Monday, February 25, 2013

I like Rust.

We have lots of old signs and various antiques lying around the house, and I was admiring them this weekend, so I took a few photos. I like rust.

Fun Filled Weekend

This weekend we had a lot of fun, and I took a lot of pictures. Everything from dancing and painting, to making vegan cupcakes. We did it all.

Friday, Lailah helped Andy pack up his stuff to take to Autorama. She said she wants to be a Pinstriper like her Dad. For now, I think we will try to avoid the chemical laden paints and stick with Crayola, but it was cute none-the-less. I chuckled at the colors of paint she chose from the many colors in Andy's Pinstriping box.

While she didn't get to play with her Daddy's paints, she did get to paint over the weekend. Although I know the mess that comes with letting her paint - I just can't say no. Paint time ultimately results in bath time.

Once cleaned up, there was lots of singing and dancing. Lailah has gotten quite good at both making up her own songs and changing the lyrics to already existing songs, i.e. "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, like a Dino in the sky.", and "Merrily, Merrily, Merrily....Life is Down the Drain." It's quite entertaining.

And the icing on the cake, literally, was making Vegan Cupcakes...and getting to enjoy one...or two. =) She was an awesome little helper...and taste tester.

After the chaos of the day, Lailah had some down time with the tablet and some Monkey Preschool app that she loves. And as if she wasn't cute enough all her own, our cat Mason, never one to be very likeable, was being quite accommodating to her need for an arm rest. It was adorable, and Mason gained some much needed cat brownie points.

Pretty great weekend.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Finally some sun...

Yesterday allowed us about a half hour of outside time. The sun was shining, and we took advantage of it. After that half hour however, fingers were frozen and the fun subsided. But, I got lots of laughter and smiles if only for that short time.

Lailah is a completely different creature when she is outside. She needs outside time like she needs blood in her veins. I will be so glad when it is warm enough to stay out for prolonged periods of time, go up the canyon, see the flowers bloom, feel the green grass beneath my feet. Oh Spring, you cannot get here soon enough...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is in the air...

A Happy Valentine's Day indeed. I have the best husband and daughter. Andy's always been great and giving me gorgeous flowers, even when it's not Valentine's Day, something I truly love about him, and my sweet Lailah made me the best necklace ever.

I made Lailah pink heart pancakes this morning, and she thought it was the most amazing thing ever. I made Chicken Parmesan for dinner and got two thumbs up from Andy. Lailah was the sweetest little bug all day long. It's really been a good day.

I didn't get around to making cupcakes though. Going to have to do that tomorrow or over the weekend.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Three A.M.

Three A.M. is supposed to be a time for peaceful slumber. At three in the morning, one is supposed to be off to never never land dreaming of wonderful things. I however, was not sleeping peacefully and dreaming of wonderful things at 3 a.m. this morning. I woke up for one reason or another, and my brain apparently thought, ‘hey, what better time to think about your formative years than right now’.  I adamantly declined, but my brain won. And for the next 45 minutes I was left thinking of the most random of memories, many pulled from the utmost recesses of my mind. 17 years of cobwebs have grown where these memories were pulled from. So, it made absolutely no sense…until it did.

I lay there thinking this is completely ridiculous; remembering first kisses – mine of which happened in our driveway with a wad of gum in my mouth – and the subsequent heartbreak that boy would later present to me by way of a break-up ‘note’ while he stood idly by waiting for my reaction. I couldn’t help but think about Lailah sleeping snug as a bug in the next room, and of the similar things that she will experience throughout her life. And how hard it will be to see her hurt, but how lovely it will be to see her triumph through such life lessons. I suppose that’s when it started to make a little bit of sense.

As I lay there I also wished I had really gave it to that ‘boy’. What I did was say, ‘ok’ while holding back the tears as I waited for my Mom to come and pick me up, what I SHOULD have done was pull the back of his shirt up over his head and kneed him in the nuts, while yelling at him to not be such a pansy ass and break up with me like a civilized human being. Maybe a bit on the dramatic side, but it definitely would have better indicated how I really felt. Hopefully I can instill within Lailah to speak to how her heart really feels. I feel like as human beings, the older we get the more reserved we are to telling people how we actually feel. When we are hurting, it seems we tell people that we are okay, when we are upset, it seems we have a hard time expressing what it is that is making us upset.

That boy wasn’t the only memory I had during those painfully long 45 or so minutes. But more than the memories was the thought of watching Lailah grow up to experience and live her own memories, whether they be good or sad. I hope I can be as great of a Mother to her, as my Mother was, and is, to me.

Lucky for me, I was able to fall asleep and get about a half hour of sleep before getting up for work. But my formative self has been silently following me around like a ghost throughout the day. To my formative self - it all turns out ok. Always stay true to yourself, never stop laughing, imagine, believe, dream, do.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Why everyone should own a pressure cooker...

This morning I woke up still unable to breathe through my nose. Voice raspy, lips chapped, ears ringing, sinuses pulsing. I decided then and there within those few waking moments, that it would be a good day for Chicken Noodle Soup. And not feeling well, what better way to accomplish that, than with the trusty Pressure Cooker. Why make something in 40+ minutes, when it can be done in 6. Yes, 6 minutes.

So, early in the morning, after I took a shower to remove the crust from from my eyes and sanitize my sickly self. (I know, not really something one wants to hear when reading about food, but, I'm keeping it real), I got to chopping up the veggies, and chicken. Put them in ziploc bags and stored them for later. Prep, finished.

Come 5:00 pm, chicken went into the pressure cooker, on the browning setting, with a little butter and some crushed garlic, browned for about 5 minutes, added the veggies and all the spices, covered with egg noodles and broth, lid closed, set on high for 6 minutes, and hung out with Lailah until ready.

She ate a bowl, I ate a bowl, and Andy ate 2 bowls. Success.

While Chicken Noodle Soup doesn't make the sickness 'go away', it sure helps to dull it, if only for a bowl full. Here's to hoping you and yours are sick free.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
(Once your chicken has been cubed - sprinkle lightly with Flour and Salt & Pepper)
1 heaping tablespoon butter (I used I can't believe it's not butter)
1 yellow onion, diced
5 ribs of celery, sliced
5 large carrots, sliced
1 package uncooked pasta (I used wide egg noodles)
6 1/2 cups chicken broth (I made mine with 6 1/2 cups water and 2 heaping tablespoons Chicken flavored Better than Bouillon - so much better than regular broth, in my opinion)
Salt, Pepper, Thyme, Garlic Salt, Onion Powder, Dried Parsley (All added at your discretion - I use more spices than recipes generally call for.)

With the lid off of your pressure cooker, melt the butter.  Place the coated chicken in the Cooker and cook until lightly browned, about five minutes.  Then, add the onions, celery, carrots, Salt, Pepper, Thyme and any other seasonings - and stir while cooking for one minute.  Cover vegetables with pasta and broth.  Add the lid to the Cooker and set for 6 minutes on high.  At the end of 6 minutes, carefully quick release.  Allow the steam to leave and the cooker to unlock. Eat!

(1 + 3/4 Cups is Approximately 5 WW Points+)