Jul 29, 2011

Friday Crafternoon v.5

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. We're travelling to my mom's house to visit tomorrow and Sunday... our second overnight trip. I'm crossing my fingers that Adelaide takes a break from this horrible sleeping spell that we're on. I'll be sure to let you all know how it goes!

Here are some creative links for you all to check out... happy weekend!

I'll take one of each! Beautiful unique way to use felt. I may go shopping soon!

If I ever get an iPhone, I'm going here for a case. This seahorse case is TOTALLY my aesthetic.

I am in love with this junk mail art!

Easy-to-follow video tutorial for making a skirt in an hour!

Or how about this really, really cute pleated skirt? I'm not usually a skirt-wearer, but I might make one for when I go back to work!

And speaking of going back to work, I lug my laptop back and forth every day... is it finally time for a laptop bag? I'm thinking yes.

Save stained shirts! With a baby now eating solids, there are a lot more stains showing up on her clothes... Instead of tossing them, I should save them!

And if the shirts really are unsaveable, cut them up and make some headbands!

Now if only Adelaide will sleep so I can make some of this stuff!

Jul 28, 2011

Adelaide {7 months}

Dear Adelaide,



You're 7 months old! You are so much fun, little one. Your daddy and I love watching you figure things and out, and we love noticing when you do something new. Speaking of, here's a nice list of all the new stuff we've seen you do this past month:

-You've started sleeping on your tummy. You'll roll over half-asleep and stay that way. It's really, really adorable!
-You're inching forward (little bumps and pushes) when you really want something, like a cell phone. Not crawling yet, really, but definitely moving when you want to.
-Lots of screaming and squealing!
-You eat two solid meals a day now, and you like pretty much everything we give you, except avocado and sweet peas.
-But with starting solids came constipation and gas! You've been having a tough time trying to figure it all out and that has affected your sleep. I think we're on the up and up though!
-You're grabbing our hair and faces constantly, and on that same note, you've figured out how to pull your own hair! I don't know why you do it, but sometimes you'll reach up and tug while you're nursing.
-You LOVE to pull yourself up when we hold our fingers/hands out! You get this huge grin and sometimes you'll squeal with happiness and pride!
-You're fascinated by Daddy's earrings - you reach for them and pull them out all the time!
-On your 7th month birthday, Mommy and Daddy had our first date! This was the first time we left you with anyone else (your Mimi and Papa Brown, and cousin Hayden came to watch you), and you did fantastic! We were so proud of you and it was nice that we all had a good time!
-You're starting to have this excited arm flapping thing going on, as well as starting to slap at things when you're really excited about something.
-You still LOVE the bath, and you splash A LOT, but you hate getting out and will often cry.
-You don't like the changing table anymore... you will often scream and cry when laid down and you're happy again once picked back up.
-And finally, there's lots of playing with us... you're laughing all the time and giggling at us, crawling all over us... it's awesome!








So safe to say we're having so much fun with you! We love you very much, and when you do something new there's a pride that we've never felt before. We watch you work hard to master new skills, something that we will be doing for the rest of our lives. We're so very happy you're a part of our family! Hands down, you're the coolest person we know. :)

Love you baby girl,

Jul 27, 2011

First date since Adelaide.

So, last week I talked about how we didn't do much to celebrate our 3 -year anniversary, which was true. All we really did was watch a kids' movie (which was pretty good, actually).

But Kevin's parents offered to babysit for us so that we could go out and actually do something baby-free. Just us two adults. Baby. Free.

In the 7 months Adelaide's been around, there've only been a handful of times that I've gone out without her. A few times to the gym (oh, yeah, there's that gym membership that we haven't been using. Whoops!) and a couple times to the grocery store. That's it!

So we jumped at the chance for them to come watch Adelaide for us, and Friday night it was. Leading up to it we were so excited! We couldn't decide what to do. We wanted to make up for 7 months of NOT dating. We entertained the ideas of rock-climbing at our local rock-climbing center, or maybe bowling. But we settled on dinner and a movie, with the idea that if we called to check in and Adelaide was screaming her head off, we could just do a dinner date, and save the movie for later.

But the day of, I got nervous. Adelaide was having trouble pooping (more on that later!), and was a bit fussy in the morning. I thought about how she might freak out without either of her parents there, something she's never dealt with. I wondered if I could really enjoy a night out without her. Would I worry constantly? Could I do it?

So I made lists. Oh, I made lists. And sticky-notes. A list of things Adelaide enjoys, in case she got fussy. A list for how to put her to bed. A list for how to change her cloth diapers, and what to do if it were by chance a poopy diaper. A sticky note on the mug for how to warm her bottle. A sticky on her night diaper which is extra thick and jammies. Everything laid out for her dinner meal. On and on and on.

And when Gail (my mother in law) showed up, and Adelaide was napping, she immediately said "Show me what you've written." She's a lot like me, which is kind of weird, but she understood the nerves that were taking over.

I mean, I was about to LEAVE MY BABY. And GO OUT. ON A DATE. Ack!

We went to Earth Fare and got some amazing stuff from the deli. They've got vegan nuggets spot on. Delicious. We also got a peanut butter and jelly smoothie which was not as "fun" as the cashier said it would be. Bummer.

Kevin got a portobella sandwich and blue chips.

And there's those awesome soy nuggest I was gushing about. And some pretty tasty marinated mushrooms and also a salad.

No, I'm not pointing to my armpit. I'm pointing to where my baby should be. *sigh*

After scarfing it all down, we got some root beers for the movie (shh... don't tell) along with the most amazing brownie I have EVER had. Ever, really. And it was vegan! There was some creamy icing stuff happening on top of this really moist brownie with walnuts. So very good.

Then we drove over to the movies where we forgot to use the two $10 gift cards that were in my back pocket. We could have had a free movie night! Oh well, next time. We saw Bad Teacher, which had so many very funny parts. We especially liked Phyllis Smith's and Lucy Punch's characters. Towards the end of the movie, though, both Kevin and I were checking our phones for the time and whispering to each other how we were both ready to go home and see our baby already!

And when we got home, Adelaide and Gail were both asleep and looking precious. My father in law told me stories of how good Adelaide was and all the smiles and giggles she gave. And apparently she only cried once, and that was on the changing table. Not too big of a shocker on that one.

So it was a complete success! Not only did my husband and I have our first alone time in ages, our daughter was amazing with other people. Totally helps me with the how-can-I-leave-my-baby-with-strangers feelings I get when I think about going to work. Not that I don't still have those, because I most definitely do, but it helps.

And the grandparents had so much fun. And they've offered to do it again soon. And we will really be taking them up on that. I still want to go to that rock climbing gym. And bowling. And maybe even another movie because, well, I do still have those gift cards you know?



Yeah, we were feeling a little giddy.

Jul 25, 2011

Yummy Monday: "Cheesy" Roasted Chickpeas

These are some seriously tasty chickpeas. I love love love chickpeas, and use them whenever I can. This recipe is vegan, and it is super easy and tasty! Give it a try and let me know what you think! It's from The Vegan Lunchbox by Jennifer McCann.

"Cheesy" Roasted Chickpeas
serves a few, unless you love chickpeas like I do... then you can munch on them all day!


1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp nutritional yeast (I used 2 heaping tsp)
1 TBSP canola oil (I used 2 tbsp)


Drain your chickpeas, and rinse.

Drain and rinse

Pour all ingredients into a medium bowl. Stir.

Add extras

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the chickpeas in a single layer.

Single layer on baking sheet

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. (You could use a toaster oven for less energy usage.)



{If you are interested in contributing a recipe to Yummy Mondays, please contact me. The only requirements are that the recipe be vegetarian and yummy. You must also include step by step instructions and lots of pictures!}

Jul 20, 2011

Yesterday was my anniversary...

...and I totally forgot to blog about it.

Maybe because it kinda felt like just another day? I mean, with the baby and all, and it being in the middle of the week with Kevin having to work all day, we didn't really get to celebrate all that much.

What we've done the past two anniversaries is take a trip down memory lane by driving back to the Asheville area and hanging out for a couple of nights. We can't go visit the lodge we got married at because it's way expensive for an annual trip (though we're thinking about a big celebratory shindig in a couple or a few years, on one of those "important" anniversaries), but we can get close. Just being in the mountains feels like home to me, so it's nice going back.

And we usually explore downtown Asheville by foot, stopping in all the neat stores, like this bead store, this drum shop, and this eclectic-everything store.

And we like to go back to our wedding cake bakery and pick up a pre-ordered tiny version of our wedding cake, which we then take back to our hotel and devour. Along with some made-at-home-and-packed-in-a-cooler-until-dinnertime pasta that was our main dish at our wedding. A delicious smashup of penne, basil, mozzarella, and tomato. Simple but awesome. Maybe when I'm eating cheese again I'll post it for a Yummy Monday.

But this year money is really tight, so unless Kevin gets a pretty big drum order, we've opted to nix the anniversary trip this year. With taking such a long maternity leave, we also have to endure some sacrifices. I think it's definitely a worthwhile trade-off, but man, it sucks having to stay home when I really, really want to go hiking up a mountain with my baby on my back, or hang out with Meaghann (Kevin's sister and our wedding officiant), or go get some pretty beads. Heck, even sleeping in a king-sized bed sounds pretty awesome.

So instead, we rented Rango. I thought it was pretty funny that we rented an animated film put out by Nickolodeon, the kiddest of kid companies, to celebrate being grown ups and married for 3 years. It was a great movie, though (gotta love Johnny Depp!), and it was nice snuggling up with my honey on the couch and eating some vegan chocolate chip brownies (expect a post on that soon).

So happy 3 years + 1 day, Mr. Brown. Here's to twenty more of those, at least!

Jul 18, 2011

Yummy Monday: Brown Rice with Green Onions and Pineapple

We love brown rice around here. It's pretty versatile and we eat it every week with multiple sides. I love a simple bowl of brown rice with butter and sauteed mushrooms. SO. GOOD.

But sometimes I like to dress it up a little bit. This recipe came from Party Vegan, a book I checked out from the library and am insanely gaga over. So many of the recipes look really delicious, and I'm trying them out little by little over the few weeks I've got the book for (and am probably going to renew it).

The rice is moist, and there's a kick of spice from the crushed red pepper, yet sweetness from the pineapple. Super easy and quick and even, and more importantly maybe?, husband-approved.

Brown Rice with Green Onions and Pineapple
makes 4 to 6 servings


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large bunch green onions
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (I didn't use this because I'm not a fan of ginger)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (makes it spicy!)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh or canned crushed pinapple
salt and pepper to taste

Cook your rice. Make sure you'll get 4 cooked cups when it's done.

cook rice

Mince your onions.

chop onions

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the green onions and ginger (if using) and cook until softened, about 1 minute.

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Add the crushed red pepper, brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice, stirring to mix evenly. Stir in the pineapple and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, to heat through, about 7 minutes.

add rice and pineapple

Serve hot or warm. If not using right away, cover and refrigerate until needed, then reheat.

plate it up


{If you are interested in contributing a recipe to Yummy Mondays, please contact me. The only requirements are that the recipe be vegetarian and yummy. You must also include step by step instructions and lots of pictures!}

Meeting more family. (Day Two.)

Read about Day One here. Day Two started early. (Too early.) Adelaide woke up around 5:30 or so but everyone else was still sleeping. So we wandered around the house, looking at the pictures and artwork, trying to keep quiet. Kevin's grandparents have a nice sunroom overlooking the woods, so we ventured there. And while looking out, we saw a bunny (when is it a bunny, and when is it a rabbit? And even more interesting, when is it a bunny rabbit?). It hopped away pretty quickly though as soon as we stepped outside. But we strolled around in their small back yard, looking at flowers and enjoying the peace and quiet of the morning. We got the paper and brought it in, and by then Adelaide was yawning and rubbing her eyes (so precious!). We layed back down for another hour or so.

When everyone was up and ready, we went to the cafeteria in their community and had breakfast. Adelaide munched on some fruit through her mesh feeder (love this thing!) and even -hold onto your hats!- danced with one of the other residents. I was in the line getting an omelet made and missed this phenomenon. A stranger that Adelaide was okay dancing with? I met him, and he was pretty flamboyant, so maybe that was what intrigued her. Nonetheless, amazing.

Back to the apartment, hung out for a couple more hours, then we were off to a local park to meet up with my best friend and her daughter Penelope. I will refrain from using one of my sister's wildly hilarious yet inappropriate sayings here, but let me tell you that it was really super incredibly hot. We abandoned the idea of casually hanging out while watching Penelope scamper amongst the play structures for the cool and refreshing Foster's Market (yes, again... that good!).

And after a really good pb&j and more fruit, we were back in the car, heading home. It was a wonderful trip full of family and friends, good food, great company, and lots and lots of adorable squishy baby. Can it get any better?

With daddy
Daddy didn't get enough sleep, but Adelaide is all smiles!

Matching Hannah
Hanging out with Hannah. They match!

Penelope running
Penelope. Ball of energy. Lightning fast. Full of awesome.

Pretty girl
Gorgeous girl!

Penelope sliding

Sitting on the play structure

Sharing leaves
Penelope brought Adelaide some leaves to check out. And then sat watching proudly as she lunged for them.

Investigating the green


Wiggle worm
This girl is all over the place!

Swinging with Mama

We love to swing!

Baby love

Penelope at Fosters

Blurry beauty

Jul 16, 2011

Friday Crafternoon v.4 ---> on Saturday!

Whoops! I blame being late with this on a whiny baby. Teething, maybe? Growth spurt? Who knows. But anyway, here are some wonderful links to make you ooh and ahh! Enjoy!!!

Ooh, these are so pretty! I especially like numbers 10, 13, 14, 20, 22, and 23. (Couldn't choose just one!)

This is a cute mug! I've got some plain white ceramic mugs perfect for a few little doodles :)

Who knew rubber bands, zippers, and binder clips (to name a few) could be so pretty?

This would be a fun project for kids to do, and then to hang in a playroom! What if there was a hidden shape (heart, star, etc).

I can't wait to make felt food for Adelaide... how about this cake stand?

I love how stylish this looks... nobody would know it's holding diapers and wipes! I've even got some purple vinyl stashed away that I think would be perfect for this!

Meeting more family. (Day One.)

{Ok, air conditioning is working. Has been for a couple of days. Of course it broke on the hottest day of the year so far and it's been cooler since. The repair man was here only an hour but it cost us a whopping $365 to fix, which has us basically nixing our annual anniversary trip up to the mountains. A huge boo-hoo to me.}

ANYWAY... last weekend we took a trip to Durham to visit Kevin's grandparents. They met Adelaide a while ago, but time flies and another visit was definitely due. So we packed everything up last Friday night, and the next morning we got in the car for the couple-hour drive.

Adelaide did SO WELL. Her first long trip. She slept for an hour or so, then played happily in the backseat for the rest of the drive. And she did awesome with meeting everyone, too. Well, she'd already met everyone before, but you know... she didn't remember them. Kevin and I kept looking at each other and saying: She's doing so good! She's doing great!

We spent the morning and lunch with Kevin's grandparents. Then in the early afternoon, my mom and sister drove over to hang out and then we all went out to dinner at an awesome place, Foster's Market. YUM. Even without eating dairy right now, it was still delicious.

Then back to the grandparents' for a first time sink bath for the little one, then bedtime for her and a movie for us (21 Grams... a very good, but very intense movie).

Here are pictures from Saturday... I'll post about Sunday later because there are so many pictures I don't want to totally overload you! Enjoy!

Great-Grandma Joan
Kevin's Grandmom Joan

Great-Granddad Mike
Kevin's Granddad Mike

Loves to stand
Can you hear her screaming?

Center of attention
She's the center of attention!

Mama and baby
She loves pulling on my necklace! And standing! And screaming! She's doing all three here.

Love the arm rolls
Nom nom nom.

My little yogi.

Playing with Aunt Rae
Playing on the floor with my sister. "Aunt Rae."

Giving Mema the stink-eye
Giving my mom the stinkeye. "Mema."

With Aunt Rae

Listening to Granddad whistle
Granddad kept whistling to her and she was fascinated!

At Fosters with Mema
At Foster's Market. Intrigued by Mema's beads.

Blueberry love
This little girl will DEVOUR blueberries. See?

Sore Thumb
Hmm... who sticks out like a sore thumb here? :)

Our Little Family
My little family!

Laughing it up
Love the candid shots where we're all laughing.

Smile pretty
And of course the posed shots as well.

The Fun Aunt
My sister is so pretty! And so is my daughter!

First sink bath
Post-dinner sink-bath. She had a BLAST.

Enjoying herself

Pictures from Sunday to come! Hope you're having a great start to the weekend!