Monday, November 23, 2015

Baby Girls and Shopping

You guys, I have a sickness. And it comes in the form of getting overly excited when I get to shop/dress little girls. Turns out it's not just my own girls that gets me excited. A very dear friend of mine just found out she is about to have a baby girl. Her due date is 2 weeks before mine and she already has 2 boys, sort of close to Allie and Maddie's ages. So I did what any good, loyal friend does in this situation.

I put together a blog post for her of all the little baby girl things I want to buy would buy if I were her. And I know it's all winter stuff and her baby will be born in spring so I guess I'll just have to do another baby girl shopping post come spring, now won't I?

Seriously though some of this stuff had me secretly wishing baby #3 would be a girl buuuuuttt I know Brian would be like "SHE'LL HAVE A MILLION CLOTHES, DON'T BUY HER ANYTHING ELSE." And he would be right. So, so close to being right.

A girl can never have too many clothes.... can she?
Winter baby

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mom Life

Moms. We really do have the hardest job. The hardest, most important job. I'm sitting here in a clean house while both kids sleep and just for a moment, it doesn't feel hard. It feels easy, simple, almost relaxing. But to get here? I missed out on 3 hours of sleep last night. I have to force myself to clean up every night because I know that if I let the mess sit, it will somehow triple in size while we sleep. 

And it wasn't always peace and quiet. Last night, I'm pretty sure the girls were screaming and/or crying simultaneously for 2 hours straight. They didn't want to eat dinner. They didn't want to clean up their toys. They didn't want to share. They didn't want Brian and I to have a conversation. They didn't want to put away their clothes. No pajamas. No bedtime. Need water. Need that one stuffed animal that I can't find anywhere. We didn't sing the right song. On and on. Sometimes I want to escape outside just to be able to hear. Silence. Nothing. My own thoughts. If there are any. 

I don't know that what I've eaten today counts as meals, except for dinner. Is it just me or does everyone buy a roasted chicken for dinner and then somehow snack on half of it throughout the day? Sometimes I feel like this...

... aka, the Mom Diet. 
I've heard that the transition to 3 kids is the hardest. Like maybe because they outnumber you? I'm outnumbered at home during the day as it is but then at least I can tag team Brian when he gets home. But to be outnumbered all the time. And they're so young. And needy. I've never even been able to keep a plant alive but somehow I've managed to keep 2 children alive and thriving. But what happens when you add a third? I mean, someone's gonna get left out. I'll be making food and I'm pretty sure one of us is not gonna get to eat. Most of the time it'll probably be me. 

Is this encouraging you? Probably not. But at least I know I'm exactly where God wants me to be. I fail. I screw up. I'm not perfect. I don't have it all together. But at least I'm trying. I'm pretty sure that's what counts the most. The Lord knows I will fail but He gives me grace and strength to try again. He forgives me when I fall, when I'm angry, impatient, lazy. His mercies are new each morning and that's exactly what I need. 

That and lots of cookie dough. I kid, I kid. *blank stare*

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lest Thou Perish

So there's a story. Once upon a time, my husband launched a clothing brand. It was geared towards people in the action sports industry and has actually been popular among kids like 8-12 years old. Not that it's bad, that's just the direction it took. I helped him with all of the background stuff like getting a permit and a fictitious business name, but other than that, I didn't feel like a part of the company. It was definitely his thing.

Fast forward to January of this year. Back when he started Moby Sick, he had this idea for a clothing brand called Lest Thou Perish, based on Luke 13:5. You can read more about the bio on the website, but the point is that this idea stuck around for 5 years. The more we talked about it, the more we felt like we were onto something. So he designed, we researched, I filed more stuff. And here we are almost a year later and it's finally done.

Part of why it took so long was that we felt like Moby Sick was missing something in its purpose. Sure we wanted to design and sell clothes but it felt like we needed to be doing more. With LTP, we decided to support Children's Hunger Fund. It felt like a good choice to support a company that not only provides children with physical needs but also their spiritual needs. It was well worth the time and effort to be able to support something with so worthy a cause.

Buuut that's not it. I've actually designed a few things myself. Granted, none are up on the site (yet!), but we have some stuff in the works for the next few months. And I promise as soon as I have a shirt in my hands, you guys will know about it. Probably because I'll be like way too giddy to keep it to myself anyway.

So all that to say... I don't often use this blog as a way to promote anything or anyone, but he's my husband so obviously I'll make the exception.

Go look. And when we have more women's clothes in the shop, I'll be back with another post and probably some pics on Instagram. And if you don't like anything, keep it to yourself. Juuust kidding, BUT I would totally like input on all of this if you guys feel so inclined.

So I'll just sit here wringing my hands in nervousness. I mean it's no big deal, just months of our lives and chunks of savings and hours of prayers and stress and designs and planning and oh my gosh, I think I need to go lie down and breathe into a paper bag.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Winter in Nor Cal

We're back. I'm always so excited to visit family but there really is no place like home. Nothing like sleeping in your own bed, having your own comforts, drinking straight out of the milk carton...

I'll have to do a recap post once I get all the pictures together because there's like a hundred. Disneyland was a blast and Allie definitely enjoyed it much more this time around. She got to ride everything she wanted to except Peter Pan (which was crazy long wait every time I checked) and Cars (which she was just about half an inch too short for). I think the highlight was for sure the parade and the fireworks and I'm so glad we braved the cold and the crowds to see both.

I don't know for sure but I swear our house smelled like Christmas when we came home. It could've been that I was burning a Christmas candle right before we left when I was doing all my last minute packing and cleaning but I can't believe the smell lingered for a week! We came home to a Christmas house and COLD weather.

Probably one of the things that shocked me the most when I first came to Northern California was the bitter cold. I grew up in Southern California where the coldest it ever gets is maybe 50 degrees in the middle of the night in January. We just visited last week and it was in the 80-90's half the time. Obviously I'm used to warm winters.

The first time I visited Nor Cal, I was not prepared for being cold. I brought a snow jacket and wore it the entire time. I would never survive in a place like Michigan (where my dad was born, actually). I suppose I would adapt but I would sure be miserable those first few winters. I don't know if I've actually adapted here, but there is something nice about being able to pull out all my thick, cozy sweaters and scarves, and warm boots.

Speaking of sweaters... guess what I bought with my birthday money? Yeah. Sweaters. Because I obviously don't have enough. But it was all I could find that I really wanted from H&M and Target. I got this one from Target which is super similar to the one on my list that was 10 times the price from Free People and this one from H&M in tan/brown because I don't have a tan/brown sweater but now I do. I guess my addiction to sweaters hasn't ended. And just like that... POOF... my birthday money was gone before you could say Bob's your uncle.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Interviews with Allie

(I'm reading my bible at the table while the girls eat breakfast)
Allie: "Mom, I want you to talk to your bible."
Me: "Umm... What? Wait, you mean read out loud?"
Allie: "Yeah."

(Allie wakes up at 5 am and sees Brian walking around without a shirt before he leaves for work, he puts her back in bed to sleep and goes to work -- after getting dressed obviously) 
Allie: "Where did dad go?"
Me: "He went to work."
Allie: "Ugh!! He forgot to put his clothes on!!!"

(I'm walking on the treadmill and start doing my 1.5 minute sprint) 
Allie: "Mom!!! Be CAREful!! Don't trip and die!!"

(Allie just woke up from a nap but still looks really tired)
Me: "You still look tired..."
Allie: "My face is tired."

(I sneezed)
Allie: "Nice. Cover your mouth, mom."

(Singing 'You've got a friend in me' from Toy Story)
Allie: "You're gonna see it's our guest are neat!" (That's supposed to be 'destiny')

Interviews with Maddie coming soon! She learned a new word yesterday. "boop" which means poop. The good news is now she can warn me what's in her diaper. 

When did these girls grow up so fast?!?!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

So Cal Packing List

We have less than 2 weeks until our trip to So Cal so I've been making a packing list and planning outfits. I settled on a few outfits and thought I'd share with you guys (actually, it's more to help me decide what to pack). The weather will be typical fall in Southern California which means warm and slightly cooler at night (like 50-60° which is not really that cold but bear with me). I'm bringing a green lightweight parka that can pretty easily go with each outfit.

*Please note: Obviously I'm in mourning for my pre-childbearing body which is why you see so much black. Actually, it's really because black is slimming and versatile so I can mix and match. Also stuff is wrinkled because ain't nobody got time for that. Just kidding I'll have time (and hopefully an iron) there.

Sunday outfit: skirt (Old Navy), shirt (Gap), sandals (Target)

Tank (Target), sweater (H&M similar), shorts (Old Navy), Converse

Shirt (Anthropologie), leggings (Gap), Converse 

Dress (Old Navy), Converse 

Shirt (Target), jeans (H&M), Converse 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fatty Fall Foods

I wouldn't call myself a whiz in the kitchen - I pretty much stick to the same 5 meals every week. Being surrounded by picky people is one of the big reasons. I've branched out before and tried other recipes only to have them blow up in my face. I mean, not literally, but maybe that would've been better for everyone involved.

With that being said, there are a few things I know how to do well. Creamy mashed potatoes, for one. (I add cream cheese as my not-so-secret ingredient.) Cheesecake with Oreo crust is another. And I've been told that I make a good lasagna (but you never really know if people are just being nice.)

But the real way you know a recipe was a hit is when you get asked for the recipe. Cases in point:

Case #1: I was asked to participate in a pie-baking contest for a wedding. I've never baked a pie in my life (probably because I'm not a huge fan of pie crust. Or pie.) but I said yes. Mind you, I was feeling nauseous and sick and dizzy with growing baby #3 so I think I was having a psychotic moment where I deliriously/hastily agreed to something that I probably shouldn't have. I figured an October wedding, I should make pumpkin pie. Except I don't like pumpkin pie. But I LOVE cheesecake, so I decided to experiment with a pumpkin cheesecake pie with graham cracker crust and caramel pecan topping.

Yes, like I said, I was probably delirious from all the nausea and dizzy spells because I decided to EXPERIMENT for a WEDDING. As in, hey this could totally bomb and I would be screwed. But it actually turned out really well, in fact, I won second in the contest! Color me surprised. I got asked for the recipe twice so I knew that the bride and groom didn't just feel bad for a crazy pregnant lady who made a weird pie.

Case #2: For the first time in weeks, I felt really good on Friday. I was supposed to bring an appetizer for bible study and after raiding my pantry, I discovered that I actually had all the ingredients on hand to make spinach artichoke dip so I didn't have to go buy chips and salsa which is my go-to. Except the only other time I made spinach artichoke dip, I used a different recipe that was actually kind of greasy and not very flavorful so I decided to try a new recipe. I made the whole thing and set aside a small bowlful so Brian could try it. It got the husband thumbs up so I took it to bible study and was asked for the recipe, twice!

So here are the recipes for both. And because this is OBVIOUSLY not a cooking blog, I took a picture of the dish I used to cook both in. Nice and clean. With my phone. In horrible lighting. You're welcome.

Also, you could try to convince yourself that these wouldn't be so unhealthy to eat, but let's face it: fall is for leggings and extra fat to keep you warm anyway so don't even bother feeling guilty about it. Go ahead and make these for Thanksgiving and let the compliments roll in. You're welcome. Again.

Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Pecan Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (from about 12 whole cinnamon graham crackers)
  • 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) melted, unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, plus 2 egg yolks slightly beaten
  • 1 cup half and half (I forgot to add this but I think it just made it more dense, so if you add it, it should be fluffier)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1.5 cups pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the crust ingredients together and press into a pie pan (and up the sides). Bake in the oven for 8 minutes and let cool. (I baked the crust but I think you can skip this step because it bakes while the filling is baking too.)

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer (make sure you beat it first otherwise you'll have lumps of cream cheese in the pie). Add the pumpkin VERY slowly and beat until combined (otherwise you'll end up with cream cheese lumps). Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, beat until incorporated.

Pour the pie filling into the room temp crust and bake 50 minutes or until center is set (in my oven it took 1 hour and 15 minutes). Once the pie is done, remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.

For the topping, combine brown sugar, butter, cream, vanilla, and salt in a small pan. Cook while whisking on medium high heat until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in pecans. Pour topping over pie and top with a few extra chopped pecans.

Spinach Artichoke Dip 
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons Garlic, Minced
  • 1 bag Spinach
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cans Artichoke Hearts, Rinsed And Drained
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter (additional)
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1-1/2 cup Whole Milk (more If Needed)
  • 1 package (8 Ounce) Softened Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn up the heat a bit and throw in the spinach. Stir around and cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach wilts. Remove the spinach and garlic from the skillet and put it in a small strainer. Squeeze the excess juice back into the skillet. Chop spinach and set aside. Add the artichokes to the pan and cook over medium high heat for several minutes, until liquid is cooked off and artichokes start to get a little color. Remove the artichokes and chop.

In the same skillet, melt 3 additional tablespoons of butter and whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour until it makes a paste. Cook over medium-low heat for a minute or two, then pour in milk. Stir and cook until slightly thickened; splash in more milk if needed. Add cream cheese, feta, Parmesan, pepper jack*, and stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Add artichokes and spinach. Stir to combine. Pour into baking dish. Top with extra grated pepper jack* and bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

*The original recipe called for pepper jack cheese but since I didn't have any, I didn't add it.