Monday, November 29, 2010

A Weekend Pictoral Review

It was a working weekend for me- a sick working weekend at that (booo!)- but we still managed to have a thankful holiday and few good days to follow. Good food, good friends, fabulous family- lots and lots to be thankful for!

We started a new Thanksgiving Eve tradition this year- a little living room  picnic dinner...

...and Christmas movie watching by the fire (a treat for the angelbabies since we usually start up the fire after they are in bed!)

we even made s'mores- my favorite:)


I woke up in the morning and the cookie-making began.

This year I went with a new variety- found the article in the most recent Living- Martha had a great spread on a basic butter cookie dough with 30 different variations.  I made the chocolate dough into peppermint thumbprints with chocolate ganache. The recipe follows- soooo delicious!!!

and of course I had to make the classic....crack cookies, otherwise they would not have let us in the door at Auntie Bootsie's house!

Saturday night we went out on the town!  Mom and Dad stayed with the kiddos so we D could finally visit a hot spot in the center- we had fun visiting with Sarah, Austin, Kelsey, Shane, Em, Simon and Annie- I had fun practicing and experimenting with my new camera... (sorry Annie and Simon- no pictures of you two)

D pointing out the "sexy donuts" on the menu...

Sarah and Austin checking it out:)

 It was a nice weekend!

Here's the cookie recipe- try them, they are so easy and classically good. (I, for some strange reason could not find the recipe on line, but I highly recommend getting the magazine because the cookie ideas are endless variations on the basic vanilla dough)

Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprints with Chocolate Ganache
(courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, December 2010 issue)

2 sticks room temp butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
22/3 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add egg and vanilla, mix until smooth.  Add dry ingredients.  Roll cookies into balls, roll in crushed peppermint candies, place on parchment lined baking sheet, press thumbprint.  Refrigerate 30 min. Bake at 375 degrees, 7 min., take out re-press thumbprint with end of wooden spoon, put bake in the oven for another 7 min. (14 min total baking time).

Cool, and fill with ganache

Chocolate Ganache
simmer 1 cup heavy cream
pour over 8 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate , whisk until combined

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So thankful for....

  1.  my angelbabies
  2.  hubby-love
  3.  healthy family, healthy friends
  4.  sisters (both biological and adoptive)
  5.  my furry angelbabies
  6.  Dad-who takes amazing care of the angels every Tuesday, walking Z to school rain  or shine
  7.  Mom- who supports me like only a mother could:)
  8.  art, artists, artistic process, artistic inspiration
  9.  My in laws and their undying love and support
  10.  Aunties
  11.  sweet goodies
  12.  shelter, clean water, enough food to eat
  13.  blogs
  14.  fabulous fabric
  15.  light
  16.  green grass, oceans, trees, leaves
  17.  organization
  18.  help
  19.  peace
  20.  safety
  21.  charity
  22.  sister nights
  23.  childrens literature
  24.  Christmas music
  25.  warm slippers on my feet
  26.  farms
  27.  fire places
  28.  scarves
  29.  Living
  30.  music
  31.  birth
  32.  snuggling sleepyheads
  33.  Zella dancing in her room before bed each night
  34.  fresh baked bread
  35.  baths
  36.  being able to stay home with my children
  37.  being able to work part time away from home
  38.  patients at the hospital
  39.  students at the school
  40.  Mosie's enthusiastic "YEAH!"
  41.  knowledge

And I'm thankful for you for reading my blog!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Organization and Cookies

Hallelujah! Our garage is organized!  The feeling of relief and satisfaction is enough to last me a while!

Thank you so much Mom and Dad for taking the angelbabies for the entire day Saturday- it literally took us the entire day to do the job- but it is done- and we can actually fit 2 cars inside on snowy nights!- plus- clearly- a whole lot of other stuff! (I can't believe how much
c-r-a-p we have- but we got rid of a lot too!

Living up to the saying "one mans trash is another mans treasure" our town- you can put anything out on your curbside and within 48 hours, its gone.
Anything in this case being- a broken kids table, 3 broken chairs, a crib missing pieces, a couch, and a highchair missing a tray- and it was all gone within 2 days.
We've gotten many a thing off the street as well since living in this fine little town- 2 dining tables, 4 dining chairs, excersaucer, highchair (the one that we just got rid of)- the list goes on:)
We took a trip to the local hardware store beforehand and bought a punch of shelves- D installed them as I sorted through everything and reorganized the cleaned up space- I felt like I was on on an episode of Clean Sweep!  The best part is that my art therapy supplies are not on two designated shelves (rather than in the bed of the little red truck)- so I can just grab and go!

For Thanksgiving we go to D's family.  It's a super fun- filled day with tons of delicious food, lots of children running every which way, and football.  I will be baking my bottom off tonight and tomorrow morning preparing a few variety of cookies to contribute to the feast!

Here's one of my favorite recipes for vegan cookies that me and the babes made last night. 
This recipe is great because it makes only 12 cookies (so you don't totally over-do-it) and it's quick, and they are delicious and healthier than regular cookies:)

I found the recipe/video online here

In one bowl combine:

1 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp. molasses (I used brown sugar rather than white because I didn't have any molasses)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Then you spoon then onto the cookie sheet- and shape into a round and flat circle.  Then bake for 11 min at 375 degrees.


A little Ring-Around-the-Rosie while waiting!


Eat em' while they're hot, and enjoy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Bedroom

Here it is folks- the big reveal!

It's been in the works for a while now- and I finally hung the print above my bed- so I figured I should share it!

Here is the before

and the after

It is so much brighter, and calmer. The lighter color on the wall (by my bright color biased standards) really highlights the mural.  I love the pops of yellow that the lamps, pillows and print add to the room.

Here's the run down on everything in the room now:

Wall Color- 2 coats, interior eggshell Salt Glaze 8030, Martha Stewart

Table Lamps- Ikea, see the how-to here in a past post.

Ceiling lamp- also Ikea- find it here.  I love the simple, industrial feel to it.

Throw Pillows- a very exciting find on Etsy.  I was looking for the perfect fabric- and I came across this shop.  The seller was wonderful- although all the way in Norway (so it took a little while for them to arrive).  She customized these to the exact size that I needed.  It's vintage fabric, backed in linen- and I love the print!

Print- This piece was custom made by my photographer buddy Alexa.  She made these fabulous mantra prints a while back and I knew I wanted one in my bedroom.  I gave her the fabric that I wanted as the background- and I love what she did- so inspiring!  I had her enlarge it 20"x30"- I love how you can see the weave of the fabric up close- it's lovely.  The print says: Bliss cannot be disturbed by gain or loss.  Check out her collection at her Etsy shop.

Bed: Pottery Barn Sumatra bed- D and my first big purchase as a couple- we've owned this bad boy for about 6 years now- and (thankfully) I still love it!- as you can see it takes up basically the entire bedroom (its a king)- it was a requirement when buying a house, that the bed would fit- I'm OK not having anything else in the bedroom- it keeps it clean and simple.  Our clothes are stored in a walk through closet.

Roman Shades- also PB- they don't sell them anymore.  I love the simple white shades in the room.  Typically I would want another window treatment over them, but in here they work.

(The finishing touches would be new lampshades- I'm picturing taller cylindrical natural fiber ones- still looking.... and fancy pillow shames for the 4 white pillows would be lovely- some embroidered with our initials perhaps?, oh, and new bedside tables- maybe at Brimfield in the spring?)

Last but not least- we  have a new addition to the family!

Please welcome my 5th child
(1st being Beau, 2nd being Frida, 3rd being Zella and 4th being Moses)

Yay!!! So exciting!  I have been snapping away all weekend- and I am super excited about this camera!  Thank you to Si for the camera guidance!

The next reveal to come- The living room...just have to paint!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mountain of Leaves

More like a mountain range of leaves- geeesh! (and this is after already getting rid of 20+ bags)

I've spent most of my day today raking- and I am exhausted.  I do love fall- but the end of fall- right now- is tough, especially in our yard where there seems to be 5,000 trees and 500,000,000 leaves that fall out of those trees.

The positive side of raking for hours--- I got a productive workout today (my favorite type of workout to get). For me, doing exercise for the sake of exercise is tough.  But if I am exercising with the purpose of say- walking into town, bringing Zella to school, walking the dog, painting a house, shoveling snow, raking leaves- them I'm all for it!  I think is has to do with my need to multitask.  I am slightly dreading the bagging part- but hoping we can get it done this weekend!  Mom and Dad are graciously taking the kiddos tomorrow for a day in the country so that we can finally organize our lovely garage.

That brings me to a very sad subject.....

This morning we said goodbye to a very dear friend.  A faithful companion to many for over 20 years.  He was a trusty (albeit rusty) little guy, but hearty and reliable.

The Little Red Truck.

He was my Pepe's truck.

I learned to drive on this little guy (my Mom literally sent me out with the keys, and said "here you go Hannah, figure it out") I'm not gonna lie- It was a rough ride- manual transmition, no power steering.  I was stuck at a stop sign on small hill for quite some time, I think there may have been tears, and I know that there were 20 min. or so that I thought I would never make it past first gear- but I did. 

Emily and I fought over shared this truck all throughout our college years.

When we bought our first house, D bought the truck from my parents- and he was a great for Home Depot/IKEA runs.

He has not run for the past few years now- and we were both shocked that he started right up for the tow truck guy this morning! 

 It makes me feel good that he's going to benefit a  good cause- WNPR.

R.I.P old friend- we will miss you dearly. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Love My Hair

Not sure if y'all are familiar with this video clip from Sesame Street- but we are loving it over here at our house!

Speaking of hair- we are always in search of good hair products for the Little Booty-Girl, and D recently got a new one that we are loving! You can find the product line here.

Here's the before and after:

On the subject of hair- I thought I'd share a recent hair experiment that I am trying on myself- it's a shampoo elimination routine....that's right- eliminating shampoo completely from my hair care routine (which, honestly was never very intense in the first place). Here is a link to an article explaining the theory behind it . I am still showering regularly BTW!
 My reasons? Well...Em brought it up on my birthday trip- so I thought I'd take the challenge- less $+ possibly radiant and shiny hair+ less time- I'm sold!
 I am currently on day 13- and it's not too bad- there have definitely been greasy moments at times, but it seems as though it's sort of leveling out a bit! I will keep you posted on the outcome of this trial!

Hope you are having a good hair day:)

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Total Sideshow...

...a circus-like side show- better known as my house/life.

I sit here typing with a very weepy little angel-girl on my lap- whose latest break-down of the day was because "Mosie broke my cracker in half"- this lasted about 20 min- are you serious right now????
She must be getting sick- again- gotta love school.

Anyhow- my parents recently brought over my old chin-up bar. (I was heavily into gymnastics from grades 2-4, and I was quite a little monkey, so they got this bar for me and installed hooks in a doorway inside the house- you can take it down when not in use) I had the idea of installing it over here- since I have a couple little circus monkeys living at my house and thought it might be a nice way to expend some energy!

Today Zella mastered a flip through her legs!

Here she is adjusting her necklace of the day- she had to this every time she "landed"
Mom and Sisters- doesn't she look like me in this picture?
(It doesn't occur very often:)

The little guy is starting to get it- although getting a picture of him that isn't blurry with my present camera is tough these days since he doesn't sit still for even a second!

Unless- he's playing in the sink that is.

So- in one of my not-so-smart parenting moves of all time- as Moses was playing in the sink this morning I decided to put in the drain cover so he would stop sticking objects into the garbage disposal hole and then I went into the other room to check my email....
well, during that time (maybe 5 min.) he turned the H2O on full blast and the sink over flowed all over the floor.

Then- of course he decided to splash in it like a rain puddle.  There was so much water- so much that when I went downstairs with them (after cleaning everything up) there were puddles on my desk in the playroom  because the water had leaked through the kitchen floor.

Finding good in a tough situation: I was forced to clean the heck out of my kitchen counters which were flooded with water!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What was for dinner?....Latkas with applesauce

Apple season is almost over- very sad but true.  We were running low on our favorite fruit so we took a quick trip to the orchard yesterday- and got a whole bunch!  The Macs and Cortland's are a bit soft this time of year (not ideal for eating if you are picky like me), but great for applesauce!

Here's what I did- I was on a time schedule- so I quartered them quickly, threw a little pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon on them, and put about an inch of water in the bottom of the pot.  Then I covered the pot- brought it to a boil, then reduced the heat to a simmer for about 20 min (until the apples were good and mushy).

Then, I mashed them through a strainer and removed the skins and seeds.  You could also peel and core the apples before slicing and cooking- then you wouldn't need to do the straining part...

I returned mine to the pot (I like it a little warm) and added a bit of honey and a little more spice (to taste).

On to the main dish! 

We (my sisters and I) were very lucky to grow up with parents who we into trying different dishes for dinner.  We ate lots of different "types" of food.  My Dad, for example was on a fried rice via wok kick for a while, when he was home with my little sister. he also had a pop-over stage that he went through:)  and my  Mom occasionally made latkas - which was  always a favorite!

We had an extra bag of potatos that came with our groceries this week- so I figured I'd put them to good use!

I food-processed about 6 medium potatoes with 1 large onion.  Then I mixed it with 1 egg, 3 Tablespoons of  flour, salt and pepper.

Then I heated up some canola oil and dropped in 4 at a time- flattening them after spooning into the oil.  I let them cook on each side until I could see the potato starting to brown.
I store them in the warm oven while the rest are cooking.

I was hoping the children would eat them- it did take some bribery- but eventually they relented- here is Zella's dinner plate.

She was not feelin' my applesauce:( not sure if it was the spices? or maybe the warmer temp?...

Here's how D and I like to eat them- a little applesauce, a little sour cream- perfection!

I hope you are all eating something tasty tonight!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Big Three-O

It was a divine weekend!  I can honestly say- I debated for a long time how to spend my 30th birthday- with my family? with my hubby? solo? on an island?  with my sisters only? at a spa? the end I opted for the island with sisters and friends and it was perfect!  It was  almost a recreation of my bachlorette weekend- which I look back on fondly (minus 2 other special ladies).  We had so much fun. 

This cottage is pure peace to me- it's simple, not cluttered, clean, private, and quiet.
(contact me if you are interested in renting it- this is the same place form my very first post- D and I took the kids there this past May- equally as lovely for a family vacation)

Here's the view from the yard...


A little walk down one of the many winding dirt roads on the island brings you to this amazingly quiet beach.

To me, this view is total perfection- some day I WILL wake up to a view like this every day!

And then- we ate....

Emily is a master cake-maker- if you ever need a fabulously delicious cake- I will send you her way!  I told her she should start a side business. I can't even describe it's deliciousness- seriously.  We ate cake all day, and night for three days straight!


Ohhhh- and we had a daytime campfire! (we were too scared to do it at night:)  It is a very remote island- so the fear factor definitely increases when darkness falls.


It was chilly- so I had to put my s'more near the fire to melt it properly:)

There was a whole lot of laughing and silly business.  I havn't laughed this hard in a long time.


OH- and how could I almost forget- the lone wolf- our guest of honor- the only male we came in contact with for three days....Mr. Noah Frances Bosley. He was lovin' the beach (fenced in yard- and pet friendly renters is a wonderful thing for us dog owners!)!

Thank you ladies for making my special day perfection!  I feel very honored to have friends like you!

I came home to happy, greatful-to-see-me babes, and beautiful birthday flowers from my man, a delicious meal cooked by my parents, and a little family b-day party with my sisters, parents and in-laws.  It was a great way to end a fabulous weekend!