Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Playing Along

My friend, Jenn, has nominated me for a Liebster Award.  What is a Liebster Award you might ask?  I'll tell you: Liebster is German for sweetest, kindest, nicest; beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, or dearest.  You don't really win anything tangible but you get to learn more about the authors of your favorite blogs.  Then you get to pay it forward!

So, what does this award mean?  Well there are a few rules of the Liebster Award and Here's what they are:

1.  Post 11 facts about yourself.
2.  Answer 11 questions from your nominator.
3.  Nominate 11 other blogs with under 200 followers and ask them 11 questions.

Since Jenn was kind enough to nominate me, I thought I'd have fun and play along!  So without further ado, here are 11 facts about me!

1- I absolutely DETEST ketchup (and therefore fry sauce too). 
2- I failed my driver's test twice.
3- I secretly enjoy having to bag my own groceries when I shop at Aldi.
4- For the most part, I really enjoy routine.
5- Since marrying Zack my tolerance for hot/spicy food has increased quite a bit!
6- I love to be the hostess.  (I feel like Monica from Friends when I say that!)
7- If (heaven forbid) something were to happen to Zack and I had to go back to work, I wouldn't teach.  I've decided that being a dental hygienist is the way to go! 
8- Since having kids I really hate weekends.  They don't really exist for me!
9- I've had the same (plain) hairstyle since 9th grade and will continue to for some time.  I just like it!  Hopefully it looks ok!
10- I'm the youngest in my family but have never really felt that they treat me that way- thanks guys!
11- One of my parents favorite stories about me as a kid is when I sang "I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" for show and tell in my Baptist Pre-school.

Here are the questions Jenn asked and my answers to them:

1- In the film adaptation of your life, which actor/actress would you want to be you?
I guess I'd go with Anne Hathaway. Heck, she just won an Oscar and people say we look-alike. I'm pretty positive that when they say look-alike they mean the Princess Diaries version of her, but I'll still take it!
2- How many scars do you have and what are their stories?
I guess I have 3 major scars. First is one on my calf that I got from having my bare skin touch a hot muffler on a motorcycle. Turns out it was a 2nd degree burn and I had to wear bandages on it for weeks. Second is my c-section scar from Elise. Third, I have one on my left breast (tmi?) from getting mastitis while nursing and not doing anything about it because I had no insurance. It turned into a abscess that had to be surgically removed.
3- Aside from childbirth (if applicable), what's the worst pain you've ever been in?
The pain from the abscess was pretty bad.... 
4- What's your life motto?
I don't really think I live by a motto but something I often tell myself is that 'everything works out for a reason'.
5- Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you according to this arbitrary quiz from TeenNick.com?
Took the quiz- I am most like Summer Wheatley apparently. 
6- What’s the last thing you ate?
Elise and I shared a brownie after her nap :)
7- If your music selection for the rest of forever was limited to the discography of one artist/group, who would you pick?
I really like Kina Grannis.  She has a nice voice and I don't seem to ever get sick of her songs.
8- What’s the best thing you’ve pinned on Pinterest?
I found that the blog, Semihomemademom, puts up her meal plans for the week and the recipes, and I often copy her!  It makes meal planning a breeze :)
9- How many pecks of pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?
17, of course!
10- What’s your favorite holiday? I love Independence Day!  I love the family time, parades, fireworks, barbeque's, and patriotic music.
11- If you were a kitchen utensil/gadget, what would you be?
A dishwasher- because I feel like I do that all day!

Here are my 11 questions to those I nominate:
1- What is your favorite go-to recipe?
2- If you could change one aspect of your life right now, what would it be?
3- Do you have any regrets from your childhood? (e.g. wish you never quit piano, etc)
4- Dog or cat person?
5- Share with us one of your favorite memories-
6- Favorite book character and why?
7- Which day of the week is your least favorite?
8- Which of your parents are you most like and why?
9- What article of clothing (skirt, pants, shoes, shirt) have you owned the longest?
10- Favorite ride at Disneyland?
11- Favorite children's book?

I've nominated the following blogs:
1- Nicole at The Pendleton's
2- Natalie at Niederfam
2- Erin at Oh, the Hubanity
4- Emily at Maxwell House
5- Shauna at The Phillips Family
6- Rachel at Rachel's Ramblings
7- Liz at Brian and Liz plus the Kids
8- Shantel at The Peaden Life
9- Amy at It's a Love(ll) Thing
10- Anna at Today is a New Day!
11- Erin at Dating me in one-three

Please don't feel any pressure to participate if you don't want to!  This is just for fun :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Five!

-I've been watching some movies on Netflix this week during Elise's naps and I found one yesterday that I really enjoyed, so I thought I'd share it with you.  The movie is called The Giant Mechanical Man. IMDb describes it as, "An offbeat romantic comedy about a silver-painted street performer and the soft spoken zoo worker who falls for him." I thought it was cute, so if you have some time to kill, give it a shot.

-Our friend and landlord extraordinaire, Fred, took us and some of his other tenants out to dinner this Wednesday.  He put me in charge of choosing the restaurant and I picked Red Robin.  I love their strawberry lemonade and bottomless fries.  I came equipped with several distractions for Elise but it did me no good  She just wanted to ride the carousel horse that was in the restaurant for decoration and also up WAY to high to ever reach.  It was nice to have a night off cooking but we sure paid for it with constantly battling our girl to stay in her seat. 

-We had our friend Abby over for dinner on Monday night and we made an Asian meal.  I made Mapo Doufu and she made some delicious pork buns.  We continued the Asian-ness by watching the movie Ip Man after dinner since Abby had never seen it before.  It's a good movie if you are into Kung Fu.  Abby was even kind enough to bring another elephant for Elise's collection and she has barely let it out of her sight all week.  Thanks Abby!

-The weather in Milwaukee seems to be confused.  It still thinks it is January.  Outside right now it is 18 degrees but it says it feels like 9, pretty great huh? It goes without saying that I'm SO over this. What I wouldn't do for a nice 43 degrees at this point. I don't think that's asking too much.  Come on Spring, please get here!

-Elise continues to be adorable in every way.  She talks and talks and learns so many new words and phrases all the time.  She is constantly keeping us laughing.  The other day we beat Zack to the car and I was putting her in her car seat.  Elise yells out, "Bye Dad, I love you!" and I told her that Daddy was coming.  When she heard that she smiled and said, "Sleep, sleep".  It is her new favorite game to pretend to be sleeping and wake people up. It is always her idea and, of course, always hilarious.  We sure love her. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

If you give an Elephant a bath....

You might be the cutest little girl I have ever seen :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Relief Society Birthday Celebration

This weekend I was able to help in celebration of the Relief Society organization.  I am on the activities committee so I had a small part in all the fun!  We went with the theme "Buzzily Doing Something Extraordinary" that we found from this blog here.
I was in charge of making this banner.  It isn't anything too special, but I think it turned out cute, especially since all the materials were things I had in my craft stash already.  I loved the "bee" theme in all the decorations, it was fun!
To help us out with all the decorations, we asked 6 talented sisters in our ward to each be in charge of decorating a table.  Each of them were so different and so much fun!  They did such a great job!
We kept the meal simple.  We had soup, rolls and salad and finished it off with birthday cake and ice cream :)  It was delicious!
And what would a party be without presents?!  We had each sister bring a homemade or gently used item from their home and played a gift exchange activity with questions about the history of the Relief Society! 
I really am grateful to be a member of the Relief Society.  Did you know that it is the largest women's organization in the world?!  Pretty neat.  I love the instant sisterhood and kindness I always feel from my fellow RS sisters- no matter where I go!  Whether it was in Utah, Wisconsin or even when we lived in China, I always knew I had friends I could count on.  It really is great to be a part of.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Art Projects

I've tried really hard this week to be a "better mom" and think out of the box and do more hands on/creative/sensory activities with Elise.  It has gone over pretty well :)  Here are some of the things we worked on:
Home made play dough and cookie cutter fun!
Yesterday we painted some paper Easter eggs and had a blast, even if we did get pretty messy!
Even our friend Jane had a good time!
They also discovered that paint doesn't taste as good as it looks!!  Whoops!

Elise in Motion

Since Zack is on his Spring Break this week we decided to get out of the house and do some fun things with Elise!  Yesterday we decided to take her to Kids In Motion.  I've blogged about this place before, but it has been about a year since we went the first time so it was time to go again!  Elise is bigger and had even more fun this time around. 
 She had a blast playing in the soft playground!  Milwaukee county ordinances don't allow any fast food places to have a play place which is a HUGE bummer because during the cold winter months I'd love to do that.  So it was nice to have this playground for her to run up and down and all around.
She loved to zoom down the slides and persisted at trying to climb up the slide instead of going up the stairs :)

They also have tons of different themed rooms with different activities inside.  Some of them include a market, trains, construction, lite bright wall, art, dinosaurs, stage/dress ups and a few more. 
We got her to try on the construction goggles and vests and she didn't want to take them off!  I think some of her favorite rooms were construction and the dinosaur room because she loves to play in all the beans on the ground!
We all had a blast!!  We definitely need to go back more than just once a year!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Life Lately

While we were out running a million errands last Monday, I told Elise if she was being good we would go get some ice cream.  The last errand she kept saying, "cream mom, cream" and was so excited.  We stopped by Wendy's and she could not have been happier.  Can't you tell?
We have a "Pot of Gold" set out with our decorations for March and it is filled with gold wrapped Kisses.  Elise likes to sneak them out and eat them. She had finished eating one and ended up looking like she had been beat up the way it smeared on her face!
Elise loves to dress up in Zack's coat when he gets home from school.  She starts to giggle and thinks she is so funny for doing it!  We were able to get a great smile out of her!

Saturday morning Elise and I headed out to a community rummage sale put on by a local elementary school and their PTA.  We found lots of cute clothes, mainly for baby boy but I got a few things for Miss Elise too. 

That afternoon Elise and I went swimming with our friends Sarah and Jane at the local high school's indoor pool.  I've been dying to get out of the house and do something out of the ordinary so this fit the bill.  We all had a blast, I think we'll try to do it a few more times while the weather is lousy outside!

Saturday night some of our friends invited us to go out with them to Buffalo Wild Wings.  We've been to this restaurant several times before but for some reason they were super slow with our food!!  All things considered, Elise was a champ and did great during the long wait and it was fun to just get out of the house and enjoy the company of our friends :) 

We came home from dinner and decided we needed some dessert!!  We got out the ice cream maker and decided to make Oreo Mint.  It turned out very yummy!!  We put Elise down and enjoyed our spoils while we watched another episode of Suits.

All in all, it was a great weekend!  This week Zack is on Spring Break but what that really means is that he has to buckle down and start to seriously study for his board exams.  As if he isn't busy enough studying, right?! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My night off!

Our friend, Hemal, is lucky to have her mom visiting her here for a few weeks.  Hemal told us that her mom wanted to meet us and make us some authentic Indian food- so we jumped at the chance!  She and her mom came over last Friday and the meal certainly did not disappoint!  It was so nice to have the night off from making dinner, doing dishes, etc. 
I should have written down the names of all the dishes she made, but I didn't :(  I did ask what all of them were called but I have already forgotten!  I did remember to at least take some pictures!  Hemal and her family are all vegetarians and I didn't even realized until we were finished that there wasn't a single meat dish- we were all SO full at the end, it didn't even matter! 
It was fun to have some other friends to play with Elise too!  They were even kind enough to bring her a little gift!  Who does that?!  They brought over a pail full of sand/water/beach toys that we can't wait to use as soon as the weather gets nice! 
Thanks again to the Patels- for the awesome company and great food!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Five!

- It's March 1st!  I feel like February flew by, and I'm not the least bit upset about that!  The sunshine and warm weather can't come soon enough! 

- Zack and I have found a new show to watch together. The show is Suits- any of you watch it?  It's on USA network and it's about some funny and powerful lawyers.  It's pretty great so far.

- Elise has also ventured out to some new shows.  When I cue up our netflix account on the TV she likes to run up and point to the one she wants.  Some have been cute (Backyardigans) others weird (My Little Pony) and some seem to be the dumbest thing I have ever seen (Yo Gabba Gabba).  But hey, she laughs and smiles and dances around, so who am I to judge?

- I have a new niece!  My brother Ryan and his wife Becky welcomed an adorable little girl this past Tuesday!  She is darling as could be.  They named her Romy Joy and I can't wait to meet her!

- I figured out the magic way to get Elise to brush her teeth!  Electric toothbrush!  We have only tried it the one time but she didn't want to put it down!  Fingers crossed that this will always be the case :)

And since blog posts are more fun with photos, here is one of Elise storming the library!  And yes, that is the best "look at me and smile" face I could get!