Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Bday for CJ

Earlier this week we celebrated my eldest munchkin's second birthday. Sometimes the last two years feel as if they have been impossibly short. He can't possibly be two! He was just an enormous newborn yesterday, wasn't he? Then, at other times I can hardly believe that its only been two years. Shouldn't he be like, ten, right now?

The theme of the day was "8", since that's the birthday boy's favorite number. It was the first number he learned to say and he has always like it the best. I made him a shirt with an "8" appliqued on it, and while  he liked looking at it, he really didn't want to wear it. Really really with a tantrum.

The night before the big day Nemo and I made cupcakes. CJ and I love watching the show Cupcake Wars on the Food Network together, but he's never actually eaten one in his whole life. I know, I'm a cruel woman.

Anyway, I really wanted to rectify that so we went all out in the cupcake department. We started with this recipe for whole wheat chocolate cake from the 100 Days of Real Food website. We just  had to change the cooking time a little bit since we were making cupcakes instead of a big cake.
 Then we cut out the middle of the cupcakes and put in some yummy blackberry filling.
 Then we iced them with a cream cheese buttercream (with a couple of blackberries mixed in for color). Nemo made the toppers by putting melted chocolate chips in a pastry bag and writing out the 8s onto a piece of wax paper.
 The cupcake itself was a little bland, but coupled with the filling and the frosting they were very, very tasty! CJ loved the chocolate toppers, the frosting, and the filling, but didn't like the actual cupcake. I don't blame him. It was whole wheat, after all.
We finished off the day with a trip to the children's museum. CJ had a great time, and of course had a tantrum when it was time to leave. 
It's going to be a challenging year, isn't it?

But seriously, love him.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

WIWS {Vol. 2} Rambling Towards Brunch

Linking up with the ladies over at Fine Linen and Purple for another What I Wore Sunday!
I've been thinking a lot lately about why we dress up for God. I want to be able to explain it coherently to the kids when they are older.

God loves us perfectly, with a love that is beyond what we wear, what we eat, and even what we do. There's nothing inherently wrong with wearing jeans to church. So why can't I just wear jeans to church, other than the fact that my grandmother would make me go change if she could see me?

And this is what I came up with:
We humans are kind of limited in the ways we can show God that we love Him. We can't love as he does (although that is the goal of course) so we must express our love using one of the Love Languages we are more fluent in. And that's where dressing up comes in. God may not care if I show up at his house wearing cargo pants, a tshirt, and flip flops, but taking care with my appearance is a way I can tell Him that I love Him, in my own inadequate human way.

Enough rambling. Bring on the outfit!

Dress: Last week I went to Kohls for bras and only bras and came home with this dress. Sonoma brand. Really comfy.

Cardigan: Not actually a cardigan. It's a Jones New York shirt that I got from TJ Maxx several months ago, but I couldn't help but notice that it coordinated really well with my new dress, so I cut it down the front and stitched down the rough edges to make it into a cardi.

Shoes: Old old old Merona. I hadn't worn them in a really long time so I thought I would take them out for a spin - it turns out there may be some truth to that old wives tale that your feet grow after pregnancy. They were not so comfy.

Accessory-wise, I chose this necklace because CJ asked for it especially. He calls it "Mommy's E" and he pretty much requires that I wear it every day.
And also these earrings. They were a gift from Nemo on our first Valentine's day as a dating couple. Even after eight years I still think they are the purdiest thing I own.

We went to the 7:30am Mass today, which as you may know is really really early. But the kids are usually up by then so there isn't a reason to put it off, I guess. Except for the fact that I'm usually not out of my jammies until 9am or so.

I completely expected good behavior from CJ and Noni since they are usually at their best before they have too much day under their belts, but alas it was not so. I looked away from CJ for one second while I was putting the fussy Noni in the sling, and in that time he had plundered the diaper bag, found a container of formula, and spread it all over the pew, the diaper bag, and himself. We've had some disaster Masses before, but that was a new one. CJ redeemed himself to some extent when during the sign of peace he was actually saying, "Sign of peace. Sign of Peace. Sign of Peace" as he shook everyone's' hand.

Sticky pews notwithstanding, I was in a pretty good mood because after Mass we had our across-the-street neighbors, who also go to our church and have two little ones about CJ and Noni's ages, over for brunch. Nemo made cinnamon rolls. We used cloth napkins. It was FANCY.

And now everyone is napping and I am going to research how to spray paint metal. 

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!


Friday, June 21, 2013

7 QTs: Anniversary Weekend Recap Edition


Last weekend Nemo and I celebrated seven wonderful years of marriage. They have been, hands down, the best years of my life. Well, except my childhood. Those ones were pretty good too, I guess. But marriage! I dig it. 
Life threw us a lot of curve balls during this last year so we were beyond ready to kick back and do some serious celebrating.

On Saturday afternoon we got our first ever smartphones. We had our old phones for six years, so we were due for an upgrade. After an eternity and a half at the Sprint store we finally settled on the Samsung Galaxy S4. It's so fancy I am almost afraid to touch it. But don't worry, I will overcome my fear in order to flood this blog with phone pictures.

Inaugural selfie. Did I do it right?

On Sunday morning Nemo and I ran a 5k together. We don't often get to run together, so it was really, really nice. This race went perfectly(unlike the last one we ran, three years ago, when Nemo sprained his ankle and we had to hobble to the finish line) .The weather was cool, the course was flat, and I was super well hydrated. 

I finished in 28:31; Nemo beat me by a nose at 28:30. I was pleasantly surprised that I finished 5th in my age category. I'm going to ignore the fact that it was not a really well-attended race. Fifth is fifth. Booya.

On Sunday afternoon we went to an open house at a gorgeous historic home with to. die. for. woodwork.

We aren't in the market for a new house; we did it for funsies. We like houses.We would go to open houses more often but I worry that the realtors in the area will catch on and start running us off with a broom for wasting their time. But hey, anniversaries are special, so we risked the notoriety.

On Sunday night we dropped the bambinos off at the grandparents and then we literally ran for the hills. We drove way up in the mountains to a place where there is no cell phone reception but there are adorable cabins for rent.

We drank a selection of fine beers.
The one on the far left was a hazelnut porter. It smelled like Nutella. *Swoons*

And watched a selection of fine movies. Six days, Seven Nights, Escape from New York, and Sweet Home Alabama. We are well-rounded people.

After two wonderful days at the cabin we headed down from the mountains and  went to a theater to watch the movie The Internship. I can't tell you how it was, because twenty minutes into it the projector crapped out and we were given a refund and shown the door. Sad trombone. An anticlimactic ending to an epic weekend.

Yep. That is how we celebrate anniversaries in the Humblebee household.

Head over to Jen's blog for more Quick Takes!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More DIY Shelves - I Just Can't Help Myself!

So my shelves. Let me tell you about them.

A few weekends ago Nemo and I went garage saleing (without kids! So romantic!) and I came across the cute shelf that you see on the right. The owner said that they had been used to store nails in the garage. It was in pretty rough shape and the guy wanted $15! Sure I liked them, but that was way too steep. So I offered him $7, and he accepted. He wasn't insulted like I thought he would be. <whew>

A few days later I came across the shelf you see on the left at the local St. Vincent de Paul store. $2.

I had been looking for shelves like these for a while, so I consider myself lucky that I stumbled upon them both within a week of each other. I had very specific uses in mind for them in CJ's room!

So yeah, $9 collectively for the two shelves. Both needed some wood filler and sanding then I got down to the priming. I used a $5 can of spray primer before I decided to do it the old fashioned way with a foam roller and can of primer that I already had.

Then I used the leftover paint from my previous shelf project in CJ's room. Free! Awesome! The color is Gold Tone by Valspar in case you are curious. I know you are.

It took three coats of primer and three coats of paint before they looked the way I wanted them too. But finally I was successful and put them to work keeping things tidy.

Oooh gosh I love 'em. I'll be so sad when his shoes don't fit in there anymore.

Nemo is under strict instructions to build a larger version of the shoe storage cube for our storage-less entryway. I remind him of these instructions at least three times a day, every day. Because I am subtle like that.

DIY Show Off

Friday, June 14, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday {Vol. 14}

Another week another 7 Takes...

Thanks to my recent get-healthy kick I  have been working  out with exercise DVDs almost every day when Noni is down for her morning nap. This morning CJ and I sampled Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred which I got from the library. 

I don't own any hand weights, so when I realized that I needed some to go along with the exercises I grabbed two cans of died tomatoes from the pantry. CJ insisted that he also needed some cans or his morning would be ruined, so he got his own little can of green chilies and we got to work. 
 And squat! And squat! And squat!

CJ started doing the exercises but even the chilies couldn't make that fun so he decided it was time to sit on my chest just in time for the abs portion of the workout. Um, thanks?

This Jim Gaffigan clip cracks me up. Worth the 7 minutes.

I'm signed up to run a 5K in 2 days, and I swear the universe is trying to prevent me from actually running it. On Wednesday I got a terrible rash on my legs that made it painful to walk, let alone run, and now that that is cleared up CJ dropped a Duplo block on my toe. Which you would think wouldn't hurt that much,  but IT DID. Almost as bad as stepping on one.

I have so many DIY projects going on at once right now. Big mistake. I need a pick-me-up, the kind that only a completed project can bring! If I ca finish these QTs before the kids wake up I am heading down to the basement to put the final coat of paint on some thrifted shelves for CJs room.  
 Can't wait for the reveal!

I have a big box of junk (erm, stuff) to donate but I don't think the box will actually fit in the car. Problem.



Today I'm also over at my other blog cookin' up this beauty for Meatless Friday. Enjoy!

Head on over to Jen's blog for some more Quick Takes!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Five Favorites {Vol. 2}

Linking up with Hallie for another round of Five Favorites!


The other night, a priest who served in our parish until recently, appeared on Jeopardy! In honor of the occasion we let CJ stay up late and we made a big bowl of popcorn to eat together. I ate the popcorn by first getting a healthy spoonful of Nutella, dipping it into the communal popcorn bowl, and then eating whatever popcorn that came out stuck to the spoon. SO. GOOD.


Bleach made it to my favorites list this week because (gross housekeeper confession alert) I suddenly realized that have never once, in all my years of cleaning bathrooms, cleaned the toilet brush. How gross is that? I had to google how to do it because  I was at a complete loss. In case you were wondering, you do it like this:

Soak them in a bucket with 3 gallons of boiling water and 4 cups of ye olde bleach.

Now I'm starting to think that I should dedicate one day a month to actually cleaning all of the cleaning implements I own, like the dishwasher, washing machine, vacuum, and of course the toilet brushes. Got to keep those cleaners clean so they can clean cleaner, ya know?


This week at Aldi I got some of these basket weave storage bins. They were 2 for $8.99, and I got...lots. They are perfectly suited to my needs, seeing as they are darn near indestructible, easy to clean, and just the right size for trains.


 My phone. Don't worry; I'm not delusional. I know it's not the most awesome phone ever. I've had it for four years? Possibly five? A lonnnng time by modern standards. But I am super cheap and I couldn't make myself replace it when it worked just fine.

So anyway this super old phone is on my favorites list this week because it suddenly had some sort of psychotic break and started sending random text messages to people in my contacts list and not letting me answer incoming calls.

So yeah, it's time for this phone to retire.

Which means, I get a new phone! Possibly a smart phone. So exciting!

Outdoors, patio, summer weather, etc.

I love, love, love being able to take the kids outside where they are usually pretty happy to be. I also love that I can pick up the wifi while on the patio. All of that back-breaking labor to shape up the outdoor space was SO worth it.

Thanks to Hallie for hosting!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The camera loves her

The other day I was sitting around taking pictures of the kids playing, because the lighting was perfect and why not?

Noni was being particularly cute. She kept giving me one great shot after another.


Another gem.

 Yet another gem.

 Still yet another gem!!!
 I went back over the photos on the display screen. I have birthed the most photogenic baby in all the land, I thought to myself.

Minutes later we headed outside to play on the patio and I captured this on film for posterity:

Hubris, Eva. Hubris.

When I look at current pictures of Noni (even the goofy ones) I sometimes have to remind myself that there was a time when she wasn't this much fun to be around.

She's come a long way from being a baby who couldn't be put down AT ALL, EVER lest she make her displeasure known to everyone in a three-block radius. What a rough road that was! But here we all are, safe and sound, and she has become one of the joys of my life.

Monday, June 10, 2013

What I Wore Sunday {vol. 1}

Today I am linking up with the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday and with Grace at Camp Patton for Sunday Best. Fun times!

I've wanted to take part in WIWS for some time now, but I kept punking out for two main reasons. Number one being that none of my clothes fit right thanks to my postpartum chocolate binge. The second reason being that I am super un-photogenic. The minute a camera appears I go all Jack Donaghey-y. How do I normally stand? Where do my feet go? WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?

Well, I felt like living dangerously so (after a lot of selfies to practice, of course) I decided to jump in this week. This meant abandoning my go-to Sunday outfit of stretchy jersey dress from Old Navy and finding something different and not quite as comfortable.

Skirt: Hand me down from my younger sister
Cardi: Thrifted just this week. It was really too hot for a sweater but I really wanted to take it on its inaugural outing.
Tee: Meijer
Shoes: Kohls

CJ is wearing a cute Oshkosh number. We did put shoes on him before we went to Mass, by the way. But he refuses to wear anything on his feet while indoors.

I have no idea what Noni's wearing and it's in the wash right now so I can't check! We did not put shoes on her for Mass; baby feet are just too stinkin' cute to cover up.

We've been struggling to find a "good" Mass to go to as a family. Our parish has 7:30am, 9:30am, and 11:30am Masses. Normally we would go to 9:30am, but that is right smack-dab in the middle of Noni's nap. So for the past few weeks we have been going to the 11:30 but that Mass is really long--and seems even longer because CJ is getting hungry for lunch at that time which makes him an uber crank. I think I see a lot of earrrrrrly morning Masses in our future.

We filled out our Sunday by playing outside on the patio I recently reclaimed from nature and by watching the first episode of Fr. Robert Barron's Catholicism series. I watched it last Lent but Nemo had never seen it, so it was cool to be able to watch it together. It is a really fantastic series!

Noni wasn't interested and opted to watch the cars outside the front window instead.