Thursday, February 24, 2011

morethanwordsphotography {~4 GIVEAWAYS~}

My incredibly talented friend {tammi} is celebrating 2 years of professional photography!!

Do you like my header pic at the top of the page? She took it.

Do you like my family picture on the side bar when Kensie was just a teeny tiny baby? She took that too.
She's creative. She's inspiring. She's unique.
Her love for everything vintage shines throughout her work.

And once you check out her will see what I mean.
So, go HERE and check out her 2nd birthday giveaways!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Valentine's Day: True love and Time-outs

How was your Valentine's Day? We had an interesting day at our house.

As far as Greg and I, it was great. We both got what we wanted. I woke up to discover thoughtful gifts from the hubby displayed on the kitchen table (including my favorite chocolates, a sweet hand-written letter, and a DVD). Later, Kensie and I made homemade cards, picked up Taco Bell and surprised Greg at work for a lunch visit.

Grandma Mulder even stopped by and gave Kensie a sweet Valentine doggie to add to her stuffed animal collection.

And that night we hung out with our college friends and their kids, all while laughing and taking pics of our growing families.....

The day finished after Kensie was put to bed, while sitting on the couch together, Greg pulled out a black box with a beautiful bracelet inside. This guy doesn't buy jewelry very often, so it was definitely a sweet surprise! We reminisced about past Valentine days and celebrated how far we've come. We were in love.

Kensie's day was a bit different.

Between all the "fun" activities and surprises, she just didn't seem like herself. Clingy. Fussy. Deliberately disobeying. Running after me as soon as I left the room, and grabbing both knees as she wedged her head between them. I couldn't even do my make-up without her throwing herself on the ground crying. At first I blamed her cold, her teeth, coming off a weekend away from "mama and dada". But, frankly....she just threw fits for no reason. There was no reasoning, or distractions, or ANYTHING I could do to make it stop. So frustrating.

I finally decided it was time to implement our first "time-out". At first, I picked her up from the bathroom floor where she was currently throwing a fit, and plopped her in the hallway on her bottom. I thought a firm, "Kensie, that is ENOUGH!" would do it.


So, I picked her up and plopped her in her bedroom on the middle of the rug and said, "Kensie, that is ENOUGH!" I shut the door until it clicked and stood outside listening to what she would do.

The fit increased for about a minute, and then she (finally!) started to calm down. I could hear her sucking her fingers and mumbling. After about 1 more minute, I opened the door to conclude the time-out. She was standing next to her crib--one hand in her mouth, and the other hand reaching through the slats of her crib stroking her stuffed animals on the other side. It seemed to work!

While we still battled a few more fits throughout the day, they got progressively better. And honestly, she has been an angel ever since. All week. Seriously. I don't know if it was the time-out...but it appears that way.

Do you give time-outs?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Current house projects...

{1} Tile the entryway and mudroom

We've had this lovely flooring in our entryway for the last...uh...2 years? Usually covered with rugs, but still. Yuck-o.

I'm really going to miss that lovely arrangement of quilt-like layers of the "L" word {linoleum} in those beautiful shades of  poop and puke gold and brown .


We found some super cheap tile a few weeks ago from Home Depot (they are closing here in town...all sales final!), and now we are finally going to lay those bad boys! Yay! (babies-on-the-way make great deadlines for these kinds of projects, don't they?)

Thankfully we are hiring a friend from church to make sure the job is done right. We have zero experience with this stuff, and frankly...I don't have much patience for these kinds of things.

So, hopefully some after pics coming soon!!

{2} Finish the "new" nursery

It's painted (minus the window trim), it's empty (minus the futon), and ready to be moved in. Hoping those nesting instincts kick in here reeeeeal soon.

But, for your viewing's what Kensie thinks of baby Mason's room (sorry kinda long, but family and friends will enjoy seeing her in action):

{3} Organize closets (saving the best for last!)

I've said it once and I'll say it again. "I love organizing closets!" However, I'm also a procrastinator. Bad combo right? If you saw the video above...Greg's entire wardrobe currently takes up the "new" nursery closet. And MY entire wardrobe takes up the master bedroom closet (which is even smaller than Greg's). So we need to do some purging, rearranging, and organizing to make room for one more.

I just need to get started, and then I'll be off!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weekly meals

One of my NY resolutions is to be better at meal planning and grocery shopping. I've always enjoyed cooking, but it sounds less fun these days being 34 weeks preggo with a teething, 17 month old hanging on your legs between 4-6pm every night.

Ultimately, I would be happy with two home-cooked meals a week. It makes cooking every single day seem less daunting. But, still leaves enough leftovers for the days in between.

This is one meal that didn't take much prep, but I'm still counting it as "one of the two meals a week".
Broccoli Cheese soup {fresh steamed broccoli mixed with a can of soup} paired with grilled Ham and Cheese sandwiches {extra sharp cheddar and honey ham lunch meat grilled on bakery fresh Cibatta bread}:

It's not every day that Greg makes it home by dinner time, so it's nice to have something for him on those nights when I just don't feel like cooking.

Below is a new recipe I made yesterday. It was a bit of preparation, but SO WORTH IT. It was one of those freebie recipe cards you get in the mail. You know, the ones where they want to mail you the rest of the card set for "FREE" and then say you can "cancel" at any time. Yeah. Not falling for it. But, the ones they DID send looked like they were worth a try.

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie (with cheater crust):

(serves 6)
1  can (10 oz.) chicken broth
1 1/3  cups water
4  medium carrots thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
3  medium red potatoes, scrubbed and diced (1 1/2 cups)
2  T. olive oil
2  cups quartered medium mushrooms--left them out
1  medium onion, coarsely chopped--didn't have any, left out
1  cup frozen peas--we also added 1 cup frozen corn
1/3  cups all-purpose flour
1  (15 oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts
2 1/2  cups chopped cooked chicken--used rotisserie chicken from store...such good flavor!

{1} Combine broth, 1 cup water, carrots and potatoes in a saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

{2} Preheat oven to 425*. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened. Stir in the broth mixture and peas (and corn if you added them). Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Whisk the remaining water into the flour until smooth. Whisk flour mixture into vegetable mixture. Boil, stirring frequently, until thickened. Remove from heat.

{3} Unroll 1 piecrust onto floured surface. Measure and roll, if necessary, to fit 1 inch larger than top of a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Line the baking dish with crust.

{4} Stir the cut-up chicken into the vegetable mixture and pour into the baking dish. Place the remaining crust over the filling; trim and flute the edge. Use favorite cookie cutter shape for decorations. Bake until filling is bubbly and crust is browned, about 20 minutes.