The Hot to Trot Monday Listicle

Hello friends, and happy Monday!

This week I’m going to be bad and not follow Stasha’s Listicle prompt, sorry Stasha! But I’m hoping once you see my list you won’t mind, or care at all, in fact….

Because, you see, I’ve been watching altogether too much tv lately and I’ve noticed a decided decline in my cognitive ability… in fact, I seem to have developed a schoolgirl crush on Ian Somerholder.

This is Ian Somerholder:

ian somerhalder 3

Or rather I’ve developed a schoolgirl crush on Damon Salvatore, the character he plays in the Vampire Diaries.

sexysomerhalder1.21

I’ll let that sink in for a second. And for those of you new here I’m a “respectable” 37 year-old wife and mother, the reason behind my watching the Vampire Diaries is beyond even me. I blame the novelty of Netflix, and the abysmalness of Italian television programming (and quite possibly the fact that too much television kills brain cells.)

In the last six months since my mother revealed to me the secret of streaming American shows abroad I’ve watched more shows than I will admit to and developed a series of truly improbable crushes. The last of which is Ian Somerholder, because though a tragic douche in Lost, in the Vampire Diaries he’s terribly sexy (and he knows it, if the number of gratuitously shirtless scenes in the show are any indication).

ian-somerhalder abs2

in case you’re wondering, I’m not opposed to the gratuitously shirtless scenes in the show.

I’ve also managed to crush on Kris Holden-Reid from Lost Girl (has anyone even heard of this show??):

a bit too leonine and blonde for my taste, but he does have the requisite blue eyes and sculpted torso.

a bit too leonine and blonde for my taste, but he does have the requisite blue eyes and sculpted torso.

Matt Bomer from White Collar

matt bomer bw 2

though he’s undeniably hot, his costar Tim DeKay is sexier in my opinion, there’s something almost feminine about Matt Bomer, delicate features or something that makes me want to look at him but absolutely not sleep with him (which is fortunate as I’m positive he would absolutely not want to sleep with me. So we can just be friends, Matt, ok, just walk around shirtless every once in awhile and I’m happy):

matt-bomer-shirtless2

Jonathan Rhys Meyers from the Tudors, which, incidentally, is a really good show.

jonathan rhys meyers2

There’s something about him that makes him seem a bit psychotic or serial killer-ish, which made him perfect to play Henry the eighth – who was not renown for being especially stable – but he doesn’t fill me with confidence as to my safety around him, which is, of course, not a problem, as I can’t imagine us ever running in the same circles. Also, he’s probably a perfectly nice guy.

maybe it's the sword...

maybe it’s the sword…

And my longest standing crush:

ryan-gosling-2

Yes, I’m predictable, Ryan Gosling, but how could I keep him out of this list, I mean, just look at those abs!

ryan gosling abs 2

Is it sad, I wonder, to occasionally sit at traffic lights and daydream about these total hotties falling madly, passionately in love with me? (with their shirts open, of course) Or does it mean that they’re just doing a really, really good job at whatever they’re doing?

Anyway, there you have it, five of my most recent crushes for this week’s Listicle, I feel like I’m providing a public service today by helping you start your week out right with a little eye candy!

p.s. While diligently and meticulously scouring the net for half-naked pictures of the above-mentioned (and, though arduous and tedious work, I did It just for you), I found out that Bradley Cooper has a pretty hot bod. Who knew?!

bradley-cooper-no-shirt-hot-fit1-269x300

Monday Listicles – The Spring 2013 Edition

I’ve written this before, Spring is a schizophrenic season, it can be gloriously warm, insects a-buzzing, flowers a-blooming, allergies abounding, and from one minute to the next the clouds roll in, the rain starts pouring, and all is dreary and bleak. I’m more of a Fall kind of girl, with the Fall I know where I’ve been and I know where I’m headed, in the Spring I get all confused.

So Stasha’s Listicle selection for this week inspired mixed feelings and mixed results, I’m not really sure where I’m at, so I’m giving her 10 things spring a slight spin:

10 things Spring, an ode to opposites.

1. Sunshine vs. Rain

2. Blooming Flowers vs. Allergy Attack

3. Longer Days vs. Stupid time change

4. Pre-Summer diet vs. Hoards of Easter Chocolate

5. Frilly dresses vs. Winter White Legs

6. Easter vs. Kids home from school (not sure which one is good and which is bad…)

7. Bicycling on Balmy Days vs. Fruitflies Flying up my nose whilst cycling in the sun.

8. Starting my Vegetable Garden! vs. Tending to my Vegetable Garden

9. Going out in just clothes vs. Going out in clothes plus a down jacket, hat, scarf, gloves (mismatched cause one is always lost), or just directly in a ski suit cause it’s that cold out, and once you’ve spent half an hour sweating while getting everyone dressed, one of the kids has to pee.

10. Playing Outside for Hours vs. ….

there is absolutely no vs. for this one!

Have a Happy Monday!

(p.s. just to prove how insane the weather is this morning at 8 it was 2°C (37.4°F) and rainy/snow slushing, at noon it got a bit warmer and started hailing, it is now 3pm and the sun is shining and it’s about 18°C (64°F). Now, I ask you, in these conditions, what is a girl to wear??)

Monday Listicle – The oh my husband is so wonderful Edition

Hello friends, happy Monday! It’s Listicle time! This week’s topic is courtesy of yours truly, thank you Stasha for picking my suggestion! I’ve been meaning to dedicate a post to the Husband for some time now, but something always gets in the way (namely my erratic posting habits), so guilt-ridden after my Valentine’s day fiasco I suggested ten ways my partner’s awesome, because, of course, he is (I picked him, didn’t I?) and I would do well to remember that! It works out ever so perfectly because tomorrow is father’s day here, in Italy it is always celebrated on St Joseph day, March 19th, which is one of the many holidays I routinely forget about as it is the “wrong” month (as far as I’m concerned!).

Anyway, repenting my many sins in the spirit of lent (even though I’m not catholic), I give you, ten ways The Husband is awesome:

1. He’s married to me, I’m awesome, ergo he is awesome by association.

2.  He gives me regular foot massages or back rubs (and not always with an ulterior motive)

3. He’s a wonderful father

4. He’s the friendliest guy I know

5. He’s also the nicest guy I know, an example: when he was in the hospital in Houston one day he was being taken to get a test done and the girl pushing his bed was training, so it was her and two other women (and me, he looked like he had some sort of weird entourage…), anyway she had probably just started because she was not very good… in fact, she kept banging him into corners and it took forever to get in and out of the elevators… standard fare for a beginner, but she was obviously getting flustered as he was obviously very uncomfortable, anyway all of a sudden he turns to her, touches her hand, and says, don’t worry, you are a good driver this has been a fun ride. In any situation when he could possibly have the option of complaining, or being an asshole, or being stern, he’ll always choose to be nice. I really hope my kids take after him.

6. He’s thoughtful.  A few months ago I had a movie night with the girls and last minute we had nowhere to do it cause all our husbands and kids were home, so he set us up in his office, he took time out of his day to organize a big screen tv and comfy chairs and everything I would need to connect my ipad so we could watch the movie. He even left us drinks… and he doesn’t have a lot of time to take out of his day.

7. He can fix or rewire anything in the house. He’ll bitch while he’s doing it, and I need to be around to hand him tools and stuff, but he does it, and he does a damn good job of it too.

8. He’s an optimist (most of the time). When I met him he was the poster boy for positive thinking, he gave my dad (the most optimistic person I had known till I met the Husband) a run for his money. Obviously, the leukemia changed this about him, not the first time around, the first time he was Mr Positivity, there was always a doctor or a nurse in his room just to have a chat, that’s how pleasant he was to be around. Of course, when the leukemia came back that changed his attitude a lot, he was a lot sicker, he was out of strength (mentally and physically), he had probably reached his limit, so he turned into a very negative, pessimistic version of himself. But you can’t fight nature, and I see some of the light coming back…

9. He likes to dance. He’s not always … er… Fred Astaire… but he’s always up for going dancing, so can’t really complain, now can I!

10. He’ll always cut the chicken or raw meat up for me to cook when it grosses me out. And he cooked it when I was pregnant and couldn’t look, smell or eat meat of any kind unless it was properly camouflaged in the form of a very loaded burger or sandwich.

11. He sends me flowers. He sends his mother flowers. He always tries to make me happy. (and it mostly works) – I added this one because #1 doesn’t really count…

12. he is a wonderful lover ;P

Well, rereading this, he is pretty awesome… and now I have something to go read when he does something that makes me want to rip his head off (which is likely to be daily).

(#12 appeared after I wrote the list and left it for him to read… though I have no evidence, I believe I have a pretty good idea as to who could possibly have added it.)

Monday Listicle – The fragrant edition

Hello dear friends, and happy Monday! It’s listicle time once again, and this week Stasha’s assignment was prompted by Kerry at New2Two: !0 Fantastic Smells. Smells of all sorts are pretty much the theme for me this week, as we’re mapping out the air circulation system in the new house and all we’ve been talking about is which areas of the house smell dirty (i.e. bathrooms, closets, laundry room, kitchen) so we need to pump air out and which smell clean (bedrooms, living room etc) so we need to pump air in… I know… mind numbingly boring, and frankly, more complicated than one would expect!

I have the feeling the renovation is going to be taking over this blog for awhile… thanks to those who commented on last week’s post on the guest bathroom, you’ve really helped me narrow down the choices! If you’re interested in being my virtual (unpaid) interior designer, on Thursday I’m going to put up another reno post asking for opinions. (Just thought I’d mention that).

Anyway, now let’s concentrate on the listicle, 10 fantastic smells, in no particular order:

1. spring showers

2. grilled meat

3. freshly brewed coffee first thing in the morning

4. The Boy

5. The Girl

6. carrot cake in the oven

7. my lavender plant in the sun

8. the Husband

9. sun dried laundry

10. tomatoes fresh from the garden

Monday Listicles – The little treasures edition

Hi all and Happy Monday!

This week our assignment for Stasha’s Listicles is 10 tiny (or secret) things that bring you joy, courtesy of Wendy (Stamping Rules). But before I dive into that I need to take a tangent (which surprises no one, I’m sure!).

This weekend The Husband took the kids with him to Milan to see his parents, it was the first weekend that I’ve ever spent apart from the kids, at home (I’ve left them twice already, but it was always me leaving them). And all I can say is that it was wonderful. Of course I missed them, and I was pretty nervous at home alone at night, but the freedom, the complete lack of responsibility, the incredible feeling of making decisions based exclusively on what I want to do… it took me back to a different time.

I’m pretty sure someone somewhere is going to want to comment something along the lines of how can you possibly be happy away from your children, they are a mother’s greatest joy, obviously there’s something wrong with you… but I know that most of you understand… and some of you are maybe a little jealous…

And honestly, when I think that apart from a half weekend last year and five days away last summer (because my grandma was ill so I had to go) I have never spent a night away from them in five years (because I wasn’t ready to), I can let go of the guilt of having enjoyed a weekend away from them.

The house was so quiet and so neat, I ate whenever (and most importantly, whatever) I wanted, I woke up when I wanted, I went to sleep when I wanted, I watched tv in the middle of the day and until late at night with the volume up… I went out at the drop of a hat and it took me no more than fifteen seconds to get out the door! It was pure bliss. And I was also so happy to have them back, distance, it really does make the heart grow fonder…

Anyway…. Back to the listcle, 10 things that make me happy

1. little hands on my cheeks

2. little bodies in my bed in the morning before school

3. when the Husband does the nightly rounds and puts the alarm on, unprompted, so we’re all safe.

4. when he fills up my tank just because he noticed it was running a little low.

5. when the air is so crisp and clear that I can see the mountains perfectly outlined against the blue, blue sky.

6. when the neighbor’s cat is waiting for me outside in the morning just to say meow.

7. nutella

8. hugs and kisses of a brother and a sister who miss each other when they don’t see one another for an hour.

9. when we all get in the car and roll call to make sure everyone in the family is there, including stuffed animals and iphones.

10. snow days, when we can’t go anywhere cause the roads are too terrible, so we have to sit inside, snug as bugs.

And on this wonderfully positive note, hope you have a fabulous week!

Monday Listicle – The Crappy Present Edition

Let me start straight away with a disclaimer: this isn’t a proper listicle. I’m sorry, I’m not a huge fan of people linking up to the listicle and then not actually doing one, so, Stasha, forgive me. The reason why this isn’t a real listicle is because I rarely get bad presents, be it because I convey my desires through every communication device at my disposal, short of smoke signals, or because the husband is very good at both divining what I would like and passing it on to others. There have even been times when I’ve received presents from
him that I didn’t know I wanted but that I ended up loving, like these glasses:

Etched Baccarat crystal liquor glasses. Worth like a decent piece of jewelry, and yet I don't regret them not being jewelry.

Etched Baccarat crystal liquor glasses. Worth like a decent piece of jewelry, and yet I don’t regret them not being jewelry.

Or the year he got me a bread maker for my birthday, despite the ban on household appliances as gifts, and I made bread every day for two months straight (though predictably, the bread maker is now in the basement gathering dust). But there is one exception, which still baffles me to this day:

20130211-175049.jpg

Yes, it’s a ceramic mini cooper painted to look like it’s wet and muddy. Apparently, it was part of a limited series made by serious artists but I can’t be sure cause I wasn’t
listening when he was explaining it to me as I was busy shrieking “Oh no he didn’t!!!!!” in my head. Just to be clear, and so this makes a little more sense, I used to drive a mini cooper at the time. Still. Terrible present, am I right?? So it’s not a listicle,
because I don’t have ten items, but it is pertinent to the subject, so I say it counts. Also, please don’t hate me cause I don’t get bad presents, I may actually get bad presents by anyone else’s standards, I just like getting presents so much that they all look good to me. Except for that stupid ceramic car, and really, who could blame me?!

p.s. for pictures of whom I believe will become a new, sought after, character on this blog: hot ski instructor see Saturday’s post p.p.s tomorrow my thoughts on the Pope’s resignation. Yes, the Pope is resigning. He can do that. We think… though it hasn’t been done since the 1200′s, or something like that.

Monday Listicles – The Closet Edition

I’m back! Back home, after a nightmare vacation, and back to the listicles, yay!

This week Stasha asked us to list 10 things in our closet. I haven’t got my act together enough to actually have pictures, but I’m betting no one really expected me to. Plus, I’m still unpacking so my closet is a complete nightmare right this minute. Also, I’m still jet-lagged and my kids have been up from 2am to 4am every night since we arrived from Houston. It’s a miracle they’re still alive, in fact.

So here goes, ten things in my closet:

1. four pairs of identical slippers, in different colors. My favorite slippers have become hard to find, for once in my life I managed to plan ahead and bought all the ones I could find. Clearly, slippers are important to me.

2. 23 pairs of jeans. Only 4 actually fit me.

3. 53 t-shirts. I’m not kidding. 53 actual t-shirt, this does not include long-sleeved t-shirts, tank tops, or other types of short-sleeved top. I may have some sort of undocumented t-shirt addiction.

4. 7 coats, a very long grey one, a black one, a purple one, a navy blue one, a lovely red one, a snowy white one, and a Jacqueline Kennedy-esque pink and white one. It’s cold where I live, which is why I hardly ever wear coats, I wear big, bulky, Michelin man, down jackets. And yet I have 7 coats.

5. Three drawers full of socks.

6. One drawer full of clothes I’ll never fit into again, but can’t bear to part with.

7. 12 evening gowns. From before I had children.

8. A gym bag, which is finally seeing some action this year, and my yoga kit.

9. Presents for the kids’ and husband’s future birthdays. The most obvious place, hence the only place no one ever looks. I’m a genius.

10. And a partridge in a pear tree. (not really – just lots, and lots, more clothes and bags)

My shoes, which I haven’t mentioned as you may have noticed, reside elsewhere. And probably deserve a post of their own.

I’m so happy to be back to the listicles and my very normal, mundane life!

Monday Listicles, the food edition.

Hello friends, it’s Monday Listicle time! This week Stasha’s assignment is pure torture for me, as I have to do another no carb, no sugar, my meals are so boring and I’m starving all the time week. Thank god my personal trainer values his life and only makes me do this for a week at a time! But since this was Bridget’s idea, I couldn’t very well ignore it, although I was tempted since she’s in Hawaii on vacation and I’m green with envy! But no one deserves a vacation more than Bridget and her husband so I’m putting my envy aside. My love and loyalty to her notwithstanding, I couldn’t very well make myself sit here and think about all the lovely things I want to eat but can’t… so I decided on another angle. I like to cook, I hate the daily drudgery of having to come up with what’s for dinner, but once I know what I’m doing I enjoy the process, and baking and decorating relax me into a very zen state. So, I figured, why not share my ten favorite cookbooks, I’m addressing the food category while not having to actually think about specific foods, because honestly, I’m starving, and I know you don’t want to torture me, reading everyone’s posts will be torture enough!!

My ten favorite cookbooks:

Joy

1. The Joy of Cooking – this is my absolute go to recipe book for everything, if you only have room in your life for one cookbook this is the one you should have.

 

 

 

Nourishing

2. Nourishing Traditions – this is the first “real food” cookbook I bought and it really changed my outlook on a lot of things, it’s easy to follow and very informative.

 

 

 

casserole

3. The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever – I love casseroles, cause they’re easy and comforting and many of them are make ahead and after dinner I don’t have to wash a hundred pots.

 

 

Lost Art

4. The Lost Art of Real Cooking – this book is lovely to read, the two authors each write their own recipes in two completely different styles. It’s funny, and entertaining and the recipes are wonderful.

 

 

putemup

5. Put ‘em up – I have a vegetable garden, which is great, but it also means that when the eggplants or the zucchini or the tomatoes are in that’s all we eat for a month. Canning and other preserving methods have really saved my sanity, cause after eating string beans every day for two weeks straight you kind of want to kill yourself.

 

forgotten skills

6. Forgotten Skills of Cooking – this book does what it says in the title, if you want to learn how to debone a duck, for example, you either need this book here or Julia Child’s Mastering the art of French cooking. Not that I’ve ever deboned a duck, but should I need to, I’m totally covered.

 

 

canning

7. Canning for a New Generation: A seasonal guide to filling the modern pantry – see number 5.

 

 

 

talismano

8. Il Talismano della Felicità – this is my favorite Italian cookbook. Not many people in Italy have it nowadays, but my grandma used it, my aunt used it, my mom uses it…. It’s a bit old fashioned, and has no pictures, but just like the Joy of Cooking it’s one of those must have books.

 

 

onceamonth

9. Once-a-Month Cooking – this book I just bought, so I haven’t tried it out yet, but it looks fab, and honestly cooking only once a month and then just defrosting and making maybe a side or salad is my dream of kitchen utopia.

 

 

smitten

10. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – this book I haven’t yet bought, mainly because the Husband has threatened to kick me out of the house if I buy one more cookbook. But I love the smitten kitchen blog, and the author Deb Perelman, her pictures are gorgeous and her food is mouthwateringly good, and she really tries to simplify her recipes so you don’t make a gigantic mess in the kitchen, what more can we ask for?!

 

So what are your favorite foods (or cookbooks, or any other food related thing, in fact!)?

The – why couldn’t I keep my mouth shut – Monday Listicle

Hi! This week the Listicle subject is my fault. Thanks Stasha for picking my suggestion! But you should really learn to ignore me, because this week, the listicle is just too damn hard, what the hell was I thinking??!!

I’ll tell you what I was thinking, a few listicles ago Ducky suggested we write ten amazing memories and it felt wonderful to remember some of the great things that have happened to me and to just generally look at the positive, so on the resulting high I tweeted this suggestion to Stasha: @NorthWestMommy Hey Stasha, how about 10 reasons why I’m great, just to get us in a positive mood before the Christmas insanity.

GAWD! Now what do I write? Cause I can’t very well ignore my own Listicle suggestion now can I? Note to self: next time write out the list before suggesting it to others. Why am I making such a big deal of this, you ask? Because what I hadn’t thought of is how to actually write this list without sounding like a gigantic self-important ass, or being falsely modest.

Anyway… here goes ten reasons why I’m wonderful (without being an ass or falsely modest.)

1. I can throw a pretty great party. Of course, I’m a nervous wreck by the time the party starts and don’t enjoy myself at all, but everyone else is happy and that’s what counts.

2. I worked for my husband for two years (as in he was my boss, I answered directly to him, I was managing a company that belonged to his family, so no pressure at all) and I managed not to kill him.

3. I generally learn from my mistakes (I’ll never work for my husband again, no matter how enticing the offer).

4. I get stuff done (when I’m not procrastinating).

5. I speak five languages (four fluently, one passably, I made no effort to learn any of them, it just happened when I was a kid).

6. I can out argue almost anyone.

7. I can also annoy almost anyone to the brink of suicide, which means I usually get what I set after.

8. I read really, really fast.

9. I can usually bake or cook myself out of any conflict (unless my mother is around, in which case I can’t cook at all for some reason).

10. I’m a really good mother. I know, I shouldn’t say it, but I am. I’m not the best mother out there, I’m not the most patient, I’m not the most fun, I’m not perfect, obviously, but my kids are well-mannered, they’re nice to everyone, they’re happy 99% of the time, they know right from wrong, and they’re very, very loved. This is actually the one that lifts my spirits up when I’m down, or when I’m wondering if I’m doing anything right, I look at them and they’re happy, so yeah, I’m doing a good job.

I’m going to be looking over this list often in the next month or so, when the holiday blues hit, when I’m overloading on too much family time, too many obligations, when I inevitably forget to mail Christmas cards, or buy someone important a present, when I’m fighting with my husband or my kids because that’s what too much holiday togetherness and too much holiday sugar does to us. And I’ll be looking over all of your lists too, because it’s important to remember how wonderful each of us is, but it’s also important to remember how much wonderfulness surrounds us.

Thanks Stasha for coming up with Monday Listicles, and for picking mine this week!

By the way… I got sucked back into the black hole for bloggers that is twitter, so please be nice and follow me. If only for my self-esteem… and yes, I will soon (soonish) set up the easy and practical sidebar button for just this here purpose, for now click on the link or search for thebonnybard or follow the smoke signals… please and thank you.

The – a photo’s worth a thousand words – Monday Listicle

It’s list-making time, my friends, and this week Stasha made it real easy for us. As per Jessica’s suggestion we’re posting ten pictures from our cellphones. Of course, I couldn’t keep it at ten, evidently I’m in the rebellious stage of the Monday Listicle evolution and I can’t seem to just keep my lists at ten. I apologize for my disregard for directions and I’d like to assure Stasha that it is  just a phase, soon enough I’ll be able to follow the listicle rules once again! So, here we go:

Ten (or so) photos of this weekend from my cellphone, plus one from a few weeks back (guess which one!)

1.

On friday I did this…

2.

…to make this…

3.

…and this…

4.

…because of this…

5.

On saturday we did this…

6.

… and a little of this…

7.

… then we went to the supermarket like this…

8.

On sunday, we woke up to a lovely early morning serenade thanks to this super fun (and not at all annoying) present from my mother in law.

9.

… and then we finally finished this…

10.

… and then we went out and wanted to buy all of these…

11.

…once home we felt the need for some of this…

12.

… and at long last we did this.

Happy Monday everyone!!!