Monday, February 15, 2010

Reason 436 Why I Love Our House

I caught the end of a sunset last week behind our house as I got home from work and couldn't resist trying to take a picture of it. This picture doesn't do half the sunsets we've seen justice...the whole sky lights up in pinks, reds, purples, and oranges and it is fabulous with the mountains in the background.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Once-A-Month Cooking: Installment 1

As part of my nesting in preparation for our baby girl's arrival, I wanted to try Once-A-Month cooking. My mother did it when my parents adopted my little sister and I remember the recipes being delicious and easy-to-follow. The basic gyst of the meal plan is that you spend one day grocery shopping each month and one day cooking and freezing meals. Then, after a long day of work all you have to do is thaw out a pre-frozen meal, heat it up, and serve it to your family. I know I'm exhausted in the evenings now after coming home from work and don't always feel like cooking, so I can't imagine how it'll be when I go back to work with a little one at home waiting for me.The meal plans in the book come with recipes, grocery lists, and storage containers (usually ziplock storage bags or disposable casserole pans). It also tells you in what order to cook the recipes in and how to prep the day before cooking (gathering all pots and pans needed, chopping veggies, browning meat in advance, etc.) to make your day of cooking flow smoothly and pass quicker. There are 3 2-week cooking plans and 2 1-month cooking plans in my book. Most of the recipes are geared towards a family of 4, so since I'm only really cooking for two I can actually split the entrees when I freeze them and get double the meals. I still plan on doing a monthly cooking plan and hope that the meals last us for 6-7 weeks or maybe even two full months. Once you become experienced with the plan there are other recipes in subsequent Once-A-Month cooking books where you can try new recipes, so you don't have to follow the same plans every month. Also, there are tips for coming up with your own monthly meal plan, creating your grocery list, and scheduling your cooking day if you'd like to experiment.

For my first stab at bulk cooking, I've enlisted A.R. as my sous-chef and chosen meal plan E from the book. I also remember the Chicken Packet recipe being delicious and great for lunches, so I'm going to make a batch of those as well. I figure they'll be tastier and healthier than getting hot pockets or other frozen foods at Stop & Shop for lunch while we're both out of work on maternity/paternity leave.

Wish me luck! The next installment will be the grocery shopping trip.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Beauty At Its Finest


This summer after my grandmother’s passing, my family and I got the opportunity to go through a box filled with old family photos. There definitely were some oldies but goodies in there! Just before Christmas I finally had a chance to scan them onto our external storage device so that we’ll have them preserved forever. My next step, is to burn some to DVDs and send them out to my parents and older brother as keepsakes and spare copies so they don’t get buried in another cardboard box again. Check out my family over the years…

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Maternity Photos

I wasn't sure if I wanted to do professional maternity photos as I'm pretty self conscious about my tummy and size even not pregnant, but I didn't want to have any regrets looking back. Instead of spending a ton of money I enlisted the help of a local on-line friend of mine who is an aspiring photographer, Jennifer Capitao. Since she isn't a professional, we just paid her for her time and then had a blast experimenting with poses and lighting. Jen is also pregnant and is due a week after me, so I'm not sure if we'll be able to work out a schedule to do newborn photos, too, but I certainly hope we can. She did an amazing job with our maternity photos and I'd like her to be the first to take photos of our little girl. Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot: