Wednesday, March 31, 2010

my newest scarf

This is a yarn I've never used before. It's called Peaches & Creme. It's the first 100% cotton yarn I've ever used and it crochets pretty fast. It shrank about as much as I expected in the wash. A couple of inches off the length and about a half an inch off the width.

It's nice and soft. now I just have to put it away for about 6 months until it's season comes around again!

I picked the color because I definitely don't have a scarf this color and because I RARELY wear orange, I figured it'd be a good accent piece.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Husband is 31 today. For his birthday I made 31 cupcakes and mini cupcakes so each cupcake has a candle. And best of all, Daughter got to do the sprinkles.

edited to add: I do not recommend those cute candles that spell HAPPY BIRTHDAY. They burn down in approximately 21 seconds. Then you're left with a waxy sprinkles!

seedling update

I guess the third time is the charm for us this year. The seedlings are doing really well. I'm overjoyed. Yes, about seeds turning into plants. amazing.
the right side is onion seeds [we're planting onion bulbs AND seeds ... we'll see how it goes] so while it LOOKS like not much is going on on that side, there are little green sprouts.

also, see those two MONSTERS on the bottom? PUMPKINS. we're going to have pumpkins [hopefully] to share with friends and neighbors. I'm excited about that.

sure, the main point of our garden is to grow as much of our own produce without chemicals and fertilizers, but sharing is such a great thing to do as well. And let's face it -- what are we going to do with 4 vines worth of pumpkins anyway?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Benefit of Buying in Bulk ...

... Daughter always has a toy in the kitchen when I'm trying to distract her from "helping."

Son's FIRST steps!

Yesterday, March 27, 2010, son really walked!!

Not the all familiar step step step fall. but he walked -- eh, wobbled is a much better word the length of the living room! AND when he was finished, he didn't fall down. He bent down to pick something up.

I love the look of pride and excitement on his face. He's knows he's doing something big.

Of course, he has no idea that I've been waiting on this day (and the day when he's running around) for months. He's just excited to be moving like every other member of the family.

I suspect it'll be a few weeks before he fully transitions from full time crawling to full time walking ... I mean, lets face it, at this point crawling is MUCH faster!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

nativity scene: the missing 8th piece

This is another Kohl's 50% off special. ACTUALLY it was 75% off because printed on the box is "8 Piece Nativity Scene" but there are only 7 pieces.

wiseman 1
wiseman 2
wiseman 3
mary in red
shepherd with the staff
baby Jesus
and the stable (the angel is FIRMLY attached to the stable, so I don't think it can count as #8)

It's the soft-ish clay material. I like it. But I seem to spend a good deal of time super gluing pieces that fall off back on!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Man With Places to Go!

Son is a man with places to go. And he's well on his way to getting there! Son will be 1 year old in two weeks and he's already so close to walking. I wasn't expecting this so soon! Daughter didn't start walking until 2 weeks AFTER her 1st birthday.

I know, I know. stop comparing your kids. I hear you. And I know. They are both completely different people, but Daughter is my frame of reference. It's hard not to compare!

He's standing on his own. He's cruising on furniture. And he's doing the old Step, Step, Step, Fall trick. It won't be long before those steps will count as walking.

He's so determined. Son sees three people walking around and he's ready to join in!

It's so fun to watch him get so excited. It's like I'm seeing it for the first time too!

Check out that wide stance. Husband and I have made a few Larry Craig jokes at Son's expense, I'll admit it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's my birthday ...

... so why is this kid getting such a HUGE lollipop?

because she sang "Happy Birthday" to me this morning and has been saying, "HAP BURFDAY, MOMMY!" all day long.

I don't even mind that Husband coached her for a week to make it happen. It melts my heart.

Friday, March 19, 2010

third time's the charm

Tonight, I turned 1/4 of our bathroom counter into "If This Doesn't Work, I Give Up: Seedlings 2010"

After Husband's seedlings got destroyed by the cat, I bucked up and replanted.

Instead of making extra in case there's a bad seed here or there, I planted EXACTLY how many seeds that I intend to put in the garden. Vast difference from my first venture ... back at the first of FEBRUARY!!

We're planning on planting the garden Easter weekend, so I had to hurry up already.

I'm still optimistic about the garden. If it's better than last year's garden, I'll consider it a success.

Food Day Friday: black bean chicken quesadillas

Husband loves this dish - to the point where he wants to eat it once a week!

This is another BIG recipe. We love leftovers (Husband enjoys taking something more substantial for lunch than sandwiches and I like eating big lunches because it keeps me from snacking during the day). If you're not a leftover fan, split the recipe. This recipe makes about 12 quesadillas.
What I use:
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cans of black beans (or use dry if you'd like)
24 oz of salsa of your favorite salsa
my rule of thumb is one can of beans per chicken breast and as much salsa as you want

cheese (I use 2 16oz blocks. one colby and one colby/monterey jack blend. and grate them) you can use whatever kind you like, preshredded or block, reduced fat, whatever.

tortillas (I use all different sized tortillas. When I'm focusing on portion control, I usually get the small fajitas ones, but we also use the large burrito ones too)
cilantro (completely optional but I love the extra zing)
sour cream (also optional. I love sour cream, Husband doesn't)
extra salsa (if you want to top the quesadilla with more)

What to do:
Preheat oven on BROIL LOW

combine chicken, salsa and beans in a skillet. mix and heat until bubbly

on a nonstick cookie sheet place tortilla. on one half add cheese, 1/3 cup of the chicken/salsa/beans, more cheese (or not, depending on how cheesy you want it) and the cilantro (if you're using it) fold over.

TIP: I spray a nonstick spray on the top of the tortilla so it doesn't stick when flipped.
put the cookie sheet in the oven. check after 1 MINUTE. (yes, they burn fast) after the top has browned, flip it to brown the other side. 1 MINUTE later, remove. top and serve.

Husband's quesadilla, topped with cheese and green salsa.
My quesadilla, topped with cheese and sour cream
Daughter loves to eat a bowl of black beans/chicken/salsa, cheese and sour cream when we're eating our quesadillas

Thursday, March 18, 2010

nativity scene: mini

I love this little 11 piece set. I bought it from a little boy who was doing a fundraiser for his school. Man, I'm such a sucker for those. I included my sun glasses in the background so you could get an idea of the scale.

While baby Jesus's eyes look a little jacked up, I love the scale and attention to detail on this little set. The little lamb is my favorite.

Wordless Wednesday: Part-Day Animal

Monday, March 15, 2010

the garden is foiled again

And this time there is no one to blame but the cat (and well, ourselves)

Husband did the replant of the seedlings and the container with the lid was working GREAT until the plants got tall enough that they were bending under the lid. We made the decision to move the containers to our bath tub. There's a window above it that stretches the length of the tub. Hurray, lots of light. Plus we rarely use that tub anyway.

What neither one of us took into account was that Gracie drinks out of the tub faucet for her major source of H20 (that's right. our cat basically ignores her water bowl in favor of fresh running water) She also REALLY likes to sit in that window.

After a few weeks in the tub, Gracie decided to play in/eat the seedlings. She also threw up 3 times after. That cat, she's just the little bundle of love and fur that keeps on giving.

We're going to try to re-REtackle a replant tonight when Husband gets home from work.

Against our prior plans, we may end up buying a few plants to start out. depending on how the reREplant progresses by the time we plant outside (we're planning on the day before Easter).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

lentil soup (with or without sausage)

Geez, hot soup/stew season is almost over. I wish I'd thought of this months ago. Someone gave up one of those dry soup kits that you add water and one ingredient to and BAM instant soup. It was lentil and potato soup and interesting enough you had to add tomatoes not potatoes. It was ok. But Husband and I both agreed we could make something better and with a lot more vegetables and a lot less salt. So I got to work.

Husband wanted it to have sausage so it would be more hearty. But if you're not a meat eater leave it out. Or you're not a sausage eater, add chicken. ground beef would even be good.

Also, this is a HUGE recipe. If you're not into left overs, cut it in half.

Also, I use bullion cubes because they are WAY cheaper than stock, but feel free to use stock if that's what you use.

Remember, unless you're baking a recipe is JUST A GUIDELINE. don't be afraid to change it up.

9 cups of water
4 vegetable bullion cubes

1lb lentils (1 bag)
4 links of mild Italian sausage, skinned, crumbled and cooked
2 cans of 14.5oz diced tomatoes

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, diced
5 ribs of celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder (if you're using garlic salt, leave out the regular salt)
8 shakes of tabasco sauce

Add water and bullion to your pot on HIGH. let the bullion dissolve while you're chopping vegetables. It'll be boiling by the time you've finished chopping.

After bullion is dissolved add all remaining ingredients except the spices. let soup return to a boil. Once the soup is boiling reduce heat to low, add spices and cover.

cook for one hour. I checked on my soup after halfway through to stir and see if I needed to add more water (bc the lentils will soak up a lot) I didn't add any water, but you may want to.

I served it with THE Bread. Seriously, it was amazing. Husband said he would spice it more, but offered no suggestions as to what the spices should be. He did suggest using kilbosa next time.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

running, running, running

I ran today. It felt amazing: like I was dying and being born all at the same time.

This is my third run of the season as I'm starting to get back in the swing of things for 5k season.
I'm so excited to get back to running again. I really fell in love with it last summer.

Right now I've got my Google Calendar pulled up in a tab and my search results for local 5k races pulled up in another. Trying to figure out what races will fit into our schedule will be harder this year for sure. But I'm so excited.

I'm training with Podrunner Intervals {you can find it on iTunes} this year. It's not as much fun as the Couch to 5k podcasts I found last year, but I think the pace is a little faster so I'm toughing it out.

I still haven't decided what my first race will be. I have decided I'd like to run 3 races this year and I would like my best time to be 30:00 ... Yes. I know this isn't an amazing time. but it's an amazing time for me and what I'm shooting for. and if I can do better? hurray for me!!

And Husband will be running again too. He'd love to do a 10k this season but it all really depends on how much training time he can get in. {Podrunner Intervals also has 8k and 10k programs}

ok, back to the calendar and search results!

Monday, March 8, 2010

nativity scene: olive wood

I was told this nativity scene was carved out of olive wood from Israel. True? I hope so.