Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bread and Smoothies!

Yes...breads and smoothies have been a large part of my diet as of late. Mia still is also sharing in my smoothie kick who also asks for one multiple times a day. We usually only make one a day, but lately I've already craving another by the afternoon so I'll make another. Looking on the bright side, I would say this craving is a lot better then my daily oreo milkshake I had while pregnant with Mia :)

As for the breads, I am also always craving homemade bread of some short however I don't really cook  a lot when Eric is away and it's just Mia and I. Now that he has been home more lately I seem to always be making some kind of bread!

Anyway I though I'd share some recipes that have been some real hits and that you should seriously consider making yourself :)

First up on the list is homemade bread. I finally got brave and tried my hand at making my own bread. I grew up on fresh, homemade bread and am always craving it however, in past experiences I have had awful luck with homemade rolls and bread. After finding a roll recipe that is impossible to fail at (even if I don't let it raise for the full amount of time) I decided why not move onto bread.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread (Recipe HERE)


In this recipe she grinds her own wheat, but since I don't have a wheat grinder I just used whole wheat flour from the store. If using store bought flour you don't need nearly as much!! Luckily the first time I tried it I didn't put all the flour in before mixing it before I found that out. Also my dough wasn't as sticky as her's and it still raised really well and tasted great! I am now finding myself eating way more bread then usual!

Texas Road House Rolls (Recipe HERE)


While we're on the subject of breads, I just made this copycat recipe for Texas Road House Rolls tonight and they were Ah-Mazing! I must admit I've always had a weakness for these rolls when we go to eat at Texas Road House and end up eating at least 4-5. Now we can skip the cost of eating out and have them right at home. We even made the cinnamon butter they serve with it too. Yum!

Chocolate Chunk Banana Muffins (Recipe HERE)

Ok so obviously I'm on a little bit of a carbo load lately,so thank goodness these are more on the healthy side! The recipe is for banana bread, but I just make the recipe as it says and put them in muffin tins and cook for about 15 minutes (It makes 12 muffins). What I love about these is that for as "healthy" as they are they are delicious and they help fill the need for sweets when having a sweet-tooth craving. A few substitutes I do are I use coconut oil instead of safflower oil and I use dark chocolate chips instead of chopped up dark chocolate. And what makes these even better are nuts!

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have lately! :) Have a great week!

P.S. Everything for Livy's room is almost complete! I'm so excited to put it together along with some new updates to Mia's room, including her new bed we made. We just need to make the headboard and paint! Pictures to come soon!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Some Big Changes

We started out last week with a big change of switching Mia to a toddler bed. She hadn't been napping for about a week and I could tell that she most likely wasn't going to return to daily naps. I have been dreading this day, especially since most kids her age are still napping, but there really isn't much else to do then suck it up and move on with life. I figured there would still be days where she would need a nap rather then playing in her room so that is why I started thinking about moving her to a toddler bed so when she didn't want to nap she could play in her room for a couple hours (giving me a little break) or climb in her bed and take a nap if she was tired. After doing a little research and asking for advice, most experiences I heard of with parents switching their children over, especially so young were not pleasant ones. However, I figured now was as good as time as any with Eric being home to help out as well.

From the time Mia was a baby she has never resisted night time and has only gotten up once in the night from the time she started sleeping through the night at 5 months. Even still I went into it preparing myself for the worst. Monday morning came and I took one side off her crib and turned it into a toddler bed. Mia was so excited. She immediately climbed right in her bed and pretty much stayed there the entire morning playing with her toys in her bed and laying down. That day she took her first nap in over a week and when night time came after doing our usual night-time routine she got right in her bed and went to sleep. My biggest fear out of all of this was her falling out of bed since she is such a crazy sleeper so I was expecting to be woken up in the night to crying after she had fallen out. Much to my surprise I didn't hear her until 8:30 the next morning which is around the normal time for getting up. The first night....a success! The rest of the week was also a success minus the naps. I'm soaking up this easy transition since I know potty-training (which I'm an not even considering yet) will be much more of a nightmare.


My plan is to switch Mia over to a twin bed when Livy is born so she can have the crib; giving me yet another project to accomplish since I found this cute platform bed I want to build for Mia.


Oh and here is a funny story from this week's transition. One night Eric peeked in on Mia and found her sleeping on the ground over by her changing table. She hadn't woken up at all from falling out of bed. He put her back in bed and checked on her a littler later and found her still asleep kneeling by her bed. We had to laugh at how she managed to sleep through all of that.

Eric luckily captured this for me and all of you to see :)
The next big change came near the end of the week. Since learning about Eric's new project and still waiting to hear more concerning that one as well as another one he will be put on we ceased looking at houses, a process we had started a little before Christmas. As we looked I just kept feeling like the timing wasn't right and now I know why considering that we could be moving out of state for awhile. So since we were no longer feeling the pressure to quickly save up a good down payment on a house we decided to trade in our Ford Freestyle and put some of it towards a new (used) more reliable car.

We started casually looking online at different cars we both liked at a price point we liked as well. Eric knew that I have always wanted a Jeep and he was good enough to indulge my want and look more at those cars. I really liked the new Jeep Grand Cherokees but we didn't really need something that big yet, especially for the price so we started looking at a scaled down model of the Cherokee which is the Jeep Compass. One morning we decided to be spontaneous and go test drive some cars. Long story short, that day we happened upon a 2011 Jeep Compass for a really great price and going along with my sudden spark of spontaneous behavior we went back the next day and bought the car!! Although the Freestyle served us well for the last 2 years, it's nice to have something more reliable and new to us.

I'm too lazy to go outside and take a picture so you get one I snagged online :)

Valentine's Day


Valentine's Day wasn't necessarily a big event for us, but the day couldn't have been better! With Eric being home we've been able to spend more time together and get to reconnect which has been much needed! Eric really out did himself this year and stayed up really late the night before Valentine's Day making me a handmade bouquet of roses made out of heresy's kisses. He left them around the house with little notes for me to find through out the whole day. It made me feel so loved that Eric would take the time to make me something since I usually like to make gifts for others and to leave them as surprises for me to find. He also made me a delicious steak dinner. We decided to "cheese" it up a bit and eat by candlelight with the love song station playing the background. Mia thought it was pretty neat. We topped the night off with homemade oreo milkshakes and the new James Bond movie "Sky Fall".

Also, just in time for Valentine's Day I finally got around to making a photo book of our wedding pictures. Yes I know, it's only almost 4 years later.



Shutterfly offers exclusive layouts and designs so you can make your book just the way you want.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Trying New Things

Now this is something that you don't often hear from me since I am a person that does NOT like change very much. I also don't tend to try new things just because of the excuses I make for myself sometimes. A few being that I'm afraid that I could fail, it would be too hard or the "unexpected" that comes from stepping out of our daily routines can be scary.

Honestly, most of these new things didn't take a huge leap to do. For example, this week I decided to try doing more "crafty" things with Mia. She gets so bored around the house sometimes, doing the same old thing day after day. However, for those of you who have toddlers also know that doing crafts with children mean more messes to clean up besides all the messes they already make on a daily basis along with all the other things that need to get done. So the other day I sucked up the fact of having a little more to do that day and sat Mia up to the table for some painting.


I saw this picture floating around pinterest of taking a empty roll of toilet paper and shaping it like a heart using that as a stamp with some paint. It looked simple enough for Mia to try and perfect for making some homemade valentines for friends and family. For Mia not always being the best listener and loving to make bigger messes the necessary, this project was quite the success. She managed to keep most of the paint off her (even though I stripped her down to her diaper just in case) and between the heart stamp and using paint brushes she stayed entertained with it for almost an hour.

The results...






After the painting project and Mia deciding not to take a nap, I got a little more ambitious and decided to have Mia help me make heart-shaped sugar cookies and decorate them. Mia have recently started to love helping out in the kitchen. She has a stool that she drags around the kitchen and get's up to try and help me. This project took a little more time and definitely was more messy, but I must say it's kind of fun/cute to have a little helper in the kitchen to help me bake. We didn't get to decorating the cookies until later that evening and by then I must say I was worn out from the day so I might have taken over decorating the cookies a little once I saw that Mia was basically just eating all the frosting and toppings, but she did help with a few. Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of the whole process, but here is a picture of a little surprise we left out for Eric since he wasn't getting back until really late from being away on business. We also made up some cookie Valentines for Mia's friends. I'm sure their mother's appreciated me giving their kids a cookie the size of their heads :)



Lesson learned from these "crafting" experiences with Mia? Even though it makes more for me to do, as a mother is was so fun seeing Mia's creativity come out and watching her try something new that she was enjoying. So maybe not an everyday occurrence, but something that I will try to do more often.

That night offered another first for me. I had signed up to clean the Oquirrh Mountain Temple with some of other ladies from the ward. Although I was very willing to serve when I first signed up, after a long day of tending Mia and not getting much sleep lately due to the pregnancy, I was beat and the thought of staying up late to clean wasn't sounding all the appealing. However, I was so impressed with how those hired to clean the temple made it such a peaceful and spiritual experience for the volunteers even as we cleaned. This really made me appreciate Eric's grandma much more, who cleans the Vernal, Utah temple each night. I always wondered how and why she did that every night with everything else on her plate she has. I now know that it hardly seems like a "chore" at all, but a blessing to be able to do. After everyone was done cleaning they let us spend the next 10 minutes going where ever we wanted in the temple. I spend most of mine sitting and pondering on the beauty of the temple and on how blessed I am to have the gospel in my life and to have something to live for that is meant to make me eternally happy.

Lesson learned from this experience? After a long day this is just what I needed to rejuvenate me spiritually and physically and I would do it again in a heart beat. If any of you ever get the chance to volunteer to clean the temple DO IT!

My last first for the week...embracing the unknown and stop worrying about always having a plan for the future. I thought this one would be hard one for me since I live for having plans for the future and knowing exactly where I'm going. A couple weeks ago Eric informed me that he was going to be put on another project so he would no longer be going to California and it looked like the new project would be in Virginia. Normally, I would have a mental freak out with the new change and all the unknowns that this new assignment would bring. Surprisingly I was quite calm about it and after sitting on it for a week or so and still not knowing much more all I feel is peace instead of my usual worry and stressing. All I know is that I'm having a baby in April and after that who knows...maybe we'll be adventurous and move to Virginia to be closer to Eric!

Lesson learned? I am SO much happier when I stop worrying all the time about things I can't control and when I'm more light heart about unknowns and dare I say change!? And even though Eric would never admit this, I am probably much more pleasant to be around. Needless to say for once I am heavily relying on faith that the Lord will direct us where is best for our family and not making my own plans first.

Oh and one more other kind of new thing...Annelise, Sara and I have decided to go the Arts in the Park fair in Ely this August again! There were difficult times last time we did it and I'm sure there will plenty of those times this time around as well, but in the end it was a great experience last time, even though it's scary to put yourself out there by trying to sell the things you enjoy making. Hopefully this year is a success!

Anyway, here are a few more pics of Mia that Eric took on his phone that I meant to get on the last post.

Mia has such a good daddy that will play out in the cold snow with her. She loves it!
Mia's face after she gets done with her "moo-mee" (smoothie). We have one about every day now.
Note her crazy morning hair along with an adorable cheesy smile

Monday, February 4, 2013

Updates

I'll make it no secret that there can be moments that are challenging with Mia as she has grown into the "toddler" phase; however those moments could never out weigh what a blessings and beautiful things it is to watch what was once a tiny baby grow and develop each day by learn new things and seeing her joy and excitement with the world around her.


One of Mia's biggest developments which still continues is her vocabulary. I remember as much as I loved holding and snuggling Mia as a baby I couldn't wait for the day she could wrap her arms around my neck and tell me she loves me. It melts my heart each time to hear her little voice say "love you" followed by a big kiss and cheesy smile. She also has become very interested in the alphabet and loves pointing out all the letters she sees in books or around the house. Here is a list of some other new additions to her vocabulary in the last couple of months.

-"Yuck"
-"moo-mee" (aka smoothie) I've been on a smoothie kick lately and now Mia is always asking for one too
-Mia loves calling out all her friends names throughout the day ("emma", "phia"(Sophia), "cohen" and "addi")
-"peez" (please)
-"hewo"(hello) and "goo-bye"
-"nemo" and "woody" when she wants to watch her two favorite movies Finding Nemo and Toy Story.
-"book" We spend a could hour or more each day reading all her books that she brings to me.
-"sawee" (sorry)
- "see ya"

Along with spending lots of time reading Mia also still loves to color and is starting to play more imaginary play with her toys. Eric and I have to laugh when are cleaning up the house at night and see all her little people toys and animals in pairs kissing. Mia has become very interested in is putting on clothes, socks and shoes. She usually walks out from spending time in her bedroom with 3 shirts around her waist, mis-matched socks and two shoes on. She also loves to accessorize and try on all my necklaces.


My attempts at trying to take a picture of Mia in her new dress we bought her when we were in San Diego. (Yes I bribed her to stand there with a cookie)

Lastly, Mia is a daddy's girl. When Eric is gone for work she is always walking around the house pointing at pictures of him and saying his name. She loves to play with him in the evenings and also loves going on daddy-daughter dates with him. So far they have gone swimming together and then out to dinner and just recently to the aquarium.

As for updates on Livy or more on the pregnancy with Livy anyway, I have 3 more months left until I can meet this little girl! This last week I have done a lot for Livy's room and it has made it just seem even more real. Even though I know it's not always going to be easy I can't wait to have a baby girl around the house again.


So far everything has been normal with this pregnancy. I'm about as average a pregnant lady as can be complete with, moodiness, heartburn, ever growing stretch marks, insomnia and a baby who likes to move and kick a lot (especially when Mia decides to sit right on top of Livy, she always has a good kick in retaliation). I feel like my cravings have been a little more tamed this time around or at least so far. I hardly am every craving anything greasy or too heavy because the smallest things seem to give me massive heartburn, but one meal in particular that I always seem to be wanting is steak, mash potatoes and homemade rolls. I always seem to "carbo" load when I'm pregnant. Some things I've come not to like since being pregnant are vegetables, salads and wheat bread. Of course it's all the healthy stuff.

And lastly, upon requests, here are some updates of all the crafts I've been doing as of late.

So first off here are some crafts I've done for Livy's room. One thing I got done last week, but didn't get a picture of yet because I wanted to wait until it was quilted was her quilt for her bed. If you recall I made one for Mia when she was born and I kind of wanted to make a tradition out of it so my kids can have something made from their mom from when they were a baby. So picture to come, but here is a look at the fabric I used in the quilt which kind of set the color scheme and "bird" theme for the room.


Going along with the "bird" theme I found this adorable lamp on ksl for $10. With a coat of yellow spray paint for the base and painting the lamp shade white I think this is going to be the one of the cutest additions to her room!


I came across this picture awhile ago on pinterest and although I kind of just wanted everything in the entire picture I settled by doing something similar with a pillow I already had.



Lastly, when I was is San Diego I bought a new bag at the outlets to dual as my new purse and diaper bag. I love the bag and that is it big enough to for both purposed, but I wanted a way for when I was going somewhere without the kids I wouldn't have to take everything out separately and then put it all back in later. My solution was this "boxie" pouch I made out of a reusable bag I got awhile back from TJ Maxx for $1. I got the tutorial HERE, but just skipped doing a lining because the material from the bag was thick and durable enough on it's own. It was super easy to make and it works perfect!


If I can keep my burst of energy going for the next couple weeks I can hopefully knock off a few more projects for Livy's room as well as some others I would like to get done. So I'll keep the updates on those coming as well as some more pics of Mia when I get them from Eric :)
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