Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sometimes

you take your babies to the garden in hopes of getting pretty pictures in front of the blooming azaleas.  



And you end up with adorable candids of your baby girl trying to earth bend her big brother on the spinning sundial statue. 



Is it possible that we watch too much Avatar the Last Airbender at home?

p.s. If you live in Houston, you MUST check out the azaleas this week.  There is a beautiful little garden connected to the Art Museum that literally bursts into bloom for like five days a year.  Right across from Hotel ZaZa and the fountains all the quincenera girls use for photos.  We live nearby and it is like a 1/4 acre oasis in a sea of downtown and Med Center smog.  It is breathtaking.  Go now!!! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Positive.


Handling two kids..and home and hobbies

But you know..sometimes u just wanna say it.. how hard it is.

Sometimes..you feel like crying for no reason..you have loads of mood swings which are difficult to explain even to yourself.

But then there are those moments.when you feel blessed. Happy where you are today from yesterday..

Thats life.



I really have nothing to complain about and I feel awful when I do.

yes, I am trying to be more positive

it is not easy for me

i find that I can find peace more easily if I take a few minutes each day to actively think something positive



just, hmm...this coffee is good

the weather is wonderful

and remind myself to tell avinash and nandini how much I love them


and that they are good babies.

And just remembering to breathe. Like, really breathe.

What's up with our baby : 50 weeks ?!

I get these Our365 emails about Nandini's milestones by week.  Here is how she is doing.

• Your baby's coordination and attention span have developed.  She can most likely hold a toy in each hand or pick up a toy and wave.
Not only that she will give you a princess wave as well.  Or, more likely, hold a piece of food in one hand and wave with the other, over the phone, to her Nana, because she heard him say goodbye.  Every body has video phones these days now, right?
You know she can earth bend too.

• Babies this age don't understand danger yet.
Ummm....she has met her older brother.  So, yeah, she understands danger a little bit. OR A LOT.

• Now they can remember where a toy had been before, even if they can no longer see it.
She has started putting puzzle pieces on top of Avi's puzzle box very proudly as if she is doing a puzzle herself.
Also, she remembers any piece of food or cupcake you try to stealthily eat before she notices you.

Is that a fact?
The brain of your one-year-old is about two-thirds of its adult size.
That is just creepy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Project Life - more red and hearts

**Don't forget about my giveaway down below. Today is the last day to enter. Just check out my shop and become a blog follower, easy as that. **

Avinash always comes over to check out my album when I pull out project life.  He gets such a kick out of seeing himself and his friends in there.  He always asks a million questions, I love it!


I used three plain grid cards in row.  The card with the title on it is opposite my heart confetti so I just stuck everything onto the page protector because I didn't want to disturb it.  I love the grid look so I chopped this hearts banner in threes and glued it down.  I used the negative of a Crate Paper paper heart chipboard piece for that pink heart.


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I used an Elle's studio journaling card to write down some quotes from the babies lately.  The term quote being used in the abstract sense when it comes to Nandini of course.
I also had to write down the descriptions of the sake we drank at our feb. 13 dinner at Uchi.  I knew I would never remember them so I snapped a picture of their menu with Ryan's iphone. 
Avinash is really into puzzles lately so I decided to put my puzzle punch to use on his picture.  I made him a puzzle too by punching apart another picture of him.  He was totally non-nonplussed for some reason, oh well.  I want to create a layout using a similar technique as well, no reason I can't do both.
And, finally, those feathers.  Removed from a parachute Avinash made at the Children's museum that day.  Just a simple Martha Stewart kraft sticker for journaling.  Love them.  Also, that little spot in the museum playground always seems great fro pictures (with blurry backgrounds-my favorite).
The insert has an old sheet sent home from Avi's school for 'good behavior' on top.  The bottom is a mish mash of stuff; a thank you note, a picture Maria sent from this awesome fundraiser we went to on Wednesday night, and a screen shot of her email 'our loves', yes indeed. 
The group, Love Bug Bundles, is based in Houston and run by one of her friends.  It is an amazing charity that strives to support mothers in need and make each newborn's introduction to the world one complete with basic necessities that promote safety and well-being.  The founder is really passionate and has accomplished so much already.  I was truly in awe of her passion.

I also wanted to share a couple of inserts I did recently.




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These are old pictures from last summer.  All of the stuff is basically what he got for participating in the science lab.  I have been hoarding these stickers and things for almost a year!!  So glad that I found a place for them.  This page protector is a 8.5x11 recipe holder from Martha Stewart/staples.  I don't really feel that bad about taking his stickers, he has plenty of others and love love loves looking at this page now.



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My ten month update for Nandini.  Just some paper tape and foam numbers.  I love the bold black and white stripe.  It really adds a lot of visual interest without much effort. Happily the increase the milk effort has worked somewhat and she gained two pounds this past month.  I have not done a monthly page for her since May I think.   It never hurts to get back on the wagon.  The card on the bottom left hand is from my shop



Linked up with The Mom Creative and One Happy Mama for Project Life Tuesday. And, please, link me up to any of your inspiring pages this week as well in the comments!  The PL kit I am using is the Clementine kit.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

In progress (with Hambly transperancy overlays)

I have been working on a less than traditional layout for a few days.  I was inspired by Jessica to play with these Hambly overlays a little more.

I originally intended the piece as something to sit outside a page protector, but now I'm not sure.

I started with this (dear lizzy) and this (MME) polaroid paper.  And a list of my favorite quotes.  I keep mine in an old journal, but I also have a pinterest board of them too. 



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I cut out individual polaroid squares from the papers.  Some of them I kept intact, but others I covered in cardstock and replaced the sayings with quotes of my own choosing. 


First I had to figure out an arrangement of the polaroids that I liked.  I tried having them go straight across kind of like a banner, but it wasn't really working.  The left to right upward sweep seemed to be my favorite.  I snapped a picture because nothing was attached yet and I didn't want to forget what I had decided on.

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Of course, because I'm still obsessed with project life I decided to embellish each polaroid individually. Some ribbon from a SC kit and a dear lizzy epoxy button.  I love the mixed texture of these buttons, but the epoxy does smudge if touched fyi. 

I stapled each polaroid down because I wanted them to be secure, especially since I wanted to put this page in the album without a page protector.  I also liked the look of the staples on here anyway.

I notched the edges of this card so I could securely wrap some twine around the corner.  Green twine from MME also, this twine is similar and also in stock.

I added a Crate Paper upholstered brad on top of that for extra hold.  That baby in the background was totally obsessed with this layout.  I normally scrap while she is asleep but she woke up from her nap while I was in the middle of this card so I just went with it.

 
I compared the dear lizzy trim, some old making memories ribbon and this Crate ruffle trim

The Crate Paper ruffle won out.  It is really nice quality and looks great in person. I also tried tucking a few doilies underneath too.

This rainbow polaroid is my favorite part of the new dear lizzy line.  I ended up only adding a few plain buttons and moving the brads to keep it simple.  I only have one more sheet of this paper and it is making me a little panicky.

I added a little felt trim and one more doily.  I vacilated on adding any pictures to this layout or not. Love these girls paperie crepe flowers.  Maybe a little busy, still not sure. 

But, the photo of the roses I got half price after Valentines Day at Central Market won out.  Even over my recent ranunculus and poppy bouquet.



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I ended up using the red striped and sequin dear lizzy trim on my page, but I removed one of the doilies.  Too much.

Other supplies: dear lizzy brads, Crate buttons, grey cardstock, aqua twine, yellow twine.  I am still debating about punching holes along the side to add to my album directly.  All of the quotes just make my soul happy.  I have a lot of very prosaic (like, oh her dress looks nice/avi loves to play, blah blah blah) journaling on my scrapbook pages, so it is nice to include some poetry to express something different.  I love it so much, I'm not sure what to do!

Strawberry Cobbler

**Don't forget about my giveaway down below.  Just check out my shop and become a blog follower, easy as that.  **

Or, that awkward moment when you have too many leftover strawberries from Valentines Day shopping and you make cobbler for dinner.

And, pinterest is a dangerous place.




And, what to do when you want to make cake and have run out of eggs and other essentials.

Oh yeah, the cause of and solution to all of life's problems....cobbler!

So fast and so yummy.  And just in time for all this lovely spring time weather we are getting down here in Texas.

This version is even more yummy than it's blackberry counterpart.  I know I keep posting about it, but this addiction is not going away.  My husband requests this at least every other day.

1 cup flour
1.33 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick melted butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup milk
+
1.5 pints of strawberries, quartered
1 apple diced (not peeled)
1/4 cup sugar
dusting of nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Just mix up the batter in one bowl, pour into 8inch pie thing, sprinkle fruit then sugar and nutmeg over top and bake.  It takes like five minutes to make.  It bakes for one hour.  I would say cool and serve, but who can wait? I always eat it straight out of the oven and try hard not to burn the roof of my mouth while I eat.  Enjoy!

You can also split this recipe up pretty easily since there are no eggs to halve.  This full recipe makes about 8 ramekins and those bake for around 20-30 minutes. 


linked up here and at tip me tuesday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yesterday/Today


Yesterday...playdate at the museum with a new friend.  Avinash got along with him really well despite the age difference.  It makes me so happy to see him being friendly with other babies.  Nandini was just trying to keep up since she could only crawl after them.
Today....Avinash crawled into bed with me right before we needed to get up and get ready for school.  I let him stay and we both fell back asleep until Nandini woke up a little while later.  I fed them yogurt and waffles.  Nandini went back down for nap #1 and I ate some cobbler for breakfast (so healthy I know).  I resisted the urge to let Avi watch TV since we obviously were not going to make it to school this morning.  He played by himself with his games for at least an hour while I finished eating and puttering around the house.  He requested a second waffle and I relented on the TV finally after the fifty-millionth request.  Great I know.  Got a phone call from his school.  Love how I am still getting in trouble with the teacher after all these years for being tardy.  It was after 1 o clock and Nandini was still sleeping so I went in to wake her up.  I finished getting them ready and we went to lunch for fries and muffins at Tiny Boxwoods (instead of going to the gym like I should have!).  It was a super nice day out and the kids were amazingly well behaved.  Avinash kept asking the waiter to make him fries, it was adorable.  Nandini had a few bites of my beet burger but was serious about her muffin.  All parts of the muffin buttom were discarded and any stray pieces of muffin top were quickly grabbed off the plate.  Avi was too slow to get much of the muffin at all.  He was pretty happy with his fries though and even more excited when he discovered how much the birds liked them too.  Luckily these birds were not over-civilized and did not come too close.  I tried to explain to him that they would come closer to him if he would sit down and wait for them instead of chasing them.  He followed this advice...for a short while anyway.  I knew I should have brought my camera to lunch.  Managed to take both of them to the grocery store and get them (now sleeping at this point) and all groceries upstairs in one piece.  Victory!!  Now they are still sleeping and I am trying to decide if I should start making something with all my new dear lizzy goodies from two peas or not [just got restocked today, free shipping V14DAY].  Dinner can wait, right? And the fact that I have a huge pile of laundry and dishes to do.  Don't even talk to me about vacuuming, ok!

Links are here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Project Life

**Don't forget about my giveaway down below.  Just check out my shop and become a blog follower, easy as that.  **

This is our pre-Valentines Week, but I decided to make it a little over the top so I could continue a red hearts theme across a few spreads.  Love all the love.


It also includes clothing tags from both me and Nandini, a little card from a tissue box I mailed Avinash and Nandini, a flashcard, stickers from the valentines we made, and some papers sent home from pre-school. 
It is funny how the littlest things make them so happy.  I signed them up for a free box of tissue from kleenex with the attached message "Better catch your nose it is running! Love, Mom".  He LOVED it, haha.

It also includes our dinner out at Uchi, a playdate and special friends' birthday party so there are a few inserts.

Avinash and Nisha discuss the finer points of aging here.  Love to be able to jot down their conversation since we didn't have a video camera handy.
Little tag from Elle's studio, Crate Paper speech bubble, an Ormolu note fabric swatch and ampersand.  Over this patterned paper.  Aqua dear lizzy and red pebbles letters.  The grey are old Sassafrass.

Mix and matching October Afternoon letter stickers for these shots of Avinash playing at Nisha's little gym's party.
It is so cute that his teachers wrote down this story Avi told at school.  He and Ryan tell stories before bedtime every night now.  Avinash is a big fan of happy endings, so he often changes them to suit his taste.  I stamped story time (on sale!) and punched out hearts from scraps of paper.  The die cut is Amy Tangerine.

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Love this starOA paper, it is secretly wonderful because it is the B-side, I use it all the time.  Elle's studio pennants and lil snippets.  Hearts confetti with a Martha Stewart border punch.  More Amy Tangerine die cuts.  Chipboard Jenni Bowlin heart. The 10 of hearts card is from the Clementine kit.
I hand painted that half heart using Overdue Mr. Huey.  I just unscrewed the cap and used the plastic straw in the bottle as my 'brush'.  Worked really well for more saturated color than one gets with misting.
I printed my photos at home this week again.  I created collages in Picasa so I could fit lots of pictures in again.

Linked up with The Mom Creative and One Happy Mama for Project Life Tuesday.   And, please, link me up to any of your inspiring pages this week as well in the comments!

I also want to say thank you for all of the uplifting comments and encouragment I've been getting here lately.  I think Jessica has created a really vibrant special community with this weekly link up.  I love all the ideas, but more than that, it has kept me motivated and excited about Project Life.  Completing a week gives me a great feeling of accomplishment and relaxation.  Time passes so quickly and it helps knowing that I am recording a lot of little snippets.  I am not recording everything, no where near.  But I think over the year I will hit lots of different things, and create a snapshot of their lives, our lives. That is what keeps me going.

Random musings on a sunday evening



Yes, this is a view into our messy concrete pillar in the middle of our apartment and our messy living room.

Sunday afternoon light filtering in from our one wall with windows. The ranunculus and poppies I bought Friday still look fresh and just make me smile. A brief calm after a hectic morning and before an even busier but more fun evening of friends, homemade pizza and Avatar the last Airbender.
linked up with the Nester.



After seeing this


watching Downton Abbey on Sunday nights is much more enjoyable and Ryan is much more apt to join me. I still can't forgive the Chicken Lady for her comment glorifying 'loading the guns at Lukhnow'. Makes my stomach churn just thinking about it, but no one else seems to mind. I guess mass murder is no big deal depending on who is doing it.

Love this blog post. I hate the saying 'boys will be boys'. My son is only three but he shows his affection to his friends by giving them (well, mainly just one girl, he is constant if anything) flowers, making cupcakes or cookies to share, holding hands, singing, etc. He has his own troubles sharing his toys or being too physical like any toddler, but has never once used aggression as a form of affection.   And he is never encouraged in that.

Nonviolence is not a sign of weakness, but rather one of self-confidence and courage.
-Dalai Lama

I hope that we are teaching him that.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Creamiest Mac & Cheese Ever.

Once again Pinterest pays off.  Otherwise I never would have known that one can boil pasta in milk to make macaroni and cheese.  I didn't really like the rest of the original recipe, but the idea is genius.
Of course I had to make it as soon as possible for lunch one day.  I thought I was making enough for the two of us with plenty of leftovers for little ones later.  Sadly after naptime there was none left for Avinash or Nandini to try!

Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese with wilted spinach


2 cups whole milk
2 cups quinoa pasta*
1 thinly sliced garlic clove
1 chopped green onion
1 cup cheddar cheese
chopped cilantro
1 tbsp olive oil
big handful of spinach
1 cup water if needed
seasonings to taste:
salt
pepper
turmeric (haldi)
chili powder
crushed red pepper
mustard powder
dried onion flakes


1. Combine pasta and milk in saucepan, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. 
2. Add seasonings and garlic and green onion.  Continue to simmer for twenty minutes.
3. When pasta is al dente add spinach, cheese, olive oil and cilantro.  Add extra water if sauce is too thick to stir in spinach easily.  I needed about half a cup.
4. Serve and enjoy!

*I used corkstrew pasta, but macaroni would work as well.  I buy this at Central Market in the gluten free aisle.  I just like it for the extra protein. I think the quinoa pasta requires a little extra liquid compared to semolina pasta.  I used about tsp of most seasonings but only a pinch of the red pepper.  Do not add the olive oil until the end as it will make the pasta not cook right.  The cilantro and other seasonings are optional, but the turmeric doesn't change the flavor, just makes the color brighter and more appealing, especially if you are able to restrain yourself and serve any to little ones. 

linked up here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rainbows, hearts and sunshine

This layout is based on something I saw in a shop window a few weeks ago.  Pinterest come to life? Ha!  I am so often looking at online things for inspiration that it is nice to pull from, you know, reality. 

{Cutie Q
Peek a boo
Love you}
The page is made with lots of papers from Studio Calico, mostly County Fair.  I love those exclusive SC wood letters.  They are the perfect size and a great font.  Hope they sell more of these!  Sorry for not linking up the supplies, but I think my arm would fall off.  Some of the hearts are just punched out from packaging!  I inked the Maya Road doilies with the linen stamp from December's Salvaged.  I couldn't resist adding Pebbles Candy hearts on top.

 I love when Nandini plays peeka boo with us, and was lucky enough to get some cute pictures too.  I made one of these photos into a Valentine's Day card for my mom also.  The tissue paper is leftover from Avi's party. 

Happiness Cues

Day in the Life was a wonderful thing because it allowed me to think about some of those little things which make me so happy but often go by unnoticed.  And in that spirit I wanted to jot them down before I forget this list that keeps running through my head.


The rain -- not the endless flooding, but my happy little boy, splashing in every puddle he can find in his green monster galoshes. 

Coffee and tea.  In all forms.  This is so trite, but when you get a cup that is the perfect temperature and just sweet enough everything feels better.  In the hospital, studying, at home I have always felt this to be true.

Avi's floor bed.  We moved Avi's bed off the frame and pushed it into the corner.  The whole room feels bigger and lighter, despite having no windows.  We sit, do puzzles, read books, a lot now.  Having a real play room makes a big difference for us.

Prosaic and poetic literary quotes


Target.  I get more complements on my bag that I bought in their girls section than anything else I wear (nautical striped harajuku mini tote bag thank you very much).  I hate to even take the tag off.

And this Jason Wu dress. So what if I had to literally grab it off the rack while ten other girls tried to pounce on it at the same time?  And, I think it looks even better in person.

All things rainbow.  Avinash loves to play the 'rainbow game' in the car where we all try to find things of different colors. 

Nandini playing peekaboo and pattycake, waving and clapping all the time.  It is just too too cute.  That and all the love from my family and friends.  Should write about that stuff more, but I don't want to jinx it. 

I would write more but I can't think of all the millions of things I wanted to write anymore.  At least I got these things down.  Hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day!

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