Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nesting? I think so.

As my Mom would say, I've been doing some pretty high level nesting to prepare our house for our upcoming arrival.  At 29 weeks, I'm starting to feel the pressure to get projects completed  We have been tackling some larger projects over the fall and crossing them off the list!

First up was our garage addition.  We quickly learned after moving here that we loved having the garage attached to the house (our last garage was un-attached and we barley used it) but even though it's a two car garage, we weren't able to park both our cars and C's bike in it so we decided to add on.  Neither of us wants to be parking outside in during the upcoming Cleveland winter, especially with a baby!

Secondly and somewhat related, we decided that it was time to trade in my 2005 Jetta.  It's been a great car over the past 7+ years but with 140,000 miles on it, it was time.  Not to mention the fact that we will need something larger once we start hauling baby gear around.  It's not the day-to-day driving that we see being an issue but the family/weekend trips with both of us, the baby, baby stuff and two dogs that will require something larger than both of our little cars.  All that being said, about a month ago (after much research and many test drives) we bought a Toyota Highlander and we love it!  It has an fold-down third row (which we've used already), back up camera and leather seats (both of these were on my "must have" list).

Next came the invisible fence for Max and Lila.  We have struggled with the fence decision all summer (traditional wood fence or invisible fence) and finally made a decision to go the invisible fence route because our backyard, along with the adjoining lawns, sometimes hosts neighborhood football games.  We didn't want to end the kid's fun.  Needless to say, Max and Lila are pretty confused and scared by the change but we are working through it with lots of treats and praise.  During training, they both received one zap on the lowest level and both started to cry to the point that we've now been working only on the auditory setting.  The trainer said she's never seen dogs react the way they did to such a light zap!  FYI, Chris tried out the level one zap and said he could barely feel it.  We are not cruel and heartless, we just want our pets to be safe and to be able to enjoy the yard on their own, especially once the baby is here!

We've also bought a few pieces of furniture for the house (and had one refinished).  This piece sits in our breakfast nook and is the perfect "catch all" place for mail, briefcases, keys so our table stays clear.

This weekend, we are painting the foyer and hallways on the main (and possibly second floor).  My Mom is coming to help, since no one will allow me on a ladder or chair to paint anymore :).  We've bought some more of my favorite Benjamin Moore paint and hope that we are done in one coat.  We've decided to go with blue/blue-gray on the bottom (the really dark blue is going to be an accent color).

Lastly, we are working on the nursery!  C has sanded down the dresser we are using as a changing table and  we've picked out a crib.  I've bought fabric to start my sewing for the nursery and am researching gliders. We also found a rocker on the curb for free that we will be refurbishing for the downstairs (yes, it needs lots of work):

Italian Sausage and Qunioa Stuffed Peppers

By Sunday night, C was ready for a change from the traditional Thanksgiving fare (we had two celebrations on Thanksgiving Day and another on Sunday + the left-overs his Mom sent) so he asked me for something different and these stuffed peppers fit the bill!  They took a little longer to bake than we expected but turned out great!  The process is easy and they could be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge and popped in the oven for an easy weeknight meal.  C said they were even better for lunch the next day after the flavors had a chance to develop together.

1 lb Italian Sausage
1 onion, diced
1 cup cooked qunioa (you know, because one of us is kind of Primal around here)
2 tbs tomato paste
4 large peppers (we used a pack of multi-colored ones)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (we used mozzarella)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a skillet, saute sausage and onion until browned and cooked through.  Drain on paper-towels to remove extra fat.  While sausage is browning, clean peppers, removed seeds and white membranes from inside and cut off top for filling.
Filling mixture, combined!
3. In a bowl, combine sausage/onion mixture with qunioa, tomato paste and most of cheese, reserving a little for the top of each pepper.

Peppers, Stuffed!
4.  Spoon filling into peppers, until it reaches the top.  Top with remaining cheese.  Spray baking dish with cooking spray and place peppers in baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 30-45 minutes or until peppers are tender.  Remove foil to allow for cheese to brown for a few minutes.  Remove from oven and serve!

Topped with Cheese, ready for the oven!
C decided to try one with a slice of
pepperjack, he liked it.
Finished product!
This recipe could be adapted so many ways with any rice or grain in your pantry and ground meat in your freezer.  Next time, I would like to add another veggie or two in the filling...any thoughts on what I should try?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Post holiday meal planning

We had a great Thanksgiving week and enjoyed all the traditional foods but we are both ready to get back to our regular meals!

Sunday-sausage and quinoa stuffed peppers-see photo, recipe to follow!
Monday-C is traveling so I'll be eating left overs (chicken, kale, corn casserole)
Tuesday-chicken and veggie soup
Wednesday-Shrimp and veggies, served over quinoa
Thursday-chili with black beans and homemade bread
Friday-left overs

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

City Living???

My happy, wiggly morning walker.  She gets
so excited for her walk she can't stand still,
hence the blurry photo!
Our neighborhood backs right up to both a railroad track and a park which makes for a lot of wildlife sightings in the city!  I think I've seen more deer (with nice racks, for all you hunters) in the 4 months that we've lived her than my 18 years growing up in the country.  We also have an abundance of squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits to torment Max and Lila in the back yard.  For the first couple of months we had a giant raccoon that liked to dig around in our trash cans until Chris bought a more secure can...this guy was huge, like 20-25lbs, and bigger than both the dogs!  I was concerned the raccoon would get trapped in the garage and attack but thankfully, we haven't seen him in a while.  But of all the wildlife we've seen, yesterday morning while walking Lila, was my most terrifying experience.  Lila and I usually head out around 6:30-6:45am for our morning walk, covering between 2-3 miles and expending some of her energy and getting some much needed exercise for myself.  She loves these morning walks and enjoys sniffing around and chasing cats and squirrels as far as her leash will let her (Max, on the other hand, is still in bed and has no desire to get up to join us).  So Lila's doing her thing and sniffing around when she goes after what I think is a cat in someone's shrubbery.  Let's just say this black and while creature was the size of a cat but certainly wasn't a friendly feline, that's right...she went after a SKUNK!  The skunk was startled and scurried up the driveway and I yanked Lila's retractable leash to pull her back toward the street.  Thankfully, we escaped unharmed (or un-sprayed in this case).       

Monday, November 12, 2012

Meal Planning-On the Go

Here we are at the start of another busy week!  We had a busy weekend at home with cleaning, lawn work and baby shower registering!  We also enjoyed celebrating our 6th anniversary with dinner out on Saturday at Luxe.  It was restaurant week, so we took advantage of the special menu and tried the squash soup (delicious), pork tenderloin and beignents for a set price.  We also ordered the stuffed peppers (too spicy for me) and a chicken/pasta dish.  The restaurant was pretty tiny so we ended up eating at the bar instead of waiting a hour for a table.

So what's on our menu for this week?  Well Chris is doing some late night training for a few nights and we will be gone next weekend so I'm focusing on cleaning out the fridge:

Sunday-Homemade Pizza-Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Kale/Pesto Pizza
Monday-Oven roasted fish and Brussels sprouts
Tuesday-Leftover chicken and pasta from dinner this weekend, I brought home 1/2 of my entree since we had three courses (Chris is training).
Wednesday-Broccoli Soup with fresh bread
Thursday-Ohio City Pasta with sauteed Kale and white beans (Chris is training).  I picked up the pasta and the kale at the farmers market this weekend.
Friday-Left overs

What are you cooking this week?  I also whipped up some baked oatmeal for easy breakfasts.

$3.50 worth of  Kale from the farmers market!

Gratitude Days 8,9,10,11,12

Day 8, Sleep: The Doodle sleeping on his back while we were cuddling on the couch:

Day 9, Holidays: My latest creation, a holiday table runner that I'm going to be gifting at Christmas (though I really want to keep it for our house:))

Day 10, Kindness: We'v started one of our holiday traditions, donating to the local food pantry.  We used to donate through our church in Columbus but this year we are donating through C's company.

Day 11, Friendship: My husband and my best friend, Chris.

Day 12, Music: Me, Lea and Alison in Nashville listening to some live tunes!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New Dining Room Table

We are slowly accumulating furniture for our house and the dining room table has been one of the pieces we are most excited about.  After we moved in, C's Mom mentioned that they had a dining room table in their barn loft that had been at his Grandma's house.  Family history says the table was purchased by C's great-grandparents.  We checked it out and decided that it would make a great addition to our home and we loved that it had so much family history.  It had sat in the sun-room at Grandma's house and then in the barn loft for about 5 years so the first order of business was to get the table stripped and refinished.  When we dropped off the table, we were told that it's made of mahogany and that it was around 100 years old.  There was some damage to the mechanism (the table can open to hold 4 leaves) and some missing veneer on the base.  I chose an Antique Cherry stain because it was closest to the original color.  The re-finishers took such care to bring the table back to it's original state and we are so grateful.  We just got it back this weekend and it looks AMAZING!

Here are a few photos of the table with 2 leaves in:

Love the base of the table!  I
t has wheels and splits to accommodate extra leaves.

Now, we just need to find some chairs and have our first dinner party!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gratitude 30-Day 6 and 7

Day 6-Memories

These are some of my Mom's favorite photos of us and I distinctly remember getting these shots taken at our local Olan Mills studio.  She always would color coordinate our picture outfits!

Day 7-Innovation

After 7 1/2 years of driving my VW Jetta and in preparation of our pending arrival, we decided it was time for a new car!  Let's just say things have come a long way in the last 8 years since the Jetta was new.  I'm so impressed with the innovation in my new Highlander (hello, backup camera and a sync'ed iPhone).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Meal Planning

This week (yes, our anniversary week.  This makes us 3-3 for spending the day together), Chris is traveling for work so I'm taking it easy on meal planning while he's gone.  We roasted a chicken and served it with Brussels sprouts and mashed butternut squash on Sunday night so I'll be eating leftovers and my other favorite meal when C's gone: a big bowl of popcorn and peanut butter with apples.

Monday-on my own
Tuesday-on my own
Wednesday-Chris returns late!  (leftover) chicken, blackbean and corn quesadillas
Thursday-Sheppard's Pie (with regular potato topping for me and sweet potato topping for C)-something warm and cozy for fall
Friday-Homemade Pizza with roasted veggies

What are you making this week?

Vaca Recap

I was finally able to get the photos off my camera and onto the computer so here are a few to re-cap our San Diego vacation in September.  We had a great time and it was such a fun and interesting city!

Our first full day in San Diego, Chris and I walked to the USS Midway.  It's a retired air craft carrier and was HUGE!  We got our fill of military history on the self-guided tour.  It was so interesting to learn how they launch and land planes on this huge carrier.  

Chris, sitting in one of the planes on the flight deck
Sonya, about 1/4 of the way down the flight deck
We spent an afternoon and had dinner in Old Town, the historic part of San Diego with stuccoed buildings and house-made tortilla chips...delicious!

C's Patron Margarita.  I had a blood orange spritzer...
delicious but not the same!

One day, we drove out to Coronado to see the Hotel Del Coronado and so Chris to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time!

First time in the Pacific!

The flowers were just gorgeous! 
 On our last morning in San Diego, it was really foggy.  We hit the coast and tried to see the sights anyways
Week 20 Baby Bump

Sea Lion!
All in all, we had a great trip!  So wonderful to take a few days away together and explore a new city.

Monday, November 5, 2012

6th Wedding Anniversary!

Today, Chris and I are celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary! I can't believe how fast these past 6 years have went.

We were so lucky to have both sets of parents come visit over the weekend, which was so nice to spend time with them! Chris is actually traveling for work this week so we are postponing our celebrating until this weekend.

Here's to many, many more years together!

Here are a few photos of us over the past year:

Day 5-Knowledge

I thought this photo was a great representation of the 4 years of knowledge I accumulated during my MBA experience.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gratitude 30-clothing

Day 4- warm, cozy boots in this cold, rainy weather! And a week 26 baby bump photo, loving the stretchy pregnancy pants.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

30 Day Gratitude Photo Challenge

This year for my November exercise in gratitude, I've opted for a photo challenge from Positively Present.  I happened across this type of challenge from my S-I-L Alicia and thought it would be a fun twist on my Thankful posts from last year!  We've had a pretty amazing year filled with lots of exciting things (upcoming baby, new house, new job for Chris, 2 MBA's, awesome family and name a few) and I'm looking forward to reflecting on them over the next month.    

Gratitude Challenge 2012

I'll be posting the photos here and on instagram (sonyakimmet) using the hashtag #Gratitude30.

Feel free to join us!

Day 1: Words- I keep this quote in my office and love it.  So much of who we are is what we decide we can (and cannot) do.

Day 2: Technology- My first thought was my iphone, that thing barely leaves my hands all day!  But then I thought of our pending arrival and that we've been able to see our baby twice already due to the ultrasounds, truly amazing!  Because of these ultrasounds, we know that everything is progressing normally and our baby is healthy.

Day 3: Nature- This photo is from a few weeks ago, when the leaves were really gorgeous here.  I was in a hospital parking lot, hence the industrial looking light poles but I really wanted to capture the beautiful yellows and oranges of the trees.  Now, most of the leaves have fallen and are getting swept away.