Wednesday, February 29, 2012

half leap birthday

So, today was Leap Day. It was also my half-birthday!!! And I decided that I get to make a big deal about it. If my half-birthday fell on any other day of the year, I probably wouldn't even notice it, but I'm not gonna lie, I feel pretty special that I have a half-birthday on leap year day.

So we had a little half-birthday party. It was legendary.

Matthew sang half (every other word) of Happy Birthday to me. We played leap frog with Natalie; she loved it. We sang half a song, and read half a book. Matthew smashed half of a fingernail in the car door. We drove half the speed limit to Walmart, where Matthew got me half a present. Okay, not really. He got me sidewalk chalk and a big bouncy ball. Although he did let me get a half-container of Pringles (love those!) and so I guess he did get me half a present.

 And the most exciting part of it all, I made a decadent dessert. I suppose I should've made half a cake or something, but let's be real, I just wanted to make this. I give you Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake.
I'm pretty proud of how it turned out. Yes, it was amazingly rich and delicious. We both loved it. You can get the recipe for it here.

Oh, and Matthew also had a floral design lab yesterday, so we'll pretend that the flowers he made there were special for my half-birthday.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

mischief managed

I will say that the more mobile Natalie has gotten, the more mischief she has gotten into. Surprise, surprise, right? I will also say though, that sometimes it is just so cute and/or funny to watch. For example:
For the record, there is now a child lock on this door.

And it is just hilarious watching her unload one side of a cupboard, climb in, get stuck, freak out a little bit, and then climb out over the stuff on the other side. Unfortunately, all I got was this blurry picture.

And then sometimes she's not doing anything particularly destructive or mess-creating, but is just being kinda silly:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

how we've wasted less food, or I could use a bigger freezer

Not many moons ago, Matthew and I realized that we were throwing away way too much food. We'd open a can or jar of ______, use half of it for our meal, not need that ingredient again anytime soon, and then suddenly we'd be throwing away containers of this and that, feeling awful about the dollars that are now in the trash can. Instead of leaving things to rot in the fridge, we've taken to freezing things. We just throw it in a bag, label it with the name, date and amount of whatever is in there, and stick it in the freezer. It's simple, easy, and since we've started doing this, we've wasted significantly less food.

Currently in our freezer (besides other normal things like ground beef, chicken breast and ice cream) we have yeast, diced tomatoes, mild green chilis, pumpkin puree, some roasted tomatillo sauce, mango couscous flavoring and herbed yogurt marinade for chicken, spaghetti sauce, turkey soup, and pizza dough (uncooked). We've also frozen black beans, sweetened condensed milk, pizza sauce, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and basically any sort of sauce...

Also, I'm a big fan of fresh baked goods, so sometimes when I'll make bread, if it is a bigger loaf or I think it will take more than a day or two to go through it, I'll cut it in half and freeze part so that it will stay fresh.

Also, occasionally we buy one of those delicious pork roasts that are flavored with sundried tomatoes or something from Sam's Club--or this weekend when my dad was in town for a day, he took us shopping and we got a big ole sirloin tip roast. Words cannot describe how excited I get for good beef. Anyway, with those types of things, we've taken to cutting them into two or three (or four) chunks and then freezing them separately. I know we could just make the whole thing sometime and have a lot of leftovers, but I view good pork or good beef as a treat, and I'd rather do it this way so that we have delicious meat for many Sundays.

I know that freezing stuff is not a new concept, but for us this has been a very effective way to save foods in a very user-friendly fashion.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

wax on, wax off

During his freshmen year of college, my brother waxed one of his legs. As this is has been, I believe, my only exposure to waxed body surfaces, I was duly impressed. So smooth! Recently, I was reminded of this story and decided that I was going to wax my legs.

I was informed that you had to let your hair grow out a little bit, so that there was something for the wax to grab on to.

"No problem," thought I, "I'll just time it so that I'm grody hairy while Matthew is gone." As Matthew was gone this weekend, back to New York to get the crown on his tooth and an additional three cavities drilled, I stopped shaving on Tuesday of last wee=k, and then was planning on waxing on Monday, the day that he got home. Six days would be plenty of time, right?

False. It was not enough time. Even though my legs were nasty hairy with a capital N and H, the wax wouldn't grab and my legs were left prickly as ever. At first I hoped that maybe the problem was with the waxing strips themselves, so Jonathan came over and tried them out on his legs. Nope, they worked for him. So now Jonathan is the one that is saying "Ohhh smoooooth legs. I am so sexy" and I am the one with prickly legs that now have adhesive all over them. Great. On the plus side, my mom thought the whole thing was absolutely hilarious. :)

Here's the dilemma. I've already dealt with hairy legs for six days. I suppose I should wait it out for another few days/weeks until I really can wax. The thing is that my legs are driving me nuts. They are scratchy, and gross, and I'm going crazy. Sometimes I hear girls say they like winter because they can go a lot longer without shaving. I just don't understand that. It would drive me bonkers. I usually shave just about every day (sometimes I skip a day, but that is not the norm). I don't know how I could go another day, much less another few days or week. But I didn't not shave for six days just so I could shave at the end of six days, ya know?

In the end, I decided to shave. I guess I just wasn't strong enough. I needed my smooth legs back again. I suppose waxing just isn't for me--I don't think I could ever let myself go for long enough to have it work. But now, I have a bunch of leftover wax strips so... watch out!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

loving my little girl



The hair around the back of Natalie's head is getting long-ish, and often curls out a little bit, giving the appearance that she has "wings" or something. You can see it in a lot of these pictures. So cute. We love our smiley baby girl so much.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Goal

Its halfway through February, and I decided to make another year-long goal. This year my goal is to do some sort of sewing project every month. Really, just one project a month, and most, if not all of them will be very simple, I'm sure.

The reason I decided to do this is that my mom and dad got me a sewing machine for Christmas. Yup, a pretty awesome gift, however, I don't really know how to sew. I wish that was something I am awesome at, but it is just not. I mean, I can thread the machine, I can sew a (sort of) straight line, I can do the really simple things like that, but following a pattern or really doing anything fancy--that's where things go downhill fast.

But, I figure, the internet will help me a lot. For example, I just found a friend from freshmen year's website where she has a lot of sewing tutorials for easy baby/toddler clothes. I'm sure I will be using that frequently. And I could make some pillows or something--those are easy, right? And the project for February is just going to be mending a pile of clothes, and hemming a pair of suit pants for Matthew.

Sew So, that's the plan. Here I go!

Friday, February 10, 2012

family love

Back in December we took some family pictures. I like them, but I also get a big kick out of Natalie's expressions.

 "Mom, dad, you're embarrassing me. Everyone's looking."
She looks so tired she could just pass out. Check out those tired eyes!
 This is a nice one. She's not looking at the camera, but she still is smiling. 
We are just so precious.