Thursday, November 12, 2009

A New Year

It seems only natural to sit back today to reflect on this year of my life... today is my birthday, and boy has it been one amazing year!

First - having my daughter, learning to nurse and care for an infant, has been life-changing (I guess everyone was right :) I think the whole experience has made me a bit softer, a bit calmer, and a bit more ready to love in general.

Second - continuing my education, going back to college to learn something new, has given me great respect for people who are constantly trying to better themselves, trying something new, or willing to accept change in their lives.

Third (or maybe First) - recognizing (again and again) what a wonderful husband I have... one who is ever-ready to try to make my life easier and more pleasant... always ready to help... always ready to work harder for our family... always ready to give of himself...

This new year I want to:

Make more of the time I have in my pursuits and my career - remembering why I pursue what I do.

Make more of the time I have to myself - doing things I love - crafting, cooking....

Make more of the time I have with my family - showing them love.... just having fun with my dear sweetie and darling daughter.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mushroom Asparagus Soup

This is a personal variation of the "Soup Rice" recipe in The Healthy Family Cookbook by Hope Ricciotti, M.D. and Vincent Connelly. It is a simple warm soup - Refreshing after a big weekend of eating.

olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 large yellow onions, diced
1 cup brown rice
1 quart box of chicken broth
1 quart (refill empty box) water
1 1/2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated
1/2 bunch fresh asparagus, ends removed cut into 1 inch pieces
shredded parmesan

Heat oil in soup pot, medium heat. Cook garlic, 30 sec, then add onion, salt moderately and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in brown rice. Add broth and water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer covered for 30 minutes or until rice is close to done. Add mushrooms and asparagus, continue simmering for 10 to 15 minutes. Pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with parmesan.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Homemade Baby Food: Butternut Squash

Tonight I tried my first batch of homemade baby food. The recipe: Winter Squash Puree from Williams-Sonoma's "Cooking for Baby".

We already had about 1 1/2 lbs of pre-cut butternut squash is the fridge, so I just spread it out on a baking sheet and popped it in the oven.

Afterwards, I pureed it in my handy-dandy food processor.

And then, filled the cups of my special baby food ice trays (with very handy covers) - a gift from my dear sister. I am freezing the puree in these approximately one ounce servings to save for my sweet babe to eat in a month or two.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"No Pasta Needed" Pasta Sauce

I whipped up this sauce last night to eat with a nice crusty loaf of garlic bread:

1 Large Onion, diced
1 Bunch Asperagus, end removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
8 Large Mushrooms, sliced
1 Red bell pepper , diced OR 5 small sweet peppers, diced
2-4 garlic cloves, minced

2 Cans Crushed Tomatoes
1 Can tomato paste
2 TBSP Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper to Taste or 1 Large Jar of Favorite Traditional Sauce

Saute the first 5 ingredients in a little olive oil until cooked and tender (about 10 minutes). Mix in the rest and let simmer as long as you can stand it or until heated throughout. Serve with your favorite crusty bread... or over pasta if desired.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Typical Day

For those interested, here is my typical day:

4:30 am – Sweet Babe wake up call, nurse, and return to dreamland
5:30 am – Alarm
6:00 am – Roll out of bed and prepare for the day
6:30 am – Breakfast with Sweetie
6:45 am – Prayers with Sweetie
7:00 am – Nurse Sweet Babe and prepare her for the day
7:45 am – Leave for work
8:30 am – Arrive at Sweet Babe’s daycare kiss her a lot and update her teacher
8:45 am – Arrive at work, do work stuff
1:00 pm – Visit Sweet Babe to nurse and play
2:00 pm – Back at work
5:30 pm – Pick up Sweet Babe and head home, phone calls to Sweetie and Dear Sister
6:10 pm – Arrive home, Nurse Sweet Babe
6:30 pm – Work on Supper
7:00 pm – Eat with Sweetie
7:30 pm – Prayers with Sweetie
7:45 pm – Watch a Netflix, work on projects, play with Sweet Babe, etc.
9:00 pm – Nurse Sweet Babe and put her to bed
9:30 pm - Clean and prepare bottles for the next day, continue evening activities, prepare for bed… start over again….

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Little Bit of Sewing: Toy Bag

A nice thing about Sundays is that while sweetie watches his football, I like to drop the baby off nearby for him to keep an eye on, and I sneak off to my little sewing corner to whip something up. This the second time this fall I have had the chance and the desire so here is the product of the afternoon:

This little toy bag was intended to be much larger, though I am not very good yet at visualizing dimensions when it comes to sewing so it turned out much smaller than I thought it would. It is based on the tutorial here. I hoped to make a nice soft basket to toss Helen's toys into in our living room and actually, I think the small size works well considering that most of her toys right now are small themselves. I think I will attempt a larger and sturdier version for her bedroom... and if they continue to whip up so quickly... who knows! every toy may end up in its own little bag!!

Four Days to a Cleaner House: Day Four


Sunday - Kitchen, Mopping, Laundry, and one last vacuum for good measure!

This is it, the last day of my cleaning extravaganza! Today we went to our bright and early Mass, Hubby made a fabulous breakfast (pancakes, sausage, eggs, and delicious coffee), and while he cooked, I swept and mopped the the kitchen and entryway floors. I just love a clean floor!

Afterwards, I got the laundry running, took to dusting, and then vacuumed the house for a fresh start to the week. Now that that is all complete... I think I will knit something!

Four Days to a Cleaner House: Day Three


Saturday - Attack the pile of recycling that is taking over the garage.

Luckily, for day three, hubby was around to help. We tore down all the boxes and stuffed all the paper and cardboard that would fit into his car to transport to the recycling bins. That stuff sure does accumulate... especially when you shop at Costco!

Other than that, we took it pretty easy, made our weekly shopping trip, and met with our fellowship group at church. Oh yes, we also dressed the baby up for Halloween pictures... cutest papoose ever!

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