Wednesday, October 10, 2012

NBCs Parenthood - Everything you want in feel-good TV

“I thought I could do it all...but I can't, not now, anyway.”  This from Julia Braverman-Graham, the working mom on my favorite TV show – Parenthood (NBC, Tuesdays, 10pm/9pmCST). 

What I love the most about this show is how well it handles the REALITY of parenthood. You laugh and you cry during this one hour show. You learn things.  You enjoy.  

Julia, soon-to-be partner of her law firm, has always handled being a working mom seamlessly.  Recently, she and her husband Joel adopted an 11-year-old boy.  (They already have a precocious 5-year-old daughter who is used to being the center of their attention.) So in last night’s episode, I was so happy to see Julia losing her mind. Not in a mean way.  But in a relieved, sort of way.  The noise that the children made, the chaos in the morning. She’s trying to juggle everything.  And she’s the type that knows she can.  She can do it all!  Until she can’t.  She has a slight breakdown during breakfast that frenzied morning and she’s been slipping up at work.  So bad that the partners of the firm call her into a meeting in the middle of her son’s baseball game (Gasp! Her leaving the game shocks her large family who all lives close by and happen to have their schedules free to ALL be at this game – that’s the only thing about the show that is hard to believe.  They all get together so much,  so conveniently.  Who knows, maybe that is real but just not my reality since I don’t live close to my family.)  
Anyway, in the meeting they tell her, if you still want to be considered for partner, you’re going to have to give us all of you.  You can see the hurt in her face as she wagers her own identity and goals versus her role as mom.  But she knew, as we all know, you can have it all, just not all at once.  Something has to give.  So she said to them, heartbroken, but knowing she’s made the right decision, “I thought I could do it all...but I can't, not now, anyway.”  

Reality!  So many television shows, even the reality shows, have a hard time trying to get down to the root of what is so real. But Parenthood does it with finesse. I feel happier every  time I watch an episode.  You should tune in!  Relatable brings relief.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall in Colorado

I am totally enamored with the state we live in.  It's hard to explain the wonder of having four seasons to someone who hasn't experienced it, but for me...a person who has lived in states that don't have all the's something special.

I love winter, it reminds me of Washington and growing up.  I love the snow, making snowmen, snow angels and going sledding.  I used to snowmobile, which was a blast.  And of course, wintertime brings some of my favorite holidays.  By the time I'm over winter, it's about time for spring.  It's exciting to start anticipating flowers and warmer weather.  Just when you think you are enjoying the warmer temps, summer hits, and you are having fun at swim lessons and enjoying cocktails at BBQ's.  Then...there's fall.  For those of you who haven't been to Colorado in the fall, it's amazing.

My family and I got to spend a wonderful day up in the mountains where my husbands hunts recently.  I couldn't get as good of pictures this year as last because there was a fire and smoky air, but you'll get the general idea.  The leaves are changing, and it's gorgeous.  The air is cooler, and you can smell it.  Fall has arrived!

I want to personally thank all of our followers, the ones who let us share our lives with you and let me know how much they enjoy (and sometimes don't enjoy! LOL) our posts and our recipes.  Having you to share it with means the world.  Have a fabulous week!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement ~ Quick Skillet Steak w/Onions & Mushrooms

This meal was great.  I've been trying to make new things each week, and my husband absolutely enjoys steak more than any other meat.  The kids love mushrooms, so it was a win-win!


  • 1/2 lb thin cut beef round sandwich steaks
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 4 seconds cooking spray
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Cooked whole grain rice as side, or desired side dish


Slice beef into thin strips. Season with salt, garlic powder and fresh pepper to taste. Heat a large skillet over high heat. When the skillet is very hot, spray with cooking spray and add half of the beef. Cook one minute, then turn steak and cook an additional 30 seconds. Set aside in a large dish.
Spray the skillet again and when it gets hot add the remaining steak, cooking one minute, then turning and cooking 30 seconds more. Add remaining steak to the dish. Return skillet to heat and spray once again with cooking spray; add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook one minute, then turn and cook onions an additional 30 seconds or until onions are golden.
Lower heat to medium and add 1/2 tsp olive oil to the skillet, add mushrooms, salt and pepper and lightly spray the top of the mushrooms with cooking spray. Cook 1 1/2 minutes, then turn mushrooms and cook another minute and a half. Add to dish with steak and onions and stir to combine. Serve over brown rice.  ~Happy Eating Friends! Trina

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Anti-Chicken Fingers Movement - Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash. I've read a lot about it recently and have been quite intrigued. A vegetable that can pass as spaghetti?  NO WAY!  I mean, I am 1/2 Italian and I just couldn't buy it.  And I'm that girl who refuses to eat low-fat cheese or any other "diety" thing if it tastes bad (and I think low-fat cheese is terrible and unfair!) or doesn't compare to the real thing.  Then a few weeks ago, I found myself staring straight at a spaghetti squash and decided to give it a try.  I was amazed!  It pacified all my cravings for pasta, it was tasty (I BARELY noticed it wasn't pasta) and I was so proud of myself for having mostly vegetables for lunch.  So, I decided to up my game and added it to our dinner menu with a little Parmesan chicken.  And guess what ladies, the hubs loved it too!

Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti Squash
Original Recipe from Against All Grain

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (butterflied and pounded to make 4 thin cutlets)
2 eggs
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs (or a mixture of thyme, rosemary, and parsley)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups pasta sauce
1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese
4 slices Provolone cheese
1 small Spaghetti Squash (Cooked and shred into “spaghetti” strands)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic salt


  1. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix the flour with the Parmesan cheese and spices.
  2. Dip each chicken piece in the eggs, fully coating it, and then toss in the flour mixture until covered.
  3. In a pan over medium high heat, heat the olive oil then pan fry each chicken piece until browned on each side (about 2-3 minutes per side).
  4. Pour 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, and place chicken on top in a single layer. Cover the chicken with the remaining sauce, then sprinkle the Fontina and finish with the Provolone.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Change your oven setting to Broil and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is starting to brown and bubble.
  6. Toss the cooked Spaghetti Squash with the butter and garlic salt, and serve with the chicken.
Buon Appetito!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Your Kiddo Doesn't Like Preschool? Give It Time!

This is my 'oh how sweet it is-my son loves preschool' post. If you read my post back in August after Luke's second day of preschool, you'd see the beauty in that line.  My son LOVES preschool!

You see, this is a tale of IT DOES GET BETTER.  That afternoon mid-summer, was followed by a few weeks of him screaming and crying in the morning begging to stay home because he just didn't like preschool. They won't let me do everything I want to there! Astonishing as it may be for a 3-year-old to get used to having to obey anyone besides his parents.  They're making me sleep! 

I called my mom and my closest friends.  Most assured me that if we just stick with it and were firm about the fact that preschool is a part of his life and there was no way he was getting out of it. Some mentioned how he was just testing us to see if he could get his way and stay home.  A couple tried to convince me that Luke would never nap at school and maybe we should just throw in the towel until Kindergarten.

And, trust me, there were a few morning where his whining would hit a nerve and I'd question paying $295/month just to have him hate it.  But, I stuck with it and after four days off, he woke up one morning and asked if he got to go to preschool today. I answered that he didn't, but he would return the next day - a Tuesday.  He squealed with delight. "Yay! I can't wait to see all of my friends!!"

Here we are four weeks later -

"Hi Leah!" his teacher greets me with her hands on my sons shoulders. "He was so good today, as usual! <<NOTE: as usual>> He's always the first to participate. He's so smart!"

I beam.

"And he is so loving.  Just so kind to all of us and his classmates.  Very social!" She continues.

I beam.

"Mommy, I was a good boy again, today!"

I beam. Then I hug him tightly.

"I know honey, I'm so proud of you! Your teachers are so happy with you!"

The teacher's assistant adds, "and he laid down on his cot and before he knew it, he was fast asleep!"

"He napped, too!" I looked down at my son.  He was beaming.

And home we went.

I know there will be plenty of ups and downs as he grows and our schedules change; but let this be a lesson to all of us that things really do change!

Be patient. Be hopeful. Be positive.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Man Publicly Shames 3-Year-Old Daughter

I’m not sure if you’ve seen the picture of a 3-year old girl on the internet (link to copy below article). ShameHer father put a shame sign around her neck and posted it, thinking he’d be funny by noting it could be used her in her senior yearbook.  While some people, (eh, the sane people!) are calling is terrible, others are disagreeing, arguing it’s discipline.  One news channel’s title says; Cute or Cruel? Cute? Unbelievable!! Discipline?  Seriously people? Let’s call this what it is, and that’s shitty parenting. 
What example are you setting for your child here? That it’s okay for people to publicly shame her.  Make fun of her.  Taunt and ridicule her.  It’s acceptable, because her father would do it.  Nice job daddy, you are really setting up her for a future filled with confidence and prosperity.  Not to mention the damage you are doing regarding the potty training process period. You are supposed to make the entire training-thing a positive experience.  Not a humiliating one.  They are already embarrassed enough when they have an accident.  Isn’t that enough?  They are babies for goodness sakes.  Who cares if they have an accident?  You are supposed to be their parent and love and care for them.  We all are potty trained at some point…why make such a simple offense turn into such a terrible experience?! It’s disgusting! 

Let’s talk about you, the father here.  Don’t tell me you’ve never had one of those moments when you couldn’t make it to the bathroom.  Maybe it was too much spicy food.  And you couldn't hold it.  I know you’ve been there.  Maybe we should have strapped a big sign on your chest, posted your photo all over the internet that you Sh#T yourself.  Maybe you're the one that needs to be humiliated. 

I’m not against discipline people.  What I’m against is abuse.  I’m against treating children poorly.  I’m against inhumane acts against children.  Where do you draw the line? Shaming another human being is unacceptable.  Shaming a child is horrific.
I tear up at the thought of my little girl or sweet baby boy being on the internet to be mocked at.  I don’t care the offense, it absolutely appalls me.  Even if I’m on the softer side, my husband, a firm believer in spanking, would be offended by this. He loves his children and would never, ever do anything to publicly embarrass them, or open the door for others to do the same.

What’s next? Public Lashings as discipline?  Beatings as acceptable?  This is not acceptable.  Somebody, somewhere, needs to do something.  If anything, take her poor face off the internet and give that jerk a good the very least.
We are supposed to be raising our children to be successful; instilling confidence, the ability to trust, forgiveness, humility, respect, love.  How does his actions fall under any of those?  It doesn't!  It’s time to wake up America, we are raising our future here.  We complain about what our world’s coming too, but look at some of the supported parenting tactics!