Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Girl After My Own Heart!

On Saturday I was watching the Food Network.  Paula Deen was on, creating some delicious dish with chicken, and of course, butter!  ;) 

Lillia crawled onto the couch with me and watched for a few minutes.  I told her "There's Paula!  She's making yummy chicken!"  She watched with me for a little bit, then went back to doing her own thing.

Yesterday after she woke up from her nap I brought her downstairs.  The tv was on, and just so happened to once again be on the Food Network.  She looked up at the tv and said "There's Paula!  Making chicken!" 

OH MY STARS!  I LOVED that she said that!  And I couldn't believe it either!  She's a girl after my own heart!

Friday, September 23, 2011

When you're out of peanuts....

Ok, so perhaps by now you know I LOVE FALL!  It's definitely my favorite season!  And what snack screams fall better than Candy Corn and Peanuts?  Mmmm, such a delicious little treat...it's hard not to eat the whole bowl by yourself!

So, the other day Lillia and I ran to Walgreens to grab an extra ingredient we needed for dinner.  And of course, there on the way to the checkout, was a huge display of candy corn!  So, needless to say, a bag ended up coming home with us.  My mouth was watering on the way home...I couldn't wait to mix it with some peanuts!  I opened the cupboard to grab the jar of peanuts I just knew we had......nope.  We were out.

Enter the State Fair!  Have any of you ever had a Cashew Nutroll at the Iowa State Fair?  Tasty little treat that I can't leave the fair without!  Anyways, if candy corn and peanuts are supposed to taste like a peanut nutroll, why not mix candy corn with cashews?  And why stop there when you have almonds in the cupboard?

Well, there you have it!  My new FAVORITE fall snack mix!  Cashews and almonds took it to a whole new level!  If only I could blame the disappearance of these pieces in the bowl on my husband, who happens to despise candy corn......

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Life without a microwave

We didn't notice when we first looked at the house, but there was no microwave above the stove.  Nor was it any other place in the kitchen.  We fully intended to purchase one and install it where the vent/hood is now, but here we are, three months later, and still no microwave!  Maybe it's because we don't mind not having one, or maybe it's because we're cheap and simply haven't gone to the store and put down the money!  Either way, we are doing all of our cooking without a microwave.

I have enjoyed the challenge of figuring out how to heat things up without the handy dandy microwave.  And let me tell you, our pots and pans have received quite the workout since we've moved!  And the purchase of a double oven has been very beneficial too!  It's not as quick to heat food up, so I've had to plan ahead a little better with knowing how long to plan for.  But overall  I would say we haven't really been lacking without a microwave!

Do I miss having a microwave?  Of Course!  I truly miss microwave popcorn!  And when a recipe needs some melted butter...boy that was handy!  And now that fall is here...I want a quick way to heat up milk for some rich hot chocolate!  But now that we have survived without one for a while, I'm wondering if we'll actually ever get one!  Perhaps there are some health benefits to not having a microwave?

I've figured out how to make popcorn on the stove (without a WhirleyPop, even!), melt butter in a small sauce pan, heat leftovers in the oven or on the stovetop, etc.  It's created a few more dishes, but what's one more when you've got a sink full of soapy water?! 

There is one thing I would like to purchase if we are going to continue to not have a microwave....one of those little butter melting pots that all the chefs on the Food Network use!  Those are so cute!  And obviously created just for that task.  I would prefer to wash that than my much bigger sauce pan!

Any of you out there not have a microwave?  What do you do when guests come over?  Do you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share?

Happy Cooking! (with or without a microwave!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lillia's Room Makeover

We started this makeover process about a month ago....and I don't think I have any before pictures!  Working on a tight budget, I used a lot of what I already had and figured out how to make it work for the room.

We already had the curtains and I didn't want to go buy new ones, so they became the color to work off of.  After convincing the hubs to let me paint (I told him he didn't have to do any painting....he just had to finance it!) I got the same color brown from our house in Huxley and went to town. 

Then things started falling into place!  Found the quilt at Target on Clearance!  :)  Found the polka-dot lamp on sale at HomeGoods (also at HomeGoods was the fun pillow....and I did spend full price on it because it was just too fun!)  My folks brought the nightstand with them when they visited and I painted it white.  Found the bookshelf at Target for $13!  Got the window pane for a headboard at a garage sale and I think it turned out cute!  Already had the window and bought some fabric to turn it into a picture memory board.  Also already had the wall hooks...just painted them blue.
One of my favorite pieces in the room is the pink window with the fabric tree.  I found the tutorial here.  I think it turned out pretty cute!  Lillia enjoyed helping me with it and refers to it as "mommy's project"!
All in all, I think her room is cute and will work for awhile!  She can grow into it and we can make changes as she gets older.  Soon, the changing pad will no longer be in her room as we're hoping to get the potty training thing under way before baby comes!  :)

Thanks for taking the tour of Lillia's room!

Lillia Happenings

In just a few short weeks our little girl will turn 2!  I can't even believe it! 

She has been busy moving into a new room and allowing me to change and rearrange it till we finally got it finished up on Saturday!  She loves sleeping in a big bed and will show off her new room to anyone who comes over!
After watching daddy, she knew how to use the stud finder!
She was a big "help" working in her room

She currently LOVES Toy Story 3 and asks to watch it multiple times a day!  Her first words to me in the morning are "Morning mommy!  Movie please?"  And her favorite thing is to snuggle up with her blanket from gramma while watching the movie!

She is a GREAT helper with anything you ask her to help with.....dishes, picking up toys, laundry, etc.  I love her desire to help!

Helping to make apple crisp!

She now talks about her baby "brudder" all the time.  She asks to see him and wants to help feed him a bottle.  Hopefully this desire to be helpful will continue after he arrives!

She loves reading books, playing with her babies, doing puzzles, taking things in and out of bags/boxes....and one of her most favorite things is going on a walk!  Hope that continues when there is another passenger in the stroller!

Love our John Deere girl

Lillia is sure to keep you entertained!  Come over and see for yourself!  :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Go Cyclones!

Guess who got to go to Ames for the weekend of the big rivalry game?!  The Fischers!  We arrived in Ames Friday night, in perfect timing to drop Lillia off with grandma as Brandon and I headed to The Cafe to meet up with the Lubbers and celebrate our 4 year anniversary!  Nothing says I Love You like homemade chips, fish tacos, and cappuccino fudge cheesecake!  :) 

Happy to be a Cyclone!

Saturday morning we were off and running!  There was tailgating to get to!  I taught Lillia to say Go Cyclones, so that was the favorite phrase of the day.  After meeting up with friends, we walked back to my parents house and enjoyed watching the Cyclones pull out a victory after 3 overtimes!  And after a victory over the Hawks, what better thing to do that walk back to the bus and eat some more food and hang out with friends?!

Lillia loves Aunt Natalie!

Later Saturday evening we enjoyed celebrating Jesse's birthday!  Happy Birthday Jesse!  So glad we were able to celebrate with you!  (And Brandon thanks you for allowing him to watch the Husker game!)

Eating an evening snack with Kerrie.

Sunday morning church was delightful!  So great to see all those that we love and miss so dearly!  And what trip to Ames is complete without a stop at El Azteca?!  So we ate lunch before heading back home with our girl, who is such a great traveler!  We enjoyed a great weekend home!  And will be back before we know it for my cousin's wedding in October!

Labor Day Weekend with the Varghese-Recap

We were thrilled to have the Varghese family make the trek down to KC to spend the weekend with us!  They arrived on Friday night and after a whirlwind, we had all 4 kids in bed and on their way to sleep!  The adults indulged in a little Triple Chocolate Trifle....wish I had a picture of Jacob and the dessert that delights his sweet tooth!  :)

Saturday morning we made a fun trip to Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead.  We didn't realize how hot it was before we left the house, so we only ended up staying an hour, but we all had a good time!

Aren't they cute?!  :)

One of the most enjoyable parts of the visit was when the kids got to bottle feed the goats......

Saturday afternoon almost everyone took a nap....except the moms who went shopping!  We ate dinner at On The Border.....yummy!  Have you ever had dinner with 4 kids 3 and under?  It was a sight, let me tell you!  Our time together came to an end early Sunday afternoon, but we were thankful for time we did get together!  Thanks, Varghese, for coming to visit us!  We loved having you and would love to have you back anytime!  Next time hopefully the pool will be open!  ;)

The best picture of the whole gang! :)

Lots to catch up on!

Wow!  My lack of posting has not been because of a lack of desire....I just haven't taken the time to sit down and do it!  We've had lots of fun things going on these past few weeks and I hope to get caught up a bit tonight!  Stay tuned for all the happenings of the Fischers......

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Room!

I snapped this photo of Lillia at nap time today....good thing we moved her into her "big bed" otherwise I'm not sure there would be room for her in her toddler bed amidst the blankets and stuffed animals!
This is only her second day being in a full sized bed.  We moved her into her new room after giving it a makeover...and now comes the fun task of preparing the other room for baby boy.  

I've been busy with projects for her room...pictures coming soon!


After a friend (Nicole Nechanicky) posted that she was making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, that was it!  I had to make some too...that very day!  So I pulled out my trusty recipe (that I've put together from a few different recipes) and before long, my house was smelling divine with the aroma of baking muffins!

These may not look as tasty as your "normal" muffins, as they are gluten free....but to my taste buds, they are just delish!  I use a regular recipe and just substitute in gluten free flour.

Lillia Paige approves!  She's saying "cheeeese" in this picture

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/4 c oil 
1c pumpkin puree
1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips (depending on your taste)

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl, including chocolate chips
Mix wet ingredients separately
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes
ENJOY!  :)

And just when you thought I was done....I went and made Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins yesterday!  They are scrumptious as well!

Once again, I use a normal recipe and just substitute gluten free all purpose flour. 

Zucchini Muffins with Mini Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 c oil
1/4 c milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c shredded zucchini
1/4 c mini chocolate chips (I was out, so I used regular)

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl, including chocolate chips
Mix wet ingredients separately
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes
ENJOY!  :)

Let me know if you try either of these recipes and what you think of them!  These muffins are quickly disappearing at our house....and Brandon doesn't even eat them!