Sunday, March 30, 2014

Asparagus and Corn Pizza

Since getting the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day for Christmas it has been really easy to make all our bread from scratch and this include pizza dough! I love this book so much because it has you make up a huge batch of dough and store it in your fridge, then you can cut off a chunk and use it whenever you want. I've started getting more experimental with my pizza lately and this is a light and lovely springtime pizza recipe I threw together.


Premade pizza dough (you can buy it at the store or use any recipe you like. I love the Artisan Bread's olive oil dough for this though)

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 small bunch asparagus

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 cup chopped kale

1/2 onion sliced thin

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbs olive oil plus more for drizzling

1 tbs butter

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Make sure to heat your pizza stone for at least 20 minutes before baking to get a nice crispy crust. I also find it helps to bake the crust on it's own for 3 to 5 minutes before adding toppings to keep it from getting soggy. While the oven and stone are heating sauté the onions, garlic, corn and kale in olive oil and butter.

Spread the corn mixture evenly over the rolled out pizza dough and sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper. Top with as much asparagus as you like and/or can fit on your pizza. Sprinkle the top with feta and parmesan cheeses and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is just starting to brown in places.

I imagine this would be lovely with a white wine while sitting on a patio but it's pretty tasty no matter where you eat it. This was such a hit with me and Eric that I'm looking forward to trying out new and creative pizza recipes soon!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Smoothie Time!

As Different as my pregnancies have been my cravings have been pretty much the same this time as the last time around. It starts out with carbs in the first trimester and moves on to fruit in the second and third. I drank so many smoothies when I was pregnant with Echo and since the weather has been getting a bit warmer we have been getting back in to smoothies in a major way. The problem was that we had a pretty crummy blender that didn't handle ice well which made smoothie making very frustrating and time consuming. We knew we needed something better but didn't want to spend $500 on a vitamix so Eric did his online research thing (he's a whiz at that!) and came up with a much cheaper but still pretty decent option. We ended up going with a Ninja Master Prep Professional. It's awesome because it comes with three pitchers, one for blending, one for food processing and one for chopping. We use the big and medium pitchers both to make smoothies and have yet to use the little pitcher but so far we have been very happy with it's ability to handle ice and frozen fruit. I Usually have two smoothies a day now and Echo enjoys them too!

In the photos here we are having a banana, orange pineapple smoothie but my undisputed favorite is banana peanut butter and chocolate. I have it for breakfast pretty much every day. All you do is put in one banana, a heaping spoonful of peanut butter, a heaping spoonful of cocoa powder, a little milk and a handful of ice cubes. It's awesome because it satisfies my sweet tooth and keeps me full until lunch!

If you are ever in the market for a new blender but don't want to spend a fortune I recommend the ninja. If you are unsure about it you are always welcome to drop by our house and sample a smoothie :-D

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Toddler Activities- Blanket Fort

Now that mommyhood is my full time job, I spend a lot of time thinking of exciting activities to try with Echo. Not only is it fun to watch her explore new things, it is essential that I tire her out as much as possible every day. She has so much energy and this is the best way I've found to make sure she sleeps! If the weather is nice my job is easy, I just take Echo to the park and let her play for a as long as she wants. However as we have been having a few cold spells here and there I've had to try to get a little more creative. 

blanket fort from above
 One thing I had been looking forward to trying once I had kids (who am I kidding, things like this are the reason I wanted kids!) is building blanket forts with them. This is something I remember as being so much fun from my childhood and lately Echo has been in to crawling through things so I thought now would be a good time to start.

I mostly stuck to sheets for my raw materials as they are light and easy to work with. I made this fort pretty small scale as this was my first attempt. Echo thought it was super fun and loved crawling through the space. I brought in some pillows and books and she loved reading stories in there too, it made the day feel just a little more special and magical.

My cute little monkey
I imagine building blanket forts will be even more fun once the kids are old enough to help. I'll be honest that I'm not the worlds greatest blanket fort architect but Echo didn't seem to mind and it was a fun thing to do on a yucky day when we were stuck inside.

Other resources I've found for good toddler activities are pinterest and other moms. It's amazing all the cool things that are out there to try with your toddler if you start looking around.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's a Girl!

We got to get our first good look at our sweet little girl today and now I am just feeling so happy and emotional. It just goes to show that my instincts are totally off because I was convinced it was a boy this time. I was amazed at how happy I was when the ultrasound tech girl though! I'm sure I would have been thrilled either way to be honest.

Now I am just filled with visions of me and the girls baking together, doing sewing projects and crafts, maybe some day sharing a love of Jane Austen novels. I'm looking forward to lots of tea parties and dress up but also sports, playing in the mud and climbing trees. I hope our girls are well rounded and enjoy both traditionally male and female pursuits.

I hope Echo and her sister will be best friends and try not to be too competitive with each other as girls can sometimes be. I feel certain their bond will be extraordinary and I can't wait to watch them get to know one another. Echo is already such a great little care taker and is so sweet to her stuffed animals and baby dolls and I just know she will be a great big sister.

Our new baby girl will be named Clover Elizabeth, it feels so good to finally call her by her name instead of just "the baby"! Here are some more ultrasound photos for those of you that are interested. She was all balled up in there and refused to give us a profile view but we think she is pretty darn cute already. She was playing with her feet in the most adorable way and I feel like I can see lot's of personality already!

Right and left foot
A great shot of her leg

Head and hands

Here she is playing with her toes, her hand is on the left and foot is on the right 

This is the shot I put on facebook and i think it's the best one we got
I can't believe I am already halfway through this pregnancy! Can't wait to meet you Clover!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Kitten Purse

Just a quick update to share my latest sewing project, a little kitten purse for Echo! She loves purses and wants to unpack mine all the time so I thought I'd make her one of her own. She was really interested in it while I was making it but now that it's finished she hasn't given it much attention. Maybe I need to put more stuff in it for her to unpack ;-) Anyway, I thought it came out cute enough to share, you can find the tutorial I used here. Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Echo's New Room

At long last Echo's big girl room is complete! This was one of the major things we had to do to get ready for the new baby and we have been planning and talking about it for so long that we are really excited to finally get it done. We plan to put the new baby in the nursery (Echo's old room) because it is right across the hall from us and has easy night time access for me. Echo has been sleeping really well lately making it less important for her to be right next to us so moving her to the other room just made sense. I didn't want them sharing a room at this point because I'm afraid the baby will wake Echo up and don't want to mess with her sleep.  

The biggest thing we had to do in this room was get rid of the nasty carpet (as seen in the before picture). Eric's parents came down last weekend to help us work on it and they knocked the whole thing out in just two days! The new floor looks amazing, it really makes me want to do the rest of the rooms that haven't been done yet but it is a huge pain so who knows when that will happen.

My contribution to the room was a mural by Echo's floor bed. I originally really wanted to do this room in a nautical theme (mostly because I wanted to paint a nautical mural) but I could see that Echo really didn't care about under sea stuff as much as I do so in the end I tried to make it something she would enjoy more. She loves to help me in the garden and loves animals so I did some sunflowers and a rabbit for her. She is so proud of this mural and loves the rabbit in particular. She often goes up to it and pats it or gives it kisses, so cute!

This room feels so much more open and it has been fun watching her get used to it. She spent her first night in her new room last night and she slept great in spite of my worries about her adjusting to a new space.

I'm so happy to have her moved in because now she will have plenty of time to think of this as her room before the baby comes and takes over her old room! We still have a few of her things to move in and Eric is building some shelves in her closet but other than that the room is done. Yay!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Coffee Play

You guys, I found the best toddler activity ever, coffee! I saw this idea on pinterest originally, I've tried a few other toddler activities on there but this was by far the biggest hit. I had some really nasty tasting decaf coffee that I bought when trying to cut out caffeine after finding out I was pregnant (yeah, that didn't last long). I finally figured I was never going to drink it so decided to let Echo play with it instead. 

This has really saved me on afternoons when she is grouchy and I'm trying to get dinner made. I just scooped some grounds in to a cookie sheet and gave her a variety of spoons, bowls and measuring cups to dig in it with. We also added some little plastic animals but her favorite was scooping up the coffee and putting it in different containers. At one point she went to the cabinet and got out some muffin tins and loaf pans all by herself  and experimented with those too.

This is a great activity to try with your older baby or toddler, it will really save you on days when you are having a tough time! Just be forewarned that it can be really messy so if that is going to bother you you might want to skip it. I just keep a broom handy and let her go to town!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Art Smock

On my long list of sewing projects making an art smock for Echo quickly moved to the top. She loves to paint and we do it almost every day. We also experiment with a variety of other art materials, most recently learning how to glue, use stickers and work with oil pastels, but painting with tempera is still her favorite. I recently bought her some great new tempera paints from Crayola (they are so bright and bold but still washable!) and a new heavy weight pad of paper to paint on and she has been loving it. To save a little wear and tear on her clothes I whipped up an art smock for her to wear while she paints.

I used almost the same design as I did with the baby smock I made her last year but without the crossover back and with ties on the sides. I used a current dress that fit to get the sizing right but it still came out a little big. This is ok with me because she has room to grow in it!

Thinking really hard about her creation
She looks so sweet in her new smock! I love it! And the busy floral pattern hides little drips of paint well. I am so happy that she loves to paint so much and that it something we can share together.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

February Photos

Oh my goodness I have so much to blog about! I am way behind! But first, February Photos!

Playing at Piedmont Park

Playing at Piedmont Park

Playing at Piedmont Park

Playing at Piedmont Park

Willow is so underrepresented in photos now, here's one of her, looking fluffy as ever

Echo has gotten really good at going down the slide by herself, it's her favorite thing to do at the playground

Echo and her friend Nathan eating blueberries at our baby meet up

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens (photo by Judy Albright)

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens, she loves splashing in puddles

Echo loves helping in the kitchen, here she is sprinkling sesame seeds on our homemade bagels. Sorry for the bad photo, I took it on my phone
More blog posts to come soon. If you want to see more photos check out my shutterfly.