Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pinterest

O.M.G. I have a serious addiction. I know I’ve rambled on about my Pinterest love before but I’m not sure anyone really understands my infatuation.

I can find all of my favorite things on Pinterest

Recipes
DIY Ideas
Kiddo Projects
Home D├ęcor
Sewing Inspiration
All things beautiful and fabulous.

My problem with Pinterest is I find all of this great stuff and get super motivated to start a new project but I never actually start the project. So I thought that if I prioritize some of the fun projects I want to complete maybe (just maybe) I will actually get my butt in gear!!

1. Address Wreath.  Our front door is so naked.  Always has been.  I'm thinking this address wreath is the perfect thing to spruce it up a bit.



2. Entryway table. I have a table that is almost identical to this one.  The difference is mine is a scuffed up black version and I'm in love with the Antiqued cottage-white version.  While I'm at it, I love this "house rules" sign too...




3. Cupcake onsie.  How ridiculously cute is this??? There isn't a tutorial but it looks really simple. It is listed on etsy for $22.50.  I already have unused onsies and fabric scraps.  Hello free project!



4.  Appliqued daily dish clothes.  Projects really don't get any easier than this.  I love how simple and cute these are!



5. My reward for all of this hard fun work??? Strawberry mojito.  YUM.



Ok, my goal is to finish the address wreath this weekend.  If it turns out cute (finger's crossed) I'll share a few pictures!  I may need to sample the strawberry mojitos as well :)

If you want to join Pinterest let me know!  If you have a referral you can join immediately, otherwise it takes a few weeks.  I promise you will love it. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Toddlerhood

I think I may be inventing words again but Avery has definitely reached full-blown toddlerhood.  If you've never experienced "toddlerhood" let me explain.... it is one part energy, one part curiosity and one part silliness. Toddlerhood has resulted in some interesting new discoveries around our house. 

Turns out cowboy boots are a great storage place for mom's toiletries.  Who knew?? Apparently Avery.


There really isn't anything more interesting or fun than opening and closing doors.  Added bonus if you lock someone out of the room. 

Bottles are for babies.  Not toddlers. 

We are officially weaned from bottles!! Hurray!!!

With that said, she found her daycare backpack that was FULL of bottles.  It was a tad bit traumatic but once she realized she could just carry the bottle backpack around the house with her life was good again.


Pushing anything and everything is our new favorite pastime. I have a feeling these bar stools will spend a surprisingly small amount of time at the bar.

It is super fun to go into mom and dad's closet and bring out all kinds of random things to show them.  Bringing mommy's high heels results in trying them out and realizing they really aren't that much fun.


Phew, this toddlerhood stuff is super entertaining and a bit exhausting too.  Wouldn't trade it for the world :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Why I Blog...

Almost two years ago Matt and I bought our first home.  We were giddy, naive, overly eager and had only been dreaming about that day since before we were even engaged.  As we started our first project, I thought, I wish my family could see the work we are doing on the house.  You see, I'm not very good at being away from my family.  It has been five years now since we moved from Colorado and I still miss them everyday.  Anyway, this light popped on in my head and I realized I could start this little blog and show them what our lives look like in Texas.  For the first month that I blogged I don't think I even told anyone except my mom and sister.  When I say blogged, I use the term lightly... turns out our lives weren't as exciting as I thought and I had surprisingly little to say.

A few months later we found out I was pregnant!! Well now the blog seemed like an even better idea but I still had a hard time getting into it.  When I look back at my first posts they make me smile... each one is about 100 words max and two or three pictures.  It was more documenting our life than actually telling a story. But the more I blogged and read other blogs, the more I realized that yes, this was a good way to share our life with family and friends but also a way for me to document the little things that make life so sweet.

I love looking back through my posts and seeing how much Avery has grown and how our lives have changed during the last two years.  I plan on getting my blog printed every year.  I think it will be really fun to look through them when Avery (and future kiddos) are grown up and laugh at the silly things I said.

One thing I didn't expect to enjoy so much is reading other people's blogs.  Both friends and strangers.  Yeah, I know that makes me sound like a stalker but hey, it's the truth.  It is fun to read about other moms who have kids close to Avery's age, working moms, moms-to-be, etc.  And it amazes me that people read my blog!!  It helps me feel connected when I'm going through one of those 'I must be the only person in the world that feels this way' moments. It is also a creative outlet for me.  A time to just sit down and relax, look through pictures of my baby girl and at times, a place to vent frustrations.

Well, imagine my shock and excitement this morning when I read my friend Nicole's blog and saw that she picked my blog as one of her top 10 favs and passed along the "blog lovin' award" to me!!!  I really do love blogging and it is so nice to know that other people actually read it! 



OK, now I am supposed to answer a couple of questions.



1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.

 Thanks Nicole!! Love your blog 27 & Counting

2. Share seven random facts about yourself.

I recently discovered (much to my surprise) that I love to sew!

I lived in Europe for two years and was very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and experience more history and culture than I ever dreamed possible. 

I had a blood clot while pregnant with Avery that resulted in emergency surgery while I was already in labor.

I am left-handed

I love to cook and rarely find a food I don't like

Fall is my favorite time of year.

I would love to have a big family - four kids sounds perfect

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day and Watermelon

 Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful dads in my life :)


Matt has been gone the last two weekends so we decided this would be a lazy, at-home kinda weekend and it was so nice!! Saturday night we went out to dinner with a bunch of friends to celebrate Kim's 30th birthday!! Sadly I forgot my camera but we had a great time and it was really nice to have a date night!!

After breakfast burritos, church and Mexican food for lunch we came home and took a much needed nap... all three of us.  Matt insists he didn't fall asleep but I don't believe him. 

It has been so ridiculously hot this month but nothing a good slice of watermelon and playing in the sprinklers can't fix.  Avery had her first bite of watermelon today... she was a little leery at first but after a few bites it was impossible to get the melon out of her hands, she probably would have ate the rind it we let her!!


I promise, she really did love it.  

She loves her new pink chair, she looks so grown up sitting in it!!!

How cute are these two???  How is it possible that I am so blessed to have an incredibly amazing husband and daughter???

LOVE

There is no denying she is his :)  Love my blue-eyed hubby and daughter. 

I hope you had a wonderful Father's Day!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Balance

I have really struggled to find balance in my life since I went back to work when Avery was seven weeks old. I definitely feel pressure to ‘do it all’ - be a good mom, a good wife, a good friend/sister/daughter etc., excel at my job, keep my house clean, and somehow find time to just be me, too. It is a daily struggle for me. I am a people pleaser. It is who I am and probably won’t ever change. So naturally, when I feel like I have let someone down or not lived up to expectations it really weighs on me.


In a perfect world, my family would eat organic, from-scratch meals three times a day. I would go running every evening and even have time for a 10k or two. My floors would be sparkling, there would never be three loads of laundry waiting to be done or a stack of dirty dishes in the sink. I would get home at night, make a delicious & nutritious meal, play with Avery, put her to bed, hangout with the hubby, exercise, clean up the house, & still make it to bed by 10:00pm. We would shop locally for in-season veggies and we’d move so that I wouldn’t have an hour-long commute. I would have girls night out on a regular basis to keep my sanity. AND still have time for ME because I am more than a mother/wife.

Wow, that’s a lot. No wonder I feel overwhelmed. Thankfully I know no one expects me to accomplish all of this so why do I continually put pressure on myself to be ‘perfect’? It is a constant battle for me.

As Avery gets older and more independent I find that I am able to make dinner more often, clean the kitchen more frequently and achieve a little more balance in my life. I still set unrealistic expectations for myself though. And I still beat myself up when I (of course) fail to meet these expectations.

Thankfully (or sadly, depending on how you look at it) I know I am not alone in this. I guess it’s a woman thing. Most of the women I know seem to feel the same way, to some degree. Whether they have kids or not, are working moms or stay-at-home moms, I think most of us feel the pressure to do it all.

I joke that I need to find a way to clone myself but let’s face it, that obviously isn’t going to happen. So for now, I’m okay with getting 75% of the laundry done each weekend, eating out occasionally, not running 10k's and being the best mom/wife/daughter/friend I can, not the perfect mom/wife/daughter/friend.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Girls Weekend

Matt has been gone since Thursday, this is by far the longest he's been gone since Avery was born and I have to admit it is HARD to be a single parent!! Definitely makes me realize and appreciate all he does.  We decided to take a last minute trip to Houston with a bunch of friends for a handsome little boy's second birthday.  This was the first time we had been to Houston and wow, it is hot.  I thought Dallas was bad but this was a whole different level of hot.  We had a fun trip, surprisingly three toddlers and five moms/aunts can all fit in one Ford Expedition with bags and not go crazy :).  We got back around noon on Sunday and we were both exhausted.  Avery took a (almost) three hour nap and I had a nice little nap myself.  It was a relaxing day, I really love the time we have together, just the two of us.  It doesn't happen very often but it is so special to me. 

Even though it's about 100 degrees outside (at 7:00 pm) Avery loves playing in the backyard.  When I walk out the backdoor with her she practically jumps out of my arms, I can't put her down fast enough.  She loves being outside. 




When we finally went in to cool off we spent time reading practically every book she has.  She is really into her books right now, it is so cute!!


Oh, and randomly she has decided to start crawling again. ha!  She still walks but in the evenings she gets it in her head to start crawling around the house.  I don't know who thinks this is more fun - her or me. 


Thankfully Matt comes back tomorrow.  We are so ready to see him and get back to normal. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Pasta

Matt is out of town for the weekend so I get to cook/eat whatever I want (no beef and potatoes).  I love pasta but he isn't a fan (yeah, I know, very strange) so when he's gone I always try a new pasta dish.  My sis sent me this recipe a few weeks ago and I've been dying to try it.  As usual, I doctored it up a bit and it is delish - a great, light pasta for summer!!




o       1 Package of Farfalle Pasta (I used a 1/2 package and it turned out great)
o       1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
o       1 teaspoon minced garlic
o       3 tablespoons pine nuts
o       1 bundle chopped green onions (green and white parts)
o       2 ounces diced pancetta (I used diced bacon because it is much cheaper and I had it  already)
o       2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
o       2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
 o       1 teaspoon butter
o       1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
o       1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
o       1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
o       handful chopped fresh basil

o       1. Preheat oven to 400°.
o       2. Cook pasta according to package directions; add asparagus to pan during last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Sprinkle pasta mixture with garlic, green onions and butter; return to pan, and toss well.
o       3. Arrange pine nuts in a single layer on foil. Bake at 400° for 3 minutes or until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Place in a small bowl.
o       5. cook pancetta (bacon bits) until crunchy
o       6. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pancetta, basil, and cheese. 

I don't really believe in recipes... which is probably why I don't bake.  I estimate all ingredients based on what I like.  I don't think I measured a single ingredient and it turned out great!

While I was cooking my favorite sous-chef was busy enjoying a few blackberries.  She loved the pasta, we had a fun girls night, just the two of us :)



Sunday, June 5, 2011

Catching Up

Last day of work at TranSystems  + four-day weekend + extra cuddle time with Avery  = complete and utter bliss.

I know I've mentioned once or twice that Matt had to drag me to Texas, kicking and screaming.  Part of my reluctance to move south was that I didn't have a job and didn't have any idea what type of job I would want.  We had just spent the last two years being bums in Europe, the idea of putting together a resume and looking for an actual adult job wasn't my idea of a good time.  Well, to make a long story short I ended up working for an engineering firm. Yes, engineering.  I started learning about roads and bridges, drainage and hydrology, security and environmental permitting.  Not exactly my idea of a good time but hey, it paid the bills.  Well after two and a half years I found a new job doing the exact same thing! ha!!  I'm actually really excited to have a new start, meet new people and just have a change of scenery. I start tomorrow, wish me luck,I'm a little nervous.

I've sat down a couple times during the last two weeks to write but we either have too much going on to write it all down or our lives have been so boring lately that there isn't much to say... not sure which one it is but either way, here is what we've been up to...

We spent Memorial Day with Matt's family in Temple.  We were so busy that I didn't pull my camera out once... we shopped, ate BBQ (I've been craving this for at least a month!) and swam.  Avery was a little unsure of being in a real pool.  She was okay as long as she could stand on the steps but once her feet left solid ground she was a bit concerned.

Summer is (un)officially here.  We have been close to triple-digits the last week and I am not ready for this heat.  Avery has spent a lot of time in just her diaper.


These two have so much fun together.  Lately Avery has started petting him whenever we get home.  I ask her "where is Cash?" and she gets the biggest grin when she sees him.  Love it! 


 Ball thief

Got it!

Cheese!! Silly face :)

 Avery got this pool for her birthday (thx G&G, S&B).  She loves getting in and out.  We do this over and over again.



It's been great being home so much the last few weeks.  Every Monday morning is a struggle for me.  I wish I could stay home with Avery, I feel like I miss so much being at work.  I've loved having extra days to be home and cuddle and play with my favorite girl.  Maybe someday...

PS - Little Miss is 13 months old today!! The past month has gone by so fast.  She is loving her books and starting to talk more... She brings me book after book to read and sits in my lap for about 10 seconds while I read each one.  Last week I asked her to get her baby and she did!! So sweet :)  Oh, I am so in love.