Thursday, February 28, 2013

in like a lion

That's what they say about March, right?  Well, forgive me, forgive me all of you who are sick of snow, but I am loving it.  It has been snowing off and on all week here in Mid-Missouri, and I am excited for the prospect of another sledding weekend!

I can get a bit cabin feverish during winter, but this winter in Missouri has been mild (compared to where I am from) so we've been out and playing quite a bit.  That being said, I also love to snuggle in front of a fire with a warm cup of coffee sprinkled with cinnamon.  I love sinking into a bed piled high with feather blankets.  I love my little's pink cheeks from the winter wind.  I love that my make something project is ticking right along because of all the indoor time lately.  And by ticking right along, I mean I'm about 5% through the list.

I love the snow!  There, I said it.  I know that everyone North of me right now is ready to wring my neck.  Well, you'll have to stand in line while I go grab my sled.
If your winter has been a bit too much of a lion for your liking, then my wish for you is a Spring like a lamb.  But not before I get one more romp in the snow, ok?  Thanks.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

black thumb

My mom always kept beautiful indoor plants all year long.  Some plants would rotate out back into the sunshine come summer, and some would stay inside.  But they always stayed alive.  At least they usually did.  She has had some of the same houseplants for as long as my memory stretches back.  My mom has a green thumb.  I do not.

I can limp along an outdoor garden in the summer.  I always plants herbs and some vegetables, and I can keep those (mostly) alive.  But indoor plants tend to suffer at my hands.  But recently I have tried my hand at a couple of succulents, and they are almost fool proof.  So I've gotten a little brave.  We took a trip to Lowe's over the weekend, and when I walked past the plant aisle, I just could not resist.  Maybe it's the winter and wish for more green in my life.  Or maybe I'm just slowly, year by year, turning into my mother.  It's a mystery!

So I just went for it.  Dove right in, picking out pretty little plants here and there, trying to pick the plants that the tags said required the LEAST amount of care.  Fingers crossed!  I also fell in love with this ranunculus, which will need to be planted outside when the ground thaws.  I may have to include it in my night-time prayers to make it that long!  Because as I type, the winter wind is howling, and we are getting a new coating of powdery white snow.
 Fletcher picked out the cactus.  He begged for it, actually; kept going back to it, and I had to keep telling him not to touch it.  So I have a partner in keeping these plants alive.  Fletcher and I will be working on our green thumbs together.

Monday, February 25, 2013

we sled

Last week we got two snow days for barely 3 inches of snow.  But we knew how to take full advantage!  We relaxed, I cleaned a bit, I caught up on some projects, and we watched some movies.  But when our neighbors called to ask if we wanted to sled, we were more than happy to leave our snowed in (iced in) cocoon.  We bundled up, threw our sleds in the back of our neighbor's truck, and off we went to find the best hill.  Okay, it wasn't the BEST hill, but it was the best for a 2 year old and 4 year old.
Yes, we teased Brian about looking like cousin Eddie with his hat.  I do every time he wears it.
Our neighbors, Neal and Cindy took turns taking the littles down the hill, too.  Rowan had to warm up to sledding, she thought it looked a little too fast.  So she sat back and watched for a while, and then decided to give it a go.
 It was one of those days that was cold, but so sunny and bright it felt warm and we were shedding hats and gloves after walking up the hill a few times.  We stayed out a lot longer than we intended because of the warmth.
We had a little snowball fight just in time for the wind to kick up, so we packed it in to go home.  The littles practically fell asleep on the 5 minute car ride, they were so exhausted.
We went back to our house, stoked the fire, and sat around chatting, playing, and drinking hot chocolate.  It was a memory making day.  I'm so grateful for good neighbors with good ideas.

Friday, February 22, 2013

snow days

Yesterday AND today the base and schools have closed for snow!  It's not actually snowing today, but yesterday the world became encased in ice.  We had a strange mix of snow, sleet, rain, hail, with a little thunder mixed in for drama.  Brian slipped and slid to get wood for the fireplace, and tried to snowblow a bit.  The snow barely budged with all the ice covering it.

Back home in the Chicagoland area, they would just salt the crap outta the roads, and we'd all just carry on.  Here in Missouri they used beet juice.  Beet juice, I kid you not.  I have no idea if it works, or if they actually put it on our roads here, but our roads around the neighborhood are still a sheet of ice.
  So we're sitting tight, and I've been knocking things off my list.  I'm catching up on my make something project, and it seems like I've been only doing embroidery.  I may have to throw a painting into the mix this weekend.
What are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

sweet and spicy roasted chick peas

Have you tried roasting chick peas yet?  It's something I've seen kicking around the internet for a while now, and I've tried them many times.  I really love how they get crispy on the outside and stay a bit soft on the inside when roasted.  I usually do just a salty version with a bit of cumin and cayenne.  But yesterday I thought I would try something a bit more sweet and salty, and these did NOT disappoint.  I may have eaten too many.  Maybe.  There is something to that sweet and salty combination!  It becomes addictive.  They are quick and easy to make, and taste best right from the oven.  I added the fresh rosemary simply because I had it, and it was a delicious addition.

1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans)
2 t. olive oil
1/2 T brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne (I did about 1/2 t. for extra spice)
optional- 1 T chopped fresh rosemary
makes 1 1/2 cups

Drain chick peas well, and dry on paper towel.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stir all ingredients together in a bowl.  Transfer chick peas onto a parchment lined pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Remove from your pan immediately, and enjoy while still warm!  And be sure to have someone to share with, or else you may eat too many.  It's been known to happen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

catching up

Last week was a bit of a doozy.  Between my birthday, Valentine's Day, and the WORST cold ever, I was a little pulled in every direction.  And the direction I wanted to go the most was to bed and get well.  I did find myself in bed early most nights, and so my usual day to day got swept under the rug a bit.  Including this here blog.  But after a weekend away visiting good friends and getting lots of relaxation and laughs, I'm feeling almost 100%.  Almost.

I took a break making all you lovely people little somethings to make a bunch of favors for the kiddo's school parties.  I also made Brian a little something for Valentine's Day, so you'll have to forgive me for taking a week off!
We are big Parks and Recreation fans.  Brian surprised me with a beautiful bouquet and the littles and I got an assortment of treats.  We're lucky to have such an amazing man in our lives.  He really went all out this year to make us feel loved.  And full of chocolate.
We just got back late last night from our weekend away.  There aren't that many pictures, and what pictures we do have, Brian took.  My friend, Tara, and I ran lots of little errands and trips, and just took the time to catch up a little.  So I let the picture-taking fall by the wayside.  Tara has 5 kids and a lovely home, so my littles were in heaven, and I barely saw them the whole weekend!  Her littlest one, Kyle, turned 3, so there were cake and presents.  Rowan and Lydia were princesses a lot, and Fletcher got to play with the birthday boy's new toys with him and the other boys.  We all had a great time.
And now it's back to the real world.  I have a lot of cleaning to do, projects to work on, and I'm going to actually cook some real meals this week.  It's a relief to start feeling better again.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

hey valentine

There are birds singing like it's a warm day in June this morning.  They must be love birds on this beautiful Valentine's Day.  I hope you all have love in your life to appreciate today!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

hugs, cake + tulips

Thank you for all the birthday wishes.  I appreciate them all so much!  And I want to clarify something... I never intended to imply that 35 IS middle aged, just that it always SOUNDED middle aged to me.  You know, back when I was in my smug mid-20s.  No, friends, we are all young, alive and non-middle aged, ok?  Ok.

I just thought I'd share some sweet pictures of my birthday celebrations.  We celebrated at night, so forgive the awful quality of most of these.  Brian and the littles made me a cake, helped me blow out the candles, and then helped me eat it!  I got wonderful gifts from them all, including a new camera lens I've been wanting (needing).  My favorite gifts were the cards where Brian wrote down what the littles dictated.  Rowan wrote, "Welcome to your birthday."  I laughed so hard at that.  Fletcher and I have killer colds right now, so we were just a little grumpy and there were some tears and tantrums thrown into the celebrating, but that's ok, too.  That is my life now!  There were tulips (my favorite) hugs (my favorite) wine (my favorite) and a dance party to Rush (NOT my favorite, but it can't always be about me).
35 is shaping up to be a good year.