Monday, March 26, 2012

Pinteractive: Round and round again

Confession: I scrambled for this week's Pinteractive. I was focused on some other writing deadlines and distracted by our big date last night to see Hunger Games, so the week kind of flew by. 

I was able to tackle a project this morning, though, and whip out this little yarn wreath for Em's door. I shared the larger version here previously, but the supplies for the smaller version sat untouched until today. 

When Em asked what I was doing before she left for preschool, she got so excited when I told her that it was for her. Hopefully she'll love the finished product. 

Your turn to link up! 


Friday, March 23, 2012

iPhone, YouPhone, We All Scream for iPhone

This week I crossed over to the darkside and got myself an iPhone. I was the biggest cheerleader for my Sprint HTC EVO phone and its Android platform. If not for the camera that suddenly crapped out on me, its inability to record videos longer than 15 seconds without skipping and random freezing/restarting, I would've been content with it for ages. And this continued after numerous troubleshooting and replacements from Sprint.


I miss my EVO's huge screen, but so far, I'm digging my iPhone. The sales guy was right -- going from the Android system to an iPhone is like going from driving a manual to an automatic. There hasn't been too much of a learning curve, thankfully.

The image quality, both for pictures and videos, is out of this world.

Bonus? I get to join the throngs of my friends on Instagram. (I'm Nannersp, if you want to look me up.) Now I'm capturing my life through various filters that make me look like a first-class photographer (in my mind). 
Picnik collage 

Thanks, Steve Jobs! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless{ish} Wednesday: A Walk

A weekend break in the rain was our opportunity for a fresh air walk. We told Em that she could bring her doll stroller, but we wouldn't carry it back if she got sick of pushing it.

She assured us that she'd be willing to carry it. 


I can't get enough of the tall trees that line our streets, even when their leaves make the sidewalks slick.


And I love the wildlife that roam freely. This wasn't our first encounter with this varied pair of ducks.


Our little duckling loves them, too.

Even if she hates to see them go.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pinteractive: Crockpot & cookies

This week I was inspired to break out our crockpot. A warm, cozy no-fuss meal was exactly what I needed, and this pin to a round-up of crockpot meals was just perfect. And this beef dip sandwich in particular sounded divine.

It took just minutes to throw it all together. We opted to slice the roast instead of shred it for our sandwiches, and it was great. We threw it on some french rolls and dipped it in the roast's juice for our au jus. We had plenty for leftovers the next night. Later in the week I sliced off a big hunk for lunch and spread a wedge of Laughing Cow's garlic herb cheese over it, just 'cuz, which turned out AMAZING.

Of course, I forgot to snap pictures to share with you, but you get the idea from the blogger's pic above.

Yesterday I decided to do try these cake mix cookies that my friend Meghan had pinned recently. Reading the comments on her post, I was amazed that this was the first time I'd heard of this uber simple recipe. You take a cake mix -- ANY cake mix -- add an egg, some oil and water, and BAM! Bake 'em up, easy peasy.

I used a carrot cake mix, and added cream cheese frosting to a few of them. My in-laws were in town for the weekend, and our group was split half and half about whether the frosting was necessary because they were delicious on their own.

I did manage to snap a pic of these bad boys.
cake mix cookies 
They reminded me of the persimmon cookies my dad used to make, rather than carrot cake, but no complaints here. I'm stoked to try this with other mixes!

Your turn! Link up below and feel free to add the badge to your post!

Also, although I post my link-up post on Mondays, you can do your own post and add your link anytime throughout the week. 


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Going on a Fairy Hunt

I made a rookie mom move the other day when I mentioned to Em that when the sun starts to come out (as in, spring/summer), we'll be sure to explore our backyard for signs of fairies. The kid has no concept of time, so every five minutes since then it's been, "Mom! Is the sun out? Is the sun out? Is the sun out?"

Yesterday our weather was extra weird. I awoke to a snow-covered street, which then melted as the rain came down. It snowed some more, rained a bit, cleared up to blue skies, and then started raining again. When the sun came out, I finally assured Em that yes, we could go in the backyard to find some fairies. By the time we got our shoes and jackets on, the rain started falling again.

We finally got a big enough sunshine break to actually go outside. Last week I began my collection of terrarium-themed miniatures to sprinkle in our backyard, which as I've mentioned here before, is comprised of mossy-stepped levels and foliage. I bought some mini toadstools, and popped a few on some moss outside. My plan was to hint that they were signs of fairies living in our backyard.

Going on a fairy hunt
Mommy! Where are the fairies?

Going on a fairy hunt
Hey, Em! Look at the mushrooms! I bet the fairies were here! 

Oh, yeah, Mom.

Going on a fairy hunt
Those sure are mushrooms.

Going on a fairy hunt
Now let's go find FAIRIES! 

Uh, sweetie. The fairies might not actually be here today. They may have just left those mushrooms behind for you. 
Going on a fairy hunt

Going on a fairy hunt
Let's find FAIRIES, Mom! 

Obviously I need to beef up my "fairy evidence" collection a little more, and soon! She's calling my bluff.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You talkin' to me?

Em surprised us a few months ago when she pulled out this face during one of our Steppin' Out posts.

De Niro face

We've dubbed it her "De Niro" face because, OBVIOUSLY.

And now we can summon her De Niro face, along with a memorable line.

If it's hard to hear, Brent taught her to say, "I hear things" (or "tings" with a Brooklyn accent.)

We had to shoot it half a dozen times because Brent and I were laughing too hard during each take. It kills us every time. She seems to love doing it, too. 

We'll work on her Morgan Freeman impression next. I could use some lulling to sleep with a melodic voice.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pinteractive: A couple in the kitchen

I've recently rediscovered Nutella, a rich hazelnut spread. I enjoy it on graham crackers, apple slices, you name it. It's a dangerous love affair, so I have to be cognizant not to cancel out recent workouts in a snacking session.

On Pinterest I'm quick to repin recipes featuring Nutella. Yesterday was the day I decided to finally tackle this one -- for Nutella and sea salt-stuffed sugar cookies.


They're decadent yet not too heavy and even pleased my picky husband.

Em eagerly watched on as I pulled the recipe together, and had a hard time keeping her hands out of the Nutella. (That's my girl.) She loved sprinkling the sea salt on each cookie half and rolling the cookies in sugar before baking. And when she finally got to enjoy the fruits of our labor after dinner, she exclaimed, "Hello, cookie!" before taking a bite. 

Earlier in the day when deciding what to do for dinner, Brent suggested finding a tomato bread soup recipe on Pinterest. It was one of the most memorable dishes from our trip to Italy. In situations like these, Pinterest is the new Google. It's a great visual way to find what you're looking for and to see what's particularly popular to the masses. 

I found this recipe, which sounded easy yet delicious. I picked up the ingredients, and Brent took on the dish while I finished the cookies. He was skeptical about my choice of sourdough bread, and rightfully so as it turned out more glutinous than we would have liked. It was still flavorful and filling, and the bread pieces almost felt like dumplings. Next time, though, we'll use a thicker-crusted bread. 

We sat down with our heaping bowls of it just in time to catch The Walking Dead, which I noted probably wasn't the best idea. As I looked down at my soup and looked up at zombies decapitated across my television screen, Brent said, "Hey, if zombie brains taste like tomato soup and basil, BRING ON THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!" 

Your turn! What did you tackle this week? Grab the code and link up below! 


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Steppin' Out: Princess Style


Me: Sweater, Target; Tank, Old Navy; Shoes, Target clearance

Em: Dress & shoes, Harjuku Mini for Target; Jeggings, Old Navy; Crown, Target party section

Miss Em regularly sports her crown around our house, which is the closest she'll get to Toddlers & Tiaras.

She was in rare form yesterday, with a touch of extra spunk.

"Mommy, let's stand like this and look at Daddy!"

Brent rarely has an opinion about Em's clothes, but with this dress he declared, "That Harajuku Mini line is pretty adorable." That, and our gal who sports it, of course.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Wordless{ish} Wednesday: Having a Ball

My eye surgery yesterday went great. I wasn't worried about the actual procedure, but I was a little scared of potential discomfort post-surgery. Turns out I didn't feel an ounce of anything, during or after! I loaded up on vicodin yesterday, woke up feeling just fine today, and had a great post-op check-up this morning.

If you're curious about what exactly I had done, these were inserted in between layers of my right eye to prevent a bump on my cornea from getting worse.

Em started an indoor soccer class recently, and it's going a million times better than our last attempt. She loves it, and it's so fun to watch. Here she is post-class, getting zen with the soccer ball and Brent.

Soccer class

Soccer class

At The Lorax, sporting the most adorable 3D glasses. I'm ambivalent about the movie, Brent hated it, and Em liked it enough but got bored toward the end. She totally got that it's sad to see all the trees gone, so that's good.

Picked up these socks for myself at a specialty sock store the other day. Em thought the gnomes were Santa, which makes sense when you look at it, and she has a thing for Russian nesting dolls, so thought those were cute, too.

Em was the brains behind an impromptu trip to a nearby gelato place the other night. We were happy to oblige.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Pinteractive: Spice rack shelves

I hit up IKEA a while back.

Me to employee: I'm looking for some spice racks, but I don't see them anywhere...
Employee: Oh, yeah. I know *exactly* what you're talking about. They've become really popular all of a sudden!
Me: Well, they're popular on design blogs as book shelves.

Employee: Sadly, we're ALL sold out.
Me: *gasp*
Employee: .....but we did just take the displays down last night, so they'll probably be in our "as-is" section downstairs.
Me: *high five* (in my head. She didn't strike me as the high-five type.)

So I made a beeline for downstairs. I didn't see them anywhere at first, but then an employee wheeled out a cart with items to stock, including the spice rack displays. They were marked down from $4 to $3, AND they were already assembled. Score and score!

I bought all four, although I only needed two. My plan was to paint them white before sharing them as a Pinteractive project, but the weekend got away from me so I'm sharing them with you as they are now in Em's reading nook.


Em loves her reading spot. When she's having a tantrum and we suggest she go to her room to calm down, we always find her there, cozy and reading to herself. 

I tried some of my hair ideas from Pinterest last night but didn't have any success with my first attempts. My arms weren't up for practicing the braids over and over again, and I doubt you'd want to see those hot mess results. I'll share them once I perfect them a little more. 

Now it's your turn! Grab the badge and link up below! 


Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday Five: Workin' On My Fitness

1. Next week I'm getting a long-awaited minimally invasive eye surgery called intacs. It'll prevent an eye condition I have from getting worse, but what I'm really looking forward to is being able to wear soft contact lenses again. I'm supposed to wear hard contacts, but they're too uncomfortable as you might have guessed by the glasses I sport all the time. Recovery shouldn't be too bad, although they recommend avoiding prolonged reading, watching tv or computer use for a while. Looking forward to a lovely time staring at my walls.

2. I joined a gym, as previously mentioned, and have gone SIX times already. I'm a new Zumba convert, even if I look foolish doing it. Em adores the gym daycare. If I even mention the gym within earshot, she demands we leave immediately so she can enjoy the daycare amenities. That's 39 lbs. of motivation right there, folks.

3. The other day Em and I were playing in the living room, and she turned to me, panicked. "Mommy, there's garbage in my nose!" Earlier she had torn the wrapper from one of my Cadbury mini eggs and rolled it into tiny pieces to pretend they were seeds to feed me, the "mommy duck." When I wasn't looking, she shoved one in her nose! Luckily I was able to get her to blow it out. Can't believe it took nearly 3 1/2 years for our first up-the-nose incident, but hopefully it'll be our last. She seemed spooked enough to have learned her lesson.

4. After preschool yesterday Em and I ran an errand. Walking through the store, I looked over to find her looking at me with the biggest grin. I asked why she was so happy, and she said, "I'm just so happy to be here with my mommy." And then I died, came back as a ghost and was exorcised from all the cuteness.

5. I've been a proud Maroon 5 fan for 10 years now, so I felt like I had to turn in my fan card yesterday for not knowing about this cover they did a couple years ago. Adam singing Sinatra?! My rockstar/crooner worlds collide!