Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies, made tonight (with storm sirens blaring):

{love the kosher salt in them!}

via the inspiring blog Food in Jars, here

And these little felt rosette hair clippies, made for my darling nieces we get to see this weekend!

{some good practice for making hair accessories for little girls!}

These are ridiculously easy. I read these instructions for the rosettes. Next time, a little leaf addition perhaps?

Buona notte!

Nursery Part II: Dresser Top vs Changing Table

Monday, May 23, 2011

Little Girl has a dresser to her name already, which is destined to be painted (again) very soon.

This guy, which we acquired last summer from our good friends, the Reasons.

(hilarious to see the green-painted mirrors that used to be in the nursery when we moved in. glad they are long gone.)

The glossy black color scheme was my idea, and though this is a bad photo, it really didn't turn out as I'd imagined.

Preparing the nursery is the perfect excuse for a fresh start!

So, it seems that the whole use-the-top-of-your-dresser-as-a-changing-table-surface has become fairly ubiquitous, with one of those changing pads + diaper accessories on top. I have spoken with several very passionate changing table users (two of them being my parents), but I already have this dresser in-hand, and I like its height and length. It just needs a paint job!

Here's what's been inspiring me:

This beautiful blue dresser:

Little more fancy white one:

This more mid-century guy:

Not for a changing top, but I love the color, via Making it Lovely:

And (also not for a changing top, but just because it was a great deal and super cute) THIS ONE I HAD THE CHANCE TO BUY AND WAS AN IDIOT AND DIDNT BUY IT AND OF COURSE IT WAS GONE WHEN I WENT BACK (from Sheffield's Antique Mall here in town):


At first I was thinking something in the green family (my fave color), because greens can look so nice with blue (the wall color). But my friend Laura encouraged me to consider something in the pale pale pink family, with gold hardware perhaps.

I'm resistant to painting it white/cream, because I don't want it to match the crib. All-matching furniture is not really what I'm aiming for in this room.

Any other brilliant ideas out there? Or does anyone have any strong opinions about changing tables vs. using the top of a dresser?

It's fun having a piece that we already own that is such a blank canvas (although it will definitely need a good sanding/priming)!

{My heartburn & I are headed to bed! We have a new curfew.}

I Made Yogurt and Granola

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First, thank you so much for all of your sweet comments, encouragement, and tips in response to my last post.

Second, the night I wrote that post, I got lost on 100daysofrealfood.com (via Marth via Audrey). It's a pretty kick-butt blog concept, the whole eating-real-food thing. And it completely convicted me, especially when I thought about how much I eat that comes from a box in the center of the grocery store.

In response, I made her granola (for our cereal...J must have cereal in the morn):

Sans coconut, with flaxseed. Nothing like the smell of melting butter with honey!

(you can either make bars at this point, or break it up for cereal, like I did.)

Close up:

Yum! Jonathan likes it too. I need to price this and see how much it cost to make it compared to a box of Kashi...

Next, and lots more exciting in its groundbreaking-ness, was making yogurt in the crock pot. Yes you heard me. Making yogurt in the crock pot. How genius! Recipe I used is here.

All you have to buy is a half-gallon of milk and a small carton of plain yogurt as your "starter" (but you can use 1/2 c of your first batch as your next starter! and on and on...). Worlds cheaper than buying yogurt loaded with sugar. And it's so flippin' easy.

You just cook the milk on low in the crock pot for 2.5 hours. Then turn it off and let it sit for 3 hours. Then ladle out some of the warm milk, stir it with your "starter" plain yogurt, dump that back in and stir into the pot. Then cover the whole crock pot (lidded, of course) with a towel, and let it sit for 8 hours. So easy!

The recipe actually made 7 of these containers, but one had already been consumed when I took this photo. (FYI: I used 2% organic milk instead of Vitamin D milk and the texture is fine...very very similar to what we had while in Italia!)

Yummy with strawberries (and the granola above too!) and a little honey. I haven't tried making flavors yet, but the recipe says you can blend it with fruit (and maybe add a little gelatin to thicken). You can also strain it through a coffee filter inside a colander to get more Greek-style yogurt (will try that soon).

Making yogurt is definitely something I will continue doing. I love yogurt! And I will LOVE not paying out the nose for it too, especially when bebe comes. I've heard babies like yogurt.

What next? Bran muffins?

Any healthful recipes that have blown your mind lately like this crock pot yogurt did mine?

Confession: Food

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I am not a naturally skinny person. I am not obese either, but I don't have nor have ever had the metabolism to just eat whatever I want and not exercise. Never have. Unfortunately, I've also never had a small appetite. I learned at a pretty young age that these things needed to be kept somewhat in check. Not necessarily through crazy diets or exercise regimens, but a common-sense watchful eye was necessary.

Like most girls (from what I hear), I also associate eating with emotions; can often get carried into eating when happy/sad/celebrating/bored/emotional, etc. etc. etc. if I'm not careful. {I can also blame part of the emotional-eating tendency to attending an all-girls school for fourteen years. But on the upside, that environment also helped me have no shame in my love of food.} I've never wanted to be a strict weirdo about my diet, who couldn't go along with the flow...like eating a piece of cake at a birthday party or eating pizza at a football-watching party. Those things can be integral in making memories with friends.

Anyway, when I got pregnant, I was going through a difficult time in my life. I'd been eating more (and worse) than normal. My husband had started school and was out of the house a lot. Then, when we got pregnant (and were thrilled!), I was pretty sick in the first trimester. It was survival mode; "what is the one thing in the world I can possibly stomach right now?" Unfortunately, the answer was all-too-often not the healthiest option (I couldn't have kept a salad down if my life depended on it).

So when I quit feeling sick, around 16 weeks, I'd already clocked over two months of bad eating habits; ie, eating whatever I "felt" like eating. Add to that working full-time, being alone at dinnertime (or, the need to cook for one), and pregnancy fatigue (however you might define it), and I've been doing a bang-up job of excusing myself for eating junk.

This must stop. It's appalling to me that I am growing a human being and haven't been trying my darnedest to eat as healthfully as possible for this precious baby whose health the Lord has entrusted me with.

What makes me think that it will be any easier (or that I will possibly feel any more well-rested) when I come home from an 8-5 work day in a couple of months with a little infant in tow? Not to mention what I'll inevitably be teaching my children about healthy lifestyle habits, were this to continue as-is.

I've been sort of surprised how many comments I've heard during this pregnancy like, "oh, it doesn't matter what you eat," or "well, you can eat whatever you want." It's only something like an extra 300 calories/day you're to consume when pregnant. That is not very many, and in no way warrants a devil-may-care diet. Shouldn't I be even more vigilant about what I'm feeding myself and my child?

I've been putting off thinking about this too seriously or dealing with it properly until after the baby comes, but that really seems foolish. It's only going to get harder (right?).

Is it hard for any of yall to cook {for one} after a long day at work? Or does anyone struggle with this (or did you during pregnancy)?

And are there any magic tips out there for cooking dinners and staying on top of healthy eating choices (and what if you're working and taking care of a baby)?

p.s. last night's post was not necessarily the catalyst for this one; just a symptom of the problem. :)

The Weirdest Thing I've Eaten So Far

Saturday, May 14, 2011

That's vanilla ice cream (lowfat Blue Bell) + a blueberry muffin (from a mix, yikes!).

The moment this combo first occurred to me (and obviously had to try it), I was thinking, "BUT OF COURSE! I AM A GENIUS! HOW CAN NO ONE HAVE THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE NOW? THANK GOODNESS I'M PREGNANT AND WEIRD (AND DRAMATIC)! THIS WILL CHANGE THE WORLD!"

But honestly, it wasn't everything I hoped or dreamed. Just an okay muffin and a yummy scoop of ice cream.

The End.

The Club Can't Even Handle Me Right Now

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Prepare for brain/iphone pic dump.

After attending the Grizzlies' heartbreaking triple-overtime loss last night (the game ended at 12:45 am!), today was one of those days when I wish it were acceptable to wear sunglasses inside.

To my out-of-town friends who may have heard about the historic Mississippi River flooding in Memphis & surrounding areas: we are fine. Our house is fine, we are not in danger. It is a terrible situation for many people in our area, and our hearts and prayers go out to them.

But yes, the river has not been this high since 1937. It's insanely huge.

Downtown Memphis:

That there's the biggest river I ever done seen.

Next, we are slowly slowly slowly working on the landscaping in our front yard. You may remember last summer, we re-sodded. This year so far, we have cleaned out the beds and lined them with stone. Unfortunately we haven't decided/purchased what to fill them with just yet.

Nonetheless, here's our little coral bark Japanese maple in its new home at the corner of the house, by the carport:

(You can also see a Jasmine vine that I am trying to establish on the side of the carport. I miss my old one.)

So fun looking at baby girl clothes!

I haven't bought anything because I have no idea what size she will be (big or small for her age, etc.)...

But it's insanely fun to look at these cute rompers and imagine a little girl toddling around someday!

{When I picture what she'll look like, I automatically think of her looking like a mini-Jonathan. Mixed with Suri Cruise for some reason. No idea why.}

Mother's Day Gifts:

My lifelong friend Laura is an extremely talented artist & calligrapher. She penned our moms' and grandmothers' names for me; I scanned and had some stationery printed up (should've gotten a better pic):

Laura also did the calligraphy for this address stamp I had made (rubberstampchamp is awesome! and awesomely cheap):

If you're in the Memphis area looking for some custom calligraphy, I can put you in touch with her (hope I don't get in trouble with her for this unsolicited advertisement...I just think her work is so beautiful!).

Going to get some shut-eye! Go Grizz!

This week so far...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

This happened. And I thought it was funny.

Whoever you are...you're funny. Thank you.

And the four of us (me, my puffy face, Jonny, and our baby) have been enjoying cheering for the Grizzlies in the playoffs and attending home games.

Believe Memphis! Go Grizz
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