Monday, December 30, 2013

Our year in review

I have never sent out a family Christmas card.  I feel like this should have been the year.  But then it was sort of too late, and I didn't feel like it (mostly that).  So this will have to suffice!

If ever there was a month I do not want to repeat it was January.  Aside from Adam's birthday and Axel's birth day, it mostly consisted of us moving and Olivia and taking turns getting sick until Axel was born.  And then I just cried a lot.

For me, this month was a blur.  My mom was here until the 11th  (her birthday!) and I was on my own for the first time on Valentine's Day.  I still managed to make a seriously yummy dinner.  Olivia adjusted to being a big sister by asking me to hold her and Axel at the same time

March was more of the same, trying to adjust to life with two kids.  I tried to trim Olivia's mullet and cut off more than I bargained for, I made Dr Pepper cupcakes for my sister-in-law's baby shower and I tried to be one of those moms that makes cookies with her kids.  All of this while dealing with Axel's colicky ways.  Also my family came for Axel's baby blessing and Olivia probably appreciated it more than Axel :)
Olivia and Grandpa. Also thank goodness for headbands to cover messed up hair cuts.
In April I went for my first run post baby, we celebrated Easter and I hoped that Axel would start sleeping through the night soon.

In May I participated in the 30x30 fashion challenge (just for fun, I'm no fashion expert!).  I also took a road trip with my two babies to visit my family in California!

I turned 30!!  Aubrey and I started blogging the Bachelor together and I finally met her in real life at one of Bonnie's blogging round tables!

I cut my hair.  It was bad.  I blogged a lot in July!  But nothing super notable happened in my life.

We went on our last trip of the summer, vacation to Colorado, so that Axel could regress and none of us get any sleep!  But other than that we had a great time. 

We loved the weather in September!  Not too hot, not too cold, lots of walks!  I missed teaching this year, even though it was my second year since I quit.  We also bought a house!  The colors were a little wonky and I wanted to paint them white, but we settled on light gray instead. 
Missing Bingham
We finally closed on our house!  We spent a week babysitting my niece and nephews.  And we celebrated Halloween with Curious George and his banana! 

We got the keys to our house on November 2nd and we moved in on the 9th.  We spent the first couple weeks getting it painted and getting our laundry room door unjammed.  We went to California for Thanksgiving and had a great time in the warm weather!

I let Olivia eat snow for the first time, she made a nativity to play with and we just loved the Christmas season in our new house!

We're glad that we're all healthy (finally!) and excited to start the new year. We're looking forward to celebrating Axel's first birthday and Olivia's 3rd birthday! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas!

So we woke up to Axel screaming at 12:45 last night.  I got him up and held him, but he still cried.  And then he gagged and choked on his snot and I freaked out that he couldn't breathe.  Once he and I calmed down, he was fine, but he had a good fever.  It was pouring rain outside, but Adam had told me it was going to snow in the morning and that I shouldn't plan on going anywhere.  So I laid Axel down on the bed at 1:15 or so and told Adam I was going to get some tylenol.  I had to.  I had to before Adam left for work at 5am and the snow was too bad to take two kids out to the store.  But Adam went for me.  That is true love and I'm not kidding.  He gets up for work at 4:30 and he let me stay in bed with a sleeping baby. 

At about 2am I picked up my sleeping boy, gave him some tylenol and moved him to his own bed.  Adam just couldn't sleep with Axel crowding him, despite us agreeing that his little breathing was the cutest thing we'd ever heard.

This morning Olivia seems to have a touch of it as well.  And I was working until 10pm last night so I didn't get the kitchen cleaned and I'm sad about that.  I've got 14 (or more) changing pad toppers to sew in the next few days and maybe a couple crib sheets (I'm seriously starting to wonder what a couple means to my brother-in-law)  Despite being stressed about it all, I do love sewing and I love that I can say I sew professionally :) 

Well I'm thinking I need a Christmas break.  We have a lot going on here and we need to get healthy. I'm usually trying to cram in as many Christmas posts as possible around this time of year, but this year I'm just going to live in the moment. 

Merry Christmas!  I'll be back on the blog January 1st!  I can't wait for the new year, especially since I'm not pregnant this year and I can really buckle down on my goals for 2014!!

Some pictures:
Matching polar bear jammies!  Bummer that we had to use the flash, but I just couldn't get a non blurry picture with out it.

Santa's lap!  Axel didn't cry!  I honestly cannot believe it!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Am I a feminist?

The H&M sweater I got for Fall 30x30.  I never posted this picture, but it was one of my favorites. Nothing to do with this post really, but I guess it does a little because I am technically wearing both a SKIRT (this sweater is a "dress") and PANTS. 

I've never identified with the feminist movement.  When I hear the word "feminist" I think of careers over children, wearing pants to church and not shaving your legs. 

If you're LDS you probably heard about the #ordainwomen movement started by Mormon feminists.  I'm not really going to talk about it, except to say I don't really share the same ideas as these women.  More power to them if they're doing what they feel is right, but I feel my life is full enough (full of responsibility, full of purpose, full of joy and full of love) with out the priesthood.

But I can't escape the feminist women in my twitter and blog feeds.  And I realized that maybe they weren't so different than I was.  Several of them are stay at home moms, some wear pants to church and some don't.  As far as I know, all of them shave their legs at some point (and if they don't . . . maybe I haven't in over a month either.  You never know.  I'm not telling)

So I did that ever classic move and looked up "feminism" in the dictionary.  The online dictionary, because does anyone really have a hard copy anymore?  How would you look up the word "twerking" in the hard copy dictionary?  But I digress. . . 

Feminism: the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

It doesn't say anything about choosing career over children, shaving your legs or wearing pants to church.

(Can we pause for a minute so that I can point out skirts actually make women cooler than men, at least when it comes to clothing?  I can wear pants OR skirts, but Adam. . . cannot.  So how's that for equality?)

And then I have friends tell me stories.  Husbands that refuse to help around the house because it's women's work (maybe they don't use those words, but it's definitely the tone there) Husbands that wont change diapers, let their kids sit in a poopy diaper for two hours until the wife has time to change it.  Husbands that wont take out the trash when the wife is pregnant because it's not his job.  I just didn't notice it before because I've honestly only ever been treated as an equal.

My dad may have been a little old fashioned when it came to handing out chores (yard work for the boys, cooking and cleaning for me) or extra curricular activities (sports for the boys, dance, sewing and singing for me) but that could also be because of my personal preferences (hello I'm a home ec teacher).  But when it came to intelligence and opinions, the fact that I'm a girl never even entered the discussions.

This is probably why I preferred to teach my classes in the auto hallway instead of the home ec department.  I've never been one to "know my place".  (I didn't really have a choice about where I taught.  Where ever there was space they would stick me.  But I didn't mind being in the auto hallway)

It seems like the word feminism can apply to such a wide variety of ideals that I hesitate to identify with it because others might over generalize what I believe.  So let me say in closing, I was a working woman, a working mom and now I'm a stay at home mom (I could and will write an entire post about that)  I clean, I cook and I birth children but I am not second to anyone.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Food Friday: Party food (and my famous guacamole recipe)

Isn't it funny how Christmas parties all end up on the same weekend?  A few weeks ago I planned my second annual "Cousin Christmas" for this Saturday and then I offered to take a friend dinner on Friday (yay for new babies!) and a breakfast casserole to our church breakfast on Saturday and then I was asked to bring pineapple and apple slices to Adam's family party on Sunday!  That's a lot of food.

First of all, we did a Costco run for things like tortillas (the raw tortillas you cook yourself, once you try them you will never go back) and chips and then on Thursday I shopped at Smiths.  I got away with spending only $67!!!  I am goooooood. 

For the new mom dinner on Friday, I'm making lasagna.  I was inspired by Megan's post about lasagna, but I used a version of my lasagna recipe (The only lasagna recipe you'll ever need).  I wanted to put in some sun dried tomatoes, but I totally forgot!  I made two, because making two lasagnas is just as easy as making one!  So that took care of one of our dinners as well.

For Saturday's breakfast I'm making this breakfast casserole.  I don't have a favorite breakfast casserole because pretty much every ingredient is bad for you (I'm a vegan at heart so a pan full of eggs, milk, cheese and meat. . . well thank goodness for the potatoes), but I do prefer hash browns to those with bread.  Wow, a whole paragraph about breakfast casserole, did not know that was possible.

For my party I'm providing the "dinner".  Since it's not a sit down dinner party, I decided for more finger foods than a real meal.  I'm making my favorite ever chicken taquitos with cilantro lime dressing, BBQ sauce little smokies and chips and guacamole.  Which reminds me that I haven't shared my guacamole recipe on the blog!  I'm pretty much famous for it, so you really need it :)  (If you've lived in Provo for any amount of time, you probably ate at Los Hermanos at some point, right?  Well my dad and his brother are the original hermanos [brothers] and this was their recipe)

Los Hermanos Guacamole (they may have changed it since it sold over 20 years ago. . .)
Sour cream
4 parts salt
2 parts garlic powder
1 part pepper
juice of a lime

Mash your avocados (I usually use about 4) and add some sour cream.  I like there to be more avocado than sour cream, but other than that you can add however much you want!  Then add salt to taste, but pay attention to how much you're adding (don't just sprinkle it in) because that will give you the measurements for the garlic and pepper.  So lets say you use 1 tsp salt, you would use 1/2 tsp garlic and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Just be careful with the salt because chips are really salty so you don't want the guac to be too salty on it's own.  And then I added the lime, it wasn't part of the original recipe.  I say 1 lime for every three or four avocados. (when I make it on Saturday I will take a picture and update the post, but I didn't want it to turn brown by making it too early!)

And then for Sunday I'm just bringing pineapple and apples.  I was lucky to find pineapple for $1 at Simth's!  Otherwise my mother-in-law's suggestion was to cut one pineapple into 40 little pieces (I was asked to bring pineapple and apples for 40 people!  Not by my MIL, by her sister-in-law)

What food are you planning for parties this season?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What would you do with. . . a box of candy canes?

Yay!!  It's What would you do Wednesday again!  Aubrey and I are getting together (virtually) to see what we would/could do with a box of candy canes! 

First, I bought the 24 pack at Target, because it was like 20 cents more for double the candy canes, so duh.  Then I noshed on one while reading blogs one night because 24 is a lot. 

I knew what I wanted to do from the moment that Aubrey suggested candy canes (she comes up with ALL the ideas, I am so grateful for her awesome ideas.)  I came up with a plan of attack and a list of needed supplies.  Then I thought I would check pinterest just for the heck of it (but know in my heart that I came up with the idea by myself even if there were others out there.)  When I searched "candy cane garland" there was a super cute one on the very first row.  I knew just from the picture that it was Dana's (from MADE).  And duh, I've been reading her blog for over two years so obviously I saw this post last Christmas.  But I guess I can pretend I still came up with a candy cane garland all on my own :)

I did mine a little different than Dana, but it's seriously so similar that I'm not going to bother with giving you steps and just go ahead and refer you there. 
Okay so I originally hung up my stockings with tape, which held up better than I expected.  But I didn't really center them and they were a bit to the left.  So when I put nails in for them I went a bit to the right.  Obviously I went too far to the right.  So. . . I should just measure next time. Also Axel's stocking is actually my old stocking so it's a bit of a different size than the others.

We could pretend that Axel doesn't have a stocking yet and this is what the arrangement would look like!  Much more centered.  PS, do you like my wall color?  It usually looks white in my pictures but you can kind of tell it's gray in these.

Next I still had 14 left and a cookie party to attend.  Peppermint is okay, but pair it with chocolate?  Amazing.  So I googled "brownie cookies" and the first recipe had awesome reviews so I made them.  Honestly I hate baking, so if it wasn't for a party I would have just used oreos.  But since I taught high school Home Ec I always feel the need to prove myself.

I wanted the cookies to hold up to dipping, but wanted them to still be soft, so after the cookies came to room temperature I stuck them in the freezer.  That way they were brick-like for the dipping and then soft when thawed out.

I melted some almond bark and added peppermint extract and then dipped the cookies in the candy coating and then into crushed candy canes.  This took 6 candy canes.

I still have some candy canes left and I really want to try making peppermint ice cream, but I'm already fighting off Christmas goodies at every turn, so I'm going to just leave that one for another holiday season. :)

I soooo can't wait to see what Aubrey came up with!  I just know one of these months we're going to end up doing the exact same thing!  Haha.   

Monday, December 9, 2013

The best nativity set (FREE!!)

Axel has been taking awful morning naps lately, but I don't mind because he sleeps like a champ at night and that is (almost) all I ask.  But during his 30 minute morning nap I like to do an activity or project with Olivia.

After I made hand turkeys with her, she was obsessed.  After a couple days of that, I got her on to Christmas trees (I drew the tree, she would decorate it, usually with arms and legs).  But today I printed out a nativity set from seriously the most creative blog I have ever read.  Made by Joel just updated his nativity set (click here) and added some shepherds and more animals.  I loved the original set he posted last year, but I never printed it out.  I don't know why, maybe I thought Olivia was too young? 

Olivia coloring in the pieces.  No I did not do her hair like this, she just asked for the bow and I put it in.  I'm actually surprised it lasted this long.  Probably because it's stuck in there.

To say this was a hit would be an understatement.  She colored all the pieces (in pink because when we like something why change?) and once she finished the first page I started cutting.  It is a testament to her age I think that she sat and played with the pieces after they were all cut out.  Just two months ago I don't think that would have been the case. 

I helped her set it up the traditional way and then I let her play and set it up anyway she wanted!
After a few minutes of playing at the table, she asked to move to the floor.  It's more comfortable there I'm sure :)

So this isn't an ad, more like a public service announcement (I'm into those lately) because everyone should have one of these!  I totally want to print out my own set and color it with insane detail (I freaking love coloring)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Food Friday? All I know is this is how snow should taste

I've been eating snow since I was a kid.  Kind of gross, kind of awesome.  If you think it's too gross, that's fine.  I feel the same way about milk.

Anyway, we got a load of snow on Tuesday and Olivia has been begging to play in it.  I opened the back door to show her how dang cold it really was (playing in the snow is a dad activity, at least until she's old enough to go out by herself!) and she asked to eat the snow.  Of course!  Let's forget about playing outside and eat the snow instead!

The view from my back porch

I carefully scooped just the top of the snow so we didn't get any cement flavor in our snow cream.  Then in a medium bowl I put two spoonfuls of powdered sugar, a couple drops of peppermint extract (the ingredients on the bottler were: flavor and non-flavor, I KID YOU NOT) and some cream I had for a soup recipe.  We didn't need the whole cup of cream so I thought, Why not?  But you could also use milk. 

Don't scrape the bottom!

Growing up we used vanilla, but I thought peppermint would be a fun change.  Holy goodness!  That stuff was awesome!  I think this is what snow would taste like if you were Buddy the Elf.  We mixed it all up and then sat on the kitchen floor sharing bites: Olivia, Axel, Mom, Olivia, Axel, Mom.

Did you make snow cream growing up?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Five years, five sentences

I recently found Madeline's blog and I think I comment on almost every post.  Commenting is hard for me since I usually don't have free hands (thanks to reading blogs while I nurse) so you know your blog is conversational if I really NEED to comment. 

Yesterday she wrote one sentence for each of the last five years.  I thought that would be a fun post to copy, so I did!

Adam finally agreed to marry me in November.

We (the teachers of Jordan School District) almost went on strike at work and lost our jobs, which would have been bad because I got pregnant and needed the health insurance.
Pregnant here, can you tell?  Everyone kept asking me if I was pregnant, so it must have been super obvious.
Olivia was born and I started a blog (not this one, or even the one before this one)
Baby blogger
Adam found a good job so I quit teaching and got pregnant again.
Olivia was still a baby and I was expecting another baby!  Eek.  But she grew up a lot in those 9 months.
Axel was born and we bought a house!

Thanks Madeline for the idea!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Legacy of a name

The photographer positioned my mom really weird.  Anyway, Nancy Louise, Dorothy Mae, Kimberly Mae and Olivia Louise.
When trying to pick Olivia's middle name, I knew I wanted a family name.  First names can be what ever you love, but I think middle names should link you to the past.

I have my grandmother's middle name, Mae.  I wanted to do the same for my kids.  We decided to give Olivia my mom's middle name, Louise.  I thought it was cool that my mom got her middle name from her grandma, Annie Louise, meaning Olivia would be the third woman in the family line to have Louise as a middle name.  (My mom is Nancy Louise)

I liked the significance of the name, but it wasn't always my favorite.  On Thanksgiving after dinner my grandma told me the story of the name, and I totally fell in love with it. 

When my great-great grandma joined the LDS church, her family disowned her.  She then left Denmark and moved to the US to be with other members of the LDS church. 

She found work with an LDS family, helping to care for their children.  They weren't very nice to her, so she left them to work for a Jewish family.  They were much kinder to her.  One of the daughters even taught her how to read in English using their school books. 

Her name was Louise. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Black Friday Story

Thanksgiving 2011.  All the girls, minus my sister Kellie who was on an LDS mission.

Are you a black Friday shopper?  I have never been big on it.  I don't like shopping all that much (but I DO, but I don't.  It's complicated) and I love sleeping in (despite being a morning person) and since I just contradicted my two main points I don't have much ground to stand on except to say, it's just not my thing.

But I do love fabric.

So two years ago, Olivia was only 8 months old and we had come home from Thanksgiving at my aunt's house earlier than Adam (Adam cannot leave a party.  He will be the last one there.  It's a good thing he doesn't drink)  In fact Adam didn't come home, he spent the night.  Olivia was a 6am riser in those days and so after feeding her breakfast I thought, let's just swing by JoAnn's, it's soooo close.

I arrived, strapped Olivia into my front pack carrier, and took a number.  As I shopped I paid attention to how fast the numbers were being called and when I was done collecting fabric they were still a long way from my number.  And Olivia was starting to fuss because it was getting to be nap time. 

I knew we weren't going to make it.

It was a long shot, but I thought maybe I could park my cart in a less trafficked area and come back for it.  I parked it towards the back of the store, and decided that if I came back and it was still there, great.  If not, well that was okay too.

Olivia and I went home.  She took a nap, I showered, did my hair, ate, Olivia woke up, I fed her.  We headed back to JoAnn's.

Sure enough, there was my cart, full of my fabric bolts.  They were about ten people away from my number.  They called it, I got my fabric cut and we were on our way.

That is the only way to do Black Friday. 

What is your craziest Black Friday story?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A small family gathering

Five years ago on Halloween this guy asked me out.  Less than four weeks of dating, and my family was coming to visit for Thanksgiving.

"Do you. . . want to, like, come play games with my family on Wednesday?"  I was super nervous to ask him.

"Let me ask my mom what we're doing and I'll let you know"  Which is code for, You're kind of freaking me out.  I need some time to think about this.

So I was cool, it's no big deal.  Think about it.  Take your time.

Cool worked, he came. He met my mom and dad, my siblings and my uncle Doug and his family

On the actual Thanksgiving day he and I exchanged a few facebook messages.  He worked bright and early on Black Friday.  My family used that day to take family pictures. 

I was hoping to find a picture of ALL of us, but I did find this picture of my dad and his siblings.  He is the middle of 7 children.  Four of them are girls.
Top row: Dad, Linda, Janette, Grandpa, Grandma Lois (my grandpa's second wife), Phil.  Bottom row: Renon, Myrna, Doug.
While we were taking pictures, one or more of my aunts told me to invite my boy to pizza dinner that night.  I guess I texted him "Do you want to come over for dinner? My aunts want to meet you."  He interpreted this as a small gathering.  Most of my dad's siblings have four children.  My aunt Myrna has four children AND they're all married with children of their own.  Pretty much ALL of my cousins were there.  It was a HUGE group.

Adam still teases me about this.  But let the record show that he left my side five minutes after we arrived and spent more time talking to my family than he did me. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

30x30 Giveaway

I dropped out of the 30x30 when life became too stressful during the move.  I was having a little anxiety attack one night and I realize, this was one thing I could drop with out much repercussion.  So I did. 

But I still wanted to support the other girls and join in the giveaway!  So I did.

Maybe just a little cash to help with some Christmas shopping, or to treat yourself during the long hours of shopping and wrapping and cooking and decorating that comes with the holiday season.

And may the odds be ever in your favor (I totally watched Hunger Games last night in preparation for Catching Fire)

The ladies of the Fall 30x30 challenge wanted to get together and thank you for supporting! Using the Rafflecopter below, enter to win a $50 giftcard to your choice of Target, Old Navy/Gap, Loft, or Forever 21!

Dreaming about Someday / justjacq / It’s My Life / you, me & capri / Raising the Rogers / Olive the Things / Fox Tales and Ponytails / Shop School Sleep / Curly Crafty Mom / One Blessed Jess a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 25, 2013

Public Service Announcements

A picture from Thanksgiving 2008, because I had no kids and I looked so rested.  I'm in the back left corner, in case you couldn't recognize me.
 Happy Thanksgiving week!  We are in California for Thanksgiving this year.  This is the first time that Adam has gotten to celebrate with my family in Lancaster (usually they come up to Salt Lake or it's his family's turn).  I haven't had Thanksgiving in my own house in over 6 years!  (I'm trying to remember if the year my brother came home from his mission we had Thanksgiving at my grandma's or at my mom's.  That was in 2007!)  In any case, I am so excited to be here since we probably wont be coming down during Christmas.

Today I wanted to tell you some things I think you need to know:

In case you need to bring something to dinner on Thursday here are five of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

Did you know that pumpkin butter can be made in the crockpot?  Just whip up this recipe and cook it on low for 5-6 hours, stirring every hour or so to keep it from burning.

Speaking of pumpkin butter, I saw this on a talk show cooking segment.  They spread a pumpkin mixture (pumpkin, sugar and spices) onto Pillsbury crescent roll dough and rolled it up like cinnamon rolls (instead of pulling the crescent rolls apart, you kind of push to seal the perforations), cut them into circles and then baked them for a little pumpkin Thanksgiving treat.  How much better would that be with pumpkin butter that has been cooking all day! (such a deeper flavor!)

In case you don't follow me on twitter, you should know that this is the cutest boy outfit I have ever seen.  I'm telling you this only now that I bought Axel's because I would not want them to sell out before I got my hands on one!

Also, if you're picky about candles like I am (I do not like anything that smells like baking (like cookies or cake or whatever) or vanilla) THIS is the candle for you.  I had it lit all morning on Friday and when I went grocery shopping I put it out (duh) and when we came home our house STILL smelled so Christmasy and not at all like paint! 

You may have noticed that I kinda stopped doing the 30x30 challenge.  We moved, I can't find my camera (too many boxes got labeled "misc." at the end there) I was spending so much time painting that I obviously wasn't in my cute clothes, I got sick, my clothes got stuck in the laundry room for 36 hours. . . etc.  BUT I still wanted to participate in the giveaway they do at the end, so check back tomorrow for a little shopping money!!!  And I wont tell anyone if you want to spend it on yourself :)

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Food Friday: Pepperjack mac 'n' cheese

I used to have a cooking blog, Kimberly Cooks.  I posted like five times before getting pregnant with Olivia and cooking pretty much stopped.  My domain expired over a year ago, and suddenly I couldn't look up this recipe on line anymore. . . I finally dug up my old wordpress account information and pulled off those five recipes so I can post them here and give them new life. (Never occurred to me to write them down somewhere else)  This was the recipe I was most excited about.  

This fun grown up macaroni and cheese recipe starts with one of the five French mother sauces, a bechamel.  A bechamel sauce is essentially a white sauce.  Then I added some yummy pepper jack cheese and Worcestershire sauce.  Pour this onto some fully cooked pasta shells and it is divine!

  • 2 T white flour
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper (if you have it, if not, black pepper will work just fine)
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded.
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 c uncooked pasta shells, cooked to your desired firmness.
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese (optional)

  1. Cook butter and flour on medium heat, about five minutes to remove the floury flavor and texture.  Be sure to stir constantly.
  2. Wisk in onion powder, milk, salt, nutmeg and pepper.  Stirring constantly, cook until thickened and then stir in cheese and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Add cooked pasta to the sauce and serve immediately.  Or, place in an oven safe dish, top with Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes at 350 if you prefer a crusty mac and cheese.
A couple of notes:
-I call this a grown up mac n cheese and it really is.  Olivia helped make it, she was so excited to eat it and sadly it turned out to be too spicy for her.   Any cheese can be substituted for the pepper jack cheese.
-Since I wrote this recipe before having kids, the fact that it only feeds two didn't bother me.  But when Olivia couldn't eat hers, both Adam and I were eager to help her out.  Maybe double it, especially if you like leftovers.
-I like making this with pasta shells, but I totally blanked on buying pasta when I was at the store.  Luckily we had some actual macaroni in the cupboard and that (obviously) was great.  I just like the way the cheese gets trapped in the pasta shells.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The best time to get sick

So I woke up last Tuesday with that feeling in my throat that told me "you're getting a cold".  So I Zicammed up and hoped for the best.

Wednesday I told Adam I didn't know how I would make it through the day with two kids feeling like I did.  Once I got going I was okay, but laying down and colds don't really mix well, do they?

Thursday I was getting pretty depressed.  My house was in shambles.  I had been so excited to move into my house and it wasn't at all like I imagined.  I was supposed to be decorating my Christmas tree, not painting during nap times and having no couch to sit on.  Plus, you know, I was sick.

Ug, I thought.  This is just not a good time to get sick!

Is there a good time to get sick?  Really.  Really?

I thought about it.  The week before would have been so much worse!  We were moving and packing and it would have been awful.  The week after would have put my cold so close to Thanksgiving that I would probably still be coughing a little.

Yeah, my life was still packed away, but at least we could snuggle in my bed and watch an iPad movie (once we got internet anyway) or we could hole up in Olivia's good sized room and kill a couple hours.

The more I thought about it I was super grateful that I managed to land my cold at the exact right time!  But from here on out, I'm taking Emergen-C like it's my job.

Tonight I'm going to see Trans Siberian Orchestra for my anniversary. I seriously love these guys. Since this post needs a picture, here's the one from last year.

Monday, November 18, 2013

All my clothes were in prison for 36 hours

Every post needs a picture, right?  Here is my laundry room.  Full house tour coming soon.  I know you can hardly wait.

So Monday every thing was starting to feel great.  Moving into a new house always starts out like camping, you know?  No heat, no hot water, eating on paper plates because you don't know where that box is, sleeping on the floor because your bed isn't assembled yet.  That was Saturday and Sunday.  By Sunday night our bed was set up and our gas turned on (thank you heat and hot water!).

Back to Monday.  The kids were playing so great in Olivia's room.  We still didn't have TV or internet so the camping feeling remained a little bit, but I was starting to think we'd never need to watch a show again the way these two were playing! (the novelty of new rooms wore off when Axel discovered the stairs.)

One of the things I loved most about this house was the laundry room.  Most other townhouses we looked at had the bifold doors with washer and dryer behind them, but this one had an actual laundry room.  While the kids played I sorted lots of laundry and started a load.  Soon Axel came crawling out to play with a box of trash (because we need to buy trash cans for the kids' rooms).  I put the box on the dryer and because I was somehow worried he would get it up there (huh?) I went to close the door to the laundry room.

It didn't quite close.  The dryer stuck out about 1/2" too far to close the door.  So with Axel in my arms, I used my hip to kind of shove back the dryer.  I probably didn't even move it.  I tried the door.  Still a little tight.  But, eh, what the heck, I bet I can force it closed.  So I did.

About two minutes later I went to open it. . . and nope.  The dryer had been pushed back by the door when I shoved it closed, but it had popped back into it's place once the door was out of the way.  Does that make sense?  The dryer was blocking the door from opening!  Not to mention the load of clothes washing in there, I'm sure the spin cycle vibrations didn't help keep the dryer from wiggling forward a little.

I panicked.  I tried to open it with force, no dice.  I texted Adam right away.  I've learned in marriage if you do something stupid like over draw the checking account or get the dryer stuck in front of the laundry room door, it's best to confess it right away.  Then I texted my friend Rachel in a panic.  She helped me calm down, but I was still certain we were going to have to bust down the door.  My new house!

Well Tuesday night my father-in-law came over and with the use of a crazy little tool (I have no idea what it is supposed to be used for) Adam was able to shove the dryer back just enough for me to open the door.  Then my father-in-law scooted the dryer back as far as possible.  The door clears it now by maybe an 1/8 of an inch.

I keep it open.  Olivia closes it a lot.  Good think my FIL let us keep that little tool. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What would you do with. . . $20 at Target?

This is not a sponsored post, but dang I wish it was. If you know how I could set that up, seriously let me know. 

The second Wednesday of the month means it's. . . 
Aubrey and I are both spending $20 at Target!

Adam, I had to spend $20 at Target. It was for a blog post.

Best topic. Ever.

You know, we're moving and what not. Yadda yadda, I was going to wait until we were settled and buy something for my house but our moving date kept getting pushed further and further back. Then I thought about shopping for Christmas but I couldn't post about it before Dec 25th, so that was out. 

Enter Friday night.

Friday nights usually go something like this: Dinner at 5:30. What do you want to do now? We could go to Target (once I said, we could go to the mall, or go to Target.  Adam said, why would we go to the mall? Gosh I love him).  Okay, let's go to Target.

So I find myself shopping at Target most Friday nights with my three favorite people.  I lead a good life.  And last Friday, there they were.  The tank tops I dream about.

Let me explain.  No there is too much, let me sum up.  I bought a Mossimo tank many many years ago.  I loved it. It got a hole (do all of your shirts get holes in them from your jeans buttons?  I hate it!) so I ordered what I thought was the same tank on their website. WRONG.  It was a ribbed fabric, and it had a much more casual look.  You do not understand my excitement when I saw the original tank at Target on Friday. (You can find the dream tank here.  I got the black textured one. Next I want this one.)

Then I had to decide what to get with my remaining ten dollars. 

I wanted to get Olivia a new dress to wear to church because. .  . we're going to a new ward (LDS congregation) this Sunday and I wanted her to look cute. So sue me.  Let's just say, I'm going to have to go back when I'm not limited to 20! Circo had some darling gold and silver tulle skirts for $14 (click here). 

Everything I wanted to get here was 12 or 14, I was starting to lose hope. UNTIL.  These leggings.  I die. I let Olivia choose between the polka dot and the green with stars, but I probably emphasized the "stars!" when I said it so you know, she was manipulated.  I did really love the polka dots though.

So we have 10 for the tank, 8 for the leggings. Add tax and the grand total is 19.23!  Which technically means I win because I know Aubrey went over, but hey. We're shopping at TARGET, everyone wins.

I'm also going back to buy a sweater I saw there because one of my #fall30x30 sweaters from H&M looked like, in Adam's words, a big blanket. Not cute.

I cannot wait to see what Aubrey bought!

(If you want to join us, next month is What Would You do With . . . a box of candy canes!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

The words I banned from my classroom

Picture from Emily Henderson.
I was just writing a blog comment and I remembered something from my teaching days.  (Isn't it funny how something that you think about daily for several years can be lost from your memory when your situation changes?  That's kind of scary!)

I used to ban certain words in my interior design classroom.

Obviously swears weren't allowed in any of my classes.  That's not what I'm talking about.  After teaching design for a few weeks I realized my students weren't accessing their full vocabulary when describing rooms for their portfolio pages.

Cozy, homey and nice.

"Describe the textures in the room and the feeling that they give the space"

"The brick makes the room feel cozy"
"The couch makes the room feel cozy"
"The rug makes the room feel cozy"

I'm not kidding you, I had a student turn in three pictures and she described them like this.  And I don't even have to protect that kid's identity because it wasn't just one.  It was like half of them.  That's 90. 

So I banned the words cozy, homey and nice.  They were no longer considered specific enough for use in my class room. 

Other words I allowed in place of cozy: warm, inviting, intimate and comfortable.

This is the reason I feel the need to apologize to my students, because I totally just used the word cozy and I realize now that it is specific enough.  Homey and nice are not.  So sorry for not letting you use the word cozy, I just needed a break from it.  Still those examples I listed would only be worth 3/5 points.  The still don't fully describe the textures.

Homey is just a weird word.  What does that even mean?

Friday, November 8, 2013

30x30 Day 1-6

I started the challenge a little before November so that when we were moving I could take a day or two off and just wear work clothes.  Also, we're driving to CA for Thanksgiving and I'll probably want to wear something comfy in the car.

Day 1
October 28
I decided to do this challenge on Oct 27, so I started wearing my items the very next day.  I didn't have them all picked out, but I knew I wanted to include these items.  I only wear earrings for pictures, Axel is at that super fun age where he likes to rip dangling earrings right out of my ear.

Day 2
October 29
I do not like my hair cut (I wanted a pixie and the hair dresser told me no and gave me the worst mom hair of all time) but it's growing out now and I really liked my hair on this day.

Day 3
October 30
I'm trying to learn the ways of not washing my hair every day, so don't mind the braid in both my pictures :) This shirt is actually a pajama shirt from WalMart but I love the length and the sleeves and the price so I got it. 

Day 4
October 31
We went trick-or-treating at Adam's work after morning nap time and I wore this so that if pressed I could just say I was a Barbie (you know, because of the pink)

Day 5
November 1
I started my healthy eating/5k training today and it feels really good!  This is right before I went for my run. 

Day 6
November 3
We got the keys to our house on Saturday so we did some moving and carpet cleaning and I just wore  jeans and a sweat shirt.  So day 6 skipped a head to November 3rd.  We went to church, otherwise I don't know if I would have gotten dressed this day either!

Check out the other lovely ladies participating in the challenge!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The post I stole from my brother

I say it all the time, my brother Rob is freaking hilarious.  He used to be in an improv group and even though I never got to go to one of his shows, he makes me laugh with almost everything he says so I know he was awesome at it.

I asked him to write a guest post a while ago but he never responded to my email, so I'll take that as a solid NO.  But he did comment on some pictures I posted of Axel, so I'm going to steal his commentary and post it here.

That was way to much build up for one joke.

This is why Rob hates it when I tell people he's funny.

All together now: "How funny is he?"  (do you remember that episode of Full House?)

And so I present to you, The Five Stages of Swing Pooping.