Freckles in April: November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recipe: Lactation Cookies



I suspect that this recipe currently applies to maybe like one person who reads my blog but hopefully it will be one of those things that, if eventually you find yourself in a position of needing it, you'll be like, "Wait a second...I saw this recipe one time..." and you'll come back and find it and it will help you out.

I've mentioned approximately 20,000 times here that I'm nursing. I haven't talked much about it specifically, but I will say that it's never been a real easy thing for me. Stinky never got it and my supply tanked hard and early. He was 100% on formula after 6 weeks, despite my best efforts. Baby 2 loves nursing but he wasn't getting enough. Some women are made to be producers and they struggle with an over-abundance and engorgement while I am one that has to fight for every last ounce and it shows in my kid's itty-bitty-ness. At his 6 month appointment he was so small that the doc was like, "um...this baby needs CALORIES."

So I got him really started on solids (you should see him eat. I think he was starving) and got working on increasing my supply. A lot of women swear by drinking a good dark beer but that's not on the table for me. I knew there had to be something specific in the beer that made it work and I doubted it was the alcohol. So when I found this recipe and saw that it contained brewer's yeast I thought, Bingo.

These cookies are chock-full of all the stuff that, in theory, should help up your supply. Oatmeal, flax seed, brewer's yeast, and calories. I made mine pretty small so I could just kind of snack on them throughout the day. Each cookie is about a level tablespoon of dough. Let's just say I made these on a Saturday and by Tuesday I was...overflowing. Baby 2 started acting content and full after feedings instead of annoyed that there wasn't more and I was able to pump plenty for an upcoming vacation.

These won't win any taste awards or beauty contests but they actually aren't as bad as I feared when I first tasted the dough. The flavor of the brewer's yeast mellows a lot with baking and Aaron and Stinky both really like them too (which of course leads to lots of joking inquiries as to how their supply is doing).

I made some adjustments to make them a smidgen more healthy but you can find the original recipe here.



Update October 2014: You can find brewer's yeast at most health food type stores. My regular grocery store didn't carry it but the GNC next door did.

Milk Making Lactation Cookies

4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons brewer's yeast
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flax seed and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Beat together butter, applesauce, and sugars. Beat in eggs. Add flax seed mixture and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, brewer's yeast, oats and chocolate chips. Mix in to wet ingredients. Scoop on to parchment lined baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. Store in an airtight container or freezer.

30 for 30: Day 23


See all my 30 for 30 posts here. 

Another day where the weather just sort of caught me off guard. I look out my window and say, "Hey! Look at what a beautiful day it is!" and then I walk outside and go, "Um...sweater." And this sweater was still DAMP because I had washed just about everything in my 30 for 30 pile and this cardi doesn't go in the dryer and I just had to kind of shiver my way through Baby 2's pediatrician appointment. Lovely.

Also, I think I need to get rid of this skirt. Unflattering length, nothing goes with it, a pain to iron (there are some fun pleats that don't photograph well due to the color but they're a beast to iron properly), I could hardly bring myself to wear it just this once during 30 for 30. So long skirt. Enjoy the GW.

Monday, November 29, 2010

BABY BEARS

My mom sent me an email the other day entitled, "Bear Counting in Canada-Hilarious!" But the title should have been, "BABY BEARS!!! With some humor. But also with BABY BEARS!" And I had to share. Because I love you.


30 for 30: Day 22

Accessories: wedding ring and thrifted long sparkly white necklace that completely blends into my shirt in this picture. Also, this is the first day I haven't made my bed in MONTHS and of course it's the day it shows up in the background of a picture.


This challenge has actually made it EASIER for me to get dressed in the morning. Sundays used to see me trying on 12 outfits and my closet looking like a war zone but now it's like, "Well, these are my options. I guess I'm wearing this!" Which worked really well this morning because I was running super late and basically had to throw on some clothes, snap a picture and stumble my way out the door.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

30 for 30: Day 21


See all my 30 for 30 posts here. 

I keep going outside in shorts and stuff and expecting to not be cold. And then I'm all surprised when it's overcast and chilly and I have to put on a sweater. Weird how that works. In NOVEMBER.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

30 for 30: Day 20


See all my 30 for 30 posts here.  

I think we've reached a new photographic low here. I did, in fact, wear this outfit but I have to admit that on the day I wore it if I had been a child in this house I would have been sent to bed without dinner by about 3 in the afternoon. But since I'm an adult AND in charge of the dinner it was a few hours before Aaron very nicely suggested that I go to bed early before everyone else decided to vote me off the island.

Also, it was independently but universally agreed that this outfit made me look like a flight attendant.

Friday, November 26, 2010

From the Archives

Another post from early in my pregnancy with Baby 2.

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Pregnancy makes me really weird about food. Like, I get really possessive (see: the Eggo Debacle of 2007). And also maybe kind of bottomless since I ate an entire Cafe Rio burrito by myself yesterday and those things are as big as your head. And I'm super open to the power of suggestion, so like if you say the words "cinnamon roll" in my vicinity you better darn well be ready to make an emergency run to the mall so I can have Cinnabon. Food billboards are a serious problem for this very reason.

Yesterday I went to the mailbox to check for new mail and saw a cherry Tootsie Roll on the ground leftover from Halloween.

I LOVE cherry Tootsie Rolls. When we went trick-or-treating with Stinky he got a couple cherry Tootsie Rolls and and some Laffy Taffy and it was the best thing ever because A. he can't eat that stuff yet and B. I LOVE CHERRY TOOTSIE ROLLS AND LAFFY TAFFY (but not the banana flavor). I was really annoyed when he didn't get more and I finished it all off before we even got home.

Anyway, I saw that cherry Tootsie Roll on the ground and had an overwhelming craving for a cherry Tootsie Roll. So I picked it up and brought it inside.

I showed it to Aaron and said, "I found this on the ground outside. Would it be weird if I ate it?" To which Aaron stared at me and said, "Um, ya. It would definitely be weird if you ate it."

"Ok," I sighed. I put it on the counter. "I'm still going to have to think about it though."

Ten minutes later we were heading out the door to my parents' house for a movie night and Aaron said, "Don't forget your Tootsie Roll!"

To which I replied, "Um..I already ate it."

And then Aaron made fun of me for the rest of my life.

So this is me. Admitting to the internets that I ate candy off the ground a week after Halloween. And I liked it. And if there was any chance of finding another cherry Tootsie Roll in my front yard I'd be out there looking for it right now.

Pregnancy. It's fun.

30 for 30: Day 19


See all my 30 for 30 posts here.  

I'll be honest, I'm getting a little tired of my items. I find myself looking longingly at the rest of my closet. It probably doesn't help that I'm actually only working with 29 items (thanks for pointing that out, my dear Finn) since at some point between figuring out my items and photographing them I lost something and can't figure out what it was. I suppose this means that at any time I could just grab something from my closet and be like, "Hey look! My 30th item!" Which kind of feels like cheating but I'm probably going to have to do it anyway. I need another shirt to work with here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Image credit. I wish I could say that's my turkey, but no. It's Martha's. Of course.


Hopefully you have a full day of eating ridiculous amounts of food ahead of you.

Today I am so thankful for:

my photographer
my babies
a strong, healthy body
a warm, comfortable home (even if the heater is on the fritz and I'm afraid of dying in an electrical fire in my sleep)
wonderful family
my faith

I spent the first few minutes of the day snuggling sleepily with Aaron warm in our bed. Stinky apparently couldn't see us under the covers and walked by like 5 times saying, "Where mommy go?? MOMMY!? I need haaalp!" And I looked at Aaron and said, "Don't. move. or say. anything." And we happily hid under the covers for a few more minutes. And then I put Aaron on morning diaper duty while I started the pies. We've declared today a re-tox day, which means: bring on the sugar! And the rolls made with all-purpose flour!! We're both really excited about that.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

30 for 30: Day 18


See all my 30 for 30 posts here.  

I put these boots to the real test today. I wore them during a serious day of errands. Five hours of Costco, the mall, the dry cleaners, etc. usually pushing a double stroller or a heavily laden cart. Before I walked out the door I seriously doubted the wisdom of wearing anything with a heel on the kind of day I knew I had before me but they totally rose to the occasion and when we got home I didn't feel the need to chop my feet off.

Boots, you win at life.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Wednesday Want

I don't remember where I first saw these shoes but I find myself CONSTANTLY perusing this Etsy shop.


She hand paints shoes, usually with her signature peacocks, but there are a few florals as well. Hers are marketed (and priced) as wedding shoes but I would LOVE to try doing it myself. I've been on the lookout for a good pair of painting shoes ever since (even had a dream about it once. Is that weird?). How fun would it be to have a custom painted set of heels to give a boost to a basic skirt?

30 for 30: Day 17

Accessories: wedding ring, link bracelet that was a gift from my old coworkers
See all my 30 for 30 posts here. 

I tried really really hard to get a picture with my face in but it just wasn't happening today. I am just not that coordinated. Also, my shirt started the day tucked in but ended the day much like you see here. I am not real good at putting myself together after using the restroom, apparently.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Whole Foods Recipe: Balsamic Chicken and Pasta with Fresh Cheese



When we started this whole foods thing we were sure we would be eating a lot of really mediocre meals. We figured we could just suck it up for 3 months and then decide how we would eat moving forward. But we were pleasantly surprised by how much we still enjoyed what we were eating and decided whole foods could be a way of life and not just an experiment. Most of our meals were still pretty darn good. Sure, there were misses here and there, but it was always like that, so no big change.

And then we had this meal. And we swooned into our plates and declared it the best thing we've eaten since we changed our eating habits. It is so beyond delicious and we have this (or some version of it) about once a week. It lends itself really well to adaptation and often ends up as a "kitchen sink" kind of meal at the end of the week when I'm just trying to use stuff up before it goes bad. I frequently leave out the goat cheese just because I never remember to buy any and we don't miss it, but I know some people like goat cheese like they like oxygen, so have at it. I usually reduce the amount of chicken and increase the amount of veggies, because that's how we roll. I've doubled the red bell pepper, added zucchini and yellow squash, forgotten the basil, added spinach, left out the chicken entirely, etc. I think it would also work really well as a pasta salad but I'm weird about my food and cold pasta freaks me out. It would probably work with rice instead of pasta too.

Also, we've all voted that shaped pasta works best here. The original recipe calls for linguine but we find that all the good stuff falls to the bottom when you use long thin pasta. When you use short, shaped pasta it's not as much of a problem. Also, if I have a rotisserie chicken on hand this meal takes less than 20 minutes!


Balsamic Chicken and Pasta with Fresh Cheese

Adapted from Perry's Plate

3 T balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t salt
6 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c basil leaves, chiffonade
1-2 c shredded cooked chicken (a rotisserie chicken works perfectly here)
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 c fresh mozzarella, cubed
8-10 oz shaped pasta

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, mix balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and olive oil. Set aside.

Saute bell pepper until tender, about 8 minutes.

Combine cooked pasta, bell peppers, chicken, mozzarella, and basil leaves. Top with dressing and toss. Serve!





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30 for 30: Day 16

Accessories: wedding ring, thrifted belt
See all my 30 for 30 posts here.

With 30 for 30 I find myself putting a lot more effort into my clothing if I know I'm going to be leaving the house. The other night I told Aaron, "It's kind of nice to not look like a hobo all the time." And he just looked at me and said, "Um, do you normally look like a hobo?" And I was like, "That's very sweet that you haven't noticed."

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 for 30: Day 15


See all my 30 for 30 posts here

I love this shirt and these shoes together. The stripes are almost precisely the same width so it looks matchy but not TOO matchy.

Also, this shirt? It has pockets.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

30 for 30: 13 & 14

See all my 30 for 30 posts here.

Accessories: wedding ring, necklace from my sister's wedding, thrifted belt
  

I apologize for the headless picture but I honestly don't think I have ever taken a worse picture in my life. I pulled it up on my computer and actually said out loud, "Sweet. merciful. love." I tried to salvage it by photoshopping out the dark circles and whatnot but there's only so much you can do with a puffy exhausted face. For that I would like to thank Baby 2 for waking up FOUR TIMES last night. I thought I had done a pretty good job with the concealer and stuff making myself look like not so much of a trainwreck but the mirror with the flattering bathroom lighting? It lies.

Anyway, this morning it was really quite cool at our house and I was like, "YAY! Boots! Layers!" And then we got to the park and it was like 15 degrees warmer and I overheated and died. It was very tragic.

Accessories: wedding ring, these earrings (with a blue stone)

After the horrific nature of the above picture I declared a serious do-over. I got my kids down for naps at the same time and took a real shower. It was technically my second shower of the day but this one involved shampoo and conditioner and a razor instead of my usual quick soap up, rinse off, and a shower cap to protect my hair because eh, it doesn't really need to be washed for another day or two, right?

After a big bottle of water, some ibuprofen and a cold washcloth the exhausted puffiness and headachiness ebbed a bit and I put on makeup and curled my hair and what do you know? I felt much more like my hot mama self instead of a punching bag and I made Aaron take me out to dinner. We had some Chipotle with the babies and the in-laws and it turned into a really lovely evening.

It's nice to know that at 2 in the afternoon you still have time to completely turn your day around.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 for 30: Day 12


See all my 30 for 30 posts here.

I apologize for the boringness of my outfits lately. The thing about being a stay-at-home-mom is that I tend to stay at home a lot. Which means I just need to make sure I'm wearing enough clothes for when the UPS guy drops off packages but not too many clothes that I can't move around freely/nurse/change quickly when someone deposits something gross on my shirt. I go days without wearing shoes. Baby 2 has a tendency to attack and eat any jewelry I manage to put on which usually results in me taking it off. And for the most part it's still too warm to wear layers. So, yes, I'm a little boring.

But, to be honest, I have been thinking lately about how I am completely and totally in love with my life. I love staying home. I love changing diapers (um, within reason. If you know Stinky you know why that comes with a caveat. But Baby 2 is in cloth diapers and it's fun!). I love keeping our house clean. I love cooking and meal planning and sharing recipes. I love long slow mornings in our jammies and I love when we are running out the door at the crack of 8:30 to go to the zoo. I love walks around the block with my double stroller. I love snuggling in our bed and reading board books all afternoon. I love naked babies in the bathtub and picnic lunches in the backyard and play dates with friends. It's not the life I ever imagined for myself but I seriously can't get enough of it.

So the clothing may be a bit boring but it's the uniform that comes with this job and I wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

From the Archives

I was going through my old blog this week looking for something specific and found myself really enjoying revisiting my old posts. I've decided to share the occasional tidbit from my previous blogging life, just for kicks.

I think pregnancy always yields some of my best blogging. So here's a post from the tail end of my pregnancy with Baby 2. Also, if you didn't know me in my previous blogging life, I should explain that Stinky was 6 weeks early and I never really got big or uncomfortable with him. Baby 2 ended up being born two days before his due date, which meant I was pregnant for almost a month and a half longer the second time around. It was...special.

Enjoy!

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Ok technically I'll be full term tomorrow but today is almost over (glory be) so let's just say I'm full term now, k? K.

I'm starting to get legitimately uncomfortable. This is new to me and I'm not real excited about it, especially since at my appointment today there were still zero signs that my body is ever planning on expelling this child and that means I could still be pregnant for five more weeks. FIVE. I might die. I've had a hard time finding enough things to fill my gratitude journal quota each day this week. I just keep thinking, "I'm FAT. I will be pregnant forEVER. I want CAKE." And then there is no cake. And I feel as though life is bleak and not really worth living because WHY is there no cake??

And then I usually throw my huge self at Aaron and whimper about cake for a few minutes while he sits there and awkwardly pats my back because DON'T ANGER THE PREGNANT WOMAN JUST MAKE COMFORTING NOISES AND SCRATCH HER BACK AND MAYBE SHE'LL GO AWAY. Plus he's weird and doesn't even care for cake all that much so he can't really relate to what I'm going through.

Have I mentioned that I'm sick? Or have allergies? Or something? Because I am. Or do. Or something. And I'm pretty sure that it should be illegal to get sick when you're 9 months pregnant except I'm not real sure who to take that petition to. But once I figure it out, boy howdy. Watch out. Unless I've gone into labor by then in which case I'll probably have forgotten all about it.

I will admit, though, that my house is clean and I reached my 2-weeks-of-dinners-in-the-freezer goal. I am Superwoman. I may be a really fat Superwoman who just spent 30 minutes fishing all the brownie bits out of a pint of Ben & Jerry's Brownie Cheesecake ice cream because it's kind of like cake, but still Superwoman.

30 for 30: Day 11

See? The boots? They totally make me look stumpy. Oh well.
See all my 30 for 30 posts here.

One of those lazy days. Sometimes this is just as good as it gets.

Although, I DID wear an outfit composed of entirely non 30 for 30 items. Check it out.


Once upon a time I was a runner. Before I got knocked up with Baby 2 I was training for a half marathon but thanks to Stinky's complicated pregnancy I had to scale my exercise way back when I got pregnant again. Unfortunately, running is one of those things where if you don't use it then you lose it really quickly. I tried to get back into the swing of things after Baby 2 was born and did pretty well for a couple months but that fell apart as my running partners got really busy and I had no one to run with at night after the babies went to bed.

Then, a few days ago, I ordered this. I downloaded a couch to 5k podcast on to my phone (I'm totally back to square one. Blergh), strapped the babies in, and went running (well, walking/jogging) at 1 in the afternoon. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the kids were mostly content. And it felt goooood.

The best part, though, came at the very end of my run when I was getting a little sweaty and Stinky piped up from his comfy seat in the stroller, "Mommy! I tired."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Whole Foods Recipe: Beef and Veggie Skillet

Horrific picture alert. The settings are wonky on my camera right now but it's good, I swear.


I just need to take a moment to give a big shout out to the Allrecipes.com ingredients function. Please tell me you use AllRecipes.com. Because if you don't then I have to spend a lot of time mourning for you and I have other things I need to get done today. It is a huge repository of wonderful recipes and the commenters always have super helpful tips and tricks and probably 90% of my very best recipes come from there.

And they have this amazing ingredients search. If you go to AllRecipes.com and click the "Ingredients" link at the top of the page...


Then you can enter ingredients you want/have on hand and ingredients you don't want. For example, the other night I had a butternut squash that needed to get used and we'd only recently had butternut squash mac and cheese so I just put "butternut squash" in the Ingredients I Want list. And so it came to pass that we had some surprisingly delicious butternut squash pizza the next night (we put fresh mozzarella on ours. Because I couldn't not).

On Monday night I found myself without a dinner plan. I had a zucchini that was getting to be borderline, a red bell pepper that needed to get used, and a bag of barley my grandma randomly gave me on Sunday. Ingredient search to the rescue! The one recipe that came up with those three ingredients was this cheddar topped veggie beef skillet. Bingo.

The funny thing here is that 3 months ago I would have taken one look at this recipe and said, "PASS." Because the only things I would have considered eating in there were the beef and the cheese. It's amazing how much my tastes have changed since we started eating this way!

This recipe was warm and hearty and perfect for a chilly evening. I had everything on hand (even managed to find some ground beef in the freezer, otherwise ours would have been vegetarian) and it took about 45 minutes from first chop to putting everything on the table (and a lot of that was just leaving things alone to simmer). My kids loved it and the leftovers made for a quick and easy lunch the next day, which was nice after a very full morning of night-light shopping (try not to envy the excitement of my life).


Beef and Veggie Skillet
Originally from here . My notes are in italics.

1 cup pearl barley
3 cups water
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces extra lean ground beef  (I only had 6 ounces on hand. It was plenty)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (I put more like 5. I really like garlic though)
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped  (I used the whole bell pepper)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used canned)
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained  (I left these out because we are not bean people)
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (I used regular old monterey jack because that's what I had)
 
Bring the barley and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the barley is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. 
 
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; stir in the ground beef. Cook and stir until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until the bell pepper is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. 
 
Stir in the cooked barley, tomatoes, zucchini, and kidney beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove, sprinkle the cheese over the top, replace the cover, and let stand until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes.
 

30 for 30: Day 10

 See all my 30 for 30 posts here.  

Accessories: wedding ring, octopus necklace that I always get made fun of for but I love it anyway


I've decided I hate this shirt. I mentioned when I first listed my items that it was a frantic, "MY NEW BABY IS ACTUALLY NURSING AND I'M FAT AND I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR" purchase at Target as soon as I was discharged from the hospital after Baby 2 was born. At the time, it was perfect. It buttons up for easy nursing access and it was billowy (which, I don't know if you've ever had a baby, but billowy clothing is your friend for a while).

But now? Now it's just ill-fitting and unflattering and generally not worth the closet space. This cardigan was definitely too warm for the day but the shirt on its own was horrible. I tried belting and tucking and the only way it works is as a layer and even then the whole outfit is questionable. To add insult to injury it's hand wash only. So after today it's going in to my maternity box when I have the NURSING AND FAT! crisis again someday. And I won't need to think of it until then.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Wednesday Want

I know 30 for 30 is supposed to kind of help you be happy with what you have, which it is doing that for me, but it's also kind of having the opposite effect and making me really want other people's wardrobes. And I have officially decided that I need a black and white striped skirt.

Check out Sydney from The Daybook:

I actually wouldn't mind her whole outfit, which is just awesomeness layered over awesomeness, but that skirt? I need that skirt (which she notes is from H&M).

And then there's Naomi from The Rockstar Diaries, who is on a whole other level of cute.


I love that hers has pockets. I skimmed her comments and turns out she got it from UO and they even still have it on the website (it looks significantly longer on her though...maybe wearing it lower to fit under her belly?).

But do you see what I mean? I can't help it. I need one. Pockets would be awesome but I'll take what I can get.

Fortunately, I think that's something I could easily make with a bit of fabric and some elastic. We'll see what I come up with!

30 for 30: Day 9

Sorry about the late post and the cruddy picture. We had a super busy day yesterday and I was starting to get undressed at the end of the day before I realized we had never taken a picture. So I grabbed this real quick before happily putting on jammies and collapsing into bed (ignore the pile of pillows and blankets behind me. Tuesday is bedding laundry day, ya know).

We had GORGEOUS weather yesterday so this outfit was perfect for all my errands. I love that I can wear shorts in November around here and be perfectly comfortable!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Whole Foods Recipe: Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes



I originally got this recipe from Kristi. I have to blend mine a little longer than the recipe says (more like 4 minutes) or else my pancakes have wheat chunks in them. But as long as they're thoroughly blended even Aaron likes them, which is saying something. Also, I'm a huge fan of cinnamon and add it to everything but steak so you can bet I usually toss a teaspoon or two in there.

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes
From here

1 C whole wheat kernels
1 C milk (or 1 C water and 1/3 C dry milk)
2 Tbs Oil
2 eggs
2 Tbs honey
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Put 1 C whole wheat kernels and 1 C milk in blender. Blend 3 minutes. Add eggs, oil, honey and salt, blend for 30 seconds. And baking powder and pulse three times. Make pancakes immediately.

30 for 30: A Grace Day

I'll be honest, I stayed in my pajamas yesterday. Stinky gave us a ridiculously early wake-up call and none of us seemed to be able to pull ourselves out of that early morning exhausted funk. He put himself down early for a 4 hour nap but unfortunately most of us don't have that same luxury.


The fam (minus spouses and Stinky) at Jared's very wet graduation a year and a half ago

And yesterday morning I had to say goodbye to my baby brother for two whole years. He and my dad stopped by our house on their way to Utah to drop Jared off at the MTC and as I gave him a hug goodbye I thought, "How do you even physically let go of someone when you're not going to see them for so. stinking. long?"

Over the past few months Stinky and Jared have become good friends. They'd spend hours "shooping" this little nerf dart gun of my brother's or playing with his remote control car. When I told Stinky about Jared's mission he said, "I go Mexico with Jared." And he's pretty annoyed at being left behind. It comes up a lot.

Jared has never been one to show overt affection so he'd always come over and poke at me or pretend he was really tired and just needed to rest his head on mine for a moment. And I'd smile because I knew he was really doing it because he loved me and wasn't sure how to just give me a hug.

Several friends have assured me that it's not nearly so bad when it's a brother as opposed to a boyfriend but I still get sad when I think about the things that he won't be around for in the next 2 years. Stinky will be almost FIVE when he gets back (gulp). Baby 2 will be the age Stinky is now. My sister and I will probably both have another baby by the time he gets back. And there will be moves and changes and who even knows what. Two years is a long time.

But I know it will be amazing and he will be amazing and he will love it.

See you in two, brother.

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 for 30: Day 8

Accessories: thrifted blue belt, bird necklace I bought ages ago (probably from Claire's or somewhere cheapy like that), and wedding ring

I think one of the things I miss most about my pre-children life is that if I didn't sleep enough during the week I knew I'd be able to catch up over the weekend. I'd sleep in, probably have a Sunday nap, and by the time Monday came I was ready to roll.

With kids, especially with a baby in the house, I usually feel like I'm lagging behind with my sleep and I'm never going to quite catch up. This has been one of those weeks. Baby 2 has been waking up a lot at night (3-4 times a lot) to eat and since he's so small I just can't bring myself to make him cry it out and deny him the calories. So I get up and feed him and the next day I feel like a zombie. On Sunday I hit a wall and Photographer, bless his heart, handled the babies (who really needed naps too but refused to sleep) and I got to spend an hour curled up warm in my bed completely zonked. It was glorious and resulted in the disheveled and sleepy but happy picture you see above. It's amazing the difference one little nap can make.

I love my photographer.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

30 for 30: Day 7

Accessories: wedding ring, which I thought to grab right before I took the picture. And my newly thrifted silk scarf, which I have decided I love.

Photographer spent the entire day crawling around the attic with a technologically inclined friend trying to do Something Very Important that apparently wasn't going very well and I didn't want to be like, "Could you stop this frustrating important thing that I won't even notice when it IS done and come take a picture for that Very Important blog thing that I'm doing?" So I just snapped a quick iPhone pic and went back to attempting to keep Stinky from following them into attic.

Also, I got an email from Groupon this morning with a reminder about the deals that I've bought and it was so fun to see all those things that I've already paid (pennies!) for that just have to be scheduled. So in 2 weeks I'll be having myself a little bit of a spa day with a manicure and a pedicure and a facial AND a much needed hair cut (my bangs are a little Shaggy Dog these days). Sooo excited. Maybe I can squeeze in a nap while they do my toes?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

30 for 30: Day 6

Pretty sure I'm looking progressively more tired and disheveled in each of these pictures. The sleeping around here has been less than ideal this week. As in I have seen 3:30am pretty much every morning. Fun times. Accessory: necklace from my sister. Forgot my wedding ring. Again.

I have a little bit of short man syndrome. When we left elementary school my amazon of a best friend was already over 5'5" and I was maybe 4'11". Like pretty much everything else about me, my height was late blooming and I eventually topped out at a respectable and very average 5' 6". Even though I am now taller than about 50% of the rest of the female population I still sometimes feel short. Which is why I tend toward shoes with some height and like my hair piled up a bit. With a few inches below and a couple inches on top I can just about look my 6' husband in the eye. And it feels good.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Review: I Love You Rituals by Becky Bailey


I recently took a 6 week Love & Logic parenting class. Our city's public school system did it for free (which warms my cheap, penny-pinching heart) and I went with a couple friends who have similarly aged kids. It gave me some desperately needed skills for dealing with Stinky's recent brush with the terrible twos and things have been running much more smoothly around here lately.

Our instructor heartily recommended I Love You Rituals by Becky Bailey as a complement to Love & Logic. I had a gift card to Barnes and Noble so, rather than get it from the library like I would normally do, I just bought it. I hoped it would be the kind of book I'd like to keep on hand for quick reference when I needed it.

Thus far it has not disappointed. As I read through the rhymes and games I knew Stinky would love them all. She gives specific ideas for things you can do with your child but also gives ideas for creating your own. I've used several of her rituals over the past few weeks and have come up with a couple of my own. Our mornings are much more pleasant when I start them with a loving ritual instead of not very nicely asking Stinky to go back to bed because it's freaking 6 in the morning. We have weathered several pre-naptime tantrums with the help of her sweet revised nursery rhymes.

Some of the games and rhymes seemed silly to me as I was reading them but they work when done with a 2 1/2 year old. If you have younger children this is a great book for helping you bond and build trust and all those other lovely happy things you want in your relationship with your babies.

30 for 30: Day 5

Accessories: wedding ring, which I finally remembered to put on for the first time since 30 for 30 began, and a cuff I bought from a Bahamian street vendor a few years ago. She told me it was some kind of wood but then the "wood" started rubbing off and turns out it's plastic. I like it anyway.

 See all my 30 for 30 posts here

Apologies for the cruddy cell phone picture. Photographer was super busy (something about an accidentally deleted hard drive and our impending doom) and I couldn't find my card reader (I suspect Photographer. He bought me one for Christmas last year so I'd stop stealing his but then he liked mine better and keeps stealing it).

This top is from a teal phase I went through. It doesn't photograph real well but it's a beautiful color with great drape and some nice tummy camo (6.5 months later the baby weight is long gone but there will be no quarter bouncing going on around my abs). I love it.


I think that boots might be my new favorite thing. You don't have to shave your legs AND, you can't tell, but I'm wearing the softest most comfortable blue fluffy socks underneath these boots. Next best thing to staying in my bathrobe all day (which I probably would have done if not for 30 for 30) (and the fact that I actually had to do things outside the house, like pick up my car that should have come home GOLD PLATED for the amount we just spent on repairs).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Whole Foods Recipe: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Unfortunately, it was too dark out by the time dinner was ready to get a picture of the finished dish. Darn winter time!

When I was growing up I had this friend who slept over occasionally. One night she observed that whenever she was over we made macaroni and cheese late at night, probably due to the fact that I was obscenely picky and mac and cheese was one of the 5 food items I'd eat. She coined the term 'Midnight Macaroni' and now the blue box always reminds me of her.

In college I discovered Velveeta shells and cheese and I had to limit how frequently I allowed myself to indulge as I apparently had zero self control when it came to that stuff. There's enough calories in a spoonful to power a small army.

And then, all of a sudden, I became an adult. I didn't pull out boxed mac and cheese for years. It wasn't until Stinky was over the age of one and I needed a quick and easy option for a cranky toddler in need of lunch before his nap. I remember being excited to reacquaint myself with my childhood staple and share it with my son. Instead, I took a bite and nearly gagged.

I don't know if they changed the recipe or if it's always been that bad but, mercy. We have a few boxes in the pantry for food storage purposes but you won't catch me eating them for anything other than the apocalypse.

Real mac and cheese from scratch is infinitely more palatable. The cauliflower virtually disappears in this dish and the butternut squash imparts zero squashy flavor, just a subtle sweetness and a whole lot of creaminess. If you wanted to stick more veggies in there you could. Cheese sauce is a perfect place for veggies, in my opinion.

A note about pasta: I try to make my own pasta as much as possible to cut down on the processed junk factor. But sometimes you really need a good shaped pasta and unless you have a fancy pasta maker you just have to make do with what the store can provide. I shoot for organic with as few ingredients as possible (the one I use has two ingredients: durum wheat and water) and try not to worry too much about it. I SHOULD use whole wheat pasta but I think Aaron would go on a hunger strike if I did. I don't mind it but he hates that stuff.

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from here


1 small butternut squash
1 head cauliflower
12 ounces elbow macaroni
salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white wheat flour
½ teaspoon powdered mustard
2 cups milk
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 cup)
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)

1. Adjust on oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and lay the halves cut side down off toward the side of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes while you cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Toss the cauliflower with two tablespoons of oil, a teaspoon of salt and some fresh ground pepper. Pull the baking sheet out of the oven, toss the cauliflower on the other side of the baking sheet and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a butter knife inserted into the squash flesh meets no resistance. Scoop 2 cups of flesh from the squash and mash it with a fork, or puree it in a blender or food processor.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until it’s tender. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.

3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the foaming subsides, add the flour and mustard. Whisk constantly for 1 minute, then gradually whisk in the milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until the mixture has the consistency of heavy cream. Add the cheeses, ½ teaspoon table salt, and the squash, stirring until the cheese melts.

4. Pour the sauce over the drained pasta, add the cauliflower, and stir thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

30 for 30: Day 4



See all my 30 for 30 posts here.  

If my hair had a uniform, it would be this. High bun with a nice brick of blunt bangs so that it doesn't look like the lazy cop-out it kind of is. I'd love to wear my hair down more often but I have a lot of reasons not to. The number one reason being slimy baby fingers. Gag.

I wanted to wear a headband this morning but nothing in my drawer was appealing so I grabbed some lace and ribbon from my disaster of a craft room and did some quick sewing. I really loved it even though the trailing ribbons down my back kept making me think something was crawling on me.

Sorry for the headless shot. Mid photo shoot we got a call from our mechanic and found out how much it's going to cost to get our car to stop making white trash noises. I was having a hard time not looking strangled after that.


I really love this shirt (it's a softer blue than it looks). Unfortunately, it's hand-wash only AND requires ironing so I always try to make it go as long as possible between washes by wearing undershirts, taking it off if I'm doing something messy, etc. Which of course means that Baby 2 ALWAYS snots on me or spits up or, one memorable time, PEED on me while I'm wearing it. As hard as I try, I've never been able to not wash it after wearing. It's also borderline too short to wear with leggings but eh. I knew I was going to be home all day so I didn't care too much.

And Baby 2 wiped a face full of oatmeal on me after lunch so I spent the afternoon hand washing and ironing. AGAIN.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Wednesday Want

We've used the same blue stripey sheets on our bed for a couple years now and I LOVE them. Last Tuesday (bedding wash day. My favorite day. Ahhh the bliss of sliding between clean sheets!) I took our sheets out of the dryer, put the fitted one on our bed and realized there are holes. We have worn through our (admittedly very cheap) sheets.

I did some online shopping and ended up ordering us some nice simple plain white sheets because I am in the process of revamping our master bedroom and like the blank slate they provide (plus white sheets always kind of make me feel like I'm staying in a nice hotel). My plan is to go with lots of color for the pillows and bedspread, but occasionally the idea of an all white oasis of a bedroom appeals to me.

I saw this bedding in person once at Anthro and fell in love. It's drapey and soft and romantic and just gorgeous. It's also quite a bit more substantial than it looks in the picture, which I liked. They only had the white in the store, but the other colors they have on the website are so pretty.

Also, I kind of think this is something you could make yourself for much cheaper if you really wanted to. If you had a lot of time on your hands. And you were a little bit crazy.

30 for 30: Day 3


See all my 30 for 30 posts here

I had something completely different planned for today but then a new friend in the neighborhood invited us to the park (yay for new friends!) and I had do a quick change. This shirt is good for nursing in public, which I inevitably have to do (Baby 2 LOVES to eat at awkward times). I'm glad I had this sweater in my items because it was actually chilly enough for a little layering action (hallelujah). It was even maybe cool enough to wear the boots I wanted to wear but...sand. Sand is an enemy to all shoes (except plastic-y flip flops) and I wasn't willing to sacrifice either pair of my boots to the park gods. These sandals are on their way out anyway so they got to get all dusty.

Accessories: sparrow necklace I've had for years (you can barely see it) and a thrifted belt that I ended up taking off a couple hours later and liked the outfit a lot better. Which just goes to show you: just because you HAVE a belt doesn't mean you NEED a belt.

Hair inspiration from new-to-me Pear and Peacock. She's a gorgeous girl with gorgeous hair and a gorgeous blog that has me saying things like, "Victory rolls! Of course! Why have I never worn victory rolls??" Which led to like an hour of rolling and unrolling and pinning and unpinning and maaaybe a little bit of mild swearing. What I'm saying is, the victory rolls? They take some practice, my friends. Check back with me in like a year and mine might start to resemble hers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Whole Foods Recipe: Whole Wheat Tortillas


I believe it is a truth universally agreed upon that hole-in-the-wall places always have the best food. About 30 minutes from us is a famous Mexican spot with literal holes in the wall as it is in a super sketchy part of town and apparently the occasional stray bullet has found its way into the humble building. The chairs are broken, the tables are ancient and the A/C is pitiful but the food! Oh the food.

The food itself is wonderful but the thing that really elevates the experience is the fresh, homemade tortillas this place is famous for. They have "butter tortilla" on their menu, which is exactly what it sounds like. A huge, fresh, tortilla pulled straight from the pan, slathered in butter, wrapped in foil and slapped directly into your hand. It is divine.

Unfortunately, driving 30 minutes into sketchyville just to get a buttered tortilla isn't high on my to-do list for most days so I decided to learn the art of the tortilla. Pre whole foods I used this recipe from Orangette and was thrilled. The results were exactly as I had hoped.

Nowadays, things like all purpose flour and shortening are off the table. Fortunately, this recipe for whole wheat tortillas came to the rescue (bonus: the dough is actually easier to work with). I've used regular whole wheat, white whole wheat, and once, when at my parents' house and no wheat flour was available, all purpose flour. The results have been consistently good across the board. The nice thing about a fresh homemade tortilla is that it is a fresh homemade tortilla no matter which kind of flour you use. I make them at least once a week and I get faster at it every time.

Also, I've used olive oil successfully in this recipe but the last time I made them they turned out a lot more olive oily tasting than I'd like. Probably better to stick to a more neutral oil like canola. This little tutorial here has some good helps on cooking them just right.

Whole Wheat tortillas
Adapted from here

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (regular or white whole wheat will work)
scant teaspoon salt
1/2 cup neutral tasting oil
3/4 cup warm water

In a medium sized bowl stir together the flour and salt. Drizzle in the oil and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the water. You may not need all of it, you want a cohesive dough that's not too sticky.

Knead the dough for a few minutes to incorporate all the ingredients. At this point you can wrap it in plastic and let it rest for 15-30+ minutes (which makes it a bit easier to work with) or if you're in a hurry you can skip straight to dividing it into 12 equal pieces (if you have a kitchen scale and are crazy OCD about things like this, the dough balls should weigh around 1.7 ounces each. Uh, not that I always weigh them or anything. Ahem).

On a lightly floured surface roll each piece into a 8-10 in circle. I cook them on my big griddle set to 350 degrees for about 45 seconds on the first side (look for big puffy bubbles) and more like 30 seconds on the other size.

Eat immediately or store in the fridge or freezer.

30 for 30: Day 2

See all my 30 for 30 posts here.

My photographer was busy so I had to make do with a mirror before the sun went down. This was like the 70th try. It's really really hard to take a full length picture of yourself in a mirror without holding the camera in front of your face, just FYI. I think this is the only one with my head in it. I mostly got pictures of the reflection of my dresser and the side of my leg. Compelling stuff, that.

Accessory: thrifted belt.

I love this shirt because it's comfy and easy to nurse in but it totally looks like a nightshirt if I don't belt it! Thank goodness for thrift store belts. Love those things (my collection is getting a little out of control).

This was the perfect Monday outfit. Monday is kitchen cleaning day which is always a big job after the weekend so it was nice to be encased in stretchy soft fabric. Ahhh, leggings. You make me feel kind of naked but I like you anyway.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Crafty Weekend

Does anyone else have crash crafting weekends? Where your kitchen table is just out of commission because there is fabric and glitter and paint everywhere and you can't find enough real estate to put a plate, much less a whole dinner? And you just kind of pump out one thing after another until your To Finish pile is FINALLY (almost) conquered? And then you look at the mess and go, "I...think I'll clean that up tomorrow." and you just kind of pretend it's not there for a while?

That was this weekend for me.

I've been putting off a lot of things because our 4th bedroom is supposed to be a craft room/guest room/storage room but I need a desk for my craft stuff (we're getting this as soon as we can make the loooong trek to Ikea) and so it's the one room in our house that's still in boxes. And I just couldn't quite stomach the idea of going in there, fishing out the stuff I needed, and actually getting anything done.

But then a friend needed help with a project on Friday so I had to dig out my sewing machine and requisite accouterments. And since I had them out I got around to finishing one of my bigger sewing projects (a Christmas present!) and it felt SO nice to get that done that I just kept on going.

My favorite thing that came out of the weekend was this:


While I was digging around for my rotary cutter I found my long-lost black fabric paint and freezer paper and thought maybe it was time for a little freezer paper stenciling. After Baby 2 was born my dad rediscovered this old cowboy song that has Baby 2's name in it and now we sing it all the time. I made a stencil using this little cowboy graphic and the line from the song with Baby 2's name above it and put it all on a onesie. He's wearing it today and I love it so much.

I love doing freezer paper stencils. Maybe time to jazz up one of my Hanes v-necks?

30 for 30: Day 1

hello


I cheated a little bit and actually started yesterday so my first 30 for 30 post could go up this morning.

8 months along with Baby 2. WHYYY did I cut my hair??
 Earlier this year I wore this F21 dress in my maternity pictures with Baby 2. At the time I lamented that I didn't have some brown boots to go with it because I thought boots would be perfect. The brown heels I wore at the time just weren't quite right. Lucky for me, I have some brand-spankin' new brown boots in my 30 for 30 pile and they were perfect.

I'm already loving this challenge. I threw this dress in there because I knew it had potential but I still never wore it. Since I knew I was going to have to make it work I thought about what banished it to closet purgatory and I realized it was those stupid cheap-y plastic buttons. Taking 30 seconds to remove those and add a belt made a world of difference in how I felt about the dress and I loved my outfit.

My face in this picture was too awkward for me to handle. Also, I'm not pregnant, just standing weird to avoid sinking into the damp grass. I am really not used to being on that side of the camera! I need to have Aaron teach me how to use the remote thing and then spend some time practicing making non-stupid faces in pictures.
I love how my hair turned out. Cup of Jo shared a gorgeous photo tutorial from Martha this week and I had to try it out. My hair is just a little too short to really get the full effect and my hair color can't compare to that model's gorgeous red shade but I loved it anyway.
Awwwkwaaaard

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 for 30: My Items

 What is 30 for 30? Check out the rules here.

I knew a girl growing up who had a stinking TON of clothes. Her family was pretty well off and she had an entire shelf in her spacious closet devoted to items that still had tags on them. When we were sophomores she decided to see if she could go a whole school year without repeating outfits. She kept a log of what she wore every day and, what do you know? She did it. Easily.

High-school-me was pea-green with envy over her closet. Adult-me is still kind of jealous but also thinks the whole thing was a little ridiculous. No one needs that many clothes.

But remembering that girl and that school year goal gave me the final push into this challenge. I can totally do that (on a much smaller scale)! It just takes a bit of creativity and I've become way too predictable with my clothing.

So here are my participants-

Shoes:

My beloved sparkly Steve Maddens. They are getting seriously beat up but I can't live without them! I am on the lookout for a replacement sandal, FYI.

New dark brown boots from Charlotte Russe.

Gray Madden Girl heels and my beloved Toms wedges

Slouchy gray suede boots. I have a love/hate relationship with them because they're flats and really need some kind of lift. I never wear them because I think they make me look stumpy so I'm trying to change my mind about them and get some mileage out of my investment.
 NOT making an appearance: my Locals flip flops. I rely on them way too much. I'm a 25 year old woman; it's time to class up the footwear a bit.


Denim:

Skinnies. I never wear them because I hate the rise, but I love everything else about them so I'm going to make them work.
Because it's still nice enough here to want/need to wear shorts some days! I think they're from Alloy.

Gap straight legs. My wardrobe workhorse. Got them for $8 when they were clearing out their old styles. King's to me, Fernand.
 Other pants:

AE grayish skinny cords. Not particularly comfy (no stretch!) but I do love them.

Leggings. Love 'em. Don't wear 'em all that often.
Skirts:

Gap. I don't wear it much at all because I never know what to wear it with but I love it. It's much more flattering than it looks in this picture.

I don't remember where I got this but this skirt is my best friend. Soft, below the knee, perfect for chasing babies without flashing anyone.
Tops:

 (most of which need a hot date with an iron. They'll be beaten into submission before wearing.)

The whites. Collared button down I've had for ages. H&M pleated top. My Hanes v-neck uniform (I own 12. For real. I counted. Thanks to babies/cooking/art projects I go through them pretty fast)

The layering pieces. Drapey jersey cardi from Charlotte Russe (prob my favorite thing in my closet right now). White cardi from Target. Lacy cami from JC Penney that is wonderfully stretchy and easy to nurse in.

The tunics. Blue pleated from Marshall's (love). Plaid from Old Navy. Blue and white stripe from H&M

The button-ups (a nursing mommy must). Blue gingham from Gap. Other two from an emergency Target shopping trip right after Baby 2 was born and I realized all my clothes were anti-nursing.

Stuff that should have been included in previous pictures but I can only hang so much from my mirror. Teal drapey top from New York & Co. Black and white pinstripe button from TJ Maxx. Gray open top from NY&C.

Dresses:

F21 dress I've had for ages but never wear. Love the top. Hate the sleeves. Might bust out the sewing machine this week and make a quick alteration. And probably remove the cheapy looking ornamental buttons for easier belting.

 That's actually only 29 pieces. I wanted my 30th piece to be my new dress. It arrived in time for the challenge but not in time to be photographed. Also, I ordered at least a size too big, possibly 2 (if you get that dress, size down!) AND I'm pretty sure it arrived without the longer hemline I ordered. So it might need to be taken in and I might have to figure out if I can lengthen it a bit somehow. If I can't get it wearable in time I'll be throwing in a sleeveless black Gap maxi dress as my 30th item.

I was kind of worried this would be hard but as I was looking at my items I realized I could put together far more than 30 outfits (especially since you could just change the shoes and technically call it a new outfit). Piece of cake.*




*totally going to eat those words in 2 weeks when I can't figure out what to wear and hate myself for even trying this challenge.
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