Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I have a son E who is 6 and a son N who is 5 years old. I have longed for them to be independent. They can now dress themselves, go potty by themselves, eat by themselves, pick up their toys. I also try to encourage them to think for themselves. Haven't you all said to your kids, "Just because Johnny wants to jump off a bridge doesn't mean you have to." (I sound just like my mother, oh my!).

Yesterday, while my son N and I were waiting for E to get out of school, N asked me this question. "Mom, why are you named Sophia?" I answered that I am named after my father's mother. (Being Greek, this is a tradition). I proceeded to tell him that my sister, Pauline, was named after my mother's mother and my brother, George, was named after my father's father.

He then said "Oh I get it! I am named after your dad and E is named after dad's dad." 'Yes, N, that is correct. " (I was really excited that he was getting this.) He then said, "When I have a son I will name him Dimitri, after dad." Silence. He walked away.

I then said to him, "N what will you name your daughter?" He looked at me with no expression at all and said, "Rose". Off he went to play.

You got to love it - Independence!!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cooked Cheerios?

This is a snack that my friend's mom used to make when I was little.  Now, I make it for my kids and they love it!  I usually use the plain cheerios but you can also use the honey nut ones.  Throw the Cheerios into a skillet at medium heat.  Let cook until lightly brown and throw in some butter (the more the better)!  If you are looking for a sweet snack, add cinnamon and sugar.  Serve warm.   A (semi) healthy snack and so easy!





Let me start by saying that I am definitely not a list maker, but I am intrigued by my friends that are. Especially since they seem to accomplish more things in a day than I do in a week.

Take for instance my friend Josee. I have seen her list. Yes, I have sneaked a peak at it lying on her beautiful countertop. Some things crossed off, other ones waiting to be accomplished. Josee can repaint her kitchen including kitchen cabinets, baseboards, walls and ceiling in a week and it is all there on her list. I am in envy of this.

Mary, my good friend and co-blogger, makes list. When we were roommates in Atlanta on Goodwood Blvd, I remember her lists written on scraps of paper or on old envelopes. She would rush out of the house on her way to work with her list in one hand and her oversized bag in the other. (Now she admits to me that she often loses her list. Not remembering where she left it. A mere oversight, I am sure!!)

There are famous people who make lists also. Look at Santa, he is always "making a list and checking it twice." Then there is David Letterman with his Top 10 List.

So I have come to the conclusion that there must be something to this list making. Having said this, I am ready to start making my lists and finally get things accomplished in my life.

I will start with daily lists. Because I have a hard time keeping my house organized and decluttered, I will make a list to get my house in order. I will start with my bedroom. Here are some before pictures.

My List:

1. Declutter dressers.
2. Update look with new accessories.

I sure do have my work cut out for me. Notice the 1990's huge jewelry box on right corner.
Stay tuned for the after pictures.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cake Decorating Party

Ella's Birthday Party!

*Cake Decorating*

For Ella's 8th birthday party we decided on a cake decorating theme.  We had a total of 11 girls over for the fun and festivities.  I had two dear friends and my wonderful husband helping.  Deb moonlights as a cake decorator and Aimee is a professional chef.   Deb taught them how to frost, use piping bags and sculpt with fondant.  They didn't need any help on how to eat the frosting.  I think more ended up in their mouths than on the cakes.  

Here are the invitations ( I was going to have some printed) but I found these at Michael's... $1 for 10!  Perfect!  Also, got the matching place mats for the girls to decorate their cakes on. I covered the table with a vinyl fabric and then set each place with a place mat, individual 6" cake, knife, journal and pencil.

For the favors, I got plain aprons at Hobby Lobby.  I then cut out felt cupcakes and used my new needle punch machine to attach to the apron.  It took less than an hour.  Oh, how I love that machine!  I decided the aprons needed a little bling so I ended up adding ball fringe across the top.  I probably would have done more if I hadn't run out of time.

The girls all gathered around the table and Deb showed them how to do the frosting layer. Before they got started,  they got to take a peek at the different frosting, fondant and sprinkles.

Then, each girl had a notebook (cake themed, of course) to draw the design for her cake. Deb showed them how to work with the different frosting tips and they got to work!    It was fun to watch...some used only frosting, others used lots of sprinkles and some made shapes out of the fondant. Here are some of the designs...  Pretty great, I think!



After they each finished the individual cakes they got to decorate the birthday cake.  I got a large sheet cake with plain frosting and Deb drew a grid.  Each girl got to decorate a square for Ella!


We all sang Happy Birthday, played some food themed games--jumping for marshmallows, cake walk and  a marshmallow relay.  Each girl got to take home her apron, journal and decorated cake.  What a fun time!

Monday, February 8, 2010


My son E loves spanikopeta (Greek spinach pie). My mom makes it to perfection, but since she lives 925 miles away from me in SC, I decided to attempt this delectable dish myself using her recipe. You can make it in a pan or in triangle shapes. I decided to make them into triangles because you can freeze them uncooked and then take them out as you need them. These make great appetizers. If you have friends drop by unexpectedly, you can just pop these babies in and in 20 minutes you have instant hors d'oeuvres and your guests think you are a gourmet cook.

You will need:

2 lbs finely chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 lb feta cheese, crumbled
1 small onion, chopped fine
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 8 oz bar cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp olive oil
dash of salt & pepper
16 phyllo pastry sheets
1/2 lb butter, melted

1. I used frozen spinach because I could not find fresh spinach at the grocery store that day. I defrosted the spinach in the microwave.

2. After the spinach was defrosted, I squeezed all the excess moisture out. (This is a very important step in making a good filling). Put the spinach in your mixing bowl.

3. In the same bowl with the spinach add the crumbled feta cheese, the softened cream cheese, the slightly beaten eggs, the chopped onions, the salt and pepper, and the olive oil. (The cream cheese is the secret ingredient in my mom's spanikopeta. Most people use cottage cheese.) Mix the ingredients until well blended.

4. Next, take out your phyllo pastry sheets. Cut them in half, lengthwise.

5. Melt your butter in the microwave.

6. Take one of the pastry sheets that you have cut in half and brush with butter using a pastry brush. Fold the pastry sheet in half. Place about 1 tsp of spinach cheese mixture at one end of each strip. Fold strip diagonally until triangles are formed. (Remember making those paper footballs?)

7. Brush tops with melted butter and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 40 triangles.

Note: To freeze, place unbaked buttered triangles in plastic container, separating layers with wax paper or aluminum paper and place in freezer. When ready to serve, place frozen triangles in pan and bake. You can freeze these for up to 2 months, but you will eat them up before that!!!