Sunday, September 9, 2012

Catching up and Rock and roll camp

I can't believe I haven't posted in MONTHS but this summer is a big blur.  We were busy with field trips and barely getting through this pregnancy.  Dear childhood friends got married so we go to go to Staunton, VA and Virginia Beach for their blissful days.  We didn't get to go on any big summer vacations but Thad at least got to go on a few business trips to fun Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Dallas.  We had the big derecho storm in the beginning of July where we lost power (like most of the area!).  The following weekend we went to Chicago for my grandmother's funeral, sad affair but always a blessed reunion to see family out there.  With my cousins having babies, the boys have second cousins that I am so glad they will get to know.  Our goal is to go out to Chicago once a year if we can swing it!  The weekend after that Grandpa came down for a weekend visit.  *phew*  And that just got us through July!  I would post pictures of all these fun events but my laptop died and I haven't transferred any files yet to my new computer. 

August was nutso.  Fun news that I had 6 friends have babies in August so lots of fun baby news this past month! 

At the end of August Julian got to go to rock and roll camp.  I thought it would be a fun segue into preschool (which starts tomorrow) after being home with us everyday.  It was for 5 days at a place called Bach to Rock in Herndon, VA.  I was nervous that he would have a hard time being gone for 5 mornings in a row but for rock and roll, this kid was READY.  Every morning he was ready to get dressed and out the door, by the end of the week he was sitting on the couch by the shoes wearing his backpack, hat, and already had his shoes on by the time me and Dash were downstairs.  He got to learn about drums, rhythm, piano, recorder, violin, and of course his favorite, the electric guitar.  The camp was only 3 kids (ages 3.5-5) and the teacher was FABULOUS with the kids.  I couldn't recommend this program more!!  I know they have locations in MD, NY, and VA so if one is close to you, check it out.  They have programs for all ages of kids and its not a typical music school; they also teach DJing and mixing, and beyond. 

Without further ado, here is a video of their closing week 'concert.'  Enjoy!

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Friday, April 13, 2012

Recipe: Caveman Cookies

Courtesy of Peas and Thank You.  Enjoy!!  If you are not used to working with almond flour, do take care to bake until set, don't watch until 'brown' otherwise they'll burn!  

Caveman Cookies
by Mama Pea
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 12 min.
Keywords: blender bake snack dessert gluten-free soy-free vegan vegetarian Paleo cookie

Ingredients (16 cookies)

  • 1 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 2/3 c. almond butter or sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 c. honey or maple syrup
  • 1 “flax” egg (1 T. ground flax + 3 T. water) or 1 organic egg
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using a flax egg, mix together and set aside.
  • Combine almond flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream almond or sunflower seed butter, honey or maple syrup, egg and vanilla.
  • Add almond flour mixture gradually until a dough forms, then fold in chocolate chips.
  • Scoop dough by the tablespoon onto a cookie sheet, spacing cookies at least an inch apart.
  • Bake for 11-12 minutes or until set.
  • Allow cookies to cool on pan for a minute or two before transferring to a cooling rack.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reading List: 2011

I have decided to write down the books I read last year.  Fabulous reading and let me know if you have any questions about these reads!   Don't judge me from my reading of steamy romance novels...sometimes a girl's just gotta read something sexy!  

127 Hours by Aron Ralston 
Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz
The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Journey to the Edge of the Light by Cristina Nehring
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Open by Andre Agassi
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
Shaken, Not Stirred by Tim Gunn
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
Unconditional Love by Alfie Kohn
Raising Happiness by Christine Carter
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne
Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Loving What Is by Bryon Katie

Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

Two Step Temptation by Emma Jay
Laird of the Mist by Paula Quinn
Unlocked by Courtney Milan 
The Reiver by Jackie Barbosa
Eye of the Beholder by Emma Jay 
Twelve by Twelve by William Powers 

A Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Monday, January 2, 2012

Recipe: Creamy Pumpkin-Peanut Soup

I got this recipe from Women's Health magazine, October 2011 issue.  I've made it multiple times since then and to make it vegan I replace the chicken broth with veggie broth and leave out the sour cream.  I did try it with sour cream and without and I will say, the little dollop of sour cream really does make the texture *that* much better but it's up to you.  I hear the vegan version of sour cream is amazing.  Best of all, this whole soup is done within 30 minutes.  If you do Weight Watchers, I worked out the points for this to be about 4 points per 1/2 cup of soup.  Enjoy! 

Creamy Pumpkin-Peanut Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes 

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 can solid packed pumpkin puree (15 oz)
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or veggie broth
1 jar roasted red peppers (7 oz) drained, 1 tablespoon chopped and reserved for garnish
1/2 cup smooth reduced fat natural peanut butter
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 Tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp chopped scallion greens

1.  Heat oil in a 4-qt saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.  
2.  Add turmeric, paprika, and chili flakes; stir.  Add pumpkin puree, broth, peppers, and peanut butter; whisk to incorporate and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in sugar, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
3.  Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with sour cream, peanuts, chopped reserved red peppers, and scallion greens.

Makes 4 servings of 1 cup.  Per serving:  270 cal, 18 g fat, 22 g carbs, 450 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 10 g protein.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What. A. Month.

I'm not sure when it became the third week of December, but here we are.  A brief update from the past few weeks:

Our First Thanksgiving
We got a turkey from a local farm - picked it up, freshly processed and never frozen - the weekend before the big day.  My mom and Jack were scheduled to leave for the Philippines for my cousin's wedding on Thanksgiving day and Terri was still in New Zealand so Thad, my brother, and I hosted Turkey Day for the first time.  We invited some family friends so all told we had 9 adults and 9 kids over for dinner.  Thank you to the Batts, their friends from Alabama, and the Doughertys (regular DeGuia/Lurie Thanksgiving celebrators) for joining us for an amazing night.   Here is a picture from our point of view at the end of the table:  

We moved all the furniture out of the living room and lined up tables with food and chairs and it turned out to be an amazing feast.  Thad's first experience in cooking a turkey didn't turn out the way he had hoped (the brining made it super salty) but there's a first time for everything, right?  Cooking a 20+ pounder for a first time may have been ambitious but I think he did a great job.  After packing 8 leftover boxes and doing multiple loads through the dishwasher, we put our feet up and celebrated a first Thanksgiving in our new house a success.

More to come on our first family vacation in 2's a teaser photo: 

The Return of Mamo
Four hours before we returned from Aruba, Terri returned from her 3-month trip to New Zealand.  It's taken some adjustment having her home on all sides but it's great to have her back and the boys were SUPER excited to see her.  They still are; Mamo is back and the boys love having another playmate around.  Thad and I aren't complaining either...we are getting back into a workout groove being able to escape at night to the gym after the boys get to bed.  What a big help! If you want to check out Terri's adventures while she was away, check out her blog and all the work they did on Heather and Mike's homestead:

Returning to Training
I decided that I've been milking this "being out of shape because I have little kids" business and signed up for my 7th Team in Training event.  We started training 2 weeks ago for the Rock 'n Roll Half marathon in DC in March.  I am very excited - but incredibly nervous - to be back in the TNT family and have the responsibility of not only training for a race again but also fundraising.  The cause is far too important for me to NOT participate so here I am again, continuing our fight to find a cure for blood related cancers.  I will be posting my fundraising site sometime over the next couple of weeks and my goal is to raise $1000 before the race.  GO TEAM!!! 

and our most recent family event....

10 Years later
This past sunday was 10 years since we lost my dad.  10 years, a husband, 2 children, and a home that have all missed my father's presence.  This time of the year is always hard for us but this year even more so because landmark years are always hard.  To commemorate my father and bring together family, we hosted a party on saturday for our family and friends.  I'm so grateful that we can all get together and enjoy my dad's memory, as well as share stories around my husband and kids.  I think I need them to hear the stories probably more so they need to hear them, you know?  Here's a group shot, the best I could do with the lighting.  Thank you to everyone who came; you all hold a special place in my heart and in the DeGuia family's hearts.  My dad is smiling upon all of us.


So that brings me to the week before Christmas and we've been enjoying the decorations and lights.  The boys are getting more and more aware of everything going on and Julian has been singing "Holly Jolly Christmas" nonstop.  Unfortunately the little guy was diagnosed with Strep throat this afternoon which means it'll probably pass through the house before we know it.  Last Christmas all 4 of us had the flu over the vacation week and we are determined not to let that happen again this year.  Send some good health vibes this way, pretty please!  

Thanks for getting this far....this has been a hell of a month and it's not even over yet!!!  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy birthday, Mamo!!

Our dear Mamo is still in New Zealand and today is her birthday so here is how we celebrated for her!  Chocolate Pumpkin muffins and a song.  Happy birthday, Mamo, and see you in a few weeks!  

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

I LOVE FALL.  Love the leaves, the festivities....corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and apple orchards.  Really, I don't think I could ever live somewhere that didn't have Autumn festivities.

Last year Julian was very aware and interested in all the decorations but this year he was SO into it!  I made the mistake of bringing he and Dash to Party City with me to choose decorations but the mature decorations were too intense for my little guys.  I went back without them to choose G-rated decorations and the boys LOVED helping us hang up the pumpkins, ghosts, and of course, silhouettes.  We totally flaked on making jack-o-lanterns this year...oops.  Does that make this Halloween incomplete? 

We went to a Halloween party last weekend at a friend's house and while Dash was okay wearing his lion hand-me-down costume, Julian wasn't big on wearing the actual costume but just the pirate hat.  He loved seeing all the costumes but I think he was still a little confused with them.   Dash didn't seem phased at all seeing all the different costumes but after that party he has refused to wear the costume until trick or treating tonight. 
This past weekend was supposed to be a weekend of festivities but we were snowed out on saturday.  Here is a picture of grandma's car with the slushy stuff.  It wasn't enough to impact traffic or anything but it definitely bumped the outdoor plans we had for that day.  We thought about going to the Air & Scare at the Air & Space Museum but apparently everyone had a similar idea because there was a line to PARK it was so busy.  Glad we didn't end up going.  


So instead of battling with the crowds we stayed inside, made play-doh zombies coming out of the ground (table) and had fun with costumes.

Peek a....


Last night we attended the Holistic Moms Network Annual Halloween Party and despite the cold and arriving very late to the event, it was a lot of fun!  We arrived too late for the pumpkin decorating and bobbing for apples, but we did enjoy the yummy food and company nonetheless.  Plus I got to hold a 2-week old baby so it was great night. 

I also love that with little ones they get plenty of opportunities to wear costumes between parties, class celebrations, and the actual night of Halloween.  Julian changed his mind constantly about what to be - witch, knight, pirate - and eventually settled on being a vampire because he wanted to wear my cape (I was a vampire at the party last weekend).  We went to my mother's for dinner and trick or treating since her neighborhood has a ton of little kids and the houses are closer together.  Plus, I knew that my brother and mom wanted to celebrate with the boys, too, so it was a fabulous night.  

Truly, tonight was one of those nights that I dreamed about when I had children of my own.  The boys were so excited about going door to door, they were polite, didn't take too much, and they loved seeing all the decorations.  They each got to eat one candy when we got back to my mom's (M&M's and a mini-Snickers) and they surprisingly stayed awake for the drive home.  It was such a dream of a night and I am so grateful to have my family to celebrate with us.  

Getting ready
My vampire

my lion

Julian's billowing cape

About to knock...

Getting their loot!