Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today I Let the Repair Man into Our House.

We've been having issues with the dryer ever since we moved into this rental.  Clothes will randomly get caught between the barrel and the frame and they get blacken and chewed.  Luckily it's mostly the wash rags, tags, dryer sheets, underwear and color catchers that I have found hanging in there.  It was annoying but didn't really upset me until it ate one of Ash's brand new jumpsuits.  Put a hole in it.  Sooooooooooooo mad!  I told Tony to call the landlord and he did but I don't think either of them took me quite seriously. 
(so sad that she'll never wear this again!)
Until now.  :)  Too bad a load full of Tony's whites (including our sheets and some of my stuff) had to get completely covered in nasty black spots before this thing really got paid attention to.  If my mom reads this, she'll totally be nodding her head at this part.  Haha!
The repair guy said that the dryer is completely shot and that if the insides were metal instead of plastic it would have been making an awful screeching, scraping sound by now.  So, at this point, we get to wait for the landlord to decide whether he wants to buy expensive parts and repair it or just replace it.  Whatever he does, I hope it happens quickly!
And just for fun, a video of my precious baby, Elle.  Be sure to turn up the volume.  ;)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Today I Want to Tell You about Something Awesome!!!

We now have an author in the family!  My sister, Kara, is a wife and mother of four.  Yet, she still carved out some time to write and illustrate a book!  It's currently available for Kindle only right now and is also being offered at a promotional price.  Sooooooo - get it while it's hot!  I'm not a comic book/manga person, but this was a fun read (and I'm not just saying that because I love her).  I enjoyed the humor and the expressive faces of her characters a lot.  I'm really looking forward to volume 2. 

(here's the cover of her book)

Seriously.  3 bucks.  Buy it.  :P

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Today I Turned Off the TV.

How do you feel about the television?  Do you have a show that is an absolute must-see?  Do you turn it on at night to veg?  Did you get rid of the TV from your home a long time ago?  

I could live happily without a TV (Internet is another story all together).  There are just too many shows and movies that are pointless time wasters.

My husband is pretty much addicted to watching shows.  We have a Netflix account and he's steadily working his way through everything they offer in the instant view area.  Ash is not far behind him in that TV love.  

When I turned off Spider-Man today, she cried.  Luckily she's easily distracted and when I made a huge circle with her toy train tracks, she got busy playing with that instead.  

I'm sure you've all read the studies that show how watching more than 2 hours of TV is actually really bad for your health, so I won't go into that (though it does concern me).  

 (i'm fairly sure i've shared this pic before but it was the only one i could find with a television in it.  taken during the summer of 2010.)

My guilt is wrapped around letting Ash watch that full 2 hours sometimes because it's nice to have the break (when Britt and Elle are napping too).  I really don't think it's good for her at all.  And I wish I could figure out ways to get my husband interested in a different hobby or two.  
So, where are you at when it comes to the TV?  Any suggestions on how to keep the tube in it's place (not a main source of entertainment for the family)?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today I Read About Monet.

Claude Monet, to be exact.

I remember studying about Monet when I was 7 or 8.  I liked all the water lily painting best, of course.  Though, anything he painted featuring a woman in a poofy dress caught my attention too.

The book I read about Monet today was a children's book.  Ash thought it was an interesting read at first but quickly became bored.  I wasn't surprised.  She's a bit young to be impressed by the works of any artist except her own.

Anyways, my point of this post is to ask you a couple of book related questions.  I'm always going on about me, me, me, but today I'm curious to know more about you!

(ash has always adored books.  she was about a year and a half when this picture was taken.)

First off, which book(s) left an impression on you when you were a child?

Secondly, what is your current favorite book?

I love books (and have posted as much before), but I can't even remember the last book I read.  It's time to pick up a good read again, so your thoughts will be very appreciated and I will be sharing your childhood books with my kids too, of course. 

Thank you for sharing, in advance!  ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Today I Pureed an Avocado.

And this is why:

She liked it.  Of course!

She's not quite 4 months, but she always wants to have what I'm eating and I feel sorry for her.  Today she even grabbed the bag of carrots off the counter (while I was holding her) and it dumped upside down into Britt's potty (we have potty seats all over the house right now).   Ugh.  Waste of perfectly good carrots. 

Last week she did this while sitting in her Bumbo.  Again, on the counter. 

Waste of perfectly good cocoa!  :) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today I Fell Asleep a Lot.

I've been working on being in bed no later than midnight and getting up at 7:45.  My body is definitely rebelling.  Every time I laid down to nurse Elle today (she still prefers breakfast, and every other meal, in bed), I would fall asleep.  I can't wait until it feels normal.  I certainly get more done when I get up before Ash and Britt. 

(my precious little sweet cheeks)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Today I Found a Purple Crayon.

Can I say that?  I knew I had one but then forgot about it.  Oh well.  Anyways ~

Most of you who've been reading my blog for a while know that I plan on homeschooling my children.  Ash is 3.5 and we occasionally work on numbers, colors, reading, alphabet, etc.  You know, the normal preschool stuff.  I thought it would be fun to focus on art this week (along with the letter B).  We read Harold and the Purple Crayon today.  I remember really getting a kick out of this book when I was a kid.

If you haven't read this book, basically Harold finds a big purple crayon and draws all sorts of fun things.  He creates a tree, a dragon, a boat to sail in, a mountain to climb, and several other creative things.  After we were done reading, I suddenly remembered the pack of jumbo crayons I'd picked up at the dollar store a couple weeks ago. I asked Ash if she would like to draw with a big purple crayon. She was very excited about that idea.

 (purple crayon art)

How fun would it be to give this book, a bundle of jumbo purple crayons and a large roll of white paper as a gift to one of your favorite little people??

I'm definitely going back to the dollar store for more purple jumbo crayons and then I'll read it again to both Ash and Britt. After the story, I'll tape a long piece of paper to the hall wall and let them be like Harold!

It is so fun to read books and then let them inspire your real life actions. Have you ever done that before?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Today I'm TOTALLY Making Cookies!

I found a new blog.  Well, it's not new....I mean, it is to me.  Gah!  You know what I mean.  Anyways.  I'm hooked by this blogger's wit, gorgeous pics, and the fact that I can recreate everything she posts about!

(chocolate waffles anyone? source.)

Baker Girl makes all sorts of fabulous looking treats and I've been pinning her recipes like a crazy lady. 

(totally making this sometime soon too.  just gotta buy a popcorn popper is all.... source.)

So - I'm going into the kitchen now to make some Chocolatey Avalanche Bars.  I seriously cannot get them made fast enough.  :P

(this is what i'm making as soon as i hit "publish post." source)

What are your plans for this weekend?  I'm thinking of asking Tony to take us all bowling tomorrow.  Bet the girls would love it.

(me on my mission.  living in houston.  bowling with friends.  2006.)

P.S.  Just in case you're wondering, I'm off my extreme diet but still eating healthy ratios and keeping the goodies to a minimum (in other words, savoring each sugary bite slowly and fully).  And by healthy ratios, I mean half of my plate is fruits and veggies and the other half is grains and proteins.  

P.P.S.  If you live in the vicinity, come help me eat the goodies!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Today I Had to Deal with a Bunch of Drama.

But, I'll spare you the gory details.  The girls ate a lot of junk food and watched a lot of tv since I was on the phone most of the day.  I'm NEVER on the phone for more than a couple of hours a week!  To say that it's been an weird day is an understatement.  Drama times 100.  Bleh.  I'm going to go wash my hands now. 

Here's a cute picture of me and my precious babies. 

Just really grateful for my husband, baby girls, and sister right now.  :)

How do you shake off the effects and feelings of stress, drama, and unfair confrontations?

I can't decide if I should kick up my heels and watch a movie or take out my frustration on this house (aka cleaning)......

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Today I'm Posting about a Vintage Storybook Birthday Party....

Ash turned 3 in November.  I am waaaaaaaaaaaaay overdue in posting about her big birthday party.  Sheesh.  I'm already planning her fourth.  Anyways, I went with a vintage storybook theme because she loves books.  Brace yourselves.  I'm putting up a ton of pics!

(the birthday girl)


(this is the bunting/banner i made out of vintage storybooks.  i glued the paper to ric-rac and adore how it turned out!)

(my sister and i taped these little butterflies all over.  again, they were cut from vintage storybooks.)

(i also placed books all over the room to serve as decorations.)

(how the hall/entry was decorated.  these are the favors.  more on that later.)
(and of course a sign and balloons so no one took the birthday girl's seat of honor.)

(the guests mostly arrived at the same time.  tony's family took a ferry to get there.  the four adorable girls in the forefront of this picture are some of my sisters.)

(i wish i'd gotten some better pictures of britt so we could see the adorable dress she had on.  totally looked circa 1933.  she was sportin' a super short skirt and awesome pudgy legs!)

(i had soooooooooooo much fun planning the menu.  it was all story related.  here we have hack and jill's pails full of water bottles.)

(my hubby made super cute labels for everything too!)

(captain hook's booty.  heheh.  it's like healthy cheetos.  sorta.)

(cinderella's pumpkin cookies. i'll include the awesome recipe at the end of this post.)

(the giving tree's hot apple cider.)

(green eggs and ham quiche.)

(three little pigs in a blanket.)

(the very hungry caterpillar's fruit.)

(goldilox tea sandwiches. yum!)

(sal's blueberry muffins. from costco.)

(curious george's bananas.)

(peter rabbit's veggie tray.)

(the evil queen's poison potion.  if i remember correctly, this was made with a carton of limeade, a quart of lime sherbet, and a 2 liter container of sparkling water.)

(the little red hen's bread.  my sister, molly, made this.  she's a very talented baker.)

(winnie the pooh bear's honey butter.  of course!)

(some of the lay out.  it was a help yourself type of thing.)

(bakerella's sprite cake, homemade strawberry frosting which involved pureed strawberries and cool-whip and i wish i'd kept the recipe, and vintage book butterflies again.)

(blowing out the candles.  love how beethoven is right next to her, sharing in the excitement.)

(sweet, little side profile.  and another little candle-blowing coach.  heehee!)

(tony's lovely grandma helping ash open a present.)

(admiring her new hungry caterpillar game.)

(now beethoven is helping.  **laugh**)

(the favors!)

(i set up a bunch of vintage books and reprints of vintage books and put a box covered in vintage storybook paper in the middle.  the box held retro candy wrapped in...yep! vintage book pages!  everyone took home a package of retro candy and a vintage book.)


(and see?  i love how they were decorations and favors.)

(one of my brothers with his retro licorice mustache candy.  all sorts of awesomeness!)

(color shot of the birthday girl.  she's so pretty!)

(love her gorgeous, soft eyes.)

Cinderella's Pumpkin Choco Chip Cookies

2 cups shortening (or 1 c. shortening and 1 c. butter)
2 cups sugar
1 15-oz can pumpkin
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 stp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips (or one bag)

Cream shortening and sugar.  Add pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla; beat well.  Stir together flour and dry ingredients.  Add to batter; mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop rounded spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Yum, yum!