Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Peaches to Peaches


 What is one to do with an entire flat of underwhelmingly flavored Costco peaches?? Preserves.  My mission was to make the peach butter recipe from smitten kitchen but somewhere along the lines, it never made it to the "butter" consistency.   I used my untouched KitchenAid food grinder instead of the prescribed food mill...my bad.  There were peach guts splurting across my kitchen and the whole pureeing process probably took way longer than what it probably should have with a manual food mill. Whatevs, it came out to be the best peach jam I ever did sink my tooth into.  And the Mason jars are oh so pretty to have adorning the pantry shelves.  My next canning feat will be tomatoes, or maybe my grandma's chile recipe.   My last couple thrifting experiences have been pleasant ones too.  I found a little wooden chair that was a little wobbly for four dollars but a couple dabs of gorilla glue later and it was solid.  I am thinking about changing the cushion material, since there is a little rip in the vinyl, then it will be purrrfect.  Oliver loves sitting in it and so does Rory (pictured).  I found a new/old sewing case that has probably seen better days but I love the flowers and I am always needing more sewing storage.  Elliott snatched up a complete Superman costume with built in muscles, belt and cape for five smackers.  Surprisingly it held up in the washing machine and he will be wearing that nonstop for the next few days I'm sure.  







Saturday, September 10, 2011

My "Bichon" Saturday

So pretty much it 'twas an awesome day...  
7 a.m. wake up.
8 a.m Realized kroger donuts in fridge are completely disgusting and not worth taking the next bite.
9 a.m. Coaxed mr. into going out for Starbuck's and then Shipley's for replacement donuts.
10 a.m.-11 a.m. Ate replacement donuts and caffeinated, beat rugs with the tennis racket outside and steamed the floors.  Basked in a lovely clean living room.  Received a parcel of Trader Joe's goodness complements my father.
12 p.m. Hid in bedroom from kind person who came over to purchase geoff's guitar which was collecting dust.  
1 p.m. Showered and got our Costco sampling and shopping done. 
2 p.m. Arranged for the crib that has been plaguing the living room to be taken to it's new home down the street.  Basked in a little more clean living room.
3 p.m. Ate one too many butter croissant sandwiches. 
4 p.m.- 5 p.m. Zoned out watching old Mighty Mouse cartoons.
6 p.m. onwards- Pretty much more zoning out until both babes fell asleep around 8-ish.  So nice. I'm good tired. 





Saturday, September 3, 2011

Banana Nut Monkey Bread Morning


Yes it has a whole stick of butter and a can of biscuits but it is soo dang goood.  BANANA NUT MONKEY BREAD... get it on.  I cut the recipe in half and doubled the banana and shaved off some of the sugar requirements, also, I think it wouldn't hurt to cut back on the buttah a smidge.....  Food Coma!   
Hopefully I get just the right amount of sugar and carbs to propel me out from under the piles of laundry that have settled atop every cushioned surface of the living room.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

frump


video

Feeling frumpy and just plain worn out.  I ran out of eyeliner and I feel like golem without it, PLUS,  for the past four days Oliver has been running a temperature and apparently had roseola which is basically a sudden long lasting fever followed by a rash.  Several pukes later and even more laundry loads later, I AM BEAT and my eye is twitching just thinking about the fact that I have been wearing pajamas for the past week.  He is finally feeling good but dang is it taxing taking care of a little sickly man.  The whole little illness has pretty much pushed back the weaning process and made him even more needy of me and only me.  The fever made him so fickle with food which is very uncharacteristic, finally today his appetite came back for his usual fare of beans and pasta and bananas and peas and pretzels and cheese and cookies and grapes and cherry tomatoes and pickles and bread.  I am dreading weaning him, It is hard to say goodbye to all that snuggly quiet time...BUT it will be nice to not have to worry about all that encompasses being the primary feeder/pacifier.  I guess I pretty much am an attachment parenter...and it is friggin' exhausting.  We bought a crib for Elliott and I'm not even sure he used it even a months worth total.  I thought I would for sure use it with Oliver.  I must say he got more use out of it than E, mainly naps and a few hours during the night before he would wake up to snack again, but for the past six months it has been sitting in our living room serving as a collect all for stuffs that will most likely go to goodwill, awaiting a new home, so that explains a lot.  I have dreamt of wall to wall bed, basically a padded cell, that is what I need at this point in time...with a t.v. mounted to the wall playing nonstop Heathcliff episodes.  I can't wait till the weather is decent and I can at least take them out for walks again.  Eat shit Houston summers.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Potty Time! Excellent!

I think the time has come where Elliott, who has reached a wise old age of three and a half has finally come to terms with ditchin' the diaper.  He started showing interest in the potty about two years ago but pretty much passed on it when little brother came to town.  Lately he has been on a serious Superman/Batman kick again, we have been scrutinizing the apparel of the two superheroes and have finally come to the conclusion that they do not wear diapers and that they most likely use the toilet...although I'm not sure where superman's facilities would be in that fortress of solitude.  I have been laying on the praises and pretty much been giving him lots of forbidden treats such as his own soda (kid's size) if we happen to hit a drive thru or the regular lollipops and chocolate chips...he'll need some dental work but at least the amount we're saving in diapers will pay for it.  Hehehe.  But really, it would be nice to be in a place where a reward would be something like carrot sticks or graham crackers but there is no going back once they know of how awesome a little junk food is.  He has quite a healthy appetite, so I don't worry too much about junk when I've seen him polish off bowls of grape nuts or a can of sardines.  Now I have to be on the hunt for toddler sized superman tighty whiteys since that is what he is set on flaunting.  It is just about the most awesome thing for him to take off into the bathroom by himself and get the job done, complete with washing his own hands.  Yay for housebreaking #1 :)




Friday, August 26, 2011

28 years


So my birthday month is coming to an end, it's been good.  I got an amazing camera, some sweet gifts and messages from friends, whipped up my first batch of homemade laundry detergent, ate at benihana, won an awesome camera bag, went out for drinks at boheme, hit the chocolate bar, made some strawberry cupcakes for maself, watched a bunch of cartoons, drank some shampain, and slathered on wrinkle cream.....what else can one do?  











THANK YOU EVERYBODY!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm a winner!!!

My last post featured a MonocledLop "Bonnie" camera bag giveaway put on by Perfectly Lovely Photography, which i found myself to be the winner of this morning!!! and now I need to select which fabric I want my camera to sit stylishly in while it isn't busy being snappy.  I love the idea of this whole make your own insert and choose your own bag idea for the camera.  There are few and far between choices out there for cool camera bags (especially reasonably priced ones) that don't look like you are hauling around....well, a camera. THANK YOU thank you ThAnK YoU!



Too cute fabric selections from MonocledLop!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

when the cow moos



"WIll she really cut me off???"... 


..."time for a reality check, my brotha."


So much and so little going on lately.  Sadly I've barely been tapping into the glory that is my new camera, it's just a tad bit intimidating.  I love it but it needs my utmost attention....something I can't even say about myself.  I need to hit up some sort of free DSLR workshop for the gifted.  Lately, I have been getting my crafts on for an upcoming twin toddler birthday party which I can't wait for since it's going to be at Chuck E. Cheese's...where a kid can be a kid!  Elliott's never been but knows it's whereabouts...it's branding from the PBS commercials have brainwashed him into a Mr. Cheese homing pidgeon.  Whenever we drive by, he begs to go but I'm usually going to the fabric store or somewhere way cooler, let's just say he will be plenty stoked this weekend to actually roll up on the big Cheese.  In Oliver news, I am anxiously yet hesitantly awaiting the end of this month when I cut his tab at the milk bar.  Weaning, in my experience had to be done cold turkey with Elliott, so I'm going to do the same with O.  15 months of on demand seems like plenty of lactating, for them and for me.  I remember it being three nights of Geoff and him crying it out for about 45 minutes straight in E's room till he finally passed out. Mornings were something else, I'd never seen the little guy eat so many fistfuls of cheerios.  Elliott was ultimately cool with the transition for the most part though. As for me, I was a wreck.  Cold cabbage leaves and hot showers... I'm sure they helped my condition but it took a solid week before i wasn't scary engorged.  This time around I'm going to add Sudafed to my bag of tricks, based on other mother's online tips on the matter, it apparently helps dry out the milk storage facilities as well as the snozz.  Sleeping arrangements are going to be interesting though, I'm thinking of maybe getting a toddler bed for Oliver to put in our room or maybe a trundle to put under our bed for him.  There is no way a three year old and a 15 month old can coexist throughout the night in the same room, at least not my brand of them. Elliott didn't really start sleeping in his own bed and in his own room until he was about two, and still to this day he likes Geoff to go in there with him for his middle of the wee morning awakenings.  One day we will be able to sleep again.  It really is crappy how much you take for granted when you have no children.  Not that I regret anything, just makes me hate my former whiny self a little bit more than i would like... or whenever I hear childless people bitching and moaning about lack of sleep or that they are tired in general, it makes me wish triplets on them.

Monday, August 1, 2011

camera time

 
So i ordered my first ever DSLR cameraaaaaaaa!!!!  It was sort of a tough decision since, a: it is a chunk of change and b: there are are a zillion models to choose from.  From the start, I new it was going to be either a Canon or a Nikon.  The D3100 wooed me a little bit more though aaand I can use my old Nikon lenses from my old SLR.  This Snapsort page was definitely a big help in the decision making process, very good camera junkie site.  flickr's camera finder, also very useful to see actual photographs taken from each camera model.....I can't wait.  All I can do is keep looking at Nikon's website and scanning over all the splendorous features it posesses, there is even a pretty cool Nikon app called 'learn and explore' which is like a crash course in photography, I am going to need all of the exposure/light meter related tips I can get, since in general I am bad with numbers.  I just want to hold it.  I am thinking about possibly DIY'ing a camera bag for it out of one of my old purses.  So much to do before it's arrival...I want it to come in to a happy home:)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Good Morning Blueberry Citrus Bread Pudding

Ok, so this seems to be sort of a trend these days, but hey, it's summer and we seem to always have supply of fresh blueberries on hand.  Not to be braggin' or anything but I have several versions of bread pudding under my belt at this point in my life; like the cinnamon bread and the chocolate variety, pumkin, you name it.  Basically you can make it with any sort of day old bread and any sort of mix ins joux want.  Scarfed by man, woman, and child in record time.  This is actually a hearty breakfast if you think of it as bread, eggs, milk, and fruit.  Its all in the puddin'.  

whipped cream pleez.


1 baguette of french bread, cut into cubes
1 pint of fresh blueberries 
1 cup of orange juice
8 large eggs
4 cups whole milk
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter, for parchment paper.
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place bread cubes in a large baking dish; set aside.

Place eggs in a large bowl. In another large bowl, combine milk, 2/3 cup sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg. Pour the milk concoction into eggs and whisk till frothy. Add the blueberries and the o.j., stir to combine. Pour over bread, and be sure to press all of the bread into the dish so that it really soaks it all up.  Sprinkle with the rest of the sugar.
grab a stick of butter and smear it on a piece of parchment paper approximately the same size as the baking dish. Press it buttered-side down, over the bread. Place baking dish in a larger roasting pan. Place in oven, and add enough water to the larger pan to come halfway up sides of baking dish. Bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand 20 minutes before serving. so gud.

Friday, July 22, 2011

bidding Borders merci et adieu

Thank you Borders for all the years...but I may have just put you back in business with the amount of loot I made off with (although it was at quite the discounted rate.)  It was a pre shower, 9 am, bedheaded trip with everyone over to the Borders for their closing sale.  Finally I have Martha's Sewing Encyclopedia plus a bevy of magazines and little golden books that should keep me inspired for a while.  I guess it's back to Barnes and Noble for perusing new books and mags.  humph.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

week recap

 Another semi good week....only mild malaise was endured throughout.  Rearranged Elliott's room, was able to go out for drinks with Cindy, re-cocked the kitchen sink (which looks so shiny and new now), bathed all creatures of the house (who also look shiny and new), and framed much of my old 2010 Edward Lear calendar which I plan to scatter around the house on any wall begging for a bird.  And I can't even begin to say how fabulous it was to go see a movie with the mister,  Harry Potter in 3D, I highly recommend it, truly the end of an era :( but at least now i can begin my journey into the books :).  I plan on taking E to go see his first movie pretty soon here,  I think he will be pretty excited to see his dear Mcqueen on the big screen.  Ooh, and I treated maself to a real splurge here...a pair of shoes....from Target.  I like to buy my shoes where I can also purchase plungers.
shooz



Saturday, July 9, 2011

whipped up blueberry pie

This morning while trying to get a few more minutes of sleep, with the sound of Geoff griping at me for never making breakfast, I realized that there was a mega Costco sized container of fresh organic blueberries in the fridge that were unfortunately never going to be consumed before they get all shriveled up and neglected like they so often do.  I always forget just how easy it is to make a fruit pie.  Cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, fruit of choice, and of course the ever present frozen pie crust. so simple.  and of course, don't forget the whipped cream and that cuppa joe.

> whipped up blueberry pie <

3/4 cup white sugar
  1/4 cup cornstarch
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
  5 cups fresh blueberries
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Stir in lemon juice and 1 cup of blueberries.  Cook and stir over medium heat, until thick and bubbly, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Let cool for a little bit and stir in remaining blueberries.  Pour into baked pie shell and cool in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours (I never wait this long).                 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Scattered

disaster area

So, my days have been all encompassed by needy babies coupled with the hunt for a nice dslr camera, tripled by the fact that housework also needs to be taken care of....ooh, I made a pillowcase in the midst of it all from an old cloth napkin and managed to gather and drop a bag of toys to the neighbors, took the children to ride the zoo train this morning before the temps got sweltering, and managed to make yet another batch of chili and mashed taters.  I shouldn't feel too ragged.... hehhehheh.  Also we went to a lovely July 4th/Birthday gathering for one of Geoff's friends from class where Elliott got to chase a chicken around, rolled a couple of times when he got his feet taken out by the dog and had a pretty successful water gun fight....which brings me back to my camera hunt...I feel like my ole point and shooter is just not enough for the speed, clarity and lighting flexibility that I want.  also, I am in the formative phases of setting up an etsy shop for all things vintage and would like to have something that will really show off the goods.  I'm thinking Canon Rebel, and I'm thinking used, it's just maddening how many different models there are, when the time comes to make a purchase, I'm sure I will have narrowed it down some.  July has been good with G's schedule being a little more laxed, being able to have him around is so so nice (also a reason I haven't been posting) even though I know the summer will fly by:( bad in the way that G will have to resume regular grueling work/study hours, yet :) good that it won't be summer anymore and I will be a little bit closer to being comfortable going outside with the kiddles. 

On another note, I did get a few worthy snippets of my week captured.........and last but not least I found UTZ potato chips at Central Market!!! My Mad Men watching enjoyment level has just been elevated.

hoofin' it

slurpin' coconut water at the new whole foods.

"utz is better than nuts, take it from me...I'm a nut"

happy

Sunday, June 26, 2011

the pain train's a comin'.

red devil


 So, Oliver is officially walking, and climbing up on the couch, and throwing his chubby leg up and over a little ride on scooter....so far there haven't been too many painful spills, but this has only been going on for about a month or so.  he has been throwing mischievous looks our way just before he sneaks over to the water cooler, or before he is about to go into the ever so off limits laundry room, or to sneak into the bathroom at full speed... but he always lets us know when he's about to do something bad by shouting a little "ahh!".  Thanks for the warning my little gingerbread man.  I hope you don't bonk your head as much as your big brother did.


design spray

In keeping with the pain train theme...C'mon, a Railroad plate!? E could be watching Thomas while eating Thomas pasta with traincar in hand.  I feel like with the right handyman/woman know how, this could be reproduced fairly easily with some non toxic wood glue, some screws, a wooden cutting board and some tracks...or you could just buy this lovely utilitarian railroad plate.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thrift Bandit

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Sometimes it can be a little rough out there on the thrifting front...but not yesterday!  My gal Cindy and I made off like some thrifty bandits and it feels good.  I have already washed all china, and laundered all linens (I figure washing thrift store sheets on hot/cold with tons of white vinegar, detergent and oxyclean will get whatever biologically offensive molecules out).  The chicks are perched in my kitchen window and the bamboo sheets are already parked on Elliott's bed.  Ooh, I also scored on a couple of vintage dresses but they need to be taken in a bit here and there, and for $3 a pop I will gladly put alterations on my to do list.