Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Spring Edition

Things that make Lilli happy:

VeggieTales peas

Picking out a purple flower of her very own:Eating out.
Eating out. (She likes it enough it's worth mentioning twice.)
Pippin inspired outfits are my fave. I forgot how many other cute things I snapped up with Boston Terriers at Gap, Target, Gymboree and Old Navy last summer. He is such a fashion icon! Can you believe it's almost been a year that he's cancer free now?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tis the Season

Tis the season for me to want to do lots of this.I finally got started on our taxes tonight, of course I couldn't find half the things I needed for a while and only got a small portion of the way through. But far enough along to be annoyed at the government and how much they tax a hardworking, dual income family. We'd probably live better if neither one of us had jobs and we just lived on all the people like us.
Never fear, hopefully once I get all our charitable deductions, business expenses, and childcare expenses (the measly minute portion that are actually deductible - one again ridiculous) hopefully the frowns will turn a little bit upside down, or at least the big red number staring at me won't have a minus sign in front of it.
This is one task I would love to pass off to Brent, but I'm guessing the CPA certificate hanging in our hallway means I'm the one in charge of this one. Three weeks to get it done!

*These pictures are from Sunday when Lilli was asking Brent to swaddle her like a baby. She loved playing "Houdini" and trying to escape!! Pippin, on the other hand, was not impressed.

Monday, March 26, 2012

On Our Plates

I've got about five million tabs open in Safari right now of recipes I need to file and then Pin on Pinterest to keep track of. I think some combo of Ziplist and Pinterest may end up being the best way for me to keep track of everything we make, particularly since we don't repeat often (mostly because I can't find the recipe or the review of what we thought of it!) Mixing in here with some pictures Brent took of Lilli at the park "feeding" the very unhungry ducks on Saturday.Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken - this was really pretty good and easy. Not much to it and a great and fast meal to come home to on a weeknight. I'm sure there are better sauce recipes out there, but this was pretty good.

Marinated Spicy Pork Chops - This one used up some local pork chops from the CSA we were in last summer. We marinated overnight and the key is to not overcook them. We're not huge pork fans but this was pretty good. Brent made this homemade mac n cheese along with it (because we didn't have the box stuff). We were out of the cheddar cheese soup but I had a nacho cheese soup can in the pantry and that gave it a nice spice. However it was way too "mixed" for Lilli and I don't think she even tried it.
For St Patrick's Day, I made this Green Monster Smoothie. The spinach in it makes it green, and I just don't think I could get past it. It just had a really bland taste. We did add a little sugar and that helped, but it was missing something. We had it alongside Racheal Ray's Smoky Turkey Shepherd's Pie which is always delicious. We don't make it a ton because it's fairly involved (and always takes us longer than 30 mins), but sometimes instead of making the potatoes from scratch we'll cheat and use a mix for that part.

Quinoa is sort of a new food for us, though it's been around a while. It's packed with all kinds of healthiness and it tastes delicious. We tried this spinach and fruit quinoa salad and all really liked it. I'm just not a huge grapefruit person, so I think in the future I could sub that out for oranges though. I accidentally made about three times too much quinoa, so I also found this recipe for another fruit infused quinoa salad on Pinterest and made it. In some ways I liked it better, though it's totally a different thing altogether. The dressing was just okay, but I loved the blueberries, mango and other things mixed together with the quinoa.
When we had friends over for dinner last week we made an "upscale" Mexican fiesta. We cooked pork carnitas in the crock pot all day. That's one of our fave recipes and it's so incredibly easy and flavorful. We serve with corn tortillas, rice, pico, cheese, sour cream, lettuce and avocado. We made the Cilantro Rice to go along with it, and it was SO good (and also easy). And then I also served a black bean, tomato, cucumber salad to go alongside it. We mixed that in with the tacos and it was great, and would also probably be really good with just chips to dip it in. Everything tasted so fresh, was easy to prepare, and literally once we got home from work we were ready to serve dinner in less than thirty minutes.
We had a big to-do at church last Sunday and had various dish assignments. One of mine was cole slaw, which is really not something I eat or enjoy (or have ever made). I will eat it, but I'm not a huge mayo person so it's just not my thing. I had found a great apple based cole slaw but our awful grocery store didn't have the type of cabbage it called for. So we went with a fairly traditional recipe. I never tried it but Brent said it was good. I also had a dessert assignment, which is much more my thing! I was trying to do something fairly simple but really good and then remembered it had been a while since we had made Mexican Chocolate Cake. It's very fast to make and the kick of cayenne pepper adds a great spicy flavor to it. Of course it looks like any other traditional chocolate cake so some people probably get surprised by it! But it's seriously so delicious.
And now, we have about 500 less recipe tabs clogging up our Safari session!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


We've gotten a little behind on dumping our pictures (very rare that happens around here!) but I have a few from the middle of last week that are still pretty cute. It's that busy time of year when we're changing out closets from winter to summer and getting the yard back in shape and we just don't take as many pictures. Brent helped me swap out my closet today (which in this old East Nashville house involves ladders and everything else under the sun), and I've nearly got Lilli's closet swapped out too.

One of their classroom jobs is to be elevator operator - holding the door and pressing the button. She loves to hold an elevator door for people!! Another perk of being an urban city kid. If there's no parking out front we have to pull in the basement garage when we pick her up, so sometimes in the afternoon she gets to operate the elevator for us. Her current classroom job is book curator - keeping the bookshelves clean and picked up. They swap jobs every two weeks.On Tuesday night we just really needed some cookies. And since I don't buy that stuff often all we could do was make some chocolate chip cookies from scratch! My assistant is always more than happy to help with all measuring.
What made it more interesting was her ensemble. I had just gotten a big box of new clothes for her and I in the mail from Zulily that day. I had let her pick out a new swimsuit (it also came with a really cute swim skirt) and the cow sandals. She was excited they were in the box and had to put them on right that second. And then this is the look you get when you ask her to show you her new swimsuit. If I wasn't so certain she was going to be a short girl like me, I'd say she has America's Next Top Model talent.
Hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dinner with Friends

Every day, and I do mean EVERY day, Lilli asks if a friend can come over and play. It's not always the same friend, sometimes it's just whoever is closest to her when I walk in the room. Or some days she will ask if she can go over to one of her friend's houses because "they have lots of toys". I think she's just in that "girlfriend" phase where she loves to play with her friends and do things outside the normal church/school environment. We've been meaning to entertain more this year, I do love to throw a party, but it just seems like there's always something interfering with it.

Monday night we did invite two of her best friends from church over to play. Wendy's husband is gone on a mission trip this week to Haiti so I thought it might be nice for the kiddos to do something fun while they're missing their dad. We had a Mexican fiesta and I made pork carnitas in the crockpot while I was at work all day. Then when I got home all I had to do was make some rice to go along with it and other easy things like chop fruit, avocado, etc.The kids. I'm pretty sure this is a "your party is so lame" look. Lilli is exactly in the middle of them age-wise. Zach just turned 4, and Audrey was 2 back in December.
A little better - at least Lilli is smiling.
They had fun playing outside in Lilli's trampoline and she loved having other people to play in it with her. I'm also glad it's out of my house and on the deck now that it's warmed up and there's more daylight (since we didn't even have a cold winter). We also got her water table out and they splashed around in it while we socialized.
Then once it got dark they had fun with the riding toys inside, trying to figure out how to give each other rides, hopping around on Lilli's bouncer ball and playing with some of her new games.
We had a fun night and as soon as they pulled away Lilli asked if they could come over again tomorrow. I do plan to really get into entertaining more now that the weather is so nice, but maybe not every day!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


This pic from Sunday was too random not to share - Brent and Lil passed a Redbox on the way into meeting me inside Kroger (they watch movies in the car for about twenty minutes and then come in and find me). She wanted to stop and look at all the movies and picked out this one - Devil Dolls - some kind of truly gruesome horror movie. She has an odd taste.....of course in her mind it probably looked like some kind of great story about baby dolls.This would be the pre-church look - hair nicely curled, bow in, necklace on.
And here's after church - hair a frizzy mess and all accessories long gone. It's amazing what a couple of hours of romping around can do to your appearance. I bet I'd look similar in before and after pictures!
Yes, we have a major dandelion problem again this year. Brent mowed Sunday afternoon and the yard already looks like that again this afternoon.
I think I know the origin of the issue though.
Who needs wind when you have a three year old who loves to pick "flowers"?

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Joke is Almost Always on Us

Is there a space in her baby book for "baby's first piece of gum?" If so, it's time to fill it out. Gum is one of those things that makes me nervous and we've always told her no, but for some reason last Thursday night when she had eaten most of her dinner and was getting to pick out a piece of candy from our candy bowl, I actually told her she could have the piece of gum she wanted. She kept it in the front of her mouth and could hardly talk because she was trying to hold it in. It was hilarious and she managed to work it into conversation as much as possible. "I can't help you with that because I'm chewing my gum."Here's how my little St Patty lunch for her turned out. We modified it a little and made it a sandwich (instead of a quesadilla as the Pinterest inspiration was), and grated carrots for the beard instead of melted shredded cheese. I thought it turned out really cute! When I asked Lilli what she thought of it she believed it was a cut out of me. I really hope I don't have an orange beard no one has pointed out!!!
Thursday night when we went in to check on her she had fallen asleep with a dry erase pin in her hand and a stack of post-its beside her (you can kind of see it in the blanket). She never actually wrote on anything, and I don't even see how she could have in the dark! Some nights she's in there in the dark reading books, getting toys, and who knows what all else she does. Of course we thought it was hilarious but the "real" funny was the next morning when she came in to Brent and said her bed was wet. She still wears a Pull-Up at night (and I really can't see that changing anytime soon) and sometimes they do leak. What **really** happened was that during her evening escapades she had also gotten up, thrown away her dry Pullup (which we found in her trash can), and put on underwear. And then of course soaked her bed, blankets, and stuffed animals. I don't even see how she slept through all that. I guess in our giggles over the pen we should have done a diaper check.
Last Friday before school. Super excited about her St Patty skirt with matching dress for her bear.
What she doesn't know is that Brent and I both took off Friday. It was the trifecta of consignment sales with several of my favorite ones all taking place on Friday. I was up early and gone before Lilli got up, went to two sales, then came home and Brent and I went to brunch at Marche. Marche is SO good and we rarely get to go there. He had the maple french toast (below) and I had an insanely good omelet stuffed with peppers, onions and mushrooms. SO good.
And then I even talked him into going to another consignment sale with me! This one was a zoo and I really didn't care much for it. It was so wild that Brent told me I have full authority to pay full price for Lil's clothes anytime I wanted!! I got several good things that day, some new dresses and PJs, play clothes, shoes and a few new games for her. I got Hi Ho Cheery-o and she has LOVED it.
When we picked her up we went over to Centennial Park to enjoy this beautiful weather.

The Parthenon. Centennial Park is just so pretty, and so much fun being smack in the middle of the city.
We went over to the lake and watched the ducks, then headed down the walk and over to the botanical part to enjoy the flowers. Everything is in such pretty bloom right now. Our cherry tree in the back yard is absolutely gorgeous. We had some people over for dinner and it just made the evening out on the deck!

Running around by the big train.
Afterwards we headed to Noshville for dinner, which is always a great little spot in town for pretty much anything you want, and they have a great and affordable kids menu. Of course Lilli was pretty eager to get home and see all her new toys I had scooped up at the sales earlier in the day. I'll probably go to one more sale, hopefully find a few more play clothes, and call it a season. She already has a ridiculous amount of clothes and I really get some great deals online anyway for brand new things.

Hope you all had a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Some random pics from last week....

Her show and tell pic for the week was her Furreal dog that Santa brought her - aka White Pippin. I think it was a big hit amongst her friends. They all love things that walk, talk or cry.Making her March Madness picks. She made a lot of really bad pics - but a lot of her "upsets" actually happened - she ended up picking five major upsets of some of the #15 teams that surprised people. Overall though her score is pretty bad!
We got her this alarm clock off Zulily (it was half the Amazon price.) She's always been amazing sleeper until about the last three months. As daylight got earlier she was showing up in our room around 6:20 in the morning on Saturdays. Compared to a lot of kids that isn't bad, but considering she used to sleep until 7:30-8, or at least play in her room until then, we were missing some sleep. The final straw was a Saturday morning where she came in at 3:39 am and said she was ready to get up. So that same day these clocks were on Zulily (my absolute fave site), and I ordered it. It came in the middle of last week, so we haven't used it much but it's already helping. She loves looking at the time (it has hands, digital and wake up) and it's on alarm with a train alarm, birds, or cuckoo clock. When she can get up it shows the girl playing outside, so she knows not to come in our room until changes from the girl asleep to the girl playing outside. It's really a very, very cool clock!
The flip flops. This will go down as one of Brent's better parenting moments. A couple of her friends had worn flip flops Wed night to church, so on Thursday she wanted to wear flip flops and dug out this pair from last summer. That are now a size too small. Brent thought they looked okay, but he ended up picking her up Thurs afternoon because I had acupuncture - and he picked up a barefoot Lilli because her feet were hurting her. HA!
We also got a surprise in the mail on Thursday - my cousin Cindy saw a Lorax book at the store and thought Lilli would love it. So she mailed Lilli the book and some princess coloring pages. She had seen (on Facebook) how much Lilli loves the Lorax movie and wanted to send her a surprise. How sweet was that?? I love getting surprises in the mail that aren't bills!
Back to the grind tomorrow!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


The longer daylight has made for all kinds of fun around here last week after dinner. It's so nice to be able to eat and then still have plenty of time to play outside and enjoy the weather!

Playing some soccer. My frizzy humid hair days are her best curly hair days. I guess it's a fair trade-off.This ball bouncer has been the best gift anyone has ever given her! She's played with it non-stop inside and outside the house since Stephanie gave it to her for her birthday!
We have a mega dandelion problem in our front yard again this year. I can't understand why.

Playing hide and seek. And waiting on so patiently for us to find her. She wants to play hide and seek ALL the time. This morning I just wasn't in the mood to traipse all around the yard and hide in the same five spots so I suggested something different to do outside and she asked me if she could go to school. HA! Guess she never has a hard time finding someone to play HnS there.

March Madness time! (If you can't tell, those awful red crocs have become her new favorite shoe. I would have never bought them, they were a free sample at work that I should have destroyed.)
The game has taken on a new twist once I got out a pom pom we have from touring the Green Bay Packers stadium on a trip 4 years ago. Now she'd rather cheer than shoot. I know I have some Memphis/Titans ones somewhere upstairs, too.
She shoots, she scores!!!
Happy St Patricks Day! Time to get started on our shepherds pie and green smoothies!