27 November 2010

Random Ramblings of a Housewife

A few random things going on here these days:

--I made two amazing quiches tonight with our leftover Thanksgiving ham and I may or may not have had almost three servings.

--I watched Grey's Anatomy today while Olivia took her nap and I can't for the life of me understand why none of the ladies on the show have jumped on Jackson Avery.  He's by far the McSteamiest, McDreamiest doctor on the show.

--I think I must drive Olivia crazy because I ask her at least 1,000 times a day for a kiss.  Thankfully she complies about 865 of those times.  Best kisses ever.

--David is attempting to make his dad's ham/bean soup tonight.  OH MY.  He has two pots going with about 5 pounds of ham, 2 pounds of beans, carrots, onions and jalapenos.  FYI, I hate ham and beans.

--A new In-N-Out opened north of our house while we were in Arizona.    {We've been drooling over it's progress for the last few months.} On our way home from the airport, we stopped and waited in a line of 20 cars for cheeseburgers & fries.  Dear In-N-Out, Every time feels like the first time.

--We had our pictures taken a few weeks ago by our friend Maren and it is taking everything I have not to share them with you.  They are SOOOO beautiful.

--This dog lover is afraid is terribly afraid that she is raising a cat lover.

--We got Olivia a toilet training potty today.  She's been letting us know when she has a dirty diaper, so we brought one home to get her used to sitting on it.  Crazy to think she's old enough to know what's going on.

--Speaking of crazy, I video chatted with my parents tonight on their flight home from Atlanta.  Who would have thought that would ever be possible?

--UGH, I haven't even started on Olivia's photo album for her second year.  I should probably get on that soon.

--This may be my favorite age of Olivia so far.  Although, I think I say that every month.

--We went shopping up in SLO yesterday for a couple hours with Olivia.  I think she had fun on the carts - what do you think?

--She didn't have fun with Santa Claus.  I'll get that picture scanned and post it soon.

--Today's cold weather and sprinkles put a damper on our brilliant idea of using our tiny pumpkins as target practice, but it sure made it nice to cuddle up on the couch in front of the fireplace.

--David and I watched Inception the other night.  Holy Confusing, Batman!  I do not know what the dude who wrote that one was smoking.  

--And, it's 10:20 and I'm heading to bed.  Sweet {non-scary} dreams, dear readers.

Happy Saturday from the Central Coast!

25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ahhh, what a wonderful day we've had here.  Wouldn't it be nice if Thanksgiving happened more than once a year?  And, I don't even mean for the food.  David and I have both had a chance to connect with friends and family today through texts, instant messaging, Skype and phone calls.  Today is also a nice reminder {obviously} to be thankful for the things we have.  So often, we get caught up in the things that are going wrong in our lives instead of focusing on the blessings that we have.  I am forever grateful for wonderful, supportive, caring friends and family.

Now, onto the day.  I spent the morning finishing up those pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  David and Olivia made a Starbucks run for me - such sweethearts.  And, Olivia had a chance to talk to her Grandma Irma {or Grannaw as she calls her} on the phone.

Here she is giving Grandma a smooch.  

Now back to those cinnamon rolls.  You can see the amazing pictures here and get the recipe here.  They were pretty time-consuming, but definitely delicious. After much begging, we finally gave in and gave Olivia a few bites.  She didn't give us much verbal feedback, but after she finished her plate, she grabbed my hand and dragged me over to the counter where the pan of rolls were.  I'm thinking she liked them too!  We sat and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade {and weren't really impressed} and then enjoyed a little downtime while Olivia napped.
She wouldn't share a bite.

Snuggled up and ready to watch the parade.

Of course the day wouldn't be complete without getting Olivia dressed up in her dirty Thanksgiving dress and forcing her into posing for pictures.  You'll forgive me for choosing EIGHT pictures to post, right?  Can't help it.  She's so darn cute.

My two biggest reasons to give thanks today.  Love them both so much.

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

We had a delicious dinner and opted for a honey baked ham instead of a turkey.  Both of us like ham better and with the 10 pounds we have left, my fingertips are already searching online for casseroles and quiches to feed my egg-loving husband.  My overnight salad turned out just as wonderful as my mom's and we went easy-peasy with green bean casserole and au gratin potatoes as sides.  And once this post is finished, I'm breaking into the fruit salad I made this afternoon.

And, just because I've already uploaded these pictures, I obviously must share them with you.  We had a nice Skype session with my family and Olivia & I were thoroughly entertained watching my mom and brother do Beatles Rock Band.  {Props to my Mama who got 100% on In My Life.}

Happy Thanksgiving from the Central Coast!

24 November 2010

Cookie Pops + Kisses + Bronzer

In the last few hours, I've made tonight's dinner, a cheeseball, an overnight salad {that I know will taste nowhere near as good as my mom's} and the dough & filling for pumpkin cinnamon rolls {with the help of my Top Chef husband. Thanks hubby}.  I'm tired, but I wanted to fill you in on a couple things before I hit the sack.

On Monday, we celebrated our friend Katie's birthday.  She's TWENTY-SIX.  Ohmymercy, I don't think I even remember 26.  Anyway, we had a yummy beef stew for dinner and some delicious Oreo Cookie Pops.  Seriously, these are/were SO delicious.  I love the cake pops I've made, but as Ken said when he ate these, "Oh, Amanda, I feel sorry for the people at your Halloween party because they didn't get these."  Next year, people, next year.  Anyway, they are super simple and beyond delicious.

Want to make some?  In a food processor, turn a bag/box of Oreos into crumbles and transfer it to a bowl. With your hands add a package of softened cream cheese and mix until consistent.  Roll into balls and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Melt your candy melts according to the package and dip the cookie balls into the candy melt.  Yep, it's that easy.  You can thank me later when you make these and people go CA-RAZY for them.

Yesterday, Olivia and I met up with some moms and babes, and yeah, Olivia kissed her first boy.  I didn't get it on film {but it was just as adorable as you can imagine when a little girl and little boy are prodded by their moms to give each other a smooch...when Jacob hesitated, Olivia just went for it}.  I snapped this shot a little later when they snuck over to a small step in a nook off the family room.  This time Jacob went for it and Olivia got up and bolted.  Heaven help us during her teenage years.

This morning we headed up to Boo Boo Records for Music Time and we were on the ball enough to even meet up with Sarah & Kendall for coffee first.  {It definitely helps that I am not nursing her in the mornings...or at all for that matter.  Insert slightly sad face here.}  I got Olivia dressed and ready and let her play around in the bathroom while I put my make-up on.  She got into a little something while I was getting ready...

I had a bag of make-up that I rarely use in the bottom drawer of the bathroom.  I guess it was unzipped and Olivia dug in to find a container of mineral powder bronzer and got it all over her face.  One more thing to be thankful for -- the dress managed to stay clean.  Because, YEAH, she'll be wearing it again tomorrow.  Gotta get my money's worth!  Anyway, with the help of a few make-up remover cloths, I got her cleaned up in no time and we were on our way.

All of her friends got on stage.  Come on, Olivia, everybody's doing it!

Oh, the peer pressure!

And, she caved.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve from the Central Coast!

21 November 2010

It's a Shutterfly Christmas, Blog Readers

Have I ever mentioned to you guys how much I love Shutterfly?  I'm sure you remember this post where I showed off the photo albums I made documenting Olivia's first year, but I'm not sure that I've mentioned how I flip through the pages at least once a week.  No joke, anyone who has come into the house as a dinner guest has also flipped through the books...and every single one of them LOVES them.  They are amazed that I was able to make them online for an affordable price and with such a great quality.

What I may have never mentioned is that I had already made our wedding album through Shutterfly.  Since Olivia is our honeymoon baby, we found out shortly after our wedding that we were going to have some additional expenses and spending thousands of dollars on a wedding album just didn't make sense.  Thanks to our wonderful wedding coordinators, I learned that Shutterfly wasn't just a place to post your pictures online.  There are so many amazing, personalized things you can do.  I spent a few days putting together our photos into a layout that worked for me and I was beyond pleased with the results.

Interested in making your own photo book?  Head here.

And, before there was Olivia, there was our first child, Magnum.  And every Christmas for the last four years, I've given David a calendar with fun pictures of our pup on each month.  The thing I love about making these calendars on Shutterfly is that I can personalize the dates with our family members birthdays & anniversaries.  And, the best thing is that Shutterfly saves those dates in my account, so making the calendars year after year is a cinch!

Jealous of our Magnum calendars?  Want to make your own?  Run, don't walk, here.

Last year's Christmas gift to David (and a few others) wasn't just the Magnum calendar.  I also made the most adorable luggage tags using pictures from our recent photo shoot.

There's no doubt whose bag this belongs to.
Got luggage?  Make a tag!

And, this Christmas?  Well, this Christmas, I'll be using Shutterfly for our holiday cards.  Why have I never thought of this before?   There are so many cute cards to choose from.  Here are a few of my favorites {except, I'm holding back the one we'll be using this year...}:

If you are a fellow blogger and are interested in receiving 50 free cards of your own, you can help tell others about Shutterfly's new holiday collection.  
Bloggers get free holiday cards from Shutterfly, find out how at http://bit.l/sfly2010

I can't wait to submit my order and get our cards in the mail.  We are actually on the ball this year and have already had our pictures taken.  Want a sneak peak?  

Love those precious lips.