Hats Hats Hats

So today, I’m featuring hats.

My hats.

Coz’ they’re awesome.

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AND they can all be purchased here : https://www.etsy.com/shop/TabisCreations

And they ship withing 1-2 days priority mail.  Coz it’s cool.

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Another Wedding, Another Cakes

I realize it’s been five months since my last post.  Time does fly.   Kizzy is now five months old.  Her favorite activities seem to be chewing on things, rolling, and laughing at her brother when he gets in trouble.

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We’ve also taken a trip to Alaska, 

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And Seth’s oldest sister got married.

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Of course I think the pictures that involve my children are the cutest.  Ahem.

And *I* got to make another wedding cake.

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Boom Baby.

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White Russian cupcakes.

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And a Dr. Who inspired cake top.  This was my first time working with fondant, so you’ll have to forgive the wrinkles and mistakes.  For all that I’m kinda proud of it.  

BTW, these amazing pictures were taken by Marley.  Check her out.  She’s awesome.  http://www.capturearkansas.com/users/marleymoo

And this was the cupcake recipe I used.

http://www.bakedperfection.com/2011/01/white-russian-cupcakes.html

They are seriously amazing.  I think the only alteration I did was to take away 1/3 of the flour and replace it with corn starch to make them a little fluffier. 

OH!  And the cake toppers were done by this AMAZING person:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CaitlinMakesStuff?ref=pr_faveshops

Seriously.  Custom order something from her. She’s awesome.

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Love you all!  Thanks for stopping by.

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Kizzy

Birth stories are not for everyone.  But *I* love them.  Especially when they have happy endings.Image

Kizzy decided to make her appearance 2 weeks early.  I had posted an eviction notice on FB the day before, however, I wasn’t expecting her to respond so quickly.

I started having contractions at around 2 in the morning on Tuesday.  No big deal, that was common enough.  But they kept on.  Not labor contractions, just those annoying pre-labor things that are random and painful.ImageIt was enough though that when Seth halfway woke up and asked if I was ok I told him that if these didn’t go away we were making the bed up in the morning for a birth.

The next morning they were still coming randomly.  Five minutes, twenty minutes, an hour, fifteen minutes.  There was no consistency.  Seth went to work, and I made the bed.

Then, after taking inventory of birth supplies and needs, realized that I was low on towels.

The washer and dryer aren’t hooked up yet here, so we’ve been doing laundry at the laundromat.  Needless to say I did NOT feel like doing that, but I have awesome neighbors, and the lovely one next door let me do a couple loads in her machines.  ImageSeth had told me to keep track of contractions throughout the day and let him know what was going on.  When he came home to check on me I think the 15 minute intervals alarmed him a little, but I told him we had a midwife appointment that afternoon and if it really was the start of something, they’d be able to tell better then us.

At around 2:45 in the afternoon I lost my mucus plug, and even though contractions weren’t any more consistent, I felt like things were progressing.

We met with our midwife Thalia at 4:00 and told her what had been going on.  She nodded and said it could be soon, but it could also be another 2 – 4 weeks, but she’d check me  just to see where we were.

I was at 2 centimeters, and baby had dropped, but we figured it could still be awhile.  However, on the drive home, I went from contractions every ten minutes, to 8 to 5 to 3.  Then we were home and I was in labor.

Seth called his mom and Thalia  and things sped up.  I have to say, although it was much faster then Jack’s birth, 4 hours opposed to 12, it was a lot more intense.  I know I made a good bit more noise.

I was constantly moving through the labor, rocking, walking, doing all those weird labor things.  In and out of the shower.

Finally the contractions got so intense I knew she had to be close to making her appearance.  Thalia checked me again and I was at 8 centimeters.  I asked to move to the shower again, but once I made it to the bathroom all I wanted to do was sit on the toilet.

I need a birthing stool.  That’s all I can say.

Ten minutes later, when they made me get off and onto the bathroom floor, Kizzy’s head was out.  Thalia tried to get me to slow down pushing, and I was able to take one deep breath while she checked for the cord around Kizzy’s neck, and then she was out.  My body just took over and told me I didn’t have any choice in the matter.

So at 8:45 pm, our little daughter arrived, at 6 lbs 11 oz 18 3/4 inches long,  purple and squirmy and squished looking.  I have to admit my first thought was, “goodness newborns are ugly.”  Thankfully that doesn’t stop love.  :pImageAnd I happen to think she’s pretty adorable now.

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Sweet Potatoes and Two

Little man turned 2 yesterday. Image

Although he insists he’s one, or three.  And this morning I heard five when Seth was asking him. Anything but two is acceptable.  I feel quite accomplished in the fact that we’ve kept a child alive and mostly well for two years.

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He’s survived sickness…  although I’m convinced that (above) was teething, due to the fact that I had baby molars appear soon after.

He still has all his bits attached.  Not missing any fingers or toes.  All ears are accounted for, and no matter how many times he PERSISTS in falling down stairs, his nose is still there…  .Image

mostly.

I still can’t believe he’s not this anymore…

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Or that we’ll be adding another addition in nine weeks.  Ish.  I won’t tempt fate.

To help cope with all these mommy struggles like babies growing up, that we cry about because it’s a lot to handle, these potatoes come in handy.

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They are incredible.  They’re sweet, savory, and satisfy a deep longing in your heart that you didn’t know you had…  They’re a little bit like Nutella…  once you have them, there’s no going back.  At least, not for me.

I got them from this recipe:  http://dlynz.com/?p=2353  via pinterest of course, because pinterest is da bomb.

But the problem with this recipe is that it takes a good amount of time and dedication.  And while the end result is heavenly, I don’t always have an hour to dedicate completely to a side dish.

So I was browsing and found a completely different recipe for roasted sweet potatoes, and I thought hey!  Let’s combine the two, and see what happens!

So I did.

2 Medium Sweet potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes

1/4 cup butter melted

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon  salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic

If you want less spicy, leave out the smoked paprika and the chipotle chili powder.

Anyway, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil.

In a little bowl mix together all your spices until the sugar is all incorporated and there are no lumps.

In a larger bowl, pour the butter over the sweet potatoes and then add the spices.  Mix until all coated.

Pour everything into your foil lined baking pan, and spread across the bottom.  Bake for around 30 minutes until done, stirring every now and then to make sure to get all the sides browned nicely.  The dark bits are the best, chewy, sweet, and better than candy.

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If it were just me, I’d forego any meat and starch or other veggies and simply devour plates of this for dinner.  It’s that good.

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Another House and Baby Update

So, it’s been awhile.  Not that you’ve been on the edge of your chairs or anything.  But maybe I like to pretend you’ve been biting your fingernails wondering what’s going on.  

We are IN our HOUSE!!!  Yes, that absolutely deserves three exclamation points.  It’s been fun, our heater is finicky, I’m doing dishes in the bathroom sink and bathtub, (not while bathing the baby… but it has crossed my mind.  :p)  Seth and my’s bed is in the living room, and our table in the dining room is a tool box with a board on it.  But I think it’s awesome.

Jack had trouble the first week we were in.  A few meltdowns with lots of crying and “All done now, home please. All done.”  But I think he’s happy now with the idea that this is our new home.  

View of our backyard.Image

We were even able to entertain, AND have people over for the night. We’re that cool.

But yeah, you’re probably like, ok enough words already, give us the pictures woman!

I attempted to load these in a sort of order, but the computer scoffed at me and put them in the order IT desired. 

Bathroom.  Isn’t it pretty?ImageJack  looking at the camera long enough for me to take a picture.ImageImagePantry with temporary shelving.  :pImageDoor to the bathroom.ImageKitchenImageKitchenImageKitchen cabinets minus doorsImageView from Kitchen into the dining and living rooms.ImageJack’s bookshelf that I made all by myself.  I’m so talented.ImageLiving room/Bedroom.ImageOther side.ImageYou get the idea.ImageOur closet.  Or Seth’s future office.ImageOther side of it.ImageMore Bathroom.  Shelves minus backing and doors.

 

 

Shower.ImageImageShower curtain.

So our next top priorities are Kitchen sink, Dishwasher, and floors.  God willing Dishwasher will happen tomorrow.  That would be awesome.

Meanwhile, in the land of babies, Jack will be two next month.  (so insane) and Kizzy is just 13 weeks from her due date.  She kicks constantly.  Little feisty thing.  I guess she’ll have to be to keep up with her brother.  Till later Y’all!

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Tikka Masala, Naan, and Little Man

This week has been interesting.  

One morning jack managed, without taking his PJ’s off, to remove his diaper and push it completely down one leg of his jammies without us knowing.

That is until he peed all over me right after breakfast.

Yesterday he managed this:

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I don’t know how…  I looked over and he was giggling and very proud of himself.

He also has a new rocking horse.

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Courtesy of some wonderful friends.  We have lots of “Yee hah!” going on.  I love it.

My little man is growing so fast.  He’s ‘reading’ himself books, he chatters to me all the time. He sings, he dances, he thinks blocks, dinosaurs, legos, rocks, dirt, seeds, books and mommy and daddy are the coolest things on earth.

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He also looks pretty sharp in a suit.  

Some days it’s hard not to simply break down crying over how big he’s gotten.  

Those days I blame the pregnancy hormones.

Anyway, I know you’re really here to see food things.  Not baby pictures.

Or maybe I just put up the baby pictures so you’ll look at my food.  :p

Last night I made what I’m secretly hoping will become a family favorite.

Chicken Tikka Masala with homemade Naan.

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Even Seth, who claims to hate Indian food, put down his fork, looked at me, and said, “I do so like green eggs and ham.  I do, I like them, Sam I am.”

I was so happy I could have cried.

He still says he doesn’t want to go to Indian restaurants.  But instead of walking into the kitchen and going, “Ugh, is that curry?”  Last night it changed to, “Wow, that smells AMAZING!”  

It’s a work in progress.

Anyway,  recipe.

Adapted from http://sweetpeaskitchen.com  I love her Tikka Masala.  So. Good.

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, or in a pinch, 1/2 a teaspoon powdered ginger.  
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

Mix all that up and let that marinate for at LEAST 4 hours, if not a full day.  It gets all the flavors falling in love.

Then, as you’re making the sauce below, if you have a grill, you can put the chicken on that and grill it.  I don’t, so what I do, is take a cooling rack, and place it on top of a cookie sheet.  Put all the chicken on that, and stick it under the broiler on high.  When it’s getting some color, and is at least mostly done, it’s time to add it to the sauce. (Below) About 5-7 minutes.  Although it’s best to keep an eye on it.  Everyone’s oven is different.

Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat melt butter. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Stir in cumin, paprika, salt, and garam masala. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add chicken to the sauce mixture and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Now, up until now, I’ve been buying Naan at the store, to serve with any Indian food I make. But this week I wanted to see if I could do it myself.Image

I’m not sure I’ve ever had bread turn out so good.  It was fluffy, delicious, buttery… perfect.

Traditional Naan is cooked on the side of a clay oven.  Or, in a pinch, they stick it to the bottom of a pot, and turn it upside down over an open gas flame.

I have neither a clay oven, or a gas stove available to me here.  

So I turned again to the broiler.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

2 big teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
2.
Punch down dough, and pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Now to cook.

While my chicken was cooking, I’d stuck my pizza stone in the oven, so it was all nice and hot when my Naan was ready to cook.

Roll out each ball of dough until it’s nice and thin. think a little thicker than a tortilla.  Don’t worry, it rises.   Butter both sides, and place on the hot pizza stone, and then stick under the broiler.

You have to keep a close eye on it.  A few of my pieces got a little more done than I intended.  When the top side is browned, flip them over and let the other side brown.  When both sides are browned to your satisfaction, they’re done.  Maybe 3-5 minutes for the whole thing to cook.  It doesn’t take long at all.

Serve hot.

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So good.

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House Update

So it’s been quite awhile since I’ve done a house update.  These are a little behind where we are now.  But it still shows progress.  I’ll attempt to get some more pictures this week of where we are now.

To start, this is the front door, trimmed out.  All the trim in the house is going to be stained, but due to the unevenness in the living room, it has to be partly painted.  That’s what Seth told me.

This was only partly painted with our base coat on the walls.  But the crown is next.  Seth built the cornice blocks himself. I love them.

This is the trim we picked for the living room.

And the light Seth moved from his office to be his bar light.  I think it’s pretty cool.

This is the color the walls will be through the middle of the house.  Living room through to bathroom.

Seth was aging the corners.

Then the view from the kitchen looking into the pantry, you see the door to the bathroom.
Opening the door you see the corner shelves Seth built.

 

Then we started laying the slate floor in the pantry and bathroom.  We like stars.

I love the floor.

Next was the shower.  Again.  We like stars.
And the end of the pictures I have, the cabinets have sorta been started in the kitchen too.

That’s where the stove is going to go.

We’re almost to move in point.  I’ll try to get more pictures.  First we have to get a little more plumbing done, and get the gas turned on.  Then we should be in.  It’ll be roughing it for a while, but I can’t wait!

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