Sail-abrating Father’s Day

Bob is such a great dad!  I knew he would be.  He takes such good care of us.  But at the same time, he’s still a kid at heart.  The three of us have so much fun together.  It makes me laugh whenever I hear him yell from another room,

Kara, come look how cute we are!  Take a picture.

It’s true that usually they are ADORABLE together.  Case in point:

They are two peas in a pod.

Bob wanted a pretty “chill” day.  I woke up and made him breakfast.  Hungry Man’s – his favorite.  Eggs, Bacon, English Muffin.  He opened the gifts and cards from me and Clark and we headed to church.

Bob had agreed to work at the Sailabration at the Inner Harbor for a few hours so we decided to get lunch and go down there early to walk around for a bit.

First stop, lunch at Chipotle.  Always a good choice!

The harbor was pretty crazy but we found parking in a garage.  Good time and place to teach Clark how to drive.  That’s always a fun father-son bonding experience.  Even at 4 months!

How cool are these sand creations?  They were huge!

We had about an hour and a half to walk around before Bob had to work the M&T tent.  Let me tell you…that was plenty of time.  It was cool to see all the tall ships and occasionally the Blue Angels would fly over head but it was über crowded!  As big as the Harbor is, you were pretty much forced to just move along with the crowd.

Clark and I walked around a little longer after dropping Bob off at his tent but it was so hot and crowded that we decided to just head home and pick up Bob when he was finished.

Bob finished early and when he called, he said he was just going to start walking because the Harbor was going to be so crowded. He just called me every 5-10 min. to give me an update of where he was so I wouldn’t pass him on my way in to the city.  Crazy guy walked almost to Johns Hopkins University!!  That’s like 3 miles!!

We were all so tuckered out from the long, hot day that we crashed when we got home.  Family nap for a couple hours then off to bed early.

It was a great day!  Bob- Clark and I love you so much!  We are so lucky to have you!!  Hope you had the Father’s Day that you deserve!

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Clark’s Friends

Not his human friends.  And no…we don’t have any pets.  I’m talking about his stuffed buddies.  One of the things I love most about my baby is that he is a cuddle-er.  He actually even seems to need to cuddle something when he’s falling asleep.

See? He is literally crushing his cotton friend in this picture.

Here he is spoonin’ another furry fellow.

So who are his favorite cuddle buddies?  Besides me, obviously.

Allow me to introduce them:

Meet Graham, the bear.  Bob actually got me this teddy with a bouquet of flowers I think it was early on in our marriage or maybe while we were dating?  I forget, but it was a gift from him to me.  And now he belongs to our baby boy.

This is Dr. Hoo.  Dr. Hoo was a baby shower gift from a college friend of mine and Bob’s.  He is actually organic!  (Dr. Hoo, not our friend)  Or something like that.  I like that he’s an owl and I like the colors.

Next up, LambChop.  Not a very original name, I know, but…a classic.  LambChop was also a gift from a friend.  I think he kind of looks like a muppet.  Can you see it?  Maybe it’s the head to legs/arms proportions or something.

Last but certainly not least is Señor Frog.  He was Clark’s first bed friend.  He used to hang out on the crib rail when we first got him as a gift from a friend.  I like that he matches the decor of Clark’s nursery.

So obviously Clark did not name these guys himself.  I have to say it was all Bob.  If it had been left to me they all would have been whatever animal they were with a -y.  For example Owl-y and Lamb-y.  Bob is slightly more creative.

Although he doesn’t show favoritism to any one of these, Graham pretty much keeps to the Pack N Play in the living room and LambChop keeps to his upstairs domain while the other two roam around the house and even go on overnight adventures.

That’s the whole gang.  Hair and make-up done by your’s truly.  If there are any other stuffed animals/lovies looking for someone to take their head shots, I am available for a small fee.  Have a good day!

**UPDATE:  I totally forgot one of Clark’s friends!!  

Meet Steely McBear!  Bob is from Pittsburgh and this is a Steeler’s Home so we were excited to be gifted this guy from another friend.  Bob was pretty ticked that I forgot him.  According to him, Steely is Clark’s favorite!

A Place to Sit

When I graduated college and moved to Baltimore, I needed furniture.  A LOT of furniture.  I didn’t have anything to use in my apartment.  Lucky for me, a family friend knew an older lady who was moving from an apartment into assisted living and was getting rid of not just furniture, but lamps, pots and pans, dining-ware, etc.  It was a total score.  I was completely set for my new tiny one-bedroom.

Fast forward four years: I’m pregnant!  Now I need a chair/glider/rocker for the nursery.  This is one of the hand-me-down chairs I was given to use in that first apartment.  It’s really comfortable but at the time, we were using it to collect dust in the basement.

Blurry picture, but this is just the before.  I don’t know what kind of chair this is but it swivels and rocks so it was perfect for what we needed in the nursery.

Perfect in that we needed to reupholster it, that is.  Let me just say…I had the idea to reupholster this chair even before I was pregnant and Bob wanted nothing to do with it.  He did, however, take some pictures of it and get an estimate to have professionally reupholstered.  After throwing up in his mouth a little bit (from the outrageously expensive price), he decided that was NOT going to happen.  So how do you motivate your husband to do something he doesn’t want to do?  Tell him it’s too hard anyway…

Yeah!  He mentioned to his mom that I wanted us to do this together and when she said she thought that would be too hard, he made like Barney Stinson and said,

Challenge Accepted!

We really didn’t know what we were doing, we just dove right in.  We started removing staples and just agreed to take note of how it was put together and just put it back the same way.

We used a screwdriver and needle-nosed pliers to pry out all of the staples.  The chair also had some nails/tacks that held things together so we used the claw end of a hammer to get those out.

Here’s the chair all stripped down and naked-like.

We got a little scared at this point but soldiered on.

To put Humpty-Dumpty back together again, I simply ironed the pieces of the chair after ripping out the stitches and then traced them onto our new updated-and-matches-our-nursery fabric.  Then we began stuffing and stapling.  We started with the seat…

Then the arms…

The back was the hardest to sew back together.  We skipped the cording on it to make it a bit easier for me…

I should note that we actually saved a lot of the stuffing/batting from the chair to reuse, but I wanted it to be a bit more cushy so we added another layer.

The seat cushion we commissioned to Bob’s aunt because I hadn’t yet bought a zipper foot for my sewing machine.

Last to get attached was the skirt.  Here is the finished product in all its glory in Clark’s nursery.

We love it and we are so proud of ourselves for DIY-ing it!  Here’s the little man enjoying it too.

Straight chillin’ like a villain!

To see more pictures of Clark’s nursery, click here.

It’s a bird, It’s a plane…

It’s Clark at 4 months old!

This picture was taken almost a week ago but I love it!  Image

It’s blurry, but it looks like he’s trying to fly.  Since his name is Clark, it’s understandable that he thinks he is actually Superman.  He’s definitely my super-hero!

My Two Cents

I want to use this post to review a few things that I love (maybe some time, I’ll review things I don’t so much love…).  Not that my humble opinion really matters to anyone.  I just was thinking about some things that I would put on a “favorites” list right now.

First up, my deodorant:

Dove Ultimate goFresh Energizing Antiperspirant in Grapefruit and Lemongrass

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I have used this deodorant for a couple years now.  I used to use Dove’s Invisible Solid in Fresh, but I liked this scent better.  I’m a huge fan of deodorant in general.  I know…that’s weird.  When I was on my middle school basketball team, the girls actually teased me because I put so much deodorant on before our games.  I don’t know…I just feel better when it’s on.  Anyway, this deodorant smells soooo good.  In fact, when my little sister comes to visit, she usually steals a couple sticks from me for herself.  That’s okay though, because the price is great.  I get it on Amazon Subscribe and Save: $13.57 for a pack of 4.

Next we have beer:

Shiner Ruby Redbird

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OMG…YUM!!!  This really is the PERFECT summer beer.  It is SO refreshing.  It’s brewed with grapefruit and ginger. Bob’s cousin, Dave, brought a six pack over to the house one night.  I had one sip and was hooked**!  Best part…so was Bob!  He went out and got two 24 packs!!  If you can find it, pick some up for your next BBQ!

**Hooked in that it’s now my favorite beer.  I’m not an alcoholic.

Favorite Summer Salad:

Caprese Salad

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Note: I got this picture online.  It’s the closest to how I make it at home.

Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil, and Balsamic Vinegar (plus a little salt).  This salad is light and easy to make.  Not to mention…the basil is straight from our garden so it’s free.  Bob and I are not “tomato people”.  When we order sandwiches in restaurants, we always say, “No tomato”.  But for some reason, we are both diggin’ this salad right now.  We have it as a side for pretty much every dinner.  mmm, mmm, mmm

CD for Clark:

Muppets: The Green Album

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This CD is our “getting ready music” every day.  It is made up of 12 well-known Muppet songs that are performed with a new take by contemporary artists.  Clark and I love to put it on in the morning when we are getting him dressed.  We dance around his room and sing along.  It’s so fun and I now have all the lyrics memorized.  “It’s time to put on music, It’s time to light the lights…”

And now…the obligatory photo of my main man!!

Love him SO MUCH!!

COOOOKIES!!

The post about my cookies!  Finally…it only took me forever!

So…I co-hosted a bridal shower for my friend Tori.  Her wedding was this past Saturday.  It was BEAUTIFUL!  Her colors were yellow and grey.  (Her favorite color is yellow.  It’s one of the first things I learned about her when I roomed with her in our sorority house freshman year.)  The groom, Stephen, is from Northern Ireland, so the shower was the Wednesday before so that his family (mother, aunts, etc.) would be able to attend.

Anyway…I was put in charge of deserts and favors.  I decided to kind of combine the two by making sugar cookies as favors!  Okay, so it wasn’t an original idea to have cookies as favors.  My sister-in-law’s shower a couple years ago had cookies for favors and I thought it was great.  Lots of times you get something cheap and/or useless as a favor.  This way, you get something YUMMY!  🙂  I also brought lemon sorbet with blueberries, and brownies to actually serve at the shower for desert. The cookies were bagged and handed out as each guest left.

So let’s see them!

Click on picture for a closer view.

I made two cookies per guest.  Plus a few extras in case more people RSVP’d last minute.

I piped/flooded with yellow icing, then went back and used a brush embroidery technique for the flowers and just piped dots in white icing.  (Because grey icing is NOT appetizing.)

I still had extra cookies and icing so I had some fun.

I just put those cookies in Bob’s lunch that week.

I got the bags from Party City for pretty cheap.  100 for $3.99 I think?

The twist ties came with the bags.  I debated using grey ribbon, but the silver twist ties actually looked pretty nice once I curled them.  Here’s how I did that:

Drop the cookie(s) in the bag and twist a couple times to secure. (I gave each guest two cookies.)

Then just take something small and round to wrap the twist tie around.  I wanted tight curls, so I used the end of my paintbrush.  But you could always use a pen or pencil if you want bigger, looser curls.  The twist ties are made with wire so the curl just stays.  It literally took me about 5 minutes to curl the twist ties on all 18 bags.  Easy Peasy!

Pretty right?

The shower was so fun and, not to toot my own horn, but the cookies were a huge hit!  People couldn’t believe they weren’t professionally made.  Plus, they were delicious.  One of these days I’ll have to post the recipe I use for the cookie dough and icing.

TOOT TOOT!  (Couldn’t help it, I’m pretty proud of myself)

Congrats to Tori and Stephen!

Catch up

It has been a busy week!!  Here is what has happened since Friday:

Saturday – Izzy’s 1st birthday party in Harrisburg, PA!  It was a beautiful day.  Poor Izzy was feeling under the weather.  But this birthday party is more for the grown ups anyway, isn’t it?  It was great to see Stacy and Andy and all of Stacy’s family.  It’s always such a treat catching up with them.  Can’t believe they knew me back when I (attempted to) play basketball.  Haha!  Stacy’s dad has some funny stories about me from those days.

Sunday – Church then “white tornado-ing**” the house.  Bob’s mom, Mary, and sister, Leslie, came to visit for a few days.  It had been such a long time since we’d seen them since they were in New Zealand for 5 weeks!!  They got here Sunday evening.

Monday – Pretty relaxed day with MIL and SIL.  Had fish and chips for lunch from Conrad’s.  YUM!!  Our favorite!!  Walked to Target with the Baby Boy.  Made some rosemary bread in the bread machine.  (So the whole house smelled delish.)  We also did a little house work.  It’s standard when my MIL comes to visit.  Mary helped me rearrange some furniture in the second bedroom and hang some frames/artwork.

My younger sister and SIL are very similar.  They get along great and even call each other sisters-in-law, even though, technically, they are not.  So since Ellen lives in Bethesda and had off this night, she came for dinner and to stay over.  Also, it was Dave’s birthday so we invited him up for dinner as well.  We pretended we didn’t know it was his birthday and that we were just inviting him so that he could see Mary and Leslie. Then we surprised him with a card and an ice cream cake after dinner.  It was fun!

Tuesday – Mary and Les hit the road after some coffee in the morning.  Ellen and I went to IKEA (LOVE) to pick up some frames for her house.  We also hit up Trader Joe’s for some dark chocolate-covered espresso beans and banana chips.  They may or may not have been my lunch that day.  It rained all flippin’ day so after Ellen headed home, I spent the rest of the day organizing my stuff for the Bridal Shower.

Wednesday – TORI’S BRIDAL SHOWER!!!  SO MUCH FUN!!  I’m so ticked at myself because I brought my camera and was determined to take lots of pictures.  After everything was set up, I whipped it out and….dead battery!  UGH!  But Tori’s sister, Cassie, has a nice camera and she promised to send out the pictures she took.  I’ll post all about that once she sends them.

Next post will be all about the cookies I made as favors.  I must say…they were a hit!

Wrapping Up the Week

A post about wrapping a present on Friday!  Clever, Right?! 🙂

Here we go:

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I have a couple birthdays coming up.  One is my high school friend’s daughter’s birthday on the 12th.  And the other is my niece’s birthday on the 15th.  Both are turning ONE!!  Crazy how time flies.  My niece, Jo’s birthday party will be held in Memphis next Saturday.  We have a wedding that day so we won’t be able to go.  SO…I’m packing up her presents and sending them to her in the mail.  BUT…tomorrow is Izzy’s birthday party.  That’s a picture of her gift all wrapped up.  I’ll show you how I made that cute flower.  (Full disclosure: I saw the idea on Pinterest)

First I folded a few pieces of tissue paper.  (I keep tissue paper from the gifts we receive.  I seriously have tons of it.  People make fun of me because after I open a present, I fold up the tissue paper and/or wrapping paper but I NEVER have to buy either.)  I just folded all the pieces in half because I only needed 2 layers of each color.  Then I cut out a square in the size I needed…

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…And stapled them together right in the middle.

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I had a flower shaped cookie cutter that I used to trace, but you could just free hand it if you’re good like that.

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Trace and Cut.

Then take each layer and kind of scrunch it up one layer at a time.DSC00703

And you get a pretty little flower.

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You could do this so many different ways.  More layers, more colors, all one color, bigger, smaller, etc.  The possibilities are ENDLESS!!  haha  I added a few pieces of curled ribbon.

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I love it and it adds a little something to the gift.

What do you think?

The Ghost in My Kitchen

I was in the kitchen yesterday working on some cookies.  I put Clark on the floor to hang out for a little while.  He’s really good at entertaining himself, especially now that he can roll over.  When we’re in the kitchen, I always put him on a blanket.  Three reasons: 1. It seems more comfortable on the hard floor.  2. He spits up a lot and it’s just easier to pick up the blanket and throw it in the laundry, as opposed to wiping it up.  and 3. I don’t clean the kitchen floor nearly as often as I should.  It’s gross.

He’s also REALLY good at grasping things now.  So it cracked me up when I looked down and saw this…

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I wish I had gotten a video of it.  He wasn’t even fussing.  He was just moving his head around like

What’s going on…Why is it so dark?

Of course I got the camera before unwrapping him.  Haha!  My silly little man!

P.S. The cookies I was working on are for a Bridal Shower next week.  I’ll post all about them once the Shower is over.  I’m so proud of how they turned out.

Sometimes I cook…

Actually, more than sometimes.  Currently I’m a stay-at-home mom so I definitely feel the responsibility to have a cooked dinner most nights.  Even if that means just marinating a meat to put on the grill.  I also enjoy cooking.  Usually.  Some nights I am just way too tired lazy to cook dinner.  Anyway, I made a super easy dinner that was yummy and easy clean-up the other night.

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

I know that soup is kind of a cold weather meal, but it really doesn’t have to be.  Especially when it’s Mexican.  Mexican food always reminds me of warm weather.  I adapted it from Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  Here’s what I did:

First I chopped up some veggies and threw them into the crock pot (already turned on low).

  • 1/2 cup green pepper
  • 1/2 cup red pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion (I used red, but any kind would be great)

There’s also a minced clove of garlic in there.

Then I chopped up some chicken.  I had some pre- marinated and cooked.  It doesn’t have to be marinated, or cooked, for that matter.  You could throw it in raw and just shred it before serving.  You could also just get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred some of that to throw in.

  • 2-3 cups of chopped or shredded chicken

Side note: How cute is my sous chef??

Yes, he’s in a stroller.  He’s not quite strong enough to keep his head up if he’s sitting in the Bumbo for a long time and he got bored with being on the floor/rolling over.

Back to the soup…

To the veggies and chicken, I added some Taco seasoning.  You can make your own (I often do), but I had this on hand, so..why not?

  • 1/4 cup Taco Seasoning
I stirred that in.  Look how pretty!!
Then I straight up copied Pioneer Woman and added a can of Rotel.  Like she says…a can diced tomatoes and a can of green chillies gets you the exact same thing.
  • 1 15oz can o’ Rotel
Next, (we are almost done…) Chicken Broth.  It totally doesn’t have to be organic.  Again, this is just what I had in the pantry.
  • 1 32 oz. box of Chicken Broth

Then, my camera died.  Awesome-sauce!  I did take pics with my Ipad, but I guess I deleted those? I’m horrible with technology.  OBVI!

Here’s what else I added but don’t have the proof:

  • 1 15 oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 T tomato paste

I totally thought I had frozen corn in the freezer, but I was wrong :-(.  If I had it, I would have added about 1/4 cup.

  • With the crock pot on low, let it simmer for a few hours.  In my case, the chicken was already cooked so I just wanted the flavors to come together and for the whole thing to get hot.

To serve it, I put some shredded pepper jack cheese at the bottom of a bowl and ladled in some soup.  Then on top, I added some chopped up avocado and squeezed a slice of lime over it all.  MMMMmmmm.  It was delish.  We just ate it with a spoon, but you could also try it with tortilla chips.

Seriously, I had an awesome picture of the soup all served up and pretty.  Maybe it’s out there in cyber space somewhere.  Trust me, it was good!

Bob had three bowls.