Tuesday, March 29, 2011

being intentional

Last year, I found this blog, The Simple Woman, that took normal phrases and turned them into thoughts. I really LOVE her idea and was getting into the habit of it, when I just sort of stopped. I don't know why, or when, it just happened. I have every intention of starting this again . . . I don't know how often, but I have every intention of trying.

Outside my window... the sun has set, which means, the kids are asleep. Bring on the couch!!
I am thinking... that I am tired. Today has been harder than others, but still not horribly bad.
I am thankful for... my husband. He took care of the kids while I got things finished in the kitchen. It was a disaster area!
From the kitchen... I made some chocolate chip cookies for a friend who is stuck at home on bed rest and some chocolate peanut butter swirled muffins (chocolate for breakfast anyone?). I promise I will be posting this recipe soon. . . it is amazing!
I am wearing...sweats and a sweatshirt. . . all for comfy these days.
I am hearing... quiet and the tv. . . modern family is on in the background and I am loving every minute of it!!!
Around the house...I am trying to get it clean. . . it's spring. . . and I am itching to clean, and struggling to find the time between being a mom, but it will happen, even if it takes a month (or two!) instead of a week.
One of my favorite things...our family room. My husband has been working really hard to get redone. This past weekend, he painted and he, along with his bro and cousin, laid the new laminate flooring. I love it! The room is so much brighter and inviting. Now for the trim and base boards.
A few plans for the rest of the week: grocery shop, finish Weston's blanket (it's almost done!), and hang out with my family. This weekend is Big Hat Days in Clovis, and we plan on partaking in some festivities Saturday morning.
A picture:

Morro Bay several weeks ago. . . can I go back?

denim for baby

I am sitting here in our family room sipping some yummy hot chai and enjoying the beautiful spring day (we have a rather large sliding glass door that lets you look out into our backyard). Everything is green and the flowers that are still alive are some bright and colorful (there's not that many of them right now). Ethan woke up from his nap early partly due to the need to poop (now potty trained, he still sleeps with a diaper and can't stand to go in them. . . apparently potty training works!) and his brother's tired screams he woke up slightly early. But, thankfully, he is enjoying the beautiful afternoon lounging around on the floor playing with legos and watching backyardagains and leapfrog. We will definitely be going outside later, but if we go out now, I am not going to be able to get him in so I can feed Weston. So, we will go after. I think Weston might enjoy lounging in his bouncer outside, right?

I really want to get more personal on this blog. I started out that way, and lately it seems like it's just "look at what was made today." I really don't want that. . . I want this blog to be personal and an encouragement to other moms (and whoever stumbles across it via the world wide web. . . apparently there are people in other countries who find it every now and then. . . fascinating). Anyways, I am going to try to be more focused and not just rush to get a blog post done.

So, the week before Weston was born (can you believe he is 8 weeks old today?), a co-worker of my husband's to word that they were able to adopt a brand new baby. It came very quickly and he's a cutie! I had all the fabric cut out before Weston was born, so it was easy to get this gift sewn up quickly. I had seen an idea on another blog (i am sorry blogworld that i don't remember where. . . ) to make baby gifts using old jeans. I tried to steal a pair of my husband's but he couldn't find a pair for me, so i used a pair of my old ones. I love the way it turned out! Denim is just a fun accent and it's heavy duty. . . so it will definitely last.

Here's the taggie and giraffe. This was made completely of left over fabric from Ethan's 1st birthday party. It's a line from Michael Miller. I love the colors!!!!

Here's my denim bib accented with some of the matching fabric scraps. It has brown softy fabric on the back. So much fun. . . if I do say so myself.
Well, my chai tea is gone and Weston will be waking up shortly. I really should start dinner prep now, so that I can go out and enjoy this beautiful spring weather. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


ha ha ha. Okay, so I needed a laugh. I have tried to post something all last week, and for some reason just couldn't get the words out. Major writer's block going on here, so I apologize if this post is just a bunch of jibberish, but since it's my blog, I guess I can do what ever with it, right?

So here is what's been on my mind lately:

:: I finally sat down and made a to-do list. Actually, I made two. One for Spring Cleaning tasks (it's spring, right?) and one for my projects. I am actually checking things off of it. Bring on the focus.
:: Being a mom of two - I think I can do it. Things are definitely getting easier. I actually leave the house with both of them - just to leave the house. It's great!
:: Quiet times - I think I should get back into the habit of doing mine. I need it. . . BIG TIME! I probably haven't had some time alone with God since Weston was born. . . I need to get back on the bandwagon. Desperately.
:: Hope. I am very thankful for the hope that I have in Christ. Sometimes I think I just take it for granted and go about my daily life. But this weekend, I was faced with the horrible news that my cousin took his own life. At first, I was shocked. And then I was angry because how can a person do that to their wife and young girls? But, then I realized, he never wanted anything to do with God or the idea of God. So, when things get hard or really bad, what do you have to live for if you don't have God. Where is that hope? I am so thankful that I have a God that loves me, and gives me hope of a future with him. I can't imagine my life without it!
:: Spring. We just had the most amazing rain storms ever! And we were blessed with a beautiful double rainbow last week. Now, the weather is warming up and the grass is green, my trees either have blossoms or leaves on them. Things are no longer dead. It is just beautiful. I am anxious to get out there and get my hands dirty. Bring on the planting.
:: My sister. Came out and spent some time in California (mostly to see her new nephew). She spoiled me rotten and now she's on her way home. I will miss her, but am looking forward to our long phone conversations resuming.

So, that's just a little bit of what's going on in my head. Thanks for letting me share. I hope to post a few more things this week, we will see.

What's on your mind?

Monday, March 21, 2011

When life gives you lemons. . .

make scones! Life has not really given me lemons, my wonderful lemon tree did! Unfortunately, I didn't get to them all because of recovering from a c-section. But, I did manage to break out the pastry mat, and make these scones. They were so yummy. So yummy, in fact, I am have a couple still frozen in my freezer for future baking.
Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
from epicurious.com

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds (I ended up only using a tbs and it was perfect)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (or more) whole milk

  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Position rack in top third of oven. Mix flour, 1 cup sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, lemon peel, and salt in processor. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg and lemon juice in medium bowl to blend. Add to flour mixture. Using on/off turns, process until moist clumps form. Add 1/3 cup milk. Using on/off turns, process just until dough comes together, adding more milk if dough seems dry. Using floured hands, gather dough into ball. Flatten into 8-inch round. Cut round into 8 wedges. Transfer scones to large baking sheet; brush with milk. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

    Bake until scones are golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool

    When I was done, I bagged up a couple for my friend Steph. . . she is such a good friend! I tied it with a red and white polka dotted gross grain ribbon and used my new stamp from the SU set Punch Bunch (it was part of the sale-a-bration promotion).

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Sweet Baby {Snuggler}

    I love my sewing machine. I may possibly be obsessed with fabric (ask my husband, he'll probably agree!). I love making things for baby. I found this pattern when Ethan was too old. In fact, I didn't even get my sewing machine until he was almost 4 months old. I have always wanted to make a snuggler for my baby, but never had the chance, so I knew when I found out I was pregnant with Weston, this was the one thing I was going to make. . . no matter how bad I felt.
    So, on January 30th, I loaded Ethan in the car for a morning of walking around Riverpark and a trip to JoAnns in search of the perfect fabric. I was in need of medium weight fabric and all the local shops had "okay" selections, but they were just too feminine and I was not really wanting this project to cost over $40 (I needed 2 yards and each yard alone was about 20 bucks!). So, I went armed with my 50% off coupon in search. I found this amazing animal print that I just fell in love, and bought the last yard and a half because it was just that cool. I also bought some flannel that is blue with white polka dots. The pattern wanted me to have a microfleece for the inside, but in all seriousness. . . this is California. . . it's warm the majority of the year. Weston needed to be warm and snuggly, but not over-warm. When I got home and was preparing to wash it, I discovered an amazing discovery. . . the fabric is by Dwell Studios. Apparently, they make a line just for JoAnn's. I was so excited that I got my fabric for $5 a yard. . . and it matched some of the Dwell Target stuff that had been purchased when Ethan was a baby. I was so excited!!!!
    Now, I mentioned the date earlier, because I had originally thought I had a month to make this thing (which didn't take long at all, by the way). But, Weston wanted to take a rain check on his special gift and makes his arrival 27 days early. So much for that plan. . . . (a lot of plans went out the window. . . I had a list. . . it literally got thrown away. . . ha ha ha).
    Let me just say, that my sweet, precious little baby Weston looks so cozy in his snuggler. His hands are sticking out, but he LOVES it. He sleeps so well when he is swaddled, so this thing everywhere with us. I was able to get it done while both of my boys were sleeping. . . yes, I know, some of you might be saying. . . why wasn't I . . . because I know that as much as sleep in important, spending a little bit of time doing something for yourself is incredibly important for your sanity, too. I love to sew. . . I love fabric. . . this was really for me. I'm a happy mamma!

    Wednesday, March 09, 2011

    Carrot Cake Cravings

    The week before Weston arrived I was seriously struggling with a severe craving for carrot cake. So, just a few days before he arrived, I carefully grated the carrots and whipped up the cream cheese and made these heavenly cupcakes. Unfortunately, most of them sat in the fridge forgotten about since we were in the hospital with our early arrival.
    These were so delicious and so moist, I very easily could have eaten them all in one sitting (okay, probably not, but more than one---definitely!). Even my husband liked them, and he's not a huge fan of carrot cake. The recipe itself is quite simple. No crazy ingredients, like pineapple or nuts. . . just straight carrots. Simple and easy. . . especially for a dessert on the go.

    Carrot Cupcakes
    adapted from Annie's Eats

    2½ cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
    1¼ tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
    ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
    1/8 tsp. ground cloves
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled
    1½ cups (10.5 oz) granulated sugar
    ½ cup packed light brown sugar
    4 large eggs
    1½ cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil

    2 blocks of cream cheese (16oz), softened
    Powdered sugar
    1/2 cup butter, softened


    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt; whisk together and set aside.
    In a food processor fitted with a shredding disk, shred the carrots (you should have about 3 cups). Add the carrots to the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside. Wipe out the bowl of the food processor and fit with the metal blade. Process the sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Continue to process until the mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 more seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
    Scoop evenly into the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for about 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    To make the frosting, I leave my cream cheese and butter out for a couple of hours before baking. This makes it so nice and soft. . . great for the creaminess of the frosting. I put them in a bowl and use my hand mixer and beat them up for a bit, until they are combination of creaminess. Then I add powdered sugar (probably a couple of cups), I don't measure, I just go with it and vanilla and mix that up until it is a creamy, smooth, delicious combination.

    Friday, March 04, 2011

    chocolate chip coffee cake

    Despite uploading the picture for this post, it never got written until today. It has just been one of those weeks. . . or has it only been a few days? Who knows. With family in town, a trip to the beach, an infant with a horrible cold (by the way, he's 5 weeks old today!), and potty training (Ethan, not Weston. . . hee hee), I am not always in my right brain. But, today I am. Or at least, I am attempting.

    I made this for breakfast a few weeks before Weston was born. It was amazing. It was like eating dessert for breakfast (any objections?). The combination of cinnamon and sugar with the chocolate chips is one of my favorite combinations. Plus, it was so easy! However, the recipe really makes me want another bowl for my Kitchenaid Mixer (preferably a glass one), because it requires you to whip up some egg whites in addition to mixing the rest of the ingredients.
    This coffee cake was so wonderful, I can't wait for an excuse to make it again!

    I found the recipe over at Baked Bree. . . which is one of my new favorite blogs (have I mentioned I may possibly be addicted to blogs?). Her picture makes it look even better, but it is really delicious.. . I promise! And who doesn't want chocolate for breakfast?

    And because I am all of a sudden incredibly tired (and lazy), here is the link to the recipe. Let me know what you think. Click here.

    Thursday, March 03, 2011

    A little something for baby

    I can't believe this week marked a month since our little Weston entered the world. This week also marked the week he was due. . crazy! Being a mom of two has definitely been more difficult than just having one, but it is still fun! Weston is just a cute little thing and Ethan is absolutely smitten with his little brother. Plus, being slightly crazy myself, I decided to take on potty training this week also. I am looking forward to getting more than 2 hours of sleep at a time, but at the same time the quite hours of the night with my little one and Numbers and Friends re-runs are kind of nice!
    A month before our little guy entered the world, my friend Allison also had a little boy. I wanted to do something for her, but really wasn't feeling up to bring a meal, so I thought a delicious batch of chocolate chip cookies would be a nice treat. I also quickly sewed a giraffe and made a cute gift bag for the cookies.
    I love the color combination of brown, orange, and baby blue. I used my cricket to make the flower, having it cut out a flower in 3 different sizes and colors. I attached them together with a brown brad for the center of the flower.
    The cookies are my new favorites! In fact, they are so good, that they were gone before I could get them to her. So, I had to make another batch. . . darn! :)

    You can find the recipe here. I promise you, they are amazing!
    The giraffe is from a Lotta Jansdotter pattern and the fabric is Heather Ross.

    I just uploaded a bunch of pictures so I hope to be on here more often now. . . we'll see how that goes.


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