Sunday, January 30, 2011

On My Bookshelf...

I've been a horrible blogger this week. It has been crazy around here and I haven't have a few minutes to myself to sit down and write anything! Remember my resolution of reading at least 1 book every month this year?? Well, I am here to report that this month was an epic fail. Tomorrow is the last day of January and have I read a book? No. Not for lack of trying. I started a book at the beginning of the month that I couldn't get into for the life of me. By the time I decided not to read it the month was half way over. I am in the middle of Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney.

Not sure if this should even count. It is a very small book--though packed with great truth! Ok, I am counting it. =) I am going to do my best to finish by 11:59pm tomorrow. Ha! But I don't want to rush it. I want the truth to sink in and penetrate my heart. I will write my thoughts on this little book when it is complete. Stay tuned.

Anyway, my 2nd excuse for not reading is being a library fugitive. Yes, I owed them money. Sad but true. =) Happy to report as of yesterday I am payed up. So I will have all the books my little heart desires! February will be better. I have great plans for lots of reading! =) Starting this book when I'm finished with Humility. I'll Never Be Young Again by Daphne Du Maurier. I like her books. They're different, mysterious and a little creepy. I've read many of her books but have never heard anything about this one. We'll see if it's good!

Well, I better get going. I plan on reading for an hour or so while Miss Lucy Lu naps! A great way to spend Sunday afternoon......

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Recipes

If you're anything like me when it comes to cooking, sometimes you just get in a "rut." Please tell me I'm not the only one!? =) I like the food I normally cook. It's flavorful, pretty healthy (for the most part!), and best of all-- CHEAP. I am a coupon-er, I go to 5 different stores to shop the "deals" and hate hate hate when our grocery bill gets above $50/wk. That doesn't include Lucy's formula.....so I guess groceries cost a little more. Anyway, overall that's pretty good!! :)

This week I decided to get out of my dinner rut and cook some amazing recipes I found. I totally splurged and spent way over our grocery budget! I was completely out of meat, so that did it. BUT, the meals have been incredible! I can definitely re-make these recipes again for much less and plan to put them on rotation.....all while sticking to my $50/wk. budget!

Mon. and Tues. we ate up some leftovers....so those days don't count. Here's what we had Wed, Thurs, and Fri. I have 3 more meals to try next week! I can hardly wait!
Before I give you the links to these fabulous recipes let me say: EVERY one of these meals gets 2 thumbs up from me and my hubby! Carey exclaimed, "This is excellent!" every meal. Bad news: I now will be held to a higher standard of cooking. HA! =)

Here's what we ate this week:

Murphy's Hot Hamburger from Tasty Kitchen. Yeah, it was as good as it looks! (I used ground turkey and made sure to use olive oil.....had to add a little extra for the gravy since turkey doesn't have a lot of fat. Anyway, it turned out great. My hubby had lots of great things to say about this meal!) AND.....I maybe devoured it too. :)

Chicken Parmesan found on kevinandamanda.com. This was oh so yummy! I have never made this dish. We had it a lot growing up but I never really enjoyed it. BUT, when we were at Olive Garden a few weeks ago I got the Tour of Italy. Chicken Parm. was on the plate and it was so good! I knew right then I had to give it a try. Very glad I did!

Also.....I gave Lucy spaghetti for the first time last night. ......um, yeah. Let me just say we're not doing that again maybe ever. :) She was not a fan of the flavor and decided finger painting with marinara sauce was tons of fun. Also, rubbing the sauce through your hair is fun too. I was smart enough to undress her before eating, thankfully. She went straight to the bath after dinner. Here are some pics of the damage. Yuck.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Snow Day!

We got about 7 inches of snow yesterday. What does that mean? Carey took my 4WD 4Runner to work and I'm basically stuck. Again. :) I might venture out later to go to Hobby Lobby (only 1 mi. away), but I want to be safe. I have hair bows on the brain. Our niece, Baby K., will be arriving any day. So I need to finish her collection! :) Plus, Miss Lucy needs some new bows. I'm a little tired of the ones she has. I also want to get into making THESE. So cute! Ok, maybe we will go out later. :)

Anyway, in other news. I made the most amazing Tortilla Soup last night. Oh my. Thanks to Pioneer Woman for her amazing recipe! Carey LOVED it and of course I did too. There is not much left over. Tonight I am making THIS. Oh yes. If we die of heart attacks tomorrow, you will know why. =) I don't cook stuff like this a lot. But it's snowy and everyone needs some comfort food once and a while. Plus, I am going to use ground turkey. And oven fries are not that bad for you. I am using olive oil.... (can you see me justifying this meal!?)

I've been practicing with my new camera over the last few days. All of this aperture and ISO stuff confuses me. But I found some tutorials and I'm working on getting better. Here are some pics I've taken of Lucy while "practicing." She mostly just ignores me these days. I think someone has had enough picture taking. =)

Playing with saturation while editing.....

Another picture?

She's asking if she can take her bow off. I said no.
I cannot resist the faces she makes sometimes. :)
Playing with aperture.....
She's singing along to the ABC's on Baby Einstein. The kiddo cracks me up!

So that's what we've been up to. Tomorrow, I think a grilled cheese and tomato soup date at Nordstrom Cafe' is in order for me and my girlie. Our favorite place to lunch. Then some shopping--of course!! We're going to spend a gift card Lucy has to the Children's Place. I cannot believe how big she's getting! She's growing out of most of her 12 month clothes. (Ok, I know. It makes sense since she's 13 months.) I just can't believe we're in 18 month clothes now. Time flies! 

P.S. --Like the new blog look? I am trying to make it a little more chic. I'm making little changes every few days. =)

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Heart Starbucks

Starbucks. Yes, I love it. Working there for 2 years probably made it worse. I still mourn my 30% discount every time I go. Anyway, I have a little cutie who is her mama's daughter! She LOVES yummy coffee. My mother actually introduced Miss Lucy Lu to the wonder of this amazing liquid. Thanks. But, it was bound to happen sooner or later. In Lucy's case....much sooner. :) Now, I don't think Lu would like plain black coffee. I'm not even a big fan! But give her a Mocha--now that's a different story! She also thought Sbux Blueberry Scones were yummy. :) But who wouldn't? At 430 calories a pop, crusted with big clumps of sugar and filled with sweet and sour blueberries? Yeah, they're pretty good. Not so good for you.. BUT, Lucy could use the calories. She's such a tiny little peanut. I maybe helped her eat a little of the scone.....maybe.
Here are a few pics of our latest Starbucks date.

We let her lick the lid clean.....

And sip the last few drops from the cup....

Yep, it was yummy! Chocolate on the face to prove it....

Lucy was a happy camper!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


So I was browsing through the world of blogs this morning. AND I realized mine was not nearly as chic as it could be! :) Hence, I've given my blog a little makeover. How do you like it? I am totally thrilled about the cute!  new font I found. It took a little more computer savvy-ness than probably I have to get it on here. Ha! But I did it. I'm quite happy. :) All thanks to this amazing blog:    kevinandamanda.com. Hello, she is awesome. Check it out! I'm totally inspired.

Anyway, I still have a few more things I want to do. Actually a lot more things. But this will have to do for now!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day #2

Today was day #2 of being stuck at home! One of our cars is in need of a new battery AND tire. Getting it back in shape is first on the list for this weekend! 
Until then, Lucy and I are totally stuck. I'm not a fan of being completely stuck and I may have gone crazy if Timmy hadn't come to play with Lucy while I reminded myself that yes, there is an outside world. I went and played in Target. :) Well, if you consider buying bananas, peanut butter and baby food "playing." It was just good to get out. 

Lucy loves Uncle Timmy. 

He has pretty sweet stuff on his phone. 
And he makes a good pillow. 

The rest of the day was spent doing the same ol' stuff. 
Like the always popular bath time.... 

And telling Lucy "I Love You" 7000 times.....

And Lucy climbing the stairs when I'm not looking......

And letting my child play with items that are not toys....
(Oh wait, was that me?)  =)

Tomorrow....I need a PROJECT! Operation: "Clean Out the Storage Closet" will begin at nap time. Good thing, cause Lucy might go crazy if I take ANOTHER picture of her. :) 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

There's lots of fluffy white stuff out there! 
What does that mean for me and Lucy? 
Snow Day!

Usually I teach all day on Mondays, but not today! :) 
I declared it a jammie day. 
Lucy and I have been hanging out together,
cozy and warm, watching the beautiful snow fall. 
Nope, we didn't go outside and play in it. 
We had lots of fun in the snow while we were in AZ. 
Today we enjoyed it from the coziness of our jammies. =)
What did we do to pass the time?

We watched Baby Einstein.....

I left her on her own for a few minutes and this is how I found her.
Totally chilled. Ha!

Played in the bathtub.....

Entertained ourselves.....

Had tickle wars.....

Watched the "no" fall....
(That's how Lu says snow. 
Just add one of these [~] to the "n" and you've got it!)

Napped, ate snacks, read "boos" (books), 
practiced animal noises.....

This is Lucy mid- MOO. She's great at the cow noise. :)

And pondered being mischievous.....

It was a good day!
Maybe we'll do it again tomorrow. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tea Parties

Welcome to our Tea Party! 
Miss Lucy has created some delicious tea
and some fabulous petite fours.
Sit around and you'll be served by the
cutest little hostess you've ever seen!

Lucy's guests include: Mommy, Monkey, Baby Doll and Baby Belle.
We all love sipping tea and eating cakes. 

Lucy loves serving all of her tea party guests! 
Whether you want to or not, =)
you'll be drinking and eating
yummy-ness at one of our parties!

Lots of cuteness going on here!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Arizona Vacation

We spent a week over Christmas in Arizona visiting Carey's family. 
We had a wonderful time. 
Lucy loved getting to know her
Grandmother and Granddaddy better
.....and they loved her!

Merry Christmas!

Who wouldn't love this cutie!?

Reading together.
 After a long plane ride with a very squirmy baby we made it to AZ. Carey and I were placed in different rows on the plane. Not fun. Lucy wanted to walk up and down the aisle and crawl under everyone's seat. She didn't want to be cooped up on Mommy's lap reading books. That lasted about 15 minutes. The flight was 3 hrs. She definitely did not want to sleep---even though she was exhausted and it was 3 hrs. past her bedtime. But somehow I survived and she wasn't fussy. Just very squirmy. Next time we're taking a dvd player and watching Baby Einstein the entire flight. I have learned my lesson.

Full of energy!

 Anyway, once we made it to Mom and Dad's we spent most of our time relaxing. :) I read an entire book (amazing!). I don't think I've read an entire book since Lucy has been born. Ok, I take it back. I've read ONE. Needless to say, it was quite enjoyable. So I've made reading more books one of my New Year's resolutions.

Christmas morning was lots of fun. I loved watching Lucy open her presents. She LOVES all of her new toys! One of Lucy's favorite toys is her Tea Pot, cups, and petite fours. Let me tell ya, we're having lots of tea parties! :) Here are some pics from Christmas.

 We loved spending time with Randall and Hollie. Lucy loves her Uncle Randall and Aunt Hollie! She's even a pro at saying Hollie's name. It sounds like: Ha-la-ie.  :)

We took a hike and enjoyed beautiful views. The Wilson's live on the Grandview Camp site. The camp isn't quite built, but we enjoyed seeing all of the progress! It's going to be such a wonderful place for campers in the future!

The last couple of days we enjoyed tons of snow! We got about 16 inches. All of the snow called for some SLEDDING! Lucy experienced her first sled ride. Yes, it was fun! Lucy also LOVED playing in the snow. She ate a ton of it. But almost 2 feet of snow and crawling don't mix well. Her face planted a few times and after that life was not as fun. Lucy had to make a quick trip back to the warm car. And poor baby, her cheeks were red for 2 days! But overall it was a good experience. =) 

We had planned to spend our last day at the Phoenix Zoo, but all of the snow made for a LONG trip back to Phoenix. What should have taken us 4 hrs. took us 7. So, no zoo for us. :( It was actually quite cold in Phx. that day anyway. 49 degrees is very chilly for them! We might have been a little cold at the zoo. We did go eat at Claim Jumpers though. Yum! They totally won me over when they brought out a FREE snack plate for Lucy within 5 mins. of sitting down. Those people know kids.
I bet a Mom came up with that idea. :)
The flight home was much better. Carey and I sat together--hallelujah! And no one else was in our row. AND we sat in the first seats on the plane. That meant Lucy had extra room to walk around and play at our feet. I was very thankful for this. I'm not quite sure I could have handled another plane ride like the first. :)
Sweet Lucy even fell asleep the last 20 mins. of the flight.
Happy me.

Thankful for a wonderful time in Arizona!