Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ridin' in Style

Deal of the week!! Jason found this fabulous bike trailer on craigslist for $15! Isn't that great?!?! Jason was so excited! So, of course, we had to test it out. (I know, I know, we need to get pea a bike helmut. That is next on the list.) Despite the look on his face in this picture, Pea had a great time in his new ride.

Ridin' in style

It was so fun to ride my bike again! I used to ride my bike all the time. When we lived in Boulder, Colorado, I rode my bike everywhere. There were times I would not drive my car for a couple weeks at a time. It was so great! (Especially compared to now...I spend about 1.5 hours in the car every day commuting to work.Hate it!) Of course, Boulder is such a bike friendly town as there are bike paths throughout the city and designated bike lanes on the roads. I really miss that! We want Pea to have an appreciation of the outdoors and fun activities like biking, walking, hiking, etc. So, that means we need to get back into the habit ourselves. Hopefully, pea will continue to enjoy hangin' out in the bike trailor so we can go for lots of bike rides this summer. As soon as we got home from our first family bike ride, Pea jumped out of the trailor wanting to ride his little bike! So, hopefully, we are off to a good start. Though,this momma jumped off the bike and almost fell over from spaghetti legs!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Taste of Summer

Another thing I LOVE about summer is fresh produce from our garden! Jason is the master gardener at our house, but I am usually in charge of doing something with the bounty! We almost always grow basil or cilantro and what is better than garden fresh, homemade pesto???? YUM! I always make a huge batch and then freeze portions using an ice cube tray. After they are frozen, I transfer the pesto cubes to a freezer bag and vacuum seal the bag. Freezing the pesto in small cubes allows us to pull out a couple cubes at a time, as needed. Our pesto supply typically lasts well into winter. We use it on pasta, mix it with mayo for sandwiches, add it to scrambled eggs, etc. I have a really easy, yummy lasagna recipe that uses pesto mixed in with the cottage cheese. mmmm...I may need to make that soon!

So, I discovered that we have a little bit of last year's pesto left in our freezer so we used it tonight on pasta with mushrooms and red bell peppers. Very simple. Sometimes I will mix in tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chicken, or any other vegetable. So delicious and EASY!!! Who doesn't love easy AND delicious?!?! Pea ate two bowls of this deliciousness. I know, this picture doesn't look that appetizing, but trust me...
We have tried store bought pesto and it just doesn't compare to homemade. It is sooo easy to make. This is the basic recipe I use (keep in mind that I typically don't measure so, these are approximate):
  • 1 bunch of basil or cilantro
  • 1/3 c. walnuts (You can also use pine nuts, but I always use walnuts because they are cheaper and very, very healthy)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (more or less to your taste)
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese (sometimes I add cheese, sometimes I don't.)
  • salt to taste
Throw it all into a food processor and blend until finely chopped. You can use it right away or freeze to use later. ENJOY!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Boys at play

I love summer! We spent the evening at my parents house eating pizza, playing in the yard, and just enjoying the beautiful weather (at least before the big storm hits tonight!). Pea had a blast playing with his cousins and I think they had fun, too! My mom and I were the official photographers of the evening. She also recently purchased a new camera so we were having fun snapping pictures left and right. I took a lot of really great shots, but unfortunately I was messing around with my settings and I somehow reduced the exposure too much! So, most of my pictures turned out very dark. I am not sure what to do about that other than maybe play around with them in photoshop. Any ideas for working with WAY underexposed pictures? Clearly, I have much to learn! These are the ones I didn't screw up too much! :)

Pea watching Jason and cousin D run wild around the yard.

Cousin J just being his crazy, silly self!

Pea practicing his fast pitch. Note the look of fear on D's never know where pea will throw the ball!


Look at that sweet face!

Another sweet, silly face

A boy and his truck

Life is good!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pool Time

Yesterday was a great day for a little pool party. Jason set the pool up for pea and they decided to go swimming together after naptime. Pea lasted probably about 10-15 minutes before deciding he was too cold, which is actually pretty surprising. So, it was a lot of work for a very short lived pool party! Well, after dinner we were out playing in the yard when pea decided it was time to get the party started. He started out playing with the hose, then dipped his arms in the water, and before I knew it he was climbing over the edge. No, he didn't have his bathing suit on, but he sure had a great time! I love these spontaneous moments of fun! Who cares about wet clothes and a wet diaper...these are moments of day to day life to treasure.

Here he goes (he even has blue chalk on his butt! hehe!)....

Look at me mommy! He thought he was pretty funny!

Big splash!

An even bigger splash!

1...2...3...(he counts before doing anything big!


He loves dumping water over his head.
Photobucket's cold! He's teeth were starting to chatter at this point, but he wasn't ready to get out this time.

And, this is what happens to a regular diaperwhen submerged in swells and explodes. It was so funny watching him walk in this swollen diaper! It was more like a waddle.

Believe me, sometimes bath time is not much different!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Does it get any better?

We had a very exciting weekend! Friday night we went downtown for the annual "Boogie on Broadway" to hear some good music and dance on the street! This was our SECOND year attending this event with Pea. I love being able to say that! Pea had loads of fun dancing and running wild. And...Pea and Jason made the newspaper! Well, we are all actually in the picture, but all you can see are my hands clapping and my fuzzy hair. This isn't the first time pea has made the news. While we were waiting for pea to come home, we were interviewed by a TV news station about our adoption process and they showed pictures of pea we took on our first visit trip. So, we have a little celebrity in the making! Unfortunately, our newspaper did not post the picture on their website, so this is the best I could get.
The next day, we got to see our town's NEW ladder fire truck parked right beside our house! Talk about excitement. Hehe. They actually raised the ladder all the way and it was pretty cool! I must admit, I really enjoy living by the fire station!
Then, Jason and pea discovered a nest of baby bunnies in our yard.
Pea checking out the bunnies.
Covering them back up to keep them warm. I didn't realize Jason and pea were having such adventures in the yard until dinner time. Jason asked pea to tell me what they discovered in the yard and he said "baby bunnies!" He was so excited!
And, my little heart breaker.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Savings Roundup

So, I have always thought of myself as a good bargain hunter. I rarely ever pay full price for anything. For several years, I have taken advantage of all the great rebate freebies through Rite Aid and Walgreens. I don't think I have paid for shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, or toothbrushes for probably three years! I get excited when something is on sale AND I have a coupon! Garage sale bargains get me jazzed and I love shopping at thrift stores. But, I have recently discovered that this is all child's play for some. There is a whole world of couponing that I never even knew about. How did this happen? :)

I admit that I have become a bit lazy in my bargain hunting over the last few months and our budget has been hemorrhaging a bit. So, with a tip from my friend Sally, I decided to venture more into this very serious world of couponing to get back on track and to revive my love for finding the best bargains! So, I spent this weekend getting all of my coupons organized because I have learned through my couponing research that you need to acquire a large stash of coupons in order to take advantage of the best deals. I then scoured over all of the ads and came up with my plan of attack. Check it out:

ALL of this together was FREE. In fact, I actually EARNED money. $1.52, to be exact! The toothpaste (both Aquafresh and children's orajel), razor, and contact solution was all free after rebate. I had two $2.00 coupons for each of the contact solutions, which meant I earned $4.00. The deodorant deal was buy 5 and receive a $10.00 from Rite Aid. Each deodorant was regularly priced $3.48. Well, right beside the deodorant were coupons for $1.00. So, I grabbed 5 of those coupons for an additional $5.00 in savings! All of this would have cost me $49.35 if I had paid full price. Woohoo! Everything came from Rite Aid, except for the Razor (CVS).
Here are my best deals in this picture:
Aunt Millie's bread $0.30
4 boxes of cereal at $0.75 each
2 boxes of cereal at $1.45 each
2 salad dressings at $0.50 each
2 boxes of playtex at $2.00 each
5lbs of ground turkey at $0.90/lb
2 bags of organic carrots at $0.90 each
Total for everything pictured: $25.97
CVS had an incredible deal on Pampers. They were on sale for $8.99 with an additional $5.00 in extra care bucks (basically a gift card for CVS). I also had three $1.00 off coupons, which made these $2.99 each. Unbelievable! I also purchased these lithium batteries for $10.00 after extra care bucks. The batteries regularly cost $8.99.
So, how did I do? Granted, I did purchase some other items at the grocery store, but I saved so much money overall! The key, I am learning, is to stock up on on these deals. I also never really paid much attention to the rebate program at CVS, but there is a system! They offer several products every week in which you can earn "extra care bucks." Once you earn a few, then you use those to make the extra care bucks purchases the next week, virtually paying nothing out of pocket. Stack the extra care bucks with coupons and you can find some serious deals!

I would love to hear how you all save money. Any other couponing junkies out there? What else should I know?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wild Child

Pea has a little wild side and he has been particularly wild as of late. We often get comments like, "wow, he is a very busy boy!" Most days it is cute and endearing...other days, well, not so cute and endearing!

For example, we attended a graduation party the other night and pea just ran wild! He and his older cousin were running around all of the tables, playing in the water fountain, and nearly crashing into the very expensive audio/visual equipment. We thought it would be a good idea to take pea outside to run around and burn off some of his energy. Well, he quickly discovered the little pond. It wasn't long before he ran right into the water almost up to his tennis shoes and jeans. That was a little cute and endearing.

Fast forward to today. Jason took pea to the library to browse around. According to Jason..Pea. ran. wild. He was pulling things off the wall, taking books and videos off the shelf, and then managed to crawl under the computer table and turned off the power strip. Yep, turned off all of the computers in the area. And, yes, they were being used. Not so cute and endearing.

Jason lured him out of the library with a firetruck DVD. On the way home, pea opened the DVD case, pulled out the DVD, and started chewing on it. Needless to say, they were unable to watch firetrucks. We now own a chew up firetruck DVD that we cannot watch. Really not so cute and endearing!.

It doesn't help that he has some molars coming in right now and he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth!

Just another typical day in the peapod!

Here are some pics from our attempt to let pea burn off some energy at the park last Sunday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blogger's Bloc

We're still here! But, I have been in a bit of a blogger rut for awhile and tonight is not any better...just some cutie pics. I recently splurged on a new camera and have been trying to figure it out! I definitely need some more advanced instruction than the 1000 page manual that came with the camera! ;) Any photography book suggestions? Preferably one for "dummies?" Okay, seriously, I need a book that says "if you want to take a picture that looks like is what you do." Nothing too techy at this point. Of course, I have the most adorable subject (though, not always a very willing subject!) on which to practice my up and coming photography skills!