Friday, January 28, 2011


I'm so happy it's Friday because I get my husband all weekend, but knowing I have to cook dinner tonight makes me a little less excited because, well, it's Friday.  I'm not feeling very creative and want to do the minimum to feed mouths tonight.
See what I mean?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Step1: Color

We are changing things up a bit around here to transition the office into a playroom.  Seeing as we are budget keepers (4 weeks down!  This is a record for us!), we are trying to pull the funds out of our weekly allowance and from our "new baby" budget, which is not large by any means.  But it's still fun to save up, wait til we've got the mullah, then spend it.  Today we bought paint.  Meet Mac.

(Grand Hotel Mackinac Blue--Valspar)

Why are paint color names so poetic and long?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Project 70.

10 more weeks of Vera being an only child.  That's 70 days (give or take).  Hence the name, Project 70.

I stole a couple of ideas from people and started a little project.  Every day I'm writing a little note to my bug about what we did together.  Days go by and looking back, sometimes it seems like we do the same old, same old every day.  But even in the midst of the mundane, there's magic.  And lots of blessings.  And cute memories that I want to remember.  Hopefully it will be something meaningful to her someday to get a glimpse into what her life looked like before her sister arrived into the world.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Chronicles of Carey: January 21st

I need some music to listen to and something fun to do.  I will play with my doll house.  I actually think it is too babyish, but I still think it is fun.

I am dating both Trevor and Evan right now.  It's semi-serious with both, but weird having feelings for both of them.

It's weird to think that I am actually of the age now to be in college.  The 18 years I lived at home sure went fast.  I seems like just yesterday that I was in elementary school or played volleyball in middle school or was in "Joseph" in high school.  Now I am a student at Purdue University and it's like I slid into this new life stage pretty quickly.

Lord, I want to mention and lift up to You this guy named Chris Bonser.  If this is not Your plan, lead me away and I will follow.

Last night I helped lead worship again and it went really well.  The Spirit was present!  I am so thankful for an outlet to sing.

A week ago I had all four of my wisdom teeth taken out and I'm still not feeling great.  I haven't eaten anything solid yet..mostly eating peanut butter and oatmeal.  I miss using my teeth to chew.

Chris will turn 28 tomorrow and how cool is it that we are in Thailand? We are planning to get a Thai massage, attend a cooking class at Bai Pai Cooking School, and have pizza and beer for dinner--his favorite thing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Going Into the Closet

Our current office in our house is not working.  We've known for awhile now that we need to make some changes to make it more kid-friendly and less cable-accessible.  We would like to merge it into more of a playroom, but because Chris occasionally works from home, because I do non-cooking/paperwork/emailing work from home, and because we are computer-savvy people, we would still like to have a designated space as an office.  We've got a lot of books to store, too.  We actually don't have a ton of toys, but what we do have seems to be taking over the little room.  So we've begun brainstorming and have tossed around some ideas.  We are considering making the closet our office and using the rest of the room as a playroom, minus some floating shelves to store books.
What we like about this option is that we can close the door and make everything electronic and expensive inaccessible to little hands and curious minds.  However, the rest of the room would be free-reign.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cooking on the Cheap

After your planned meals have been made and your leftovers eaten, what do you make for dinner?  I had thick sliced deli turkey, spinach, arugula, onion, feta, and Parmesan in my fridge.  And to make it easy, I thawed some phyllo and popped in a hodgepodge "pizza" into the oven for dinner.  Because that's what I do during nap times when I've got a 3 hour window to entertain myself and a whopping $5 left in our budget for the week.  Thankful my hubs is easily pleased.  Apples and oranges on the side.
P.S.  Have I mentioned that I've tossed around the idea of a blog called "Cooking on the Cheap" where the goal is to cook with a $5 budget in mind?  Not sacrificing quality, but embracing the challenge to create delicious, sometimes healthy, and affordable meals with pocket change.  The tag line would be something like..."professionally trained chef, domestically trying to stay in budget."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Predictable Days

I was thinking today how being a stay at home mom can be pretty isolating at times.  My daily routine revolves around Vera's schedule and this means that naturally we don't get out much.  Here's how my life looks every day:

7:30ish  Vera wakes up.  I roll out of bed, throw on a robe, and go into her room.  Diaper change, clothes change.

7:45ish  I put her in her high chair and get her set up with her cup of milk and breakfast; usually oatmeal, yogurt, and a banana.  Sometimes toast, eggs, or cooked apples.  Sometimes cereal.  Sometimes berries.

8:15ish  I've changed clothes and we are headed for the gym.  I drop her off at the day care and she plays for the hour to hour and half that I work out.  I am so thankful for this time.  I usually listen to a sermon podcast, sometimes music, or if nothing else, I watch the Ellen Show.  I pick her up and we go home.

10:00ish  Back home and I stick Vera in the bathroom with me as I take a shower.  She rummages through the bathroom cabinet underneath the sink and I pick up the combs, hair ties, make-up, and towels that she has gone through.  I dry off and get dressed as she plays in her room with books, toys, diapers, you name it.  Play time (walks in the backyard, wagon ride around the neighborhood, stories, toys, etc.).

11:30  Lunch.  I try to get her to eat as much as possible before her nap so she will sleep really well.

12:00  Diaper change and down for her nap.  (During this time, I usually prep dinner, clean, walk Marlow, and waste time on the Internet.)

3:00  I get her up and give her a snack.  I usually put music on at this point since I've been sitting in silence all day.  Playtime.

5:00  Dinner time for Vera.

6:00  Bath time, books.  Chris gets home.
6:30-9:30  Bed time for Vera.  Chris and I eat dinner, hang out, get in bed to read for a half hour.

10:00  Lights out.


All this to say, I am certainly not complaining.  I am just realizing how little interaction I get with other humans throughout the day and often times I feel lonely and isolated from the world.  I have friends that don't live that far away, but because of our kids' conflicting nap schedules, work schedules, and whatnot, it is rare that we even see each other.

It's times like this when I miss my friend, Emily.  She's the chic who up and moved to Tahoe.  This was us at the end of our first pregnancies.
And here is us at 2010 Thanksgiving time holding our out-of-utero offspring and baking two other buns in our ovens.  She is a great friend and after having our 4-day-apart babies, we spent a lot of time on walks just to get outside because of our baby blues.
I know I'm not the only mom who feels isolated during the day, but sometimes I feel like it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just Because Cake

One of the ways my husband receives love is via food.  I know that sounds crazy, but after living with him for awhile now, I've come to realize that it's true.  He is so happy and thankful when dinner is ready when he gets home from work.  It could sound very 1950s, but there is no expectation for me to slave away in the kitchen all day.  He just appreciates that comfort of being able to sit down and eat together.  Lucky for him, I like to cook and bake in my spare time.  Today he came home for lunch and he told me that a "yellow cake with chocolate frosting" sounded good to him.  Of course to him, he thinks of a box cake mix because if he gets the hankering for that, he will occasionally go to the store to pick it up.  It's funny though because he is picky about his frostings and he has to make his own chocolate frosting from the norm:  butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cocoa, and milk.  So after he went back to work today, I of course made him a cake because I had the time and because I love him.  But it was not from a cake mix, I assure you.  I feel like it's just as easy to whip up a from-scratch cake than it is to follow directions on a box.  But that's just me.  And I always have the ingredients in stock, so why not use them up?

This recipe was quick and I didn't even bother lugging the Kitchen Aid onto the counter.

Classic Buttery Yellow Cake  (adapted from "The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book")

1/2 c. milk (room temp)
4 eggs (room temp)
1 T. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
2 sticks butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a cake pan. I made it simple and used a 9x13.  Whisk together 'wet' ingredients in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together 'dry' ingredients.  Beat the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles crumbs.  Beat in half of the milk mixture and combine well.  Add the remaining of the milk mixture and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Scrape batter into pan, evening out.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 40 minutes (for a 9x13 pan).  Let cool.

Simple Chocolate Frosting  (using items you probably already have in your pantry)

1 stick of butter, softened
2 1/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
about 1/4 c. milk (I used half and half because we are short on milk)
vanilla extract
3/4 c. cocoa

Thoroughly combine with an electric mixture until light and fluffy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Storage and Organization

One year after building cabinets in the laundry room, we have finally primed and painted and are now awaiting a time to make doors.  Yep, my life is pretty exciting.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Um, I Don't Know

I haven't had many thoughts lately to share with my blog stalkers (ahem, Dad).  So I will go to my trusty little box of questions that I so love.

Q:  "If you could master one instrument which would it be?"
A:  Easy.  Piano.  I think knowing how to play the piano would be helpful for knowing how to play other instruments.  I wish I would have learned growing up.

Q for you:  Growing up, did your parents make you take some type of music lesson and did you appreciate it?  Would you suggest it for your kids?

And now I will go eat a piece of pumpkin pie.  Because it's 2:42 in the afternoon and my baby is sleeping and I've gotten my "to do" list done for the day.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

That Wasn't Hard

I thought I'd count the number of items today that I had piled in the guest room to get rid of, thinking maybe I'd be about half way there.  I happened to be right at 100 items, if not a little over.  They include:

1 body pillow (came free with the purchase of our mattress 4 years ago and I've never really used it)
4 placemats
1 runner
12 linen napkins
1 plastic container
3 pieces of wall decor
8 black picture frames
1 umbrella
4 maps (Texas, Indiana, Indianapolis, Austin)
1 unopened pkg. of photo paper
2 postcards (that I never sent; 1 from St. Joe, Michigan and 1 from Bangkok)
1 watch
2 ziplock bags of old jewelry; earrings, pendants, necklaces, etc.
1 bag of buttons
13 red taper candles (that are not worth my time standing in the return line at Wal-Mart)
1 small decorative chair (that I had hopes of painting and using somewhere)
8 books
2 cleaning gloves
2 (cute) purses (that I don't need)
1 travel Scrabble (never used)
1 Cribbage set (never used)
1 car sunshield
1 duvet cover (that I'm attempting to sell)
2 matching shams
2 soap containers
1 ceramic toothbrush holder (slightly damaged, but usable)
3 porcelain heart-shaped ramekins
1 cozy
1 apron
6 pillow cases
2 guitar tuners (extras)
1 wine opener
7 pieces of clothing

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Cleaning Out

I was inspired to get rid of 100 things that are in my house.  A pile has formed and looking at the items, I can say that it will not break my heart to part with any of them.  I'm not counting things that I would throw away.  I'm only counting items that I can give away.  It feels good to clean out.  When I've reached 100 items, I'll post a list, in case you're curious.

Some Goals for 2011

* Log the miles that I run
* Learn Photoshop
* Finish the laundry room
* Walk Marlow more often