Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mike, His Bike and The Blog Cafe

The Blog Cafe is especially extraordinary today for two reasons.

Number 1. It's being hosted by My Favorite Person. Mike.AND Number 2. It's all about Super Powers. ~Which one would you choose? Flying, Mind Reading, Super Speed, Time Travel, Elastic Body????

Warning: We will be going on a 100 mile bike ride first, but the sights are amazing; taken on some of the best roads I have ever ridden my bike on, from Lopez Island to Snohomish Washington and beyond.

It may hurt a little to get up at 5 in the morning and get on your bike but so worth it when you get off at noon for a Pastrami Dip Sandwich at Barney's. Maybe your super power could be to have a steel bottom and feel no pain while sitting on a 4 inch seat for 7 hours. I think mine might be super fitness. Then I could keep up with Mike (or maybe even pass him) on a hill!

I wish you could really come with us for both the ride and the sandwich.

So... head on over to Mike's blog, The Adventures of Mike and His Bike for a fun and delicious Monday Adventure and some really great food.

And when you're done there send us an email at and sign up to host The Blog Cafe yourself. We would so love to sit a spell with you in your favorite place for some good food and conversation. Whether it's in Missouri, Chicago or the hills of Appalachia we want to go there with you.

See you soon!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When I grow up, I want to be... Just like this.

A victim treats his mugger right....
Julio Diaz ends his daily subway commute one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner. One evening, his routine was broken when a teenage mugger took his wallet at knifepoint. But neither of them could have predicted what happened next.

Click HERE to read the full NPR article. Or you can listen to it Here.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mondays just got better!

It's a blog cafe kinda day!!!

Today we're in Wales!! Oh the beautiful countryside we get to visit with Marie at A year from Oak Cottage. She's taking us to a quaint little place called Llangollen! (pronounced CLANG Gock Lyn!) It's charming and relaxing and she even includes a recipe for her delicious scones. Served with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

I'm excited to try it... Does anybody out there know what clotted cream is or how to make it? Inquiring Jenny's want to know!

Hurry on over to A year from Oak Cottage and have a wonderful time exploring the countryside of my ancestors (it's true! I have ancestors from Wales!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Breakfast at Matt's

Lezlee the Bandanamom is host today at the Blog Cafe.

Lezlee and I became friends in Jr. High in a small town in SE Idaho. We had a great group of friends through Jr. High.Lezlee is second from the left on the back row and I am on the far right in the back. That's 9th grade, baby!

Recently Lezlee and I found each other again and I have really enjoyed following her life on the world wide web. Her blog is Bandanamom. Click on it, you won't be disappointed. She is intelligent, friendly and uplifting. She is one of those people who are comfortable to be around. Her decorating skills are impeccable and her photography thoughtful.

Today she's taking us out for breakfast and a visit about where you dream of putting down some roots. Money isn't an object.... where would you like to live?

Monday, May 10, 2010

We're hanging out at The Camp Spot with Mandi for The Blog Cafe today. I just love going out for something yummy with my friends and can't wait to see where she's taking us today. Click on over and sit a spell. You won't want to miss it!!

**If you'd like to host the Cafe one week, please email us at: We'll get you on the list and give you a hosting date! **

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Duct Tape Scripture Bag

By Popular Demand our first Lesson this week will be the

First: choose your colors. Some like it bright and busy while others prefer simple and elegant. (Elegant duct tape? Work with me here.)

In our fair city, Walmart has the best variety of colors. Measure
the book
or books you want
to carry adding
one inch (4cm) to
the depth and half inch (2cm) to the width and height.
Choose the color for the inside of your bag and overlap strips right onto your work surface the width and length of your books. (This will be the bottom of your bag.) Once you have a solid piece the size you would like the bottom. You will do the same thing with the color you have chosen to be the outside. Carefully peel up the outside layer and lay it on the table with the sticky side up. Next, gently peel up the inside panel. Hold each side so the sheet of tape curves like a swing. Starting in the center begin rolling/laying them with sticky sides together. Continue slowly until they are stuck flat. Take it slowly and accept the landing point as good enough because once they have touched they are very difficult to get apart. You can trim later to make it straight. By starting in the center, you have less risk of bubbles developing between the layers.You will do this five times according to your measurements. One for the bottom, and one for each of the four sides. The front will be the same size as the back and the two sides will be the same size. Lay them all out as shown above.
Keeping your pieces flat you will now tape each side to the bottom edge. Next, bring side edges together and tape going up the outside edge. You will be forming a box. After securing each corner edge on the outside, carefully do the same on the inside. This will seal the sides/corners so there won't be any sticky spots.Be as accurate as you can but accept that you are working with duct tape and know that it is very difficult to get perfectly flat.
Just do your best and have fun with it.
Using scissors cut the top evenly across all sides and carefully add your border color to the top.Now,
handles. Cut tape to desired length and fold down one side lengthwise. Sticking together from the center out. Then fold up the other edge over the first. It will not be perfectly flat, but that's fine because they will go on the bag in a curve anyway. Secure each handle on the inside of the bag with duct tape.
With handles firmly in place your bag should resemble something you would happily carry to church with scriptures, highlighters and possibly breathmints in tow. Or make it a different size to carry whatever you wish... wherever you go.

Following are directions in case you would like to have the checkerboard look that you see in many of our pictures. Fashionista loves checkerboards and stripes!Make a sheet of duct tape on your work surface without any overlapping pieces. You can see that they are exactly next to each other without overlapping.
Peel up the edge of every other strip and lay another color along this edge.Continue this process with every other strip until the panel is a complete checkerboard. Lift one corner and carefully peel the panel off the table.Lay the panel together with an inside layer and follow previous instructions for completing your bag.If you want a lid, you will need to put you handle from side to side and make one more panel large enough to connect to the back and overlap onto the front. Add velcro if you like.This one is miniature for coins etc. but the lid can work on any size bag.
Try this project with your family, You'll end up with a cool bag, but even better... You can have a lot of fun with one of the greatest and most dependable products available!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A week of How To's and The Blog Cafe

The Blog Cafe is being held at The Pink Purl today. Tracy is a new friend living in Norway. She is crafty and thoughtful. Today we're having hot chocolate and pastries and talking about how we would each spend the winnings from the lottery if they were ours. Head on over, sit a spell, and share your dreams of big money!

I have a blogging goal this week. Over the past while I've been taking pictures of things I've been doing including food I've made so that I could share them with you. This week I will be teaching how to make five things:

1. Duct Tape book bag2. Bike Chain Bracelet
3. Emeril's Chili4. Cinnamon Rolls
5. Duct Tape WalletNow, aren't you excited?

Come back tomorrow and learn a new skill to amaze your friends!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Big Day and a Guest

So far it's been the best birthday ever!

Cycle Guy got up early and made lunches for the kids and then they brought gifts and cake into my room for breakfast.

Fashionista made me the coolest "business cards" My title is "Best Mom Ever" and there are flowers and cyclists on it. Perfect.

And Cycle Guy himself made yes made me a bracelet out of bike chains!!!

I'm loved!

Now, he and I are off to the city for Dim Sum, REI, and bookstores!


Today is a special day for another reason. Remember JoLyn from a year of happy and The Blog Cafe? She is my sister and I am a guest blogger at her place today. Click here to read about tulips and immodest ice cream cones.I hope you have as great a day as I'm having!!!

Love, Jenny

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cristiano's and The Blog Cafe

It's a great day to gather at The Blog Cafe!
If you are new to The Blog Cafe, you can find an introduction at

It's like a group of friends old and new gathering at a favorite place for food and fun.

Today we're meeting virtually at Cristiano's Pizza Etc. in my hometown.
Originally, Cristiano's was a cozy little bistro serving incredible salads and delicious pizza. It has long been a favorite lunch spot of mine. The first time I took Cycle Guy there, he looked around wondering what I was doing to him. The term "other fish in the sea" suddenly lost all meaning as he began to drown in a sea of women. Business lunches, friends out for soup and salad, and young mom's with preschoolers in tow filled the restaurant.

Things have changed, for the better. Cristiano's has doubled their space, still a cozy bistro just bigger. Even then you can expect it to be crowded. It's that good. And... there are as many men gathering now as women. We just couldn't keep our secret any longer. Oh you'll still see friends out for a chat with toddlers in tow but the male crowd is as great as the female one now. It's just that good.

Today we'll start with some of my favorite,The deep fried cheese ravioli appetizer.
It comes with a pesto asiago dipping sauce and chunky marinara.

And while we wait for our salad and pizza, we can visit and color. When you bring kids with you they automatically put paper on the table and bring you crayons, but all you have to do is ask and you can get them even without the little ones.

The salads at Cristiano's are their premier dish.
They are huge and chock full of goodness.Look at all that cheese!
This is the Mediterranean Salad with Feta cheese and Greek dressing.
The bread sticks are chewy in the middle, with a crunchy Parmesan crust... fabulous.This is the Caesar Salad loaded with Parmesan Cheese.
It's your choice... dressing on the side or tossed in, grilled chicken or no.

Then there's the pizza... Real cheese, stretchy and hot, covering a thick chewy crust and whatever other toppings you choose.

I reserved a virtual table at Cristiano's ALL day and I hope you'll come over and sit a spell.

As the host I get to choose the conversation topic of the day. It may seem a little serious, but after spending a virtual day with no cares in a dream spot last Monday, I think we can handle it. And I think there are some of you out there who can still have a little fun with it.

So, let's talk about kids and adults... I think there are some things I wish kids knew about grown ups.

I spend one morning each week helping in Fashionista's 5th grade classroom. She has a fabulous teacher who has a way of getting the kids excited about education. From brains to fractions, this lady can sell it.

One day as I was correcting math papers I asked her a question I had about one of their worksheets. I wasn't sure if I should mark something wrong, it was so close to being correct. She looked it over and said, "Oh, darn it, we'll have to mark it wrong." She felt sincerely sorry that they got it wrong. The empathy and compassion I felt from her was amazing and that's when I realized that this teacher really cares about how her students do in school. I wish I had known that when I was a kid.

That got me thinking. What are some things I wish my kids understood about me? Like:

...I don't feel any different on the inside than I felt when I was younger.

...I've never been a parent before and I'm learning as I go, doing the best I can.

...I've been where they are right now, I really do have some of the answers.

...The adults in their lives care about them. We are trying to help them succeed, not waiting to see them fail.

...When they mess up we are sorry for their pain and want to help it get better. Remember when a kiss made the tears go away?

What do you wish kids knew about grown ups? Be serious or funny... I'm interested in hearing your thoughts!

And if you'd like to host the Cafe one week, please email us

We'll get you on the list and give you a hosting date!