Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rave: Vinegar


Did you know that this bottle can be your one stop shop for many of your household needs? You know, the big bottle that can be purchased for mere dollars at the grocery store? The bottle that you may even have right now in your cupboards?
I started using vinegar for cleaning purposes about a year ago. Why, you ask? It does the job. It isn't a harsh chemical. It is very inexpensive. I keep a spray bottle of vinegar diluted with water for most of my cleaning jobs. I use vinegar to clean counters, the bathroom, it can even be used to clean windows and mirrors. Ever since I started using vinegar, I have come across many other uses for this wonder product.
Have you heard the latest? Vinegar may even help you to lose weight. Really! Google it.
Tomorrow I will share with you how I use vinegar to clean the hard floors in my house.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday Smiles

Little Peachy has found her voice. It is so cute watching her try to make the sounds after she gets a response.

video

I hope this brings a smile to your face!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Foodie Friday: Strawberry Cream Freeze


Since I didn't grab a picture of my completed dessert, you get a picture of the picture on the Nilla Wafer box. (I am resourceful, aren't I?!!)
Company was coming. You know what that means. Time to find a brand new recipe to try out on the unsuspecting victims. As I sat holding Peachy, I clicked over to the Kraft Foods website and did a quick dessert search. I found the recipe for Strawberry Cream Freeze. what do you know? I had already tore this recipe from a magazine thinking that it looked yummy, so Strawberry Cream Freeze it would be. (And when I went to purchase the ingredients, the Nilla Wafer box also had the recipe. This recipe was screaming to be made by me.)
Ingredients:
-8 oz cream cheese, softened
-1 c. cold milk
-1 pkg. instant vanilla puddin'
-1 1/2 c. Cool Whip, thawed
-20 Nilla Wafers, coarsely broken
-1 c. fresh strawberries, sliced
-1/2 c. strawberry ice cream topping
-1 pre-made Oreo pie crust**
What to do:
Beat cream cheese in large mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Add dry pudding mix and beat for two minutes. Stir in Cool Whip, Wafers, and berries. Swirl in topping. Spoon into pie crust and freeze for 6 hours.
**The recipe offers two additional serving methods. You can just freeze the mix and serve it in waffle bowls. Or you can spoon the mix into 12 cupcake liners, freeze for four hours and remove from liners.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

No One Better


Today marks M and my fourth year of marriage. (It is our sixth year of couple-hood if you wanted to know.) As cliche as it sounds, I find myself more in love with this man everyday. What started as a fun love blossomed into romance from which has grown the kind of love that brings us ever more dependant on each other everyday into our old age, the good Lord willing.

If you will permit me, I am going to be quite honest with you today. Ever since our little one was born I have been deeply humbled. Something--motherhood--that I thought would come quite naturally and easily to me has been more challenging than I could have ever thought. The excess hormones, lack of sleep, and seeming loss of independence has taken its toll on me. Yet through all of this M has been there for me, an understanding pillar by my side. It has really made me realize how much I have come to depend on this man--this wonderfully perfect for me man--the Lord placed in my life. I have always known what a great husband M was for me, but this life event really brought that point home. I know there is no one better suited for me than my M.

Thanks for four wonderful years, M. May the Lord grant us many more to come!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A New Woman

Now that Little Peachy is here I can do all of the naughty things I couldn't when I was pregnant. Now I can eat cold cut sandwiches and color my hair!! (You don't know how much you will miss deli meat until you can't have it.)

**Not all sources forbid these practices when you are pregnant. In the end, you have to decide for yourself what you are and are not comfortable with.**

I decided to try my hand at coloring and highlighting my hair at home rather than in the salon. I ended up choosing Loreal Colour Experte Express. This is a two-step process. The first step is color and the second is highlights. I did the color here at home and took the highlighting portion along with me to M's parents' home this weekend so my sister-in-law/bff could help me apply them.

Step one, color:


Step two, highlight:



Step three, haircut:


Sorry, these aren't the best pictures. I am happy with the results. I think that next time I will leave the highlighting solution a bit longer. (I didn't want to overdo it.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day to Both of Our Dads


Once again, I get to sing the praises of the wonderful Christian examples M and I have to follow in our lives. Both of our fathers are upstanding, hardworking, and caring men. It is a true joy to now see them in the role of our daughter's grandfather. I know that they will not only continue to be there for us as their children, but also for our daughter as her doting, but firm grandpas. We love you two!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Foodie Friday: Make-Ahead Meatballs

Here is another freezer recipe. (I think I have one more and then we'll be done with the prepare ahead recipes.) I have been tossing these into spaghetti sauce and letting them defrost in the sauce. I also made some hand pies with the leftover sauce one day. (I kind of forgot that the sauce had meatballs in it. They made for lumpy meat pies, but they were still good.)

Ingredients:
-2 eggs
-1 c dry bread crumbs
-1/4 c finely chopped onion
-1/2 T salt
-1 t Worcestershire sauce
-1/4 t pepper
-2 lbs. ground beef

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add next five ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1" balls. (I used my cookie scoop to get even amounts and then reformed them a bit with my hands.)
Place meatballs on greased racks in shallow baking pans. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until no longer pink, turning often; drain.
Once cooled, place meatballs into Ziploc storage bag and freeze.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Houskeeping

Now that I am a full-time stay-at-home mom, one would assume I have all the time in the world to accomplish my daily tasks. (Okay, the only one who would assume that knows nothing about the proper care and feeding of a newborn.) While I do have from the moment I get up in the morning until M comes home to fill the completion of household chores is not always accomplished. Heck, I am lucky if I get a shower and breakfast in before M gets home for supper. (You may find yourself wondering how I have the time to continue to blog. I do have priorities, people. That and I am becoming a very good one-handed typist.)

This week I implemented a new plan of attack around these parts when it comes to household tasks. I started a weekly cleaning check list. I thought of what things I need to do daily, what I need to do weekly, and what gets done bi-weekly. I typed up my list and hung it on the refrigerator. Now when I accomplish a task I simply mark it off on the list. Who knows how long this will actually keep me cleaning, but this week we have a clean house.
Guess what? I typed this entire post one-handed while holding this little cutie with the other. (Oh and a few breaks for Nuk insertion.)


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Green Baby



(Shlebs, I picked the monkey ones for you!!)
We have officially started cloth diapers in our house. (Well, somewhat officially. We use them during the day when we are at home. Maybe someday I will be brave enough to use them at night and when we are gone for an extended period, but for now I am happy being partially green.)

I washed them for the first time today and all went well. There were a few that needed minor repair work due to fraying, but I should have that taken care of after the first few washes.

I have to confess that the title of this post is a bit misleading. We are not doing cloth to necessarily be green, although it is an added benefit. To be honest, I cannot really tell you exactly why I decided to take on the whole cloth diaper project. It was something that I knew I could do and I knew it would save us money. I guess that is as good of reason as any.
See how happy our green baby is to be in cloth diapers?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Garage Saleing

Ah, one of the true rights of summer. Getting up and out of the house on a Saturday, looking through other people's cast-offs, and paying them to take it off of their hands. Yes, it is garage sale season!

We too hit the streets this weekend. I didn't have anything in particular that I was looking for, but now that we have a child, garage saleing has taken on a whole new dimension. We are pretty well set for now, but it never hurts to look, right? If I were a name brand kind of gal, one of the sales we hit would have been the mother lode. Many of the children's clothing they were purging still bore the tags of this boutique and that boutique. While their prices were reasonable, I still refuse to pay that kind of money at a garage sale. (See, it is something that you no longer want, therefore you should be willing to just get rid of it and make a LITTLE money on the side.) I did snatch up some accessories (hats, shoes, and diaper covers) there that were going for a quarter a piece.
I picked this pattern up for about half the retail price. (Probably a bit high, but an Amy Butler pattern is a true treasure that one must be willing to pay a bit more for.)



Here is another of my finds:




(You see, a while back I bought M a Nerf dart gun and target board as a gift. (He is not the easiest man to shop for, but I do what I can.) Well, whenever we have kids over there are inevitable fights over the gun. We only have one. Not enough to go around. So, now we have two. (It really is all for the children, oh, and now M and I can shoot at each other simultaneously!!))

I can't wait for another free Saturday morning!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Being a Dad Is Hard Work!

I couldn't resist snapping this picture. I am hoping it is a foreshadowing of many father/daughter naps to come. (Notice the ever present pacifier. Peachy has decided that she is really only happy when she is eating and sleeping. This makes the presence of the pacifier a must.)


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The weather has finally warmed up here! It seemed as if we had skipped spring and summer and gone right into late fall and early winter. While M had to go into work several times to get caught up, it was still an enjoyable weekend. Yesterday we even got out and washed and cleaned out the car! Here is the breakdown of a good weekend.
1. Saturday morning garage sales! Little Peachy was a trooper. More on that to come.
2. Saturday evening birthday supper for M at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. Peachy did okay at first, but needed to be held after a bit. So we took turns holding her and sticking her pacifier in and eating our dinner.
3. Sunday morning went to church. Peachy did well, but I did realize I took my full concentration, pre-child days for granted. I now know that it will be a while before I am able to pay attention to the whole service again.
4. Sunday afternoon we did the car. Little Peachy sat in her bouncy chair on the front porch. We did get the job done, but unfortunately M didn't get much help from me because I was on pacifier duty.
5. Peachy was pleasant enough to let me sit with her on the front porch while M worked on grading the front yard in preparation for grass seed. It will be so nice having all of our lawn in!!
6. I also got my first mosquito bite this weekend, a true sign on summer. It also made me realize that I will have to figure out a way for Peachy to be outside without getting eaten alive!
7. We slept with the windows open last night which made me realize how awesome fresh night air can be! (It also helped me remember how loud the train whistles can be in the middle of the night. Of course both times I put the little one down after a feeding the train came through. I sat there holding my breath, hoping that it didn't wake her up.) (Did you catch the fact that I only feed her a few times a night right now? I am hoping this is a lasting trend. 4+ straight hours of sleep is a wonderful thing.)
All in all, a good weekend!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Foodie Friday: Freezer Burritos

Here is another freezer recipe. The great thing about this one is that you can individually wrap the burritos and reheat them as needed. They are even better than the ones you can buy at the store and just as convenient.

Ingredients:
-3 c. shredded cooked chicken or beef
-1 jar (16 oz) salsa
-1 can (16 oz) refried beans
-1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, drained
-1 envelope burrito seasoning
-1/2 c. water
-16 flour tortillas (8 in), warmed
-16 oz Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)

Directions:
In a large skillet or saucepan, combine meat, salsa, beans, chilies, seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 min. until heated through.
Spoon about 1/3 c. off-center on each tortilla; top with cheese. Fold edge of tortilla nearest filling over to cover. Fold ends of tortilla over filling and roll up. Wrap individually in aluminum foil. Freeze up to 2 months.

Reheating Instructions:
Place foil packets on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until heated through. If thawed, bake for 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grandpa Z

Right around the time that Peachy was born, M's grandpa was hospitalized with a serious infection. He was in the hospital until the Lord decided to bring him to his side in heaven. M's grandpa was a very special man. He spent his life as a farmer, tinkerer, father, and grandfather. Grandpa Z lived his faith every day of his life in his own quiet way. I will always remember the day we were at grandpa and grandma's house and he actually took me on his knee and bounced me like a toddler. (Keep in mind I have only known this man in my middle and late twenties!! And that he had most of his joints replaced and lived with much pain. That was just the sort of man he was.) It makes me sad that our little one was unable to meet M's grandpa. I would have loved to have seen the smile on his face when their eyes first met.

M, Peachy, and I journeyed south for his funeral after affirmation on Sunday. What a celebration of the eternal reward waiting for all of us. We know that Grandpa Z is in heaven living a pain-free life eagerly awaiting his family's arrival there.


Here is a picture at the dinner of Grandma Z (another wonderful example of a follower of Christ) with Peachy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cousins

Since the cousin picture was such a hit, here are a few more. Those kids really love their new cousin. Especially since she is their first girl cousin. Their mom told me today that they found many things Little Peachy "needed" when they were at Wal-Mart today. I know that Little Peachy will sure miss all of their attention.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Little Peachy's Baptism Affirmation

While our little girl was baptized in the hospital the day after she was born, this weekend was her baptism affirmation. Her affirmation provided a public way to acknowledge her private baptism. Even though a few plans had to be changed, it was a wonderful weekend filled with family and friends.

Peachy with her Auntie:

Peachy and her cousins:

Peachy and her grandparents:

Peachy and her god-parents (Two aunts and an uncle):

Little Peachy with us (her parents):







Friday, June 5, 2009

Foodie Friday: Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad

I made this salad a few months back and it is good. I am planning on making it again this weekend for our company. I was going to add black olives this time, but forgot to pick them up, so it will olive-less again. This is a Rachael Ray recipe that I got from the Food Network website.
This is how the recipe appears there. I made a few changes to make it easier. Like I just bought sliced pepperoni and a block of Mozzarella. (This time I even found mini pepperonis!! So cute.) Enjoy!

Ingredients:
-2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
-1/2 med. red onion, chopped
-8 fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
-1 sm. green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
-1 stick pepperoni, casing removed and cut into a small dice
-1 pound ball fresh Mozzarella, diced
-20 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
-1 # wagon wheel pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled under cold water then drained

Dressing:
-1 t. garlic salt
-1 t. dried oregano leaves or Italian dried seasoning
-1 rounded T. tomato paste
-2 T. red wine vinegar
-1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
-Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Combine tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, mozzarella, basil and pasta in a big bowl. Whisk garlic salt, oregano, tomato paste and vinegar together. Stream in extra-virgin olive oil, and continue to whisk dressing. When oil is incorporated, pour dressing over pasta salad, add few grinds of black pepper to the bowl, then toss salad to coat evenly. Adjust your seasonings and serve salad.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dukes Up Baby!

Here is the Peachmeister after a recent bath.



What can I say? I love this little girl!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Recently Spotted

Gotta love how a baby totally takes over your whole house!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Just Chillin'


Here is a daily does of Little Peachy for you. I just figured out that you can make use of the Boppy for tummy time. She really doesn't like tummy time, so we don't do it very often. I am not too worried, though. She is a strong little girl and can lift her head up when she wants to. Usually when she is mad!