Friday, January 21, 2011

Project 365, Week 2

I am getting into the habit of this photo-a-day project.  I will admit some days are better than others.  But it continues to be more fun than work (thus far!)
Running a few errands after I picked Maddie up from school.  While stopped at a traffic light I was able to snap this photo.  Here we are, rushing to get everything done.
Furniture shopping.  Ugh!  Trying to converge our two styles plus our needs.  Might just be impossible!  We each gravitate to different styles.  Didn't know this task would be so much WORK!
Relaxing with a well-deserved glass of wine after two days of working on my photo-blog for Pixel Pages (& furniture shopping).  I think my butt is permanently flat after sitting in front of the computer all that time. 
Lying in wait...  Tilly biding her time until  food drops from Lucas' breakfast.  It reminds me of lions stalking their prey in Africa...only this is my living room and we have no zebras or gazelles(pretty sure there is some sort of city code against that).
Lukey all snuggled up to Tilly.  She quietly waits for opportunity & then sneaks in one giant "slurp!"

The weather this week has been glorious!  This is why I love living in Cali.  We had a month of miserable freezing weather.  This week's temps (high 60s) was a welcome respite.  This evening was still a little warm and everything had a lovely orange & purple glow.  Spring is coming & I can't wait!

This is what 8 hours of school looks like, and it ain't pretty!  I look so bad I was tempted to touch up the bags under my eyes, but I am keeping it real folks.  Jan. 18th, my first day back at school.  8 hours in front of a computer is going to be a struggle.
Variety has been my biggest challenge so far.  Because I spend so much time with my kiddos most of my photos are of them.  So I am attempting to branch out when the opportunity presents itself.  After all, this is Project 365, not 365 Days  of My Kids.  But when you are a SAHM most of your days are filled with kids and the photos reflect that.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Quinoa Pilaf with Lemon & Thyme

I found this yummy recipe in our local newspaper.  Even the hubs liked this healthy meal!  Can't wait to make it again!

Quinoa Pilaf with Lemon & Thyme
1 onion minced
1 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and dried on a towel
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbs. minced fresh parsley, basil, cilantro, or scallions

Combine the onion and oil in a large saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 8-10 minutes.
Stir in the quinoa, increase heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the quinoa is lightly toasted and aromatic, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the broth, lemon zest and thyme and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is transparent and tender, 16-18 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat, lay a clean folded kitchen towel across the top of the pot and replace the lid.  Let sit for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.  Stir in lemon juice and fresh herbs.  If you like season with salt and pepper to taste.

Side note:
I omitted the salt from the recipe and did not miss it all.  There were so many rich flavors from the broth, lemon, and herbs.  I almost feel that salt might ruin the medley of flavors.  For the fresh herbs I used cilantro.  It's zesty, fresh flavor makes it one of my favorites.  This side dish was a great companion to the salmon my husband grilled on our BBQ using a wood plank.
I did not rinse the quinoa and it was fine.  But after researching I found out why all recipes call for this additional step.  The outer coating of the quinoa leaves a bitter taste and rinsing it helps remove it.  Who woulda thunk it?  Although I will try it next, I did not notice a bitter taste with this specific dish.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Project 365, Week 1

After reading the Shutter Sisters Blog I became inspired to do my own Project 365.  I figure it would help me actually stick to my New Year's resolutions.  The goal of Project 365 is to take a photo everyday, which is one of my resolutions.  I have decided to post the photos each week.  This will help keep me on track for my "post to my blog at least once a week" resolution.  Shutter Sisters has some amazing photos on their blog.  Because it is a glimpse into my day-to-day life I anticipate some mundane photos, but their blog definitely gives me something to aspire to.  This project will force me to not be so complacent in my everyday surroundings while achieving personal goals.  Wish me luck!
Here are the links to some of my favorite Shutter Sisters Project 365:

These little self-portraits are outside of Maddie's classroom.  Every month her teacher has them write a new speech bubble.  This month the speech bubbles are their New Year's resolutions.  I love to snap a photo of Maddie's each month.

My never-ending battle with laundry.

A glimpse into the day of a typical SHAM:  drop off at school, grab some coffee & breakfast, & head my smorgasbord of daily errands.  Target Greatland being my favorite.

Some of the projects that are on my to-do list:  places to camp this summer, our route for my girls' trip with Maddie, how to become more bloggin savvy, and the constant pursuit of learning new photography skills.  And what is a good book without some Tootsie Rolls?!

A visit to Lowe's for a home-project.  This photo is so typical of Lucas; getting into mischief, while his right shoe & sock on the floor below him. 

Todd & I had my in-laws sister-in-law, neice, & mother-in-law over for dinner.  Lucas thoroughly enjoyed the dessert they brought over!

I volunteer in Maddie's class for writer's workshop.  It has become something I look forward to every week.  I love to hear what Maddie and her fellow classmates have to say.  Each student has their own unique voice & they are so excited to have someone to listen.  Love those stories!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Musical Menagerie

Michael's sells these great instruments.  They are not too pricey, especially when you add one of their 40% off coupons.  Santa brought Lucas several for Christmas and he loves them.  I realize the thought of a two year old and instruments is a rather frightening concept when it comes to preserving your sanity hearing, but they are not too bad.  It has become a fun family activity that we all get into.  Do we we all look like complete dorks?  Yup, but it is so worth it!  Lukey's face lights up as he bounces to the beat and sings his own little made-up ditty.  And to watch both kids make "music" together is so sweet it makes my heart ache.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Maybe Those Nudists Are On To Something....

If there is one thing we need less of in this house it's laundry.  I can't help but think that if we were nudists we would have a lot less laundry in this house.  Although, becoming a nudist is, well, I just can't do it.  Especially after two pregnancies and two c-sections.  The bod is just not the same after that kind of weight fluctuation!  But after two years I just cannot get over how much f'ing laundry our family of four generates!!!  What this photo doesn't show are the stacks behind the ones in the front, the loads in the washer and dryer, the dog bedding that never even made it to the washer, or that I ran out of detergent before I finished the laundry.  Laundry just never ceases to amaze me....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Resolve...

...I've been thinking long and hard about this year's resolutions.  What do I really want to accomplish in 2011?  After a lot of contemplation, I decided to narrow it down to a few simple, yet very important life changes.  Here are my wants, goals, and desires for 2011:

*Focus on building my photography business.  I need to create a concrete plan, increase my clientele, continue to learn new things, and set/accomplish goals for the future of this business of mine.  Right now I am working on my logo and cannot wait to reveal it later this month!

*Do some form of exercise five days a week.  I fell off the wagon in September.  I had school, my parents' illnesses, and the hubs/kiddos.  My plate was full and something had to give.  Gravity has taken a firm grasp on my butt.  It also didn't help that my gym closed my nearest location.  Now I have to hop on the freeway and commute two cities.  Not. Gonna. Happen.  It is challenging enough just to get a couple of miles down the street!  But this does not mean I can't walk or take the dogs for a hike.  Must get back in the habit, my dogs and saggy booty will thank me!

*Take a photo every day.  Just something I thought would be fun.  Record the mundane as well as the spectacular.  Becky Higgins' Project Life was my inspiration for this resolution.  I spend so much time taking photos of others I sometimes forget to shoot pics of us.  Aaak!

*Start a new photo project.  One of my past photo instructors had an interesting photo project, taco trucks.  Totally random, but quirky and fun.  I am not sure what I want to do yet.  Maybe San Francisco.  Cliched? Yes.  Overdone?  Definitely.  One of my favorite places?  Hell yeah!  Incredibly dynamic?  Fer sure!  But the jury is still out on my topic...

*Continue to try new recipes.  I have got to work my way through that ever-growing stack of recipes I insist on collecting.  By the way, have two yummy ones to share with you!

*Blog more.  My goal is to start with one entry per week and work my way up to a few per week.  I love it, but don't always make time for it.  Just need to make it into a habit.