Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Macie gets a new toy almost every weekend.
She loves her toys and plays with every single one of them. My family room looks like I have a two year old playing in there, but its just the dog
Since they keep her busy all day long while we're at work, I dont mind buying them for her.
Roo was one of her favorites right from the start. The day she got him she loved him.
I can always tell which ones are going to be favorites and Roo has the top three things on her list for the perfect toy. He has just the right amount of squishy-ness, he's full of fluffy stuff and he has a squeaker.

within a few days, Roo no longer has any ears. So we threw him away and bought a new Roo.
Within a few hours, the new Roo also had his ears chewed off.
She's not getting another Roo.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

a few Cinco de Mayo menu ideas

Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos
Use the same pan to brown the pork and make the rave-worthy sauce. Browning the pork improves its color, and the browned bits enrich the sauce's flavor. Add more jalapoño pepper if you enjoy spicy food.

1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and black pepper. Add oil to pan. Add pork, and sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove pork from pan; place in a bowl. Add onion and jalapeño to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add broth; reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in tomato; simmer 2 minutes.
Return pork and accumulated juices to pan. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; cook 1 minute or until pork is done.
Heat tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/2 cup pork mixture into each tortilla; roll up.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)

CALORIES 416 (28% from fat); FAT 13.1g (sat 3.6g,mono 6.8g,poly 1.6g); PROTEIN 30.2g; CHOLESTEROL 75mg; CALCIUM 101mg; SODIUM 569mg; FIBER 3.6g; IRON 3.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43.1g Cooking Light, JUNE 2004

Black Bean and Chicken Chilaquiles
A traditional Mexican breakfast favorite, chilaquiles (chee-lah-KEE-lays) is a sauté of day-old tortilla strips, fresh tomato sauce, cream, and cheese. This hearty version is baked. Refrigerate leftover chilaquiles in individual containers with tight-fitting lids. To reheat, drizzle with a tablespoon of water, and microwave just until thoroughly heated. Total time: 45 minutes.

Cooking spray
1 cup thinly sliced onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (7 3/4-ounce) can salsa de chile fresco (such as El Pato)
15 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
1 cup shredded queso blanco (about 4 ounces)
Preheat oven to 450°.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add chicken; cook 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; stir in beans. Add broth and salsa to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Place half of tortilla strips in bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of chicken mixture over tortillas; top with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture. Pour broth mixture evenly over chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until tortillas are lightly browned and cheese is melted.
Yield: 6 servings
CALORIES 293 (15% from fat); FAT 4.9g (sat 1.7g,mono 1.5g,poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 22.9g; CHOLESTEROL 46mg; CALCIUM 200mg; SODIUM 602mg; FIBER 5.9g; IRON 2.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 40g Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2006

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

If you wait long enough, it will go on sale....


The duvet cover I've been waiting for went on sale at Potterybarn today. I ordered it right away because usually, by the time I have time to look whats on sale, the size I need is sold out. Since I've been waiting for this to go on sale I went online right away this morning and I'm happy to say, NOT THIS TIME! :)

I loved this leaf pattern duvet cover the first time I saw it. I have the quilted throw already, so I've been patiently waiting, and waiting...and waiting.
I plan on accenting the room with just a few little touches of orange, and I found a great throw pillow that's brown silk with just the outline of a green and white leaf .
Now all I need is this furniture...(Paul---hint hint)
For some inexpensive art, I found the most beautiful handmade piece of wrapping paper. Haven't decided if I'm going to frame it, or buy a blank canvas and Modge Podge the paper onto the canvas. Its orange, cream, green and brown floral.
Either way, a new fresh look is on its way.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

self portraits

Yesterday I spent a quiet day, hanging around inside because it was cold and rainy outside.
Sometime around noon, I decided to build a fire in the fireplace to warm things up. Working on my knitting, watching tv and a fire would be downright cozy.

After that got going I pulled out my new tripod to play with it a little. I took a few pics of Macie, then decided to try a few self portraits...I guess I was kinda board.

Now, taking a self portrait has got to be one of the hardest, most unnatural feeling things to do. I feel sooooo stupid smiling at the camera.

Anyway, I think its going pretty good...I snap a few, they look alright so I snap a few more. I'm feeling stupider and stupider as I go, and I'm getting sillier and sillier as I snap away.

Later, when I load them up onto the computer here's what I see...
getting really silly and feeling even more ridiculous...

and finally...Soot from the fireplace under my nose!

OMG I thought I was going to cry I laughed so hard.
Could hardly wait til Paul came home from work to show him my self portraits. Thank GOD for photoshop cause I'm not doing another self portrait photo shoot for awhile!

Well, at least til next time I'm board. It was good for a laugh

Friday, April 18, 2008

today I learned

how to make a watermark brush in Photoshop Elements!
I've wanted to know how to do this for the longest time, not because any of my pictures are theft worthy...but just because I think it looks kinda cool. Like adding jewelery to the picture :)

Also...I started another project yesterday, like I don't have enough messes going at the moment. Anyway, decided that I'd stalled long enough and picked up my knitting yesterday.

My Mom has been teaching me to knit socks. She knits a pair of socks almost every day. I'm not sure what she does with all of them...I think she sells some through her fiber club when they have booths at various fairs and street fairs. She's been selling my aprons for me too...( thanks Mom! )Anyway, I've never actually completed a full pair of socks.

The first sock I attempted was full of mistakes, being that it was my first ever knitted thing, ever. But I considered it a learning sock. Once I turned the heal and learned that part, I pulled it all apart and started again.
The second sock was much better, although it still had one or two spots that could have been better. Overall I was pretty pleased with myself and with my sock.
It was made from inexpensive yarn since it was just for practice. But I figured if I was going to spend so much time making something, it better be really pretty and something I would in fact want to wear. So I never made the second sock to go with it.
About two months ago I got this beautiful sock yarn.
I needed to take it to my Moms house to put it on her winder thingy that makes it into a cute ball.
Since I did that, its just been sitting there...taunting me to pick it up and try again.
But its so pretty, I'm frankly a little frighted of it.

See the watermark :)
But yesterday I started a sock with the red yarn ... its called Fabulous Fall.
...and that's probably about the time I'll get done with it too.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

somebody is taking up residence

under our back patio cover.
What a sunny, warm and safe place to lay a few eggs huh?
Im thinking it may be a little too close to the house and the back door though. This is were Macie goes in and out continuously.
Im worried the Mama Robin is going to get upset every time we near her babies, but there is no way around it. So, I hope she's prepared for us to share this space while she has little ones at home.
There seem to be several more Mama Robins that want to set up a nursery under this patio cover as well. Every day there seems to be another nest forming.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

green apples

I dropped an apple out of the bag the other day.
Macie saw it and flew across the room after it.
Im sure she saw the green thing rolling across the floor and thought it was her tennis ball.
Imagine her surprise when she realized that it was something she could eat.

She sniffed it a few times, gave it a lick, then tried to take a bite...then another and another.
Finally she actually got a chunk out of it and the game was really on at that point.
She had a great time batting it around and chewing on it once she realized it was food.
I finally picked up the slimey thing and threw it in the garbage. But she had a good time with it for awhile, and got a few good bites in it as well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

biggest loser

so excited for the finale of biggest loser tonight!
I love this show.
When I first heard about it, I thought it sounded kind of rude. After all, who would find enjoyment or entertainment out of watching overweight people struggle, sweat and get yelled at "boot camp" style...and be called a loser. It seemed kind of humiliating.

But last year we finally watched and were immediately hooked. This is seriously some great reality TV.
Bob, Jillian and Allison can sometimes be a little overly dramatic, maybe a lot over dramatic at times...and Im so over watching Mark get in touch with his emotions...but that's all part of the show.
So tonight is the fanale...
and who wont be hoping Ali is the first female biggest loser tonight???

eta: SHE WON!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


This weekend we had the first strawberries of the season.
Usually this first batch is fairly tasteless, but these were actually pretty good.
Nice and sweet.
Not as good as they will be in a few months when the local ones come in, but pretty good for April.
So this week we'll be enjoying sliced strawberries on our cereal, and we had shortcake for dessert this weekend.

which brings me to shortcake.
My shortcake was a disappointment.
I bought angel food shortcake this time, mostly because its low fat and better for the ole' diet,
but really... its just not that good.
ruined my whole shortcake.
maybe it's too sweet, I dont know. I grew up with good the bisquick kind of shortcake.
It's denser, almost like a scone. I love shortcake made out of Bisquick. I think I could almost eat them plain, without the strawberries. Next time, diet be damned...break out the Bisquick.
and dont forget the whipped cream

Yeah, I forgot to buy that too

Its going to get a whole lot worse

before it gets better.
I'm in the process of tearing apart my scraproom to reorganize it by color.

I have these photo boxes ready to start loading them up.

I've been separating my buttons by color too, a huge job since I've been tossing them in one great big jar for years. I've been buying Bell canning jars at the grocery store, the short fat, squaty ones. I think you get 4 jars for $4.99. I've picked up two 4 packs. I want to do something fun with the tops but I haven't decided what yet.

I love to organize, but this project is pretty daunting.

I have embellishments stashed all over the place.
It's going to be great getting them all in one place where I know where they are, but getting it done is just going to be painful. Once the buttons are done, I get to tear this apart

Thursday, April 10, 2008

whistle while you work

You know those wheelies shoes they have for kids?
Now they have a Moms version to be worn in the house....sold at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Monday, April 07, 2008

trippy hippy granola

Over the past few years I’ve become a breakfast person. For years, just the thought of eating anything before noon made my tummy queezy. Now it seems, breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day.
Since mornings at our house are pretty hectic, (and early), I usually pack breakfast and lunch to work with me. Breakfast needs to be portable and ready to go…that means its usually mini shredded wheat cereal. Ho-hum… What I love is some good granola or Muesli, maybe add some yogurt. But have you seen the fat and sugar content in granolas? Or the price? Yikes.

So that got me started thinking about making homemade granola. Something that I can make with all the good things I want in it, and none of the bad overly sweet or overly fat. That probably makes me sound like a trippy hippy but let me tell you, yummy fragrant granola baking makes your house smell unbelievably cozy on a rainy Sunday afternoon and it is so easy to make.

Once I started searching for granola recipes I realized how adaptable granola is.
You have the just-the-basics type granola, oats, nuts, oil and some kind of sweetener or you can throw in the whole kitchen sink, a variety of nuts and grains, maybe a few different bits of sweetness like coconut and dried fruits, honey and maple syrup, or even applesauce. Throw in a bit of spice, like cinnamon and ginger if you like. It does require some stocking of the pantry with lots of these ingredients, but once that parts done they will last you quite awhile and you can whip a batch up in minutes. Im afraid that now that Ive crossed over to homemade granola, no store bought kind will ever do again…and why would I want to?

Yesterday, while I wanted to be outdoors working in the flowerbeds, the rainy weather that is typical spring in Seattle, kept us indoors and that to me means time to cook.
The recipe I made is like most recipes I make…and adapted version of about 6 different recipes which incorporate either a.) what I have in the pantry or b.) all the parts I liked best of each recipe, all merged together.

Here’s the recipe I used yesterday

4 cups rolled oats –( not instant)
1 cup raw roughly chopped pecans, almonds or peanuts
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 cup hulled raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1 cup sweetened or unsweetened (if you can find it) coconut
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ cup maple syrup
½ cup honey2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
1 cup diced dried fruit of your choice – mango, apricot, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, apple, raisins – not added until after baking, not before.

Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Stir to mix well. In a small bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients except the fruit. Stir to mix well. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones, and stir well.Spread the mixture evenly on two rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until evenly golden brown. Set a timer to go off every ten minutes while the granola bakes, so you can rotate the pans and give the granola a good stir; this helps it to cook evenly. Be careful because it burns quickly the last few minutes. I baked mine a little too long because it felt too soft, but apparently that’s how its suppose to feel because it crisps as it cools…lesson learned.

When it’s ready, remove the pans from the oven, stir well – this will keep it from cooling into a hard, solid sheet – and set aside to cool. After it has cooled you can add any dried fruit.

Scoop cooled granola into to a large zipper-lock plastic bag or other airtight container.
Store in the refrigerator indefinitely.
As soon as we’ve finished off this batch I plan to make another version. I found one with a few different spices, flax seeds and it uses applesauce instead instead of the maple syrup.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Charlie bit me

okay this apparently has been around awhile, but I just saw it today and it really made me laugh
I dont know whats cuter, Charlie's devilish little giggle or his brothers facial expressions and his cute accent :)