Sunday Breakfast

Sunday morning we had some friends over for breakfast…ok, it was our second breakfast that day.  I love hosting breakfasts and brunches, especially on snowy weekends.  We lingered over strata, muffins, chocolate croissants, and french toast until close to 1pm.  That’s my kinda breakfast.

Here’s the menu for ya.  Everything was really tasty and most things I prepped the night before and then just baked in the morning.  Add juice and coffee and you’re a star.

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Pinterest Goodness

Yay!  Pinterest project reveal day! It took me a good week to decide on a project to tackle.  There are so many great ideas, where do I even start???  Food is always good but it really doesn’t make for a great reveal unless you’re able to share it.  Then I was thinking something crafty for the house, but I’ve got moving on the brain.  I think I’m at a point where it doesn’t make sense to invest any more time or money into space that’s 1.  Not ours  2.  We’ll be vacating in ~6-8  months.  I do love a good home-y craft though so I may convince myself to do one still.  I really, really wanted to do something wedding-y.  My BFF is getting hitched 2 weeks (2 weeks, Shortie!!!)   The problem was, I had pretty much been harassing the bride for the past 1 1/2 years to give me a task and met with no success.  I was begging.  No joke.  For a crafty person like me, it was torture.  Weddings for crafters are like boobies for babies, Paris for the fashionista, 5G for the techie (ok, I don’t know what that is or if even exists).  Point is, weddings have the potential to be the ultimate DIY event and I wanted in.

Turns out I can be a major pain in the tush and 3 weeks before go-time she relented and told me I could be in charge of the guest room gift baskets.  Happy day!  I was on it 5 minutes later.

Here are my inspiration pics:

The wedding will be an outside, afternoon affair in upstate NY, on the lake, in the fall. So that kinda set the tone for the look I wanted to achieve: simple, cozy, natural, elegant.

And here’s the finished deal

I bought the baskets (8 total) at JoAnn’s.  They were super-discounted down to $3 bucks each and they’re lined! The rest I made entirely out stuff I already owned and had saved from previous projects not including of course the food stuff in the basket.

This cute envelope containing assorted teas was so easy to make.  I just completely opened up a plain, white invitation envelope, traced it onto the printed paper, glued it together, and secured the closure with a little bit of twine for that au naturale look.

Personalized water bottle labels with the newlyweds’ new monogram.

“Love muffins”  Cheese, I know.  People are allowed to be cheesy at weddings.  This little baggie will contain Morning Glory muffins.  Gonna wait until the day before to make those.  I’ll include the recipe below.  I made them for Manu’s school and they are delish!

“The perfect mix”.  More cheese.  A little salty snack mix to balance out the sweet muffins.

And that folks, is the end.  It was so nice to take some time out and do something other than laundry and picking up bits of breakfast off the floor.  Did you hear that future Mrs. Powell?  I had fun 🙂

A special thanks to Brianne for giving me the motivation I needed to tackle a new project.  So fun.  We must do it again!

Morning Glory Muffins (adapted from here)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 apple – peeled, cored and shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the carrot, raisins, nuts, and apple.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into the carrot/flour mixture, just until moistened. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
Yields 12 large (18 small muffins)

Hey There!

Yeah, it’s been a long, long time.  Not without reason.  It seems like we’ve been slammed with a bunch of stuff all at once, both good and bad.  The short of it is, it’s been crazy around here.  I’m looking forward to seeing things settle down a bit and I hope that time comes soon.

As soon as we were bouncing back from the whole Lyme incident, the little guy had a very scary reaction to some peanut butter.  Like, “I think we might need to call 911” scary.  When your Dr. Husband is considering calling an ambulance for your 18 month old, it’s safe to assume things aren’t looking so hot.  After some blood tests (which Arman and I were thankfully not in the room for) we know he is highly allergic to peanuts.

I now carry an epi-pen for the little bugger 24/7.  It’s a bummer, cause I know I love me some peanut butter, but I’m grateful he’s ok and we know how to handle it moving forward.  Soy-nut butter, anyone?  Yum yum.

Riz has also been gone for the last 2 months.  Not gone away, but either at work or at the library studying for the boards.  We passed each other briefly in the mornings and save for a few hours here and there on the weekends, that was pretty much it.  We were all sound asleep by the time he came home most evenings.  He was tired, I was tired, and the kids were starting to feel it too.  That was tough.

This family is most definitely a two-parent operation and we are all super-happy to have him back.  Boards are done and won’t be coming around for another 10 years.   So glad.

On to happier updates:

Arman started nursery school.  He LOVES it.  Maybe almost as much as I do.  He was more than ready.  Sometimes you just know when your kid is ready for that next step, whatever that may be.  Starting school was one of those things and he just jumped in wholeheartedly.

Riz and I spent a good deal of time last fall researching and visiting nursery schools to make sure we found the perfect fit for our big boy and for us as a family.  There were urban schools and suburban schools.  Snooty schools and crunchy schools.  Art schools, music schools, and schools with 2 year waiting lists. The whole business of nursery school is really a whole world unto itself.  We searched and we found a darling little school.  Every time my little 3 year old appears at 12:50pm (Curbside pick-up, people.  This is the stuff dreams are made of.) with his goofy grin and too-big backpack, I am certain we found the perfect match.  Life is good.

Changing topics.  Again.

Ya’ll know about Pinterest, right?  The virtual bulletin board that’s a dream come true for visual peeps like myself?  If you’ve been living under a rock, get yourself over there fast.  Full of fashion, entertaining, food, & crafty inspiration galore, it’s seriously like porn for the stay-at-home mom.  Or whoever.  It’s just good.

There’s just one problem:  I’ve been finding myself “pinning” (think “visual tweeting”) tons of awesome projects and ideas (like hundreds) but attempting none of them.  “Well that’s kinda pointless”, I found myself thinking. What’s the use in hoarding all of these amazing visuals if all they’ll ever do is stare back at me?  Turns out my friend Brianne was thinking the same thing.  Let me digress a bit.  I love the internet.  The fact that Brianne and I still communicate is amazing to me.  Not that I wouldn’t want to communicate with her.  She’s honest, witty, and real.  Who wouldn’t want a friend like that?  But honestly, the last time I saw my high-school pal was the summer of 2007 at a mutual friend’s wedding.  And before then?  I think it was the summer of ’99 at a Dave concert.

I am downright horrible at keeping in touch with people; really, really bad.  But the beauty of social networking is that I don’t have to be great at it at all.  She can still be in my life and I can be in hers, even if it’s exclusively online and that makes me really happy.  We can share our common interests (Pinterest!), share ideas, and ogle at pics of our cutie-pie children.  It just wouldn’t happen without the good old interwebs.  It’s kinda super-awesome.

So yeah, Brianne and I were in the same boat; pinning like the crazy moms we are but not doing much else.  Enter: Pinterest Challenge.  We each picked a project and set a deadline for completion (tomorrow).  It was just the motivation I needed to get my act together.  What project did I chose???  Can’t tell ya until tomorrow!  Oh, the suspense.  Be excited.  Do it.

Traveling Circus

We’ve been doing quite of bit of traveling lately.   It seems like most days are spent like this:

which is kinda exhausting for everyone.  It’s all good though because it also means we’ve been having a whole lot of fun.

We took a day-trip into the city to celebrate my brother’s graduation from medical school.  The city is always a hit with the kids, although I think Manu was less than impressed with Harlem.  We weren’t able to catch a yellow taxi there, so we took a gypsy cab which was grey and therefore not a taxi.  Taxis are yellow, they have signs on top, and a TV inside.  End of story.

So my little brother is an physician….like a real one.  It’s crazy to me.  I mean,  he’s super-smart and he worked his tail off, but I can’t seem to see him as anything other than the little guy who used to eat ants and flip his eyelids.  Who knows, maybe he still does those things.  Still blows my mind though.

I need to steal some graduation pictures from someone.  We left our camera in the car 😦

The next day we headed to PA to attend our friends’ wedding.  Such a lovely time.  Outdoor wedding are the best.  And they’re especially awesome with kids.  Front-end loader, shovels, field.  Go to town.  They essentially entertained themselves for an entire afternoon.  I even remember eating.  Bliss.

I cannot believe I was able to salvage these pants.

 

Ah, summer.

 

 

The Party

I  wasn’t going to throw a party.  I mean, I LOVE parties.  L-O-V-E them, but I didn’t feel like I had the energy or time to make a big production.  (I have a tendency to go a little overboard with the details which inevitably stresses me and then everyone around me out.  It’s bad and I never learn.) Yeah.  So the plan was going to skip the party.  Then I remembered this and all I could think of was Zeemu stumbling upon these pictures years down the road and saying to me: “Wow, Mom.  I guess Arman’s first birthday was kinda a big deal, huh?”  So that was that.  I got to work on the invites, went into uber-Martha mode, and 6 weeks later we threw Zeemu a wedding celebration fit for the little prince that he is.

Zeemu’s first birthday party would not have happened without my family.  Seriously, I have the BEST family.I’m bragging and I should be.  They are awesome.  They’re awesome because when I say crazy things like:

“I want to host a Winter Woodland -themed birthday with Apple Crisp, Blueberry Crumble and Chocolate Banana Pancakes,” they say:

“Get me a griddle and I’m all yours”.

And when I say: ” Wouldn’t it be darling if we had miniature gingerbread houses resting on the lip of each mug?” Then they spend hours scoring and baking and assembling.

See? They don’t disappoint.

When I sent a text that reads: “How do you feel about playing waitress?”  I got back,” I love it.”

Big-brother approved Black-Bottom Cupcakes?  Yep.

Not that he’s ever met a cupcake he didn’t love.


Impromptu jam session?  Check.Of course not party is complete without your best buds and we were so lucky to have our favorite people in attendance.  We are loved!

I know they think I’m obsessive and neurotic.  Actually, they tell me so and they’re right. But they’re all enablers and I love them.   Thank you guys for a really wonderful first birthday for the little one.  It just would have happened without you.

My Best Friend’s Wedding

In 416 days (yep, I’m counting) our best friends are marrying each other.  So cool, right?  Now I like give credit where credit is due and hooking our two besties up was totally all my idea.  Thank you, T.  You rock.  And have I ever told you, you look great in red?

Anyway, this is undoubtedly going to be an affair to remember and even though it’s still over a year away (like, I’ll be 30), I’m crazy excited.  So excited, that I went ahead and bought my dress.

Ta-da!

I scored this baby on super-duper clearance at J. Crew.  $62 bucks!  As Riz likes to say,”that’s a smokin’ deal!”

And no, I’m not trying to show-up the bride.  She asked specifically for a long ivory gown.  She, Shortie, will be wearing a haute couture (her momma’s creation) gown in peridot.  So so lovely.

I love a wedding.

On This Day: August 12, 2007

Three years ago my oldest and bestest friend Shortie (Sarah) came to visit us in Pittsburgh.  It still sends my mind reeling to think about how much free time we had back then.  We jammed a lot into that weekend: dining alfresco at MallarcoDuck Tour, Incline, Bill Burr.  We were so young and cool.  The kids will never believe us, but I’ll do my best to remind them of how awesome things used to be before they came along.  Kidding.  Sort of.

Guilford

On Sunday we took a little trip to Guilford; a quiet, picturesque town located along CT’s southern shoreline for some rhubarb cake and pink lemonade at the home of  another Yale fellow.

The view behind her home was something out of a dream.

Manu had a great time digging in the pebble beach (when he wasn’t continually opening and shutting the gazebo door.)

Zeemu had his first ,second, and third taste of watermelon.

This one has a serious sweet tooth.  He would’ve eaten that whole rhubarb cake if we had let him.

I don’t think life gets much sweeter than this.

Today

Today (in order?)

  • 6am: Up and can’t go back to sleep.  Finally decide to throw some sneakers on and hit the road running, literally.
  • Back home for a shower, toast and coffee.
  • Get myself and the kiddos ready for the zoo.
  • 9:15am: Meet the Angie and the kids at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium.  Lions, tigers and bears!
  • 11:00ish am: Leave the zoo.  Baby cries most of the ride home.  Manu would too if it weren’t for Sesame Street Sing-a-Long video.  ” On top of spaghetti..”
  • 11:20am: Park the car and Manu screams when the video gets turned off in the middle of a song.
  • 11:25am: Still screaming as a change his diaper.  Baby’s screaming too.  It’s nice to feel appreciated.
  • 11:30am:  Put Manu down for a nap.  It’s a half hour early, but he seems tired.  Feed the babe.
  • 11:45am:  Hmmm.  Not sleeping.
  • 12:00pm:  Manu’s asleep.  Like clockwork.
  • Entertain the baby, empty dishwasher, load dishwasher, email, blog, think about lunch, put baby to sleep.
  • 1:20pm:  Lawn care people wake Manu waaaay to early.   Manu starts scream.  Baby starts to scream.
  • 2:00pm  Feed Manu lunch after explaining for the 100th time this week, that the next time he has to go poopy, tell mommy first and she’ll put him on the potty.  Sigh.  Feed the baby.  Again.
  • 3:30sih pm: Hang out with the kids.  Manu brings me Green Eggs and Ham to read.
  • Call Riz.  No answer.  Facebook tells me he’s been at the Olive Garden for lunch.  Did I forget to eat lunch?
  • 4:00ishpm:  Riz calls back.  He’s done and on his way home.  (YES!).  We make plans to go to Target.
  • 4:30ishpm:  Make our way through traffic to Target.
  • 5:00pm:  Feed the baby, do our shopping.  Fun stuff today: toilet paper, paper towels, face wash, 2 kinds of trail mix and some fruit bars.
  • 5:45pm:  Hang out at the Waterfront fountain with the kids.  Manu runs around the lawn barefoot and thinks it’s the bees knees.  Zeemu plays “airplane” with Riz.
  • 6:30pm: Back home to heat up left-overs (Green Chili and Chicken Burritos) for dinner.  Manu doesn’t believe in left-overs.  Zeemu on the other hand has had the same thing for 3 months.
  • 7:00pm: I start Zeemu’s bedtime routine.
  • 7:45pm: Riz starts Manu’s bedtime routine.
  • 8:00pm: Both kids are asleep.
  • 8:30pm:  I go to Whole Food while Riz watches the kids.  I always, always spend too much.  I don’t think there’s anyway around that.  Got some yummy stuff though.  I’m especially looking forward to my milk chocolate bar with hazelnuts.  That’s my little me-to-me gift.
  • 9:30pm: Home again.  Riz helps me unload the car.  I put the groceries away while Riz cleans up the kitchen.  Man, I bought a lot of yogurt!  And those Elmo french toast things? Totally an impulse buy.
  • 10:00pm: Time to blog.
  • 11:00pm:  Goodnight, world.  Can’t wait to do it again tomorrow!