Monday, April 30, 2012

Growth Chart Tutorial for Ribbon Retreat

A few months I ago I applied to do a tutorial for the folks at Ribbon Retreat.
If you haven't heard of them, they are an awesome online ribbon, fabric, and craft store. My tutorial is up on their blog now. You can check it out here!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Foodie Friday: Chicken Sausage Spinach Salad with Cashews and Goat Cheese

This recipe is actually adapted from an  ad by al fresco for their Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage. I changed some of the ingredients depending on what I could find and what we had on hand. Funny thing is that I ended up not using their sausage. It wasn't available where I was shopping. You can find the original recipe here:

This is a yummy fresh and filling salad. Mr Cherry, Peachy, and I all enjoyed it.

Chicken Sausage Spinach Salad with Cashews and Goat Cheese
-12 oz package sausage of your choice (I used a sausage garlic from Target)
-2 t olive oil
-1/2 c cashews (or whatever nuts you have on hand and would like to substitute)
-1/2 t sugar
-1/8 t cinnamon
-1/2 onion, thinly sliced
-1 pear, thinly sliced
-7 oz baby spinach
-balsamic vinaigrette dressing
-2 oz goat cheese crumbles

1. Coat saute pan with olive oil and warm over medium-high heat. Saute nuts 2-3 minutes. Add cinnamon and sugar and toss to coat. Remove from heat.
2. Prepare skillet with cooking spray. Brown sausage over medium-high heat and then cut on bias 1/4'' thick.
3. Place spinach, onion, and pear in mixing bowl. (You can toss with the dressing now or I like to add my own dressing and not dress the entire salad.) Top with sausage, nuts, and cheese.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm Loving It . . . April 2012

Here are some of the products and items that have been making my life a little easier and better lately. Enjoy!
*Old Navy Activewear: Since I now belong to a gym I feel as if I must look slightly presentable when working out. And, you know nothing motivates a good workout like cute workout gear. I was able to buy a few new pieces at the Old Navy Stuff and Save event this month. I really like the compression leggings and the sports bras.

*Mio Liquid Water Enhancer: I have to be honest here. When I first saw these little grey packs being advertised I made fun of them. Then I realized that they were little flavor shots for your water. I am not always the biggest water drinker and these really do help me to drink more water. Just a squirt in my glass and away I go.
*Philadelphia Chocolate Cream Cheese: I know I have mentioned it on here before, but I really don't think I can mention it enough. I love a legitimate way to eat chocolate for breakfast. This new chocolate spread from Philadelphia Cream Cheese is just the ticket. Spread it on baked goods, fruit, your cereal and bam! chocolate for breakfast without anyone batting an eye!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Perfect Picnic in the Park

While I had plenty to be working on at home the weather and sun were calling our names, so the girls and I loaded up for a picnic in the park with our pals.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finding My Groove

In the fall of 2010 I ran my first ever 5k. I was proud of my accomplishment, but then quickly hung up my running shoes, became pregnant, and had a baby. While I know that you can still run when you are going through pregnancy and caring for a newborn, it just wasn't for me. And while losing the baby weight wasn't an issue for me, I knew I was hopelessly out of shape soon after Cream's birth. I attempted the odd postpartum workout, but my heart really wasn't in it. A funny thing happens to me in the spring, though. I always get the itch to start running. That itch is usually scratched when I get out there and realize how out of shape I am and how I really don't care to run. (Someone once put it very well, "You know that runners high other people talk about? I don't get it." Ah, so true.) But with the beautiful weather of the early spring I fell for the dream that I can be a runner.

And so one evening I announced that I was going for a run. Peachy was very confused as to why I would go out for a run. Obviously it was a foreign concept to her. Mr Cherry wished me well, but I could see the amusement in his eyes. But I went for it and came home huffing and puffing after about one mile. My Facebook status that evening was "I hit the pavement for the first time in 16 months." After that I may have opened my big mouth while out with friends one night that I would be running the 5k at the big marathon in town taking place in May. And do you know what? My friends were paying attention and remembered what I had said the next day. (How on earth did you remember that, Emily?) And one friend reminded me that I had said the same thing as I walked the very same event last May. (You have a good memory, Janet!)
And do you know what I did? I signed up for the 5k AND promised to run another with family in June! (My big mouth can sure get me into trouble at times!) And then I really sealed the deal by joining a gym. I may not always stick to my plans, but when I pay money for something you better believe I won't let it go to waste. And so, you can find me at the gym. Sometimes I go when Mr Cherry can stay home with the girls in the evenings or on weekends. And other times I go and drop the girls off at the drop in daycare. (Peachy is all about going to daycare.)
Slowly but surely I have been putting in a few miles here and a few more there. Finally, yesterday, I ran a full 5k. I am not going to say that it was pretty. And there is still room for improvement. But I know that I will be able to accomplish my goal in a month. And do you know what? I actually have been enjoying my time at the gym. It is a really good release for me. And the endorphin rush can really boost my spirits. So, you know that runners high? I kind of get it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Wreath

 I replaced the winter berry wreath I had on our front door with this one a few months ago. For some reason I am completely drawn to these fake berries. So with spring knocking, I headed to Michaels and found these spring picks on sale. I inserted them into a grapevine wreath I had sitting around and got a fresh new look. I was just going to leave it at that, but then decided on adding the fun shabby chalk board I had picked up at Gordmans. I love the fact that I can change the message to fit the season/holiday/my mood. With that being said, I have yet to change it. Oh well, friends are always welcome here.

I am linking to Fireflies and Jellybeans Strut Your Stuff Party.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baby Cream: 7 Months

So this is a little late. 2 weeks to be exact. Oh well. We will call it Cream's 7 and one half month post. Baby Cream has really grown in the last month and a half, both in stature and what she does. Even people who see her fairly regularly have commented this month on how much she is changing. She really isn't a little baby anymore and she knows it. She is so aware of what is going on around her and seems to want to be a part of everything. The funny thing is that she still really isn't mobile, so she can only observe the action, for now.

She has embraced the solid food movement wholeheartedly. She enjoys most of the foods that I have given her with the current exception of an orange/banana medley. She has even convinced me to give her a few bites of our food on occasion. (See, she thinks that she is one of the big people.) Unfortunately, she has been a stinker about taking a bottle lately. I think that she holds out for solids or milk straight from momma. She is getting really good at the finger foods, too. Whenever I get the puffs out she literally dives at them as I put them on her tray. While sippy cups are still a bit confusing, she has gotten a few drinks from a regular cup and thinks that is just great.

One of the things that makes her seem so much more developed is that she is able to hold herself up so well now. She can sit unasisted, but I am hesitant to walk away as she will suddenly make a dive for something and topple over. And although she hasn't mastered the art of rolling from front to back (she only rolls from back to front) she holds herself up so well when she is on her stomach. I just know that she will figure it out one day and be off and rolling.

As for night sleep, we are getting there. We have been letting her cry it out when she wakes up at night and that is working. She is slowly stretching out her night sleep more and more. Once in a while she surprises us and sleeps through the night. She is swaddle free however. I just got fed up with her always busting out of the swaddle and pretty much stopped cold turkey. She still sleeps in a sleep sack, though. And, like her sister, she usually ends up on her tummy.

We had her in for her second dose of the flu shot and to get her ears checked last week. That all went well. It was interesting to find out that in that month's time she went from 16 pounds and 9 ounces to 18 pounds and 11 ounces. I knew that she had been growing, but it was fun to see just how much. (It is also fun to think that she has gained just over ten pounds from birth.) The doctor did prescribe some antibiotic drops for her goopy eye. She hates, hates, hates getting them. I am lucky if I even get one in before she goes into all out crazy mode. (I can't believe how tight she can squeeze that eye shut!) However, they seem to be working! Her eye hasn't been mattery at all in the last few days. I am hopful that this solves the clogged tear duct, but time will tell.

And finally, my little smiley girl has two prominent bottom center teeth now. It is so fun to see her flash that toothy grin at us. I am pretty sure she is working on some more the way she is ALWAYS chewing on something. We will just have to see when they decide to pop through and join the fun.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Freezing Time

Do any of you remember that early 90s sitcom, Out of This World? I don't know what dusty corner of my brain that reference was sitting in, but somehow I found it. (How is that possible? How can we remember a sitcom from our childhood, but not remember what we went to the grocery store for?) Anyway, the girl on that show was able to freeze time. Do you remember that? Right now that is what I am wishing for. The ability to freeze time. I am not thinking in a sappy way. To freeze the time I am at in my life right now, rather to freeze the rest of the world and allow me to get a bunch of things done. I just don't have the hours in the day right now. I have so many things that I would love to get accomplished and then the end of the day always comes. I don't know how those of you who work get anything done at home. And those of you with more than two children, how do you do it?? Honestly, how do you do it??!!!
I will look at our clothes hampers and think, how did they get to be so full, I just did laundry. Then I start to think about it and realize that the last time I did laundry was a week ago. Or I look at the calendar thinking that it is Monday and then realize that it is really Wednesday. Really?? How did I miss Monday and Tuesday?
One of the things that suffers when I get busy is this blog. I am okay with that. This is just a fun hobby for me. I don't make money from this blog. (That is if you don't count Ad Sense, which I am still waiting for the magical $100 thresh hold to cash in on. :o) So, please forgive me while I go on living my life. I will update you when I get the time. Or when I get the power to freeze the world.