Tasty Tuesday–Shogun

Last week I took Turkey out for an early birthday dinner at a restaurant he’s really been wanting to eat at…Shogun!

Shogun is a Japanese restaurant that has a traditional dining room, a sushi bar, and a teppanyaki menu. The interior of the restaurant looked exactly like I hoped it would, with lots of cherry blossoms, bamboo, and even a fountain:

We started off with a sashimi plate, and all of the varieties of fish on it were excellent. I liked the salmon best, and Turkey liked the white fish (we’re not entirely sure what it was) the most, but they were all so good!

Our dinners came with soup and salad, and while I don’t know exactly what kind of soup it was, or what variety of salad dressing we were served, I know that they were both delicious. So was the drink I tried (the Buddha)…it was very tropical!

The best part of the experience was watching the chef prepare our meal. Not only was he a great cook, he was also funny, and a great showman. He even tried to flip pieces of food into Turkey’s mouth while he was cooking!

Turkey ordered the filet and lobster tail, and I had the filet and scallops. We both also got vegetables, fried rice, and shrimp with our meals. It was a lot of food! Everything was cooked just right, and seasoned well.

Even though we were full, and had to get takeout boxes to bring home part of our dinners, we had to try the mochi ice cream for dessert. Turkey had the green tea variety, and I had the red bean. They were both fantastic!

This was a really fun, unique, and delicious experience, and a great way to celebrate Turkey’s birthday!

Mary Blair Monday

Time to kick off Mary Blair Week (a week I invented as the high point of Mary Blair March, which is a time to wear all of my favorite Pinup Girl Mary Blair prints and celebrate the life and work of that talented artist!) with a Mary Blair Monday outfit. I’m wearing the yellow train print Jenny skirt because it is the first Mary Blair print I purchased, and was what really introduced me to her art.

I decided to go bold with my Splendette bangle stack:

And while this Erstwilder brooch isn’t a Mary Blair piece, it is whimsical enough to fit right in with the outfit!

I’m looking forward to wearing more great Mary Blair pieces (and seeing the outfits other people put together) all week long!


Today is Turkey’s fifteenth birthday! After a busy morning at church and choir rehearsal, he was excited to get home and open his presents. Lego sets are still one of the best gifts you can get him!

We had a late lunch/early dinner at Red Robin, which is probably Turkey’s second favorite place to order a burger (after Seamus McDaniel’s, of course!).

This year, he asked me to make a Black Forest cherry torte for his birthday cake:

This should be an exciting year for Turkey, and for us, because learning how to drive is looming on the horizon! Happy Birthday, son!

A Markel Family St. Patrick’s Day

It’s time for another Markel Family holiday recap! Like all good holidays, the fun really started last night, when we set our leprechaun trap:

We watched every episode of Rick Steves’ Europe featuring Ireland that we could find (I think there were four on Hulu), and then watched Riverdance. And I had a Shamrock Shake, because I have to have one every year!

Early this morning, we went downstairs to discover that as is the case every year, even though it looked like we had caught something in our trap, all we found was a small treat (leprechaun-sized “cobblestones” that were actually Dove mint chocolates):

This year’s breakfast of Lucky Charms was extra special, because we found a limited edition green marshmallows variety!

In between preparing dinner and working on Turkey’s birthday cake for tomorrow, I found some time to bring my St. Patrick’s Day spirit to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp:

This really was the children’s “lucky” day, because they also got a special treat with lunch…St. Patrick’s Day cakes!

Of course I took a picture of them all in their wildly varying shades of green:

We had our usual dinner of corned beef and cabbage, roast carrots and potatoes, and soda bread with Irish butter. But this year, we had something extra special to go with it…Green River soda, a Chicago favorite that I remember from my childhood. I managed to pick up a few bottles when we were in Chicago in January, and we used every ounce of self-control we have not to open them until today!

And for dessert, Guinness cake, which I think may be our family’s favorite cake!

It was another fun St. Patrick’s Day, and there’s even more fun to come tomorrow on Turkey’s 15th birthday!

2017-18 School Year–Weeks Twenty-Four and Twenty-Five

It’s been a busy two weeks!

Turkey and Bunny have finally reached the point in geometry that I have been dreading…proofs. I did not enjoy doing proofs when I was in high school. They, however, have taken to them very well so far, so maybe it won’t be as bad as I was expecting! Ladybug has been working with ratios, and determining if two different ratios are equivalent. Chickadee started subtracting this week!

In science, Ladybug has learned all about crocodilians. She started on amphibians, too, and charted the life cycle of a frog. Turkey and Bunny finished a chapter on ecology, where they learned about the water, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen cycles, among other things.

My students have been all over the place in history. In the last two weeks, we’ve learned about the Corinthian, Pan-Hellenic, and Latin Leagues. We’ve read about Alexander the Great and Asoka. We’ve studied wars, stalemates, and treaties. And our travels have taken us to China, India, Macedonia, Northern Africa, and Italy, in addition to other locations. Of course, that’s including both Turkey’s and Bunny’s study of the History of the Ancient World and Ladybug’s of the Story of the World, but it’s interesting to see how their lessons keep overlapping!

We started the Canterbury Tales this week, and so far, we’re all enjoying it. I will admit to never having read this piece of literature before, and it’s nothing like I was expecting. It’s a true testament to Chaucer’s wit and wisdom that his stories are still so funny and relevant hundreds of years later!

Our schedule for the next few weeks will be a bit erratic with family birthdays and Holy Week coming up, so I’ll be back with another wrap-up in about two weeks!