Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No Resemblance

It's too bad Miss Hailey looks nothing like her father.

Nope, no resemblance.

No resemblance at all. :)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Making Baby Shirts is My New Obsession

I'm sure you all remember the onesies I decorated long ago for Brooke & Joe's first son, Truman.  Believe it or not, I have actually spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how I was going to out-do myself for their latest addition, Keen. 

Well, never fear.  After a bit of soul-searching (and a bit of Pinterest searching) I think I've done it! 

I actually made the shirts themselves from scratch.  From scratch!

Here is Hailey modeling my prototype: 
Once I knew I had the pattern down, I could move on to the fun stuff:  the decorating! 

Here is Necktie Onesie 2.0.  Complete with vest.  I think it's pretty much amazing. 
Since Brooke is a photographer, a little photographer's assistant shirt was a must!  Could this be any cuter?!?

And lastly, a "K" for Keen. 

Coming up next:  An "H" for Miss Hailey, and something seriously cute for Thanksgiving!! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cutest Baby

I entered Hailey in a 'Cutest Baby' contest today. All other babies need not apply. This one's got it covered.
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Monday, September 19, 2011

A Girl Can Dream

It's that time of year. 

The leaves are changing, the air is crisp...  at least somewhere that is the case.  Most people are beginning to enjoy the change of seasons while we still swelter here in the Southwest. 

Even though I won't be apple picking and donning a sweater any time soon, I thought I would bring back a taste of Fall (and memories of Iowa) with these cool corn garden stakes. 

A girl can dream, right? :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Succotash Salsa Soup

With all the posts I do about soup, maybe this should just be a soup blog. 

But then there wouldn't be any pictures of my cute baby girl.  That just won't do.  In fact, here's one just for good measure:
Did you just fall over from cuteness?  Because I did. 

Anyway, back to the soup.  I must admit:  I stole this recipe from Rachael Ray.  It was really yummy and fresh.  The name describes it well because it pretty much is a soup version of salsa.  It was great to cook with so many fresh ingredients and it could be a perfect recipe to try with the last of whatever remains in your vegetable garden before the weather turns cold. 

I served it with some Archer Farms blue corn tortilla chips from Target.  They are quite possibly my most favorite chips ever. 

If you would like to make it yourself, you can get the recipe here.  The only thing I did differently was to omit 1 cup of vegetable broth and substitute in 1 small can of diced tomatoes with green chiles just to add a little extra kick. 

The-Husband-That-Does-Not-Like-Soup said he would definitely eat it again, but only once or twice a year.  So what is that?  Maybe 3 out of 5 stars? 

In any case, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Perhaps just don't make it for any husbands that do not like soup.  :) 

Monday, September 12, 2011

On This Day in History

Well, it’s happened.  The day has come when I have finally decided to allow a plasticy, electronic, talking toy into my house.  I swore the day would never come, and it has. 

This on the heels of my very sweet daughter nearly ordering a $9.99 pay per view movie when I let her play with the remote the other day.  The remote is her obsession.  She must have it.  I thought since the TV was off it would be harmless enough to just let her play with it.  But whoops, the satellite was still on.  We were one click away from ordering who-knows-what. 
So that did it.  Hailey now has her own toy with colorful buttons and sounds that she can click away at. 

Apparently I have a changed heart.  Or at least a weak one.  ;) 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

6 Months!

Our sweet baby girl is 6 months already! We weighed her on her birthday and she was 18 lbs. 6 oz. so she has officially doubled her birth weight and is growing like a weed.
She is, as it turns out, the cutest baby I have ever seen.

And the sweetest.

And the happiest.

We celebrated her 6 month birthday with our usual monthly photo shoot, dinner out with her Grandma who was in town, and of course, felt food.

It doesn't get much better than that!  :) 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Adding Cobbler to my Resume

Our friend & midwife Stephanie shared this cute DIY flip flop tutorial.  When I found $1 flip flops at the mother ship Joann the other day, I knew I had to give it a try.  I think they turned out really cute! 

The only difference between my version and the tutorial is that I sewed my fabric so it wouldn't fray.  They are really comfy! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mommy Daughter Matching

Ok, I had to do it.  I've waited this long to do it and I think that's pretty good.  Yesterday I finally coordinated our outfits for the first time: 
I think we look pretty darn cute.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Spicy Summer Squash Soup

Over the weekend the unthinkable happened in this house.  I made soup and my husband who hates soup actually loved it and went back for seconds rather than finishing his chicken.  This never happens. 

We had a bounty of summer squash on hand from Brett’s stepdad who has quite the garden going this summer.  I must say that we both really enjoyed this recipe, and it will definitely be added to the rotation. 

I’m calling it ‘Spicy’ Summer Squash Soup because it does have some kick to it.  If you aren’t super into spicy I wouldn’t be afraid, it’s not too spicy. 

1 lb. yellow squash, sliced
1 medium white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs EVOO
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can Rotel, drained
8 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbs. hot sauce
1 tbs chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste 

Sautee squash, onion and garlic in a large nonstick pan with extra virgin olive oil. 

Add 2 cups broth and simmer until squash is soft. 

After squash has softened, blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

Slowly add in cheese, blending until it has melted completely.

Add in Rotel, hot sauce, chili powder and salt and pepper and enjoy! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I fight with my dishwasher pretty much daily.  Lately stuff just hasn't been getting clean.  I've had an impossible time trying to find a detergent that doesn't leave my dishes caked in white crud.  I've tried everything from the eco-friendly to mainstream commercial (Cascade, anyone?).  To top it off, our hard water isn't making things any easier.  

I can get on board with pre-washing my dishes, but pre and post washing is just getting rediculous.  

So, I set out to make my own detergent!  After a lot of Googling, I found a lot of "recipes" that used borax.  Since borax is... uh... toxic and all, I kinda didn't want it on my dishes.  I know people use it in laundry and around the house all the time, but I don't eat or drink off my clothes or my floor, so the standard is not the same.  

Sadly, I couldn't find any sensible recipes (as in recipes that don't involve chopping lemons for every wash load-like I have time for that!).  So, as I often do, I decided to fly by the seat of my pants. 

Here's what you need:  

1 bar of castile soap:  

You can find this stuff at just about any grocery store:  Vons, Albertsons, Safeway, Hyvee, Kroger, Etc. 

Castile soap is supposed to work well with hard water, which is great news if you have hard water like we do.  

Just grate the castile soap on a cheese grater.  The smaller the pieces the better.  

2 cups of washing soda:

½ cup Kosher Salt:

3 tablespoons of citric acid:

This is where the magic happens.  The secret is in the citric acid.  If you find that your dishes aren’t coming out clean and sparkly, you probably need to add more citric acid, because the citric acid is what gives the dishes a streak free shine.  Word on the street is that you can get citric acid (also known as sour salt) at wine/beer making stores.  In a pinch, you can use powdered lemonade mix (just be sure the main ingredient is citric acid).  FYI- 1 packet = approximately ½ tablespoon.  

Lastly, a handful of rice (optional).  Insider tip #1:  (yes, we’re all insiders now) if your detergent starts to get clumpy from moisture, add a handful of rice to the mix.  The rice will absorb any moisture and wash away in the dishwasher.  

Mix it all together and store it in some kind of air tight container and you are good to go!

Presentation is everything.

The best part is that it really works!  

Now, hear my words:  You do NOT need a ton of this detergent to get your dishes clean.  If you fill your entire soap compartment on your dishwasher you will end up with funky soapy dishes.  We experimented a bit and found ½ tablespoon of soap to be the sweet spot with our dishwasher. 

Insider tip #2:  If you add a little vinegar to your Jet Dry dispenser, your dishes will have never looked cleaner!

I am really excited about this!  I think I am going to keep making my own dish detergent.  It’s cheaper than the store bought stuff, this recipe will seriously last forever, and I know everything that goes into it.  It doesn’t get much better than that!  

If you decide to make some yourself, let me know how you like it! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Adventures in Mommyhood

*Warning- This post is about barf.  If you do not wish to read about barf, stop reading now*

Oh, what a morning!  It all started off well enough.  Hailey woke up a little early for my taste, but what else is new.  I was even blessed with a napping baby  while I got dressed and hair and makeup-ed (it’s a word) for our outing this morning. 

Fast forward to me driving down a busy street in Chandler.  Baby starts coughing in the back seat.  Nothing out of the ordinary so far. Coughing happens.  I start to talk to her and reassure her as I always do thinking that will be the end of it.  Well, baby keeps coughing… no, wait a minute, baby is choking A quick glance into my mirror and I see that my baby is barfing buckets and buckets and buckets of spitup-it  JUST. KEEPS. COMING.- and baby is now choking. Enter mommy panic attack. 

So, I quickly pull off the road, hop out of the car and rush to my baby’s aid.  I am fortunate that I did not break something due to quickly and simultaneously braking, putting the car in park, and setting the parking break (force of habit).  By the time I get to her she of course has already sorted out the whole choking situation.  

Enter problem #2:  Barf.  Lots and lots of barf.  Barf on her face, barf ALL down the front of her dress, barf on the carseat.  Barf everywhere.  My first thought:  “Oh, I can just wipe it up, it’s fine.”  Second thought:  “Oh, no I can’t.  I did not know babies could ever possibly barf that much.”  

But, never fear!  We’ll just change clothes!  We are only around the corner from our destination and we will just use the spare onesie that I always have on hand and change into that!  That would work perfectly.  That is if the onesie were in my bag where it always is except for today.  Crap.  

I ask myself if we should go home, but no.  We both got up, got dressed, and drove a half hour to get here.  That’s no small feat with a four month old.  We’re going.  

So there I am in Chandler, no clue where ANYTHING is but I figure there must be a Walgreens, a Wal Mart, or if we’re really lucky a Target somewhere in the vicinity where I can buy a onesie.  As luck would have it, there was a Wal Mart across the street from the coffee house we were going in the first place.  Score!  Things are beginning to look up.  

We pull into our parking space and I go to get the barf covered baby.  Now, what am I going to do with the barf covered soaked baby between now and when we get our new onesie?

I shall wear her!  Nope, you don’t really want barf on your Moby, do you?  

I shall carry her!  Nope, too much barf.  

I shall wipe her off and then carry her!  Nope, not possible.  You’re screwed.  

I shall carry her in her carseat until I get a onesie! (Ironic since we were on our way to a babywearing meeting).  Nope!  Still too much barf. 

Have I mentioned that I’m a huge sympathy barfer?  You have no idea the amount of willpower it took for me to not contribute to the situation.  Not a good scene for me.
Well, that settles it.  The dress has got to go.
So, there I am walking through Wal Mart looking like a hillbilly carrying my baby that is wearing a diaper and only a diaper.  We locate a onesie and grab a bottle of water because I have had no breakfast at this point (its after 10 am) and did not bring a beverage because we were supposed to be at the coffee place 30 minutes ago.
In typical Wal Mart fashion there were only two checkout lanes open and at least half a dozen people in line ahead of us.  Listen up, people:  If there is ever a frazzled looking mom standing in line holding a half naked baby and buying a onesie and not a bunch of other stuff, just let her go ahead of you.  The universe will thank you later.
Finally, 45 minutes later we arrive at the coffee shop around the corner from where this whole episode began in the first place.  I am wearing my Moby because, you know, we are going to a babywearing meeting; but because it was 110 degrees today, it is hotter than H-E-double hockey sticks in that thing.  So, in another fit of irony, I remove my babywearing device the minute I get to my babywearing meeting.
Now we are off to take baths.  And hose off a carseat.
Hope your morning was less eventful than mine! 

Monday, June 20, 2011


I made some Ebelskivers over the weekend! These are also known as "pancake puffs." My dear sweet grandma gave us a handy dandy electric Ebelskiver maker the last time we were in San Diego and I am now completely addicted to making them! It's really a lot of fun.

The Ebelskiver Cookbook has so many neat ideas from breakfast to appetizers. I am totally inspired and will probably be bringing them as a dish to the next several potlucks I attend.

The first ones we tried were the Cinnamon Ebelskivers. Topped with a little maple syrup and powdered sugar they were delicious!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Family Vacay

This weekend Brett had some extra days off, so we decided to head up to the Grand Canyon since we have not been since we moved to Arizona.
It was fun to take Hailey on a trip, even if it was just a short one.  The Grand Canyon was beautiful, and pretty much exactly how I remembered it.
We obviously did not do much hiking with a baby in tow, but we enjoyed walking some of the easy access trails along the rim and taking some pictures.
Hailey did well and was adorable, as always.  She attracted many ooohs and ahhs from passersby. 

My baby carrier was put to the ultimate test and Hailey loved riding around in it!

Grand Canyon Baby!
I took a rapid series of pictures.  All put together she looks like a tour guide: 
On my left you will see the Grand Canyon...
And the Colorado River...
So cute.

If you'd like to see more pictures from our trip, you can check them out here:
Grand Canyon 2011

Four Months- Time Flies!

How is it that our little baby girl is four months already?!?  It's amazing how much she has changed in such a short time.  She has gone from teeny tiny newborn to a baby who is rolling over, sitting up with help, and scooting (not crawling, but scooting) her way around on the floor.  Time just flies by-- and she just keeps getting cuter! 

I Made a Baby Carrier!

I had been looking for a Mei Tai-like baby carrier for a while now, but they can be so expensive.  Because our initial use of the Moby was a bit of a rocky road, I didn't want to spend $100 on something I was taking a chance on.  So, I made my own! 
I couldn't find any patterns that met my needs exactly, so I ended up drafting my own pattern as well.  Yes, I'm pretty impressed with myself.  ;) 

The good news is that Hailey loves it!  And I love hands-free shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.  It's a win-win. 

(Please ignore the crazy-lady-crafting-all-day hair)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hailey’s First Trip to San Diego

Hailey’s first trip to San Diego happened to coincide with Easter weekend.  I was really nervous about the trip, but Hailey was AMAZING on the drive.  She did so great, she is such a good little road-tripper. 

Taking breaks helped break up the car seat time for Hailey. 

We got in late Saturday (but not so late that we couldn’t go enjoy dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant!)
Sunday it was Easter and time for Miss Hailey to open her very first Easter Basket!  (With a little help from mom and dad of course). 

I had no idea what to put in an Easter basket for a baby, but I think I did a pretty good job.  :)

Her basket is bigger than she is this year!

After opening her Easter basket, we posed for a family picture.

Later that day, Hailey got to meet her Great-Grandma!

We were fortunate that we got to see the majority of our relatives Easter weekend.  Our lucky little baby even got to take her first trip to the beach and pose with her mom, dad, and Grandpa!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blog Revival- An Update

So, I haven’t blogged in about 2 months.  Sorry about that.  I have good excuses though!  First of all, I was deathly ill and quite pregnant the entire month of January, which pretty well hindered my motivation to do anything.  Second, I had a baby!

Isn’t she beautiful?

Hailey Mae was born at home on February 3rd (more on that to follow).  She is the light of our lives and we have loved every minute with our beautiful baby girl.  It’s hard to even remember what our life was like without her.  

Here are some adorable pictures for your viewing pleasure:  

I am planning on getting back in the habit of blogging now that we have found our footing and things have settled down--or perhaps just reached a new normal* for us.  After all, now I have a baby to update you on!  

*something tells me that things won’t actually “settle down” for a few years!  :) 
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