Wednesday, September 28, 2011

what I wore wednesday

I've been reading blogs for several years now.  When I have come across a What I Wore Wednesday post, I've always been impressed with what all these chics are wearing.  Have you ever seen Lisa Leonard's posts, I mean the girl is adorable and her little outfits are inspiring, as they aren't all expensive and such, but just creative.   Every day she has accessories{well, she is a jewelry designer} and boots and skirts and jackets and things that make her look all stylish working and running errands.  The Pleated Poppy girl is just cute as can be in all her outfits. It's really nice to see.   I love clothes and shoes and purses and earrings and all that good stuff, but some days...gulp...I don't get out of my sweats....


I took a shower on this day.  What a waste of some perfectly good water!  I even woke up at 5:30 to take that shower-what?? I put these sweats on to run the boys to school and intended to come back and change.  That never happened.  I took the dog to the vet, headed to the gym{might as well, there was no reason to preserve my perfectly coiffed hair at this point}, came home and did some work around the house, contemplated changing, didn't, picked the boys up from school, took them out for ice cream, made dinner, visited at my neighbors.  Didn't feel much shame. I am a "What I Wore" failure! 

It makes me think of my old friend Kristi{are you still out there Kristi?}.  She was always very conscientious of her sweats and hair in a pony.  She said her husband wasn't a big fan, and honestly neither is mine{he never says anything, but he no doubt wonders why all the clothes in my closet aren't making it onto my body}. I usually save this look for Saturday morning, and I think I better keep it there too. Next week I'll do better.

What I wore: comfy clothes thanks to Target
What I wore{in my heart} Joy! Praise God for sweat pants{no matter how bad they look on any given day during the week!} 

p.s. Kristi...are you there...I was thinking about you this morning too.  I remember you telling me when you were young, your family would hold up signs while you were driving.  Just a friendly shout out to the idiots on the rode.  The thought of you hanging out of the window holding a sign telling the driver next to you to, "USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL NEXT TIME!"cracks me up.  I am seriously thinking of making some of my own.  The first one would be, "STOP TEXTING OR ELSE!" You know, with a friendly exclamation point and all :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

making that again monday

We love breakfast.  It is the only meal I actually enjoy making.  I think it's because everyone eats, and I don't have to nag, and there is very little humphing and snorting at the table in protest to what's served.  Pioneer Woman has this recipe, Huevos Hyacinth{a single serving dish prepared in individual ramekins}, in her cookbook{that I love}, and while my kids did not exactly love it{yet}, my husband did.  He has made a change in the last couple of years, breakfast in the morning before work. I know, don't really understand why he refused for so many years, but he's a trucker driver at heart, and that explains a lot. This is the perfect breakfast for him, and what is even more perfect is I can make several at the beginning of the week and just reheat them as needed. He is taken care of.  Which makes him feel good.  Which makes me feel good.  Harmony{at least in the breakfast department}.

 Huevos Hyacinth:

Butter for the ramekins
Thinly sliced ham, turkey or deli meat{I also use precooked crumbled breakfast sausage}
Tomato slices or picante sauce
Large eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Crumbles or grated Monterrey jack, mexican cotija, or any other cheese you have in the fridge

Butter individual ramekins, and in each one place a slice of ham and tomato. Or, a couple of tablespoons of picante sauce{or both}.  Gently crack an egg over the top of each ramekin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Top each ramekin with 1/4 cup grated cheese. Broil for 2-4 minutes, removing when the yellow of the egg is still soft but not overly runny. Make as many as you need. Enjoy!

I though I'd share some pictures from our weekend.

 Asher had his birthday party at Chuck E Cheese's.  We have seriously been celebrating his birthday all month.  He has been six for 3 weeks, but it wasn't "real" until he wore the blow up crown!
 Apparently, a turn in the ticket blaster is a dream come true. 

 Chuck and some of the party dudes{there was one dudette not pictured}.  Asher has nice friends{with nice parents, that we really enjoy}.
 The biggest kid at the party{playing with the youngest one}.
 All the fun was over for Todd by Saturday morning.  We{by we, I mean Todd implemented my vision}took on a new project at the front of the house. I mean really, why should anyone relax at this point, we only have a few more house projects until we are DONE.
 They{fine, I won't try and take any credit} tore out the old nasty little bushes and whatever the heck else was growing, and replaced it with river rock and flagstone.  Our vision was one of simplicity{ie: low maintenance apposed to the rest of the yard that is high maintenance} and I think we accomplished it.
 Holden should plan on lots of years of college because hard labor is so totally not his thing, but he will have had his fill of it in his seventh year of life.  One thing I can say about an old house, it has taught the boys a thing or two about work. 
 Who let's their kids do this?
 Now that all the rock is down, someone is just getting warmed up.
And someone else is ready to pass out!  You did good Toddy.  Thank you{smoooch}
Chairs still need to be painted, but it is wonderful to sit out front and enjoy this Indian Summer.

Friday, September 23, 2011

ok, so it's been one of those weeks...

 I can tell this whole school year is going to find me wondering when I'm ever going to have a normal week.  Not sure what normal looks like, I guess just one where I get everything done that I intended, but we all know when you have kids that's thrown out the window.  So,  I'll just be happy with a good week, not so much a productive one.

What I wore Wednesday:  Jeans from The Gap{after looking at this picture I think they need to be retired}, pink tank from Target, Cardigan from Francesca's, and shoes by Converse. This is unofficially my uniform.

What I wore in my heart:  On this particular day I woke up so thankful that I was headed to the Dentist without any children tagging along.  I mean the only thing worse than taking a child with me to the Dentist is taking one to the Gynecologist!  Lord help me! 

It has been an interesting week and with it being Friday, one that I have been able to reflect on a little more.  I was so thankful that day to have Sloan in a little church Preschool that we love so that I can concentrate a little bit more on the balancing act of school aged children and a little guy.  My main motivation for sending him was I wanted a chance to volunteer in  the older boy's classrooms{something you can't do very well with an active 2 year old}, the social aspect of preschool was a bonus{as we haven't done play groups since Asher was three}, and well if he learned something new, that's great too. 

Earlier in the week, at a mom's group, and then again at one of my favorite blogs, Clover Lane, I experienced what I would call absolute parenting.  Absolute parenting gets under this parent's skin. In both instances, it left me feeling really rotten for the people who were listening or reading these opinions.  Mothers. At the moms group it was a discussion on discipline, on the blog it was about sending a young child to preschool, two subjects that can get some people feeling pretty heated, both left me feeling like the stay- at- home mom has lost touch with the world.  It is easy to do, you surround yourself with people who only think about playdates and park outings{hello, I'm one of them!} and you can easily forget that outside of that group, there is a whole other world.  I mean, spend two hours with a group of stay-at-home-moms and you will never feel so judged and unsupported.  I have certainly walked away from a fellow SAHM with my kids and certainly left her feeling pretty darn good about herself.  Get your kids in school and there is a whole lot of other sizing up and inventory taking. I guess it's just a parenting epidemic, all in the name of feeling good about your personal choices, which are just that-yours.  I totally agree with Sarah at Clover Lane, her point being that kids lives are too busy at too early an age.  I have my own personal battle in this house to slow everything down.  What was said at the moms group wasn't off the wall crazy, but in both cases, it left me wondering what was their motivation for being so opinionated and forgetting that not all lives are packed up with such a pretty little bow.  Where is the thankfulness that you even have choices that others have not been able to make so freely. That the parenting worlds problems don't begin and end with preschool too early and showers{only Tisha will understand that one :)}, the list of potential screw ups is endless.

I think that remembering who your audience is when you post a blog, or try to help someone in need is pretty important{and kind}. Sarah at Clover Lane could have stated her opinion while talking about her own guilt{that she clearly has and chose not to address},as well as the fear of everyone growing up and been much more affective.  Mothers saying in a group that they know exactly what you mean and they've been there too, can really bridge relationships.  Leave your agenda at home{even if you are writing it at home}. In my personal experience there has been no absolutes with parenting.  Just when I think I've got it figured out, a curve ball from left field. And just when I think I couldn't have done worse, a new day dawns, an opportunity to try again.

I'm not so sure that "What I Wore Wednesday" is going to work out for me.  I really don't like to be so heavy{that, and the mirror with my body reflecting in it part}.  You may have noticed that I'm not very opinionated and it is nearly exhausting for me to get so worked up. I may have to re-think my plan....

On a much lighter note. I am doing the happy dance over my most recent junk yard{ok, it called itself an antique store, but I beg to differ}find. Have I ever told you how much I love junk!
Meet my new {to me}, worn out, perfectly wonderful tobacco basket  Hooray! I have big plans for this cutie, but first I need to paint some walls.
Speaking of paint, the second from the top is the winner for the kitchen{yes Becca, you were right.  We are sure we weren't separated at birth, aren't we?} And I hate to just copy so blatantly, but after seeing 320 Sycamore's post about her curtains, I was on a hunt{all the way to Joann's}.  Me is in love.  If you would like an update on the kitchen, here it is.  We have given up on IKEA counter tops, as it seems the whole entire universe is waiting for them, and we are not first in line.  I have instead ordered unfinished butcher block counter tops from a local store and while we are not excited about staining them, whatever. We are over it. We should have them next week, and I'm thinking that by mid October it should be done.  Hopefully.
So, that's it.  I love you people.  Thanks for reading.  Have a wonderful weekend and if I can get my act together I'll post my menu for the week tomorrow.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'll be making that {again and again} Monday

Of all the things that have been handed down to me from my mother, my favorite "heirloom" is her wooden bowl.  Crazy huh!?  I mean, what person doesn't go coo coo for silver and china.  I guess one who loves themselves lots of salad :)  This is the bowl that sat on our dinner table when I was growing up and the bowl that made my grandmother's dressing.  It is just near and dear to my heart.  The bowl is warped and discolored and I could care less.  It is the perfect vessel for my favorite dressing and I plan on having it around for a long time.  Earlier this year I shared the boys new favorite dressing, now I'll share my all time favorite.  This is my best Pioneer Woman impersonation{she takes a picture of every step} 
 My heirloom bowl
 a clove of garlic and plenty of salt
 mush it into a paste
 add some Olive Oil-3 or 4 tablespoons I'd say.  Let the garlic and oil sit for a little while, about 15 minutes.
 With a fork, take out as much of the garlic as you can.  You won't be able to get all of it, but most.
 Squeeze in half a lemon or so{sorry I don't do exacts}
 Whisk it a little with a fork.
 Add more salt, fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of Paprika
Marinate your veggies.  Avocado is key to this salad. Lots of times I just use tomato and avocado. I like to concentrate on the lettuce when I eat a salad, but you just use whatever makes you happy, but don't forget the avocado!
My mouth is watering just looking at this.  Enjoy!

Here's what I'm working on this week.
 The guest room...

The kitchen...
 I'll be back with more pictures.  Have a happy Monday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Food Friday

Wow, the pressure is on when you outline the plans for your blog! I will say, making this post is getting this blog to work for me.  I can almost certainly guarantee if I wasn't supposed to be posting my menu plan for next week, I would not have my grocery list done, I would be floundering at the grocery{have I mentioned I hate the grocery}tomorrow morning and I would be really cranky by Tuesday because I'd be wondering what the heck I was going to find in the fridge to eat.  So, here is what's for dinner...

Sunday- italian chicken soup{pioneer woman} + crusty bread + salad

Monday- grilled steak + baked potato + roasted veggies

Tuesday- english muffin pizza + spinach salad{our best bites minus the chicken}

Wednesday- chicken fajitas{best bites} + rice + beans

Thursday- monte cristo(martha everyday food} + fruit salad

Friday- spaghetti and turkey meatballs{martha stewart everyday food}

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do You Do This?

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but sometime in the last seven years I have been unable to bake a whole batch of cookies.  It started with getting distracted and burning at least two of the four batches, I then tried baking a few batches and when I got too busy with everything I would throw the dough(in the bowl, with the mixing spoon still in it) into the fridge to finish it late.  Problem was later never came and I would have 12 cookies baked and the rest of the dough in the garbage.  I then started making cookie bars but eventually started missing my round little friends.  I don't think this qualify as an Oprah "ah ha moment", but hello brilliant, and hello me for being so dense.

 All my cookie dough in a row
 into the freezer little cuties
frozen cookie dough just begging to become a treat.  Fresh baked cookies when my kids get home from school is one of my greatest joys.  In this manner, you can have fresh baked cookies every day-hooray! And lets just say when it's been one of those kind of weeks, these don't even need to meet the oven, "geegee balls"(as Sloan obsessively shouts through the house) are a crowd pleaser as well.

Speaking of my littlest rascal.  I present you with a montage of my favorite Sloan pictures of the week.

You know how experienced mothers put your mind at ease when your child is attempting to meet milestones. "Oh don't worry", they say, "little Billy won't be going to Kindergarten in diapers!" Well, it's a real possibility that little Sobee will be going with a paci in his mouth ;) But can you blame him? He pulls the look off so well! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday{with a twist}

Once in a while I run across a "What I Wore Wednesday" post from many of my favorite bloggers. It's an accountability post of sorts, you know, the mom mindfully not wearing sweats and "mom" jeans because she is going to be posting her outfits for hundreds of witnesses. I usually love seeing what others wear.  I have to say there are a lot of cute outfits on these people. 

So, in my quest to change up my blog a little bit, I thought it might be fun to post what I wore on Wednesdays{many bloggers post the whole week of outfits, but that just wasn't going to be happening here}.  It even worked out  perfectly because I'm a little more intentional on Wednesday's with my outfits since I go to a Bible study in the morning. I went to take the first picture, posed myself all cute, snapped, and felt all empty inside.  It took me by surprise.  Why was taking a picture of my outfit, making me feel like so crumby?  I didn't have much time to think about it as I flew out the door, I knew I would post it on my blog and worry about it then. I was pretty certain I was just being insecure. Who in the world would care about what I wore, other than my mom, right?

I walked into a new moms group that morning.  I knew nothing about the speaker and was surprised to see Betsy, a pretty woman, very much my{our} age, with a glorious smile and warm eyes walk up to the podium.  A mother of three boys she said, a cheerleader of Christ is how she described herself.  This morning, of all mornings, she was discussing fashion.  Fashion that is, that you wear on the inside of your body.  Her talk was titled: Clothed in Christ. Here were some of the highlights:
Taking off: Clean out your closet- finally putting to death: your anger, gossip, the comparing to others, concern of your outward appearance{hmm...}...

Putting on: in with the new-How we dress in the likeness of Christ: with compassion, kindness, meekness, patience, forgiveness, love, thankfulness, peace...

The New Little Black Dress-The calling on your life:The call that always fits. You can wear it anywhere.

Getting Dressed Everyday: Go into your {prayer}closet to get ready, embrace the opportunity, commit this to memory.

She was a dynamic, little, impressive person, and I took what she said and "chewed" on it for a long time.  What she spoke about, what I felt that morning, was all set out in front of me on my page of notes.  So what if  I managed to wake up early, get dressed, and do my hair all pretty.  What exactly does all that  say about me anyways?!  In my case, nothing.  What I woke up that morning wanting it to say was that I had my #$&% together.  I think I may have succeeded, I mean, isn't that the beauty of blogs-just one little snippet, of one little moment, of one very intentionally placed photo, and I would have walked away from my computer feeling all good about myself.  But that's not the full story, and it's not where I want the story to end .  Does a picture really tell a thousand words?  I have felt that way countless times when I have scrolled down the page of my favorite bloggers "What I Wore Wednesday" post.  Wow, she has really adorable boots, do you think she's nearly perfect in everything she does? No.

My "What I Wore Wednesday" post needs a twist, needs more explanation, needs to be a lot more real. 

What I wore on my body: "Always Skinny" jeans from the Gap, black patent ballet slippers from the gap, belted shirt from Francesca's

What I wore in my heart: That day I was happy to be headed to a meeting where I knew several girls.  I was so ,so thankful for Tisha{a wonderful Knoxville friend} and the church that has offered me many opportunities to connect with them. But, I was also unable to shrug off a guarded feeling that was creeping in and out of my thoughts.  The doubt when you least expect it. A{evil}voice that says, "Why would anyone care about you being there?" "Your certainly not good enough to be in a room full of nice little mothers, you should really give up and surrender to your loneliness" Ugh...

After listening to Betsy, I realized that I never dress my heart first, there was a lot of things I could stand to throw out of my closet, and the little black dress was something I only brought out on special occasions.  Christ lives in me everyday, and if I am ever going to see the reflection of the woman I dream about being, there just better be a heart wearing God's full armor on every morning before I do my hair.  I mean what good is a cute outfit without a heart of good. Amen.

Clothed In Christ

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. and above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colosssians 3:12-17

Please note that every Wednesday post will not be this long, so don't be afraid to come back

Monday, September 12, 2011

Making That Again Monday

I'm afraid this post is a little too late. Are tomatoes still on the vine in your garden?  It has stayed nice and warm here, so silly me to consider the end of growing season.  This is a super yummy grilled tomato recipe that will be great on the last of those summer tomatoes, or save it for next year :)  

 Grilled Tomatoes with Oregano and Lemon{martha stewart everyday food}:

Heat a grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, combine 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1 tablespoon each finely grated lemon zest and lemon juice, 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves, and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.  Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Clean and lightly oil hot grill.  Halve 4 large tomatoes crosswise and brush cut sides with olive oil.   Place cut side down on grill. Grill until lightly charred, about 4 minutes.  With a metal spatula, flip tomatoes and grill until skins blister and begin to char, 2 to 3 minutes.  Transfer tomatoes to a serving platter, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oregano-lemon oil.  Serve warm or room temperature.


I also wanted to share with you the progress we have made on the back yard(which for three months had been none!)this weekend.  Now that the weather has stayed out of the 90s, we thought it was safe to(finally)plant grass seed.  The boys, big and little, worked two very long days to get this done.  The seed, fertilizer and hay are down, now I pray that nature takes over with a little help from my constant watering.

Friday, September 9, 2011

hatching plans in the "car lobby"{I have no idea why they call it that but I live in the south and some things can't be explained} line

Here at POQAL I'm trying to make things more exciting, more predicable{for you and for me}, and just  more useful.  So I'm making a plan and it starts with food  and clothes :) 

Monday: Making that again Monday-POQAL test kitchen successes

Wednesday: What I wore{inside and out} Wednesday-hopefully not, but more than likely, posts about clothes from Forever 21{a store I should be banned from}, and what's in my heart{this might be scary}

Friday: I love food{but loath the grocery store} Friday-weekly menu with recipes and a promise not to rant about how much a can't stand grocery shopping.

That's as far as I've gotten, mainly because I can't make up any cute names for Tuesday and Thursday{I should come up with something soon, as all I do is sit in the car line at school with plenty of time to dream something up}

SO, now that I've gotten you all up to date, it's Friday and I'm not posting a menu.  I am however, bringing you a tried and true, kid friendly and husband pleasing recipe to try.  Let's pretend it's Monday shall we.

Chicken Piccata with capers{cooking light}
Stuffed Zucchini with Tomatoes and Mozzarella{Martha Stewart}


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's like trying to catch the wind

My Asher is six today and I am sitting here wondering how fast the next six years are going to go.  Wasn't it just yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital, but at the same time, thank goodness it's not.  The quandary of loving those babies, being ok that everyone is getting more independent, but wishing for just certain moments to be relived, the pause button, some way to rewind once in a while.  Do you ever feel that way? 

He started Kindergarten this year and I miss him.  Sloan and I visit school often to have lunch with him and Sloan leaves every time crying for "his Asher".  I feel the same way.  I wouldn't mind just scooping him up and taking him back home.  "We'll be back when I'm a little more ready to give him up." I'd say to the Principle. But, you can't stop progress, and Asher is ready to spread his wings. 

 Yep, this picture makes me swallow hard
 And four makes it a little bit more of a family.
Six years later, lots of laughter, a substantial amount of tears, several super hero obsessions, another brother, two more states, and he's the same joyful boy he has always been.  When his first giggle touched my ears five years and 11 months ago, I thought to myself , "hmmm, that's different" and he hasn't stopped surprising me since.  Happy Birthday sweet beautiful Asher.  We love you.