Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Goals

My Goals for 2012

1) Increase family's healthy habits to result in wt loss (for mom and dad) and more active lifestyle for entire family. Specific ways to work toward this goal:
  • Use the MyPlate meal planning/tracking tool
  • Wear pedometer
  • monthly meal plan for dinners
  • play more
  • sleep better
  • Church, nurture our spirit
  • yoga
  • unplug and let mind wander

2) Blog more. Write more, especially about food and nutrition.
  • schedule posts and time to write
  • brain storm topics
  • Read books on blogging, especially Rachel Meeks', Simple Blogging: Less Computer Time
  • Refine my layout and then leave it alone for a while (I could keep playing for EVER and never write).

3) More Dates with Brandon.

4) Work through Simple Mom's two books, Organized Simplicity and One Bite at a Time over the course of the year.

Wish me luck!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Pinterest to Real Life: Family Portrait


In the November Martha Stewart Living there was a fun article about creating a family portrait in simple cross-stitch.  I pinned it and got to work right away.  It was really easy for me.  I put together our portraits on graph paper, keeping in mind general clothes we wear.  The original article has a little tutorial.  I had all of the supplies on hand.  This ended up being a Christmas gift for Brandon. 

At Thanksgiving we took the below photo - look at how similar we are to the portrait! We're just missing Byron (our dog).


I'm linking up at Simple Organic.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Craft Club for my 35th Birthday

Wednesday was my 35th Birthday - Whoa.  To celebrate, I spent the afternoon with my girlfriends Darci and Angie, and we CRAFTED.  We all brought our own little projects that we wanted to work on.  The kids all stayed at home with their Dads.  Moms had fun.

Angie was crafting jewelry.  She fixed some broken necklaces and made me the custom pair of earrings I'm holding above as a gift. Bonus!

Darci was cutting circles of felted wool and shingling them on wooden letters spelling her daughter's name.  

I worked on a cross stitch stocking for Xavier.  I realized I was counting wrong and that I needed to start over.  So, at the end of crafting, I was further behind than when we began.  (insert Price-Is-Right-losing-horn sound)

Don't ask me why I didn't take pictures of what we were working on...

We've already made a date for a Saturday in January to meet up again - Can't wait!
Any other Indy friends interested?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Xavier, 12 Weeks, Human Pez Dispenser

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Looks who's enjoying some tummy time! 

Geeze, could I get any more colors or patterns into this picture? The sweet little smile steals the show.  Xav actually doesn't love tummy time.  He holds his head up, looks around, and then cries.  He does love to be held vertical and looking over your shoulder or vertical body but bending his head back 90 degrees - like a Pez dispenser.  I really need a picture of that...

Linking up with Deniece because this little guy makes me smile :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Secret Santa Success


I have a bad history with being on the receiving end of a not-so-good Secret Santa.  It was funny.  Re-gifting is fine in my book; but clean your hairspray over-spray/dust off of things that you're re-gifting before you do it.

I decided to take the leap and join in with the pool at work.  My Secret Santa has been fantasique.  I've been eying the Eiffel Tower ornament and surprise!  I got one!  Today I got a bag of regular Doritos and a Diet Coke. Love. So fun!  I'm keeping Eiffel at my desk year round to dream of going to Paris.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Date Night: Mass Ave Dinner and Shopping

Saturday around noon, I received a text message from our dear sweet friend offering some babysitting time. I jumped at the chance to get out with Brandon. We cleaned ourselves up the best we could and headed (ran?) out of the house without a plan.  All I knew was that I wanted to go downtown.

While driving we tried to remember restaurants we'd like to go to.  We were having trouble thinking of anything.  Then suddenly I remembered our friends recommending a new place called Black Market.  Then I also thought of Goose the Market, and two other new places in Cottage Homes/Holy Cross neighborhoods.  We went to Black market first, not knowing if they'd even be open for dinner yet.  They were and we had a fun time eating some crazy new foods and really good beers.

As you can see here, we had bone marrow.  I was expecting it to be more like blood pudding, but it was like butter.  Three bones full of butter.  It was fun.  You scoop the fat/marrow out and eat it on toast.  Our other dish was a plate of pickled foods; an egg, beets, beet stems, blueberries, and a nut butter.  I really liked the pickle plate.  The pickled eggs was a rubbery/crispy texture (doesn't make sense, I know) but good.  The beets were spicy.  The beet stems were delicious (who knew?).  Pickled blueberries were different, spicy almost.  Good, but my least favorite of the pickles.  We sat at the bar and chatted with the owner about foods and beer.  Brandon had a barley wine-beer.  I loved it.  It tasted like a glass of rich and flavorful fresh baked bread.  It was fun to try new foods!

After dinner I had to 'pump' in the car.  I decided to pump and dump because I could really feel the alcohol.  The rule of thumb with drinking alcohol and breastmilk is that the breastmilk has alcohol in it like your blood does.  So as your body processes the alcohol out of your bloodstream, it also processes it out of any milk that it being made.  I however was way full and not able to wait for the alcohol to go away.  So beers are also thought the increase beer production but may be more of an old wives tale than truth.

After dinner we shopped the stores along the east-end of Mass Ave and ended at our old home on the 400 Block.  I enjoyed just walking around, seeing what new shops are going in and people watching.  As we were walking I quickly remembered how and why I stayed in shape downtown.  I love being able to walk around, especially at night. I miss it.  I could walk at night in the burbs, but I feel like it's more dangerous.  Drivers are crazy, lights are few and far between, no one else is outside.  I guess we just need to get back downtown.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Favorite Things

If I was hosting an Oprah-esque "Favorites Things 2011" show I'd give away the following items to my lovely guests.  I'm joining the impromptu party at The Nester's place.  I love the Nester.  I should add her to my list.

My favorite things (no particular order):
1) L'Oreal Double extend 'tubes' mascara.

I have crazy oily skin.  Makeup and mascara literally slide off my face.  These 'tube' types of mascara are great.  They stay on my eyelashes, no raccoon eyes.  They easily wash off with water and soap.  I don't need to get out a special makeup remover or q-tips or anything.  There are other brands of the tubes-making mascara but L'Oreal's is the least expensive ($8-10) and really doesn't seem to be that different then the $30 versions.

2) Laura Geller eyeliner waterproof i-care 

Again, this eyeliner actually stays on my eyes all day long.  I just tried it my Mom's and  went out and bought my own right away.  Or actually, went to QVC and ordered some...  I'm trying to wear eyeliner more often to detract from the bags under my eyes from getting up a couple times every night with baby.  The purple is my favorite.  Mom has a navy/peacock that is really nice.  The green is better than I thought it would be too.

3) OPI polish in "Swimsuit...Nailed It!"

I had my toes painted this color in the summer.  I picked blue for my boys.  To my surprise, I really enjoyed the color!  It has a jewel-like sparkle and the richer color looks decent with my super fair skin.  I haven't polished my fingers with it yet, but maybe I'll try it this weekend.  My toes need a new coat of polish too.  I'm starting to notice a make-up based theme to my list...  Have you seen the Muppets OPI colors?  Tons of f*ing sequence.  I need some of those too.

4) LLBean French shirt in navy and cream
This shirt is a classic.  The material is great.  The stripes (sorta) hide my left-over belly.  Do yourself a favor and buy one now.  Buy two.  I actually have two.  One in a medium so I can layer it and one in a small.  They wash sooooo well.  I'm tempted to buy one in every color and make this my uniform.  Might be weird?

5) A gently used Kindle and free library books.  I don't need to drive to the library anymore!  I can read it with one hand while I nurse baby.

6) Angelcare baby monitor

I never thought I would want a monitor.  We joked when we lived downtown when Aidan was an infant that we could get a monitor so he could be sleeping in his crib and we could be at the corner jazz club.  This monitor alarms if he stops breathing, which helps me sleep better.  Shortly after having Xavier my back was very sore so I couldn't sleep on the pull out bed in the nursery any more.  Getting a monitor helped me sleep in my bed but feel close to Xavier.   The sound is really good too, no static, very clear.

7) TBTL (Too Beautiful to Live)

My favorite podcast for several years now.  They were a real radio show, now they're on imaginary radio.  Love me some Luke Burbank and Jen Andrews.   The name refers to good things that you super enjoy but then they are cancled or taken off the air or not made anymore.  They were too beautiful to live.  Aidan calls it TBS and CBS and whines in the car that he doesn't want to listen to it, he wants music.  But I tell him what my parents told me "It's my car and we'll listen to what I want to listen to."  :)  Luckily, TBTL has music breaks, so we both get what we want.  

My second favorite podcast recently has been the Simple Mom podcast.  The Nerdist is also fantastic but has a lot of swears so it's a no-go around the boy or he'll pick up more bad words...

8) New washer and dryer. 

I take the amount of clothes that would normally equal one load in my old washer - dump them in the new washer and marvel that it's only half full.  I love it.  We love it.  The dryer does this weird thing where the clothes are actually dry at the end of cycle.  So nice to have new stuff.

9) Vera Bradley Wristlet
I bought this for myself last year and I've been very happy with it.  It's my all purpose wallet.  I can put money, lipstick and phone in there.  I can switich purses quickly and have all the basics.  I can stuff it in the diaper bag.  It's on sale right now, I'd recommend it for a gift!

10) Favorite snack to have at my cubicle - trader joe's dark chocolate, starbucks via, half and half cups.  The coffee at my work is horrible and they don't have real cream, just that powder "whitener" stuff.  That the real name for it - coffee whitener. Yum.  So upon my return to work after maternity leave, I decided I need some real caffeine at my beck and call.  Costco has Starbuck's Via and big boxes of half and Half cups.  It's made my morning and it's cheaper than stopping for coffee on my way to work.  I could always make coffee at home in the AM but I need to spend those 15 minutes in bed.

This was really fun to put together.  Is it pitiful that it took me over an hour to write?