Wednesday, July 9, 2014

From the Garden: Fresh Lettuce Dressing

We have planted a garden every year since we moved into our house five years ago. It didn't look like much at the time, but Paul put a lot of effort into getting it to look how it does now. Which still isn't very big compared to either of our parents', but it suits our family just fine for right now! Over the years, we've tried quite a few different things, and I think we've finally figured out what grows the best for us here. Our garden is right next to a row of evergreen trees, and somehow, when the needles fall off, they change the pH level of the dirt. (Or something like that?) But basically, we have a hard time growing anything like radishes and onions. Potatoes, tomatoes and lettuce seem to do the best. This year we have two hills of cucumbers, one hill of zucchini, (too many) tomatoes (I'll be canning up a storm later this summer), four rows of potatoes, peas, green beans, and lettuce. We also have an ever-expanding raspberry bush on the other side of the yard. Every year it gets bigger! Which is great!

Here are a few pics of our garden, currently!










I risked getting eaten alive and acquiring West Nile Virus to get these pictures. Darn mosquitoes are horrible this year! Ack!

All this jabber about our garden is leading up to a recipe I'm going to share. I saw on Donya Luana's blog that she was doing a series of 20 recipes from her garden, and thought it was a really neat idea! I'm not going to promise 20 recipes, but I'm hoping to share a few here and there as we harvest our fruits and veggies!

We've already had a couple cuttings of lettuce. That is one of the great things about leaf lettuce, that you get several cuttings before it starts to get bitter when it grows back.
As soon as he brought the first of it inside, Paul whipped up a jar of our favorite dressing to use on the tender leaves. This simple dressing has been our go-to for the past couple years for our fresh garden lettuce. It's similar to one Paul's mom made when he was growing up. We love it!

Fresh Lettuce Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
Milk, to taste
Salt, to taste

Mix together, adding milk to get desired consistency. It works great to put everything into a jar and shake it up! Serve on fresh garden lettuce.

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th Weekend

We had a fun-filled holiday weekend! The weather was beautiful so it was great to be outside!

We started the weekend out on Friday, celebrating the Fourth of July with some activities in our town! I don't have any pictures to share, I took some with my phone but haven't had a chance to get them onto my computer yet! Levi did the coin dig at the school playground, sponsored by the bank, and had fun digging in the sand for some money! He found a good amount to put into his piggy bank. After that, we walked uptown to have lunch and let Levi play in the bounce house that was set up. Then we went and found our spot to watch the parade. Levi had a blast picking up candy! Paige fell asleep in grandma's arms so she slept through the whole thing!

After the parade, we headed down to my sister's for my niece, Aubrey's, first birthday party! She looked too cute in her glitter tutu and headband! (That she actually keeps on, ahem Paige.) I didn't get a pic of her alone, but here is one of my sister and I with our girls.

The best I could get of my two nuts! Someday they will both look at the camera and smile for me...right??
 Aubrey got a rocking horse from her uncle!

Cake time! She loved it!

Levi did a sparkler for the first time. He was a little leery, but thought it was cool!

Levi also got to go on a ride on Uncle Josh's motorcycle!

Saturday afternoon, we went to the beach for awhile. It was pretty packed right when we got there.




Katie and Aubrey even came, too!

Paul dug a big hole during the 10 minute swim break and buried himself. He got a few funny looks! 

It was a fun weekend! Looking forward to more trips to the beach this summer, and time spent with family!

Friday, June 20, 2014

12 months!

I know I said this in my last post, but that year just FLEW by! I can't believe my little peanut is ONE! Crazy, I tell you!! I think back about those first few weeks having her home, and how nuts they were, and it feels like just yesterday. (David coming to do trim upstairs, storms, Bili light, power outage, ugh!) But then again we can't even remember what life was like without her.

Paige is full of personality, just like Levi is. She is sassy, independent, feisty, I could go on and on. She's just a peanut. People always think it's hilarious that she's walking already since she's so little.

"Though she be but little, she is fierce." -William Shakespeare


Paige, at 12 months old::

- Weighs 18 lbs 11 oz (32%).

- Is 29.5 inches tall (60%)

- In size 12 month clothes.

- Size 4 diapers.

- FINALLY felt just this morning that her THIRD tooth came through. BARELY. So probably not technically supposed to be on this post, but oh well. It is one of her top middle ones, left I think. She doesn't let me get a good look.

- She's a mover. NON. STOP. ALL. OVER. She loves to climb, Heaven help us. The other day she fell down the stairs. All the way down. I missed getting to her by about two steps so I watched the whole thing while running down the stairs trying to get to her. Not fun watching your kid roll down the stairs like a log. BUT, she was fine. Scared her (and me!) more than anything. I didn't even notice any bruises, surprisingly. And it hasn't deterred her from going up the stairs or trying to go back down one bit.

- Sleeping pretty good lately for the most part. She usually sleeps all night and then wakes up around 5:00-5:30, then I bring her to bed by me and Paul will bring a bottle up for her since he usually gets up around that time anyway.

- Down to one nap unless we are in the car. She usually gets tired around noon, sometimes before.

- Still a pretty light eater. Some days she'll eat a lot, and others not so much.

- She is on whole milk now. Still having 2-3 bottles a day. We will be working on weaning off of the bottles pretty quick, hopefully by 15 months.

- She's always making some sort of noise. As Levi says, she "waddle talks". Ha! Not sure where he came up with that, but it's cute. She is constantly jabbering. There will be no silence in this house once she learns to (in Levi's terms) "real talk!" :)

- She signs for more.

- Nods yes or shakes her head for no when I ask her if she wants something or point to something.

- What is it with our kids and wanting to be IN the fridge? She stands by the fridge and points at it until I pick her up and open the door, then she wants to stand in there and decide what she needs. Levi does the same thing, only he can open to door by himself, ugh.

- Speaking of pointing, she started pointing with one finger now, instead of two. For awhile she would point and she'd be making a peace sign. She points where she wants me to take her when I'm holding her, or if there's something she wants she will point to it.

- She loves the water! I'm looking forward to taking her to the pool and the spray park this summer!

- Also looooves being outside. She's definitely not a girly girl (yet!). She'd sit and play in the dirt and mud if I'd let her.





Monday, June 16, 2014

Paige's Pink Lemonade Stand!

First off, I apologize for not updating this thing more often. I feel like I'm playing a constant game of catch-up with everything lately. We're still adjusting to Levi not taking a nap anymore (wahh!), but he's getting better at just playing or watching cartoons while I try to do things while Paige naps. Now that P's birthday party is done, the next catch-up item is my Project Life album that has been neglected for way too long. I do at least have pictures printed so I can get something started. Anyways, thought I would share some pictures from Paige's party yesterday, since I want to wait for her 12 month update until I get her official weight/height from the doctor on Tuesday.


Like I mentioned above, the theme for Paige's first birthday party was Pink Lemonade! I had fun browsing Pinterest for cute, simple ideas to use. I tried not to spend to much, and I think I did pretty good! To be honest I think the lemons cost the most! Maybe not quite, but good grief they aren't cheap right now! Anyways, here was my little setup for the drink table. The straws came from jane.com, and we ended up not even using them. My original plan was to use mason jars for everyone as glasses, but at the last minute (as in, the night before) I decided that would be too much of a hassle. So Paul went to town in the morning and since I wanted clear glasses, the short ones were all they had. Oh well, they made a cute decoration! The letters for the lemon decoration with her name, and the banners I cut out using my Silhouette, which made it super easy! I also printed out each of her monthly pictures that I had taken to display.

This little lemonade stand took the most time, but it still didn't take too long, mostly waiting for paint to dry. Thanks to my mom and her painting skills for helping me with the lettering on the sign! I did the T-A-N-D in STAND, lol. The birthday girl looked adorable in the tutu I made her! She loved having it on! She loved the necklace too! I can't wait to take her one year pictures with Stephanie using the same outfit and the lemonade stand! I have messaged her a few times and she has some cute ideas!


Present time! She wasn't that terribly into it, to be honest! She wanted to play with everything right away! She got lots of cute "girly" things to share the toy space with all of Levi's tractors and trucks. She got a couple dolls, a little ride-on toy, a doll buggy, and lots of cute clothes!


Ha, the cupcake wasn't a huge hit either. She just looked at it and poked it for awhile, then we gave her a taste of the frosting and she ate a little bit, but mostly she just smashed it and destroyed it all over her tray! Then she kept pointing to the plate of cupcakes I had on the table and signing for more! Silly girl!

And one last one of our family!

It was a really fun day celebrating our baby girl turning ONE! I can't believe how fast that year went by! Hopefully back later this week with her one year update!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What I ate + my favorite Chicken Salad recipe!

I have been waiting until I had enough pictures to do another What I Ate post. I haven't made anything too exciting lately, otherwise I have forgotten to take a photo. These pictures were all probably taken a couple weeks apart. Yeah, it's been awhile!

My version of a super easy fish taco: fish sticks, coleslaw mix and lime juice on a whole wheat tortilla. And I added some cilantro because I had some in the fridge.

Muffaletta Portobello Burger. Basically a tomato and some green olives chopped up with some salt and pepper on top of a portobello mushroom that I sauteed, then put it on a bun with some lettuce, mayo, and provolone cheese. The recipe was from Simple and Delicious magazine I believe.

This is Skinnytaste's Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad. I thought it was really good, but it made a lot, and I was the only one eating it, so if I made it again I'd half the recipe.

Avocado and Mango Chicken Salad. This was SOOOOO good! I just ate it straight out of the bowl, but if I would have had lettuce, I would have had it as lettuce wraps. Definitely plan on making this again! YUM!!

I guess I kind of have a thing for chicken salad! This is a recipe that I have been making a lot lately, and sort of modified it a little to suit my tastes and what I had on hand. I love this one on lettuce wraps, too. Usually I use Butterhead lettuce, but all I had on this day was iceberg. I thought I'd share the recipe for this one with you since I don't have a link to it!

Savory and Sweet Chicken Salad

2 cups diced chicken (I usually use rotisserie chicken, and use half of the meat)
1 cup seedless red grapes, each cut in half
1/4-1/2 cup slivered almonds (I usually just pour some in and guess)
1 small apple, diced (I use braeburn since that's what I usually buy, but any sweet apple would work!)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (again, I just scoop a dollop in. You can use less, or more if needed)
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp dill weed (or 1 tsp chopped fresh dill)
S & P to taste

Mix everything together and enjoy!

Linking up with Peas & Crayons!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

11 months

Oh man, I can't believe that Paige is only a MONTH away from being ONE YEAR OLD!! So crazy!

Good grief, is this girl ever filled with personality! She is a hoot. And already showing us how sassy she is going to be when she is older!


Paige, at 11 months old::

- In mostly 12 month clothing.

- I don't have an official weigh-in, but I am guessing around 19 lbs.

- I know she has gotten a tiny bit taller! No official number though.

- Still in size 4 diapers.

- Still only two teeth! All four on the top are so close, but are taking FOR. EV. ER. to come through.

- Picking up speed with walking. Pretty soon she will be running. Yikes!

- She knows how to come down the stairs. She'll turn around and go down backwards. She actually picked up on this pretty quick, I only helped her a few times and next thing I know she is doing it on her own.

- Now that we are all feeling better (other than those darn teeth), she has actually been sleeping ok. Nothing worth bragging about, but for her track record, it hasn't been too bad!

- Still a pretty light eater. She is definitely getting favorites now. She loves grapes, oranges, cheese in any form, puffs, tomatoes, and pretty much any fruit really. She'll eat most meat..chicken, pork, etc.

- Still not a fan of getting her diaper changed or putting clothes on. I think she just does it to be difficult...when I change her diaper, she rolls over and is up on her feet as soon as I let go of her to wrap the diaper up. Then she runs away and looks back at me and grins, like "Haha, I got away! Now you have to come catch me!" Stinker.

- She is going to be another talker. She babbles and "talks" to us constantly, like she is having an actual conversation with us. She has a little attitude too! Paul and I joke that she is telling us off sometimes the way she squeals and screams at us, looking at you straight in the eye!

- She just started doing "All done!" when I say that do her. She'll put her hands up and to her sides.

- She's catching on to signing "more". She copies me when I do it.

- I might have forgotten this on last month's, but she is also shaking her head, and nodding when we say yes or no, and copying us.



Monday, May 12, 2014

Easter and Mother's Day!

Popping in quick to share a few pics!

These first few are from Easter. Our family and one of just the kids. The last one is Paige and I on the tire swing at my mom and dad's. It is the same tire swing my sister and I played in when we were little!




My little goofball, who always has to climb into things!

I thought this shirt was so cute! It says "Produced Locally". Ha!

And one more of me with the kids from Mother's Day yesterday. Love my little monkeys!