Friday, May 29, 2009

taking the plunge

Alright, I'm going to do Wednesday Spaghetti. Maybe even this coming Wednesday. I have the urge. Spring is making me happy. I want to have spaghetti, and friends, and music and open windows. Maybe we'll even send the kids outside! I'll let you know how it goes!

There isn't some sort of minimum number of guests is there?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jake and I had a private MommyBaby Wednesday non-Spaghetti last night full of all of our favorite foods. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, hummus, edamame, sushi, and mozzarella cheese.
I wish the picture of him was a little bit better, but at least you get to see how well my child eats.
The secret is being a mean mom. I didn't let him eat "kiddie" foods until he developed a taste for adult stuff. I'm the worst.

my first post!

Funny story...

Steven and I share a birthday.
Because it's his birthday he figures he deserves a BJ.
Because it's mine I figure I shouldn't have to give one.

I don't think he gets the joke because after being together for 8.5 years he still doesn't think it's hilarious. Go figure.


I've been reading some of these posts. I think it's a great idea! I'm definitely going to have to give this a try, and soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

holy crap, I'm drowning in Spaghetti.

If you read this blog and would like to join us, please leave a comment and I'll get you added as soon as possible. If your email address isn't in your profile, please leave that too, or email me at You can't screw up Wednesday Spaghetti. All you have to do is make an effort once in awhile on any day of the week to eat any dinner you would like AT YOUR TABLE. It can be you and your friends. You and your family. You and your cat. You and your coworkers. You and the ladies auxiliary of whatever it is that you are auxiliaring. I don't invite (straight) boys over the age of 12, but you can. I let kids come over, but you don't have to. It's your chance to do things your way in the spirit of togetherness.

I do spaghetti because it is cheap and Wednesdays because my husband is out of the house. That's what works for me, but it might not work for you.

If you post to this blog and your blog isn't listed in the sidebar blogroll, please let me know. I added a handful of blogs there last week, but I forgot to hit SAVE in my haste to shut down the window when my boss' boss came over to my desk.

Fun and free for kids

I'll be volunteering and hanging out with the husband and my little one, the big one will also be there rocking out. Free food, rides and entertainment. They had me at food.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gathering with friends

I belong to a moms group (Mothers & More). We get together once a week for a different activity each week - book club, game night, dinner out, etc. Some of us also get together on a Sunday for drinks and a movie. We do that every month or two. This group was a lifesaver for me when, in 2004, I moved 600 miles from a city I had lived in since college. I made some of the best friends ever through that group!

In 2007, we were transferred back to the city where my husband and I graduated college. I transferred my Mothers & More membership to the chapter here and have made a lot of new friends.

But I still keep in constant contact with those women I met in 2004. For the third year in a row, we are going on a moms and kids trip. There will be about five moms and 12 or so kids touring St. Louis and doing fun family oriented stuff during the day and resting and having cocktails by the pool in the evening. We made this trip to St. Louis last year, too. It's about a 1/2 way point between where I live now and where they still live. The year before that, we crashed a different city.

I also try to make it to at least one lake trip with these women each year. Unfortunately, I can't go this year and my attendance record at these "every four months" getaways is starting to get tarnished. I hope to do better next year!

Keeping in touch with "old" friends is so important. Obviously, due to distance, we can't do Wednesday Spaghetti, but we can do Occasional Spaghetti! So that's what we do and I am thankful for every moment of time we are together.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Spaghetti and All

I had a successful Wednesday Spaghetti... we had spaghetti and it was Wednesday. I threw in 2 wonderful friends, garlic bread and some wine... voila!

When I told my husband that I had invited Lesley and Lori over for dinner, his first question was "Why?"
"Because I wanted to have some friends over to hang out."
"But they don't even know each other."
"So, that is kind of random."
"That is the fun of it. They don't know each other so we'll have a lot to talk about and learn about each other."
"It's just weird."
"You're weird."

We ended up having a great time with great conversations and I can not wait to do it again with other random friends.

Monday, May 18, 2009

No more excuses!

There are a million excuses for losing touch with your friends. “I’m too busy.” “We’re on different schedules.” “We live too far apart.”

Wednesday Spaghetti seeks to put an end to these excuses and to bring friends together over a nice, warm meal. What a simple, yet novel concept!

Since I can rarely make it up to Philly for Wednesday Spaghetti at Lora’s house, I started my own tradition called “Scrumptious Saturday!” My dinners differ from the original Wednesday Spaghetti idea in that I do Saturdays instead of Wednesdays since I don’t get home until 6:30 p.m. on the weekdays, and I don’t serve pasta. Instead, I cook a meal based on a theme that I choose.

Cooking is a passion of mine, so I love having an excuse to spend all day in the kitchen and to try new recipes. Jack usually serves as my “Sioux chef,” so cooking gives us an opportunity to spend some quality time together.

Also, having a weekly “dinner party” motivates me to keep my house clean. It’s not a feeling of obligation. I know my friends don’t care if there’s cat hair on the stairs or a pile of dirty towels outside the bathroom. It’s just that I want my house to be a comfortable and cozy place, especially when I’m opening my home to friends.

My first ever Scrumptious Saturday! had an Israeli theme. I made falafel and hummus from scratch, as well as Israeli salad, sour cabbage and labenah. I spent a total of 8 hours in the kitchen that day! Christine and Emily, new friends from my trip to Israel, and Alena, a friend since childhood, joined me for dinner that night. Alena brought her husband Melvin and little Andy, their toddler son. Andy wasn’t up for the Middle Eastern food, but Melvin certainly put a hurtin’ on the labenah!

Perhaps even more popular was taco night. I scoured the local Hispanic shops for hand-made tortillas. I made pineapple salsa, molidos, gallo pinto and mojitos using the mint from my herb garden. My friends Natasha, Kaki and Eddie hit it off, which was nice. Eddie brought her two little ones, Sofia and Isabel. Isa crawled around on the floor, while Sofia “watered” the papier-mâché Mexican flower I had given her to play with.

The past three Scrumptious Saturdays were part of my month-long birthday celebration. (Yes, I get a whole month!) The first weekend, Lauren and Matt, a couple of my Philly friends,came to Charm City to help me celebrate. I didn’t make dinner since it was my birthday, but we did plenty of drinking! Lauren, Matt, Jack and I hung out until the wee hours of the morning talking about the past, present and future.

The next Saturday, Kaki, Emily and Christine met me at Dukem, an Ethiopian restaurant in downtown Baltimore. We tried Ethiopian beer and ordered from a menu we couldn’t decipher. It was so much fun! We ate with our hands and speculated about which dish was which.

Lora and Nadine came down from Philly last Saturday for the final b-day celebration. My friend Monica also joined us. I didn’t make an elaborate meal—just a salad with strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese. We drank gin with lemonade and chatted while sitting around my dinner table. Then we went to “the bar” and had some more cocktails and good conversation. I hadn’t seen Nadine in three years, so it was nice to catch up. Monica headed home around midnight, and the three of us girls stayed up chatting until almost four in the morning. The next day, Nadine went home and Lora and I walked to Fells Point for brunch. We talked about everything and nothing all at once. That’s the beauty of good friends. You can go from serious to silly and from meaningless to deep conversations. You can be open and honest and can pick up right where you left off, no matter how much time has passed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Made Spaghetti and My Husband Didn't Leave Me, you know. It was a good night.

Last week I asked my husband if I could "do Wednesday Spaghetti." Thinking "Wednesday Spaghetti" = Have a bunch of bloggy chicks over while he and the kids go out for pizza and to the playground, he was all in favor.

Then he saw the evite I sent out. And the fact that 30 people, only two of whom and only by coincidence are bloggy chicks, had RSVP'd with a big, Hellzyeah.

I was thrilled. Delighted. Whoohoo.

Him. Not so much.

And I see his point. His brain was set on "I'm outta here for a few hours" and then he had to quickly adjust to "I'm not even remotely outta here and it's Wednesday and where are those extra chairs and do we have enough beer."

I refused to allow myself to get worked up, I didn't sweep a thing, nor did I frantically scrub toilet bowls, in anticipation of the spaghetti guests. I tried to emphasize that it isn't a PARTY, it's WEDNESDAY SPAGHETTI. Not allowing myself to get worked up sounds easier than it is, but I did honor of the Wedspag.

It was just what I wanted it to be. Neighbors, friends, loved ones, eating their spaghetti. Kids racing around the yard. Old friends played catch-up and new friends got to know each other.

By 8:30 everyone had returned from whence they came, the kitchen was on its way back to cleaned up, and my husband hugged me, smiled, and said he'd had fun.

That's good. Because you should see the size of the invite list for the next one.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dinner in the Desert

This was my first Wednesday Spaghetti and it was the most relaxed get-together I've ever had at my house.  I put no pressure on myself and enjoyed my friends and the evening without worrying. Who knew that good conversation and a simple dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread, and strawberry shortcake to top it off,  could be so comforting and rejuvenating?  As we sat around the table I wondered who else was doing the same and where.  It was a good feeling.

WSSSS, NoCal style

Because Lora asked and my comment-in-response quickly became longer than a comment:

Spaghetti and sauce and spinach salad and strawberries. And water because I totally forgot that we might want something to wash all those s's down with. Don't come to my house parched. I'm the worst at remembering to offer you something to drink. Unless you're willing to help yourself to whatever happens to be on the bev shelf of the fridge, you might very well dry up and blow away.

Our entertainment involved watching the kiddos climb up and down the ladder in the "clubhouse"with hands filled to varying degrees with miscellaneous "tools" (no bets were taken on who'd bleed first, not that the over-under didn't cross my mind), intercepting sandbarkrocks from the planters in the garden, and turning kiddos upside down to make sure they weren't harboring any sand in their tiny tiny crevices. Also, lots of stories that began with "So as I was saying..." which, come to think of it, might very well have actually been just one story, the ending of which we never got to.

I looked forward to it all week and it did not disappoint. My house feels homiest after an evening of easy, unscripted chatter.

7 on the 7th..

If you can spare $7 this is a great foundation. Click here to donate.

For the first time in a year of WedSpags I had no idea who was having WedSpags of their own, and it was more than slightly awesome.

It's fun to sit around my table knowing that there were lots of others sitting around their tables, WedSpagging it up. One million and seven thank yous to everyone who Spaghed.

At my house we all ate chili and tamales and chips and peach salsa and drank wine and margaritas and then watched the movie KIDS, which is the ultimate feel good film of the mid-nineties, followed by American Idol where we totally tore Paula and her dumb performance apart and loved all over No Doubt.

What did you do at yours?

Monday, May 4, 2009

press and admin stuff

Anyone is invited to get in on WedSpag, please let me know if any of your friends are interested in starting their own spaghetti nights and I'll get them set up on the blog. I've just about given up on adding everyone onto the evite- it's more complicated than it sounds. In fact, I may be ditching the evites totally because all y'all know that my door is open unless I say otherwise and no one really opens them up anymore anyway!

Thanks to everyone who is writing about Wednesday Spaghetti on their blogs. Here are a few posts from the past few weeks:

Mothers of Brothers

The Domestic Goddess

Well Read Hostess

In So many Words...

Cheese Party

I am Bossy

The Life You Choose

The New Girl

Life According to Lizzi