Friday, February 20, 2009

Diana First Six Months

Enjoy

My Pandora Bracelet


It is filling up quickly! My theme for my bracelet is "True Sentiment" as I call it- it holds charms that mean something...

My first charm, which is a little girl, signifies Diana.

A heart with a lock and key signifies Rob. The new dangling rose charm he got me also signifies him and his love.

The A charm symbolizes Ally. The K charm signifies Kayla and the Football charm signifies Zack.

I also have a pretty pink stone charm and a pretty green stone charm to signify my love of prep and preppy colors ala Lilly Pulitzer.

Lastly, we purchased two Pandora clips that hold the charms in different sections. The ones we picked have little pink stones embedded in the silver to help bring out the pink in my pink stone charm.

My next purchase will be some of the Murano Glass Beads in pink and green to make those colors pop even more.

This has become a special hobby and I hope to make a bracelet for Diana one day as well :)

Valentine's Day





It was perfect...Papa and Grammy graciously offered their babysitting services so we could enjoy a romantic night out. Thanks to Julie and Cory, and their generous gift cards, we were able to do just that. We had an amazing time at the Capital Grille in Burlington.

Rob surprised me and really went overboard- he got me another charm for my Pandora Bracelet (a dangle rose charm that signifies love and as he put it "a flower that will never die") He also bought me a beautiful Pandora ring to start that collection and I just love it! The center stone is a pretty purply pink color- my favorite!

I got him a collection of Elvis love songs, his favorite candies Lindt Truffles and a new travel mug which he has been wanting.

We had some laughs...had a great drink at the bar and enjoyed the Cap's homemade bar chips and then got stuffed on a perfect steak dinner with creamed spinach and au'gratin potatoes on the side.

It was just lovely

Game Night!









So we played "Screw Your Neighbor" and I haven't really laughed like that in a LONG TIME- had a flippin blast with our parents...may sound dull to alot of you..may sound like I am getting old but you need to get creative with your fun nights when you have an infant to put to sleep by 7:30 each night!!!

I made a kick butt batch of Sangria and we wiped that out quickly..had to finish the night with regular wine..what a shame ;)

I also made cheesey chicken artichoke cups...delish..along with marinated steak tips, wild green salad and some other apps.

For dessert, I made Amy's World Famous Cheese Squares and they were wiped out by Saturday morning..once the kids know they are in the house, it is all over!

During our next game night, we will playing Apples to Apples..stay tuned

Meeting Zaza





Baby Sara Rose Bannerman has entered the world. My friend Julie is amazing- nothing phases her- she just takes each day as it comes and there has been no change with baby #2. Diana and I got to have coffee with Jules and Sara last week and got to meet her for the first time- she is just perfect!

Diana has a new friend and couldn't be happier! Although Caiden was hanging out with his Grandma and Grandpa, he was there in spirit and we shared a laugh when Julie told me, his name for Sara is "Zaza" :)

Enjoy these pix!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Funk Winter!








We have had enough so we decided to do a "Family Lobster Bake" on Sunday and had a blast. We had "the grandparents" over to say thanks for the babysitting and we really enjoyed. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to do a family game night on Friday night!

So on Sunday, I started with a seafood chowder. I will include the recipe here. Everyone RAVED about it and I have to admit- it was GOOD!

Then we enjoyed lobsters, steamers, corn on the cob, rolls, cornbread and my homemade horseradish sour cream mashed potatoes (recipe also included below)and my wild green, raspberry salad.

For dessert, my mom surprised me and made one of my old favorites- her peppermint angel food cake- pink and white and a perfect valentine treat. We also had brownies that I frosted in a festive way too!

Our night was topped off with belly laughs as we watched Diana eat green beans- she was SO PROUD of herself that she kept turning around with beans all over her face and smiled at her Papas!!!!

Holly's Seafood Chowder
Ingredients

* 12 slices bacon, chopped
* 3 small onions, chopped fine
* 2 carrots, chopped fine
* 3 celery ribs, chopped fine
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 6 teaspoons all purpose flour
* 1 and 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* 16 ounces bottled clam juice
* 3 cups water
* 1 and 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 3 russet red skinned potatoes
* 1 pound firm white fish fillet such as halibut or cod, skin discarded, flesh cut into 1 inch pieces
*1/2 pound shrimp
* 1 6 oz can of oysters with juice
*1 10 oz can of lump crabmeat
* 4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Directions

To make the fish chowder:

In a heavy saucepan cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off fat and in pan cook onion, carrot, and celery in butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Sprinkle flour over mixture and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in paprika and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add clam juice, water, and cream and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

While mixture is coming to a boil, peel potato and cut into 1/4 inch dice. Add potato to mixture and simmer chowder, uncovered, 12 minutes. Stir in fish and simmer until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, bacon, and salt and pepper.


Horseradish Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

* 4 pounds golden creamer potatoes
* 2 bay leaves
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups sour cream
* 1 stick unsalted butter
* 3 tablespoons horseradish, or 1 cup coarsely grated fresh horseradish
* 2 tablespoons cooking water
* Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Directions

Put the potatoes into a large pot, add the bay leaves, 2 tablespoons salt, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and drain the water from the potatoes, reserving 2 tablespoons cooking water. Smash potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the sour cream, butter, horseradish and season well with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped fresh chives.

ENJOY :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

and More New Things that I am Growing Fond of...

My daughter reaching for me


Bobbi Brown lip gloss in 3 shades


Providing positive advice and hope to my candidates in this down economy


The matching pink eyelet dresses I purchased for mommy and baby


My hubby's creative songs that he makes up to make the baby laugh....usually they are covers...like "Nasty Poop" (after Janet Jackson's Nasty Boy)...and "The Power of Poop"
(after Hewey Lewis' Power of Lowe) and of course, "Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer :)


Peanut Butter Flax Seed Bars from VB


Zack's girl stories...ahhh middle school love and drama...just live for that


The wonderful advice Bill gave me this week


A deep conversation with my mom


A canteloupe martini


The JCrew "Tissue Tee"


Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana


The Annual Deliberative Session AND being asked to attend...since when did I gain credibility as a politician? OH yeah...and being offered a party and signage if I run for school board too...so tempting..not yet though...my Diana needs me


Fiber 35


Fois's daily trips to Starbucks...they always include a "Tall Skinny Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte" for me :)


The friends I have connected with on Facebook....it is such a miracle to re-connect with friends from elementary school, middle school, high school, college and New Boston...I can't believe how powerful that website is!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Saturday Night at Surf







Surf of Nashua is my favorite restaurant. My parents gave Rob and I a gift certificate to enjoy a night out there AND it included free babysitting :) So we finally got out last night.

As we were talking, we realized, we have not been out alone together since last Spring- way too long but it has been tough!

We thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting. We are true soul mates. We always talk about that too. We were both hurt deeply in our past relationships- hurt beyond words and hurt that is life changing. We both know that we had to go through that pain in order to fully appreciate the happiness and love that we found in each other. Despite all the stress and heaviness of a blended family, we always fight through and make things work. Our motto? Do the right thing...always do what you know is right...everything will fall into place. And when you need help? Go see God- he'll take care of you.

So enough of my preaching- ha ha! I am ridiculous sometimes. Back to Surf. We sat at the bar for awhile because there was a wait...we don't mind that though and we were hoping there was a wait. We met the two nicest ladies..best friends who both had lost their husbands and they go to Surf every Saturday night together for cocktails and appetizers- here is to you Margaret and Margaret or as you prefer "Peggy and Maggie."

While chatting with the Margarets, we enjoyed some stellar cocktails- just when I thought my Cantaloupe Martini from Friday night could not be topped, I had the best Key Lime Martini complete with a graham cracker rimmed class- out of this world! Rob had a Surftini which is a house specialty and made with Absoulut Citron and Cointreau.

For dinner, we ordered our faves to start... in fact we always say after the first course, why do we even order dinner? We bring most of it home because we are SO STUFFED!

We ordered and shared the Lobster Cocktail and then each had the Surf Special Salad- Fried Tomato and Warm Bacon Salad- need I say more? Billy Costa better hurry up and get in there so they can get their Platinum Plate!

For dinner, Rob had an encrusted Flounder and I had a Thai Shrimp dish but like I said, we brought most of that home.

We got home to Baby Diana wide awake...she was a good girl for Mimi and Papa but had trouble settling down without us there!

I love you Rob...look at our picture together- we look SO HAPPY to be out and together...I appreciate all of the work you are doing for us at Oracle and with your gigs...I know how tired you are and unappreciated you feel but just so you know...I am so thankful...the kids are too, even though they have trouble showing it. We would all be lost without you...you are the best husband and the most involved father I have met. Thanks for choosing me and helping me and Baby Diana thanks you too!!!

Keeping It Fun During This Long, Cold, Harsh Winter!


It was so nice to be able to get out this weekend. Rob has been gigging so much to bring in some extra money during these tough times and Diana has caught colds and viruses....on top of all the snow, ice and cold, it hasn't been fun to say the least!

I have been going a bit stir crazy so it was nice to get out!

Friday night, my mom and I went out for our girls night. We haven't been able to do that in so long and we had a blast.

We trekked up to Felicia's in Stoneham- it is the sister restaurant to Felicia's of the North End and did it up.

She started with a Cosmo and I had the most delicious Cantaloupe Martini...it was just wonderful. The waitress told us, it was a mix of Clementine Vodka, Watermelon Schnapps and Orange Juice...this will be my next experiment!

Then we decided to just share some apps because that is our favorite thing to do at Felicia's- we had our favorite The Grand Marnier shrimp which is to die for! Then we shared a Caesar salad and a side of eggplant parm...just wonderful.

We topped the night off with my mom's fave- a coffee drink- the B52 and called it a night...oh of course we bought our lottery tickets on our way home....and talked again about the numbers she always plays and how lucky her and her father always was.

It was a special night...we really got into some deep conversation and talked about the kind of people we are...I am so lucky that I have my mom who has always offered her support...I need it more than ever now as I wing my way through being a mom!
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