Got the Sunday Night Blues? We Have the Cure!

Sunday nights used to be my least favorite time of the week. Nobody wants the weekend to come to an end, and I had definitely been wasting a perfectly good night off wallowing in the fact that I had to return to work and real life on Monday morning…that is, until Kate and I inadvertently came up with a solution!  It all started one sweltering night about 2 month ago, when I was desperate for some white sangria (something you should know about me- when I get an idea in my head I won’t be satisfied with any substitutions.  Everyone in The Compound can attest to this).  I had ALMOST all the ingredients, with the exception of triple sec.  I called Kate in a lack-of-refreshing-drink-panic, and offered to trade her.  If she magically made some triple sec appear on my doorstep, I’d pay her back with some sangria later.

And so our Sunday night cocktail exchange began.  Of course, neither of us are ever totally prepared for whatever drink is decided on, and a lot of bartering happens as a result…ahh, the joys of The Compound.  The next week, I made Smitten Kitchen’s blackberry gin fizz with a pint of juicy farmer’s market blackberries that I had on hand.  Kate took a turn the following week with a watermelon vodka cooler that perfectly accompanied my homemade salsa.A few weeks ago, Janine gave us an adorable present for our cocktail exchange.  She bought mason jars, and ordered lids with flower cutouts on Etsy (similar to these), complete with straws.  Super thoughtful, especially considering she can’t participate in our drink exchange for a little while longer, until her new baby arrives.  Of course, it was my turn to make a drink, and when I opened the fridge I only found a few lone white peaches, and no alcohol.  After extensive googling (ok, well, minimal googling), I discovered a delicious bellini recipe that, with a little tweaking, would be light and refreshing for a hot August night.  My husband was nice enough to go out and pick up a bottle of prosecco, and drink-making ensued:

Orangey Peach Bellinis
adapted from Ina Garten

4 peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon of sugar
Juice of 2 lemons (you can dial this back to 1, but I really love the lemon flavor with the peaches)
1 bottle of your favorite prosecco (I use Cupcake brand, it’s fruity but not overly sweet)
Orange juice to taste

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Preferably, the peaches should be ripe, but mine were on the firm side and still pureed nicely with the addition of the extra lemon juice.

Puree the peaches, sugar and lemon juice in a blender or food processor.  Strain in a mesh colander or through cheesecloth to separate the solids.  Divide the strained puree between 4 large glasses.  Fill the rest of the way with prosecco, top with generous splash of orange juice (and ice if wine wasn’t previously chilled).  Stir thoroughly and enjoy!

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p.s. the original recipe called for fewer peaches and claimed to make 6-8 drinks, but I prefer peachier, larger drinks ;-)

These drinks were delicious (even the skeptical husbands enjoyed them), and would be great to serve at brunch as an interesting twist on mimosas.  

Life Lesson #1: Seltzer Can Turn Into An Ice Bomb

I was trapped in my house with a potty training toddler over the weekend.  Granted, a very sweet potty training toddler who told me I was a beautiful mommy on several occasions (melt), but still: POTTY TRAINING.  It’s draining.  Despite the fact that Liam picked it up really quickly and is doing very well, it was still tiring—maybe because of all of those sprints to the bathroom.  At one point Liam literally yelled at me to “move faster!”, kind of how I would imagine a drill sergeant might bark at me if I were ever to join the army.  I’ve never moved so quickly in my life.
 
When I finally managed to escape the madness go on a little excursion with my sisters sans Liam, this is what I found in my car.  My first reaction was “did it SNOW in here?!” but then I realized: I had left a seltzer can in the car (along with approximately 540 crushed animal crackers on the floor, an entire library of Sesame Street books, receipts dating back to 2005, and more straw wrappers and napkins than you can count).  It’s been REALLY REALLY COLD, and apparently sub-zero weather turns seltzer cans into ice bombs.

Please don't try this at home

 
Whoops.
 
Luckily, Theresa offered to drive us to the supermarket.  But imagine what we found when we got to her car?  I’ll give you one guess.
 

Yes, it’s a water bottle. And yes, it cracked. Kate was the only sane one among us, so we made her dispose of it.

 
Seriously, what is wrong with us?  I’d blame Liam distracting me, but clearly the whole compound is afflicted.
 
To make ourselves feel better after our obvious lack of judgment, we ordered iced coffees from Coffee Express on the way to the supermarket.  Which we promptly drank half of and left the other half in the car to freeze.  Are we sensing a pattern here?
 
At least I can console myself that the potty training was a success. ;-)
 

Chronicles of Chaos…Home Edition

My husband, Brian, and I are currently in the process of redecorating and revamping our house.  Here’s a little background on the house- the hub of The Compound, if you will.  We are currently living in the house I grew up in, the one that my parents bought in 1987.  When I was little, I used to tell my parents that I was going to live in that house forever.  Little did they know, that was actually going to happen.  Most normal kids can’t wait to leave for college.  I, on the other hand, decided to live at home while getting my degree, and couldn’t bear to be away from my family, especially my sisters.  My parents bought a vacation home and mostly left me to my own devices.  I like to tell people that they couldn’t get me to move out, so they took it upon themselves to leave first.  That’s completely untrue, but it sounds dramatic and a little evil, which I enjoy (I am a youngest child, after all).

That being said, it’s much harder to consolidate your belongings and throw things away when everything in the house is associated with a childhood memory.  Conversations usually go like this:

Me: “Do you think we should toss this heinously ugly table?”

Brian:  “Sure!”

Me: “ARE YOU CRAZY?  This came from my grandparents house!  I don’t care how ugly it is, we’re keeping it!”  *Storms off in fit of unjustified rage*

Ugliest. Table. Ever.  Do you like that awesome 80s phone?  You do?  I knew it.  [Also, please note the corner of the couch to the left of the table.  Janine is trying to somehow acquire that couch from my house.  That’s another story for another blog post…stay tuned].

 My parents still have the majority of their furniture in the house, until at some point they build an in-law apartment and move it all out (except, of course, the things that I have stuck post-its on and labeled as “keeping this forever– sorry Mom.”).  Sometimes I think that it would have been easier to move out and start fresh in a new, empty house, but then I think about how much I love the house and all its little quirks, and it makes all the work worth it.

My constant complaining about not having enough space to store things, not having enough time to decorate, and the fact that this adorable Anthropologie wallpaper won’t go on sale doesn’t seem to bother Brian in the slightest.  Yesterday we spent well over an hour looking at wallpaper and bedding online, and I only caught him staring at the ceiling out of sheer boredom once…we’re making strides here, people.  I come up with a new, usually hare-brained scheme for the house pretty much everyday.  My current obsession is trying to remedy the lack of closet space.  The house was built in 1890, when people clearly didn’t have excessively large wardrobes and/or nail polish collections.  I’ve convinced myself that turning an alcove in my room into a walk-in closet will solve all of life’s problems.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress of that…If you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s safe to assume that I’ve been attacked by the clothes-monster that seems to be expanding exponentially in the upstairs hallway.

Preschool: The Dramatic First Chapter (complete with weeping)

So, we just submitted an application for preschool. As in, an application for preschool for my baby who I swore could never leave me until he was 98 years old. Be prepared for lots and lots of crying if he is actually accepted, because right now I’m in complete denial. I keep saying things like “we’ll decide when we get the letter back from the school” and “there’s no rush making a decision.” You know what that means? I’m only in the first stage of grief. I’m sure my hand will start shaking uncontrollably when I have to write the check (well, that’s an emotional AND a financial thing, because heck, preschool is apparently worth the actual cost of your firstborn child).

Look at this face. Could you send him to school? Me neither. Come on, Liam, let’s go snuggle under your Mickey quilt and watch Winnie the Pooh again. I’m sure we can keep doing this forever.

Don't you just want to kiss him?

The flip side of this is that I’m actually hoping he DOES get into this school, because from everything that I can tell, it’s amazing. Liam is obsessed with musical instruments (obsessed like, he’ll give you a musical instrument the second you enter our house, instruct you how to hold it, and then proceed to conduct you in a song of his choosing) and this is a preschool based in a music conservatory. Lots of attention, lots of focus on the things he loves. What’s so hard about sending your child off somewhere new is that you don’t know if they will approach learning or communication or nurturing the same way—but I guess that’s part of the whole learning process, right?

Now I’m off to inspect Liam’s elbows. I’m seriously concerned his baby dimples are starting to disappear. WAHHHHHHHHHHH.

Welcome to The Compound!

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I’m not quite sure how to start our first post… it kind of feels like a first date. Have I told you that you have a nice smile yet? Is that awkward?

Ok, now that we have the small talk out of the way, let’s get down it. What is this all about?

This blog is about me and my two sisters. We live next door to each other with our families, in the suburbs south of Boston (we call it “The Compound” because… we’re weird like that. Check out our About page for more). We decided to start this blog because we’re just crazy enough to think we’re interesting ;) And because we think we’ve stumbled across some pretty cool stuff in our time, and we’re super excited to share it with you!

So what’s the jist here? Cut to the chase Kate? Ok ok, here goes. Basically, we’re all going to take turns posting on this site.

About what you ask?

Well… Everything! We share a common obsession with cooking really delicious food using quality ingredients, reading really excellent books, and drinking good wine. I mean… yeah I’m not even going to deny that last one ;)

But we all have pretty unique things to bring to the table too. Janine tends to do really weird and amazing things like make her own cleaning supplies (trust me, it’s easy and you will be instantly hooked).

Theresa is a librarian, and has great taste in books, movies, and music. She also knows tons of rad places in the Boston area, among other things.

And me? Well, I’m into art, and food, and design… The list goes on and on.

But what this blog is really about is Family. Specifically, our family. And all of our crazy shenanigans living in The Compound. Intrigued? Stick around, I promise you’ll have fun and maybe even find out some cool new stuff. And if you have any tips or comments to share with us, we would love to hear from you.

Stay tuned!