Monday, April 22, 2013

Garden Update

Our garden has been growing under my husband's careful hand. All the time he's planning on further expanding, adding different kinds of eatables and helpful tools. He'll easily spend an afternoon or evening relaxing in the garden. It warms my heart to see him loving his hobby so much.

We have cabbages, tomatoes, jalepenos, green peppers, potatoes, spinach, onions, and peanuts.


Green onions have overgrown in the pots we put them in. Our basil, cilantro, oregano, and sage are also doing well.


Always planning ahead, my husband has potatoes, spinach, peanuts, and some other crops waiting to be added to our ever expanding plot of dirt.


I wonder what we'll be growing next year.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Doughnuts

For my birthday, my parents-in-law got me The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier. We've done a few recipes, and last Sunday we made her glazed doughnuts.

Let me begin by saying how delicious they were!

Then let me add that they needed a lot of preparation for a morning meal. We actually began the night before. Talk about planning ahead! This couldn't be a last minute treat... The dough had to rise overnight. Then, since we were making it for Sunday morning and we had church, one of us had to wake up early early in the morning after the dough had risen and cut the doughnut shapes.

No doughnut cutter... I used a cup and an olive oil cap.
And then they had to rise for another two hours!

Oooh, but don't they look delicious!
 Finally we were ready to fry them.


Each one was only in the oil for a minute or so, including the flip, so this is by far the easiest step.


Mmmm, unglazed goodness!


More mmm, glazed goodness!


They were good news for my mouth, if not for my waistline. Good thing they take so much effort or we'd be in trouble!



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Random Thought

I was thinking about the crazy things parents do to help their unborn babies'development. For example, playing Mozart through headphones to a mama's belly.

So my brain goes... maybe you should play DubStep to develop a sense of rhythm. It can't hurt any kids we'd have - neither of us can keep rhythm well!

It's not DubStep, but this is the song I played to Penny a few times. It's sure not Mozart.


BTW, I'm pretty sure a fetus can hear vibrations of the low bass more easily than other musical sounds, so I don't think I'm all the way crazy on this. Thoughts?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Avocado Dreams

I started growing an avocado!

The crack in the top means that hopefully soon a small shoot will come up!
Yes, I know we've had a garden for nearly a year, but that's always been my husband's pet project. He checks it at least twice a day, and he loves to relax and spend his extra time there. However, that's not me. I've never been outdoorsy. I don't like dirt between my toes and mud on my hands makes me cringe. Goodness, I don't even like beach sand on my feet.

So far, all I have to do is refill and change the water daily.
But I've decided to take ownership of growing this little avocado into a tree... At least white it's an indoor plant. I've wanted an avocado tree since I developed a taste for it over the last five years, then since we had a yard, and then realized what a wide shade tree it can be.

Let's hope Helo can keep from drinking all the avocado water...
Through my research, (caugh*googlesearch*caugh) I found out that it takes a long time to grow a full size, fruit producing tree. It'll take a month or two for the seed to even sprout. So at this point we figure we'll raise it in pots until we move to our next home, which in our dreams will have a bigger yard and will be the home we raise our future children to adulthood in.

It's growing a root!
It's a long term project, but that's what makes it fun. I hope all of our family will make some good memories growing this little plant into a big ol' tree.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bless The Lord

Today in church we sang 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) by Matt Redman. I began thinking about the words, and how they reminded me of Penny.

...Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes.

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore.

I thought about her last moments, when her daddy began singing hymns to her. 

When that starts I always get mixed feelings. I begin a spiral of missing her, wishing I could have spent more time with her during those two days, wishing I could have avoided a C-section, waiting for a time to try again to be parents, feeling like God took away my dreams and expectations of being a mom. On the other hand, I know God has a perfect plan in all of it. I think He must have known her life would not have been a blessing, whether from pain of her imperfect body or teasing from harsh peers or some other unknown cause. I think she is the most blessed and loved by being spared a long life on earth waiting for Him, instead going to the Father after only two days of pain. She gets to meet three of her great-grandparents. For myself, I think He is forcing me to give him the think I most covet - motherhood. Not forever, I think, but in a mindset. He took her not to be cruel to me, but to teach me how the children of my womb are His children, and should not be my idols. It is still something I want deeply, and rightly I think, but in His wisdom He is preempting my tendency to be wrapped up in my children instead of wrapping my children in God. 

That is how I can sing His praise after four long months (already four months?). He is great and powerful. I'm glad to know His plan is good forevermore. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

StitchFix

I heard about StitchFix from a blog I follow during my pregnancy. I was certainly interested in it the more I looked into it. And now that I'm (finally!) starting to lose the extra pregnancy weight, I took the plunge.

StitchFix is a personal shopper and styling website. When you sign up you fill out an extensive (but not exhausting) questionnaire about your size and preferences on style, color, lifestyle, and more. If you're on Pinterest, you can even link them to any style boards you have. Then, you schedule a "Fix," which means you pick a day you would like your box of five clothing or accessory items to arrive. You keep what you like and send back anything you don't withing three days. It really is that easy! Shipping is even included.

My only drawback is the cost. I am a girl who feels guilty spending more than $25 on jeans and dresses, more than $15 on a shirt, and ALL my shoes come from Payless. The items that StitchFix sends are all "the best up-and-coming labels and brands" according to the site's FAQ, and the prices do reflect that, but you can define your price range in your profile. I set everything to lower prices in my style profile. That frugality I inherited wouldn't let me choose anything else. They have a $20 initial styling fee, but if you keep anything from your box that fee is applied to your final purchase. For example, you want to keep a $50 top, it only costs you $30 after the fee. If you send it all back, the fee is a sunk cost. If you decide to keep all five items in your fix, you also get 25% off your total cost. So there are perks.

Each item comes with style suggestion cards. Neat!
I got my first fix this week, and I was so excited! My "personal stylist" sent me four tops and a set of bangles. Since they'd never seen me before I was impressed how well the tops fit, even with my profile information. I think they even got my style pretty well. Were price not an issue, I would probably have kept more.

The prices were higher than I would normally pay for these things (said the BOGO-exclusive, won't buy it for less than 50% off, Ross and Old Navy sale section shopper), but I expected that and was actually reasonably satisfied with the price range they sent me (about $40-$70 each).

Here's a breakdown:

This is a coral color crochet top from Mystree. I feel like it can go with almost anything in my wardrobe, and it's not a color I would have picked myself.
Awkward self portrait. 
This racerback tank from THML was my absolute favorite! So soft and fun!
Still awkward. Like when you listen to your own voicemail and say "I sound like THAT?"
This tab sleeve top from Oxmo almost had me say yes, but my work and life is just not that formal. We have mud days where I nanny, people.

This chevron blouse from Everly and these coordinating bangles from 41Hawthorn just didn't do it for me. They're nice, but not nice enough for the price in my opinion.

Here's the bottom line: if you're looking for an easy way to update your wardrobe without scouring shelf after shelf at store after store, this is it. AND if you do sign up PLEASE use my referer ID because I'll get $25 off the next time I order a Fix, which I definitely will order!
Hope you'll check it out! I had tons of fun with it.