Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Things they Say v.7

This week we're on vacation.  Nothing too fancy, but we're having fun.  David and I spent a night at the Oregon Garden Resort, just the two of us.  Then as a family, we headed to Seattle for a few days.  We're staying with Gigi, which is always special.  It's amazing to think she'll be 88 in a few more days and still lives on her own.  The girls were thrilled to see her, and we enjoy the relaxing pace of life at her house.  Plus I love that because her family is so big, we always get to see relatives when we visit.  Aunt Mary lives just blocks away and has been over twice in our first 24 hours here.  She and Honeygirl are "BFF's."

Today, as we headed back to the van after visiting the Children's Museum and Chihuli Glass Museum, Honeygirl and I were walking hand in hand.  Out of nowhere, she said, "Someday when I'm married and have my own babies and live in my own house, I'll still be your friend.  Maybe I'll even come visit you."

Aww, the sweetness of my little girl.  At almost four years old, I don't think of her as a "friend" yet, but I sure hope that day comes. And I certainly hope she feels the same as time goes on.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

Oh my goodness.  I made the most yummy new recipe this week!  Pinterest inspiration of course.  But I made a few small changes to make it my own! I thought I'd share it because not only was it a hit at home, but when I pulled one out of my lunch bag at work, everyone there asked for the recipe too!

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened applesause (I used homemade)
1 mashed banana
1/2 cups agave nectar
5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 T ground cinnamon
3 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 3/4 cups milk (I used 1%)
Optional toppings:  walnuts, raisins, fresh/ frozen fruit, chocolate chips, etc.

Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana, agave nectar, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together.
Add milk and oats and mix well.
Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan and grease the muffin cupcake liners (strange, I know, but the muffins don't stick to the liners when you do this step!)
Pour batter into cupcake liners evenly.  If adding fresh/frozen fruit, fill the liner half-way, add the fruit, then add more batter on top.  (I did this with frozen blueberries)
If adding toppings, remember to leave room in the liners for them on top.
Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
Cool and enjoy!

These muffins can be eaten warm and fresh, or frozen for later.  If you freeze them for later, take them out the night before you need them to let them thaw in the fridge.

I LOVE that you can individualize them by using different toppings to cater to each person's tastes.  And I LOVE that they are individual in serving sizes!  None of this 3/4 of my my 9x13 pan left to sit in the fridge for days....

Of course, the favorite baked oatmeal muffins in our house were the ones topped with chocolate chips.  I hope your family loves them as much as we do!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mama said there'd be days like this...

"They" say I will look back at these days with fondness.  "They" say they will go by in the blink of an eye.  But let's face it, some days are just ROUGH!  Don't get me wrong: I love being a mama.  And I love my two little girls.  But today was a day to be forgotten.  (And since we supposedly don't remember the hard days, it will likely be filed away in the "I forgot about that!" section of my brain.)

Screaming. Hair pulling.  Biting.  Half-chewed green beans piling up under the table.  Spaghetti flung from the booster seat. No fewer than 6 puddles on the floor and two panties full of poo.  More screaming.  Jumping in a friend's muddy kiddie pool fully dressed.  45 minutes of uncontrollable screaming that there *might* be a moth somewhere in the house.  Refusing to go to bed due to the possibility of said moth.  Taking toys from each other.

Sigh.  The kitchen is now clean.  The puddles have all been cleaned up.  The laundry is in the dryer.  The moth (which apparently really was in the house) is trapped in the bathroom, complete with a towel crammed under the door, waiting to be taken care of.  And the little ones are in bed.  Sigh.

And tomorrow is a new day.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cream of something Soup Mix

Have you ever wondered if there was some sort of substitute for cream of something soup when you were whipping up a recipe?  Well, I have.  I know that all those condensed creamy soups are packed with sodium, so it got me wondering.  And wouldn't you know, pinterest supplied me with a solution!  The pin where I found my recipe has since been removed, but I managed to make up my first batch before it disappeared. Yay!

The person who originally put this recipe up on their blog named it S.O.S mix.  I have no idea what that stands for, but this mix came in super handy when I went to reach for a can of cream of mushroom soup and realized I was out.  SOS mix to the rescue!  So here is my recipe:

Cream of Something Soup Mix

2c powdered non-fat dry milk
3/4c corn starch
1/4c instant chicken boullion
2T dried onion flakes

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  When ready to use, add 1/3c mix to 1c water and slowly bring to a boil.  I'm told that eventually the soup will thicken.  It can be used to add to recipes that call for condensed cream soups, or it can be eaten just as a soup.  I'm too impatient to wait for it to thicken, since I just add it to other recipes (blush!).  I've been really impressed with how well it works.  And if you wanted to make it taste more like cream of mushroom or celery soup, take either mushrooms or celery and sauté them before adding them to your soup.

I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Things they Say v.6

Some of my favorite words this week:

kee-nee:  "zucchini"
shuh-shine: sunshine
do-kee. cho-kee:  Trying to copy my "okee dokee artichokee"

And I'm loving the sweet snuggles I've gotten with Honeygirl, complete with, "I'll love you forever.  You're my best mama ever."

The days may be long and exhausting, but those two sleeping sweeties are worth every minute.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday. (Yay!)  I love birthdays.  I love the celebration.  I love being with friends and family.  And I love gifts.  Yep, I'm going to admit it.  So, although anyone's birthday is fun, I especially like mine.  And this year was special for a couple reasons.  For one, I turned 30.  Finally.  I mean, when people ask you how old you are and you say, "I'm 29," it just doesn't sound very believable.

"Ohhhh, 29.  I get it."
"No, I really am 29."
"No, really!"


But now I'm 30.  For real.

The other fun thing is that Honeygirl got to go shopping with her Daddy to pick a present for me this year for the first time.  And she managed to keep it a secret all week long!  I was so proud of her!  They went shopping a week ago Sunday.  A few times during the week, I thought she was about to spill the beans, but with a little reminder, she was always able to keep the cat in the bag.  Until yesterday morning, that is.

She had been told that presents would be after breakfast.  Now, usually, I spend Sunday morning hurrying both girls along, helping them eat.  And I have good intentions of enjoying a cup of tea, but usually run out of time.  Yesterday I was determined to do things different.  After eating my yummy french toast and bacon, lovingly prepared by my wonderful husband, I hopped up and started making a cup of tea.  And as she realized what I was doing, Honeygirl worriedly asked, " Mommy, don't you want the tea we got you?"  Key the look of horror on my face.  "It's right here in this bag!"

Uh-oh.  There went the surprise.  And just minutes before I opened my present.  But still, my three year old made it a whole week.  And would have made it the last few minutes if I hadn't brewed a cup of tea!

So I opened my present - with her help.  And of course, I enjoyed some of the super yummy Teavana tea she got me.

 My yummy breakfast!
 Lunch at my favorite restaurant.  Bonus: we found out that although the Chevy's closest to us closed, there is one about 20 minutes away.  Yay!
 My husband threw a great party for me at his parents' house.  Family, friends, and yummy food.
Me and my good friend Demetria.  As if we didn't lead lives that are parallel enough, we unintentionally wore matching clothes last night. :)

**Thanks to everyone who made my birthday so fantastic!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

DIY art

I'm working ahead on some easy DIY gifts.  Sometime before Christmas, I'll be doing a talk for my local MOMS group on that very subject, and I figure I should probably get a jump on it.  Crazy, far-ahead planning, I know.  I just know that if I don't start now, it will creep up on me and I will have nothing prepared and will freak out.  And that's never good. Better to start now.

Finger Painting Word Art

As usual, I found my inspiration for this particular project on pinterest.  And it's super easy!

 Canvases were on sale locally this past week.  I got 6 - 11x14 ones for less than $2 each!  I used some painters tape we had on hand from our last painting project and used it to write out "JOY" on my canvas.
 Next up: finger paint!  Honeygirl was more than happy to help me with this part of the project.  I put some blue finger paint on a plate and let her have at it on the canvas.  When she was finished, we let it dry before removing the tape.
When I took off the tape, I realized that the paint had snuck under the tape in various spots.  Bummer.  I thought I'd really pressed it down well, but I guess next time I'll have to check even more.  Even so, I love our new canvas!  Whether we keep it or gift it, I think it's a fun piece of artwork.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A little me time

Tonight I did something I have only done one other time since Sweet Pea was born.  

Warm Vanilla Sugar bubble bath.
A new (to me) book.
And both kiddos in bed.  
It was divine.

Potty Trials Conclusion v.1

Sunday night was big.  I'm talking huge!  It was a milestone night I wasn't expecting for months.  Maybe even a year.  But I was wrong.  Hallelujah!

Sunday night was Honeygirl's first night in regular big girl underwear.  Super Undies have been our dear friends for quite awhile.  And when she recently had a growth spurt, I snatched some up in the next size.  I had no reason to think dry nights were anywhere in our future.  Even thought something like 90% of kids are fully potty trained by their fourth birthday.

BUT, we started potty training Sweet Pea.  And good ol' sibling rivalry kicked right in.  Honeygirl was not about to be beat by her little sister.  No siree!  I did feel sorry for her when she asked me if she was a big girl - following lots of praise for Sweet Pea being a big girl.  But I reminded her that big kids stay dry.  ALL the time.  And we may have chatted about some friends who are younger and smaller who stay dry all the time.  So I will never know if it was the sibling rivalry that motivated it, or if developmentally, something just clicked.  But I can now say Honeygirl is FULLY potty trained.  YAY!

So, of course, we celebrated.  Honeygirl proudly helped count up seven consecutive dry nights prior to Sunday.  Then reminded us that she was pretty sure she had earned a "banilla bean."  We decided this was a big enough deal and obliged.

 She thoroughly enjoyed her vanilla bean frappuccino .
She even shared (voluntarily!) with her little sister.  Awww!

I am SO proud of her.