Tuesday, August 20, 2013


A 5 month break from blogging? Inexcusable I suppose. I'll blame it on spending all of ButterBean's nap-times reading the Game of Thrones series and summer time. Here are a few highlights of the last couple of months!
Summer is flying by! We are lucky enough to live within walking distance of 3 parks, so we've spent a lot of time there. The most time consuming part of playing at the park is continually emptying ButterBean's shoes/sandals since he can't abide having any sand in them and will sit on the ground yelling "Shoes off!" until his little piggies are free of sand!

Going down the "side"

As every summer should, ours has had a good dose of WATER! Water in all forms: sprinklers, pools, lakes, and rivers!

The slide doesn't work so well, but he loves it
We indulged his Lighting McQueen obsession with a Cars kiddie pool 

Rocked to sleep on the boat

Romance on the St. Croix River?
Roomies on the St. Croix
A highlight of the summer was my best bud and college roommate came to MN with her family. ButterBean enjoyed a day in Stillwater playing with her three beautiful daughters. Obviously, a marriage contract is being drafted for her middle daughter and BB :)
More on the water topic - my parents bought a lake cabin, so we've had extra water fun including boating and our newest hobby, paddle boarding. 

What a helper!
And last but not least, there is an addition to the family! Tubby!! My sister Lil T, has a sweet, calm, adorable new dog. He's a perfect fit!
The Tubster!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Naturally Easter

Nothing artificial here!
I tried a new method of dying Easter eggs this week. I had seen some other sites mentioning ways to dye eggs using only natural ingredients, so I hopped on board and tried a few! After googling for a while, this is the site that I got the instructions from. 

I used red onion, red cabbage, paprika, and green tea. My picture shows tumeric and blueberries, but I decided to use green tea for my yellow eggs instead of tumeric and I bought fresh instead of frozen blueberries. You're supposed to use frozen, so I'll try that one next year!
Green tea and red onions at work
Overall it was a success. If I had more time/bigger bowls/more fridge space/more dye I would have left lots of eggs in the dye overnight in the fridge for more vibrant color. I left most of the eggs in the dyes for 15 minutes or so and they were a very nice pastel hue. I put some in the fridge until evening and they darkened quite nicely.
pretty pastels
Here's my verdict:
Green Tea: Yellow Very easy to do! Just brew green tea, cool to room temp and soak the eggs! I used 5 old tea bags that I knew I was never going to use and 1 cup water. Paprika: Orange A very pale orange and is all speckled from the spice bits. Again, very easy because it's just a cup of boiling water and a couple tablespoons of paprika. 
Red Onion: Jade Green Jade Green? Ha! How about camo-brown green? Not so successful! Now, I could have done something wrong, but I followed directions (boiling red onion skins) and it was definitely barely greenish tinged brown. 
Big ol' bowl of red cabbage dye
Red Cabbage: Blue For sure the best of the batch!! 1/2 of a head of red cabbage makes enough dye to soak 8-9 eggs at a time. These are very pretty as a pastel blue and becomes a vibrant blue if left to soak for hours. I modified slightly and did 1/2 head of cabbage chopped into chunks in 5 cups of boiling water. Stir in 2 Tbs of white vinegar and let cool to room temp before straining out the cabbage. Aaaaand, you can take the slightly boiled cabbage and put oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and on it and you have a tasty salad!
In this picture you can see some eggs that have polkadots. These appeared by themselves!! Maybe wash the eggs before dying? I don't know.  
Quick soaked!!! Left: red onion (blah!!) Top middle: paprika  Bottom middle: Red cabbage  Right top: green tea
After a long soak in the red cabbage 
Red cabbage and green tea
Next year I'd like to try the blueberries, and maybe some saffron. I'll do green tea and cabbage again, but I think I'll skip the paprika and red onion. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2nd Birthday: Sesame Street

Somehow ButterBean is 2 years old! He is growing up so fast and each day more of his personality emerges. He is one of the funniest people I know!
His love of all things Elmo/Abby/Sesame Street prompted the theme for his 2nd birthday party: Sesame Street! I had so much fun planning this party!
Decorations were easy because it seems that every party store has a section dedicated to Sesame Street. Any bold primary colors work for this party! I picked up some plates, napkins, balloons, and table cloth at Party City. Michaels provided some cute little cardboard cutouts in the scrapbooking section. We had the party at Gatsby's work since our house would not accomodate the amount of people we expected to come. 

The food was the most fun to make. I made the same turkey sandwiches that I made for his first birthday (big success both times). We also had Abby Magic Fairy wands -- fruit on bamboo skewers
Burt & Ernie veggie sticks with Ranch dressing
Big Bird popcorn puffs (ButterBean gags on  the hulls of popcorn, so we had to get the puffy kind)
Goldfish crackers in honor of Elmo's goldfish, Dorothy. I considered getting ButterBean a real goldfish for his birthday, but I decided I didn't want to take care of one!
Elmo and Big Bird crackers and Sesame Street juice boxes were picked up at Babies R Us on a diaper run, but you can find those lots of places. 
For dessert we had Cookie Monster Cookies and Elmo cupcakes. 

The kids played Oscar's Trash Toss, which was just throwing crumpled news paper into my tiny compost bucket that looks like a mini trash can. Running up and down the hallway was another favorite!

 ButterBean got more presents that we know what to do with! It's time for a toy purge in this house!

I had a great time with this party and most importantly, I think ButterBean did too!
After the party ButterBean insisted I put a tie on him!

party favors!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

First Crush

I knew this day would come. 
ButterBean has fallen for a girl. She's cute, friendly, wears pigtails...
His first crush
Her name is Abby Cadabby and she lives on Sesame Street! Yes, ButterBean has a crush on a puppet fairy girl. 

Elmo (or Melmo if you're talking to BB) used to be his absolute fave, but he has moved on to Abby. Before Christmas, I was at Target and picked up a stuffed Abby doll for my cousin's daughter. ButterBean spent the entire trip yelling "Ahhhbeee!!" and giving her kisses. So, Santa brought ButterBean an Abby for Christmas. 
Fast forward to this week. I won tickets to Sesame Street Live a few weeks ago and we brought little ButterBean to see his favorite characters sing and dance on stage. He LOVED it and yelled "Ahhhbeee! Melmo!! KeeKee!" (*cookie monster*) over and over. 

He looks terrified, but really he was thrilled!
All went well until we were a couple blocks from home when all of a sudden there was a loud shriek and wail from the back seat. 
ButterBean burst into huge crocodile tears and continued to wail. He wouldn't tell me what was wrong, but finally he sobbed "Ahhh...beeeee!" When we got home he stood by the door, pointing and crying Abby's name. Not even his stuffed Abby could console him at first. He finally snapped out of it, but he and Abby have been inseparable ever since. Every car trip, nap, journey from living room to kitchen - Abby is right there! The first words out of his mouth waking up from his nap have been "Ahhbee???" every day. 
Snuggling on the couch with Abby

Napping with Abby

Playing in his room. What do you know? Abby's close by!
ButterBean's first crush! How cute! She's going to break his heart some day...
We stood in a long line (of girls) to get a picture with the Abby cutout