May 27, 2010

ryann and the frog

So apparently Ryann isn't friends with the frog toy we have hanging on her play mat. She'll just look around and then lock in on the frog with a face that says something along the lines of "who do you think you are?" (Or maybe she really likes him and this is her way of showing love??)

Here are a couple videos of Ryann interacting with the frog :o). I apologize, they are kind of long and sideways (I took them on the iPhone, and when I edited in iMovie they were this way...). They are probably also a little stupid, but hey its my kid, and I think she is adorable of course.

Hopefully those punches never become directed at me :o)

May 26, 2010

weekend trip

Ry and I enjoyed two days of relaxation at grammy and grandpa's this weekend. I did a horrible job documenting it of course... I felt like I generally looked like crap and didn't want to be in pictures, or was just too lazy to get out the camera and try and get good shots.

Nonetheless we lounged around and Ry enjoyed her first boat ride. (Really she slept through the whole thing, but hey, they is enjoying it right?) The best part of the weekend for me, besides getting to spend time with my family of course, was getting to eat food cooked by my lovely mother. It was delicious! You can find a couple recipes below...

Ry enjoyed sleeping outside... and yes we kept her in the shade and covered in sunscreen.

Ry's first boat ride

Tarah and Berk (and Kelsey :o) came to visit "Baby Ry."

Just hanging out!

Now, for the recipes. For dinner we enjoyed three-pepper beef tenderloin roast, sauteed green beans, and brie cheese bread. My favorites were the beef and the bread. The bread could be made as a side item, or an appetizer. Hope you like them as much as I do!

Three-Pepper Beef Tenderloin Roast
1 3-3 1/2 pound beef tenderloin roast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1. Trim fat from roast. Combine the seasonings in a small bowl. Rub the mixture over all surfaces of the roast.
2. Preheat grill, reduce heat to medium. Place roast on the grill rack; cover and grill till done. For medium rare grill to 140 degrees, about 30 minutes. For medium grill to 155 degrees, about 45 minutes.
3. Transfer roast to a cutting board; cover with foil and let stand for five minutes. Carve into 1/4 - 1/2 inch slices.

Makes 9-10 servings

Brie Cheese Bread
small baugette or loaf of french bread, sliced
olive oil
brie cheese, sliced

Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place bread on grill, after grilled on one side flip over and place slices of brie cheese on top. Grill until the cheese is melted.


May 23, 2010

bikini babe

Ry and I are visiting grammy and grandpa, enjoying the sunshine, eating delicious food and taking boat rides. :o)

I'll be back with more when we're home!

May 22, 2010

easy marinated chicken breasts

So my mom highly recommended this recipe that she found in a magazine (it was actually the 2006 issue of Get Grilling). I was a little nervous to try it, because one, it has hoisin sauce in it, and for some reason I was scared of hoisin sauce. Two, throughout my pregnancy I had a serious aversion to chicken breasts (not chicken in general, just chicken breasts. The thought of cutting a bite of chicken was appaling). But I am incredibly happy that this was the first chicken breast I ate since Ryann was born.

This chicken had great flavor, and stayed incredibly juicy. I marinated mine for probably 7-8 hours. It is a great recipe that you can get marinating the night before, and just throw it on the grill the next evening. I included the ingredients exactly as they appeared in the magazine, however I only used 3 chicken breasts with the same amount of marinade. You could probably cut the amount of marinade in half if you wanted, but it didn't seem like an excessive amount for the three pieces of chicken.

8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2lbs total)
1/2 cup bottled oil and vinegar salad dressing
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons bottled hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Place chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag. For marinade, in a small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Pour marinade over chicken; seal bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally. Drain chicken, discarding marinade.
2. For a charcoal grill: Cook chicken on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 12 to 15 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once halfway through grilling.
For a gas grill: Preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place chicken on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above. Serve with additional hoisin sauce for dipping.


May 21, 2010

my sunshine

Ryann wishes you a bright and cheerful weekend. :o)

May 19, 2010

poolside, here i come

Some of my friends jokingly refer to my parents house as a resort. I must say, they have a pretty nice set up. Pool, lake, hot tubs, boats... yep, pretty nice. Now that the weather is warming up I hope that Ry and I can spend a good deal of time soaking up some rays.

The thought of wearing a swimsuit has presented a dilemma for me though... even though they are nothing horrible, carrying a baby has left me with a few stretch marks. The darkest ones are on my hips, 3 one inch long lines on the side of each hip. I also have two lighter ones on my stomach, a few inches long each on either side of my belly button. The hole from my belly button also developed a small scar by it (I actually cut it while shaving my pregnant stomach, but that is a whole different story). So although I really can't complain about what I've been left with, I wouldn't say it is something I really want to share with the world.

So my first thought? Bring on the tankini. BUT, I hate when things ride up, and I feel like a tankini would ride up on me. So my only other option is a one piece. I found a few online that I think are pretty cute, and not too 'momish' (I'm only 24, I still have to try and look somewhat hip, right). Unfortunately most of the ones I like are upwards of $150. One can dream right?

For now, seeing as it is my parents backyard, I might just be brave and wear one of the about a dozen bikinis I have in my drawer. But if you are one of my friends and joining me by the pool, don't judge. Ok? Thanks.

May 18, 2010

drunken pork (kebabs) and broccoli

On mothers day my family came to our place and my mom cooked a delicious dinner. For the main dish she made drunken pork kebabs. There was some leftover sauce so this weekend Chris and I used it as a marinade for a pork tenderloin. I will say it was definitely better on the kebabs (a better sauce to meat ratio) but the sauce is so good. Below you will find the recipe for the pork kebabs.

As a side we made broccoli with garlic butter and cashews (as well as some Uncle Ben's boxed rice, always a staple in my pantry!). You can find the recipe here, from I highly suggest the dish, it was easy to make and a great alternative to the basic way I usually make broccoli.

Drunken Pork Kabobs (from Cuisine Grilling)
1 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey (Jim Beam)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 pork tenderloins, trimmed and cut into 3 inch cubes
1 large red onion, cut into 1 1/2 inch thick half-moon rings

1. Saute onion in butter in a saucepan over medium heat until soft, 4-5 minutes.
2. Stir in ketchup, orange juice, vinegar, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, worcestershire, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
3. Cool slightly, then puree with a hand blender, selt half the sauce aside for serving.
4. Thread pork cubes and red onion on double skewers; season with salt and pepper. Grill kebabs, covered, 3-4 minutes on one side.
5. Baste with remaining sauce, then turn and grill 3-4 minutes more. Baste again, turn kebabs, and continue cooking and basting until pork reaches an internal temp of 150 degrees, about 4 minutes more.
6. Let kebabs rest 5 minutes before serving with reserved sauce.


May 17, 2010

7 weeks

Baby girl is seven weeks old today. I can't believe it. She looks so old to me. This weekend she really started smiling, as in, not only when I am touching her face :o). She is definitely a daddy's girl. She grins whenever he talks to her. Me, I have to work really hard for a smile, but I can still get one. She is also finding her voice. The noises she makes are just precious.

Ryann would also like you to know, since so many have asked (and I have failed to answer, sorry!) that the curtains in her room are from Urban Outfitters. You can find them here.

I finally have ideas for the wall decor I want in her room, now it is just a matter of doing it. In due time...

May 12, 2010

get inspired

So I mentioned my vacation in blog world a couple days ago. Check out this eye candy, these blogs kept me occupied for quite some time.

Under the Sycamore

IS.LY : I Still Love You

Lets just say I am impressed.

May 10, 2010


My baby girl is six weeks old today, and she really is starting to smile. However the only thing we have discovered so far that will cue it, is this...

I'd do almost whatever it takes to get a smile. They melt my heart.

May 9, 2010

happy mother's day

God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.
Jewish Proverb

I would not be the woman I am today, were it not for my mother. She inspires me, she loves me, she comforts me, she amazes me.

I hope that I will be as good of a mother as my mom is. It is pretty tough to top Tam Tam :o). But hopefully one day, Ryann will look up to me as much as I look up to my own mother.

I love you mom.

May 8, 2010

i forgot...

... I had another picture to share. Ryann and I had a play date with JT and Jenn (ok Jenn and I needed some adult interaction, the babes just basically slept) on Thursday. JT is three weeks younger than Ryann. I'm in love with his red hair and his chubby cheeks.

How cute are they?

this and that

:: It's difficult to blog when a cute little cuddle bug refuses to nap anywhere but in my arms. Yes I am typing this post one handed.

:: I've decided Ry and I should get along rather well in the future (not that we don't now, but she is an infant, how much can we really have in common thus far?). I eat Lucky Charms for breakfast. I use Kid's Sparkle Crest toothpaste. I really want to watch The Rescuers Down Under right now. I made mac and cheese with sausage for dinner this week. I think all of those things would make a kid happy, would they not?

:: Thanks to my napping friend, the easiest thing for me to do right now is click around the internet. Yesterday I got lost in blog world, and have so many crafts I want to try, and inspiring images I need to store. When I have use of both my hands I'll share some of the blogs I am now addicted to.

:: In the interest of my invitation designs getting done, we have decided it would be a good idea to set up a more permanent office for me upstairs. You know, as opposed to my computer and printer being on top of the bar, my feet propped up on a shelf full of alcohol. Not to mention my mantel has become a storage shelf for printed invitations and there is an ink supply store in the corner of the room. Where will my new home be? Well, I'm hoping the family room closet. I'll let you know how that goes.

:: Thanks to all of my blog browsing, I seriously wish I knew how to sew. There are so many talented crafty ladies out there who do amazing things with a needle and thread. Anyone want to take a sewing class with me? :o)

:: I have a confession. Along the lines of the above topic, I am having a hard time not purchasing various patterns of fabric. I adore fabric now, but have no idea what to do with it. I just want stacks and stacks of beautiful fabric.

That is all :o)

May 7, 2010

candy bar cake

Usually for birthdays, my mom will make us some kind of cake or dessert that we would like. I'm pretty sure every year Chris and I both request the candy bar cake. It is absolutely delicious! If you don't like almonds, this cake isn't for you, but luckily I love almonds, so it is great!

1 (18.25 ounces) package Swiss chocolate cake mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
10 (1.5 ounce) milk chocolate candy bars with almonds, divided
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Prepare cake batter accodring ot package directions. Pour into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
4. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixture until mixture is creamy.
5. Chop 8 candy bars finely. Fold cream cheese mixture and chopped candy into whipped topping.
6. Spread icing between layers and on tops and sides of cake. Press remaining chopped candy along bottom edge of cake.


May 5, 2010

ryann and the iPhone

Today I upgraded my iPhone to the 3GS. Definitely not necessary, but hey, I figured I have a kid so I might want a phone that takes video :o). Completely logical right? I thought so. I also downloaded a fun new app called Hipstamatic (sorry it isn't a free one, but it only cost $2). It is a camera app that allows you to take vintage style photos. You can change between a few lenses, and a few different types of film. You can also buy more lenses and more film styles. It probably does some other things as well, but this is as far as I have gotten.

And in honor of my new phone, here is a video of Ry enjoying the iPhone. The video was taken on Chris's camera. Please disregard my stupid voice.

She seriously loves staring at anything that produces light.

May 4, 2010

a bag of jack

Last week we made one of the easiest dinners ever, and it was really really good. As in so good I would probably eat that every other day for the next month if the meat didn't cost so much. And if I thought it was really good for me to eat that much red meat...

If you are looking for a great marinade, you should definitely check out Jack Daniel's EZ Marinade bags, specifically the steakhouse flavor. Drop your meat in the bag for 30 minutes or more, throw it on the grill, a voila, a tasty and juicy piece of meat!

We baked some Pilsbury biscuits, cut up some strawberries, and I made my favorite carrot recipe. A quick and easy dinner that will make everyone happy.

Here is the recipe for the honey orange carrots:

1 (14 ounce) pkg baby whole carrots
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon margarine
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
brown sugar (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan combine carrots, orange juice, honey, margarine, and nutmeg. I generally sprinkle in some brown sugar as well, just for a little extra sweetness.
2. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture beings to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes.
3. Uncover; continue cooking until carrots are tender and mixture has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in parsley.


May 3, 2010

5 weeks old

My little baby girl is five weeks old today. On Thursday we celebrated her turning a month old, along with my 24th birthday. Here is a look at how she has grown... fresh out of the womb, a week old and one month.

Eveyone who sees her says how small she is, but she is looking so big to me! She doesn't look like a newborn anymore, she looks like, well a baby! Her body is starting to fill out, and I think she is working on those chubby cheeks that run in my family. They are no where close to as big as mine were though.

Ryann had her one month doctors appointment on Friday. As of then she weighed 8 pounds 7 ounces, and is a whopping 21 inches long. She jumped from the 9th percentile in her weight to the 28th. For her height (I suppose that is length right now :o) she is in the 42nd percentile. She obviously does not take after her mother. I was never long and lean!

Ryann also had to get the second shot in the HepB series. Based on that one shot alone, I am NOT looking forward to her two month appointment. My daughter rarely, as in almost never cries. She doesn't get too upset, unless she is really hungry. So... watching her poor unsuspecting face go from curiously looking around the room to complete terror and hearing her wail was rather rough. The actual crying didn't last long, but I could tell she was still upset. I gave her a bottle which helped, but she didn't eat very much and eventually just went to sleep. I felt so bad!

We are starting to see more and more random smiles, and I can't wait until they truly happen because she means it. Until now my favorite smiles have been the 'milk drunk' smiles. They are hillarious. But when she looks right at you and grins, there is just nothing better.

If Ryann's personality ends up being anything like she is now, we will have a very easy going, mild mannered little girl. Pretty much just like her daddy. She definitely will let you know when she wants something, but the rest of the time she is content to just lay on her back in take in the world around her.

She absolutely loves to stare at lights. Anytime we walk from room to room she just stares at the ceiling and follows the lights with her eyes. When a light gets switched off her eyes get absolutely huge, like 'what the heck? where did the light go??' Pretty humourous :o).

This past weekend was rather eventful for Ry. Friday night we all had dinner at our friend Sam's house. Sam's family has been kind enough to invite us over to dinner a few times. I love going over there... it always means great food and great time with friends. After that Ry took her first extended car trip for her first weekend in Topeka at her Grammy and Grandpa's house. She was a little weirded out at first in the car because it was dark, but it didn't take long for her to fall asleep, and she slept the whole way.

Saturday evening my parents hosted a BBQ so some of their friends could meet the new addition to the family. It was lots of fun, Ry got to meet so many of our family friends, and in general my mom just throws a pretty mean party. Everyone always has a good time!

Sunday morning we were up bright and early for Ryann's baptism. Of course our little angel slept through the entire service, and barely flinched when the water was poured on her head.

The dress that Ryann was baptized in has quite the history. My mother was the first girl in the family to be baptized in it, since then so many of my cousins and their daughters have been baptized wearing it, as well as my sister and I. It was surreal as I was sitting in church looking down at my daughter, thinking that 24 years ago my mom was holding me wearing the same dress as I was about to be baptized, and 45 years ago my grandma was looking down at my mom in the same gown. I hope that some day Ryann will have a daughter of her own, and she too can wear the baptism gown.

Sunday evening we took Ryann to her first dance performance. My sister is part of a dance company at an amazing studio that is for dancers over the age of 18, who want to continue their love of dance. Ry was a trooper, and I will admit both Chris and I were just counting down the number of dances left, because even though Ryann didn't seem to care about the loud music and the lights and what not, the applause was another story. Every time a dance would end and people would start to clap she would freak out and start to squirm. But I am happy to say she indeed survived what I hope is the first of many showcases or recitals in her life.

After our whirlwind of a weekend, Ry and I are enjoying the day in our pajamas. I can't imagine what the next month will have instore for us!