I need to be inspired to put something together

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Not that I will be buying lots of new things to put in the kids' rooms when I redecorate them all, but I love snooping around the Internet and in my collection of home decor books to get ideas for the placement of everything. Especially art, because the possibilities really are endless on how to group things together on your walls. Seeing what other people have done with what they have always helps me come to a decision. So whenever I get the chance, I've been looking around to figure out which direction I want to go in. I wish I had the budget for some amazing rugs and designer chairs, but I do not, and I'm okay with that. Or I'm going to have to be. :) And I'm going to have to be okay with carpet and standard subdivision lighting. My current projects are getting some things framed and matted, finding some open shelving for their walls, and finding new duvet covers for the girls. Can't wait to get it all together! The accessorizing is the best part.

All images from my Pinterest account.

This is what I've been up to, among other things

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I painted Mila's room last week, which is now officially Mila and Olivia's room, and I am still working on getting enough energy to paint the baby room next. It's mostly taped and all the switch plates are off, but I just can't bring myself to start that project yet. I've been stalling, mostly probably because my back and pelvis started hurting so badly after doing Mila's room that I am less than excited to go through that again. It took me two days to paint the room, in between school drop-offs and pick-ups, keeping the family fed and all the other good stuff that comes with keeping a household running smoothly. It was the best feeling, however, to be done and be able to get all the clothes and things back in their spots, with not a thing out of place or an extra item laying around that we don't need anymore. I thrive on that feeling of organized bliss. It really feels like bliss to me (I know I'm weird, I embrace it).

We put two full beds together, which created only a foot of space in between so the girls could actually get in their beds. No room for a night table in between--bummer. It works, though, and the room is sooo cozy now. I love the eclectic look of the different beds next to each other, and I love how all the colors pop against the white walls now. I thought Mila's big pink dresser would have to go, but B realized it may still fit in between Olivia's bed and the closet and pushed that monster back in there. Mila was over the moon about that fact because she had been shedding tears over having to give up that dresser. I didn't even know she loved it that much, but I think it was just too much change for her to handle all at once. It was really cute how she kept bringing up to me that night over and over that she couldn't believe the dresser still fit. I ultimately want that dresser out of there because it's just too big for the space and I want to replace it with a bookshelf I've had picked out for a couple years now. We haven't moved the girls' books back in yet and they continue to hang out in the hall until I figure something temporary out.

The biggest challenge has been fitting all their clothes into the room. Most of Olivia's things are in the closet and most of Mila's things are in her dresser. The stacks of clothes in the closet are so high and close together that I doubt we can keep order in there for long, and it's hard to see clothes that are behind other piles of clothes, but we will have to make it work. Girls and their clothes...

This is what the closet looks like now (I didn't paint it yet, but maybe after I am done with all the rooms I want to paint first, I'll get to it).

That elephant head up on the top shelf has a funny little story behind it. It used to be part of Mila's pinata for her last birthday, and she loved it so much that she actually kept all the pieces. I thought it was harmless and let her keep them, but then they started shedding tissue paper all over the place and I was over it, so I threw out all but the head and two legs. I thought I could get rid of the rest of them this time around, but Mila only agreed to throwing one leg out, and refused to let me touch the other two pieces. Because I love my daughter so much, I let her keep the head and BOTH legs. I know, mom of the year award coming right up! We'll see how long her elephant head attachment continues.


Chocolate walnut banana bread

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I have been itching to bake something for weeks now, and yesterday was my day! I enlisted Olivia's help in the kitchen, and we had warm, fresh banana bread in a little over an hour. Bonus: I didn't have to throw those black bananas out.

Here's the recipe for whoever wants to try:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 tbs. vegetable oil (I used olive)
2 eggs
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (I was out of walnuts so I subbed in pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease loaf pan with butter. I used two vintage Pyrex pans because they are smaller than the standard loaf pan.

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Combine bananas, milk, peanut butter, oil and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add flour mixture, mixing just until moistened. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips with a spoon and spoon batter into pan. Sprinkle walnuts and remaining 1/4 up chocolate chips over batter.

Bake one hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes.

Our hot Valentine's date

Oh yes, it was pretty steamy. Literally. I got to try a fondue restaurant I've been wanting to try for years. Not kidding, maybe ten years? I finally decided enough was enough and I told B in January that we're going, and he better make the reservation. Sometimes you just have to put your foot down, you know? I know we are never going back, but it was still a really fun experience.

It was a four-course deal. We started off with cheese fondue and bread, apples, veggies and fruit.

Next we had a delicious salad and moved on to the main course, which was actually a fondue pot of broth (we picked a citrusy Cajun one) and all kinds of raw meats--chicken, ravioli, beef, shark, pork, and shrimp--to cook in it, along with all kinds of dipping sauces. It was kind of fun until it wasn't fun anymore. I don't know how to explain it. We were having fun, making jokes and enjoying ourselves, but I realized after a while that I was just grossed out by raw meat sitting on the table in front of me. It got dunked for a couple minutes, and then it was on my plate, ready to eat. I have always been kind of queasy while preparing raw meat as it is, but eating with it sitting right in front of me was not my cup of tea. Plus, we laughed and laughed how the broth smelled like old people, and we were dunking all our food in it. And we may have acted our age by blowing the stinky steam at each other across the table.

I don't think B really reads my blog, or I may get in trouble for this picture. I just love it so! I had such a happy guy sitting across from me for the two hours it took us to get through all the courses.

The last course was, of course, my favorite. We picked a chocolate, caramel, and pecan fondue and sampled a bit of everything on our dessert plate. Everything was good, but the strawberries were my favorite. I'm inspired now to get a fondue pot, but never will I use it to cook meat. No thank you!

We headed off for a romantic movie afterwards, with our bellies full and our hearts happy, so all in all, it was a wonderful night. I knew even if I hated our restaurant choice, that I wouldn't regret going and trying something new, though it did cost an arm and a leg. :) Change of scenery and breaking out of familiar territory is good for a relationship, I think.


Instagramming January

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I guess now that Valentine's Day is over and we are gearing up for March, it's about time to put up my January Instagrams. :) I love how that happens every month. Maybe February will be the month that breaks the cycle!

In January, I hosted a New Year's party, B made apple tarts with Ben, I had a delicious, nutritious lunch, the girls had lots of play dates, we went sledding, I warmed up by the fire, we had cinnamon rolls at my sister's house, my belly grew, I went out with friends, we fell in love with Greek yogurt with maple syrup and chia seeds, B and I learned how to make pampushki, I babysat Adele, we devoured our manger scene, Olivia had a time-out, we picked up B at work and took him out to lunch, we made lots of green juices/smoothies, I baked some mushrooms, I had my favorite green beans with almonds, Mila looked for icicles everywhere we went, we played lots of Sorry! with Mila, I made blueberry chocolate cream cheese bars, we went bowling, I threw a birthday party for Natalia, I spent time in God's word, I took the Christmas decorations down, I remained obsessed with pomegranates, we got lots of snow, I took baths to ease my pelvic pain, we made ponchiki, we got more snow, we made doorbells hangers, I had a day to myself to get my sanity back and saw a friend for lunch, and cried my eyes out at Les Miserables. The end.


Sunshine, we're waiting on you

The weekend before last we had a nice slow morning at home and then headed out the door towards evening. Too bad we weren't expecting it to be quite so cold, so our park adventure wasn't quite as fun as we'd hoped. The plan was to take a walk by the river, but I got too cold to walk very far so that didn't go over too well. I ended up sitting out in the car for a bit while the kids played, and we ended the day with some Mediterranean food and a stop at the frozen yogurt place. The kids know not to take their coats and hats off because they always get cold after their frozen yogurt, but it doesn't stop them from begging to go!

Have I mentioned yet that I love Saturdays? :)

Time together (all five of us), good food and treats--what more could you ask for, really?