March 29, 2012

dear ryann

My sweet baby girl,

Today you are two.  You are a funny, caring, opinionated, stubborn, curious, passionate, joyful little toddler.  Every day you make me want to pull my hair out.  On more than one occasion.  And everyday you make me wonder how I got so lucky to have you in my life.

When you squeeze my leg and tell me you love me, oh there is nothing better in the world.  A hug from you can lift my spirits almost instantly.  Honestly, I can't tell you how sweet it is when you are affectionate.

I worry about you daily.  Am I doing the right things with you?  Do I say the right things to you?  Do I push you too hard?  Do I encourage you enough?  Do I tell you I love you enough?  Being a mom is by far the hardest thing I have ever done.  I question almost every move I make.  Second guess it every step of the way.  I never knew being a parent would be so difficult.  But it is equally rewarding.

Every night, when I lay down exhausted, I miss you.  I replay all the cute and funny and smart things you did throughout the day, and I smile.  I love telling Daddy everything you did, silly things you said, crazy details you remember.  You are so entertaining.  Your brain is swelling with knowledge and I am so curious what you will be like when you are older.  I hope you never stop asking questions.  You ask so many, but you are just so interested in everything around you, and you never miss a beat.

Just yesterday I was showing Grammy the dark chocolate peanut butter cups we bought at Trader Joe's.  You were in the living room singing some random made up song to yourself, playing with some toys, I didn't think you were paying attention to us at all.  But as soon I popped the top to the container you came running in to the kitchen, "I want some chocolaty peanut butter treats!"  Grammy and I tried to stuff our snacks into our mouth as fast as possible, but there was no hope.  You were on to us.  I have no idea how you heard us.

Really, you are just so much fun right now.  So challenging, but so much fun.  I wish I could freeze time for a while, and just get to enjoy you at this age.  You make me laugh.  You make me smile.  You bring me so much joy.  I love watching you grow, but I wish you would just slow down.

Seriously.  You're already talking like a teenager sometimes, and giving me sass like it's your job.  I know you'll be there before I know it.  I don't think I can handle that.  Just stay little forever, ok?


Happy second birthday my little princess pie.  I love you to the moon and back.

Embracing the camera and linking up with Emily today!

March 28, 2012

a day in the life - michelle

For the record, my child turns two tomorrow.  TOMORROW!

But I'm going to pretend it isn't happening, and instead introduce you to Michelle.  I've actually known Michelle for quite some time.  We went to the same dance studio growing up.  I think I was in middle school when I really knew who she was, and I definitely thought she was awesome.  What are you, three years older than me Michelle?  She was one of the older girls, and I loved watching her dance.  Not to mention her personality can just suck you in.  She is incredibly sweet and caring, doesn't seem to take her self too seriously, and has an excellent sense of humor :o).  Plus now she has an ADORABLE baby to add to the mix.  I hope you enjoy a little peek at her day!


 Oh. Hey.

My name is Michelle and I blog over at Cubbies & Nooks, a blog for those of you who love to hear all about my I pretty much blog for my mom.  Shout out to Debbie!

Anywho, my adorable husband Scott and I got married in 2007 and in September of last year, we welcomed Effy Genevieve into our little family.  She is so freakin' amazing...I just love her to bits.  I'm a high school business and computer teacher (please don't judge my computer skills by my blog. I teach Microsoft, not Photoshop) and so I decided to do this Day in the Life post on a day I was recently on spring break, figuring that would be more fun for you to read.  If I had chosen to document a work day, it would have looked like this: wake up Effy, drop baby off with my mom, go to work, get Effy from my mom, play with baby instead of give her a bath, put a dirty baby to bed, wake up, repeat.

Here's a look at our day together. Hold on to your hats people.  This is going to be thrilling.

7:05 - 7:20am: Effy wakes up wanting breakfast.  I feed her in her nursery and she's still sleepy and swaddled ( 6 month old still sleeps swaddled. She digs it).  I lay her back down in the crib to snooze a bit longer.

7:20 - 8:00am: Effy continues to sleep, and I prepare to volunteer at a nursing home play on Pinterest.

8:00 - 8:15am: Effy wakes up and talks to herself in her crib.  She's usually happy doing this for awhile, so I use this time to bake some homemade bread for my neighbors continue to play on Pinterest.

8:15 - 8:30am: I get Effy out of her crib (which is pretty much my favorite part of any day at home with her) and change her diaper.

8:30 - 9:10am: I hop in the shower while some pervert baby just watches me.  I put a towel under her Bumbo because our floor is so dirty I didn't want her to touch it and then put her hands in her mouth.  I could have cleaned the floor, but a towel was a lot easier.

The horse's name is Seymour Butts. She has mature parents.

9:10 - 9:30am: Effy hangs out in her jumper while I try to pick up some stuff in our disaster of a house.  Any mess in the house is my fault.  Scott is very clean and Effy is not yet mobile.  As a quick example, here is how I organize my clothes versus how my husband (an engineer) organizes his.  Oops?

hers and his

9:30 - 11:25am: Effy tends to take a longer morning nap and it's usually in her swing.  I see her eyes getting droopy so I put her in the swing and she passes out without a struggle.  It's a beautiful thing.  Time for mama to eat.  I want a vehicle to get peanut butter to my mouth but all that's left is the heel of a loaf of bread that's maybe a bit I toast it to hide the fact that it was probably already hard.  I throw on some peanut butter and make some hot chocolate (my vice).  After breakfast, I do some laundry, work on Effy's 5-month blog post (which is a week and a half late), and do some dishes.

Diapers ready for washing

11:25 - 11:40am: I wake Effy up and feed her because we have to hit the road!  On days I'm home with little miss baby, I usually try to get out of the house and go somewhere, even if just on a walk.  Though I'm on spring break, I need to stop by school and meet with my principal so I can sign my supplemental contract and get paid for being the dance team sponsor.

11:40 - Noon: After Effy nurses, I change her diaper, get her dressed and head out the door.

Noon - 12:30pm: I drive up to usually takes me about 20 minutes to get there, but on my spring break I decide to take a longer route that drives us through a neighborhood I like.

12:30 - 1:00pm: We hang out at school with my principal for a while.  She is a baby lover and didn't mind Effy's spit getting all over her sweatshirt.  As if I didn't love my principal enough already, she used her bare hand to wipe up baby drool.  That makes her extra great in my book.

1:00 - 1:30pm: We head out to Scott's work to pick him up for a late lunch.  Effy falls asleep in the car.

Effy in her carseat, clearly before she fell asleep.

1:30 - 2:30pm: We eat at Old Chicago.  We're big fans of their lunch combos.  I had a cheese pizza, Scott had a calzone, and Effy had a boob with a side of ranch.  {Side note: Effy did not actually eat at the restaurant...props to the ladies brave enough to breastfeed in an open, public place.  I am not that lady.}

2:30 - 3:30pm: Effy and I go to Bed, Bath, & Beyond so I can get another oven mitt because ours has just about had it (and by "had it", I mean I've just never washed it and assume it's easier to buy a new one - yay consumerism!).  We go to Buy Buy Baby (conveniently next door) because Effy just started eating some rice cereal and I wanted to get a couple of storage/freezer things for when we start making her food.  Oh, and obviously she had to have this while we were there.  Duh.

3:30 - 4:15pm: We drive home and unload the car and Effy enjoys an afternoon cereal snack.  By this time, Scott is home too.  He goes in to work early so he can get home around 4 most days.  It's great!

4:15 - 4:45pm: The weather this week has been ridiculously amazing, so we go on a walk (like we've been able to do every day this week - holla!).  There's a new park that was built a block from our house just a month after Effy was born, so it's a perfect destination for a walk.  Normally we play there for a bit and then stroll through the neighborhood and look at houses.  Effy has decided she likes the swings at the park which is super fun!

4:45 - 5:45pm: Scott and I get dinner ready while Effy plays in her jumper.  She starts to get a little fussy/bored because she's jumped for quite a while.  While Scott continues dinner, Effy and I go sit on our front steps and watch cars drive by (one of her current favorite things to do which is excellent because we live on a through street and have quite a few to watch).  I know it's important to always talk to Effy to help her vocabulary develop.  So I don't run out of things to say about cars, I play a game where every 3 cars, I tell her which one I would want and why.  {Fun fact: The car that I drove in high school is now the car I drive my baby in.  Her name is Lucy [the car, not the baby].}

I think this pic is actually from the morning. DEAL WITH IT.

5:45 - 6:05pm: Effy is ready to eat!  I play Draw Something on my iPhone while she nurses.  I'm a multi-tasker!

6:05 - 6:25pm: Effy hasn't fully drained the girls (aka my boobs...I talk about them a lot), so I put her in the swing so I can pump.  She gets bottles while I'm at work, so anything extra I can add to the stash will definitely get used!  I can't usually pump when no one else is around to watch her.  It's very hard to tend to a baby when you're strapped to a milking machine.  Scott comes in every so often to give her a pacifier or get her blanket off her face and then continues dinner.

6:25 - 7:00pm: Dinnertime for mom and dad!  For dinner is this recipe and this recipe.  We eat a lot of our meals on the couch because I think it's comfy.  Effy usually sits on the couch in her Bumbo and watches each bite we take but tonight she needed a little more TLC.  I play with her while Scott eats and then he puts her to bed while I eat.  Normally we put Effy to bed together, but tonight was just one of those nights!

7:00 - 10:30pm: Scott and I are early birds and are usually upstairs getting ready for bed by 8:30 or 9.  Tonight, however, one of my dear friends is in town with only one free evening, so I'm super excited to hang out with her and also to see one of my lovely friends who lives here in town.  We enjoy dessert and laugh at inappropriate things at a hotel lounge.  I love them.

10:30 - 10:45pm: Effy is ready to eat again when I'm home, so I nurse her and put her to bed for the night!  I'd like to tell you that she won't eat again until the morning, but she's not quite there yet.  She'll probably eat one more time during the night.  I love those moments, as tired as I am.  She's just so precious!

1) What is the most surprising things about being a mom? I'm surprised how comfortable I am with this much responsibility.  At first, I was totally overwhelmed and had some melt down moments.  Effy was the first baby I'd been around and I just had no clue what to do!  Now?  I feel so much more comfortable.  I know this probably sounds crazy, but I love doing all the little things required to care for her - changing her diaper, doing her laundry, washing her pacifiers...I just love it.

2) What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be moms? Nursing is something that Scott and I very much wanted to do.  If you're a soon-to-be mom and you plan to breastfeed, take a class on it.  You'd think it would come so naturally but it can be really tough!  There are things your partner can do to help, especially those first couple of weeks when things are pretty uncomfortable.  Scott would massage my shoulders to relax me and would also burp the baby afterward just so I didn't feel like the entire feeding process was on my shoulders (or boobs).  Even though we're much better at breastfeeding now, Scott is still a huge help.  He will bring me water or a blanket or just sit with me during night feedings sometimes so I don't feel alone.  Also, he scouts out nursing spots when we're out and about and we think Effy is going to get hungry.

3) What are your top three baby products?
  • We love these velcro swaddlers.  Effy still sleeps in one even though she's almost 6 months.
  • Our swing has been a lifesaver.  She's taken countless naps in it and really enjoys playing in it while she's awake.
  • Scott and I could not have survived those first few weeks without the tips from the DVD Happiest Baby on the Block, which we checked out from our library.

There's a ton more products I could mention...I love buying things for Effy, I will admit it.

Thanks for letting me be part of the A Day in the Life series, Ashley.  Tell Ryann to tell Juan and Jamal hi for me!

Ha.  I'll definitely make sure Ryann tells them :o).  Thanks for sharing your day with us Michelle!  And we need another playdate soon.  I mean, Effy is totally ready to hit the slides at the park with Ryann now, right?

March 27, 2012

project 366 {week 12}


This past week we spent a lot of time outside in the rain.  Personally I hate the rain and being wet.  Ryann of course LOVED it.  Adorable rain gear really makes it not so bad though.

And I thought I should discuss the second picture.  Ryann has become a little less apprehensive about the potty, now that we are using a seat on top of the 'big potty' as opposed to the separate one (score for me, cleaning that thing is annoying).  But she has discovered it is the easiest way to stall anything and everything.  Especially bed time.  For the record Christopher wasn't actually giving her a stern talking to, despite what his facial expression might suggest.  She was completely goofing off and he was pretending to be serious.  Ha.

And yes.  I am aware she will 100% hate me for that picture later on in life.  Oh well.  :o)

March 26, 2012

i want winter back.

That is totally a lie.  I don't want winter back.  But yesterday Jill and I went for a long run at 10:30 in the morning, I don't think it was even 70 when we started.  And it felt like a MILLION degrees.  I was in a sleeveless top and capris and absolutely sweating like crazy.  I even came home with a bit of a sunburn.

We decided to put in 9 miles.  The last time either of us had done a serious long run, was the last time we had ran together (um, which turns out to be about a month ago, whoops!).  So I was expecting it to be a little rough.  But honestly, I think had it not been quite so warm we would have been just fine.  Actually Jill was fine, I'm the one who thought I was going to die and made us take a couple of walk breaks between miles 6 and 8.  But we still finished 9 miles with a 9:07 pace.  I'll take it.

Next time though?  I'm going to remember to bring a towel to sit on in my car.  I was disgusting.  Eew.

Honestly, when winter first started, running in the cold terrified me.  I really hate being cold, and absolutely hate winter for the most part.  We lucked out with a much much milder winter than usual, but I still had a couple of runs in under 30 degree weather.  And surprisingly I'll take that misery over running in the heat any day.  If it is cold you just add another layer.  Run a little faster, just get it over with.

In the heat (I can't believe I'm considering 70 heat... I'm terrified for the summer)...  Well... What can you do?  Run before the sun is up I suppose.  But sometimes that doesn't work out.  Especially if I am going by myself, I am kind of too chicken to be out in the dark alone.  I'm considering getting a camelbak backpack for long runs.  Anyone out there have experience with one?

Tell me warm climate runners, what do you do to deal with the heat?


Please link up  your health and fitness related posts below!  Also, if you do link up please be sure to link back to me, so others can join in on the fun.  You don't have to include the button, a simple text link is fine.  But the button is cool too :o). 

And I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to comment on the posts everyone linked up last week.  I truly do appreciate you linking up, and I did read them all!  It is so motivating to me to hear what others are doing.  Keep it up!

March 25, 2012

week in iphone pics

Well.  I'm keeping this as short and sweet as possible because I have a million things to do, I'm exhausted, and I'm feeling majorly unmotivated.  Not a good combo.  Anyway...


first run in a skirt, my thighs survived.  love.  chocolate peanut butter banana bread.  she loves my running shoes.  cutest rain boots ever.  playing in the rain.  bath time.  giant worm.  awkwardness in the target parking lot.  eating a freaking SANDWICH!  combing the hairs.  too many tissue poms (I'm not even halfway done).  sleepy babe at MDO.  our polka-dotted driveway.  my child is a perfectionist.  watching sesame street.  miss curly sue.  sticker by number.  peeling a clementine.  me and my girl.  a great playdate.

aaand now I'm off to do laundry/fluff poms/make birthday banners/wrap presents/edit photos... oh you know just a few things.  but I'll probably sleep first.

Linking up with Amy!

March 23, 2012

a day in the life - sharstin

Wohoooooo!  Friday!

Oh wait.  The hubby still has to work tomorrow.  Boo.  :o(

Anyway...  Today you get a peek at a day in the life of Sharstin.  I first came across Sharstin's blog thanks to my bestie.  Meg had been following her, and pointed out that she had shared a picture of my nursery as inspiration for her own.  Shar's cute kids, great style and wonderful photos kept me hooked.  Her sweet and loving nature shines through her blog and e-mail exchanges.  I hope you enjoy getting a little look at her life!


well hey. I am sharstin from me and mine. My blog is about all the things i love--my babes, mommyhood, running/racing, some crafting, design, yummy eats, and all the good stuff in between.
Here is a little peek into our day--wednesday style
This week was a little different than most, because the hubs has been out of town on business--so i was rolling single parent status...eeesh!

7:10-The two oldest babes are up and at em--Getting breakfast cracking. We are big time oatmeal fans, so that is what it is most mornings.
8:00-Nora starts to talk and is ready to join the rest of the bunch. She eats a quick bite, and then we have to run Caleb to school, good thing it is just down the block. Hubs usually takes him, but i had to load up the crew this week.
9:00-10:00- Getting baths and getting 2 girls and myself ready will take a little minute. Nora loves to get into my makeup while i am getting ready--and Zoee always battles me in the hair department.
10:30--this is when we run a few errands...i had to go take a couple things back to target---where of course you end up grabbing a hundred other things you don't need. Then we went to a party store to look for a few things for an upcoming shower i am hosting. Z loves to go out shopping with me, and will chat my ear off.. i love this time to spend with the girls.
11-12- Lunch-o-rama. On the menu was some green smoothies and grilled cheese for the babes---and they downed an entire costco size carton of raspberries--what in the world?
12:30-I run Z girl to preschool, and put Nora down for a nap
1-2:00- Time for me to try and clean up the joint a bit--which meant some laundry on this day! ugh--my nemesis! nothing zaps my will to live like endless piles of laundry! I check my email and work on editing some photo sessions.
2:30-Nora wakes up and is ready to play. We read some books and have a lil snack
3:00-Have to pick up Zoee from preschool and grab Caleb from a friends house (it was early day from school) The weather was so fantastical we headed to my sisters house to play with cousins.
3-5:30- The kiddos played in the sandbox and swings. Zoee found a new pet worm and we went on a little walk around the hood. Then my sis made dinner for us--{she is a gem} and we had popsicles.


5:30-6:30- We get back home and play in the playroom for a while, get homework done, and the kiddos watched a little bit of Wild Kratts on tv.
6:30-Our sweet little babysitter comes over so i can head out for a run. I went for a 10 miler --was a beautiful evening and just enjoyed the sights and my tunes. Felt good-a little tired from the day-but ended up avg about a 7:10 pace. I always feel so much better when i can get a little run in.


7:30--Nora goes down for the night and read some books with Caleb and Zoee--it was Fancy Nancy, and The foot book.
8:00--Put the babes down and then I will usually read, watch some tube, work on pictures, and hit the sack! Wednesdays are always a bit crazy--and that the hubs was out of town made even that much longer:)

what is the most surprising thing about being a mom?
I don't think i realized pre-babies how much time and work those little ones are:) but i guess who does right? I think it also just worrying that you are doing everything right and that you are teaching your kids everything they need to know--i always have the case of mommy guilt for one thing or another! a curse!

what advice would you give to soon to be moms?
just enjoy the time with your hubs, and the pure freedom of doing whatever/whenever. Snag a little getaway if you can too!

what are your top three baby products?
big fan of the bumbo for some many reasons, swaddling blankets are a must, and i love the Pj sacks with the drawstrings at the end--they are just plain adorable and make diaper changes a breeze!


Thanks so much for sharing your day with us Sharstin!

March 21, 2012

this and that

::  Don't worry, you will be getting a day in the life post this week, just not until Friday.  Don't you think you can hold out?  I hope so.  A mama I'd really like to meet someday will be joining us :o).

::  The return of the humidity means Ryann's hair has recently become even more of a force to be reckoned with.  Some days she wakes up and it is perfect, wherever she slept flattened out the top just right and the back is in cute little flips that just curl a bit more throughout the day.  And then sometimes, well, sometimes there is no hope for it.  And if I put any water on the top to try and fix it, I'm done.  Those front pieces love to curl like crazy if given the opportunity.  Piggies, hair bows and ponytails only last so long before she pulls them out, and then her hair is crazier than before.  So... I've pretty much just been letting her look like she rolled out of bed.  I hope no one is judging too much.  :o)


::  Last week's gorgeous weather was such a tease.  It has been raining since Monday pretty much.  Our backyard is a freaking lake.  And there are giant worms and slugs coming out of who knows where and completely disgusting me.  Of course Ryann is bouncing up and down, "Ohhhh WORM.  Shh-lug.  I want to see!  I want to see!"  Eeew eeew eeew.  I HATE bugs of any kind.  Except maybe butterflies.

::  Have I mentioned that when Ryann is really trying to get my attention, she calls me Ashley?  We taught her our names (first and last) just in case it would ever be relevant information for her.  Well, now if she wants to push my buttons, or if I am not paying enough attention to her, she calls me Ashley.  How do they learn things like that so fast???  Ryann has been stalling hardcore before bedtime and naptime lately, and last night was of course no different.  Right after I closed the door she started whining, "Mama.  Open the door.  Please open the door.  Mama open the door please.  ASHLEY.  OPEN THE DOOR!  ASHLEY COME OPEN THE DOOR!"  It was kind of funny.

::  I quite possibly have the world's most annoying cat.  Well cats.  But Max (pictured below) is always starved for attention.  I can't 100% blame him.  Before Ryann was born Chris the cats and I would snuggle in the bed in the morning on the weekends.  They were our babies.  And then I had a real baby.  And honestly that was all I could handle.  So Max is always trying to get us to pet him, rubbing his wet little nose on my hands, which totally grosses me out.  He paces the hallway late at night and early in the morning because he wants attention.  It is insane.  He always jumps straight into peoples laps that come over.  Pretty sure he thinks he is a dog or something.  He whines to us when he can see the bottom of the food bowl (not when it is empty, when he can see the bottom).  He whines cause his sister sucks at getting everything, well, in the litter box.  He pretty much just whines all the time.  But when you need a good snuggle?  He is definitely your go to cat.  Poor guy, we definitely have a love hate relationship now.


::  I'm going to do it.  On the agenda for April (besides spring cleaning) is to write a series of tips on blogging and blog design.  My bestie has agreed to let me redesign her blog and give you a play by play.  So please, if you have something specific you want to know how to do, or any questions about blog design or blogging in general, please ask in the comments section or on my facebook page.  Know that you might not get answers until mid to late April or early May, but please, ask away!

::  My baby is going to be two in eight days.  WHAT???  How is that possible?

::  I've discussed my hatred for the dreadmill lately.  But apparently I should quite whining about doing 3-6 miles on the thing.  This crazy nut ran a freaking marathon on a treadmill!  And Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers actually trained for her first half marathon exclusively on a treadmill.  That blows my mind.  I've logged a lot more miles than some people would consider doing on a treadmill, but nothing like those ladies.

::  Really I have nothing relevant to say today.  Hope your Wednesday is going well! 

March 20, 2012

chocolate peanut butter banana bread

You see, yesterday I promised Ryann I'd have an activity for her when she woke up from nap.  I had a little plan, and I needed to print some stuff off my computer.  Except then I remembered in my file deleting frenzy that I most likely deleted the driver for my printer, because the stupid thing won't print.  So instead of reinstalling the driver I thought it would be a much better idea to use up the aging bananas on our counter and bake.  But I didn't want to just bake the old regular stuff because, well, who the heck knows why.  I for some reason decided on muffins.  And I found these.  Which sounded great.   But I wanted to change the recipe up a bit.  Because you know, I'm great at making up my own recipes (NOT AT ALL).  And after all that I remembered I HATED making muffins, because who wants to take the time to spoon batter into a million different cups?  Not lazy me.

Are you still with me?

So then I decided I'd just make bread.  And I found this recipe.  Which also sounded pretty good, except I didn't have 4-5 bananas, I had 3 (but they were HUGE so the probably counted as 4-5).  And I really wanted to get some oats in the recipe for no apparent reason (maybe to pretend it was healthy?  ha.).  And somehow, I ended up with the following.


I failed to follow my own recipe correctly, and added in too much milk, therefore I threw in a couple more handfuls of oats to soak up the extra milk, which means my loaf of bread was DENSE.  Thus, I undercooked it trying not to completely scorch the outside.  And then we cut into it before it was completely cooled and I think that was a bad idea.  But even with all that the loaf is already half gone today, so I'm going to deem it a success.  :o)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread
adapted from How Sweet Eats

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temp
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (plus a few extra to sprinkle on top if you'd like)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add sugars and beat until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla, mixing until combined.  Add bananas and mix.
  4. Add dry ingredients to your wet ingredients slowly, mixing until just combined.  Stir in milk, adding more one tablespoon at a time if your batter does not look wet enough.  Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and pour in batter.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean.

If you aren't a fan of dark chocolate then there is something wrong with you feel free to use semisweet chocolate chips.  We are just a dark chocolate family.  Seriously.  Ryann and Chris like the 80% dark stuff.  Blech.  I don't go that dark.

I didn't really taste the peanut butter much in this, and I think I would like to try maybe a chocolate banana bread with a peanut butter swirl...  Sounds good, right?


March 19, 2012

my enemy

First, I apologize for being a little late with this post today.  But come on, I was busy watching my Jayhawks last night, and simply couldn't pull myself away from the TV to write a post.  It wasn't pretty, but the boys pulled it out.  ROCK CHALK BABY!

Secondly, I wanted to respond to the comments I received last week, I really appreciate your advice and feedback!  Let's see, when I am on the treadmill, I end up doing some intervals simply because I'm bored.  I am trying to keep it interesting.  Most of the time anyway :o).  I have been going to a couple of classes, the 50/50 strength and cardio class as well as barbell strength (which I assume is pretty similar to body pump), each once a week.  That has definitely encouraged me to switch it up a bit, and also ensures a couple of strength workouts throughout the week.  I have tried crossfit style workouts with my trainer, and love them, but for some reason I can't motivate myself to do them on my own.  I need someone else to kick me in the butt to get going, and I'm too chicken to move all the equipment around in the gym on my own.  Lame, I know.

Really, one of the biggest deterrant for me with the gym right now, is the time factor.  Chris often leaves for the hospital before 5:30am, and I know some of you might be, but personally I am not dedicated enough to get up at 4:30 to get a workout in.  Ryann is often up between 6 & 6:30, so I don't have a ton of time available to myself in the morning.  She takes great naps, but I also can't find the motivation to plan my workouts during nap time, that is my ME (err, internet, craft and work) time.  So going to the gym is really my best option.  It takes us about 15 minutes to get there, 5-10 minutes to get Ryann dropped off in the child care, workout for 45 minutes to an hour, 5-10 minutes to get my stuff from the locker room and get Ryann picked back up, and 10-15 minute drive home.  So every trip to the gym eats up an hour and 45 minutes to two hours out of our morning.  If I can get us going and we get there close to 8, not a problem, we can still be to activities between 9:30 & 10.  But Ryann is definitely grumpier if I rush us around in the morning so we usually don't end up at the gym until 8:45 or 9, and then we are rushing from here to there and no time for errands...

Really I'm not trying to make this a pity post, just spelling it all out.  For now I'm just trying to be a little more lenient with myself on 'missing' workouts.  If we have nothing planned or nothing we seriously need to get to, then it is the gym as normal.  But if there is an activity I really want to take Ryann too, or something else comes up, or I just want a break from the gym, I'm going to take it.  We will figure it out.

On another note, Jessie mentioned that she was unable to link up a couple of times.  I sincerely apologize, I have no idea what the issue is.  I just use to create the linky, since it is free.  If anyone has another suggestion for a free link-up service, let me know!  I truly appreciate all of you who take the time to share about your journey and link up.  It definitely keeps me motivated, and I hope it helps others out there as well.

Wow.  That turned out to be much longer than I anticipated, so I'll try and keep this short.  I fallen back into a pretty bad habit.  One that involves a lot of chocolates and sweets.  Chocolate is DEFINITELY my biggest enemy when it comes to staying healthy.  During the holiday season I didn't want to deny myself things that I loved, and since then I've lost my ability to just say no to junk food, I have no will power.  And man.  I think Easter candy is my favorite candy.  Other holidays I feel like they just take the same old stuff and put it into different shapes, but Easter there is a bunch of things that you can't get throughout the rest of the year.  Dark Chocolate Mini Cadbury Eggs?  I don't want to talk about it.

I've done well keeping other processed food out of my life, and keeping our meals mostly healthy.  But the sweets?  They keep creeping back in.  Oy.  I need to do something about it, I just need to find my will power again.


What bad habit do you have a hard time keeping in check?  Be it health wise or any other random bad habit that you want to share :o).

March 18, 2012

week in iphone pics

Another week down!  I think I will feel like I am counting down weeks until Chris is done with his residency.  Only like 120 or something to go...

Ryann wants to help with stuff more and more.  She was helping Grammy make some french toast sticks (which she liked!  wohoo!  add another item to the menu.).  Ryann was a real gem while we ran some errands.  And every toddlers dream came true for Ryann, a bounce house in the backyard.  She had a blast.  We spent all afternoon outside, and Ryann was feeling it.  She had to take a little rest on the driveway.  After of course she insisted I draw her blankie, owl and ginger there for her.


We ventured out to grab some candy for the birthday party.  Ryann was having a difficult time not touching everything.  She was a goof while we ate lunch.  And she finally rode one of the rides at the mall.  Usually she says she wants to, be freaks out right before I turn it on.  This time I just did it when she wasn't paying attention.  Thankfully she absolutely LOVED it.  During nap time I got to work on some birthday party decor.  Ryann put on my socks and shoes and told me she was going running.  She also had her first taste of corn on the cob.  Another success.


Ryann tried to pretend she doesn't like going to Target, but it was a joke.  This kid always asks to go to Target (and look at the toys).  Ry and I made our way back home to KC, and she passed out on the way.  And stayed passed out for about 30 minutes after we got home.  I got a little bored.


Err, trip number two to Target in one week (this time was for groceries though).  Ryann insisted on NOT being in the cart.  She came across these bunnies, "Look mama!  Peter Cottontail!"  I spent most of nap time staring at the spinning wheel of death on my computer.  Thankfully I was able to ressurect it, for now.  Post nap Ryann looked a bit crazy, as usual.  And I spent the evening assembling some wedding invitations.


If you needed any proof, humidity has indeed made its way back to Kansas.  Her crazy curl hair is sometimes tough to deal with, but boy to I love those curls.  A little strawberry snack on the counter, she wasn't too impressed for some reason.  Little miss ready to hit the park for the second time that day.  And oh to be a toddler.  "Mama, I just want to lay on the bench.  Sing me a song."  Well alrighty then dear.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I wanted to start the day off with some green pancakes, unfortunately I tend to suck at making pancakes.  No worries, I rallied and the next eight pancakes turned out much much better.  We made these peanut butter pancakes, Ryann approved.  The day before Ryann had dumped a ton of bird food on the patio, and Saturday afternoon she was able to watch tons and tons of birds hanging out and chowing down.  My silly little girl showing off her green apples at lunch.  After nap I put together a little rainbow snack.  Ryann was impressed.  And she LOVED checking out the fishies when we went out for sushi.

How was your week?

March 17, 2012

project 366 {week 11}


This week Ryann has enjoyed the beautiful weather SO MUCH.  Seriously.  This kid never wants to come inside.  Friday she cried uncontrollably the entire ten minute walk home from the park because she didn't want to leave.  And then even more giant tears when I said we couldn't just play in the front yard (it was lunch time).  Emotions in general are still running high.  When she is happy she is running in circles from all her excitement.  When she is sad it is the most pathetic thing ever.  When she is being determined and stubborn?  Don't mess with the kid.

Something else to add this week, Ryann picked up a new word:  CATASTROPHE.  Yes.  Catastrophe.  Apparently it is in a book at my parents house, because when we were back home having breakfast one morning, she dropped her fork.  In a completely monotone voice, "Uh oh Mom.  It's a catastrophe."  Um, excuse me?  I asked her where she heard that word, "The kitty cat book.  The kitty cat book at Grammy's house."  Well alrighty then :o).

Another awesome word to hear her say is calamari.  We were out to dinner last night for sushi, and had a calamari appetizer.  Ryann wanted her chicken tenders and she wanted them RIGHT NOW.  But they were burn your mouth hot.  So we offered her a piece of calamari, and she ate it.  AND asked for more.  Craziness.  But when she says calamari there is an extra L or something, like "cala-marlie."  Too flipping cute.

Didn't want to forget any of that this week.

March 16, 2012

easy diy {kid friendly!} art

Before Valentine's Day I saw an adorable canvas bag on pinterest.  The short story, they used a pencil eraser and some paint to make an ombre heart on a canvas bag.  Really I thought it was so cute, but I don't currently need another tote, and wasn't really sure if anyone else would want one.

Then one day I had a little light bulb moment.  I've been wanting to use stamp pads for art projects with Ryann (somewhat less messy than paint) and throw in the addition of the pencil, and we could make our own version of the heart bags.  Just on paper.  So a couple weeks ago I busted out the supplies...


It worked fabulously!  Obviously paint would be an easier medium to use when trying to achieve the ombre effect, simply because you can mix the paint.  But the stamp pad we used that day had a gradient of colors so it worked pretty well.  I decided to make another one that I could put in Ryann's room, and so I could share our little project.  It didn't work out quite as well, because the colors don't really blend the best (and I grabbed the cheapest ink I could find, maybe don't do that...), but it is still cute and still incredibly easy.  Here is a quick play by play in pictures...


See?  Easy peasy.  You probably don't even need an explanation, but on the off chance someone does, here you go...

First, gather your supplies.  Two pieces of card stock or whatever you want to stamp on, some ink pads, a cheap pencil, a pair of scissors and some tape.  Next fold one of your sheets of cardstock in half so you can cut out a uniform heart.  You can really use any sort of a stencil here, but I went with my easy card stock heart.  Then use your tape to hold the paper in place, your stencil on top of your other piece of card stock.  And then just start stamping away!  When you fill your shape, remove the stencil and you're done.  So simple.

Really the pencil makes a great little stamper for kids, because it keeps them (for the most part) from getting ink all over their fingers.  With stamps their little hands are so close to the ink that really, a complete mess on their hands is almost inevitable.

Now to finally get something in the frames that have been on Ryann's wall for well over a year...