and the 2012 pantone color is….


Tangerine tango

I love all things orange, and while I may be in a green/blue/yellow/gray phase, I will certainly embrace the reddish-orange hue that is “tangerine tango”!  

hmm, maybe it can make a debut in our bathroom?

… or a statement piece in the living room?

What do you think?  Love it? hate it? or are you thinking, “who the heck cares about pantone?”


brotherly love

some older siblings want to hold their baby brothers and sisters.  not ethan.  he likes his distance.  we’ve asked him if he wants to hold ruby, and the answer is always no.  i’ve even attempted to place him on her lap  (whoops!) her on his lap… you know, for that perfect photo op., but he has wanted nothing to do with holding her.  don’t get me wrong… ethan’s always been good with his baby sister, but he’s not like some older siblings who want to tote their baby brother or sister around everywhere.

well, there’s been a bit of a change:  in the past week or two, he’s taken more of an interest in her.  in fact, dare i say, he’s he’s starting to really like her.  he loves talking to her, making her laugh, dancing for her, and giving her the sweetest big-brother kisses.  but yesterday, for the first time, (yes, it’s taken 4 months) he decided on his own that he wanted to hold her.

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so I’ll never have that perfect picture of ethan holding his newborn sister, but this is just as sweet, and perhaps even more so since he came up with the idea all by himself.

curtain fever

wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve said much on here, but there’s been lots going on, that’s for sure.  There have been trips to two sets of grandparents, parties to plan and parties to attend, thanksgiving at our house, and so on and so on.  but between all the busy-ness, there has been curtain making.  lots and lots of curtain making.  I took a break from quilting and dove into the world of home decor fabric.  so now I can say I’ve made black-out curtains, lined curtains, curtains with grommets, curtains with tie-backs, and curtains with ruffles!  (whew!) alright shall I continue?  …curtains for itty bitty windows, and floor-to-ceiling panels… curtains for me, curtains for my babies, curtains for family…  and now? well, i’m exhausted.  and I don’t want to make curtains again for awhile.  but, I’ll post some pictures soon :-{)

soup’s on

I love soup… and soup season is upon us.  Naturally, I’m very excited.  My new favorite to make is homemade chicken and wild rice soup.  It looks like a ton of ingredients, but it’s a lot of spices and things you may already have on hand.  I like making it when I already have leftover chicken and/or wild rice.  It makes a ton… like 16 cups?  Make some today!  You won’t be disappointed…

What’s your tried and true soup recipe?

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1+ cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 bouillon cube or 1 tsp chicken base (I use Better than bouillon from Costco)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder (optional, but I think it makes it yummy)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or sherry or additional chicken broth)
  • 3+ cups cooked wild rice
  • 2+ cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded chunks
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, combine the first 11 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter. stir in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in broth mixture, or as much as you can fit in the small saucepan. Stir for ~2 minutes, then add the contents of the saucepan back into the dutch oven… (the easiest way to combine everything without dirtying an extra pot).  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for a couple of minutes while the soup thickens.
  3. Whisk in soup and wine (or broth).  Then add rice and chicken and simmer until it’s heated.

and we partied on…

Just a few pictures from Ethan’s 2nd birthday party.  He talked about his upcoming “FOOTBAAAALLL PARTY!!” for at least two weeks prior, and by the time the day came, he was ready and excited!  We started out with a room full of ballons for E to wake up to:

Later on in the day, we barbecued, played, sang, and thankfully, we managed to not get rained out!Ethan liked opening presents, but really liked help from Dad and friends:

Thanks to all the friends and family who came and made him feel like the two-year-old rockstar that he is!

25 things to do with a wiggly toddler boy… other than get frustrated

25 Things to do with a Wiggly Toddler Boy other than get frustrated | Thoughts from the Courage Zone.Okay, so this picture is really just more out of focus, than wiggly, but Ethan is such an active almost 2 year old.  I get a lot of “Oh my, you really have your hands full!” and “wow, he sure is busy” comments these days.  So when I saw this list it gave me some great ideas for harnessing Ethan’s unending energy!

My current go-to’s from this list :

  • Have him run and tag the front door, run back and give you a high five, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
  • Put him outside everyday regardless of weather.
  • Find an old spoon and let him dig in dirt.
  • stacking cups and plastic containers in an accessible cabinet

Ones to try (if only I can embrace the mess factor):

  • Put him in an empty bath tub, give him water colors and let him go.
  • Let him spread the PB and J.
  • Fill the kitchen sink with soapy foam; get out a big ladle and some cups and let him go at it. Let him “do dishes.”