Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Like Totally, For Sure

Real quick, how do you guys like the new blog look? I had finally come to the realization that I can (and want)only to do so much when it comes to how it looks, so I got help. Professional help. Emily from Designer Blogs totally hooked me up with the stuff I wanted. I scored a blog design when they were having a 30% off sale so it was extremely affordable. It was kinda nice to just hand it over and not have to deal with it. Anyway, if you're reading over there in Reader, stop by and check it out. AND STAY. Kidding, you can leave....S'pose.

So anyway, before the great vom-fest that was my house this weekend, we managed to head out with our friends for a night of legendary proportions. We caught The Legwarmers, a pretty big 80's cover band, in concert in Philly. After hearing about it months ago, I tweeted about the band, wondering if anyone had been to see them. Ali had responded saying that she went on her bachelorette party, which I realized would have been a great idea. She also told me that if we didn't dress up in 80's gear, we'd stand out like Danny LaRusso at a Cobra Kai convention. Well we didn't want that to happen. So we dressed like this...

What's sad and disturbing is the resurgence of the 80's fashion and how readily available all that hideousness is. Although since it seems to happen with every decade's style, I'm super excited for the 90's to come back. Flannels, chokers and big jeans? Yes please.

Meanwhile, after waiting in 40 minute lines for beer, and waiting another hour for the band to come on, they delivered.

And as soon as the beers kicked in, we all got dancing, sweaty dancing.

They played everything you wanted them to: 867-5309 Jenny, Don't Stop Believing, Oh Baby You, You Got What I Neeeeeed, among others that I can't remember but I'm sure I bopped around to.

My only complaint with this band was that they took what seemed to be an hour + break in the middle. Um, you're a cover band in your 20's, not the Rolling Stones, a good 15 minutes should have done the trick.

But man, once we started getting into it, we didn't stop. We acted out lyrics, we jumped around to the Safety Dance, we did it all. And it was so much freaking fun. More fun than I've had in a really long time.
It was funny though. Before the show, while doing some hair research, John suggested I break out his high school yearbooks for reference. I pulled junior year, 1987. Oh man. It was bad, real bad. See?

And although John insisted that the layered popped collar wasn't authentic 80's and that it was just manufactured for modern d-bags, he still let me force him to rock a triple popped collar. And that's why I love my vintage husband.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Encyclopedia of Moi: Volume G

Did you guys see that truck? The one that ran me over? Cause that's what I feel like. After dealing with a day of baby fever (an actual fever, not wanting another baby), apparently caused by his flu shot, I came down with a stomach flu. From 6 pm to 6 am, I knelt over the toilet, feeling completely devoid of my internal organs. I did take a quick break to get some sleep, but took my puke bucket with me. And although I was in no mood to smile, the thought of a bucket next to me in bed kinda made me laugh. It's probably been 20 years since I've done that. I then spent the entire day on the couch, thanking God that John was able to stay home with Gabe. Because if not? Um, I'm not really sure what I would have done. What to women do when they are on death's door and have a babe to take care of?

Anyway, moving on. I'm finally feeling better, so what's the first thing I do? Internet, internet, internet, I've misssssed youuuu. And it's time for another installment of my own personal Encyclopedia. This week is dedicated to the letter G.

1 2 3 4

Gin -- Gin holds a special place in my heart. Not only does it taste fantastic with juice or tonic water, I also think of it as a key to my good marriage. You see, my grandmom, or Nan if you will, is a feisty 86 year old who has a taste for gin. She's been drinking gin on the rocks so long that the smell of gin reminds me of her, in a good way, I swear.  Well, years ago when I first brought John around to meet my family's matriarch, they shook hands and she offered him a drink. He asked what she was having and she said gin. He said he'd have the same, not caring what mixer she used. When she handed him a tumbler of straight gin on some cubes, he nearly spat it out. But being the good boyfriend he was, he held it in and managed to finish his drink. He knew (and continues to know) who he needs to impress keep happy in this family and does an amazing job to this day. He loves my grandmom and I'm pretty sure she loves him too. Gin will keep us together.

Gabriel -- This one was obvious. He's the little doll baby I always hoped to have. I get my fix of dressing him up and at the same time, forming a perfect little mama's boy. I strive to make him a hilarious, smart and friendly little gentleman. But the trick is to not let him know he's hilarious.  Am I right? Kids who think they're funny are obnoxious. And I blame the parents. Anyway, back to my most perfect baby. He's awesome, that's all.

Gap Sweatshirts -- I got my first Gap hoodie sweatshirt in high school. It was gray. My older brother had a navy blue one. We'd constantly be borrowing each other's, not really knowing whose was whose. They were and have always been my go-to comfy sweatshirt. It's the only thing that I don't mind having a big honkin logo on too. Somehow I ended up with both the gray and the blue sweatshirts, so now I share with John.  If one of us is sick, you know we need the Gap hoodie to feel better.

Grown Up -- Sometimes I can't believe I am one. Yup, I've got a husband, a house and a kid and I'm quickly approaching 31 years old, but sometimes I really do feel like I'm 19.  I don't like dealing with other adults on a serious level and I'm horrible at small talk. I much prefer to seek out the teens that will laugh at my jokes and make light of any situation with me. If I'm talking with a professional, like a dentist or window repair man, I get nervous and talk in run-on sentences. I've realized that one of the best parts of having a baby is that he's a built-in buffer. People will always choose to talk about him and I am a-ok with that. He's the subject I know best these days. I can use his boring sleeping/eating facts with adults /other parents and his funny/gross stories with youngins. Win-win.

Did you post useless facts about yourself too? Link that shit up!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Babies Gone Wild: Caught on Tape

In case you are not the mom of a 7 month old, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into an afternoon at our house.  I followed Gabe around in an attempt go catch his recent accomplishments on tape. And the boy delivered.

He does crazy shit like...

Show off his teeth! I was finally able to capture two of his six teeth. We've started "brushing" his teeth too, at the suggestion of his pediatrician. Of course, we use baby toothpaste which is safe to swallow. There's not really any brushing going on at all. It's something a little more like this...

Sound not required but totally recommended.

He stands up! I keep waiting for the big uh-oh moment when his head comes in contact with something hard. We've had quite a few near misses and a lot of bumps against the floor or sofa. Most of them are followed by a moment of silence then back to normal. Of course, I'm standing by ready to scoop him up and apologize for not furnishing our house in bean bag furniture.

He's indecisive! Every day we dump out the toy box and play around with everything for a little bit. This mess lasts til bedtime when Daddio cleans it up. Somehow I've tried teaching Daddio to clean up the kitchen after dinner but it's never worked. But when it involves primary colored toys, he's all over it. Oh and let me point out the new toy John picked out for Gabe...the tree where animals slide down.  Like most toys, it's riveting.

He climbs steps! Ok well not really, just the one. He likes to crawl over to the steps, check underneath the corners of the rug for prizes, then use the step to practice his standing. I'm sure this is the perfect spot for a baby gate, right? One of these days...

And in case you want to see some live stair action...I beg of you to mute the sound on this one. My speaking-to-Gabe voice is ear-blood-inducing.

Gabe on the Stairs from Shannon Wellington on Vimeo.


He drools! So he's now found his way into the dining room where he spends his days chasing after the cat through the maze of chair legs under the dining table. He does all of this with a string of spit permanently strung from his mouth to his shirt.  Speaking of, I love H&M's little long sleeve t's. 3 for 10 bucks, can't beat it. Oh and I think this is his most common expression these days. Slight disbelief it looks like.

He looks off into the distance and smiles! Just like a JC Penney model! Speaking of JCP, I took him in on a whim a few weeks ago to get some portraits done and they actually turned out really cute. But I didn't purchase the rights to them because that would cost a lot more than I cared to spend. But in big print, it says it is illegal to scan them. Um, how illegal do you think they mean? Like if I wanted to scan them in to post here, would that land me in jail? I don't look good in orange or horizontal stripes. Halp!

He looks like a small child! Seriously guys, why is he growing at such an alarming rate? Look at his little hair-do, it kinda looks like John's! I can't get over his cuteness.

Anyway, thanks for indulging me once again. Oh and thanks for all the awesome comments on his Bono photoshoot. Everyone is asking me where it took place. Well folks, it was my garage door. I taped a bunch of magazine ads together to make a big sheet then added the U2 posters on top. It turned out better than I expected.

Have a great weekend friendos!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Eat This, Not That

I've tried out a few recipes I've seen around teh intrwebs lately and thought I'd pass along the ones that got the green light from me. Speaking of recipes, are you guys on the Real Simple daily recipe email list? An awesome reader by the name of Kristen brought it to my attention and I couldn't be happier. I've got a ton of recipes to try and everyone I've made already has been bbbbbangin.

First up is Spinach Lasagna Rolls, found here. They look good, don't they? They were a fun little meal to make and were definitely something different. The only change I made was to doctor up the tomato sauce a little with some Italian Seasoning. And I wish I would have doctored up the ricotta. Make it worth it and use one with some fat in it. I didn't and I regret that. I think it would have been that much better with a full fat version. But either way, thumbs up from me.

And since I began making my own pizzas (like last year...I'm slow), I'm always on the lookout for good topping combos. Normally I prefer white pizzas with spinach and roma tomatoes but I've got to cook for the husband too. So I went with the typical dude meal, steak and potatoes. On pizza. And down it with some beers if you want to be completely stereotypical. However it goes down your gullet, just make sure it does. It's good stuff. I found the recipe here and altered it by using one potato...and was happy I did.


And finally, my most favorite, Quick Sliders. Mini cheeseburgers that are baked! Easy peasy and so friggin good. This recipe makes a shit-ton of mini burgs so I halved it and it was perfect for dinner and some leftovers. I used Pepperidge Farm slider rolls but a lot of people use the Kings hawaiian rolls and next time, I'm totally using them too. I didn't add any toppings besides a little ketchup, I'm a cheeseburg purist.

So there you go, add all three to your menu plans and get to eatin. And as usual, I'm always on the lookout for good dishes to make so if you've got one, hook me up.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Achtung Baby!

Happy 7 months Gabe! Since it's March and you celebrated your first St. Patrick's Day, we decided to pay homage to mama's most favorite Irish thing ever...Bono. I'm sure when you read this someday in the future, Bono will still be fronting U2 and pretty much still being the most amazing musician known to man. So although you weren't your usual smiley self the day these photos were taken, I'm pretty sure you knew who you were dressed as and gave me your best rock and roll attitude. You did perfectly, baby boy and I'm in love with you and these awesome pictures you provided me...and everyone else.

You ask me to enter and then you make me crawl...that's right guys, I crawl now!

I move in mysterious ways, Ma

I stilllll haven't found....what I'm lookin for....probably because my glasses are wonky. Little help here Ma?

Sometimes you can't make it on your need your mom to carry you...

So let it go, and so find a way. To let it go, and so to find a way. I'm wide awake, I'm wide awake, I'm not sleeping. Oh, no, no I'm not sleeping...
I want to run, I want to hide, yeah, I want to tear down the walls that hold me tonight...Just kidding guys, I'm ok sleeping in my crib these days. I'm a good boy!

Well buddy, in the past month, you've done so so much. Every time you do something new, your dad and I get so excited. We really love watching you learn new things and try to figure it out on your own. Here's a couple of things you've mastered this month!
- You bang your toys together to make noise, in particular your cups. The louder the better you seem to think.

- You crawl all over the place! And boy, you are fast. No more 70's style parenting...we've got to keep all eyes on you at all times, or else you go missing.  We've had to babyproof the house so that you're not falling down steps or hitting your head but you still manage to find things we missed. You seem to like the taste of cords. And the cat toys. And blankets. Why do you eat the fuzzy blankets Gabe? That's gross.

- You now pull yourself up so that you're standing. You stand up using anything in sight, our legs, the bottom step, your toy box. Pretty scary and awesome all at the same time. Since you decided to be such a big boy, we moved your crib mattress down a couple levels so there's no way you're getting out.

-You’ve got 4 teeth up top in addition to the two on the bottom. Seriously. And they're getting a real kid! Can you puh lease stop growing so quickly? And while you're at it, pretty please stop biting me. Those puppies are sharp!

- You now eat fruit and puffs along with your veggies and oatmeal. You love apples, pears and peaches and at the moment, you couldn't care less about bananas.

- You clapped! I've been singing Clap your hands, Daddy comes home, Brings little buddy an ice cream cone! for months now and clapping along, hoping you'd figure it out. And you did! However, daddy has yet to show up with ice cream cones after work. Way to go Daddy.

- You finally have a bonified schedule! For the most part, you either sleep through the night or wake up once in awhile after going to bed around 7:45. You wake up anywhere from 7 to 8 am then nap twice more during the day, anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. I like this schedule bud, let's keep it up.

Happy 7 months my buddy bear, it's been the best 7 months I've ever had.

Sidenote: this photoshoot lasted all of 4 minutes because Gabe wasn't feeling it and I took no more pictures than the ones I posted. I uploaded them and was shocked how awesome they were. The faces KILLED me this month.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Junk Doesn't Smell Like Mothballs!

A few months ago, my pal Sarah and I kicked around the idea of having a yard sale. She had plans to put her house up for sale, therefore declutter and I knew I just had a ton of crap to get rid of. So we decided to sell our wares to the public. But we had to go about it in a smarty-pants way. First, we had to pick a weekend almost guaranteed to get nice weather. Boom. May. Done. Since it was a few months out, we are giving ourselves plenty of time to prepare. Then we picked a location. My house has a big driveway and is convenient to a Goodwill for any leftovers to be donated. Done. So with May quickly approaching, I've been organizing and brainstorming my plans.  I thought I'd share a few of my favorite yard sale techniques.  I consider myself a well-seasoned yard saler. I've planned and implemented (action words? am I putting this on my resume?) multiple moving sales as well as packing my car up with junk to bring to other people's yard sales. I excel in negotiating the value of my crap with strangers.

1. Advertise Online --- Of course, you've got to tell people about your sale. And Craigslist is pretty much the best way to do it. I start the Thursday before my weekend sale and post everyday. Be sure to include all your info plus anything specific that you're selling. Mint Condition Collection of 1970's Burt Reynolds posters? LIST THAT SHIZZ! I usually tell early-birds to take a hike too. No one likes a creepster in a hoarding van showing up to your driveway when you're still bleary-eyed and dragging your stuff out of the garage, looking for a deal.

2. Advertise Locally --- I'm talking old-school, nail a sign to a telephone pole type of thing. My preferred method is to cut a piece of neon poster board in half and go at it with a black magic marker. Write big and be brief.  But be clever too. Grab their attention.

3. Be Organized --- Don't wait til the morning of to try to arrange your shit on a sheet on your lawn. Take some time to put your stuff in categories ahead of time, so when 7am rolls around, you're not trying to make a quesadilla maker look good sitting inside a box of legos. Right now, I have a room dedicated to my wares. I have piles for housewares, home dec, crafts, games/activities, baby stuff and clothes. I've also planned out what kind of tables I have to lay things out on. Because you know what I hate? A yard sale with a bunch of stuff strewn across the yard. Plus, who doesn't like a well thought out display? Just because you're selling your, um, trash doesn't mean it needs to be jumbled in a box.

4. Make that money --- Be prepared to let your stuff go for almost nothing. Now if you're like me and change your home decor tastes like you change underwears, then you probably have a decent collection of stuff in pretty decent condition. I'm sure that nice vase you paid 50 bucks for has barely been used but guess what? It's a yard sale. Now it's 2 bucks. MAX. Or if you're in the mood to negotiate, ask your customer to make you an offer. You might be pleasantly surprised. They might offer you 2 and a QUARTER! But hey, money is money and it's more than you'd get if that vase was sitting in your basement not being used or dropped off in a box to the thrift store.  Oh and also...have change ready. Head to the bank the day before and get some 1's. Resist all stripper jokes as you wave your fan of 1's around. Also get some coinage since you'll be selling your shizz for 75 cents allllll day long.

5. Be Properly Dressed and Nourished --- I can't tell you how many sweatshirts I wished I had on chilly spring mornings, bottles of sunscreen I wished I had around 11am when the sun is ba-lazin and granola bars I wished I had when I realized I'd been sitting outside without eating a proper breakfast for hours. Dress in layers, keep some sunblock handy and keep some snacks and drinks nearby. And if you're joining me, it's gonna be Miller Highlifes for breakfast. They make the creepers all the more entertaining.

Got any surefire tips to add? Let's hear em!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Go Pinch Someone Else

We've got our green on! Happy St Patrick's Day friends! We're ignoring Gabe's non-Irish (and non-fun) paternal roots today in favor of mama's superior lineage! We'll be celebrating with green peas for lunch for Gabe, green salad for mom and um...peanut butter and jelly for John, or as he's referred to in my family, the orange bastard. Then the traditional Irish dinner, spinach lasagna rolls. Yeah, corned beef and cabbage ain't really my thing. So since spinach is green, we're doing it up. Are you guys doing anything fun today? Liquid Guiness lunch? Green beer happy hour? Shamrock shakes from the drive-through? All sound pretty good to me.

Oh and just so you're not thinking I'm left out of the holiday shennanigans because of the wee one, I spent Sunday in beautiful downtown Philadelphia for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. And in case you've never been to a St. Paddy's Day parade, let me assure you that, in the words of my frend Lisa, the Irish throw a lousy parade. Therefore, you need to entertain yourself. A 12 pack did the trick for me. And the parade wasn't totally lousy, just predictable. You've got your bagpipers...

 your St. Patrick impersonator on a semi...most likely drunk...

your dude who's committed to the holiday...and the girl who stole her son's tiny Irish top hat

 add in random family members...

throw in your bestest friend and a few more beers...

 and down some Irish Potato shots on the street from dixie cups...they sound gross but were deeeelish (disclaimer: I was about 6 beers deep while drinking these so I really can't vouch for their level of deeeelishousness)

and boom, our chosen theme of the parade...Tweens as Nuns.  There were way too many Catholic school girls walking in this parade dressed as nuns and other religious figures. None of them seemed pleased to be dressed this way. I can't imagine this was mandatory. Just weird.

Tweens as Nuns!

We headed to an Irish pub after the parade...but for some reason I can't remember anything that happened. Clearly a sign that I did it up right. Happy St. Patty's! Slainte!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Asian Meat-a-Ball!

I'm not going to junk this post up with things like...words. If you're a fan of Japanese, or Chinese or any ese, please go make this recipe. It was just amazing. And different too. How often do you make chicken meatballs?  Rarely, I'd guess.

and I'm pretty sure you know that I didn't make up this recipe. I happily stole it from here. But let's pretend I did and then made a cute recipe card because I'm so clever. Just pretend, ok?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Broke as a Joke: DIY Baby Slop

So I had always planned on making my own baby food. Not to be extra healthy or "green" or whatever, just because I knew it would be cheaper.  Plus it was one of those things I couldn't exactly say I didn't have time for. If I was staying home with the babe, then I would have time. So during the whole registry process, I began researching what I'd need. I started seeing things like the Beaba babyfood maker from Williams Sonoma for 150 smackaroos as well as some other all-in-one machines that would steam & puree your food for you. All of them more money that I planned on spending. Keep in mind, I planned on spending ZERO.

So I forgot about the baby food thing until recently, when it was time for Gabe to start solids.  All of a sudden, I had to start making this food. But to tell you the truth, as with most things "baby", the thought of actually doing it overwhelmed me. I wasn't totally sure what to start with, how to cook the food, what to puree it with and how to store it. So I used a couple websites and pieced together my process.

Let me just put this out there. Making baby food is stupid easy.  I highly recommend doing it, you know, if you've got the time. I kinda like doing it even. Nothing against the jars and packets of food, they're totally fine but effing pricey. I can buy a squash, some sweet potatoes and some apples, even the organic versions and make a week's worth of meals for a helluva lot less than ol Gerber. So after a recommendation by my mom and pediatrician (same thing really), I decided to start with a few veggies before introducing fruit. This is because babies naturally prefer the sweeter foods. So even in the veggie stage, squash & green beans came before sweet potatoes.  The very first food I did, at 5.5 months, was squash.  Here's how I do it.

1) Cut up your fruit or veggie and steam it until fork tender.

2) Add the chunks of veg to your $20 blender from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It had a Puree setting so I was sold. Add some of the leftover water from your pot into the blender, say a 1/2 cup at a time. Break up the chunks by using the Pulse setting, then begin pureeing.  If it's too thick, slowly add a little water until it reaches a smooth, typical baby food consistency.

3) Pour your puree into ice cube trays.  I tried the old-school plastic versions but later broke both of them when tryign to remove said food cubes. I spent a few more bucks on the silicone version and never looked back. Also from BB & B.

Sweet Potatoes up top, Squash on bottom

4) Wrap your ice cube trays in plastic wrap

5) Pop into the freezer for a few hours

6) Once frozen, I pop the cubes out into a gallon-size plastic storage bag.  You can then defrost them as needed.

Sure, it's easier to buy them pre-made but I don't make a paycheck. Therefore I can't pay for that convenience. So while I didn't do it to be healthy, it's kinda nice knowing what Gabe's eating (interesting article about what goes into packaged baby foods here). If you've got any questions, give me a holler!

Speaking of questions, if you've ever got one, please leave an email address in your comment/email or include it in your blogger profile. I've had so many peeps ask questions and I go to respond and I've got no way to contact you! Meh!


Related Posts with Thumbnails