Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bluegrass Bound

A couple of weeks ago Stafford and I decided to make the trek to Kentucky so he could meet more of his Roxberry and Stafford family.  We drove up on Monday, stopping at 3 Cracker Barrels so Stafford could eat while I rocked in the rocking chairs outside, and made the trip in a little over 10 hours.  Tuesday we went to see my Namaw & Grandaddy Stafford.  This is of course where Stafford got his name!


Nola & Namaw meeting Stafford

Grandaddy holding Stafford

4 "Stafford" Generations

Allison & Nola

Great Uncle Ed & Aunt Val

The Stafford-Roxberry family

Proud Mama

Stafford was worn out from his trip to Kentucky so on the way home we decided to split up the trip and make it in two days.  While he was home Stafford got to meet Aunt Allison & Uncle Yancey, Cousin Nola, Great Grandaddy & Namaw, Great-great Aunt & Uncle Ritter, Great Aunt & Uncle Val & Ed and Great-great aunt and Uncle Kemper.  We also got cute froggy stuff from our Stafford family!!  We love frogs!!

Aunt Heather came for a visit all the way from Ohio!

Gina & Heather came over to meet Stafford on Wednesday night.  And on Tuesday we had a special dinner with the Porter family, continuing the Porter-Roxberry tradition of family dinners.  Stafford also got to meet Hannah, his future BFF!!  We had a wonderful time in KY and can't wait to go back at Thanksgiving with Daddy!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Looking Forward to Fall?!?

For the first time in a long time, and maybe ever, I'm actually looking forward to Fall.  I think!  Usually I hate this time of year.  It starts to get cold and dark.  I hate the dark.  I've hated the dark since I was a child and I hate it even more as an adult.  Some of it is a long story and the other is the fact that the dark is just heavy and oppressive and lonely. 

Since I'm now a "WAHM-Work At Home Mom" (because believe me, being a Mommy is work!) I get to see the light of day all day long.  I can enjoy a walk with Stafford or sit outside on our porch with a cup of coffee.  Not that I've really been doing those things but they sound good and I like the fact that if I decide to do them tomorrow I can!

I think I'm so excited about Fall...and Winter....and forever....because I now get to watch it all unfold for the first time for my sweet son.  Although he seems to be growing way too fast it sure is fun to mark the milestones.  I can't wait to sit down to Thanksgiving and count my blessings.  I can't wait to sit at Christmas and realize that last year we were just announcing to our families that we were going to have a baby.  I can't wait to watch the world unfold for Stafford as he discovers new things.  I can't wait until he learns how to laugh.  I can't wait for him to realize how much I love him.  I'm not sure that will happen until he has babies of his own....but I will sure try to show him....every single day of my life.

And maybe that is why this Fall seems so light and so full of life.  When the sun goes down and the curtains are drawn I still have this light that is so bright it just keeps my heart warm all the time.  I guess everyone tries to tell you how parenthood will change you but no one every told me it would be this good.  I can't wait to be thankful this Fall!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Top Ten Again

I like top ten lists.  They make me think.  And prioritize.  Maybe I should make a top ten list of things I need to do around my house?  Hmm....I'd much rather share....

Top Ten Things I'm Slightly Obsessed with Lately

10. Cooking Shows

9. Finding the perfect chicken salad recipe

8. Ordering things off the Internet (mostly because I LOVE getting packages!)

7. Freezing Jello Chocolate Pudding and pretending it is ice cream

6. Losing these last 10 pounds of pregnancy weight (and then some!)

5. Videotaping Stafford all the time trying to catch him "talking"

4. Trying to figure out why we have so much laundry

3. Airplane clothing for Stafford--Gymboree is currently draining my savings!! :)

2. Adorable feet on Stafford's pjs--my favorites are the dinosaurs that really look like little dino feet

1. Sweet sweet smiles that Stafford is giving us!

How cute is my little man in his airplane button down & khaki pants??

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Photo Share


My friend Courtney has just started a photography blog to help teach people to take amazing photographs.  Coincidentally I just bought a camera so I could learn to take amazing photographs!
Each Friday you can "share" a picture you have taken using something you've learned on her site.  Other photographers can critique it and help you continue to improve.

This week I'm posting a picture of my adorable niece Nola.  In this picture I used the "rule of thirds" to capture her face when she saw a cat walking through the backyard.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Foodie Wanna Be

I like to think of myself as a foodie. Kind of. I mean, I'm not to the point where I'm willing to eat a runny egg yolk. And I think that is like the pinnacle of foodieism. Every food show I watch shows someone making something with a runny egg yolk and people ooooing and ahhhing over how perfectly cooked it is and how wonderfully delicious the runny yolk tastes. Blech! Just not there yet.

Even thought I'm not quite the foodie I want to be I can definitely claim to love food! I've been fortunate enough to live in Charleston for the last 6 years. If Charleston isn't the Mecca of good food then I don't know what is. We have some seriously good stuff here.  Most of the restaurants we frequent are places we have heard by word of mouth.  Here are my top 10 places to eat in Charleston (and what I order!!)

10. Rita's
Rita's is a new burger joint on James Island in front of the Holiday Inn.  Peter and I both have a penchant for burgers and this place definitely delivers.  They are so big you can barely get them in your mouth.  Plus anywhere willing to put guac on a burger makes me happy!  Totally worth the drive for the yummy food and outside seating.

9. Mosaic
This is not a traditional Charleston restaurant.  However I can get almost all of my favorite foods in one dish here.  Therefore it makes the list!  I can't remember what it is called but it is a pita stuffed with shrimp, basil pesto, artichoke hearts and cheese.  Yummy!!....and there is outside seating!

8. Capriccio
This is a funny little Italian place in Mt. Pleasant.  I'm not sure how we found it but after eating an amazing spinach salad there I'd say it is our most used "stolen" recipe.  Whenever I have a good meal somewhere I do my best to figure out what the ingredients are so I can make it at home.  This spinach salad has strawberries, green apples, almonds, strawberry dressing and goat cheese.  I'm pretty sure eating this salad started my love of goat cheese.....my #1 "must have" pantry staple.

7.  EVO
You can't have a top ten list and not include a pizza place.  I definitely like what Peter calls "girl" pizza; thin crust, fancy ingredients, wood fired....you get the picture.  EVO is in Park Circle and has this amazing pistachio pesto pizza with cream.  You probably think it sounds weird....you are wrong.  This pizza is fabulous!  And to top it off EVO offers a nightly list of "chocolates" for dessert.  Some of my favorite combinations are the chocolate rosemary and the salty caramel chocolate.  I've even had a bacon chocolate.  You probably think that sounds weird....again, you are wrong. 

6. Cru Cafe
This is a more recent discovery for me and I'm mad that it took me so long to eat here.  The food here is amazing!  Lots of variety, fancy and fabulous!  My favorite is a mescalin salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, tomatoes, red onions, grilled shrimp and goat cheese rolled in pine nuts.  It's down in the historic district and you can eat on the porch.  Do you see a trend here? I LOVE outdoor seating!

5. Fleet Landing
I'm sure of all the amazing seafood restaurants in Charleston this isn't on everyone's list.  They make my list for one reason and one reason only-crabcakes.  During the last month of my pregnancy I wanted crab cakes daily.  Fleet Landing makes cakes that are about 99% crabmeat and 1% whatever else.  This is rare!  Plus there are no green peppers (my #1 hated food).  I've tried crab cakes all over Charleston and these are the best I can find.  If you know of better please let me know!  Outdoor seating on the harbor makes this one a no brainer for me!

4. Taco Boy/Zia Taqueria
Ok I realize this is cheating.  These are two different restaurants.  And if  I had done this list a couple of weeks ago the Taqueria wouldn't have made it....for the simple reason that I had never been there!  After recommendations from a few friends we decided to check it out.  Wow!  Amazing fish tacos.  The verdict is still out however because we didn't order nachos.  And we have yet to find nachos anywhere that compare to the wonderfulness that is the Taco Boy Nacho.  Regardless, if you are looking for amazing fish tacos either of these places will do the trick.  Did I mention that both have outdoor seating??

3. Hominy Grill
I love the shrimp and grits at Hominy Grill so much that I've never ordered anything else on their menu. (Other than the chocolate pudding!)  I love the shrimp and grits at Hominy Grill so much that I served their recipe as the main course at my wedding.  I love the shrimp and grits at Hominy Grill because I can eat them outside.  I LOVE the shrimp and grits at Hominy Grill!

2. Bull Street Deli
I don't particularly like deli's.  I think they are kind of boring and mostly I think lunch meat is gross.  Bull Street Deli isn't a typical deli.  This little hole in the wall near the CofC campus serves THE BEST caprese sandwich on the planet.  I know because I've tried them all!  I have tried and tried to replicate this one at home but to no avail.  It comes on ciabatta bread with a walnut pesto, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, balsamic drizzle and some type of marinated tomatoes....the secret ingredient.  If I could figure out how to replicate those tomatoes I would each this sandwich every day of my life!

1. Poe's
I started with a burger and I'll end with a burger.  There is no place that makes Peter or I happier than Poe's.  Their burgers are the best and they also have other menu items that are equally as good-nachos, blue cheese coleslaw and the shrimp and fish tacos.  This is one of the only places I go where I actually have to decide what to order.  If I get a burger though it's got to be the Amontillado.  It is perfection on a plate-especially since I can eat it outside!!

Where are your "must eats"?  I'm always looking for new restaurants to add to this list!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just Shred It

Anyone who knows Peter knows he is slightly compulsive about shredding.  Anything with our name and address goes into the shred pile.  In fact he once broke a shredder by shredding too much for too long.

These days I am the shredder.And I'm not talking about paper.  My friend Ashley (check out her blog here) and I challenged ourselves to buy the "Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred" DVD.  As of this morning we had both bought it but of course it was still in the wrapper!  We finally buckled down and started shredding!

The DVD is just a 20 minute workout.  It combines cardio, strength training and ab work.  You need 2 weights and that is it!  20 minutes may not seem like much of a workout but I was sweaty (gross!) and tired (surprisingly) after finishing the video.  I guess we'll see what the results are in 30 days! Surely I can find 20 minutes in my day to workout right??

Stay tuned!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stafford Travels to Tennessee

Over Labor Day weekend Stafford took his first roadtrip!  We wanted to take Stafford to Chattanooga to meet his Euler family and to get a 4-generation picture with Stafford, Peter, Peter's Dad and  Peter's Grandpa.  It was so fun to show him off!

4 Generations of Euler Men
4 Generations on Great-Grandma Willson's side too!


While we were gone Stafford had his first bottle.  He took it with no problem.  Mommy sees a little freedom in her future!  Or at least a few good nights of sleep!!

Stafford meets his cousins-Taylor & Schaeffer



While we were in TN the girls celebrated Grambo's birthday at an English Tea House downtown.  It was so much fun and Stafford was super well behaved!

We had a great time on our trip and enjoyed visiting with friends and family.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Baby Daddy


Like Father.....like son.  Stafford sleeps with his hands beside his face like this every night.  There is no question who this little guy looks like!  He is clearly Daddy's boy!!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

1 Month (a week late!) Old Update


I'm stealing this idea from my friend Rachel over at Calton Corner.  Each month she writes a cute letter to her handsome son Brennan to record his milestones and fun things going on to remember about his growth!  Also thanks to Rachel for teaching me how to do a link :)

Dear Stafford,

This post is a week late, pretty typical of your Mama both before and after you arrived.  You however arrived early, on August 7, 2010.  Your due date was the 20th but I knew you'd come early.  You were too ready to see the world and be a part of what was going on!

You are growing very fast!  Too fast!  Sometimes at night when I am nursing you before bed I get sad when I think of how fast you are growing.  I think about the fact that someday your tiny little hands will be bigger than your Mama's and maybe even your Daddy's!  You have big feet with long toes and long fingers.  You love your hands and you refuse to have them swaddled.  You have lots of curly hair and it has blond tips!  Your eyes are a beautiful blue color and you are a little skinny man.  So far you are only wearing newborn clothes and diapers (we like Pampers!).  I tried a 0-3 month outfit and it was way too big for you for now.

You are a super happy baby!  We have established a flexible 3-hour schedule for eating, playing and sleeping.  When you wake up from a nap you eat and then if you are awake we have some play/awake time until you are sleepy.  Sometimes you stay awake for the entire time between feedings.  You are very happy and content during those times and your eyes are always wide open and looking around the room.  Sometimes you have a pacifier but if you don't want it you spit it out or hold your lips closed so we can't put it in.  Strong willed already!

You have been a great sleeping so far!  We don't have a consistent bedtime yet because sometimes you like to stay awake a little longer than we want you to!  But once you go to sleep sometimes you sleep for 5 or 6 hours before you wake up.  If your parents would learn to go to bed when you did we would get a lot more sleep!  Still we are thankful for those long stretches and it helps us feel rested for the mornings!  Daddy usually gets up to change your diaper for Mama because it takes her so long to wake up in the middle of the night.  Then I feed you and you go right to bed.  We are hoping to move you to your room soon because you are a very loud sleeper!  You grunt and groan and make all sorts of funny noises!

So far you've been such a good traveler!  You don't mind your car seat and even stay awake sometimes while we are driving.  We've gone all sorts of places together-church, out to eat, grocery shopping, the chiropractor and even to visit our family in Chattanooga.  While we were in TN you had your first bottle.  We also got to meet one of your great-grandmas and great-grandpas and some of your cousins!  You did a great job on your first roadtrip!  At home we've even started going on walks in the running stroller.  Hopefully you'll take after your Daddy in the running area, Mama isn't quite the expert!

We LOVE being your Daddy and Mama and can't wait to watch you grow and change.  Just don't do it too fast!!

Love,
Daddy & Mama

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Fancy" Chicken Salad

Well, with slight modification this is a winner!!

Ingredients

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 cloves crushed garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cooked
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup craisins

1.Blend mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic and dill. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

2.Stir together chicken, craisins and cheese and blend with the chilled dressing. Serve!
 
Next time I think I'll chop the chicken a little more so it isn't quite as chunky.  I'm still looking for something to add a little crunch.  Maybe cucumber?  What would you suggest?  While you think about it I'm headed to the kitchen for some more of the "fancy"stuff!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Salad Yumminess

I am on a search for the perfect chicken salad recipe.  When my parents visited after Stafford was born we headed downtown to my favorite spot, The Bull Street Deli.  The Bull Street is a great little spot where you can get AMAZING gourmet deli food!  I practically lived on their tomato, mozzarella sandwich known as "The Mozz" during my last four years at CofC.  Since I am a creature of habit I've never tried anything else there!  My Dad and Peter ventured out and had these fabulous chicken salad sandwiches.  Usually I play food detective and try to figure out what is in something but that sandwich was so good I had Peter trade me 1/2 of his for 1/2 of my Mozz and I ate it so fast the only thing I could recognize was chicken, cranberries and yumminess!!

So...this brings me to today as I search the Internet for chicken salad recipes.  None of them look super appealing to me in recipe form.  I abhor celery so it is out.  I'll let you know what I find.

The other recipe I am obsessed with finding is this cold green bean, walnut & feta salad.  I am not a fresh green bean lover.  But a couple of weeks ago we had a potluck at church and someone brought this amazing salad.  I even had a dream about this salad it was so good!  The ingredients I could determine from eating were: green beans, feta, walnuts, red onion, fresh dill, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe a little but of Dijon.  I am dying to either recreate or have this salad again.

Ooooo....I just found this green bean salad online!!  It is a Southern Living recipe!  Looks like all I left out was the garlic.  And there is no Dijon.  Regardless I am heading to the commissary (I was going anyway) and getting the ingredients for this salad!  I'll post the recipe and a picture tomorrow!

Have any chicken salad recipes to share?  I'd love to have them!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sugar-Free September

Another by-product of my sweet son Stafford is my super-sized summer wardrobe.  Ok, maybe not super-sized but we're definitely looking at the extra value meal size clothes instead of the salad and fruit parfait version.  I know, I know, its only been a couple of weeks since Stafford arrived but I've got to start sometime!  I can't figure out if the alliteration motivated me or the fact that it is noon in Charleston and nice enough to take a walk outside.  This means fall, aka jeans that don't fit weather is on the way.  Regardless, I THINK I am going to do this.
I've already cheated.  Sort of.  Does that small brownie I had for breakfast yesterday count? 

I'm going to start this on Tuesday the 7th and go until October 7th.  I'll probably be kicking myself October 1 because I could start today but we're going on vacation this weekend!  It's almost impossible to be at the Euler's and be sugar-free!!

Here are my "rules" for Sugar-Free September.

1. No dessert items (aka brownies, ice cream, cake etc)
2. Starbucks drinks are allowed-1 per week-as long as it is the lite version
3. My morning cereal doesn't count, but I can only have 1 serving and can only eat it for breakfast
4. In addition to "no-sugar" I will also drink at least 64 oz of water each day
5. I will walk at LEAST 3 times a week

Goal: lose at least 1/2 of my remaining pregnancy weight by October 7 (Stafford's 2-month b-day)

Ask me how I'm doing when you see me!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pantry Staples

This post is inspired by my conversation last night with two good friends over dinner.  We started chatting about things that we can't live without in our house and how different every person's pantry/refrigerator looks.  Here are the "Top Ten Things" I can't live without in my pantry or fridge.

10. Boxed Cereal
This one is pretty common but I eat it every morning for breakfast and especially when I was pregnant it was one of the only things that appealed to me.

9. 1% milk
For my cereal of course!

8. Nutella
This is another new one since pregnancy.  Maybe it should be on the "I want to be be in my pantry but should it be?" list.

7. Tomato
This one is surprising because growing up it was on the "don't like" list.  Given my fondness for caprese salad and sandwiches though, this one is almost always in the house.

6. Kefir
This one isn't for me.  But ever since Peter started watching what he was eating for Krohn's this yogurt-like treat is always at our house.

5. Basil
This one isn't in either the pantry or fridge.  It's out on the porch.  But it still counts.  I use it almost everyday for something!

4. Crystal Light
We call it "The Good Stuff".  Whatever they put in the Tangerine-Strawberry something or other has us hooked.  We've always got "The Good Stuff" at the Euler's.

3. Ale-8-1
What?  You don't know what this is?  Clearly you didn't grow up in KY and that makes me sad for you.  Very, very sad.  Ale-8 is a KY made soft drink that is fabulous.  You can only drink it out of the bottle. The can just doesn't cut it.  After Stafford was born my parents brought me 3 6-packs of this fabulous stuff.  I'll ration that until it's time for a trip home!

2. Vinegar-Balsalmic, Red  Wine, White Wine & Apple Cider
All have a purpose.  All are yummy!!  All are ALWAYS in my pantry.

1. Goat Cheese
Yes you read that right.  Goat cheese.  I love it.  I mean reeeeallly love it.  It goes on salads, sandwiches, soup.  It goes with savory and sweet.  It is fabulous and I've GOT to have it!

What are your "Got to have it" items??

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