Thursday, July 28, 2011

Christmas in July.

I started Christmas shopping earlier this month.

I must be insane.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mission Accepted.

I have very few pictures of Zeke & I together. It's sad, really. Also, I only have two family pictures period of all four us since he's been born & neither are anything spectacular. I have an empty 11x14 frame on my gallery wall (in progress) that is in dire need to be filled and it's screaming at me to just get it done already.

Nathan is visiting this weekend and my mission is to take a family photo. I just want ONE good picture of the 4 of us...and then like 50 of the kids. ;)

  *fingers crossed*

Monday, July 25, 2011

Yard Sale Desk.

I can't say I was in the mood to "treasure hunt", especially with 29lb Zeke on my hip but my sister convinced me to turn around. Of course, now I'm glad I did. I scored a brassy $2 wine rack, a $1 corner shelf, & a $20 ugly desk.

See ugly desk here:

Looks like someone changed their mind about the blue and started sanding it. Plus, it was missing all the hardware. Yea, it was rough. I probably should of attempted haggling but Zeke was heavy & sleepy. The good thing is at least it's solid wood and not pressed/laminate.

I did some more sanding (that particular edge shown was pretty rough and I still never got it perfect) & primed it all.

(Btw, that's my $2 wine rack on top, I like it because it kind of reminds me of a birdcage. Now, it looks much letter in the kitchen with a coat of black.)

I debated on what color I was going to paint the desk and ultimately decided ona premixed Valspar glossy black. I figured it was either going A: in my office/craft/shamelessly cluttered office or B: Noah's man room and both have predominately black furniture. I I also ventured back to Target and grabbed some clearance pulls I saw the week before. Plus, two leftovers from my kitchen cabinet makeover.


It's temporarily housing Noah's TV but I'm pretty sure it's going to end up in my office. :D (Just don't tell him that.)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mommy Does...: Wowza! How Totally Awesome?!

Mommy Does...: Wowza! How Totally Awesome?!: "So, who will be the 500th?! It was JESS from I checked out her blog... and instantly fell in love with this photo! How adorable! ..."

I found Brooke's blog today and decided to follow her because well, she has a bunch of stuff to read! AND I was her 500th follower which got me a mention. Aweeeesome. Thanks Brooke!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Us {anniversary}

Thanks to the help of my wonderful sister-in-law, Noah & I were able to take some 5 year wedding anniversary pictures as well and I must say they turned out awesome! So here's a few:

A couple of these will have to be displayed on my gallery wall I'm working on ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yummy Eats.

A couple recipes I tried for the first time....

First, dinner: Alice Springs Chicken {Outback Steakhouse favvvvorite}

  • 4-6 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Honey Mustard (Your favorite I assume, I just used Kraft)
  • 2 tbsp oil 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  •  1/2 tsp Salt & 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • Sliced Mushrooms (I used the glass jar of Green Giant)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Cooked Bacon (I copped out and used precooked bacon *gasp*)
  • 3 cups Shredded Colby Jack cheese (I used a little more...I really like cheese.)

Mix the honey mustard, 1 tbsp oil, and lemon juice. Place chicken in Ziploc bag or 13x9 pan and pour half the mixture on top of the chicken. (You can refrigerate the rest & use for marinade later.) Refrigerate for 2-12 hours.

Preheat oven to 375. Heat 1 tbsp oil in frying pan & sear both chicken on both sides. 

Place chicken in oven pan & brush with remaining marinade. Saute butter & mushrooms in the same frying pan. Season chicken with salt & pepper.

Place bacon strips, mushroom, & cheese over the chicken. 

Cover with aluminum foil & bake for 7-10 minutes. (I had to cook mine for 20 because my oven is ancient & bakes horribly.)

Remove & serve with marinade for dipping.

Mine is kinda ugly. I had issues getting it out without mushing & stretching all the cheese. And I have a chipped plate. *hangs head in shame* It was good though. :)

And for dessert?

Fried plantains. Very easy to make. I sliced the plantain, used about 4 tablespoons of butter (I usually respect my arteries a little more than that), & fried it in a pan until it got to looking like fried plantains. (Very scientific, right?)

Downy Unstoppables {product review}

This is not a paid review but a review of a sample I was sent by Vocalpoint. If you haven't already, you should check them out. They'll be doing another free full size sample of the Downy Unstoppables for review soon!

The idea behind Downy Unstoppables is that you add the beads to the wash and they add a fresh scent that last for up to 30 days! It's controlled by you too so you can add as much or as little as you would like.

I really, really like this product. The first thing I tried was just a general load of laundry. I wore one of the skirts a couple days later and a co-worker commented that I made the office smell like 'fresh laundry'. I've used it on general laundry, the rugs in my home, & my car mats. My car didn't last as long scent wise but that's not surprising since we traveled in it so much last week. My clothes & rugs are still holding on to that fresh laundry smell. Next item to get a wash overhaul: bedding. 

I think this product is well worth the investment, especially if you like that fresh laundry smell!

Zac & Charlene {anniversary}

The people in the pictures are Noah's brother & his wife. Hence, my brother-in-law & sister-in-law. They are the ones who went on our Jamaica trip with us. :) Charlene &  I got this super fantastic idea to take pictures in wedding dresses to celebrate the 5 year wedding anniversary aspect.

Here are some of theirs:

(Don't worry, this was a Couples only resort so there were no kiddos to witness the PDA. That and it was like 7am.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We're baaaack.

Jamaica was AWESOME! Like, totally awesome. Really, really awesome.

3.5 days was not enough. Since we're already positive we'll be making a return trip to Couples Swept Away, we know that we'll have to go for a week next time. Since the resort is all-inclusive, all the food/drinks/watersports were included in the price of our room. Definately worth every single penny.

Relaxation. o.m.g. I had literally NOTHING I had to do. Just the fact that there was no laundry, house cleaning, diaper changes, commuting to work, work, or daily stuff was just....awesome? (Sensing a theme here?)

Beach & ocean were pretty much my favorite part. It was calm, clear, & warm. I usually spend about 10 minutes tops in the ocean here because you can't see and I just don't like not being able to see. Plus, it's usually cold. And I'm scared of sharks. I spent so much time in the ocean there though. They had pool type floats and we would just lay there and read or relax. The sand was soft, powdery, & mostly clean of debris/shells. You could out where it's 30 feet deep and still see perfectly clear. Pretty sure it was a slice of heaven on earth.

Food = excellent. You had 1. The Palms that served a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My favorite things I ate there were curried conch, fresh fruits, and fried plantains. 2. Lemongrass (Thai) that was soooo good.  Thai pad noodles & chicken plus an array of appetizer samples. 3. Patois Patio with breakfast, lunch, and dinner that had a daily interchanging menu. My favorites there were the carrot soup (it may sound gross but I was sad they didn't make it another day), the breakfast smoothies, & banana stuffed french toast. 4. Feathers (gourmet food) that was good but honestly was my least favorite place we ate at. I guess I'm a pretty simple chick. 5. Seagrapes Cafe that had sweet potato chips with black bean hummus dip & spicy pumpkin jalepeno dip. Mmmmm. They were so so good. 6. Cabana Grill that served food pretty much all day/night. Burgers, chips, onion rings, nachos type stuff that was good to snack on. 

Watersports. Wide selection of stuff to do. They had windsurfing, snorkeling, sailing (Hobie Cats), water skiing, scuba & kayaking. The guys went scuba diving twice. They offer a class in the morning for the ability to take a single dive. Zac already has his diving certificate but Noah didn't. (Noah ended up getting his while he was there.) We didn't get to go snorkeling during the day because it ended up storming when we we're supposed to go but we did go night snorkeling. Sound scary? Ok, it was a little but I was actually way cooler with it than scary. You had 2 employees that took us out to a site they called "Mexico" and we got snorkel gear & flashlights, and they led us around the area for an hour. We saw squid, some electric rays, fishies, jellyfish (which took the liberty to sting me twice but they were pretty small so it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be), puffer fish, & an eel. I brought an underwater camera and took pictures hoping at least something little would show up but it didn't. I can say it was a really cool experience. Kayaked. We took a lesson on the Hobie Cats. The first experience was....frightening. At first it was fun. Then the wind stopped. Unfortunately, you can't sail without wind. We didn't care because we figured it would pick up. Nope...but there was a thunderstorm. First, pounding rain - then, lightning - then, a huge thunder boom. Minor freakout. Tried paddling...didn't work. The guys had to get a boat and come tow us in. HAHA. Lucikly, the second time we went out the wind didn't die and we had a nice enjoyeable sail.

Staff was so friendly & helpful. They really made our stay even more enjoyable. When we first got to the resort, they greeted us with cool towels and champagne. Not only did we get daily cleaning service but a nightly turndown of the bed & quick cleanup. A lot of people worry about the 'safety' factor in Jamaica due to the poverty/crime rates but we never had a single problem. The beach was patroled 24 hours a day by security guards who kept any vendors on the beach moving & not harrassing the guests.

Rooms & grounds were very pretty & clean. No complaints at all. They even rake the sand in the morning. We  had an ocean view room and I enjoyed waking up to the view in the morning. The resort is pretty big & was well kept.

Spa Charlene & I went to the spa and had a peppermint sea twist wrap. It was an ace bandage type material that was soaked in peppermint & seaweed. They wrapped us in it to the shoulders, put a plastic bag around us, & a hot towel. Sounds weird but it felt soo wonderful. While we relaxed, they massaged our scalps and then removed the wrap & gave us a mini massage. Relaxed? Um, yes. It was extra $$ but again worth every penny.

Catamaran cruise was a boatload (no pun intended) of fun. They pretty much serve Red Stripe & rum punch and take you swimming near caves. It doesn't really sound like a good idea does it? It probably isn't. Either way though, it was a blast. They had a slide towards the top of the boat that you can go off into the ocean. We did that multiple times. Fun, fun, fun. I really wish we had done it more than once. Swimming into the cave was kinda neat.

On top of that, we celebrated the anniversary part of the trip by donning wedding dresses & taking a mini-session on the beach. I'll be excited to share those later.

I wish I could say I had a favorite but I didn't. It was all my favorite. I don't think I've ever enjoyed myself so much on a vacation. I mean, I've had excellent vacations but this was just different from anything we've ever done. The only thing I didn't like was getting in and out of customs twice. Not fun. I'm working on getting the pictures editing & uploaded and will share those soon.

I am so thankful we had the opportunity to go and such a wonderful family willing to watch the kids.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Colin {baby love}

A most recent bundle of joy session :)

Meet Colin
Notice the upper left hand corner? That's big sister Kadyn

She loooves her baby brother

I love wrinkly baby feet.

and old man baby faces

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Love him forever.

When I was little, my mom read me 'Love You Forever' by Robert Munsch. Not just occasionally....we read it A LOT. It was my favorite book and subsequently when I saw it the other day I got all nostalgic feeling and decided I want it to be one of those books for Zeke . Of course, I didn't think about the fact I was a little older and currently he doesn't quite have the attention span for it yet since there's nothing bright and enticing about it.

Two of the pages fit so well right now. He's into EVERYTHING he can get his chubby little fingers on and sometimes he drives me up-the-wall-crazy. Every night before I go to bed I go in his room, make sure he's laying comfortable, rub his back, and tell him I love him.

O, how I love him.