Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 334 - Dinner for Neighbors (Chicken Parmesan)

Our neighbors recently had their first baby, a sweet little girl named Lucy :)

Tonight was the night I signed up to make them dinner. First, the sight they used was a new one, called meal train and it worked great. The site was easy to use and it sent me email reminders before my day.

I was feeling pretty tired today and had a long day at work, so I found a simple recipe for Parmesan chicken on the food network and served it with some pasta, garlic bread and apples with caramel sauce.

Since I was short on time, I didn't take a ton of pictures, but here is one I snapped to show the assembly line I did to bread the chicken, flour, egg then bread crumb/Parmesan mixture

Everything turned out great and it was so easy to make extra for our dinner too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 333 - Hatties Coffee Shop

Today, I had my semi-annual teeth cleaning and because I am pregnant I thought it made perfect sense to treat myself to a cup of hot chocolate afterwards :)

Right near my dentist office is a little coffee shop that I have been wanting to try for quite a while now, espeically since I have heard great things from many of my friends. Hattie's Fine Coffee is a cute little shop with a relaxed atmosphere.

My hot chocolate was pretty delicious, not the best ever, but I would give it an 8 on a 10 point scale.

Other Firsts: Tonight some girlfriend and I went to check out a new movie theater, Westglen 18 and saw Morning Glory. The theater was not busy at all, which I love (probably not too great for business though) and the movie was very charming, a great night out with some girlfriends :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 332 - Cinnamon Sticks

Today I simmered a few cinnamon sticks for a nice home fragrance.

All you need is a some cinnamon sticks (or other yummy scents from your spice cabinet) a pot of water and an oven.

Let the cinnamon sticks simmer while you . . . read a book, clean the kitchen, get ready for having twin baby boys, or whatever you may be up to around your house.

This worked great and I am looking forward to maybe adding some citrus fruit slices or vanilla next time too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 331 - Over the Hills & Through the Woods (to Quinn's parents house)

Today we celebrated our first Thanksgiving at Quinn's parents new home.

It was a wonderful afternoon and the new house is on such a gorgeous piece of land - all we had to do was walk out the front door and we were surrounded with a great backdrop for pictures and the perfect path for our annual 'turkey trot.' (I made it up & down the big hills and was pretty proud of my pregnant self for hanging in there)

(I know people were taking pictures, but I wasn't one of them and I haven't seen any yet, so once I get those I will add them in)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 330 - eCreamery

I had an early start to my morning with some traditional Black Friday shopping with my dad and sister Janelle. We usually go out, more for the sport of it and to do some fun people watching, but this year we managed to find some great deals along the way :) Here's my sister Nelly buried in out loot.

After some much needed rest and a relaxing afternoon Quinn and I decided to get some ice cream (surprise surprise . . . I am noticing it is a very common theme in my blog these days)

Anyway, since we are in Omaha we had to try the eCreamery in Dundee. This place is awesome!! I thought it was just a typical little ice cream shop, but while enjoying my delicious creation I learned this little shop is actually so much more!

Basically they have a great website where you can create your own flavor, complete with a custom label and they have been featured and a number of nationally syndicated shows - very cool.

The inside of the store was great too - they had the traditional soda fountain vibe going

And a very vibrant & fun chalk board menu on the wall

It was a great choice and I can't wait to stop back next time we are back in Omaha!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 329 - Happy Thanksgiving! - Maternity Pictures with my sister Michelle

This afternoon my 21-year old sister Michelle, who is currently studying photography took some amazing pictures for Quinn and I. We just wanted something cute to use for our Christmas card this year and she more than got the job done!

It was pretty cold out, so we did this super quick, 20 minutes at most and she got so many great shots, plus we had time for a quick outfit change :) The only thing I would of done differently is taken a picture of her in action, she was just so adorable and I know she is going to do something amazing with he career!

Here are my favorites . . .

The rest of the afternoon was spent with our families enjoying all the wonderful treats that come with this great holiday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 328 - Lunch at Kona and 30 Weeks Pregnant

We made it to Omaha last night and I worked a half day out of the office here this morning so that I could meet with my boss and get our game plan for my maternity leave.

The whole office closed down at noon today and my team headed to Kona Grill for a lunch and some team bonding, which was really nice since I am usually the only one from the group who works in our Kansas City office. Plus the meal was great, i had been to Kona before, but this was my first time for lunch and they had a great menu offer called Kona's Perfect pairings.

Everything so yummy!

Other Firsts: Today we are 30 weeks pregnant!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 327 - Biophysical

With the Thanksgiving holiday and our travel plans, my doctors office decided to have us complete a biophysical profile today. Basically it was a regular non-stress test and a detailed ultrasound where the measured and scored some basic activities for each baby: Breathing, Movement, Muscle Tone, Heart Rate and Amniotic Fluid

Both babies passed, although baby B didn't complete his breathing practice, but the sonographer didn't seemed too worried, especially since the scale is set for 1 baby over a 30 minute period and we did both in 30 minutes.

Now we are all set to head to Omaha later today and enjoy our last trip to Omaha until the babes are born!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 326 - George W. Bush Book Signing

Tonight Quinn and I attended our first ever book signing. It was actually called a 'conversation with George W. Bush' so it was really like watching a live interview.

With every ticket you got an autographed copy of the book Decision Points and each ticket was only the cost of the book, so it was a good deal.

The actual interview was actually very interesting and Quinn and I were both surprised at how light the security was when we arrived, although up by the stage and around the former president it seemed pretty serious.

This was a neat way to learn more about this book and to get to see a former president of the United States in person. I will definitely keep a look out for similar opportunities in the future with other authors.

Other Firsts: The event was at a church down on the plaza, so afterwards we stopped over to the restaurant Noodles & Company for a quick dinner. It was really yummy & I'm glad we tried it. Plus it's a chain restaurant and I know there are other locations that will be easy for us to get to too - so I'm sure we'll be back!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 325 - A New Way to Make Some Money (we hope)

Tonight Quinn and I posted our first ever item on Craig's list. It's a large ladder that is just too heavy duty for anything we need. We have been talking about selling this and several other items for far too long now. Hopefully this first experience goes well so we can get the rest of the stuff cleared out and make some extra $$$ in the process!

Wish us luck!!

***Update: Ladder Sold in about a week!***

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 324 - Nursery Vinyl Wall Art (Etsy)

I'm not sure how long we will be in our current house, so I wanted to come up with a decorating options that would be easy to remove. I decided on vinyl wall art and found these great starbursts on Etsy where you can customize the colors too.

I ordered 2 sets to place behind each crib and will be sure to post some pictures once they arrive and everything is in place :) (this was also my first ever Etsy purchase - love it!)

Other First: Tonight we went to a fundraiser event for Catholic Charities. It was held in the party room at Lidia's. This was the first time we had been up to this great party room and it was a very nice event.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 323 - A New Garage Door

Our house was built in the early 1940's.

Our garage door was old too.

We finally got a shiny new one installed today!

It looks awesome :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 322 - Accurso's

Tonight we went out to dinner and decided to try something new and decided on Accurso's. It's an Italian restaurant with a pretty typically menu, so there were plety of familiar options to choose from.

The atmosphere was nice & clean and they had live music which was fun too, but the overall vibe was lacking something - a good place for a quick dinner, but definitely not a new favorite.

They had some great dinner specials, which was a good deal and we started with their caprese salad which was tasty

A good little restaurant at a nice price - they do have a neat patio, so maybe we will head back in the spring to enjoy some wine :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 321 - Rainy Day Books

Tonight Quinn and I headed to check out a new local book store, Rainy Day Books. Earlier this week Quinn ordered some tickets for a book signing we will be going to next week with George W. Bush and tonight we went to pick up our tickets.

It's a great little independently owned book store and while there we learned that they do tons of book signings so we will have to keep our eyes peeled for future ones too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 320 - Cupcake Class

A while ago my neighbor asked if I would interested in teaching a little cupcake class at a church in our neighborhood. They offer tons of great classes and all of the teachers volunteer their time and in return we get to take any classes no cost (otherwise it is a $15 fee for any number of classes you take - still a great deal). This is actually where I learned to knit at the beginning of this year and thought it would be fun to give back to the community (although, I am by no means a cup cake pro, I do enjoy making them and have some tricks I've learned that I decided I could share with others.)

So I agreed, before I was so pregnant :) but the class went great. The turn out was fantastic with about 25 people there - people who weren't even signed up still showed up and luckily I had just enough cupcakes and supplies!

I started off by sharing a few cupcake baking tips and sharing some of my favorite books & gadgets.

Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack, Alan Richardson
Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes by Martha Stewart Living Magazine
Cupcakes: Luscious bakeshop favorites from your home kitchen by Shelly Kaldunski

Then I had planned out 6 stations where everyone could practice & learn a new skill for decorating cupcakes and this was the main portion of the class. Here are my 6 samples I made for each station:

(clockwise from top left: Decorating with Candies & Extras, Frosting Swirl, Filled Cupcakes, Melting Wafers, Edging with Sanding Sugar and Frosting Dipped.)

It was fun to share the tricks & ideas I have learned in the last couple of years and I really feel like all of the ladies who took the class learned something new!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 319 - 150 Cupcakes

I am teaching a cupcake class tomorrow, so tonight I baked lots of cupcakes, about 150 to be exact!

I had to travel for work today out to Wichita (about 3 hours each way), so it was definitely a LONG day!! Quinn says this cup cake class is my last 'big thing' until the babes are born . . . we'll see about that :) but I am feeling pretty worn out.

I should have taken pictures of all the cupcakes scatter about my kitchen & dinning room or of the stack of boxes I stored them all in, but it was just too chaotic . . .

Good night!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 318 - La Bogeda

One of our favorite restaurants, La Bodega recently opened a new location and tongiht we decide to check it out.

It was a great nigh tout. The new location has the same vibe as the original, but is not as rustic (which is too bad, but considering there the new one is, it's probably better this way for their business)

Our service was a little off, but the food was delicious. (we attempted to take some pictures on our phones, but it was too dark inside to get anything worth sharing)

Other First: This morning we were still up in Omaha and went to mass with my parents. They were on the schedule to carry up the gifts so Quinn an did that with them which was special.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 317 - DrawNames.com

Today I came across a great website I am going to use for a gift exchange with my siblings and in-laws called drawnames.com

You have the option to keep everyones selection secret or they can be shared. Also, in the settings you are able to make restrictions, such as spouses can't draw each other which is exactly what we needed. There are some other neat features too that allow you you to share wish lists.

**UPDATE: this site worked great!**

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 316 - Hospital Pre-Admittance

This afternoon we met with the maternity care coordinator at the hospital and completed all of our paper work so that we will be all set for when the boys arrive :)

We are now heading up to Omaha for a weekend of baby shower fun!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 315 - Roman's first baby sitters

Happy Birthday Lindsey!! We were back at the Leif's tonight, but this time to baby sit the cutest little man, Roman - so his momma could go on a hot date with her hubby to celebrate her birthday.

Quinn was so sweet holding little Roman

We are so lucky to have such terrific friends and to get to be Romans first official babysitters :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 314 - Dinner for the Leifs - Brownies

I made dinner for the Leif's tonight, my fancy mac & cheese - yum! And decided for dessert I would try something new. I decided on Coconut Swirl Brownies. I followed the recipe from my Martha Cookies recipe book, but also found the recipe online, here

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 large egg white
2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3 large eggs

Since all of the directions can be found on the website I will just share a few pictures of the deliciousness that came together to make these treats


Condensed mile & shredded coconut


Butter the pan and cover bottom & sides with parchment paper

Layer in the batter and coconut mixture

Swirl together

Bake & Enjoy!

I thought the flavors were great, although they were more like cake than the brownies I typically prefer. Over all thought - yum!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 313 - Cactus Fruit

Tonight I tried a cactus fruit (or prickly pear)

I noticed them at the grocery store and thought they looked interesting so I picked up a package and once at home and ready to give them a try I turned to my handy produce book.

Since these fruits are from a cactus they can still have sharp skin, even after they are prepared to be sold in the store, so my book said to use a fork to hold the fruit in place and then to cut off the top & bottom skin and then to go around an peel the sides all using a sharp knife.

The inside of the fruit was very unusual, unlike anything I had eaten before, which made me a little skeptical about eating it - But again thanks to the produce book and the picture of the fruit that looked just like my piece of fruit made be believe it was safe to try.

It was sweet (not too sweet, just a hint of sweetness) and interesting. The texture is a cross between a watermelon and a pear and the seeds inside are all edible (but I must admit I tried to avoid them) the book said they would be crunchy, but they seemed just hard and strange to me.

I'm glad I tried this fruit - not sure if I will buy it again, but if I come across it on a menu sometime or in a tropical drink I will be comfortable ordering it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 312 - NonStress Test

Today I had my first Nonstress test done. Since we are having twins this is standard practice at my doctors office. Basically I just go in and get hooked up to the monitor one sensor for each baby and one for me to see if I have any contractions. From now until the babies are born I will have this done twice a week.

It was very simply and pretty neat to get to hear the babies heart beats for 20 minutes straight. I was also surprised to learn that rather than a smooth constant heart rate, what they are looking for is a few strong accelerations - both babies passed today. Good work!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 311 - Italian Sodas with a twist

We had a very nice Sunday. My parents stuck around for breakfast and church which was great and I got all the new baby stuff in order (or at lest a good start on it)

I also made one of my favorite drinks, an italian soda only instead of adding a splash of cream I used whipped cream, in the form of ready whip (yum!). And it was so good and made this pregnant momma-to-be very happy!

Sparkling water
flavored syrup
Whipped cream (regular cream works too)

Just add some ice, whipped cream and about a tablespoon of flavored syrup (start small - you can always add more) and top off glass with sparling water

Mix with spoon or better yet, a shaker or another glass and enjoy!

It's light & refreshing and oh so tasty!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 310 - First Baby Shower (and Johnny's BBQ)

Tonight we had our first baby shower. It was actually called a Baby Party and a party it was!! Quinn's siblings all hosted it for us here and Kansas City and it was so much fun. We invited guys & gals which was great so Quinn could be a part of all the baby goodness. Plus my parents and some Quinn's immediate family all came down from Omaha which made the evening extra special.

Our friends & family were so thoughtful & generous in helping us to prepare for our little bundles of joy. Thank you all!!

The night ended with a dance party in the kitchen . . . by far the coolest baby party I've ever been a part of :) I even got a nice leg massage from my momma & friend Anne at the end of the night.

Other Firsts: Before the shower my parents, Quinn & I went to dinner at Johnny's BBQ. My parents actually saw it featured on the food network last night so it was fun to go there with them and try out the BBQ. In general barbecue isn't my favorite, but tonight my mom & shared a rack of ribs and everything was pretty darn good.

Such a fun night!