Monday, August 17, 2015

Orlando's Magical Dining Month 2015

Since moving to the Central Florida area, I have discovered that there is no shortage of fast food chain restaurants (*gag*) here to cater to the transient nature of our locale.

Finding decent restaurants have been difficult.
Farm to table? Laughable.
Actually (sadly), many have never heard of such a thing.
Which is a good segway to Farmer's Markets.
Naively, I thought if you could grow year round, the farmer's markets and availability would be plentiful and many. On the contrary, there were more in the Northeast (no question). Which is a real shame.

Now, this doesn't mean we haven't found excellent spots for both food and locally grown items.
But many are far from where we are currently living. Which makes sense since we live somewhat outside of Orlando and what seems to me to be the middle of nowhere (25 minutes to my nearest Target is downright near ridiculous! That's almost a whole half hour!)

Eventually, we hope to live closer to farmer's markets and locally sourced eats ... but in the meantime, we travel far and farther to seek them out one by one!

I also try to subscribe to local news and digital mags (Is that called an eMag? I don't know. I'm feeling very old right now.)

Alas, I digress. My real point is that I came across something called Magical Dining Month.

I learned that this is very similar to what the Boston, MA area called Restaurant Week[s] which are usually held various times throughout the year (usually one week each season).  Essentially, it would be a prix fixe menu and heavily discounted price (usually around $33 for dinner and about $10 less for lunch) so that people could have a chance to try out their favorite or once out of budget's reach restaurants. Doesn't mean all the participating restaurants are a steal or that they offer a good deal.

I'm surprised and somewhat pleased that Orlando hosts something similar. And I'm on a mission to try as many as possible. May not be as many as I'd like but does that ever happen?

This full invitation to splurge has a preview week on August 24 and officially begins the week after.
For people wanting more info on it, menus and more are posted at

As we go to try them, I will be posting pics, reviews and final thoughts on each one!
Stay tuned!!

Suggestions are WELCOME!

Vene, Vidi, Edi!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Another Chapter ... Same Book.

Recently, I was reminded of this blog in an indirect way. I googled it. Then giggled. The site was not saved in my Favorites folder. Yeah. Fuh-nay.
Rereading old posts (back from 2009!) brought back so many memories - good and bad - and how cathartic it was for me to have this blog during those years.
These days, I have left the blogging to the ones more dedicated to the art.
But, I still love the idea of keeping this one alive.
My twins are now three. Almost four, if you must know! 
I blinked a few times and each have crossed joyous, scary, memorable and touching milestones each time.
Here is a recent pic of my cuties! Summer 2015.
 {Let's quickly catch up!}
We live in Central Florida now. A big move from the Northeast from all that we've ever known. Florida is home to a few things I probably should have known prior to coming down...
  1. Bugs. Lots of them. And they are B.I.G. And they are many. And they are not my friends.
  2. Lightening. Did you know that Florida is the lightening capital of the world? Ok, just the U.S. Apparently, Africa is the lightening capital of the world. At least that's what Google told me. 
  3. Rain. The summer months here (June, July and August) are considered the rainy ones in Florida. Not sure why I didn't think of that. Rain leads to flooding. And bugs and slimy critters trying to share our inside space. Trust me. I know. We just had our own Battle of the Bulge here [of the red ant variety].  Did I mention bugs are not my friends?
Not everything in Florida is bad.
     For one, from September to May, the weather is supremely more glorious.
        And we can technically go swimming year round in the heated pool.
           Disney is but just a short drive away.
              Not to mention the plethora of other theme parks.
                 And there is no ice to chip off my windshield and snow to shovel 
                 during the winters up north that seem to be stretching longer and longer each year.
So to backtrack (or to come full circle for the glass half full folks), I created this blog as a sort of ... therapy ... and to keep personal questions at bay. They were too painful to talk about then. Sometimes still now. But not nearly as much. Actually, these days, I feel warmth when I think or speak of Nari and Matthew (the first).
Time wrote so many unwritten pages from our earlier life chapters to the one we're living now.
I'm resurrecting this blog to write about this chapter and ones to come.
Full of life, follies, futures, frills and food. Okay. You got me! Mostly about food.
     I love to buy it, find it, cook it, taste it, look at it and dream about it!
My husband (who puts up with all of my crazy) has been after me to start a food blog.
I think I'm grossly underqualified to do so but don't mind doing it for my own sake and for fun.
So here we go again!
Hamilton Rain - When It Rains It Pours!
(Oh! Just realized that the original title made a poor pun. You know 'cuz we're in Florida now?  [blank stares and crickets, huh?Oh, never mind!)
You're still reading the same book with the same characters but an entirely new chapter ... with lots of food references, kitchen gadgets, menus, recipes, reviews and who knows what else! AND hopefully the two or three people that read this will post their food ideas too with pictures and their thoughts on gadgets they've used. Stay tuned, folks!
Vene, Vidi, Edi!
My bounty from a successful local farmer's market run (seems few and far between around here!).

Saturday, May 4, 2013

New, New, New

This blog faded away for a little while ... mostly to two crying babies that turned too soon into the antics of two busy toddlers.

We just look at the two of them in awe and wonder how they got so big. I recently bought them some new clothes (all clearance and sale items for next season/year) and thought "These just look huge!"


I'm amazed at their tenacity, their big personalities packaged into such tiny bodies and their sheer energy for life. It inspires me everyday to be present and alive right along with them even when there are days when I'd rather be wasting the day away in bed.

My husband and I recently (and finally) got on a health kick. Not blindly or fanatically so (which means we still indulge in the chocolate, alcohol and coffee) but we've started running 5Ks and cooking lighter.

And speaking of cooking, I've rediscovered my LOVE of it. The sheer flexibility and creative liberties I can take with food that can be shared with the people I care about. It's definitely an extension of my affection for my family. We're self proclaimed foodies (but not the snobby kind ... maybe sometimes the yuppie kind though :)

I've been on a slight work "break" from my career job for several months. Since last September to be exact. It's been a blessing to have had that time with Matthew and Aria but I am returning to full time this coming Monday.

I'm anxious and excited at the same time. I'm wondering if I'll be able to hack it back in an office setting again with adult speaking actual English. My brain has been on hiatus and even though I read, play brain teasers and scratch my head at crosswords, I know its not the same kind of strain someone has at the office.

Anyway, I'm hoping not to disappoint. Not just my future co-workers but my kids, my husband and me. I've been able to spend so much time with my kids and be there for all of their various appointments that it will be strange not to be able to do so now. I've been able to cook lavish and time intensive meals that it will just not be the same to come in and rush through a "quick" meal. And I will miss my husband's impromptu days at home that his flexible work schedule allows.

I'm prepping a shopping list now to get ready for the week. I think I will try to cook a few casseroles and possibly crockpot dishes for the week to see if that is successful. When I decide what my menu is for the week, I will post them here to chronicle them and try to keep record of what works and what doesn't.

Women, especially working moms, are the superheroes of our time.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

12 Weeks Already?

And here we are ... already 12 weeks old!!
And wow - time has just FLOWN by around here. I can't believe I really have to think about going back to work soon but reality sets in as my funds go down while the formula is still flowing and the dirty diapers continue to pile up (about 400 hundred a month ... yep, I said FOUR HUNDRED).

Anyway, enough depressing news!

Let me tell you what's new with these little guys!

At their last doctor's appointment, Matthew weighed 10lbs 11oz and Aria weighed 9lbs 10oz (although truth be told, Matthew feels like he weighs at least 5lbs more!).

They both respond to voices and follow objects and sounds with they eyes and head now. They either complain about things that bother them or smile when they hear something that makes them happy. Aria has found her fist and puts it in her mouth any chance she gets (or when she realizes that it's there again).

Matthew is very laid back but takes after his dad's hunger pangs. Think Snicker's commercial slogan "You're not yourself when you're hungry". How TRUE that is!!! He is already cutting a tooth (yikes!). We may start him on a little cereal at four months (with our doctor's ok).

Aria is a little more particular ... about everything. I suppose she takes after me there but I say that there is nothing wrong with having high standards!

We had a month of "Firsts" in January. We all took our first solo trip out.
Check out his little vest ...
Aria is a lot more excited than Matthew.

And where did we go on this monumental trip?

Where else but ...
Might I add that it was rainy and probably not the best day to make that trip out with two babies alone but I had such cabin fever, I honestly didn't care.

And I also made a deposit at the bank, mailed some letters and got a coffee.

What do all those places have in common?

Drive thrus, my friend.

Us moms seriously need a lot more drive thrus. Especially moms of multiples. Think this through ... I could order my things online at Target and then just drive thru to pick them up. That equals a little bit of retail heaven! :)

I finally also made it to my first Queen City Mothers of Twins Club event. It was a mom's night out event at a place called You're Fired in Bedford, NH. It was a great time. I decided to make two owl banks. They came out so cute!
And while I've been busy taking care of the babies, Ken has been busy taking care of me.
White roses for me "Just Because"
He surprised me one Saturday afternoon "Just Because". I was so overwhelmed and surprised! Those little things still count and are SO important to keep US recharged and going strong. What's life without a little romance? 

Yeah. It exists in a marriage ;)

Sorry this post has been so long overdue! I've been remiss in my motherly duties of taking milestone pictures and videos but I've been trying to be more cognizant of it.

Until next time, Matthew and Aria say good night to you all!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

The end of 2011 culminates the close of a very blessed year for us.

After many struggles, we finally welcomed two very precious healthy bundles safely into our lives. We're settling into our home in NH and adjusting to different work schedules.

I can't think of any pearls of wisdom or witty sayings at the moment. My ears are listening to my babies napping noises, my mind is slightly sleepy and my body is healing from nine months of growth.

We just want to say thank you to so many people. What a tremendous help it has been for people to drop by with ready made meals, treats for our sweet tooths (guilty!) and baby things. We didn't know or realize we would need it before but we're so thankful for all of these things now.

We hope you enjoyed the birth announcements and our holiday cards are on the way!

In case you missed it or are not on Facebook, click below to view our Christmas card and photos:

Wishing all of you out there a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
May it be filled with laughter, love and many unexpected joys.

Hugs to all,
Ken, Naria, Emma, Matthew & Aria