Thursday, August 26, 2010

kinda funny :)

This is funny--I'm a fan (lowercase f) of Taylor Swift, but this is definitely a more realistic version.  I must admit, I teared up a little at the end. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

we love smoothies!

My blender has gotten a serious workout this summer.  I think we've had a smoothie almost every day.  My kids love them and succumb to my diabolical plan to get them to eat things they wouldn't touch otherwise, like spinach for instance, Muahahaha!!!  I have several types to share with you all today so you can go smoothie it up later :)
Love this pic. There are cartoons on in the family room to their left, if you couldn't tell!

First up, this is the basic fruit smoothie that I make.  Most people use juice, but I find that too sweet and also, the protein powder adds enough flavor, so I use milk.  Do whatever you want :) Oh, and all of these recipes make enough to feed myself and all three of my kids.

Basic fruit smoothie:
1 1/2 cups milk or juice or a combination of both
1 banana
a handful of spinach (this is optional, but you can't even taste it, so really, why wouldn't you put it in?)
a scoop of protein powder (if you don't have any, try a big glob of peanut butter, yum!)
1 cup of frozen fruit (we like peaches best, mmmm, but just use whatever you have, you really can't go

There ya go! If I ever have some fruit that's going bad, I toss that in there too.  And a blender tip: always put the frozen fruit or ice in last, that way it gets nice and blended up, without chunks.  Liquid first, frozen last.

K, so I was curious about creating a vegetable smoothie and I found a pretty good one online somewhere.  I takes a little prep time, but it contains almost all the veggie servings you need for a whole day! If your kids aren't getting enough veggies, this will do the trick, my kids LOVED this yesterday.

Vegetable Smoothie:
1 cup apple juice (pure, unsweetened)
1 cup sliced apple
1/4 cup applesauce (again, pure and unsweetened!)
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 of a cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 cups ice
dash cinnamon or nutmeg

Another one we've been loving lately is one I got out of my Fresh Flavor Fast cookbook (one of my favorites). We especially like this now that Fall is approaching, yay! Plus, I find this one very filling, because of the oats probably.

Banana-Oat Smoothie:
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
1 cup plain yogurt
2 ripe bananas
1 cup milk
4 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Last but not least, here's one for the ladies :)  I have struggled a little lately with tiredness and irritability during certain times of the month (ahem).  I drive myself crazy when this happens because I am not typically like that and it feels bigger than me somehow, which I really don't like. And so I got busy and found some solutions.  Apparently, PMS is caused by a lack of a few particular vitamins and nutrients and this smoothie can help.  This is out of Drink to Your Health (an amazing book, truly!)

Avocado Dream:
1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/4 cups rice milk
salt and freshly ground pepper
a few sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish

Okay!! That should keep you busy, right?? :)  I hope some of these recipes are useful for you.  Sometimes I freeze smoothies into popsicles too, so there's another idea!

Until next time! Have a happy Wednesday (yay, hump day!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Must-reads for mamas

I have been enjoying some great reads on mothering lately and so I've complied a little list here for you.  Let's get started! :)

  • First of all, my lovely and godly sister, Jana has started blogging again, yay! And it's good stuff too. Like this post...and this one.  She has some wise things to say about how to treat your children.  Things that were good reminders for me, that's for sure! (I know, I am beyond blessed to have a sister like her :)  
  • Second, I've mentioned this blog here several times before, but Femina is chalk full of must-reads for wives, mothers and all women actually.  I really loved this post from earlier this week.  I think I want to print it out and put it on my fridge! 
  • Don't Make Me Count to Three is probably my favorite book on Christian parenting.  It really changed the way I operate as a mother.  Ginger Plowman gives situational advice, while always pointing children to the Lord and to Scripture.  Love it. I think it's time to read it again soon :)
  • Also by Ginger Plowman, this Wise Words for Moms is a great resource.  It's in a chart format and gives Scripture references for different issues or sins that your child may be dealing with.  I would love to order a bunch of these and start giving them as baby gifts, they are that valuable! 
  • Last but not least, a book I am currently reading, called Grace Based Parenting.  I love it so far, I may post a better review after I finish.  
I hope you other mothers can possibly gather some encouragement from these links! Happy reading :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I got my sewing groove back

Ever since the few months before we moved, I was not feelin' the sewing all that much.  I managed to accomplish a few things, but after flipping through some of my sewing books and magazines and being faced with a few baby showers, somehow I managed to get re-inspired to sew, yay!  I  have managed to finish a few things and to start a few things.  One of those things is a gift, so I can't share that yet and I'm still waiting to buy batting for Natalie's quilt, so that will have to wait too.  However, I did start this quilt for our bedroom:
(not the clearest pic, sorry about that.)  I really wanted to showcase the bird fabric, so my first thought, of course was a log cabin design, but I wanted to do something different.  I decided on the stacked coin idea and I really think it's beautiful.  It's a great design for scraps too, since I just pulled everything green, yellow and brown out of my scrap bin and cut away.  Can't wait to finish!

Then, since I've been wanting a new bag of some sort for Fall and I can't afford the Fossil ones that are SO awesome, I sat down and made this beauty out of what was left of my Flea Market Fancy fabrics.  I tend to take either my Bible, my journal, a textbook or another book with me almost everywhere I go, so tote bag styles work well for me.  I found this pattern in an older edition of Sew News magazine and added an inside pocket.  I'm very happy with it, can't wait to use it!

I'll be sharing some more in the coming days.  Hope you all had a happy Tuesday :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

party, party

We had Kelby's little party on Saturday!! It was just a few people, which is how I like it for little ones.  The cake turned out GREAT, as you can see and Kelby's been a busy boy with his new boy toys (it's about time, really.)
The sand box went over very well and has been keeping the kids very busy and driving Casey very crazy since there is a little sand everywhere :)  I don't mind, though, because of how well it's doing at keeping them all occupied--it's totally worth it!

Happy Birthday, Kelby Monster!!! :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Painting, writing, drawing, cooking. What have you been doing?

I've been painting our hallway and stairwell this week.  I was not very excited about it, it's by far the most complicated painting job I've tackled in the house thus far.  But, it's coming along and then I can move on to the master bedroom, for which I already have the paint and I'm so excited about it!

I also just finished a News Reporting and Writing class.  (Did I mention I'm finishing my degree...finally?) I have thoroughly enjoyed every journalism class I've taken thus far, except this one!!  I did discover, however, that 1) I'm extremely cynical about the news in general, 2) I enjoy some bias in my news *gasp* and 3) I am NOT destined for this particular area of journalism :)

Other than that, Natalie and I have been enjoying some drawing this week.  I found my old cartoon drawing books that I had when I was young and my mom found and gave me the fancy ones she had when she was young (which I always loved) and so Natalie has been enthralled.  She is a very creative gal, let me tell ya.

I don't know if my mom would appreciate me calling something from her childhood "vintage", but aren't these awesome???? I'm in love. I want to rip that cover off and frame it. But, I won't.  Maybe I could frame the whole book, though. Hmmmmm.

Last week I bought the latest issue of Clean Eating magazine (which I LOVE) and guess what, they're coming out with a best-of cookbook!! Yay! Anyway, for several years, I was looking for the perfect alfredo sauce recipe, but didn't think much about for the last couple of years or so (or since I got healthy :) Little did I know, the best recipe would be a clean one!!! I tried this one from the magazine last night, I had all the ingredients on hand and it was YUMMY! (I know most of you probably don't keep arrowroot powder around and I don't know anyone besides myself and my mom that only buys plain yogurt, so you could still use corn starch or flower and sour cream.)

Here it is:
1 cup 2% lowfat milk
1 1/2 tsp ground arrowroot
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp ground white pepper

In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk and arrowroot. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a summer and thickens, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cheese, whisking until melted.  Whisk in yogurt, nutmeg and pepper.  Cover and set aside.  If necessary, re-warm over low heat before serving.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Check it out!

On the very day of our ninth wedding anniversary, I totally made a heart in my latte! Not even on purpose!! Cool, right???

In other news, here was the view from my new-to-me rocking chair now on my front porch, thanks to my best buddy Craig and his fabulous "list":

Natalie helping Daddy try to fix the squealing breaks on the car.  (It couldn't be done. I blame my side of the family's curse of always having squeaky breaks.  I've come to terms with it and so must Casey, I think.)

And Kelby's big-boy summer haircut.  Isn't he soooo cute and big? Can you believe he's turning TWO? Cause I can't.

And one more thing :)  My cousin Jordan came over last week with a grand little idea that I had to share. She works at a school and has to wear this lanyard I.D. all the time and so she wanted a cooler lanyard than everyone else's and asked if I could sew a strip for her.  Here's how it looks.  It took about a minute and it was a great little idea, I think! And maybe a good gift idea for the teachers or administrators in your life?

Gotta go, there's a herd of elephants upstairs where my kids are supposed to be sleeping, hahaha.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

C Takes the Cake

If it wasn't obvious before now, most people voted for the third cake for Kelby's birthday party, so C it is! It is pretty cool....
(If you have no idea what I'm talking about, see this post :)  Thanks for voting! I think this is the one Melissa wanted to make too, so that's good.

I ordered the same tractors on Amazon.  There is a lot of Caterpillar stuff out there actually! Since my Dad was in town for the last several weeks (my parents live in Mongolia where my dad works for Wagner Asia, the Caterpillar dealership there), he took the little guy to see the tractors.  Kelby loves tractors, he can spot one from a mile away.

My parents took Casey and I out on Friday night to Denver's Irish Snug, an awesome Irish pub downtown with good food, good beer, a great atmosphere and awesome live Irish music.  If you live near Denver, you really have to go, I smiled the whole time we were there, it was so much fun.  I was voluntold to play the cow bell during one was awesome :)
I forgot my camera, but my mom took some pics:

I really loved a song called, "Leaving of Liverpool."  It was very relatable to military life and a really sweet song.  I tried to find a YouTube video of it, but nothing very good came up, sorry.  So, add this place to my list of why I love Denver.  What's great about your city?????