Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Chirstmas!

Hi Girls!
Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has a great and relaxing day! xoxox

Monday, December 17, 2007

Books That Changed My Life

I have been giving this a good amount of thought and have concluded that my list of favorite books looks quite similar to everyone elses. Not only that, I am having a hard time remembering a lot of what I have read over the years because most of my books are in my mother's attic (limited storage space). So instead I am compiling a very brief list of some books that changed my life and the reasons why:

1. Flowers for Algernon-Daniel Keyes-This was the first summer reading book that I actually read and did not get the cliff's notes for instead. I barely remember what it was about but I remember discovering that I liked reading very much. Although I was never reading what I was supposed to be reading in school, I was rarely without a book from that point on.

2. Keith Richards-Victor Bockris- (I'll bet you're wondering how this book changed my life).Up until I read this book I had never read a stitch of nonfiction. While it may not seem like serious literature, this book opened me up to reading biographies and other works of nonfiction-something that I was completely opposed to previously.(I have since read nearly every book about the Stones and Keith and this is one of the best for all of you fans.)

3. Mutant Message Down Under- Marlo Morgan- This is a book about a woman who has a personal transformation while going on a walkabout with a tribe of Aboriginals in the outback of Austrailia. Essentially what she experienced was every religions Greatest Hits. This book majorly changed my outlook on life. Too long to spout on why, but I just recommend it.

4.Do What You Are:Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type-Paul Tieger-This was a book that used the Myers/Brigg test to find a career suitable for your personality type. It worked!

5. The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer-David Whitsett- The title says it all. I was a non-runner and then I ran a marathon. changing.

6. The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce:A 25 Year Landmark Study- Judith Wallerstein-Sorry to be a broken record to those of you who have heard this before but this book officially changed my life. For the first time I was reading about people who had the exact same childhood experiences that I did. All of the subjects in this book were very articulate about what they thought the effect their parents divorce had on them in their adult life. Hearing other peoples stories that were so like my own was like a weight being lifted that I didn't even know I was carrying around. For my friends whose parents are divorced this is a good one if you are in the market for a little self help.

I didn't know you could post or read the comments!! I love this!

Gorgonzola Asparagus Bowtie Pasta

Hey guys...this is a recipe that looks harder than it is but, is so yummy and makes so much!

Gorgonzola Asparagus Bowtie Pasta
1 lb bag bowties
1 ½ lbs of asparagus (cut into 1 ½ “ pieces)
5 shallots (diced)
1 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 ¼ stick of butter (1/2 of stick for part, 3 /4 of a stick for another part)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cup of crumbled gorgonzola cheese
Salt & pepper for flavoring

Prep first breadcrumbs and shallots:
Melt ½ stick of butter & brown bread crumbs. Stir until golden (5-10 mins). Place on side in bowl for the finishing touch.

Dice shallots & place on cookie sheet ,drizzle some olive oil on them, salt & pepper & stir on pan. Bake in oven at 375 for approximately 15-20 minutes or golden brown. Place aside.

Next clean asparagus and cut into 1 ½ “ pieces-place aside.
Boil pasta & 5 minutes before it’s done to your liking add your chopped asparagus in the boiling water with the pasta for the remaining time. Once done rinse pasta & asparagus through colander & place aside for a few minutes.
In the hot empty pasta pot add the remaining ¾ stick of butter in bottom then empty the hot pasta & asparagus back in. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of olive oil in, add shallots & toss. Next add gorgonzola cheese & gently stir all together. Season with s & p.
Lastly empty into a serving bowl & top with your buttered breadcrumbs.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

book list

hey girls!
i am reading a book right now that is pretty interesting....Into the Wild. It is a quick easy read and very thought provoking.
Also if anyone is interested in yoga.....the new studio in Avon is really good. I don't go Dean does...says he loves the schedule, the classes and the instructors!

book list

Friday, December 14, 2007


Hey Girls-this is my first post and am very excited. I have read and love almost all of Julie's book choices. I have a new one-I just finished the new Jenny McCarthy book about her child and autism. It is very enlightening. And no it is not one of her cooky books, it is very educational as well as entertaining.

And Tara-As for christmas presents for Dean-you are giving him a baby, that is the best gift ever.

If I don't see everyone-MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and I hope you all get what you want from Santa.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Ideas

any good ideas for christmas shopping? dean and i are not doing much for each this year but would like to get him a few meaningful gifts! i would love any ideas! thanks! tara

book lists

I can't think of all my favorite books right now so i will update you as i do.....
1. mutant message own under
2.a prayer for owen meany
3. is there really a human race by jamie lee's a children's book but a great message for kids and adults. santa is bringing it to our tree.
4. 100 hundred dresses...another children's book but the kids loved and it has a great message for kids and adults.

My all time favorite books list

I have always wanted to make a list of all my favorite books 1) because my memory is crap and I dont ever want to forget the real good ones and 2) I love remembering a great book that i haven't thought about in awhile so I have taken a crack at trying to remember them.
This is no literary whirlwind, just really good books in my opinion.
Hopefully this list will either remind you of an old fave or give you a list of books for the new year! Come back with your own, I would love new suggestions!

In no real order:
The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay (I read this YEARS ago but really loved it)
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving (my alltime fave)
My Sisters Keeper - Jodi Picoult (a book club book from this summer, loved it- I hear another one of her books Pact is also great)
The Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns - both by Khaled Hosseini
Seabiscuit: An American Legend - Laura Hillenbrand (why a book about a horse is so good I have no idea but it is phenomenal)
Beach Music and all Pat Conroys books really
The Glass Castle: A Memoir - Jeannette Walls
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt
Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris
Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot - Al Franken (yes this list is eclectic)
Secret Life Of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
Marley & Me - John Grogan (absolutely hysterical and a complete tear jerker. He also wrote a kids book: Bad Dog, Marley for kids ages 4-8 that I hear is cute)
The Davinci Code - Dan Brown
Wonderland Avenue - Danny Sugarman (I think I read this in high school or not long after but I loved it at the time. Back in my Jim Morrison groupie days)
All Nelson DeMille books - ecspecially Charm School and Lions Gate
e - Matthew Beaumont (this book is all email chains in a corp setting, really a riot)
I know this much is true - Wally Lamb
The Harry Potter books

No longer on my list - A million little pieces - this fell from the top of my list when I found out it was fiction or mostly so.

Everyone in the world loves the following except me (I need to make another attempt):
Cold Mountain
Red Tent
Shipping News

I know there are more, still trying to remember!

Friday, December 7, 2007

I am so cheap!

In an effort to find an odd shaped box for my mothers Christmas gift I went on the post offices website, I wanted some of those round mailing tubes to disguise her gift (I bought her some new knives and I think she knows). They didn't have round ones but they had these cool triangular ones that would work just as well. As it turns out they are FREE and they send them to you! I guess they think you are going to use express mail with them and pay for the shipping later but guess what?! I'm not! They are a bunch of suckers because I am ordering FREE boxes from for all of my gift giving needs and you should all do the same. That's what they get for making a stamp 41 fucking cents!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fast Healthy Dinner

We had the best dinner last night and it was so easy.
1 lb monkfish
olive oil
s & p
dijon/herb vinegairette
Haricot Vert (skinny french green beans)
Preheat oven to 450. Boil a pot of water for your green beans.Cut monkfish into 1 inch thick pieces and try to stand them up so they are sort of scallop shaped. Make sure they are nice and dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with s&p. Heat some olive oil in a nonstick pan. When its good and ready put your fish in (try to do it in a pattern so you know what piece went in first). After about 2 minutes flip them all and transfer the whole pan to the oven for about 10 minutes. (This is a good time to prepare your green beans). To test fish for doneness, put a fork in it for 5 seconds and if it is warm to your lips then it is done (thank eric ripert for that tip).
To give it a little zing I added some of our salad dressing. Just whisk some parsley chopped fine, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and olive oil. I used the dressing on our salad, the fish and I blanched the green beans and put it on that too. 6 pts

Monday, December 3, 2007

Target and Starbucks - beautiful together

Starbucks is opening at the Bricktown Target this Friday the 7th! It is a kiosk type store with the full menu, not just starbucks coffee served in the caf.
While the Ocean Target is easier to get to I have to say the baby section is much better in Brick anyway. Actually, I think the whole store is better. And now there is no question...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hi everyone! First Julie---thanks for organizing this! It is such a great idea! I have two things to post! First, I found a book called The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine. It is all about simple strategies for getting healthier food in our kids meals! Curran is so picky! I had him eating mac and cheese w/ cauliflower in it! It was fantastic! I couldn't help but giggle to myself when he kept asking for more!! It seems like the same concept as Kristen's book! Sorry to repeat!
Next, for all you mom's w/ little girls.....last night, we brought Morgan to American Girl Place and then to dinner at their Cafe. I thought it was going to a nightmare! We were so pleasantly surprised! First, Megan came and her outfit matched the decor! It was great! Thanks Meg! Next, the food was delicious! They had all diet choices---gluten free, vegan, vegetarian etc! Also, bottomless glasses of pink lemonade! The staff was so friendly! lastly, Morgan and her doll-Lucy had a great time! She felt like such a grown up lady! It was such a positive experience for her! I can't wait to bring both Audrey and Morgan! Oh yeah, the price was right too---$32pp w a goody bag. I think it would be good for girls 3 and over.