Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I have a healthy habit AND a cute shirt

Yep, pretty much just one, but a great one at that. I add ground flaxseed and wheat germ to my morning cereal and I'm pretty sure I'm going to live longer because of it.
Flaxseed is like the power house of all foods. I sprinkle it on my cereal and I also take a flax oil supplement every day. It is full of Omega 3 fatty acids that are heart healthy essentials, it has plant estrogen and antioxidants, and fiber! Wheat germ is full of vitamins and I love the added texture to my Honey Bunches.

I also add these two to things like pancake batter, homemade coffee cake or cookie dough. I like to sneak it in as much as possible for the kids in foods that otherwise seem empty of nutrition. They have never noticed-tee hee

Ok so spring is finally here(80 in DM today) and I found a cute shirt at Target! For some reason right now I love navy blue and turquoise-not a usual for me. Anyways, Bec and I were discussing clothes yesterday. It's so hard to find something to wear after a baby, even when you have lost all the weight your body just isn't right for a while.

Look at me-a new cute little shirt and I can't get out of my favorite ratty jeans. My sister sent me a gazillion pairs and I keep putting these on. I don't know what it is. They are worn out in the knees, paper thin in the cheeks and I'm still in love. They don't even make my body look that great, but they have become the sweat pants of my jean collection. pathetic
Thanks to Asher for a job well done behind the camera

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

one more

Ok-I'm boring you with one more video and then I promise I will move on. Toddy needs to see his big dude ride on two wheels. We love you Daddy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Part II of taking back my house : working with what I've got

After my conversation with Bec(see previous post) I decided to put my lamp back in the kitchen mainly because I have missed the light and it makes the boring kitchen a little cozier. The problem is I packed everything I had on the counter away and have no idea where they are in the basement. I headed out to Hobby Lobby to find something that would work. Funny how when your looking for the perfect something you just can't find it. I don't have much time to shop my favorite little stores, so HB was it. I found a lamp base that I liked, but the shade was leopard print with fluffy black trim-not exactly my style-but sold to me for $12.00. Here is the lamp base and the spray adhesive I am now addicted to. I knew recovering a shade could be tricky, but thought the adhesive would make it a breeze.

Here is the fabric I intended to use. Adorable-yes! Soon after I started I realized two things. 1. this was going to be harder than I thought even with the rock star of adhesive and 2. the dreaded leopard print showed through the fabric when the lamp was turned on. Ok, on to plan B. Plan B being I didn't want to spend any more money on this project not to mention go to the crazy craft store again so I had to search my stash of goodies.

I settled on burlap, and decided to embrace leopard print. As if I didn't love burlap already, it is awesome to use on something like this because it stretches.

Where burlap is, twine is sure to follow

So I'm already dreaming about spraying the base white, covering the shade with black fabric, then my adorable print, and loving it in a new kitchen. For now I am more than satisfied with how it looks. It actually goes really well in my kitchen despite the fact that it's not my exact style. I definitely feel good about using what I had and not wasting time searching for what would be perfect. Sometimes cute happens when you least expect it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

projects to keep me sane

Todd was in town in past weekend and it gave me a much needed chance to make a run to the Armadillo. I power shopped through and fought the urge to buy awesome project furniture, but found a few things that will consume my crafty craving for a little while. I have been wanting a shutter for a long time and finally just bought one. It wasn't at any fabulous price, but I had a gift card to spend so I splurged. The stairs basket is also something I've been looking for. Neither of these things will look the same once I get my spray cans out.

I've been looking at much bigger versions of this glass thingy-can't remember what they're called-at hobby lobby, but opted for a small version considering I have to move across the country in a big bouncy truck :)
After discussing at length with Becca(actually I vented, she listened)about how much it totally sucks not to have anything cute in my house anymore, I decided to add some personality and Easter decor despite what they say about neutralizing your house while it's on the market. My house clearly hasn't sold(not even a low ball offer after 60+days) so I have decided to go for a more lived in look for future showings and maybe it will change our luck. Do you think it's possible to have too clean of a house?

For the record I really tried not to use cardboard to decorate this little scene, but just could not, in no way resist. And for the record that is dust on the chest. Ahhh(choo)...more lived in all ready.

Monday, March 22, 2010

a shoe party?

Someone in blog land was having a shoe party last week.  I can't find the blog now, but it was an invitation to share your most fabulous shoes.  Mine aren't anything that are going to inspire, but I'm joining the party anyways. 

My new identity shoes

My real identity shoes

My favorite hand-me-down shoes

My favorite summer sandal

My new summer sandal

My favorite Target shoes

My newest Target shoes

My dustiest shoes(haven't been worn since our last vacation...)

My oldest shoes-I think they've come back in style

Friday, March 19, 2010

Brownies with boundaries

These brownies do not come with a disclaimer, or a warning, they come with a RULE. DO NOT MAKE THESE FOR YOUR FAMILY! They will make you gain weight, they will ruin all your hard work, they will make you feel bad about yourself, they will talk to you in the middle of night even if they are in the freezer, so don't do it-period.

These brownies are strictly to be made for other people. They should be made for sick friends, neighbors, pot lucks, church socials, pretty much any function outside of your home. These brownies are only meant to impress friends and offer you a quick go to recipe for your busy life. I have tasted them. They are good. I gained the pound for you because that's what kind of friend I am. Don't leave nasty comments and send me angry emails about your jeans not fitting because I have provided the boundaries.

With that said....visit Tidymom for the recipe. You must use her ganache frosting because it is beyond amazing. Throw any extras away. You heard me-put them in the trash. Don't fool yourself by saving the unattractive edge pieces. Put them in the garbage even if your child is blocking the can and threatening to have a tantrum over it. Tell Holden-I mean your child-that it is for the betterment of the family waistline. The end(and that body part too).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

eat your veggies

I am really trying to make my blog contain some useful information, not just ramblings from a frustrated stay at home mom. Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia? I think it would be awesome to have a blog with such purpose and then have a huge following. I get really excited when someone I know leaves a comment, having someone I've never met follow me would be super cool. BUT, for now my blog is a way to stay connected to old friends, highlight our days events for family far away, and a creative outlet to stay sane. My sisters think I should start blogging about moving to the south, but I'm sticking with my crazy life format for now.

With that said, I'm sharing with you the only way I eat brussel sprouts just in case you need a new recipe and haven't already tried this. I am certain I never touched a brussel sprout when I was young, but I am really fond of them now. I will admit I am kind of picky about how I eat my veggies. I never steam them, something about it is very unappetizing to me.

So here is my technique for a lot of green veggies, brussels being my favorite.

1. Clean and cut sprouts
2.cook on medium heat in a saute pan with a splash of olive oil.
3.Saute and let the cut side get brown-there is a fine line between a good sprout and a mushy bad sprout. Shoot for al dente. maybe 5- 7 min?
4. turn heat down to med/low and add 1 clove of chopped garlic. If you have a garlic press use that because those rock. Cook for 30sec-1 minute.
5. This is where it gets really yummy(I forgot to take a picture of the yummy part) Add about 2 splashes of balsamic vinegar. It will bubble and carmalize your little sprout to pure yumminess. Remove from heat and serve.
6. I love the left overs the next day cold in a salad-yummy yummy and even more yummy

*forgot to tell you to sprinkle with a touch of sea or kosher salt*

Now I'm going to ramble. I had to share this picture because it was just too adorable.

All shopped out

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

spring inspiration

visit the Lettered Cottage for a tutorial on her fabulous mantel.
Thinking a lot about white spray paint, chalkboards and little speckled eggs today. What has you inspired this spring?

Monday, March 15, 2010

This Is My Village

When we moved beck to Des Moines I remember being so happy that the kids would be able to know their grandparents better and visa versa. I was looking forward to a bigger family unit and the kids have truly loved every minute of Iowa for exactly that reason. It is special to spend holidays and birthdays with grandparents and cousins. It is exciting to have dinners out and afternoons at the lake with the people who love you the most, something I never really had myself growing up, and something we have not taken for granted in our short return to Des Moines. They say it takes a village to raise a child and a village they have had.

What I didn't realize before we came back, but what I was missing so desperately, was that it also takes a village to support the mom with that child. God provided a larger support system for me here then I ever even dreamed about. Neighbors, old friends, best friends, relatives, teachers, doctors.

The list goes on, and my dad, well he has been the front line of my village. He has always been my number one fan, and he has always been supportive but I only let him do that from a far. Mainly because of proximity, but partly because I was just being overly independent. When we moved here and Todd started to travel nonstop my dad was the shoulder I could lean on. I needed help and he never stopped trying. He has picked the kids up from school when I had appointments, he has fertilized and mowed our lawn, he has taken us out to dinner when I was tired and at my wits end. He has done it all for the boys and I know even more so for me.

My heart will break when we move so far away, and so will his. I will take all the things that he taught me in the past two years with us. The main lessons being hire out your lawn work , scooping poop should be left to the professionals, and give yourself a break-hire a maid. The boys will miss the trips to Dairy Queen and spins around the block in his fast red car. What I will miss is the most simple of gestures. Just him stopping by to bring me the Sunday paper and his latest batch of vegetable beef soup.

If your reading this dad, and I know you are because that's what biggest fans do, thank you.

p.s. I took down the picture that doesn't look me just for you, because that's what daughters do-they listen to their Dads

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My First Attempt

I finally learned how to download video onto blogger! It's easy peasy, the only trick is it has to be super short. Please excuse Sloan's mashed tater eyelids, but enjoy his cute little voice.

*Todd made fun of me for shushing Holden-what can I say-this little guy needs the spotlight :) *

Friday, March 12, 2010

Whole Chicken In A Crock Pot and Other Ramblings

Have you ever done a chicken in the crock pot? Is this all the rage and I am last to know yet again?
I saw it in blog land-unsure where-but it couldn't be easier or more economical. I am a big fan of rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I like to use them for recipes that call for cooked chicken like enchiladas or even chicken salad, but this is an awesome alternative, much cheaper and easier to work with(falls of the bone vs. carving). 1. Rinse and pat dry a whole chicken(about 4lbs). Remember to take out that mystery bag from the cavity.
2. Stick in crock pot sprayed with Pam.
3. Season with salt pepper(I also used paprika). No need to add any liquid
4. Cook on low for about 7 hrs.
5. Remove chicken and reserve liquid in the pot
6. Let chicken cool and cut, freeze or store in fridge as needed.
7. Add bones and skin and anything you don't use back to crock pot with liquid and 5 cups of water(I was going to take a picture but it looked kinda gross)
8. Cook on low overnight
9. Remove bones and gross stuff and you have about 6 cups of broth for another recipe during the week.

Easy right? Now on to my ramblings

I actually did the happy dance this week which was a challenge after a cold and rainy 5 days, with no house showings, melted snow in the back yard that revealed about 5 months of dog poop, and a baby struggling to get his front teeth.
My sister sent me a box full of love(summer hand-me-downs) and it brightened my mood for sure. She totally thinks I'm a dork for being so thrilled but you SAHM's are sure to agree, when your "uniform" is jeans and t-shirts and you never really get to fully shop for the season, a box full of clothes that you would never even get a chance to buy because it isn't from Target(or another super store you happen to be buying toilet paper from) is AWESOME
Cute? I agree.

Here I am modeling a J. Crew jacket. I couldn't have picked it out better myself :) I just noticed I match my wall and dresser.
Have a great weekend. I'm going to try although it is off to a rocky start. I got a call this morning at 8:36 am from one of those "S" word Realtors who wanted to show my house at 9 am. I had to say no(me in jammies, kids doing crafts with lots of glue, baby asleep, house needing at least 40 minutes of TLC)and I felt more than awful about missing an opportunity to get my house sold. Had some minutes of loathsome self pity after that. I let it go after my neighbor and I shared "loser" stories with each other-I at least made her feel better about life :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hi Daddy

So here we are doing our morning routine. I'd be surprised if you miss this chaos, but I know you do. We miss you. We love you. Holden trying to fit in 30 seconds of computer time before the bus.
Batman and his little cheesy smile

Yes, he is about to jump. 

Somebody has a new hiding spot.  This is the most action the Bender Ball has ever had.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Excuse me while I organize my way out of this mess. This week I am working on bringing up the spring and summer clothes. This seems like a big job. Organizing hand-me-downs, taking inventory, buying what is needed. This is when having three kids starts to really sink in.

Over at Clover Lane she has been working on a Lent project of 40 bags in 40 days-the ultimate spring de-cluttering and purging. I have not gone to such extremes, but I am working on certain areas of the house. I had a huge bin for goodwill and two bags of garbage just from cleaning out the master bedroom closet and bathroom. It felt awesome.

I don't have any amazing tips to share about organizing clothes, just make sure to do it because the alternative will put you on a reality TV show for hoarders.
Becca had a post the other day about how she is staying sane with a new born and a four year old all day. It included all the games she is playing with her adorable son Ty(he is an awesome little smarty). She is a great mother and takes the time to sit down and engage her little people. The above is the only way I stay sane-especially now while I am on my own. 7:30 bedtime! My only saving grace. Sometimes it's the hour of the day I dream about from the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning-is that awful. I am holding on to 7:30-sometimes even 7:15 if it has been especially brutal-for as long as I can. Daylight savings only means that crazy neighborhood outside play is just around the corner and I will have to get my lasso to get these cowboys to bed by 9. Sometimes winter has it's advantages.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Burlap might be my new obsession

I finished my wreath this weekend and although I like Tatertots and Jello's wreath better, I had fun doing it. I used buttons because I had them, and I'm all about using what I already have. She used sparkly brads or something-they were cute. I also crinkled my flowers because I thought it looked more flowery and I liked how the burlap fringed.
I used a really small wreath form. I could have stopped here. Did I mention I now love burlap.

Maybe next year in a new house I'll find a place to put it. I'm going to display it even though my house is free of all things crafty(see previous post). Maybe like fresh flowers it will add some warmth and good feelings when someone comes for a showing(fingers are crossed).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What I know about selling a house

1. It sucks.

2. The only thing that sells a house is the PRICE.

3. You have to pack up all your crap(by crap I mean all the little things you love and adore and make your house fun). When you think you have decluttered enough, go back and fill two more rubber maid containers, then you are actually done.

4. You must live like you don't eat. This is what a clean counter looks like, I hope you never have to see one in your own house.

5. Then you must live like you didn't have a wedding, or kids, or any relatives. Depersonalizing is really hard for mothers who love their baby's faces.

6. You must try anything to manipulate emotions. I don't know what fresh flowers really say? "You can have spring all year long if you live in this house" or "this house grows it's own bouquets" I hope it doesn't say "Costco is the only good place to buy flowers and it is a 20 minute drive to the west side from Johnston".

7. Little boys should not be forced to live in houses that are for sale. But, if the unfortunate happens then they must be strapped into the minivan to watch a movie 45 minutes prior to a showing so that you can actually get the house picked up without your head literally spinning off your shoulders.

8. Make lots of spare keys. Chances are some(I'm about say the "S" word as Holden would say) really STUPID Realtor will lock you out of your house and force you to spend three hours at your neighbors waiting to get back in so you can put your baby to bed. Take my word for it. My next post will be 8 Things I know about really STUPID Realtors.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

for daddy

We miss you