Sunday, January 31, 2010

this guy

Loves to eat PB sandwiches.

He's actually a really great little eater. He'll always try new foods (I'm not saying he doesn't spit out offensive foods). And he's addicted to fruits and veggies :)

But last week, fueled by pregnant-lady-food-cravings, I bought potato bread instead of the fabulously healthy, whole grain brown bread I usually buy. I accidentally created a monster.

He now refuses to eat brown bread. And he's too young to use the logic my mom used on us when we would ask for wonder bread at the store (she'd tell us we were "rich," and could afford to eat whole grain bread, weren't we so lucky?).

After this loaf is spent I think we're going PB sandwich free for a few weeks. Maybe he'll forget about the soft and sweet white bread and be more receptive to the nutty,chewy, brown bread he used to love. Maybe he'll also eat the crusts, and quit throwing them on the floor.

Here's to hoping.

Every Sunday Needs

I'm pretty sure every Sunday needs a freshly baked Devil's Food cake with cream cheese icing.

I think this is the most perfect way to ice a layer cake.

The bast part? Monday morning breakfast...yum, yum!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, January 29, 2010

halp, halp!

Yesterday I was busy cleaning and JJ was reading in his room.

Then I heard “Halp Momma! Halp! Halp!”

He climbed up the changing table and jumped into the hamper, and then he realized he was stuck :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

CL woes

I love to stalk our local CL, the problem is, it is generally rather disappointing.

I've sold a few things using it, but I have never made a purchase, maybe because gems like this * keep popping up.

But, I will continue to stalk CL daily, hoping to one day find the dresser, or pair of armchairs, or extremely large area rug of my dreams.

PS - check out what my friend Heather recently scored from her local CL, I am so jealous!

*If the listing disappears -it's for a barely-used stripper pole, but the listing is misspelled so it's actually a "striper" pole. Classic and classy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

photot tag

Kara tagged me :)

Here are the rules:
  1. Open your first photo folder
  2. Scroll down to the 10th picture in your folder (if you don't have 10 pictures, go to the next folder that does)
  3. Post that photo and tell your story behind the photo
  4. Tag 5 friends to do the same

Ready for this?

I love carbs.

I was six months pregnant with JJ here (Nov. 2007), J and I went to Gatlinburg for a little vacation. We saw this giant potato (pretty sure this is in Dollywood) and instantly thought - awesome photo op.

Tag you're it! - Laura, Stephie, Pam, Heather S and Randi

Thursday, January 14, 2010

it's a work in progress

I couldn't leave the mantle alone after getting so much great feedback. Thank you so much for all of the ideas!

While I convince the hubs that we really need to paint it white (ten votes for going white!) I am also going to be searching the local architectural salvage for a pair of reclaimed corbels (Thanks Tidy Mom for the excellent link - I found the corbel idea there!).

Design-Aholic suggested I think about going chunkier and shorter with the mantle, which is funny because I have actually thought about that, and *might* have convinced Hubs to try and remove the mantle just so I could visualize it easier - and we discovered that removing the mantle = destroying the masonry. I'm think the corbel idea might work the same way, by visually beefing up the mantle and breaking up the vast expanse of wood.

I decided to start with the top half. Little hands can't get up there, so the one part that won't need to be adjusted every ten minutes ;)

Many of you suggested using darker (wrought iron/black) and larger accessories - love it! In fact, the picture I posted was a little misleading; I usually do have much larger objects on the mantle (a 2.5 foot high garden gnome usually keeps an eye on us), but I was in that "just put away the Christmas decorations, still have a few 'winter' items out" mode. So this morning I headed to Hobby Lobby and picked up a few items in the 66% off area, and a canvas for an Alanna Rose original (seven votes to add art on top!).

Here's a little preview:

excuse the ultra-poor photo quality - I was excited to show you the progress!

I bought everything to the left of the canvas, I had the fun moss-covered-rattan-smokestack-thingies (PB sometime last year), and the bird house. For sure the birdhouse is not staying - it's too white and not organic enough. I'm pretty sure my gnome is coming back (I miss him.). I'm torn on the bird topped finial. In person it really blends into the stone; if I keep it I'm thinking of whitewashing it so it'll stand out more. And the arrangment isn't there yet, but it's getting there.

I think I have a plan for the canvas... but that's another post :)

Thanks again for all of the feedback!


Just a little love from the docket.

"Two people were nabbed for shoplifting three DVDs and a wart removal kit from the Trenton Avenue Walmart."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

meet my mantle

This is my fireplace and mantle.

boring and empty

It's sort of large (9 ft. across), and placed in the corner of the living room portion of the great room.

It needs something, and that's where you come in :)

The furniture is dark wood tones, and off-white slip-covered seating (just ordered the new slipcovers). The "drapes" are drop cloths (and are still in their temporary faze).

Should I paint the mantle? I go back and forth on this question. The trim throughout our home is white, and there are white beams on the ceiling in this room; but the ceiling and floor are both a light honey wood-grain and the mantle matches. I don't want to paint and then say "Crud. I should have left it."

Look behind the wreath, can you see the ugly beige vents? Because I sure can. And I hate them. I have thought about buying canvases on sale and doing some abstract-amateur painting, and then just leaning them against the wall. I'm hesitant to hang anything very heavy or breakable (like a framed picture) because when we have high winds a bit of air pushes through the vents and I don't want anything to come crashing down on us (or scaring us in the middle of the night).

Now look at the fireplace.

I love the screen (it came from Crate and Barrel, but I can't find it). My parents gave it to us as an anniversary gift :) I also like the basket (it's ancient and came from Target). But it needs something. PS - I have a two year old. So no fireplace tools or large ceramic horse sculptures.

Thanks for all of the suggestions!

Want to join the Decorating Dilemma Party?

Visit Amanda at Serenity Now and link up with your own problem area. See you there!

peanut butter ;)

The other day a thick Pottery Barn catalog arrived in the mail.

Nothing new there, it seems we get a new one every other week. But this time, I had a few minutes to study it, and I found quite a few things I would like.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you look at this from a thrifty standpoint), I cannot see spending $1500.00 on a new dresser when I can get a very nice one for half that at our locally owned (they actually live one house over from us) furniture store. I grew up with some beautiful furniture and, as far as I can tell, PB's prices are simply inflated to pay for all of those catalogs that they send. But I will take the ideas and run with them :)

I did spy this shelf, which would be great in my front entry.

image from Pottery Barn

I asked Hubs if he could maybe make one for less than $230? Of course he can, and we can save even more if he uses MDF - and since I'd like to paint it, I'm pretty sure that's the way we'll go.

So, we'll just add that to his ever expanding list o' projects, and I'll keep you posted.

Are you like me (read: not independently wealthy?); PB currently has a Dream Room Giveaway - but if you win you have to share with me ;)

Later tonight I'll be posting a Decorating Dilemma and participating in Amanda's party - come join in the fun!

guess what?

Today is the halfway point of my pregnancy!

I know. It feels way too fast for me, too.

I feel like we may never get anything done for this baby. The nursery is done, but we need to make JJ a big boy room so Bun can move in. And that is kind of a slow process, as it involves the moving of lots o furniture, selling of old furniture and acquisition of new, painting and general rearranging of life.

It's a lot to think about. I need a nap.

Which brings me to this - I am so incredibly tired this pregnancy! If I do not nap on the couch every afternoon I am a zombie. So, JJ has been watching way more TV than he should be, which gives me mommy-guilt and causes me to sleep even less. It's a terrible cycle (one I'm sure you know all too well).

While I'm complaining, let's talk about skin tags.

And JJ thinks they are fun to pull and pick at. Which hurts and grosses me out. And I tell him that he might have given them to me, but that doesn't make them his, so HAND OFF mister!

I am calling the dermatologist and making an appointment for June 15, these nasty things have to go, because I cannot wear scarves and turtlenecks in the summer.

Friday, January 08, 2010

oh my - ohio

Yesterday I ate a cookie.

Shocked? ;)

I was nibbling at it like a rabbit, and I looked down and realized...

I had turned it into Ohio!!!

I briefly thought about keeping it, just like I would keep a potato chip shaped like Elvis or a cornflake that reminded me of the Virgin Mary...

But it was a really good cookie, so I just finished it off.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

un-trimming the tree

Today is Epiphany. We celebrated it at Mass on Sunday (couldn't skip out on my goals the very first weekend!), and our priest reminded us that we are still in the Christmas Season.

That's why my tree is still lit, and my outdoor lights are still turned on.

But after today we'll start to take everything down :(

To be honest, I have already put a few things away.

Some of the Santas and snow men have been packed, so have our stockings - but my nativity sets and the tree are still staying strong.

Which means that every morning Peanut wakes up and plays with his nativity set.
the most important thing to remember is that the donkey likes to sit on top of the manger

When do you take down all of your Christmas decorations? Do you do it all at once, or a little bit at a time?

Monday, January 04, 2010

Chicken Paprika

On Sunday, while I was planning our dinner menu for this week, I asked Hubs what he felt like eating for dinner. He said "chicken."

Thanks Hon, way to be specific.

I decided that it was an excellent opportunity to try a new recipe and ran to my favorite "go-to" cookbook - The Joy of Cooking.

I was skimming through the "chicken" dishes and stumbled onto Chicken Paprika - I vaguely remembered watching some random chef on The Food Network make this years ago (really, I'm pretty sure I saw this episode when we were apartment dwellers - easily seven years ago). The recipe looked simple and sounded delicious, and I had a fabulous bottle of Penzey's Hungarian Sweet Paprika on hand.

It was a done deal :)

I just needed to chop some onions.
next time I'll use a larger bowl ;)

Then, brown some chicken.
well-seasoned with salt and pepper

Finish following the recipe, and make up some couscous to pour the yummy sauce over.
nom. nom. nom.

It was ridiculously easy, and delicious. Peanut even scarfed down the chicken, so you know it was yummy.

There are a few things I'd like to do to the recipe next time, I'll keep experimenting and let you know how it goes :)

quick and dirty

Christmas was great. This is the first time we have spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at our home, and it was great. So much less stress, and I'm pretty sure JJ really liked opening his presents at our house first :)

Then we headed up to Troy, spent a few days there and celebrated Christmas with my family and then headed to Muskegon. Since we missed all of the parties in Muskegon I decided to have a casual family gathering for dinner one night. We had everyone meet at the Vikings Club and J and I bought pizza and wings. I think everyone had a good time - and we were able to spend more time with J's cousins than we usually get to on Christmas Eve.

We came home on New Years Eve and just chilled out.

JJ really liked having his Daddy at home.
I really liked having J at home, too; but I like being able to pay the mortgage more ;)
Needless to say, we both miss him today.

Especially when JJ decides to break through the child locks and drink dish soap (don't worry, he drink very much and I buy the environmentally friendly stuff - it's also apparently better suited for consumption).
I could have really used an extra set of eyes for those five minutes.

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year and a Resolution, or Five

My little family is back from our whirlwind tour of Michigan. It wasn't really a tour, but we got to spend a few days with each side of the family, and that made the grandparents happy (and us, too!).

I got up this morning and finished putting away all of the lovely Christmas presents we received, now I need to sort through Peanut's toys and take a load to Goodwill. Seriously - I feel like we live in a toy box.

And since it's a new year I feel like I should make a few resolutions, a list of goals, something a bit more involved than:
1. Lose weight.
2. Go to Church more often.
Although those two items are on my list ;)

Goals for 2010
1. Blog more. I'm going to hold myself accountable for three posts each week, it might turn into more, but for now I think three is a nice number.

2. Cooking and baking! Last year Hubs and I decided not to eat out for the entire month of January; and then three days later Oprah told everyone else in America to do the same thing.
That's when I knew I was a genius.
He doesn't know it yet, but the Chinese carryout we just ate will be his last restaurant meal for awhile - and I'm going to start packing him a lunch for the office.
We still need to save about $16K to cover the very-necessary foundation repairs that were finished in November, we were able to secure one year same as cash financing (which certainly helps) - I'd love to pay this off with new money instead of pulling it out of savings. Spending less on entertainment (for us that's generally food) will make a small dent.
Anyway - not eating out will help with my actual Goal:
To try a new recipe every week. And to document that recipe with a picture - and then post it here (and help out with Goal #1)! I'm such a multitask-er.

3. and 4. Church.
Every weekend we are home. And if we aren't home on the weekend, I need to take Peanut to Wednesday AM Mass at the school. But I'll give myself a week (or two) off after Bun arrives - because I know I will be a zombie then and Jesus would much rather see me sleep-in, than break my back getting us to Church.
And I really need to have the kids Baptized. That has been more of a scheduling issue than anything else - but I have got some major Catholic-guilt about it. I've decided to schedule it for July, and have everything ready (invitations, decorations, catering, etc.) before my birthday. So there's Goal #4.

5. Lose weight.
I'm having a baby - I expect to lose some weight while I'm nursing (worked like a charm the first time). Beyond that I'm planning on going back to Weight Watchers after my OB gives me the go-ahead because I have plenty of non-baby related weight to lose.

6. The House.
All decorating projects have been derailed. I need to get them back on track. I know that once the Christmas decor comes down (not until twelfth night!) the great room is going to feel empty and depressing. I need a solid plan before then or I will be in a major funk.
And we need to turn the office into a big boy room for Peanut.
And then we need to move the office into the den (which is currently the "dead-furniture" room).
And then I'd like to paint the hallway.
And the guest bath.
And now I'm going to stop :)

So that was my ramble-y list of goals for 2010. I'm excited for this year!