Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Super Summer Salad

I've been wanting to make this salad all summer, and I finally did today. The ingredients looks long, but it really didn't take much effort to make and it was so worth it. I've stayed away from this recipe becasue of the peanut butter, which I'm not supposed to eat while pregnant. :( Well, I couldn't resist it any longer. I promise not to make it again until next summer though...does that count?

Add a side of fully ripened Colorado peaches (the only kind worth buying in my opinion) and this is the perfect end-of-summer meal.

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Crunchy Asian Noodle Salad (Ina Garten)

½ lb thin spaghetti

1 lb sugar snap peas

1 C vegetable oil

½ C rice vinegar

½ C soy sauce

3 Tb dark sesame oil

1 Tb honey

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp grated ginger

2 Tb white sesame seeds, toasted

½ C smooth peanut butter

1 tsp salt (I would omit next time)

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 red bell peppers thinly sliced

4 scallions (w/green parts, sliced diagonally)

1 Tb white sesame seeds toasted

3 Tb chopped fresh parsley

Cook spaghetti, drain, set aside. Boil water with salt add peas, cook 3 minutes tender crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and immerse in bowl of ice water, drain (I think you can skip this part, the peas are a little too cooked for my taste).

Dressing – whisk oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, 2 Tb sesame seeds, peanut butter, salt to taste and pepper.

Combine pasta, peas, peppers and scallions. Pour dressing over. Add scallions and parsley, mix again. Sprinkle with 1 Tb sesame seeds.


*I added cooked chicken to ours. Allison loved it, I think the long noodles made it fun for her. But Emily came to the table and said "What's that?" and ran away. I did manage to get her to eat about 4 bites though, mostly chicken.

$$ This is fairly inexpensive to make. Expect to pay $6.75 if you have enough soy sauce and the sesame oil on hand and don't add chicken. But if you need to buy the soy sauce and sesame oil, as I did, then add $8 to the cost. I'm not counting things like the pasta or PB, since you probably already have that in your pantry.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fall is in the air

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I just love it! This morning on our way to my Dr. appt* it was only 62 degrees. I'm dreaming of wearing jeans, cozy cardigan sweaters that will be discarded for a tee in the warm afternoon sun and shoes other than flip flops. Buying local sweet corn at farm stands and mums and pumpkins for the front door at my favorite family farm just down the road. Melting caramel for Dave's favorite treat, caramel apples, and making apple crisp. Trips to the apple orchard and pony rides for the girls are just around the corner, bon fires in the backyard and walks in the woods to watch the squirrels, pick up fallen colored leaves and listen to the crickets too.

I love these days when the sun is lower in the sky, and the trampoline is in the shade for the better part of the day. When I don't have to feel so bad that I still need to sew and hang curtains with blackout liner in the girls' room, because they are sleeping in until 6:30 now instead of 5am and by 8pm it's plenty dark in their room for bedtime. Ahhh....that makes life easier.

*So...I had to drink the glucola diabetes test again today for the 2nd time. Somehow when I went in for my regular appt last week, they didn't get me back to draw blood soon enough. I ended up in the waiting room for 45 minutes. Note to self - start wearing a watch (buy batteries first). I had no idea it had been that long as I was working on a really tough Sudoku puzzle. So I had to drink that awful sugary drink again this morning. This time I chose orange since the red stuff made me feel so sick last week. Why on earth would they put carbonation in the orange one? The red one doesn't have it, and I've been trying to stay away from carbonation because it just makes me feel yucky these days. Oh well...I am so glad it's over with, now I'm just hoping the results are perfectly normal which they were with the girls.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Color Splash!

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Oh my goodness...oh my goodness! So I was just sewing my little heart out on an order whilst listening to HGTV in the background (I always do that), when I heard Color Splash come on and and then my cousin's names. What? This can't be!!! Sure enough, it was MY Chad and Angela Nicholson. Yes, we have both an Angel and an Angela in our family. :) They live near San Francisco with their son Cory and #2 due just 3 weeks before me. Chad is a such hoot, and his personality shines brightly on TV, he's a natural. Angela moved out to SF for law school and she met Chad out there. They are a great match, we just wish they lived in MN so we could enjoy their company more than once a year.

I can't wait to talk to her all about it and I can't believe nobody mentioned it. I have so many questions: How did you get on the show? When was the show taped? Did you have to pay for all the furnishings yourself? Is that couch really "spoonable"? Chad - you are too funny! Is there anything you removed from the room after they left?

It's airing again on Sunday September 14, at 3:30 PM ET/PT. Hmmm...I'm thinking that would be 2:30 central. We are definately recording it this time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Right up my alley!

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Just yesterday I was telling Dave that all I want for Christmas this year is a fun "boutiquey" camera strap. I'm sure I could make one myself, but how nice would it be to just have one show up in the mail without any of the work. Seems frivolous to me, but it would be one of those simple pleasures that just make me smile. Kind of like coming home to a clean house or a meal you didn't cook yourself.

Now I have a chance to win one just like this one and not have to wait until Christmas to use it. Shealynn has some gorgeous camera straps for sale in her Etsy shop. They are removable and washable and come in some fun popular fabrics. She will even use the fabric of your choice, gotta love that!

So...if you would like to enter the contest too, just stop by Erin's blog to get the complete details.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Spy a TaDa! Resell

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I just happened upon a resell of mine from last year. If anyone has a cutie that wears an 18-24 mos jeans and 2T top, this is quite a deal to snatch up. Jen and I designed the dress together, from my original sleeveless design and I love how it turned out. Her family pictures were amazing in it.

Opening bid is just $29.99 and you get the dress, jeans, 2 tops and 2 sashes. WOW!!! Click here to go to the auction.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Haircut

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I had no idea that our first haircut would take almost 3 years. The girls' hair seems to grow very slowly, so I'm just thankful that we have enough hair to cut at almost 3 years old. I finally decided to even up Allison's hair in the back. I was getting tired of the "baby mullet" look, since it's still so short in the front and on the sides. She loved her new do and told everyone she could about her haircut. Emily got a trim too, but her hair is so curly that it's not noticeable. I just think it made it even more bouncy.


Uncle John

Emily has a new man in her life...my Uncle John. She was stuck like glue to him all week-end. And if he was ever out of site all we heard was "Where is Uncle John?" When we went home she would say "I miss Uncle John. I love him." I have to say, he was pretty smitten with her too.

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Oh and she got pretty cozy with my cousin Gretchen's daughter, Maizie. Maizie is just 6 months younger than my girls and I'm so excited for the 3 of them to grow up together like Gretchen and I did. Gretchen is also expecting just 2 weeks after me.

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We enjoyed some extra family time this past week while saying good-bye to Grandpa. The funeral was on Friday and burial just yesterday. I'll never tire of hearing all the stories our family has to share.

Running with Marshmallows

Who knew that two bags of marshmallows held 20 minutes of entertainment. I'm always surprised at the silly things they think up to do. Who needs toys? They chased each other around in circles, squealing, for a good 20 minutes with their bags of marshmallows. It would have continued if I hadn't needed to use them for Rise Krispie bars. They make me giggle.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pop Garden giveaway

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Chelsea, the designer behind Vintage Chic Boutique on eBay and Etsy, Pink Fig patterns and owner of the Pink Fig fabric store on Etsy is having a fabulous giveaway. This girl does it all! Stop by her blog to read more. And to see more pictures of Heather's fabulous new line of fabrics (I love them all!) visit her blog.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Night out fun

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Last night was our neighborhood "Night Out" party. We had a lot of fun meeting people on the adjacent street. The girls especially enjoyed it and talked most of the day about the "party." Even calling it their Birthday party at one point. We didn't get to stay until the fire truck arrived, but I caught some photos on Sue's blog here and it sure looked fun. I had no idea a professional photographer lived just around the corner from us. I will be checking her blog frequently to see her beautiful work. She sent us this sweet photo of Emily.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Missing you already

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My Grandpa John "Jack" Bierbaum entered Hospice care yesterday. We took the girls to say good-bye to him yesterday. He is not likely to see another Monday again. His 91st Birthday is on Aug 31st. The girls and I have been visiting Grandpa in the nursing home most every Thursday for the past 6 months or so. Grandma still lives in their home but spends about 8 hours by his side every day. They have been married for 65 years and she says that's just what you do for your husband. She says that she has no doubt that he would do the same for her if the tables were turned. She kept him at home as long as she could after he could no longer walk. She is the most selfless person I know. I have loved seeing the bond they have, my whole life. Grandma Ruth has been a wonderful example to me of devotion and unconditional love.

The things I will remember most about Grandpa is that though he is a very quiet man, when he does speak it's usually to tell a joke or add an important piece of the conversation that's missing. They both grew up on farms in Southern MN and lived on her family farm during the early years of their marriage. Grandpa likes to tell the story of how he first me Grandma, saying he picked her up on the side of the road. See, he knew her brother Paul, and he was driving by them with his date on the way to a dance when he saw Paul and Ruth on the side of the road with car troubles. Grandpa was bout 25 and she about 18 I think. She was married at 19 and the rest is history.

When I lived with them in GA for the summer after my Mom died, I remember loving to go with Grandpa to the donut shop early in the morning. It seems to me he would go most every day and sit with the guys and have a coffee and donut. I remember hopping into his truck and that there were always lemon drops (his favorite) in the glove compartment. Oh and if Grandma and I made egg salad sandwhiches for lunch and a piece of shell fell in, she would say "that's ok, Grandpa likes it crunchy." They lived in GA most of my growing up, Grandpa ran his own business selling farm machinery, not retiring until his 70's. He was a tall, very strong man and always had the darkest "farmer" tan.

I love you Grandpa!

Off to the beach!

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Friday seemed like a momentus day. Not sure why I felt the need to snap a few "going off to the beach" photos, but I did. Maybe it's becasue it was the first time Dad was taking them swimming, EVER! And not just swimming, but doing it all by himslef. See to me, those outings seem to scream two-parent responsability. Don't get me wrong, Dave is THE most awesome Dad in the world, but I think the Zoo incident was lurking in the back of my mind. Yep the one where Emily got lost that I didn't tell you about. But we still have 2 kids, so all is well. I think it's a Mom thing to always think about the dangers that lurk around every corner or in every pool of water deeper than an inch. I for some reason I seem to have a bigger dose of that instinct than most people.

Gotta love a guy that is so willing to do things by himself to give his tired, pregnant wife, a break. So Friday, I had the whole midday to work on an order. I was practically giddy, knowing that I didn't have to do all that sewing late at night after an exhausting day of, you know, swimming.

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Swimming takes a lot out of a girl!

Murphy's Landing

We've been wanting to visit Historic Murphy's Landing for years now and finally did a couple of Saturdays ago. It's just on the other side of the river from us, on the way to my favorite quilt shop (we went there too). The girls especially loved driving past the rollercoasters at Valley Fair several times too. We were excited to find that Murphy's Landing reminded us a lot of Williamsburg, VA. Having it practically in our backyard is a real treat. I'm sure we'll be back many times over the years.

Here are my faovrite photos from the day.

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The girls loved the horse and cart ride we took to get to the old town.
Allie kept asking if these were her horsies.

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I just loved this house.
There was the sweetest white picket fence surrounding it too.

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