once in awhile, I get an email from my mom with the subject line: We should make these for everyone for Christmas!

This is usually my indication she has linked me to a website that is equal parts hilarious and horrific. Such as the site Tampon Crafts ( where you can make yourself a fine tampon toupee or, if you're feeling especially festive, a tampon nativity and/or menorah!

Tampon crafting - so silly.


"Mom," Annelie yelled, yesterday morning, hard at work on a Fruity Cheerios rainbow. "I'm ready to glue the clouds!"

Panic set. There I was, rummaging through the bathroom cabinets, holding an empty bag of cotton balls.

(Why do people leave empty bags of cotton balls sitting in the cabinets? WHY?)

"Moooooom!" she yelled, again. "I'm ready to glue the clouds!"


*grabs box of tampons*

"Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! I need my clouds!"

*rips package open*

*shreds tampon into fluffy strands*


"Here you go, sweetie!"

*tosses shredded tampon on table*

Thanks to my own Mom for her horrendously funny links, our preschool craft hour was saved!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Proof I Lead A Glamorous Life...

I'm pretty sure I know what you have all been thinking.

"Wow, that Marisa. Her days must be so exotic! So exhilarating! So glamorous!"

Right? Am I right?

Well, you're not too wrong, folks. Much like the celebs you see in your grocery check-out line tabloids, my every move is under scrutiny by the paparazzi.


Looking in her drawer.
Typing on her computer.
Looking through her stuff.

(this 6-year-old paparazza aced her spelling test on Friday.
Just in case you're wondering

And a thumbnail to make sure everyone knows it's ME being paparazzi-stalked - looking much like a super glamorous celeb, that's right.*

I live a glamorous life, indeed!

*super glamorous celeb on her down time - sloppy clothes, messy hair, make up free, completely exhausted... not inaccurate that she drew me looking like Pig-Pen from the Peanuts gang.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Nerding Out

As if this isn't fantastic enough....

There is also this to enjoy.

Happy Saturday, folks.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Flashback: Fern Ridge (or My First Writing Retreat)

The summer between 5th and 6th grade, I joined my childhood BFF Molly and her family on a trip to Oregon. I couldn't get over how lucky I was. A super long drive (I love road trips), my first ever vacation without my family, the loft of the Holbrook's rental house all to our 11-year-old selves, and, as Molly was my writing buddy, guaranteed non-stop story writing and reading for an entire week.

Best. Trip. EVER. I had never felt like such a grown up.

This trip is so clear in my memory it feels like it happened... well, a heck of a lot sooner than 19 years ago (eek!) Even packing was exciting. I ripped apart my vocabulary notebook from 5th grade, determined to fill it with the best story imaginable. I scoured my bedroom shelves for books I hadn't read yet. (this was the summer I decided I would enrich my life with the classics and packed only stories by O'Henry, The House of the Seven Gables and Black Beauty. I got as far as the beginning of Black Beauty before I ditched my books for Molly's - Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and The Dollhouse Murders were a little more interesting to 11-year-old-Marisa)

(30-year-old Marisa thinks they sound more interesting, too)

Mostly, I remember the freedom we had to do what we liked all day long. As soon as we arrived at the house, we set up a library in our loft and ran down to the river to find the perfect writing spot which we called Fern Ridge (shown in the above sketch). If we wanted to take a break from writing, we'd row a boat across the river to the beach on the other side. We'd play Spit and BS until our fingers fell off, listen to Bob Marley on a loop, watch more episodes of Happy Days than a person should watch in their entire life-time, build wigwams out of the underbrush and pretend we were Native Americans, and talk boys boys boys (we happened to be madly in love with the cutest set of brothers who attended our church - all my boy book characters were called either Mario or Giovanni that summer).

I held on to that notebook (obviously - it's shown above). And though my story, which I titled Fern Ridge, wasn't exactly the best story imaginable...

... it's certainly entertaining.

Man, did I love sitting on the stairs of our secret writing spot (which wasn't really secret - it was the stairs down to the river) and writing like crazy. I knew even then that I wanted to be a writer someday, but having a writing friend beside me, scribbling in her own notebook, was the BEST part of my life back then.

A year ago, Molly posted this little gem on Facebook and I just about fell out of my chair when I saw it.

No way were we this little. That was the summer we were practically GROWN UPS.

I don't know if Molly is writing these days, but she is certainly releasing her creativity into the world in the form of gorgeous organic meals with her gourmet catering company Organicopia.

And lookie here - she's has her very first webisode. (yay, Molly!)

Organicopia - Webisode Pilot from Nelson Nunez on Vimeo.

Have a flashback of your own to share? Blog it! And then tell me, so I can read it!

Have a wonderful weekend, folks!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

An Eggcellent Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

(See that? I said Eggcellent - oh, yes I did)

Marrying a vegetarian was a little weird at first, especially as, when it comes to whipping up food, I'm no Martha Stewart, or Paula Deen, or Natalie Perry (whose foodie blog Perry's Plate is an addiction, folks - check it out). And when it comes to making vegetarian food I was limited to Fettuccine Alfredo and cheese quesadillas.

You guys, I could hardly grill a veggie burger without catching my stove on fire (true fact) and don't even get me started on my inability to boil water without melting kettles... So, when my mother-in-law came to visit us from the UK and filled our fridge with aubergines (the Brits get all French and fancy with their words, sometimes) and then LEFT THEM FOR ME, I was like, "What the heck am I supposed to do with THESE? They aren't steaks OR take-out Chinese!"

But after staring at the eggplants for a few days, I realized they weren't going to cook themselves.... so what's a girl to do but make a killer Eggplant Parmesan?

(by killer, I don't mean poisonous - no one has ever died from my cooking... *knocks wood*)

You guys, this Eggplant Parmesan is delicious. It very quickly became my hub's favorite meal. And because, 7 years later, I'm still not a huge fan of the kitchen, what's a mom to do but teach her kids how to make it so that by this time next year I'll have my own personal chefs?



  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (I buy the Italian-seasoned kind, because I'm lazy like that, but you can season plain crumbs yourself, if you like)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 medium eggplants, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch slices.
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Your favorite pasta sauce (aprox. 3 cups)
  • Mozzarella cheese (aprox. 2 cups)
  • Garlic bread (okay this has nothing to do with making the Eggplant Parmesan, but garlic bread is kind of the best, so be sure to have some)
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Stick bread crumbs in a bowl, and egg whites in a separate bowl. Coat both sides of eggplant slices in egg white, then in crumbs, then place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Spray the tops of the slices and bake for 15 minutes. Turn, spray the tops again, and bake for another 15 minutes.
  4. Assembling the casserole - In a 9 x 13 baking dish, have your personal chefs (or you) layer:
  • sauce
  • eggplants
  • sauce
  • cheese
  • eggplants
  • sauce
  • cheese
  • Italian herbs to make it look like you cooked something sort of fancy
5. Bake for 20 minutes.


And if you are anything like me, you'll try to get one good picture of your personal chefs SMILING with their creation, but will instead get two monkeys scowling like thugs and throwing down gang signs.

There you go, folks! An Eggplant Parmesan recipe you and your kids will love!*

*and by love, I mean your kids will say, "EW, THIS TASTES LIKE SNAILS!"



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