Friday, November 19, 2010

Just for Little Girls

Can you resist Etsy?
http://www.etsy.com/people/KnitsDuNord

http://www.etsy.com/people/KnitsDuNord

http://www.etsy.com/people/KnitsDuNord
http://www.etsy.com/people/SweetPeaPods?ref=pr_profile

http://www.etsy.com/people/SweetPeaPods?ref=pr_profile

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

27 Weeks Pregnant (second pregnancy)

  1. How far along? 27 Weeks
  2. Total weight gain/loss: gained 6 lbs total!
  3. Maternity clothes? Sometimes! But I can still get away with wearing my regular pants, just have to put the waist below the belly. And no I don't wear that silly gimmicky belly-band that's supposed to allow you to wear your normal clothes throughout your pregnancy. That thing always ends up rolling up into a tube under my breast cutting off circulation to the rest of my body!
  4. Stretch marks? Ummm, yeah. from previous pregnancy
  5. Sleep: Getting better sleep now that i have a schedule figured out for my 12 month old! Yippee! 
  6. Best moment this week: Seriously ? Ask me next week please.
  7. Movement: She moves way more than Olivia did, she is constantly kicking and grooving, cant wait to see this lil kicker. I bet she'll be all calm when she arrives.
  8. Food: Occasionally, I'd have one strange craving, sometimes i'll go out and "take care of it", other times I ignore the craving.
  9. Gender: It's a gurl!
  10. Labor Signs: o, but I've been having labor dreams, and they all go very well.
  11. Belly Button in or out?  It's way out there
  12. What I miss: Dieting, and focusing on losing weight and exercising.
  13. Planning Update: We're still planning on making a move,  and still haven't found THEE house yet. House hunting isn't all that great, and now that the weather is cold, I don't wanna go out look at homes, but this may be a better time to get a look.
  14. Weekly Wisdom: Be positive, everything will work itself out.
  15. Milestones: None . . . .idk. . 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Homemade Boston Market Dinner

My husband and I love Boston Market, mainly for the sides, I don't care too much for the chicken, it's a bit too salty for me. So when I am in the mood to have  Boston Market Dinner night, I don't always hop in the car and make a run, I turn to one of my favorite websites for copy cat meals: www.copykat.com

So I wanted to share with you these wonderful copy cat recipes that my family and I enjoy so much. I hope you'll be able to make it a Homemade Boston Market Night, I know I will.

On the menu for tonights dinner will be:
Oven Roasted Chicken (with the spices and herbs that I enjoy the most)
Boston Market Creamed Spinach
Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole

Boston Market Creamed Spinach

  • 1 20oz Package Chopped Spinach Frozen
  • 1 C. White Sauce (Thick)
  • 1/2 C. Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Onion
  • 1/4 C. Water
White Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter
  • 4 Tbsp. Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 C. Whole Milk
Prepare the white sauce using a medium low setting melt butter in a saucepan add flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt until creamed together. Add milk a little at a time on medium heat. Constantly stir with a whisk until mixture becomes thick and smooth.
Place butter in a 2-quart saucepan on medium heat, add onions. Cook until the onions are transparent. Place spinach and add water to pan, lower the heat and place lid on pan. Stir several times until the spinach is almost completely cooked. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. When spinach is almost done add white sauce and sour cream, stir well and simmer until 



Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole
Yield: 8-10 servings.
  • 6 cups mashed sweet potatoes (5 to 6 potatoes-see step #1)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • Oatmeal Streusel:
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter

Rub a little vegetable oil on the skin of each sweet potato and bake them in a preheated 400 degree oven for 60 to 70 minutes or until they are tender. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scrape out the insides and use an electric mixer on high speed to beat the potatoes until they are mashed and smooth. Measure exactly 6 cups of the mashed sweet potato into a large bowl.
Add 3/4 cup brown sugar, heavy cream, melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt into the sweet potatoes and mix well with the beater until all the ingredients are incorporated. Pour this mixture into an 8×8-inch baking dish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make the oatmeal streusel by grinding the rolled oats to a fine flour using a food processor. A blender will also work.
Combine the oat flour with 4 tablespoons brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut the cold butter into the dry mixture using a pastry knife or a fork. You should have a crumbly mixture with pea-size bits. Sprinkle this oatmeal streusel over the sweet potato mixture and pop it into the oven for 70 to 80 minutes or until the top begins to brown slightly.
When you remove the casserole from the oven immediately spread the marshmallows over the top. Let this sit for about 10 minutes. The heat from the casserole will melt the marshmallows, and then it’s ready to serve.


TIME TO EAT! BON-APPETIT!
Oven Roasted Chicken

Boston Market Creamed Spinach (came out a bit runny)

Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole (i left the marshmallow topping out this time)

Teething Treats for your Toddler

Olivia currently has 8 teeth. 5 of them are completely out, and the others are still making their way through. I always just assumed that teething ends after the first 2-4 teeth were out, don't know why I thought that at all. I guess the teething stage isn't over until all teeth are completely in, and that can take almost 2 years.

So from time to time, we have these cranky spells that she experiences, and the methods that I used when she was about 6 months old, doesn't really hold her attention anymore. We did frozen rags dipped in water or fruit juice, baby orajel, Humphrey's Pellets, and one method that I still use today, the apple juice ice cubes crushed and stuffed into mesh feeders.

I notice that anything cold and flavorful will do the trick. The coolness is soothing and the flavors are so yummy that the pain becomes tolerable. So last week as we made our way through BuyBuy Baby (remember, we were stroller shopping) I browsed the baby feeding section and came across Kidco Healthy Snack Frozen Treat Trays and couldn't resist! 




Here are the FroYo treats that I made for Olivia: 




 The Recipe is VERY simple. I altered a sample recipe that was included in the box

  • 4oz Strawberry Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mixed Frozen Berries
  • 3oz 100% Berry Juice (unsweetened)


Blend, Pour, then Freeze!


After handing her the ice pop, it dawned on me that she wouldn't know how to hold to hold the pop. But she eventually figured it out.

 Other fun and tasty ideas:

Inspiration for my Blog and Living Room

If you visit my blog often enough, you may notice small tweaks here and there.  I'm always searching for the right color combinations that I find to be soothing on the eyes. The color combination that you currently see is a palette that is already very familiar to me.

I pulled the colors from a decor blog that I read weekly:


 The colors found in these livings rooms are very similar to the color palette that I used when I decided to give my very own living space a fresh & casual look. It's no wonder that when I skimmed over the blog this morning, the color schemes jumped right out at me. I'll post a few shots of my living space soon.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Morning Breakfast - Cinnamon Banana Pancakes

This morning, Olivia had one tasty Cinnamon Banana pancake and she loved it. I was so surprised to see her eat and enjoy. I started to feed her, but then I handed her the fork and said, you know what, I think you can feed yourself, and she did. It's so cute to see her tiny fist wrapped around the fork trying to maneuver the pancake squares into her mouth. She got frustrated a few times, but never quit, she really wanted to eat with the fork.

I'll post the recipe for cinnamon banana pancakes soon.
mmmm. . .cinnamon banana pancakes cooked in a tiny pat of butter just to make the edges crispy and buttery


She just had to keep that lego block in her hand




"lets try my right hand now"

"I love pancakes"

Enjoy your Sunday!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Two Under Two - The Stroller Test Drive

a continuation of a previous post : Two Under Two - The Stroller

After spending the evening finding all the resources and reviews of this stroller, I decided to go test drive this baby myself, and my demo model came right along with me.She slept most of the time, and that always a bonus. Never wake a sleeping baby!

I went to the nearest Buy Buy Baby, scoped out the stroller section, played with a few other strollers(gotta warm up), and then floated over to the Britax B-Ready. I played with the stroller without any assistance at first only because I just really wanted to see if it were as easy as the Britax video and other B-Ready owners claimed. After I had confirmation, I then asked for a demonstration from one of the sales associates, and it was truly a breeze.

1. Almost all components are adjustable. Everything just snaps and clicks into different positions to accommodate the 4'll" momma to the 5'10 momma like myself.

2. The height of the top seat is pretty high, and I like that because she's always in arm's length reach. I don't have to bed over and reach in the attend to her needs.

3. The frame is very light weight compared to my current stroller

4. It folds and opens very smoothly and easily.

5. It's not bulky at like most tandem strollers, very sleek and slim, but packs everything you would ever need.

























Here are a few video reviews that I found from www.naturalmommie.com





NaturalMommie.com is also GIVING AWAY a FREE Britax B-Ready Stroller!! Can you believe this ? It's valued at $499 and here's your chance (and mine) to get it for FREE. Click Here for more details, and Good Luck!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Olivia Turns One - The check up

on the scale at the doctor's office
Weight: 22.8 pounds
Height: 31 inches
Head Circumference: 46cm

So far we doing great! Her pediatrician says that she's growing wonderfully, and developing at just the right pace.

I got tons of my questions answered, especially about her eating habits, bottle feeding/solids, and formula. 

From this day forward, we will not buy another bottle of formula, we're done!! YAY ! Olivia will be drinking nothing but whole milk, fruit juice, and water starting today Its s a good thing we spent the last month slowly weaning her off the formula.  
Also, I've got to wean her off the bottle now, this wont be hard at all, I've already introduced the sippy cup at about 6 months old, she has no problem with it at all. Well besides that fact she likes to turn the cup upside down and watch the fluids poor out all over the place.

Finally, her eating habits. What the pediatrician said to me today is very similar to what my Veterinarian said to me when my dog Bella wasn't eating her food. He said "She wont starve herself, if she's hungry, she'll eat, if she doesn't want it, take the food away and try it again later, eventually she'll want the food."

And thats about it . . .
Next visit, 15 months old!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Two Under Two - The Stroller

Okay, so  I'm about to be a mother of two girls under two years old in about 4 months, and I don't even know if I'm ready! I have a never ending list of things to do but the list seems to be growing instead of shrinking! Then a friend of mine sent me a text the other day that said "get started on your registry".

A registry ??? What do I put on a registry? I thought had everything that I needed. Olivia pretty much paved the way for Baby Girl # 2, no ?  We got the clothes, the playpen, the breast pump, the toys, the first aid kit, etc.

Then I got into deep thought, I really have to prepare myself for this because I don't want REALITY to hit me like a ton of bricks two days after giving birth. So I started thinking, besides the clothes and stuff, what do I really need to survive with Two Under Two ?

My personal project is to go through a complete week pretending that Baby Girl #2 has arrived. Everything that I do for Olivia, I must think/say to myself "What if there were two ?" From feedings, bathtime, naptime, car rides, playtime, running errands, shopping in the mall, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning and even taking a shower!!

So I came up with the ultimate solution, I am emptying my bank account and running away from home!
Oops, did I type that out ?

No, but really, I've been doing tons of research on two particular items, the stroller & carseat (butI'll get to the carseat later).  My eyes are glued on the Britax B-Ready Stroller. It's everything I can possibly need, and I am in love with the sleek design and versatility of this transformer of a stroller. The people who made this thing are Geniuses!!




The blue arrows indicate the configurations that i'd use more often.

I think this baby folds up tighter than my umbrella stroller!

Do you see why I'm in Love??

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beautiful Baby Nurseries

As hubby and I search for the perfect home, the one thing that I imagine when looking at the bedrooms is "Hmm, will this make a nice nursery?", I just cant help but to think that. I am an interior designer at heart, but I really don't have the space here in our 1.5 bedroom apartment to  to express that. Not only that, who wants to waste time on primping a rental ? I'll keep my cash in my pockets until we finally close on a home. But in the meant time, I am always searching for beautiful nurseries that inspire and excite me, take a look:

Sugar Plum Princess



Lapis Lullaby




While these rooms are simply GORG, I have no plans to shop from this site unless the prices are DEEPLY discounted. Until then, HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Craiglist, and the local fabric store will have to  suffice.

Olivia's Chicken & Cheesy Potato Stew

Here/s what I promised, my rendition of Beech-Nut's Chicken and Cheesy Potato Homestyle dinner.

First I started off with creating my own chicken broth from scratch the night before. I always save chicken parts and stick them in the freezer; the wing tips, the breast bone, and the back bone. I find these boney parts to have the most flavor.

water,  chicken, onions, celery, carrots, and thyme.

I love my Emerilware Pro-Clad cookware.



Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced potato
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 5oz chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp extra vigin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup romano cheese
Directions:

Take one large carrot, peel, wash and dice it into 1/4" cubes or smaller.



Take one medium size potato, wash, peel and dice into 1/4" cubes or smaller.



 Take half of a medium sized onion, and dice.


Take on chicken breast, and remove skin, fat, and bones.

After cleaning, fillet one 5oz piece for recipe and put the rest away.
Dice the breast into 1/2" or 1/4" pieces.


Store the bone in the freezer for chicken broth.

Add about1 tablespoon of extra vigin olive oil to a pan, and add the diced onions

Sauté until the onions are slightly translucent.
Dump the onions into your stewing pot

Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and add the chicken cubes to brown.


I used a bit of the homemade stock and tipped it into the pan to loosen the brown flavorful bits in the pan.

I didn't skim too much of the fat off the top of the broth. Usually the broth is clearer than this.


Combine everytign into the stewing pot, along with 2 cups or broth, turn the fire down low, and allow to simmer, for about 45 minutes, or until both carrots and potatoes are tender.


After 45 minutes to an hour, you should have a thick stew like consistency. Turn the fire off and add the shredded cheese.

 I added cheddar, because thats what I had on hand, but in the future I highly recommend that you use romano cheese, because it will not burn and stick to the bottom of the pot like the cheddar did

I allowed the stew to cool for about 20 minutes, and poured them into my 2oz baby cubes. This recipe made a 8 2oz servings which is perfect for me because Olivia will not eat more than 2oz at a time. I stored the cubes into the freezer to keep fresh. Remember, there are no preservatives, therefore you must freeze the food to keep it fresh.


Enjoy!
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