Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Noah's First Pictures

We went to a specialist today to check on a spot that had been showing up in Noah's heart on the last two ultrasounds. Thankfully, it is nothing more than a thickened spot in the muscle and he is perfectly fine. During the ultrasound the technician asked up if we had any 3D pictures yet and, since we didn't, she took a few for us.

He has his hands crossed under his chin so in some of the pictures his right hand is over part of his face. It looks like he's going to have Isaac's nose and my mouth in more ways than one. He was constantly opening and closing his mouth and sticking his tongue out so it's quite possible he'll have a lot to say.

I didn't think I wanted to do a 3D ultrasound because I wanted his face to be a surprise but I think it'll still be a surprise because while you can get some idea of what he looks like, it's not the same as seeing him in person or in an actual picture.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back Home

Isaac and I returned home from our trip to Indiana late last night and I must say that I'm glad to be home. It was such a quick trip as we were only there for three days. It's hard to believe in just two and a half weeks we'll be doing the trip all over again for my baby shower!We had a great time being home with family and Christmas was good. The only annoying part was listening to extended family members tell me how big I looked and say how gigantic they thought I'd be the next time they see me. They seriously must not think before they talk. All I could do was roll my eyes and bite my tongue. I don't think that I'm a particularly large pregnant person but maybe I have a distorted view of myself.
My mom and I did a lot of shopping for nothing while I was home which is the best. I love to just go out looking for nothing and see what you find. I did find some great books and Half Priced Books to teach me how to knit, crochet, and do applique. I've been wanting to learn how to do those for awhile now and I finally decided to take the plunge. Isaac doesn't seem too thrilled at the prospect of me picking up a few more hobbies but oh well. I also really want to learn how to make my own jewelry but I haven't found a book that has anything like the style I'm interested in so that's still on the back burner.

I was practicing my crocheting technique on the car ride home but I became a bit confused on the conversion between the rows and so I think I'm going to have to look for a video on youtube or something to show me. On one page of the book it says to hook through the loop just like you normally would but then on the next page it says for row two you want to hook under both loops to turn the chain so I'm not sure which to do. Then do I continue to hook under both loops every time I turn the chain or is that only for the second row? You're probably confused just from reading that!

Anyway, today has been lots of cleaning and putting things back away. I have a lot of organizing to do in my craft room since it looks like a nuclear bomb went off in the Christmas rush and I also need to sit down and start organizing my business paperwork for taxes and such.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Almost Feeling Like Christmas

I've been having the winter blues the last two weeks. The sun has not been out and it has just been raining for days. So I sort of crawled into a little hole and have not really been participating in life. Well, today the sun is shining and I've decided to come out of my hole and get things done.

Over the weekend we had dinner with our friends Sarah and Aaron and then went to a Christmas light display at a local park. The decorations were nice and it was a very large park. It was quite cold though and the wind was not very kind to my face. It was so cold in fact that we bought hot cocoa while we were there and it was cool enough to drink within 30 seconds. They had a really cool display that had the lights coordinated with the music playing so we decided to stop and take a quick picture since I don't have any pictures of us together lately.

Isaac and I have been talking about taking a Christmas photograph for like two weeks now and we finally decided to get it taken today. So before he went to work we sat down and took a few snapshots for the dogs. I don't have a lot of pictures of me pregnant but this one turned out well and I think that we should at least have one to show Noah some day.

I'm busy working on scrapbooking the rest of our ultrasound pictures today and getting things ready to head home to Indiana on Wednesday. My mom says they're going to be having a winter mix of ice and rain Wednesday. Perfect traveling weather, yuck.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thai Cashew Chicken Recipe

So today I thought I'd share with you the Thai Cashew Chicken recipe that I made for our friends over the weekend.

1 Tbs olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 of each: yellow, orange, and red pepper
3 Tbs ketchup
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp thai garlic chili paste (or hot pepper sauce) or more to taste
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 Tbs. creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup cashews
Jasmine rice

Heat oil in skillet
Cook onions and peppers until they start to get tender
Mix in ketchup, soy sauce, chicken broth, sugar, chili paste, and peanut butter
Add chicken to skillet and continue to cook and stir for 10 minutes
Mix in cashews before serving over Jasmine rice

A few things you want to keep in mind:
-You only want to cook the onions and peppers until they are starting to get soft. If you cook them until they are completely soft they will be a mushy mess by the time the chicken has been cooked.
-You also want to get the chicken breast in as soon after adding the sauce ingredients as possible or your sauce will dry out before your chicken is done. This happened to me and I ended up having to add more chicken broth to thin it out and I lost some of the flavor because of that.
-Make sure that you slice your chicken breast very thinly so that it will cook relatively quickly.
-Cooking this mixture is done best in a wok at a high temperature but you can do it in a regular pan if that's all you have. Might be a bit messier.
-If you're not a big pepper fan, you may want to use only half of each of the peppers as it is a lot of peppers and onions.

Give it a try and enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Busy Little Weekend

Wow, this weekend really flew by for me! I can't believe that it's already Monday, sigh. Friday was kind of a bust for me as far as getting any work done. I had my Keepers Of The Home Bible study group on Friday morning and they wanted me to do some Christmas cards with them. So I brought all my stuff and they each made 5 cards. Normally, we meet at 9:30 and we're done by 11:00. Not so this time. We didn't even get started until nearly 11:00 and the little boys (3 of them in the 2's) were going bonkers. It was so hard to concentrate on the Bible study portion. In fact, I would say I was totally distracted. Thank goodness I won't be having triplets! So the meeting lasted until nearly 1:00. I came home and Isaac wanted to go get some Five Guys hamburgers for lunch so we went back out and did that and then it was time for him to go to work. Then my friend Sarah called and asked me to go Christmas shopping with her so I did and we were out until about 7:00 or so and I was completely pooped. I did however get a fabulous maternity coat at Target for $60. I am thrilled with it because now my coat isn't hanging open and I'm not freezing to death! This is my coat.

Then on Saturday we had Sarah and her husband over for dinner at 5:00. I made Thai Cashew Chicken with sticky rice. I had never made it before but I think it came out alright. There weren't any leftovers so I guess that's always a good sign. I got the recipe from a friend and there are a few tweeks I'll make to it but all in all it was good and very simple. After dinner, we went to their house to meet their new puppy, Maggie. She's a yellow lab puppy and super cute. I think Isaac wanted to steal her. He kept saying how he wished we had Copper when he was a puppy over and over again. But just for the record, we are at our dog capacity. Three dogs and a baby equal my hands being very full!

Then Sunday we did our normal church thing and went and had lunch at the mall afterwards. We decided to redo our Christmas tree because it was looking pretty pathetic and I hated the decorations we had for it. Not to those that move to Hawaii without Christmas decorations, there is a limited supply for the island so get them early. Don't be like us and wait until December only to find that there is little to no selection left. We bought the only things we could find and I've pretty much always hated them. Anyway, Isaac has been on this kick about wanting modern blue lights for the tree, yadda yadda, so I finally gave in. We went to several different store and got blue lights and all these silver and blue decorations for the tree. It took forever to get it together last night but we did it and I really like it. The only thing we don't have is a star because we couldn't find one we liked. I'll have to keep looking. Here's our tree.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Best Little Camera Ever!

One of the things that my mom and I did while she was here was to go shopping on Black Friday. We didn't drop any major money or really buy all that much but we just went out to have fun together. There were a few electronics that we knew we wanted to buy and so that's mainly what we were looking for.

I have been wanting to get a small point and shoot digital camera for awhile now, since the flash is broken on our big point and shoot camera. The last time we went to DC and took pictures at the museums, nothing turned out because we didn't have a flash. It was very upsetting and disappointing. So I had been doing some research and reading what types of cameras people recommended and I found that overall people really liked the Canon Powershots. A few things that I required from the camera were that it has a fast click to capture time, a macro setting, and various settings for action shots, night shots, etc. So I started looking into the Canon Powershots and reading customer reviews on them. I was shocked to find that most of the $200-$300 Powershots have no settings on them. They are just auto. So that was discouraging.

Then I happened onto a few recommenations for the Canon Powershot A590 IS. I looked it up and found that it had all the features that I was looking for but the one complaint from people was that the body of the camera felt cheap. I picked out about 3 Powershots that I thought I'd like to try out and then started scouring through the ads. To my surprise, there were 3 stores that had the A590 IS on sale and it was very inexpensive. I have to admit that I started to think this wasn't going to be a good camera because it was only $135. I've never spent that little on a camera before. So we went out and I ended up purchasing the camera with the intent to try it out and if I didn't like it, to return it.
Well, I'm happy to report that this little camera is the best digital camera I've ever owned! I love it! It turns on SUPER fast and the click to capture time is almost INSTANT. Not only does it have all the other features I was looking for but it also has a setting for children and pets. Perfect! Now, I will say that the body of the camera is plastic, but that's something that I'm willing to compromise on. After all, the last camera I bought was about $250 and has a great heavy frame and I've hated it since about a month after we got it. It never worked right so word to the wise, never buy the display because it's the last one they have! So in the end I'm willing to have a lighter body casing on a fabulous camera then a heavy metal casing on a sucky camera.

If you're looking for a great little digital camera this year, I would say to try this one out. You can always take it back if you don't like it, but I have a feeling you'll be keeping it!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Great Thanksgiving

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving visit with my mom and brother and we got so much accomplished while they were here. It really was a great time and I'm so glad that they were able to make it out here on Tuesday night, even if it was a little later than planned. We needed every day that they were here.

My mom and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner and it was super yummy. We tried out a brined turkey recipe this year that we hadn't done before and it turned out really well. The turkey was very moist and the meat had a sweetness to it from the brine. We made mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, pumpkin pie, and peacan pie. Here's a quick picture of our spread and below that is the recipe for the turkey brine.

Brined Turkey Breast
16 cups of water
2 cups sugar
2 cups coarse salt
5 gloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp pickling spices

Combine ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool to room temperature. Poor brine over breast and refrigerate, loosely covered, overnight.

We also worked on getting Noah's nursery put together and I think that it's looking great. We put up the border around the room and did it at a chairrail height. It helps to break up the whiteness of the walls. I figure this will be easier to remove from the walls than having to completely repaint when and if we move again. We also hung a curtain rod and put up the window vallences and I'm working on a project to hang above his crib that will have his name on it. We got all the bedding out and put in on the crib to see how everything looks together and it's super cute. I'll post pictures once I get the room finished.

My etsy shop has been quite busy lately and I have to say that I am very thankful for that. I'm quickly approaching the milestone of 200 sales and I'm hoping that I'll hit that before the end of the year. I would just be thrilled. Over the weekend I added a whole new line of Amy Butler tins into my store and I'm excited to see how people like them. Today is another busy day so I'd better be off and start working on my to-do list. Ah, the never ending list.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Almost Thanksgiving

Well, my mom and my older brother were suposed to be coming today for Thanksgiving but my mom just called and said they weren't coming because my brother is sick. I'm so annoyed. He says he has a fever and has been sick to his stomach this morning. How does that prevent you from getting into a car? All he has to do is sit there. So they "might" come tomorrow or they just won't come at all. I could seriously just scream. I've cleaned my house, I've bought all this food, Isaac is working way long hours through Wednesday so he could have Friday off to take my brother to DC, they were suposed to help me get the nursery together tomorrow... I hate it when people break plans. That is seriously the most annoying thing in the world to me. You do all this stuff to accomodate people and plan for them to have a good time and then they don't show up!

I feel that I must now amend my post because in fact my mom and brother are on their way to my house now. I guess he puked it out and is feeling better. They won't get out here until after midnight but they'll be here. Yay! Sorry I had a little tantrum earlier, I'm pregnant :P

I was in the middle of writing this when my mom called so instead of ranting for the whole post I'll go ahead and finish what I was originally writing. I have been super busy the last several days finishing up orders and getting them in the mail. I had one large card order that about did me in. Everything that could go wrong with the cards did and I ended up having the re-do about 35 of the cards because I had ink on my hands that I didn't know about and I smeared it all over some of the cards when I was tying them up. I finally got them done though and off in the mail but not before I stressed myself out so badly that I've got stress blisters. Sigh.

We had some friends over for dinner on Sunday night and I cooked this really good chicken that I thought I'd share the recipe for.

You need:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup prepared mustard
1 (6 ounce) can French-fried onions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place mustard in a shallow dish or bowl; place onions in a second shallow dish or bowl. Dredge chicken in mustard to coat both sides, then dredge in onions. Place coated chicken in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

This chicken is so easy and yummy. You'll be surprised at how the chicken stays so moist. Most of the time when I bake chicken it tends to get a little dry by the time it's done but the mustard really gives it a nice juice and then the crunch onions on the outside are just so perfect.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby Boy Finds On Etsy

I've been wanting to check out what unique things etsy has to offer for the baby boys of the world and I have to say that I am disappointed. I thought that there would be some really cool, very unique things and I just didn't see all that much. So it left me thinking, maybe I should just really figure out how to sew and make my own baby things. I'd love to have some really cool burp clothes with fun prints and bibs also. I'm even thinking that I might want to learn how to do some applique and make him some cute onesies or shirts. We'll see though. It's not like I have a ton of time on my hands these days and I'm sure it will only get worse!

I did happen to find a few things that I really liked and thought were pretty unique so I wanted to share my finds with you.

I really love this dachshund onesie by BellaBludesigns. I love the graphic prints that she uses and of course I have a soft spot for anything Dachshund.

I also found a shop, Cashmeredejavu, that makes cashmere baby items by upcycling adult cashmere sweaters.

Mysweetpeashoppe also has these very fun moster shirts. I like that you can pick which monster design you like.
Another shop, Tadpolecreations, had a set of appliqued puppy items that I really liked. Again, she used a very graphic print to do the dog cut outs and I really like the overall look of that.

Finally, sheknitsamy had these great little crocheted baby booties that I think are super cute.
So those were my etsy finds for the day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Busy Day

Today was an incredibly busy day for me. I was finishing up orders and packing things to be mailed all afternoon. I had two international orders so I had to actually go into the post office to mail them. I couldn't believe the line! It was out the door. People must be really on top of getting things mailed this year because it's not even Thanksgiving yet. When I left the line was just as long.

I saw a tweet this morning on twitter about a blog giving away a Kitchenaid stand mixer so I entered to win it and I thought that I'd pass along the link for anyone else who wants to enter. I'd love to have one of these. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't pass along the link because that just mean more competition, right? Click on the picture to go straight to the blog post.

And since I'm now into both advertising through Project Wonderful and having people advertise on my blog, I found this great post by fellow etsian Timothy Adam that gives a wonderful tutorial on how to run an ad campaign. It was very informative and so easy! So here's that link if you're interested:

And finally, a few pictures of some custom tins that I did for someone through etsy. I love how they turned out and they have actually inspired me to do a whole line of tins with Amy Butler papers so stay tuned!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Where Did The Weekend Go?

This weekend has totally flown by. I can't believe that it's Sunday night already. Isaac had drill this weekend so we had to make the 2 hour trip to his drill site yesterday. I did a little scrapbook store shopping while he was working. I have about 4 pads of Amy Butler paper that I've had for months now and haven't done anything with. I came up with a pretty good idea on how to use up this paper and so I was hunting for matching cardstock. May I just say that she uses the most odd shades of colors in her prints. This was the second time that I had gone looking for matching cardstock and it was VERY difficult to find anything. I did come away with some that I think will go nicely though.

So we were pretty much gone all day yesterday and then today I am working on finishing up some custom orders and getting them ready to go in the mail tomorrow. When I have those finished I really want to start working on a new round on tins but instead I'm going to have to get together my baby shower invitee list with names and addresses and get it emailed to my aunt. My mom has been asking me if I have it done for the past three days now so I've got to get it finished.

Speaking of baby showers, it was suggested to me that I possibly have a virtual baby shower since most of our friends are spread out through different states and countries. I haven't looked into how this could be done but I'm wondering if anyone out there has either had a virtual baby shower or participated in one and how it worked. It would be awesome if our friends could participate in our baby shower.

Two quick baby finds that I'm loving right now. I found this monkey coat at Gymboree and I think Noah just has to have it. I didn't buy it when I saw it on Friday but I am going to go back and see if they still have it. It was on sale in the store so I think it was only like $25 which is a lot for a baby's coat but for the cuteness factor I'm going to have to give in!

I also found this pacifier that closes when it falls out of the baby's mouth. My mom had seen one or heard about them before and looked them up online. We thought that was the only place that you could get them but when I was in Motherhood Maternity the other day I saw that they had them. So I grabbed the only blue one they had (they had the Nemo one but Isaac didn't find it as cute as I did) and it was only $3.99. I didn't think that was such a bad price, especially if it keeps the pacifier from getting all yucky on the ground. I hope that Noah takes to this kind.

And lastly, a few new Pocket Albums in my shop.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Most Delicious Lemon Cookies Ever!!!

I've got another seasonal recipe for you today. Yesterday I decided to make the most wonderful and delicious lemon cookies ever! I'm seriously not kidding about this. I had never made these before but my aunt has made them every Christmas since I can remember. Since it has gotten so cold and yesterday morning there was a thick frost on my lawn I was just in the holiday mood and decided to give them a try. It was the easiest and cheapest batch of cookies I've ever made.

1 box of lemon cake mix
1 8oz container of cool whip
1 egg

Stir together and drop small cookie balls into powdered sugar. Preheat the oven to 325 and cook for 10-12 minutes.

It couldn't possibly be easier! I love them as little bite sized cookies and they are so soft you won't believe it. My husband, who doesn't really eat sweets, was gobbling them down yesterday. And you get a ton of cookies out of one box. I would say we probably had between 60 and 80 just larger than a quarter sized cookies. So super yummy.