Monday, January 30, 2012

making that again monday

I'm not exactly sure what happened to me last week.  I was here, doing my usual weekly stuff, but sometimes I just don't have it in me to blog.  Maybe the sun wasn't shining enough or something, but it's not unheard of me to not have much to say at the end of January.  I got Asher back to school on Tuesday, I turned 38 on Thursday, and I worked on our master bathroom on Friday. More on all those things a little later...

I finally had a chance to watch Pioneer Woman's cooking show and I loved it.  It was like watching her blog come to life.  She is fun and I like her even more now than I did before.  It inspired me to open up her cookbook again and dig into some country cooking along with some recipes that{again}remind me of summer{I had to make my own sunshine last week}.

 I could have stopped this recipe right here.
However, it is worth serving on bread.  Yummers! {recipe here}
I'll tell you what, this time of year is a struggle for me on a couple levels.  We all know I struggle just a little bit with turning yet another year older{I'm getting better at it though}, and then there's the cold that I am not a particular fan of{although it's been lovely here} and then there's the dreaded Valentines candy. It gets me every.single.time.  I've got to tell you, I am a wimp for cinnamon hearts.  I literally cannot pass by them without putting them into my buggy{I love saying buggy, it's so southern and sounds totally weird coming out of my mouth, mainly because I don't have a twang and also because I had no idea what the heck it meant when I moved here, but love it when everyone-here in Knoxville says it-so I'm going to as well}.  I have been really good about sugar for the past several months.  I swore off most desserts since the end of summer{don't get me wrong, I don't pass up birthday cake}, but the minute Valentine's Day candy arrived in the store I have been bad, bad, bad.  I will however share with you what will get me back on track...bathing suit shopping.  And if that is not torture enough...jean shopping.  I know.  Two of the very worst shopping thingies to shop for.  So that's where I'm at today, looking at cinnamon hearts and thinking about putting my booty into something very revealing or something possibly very tight. 

I saw something on the today Show several weeks ago about exercising your will power like a muscle.  Mine is going to get a work out from now to Easter{hello Cadbury Eggs}.

Have a great Monday! I'm off to "flex" and take some pictures of the bathroom vanity.  I'll be back soon.

Friday, January 20, 2012

finishing what I started{18 months ago}

Last January I posted{here} house goals and I am just now getting around to finishing some of them{anyone know what that feels like?}.  Sloan's room was painted when we moved in, but I had done nothing else.  I can't say that the room is looking amazing, but it is better.  My kids bedrooms are sometimes just difficult to decorate.  Purchasing "art" for the walls never makes sense, as they grow so fast it seems the theme is always changing with their interests.

This is a small room, with a ridiculous amount of bookshelves.  In the not so distant future it will have a big boy bed in it.  Eventually Holden will be asking for this room, and we will be rotating boys and stuff.  Right now it makes Sloan happy to have a few new things on the walls and I'm considering it done, crossing it off my list.

This chest was his changing table and while he is not yet out of diapers, he is too heavy to wrestle onto a changing pad. 

This color is my all time favorite boy blue.  Its a Ralph Loren paint color, I think called washed denim.  Shopped the house for a few things{so beats shopping anywhere else!}, and the banner and pictures are form his 1st birthday.

Sloan picked out the bulldog puppy from an Etsy shop{wish I could remember which one}.  He's proud of it.

Hooks for hats and capes.  Shelves for everything else.  I love this bookcase.  Such a nice addition for a small room. 

Todd shared some pictures from one of his favorite books.  Shopping the house, destroying books, pretty much decorating on a shoestring budget.

These are Sloan's favorite addition to the room.  He likes the one in the middle.

The toddler bed will one day be replaced with a full size bed.  All those shelves, that's the part that Holden dreams about when thinking of this room for himself.  I'm not going to complain about them, but they are nearly impossible to make look like anything.  Just cluttered, which is exactly the part that Holden likes, he has enough garbage "treasures" to fill 25 bookcases. 

So that's the tour, dust bunnies and all{I see them under the bed.  BIG scary ones}.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

a sloan sized post

There are some things I thought you should know about Sloan{and some things I never want to forget}.  He's two and a half, and for what he lacks in size and experience, he makes up for with personality. How do you think the baby of the family knows he's "the baby"? It must strictly be due to the fact that we let him be, and he takes that straight to the baby bank and cashes in.  I could have another child{I'm just saying I could}, and then what would happen to this silly youngest child of three?  Would his demeanor change, become more reserved and "middle" like? Birth order intrigues me, and my children follow all the birth order rules to a tee.  I love how different they are and how different they need me to be. At this stage Sloan clearly wants me to be exhausted.  He is the most demanding child I've had, the loudest, the one with the very best little boy hair and worst behavior in the grocery store.  There are a few more things as well...

 He wants to be the heard.  When everyone has something to say{at the same time} He screams at his brothers "I talking first!"

He calls himself Sobee

 His bike is his favorite toy {and the hose, although he finds himself banned from it on most occasions due to his favorite game, called spray mom even when she's dressed for something special}.

When he's really excited about something he exclaims "OH BABIES!"

He likes it when people are visiting his house.

He throws play dough across the room.

He only colors with markers and sharpies{ie:demanding}.

He's the first one to shout "Group Hug!".

He hides behind anything he can get his hands on. A stuffed animal, a piece of paper, a nickel. As long as his eyes are shut and he can't see us, it only makes sense that we can''t see him. That game never gets old

Lots of times he says I love you first.

Kisses only count if they're on the lips.

when asked what football team he is cheering for he says he's for The Babies{do you sense an obsession here}.

He has sat at the dinner table before and called every single one of us stupid heads{go ahead and be horrified}.  It went something like this...Asher's a stupid head, Holden's a stupid head, mommy's a stupid get the idea.

He has no less, but possibly a lot more than 11 stuffed animals in his bed every night.

He thinks that when anyone in the family is having a birthday it's his too.

Earlier this month it was Todd's{real} and Sloan's{fake} birthday

We went so far as to start adding his name to the cake{ie:he's that demanding}.

He's glad when he gets his way.

He spends some quality{and quantity} moments in "time out".

He can't stand the Wii because it takes attention away from him

When Holden and Asher won't play with him he says "but your my BROTHER!"  It works every time.

He can't stand when I wear my hair up in a bun. 

When I wear my hair in a ponytail he calls it my "big girl hair".

He is in love with his teacher Miss Anna.

He always has to have loose change in his jeans pockets.

He is truly our source of entertainment, and there's no place he'd rather be then on "stage" making us laugh.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

making that again tuesday{hmmm, that doesn't rhyme}. But first an update...

It was a long weekend.  As everyone warned, it got worse before it got better, but by Monday Asher was feeling more like himself.  A sunny smile was on his face, he was off the powerful pain medication, and has even been downstairs to play Wii.  Still lots of rest, still grumbly about taking his medicine, still taking it very easy for a while longer. 

Sloan is taking this tonsil thing and running with it!  T.V. on all day, balloons, ice cream and popsicles.  Yes please! 

I've been doing a little cooking, as getting into any involved project while taking care of a child suffering through miserable pain has been difficult. So I'm hanging out in the kitchen. 

You may have noticed lots of talk about switching out a usual weekly meal for a vegetarian one lately.  Guess all those  New Year resolutions out there are the same.  Get healthier.  I thought the following dinner was yummy.  It's not kid approved.  They will hyperventilate on the way to the dinner table if you make them eat it.  Todd{even he was surprised} and I gave it two thumbs up.  Good leftovers too.  Maybe make it for a girls night in, or for a vegetarian friend, or to torture your kids{which I personally enjoy doing}.

Creamy Spinach Enchiladas{recipe here}

January just brings out my grainy side{tell me you have one of those too}.  Guess there is something to that New Year new healthy you thing.  It just seems right to be toasting nuts and oats on cold winter nights.  I love this sprinkled on top of my cereal{I should be eating oatmeal...this would be divine over oatmeal}, a little soy milk, and I'm a happy{healthier?} camper.

Granola with Pecans and Dried Fruit{recipe here}
I don't always add fruit{cranberries if I do} and I use pecans, walnuts and almonds.
Take some to your neighbors, they will love you.

Friday, January 13, 2012

thank you

Thank you for all the emails, the messages, the texts, the prayers.  Asher did a great job this morning, not a single tear or fearful moment.  He is home and doing all his nurse instructed.  Drinking, sleeping, taking his pain meds{every three hours, round the clock, totally worth waking up in the middle of night}.

Lynxie and Asher ready for surgery

I guess we have several days of this ahead. 

Have a wonderful weekend.  I'll be back{probably a lot} next week.  God Bless.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

a taste of summer

I had to search my own blog to see if I had ever posted about this salad.  I have been at this blogging thing for a while and I am certain I repeat myself all the time.  I posted a link to this salad sometime last summer{from this blog}, but I made it yesterday and decided it was too good not to post a picture.  This salad is all things summer and that is why this cabin fevered mama had to make it.  It's simple, good for you, and taste wonderful any time of year.  It's one of my favorite lunch time meals. 

Mix together:

 Canned chickpeas{drained and rinsed}

diced tomatoes

diced green onions

chopped fresh parsley

olive oil

lemon juice

fresh garlic


salt & pepper to taste


 parmesan cheese

*note* the recipe calls for garlic but I haven't added it before and it's still yummy.  Raw garlic and I aren't always friends.
I always use two cans of chickpeas and then eat it for a couple days.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

what I wore wednesday:dressing for the elements

It's rainy here in East Tennessee.  Like, really rainy.  And it's not just cloudy and a touch of dreary, it's really wet.  And not just really wet like the rain that is falling at your's wetter than that.  It's officially the wettest rain I have ever felt and I've lived in Seattle!  I had a rain coat in Seattle, never once did I think I needed boots.  While living in Iowa I hardly ever wore mittens in below 0 weather, let alone felt like I needed boots for the rain.  Not the story here in  Knoxville, you best get out your gear if you want to get your errands run.  Not only is the rain wet, it dumps out of the sky like a flood.  Praise God we live at the top of a hill, although you can't not live at the top of a hill here...but that's for another post tilted "I can't take a walk in this town without my thighs burning". 

So, after everyone I knew here had rain boots, I thought maybe they were on to something. Santa was kind enough to bring me a pair.  Today my feet are dry because of it-hooray! 

Rain coat{Target}
Rain boots{Zappos}
Scarf{The Gap}

Monday, January 9, 2012

even I'm sick of house projects

After a full 18months of painting, tearing out, updating and demolishing, we are in the final push to finish our long list of hopes for this house.  A while back Todd was pretty done{mentally}working on this house and was just motivated to get it over with.  I, on the the other hand{someone who loves house projects} as just warming up.  Needless to say, we were looking at each other like "what the heck".  Much to my husbands happiness, I now feel like I've "had it up the here" with the house.  It hit me somewhere between adding up what we had spent this year{thanks American Express for your detailed pie charts and graphs...not really} and Pat arriving on Sunday morning to start work. 

  This is an interesting place for me to be.  I've never been done with a house before.  We have always moved before I either got to finish or enjoy what we had planned for that particular house{4 houses and 1 rental in 8 years}.  I've never been emotionally or mentally done with a house, and now it looks like I have finally gotten there.  I mean, it was Holden who said all we ever did was go to Lowe's.   If I we aren't doing that then what ARE we{I} going to do?  Hmmm...I think it might be time to enjoy our hard work and have some fun *outside* of the house. 

So here is the last of it.  The three projects that stand between us and freedom from our to do list...

 A beadboard ceiling in the sun room.  The previous owners just painted the plywood.  Beadboard is a cheap finish and still keeps with the porch feel. 

This is the laundry room at the moment.  Wow, that's some green paint. I promise it looks a little less muppet in person.  We had the walls, ceiling and tile put in earlier this year{or last I guess} and the washer and dryer have been stacked since we purchased them. Todd{who doesn't happen to do laundry} was adamant about stacking.  I argued for unstacking.  To me, vertical space in the laundry room is not as useful as horizontal.  Am I right or am I right!?  Any whooo, I found a picture of what I wanted, Pat whipped it up, and the machines will be side by side{victory for the chick who washes the clothes}.

You can't tell from this angle but the machines will sit down in this table about an inch.  I'm painting it black to look something like this.

Since I have black paint I'm moving into the upstairs master bath and painting the vanity.  I have struggled with this space.  It's really just an ugly little bathroom.

This mirror is by far the very worst part of this room.  Hello 1960s!  I would like to rip it out, Todd loves it.  I'm not kidding, he says it makes him feel like a dad to have all his stuff hidden away in the mirror, or is it the silver aluminum that makes him feel all fatherly.  What ever it is, it's staying and I'm painting it{oh yes I am}.  I'm changing the nobs, and adding molding.  If it looks like anything when I'm done it will be a miracle. 

So, that's it{I think}.  I have promised my husband to be done after that.  Maybe scrapbooking IS in my future after all.  I mean, what am I going to do with all my extra time.

*A side note:  Asher is indeed getting his tonsils out{this Friday}.  Please keep him in your prayers.  I know it's a pretty straight forward surgery, but I'm worried none the less.  Recovery is a week or two.  Looks like I will have plenty of time to paint between administering pain medicines.

Friday, January 6, 2012

itchy no more and boost is a good thing

I have painted the entry{again}and I'm reluctant to say I like it, because I said that the last time I painted it.  I extended the green throughout the hall and up the stairs.  I left the kitchen blue.  You be the judge on whether it looks better.

You may notice a significant change in the quality of my photos.  I have been reading the Nester{and others} advice this week on growing your blog and the importance of nice pics.  I agree that the decorating blogs I enjoy most have beautiful photography, but that is not my strong point here at POQAL.  They suggested using Picnic{a free editing program on the web}and I have to say, just using the "boost" application made my dull pictures vibrant and how the room actual looks while standing in it. I use a simple point and shoot camera with no intention of getting anything more sophisticated{I would never have the discipline to learn how to use something fancy}so this is as good as it's going to get.  It's possible I boosted a little too much, but I'll certainly be editing all my pictures now.

 I removed the tobacco basket from this spot and replaced it with the gallery wall from the sun room.

The door has remained red. I like it from the outside and the inside now so I'm not repainting, just thinking about adding these.
Hmmm, this is the next spot to tackle.  Could there be a more ridiculous place for a thermostat and venty thing? I'll be back soon with the "after" shot{that is, after I figure out what to do}.

Monday, January 2, 2012

making that again monday

Happy New Year friends!  It has been a relaxing holiday week at Princess of Quite A Lot.  The boys got a Wii this year for Christmas and have been playing it NONSTOP for the past 8 Days.  On Friday Holden asked what day it was because he had so much fun this week he had lost track, I consider that a successful holiday break!  Asher is trying to kick Strep Throat and honestly I think his tonsils are losing.  He is on his third round of antibiotics and we will be headed to the ENT this week to talk tonsillectomy.  Sloan has officially declared his dislike{he says hate. My least favorite word in the world.  have you ever heard a two year old say hate-it's really ugly and I think I have his brothers to thank}for all video games, as his brothers have virtually stopped playing with him.  I told him the Wii obsession his brothers were experiencing would be short lived, and I was right, today everyone is back to playing Batman and Robin, wrapping each other up with blue painters tape, and mandatory outside play{today I sent people outside, locked the doors and didn't let them in until they ran10 times around the house...they cried child abuse, I giggled and patted myself on the back}.

I have been painting that pesky entry way and sealing grout.  Don't be too envious :) I am thinking about organizing every drawer in the house, but instead have decided to cook.  Cooking has made me think a lot about one of the New Years resolutions I made this year.  I want to step away from "reluctant entertainer" and step into "spontaneous entertainer" this year.  Part of Todd's and my goals last year was to certainly entertain friends in our house, but before I knew it the year started to get away from us.  We did host a Halloween party for our neighborhood and it was a start, but we need and want to do more.  My goal is to not only entertain, but to stop over thinking it too.  When the mood strikes, I want to have people over.  Let go of the clean house and perfect meal thoughts that get in my way, stop planning in advance which gives me too much time to make it a bigger deal than it needs to be. We just want to be with people, which is truly when I feel the best...connecting face to face.

I have nothing against having friends over and serving take and bake pizza and a salad.  I know in my head that people are just happy to be invited and what mother doesn't appreciate a meal she doesn't have to make herself. Lots of times I stress over what to make, when really a few go to recipes is all you need. 

Over Christmas I  made a very simple meal that I thought would be nice to share with you, and with whom ever we have over next...

This Baked Shrimp Scampi can easily be doubled for a larger crowd and the best part is it can be made in advance and stuck in the oven when your guests arrive.  All you have to do when they come over is boil some pasta and roast some veggies.  The kids like this recipe well enough, as the non shrimp eaters just pick them out.  Crusty bread and lots of wine is sure to make this a crowd pleaser!

So, I'll let you know how successful we are this year.  I'm usually against any and all resolutions because I think it's just a way to completely fail and hate yourself, but I know this one will be good for us.   I have roped Todd into it as well and he never lets a goal go unattained.

I have made just one more little goal  that I might as well share while I'm at it.  I want to take a ballet class.  There.  I put it out there for all the world to know.  I want to get in different, better shape and a ballet class seems like a great way to get there.  I have found the class, I just need to pick up the phone and make the call...

The following pictures have nothing to do with anything.  Just the boys on Christmas Eve before we went to church.  Is it just me, or is it nearly impossible to dress boys for any special occasion?  They don't want to wear collars, they don't want to wear sweaters, they don't want to tuck shirts in. Ugh! 

As "perfectly" dressed as I can ever get them.  Oh what it must be like to stick a dress on a girl and go.

I tried to get a shot of just Sloan, but he decided to be two years old and not cooperate. 

Have a great week and I'll be back soon with more{ramblings}.