Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Whole Love

There's a whole lotta' love in this house now:

After looking at this, I decided I need some balloons to go with it.

P.S. Thank you to Shanna for that chair... We love it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I feel like I've been lacking in the recipe posts lately. I'd love to try to make at least one new thing each week. The cookbooks I checked out at the library are slightly overwhelming, since we don't always stock fresh herbs or buy fancy cheeses.

I think I've just been too busy with our "staple" meals, which are super easy, require no recipe directions, and always turn out delicious.

Here's what we usually eat: spaghetti, pancakes and eggs, grilled cheese and soup, fried rice and pot stickers, and bean burritos with homemade salsa (plus all the fix-ins)...

I guess they're not the healthiest of meals, but I'm trying to get better at eating more of the veggies than the main course.

Now pass me those chips...
Listening to: this song by Cookie Monster. Seriously, listen to the lyrics. It's so cute and Cookie Monster singing it is THE BEST.
Decided: to try painting. I need to hang some art in my house, and unfortunately for my house, this is the cheapest way to go.
Absolutely delighted: that this inexpensive pizza oven alternative exists. I don't have to wait for William to build me an actual brick oven. Now to find me the perfect pizza dough recipe...
Cracking up: at this face and hair--

Love my girl.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I finally jumped on the Twitter bus. I don't know what took me so long or what changed my mind... I guess I just felt like I was missing out.

Anyway, I feel like the new kid in school (which I hate), so can you let me follow you around? (Leave a comment with your twitter name, please.)

You can follow me too: @JennyBtweets
I went to the library with every intent of checking out some novels.

I walked out with 4 cookbooks instead.
Listening to: Wilco, 'A Ghost is Born'. Specifically, 'A Muzzle of Bees'.
Reading: 'Hourglass' by Myra McEntire. I need to return it very soon... I think to you, Connie?
Also Reading: one of my cookbooks from the library called 'Mad Hungry'. Its focus is feeding your family, especially families full of men. Since William does most of the eating in this house, it's perfect.
Making: Valentine Garlands... they're just made with streamers, no biggie.
Eating: this salsa. I really need to try a different recipe, but I just can't break from this one.

Happy Birthday to my twin brothers, Joe and Jay! Let's go to Carolina's.
And a Happy (late Birthday) to my brother-in-law, Daniel! Let's go to DP Cheesesteaks.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chicken Cesaer Sandwich

This is dedicated to William's little brother, David. This sandwich combines three of David's favorite things: Cesaer dressing, King's Hawaiian rolls, and meat.

I originally found the recipe here on Pinterest, but I changed it up.

Chicken Cesaer Sandwiches

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup Cesaer dressing (I used Newman's Own)

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/8 cup fresh chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

8 rolls - I used King's Hawaiian


1. Place chicken in a 3-4 quart crock pot with 1 cup of water. Add chopped onions and sprinkle chicken with garlic powder. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours.

2. Remove chicken and onions from crock pot. Drain water, shred chicken, and remove fat.

3. Place chicken back in the crock pot and pour dressing, cheese, parsley, and pepper over the top. Stir together. Cover and cook on high heat for 30 minutes or until mixture is hot.

4. Butter the rolls and toast on the stove or griddle. Scoop a few spoonfuls of chicken on rolls.

You can add romaine lettuce of course... I prefer no lettuce on hot sandwiches.

10 things at 10 months

Can you tell I adore my June?

I can't believe in 2 months she'll be a year old.

Here are 10 things I want to remember about June at 10 months:
1. She loves Sesame Street, especially Elmo and Cookie Monster.
2. She wiggles her toes and wrists when she is excited about eating something. Watch:

3. When the door bell rings, she pounces on my lap so that I have no choice but to carry her. She doesn't want to miss who is at the door.
4. She laughs at herself... she thinks she's hilarious. This is usually what it sounds like:

5. She LOVES to play with cell phones. I've had to ban her from my phone because she has somehow managed to call 9-1-1 five times already.
6. She loves clapping to this song and this song. (And loves dancing to William's guitar.)
7. When she hears the bath water running, she can't contain her laughter and shrieking.
8. Chubbs and June are pals.
9. When she sees that William and I are eating ice cream, she IMMEDIATELY pulls out her
pacifier and starts smacking her lips. She knows we can't deny her a few bites.
10. She loves wearing matching hair accessories:

I'm not actually sure if she does, but I do.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wilco Lessons

I learned a few things at the Wilco concert last night. Allow me to share...

1. The guy whose job it is to tell you to delete the photo you just took actually LOVES his job. Good for him. Too bad he's not very good at it:

2. At the Gammage, Row 1 actually means Row 4 because there's an A, B and a C row in front of you and everyone knows that ABC comes before Row 1.

3. Drunk middle-aged people are the funniest people to watch at concerts, EXCEPT when they're sitting next to you. Did I say "sitting"? I meant swaying*, singing loudly, dancing*, shouting at us*, and every other obnoxious thing you can think of. The husband looked like Anderson Cooper, but unlike Anderson Cooper this man had no class.

4. If there is assigned seating and you decide you want to dance* and sing in front of MY seat, I will politely tell you to move. If you respond with, "Look, I'm not hurting anyone!", I'll politely respond with "YOU SERIOUSLY BETTER MOVE." and I might have an insane look in my eye that tells you I'm about to go crazy on you. Besides, you WERE hurting me. My ears and eyes are forever imprinted with your awful singing and awkward dancing*.

5. The couple in front of us didn't get the memo that it's not 1994 anymore. They also didn't get the memo that not showering since 1994 is unacceptable.

6. Whoever created the stage design should get a raise. This is what it looked like without the lighting:

7. I actually love seeing shows at Gammage. William and I saw Ben Folds there once, too. SO GOOD.

8. Despite #1-5, we had a blast.

9.. I love Wilco very much. The music was perfect, my favorite was "Art of Almost".

And there you have it.

*This is what I mean when I say the "dancing" that we encountered last night:

Now let us never speak of this video to anyone. EVER.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

June is super proud to be an American, so I made her the above U.S. map out of fabric scraps. (Sorry to leave you out, Alaska and Hawaii.) This was my inspiration. No, I didn't sew each state on the canvas. It's called Mod Podge and it smells icky.

There's something wrong when you wish your bedroom was the nursery. I think it's finally time that I start decorating my own bedroom.

Listening to: Mumford and Sons. I boarded their train and I dig.
Changed my mind: on paint colors for my bedroom AGAIN. I went from wanting to paint it dark gray to a lighter color when I saw this bedroom and this bedroom. Choosing a paint color is an annoying battle that I fight with myself.
Drinking: Hot chocolate and whipped cream.
Studying every detail of: this trailer. I can't wait.
Elated: that June is loving Sesame Street. I can't wait to get her a Cookie Monster doll.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tiny Dancer

I think June decided that cutting a rug is much more fun than crawling on the rug.

June, you are the bee's knees.

Just go to the record store, and visit your friends...

This is our humble pile of records:

Most Saturdays, William and I listen to records while we work. We have a small but sensational record collection. Some we found at thrift stores. A few we bought brand new. William was generously GIVEN those Beatles records. We're lookin' to collect more.

In addition to these resolutions, I've made a few mental goals as well. One thing I aspire to do is build something.

Of course I need to start small, so I'd love to build something that houses our record collection. Something like this, or this.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The secret to making "The Best Cookies" better.

I finally made what New York Times calls the best chocolate chip cookie. I know that you've seen these cookies around the interwebs, but this is yet another post about them.

Yes, they were very very very good. William ate six of them. Don't tell him I told you.

Here's the secret to making them even better: drink with a glass of cold 1% milk in a glass with a striped straw. Bam.

Rather than copy the recipe, I'm just going to link it.

Don't forget the cake and bread flour. And if you feel like eating them today, make them yesterday... the dough has to simmer in the fridge for 24 hours.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Seeing Spots

(Playtime in June's room)

Yesterday was one of those days that started off amazing, and
quickly took an ugly turn. My list for the day included: work at the office, Activity days (my new calling at church, I can't tell you how excited I am about it), clean the kitchen and bedroom, deliver cookies and make dinner.

In the morning, I dropped June off at my mom's and went to dad's office to work. As I was driving back, I noticed I was seeing spots,and I thought it was my contacts. Within 10 minutes of getting to my mom's house, I went from having a minor headache to feeling like my head was going to explode. Then the nausea came. I thought I knew what a migraine was, but this was a whole new level of nasty. I was thankful that I was still at my mom's... she let me sleep and watched June for a few more hours.

I didn't like yesterday at all. I only got one thing done on my list, and because of the nausea that wouldn't go away (even after my migraine did), I wasn't the most lovable mom towards this little bean:

June, I promise I will be better today... because today we're going shopping with Grandma. Nothing beats a migraine hangover like shopping with Grandma.

Here's to another day of not getting my list done. Happy Friday the 13th.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

June's Diaper Change Ritual

There is a porcelain pig that guards June's books on the shelves above the changing table.

I have no idea how this ritual began, but it happens every time I change June's diaper. As I lift her from the table, she consistently reaches for the pig and gently touches its face. After a few seconds, she's done.

It's bizarre, but awesome. Maybe she thinks it's good luck... or maybe she dreams of eating bacon?

P.S. Thank you for the pig, Debbie.
Listening to: Wilco Station on Pandora. Next Saturday, I'll be just a few feet from Jeff Tweedy. I can't wait.
Eating: this cookie dough. Did you know you are supposed to refrigerate this dough for 24-36 hours before baking these cookies? Now you know. They seriously better be the best chocolate chip cookies ever, New York Times.
Emptying: our wallets, thanks to my '96 Honda Accord. William and I had big plans to finally do our yard, but I needed new tires and some work done on the engine. Curse you, 16-year-old car.
Entranced by: this photographer's blog. I love those Cinemagraph photos. It's just like the photos from Harry Potter.
Reading: "There's a Monster at the End of this Book" to June. I loved this book when I was little. Did you know there's a sequel?

June's Golden Idol

I've mentioned before June's obsession with this blanket:

Because she needs to have it in hands or in sight at all times, it's a little tricky to clean it on a regular basis. I've had to develop a strategy.

While June is napping, I sneak her blanket and replace it with a sweater that just so happens to be the same texture. I make the switch Indiana Jones style. (You know the scene when Indy switches the bag of sand for the golden idol? Except I have to do it a little more swiftly and carefully.)

Today, unfortunately, the end result was the same as the movie's:

Caught. Well, at least I wasn't chased around my house by a giant rolling boulder.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The BEAST that had SKABS on his ABS

The Bradfords have a way of leaving their mark after they've stayed at your house for a weekend, sort of like a dog marking his territory (but in a less disgusting way).

Example #1 - My kitchen letters normally spell 'EAT'. Remember when Daniel did this? Well, this time they found more letters and spelled:

In addition to 'BEAST', 'ABS' and 'SKABS' adorned my kitchen shelf as well.

Example #2 - Before the Bradfords came, William and I declared ourselves loser status because our refrigerator was running very low. After the Bradfords came, somehow we tripled our condiment and snack supply. (The Bradfords love their sauces.)

Example #3 - June has been a slight grump because I can't compensate the amount of attention the Bradfords gave her all weekend.

She's also really sweaty too, for some reason.

Example #4 - Dirt Tooth Construction* returned and built us a new, solid desk:

I'll be sure to show a complete 'Before & After' in another post.

Bradfords, please come again soon... we're running out of snacks.

*Dirt Tooth was born during the time William, Daniel, and David built our backyard deck. They call it 'Dirt Tooth' because they all somehow got dirt on their teeth when they were constructing the deck. But usually when people ask what Dirt Tooth Construction is, I tell them it's just the Bradford Brothers arguing over who is the boss of their fake construction company while they fix something they just broke. The End.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You are my Family Tree

Last weekend was Baby Kensley's blessing, so the entire Bradford family came to town. It also happened to be the first time that ALL of the Bradfords were together in a several years. So of course we made some time to take family photos.

We lasted about twenty minutes with our photographer before we started taking our own pictures... senior portrait style?

All together now:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 was the best year so far. Mostly because of this little nugget:

How's about some goals for 2012?
1. Go outside more.
2. Plan meals better (make freezer meals, follow a meal calendar, etc.), which brings me to my next goal...
3. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." (see list below.)
4. Read 'Jesus the Christ'.
5. Develop good studying habits.
6. Go to bed earlier and develop a better bedtime routine (wash face, floss, brush teeth, prayers, scriptures, plan, read, etc.)
7. Organize my house.
8. Take more photos. Take a photography class. Read the camera manual. Get a camera lens. Print and organize the photos.
9. Go to the library once a month. Return books on time.
10. Have more fun with William and June. Take a trip? Go on more dates? (I use question marks because I haven't discussed this with William.)

That's all for now.

Eating: an apple. BAM. Already off to a good start.
Listening to: The Black Keys "El Camino". OH MY. SO GOOD.
Reading: "In Defense of Food". This is the book that will hopefully change my diet (See #3). I've only read the first chapter and I'm already converted. I just hope it lasts...
Wondering: what happened to the cold weather? Seriously, don't go.
Planning to FINALLY bake: these cookies. William bought me some bread flour and cake flour. You're also probably wondering what these cookies have to do with my new diet. First, this is where portion control comes into play. Second, be quiet.