Thursday, January 31, 2013

Recipe Thursday: Herb Chicken Thighs

This recipe is from my I'm Just Here for the Food Cookbook by Alton Brown. It's a great one to serve for company since the chicken cooks itself for the last part.
Tastes amazing and smells heavenly. 
I used my 10 inch stainless steel frying pan for the whole process and it did great! 
It's always nice to have an array of ways to cook chicken. This is one of my favorites!

6 Chicken Thighs
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
10 cloves of garlic, peeled
5 medium sized shallots {cut in half and peeled}
Three sprigs fresh thyme, parsley, and sage {Alton says rosemary would throw it over the top}
2 T. olive oil for browning
1/2 C. olive oil for cooking

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Season chicken liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Add 2T olive oil to pan over high heat.
{Use oven safe pan that it wide}

3. Brown chicken in pan on both sides, about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Remove pan from heat. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic cloves, shallots, and herbs, evenly distributed in between the chicken pieces.

4. Cover and bake in oven for 1-1/2 hours.

Little C Skis!

For New Years day while still on vacation, Little C and I ventured up the mountain for his first ever lesson in skiing. I got in me somehow that this two year old needed to ski now

We jumped on the shuttle bus at the base of the mountain and we were off for some snow fun. 
 Outdoorsy  Sister works up on the mountain {how fitting is that?} so she was able to grab a few shots of us that first day. 
Little C got fitted for skis and held up like a champ. It's so hard with a little one who can't tell you how well the boots are fitting. 
That first day, we just skied around the village. Little C got used to being on the skis. Finally, we were ready to try out the bunny hill. We did one run down to give him a taste and ended it on a good note. 
The magic carpet bunny hill
Resting on his skis
But, our skiing wasn't done there! Two days later we headed back up for more. This time, Little C was talking about skiing the whole bus ride. Yea! I was excited to see he was so excited! Outdoorsy Auntie was able to come with and take lots of picture and video this time.
Little C wanted to carry his own skis- not going to stop that!
Outdoorsy Auntie: "Excited to ski?"
Little C: "So excited!"

I may have mentioned Little C's obsession with trains before... well I used that to my advantage during his lesson. Usually the terminology used is "French fries" and "pizza". "French fries" mean to keep the skis parallel and "pizza" is to put the tips together to slow down.
For Little C's lesson I used "train tracks" and "triangle". The kid loves his shapes and totally gets triangle especially over making your skis into food. He also thinks every set of parallel lines are train tracks so I went with it. 

He was great at the "train tracks" part, not so much the "triangle". We headed straight to the bunny hill this time. The training part for new learners is not very long and perfect for first timers. We did about five runs in a row before taking a break to get out of the cold. It was snowing flurries on us and windy too! Little C was a total trooper and wanted to go fast every time.
Hot Cocoa face
Back out on the hill for a few more runs and we were able to do a couple more going way too fast for this mama. I really started to drill in the "triangle" part of our lesson around now. Little C had the parallel part down and really got the hang of speeding up.
I had a blast taking him skiing and cannot wait until we get out there again. Oh, and I was walking/running along side of him since I didn't feel comfortable on skis and pregnant.
{just in case you wondering}

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ready for Brunch

This is my very first time linking-up with Michelle from The Vintage Apple. I love Pinterest- how is I haven't participated before this.

Right now, I'm thinking it's time for a Brunch Party. Who wants to come? I'm ready to make some yummy food and more sweets than should be acceptable in the morning and decorate! 

Do you like brunch? Have you made or eaten any of these lovely creations recently?

What I'm Wearing

Getting dressed...

Should be pretty easy right? I've gotten to the point in my pregnancy where I passed that awkward stage and now fully have "the bump".
I like this stage. It's clear, I'm pregnant. Except, getting dressed can be tricky.
Thanks to wonderful maternity clothes out there and lots of ideas from other bloggers/pinterest I don't have to wear pjs all day.
{well at least not if I don't want too}

My guide to dressing maternity style. My very unofficial, non fashion blogger guide to getting dressed.
I'm no expert. You heard it here first. {as if you needed to be told}

Mustard top- Destination Maternity
Denim Skirt- Target Maternity
Tan tights- Thick with pattern non-maternity from Old Navy
Slouchy Boots- Target
**My apologies on the flash, photography is not my forte**
Top- non maternity from Walmart 
Bottoms- Teal Suede skinnies from Destination Maternity
Boots- Nordstrom Rack
Belly and pink nail detail/peek-a-boo leopard belt and leopard flats
Basic Black Top- Destination Maternity
Black & Leopard Waist Belt {came with shirt pictured above}
Jeans- Destination Maternity via Macy*s
Flats- Target

pleated poppy

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How do you say no?

This post is for all those moms out there or teachers, aunts, and anyone who works with kids!

How do you say "No!" without actually saying no? Amber from Momma in Bloom wrote this post last week about some alternatives to saying no.

And, I came across this post. It all got me thinking about saying no and how I discipline Little C. I talked about his mischievousness and as cute as it is the kid needs some boundaries. {Don't we all?}

Saying "No!" to often reminds me of the book  have you heard of it?
I remember it from when I was teaching. It's about a boy who hears "no" in about everything he does. Recently with Little C we picked this book up at the library. It has been a favorite in the house so far. Little C asks me to read it to him- which is huge. And, every single page is a depiction of something going down in
our house. So nice to know we are not alone.

What do you think? Do you find yourself saying "no" far to often? Any tips on how to avoid saying it or do you think that kids should hear "no"?

Awhile back with Little C,   some teacher training came into play and I used alternatives to saying "no" by giving an example of what I want him to do. Starts banging train tracks on wall? I say, "we build with your train tracks, let's build together" That's one example of how I replace "No!" I might also say, "Please sit on your bottom"

This is obviously a work in progress. A daily minute-by-minute struggle to prevent myself from always saying no. I really try to be more positive, easier said than done.

Pregnancy Update: 32 weeks

As promised, I've gathered a couple old wives' tales for you to read here!
These results make me think the opposite is true. I guess we'll have to wait and see! 
Soon, I'll be putting up the list of guesses. If you have a guess just put it in the comments below!
Guesses: Sex, Birth Weight, Hair, and hair color for the tie breaker. 

It might look something like this:
Boy, 10 lbs, yes, black {These were Little C's stats}
Post inspired by this blogger
1. Typo there, supposed to say 140 bpm. This baby's heart rate has consistently been in the 150s. One for girl here.
2. I always crave sweets no surprise there. 
3. We shall see... Little C was predicted to be a boy on this one.
4. always clumsy and even more so now!
5. Little C s not very interested in his baby sibling. He likes to pull down my shirt when I show him my belly. 
6. Did this with Hockey Husband. 
So there you have it. 2 votes for boy and 4 for girl

How far along? 32 Weeks as of Sunday
Maternity clothes? Pretty much everything!
Stretch marks? Not yet.
Sleep: Pretty good. Little C is sleeping much better.
Best moment this week: Hearing the baby's heartbeat
Movement: Lots of kicking and general twisting
Anything making you queasy or sick: Been lucky so far, all nausea has passed
Gender: Check out the Team Green Old Wives' Tales
Labor Signs: None, thankfully.
Belly Button in or out? Flush with the rest of my belly.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on :) I remember wearing them around my neck with Little C at this point.
Mood: Nervous- lots to do before baby comes!
Looking forward to: Seeing family soon.

Go ahead, make a guess!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Disney Day

Last weekend our family ventured to Disneyland. It was a beautiful 80 degree Southern California day. I shared a few pictures via my instagram and thought I would do a super picture heavy post today. 

Yesterday, I shared a snippet of our day with my Saturday Snapshot post. 

Our day began with Little C's favorite ride- the bus.
He asks to ride the bus almost daily.
As of recently he has added, "ride bus to see Mickey Mouse". 
He is definitely associating the two. 

Then we were off to Toon Town!
a ride in Mickey's car
The Go Gadget roller coaster

And, of course we had to go see Mickey in his house. Little C was fascinated by Mickey's garden and the popping carrots for a very, very long time!

Why, hello Mickey Mouse! 

Tomorrow Land Astro Orbiter  

A surprise visit from Pluto rounded out our family Sunday

Goodbye Disneyland! Until next time. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

What a week!

One year ago around this time in January I revealed my new blog design that you see today. I loved it then and I still love it now. Thanks again to Munchkin Land Designs. Soon, I will be looking to update the header. I'll want to incorporate the new baby when he or she arrives.

Earlier this week I shared my pregnancy update. Won't be long until we meet the newest member of our family. I also got pretty personal when I shared some details about Little C's birth and my thoughts on a Cesarean. I also took a moment to lighten up the seriousness with my attempt at a "fashion post" showing some of my polyvore talents and my Valentine nails.

I didn't put those nails or outfits to waste. This week Little C enjoyed our time together with some fun neighborhood play dates, library story times, and winter art projects. I love the opportunity to stay home with Little C and this extra time to bond before he meets his new sibling. We've been selecting some big brother books at the library. I'm getting a tad nervous about the transition.


The Nail Files

After putting together some fictional outfits for my dream closet today, I thought I would add a picture of my nails. I'm participating in The Nail Files linkup! I haven't participated in almost a year! In actuality though I only had my nails painted a few times last year. So sad, I know! In that post I talked about trying gel polish. Well, I tried it and I loved it! Seriously awesome, but pricey so I only did it twice maybe three times?
I received lots of feedback on to make nail polish last. This week I painted my nails with some Valentine inspiration and used some of those tips. Thank you readers because my nails have not chipped!

Pure Ice nail polish
in Strip Tease

A Classic Combo

Happy Friday everyone! Thought I would have a little fashion fun today. Inspired by Alison from Long Distance Loving and her Friday's Fancies series. This week the theme is classic black and white. This combo is timeless and I decided to do my causal version and a dressier side of things. 

blacknwhite casual

blacknwhite casual by shellsea84 featuring h&m

I love this top and these flats! 

blacknwhite dressy

blacknwhite dressy by shellsea84 featuring white gold jewelry

I just got some Benefit "They're Real" mascara but haven't tried it yet. Do you have it? Do you like it?
I've heard great things!

Hope you all enjoy your weekend! Thank you for reading!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Grocery Budget

Over the radio waves saving money was announced as the third overall resolution made by everyone. I'm guessing after losing weight and who knows what else. I'm pretty sure it was a commercial for some insurance company. But, that is besides the point.
I thought to myself, well I guess I wasn't above the whole resolution thing this year. I went into 2013 not making any goals. I thought this would be my "resolution free" year.

Lose weight? Hmm, not for me I was starting the year with plans to pack it on! Hello, third trimester.

Work out more? Yea, not any more than usual. With plans to only grow bigger then be fatigued by a newborn I wasn't setting myself up for anything with that.

But, save money. You got me. Hockey Husband and I went into December looking at our budget and how we can really start cutting back and saving more. We decided that we wanted to save x amount of money in 2013.

We started with our grocery budget which really is an all encompassing food budget- eating out, eating in, small things, big things- you name it.
Post on how to save money and image source
I am so happy to say to myself that with one week left in this month we are coming in way under budget. We tried the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system and I love it. All the basics you've probably heard of make this happen. Eating at home is huge. Meal planning is a must. This allows me to go to the grocery store with a detailed list and coupons if applicable. I shop the deals at local stores and plan meals around what is on sale.

We started January with a pretty stocked pantry, so we will see how February goes. We've also enjoyed some great meals, it's not like we have to suffice on top ramen. For example, Bon Appetit featured pork chops*, yummy fried chicken, bbq chicken, grilled rib-eyes {purchased on sale!}, baked macaroni and cheese, and breaded pork chops! I but lots of protein in bulk then prepare it different ways.

*When I got my January Bon Appetit with the pork chop on the cover I had to make/eat it!

It's Okay Thursday

Its Ok Thursdays

Hey-o it's OK Thursday... come join the blogging fun along with Neely and Amber

It's ok that I love a little to much

It's ok that I love super warm weather then was happy when it rained #undecided

It's ok that I have a dozen shows to catch up on

It's ok to not finish a book if it's really boring

It's ok to make to do lists that never get done {well not the day I make them anyway}

Recipe Thursday: Pasta

Attacking my 101 in 1001 list this week! I have a section devoted to cooking with 10 different items listed. 

76. Make pasta from scratch

I did this! It was a lot of fun to do with Hockey Husband and it tasted fantastic. 

I used the recipe found on the back of the Semolina flour I used. Very basic.

4 cups Semolina flour ( you can also use 2 cups AP/2 cups Semolina)
Pinch of Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
6 large eggs

Thoroughly sift together semolina flour and pinch of salt. On a clean surface, make a mountain out of flour mixture then make a deep well in center. Break the eggs into the well and add olive oil. Whisk eggs very gently with a fork, gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well. When mixture becomes too thick to mix with a fork, begin kneading with your hands.
{I did this the first time for fun and the experience- after that I just threw all the ingredients in the stand mixer and it continued to work.}

Knead dough for 8 to 12 minutes, until it is smooth and supple. Dust dough and work surface with semolina as needed to keep dough from becoming sticky. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough then put strips through a pasta machine. I started on number 8 and worked my way down to 1 using the same strip each time. It will get long and thin, may have to cut in half to continue. I attached the fettuccine cutter and it sliced it perfectly! So fun.  {Raviolis and lasagna didn't require anything more.}
Bring water to a boil in a large pot, then add 4 teaspoons salt. Cook pasta until tender but not mushy, 1 to 7 minutes depending on thickness. Drain immediately and toss with sauce. 

I used butter and some fresh grated parm. 

Thanks for reading along Recipe Thursday fans! I would love to hear any suggestions of anything you might interested in seeing. I always love feedback so please leave comments below. 
Next week, I have a special treat for you! I have mentioned before how my Hockey Husband is quite the chef...well he asked to guest post with a recipe he has prepared!

My recipe from last week was featured over at The Full Time Mama

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Choosing A Cesarean

**forewarning this is a very long post**

Monday, I wrote about my thoughts on a cesarean. Today, I’m going to explain my thoughts on why I am choosing one. If you read that post my choice may be surprising. 

VBAC stands for vaginal birth after cesarean. I was totally VBAC gung ho after Little C was born.

 “Okay, so I may have failed the first time but I won't let that happen again!” I would think. Like it's my choice, because that worked so well the first time. I gobbled up other people's stories of their VBAC success.
Immediately after Little C was born I made sure to ask if I had the right type if incision making a VBAC possible. {Most hospitals do it so that is a possibility}

I read about VBACs.

I looked into the class that my hospital offered. I was all set.
If then, why am I choosing to have a C-section this time around? Three reasons:

 I'm afraid.  I want family present. The allure of a holiday baby.

Let me back up…

My very first appointment with Baby E came. I confirmed the pregnancy and had my first ultrasound. It was amazing all over again. 

At the first appointment my wonderful OBGYN that saw me all throughout my first pregnancy told me we were looking at a C-section. I said, “umm, I’m only 9 weeks pregnant and I’ve already decided on a VBAC.”

How could my doctor  already be suggesting this? I was having a VBAC gosh darn it. She told me to think about it and we would discuss on the next visit. 
This went on for the next few visits. Me asking why I was not a good candidate for the VBAC. “Who made good candidate?” I asked. 
Apparently people who didn’t deliver ten pound babies via a C-section. Grr, I was being held to not being able to deliver vaginally the first time. 
When you have a large baby they call it macrosomia and assume your second will be just as large if not larger. I know plenty of women who had babies bigger than Little C, but they had them vaginally so it was not questioned how their second would be delivered. 

Hockey Husband and I finally made our decision and really it was just me, because he supported me but didn’t suggest one way or the other.
I was afraid. I am afraid. I chose the C-section this go around because I’m scared that I’ll go in thinking I can do a VBAC and I’ll have to have an emergency C-section all over again. I’m not afraid of the labor, just failing again. I feel empowered by choosing this path. At least this way it is my choice 100%. 
{I realize that things may not even go this way. This baby could come weeks early or days earlier then the planned c-section}

I want family present. Little C was born in July and everyone was able to make it. Out of town family was able to be there and that was so special. Then all three of my sisters were out of school. Rancher Dad and two of my sisters had jobs, but luckily they were able to take some time off and were give flexibility. It almost got close to my dad and sisters going back home though because Little C was five days late. In fact, everyone except my Scrabble Mama who stayed for three weeks, had to pack up and leave the next day. This time the baby is due in March. School will be in session and everyone has jobs.  Coming from out of town and traveling 1500 miles was going to be difficult.
My OBGYN wanted me to schedule something regardless. If I was trying the VBAC path then we could schedule after the due date, but something needed to be on the calendar. She suggested March 18th six days before my due date. I said how about the 17th (it’s a Sunday).
I wanted the 30th. My thinking was five days after my due date before the adjustment. Little C was five days late so it seemed right. I was sort of joking when I said the 17th I felt pretty confident she wouldn't want to schedule something for a Sunday. Wasn't this why they scheduled these things?
And then, she agreed the 17th if I wanted it. I was a little taken aback. But, the idea of a holiday appealed to me. Not because I really wanted a baby born on a holiday, but because I already had one. Little C’s birthday is on the 4th of July. I probably would have never chosen a “holiday baby”. Someone’s birthday is a holiday so why combine? Well, Little C has 4 cousins and two of them are “holiday babies” Halloween and April Fool's respectively. The two closest in age to Little C. Given the chance to have this baby on St. Patrick's Day I went for it. 

In the end, I'm very happy with my decision. It’s like I said Monday, we can’t always choose how a baby is placed in our arms. We I can’t stress over every detail, but we can be immensely grateful when they are placed there. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 31 Weeks

Another week has flown by. I feel like I got huge all of sudden in this past week. I definitely "feel pregnant" at this point and this baby still has weeks to grow.
Lately, the most common thing is people asking what I am having. After I tell them we are going to be surprised- everyone has a guess! There guesses are usually pretty well supported by their own logic too.
So starting next week, I'll be going over all the old wives tales and taking guesses from all my readers! I'll be setting up some type of spreadsheet to go along with. Hope you're all excited for the fun. 
This week's update is shortened since not a whole lot has changed from last week

How far along? 31 Weeks as of Sunday
Maternity clothes? Yes and I'm weird because I like maternity clothing. :)
Stretch marks? Not yet.
Sleep: Pretty good. So tired lately!
Best moment this week: Taking long walks
Movement: YES :)
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope
Gender: Going to be surprised!!
Labor Signs: Not yet!
Belly Button in or out? Practically out this week.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood: Excited.
Looking forward to: My next doctor appointment on the 28th!

Linking up with My Joy Filled Life. Share your pregnancy updates!

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