Friday, January 29, 2010

What was I thinking?

This weekend my sweet little one year old is having a birthday party. I have gone back and forth on if I was going to make or buy his cake. 
I just couldn't muster up paying the cost that Sheila's wanted for a 2 layer cake with fondant icing so I decided to make one myself. 
I know... 
It would have been easier to just buy one...Even if it was a simple cake...right??
Well, I guess I have my mind set on one look and I can be a pretty stubborn and hardheaded person at times.
What was I thinking? 
3 trips to the store and 1 1/2 days later I will finally be done with the cake come tonight.
But I can say that it was made with love!!
I will hopefully have a picture for you on Monday morning if it turns out. 
So let me here from you--
What would you have done in my case?
Would you have poured your time and love into making the cake or would you have bought one?

I also wanted to share with you these pictures:
~I'm One, I'm Cute, and I Know It~
These were some quick shots of Tucker on his birthday. I haven't been able to do a photo shoot with him yet but I thought I would take some pics of him playing around the house and yard.


Everyone have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Old South Meets New South

As some of you know I LOVE black and white...
So when I saw this I thought, I have to write about it and share with you!!
This is a Southern Wedding Reception that was centered around the South.
The Musicians Hall of  Fame Museum is where this lovel “old” southern reception was held. They used  garden toile linens for the cocktail tables which had beautiful floating peonies as the centerpieces and for the hiboys there were apple green lamoure linen that were brought in. The feel of the room was a southern garden that made the guest feel relaxed and welcomed!
In this area was were the main hors d’ oeuvres table featured lavish fresh fruit and cheese display, chili almond shrimp and fig & goat cheese flatbread.

Then as the guest moved through the museum they found themselves at a performance hall where they were greeted with a band and a plated dinner. 
The performance hall showed off an updated glamorous south with beaded curtains hanging from the ceiling with a garland of magnolia leaves, a la Jennifer with Reveal and Village of Flowers. 
Fun and swanky lounge furniture were featured in the corners of the hall.

With the guest tables the same theme was carried over using the same linen (apple green L'Amour) that was in the reception as the underlay. The table topper brought in the updated southern feel, the black floral silhouette set the mood and the atmosphere for the rest of the evening.
As guest took their seats the southern meal began! They were served a fried green tomato salad, with sherry vinaigrette. When dinner came out, guests were pleased to see southern fried chicken breast with a vidalia orange blossom sauce and wild salmon with a honey glaze.

Dessert featured a river of chocolate and the “dessert display case”. Were they brought in the color scheme with the green and amber lighting to showcase the desserts!

 A sure enjoyed time 'in the south.'


Mommy Buzz

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Part III- Photography Tips


Today I will finish up with the last of the 10 tips I had for you on taking good photos. I will be back with more once I compile another list for you. Don't forget you can do this with a normal camera or a DSLR.
It sometimes scares poeple away because they think they can't to the same thing if they don't have an expensive camera. And that is so not true!!!
Play around with the camera you have and don't be scared to take it off Auto mode.

So lets get started with the last 4 tips:

1. Move it from the middle
Now, what do I mean by that, right?
Bring your subject to life by simply placing your subject off-centered
*Note: Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid in your viewfinder.
Now place the subject at one of the intersecting lines.
Also, since most cameras focus on whatever is on the middle, remember to lock the focus on your subject before re-framing the shot

Here are some examples:
This is a rule of 3rd chart. See the grey circles? That is where you want to have your subject. 
Such as the pic below

The raft is in the bottom left third

Another example

Here are two examples using people:

Putting the face in above left intersection creates a balanced, dynamic look
The model is Kimberly Kane '08, Bucknell University-taken by Radiant Light Photography

Example of Rule of Third applied in portrait orientation
The model is Jason Burrsma '08, Bucknell University.

Taken by Radiant Light Photography
2. Know your flash range
Did you know flash on cameras has a range?
They do and it is normally between 10-12 feet depending on your camera.
Pictures taken beyond the maximum flash range will be to dark.
I don't really have a picture to show you for this tip

3. Watch the Light
Great light makes great pictures but bad light makes bad pictures.

For the most part you want to choose light that is soft, such as days that are cloudy, or during sun-up or sun-down. If you have to take pictures using harsh light then use it to your advantage.

Here are two big contrast:
I took these pictures so I am being really critical with them.

This picture has harsh light, and bad shadowing (although it is taken using the 3rd rule)
The lighting on this picture is working b/c the face doesn't have harsh lighting, or bad shadows.

4. Be a Picture Director
Most of the time when you are taking a picture of someone they aren't going to know how to stand, sit, lay, etc for your picture. Be creative and come up with ways to help really tell a story with your picture.
Add some props, re-arrange your subject, or try a different viewpoint.

Such as this for example:
This picture is dull, so whats missing?
The girls are just standing there together. So try this...


Get a group of them together, move to a different angle and make the picture really tell a story, have fun with it!
Do you see the difference?

I hope you enjoyed these tips. I will hopefully have more for you later down the road. If you have any questions write me or comment..


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tell All Tuesday: One Year Ago

 Happy Birthday To My Sweet Baby
Thinking back on that very busy morning that our baby was born:

I woke up at 5:15 to contractions that were very strong and (me)-- not moving at all but tightly holding onto the side of the bed I breathed deeply. As I did Gus woke up and asked, "are you ok?" and then I replied, "I think I need to get ready."
How did I sleep through those contractions, man..... they hurt.
Then as I hurried to get ready and we dropped Ethan off at the Grandparents house my contractions got stronger and stronger.
On the way to the hospital I remember telling Gus, "stop hitting all the bumps in the road"...I laugh at that because he was trying so hard to not hit them!!

Then as we arrive to the hospital I walk down 2 flights of stairs so I can just GET to the delivery room. I thought if I walked I would get there faster but what was I thinking???
Maybe next time I will use a wheelchair...or not...

So I get to the room and I was 8 cm dilated.

And less then 45 minutes later I was holding my blue eyed baby boy in my arms.
A start to a new beginning with 2 children.

It has been wonderful but this year has gone by so fast?

Oh how the time flies!
I think with each child the first year goes by faster and faster.
As I am sitting in my chair writing this I remember telling a few people at church this past weekend that this week Tucker was going to be 1. They all said, "If I would have known how fast time flies and how precious it is to have all your children living at home with you then I would have had a slue of them."

I am just so thankful that Tucker is a healthy and active little boy. Although him being active keeps me busy....Very Busy.
I wouldn't want it any other way.

Today he is
17 pounds
 27 inches
He has grown some in the past two weeks, which is good.

But he is still a little guy for his age.

So today I am content, happy, thankful, and blessed to be a mommy.

Happy Birthday Tucker Samuel Evans

Here are some pictures to show you the difference in 1 year.


3 Months Old

6 Months Old

9 Months Old

12 Months Old


Monday, January 25, 2010

{Good Morning Mondays}

I can not believe it but my baby is turning ONE.....
He will be one tomorrow and I just tear up at the thought of a year already passing by since he was born.
I thought that since he is now able to eat finger foods that I would share with you the guides to feeding a One-Year Old.

I did take this from the Kids Growth website so that it would be very accurate and not just my preferences!

Happy birthday to your one year old! At this age, your youngster is becoming a child and wants to start eating like the rest of the family. A one year old may have no teeth, while others have eight or more. Some one year-olds have been walking for 2 to 3 months; others are still crawling. These differences in development are normal and one can expect similar differences in the way a one-year old is fed. Therefore, it is always best to consult with your child's pediatrician concerning which foods to give when.
MILK: Your baby still needs to have milk -- about 16-20 ounces per day. Most pediatricians and nutritionists recommend a baby should be at least 1 year old before cow's milk is given. Until then, breast milk or iron-fortified formula is the most appropriate milk to use. When your baby does gets cow's milk, it should be whole milk, not skim. 
In addition, try to give small servings from each of the following food groups every day:
  • Bread, cereal, rice, pasta
  • Vegetables.
  • Fruits.
  • Meat, fish, poultry , and eggs
  • Yogurt and cheese provide nearly the same nutrients as milk. So these can substitute for part of the milk your baby needs each day.
Remember, your one-year old doesn't have to eat something from each food group at every meal. Most babies have fairly wild eating patterns at a given meal. They may eat nothing but rice at one meal, and nothing but bananas at the next. But over time they do pretty well if you offer them a variety of nutritious foods at each meal.
Your baby's appetite is going to decrease in the next six months. Your child has been experiencing very rapid growth for a while - doubling their birth weight at 5-6 months and tripling it at a year. Now their rate of growth is slower than during the first year and their appetite cuts back. Do not misinterpret this normal decrease in eating as a sign of illness or disease. We recommend never forcing a child to eat specific amounts or certain foods. When children are required to eat certain foods, they learn to dislike them. One of our problems as adults is over eating, and many of us learned this in childhood.
Babies are born with a natural liking for sweet foods. Although a sweet treat once in a while is okay, don't give baby too many sweets. Also, be sure to give baby real fruit juice, rather than flavored drinks; and limit juices to 4 to 8 ounces a day.  Too much juice can spoil your child's appetite and cause diarrhea. If your family has food allergies, excluding peanut butter for at least another year is recommended. As tasty as it is, peanut butter, and peanut products should also be avoided since young children have more of a tendency to develop an allergy to peanut oil. This allergy can act very quickly, causing swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing.  Talk to your child's physician if you have any questions about food allergies. Honey should not be given to children under three years of age. It is possible for a child to become violently ill because of the intake of even a small amount of honey, which may harbor a bacterium adults are immune to. 
At one-year most children, but not all, can drink from a cup well. It is time to start "weaning" your child off the bottle. Offer whole milk in a cup, not a bottle. This helps your child to adjust to both changes. Weaning off the bottle now will avoid a struggle later on.If you are breastfeeding, give all other beverages to your child in a cup. Wean from the breast directly to a cup when you and your health care provider decide it is the right time. 
Whether you are weaning to the cup from the bottle or breast, help your child get enough liquid and milk—particularly when he is tired, sick or cranky. This might be done by holding the child and feeding him with a "sippy cup."
There is no need to buy expensive jars of toddler foods. You can feed your toddler the same food that your family is eating. Set aside a small amount for the toddler before you season the food for the rest of the family. Mash, grind, chop, or cut into small pieces the food items so that your child will not choke.Many one-year-old toddlers chew or gum food very well. Others have not developed this skill; however, without molar teeth (flat on the top surface) they cannot chew things such as a piece of meat or carrot sticks. Meat will need to be ground or cut into very small pieces to avoid choking. Raw vegetables can be lightly steamed so that he can eat the vegetable without choking. 
Parents are the teachers of food habits. As children grow they are watching for clues on food choices. Children will copy many habits, likes and dislikes. When making food choices, actions speak louder than words. If you want your child to develop a preference for nutritious foods, consider the following:
  • Develop good food habits yourself.
  • Avoid talk about foods you do not like. Talk about foods you enjoy.
  • Never assume that a child will not like a food. Give them a chance to try!
  • Be willing to try new recipes and foods.
  • If a child does not eat at mealtime, remain calm. When the next meal is served, give the child his/her food as you usually would. Any snack between meals should be nutritious.
  • Do not make an issue of refusal to eat. Some children choose this behavior because they get lots of attention.
  • Encourage a child to help in planning and preparing meals and snacks.
  • Serve regular meals and snacks.
  • Buy healthful food. Parents are the best judges of what a child should eat. Children are the best judges of how much they should eat.
  • Make mealtime pleasant. 

And most important, enjoy your little one!!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Busy Friday

It's Friday: My long lost friend!!!

Today I have lots planned. I am running to get my new bed comforter set for our new mattress. Cooking Dinner this morning for our dinner tonight. Running to the grocery store. Finishing my laundry for this week. Straightening up my house before I head out for the rest of the day. Going over to our Grandparents house to visit with a cousin who came in town this week.Making Tuckers baby food (I am behind in this.) and trying to stay well.

Our bed slept great last night. It did take me a little bit to fall asleep because I have this stuffy cold and was a little miserable cause I couldn't breath.But after taking some Nyquil (which I normally would not take but I needed relief) I fell asleep and slept like a baby. Our mattress is great!

I know I mentioned making dinner this morning and you are probably wondering why, right?
Well, Gus' grandmother is always making the food for everyone when everyone visits them and so I told her to take a break for tonight and I would bring a big pot of spaghetti, salad, and bread for dinner.
Gus' cousin Hilary is in town for some business meetings this week and is staying with them (the Grandparents.) So we are trying to visit with her as much as we can before she heads back on Sunday morning.
Which by the way, I am excited about b/c tomorrow morning because I think she and I are going to go shopping for a little bit and Gus is watching the boys for me.
Whoo-Hoo...I am going to get a break.....

Then in the mist of all the things I need to do today, I also need to make it to Calico Corners to find fabric for some pillows. So my list goes on, and on, and on...
There is never rest for the weary.

I must go for now so I can get started today's list....
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I pray I am better come Monday morning.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Rainy Day

This morning I am posting differently. See when I woke up this morning I realized I didn't have my internet card( my husband had it) and I don't have blogger mobile. Which is where you can blog on the go. I signed up for it quickly on my phone hoping I could post something for you today and at the end of the process it said, this may take some time.
"Great! So what am I going to do now," I thought.
So my sweet sister is posting this for me from an email. Thanks sis!

On this rainy morning my little ones are playing with the dogs poor leash. As if they had nothing else to play with, right?
And yes, I am watching them so no one gets choked or anything.
But it is so funny sometimes what they get a hold of and have a blast with.
Here is Tucker playing with it in the chair.

Here is our oldest who decided he was done with the leash and was going to read.
What a scholar!

Hopefully I will be back up and running tomorrow. 
So for today everyone stay dry on this rainy day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Part II - Photo Tips

Photography Tips Part II

Did everyone get a chance to try any of the tips this past week?
What did you think?
Well I have 3 more for you this week...

1. Move in Close
To create impactful pictures, move in close and fill your pictures with the subject.
Move a few steps closer or use the zoom until the subject fills the viewfinder.
You will eliminate background distractions and show off the details of your subject.
For small objects, use the camera's macro or 'flower' mode to get sharp close-ups.


The close up


2. Take Some Vertical Pictures
Some pictures look better vertically
Make a conscience effort to turn your camera and take vertical pictures.
Here is a vertical option.


3. Lock the focus to create a sharp picture of off-center subjects
A. Find your subject and lock in on the area you want to focus on
B.Press the shutter button half way down.
C.Re-frame your picture (while still holding the shutter button.)
D. Finish by pressing the shutter button all the way.

For this one I focused on the center of the rose


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

{Tell All Tuesday}

Two topics today:
Cookie Recipe
First Candle
(Pregnancy and New Baby support site)

Snicker Doodles 
Last week my sister came over to visit and she brought me these yummy cookies, called Snicker Doodles. Then a friend came over later in the week and we made a batch of these for us to eat on...
They were great and I wanted to share the recipe with you all.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter (softened)
1 1/2 cup sugar + 3 Tbsp
2 large eggs
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Sift flour,soda, and salt in a small bowl.
Then in a separate bowl blend butter and sugar til fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time. Then add flour, blend til smooth.(so now your mix is all in one bowl)
Mix 3 tbsp sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll dough into balls and roll into the cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes

New Mommy's and Mommy's to-be
Whether you’ve just found out you are pregnant or are caring for a new baby, I found this site to have helpful information and support for you.
First Candle can be used to offer information, materials and advice on how to help keep your baby healthy and safe, both during pregnancy and after birth.
What is First Candle?
First Candle is a national nonprofit health organization uniting parents, caregivers and researchers nationwide with government, business and community service groups to advance infant health and survival.  With help from a national network partner organizations, they are working to increase public participation and support in the fight against Stillbirth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other causes of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).

Check out the site for more information.

Have a great Tuesday!


Monday, January 18, 2010

{Good Morning Mondays}

Today is Monday and my weekend went by to fast. Why is it when I have tons of things planned time flies by and I don't get everything done but when I have nothing going on, it goes by slowly?

We ran around most of the weekend looking for a new bed and mattress. While up in Savannah we slept on a King mattress and we got really used to it.
Then when we would come home on weekends or when we moved back in December we realized the bed we had wasn't going to work for us anymore.
What were we thinking sleeping on a Queen bed with a 6 ft 2 inch husband all these years?
I guess we didn't know what we were missing until now...

We did find something and we are having it delivered this week and I am very excited about getting a good nights sleep--finally!!!

Also, My hubby and I finally got to go on a date for the first time in a year. And I am serious-- It has been a year. We have had a chance to go with the baby and leave our oldest a number of times but since our youngest is so attached I haven't been able to leave him.
So my sweet sister came over on Friday night and watch both of our boys and of course hers as well. She was a busy girl and certainly had her hands full with 4 children between the ages of 6 months- 3 years old.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at P. F. Chang's and then went to a movie.
Which we decided we wouldn't do again for a long time. We would much rather be comfortable at home to watch a movie from now on.
But overall it was a marvelous night and way overdue.
We will have to do again much sooner!!

I feel like the boys are coming down with a cold (please Lord let it just be runny noses) and I have tons of things planned today.

So I am going to take a deep breath and get to work!!

 I will write more later....
Have a great day and if you get a chance today then share with me how your Monday is going.
Mine is going to busy, busy.......


Friday, January 15, 2010

New Way to Love Leftovers

A New Way To Love Your Leftovers
By: Brittany Hedrick

Ok, So I know what you are thinking, “love leftovers.. ?”
Who really LOVES leftovers? Eating the same thing over, and over, and over again. There can be some really great dinners that make excellent leftovers, but lets face it- most of the time we do not eat what we had the night before. So here is a new way to look at your leftovers and enjoy them!

These are some easy recipes that you can try with your family. Every recipe listed can be altered according to your family’s likes and dislikes. These are just to help get you thinking outside of the box. There are tons of ways to revamp a dinner recipe all you need are leftovers and a little creativity, so lets get started! 

Chicken Taco

Or Fish Taco 

LEFTOVERS USED: Cooked Chicken/Fish, Roasted Vegetables, Rice
NEW DISH: Fish or Chicken Tacos
EXTRAS NEEDED: Green Peppers, Beans, Tomatoes, Salt and Pepper, Pita Wraps/ Tortillas, Onions, Lime/Lemon, Cheese of choice (my preference-Mozz./Feta)..
(The extras can be anything your family enjoys-  the ingredients are yours to add-)

**Reheat cooked chicken/fish, veggies, and rice, in a skillet. Heat your wrap/tortilla on a skillet or microwave. Fill your wrap/tortilla with the heated mix anything you like: peppers, salt and pepper, onion beans, rice, cheese, tomatoes, and lime for garnish.
Easy as 1.2.3.. 

Crostini with Herbs

NEW DISH: Crostini with Herbs
EXTRAS NEEDED: Oil, Parmesan

**Mix together chopped fresh herbs and oil to cover. Season with salt and pepper brushed over old bread and bake until golden brown. Herb oil is also great on grilled or roasted vegetables and meats. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and melt.

Rice and Black Bean Burger

LEFTOVERS USED: Beans, Brown Rice
NEW DISH: Rice And Bean Burger
2 ½ cups diced onion
1 tbsp. minced garlic
 ¾ tsp cumin
 1 tbsp tomato paste
2 ½ cups breadcrumbs
Plain Yogurt

** Sauté diced onion and minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Stir in cumin, cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook 30 seconds. Coarsely puree with cooked beans and cooked brown rice. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in breadcrumbs and form into patties. Heat oil in a skillet and sauté until golden brown. Serve with yogurt and a slice of toasted bread.  

Mini Chicken Pot Pie

LEFTOVERS USED:  Roasted Chicken, Vegetables,
NEW DISH: Mini Chicken Pot Pies
1 sheet puff pastry (frozen or fresh)
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
 2 cups milk
2tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 large egg white beaten

** Preheat oven 425 degrees. Cut puff pastry in the shape of your mini dishes to cover. Set aside in fridge. Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add flour, and cook whisking constantly; bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper, (including your shredded chicken and diced leftover veggies or even potatoes). Spoon mixture into oven proof bowls and top with pastry, pressing against the outside edge of the bowls to seal. Brush with egg whites. Bake for 17 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot!! Enjoy!

Hot Rice Breakfast Drink

NEW DISH: Hot Rice Breakfast Drink
EXTRAS NEEDED: Skim Milk, Honey, and Cinnamon

**Heat cooked rice and skim milk together (enough to cover rice about half an inch). Stir in honey to taste, and sprinkle with cinnamon (if desired, take some of the hot milk and whisk briskly to “foam” then pour over top).

You are on your own now to create more great recipes for your family to enjoy! Now it is time to go through your refrigerator and get cooking! 

With Love, Brittany Hedrick

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