Thursday, May 21, 2009

Red Velvet Bars.

I try to eat pretty healthy but I indulge in two treats a week. Since I just get two, I make them good ones. The girl that gave me this recipe won a contest for it at her university. It's so easy and so delicious.

As always, I had my expert chef help me out. I need to make him a little smock or something so he doesn't always have to be half naked to help me cook.

Cake Ingredients
1 Box German chocolate cake mix
1 Egg
1 Stick butter, softened
1 oz Red food coloring

Cream Cheese Ingredients
16 oz Cream cheese
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract (I use a little bit more)
2 Eggs

1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan.
2. Mix the cake ingredients and spread in pan.
3. Mix the cream cheese ingredients and spread on to of cake mixture.
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cream cheese has golden spots.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Homemade Book.

My mom made the cutest book for Apollo. Maybe it will give you some ideas and inspire you to make one too.

Here's what the outside of the book looks like:

Here are all the inside fun pages.

This one has a little magnetic wand so you can make the guy have different hairdos.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

THE NIGHT OFF! Made some baby headbands.

Every Wednesday is my night off where Carleton makes dinner and takes care of the kids and I do the same for him on Thursdays. I look forward to Wednesdays! This week I tried out a craft Julie told me about. Her baby looks so cute with her little headbands so I made it on my night off for fun.

Carleton made a great salad. The candied almonds made it so yummy. He told me he put almonds and butter on the pan at low heat. Just when they were about ready, he put some brown sugar in the pan to crystallize on the almonds. He made breakfast for Mother's Day and made extra bacon and put it in the fridge. He crumbled this on the salad too.

For the dressing, he used a great one I found from "You on a Diet".
*5 tbsp vinegar (he used balsamic but apple cyder was yummy too)
*5 tbsp olive oil
*5 tsp honey.

It's delish. I make more but just use the same proportions.

The shake he made was great too. Just frozen strawberries, vanilla yogurt, milk, and honey.

Here's how to make the fun craft-baby headbands- I tried on my night off:

1. Gather. I took a bunch of Annie's and my tights, knee-highs, and one of my headbands.

2. Measure. I used my brown knee highs, black knee highs, head band, a pair of Annie's pink tights and wrapped them all around her head and cut off any access. I didn't have to cut my knee highs at all.

3. Stitch. I stitched the ends together by hand. You can tell it doesn't look great but nobody will see it because you'll just...

4. ...flip it inside out. The stitching will be against the baby's head (and at the bottom). Here I'm showing one of my headbands that I cut down but the steps are the same for tights or what ever you use.

5. Decorate it. Now that you have a headband, you can clip flowers or barrettes onto it. I showed in an earlier blog how to cover clips with ribbon and add flowers or whatever on top. Here I glued a flower straight onto the clip (it's so big I didn't need to hid the clip with ribbon).

I just cut off the stem from a flower I bought at Michaels.

I used hot glue.

It covered the clip but it's probably too big of a flower for such a tiny girl.

I clipped the flower onto the headband I made from her little pink tights.

My friend, Eve, gave me a couple of smaller flower clips that she made (she gave Annie the cute leg warmers in the above pic). She put little jewel looking beads in the middle that are fun. Here is one of her clips on the same headband I showed how to make earlier. I love that they're interchangeable and can match what she's wearing.

These clips would work too for little flowers, buttons, etc. and can be clipped onto headbands.

Try it out. Let me know how it goes or if you have any creative ideas to add.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


My sister has this cool chair in her daughter's room. She took a couple of the flowers and drew each one on a canvas for her room. It's nice, because if she messed up she could paint over it or erase the pencil. She did an awesome job!

My brother-in-law, Josh, painted this canvas for the master bedroom above the fireplace. The paint was left "chunky" looking. They collect art and go through galleries. They had seen art where the paint looks like it was "globbed" on and Josh tried it himself. He used a knife thing and not a paintbrush.

My sister, Heidi, painted it! for Annie. Her room is going to be pinks and black. But until she gets her own room, it looks great in our living room. She had seen one similar that they liked so Josh drew it (free hand!!). Heidi first painted the canvas black, Josh drew it with white colored pencil (it could be traced if there is a pic you like), then Heidi went over it with the white acrylic paint.

These are in the guest room. I painted the canvases brown and then painted my popcorn bowl's rim blue and set it on the canvas. Thanks Mom, for the bowl idea.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mom's Day

Carleton got me these beautiful flowers for Mother's Day. They were $15 bucks at Costco-who wouldda thunk. The pic doesn't do them justice. They are the prettiest flowers I've ever seen.

We went to Susie Cakes this weekend-wow! Yummy! So even if you don't live near NewPort Beach, if you ever come here, you'll want to drop by. They have Red Velvet cake and cupcakes. Whoopie Pies. 7 layer bars. Little cheesecakes. And More! They come in cute boxes with a retro lady in an apron holding a cake. The whole shop was retro and you could watch everything being made in the back. It's worth a trip to CA.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Life After Kids.

I watched an Oprah awhile back (I have to watch them with the DVR in sometimes 6 sections while breastfeeding in the middle of night or at other random times) and I was sad to see that so many women were unhappy with motherhood. I think a lot of women give up their interests-trips, exercise, hobbies etc when they have kids. I have been lucky to grow up in a family where we traveled and hiked- everything. It's just the way we grew up. I see my sister going on cruises, rock climbing, traveling, and living life with her three kids. She showed me it could be done. We are trying to do the same. We want to show our kids that they don't need to give up who they are once they become parents. We want active kids who love the outdoors and love life. Yes, everything takes more time and we have to be a lot more creative with naps, meals, and getting from point A to point B but Carleton and I are a lot happier when we make the effort to get out.

I just got back from a three week trip where we visited family and friends and took our yearly family trip to Moab, UT. Here are some of the adventures from our last trip and some of the ways we were able to cope:

Constant Stops. I have to breastfeed little Annie at least every three hours. We have to make sure we get our all our meals and that Apollo gets fed. We had to stop on an exit to change Apollo's REALLY poopy diaper. There was poop everywhere (it's hard to change a diaper in the dark and on the road). All we could do was laugh.

Carleton called on his way home (he drove back after Moab to go to work while I went to my sister's to visit) to inform me that he had made the trip with only one stop.

Random Naps.
Apollo sometimes slept in the car (right where we were climbing) while Annie slept in the front pack while we hiked or snuggled in my parent's trailer. We have a bear that we give Apollo at bedtime and he checks out when we give it to him.

Babysitters. We were glad for all the help!

Entertainment. We kept pumping Apollo with books in the car while we listened to our books on tape. I made some skull bandannas for fun for everyone and brought some temporary tattoos and pirate dolls to make (complete with glitter and glitter and glue).

Feeding. Since Annie eats every three hours, even if I have to feed her by a trail where people are passing, I do what I have to do.

Hands Full. Carleton carried Apollo on his shoulders and I carried Annie on the front pack wherever we went. Diapers. Snacks. Sunscreen. Hats. Jackets. Blankets. Make sure kids don't fall off cliffs. We still do what we want - it just takes so much more planning and time.

Fun. We rock climbed, rappelled, went jeeping, hiked, 4-wheeled, and sang songs with the guitars by the fire. We only lost Apollo once.

Flying with 2. I remember the days when I would buy a magazine, chat with the person next to me, or take a snooze on the plane. This past trip I flew home with two of them for the first time by myself. Even though I had a 2 hour layover, it went by fast. It takes awhile for me to go to the bathroom (Apollo was in the stroller and Annie was in the sling all in the stall), get the kids' diapers changed, and get them fed. They were great. The guy next to me slept most of the time in the first flight while Apollo played with his arm rest, played peek-a-boo with the people behind us, and crawled all over. On the second flight, they were both good again until I had to put Apollo in his seat belt (it's hard to keep an 18 month old in the belt with a 2 month old in my lap). They were both done on the descent and I had to hold Apollo with all my strength while both of them were screaming. All in all I feel pretty proud of myself.

Coming home. I'm thankful to have to coolest husband. He had the car and house spotless. There was the most beautiful flowers on the table, he had bought P90X (the workout videos I really wanted-they'll help me get rid of my baby fat), and had hung the picture my sister painted for me.