Monday, March 31, 2008

Ah that child!

"Mom you like my butterfly wings?"

I looked over to discover she had my bra on backwards like ..."butterfly wings".

How do I respond to that?

5 minutes after posting, she put her bottoms to her dress (they look like underwear, but the same fabric as the dress) on her head and said, "Bye Mom, I going to office now!".

Friday, March 28, 2008

Korma Recipe -- My way!

I am not Indian, but I cook a lot of Indian food. I learned a few recipes from cookbooks and a lot of technique from my Indian Mother in-law (very sweet and patient woman). If you are vegetarian and need more variety, try out a few Indian recipes. Don't base you understanding of Indian cooking by the restaurants, there is a lot more to it (however, you can get the following recipe at most North Indian restaurants in the US & Canada).
Also note, if you have trouble with some of the Indian spices, cooking it yourself, puts you in control. For example, my husband gets heartburn from garam masala (mixture of spices), so I either cut it down or leave it out. When I use it, I make sure to have chai (tea) with cinnamon, cardamom and milk ready to go as we eat. I read somewhere cinnamon prevents heartburn and it seems to work.
One more point, if I may, Indian cooking, will not break you food budget or your diet. I would be skinny, if I stayed away from chocolate and cookies.


  • 3 tbsp - Ghee (clarified butter) or Vegetable oil
  • 3-5 - Tomatoes depending tomato consistency and size**(make sure to read the note)
  • 2 - Grated onions
  • 1/2 inch -chopped ginger (or paste)
  • 1tsp - cumin seeds
  • 2 - Garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tsp - Turmeric Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
  • 1 tsp - Coriander powder
  • 2 tsp - Garam Masala Powder (not curry powder - you can find this online, in some natural food stores or better yet at an Indian grocery)
  • 1/2-1 cup - Milk / water
  • 1/2 cup - sour cream or yogurt
  • 1/4 cup - grounded cashews
  • Salt To Taste
  • 3 cups - Boiled vegetables (mixture of 4 or more of the following vegetables -potatoes, carrots, green peas, green beans, cauliflower, green peppers, cabbage, butternut squash)
  • 2 tbs -cilantro for garnish

How to make:
  1. Heat ghee in a large sauce pan
  2. Saute onions, ginger, cumin, turmeric, chili, coriander powder and garam masala on med-high heat until cumin is brown and onions are transparent.
  3. Add tomatoes and garlic and cover with lid and stir occasionally until tomatoes are thoroughly a paste.**
  4. Lower heat to med-low and gradually add about 1/2 of milk or water to make gravy. Add more if needed.
  5. Stir in sour cream or yogurt and grounded cashews and simmer for 2 minutes
  6. Add salt and boiled vegetables. Stir making sure the vegetables are covered in gravy
  7. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or more with lid on. Stir occasionally.
  8. Garnish with cilantro
  9. Serve with rice and chapatis

**You will find a lot of Indian recipes have you puree the tomatoes to make a sauce or use canned tomato sauce, its much quicker,
but it takes away from the flavor. If you have time then make the tomato sauce as in the above recipe. I do however, keep a 6oz can of tomato sauce on hand for just in case the gravy doesn't make enough. Or if you discover, after add the water (or milk), the tomatoes don't quite make a gravy, then add the can before adding boiled vegetables. If you use Italian (plum) tomatoes (best choice) make sure to use at least 5.

Some good resources & blogs:
  1. FoodieView Blog
  2. Indian Food Facts - Know Your Food Today

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Toddler Fashion

Motherhood Lesson #64,000:

There is a
right way and then there is a toddler way.


-------------------------------------Toddler fashion tip - If you can't find a bindi, use raisins


Monday, March 24, 2008



Talking about being a sucker.

Never attend a potluck that is sponsored by a College student organization. You are guaranteed the food will be gone by the time you reach the table.

I was so looking forward to eating other peoples cooking at the annual holiday potluck, that I exercised an extra day. I spent most of the week contemplating what I was going to make and deciding what I was going to wear. However, once we were there, the host made an apology that they forgot to inform everyone that this was a potluck "so please view the food as a snack." ....hmmm.

Standing at the back of a long line, my husband nudged me a few times as I stared at students with their loaded down plates (I should say, loaded-up-to-the-ceiling-plates). The same student's who went up when they invited "all kids" to get their food first.

Did I say, I was looking forward to this event? I know, the students don't get good home cooking too often, so this was a big treat for them. However, I felt like this was a set-up... a scam!

Anyway, I don't need the extra calories, so it was probably good that the food was almost gone when we finally reached the table. I ended up with a plate full of leafy salad and mixed vegetables. Not enough to please a hungry, tired mother, who cooked all afternoon and only sampled her dish, just a little.

Is this a sign? I was thinking about that on the way home.... until my husband pulled up to Mickey D's and order 3 large french fries to go.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Magazines... I love them.

Recently, I noticed I have a subscription to Better Homes Garden up to 2012.
Whoops! How did that happen?

Well, I pay my bills. Thats good. I renew subscriptions of magazines I would like to keep. However, I just need to pay more attention. Especially, with the fact I already renewed the subscription 6 months ago.

Ah! Dang nab it! (My father's favorite cuss words - if you have never heard this before, make sure the "nab it" slurs together)

Last week I received another offer to renew my subscription for another "3 years for the price of one year". Nice offer, but... does these magazine have a stopping point!? Or do they keep offering until the person has a subscription up to the year 3008 and beyond? I can only make that kind of commitment to my husband. Plus, do we really know where we are going to be in 5 year+?

....Well I am not a sucker anymore.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Found this while stumbling:

Girls are like
apples on trees. The best
ones are at the top of the tree.
The boys don't want to reach for
the good ones because they are afraid
of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they
just get the rotten apples from the ground
that aren't as good, but easy. So the apples
at the top think something is wrong with
them, when in reality, they're amazing.
They just have to wait for the right
boy to come along, the one
who's brave enough
to climb
all the way
to the top
of the tree.

borrowed from megan

I like this, I think its nice, however....

I am not an apple to be "picked". I may have been like the apple at the top of the tree, but this apple makes her own decisions and choices as well. Plus, why wait to be picked? Whats up with that? Life is too short.

#1 Daughter (if you are reading this) have fun with life! Not like those loose apples, but have fun traveling, singing, dancing, and making friends. Don't wait around for some boy to pick you! The right "one" will come along some day... if thats what you want. No need to rush. Always know, there are 2 in a relationship and relationships needs 2 people to make it grow as one.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Drastic Purging of Stuff -- Spring Cleaning

So, I got rid of stuff. I can't bring myself to call it junk. However, my husband, thinks most of the stuff in the house is junk. He doesn't know any better. (By the way, do I call his 1970's "Battle Ship" game junk? Noooooo and I didn't even throw it away).

I should say, half of the stuff I am donating and the other half I threw away. The donation is in boxes in the hallway, waiting for the "Mama Val" style drive-by-n-drop-off.
Well at least or so far, I haven't pulled anything out to reclaim it. Thats a good sign don't you thing? ....or maybe thats a good sign that it is probably

I still have a little itch to do something drastic..... so I ate some chocolate. That will hold me over for a day.

I did notice that around the world there are a lot of spring holidays including important birthdays/anniversaries, religious holidays and festivals coming up! I think I will try to participate in as many as I can. You think anyone will notice? It would be a good emotional cleansing as well as educational. Kind of like spiritual spring cleaning.

Doesn't throwing paint on other people sound like fun? Yeah!

Or chasing after Easter eggs?
I don't eat eggs unless they are chocolate. I do like the part of running around with a bunch of (big)kids and elbowing them out of the way before they pick up the eggs. Sounds like a good way to get rid of some extra energy.

Oh and don't forget the food (I'm sure you won't if you were fasting)!

With the massive clutter cleaning, I forgot to mention the discovery of a stack of addressed Christmas cards that never made it into the mail. So, if you didn't get your Christmas card from our family....Merry Christmas!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Yeah thats right! I think I am having a Blog Fart. Usually, I have plenty to say, but right now...

Well, there is one thing. I have this itching feeling to do something drastic. You know like cutting my hair drastically short.... but it's already short. I don't know what I'll do, but I'll figure it out.

If I had magical powers I would end winter right now and have sunny, 75-80 degree weather for the rest of the month. Eat lots of chocolate without gaining a pound. In fact, I would loose weight and look great with a snap of my finger. I would change my wardrobe, buy bright colored outfits, and hip hugging jeans. Get rid of the clutter in my house and make all needed repairs within a heartbeat. I would go visit my friends and family... all of them, in different parts of the world. That would probably take a year. I would make my teenager sweet... my toddler behave and...

.....Now that would be drastic!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

Welcome to LIVING ON A WHIM!

Come on in take your shoes off and stay a while.

You probably have been wondering about the banner over on the right (now the top)?! Well 5 Minutes for Mom is hosting the “Ultimate Blog Party” where women bloggers come together, to blog a little... read a lot and find new and interesting blogs. You don't have to be a mom to participate.

Who am I?

I am Jenn, a stay home mother of a toddler and a teen. I blog about whatever fits my fancy for the week. Pass on ideas, discuss my latest projects, and an occasional story.

Here are few of my favorites post:

Here are a few post that generated responses, so I am guessing these are my readers favorites:

Don't be afraid to leave a comment. At least say "Hi" or "I was here"!

Enjoy the party!

Crafts with Little Bean (22 months)

I love doing craft projects! Last week, I figured out a new way to keep Little Bean busy while I'm cutting and gluing ( I guess my recreation therapy degree is kind of handy). I found these Kumon books at Target, in the activity book section (looks like they are a $1 cheaper online). She loves them. They are simple activities that help build fine motor skills.
If you decide to use them:
  • Check the front of the book to see what other resources you need(glue, kid scissors..etc).
  • Read the material and try them out with your child 1:1.
  • Make sure you cut out enough pages to keep your toddler busy before starting your own project. I recommend the sticker and paste books, the cutting books needs 1:1 attention.

Other activities that have worked in the past:
  • Paper and crayons (click here to see our favorite. Twistables are impossible for Little Bean to break and are erasable.-- Another option check-out Does Mommy Loves It)
  • Paper and stickers (her favorite) or sticker/color books
  • A variety of empty containers with lids. Little Bean spends a lot of time trying to twist off/pop off lids and trying to placing them back on. She also like putting things in them.
  • If all else fails, try finger painting with baby food ;)
Please note - all these activities , as you know, still need your supervision. Some of above objects are choking hazard. Since, you know you child, use your best judgment and modify as needed. I put Little Bean in her highchair at arms length away, so I can reach her for any reason.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Snow, Snow go away....

Remember this?

Well, that wood is still sitting there. I haven't been to class for a month now. Why you ask? Because, of snow, snow, winter vacation week and.... snow.

So, my passion to learn woodworking skills is starting to fade.

Maybe next time I will sign-up for a course on-line.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Nap time Accomplishments

I have decided to go on a computer diet. Instead of hanging out on the computer at Little Bean's nap time, I will do more productive things. So here is my list from today. I think I did a good job.

Nap time Accomplishments (1 1/2 -2hr duration)
  1. Ordered replacement parts for the refrigerator
  2. 30 minutes of toning exercise with DVD
  3. Bathed
  4. Ate lunch and watched the View (ate some sour yogurt or does Stonyfield Farm, fat free, Black cherry always taste that way?)
  5. Alright had to use the computer on this one - Recorded my meals and exercise (Started the Self Challenge - Self Magazine)
  6. From there started writing this Blog until Little Bean woke-up.
I think I was pretty productive.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Silly Squirrel.... Tricks are for kids.

We have this crazy squirrel in our backyard. My family laughs at me whenever I mention him. I don't think they believed me. I love watching him as I do dishes. He scales our neighbor's wooden fence upside down; jumps tree to tree and bounces around in our yard (kind of like those skunks in the old bugs bunny cartoons).
But what makes him amazing? His ability to do somersaults. He climbs up our compost pile and somersaults down, he does this several times. This squirrel is an animal gymnastic wonder... future Olympic material. However, he always stops by the time I get daughter #1 to the window.

If it wasn't for my neighbor, I think my husband would of had me in a therapist chair or on my way back to the 9-5 work world. Lucky for me, my neighbor at a dinner party told the story of our squirrel in the backyard. He too, saw the squirrel doing somersaults on numerous occasions.
His wife laughed as he told the story. I understood that laugh. Daughter #1's eyes grew bigger as she looked at me with one hand over her mouth and the other pointing at me.
"TOLD YOU!", I exclaimed.
At this point my neighbor turned to me and asked if I had seen this squirrel.
Of course I have!
He looked at his wife smugly and smile. She stopped laughing.

Well, that is... she stopped until I told another story about the squirrel (thats another post, another time).

It is moments like this that I miss my father. He would of believed me from the start. He would of even given my squirrel a name. Dad, himself, had a rabbit named Mr. Nibbles who frequently ate up his garden. Dad at times would be obsessed with finding ways to keep Mr. Nibbles away from his precious vegetables, kind of like "Old Man and the Sea"
(oops edit - wrong classic...Moby Dick and Captain Ahab)but his story is "Nibbles". Every year, I heard about Mr. Nibbles from a small child up until last year. Last spring was the last time I heard about Mr. Nibbles before my father died in June. That summer, my father's garden lived on, cared for by my mother and the neighbors (and Mr. Nibbles). Hopefully, this spring, the garden will continue to exist and Mr. Nibbles haunts my mother as he did my father. That would be funny.

Please vote on a name in the right hand column.  Or better yet, make a suggestion!