Monday, February 28, 2011

good morning!

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

our week in pictures

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The following are pictures that Elizabeth took with my small camera.  She's getting better at not covering the flash, and composing the image!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Eliazbeth!

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 E turned 4 this week.  We had a party for her last Saturday.

She requested a doll cake, so I did my best!  I used a Wilton wondermold pan for the skirt, and constructed a cardboard base,  since the doll had way more leg than the skirt could cover. 

Normally, my skills of cake decorating would not allow me to create edible, realistic skirting like the white stuff pictured below.  This was a normal circumstance, so we do our best with store-bought fabric!

Thanks to Jude for shooting some pictures of blue dress sleeping beauty while I took care of other things before the party!

I made a practice cake similar to this back in May.  Except then it was a pink dress.  Just like the movie, you know?  Pink! no, Blue!  Pink!  Blue!

Anyway, so E had a great day.  She went to one of her cousin's basketball games with her Nana, Papa, uncle and cousins.  She got several of the gifts that she had been talking about For-Ev-Er. (Tiana! Rapunzel!) Lots of cake, and watching kids movies, and hanging out with people.

On her actual birthday, we got some princess cupcakes from the store, (yeah, I know MORE gratuitous sugar, right?) watched her birthday movies again, and ate her requested birthday dinner - pancakes and bacon. Yum!  A good day, all around.

Of course, I can't not think of her birthday, and not remember her birth.  I still haven't gotten around to posting it.  Maybe some day.  Here's last year's summary.

Happy Birthday, precious girl!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

progress as promised

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The scale is moving again!  Down about a pound and a half since last week (ish).  My scale is dumb, and it will give me 5 different numbers in a row, so I usually go with the number that shows most frequently, or that's in the middle of all the numbers.

But, yay!

I'm back on my c25k running program, after a few weeks off.  I'm starting on week 5.  Days one and two we're too awful, but I think day 3, 20 minutes of straight running, will be challenging. I've done it before, I can do it again. I've also started Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred video.  It's worthwhile.  It's short, but I can feel it for days after.  Eventually my muscles will get used to it, right?

It's a good sore, though, don't worry.

My race is only 6 weeks away.  I need to get out and do some running on pavement to get me accustomed to it for racing.  I also need to start setting the treadmill at an incline, since the first part of the race will be uphill!

Progress as promised!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

thinking about gardening

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The snow is starting to melt (50 degrees outside today!) and when we left for church this morning, the birds were singing in a way that has been bottled up for a while.

I've been looking at my containers from our kitchen garden last year, and thinking about our experiences.  What can I change from last year? What didn't work as well as we thought?  What new thing would we like to try to grow?

I don't have complete answers for these questions, but I did buy a couple of magazines today to inspire my brain some more.  I'm really looking forward to our growing season this year, and I hope to get an early start on things.

What are your favorite things to plant in a kitchen garden?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

cake pops. cheesecake. slacker.

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I'm sitting at my desk, avoiding figuring out dinner. (cake pop?)

I've been a slacker all day.

I want to eat a frozen cake pop, which would be taunting me from the frosty depths of my freezer if they could. But they're frozen, and frozen cake pops don't talk.

There's a pile of snow outside.

I have several projects that I keep thinking I'll work on, but I don't.  But it's nice to imagine.

Weight loss has stalled, but really, I'm only about 4 pounds from my first milepost.  That's something that I could reach by this time next month.  A short term goal is good.  Keeps me from biting heads of taunting cake pops.

I've come to realize I have a problem with finishing things.  I think it's because I'm a perfectionist.  I don't even finish bottles of shampoo, or lotion or toothpaste.  I almost always open a new (whatever) before the old one is done. Maybe I'm impatient?

I'm going to make a cheesecake for my husband's birthday.  I would invite my neighbors to share, but they're kind of vegan now, and don't eat sugar, too.  Totally puts a crimp in my "share the sugar" plan to avoid eating the rest of the cheesecake. But my husband and children aren't the ones trying to get loose weight, so cheesecake it shall be, and will power shall be mine. 

After Sunday.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

diaper laundry while traveling

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While I was at my parents house building (unfinished) furniture, I decided to take my cloth diapers with me. I also brought a stash of 'sposies, because I intended to use them for overnight.

The cloth diaper stuff I brought with me:
1 large planet wet/dry bag
6 bumgenius 3.0 diapers with six extra newborn inserts
4 cotton prefolds
2 thirsties covers
1 snappi
Rockin' Green Hard Rock detergent (and my scoop!)

Over all, the couple of days that I used cloth were pretty easy. The planet bag worked great for storing clean and dirty diapers. I managed not to have to deal with poopy cloth diapers, but I know from past experience, I would just dunk ans swish.  It works.

My parents have a top loader, and I was very curious about using a top loader again for diapers.  Their water is softer, too, so I was unsure how that would impact things. I only washed diapers 2 times, with about 6 diapers in each load.

I found that using the top loader seemed so much easier. This machine didn't have a pre-rinse, so I just ran a short wash cycle with no detergent, then a hot wash with a tablespoon of Rockin' Green and an extra rinse, then I did another short wash cycle just to make sure everything was rinsed properly.

The diapers came out of the washer smelling so clean!  They smelled of nothing! How refreshing.

At home, the diapers still have a slightly funky smell after washing (but not after drying).  I'm not sure anymore that it means they're unclean, though, as I'm realizing that pretty much all the laundry has that smell, even after I clean the washer.  It might just be our water.  Who knows.

So, I'm feeling inspired to try to figure out how to hook up the old top loader right next to my front loader and starting running some experiments. I can get the hot and cold hooked up, but the drain might be a little trickier.  We'll see what I can rope my husband into.

Back to diapers and traveling - I  still don't like to wash diapers at hotels, and some people aren't keen on me washing diapers in their washer, so I'll probably still use disposables for most of our travel.  However, I think next time we visit my parents, it's cloth all the way!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

my spatula

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I love my spatula.

Almost every time I use it, I think, 'Wow!  This is one of my favorite kitchen tools!"  I like it that much.

I've used other spatulas, but totally, this one rules over them all.  

And why did I pick it? It was blue.  And had a stainless steel handle.

After the fact, I discovered that it was a recommended spatula by America's Test Kitchen and Cooks Illustrated.  I totally get why.

It has a straight side that can get into corners of pans and baking sheets.  It has a curved side that's great for bowls.  It doesn't have any indentations of protrusions that snag of food.  Smooth, smooth glide.  It totally can get every last bit of food because of it's flexibility (but not too flexible!)

I just had to let you know.

I love my spatula.
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