Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Playing Cars

It’s crazy to think that Rowan is big enough to play anything yet, but he is a toddler now and busy as ever! He really loves this car ramp he got for his birthday. It makes fun noises and he likes to watch the cars race down the track.



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He Has Hair!!

You can totally see it in this picture. At least we’re saving money on haircuts around here…


Monday, November 21, 2011

UW Research Participant!

Rachel w Rowan 1

Don’t worry! This isn’t as scary as it looks….

When Rowan was born, the hospital gave me a form to sign if I would like to be contacted about future research studies going on at UW. I thought it would be fun, especially with my background in early childhood, and today we got to do our third (and most fun) study!

This study was on language and how babies process certain sounds. When they showed me the cap he’d have to wear, I never thought he’d keep it on. After they put it into place, one of the gals had to insert a syringe full of saline gel through each of the holes so that he would have the gel on his scalp. This took quite awhile. Throughout the prep, and actual study, there was another girl who’s job was to entertain him. She had a lot of fun toys that made loud noises, played music, lit up, or vibrated. Rowan loved it and did great keeping the cap on. Afterwards he got to use the “hair washing station” which looked like something out of a salon. The lady took some photos of him and emailed me the one above earlier today. I think he looks so serious, and funny!

Bananas for Bananas!


Rowan absolutely LOVES bananas. In fact, he has started “saying” it.. “Bah-nah!” So cute. He likes to hold the whole thing but as you can see.. he started out on the couch, and ended up in his high chair. Not only is he messy with it, but he sticks way too much in his mouth at a time. Slow down bud! The last pic is of him hollering at us since we took it away! hehe

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Andrea’s Bachelorette Party!

Saturday night was Andrea’s Bachelorette party. We had a pretty big crowd so instead of going out, we had a lingerie shower! The bride wanted whiskey and pizza… so that’s what she got! (along with other apps, desserts, and spirits of course).

We had a really great time celebrating her and now there’s only 2 weeks until the wedding!

DSCN1656 DSCN1657 We played a game with toilet paper where teams had to dress their “model” up with TP lingerie. It was super funny and way cooler than the TP wedding dress game we’ve all played at bridal showers. DSCN1663 DSCN1664 DSCN1665 The Bride with all of the beautiful models: DSCN1670 My beautiful friend Liz and I enjoying the super yummy Pinkabella cupcakes she brought.DSCN1671 DSCN1673 Erin and I!DSCN1675Bridesmaid Picture! Apparently some of us were thinking it was time to serious..and some, silly! haha DSCN1678  DSCN1680

Andrea and some of her loot. She got some really fun and cute stuff!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monthly Meal Plan:Weeks 2 & 3


Okay…the whole point of all of this is probably just for me to lay it all out there and I’m already falling behind. So… I think I’ll just post what I made last week (with links) and what I’m making this week.

Week #2

 Beef & Butternut Squash Stew- (Giada De Laurentis)ammmaaaazzzing. Russ took a bite and said… “are you kidding me??!!” Guess it’s a keeper!

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce - (Let’s Dish Recipes Blog) – Definitely yummy and will make again.

Bean & Cheese Quesadillas with Cilantro – no recipe here.. lol. Just something simple on a busy busy day.

Spinach and Chive Linguini with Olive Oil and freshly grated Parmesan. Just a few fresh ingredients courtesy of my favorite place to shop for groceries- Trader Joes!

Week #3

Ginger Chicken Stir-fry: No real recipe here… I used an organic chicken breast,  and a few handfuls of Costco’s frozen stir-fry veggie mix (yep… cheating). I cooked jasmine rice in my rice cooker, and replaced the water with low fat coconut milk (trader joes). I DID however make my own sauce and it was DELISH!

*Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a sauce pan. Add about a 1’’ chunk of freshly peeled and minced ginger. Let simmer for about a minute. Add 1 1/4 c. chicken broth, 1/2 cup soy sauce, and 4 tbs corn starch. It gets nice and thick. I also added a few splashes of rice wine vinegar. It made quite a bit and was really yummy!

Black Bean Soup with Rosemary Bread: (Dawn’s Recipe Blog) Love this soup.  It’s apparently a knock-off of Panera’s black bean soup which I haven’t had. My hubby didn’t even mind that there wasn’t any meat in it.

BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches- (Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)We don’t do any pork in this house and I’m excited to pull out my crock pot tomorrow morning and reap the results at dinner. I plan to serve them on whole wheat buns.

Beef Stew- This recipe is from my Test Kitchen Cookbook which I make practically everything from. The stew uses a chuck roast, peas, carrots, red potatoes, red wine, etc… Should be great for the projected wintery weather this weekend!


I know I said I planned to make 5 meals per week but we’ve had A LOT of leftovers recently. I might end up doing breakfast for dinner but otherwise I think all of this will be enough. Thanks for following me on my little adventure!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day at the Park

Right down the street and behind the library and City Hall is a big gorgeous park. There is a huge open field with a lot of old trees and nature. I never knew it existed until Russ and I went on a walk a little over a year ago and found it! There’s a great little playground and in the summer it even has a toy that squirts water.

Rowan and I went the other day for one of our last sunny Fall days. I was hoping to get some better pics of the beautiful autumn colors but I only have so many hands and I can’t take my eye off this guy for a sec. ;-)




He still loves to swing but really just wants to be outside in general… exploring, picking up bark and banging on stuff to see if they make noise.


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Where is Rowan??

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Rowan loves to play peek-a-boo. It’s so funny seeing his little legs stick out of the bottom of our drapes. Love that little grin!

A Boy and His Dinosaur...

I just thought this was so cute. He loves this little blue dinosaur.
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

I am majorly late on this post….but our computer has been out of commission and we finally got it back. We set out to carve the pumpkin we got at the patch but it really just turned into exploration (and me roasting the seeds later) for Rowan. It’s just so fun to see things through his eyes. We cut off the top and just let him play with the “guts.” He tried to put the seeds in his mouth a few times but finally realized he wasn’t supposed to do that. He taking the seeds and putting them in the bowl, and then back out from the bowl and into the pumpkin again. So cute! And of course he had to wear his little skull jammies for the photo opp!

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Month Long Meal Plan!

I try and plan out my meals week-by-week but I honestly haven’t been that organized about it. I think part of meal planning is supposed to be budgeting but I’m not sure I have all that down yet. The idea is to buy ingredients you can use for several meals. Sometimes that just happens to work out for me, and sometimes it doesn’t. I will say though, that it’s sure made my hubby happy!

I’ve been writing down the weekly menu on my most recent crafty accomplishment- a cute dry erase board (Thanks to Pinterest !)


Russ said he likes to know what’s ahead and has had great things to say about what I’ve made so far.

I thought about trying to put together a bunch of cutesy pictures for these posts, along with my comments but who has time for that?? I kept forgetting, and we’d be half way through our meal when I’d remember. At this point, the presentation was lacking. ;-) I’ll include a few when I feel like it!

So, here is week #1: (remember I’m only making about 5 meals per week- the other two are leftover nights).

Tuesday-Potato Leek Soup (Food Network) with Organic Sourdough Bread from TJ’s: this is so delicious. Everybody always asks me what leeks are. I think they’re in the onion family. They have big green leafy stalks attached to a white ‘bulb’ type bottom. You only eat the small white part at the bottom. They have a strong taste, but are so good! Loved the soup but it does call for a cup of cream. Next time I think I’ll use half and half.

November 2011

Wednesday – No dinner recipe…but I did make lunch for my Mom and Sharon. Butternut Squash soup from my Test Kitchen cookbook. I make everything from that book and I love it!!

Thursday – Cajun Chicken Pasta (Pioneer Woman)- Usually i am a huge wimp about spice but I decided to kick it up a notch. This recipe is great because you can give it a little kick, or a lot, depending on your preference. It was fun to cook and even better the next day.

Saturday-  Turkey Chili ( – Supposed to be a crockpot recipe. Would have been great..if I would have prepared it in advance. Turned out just as good cooking on the stove.This was a great, flavorful, and light chili. I was going to make cornbread and then totally forgot! I liked the suggestion to serve cilantro and red onions on top. Love cilantro, but never thought a little raw onion would add the perfect crunch.

Sunday- Was planning to make something but we had a great Salmon dinner at my mom’s!

Yes…. I like to make a lot of soup this time of year!

I will post week #2 in a few days. :)