Monday, November 23, 2009

Food 4 Kids

I heard about San Diego Food Bank’s FOOD 4 KIDS BACKPACK PROGRAM a little while ago on NPR, and now thanks to Alice I am finally getting involved. Everyone else can too! Here's what it's all about:

"The program was launched in 2007 to provide food to help chronically hungry elementary school students get through the weekend. Every Friday, eligible kids receive a backpack with child friendly items such as peanut butter, pop-top canned goods, cereal, juice boxes, fruit cups, raisins, pudding cups, granola bars, shelf-stable milk and macaroni and cheese tucked inside.

These kids receive free or reduced cost meals while school is in session, but do not have food available on the weekends or school holidays for themselves and their siblings. Food 4 Kids provides food directly to them, without requiring their parents to receive a referral to a local food pantry, pick up food at the pantry or prepare it at home.

Charitable donations are down this year, and hunger in San Diego County is up. Those of us who love food and view it as a pleasure are in a position to ensure that the children of our community don’t go hungry.

With that goal in mind, San Diego’s food bloggers and other members of the local community are coming together to raise funds for the San Diego Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids Backpack Program. The program costs a mere $6.00 per week per child to fund, and a donation of $250.00 will fund a backpack for a child for the entire 36 week school year. Giving what you can afford will help us ensure the program continues to provide this much needed service!"

To participate in the fundraiser event, you can donate through the Firstgiving fundraising page at All donors on the Firstgiving page will be eligible to win prizes sponsored by local businesses, bloggers and individuals. Just be sure to include your e-mail address when you donate so you can be contacted if you win.

If you're in San Diego, you can also participate by bringing items to the food and backpack drive at the Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market on Saturday, December 12 from 9-12. Recommended donations are any non-perishable kid-friendly food items and good quality neutral colored backpacks. Hope to see you there!

Thank you, and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mad Love

The H made us the most delicious Mad Men dinner last Sunday night. It was a pickled vegetable salad with prosciutto and a soft-boiled egg. Inspiration can be found here. The H, the dinner, the dirty martini, the Draper-- I was definitely feeling the love.


Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Happy belated Halloween! I hope it was a great one for everyone. Ours was good but a little on the spooky side, thanks to an unexpected visit from the Ghost of Indecision. That pesky guy just would not leave us alone. For example, Snook couldn't decide if she wanted to be Cinderella, Chef Ariel, or a bat princess for Halloween. So she was a mixture of all three.Then, little Bubs couldn't decide if he wanted to be an elephant or Peter Criss from the band KISS. So he ended up being both."Peter Criss," wearing his pink ribbon to help raise awareness.My neighbor, Joy, made all of the boys' KISS costumes. They looked awesome!

As for pumpkin carving, there was both a nice jack-o-lantern (not pictured) and a mean one. And Halloween dinner was the same way. Should we serve bison steaks or buffalo steaks? We served both.Our friends, Amber and Jay

Finally, we couldn't figure out if we wanted to stay in our neighborhood and trick-or-treat or go to another friends' house for spider cake. So, again, we did both.It was both a very spooky AND A VERY FUN Halloween, indeed!

Toob Crazy

These Toobs from Safari Ltd. are my new kids' toy obsession. Both S 'n' B gravitate toward small figurines, for some reason. I hear this about my friends' kids too, come to think of it. Easy enough for Snook, but poor Bubs has been playing with mini-princesses long enough. Last week, I finally found something called the Dino Toob, and now I'm out to collect all of them. There are pirates, zoo animals, steam trains, cars . . . all non-toxic, all super fun, all under $10. Even the caps are fun with their rotating globes. Great gift idea too!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Nurses Wear Shoes

This poster represents what I think will be one of my toughest parenting challenges-- letting my kids do their own thing regardless of what I think is right or good or acceptable.

So Snook's poster assignment was to fill in the blanks on such topics as "This is What I Look Like;" "When I Grow Up I Want to Be;" and "If I Could Wish For Anything It Would Be." She told me her responses. We were good so far. Then it came time to draw or glue in pictures to go along with her answers. This is where things got ugly. I got the bright idea to go through magazines looking for pictures. But Snook got so excited when she saw certain pictures in the magazine that she didn't care if they matched her responses or not. After much back and forth, I finally just let her put whatever picture she wanted wherever she wanted, which is how we ended up with a shoe where a nurse should have gone, a 30-something-year-old woman where Snook's picture should have been, and a boat where an alligator should have gone.

The whole thing had me so flustered. On the one hand, the last thing I ever want is to do her work for her or to stifle her creativity. On the other hand, I want to help steer her in the right direction. I also didn't want her teacher thinking she (I) didn't care, or she didn't "get it," or the other kids laughing at her.

Of course, I angsted for nothing. When I handed the poster to Snook's teacher with a disclaimer about the pictures, she laughed and said, "Well, nurses wear shoes." So they do. I would have saved myself a lot of trouble if I'd kept that axiom in mind from the start. I hope I never forget it.

Do You Chorizo?

I don't usually chorizo. Too salty, too sausagy, too much. Plus it has a tendency to repeat on me all day long. Well, I didn't have any of those problems with the H's. Maybe I do chorizo.


Snook voluntarily ate four forkfuls of peas the other night. This is huge because she's been on a self-imposed (of course) green strike for about the last 49 days. Could I possibly have The Gulps to thank? After reading this book the first time, I immediately regretted checking it out from the library because I found the portrayal of the plus-size Gulp family to be a bit offensive. Seriously, just because you don't wear a size 4 doesn't mean you let your kids drink soda and eat Cheetos for breakfast before a long day of channel-surfing. But the overarching message is to eat right, and if this is what Snook picked up on then, gulp, I guess it's okay sometimes to take the bad with the good.

Playdate Karma

My friend, Nina, and I had one of those play dates a little while back where everything came together so nicely. We first had a delicious brunch at Big Kitchen on the very kid-friendly, very enclosed back patio. It was the perfect locale for those eating-out occasions when containment is everything. And for when your kids want to do the "Fruit Bowl" dance.We then headed next door to So Childish, an adorable children's boutique where it just so happened that a music class was about to begin.All of the children were in their glory, hopping and bopping to the beat. Definitely gave me some future birthday-party ideas.Of course, free play was the best part!Picture time! Didn't Nina get a great shot with her girl? I got lucky that day too because . . .
. . . I got a pre-playdate picture with my girl . . . . . . and a picture with my boy.But this is the closest Snook would let me come to getting a picture with both my girl and my boy.Three-year-olds! It was still a beautiful day.

Funny Guy

This guy works in my office. No joke. He's an attorney by day. But at night, he tells jokes. Really, really funny ones. My friend, Cindy, and I caught him and some other great comedians, including Big Worm, at the Mad House Comedy Club last week. We never even knew this place existed before, and now we're seriously considering becoming groupies. What what!

Photo credit: David Heisler

Goodbye Darkness My Old Friend

Little voices woke me up this morning, as usual. But when I opened my eyes, it was sunny! Not dawn's-early-light sunny, like I'm used to. No, it was bright, bold, it's-a-new-day sunny. So I say good riddance Daylight Saving Time, and hello earlier bedtimes and waking up long after the rooster crows. Pretty sure I just jinxed myself big time . . .