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DIY Coconut Oil Deodorant

I'm well aware that homemade deodorant makes me sound like a total hippy dippy.  Maybe I am.  Either way, I love this stuff.  I think it works at least as well as commercial deodorants (maybe better), smells fabulous, is cheap, eliminates razor burn, and doesn't have weird things in it.  Did I mention it takes all of about 1 minute to make?


Ingredients:
1 Part Baking Soda (combats smell)
1 Part Cornstarch (combats moisture)
1-1.5 Parts Coconut Oil (holds it together, helps it go on smoothly, and makes it smell amazing!)

Melt the coconut oil so it's easy to mix.  Stir all ingredients together.  If it seems too dry, add another tablespoon or two of coconut oil.  It will be solid at room temperature, so you can either keep it in a little container and scoop out a tiny bit each time to use, or you can fill an old (empty!) deodorant container with it.  If your house is on the warm side, you may want to keep it in the fridge so it doesn't melt.

Enjoy and swear to never use commercial deodorant again.



Resolution Check-In

Do a monthly resolution check on the 30th of the month - check!

Health
·      Run a race (either 10K or half marathon, or both) - found a 10k to run on 5/19
·      Prepare one recipe from a cookbook each week - done two so far
·      Finish breakfast by 10am each day - getting there
·      Continue making all our bread and deodorant, and perfect homemade yogurt
·      Be ready for the day by 10am
·      Be in bed by 10:30 (as I write this at 11:20…) - 6 minutes left
·      Exercise 3x/week - so far so good
·      Eat 5+ fruits/veggies each day - been adding even more veggies into meals, so that's good
Have 10 great vegetarian crock pot meals
Hobbies
·      Practice violin at least 10 minutes each day - going well, and rejoined an orchestra after taking a break after kina's birth
·      Read my DLSR manual
·      Practice being more precise when I sew
·      Do at least one thing on “Things to do in DC” list each month
·      Write in my journal each day - love my line a day journal
·      Reorganize home & attic - done!
·      Finish yearly photo albums
·      Refinish coffee table with D
Mental
·      Read at least 30 substantive books
·      Work from home at least 5 hours a week (either on company or consulting)
·      Glance at the news each morning - had forgotten about this...
Marriage
·      Have weekly dates (with at least one a month not at home) - yep
·      Read 4 books together - reading Camilla right now
·       
Children
·      Read scriptures with them each morning and help Nat memorize (or generally know) one scripture each month - memorizing an Article of Faith each month (done with the 1st), and reading 2 pages of the Book of Mormon each day in order to read the whole thing to them over the course of the year
·      Give alternates – don’t just say “no,” but help them see alternate options and help them put emotions into words
·      Participate in coop preschool - doing two, each one morning a week
·      Take advantage of all teaching opportunities (reading books, craft projects, cooking, letters, singing time, etc.)
·      Potty train Nat
·      Have reading time with just kina each day - nice to spend some one-on-one time with my second child
·      Write monthly letters to kina
Social & Service
·      Take one meal a month to a family in need
·      Have at least 2 friend dates a month
·      Increase fast offering - yep
·      Do visiting teaching each month and grow to love and serve my sisters
Spiritual
·      Memorize all scripture masterys - done with 8 so far
·      Make fasting more meaningful – figure out concrete ways
·      Complete Personal Progress
·      Forgive without being asked
·      Before getting upset, ask myself if something is proper or preference
·      Add baby things to 72 hour kit
·      Read 30 minutes of scriptures each day, and finish Ensign each month
·      Monthly temple visits - San Antonio this month
·      Family history: write down one family story each month

Stripes & A Flash of Yellow

 Shirt/Cardi: H&M; Pants/Shoes: Target; Umbrella: Ikea
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Have I mentioned how hard it is to take outfit pictures when it gets dark at approximately 3pm? About once?  A week?  And how I cannot for the life of me seem to remember to take pictures over the weekend?  Blogger fail.

Dan happened to get home a little early yesterday, though, which meant that we ran out with the camera the second he walked through the door.*  It's was a dreary, gloomy, no good day, but I was bound and determined to make rain-blurred pictures mine.

*By which I mean 20 minutes later when I finally remembered.


Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

IRL

There are probably some people out there who seem perfectly normal on their blogs and are total weirdos in person.  Janssen & her family are not those people.

We headed down to Texas this last weekend, and Janssen was sweet enough to invite us over for (a very delicious) lunch while we were there.  We took this to mean to go to church with them and take over their entire Sunday and love every minute.  They were just so ridiculously delightful.  Afterwards, we couldn't stop talking about how lovely they were and how it would not be terrible if they suddenly decided to move to DC and become our neighbors.

As we pulled into our parking lot after driving home from the airport, the first thing out of Nat's mouth, and entirely out of the blue, was, "I want Ella to come to our house!"  I want Ella (and her fam) to come to our house, too.





4 Months

Sweetest C,
Oh my, but you are just the sweetest little baby there ever was.  Seriously, this month has made even more apparent what an absolute sweetheart you are.  You just smile and giggle all day long.  You only fuss if you're hungry or tired - and even then, it's more of a little grunt than a cry.  You are just the happiest little angel and we have loved getting to know your personality more lately.

 
This month, you've developed a serious bond with your brother.  He gets you to laugh like no one else, and you loooove just watching him play and run around.  In return, he's become a total doting older brother this month.  He adores making you smile and giggle, and is always trying to get you to join in on his activities ("Baby Kina come hold my hand and walk with me!")  He loves taking care of you and singing to you and giving you your paci (although he's still sometimes a little more insistent than you'd like...).  Oh, how it just makes my mama heart swell to see you two loving and caring for each other.
You've become so much more alert the last few weeks.  This is manifest in it being harder to nurse you when there's anyone else around or anything going on.  It is also manifest in your sleep, I'm sad to say.  While you were sleeping like a pro up until a couple of weeks ago, you've suddenly started waking up a couple of times at night.  Whaa???  Let's just say I am NOT into this trend and hope it reverses soon.  That said, you do still put yourself to sleep easily after being put down, so I can't complain too much.  At least we still have good naps, right?
This month has also marked a decline in your bottle-taking ability.  While you would take pumped milk without issue before, you've started resisting it lately.  You did deign to take some a couple of days ago, so we'll hope that you haven't forgotten altogether.
You've also started imitating more this month.  You love sticking your tongue back out at us and smile back at anyone who looks at you.  You have such a sweet light and the joy that lights up your face uplifts everyone around you.  I know I said this already, but you're really just such a sweetheart.  A couple of blessings you've received have indicated that you'll be a great reader of people, and that's already apparent; you sense emotion so keenly and already know how to connect with those around you through your smiles and "chatter."
 
This month also marked your very first Christmas.  Oh, how lovely that was.  It just somehow seems right and proper to cuddle a little baby around Christmastime, and you sweetly obliged.  You loved the magical glow of the lights, and are already in love with music; you immediately turn to it and start smiling whenever you hear sweet tunes.  How lovely it was to share that season with you and your brother.
 
Oh, Kina baby.  You are a little angel.  You're sweet and beautiful and gentle and just make being a baby look so easy.  We're so grateful you're here.
love,
mama

(See many of these pictures and more on my newfound Insta!)






Resolute

I have a funny relationship with goals.  I really love them.  But I have a hard time doing things without them.  Like the last two weeks?  I suppose I could've started practicing my violin more consistently or pulling out my cookbooks, but somehow, if they're not written down, I have a hard time making my goals happen.  Fear not - they're finally pondered and written and, you know, set in stone.  So I hope!

-->
Do a monthly resolution check on the 30th of the month

-->
Health
·      Run a race (either 10K or half marathon, or both)
·      Prepare one recipe from a cookbook each week
·      Finish breakfast by 10am each day
·      Continue making all our bread and deodorant, and perfect homemade yogurt
·      Be ready for the day by 10am
·      Be in bed by 10:30 (as I write this at 11:20…)
·      Exercise 3x/week
·      Eat 5+ fruits/veggies each day
Have 10 great vegetarian crock pot meals

Hobbies
·      Practice violin at least 10 minutes each day
·      Read my DLSR manual
·      Practice being more precise when I sew
·      Do at least one thing on “Things to do in DC” list each month
·      Write in my journal each day
·      Reorganize home & attic (home just about done!)
·      Finish yearly photo albums
·      Refinish coffee table with D

Mental
·      Read at least 30 substantive books
·      Work from home at least 5 hours a week (either on company or consulting)
·      Glance at the news each morning

Marriage
·      Have weekly dates (with at least one a month not at home)
·      Read 4 books together
·       

Children
·      Read scriptures with them each morning and help Nat memorize (or generally know) one scripture each month
·      Give alternates – don’t just say “no,” but help them see alternate options and help them put emotions into words
·      Participate in coop preschool
·      Take advantage of all teaching opportunities (reading books, craft projects, cooking, letters, singing time, etc.)
·      Potty train Nat
·      Have reading time with just kina each day
·      Write monthly letters to kina

Social & Service
·      Take one meal a month to a family in need
·      Have at least 2 friend dates a month
·      Increase fast offering
·      Do visiting teaching each month and grow to love and serve my sisters

Spiritual
·      Memorize all scripture masterys
·      Make fasting more meaningful – figure out concrete ways
·      Complete Personal Progress
·      Forgive without being asked
·      Before getting upset, ask myself if something is proper or preference
·      Add baby things to 72 hour kit
·      Read 30 minutes of scriptures each day, and finish Ensign each month
·      Monthly temple visits
·      Family history: write down one family story each month



Roasted Mushroom and Kale Calzones

1 batch pizza dough (I usually use this one with a very few minor tweaks for making it by hand)


1 16 oz package sliced mushrooms
1 T olive oil
Coarse salt, such as sea or kosher
Several big handfuls of kale, chopped (I like mine pretty small)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 - 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 - 1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
1-2 eggs
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Place mushrooms in roasting pan and mix with oil and several shakes of coarse salt. Roast intil mushrooms have released liquid and shriveled slightly, about 10-15 minutes.

2. While mushrooms are roasting, combine rest of ingredients in a medium bowl.  When mushrooms are done, fold them into the filling mixture.

3. Increase oven temperature to 475F.

4.  Take your ball of risen dough.  Cut it in half, then in halves again, and halves a 3rd time so that you have 8 equally sized pieces of dough.  Stretch one dough ball into a circle about 8-10" in diameter.  Place 1/8th of the filling on half of the circle, leaving room around the edge.  Fold over and turn up the edges to crimp.  Repeat with other balls.

5. Gently place calzones on a lined baking sheet or on a cornmeal-lined pizza paddle and slide directly onto pizza stone (my preference).  Bake 9-11 minutes, until calzones are puffed and golden.  Serve plain or with marinara dipping sauce.

(The exact amounts of the ingredients will depend on your preference. Just add enough egg to have it bind together nicely. You can make yours more of less cheesy, so these amounts are just approximations. Calzones are pretty forgiving! Like homemade pizza, you can kind of throw whatever veggies you want in there.  I think roasted sweet potato and fennel would be delicious!)


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Baby headbands

So. Let's talk baby accessories.  It's probably fairly clear that I totally love little boy ties and suspenders and all that.  But I have some reservations about baby girl things.  I'm going to go ahead and be honest here and say that I have very little affection for those massively ginorm bows and such.  In general, I think any and all hair accoutrements should be smaller than the baby's head.  I mean, I want to see your cute baby, not a mass of frill, ya know?

Enter Babylicious Divas.  Their headbands are totally sweet and tasteful and just plain adorable.  They very kindly sent me some to try out (many thanks!) and it makes me more excited than it probably should to put them on baby c.  Exhibits A-E:


(You know what else is the cutest?  That baby.)

So pretty, yes?  And if you like them on facebook, you can get 10% off!

Confessions


 Sweater: F21; Shirt: Downeast Basics; Jeans: Target; Booties: Zappos; Scarf: India

Here's a confession to start off your Monday: I have a love/hate relationship with scarves.  I know, they add color and texture and everyone loves them but I don't always.  I usually love how they look, but if there's wind they get all tangled with your clothes/children.  And they are impossible to wear with a baby carrier, unless you want to risk asphyxiation.  So this scarf got worn for an hour or two, on a Saturday, when Dan was home to carry the baby when we went out.  "A" for effort, right?


Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Shimmer


Blouse: thrifted; Cardi: Gap; Skirt: made by me; Necklace: made by my husband; Earrings: Shabby Apple; Scarf: F21; Heels: Payless
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I just felt so pretty in this outfit.  There's just something about pink and gold and a shimmery scarf that is just so girly...maybe the fact that it's pink and gold and shimmery.  I wore the outfit most of the day with the scarf (since I forgot to bring the baby carrier, anyway, so there was no risk of smothering her...dressing with a nursing infant is so hard), but I quite liked the necklace with the pretty bib on this blouse, too.  Which way do you like it better?

Also, this is what I wore to church the Sunday before New Year's Eve since we stayed in on the actual night itself.  Because wearing gold sparkly heels while sitting on the floor (our Christmas tree has replaced our table for the last month) and feeding a 2-year-old sounded fun approximately not at all.  So I got dressed up for church instead.  Hello, my name is Preethi and I evidently consider church a comparable substitute for going out for NYE.


Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Reusable Zippered Snack Bags

Did I mention just how delightful our holidays were?  Lots of fires (in our fireplace!), yummy food, family, and, most importantly, having Dan home for 10 days straight.  Heaven.  It's hard to re-enter the real world, but I suppose it must be done.

With the real world comes, you know, actually going out and doing errands with two kids.  Shocker, I know.  I feel like I'm always carrying around a snack or two.  We actually rarely eat actual "snacks" - I pretty much never buy pretzels or crackers or most anything else like that.  But between me nursing (and thus needing food all.the.time) and Nat occasionally needing a snack (and formerly eating lunch during church because it started right at lunchtime but NO MORE because we have morning church in the new year!!!  it's possible I'm the teeniest bit excited about this), we pretty regularly carry around little mini meals and things like fruit and cut up cheese and yogurt.*

Enter these fantastic little reusable snack bags from Groovy Gurls.  I've only had them a couple of weeks, but I love them.  No more hunting around in the bottom of my diaper bag trying to find whatever food item was haphazardly thrown in there.  I love the fact that they have zippers, unlike many velcro varieties (loud and annoying and become unsticky over time), and have a fabulous, easy-to-clean inner layer.  And the print is beyond adorable, yes?

*I also used to never buy pre-sweetened yogurt until I discovered Liberte coconut yogurt.  You'd think they're paying me to say that, but rather, I'm paying them lots of money for their delicious, delicious yogurt.  The grocery store guy gave me a really funny look last time when I grabbed every one on the shelf for my cart.





Fabulous, aren't they?  Seriously, these little bags make me happier than they probably should.  Three cheers for increased organization and functionality!

New Year, New Layout


Sweater: F21; Blouse: c/o Go Jane; Jeans: F21; Boots: Payless; Earrings: Shabby Apple
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Happy new year, friends!  We just took it easy over here and relaxed at home with some tasty snacks (mmm blue cheese stuffed dates and guac), sparkling cider, and some Full House DVDs (oh, yes...it's maybe a little sad how entertained we were).  This isn't what I wore that night (then why share it now, you say? good point), although it seems cute and comfy enough for a date night in, yes?  I loved the little bird print and peter pan collar peeking out from under the sweater.

Also!  For those of you who may be reading in Google Reader or some other feed, pop over to the blog and check out the new layout!  I'm so happy with how it turned out.  Hope you like it, too!