Dec 31, 2010

Good-bye 2010, Hello 2011

I started 2010 being pregnant and will be ringing in the New Year with a pretty awesome 5 month old and fabulous husband/best friend/father!!



Here's to a Happy New Year (and not being pregnant)!

Dec 30, 2010

Embrace the Camera - I ♥ Tulsa

I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas!! Ours was great. I plan on sharing pictures from our festivities later.



But, for now, here's my embrace the camera shot from yesterday. Sweet P and I met some friends for lunch that got us matching shirts so, of course, we had to wear them!



Thanks Rachel and Anne! We love them.

If you're local, check out Dwelling Spaces for cute Oklahoma stuff!

Dec 23, 2010

Dec 22, 2010

5 More Reasons I Love My iPhone

If I had to give up tv or my iphone, I'm pretty sure I would choose the tv.

Things you can't do with a tv that you can with an iphone:
  1. Take pictures
  2. Find a nearby restaurant (and read reviews) - thank you Urbanspoon
  3. Find yourself when you are lost - thank you maps
  4. Play games - hello Angry Birds
  5. Text, call and email 
So, here are some recent photos I took with my phone that crack me up!




Giving the thumbs up on this outfit!


Happy Wednesday!!

Thank you Rachel for the Tulsa onesie!

Dec 20, 2010

Starbucks Carmel Brulee Latte

Really, need I say more?


Another reason to love this time of year = Startbuck's Carmel Brulee Latte.

It goes great with a day of Christmas shopping or just sitting on the couch!

Dec 17, 2010

I'm No Photographer but...

I'm pretty pleased with some shots I got of my girl for her 4 month pictures.

Here's the problem, I'm really bad at scheduling things in advance and don't think about certain things that need to be done until about a week after I should have done them. Example, hair cuts. I rarely make an appointment in advance and then one day I look up at my roots and crazy hair and think, I need to make an appointment. By then I have to wait a good two weeks or so before I can get in so I have to deal with crazy hair even longer than necessary.

So that's what happened with P's 4 month pics. It was already 2 weeks past her 4 month birthday and I realized I needed pictures of her. Then, due to poor planning and schedule conflicts with my usual photographer - I decided I needed to take some before it was time for her 5 month pics!

Now, I'm not a photographer - just a mom with an awesome camera that's taken a photography class and watches my sister work her magic and try to recreate what she does! So here are a few of my better shots.







I think I'll do better planning for her 5 month pictures!

Dec 14, 2010

Our Advent Calendar

We started a new tradition this year that involves our Advent calendar. Years back I bought one and have always put it on our mantel. But we never really did much with it, just opened the doors. I mentioned our Advent surprises a few days ago, so here's a little more about our new tradition and how we are celebrating Christmas every day in December.

Advent Calendar

On the last day of November, the husband and I sat down with 25 blank squares of paper. We split them up into 5 piles/categories. Our categories include: Bible verses (specifically relating to the Christmas story), Christmas movies, snacks, Christmas songs and things we are thankful for. For each category we each picked two and wrote one down for our baby girl.

Here's an example from the snack category: I picked Ritzies and Chex mix, the husband picked apple cider and puppy chow and we picked banana for the baby (she is just starting to try solids).
Homemade Chex Mix
Puppy Chow

So, after all the cards were filled, we mixed them up and randomly put one in each of the doors. Well, kind of random. I saved the entire Christmas story verses for Christmas day.

Each morning we get up and open the door for our surprise! If it's a song, we crank up the music and sing along. If it's a movie, we make some popcorn and watch it that evening.



If it's a Bible verse, we read it together and think on it throughout the day.
Sweet P Reading

It has been so much fun for us this year. I'm really looking forward to next year when Sweet P will be talking and can tell us what she wants!!

Dec 9, 2010

Embrace the Camera - Advent Reading



Today's embrace the camera is part of my family's daily Advent calendar surprise. I'll post more on that tomorrow, but for now, here's the pic.

Today's verse is Luke 2:14.

I Don't Mean to Brag, but...

I won a blog giveaway!!

Emily over at the Anderson Family Crew hosted an awesome giveaway package and I won!

Yah, I'm pretty pumped. It kind of feels like Christmas already.

Yesterday I got a package in the mail from Nourish Baby Organics and the coconut stuff is AMAZING!! I wish computers had scratch-and-sniff capabilities so you could smell this. But, until then, you'll have to  trust me when I say this stuff is awesome. Sweet P has been slathered down in the balm and I can't wait to give her a bath to use the wash!!

This picture is a bit blurry but it shows how excited she was about the balm and wash!


Plus, I got to pick out some cross-stitch patterns from Wild Olive!! If you haven't been to her etsy store, check it out. There are some super cute patterns over there. She has some for jordnots - which is Swedish for peanuts, and as some of you know, one of the nicknames for a baby girl is peanut...so, I had to get one of those!! I think I'll make "Peanut" some cute little jordnot dolls or something!

Anyway, here's the wash, balm and a little something I'm working on using one of the patterns:
Nourish Baby Organics and Cross-stitching

Thanks again Emily and all your sponsors for doing the giveaway!! I'll share more on my other winnings later.

Dec 8, 2010

Homemade Chicken-Broccoli Cheese Soup

Here's a quick and easy recipe that you can use your homemade chicken broth and boiled chicken from yesterday's post.

Ingredients:
2 T vegetable oil
1 onion - chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 heads broccoli, florets cut in big chunks, stems chopped
Shredded chicken meat from 1/2 chicken - or you can just use white meat only
3 3/4 cups milk
2/3 cup flour
1/2 t pepper
8 oz. velveeta cheese - cubed
extra shredded, cheddar cheese to top it - completely optional but who doesn't love more cheese?


Heat oil in a large pot, add onion and cook until tender then add garlic and saute about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, chicken and broccoli. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine milk and flour and whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to pot and cook 5 minutes - stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Stir in pepper and cheese. Continue stirring until cheese is melted, about another 5 minutes.

Pour into bowls and enjoy.

Whatever you don't eat you can freeze.

* If you like it really cheesy, just add more velveeta cubes or some shredded cheese.*

Dec 7, 2010

Make Your Own Chicken Broth

With the holidays usually comes a lot of cooking for many so I thought I'd share a basic recipe for chicken broth. It is SO easy, inexpensive and makes any soup better!

Yes, it's easier to just buy the can or carton of broth but homemade is so much better. Plus, you have a bunch of chicken to use in soups, chicken salad, really anything that calls for chicken.

All you need is a whole chicken and some basic pantry items.

Just put the whole chicken in a stock pot, cover with water, add some cut celery, cut onion, carrots, a little thyme, sage, oregano, ground pepper, salt and a bay leaf and bring to a soft boil.


Let it boil for an hour or two.

Then take the chicken out and let it sit for a few minutes to cool a bit. Now pull off all the meat and return the bones to the pot to boil for another hour. If you need to, add more water to make more broth.



Then remove the bones and pour the stock through a strainer. Now you have about 6 cups of homemade broth and a lot of chicken meat.

Use what you need or freeze it. I like to pour it into ice cube trays to freeze and then put the cubes in a freezer bag.

Check out this recipe for Chicken-Broccoli Cheese soup.

Dec 6, 2010

Country Music Monday - O Holy Night

I know, this is a Christmas song, but, it's by a country music artist, Martina McBride. 





This is my all time favorite Christmas song and I love Martina's version.


Hope you are getting in the Christmas spirit. We are around here. We have the tree up, the house decorated and we're making our way through our Advent calendar. It's been so much more fun this year because we get to start new traditions with our little girl.


Here are a couple pics I took of her by our tree.







Dec 1, 2010

Logo Design - Lori Kroh Designs

Today is my first day as a stay-at-home mom. A lot of thought went into this decision and part of the reason I decided to make the switch was the fact that I can still work from home. As a graphic designer, everything I do is on the computer so while I'm no longer going in to work, I am still doing some freelance work.

Speaking of freelancing, I recently had the opportunity to work with a super fun and extremely talented woman, Lori Kroh. If you are local and went to the Christmas Gathering, you got to hear from Lori and see a little bit of what she does. She did the segment, "A Pottery Barn Christmas on a Big Lots Budget."

Lori has a unique sense of style and a personality to match it. She came to me needing a logo for her new business, Lori Kroh Designs. She does a lot of home design work with mixed media. That girl can take a tree limb and some twine and make the most amazing window treatment!

So it cracked me up when she first approached me about designing her logo. She said, I'm different and don't want my name with a window pane or something cheesy like that.

Needless to say, we did not do a window or lamp shade in her logo! Instead, we focused on her personal style and incorporated a bit of her personality and this is what we came up with:


If you need a home design consultant or are looking for some fresh ideas to spruce up your house, Lori is your gal. Right now you can reach her at LoriKrohDesigns@aol.com.

And, if your looking for someone for design work...give me a holler! Check out my website for examples of my work.


Happy Tuesday!!