I’ll never forget the Christmas of 1982, that’s because after months of begging and pleading – Santa (aka Mom & Dad) gave my sister and me one of the original home video game systems, an Atari 2600. The games were blocky and crudely animated, but they kept us mesmerized for hours. One of my favorite games to play was Pitfall! Players had to maneuver a character named “Pitfall Harry” through a maze-like jungle and recover various treasures in a 20-minute period. Along the way Harry would have to negotiate numerous hazards including pits, quicksand, rolling logs, rattlesnakes, crocodiles and my favorite, scorpions. You had to have Harry either run, jump, climb or swing on a vine to avoid all these dangers.
Pac Man, Bezerk, Centipede and Space Invaders. I know what you’re thinking, these are pretty old school, but these were the video games of my childhood and they will always have a soft spot in my heart. Video games though have come a LOOOONG way since then. Both gameplay and graphics have become so vivid and spectacular that you actually feel that you are a part of the action-taking place on the screen!
Playing today’s video games, a gamer feels like they’re really in the Batcave with Batman & Robin as seen here in the upcoming release LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes
Memorial Day Weekend was filled with family, friends, BBQs and of course parades. In fact, my kidlets love parades so much that we went to two of them! We forgot to bring the camera for our own town parade, but here’s parade #2 of the weekend in a nearby town:
My lil’ patriot, waving her American flag so proudly waiting for the parade to start. Continue reading
Memorial Day Weekend is considered the unofficial start to summer – and for me that also means the official opening of BBQ season! For the next 12 weeks there will undoubtedly be a hot dog or hamburger as part of my meal plan at least once a week. I always seem to worry about what I’ll serve alongside those American food classics – macaroni/potato salad, beans, corn on the cob – you get the idea. Dessert for me though is a no-brainer. I like to pair all that salty food with a little bit of sweetness so for me that means serving another American food classic, cupcakes!
When the weather started getting warm earlier this Spring, my son came home from school with a “bird feeder.” It was a pine cone that had been slathered with peanut butter and bird seed scooped on like sprinkles on ice cream. We hung it on a tree in the backyard, right next to his swing set/playhouse so he could climb up and look out to and see if any birds had taken a peck at his tasty treat.
Art Project: Birdfeeder, the whole family got into the act
This week, this “Grill-More” Girl continues with her seafood grilling adventure. This week it’s Grilled Calamari Salad. Before you say “eww” – read on, you might just change your mind and discover a great new and unusual dish.
Grilled Calamari Salad
Calamari is the Italian word for squid. Though hugely popular in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, most Americans only recognize calamari as that fried appetizer mainstay found on the menu at many a national casual dining chains and Italian restaurants or as some horrific Hollywood created monster of the deep-sea. If that’s how you think of squid, you’re missing out on quite a delectable treat!
I stopped by a local cupcake bakery that is getting rave reviews, The Sweet Shop. Melina’s cupcakes have been featured on Bravo’s series “Real Housewives of New Jersey” and “Bethenny, Getting Married?” After the cupcake taste-test we held here in our home, I totally can see why these cupcakes are in such hot demand. They were moist, flavorful and most of all fun! Don’t take my word for it, look at my kidlet’s reactions:
One of my kidlets’ favorite part of the day is when they get to create. Art projects are a great way for kids to not only express themselves but have some fun! Plus, if you are “crafty” about it, it’s a cheap way to keep them entertained and give us parents a much-needed moment of quiet or an opportunity to finish folding the laundry, make dinner or answer the phone. Who knows, maybe the next budding Picasso or Andy Warhol is in your very home with a Crayola in his or her hand right this second!
My son made a bird nest, complete with baby bird
From the moment my kids could hold a crayon, marker or paintbrush, use a glue stick or safety scissors at preschool/daycare, they started coming home with “masterpieces.” At first, I only got one or two pieces a week. Now it seems that each of my kidlets are coming home with four to five pieces EVERYDAY. Both of my kids have been in nursery school/daycare since they were each three months old (my son is almost five, my daughter is 2 ½), so even if I conservatively totaled up one piece of artwork coming home from daycare, I must have close to 1500 pieces of children’s art. The Louvre has nothing on my house!
This week this “Grill-More” Girl tried her hand at another seafood dish, Simple Grilled Scallops.
Grilled scallops can turn a plain steak dinner into a fab surf and turf entrée or they can stand alone as a tasty main dish. Scallops are a great source of protein, and if prepared properly they have a very unique, sweet flavor. I’d only ever prepared them on the stove top in a frying pan or broiled in the oven. My thought was that they might be too delicate for the grill and that I would char them into burnt little discs, but grilling scallops isn’t tough at all. It’s easy just as long as you follow a few simple rules…
No matter how many books I read or how-to videos I watch on You Tube, I simply cannot do my daughter’s hair. Each day I take a brush in my hand and say confidently to myself – today her hair will look beautiful, but by the time I’m done, she looks like one hot hair mess!
My daughter this morning, her hair already matted – as soon as she sees me with the brush it will be WW III