Monday, January 31, 2011

Hello new friend...

Let's just say I've been a little busy lately-a little busy with a friend I like to call the D90!  I was so excited to get my new camera in the mail, and no-it's not the fanciest camera around (I still can't believe you can spend up to $10k on a camera...) but it will definitely meet my needs on a professional (my summer is starting to fill up with shoots!), and personnel level.  I've been busy learning the camera, and getting comfortable with it.  I think being a parent can make you sentimental about anything that has to do with your kids lives, because I was a little sad to sell my D40, that camera and I were attached at the hip since Ingrid was born.  Anyway, I am sure I will create many new memories with my new camera.  I still am planning on getting a 50mm fixed lens (Thanks for the help Megan!), as well as an external flash.  BUT in the mean time I've been reading up on DIY lighting techniques....I thought I would share this fun link with all sorts of way to "rig" your built in flash.  Fun fun fun.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Water

I wanted to share an article on water saving tips.  There are all sorts of little things we can do do ensure that our future generations still have this precious necessity......

Sunday, January 23, 2011

PATTERN LINK

Hello dear friends,  


I forgot to add the link to that awesome pixie hat-give the pattern a try for yourself!  It's super simple (which is why I love it)-and seriously cute.  Have fun!!

http://www.crochetville.org/forum/showthread.php?t=123756

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Boy & Girl Pixie hats

Let's just say, I know A LOT of pregnant women right now.  I'm not sure if it's in the water or what-but they are reproducing by the dozens....(it all makes me a little antsy for baby #2!!)  Anyway, I found this adorable pattern for a pixie hat, and once I started I just couldn't stop.  So now I will have plenty to share with my reproducing friends when their babies come.  






Saturday morning=finding time to blog

Craft: Empty frame wall art project

Okay, seriously this craft needs no explanation.  But for the sake of exercising my fingers....
We found tons of old ugly frames at the Salvation Army....
Cleaned them up, took out the backings and glass....
Spray painted them black....
Hung them up.....
The End!





Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 16th, 2011= 17 months old!

1 year ago she turned 5 months old....


Today she turns 17 months old!  We took a little trip to the library this afternoon (she loves the library), and I desperately tried to get a good photo of her-but she was all over the place!  She loves to explore.  Happy 17 months sweet girl!



I love that her tongue is sticking out in these!



Saturday, January 15, 2011

DIY Girls Room Art Project

I really wanted some cute new art for Ingrid's room, but couldn't bring myself to pay an arm and a leg for it.  So I decided to attempt to make some of my own.  I will be the first to say I am soooooo far from an artist, at least in terms of drawing, painting etc...I am a stick figure girl all the way.  That being said, I think these turned out pretty darn cute.  




Thursday, January 13, 2011

Crocheted Purse

I've been doing all sorts of fun art project around the house today. (One of which included breaking down our front door with my bare hands after locking myself out...yeah Ingrid was inside.  YIKES)  I just finished a cute little crocheted purse.  I plan on giving it to our niece for her third birthday, and of course i plan on filling it with all sorts of goodies!  As always, I will post the link to the pattern.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

 3 weeks old.....

..............5 weeks old

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What I'm reading: Food

Last night I made another recipe out of my favorite cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, and it was awesome!  I'd do a back flip, jumping jacks, and somersaults to tell you how much I adore this cookbook-but I think you get the point.  Packed with protein, and cheesy goodness-this is definitely one of my favorite macaroni and cheese recipes of all time. 

INGREDIENTS
-1 1/2 cups of whole wheat elbow macaroni
-1 Cup of nonfat milk (we used whole instead, because of the little one)
-1/2 Cup of navy beans, chickpeas, or white beans, drained, and pureed
-Non stick cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
-1/8 teaspoon each of garlic powder, paprika, & pepper
-Panko bread crumbs, if desired

DIRECTIONS
1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook according to package direction until al dente.  Drain in a colander

2.  While the macaroni is cooking, combine the milk and beans in a food processor and process until pureed.

3.  Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and set it over medium heat.  Add the bean/milk mixture to the pan and cook, stiring until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the cheese and cook until melted and creamy, 1 to 2 m inutes.  Stir in salt, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper.  Stir in macaroni and serve warm.

Okay, here is where I changed the recipe a bit.  Instead of serving just like that, I transferred the mac and cheese to a greased casserole dish, added a few frozen pea's, and topped with panko bread crumbs.  The I baked at about 375 for 35 minutes or until top is golden brown.  I love a little crunch!  I hope you enjoy this recipe!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Engagement-Anniversary

5 years ago today I got engaged to my best friend.  I wish I could say it was even a semi-interesting story.  But it's not.  We've been together since we were 16, and pretty much knew since then that we were destine for matrimony.  It went a little something like this:  

Michael and I were sitting on his bedroom floor after our class (we were living in MPLS at the time going to college), and he said "What should we do".....then we talked about going to go buy a ring and make it "official"....so off we went to the Rosedale mall.  We bought a engagement/wedding ring (which I later sold for something more plain.  Yes, I have no attachment to things like that-to me it was just a bunch of rocks that some 13 year old kid from Africa was forced to mine-not really into that).  We bought the ring, went out to dinner at Perkins, called to tell our parents...and the rest is history.  Almost 5 years of wonderful marriage and a pretty cool co-creation named Ingrid Nightingale. 


Monday

What a day...and it's only 12:30.  Ingrid is down for a nap (1 hour early), so I am going to take a little time to unwind and hopefully rejuvenate by the time she wakes up.  I know that we are probably moving again in the next year, but I've been wanting to do some fun DIY decorating in Ingrid's room.  I'm not going to go nuts or anything, we won't even paint.  But I've been looking around for some inspiration and here are some photo's that I liked....






I also found some fun DIY wall art projects that involve mushroom and birds (after all, her middle name is Nightingale, so some cute birds are necessary).  Should be fun!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Home Projects

It always seems that whenever we move into a new house or apartment there is a lot of projects that need to be done.  I'm kind of picky (not snoty, just picky) and when we moved into our new apartment that bathroom cabinet was atrocious!  Something had to be done.  It was old, dirty, and covered with splatters of paint.  Luckily our landlord gave us the OK to perform some serious TLC on it.  We cut plywood and layered the bottom cabinet to create a "false bottom" so that it was clean and useable, then we went to town with the paint!  I love what a little paint can do.  We brought a dead and rotting peice back to life with just a little elbow grease.  

Before


Can we say "EWWWWW!"

After

I love a good house project!!

Weird Facts

Skepticisms is the longest word that alternates hands when typing!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More Wordless Wednesday: 1 year and 1 day ago

Photo taken January 6, 2010


Photo taken January 5th, 2011


Wordless Wendesday: Daddy hugs



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"What I"m reading" (recipe)

So as of late I've been reading all sorts of good books.  Mostly fantastical, to quench my inner child's imagination.  However, I got a book for Christmas that might be one of my all time favorites....and it's a cook book!  Now, I'm not just being dramatic when I say this-but this cookbook has seriously changed my life!!  It's call "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld.  It's all about hiding vegetables in everyday meals.  I don't have time to go on and on about how much I love this book, but I will say this-Ingrid is the pickiest eater!!  I hate to admit, but she hasn't consistently eaten vegetables since she was on baby food.  It's nothing we did or didn't do, she is just a picky eater.  I have salted, sugared, buttered and done anything else you can imagine to a vegetable to get her to ate least try it, and nothing works!  So I decided it was time for another approach, and this cookbook has solved my problem!  I highly recommend it to anyone who has picky eaters, or just anyone looking to add more nutrition to their family's diet.  So far I have made pancakes with sweet potato's, grilled cheese with pureed squash, rice balls with carrots, maccaroni and cheese with pureed beans, and today-chococlate oatmeal cookies with chickpeas!  I will definitley be sharing these recipes with you...because they are ah-mazing!  On a exciting note, since starting our meal plan out of this cookbook, Ingrid has actually taken to eating raw carrots....which is a HUGE step in the right direction!  I'm over the moon! 


Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients
-Nonstick cooking spray
-1 Cup of firmly packed brown sugar
-3/4 cup of butter or trans-fat-free margarine spread
-2 large egg whites
-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
-1 15oz can of chickepea's, drained and rinsed
-2 cups of chocolate chips
-2 cups of all purpose flour
-1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
-1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions
1.  Preheat the oven to 350F.  Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray
2.  In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, then the chikpeas and chocolate chips.  Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low wpeed until a thick dough forms.
3.  Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart.  Press gently with a fork to flatten.  Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11 to 13 minutes; do not over bake.  Transfer to a rack to cool.
4.  Don't tell your kids they have beans :)

I let these cookies cool, then tried one-and you can't even tell they have beans-score 1 point for protein!  I hope you enjoy these cookies, and I look forward to sharing all the new recipes I'm trying!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ta-Da!

In my quest to teach myself to crochet "fo-real", I found this easy beanie pattern and had to whip up a little something for Ms. Nightingale.  I will attach the pattern I used (I had to make my hat bigger...because if you know Ingrid-then you know she has a large noggin). 

Here it is!


Talk about "picture perfect"!


Thoughts on discipline.....

Ingrid is definitley to the age where the tantrums and wineing have started.  I know some parents who just let there kids wine and throw fits, and think that the best way to curb this behavior is to "ignore it".  That's never made a ton of sense to me.  Isn't ignoring the behavior only enforcing the fact that they can get away with it?  I know the reasoning behind the "ignore" method is that you are not giving them the attention that they are trying to get through the tantrum....but as parents I feel like our job is to prepare our children to be well rounded adults who can function at their jobs and personal life.  How often can an adult throw a huge tantrum at work and have it just be "ignored"?  Of course Ingrid is only 1 1/2, so immediatley addressing her behavior in the middle of a fit is hard to do, since she is still working on reasoning skills.  What we do is remove her from the situation, and very firmly address the fact that the wineing or "fit" is not behavior that we will accept.  And even at 1 1/2 years old, she gets it.  

So if ignoring ill behavior is not the method for us, we can move on to discussing age appropriet "spanking" and hand slaps.  We never wanted to spank our kids, but we do.  To be honest, the jury is still out on whether or not I think this is okay.  Here is an example of the inconsistencies of spanking:  This afternoon Ingrid was getting a little over zealous....she has began waving her arms at you (okay, I'm trying to make this sound better...she has started the hitting) when she doesn't like something.  So we were playing on the floor and she got frustrated at started swinging her arms at me, so to address this behavior I looked at her and said "Ingrid, NO!" and gave her a little slap on the hand.  Immediately I felt that the situation was laughable.  Here I am, slapping my child on the hand because she was hitting.  Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this? How can I teach her that hitting (or whatever else comes up in the future) is not acceptable behavior by a slap on the wrist or on the tush?  It seems to be nothing else but "fighting violance with violance".  

Once she reaches the appropriate age, we will most definitely steer away from "spankings" and move towards time outs, and inevitably, that will stop working eventually and we will have to find some other method of enforcement.  Because if I know one thing, it's that kid's are constantly changing. Until that time greets us, I will continue to examine our disciplinary actions with her....who said this discipline thing was easy? 




Sunday, January 2, 2011

Molars and More!

Just a quick update, just to clear my joggled thoughts....

The past few days my happy, energetic, outgoing, 16 month old has been anything but normal.  Everything is a cause for a fit.  Now, we're not talking normal 1 year old "tantrum" type behavior, but more so just overly fussy and winey.  I have gone through my check list:  well fed, well rested, healthy, lots of activity...so what could be the cause?  Yes, molars.  Let me be more specific...TWO YEAR OLD MOLARS.  What?!  She hasn't broken them through yet....but I've been in denial that she could be teething since she has all of her teeth until she is 2 years old.  However, Ingrid has always gotten her teeth in really fast and early (first 2 teeth at 16 weeks old!!).  I'm sure it will be a while before they pop through, but she is most defnitley working on them.  Poor little chip munk cheeks.  I am just working on patience, extra hugs and understanding, and teething rings!  :)  Wish me luck.

On another note:  How long have we lived here now....2 weeks?  We are already planning our next move.  Don't act surprised...we move a couple times a year (or so it seems).  We won't be moving until our lease is up (in 6 months), but we are thinking about living out our nightmare......a move to the CITIES.  Yes, it's true.  It is our nightmare.  Both Michael and I lived in Minneapolis and Roseville for a while, and it was our personal hell.  The congestion, floods of traffic, cookie cutter everything.....makes me a little sick to even think about.  BUT it's time Michael finds a "real" job, complete with health insurance and a 401k.  So we are begining our job search in the metropolitan area....we will have to see if anything comes out of it.  We have already started our pro/con list: and on the list of "pro's"....

-more education opportunities for our children 
-more education opportunities for me (when I go back after the babies are born and in school)
-more "stay at home mom" activities (i.e. science museum, MOA, Como Zoo, Walker Art Center etc...)
-maybe an opportunity to find a "church" (and i use the term church loosely)
-many more job opportunity's for Michael
-more opportunities to find midwifery care (for when we decide to have more littles)

All right, so the list can go on and on...I will save my "con" list for another time, but ultimately we just pray for the right opportunities for our family.  Who knows what the future will bring....


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Weird Fact

A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second!