Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pandas and Pinterest

A long time ago, I posted about my reason for liking pandas so much. S's room is slowly starting to fill with them, though we're trying to keep it somewhat contained.

As Valentine's Day approaches, I found these absolutely perfect cards to send to family:


And as I've browsed Pinterest, I've found some cute crafts that involve kids. I decided to try this one. Then I started thinking, maybe I can combine the 2.

So now some special people in S's life are going to get this for VDay:

Well, once I find some ribbon. Which shouldn't be hard

And since I haven't posted a picture of the little darling lately, some rare moments of (almost) stillness:

Striking a familiar pose while catching some Curious George (I hate that show BTW)

"Coloring" with a ballpoint pen. Good times.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yay for Pinterest

I'm making turkey stock today, and I'm irrationally excited about it. Maybe because this means I'm actually doing something I found on Pinterest.

For those of you not familiar, let my friend Amy explain it to you. In brief, it's an organized place to keep all those things you're interested in making, cooking, looking at, quotes to remember, what have you, all tied up a neat little bow. Problem is, sometimes you spend all day night pinning, and don't actually make/do any of those things you just pinned.

I'm trying to buck that trend. So I made turkey tenderloin using a recipe from Pinterest, and now I've wandered into the realm of "exotic" squash preparation (yeah, butternut and spaghetti squash are a novelty around here, sad to say) thanks to helpful pins.

We decided to do something with all that dark meat from our Christmas turkey that everyone hates, and I didn't want to repeat the turkey stew debacle of last year. Finding a turkey vertebra in your stew is NOT fun (hey, I tried to pick through it). There's a guarantee I won't repeat that with a stock recipe.

So for now a giant Dutch oven is bubbling away on my stove.

Here's the recipe from my Pinterest board. And I'm MitzkiK if you want to follow me ;)

Well, that took about 5 minutes

Not long after J sold his house in MD, we started getting notices from random strangers that he was owed money by the government. All of them had the wrong initial for J, so we tended to ingore them. After 4-5 years, however, we were still getting notices. And various people were offering to get the $ back for us, minus a "finder's fee".

We finally decided to call one of them, and explain they were looking for another J, with a different middle initial. Oh no, the paperwork was wrong, and the person started spouting off the property address (correct), settlement date (correct), etc. We again ignored them because we didn't want to pay a finder's fee, and we figured this couldn't be that hard. But stuff always got in the way.

Just last week, after our move to MA, we got yet another notice. So I decided to do some sleuthing.

I googled "find government money" and found his name and MD address on the HUD website. Complete with a "don't let a stranger find your $ for you, just call us!" message. So I called. None of the info I have works with their automated system--homeowners, remember how many forms you signed??? And of course no one is at HUD on a snowy Saturday afternoon.

So Monday my plan is to call and wait on hold as long as it takes to talk to a real person. This isn't enough money to make us millionaires by any stretch of the imagination, but it would allow J to buy a few more SCA toys without breaking the bank. I joked to him that I should get the finder's fee ;)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There will be pictures...soon

We've had contractors at our house this week with a laundry list of things to do. We had a broken window in the basement, and they replaced it with one that makes me irrationally giddy. They're putting a railing up next to the steps to our deck. Very handy when the old more mature members of our family come to visit. But the biggest project is a doorway in our in-law suite. Before they came, it was open to our master bedroom. No big deal most days, but a little strange when guests were here. No one felt like they had quite the privacy they wanted.

I love the way it's turning out. J says it will look like it's always been there. It's giving us some nice little patches of wall space to put up some pictures/art. Guests will be able to come and go as they please, and we never have to know they're here (likewise they won't have to hear if one of us snores in the middle of the night).

And that means I have to come up with yet another paint color. I wanted to replace the blue in there anyway...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas continues

The mailman brought 2 big packages in a giant plastic bag yesterday. Pouring rain and wind gusts will do that to a guy. When I dug them out, it looked like Christmas gifts from S's birthmom and birthgrandma. And I was right! After she got up from her nap, she opened up her latest version of Christmas

"Hmmm, wonder what's in here? For ME!"

2 Beauty and the Beast books, and a Belle dress (that's Mommy's Pride and Prejudice DVD). S immediately tried to take off her shirt

Checking out her dress and book

Reading like a princess

Afterward she took off Mommy's headband (hence the crazy hair) and insisted I wear her New Year's Hat

Dancing in her dress

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Back in the saddle

Years and years ago, before I got married, I was a yoga junkie. I went 2-3 times per week, like clockwork, and was known on sight by my instructor and half of my classmates. The YMCA I went to was maybe 10 minutes from my house, class times were doable, and it was divine.

Then I moved to a little town, with a long commute to work, and no one seemed to have good times for yoga classes. I would occasionally pull out my mat and block and do something at home, but it was never anything consistent. I missed it. And so did my posture.

Now that we're in MA, we're 5 minutes from the biggest YMCA I've ever seen. There's a huge basketball court, and above it a walking/running track. Dedicated rooms for spin classes, aerotics, yoga, you name it. A karate dojo. An Olympic sized pool. An auditorium. Drop-in childcare. Full-time childcare. Heck, they have a reading nook. It just goes on and on.

J's work gives a workout discount, and we liked what we saw at the Y. We signed up last week, and S had her first swim class there on Thursday. J and I sat down and figured out a workout schedule, and it looks like my Tuesdays are now free for yoga. I went to my first class tonight. It was divine. I didn't push myself too hard, but I got a good workout, and I really enjoyed it. I'm secretly waiting for all the New Year's Resolution people to drop off so I have more room for my mat, but it was great to see a crowd.

I can't wait until next Tuesday :)