Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Week 1 Photos

As I mentioned previously, this month I'm doing a Photography Challenge.  To be honest, some days I don't get around to it & I end up taking several pictures on other days.  But hey - I'm still going to end up with 30 pictures, so it's all good.  Here's what I've taken so far. 

Day 2 - what you wore
 
Day 3 - clouds
I took a bunch of pictures with my fancy camera the day before but thought the clouds looked awesome in the car the next day.  Snapped this with my phone while at a stop sign.  Annoyed that I got a better picture with my phone than my expensive camera but oh well!
 
Day 4 - something green
I told Alex I needed to take a picture of something green.  He insisted on this block.
 
 
Day 5 - from a high angle
Ignore the mess - this is what our house looks like pretty much 24/7, though!
 
Day 6 - from a low angle
Love!
 
Day 7 - in my bag
Can you tell I like purple?  Purple purse, purple Kindle case, purple phone.  I actually didn't mean to have all purple things but it just kind of happened.  It's a little much but I like each one so much, I'm not changing any of it.
 
Day 8 - after dark
 
Stay tuned for the next update!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tales of My Three Year Old

It's been awhile since I've posted about my oldest child & what he's up to these days.  Many people have told me it's no longer the terrible two's that are the toughest but the terrible three's.  It's true he definitely has a will of his own & there are challenges but for the most part, he's a pretty amazing kid that manages to surprise us often with new phrases & how his little brain works.

  • He has become obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I don't know exactly how this happened but there's no going back.  He uses anything as a pretend sword or nun chucks & he wants to wear his Ninja Turtles PJs, underwear & t-shirt pretty much every day.  It's funny that he's so into something both Michael & I liked when we were younger. 
  • Speaking of underwear, he's potty trained!  We did it in January & we couldn't believe how well it went.  I'm hoping to do another post about it soon.
  • We took him to his very first movie the Friday before we potty trained.  It was our way of getting him not to be upset that Ethan got to go to my parents' house that weekend since I didn't want distractions while potty training.  We saw Frozen.  I thought it was a movie about a snowman.  It was not.  The snowman was a small part.  Michael will never forgive me for taking him to a princess movie with what he said was a million songs that all sounded exactly the same.  Alex did well, though.  He got a little twitchy in the middle but after a walk around the lobby with Daddy, he watched the rest.  He loved the popcorn.
  • He is talking so much these days.  His latest phrase is - "check this out!"  Don't know where he got it but it's so cute.  He also says - "yes way" when someone says "no way" first, "easy peasy", "easy as pie", "much more better" as in "my tummy was hurting but now it feels much more better".  It's so much fun to see him develop.
  • His favorite song is the ABC's.  When he gets to the "l, m, n, o, p" part, he sings "dah dah dah dah, p".  Cracks me up.  He especially loves to rap the ABC's - something Daddy taught him!  You should ask Michael to do his rendition next time you see him.
  • One day my parents were coming to our house to be there while we got a storm shelter installed (Michael & I weren't able to take off work).  They decided to keep the boys home to spend time with them.  Alex talked to my dad the night before & my dad said maybe they'd walk through some of the houses being built in our neighborhood.  Alex talked about it all night.  I told him to be careful to watch out for holes or things on the ground like nails.  He said, "I will watch out.  And I'll keep an eye on Grandpa, too."  I couldn't stop laughing.  Sometimes you definitely have to keep an eye on Grandpa!
  • One day we were almost home & Alex said he had to go potty.  I told him we were almost at the house & to hold it a little longer.  He told me he would just go outside when we got home.  I told him no & that we don't go peepee outside.  He replied that Daddy goes peepee outside & he ALWAYS does that.  Again, I couldn't stop laughing.  I told Michael about it & we're not sure where Alex got that since I can assure you Michael doesn't go outside at our house.  He might if he's camping or something but we couldn't think of a time when Alex has been around for that.  Alex also said something once about Daddy going on the floor.  We think that stemmed from Michael using a urinal at the movie theater with Alex.  But maybe Michael has been doing some crazy things I'm not aware of.  Ha!
  • In the car one day, Alex said out of the blue that he wanted a sister.  I told him he'd have to convince Daddy.  I told him if I got pregnant again, it could be a boy.  He was very adamant that he wanted a GIRL.  He did not understand that we don't get to pick.  I said - what if it was a boy?  He paused & said - "well, we could just get rid of Ethan."  When I asked where Ethan would go, he told me - "to that house over there" while pointing at a random house we drove by.  Hilarious!!  He usually loves his brother, so I think he thought you couldn't have two boy babies & we'd have to choose.  When I told him Ethan would miss us so much, he said - "maybe we can just keep him."  I thought that was a good idea.
  • The pregnancy topic came up again recently & I asked if he wanted a baby to be in my belly.  He said - "how you do that?"  I wasn't ready to go into detail but he came up with his own idea.  He said - "I think you say aaahhh & then gulp & then it's in your belly."  While saying this, he opened his mouth big & pretended to swallow something.  I told him that sounded right. 

We just love this little guy so much.  He wears us out sometimes with his never ending energy but he is such a blessing.

I'm hoping to do an update on Ethan soon, too!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April Challenge

I decided that for my April 30 Day Challenge, I am giving up soda & doing a photography challenge.  The goal of the photography challenge is to take a picture every day.  Not just any picture but one of something in particular.  I searched "30 day photography challenge" on Google & Pinterest to get ideas.  I made a tentative list but am giving myself permission to adjust the days as needed.  I won't make a post for each picture but am hoping to post about once a week with the most recent pictures.
 
Day 1 was Self Portrait, commonly known these days as a selfie.  I'm hoping to use my SLR camera for most of these but I kind of forgot about the day's challenge until I was driving home from work yesterday.  So I used my phone in my driveway.  Could have been worse for the end of the day! 
 
 
Hopefully I can keep up with this challenge & I get some good pics!
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Recipes #3 & #4 of February Challenge

Yes, I'm posting about my February challenge & it's almost April.  I'm a little behind!  But at least I'm finally getting around to it...

For my third week of the challenge, I tried Chicken Enchilada Verdes, which was recommended by my friend Katie.
I used rotisserie chicken to make it even easier (another recommendation from Katie).  The salsa verde I bought ended up having a lot of kick to it, but Michael & I both like spicy food.  I also used corn tortillas because I already had some & I prefer corn to flour for enchiladas.  They worked fine.  The dish was yummy & I'd make it again.  I might use a little less sour cream in the sauce but that's just a personal preference.  Thanks for the recipe, Katie!

For my fourth week, I was going to make Croissant French Toast.
Can't go wrong with The Pioneer Woman!  But Michael bought croissant dough at the store instead of croissants from the bakery.  I didn't think the Pillsbury croissants would work as well, so I didn't end up this recipe.  Boo on me.  I did make some Rice Krispie Treats.
These have cut up pieces of angel food cake in them.  I didn't end up putting whipped cream or strawberries on them because I was lazy & honestly, I love Rice Krispie treats enough on their own.  I also love angel food cake.  I seriously almost ate the whole batch.  I will be making these again.  And maybe next time I'll get some cream & berries on them before I eat them all!

I did pretty well on the no fried food portion of my challenge.  I ate fries once at the very end of the month - Michael forgot I wasn't eating fried food & brought them home.  They had candied bacon & this delicious sauce on them.  I couldn't resist!

As for March?  Let's just say I guess I decided to take March off.  I once again waited until the last minute to figure out my plan & then got busy with work & life.  But I am going to get my act together this week & get ready for April!  I've already decided no Coke or soda for my health challenge.  Now for my personal challenge...  I'm considering the photography challenge, gratitude list or maybe a yoga challenge.  I'll try to post as soon as I've decided, though, to make myself accountable!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Rent The Runway

I am way behind on posting!  I still need to finish out my February recipes from my 30 day challenge & I have a few updates on the boys.  Hopefully I'll get around to it soon!

In the meantime, I wanted to quickly share a website I used recently.  I read about it awhile ago on Hollywood Housewife's blog.  It's called Rent the Runway.  You can rent dresses for all types of occasions - formal, weddings, a night out.  Earlier this month, Michael & I were invited to the Alzheimer's Memory Gala since my company had purchased several tables.  I wasn't inspired by anything in my closet & remembered reading about this site.  I went online & checked it out.  I decided to take the plunge & try it.  I am so glad I did!

The site is very easy to use.  You can refine by dress length, price, occasion, size, date needed, color, etc.  The rental prices vary from dress to dress but there are a lot of choices at the $30 range, which I think is very affordable.  One genius part of the website - people review the dresses they've rented but they also upload a picture of them wearing the dress & put their measurements on the review, so you can see real people in the dress & get an idea on how it fits.  I love this.  I don't know about you but I don't quite have a body like a model, so it really helped seeing dresses on people with different body types.  Another awesome feature - you get to pick two sizes.  That way you're not out of luck if the size you usually wear doesn't fit - you have a backup!  Plus you can usually tell from people's reviews if the dress runs small or large.
I ended up picking this Milly dress & absolutely loved it.  I felt so fabulous all night.  And maybe some people don't want to spend money on something they can't keep but honestly I'd rather rent a dress.  I don't wear fancy dresses very often, so it would just hang in my closet.  It was worth the money to wear something I wouldn't buy for myself (the dress retails for $380) & be able to send it back without buyers remorse.  My total cost came out to just under $50 with shipping & tax.  The whole thing was a very easy process.  You don't have to clean the dress before sending it back.  They take care of that.  You just stick the two dresses in a pre-labeled UPS envelope & mail it back.
By the way, isn't my hubby handsome??  I think we looked pretty sharp!  Anyway, I definitely recommend the site.  If you decide to try it, please use this link since it will give me a referral credit.   J And let me know what you think!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Recipe #2 of February Challenge

For my second recipe of my weekly February challenge, I decided to try this recipe I found on Pinterest.  It looked easy & yummy.
It turned out to be just that - it didn't require a lot of ingredients or prep & tasted good.  Alex loved it, too.  He's gotten a little pickier as he's gotten older, so this is definitely something I'll make again.  It is pretty sweet but not overpowering.  It didn't take as long to thicken up as in her recipe but it probably depends on the teriyaki sauce.  Mine also was a different color - more honey colored than darker brown like in the picture.

Overall, I'd call it a success!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February Challenge

I made it through January for my 30 Day Challenge.  I didn't eat chocolate & I completed a craft each week.  Well, I ate chocolate once but it was an accident.  I ordered an oatmeal raisin cookie at a restaurant & they gave me a cranberry chocolate cookie.  I didn't pay much attention when I took a bite & quickly realized it had chocolate.  But I didn't finish the cookie - pretty impressive if I do say so myself!

February snuck up on me a little & when the 1st hit, I hadn't decided what my challenge would be for the month.  Actually, I'd already decided on my health challenge but not my personal challenge.  I was feeling a little blah about the personal challenge.  I just wasn't feeling it.  But come Monday I had made a decision & was back on track!

My health challenge this month is no fried food.  I wouldn't say I eat a lot of it anyway, but I'm going to miss the occasional order of fries! 

My personal challenge this month is to try one new recipe a week.  I've been in a little bit of a cooking rut lately & want to get motivated to try some new things.  What helped me decide on this for February was I already made a new recipe on Sunday, so my first week was covered.   J
 
Rather than do a separate post for my first new recipe, I'll share it now.  I made The Pioneer Woman's Knock You Naked Brownies for a Super Bowl party.
Wowza.  These were GOOD.  As soon as I started thinking about what I wanted to take to the party, I knew it needed to be chocolate to celebrate making it through my January challenge.  I saw these on her website - they looked pretty easy & I'm a sucker for caramel.  They were a hit.  The next time I make them, I think I'm going to use a little less caramel.  I used almost two bags of the square caramels.  I think I'll try using one & a half bags.  Don't get me wrong, I love caramel & loved these with the thick layer in the middle.  But they might be a little less messy if I back off the caramel a little.  Even after refrigerating for several hours, it was hard to get a slice out cleanly.  But man, it tasted good.  Or I might try making it in a 9x13 pan to spread it all out more.  I don't have any good reasons to make these again soon but surely I can think of something.  A random Wednesday is a good time to make brownies, right??

If you have any good recipes you've tried lately, send them my way!