Thursday, July 22, 2010

More self-indulgent musings of my past...

The Suitcase

It was approaching sunset, and the last reddish-orange sunlight of the end of a hot summer day was filtering into my room.  It glided across the old hardwoods, leaving a golden trail across the floor and lingering where it nudged up against the old suitcase in the middle of the room.  Kyle and I were stretched out on my bed listening to music and doing nothing in particular.  That’s when I looked over and noticed him focused on that old Royal Traveler suitcase, the centerpiece of the room.  Daydreaming?  Concentrating?

            “You can’t have my suitcase,” I joked, giving him a playful smack on the head to bring him back from wherever his mind had drifted.  It was a vintage medium-sized travel case- probably circa the late 60’s.  It was beautiful: pale aqua blue with gleaming silver hardware, a retro fairytale of a suitcase.  The thrill I felt when I found it!  I had just moved into the co-op the week before, and was feeling lost in that huge bedroom that seemed so empty and lonely to me at the time.  I rescued the Royal Traveler from the trash, astonished that it was unscathed.  There wasn’t a scratch on it, and despite sitting outside under the back porch for ages, it was completely free of dirt or rust.

Kyle blinks.  Smiles.  Shakes his head “no” and continues to stare at the suitcase.

“I was just thinking about it.  Thinking, that is totally Kitt- who else would put a suitcase in the middle of their bedroom and use it as a centerpiece.  Is it just aesthetic, to show it off because you like the look of it?   Or is it symbolic- like, 'I'm ready to pick up and go any time I want?'

            Grinning, I admired the suitcase.  I did love the look of it, especially as it sat angled in the middle of the room, supporting a glass vase that held a single sunflower.  I remember that I used to go out every week to buy a new sunflower for it at the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings.  By this point, the live sunflower has since been replaced by an artificial one.

            “Oh God, no!  No not at all.” I explained.    “Not like that anyway- not to be able to just pick up and go.  I guess I keep it there to remind me that I LOVE it here. It’s more like a symbol of being anchored to this place- that I’m so completely happy where I am, the suitcase has been reduced to a stationery piece of furniture.  I have no need for a travel case, so now it’s a table.”  I sat up and surveyed the room- it was getting dark now, I’d need to get up and click on the light soon.

“Plus I do really love the look of it.  Besides...  it ties the room together nicely, don’t you think?” 

I give him a playful shove and reach over to switch on the table lamp on the nightstand….

I did love that old suitcase.  I had so little money then and had marveled at the fact that it was in perfect condition and would have been prohibitively expensive (for me) if I had found it in a resale shop.  I had so few possessions at that time; I was overjoyed with such a lucky find.  It filled a void in that enormous room that was slowly starting to feel like mine.   It was marvelous in the middle of that bedroom, like an old photo or a scene in an old Hepburn movie.  With the vase and the sunflower perched to the left of its handle.  Charming- that’s what it was.  I regret that I never took a photo of it.   It was one of those rare, fortuitously perfect objects that just happen into your life sometimes- something that was meaningless, that starts out incidental and becomes integral.  And now, thinking back as hard as I can, I’m unable to remember what became of my old Royal Traveler.  (How is that even possible?!)  I have no memory of when I eventually removed it from my room or why, or whatever became of it.  I guess at some point it just became incidental again, and was removed to make way for something else.   There’s a fair chance that it’s still lurking somewhere in the co-op.  Is it packed away somewhere in that crumbling, lonely old basement?  A forgotten relic of my past, keeping company with all the random abandoned things from so many others who had lived there once and left parts themselves behind?  I like to think that it’s been rediscovered by someone else, who also couldn’t believe their luck at such a find.   And that it is being cherished even now by its new owner as much as it was when it belonged to me.

Goodnight lovely blue Royal Traveler, wherever you are.  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Influences of the past: Lessons from New Wine Commune

Are you a coffee snob? 

I am. It’s one of the things that life in the co-op taught me: grind your own beans!

I lived in the New Wine Commune for almost 4 years during my undergrad studies.  At the time, in my mind it was nothing more than a logical way to live cheaply and close to campus. Looking back, I realize it was so much more than just cheap rent and a cool old house.  I wish I had appreciated it then as much as I do now.   An indescribable experience, really, sharing this beautiful turn-of-the-century home and the joys and sorrows of life with 7 other very amazing and brilliant people who were my house mates.  It was the closest thing to family I'd ever experienced, and the longest I'd ever lived in one place in my lifetime up to that point.  I am extremely sentimental about that house and the people who lived there with me during my time there.  It seems like it was a lifetime ago, and my world has absolutely no resemblance to what it was like at that time. There's no comparison, and I adore my current life more than anything that's come before it.  Yet, sometimes my heart still aches for those days.  

When I packed up and moved out, it was a very significant closing of a chapter of my life.  The woman who walked down those front porch stairs for the last time in the summer of '97 was forever changed from the girl who had first walked up them, nearly 4 years earlier.  I climbed the stairway with trepidation on that first day, with my black & blue hair,  worn out, secondhand clothes, and high hopes for the future.  I grew up considerably in that co-op.  I'm certainly not that optimistic liberal punk rock girl anymore.   Much of what I took away from that time has been stored away in some deep part of me, and I only reflect upon it on a rare occasion when something in the present triggers a memory.   Still,  I'm grateful for the things I learned and the influences of the people I was with during my time there.  It was certainly a catalyst for who I am today.  (Isn't that true of all our past lives?)

Oh, but that HOUSE.  How can I possibly explain how much I love the house itself?   My pulse quickens on the occasions that I drive by and see it- always making a quick mental assessment of what's still the same and what's changed on the exterior.  Always wondering what's still the same and how much has changed on the inside.   It would have been unfathomable to me how much of a bond one can create with a BUILDING if it weren't my own experience.  There are times when I still live there in my dreams, and times that my heart aches for the comfort that those walls created for me during that time in my life.  It will always be a symbol of what I consider to be the "winding down" of my youth.   For me, 123 West Gorham will always represent a fortress of joy. I grew up there, and a part of me will live there, always.

Other lessons I took from living in New Wine: co-op life is the way to go in college; how to plan, prepare and cook for 8-10 people (after leaving there, it took some time to adjust to cooking for just 1 or 2); composting, although practical, is pretty disgusting business (NO orange peels in the compost bin!); it IS possible to live harmoniously with seven other people (and actually love them dearly and enjoy it most of the time); cast iron pans truly are wonderful; black eyed peas can be delicious. 

...Life at New Wine has given me a near-obsessive love and appreciation of the distinguishing charms of a Victorian house. Servant’s stairs that lead up to the second level from the kitchen.  The old coal chute in the basement.  The second-floor balcony that was a perfect retreat during my many nights of insomnia.   Pocket doors to close off the drawing room.   Elaborately carved wooden trim and crown moldings.  The large, iron grates in the floor from the old coal furnace heating system.   The coal fireplace in the dining room.  The bathroom in the kitchen. Tiny ceramic floor tiles in the bathrooms and wizened, well-worn old hardwood floors in every room. The tiny nursery that at one time used to be adjoined to my old bedroom, allowing the nanny evening access to the babes in the house. The front porch! I cannot guess the number of hours I spent there, recounting the day with my house mates,  smoking, or reading, or just sitting and watching people pass by.   But I am sure the actual total would be surprising to me. I love that house so much and still remember every inch of it. 

For those of you who are lucky to be current residents- Treat It Well!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

She's Here!

Hello everyone!

If you've been following along here, you know I made my last post Sat. evening ("39 weeks") while having "braxton hicks" contractions... [AHEM!]  well about 4 hours after that post went live my contractions were 4 min apart (and VERY real),  and we were on our way to the hospital.  Too funny!
Sidney Luella Draheim was born at 7:18 am on Sunday.
Weight: 7 pounds, 6 ounces
Length: 17 inches

(THREE pushes and she came flying out!!!  Yeah Isagenix!)

She's beautiful and doing wonderfully, and Big Sister is really enjoying her new role.

Praises to our Heavenly Father for our newest little family member- she is indeed wonderfully made! 

Saturday, February 7, 2009

39 Weeks

This'll be a quickie catch-up post to document some of the things we've been doing this week.  My writing style is going to suffer somewhat, as did the quality of the photos- I've been having Braxton Hicks all day and I'm feeling rather diminished both physically and creatively...
Someone this week pointed out that I am due in less than 2 weeks and wondered where I was finding the time to do all this stuff...  Good question!  I guess it's a "fake it til ya make it" kinda thing..  Also, having a very active 5 year old at home with me all day is some very serious motivation to make and do stuff.  I wish I could say I have made as much headway toward preparing for the arrival of baby #2, but that's just not the case.  Tiny baby laundry has been washed and folded, yet sits waiting in a laundry basket.  Keely's bedroom is in a huge state of transition- the loft construction is complete, but now we need to paint, re-arrange, and move her things back into her room.  It's pretty chaotic here, actually, but in a good way that says "We like to do Stuff!".   Since you can never really be sure when labor will begin at this point, I've been trying to cram in as much fun, valentine-y stuff with Keely as possible.  She loves hearts, and I don't want to miss out on all the fun craft possibilities.  We've been making heart animals from construction paper, and working on her embroidered heart cards.  (No pics to post, but I assure you, like everything she makes, they are darn cute!)

For example, our valentine decorations this year are cheerful and set me at ease:

We hung paper heart mobiles across the cut-out in the wall between living room and kitchen.  (Wish I could've gotten a better pic but this was the best I could do- use your imagination!) They're quite lovely as they twist and spin.

Keely made a lovely paper mache valentine lantern using tissue paper and mod-podge.  We made a tube with heavy cardstock, and she did several layers of tissue paper in reds and pinks.  We placed it over my simmer (wax melt) pot, which gives it the warm glow.  (Again, the photo doesn't do justice).

My little Kitchen Helper has assisted me in making some fun lunches this week:

(That oil-slick looking stuff in the mini muffin paper is actually some Hershey's chocolate for dippin' the bananners..)

And I *finally* finished the hat & booties that I was afraid wouldn't be completed before the new arrival:

I'm quite happy with the results- it took forever to figure out how to embellish these little cuties- I made a lot of "test" flowers to come up with a prototype to satisfy my fickle preggo self.

And now, time to rest...

Monday, February 2, 2009

The bestest yarn for baby knits

I'm passionately in love with a sock yarn I just discovered this month.  It's Fortissima Socka "Teddy" yarn.  It's a combo of luscious super wash wool and acrylic.  The knitted result is almost chennile in texture and it's HEAVENLY.  Even better, it's self-striping, which is always a bonus.
I made myself some socks with this stuff over Christmas, and I'm addicted now.  I've almost worn holes in this pair already!

So when Metrodad asked me to "whip up a little knitted baby thing" as a gift for our friends who had a baby last week, of COURSE I had to find a way to use this new favorite yarn.

I settled on an adorable infant hat with ear flaps that I found HERE.  
Props to "Hey Julie" blog for the awesome free pattern!  Because of the nature of the yarn, I had to modify the pattern, which was originally done in stockinette, so it wouldn't curl- but I'm super happy with the results.  This little guy was super quick and the pattern is fool proof and leaves room for lots of personalization options.  For mine, I added removable, tassled ties (that hook onto buttons attached to the ear flaps) and a tassel on the top.  I've got hat envy!

I'm now working on one to match these teensy pink shoes (also in the Fortissima sock yarn of course) for OUR new baby, due in 2 weeks.  I need to embellish these, but haven't quite decided what I want to do yet...
I love knitting little booties!  So quick & Fun!

Flowers in January: A fiber tribute to the Allium

 I'm not normally a bright-color kind of girl.  Earth tones have pretty much always been my thing, and I gravitate toward them naturally.  But at this time of year in Wisconsin, there just isn't much color... ANYWHERE.  Snow, snow, snow.  And not the fluffy sparkly magical kind of snow that blankets everything like marshmallow fluff and is fun to look at.  Nope. This time of year, we've got grimy, sludgy grey piles of snow mixed with salt, dirt, and things we probably don't want to think about.  It can get downright depressing!

In the spirit of livening things up and giving the house a fresher, more joyful appearance, I decided to act on an idea I got the other day.  One of the gals on the Two Peas message board mentioned that she organized her knitting needles by putting them in vases, which I thought was ingenious.  Then I thought, why not take in one step further, and top those needles with stray balls of stash yarn?

Here's what I came up with last weekend- my tribute to the Allium flower, which I love.

I am so delighted to have finally found a use for that scrumptious bright blue Berroco Plush yarn!  It was an impulse buy on sale, two years ago.  (Like I said, I'm more of an earth tones gal) so it's been sitting in my stash trunk all lonesome in the dark.  This is a much better use for it!  

Soon I was raiding my stash to find bright cheerful colors and great textures.  Next came the orange "poppies".  (and to think that I had been kicking myself for impulse-buying ORANGE yarn..!)

And at that point, it was becoming an addiction, and I dug deep to find this coveted stash of retired Sirdar yarn to make these pussy willow inspired Big Boys. (Aha!  Earth tones!)  -To give you an idea of how huge these guys are, the sculpture in the background is nearly two feet tall...

There you have it.  Silly puffball flowers that I stayed up to make until 1am last weekend.  They make me so happy.  And they are ridiculously simple to make.  I was going to type up a little tutorial, but I don't think it's necessary- these are super easy-peasy.   Materials I used were styrofoam balls to save on my stash, wooden skewers, tape, liquid stitch (or any craft glue that dries clear) and yarn.  I thought that chunky, fluzzy yarns like Sirdar snowflake and Berroco Plush were the most charming, but any ole yarn'll do.  Just wrap the yarn around a styro ball, secure the end w/ a skewer, and wrap the skewer with a contrasting color.  I just taped the yarns at the bottom of the skewer, but if I were making them for someone, I'd use a craft glue.  To create varying lengths, I taped skewers (and parts of skewers) together.

If you hop on the yarn-puffball-flower bandwagon, I'd really like to see what you come up with!

Serious warning- they really are really addicting.  Really...

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Isn't this a beautiful, traditional-tattoo inspired piece of stained glass?!  Really, my photo doesn't do it justice- it's absolutely incredible.  Our pal  Daniel  made a matching set of these lovelies for our front windows.  He ROCKS.  And now our windows do, too!  Thanks, Dan!  XOXO

I am very much behind in posting what we've been up to all week.  Prepare for a barrage of new posts as I catch up over the weekend...  Yes, indeedy!

Thursday I decided to throw caution to the wind, ditch the morning house chores schedule, and go thrifting while Keely was in preschool.  This is something I haven't done in ages and it was the best day EVER!  Get a load of all this yummy, thrifty-goodness that I scored...  What a HAUL!

An adorable, teensy watch-pin upcycled with a decorative spoon handle.  It has a loop on the back so it can be worn as a pendant, but my plan is to add it to my clock collection wall.  


A yummy purse in a lovely heather grey that features some of my favorite obsessions lately: felting and embroidery! (Seriously, it's like it was created just for ME.)


This gorgeous lime martini glass.  (I am passionate about most shades of the color green...)


Adorable red plastic trays for Keely's lunches.  See how well they match her crab cup?  Awww!  (Think "bento"- we're jumping onto the Muffin Tin Monday Bandwagon... Whee!)


And finally, as I was sauntering proudly toward the register with all of my new treasures, this cute, vintage cold cream jar caught my eye.  (It still has that delicious cold-creamy smell inside... Mmmmmm!)

I also scored some cute clothes for Keely & Sidney ("Baby-to-Be"), some window markers, some old frames to repurpose, and some sumptuous, old, hard-cover books whose covers I'll be repurposing into a sketchpad for Keely and a notebook for me, using my Bind-It-All.  (More to come on that at a later date!)

What an Awesome. Thursday. Morning.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cupcakes & Fairytales

It's absolutely freezing here in Wisconsin.  The sub-zero weather has us sequestering ourselves indoors, which means... PROJECTS!  Keely and I have been keeping busy by crafting like maniacs- no complaints here!

I decided to jump on the fiber foods bandwagon, and make my version of the ubiquitous knitted cupcake.   I raided my stash and came up with some great textures to create this delicious little cutie.  Thanks to Blah Blah Blahhhg and this FREE PATTERN, you can make one too.  Zero calories, and easier (and less messy!) than the real thing!  I'd love to see what you come up with if you decide to join in on the cupcake knitting frenzy.  

Keely has been applying her creative proclivities as well... I am so grateful that God has blessed me with a child whose veracity for crafting so closely matches my own! 
Here she is working on her Fairytale Storybook:

Constructing a marshmallow & toothpick sculpture:

Making "monsters" with straw painting: 
Thanks to Maya*Made for the idea!)

And my favorite captured moment of the week...Embroidering in the sunshine!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

BRIE ME! My newest culinary obsession...

Last weekend was our Girl's Birthday Weekend.  In our family, the guys (DH, FIL, and BIL) all have birthdays in the fall, and the girls are all in the winter (MIL, SIL, and me).  So we celebrate annually, the guys in November (usually golfing)  and the gals have our get-together weekend in Jan/Feb and usually do an outing.  This year, due to my current VERY preggo status, we decided to have a mellow girl's weekend.  Jamie (SIL) thought of the best theme- "Favorite Things" (think Oprah's annual  favorite things give-away show.)  We decided that in addition to the gift swap (which was a BLAST- such a fun idea to give AND to get!)  that we would forego our usual shopping day excursion and just have a nice luncheon at a cozy little cafe in Portage.  

I can't remember the name of the little cafe, and I really regret not bringing my camera to take pictures- it was cozy and cute and eclectic, and the food was terrific.  I had the most amazing sandwich- definitely a preggo mama's dream come true- an "Adult Grilled Cheese".  This culinary masterpiece consists of brie, bacon, and apple on toasted walnut raisin bread.  It was HEAVENLY!  I've been craving it since last saturday, and have come up with a "lazy" version of my own using croissant, spreadable brie cream (pasteurized) and Granny Smith apples.  YUM!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chickie Boo

So, it's still mostly below zero here, and I am getting desperate for some affirmation that spring will eventually be on its way.  I've been looking for fun spring-y projects for Keely and me to do to brighten things up around here.  When I saw this little chick and egg project,  featured w/ a tutorial at Making Ends Meet, it was too darn stinkin' cute not to share.  Who doesn't love a good hand-sewn felt project to liven things up?!

Adding this one to my ever-growing mountain of "must do" projects!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gettin' Knitty Wit It

I'm what I describe as a "pathological knitter".  

I love it.  I adore it.  I dream about it.  When I'm in a shop that has sweaters on a rack, I find myself analysing the design and identifying the patterns/stitches used to create it.  Now, I'm not saying I'm a GOOD knitter...  I'm just very passionate about it.  Metro Dad and I argue more often than you'd guess about whether it would be "appropriate" for me to bring my knitting along to any given function or outing.  I lose a lot.  (Which may be why I don't go out a lot...?!)

If you have any proclivity toward knitting, you understand.  There are times when you come across a particular yarn, or an intriguing pattern, and you just HAVE to knit.  When I find myself in the throes of one of these obsessive knitting moments, LOOK OUT!  I'd travel through the frozen tundra to get the supplies I need once I've got my heart set on a new project.   For example, my newest passion for collecting patterns for knitted toy food.  Metro Dad simply can NOT comprehend that one.  But I can't help myself.  I've finished a cupcake, and now I'm itching to get to a resale yarn shop to pick up bits and pieces of assorted colors to make a whole tea tray party set of finger foods with my knitting needles.

I've got a trunk full of sock yarn, 1/2 of a sweater I started about 6 years ago, and several projects in various stages of completion, yet all I can think about is knitting these adorable little tea sandwiches!  Yes, I have a daughter who will LOVE playing with them, so it seems logical.  But honestly, even if I was childless, had no access to children, and never intended to DO anything with the knitted toy food upon completion, still I would HAVE to make them.  

Take THIS PROJECT for example.  I just found it today.  A knitted, stuffed uterus- lovely!  When would this be appropriate, even?  Perhaps a friend with a stellar sense of humor who's undergone a hysterectomy?  I dunno, but there's something almost... irresistable...  about the concept of knitting up a cuddly, bubblegum pink uterus, no?

 I know it's not rational.  Heck, lots (most) of the time I don't get around to finishing one project before something new catches my fancy and there sits the "old" project on the needles, waiting for the day that I am lured back once again to complete it.  Probably makes no sense whatsoever if you're not into fiber arts, and Metro Dad can't understand why I'll gleefully pay $20+ for yarn to make ONE pair of socks.  But who cares?  I'm not gonna even bother to rationalize it.   
It makes me happy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

30 Below and Cameraless

It's like the Arctic North here- the snow's piled up to heroic heights, schools are all cancelled, and with the windchill, the temp has been around -30 deg.  Sounds fun, huh?  We've been holed up here in the house, which is just fine- we've been crafting our brains out to help pass the time.  Unfortunately, I can't find the #@&()~$*)~!Q!!! battery charger for the camera, so I can't share any of the fun pics of our recent creations with you.

They are forthcoming- just as soon as I find that cord...  Grrrrrr!

Here's a sneak peak at some projects I've got on the agenda:

I've been using up yarn stash and having a blast with these:

Also, I'm super anxious to try my very first sewing project:
Awww, isn't he SWEET?  This great FREE project is courtesy of the lovely and talented Alex at MOONSTITCHES. 

(I am going to raid the clothes in our closets soon if it doesn't warm up enough to allow me to make a trip to the fabric store!!!)  

Keely's been very productive too, that creative little pixie! 

Wouldn't you Gnocchi!

It was another one of those days that happen so often when your full time job is raising your kids- we veered waaay off the course of our schedule today. Things started out normally enough- we did Monday story time at the library and then open gym time afterwards, like we do every Monday. From there, everything pretty much went askew.

The "plan" was to eat a quick lunch, then pack up our Christmas decorations, do a quick dust & vacuum in the livingroom, then take a nap, and then do an art project together. 


My neighbor called as I was making lunch, and asked if I could do her a favor by taking her 2 kids (ages 5 and 3)  for the afternoon. This translates as eat FAST, nap NOW and SKIP the planned chores for the afternoon. (Eek!) We WILL get those Christmas decorations packed up properly and put back into storage.. really we will.. I'm just not sure if it'll happen before spring (ESPECIALLY if baby #2 comes early, as I suspect.)

Wouldn't you know it, 4:30 comes around, the neighbor kids go home, Metro Dad is home, and we're all HUNGRY. Uh oh. Veering from the schedule also led to neglecting to prepare for the dinner I had been planning (pork chops).. And we're overdue for groceries so we've got super limited options. It's nearing 5pm now, and I am foraging desperately for sustainence. 

I have to say, I am tremendously proud of the results. Last time we were at Trader Joe's I bought a vacuum sealed bag of "fresh" gnocchi on a whim, for an emergency meal. HALELUJAH! As I began to boil the water, I continued pulling ingredients and decided to wing a sort of basil cream & tomato sauce. Crazy how you can come up with something unexpected just by foraging and getting creative with what you have on hand. Who would've thunk it?

I always throw together sauces by whim and by taste, and this one was DEFINITELY good enough for a repeat performance. It was "company" good, actually. Now if only I can remember and replicate... Here's the gist of it:

Kitt's Fly-By-The-Seat-of-Your-Pants Basil Cream Tomato Gnocchi

Note: The TJ's gnocchi was great- minimally processed and close enough to authentic to make me happy. (I LOVE gnocchi) But any good gnocchi will do.

WHITE SAUCE: (which was also delish by itself)

-Heavy whipping cream (I poured in about a cup, I think)
-Grated fresh Romano cheese (I used about 1/2 the wedge)
-2 T of salted butter
-3-4 heaping spoonfuls of minced garlic (I tell ya, times like these I'm GLAD I have that emergency pre-minced jar in the fridge!)
-Lots of Basil (I have a stash hanging in the kitchen from the garden that I pluck & use as needed, so I prob used about 10 leaves)
-A couple splashes of (dry) white wine
-salt & pepper to taste
-pinch of sugar

I heated the cream and shredded Romano over low heat, stirring to melt in the cheese. Then added the butter, garlic, basil & wine. Reduced over low heat until it thickened up (about 5 minutes) and added salt/pepper & sugar.

Now here's the other "cheaty" part of this meal- Because I love a little "red" in my white sauce, I grabbed some pre-made (not by me) marinara sauce and added just enough to give it a pink hue and round out the flavor. (Probably about 3-4 heaping spoonfuls). Poured the sauce over the gnocchi while Metro Dad and Keely dished out the salad, and dinner was served in less than 30 minutes.

It. Was. Magnificent.

Even little Miss Picky-Eater princess loved it. She was disgruntled, however, to learn that I "tricked" her by serving pasta made out of potatoes (which she does not like). She ate the whole bowl.  Hehe.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cream Cheese Chicken to the Rescue!

Well heck.  We're more than a week  into 2009 and I'm still scrambling to get things in order so I can live out my resolutions for the year.  I'm cutting myself some slack (a rare allowance for me) since I am smack dab in the middle of the third trimester of this pregnancy.  As a very intuitive man ( once said,
  "It's a lot of hard work to grow a kid from scratch!"

One of my biggest resolutions this year is to get back on track with "clean" eating.  We've fallen into a rotten pattern of eating frozen/convenience food meals, and it's reflected in our waistlines.  In addition to eating healthier, I'm also determined to make ONE MEAL for the WHOLE FAMILY, which includes Ms. Picky-Eater Princess (DD).  So I've been spending waaaay too much time hunting online for new recipes.  It's been painful, really.  

Have you got some tried & true recipes the whole family loves?  EMAIL ME!

In my frenzied search, I stumbled upon Cream
Cheese Chicken.  

It's easy.  It's nearly completely unprocessed.  It's a crockpot meal.  Best of all, everyone was happy with it..  and DD actually ate LEFTOVERS for lunch the next day with toast points.  Hallelujah!  The recipe came from Stephanie the Crockpot Lady (you should really check out her fabulous blog of 365 days of meals to make in your crockpot- outstanding!) I added peas, diced carrots, and red pepper to cover the veggie group.  We had it over whole wheat noodles for dinner, but it would be great with rice too.  The Picky-Eater Princess really enjoyed it with toast.  Oh Frabjous Day!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Emergence of Metropolitan Housewife

A new year, a new blog.  The emergence of the Metropolitan Housewife has been a slow process- conceptualized last fall, created ages ago, and finally coming to fruition this very moment.  Most of what I put up here will be for selfish reasons- catharsis, documentation for my kiddos, and the opportunity for prospective business partners (and possibly family and friends who may choose to check in here) to get to get to know me on a more personal level.  So.  Who am I?

I Am:
-36 years old (as of last weekend!)
-A Post-punk, know-it-all, Aetheist, alternative lifestyle bar tender & body piercer who has mellowed out and has been "Born Again"
-A well-educated (OVER-educated, perhaps) Post Grad SpEducator-turned-Work-At-Home-Mom 
-Passionate about serving my God and my Family 
-A Christian, An Entrepreneur, Teacher, Home business coach
-A volunteer for Bulldog Rescue
-A Maker of "stuff"
-Someone who strives to live the heck out of life for the short time I'm here, and hopefully leave some things behind that will postively impact others after I'm gone

Some Things I Love:
Almighty God and my Savior, Jesus Christ, MetroDad and our little girls, Knitting, Reading, Crafting, Scrapbooking, Nutella, Burt's Beeswax lip balm, Minty bath & body products, Baking fancy treats or cooking elaborate meals (and eating them!), Mojitos, Mazzy Star, Jazz, Most shades of the color green, Learning new stuff, Bulldogs, Reading crafty blogs, Two Peas,  Ethnic food, Historical fiction, Forensic thrillers, Word Games, Crossword Puzzles, Boggle, Quirky Comic Books, Fall, Cool Weather & overcast days, Painting, Sculpting, Creating, Writing, Going to/watching Movies, Giving unexpected and/or "perfect" gifts

2009 Resolutions
(It took me about a week to decide to make them this year, and here they are:)
-Read the (whole) bible in 2009
-Increase my personal relationship with God
-Get back to "clean" eating and no more processed foods
-Eat dinner at the table as a family each night
-Learn to sew (got a machine for Christmas, thanks MIL & FIL!)
-Create something new on a weekly basis 
-Get more organized (home, self, weekly schedule)
-Grow my home business to create financial freedom (debt free)
-Journal the year (hence this blog)