Archive for November 2009

Earlier Bedtime NEEDED!

November 30th, 2009 — 9:53am

My goal last night was to get in bed by 9:30.  That SO didn’t happen.  I got done folding laundry (I DID do it) and I wanted a pomegranate and I wanted to hang out with my hubby.  So we watched a tivo’d Survivor and then we headed to bed.  I didn’t get to bed until 10:30 and I fell asleep at 11.  When the alarm went off at 5:30 this morning I could NOT do it.  I slept in. 🙁 The plan is to go out at lunch for a walk and maybe I’ll do something tonight.  I WILL get in bed by 9:30 tonight and hopefully fall asleep by 10.

Speaking of laundry, here’s Shaun’s pile:


Lucky guy.

Last night I did decorate our tree.  It turns out our living tree from last year was half dead :(  I guess you’re supposed to plant those things, not keep them in their container and so we decided to get a tree from Home Depot.  A cut one.  It seems so wasteful but it’s not anymore wasteful than my half dead one in a container. 

Here’s Lu with our tree at the lot:


She’s much more interested in her nanner.

Our tree was so little it fit standing up in the back of the Element:


It’s so cute though!  We don’t have room in our condo for a full sized tree, so we put it up on a table.  Here she is all decorated:


Here’s Lucy’s 2009 ornament:


Her name and the year are on the back.  My Mom has a great tradition of getting us an ornament every year.  The idea is that once we have our own house we would get all the ornaments.  My Mom kinda likes to hold on to things though, so she still has all of our ornaments and still gets us one every year.  I love the idea though and it’s a tradition that I gladly started with Lucy.  Here’s her ornament from last year:


I spent a little bit more on her first ornament ever 😉

Yesterday we finally went on our Thanksgiving hike.  It was beautiful!  Shaun took us to Waterdog.  It’s where he mountain bikes when he needs a short ride.  Most week’s in the summer he goes to Waterdog at least once after work.  I had never been but it is really neat.  It’s a preserve right in the middle of a bunch of houses.  It’s about 15 minutes away and really beautiful.

Lucy LOVED it.


Here’s the start of the hike, the pavement ended very shortly:


Up on a ramp:





See the houses right in the middle of the picture. It must be hard having a preserve as your backyard!


Our car! (If you look really hard you can see it right in the middle of the pic)


Some manzanita:



Manzanita is a really cool tree/bush.  It’s one of the hardest woods in the world and it feels cool to the touch-actually kind of cold.  Our birds perches are made out of manzanita because it’s so hard. Plus it’s pretty!

Yesterday was a FABULOUS day!  In addition to the hike, folding, and tree decorating, we FINALLY got the bird’s cage clean.  That’s been on my to do list for almost a year.  We clean her cage weekly but a deep clean is needed once every few months.  Unfortunately Zulli (our bird) has had a hard time adjusting to Lucy.  She used to come out of her cage multiple times a day and now we’re lucky if she comes out once a week :(  Yesterday we were determined to get her cage clean even if it meant I needed a few bites.  She did come out and only bit me once.  We just need to force her out of her cage everyday and then make that experience fun-yesterday Mommy cuddled and preened her.  I think if we do that we’ll have our sweet birdie back.

Okay, I have a ton of work to do today.  Ciao!


Today is my last day!  I am thankful that I decided to post something I’m thankful about everyday in the month of November.  I did it everyday on Facebook and it was really a great experience.  I’m glad that it was one of those viral things that spread on Facebook and that I decided to partake!

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December 2009 Menu

November 29th, 2009 — 1:33pm


Now I need to make my grocery list and GO SHOPPING!  We’ll see how the local grocery store does compared to Whole Paycheck.  I’m hoping it’s a success!

I’ll be back later with pictures from our awesome hike that we did this morning.

6 comments » | Menus

I have a Confession..

November 28th, 2009 — 1:12pm

We keep a very clean house (that’s not my confession).  Shaun is very neat and I’m very clean-it’s a clean house match made in heaven!  We also have cleaning people that come in once every two weeks and give the house a deep clean.  I want to spend my weekends with Lu and Shaun, not cleaning, so this is a necessary item that we budget for. If I ever get to stay home this would be the very first thing that would get cut.  ANYWAY, our house is always clean EXCEPT for my one downfall…


FOLDING LAUNDRY.  Yes that’s 2 weeks of CLEAN laundry just waiting to be folded.  I’m GREAT at doing laundry, just awful at actually folding it. And, the worst part? I won’t let Shaun fold my laundry.  He doesn’t do it right (I’ve tried to get over this and just can’t) and so I fold my laundry and all the towels-he tried to fold towels and I re-fold (I truly wish I wasn’t such a control freak-I’ve tried people, I’ve really tried!).  We’re about 50/50 on Lu’s laundry. So that pile right there? About 10% of it is Shaun’s since he folded last weekend.  I’ve promised that I will get that folded by weekend’s end.  It looks like I’d rather blog about it than fold it-HA!

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people that folds laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer and I think the only time I accomplished that was when I was on maternity leave. OH another reason for me to stay home-I’ll get folding done….maybe…

While I’ve been avoiding folding laundry I have been doing MORE laundry, cleaning up from Thanksgiving (that’s all done) and DECORATING!  I’ve only just begun but I’ve got my angels out.

Front Door:


Entryway closet doors:



We have a living tree that will come off the balcony tonight and we’ll trim it 🙂 I think we’ll have to do some ACTUAL trimming to get it to not look so Charlie Brownish!


Once Lu gets up from her nap we’re going to brave the crowds and go Christmas shopping.  We think we can get it all done this weekend.  Plus, Shaun REALLY needs some clothes so we’re going to try and take advantage of the sales-I hope all the good stuff isn’t gone.  I should also look for a Christmas outfit for Lu.

Our hike got pushed to tomorrow since Shaun is tired and sore from his epic mountain bike ride yesterday.  It will happen though.  We did go on a nice long (1.5 hour) walk this morning so I’m feeling good about that.

I hope you’re all having as nice a long weekend as I am!


Today I’m grateful that Shaun and I both have good jobs and that we aren’t struggling right now.  So many people are.  We have a giving tree at work and I can’t wait to take a few “wants” and go get gifts for the less fortunate!

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What Leftovers?

November 27th, 2009 — 8:47pm

Over 100 pictures were taken yesterday!  I sat down to write a post last night and it took almost an hour for my pictures to upload.  I have no clue why it took so long but it did so I’m posting today instead.

Yesterday was FABULOUS!  I did hit a few snags but I improvised and it turned out perfectly. 

The first snag was my table cloth.  I got a new table between last year and this year and I didn’t think that I’d need a new table cloth. I was WRONG.  I ended up using a white bed sheet as a base and my table cloth on top.  It was a TON of ironing but oh well.  I had a pretty table!  All that ironing made me late but again OH WELL!




I got to use my nice china-it’s so pretty!


For appetizers we had chips and salsa:


and guac:


I also did crudités with hummus and olives:


And, lastly, artichokes:


Elaina and I basically shared cooking responsibilities (I did appetizers, the bird, stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes. She did the sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry relish, and dessert).  We shared the kitchen well 🙂


While dinner cooked, Lu and Brea (Richard and Elaina’s child…I mean dog) hung out:


Love this one:


Lu then had a costume change!

202 203


The food was finally ready and waiting to be plated:


The bird:


Lu was HONGRY! (Nevermind the pound of guacamole and crudités she ate)


(My child is actually pretty well behaved but she IS 14 months old. Fits kinda come with the territory)

Brea pouted because Auntie Chelsea didn’t give her any turkey:


Dinner is served!


Lu LOVED Mommy’s cornbread stuffing (I decided to make it):


It was all DELISH!  I highly recommend the pomegranate glaze on the turkey and the coconut cardamom sweet potatoes-I think I would omit the cayenne pepper from that recipe though. I don’t know the protocol for posting recipes from magazines.  Is it a big no-no?

I stopped eating before I was full because I knew we had desserts.

Peach and Berry Cobbler (clean and SOOOOOO GOOD):


“Clean” Molten Lava Chocolate Cake that I didn’t get a picture of.

And, my “famous” Oreo Pudding Pie:


I had a bite of that.  Shaun claims that I could win a contest with that pie-I highly doubt it.  All it is is Oreo cookie crust (which they no longer sell and I have to make-Oreos crushed mixed with melted butter pressed into a pan and baked for 10 minutes), chocolate instant pudding, and Cool Whip.

Lu wanted nothing to do with it, but she did manage to get it ALL OVER (notice the back of the chair):


And, in her hair:


Lu was one tired girl by the end of the night and we couldn’t even get a smile out of her for a family picture:


Richard and Elaina took home some leftovers and we were left with the perfect amount:


The turkey carcass went right into a pot of water and I plan to make turkey soup tomorrow.

Look at all the dishes my sweet hubby did!


And finally-it’s time for Christmas!  Lu got her Christmas jammies tonight:



Today I’m thankful for hot showers!  Sometimes there is really nothing better!

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November 26th, 2009 — 9:04pm

Happy Thanksgiving all! Today I’m grateful for my family and friends-especially Shaun and Lu-they make me complete!

The food was a success! Stay tuned for pictures and commentary 🙂

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Giving Thanks

November 25th, 2009 — 9:43am

Last night was the big Thanksgiving shopping trip.


On the menu?


-Vegetable Crudités with 2 kinds of hummus
-Chips, Salsa and Guac (at Shaun’s request)
Artichokes in the Crock Pot


-Pomegranate-Glazed Roast Turkey
-Green Beans with Roasted Chestnuts
-Coconut-Cardamom Sweet Potatoes (I’m SO excited about these!)
-Mashed Tators for my hubby
-Turkey Gravy
-Mushroom and Leek Stuffing
-Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Ginger


-“Clean” Molten Lava Cakes
-Fruit Tarts
-Oreo Pudding Pie for my hubby


If the menu looks familiar it’s because we’re using Clean Eating Magazine’s Holiday Feast almost entirely with a few tweaks.  Richard and Elaina are coming over and Elaina and I are going to do all the cooking.  This will be our third Thanksgiving together and it’s always wonderful.

I’m a little sad that I won’t be making my grandma’s corn bread stuffing.  I could probably do it “clean” using honey in the cornbread and then using whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Hmmmm…maybe if I REALLY miss it tomorrow I’ll make a small batch this weekend and send all the Mushroom and Leek Stuffing home with Elaina.

Doesn’t that Cool Whip look out of place?


I asked Shaun what Thanksgiving dessert he couldn’t live without and he said “Oreo Pudding Pie”.  I USUALLY make Oreo Pudding Pie for his birthday but since Lu was so sick this year it didn’t happen.  So he’ll get his Oreo Pudding Pie after all.

Here’s the fridge packed to the gills:


I tried out a new local market for my shopping and I think I may be making a switch.  It’s similar to Whole Paycheck but it’s overall cheaper!  My organic, free-range turkey was $1/pound less than it would have been at Whole Paycheck.  Their organic produce selection isn’t quite as good BUT their local selection is phenomenal.  They also have everyday things like zip lock, Oreos (not that I buy these all that often), normal brand shampoo, you know, all the things that I have to make a second trip for because Whole Paycheck doesn’t have them.  I’ll need to do a non-Thanksgiving trip there to really determine if I’m making the switch permanently.

On a completely unrelated topic.  Last night I heard Shaun and Lucy pull into the garage but it was taking them forever to get to the door.  I opened the door to find this (sorry for the blurriness):


Lu wanted to walk and Daddy let her.  It looks like I have a WALKER and a TALKER!


I can’t believe there’s only 5 more days of this! Today I decided to not be as serious and to be grateful for POMEGRANATES!  Oh how I love thee!


(love how they misspelled it on the sign!)

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Thyroid? Nope.

November 24th, 2009 — 11:33am

Sigh.  I had my annual yesterday (JOY!) and I talked to my doctor about how slowly the weight is coming off.  He immediately suggested testing my thyroid.  His nurse called today and my thyroid is completely normal so it’s not that.  It’s good that my thyroid is okay but I really wish that I didn’t weigh what I did. He suggested talking to my general doctor and I guess I will.  I need to not get discouraged.

Here’s my weight loss over the last month and a half:


My friend Elaina’s goal is to not gain any weight over the holidays.  I like that goal.  I’d like to lose weight but we’ll see if that happens.  I guess I’ll call it a success if I don’t gain weight.  Although the thought of being 160 STILL on January 1st is very depressing.  I was 153.5 the day I found out I was pregnant.  It would be nice to be close to there come January 1st.

Here I am now.


You’d think with all the hard work I’m putting in that that would be doable.  Maybe I’m kidding myself and not working hard?  Who knows?

What a depressing post.  Sorry!  I’m not going to give up.  I’m going to continue to eat well and exercise and maybe I’ll make a few tweaks.  I do feel much better and I need to focus on that!

Something that’s not depressing?



Today I’m thankful for my open relationship (not THAT kind!) with my husband. I’m so glad we can talk about things and problem solve together!

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Everything But the…Casserole

November 23rd, 2009 — 8:11pm

Tonight the plan was to make salmon casserole inspired by this recipe.  When I got home it turned out that I didn’t have 2 cans of salmon like I thought and so I had to get creative.  I came up with this:



1 can salmon
1 package mini apple and chicken sausages
1 package frozen veggies (carrots, peas, and green beans)
1 package chopped mushrooms
3-4 handfuls of spinach
1/2 cup of low skim mozzarella cheese
1 TBSP of vegan butter
2 TBSP whole wheat flour
1.5 cups chicken broth
1 package egg noodles
3 tsp paprika
2 tsp Tony’s Seasoning
S+P to taste


Preheat oven to 350*. Boil water for noodles and cook according to package. 

While the noodles cook, melt the “butter” and add the flour and stir until a roux is made (kinda like a paste).  Slowly add the chicken broth while whisking.  It will thicken.  Add to that the seasonings.  SIDENOTE: Whenever a recipe calls for cream of anything soup, I do this instead.  It’s MUCH healthier and gives you a similar result-plus no dairy!

Add to that the frozen veggies and mushrooms.

In a casserole pan add the salmon and sausages and the spinach.  When the noodles are done, add them to the casserole dish and add the veggie/chicken broth mix.  Mix it up well and add the cheese (I find that a little cheese helps casseroles and I can handle a little bit of part skim mozzarella-it’s fine without).


Cover with foil and cook for 20-30 minutes or until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted.


I cherry picked so that I had more spinach.


Lu liked it.


But not as much as she likes cookies.


Shaun gave it 3 stars 🙂

Really you can throw almost anything together like this and it’ll work.  You just need a starch (noodles, rice, potatoes), veggies, protein, and either cream of something soup or a roux. Voila dinner is served!

2 comments » | Recipes


November 23rd, 2009 — 10:47am

I had a girls’ weekend in Seattle.  My friend’s birthday is today and mine was on Thursday so we decided to have a birthday weekend.  We had a blast!  She has a daughter that was born a few weeks after Lu and it was so fun to see the babies together.  We met on a birth board and on Saturday 3 other Mommies and babies came and we spent the day together.  It was SO fun. 

We stayed at the Four Seasons where their attention to detail is astonishing.  They had 2 cribs set up for us, the entire room was baby proofed (including outlet covers), there was a diaper genie and baby products in the bathroom.


The bathroom WAS amazing.



After we checked out the room, we had to get the girls some dinner.


We headed back and put them down and then hung out in the bathroom.

We brought chairs into the bathroom while the babies slept.


The second night we wised up and put the arm chairs in the bathroom.


On Saturday, the girls played. (Who needs clothes?)


And then their friend Aiden showed up and then ate breakfast. How cute are they?


We then went down to Pike’s Place to meet the other Mommies.  I had to snap some pictures of the surroundings.






We got lunch and then brought the kiddos back to the hotel to play a little (and get warmed up).


VV had had enough!


All the Mommies and babies:


And this one is too cute to pass up:


We went out and did a TON of walking around the market and ended up at a Tully’s for coffee.


While the kiddos napped.


Then we came back to the room where the kiddos shared a Grapple-it’s an apple that tastes and smells like a Concord grape (very weird).


On Sunday we just hung out and had lunch until it was time to go to the airport where I got some cute pictures of Lu.




We did spend a lot of time in the hotel but when you have 2 to 5 1-year olds together and it’s cold and rainy out, it’s your only option. Good thing we had a huge room! 

I would LOVE to go back to Pike’s Place during the week when it’s not so crazy-I could get into some major trouble there!  I had such a blast and can’t wait to see my friends and their kiddos SOON!


I’m grateful for the internet.  Without it I wouldn’t have met a bunch of AMAZING people.

*Half of these pictures are Bethany’s.  All the ones that are a little fuzzy (because I don’t have the originals) are hers.  She’s a MUCH better photographer than I ever thought of being and her pictures were WAY better 😉

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Homemade Pumpkin Butter

November 19th, 2009 — 9:33pm


I got a bug up my butt to make pumpkin butter without any refined sugar.  I LOVE pumpkin butter.  So much so that I bought 12 jars of it last year at Trader Joe’s so that I wouldn’t run out when it went out of season.  That may have been overkill as I still have 6 jars in my cupboard.  The second ingredient in that pumpkin butter is sugar-BOO! Before I embarked on my “clean” pumpkin butter I did a TON of research.  I probably looked at 50 recipes before putting mine together.  As you know my first batch was an big huge FAIL-too many spices.  My second batch, however, is DELICIOUS!



3 Sugar Pumpkins (or 40 ounces of canned pumpkin though it won’t be as flavorful)
3/4 Cup Honey
3/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Cup Apple Juice
1 TBSP Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
Zest of 1 Meyer Lemon
Juice of 1 Meyer Lemon
2 tsp Vanilla


Preheat oven to 350*. Wash pumpkins well. De-stem and cut in half. Scoop out guts-I found that the scoop you get in carving pumpkin kits works the best.



Place pumpkins face down on a foil lined cookie sheet and cover with foil.



Bake in oven until soft. ~1.5 hours.

When pumpkins are cooled, scoop out the insides and discard the skin.


Run it through the food processor in batches to get pumpkin puree.


Place pumpkin puree, honey, syrup, apple juice, lemon zest and juice, and all spices EXCEPT the vanilla in a crock pot and stir WELL. Alternately you can do this on the stove and bring it to a low simmer and stir it often and WATCH it.


Cover with a splatter guard or put the lid on half way.  If you leave the lid on it won’t reduce because the steam will be trapped in the pot.

Splatter guard (preferred):




Then cook:


On high for 4 hours:


Then on low for another 2 or so hours:


Stirring occasionally.  Some people just put it on low and let it go overnight or while they’re at work.  That made me nervous and I wanted to stir it so I did it while I was home.

Once it’s to a consistency you like, place it in a container and store overnight in the fridge.

The next day, run it through a food processor again and add the vanilla.




*Please Note: Some recipes out there will tell you that you can put pumpkin butter in a warm bath to can it and that it will be good for up to a year.  The USDA does NOT recommend canning pumpkin butter-it does not keep well and can grow dangerous bacteria.  It can however be kept in the freezer up to 1 year and in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

Lucy gave it 2 thumbs up!




*This made 10 pint jars of butter.

20 comments » | Gluten Free, Recipes

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