Wednesday, May 31, 2017

the night sky...

came across this website a while back and recently got it as a gift for my cousins wedding.  i think this is the coolest!  it is a custom star map of what the night sky looks like for a date and location close to your heart.  i think it is perfect for a wedding gift or a new baby.  you can personalize it with a few different color choices  and text and they look amazing when framed!  check out their website here

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

memorial day weekend!

we spent a good part of memorial day weekend at the lake.  we had beautiful weather, good friends, good food and good times.  feeling grateful for our freedom and thankful to all those that serve and sacrifice for it!  unfortunately we were too busy having fun to get any photos, but here are a couple that i got.   i see a lot more of this in our future for summertime!




Sunday, May 28, 2017

just because...

these are just some candid pics of bowie playing and i can't help but just think how lucky i am to be her momma.  she is so fun and full of joy.  she is wearing the sweetest alice in wonderland dress that her cousin cora passed down to her. 


"apple"

bowie will say something and then we will never hear that word again for a while.  but the last couple of days she has been saying "apple."  she says it very clearly and the sound of her little voice melts my heart.  it seems like a funny first word to me, and i think it is her first 2 syllable word. 


Saturday, May 27, 2017

popsicles...

bowie took her first spill a couple of days ago, scrapped up her chin and upper gum.  she is OK, but man did it break my heart.  after cleaning her up and making sure she was alright, it was dinner time and she finished it off with a chocolate almond milk popsicle.  i made these for myself as a healthy fudge pop option (not nearly as good!) but i gave it to her instead as a way of icing her mouth down.  it was her first time with a cold treat, i think she liked it!  and BTW, this chocolate almond milk is the TOUGHEST stain yet!

i recently bought a popsicle mold and am excited to try some fun and healthy popsicle combos for the warm weather and summertime!


Friday, May 26, 2017

brown butter chocolate chip cookies...

it is my friends birthday, so you know what that means, i need to maker her a sweet treat.  she is headed off to leavenworth for a day of wine tasting.  i wanted to send her off with something that would travel well.  i have always wanted to make these and they seem like a perfect little dessert.  i looked at several recipes online and i went with this one

i have to say , these might be the best chocolate chip cookies i have ever made!  they were easy and i love the sweet and salty combo!  i baked 8 x 1 inch balls to a cookie sheet, and i had 5 batches total.   in fact, i think i am going to bring them to a bbq for memorial day they were that good!


***update*** made these for a memorial day bbq (without the salt - by request of jarad) and i got so many compliments on them!  i had about half a dozen people seek me out to tell me how good they are!  i promise you will never have to try another chocolate chip cookie after this one!  it is a little extra work, but so worth it!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

i got this...

someone is getting good at feeding herself!


guilt free chinese take out style fried rice...

i've blogged about it a long time ago, but i am crazy about trader joes frozen organic riced cauliflower!  i love having it on hand for chicken bowls and tonight a guilt free fried rice.  i make a killer ginger fried rice, but it is so good i could eat it all, i made my same recipe but substituted riced cauliflower instead and i bet you won't notice the difference!  i make this to taste, so measurements are not exact.

ingredients:

2 bags frozen riced cauliflower
1/2 bag of trader joes soycutash mix
1/2 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1  T sesame seed oil
1 T butter
2-3 T soy sauce
1 t garlic seasoning
2-3 T ginger paste (in a tube also from traders)
2 eggs

how to:

start by cooking the onion and soycutash mix until partially cooked.  then add in garlic, sesame seed oil and cauliflower and cook until tender.  when it is almost there add in some butter, soy sauce, ginger and garlic seasoning.  when rice is cooked, put off to side and beat 2 eggs in middle and scramble.

i'm serving it with shrimp for jarad and garnishing with avocado!  it is so good, and even if  you eat half the pan a whole bag of riced cauliflower is only 80 calories, so you don't have to feel bad, but i sure hope we have a little leftover! and as an added bonus, bowie loved this!  i kept putting more on her plate! 



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

spices...

a little tip when it comes to spices, save your spice bottles and refil them in the bulk section of your market!  my local fred meyer (kroger brand) has a spice bulk section with organic frontier natural products.  not all super markets have this, but in california i know you can do this at sprouts!

this way you are getting a higher quality, organic product for a fraction of the cost!  this morning i had tumeric on my shopping list, i have been using it like crazy, especially on my roasted carrots.  i looked at the cost for a new bottle and it ranged from $5-8 depending on the brand.  i bought the organic frontier tumeric root and replenished almost my entire bottle for under $1.00!!!  i also recently did this with my organic ceylon cinnamon.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

some of my favorites...

over the last 14 months i have developed some favorites when it comes to kids clothes and toys...

"green toys" - this is a toy company that uses recycled milk containers to make high quality plastic baby and kids toys.  they can be a bit spendy, but often times you can find them at marshalls or tj maxx at a more reasonable price.  i always keep my eye out on varage sale for them as well.  i recently got bowie the train set for $4 and it was in like new condition.  it took a dip in a bleach and vinegar bath and it is as good as new!  also pictured is a teething rattle and a build a sandwich set.  she plays with the pretend food everyday!!!


"melissa and doug" - they make high quality kids wood toys.  all things from puzzles, stacking blocks/rings to tool sets.  you can always find these at marshalls and tj maxx, for great prices! 


"cat and jack" - this is a clothing line at target, and i am obsessed!  they are a mix and match line at a very reasonable price!  most items are $5 - $7 for shirts and pants.  i love the fun colors and patterns and they are soft and hold up nicely as play clothes.  they go on sale often or at the end of a season and this is the time to buy.  i can often gets pants for $3.50 and shirts even less sometimes!


Monday, May 22, 2017

baby sign language...

i am not as good as i used to be with the baby sign language.  but we still use some basic signs with bowie and here is her using the sign for "more" when it comes to daddy's favorite dried blueberries...


Sunday, May 21, 2017

14 months!!!

it is hard to wrap my head around how quickly they grow!  bowie is 14 months old and on the move!!!!

bowie milestones...

~walking!
~using some sign language to communicate.  all done, more and hot
~saying more words, but sometimes she will use one and then we won't hear it again for a while
~picks her nose
~size 4 diaper, size 2t or 3t shirt, about to outgrow 18 month pants.  although i got her some size 24 month shorts and rompers for summer, those won't last long
~loves books!
~has 9 teeth and more coming in!
~is enjoying watching elmo
~loves the song "head, shoulders, knees and toes"
~can identify some body parts (head, nose, eyes, mouth)
~loves to wear her moccasin shoes
~not eating all that well, i think it is due to her constant teething
~eyes are hazel
~hair is a light golden brown and is getting long and thick!
~enjoys brushing her teeth and hair and washing her hands
~dancing queen!
~feet are size 4


 

can you tell the difference?

at first i didn't think there was much of a difference in color, but when compared side by side with store bought eggs, you can really see the difference in yolk color!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

buy nothing project...

i am a part of many many community pages for our area.  i had no idea that there were so many local facebook pages to be a part of.  i am on the police page, rant and rave, community page, girl chat page, fabulous finds and the buy nothing page.

there is a movement called "buy nothing" going on and i first learned about it through my local buy nothing group on facebook.  it is a small community of your neighbors that offer up "gifts" and you can request to "ask" for an item.  people "gift" all kinds of things; kitchen stuff, furniture, baby items, clothes, etc.  and you can "ask" for something you are in need of.  there is no money involved and the goal is to build a strong community of neighbors while becoming more resourceful and helping others out.

i have posted my own gifts on buy nothing as well as have been the recipient of others "gifts."  the gift giver can chose how they want to pick the person they want the item to go to.  often times they use a random number generator, but other times it can go to the first person who can pick up or someone who really needs the item.

unlike my other garage sale groups (that do require a money transaction) you are not allowed to speak in code.  for example EUC (excellent used condition) or NWT (new with tags).  you must communicate in full sentences and ask to "please be considered" for the item you wish to have.

but...this movement has become part of a bigger challenge, literally buying nothing (other than food, gas, and essentials) and producing as little waste as possible.  i have to say, i was intrigued by this, although it is not something i wish to fully participate in.  but i do enjoy living a minimalist lifestyle when it comes to material possessions, so i wanted to learn more, if you too find this idea interesting click here to read about the buy nothing mission.

what i have taken from it is...

~to be more resourceful with what you already have.  for example; make a dinner by cleaning out your fridge and pantry.  wrap a present in a bandana instead of wrapping paper.

~be purposeful in purchases.  buy a high quality item that will last longer than the less expensive version.  buy local.  support your farmers or community. buy things that can be reused. focus more on what you need rather than what you want.

~focus on experiences and not things.

~gifts don't always have to be an object.  they can be home made, a gift of time or service.

~don't be wasteful

~recycle!

~i am very guilty of this, but we all have things that are waiting to be used for a special occasion.   don't wait!  use your fine china and silver, wear that fancy bra and open that nice bottle of wine! 

it's an interesting movement and i have tried to adopt some of the practices.  people started doing this as a 7 day challenge and each day focuses on a different goal (example; de-cluttering, giving, re-purposing, etc.).  if i haven't scared you off yet, you can find a local group in your area!  i found mine on facebook and remember it is a personal choice, i don't take it as far as some people.  i have seen people take old shirts and make them into washable toilet paper or make their own laundry detergent.  i am not an extremist, but i enjoy giving and receiving within my local community.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

bbq sauce...

found this at trader joes and decided to give it a try.  it is amazing!  sweet and spicy and so good on chicken and veggies.  it is safe to say it is a new staple around here!


Monday, May 15, 2017

organization?!?!

i consider myself to be a neat and organized person, although with a baby it's a bit harder to stay on track these days.  but it is something that is important to me because it is something i can control in the all the chaos of life.  i wasn't always this way.  i remember in elementary school my parents going to a parent/teacher conference and the teacher told them that i needed to work on my organization.  i remember taking this to heart and made a big effort to learn how to become a more organized person.  as a kid there are really only two areas that i could focus on; my school work/binder and my room.  i started to use tabs and dividers in my notebook and tidy up my papers and my closet in my room became color coordinated and immaculate.

these traits have stuck (with the exception of the color coordinated closet)!  i enjoy when things have a place, there is no clutter and the house is clean.  the good news is, if you struggle with organization it is something you can learn, and if you don't have an interest you can pay someone to help you out!

i started to think of what i do on a daily basis to maintain an organized house, here are a few ideas...

~i have a bag of "donations" that is constantly added to.  when it gets filled, we drop it off (usually every few weeks) and start a new one.

~i make lots of returns!  people love to buy babies gifts, but i only keep what we need!  i will take back clothes and toys and get store credit for future purchases.

~i keep a running grocery list.  this way i don't over buy or impulse buy.  i know exactly what we need.

~this one is hard, but i try not to let dishes or laundry pile up.  dishes are usually done after every meal, but sometimes that is unrealistic, but they never sit for more than a few hours or rarely overnight.  i feel like the laundry is coming out of my ears most of the time, and most times it takes a 2nd spin the dryer, but i try to fold it and put it away quickly.  (again, this is a hard one for me!)

~i have a "one in one out" policy.  when i buy something i try to get rid of something.  i either sell or donate it.

~baby items are big and bulky and i put them away as she outgrows them.  luckily we have an extra room and plenty of storage, we are holding on to them for the next baby.  i am also really good about storing her clothes by size when she outgrows them.

~i throw out, donate or sell anything that doesn't fit, we aren't using or we don't want.  i do this regularly.

~i enjoy the challenge of re-purposing and being resourceful with what i have on hand.

~i try to be purposeful in my purchases.  meaning they are based off of needs and not wants.  i enjoy living a more minimalist lifestyle when it comes to material possessions.

~and lastly i know most would cringe at this, but i use a daytimer!  yes, a daytimer!  i love writing things down with a pen and paper.  i know i could use google calendar, but this helps me remember better and it has been my system for years and years! i also believe in keeping a list!




Sunday, May 14, 2017

mothers day!

this is officially my 2nd mothers day!  and this holiday has a whole new meaning to me now that i am a mother.  it is not about breakfast in bed, but it is about acknowledgment and being appreciated!  this day also makes me remember all those strong woman in my life who are not longer with us and thankful for all the sacrifices my own mother has made for her family.

i didn't want any gifts, but i got some nice cards.  all i wanted was bacon and a cinnamon wheel from papa murphey's for breakfast and some time to go out by myself.  unfortunately the weather wasn't so nice, otherwise i would have wanted to be outside instead.  i tried for a nice picture of bowie and i, but that didn't happen.


i enjoyed shopping by myself and i came home with a new set of tupperware!  i have been wanting to get rid of my old stuff and replace it, so i got my favorite brand (sistema) and am excited about it!  you really know you are a mom when you get excited over tupperware.


and we went out for my favorite dinner (mongolian bbq!).  we got to video chat with the whole family and the day was relaxing, enjoyable and i felt the love.  so on mothers day, i have to thank my mom for being the most amazing mom and grandma ever!  and thank my daughter for choosing me!  i am so grateful for all the special moms in my life, you truly are an inspiration!



Saturday, May 13, 2017

chalk paint project...

i bought some "aged gray" chalk paint and painted a small kitchen table for our apartment.  this was my first chalk paint project and it came out just okay.  i sanded the table and painted it with the chalk paint and then finished it with "special dark" finishing wax.  i can see there is a lot of technique that goes into this and i don't have the time to perfect it.  so i am satisfied with the table and will be selling my paint and wax, since i don't think i will be doing more projects with it.



first burn pile...

in other exciting news, this morning jarad tended to our first "burn pile."  we are getting pretty country over here...



walker!!!

bowie started walking around 13 months and has been taking 4-5 steps at a time.  it was only last week that she started to build her confidence and walk clear across the room!  i have been so excited and never had my phone close enough to capture it, until this morning!  proud mama!!!


Friday, May 12, 2017

lunch!!!

quickest lunch ever!  and tasty too!


trader joes 8 veggie chop salad mix
walnuts
feta cheese
asain dressing

made the same salad plus chicken with lemon and olive oil for dinner.  super crunchy and satisfying!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

planet wise...

OMG, these are my new favorite!  sometimes i feel like ziplock bags are such a waste.  if possible i will always store leftovers in tupperware, but recently i came across these awesome reusable bags!  they are perfect to pack snacks in my diaper bag, jarad's lunch (kinda girly designs though) and to wrap sandwiches.  the brand is "planet wise" although many other companies make similar products.  you can find them on amazon and they come in a variety of sizes.  i love the sandwich wrap size but also have the large and small snack bags!  they come in super cute patterns and you are being kind to the environment...win win!!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

play ground with friends!

we have had several days of sunshine in a row!  i can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!  and today we had a play date at lake wilderness play ground with a couple of friends.  it is awesome to burn off some energy, soak in the sun and enjoy some snacks with good friends.  by the way she is the only real washingtonian in the fam...the shirt says it all (nirvana is a seattle based band)



Monday, May 8, 2017

tea collection

our dear friends got bowie 2 adorable outfits for her birthday.  i had never heard of this company before, but they are beautiful!  it is called "tea collection," an their moto is "for little citizens of the world."  check out the website here

i'm not into expensive baby clothes at all, but these are cute, comfy and if you buy from the sale section some of the styles can be less than a designer outfit from marshalls (under $20!).  if you are looking to buy a gift for someone the wrapping is beautiful!  it came packaged in a "furoshiki. a japanese cloth used to carry gifts or clothing.  you can also find it at nordstrom and even my local kids boutique carries this line! 

check out bowie in her tea collection "alexis wrap neck romper."



Saturday, May 6, 2017

asain carrot salad...

had this salad on easter at the neighbors house and loved it!  and i recently served it at bowie's birthday party and it was by far the most popular salad and i got lots of compliments. it is a combination i would have never thought of, but it is awesome!  it's hard to give amounts of each ingredient as it depends on how many you want to feed, but it is a forgiving salad, so use your best judgement. 

ingredients:

carrots (peeled) and sliced into medallions
avocados
toasted almonds
favorite asain style ginger sesame dressing

how to:

on a cookie sheet roast your carrots with olive oil, salt, turmeric and cumin.cook them until fork tender and they have some color.  allow them to cool.  you can serve this salad cold or room temp.  when you are ready to serve cube up some avocado, dress with asain ginger dressing and sprinkle the top with toasted almonds.  you can even roast the carrots the day before. 



Friday, May 5, 2017

new skills...

the other night after her bath we practiced going down the stairs feet first.  she is a quick learner, watch her master the stairs!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

rainbows and sunshine!!!

first of all, i wish this outfit came in my size! and secondly we are LOVING the warm weather!!!!  we have the windows open and even got to play in the back yard with some shaving cream!!!  woohoo!!!  we are expecting a storm this afternoon with thunder, lightening and heavy rain, so we will take advantage of this sunshine while it lasts!



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

feels like summer...

75 degrees today means lake time!  our first trip to lake wilderness this season!  met up with friends to splash in the lake and play on the playground!  good times and loving the sunshine!


pure sweetness...

rocking one of her new outfits from her 2nd birthday party!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

NO!

bowie has learned to say "no" and shake her head.  now i gotta teach her "YES!"