Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have to admit it - I have an addiction. To what you might ask - Roasted Broccoli...

I first saw the idea on Pinterest

It was called the Best broccoli of your Life from The Amateur Gourmet- now really - what is so amazing about broccoli?  Usually it is a good side dish to any dinner - made even better when covered in thick and gooey cheese sauce.  But really what can make a grown woman eat broccoli like it is candy??? Cooking it like this...

Any time I see broccoli on sale (some time even at full price) - I have to make this for me and only me.  The DH and DD won't touch it for different reasons.  DH won't eat anything green and DD says she only likes the tree bottoms and only when they are steamed or boiled.  So no complaints by me.  I make a batch and enjoy directly from the cookie sheet and sometimes some even make it to my plate to have with dinner.

I have been known to eat two beads of broccoli in two days b/c it is so tasty.  My favorite bits are the dark and carmalized bits. So delicious. 

So I have to recommend to  you to try the boring green trees this way - you will never eat broccoli steamed again.  (I even think this is better than the cheese covered broccoli!)

Roasted Broccoli - please don't just my cooking ways - I know real lemon is better than the plastic lemon and Garlic is better whole than in garlic salt - but I make this when ever the mood hits me and I never have fresh lemons or garlic in the house...

  • Preheat the oven to 425. --- I put my cookie sheet in the oven now so that it warms up with the oven - I love to hear the sizzle when you put the broccoli on it.  Not sure if it helps with the crispy bits but to me it does :)
  • Take 4 to 5 pounds of broccoli , cut into florets --- I don't wash broccoli - you can read  The Amateur Gourmet's reason why- made sense to me - so I didn't wash it either.
  • In a bowl toss the broccoli with olive oil and pepper - I add a little garlic salt too. (no measurement - I just throw some in the bowl and mix.  (He add garlic cloves but we never have them in the house - sad I know so that is why I use the garlic salt)
  • When the oven is preheated pull out the cookie sheet - 
  • Roast in the oven 20 to 25 minutes - you will see the brown bits - My favorite!!
    When time is up - take the pan out of the oven and spritz with lemon juice - I use one of those plastic lemons --- add more olive oil - again I just drizzle some on there - never measuring and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese...

    Now ENJOY. 

    If you are like me you will eat most of it right off the cookie sheet before the rest of dinner is done.  But you might want to share with your family too.

    Enjoy - and you are welcome to invite me over for dinner when you make this - I won't mind at all.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Daisy's - 3rd meeting - Lupe Meeting (#1)

  • Lupe story
  • music (we used an ipod and speakers)
  • games - we brought Headbands and S'match - the girls voted on headbands only
  • drawing supplies
  • Promise Center patches

Pre-Meeting  - Open drawing time – leave all art supplies and drawings waiting for the end of meeting and goodbye time / waiting for parents.
9:30 a    Pledge of Allegiance
9:35a     Hello my name is… introduce new faces and remind them of our names
9:35a     Girl Scout Promise --- if they all can do it – then they get the promise circle patch  – recite as a group without a leaders help.
9:40        Lupe Story with discussion and questions from the booklet
9:55        Play games fair and honest --- we played Headbands, Duck Duck Goose, and Musical Chairs
10:30     Clean up
10:40     Friendship circle / Make New Friends
10:45     Good bye
Post meeting activity- completed their drawings they worked on earlier. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Daisy's 2nd meeting - Girl Scout Promise / Introduction Meeting

  • puzzles - a couple small and one large floor puzzle
  • name tag kit
  • coloring - crayons / markers / etc
  • stickers
Pre-meeting activity - small / medium puzzles - the girls could work on them by themselves or together - in the end they all chose to work on one puzzle together on their own.

9:30  Pledge of Allegence
9:35 - "Hello My Name is" - we each shared our name, our favorite kind of ice cream, what school we went to and what grade we are in
9:45 - Talk about meetings - what the girls think we should do and not do at meetings "the rules" as written by the members - we also discussed the quite sign for meetings
10:00 - name tag craft - we each decorated a small name tag with our name in puffy sticker letters, various stickers and drawings - you would be surprised what young ladies can fit on a small business card size piece of card stock.

10:15 - we discussed the Girl Scout Promise and sign - I had printed the Girl Scout Promise from this website - and placed it on green card stock - each girl received a logo and placed it in the back of their name tag pouch - that way they could take it home and practice reciting the promise.
10:30 - clean up
10:40 - Friendship Circle and Make New Friends (this video helped me get a great visual on how this should work)
10:45 - Good bye
Post meeting activity was the giant floor puzzle - all the girls started working on certain sections and in the end completed the puzzle as a whole and were very excited to show their moms when they arrived to pick them up.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Daisy Leader

I haven't share this information here yet - but I am now a Daisy Girl Scout leader for five young ladies.  The troop consists right now of three kindergarteners and two first graders whom are all first year Girl Scouts.

We are four weeks into the season and so far we have had fun and definitely made new friends. 

I have been searching the internet and Pinterest constantly for Girl Scout ideas / recommendations / tips etc... and there seems to be Lots of information out there but also not the information I want sometimes...  (if you have any recommendations please don't hesitate to comment below!!!!)

I figured I would share the first few meeting plans our troop has enjoyed in case any other new leaders pass and can use what we have done...

1st meeting - Parent Meeting

  • We set up the girls at a table with lots of coloring and drawing supplies - while I spoke with the parents we asked the girls to draw a picture of something they want to do this year as a Daisy.
  • The girls were now focused with creating and the moms and I were free to talk.  We did leave one adult to hang with the girls at the table and try to keep them talking together so that moms could discuss uninterupted.  We discussed the following topics
    • my contact information - it was on the top of the sheet so they could all take it home.
    • Is email an approved way to communicate with families?  I would like to send a troop summary each week.  What is the best way to communicate immediate information to your family? 
    • What are you hoping the girls get out of this year?
    • Uniform details - what each girl will need this year
    •  Dues – dues will be used to purchase all craft supplies and patches that are earned thru out the year.  Proposing $5 a month – with first $15 for Nov , Dec and Jan due this month and then $20 in February, covering Feb – May  --- Cookie money will come in late spring and help troop after that
    • Proposed calendar – how do families want to handle vacation dates?  Special dates? etc
    • First full meeting will discuss the Girl Scout Promise and go over what it means to be a girl scout – homework – to practice the Girl Scout Promise – when they can recite it on their own – they will earn the promise center of their flower.
    •  Proposing to work on a petal for two meetings and then moving on to the next one. (will test run soon.) – along with reciting the Girl Scout Promise and  Law at each meeting and various craft / creating projects
    • Would like to plan a few field trips over the year – close to home – and built into the petals we are earning at the time – library, bakery, grocery store??? Ideas to come soon. Please share any ideas. 
    •  Would the girls like to attend a fun event or two? See the proposed events from GSRI (additional $$)
    • Cookie Sales start in January – is everyone ok with selling cookies? We need permission slips to sell – this will also work with earning a leaf or two
    • Any ideas / comments / suggestions?
  • The moms were asked to also complete the attached information sheet so that the troop had complete information on the members.
  • In the end the meeting was shorter because it was just chatting - but the Daisy's had fun chatting up about their schools and what they were drawing... and the moms were able to get to know each other a little bit also.
In the end the girls wanted to do the following this year:
  • sell cookies - YEAH!
  • make leaf rubbings
  • go camping in a tent
  • slide down a rainbow???  - any ideas on how to make this happen?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Need some hands on assitance

So who out there wants to help me take my oldest daughters closet and go from the messy photos in the left to the amazing photos on the right???

Organizing clothes is not a strong point of mine.  Esp, when we have been blessed with family who gives us amazing hand me downs some a few sizes a head of the current day size.

Add to the fact that with winter coming - I would love to have a place where the girls could play house / school in their rooms - so I thought why not convert half of the walk in closet into a play area with a window looking out into the room.  She would still have ample room to store clothes for the current season - and it might force me to organize and control the clothing explosion that happens behind closed doors

So here is my dream wish - to get all the current clothes that she wears neat, orgainzed and hung up properly... pack away off season items and too small / too big items.  put all the clothes on the left side of the closet - take the right side of the closet and cut a window to the bedroom and frame it up neat and clean.  put long benches that can hold crates at the bottom of the closet so that the kids can sit near the window but still keep shoes etc in their own place and VIOLA - we have a dual purpose closet / playhouse.

Great idea - but to find the handyman to do it - and the clothing organizer to help me get control... any volunteers???? HAHA.

Sources: (both pinterest finds)
Pink closet from:

playhouse from: 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Saying goodbye

So tomorrow we say one last goodbye to my dad. It is such a strange feeling esp since it has been since January that I have been stalling / waiting to bury him. I have been waiting a so many months to bring dad's remains to where he asked them to be placed bc I didn't think the cemetery was up to the standards I wanted for my dad. The cemetery is on the Cranston / Providence line and looks like it has seen better days.

When I was growing up - every holiday my dad and I would leave mom at home cooking what ever feast was planned for that day and we would venture to the cemetery to say a prayer for my Grandmother and then later for my Grandfather. At the grave was also my Grandparents and Great Grandparents. My older cousin's name is also listed on the stone but he was buried at sea.Dad when I was a kid - being a goof ball sitting in front of the TV with chips and a soda.

Back then it was clean and well tended for. I admit, I haven't visited in years - till this year - I drove through the cemetery many time this summer and cried every time. It was no longer the pristine resting place for loved ones. Some of the areas of the park have trash and/or landscaping waste. I have seen plastic shopping bags, untrimmed sites, and some plots that are living memorials for person's resting there. I didn't think this was the right place for dad. A place where time forgot. But then again, I guess I forgot too - I hadn't been to visit my grandparents in years.

Abbie sees the cemetery near our house as a clean and neat place. A place where we take walks - talk about remembering the people we have lost and how families leave prayers and flowers for those in heaven.

But this messy cemetery is where dad asked to go - to be with his mom and dad. So I did it - I made the call and set the appointment. Dad and his Mickey Mouse decorated box are going to rest with Grandma and Grandpa Barker tomorrow. We will bring flowers, prayers and some tears. But this time I need to make the promise to myself and to my dad that I won't forget to visit. I want to make sure we keep his resting place clean and neat.

I love you dad and I miss you every day.  Please watch over the girls for me.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where I lose my mind during the day...

how to fill the day...

So my days lately have consisted of getting Abbie ready for school (breakfast, dressed, etc), helping pack lunches for both Abbie and Papa, and then getting me and the two girls out the door in time to get to the school yard before we hear "Line UP!"... after that it is just me and Lorelai till 2:45...

Sometimes we run errands and sometimes we go home and build towers and draw.  Now in there somewhere is an hour and a half to two hour window of nap time.  I can't do errands then b/c she wakes up as soon as we get out of the car seat - so we are home.

Quite time for mama.  Mind you - I do the breakfast dishes, laundry etc... but really I do not utilize this time to the best... mostly because of one website... Follow Me on Pinterest

This has become a strange addiction to me - pinning recipes I probably will never cook but look delicious -  like this one -

(Papa claims he doesn't like stuffing - but come on that looks awesome to me - not healthy - but yummy).

or I pin creative projects I want to try and make, like this...

but really - I know my luck with something like this - it will just look like a big black blob of paint - or bleed paint under everything and not look clean and pretty

So really - I should be way more productive with my time - maybe I should use more of the skills / tips I find on this pin board  thank pinning more ideas for parties that I am not going to plan for anyone...

But it is fun to see places I will never visit unless we win powerball - like here

Don't you wish you were there right now...

or here...

So, please come Follow Me on Pinterest - get lost in the black hole like I do... It is a beautiful place and you can get your appetite and your holiday ideas from here - and then realize all the housework you ignored.

see you there!

- Laura

Oh and just so I can say I was sort of productive while here - I am making these to go with dinner Friday night...