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).

**********

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!!”.

**************

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

He’s a good daddy. 

**************

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.

*************

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.

*****
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}

******
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

27 thoughts on “Sunday November 27, 2011

  1. wj3km

    Applesauce…. oh MY, do I remember as a teen helping my mom make sauce from 4-6 bushels of apples every year for our family of 9 kids – so much that I don’t like it now as an adult and don’t make it very often – although Rome or Cortland apples make a very nice pink sauce if cooked with the peelings on, then put through a Victorio – that makes the job much easier.

    you’re children are absolutely adorable!!  They look  bit ornery too ;)  I love visiting you site for all the creative ideas you share here :)  Thank youAnd, YES you’re SIL has gorgeous hair – How does she curl it like that??

    Reply
  2. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    i’m so glad to see you around here again! i really have missed your updates.
    a day at the beach sounds so fun and aquariums…o, we love those! altho’ we rarely make it to one…kind of expensive here. we have a gigantic fish store not far from us, and it has been used on cold winter nights when we want to do Something with the kids…it’s free browsing to all of our hearts content!
    those salads look amazing! especially the one with the southwest theme. i am with you on the trying to eat healthier thing…while we don’t eat junk all the time, i’ve been trying to offer healthier snacks and options for my kids, and really, we have very little junk food around here right now. it can get more ‘expensive’ to eat healthy, which is frustrating, but worthwhile in the long run.
    have a good week April!

    Reply
  3. redladybug18

    The beach looks so pretty!  You’re so lucky you get to have such a pretty one close by!
    Ryder sounds so sweet!  Just the kind you need with kiddos!  That’s amazing how attached he is to Eliza!  It’s amazing how resiliant and patient some kitties are even after being drug around the house :)
    Your salads look so yummy! 
    Glad to have you back, I’ve missed you!

    Reply
  4. WakeUpLaughing

    What a great post! You’ve been busy! I need to take something easy to pack for lunch at work and those lentil salads look delicious! The photo of the story time under the blanket is precious!

    Reply
  5. WildWomanOfTheWest

    Tickled to see you update, you are a very miss-able soul!

    That applesauce looks so wonderful, I do not think I will ever outgrow the taste for it.
    Love the pattern and fabric on the bib.  I cannot find ANYONE to rewire my vintage machine. I bought $100 worth of material the other day and no machine to sew up the dresses and backpacks.

    Reply
  6. celebration_of_life

    Yeah, she’s back:)

    On another note…are you girls peeling all your apples? If you ever want a way to do applesauce without peeling all the apples mom has a kitchen-aid attatchment that strains out all the peels. It totally cuts down on the time factor…

    I hadn’t heard that T had her baby…wanna message me details? :)

    Have a great week~

    Reply
  7. pettybunch

    So great to see you’d posted.  Your sis-in-law does indeed have great hair!  I’ve never made applesauce, but I’m the only one around here that likes it, so it would probably be lots of work just for one person!

    My Dannye Reigh is the cat person at our house.  We all love cats, but she kinda lives for them!  She’s always had at least one that loved her like you describe your little one’s kitty.  It’s wonderful when a child has a pet like that!

    Reply
  8. Richgem

    I love all the adorableness in this post! I’ve MISSED you, so this is great! I will definately have to make those salads, especially since I have eaten just about everything under the sun since Thursday, and that’s not counting the turkey din-din. Thank you for new, clever ideas!

    Reply
  9. skittler335

    What a wonderful post! Oh I am so jealous you all are still able to go to the beach! We don’t have snow yet, but it’s definitely warmer coat weather here in MN. I love the photos of your little girl and her kitty. I had a kitty like that too growing up…they are such a treasure.  I hope you take lots of photographs of them together so she can have them to look back on. Also way to go on the applesauce making! I must say, if you do it again, you need to get one of these: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=11917925 Kevin’s parents have two large apple trees and when we help out we bring ours with and they also have one of their own. It makes things a TON easier! Also yes your friend does have GORGEOUS hair. 

    Reply
  10. SpazzyMommy

    You are your sunshiney ray of creativity were dearly missed….
    I love the aquarium pictures…I LOVE aquariums. One day you’ll have to plan a trip to Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium. It’s super awesome. :)  

    The bib is incredibly cute….all the pictures of everything is inspiring…. ;)

    Reply
  11. ToLiveLoved

    Welcome back!

    Those dishes actually look really good. I’ve decided that eating healthier is just a habit. If you can just get used to buying the right stuff, you’ll eat the right stuff. Yep, I need to work on that too.We have that same little polka dot shirt!

    Reply
  12. ABAHM

    I have missed you!! This was such a great, newsy, interesting post.  Loved seeing all you have been up to. 
    I think the Monterey Bay Aquarium is the best one ever, at least it is my favorite   Probably has something to do with the great location.
    We like to eat homemade applesauce, and I am blessed with a hubby and son that sometimes just get the idea to do it!
    Gonna try those salads…they look delicious and nutritious!   
    I did a couple posts on visiting Shanda you will have to look for…it was so wonderful.

    Reply
  13. inanorchard

    @Roadkill_Spatula - We love the Monterey Bay Aquarium!  Thank you so much and blessing to you as well :)

    @Elizabethmarie_1 - It’s good to be back and now I need to make the rounds and see how everyone is doing!  I’m sure you had a wonderful time with you sweet family this Thanksgiving!

    @cerwindoris - Thank you!  It was a lot to pack in one most :)

    @foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown - I have missed you Rachel!!  We do love the aquarium but it is very expensive, fortunately we got in for free with Jude’s school group.  I never say no to a free trip to the aquarium!  I am trying to be healthier but I still really miss my miniature candy bars…

    @redladybug18 - I do feel very fortunate to live close to the beach, we really should take advantage of it more.  The kids love it and can spend all day there!  I am enjoying seeing Ryder and Eliza together, they are so funny!

    @armnatmom -  it’s good to be back and posting!  Although I was so busy last month I don’t know if I would have been able to find time to blog.  Thanks for stopping in and your the recommendation!  You are so sweet :)

    Reply
  14. inanorchard

    @WakeUpLaughing - Those salad make great to-go lunches!  Make up a big bowl and section it out into small containers and you’ve got lunch for half the week.  That’s what I’ve been doing.  They really are very filling and flavorful!

    @WildWomanOfTheWest - I’m so glad you think I’m miss-able I can’t believe no one is able to fix that gorgeous machine!  What a shame.  I’ve been wanting to make a backpack for my kiddos too, what pattern did you get?

    @celebration_of_life - Heidi B. just offered to let me use her Kitchen Aid attachment too!  I really didn’t mind cutting and peeling, it was kind of cathartic :)   We’d let one batch cook while we peeled and cut the next batch and it worked out nicely.

    @JessiLeighB - We really did pack a lot of fun into the month :)

    @pettybunch - It’s fun to be posting again and I’m so happy you enjoyed reading about it :)   Fortunately the whole family loved applesauce but we made so much they might be sick of it by the end!

    @skittler335 - Eliza and her kitty are quite the pair :)   Thanks for the link to the applesauce recipe, I will check it out!  How are you feeling my dear?  How’s baby girl doing?  Any luck finding material for the quilt?

    @SpazzyMommy - Hey Cass!  I’ve missed you bright sunshiny comments :)   I’d love to go to the Georgia Aquarium, sounds like a good reason for a road trip!

    Reply
  15. inanorchard

    @ToLiveLoved - Eating healthier is a habit I really need to work on, but learning new recipes that are tasty and healthy have really helped.  Most of it is just retraining my mind and my culinary skills!  I love that polka dot shirt!  What would we do without Target?!

    @ABAHM - I can’t wait to read all about your trip to see Shanda, what a treat!  Both of you in the same room, that’s a room I want to be in :)

    Reply
  16. skittler335

    @inanorchard - I’m feeling okay, having a few more (very minor) issues with this pregnancy than with Kylie’s. But all in all, I cannot complain. Little girl is SUPER active and is such a little wiggle worm. It makes me wonder what her personality will be like! I unfortunately didn’t have any success in finding quilt material so I ended up changing my color scheme to purple, blue and green which I still like very much. Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>