Tuesday, March 29, 2011

taming the chaos

about three times a year (fall, spring & summer semesters) i have to do what I call "taming the chaos" of my family. for my fellow students out there, it's always challenging to coordinate a work schedule, a school schedule, a social life, perhaps a greek organization....it's hard. or at least it was until I became a mom/wife/student/intern-turned-producer whose husband has a full time management position.

i'm not whining. trust me. I know how fortunate a young family is to be employed, educated and still have some time together, particularly in this economy. 
actually, i'm bragging. 
my dear friend Nathan has long since been a strange combination of impressed & petrified of my organizational & time management skills that have only been more finely tuned since becoming a mother. 
And I wanted everyone else to share that mixture of awe and fear.

nathan & I looking a little bit like siblings. 
which is only fitting since his girlfriend (ellie, the best friend) & my husband look exactly like brother & sister. 

see what I mean?

anyways, in the face of all of that madness, i've found that i thrive in the situation and my organization skills are pretty top notch as of late. 

just to be a little bit more specific, here are the many elements of scheduling that I have to organize:

Adam's Work Schedule. 
i have to do my best to keep him as the opener most mornings (as that is where he is a rock star) while i work on a morning radio show. 
i also have to do my best to arrange around adam's weekly game night which is ever changing due to two of the players being university professors and another being a PhD student. 

Reed's Child Care Schedule. 
in case anyone doesn't know, reed is 2 and a half now. 
he goes to a parent's day out twice a week for about five & a half hours a day.
we love it, he loves it. he really thrives in the social interaction. 
however, sometimes life starts before the 9am drop off time (life like a morning radio show maybe?) and that's when creative scheduling comes in handy. 

My Class Schedule
the longer i'm in school, which who's really keeping track (please nobody keep track), the harder this piece of the puzzle is to manage. 
the higher division classes are harder to schedule because there are fewer of them, particularly in a program on the smaller side like journalism. 
my 1st semester back after having reed I took 15 hours. 
I stacked my classes primarily on Mondays & Wednesdays and then had 2 classes Friday mornings. 
this fall, i'm looking at 1 class monday/wednesday/friday, two classes mondays & wednesdays, two classes on tuesdays & thursdays.
Oi with the poodles already. 

The Morning Show
 this one is probably the most fun & the hardest to work into my life. 
adam opens every morning at Starbucks, save for his 2 days off a week (if that). 
he gets there at 4:30am. I have to be at the radio station at 5am. 
we have a small child. 
see the problem?
but i love it, so I tame the chaos. 

and in case you're wondering why dear Nathan has ever been scared?

it's my desk calendar. 
(complete with a color coded highlighting system)

the above + my iPhone are my biggest lines of defense in the war against disorganization. 
what keeps you organized? 
and would you like lessons in the art of arranging your life via color coded highlighters? cause i could teach that class. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TV Time

I told all my faithful blog readers what was on my fall line-up and now that spring has sprung, it's time for an update. 

As is the case with nearly every popular show, I jump on the bandwagon 4-5 years late (except The OC, I was there from the get-go). Anyways, I've been in love with David Boreanaz since the third grade so I'm fairly surprised it took me this long to get into it but thank God for TNT reruns. It's far wittier than Law & Order and the sexual tension between Booth & Brennan is so thick you could cut it with that week's murder weapon. Tune in, friends. 
It's on Thursdays on FOX at 8pm.

Bethenny Ever After
 Formerly of The Real Housewives of New York City, Bethenny Frankel is a natural foods chef, author and overall bad ass entrepreneur. Can you tell that I like her? Her new show is about life after marriage & baby and how to juggle them both with running your own empire. (Side note: Adam got me a bottle of her Skinny Girl Margarita- it's delicious and only 100 calories a bottle. I may start drinking on the regular again). I find Bethenny hysterical and refreshingly honest and you get a Bravo reality show without the table flipping and bitch slapping you get with the Housewives shows.
Also, check out Bethenny's website for awesome recipes.
It's on Mondays on Bravo at 9pm.
On a related note, due to my awesome internship, I got to talk to Bethenney on Tuesday!

Big Love
I watched the first season when it originally aired and then went to live in the University dorms where students having HBO just isn't a priority for the folks over at Resident Life. 
With adulthood came the option to have Netflix and thus, I've been watching this wonderful series. Currently I'm in the midst of season 3 and it's just fantastic. Oddly, when TLC began to air the reality version, Sister Wives, I was just super creeped out.  Plus, for all the Memphis folks, it's a good opportunity to support our local gal, Ginnifer Goodwin.
I believe the series finale just aired (if you value your life, you won't tell me how it ends) but pretty much everyone has Netflix so that's where you should watch it. 
And in case I have any male readers, Adam is currently obsessed with BBC America. Namely, these two shows:

Top Gear

what are all of you watching? is there a must-see television (as Elspeth would say) show that I'm missing?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Funday

Today, I had the immense pleasure of a day with reed, robyn & ellie, 3 of my favorite people.
reed & i started out the day with our weekend usual: two breakfasts.
Breakfast number one was peanut butter granola & yogurt (with coffee for mommy, milk for reed) while for breakfast number two, we split a waffle with nutella spread on it.
reed then played trains while I straightened my hair thereby securing a good momma hair day.
Is there a Sunday that starts better than that?

then we traipsed over to the Apple Store since my iPhone wouldn't hold a charge and a very large thank you to the guy at Apple who fixed my phone and didn't make me pay for it :)
Right around this time reed started to ask where daddy was and since I felt like coffee could only help the day, we went to Adam's Starbucks for another round of coffee & milk and some kisses from daddy. And we ended up meeting robyn & ellie there after a while. 

One of Adam's co-workers, Kim, has a son (Aiden) who is about a year and some change older than reed but the interacting is still pretty good considering the gap in their ages.
Aiden & Reed hanging out on the Starbucks patio.

once assembled, the sisters haire + reed + me went on a shopping expedition, largely to take advantage of a Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic coupon for 30% off all purchases that robyn managed to acquire. 
we hit up the poplar plaza Old Navy before venturing to Germantown for the Saddle Creek shopping center for visits to Indigo, Anthropologie, Gap & Banana Republic.

we each got something from somewhere without splurging beyond necessity, though it was close when I went into Banana and fell in love with a $98 dress (hey, it would've been $68 with the discount) but luckily robyn talked me out of it. 

though ellie & I communicate on an hourly basis and I talk to robyn several times during the week, it's pretty rare for me to see them even weekly due to scheduling conflicts so this was quite the treat.

how was your weekend, mr/mrs/ms blog reader? :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Time to Eat!

There are those that may disagree but I do believe that we live in a world, particularly a country, where it is far easier and economical to eat poorly than it is to eat well and remain health conscious. I eat vegetables, I don't eat red meat, I can keep a safe distance from chocolate 27 days out of the month and I've managed to avoid the trap that most mommies of toddlers fall into, the notorious waist-line killer that is "Momma's Two Dinners." What saved me from the latter was knowing that a 2 year old doesn't require the same portion as a 22 year old but I won't get started on portion sizes in the United States- there isn't a soap box big enough.

With all of that being said, I still have weaknesses in my diet that cause me to have a few extra pounds that I'd rather not have. 
And my weakness lies in the five letter goodness known as CARBS. I love them. I love pasta, I love rice (preferably with tandoori chicken & vegetables) and I love them early and often. 

All of the healthy living guru's tell you not to deprive yourself and instead try and make what you like healthier and so I did just that. It was delicious and I'm about to share the fruits of my labor with you.

One of my favorite pasta recipes is one with a creamy pesto sauce, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes with sauteed garlic and onions. The creamy part of the pesto sauce is achieved by combining pesto sauce (I used to use the pre-jarred Kroger brand) with sour cream. It tastes wonderful but it's not winning any awards for healthy cooking.

Here's the recipe for my made-from-scratch pesto sauce:
3 cloves of garlic
2 cups of fresh basil
3 tablespoons of pine nuts
a dash of salt & pepper
1/2 a cup of olive oil
1/2 a cup of parmesan cheese

there's not much prep aside from peeling the garlic. I use the quicky method of a food processor to make the pesto sauce. Add the garlic to the food processor and mince. Then add the basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Next slowly drizzle the olive oil in everything is pureed. Lastly, add the parmesean cheese.

Here's the recipe for the whole dish:
Mince garlic & onions and saute them (I use lemon juice for this particular recipe).
Substitute the sour cream for plain greek yogurt and add another splash of lemon juice. 
Add the artichoke hearts & sun dried tomatoes.
Slowly add the pesto sauce and then let simmer over low heat.
Pour over al dente whole grain rotini or penne noodles.
Add a bit of parmesean cheese and enjoy.

As you can tell, the second recipe is not an exact science- I'm a big fan of eyeball cooking for things like that. The simple substitution of greek yogurt for sour cream and whole grain for white pasta is definitely more nutritious and the change in taste is negligible, if noticeable at all. 

for anyone that has a weakness in their diet, I am now an advocate of making what you love and making it healthier, rather than not making it at all.