Saturday, October 25, 2014

Easy Rice & Beans

You know those "go-to" dinners you have that are always good? The ones that make you always want to have the ingredients on-hand so you can throw it together on a whip? This Rice & Beans meal is one of of favorites. We've been making it for years - ever since my SIL made it for us and got us totally hooked.

It comes together pretty quickly and easily, and you can make it your own by tweaking the amount of spice you throw in. A tip though.. don't skip the cilantro! I've done it in a pinch and it's not nearly as good.

2 cans of black beans, drained but not rinsed (we like the Goya kind)
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp cumin (more or less depending on how spicy you like it!)
A splash or Sriracha sauce
Salt/pepper to taste
Jasmine rice (we get the boil-in-a-bag packs and make 3 bags)
Chopped avocado and tomato for toppings

Saute the onion for a few minutes first, then add the garlic. Cook together until tender, not browned. Add the black beans, keeping a little bit of the liquid. Add spices and taste it - add more spice depending on your tastes. Add the cilantro last.

After the rice is  ready, put some in the bottom of a bowl and top with the bean mixture, tomatoes and avocado. Pretty easy (aside from some chopping) and so good!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Baby Hands..

Have you ever noticed how everyone loves baby feet? Their tiny little toes and toenails are undeniably adorable. For me, though.. it's Eden's hands that can melt my heart.

The way she always had them by her face when she was a tiny newborn. 

The way they looked in her little newborn mittens to protect her from scratching herself. 

The way she rests her hand on my chest when she's nursing. 

The way she grabs at her toys and tries to inspect them (or eat them). 

The way she rubs her eyes when she's sleepy. 

The way she smiles (and sometimes half giggles!) when I wash her hands in the bath or wipe them with a baby-wipe. (I think it tickles). 

I love her feet, but there is just so much life and humanity in her hands. That sounds strange, I know.. but when you're pregnant and there is a baby the size of a pea growing inside of you, it's hard to imagine that baby as a real, live person. 

But here she is! Learning and growing everyday. Using her hands to help her discover the world around her. 

I can't wait to see what those tiny hands do in the years to come. Hands that will learn to color, to write, to build and to help others. And someday, she may use those hands cradle a baby of her own. Another baby with tiny, amazing hands and the most adorable little fingers. 

What a lucky mom I am.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall Frock Party

Last weekend, I hosted a Blogger & Friends Frock Party (Clothing Swap) with help from Abby and Jessica.  We had a great turn out and as always, so much fun! I cleaned off some of my clothing racks and Abby brought her double rack, so we were very organized this time.

I made mixed bean chili and assorted other snacks, and Abby and Jessica (and Jessica's sister Nicole!) made and brought the sweets. The chili was a fantastic excuse to get out my collection of Vintage mugs and put them to good use. I didn't get any good pictures of our chili/drink station, but it was really cute - complete with the Vintage mugs and mason jars of course. :) (Edit: Abby got some great pictures! Check them out here!)

Thanks to those of you who came out and brought such great items to swap! We had a great mix of bloggers and friends/family members. A few other local bloggers who were in attendance:

Lindsay and Skyla from Dearest Darling
Abby from Eleanor's Boots
Jessica from Midwest Muse
Lauren of NOTO Boutique
Rebekah from Finding Inspiration
Anna of Twist Creative

Hope you have a great weekend!

On a totally unrelated note, will you join me in prayer (or "positive vibes" if that's more your style) for the release of the kidnapped Nigerian girls (Remember #BringBackOurGirls)? There have been reports (here, for example) that a cease-fire and release agreement may be reached, hallelujah!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Record Cabinet Inspiration

You'd think that with all the thrifting I do, I would have found the perfect Record Cabinet by now.. nope. I've been on the lookout and anything I've found has been too big for the space I'm looking to fill. We're currently using an old TV stand as a Record Cabinet and while it looks fine, I would still love to find a great retro style piece to do the job! Something like one of these:

We have a great space in the dining room where we keep our current record set up. Our dining room is very open to the living room and kitchen, so when we play records you can really hear the music throughout the downstairs. 

The set up we have now has worked great since we moved in last December, but one of these days I know I am going to find the perfect Record Cabinet! Northeast Ohio people, let me know if you ever stumble upon one :) 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Recent Thrifted Finds

Whenever I have some "baby-free" time, I love spending some quality time thrifting. It's therapeutic shopping for me (and it's even more fun now that I have a good reason to buy baby clothes!). During my last trip, yellow was one of the half off colors at the Village, and I scored both this cool purse and this pretty necklace for half off!

The bag was priced at $1.50 so I got it for 75-cents (!) and the necklace was priced at $5.00 so I got it for $2.50! I love all the colors on the bag - it's so unique and really sturdy. 

I also got some adorable little sweaters for Eden during that trip too, I'll share those soon!

I hope you have a great and restful Sunday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

When Butternut and Acorn Squash are on sale for 69-cents...

You buy five of them!

Aldi is my go-to spot for buying squash - you really can't beat their prices. Roasted squash with cinnamon is my favorite fall food and it's so easy to  make in advance. I cut the butternuts into quarters and the acorns into halves, then roast them for about half an hour at 400 degrees. I put some coconut oil and water in the bottom of the pan and start them face down, then flip them so the tops get a little browned. 

Then I keep a bowl of them in the fridge, ready to pop into the microwave for a quick breakfast or lunch/dinner add on. 

What's your favorite fall food?

Happy fall!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Three Things (Life Lately)

It's been awhile since my my last 'three things' post and there have been some big changes since then!

1. First of all - I'm back at work! Just part time, usually two days per week and some from home, sometimes a random meeting or presentation thrown in on an extra day. It's been working out well so far and I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't really enjoy what I was doing. With the job I have, I feel like I can make a difference in the lives of other children even working part time. (I work for the District Homeless Education Liaison for the Akron Public Schools). We have a great babysitter that comes to the house on the days I'm working. When she's there, Reed is usually home working from upstairs, so I feel even more at ease while I'm away.

2. Another big change - I cut my hair! I hadn't had more than a trim since May of 2010, so it was time. I loved having long hair for a few years, but I was definitely ready. Plus, I was able to donate 10 inches to Locks of Love, which makes it even better!

3. While I was still pregnant, Reed and I got floor tickets to see the Black Keys in early September. We went with Chelsey and Drew (his sister and my brother - no, they're not a couple, we're all friends!) We had a great time and it was an awesome show. I wasn't the biggest fan of the new album (it's good but not my favorite), so I was really happy they played mostly older material.

I hope you have a great weekend!