Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another pinterest recipe roundup

Some good, some bad, all made and rated by me......

B made these eggs and spicy beans for dinner last week. Incredibly easy weeknight meal and really, really good. I love the fact that these can be altered for a variety of diets (dairy free, vegetarian) when you have guests who have a more restricted diet. We added a little more red pepper and a little more goat cheese than what was called for. We put in 5 eggs for the three of us. It's pretty much a one skillet meal (besides the cutting board for chopping), so clean up is easy as well. This is definitely going on our weeknight rotation.

Jessica posted  this recipe a few years ago and when I went to make it this winter, the site was gone (it was her other blog). I freaked out and flew onto facebook to find out if she could email it to me. We were headed to a party and I knew this was "the" dessert I wanted to take. I have pinned the trifle I make with the poundcake. It's beyond rich, is utterly delish, and looks so pretty at a party. Don't you just think that trifles just scream elegance and effort? What's awesome about them is that they aren't hard, they just look that way :)

We have made this salad twice in the last three weeks. The first time we also threw some chicken on top. Tonight we added apples and celery for added crunch. It's a fabulous recipe and holds up well (even with the dressing on it) for the next day's lunch. Highly recommended. Also, Madison (the blogger) is a real sweetheart, so add her to your blog roll!

This peach smoothie is just okay. It calls for a teaspoon of nutmeg and that really, really overpowered the taste (and, to be honest, I used less than that). A touch of nutmeg would have been good but what she calls for is just too much.

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I have to bring these cookies to your attention. They are a little involved with the piping into heart shapes but definitely worth it! I've made them the past three years and they get rave reviews every time. The red velvet is delish and cream cheese frosting is always good, right? Annie is always spot on, so if you are ever looking for something to bake, I would always suggest her site first!

For Spencer's class this year, I am going to have him help me make these rice krispie treat pops (scroll down) for his classmates. We're going to make a big, thick pan of rice krispie treats, cut them out with cookie cutters, place them on sticks, and then pipe pink and red frosting on the top around the edge or write words on them like conversation hearts. I still need to pick up the bags and ribbon to go overtop. I'm hoping they'll turn out cute! I'm going to take them to the infant room teachers as well.

For Thanksgiving, I was in charge of the rolls as well as the apple pie. I used this recipe for the rolls. Honestly, they were, by far, the best rolls I've ever made and probably the best I've ever had. They were puffy and buttery and just melted in your mouth. Yes, they are styled after Pillsbury Crescent rolls, but these are 1,000,000,000 times better. Spencer loved helping to roll them up too!

What new recipes have you tried? I'm always looking for good recipes for dinner and love to bake pretty much anything!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Three movies in 2013??

Friends, this could be a miracle. Okay, maybe not a true miracle but definitely something to put into the recordbooks. B and I will probably see THREE movies in 2013. Astonishing, isn't it? You see, we're really not a movie couple. We saw a movie the week before Spencer was born and then didn't see another movie in the theater until the week before Peter was born. That is two whole years that we didn't make it to a movie theater! We can't even say that we rent movies regularly or subscribe to Netflix. I think we may have watched 2-3 videos in that same two years (though besides The King's Speech, I can't tell you which ones). We do go out on dates- it's just almost always just to a good dinner or out to another couple's house.

This weekend we went out on Saturday night to see Les Mis. I cannot believe how good it was! I've seen it on stage a couple (I think 5?) times and have never really liked it much. The movie, however, was marvelous!!!! Marius was my favorite character- his voice was amazing. I was absolutely amazed by it all. I think the settings were spot on and really made you get into more than a stage production ever could. Love, love, love.

His freckles are so fabulous and I loved his hair!!

While we were there they showed previews for The Great Gatsby. Oh, it is going to be GOOD!! Baz Luhrmann (director of Moulin Rouge) is directly Gatsby and it looks so similar to Moulin Rouge which is one of my favorites. Lots of over the top lighting, singing, colors, flashiness, fashion, etc. It's definitely not going to be a refined version of the book which I think I will like. To me, Gatsby is all about the craziness that led to the destruction and this is going to showcase it well!

Our third movie of 2013 will be Catching Fire. B hasn't read the books but did think that Hunger Games was entertaining, so we'll definitely be catching installment two at my request.

Did you see and love or hate Les Mis? Are you excited about either of the other movies? What other movies are you dying to see in 2013? Are you a movie buff or a movie rarity like us?

Monday, January 14, 2013

We relegated to the basement......

We're living in the basement from now until Thursday after work. This will be more time than I have ever spent down here in the three years we've lived here :) It's all for a good reason though! On Saturday Blair and a friend from church installed hardwood floors in our family room (goodbye, icky, dirty carpet) and now the refinishing/staining/sealing begins. There was a Groupon this fall for hardwood floor refinishing, so we jumped on it. Our kitchen and entryway floors needed to be done for maintenance and we decided that installing hardwoods in the family room at the same time so that all the floors could be stained the same color would be a good idea.

Since there is no way in the main floor or upstairs without being on hardwood, we have to walk around our house to the basement sliders to get in. This will be interesting in heels with a carseat since it's uphill to our driveway! Oh, and it's also wintertime! We are going to eat out two nights and do another meal in the crockpot for dinners. Luckily, we are at work all day and the kids are in daycare as I'm not sure what I would do with two kids in the basement all day for 4 days!!

Our main floor looks incredibly bare except the playroom which is jam packed with EVERYTHING. It's amazing. I cannot wait to see it all put together next weekend. I just ordered a new rug from Overstock and am hoping it arrives at the end of this week. This truly is our "year of the house" as we have this floor project almost completed, another floor project coming up (new tile in the laundry/mud room/1/2 bath), and saving for/making decisions about our 2014 kitchen redo. Yea for getting stuff done!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Peter is 8 months old....

My sweet-as-pie baby is 8 months old already!
Peter's favorite thing to do is eat. Can you tell by those cheeks? His thighs are even better, ladies and gents! He's a great nurser and bottle taker when at daycare. He gets 5 feeds a day all about 5ish oz a piece. He eats baby food/finger foods twice at daycare and once at home. He is not picky in the least and is getting a great variety of foods. We have been doing a little more baby led weaning this time around and giving him a lot of finger foods. He still does get some purrees as I want to make sure he is getting used to lots of flavors. I wouldn't say he has any favorites, but things he is currently eating include: homemade chicken noodle soup (he LOVED everything about this), squash mixed with apples, spinach mixed with pears, baby split pea soup, blueberries, cheerios, peas, sweet potatoes, and cantelope.
(In my Christmas Bote Tote)
He is sleeping through the night much more regularly now. He got his second tooth this weekend, so both nights were kind of rough. He definitely struggles with sleep more than Spencer did and small changes in schedules, environments, or illnesses really upset his sleep habits. In general, he goes down around 7 and gets up anywhere between 5 and 6. He usually takes a morning and afternoon nap at daycare- the length is all over the board.
He is crawling everywhere and has even gotten himself up the step in between our family room and our kitchen. He is pulling to stand on everything. He constantly blows raspberries (zerberts) but is not really babbling yet. I wonder if that is due to the biscuit (ie- pacifier). He is crazy about his and I wonder if having something in his mouth regularly is preventing him from making more noise. Anyone want to weigh in on this?
He has one "look" as a lot of our family and friends say and that is just this wide eyed grin. He is a truly happy baby so much of the time. We did have another kidney ultrasound on 12/31 which showed good interval growth of both kidneys and stable hydronephrosis. Essentially, nothing new has reared an ugly head; yet nothing has improved either. We're just stable, and I will take stable anyday. We don't have to go back to the nephrologist for six months- yea! He had bronchiolitis a few weeks ago, but other than that ucky weekend, he has been a healthy, healthy boy! I'm so glad he got his flu shot this year :)
Love you, PUT!!
Edited to add:
Spencer at the exact same age the above were taken of Peter. My boys look very little alike. Spencer is so me/my side of the family and Peter is so his daddy!! Funny as their middle names are the opposite: Spencer is after B and Peter is after me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Amazing sale on classic kids clothes

Bella Bliss, a Lexington, KY company, is hosting a huge sale right now on their fall/winter items. Head over there quickly to stock up for next year. I'm thrilled with the items I was able to pick up for the boys today (and I even threw in a skirt for myself!!).

A few of the darling offerings......
(for $12 and made of pima cotton- you better believe I bought both for Peter for next Christmas!!)
(in numerous colors with contrasting ric rac on the back)
(tons of intarsia sweaters- I already own two and LOVE them. Amazing quality)
(Darling bow skirt that also comes in an adult woman's size)
(sweet as pie boy bubble)
(and matching sister dress!!! I DIE!!!)
They also have tons of pima cotton basics like peter pan collar shirts, turtlenecks, long sleeved polo shirts and rugbys and adorable cordoroy pants, ruffle overalls and regular overalls. There is cute stuff even for 8-14 year olds. Plus, almost everything is monogrammable!!! I can also attest that the quality is amazing! Also, there is free shipping during the sale on orders over $100. Hope you all find as much as I did!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Our Christmas card pictures

We sent out two different Christmas cards this year (and, if I am being honest, there are still 4 more to address on my kitchen counter). We used the picture above and the picture below. I couldn't decide which I liked better, so I sent both. One Saturday we just put the boys in the outfits, stripped our bed except the bottom sheet, and plugged in a bunch of Christmas lights. Cute enough!
You know how much I love my husband? His first question once I put the boys in their outfits are "wouldn't these look really cute monogrammed?". Yep, he's a keeper!
I probably should have gotten them monogrammed, but it didn't happen. November and December just flew by this year. Not only was life busy with Christmas baking, presents, parties, etc, work was absolutely nuts which did not help decrease my stress level at all. I just looked and realized I didn't blog ONCE in December. Yowzers.
Here is my sweet chunky baby boy! He is getting sooo big!
It's amazing how much more stressful this Christmas was compared to previous. I just felt unorganized, overly busy, and off. We didn't even get to drive around and look at lights. Boo. I was happy that I was able to do lots of baking for 8 of the teachers at daycare and all the couples we attended a Christmas party with. Baking is truly my love language!! I just wish that it was standard to only work 4 day workweeks during December and from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It would really help my social schedule :) Certainly, I was able to get everything done (except those dang Christmas cards....) but we didn't do a lot of extras. Luckily the boys still don't know that we "missed" doing something! Spencer just knew that when we plugged in the lights on the tree when we got home that he was in charge of saying "Ta Da, it's Christmas!". He did that the first time we plugged them in and it immediately became a nighttime ritual. He definitely loved having all the decorations up!
Looking back, I'm not sure if I could have done much differently in order to eliminate stress or create more time this holiday season. It just is what it is. I think next year may be a bit better as the boys will be better at independent play next year which will help. I also know that two years ago we did a lot of decorations the week prior to Thanksgiving, and I will definitely do that again next year!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I'm back!

So, I was going to do a Christmas recap and a Peter and a Spencer post tonight.....however, blogger won't let me upload any pictures right now (?????), so I'm just going to type for a bit as I know I have been amazingly absent lately!

*We are currently prepping our family room for new hardwood floors. We've ripped up most of the staples, moved furniture to the playroom, and are starting to organize stuff to move into the basement for 4 days. B and a guy from church are going to lay the floors next weekend and then we are having a professional company come in to refinish the floors in the kitchen and foyer as well as stain the floors in the family room so that they all match. It's going to be so much nicer to have hardwoods in our most used room!!

*I'll do a much longer post, but we have a LOT of saving to do this year as we have a major goal of overhauling our kitchen in early 2014. We want to pay for it all in cash if possible. My dream kitchens board on pinterest is filled with ideas. Our floors will already be done this year, so that will be an already covered expense. We definitely want to paint our cabinets, we need new countertops and backsplash, we need all new appliances, and we definitely need to reformulate some of our spaces as we don't have a spot for a microwave, we need a wine rack, and our island needs some revamping. It's stressful to think that I have to come up with plans to design something that's going to be ours for 20 more years, and I'm hoping the end product will be exactly what we want and need!

*While we're stuck in the basement during the refinishing project (literally, we cannot be on our main floor (which also means we can't go upstairs either)), B and I are going to hunker down and watch the first two seasons of Downton Abbey. Yes, we are wayyyyy behind, but we are taping season 3 starting tonight, so it's time to jump on the bandwagon! Even my mom and stepdad are watching this, so I know we're out of the loop!

*We're going to have a warming trend this week with next weekend reaching 50 degrees! I would definitely appreciate this in March, but I am sad about it right now. All our pretty snow is going to melt and it's just going to be wet and ugly. I'm really hoping we get another big snowstorm soon. I love looking out the window, watching the snow fall, shoveling the snow, starting a fire, and baking bread or a dessert while home. I also love, love, love my boots, so any chance I get to wear them makes me a happy snowgirl!

*When reading through my mom's Christmas cards, I realized that my mom's really good friend's son is the keyboardist for the band Fun! His name is Andrew and he's just a really normal, really good kid (adult, I suppose). Grew up in small town Michigan, is married, and actually taught himself to play the piano. How cool is that???? Just goes to show that dreams do come true, huh?

*It was really, really nice to have a bunch of shortened work weeks the past two weeks. I'm not looking forward to the long (read: normal) weeks coming up. I don't have another day off scheduled until the end of February, and that seems like a long time away!!

*Even though I had to work this weekend (and I was at work a long time both days), I felt like I was still able to get quite a bit completed around the house. Our bedroom is still a disaster, but a lot of our list did get checked off.

Have a great Monday, everyone!!!