Friday, January 31, 2014

Miss Independent

I took this picture while on a road trip before I was married.  Four stops, 10 days, just me and my car.  And friends and family along the way.

Do you remember that song by Kelly Clarkson?  You can click here if you don't know what I'm talking about.  That song is kind of like my anthem.  Only kind of. 

With the exception of two, all of my dating relationships were three weeks or shorter.  A lot shorter.  And one of the two longer ones is my husband.  Sometimes I'm shocked that I was actually able to commit to marriage.  That is a testament to how cool Adam is. 

I feel like there is nothing I can't do alone.  With in reason, of course.  If it takes two people in normal circumstances (dancing, kissing, arm wrestling) then obviously I can't do it alone.  When I drove to California alone with my two kids, some people freaked out.  My parents did not, so I thought that was pretty awesome. 

Okay, so I'm getting off track a little. 

Basically, sometimes I think I've grown out of it.  I haven't been apart from Axel for more than 8 hours at a time.  I mean, that's not exactly unattached parenting.

But on the rare occasion that I get away by myself, usually while Adam watches the kids, I still get this rush.  I could just drive away.  I never would (I NEVER WOULD) but just knowing that I can helps me not feel trapped.

And let's not get started on Adam wanting me to get a new car.  I BOUGHT MY CAR MYSELF!!! 
This is my car back when it was new.  Sure it doesn't shine as much as it used to, but it still shines in my heart.

Every now and then I write a post that I'm not sure how to end. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

House Tour: Living Room

I've been waiting to finish decorating before I post pictures of my house on the blog, but yesterday I "deep cleaned" the living room (there isn't much in there so basically that means I put everything away and vacuumed) and I thought I could use some advice/ideas/fresh eyes.  So I'm going to post before and middle pictures instead of before and after.

Naturally when I went to look for my camera it was no where to be found, so I had to improvise and use my iPad camera.  I tried to replicate the angle of the original as much as possible because I hate before and afters when I can't even tell that they used to be the same space.  Obviously we haven't changed things THAT much, but still.

I have to say that I'm not a big fan of accent walls.  Also these dark colors just really brought the walls in a lot.  So we brightened it up with some light gray paint and light furnishings and art. 


I realize now I should have done these when the sun wasn't shining in the window but I'm not going to stress it for my "middle" pictures
Yep, the kitchen was yellow (AND RED) meaning that you can see three colors when you walk in the front door!  And that is all I'm going to say about that.

Obviously I need to fill the frames, and the couch is nothing special.  I am going to make a taupe slip cover for it, so that's in the plan.
And another picture because I couldn't fit it all in one picture.  I didn't think to turn the iPad sideways.  Duh.  Also, do you love the color of my kitchen?  I'll post pictures of it soon.
Now I'm trying to decide what more to add to this wall.  Since the wall above the couch has my gallery wall, I don't really want to repeat that on this wall, but it does need something.  The DVD player there is temporary (our blue ray wont play library DVDs!  Go figure) and obviously I'll need something there to balance out my vase with sticks.  And yes, the vase does need a few more rocks.  I thought I had enough, but I was mistaken. 

So I know that my pictures aren't as great as the befores, but I really love the colors I have going on here!  I just need lots of money so I can finish my plans (I actually have some Christmas money left and I'm going to use it for the couch slip cover).  Also if you have any ideas for the TV wall, let me know!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wanna watch the Bachelor with me? Week 4

Happy Tuesday!  Did everyone catch the wedding on Sunday?  So beautiful and definitely "grown sexy".  I honestly spent too much time pondering what that could mean, and I finally decided that she meant "sophisticated and sexy" because that's what her wedding looked like to me.  This would be opposed to "trashy sexy" like a strip club.

Here's to hoping that this season will also result in a gorgeous grown sexy wedding.  Probably not, but it's still fun to watch. (And even more fun to read what Aubrey and Ashely have written!)

Random girl: Korea?  I don't even have a kimono!
Me: Bummer!  You can't go.  Kimonos are required. 

As Juan Pablo talks about loving new food and new travel, he's shaking his head "no".  And then he says he can't wait for the girls to get here and he's still shaking his head "no".  Maybe that means something different in South America?

Group Date
Andi says she's hoping she's on the one on one date, which honestly is a shock to me.  Most girls just dream about the group dates, because they're all here to make friends.

Nikki doesn't like to share.  My daughter like to share either.  Nikki can come over and they can learn together.

How many Rock Stars did Kat drink during the van ride???

Oh shoot.  Juan Pablo and I have the same pants.  Who am I embarrassed for, him or me?  (him)  And now that I look at him closer, I think I have that same jacket too.  I'll have to do a fashion post inspired by JP.  Who knew?

You can tell how famous they are because they're performing at a mall??  I've been in fashion shows at a mall, but I'm guessing you've never heard of me.

Nikki says she feels good about meeting Camilla PLUS she's a great diaper changer.  If JP's FOUR YEAR OLD DAUGHTER is still in diapers, he has bigger problems than finding a wife.

Elise says Nikki is negative.  ELISE says that.  ELISE

Sharleen 1x1
JP says right out that Sharleen is his favorite, which kinda makes me think that she wont be the last one standing, or they would have edited that out.

Sharleen is starting to be fun!!!  I'm actually starting to like her.  And is it just me, or does Korea make her hair look awesome?!?!?

Sharleen gets a rose and I'm surprised I haven't written more comments.  I will for sure make up for it with the remaining dates.

Group Date #2
Clare says she didn't know what the building was because she "couldn't read Korean", so I'm wondering if she can now.

I suddenly have a huge craving for octopus and I'm not totally sure if I've even had it before.

Every time I see Kelly talk I want to know if she's getting enough sleep, because she looks like she's about to doze off.

The most I've ever loved Kelly is when she and Andi roll play Clare and Juan P. 

Cocktail Party/Rose Ceremony
Here goes Clare saying the same things about her dad again.  Maybe she doesn't remember having this conversation with him once already.

Nikki tells Clare, "You're not handing out the roses" and that is the best come back I have maybe ever heard on this show.

Do the producers tell the girls who have roses, "hold them just under your chin like a creepy four-year-old"?

Roses go to:
Lawyer Andi
Opera Singer
Nurse Nikki
Mama Renee
Young Chelsie
Dog Lover Kelly
Curly Hair Danielle
NBA Dancer Cassandra
Allison (I'm not sure I know anything about her)
Clare with no I
Rock Star Kat

Going home:
Lauren S
Elise, who is much older and wiser than Chelsie

Elise calls the girls negative.  I can't wait for her to watch this back. 
Lauren says she feels like she's ready for love.  Too bad the show isn't called "Are you ready for love?" 

And that's a wrap!  Time to finish cleaning the kitchen and go to bed.  I need sleep because I'm not kidding when I say I'm going to check Ashley and Aubrey's blogs first thing in the morning.

Monday, January 27, 2014

My wedding wasn't as glamourous as the bachelor wedding, but close

Sean and Catherine got married!!!  I needed a post for today and I was saving this funny story for my next anniversary, but I'm sure I'll come up with something else by then.

I got married the Saturday before Thanksgiving and we did everything in one day.  Which means we drove over one hour to the LA temple, drove back to Lancaster for a bridal photo shoot and the reception and then BACK to LA to catch a flight to Fiji.  Plus we did my reception ourselves so there was a lot of work for my family do to that day.  What happened really wasn't anyone's fault, just an over sight. 
I picked this picture because you can see my whole dress.
After the wedding ceremony, Adam and I went our separate ways to change into our wedding attire (brides don't have to wear a fancy wedding dress in the temple, they CAN, but I chose to wear a plain white dress for the ceremony just to make it easier) before walking out of the temple.  A temple attendant brought me a grocery sack with Adam's few belongings so he didn't have to carry them out with him.  I put them in my bag and we went out.

We took all the family pictures that people take and then my family had to leave so my mom could do some work on the reception.  I wanted some bridal pictures on the temple grounds so my sisters stayed behind with Adam and I and our photographer. 

Adam was ready to go.  He was dressed in a suit and all of his personal affects were in my bag.  But there was no way I was driving an hour home in my huge dress, plus all my stuff was still inside so I went back into the temple to change and gather my things.  Alone.

My mom had left, my sisters weren't old enough to have temple recommends (the pass that allows you to go inside an LDS temple) and my photographer had her recommend but was wearing casual clothes (not suitable to go into the temple) so I was left to get out of my dress by myself and gather all of my things alone.

When I went back to my dressing room locker one of the temple workers came and chewed me out for my phone going off.  "Sister!  We had to dig through your bag and find your cell phone.  It rang THREE times!  And it was a very raucous tone!"  I was stunned.  I was sure that I had remembered to turn off my phone.  The temple is a very reverent place and they require that phones are turned off when inside the temple walls. 

I went into the the main dressing area to change.  In the bridal dressing room there was another bride getting ready to exit the temple.  She was Hispanic and all her relatives were chatting in Spanish and helping her fix her hair and zip her dress.  One of them asked me sweetly if I needed any help, but my pride wouldn't let me say yes and I got out of my dress alone.
This isn't the LA Temple bridal dressing room, but you get the idea.

As if I hadn't been through enough, I guess I tried to exit through the entrance and I got in trouble redirected by the man at the front desk.

The lesson here is: Never yell at someone on their wedding day!!

Also, remind your soon to be husband to TURN OFF HIS PHONE.  Yep, it wasn't my phone going off, it was his.  And who was calling him?  His mom. 

It's no Bachelor wedding, but compare our marriages in ten years and I bet we're looking pretty darn similar. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

1 year, 2 cakes

Axel turned 1 on Wednesday!  We did almost nothing for Olivia's first birthday.  I made cupcakes with whipped cream, we let her have two plain cupcakes and then gave her one present.  I'm pretty much sold on the one present for birthdays though, so that wasn't bad.  The bad part was that I didn't even wrap it!

So I wanted to do a little more for Axel.  He wont remember, but Olivia might and it's fun to have family experiences.

Adam wasn't scheduled to work, which never happens.  Usually he would have picked up a shift, but hey, why not just enjoy a family day?  So we decided to hit up Chuck E Cheese for lunch.  When we got out of the car Olivia asked to hold the little mouse.  Apparently we didn't explain it very well.

Do you think our pizza's coming yet?
Oh good, the band is back on
I thought I'd have to wait 15 more years for this!
If my mom wasn't holding me, this would be such an epic moment.
I have got to ask for an autograph
Later that night after an early dinner we had some family come over for cake and ice cream.  I was excited to try more of Mix and Match Mama's bundt cake recipes.  For the adults I made chocolate with salted caramel icing (I just left out the coffee).  For Axel's smash cake I made peanut butter, and then made cupcakes with the left over batter.  I figured the kids would prefer that to salted caramel. 

I was so proud of myself for this little party.  And then I took a picture and tried to imagine it on pinterest.  I guess I haven't set the bar too high :) 
Axel had a great time, he was so happy all day.  Let's do it again next year.

You know it's a good party when you find someone passed out in the bathroom.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Birthday Axel!

It seems like most of my mom friends get sad when their babies turn one, but I have been waiting for this day since Jan 22 2013.  I love my kids as babies, but I just enjoy them more when they get a bit older.  In that way, this year has taken forever!  But then it has also flown by. 

Axel was born with an adult face.  He has never looked like a baby in the face.  And then he has a very small body, so no one believes he's actually a year old.  Body of a 8-month-old, face of a 12-year-old.

Happy birthday to my favorite son! (For now)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wanna watch the Bachelor with me? Week 3

Woot woot, it's the Bachelor.  Aubrey, Ashley and and I writing all about it again!

Chris Harrison is trying to be cool with this new look but, if you're going to change something up Chris, why not change up the script? 

Cassandra 1x1
I hope Juan Pab's car turns into a boat, transformer style.  SHUT UP, it did.  I thought these things were only in cartoons.

(Back at the house Elise tells Renee how her mom is the reason she's here and that it's destiny and Renee hugs her and thinks "Oh that is so sweet, but I don't really care because I'm not going down with out a fight so. . . ")

Cassandra hasn't had a first date since she was 18.  She mentioned it like ten or eleventy times. 

Juan Pab: What I like about Cassandra is she's a mom, she's a great mom, she's a good mom, she's a female mom, she's a woman mom. . . SO MANY CHARACTERISTICS!!!

Group date
I zone out during the soccer game part.  Because I don't like watching professional sports all that much, and I certainly don't like watching girls play when they have no idea what they're doing.

When ever someone sprays champagne I cringe a little.  Isn't that making everything all sticky???

Nikki says to the camera: I want the rose, but there's other girls that want the rose too.  (Wow, someone has been watching past seasons!!)

The girls see Juan Pablo kiss Sharleen and they freak out.  WHAT!!!!  Juan Pablo is kissing other girls?!?!?!  This is MADNESS.

And Adam was right, Nikki get's the rose, even with out making out.  Adam says he is wise beyond his years.  Ooooo kay Adam, you can think that. 

Chelsie 1x1
Elise keeps talking about how young Chelsie is, and yet she's the one gossiping like a 6th grader so. . . 

Elise thinks some girls are just YOUNG.  And I think some girls are just ANNOYING.

Jumping off a bridge has nothing to do with trusting Juan Pablo.  Did he build it?  Did he make the harness?  The rope???  No.

And I skipped over the "private concert" because ABC has reached their limit and I no longer acknowledge them. 

Breakfast/pool party
All I want to know is if ABC will be posting the recipe on their website.  Because that looks goooooood.

The curse of the first date has definitely hit Clare.

Renee is the sweetest.  She helps everyone. I want to be friends with her and I wouldn't say that about many of the girls on the Bachelor.  This just in, her tweets are protected.  This makes me like her even more, but why can't I follow you?????  Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?

Rose Ceremony
I just want Elise to go home and then I will be content with this week's episode.

So Kelly is still bringing the dog to the rose ceremonies? 

The resident nudist goes home and so does some blonde girl I don't know.  They take a moment and say their goodbyes. #ThingsChrisHarrisonSays

Lots of drama this week!  I can't wait to read what Aubrey and Ashley have to say about it.  I love love love reading posts about the bachelor, so link yours up so I can read it toooooo!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Olivia's first fashion post

So like a million years ago my friends Aubrey and Jacq did one of their funny posts, What Guinevere Wore, where they copy the fashion from a toddler.  I agree that Guinevere has super cute outfits and I really wanted to join in, but I never have anything I can use to match her.  But Olivia had the exact outfit as G in this post so one day I got her dressed and we practiced posing. 

And now I realize we didn't put on shoes.  Oh well!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Babysitter

The holidays are over and it is time that I get back to work.  I started sewing for my sister-in-law's company back in October but thanks to moving, unpacking, getting sick, Christmas and having family visit I don't think they would really consider me an employee.  Oops.  :) 

Sewing is hard work because I get paid what the bigger sewing rooms charge (since that is what they base their prices on, they need to be consistent), and they have equipment and space that I just don't have.  And time, I don't have large chunks of time.  Ideally I would pick a few items and learn to be really fast at those so I can make the most money possible.  But so far I've just been helping them with what ever items they are in need of RIGHT NOW.  Which is fine, now I know that making 30 changing pad toppers isn't going to be very profitable. 

Honestly at one point I wanted to just give up.  This isn't going to work.  But then I decided I've got to give it a real shot, you know?  If I try for a few months and only make a few bucks?  Buy myself a new outfit and move on. 

To help with the time issue, I hired a babysitter.  The day before she started I was so anxious.  I kept forgetting why I was having anxiety attacks, but then I would remember how worried I was that Axel would freak out and my plan wouldn't work.  My son has a serious case of separation anxiety.  As in, he doesn't even like me to leave the room. 

On day one he played happily for 30 minutes (they play upstairs, I work downstairs) and then started screaming.  I went up and got him, gave him a cracker in his high chair and finished my hour of work. 

On day two I hoped for at least 40 minutes, thinking we could extend it slowly over a few weeks.  He was happy for the whole hour!  I was thrilled.  It helps, I think, that he is in his own house with his sister.  That makes it a little less scary.  Also our babysitter is awesome.  She's 12, lives down the street and brings toys for the kids to play with.  Someone else's toys are always better than your own! 

As far as my work during that time, I work so hard and I get distracted way less than if I was working during nap time.  I know that my work time is precious since I'm paying for it.  It's like a switch flips in my brain and I can really buckle down and get it done. 

Do you work from home? How do you stay motivated?  I love my three hours of work time, but I need to put in a few hours at night too if I'm going to make it worth it. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Do you want to watch the Bachelor with me? Week 2

It's Bachelor time again already?!?!?  I guess that's what I get for doing my post last week four days late!  Ha!!

Teaming up with Aubrey and Ashley.  You know the drill.  Also!  Did you know we were doing a link up?  If you like to blog about the bachelor link your post because the only thing I like more than blogging it, is reading other blogs about it!! 

I was worried that when Kylie and Lauren went home last week that we would be losing the crazy.  Just watching the intro it is clear that other girls were more than willing to step up.

One on one with Clare
Juan Pablo seems to be taking Clare to a Christmas tree farm. I hope they re-enact the opening scene from Christmas Vacation. 

"You taste like snow"  So. . . water? 

Usually the date takes them to a live concert and then a hot tub.  Tonight they went in reverse, which made me feel cold.  I had to get a blanket just to watch it.

One on one with Kat
It's a jet, also known as "The Bachelor Special".

Eeee!!!  Salt Lake City!  Thanksgiving Point is like 10 minutes away from my house.  So, cool.

Running a crazy 5k with glow in the dark clothes would certainly be a memory, but probably not the best get to know you date.

Group Date
What is it about a group date that causes the girls to scream at random every few minutes?

Photo shoot for a good cause?  I've seen this episode before.

Next season I want the blue beard guy to be the bachelor.

Holy dogs!  I hope the girl who is the official "dog lover" made it on to this date.

Someone put makeup on Renee and. . . no.  She's soooo pretty with out it.  I'm not buying it.

I think Andi should just walk away from the photo shoot.  I know I would respect a girl way more for not getting naked.  But then, I am a little bit of a feminist

Victoria wants to leave but they wont let her leave with out shoes.  Lucy could have gotten away with it.

Kelly gets the rose and she deserves it for the crazy bald dog costume she had to wear.  I don't think she'll be around for too much longer, but she was a good sport about that paint.

Victoria totally acted mature like someone ready to be a step-mom.  #psych

Cocktail Party
Amy loved the way her name rolled off his lips.  All one syllable of it.

Sharleen says she was ungracious when she was given the rose.  I think she read my blog post on Friday!!

I think the stems on these roses are three feet long. 

Girls keep getting roses and I swear I've never seen them before.

Ladies, Juan Pablo, this is the final rose tonight.  When you're ready.  (I typed this before Harrison even said it, because I like to feel psychic)

Picking my top four was hard.  I mean, he probably couldn't pick his top four this early on!  That being said, I bit the bullet and picked.

My top 4

*Adam also picked Niki and he prides himself on always picking the winner. **

**I think he picked the winner once.

Link your bachelor post and check out what Aubrey and Ashley have to say!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bad Days

So over Christmas I had a couple of BAD DAYS.  I don't mean difficult or hard or that I couldn't wait for Adam to get home.  I mean throwing up all night only to have Axel throw up on me when he woke up kind of bad days. 

One day Axel had a really high temp (the highest I recorded was 103) and I wasn't feeling to great either.  I had the flu too but I didn't want to admit it.  That was a hard day.

Axel too sick to move, sleeping on the floor while I made Olivia lunch.
The day after Christmas I started throwing up at 1am.  When Axel woke up to nurse at 6 I fed him and went to lay him back down and he just threw up every where.  When I sat down with him in bed my bed broke. 

I mean these are just the days where you keep everyone alive until bed time and that's all you can ask for. 

But I had a thought.  It's always been a feeling in the back of my mind, but with these few weeks of multiple illnesses in the Thomas home, it became a little more concrete. 

There are a finite number of days in my life.  I don't know the number and hopefully it's a pretty big number, but no one is going to live forever.  Fact.  And so there are also a finite number of bad days in my life.  Almost every day has some good in it, some fun moment.  But there are days when I'm just too sick to care about that, the really bad days.  And so with each bad day that I have survived this winter (please let there be no more, at least not at this level of awful!) I thought "Well, that's another one down." 

Funny how that thought makes it so much more bearable.  I know that I will have more bad days to live through, but this one is over.  This one I will never have to do again. 

Here's to being healthy and conquering the world tomorrow.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Do you want to watch the Bachelor with me? Week 1

 Blogging The Bachelor again with Aubrey and Ashley!!

Five minutes in and I'm already gagging a little.  You see, romance is not my thing.  I watch this show more to mock it than anything. 

Meeting the women
I wrote notes about each woman, but when I went back I couldn't remember what the heck I was talking about with most of them.  I kept a few.

Kristy says she wouldn't be here if it was anyone else.  That is totally FALSE.

Green dress girl, Bringing something for the daughter.  I bet four other girls will do this also.

Nurse Betty, the heart beat thing was pretty original.  Props for that.

Lucy looks like a flower child.  And while she's probably the coolest of all of them, she'll probably go home tonight.  Cool doesn't get you as far as blonde and dumb does on this show.

Chelsie's chemistry joke didn't seem to cross the language barrier.  Juan Pablo looks confused.  Or maybe it was just that dumb of a joke.

Elise: We have so many things in common!!  Like we both breathe air, and we both have eyes!  I could go on and on.

Ashley is a first grade teacher and long time smoker. 

Kylie looks like she took her dress from a Barbie dress up box. 

Sharleen seems very stand off ish.  She's an opera singer.  She's going to sing right now.  Oh good, she's not.

Cocktail Party
Juan Pablo looks like he's going to get trampled by girls fighting over him.

Juan Pablo has a photo booth in the mansion.  Yeah, he set that up.  After showering and putting on that suit he sat and cut out all of those props. 

Lucy: The girls who are going to go home are the girls that don't say "Bam, I'm here, I'm Lucy."
Me: Well considering you're the only Lucy there, they would be lying if they said that was their name.

Lucy said she's just a drifter, and I totally got that from the first time I saw her.

Here goes massage girl.  If she gets sent home, I was right.  She's bad at this.

These girls are straight up freaking out about the first impression rose.  Have they never seen the show before????

Lauren says she deserves the rose because her love life is so horrible.  Maybe she should look up the word "deserve" in the dictionary.

Southern Accent says that it isn't just a rose, it's her future.  That rose is one step closer to finding her husband.  She clearly doesn't follow the past bachelors and their women.

Lauren is making the face that says "I'm going to be the person that makes a scene tonight!  ABC loves me for bringing in the ratings!"

And now she's crying!!  Heck yes!  I love when they cry over a guy they said five words to.  They are so worried about being liked they don't even stop to wonder if they would like him back!  I've never had alcohol before, so someone enlighten me, are they crying so easily because they've been drinking too much?

Sharleen doesn't seem to want the first impression rose!!  I'm impressed that she is actually thinking for herself.  But she's not very gracious about it.

Rose Ceremony
This must be the hardest one for him because I'm sure it's practically impossible to remember names at this point.

Kelly accepts the rose on behalf of her and HER DOG???  "We will"  Oh dear, this is awkward.

Oh my gosh!!  Poor Kylie.  I really want her to go home, but that was just embarrassing. 

I am surprised that Lucy the free spirit got a rose.  I guess there is something to be said for standing out.

Kylie said she could really picture her life with Juan Pablo, and then she could picture it even more AFTER SHE MET HIM.  Never, ever, EVER picture your life with someone you don't actually know (unless it's for fun or something.  A little celebrity crush never hurt anyone.)  That is just a recipe for weirdness.

Lauren, if you don't want people to feel sorry for you, quit crying about your broken engagement to strangers.  Just sayin'.

And well, that wraps it up.  Check out Aubrey and Ashley like I'm about to do also, because I've been avoiding Bachelor posts all week!  Time to indulge.  I promise I'll get funnier.  I'm just off my groove. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What would you do with. . . a bag of carrots!

You guys, this month was my pick.  I obviously am less good at ideas than Aubrey.  Sorry about that.  Speaking of Aubrey being awesome, she came up with the idea to do a fashion post next month.  What would you do with your favorite Target cardigan?  Join us!!!  If you don't have a cardigan from Target, that's okay.  We're just obsessed.  You can style a cardigan from anywhere!

Soooooo.  I've had my family here and it has been so fun. They are going home a day early, so clearly they don't agree (haha, jk) but it's been so easy to unplug from social media (mostly)  I didn't even have to try, which is a miracle.  It's just that I don't do alone very well, and when I'm home with kids twitter and blogs are my only social outlet!  Well this was a fun tanget.

What I'm trying to say is it's been hard to sit down and blog, so it's late on Tuesday and I just saw Catching Fire and I've got to post about carrots (my bad).  So you see how this seems trivial. 

I thought carrots would be fun because we're all trying to eat healthier because of the new year or because we're just super sick of chocolate (tell me how to accomplish that PLEASE) and we crave good foods for our body.  Plus carrots are great hearty vegetables for the winter. 

I decided to make a carrot soup bisque while my family was here.  They're vegetarian (what?  Have I not mentioned that before?  I kid) and my mom actually point out the recipe to me a couple of months ago.  It was good, but it could have been better.  First of all, I should never make food with cayenne pepper because I'm way to liberal with seasoning and it ended up a little on the hot side.  Secondly I would add way less banana because it turned out tasting a little bit like a smoothie.  I don't get it!  All the reviews were super good on this recipe.  I tried roasting the carrots a bit before making the soup but I didn't get much browning before I started running out of time. 

What I wish I would have done is roast the carrots in olive oil, salt and pepper.  That is one of my favorite ways to eat carrots.  Try it. 

Also, I really want to try using carrot puree as a pasta sauce.  I'm still going to.  Of course I'll post it, you don't even have to ask!  :) 

Now check out what Aubrey did, because this post is a hot mess. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Coming Soon!!! (And a little bit of bragging)

Do you know what tonight is!?!?!?!  Well, it's the national championship college football game.  At least that is what the birthday boy will be watching at my house tonight.  You don't mess with birthdays.  But it's also the first day of the Bachelor!!!!  Thank goodness for DVR and Hulu.  I bet it has saved a lot of marriages.  JK, if you get divorced over TV there was probably more problems going on. 

BUT anyway, Aubrey and I are back!!!  Blogging the Bach!!!  This time with another one of our blogging friends Ashley from A Cute Angle.

Look, we know you watch it.  We know you don't want us to give you the play by play about what happened.  We're just here to give you the snarky commentary, the things you would gab about with your girl friends if you were all watching it together.  That is pretty much the only reason I would do this again, because it is a HUGE commitment!  You wouldn't think it would be, but it is. 

Because of family in town, Adam's birthday and WWYD post on Wednesday, this weeks commentary will be coming to you on Friday.  So I'm definitely missing the SEO boat on that one I'm sure, but I really do this for fun more than anything :)

Speaking of Adam's birthday, I made his birthday cake for the first time ever (his mom usually buys one and I just don't see the need for multiple birthday cakes.  I'm such a fun suck) yesterday and my grandma took a bite and said "This is not a boxed cake!"  And it WAS.  I made Mix and Match Mama's Mississippi Mud Cake and it went over very well.  I highly recommend it.  And now I want to make them ALL!!!!!  (She has 100 variations of the same cake

In fact the leftovers are on the fridge right now. . .  so. . . . see ya later.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Food Friday: Four ways to make healthy food taste amazing

Happy New Year!!  Pretty much everyone that makes resolutions this year will have something about healthy eating or healthy living.  I feel like changing my diet is way more important than working out.  Working out is important for sure, but eating badly and working out a lot, like my sister said "[is like saying you can] put vegetable oil in [your] car and then drive it around a lot." Working out is going to do a lot more for you if you're putting good food in first.  

I know mac and cheese is super yummy and I love BBQ ribs too, but I try to eat healthy most of the time so that I can enjoy the times when I don't.  But I still want to enjoy the times when I do eat healthy!  In fact, when it comes to dinner, I need to enjoy all the food I eat.  For breakfast I can choke down something healthy that I don't love, but not at dinner.  So here are four things I do to make healthy food taste so good.

1. Browning.  Browning adds so much good flavor to foods.  Have you ever roasted carrots?  I don't love raw carrots, but roasted?  I cannot get enough of them.  I also have a favorite chicken picatta recipe and so I was excited when I found a similar vegetarian recipe.  It was awful!  But then I realized I hadn't browned any of the veggies.  If I try it again, I'm definitely going to do that first.  If you're browning something in a frying pan use a small amount of olive oil or vegetable spray.  If you have a high quality pan (or even a medium quality pan like I do) don't worry about food sticking.  Just worry about getting your vegetables or lean meats nice and crusty. Later you can add liquid to remove all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and it will just intensify the flavor. 

2. Vinegar or citrus juice.  Both vinegar and citrus juices (think lemon or lime) are fat free and practically calorie free and bump up the taste.  Whole wheat bread dipped in vinegar and Italian seasoning is so much better than bread and butter (and I don't feel bad about adding a little bit of olive oil)  Beans (like black beans or navy beans) with veggies and vinegar or lemon juice make a delicious salad.

3. Salt.  So often if you think something is missing in your food, you've under salted.  I know salt is bad when used too much, but it is okay and even good when you use a little.  In culinary class I was taught to season as you go, or salt foods at each step.  Generally that works okay unless you're going to add soy sauce or something at a later step.  But a little bit of well placed salt can bring out the best flavors. 

4. Use strong flavored foods and you can use less of them.  When I think of my favorite foods they're always very strong flavors.  Olives, tomatoes, feta cheese, capers, Parmesan, etc.  I love that a few olives chopped up add a lot of flavor with out a lot of fat.  Same goes for feta and parm cheeses.  Capers and sun dried tomatoes aren't bad for you, but adding just a little really boosts flavor (using too much could overwhelm the dish, so use caution even though they're still good for you!)

What do you do to make healthy food taste good?  Don't you just love how good you feel when you know you've been putting good food into your body!?!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Goals: 4 in '14

So last year I did 12 in '13.  12 goals in the year 2013.  I loved having a different focus each month and I loved that I worked hard on each one, even though I didn't accomplish them all 100%.

But the one thing you notice when you do a challenge like that is that a month isn't very long.  So when I worked out regularly in June (perhaps working out every day was a bit overkill) I was all too happy to drop it like it's hot when July rolled around. 

So my idea for this year is to focus on four goals, three months each.  To help me make my goals I'm going to use Luke 2:52: And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.  My goals will be intellectual, physical, spiritual and social.

January, February, March
Physical: Lose 24 pounds.  Live the healthiest lifestyle I know how.

I had a hard time deciding if this should be my first or second goal.  Years of New Year's resolutions have made healthy eating and exercise a natural desire in January (I wouldn't be surprised if you were the same way!) and I want to take advantage of that motivation.  But, I'm going to try and wean Axel after his 1st birthday (Jan 22) but I don't know, what if it just takes longer than I thought?  And what if I continue to struggle with my weight due to breastfeeding?  And so I changed the goal from weight loss to living as healthy as I know how, which is basically how I planned on losing weight, but now I can still succeed regardless of how my body reacts. 

So in those months I want to limit my sugar (all junk really, but sugar is my biggest temptation) and work out three times a week.  Oh and continue to eat healthy diet consisting of mostly whole grains and vegetables. So easy to type, so hard to live.

April, May, June
Social: Spend time with a friend once a week.
I am no introvert.  Extro to the max.  But here is the thing.  Getting two kids ready to do anything just wears me out.  So by the time we've done grocery shopping and any other errands I'm like: "Let's just have a home day, okay?"  So is once a week a bit much?  I don't know.  It will be spring time and we'll probably be itching to get out of the house.  Plus, there is a little park right by my house and by then I should know a few neighbors so. . . . yeah I'm keeping it.

July, August, September
Intellectual: Read two books a month
At first my goal was listening to two TED talks a week, but since writing this a bunch of bloggers have posted a list of the books they read in 2014.  I think I read two, Tina Fey's and Mindy Kaling's.  So I want to step it up and read at least two books a month for July, August and September.

October, November, December
Spiritual: Daily gospel study, focusing on a different topic each month.
I chose to do this one last because it seems fitting to focus on spiritual things during Christmastime.  Although, I should have realized that I would already lean that way and choose to beef up my spirituality in other times of the year, but no!  I've already planned out the whole year, no changes now.  I'm not sure what topics I want to study each month, I think I'll choose those when I get closer to the time.

Thanks for sticking around, I know this was long!  Did you post your new year's resolutions?  Leave a link so I can read 'em!