Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm a sucker for free..

Rumor has it that Shutterfly is giving away free Holiday cards if you blog about them. Well luckily this is easy to do because I was already looking to Shutterfly for my Christmas cards. All you have to do is blog about them and you get 50 free cards! When Molly was born I decided to hand make her announcements. I'm really glad I did but this Christmas I decided I have too much on my plate, what with an almost-11 month old and buying a house and whatnot, that I knew Shutterfly was the way to go.

Here are some of my favorites:

Wouldn't this one look so cute with Molly's face smiling back at you!
I think our family picture would look so cute in this one.


I think the last one I would use if there were more than 3 of us, I mean 4 (sorry Blue!) but with just Molly and Blue as our children, we will do something more simple.

I also like the idea of 'photo gifts'. Every year my sister does a photo calendar for my mom and they are soooo cute! But Katherine has already cornered the calendar market so I have to think of other ideas! :-D

I think the canvas wall art would look exceptionally cute in our new home! But I have so many pictures of Molly that it is hard to pick the perfect one for something like this.

So many to chose from! You'll just have to wait and see what we go with!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Discovery Place Kids

"Next time let's leave the kids at home and come play!"

That was a quote made by my friend Amy. Amy and her son Owen, our friend Jessica and her son Evan, Molly and I all went to check out the new Discovery Place Kids that opened up in Huntersville, NC. Her quote pretty much sums up our experience there. I know our kids had fun but they are so young that there was only 1 area that they really enjoyed. The mothers, however, kept running from room to room saying "Have you seen this yet?" and "Look, there's a boat!" and "Watch me milk this cow!" I'm not sure that we're going to spring for the annual membership yet....Molly is under a year so she is free right now.....but it is definitely something I'm going to consider in the future, especially because it is so close by!


Molly checking out the brain coral


Who's that pretty girl in that mirror there?
The boys loved the water table but Molly wasn't so sure.

Sweet Evan!Owen thinks he's so cool just cause he has a sweet ride!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Say cheese....


Or rather, please do NOT say cheese!!!!! That's right, my October outlaw is....wait for it......cheese! I am rather stubborn so I think I'll be able to do it but this is going to be hard!

Last month I gave up desserts/sweets. That is still in effect and I will have 2 cheats. This month is cheese but I'm giving myself 4 cheats (though I might try not to use them all) It's already been harder than I thought and it's the second day of October! I am a cheese fiend! I eat cheese in almost every meal of every day....and that is the problem!

Yesterday I decided to have some tomato soup for lunch since it was feeling quite 'fall-y' outside. What goes perfect with tomato soup?? Grilled cheese, of course! Nope. Second best pairing with tomato soup? Tuna Melt, of course! Nope. Bummer. So I made up some tuna salad and ate that with some Saltines and my tomato soup. It was actually quite tasty. I know I can do this, it's just going to be hard!

But something that is helping me keep it up is that Todd has joined on this crazy plan. Like I posted before, last month he gave up French Fries. This month he has gone crazy! French fries are still in effect (a little more strict than last month, now homemade chips are included) plus he is no longer ordering soda at restaurants. The soda thing is more of a monetary sacrifice to see how much of a difference it makes. But not only french fries and restaurant sodas, he is also giving up fried chicken!!!! No chicken nuggets for Todd during October??!!? Crazy.

Also, I was telling some of my friends about this plan of ours and I got a text the other day saying that one girl is giving up Ranch for October. I am actually inspiring people!!!! Which is inspiring me to stay strong! If you decide to give something up for October too, let me know!

I'll be bathing suit ready just in time for turtleneck season!

September sacrifice

Since having Molly, I have been on a quest to get back into shape. Not just back into pre-pregnancy shape, but pre-pre-pregnancy shape. I was doing alright and the numbers were dropping, sssssllllloooooowwwwwlllllyyyyyyy. I'm good with the exercise but the eating right is not really my think. I have a sweet tooth. If it's not in front of me, I'm good. I don't typically order desserts at restaurant, or even bake them often at home. The problem is, when I do bake them, I don't just have a slice, I eat the whole darn cake! And I can't just eat one twizzler (I don't know anyone who can!) But I can eat the whole bag in 20 minutes! I think moderation is the key and that is just not my strength.

So, I decided to give up desserts for September but it actually turned into sweets in general. I was going to allow myself 2 cheats for the 2 weddings we were going to. And let me say, I impressed myself. Of course, in the beginning, all I could think about were sweets! The first wedding we went to was early in September and we ended up having to leave the reception before they cut the cake so Molly could take a nap!!!! Not cool! I had my mom bring over some homemade peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to make up for it (and they were delicious!)

I will admit, I cheated once when my friend and I went to the Greek Festival and I don't regret it one bit! I mean, really, who can pass up Loukoumades?!?! Next year I plan to have a Baklava Sundae!

In support of my sacrifice, Todd decided to give up french fries for September. He did a great job though did allow homemade chips to be permissable.

October I've decided to give up something new. But I'm also going to keep the dessert thing going, with 2 cheats again. Todd is also keeping the french fry ban but including homemade chips. He has also added something new. I will post about October outlaw soon!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another meatless meal?!?!

This spring my mother-in-law bought some chickens on a whim. Who does that?!?! Oh yeah, I have done that too. Whereas my chicken turned out to be a rooster (I miss you, Myrtle!) Page's chickens turned out to actually be beautiful egg-laying chickens. So when she came to visit recently she brought me some fresh-out-of-the-coop eggs! Truly organic!



I decided to make a yummy meatless dish. I forgot to take a picture of the veggies I used but in this dish I have caramelized onions, orange peppers, and possibly squash, I can't really remember cause it was last week. I laid the veggies in my greased baking dish and then covered them with some shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, straight from Wisconsin! (thanks Dad!)
I beat the eggs (though I don't think I beat them enough) and then covered the veggies and cheeses with the eggs.
As you can see, the yolk and egg whites seemed to separate and I wasn't expecting this.
But it tasted oh so delicious! I probably should have used a different color plate but oh well! It was perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
As always, my meatless meal was inspired by my sister, Katherine.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

me?!?! meatless?!?!

This dish was inspired by my sister, Katherine. If you haven't checked out her blog then you MUST. She is so talented and creative. She has been writing a series on Meatless Mondays and it really gives you food for thought. :-D Anyway, I have decided to try to incorporate some meatless meals into my menu. This is not easy for me. I, for some unknown reason, feel that I must add chicken or ground beef or any other kind of meat to a meal to make it filling. When Katherine first posted her one-meatless-night-a-week challenge I was very skeptical. But I am seeing the errors of my ways!

Those of you who know my husband know that Ragu is a staple in our home. I actually believe it is one of his main food groups. I don't like spaghetti when it is just sauce and noodles but it is one of his favorites! So I decided I would adapt. As you can see below, there is "More than a Full Serving of VEGGIES" in the sauce...I guess I decided that wasn't enough...
Sorry bout the angle of the picture below. Those of you who know me from childhood might not believe that I'm serious about all the veggies below. I was such a picky eater when I was a kid. My sweet mother would make a smaller dish of what she was cooking and leave out the onions or whatever else it was that I was refusing to eat. But I have grown in my palate! Below is a mixture of onions, zucchini, squash, yellow and orange peppers, and a mighty heaping of mushrooms! Really it's whatever veggies are leftover from other dishes. They are being sauteed in olive oil and minced garlic, with some oregano and a dash of cayenne pepper. I shock myself!
Then I add in the Ragu. I love this dish because there is no recipe! I just throw in whatever I feel like. And a secret ingredient? Throw in some brown sugar!!! Delicious!

A friend of mine makes Inside Out Lasagna so I've kind of adapted my recipe to be similar to hers. After putting the sauce over whatever kind of pasta you chose (last night it was Whole Wheat Penne) then you can add in a dollop of Ricotta or Cottage cheese and some grated Parmesan cheese. Mix it all together and Voila!I didn't include a picture of the final product cause I didn't want anyone to see how much cheese I used! But it was fabulous and I have leftovers for tomorrow. Happy meatless eating!

Going...going...gone!





the fun of 8 months!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Todd's job


Ok, I will finally post about Todd getting a job! As you can see in the image above, Todd got a job with Lowe's Home Improvement. He is working in their corporate office in Mooresville, NC as a Marketing Specialist!

When we first went down to Athens, Ga for Todd to go to business school, he thought he would probably go into real estate because that is what he was familiar with. But as time went on and he took more classes, Todd realized that marketing, more specifically product development, was just the thing he was looking for. When it came time to interview we decided that he would look into all aspects of business, be it marketing, finance, operations, etc because in today's job market we didn't know how picky we could be. We knew our ideal locations were Charlotte, Mooresville, or Winston but really we thought we'd end up somewhere like Atlanta. Finally, after many interviews, Todd kept being invited back to talk to more people at Lowe's and it looked like it was going to become our reality! I mean really, in this market, who would have thought we could have landed a Fortune 50 job in the small town that my parents live in!?!?! It seems that prayer actually works! :-D

So Todd started his job about 6 weeks ago. He lived in my parents' basement for the first couple of weeks until Molly and I moved up here and we moved into our apartment. We now live in Cornelius, NC and absolutely love it!!! Moving was an adventure (that blog will come later) but I'm so glad that we're here and getting settled in (still accepting offers to come help me organize this place!)

Hopefully in a year or two we will be ready to buy a house, probably in Mooresville. But in the mean time, I am loving staying at home with Molly and learning the area better. We are also starting to meet some new moms up here but I'll post about that later too!

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's been awhile!

For some reason I seem to think that the only things worth posting involve Molly (and I'm sure some of you agree!) Of course she has done post-worthy things which I, of course, have not yet posted about, but also so much has happened for our family. I really need to get on the ball with this thing! From now on I am going to try to get better at posting in a more timely manner. We'll see how that goes!

Ok, where to start?!!? Well, Molly is now a solid food eater! We were originally going to wait until after we moved (that blog will come at a later date) but I knew Todd wanted to be there for her first meal so we started on Father's Day! I had given Molly the spoon pictured below (our favorite, the Boon spoon!) a couple of weeks before we started food just to get her use to it. She loves chewing on it!
Here is Molly taking her first bite of rice cereal mixed with breast milk! Her Daddy got to feed her first since it was father's day. It's hard to tell by this face but she actually loved it! Since rice cereal, she has eaten oatmeal, avocado, banana, squash, and peaches. All went over well except for the peaches. I don't know if they are too tart or what but she makes the most awful face after each bite. The funny thing is, she continues to open her mouth for more. Silly girl!
We are taking a family trip into Charlotte tomorrow to the farmer's market there to get some fresh veggies so that I can make some more baby food for her for the upcoming weeks. I love being able to pick out the veggies and fruits and making her food by hand. I'm sure I will use canned food on occasion, already have some Earth's Best Organic Peas in the cupboard, but for now I'm enjoying making her food myself!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

5 months! (2 weeks ago!)

So I'm doing a good job taking the pictures on time....but not so good at posting them on time!
Molly is getting so big! She has overtaken the bunny in length, though they have similar bellies!

Molly was better at sitting up than the bunny!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ouch!

I have played sports my whole life so I've had a few injuries. I've been lucky enough to avoid the broken bones (other than my pinkie finger, which really did hurt!) but I've had my bumps and scraps and aches and soreness. But this morning I really did a number on myself!

When I reached to put Molly into the exersaucer it seems I pulled my back out. But not my lower back; it was the muscles behind my left shoulder blade. OMG it hurt so bad! It got to the point where I got really flushed and everything got brighter like I was about to faint. Quite scary actually. Luckily, I had my phone right next to me and was able to call Todd. (He was upstairs asleep and couldn't hear me when I yelled to him)

I have to tell y'all: I married the most wonderful man in the world. Todd starts work on Monday so of course he has the 'new job jitters' (sounds like a dance!); not to mention the stress of moving up to Mooresville a few weeks ahead of Molly and me, and the final, complete move from Athens to Cornelius. Add on top of that the horrible cold he has. Not just your normal sniffs and sneezes but pure, utter exhaustion! So keep all of that in mind when I tell you that I have never heard Todd get out of bed faster than he did this morning. And I didn't even have the chance to tell him that I was hurt. All I said was, "I need you to come downstairs." I'm sure he probably heard some panic/pain in my voice but he was downstairs faster than I imagined possible!

So, we spent the morning in Urgent Care. The PA thinks I torqued the trapezious (sp?) muscle in my neck/back and that is causing my pain. Unfortunately, I was suppose to go to a beautiful wedding in Lake Lure, NC but right now I cannot drive. I also cannot pick Molly up because of the pain. Now, remember all that I described about how Todd feels and imagine him having to be the primary care giver today (on his day to sleep in!) And Molly has been her crankiest today!

So, now we are hanging around Athens and headed to NC in the morning. Hopefully I will be able to drive my own car separately, and hold Molly. But we will just have to wait and see!

p.s. If you can't tell, I am so in love with my husband! :-D

Monday, May 10, 2010

The best Mother's Day I've ever had!!!

Sunday was the best Mother's Day ever!!!! Ok, so I understand that I'm a little biased since it was my first Mother's Day, but still....I was pretty impressed.
This Mother's Day was the best ever! The day before I had bought myself a jogging stroller at a yard sale as a MD gift to myself. And then, MD morning I woke up and Todd brought Molly to me in bed so that I could nurse her. I wasn't really in the mood to go back to sleep (Eric was visiting and I wanted to see him some before he left) so we got up and went downstairs. My fabulous husband cooked me pancakes and bacon! Then I came across a table full of gifts. Molly helped me open them of course. She had gotten me a pedometer. Now I know that may sound like an odd gift but it is something that I requested. This pedometer is awesome! I calculated my stride and input my height and weight and it not only counts steps, but calculates distance and calories burned! It is fabulous! I wore it at work and realized that I need to step it up (pun intended)!!!!
Todd had also gotten my pushing present engraved. When Molly was born, Todd got me a new charm bracelet with a silhouette charm of a little girl. He got her initials and birth date engraved on it. I love it!!! He also got me a gift card to a local salon so I can get a massage or treatment of my choice! I love presents!!!
After breakfast and presents, Todd, Molly, Eric, and I went on a walk. The weather was absolutely fabulous and Molly loves being outside. I can't wait until she can sit in a stroller facing forward, instead of in her car seat.
Todd took Eric to the airport and Molly and I headed to church. Now Molly has yet to let me sit through an entire service and MD Sunday was no exception. But an awesome thing did happen while we were there. During the childrens' service, 2 people in the congregation were recognized. They gave a rose to the oldest mother, who was in her 90s! And they gave a rose to the newest mother in the congregation. As you can see in the picture above, I got a rose (and it wasn't for being the oldest!) I was so glad that I had Molly there with me.
After church Molly and I went to a cookout to celebrate our friends, Elise and Jon North, because they both recently graduated! We had a great time: Molly loves being outside!As you can see, our allergies are starting to get to us:
The rest of the day was spent just hanging out with Todd and Molly. That is one of my favorite things to do. But it was even better than normal because Todd took the lead on all fussing babies and dirty diapers!

Todd has set the bar high for Father's Day!

Eric came to visit!!

Todd's Wake Forest freshman year roommate, Lord Eric, came to visit us from New York this past weekend! We had a great time showing him around Athens and UGA, and just hanging out. We miss Eric now that he thinks he's a big whig attorney in NYC.
Molly is taking after Todd and me in her love for reading!

Eric brought Molly her first Dr. Seuss books and Cat in the Hat stuffed animal. Of course they had to have story time!
We headed out to a local brewery, Terrapin, for a wonderful evening of music and beer (for the non-nursing folks). Molly absolutely loves being outside!
She even made an attempt at sitting up! She did pretty well for a few seconds and then tumbled. I'm excited about this new development, especially since we head to the beach in a few weeks!

Todd has an MBA!


Todd graduated from The University of Georgia last weekend!!! Of course, he had exams the week after graduation, but it was still exciting! His parents, Page and Clayton, and his great-aunt, Margaret, came to join in the festivities! Todd is now done with classes/exams and I know he is so thankful for it. He just told me he made a 4.0 this semester which is pretty impressive seeing as we have a 4 month old!!! But I've always known that Todd is sneaky smart!
Molly is very proud of her Daddy. She hopes to one day follow in his footsteps......but as a Tarheel! :-D

Sunday, April 25, 2010

late Easter post

Happy Easter!!!!! (super late, I know!)

My sister, Katherine, made the cutest Easter buckets for her kids and she made one for Molly too!!! She is interested in selling them so contact her on her blog if you'd like one!!! I've never seen finer quality work!!! Katherine will have a table set up at a craft show in Chapel Hill this weekend so if you're in the area, be sure to stop by!

Katherine also made Molly's Easter dress!
We had a great time with family over Easter. We went down to Birmingham, Alabama to visit our cousin Will! It was great to see all the cousins and cousins' girlfriends and aunts and uncles. I couldn't have asked for a better Easter this year!

3 months!

3 months!!!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finally!

I know it has been forever since I have posted! Each time I sit down at the computer I'm like, 'I don't know what to write about!' and then as soon as I walk away I have a list in my head of things to share! This morning is not going to be a super long post because I have to leave for work soon but I was just so proud of myself that I wanted to share!

I have a loft goal of getting back into shape. I know the saying, "It took 9 months to gain the weight, give myself at least 9 months to lose it." But it's really hard to be patient! I had told myself that after I was cleared (ahem, 8 weeks ago!) that I was going to regularly go to the gym and start eating healthier, blah, blah, blah. Well I started out alright but that slowly changed. There were other things that were of more priority than going to the gym. Yes, spending time with Molly was a good excuse but then it was, 'I forgot to take my gym clothes to work with me so I have to come home' or 'Let's just watch one more TV show and then I'll go right after'....yeah right! And food....oh food....how I love thee! For a while I was good and then someone started shoving cookies and cakes and candies down my throat!!! Ok, so that someone was me....:-/

So I've made a plan....I'm telling you all so hopefully you can keep me accountable. I have given up gluten, except for whole grains. I don't have a gluten-intolerance but saying I've given up gluten seems an easier feat for me than giving up sweets. This way I can still have a treat every once in a while in the form of chocolate or ice cream and I can still get my favorite Subway sandwiches as long as I use whole grain bread. (I am allowing special occasions such as wedding cake to sneak in there every once in a while!) And I have already shown myself that I can do it: Yesterday I turned down a donut....and I LOVE donuts!!!!

As for the gym....I have contacted a trainer at my gym. I have 5 sessions left from before I was pregnant so I'm hoping to use those and she can set me up with some good routines that I can do on my own. The reason I am so proud of myself this morning is that I got up at 5:15am, pumped (cause no one likes to run with full balloons!) and then I went to the gym....I did 30 minutes on the treadmill (10 walking, 10 running, 10 walking) and then I came home and showered and got ready for work. I have a girlfriend who goes to the gym before work M/W/F so hopefully I can tag along at least once or twice a week. And since Molly is pretty regularly sleeping 11 hours at night, I can get to the gym and back before she wakes up for breakfast, IF she wakes up before I head to work.

Alright, speaking of work....time to go earn some dollars!

Saturday, March 20, 2010