Monday, October 31, 2011

things that wreck me all up {part 1}

Holden turned 8 last week and it has taken me several days to understand how that's happened. Todd and I find ourselves laying in bed often recounting silly things that these boys have said through the years.  Lucky for me, Todd has a great memory for all the precious funny moments.  I can't remember any of them unless I write them down, but he recalls ones that I wouldn't have even noted.  Like when Holden called his grandparents on his third birthday and thanked them for the tappy feet map{a "Happy Feet" poster}, or the time he called Todd a little poopie diaper as he was walking out the garage door to go to work. If only I had  recordings of everything they ever said, of every year of life, then maybe I wouldn't feel like my head was spinning trying to recapture it all.
 Oh how I adore the space between this child's eyebrows.  I know, only a mother could love the bridge of their baby's nose.
 That little worried look has never left his face.  It's just like the first child to always wonder if their mom is doing everything right.  No I am not, but he seems to love me regardless .
 The rolls are long gone, but the need to understand every inch of this person remains.

 I must be trying to kill myself this morning. Why would I read this and think that I can go on with my normal day.

 My all time favorite picture of Holden.  Taken right before he turned one, and right when I began to understand he is just mine on loan.  Entrusted to us by God, on an adventure all his own to discover. 

 Holden on his birthday with his two favorite people.  He is a wonderful, energetic{code word for loud...sometimes obnoxious}, enthusiastic, conscientious, reliable, funny and caring son, brother and friend.  At 8 years old I haven't even lost him yet to video games.  He still loves to play and draw.  He is just learning what he is truly capable of and he should be proud because he keeps us on our toes and at the top of our parenting game at all times.  He is our "Guinea Pig" and Todd and I are just  two people honored to be standing next him. We love you Holden Matthew {every step of the way}.

Friday, October 21, 2011

really...I'm still here...

My wonderful friend Becca worries about my early demise when she doesn't here from me in awhile.  She has left me many a message on my phone, "Hello?? Are you dead and I don't know it??" So, I wanted to make sure to let all of you know that I am indeed still alive and just busy.  I really don't like being this busy, although it is all self inflicted busy-ness, like painting and sifting and carting around, so I really can't complain.  My mom has arrived for a visit as well, so we are consumed with drinking coffee, shopping, eating lunch out, and watching movies. It's tough let me tell you ;)  There is progress in the kitchen that I wanted to share with you as well as a yummy recipe.  

 Sticky-Bun Pumpkin Muffins{recipe here}

 The counter tops are in!! The beadboard back splash is in as well, but there is still trim, caulk, corner pieces, paint and all sorts of finish work to do.  It still looks very unfinished, but this kitchen sure has come a long way.

Because things have been so gradual, I need to remind myself what it used to look like.

I still looks pretty haphazard, but I am so pleased with how it looks and even happier with how it feels.

Have a great weekend.  Be back soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

making that again monday{and food friday}

Several years ago I bought the cookbook Deceptively Delicious.  Like all cookbooks I have ever purchased, it had a few recipes that I go back to time and again.  While the concept of hiding veggies in your children's food is awesome, I have found that just forcing them to eat their {obvious}vegetables on their plate is easier than slaving away on purees every week ;) With that said, this is a good soup, that you will feel good about feeding them, even if it has a few extra steps.

Meatball Soup{Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld}
3 ounces whole-wheat pasta shapes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice

1/4 cup carrot puree (or 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots)

1/2 cup sweet potato or squash puree (or 1 cup finely chopped)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 cups beef or chicken broth


3 slices whole-wheat bread, cubed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup sweet potato puree
1/4 cup nonfat milk

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 pound lean ground turkey

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Add one tablespoon olive oil to a large pot and saute onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often until the onion is softened but not browned.
When everything is softened, put in a blender or food processor and add tomatoes and carrot puree. Puree until smooth. Return to pot. Add salt and broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, begin the meatballs. Put the bread in a large bowl. Add the egg, sweet potato puree, milk, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt and paprika, and let soak until the bread is very soft. Stir to break up the bread, add the ground turkey and mix until smooth. Form into mini-meatballs about 1/2-inch in diameter.

Add the meatballs to the pot. Simmer, covered, until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, 12 - 15 minutes. Stir in the pasta. Serve with Parmesan.

On our menu this week:

Monday: Some sort of version of Frito Chili {pioneer woman}

Tuesday: Thyme Coated Pork Tenderloin{cooking light} + roasted potatoes + green veggie

Wednesday: Chicken Marsala{real simple}+ sauteed spinach + angel hair pasta

Thursday: Spicy Ranch Chicken Wraps{my recipes}+ fruit salad

Friday: Chicken Parmigiana{martha stewart}+salad

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'm up to my old tricks.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Etsy love

I really appreciate all your{my blogging girls are the bestest} comments about fixing my hallway problem.  I am going to paint the door and possibly carry the green from the living room around the front doorway.  I think{hope} that will solve my skin crawling issues :) 

I carried the blue up the stairs and hallway to the bedrooms and again, am really pleased with the outcome{darn entryway}.  This house is dark, especially on the second level landing area.  We had originally painted it a very light cream color{thinking it was the only choice due to the lack of natural light}, but it always looked shadowy and bland.  It's amazing to me that a darker color, in an already dark space, can lighten and brighten.  There is something to be said for paint, it really can transform. 

So, on to my Etsy love part.  How much do you love Etsy?  I seriously adore it, although don't go on it very much because it gets exhausting.  I was tickled when Better Homes and Gardens highlighted an Etsy artist from Ashville, North Carolina{just down the road from us...kinda}.  I had admired her art before, but forgot about it.  When I saw her prints I HAD to have one for the hallway.  Lucky for me, it was affordable :)

Hello cuteness.  Her Etsy sight is here.  I am just loving my little leaves. It is a great addition to our "forest friends" bathroom.

 While I was shopping things kept landing in my virtual basket.  I'm pretty crazy for vinyl designs.  It 's the easiest{possibly cheapest}way to add a little personality and when I get bored with the whole thing, it peels right off. When Holden saw this he was all kinds of bitter.  He doesn't really appreciate "the rules" in yet another area of his life. I'm pretty sure it was the "Be Considerate" part that got his brow all furrowed. 
 Huh, looks pretty clean. Taking it off my to do list this week.
 For some reason I was sent an extra owl.  Just a little surprise when you close the door.  Why should I be the only one with guests while I go potty.
 Then I just get goofy.  This owl is sure to last 2 days in one piece.
This makes me happy.

 This makes me happy too

 I will always have white woodwork.  I don't care if I will be scrubbing it for the rest of my life.  Worth it.
A little Anthropologie splurge. 

This is the stairway before I painted. For a while I brainstormed on how to add something to this area. At first I thought hanging something up the stairs would be good, but honestly it is so narrow I couldn't think of anything that wouldn't be in the way. I searched Pinterest for hallway/stair pictures and saw some beautiful stenciled stairways, that got me thinking. I can't find the blog I originally saw this on but...

this is actually contact paper for stairs!  I know, nutty.  When I was first un-peeling it I thought it was a little weird.  I'm not a fan of contact paper even in places it belongs, so I was skeptical about how I would like it.  After painting I like it more, but the jury is still out a bit.  What do you think?  While I was sticking it to the back of the steps I was ashamed of myself.  I mean, for someone who likes to paint, it felt like I was cheating.  BUT, here is what I like about it.  It's indestructible.  I had been crabby about scrubbing the steps every 5 seconds.  They were scuffed constantly, the paint needed to be touched up all the time.  This has solved those problems and put a smile on my face.  The black is maybe a little harsh in this space.  It's pretty graphic for my taste, but I'm reserving judgement at the moment.  It may inspire me to actually paint a stencil on...we'll see.
I'm off to paint the door.  See you later this week.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

decorating frustrations

I painted the kitchen and hallway last week and I am completely frustrated with it.  Love the color in the kitchen, not so crazy about it everywhere else.  There is something about transition spaces that gets me all irritated.  It has happened in every house we've owned.  I despise hallways.  There I said it!  I decided to paint the entryway and upstairs hall the same color as the kitchen.  They are all tied together in a very small span of square feet and putting two colors in such a small space seemed too busy.   

 I love the color here{look, my vacuum cord has made the blog}...
 love it here as well...
 like they way it looks against all the white here...
 it's making my skin crawl here....ahhh...what am I going to do?! It is definitely the red door against the blue that is making me cringe.  I certainly do not think I like the corner where the blue and green come together.  Totally having trouble with the color blue in general. I can't seem to get over my notion that it belongs only in bedrooms-where have I come up with that stupid rule. I'm in the process of changing everything around, all in the hopes of not having to paint again{and for that matter, picking another color}.  I'm frustrated!
 Now for some better progress news.  Look what we have in our possession!   Countertops!   Hoping that my choice of stain goes better than the hallway{fingers and toes crossed}
And , by the miracle of nature, we even have grass! Needless to say, there is a lot going on here.  I'll be back later this week with more pictures.