Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Weekend


This week has been insanity and I'm done!

Well, I'll be done after I run the baby to his 5 mo. checkup...
And run to drop the dog off at the kennel...
And then pack the ridiculous amount of stuff that have you have to take when you have an infant.

We're spending the weekend in OH visiting family.
Particularly, we're going to see off my brother in law who is being deployed in October.

So happy weekend, and see y'all next week!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


...nothing tastes better than breakfast for supper.

Did you know they make a gluten free Bisquick?

And did you know that gluten free Bisquick makes ridiculously good pancakes?
(Especially with fresh blueberries mixed in.)

And did you know if you slow bake your bacon at 325F for 30-40 minutes,
(For reals.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


1. My blondies seem to be getting bigger and cuter at an alarmingly fast rate.
They also seem to look more alike every passing day. 2 Peas in a pod.

  2. Husband has started working standing up. I remember getting my first
job as a cashier and how hard it was to get used to standing all day
so I'm impressed he's done so well with it. 
Not so crazy about the creative desk set up (an old door screwed to the wall.) But oh well.

3. I visited a chiropractor for the first time ever. It was scary.

4. But it wasn't that bad. (As bad as the popping and cracking sounds, it doesn't hurt! Yay!)
I also got to meet my skull and neck bones for the first time. (Hi bones.)
Turns out they're pretty wonky and are the reason I've been having so much upper back/neck pain.
So I'm going to be seeing the chiropractor quite a bit in the next month.
(Good thing he's super nice.)

5. Poor Django had to get a ton of shots this week, because due to a lot traveling
scheduled next month, he's going to be spending most of September at (a VERY nice) kennel.
He was very brave at the vet.
(He's kind of in love with all the nurses at the office.)
Olive thought he deserved a sticker, but Django was ok with just getting boring dog treats.

7. I am still mourning the stupid loss of my hair and have yet 
to find a way to love the new look.
Anyone have any suggestions for prettifying a boring, ugly bob cut?

The Most Ridiculous Cookies (Seriously.)

Why are these cookies so ridiculous? I mean, they look like your typical , run of the mill chocolate chip cookies, right?

Well for one thing, these cookies happen to be ridiculously good. Like, most addictive-chocolate-chip-cookie ever good. I know, I know - there are loads of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there claiming to be "the best." But THESE cookies deserve their own category or something. Because what makes these guys so special is there is not one speck of flour in them. You heard right. There's not even a speck of weird gluten free flour in them. When you see the ingredient list for these cookies, you'll think "how can that even work?" And friends, I'm still kind of scratching my head over that one myself. But trust me - somehow, some way, it DOES work, and you'll be shocked and amazed at how amazing these cookies taste.

Most Ridiculous Cookies:

1 cup almond butter (or you can use peanut butter, just make sure it's the all natural kind, not peanut butter spread. But seriously, if you can, use almond butter. So much better.)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 tsp of vanilla extract or maple extract

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F

Mix the almond butter with the sugars in a stand up mixer until well blended.
Add the egg, baking soda, salt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix well.
Mix in the chocolate chips.

On a foil lined baking sheet, place walnut sized balls of the cookie dough 1" apart. (I use a cookie dough scoop - it looks like an ice cream scoop but is tablespoon sized.)

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit for 2 minutes, before moving to a plate or cooling rack.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

I get so excited about recipes like this that are easy AND inherently gluten free!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tiny Dancer [is Growing Up Too Fast]

Some of you might remember this post on my old blog? Can you believe how much she's grown? Like, holy cow. I'm pretty sure I just sprouted a new gray hair.

Yesterday Olive had her first ballet class. She loved every second of it, and I'm a proud mama because her teacher told me she did a good job (I was nervous as this was her first ever class experience. And to say my girl is strong willed is pretty much the understatement of the year.)

Yeah, that's her "enough with the pictures, Mom" face.

She was so excited about getting a sparkly sticker for good work in class.

I'm so proud of my girl! Hopefully this love of dancing continues (as well as the good, cooperative behavior!)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Easy Gluten Free - Pie Crusts & Quiche

As a kid I was never a pie person. (Give me cake, please!) But my mother in law, Sharon, is an amazing pie-maker, and after almost 6 years of being in her family, I'm kind of being won over by the pies. (This one is my most favorite of all. I seriously have had dreams of this pie. Amazing. Sharon, if you're reading this, I think this pie would make an excellent Christmas present for a daughter in law. Just sayin'...)

I wondered if my new found relationship with pies was over prematurely when I made the choice to say goodbye to gluten. But then my sister-in-law and nieces were also diagnosed with gluten allergies and I think the family started freaking out a little bit about never being able to enjoy Sharon's amazing pies ever again. So we started searching for gluten free pie crust recipes.

I don't know if I've settled on it as being the best gluten free pie crust ever, but this recipe is pretty great. I usually use a custom mix of gluten free flours for baking, but for this post I specifically tried using Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour mix to see how it compared. The results were good! It makes a nice, savory, flaky crust that you can use for desserts or savory dishes (like quiche!)

Pie Crust Recipe (Makes 2 Pie Crusts)

2 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour mix

1 tsp salt

8 tbsp (1 stick) cold salted butter

1 egg

1/3 cup cold water

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. Mix the flour and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the stick of butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

2. Whisk the egg, water and vinegar in a separate bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix well until dough is smooth. (I find it works best to use your hands for this.)

3. Divide the dough into 2 balls, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour. Note: this dough freezes well, and can be kept frozen for a month!

4. When you're ready to start some pie making, preheat your oven to 350*F. Roll each piece of dough out into circles between two pieces of plastic wrap (gluten free dough is awfully sticky.) Use one dough half to line a 9 inch pie dish (the second circle of dough can be used as a top crust or as it's own separate pie.)

5. Poke the bottom of the dough with a fork several times, (I believe the proper term for this is docking, though I have no idea why) or you'll get some unsightly bubbles and bulges in your baked crust. You can also do some fancy finger work to crimp the edges of the pie. (Don't look too closely at the job I did - my fingers don't do fancy very well.)

6. Bake the crust (sans filling) for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

7. Use this baked shell as you follow the recipe for whatever pie you're making.

That's a lot of directions but I promise - it's easy!

So. Last Christmas, my sister taught me how to make quiche, and I think it's become my most favorite way to use my gluten free pie crusts. So good. Here's how to do it:

Eggs. Lots of them. I use about 10 eggs to make two 9" quiche pies.

To the eggs, you add an equal amount of half and half. I'll simplify for you - for 10 eggs, you need about 2 cups of half and half. Whisk until blended and frothy!

This is where you can let loose and get creative. AKA - the best part of all. To the eggs, I like to add a couple of teaspoons each of tobasco sauce and worcestershire sauce. Sometimes I add a couple of dashes of nutmeg too. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it's amazing.

You can throw pretty much anything you want into a quiche. For these, I layered breakfast sausage (that I fried up before making the quiche) red peppers, spinach and parmesan cheese.

When you have your mix-ins layered in the bottom of your pie crusts, pour the egg mixture over the tops. The eggs should not rise above the tops of your crusts.

Bake your quiche for 45-60 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 375*F. A toothpick should come out dry when they're done.

Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Disclaimer: Bob's Red Mill does not know me from Adam and did not sponsor this post. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oh You Know, It's Just the End of the World...

I am so impulsive with my hair, and this impulsiveness inevitably leads to a lot of tears and heartbreak.

I've been having major, horrible post-partum hair loss and it had really started to worry me, so I decided to go get it trimmed up so the thinning wasn't as noticeable.

And I walked out of the salon missing about 5" of hair that had taken literally forever to grow out.

Today I pretty much loathe my impulsive self and am ashamed to be so closely acquainted with her. She is such an idiot, that impulsive self. I want to give her a swirlie and pin a "kick me" sign on her behind to teach her a lesson.


So now, I just need to figure out a way to rock this heinous new 'do in such a way that those around me think I actually like my hair this way.

And also make my husband swear an oath to never allow me to go to a hair salon again. No matter how baldy and split-endy and whiny I be.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What's In My Bag

clutch: Target, cosmetic bag: Burt's Bees, sunglasses:Target, August issue of Vogue magazine, gum: Orbit sweet mint, notebook: Emily Martin (black apple), lip balm, Burt's bees Tinted Lip Balm (honeysuckle, rose and hibiscus, lip stain: Revlon Kissable Balm stain (rendevouz), mascara: Covergirl Lash Blast Length, eyeshadow, Almay intense-i-color #412 (for blue eyes), blush: Maybelline Dream Bouncy blush (rose petal), lipstick: MAC (lady bug red), keys, Handmade flower pin brooch

This is kind of a lazy post, because I took the pictures quite a while ago to help a friend with a blog post she was doing. It was fun - I might do this again as the weather gets colder and the contents of my bag (and probably my bag itself, as it's overtly summery) change.

Oh, and here's a picture of what the contents of my bag usually look like on a daily basis:

So glamorous.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

That Moment...

That moment, when you stay up reading Twilight under your sheets until 1a.m. by the light of your iPhone, and your baby wakes up ready to party at 6a.m...

That's the moment it hits you that you are old. Too old for all this nonsense!

Also, I cannot describe how embarrassing it was when Matt caught me engrossed in my book yesterday and asked what I was reading. The conversation went something like this:

M: So, what are you reading?

J: (In a voice that's almost a shriek) Do NOT look at what I am reading Matt. DO NOT LOOK!

M: (With the smirk) What? Oh no, you're not reading that stupid vampire book are you?

J: (Silence.)

M: Oh my gosh you are. (Smirk gets nastier.)



The moral of this story - get Twilight out of your system before you're married with children, and save some self respect. If that isn't possible, think preemptively and make a fake book jacket for your Twilight book.

And if you can't do any of that, all I can say is be prepared for some nasty smirks.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Last night we made homemade granola, using THIS recipe as a base. (I love those stylish sisters and all their amazing good ideas, don't you?)

I kept ours pretty simple, sweetening with maple syrup and throwing in a bunch of almonds and dried blueberries. (And, I may or may not have thrown in some mini chocolate chips this morning at breakfast. Shhh, don't tell on me!)

There is some controversy out there, as to whether or not oats are gluten free or not. Where I stand on the issue is, I believe oats ARE gluten free, but are easily contaminated by wheat due to usually being grown and processed with wheat. Therefore, I only use organic "gluten free oats" (we love Bob's Red Mill brand) that are grown and packaged safely and I have never had any trouble with them. That being said, I don't have celiac disease, and I do know some people with gluten allergies/celiac that don't handle oats very well, so everyone has to make the decision whether or not to incorporate oats into their diets based on what their bodies can tolerate.

I for one am so thankful for gluten free oats. They add some much needed fiber to our diets, and make a great substitute for breadcrumbs in meatballs and meatloaf. And they sure make some delicious granola.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pins & Needles

Both kiddos napped today (and AT THE SAME TIME!) So I had a rare chunk of time this afternoon to do something by myself. I made a nice cup of coffee and hand hemmed one of the dresses in my "too long/needs to be hemmed/it stinks to be short sometimes" pile. (It's a pretty big pile.)

I enjoy sewing by hand, even though it takes so much longer than machine sewing. For some reason, every time I sit at a sewing machine my blood starts to boil and within minutes I'm having an emotional breakdown. I wonder what a therapist would have to say about that?

I'm really enjoying getting back into the swing of blogging. Blogging forces me to think more creatively and that is so good for my brain. Being so busy with the kids and the house, I find it's easy to let go of all creative outlets and when I start doing that I end up depressed. Blogging makes me remember to use my camera more often, and to just think about what I'm thinking, (does that make sense to anyone?) It's good for me to organize what goes through my head and put it into actual sentences and phrases, even if no one reads it but me. And even if its something as trivial as what we're eating for dinner...or how after years of insisting I would NEVER read anything by Stephanie Meyers, I finally broke down in a very weak moment at the library yesterday when I saw they had a paperback copy of Twilight.

Because my brain so badly wants to relive the magic that was The Hunger Games trilogy, and the devil on my shoulder keeps insisting very loudly and annoyingly that Twilight may give me the same kick.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cooler Than I

These are 2 of my cute siblings.

They've got that easy, hipster-coolness thing going on that I want but alas, shall never have.

It is obvious my parents gave them the "cool" genes and forgot to give me my share.

(How rude, parents.)

Anyway, they make me feel pretty old.

But I love them anyway.

The end.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Silas and Me

I finally got around to uploading the bajillion-and-two photos that were clogging up my iphone today, and found a bunch of silly self-taken photos of me and my little man.

There really is something so sweet and special about having a boy. Especially when said boy is a major cuddler and giggler. I'm loving every second of his babyhood and am afraid it's flying by much too quickly.

The Amazing IncrediBooth!

These phone apps, I'm telling you... Too much fun.

Friday, August 17, 2012

No More 'Poo

After reading great reviews, and hearing glowing testimonials from real life friends, I'm giving these all natural, sulfate-free shampoo bars from Chagrin Valley a try. My hair has been so brittle since having Silas, not to mention it's falling out by the handfuls (darn you post partum hormones!)

I'm scared and excited...and scared. I'll let you know how I'm liking them in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August Glam Bag Review

Subscription boxes are all the rage right now, and they come in all sorts of varieties. Paper goods, cosmetics, clothing, accessories.. I think the concept is cool. Getting a mystery box in the mail once a month filled with surprises for $10-$20 sounds ridiculously fun.

For my first try at subscription packages I decided to go with My Glam Bag - a cosmetics site that sends out a makeup bag full of sample sized (and a few full sized) goodies in a cute bag for $10 a month. I had read reviews about their company from a few other bloggers, who all had good things to say about them (everyone seemed to agree that the products included in the monthly bag almost always exceed $10 value.)

The experience was totally fun, from filling out the survey style questionaire on the My Glam site about what my cosmetic preferences were, to seeing the shiny purple package in my mailbox.

1. and 2. eclos Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream and Cellular Activator Facial Serum

I was probably most disappointed by these products, not because they aren't good, but because I don't really use these types of anti-aging creams/moisturizers. Maybe I should? :) The products claim to use plant stem cells to help problematic skin regenerate cells better, improving firmness and dryness.

3. Demeter Roll on Perfume Oil in "Clean Skin" scent

I'm really picky about scents, I always have been. I hate fruity scents and only like certain kinds of florals. This perfume really didn't even smell like a typical perfume, which I kind of like. The smell reminds of me of fresh linen. It's really clean and simple. I liked that it's infused in an oil, rather than alcohol.

4. s.a.l.t.y. Glama-ZOiD Eye Shadow
I wear eye shadow some of the time, mostly in neutral shades that are conservative and easy to wear. (Basically, I love the idea of makeup but have no idea what to do with it or what works for me most of the time, so I stick with easy no-brainers that I know won't make me look like a clown!) This eye shadow appeared white and glittery in the box and I was sure I wouldn't like it, but I was surprised when I applied it that it actually shows up on your eyelid as slightly purple, and is very subtly shimmery and pretty. (Yay for a glittery product that doesn't look trampy!) :)

5. Circus [By Andrea's Choice} Nailpolish in "Spectacle" color

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a full sized nail polish! It's probably ridiculously juvenile for a mother of 2 to be such a nail polish junkie, but guys, I love the stuff. Wearing a pretty nail color just makes me feel pretty and put together, even on my worst days.

The color they sent me is a bit extreme. It's very, very orange. Like, traffic cone orange. I'm not sure I'm cool enough to pull off such a bright color but I'm going to give it a try. It came in such a cute box (I love pretty packaging.)

6. myglam glam gloss [that's a lot of glam.]

This was my favorite product, which is funny because I have never been a lip gloss girl. Not even when I was a teenager did I wear gloss. I never liked the oily feel on my lips, and I never felt comfortable with so much shine. So I was very skeptical of this super bright, Barbie pink gloss that they sent in my bag, but it's actually great. Applied, it's a very soft, subtle pink color and it feels comfortable and moisturizing to wear (not icky and oily.) For a lip gloss, I don't think it's too shiny and attention grabbing, AND it smells amazing. Did I mention this is a full size product? The cost of the lip gloss and nail polish most likely exceed $10 so I think the subscription price was probably a pretty good deal.

You have the option of cancelling your My Glam Bag subscription at any time, but I think I'm going to keep mine going for September. Over all I was impressed with the quality of the items I received and the experience was a whole lot of girly fun. Like I said before, I know so little about cosmetics and am always hesitant to try anything new or out of my comfort zone, so getting these samples is a good way to branch out and try new things without committing to full sized/full priced products.

personal space

this week i was messing around with my camera and started taking pictures really up close of silas. i kept pushing the camera up as close as it could focus on his face, and was captivated by the up-close details caught on the camera.
kind of funny, but seeing pictures of him so up close, he almost seems like a different baby. little details i don't really notice when i'm simply looking at him just pop on such a close-up shot.
the drool bubbles, the wispy hair, the flaking baby skin, those speckles in his enormous blue eyes.. i took some of olive and myself too.

they almost hurt to look at, and i think the reason i have that reaction to them
is because we rarely if ever get so close to other people's faces, or allow
others to get so close to ours.
it just kind of comes naturally to us humans to protect our "personal space"
and only let those we trust most of all be there.