Archives for the month of: February, 2012

Last night, I made a dinner that I was really proud to serve. I don’t consider myself a cook of any great skill, but every so often I impress myself. So, with a bit of help from Jamie Oliver, a tip from the staff at Culina Muttart and a random recipe I found on the internet, I produced this:

Seared scallops with a maple chili glaze served over blanched asparagus and a spinach/mushroom/wine sausage risotto.

Pretty good, right?


Growing up as a sort of “christian for the sake of cultural literacy,” I had never heard of giving anything up for Lent. I suppose it was my husband, who grew up very Catholic, who explained it to me while we were dating.

I think we tried it that first year we dated. He gave up fast food and I gave up chocolate. Another year, I think I gave up meat. One year I vowed 8 glasses of water every day.

See a theme?

I’ve come to adopt Lent as my very own 6 week bootcamp. Now stripped of any religious significance for me, it’s just a really nice time frame to focus on my health and fitness for almost exclusively vain reasons. It’s perfect. Six weeks and a half weeks, Sundays off. Plus you finish just as you emerge from oversized sweaters and puffy coats. Sacrifice for vain and selfish reasons. Heathen Lent.

Plus, if you say “oh, I’ve given up chocolate/meat/chips/candy/pop/booze for Lent” no one questions it. That’s weird, right? Somehow making a dietary gesture to a guy who supposedly spent 40 days in the desert is a perfectly legitimate excuse for not eating Ruffles all-dressed chips.

In any case, it starts tomorrow. In addition to giving up chips and chocolate, I’ve also got an aggressive little workout schedule planned. Come April, I’m totally going to be hot for Jesus.

Five years ago, I started a craft project with my elder son. We decided to make valentines for the kids in his preschool class. At the time, I thought it was a great way to work on his fine motor skills, something to do in the cold February evenings and there was a nice lesson in there about spending time making nice things for other people.

At the time, there were a grand total of ten kids in his class.

Fast forward to this year, where that same boy is now in a class of 23 and his younger brother wants in on the fun for his preschool class. So we made our annual trek to Michael’s to purchase an obscene amount of pink hearts, glitter, ribbon, feathers, stickers, etc.

For the past two weekends (and the week in between) we’ve been working assembly-style on the FOUR DOZEN valentines that needed to be created. We finished this afternoon and they look great. The boys are so proud and excited to take them to school next week.

I don’t know how many more years I have of my boys being psyched about making glittery pink valentines, but I hope I have a few.