Nov 172014

Okay, a day late but still here even though I missed last week. It’s been a busy few weeks around our house.

Sunday: Lasagne
Mon: Crockpot Chicken Chowder
Tues: Tacos
Wed: Chili
Thurs: Spinach Tomato Tortellini
Friday: Left Overs

Mon: Out
Tues: Out
Wed: Out
Thurs: Chili Left Overs
Friday: Lasagne Left Overs

Nov 132014

Since Lia and Noah are at a bigger center, we get to do things we didn’t with his small daycare – like field trips! Once a year they take a trip to the pumpkin patch. DH went with Noah last year (and Lia was too little) so I got to go this year. The bonus was that Lia got to go too!!

This was her first time on a school bus (that she was aware of at least) and you would have thought it made her life. She was so excited to ride on a “cool bus” that she couldn’t stop saying it even weeks later! She also talks about going to the “bumpkin patch” to get a “bumpkin”.

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We ended up leaving the patch with two more pumpkins (take our total on the porch to 14 pumpkins of various size and shapes) and 3 gords.

They kids had a great time both with me and their friends (and I got to scout a new photo spot in their Christmas tree area!).

Nov 042014

I think DH comments at least daily about how much he loves our neighborhood and I totally agree. All of the time hunting to figure out what we wanted and didn’t want then trying to find a place that checked all the boxes has really paid off. We love it out here. What makes it even better is that we’ve had some awesome neighbors move in around us. We have 4 families in close proximity and they all have kids. Two have kids whose ages match ours and the other two have some a bit older.

The guys across the street have one Noah’s age and then three a bit older. We all end up outside in the evenings just hanging out and playing. I love that the older boys are not entirely annoyed when Noah wants to play with them (and their little sister). Lia’s just happy to be along for the ride most times.

A few weeks ago we ended up outside playing baseball in the street (the street does not yet continue past us so no one comes down this way). Our neighbor patiently explained to Noah how to play and what to do and then stood there and pitched for him (and his daughter) for what seemed forever. It was really nice of him and made Noah so happy!!

Seems Noah has a knack for baseball so it looks like I’m going to be signing him up for spring ball:)

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Nov 032014

Back in the groove! Made a great Shrimp and Corn Chowder last night which was sooo good since it was so freakin cold out (I know, it’s not even that cold yet…). The rest of this week looks great too – I’m excited!

Sunday: Shrimp and Corn Chowder
Mon: Chili/Lime Porkchops with Black beans and Quinoia
Tue: Pasta e Fagioli
Wed: Fajitas
Thurs: Crockpot Chicken and Corn Chowder
Fri: Out

Mon: Sour Dough and Chicken Cold Cuts
Tues: Lunch in at Work
Wed: Pasta e Fagioli leftovers
Thurs: Out
Fri: Out

Nov 022014

A few weekends ago Papa and Memaw came down to visit. Unfortunately our plans of apple picking were thwarted by rain but that didn’t bother anyone. A day-in snuggling with the grands was just what everyone needed. Memaw and Papa got some valuable bonding time in with the kiddos and mommy and daddy got a ton done around the house.

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Nov 012014

So we’re going a bit out of order here since this is the order I finished working on the pictures:) Last weekend we had a lot going on but had to take a bit of time out of the rush to go for a family hike in the AM. The weather was a bit windy but beautiful! Perfectly cool and crisp which makes hiking so much fun.

Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve is just a 15 min drive for us to get to and offers quite a bit of hiking. It’s far enough out to make it peaceful but not a super long drive.

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Oct 292014

Given my dive in to quilting lately, I thought I’d join in with Amy’s Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival and submit and share the two finished quilts that I have (since the 5 unfinished ones don’t count yet:) ). So this is repost from June 2012

I finally finished baby girl’s quilt!! The pattern claimed to be doable in a few hours in a day…haha…funny. I counted 15 hours on this baby and that’s with using pre assembled binding and machine stitching everything. I learned alot. Namely the fact that I’m not nearly exact enough to really do this well. Like baking, fudgy measurements make a big difference (perhaps that’s why I prefer cooking over baking) and I’m just not that patient:) That said, I know I’ll make at least one more of these for Noah (I ordered a jelly roll today for his).

Anywho..without further’s baby girl’s quilt:)



I used a disappearing 9 pattern and what I like to call a crazy stitch to quilt it (where I hope my mistakes really don’t show that much). The binding was a satin blanket binding that I found at Joann and I did it by machine too (my hands are already starting to numb so I figured a hand stitched binding may not have been the best idea at the time. Maybe I’ll try it for Noah’s.)

In the end, it was a lot of work but so worth it. I love that I’ll have this for her as she grows and that it was something that I did. Both my mom and my grandmother were avid seamstresses as I was growing up (my mom still is!) and I still remember a lot of what they made for me (and my brother) all those years ago. Heck, I even go to my mom now when I need things fixed. I have a whole new respect for their efforts!

Now…on to the dust ruffle for her crib:)

Oct 292014

Given my dive in to quilting lately, I thought I’d join in with Amy’s Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival and submit and share the two finished quilts that I have (since the 5 unfinished ones don’t count yet:) ). So this is repost from Jan 2013

So when I made Lia’s quilt before she was born I knew at some point I wanted to make one for Noah too. So, I started it when I was 38 weeks pregnant (about 3 days before Lia was born) haha. Noah asked me one day what it was (it was sitting on my craft table) and I told him it was his blanket that mommy was making him. He got sooo excited! From there on any time he’d pass my craft bench (which was any time he went outside to the backyard) he’d ask me about his blanket. He wanted to wear it around:) Well, I finally got around to finishing it up – 6 months to the day I started it.

This one was done with a jelly roll of Moda Summertime fabric. It was actually pretty neat and quick to get the center patch together. You just sewed all the long strips together in one long line then folded that long line in half, sew the length, chop the end and do it again. I kept halving it until you came to a manageable size. I made my center patch just big enough to cover the top of a twin bed (I was a little short in the length tho). Then I added about 9 inches on either side and a foot to the top and bottom to make it cover his bed with some overhang.

I learned alot with Lia’s quilt and even more with Noah’s. I’m confident that I’m not a quilter but I’m proud of the two pieces I’ve managed to turn out. (eta: okay, maybe I’ll be a quilter yet!)




Oct 272014

I feel my motivation coming back! I spent yesterday prepping and pre-cooking and have a good handle on this week I think. I made a pot of bolognese that I’ll freeze and have the Korean BBQ beef marinating for tonight.

Mon: Sour dough and chicken sammy
Tues: Sour dough and chicken sammy
Wed: Out
Thurs: Left over chicken and pasta
Fri: Out

Sun: Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Shallots with Quinoia (this one is a family favorite!)
Monday: Korean BBQ Beef with Rice (this is the closest recipe – I used shaved beef and slightly different ratios but overall similar enough.)
Tues: Mom Out – Pasta and Sauce for Daddy
Wed: Chicken, Pasta and Marcapone
Thurs: Pineapple Chicken Quesedilla
Fri: Trick or Treat Tacos!

Oct 232014

It’s almost a given that on the heels of running a half, I’m itching to do another. I blame runners high and the endorphins. After I finished the Fountain Head Half in May (and once the soreness passed) I found myself searching for another race. A road half this time since Fountain Head was off road an that was a totally different ball game.

This time around I also wanted DH to be able to run with me. It’s fun to do those types of things as a couple (at least for us). So I had to find something close to one of the grands so we’d have kid coverage. Pittsburgh was too far off date wise so I was looking around Lancaster. I stumbled on Hershey and I’m so happy I did. How could you go wrong running through an amusement park and having a chocolate stop at mile 12?

I worked out perfectly. We left the kids with DH’s parents and drove the 45 min up to Hershey for the race.

It was an early morning because we had to pick up our packets prior to the race and of course Lia woke as we were trying to leave so we had to wake my MIL to hang with here. We arrived in Hershey just before 6am and scored what we thought was a primo spot right at the front (which turned out not to be – we waited a long time to leave!).

Packet pick up took 10 min which is good because at 6am it was COLD and blustery!! I worried that I had enough layers on to run this race. DH had brought trash bags to try to keep warm prior to the start of the race but unfortunately for him they were kitchen sized and he’s not. So, he had a trash bag scarf to wear – so not effective. Anyways, we ran back to the car and waited out the 90 min until the start in the comfort of our warm car.

Around 7:15 we made our way over for a quick potty stop but after 15 min in line we still weren’t even close to the front and the race had started so we abandoned that idea and just started to run. That was a fun first mile! Thankfully we were able to make a pit stop at mile 1 and continue on our way – much lighter.

The first 4 miles were pretty quick. We spent 2 working our way around the parking lots and Hersheypark drive and on into the park. We ran a mile through the park and then on out into some of the neighborhoods around Hershey. By mile 5 we hit a groove and things flew by. We ran past the country club which was really pretty.

Running down Chocolate Ave was cool – the road surface was actually brown. Then we ran into the campus for the Milton Hershey School. What was neat about this was that all the kids that live on campus there had come out of their houses and set up camp on the roadside to cheer people on. By the time we got around to them they had to have been there for at least and hour and were still excited and yelling. The had to be exhausted after the race was over!

The last 3 miles hurt pretty badly. My legs were done. I could feel the blisters on the feet and my knees were pretty sore but I looked at our time and realized that we could make this race under 2:20 if we kept up our pace. So I looked at DH and asked if he could push it for these last three. It was only 30 min…I can hurt for 30 min I kept thinking. So we kicked in whatever afterburner we had and tried to book it in under 2:20.

At the top of the hill at mile 12 there was chocolate which I thought I’d love but I was so parched that it was like chewing sand. Oh well…the little bit of sugar had a nice kick. As we rounded the stadium DH grabbed my hand thinking we could cross together holding hands…only, we still had about .2 miles to go. He was a little premature in his celebration.

The last .1 or so was around and into the stadium. That’s the fastest I think I’ve ever run. I left it all on that track (my GPS said I was an 8:30 pace which for me is crazy fast!). Crossing the finish line and looking up to see 2:22 on the clock was a little disappointing (I totally forgot that that was total time elapsed – not my time) but a good show none the less considering how much we trained. It wasn’t until I checked my email as we sat down to stretch that I saw we actually came in under 2:20:) 2:19 and a few milliseconds. Not a PR but one of my better times (my RnR race was 2:19 as well). I was definitely happy with that race.

We milled about for a bit cooling down and refueling. We took a few pictures but were anxious to get back to the kids so we headed out. It took about 45 min just to get out of the parking lot but once we were through (and a quick Dunkin stop) we were on our way home.

The rest of the day was rough – we still had to drive back to DC so when we all passed out at 9:30pm I was not surprised. It only took a few days for the soreness to go away which is good – I have to get back on the training wagon – Richmond is in 3 weeks!!

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(and just so I have this somewhere…)
3/22/2009 VA Beach Shamrock Half (pre kids – trained to 8) – 2:15
5/15/2011 Pittsburgh Half (A year after Noah’s birth – trained to 8) – 2:20
5/5/2013 Pittsburgh Half (9 months after Lia’s birth – no training) – 2:40
3/15/2014 Rock and Roll USA (first half by myself – trained to 11mi) – 2:19
5/18/2014 Fountainhead Off-Road Half (first trail half – totally different ball game) – 2:49
10/14/2014 Hershey Half (trained to 8) – 2:19
11/15/2014 Richmond Half – shooting for 2:15!!

Oct 222014

I can’t believe we’re to 45 days already with this thing. I’m so much less focused on it because it’s just part of the day now. Get home. Feed Family. Put kids to bed. Go work out. Same routine most nights.

I’m still seeing results which is astonishing since my eating has been CRAP lately! I suppose I could see more if I actually ate right.

Anyways – no pics this time – just don’t have enough hands or time to do it. But I’ll update the measurements.

Starting Measurements:
Waist – 30 in
Hips – 37.75 in
Chest – 33.5 in
Thigh – 20.75 in
Bicep – 10.5 in
Calf – 14.25 in

Day 30 Measurements:
Waist – 29 in (-1)
Hips – 36.75 in (-1)
Chest – 33 in (-.5)
Thigh – 21 in (+.25)
Bicep – 10.5 in (0)
Calf – 14.25 in (0)

Day 45 Measurements:
Waist – 28.75 in (-.25)
Hips – 36.5 in (-.25)
Chest – 32.5 in (-.5)
Thigh – 20.5 in (-.5)
Bicep – 10.75 in (+.25)
Calf – 14 in (-.25)

So, downward progress. I lost 1 lb as well putting me at a total of 7 lbs from the start of all this. Honestly I’d love to lose another 10 but I’ll settle for another 5:) But that’s going to take some serious commitment on the eating front of which I seem to be lacking lately.

We still have the second half of this challenge so here’s to recommitting and trying to move the needle even further.

Oct 202014

This one was done by the seat of my pants while walking through the grocery store with about 10 min to shop. We were out this past weekend and this week is shaping up to be challenging so I was hunting for quick and easy.

This week will have alot of lunches out – something has to give when getting ready in the AM and it will be lunches this week.

Mon: Out
Tues: Left Over Soup
Wed: Left Over Pasta/Sauce
Thurs: Out
Fri: Out

Mon: Slow cooker Thai Soup
Tues: Pasta and Sauce
Wed: Sausage/Peppers
Thurs: Frozen Pizza
Fri: Out as a family

Oct 152014

Even before we had kids DH and I would dream of the times I we could take the kids out in to the backcountry with us for some serious backpacking. Once Noah learned to walk we started counting the days before we could get him out on a hike in the woods.

Now that Lia’s old enough and steady enough to walk over uneven surfaces we’ve taken both of them on longish (for them) day hikes but had yet to backpack. The logistics of taking 2 kids that can’t really carry their own weight backpacking were overwhelming at first. Not only would we need a bigger tent but we’d need sleeping bags, clothes and extra food etc. We’re not light packers by any stretch of the imagination so to figure out how to accommodate all the extra stuff (with the possibility of carrying a child at times as well) without killing our backs was tough.

So we looked for a short hike in figuring we can carry extra weight for a short period of time and if things went south we could potentially bail in the middle of the night (at 1 mile hike out in the dark, though not ideal, is doable). We found a place about 45 min away that was perfect!! It took us two tries (first one was thwarted by thunderstorms) but Sky Meadow State Park has walk in primitive campsites that you can reserve for $15 a night. There’s a non-potable water pump and a few vault toilets back there but otherwise there are no amenities. Each site had a well drained tent pad, a picnic table and fire ring. Some of the sites were right off the trail. Others, like ours, were down a bit from the trail and into the woods. It made it feel like we were really out there by ourselves (well, except for the sounds of campers around you:)).

What was really funny was that when we got there we found out that you could rent a wheelbarrow for $10 in order to carry your stuff back to the site. So, our visions of a rugged hiking path were met with a bike/stroller/wheelbarrow friendly meander through grass lands and fire road. We were already packed up to carry it all in on our person so we passed on the wheelbarrow – but it was nice to know that it was there in case and the kids didn’t care that it wasn’t trail. They were just happy to be out.

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The trip was fun and thankfully uneventful (last time we were at that park Noah was stung by a caterpillar). We did struggle to make a fire because the wood was wet but managed to make enough so the kids could roast marshmallows (and smoke out every bug in a 4 mile area). The kids slept terribly as did we but I expected that being that this was Lia’s first time in a tent (plus it was her first big sleep over outside of her crib with all of us and the dog aaaand she had a marshmallow right before bed…to say she was amped up was an understatement). But, the pack-up and hike out the next AM was so beautiful and even though we were exhausted, it was the perfect trip. I can’t wait to do it again!

Oct 132014

A day late (which is better than last week where I completely missed!). It’s been hectic around here lately and my motivation is waining. I’m trying to get back in a groove but it’s tough. We wake up when it’s dark, go to bed when it’s dark and soon I’ll look forward to coming home in the dark too. Sigh..I love fall but i’m not so keen on winter.

Mon: Out
Tues: Out
Wed: Roast Beet and Chicken Salad
Thurs: Chicken and rice soup left overs
Fri: Cold Cut Sandwich

Sun: Thai Chicken Breast
Mon: Shrimp over zoodles
Tues: Tacos
Wed: Creamy chicken and rice soup
Thurs: Slow cooker quinoia soup
Fri: Pizza

Oct 112014

Now that Lia has a big girl bed, she needs a big girl quilt to cover it:)

I had started to look for fabrics even before we started the plan to move her to a bigger bed and just didn’t fall in love with anything – until I found this one!! Garden Party Tango by Melissa Ybarra is just a pretty collection of both colors and patterns. I think it will make a great quilt for her room and a nice base to decorate around.

I found a pattern on Pinterest that I really liked and seemed simple enough (me and elaborate quilts don’t mix yet – I need simple straight lines with little cutting to build my confidence). And here’s where I am so far!


The pattern is for a 36in x 36in blanket so of course that won’t work for her bed so I’m doubling the pattern and will still probably have to do a border to get to the right size. I have the groups of strips sewn together and now need to iron them and cut, then stitch again. I only get 20/30 min here and there so things are going slowly. Maybe by the time she’s 16 I’ll have it finished!

Oct 092014

We spend quite a bit of time down at the lake here in our neighborhood. It’s just so pretty and quiet and a 5 min walk from our front door. During the last few days of summer we were down there almost every night for sunset.

This time around I took the big camera with me and got some pics of Lia mostly but did managed to sneak in a few of Noah on his bike. He looks so big on it and more like he’s riding a toy than real bike.

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Oct 082014

So we’re already through the first month of round 2 of the Bikini Body Mommy program! I can’t believe how fast things have flown. I have to admit that I’ve not been as focused on this challenge as I was the last one. Just lots going on plus I’m trying to train for 2 half marathons this fall so I’ve had to mix things up.

That said, I am making sure to work out 6 times a week and would say 90% of the time it’s with Brianna’s videos. I generally do the strength days and then on the HIIT cardio days, I do my runs. On the days that I cant get a run in then I’ll do the prescribed HIIT cardio work out. So far it’s worked out and I’m seeing results. My clothes fit better again and I just generally feel more healthy

Starting Measurements:
Waist – 30 in
Hips – 37.75 in
Chest – 33.5 in
Thigh – 20.75 in
Bicep – 10.5 in
Calf – 14.25 in

Day 30 Measurements:
Waist – 29 in (-1)
Hips – 36.75 in (-1)
Chest – 33 in (-.5)
Thigh – 21 in (+.25)
Bicep – 10.5 in (0)
Calf – 14.25 in (0)

So – not as drastic as the first time around but I attribute that to a bunch of things.

1. I didn’t have that much more to go like I did the first time (those last 5 lbs are stubborn!).
2. I bumped up to heavier weights so I’m building some muscle in my arms (hello bicep definition).
3. I’m running a lot which builds the muscle in my legs
4. My nutrition has not been on point lately. Not that it’s bad – overall we’ve shifted for the better but I’ve let myself have a few indulgences as of late.

Time to buckle down in the next 30 and see if I can get those last few pounds off and tone up my arms and back.

Maybe I’ll take pics that I can share with everyone at the next check in… this time I’m too lazy:)

It’s never too late to get started! If you’re interested in joining us, let me know. We have a great support group on Facebook!!

Oct 072014

Weeks behind here because it’s been so busy (and I’ve had some client work to do in the evenings) but a few weeks ago we took the kids on a hike in Great Falls National Park. It was kind of a warm up to see how Lia would do on a longer walk and it was great!

The hike is an easy one – one big up hill on fire road and then a meander down hill on trails. We let her walk on her own for as far as she would go (which was surprisingly far) and when she got tired we plopped her in the backpack. She ended the hike walking on her own too.

Noah had already done that hike with DH so we knew he’d be fine. Although, on the long boring hike up we had to be inventive with how we kept his attention so he wouldn’t whine and want to be carried. Searching for the various leaf types worked pretty well (or pretending the trend on the side of the trail was a deep crevasse that he had to navigate.) I love watching his little imagination work.

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In the end we covered about 4 miles I think – nothing big but pretty good for the kids! This was a great set up for our next few trips out (including a back pack trip!)

Oct 052014

So, not all fixes are home runs (which is good for my budget:) ). This one was not. I went out on a limb and asked for a skirt and a chunky sweater or cardigan and while Gillian tried – it was just not what I was looking for.

All was not lost, I did keep three of the 5 pieces and I appreciate that she tried to find what I was looking for – it was a long shot.

So, before we get on to the fashion show, a little about Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is a personal styling service. You fill out a style profile online, schedule your fix and wait for the package of goodies!! Try everything on in the comfort of your own home and keep only what you want. Use the pre-paid envelop to mail back the rest (if anything!!) and that’s it.

A few details:

  • There’s a $20 styling fee, which is used towards your order
  • If you keep all 5 items you receive 25% off your order.
  • You choose your price range.
  • The more feedback you give to your stylist, the better your fixes get over time. So be sure to be very specific to your stylists so that they can send you things you’ll love. I highly suggest hooking up your Pinterest style board to your profile as well.

Lastly, if you want to sign up use this link. (Full disclosure, I get a referral bonus if you use that link. You can too once you’re signed up and share with your friends!)

Now, let’s go through what I kept:

Bay to Baubles Rowena Leaf Pendant Necklace

I loved this one – simple, different and just the right length.

41Hawthorn Walt Striped Skirt

This is one that I wouldn’t have normally purchased for myself and definitely not one for “fat days” but it’s nice to have something different in my closet. I have to find a nice navy cami and it would pair perfectly with my mustard colored cardi.

Pomelo Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse

I LOVED this one! I’ve already worn it a bunch – perfect with skinny jeans and my brown boots.

And the pieces I sent back:

41Hawthon Breyson Pleat Detail Sleeveless Knit Top

This one just fit like a night shirt. I don’t know if it’s because I lost weight since I filled out my profile or what, it just didn’t

Under Skies Simran Solid French Terry Moto Jacket

This was the one she tried in lieu of a chunky sweater and just not at all what I was looking for. That’s not always a bad thing because heck, that’s part of using this service. Unfortunately, this one was just not what I was looking for so it went back.

So there you have it. Not a dud but not the homerun I’ve had in the past. My next fix is November. I’m anxious to see what fall pieces they send along.

Sep 292014

Hello Monday!! You always seem to come around too fast after a fun weekend. Trying a few new things this week since we have a relatively calm week. I love the onset of fall – bring on the soups, stews, and goulashes!!

Mon: Everroast Chicken, Guac, and veggies
Tues: Egg Salad Tortilla
Wed: Out
Thurs: Left over Picadillo
Fri: Out

Sun: Ravioli
Mon: Chicken Francese with Brown Rice
Tues: Chicken Pineapple Fried Rice (own recipe – making it up as I go)
Wed: Crockpot Picadillo over brown rice.
Thurs: Macaroni Casserole
Fri: Something quick

Sep 242014

The end of the crib era has arrived in our house! We took Lia’s crib down this past weekend and put up her big girl bed for no other reason that it’s getting too hard to snuggle with her in the rocking chair haha.

She’s put her foot up a few times in her crib but showed no desire to climb out so it wasn’t that. It was just the fact that I love to snuggle with her and it’s easier if she has a bed vs. bringing her back to ours and starting that habit.

I would have done it sooner but I couldn’t find the bed that I wanted. I was waffling between a Jenny Lind that I could paint a fun color and a plain metal bed that wouldn’t compete with her pretty dresser. What I found wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but it’s perfect just the same! It is a metal bed but not entirely plain. It’s delicate and pretty and I love it! (and I’ll have to take a picture of it later..)

Lia’s adjusted pretty well to it. We have rails up on either side and I noticed the other night those are necessary (I found her smashed up against one). Plus, we put a gate on her door because she’s at the top of the steps and I fear she’ll wonder out and fall down. So now when she wakes (usually around 4:30am), she’ll come to her door and yell “mamma!” or “daddy!” at the top of her lungs until we come out. Once she sees us she generally turns around and climbs back in. Lately she’ll do that then pat the bed next to her for one of us to lay down too. Who can say no to that?!

Now I just have to get her big girl quilt made to cover her bed (just like I did for Noah). More on that later.

Sep 222014

This week is going to be a little crazy with things going on most evenings. I tried to pick quick things but also things that I already had in my fridge (since I have a bunch left over from our BBQ on Sunday). So, nothing truly exciting this week..haha

Monday: Out
Tuesday: Chicken Sesame Salad
Wednesday: Chicken Lunchmeat Rollups
Thursday: Egg salad
Friday: Out

Sunday: BBQ (chicken, burgers and sausage)
Monday: Pasta and Sauce
Tuesday: Chicken sausage, Peppers, and pasta
Wednesday: Hamburgers on the grill (on lettuce for momma)
Thursday: Pizza (or Chinese food – per Noah’s request)
Friday: Turkey Tacos and black beans(on lettuce for momma, tortillas for the rest)

Sep 182014

Those of you that are Facebook or IG friends have seen me post a few things about ice dyeing. What, do you ask, is ice dyeing? Well, exactly what it sounds like – dyeing fabric using the combination of ice (or snow) and powdered dye. A co-worker of mine introduced me to the concept during a “crafternoon” party (over margaritas of course) and it’s become kind of an addiction. I’ve had enough questions from friends that I figured I’d share our process.

The whole process, end-to-end, takes about 2 days. Prepping the fabric, setting the dyes and the wrap up steps are quick – relatively. It’s the ice melting part that takes a while of course.

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For supplies, you’ll need:
1. 5 gallon bucket (to do the pre-soak)
2. Large bin (we used a rough tote and smaller shoe box sized bins) with a grate or porous raised surface (so the water drips through as the ice melts). We used florescent light louvers that had been cut to fit in the bin.
3. Fabric to dye (we used cotton, bamboo, and rayon fabrics)
4. Fiber reactive dye (found here)
5. Rubber Gloves
6. Protective mask (do you don’t breath in the dye as you sprinkle it on)
7. Textile Detergent (again found here)
8. Soda Ash (see a trend? again found here)
9. various rubber bands, threads etc if you want to tie up your fabric

It seems like a lot but once you have it, you use it over and over again (and again, it’s addictive). Plus, they’re relatively cheap materials. I think our total set up was about $14 a person.

Dharma has a full on tutorial here you can browse through but real high level you’ll do the following:

1. Wash the fabric in the textile detergent to get rid of an residue.
2. Soak the fabric in soda ash solution for 30 min
3. Don your rubber gloves and ring fabric out. Then pinch, tuck, scrunch, wrap to get your pattern.
4. Place fabric in plastic bins and cover with ice (we used 10lb bags of ice. 1 for the shoebox sized, 2 for the big rough totes). You can put more than one article of fabric in each bin as long as you’re okay with them sharing colors.
5. Don your dust mask and use plastic spoons to sprinkle the dye over the ice. This is there it gets fun. You can combine colors, stick with 1, whatever. The sky is the limit.
6. Now wait….24 hours (at least – but no more than 48) for all the ice to melt and the dye to set.
7. Rinse, wash with textile detergent, wash #2 with textile detergent, rinse
8. Dry (hot as you can)
9. Iron
10. Enjoy:)

We found that it’s really hard to do wrong here. Most of us used 2 or 3 colors but had a few, that had larger pieces, use 4 or 5 colors. Depending on the color you use, some of them separate into their primary bases – so like a jade green will give you green, yellow, and blue colors as it works through the fabric. You never know how it will turn out (which makes the rinse step kind of like Christmas or your birthday:) ).

As for wrapping, scrunching, pinching etc…have fun. Try different things. I did a lot of twisting and scrunching for the scarves. The fabric I pleated and then twisted. I want to try one where I just scrunch and see what happens.

There are Pinterest boards dedicated to the craft and a quick Google image search gives you lots of really neat pictures. Like I said, it’s addictive. The time commitment is really not that big – 30 min for the soak, maybe 30 min to arrange and apply the dye. Then 20 min to rinse the next day and your wash loads (which is a set and come back later situation). It’s a great craft to do with your girls over drinks and some gabbing:) ( would recommend doing it outside or on a tarp if you have more than a few people working at once – it gets wet because of the ice and the dye can travel in the air if you’re not careful).

Have fun and share if you try it!!!

Sep 162014

Last week we started another round of the Bikini Body Mommy 90 day challenge ! Since it worked so well the first time, I’m trying it again. The big difference this time is trying to work in half marathon training into the schedule (like replacing at least 2 or my HIIT cardio workouts with runs…we’ll see).

The program consists of 6 days a week of short high intensity workouts that alternate between cardio and strength. They’re generally under 25 min which is totally digestible when the only time you have to do them is after the kids are in bed – at 9:30pm!

They have check in’s every 15 days and encourage you to stay off the scale in the mean time (did you know that your weight can swing as much as 5 lbs in either direction in a short period due to water retention etc..)

Starting Measurements:
(they’re pretty much my ending measurements of the first challenge…)
Waist – 30 in
Hips – 37.75 in
Chest – 33.5 in
Thigh – 20.75 in
Bicep – 10.5 in
Calf – 14.25 in

If anyone is interested in joining our Facebook group, let me know. We have a great group of gals who are working together to encourage each other to keep going and pushing hard!!

Sep 152014

Building the menu this week was a challenge. I’m running out of lunch ideas and trying to keep it quick and portable but still tasty and nutritious.

Sat: Sandwiches
Sun: Butternut squash soup with chicken skewers
Mon: Left over Butternut Squash soup
Tues: Left over Chili
Wed: Chicken salad with peanut dressing and carrots
Thurs: Cold Cuts and Cheese
Fri: Out

Sat: Chili with corn bread
Sun: Pizza Party (Birthday Party)
Mon: Pasta and Bolognese Sauce
Tues: Salmon on the Grill
Wed: Veggie Fajitas
Thurs: Buffalo Chicken Burgers
Fri: Pizza

Sep 082014

Another week, another menu! We already didn’t follow the plan on Sunday so that will just move on down the week somewhere.

Sat: Shrimp and Corn and potatoes on the grill
Sun: Kung Pao chicken with Zoodles
Mon: Pizza
Tues: Crockpot Bolognese and pasta
Wed: Fajitas
Thurs: Salmon on the Grill
Fri: Fish Tacos and black beans

Mon: Out
Tues: Shrimp salad
Wed: Out
Thurs:Egg Salad Sandwich
Fri: Banana Sushi

Sep 012014

It’s only Monday and I’ve already altered this plan given the fact that our weekend plans were upended due to storms. Oh well, thankfully this is flexible:)

Mon: Artichoke and Mozzarella Panini’s
Tues: Fajita salad
Wed: Left Over Red Pepper Alfredo
Thurs: Left Over Chili Mac
Fri: Out

Sat: Greek Burgers and Corn
Sun: Fajitas and Greek Salad
Mon: Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo on Zoodles
Tues: Pulled Pork in the Crockpot
Wed: Chili Mac
Thurs: Pasta and Sauce
Friday: Pizza

Aug 272014

So I have a number of crochet projects that I’ve started in the last few months but haven’t shared.

The latest two have been hats for a very special diva who’s starting chemo in Sept for a recurrence of a brain tumor. She’s going to be bald through the winter so she’s needs lots of hats to keep her head warm and as a 9 year old they need to be uber stylish!!

The first one was just a basic beanie with a cool big wooden button

The the second is this butterfly hat. Excuse my mug in there…it was the best way to show the butterfly on the front. The hat’s actually too small for me but it has a nice stretch:)

The other things I have started but not finished are a granny stripe blanket for us here at home. It was unintentional but I ended up picking the colors from my alma mater, good ole MUC (I still can’t bring myself to use UMU).

A ripple baby blanket that I’ve decided will go to the church for the prayer blankets project – it’s lap sized.

And a random blanket that I was using to test stitches – it’s a pretty gold color that I finally found more yarn to match so I can make more progress. If nothing else it’s a great texture blanket for photography. I don’t have a picture of it though.

The kids have also asked for hats (once they saw the ones I was doing for Bella) so that’s on my list too. Plus, I have the yarn purchased/stored for two more blankets at least.

I think I have a problem:) haha…

Aug 252014

So, as predicted, last week was pretty much a total FAIL in following the menu. I figured it might be with what was going on. So, there are some repeats this week because I really wanted to try them but didn’t get around to it last week.

This week should be better and I’m committed to getting back on the clean eating wagon – I’m all kinds of sluggish because I’ve been lax about what I’m eating.

Mon: Turkey Tacos with Black Beans
Tues: Pasta and Sauce (momma’s out so daddy’s in charge)
Wed: Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup
Thurs: Sriracha Salmon with Asparagus
Fri: Pizza

Mon: Pesto Chicken Sandwich with mozzarella
Tues: Sesame Chicken Salad (with Carrots and Edemame)
Wed: Out
Thurs: Egg salad in a tortilla wrap with watercress
Friday: Out

Aug 202014

The theme of this vacation was “seize the moment”. With a bit of unpredictable weather on the docket (it was supposed to rain every day we were down there), we took every non-rainy moment to get out and do things. We even took a few rainy moments to play on the beach (we were getting wet anyways).

In the end, we had amazing weather a vast majority of the week. The skys were a bit overcast but the humidity was low and the air temps were moderate so it was very comfortable. We took the hottest day of the week and drove down to Nag’s Head figuring a few hours in the car would allow us to avoid some of the heat. It worked. We had a great day stopping at Jockey’s ridge for a bit and then continuing on to Nag’s Head.

The rest of the week was filled with early morning beach trips, lunch time naps at home and then afternoon pool sessions or biking around the neighborhood we’d figure out dinner and then take a walk on the beach for sunset. I don’t think we could have asked for a better week (maybe a better house…but we weren’t in it much and it had a pool so that made everyone happy)

These pics are from one evening down at the beach. DH and I took the kids for a walk to find shells and I dragged the big camera along. I’m so glad I did!

(and it looks like I mixed my watermarks again…oh well..)

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I have a bunch of pics from the rest of the days but need to finish working on them but right now I’m working on two crocheted hats for a very special little girl!!:) I’ll share those in a bit.

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