Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween...

Our little dalmatian LOVED her first real Halloween experience. In my 27 years of life I have never really gotten into the excitement of the Halloween season but I have a feeling Scarlett has officially changed my mind. I was laughing and loving every minute. From the time she pulled those tiny dalmatian ears over her scraggly red hair to the last trick or treat whispered from her timid candy hungry mouth.

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Movie Monday...

Putting baby to bed.  Scarlett's imagination is growing every day.



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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin week continues...

This week was pumpkin theme week in our house and unfortunately I did not have a chance to do half of the things that I had planned.  We did manage to squeeze in a little 99 store all things pumpkin craft run, pumpkin art night on Tuesday after I came home from work, and pumpkin patch fun day on Thursday but other than that this week as a giant pumpkin theme fail.   Scarlett doesn't even know what color a pumpkin is (she answers pink or yellow every time) or that there are seed inside...so Pumpkin week will continue into next week as well. 

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On the other hand the adults had a wonderful pumpkin themed evening on Thursday after the girls went to bed.  Chris and I got our second batch of Farm Fresh to You fruit and veggies and inside was a sugar pumpkin.  Perfect for cooking a homemade from scratch pumpkin pie.  I invited a girlfriend and her daughter to join Scarlett and I for a pumpkin patch extravaganza Thursday afternoon and we continue the play time into the evening.  It was wonderful...so wonderful that I unfortunately didn't get a chance to document a single ounce of the tasty food that we made.  But just trust me...we used this recipe and made the most wonderful pumpkin pie, topped it with homemade whipped cream, and baked the seeds for a pre-dinner snack.  Sadly, these were all things that I wanted to do with Scarlett to show her all of the things that we can do with pumpkins and to get the classic pictures of her sticking her hands into the gooey orange center of a potential jack-o-lantern.  Lucky for us there is still an abundance of pumpkins outside of the grocery store looking for the perfect home and our porch is looking a little undecorated.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Pine cone hunt...


On our Saturday morning walk Scarlett was obsessed with holding as many pine cones as humanly possible, stuffed into her tiny hands.  So as a good mother would, I stripped off my cardigan (white...good planning mom) and made Scarlett a sling to carry all of her new found treasures.  It was all fun and games until someone (not me) picked up a pine cone with a clump of dog poop attached.  Unfortunately I was not screening all pine cones for ultimate cleanliness before entering the realm of my makeshift sweater wrap nor was I stopping tiny baby hands from searching the proclaimed "oh muddy, yucky" clump found on said dog poop pine cone. We continued on with our pine cone search until I noticed the lingering smell of poop was wafting through the air, I searched the ground and our shoes before noticing smears of brown on Scarlett's pine cone sling. So of course I lean for a good long sniff, just to clarify the fear that is already running through my brain, genious...and without even having to get close, my suspicions were rendered truth.  Dog poop, on my sweater and Scarlett's hands.  Let's just say our walk ended early with immediate pine cone drop off and promise of the best bath time EVER. 

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One mans dusty garage junk...

is another toddlers treasure.

In my parents garage, sitting in a pile of dust and spider webs, I found this wonderful play crib.  My granny informed me that my Gramps had made it for my mom when she was a little girl.  Sentimental family heirloom... score.  After Scarlett and I gave it a good scrub down and I hot glued one of the slats back into place it was ready for play time. We got out baby Olga (yes she named her doll Olga) and some blankets and took turns putting Olga to sleep.  I guess now we get to retire Chris's bottom dresser drawer as baby doll bed and move on to something a little bit more traditional.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Skype me...

Since finding out that she can talk to her cousins and not have to drive an hour in the car or talk to George (our friends dog) and not have to take a 5 hour flight to Chicago she has been asking for facetime on dads new iPhone EVERY NIGHT and Skype on dads computer every day. 

We secretly love her requests because we also get to see our friends and family that we miss so dearly!


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Monday, October 24, 2011

Movie Monday...

Drummer of the year.



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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bubble beard?

Milk bubbles.

Scarlett ran into the living room a couple of nights ago proclaiming "bubble beard"...she was experimenting with the glory of milk bubbles.

No cup of milk is safe from this bubble blowing terror.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Pork and beets...

To finish off our Farm Fresh beets...we tried a wonderful beet sauce served over pork loin.  It was delicious.  The lemon and vinegar in the beet sauce cut the rooty flavor of the beet, but left the delicate sweetness that beets naturally leave on your tongue.    

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What you need for beet sauce:
2 -3 beets
5 garlic cloves
1 tbs lemon juice (or to taste)
2 tbs balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
1/4 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

(Chris originally found the recipe here...but varied it a little bit according to taste)

How to make beet sauce:
Separately wrap garlic and beets tightly in foil and on a baking sheet roast in middle of oven 30 minutes, or until garlic is tender. Transfer garlic to a plate and roast beets until tender, about 30 minutes more. Unwrap garlic and beets carefully and cool until they can be handled. Squeeze garlic out of peel into blender. Peel and cut beets in to 2-inch pieces, discarding stems. In blender blend garlic with beets, water, lemon juice, vinegar, and slat and pepper to taste until smooth.


The rest of our dinner: 
The pork was browned on the stove with olive oil and salt and pepper and then baked till medium.  Chris also made his go-to roasted potatoes (toss cut potatoes and red bell pepper in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 350 until soft) and they were SO good with the Farm Fresh fingerling potatoes and red bell peppers.  Seriously...this was THE BEST bell pepper I have EVER tasted.  Unfortunately we were so excited about all of our fresh produce that our two week supply is already gone and has left our mouths watering for the next basket to arrive at our doorstep. 

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spider webs...

Creating a door way spider web...saw the idea here

What you need:
Yarn (any color...I went with traditional white)
Fake spiders
Might need tape or nails to create your spider web base

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Create your base by  making an X shape and then add another line horizontally and vertically through the X.
This is when you will need to either use your surroundings to attach your spider web ends or use tape to secure the ends to the wall.

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Now start making your circles.  Cut a long piece of yard and tie a knot at your starting point and start wrapping the yarn around each base line.  When you get to your original starting point move your yarn up to start creating your next circle.  Continue to do this until you have filled in your entire base with circles.

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Add some extra special hanging spiders and you have yourself a 10 minute Halloween decoration.
  
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spider head...

Since we are learning about spiders this week in our house...I thought this would be something fun to do with Scarlett and her cousins. 

Easy Spider Hat craft -

What you need:
Black construction paper (and any other colors for extra "body" details)
Scissors
Tape (or glue)

Cut a strip of construction paper and measure it to fit.  Have your child cut 8 strips of paper for the 8 legs.   Let them count and get excited about a spider having 8 legs.  Bend tip of leg and tape to inside of hat. Tell them to tape four on each side of the hat and then let them decorate the hat with eyes, stripes, spots, etc.




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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lesson of the week...

Arachnids.

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Last week I looked at Chris and realized that I could not remember a time that we couldn't communicate with Scarlett.  She has been speaking and using language or signing since she was a year old and recently making crazy connections, using sentences, voicing opinions, and learning.  So I decided to take advantage of this "excited to learn stage" and start adding a theme to our week.  This week is spiders.  I printed out pages with music, rhymes and color of the week all revolving around the theme and hung a string on the board so Scarlett can keep all of her weekly art projects hanging on her learning board. 

This week itinerary...
Sunday - build spider web on the window, teach how spiders build webs and catch their food
Monday- morning story time - read " The Very Busy Spider"
               go to library and pick out two/three spider themed books
               spend the day with cousins, make spider hat and teach anatomy of spiders
Thursday - morning story time - read spider books from library
               go on an early morning spider hunt - search out side for spider webs
               lunch time spider sandwiches - peanut butter sandwich cut into circles and use
               pretzel sticks for legs  
               sing songs and read rhymes - act out songs, dance and play like spiders
               hunt for things in the house and outside that are the color black and take pictures
               thumb print art project - use thumb to create spider body and draw 8 legs

I have to squeeze all my spider ideas into the two days that I am home with Scarlett so it might be an overload...but so far she has been super receptive and really loved learning.

Next week...pumpkins.  I think I am a little more excited about this theme than she ever will be.  Pumpkin patches, pumpkin pie, orange/fall decorations.  I can't wait to bring a little more autumn into our home and what better way to do than under the guise of learning. 

              
              
               

              
 



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Just because...

she loves her cousins and they are so stinkin' cute together.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Movie Monday...


Scarlett was crying for her cousins...so we skyped.  Thankfully this solved the attitude problem we were having, until it was time to say goodbye.  


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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sour citrus pork tacos...or wraps

I really wanted to use our farm fresh beets for dinner and with no clue on how to use beets, prepare beets, or make beets taste good I turned to Google search and found this...we substituted pita bread for tortillas so it was more of a wrap and less of a mexican dish, but still delicious. 

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Sour citrus tacos with caramelized root vegetables -

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 12 ounces pork loin, cut into 2 1/2-inch chunks
  • Salt and black pepper as needed
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups root vegetables (we used beets, winter squash and parsnips), diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thick julienne
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Non-stick cooking spray, as needed

Directions
  1. Preheat conventional oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat oil in saute pan over medium-high heat. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper as desired, add to hot pan and sear on all sides until browned. Transfer pork to small saucepan over medium heat and add orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, onion, garlic cloves, Mexican oregano, cumin, and chicken broth; bring to boil, cover and transfer to oven and cook for 1 hour. Remove from oven, pull out pork and shred with two forks; keep warm.
  3. In large mixing bowl, combine diced root vegetables, red onion, fresh thyme sprigs and season as desired with salt and black pepper, tossing while coating with non-stick spray. Spread vegetable mixture in a single even layer across a non-stick baking pan. Roast in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until crispy and tender. Remove from oven; keep warm.
  4. Divide shredded pork evenly on top of pita bread and top with crispy root vegetables. 
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Farm fresh to you...

Chris and I are jumping on the fresh fruit and veggie train...and everyone in our house is loving it.

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Last week I received a groupon for Farm Fresh to You and I was beyond excited to give them a try.  Our first box came yesterday and I immediately put Chris to work finding exciting recipes to cook up our new vegetable medley.  I made a homemade caramel dip for the apples and Chris made a vinegar rich side dish using the swiss chard.  One bite into the juicy, delivered to my doorstep, apple and I was hooked.  I can not wait to find new ways to use beets, winter squash, onions, fingerling potatoes, peppers, apples, pears and grapes...let the fresh food rotation begin.

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Also, I have never seen Scarlett show interest in food and the second I opened the box she grabbed an apple and took a giant bite...Thank you Farm Fresh to You!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba...

Through some lucky circumstances we got to take Scarlett and her cousins to the set of the TV show Yo Gabba Gabba.  The kids got to touch and play with some of the more familiar props and the adults got to see a behind the scenes of creative minds at work.  Lets just say the kids favorite part was watching Muno, Plex, Foofa, Toodee, and Brobee dancey dance their little hearts out. 

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You are invited to...

a tea party, hosted by Scarlett.

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Unfortunately some of the guest couldn't control their tea intake and passed out a little early.

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