Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jesus' Parables

I love my church and the pastors' commitment to teaching us the truth. They tackle hard issues, and never shy away from the gospel. They recently released a series on the parables, and they dig deep. At this link you will find a study of 10 different parables, including videos and 2 different study guides. We are doing the study as a small group, but you could do it on your own if you wanted.

My favorite so far has been the "Great Judgement" - study #3.

Which is your favorite parable?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mango Chutney Turkey Bravo

I'd like to introduce you to the most fabulous sandwich around, the Mango Chutney Turkey Bravo.

I missed this little gem while being pregnant. I'm glad to be back in the game!

All you need for this masterpiece is:
- a Granny Smith apple
- sliced turkey
- mango chutney (I had to buy this in the Hispanic cooking isle)
- cheddar cheese
- Cape Cod chips

Layer all ingredients at desired quantities, enjoy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tutu Tutorial

Since finding out I was having a beautiful little girl, I've made numerous tutus. They look cute, and best of all - they are super easy to make. (I made a few in the car on the way to NH this summer).

Here is the video I watched before making my first tutu, although I've modified how I make them. (I apologize, the video is about 5 minutes longer than it needs to be...).

You need:
- ribbon for the waist. (In the video she suggests using a stretchy headband, but I recommend ribbon because you can start with a long piece of ribbon and add more tulle as you need it when your daughter's waist gets bigger.
- tulle (In the video she buys it off the large spool in the fabric store, but I recommend the small spool that you can find in the dollar isle or the wedding isle). This means that you are only going to have cut length and don't have to worry about width.
- scissors

How to:
- cut your strips of tulle
- tie them onto your ribbon (the video will show you have to do this)
- enjoy! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Gram

Happy Birthday, Gram!

Guess Who

Precious Smile

Ella has learned to smile...and how to ensure Mom and Dad watch her every move for a glimmer of one! Here are my "favorite smiles" from last week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Last week I learned that Josh's favorite dessert is oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. We've "only" been married 3 and a half years...#wifefail.

We made these cookies this past weekend with his sister Katie - and Josh loved them! I can honestly say that I've never had oatmeal chocolate chip cookies before, but I thought these were pretty good...thus why they are almost all gone. :)

Original recipe makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies:
- 1 c softened butter
- 1 c packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 c white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 c flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 c quick-cooking oats
- 1 c semisweet chocolate chips (honestly, I added 1/2 a c more).
- preheat oven to 325 
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Too Quickly

Time the last 2 months has simply flown by too quickly. (Although sometimes the last 2 months feels like 20 months). I wouldn't trade this precious time with Ella for anything in the world. I used to think my life was perfect; great job, wonderful friends, a husband I adore - but now I can't imagine my life without our precious Ella.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Snuggle Buddy

Although being a mom can be stressful, I'm so thankful for this cute snuggle buddy. In the last 8 weeks, I've been learning to be more flexible and to roll with the punches. I decided my motto for 2013 is "Will this matter a year from today?" Very few things will.

So, when the sink is overflowing with dishes, we are living out of the clean laundry pile in the hallway and I haven't worn makeup in days, I just remind myself that a year from today, I won't care if dinner was ready on time, I'll care that I spend my time holding Ella.

What do you allow yourself to get stressed over that isn't going to matter a year from today?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Games for Two

Josh and I love playing board games, but there are very few intended for two. Let me tell you, we play a lot of Yahtzee and Boggle, but my personal favorite is our 2-player modification on Settlers of Catan.

Since the game is driven off the resources distributed during each players' roll, we add two "free rolls". So before each of our own turns, we roll once for the pretend other players, allow us to receive vital resources. (If you roll a 7 for the Robber on the "free roll", you roll again).

I'm looking for new 2-player games, what games do you enjoy?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Smile - a blog post for the Grandmas

Ella's newest trick - smiling! Posting a video for the Grandmas!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quick and Easy Side Dish

My mom came and stayed with me last week, which I loved for many reasons, one of them being the new recipe ideas she gave me. I love new recipes, but hate the unknown of trying something from a cookbook. Of course it looks easy for Rachel Ray, but who wouldn't love cooking when someone else does all the prep work and clean up!

One easy recipe my mom made was a quick and easy [fabulous] broccoli and red potatoes side dish. It is prepped in under 10 minutes.

- wash your potatoes and broccoli
- cut your potatoes into 4 sections (I cut mine smaller just because I like them that way)
- throw your potatoes into boiling water for 5 minutes to give them a head start on cooking .

while your potatoes are boiling:
- cut your broccoli off the head
- in an oven-safe dish, add olive oil and your seasoning. You can really do any seasoning you like. I did "savory," rosemary, and dill.
- add your broccoli to the oven-safe dish
- once your potatoes are slightly softened, add to the dish

bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

ENJOY! Thanks mom for introducing me to this awesome new recipe! 

Ella's Newborn Pictures

Our wonderful friend, Nate of Nate Weatherly Photography, took gorgeous newborn pictures of Ella. They came out completely fabulous!!!! Below is a link to a slide show of our images.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Best of the Week

My wonderful mom came to stay with Ella and myself last week because Josh was away at a work conference. I loved having her here, below are my favorite pictures from our week together. 

Thanks, Mom! 


Monday, January 14, 2013

Spicing it up in the Kitchen

Another New Years resolution for me this year is to try a new recipe each month. It is way too easy to get in a rut and make the recipes I'm comfortable with and know how they turn out. My new recipe for January is actually one that is supposed to great for freezing. (I've only made it in my crock pot, but haven't had it out of the freezer yet.) The recipe below is intended to make 2 freezer meals - so read it carefully if you are only making 1 dinner from it.

Teriyaki Chicken (2 Bags)
  • Split a large bag of Baby Carrots between the 2 bags
  • Cut Red Onion into Large Chunks and split between the 2 bags
  • (1) 20oz can pineapple in each bag (undrained)
  • (2) Garlic Cloves chopped per bag
  • (2) Chicken Breasts in each bag
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce in each bag
*Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to mixture. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve over Rice.

You could definitely add broccoli to it - but as far as flavor goes, it was packed a punch! 

What new recipes have you tried this year? 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2013 Reading List

One of my New Years resolutions is to read 10 books this year. This is a continuation of a goal Josh and I set a few years back to read through the "classics" that we never read in school. Since starting this goal we have read:
- 1984
- Catch 22
- Anna Karenina
- Old Man and the Sea
- Great Expectations
- Animal Farm
- Great Expectations
- Crime and Punishment
- A Picture of Dorian Gray
- Lord of the Flies
- Great Gadsby
- Fountainhead
- Brave New World

Since having Ella, I've been able to leverage my time feeding her to read:
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
- Wuthering Heights
- The Time Machine
- The Scarlet Letter
and now I'm reading Treasure Island

What classic do you recommend I read next?