Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Jersey

I'm finally getting around to posting pics from our New Jersey trip.  To find time in my day to load and edit pictures is a challenge.  And to be quite honest, it's far from the top of my daily to-do list.  Working on it a little bit here, and a little bit there got the job done, though.  So here we go.

Callan and I had a wonderful time spending the week with my parents, and getting to meet my niece for the very first time!  (She's 5 months old, now!  I can't believe it took that long to finally meet her.)  At 9 months old, Callan is at such a fun age and interacts with everyone he meets (and re-meets).  Instead of giving you a play by play of our trip, I'll just share pictures and let them speak for themselves.  (A few captions might help set the stage for you, though.)

{ my parents' house }

{ Callan and Erin meeting for the first time! }

{ Callan with Uncle Rich and cousin Erin }

{ proud Grandma and Grandpa }

{ I heart the Christmas Tree Shop }

{ Callan met his great grandpa [Papa] and great grandma [Mama] for the first time }

{ silly banana sticker }

{ lego Erin - I LOVE this picture }

{ "pew! pew! pew!  stinky feet!" }

{ the best we could get with two antsy babies }

{ Grandpa with his grandkids }

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

the not-so-deserted island

Our kitchen "island" (that's what I call it, even though it isn't an island by definition - I guess it's more of a peninsula, but when Travis asks where something is, it's much easier to say, "it's on the island", rather than "it's on the peninsula"...) tends to be a dumping station/work space/temporary holding zone more than anything else.

It's usually free of clutter only when company is expected.  

Anyways, here's what it's looking like today.  It looks quite similar on any other day.  There are a few hints to "in-progress" projects in this photo.  Hopefully I'll be sharing them with you soon!

Is there a place in your house that tends to get cluttered and stay cluttered?  I think it's inevitable for every home, right?  At least tell me that it is so I don't feel so bad.  ;)

Monday, August 29, 2011

recipe: soft pretzel bites

We all know how addicting Pinterest is.  I browse and pin while I'm feeding Callan, when I can't fall asleep at night, or when I am bored during down-time and don't feel like working on any of my many in-progress projects.

There are so many mouth-watering images {and recipes} floating around on Pinterest - sometimes I just can't pin fast enough.  You know how it is. 

'Fall is coming...fall flavors...mmm...pumpkin!  Pumpkin cupcakes, PIN.  Pumpkin muffins, PIN.  Pumpkin cinnamon rolls, PIN.  Pumpkin....'

Yea, that's seriously how it goes. 

Anyways, I love soft pretzels - especially the big ones you get at a stadium.  So Yum.  When I found this recipe for soft pretzel bites, it was only a matter of time before I got to pretzel-making in the kitchen.

{ source and recipe }

Here's, pretty much, my pretzel making experience.  In pictures.

{ dough, before rising for an hour }

{ dough, after rising for an hour }

{ dough rolled out into 1" ropes and cut into bite-sized pieces }

{ lightly salted pretzel bites }

{ cinnamon and sugar pretzel bites }

They turned out quite tasty!  I modified the original recipe minimally.  Instead of using 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, I used 1 1/2 c. all purpose, and 1 c. whole wheat.  (I'd probably stick to the original recipe next time, though.)  These were best still warm, where they had a bit of crunch to the outer layer and a soft, chewy center.  A few of these bites were a delightful afternoon snack!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

PB "what I'm loving list"

Hey, hey!

I'm back from NJ and am falling back into my regular routine here at home.  After being away for a week (and an hour ahead [time-wise]), Callan is now going to bed with us between 9:30 and 10:30 pm.  Hallelujah!  I've already taken on a painting project since we got back (a focal wall in the master bedroom), and am playing catch up on laundry, cleaning, as well as going through all the catalogs and magazines I got in the mail while away.

So while I work on editing photos from our trip back East, put that post together, and work on a few little projects for our bedroom before a "reveal", here's a "fluff" post.

I seriously look forward to the time of year when Fall catalogs and magazines show up in the mailbox.  That means cooler weather is right around the corner (hopefully), right?!  I received the most recent PB catalog in the mail earlier this week.  While I tend to agree with Phoebe Buffay (from "Friends") and her opinion about Pottery Barn, I can't help ogling over every catalog that comes my way, and wishing I had a couple extra thousand bucks to spend any which way I want.  So I put together a little "here's what I'm loving list" from PB's September issue.

I don't really "do" Halloween.  Any aspect of it, but these are way cute.  Who doesn't love a ceramic owl?

I looooove this rug.  It's the Lucy Floral Rug; an 8x10 is $649.  I can dream, can't I? 

Isn't this pendant light absolutely charming?  I love the glass vs. metal, and the honeycomb pattern created by the "chicken wire".  I'd love this over my kitchen sink for a little task lighting.

And there's something about this Folk Art weather vane - it reminds me of the Amish barns and shops out in the Lancaster, PA area.  I think it'd look pretty great up on the mantel.  

Have you gotten your PB catalog in the mail yet?  Anything catch your eye?

As I'm wrapping up this post, Callan is enjoying the catalog in his very own way...

Hope you all are enjoying the last bit of summer that we have left!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

houseguests & a plane trip

Well, at least I have a good reason for why I was MIA this week (and will be next week, too).  My mom and grandma are here visiting.  They arrived this past Wednesday, and we all (minus Travis) leave together tomorrow to head back to NJ for a(n) (almost) week-long visit.  My dad and sister couldn't be more excited to see Callan and how much he has changed over the past few months.  I can't wait to see their reactions! :)  

I hope you all are enjoying these last weeks of summer and are making lots of memories with your loved ones!

I'll be back next week with pictures to share of our visits.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

9 months old

Yesterday, Callan turned 9 months old.  I can't believe it.  He is 3/4 of a year old.  He has been out of the womb for as long as he was inside it.  It blows my mind how quickly time passes, especially when you're watching a little one grow up right in front of your eyes.

At, now, 9 moths old, Callan is crawling like a mad man, pulling himself to standing like an old pro, as well as able to get himself back down to sitting, cruises from furniture piece to furniture piece, sits on his knees and bounces, he's making all kinds of new noises, plays well by himself, opens cabinets and pulls their contents out onto the floor, sleeps through the night on most nights, loves bathtime, has his bottom, front two teeth, loves to turn the dials and push buttons on the DVD player despite the many "no's" and light hand smacks, loves to be read to, likes to blab into a plastic cup, crawls after the vacuum when it's in use, makes it quite clear when he wants his "mamamamama", gets excited when his Daddy gets home from work, loves music and dancing, thinks it's the funniest thing to climb all over mommy when she works out on the floor, can stand on his own for a couple of seconds (sometimes), loves to get his hands on a catalog and rip it apart, if there's a power cord on the floor, he's on it like white on rice, has the sweetest little laugh, and a smile that melts my heart every. time.

When the front door is open, Callan makes a bee-line.

He loves making out with the glass.  ;)

Friday, August 5, 2011

around here

We're all adjusting to a new schedule.  This week, Travis switched from night shift (4pm to midnight) to day shift (7:30am to 4:15pm).  So, we're all trying to switch over to Travis' new schedule, but that's easier said than done.  Callan's used to going to bed when we used to - anywhere between 12:30 and 2:30 am - and now trying to get him to go to bed between 10 and 11 pm is a challenge.  It'll be a slow process of changing our schedule.  We'll probably have it mastered by the time Travis goes back to night shift, right?  Because that's just how things go.  

Anyways, life around here goes on.  Nothing too exciting, or productive, has been happening.  We are at, like, day 44, or something like that, of 100+ temperatures, so outside projects are on hold, major inside projects, like painting, only happen when Callan is sleeping (and naps seem to be getting shorter these days), so progress is slow.  Callan is always on the go, getting into, practically, everything, so my eyes are on him most of his waking hours.  I am, however, watching him play, out of the corner of my eye, right now, as I type this.  I've been trying to get this post up for three days now, so I'm hoping to have a few moments to finally get this done.  

{ Ok, so after a 15 minute break, he's down for a nap.  Here I go, I'm going to get this done.  And then hopefully get some painting done before he wakes up.  Fingers crossed for, at least, an hour long nap. }

Last weekend when we went to the Apple store to get *new phones*, we took a stroll around the mall to check out what stores they have.  Of course we had to pop into Pottery Barn to see if they had anything good on sale.  Because I refuse to pay full price.  I found these straws on a sale table - they came home with us.  They were $5.  I picked up these same straws (but in a different color/pattern) a few years ago when I worked at Pottery Barn in Fresno, but after years of being washed in the dishwasher, I thought I deserved some brandy-new ones.  Love them.

This is about where I am in painting our bedroom.  Walls are primed, trim is painted (finally after 2 coats of primer and 5 [?] coats of paint, plus touch ups).  I'm hoping to get the walls painted before the weekend is over, but we'll see if that wish comes true.  The paint color is very light, so I'm hoping I won't need more than two coats. 

Oh, and I came across a super simple recipe for "no-bake energy bites" last week {on Pinterest}, and decided to give them a go.  They're totally tasty, and a great treat when you need a little something sweet or a post-workout boost.  You can find the recipe here.  But here's how I made mine:

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats 
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1-2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp of your favorite spice(s)

In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.  Add the rest of the ingredients, mix to combine.  Put the bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the "dough" to stiffen a little bit - it will be easier to work with, once chilled.  After the "dough" has chilled, roll into tablespoon sized balls.  Makes about 2 dozen.  From here, you can bag them up and keep them in the fridge or freezer.  These make a great, easy snack on the go.

The first batch of these, that I made, I added cinnamon as my spice.  The second time, I added about a tablespoon of cocoa and a tablespoon and a half of ground flax seed.  I like the second batch much better.  Travis took a bunch of these to work, and the guys enjoyed them, too!  

I did the math, and each of these snack balls are just over 100 calories.


Travis has always been a fan of Captain America, so he had to go see the movie when it was released.  He even went to the midnight showing the day that it came out.  Anyways, to indulge his excitement over his favorite super hero, I whipped up this onesie for Callan.  Cute, right?

And here's my curious little guy doing what he does best.

{ I call this one, "looking for Narnia" }

So, that's what's been going on here lately.  My capiz shell project is on hold, because I ran out of fishing line.  I'm hoping to get to the store, this weekend maybe, so I can hurry up and cross that project off my list.
I hate when projects linger, don't you?!