Showing posts from October, 2009

caramel popcorn

This popcorn has been a part of Christmas time in my family since my childhood. My mom's friend always had it ready to eat at our annual Christmas Eve event. I now make it at Christmas and give it out to friends and neighbors.

Today is Halloween, and our street is having a block party. Not sure what to bring, I figured that caramel popcorn is not just appropriate for a Christmas food but could also fall into the fall festive food category. Thus, I'm bringing caramel popcorn to the block party. Hopefully the neighbors like it or I'll have to come up with a new Christmas gift idea. =)

I made this for a Christmas party last year in Nashville and was supposed to give out the recipe. I don't think I ever did, so here it is. With pictures, of course. Also to note, I have an air popcorn popper. It was about $20 from Kohl's in 2006. My friend, Rachel, made this recipe popping her popcorn on the stove. Either works.

Caramel Popcorn

1 cup plain popcorn kernels, u…

Method oMop

Allow me to introduce to you one of my favorite cleaning toys. The Method oMop and I meet up at least once a week for our exercise routine: sweeping and mopping the floors.

All of the floors in this house are tile or wood:


bathroom (might I add how ridiculous white floors are to clean and impossible to keep clean especially when you have dark brown hair):

everywhere else (living room, bedrooms, stairs):

I used to have the Swiffer WetJet for the kitchen and bathroom floors in our Nashville apartment where I maybe once went through a box of refills. When we moved to Philadelphia, I quickly realized I'd be eating up a box of refills very very quickly. They're not cheap, but I am. Thus, I sought out a new product. I'm not an extremist environmental tree-hugger who uses recycled toilet paper, but I do like to make less waste and recycle. (I am using cloth diapers, so to some that does make me quite granola.) Anyway, my friend, Leah, used the Method oMop on he…

backpacking with the ladies

I might get in trouble for putting up this photo, but it captures something that makes me laugh out loud. This was last fall when I went backpacking with some of my favorite Nashville ladies. I won't identify them if you don't already know them. =)

Here we are on our trip last spring (minus one who was travel nursing in San Fransisco). Our fearless leader took us on a "7-mile" hike that ended up being 10 miles. Phew, we were all exhausted! This is us pre-exhaustion.

I am excited for the next time I can do something like this again. With a baby and winter coming, it won't be in the next few months, and it will definitely be different once I can do it again. Nonetheless, overnight backpacking trips with the ladies are some of my favorite memories.

happy birthday, husband!

Today is Aaron's birthday. Happy birthday to my favorite person in the world! I love you! That is enough of a love note for this blog, and I won't embarrass him with a photo. Okay, well, maybe this one. =)

basil plant =/

My basil plant has been thriving for over a month. Isn't she pretty?

On Thursday, I made Creamy Tomato Basil Soup and removed 14 leaves from her branches. Over the weekend, she started looking sad, and today, I put her outside thinking she needed some sun. I came home from church to find her looking like this!

Do you think I drowned her? I actually thought I wasn't watering her enough (because I've seen people growing basil in water - no soil). I think I need to google how to better care for my basil plant. I don't exactly have a green thumb. So sad . . .

nursery tour

As promised yesterday, here is the tour of the nursery. The walls are still bare. I'm working on that factor. I'm also hunting for a rug that doesn't cost more than the crib did - something with color to brighten up the browns.

Walking into the room from the hallway. (The Curious George was Aaron's favorite stuffed animal as a kid.):

From the corner behind the chair (doorway just entered to the left):

Aerial views from the dresser:

Inside a dresser drawer with fall festive colored gDiapers. (The fall colors were not intentional; orange and vanilla are their staples):

The ladder displays the beautiful blankets handmade by two of my favorite Rebekahs - which couldn't match that chair any better.

No closet (since the room is the size of a closet). The "closet" hanging on the door (and the door will not shut hanging on the other side but shuts fine hanging on this side - weird):

Please note how well the bobby cover matches the bedding. I didn't register for a bo…

come back tomorrow . . .

. . . for a tour of the nursery! Here's a sneak peak to hold you over:

stockings . . . and Phillies returning to the World Series!

Two years ago, I made these for my mom for Christmas because our original knitted ones from a relative were not being updated with new additions to the family. I think this will be their third Christmas.

Now that there is a grandbaby on the way, I realized that I have a new responsibility with each new grandbaby: a Christmas stocking for my mom. I also realized that when one of those new grandbabies is my baby, I have to make two stockings: one for me and one for my mom. Problem is I cannot assemble the stocking without the name "embroidered" (i.e. me and a needle and thread) on the name strip. Thus, I pieced together as much of the stocking as possible and will hopefully find an hour between baby's birth and Christmas to assemble them. (My mom did offer to come watch the baby while I finish them. Isn't she generous? Gets to play with a grandbaby and gets her stockings done. =)

Here is a sneak peak of the stockings with some Christmas fabric I picked up. Not really m…

Great is Thy Faithfulness

When I was an older child and adolescent, I often heard “older folks” testifying to God’s faithfulness. They spoke of this faithfulness in a way I did not understand and loved the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” I perceived them to be out of touch with reality. Yes, I believed in God and salvation and understood the basics of the gospel, but I did not know this faithfulness of God with the same trust and sincerity these people knew. It often irked me when during difficult times, those elder to me would spout off something about God being faithful. I didn’t understand and their lack of engagement with me didn’t unite my misunderstanding with their good intentions. Nonetheless, in my adolescence I concluded that old people believe God is faithful and maybe someday I’d get it. I didn’t actively do anything to try to get it; I took the passive approach.

After Aaron’s first year of law school, because of how law school internships work, we already had to start discussing and considering …

gcloth laundry marathon

Without boring anyone with the details of why I'm using these guys for baby's bum, I spent today prepping them for the baby's arrival. Apparently, as per the instructions, hemp becomes more absorbent with washings, so it's recommended to wash them six times before using. Load number six is in the dryer, just in time for me to watch the Phillies game!
I'm hoping these gDiapers work well for the baby and us. I have friends that love them, but of course they don't work for everyone. There are so many cloth diaper options out there; it was quite a project to make the decision. If you'd like the boring details of how I reached my decision, feel free to ask. I've sent my cost analysis spreadsheet to a few friends already.
On that dorky note, I am going to watch my Phillies.

Rock of Ages

I have had this song stuck in my head most of the weekend. It is on the new By Thy Mercy: Indelible Grace AcousticCD which came to my mailbox on Friday. Since I was mumbling my way through some of the lyrics, I looked them up and am sharing them on here.

Rock of Ages, when the day seems long
From this labor and this heartache I have come
The skies will wear out, but You remain the same
Rock of Ages, I praise Your name.

Rock of Ages, You have brought me near
You have poured out Your life-blood, Your love, Your tears
To make this stone heart come alive again
Rock of Ages, forgive my sin

Rock of Ages, Rock of Ages
Bind your children til' your kingdom comes
Rock of Ages, Your will be done

Rock of Ages, when in want or rest
My desperate need for such a Savior I confess
Pull these idols out from my heart embrace
Rock of Ages, I need Your grace

Rock of Ages, broken, scorned for me
Who am I that You would die to make me free?
To give me glory, You took the death and pain
Rock of Ages, my o…

hot chocolate

I believe I have discovered one of the best hot chocolate recipes . . . ever. I found it in a pile of parenting/pregnancy magazines someone gave me. I tore it out over the summer and somehow saved it (and found it again) to use once this colder weather kicked it. Well, it's cold, wet, and rainy, so I made it last night and enjoyed it during the Phillies game (while also watching The Office).
I think it's hilarious that the magazine tries to convince me that the ingredients have these great health benefits. It's just plain delicious and chocolately; who cares if it's healthy, right? =)

I found that the chocolate really clumps and lumps as it melts, so next time I might chop up that 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to little bits (or use mini chips) and see if that helps. Also, no skim milk here, but it worked fine with my 2%. It was probably more deliciously creamy because of that extra milk fat. Yum! Sorry no photo of the final product. I was enjoying it too much to take a pic…

One Fish Two Fish Old Fish New Fish

Approximately four blocks east of me is this two-week old shop: One Fish Two Fish Old Fish New Fish: Children's Consignment Shop. (The photo below is not mine. I'll have to take my own someday.) I'd link you to their website, but they don't have one - just a festive sign.

Today I wandered over to complete my newborn baby wardrobe and snatched up a couple baby gowns and Tshirts.
While I was there, another woman walked in with her very little baby in her Baby Bjorn. As I was checking out, she asked the owner if they had any baby slings. They had one in the store but didn't know how to use it. I gave them the five-second tutorial. I told the owner I've made a couple and she got very excited and interested. I showed her a picture of the one I made the other day (thank you, iPhone), and she got more excited. She suggested I sell them at her place. (She's very excited to sell items made by local people.) I told her I wasn't sure if I wanted to bother with selli…

grocery cart escalator?!

Today I went to the midwife for my 34-week check-up. On midwife appointment days, I have to drive. So while I'm already out with the car, I have begun to run errands that require visiting big box stores not within walking distance of my home. Today, I was at a Target over in Springfield. It was a bilevel Target, and I realized that the other items on my list were all upstairs. Was I going to have to take the elevator? And then I saw this.

And my grocery cart went like this.

In the words of my friend, Adrienne: hizzah! I am impressed. Now, if there was a kid in the cart, I'm pretty sure I'd have had to have taken the elevator. (Holy haves hads in that sentence - and then some alliteration.) I bet parents of preschoolers have to fight their kids out of the cart because I would have loved to ride that thing at the grocery store as a four-year-old!
Are these grocery cart escalators widespread, and I have just never seen them? Or are they new or newer?
P.S. Sorry I didn't captu…

back patio

We have a back patio. We've been here over two months and finally got around to ripping out the crazy overgrown flower bed.

We weren't sure what we were going to do with the space as far as what to plant (we were thinking mums), but look at the plants we discovered underneath! It's already done. No money spent.

It's much less colorful, but it will do until spring. Now for some weed-killer to spray those bricks.

if you live in Nashville . . .

. . . you should go to this on Monday!
It's FREE, and you can even buy the new CD there for only $10. (See my previous post.) Kids can go, too. Six of the artists will be there singing through the CD. Wish I could be there, but since I can't, I'm encouraging my Nashville friends to go without me. I miss you, Nashville, and friends in Nashville.
Anyone know of some great FREE music in Philadelphia? =)

by thy mercy: indelible grace acoustic

Indelible Grace Music puts out some great stuff! Click on the photo above for a sampling of the newest CD - by thy mercy: indelible grace acoustic. If you enjoy the words of hymns but aren't always a fan of the pipe organ chords, these artists put hymns to new music. They're beautiful, and I love them. (Plus I enjoy these artists' original non-hymn music work, too: Andrew Osenga, Matthew Perryman Jones, Emily DeLoach, Sandra McCracken, Jeremy Casella, to name a few.) I have all of the indelible grace CDs thus far (I thru V), so I think I'm just going to have to buy this one, too.


After the baby shower on Saturday, I sorted through the baby gear and fired up the washer and dryer today. Six loads later, I think I'm just about finished!

And now I'm off to babysit four kids . . . (good thing the fifth is still hanging out in utero!)