Monthly Archives: November 2008

Morning People

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Since I work the occasional evening and most weekends, mornings together are my favorite. Hanging out in our pj’s, drinking coffee (or milk in Owen’s case), and watching the news. It’s also great that Don’s office is so close to home. It’s nice when he can come home for lunch.

Our family is pretty fantastic… if only I didn’t have to go into work this evening.

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Felt Board

I’ve been working on a felt board for Owen. Lois Ehlert has written a slew of children’s books and the pictures are perfect for felt board pieces. I used the book In My World  to make some critters. Planting a Rainbow and Color Zoo will be good for more ideas on shapes and patterns. 

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I also made some different colored trucks and they’ve been a big hit (copied them off etsy). We “load” matching bean bags on them and they’ve been great for educational play. 

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Maymont

Don took Owen to Maymont on Sunday while I was (begrudgingly) at work. Here’s Little Man eating cheerios in front of the river otter tank.

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Amy Ray, Keith Olbermann and Disney

Beth Allums

Photo Credit: Beth Allums

Nothing makes a bad day better like listening to angry women on guitars in a room full of lesbians. (text to April Musser).

So true sister (text to Morgan Mark)

So I would like to dedicate the song “Least Complicated” by the Indigo Girls (Because Brother Dane once said, “This song makes me wish I were a lesbian.”) to all of the folks at the Amy Ray concert, Keith Olbermann, and anyone else who is saddened by the passage of Prop 8 (And if you like music, Amy Ray does an amazing live show).

While I was listening to live music and then have a wonderful adult conversation and drinking Newcastle at McCormicks with my friend Beth, Don was babysitting our boys and watching “Cars”. God Bless him.

Andy and Owen watching cars while wear cars p.j's and/or lightning mcqueen house slippers.

Andy and Owen watching Cars.

Andy and Beth, Owen says thanks for the Lightning McQueen house slippers. We took Owen to Disney on Ice on Friday night. As far as he is concerned he’s seen the entire “cast” of the movie in person!

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I NEEDED THAT!

I just had a bad experience with a coworker I once respected and considered a friend. I was feeling pretty blue until I got this youtube video from Jen, my brother’s fiance. Watch all the way through. The last part is the best. Hysterical! Thank you Ms. Jen Scott. I needed that!

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Oatmeal is so underrated.

Owen starts every morning with a bowl of oatmeal. We started using steel cut oats instead of the instant stuff. They taste better and are better for you. The down side is they take 20-30 minutes to make. Every Monday I make a big patch and then just reheat in the morning (who has 30 min to make breakfast… with a toddler. I’m not crazy). It’s worth the wait, no matter how you do it. These are Owen’s favorites. 

Oatmeal a la Owen
Owen loves raisins more than anything else on Earth. No. That’s wrong. Baseball is first. Raisins are a close second. Mom and Dad? Distant third. 

steel cut oats
unsweetened applesauce
raisins
dash of cinnamon
1 splenda packet 

Add applesauce to cooked oatmeal (cools it off). Put raisins in small dish. Add water. Microwave until plump (20 sec). Stir in cinnamon and splenda. mmmm….

Owen’s Fancy Smancy Oatmeal
Pumpkin adds fiber. This is my personal favorite. 

steel cut oats
3 T canned pure pumpkin
1 T maple syrup
1/4 t cinnamon

Cook/reheat oats. Stir in remaining ingredients. Enjoy.  

Earlier this week Owen helped bake some oatmeal cookies. I measured, he poured and stirred (with a little help). They aren’t a healthy snack by any stretch of the imagination, but we had fun and they turned out pretty darn good.  

oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal Fruit Cookies

12 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 T molasses or honey 

In a large bowl cream together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, craping bowl frequently.

1 egg
2 t vanilla

Beat in.

2 1/2 c rolled oats (regular ‘ol instant stuff)
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 – 1 1/2 cups diced dried fruits: cherries, blueberries, apricots, raisins, cranberries, currants
1 cup grated coconuts or nuts (chopped)
1 t baking soda

Combine separately. Add dry mixture to the creamed mixture in about 3 additions, stirring just until thoroughly mixed. Add a little extra flour if mixture seems too wet. Drop by rounded teaspoons on greased baking sheets.

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For chewy cookies: Bake in preheated oven at 325F until just set, 18-20 minutes. Immediately remove from pans and place directly onto clean countertop or table surface. As soon as cookies are cool put into air-tight containers.

For crisp cookies: Bake in preheated over at 375F until centers spring back, 11-13 min. Watch carefully to avoid burning.

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Thrifty Thursday

I hate shopping. Let me qualify that. I hate malls. I hate the florescent lights, smell, and the crowds of major department stores. I don’t go out on Black Friday. I don’t do “retail therapy” (that’s what wine and friends are for). My closet isn’t full of 40 pairs of shoes I don’t wear. I think people who buy things on the shopping network need help. Serious Help. 

On the flip side, I adore thrift stores, used books stores, used books at thrift stores, antique shops, yard sales and I’ll add craigslist to the mix (it’s like going to a garage sale from home).

However, I don’t consider this shopping. It’s more like sport. There’s the adrenaline rush of success. When you find something super cool, fantastic and in your size, kitch, or a funky orange (i love orange) thing before anyone else did.  And the agony of defeat. When, no matter how long you stare at them, those camel colored, Ralph Lauren sling back heals for $5 (!!!!) they will never fit on your feet. 

It’s smart on so many levels. First, the environmentalist in me smiles because raw materials were not used to produce my new find. Second, the economical side of me cheers because it makes more since to pay $.25 for that children’s book vs. $15 for the new version. And lastly, it’s just good karma. Those things you no longer need or want or like become useful, loved or destroyed by someone else.

Disclaimer: Folks, clean out there closets BEFORE the stuff that you weren’t using anyway goes out of style. Nobody should be wearing your old polyester pant suits with the larger than life shoulder pads. I don’t care if you ARE giving it away! That’s just wrong!

So I would like to take a moment every Thursday to brag about my second hand finds of past and present. I’ll start this blog segment with my favorite find to date: 
lamp 
This lamp was found at an antique store in Forest Hill. I was actually there looking for a Christmas present for Don (old vintage cameras) about this time last year. It need a good home. And I got it for a song. 

shoes

These little kitten heel shoes (The Naturalizer) were found at The Fantastic Thrift on Cary Street, in the fan. The were in mint condition and $9.95 Waaay more than I would normally spend at a thrift store, however, they were something I would’ve bought new – if i did that sort of thing. (Their stuff retails between $40-80). I also found an awesome pair of Enzo Angiolini sling backs for $3 (retail: $98). Light scuffs on the very tip of toes, but they’re leather so it gives them character.   

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Yesterday I dropped off some stuff in the fan and found a set of hardcover Paddington Bear books (colors, ABC, 123, and Opposites) for $.99. I’m not sure why, but the 1990 copyright version (which these are) of the Opposites book is being sold on Amazon.com for $65 –  $101. Um? Attention Amazon.com shoppers… I’ll gladly sell it too you for half that!

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