It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

No not Christmas. Although that part is great too…

It’s PLANTING TIME!! Well, in Arizona any way. Now that the temperatures have dropped below 100 and the mornings and evenings are spectacular, we’ve been hard at work getting our yard back in shape. There’s been lots of trips to the nursery, much fertilizing and a whole bunch of trimming. I’m so excited for the results of our work.

I love this view at the back door

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Two new tomato plants – a yellow grape and a red olive. I’ve never heard of olive so I’m excited to see what they’re like.

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I see lots of pesto in our future. It smells heavenly.

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And the lettuce table! I always get so excited to plant this guy. This year includes green leaf and two varieties of red leaf.

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A new addition is rainbow Swiss Chard. Really excited for these guys to grow in.

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Velvety Petunias

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Oooh, the Meyer Lemon. Like a cross between an orange and a lemon. These little babies are going to make some amazing vinaigrette!

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Something is blooming everywhere you look

IMG_7934 IMG_7935 - CopyAt the risk of sounding like a crazy woman…I stalk the nursery for this color of Geranium. It’s a deep red and just gorgeous.

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Auggie’s First Day

With Auggie’s first birthday came his first day at preschool. It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been visiting his classroom a few times a week since August to ease him into his first day. And thankfully he has two teachers that could double as Disney princesses. They love him and he flirts up a storm with them. Auggie also has the greatest big sister who reassuringly told him to come find her if he ever feels scared.

Walking away from the school without Auggie on my hip was the strangest feeling. I’ve never understood when a mom tells me they sat in the parking lot and cried on the first day of school. Until today. I watched him happily digging in the sandbox and realized how big he is now but how little he looked. Having munchkin free time to work is really necessary and he is going to learn so much at school, but it was a bit heartbreaking to leave him today for reasons I can’t pin down.

As I peaked around the corner at pick up today, I saw him sitting sweetly at the tiny tables eating lunch with his buddies. I’m always amazed by this preschool and how they create a calm community at meal time. I picked up his birthday crown and he carried his truck lunch box out the door and we headed home for some much needed sunggles (for me…). The report from his teachers was glowing and Wednesday is Fire Safety day which means there will be a fire truck to sit in and that it is fire themed week. He’s in heaven!

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He was so pumped to have his OWN lunch box. He also refused to wear sneakers. Crossing fingers for Wednesday.

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Happy Birthday Auggie!

I can’t believe that this guy is already TWO. The saying goes that the days are long and the years are short and that couldn’t be more true with this guy. It feels like yesterday that I was dropping B at school and heading to the hospital.

We celebrated the birthday boy with a fra-mly party with a construction theme and I have to say, it came out pretty awesome. I think the birthday boy wasn’t the only one who had fun!

Who knew blue prints made such cute and easy table cloths.

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Fun party favors

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Ready to par-tay!

IMG_7866CHEEEESSSEEEEE!

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His home made cake didn’t turn out too shabby

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It’s too bad they don’t look like us….

IMG_7895Happy birthday Auggie boy! You are such a crack up and bring so much happiness to our lives. Please stop growing so fast!

Tuesdays with Auggie

I distinctly remember the day that Baylor and I had our first two way conversation. She had woken up from her nap early and was standing in her crib, crying. As I opened the door, I asked her what was wrong. She pointed to her ears and said “Ears. Hurt.”. It was like Helen Keller signing water. It was amazing to speak to her and have her answer back!

With the Auggie boy, our conversations sound a little more like this:

Mommy!!

Yes Auggie.

MOMMY!!

That’s my name.

MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!!!

Augustus. I’m. Right. Here. What do you need?

YOWD!!

Yes, hammering the train table IS loud.

Ok. Dank you, Mommy. 

I would give that kid a pony if he said orssie peas, mommy. Dank you. It’s so stinking cute, I can’t stand it!

 

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Ta da!!

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When we I thought our living room needed an update, I thought we needed a mirror over the side board. We went round and round on what size, what kind, what shape…and then it hit me. I wanted a barn wood mirror. Specifically old barn wood that we found ourselves in Montana. And because I’m married to a carpenter, I get what I want (well that and I’m pushy…).

We got the barn wood this summer and PW and compromised on a taller, horizontal rectangle. He spent an entire day plotting out how to cut the wood that we had which was all different depths, slightly different lengths and with a lot of character to be preserved. He is most proud of the little dowel that was stuck in one of the pieces.

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One thing we didn’t account for is how freaking heavy it is. Thankfully with several different heavy weight hooks, a lot of swearing and some luck, we made it happen. Thank you for being so good at this stuff PW!

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THE Best Kale Salad

The only thing you need to know is that A. Peter agreed to try this. B. He had seconds. And C. he said I should make it again and soon. Boom. Best recipe ever.

1 bunch Black or Tuscan kale, de-veined and chopped into small pieces

1/3 of a lemon

1 tsp garlic paste

2 count olive oil

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup graded (powdery) Parmesan cheese

Dried cranberries

Roasted pumpkin seeds

 

At least an hour before you’re ready to eat, toss chopped kale, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and some salt and pepper. Make sure to work everything into the kale to tenderize it. Set aside for at least an hour.

Cook quinoa according to directions. Toss hot quinoa with the kale mixture. Add Parmesan cheese, some cranberries and seeds. Mix and taste for more lemon (it’s easy to add too much at the start!). Serve room temperature or chill.

Kale is super sturdy so this salad keeps really well over night!

If you are a fan of True Food Kitchen’s kale salad, you’re going to love this. It’s really similar and you could add in bread crumbs instead of the quinoa for the TFK version. Just go easy with the lemon.

Paige Denim

Why are good jeans so hard to find?? Shopping for good jeans is as bad as shopping for a good bra. Or a bathing suit. No one ever says “I’m so pumped to go bathing suit shopping!”. Jeans are the same way for me. I’m picking about the fit, the rise and of course, the length. Why are models 6 feet tall but jeans all have 30 inch inseams? Where do the tall girls get their denim?!

I found my answer last fall at Nordstrom. I was turned on to Paige Denim and I have to say, a year later, I love them just as much. Of course, Nordstrom stopped carrying the style I like. Which turned out to be a good thing because I found Paige.com instead. In trying to track down my favorite cut (Skyline Straight) in the wash I wanted, I emailed the company. I was shocked to see an email just an hour later from the customer service rep saying she had just personally restocked that style and wash and that she was holding out a pair in my size and how would I like them shipped to me. Amazing!

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I lived in these white jeans I bought from them this summer and just ordered the same pair in black hoping to get the same good use out of them. They carry several styles and fits – my favorite is that the straight cut jeans are on the narrower side at the ankle – skinny jeans without the tapered leg – perfection!

Check it out at www.paige.com 

Oh – and they have maternity jeans – where the heck were these when I needed them!?

 

Deliciously Free!

RUN to my lovely friend Stephanie’s blog, Many Hats of a Mom, and enter her contest! You could win $50 in Happy Family snacks!!

www.manyhatsofamom.com

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I’ve entered and done my bonus points…. now go! Get in there and win some healthy snacks!