Today was Jonathan's birthday. He came over with a date and we made pizza:
What the heck?
Here's the top view. The huge air poof aka Mount Vesuvius actually was only 1/2 of the pizza.
Oh, and it is a really good pizza. Here is the link. It is a Roasted Red Pepper, Fontina and Balsamic Pizza. Just don't skip the balsamic reduction. It sounds weird, but it just wasn't quite as good this time when we forgot it as it was last time with it.
Isn't it nice when people go out of their way to help you out? Two people recently did this for me:
1. Natalie and I were running errands, and we stopped in at Walmart for the sole purpose of picking up two gallons of milk. Because we were only grabbing a couple things, I didn't bother to get a cart. So naive. Carrying Natalie and two gallons of milk from the far reaches of the store to the front was pretty awkward. An woman employee saw me, stopped, asked if she could help, and then carried my two gallons to an empty register, rang me right up, and then even ran and grabbed me a cart so I could easily get back to my car.
2. Natalie and I had walked up to campus to hang out with Matthew for a little bit. Because my sandal was rubbing part of my foot raw, we decided just to take the car home back home instead of walking (its a bit of a walk). To get to the car, we had to go down a medium length flight of stairs, with the stroller. I was just planning on doing that super awkward trick where the front wheels of the stroller are hanging off and the back wheels thump down the stairs. After three stairs, the guy in front of stopped and asked if I would like some help, and then helped me carry the stroller down the rest of the stairs.
small things, but they helped me out and made me happy. fantastic. :)
I am a little embarrassed that I've done this--like I'm trying too hard or something--but it was simple, easy and made me feel so resourceful. What's not to love?
If you couldn't tell by the title, I am referring to making homemade vegetable stock. There is nothing special required. All I did was whenever I had peelings, or ends, or stalks of vegetables--so for example, peelings from carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, ends of onions, the base of cauliflower and broccoli, and part of a leek I didn't end up using--instead of throwing it in the garbage, I threw it in a bag in my freezer. Once the bag was full, I emptied it into a pot (two pots actually, I just have smaller ones), covered it all with water and a lid, and let it simmer for 1-2 hours.
Then, strain out the vegetables, and voila, you have vegetable stock. Done. I used it in place of chicken stock in a few things, with great results. You could use it in soups, anything that calls for chicken or vegetable broth, or instead of water when cooking quinoa, rice, couscous, etc. I definitely felt environmentally friendly--no cans or boxes to throw away--, and I would imagine that the stock was fairly vitamin-rich. I would also imagine that you would probably want to use it within a week or two, or freeze it. Anyway, if you have a little room in your freezer and no more than a desire to believe, you should give it a shot!
Okay, this is the last post about Natalie being one, I promise. I can't help it, its just so exciting. Anyway, the other day Matthew and I were looking at all of her pictures from this year, and this is what came of it. I know it is probably really cliche, but honestly, I can't believe how she has changed. It just seems unreal.
Will you indulge me a few minutes to talk about my baby's birthday? Okay? Okay.
Matthew and I were pretty dang excited about it all. It is so crazy that we have a one year old now. It makes us feel really old. Anyway, we had a little party for her, just the three of us, although Jonathan was there for part of it, too.
Birthday dinner: Assorted stuff dipped in chocolate for us, assorted stuff not dipped in chocolate for Natalie. Also, I love what Natalie's doing here. Totally cracks me up.
We played Pin the Diaper on the Baby...
Since Jonathan won, we gave him the diaper, which he promptly
turned into a hat and put on his head.
Yup, that's my brother.
Then we blew noise maker things
(I know you all wish you could have been there. ha)
Natalie opened her present
A new car seat! Yay!
Time for cupcakes
More mommy more! (In her defense, they were really good, if I do say so myself.
For my first real sewing project, I decided to make a pair of throw pillows for our couch.
It was actually a really good time. Matthew and I had a lot of fun at Joann's picking out the fabric. Easily the hardest part was getting the squares to be real squares. The rest of it was pretty simple, although I did still make a lot of little errors in them. I followed this tutorial, which I liked because you can remove the pillow form from the pillow cover to wash, or I suppose you could make different pillow covers for different holidays or something.
We chose a neutral color because we are not planning on having this couch for a long time. In fact, we'll probably be moving within the next couple months, and when we do, this couch is not coming with us. We figure that when we have a couch and are a little more established somewhere, we can make another set of pillows to go with these that are a little bit larger and work with a color scheme.
Still, I like the pattern on it. It is kinda funky. The picture above isn't the best. Matthew said it is like an interference pattern (whatever that means). Each pillow cost about $7 to make. Win.
Last week we threw the last empty formula container in the trash, said good riddance, and bought a gallon of real, whole milk for Natalie.
It was an incredibly exciting day, as our milk budget shrank from over a hundred dollars a month to just $15 measly dollars.
I had been totally expecting to be nursing Natalie up until now, but we started having to supplement formula when she was three months old, and my milk was completely dried up by the time she was six months old. It felt like some sort of cruel joke by the breastfeeding gods, after the fact that I had been making colostrum since I was 5 months pregnant, and had a constant stream of milk coming out of me the first week after giving birth. A cruel, cruel joke.
Anyway, I guess that is the story that I am learning over and over again, no matter how big or how small, sometimes your plans just don't work out the way you think they will. I don't think I've ever been this excited for real milk, not even after moving out to college and realizing I could buy real milk instead of making powdered milk. And let me tell you, that was an exciting day :)