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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shout Out

I have the coolest family EVER. Big and little.

Little family: Ethan came home to a cooped-up, stressed-out wife and sent me on a walk to relax while he did dishes, dirty diapers and cleaned the tub.

Big family: Natalie, my sister called today to see if we wanted her to watch Carver! She gave us the best date night. We even got to go skateboarding around "the neighborhood" (418 and Shady Oaks territory for those of you who know what the heck I'm talking about), which was like the #1 thing on my list titled, Uh Oh- Now I'm a Mom and What If I Can Never Do ____ Again.

Nat, thanks for listening to the voice of God and blessing us with something we didn't even know we needed so badly. You are amazing and humble, a wonderful aunt, and I am so proud to call you Sister.
E, you are a spirit-filled, hilarious, tireless, freckled servant of a husband and I love you all the way to Chinatown in China.

101 Posts!

Guess what! I just noticed the last post was my 100th. Congratulations for reading.

So, I joined Twitter. I mostly did so to follow Tina Fey and Ellen Degeneres. So funny. Then I started thinking it might be funny to create a Twitter for Carver. I mean, do I really have enough material for a blog and a Twitter myself?

In other news, we drove to the Latin Market because yesterday was a rainy one. I didn't find the low prices I was hoping for, but it was a fun challenge to hunt for my ingredients among the Spanish labels. And the Paella was a success!

Paella Recipe (from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine):
4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, plus 4 bone-in skinless chicken drumsticks
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2T olive oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 link precooked Spanish chorizo, chopped (2 oz.)
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes in juice
1C Arborio rice
1 can (14.5 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 box (10 oz.) frozen peas
1/2 lb. peeled and deveined frozen medium shrimp, thawed

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot (I used a not-so-heavy-bottom-pot and the bottom burned. Listen to Martha, you heard), heat oil over med-high. Working in batches, cook chicken (do not crowd pot) until browned, 7 to 8 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate (reserve pot); set aside.

2. Place bell pepper, chorizo, onion, garlic, and tomatoes (and juice) in pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, 4 to 6 minutes (I found liquid didn't really evaporate, even after 10 minutes, so I just left it in there).

3. Add rice; cook, stirring, until translucent around edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Add broth and chicken; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until rice begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Add peas and shrimp, submerging them in liquid. Cover and cook until shrimp are opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes.

I doubled the amount of sausage, onion, garlic, tomatoes, rice and peas- basically all of the cheap ingredients- to make it go farther. I also bought 2 whole chickens for what I would have payed for the parts (and have 4 breasts, 4 wings and parts for making chicken stock sitting pretty in the freezer). Playing butcher is a little time consuming, so you'll have to do your own cost/benefit analysis on that one.

Happy cooking and see you on Twitter.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sewing Is More Of A Winter Sport, Anyway

I like to take Fridays "off." That usually means leaving the dishes for Ethan. How is this different than any other day, you ask? Well, as far as dishes go, its not really. Actually, I hate doing dishes. I will clean the whole house, the kitchen and even organize the stack of dishes before I wash a single one. Really, you should see my clean counters and the sink full of dirty dishes.

However, by the end of the week most of the straightening, laundry, grocery shopping, coupon hunting, bill paying and other chores are all tackled, leaving a free day for hobbies, lunch dates and other adventures. That's not to say I don't relax the rest of the week. Earlier in the week I layed out by the pool while I waited to switch the laundry over. Fridays are just set aside for whatever Carver and I feel like doing. Last Friday it was cashing in the Lowe's gift card my momma gave me :) and gardening! Check it:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Can't Sleep

Its exactly 1:00AM and both my boys are sleeping noisily. If I lay in bed and think I usually start to get too overwhelmed with ideas and projects and dates and money and goals and plans, so you can see why I'm blogging instead.

I bought $105 worth of groceries today for $59.

I think Carver and I will walk to the Latin Market tomorrow if the weather is nice. That's because chicken and shrimp paella is on the menu for this week. And pork enchiladas (remember my deal on pork a couple weeks ago?). Two things about that. One is my mom used to date a Basque Jai-alai player (pretty baller, I know). Anyway, we would go with him to this family-type "club" (Latin version of a country club???) with pool tables and kids running around and sweet ladies that talked a lot and always kissed me on the cheek. It was called El Choco, which I thought was Spanish for "The Nest," but I just looked it up on Wikipedia and it looks like I'm wrong. Mike Cincunegui's birthday party was there one year. I think the boys locked Ryan Lab in the bathroom. Point is, the men of El Choco made the best paella. I didn't even like seafood when I was a kid, and I loved that stuff. I wonder where Javi is now. He could probably give me a few paella pointers.

The second thing is, Ethan's coworker is going to pay us to make his lunch 4 days a week. Apparently, he was spending $7+ a day on take-out and Ethan said "heck, pay me $15/week and I'll bring you lunch" (or something like that). I'll let you know how it goes.

I can't believe I forgot to tell you until now! Carver rolled over again! It was tonight in the living room and Ethan got to see it. Speaking of the cutest little booger butt in the world, I really love that kid. If I wasn't cheesy enough before, he has melted my heart into a big, mushy pile of mozzerella. He is drooling A LOT. Teething? At 3 months? I hope not.


Friday, April 17, 2009

One Month Later

My faithful readers out there will note that its been a while since we redid (Ikead, if you will) our living room. If I only have one kid and it took me this long to post pics, what will 2 kids be like? You might never hear from me!

One of the reasons I was dragging my feet was because I wanted to wait til our hub was de-cluttered and completed. But that wouldn't be fun or realistic, would it? I still want to relocate the profesh family photos and make a more artsy picture ledge. One day.

Notice the details: box of tissues (I think the Easter bunny brought me laryngitis) and cafe' con leche (the Latin Cafe' is a Friday morning tradition in this household).
Happy Friday!

Around the House


Ethan competed in a triathlon called "Escape from Fort Desoto." It was in St. Pete last weekend and he kicked butt! As you can see, Carver made him a onesie that says Go Dad!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Making Moves

Carver rolled over this morning! He was having some tummy time and flipped to his side. He eventually rolled the rest of the way over onto his back. I can't decide if the puzzled look on his face said "How the heck did I get on my back?" or "Why is my mom such a loud and excited nut?"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


So... blogger won't allow me to "rename" my friends' blogs to your right. I added a few and thought it would be polite to at least give them some sort of descriptive name so that you would know if you want to read them or not.
I'll give you the break down:

An Honest Hypothesis- The hubby
Anna Maria Horner- This amazing artist/crafter that sews and has lots of kids (and my dream career)
Crazy Pills- My friend, Angie who writes about momhood
Dog Training and Substitute Teaching- My friend, Sam who writes about sports, religion and posts funny videos
Fireflies vs. Lightning Bugs- My friend, Dave that is new to the world of blog
Gee-ville Deals- Local deals from a mom that feeds her family of 5 on $77/week
Girl & The Sea- My friend, Amy who lives in NC
Good or Free Deals- National? deals
House of Kee- Hilarious life stories from my friend, Aly
St. Andrews- Our church's blog

Happy browsing!

Ethan wrote the best blog:


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Birthday Fun

This weekend was just what the doctor ordered. And by doctor, I mean me. On Friday (my 25th) Ethan took off work so we could play together, and the day was perfect. I awoke sometime in the beautiful hour of 9:?? AM to yellow and white daisies, my favorite. After some lolly gagging we had breakfast at the Latin Cafe (and by breakfast, I mean a Cuban sandwich, cafe' con leche and sweet plantains), hijacked the James' pool, stopped at Moe's and had a burrito picnic in our yard (by yard, I mean the picnic table downstairs that is usually being occupied by adorable Asian children).

Don't you love your birthday date? 4/3 just looks nice. I love seeing it as the expiration date on my gallon of milk.

I also love how the guy at Moe's recognized me and made a comment about how he never sees me "flying solo" (Ethan was in the car with Carver). He even knew my normal Moe's night and noticed that a lot of our group was missing last week.

After a great afternoon we packed up the car (and Kari) and headed to Orlando to hang out with my college roommates. The weekend was amazing. It really felt like a vacation. Plus, Ethan canoed across the lake and back in 13 minutes.

Thank you for all the facebooks, texts, calls, cards, hugs and hanging out! A couple weeks ago I couldn't sleep and got up to pray. God told me that He was about to bless our family big time. Since then, He has constantly been revealing to me how blessed I really am.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


If you shop at Publix or Target and like deals (I'm talking 3 pork tenderloins for under $10 total), you should read the blog a kind soul told me about: Geeville deals. Follow her link to Southern Savers and if you're really interested, read her "read this first" stuff on the right hand side.

My new goal: cut our grocery bill by $15 a week and put the difference in Carver's new savings account (inspired by you, Aunt Julie! Thanks for the initial deposit :)