Saturday, November 29, 2008

CYO: Christmas Wreath

It is out with the fall and in with the Christmas here at Bowl of Cherrys. Now that Thanksgiving is over, we are welcoming in the Christmas cheer with a new wreath on our front door. I purchased a simple grapevine wreath from the craft store along with some sprigs of berries in white, red, and gold. (I am not a huge metallic person, so I bought 2 sprigs each of the red and white and only one of the gold.) I simply cut the berry springs into smaller sections and poked them into the wreath. In some places I used the wire stems to wrap them around the wreath. Once the berries were all on, I made a bow out of some ribbon I had on hand. (I may end up replacing the bow. It gets a little dwarfed by everything else.)

This couldn't be easier and I am very happy with how it turned out. Now on to the other Christmas decorating.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Foodie Friday

Here it Black Friday and all you can think about is how much you ate yesterday! Well, think of the people like me who have another Thanksgiving feast coming at them tomorrow.

All that you need to do to eat today (and for a month, for that matter) is go to the fridge, take out a container or two, heat in the microwave and enjoy those Thanksgiving left overs.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

4 Months!

I have been pregnant for four months as of yesterday. It is crazy how slowly and yet how quickly the time has been going. Part of me just wants to fast-forward to May and part of me wants to enjoy every minute before then. I guess that awaiting the birth of your first child is a bit of an emotional roller coaster. There are the daily concerns with how the baby is doing. There are the thoughts of what it will be like to be a parent. And there are the more practical thoughts of what stuff we are going to be needing and when we should start collecting it. The best part of all these thoughts is that I can daily leave it in the Lord's hands. His hands are much more capable of such things and it is not something that I can control anyway.

Our baby currently is the size of an opened hand, 5 inches long. Most of our baby's body parts and systems are in place. Now it is just a matter of maturing and growing. Our baby can even hear noises in the world around him/her. (That means it will come out knowing what the sound of its mother yelling because he/she gets to hear it daily at preschool.) :o/

We have started to collect a few baby things. (A crib mattress, some used onsies, some darling gifts from a wonderful friend.) They are all sitting in the room that will be the nursery. It is crazy to walk in there and see baby things. It never fails to put a smile on my face.

I have made the jump into maternity clothes. (Although the trapeze style shirts that are in style now work well with the early belly, too. Thank you Kohls.) Maternity pants sure are a lot more comfortable than trying to squeeze into my pre-pregnancy ones. Besides, once you have those knit top maternity pants on and covered with a shirt, no one even knows that they are there. :o)

I go to see the doctor again a week from today. I am praying that it is another quick and reassuring visit. For now, I am going to enjoy all of the Thanksgiving food that I can. (And try not to let the weigh-in at the doctor's office get in my way.)

Why We Need Snow . . .

This little--er big--guy here is why we need a good covering of snow on the ground. Without M and my knowledge, we apparently opened an all-you-can-eat salad bar in our backyard.
We must have moved into jack rabbit territory when we bought our house. At first it was fun watching them lope across our backyard. Then M started to notice that someone was munching on our nice, new grass. Since then, it is a common sight to look out our back window and see the sight of a jack munching our green goods. Tonight I looked out and found four of these giants out there. (Imagine how much grass four jack rabbits can go through?!) I tried to catch them on film, but unfortunately the lighting wasn't good.
I am thinking that we need some of the white stuff or we won't have any green stuff left.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Memories

Don't worry, I haven't skipped over Thanksgiving. I just saw this new ornament from Hallmark and had to share it with you. My sister and I had this Fisher Price farm when we were growing up. Now here it is in adorable, mini-ornament form. Seeing this brings back so many wonderful memories! (Like opening the door to hear the cow moo!!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Foodie Friday: Dirty Martini Spread

When we were home at the beginning of the month my mom had some of this spread in the fridge and it was so good. Apparently they had bought a mix for it a while back and then decided that they could probably duplicate it on their own.

-1 pkg. Cream Cheese (I used Neufatchel to make for easier mixing/spreading)

-ranch dressing mix

-hot sauce

-random other spices (I used some garlic powder and a little bit of cumin)

-sliced green olives (to taste; I didn't add many and M thought that it was plenty. You don't want them to overwhelm the other spices.)

Mix the cheese and seasoning together until well mixed. Gently stir in olives. Chill. Use for spread on crackers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Craft Room

Would you like to see one of the rooms in our lower level? (I know you all have been holding your breath.) This is currently my craft room. Sometime before May it will become the office/spare room. The current office is where we are planning on having the nursery. The plan is to then build a little craft nook in the downstairs living room.

So, for now, this is where I stamp, scrapbook, sew, and create.

1) The multi-purpose table. I had been sewing this weekend so the sewing machine is out. After I took these shots, I put the machine away so I could work on a stamping project.

2) Some of the containers that I keep supplies in along the ledge of the room.

3) The stamp cabinet that my dad made for me.

4) All of my paper. (I tend to collect it.)

5) The closet where some supplies are stored. We had plans to build shelving in here before we knew we were having the baby. (You can even see the Post-It notes where I was thinking that the shelves should be placed. Hopefully I will now have a shelving unit in the living room to hold everything.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

Emily over at Imperfect has nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. (Thanks, Emily.)

Now that I have been nominated I am supposed to name six things that I am thankful for and then pass this on to six of the blogs that I read. Now even though I am a teacher, I am not always very good at following directions. I have decided that I WILL name six things that I am thankful for, but I will not nominate six other blogs. Most of the blogs I read have already been nominated. (You know who you are!)

1) I am thankful for a loving God, who forgives all of my wrongs and sends me countless earthly blessings.

2) I am thankful for a wonderful marriage that just keeps getting better and better.

3) I am thankful for the new life that is growing inside of me. I can't go a minute without thinking of our little baby and the amazing miracle being performed inside of me.

4) I am thankful for all of those that hold me near and dear. (I can't wait to see many of you at Thanksgiving and Christmas!)

5) I am thankful for the new home that we have been enjoying (for 4 months now.)

6) I am thankful for the jobs that M and I are able to go to everyday. (Even on the days we don't want to get out of our warm, soft bed.)

While I am not passing this on to anyone, maybe you can take a few moments today and think of what the blessings are in your life.

Monday, November 17, 2008

C-Y-O: Make a Purse

It has been a while since I wrote a Create-Your-Own entry. I have been creating, I just haven't blogged about any of my creations. Here is one of the latest.

Have you noticed the cute purses that you can buy these days? I am not talking about Dooney and Burke, but the modern handmade purses that you can purchase. (Just a quick search on Etsy turns up so, so many to drool over.) Of course, if you can buy them handmade, you can make them yourself. I decided to purchase the Marlo Bloom pattern from the Heather Bailey Store, make it, and give it to my sister for her birthday. It is a fun purse with fun lines. I would think you could make it out of just about any print fabric and it would turn out fabulously. (And did I mention that it is reversible?!)

The purse turned out wonderfully, I think. The only problem I had was getting it done on time. I did finally get it out to her; now I can blog about it. I can't wait to make up some more. (That may have to wait until after Christmas, however. The creative que is getting long.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Other Side

When M and I watch a movie, it is ussually rented. If we do go to a theater, it is the cheap theater which is convienently located a few blocks from our home. The cheap theater is . . . cheap. The chairs are all a bit broken. The floor is always sticky. The heat is always turned down. It is however . . . cheap. I can't see spending more than two times the amount of money to see the same thing. It just doesn't make sense to me.
Just this month, however, we went to a "real" theater two times. (It was even an UltraScreen!!) We had coupons to get $4 tickets the first time and then free ticket vouchers the second time. You should have seen us as we walked in. It was like being in New York City for the first time. The carpet was vacuumed. There were digital signs naming the movie playing outside of each theater and how long until show time. Once we entered our theater, we walked to our seats without having to peel our shoes from the floor. Oh and our seats, they were so comfy!! Even better, I didn't need the extra coat I always carry to movies as they seemed to have the heat turned up to a comfortable temperature.
Now this doesn't mean that we won't be going right back to our cheap theater ways now that the coupons have been redeemed, but it was nice to see how the other side lives--even for a few hours.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Foodie Friday: Cheese Rolls

Here is another recipe from the recipe binder. (This one is from Better Homes and Gardens, but I am not sure what date.) I made these the other night to go with a homemade soup. I was pretty proud of myself for making everything for supper completely from scratch. (Not that this never happens, it is just fun to make food unassisted.) The dough makes a really good roll. I might even try it for cinnamon rolls someday.

Here is what you will need:

1 pkg. active dry yeast

1/4 c. sugar

1 egg

1/4 c. shortening

3 1/4 to 3 1/2 c. flour

1 t. salt

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 c. chopped onion

1 T. dried chives

1 t. garlic salt

Here is what to do:

1. In large bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid with the dough beater) combine 1 c. warm water and yeast; stir until yest is dissolved. Stir in sugar. Add egg, shortening, 1 c. of the flour, and salt. Beat on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minuted total.) Shape dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).

2. Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 9x9x2 pan. In a medium bowl combine cheese, onion, chives and garlic salt. Roll dough to a 15x12 rectangle. Sprinkle cheese mixture over dough. Roll up starting from a long side. Seal seam. Slice roll into 9 pieces. Place in prepared pan. Cover; let rise 40 minutes or until almost doubled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool 20 minutes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Aw, How Cute

Do you ever see an older couple and wonder if that is how you will be when you get to that point in your life. Sometimes you can just see the love that they have for each other in the simplest of glances or the merest of touches. When I was out running errands today I caught a glimpse of the couple M and I will most likely become. As this elderly couple was making their way across the parking lot to the store the woman gestures with her hand to her husband. The meaning of the gesture was apparent to all. "Get over here and hold my arm so I don't slip and fall, you big gallute." Yep, that will be us someday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pizza! Pizza!

So, ever since I found out I was pregnant, I can't get enough pizza. Pizza is the one thing that has always sounded good to me. It is too bad that it doesn't count for all of my nutritional needs or I would give in to my craving a little more often. (Um, like, everyday.)

We have had Little Cesar's, Papa John's, regular old frozen pizza, homemade pizza, Papa Murphy's, and right now I am cooking up a Digiorno Pizza. I am wondering if I will ever get sick of pizza. (Maybe M is wondering that too.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

How We Told Our Families

With a great secret like a new grandchild/niece/nephew to spill, I wanted to come up with a fun way to do it. M is more of a straight forward kind of guy and wasn't sure if he wanted to do anything too elaborate. We settled on the scrapbook approach.

I have been dabbling in scrap booking for a few years now and was onto my second album. Only M had seen this one so far. I created the following page to slip in the back of the book. (Now, I am not on the year 2008 yet in my scrap booking, so this page is jumping ahead a bit, but it all worked out.)

Jenny was the first to get the news when she was here visiting. I had put the scrapbook in the living room under a pile of other books and was planning on showing it to her once her kids were in bed. She spotted it before I could show her and I let her page through until she was almost at the end. I told her there was a surprise there. She figured it out right away and even had tears in her eyes as she told me congratulations.
At M's parents, I let his mom finish getting lunch in the oven and then asked if she wanted to see my latest scrapbook. When she got to the end she figured it out pretty quickly and M told his dad why she was so excited about a scrapbook. Unfortunately in all the baby talk that followed M's mom never got around to making the apple crisp for dessert. We'll see if M's dad ever forgives this baby for that. ;o)
When we got to my family's it was almost time for supper, so we all ate and then we were headed to church together. My sister and M's sister were both there, but my sister had to leave early as her choir was singing. Everyone was in one room when I went to get the book. When I came back, everyone was gone. I waited as patiently as I could and finally my mom and M's sister came back. I told them they should look at it together. When they got to the end, mom was still looking at the page before the baby page. M's sister figured it out, looked up and said, "Really?" At that, my mom figured it out, too. I think it took a while for the news to sink in with my mom.
When my dad was looking a few minutes later, he had been looking at the previous page and then his face changed as he figured it out. (I don't know how much any of them got out of the church service that night.)
We showed the book to my sister after the service. I think that she was the most shocked. She even picked me up off the ground when she hugged me. She has been bugging us about making her an aunt for a long time now.
It was so much fun to share our news with everyone and see how happy they were for us. I am glad that we got to do it with so many people in person.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

IKEA and Trader Joe's

There are just some stores I will go out of my way to shop at. IKEA and Trader Joe's just happen to be two of my favorites. I am thinking that it is a good thing that there aren't any closer as that could lead to bigger budget issues than we already have. ;o) (Don't worry, M and I are doing fine. I just sometimes struggle under the burden of a budget. In the end I know it is for my good, but that doesn't make it any easier when I am an instant gratification kind of gal that like to shop.)

Our trip last weekend started out with a stop at each of these stores. M had never been to a TJs before and I think the trip converted him. He saw that they have good prices on good food (and wine.) With our TJs bags in hand, we set out to find the items on my list. While we didn't find everything, we did find the majority of what I was looking for.
We were making great time as headed to our next stop, IKEA. Unfortunately we hit some major construction and traffic which didn't leave us much time at IKEA. Thankfully with it being Halloween night, it was really dead and we were able to zip around quickly. We didn't purchase anything big, but we now have our eyes on a few pieces. We loaded our IKEA bags with one recycling bin for under the sink, one Christmas present, one curtain rod, and some Christmas wrapping paper. (Okay so really the only thing that fit in our IKEA bag was the Christmas present, but when you have IKEA bags, you've got to use them.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Foodie Friday: Chicken and Veggie Pizza

Have no fear, Foodie Friday is here. (And yes, I am reverting to my Sesame Street days with that quote. Do YOU remember who would say that?)

Since we stopped at Trader Joe's on our trip, I was able to pick up one of their pre-made whole wheat pizza crusts. I like using them because they are delicious and reasonably priced. Now if only we didn't have to drive three hours to pick one up. I used that crust for the base of this pizza. Normally I make my own crust from scratch or use a frozen bread loaf.

I started with two diced chicken breast. These were cooked in some olive oil in a saucepan. I diced a variety vegetables: zucchini, spinach, broccoli, green peppers, and onions. These were sauteed in another sauce pan. I mixed one cup of spaghetti sauce with 2 Tablespoons of an olive tapenade, some garlic powder, and some finely chopped sun dried tomato bits. (I am sure diced olives would also work in place of the tapenade.) After spreading the marinara mixture, the chicken and veggies were added. This was topped with shredded Mozzarella.

We baked it for 10-15 minutes at 425. ***Picture Disclaimer*** This picture was taken of a cold piece of pizza as I packed my lunch. (Note the Rubbermaid symbol on the bottom.) I forgot to take one of the pizza fresh out of the oven.

It was delicious and very filling we enjoyed the leftovers in our lunches the rest of the week.

The idea for this recipe came from a Good House Keeping magazine from October 2006. I keep a binder with recipes that I have cut out from magazines or printed off the internet. Maybe I will post about my binders sometime. (If you're lucky. ;o)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage . . .

Then comes a baby in a baby carriage.
I couldn't be happier to announce that M and I are expecting our first child!! I am currently 13 weeks pregnant with a due date of May 11. So far everything has been going very well. I have only had a bit of nausea and no puking. (That is a relief as I HATE to throw up.) I have been a bit on the tired side. (Afternoon naps have been a good friend to me.)

Here is an ultrasound picture from my first doctor's visit. We were 8 weeks at this point, so not much to see.

I had my second doctor's appointment yesterday and everything checked out well. I got to hear the heartbeat again. (That is music to an expecting mother's ears.)

Here I am today. I haven't switched to maternity clothes yet, but have started buying a few pieces here and there. Everyone says stay in your normal clothes as long as possible, so I am. (They make this neat thing called a Bella Band. Let me tell you, it is helpful for when you can't button your pants anymore.)

We told our families this weekend on our trip. I will fill you in on how we did that later.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Road Trip!

We are headed out of town for the weekend. We will be cramming as much as we can into our quick little trip including, seeing family, seeing friends, and stopping at IKEA and Trader Joe's. There really isn't much more one can ask for in life!

I have been studying up for our IKEA trip. We will have limited time and I want to make the most of it. We don't have much budgeted for home furnishings this month, but a girl can dream, can't she? Here are a few of the items that I have been looking at. (Don't worry, I have narrowed the pictures to a select few items. I think if funds were unlimited and we had a U-Haul, I could finish our entire house. It is a good thing that the nearest IKEA is three hours from here.)

This is a sold as a linen storage cabinet, but I could think of many other wonderful uses for this beauty. While I love the cheery yellow, I wish that it came in some other colors too. We need bar stools for the nibbler bar. I think that these would be perfect. They of course will have to pass the comfort test and the wobble test, but we shall see. The last pieces I could see putting together for our entertainment center in the upstairs living room. I have been wanting taller shelves on each side of the tv and I think that these would work out nicely.