Thursday, October 20, 2011

Decorating in my dreams

By Natalie

On Sunday, I took a luxurious nap. When I woke up I had a great idea for a nursery, if it's a girl. This is just a rough sketch. I like the idea of red & white. This would be the accent wall that the crib would be on.
The bedding could be something along this color scheme with a white crib skirt. I'm thinking white furniture.
This was the other idea I had with a pink accent wall. The color is hard to see in this picture.
If it's a boy, then Micah wants turtles. You have to understand Micah's love for turtles. He can spot turtles anywhere. I joined Pinterest to find some ideas! Here's what I found.
I consider myself pretty lucky. My mom is VERY creative and VERY talented.  When I showed her these sketches, she liked the tree one best. Then I told her that Micah wants turtles; she said she draws really cute turtles. PERFECT. Granny and Mom sew too!

What are your ideas? What do you like best?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chicken Posole and Pumpkin Chip Cookies

By Natalie
This weekend we fell off the wagon big time. On Saturday, I had Whataburger AND Taco Bueno. Micah had Whataburger AND Chick-fil-a.  On Sunday, I was determined to eat at home. Except we had no food.

I checked my google reader and found the Chicken Posole recipe from Eat at Home. I had almost every ingredient except carrots. Her recipes are always HUGE; she has a large family. Be sure to half them! I tweaked her recipe just a bit.

Chicken Posole
  • 2 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 can of hominy (if you don't have hominy, use corn)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of jalapeno salsa (you can find this in the Hispanic foods, if you can't look for chopped chiles)
  • 3-4 carrots, sliced & peeled
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • salt & pepper
Add all ingredients to crockpot and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

I served it over rice, I do not recommend this. You can serve it with tortilla chips. Sour cream and avocado would probably be good on top too. Since I did not have any carrots, I used frozen ones. This was a sad choice. Real carrots are much better!

For dessert we had Eat at Home's pumpkin chip cookies. Remember how I said to half every recipe? You'll want to half this one for sure. I made about 4 cookie sheets worth. Our co-workers are going to love us.  Having a double oven really came in handy!
What's your favorite fall dessert?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Run For the Son 5K, 10K

By Natalie

This weekend Micah ran a 10K and I ran the 5K.  My doctor brought up exercising at the 8 week appointment and said that I'm clear to do anything that I want. He said it would be fine to run. I haven't been running very much. I wanted to make it out of the first trimester before I got back into it. The first trimester I did yoga three times a week, and some swimming on occasion.

Micah is training for the White Rock half marathon on December 4th. This was his first official week of training. The training schedule called for 3 mile runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I thought this was a bit bizarre. I thought he would run a 4 or 5 miler on Wednesday. But, come race day he had no problem!
Neither one of us wanted to wake up and go to the race. At least we finished! I finished my 5K 31:38, and Micah finished his 10K in 1:02:25. Micah wanted to finish in under an hour. He was disappointed with his time, but I think I slowed him down the first loop. The 10K course was just the 5K course twice.

Before the race I had Chex cereal. After I crossed the finish line I had an orange. They were offering yogurt and breakfast burritos, which did not sound very good. When I got home I made us eggs sandwiches with a cup of hot mango tea.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

By Natalie
As I grow older, I find myself becoming more and more like my parents. It's like we are related or something.

When I was growing up my dad would over estimate A LOT. He would say that he's turning 50 when he's only 45. He loves to round up.  I found this pretty annoying, why wouldn't he just say how old he is?  I understand it's hard being old and sometimes your forget EXACTLY how old your are. For most of a year I thought I was 27. Good thing I had Jennie to remind me that I was only 26. And this year when someone asks me how old I am, I say, "I'm going to be 30 in December." Why can't I just relish being 29 for a few more months?  Ask dad how far away  something is and he'll overestimate by an hour. This is SO me.  Micah would ask me how far away Austin is, and the distance would get longer by an hour every time he asked.

My dad loves to dance. He'll start snapping his fingers and dancing around the kitchen at a drop of a hat. He's not gifted with dance, and I'm not either. But, we sure try. If I watch So You Think You Can Dance, I'm leaping and spinning all around my living room.

My rule following comes from my dad. I follow the rules, and so does Micah. This is one area we can agree. Although sometimes I get a streak of my mom in me, and want to cut some corners and break the rules.

Y'all remember that personality test, Meyers & Briggs? My dad loves Meyers & Briggs.  He'll say this is my "E" coming out, or I have a "J." I always thought we were both the same (ESTJ). We have a little extrovert where mom and Jordan have the "I." Anyone else in 2011 still live by Meyers & Briggs?

I'm like my mom in many ways. We have the same smile. We look so much alike except she has blond hair. She'll tell anyone that I look like my dad. What do you think?
 Sometimes when I'm talking, I think I sound just like my mom. Not that I'm saying what my mom says, but my pitch and tone. A little bit creepy.

At work, I have to draw silly pictures a lot. I'm such a visual learner, so I assume all my students are too! My co-workers like my drawings, and I think this is hilarious. Compared to my mom I'm terrible at drawing.

My entire family is pretty avid readers. My mom and I's ability to tune everyone (SPOUSES!) out is a pretty nice trick while reading. I remember growing up I would have to put my hand on her book and say, "MOM!" to get her attention. Micah has to do this all the time, except he doesn't say, "Mom" more like "HELLO ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?!"

My mom is a special educator. I taught special education for 3 years, and then went back and got my masters. Now I'm a Speech Language Pathologist and work with students with special needs. Funny how things turn out, especially when my degree is in psychology.

I can't wait to see what my child will take from the both of us. Will the baby be a mixture or strictly like Micah? I hope my child gets my organizational skills, humor (I'M THE FUNNY ONE), and studiousness. From Micah I hope they take his smarts and attention to detail, but my ability to finish a task!
 This is me at 13.5 weeks. Baby is around the size of a peach. Don't mind my extra wrinkly shorts.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Roasted Tomato Pasta

By Natalie

I'm shopping in Central Market on Monday. I give Micah a ring.

Me: Can you make me some mozzarella this week?  I need it by Wednesday.
Micah: Sure.
Me: Are you sure? Because I can buy the mozzarella right now for $3.80.
Micah: I'm sure.

Well, guess what? Wednesday comes and there is no mozzarella to be found. I will cut him some slack because he has been telling all his friends face to face our news on Monday and Tuesday night.

Since we didn't have any fresh mozzarella balls. I used shredded instead. I found the Penne with Roasted Tomatoes and Mozzarella recipe from Foodie Bride. Because of my brain not working and my lack of ingredients I had to modify this recipe. It's really easy and comes together in about 25 minutes.

Roasted Tomato Pasta
  • Pint of cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 lb of pasta, I used rotini
  •  1/4 cup starchy water
  • shredded mozzarella
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Slice tomatoes in half and place in a small baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil and fresh basil. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  3. Bring a water to boil and add pasta. Cook pasta to desired doneness, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water. Then strain pasta.
  4. Add a little bit of pasta water to the pasta. This will prevent sticky pasta.
  5. Smash tomatoes up a bit, then poor entire contents of baking dish on top of the pasta. Add a bit more starchy water if necessary.
  6. Garnish with shredded mozzarella.
This recipe can also be transformed by pouring the roasted tomatoes over navy beans!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


By Natalie

I have been waiting for almost 13 weeks to tell everyone...I'M PREGNANT! This is such a hard secret to keep!!

I had a doctor's appointment at 4:00 on Friday, October 7th. We heard the heartbeat and were so thankful.  Then we packed our bags and drove to Katy to tell his folks!

I've been feeling fine. I want to eat everything and am pretty tired. Micah says this is nothing new, I'm always tired and hungry.  I haven't been sick, and hopefully I won't since I've made it out of the first trimester.

We are so excited and I can't wait until April to meet the little guy/gal!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Corn and Avocado Quinoa Salad

By Natalie

Have you jumped on the quinoa band wagon? I think it's pretty good if you add lots of spices and veggies. It can be bland if you try to eat it like rice. It is a great source of protein. I found Toasted Quinoa Corn and Avocado Salad on Ezra Pound Cake.

Let's get real, I don't have time to sit around and toast quinoa. I just boiled it like I normally do with all the spices.

Also, I don't have time to shuck corn and cut all the corn off the cob. I just go the easy route and use frozen corn. That I always have on hand. I just zapped it in the microwave for 30 seconds before I added it to the salad.

What's your opinion about cilantro and parsley? It's usually pretty cheap, but I don't like to waste my money on these herbs. When I buy them, I use about 1/8th of the bunch and the rest goes bad. So, I usually omit it from the recipe.

A few years ago you would've never seen me eat an avocado. Now I love them. I really like guacamole too. Wholly guacamole is one of my favorites. I don't eat guacamole at restaurants too often because it usually has GIANT crunchy onions. <shiver>

P.S. Do not forget to rinse the quinoa before you eat it! You will need a super fine mesh strainer.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Orzo Salad

By Natalie

This Orzo Salad has everything in it except the kitchen sink. Ezra Pound Cake suggests adding in pepperoni, cucumber, olives, red bell pepper, and basil. I added all of these additions except olives.

I goofed at the store and forgot to buy ditalini pasta AND navy beans. I made some substitutions, and everything turned out all right. I used orzo instead of ditalini and black beans instead of navy beans.

This pasta stays fresh for a few days. I had it for a few lunches.