Working Hard at Hardly Working

Monday was my first day back at my real job.  My full time big box retailer job as a Kitchen Designer.  I had to leave my little girl at a local school.  I wasn’t worried about her having a fabulous day, I was mostly worried about me needing her and having her so far away.  I know I have been other places and left her with friends and family, and when I need my own little baby fix, I can quickly get a picture texted to me.  Monday, I wan’t able to do so.

Honestly, the day went well.  We had a big corporate walk to prepare for, so the day was over before I knew it, as everyone was keeping me busy.  My husband picked up the baby from school, and promptly sent me two pictures of her cute little face.  Having to leave her with strangers is hard, and I have realized that it is harder for me to not have her close, than it is to leave her with a stranger.  I know she will be perfectly fine, she is so sweet, happy, and loving.

Now to get through the rest of the week!  Is it too early to ask for a vacation?

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Photography Sampler

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A close up of Lily

Today, I decided to break out my husbands DSLR Nikon D300 and give myself a crash test course in using it. I took some awesome shots of the dog, and of course the baby. For not knowing what any of the millions of buttons did, I am thinking I did pretty good. I loaded them into my laptop and I must say, I am amazed that many of the shots don’t even need editing.  Now, I am not going to lie, I did work for a portrait studio for about a year in High School, so I do have some experience with photography.  My dad is also a photographer, and ran a business for years.  The thing was, I worked there over ten years ago.  That was when film was the option, and the camera they gave me to use was much simpler.  Generally, the most complex camera I have ever used has been either a Point-and-Shoot, or my cell phone.

I took this photograph of the dog. No cropping, I did this with the camera.  I was totally blown away with the detail of her fur, and how great the in-lens cropping worked.  I am typically not one that likes anything asymmetrical, but this is an absolute exception.  I liked the shot through the view finder, and I love it blown up on the screen.

I Love Babies Toes

This next photograph is of one of my favorite things. BABIES TOES!!!!!  Again, I love the in-lens cropping, and the detail on her toes.  {Yay for clean, fuzzy-free, baby feet!} This photo turned out so good, I was surprised, just like the photograph of the dog.

This photograph was a lot easier to take, I will say.  The baby was asleep, and not moving.  The dog, on the other hand, was curious about that big black clicky thing in my hand, and wanted to sniff.  When I started trying to take some portraits of the baby, she got scared and started crying.  I did get some good shots of her, however I won’t be posting any of her face.

Needless to say, I am excited with my first photography experience, and can’t wait to get the baby out and about, taking more photographs.  I think they will turn out great in the photo album I am planning on making for the grandma’s first Christmas album.  Yay for Shutterfly.  Makes making photo albums fun, beautiful, and super easy.

Anyway, all together I took about 51 photographs, playing with the f-stop and the shutter speed, and I really like about nine shots.  That’s enough for a few hours of playing, and a page worth of photographs in my album.  I hope the grandma’s like the book.  Either way, I know I will like the book, and I fully plan on providing them with a cd of all the photographs, if they want it.

Also, now that I have somewhat figured out how to use the camera, I can’t wait to take more in the future.  Abby better be photogenic.  I know the dog sure is.

What happened to the diet?

This is me, striking a pose, this morning. The top is from White House Black Market, and the pants and shoes are from Torrid.

Oh yeah, I was supposed to be doing a diet wasn’t I?  Not that I forgot, I just momentarily got un-motivated.  Now, I have been posting a ton of tasty, and equally not diet friendly, recipes, and nothing on diet, working out, and staying active.  I assure you, I have been watching all of my portions, and not indulging on the treats and sugary heavenly dishes I have been posting about.  I don’t know if I am any thinner, but with my new wardrobe, I feel great about myself.  I know the confidence is visible to other people as well.

Last weekend, my husband and I went out to dinner for our third anniversary.  As we were standing at the hostess podium, one of the chef’s walked up and was talking to the hostess, and the man couldn’t keep his eyes off me.  I was wearing a lovely rouched sleeveless pink top from H&M, my stiletto skinny jeans from Torrid (Seen in the photo), and an adorable pair of Sam and Libby Ballet Flats. I also was wearing my Black Layla Lace Back Cardigan from Torrid.  I don’t want to sound like he was totally checking me out {Like Oh My Gosh!}, but it did make me feel better, after all, he didn’t look absolutely disgusted with the fat girl!  He could have also been looking straight through me at my damn good-looking husband, or out the window.  {Hahahah!}

So I assure you, the diet hasn’t stopped.  I still try to go for a walk every day, and stay active.  I know my activity levels will also pick up next week when I return to work, so hopefully the pants will continue to get a little bigger.

♥ Sarah!

Chocolate and Peanutbutter Cheesecake

Chocolate & Peanutbutter Cheesecake from Brown Eyed Baker

I am not a big fan of cheese cake, but I found this on Pinterest, and I must say, I know my husband would love it. If there is ever cheesecake in the area, he is drawn to it like a magnet.  I generally will steal a bit of his cheesecake when he isn’t looking, and then I am done.  This recipe, however, sounds good enough, I might have to have my own square.

The Crust: 

  • 2-1/2 Cups Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, Melted.

The Cheesecake

  • 16 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

The Chocolate Glaze

  • 6 oz Milk Chocolate (Or Semi Sweet Chocolate) Finely Chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vegetable Shortening (or coconut oil)
  1. Making the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Add the butter and toss together with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.  Press the crumbs into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch baking pan.  Bake for 8-10 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool.
  2. Making the Cheesecake: Beat together cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, and flower on medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time, while mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after adding each egg.  Slowly pour in the milk and the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  3. Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the cheesecake layer is set around the edges and still appears slightly soft when the pan is wiggled. Cool the cheesecake completely in the pan.
  4. The Glaze: Combine the chopped chocolate and vegetable shortening in a bowl and microwave on 50% power in a 30 second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted.  Spread the glaze evenly over the cheesecake layer.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, then cut and serve.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Birthday Cake Shots

Birthday Cake Shots by Sweetapolita

Mmmmm. Birthday Cake in a shot glass. Now you have my attention.  With my moms birthday this weekend, along with my best friend {and obviously her twin sister} and my other friend, I couldn’t have found this recipe at a better time!  So, pull up a shot glass, and lets toast the fabulous birthdays for everyone!

What you will need: 

  • 1 ounce cake flavored vodka. (I like Pinnacle!)
  • 1 tsp dry white cake mix
  • 1/4 ounce whipped cream flavored vodka (I like Pinnacle for this one too!)
  • 1/4 ounce Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Half and Half (or 10.5-18% fat cream)
  • Whipped Cream (Topping)
  • Sprinkles (Topping)

Making the Shot:

Shake all the ingredients in a martini shaker with ice and strain into a shooter or shot glass.  Top with whipped cream and sprinkles.  You can also create a sprinkle rim around the shot glass if you choose.

Want more great tasting recipes?  Check out the Pinnacle Vodka recipe page.  (Note: You must be 21 or over to check it out!)

Discovering Hands

My daughter is three months old, and is just finding these new fascinating toys, her hands.  She is able to hold on to things, like her rattle, or various other toys.  She loves to play on the floor, especially when I give her toys to hold onto and shake around.  It is amazing seeing her explore herself and learn about new things everyday.  She is now able to track the mobile, she is much more alert and awake during the day.

This little miracle has completely changed my life.  Several years ago, if someone threw up on me, or much less pooped on me, I would probably throw up on them promptly.  Now as a mother, I get poop on my hands vomit on my shirt, and drool on my face, I don’t care.  I look at this little face, and I think “Wow, I created this from a microscopic spec, I grew this in my body for nine months!”

People always told me that things wont’ matter as much, that it all changes when a baby comes, and I thought they were out of their mind.  Now I have this little girl and I know exactly what they are talking about.  My whole life is changing, and I am happy to adapt.  I must have a little less fun every month so I can afford formula and diapers, wipes, and clothes for my growing little weed.  My diminished shoe collection is suffering due to this little baby, and I couldn’t be happier.  She is totally worth it.

I go back to work next week, and I am depressed that my time as a full-time mommy is coming to an end.  At the same time, however, I am happy she is going to a respectable school, that will assist me in making sure she is developing at a rate she needs to.  I am excited to see her develop into a young woman.  I am excited to see her grow more and more a day and become more and more herself, and meet her new personality traits.

Currently she is so observant, smiling all the time, happy, and playful.  I enjoy that about her.  Honestly, you always hear these horror stories about babies and how hard of a job it is.  I am not going to lie, it is a hard job, but it isn’t nearly as hard as we were expecting.  I am happy for that.  She knows our limits, and generally doesn’t push them.

The secret life of a blogger

Every once in a while, I will find a graphic on this world wide web that rings oh so true in the world of me. I found this lovely graphic on the world of Pinterest that is so true to my blogging life. A lot of people I know have this room in their house that is rarely visited, that is dubbed the “Guest Room/Home Office.” Now honestly folks, who actually uses that room for the office? I have one, but the bills are paid on the kitchen table, the blogging is done from the sofa, and many of my ideas come to me in the middle of the night, from the comforts of my bed.  So no, the office isn’t the only working space in the house, the whole house is the office.

I can’t tell you even how many times an idea has struck me in the shower, and I hop out, dripping wet, and grab the WordPress App on my smart phone just to make a quick draft to remind myself of my idea later.

I am calling this “The Secret Life of a Blogger” because I know I am not alone. I am sure the rest of the blog world is with me, in the fact that their entire home is taken over by their office space, their ideas come to them, even in the most inconvenient times, like the shower, and they are always working….even when they try to turn it off.  The creator of this graphic, DesignLoveFest.com, has a great blog entry about just this!

Working at home, blogging during naps, these are the days!

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

I saw this on Pinterest and I just had to share it.  I mean, it just sounds so tastey and looks so easy to make.  The ingredients are even found in most kitchens, so no special trips to the store will be needed.  I am excited to try it for the first time.

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 Pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 extra large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 35o degrees, then grease the bottom of an 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ loaf pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 – 4 minutes, until light.  Meanwhile put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup but do not combine.  With the mixer on medium – low speed, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time.  Scraping down the bowl and allowing each to become incorporated before adding the next egg.
  3. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  With the mixer on low speed, add it slowly to the batter until just combined.  Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and pour it into the prepared pan.  Smooth the top.
  4. Bake for 50-60minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes, turn onto a baking rack and cool completely.

Dinner time for the tornado.

OK, so every night at about 4:00, my dog decides it is dinner time. We try not to feed her until 5, so waiting for her is an hour of impatient begging and a hyper tornado like bounce around the house. A few weeks ago I decided to tape the schenanegans, and now I am posting them so everyone can see how crazy my dog really is. At least she is trained to eat in her kennel! Such a cute doggie. I love her. I can’t wait for my little girl to he old enough to play with my crazy yellow lab.

The Last Week

Its the last week before I head back to work, and there have been some changes. I won’t go into detail but we will be taking her to a school, and I feel good about this {expensive} decision. I am not having a panick attack just thinking about taking her to the sitter. I am happy with the direction life is taking this little family. Now I need to get happier with the direction I take myself to compliment this family.

Yay for change! Right now, it is shower time then going out and having a fun morning with my little girl while I still can.