Monthly Archives: November 2011

Sunday November 27, 2011

While this little blog sat quiet and empty our real life was a busy blur.  A lot was packed into the last month and a half, but here are a few of the highlights~

A fun Monday trip to the beach with some of Jude’s classmates.  My sister-in-law Jess and I loaded the kids in the car and headed to the beach with lunches, beach towels, and sand toys.


A good time was had by all and we brought home a car full of sleepy children (and two tired mamas).

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We also went with Jude’s class to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  The field tip was on Monday but we left Sunday afternoon and arrived in time to enjoy a pizza dinner at Gianni’s, and watch TV in our hotel room until late.


I never get tired of the aquarium…


It always amazes me.  I feel like a kid again walking around with eyes wide open; pointing and saying, “Did you see that?  Look at this!!”.

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I love that he reads them bedtime stories under a blanket with a flashlight.

He’s a good daddy. 

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Our kittens are growing and thriving.  They are the most laid back, mellow cats I’ve ever met.  I think that being bottle fed and raised by young children contributed to their easy-going personalities.

Ryder and Eliza have a special relationship.  She drags that poor cat all over the house, shoves him in baby strollers, cooks him in her pretend oven, lays on the floor and rolls over him…

…and he still adores her.  He’s always close by, even when she’s taking a bath he will sit perched on the edge of the tub watching her.

I don’t usually let him sleep with her but occasionally he discovers that her door has been left cracked open and he will quietly sneak in to nap with her.

When he can’t get to her, he will find something that belongs to her; curl up next to it and fall asleep.

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I made applesauce for the very first time!  Actually Jessica (my sister-in-law) and I made applesauce together.  Two sets of hands made slicing and peeling quick work and of course the pleasure of her company made the task all the more enjoyable!

 
Jessica, hard at work.  See that teeny-tiny bump she’s sporting?  Turns out there’s a little girl in there   I can’t wait to meet her this spring!  Side-note:  doesn’t she have the best hair?

You know how sometimes you decide to make something from scratch, because you think it’s really going to be worth the extra time and effort?  Then after countess hours of toil and trouble it turns out to be just okay.  Not fabulous like you expected… just, okay.

Well this applesauce was worth every ounce of work we put into it!  It turned out SO good!  We used Pink Lady apples that Jessica got for free from her work, and we used this recipe.  We only used half the amount of sugar called for because the apples were plenty sweet.

Most of them we froze in individual containers (for lunches) but we also froze a few larger containers to use for dinner or company.

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I also made a few things for my sweet friend and neighbor, who welcomed her first baby boy this past month.  He has three adoring older sisters who are showering him with love and affection!

This is one of the bibs I made for him, and I think it is quite possibly my most favorite bib EVER!

I was so delighted with it, I immediately took it out and did a mini photo shoot with it…

{happy sigh}

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Before I launch into the next part of this lengthy and rambling post, I have to tell you that I LOVE junk food.  If it’s bright orange, an unnatural purple or blue color… I’m all over it.  Cheese puffs, grape soda, skittles, miniature candy bars, popcorn drenched in butter and liberally sprinkled with salt… those are the things I live for!

But lately I’ve been trying to reform my wicked ways.  Slowly riding the house of all that artificial goodness  crud, and replacing it with healthier alternatives.

Lunch is kind of hard for me.  I tend to skip over lunch, eat a handful of goldfish crackers and drink a diet soda.  I’m fine until about 2:30 in the afternoon.  Then I go crazy and eat everything I can put my hands on.

Lately I’ve been making myself grain/legume salads for lunch.  They are super filling, very flavorful, and healthy!  The high protein gets me through the afternoon without feeling hungry and gives me that extra boost of energy I so badly need.

This is a lentil salad with toasted walnuts, fresh thyme, celery, feta cheese, and dried cranberries.  It’s tossed in a light vinegarette.

{Recipe here}

This is a southwest inspired, mixed grain salad with black beans, avocados, cilantro, and cherry tomatoes.  It’s tossed with a lime dressing that is so tasty! 

{Recipe here}

I also did a little bit of sewing for Eliza but that will have to wait for another post.  

So I guess that’s it… thanks for sticking with me to the end ;)   I trust you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving with family and friends?  Have a great week!

~April

Hello Friends

I know.  You’re looking at your calendar and thinking, “It’s not December.  Doesn’t this woman have any self-control?  I thought we had a break from her?”

I couldn’t help but stop in to say, “Happy Thanksgiving” and to share with you my latest obsession (other than Marcus Mumford’s voice). 


For years I have wanted to make some proper advent calendars for the children, but somehow December 1st sneaks up on me and I break down and by the chocolate advent calendars from Trader Joe’s.  Not this year!  This year I’ve got a  plan.

My friend Susan, who always manages to keep an eye out for things I might find useful, found a bunch of small matchboxes in a storage closet and passed them onto me.  My original plan was to wrap each box festively and find some number decals to label them with.

But my Etsy search brought up this lovely set of vintage advent calendar labels, designed specifically for matchboxes!  How perfect are these?  

image source
I instantly fell in love with the playful vintage look and the price!  For $3.50 the seller emails you a printable image and you simply download them, print them off, and glue them to your matchboxes.  She also includes templates for making your own matchboxes, if you don’t want to go out and buy boxes.


I found some extra wide grosgrain ribbon, looped it through a small wreath and hot glued Velcro to the ribbon and the backs of the boxes.


I plan to hang them on the kids doors.


I think I’m more excited about these than the children are…

Here are some more advent calendar ideas that I loved~


Image source


Love the simple drawstring bags with the different styles of numbers
image source


This one is so beautiful~  image source
It looks like it was made with vintage Christmas cards and brown bags.


Another simple advent using matchboxes~ image source

It’s not too late make Advent Calendars for your little ones.  Some bags or boxes, a trip to the dollar store, and you’ve got the makings for a great calendar.  It can be a little tricky finding something small for all 24 days; so here are a few ideas I came up with~

~ Small candies
~ Lego men
~ hair clips
~ earrings
~ fun band aides
~ holiday stickers
~ coupons that the children can redeem. Like, “Make Christmas cookies”, “Watch a Christmas movie”…
~ small plastic animals
~ miniature cars
~ balloons
~ chocolate coins
~ paper umbrellas (like the kind you find stuck in a tropical cocktail)
~ gum
~ plastic army men

I’ve missed visiting with all of you :)   I look forward to catching up!  Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving being with loved ones and enjoying delicious food!

See you soon, April

Wednesday November 23, 2011

I know.  You’re looking at your calendar and thinking, “It’s not December.  Doesn’t this woman have any self-control?  I thought we had a break from her?”

I couldn’t help but stop in to say, “Happy Thanksgiving” and to share with you my latest obsession (other than Marcus Mumford’s voice). 


For years I have wanted to make some proper advent calendars for the children, but somehow December 1st sneaks up on me and I break down and by the chocolate advent calendars from Trader Joe’s.  Not this year!  This year I’ve got a  plan.

My friend Susan, who always manages to keep an eye out for things I might find useful, found a bunch of small matchboxes in a storage closet and passed them onto me.  My original plan was to wrap each box festively and find some number decals to label them with.

But my Etsy search brought up this lovely set of vintage advent calendar labels, designed specifically for matchboxes!  How perfect are these?  

image source
I instantly fell in love with the playful vintage look and the price!  For $3.50 the seller emails you a printable image and you simply download them, print them off, and glue them to your matchboxes.  She also includes templates for making your own matchboxes, if you don’t want to go out and buy boxes.


I found some extra wide grosgrain ribbon, looped it through a small wreath and hot glued Velcro to the ribbon and the backs of the boxes.


I plan to hang them on the kids doors.


I think I’m more excited about these than the children are…

Here are some more advent calendar ideas that I loved~


Image source


Love the simple drawstring bags with the different styles of numbers
image source


This one is so beautiful~  image source
It looks like it was made with vintage Christmas cards and brown bags.


Another simple advent using matchboxes~ image source

It’s not too late make Advent Calendars for your little ones.  Some bags or boxes, a trip to the dollar store, and you’ve got the makings for a great calendar.  It can be a little tricky finding something small for all 24 days; so here are a few ideas I came up with~

~ Small candies
~ Lego men
~ hair clips
~ earrings
~ fun band aides
~ holiday stickers
~ coupons that the children can redeem. Like, “Make Christmas cookies”, “Watch a Christmas movie”…
~ small plastic animals
~ miniature cars
~ balloons
~ chocolate coins
~ paper umbrellas (like the kind you find stuck in a tropical cocktail)
~ gum
~ plastic army men

I’ve missed visiting with all of you :)   I look forward to catching up!  Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving being with loved ones and enjoying delicious food!

See you soon, April