Monthly Archives: October 2013

I Don’t Even Know

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I don’t even know where to start! We took a little breaksy from the blog for no apparent reason other than…. I don’t even know. Busy? Definitely yes. But when isn’t life busy? Eh, anyways, we are back and just in time for Halloween/ Reformation day!

Here’s my little pajama calf.

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Speaking of my little moo-cow, Gabs has learned quite a few things during the past few weeks! Crawling… “SO BIG”!…  waving, has two teeth…and holding her own bottle (= LIFE CHANGING) it’s all pretty exciting. I realize I’m fawning over everyday things, but hey- I’m the mom, I get to freak out with excitement over the little things. But seriously, her teeth are the cutest.

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I haven’t really tried many new recipes lately either, we’ve been sticking to familiar, tried and true dinners lately and it’s been a little boring, but hey. It’s food. Speaking of tried and true, have ya’ll made this yet? Or for you meat-lovers, this is always a favorite. I promise you’ll thank me later. OR you can check out this lady’s instragram for endless and beautiful meal options- she’s been the inspiration for my grocery list this week!

That’s all for today, we do so appreciate whoever takes the time to read {and hopefully enjoy} our blog about random things- I have a couple surprises for ya’ll and you’ll be pretty floored.

I’ve been crafting. Yeah. More on that later.

~M

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K’s First Stitch Fix!

The box is even pretty!

The box is even pretty!

I think I scared the mailman when he delivered this. I saw him walking up to the door with my beautiful Stitch Fix box and, mature 26-year-old that I am, I calmly waited for him to ring the doorbell before thanking him politely for the delivery.

Juuuuust kidding. I ran to the door (with my green face mask still on) and clapped my hands like a 2 year old until he got up the step! Naturally. I’m a child at heart, see? 😉

For my birthday M started up a Stitch Fix account for me and put some money towards my first one. In other words- she spoiled me rotten. I’ve never been an online clothes shopper but this was amazing! They totally nailed my style, and I already have another Fix scheduled 🙂 M has already shared her Stitch Fix successes and how it works, but here’s a quick recap: First you fill out a style profile with preferences on style and price, then you schedule a Fix and pay a $20 styling fee to have the first box of five items picked by a personal shopper sent to you! The $20 styling fee goes toward anything you keep, so you really get your money’s worth. If you keep the whole box, you get 25% off! Keep what you love, and throw whatever you don’t keep in the prepaid postage bag they sent and get it in the mail within three days! Piece-o-cake.

I called M as soon as I closed the front door, and I don’t think I uttered a complete sentence for our whole conversation- I just ooh-ed and ahh-ed over every piece of clothing I pulled out of that wonderful box.

1. This style is me to a T. Loved everything about it!

Navy blue with little white tulips

Navy blue with little white tulips

2. This too was gorgeous- the fabric was a favorite, just a little tight in the shoulders.

Coral with a white pattern and bronze stud embellishments

Coral with white polka dots and bronze stud embellishments

3. I need to find something to say other than ‘I loved this’- but I did! It was the perfect comfy fall sweater.

Grey chunky knit sweater

Grey chunky knit sweater

4. Hands down my favorite- fit, color, style, fabric, price- I have nothing like it in my closet, so it was the perfect combo of my style with something new for me to try.

Maroon and black striped sweater

Maroon and black striped sweater

5. These earrings were my style exactly! This wasn’t actually on the list of things on the invoice they sent me, but if this happens, all you have to do is let them know via email and they’ll adjust it for you.

Bird-in-a-hoop earrings

Bird-in-a-hoop earrings

I intensely dislike trying clothes on in a dressing room at the store- all these other strangers milling around in there with you, I get self conscious. And it’s always frustrating finding a shirt that’s cute in the dressing room only to find out it looks completely different with my favorite pair of pants and in ‘real world lighting’. Stitch Fix eliminates both of those annoying bits about shopping in-store, plus it gives you that opening presents on Christmas feel- something to look forward to, and maybe keeps me from splurging on those random shopping trips if I know I have a Stitch Fix coming soon.

I ended up keeping #4- the maroon sweater, and sending everything else back. While every piece fit my style perfectly, each of the other pieces was a little off either in fit or price. Still, a huge success! There’s a neat little feedback section after you send your items back, too, that lets you say why exactly you didn’t keep the items you sent back, that way they can hone your next Fix even better…I mean, I have yet to find a negative about this method of shopping!

Thank you M, for a fantastic gift!

If any of you haven’t tried it yet, here’s a startup link! Use either M’s or mine 🙂

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3175693

~K

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Blend-til Soup (Lentil Soup)

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See what I did there? Blender…Lentil… Soup = Blend-til Soup.

Clever, huh? My good friend Katy made this soup for us when we had a lunch date a while ago. We met in town to go for a walk, and then went to my sister in law’s for lunch afterwards and to watch our kiddos play with each other. Well, kind of. We have a 2 month old, a 7 month old, and a 17 month old, so I’m using the term ‘play’ liberally. The young ones pretty much watch my niece play, but it’s still completely adorable.

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I fell in love with this soup immediately and Katy was nice enough to email it to me ASAP. I got to work about 2 hours after I got home and made it for dinner. And I’ve been eating it for lunch ever since! The recipe is based on Giada’s Lentil Soup recipe- but I used cabbage instead of celery, left out the cheese and noodles (it’s still yummy, promise) and added in mushrooms and zucchini.

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It’s a warm, filling and flavorful soup and you can blend it to make it smooth and velvety. I love soups that are thick and hearty, and Gabby loves watching the blender- she thinks it’s hilarious. 

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Or maybe she thought that it was hilarious that I filled the blender TOO FULL at first and it exploded everywhere. Hilarious, Gabs.

With the weather cooling down, soups are now an acceptable meal. Let this be your first soup offering! The recipe makes a TON, so I froze some and kept some for lunches throughout the week.

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~M

Lentil Soup

adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
12 baby carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped
6 mushrooms, sliced
1 large zucchini, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 pound lentils (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
11 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs

Directions
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, carrots, and cabbage. Add the garlic, salt, zucchini and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and stir. Add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes. Carefully ladle into a blender (or use an immersion blender) to blend soup until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve!

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Filed under Baby, Food Stuffs., Soup

Bacon Powder Biscuits

I have a good Tuesday morning story for ya’ll. I’ll start out with this: a lot of you already know that K and I were born with hearing loss and both wear hearing aids. My hearing is much worse than K’s- which comes with its challenges, but has never been something that made me embarrassed or feel bad. In all honesty… It’s made my life pretty hilarious. Because I get to share stories like THESE.

Growing up, K and I always remember spending time with our grandparents. My Grandma and Grandpa Cole would have us over all the time and we’d play on the pool table, eventually smash each other’s fingers with the pool balls, play house, dress-up, and of course, eat.

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My Grandpa was (is) known for his pancakes, namely because he’d make them into all sorts of different shapes for us. Though he could make any shape, we always requested the first letters of our names. Later, we found out that the ‘special’ pancakes were just Bisquick mix! Funny how something as special as Grandpa making them for you makes them taste like gourmet pancakes that no one else could ever replicate!

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My grandpa also made us Bacon Powder Biscuits a lot. We’d have them for breakfast with butter and syrup and we LOVED it. I would request these bacon biscuits all the time and beg my mom to make them when we got home. She’d ask me if I was sure that’s what they were called and I was adamant there was bacon powder we needed to go purchase somewhere.

I’m sure you all know where this is headed. After a childhood full of Bacon Powder Biscuits and bliss, I came into the knowledge only a few years ago that there is, in fact, NO SUCH THING AS BACON POWDER.

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WHAT!?!? I’m sure I tasted bacon in those biscuits. There’s gotta be a can of bacon powder out there somewhere. Pretty sure I’ve seen it in MarVal. Cooked, ground bacon to flavor these delicious breakfast treats. I swear I tasted bacon, guys. I don’t even want to know if I’ve told people that bacon powder exists.

Turns out,  my hearing aids heard something different for the first 20 years of my life. These heavenly Bacon Powder Biscuits were none other than your average (but still super tasty) bacon-less Baking Powder Biscuits.

Baking. Powder. 

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Not near as much fun as bacon, but still one of my all time favorite breakfasts that reminds me of my grandparents. The recipe is in most cookbooks, despite my childhood belief, and I’m just sharing one of many!

~M

Buttermilk Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups AP flour

1 tbsp baking powder

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp cream of Tartar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 butter

2/3 cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add the buttermilk all at once. Using a fork, stir until just moistened.

Turn dough out on a floured surface and quikcly knead 10-12 strokes. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter or overturned glass. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm with syrup or jam!

p.s. Look what I found. A day will come when I will bring Bacon Powder Biscuits to life. Mark my words.

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Filed under Baking, Favorite Things, Food Stuffs.

Lemon-Cilantro Hummus

I have been on the hunt for a new snack lately. It’s always difficult to find something that tastes yummy and isn’t a million calories. Or thereabouts.

I have found the snack.

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Filed under Food Stuffs., Vegetables

Weekend Faves

Thank you, thank you, THANK you for all your responses and encouragement regarding my last post! I’m touched and encouraged that there are others right alongside me- so encouraged, in fact, that waking up early is starting to almost be funny.

It’s weird to do ‘daytime activities’ in the middle of the night, but weird in a fun, ‘I might as well’ sort of way. Like, bake doughnuts at 3:30 am. And fold laundry. Clean the kitchen. Give Gabby a sink bath. Drink copious amounts of quarter-caff coffee. I could do this for a while! Yeah, probably not.

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Anyways, it’s the weeeekend!! In order to celebrate, I’ve rounded up a couple favorite things for ya’ll to check out in your free time.

1. I could make these at home, but Fatty Sundays just packages them so dang cute. They’d make a great gift!

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2. Old Navy just had their 40% off everything sale= new favorite//affordable//stylin’ clothes for Gabby (or your kid).

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3. Searching for pretty free fonts? Stumbled across these and am in love.

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4. Need. This. Cake.

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5. Favorite run of 2012– time to do it again.

 

6. Can happiness be ‘found’, or is it an attitude? 

7. And my favorite, favorite weekend thing?
Liverpool games with these two goobs.
 

 

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~M

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Filed under Dessert, Family, Favorite Things, fitness, Uncategorized

Privileged to Complain

20131002-104324.jpgIn the spirit of full disclosure, I’m sharing this embarrassing 3 am picture. I am TI-RED. This morning most mornings this month, Gabs has woken up between 3 and 4:30. For the most part, it’s not a big deal because I only work a few times a month- but it feels like a big deal at 3 am! I can barely keep my eyes open and my squirmy little wormy is tired, but awake and hungry. In those moments, sometimes I get caught up in feeling bad for myself. This morning I had a case of the ‘feeling sorry for myself’ pretty bad- and as I poured my morning coffee and mashed up some bananas for little one, I glanced at the mail I had brought in yesterday but hadn’t looked at yet. On the top of the stack was a new issue of ‘Tabletalk’ by RC Sproul- I said a quick thank-you to the Lord, grabbed it, and indulged myself in some real good reading as Gabs had breakfast.

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Reading from the Bible with a little guidance from RC Sproul (a theologian I love) totally shifted my mindset. I am so thankful that God can hear my mind and intercede for me on those mornings that discontent and weariness cloud all the blessings that my life is full of. After reading a few articles, I moved on to read a blog that I keep up with daily. And whaddaya know, her post this morning just took the words right out of my mouth!

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I am so privileged to be able to complain. Despite the early mornings, unexplainable (occasional) tantrums, dirty bathrooms and piles of laundry- I am so blessed and happy to wake up and live my life. Despite being unsure how to balance an early career as a nurse with a beautiful daughter, I have a job I love and a daughter I adore. With the sticky floor and cemented baby food on the dishes, I am blessed in having dishes and cleaning supplies! I’m blessed to be irritated by a mess!

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Yeah, I don’t always remember that first thing. But boy… God reminded me today, and I am just too blessed to be anything but overjoyed to live this life He gave me.

I get irritated, cranky, sweaty, tired, smelly, impatient, selfish, proud, and a boatload of other things- by the grace of God, sometimes He gently brings me back down to a place where I’m just simply happy. I love social media and hate it at the same time- I love posting pictures of all the things I love about Gabby, and I love seeing other people enjoy their lives too! I have many friendships that have flourished through social media- and many faces I get to see that I otherwise wouldn’t without FB or instagram.

On the other hand, I’ve read so many things about how depressed and discontent people are nowadays because all we ever see are the AWESOME and FUN parts of life from others on social media- even though subconsciously, we know nothing is perfect. Even though we know. We KNOW!

So…. let it be known. Gosh, I love blogging, but I am NOT the world’s best baker. Half of you (or more, most likely more) are way better in the kitchen than I am. Everyone has beautiful kids. Everyone has reasons to be happy and thankful. I hope that no one mistakes my love for blogging and social media for bragging or misconceptions about perfection. If you know me, you know I’m not.

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I’m privileged to complain, and therefore, TOO privileged to complain. Thank you JESUS!

~M

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