Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yum Yums

Just wanted to share this quick and easy, healthy and delicious snack that is a staple in Lars' diet.  It's a really good way to get lots of healthy ingredients in one dish that's fast and Lars loves it.

1 Sweet Potato peeled and cubed
2 small apples peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
salt
cinnamon
1 teaspoon agave

Add a pinch of salt to some boiling water then add the sweet potato and apples, cook until soft.  Drain.  Add coconut oil, ginger, cinnamon.  Mash together and add agave. If it seems a little thick or if you have a younger bebe you could add a little rice milk or whatever milk you have on hand.


oppss....forgot the agave in the picture.  Just imagine this in the picture. 




A purple dresser

 Ever since we moved to our new house I've been searching for all the perfect decor to make Lars' room into a big boy room and leave the nursery stuff behind.  I had a vision but like always my vision seemed to be bigger and more expensive than my bank account. The main source of this problem was the mid century modern (mcm) dresser I desperately wanted for his room.  I looked everywhere and I found them everywhere.  There's no lack of mcm pieces especially here in the Austin area.  But they are a high commodity and they come with a pretty price tag; a price tag that even if I had the money wasn't going to happen.  I couldn't justify spending $1,000 plus on a dresser for my 18 month old's room. Not even for my room....not for ANY room in our house. So I slowly and sadly gave up my search and began researching other options.  I would scourer craigslist daily to see what I could find and low and behold I found the perfect mcm dresser and it was even better than what my price range was.  I couldn't believe it!!! I called Bob immediately and told him we had to get it ASAP before this college age girl realized that what she was selling wasn't just an old piece of grandmaw's furniture it was a piece of furniture that people in Austin would draw blood for. What's the catch you ask.  Well it was a lovely lovely shade of purple, white and yellow paint all mixed together.  Just beautiful.   

Now, I've never done a refinish this big before and I really had no clue what I was in for.  But I knew I couldn't pass it up.  Isn't she lovely....no really look past the subtle shade of purple.  It's a Heywood Wakefield from probably the mid 1950's and around here and refinished they will sale for upwards of $800.  I paid $150 for this bad boy. Seriously, I sorta felt like I was stealing it but I didn't feel THAT guilty. 

 The first day I started working it I felt good....I was stripping paint off like no body's business.  I used Citristrip and it really did work well but by the second day I realized that this dresser had more nooks and crannies than I cared to think about.  Not only did I not have the time to get in all those teeny tiny places I didn't have the patience. I originally wanted to stain it and get it back to it's original honey oak finish but I gave that dream up quickly and decided paint was the best option.  I'm still a little sad it's not stained but I would have been even sadder trying to scrape all the paint from those small ass little nooks. 

You'll see in the final picture I ended up painting it an espresso brown with white accents.  I like it but I'm not sure it's right for Lars' room.  I'm almost positive that I'm going to end up painting all the white accents the same espresso brown.










Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's What's For Dinner


So every Sunday or Monday mornings before I get my day started at work I create a weekly menu of the meals we will be having. It helps in so many ways.  It helps dinner to get done quicker because we know exactly what's cooking.  It helps save money at the grocery store because we're not walking around aimlessly and buying unnecessary food.  Wait, that's a bit of a lie....if I do the grocery shopping there will without a doubt be a few extras such as dark chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered goji berries, or chocolate in any shape or form.  If Bob does the shopping we will have a 6 pack of beer and some fancy cheese. But the menu helps aside from those few additions.

I love making the menu and finding new recipes.  I always search quick vegetarian meal, easy vegetarian dinners or lately I've been searching fall vegetarian recipes. I try to use what's in season.  Sometimes it works...sometimes it doesn't. Also, just as a side note we always have ingredients for homemade pizza at our house so if what's on the menu doesn't seem to be winning us over or we're just dead tired Bob whips up a mean deep dish veggie pizza.  It's a staple really.

I thought I would share my weekly menu for this week and include some pictures of what we made last night which was the Sesame Honey Tempeh and Quinoa Bowl.  Yum!

Menu List
Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Pesto
Sesame Honey Tempeh and Quinoa Bowl
Butternut Squash Risotto
Sweet Potato Peanut Soup
Tex-Mex Rice and Black Eyed Peas

Sometimes I have meal plans for the weekend and sometimes I don't.  The weekends are usually pizza time or veggie burgers and sweet potatoes fries.  Also, veggie quesadillas with black beans and avocados are a big staple when all else fails.

We had the Sesame Honey Tempeh and Quinoa Bowl last night and it was quite delish.  I added a few sugar peas.






Wednesday, October 23, 2013

THE........KITCHEN.

I won't share with you the word that comes to mind when I think of the journey we've been on with our kitchen because while it wouldn't be surprising coming from me, I don't want to seem over dramatic. But a few hints are: it's a 4 letter word, it begins with F, and it's a word that leaps out of my mouth quite often. If someone were to tell me that I would never get to completely remodel another kitchen while living in the house with a toddler I would quite possible be the happiest woman on earth. Is that too over dramatic?? :)

I knew from the get go that I was going to be in over my head a bit and I was but I made it...we made it!  And we only dropped a few spots on the sanity chart. So all in all....we did ok.

The 2 things that made this glorious experience that much harder were 1) living in the house during the renovations and 2) having the most adorable, curious, hands on, distracted, little helper.  We use our kitchen ALL.THE.TIME! The kitchen is literally always in use. So for it to be out of commission or in a state of complete chaos for a while was pretty hard and stressful at times. Also, our kitchen is a completely open kitchen and it butts right up to the living and is the first room you walk in so just imagine trying to wrangle in a curious toddler all of the time and constantly be on the look out for him picking up screws, nails, saw dust, drills, hammers and on top of all of that the house was full of dirt and dust for months. There were moments I wanted to scream.......oh wait, i think i did a few times. And, we don't live in a place where we can just go run and pick up something for dinner so we needed the kitchen to be functional at all times even in the midst of demolition.  Amen for living on a beautiful piece of land and we spend most of our time outside.

The kitchen is an Ikea kitchen. What does that mean you ask.  Well, it means everything came from Ikea. The cabinets, the counter tops, the handles, the appliances.  I found a picture of a kitchen that I fell in love with and tried for weeks to figure out how we could make it work for our budget.  The house was featured on a design site I'm always looking at and was done by some lovely interior designer who decorated the rest of this 'vacation' home with restoration hardware goods and $5000 mid century modern pieces of furniture.  I just knew the kitchen was out of reach too. BUT after weeks of researching guess what I found out?? The kitchen was a total Ikea kitchen! *angels sing*  This started the the process.

I won't go into detail about the Ikea experience.  If you want more info just let me know. I will tell you that it was an actually fairly pleasant experience and we would absolutely consider doing it again.....FOR A HOUSE WE BUILD :) no more remodels (have i made that clear yet?) I think the quality of the materials for the price you pay is un-matchable (that's not a word, but i'm owning it).  You do have to do all the work yourself and when I say all the work I mean ALL. THE. WORK.  The cabinets literally come piece by piece and you are left with hundreds of boxes and 1 small sheet of directions.  But once you get the hang of it...it's pretty simple.  At least it looked that way :) Bob put all the cabinets together...I assisted at times and so did Lars but Bob has mentioned that it really wasn't that bad.  It's VERY VERY VERY VERY overwhelming at first because you are just looking at a room full of boxes but like most things...it wasn't has bad as it seemed. Some of the cabinets are stainless steel, some are white, the counter tops are oak butcher block it all shockingly looks great together :)

We did have quite a bit of help once the cabinets were all together.  My aunts boyfriend Art who does remodels for a living was kind enough to do a lot of the leg work in actually building the kitchen.  It was neat to see the kitchen go step by step and become the kitchen we were hoping for.

The kitchen is pretty much finished.  There are a few things that still need to be taken care.  The floors obviously have to be done and we're in the process of deciding what we want for flooring.  The dishwasher and refrigerator still need to be purchased, light fixtures and few other minor details but thankfully the brunt of the work is all done!

oh lordy lordy. gives me a little anxiety :) 




The kitchen that inspired the madness
thanks for making me crazy little picture 


Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

We hit up the Wimberley pumpkin patch yesterday.  It was such a beautiful day!! Lars had a blast and then we went for frozen yogurt and went on a hike down by the river.  








Friday, October 18, 2013

A Larsy update

Thought I would update everyone on the coolest kid around….Lars!  I just don’t know how we created such a delightful little human! He’s just so sweet it makes me crazy. 

Lars is a social butterfly.  He loves people, he loves playing with other kiddos, he loves talking to people, he has no problem walking up to someone and saying “hi, how are you”…he really does say that. It’s outrageous. He just started saying it.  He waves and says ‘hi’ to EVERYONE everywhere we go.  He’s always making friends whether it’s with the little girls at the jumpy place, the park, the cupcake shop, the grocery store, toddler time or a restaurant. Lars is going to make you his friend no matter what and he’s pretty easy to befriend because he’s so damn cute and funny! He’s our best friend for sure!

Lars is blowing us away every day with the things he’s learning.  He’s stringing together short sentences like, ‘hi, how are you?’ or ‘more hummus please’ and my favorite that he said for the first time yesterday, ‘I love you’…I about lost it.  Of course it’s said in his sweet little 18 month old voice and it certainly isn’t said perfectly but he said it and then went muah.  My heart swelled, my eyes teared up and I don’t think my smile could have gotten any bigger.  He hears that a million times a day and I’ve just waiting for him to say it back.  He’s also obsessed with the alphabet.  He knows the letters if they are capitals and will tell me what some of them are for, like B is for boy, F is for funny.

He still loves to read books.  His favorite books right now are The Eye Book by Dr Seuss, A Baby Einstein book of first words and Pete the cat.  Books are by far his favorite pass time. His favorite movies are hands down Ice Age 1 and 2.  They are such cute shows…I really don’t mind watching them.

He’s getting really good at feeding himself with a spoon.  He loves to color with crayons and markers….momma prefers crayons.  He LOVES to watch videos of himself on my phone.  He always want to go exploring or on a walk and find rocks and dinosaurs and bugs and deer.  He loves to write all over the front porch and sometimes the house with chalk.  Our house is always decorated He loves to walk backwards and it’s hysterical.  He will back up out of a room and say bye dada or bye momma or bye meow meow. 

He's amazing and so loved! 

this is his Diego face (from ice age) Diego is a saber tooth tiger :) 

they shared.........for about 10 seconds. 

he's like a pro...a messy one, but a pro

determined to get back up this way

Both Nana and Mimi came to visit...AT THE SAME TIME!!!! Talk about center of attention. He loves them so!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Whining It Out (WIO) and 18 months

Guess who turned 18 months old????? Yes, I'm shaking my head also. I just don't know where the time went. But how wonderful these 18 months have been!! Love this kid!! Happy 18 months love muffin!!!!!!



So I'm sure most of you have heard of CIO or crying it out. If not, well it's basically what it sounds like.  Let your kiddo cry it out while going to sleep. I don't think I'm for or against it.  In the beginning, we had so many sleep issues with Lars and I got so desperate that I tried it a few times and I just didn't have it in me to do it. I would literally get sick and cry and become so anxious that I had to go get him so I decided that it wasn't for me.  Something that felt so horrible just couldn't be the right thing to do.  So we resorted to other methods of sleep training and I don't know if it was us being persistent with a certain method or Lars just finally got the hang out it but by 9 months he was sleeping through the night. Then when he started cutting his molars a few months ago we resorted back to waking up in the middle of the night which I know is totally normal so we didn't stress about it and we would go in and soothe him. These teething cries were cries of pain and discomfort and the only option for us was to go take care of him.  Again, Lars has had an incredibly tough time with teething.  Even at his 18 month check up his doctor made a comment about how painful his gums looked.  They bleed and get inflamed and just look awful.  Makes me crazy sad. Although its exhausting I know there's an end in sight and it certainly doesn't occur every night so that helps!!

BUT there is a method I will practice and it's one I've created myself.  It's called WIO (whining it out).  Lately, Lars will wake up for whatever reason and we'll hear him talking or singing and just rolling around for a while and he'll go back to sleep.  But since he's turned 18 months there's been a few times where he will throw a full on temper tantrum in his crib (HELLO 18 months, nice to meet you).  He'll whine and scream and kick his legs and just get downright pissed.  This is much easier for me to let go on than actual crying. I hate to see Lars upset in any respect but sometimes I think that's just Lars' personality.  Sometimes I think he just needs to WIO.  He's stubborn, persistent and isn't going down without a fight (wonder where he gets that from???? [insert sarcasm]) I totally understand him because I would do the same damn thing if I were him.  I'd whine until I couldn't whine anymore just to let mom and dad know that I was pissed.

We only have one more molar to cut through so hopefully this will only be a matter of time. Lars has never been a great sleeper.  I'm sure there's a whole bunch of toddler that are worse off than Lars and I'm sure there's a whole bunch that are way better but he's ours and he's perfect and 80% of the time he gives us a full nights sleep.  I can deal with the other 20% that's not so great :) because he's just so lovely!

My sweet baby Lars, you are the most beautiful little creature I've ever laid eyes on.


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