31 January 2012

To the Park! Trendy Toddler Tuesday

It is a beautiful day here in Northern Virginia, it is 60 degrees and so sunny outside! Casper is headed out to the park, and had to wear his new favorite t-shirt (he picked it out himself). What a cutie!


Mama's Boy - Sweet Shot Tuesday

Sweet Shot Day

28 January 2012

A Boy, Asleep

a little boy
deep asleep
innocence, sweetness, love 

27 January 2012

Recipe: Pan-Seared Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto Mayo

I repinned the most delicious-sounding sandwich on Pinterest the other day: Pan-Seared Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto Mayo. You can find the original recipe at Mrs. Happy Homemaker but the recipe below contains the tweaks I made.

Pan-Seared Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto Mayo


•1/2 cup olive oil
•1 tbsp red wine vinegar
•1 tsp Dijon mustard
•salt & pepper to taste
•1 tsp dried thyme
•2 large boneless, skinless thin-cut chicken breasts
•1/2 cup mayonnaise
•3 to 4 tbsp prepared pesto sauce
•2 medium tomatoes, cored & sliced
•1 head green leaf lettuce
•8 slices cooked bacon
•8 slices Swiss cheese
•4 soft croissants or other sandwich rolls (I used homemade onion sandwich rolls)


In a bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, & thyme. Whisk until smooth. Pour into a resealable bag.

Place the chicken in the bag along with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise & pesto. Set aside.

Heat a pan on the stove on medium heat until really hot. Place the chicken (discard the marinade) in the pan & cook for a couple of minutes on each side until done & nicely browned. Place aside.

Heat a clean skillet or grill pan. Slice the rolls in half and butter each side. Place buttered side down on the grill pan to toast the bread.

Spread the pesto mayonnaise on each side of the bread. Place lettuce leaves on the bottom halves of the rolls. Place the chicken on top of the lettuce. Top with a slice of Swiss cheese, 2 slices of bacon & sliced tomatoes.

Quick tip: Bacon is very easy to do in the over. over a baking sheet with tin foil, place bacon slices on sheet without overlapping. Place in the over and then turn it on to 350. Keep an eye on them until done to your liking. You may need to flip once. Easy and not messy!

It was delicious! I had 5 thin-sliced chicken breasts, so I cooked all of them and used the extra chicken breast for lunch today:

I made a quick dressing using Dijon mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme. Whisk together and adjust to taste. Very similar flavors to the marinade used ont eh chicken. So good!

A Little Nosh

4/52: Self Portrait

I have been dreading this week's Project 52 challenge. Taking a self-portrait is never easy. But I have realized recently that there just aren't many pictures of me taken recently and now there are some.

f1.8, 1/25, ISO 320

Go over to My3Boybarians to check out the rest of the Project 52 participants.

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

25 January 2012

A Little Monster

Casper loves putting a qtip in his mouth to be a monster. I have no idea where he picked that up from, he's so funny!

Wordless Wednesday

Linking up over at Naptime Momtog 

NapTime MomTog

23 January 2012

By the Book

I love to read and am usually in the middle of several books at once. I will have a book on my phone, either purchased for the Nook app or an e-book checked out from the library (I recently found out our library has a fantastic e-book catalog), and will have one or two traditional books I am reading. I have done this all my life, but now it's great because I have books scattered through the house that I can read wherever I happen to be nursing Owen (that's about the only time I get to read anymore). I love being able to read on my phone while I nurse him, it's so small and easy to maneuver everything. Plus, I can read in the dark when I wake up with him at midnight and 3am without waking up Chris. 

I really want to foster a love of reading in my boys. I think the fact that I have always been a voracious reader is what made school (especially college) so easy for me. I read very fast, making those hundreds of pages assigned every week very easy and doing research has always gone quickly for me, too. Plus, a love of reading allows you to explore other cultures, time periods, and lives so different from your own. I want my boys to get all of that. I don't actually know many guys that like to read and do it for the pure enjoyment of it, though. So, I guess I will have to be the example for Casper and Owen and encourage them to develop a love of reading.

I took the boys to the library last weekend and a few days later, Casper and I sat in my bed reading our latest books. He picked out this great book called Air Show! by Treat Williams. So good! I actually want to buy it so we always have it around. It's about a brother and sister who get to fly in a little plane to the air show with their father. They get to see many different kinds of aircraft and even ride in a stunt plane! Casper really likes it. I was reading the latest Sookie Stackhouse book (guilty pleasure...). So poorly written but so so so entertaining. I am also re-reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon on my phone right now (love love love her books).

Photo Challenge Submission

 This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge –

22 January 2012

Lazy Sunday

Chris was off snowboarding with Greg today.
It was so cold here and gray outside.
The boys and I decided to have a lazy Sunday, playing with cars,
watching Cars and Cars 2, and eating soup.

Beautiful baby toes

Playing with cars is very serious business

21 January 2012


I love handbags. I still try and carry my white ones (which I have more of than any other color for some reason) even though I am also hauling around two dirty little boys. I have actually been pretty successful at keeping them pretty, actually. But I came across this AMAAAAHZING giveaway today for a 
Balenciaga Arena Classic City in Noir worth $1545
I would die if I won this gorgeous, gorgeous bag.
And it's black, so I don't even need to worry about the dirty little boys I haul around.

You can enter the giveaway at Fashion Chalet, go check it out!

20 January 2012

3/52: I Dreamed a Dream

f/5.6, 1/13s, focal length=48mm, ISO 640
I dream that my boys will be best friends for the entire lives. I want them to be there for each other, to have each other's backs.

Chris has a dream that they will both play football at Ohio State on the same team one day (hmmmm). 

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

19 January 2012


I received the following email from the folks at

Today was nuts, right?

Google launched a petition. Wikipedia voted to shut itself off. Senators' websites went down just from the sheer surge of voters trying to write them. NYC and SF geeks had protests that packed city blocks.

You made history today: nothing like this has ever happened before. Tech companies and users teamed up. Tens of millions of people who make the internet what it is joined together to defend their freedoms. The free network defended itself. Whatever you call it, the bottom line is clear: from today forward, it will be much harder to mess up the internet.

The really crazy part? We might even win.

Approaching Monday's crucial Senate vote there are now 35 Senators publicly opposing PIPA. Last week there were 5. And it just takes just 41 solid "no" votes to permanently stall PIPA (and SOPA) in the Senate. What seemed like miles away a few weeks ago is now within reach.

But don't trust predictions. The forces behind SOPA & PIPA (mostly movie companies) can make small changes to these bills until they know they have the votes to pass. Members of Congress know SOPA & PIPA are unpopular, but they don't understand why--so they're easily duped by superficial changes. The Senate returns next week, and the next few days are critical. Here are two things to think about:

1. Plan on calling your Senator every day next week. Pick up the phone each morning and call your Senators' offices, until they vote "no" on cloture. If your site participated today, consider running a "Call the Senate" link all next week.

2. Tomorrow, drop in at your Senators' district offices. We don't have a cool map widget to show you the offices nearest you (we're too exhausted! any takers?). So do it the old fashioned way: use Google, or the phonebook to find the address, and just walk in, say you oppose PIPA, and urge the Senator to vote "no" on cloture. These drop-in visits make our spectacular online protests more tangible and credible.

That's it for now. Be proud and stay on it!

--Holmes, Tiffiniy, and the whole Fight for the Future team.

P.S. Huge credit goes to participants in the 11/16 American Censorship Day protest: Mozilla, 4chan, BoingBoing, Tumblr, TGWTG, and thousands of others. That's what got this ball rolling! Reddit, both the community and the team behind it, you're amazing. And of course, thanks to the Wikimedians whose patient and inexorable pursuit of the right answer brought them to take world-changing action. Thanks to David S, David K, Cory D, and E Stark for bold action at critical times.

P.P.S. If you haven't already, show this video to as many people as you can. It works!
Please continue to protest this bill by letting your Senator know that you oppose PIPA and SOPA.

Yogurt Cake

I made the easiest cake last night and it is so yummy. It is only a tiny bit sweet, but is so moist and full of good things, like Greek yogurt and olive oil. It's ok to have cake for breakfast when it's so good for you, right?

I found the recipe on The Kitchn and adapted it a little- switched some of the flour for almond meal, added cardamom. The recipe calls for full-fat yogurt but all I had was low-fat and it worked fine. I also wanted to add some lemon zest, and once we tasted it both Chris and I thought that would be a good addition. It seems to be a cake that is adaptable to so many different flavor combinations, you could use different oils if you want to change the flavor up (like walnut oil or hazelnut oil, or even canola oil if you wanted a more neutral flavor). Plus, it has a good amount of protein due to the Greek yogurt, so that's always nice. See, I told you it's good for you! The recipe below has my changes, follow the link above to get the original recipe. 

If you make this cake, I would love to know what changes you make to change the flavors!

Please head on over to Delightful Order by clicking on the button below and what others are doing for the Delightfully Inspiring Thursday Party!


Yogurt Cake

1 1/2 c Greek Yogurt
2/3 c olive oil
1 1/4 c sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1 c almond meal
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cardamom

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round pan lightly with baking spray or oil, and line the bottom with parchment.

Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom right into the liquids and stir just until no lumps remain.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, covering with foil at the end if the top is browning. When a tester comes out clean, transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.

Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. When well-wrapped, this keeps very well for several days.

A Winter's Day

I went out for a walk around Burke Lake yesterday.
There were a few runners but otherwise was empty and so quiet.
It was chilly (mid-30's, I guess) but the air was fresh and it felt good to be by myself somewhere quiet.