Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just Desserts

Here is an equation that sums up my husband:
Turkey dinner + sports(football) = happiness

I like turkey dinner okay, but I'm more of a sweets person. And since I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year I get to make the menu, but I can't decide on which desserts to make. They all sound sooo good!

(I'd like to forget about entrees and sides and plan a week of just desserts!)

Of course I should probably make pumpkin and apple pies. But I feel so limited by tradition.

I really think the pilgrims would approve of this pie: And I am very thankful for chocolate.
Click here for the recipe.

What treats are you making for Thanksgiving week?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear Stock Market

I know it's been a while since we last talked. What's been going on? I stopped by yesterday to see how you're doing and was really shocked at how awful you look.

It seems like you're having a rough time, but I would like to remind you about our agreement. You're supposed to give me a nice cushion like this, in case I ever need something to fall back on:

I thought things were good between us, and my cushion was coming right along. Maybe even respectable enough for us to visit my brother and his family in Belgium next Spring.

But yesterday when I stopped by, I saw THIS, and frankly, I am appalled. This kind of poor performance is unacceptable. I expect you to get your act together and stop messing around.

This is your last warning.

P.S. - Sorry I can't write more, but I have talk to the house about its lack of appreciation too. Seriously, what's wrong with you guys?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reasons today is nice

I've been saving some chocolate from Belgium for a special occasion, and today I'm eating it. Thanks to my sister-in-law for the delicious treat, I sure miss you guys!

Xander's little wheeze is just a virus and it's not down in his lungs.

Splashy, bath-time FUN

My mom is going to be here in less than a week to see my darling boy for the first time since he was born in January.

A friend that has been trying to adopt was just chosen by a birth-mom! Their new baby girl will be born in January. Click here to see her blog and the cute advent calendar she just made.

My sweetheart dropped Olivia off at preschool on his way to work, even though it made him a little late.

And he kissed me goodbye
just a little lingeringly

(Is that even a word? Because that's what it was like.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WFMW: Toy Storage on a Budget

This is just a cheapo over-the-door shoe organizer from Target.

It's the best toy organizing system I've ever had. It is perfect for all of the little things that would normally get lost in her toybox.


When the door's open it is completely hidden. She can't reach the top toys without help, so I rotate them. When she starts getting bored with something I put it on the top and move the ones on the top row down to the bottom.

(If I was super organized I could even print photos of her toys and tape them behind the plastic so she would put each toy in a certain spot.)

Before I started using the door organizer I made a place for her to keep her Barbies. This is just an under-the-bed storage container.

I made the dividers by cutting strips of foam board and then using moving tape to attach them inside the box. Once all of the Barbies, sidekicks and accessories are stashed inside, we just hide it under the bed, completely out of sight.

If you like these ideas or have other suggestions, please leave me a comment!

And for more great ideas, head on over to
Rocks in My Dryer for Works for Me Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Give us this day...

Today was beautiful but cold. Autumn is turning into winter so fast. It even snowed a little bit today!

I decided the day called for some good comfort food: Mom's minestrone soup and home-made bread.

It was the first time I've ever made a loaf of bread without a mixer or bread machine and it turned out perfect. I think I've had 8,709 pieces. Or 5. A lot, anyway. Can you see the butter melting on the bread? Can you see how perfectly it would soak up the soup?

Can you blame me for eating so much?

For dessert I had the creamiest, coldest eggnog from a local farm. It was so rich and decadent.

Xander's been refusing to eat baby food from a jar. Tonight I cut up the veggies in our soup and gave him minestrone mash instead. He loved it! I love the forehead carrot look.

It was a perfect day to usher in the cold weather.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things I Love About My Sis

She comes to visit me after I have a baby.

Taking road trips with her.
She remembers the strangest things from when we were kids.
Like, the flower press.

She's crescent fresh.
We go to Collective Soul concerts together.

Our cats were best friends and now so are our daughters.

She sang in a band.
She thinks she can load a dishwasher better than me.

If I was stranded on a desert island, she's the one thing I'd bring.

She's beautiful.

She came to my rescue when I moved far away from home.
Wild turkey tall-tales.

She loves my kids.
And she's my best friend.

Happy birthday, Lynzee!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pizza Night

Friday I picked up some whole wheat flour and fresh mozzarella cheese to get ready for our first time making pizza from scratch.

Here's Olivia mixing the dry ingredients and Alexander licking the salt shaker while threatening to fall off the counter.

What concentration!

I'm not a big salad fan, but I love this one. I made it while the pizza was cooking and then bribed Olivia to eat it by offering her a cheesy poof for each bite of salad she ate. Strawberries, feta cheese, candied nuts and dressing, yum! Thanks to the Oak family for introducing me to this treat.

I don't think pizza baking should be so smoky!

Here's a picture of the finished product. It is pesto, mozzarella and tomato. We also had buffalo-style and regular cheese with black olives. This one turned out the best.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun in Bed

Not that kind of fun!
This was what my bed looked like when I got up this morning.
(Notice that no one is sleeping on my pillow?)

Not a lot of room left over for the official bed occupants!

I also found out today how to do color and different sizes in my posts, yay!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bellaziza's Favorite Things

I am a closet stroller addict. I love looking at all of the fancy strollers, and sometimes I go into those high end baby stores and test drive them. I push the kid(s) around and kick the tires, etc.

When I had Xander I thought that finally I'd be able to justify one of the really cool double strollers they have now, but when it comes to plopping down $800 for a stroller, there is just no way. Never going to happen.

That means I'm going to have to win one if I ever want one!

So I'm putting up a link to a giveaway for a Phil and Ted's Vibe stroller. The idea is you enter once by subscribing, then you can post a link to them for another entry.

Now, even though it reduces my odds of winning if you subscribe, if this sweet ride goes to a friend instead of to me that's okay. The website has some nice, high-end giveaways too, check it out. Good luck!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mean Girl

Why are kids so mean to each other? Siblings especially. Like why do they hit and fight and punch and bite? I know as a kid I did it, but the reasons why I did it are completely lost to me. I have no memory of why I liked pushing my little brother's buttons so much. It's possible I did it just for the sake of pushing them and watching him fly off the handle.

So now we know where my daughter gets it.

On multiple times I've seen Olivia reach over and just hit her baby brother on the head for no reason. Once I was able to wheedle out of her that she did it because she wanted to see what it felt like.

The one that really blew my mind though happened last week. The two kids were sitting on the floor and Liv had a pointy Halloween witch hat and was "this close" from putting the point in the baby's eye.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Fridge of Doom

After we got home from church I was getting some tortillas out of the fridge and noticed something sticky on the package. Uh-oh. It had been a while since I'd cleaned out the zillions of optimistic leftover containers, and I thought something had probably tipped over and spilled.

I'm not particularly a fan of cleaning out the fridge. In fact, I frequently feel that the fridge is sort of lurking over in the corner of the kitchen, full of dark secrets that I don't want to know about.

However, I have learned (from hard experience) that it's better to clean up fridge spills as soon as you spot them. So I started pulling things out to find the source of the sticky and realized it was worse than I thought. Not one, but two cans of soda had frozen and then exploded at the very back of the fridge.

Needless to say, I didn't get any writing done today.

Friday, November 07, 2008

How to Write a Novel in a Month

Some of you might have seen the new little counter thing on my right sidebar. It is counting how many words Lahdeeda and I have written in November as we try to write an entire novel in a month.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it's been around for 10 years. I couldn't believe I'd never heard of it until this year. Anyway, there are thousands of people around the world trying to write 50,000 words in a month. And what's our secret?

The trick is that you don't worry about writing the next Pulitzer. You don't even worry about writing something publishable (yet). The trick to writing a novel in a month is that you just write. Every day, you just write. You write down the flat characters, the cliched descriptions, the non-exciting action and the stale dialogue. Once you stop worrying about how awful it is, something changes (at least for me it does) and the story and characters start to feel kind of real. And they start sounding better.

It's been really exciting to see a novel actually taking shape as I write. I've always thought I could do something like this but never took the steps to actually do it. Now I am and it's an eye-opening experience.

Keep an eye on my counter to see my progress. I am pretty behind already, but I'm just trying to make my daily goals instead of catching up. And even though I am behind where I want to be, I'm still 5,000 words closer to finishing a novel than I've ever been before! Wish me luck. :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Warhammer Winners!

Thanks for so many fun and complimentary comments. It was great hearing how many of you want to play the game or are already enjoying it. I was so inspired I decided to give away BOTH of my prizes and some consolation prizes as well! (Also, I just have way too much of this Warhammer stuff sitting around.)

Grand Prizes:
  • Becky N. - Warhammer game
  • Toohotforturtle - Warhammer "swag" bag
Consolation Prizes:
  • Mitch - Warhammer mug
  • T - Warhammer Christmas picture
I'll be contacting the winners via email. Happy daylight savings weekend everyone!