Monday, February 23, 2015

Menu and a (half) birthday!

This weekend was full of fun, even though winter seems like it will never end. Saturday the temps were above freezing (seriously, when did that become warm!?) so we packed up the baby and headed to buy a carseat. Carter still fits in her infant car seat, and probably will until she is about a year old, but Babies R Us was running a killer sale and we ended up saving over $100 on her convertible car seat. Score!

After our shopping trip we went to Wegmans for a late lunch. Carter was more interested in the paper...

Which she promptly tore 30 seconds after this photo. Sorry Wegmans! 

Sunday we did our usual church and work (for me) and then we had our small group over. We just started but I'm really enjoying getting together with this group!

Here are our eats for the week:

Sunday: Tacos with small group
Monday: taco leftovers
Tuesday: Fish, baked potatoes, and green beans
Wednesday: Cornbread chicken casserole (to use up the leftover cornbread!)
Thursday: Slow cooker broccoli cheese soup and cheesy italian quick bread
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: Shrimp quesadillas

As far as baking, I think I'll try these fudgy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars. They are calling to me! I might also make caramel apple pie bars as a pick me up for my dad who is having some minor surgery this week.

Lastly, photo overload! My baby girl is 6 months old today. I love this little ball of crazy so much, and everyday gets more fun! She sits on her own and eats everything we have put in front of her. No teeth and no crawling yet, but I don't think it will be long! Her favorite thing is the cat. Seriously! She loves him more than me or my husband. I'm pretty sure kitty will be her first word.

And a look at how she has changed!

Linking up with

Friday, February 13, 2015

What I'm Reading 1

This Friday I thought I would do an update on my reading goals. I think I'm doing pretty good on my goal of 48 books this year, with 9 read so far. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I know once I stop breastfeeding I will lose that and my pumping time, which will really put a dent in my reading time. I'm hoping to get the bulk of my 48 books done in the first half of the year to account for that :)

Here's what I read in January!

Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

This series is fun, and I like the premise of a bakery as the backdrop for the plot. Its definitely a little cheesy at times, and the characters can get a bit stale, but for the most part its easy and enjoyable reading. I haven't tried any of the recipes that are included, but some of them look really good!

Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Part of the same series as the book above, I remember wondering if I would get to this in time to read it around Christmas. This had a fairly predictable ending, but other than that I thought it was a nice addition to the series.

Mission to Murder by Lynn Cahoon

This series is just ok. I don't like it as much as the one mentioned above, even though the initial premise is similar. It seems like the fact that Jill (the main character) owns a coffee and book store is always dropped as soon as there are more interesting things happening. Since that's the part of the story I like its a bit disappointing. Still, its nice for a bit of easy mystery reading. I would recommend the Hannah Swensen series over this one, but if you are in the mood for "fluff" reading, give it a try.

The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

This series is fun because anything Evanovich writes is bound to be funny. I don't love the romance part of it, because that's just not my thing, but it's easy to get past it. I think my favorite character is Kate's Dad. He reminds me of my dad if he had pursued a career in special ops :) 

M is for Malice by Sue Grafton

I had put this series down for a long time, and just picked it back up again. I don't know if its because it has been so long since I have read these books, but this one seemed particularly moody. Not bad, and still had an engaging story and mystery, but Kinsey seemed particularly affected by the events that transpire. As far as mystery series go, I would say this one is less fluff reading that the others, but at times maybe a little harder to get through also. This could be because I found the mood a little depressing though. Either way, I will be moving on to the next book soon.

The New Mom's Guide to Living on Baby Time by Susan Besze Wallace

This book was loaned to me by a friend (along with a few others that seem to be part of a series but I haven;t read them yet) and I started reading it right before I had Carter, and then would pick it up whenever I thought of it. Honestly, I don't hate it, but I didn't love it either. There wasn't anything new or particularly helpful, and I can remember getting a little offended at some of the assumptions they were making. Mind you, I was reading this during the hormone craziness of just having given birth, but in general I'm pretty easy going and it takes a lot to offend me. I'm not sure if I will read the rest of the books, partly because I think they would have been helpful to read a few months ago.

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

I don't know how Evanovich keeps coming up with funny content 18 books later, but she does! I probably sound like a fangirl, but even though these are very light and "fluffy" reading, they are entertaining and laugh out loud funny. The only thing that I wish was different is that Stephanie is still in limbo with the two men in her life. Make a choice and move on girlfriend! Though I suppose that would alleviate some of the humor in the book. If you haven't read this series yet you should give it a try!

I realize looking at my collection here that it looks like I read nothing but light mystery and Janet Evanovich. Honestly, I don't have the brain capacity to read really deep books right now, and I do read other genres but these just happened to be the ones I got to last month. More variety coming next month, I promise!

Lastly, obligatory Carter photo:

Baby in browns!

What have you been reading lately?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Minuscule Knitting Progress

My knitting time has been all but nonexistent the past few weeks, which is why I haven't shared anything in a while. Carter is still pretty little, and its hard to get too much done when she is awake. Any free time is taken up by fun stuff like hanging out with friends or housework. I can't complain too much though, life is good! Its just tough not being able to sit and knit whenever the mood strikes me. Carter is starting to play much more independently now though, and even though I still like to play with her a lot when I'm home, I think I may try to do at least 10 minutes of knitting a day.

That said, here's my progress on the vivid blanket!

I think I know how I'm going to lay out the colors in the blanket now, so that gives me a good idea of how many squares of each color I need. 3 down, 22 more to go! I'm really enjoying knitting this blanket, and I finally got some better needles to work it on. These are Knit Picks Caspian dpns, and I've only knit one round on them so far but I like them. And it doesn't hurt that they are pretty too!

I also have a Carter photo for you, because let's face it, I take 10x more photos of her than anything else :)

Feet are one of the most entertaining things right now ;) 

Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along

Monday, February 9, 2015

Weekend and Menu

This weekend was a full one! Friday Carter and I joined our friends Sara and Maddie and had dinner at Wegmans and made a quick stop at Target. Honestly the weather has just been awful here, and we all just needed to get OUT! The hubs met up with us for dinner, and it was a fun little trip. It was also Carter's first time riding in a cart outside of her car seat. I think she needs to grow a bit more before she fits well ;)

Saturday I grabbed groceries and prepped lunches and cookies while the hubs took the baby to visit his parents.

We ended up going to the auto show in Buffalo with them later that day, and ate out at Outback. Did you guys know that Outback has click through seating online now? It adds you to the wait list so you don't have to wait as long once you get to the restaurant. You can also now pay at the table! Maybe its just been that long since we were last there, but we were surprised.

Sunday we did church, I went to work, then we had small group. Busy but good day! The hubs sent me this photo of Carter eating:

She loves her food!

Here's what our menu looks like this week:

Sunday: Pizza at small group
Monday: Pork loin and cheesy potato fries
Tuesday: Pizza and roasted broccoli
Wednesday: Egg Mushroom Kielbasa bake
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: Leftovers or order in!

Small group is at our house this weekend, so I think we will do make your own tacos and maybe cornbread? And of course I will bake something... Maybe some of our favorite cookes?

Linking up with and Motivation Monday

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pinterest Finds

Here are some of the things I pinned this week. Maybe you will be inspired by them too!

Peanut Butter and brownie- a winner if I ever heard one!

I'm thinking this would be great to make on a weekend, and have leftovers for the week!

Rethinking out storage in our entryway, and I love this. If only IKEA were closer!

We are really trying to pare our home down to the essentials, and I liked how everything was broken down by months here. 

Is it just me, or do remotes seems to disappear?

I'm going to try and make smoothies a bigger part of my diet, and when looking for some recipes I stumbled across this yumminess. A milkshake that's low in calories and fat? Sign me up! I think the hubs will like this too :)

Casseroles are a staple in our weeknight meals, and this one seems right up our alley!

One of the smoothie recipes I found. I love Sally's recipes because they don't call for crazy healthy mix ins that I don't already have in my pantry. Maybe some day I'll add wheat germ or chia seeds to my smoothies, but for now I like foods I can use other places too.

I love the idea of a coffee table that can be used as a laptop table and eating place as well. I don't love this particular design, but the hubs is crafty, so I'm sure he can modify it!

I love this for an entryway! I actually really like a lot of the styled rooms on this webpage. Someday!

And because no post is complete without a baby photo...

What have you been pinning lately?

Linking up with

Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Weekend and Menu

We had a great weekend here! I love when you can go into the work week satisfied with your weekend and looking forward to the next. Saturday we celebrated the birthday of a friend of ours, and it was a great night! I didn't take any photos (of course) but my brother and his fiance were in town and they watched Carter for us. Carter loves them!

Sunday we went to church then we geared up for the Superbowl.

Carter was very busy!

We got together at my parents house and it ended up being the four of us (well, five with Carter!) My brother and Amy left earlier than planned due to the snow storm we got yesterday and today, so even though we were sad to see them go we knew it was better that they left ahead of the storm.

We don't normally let Carter watch TV, but she did get to watch a few minutes of the Superbowl!

This was our spread for the big game:

I contributed bean dip and chicken wing dip in a bread bowl. We came home with leftovers of both dips, pizza, and wings, so lots of leftovers! In fact, we also have leftovers from the meal my brother made while they were babysitting, so I don't have to cook for a few days!

Here's what our week will look like:

Sunday: Superbowl food
Monday: Chicken Alfredo leftovers
Tuesday: pizza and wings leftovers
Wednesday: Leftovers or soup
Thursday: Slow cooker General Tso's Chicken over rice with broccoli
Friday: homemade pizza

For baking this week, I'm thinking about trying these Apple Crisp Muffins to have for breakfasts. I'm learning I need something quick these days!

Linking up with Motivation Monday and