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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Dresses

I had an email from eShakti in my inbox this morning and let out a little, "Ooooh!"

I already ordered this dress for myself:


I love everything about it. The mustard color (it also comes in a kind of deep orange, which is also lovely). The fold-over collar. The asymmetrical button. The length of the sleeves. The waist is perfect for my body type and I'm in love.

(Not sure I can nurse in it, which is a requirement these days, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.)

I also love this one:

I don't own much green but I love v-necks and the drape of that skirt. With a belt (I have a creamy mushroom colored one I think would be perfect) and the right shoes this could be a knockout.

We'll see how the dress is when it arrives. I've ordered two things from eShakti before. One was a hit and one was a big time miss. Although, in fairness, before I even ordered that second one Janssen and I talked about how we thought, just from the picture, it probably wasn't the highest quality shirt ever. But I loved the neckline so I got it anyway. Bah. Oh well, at least their return policy is easy.

Other things I'm currently loving from eShakti, as long as we're on the subject:
-This tank under a cardigan would be darling
-I think this ruffled chambray dress would be super cute on my sister. But I think I might think that because she already owns something similar and looks fantastic in it.
-I want to wear this dress to a Christmas party
-I've loved this skirt for like a year.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Out Back

 

Yesterday Aaron took a few minutes off work in the middle of the day and we went outside. We spread a blanket in the grass and shared an Asian pear. The boys were happy and laughing. The sun was shining through the pepper tree and dappling us with light. There was a sweet little breeze and everything was so perfect that I was kind of nervous to drive to Costco afterward because I feel like after a moment like that we were in for something kind of not so nice (and car accidents are a huge fear of mine).

We ate outside the other night too. We had lots of fresh fruit and a wonderful salad. I put tea lights in mason jars and we sat at that outdoor table (I sat in the wonky chair you see at the left. Note to self: tie that sucker to the frame. It was annoying). And after we were finished Aaron leaned back and said, "This is the life we were meant to live."

It's amazing how much having a nice backyard has improved our quality of life. We are spoiled now...we can never go back to the dirt and weeds of the old house (even if the kitchen and pantry were like 30 times bigger).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Salivating

Image from Cheeky Kitchen

When I saw this recipe on Cheeky Kitchen I almost threw the whole foods thing out the window then and there. Baked goods have always been my Achilles heel and these cookies speak to my soul.

As soon as these three months are up and I'm allowed a treat now and then, these are the first thing I'm making.

Recipe here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Wednesday Want

One of my dear friends is redoing her very dark, dramatic master bedroom into something brighter and more homey. We've spent a bunch of time poring over paint chips, trying to find the right shade of light blue? minty green? to adorn her walls. The paint will make a huge difference in brightening the space but the real statement piece of her new and improved bedroom will be the quilt she's making herself. She has been picking up old pillowcases at the thrift store and lovingly cutting and sewing them into a king-sized quilt for their bed. Not being a real quilt-y person myself, I had my doubts. But seeing it come together has made me second guess myself.

And then I saw these amazingly gorgeous quilts on Freshly Picked and I am fully and officially ready to become a quilt-y type person.

Paint Chip Quilt in Blue
Skyscape Quilt
Sold in this Etsy shop. I am seriously in love with these. Since we're renting our walls are blah renter's white and I'm dying for something pretty to perk up our master bedroom.

These are a little (a lot) out of my price range but I can't help but feel inspired by them!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Whole Foods Recipe: Oatmeal Pancake Mix


President Harold B. Lee counseled mothers to be "at the crossroads" and "make a career of motherhood."

Years after first hearing these words I think of them often. Lately I've been wondering how I can do better at this career of mine, how to be a little more present when I'm already home with my kids all day long.

My solution is pancakes.

I've always considered myself more of a waffle person but we've been eating a LOT of pancakes over the past six weeks. They lend themselves very well to whole food adaptation, they're easy, and I like making a hot breakfast for my family to eat together rather than us all eating a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast whenever we get around to it.

I'm sure you've heard all the stuff about about families who eat together:
"Studies show that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use."
(from this Time article)

We already eat dinner as a family every night but I figure it can only help us to eat breakfast together as well. Since Aaron works from home it's easy to sit down together in the morning.

This recipe is our weekday workhorse. I make other things and other pancake recipes too, but these pancakes show up more often than not. You whip up a big batch and keep it in the fridge so it ends up being just as easy as boxed mix and much better for you. It doesn't win the award for best oatmeal pancake recipe ever (I think that honor goes to this recipe from Orangette) but we like them.

If you're like me and don't keep buttermilk on hand just put 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1 cup. Let it sit for 5 minutes and you've got homemade buttermilk. Easy. Although, I'll be honest. The few times I have actually had buttermilk on hand the pancakes have been a smidge superior.

My favorite pancake topping is butter and real maple syrup but I tend to reserve that for weekends. Most days I top my pancakes with vanilla bean yogurt and fruit.

The only change I make to the recipe is to do 100% white whole wheat. You can find the recipe here.





Monday, October 25, 2010

Whole Foods

At the end of August Aaron and I decided it was time for an experimental change in our diets. We opted for whole foods a la Michael Pollan (of In Defense of Food fame). We committed to three months of seriously healthy eating- unprocessed whole foods, organic as much as possible, as many fruits and veggies as we can possibly squeeze in.

Within three weeks we were believers and decided to make this way of eating a permanent change (after the three months are up we'll be a bit more lenient though). I dropped my last 5 pregnancy pounds immediately and continued on to lose several more (too many, in fact. I had to put a few back on. Not a bad thing to work toward). We feel awesome. When we cheat I feel physically ill. Sugar gives me headaches. Fast food gives me indigestion for days. My body really likes this whole foods stuff and I find myself getting braver and braver with my eating. Which is nice, considering I was one of those kids who would only eat potatoes or raw carrots with my mac and cheese or chicken nuggets and shunned all other vegetables.

We've been at this thing for a month and a half now and it's been really interesting. We initially resigned ourselves to a lot of mediocre meals but have been pleasantly surprised by how well we've been eating. In the spirit of sharing (and so I'll have them all in one place with whatever tweaks I've made), I'm going to start posting some of my favorite whole foods recipes here. Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Review: Karen by Marie Killilea



A few weeks ago I was talking to the lovely EK and somehow we got to talking about reading and the mail and whatnot and we ended the conversation by deciding to start sending packages of books or other fun things to each other. I started by sending her an ARC of Matched by Ally Condie. She reciprocated by sending me an old, slightly battered copy of Karen by Marie Killilea. And I'm already planning my next three packages to her and have decided this was pretty much the best idea ever. Getting a (mostly) unexpected package from a friend is enough to completely make your day.

Karen is an incredibly charming book. It's the true story of a little girl growing up with cerebral palsy in the 1940s when no one really knew what it was or what to do about it. When it became apparent that something was wrong with their baby girl, Marie and Jimmy Killilea were told to put her in an institution and forget about her as people with cerebral palsy "have no mentality."

The story of Karen's growth and development and her family's fierce loyalty and fight on behalf of those with cerebral palsy is so sweet. But what has really struck be about this book is how different the field of medicine has become over the past 60 years. After giving birth, Marie stays in the hospital for at least a week and spends most of that time away from her baby. Karen's doctor suspected she had cerebral palsy, possibly for a long period of time, but didn't tell her parents about it until they begged him to tell them why their almost year old daughter was still laying there like an infant. There have been so many little things that just boggle my mind and make me grateful to live when I do (and that I'm healthy and so are my children).

A lovely read, perfect for lounging on the couch and enjoying the cool, rainy days we had this week!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Life After Lost


 In my previous blogging life I wrote about how I used to judge people who were really into Lost. And then we got that Netflix streaming thing and we started watching Lost and we turned into helpless addicts who spent entire Saturdays in junk food comas on the couch watching Jack and Kate and Sawyer and ignoring our children.

We recently finished the last episode. I know a lot of people were unhappy with the end but I? I loved it. Every last heart-breaking soul-wrenching part of it. I sat on the couch for two hours with tears streaming down my face and I've been mentally immersed in it ever since.

I don't know how people who watched it in real time handled the end. It kind of seems like there should have been a lot of people slumping into depression and staying home in bed right around then. I know that's what I've been kind of wanting to do.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Wednesday Want

A few weeks ago we got the LL Bean catalog and I found myself extremely unimpressed (hello, mom jeans). Until, that is, I turned the very last page and saw these mocs in persimmon:

How fabulous are those? Too bad they're slippers and not actual shoes. They'd look awesome with jeans but what's the point of having fun shoes if you can't wear them outside the house? Note to LL Bean- make these in non-slipper form!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Love in the Time of Star Wars

Image Credit
See, this is one of the reasons I missed blogging. Without a blog, how do I share awesome stuff like this??

Monday, October 18, 2010

Business as Usual

When I shut down my other blog I told my sister, "Just watch, I'll only last a week without a blog." I far surpassed my own expectations by being blogless for 2 months. Look at me go!

But now I'm ready to jump back in. I really missed the writing. Stuff would happen to me and I'd think, "If I were to write a blog post about this, I would say..." and then compose a post in my head. But mental blogging just isn't quite the same outlet as regular blogging.

So welcome to my New and Improved Blog: now with pseudonyms for my kids! As far as the internet is concerned my kids are Stinky and Baby 2 (you are wowed by my creativity, yes?), we live in the southwest US, and we have no last name. Fortunately, we have moved so Googling my real name now brings up an incorrect home address and I can finally sleep at night knowing the internet weirdos are going to have to work a lot harder to find us.

And so, back to business.
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