Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Geeky Update!

So it's been awhile, actually it's been one year today since my last post! I just want to update you on everything that has been going on.
Let's start with the goals I had written about a few posts ago. First off, my black belt... YES I got promoted to black belt, I made it!! Who would have thought a wife and mother of two kids, as well as a student would have made it all work out in the end. This has been one of my lifelong dreams.
I started University and am now on my way to getting my Bachelor's degree in Psychology, then... who knows?? I might use my skills to defeat Cthulhu!
Another big news is that my husband lost his job in September and is still looking for a new one. I am determined though that this will bring new opportunities to our whole family (hopefully geeky ones!) I am ready for whatever the future holds and am very hopeful.
Issues have arisen concerning the boys' school... things you couldn't even imagine! A horror story for another time...
Now, talking about happier stuff guess who I have chosen to do my psychological diagnosis on? Well, the one and only H.P. Lovecraft! I have to thank my husband because I don't think I would even know who Lovecraft is if he hadn't introduced me to him when we first started dating...
For this project I had to choose a famous person with mental problems and diagnose him with a mental disorder using information I find around (will definitely be using all those letters he wrote!). I am so excited about this project... and so is my husband of course. I already have all the reading material I need, also thanks to my hubby! For some reason Lovecraft, as well as Edgar Allan Poe, fascinate me... there is something mysterious and dark about them that attracts me...
Well, I will let you know how all this proceeds. Until then, may Cthulhu be with you all!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Geeky Cooking - Italian Flag Pasta!

My children LOVE pasta. This should not come as a surprise seen as they are in part (BIG part)  Italian. Although we do speak Italian at home, we still want to keep some of the Italian culture alive in our home. Even in small ways such as making pasta. This particular pasta is made in three different ways to make it resemble the Italian flag. It is one of my mini-geeks' favorite plates. So here you go:

Italian Flag Pasta (makes four servings)

What you'll need:
 - 1 pack, about 500g, of pasta (any kind, my kids love Rigatoni)
 - 1 can (15oz) tomato sauce (organic)
 - Olive oil (to taste) + 3 tblsp
 - 3 tblsp pesto (we love Giada's)
 - Parmigiano Reggiano to taste (grated)

What to do:
Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Drain pasta and divide in three portions in three bowls. Add tomato sauce in one, olive oil in the other and pesto plus two tblsp olive oil in third. Mix, separately, and serve on plates as shown in picture (pesto pasta left, olive oil in center, and tomato sauce right). Sprinkle grated parmigiano on top. Fun and ready to serve:

Fun and Easy Italian Flag Pasta!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Geeky Genius Daddy

As you all know by now although my kids are very fun to be around they are also very hyperactive and difficult to deal with, to say the least! Being that they are in fact, children, they do not always listen when told to do something (99.9% of the time). Well, I have to say that I married a very intelligent man. Their daddy came up with a genius idea to get them to "focus" or listen a little bit better. As I said in a previous post about board games we love to play Arkham Horror, as well as many other games. Being the mini-geeks that they are, my kids (as well as my husband) really get into the game.

Long story short this is what their geeky genius dad came up:

 Common Items (Arkham Tasks)

Retainer (rewards) Injury Card (consequences)

 Genius! Simply genius! It is actually working! If you know something about Arkham Horror you will definitely understand what the cards mean....Now I remember why I married him! <3

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Geeky "I am back!!"

Yes, it has been a while since my last post but guess what? I am back and stronger than ever! It has been a difficult 2012 to say the least, but I welcome 2013 with an open mind and optimism.
Part of this optimism derives from the fact that this year should be the year in which my family and I get the results we have fought for so long and so hard for. First of all we have finally set a goal for ourselves physically as well as mentally. Second, if everything goes as planned, I should be testing for my black belt in Tang Soo Do this year!! Hurray! Third, I have finally finished my first step towards my dream of getting a Masters in psychology (College: check). Next step: Bachelor's. :-)

Let's talk about what has been going on since my last update. My oldest son Eddie has finally obtained his black belt!!! We are SOOOO proud of him, especially since he is the first child to get to that level in our dojan. At his promotion he was asked to say a speech. Well he said something that really surprised us; He thanked us parents for "never letting him quit." (Were NOT expecting that!) Tears of joy were clouding my eyes for the fact that he got it. He actually got it! GO EDDIE!

We had a few "sad" things happen too but I would rather not talk about those right now. Maybe one day....
Also, my husband is having to work overtime so that is kind of weighing on the family. In addition, we have had my in-laws visit from Italy for THREE weeks in October/November of last year. It was nice for the kids to finally have some grandparents to play with, and they helped out some too. Yet, we always find it extra difficult to get back on track once they leave. Our kids do not do good with change!

This year I will be focusing on my mind and (especially) my body. I have goals in mind that I will reveal to you soon. For now, all I want to say is; Hurray for Subway, Chipotle and Schlotzsky's ! Also, God bless Boxing classes and MyFitness app.! Will tell you the details soon enough :-)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Geeky Cooking - Potato Crocchette

This is one of my all time favorite comfort foods - Potato crocchette or "Crocchette di Patate" in Italian. I was skeptical towards the idea of serving them to my kids because they are so picky, especially when it come to trying new foods! In the end explaining to them that it was "fried mashed potatoes" convinced them enough to try them and guess what? They liked them!

Potato Crocchette

What you need (makes about 7 large crocchette):

- Parmigiano reggiano, at least 1/2 a cup (the more, the tastier my mother always says!)
- 2 large potatoes
- 2 large eggs
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 3/4 cups Olive Oil

What to do:

Boil potatoes whole, with skin on, till tender.

 Let cool. Peel off the skin, cut and mash the potatoes with potato masher into a bowl.

 Then add the salt, pepper, parmigiano, and one egg.

Mix the ingredients until well combined.


In two separate plates pour the bread crumbs in one, and the remaining egg in the other (beaten).

Grab a half hand-full of the mash, press into desired shape and roll it in the beaten egg first, then in the bread crumbs. Repeat with the remaining mash.

Heat a frying pan with the oil on medium/medium high heat. Fry the crocchette on both sides till golden brown, put them on two sheets of paper towels to absorb some of the oil and add salt to taste immediately after removing from oil. Serve and enjoy!

P.S: Geeky tip: You may add some mozzarella cheese and ham/cooked bacon bits in the center of the crocchette to add flavor and nutritional value....

Based on: http://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Crocchette-di-patate-con-cuore-filante-di-mozzarella-e-prosciutto.html

Friday, August 24, 2012

Geeky Reorganization!

Today it is the last day I will have the two mini-geeks home with me all day. That's right, on Monday they will start a new school year. It will be different this year though because they will be going to a new school. They are excited but at the same time a little overwhelmed. You have to know that my two mini-creatures do not usually do that well with change so this will be a big challenge but it may also help them learn how to be more flexible. On the positive side it is considered one of the best schools in our city (one of the reasons why we moved). To make it a little less "scary" for the kids I will also be applying to volunteer at their new school, they will see me often and this should help, at first at least.

As if this were not enough, on Monday I will be starting my last college semester too, meaning that I will have to start applying to University and getting organized for my next step towards the "career" world.

To add to all of this I have decided to take on a new fitness journey as well. I will start kickboxing this month to get me somewhat ready for my black belt testing which should take place, as you know, about a year from now. The kickboxing should help with the endurance, weight loss and lean muscle I will need to perfect my techniques.

(Keep in mind that we have no family or nannies etc. to help us out through all of this!)

So these next few months will be pretty intense, considering Eddie (our oldest) will have to take on HIS black belt testing in October, if everything goes as planned. Planning - this is the key and what I will be relying on this coming year, more than any other.

My plan will start by writing weekly and daily to-do lists. By writing EVERY appointment, commitment, meeting or test on our white-board kitchen calendar.

Also FINALLY keeping in mind the "having a place for everything, everything in it's place" technique my father has always tried to pass on to me and my brother (with little successes till now). It's amazing what you will resort to when desperate to get results!

So to get off on the right foot - supplies have been bought, new backpacks ready and, a positive attitude..... check! Check! Check! Now let the fun begin. Bring it on!

P.S: Will keep you posted on the results.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Geeky "7 Habits of Happy Kids"

Two friends of ours, a couple with four kids, suggested that we get this book to read with our children. It is "The 7 Habits of Happy Kids" by Sean Covey.

I have to say I am always a little skeptical about "self-help" sort of books but this book seemed very promising. So we went ahead and bought a copy and started reading it with the kids. It is a book for children but also parents that guides us through certain situations that inevitably arise in everyday life. It teaches kids how to handle the situation by presenting it through the lives of certain animal characters.

For example one "Healthy Habit" teaches that you should always do what you have to do first, then what you want to do. The character in this case is "Pokey Porcupine". He ends up failing his Friday spelling test because he gets distracted doing other things with his friends all week long, forgetting to study for his test.

What I find very useful about this book is that at the end of each tale there are questions for the children to answer concerning the story as well as giving practical ideas to children on how to apply these principles daily. For example, at the end of Pokey's story, it suggests that the child could try to do his/her chore before mom or dad asks him/her.

The mini-geeks love it because it gives the opportunity for conversation and we can all say what we think about the story and what we can learn from it. What amazed me is that it actually worked! The day after we read the "Put First Things First" story, the children remembered to do the dishes WITHOUT me asking! Hurray!