Friday, May 29, 2009
Go to the link here and register for your candy bar. You will receive a confirmation e-mail and then should receive your coupon in the mail in about six weeks. I've got three coming my way so far -very exciting!
I used to spend ample amounts of time researching cute gift basket ideas for the teachers and have done a movie gift basket with popcorn, candy and a movie gift certificate and a summer gift basket using a sand pail, sunscreen, snacks, and a book store gift certificate.
As you can see most of my ideas involve gift certificates. I figure teachers appreciate something they can choose themselves but always tried to find a unique way to present it. The problem was, I was spending so much money on the filler gifts that I wasn't able to spend much on the actual gift certificate.
As you can see, I didn't do anything "cutesy" to present them, so that I could spend more money on each individual gift certificate. I did however buy a pack of cute scrapbooking paper to wrap them up in instead of just presenting a plain envelope.
While we were at Wal-Mart last weekend running errands, I came across these rain jackets on clearance for a $1.00 and although the matching rain hats were a little bit more...$1.25, I think...I couldn't turn down such a deal.
I love pasta salad when other people make it. I was begging my husband a week ago to call a neighbor and see if she would take pity on a very pregnant woman and make a batch of her yummy pasta salad.
I have tried numerous recipes and they just never seem to turn out as tasty when I make it. So I found this recipe for an easy simple pasta salad and decided to try it. I must say, it was delicious! It is very light and the perfect accompaniment to just about anything from a grilled hamburger to turkey sandwich.
The recipe is one of Jamie Oliver's from the Naked Chef. I halved the recipe, used slightly larger size shell shaped pasta, substituted grape tomatoes for the cherry tomatoes and used dried basil instead of fresh (I couldn't find any at my store.)
310g/11oz small shell-shaped pasta
3 cloves of garlic
9oz yellow cherry tomatoes
9oz red cherry tomatoes
1 handful of black olives, pitted
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1 handful of fresh basil
½ a cucumber
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or to taste
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Throw in the pasta and cloves of garlic, boil until al dente, drain and run under cold water to cool. Put the garlic to one side to use for the dressing. Put the pasta into a bowl. Chop the tomatoes, olives, chives, basil and cucumber into pieces about half the size of the pasta and add to the bowl. Squash the garlic cloves out of their skins and mush in a pestle and mortar. Add the vinegar, oil and seasoning. Drizzle this over the salad, adding a little more seasoning to taste.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
These costumes were sweet too! You can see the little tail peaking out from behind!
She was absolutely fine during both routines in rehearsal and even on the big recital day she did a great job in her first routine.
Somewhere after the first dance she started to get very tired and was getting antsy waiting around to perform the second dance. She began the second dance fine, but then I made the mistake of waving to her (we were in the third row) and she saw me and started to cry.
Unfortunately, she cried through the second part of the ballet routine! I felt very bad for her and felt guilty about waving. Next time I need to remember to sit back further and hide! Oh well!
Papa and Nana joined us for the recital, so afterwards we let Emma choose where she would like to go eat for lunch. I had been asking her for several days before the recital and she always changed restaurants, but she decided she would like to go eat on the lake and see the boats (we have been talking about doing this for awhile.)
We had a great lunch at Dockside Restaurant at Lake Murray Marina and then headed home. You can see Emma with her beautiful flowers in the picture above. Papa and Nana gave her an exquisite bouquet of pink roses that she is enjoying in her bedroom now.
I took video of the dances as well so we'll see if I can figure out how to upload them in the next day or two.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I'm not sure who was supposed to be the Mommy since Avery never made an appearance from upstairs. Nor do I know what was in the rolling suitcase or what purpose it served. Maybe she was supposed to be Daddy running away from home? I'm sure there are moments where he would like to do that...maybe just dressed a little differently.
Obviously with the birth of our fourth child around the corner now, Michael and I have been in discussion about what our baby should be named. With names such as James Ryan, Emma Grace and Avery Claire - all of which I still love - we haven't been exactly original. Even the name "Avery" was ranked #38 in 2008 and seems to be going up the list.
Lately, I tend to gravitate towards names that are on the rise but still a little different. So it was rather funny this morning when I read MckMama's blog and her post about "baby name fetish" that you can read here. I recently went through all of my baby names books (I have three that I rely on now) and I scoured every baby name source I have been able to find on the Internet - even reading through baby name polls and such. I made a list of my favorite girls names and my favorite boys names. Truth be told, after doing such thorough research on all of these names I am not even entertaining a lot of other suggestions at this point. I plain just don't care for many of the very common yet popular names.
Anyway, back to MckMama's post...So it was very entertaining to me when I took a look at her suggested baby names and saw many of my same selections on her list. Now granted, there were also a few that I don't think I could actually name my child...Vidalia, no...Austrie, no...but that is me. Reading through everyone's comments to her post made me feel so much better. I am not alone in my different name choices. Plenty of other people like the name "Finn" which has been one of my top boy name choices since 3 years ago when we were expecting with Avery. In fact, had she been a boy instead of a girl, he probably would have been Finn.
So that is pretty much where I am at. We are still in discussion. I still like slightly unusual names. I tend to think the child/person makes (or breaks) the name not the other way around. Think about certain names you just dislike, it is generally because of someone that is or has been named that particular name. Whether boy or girl, our child's name will probably be decided right around the time of his or her birth.
And if you are on the lookout for baby name books, the two I highly recommend right now are "The Baby Name Wizard" by Laura Wattenberg and "A is for Atticus" by Lorilee Craker. Both provide original baby names as well as an explanation for the meaning, name heritage and possible nicknames.
By the way, I knew a little girl in elementary school named Darby. She was probably four years younger than me but we traveled together to a Young Writers workshop. I remember thinking how fantastic it must be to be named "Darby." Funny how you remember names of people like that!
Friday, May 15, 2009
We filled up the plastic swimming pool and the water table and the girls spent the morning watering plants (aka grass), watering each other and watching "swim baby" swim laps around them in the pool.
After pool time, the girls enjoyed their lunch at the picnic table on the screened porch. As you can see from the photos, as soon as I mentioned that I was going to grab the camera and snap a few pictures of them, Emma fell into diva mode.
You can claim one of the 250,000 full-value coupons for a candy bar by logging on to their site here and registering each Friday from 9 a.m. EST. The coupons will be mailed to you and is limited to one per person per week.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
We have a winner selected by www.random.org. So without further adieu, the winner is...
Congratulations, BlogBaby! You have won the Clearwater and Guinevere BabyLegs and I will be e-mailing you shortly.
Don't forget that there are still several awesome giveaways still going on, including the fabulous Colorado Bed and Breakfast giveaway and the Florida giveaway.
The Colorado giveaway package includes an overnight Bed & Breakfast visit in Colorado for two as well as evening tea, a bottle of wine, hot tub and gourmet breakfast. This beautiful bed and breakfast is only 20 minutes from downtown Denver!
The Florida townhouse giveaway is for a week long stay at a beautiful townhome located only 2 miles from Disney World! The home is 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (sleeps 8) and even has it's own pool!
To bid on either of these generous giveaways go here for more information. These giveaways will be running until May 16th at 6 p.m. so get your bids in today!
Monday, May 11, 2009
So it really does not come as a surprise that she loves pulling the tiara out and wearing it even as we go out in public to run errands. She is already a little princess - a little frightening to me at times. At least she seems to be pretty grounded so far. She is by far the most laid back child we have - whatever that means!
After church, we went to the Lexington Crab Shack for Sunday Brunch. After we finished our meal, we fed the ducks around the pond outside and walked around the Old Mill building. Inside the building, we stopped to take a few pictures of the three kids.
The sweet girls...
The best photo would could grab of the three of them together...
After we got home, I was able to open presents from the kids. Each of them made something at school and brought it home which was perfect. The homemade gifts are always what I look forward to the most!
So you can see Michael and the kids made Mother's Day very special this year. It's hard to believe there will be four little ones to celebrate with next year!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
The girls drew pictures for each of their teachers at the beginning of the week. Wednesday we wrapped daisies for each teacher and Thursday we brought fresh local strawberries to each teacher.
Today was also "Muffins for Mom" day at Emma's preschool - Saxe Gotha CDC. I enjoyed visiting Emma's classroom and each child had made pictures, a book and a planter with their picture for their moms.
The book was really cute and each child answered a series of questions about their moms. According to Emma, I am tall (ha, ha), am 2 inches in height, 1 pound in weight (yeah right!), have purple eyes, and I enjoy cheese.
Emma did her muffin eating part and devoured three muffins - two chocolate and one poppyseed. Her teachers informed me that my daughter is one of the best snackers in the classroom (I am so proud!). You'd think I never fed my child at home. No wonder she is never hungry for dinner!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I decided to try making fish tacos myself the other night and they turned out delicious! I used talapia because that was what I have in my freezer, but you can use other types of fish. Many recipes call for mahi mahi or halibut. I also grilled my fish after marinating but you could also broil or fry your fish.
Here is the recipe...the marinade alone is terrific on the fish. You could just eat the fish alone (minus the tacos) and it would still be delicious!
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Combine lime juice, oil, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and pepper and stir well. Add fish to marinade and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Prepare fish taco white sauce:
Dice tomato, shred cabbage or lettuce.
Prepare grill (medium-high heat) and oil the rack so the fish does not stick. Place fish on hot grill and cook 4-5 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
While fish is cooking, wrap tortillas in foil and place on grill (I would place on upper rack since ours burnt next to the fish.)
When fish is done, assemble tacos. Flake fish with a fork. Spoon fish into center of tortilla and top with cheese, cabbage or lettuce, and white sauce.
Serve a side of fresh lime if you desire and enjoy!
Monday, May 4, 2009
So I am auctioning off 2 pairs of BabyLegs! These are cutest leg warmers for your little ones. If you are not already familiar with BabyLegs, take a look at their website to learn more here: http://www.babylegs.net/newWeb/home.php?main=home&sub=home.
They have a page dedicated to the many ways you can use and wear these leggings (and yes, big kids can wear them too.) My daughter wears a pair over her dance tights to protect her tights from getting gritty, dirty and wear.
So take a look at these four different designs you have to choose from...These are all one size fits all.
Surfs Up (shown above)...
All you have to do to enter the auction is go to the top button on the right, click and donate a $1 per entry via PayPal. Then leave me a comment below and let me know which 2 styles of BabyLegs you would like to win. If you would like to enter more than once, then leave me a separate comment for each entry. For example, if you donate $5, leave five separate comments.
And don't forget to go here, and check out all of the other wonderful items that are up for auction.
This will be fun! Let's raise money in honor of Tuesday! Remember the auction will run from Tuesday, May 5th through Tuesday, May 12th.