Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Make a Card Monday # 2

I know, I know, it isn't Monday anymore... hasn't been Monday all day. But I'm posting it now, so at least I didn't forget completely. And I'm not going to take pictures of the entire process anymore like I did last time; that took WAY too long to upload all of the pictures here, so you're getting one picture, with an explanation of how I did it.

Okay, so I used the same stamp set as I did last week, but what can I say? I just love Doodle This from SU! The cardstock colors are Blue Bayou, Purely Pomegranate, Soft Sky and Whisper White. I used Purely Pomegranate ink and also Staz-On ink in Jet Black (you should always use Staz-On when watercoloring, or your ink will bleed). To watercolor the image, I used Watercolor Wonder Crayons (from SU!) in Rose Red, Always Artichoke, Not Quite Navy and Cameo Coral. I used the water brush to watercolor it, not sure what the technical term is for it. It holds the water in the handle. I cut out the white circle with a circle punch, and then layered the Purely Pomegranate under it with a layering tool. It was a pretty easy card to make. The hardest part was cutting out the stamped images, and even that was fairly simple.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Vegetable Delight

Here is a recipe I made up from veggies I had in the fridge. It was so good! I think I may use rice next time instead of Ramen, so the veggies would be the main focus and have most of the flavor, and so that there would be less salt. Tomorrow I will use the leftover vegetables to make quesadillas with some freshly shredded mozzarella cheese. Oh, I can't wait!

Vegetable Delight
*1 package Little Smokies, smoked sausage, or a vegetarian substitute
*2 green onions, just the green parts, finely chopped
*1/2 red pepper, cored and diced
*2 cloves minced garlic
*5 carrots, scrubbed and diced
*1 whole bunch of celery, diced (use the leafy parts, they add so much flavor!)
*1 leek, sliced into thin slices and soaked for a few minutes in cold water to remove any gritty residue
*3 heads of broccoli, and stems if you like them, dice the stems and separate broccoli into florets
*1 stick sweet cream butter, cut into chunks
about 10 oz. chicken stock

*1 TBSP Basil
*1 TBSP Oregano
*2 TBSP Seasoned Salt
*2 packages Chicken flavor Ramen Noodles (or rice)
Yspend about 30 minutes chopping all the veggies up
Yput the little smokies into a big stock pot that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and cook them over medium-high heat, stirring every minute or so so they don't burn, until they are starting to brown
Yturn the heat to medium, add all of the chopped veggies and stir to mix
Ystir in the butter
Ywhen veggies start to soften, add the chicken stock and seasonings
stirring frequently, cook the veggies to the softness you like... Sammy likes his veggies pretty soft or he has a hard time chewing them
Ymeanwhile, cook the Ramen noodles or rice according to the package directions
Yserve Ramen/rice in bowls topped with the cooked vegetables

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Make A Card Monday # 1

So in the scrapping and card-making world, today is Make A Card Monday, and I thought I would join in the craze. Every Monday (it is actually just really late on Sunday night) I will make a card and take pictures of the process and post them here. Some people even post video of their card-making, but until I have video capability, you will just have to put up with my shaky-hand photography skills. Here goes!

picked out some colors and a patterned paper

cut out the Soft Sky paper into 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", then folded it into half, making it 5 1/2" x 4 1/4"

picked out my stamps

inked up my background stamp

the card after being stamped with the background stamp "Stitched"

cut my papers into strips 1" x 4 1/4" -- you can see I had changed my mind on the patterned paper, and I also decided not to use some of the cardstock I had picked out, just to keep it simple

chose ink colors for my stamps and decided on placement of papers on the card front

inked up the flower stem

cleaned off the stamp on my stamp cleaner pad (wow, I took pictures of everything)

put my ink away... okay, I just wanted to show you a piece of my world... this is a corner of my scrapping table, where you will find me most days during the boys' naptime/bedtime :-)

inked up my flower head

stamped the flower head on the Soft Sky paper

stamped the greeting (sentiment?) on a piece of the cardstock

picked out my scissors

cut out the flower stem

began to adhere the layers together

turned the flower head around until I liked the placement

got out my big glue dots

divided one glue dot into 3 pieces and stuck them to the back of the flower head

the finished product -- it says "Be Yourself -- Nobody is better qualified!"

And here is a list of what I used:

YCardstock - Soft Sky, Elegant Eggplant and Wild Wasabi (Stampin' Up!)

YPatterned Paper - Oh, Baby! (Basic Grey)

YStamp Sets - Doodle This, Smarty Pants and Stitched (Stampin Up!)

YInk - Elegant Eggplant and Wild Wasabi (Stampin' Up!)

Play-Doh Fun

Mike went by himself to Pickering's Pub last night to watch KU beat Missouri at basketball (Beak 'Em, HAWKS!!!), since we didn't have the appropriate channel on our ghetto cable, and no one could babysit for us. We seriously need to find a permanent babysitter. Also known as a live-in nanny. I'm sure that would help everything tremendously. Except perhaps our financial situation.

I was very gracious and allowed him to go because what I had planned as a morning out with Bonnie quickly turned into a whole day out, and it was a BLAST!! (more on that later) But I felt a bit guilty for having been out for so long, so I told him to just go and watch the game while I stayed home with the boys. It was a fun night for all of us, as Mike got to stay at the pub and play free poker -- one of his favorite things to do -- and I got to spend time with these two precious little boys. Sammy wanted to be right next to me most of the night; I guess he was keeping an eye on me to make sure I didn't leave him again.

Anyway, back to my day with Bonnie. We had breakfast at Einstein Brothers, and it was so amazing! We both got the Vegetable Panini sandwich, which is layers of eggs, tomato slices, spinach (they forgot the spinach on my sandwich, but it was still yummy), cheese and a spicy cream cheese that I seriously need to learn how to make, all sandwiched between crispy crunchy, um, panini bread? Not sure what the bread is actually called. Is it ciabatta? Yumm-O!

We then headed over to a resale children's clothing store where I looked for clothes for Griffin. I do believe he has been getting a couple of inches taller in his sleep every night. Bonnie even found a few things (can you say cute baby shoes and baby bunny slippers???) for baby Diamond Giselle, who will make her appearance in April. The shop was having a dollar sale, everything that had been "gently used" was only $1. They have new things too from overstocks at children's clothing stores, and those are marked at half the price of what the store was selling them for. DROOL... I found some really cute stuff that fits Griffin now and that Sammy will be able to grow into. The beauty of having two children of the same gender!

When we were done at the resale store, we headed over to Whole Foods, another store I am completely enamored of, and we walked up and down aisles, drooling (I drool when I'm excited, kind of like Gordon) and sniffing perfumes and shampoos and soaps and remarking over the prices of the vegetables, which weren't too much more expensive than you'd get them for at Wal-Mart, only at Whole Foods they are Organic and are displayed so temptingly and beautifully... The gumbo soup sample was so amazing that we both bought some kale so that we could attempt to make a soup that will be as delicious as that gumbo was, even though they didn't actually have the recipe for the soup they were handing out samples of, and couldn't actually tell us what all of the ingredients were in the gumbo (what's up with that!?).

We went back to Bonnie's house after stopping at my house to put my groceries away. When we got to my house, we realized that everyone was sleeping, even Mike, so we just left quietly and I left him a note telling him where I'd be. Bonnie made me (...well, and Caleb) the yummiest Eggplant Parmesan ever, and a spinach/mixed greens salad with raspberry walnut dressing and TOASTED PECANS, Y'ALL!!! And Garlic Texas Toast, and for dessert a blackberry (it was blackberry, right Bonnie?) and apple pie with ice cream with a drizzle of maple syrup and Toasted Pecans on top of the ice cream. Oh, the yumminess of it all. Talk about drool.

So then we headed back to my house, and Bonnie went home to prepare for a visit from her mother. Yes, people, the woman is 7 months pregnant, was expecting her mother to arrive that very evening, and still hung out with me and cooked me a fabulous meal while making more dishes and work for herself. WOW... now that's a friend!! We haven't had the chance to hang out for a very long time, though, so it was a visit we both thoroughly enjoyed.

Anyway, on to the pictures from my Play-Doh filled evening with the boys. But first, a short explanation must accompany these pictures. I am attempting to use my camera without the flash, as it tends to make people look washed out and gives them red eyes which take me a very long time to edit out of all my pictures. The drawback to not using flash is that the slightest movement causes the subject to blur, so most of my pictures turned out blurry. So I apologize in advance for any dizziness or squinty-eyes you may experience while gazing adoringly at these photos.

And now, without further ado... our Play-Doh Evening.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yummy Soup

We got to have Bonnie and Caleb over for dinner tonight, which is always fun. Bonnie had worked long and hard yesterday making a very tasty rye bread with dill in it that went really well with the soup I made tonight.

I am going to attempt to remember how I made the soup, because it turned out beautifully and was extremely yummy, a definite keeper. Here goes!

Cheesy Veggie Soup

Y1 box chicken broth (about 3 cans worth)
Yabout 15 small or medium red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
Y5 large whole carrots, scrubbed and diced (don't need to be peeled)
Y1 sweet red pepper, washed, cored and diced
Yabout 5 celery stalks, or the middle leafy part of the celery stalk with the surrounding stalks,
Y1 bag frozen sweet corn
Y1 pint half and half (or milk if you want less fat)
Y1 TBSP dried oregano
Y1 TBSP dried basil
Y1 TBSP Lawry's seasoned salt
Y1 cup cubed Velveeta

Pour chicken broth into large soup pot, on high heat. Add potatoes, carrots, red pepper, celery and corn. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender, could be 15-30 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes. Take out about 3/4 of the mixture and place in a blender (I used a VitaMix, but a regular blender will work, as long as it can blend hot foods). Add the half and half to the soup pot so that it can heat up while you use the blender. Blend mixture until most of the big chunks are gone, or less if you like a chunky soup (or skip this step if you like lots of chunky veggies). Put blended mixture back into soup pot, then add oregano, basil, seasoned salt and Velveeta. Heat over low heat until cheese is melted. Serve hot with crusty bread!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sesame This, Sesame That

I asked Griffin yesterday if he had been watching Sesame Street in the TV room, and he said something that had me laughing so hard I had to drop everything and run and tell Mike, who was working from home in his basement office. Here it is:

"I don't LIKE Sesame Street," he pouted, then turned on his most charming impish grin,"I like Sesame CHICKEN!!!"

Which is true, actually, the boy knows what he likes, and sesame chicken is right up there with broccoli and olives in his "Food Favorites."

Hope it made you laugh too. :-)

Pennies for Potty

Our potty training days have become much more structured (can you say "structured" and "potty training" in the same sentence without causing a crack in the universe somewhere?) since we have started a little thing called bribery...ah, I mean... monetary inspiration. We got an old jar, and every time Griffin goes #2 in the potty, we add 2 pennies to the jar, and then he dumps them out and counts them to see what the new total is.

So far he has 29 pennies in the jar (he had one taken away when he did a #2 in his underwear), and I have been slacking since I haven't been feeling well (stomach virus of some kind, I assume), but we have been telling him that when he gets 30 pennies in the jar, we will make a special trip to the gas station and let him pick out his very own candy. He has been going on and on about "potato candy" whatever that is, and he knows that is what he will choose. This gas station has a row of candy on the bottom for 10-15 cents each, so he will be able to pick 2 or 3 pieces. Fun for Griffin!

We don't give him anything for #1 during the day, but he gets 2 more pennies if he stays dry at night. He has that one down pat. Forget Pull-Ups, we skipped those completely. I just told him one day that he was a big boy and needed to go in the potty at night if he had to go, and we walked him step by step through the path to the potty at night, making sure it was lit with nightlights at the appropriate places. He has had a couple of accidents, but as he is the first child, he really wants everything to go the way HE wants it to, and wet underwear is not in his plan. (I'm not saying middle children are dirty, they just don't seem to care about this stuff quite so much, plus it gets them attention, and what could be better than that for a middle-born?)

Well, I just know you all have thoroughly enjoyed this invigorating discussion, but such is the fabric (pun intended) of our lives these days.

Sammy's First Sentence

Sammy came toddling into my closet the other morning as I got ready for the day. He looked for all the world like he had something he really needed to say, and finally he just blurted it out. "He...HIT...me!!" he managed. Wow. What a first sentence! And I'm sure there will be many more to come. :)