Sunday, February 26, 2012

christmas past

I did a terrible job doing anything with Christmas pictures and posts, so here is a quick attempt to make up for it. We had a terrific photo shoot with a home-for-the-holidays best friend, and her camera magic was as-always a sure hit. We sent off a lighted {biodegradable} lantern, and it was a hit with our 15 month old. and me. {just being honest!}

We also took some pretty, informal pictures of Rae, but just trying to get her to stay where I put her is a tremendous challenge. In short, these are the best of the bunch.

Thanks JSS!! You're the best. 
Merry post-Christmas and happy new year!

Friday, February 24, 2012

fav at 17. months, that is.

Rae is officially 17 months old. How did that happen? It’s amazing because life seems to be just that much more wonderful and complex since adding her to the mix. I loved life before, and now I love my life even more. It has taken on new meaning and delights. Just think: your life changes when you have a baby, but no one mentions that it doesn’t have to be a bad change. You instantly think selfishly: “I’ll not have time for myself anymore” or “we will have to stop doing fun things” but really that’s not what you find yourself thinking once it’s happened. You drive home from a long day at work excited to see a tiny person say “MOOOm, momomom!” {or daaaaDEEEE!} It is the feeling of being an immediate comfort and a delight to something else, and the best part is, it’s yours. Rae has been the best, and most fun we could ever have hoped for; we are grateful we have her each minute. Praise God.
Here’s a list of our 17 favorites, current trends, quirks….
1.       Crossed ankles. Still.

2.       Her delight in an old photo album. She carries around a light, random album of photos from about the time when Phil first joined the Air Force. It is her favorite thing to flip through all the pages.

3.       Jewels. She wears no less than at least 4 necklaces. Heaven forbid if mommy has one on and she does not.
4.       The Kitty. (KEEE-eee!!!) the highest pitch you can imagine. Good thing Luna is a good sport.
5.        Pasta. The girl can eat.
6.       Books. If You Give A Pig A Pancake. Not sure how I feel about the greedy pig, but she loves it.
7.       Animal sounds. Just ask her what a cow says. MMMMMMMMO. Heavy on the M-oh.  Or the lion {my personal favorite}.
8.       Mirrors. Circles. Dancing. She’s got skillz. Shout-out to Miss Dana in the clip :) 
9.       Reading in the car. She just needs a few to look through, and she always holds it the right way and thumbs from page to page, left to right, just the way it’s supposed to be done. (don’t worry, I took this picture using the backwards camera feature on my phone and the rearview mirror—I’m a safe driver, even at stop lights).
10.   Pulling the towels off the rack. Just because it’s fun. I think it’s because she likes to see what’s cooking in the oven.
11.   Ponytails.
12.   Cooking. {i.e. big messes} She likes to have a little menagerie of rice, cheerios, water, and mini utensils to “cook” while I’m cooking at the stove. It’s fun and it’s messy.
13.   Words & Copying. She is saying So. Many. Words.  Kitty {her first}. Cheerios, blueberries, love you, mommy, daddy, Ky, car, upstairs, outside, pasta, Papa, Gigi, hi, book, “A, E” {the alphabet song}, lion, cow, pig, sheep, doggie {she barks} and fish {she pops her mouth like a fish}.
 And it changes daily.
14.   Tip Toes. She’s just discovered her feet can lift her higher. She’s trying to get the gist of jumping next.
15.   The swing, and loving to be outside. WHEEE WHeee!
16.   Kisses. Open mouthed or blowing kisses.
17.   Being friendly with others i.e. I can still drop her off at the nursery and she doesn’t like it, but she’s brave and will get report cards that say: “Played, Interacted with the Other Children”.
Best thing ever. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

whims may take me...clementine muffins

on a whim, on a dark snowy night, my sister and I felt the need to bake something sweet. We had the ingredients for a recipe I had recently pinned on Pinterest, from my new muse: The Novice Chef. Jessica had posted this amazing recipe alongside her wonderful pictures, and a particular one caught my eye.

(photo courtesy of The Novice Chef blog)

My mind started going, and I thought it looked as if Jessica had baked those darling muffins INSIDE the clementine peel.


What a great idea!!

I pinned that recipe straightaway, with the note "could I bake them inside the peel?" and promptly my pin was copied by 47 others. 

Anyway, we were presented the opportunity to try out the theory tonight, and I must say it was a great success!!

One of the best features of a clementine is its easily peeled skin. We cut these in half, and just carefully pulled out the soft segments in one. These were lovely, larger clementines from Morocco, purchased at our local farmer's market. 

 Here you can see the peel formed to the pan, with a flat bottom and curved sides. I peeled one away to inspect (ie. taste!) the difference in texture, and was pleased to find out that the muffin baked within the peel was delicate and soft, delicious, not overly clementine-y from the oils in the skin. It peeled nicely, too, without losing too much of the flesh of the muffin.
I continued with the recipe, and glazed and "blinged" the muffins out with a citrus glaze and zested sugar, and with all that flavor going on, you might think they would be overboard. They are not. They couldn't be any more delightful, and the peel just makes you feel ever so clever.