Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Puppy Love

Have I ever mentioned how lil'bub reacts to puppy dogs? It's pretty funny to watch, she goes totally nuts! There is a lot of squealing, bouncing, and laughing involved. They make her happy, to say the very least. We have a very sweet puppy dog that lives across the street and Avery really can't get enough of her. She loves to pet and "pat-pat" and especially grab her little tail.

Avery got a real treat earlier this month when my brother, (Uncle) Drew, came into town. He recently became a new dad.....OF AN ADORABLE NEW PUPPY!

Drew and his sweet girlfriend Jessica brought little Raleigh (named after the explorer of course) into town so she and lil'bub could meet. We agreed the level of cuteness would reach combustible degrees, but it still had to be done.


told you she was adorable

ran straight to lil'bub and said hi!hi!hi! with some licks

gave her a quick sniff test

and then KISSES!!!!!!!
(lil'bub just giggled the entire time)

then she petted the nice doggie (in between squeals)

That was a pretty awesome meet and greet. Avery is going to get more time to spend with Raleigh in a couple weeks when we go on a road trip to see Uncle Drew GRAD-U-ATE from college!!!!! YAY DREW! It's kind of a big deal y'all. I know Avery can't wait for the inevitable wet kisses..... from Uncle Drew. Ok, just kiddin' I meant from lil'Raleigh. AND Uncle Drew. Either way. It will be great.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Be Green!!

Happy Earth Day everyone!
We are wearing green today in honor of the day.

here's lil'bub's "cheese" smile

trying to squirm away!
you know, so she can get a jump
on recycling and stuff.

I thought I would also share some of my favorite new GREEN things going on lately:

--Target just started a new recycling initiative. Although last year they began promising 5 cents back for every reusable bag you pack with purchases, I rarely came across a cashier that remembered. I think I got it back once. Anyway, I have thought for a long time that they could do much more! Now they are putting bins in stores for aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers, plastic bags, MP3 players, cell phones and ink cartridges. They even offer a gift card for other electronics too.

**You can also enter the Target Sweepstakes to win a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid!! Or don't. Better chances for me :)

--Sam's Club is giving you money for your old electronics!!! Check out here how much you can get. If they don't take it, they will still recycle it for you.

--ORIGINS, the makeup and skincare label, has started providing bins where you can drop off any label's old cosmetics containers for recycling. I saw one with my own eyes last weekend when I was in Dillards at Memorial City Mall. I already dropped off some stuff!

--RecycleMatch is a really cool new Houston company that I recently read about in the Chronicle. I know most of my blog readers out there are probably not looking to recycle commercial waste, but take a look at their site and purpose, it's definitely an idea I wish I had thought of!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Walker Woes

Well I was hoping to get some good photos yesterday or even a video because lil'bub was supposed to get a walker to help her start taking her first steps! Bub the hub and I were really looking forward to seeing what she thought. But instead it turned into a really stressful morning, where everyone (not us) was running very late and lil'bub was really, really not pleased about the whole walker thing. Well, actually I couldn't tell for sure what she was un-pleased with, since her mommy and daddy showed up in the middle of school and she thought she was going home with us even though that was not the case! Poor thing.
Anyway, we are going to try fitting her with a few different types of walkers since the one yesterday was more bulky and complicated than she needs. That is, if she forgives us for putting her in that other one! I think when we find the right walker she will realize the independence it gives her and be much happier :)

Meanwhile, to tide you all over, here are my new favorite photos that are actually from Easter day....lil'bub was relaxing in my lap from a good bunny day.

this was the best photo- I love that smile!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So much news...

I know you are all on pins and needles waiting for Cloth Diapers, Part II, right? But it's going to have to wait because there is much news to share.

Most importantly, Leah Rose is HERE!!! She arrived on April 12 weighing 8lbs, 4oz and 21 1/4in long. Mommy and baby are doing great. Here is a photo of the sweet princess.

handed back to mommy after nursery bath :)

I get some cuddle time!!
Our visit with Rachele and Elizabeth came to an end just before Leah arrived, perfect timing right? We had so much fun with the girls. Such a good time in fact, that we barely remembered to take any photos! But I do have a few. We bought the girls matching watermelon bathing suits and here is Elizabeth in hers-- she's running from my tickles!

They also enjoyed playing together in their p.j.'s

And Elizabeth was good at pushing Avery's car too.

I made a couple great recipes while they were visiting and the best by far was Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Thyme...delicious and highly recommended!!

Recipe for 3-4 people
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cups thinly sliced onions (I used a mix of vidalia and chives)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fat-free milk
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3-4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 /2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

To Prepare:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pan; cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently until golden. Cool slightly. Combine onion mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cheese, parsley, milk, and thyme in a small bowl, stirring with a fork.
2. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket; stuff 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes; turn chicken over. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done.
Remove chicken from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until reduced by half (about 2 minutes). Add broth, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup. Serve over chicken.

ok, that made me super hungry! now I gotta go find a snack! But we do have some exciting news coming on Friday, as well as more cloth diaper info, so check back soon :)


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cloth Diapers, Part I

Boy have I been planning on writing this post for a long time! I get so many questions about Avery's cloth diapers, and I think a lot of people are genuinely interested...but I also know a lot of you out there think it's ridiculous, or you're just astounded that I would even try it.

I can explain!! First and foremost, I sincerely care about reducing my
environmental footprint, and I have for many years. That's not to say that I've changed my entire lifestyle for it, but I have tried to do small but significant things here and there for the better. And I think that's an important point: you don't have to give up your car/electricity/meat/baths and move to Seattle to be green. It's all about doing the best that you can. If that means you can go without all those aforementioned things, more power to you! In my case, I started small and then I've slowly but surely increased my efforts every year.
I started by recycling paper and plastics in high school, and then asking(perhaps forcing :) my family, college roommates and friends to do also. I even offered to take their recycling to the plant most of the time! After college, I bought a car with more efficient gas mileage (although certainly not the best--it's an S.U.V.--but I do dream of the day I can afford a hybrid). I made a concerted effort not to buy clothes that needed dry-cleaning. I completely stopped buying bottled water and invested in a Brita.

With all the recycling developments in the last ten years, I was able to cut my trash significantly by recycling an increasing amount of products. Especially electronics! Bub the hub and I started buying CFLs instead of incandescent lightbulbs and we even installed programmable thermostats (highly recommended). I also stopped eating red meat for a number of years, although that wasn't just an environmental decision, but it helps folks! Poor Bub the hub hardly ever got any red meat at dinner for a very long time! Now we make it every so often, but rarely more than once a week. Ok, I think you get the picture.

So, in the past year, my focus has shifted more toward buying organic foods from local & sustainable farms, buying and mixing more simple, non-toxic cleaning supplies, and of course, CLOTH DIAPERS!! These have all probably been the most expensive decisions, so it took me a lot longer to come around. But I'm so glad I did. That brings me to my other reason for doing all this: I want to help protect the world that Avery and future generations will grow up in, and I want to protect our family's health. You can roll your eyes, it's ok. But I do mean it.

So back to cloth diapers. Here a five excellent reasons to use cloth diapers:

1) The chemicals found in disposable diapers are not cool. We are talking sodium polyacrylate (for absorbancy-- it forms those little gel like crystals you find sometimes when changing), dioxin (found in bleaches- it's a carcinogen), and tributyl (a toxic pollutant that can mess with hormones).

2) The environment: over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks, and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby each year. That's staggering right? And I don't think I really need to explain much about how they impact the earth after they are used. I'll just tell you that disposable diapers make up the THIRD largest source of solid waste in landfills and they can take 500 years to decompose.

3) COST!! Although they start out as a bit of an investment, cloth diapers will save you money in the long run. Here's a good chart:

Kushies is the brand of cloth diapers that we have used the most, and they provided this chart. 25-Infant, 20-Toddler refers to how many cloth diapers they recommend you buy.

4)The little's so much more gentle on their little bums. Diaper rashes are like, non-existent! Blow-outs are much fewer and far-between.

5) Umm, don't you know they are ADORABLE!!?!?! Case in point:

Some of you eagle-eyed readers will notice that this is NOT lil'bub! You are correct! This is actually sweet Elizabeth Peterson, daughter of one of my oldest friends--> Rachele! They are here visiting us all the way from Tucson, Arizona. Rachele is also my cloth diapering partner-in-crime, which is why this post is so timely!
Unfortunately, we have to go play, so you will have to check back for Part II (and I KNOW you want to!) because I will discuss our particular journey with cloth diapers, including pictures of lil'bub's adorable lil'bum in her clothies. Also, how it's next to impossible to rely solely on them all the time, and no need to be upset if you use disposables now and then. Especially while traveling. ok, OK, I'll save it for the next one :)


Monday, April 5, 2010

Lil'Bub Bunny

We had such a nice, low-key Easter this year. Here is lil'bub bunny with her Easter basket. She looked like a little princess!

We tried to take a family photo too but that didn't work out so well. Here are the results.

oh well! I did get some darlin' ones of lil'bub with her Nana however...

I was also the Easter party mom at Avery's school, guessed it! more cupcakes!! I'm not sure if those lambs beat the Spider or Turkey cupcakes, but they come close! and they were kinda fun and gooey to eat too.

Now I must attempt to recover from my jellybean overdose. Happens every year!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Baby Shower!

Everybody loves a baby shower, right? right! I know I sure do, especially if I get to host it and get crafty. And especially if it's for my best good friend Allison and her sweet baby Leah.

Before I can plan anything decoration-wise, I have to have a starting off point, like certain colors or a design. In this case, I already knew that there was going to be pink, but wasn't sure if I wanted to do a soft, baby pink theme or something brighter. Then I saw these fun napkins.

And everything just popped into place! So it became a bright-colored, contemporary-flowered baby shower theme. The invitations I made had cute little 3-D diapers on them, so that was part of the theme too. I also knew I wanted to hang some outfits and cloth diapers on clotheslines as part of the decoration, and as my gift to the mommy-to-be.

Below the invite is the greeting card I was making for the shower. I used some shiny kitchen twine for the real clothesline decorations and I also added it to the card. Don't you just love those tiny clothespins!! 
Instead of doing my normal, tiered diaper cake though, I decided to mix it up a little (don't laugh too hard) and do diaper bassinets!! I found some really great ribbon that matched the napkins too.

The paper underneath it is a really fun scrapbook paper I found at Hobby Lobby. I used the same paper to make a small banner to hang with the clothesline. I used my scrapbook cutting machine to cut the circles and letters and then tied them together using bright green ribbon. I make these kinds of banners and diaper cakes to sell too, so email me if you are ever interested.

I also used my cutting machine to craft up this cute wreath I got at Michael's.

And more clotheslines!!

When guests started arriving,
(just a few!) presents were added here...

I helped my mom prepare a very delicious lunch. I really liked our menu. I looked at other people's blogs searching for good baby shower menus, so here was ours if you are like me:

hummis with pita chips and real pita slices
fresh fruit salad ( with kiwi-yum!)
asparagus quiche
curried chicken salad in little pastry bowls

And I think most of you know that I like to be green whenever possible, so we went with china plates and silverware. My mom also made that beautiful flower arrangement, isn't she talented??

Here I am doing one of my fav things...napkin arranging! (it's a science, people)

here are the happy hosts with the mommy-to-be

and party pics!

Here is Ali opening one of many gorgeous quilts
made by her talented momma

Mrs. Clair Russell.

I am quite aware that this is becoming one of the longest posts of all time. I promise it took way longer to post than for you to read! BUT I still need to share that--

A) I knew I could count on my friend Alla to wear some fierce shoes to a baby shower, just like I did:
and B) Allison gave me a cupcake holder as a hostess gift!! SCORE!!! Which was absolutely perfect for the cupcakes I was about to make for Avery's school Easter party!

Of which I will be happy to share in the next post, for this one is quite long enough.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...