Friday, October 30, 2009

The Friday Wrap-Up

As usual, our Friday wrap-up...

-Lots of rain and cold and runny noses are run-amuck at our house. The common cold strikes again for the second time this month...for all three of us! Looks like there will be no trick-or-treating in our future. Just lots of rest and plenty of fluids. Maybe we will put on her costume tomorrow night and take her with us to answer the door and hand out candy.

-Someone at E's office has swine flu. We are praying hard that he doesn't have it.

-Rach learned to drink from a straw. We also tried apples and cheese this week. She has a new game where she puts her paci in my mouth (which is probably how I caught her cold in the first place). Then she takes it out and puts it back repeatedly while squealing over and over again. She likes to play copycat games. Still no crawling, but plenty of scooting backwards.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Few More Pictures

Here are a few more of my favorite pictures from our photoshoot this weekend...





Mommy Blog

Sorry, today is a mommy blog! What do you do about shoes? Everything I have read says not to put shoes on babies until it's absolutely necessary due to walking or weather. Well, we have hit that weather mark and we need some winter shoes. Really, all I wanted were some warm walking socks but I couldn't find anything like that anywhere. So I started looking for some warm booties. Do you know how much those cost? I just couldn't bring myself to spend 40-50 dollars for a pair of booties that probably wouldn't last the winter.
Just by chance, Cool Mom Picks, another mommy blog I read, had exactly what I was looking for on the exact day I was starting to give up. Check out these super cute walking socks from Beba Bean. Evidently, due to the post on Cool Mom Picks, they sold out of alot of stuff pretty fast. But I was able to secure a pair of these Cape Cod socks in pink for Rach for the next few months. I am so excited about these!! And they were less than $20.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday - Dutch Apple Baby

So I was parusing the Williams-Sonoma website the other night, a guilty pleasure, and came across this little product... Dutch Baby German Pancake Mix for $9.50!?! What? Let me help you out here. I know, we have done this recipe before but it is so good and HELLO! It's apple pickin' season. Do you know how I know? Because the on-base grocery store has their name written in apples at the front door. I know...Lame! But $9.50? Let me save you a ten spot plus shipping because I have an awesome recipe for a Dutch Apple Pancake and everything in this mix is probably already in your pantry and refrigerator.

**Need a little variety? Use pears instead of apples or add a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the batter...Mix it up!!


German Apple Pancake

2 eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp. butter
3 medium granny smith apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 500º. Combine eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, salt, and granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and process until well mixed, about 15 seconds. Add the flour and process until lump free, about 30 seconds; set the batter aside.

Add the butter to a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the butter foams. Add the apples and sprinkle them with the brown sugar. Cook for 9 or 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are golden brown.

Remove pan from heat. Quickly pour the batter around the edge of the pan, then over apples; place pan in the oven. Reduce heat to 425º and bake until browned and puffed, 16 to 17 minutes. With a heatproof spatula, loosen the edge of the pancake. Invert the pancake onto a serving platter, dust with powdered sugar, and serve immediately.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Picture Day

Not much to say here but the photographer, Lindsley, sent me few pictures by email last night because she knew I would be itching to see them and I am so glad she did. I love them...they are beautiful! I can't wait to see the rest!












Friday, October 23, 2009

The Friday Wrap-Up

Its been a long week as we recover from house guests and sickness. E is working incredibly hard at work for a few more days. I am really hoping for a baby break on the other side of these projects. The late nights (3am) at work are really taking a toll on us all.

We have a big day planned this weekend. We are going to the Shenandoah Valley Garden Museum to get some pictures taken of Rachel and then a few family pictures too. I am so excited.

But as usual, I will leave you with a few pictures from this week...

I haven't decided whether I would rather her NOT spread the food on her mouth into her hair or not ... because then I would never get pictures like this!

She has officially inherited the Bailey Bedhead...
A side view.
The last lost picture of our sightseeing trip from last weekend.
We still don't actually know whose baby this is...light brown hair and blue eyes. I think we may have brought the wrong baby home from the hospital.

An Instant Creative Streak

I saw a few blogs yesterday with some of the cutest ideas that I got excited about trying. The first one I saw on Homemade by Jill. She has a son a little older than Rachel so I always like the ideas she has for kids toys. Yesterday was no exception. She has the cutest felt playhouse that she made to go over her dining room table that you have to go see. My mom got a little worked up about it so now Rachel (and her new cousin Brodie) are getting one for Christmas.


The second I saw on Cool Mom Picks and had to try. Little did I know it would turn into a sewing familiarity exercise. I spent more time trying to figure out how the parts I took out of my sewing machine (when some thread got stuck) actually went back in. After (literally) 30 minutes of frustration with one particular part, I realized that I was putting it in backwards. DUH!!! I digress ... So they had the cutest stuffed owls and I thought to myself "I could do that!!!" I dug through the baby clothes and t-shirts in my garage sale pile and was able to put together a plan. I finally finished it this morning and I can't wait to show you. It's so amatuer but it's so huge for me. Who knows...maybe I just might get the hang of this afterall.

What I started with..
My friend Ashley, has a little girl, and I am told that she loves little pockets and compartments to hide things in so I ripped the pockets off of one of Rachel's old dresses to put on the owl.
TADA!!!
I am so proud...if you leave me a comment critiquing my sewing flaws, I will have to hunt you down for bringing me off of my creativity high! :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Give-Away


Because I am a nice person, I am going to diminish my chances of winning any of these prizes by sharing them all with you...I know...I told you, I am a nice person! Found a new blog today that I really love and they are having a HUGE giveaway! Did I say huge? What's bigger that HUGE??? Gigantic? Enormous? Whatever! There are 10 prizes. And not 10 tiny prizes that you could care less about...10 awesome prizes that make you want every last one of them! (At least I do)

Or So She Says is the new blog. Go visit here and check out their giveaway here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday - My Olive Garden Copy

In my home town in Alabama, we have the crappiest Olive Garden known to mankind!! I don't think I have ever eaten there and then afterward said to myself "That was delicious and the service was excellent! I am glad I did this!" NEVER!!! I think I went 2 or 3 times before completely boycotting it altogether. I have been to other chains in other cities that I was impressed with. Having worked at an authentic Italian restaurant for several years during college, I am not a huge fan of their food but it was so close to our house in Texas, that it was super easy sometimes.

While I was pregnant, I was ADDICTED to their Zuppa Toscana! Notice the all caps in the word ADDICTED!! I had it for lunch several days a week with their breadsticks. I started to realize I had a problem and took a break for a while. I eventually relapsed and scoured the internet looking a copy recipe. After several failed attempts, I finally gave up. I eventually found one more that I thought I would try and it finally worked. It tasted so good. I love soups in the Fall and love to share those recipes because they freeze well and you can really feed a crowd or have alot of leftovers. I always love that! The next cold snap, you REALLY need to make this!

***My changes to the recipe are noted in italics.


Zuppa Toscana
  • 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage **I used link Italian sausage and pulled off the casings.
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 6 potatos, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 bunch fresh spinach, tough stems removed **I used Kale because it held up better in the soup and didn't wilt right away. I highly recommend kale instead of spinach.
  1. Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Getting Big

My big girl got a new car seat last week! She's getting too chunky and too tall for the old one.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Red Bull Art Exhibit

On our first day of sight-seeing, we rode the metro over to Union Station. The Red Bull Art Exhibit was there and I have been wanting to see it for a few weeks. All of the art is made from Red Bull cans and for the most part, alot of the displays were made by high school kids. What Talent. So Cool! So here is a few pictures from the exhibit. Some of the pics are from my phone because I forgot my camera so please excuse!

This squid was the size of a small car...Amazing!









Friday, October 16, 2009

Family in Town

My aunt and cousin came into town late Wednesday night. Since Rach is still a little, the temperature has dropped significantly and there is a constant drizzle here, we stayed close to home and tried to do DC indoors yesterday.

We decided to show them the ropes of the Metro and hit Union Station for a little shopping and some lunch. Then, we did a tour of the base here where we live and hit the exchange and the commissary.

Somehow, Rach poked my cousin Laurel in the eye and now she can only see out of one eye...poor girl! So she is wearing sunglasses indoor now so that she can open her eye. Here is some of our pictures from yesterday.

Me, Laurel and Rach waiting for the Metro

Carrie, Laurel and Rach at Union Station...we snuck outside for a quick picture and then ducked right back in ...too cold and rainy.

Rach was super funny...she couldn't look forward to save her life...there was so much stuff above her head to look at.

Lots of glass balls in one of the art shops

After I finished eating lunch, Laurel took the baby so I would get a chance to eat.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday - Flu Fighter Cookies

As I have preciously mentioned, all three of us were sick last weekend (which is turning into this week). Just a few hours before I started showing those sad, sad symptoms of my yearly nemesis, I started making these Flu Fighter Cookies....maybe if I had made them 72 hours earlier, I would have been SAVED!!!

While me and E put down a WHOLE batch of these in 2 days (carb counting is off limits when comfort food is needed), I think that the antioxidants inside of these little fighters really took a hold. I honestly think that these cookies helped me get rid of my cold quicker. More scientific studies will need to be done to prove my hypothesis, but my opinion based prognosis is in and it says that cookies full of dark chocolate (a personal addition), nuts and berries are good for a cold!

These cookies actually come with 2 perks...the flu fighting perk, of course, and then the holiday perk. These cookies taste like Christmas in your mouth! We both fought the urge (and fought it hard) to turn on the Christmas music. In the end, the Christmas music won as I started to sing that ever popular Dan Fogelberg hit, Same Old Lang Syne...lame, I know! I can't explain why that was the first holiday song that popped in my head.

**This recipe came from the new Food Network Magazine, which I didn't necessarily like. Lots of complicated recipes with hard to find ingredients that the average person doesn't want to put the time and work into finding. However,with that being said, I will probably the Thanksgiving edition too since I need to learn how to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving!

Flu Fighter Cookies
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark browns sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Add the molasses, yogurt, ginger and lemon zest and beat until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture to make a sticky batter (do not overmix). Fold in the oats and half of the raisins, cranberries and walnuts. Mix the remaining dried fruit and nuts in a small bowl and set aside.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Top each with some of the reserved dried-fruit-and-nut mixture and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the cookies until dark golden but still soft, 10 to 12 minutes; cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Longest Weekend EVER!!!

The weekend started on Thursday with a 12:30 am wakeup call. Nothing good happens at 12:30 am. Around 4:30 am, Rach finally calmed down and went to sleep. The rest of the day Thursday included a long phone call (on hold) for an appt with the dr, a trip to the exchange for medicine, a crowded wait at the pharmacy, a new humidifier, and a screaming baby while I cleaned out her nose (to which the dr said "if she's not crying, you aren't doing it right"). But by nights end, me and E were full blown sick too!

Friday and Saturday seemed to be looking up. However, Sunday started at 4:30 am and the morning and afternoon naps never happened. Oh, how we watched Special Agent Oso, Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Here is my little sicky at 4:30 am watching winnie the pooh after first breakfast.
Monday=Good day. My happy chatty baby woke up at 7:30 am and crawled into bed willingly for each nap. Ahhhh...SEE!! That's what every day is supposed to be like! Good days!

Toys washing Round 1


I hope your holiday weekend was WAY more eventful with less tissue and way less nose...suctioning!