Fabulous Finds

February 11, 2013 | 8 comments

Guess what Joe did this weekend? He took me on a surprise outing to see Christopher Cross perform with the Austin Symphony Orchestra! He let the fact that I’d never said anything about being a Christopher Cross fan deter him not at all, and hooked us up with front-row tickets. I’m so glad he did, because it was a fantastic show. It was a wonder to see so many instruments working together (probably 100 in all), and Mr. Cross’ personality was as much of a hit as the music. He told the story of the time an airline employee took his ticket, and when she noticed his name she remarked, “There used to be a very nice singer named Christopher Cross. He died a few years ago though.”

And how cool is this? When he saw a scene from 30 Rock in which the character Liz Lemon wishes that she could have a fairy tale ending to her life complete with a Christopher Cross song, he actually wrote a song for her:

When I’m not at Christopher Cross symphony concerts I sit around and surf the web. And here are a few gems I’ve found recently:

– Could looking at human faces in the morning help cure insomnia?

6 beautiful ways to carve out creative spaces for kids.

– Cook’s Illustrated taste-tested a bunch of different brands of dark chocolate chips, and here are the results. (You can read the backstory of the study here.)

– I know that most of this would go against Simcha’s (wise) caution to avoid getting too cute about our Lenten sacrifices, but I enjoyed reading this list of 25 unique things teens gave up for Lent.

So you’re gonna have a C-section: details and tips from a mom who’s been through both emergency and scheduled procedures.

– AllRecipes.com’s Top 20 Recipes for Lent.

– But if those recipes look a little too decadent to be penitential, try something from 12 Months of Monastery Soups, which has some tasty yet simple dishes that would be perfect.

A Hobbit-themed birthday party.

– Sarah Sitting Down has a candid post about the difficult realities of life when you’re paralyzed (which ends on a note of hope, as always). I appreciate her honesty, as it helps me understand more of what my friends with disabilities go through.

– I was delighted to see the blog Small Things on Apartment Therapy’s finalist list for Best Family and Kids Blog. I would love to see Small Things win, not just because Ginny is a fellow Catholic homeschooling mom of six, but because because her writing is a constant source of inspiration and encouragement for so many. Go vote for her! (Apartment Therapy does ask you to register to vote, but all they ask for is email and a username — super easy.)

Hope you all had a great weekend, and are enjoying your last couple of days of Ordinary Time!


  1. Hevel

    The ex-Catholic in me still protests Lent foods that are more luxurious than I’d eat outside Lent: you know, the personal sacrifice aspect wouldn’t let me eat salmon, scallops or some other recipes from the top 20. Of course, to each their own when it comes to sacrifices for Lent.

    I think I’m going to try some of the recipes on the list for my son’s Hobbit themed birthday party in June, like that strawberry, kiwi and spinach salad.

    • Sarah

      Hevel, I totally agree. In years past, I have tried new recipes during lent, often with somewhat extravagant ingredients. This year, however, I am going to stick to the more simple Friday fares.

  2. Jenna@CaIllHerHappy

    I think my daughter knew that I just opened this page to browse. So, she woke up from her nap. They know.

  3. Liz

    I just had to look at the chocolate rankings. The chocoholic in me totally agrees with them…not that I’ve tried all those different brands of chocolate or anything… 🙂

  4. Marcy K.

    I love those Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Chips. That is my preferred “snacking chocolate.” I keep the bag of chips in the freezer and when I want chocolate I take about a dozen of those chips (which are bigger than normal.) I figure that dark chocolate is healthy right? So by eating this dark chocolate I’m helping my health – at least psychologically. Plus, keeping it in the freezer keeps the kids away from it and makes it refreshing!

  5. Kerry Wolf

    Ahhhh, Christopher Cross. His songs used to make me feel I was sitting at a nice table at the Oasis restaurant, watching the boats go by, feeling young and spring-like. Now I just feel old and wretched.

  6. TL

    Dear Jennifer,
    I’ve been reading your blog for years. I don’t comment that often though. I quit doing the 7 quick takes because I now do my blog in French. It’s my native language. This is relevant, bare with me. So I now live in France, SAHM with 2 kids under 3. I keep coming across various posts from you about modern day mom isolation, and how tough this is. I couldn’t agree more. 🙁 I do not have a car and my village has very little to offer. Anyway. I would say that 90% of my social adult interaction is over the internet (through facebook, a mom’s forum, chat with my husband who is gone from 8am till 8pm or so). I also read a lot of blogs (for encouragement I suppose) during my free time (or when I ignore the kids because I just want to cry and have 5 minutes of regular grown up brain activity). I noticed there is almost nothing in French about daily life as a SAHM, whereas there are tons of American ones. Especially none about catholic daily life or encouragement in little things. I can find a bunch on philosophical reflection, apologetics etc. Not the day to day glorious life of changing diapers and begging for a coffee with an other adult. 😉
    So my Lent resolution this year is to give up FB and forum. Which is more or less my only adult interaction, and to take that time to develop my blog.
    Now I don’t know how much time I will have (only naps and they tend to not coordinate) but I would like to ask if I could translate some of your posts. I think in particular about your conversion to pro-life. I started writing my own but I would like to add a link to yours too. Could I translate it , send it to you, and link back later once it’s up?

    Also I watched the first episode of minor revisions, thank you so much, once again, for sharing your journey. I can’t tell your journey converts me, because I was catholic, but you know it’s little by little that we convert, one point of doctrine at a time. Seeing faith through someone’s else eyes helps reinforce my own. 🙂
    Thanks for the video.
    And I must say I was happy/surprise/relieved to see you live in a “normal” house. lol I had that expectation that suburban americans all live in houzz/martha style homes. I guess I got it from too much TV representation and living only in major cities while in the USA.

    Have a blessed Lent.

    • priest's wife (@byzcathwife)

      TL- je pense que c’est une bonne idee! There are many people who would benefit from your French SAHM blog- and not just in France. I know that in blogger, one can translate (imperfectly, I know) blogs as well

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