Friday, February 27, 2015

Getting Together With Your Baby

The First Six Months by Penelope Leach
: February 12, 1987 by Knopf
When I went through my old children's books sorting the ones I wanted to keep, we also found my mom's old parenting books. Without my mom here, I thought that reading some of the books she must have read when raising me could a way of getting parenting advice from her. Although technically this book was published after I was born, but just before my brother's, so I'm guessing he was the reason she read this one. This is the first of her books I've read, although technically she also had a copy of Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, which I had already purchased and read on my own.

Except I didn't quite connect with this one. I think I went into it looking for more practical advice, and instead it was more of an emotional read. Even so there were a few helpful tips I picked up. I also really enjoyed the overall sentiment of the book, mainly that you can receive advice and hear what the experts have to say, but you are the only one who is actually an expert on your own unique, individual baby. It's definitely a confidence builder.

I also really loved the format of the book. Every other page or so there are these full size black and photo photos of babies. And actually those photos were probably my favorite part of reading it.

I was a little disappointed that I did quite feel for this book. My mom does have another Penelope Leach book, her more known Your Baby and Child, which I'd still like to read. Funny enough, I hadn't heard of Penelope Leach before I saw my mom's books, but as I've started to read other baby-rearing books I've noticed her mentioned several times. Hopefully the next book of her I read I'll appreciate her the way others seem to.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Project 365: Days 44 Through 50

I'm somehow managing an update today! Things have actually been pretty good so far in my first few days back at work. Although I'm quickly realizing that any free time is becoming quite minimal. I feel like I haven't been able to check in with anyone else's blogs, my dvrs filling up, I haven't been able to respond to e-mails, and I've barely been able to read. This is less than a week into things! Although hopefully as time continues I'll get better at fitting everything in. So for a quick update, here's a look at the days leading up to going back to work.
Mommy Knows Everything
February 13, 2015 - 44/365: Starting this 365 post the same as the last, once again where Mommy Knows Everything.
Sleepy Baby
February 14, 2015 - 45/365: Sleepy Baby
Another Sleepy Baby
February 15, 2015 - 46/365: Once again, Sleepy Baby.
Staring at the Fire
February 16, 2015 - 47/365: Staring at the Fire
Car Tripped Out
February 17, 2015 - 48/365: We actually spent the long Mardi Gras weekend visiting the boy's cousins in Atlanta. Which meant we took a road trip with Elley. Of course the trip took close 11 hours each way, considering we had to stop every few hours, but overall she was a champ. This is on the drive back home, several hours into the trip.
Beef Stew
February 18, 2015 - 49/365: The one non-baby photo of this post, Beef Stew for Dinner.
February 19, 2015 - 50/365: OOTD

Monday, February 23, 2015

Project 365: Days 36 Through 43

It's been almost 3 weeks since I've posted a Project 365 update. But while I've been slacking on posting them, the photos have still been happening. Instead of posting them all at once, I figure if I post them often enough, I'll slowly catch up. So here is a week of daily photos!
Mommy Knows Everything
February 5, 2015 - 36/365: Mommy Knows Everything.
Reading with Mint Milanos
February 6, 2015 - 37/365: Reading with Mint Milanos. Until I purchased this bag it had been years since I remember having a milanos. As for the verdict... they're just as delicious as I remember them being!
Baby & Mommy
February 7, 2015 - 38/365: Mommy and Baby.
Lasanga at De'Angelos
February 8, 2015 - 39/265: Lasagna from Deangelo's.
Morning Photo
February 9, 2015 - 40/365: Our Morning Photo.
Subway Gingerbread
February 10, 2015 - 41/365: I was so excited to see our Subway still had gingerbread cookies, especially since I didn't get to have a single one during the holiday season.
Oreos Before Bed
February 11, 2015 - 42/365: The third cookie shot of this post, this time with Oreos.
February 12, 2015 - 43/365: OOTD

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mailbox Monday (108)

It's the end of the weekend, officially for me even, since I'll be back at work tomorrow. But also in slightly better news, it means it's time for Mailbox Monday and to share the books we've picked up recently.
Mailbox Monday
From Paperback Swap
Between You and Me by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
I loved The Nanny Diaries, although the sequel not as much, but ever since I've been wanting to read more from the authors. I'm actually not too sure what this one is about, besides being some type of chick lit, but hopefully it's one I wind up enjoying.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Love & Football

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
: December 1, 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
I've been wanting to read this book for seemingly forever. Except maybe it's one where I built my expectations up a little much, because unfortunately I wasn't a huge fan of it.

Jordan is the quarterback on her high school football team. She's one of the guys and never has thought of a guy as more than a friend or teammate, but as you'd expect with a YA book, that's going to change. Seems like a good idea for a plot, right? And yes, I still think it is, that's why I wanted to read the book so much. But it just felt so, so predictable. I could see that being somewhat expected with a YA story, and yet it just felt like too much to me.

Then there was the insta-love. Jordan and Ty set eyes on each other and instantly their both infatuated. Then they wind up sleeping together without any fanfare. Yes, I realize Jordan is supposed to be a tomboy, but even so I couldn't quite believe how easily she fell into bed with him without a second thought. This may be a bit of a spoiler, but again you pretty much knew this was going to happen from the second you started this.

My own personal pet peeve with this book was that Jordan wanted to go play football at Alabama. I understand why, but still, as an LSU fan I couldn't quite get behind it. Although clearly, this isn't an issue most people would have with this.

I did enjoy the football talk, and actually I would likely list that as my favorite part of the book. I know Kenneally has a whole collection of these sports books, and while I'm still be willing to give her a second chance, I don't see myself going out of my way to do so.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Graze-ing Again

I know it's only been two weeks since I shared my last Graze box, but I already have another one to share. These were sent a month apart, but this time I wound up eating my box a lot quicker so it's taken me less time to write about it.
Graze Box
Last like month, there were two snacks that were repeats. So rather than repost my thoughts on them, you can read my initial feelings on Beach Bum and Hot Cross Yum. Although I did seem to enjoy Hot Cross Yum better this time, maybe because I knew what I was getting into?
Oven Roasted Salt & Vinegar Nut Selection
As for the new options, first up was Oven Roasted Salt & Vinegar Nut Selection which included salt and vinegar almonds and peanuts. Knowing that I'm a big fan of salt and vinegar chips, it isn't too surprising that I loved these as well.
Oven Roasted Salt & Vinegar Nut Selection
The second new option was Lemon Drizzle Flapjack, a rustic rolled oat flapjack with zesty lemon and yogurt drizzle.
Lemon Drizzle Flapjack
These were awesome too! They tasted really similar to a lemon bar, one of my favorite desserts, except you felt a little more healthy eating them.
Lemon Drizzle Flapjack
Overall I thought this box was one of my favorites, but it was a little disappointing to receive two repeats two months in a row. Although I do have the option of asking them to not repeat specific snacks, so next time if there's something I really don't want to have again, I just need to update my selections. I did decide to push back my next box a couple of weeks, so this time you'll need to wait longer than two weeks to see my snacks. Hopefully though they'll be just as delicious as this month's!

If you want to try out graze you can sign up here to get your 1st and 5th box free! This post is not sponsored by Graze, however if you sign up using my referral link I'll receive $1 off my next box. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mailbox Monday (107)

Another weekend is at its close. But at least I don't need to worry about heading into work tomorrow, since I'm still on maternity leave, at least for another week. I can only imagine next Sunday I'll be in quite a different mood. But for now, here's my Mailbox Monday post for the week.
Mailbox Monday
After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson
I've yet to buy a book since my daughter was born, but when the boy called from the bookstore and asked if I wanted anything, I knew it was this. I absolutely loved the author's last book, and was so excited for this to come out. So much so, that I've already finished reading it. My review will be up next month, which means you'll have to wait a little longer to hear more about it.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sweet Jasmine

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine by Lauren Willig
: January 22, 2009 by Dutton Adult
Series: Pink Carnation #5
This one felt a bit different than the other Pink Carnation books. Yes, there was still the mystery you expect in these books, and the predictable romantic plot line, but even so, it just read a little different.

For one reason, this was the first where the Pink Carnation didn't appear. There were still familiar characters, namely Miles and Henrietta from The Masque of the Black Tulip, but even so it felt like the Pink Carnation's presence was definitely missed.

I also wasn't a huge fan of the modern day story line this time. Normally I like the historical parts more, but still enjoy the modern day bits. This time though, the modern day bits just felt a little too ridiculous and over the top for me.

I did enjoy getting to see the royals, George III and his family. This is the first time I've read a book where they've really been a major player and I'm intrigued by them. Their definitely a family I want to read more of.

I don't think this was my favorite of the series, but I can't help but enjoy myself with it. I am excited for the next one though, which looks to take place in India. Hopefully the next installment will bring the series back to more familiar ground!


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2 Month Update

Elley, you are two months old!
2 Months Old
February 11
You weigh 9 lbs 6 ozs (16th%ile), have a head circumference of 38.1 cm (34th%ile), and are 21.85" (31%ile).
January 20th
You're still wearing 3 months size clothes. You're wearing size 1 diapers or have your bumgeniuses snapped all the way up. Although you have graduated from the newborn insert in your diapers.
Playing with the Giraffe
January 20th
You're baby pimples are pretty much gone. (There were pretty atrocious around 1 month.) Your cradle cap is also a lot better than when it was all over your forehead and eyebrows a few weeks ago. Still there, but mainly on the top of your head.
photo 5 (1)
January 25th
You really are an easy baby, and you're definitely spoiling us. Especially since any future brothers or sisters you have will, I'm sure, be drastically different. I keep telling your dad we must be in for an awful childhood or teenage years with you, because no child can be so easy all the time!
Baby Eyelashes
Baby Eyelashes, February 6
You're still sleeping really, really well. Three out of the last four nights you've slept all through the night, meaning we've fed you at 7:30 and you stayed asleep till around 6. The one night where that didn't happen you made it till 4:40, which still isn't bad. Most of those nights too, once I put you in bed you stay asleep. Although there are still nights were you aren't quite down and one of us will need to go back in 10 or 15 minutes later to make sure you're actually asleep.
Morning Photo
February 9
You are a really happy baby, and in general only cry if you want something. You're happy on your stomach or laying on your back, but once you're finished and want someone to hold you, you'll let us know.
February 4
You've started smiling too! It doesn't happen that often, so it's always a pleasant surprise when it happens.
February 3
We've finally found a pacifier that you seem to enjoy, and it's really the main reason we're able to keep you calm in the late afternoon. But while there's been a few times we're you've needed it to calm down enough to go to sleep, in general you able to fall asleep on your own.
Baby & Mommy
February 7
You are still rolling over from your front to back, although not nearly as often. Most times you don't seem to mind it, although there have been occasions where you seem awfully upset and can't figure out why everything now looks upside down.

Rolling Over, January 27
I feel like I could go on and on about you, more than I already have, but it sounds like you're about to be waking up from a nap. So here's to your first two amazing months, and many more to come!
1 Month Old
1 Month

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Let's Get Poppy

Besides a Black Russian Cake the only baked good the boy claims to really like are poppy seed muffins. Except we rarely buy them because he would rather not have lemon there to ruin the poppy flavor, and almost all store bought poppy seed muffins (and even mixes) include lemon. Finally though, I have found this lemon-free, poppy seed muffin recipe. It does include almond flavor instead, but at least for the boy, it was an upgrade.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins
Makes Approximately 2 and a Half Dozen

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins
3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Step 1
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.
Step 2
2. Mix the eggs, milk, oil, and extracts with the dry ingredients until just mixed.
(Recently I learned from watching Ina Garten, that muffins are something where you don't want to be using an electric mixer, since the more you mix them, the less fluffier they become.)
Step 3
3. Fill your prepped muffin cups till about 2/3 full. Bake for 18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Poppy Seed Muffins
The boy ate these without complaint, or mentioning that there were other flavors there mixing with the poppy seeds. As for me, I loved the hint of almond, and I'd much rather have my poppy seeds with it instead of lemon.

Do you have a preference on your poppy seed muffins?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday Movie Review

Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of
I normally only review movies I see in the theaters, but clearly I need to make an exception for this. After all, it is in theaters now, just not near me. But since it opened simultaneously On Demand, I've already seen it, twice even. Clearly, I'm the target audience for this, being Backstreet obsessed, but I think even if you're not a superfan you'd still have fun with this.

There's three main story lines that are told. The first, that you're probably more familiar with, deals with their rise to fame. It goes a lot into the Lou Pearlman story, and how crazy things were in the early days. There is a good amount of early videos too, which are a lot of fun.

The second also deals with their history, but instead their individual stories before they became a group. The five of them all took trips together to their hometown to learn a little more about where they came from. It's an emotional journey for them all, and even brought me to tears.

The last is the preparation for their new album and tour (which I saw, twice), and included some of my favorite parts. It was really interesting to see them writing songs together or sitting down to pick which songs to put on the album.

Even if you're a big BSB fan, you'll probably learn something new from this. But if you aren't, I still think you could have fun with it. I'd definitely recommend seeing it in the theaters if you can, but if not, it is going to be airing on VH1 this spring, so no excuses!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mailbox Monday (106)

It's the end of the weekend, which means it's time to share the books we've picked up recently with Mailbox Monday!
Mailbox Monday
From Paperback Swap
Thumped by Megan McCafferty
I remember back when Bumped first came out, I was obsessed with the idea of it. After all, it was about a dystopian society where only teenagers could get pregnant. Then I read it, and while it wasn't bad, it didn't live up to my high hopes. I always planned on continuing the series, but never got around to picking up the sequel. Till now, almost 4 years later. Hopefully with this one, I'm a bigger fan than last time.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Matched by Ally Condie
: September 20, 2011 by Speak
First Published: November 30, 2010
Series: Matched #1
Back when this book first came out it got so much hype. It was the next Twilight meets Hunger Games, and I couldn't wait to read it myself. But as each additional book of the trilogy came out people seemed to enjoy the books less and less, and the hype slowly dyed down. Despite this, I've been wanting to read this since before it was released, although given the way people seem to feel about the book lately I went in with a bit of a hesitation.

Hesitation that wasn't needed, because I wound up really, really enjoying myself. I loved the world building in this, even if it did feel oddly reminiscent of The Giver. I did see complaints that the reason for the society wasn't really explained, except I didn't find that to be the case. No, it may not have been explicitly spelled out, but you could still understand what had happened.

Considering this is a dystopian, I do think it's interesting that my favorite aspect of this book was Cassia's family life, especially the interactions with her parents and grandfather. Yes, there was a love triangle, but I think both of those relationships were far less interesting.

I wouldn't say this ends on a huge cliffhanger, but it definitely makes you want more. Again, given all I've read I'm a little skeptical to continue, but since I've started I know I'll be finishing Cassia's journey.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Project 365: Days 29 Through 35

I'm actually managing a Project 365 post somewhat on time! But it's really only because we're in the midst of an almost 3 hour nap. Pretty awesome, especially since I was expecting her up close to 2 hours ago. Hopefully we still manage to sleep tonight though!
Can't believe it's the last night for #parenthood. I'm already starting the tears.
January 29, 2015 - 29/365: I realize it's kind of blurry, but this night was the last episode of Parenthood, ever. I didn't watch religiously the first few seasons, instead caught a few episodes here and there. But then as I started to watch more the past few years, it became one of my favorites. So like many others out there, I'm really disappointed to see this go, but I do think the final episode was amazing and loved how everything wrapped up.
So excited to be watching the new @backstreetboys movie!!! #bsbthemovie
January 30, 2015 - 30/365: Another tv shot. This time I'm watching the new Backstreet Boys documentary Show 'Em What You're Made Of. (More on this to come next week!)
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
January 31, 2015 - 31/365: Homemade Chicken and Sausage Gumbo for Dinner.
Ready to Mix
February 1, 2015 - 32/365: Here's another preview of a post to come. Any guess as to what I'm making?
Morning Photo
February 2, 2015 - 33/365: Each morning I'm still taking a photo of that day's outfit, and this was that day's photo.
February 3, 2015 - 34/365: This isn't our first smile, but it's the first one I've really been able to capture.
Mushroom Asiago Chicken
February 4, 2015 - 34/365: The boy made Mushroom Asiago Chicken from The Midnight Baker, which was really good. Although even better were the smashed potatoes to go with it.