Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just call me Martha!!!

Okay, okay...I will admit, I watch Martha Stewart on a daily basis. I actually have to DVR the show for those days I'm not able to be in front of the TV at 11am. Jason just loooooves when Martha puts a craft or food project in my head- it usually means I'll be spending more money, and there will be remnants of my project everywhere.

Well, in this case, she sparked my attention with a glittered magnetic canister Advent calendar. Part of this is Jason's fault, because HIS family is the one that is big on Advent calendars, and of course filling them up (usually with money). Therefore, I thought it would be incredibly awesome if I was able to make one to cherish for years to come. The way I see it, we'll probably have one little one for Chase, and one for the family. Considering this is in the kitchen, it may just become the family Advent loot....free for whoever gets to the day first!!!

Now, this project appeared much easier on Martha than it actually turned out to be....everything on her show is pre cut, pre glued, pre paid for. I on the other hand had to get the glitter, get special glue, buy ALL of the containers (although I had a few already....I love Ikea!) print, cut, paste...you're getting the picture. It was all worth it in the end because now I have a beautiful Advent calendar for my refrigerator.... nevermind the thousands of tiny glitter pieces everywhere (This is Jason's favorite part) :)

Check it out for yourself! Finishing always gives me a sense of accomplishment.... Martha, your projects ARE possible!!! And did I tell you she also inspired me to make homemade marshmallow?!?! Next I'll be wanting to make my own pasta (only kidding....what an incredible waste of time)



All finished and looking awesome on the fridge!



Tada!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December Fun!

The first weekend in December, Jason, Chase and I had the pleasure of going to Summerville SC where our good friends Sara and Matthew live to meet their new little guy! Hunter Nicholas was born a little early on November 3rd (his due date was 12/14!) He is SUCH a doll!! See for yourself:



We got to spend that Sunday at Chuck and Dolly's house (Sara's parents) for a little post Thanksgiving Thanksgiving :) Chase LOVED the dogs, Jackson and Jasper. We had a great weekend trip, and always welcome the opportunity to come back!


The Larsens and The Easleys

Last weekend, Jason's legal coworkers had a Christmas shindig at Tshneka's house. It was wonderful to meet all those people I hadn't yet met. Chase was loving Kaylee, Gary's daughter. There was also a white elephant gift exchange... SO fun!



The Larsen Family in front of the tree!


Since we are going to Indiana for the holidays, I had to bake my cookies a little on the early side. They turned out awesome! I made stars and trees this year, as well as chocolate chip cookies (my husbands request) and homemade marshmallows (inspired by Martha!)




My cookie masterpieces





Homemade marshmallows...AWESOME in some hot chocolate!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thanksgiving Blog...a little late


Our Family!


Obviously, with the holidays quickly approaching, the month has gotten ahead of me and I have not had time to blog about everything going on recently! I will first rewind back to Thanksgiving. This year we had the privilege of hosting Jason's parents, Paul and Marie, as well as my Aunt Bun (Barbara) for the week. I was SO nervous about cooking in such a small kitchen and ruining the thanksgiving meal, but it all worked out GREAT! The only thing I wish I would've done differently was stuff the turkey a little less. I am pretty sure I had waaaaay too much stuffing in my bird, which caused the whole thing to cook slower, and therefore didn't come out in time. Luckily there wasn't too much of a delay, and I was able to scoop out the inside stuffing and cook it a little longer to make it work. There is always something to learn when cooking!!!

The best part of the week was having them here. Jason was able to take his dad to a Bobcats game, as well as the auto show! Marie and I went to the Southern Christmas Show and got LOTS of goodies!!! It's never good when you get two women ready to spend money in an expo full of Christmas stuff! Marie also took the reigns on taking care of Chase for the week. Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being a Mother. Getting to share special moments with Chase everyday is what I look forward to most. But with her around, Jason and I were able to get out of changing poopy diapers :) We even managed to squeeze in a movie date!!



Me, Jason and Aunt Bun posing with our silly name cards


My overstuffed bird...but it sure tasted great!!


Grandpa and Chase


My beautiful, and quaint table :)


The Grandparents saying goodbye!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another Beautiful Weekend in Charlotte NC!!

For the first time in a long time, Jason and I did not have ANYTHING to do but enjoy each others company and get some things around the house done. Originally, we had tentative plans to spend the weekend with our friends Sara and Matthew, but Hunter (their baby) had other plans and decided to be born 6 weeks early!!! Luckily, he is doing beyond fabulous and they will be bringing him home this week!!!

So, back to the weekend...living in North Carolina means unbelievable weather. This weekend we were able to thoroughly enjoy the blue sky and wonderful temperatures. On Saturday, we went to the park with Chase. His favorite things were the swing and the basketball hoop (The Daddy was very excited about this). We also took ourselves out to lunch at BW3's which really isn't very close...it was nice to be able to eat at one of our favorite places. Bonus: Chase napped through our entire lunch...ahhhh I love adult conversation! That evening we were fortunate to have our neighbors put Chase to bed for us while we went to see our other neighbor, Cindy, in this play called Marat Sade...it was interesting and very creepy, but entertaining which was the important part.

Sunday was gorgeous! There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it got all the way up to 78 degrees! Jason washed all three of the cars (yes, we still have the stupid Marquis....trying to sell it- any buyers?!?!) And Chase and I took a walk to watch daddy wash cars. All in all, the weekend was just perfectly relaxing. With the holidays coming up, I'm not sure we'll have to many mellow weekends ahead of us.... let the craziness begin!!!


Chase loving the big boy swing....Hi Mom!


Of course we had to try out the slide...Hi Dad!!


Future basketball dunker?!?! I think so...

video
A little video of the swinging action....Chase was really interested to the lady next to us and her kid.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Party Fun!





This year, with Halloween falling on a Saturday, we thought it would be SO much fun for Chase's first Halloween to have a party! We decided to double host the party with our new neighbors Greg and Dolly. They are from Seattle and new to the area. Greg is actually in seminary school, and many of his classmates have families. We had a great blend of people and lots of young kids! Chase was dressed as a pirate, and of course, he looked SO adorable.

This year we opted out of trick or treating because Chase can't actually walk up to the houses...next year though, we will be going for sure! All of the kids dressed up and were so cute! It rained for part of the evening, but luckily only during dinner. By the time the kids were ready to go it was dry and 75 degrees!!! Did I mention how much we are LOVING North Carolina?!?!

Speaking of dinner...I was paranoid abo
ut not having enough food. I decided to make pulled pork for this occasion. My Aunt had made the recipe and I just loved it. Now, there are two things I did not take into consideration when deciding this: #1 I have never in my life made pulled pork #2 I was making pulled pork for Southerners??? Whoa...for a brief moment I thought I might have made a mistake. Luckily I had PLENTY of pulled pork and everyone LOVED IT!! I actually was asked several time about the recipe and how to make it. All of the guys went back for seconds.... it was a success! (Thanks Aunt Bun!) We also had plenty other goodies to fill people's bellies- cookies, crackers, pretzels, candy, cake...it was a sugar filled night.

Our next big party will probably be Chase's birthday party in January. I look forward to planning (and stressing) over that fun event!



Our spooky spider sandwiches


the apple "Bad Oral Hygiene" bites


The spooky hands coming into the house


The cookies Dolly and I decorated


These were the treat boxes I made for the kids...so much fun!!!


My little Pirate!


Family Photo


Dolly and Belle


Argh!


Chase and I


Allie, Linden, Lawson, Connie and Chase





A happy baby!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lady's Fingers cookies

This past Halloween weekend we had an awesome party with the neighbors next door. Prior to the party, I did a little cooking and baking for the occasion. I made these Lady's Fingers cookies and they were a HUGE success!! Very realistic, and quite tasty!! I thought I would share the recipe I used with everyone in case ya'll want to try something new out next Halloween.


Cookie Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons Icing Glue (see below)

Icing Glue Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.

2. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and mix well.

3. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and beat until completely mixed.

4. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

6. With your hands, roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a finger shape for each cookie. If the dough gets sticky and hard to work with, put it back in the refrigerator for a little while. Place fingers on an ungreased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.

7. Use a butter knife to make knuckle marks on the finger cookies. Slightly flatten the front of the finger to create a nail.

8. Bake 20-25 minutes, until fingers are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. Meanwhile, prepare the Icing Glue. Mix together powdered sugar and water in a small bowl until the consistency is similar to that of a paste.

9. Attach almond slice fingernails to the tips of the fingers with Icing Glue. Let glue dry for about 30 minutes.



In the process of making these look more realistically like fingers, try to "buldge" the knuckle area out by pinching between where the knuckles will be to make the knuckles fatter than the slender portion of the finger.


Make sure to indent a spot for the nail after the cookies are cooked. I used the end of a butter knife. I would use the blunt side of a knife for the knuckles marks...


Painting the fingernails (almond slivers) is optional. You can leave them plain and then they just look like dirty nails, but I much preferred this look. I suggest using red food coloring gel. The nails take a little while to dry, and painting them is a little messy, so beware.


Voila! Sugar cookie Lady Fingers!!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Master Pumpkin Carver

This past Saturday, Jason and I thought it would be fun to decorate pumpkins for Halloween. After all, we are having a party...what would a Halloween party by without pumpkins?!? It would've been nice to do this fun activity with Chase, but he is just too little and putting WAY too much in his mouth. Due to the choking hazard nature of this activity, we opted to carve these when Chase was asleep. It was really nice to do something together at night other than our usually nightly routine (a.k.a television) Jason wanted to make a traditional jack-o-lantern face, and I wanted to do a cool pattern! My patterned one says "Welcome" for when our party guests arrive. For the third pumpkin, I had the awesome idea of finding a Lions and Bears logo to put on the pumpkin. Jason is a Lions fan, and I am a Bears fan. Chase is also known as "Bear" by Grandpa and Grandma because of their love for the Bears... so obviously, Chase is on Mommy's side and roots for the Bears. Here are some picture of our pumpkin carving fun!!

Check back at the end of the weekend for an update on how the Halloween party went!! Have a spooktacularly safe and fun weekend!



Working very diligently on my "Lions vs Bears" pumpkin!



Bailey was supervising this project...


As you can see, I did the masterful artwork


Being very careful not to mess up the pattern!



My Pumpkin creation


Jason's pumpkin creation


My pumpkin creation





Daddy and Chase in their matching Halloween garb. I made Jason's jack-o-lantern shirt...thank you Michaels!



Chase was very infatuated with the camera in my hand... I would back up, and he would come crawling to play with my flashing gadget :) He is addicted to electronics with lights!!



Chase and I were playing on the floor, so I decided to snap a few of the smiley little guy....we are officially 9 months old!!!



Here is Chase... passed out, showing off his pumpkin butt

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Visit to the PUMPKIN PATCH!!!

Today, Jason Chase and I packed up the car for the morning and headed to Midland, NC to Riverbend Farms. It came as a recommendation from one of the girls I work with as a beautiful place to go and pick pumpkins! Although it was a little chilly, it put us in the pumpkin picking spirit...after all, fall is suppose to be a little brisk! It has been a little rainy here over the past few days, so thankfully there was no rain in today's forecast. We opted to take the opportunity, bundle up, and pick some pumpkins with Chase for the very first time! To no one's surprise, Chase had a great time. There was plenty to see, touch, and even taste..... he thought the pumpkin stem was for eating! Check out the picture to see all of the fun we had:


Arriving at the farm


on the wagon ride to the pumpkin patch!


Chase was very interested in everything we passed during the ride



We tried the pumpkin out as a seat



Here he is sporting his Wittenberg hat because it was so chilly. Jason's good friend (and huge OSU fan) Andrea got this for Chase. Ironically, the first time he wore this, which was today, PURDUE bear OSU!! Go Boilers :)


Mommy loving on Chase


Oh, a stem!


Chase and Daddy checking out the tractor. He LOVED the tractor...I hope this doesn't mean he plans on being a farmer.


Chase and Daddy checking out the pony!


Chase wanted to get down and play in the hay with the rest of the kids.


Family picture to commemorate the day!


Chase and Mommy


Chase eating the stem of the pumpkin...this cannot be good for him


Chase sitting on the gigantic pumpkin



He is being supervised in this picture.


Chase and Daddy checking out the huge cow!!


Chase and Bailey bonding during nap time


Chase on the move in his cute Halloween PJs


Hi Mom.


Chase quickly learned how to pull himself to a standing position.


Chase thought playing with Bailey was fun


Bailey, on the other hand, thinks they are fighting....