Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cozy trumps Cool.

What I'm about to show you will not improve your love life.

Or your social status.

Or even your self-esteem for that matter.

But you'll be so comfy and cozy that those things won't even matter in the least.

Get thee to Wal-Mart immediately my friends.

Go to the big metal bin. You'll know which one it is because it will have a large $5 sign and a frenzy of housewives ransacking it.

Dive into the frenzy and grab a roll of elastic waisted, fleecy goodness. The fact that they are rolled will give you no indication of what they look like. So I'll tell you: they are gloriously long and roomy and soft on the inside. And they have straight legs, none of that elastic bottom business. That makes them marginally more stylish. If that's possible. (I'm pretty sure "stylish sweatpants" is any oxymoron).

Try not to go into the Wal-Mart bathroom and immediately put them on. Wait until you get home. You can put them on in the garage if you must.

Your husband will not understand. It's okay. He doesn't need to.

I am considering getting seven pair--one for each day of the week--and getting the days of the week embroidered on the rear like a sorority girl gone bad.

Okay, just kidding.

Kind of.

But I do need to get another pair before this one rots off my body.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The gift that keeps giving.

Guess what Skylar is getting for her third birthday this year??

A new brother or sister! (Which is so much better than the "baby Jack" pug puppy she wants at the local pet store).

We passed the 12 week mark a couple of days ago and have had two great ultrasounds, so we have no reason to believe anything is going to go wrong at this point. We are being referred to a Perinatal Clinic for high risk pregnancies, and those appointments begin next week. Our families have been praying hard, and I have been sick and dragging for the last 6 weeks, which has been a huge answer to prayer (although it really sucks) and kept me from worrying too much. Micah has been picking up all the slack around here, and I'm so thankful he's around for the whole first trimester.

Hopefully Skylar and her sibling won't have the exact same birthday, but I do have the exact same due date I had with her. It seems kind of crazy that out of 365 days in a year I would end up with the same date twice. So I guess sharing a birth date is just as possible. She came four days early, so we'll see what happens this time around.

If you are familiar with our history than you know how excited we are to make a happy pregnancy announcement this time! We are incredibly thankful for another miracle and can't wait to see who this little person will turn out to be!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Hot Dog Queen and a big nasty spider.

Not a lot to blog about around here....we've been spending relaxing days with my grandparents who are in town visiting. Skylar is thrilled to have them here and just keeps telling them that she "missed them soooo MUCH" and she "luvs them sooooo MUCH". They feed her treats in return, so it seems to be working out pretty well for her.

My grandmother holds the reputable title of "Hot Dog Queen" among her friends, and pretty much all of First Baptist Camden. They recently moved away, but she used to help cook on Wednesday nights (you know baptists eat before church whenever they get a chance) and on hot dog nights everyone would watch and count to see how many she ate. Spectators have reported six, but she claims she's only consumed five, and not all of them had buns.

I have bought hot dogs exactly one time for Micah since we've been married (poor, neglected man--they were turkey dogs so he said they didn't even count) so he decided to celebrate the Hot Dog Queen by grilling up a platter of Hebrew National, because you know if they've been blessed by a Rabbi they can only be good for you. The two of them ate 7 of the 8 dogs and buns. Pretty impressive.......

And on a completely unrelated note, this big boy set up camp on our back deck. Skylar almost ran into his web and started screaming "I'm scared!" as soon as she saw him. It was the biggest spider I've seen that wasn't behind glass, the picture doesn't do him justice.

I decided to relocate him, and by relocating I mean flinging him with a stick where he somehow managed to fall between the slats in the deck just 3 feet away from his original location....not sure how much good that did.

I don't have wildlife wrangling skills. I should always live in a city with lots of neighbors. Always.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tasty snacks.

I've never met a bean I didn't like.

In fact, my love of all beans would make it very easy for me to be a vegetarian. But I'm not sure Micah would appreciate that, so my tenuous relationship with poultry remains.

I saw a recipe in a fitness magazine at the gym a few months back for Roasted Chickpeas and finally tried it today. It was easy enough to remember, so I didn't have to nonchalantly tear a page out of the magazine while trying to maintain balance on the elliptical. (I always feel guilty tearing a page out, like the magazine police are going to come get me).
Roasted chickpeas are seriously addictive. They might be my new popcorn.

And easy, easy. Just open a can of chickpeas and rinse them. Toss with a little olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven on 400 for 20 minutes, let cool a bit, and eat.

And while I was at it, I made Jeanie's Crispy Kale--equally delicious and addicting. (Jeanie is my sister-in-law's sister).

Skylar didn't want to try them at first, but right now she is happily munching on a bowl of chickpeas and I am feeling supremely triumphant. It's a small victory, but I'll take it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Reality check.

There are two great causes in the blogosphere right now on two of my favorite blogs. (I'm a long time blog stalker, didn't you know?)

They both hit home for me because they involve children in need. Skylar has such a blessed little life, and I just cannot imagine not being able to feed her healthy food every day. Check out THIS story and maybe you'll feel moved to help in some way.

And THIS story is completely heartbreaking. A new dad is trying to fulfill his wife's wishes for raising their newborn.

Looking outside of my little bubble definately puts things in perspective.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The blue paint saga.

So before we moved into this house, I talked about my obsession with aqua and wanting to paint my kitchen some shade of blue. But first I decided to try blue out in a room that I don't live in, just to see how it went. So I painted one of the guest bedrooms. I like that I can see it from my room everyday, but I don't actually live in it.........

Even though it was over two months ago, I have to share the story of how this room finally got painted. It was a disaster. Like, something from a movie disaster. I brought it upon myself.

It went like this:

My plan was to research and choose my perfect shade of blue without looking at swatches and then go into the store and have it mixed so as not to confuse myself with the 500 varying shades of blue. I have chosen many wrong paint shades from looking at swatches. I loved Quietude and Rainwashed, two blue shades by Sherwin Williams, so when I got paint mixed for the living room, I picked up the color swatch with those two colors on it. Big mistake. The swatch wasn't blue at all. It was a greenish grey, not at all what I was looking for.

So I decided Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore was The One. I bought a sample and slapped some around the room and waited a few days. Too grey. I was afraid it would be a downer during the 9 month winters. So I painted Skylar's ceiling with it instead. Of course, a sample can wasn't enough, so I had to go buy a whole gallon to finish the job........

Then I decided I was playing it too safe---this was my chance to go bold with aqua, so I went back to the store and picked up a gallon of Benjamin Moore Bird's Egg Blue. After painting half a wall I was nauseated. It looked like the Easter Bunny threw up. So I used it to paint Skylar's bed and the top of her little table instead....

Then I decided to mix my own perfect shade. Into a 2 gallon bucket I poured 3/4 of a gallon of the Bird's Egg Blue, half a gallon of white, and 3/4 of a gallon of the leftover Glass Slipper. I started painting. It was a toned down aqua. I didn't love it (perfectionist much?) but it was all getting a little ridiculous at this point, so I kept going. I got one wall finished and then it happened......

I knocked over the bucket and I didn't notice right away. By the time I did there was a massive puddle that couldn't be contained by the drop cloth. Paint everywhere. All over the wood floors. I screamed. I gathered up my very small drop cloth and ran to the bathroom, pouring blue paint all the way. It was a nightmare of gigantic proportions. Paint was literally all over the floor of the guest room, down the hall, all over the tile in the bathroom....everywhere.

Micah came up to see what happened. He had a heart attack. I revived him. He tried to run away. I made him help. He was not happy. There may have been some words exchanged. We started cleaning it up. It took hours. In fact, it was close to midnight by the time we finished. There is still blue paint in the crevices of the floor.

I had attempted to paint the room 3 times at this point. I couldn't match the color to finish the job (not that I wanted to) so I had to start over. Company was coming to stay in the room in a few days.

Kristy and Andy came and I put them in the other room. I went back and got a gallon of Quietude, my original choice. I decided it was too dark and mixed it half and half with Navajo White (I know, I know, I'm a freak). They helped me paint and we knocked it out in no time, two days before Micah's parents came to stay in the room.

And you know what? I LOVE the color. Should have gone with it in the first place.

I went with a pale green in the other room. Much safer. Except that it makes the trim look yellow, and I cannot tell you how much that bothers me every time I look at it. But if I paint the trim, then I have to paint the base boards, and door frames, and doors........

My painting arm was a little tuckered out after painting 4 rooms, 1 ceiling, and several pieces of furniture in 10 days. I haven't done anything since. So the kitchen isn't blue yet, and I'm not sure it's ever going to be. End of story.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall Wreath.

You know the big, beautiful fall wreaths that are $60 at Target and $100 at the Pottery Barn? I really want one, but I won't pay that much. Wreaths are easy to make, but it isn't really the kind of project that excites me and I never like how mine turn out. I always end up with something that looks kind of anemic and really homemade--but not in a good way.

Anyway, I really wanted something on the front door and since I wasn't willing to shell out the money, I only had one choice. I decided to give it one more try and this time I think I finally figured it out: I have to use two wreaths to get the look I'm going for. I used a 24 in and an 18 inch.

I stacked them on top of each other and secured them together with floral wire.

Then $20 worth of supplies (wreaths included) and 20 minutes later I had my wreath. I didn't glue anything, just used wire to secure everything so I can take it all off and reuse it.

I put the project off for a week, but it wasn't as annoying to make as I thought it was going to be. In fact, it was almost fun. I might even do it again someday.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome to my friday.

Piles and messes everywhere I look and no motivation to do anything about it. It's been one of those days. (Don't look Nana).

And the toddler? Vegetating in front of the TV.

We didn't get dressed until almost noon.

Skylar ate noodles for lunch AND dinner.

I cleaned up dog crap.

We didn't leave the house except for a brief outing to the park and a vet appointment for our dying Pug. Except that he's not dying, apparently he has gastrointestinal problems due to the truama of being kenneled for 3 days last weekend. That's right, our new vet is a doggie psychiatrist and thinks that Jack's abandonment issues brought on his tremors, vomiting and diahrea. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him.

Thank goodness for the weekend.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Not to get all Rachel Zoe on you.....

But there are two frivolous things that any daughter of mine will always be in posession of: a tutu (or three) and boots with fur. (No apple bottom jeans though--totally inappropriate--and yes I'm singing the song in my head right now).

These two items are wardrobe staples in our least for Skylar....sadly I can't pull off a tutu anymore. And after the eyeball melting Tutugate of '09, I would never try.

It seems to be getting very chilly very quickly here in the in the North Country and the only thing that makes me okay with the plummeting temperatures is the return of fur trimmed accessories.

We love us some faux fur around here, especially Shorty.
Bring it, Artic Tundra. We are ready for you.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nothing much.

We were out running errands this morning and Skylar begged me to go into Kohls to look for new shoes. I didn't want to disappoint her (yes, that's right I'm blaming my child) so we did.

You know how Kohls always has great kids books at the front of the store for $5 to raise money for charity? Well they usually have one or two adult books as well and I was really excited to see this cookbook is the current $5 deal:

There was a lot of hype about it several years ago. Basically it's stuff kids like to eat made healthy, and every recipe has hidden vegetables. I was skeptical, but I had a few friends who raved about it and I tasted a few things they made. I remember thinking the chocolate chip cookies with chickpeas were good. Not all of it is edible, but I'm excited to try some of it out. I'll let ya know.

And right after Kohl's we went over to Target (Skylar really did ask to go to Target, she loves that place) where I let her ransack the dollar section for 20 minutes. I am happy to report that if you are sick to death of doing messy art projects like I am--finger painting, watercolors, markers, I'm tired of all of it---the dollar spot is currently stocked with fun art supplies. So we are going to start gluing and give the playroom carpet a break. (Why the one room in the house with carpet happens to be a playroom, I couldn't tell you).

We haven't done an art project in a few weeks, but I think I can handle a glue stick.....

This pictures is a couple months old, but this is the reason I'm currently on a painting sabbatical. It always ends up like this......and I'm very, very tired of cleaning it up.

Besides, if I keep dragging her out to the yard and hosing her off while she screams, the neighbors really are going to call social services on me.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I'm ready.

It's no secret that I love summer--it's my favorite. But this year I am ready to say good-bye and I'm welcoming Fall, even though it means lots of big changes for our family. Maybe it's because summer started extra early this year with April being in the 90's, and Summer and I had a good run. Whatever the reason, I was excited that the leaves in the 'hood are starting to change......
And there's a chill in the air (the high yesterday as seen from my kitchen window)......
So logically it was time to make a pumpkin pie........
And pick up some Mums, because it's pretty much a season requirement.....
I'm thinking Apple Crisp might be in our future (yes my seasons revolve around desserts)......
We also picked up our annual Mulled Cider candle from Wal-Mart. We bought one the first Fall we were married and living at Ft. Knox to make our little one bedroom, pre-furnished apartment smell better. It does smell really good, maybe the best $5 you will spend. This is our 7th Autumn now, and just the smell of the candle brings back lots of memories.

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Light Breakfast Casserole.

Breakfast is so not my thing. In fact, I kind of think it's a waste of a meal. I'd much rather eat leftover pizza or a turkey sandwich in the morning.

As fate would have it, breakfast is Micah's favorite. He eats the exact same thing every day: 3 eggs whites and 1 whole egg scrambled with a splash of milk and season salt, and an English Muffin with peanut butter and wheat germ sprinkled on top. Maybe oatmeal if he's feeling wild and crazy. Pancakes on Saturday.

I on the other hand, usually wait a couple of hours and then end up eating a bowl of cereal because it's easy. Then I'm hungry again in two hours.

I used to have a really good recipe for a breakfast casserole with green chilis and cheese. It was part of my breakfast casserole rotation--I had 3 standbys that I made for all of our morning activities whenever it was my turn to bring something. It was everyone's favorite, probably because it had a stick of butter, and a pound of cheese.....all the good stuff.

Anyway, I lost the recipe and wanted to try to recreate it. Then I decided to make a healthy version while I was at it. In the end, it didn't taste very much like the original but it's still really good. I actually measured my ingredients this time and wrote down my recipe. Shocker. Then I calculated all the fat content while I was at it. It came out to 4 grams of fat per piece. Not bad right? This is perfect for me because I can make it at the beginning of the week, and then just heat up a piece every morning. Protein=full for more than 2 hours.

Green Chili and Cheese Egg Bake

4 whole eggs + 4 egg whites

1-4 oz can green chilis

1/2 c. fat free cottage cheese

1/2 tsp of salt

ground pepper to taste (and/or whatever spices tickle your fancy)

1/4 c whole wheat white flour

1/4 c skim milk

1/2 tsp baking powder

4 ounces of grated 2% milk sharp cheddar (pretty much the only cheese I use)

Mix together and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 375 for 18 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces.

I like putting mine on a toasted English muffin because I'm a sandwich girl and I can eat it while I'm running out the door--late for wherever I'm going. I hate being late. But at least this way I'm not hungry and late. That's the worst.


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