Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween playlist

Last Halloween Olivia was a lady bug, but for the cousin party on Sunday night I put in something a little cooler (that lady bug costume is GREAT for keeping babies warm!) and she wore my little German dress.

Halloween isn't my favorite holiday, but it's up there.  And I think it's no secret that (musically anyway) I belong in the 60s, 70s and 80s.  I've always wanted to put together a play list of my favorite Halloween-ish songs from my oldies collection.  So I finally did and I thought it would be fun to share, especially with Halloween TOMORROW!!

Superstition--Stevie Wonder
Black Magic Woman--Santana
Werewolves in London--Warren Zevon
Thriller--Michael Jackson
People are Strange--The Doors
Hotel California--Eagles
Paint it Black--Rolling Stones
Somebody's Watching Me--Rockwell
Don't Fear the Reaper--Blue Oyster Cult
Highway to Hell--AC/DC

What's your favorite Halloween song? 

PS.  For costumes this year Axel is going as a monkey, Olivia a banana, me zookeeper Barbie and I think Adam's going to be the Man in the Yellow Hat.  So, consider my October 2013 goal completed!!  What are you guys dressing up as?
PPS. If you need a great pre-Trick-or-Treating dinner, check out my Rainbow Chili I made last year.  Seriously some of the best chili I've ever made!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Ch ch ch changes

The leaves aren't the only things changin' around here.

Do you think of awkward preteen middle schoolers when you hear that word?  I do.  Probably because of that one episode of Brady Bunch where Peter's voice starts to change and they sing a song about "time to change".  Ew.

It's fall now, and we're about to move so I feel like there is a lot of change going on. And I often start hyperventilating when we have big changes like that and repeat to Adam over and over "I don't like change!"

I know.  I know.  I hate this apartment.  I should be glad to leave it.  And I aaaam, but. . . I know what to expect here. I know where to grocery shop, I know a few people at church, I know our upstairs neighbors have kids that scream at 2am almost every night.  Stuff like that I can count on.

Then I realized, the flip side scares me too.  I'm a little scared that we're going to be in our house for probably five years.  What if I don't like it and I can't just change it?  What if our neighbor is weird or I don't make any friends?  In college I moved almost every year, since I've been married we've moved four times.  When I don't like my calling in our ward (an assignment LDS members are asked to fulfill for anywhere from 1-5 years) I don't stress because I know soon enough we'll just move. 

So I guess I do like change.  And I don't like it.  I JUST WANT MY WAY ALL THE TIME.

Just keeping it real here on the bliggity blog.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Food Friday: The Best Oatmeal

I have a confession.  I don't really like oatmeal.  I eat it, almost every day, and eh, it's just not my favorite.  My favorite is Lucky Charms, but I'm not 6 so I try to eat healthier than that.  Mostly.  And oatmeal is healthy, fast, inexpensive and my kids love it so it's oatmeal all around. 

My life was changed two years ago when my friend Mary posted about her breakfast.  I was totally inspired and this is the only oatmeal I actually enjoy eating!  (The funny thing is I posted about a banana peanut butter smoothie I made that night and Mary was inspired by me!)

1/2 c quick oats (I just like how they're creamier than old fashioned but you can use that too)
1 c water
1 banana
2-3 T chopped walnuts or almonds

Cook the oats, add the other stuff.  :)

I'm not wild about those ingredients on their own, but together they are synergistic and mmmmm.  The walnuts are my favorite because they add just the right crunch, but almonds are also yummy (I think Mary used almonds in the one she posted about).

Okay the only oatmeal that I enjoy eating more than this is peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal, but that's more of a dessert. 

How do you make oatmeal?  I would like to have more than one oatmeal recipe that I enjoy :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like October!

So we closed on our house Monday!  We wont get to move in until Nov 2nd, and maybe not even then since I want to paint the downstairs first.  So, now we know we'll be here until Halloween.  Which means we could finally go buy pumpkins.  Adam is obsessed with pumpkins.  Last year there were THREE people in our family and I think we ended up with no fewer than 10 pumpkins.  That's three per person with one to spare. 

This is our pumpkin we got for free at Cornbelly's Corn Maze, we carved it a week ago.  Olivia LOVES it.  

And then today we visited our traditional pumpkin patch, the patch were Adam went as a kid.  It's a family owned patch, so local that it's just their backyard!  I love supporting small business. 

I want to be in the picture!  But I don't want to actually smile for you mom.

We'll take these two pumpkins!!!  

Olivia pulling her own pumpkin to the car.  At this point, she still thought she got to keep the wagon too!!

We got four big pumpkins, one medium and four little (like the kind you can fit in your hand)  A little bit more than we planned, but that's what happens when you get Adam in a pumpkin patch. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

If a blogger goes out to look at fall leaves and doesn't post about it, did it actually happen?

As I write this, it's Saturday morning.  Adam has taken the three oldest kids to my nephew's soccer game and both babies decided to take naps.  This is the first time I've heard quiet in over a week I think.  At least it feels that way.  My SIL will be home in five or six hours and this week will be over!  It honestly hasn't been bad, just exhausting.  To feed five children three times a day, dress them, do hair for two little girls, change diapers for two babies (and sometimes Olivia!) and keep the dishes in the sink under control. . .  well it's a lot to do.  I still want five kids, I just want them to come one at a time.  Somewhere a mom of twins is laughing at me.  :)  Anyway, here is a fun story of our weekend last week. 

For the past few weeks in Salt Lake the leaves have started turning beautiful colors.  We've wanted to go on a drive up the canyon and on Friday the 11th we finally got around to it.

The leaves were quite beautiful on the drive up.  But the farther up we drove, the faster time seemed to go, so that when we reached our destination it was actually winter.  There was more snow than colored leaves.
This little guy so warm and cozy, I thought for sure he would be grumpy pants in the cold.
All the way up here, these were the only "fall leaves" left!

We bundled the kids and walked a little bit around Silver Lake.  Axel loved it, Olivia less so.  Axel's little nose was so red, but he was laughing the whole time (except in the picture, naturally)
Olivia cheered up a little when she saw a duck.

So maybe it wasn't the fall leaf outing I was hoping for, but it was still great.  We met a cute couple taking pictures on their iPhones (Axel was flirting with the girl), a crusty fisherman who turned into the cutest clown when trying to get Axel to smile for the camera and exchanged one liners with two guys taking pictures for their online dating profiles (at least that is what we were joking about. I can't imagine what they were actually doing. . .)
The fisherman who took our picture.

Usually I'm a little bit of a homebody.  (Have I mentioned that I hate that word?  It reminds me of homely.  I like to hang out at home, but I do get dressed and look presentable)  Being a SAHM has made me more excited to get out of the house for outings, the kind of thing Adam lives for.  Maybe I only thought I was a homebody because I was so worn out from working that I just wanted to hang at home. 

In any case, I love people and it was just so fun to make little connections.  Like the guy at dinner that night who commented that Adam and I were wearing rival college gear.

Go Cougars!

(Like how I ended this post?  Bet you didn't see that coming.  Neither did I.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Vintage Posts: Last Year

In following my week long theme of remembering old posts I looked through my October posts from last year.  I couldn't choose just one post I loved, so here are 3 of my favorites.

I've been a Barbie for Halloween for over ten years!

What I think I look like vs. what I actually look like.

The first time my husband asked me out he was wearing eye liner. 

What is your favorite post from last year?  Leave a link in the comments so I can read it! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vintage Post: Maybe the best gift

A year and a half ago I posted this on my design blog (that is no longer).  It really was one of the coolest gifts I ever received from my students. 

April 17, 2012
Yesterday at the end of my interior design class, two of my students presented me with a special portfolio page.  I have been teaching my students how to make professional portfolio pages for five years and so its a huge representation of who I am.  To have them make me my own portfolio page to keep was so awesome!  No one has ever done that for me before!

And it was a picture of Architect Barbie!  I didn't even know they made one of those.  To say this is really special feels like a big understatement!!

And on the back of every portfolio page is a description, so here is what they wrote for this one:

 There are no words.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Vintage Post: Cannibalism

Here is a golden nugget from a past blogging life.  Not very well written, which I think shows how much I've improved just by writing on a regular basis, so that's cool.  But it is a really funny story and has a certain "Halloween" feel to it.  Enjoy.

Pregnant Barbie, Halloween 2010

January 2011

Today I was eating my lunch next to the preschool, like I do every other day (usually). A mom and her son came looking for Gerry, the lady I work with and was eating lunch with. While the mom was asking Gerry about bringing a dog in for show and tell, the little boy was staring at me eating my lunch. When I pulled out my string cheese he didn't miss a beat. "Can I have a small piece?" What the??? I don't think small children should be accepting food from strangers, let alone ASKING for it. I said no, because I need food to feed the baby in my belly. He looked at my stomach in fear and said, "How did you get a baby in there? Did you eat it or swallow it?" Ha ha ha!! That's what happened to the last kid who asked for a piece of my string cheese! (Dang I wish I would have thought of that line earlier!) 

Friday, October 11, 2013

And now, for your enjoyment. . .

Here I go, off to babysit three extra kids!  Five kids, two are mine, two are babies.  (one baby is mine, the other is my nephew) The truth is, I want five kids.  But I don't want them all at once.  You add one at a time and learn to balance them as they come.

My husband's high school girl friend is having triplets.  Blessings on her, I could not do it.  Well, I would do if I had to, obvi.  No hate comments please. :) 

And so, because I don't know how much I'll be getting to my computer, I have scheduled out the week with some of my favorite oldies.  Posts from my past blog lives because I have had one too many blogs in my lifetime.  This is it, this is the last blog.  I PROMISE. 

And now, for your enjoyment, I bring you a week of vintage posts.  Thank you.
Baby Blogger

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What would you do with. . . a can of pumpkin

I'm so excited about my new collaboration with my Bach-cappin' buddy Aubrey.  We were sad when The Bachelorette ended and we didn't get to write posts together, so Aubrey came up with the genius idea of What Would You Do Wednesday.  The second Wednesday of every month we're going to show you what we would do with a different ingredient or craft item.  Feel free to join in if you want!  November's item is going to be "$20 at Target".  Can't wait to use that as a excuse to do even more shopping at my favorite store. 

This month we decided to go with a fall theme and ask, What would you do with a can of pumpkin?

What wouldn't I do with a can of pumpkin??

I have added it to pancake mix, for a dense yummy breakfast option.
I have added it to oatmeal with some brown sugar and cinnamon.
Mixed it with a spice cake mix and chocolate chips.
I have made pumpkin butter.
Pumpkin soup.
Pumpkin french toast.
I feed it to Axel when I don't have any baby food on hand.
And of course there is the traditional, pumpkin pie.

I have done all those things.  But I wanted to use this as an excuse to try something new.  My holiday pinterest board is full of yummy dessert ideas that I never make because I don't make dessert.  I pin them thinking I'll bring them to parties and then I forget until the last minute and end up with a pack of store bought cookies.

All that will change now.  I tried something I have been wanting to try for a looooong time.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

 It was like cheese cake, with a hint of fall.  I chose a recipe with a gingersnap crust and I think that was wise.  I feel like the chocolate crust would have overpowered the faint taste of pumpkin, because really there isn't a TON in this recipe.

To make this a whole meal (dinner and dessert) and because I had a lot of pumpkin left over (I like to buy the 29 oz cans) I decided to try a pumpkin pasta sauce as well. So I did a quick google search and used the first one that popped up: Penne with creamy pumpkin sauce.  As this was cooking I yelled over to my mom and husband, "This is the best thing I have ever made." It was.  At this point I realized the recipe was Martha Stewart.  Of course it was.

I didn't take a picture.  We scarfed it down.  Amazing. 
Find the recipe here.

So, what would you do with a can of pumpkin?  Check out Aubrey's answer here!  And join us for What would you do with $20 at Target in November!  I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with :)  If a lot of people start joining in, we might even make it a link up.  So fun!

(PS, you really have to try that pumpkin butter I linked to up there.   It is amazing)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Blogging and faith

I love blogging, I love the friendships that I can create as I spend my days with miniature people whose vocabulary is less than stellar.  I love how it makes me think, makes me put my opinions into words (even if sometimes I don't have the guts to pull the trigger and publish those words!). 

But yesterday I realized the dark side of blogging in my life.  I realized that when it comes to issues of my very personal faith, I often look to see what other bloggers are saying about the subject.

Yesterday was the semi-annual General Conference of the LDS Church.  For the first time I followed along with the tweets with the hashtag #ldsconf.  It was fun to see what other bloggers and friends liked about the conference.

It was unsettling though, to see how highly Elder Uchtdorf was praised for speaking on tollerance (which I love, one of my top three talks for sure!) and how Elder Oaks was criticized (by a few, not all) for talking directly about some hot button issues that the church refuses to change on. 

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  But how much power am I giving these women in my life?  They have wonderful insights and their words are good. 

Bloggers are good.
Books are better.
Scriptures are best.

I know this hierarchy to be true.  I need to show it more in my daily life.  I no longer want to pattern my life after the trendiest and coolest of bloggers.  They are great friends, but I want to pattern my life after my Savior and that is best done by studying his life and ministries.

And thank you for reading my words.  I know time is precious.  I'm realizing it more every day.

Friday, October 4, 2013

If I could teach the world to sew

Three years ago, as an award, I got to attend a conference in Vegas for three days.  Lamest conference ever.  With one small exception.  The last speaker talked about the joy and fulfillment that comes from doing a hard days work with something physical to show for it at the end.  He used the example of Dwight from the office, needing to show his worth with a poster of positive attributes.  If Dwight had something physical to show for his days of work, he wouldn't feel the need to validate his efforts with a poster. 

Of course, he was speaking to a group of teachers who all, like me, taught hands on subjects.  Sewing, cooking, welding, auto, the subjects that so many schools have taken out.

This is not political, this is not to say other careers are not valid, awesome, or fulfilling.

But if I could teach the world to sew.  Since quitting teaching, I've started my etsy shop and started sewing for my sister-in-law's baby bedding company.  Working hard on a project and having something at the end that you can hold up, it just feels good.  It's been so cool to see that I can use these skills, that at first were just fun for me, to make a little money for my family.

There is money to be made everywhere if you have a hands on skill.

Granted, you have to be really really good at that skill.  Cooking?  Cater parties.  Sewing?  Never did I know the need for sewers (tailors???) until I started working for Oilo.  Auto?  Open a little shop.  Welding?  So many options.  And the great thing about these professions is that they aren't all or nothing.  Often they can be done on an as needed schedule.

I guess because of this economy, this realization was pretty cool to me.  I hope someday I have the chance to teach a sewing class again and express just how awesome an opportunity it is to be able to create with your hands.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

This is going to be a long month. . .

Look at this little sweetheart in a pumpkin patch last year!  Ya hate to see 'em grow up, but they just keep making the holidays more and more fun as they do!
If I could blink and have today be Halloween, I might be tempted.  The only thing holding me back would be skipping one of Axel's final months of babyhood.  Because October is going to be a seriously long month.

My mom came to UT yesterday (from CA) to help entertain Olivia while I start packing up my apartment, getting ready to move in to our HOUSE.  I don't love packing, I really like unpacking, but it is kind of nice to reevaluate the stuff I own.  Back in August I had a goal to get rid of 10 things a day.  I did it for two days.  Oops. 

Also, I started a new "job".  My sister-in-law started her own baby bedding company a few years ago (launched like the week before my wedding actually!) and I guess she just found out I could sew?  Every year in the fall she debuts her new line at the ABC Kids show in Vegas and I'm making all the samples of the new products.  I've worked almost non stop for two days (Saturday and Monday) and I have almost finished three crib skirts.  I have three car seat canopies, three pillows (with zippers, eek!), a pouf and maybe a bumper to finish before Oct 12th.

Speaking of October 12th (well the 13th actually), when she and her husband leave for the show, I will be watching their three kids for a WEEK.  The 12th is when we are supposed to get the keys to our new place, so obviously moving will be pushed back a week.  I'll be going from two kids to five kids, and two of them are babies (Axel and Trey are just three months apart!) so it will be like having twins.  On repeat in my brain: I can do anything for a week.

Once that is over all I have to do is paint our house, move in, unpack and get ready for Halloween. 

It's worse written out.  I thought it would help my brain.  Nope.