Saturday, January 29, 2011

Out of obligation because she won't remember this

Ava is 1.


So we had a party. Just the two of us (Danny had to work late).
The highlights?
- she's not a huge fan of cupcakes
- she likes the taste of wrapping paper
That's about it.

checking it out

trying to get rid of the frosting fingers

Nom nom nom

reading a card. she's advanced.

birthday carnage

her favorite present..... a toothbrush for her two teeth

Better than a Kit-Kat

Everyone needs a break. Even moms. No, especially moms. Last weekend I got my first big break from Ava since she was born.

One of my best friends in the world, Emily Ricks, is an extremely talented pianist/singer/composer/arranger. We met while both of our husbands were in IUPUI graduate programs and quickly realized that we had matching souls and that our voices blend really well (like, really. We pretty much sound like one person when we sing unison.). One musical number and a relief society lesson spent holding her sleeping baby later, I realized that she was going to be what I missed most about Indy when we finally finished school and both moved away. Now that we have moved away, I can say with certainty that she is what I miss most about Indianapolis.

ANYHOODLE, she was asked by the north stake in Indy to arrange a piece for their youth choir to sing at their stake conference (a big church meeting) and she flew to Indy (from Colorado) to go to the performance. Naturally, I drove down to see her and all my other fun friends. She, without her kids, and I, without my kid, had so. much. fun.

We had a big ole' shindig at another good friend's house with previously mentioned fun friends on Saturday night. We ate too much and we laughed WAY too hard and we stayed up too late and it felt soooo good. Women totally need other women. We need to know that it is normal to feel as much as we do and to be as imperfect as we are (even though we're so much closer to perfection than men. WINK.). We need to laugh so hard our stomachs hurt and have our own youtube moments (have you put that up yet, Em?).

Emily and I went to stake conference the next morning and it was beautiful. I felt like this stake was really neat somehow and Em pointed out that when a stake gets a temple, it changes them. We could feel that change happening as we sat there. The choir was beautiful and strong and pure. Emily's music probably would have brought tears to my eyes anyway (as usual) but to hear these teenagers singing the songs of the pioneers and about being true to their faith?? It was so sweet. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place (as they say) and I felt so blessed that I got to sit next to the woman who worked through the spirit to create such a beautiful experience for everyone there. As if THAT WASN'T ENOUGH, the talks were fabulous as well. To be sitting in a stake 2 hours away from my own and to be hearing everything I needed to hear anyway just reiterated, to me, that Heavenly Father is so aware of what I need and when I need it and that He loves me.

Sometimes I get this picture in my mind of various bottles, necks protruding out of the sand on a beach, caked in dried seawater and mud. Each bottle has a label; spiritual sensitivity, marital attitudes, self-improvement, relationship with Christ, academic learning, being a good mother, being a woman, etc. Every so often I am able to dig a bottle out of the sand, wash off all the grime, and see that there is a message inside, that there are things to be learned and valued about that facet of me. It is so rejuvenating and exciting.

I dug so many bottles out of the sand this past weekend.

Hopefully the sand won't suck them back down again so quickly.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

technology gets handmade

Kitchen fun

So my mom got me this butter crock for Christmas. I was a teensy skeptical but it turns out this thing is awesome. It uses water to make a seal so that your butter stays fresh and spreadable at room temp. Genius. Thanks, momma!

Also. In an effort to eat 80% less meat at our house (for health, economic, and moral reasons) I am furiously searching for delicious, easy-on-the-wallet, filling vegetarian dishes (that use non-processed ingredients). In my search I stumbled upon a recipe from Smitten Kitchen for a pasta dish. Asparagus, spiral pasta, tarragon, lemon, and goat cheese. I've tried goat cheese in the past and haven't cared much for it but in this dish, with all the lemon and asparagus, it is yummy. ALSO the melted goat cheese is a fabulous substitute for a regular white sauce (as Smitten Kitchen points out).

1 lb. spiral pasta
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cp. olive oil
1 TBSP lemon peel
2 tsps chopped fresh tarragon (I just used dried basil)
1 log of goat cheese
fresh lemon juice (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta and asparagus (I cooked both together). Set aside some pasta water. Mix the rest of the ingredients. Add pasta and asparagus and mix until goat cheese has completely melted. Add pasta water if need be. Salt and pepper and enjoy!

Pride mixed with shame mixed with bewilderment

One of my friends was trying access this blog at a hospital last night. It was blocked. The reason? Sex, apparently. I'll try harder to keep my writings PG. Wink.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Watch this. now. DO IT.

Yet another reason to love the BBC

You're welcome. want me fluff pillow?

1 - I know most of you don't care but I'm just going to update my flickr photostream with pictures of this year. So. Instead of me posting my "pictures of the day" every few days, I'll just point you toward the link underneath my profile. K? K.

2 - I'm only going to post crafts and recipes I think everyone will enjoy.

Just some items to keep the blog a fun place to be. I don't want to become one of those mommy bloggers who even if it really isn't that interesting. I feel like that's kiiiind of what I've been doing this month. So no more. My apologies.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pictures with a sidebar rant.....because I aim to please

1/10/11 - where did she even get chocolate???

(Sidebar rant: I understand that living life in sweatpants is a little bit too lazy. However, I see no problem with living that way 2-3 days a week. By the time I see my husband every night I'm in my pjs anyway so don't glare-judge me when you see me "dressed down" at the grocery. They're not even "sweats" really, they're nice clothes - comfy and cute that are specifically not frumpy - and I'm wearing makeup and my hair is done. And I'm glad I wasn't wearing real clothes when Ava did this. End of rant.

1/11/11 - bathtime

1/12/11 - after the snow storm

Monday, January 10, 2011


Now that it's pretty much fixed the healing has begun and I can talk about it.

So remember when you were like 13-15ish and you really wanted to dye your hair? Either your parents let you or you waited until they weren't around and just did it. WELL. I never really did this (well, one time my mom tried to dye my hair blue but it didn't really work so that doesn't count). SO. As an adult I felt the need to DYE MY OWN HAIR even though I've always been very anti-this idea.

I picked a nice shade of auburn red and I liked the outcome.

And then it started to fade. And my husband wanted to take me on a hot date to celebrate our third anniversary. And I wanted to look real cute for him. So I decided to do a touch-up. WORSTIDEAEVERNEVERDOTHISPEOPLE. I ended up with freaking red RED RED hair. Actually, it was mostly red red and a little purple red and some auburn red. It was premium level of ridiculous and of course I decided this was a good idea to do on Saturday afternoon, 3 hours before our date.

Looked a lot like that one girl from American Idol.... Allison Irahetaa;sdlfknasdf:

So I ran to the drugstore and got some "color oops", against my better judgement. NEVER GET COLOR OOPS. IT WILL MAKE YOUR "OOPS" INTO AN EXPLETIVE. I applied it and waited. and waited and waited and was scared my hair might fall out so I washed it off and ended up with red red around my hairline, BRIGHT ORANGE throughout most of my hair, and patches of strawberry blond. It. Was. Horrible.

Hard to tell with the lighting, but you get the idea:

A blurry cell phone image, but you can see the uber red around my hairline if you squint. SQUINT!

(I am sorry. I know this is a frighteningly HUGE picture of a really gross facial expression but I cannot get the resizing to stick so this is what you get. It's funny 'cuz I told you to squint. See how that's funny? See what I did there?)

There was no way I was going out in public like that and there was no way I was missing my date. So? Head scarf! I had a beautiful scarf my best friend brought me back from Croatia so I decided to rock the scarf.

The following is a reenactment:

Everyone was really nice to me at the restaurant. And by nice I mean they didn't judge the amount of red meat Danny and I consumed (Brazilian BBQ). Probably because they thought I was a cancer patient.

I also wore the scarf to church the next day. Thankfully, the babe did not feel the need to pull it off my head.

So then this morning a friend, who is a professional, took pity on me and fixed it. Thank GOODNESS. It still has some tiny patches of orange and a little hint of strawberry blond and it's uber fried now but it is so. much. improved.

Lessons learned:
1) NEVER embrace your inner-teenager. It can only end in tears. Or embarrassment. Or both.
2) ALWAYS get a professional to dye your hair.
3) If you still feel the need to do it yourself, do it on a Tuesday. When nothing else is going on.
4) Have awesome friends, like me.


(Observation: why the HECK has that frown become my go-to facial expression?! I blame Lauren Hillam. Lauren Wittwer. As it were. (hahahahahahaha, see what I did that time?))

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Naked friend

This lady. It has happened. We have bonded and I can talk to her, while she’s naked, without even blinking. She brought me her extra pair of goggles to use because the chlorine was especially potent last week and it KILLED my eyes.

Her name is Sandy.

more explanation to follow....

1/6/2011 - snowy day

1/7/2011 - rubies for breakfast

1/8/2011 - THE GREAT HAIR DEBACLE OF 2011.....I'll explain it later...maybe...when the shame ebbs.

1/9/2011 - static cling hair

And another. Because she's so cute.

Pretties for you hair

I've been wanting to finish some more headbands for a while and had a request from my niece for some so I decided to make a few this week. They turned out pretty cute.

For Llou

The start of one for my SIL's wedding coming up.

gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

Danny's favorite cookies are chocolate chip. I think I've made them once since going gluten free so I decided to give them a shot. For his sake. And mine (oh how I miss the dough). I used this recipe and was pretty excited about the possible outcome. The recipes calls for just one type flour, sweet rice flour, which is kind of weird for gluten-free baking. I, of course did not have 3 cups of sweet rice flour on-hand so I had to use one cup sweet rice flour, 1 1/2 white rice flour, and 1/2 brown rice flour. White and brown rice flours are more coarse than sweet rice flour so with my substitutions, the dough and cookies turned out too gritty. And there was waaay too much sugar.

I will be making these again but with the correct flour and less sugar.

Super flat cookie. Sad.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 1-5

1/1/11 - red-haired me

1/3/11 - she literally has to be everywhere I am most of the time. Including when I cook.

1/4/11 - hard to screw up a meal with these ingredients.

1/5/11 - potato pancakes with my canned applesauce and sour cream. Nom nom.

5 days in, 4 photos. I only thought to do this on January 3rd, hence the missing picture.

Not an ought, not yet a teen.

Yes. I am aware that it is January 6th and I am just now posting my new year's resolutions. It's because I didn't want to break my resolutions right out of the gate so blogging about them was low on the priority list. K?K. Also, I hate using the term "new year's resolutions" because it makes me feel like a poser (I think 7th grade was the last time I used that word) who will break all those resolutions within the month of Janvier. I will not be one of those people who pack themselves into the gym everyday at the start of the new year only to stop going by the end of January. You know how I know? Because I was already going before 2011 hit.Boom. Roasted.

So without further ado, here is what I want to accomplish in two thousand eleven (in no particular order).

1. Flirt more with my husband. Be a better wife and let the small stuff go and concentrate on the positive.

2. Be a stay-at-home-mom. But Tiffany, you already are. Eh. Yeah. Technically. But I want to really be a stay-at-home mom instead of a stay-at-home-maid or a stay-at-home-get-annoyed-easily-by-the-baby or a stay-at-home-forgets-how-lucky-she-is-to-spend-so-much-time-with-my-little-one.

3. Improve my relationship with Christ. Scripture study, prayer, all those things that make me worthy of His Spirit and guidance. I need it now more than ever.

4. Pray with my husband more. I think this is the best way for us to have an intimate and infinite relationship and the best way to tell what's really on each other's minds.

5. Workout 4 days a week. At least.

6. Craft once every week. I love crafting. I love creating beautiful things. I love making my home beautiful with things I made that hundreds of other people can't buy at bed bath & beyond that don't cost me a ridiculous amount of money.

7. Waste.Less.Time. Doing who knows what? I swear I'm Fox Mulder and there are portions of time for which I cannot account. Tired of that.

8. Only spend one day a week cleaning. I have this problem with laundry that I don't finish it all in one day..... or two days..... or three.... and by the time I finish it I have to do it all over again. This may take the whole year to accomplish.

9. Take a picture everyday. A year of pictures. Maybe this will make me a better photog? We shall see.

10. Laugh more.

11. Try a new recipe every week.

12. Be a better budgeter.

Numbers 6, 9, and 11 I will share with you all.
I have a feeling that this is what my list is going to look like for years to come...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken Curry... the way I like it

So I looooove chicken curry from Thai restaurants. Problem is I don't eat at restaurants very often (for economical and health reasons). So I decided, early on in my marriage, that I would try to cook delicious restaurant-y food at home (minus a good portion of the fat and sodium). Enter my chicken curry stage right. This isn't EXACTLY like the curry you would get at a restaurant - it's not as sweet as some and definitely not as soupy as most - but i love it. And so does Danny. It's kind of his favorite thing that I make.

So just in case you're feeling daring, here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Yellow Curry Paste:
1 tsp cumin (calls for seeds - I just used the ground stuff)
1 tsp coriander (calls for seeds - I just use the ground stuff)
3 tsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper (original recipe calls for 2 tsps but I know you are and live with wimps)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cloves
1 small onion
2-3 garlic cloves (2 if they're really big)

2 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 TBSP oil
1 recipe yellow curry paste
1 can coconut milk (not fat free - messes with the taste)
4 medium waxy potatoes (gold are best, russet will work too), cubed
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
1/2 tsp sugar
handful of fresh basil or cilantro

1. Make curry paste - (if you use the coriander and cumin seeds, toast them for 2-3 minutes first). Add curry past ingredients together in a blender with 1-2 TBSP water.
2. Heat oil over high and add chicken. Salt LIGHTLY (or it'll turn out toooooo salty). Saute just until pink is gone and put aside in a bowl.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add curry paste to pan and stir constantly until most of the liquid evaporates.
4. Add half of the coconut milk and stir until the paste has dissolved then add the rest of milk, 1/2 tsp sugar, and potatoes. Heat until milk bubbles.
5. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer until potatoes are tender (10-15 minutes).
6. Add chicken and red pepper. Simmer until red peppers cook a smidge (ha).
7. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve with sticky rice.

Nom nom nom

Sunday, January 2, 2011

oh yeah......

Ava is cutting more teeth. She cut one last night.

"cutting more teeth" is code for "refusing to sleep without me holding her".

Takes me back to her newborn daysssss.