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Showing posts from August, 2012


If Jack could say "Happy Birthday Daddy!" it would sound something like that.  He is stringing sounds together more and more in an effort to communicate. It is really sweet.

Daniel's birthday was low-key this year. Adding a child to the mix and just being plain busy isn't conducive to our usual quick getaway to celebrate routine.

Tuesday night, Daniel's dad dropped in and took us to The Docks to celebrate. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset. Unfortunately they didn't bother to turn any lights on on the deck {normally there are more candles and tiki torches that are lit}. Eating in almost complete darkness with a baby was a bit of a challenge.

For his actual birthday, I asked Daniel what he would like for dinner. He requested salmon, rice and caramel pie. I honored his request with BBQ-Spiced Salmon with Pineapple Salsa, Rice and a Spinach Salad with Caramel Pie for dessert.

Caramel Pie is a favorite in Daniel's family. It is super easy to make and tastes superb.


See Jack {and his cousins – late August}

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years.

Jack and I were blessed to be able to go to Nashville for a last minute visit right before we went to Charlotte. It had been a while since we had seen my brother or my sister and her family. It is great to live closer to family, but we are discovering that sometimes it still takes effort to make schedules fall into place to get a quick visit...

Jack really enjoyed it when Aunt Angela sang "This is the way the Farmer Rides" to him.
This was the first time I caught Jack sitting up on camera – glad I was 
able to capture this moment for Daniel. Now he does it all the time.

The first time that Jack got in a pool. Unfortunately Daniel missed it :(  Mostly Jack just wanted to drink the water.

Lots of first on this trip – Aunt Angela pushed Jack around on a tricycle. He loved it.

Jack loved playing with his cousins. Of course he loves Izz…

Pin It: Removing UnWanted Dog Fur

By far, this is the best tip that I have come across on Pinterest. Ever since we got Sophie, I have struggled with a way to get the dog fur off of our couch. Our leather couch is easy – you just wipe it down, but our cloth sofa has been a pain.
We have tried keeping a blanket on the area of the couch she predominantly sits on... More often than not, she is cuddled on other parts of the sofa.

I have tried using a tool designed for removing dog hair... I have tried duct tape... I have tried vacuuming my couch... I have tried shop vac-ing my couch. So many things and none of them work. We could always kick Sophie off the couch, but it doesn't bother us bad enough to do that. Basically I have been doing my best to control the dog fur and ultimately fighting a losing battle.
Then I came across 2 different ideas on Pinterest. The first suggested you use a window squeegee to removed pet fur from carpets. We happened to own one, so I figure I would give it a try.

The second suggested you use …

Provino's Italian Restaurant

On a recommendation we checked out Provino's Italian Restaurant in Chattanooga. Reviews on Urbanspoon were a mixed bag, with a 77% rating.
First off, the restaurant is in a strip mall off of East Brainerd. The outside was nothing special, but we forged on. The inside was quaint, in a cozy bistro kind of way. We were early on a Friday evening and got right in. The place was really hopping by the time we left.

They sat us in a back section close to other families. This was actually nice since we didn't feel like Jack would interrupt anyone's meal {which he rarely does} and Jack and the toddler at the next table spent some time "talking" to each other. Our waiter was friendly and did a good job of taking care of us.
We decided to stay simple and try the Lasagna and Chicken Parmesan. Meals are served with a family-style Italian salad and garlic rolls – very à la Olive Garden. The salad was good, but included chick peas and beats... which was a bit different. The rolls w…

Skillet Apple Pie

I have gotten into the habit of relying on the internet for recipes and I often forget that there is an arsenal of recipes at my finger tips – cookbooks and magazines galore floating around my house. 

The other day I picked up an old copy of Southern Living and saw what looked like a great recipe for a Skillet Apple Pie. I am so glad I tried this out – it is one of the best {and easiest} pies I have made. It has caramelized brown sugar that really anchors the dessert – almost making it too sweet... but that is what vanilla ice cream is for.

Skillet Apple Pie recipe adapted from Southern Living
Ingredients 2 Granny Smith apples
2 Braeburn apples
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 package refrigerated pie crusts – I used the Walmart brand in a tin – which I have discovered to be a really flaky, really yummy crust

Directions Preheat oven to 350º.  Set pie crust on counter to thaw {make sure you have at least 10 minutes for thawing}. Cu…

See Jack {late July 2012}

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years.

See Jack try to help his Grandpa Moore sign the check when we were out to dinner.
{late July}

See Jack laugh at his Grandpa Voyles – who makes lots of fun noises.
{late July}

See Jack play on his new play mat. He explores the texture of the mat, 
attempts to touch a light socket and works on his crawling.
{late July}

See Jack Bounce. He loves his little jumparoo – anything that he can stand in, really.
{late July}

Our IKEA Couch: L-Shaped is now U-Shaped

Back in January of 2010, we purchased the 3+2/2+3 Karlstad couch {in Korndal brown} from IKEA. We also picked up the matching chaise {in light gray/blue– a fabric that is no longer offered} and an extra cover {in Korndal brown} so that we could add it to our sectional if we ever felt the need.
You can see part of the couch in bottom lefthand corner of picture and a small part of the chaise on the far right – this image is of the basement in our Charlotte house.

Since November of 2010 we have been in a new house and I have been bothered by the configuration of our bonus room. 
Jack was sure that he could help.
It is really long and just felt like an awkward use of space and was particularly uncomfortable for visiting when we had company {great for TV watching, but that was about it}.

Last year we added a recliner to the room so that I would have a comfortable seat for nursing.

Again, it was great for watching TV but terrible for visiting. Our living area downstairs is best for visiting {n…

Edith Ann's Taste of Home Diner

After church on Sunday, we decided to do a little exploring and headed south on Memorial Pkwy in Huntsville. We normally head the other direction towards Research Park and University. We discovered there wasn't much when you head south. We made a quick stop at a Home Depot so that Daniel could pick up some supplies he couldn't get in Scottsboro, and while I waited in the car {and Jack napped} I googled "Best Breakfast in Huntsville."
I am a sucker for breakfast joints and since moving from Charlotte, we haven't really found one that we love. I guess I should have utilized Google sooner. The first place to pop up was Edith Ann's Taste of Home Diner and it happened to be less than a mile from where we sat in the Home Depot parking lot. It had good reviews on Urbanspoon {and some not-so-great ones} and was awarded best breakfast in 2010.

It is truly a hole-in-the-wall diner, but that happens to be my fave. Between us we ordered scrambled eggs, smoked ham, bacon, h…

2012 Book 20: The Plains of Abraham

Whenever I visit my parents, they load me up with books to read. Last summer I came home with a big stack. Being pregnant at the time and then becoming a new mom has not provided ample opportunity to read. Most of my books these days come in the form of a digital publication on my Kindle. However I find that I still enjoy picking up an old, well-worn book and diving into the musty pages.
The Plains of Abraham by James Oliver Curwood has sat on my shelf of over a year. The cover is unassuming and I had kind of forgotten about it. When my parents visited a couple of weeks ago, my dad saw that I had started it and let me know that 1) it was based on a true story {historical fiction is one of my favorite genres} and 2) there was a good twist at the end. His comments were enough for me to devour the book over the course of several days.
I am so glad I finished this book. It is amazing that the story really happened and the twist at the end took me by surprise. 
The story is about French settl…

Thursday Things: 10 Products We Regularly Used for Jack (6-9 Months)

As a follow up to our favorite baby products at 0-3 months and 3-6 months, this list details the products we found to be the most useful at 6-9 months.
We continue to love and use some products (like the cloth diapers, crib, bibs, burp cloths, iPhone Nursing app, books, BOB, Kelty diaper bag, our Angelcare baby monitor and sound machine) while Jack has outgrown other items (Fisher Price Rock 'N Play, play gym and Baby Bjorn). The following list includes new products we began using on a regular basis once Jack turned 6 months.
1. Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper – a gift that we introduced this around 5 months, but Jack didn't really love it until after 6 months.

2. Toys and Books – in general, Jack has become more interested in toys and he continues to love his books. Though his favorite thing is anything that he can put in his mouth {i.e. everything} and he has a special affinity for remote controls and cords.

3. Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair – at six months we…

See Jack {mid July 2012}

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years.

Jack is at a stage where he is changing quickly. Sometimes I feel like I blink and he has learned a new trick. It is quite amazing. In an effort to share his development with family (and friends who are interested), I will be posting weekly video updates of our little guy. See Jack...
See Jack try to talk to us.  He is developing quite the little "vacabulary" with each passing day {i.e. lots of new sounds}.
{mid July}
See Jack play in the laundry basket.  This was all fun and games until he tried to pull up and the basket tipped over.  He continues to be fascinated by laundry though.
{mid July}

See Jack swing.  He wasn't too sure about this new contraption at first. Now he really enjoys it.
{mid July}

A Week in a Hotel with a Baby and Dog – What We Learned

Traveling to Charlotte, NC with Daniel so that he could attend the NA-YGN conference was a learning experience for all of us.
This was our first time to take a trip, as a family, that lasted more than 5 days. It was our first time staying in a hotel with a baby. It was our fist time staying in a hotel with our baby and our dog. It was our first time to exclusively use disposable diapers (since starting cloth at around 8 weeks). It was the first time (in a long time) that we had to take Sophie on regular, daily walks (at home, we just open the back door and let her roam our 3-acre property to her heart's content). It was our first time to eat at restaurants for every meal for an entire week.
So how did it go?
Overall, I'm going to say that we learned a lot and would do some things differently in the future. There were some tough days, but overall I am glad we were able to tag along. I don't know that we would go on a work trip with Daniel again, but it was nice to visit our o…

Charlotte – Parks

The Green
One of the things we miss most about Charlotte is the abundance of parks, greenways and green spaces found throughout the city. It always amazed us that the streets and parks were always pristine and you rarely found trash anywhere.
The Green
On this trip to Charlotte, we went on many walks {mostly out of necessity since our dog was along for the trip}. Most frequently we walked the two blocks from our hotel to The Green, a small park next to St. Peters Catholic Church in uptown Charlotte. It is a small 1.5 acre park, but perfect for getting Sophie out of the hotel without a whole lot of effort.
Fountain in front of St. Peter's at The Green
Daniel took a longer walk with Sophie from our hotel to Marshall Park at least once.
View of uptown from Frazier Park A couple of times, I drove over to Frazier Park in Third Ward, which is a part of the Irwin Creek Greenway and has a dog park. I used to take afternoon walks at this park when I worked uptown since it was right next to where …