Feb 28, 2017

February Life Lately

The new Deli Mexicana opened near us! 

Watching TV.

Charlie was under the weather. Such a sweet little boy all curled up with my phone and a blanket. 

Center of music class, just taking it all in. 

Sometimes we sit on the potty. 


Bryan had his mom bring me flowers on valentines day! 

The guest room is mostly done. Still needs a lamp shade, crown molding, and for someone to paint the window. Getting there. 

Double fisting it. 

Bryan trying to teach Charlie how to jump. 

Getting a haircut. 

I thought the light was so pretty, but then he had a fit over something stupid. 

Sweet friends. 

Learning something new. 

Charlie has been sick these last few days. This was from Sunday morning when the boys snoozed together for two hours. 

Feb 21, 2017

Run Fast, Eat Slow: A Cookbook Review

Run Fast. Eat Slow.: Nourishing Recipes for AthletesRun Fast. Eat Slow.: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes by Shalane Flanagan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked up this cookbook on a whim when browsing through the new releases section of the library. I am not a competitive runner, but my husband is/was (ran in high school and college, does a few races still). While I'm not sure it will actually make you run faster, we both loved the recipes I made from this book. They were healthy, nourishing, and satisfying without leaving us feeling heavy and slow.

Here's what I tried:

Swiss Muesli Bowl, p. 46 - a type of overnight oats. It wasn't my favorite recipe for overnight oats I've ever eaten, but good.
Root Lovers' Winter Salad, p 84 - great meal. I served this to friends with roasted pork tenderloin. A great side dish, but would also be fine on its own.
Wild West Rice Salad, p 90 - Good side dish. Really loved the edamame with it.
Recovery Quinoa Salad, p 99 - delicious salad I ate for lunch many days.
Hearty Minestrone with spicy sausage and beans, p 107 - this was the first recipe I made from this book and it was outstanding. I really loved this recipe and would absolutely make it again.
High Altitude Bison Meatballs with Simple Marinara p 121, 171 - Substituted beef as bison is not readily available in the South. Great family dinner. I didn't even mind the kale in the meatballs. No one even noticed!
Shalane's Breakfast-Meets-Dinner Bowl, p 128 - good weeknight meal. Easy to make it your or your family's own.
Fish Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa, p 136 - delicious. Especially the salsa. My husband forfeited his share of seconds because he knew how much I loved that salsa.
Spicy Black Beans, p 162 - I can't do spicy so I left out the chipotle pepper and it was just fine. Enough flavor to keep it interesting. I was able to use the whole pot in various recipes throughout the week.
Lemon Miso Dressing, p 168 - this is REALLY lemon-y. If you love lemons, it's awesome for you. It was a bit too strong for us, though. Just cut back on the lemon juice.
Apple Cider Vinaigrett, p 173 - good
Coffee- Vanilla Peanut Butter, p 205 - this was the only recipe I had an issue with and I think it was my own doing. My peanut butter is more of a crumble than butter-like. Maybe I didn't let it blend enough in the food processor, or my peanuts were too dry to start with. However, it was still delicious. I put it in a zip-lock bag and keep it in the fridge. When we need a pick-me-up we'll get a spoonful or two.

I have plans to make the pecan butter chocolate truffles this afternoon before I return it to the library.

I really enjoyed this cookbook and if I see it on sale some place I will be sure to grab it. If you are looking for healthy, yet satisfying meals this book has some great options.

View all my reviews

Feb 16, 2017

Master Bathroom: Phase 1

The master bath is one of those things that has bothered me about the new house since we first saw it.  Purple walls, avocado green counters and accessories, boring beige floor, square white tiles in the shower. Ugh. It's a mess. 

And while I still feel very lucky to even have a master bathroom, it was very much a bummer. 

One of my goals for the year was to work on the bathroom in the month of January. We do not have the budget for a full reno, so taking my cues from Young House Love, I thought a Phase 1 redo would help me live with it for the time being. Lord knows when we'll be able to do the full reno. 

First order of business: Tearing out the avocado green accessories: the toothbrush holder, soap holder, and toilet paper holder. A previous owner took out the towel bar at some point and left it poorly patched.  I also switched out the towel rack that was there and installed an Ikea double hanging towel rod. 

For patching I decided to try these things. I don't even know what they are called. But I will say, they were a poor choice for this project. I think they work well on smaller holes (like an outlet I covered in the guest bedroom), but on larger ones where you need the 6" or 8" patches it takes a LOT of work to get it to look okay. 

Even Charlie got in on the action. 

Last week I entered in the Chris Loves Julia makeover with Lowe's. I highly doubt I'll get chosen, but these photos I used do make it look rough. HA! 

I spent all day Saturday priming and painting and by the end of the day got the light fixtures and pictures hung. I did some more trimming on Monday to have it finished. 

The bathroom is sort of done for now, but I want to buy some white towels and mats to make it a little bit more complete.  Will do a separate post for the "After" pictures. 

Photos by Charlie

Charlie's developed a bit of a phone addiction. I've made the unfortunate choice to allow him to play with my phone on occasion and now he can't stop.  He's constantly asking for it. It's actually a bit of a problem. 

Lately he's gotten into playing with the camera and taking pictures. I'm constantly deleting photos by the dozens. But every once in a while I'll keep one. Here's a few lately that I've kept. 

If you ever want to be convicted of your resting bitchy face, let your toddler take pictures of you. Yikes! The one above was after being convicted of how my face looked as I'm changing diapers. It's usually not good. Since those first changing table pictures I've made a habit of trying to be happier and fun when changing diapers. 

Poor Charlie and Bryan see this view probably too often. Side note: great book. 

Bryan and I both loved this one. Maybe we have a budding photographer on our hands? 

Feb 13, 2017

Saturday in the Yard

We've been blessed with some really nice days lately. It hardly feels like February. 

This past Saturday it was in the high 70s with mostly cloudy skies. Which means it was the perfect weather for being outside! We hadn't intended to spend the whole day outside, but we did. 

Our goal for the day was to do some research on our future raised beds. We shopped at Lowe's, compared ready-made beds and building it ourselves. Bryan was going to purchase some lumbar at the local lumbar yard, but it closed early on Saturday. Womp womp. 

Instead, we ended up building and establishing our new compost bed. We composted for several years at our old house, but haven't set up a new pile in this house. I'm so glad we finally got it started and I can start tossing our food waste in there. 

Bryan and Charlie raked up some leaves to put in the new compost heap. Charlie was great at helping. 

Here they are with the new pile. 

Bryan was trying to get Charlie to point to the pile. He stood up close and pointed very closely with his hands. It's hard to see above, but it was so cute. 

Is the child compostable? 

Charlie was able to pull the bin all by himself. It was so sweet to see him doing it all on his own. He has a special little heart that loves loves loves helping. I hope I can remember to be patient with him and let him help and learn, rather than doing it myself simply because it's faster. 

We picked up three bags of leaves and gumballs. We also ended up burning a good number of gumballs in the fire after Charlie went to bed. We have about a million gumballs in the yard thanks to three mature trees. Any other ideas of how to dispose or collect?  

All in all it was a great day. 

Feb 7, 2017

Hints of Spring

Lately I've noticed a few hints of spring. This is doubly exciting as we are in a new house and totally new plants are springing up in places I didn't expect. I'll spot some new growth and ooh and ahh and Bryan will roll his eyes at me. I can't be the only one who gets excited at these things, right?

So while Charlie and I were outside the other day playing I snapped a few hints of spring. 

A sedum (I think) in a container on the back patio. 

Daffodils!!!! I've always wanted daffodils in my yard. There are several clumps of these in the front and back. 

Blossoms on the tree.

I have no idea what this is. I don't remember there being anything here in the summer or fall. 

Daffodils and hellebore. 

This bed is half weeds, half daffodils, irises and daylilies. Can't wait to see it all in bloom. 

The delights of a new yard for a gardener! I'm so excited to see how things shape up for the spring and summer. Thank you, Lord, for new life! 

Feb 3, 2017

Charlie is 2!

How did this even happen? We have a two year old? Some days it seems like it was just yesterday that we were in the hospital with him, but most it feels like it was eons ago. Either way, our Charlie Bear is 2 and we some how adore him even more.

We kicked off the celebrations on Sunday at my parent's house.

He was very into the cake. 

Bryan was so sweet and make pancakes for breakfast on his actual birthday. Charlie was a bit confused as to how old he really was. 

At church the sweet nursery workers made him a sign and had all the kids "sign" it. One of our favorite nursery workers even gave Charlie a present. It is so sweet to me to see how others love on this boy. 

After nap time the three of us headed to the zoo. 

Charlie wasn't so sure about most things and looked like this most of the time. But he warmed up some. 

He even took a picture with his Daddy. 

Later we had the grandparents and Bubba over for dinner. 

Charlie was really into the cake and singing. He even blew out both candles. 

What can I say about this boy? He's got a sweet heart and a quick temper. He makes everything a game and his love of Daniel Tiger "Kaka" knows no bounds. 

At the two year mark we are now officially helmet free!!! I am so excited to be able to kiss my babies head and play with his hair anytime I want now! 

Happy Birthday, Charlie! We love you!