Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Unless your Mama is Ruth Fertel…

this is not her sweet potato casserole.

The chain (Ruth’s Chris) was founded by Ruth Fertel, a single mother of two, in 1965, after she bought the existing Chris Steak House in New Orleans. In buying the restaurant, Fertel had to agree that the restaurant keep the "Chris" name for a specified period of time. –wikipedia

A few days before Thanksgiving Mrs. Howard posted this recipe and I knew we just had to make it for Thanksgiving. Oh my goodness I am so glad we did! It was a hit! We all loved it…..and I may have already made it again this week. I have adapted the recipe a little bit from the original, here is what I did.

(Source for picture…i forgot to take one before we devoured it)


Sugary Sweet – Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, divided
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (2 very large sweet potatoes)

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 eggs, well beaten

1. Peel potatoes and cut into half inch cubes, boil until tender. Drain and mash with hand potato masher or electric mixer.

2. Make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, and 1/4 cup melted butter. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, egg and the remaining 1/4 cup melted butter. Use a hand mixer to combine thoroughly; continue beating until smooth and fluffy.

3. Pour sweet potato mixture into a buttered 9-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with topping.

4. Bake 30 minutes, until topping is lightly browned and crunchy.

Now go out and buy some sweet potatoes so you can make this tonight! It is that good! ENJOY!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Liam Lately – 13 Months

As i looked back through each and every post about Liam’s first year and studied the series of 12 pictures I always struggled to find when he changed the most. Was it between month six and seven, eight and nine, eleven and twelve? I never found the answer. The whole first year was such a gradual transition. It is amazing to look back at the beginning and then fast forward to see just how fast that transition happened right in front of my eyes and I did not see it.   But the transition from a twelve month old to a thirteen months old….WOW i clearly saw it happen, each and everyday I saw Liam change right in front of my eyes into the TODDLER that he is today! He is my little man, no longer a baby boy, he is my toddler and I love it.


At 13 months you are:

Walking everywhere!


Can stoop and retrieve.

Can stand up without using your hands.


Eating table food like it is going out of style! You love eggs, pancakes (cinnamon and banana are your favorite kinds), french toast, chicken nuggets, tater tots, mandarin oranges, bananas, raspberries, green grapes, peaches, apples, french fries, peanut butter crackers, gerber fruit strips, apple juice, and snap pea crisps.


Playing, playing, and more playing. You love your train table and driving your trains on everything and everyone, throwing balls from your ball pit, xbox controllers,and cars! You also love Sesame Street!

You hate bread (but like rolls) and pasta. I tried to give you peanut butter and jelly one day for lunch which resulted in you poking the bread with one finger and then screaming with huge crocodile tears while throwing each and every piece of sandwich at me.


You still don’t talk all that much, you babble all the time but the only real words you say are Mama (when you are upset) and Dada. You have said cat, egg, ball, and mumbled touchdown behind your paci a few times.

Ooooh the personality you have developed. Liam you crack us up!  You still love being around people and smiling at everyone when we are out. You love to clap because you know we will all start clapping with you. You love to do “touchdown” with a huge smile on your face. You give high fives, kisses, and the best hugs! One of the best things you have done this month, since learning to walk, it walk over to me and throw all your weight into me and wrap your arms around me for a hug…it is the best!


You love to point at everything be it something you want (which actually makes life a lot easier when you want a drink or snack) or just something you want me to notice as well. You loved pointing at the “pretty lights” on the fall garland on the mantel. You often point with your knuckle so we have been calling you Mr. President.

You weigh around 24 pounds, and are over 30 inches tall. You wear almost all 18 month clothes and pjs and are a size 4.5 shoe. You sleep from around 8pm to 6:30 am if you take two naps a day (usually one at 10 and another at 3). We have had many days lately of going down to one nap per day from 12-2 and you usually go to bed around 7 and wake at 6:30. It seems as though that is what works best for you and what you are trying to transition to.

Liam, it seems as though every day gets more fun! I say it every month but honestly I really can’t wait to see what next month has in store for us and the adventures and memories it holds.

Love you always,


Winter Preview and Giveaway

I am so excited for a new product I will be selling shortly in my etsy shop. With the cold weather nipping at our toes I have been brainstorming ways to keep Liam warm and toasty while in the car and in his stroller. So this weekend the toddler 3 or 5 point harness car seat and stroller blanket was born. I am going to have the blanket available in infant size as well as toddler size. 

The blanket fits perfectly into any car seat and 3 or 5 point harness stroller by exposing the straps with open slots in the back and seat. The inside is lined with super soft and warm fluff minky fabric and the outside in a warm fleece.


First pull up the center flap over the child's lap.


Next fold the left flap over the child's shoulder and secure with velcro closure, the closure is to ensure that the blanket does not fly off in the wind and is not tight like a swaddle would be, the toddler still has free motion of their arms and hands.


Last, pull the left flap over and secure with velcro closure, no blankets falling off or flying open here!


Here is Liam test driving the new blanket, he is a fan!


As a thank you too all of you for supporting my shop throughout the last few months I would love to host my first giveaway. One of the best selling items in my shop has been the small lovie blanket (which you have seen Liam with many times…figuring we never leave home without one). This blanket is the perfect size for travel! It can be thrown over a toddlers lap in the car, strapped onto a grocery cart or stroller and is just the right size for snuggles. Each blanket has an eight inch long strap with snap closure to hook on a pacifier, toy, or secure to car seat, stroller or shopping cart. The holiday theme blanket will last all through the holiday season and into January with its winter theme. The blanket will be personalized with a child's name and/or snowflake.


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Just leave me a comment to enter! I will draw a winner next Monday 12/6.

(please not this giveaway is for a travel lovie blanket not the new 5 point harness blanket)

For additional entries:

   1. Mention this giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment with the post url.

   2. Tweet about this giveaway and leave me a comment with the tweet.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…


it does not get much better than a warm house, Christmas lights and snuggling in our pjs!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving this year was so incredibly fun! My parents and brother came down on Wednesday to celebrate with us and my Mom and I cooked all day Thursday.



Liam enjoyed his first donut for breakfast and loved it.


Posing with our turkey!


He was so sweet and gave Daddy a ton of Thanksgiving kisses.


Ready for lunch with his gobble gobble bib.


Post lunch mess!


Eating some chips with Pop and Uncle Matt. He thought sticking his hand in the bag was a lot of fun.


Last year as a held my 5 week old I could not fathom in one year I would be sitting next to him as he chowed down on Thanksgiving dinner with me. He loved, loved, loved the cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes.


Everyone sitting down to eat.


The difference one year makes.

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Our little family on Thanksgiving.


Yummm whipped cream! He loved the apple cream pie!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Standing up

Well first of all let me acknowledge that Liam is now 13 months old and I didn’t do a birthday post, this was not on purpose like just got in the way. So a belated 13 month update will be on the way shortly because honestly this month needs its own post..the kid has changed so much!

Okay moving on. I finally got a video of Liam standing up without using his hands. I was on the phone with Alex while recording it so I ended up muting the video so you can’t hear my talking about…inappropriate for a blog post about Liam standing up things.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Our weekend

Yesterday I felt as though I reached another milestone as a parent as I was seen literally running through Target in an attempt to score a toy for Liam that was on super sale and hard to find to begin with. Luckily, I got it! I had been eyeing up the Little People Nativity   set for a while now and was online trying to find the best price when I just happen to click on the link to Targets website and saw that it was on sale for $14 (normally $45…yeah, big sale). So I rushed over to the Target by our house and the shelves were empty. A sales clerk said they had a feel left in the one a few miles away so I went over there and literally ran through the store trying to find it. They still had a few left and one had Liam’s name on it!

When I got home we set it all up to play.


I think Liam felt bad that Mary had to give birth in the manger and through he’d take her over to the hospital himself in the back of him pickup.


Liam practiced more of his walking this weekend and learned to stoop and retrieve and even stand up by himself but how he stood up by himself is interesting. Of course he did it successfully multiple times but as soon as I got the camera out I only got him doing it once and loosing his balance at the very top. It was pretty amazing to watch him stand up how he does because he doesn’t use his hands, he simple kneels and plants one foot on the floor and “steps” up.


Remember that time I almost died of cuteness overload…totally due to this winter hat! 1116000741 DSC02863

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Even Liam

is excited for the red cup to arrive at Starbucks (FYI it was empty but he enjoyed the lingering peppermint flavor).


Incase you didn’t hear Starbucks has been running a special the last two days, from 2-5pm all holiday drinks are buy one get one free…and y’all know anything free at Starbucks is amazing and a great steal, the promo is going on until tomorrow! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Remember a few weeks ago…

when I told you we officially had a walker on our hands. Well we did, for all of about two hours. After that night Liam decided he didn’t want to walk anymore, he was okay with still walking on his knees and some crawling. Well yesterday he had a change of heart and came back over to the walker side. I could count on one hand how many times he crawled today because he was walking all over the place. It is so much fun!

Comforting Chicken Pot Pie

I just had to share this recipe with you for chicken pot pie that we love and is so wonderful to have on a cold night.


Chicken Pot Pie

adapted from allrecipes

  • 1 pound cooked chicken, cubed (i used left over rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup  carrots (i used frozen)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas 
  • 2 cups potatoes, cubed
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • half of a small onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • Pie crust (either homemade or frozen) my recipe is listed below
      • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
      • 1/4 cup ice water
        • Directions: mix flour and water, cut in chilled butter, add just enough ice water to bring together into a call. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for a few hours.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
  2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and potatoes. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick, mix in chicken and vegetables.
  4. Place into small soup crocks or deep pie plate. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.



Coloring with an almost 13 month old

oh the patience it requires, luckily I possessed it for the two days we attempted to get a project done. I will share the finished product later this week but I just had to tell the story of the work that went into it. Part of the project included Liam doing a bit of scribbling for me of eight cards. I admit day 1 was totally my fault as it I sat him down right after he has woken up from his (ridiculously late) afternoon nap and was more interested in dinner than coloring.


All the kiddo wanted to do was throw the crayons or try to eat them or drink from them because they are the same size as his straws. So a bit of frustration goes on between us and he looks at me, gives me a small snarl, and scribbles so hard on that paper with such purpose for a few seconds, looks at me and throws the crayon clear across to the other side…clearly he knew what I wanted him to do.


Fast-forward to day two which was slightly more successful but still a battle to scribble instead of play the drums on the table with him new colorful drum sticks. After we were finally done I addressed the envelops and put the stamps on. As I grab the first return address label to be stuck on i realize that in my flustered, I just made a 13 month old color for two days, mind I had put the stamps on the wrong side of the envelop. Seriously, who does this…. So for those of you reading this post that will receive one of these in the mail…now you know the story of how your stamps got ripped off and glued onto the right side.   


Monday, November 15, 2010

Brain Dump

Liam was channeling Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future with some wicked mad scientist hair. A funny aside, I totally googled Christopher Lloyds name to make sure i spelled it right and come to find out Liam shares a birthday with him.


We tried some new foods for lunch on Sunday, fish sticks, baked carrot fries, slices grapes and raspberries…let’s see how he like it..


Oh yea, he polished it off..


I found this adorable snowman straw sippy cup at Target and could not resist getting it for the holiday season. I am defiantly going back to get him the Santa one too.

I am so grateful to have gotten an influx of etsy orders just in time for the holidays. I spent almost all of my time last week and this weekend working on orders and I am so happy with how they came out. Now I am not onto Christmas shirts and Santa bags which will be available soon.


My favorite item are these stroller blankets, we LOVE them (actually that is an understatement) they are the perfect size and oh so cuddly soft. These two are being shipped out today for Samantha and Jack.


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Sneak peak at one of our Christmas shirts.


and some more turkey shirts…just in time for Turkey Day..gobble gobble!


Yesterday Alex bought kinect for xbox and one of the dance games that is available. Oh boy did we have fun playing last night. Liam wanted to get in on the dancing action!


What made me laugh the most is that you can see Liam on the screen. With kinect you are the controller and it is picked up with a heat sensor. It is so funny to see Alex dancing and Liam crawling past on the TV.


I am sure most of you have heard of Groupons before but I wanted to throw it out there to anyone who has not taken advantage of this awesome one-day deal site. Groupons in more or less a one day deal site, you put in your city and get deals that are close to wear you live (anything from restaurants to spas or even car washes) or website deals.


One of the tips I have learned is to look at other cities to see if any are running deals for websites which obviously everyone could use. Two of the deals I got recently were Iowa City deals. Last week I got a $50 credit to Paper Moments for $25, I can use it towards cards, stationary, canvases, etc! Today's deal had me SO excited, it was a 16x20 printed canvas for $39, a $99 value! I recently got our first canvas made (blog to come about that) and just LOVE it! I just had to jump on this promotion to get a larger size, now I just need a great picture to have printed on it.