What's Cookin' #5 {or just a moment monday}

What's Cookin' and Just a Moment Monday are going to be one in the same this week. I'll take a moment to wax poetically about my life and then share a not so interesting menu for the week.

I'm really quite spoiled. My husband works 9/80s. It means he works nine hours Monday through Friday but has every other Friday off. His schedule is mostly predictable. It means every other week we have three day weekends to spend time as a family and take care of all those pesky chores that go along with living in a house {stupid lawn!}.

Well the union at my husband's job is striking. Brad isn't apart of the union. He's a professional engineer and the union is made up of the skilled laborers. Since they still have contractual deadlines to meet, the professional engineers are tasked with doing their job and the jobs of the skilled laborers {who outnumber them four to one}. Now please don't take this as a commentary on the merriest of unions and/or strikes or really any kind of political statement. I am just saying this as selfishly as possible. I am sick of this strike and really ready for it to be over!

Brad has been working 11 to 12 hour days and six days a week. He's getting home two hours later than normal and he's exhausted. Its hard on him, Emma misses him, and I miss him. My poor little baby doesn't understand why she's seeing so much less of him. 

So many have so much more difficult circumstances. That's just my petty whine. So, enough of that. Here's the menu for the week:

Monday: Chicken Enchiladas Verde al la Not Everything I Make is Pretty

Tuesday: Burgers, zucchini sauté, and homemade French Fries

Wednesday: Marinated chicken, corn, and biscuits

Thursday: Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks @ home!

Friday: Parmesan Ranch Chicken with corn 

Saturday: Tomato and Sausage Risotto by Smitten Kitchen with crusty bread


The Picnic Day Skirt {or they make doxy fabric!}

I finally found an excuse to buy some fabric from Fabric.com {more details on that excuse in the months to come}. Since I was already paying for shipping, I figured I might as well do a little extra browsing.

I've decided its a really good thing that I'm cheap. I only buy fabric when its on sale or with coupons. Since the local designer fabric shop doesn't do much of either, I'm mostly a Joann's girl. Otherwise I may buy every pattern from Michael Miller {well, a good deal of it anyway}. This amazing doxy fabric was just too cute to pass up. 

This past weekend was Picnic Day at my alma mater. Its basically a giant community festival with a parade, student group performances, animal shows, and the world's largest dachshund races. The Doxy Derby is tied for my favorite part of Picnic Day. Its just so funny to watch.

This is the second year we haven't been able to go. Its sad because we don't get to gather with our friends. I was feeling a bit down and rather nostalgic this weekend. On top of that, Brad had to work Saturday and I had to write a paper Sunday. Instead of working on my paper during little miss's nap on Saturday, I decided sew. The doxy fabric was just too good to pass up. Hence, the Picnic Day Skirt was born.

{The little miss is not fond of grass. She goes through a lot to get cute pictures for you guys! ;)}

This was a quick 30 minute sew. I had a half yard of the fabric. For my tall and skinny 10 month old, I cut the fabric to 10 inches. I wanted the skirt to be really bouncy, so I used the width of the fabric. As a bonus, sewing selvedge to selvedge there was no need to finish the seam! I put in a casing and ran 15 inches of elastic through it. Easy peasy.

No clue what this face was about, but it was too funny not to share.

Come party with me!


Just a Moment Monday {or another way to waste time}

I'm slowly but surely decorating my living room. It is just a room we've never dealt with. I'm really wanting to change that but I'm doing so on a non-existant budget. That means I've been scouring thrift stores and Craigslist in order to find what I want to make my living room something more to my liking.

Well my husband is having a hard time envisioning what my plans are. So, I set out to gather some pictures of pieces that I would like to help him out. In doing so, I came across Olio Board

Its a free online mood board creator. You can clip things much like Pintrest or Clipix. However, everything you clip ends up on one page where you can arrange them to your liking. You don't have to register to use Olio Board, as long as you just grab images from their site. If you want to get images from any site, you have to sign up. I can see it being another way to waste time. But, in this case I think its going to help my husband see what I'm hoping to achieve.

One annoying thing I've discovered is if when you roll over an image it zooms, you can't add it to your board. The clipping system can't handel it. I meant I couldn't add our actual couch to the board so I went with one that looked close from another site.

So here's the mood board:

As it sits, our living room has two couches, two ikea $8 side tables, a purple accent wall, a in progress gallery wall, and a giant entertainment center. It was a Craigslist score that we've had it for a couple of years now. The many moves its has gone through has taken its toll on it. Also, Emma is causing all kinds of trouble trying to climb up it.

1. This little gem is sitting along the purple accent wall. We didn't have a brown couch when we painted the wall. Long story. But the wall and the couch are both going to have to stay.

2. Our reclining sectional is ugly but of so comfortable.

3. The living room decoration project also involves painting our side tables. We picked them up on two different trips to Ikea. I thought we had black but it turns out we had black-brown. Now they're two different colors and they're driving me a bit insane. I can't decide if I want to go khaki or grey.

4. The inspiration for my dresser to tv console plan. When I saw the amazing dresser turned TV console over at Less than Perfect Life of Bliss. I just about died. I'm just trying to find the right dresser to give a face lift to. I'm thinking a high gloss steel grey.

5 and 6. I'm hoping for a fun lamp. We don't need it. The house actually has overhead lighting {none of our apartments have had that...weird right?}. But I'd like a fun lamp with a decorated drum lamp shade.

Oh, and we need pillows. Well we don't need them. I have plenty. They came with our couches. More we need pillow covers. That's a sewing project that I should really get on. However, that "sewing project that I should really get on" list is like a mile long and has about 10 baby showers and my little miss's first birthday to get through before I can add anything else to it {or justify the fabric costs}.

8. Jen over at TT&J made this bad boy. Perhaps black?

Oh, and I have a really long purple accent wall that I can't decide what to do with. Its a nice color but very naked. Ideas anyone?


What's Cookin' #4

As I may have said before, I grocery shop every three weeks and then pick up fresh fruits and veggies from a local specialty market in between trips to tide us over. Well I need to make that trip tomorrow so I don't know what will be accompanying the main dishes yet. Don't worry, I promise I'll eat my fruits and veggies {but not any of the ucky ones!}.

Sunday: Leftovers

Monday: Chicken Veggie Pizza {I've never come up with a good name for this wonderful pizza. I'll be taking pictures and posting the recipe next week. Then you too can join in on the yumminess.}

Tuesday: Creamy pasta with zucchinis and tomatoes

Wednesday: Baked French Toast via the Pioneer Woman {I lost my old recipe so I'm going to give this one a try. I've never used one of her recipes before. I'm excited!} 

Thursday: Leftovers

Saturday: Grilled chicken and grilled corn on the cob


Unsolicited Cuteness {or the best face ever!}

I should be writing a paper. Emma is asleep and the husband is at work. Instead, I'm looking through link parties and writing here. Hopefully, getting this out of my system will let me finally get to work on a 10 page paper that my professor insists should only be 2 pages. Yah...that ones not going to be easy. I'd be done with 10 pages in three hours. But how do I shrink 10 pages work of prompt to 2 pages? Ugh...I need to be done with this class!

Anyway...Emma has started making this face. Its a cross between a smile and a yawn. She does it all the time now. I'm in love.

{This was the first instance of it that we got a picture of. Sorry for the poor picture quality. It was taken in poorly light bathroom with a cell phone.}

I hope your weekend is filled with wonderful times that make you want to make a face like Emma's!


Medicine Dosage Tip {or why didn't I think of this sooner}

My little miss has allergies. Really, its no surprise. I like to say that I'm allergic to everything that God made green on this earth. I have worse times of the year, but my allergies are a challenge year round. My husband swears he doesn't have allergies. However, he has headaches every spring that magically go away when he remembers to take his Zertec. Denial anyone?

We've been trying all the homeopathic tricks out there to keep Emma comfortable. However, we're getting nowhere. We had a mild and wet winter and an early spring here in North Texas so everything is trying to kill those of us who suffer from allergies. The poor little thing's eyes won't stop watering and she keeps rubbing them. Today, the doctor recommended that we up the ante and start meds.

Awhile back I saw this awesome post on Landee See, Landee Do. It looked like such a great idea. Well since little miss is only 10 months old and allergy meds are all made for two year olds, her dosages aren't on the bottle. Plus, I'm really tired of having to look at see how much Tylenol vs. Motrin to give her when she's teething. They're so hard to keep straight!

So, where's my take on Landee See, Landee Do's wonderful idea. Now, I don't have to read the silly little charts or hope I remember the doctor's orders. Why didn't I think of this sooner?


New Blog Design {or chevron anyone?}

As often happens when I'm reading blogs, one thing lead to another and I ended up reading a blog design tutorial over at Sweet Verbena. I'm sure I was supposed to be doing homework, but instead I started obsessing with the idea of making some changes. After lots of reading, I set to work.

I started out with a fun green quatrefoil design using some digital paper from Kelley over at The Grant Life. I used Picasa and Picnik to create my header, buttons, and the like. After Emma went to bed one night, my husband and I sat down to install it. 

As I worked on my Mac and my husband worked on his PC, I found something odd. The colors were different on his screen than mine. That's when I found out about web safe colors. Basically I found yet another way that Macs and PCs don't play nice. There's only 216 colors out there that display the same way on Macs as they do on PCs. Since I hadn't used a safe color, my jpeg uploaded header and my hexcode font colors matched on my computer and not on my husbands. 

This little realization led me to scrap my original design. More reading, the above handy-dandy little color chart, and PicMonkey got involved this time. I also decided to go with blue chevron using a digital paper from Mel Stampz.

I'm excited that I took the leap and redesigned my blog. With a lot of trial and error and the occasional less than savory word for my computer, I was even able to mess with code. I have moderate level computer skills and no skill with html and was able to do this largely on my own. I encourage you to give it a try!

Please let me know if you find any kinks!


Just a Moment Monday {or something new}

My dad is in town this weekend. Brad and I are finally getting to see The Hunger Game today! {I may be doing a happy dance as I write this!} With that being said, this is going to be a quick post. I'm actually supposed to be doing homework!

I recently got the itch make some changes on the blog. Mostly, I wanted to get away from the cute, but stock design that had since I started the blog. My heart sank a bit every time I went to a new blog that had my design.

There are still things to be added and kinks to work out. I hope you enjoy it and have patients with me as I fumble through learning basic blog design!

What's Cookin' 3

I hope you are all safe a well this stormy Sunday. Thankfully, we're just having a lot of {much needed} rain and some intense thunder. 

Sunday: Out! {My dad's in town}

Monday: Chicken and Tomato Bake (sans chicken) with sauteed zucchini

Tuesday: Chili Lime Tofu with brown rice and snap peas

Wednesday: Pizza Night! {maybe we'll have a salad ;)}

Thursday: Tomato and White Bean Gnocchi {adapted from Shabby Sweet Tea}

Friday: Marinated chicken, corn, and biscuits

Saturday: Breakfast for dinner!


Just a Moment Monday {or a little bit of luck!}

Heidi over at Sew Craft Create recently had a wonderful giveaway from the people over at Imaginisce. It was for a spectacular package iTop supplies- including the tool! I just about wet myself when Heidi let me know I had won. I don't win things. I especially don't win things this cool! There may have been some crazy car dancing involved {don't worry...I wasn't diving}.

Well, the crazy dancing continued when the USP guy rang the door bell today to deliver my prize pack. I was able to at least contain myself until I closed the door! I'm so excited to start playing with my new toy. I'm sure I'll be sharing some wonderful covered button projects with you all soon!


What's Cookin' #2

Happy Easter to you all. I hope you have fun with your family, enjoy your Easter traditions, and take time to celebrate the Risen Lord.

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Sunday: Creamy Chicken with biscuits and green salad {and bunny cake for dessert!} 
Monday: Lebanese Chicken with Zucchini and Couscous
Tuesday: Tequila Burgers and homemade french fries
Wednesday: Cooking Cream Pasta with zucchini, tomatoes, and summer squash
Thursday: Parmesan crusted chicken with green salad
Friday: Rosemary Beef Kabobs with green salad 
Saturday: Honey lime chicken tacos {using the marinade from this recipe} with spanish rice and sautéed bell pepers


Baby Easter Basket Ideas {or little miss's first Easter basket}

Little Miss will be ten months old the day before Easter. I'm very excited for her first easter basket. My Easter basket was always filled with wonderful treasures. Other than the VERY necessary Cadbury Egg and a couple of Peeps, it didn't contain candy. My mom would fill it with books, Post-it notes, socks, gift cards, and all sorts of other wonderful things. I've had the same Easter basket since my first Easter.

With this rich history surrounding my Easter basket, I put a lot of thought into little miss's. Even if I just wanted to load it up with candy, that really isn't an option for a ten month old. Also, she has plenty of toys so I really didn't want to add to the clutter of our living room {I figure her grandparents will take care of that come her birthday!}. I'm really excited with what I came up with.

This little pink Peep bunny was made using a free pattern from Dandelions and Lace. Something went wonky in one of his years. Even though little miss doesn't need any more toys, I couldn't resist this cute little guy.

An important side note: Has anyone been able to find bunny Peeps? Every where I've looked has only had chicks. I'm bummed.

The bulk of my little miss's basket is books. I went to Half Priced books and picks all of these up for $8. Thrift stores often have very cheap kiddo books. The Goodwill I checked seemed to be tapped out by other Easter basket shopping parents {and I waited until today to start looking}.

My little miss loves the Easter eggs that she found at our church's Easter egg hunt. She's been teething on them all week. I decided to make them a bit cooler and filled them with different things to make cute little shakers. I sealed them with hot glue and then covered that with Washi tape {from Target of all places}. 

Other ideas include filling eggs with puffs or Cheerios. You could also include bath toys or a CD of music to dance around the living room as a family to. Depending on your baby's age, a trip to the aquarium or the zoo would be a great Easter basket gift! 

The basket itself is from Target. Most of their baskets were cheapo. I'm impressed with how well made this basket is. I'm hoping this basket will be hers year to year just like mine has been.


Bubble Skirt {or a little something for Easter}

Last week was filled with a lot of sleep problems. Who knows why, but I seem to be past it. I was up at 1 am the morning of our church's Easter egg hunt. Realizing I had little hope of sleeping, I decided to make something for my little miss to wear.

I opten for a simple bubble skirt. I figured it was best to keep as few seams as possible that late at night. I think I had half a yard of material. I folded it in half, hot dog style. Then, I cut to to the right height. I put a french seam in the back and then put in a casing for the elastic. Nothing fancy but quick and easy for 1 am.

She was not a fan of the grass. As a side note, easter eggs have gotten way cooler! Little miss got a butterfly and a Snoopy! She is in love with the butterfly.


My Birth Story {or what's for lunch?}

I shared this story as apart of Kelley's Labor of Love series at The Grant Life. Its a really wonderful series where each week a different mom shares about their experiences being pregnant and giving birth. Each story is unique and beautiful. I highly recommend checking them out.

I figured I'd share my story here incase you missed it. Warning, its a long read!

This is the story of how my husband and I were both thinking about what we wanted for lunch when we found out our daughter was about to be born.

At my thirty seven week appointment, my daughter's heart rate was really low. The hooked me up to a monitor and left me freezing on a table while the recorded what she was up to. Every time she moved, her heart rate was dropping. My OB talked it over with me. These decelerations were concerning, but not pronounced enough to warent too much concern. She sent me home with an appointment for the next day. I was a nervous wreck, but glad she wasn't coming yet!

My husband's alarm goes off at 5:30 every morning. Starting about week fourteen, this woke me up enough to make me get up and pee. At about week twenty five, my little miss started dancing around after this bathroom trip. At week thirty, this dance became more of a kick mom in the liver thing that kept me up for a good thirty minutes. It happened every day like clock work.

So the alarm went off, I got up and peed, got back in bed and braced myself for my half hour as a human punching bag. But nothing happened. I waited about five minutes. Still nothing. I poked her a little bit. Still nothing. So, I started to panic. 

Remembering the advice of my OB, I went and downed like half a gallon of apple juice and a huge glass of ice cold water {because "drink a glass of juice or cold water" seemed like it could be improved upon}. I told my husband what was up and got back into bed to wait the hour I had to wait before calling the OB.

As I hung out on my left side I tried to will my little girl to move. I prayed, I talked to her, I poked her, all to no avail. My husband headed off to work, promising to keep his cell phone in his hand. And then the hour passed with no movement.

I called the OB and was told to head into L&D. I started freaking out, realizing I was going to have to drive myself in because my doctor wanted me to be seen right away. Thankfully, as I headed out the door, my husband pulled back in the driveway. And off to the hospital we went.

At L&D, I was hooked up to all kinds of bells and whistles. My little girl wasn't moving still. Her heart rate was low. My blood pressure was through the roof. After about a half hour, she started to make little flutters. My blood pressure stayed sky high and her heart rate shot through the roof.

My OB came by to look at all my test results and talk to me about what was going on. She sat on a little stool and talked my situation through to herself.

At my thirty-six week appointment, my OB basically jumped on my stomach to help her find my cervix. I was closed up tight. She said it was odd that I hadn't dropped at all. It was the same story at my thirty-seven week appointment. So, she knew she couldn't induce and didn't want to c-section me without great cause. So, she said that we needed to wait for some blood tests and she wanted to talk to the maternal-fetal specialist before making any decisions. She gave me a hug and headed off to her office.

So there was waiting. But as we waited, my little girl started to move a little more. So my husband and I started relaxing a little bit. We started to talk. We started to mock the really bad local morning news program. My blood pressure came down a tinny bit.

About 11, my nurse came in. She started to tell us how my doctor had talked to the maternal-fetal specialist and she didn't think I needed to be monitored more. She kept taking and I figured I was on my way home. I was looking at the clock and thinking we could stop at a sandwich shop and have lunch before my husband headed back to work. He was having the same thought. And then, the nurse said, "so you're going to be delivered in about two hours."

Both of our jaws must have dropped all the way to the floor. We have no clue why this crazy nurse didn't lead with the punch line. She said something about how she needed to go call the operating room and left the room. 

I'm not sure who blinked first, but someone finally started freaking out. And then the other followed. We were about to have our daughter. Neither of us were prepared for that. A million thoughts started racing through my head. And I was sure glad I gave the cats a lot of food before I left.

We called my dad, who was going to fly out from California. We called my husband's parents, my brother, and a dear friend who was going to let all our other friends know. And then we just kept saying, "We're about to have our baby!" incredulously. 

There was a revolving door of people coming in and out of the room giving me a gown to change into, having us sign paperwork, making me drink icky things and all sorts of stuff. My doctor came by and talked thorough why it was important that we delivered now. She really made me feel comfortable with the decision.

I was surrounded by an incredibly compassionate group of people. They knew we were scared and did everything they could to help us feel at ease. As I got my epidural, a nurse held my hand and looked me straight in the eye while talking. It made an awful experience a little easier. 

The effects of the epidural had to be one of the craziest things I've ever experienced. I could feel my doctor's hand on my leg as she asked me if I was ready but I couldn't feel the knife cutting me. And there was a point where she was tugging on a muscle that was both above and below the epidural line. Ikes! Just ikes!

But then I heard my sweet little girl cry. And I was able to breath for the first time in what seemed like forever. But as my husband went over to meet her, I stared to cry uncontrollably. I couldn't see her. I couldn't hold her, I couldn't touch her yet. That was excruciating. 

She was born at thirty-seven weeks, one day at 1:16pm. She was 6 pounds 8 ounces and was 18 inches long. It turns out the cord was wrapped around her several times. Also, my pelvis was shaped in a way that would have never allowed her to be born naturally.

The next couple of hours ended up being a bit of a whirl wind. We got situated in a room and started to get to know each other. My dad got there in record time. My little girl wouldn't sleep anywhere but in my arms. I just remember being so tired and yet so content. I just kept thinking over at over again how this day could have turned out very differently.

And now, I have a trouble making little eight month old. She is a problem solver who wants nothing more than to be walking. She loves crawling all over me and thinks its hilarious when we pet our cats. She sleeps great some days and then makes me want to pull my hair out other nights. And her little giggle warms my heart.  


Just a Moment Monday {or time to purge!}

{I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar}

Cheri over at I am Momma, Hear Me Roar had a Git'er Done Week last week. She shared the not always glamorous but necessary projects that she had been long putting off. 

Today, digging through all sorts of long-sleeved shirts to find my one pair of shorts, I decided I was finally fed up with the state of our clothing. I've been putting off storting through clothes since we moved.  Between being pregnant, not being sure about seasons, and sheer laziness, we've made a bit of a mess. And my husband has a habit of staining his clothing and then telling me after I've washed and dried them. 

As a result, I need to put up the wrong season, get rid of stuff that just doesn't fit, and throw away or repurpose the many stained shirts that are in my husband's drawers. Hopefully, I'll be able to sell a hunk of it and have some money to do something fun with. The Goodwill is going to be having a very good day one of these days soon!

No more putting it off...its time to Git'er Done!


What's Cookin #1

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback to my last Just a Moment Monday post! There was intrest expressed, so I'm going to start sharing my weekly menus. Whenever possible, I'll give the recipe link or the name and page number for the cookbook. However, some of these recipes are have been made so many times that I just make them from memory and have no clue where they came from! So, not all of the recipes will be appropriately sourced.

Sunday- Tomato and Sausage Risotto by Smitten Kitchen with crusty bread 

Monday- Mum's Chicken with brown rice and steamed snow peas

Tuesday- Homemade Three Cheese Hot Pockets with side salad (using Prudent Baby's dough recipe)

Wednesday- Parmesan Ranch Chicken with corn 

Thursday- Firecracker Shrimp with brown rice and steamed zucchini

Friday- Fort Worth Food Truck Park with friends (If you live in DFW, you really should check this place out!)

Saturday- Pasta and breadsticks and some kind of veggie (gotta love that planning!)