Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Storm

We're preparing for a winter storm here in St. Louis.  From the way people act, you would think we are going to be under 6 feet of snow for weeks with no power, heat or food.  What's predicted is ice followed by up to a foot of snow.  Don't get me wrong, that is significant but stores are out of bread and milk because people are so worried.  I, on the other hand, am trying to plan plenty of activities for the next couple of days to keep little Ava busy while keeping my sanity.  We're making Valentine's tomorrow and played with play dough making robots for over an hour today.  

During nap time I was doing a little Etsy browsing and discovered these little lovelies.  Don't they look so warm and snuggly?  Perfect for waiting out a winter storm while having hot tea by the fire.  

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Old Self

For a long time now (we're talking a couple least), I've felt the way on the inside that poor sick Ava looks on the outside.  I've been crabby, tired, moody, lazy and outright not nice to my poor husband at times.  I was nit picking at everything and worrying about things that just don't matter.  For those who know me, I'm generally a go with the flow, low maintenance kind of gal.  It was getting to the point where I couldn't stand to be with myself.  That was my normal.  I had been in that funk for so long that I started to think that's who I was all the time.  I was so used to being crabby that I couldn't remember what the old me used to be like and maybe she was just gone.  I didn't want to think that but that's where my head was at the time...she's gone.

Luckily, the past day or so I've had more energy, played more with Ava and our sweet bun, Simon.  I've planned meals and found new recipes to try.  Thought of tons of things that I have to make/sew for Ava and the new little guy.  Gotten tons of baby gear cleaned and ready to go and it feels so good.  I'm not that moody mom I thought I was.  It's just those darn hormones and being ridiculously pregnant.  I am so happy to have a glimpse of my old self that I don't care if she's not all the way back just yet.  I know in time she'll be back to stay and for that I'm thankful.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Printable Valentines From Etsy

$4 each from Green Apple Paperie

$3.50 from Monkey Moo Moo

Valentine's Day will be here before you know it.  Here are a few printables from Etsy that I came across.  Cute, cute, cute!

I've got a sick kiddo again so we are laying low and enjoying some Max and Ruby on TV while cuddling.  These slow days are kind of nice sometimes.  I'm soaking these up before I'm on mommy duty around the clock with a newborn. Stay healthy out there!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Club: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

For our January meeting we read this lovely story, The Thirteenth Tale.  Margaret, who works in her father's book store, one day receives a letter from one of the days most famous writers asking her to write her life story as she's dying.  She has told her story to many other journalists before but they have all been just that....made up stories and lies.  She is now ready to tell the truth and it's Margaret she wants to tell.  This is a mystery of sorts that tells the tale of deep family secrets, a mysterious ghost, a governess that disappears, an abandoned child and oh so much more.  

I wouldn't say it was a page turner as far as mysteries go but I was definitely interested throughout the book.  There was a charm to the writing that I really enjoyed.  There were a good deal of ideas to sort out at book club too which made for some good discussion.  If you are an occasional reader then I would maybe pass on this book.  If you are a true book lover then I think you would like this one.  If you read this and enjoy it then I would also check out The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  Another mystery dealing with books and authors.

Next month:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
I'm thinking this one will lead to some great discussion...we'll see!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Recipe: Blueberry Coffee Cake

Sorry about the unexpected week long break.  Sometimes time just slips away from me and the blog is the first thing to go.  To make it up to you here's a simple little recipe that I made a couple times over the holidays.  Once for a light Christmas morning breakfast and then again for our New Year's Eve shindig with friends were we served breakfast for dinner in our jammies.  I've made this recipe with blackberries and blueberries and both are yummy.  The blackberries however are heavier and sunk to the bottom so the end result was not as pretty but still very tasty.  This isn't your traditional coffee cake recipe with the crumbly brown sugar topping but definitely worth trying out.

Blueberry Coffee Cake
Serves 8

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk
Cooking spray
2 cups fresh blueberries (1 pint)
turbinado sugar (optional but adds that great crunch on top that I love)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  1. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
  1. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add vanilla, egg, and egg white; beat well.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.
  1. Spoon half of the batter into a 9-inch round baking pan coated with cooking spray and parchment paper covering the bottom.  Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of blueberries.  Spoon remaining batter over blueberries; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 cup blueberries.  
  1. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes then sprinkle top with some turbinado sugar.  Return to over for another 10 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes on wire rack; remove from pan.  Cool completely on wire rack.
Source:  Cooking Light, May 2008

Friday, January 14, 2011

Free Desktop Wallpapers

Super cute and free January wallpapers for your computer over at We Love to Illustrate.  The adorable little mice are now gracing my computer for the month.  Such a talented group of ladies who share their work with us.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

eeBoo: Educational Toys & Games for Kiddos

I discovered eeBoo while looking for ideas for Ava for Christmas.  She received several of their games and toys from Santa.  I even ordered the alphabet cards to hang in baby boy's room.  Ava is currently obsessed with the Lotto game.  So much so that I had to hide the game for a day just so I could take a break from playing it.  She loves the Mystery in the Forest matching game too.  We make up stories using the little pictures instead of reading books some days.  She loves that just as much as matching them.  

I fell in love with this company because they teach valuable skills, they're well made and the illustrations are very detailed and adorable.  I ordered all of our eeBoo items from Amazon because they had the cheapest prices, no tax and free shipping (for orders of $25).  You can't really beat that.  If you have any kid birthdays coming up then I would definitely look into all Eeboo has to offer.  We've been loving their stuff in our house.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The First Snow of 2011...

did not disappoint!  Ava and Steve had a blast while I tried not to fall on my behind while taking pictures of the 2 of them.  Hope you all are staying warm where ever you might be!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

6 weeks and counting

With a little less than 6 weeks until our little man is officially due my husband has been "nesting" so that means that I have started as well.  We moved Steve's office to the basement, shampooed carpet, painted, picked up new furniture, set up Ava's big girl room and started to get the baby room ready, too. I didn't know how Ava would take her furniture being moved out of her room to the baby room.  Once she saw her big girl bed she was thrilled and immediately climbed up on it.  She was more than happy to give her crib to her baby brother and didn't look back once.  See that big smile above?

Now on to a little complaining...I'm ready for this little one to come any day.  I know that sounds early but he is a big boy, and I'm already tired of being kicked in the ribs.  With Ava I was a week late and never uncomfortable.  I know that sounds unbelievable but I enjoyed being pregnant and never had aches or pains to complain of.  This child on the other hand is causing a lot of sleepless and restless nights.  I have a hard time standing for long periods of time, too.  Did I mention that he's just a big kiddo?  You know you're in trouble when your doctor jokingly says we should name him Bubba.  I'm hoping that for my sake and my husband's, he does decide to come a little early because I don't know how much more *ahem* griping my husband can listen to ;o)  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Steve!

We had a very busy weekend.  I'm exhausted and it's only Monday.  Although that's not saying much because it doesn't take a ton to wear me out these days.  Yesterday was Steve's birthday so we celebrated with some cinnamon rolls and OJ...this morning.  Yesterday was busy with early church and time with his family so this morning was our little family time to celebrate Daddy.  Ava was super excited since she had never had a cinnamon roll before and knew that they sounded yummy.  She was not disappointed in them.  

Happy birthday, Steve!  

You are an amazing husband and father.  I'm so happy to share all these moments of life with you.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Conversation with a 2 1/2 year old

Ava: "Mommy, when is baby brother going to pop out?"
Me:  "Pop out?"
Ava: "Yeah."
Me:  "He'll be here before you know it."

Long silence

Ava:  "He'll play with me in my room, right?" 
Me: "When he gets a little older he will.  You can play in his room too."

Another long silence

Ava:  "He's lives at our house????"

I think the wee princess is in for a little shock when baby brother does finally get here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year & a Freebie

I think almost everyone's New Year's resolutions (if you make them) have to do with eating more healthy, exercising, etc.  I know my body is craving fruits and veggies after all the obnoxious eating of sweets I did over the holidays.  

While browsing the blogosphere the other day I came across this amazing calendar that highlights what fruits and veggies are in season each month.  This artist designed a new font and drew each image herself, and they are stunning.  Go check out her wonderful blog, Cottage Industrialist and free calendar for the new year.  Here's to keeping those resolutions for longer than a few weeks!