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Five on Friday

1. 2 kids=2 Mother’s Day parties at school=twice the plants=twice the treats=twice the love😍

2. Lunch out with a friend- we always do Thai.

The pad Thai was just ok, but those little baby spring rolls knocked my socks off.

3. So, I have no idea how he did this, but somehow J Man changed my email name to “I Need Me Double”.

What?!?! And how do I change it back???

4. I heard a song on the radio that I looooved, so I asked Siri for help and this is what I got…

BeyoncĂ©? Who knew! I might just need some lemonade…

5. Yes, I confess.

I ate lucky charms for dinner last night. It was everything I thought it could be.


Maple Shortbread Bars with Chocolate and Pecans

Beanie Boos are it. 

That is, Beanie Boos are the latest fad, the obsession, the thing.

What are Beanie Boos? Remember the Beanie Babies of our childhood? Beanie Boos are their wide-eyed, slightly more glamorous, cousin.

We looooove them.

We have too many of them.

We take pictures of them. And then we take pictures of taking pictures of them.

The kids would disagree with me on the “we have too many of them” statement. They want more. But the Bryant mom and dad have meanly put their collective foot down and have refused to purchase even one more.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

J Man and Miss Rae begged and pleaded for jobs to make some extra money. And who am I to pass up the opportunity to educate my offspring in the art of cleaning?

They swept (and argued over who’s pile of dirt was who’s).

They dusted.

They sorted and folded laundry.

They scrubbed the sink (someone get this girl a haircut).

They cleaned the downstairs (lie: they played downstairs, supposed to be cleaning, but they were quiet and not fighting for 45 minutes so I didn’t split hairs).

They cleaned their bathroom sinks.

And they washed windows.

And for that exuberant effort, they each got a new Beanie Boo.

But what about me? ME?

For every sink “cleaned”, there was a puddle on the floor that I mopped up. 

For every window “washed”, there was a section that little arms couldn’t quite reach.

For every square inch of floor “swept”, there was someone else’s pile of dirt tracked all over the place.

I deserved a treat too!

I pulled out a favorite recipe from a Barnes and Noble cookbook I got long ago.

You make a very simple shortbread crust/cookie thing and while it’s hot out of the oven, sprinkle on some chocolate chips.

Let them melt, and then spread for a delicious chocolate glaze.

Here’s the recipe. I used maple extract instead of vanilla. Can you read it? If I were a nicer person I would retype it for you, but I’m pretty exhausted from cleaning up after the cleaners.


But where’s the pecans, you ask? The title of this blog said with chocolate and pecans.

No one else in this house likes pecans in their baked goods. So I made just a couple of the “pecaned” version for myself. They’d just pick the nuts off anyway. And they might accidentally drop the unwanted pecans on the floor. And then we’d need to sweep again and then…


Five on Friday

“Are you writing a blog tonight?” Matty B asked.


I haven’t been running.

I haven’t been cooking. (Cheese sandwiches and frozen veggie burgers don’t count.)

I definitely haven’t been trying new recipes.

I’ve been working. That’s boring.

I’ve been cleaning. That’s boring.

I’ve been “mommy-ing”.

That’s good. So, here’s my five on Friday in honor of the mommy-ing.

1. J is reading chapter books now.

I’m happy and sad all at the same time. Also, my cheese sandwiches aren’t being met with applause.

2. Papa taught the kids how to climb trees and now it’s a daily thing.

How is it that my children are reading chapter books and climbing trees? Stop it already.

3. I had a blow-your-mind moment on Wednesday when I realized that the teacher for J Man’s kidnastics class is a student who was in kindergarten at the school where I got my first teaching job.

I’m old.

4. Today, while Matty B and Miss Rae headed out to the trampoline, J Man stayed inside and…

…sharpened pencils? Yes, yes he did. And it entertained him for a good 30 minutes. I tell ya, it’s nothing but excitement around these parts!

5. Practicing for summer

Swimming lessons here we come!

Five on Friday

1. Some of Matty B’s students were aghast that he didn’t know how to braid hair and took it upon themselves to teach him.

He practiced on Miss Rae. Not bad, eh?

2. I used to be one of those people who didn’t like their food to touch.

I’m apparently over that. You should never go to brunch by yourself because choosing between sweet and savory is nearly impossible. If you have someone to share with, you get the best of both worlds.

3. For reasons that are irrelevant, I spent an extended period of time at a rental car place today.

While waiting, I noted this sign and felt sad. Welome?

Luckily they redeemed themselves with the other side.

4. This made me happy.

5. But this makes me pretty happy too.

Spring in Walla Walla is off the charts.

Trader Joes all day long

I made a strategic decision to get out of Walla Walla for 36 hours. It was everything I thought it could be. And don’t get me wrong. I love my little town, but I’ve found that you can take the girl out of Portland, but you can’t take the Portland out of the girl.

So I ate some amazing food.

And I had some of the best coffee ever.

I went for a run downtown.

Followed up by some tea and reading.

All as a prelude to the very best part…


Just what the doctor ordered. And I hit the freeway headed east, refreshed and rejuvenated.

But you know me and Trader Joes. And of course I stopped. And today when I skipped meetings to attend other meetings, my latest TJ’s stash gave me some joy.


A giant tablespoon of this on top of steel cut oats with blueberries.


A pile of raw veg with this amazing dip and a green smoothie.


More of these than I want to admit. 


I got home just in time for Matty B to go back to work and when J Man suggested breakfast for dinner, I immediately agreed.

You can take the girl out of Trader Joes, but you can’t take the Trader Joes out of the girl.

Five on Friday, hashtags

Matty B hates hashtags. This one is for you, babe.

1. We do math for fun.

He was so excited to get this book. 

Little Miss too:

#nerdalert #teacherskids #iswearididntmakethemdoit

2. Our power went out this morning. No power=no coffee.

No problem. I have a keurig at work. But, as I came to realize, I had no milk or creamer or anything and I’m not a black coffee girl.

But guess what? The staff fridge had whipped cream in a can!

#whitetrash #sodelicious #dessertforbreakfast

3. Since my parents abandoned us last week for Hawaii, my mom felt obligated to share her Hello Fresh meals with us.

Crispy Falafel Salads. The falafels are dredged in panko and they were so crispy. I’m definitely doing that again!

#falafelarenotawful #hellofresh #afterasixyearboycottieatfalafelagain

4. We found our creek.

#bryantcreek #pioneerpark #kidnasticsispayingoff

5. And because I’ve disgusted Matty B with all these hashtags, here’s a link that he’ll appreciate:

Six common mistakes you make when loading your dishwasher
#washingtonpost #bannedfromdoingdishes #loveyoumattyb

One hour

You wouldn’t imagine that one measly hour could change the scope of your day, but today it did.

It all started at 6 a.m. when a piercing alarm came shrieking through the baby monitor into our room. Miss Rae got a new alarm clock for her birthday and somehow that thing got set for 6 a.m. On a Saturday morning.


Of course, after that, no one was going back to sleep.

Miss Rae looked up at me sweetly. “What’s for breakfast, mommy?”

“What do you want for breakfast?”

“Maple Counter?” she requested, hopefully.

Done and done.

Apparently one less hour of sleep makes me crave pancakes.

And since Maple Counter is less than a mile from Pioneer Park, it seemed completely logical to play off our pancakes on a sunny day.

Two and a half hours of soccer, tire swing, and sailing dandelions in the stream wore us out, so we needed to carb up.

Unk C joined us for lunch. Carb+soy+carb+broccoli? Delish.

But when you wake up an hour early, and you’ve eaten a plate of pasta for lunch, you definitely need iced coffee…

…which will give you a burst of energy. Enough energy to wash your car.

And when you have such good car wash helpers, you’ll have the energy for some elaborate sidewalk chalk art.

Even though you lost an hour of sleep.

It was an awesome day. But let’s sleep in until 7 a.m. tomorrow, ok?