the eagles family

Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

New Noises

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

I took this hilarious video of Liam yesterday squealing at Nathan.  The new sounds that come out of Liam are hysterical sometimes.

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In Uncategorized on February 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I don’t usually share these things, but this is so incredible, it will change your life.  My mother-in-law got me into America’s Test Kitchen and I’ve been hooked ever since.  They also have a bi-monthly publication called Cooks Illustrated.  Their recipes are tested and tested 100s of times until they are perfect and easily replicable.  Basically fool-proof.

Well, if you didn’t know, I have a little love affair with my slow cooker.  And low and behold, America’s Test Kitchen published an entire cookbook on slow cooker recipes.  Oh. Boy.  My in-laws gave me the book for Christmas and so far I’ve tried four of their recipes and they were amazing.  We’ve had Tequila and Lime Turkey Chili, Balsamic Braised Chicken and tonight I made Red Meaty Tomato Sauce that’s made with short ribs, red wine and lots of tomatoes.  Yum!  Check out the book.  It will save you time and you’re husband will think your even more amazing than you already are!

The cookbook is called Slow Cooker Revolution.

Liam’s First Swing

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2012 at 9:35 am

The Many Faces of Liam

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2012 at 10:07 pm

The other day I took this series of pictures of Liam playing in his room while I was picking it up.  They were all so cute I couldn’t choose so you get to see all of them.  My, my how fun he is.

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Training Liam

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Who would have guessed that a sweet little boy with this face could ever give mom an attitude or throw a little fit?

Pure sweetness

Yes, I can’t believe it either.  But alas, it’s true.  He’s beginning to get his own mind and opinions about things.  This is uncharted territory for us as parents, so we’ve been discussing a lot how we want to train Liam to do what’s right and to obey.  That may sound strong for a 6 month old, but we’re already finding some situations that need addressing.

Nathan sent me an article that he read in the Wall Street Journal that really resonated with us, and, I think perfectly encapsulates how we’d like to approach discipline in our home.  To think we can learn something from the French.  Anyway, I thought you might also find it interesting.

(I should also mention that this post is not in any way an invitation to share your parenting advice/philosophy.  I know, I’m cold)

Day in Berkeley

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Friday we took a little mini family getaway and spent the day in Berkeley. We first made a stop to Solano Road lined with interesting little shops and good restaurants.  We opted for Zachary’s a Deep Dish Chicago-Style pizza parlor.  Best. Pizza. Ever.  Topped with fresh roasted tomatoes.  Yum.

We perused a few stores, found an item for Liam’s room I had been looking for, visited a Bone Shop (yes, they sell bones of many different animals, and dried insects, bleh)  and I bought a cardamom truffle (surprise, surprise).  Berkeley, if you didn’t know is hippy central.  There are plenty of crazies there.  The woman in the chocolate shop commented on how chill Liam was and asked in an equally chill tone if I drank lots of chamomile tea while I was pregnant.  I told her no, just a lot of Pepsi and Doritos(not entirely the true).

I had heard that there were some spectacular homes up in the Berkeley Hills just above where we had lunch so we spent an hour or so driving through the narrow windy roads drooling over houses that we could never afford.  Each home was unique from any other in it’s neighborhood, and all had sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay below.

As the sun was near it’s end, we headed out the Berkeley Marina, a pier that stretches far out into the Bay.  At the end of the pier we could look out and see Alcatraz in front of a sunset washed Golden Gate Bridge.  It was beautiful.

Sometimes it still strikes Nathan and I as odd that we live in such close proximity to so many cool sites.  Liam especially enjoyed his time on the Berkeley Pier guffawing at Daddy.

And what trip to Berkeley would be complete without stopping off at Ikea for a few items and Swedish Meatballs?  Yah, we’re classy.

What “On a Budget” Really Means

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2012 at 11:18 am

Since Liam now resides in his own swanky quarters (read his own room), I’ve begun to create a cute little space for him.  We rent and when you rent you never know how temporary your stay will be, so we don’t really want to drop much money into the place.  This means no paint, generic furniture, and nothing too space specific that wouldn’t easily translate to a future home.  We also are “on a budget” meaning we have a small amount set aside that we can spend on this little project.  So I take to the worldwide web to get my creative juices flowing and my first stop is at one of my favorite sites, Apartmenttherapy.com.  If you’ve never checked it out, I highly recommend it.  They have so many great ideas that I could spend hours perusing other people’s homes.

To my delight I find a plethora of posts on nursery designs coined with the phrase “done on a budget”.  I found this particular nursery that I fell in love with, and in it’s title is “Modern Nursery on a Budget“.  The funny part is, that as I read through the description, it is clear to me that their idea of “on a budget” is very different than mine.  As the fortune gods would have it, they were “able to reuse the crib from their first child for their second child”.  What?!  Your kid was ok with this?  Sleeping in a second hand crib?  Can you imagine?  Other budget friendly purchases were a large crocheted grey bean bag that they used as a footstool for their rocker ($360) and a rickety wooden box with a pad in it that they used for a changing table ($275).  And glory of all glories, in their words “were able to reuse some of the toys and books from their first child for their second”.  You mean, out of Johnny’s library of 20 books, there were 3 or 4 that could be reused?  You mean he shares them?  I hope they’re sitting by their phone because without a doubt Dave Ramsey will be calling them to hear just how they did it?!  Repurposing toys?  Such a novel idea.  I want this family’s phone number so I can pick their brain about all the ways they save money.

Because I’m a jerk, I sat and totalled how much they actually spent on their “tight budget” nursery and it was well over $1,500.  Now that is a budget I wouldn’t mind being tight on.  We live in possibly the most expensive area of the country.  I totally get that cost of living is higher in different areas, and that $1,500 means two completely different amounts in Texas as it does in San Francisco.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down with my new issue of Real Simple (God’s gift to magazines, in my opinion) to see a headline on the cover reading “Budget-friendly lamps” or “Budget-friendly wardrobe”.  The anticipation builds as I open my magazine to find that I could have this gorgeous floor lamp for $1,000.  Well that certainly isn’t a friend to my budget.  To J.D. Rockefeller, that most certainly is a lamp on a budget, but to the other 99% of us (Occupy!) that is expensive.  C’mon, Real Simple.  I could pull up any website and find a lamp I like.  What I can’t find is a lamp, I like, at the right price.  This is why I pay you for a subscription.

Perhaps it’s because I’m cheap (completely true), but I like to call a spade a spade.  When you term something “on a budget” in the vast majority of everyone’s mind, they think this will be something I can afford.  This is attainable to me.  If you want to spend $1,500 on a nursery, I am completely behind you on that, and I’ll be super excited to see the pictures.  Go for it!  We spend a decent chunk of our budget on home furnishings because we value having our home feel like an escape and a getaway.  If it’s what you value, then feel free.  But seriously, don’t call something “on a budget” that most definitely and clearly was not purchased in a way that you’re pinching pennies, making every last dollar count.

“On a budget” refers to saving for months to buy a couch, accepting hand-me-downs and repurposing them to cut costs.  And if you aren’t on a tight budget for your decorating projects, there’s no shame in that.  Just don’t call it something it’s not.  On a budget is spending hours a week trying to figure out how to make your dollars stretch for all your groceries.  On a budget is saying no to some things to live within your means.  There you have it.  My rant is complete.