finding ways to use cooking, crafts, and hospitality to be a blessing for others

Thursday, May 31

Favorites - May

Costco is selling Lemon Cilantro Artichoke dip/sauce made by Pellegrini Kitchens.  It's fresh, flavorful, and versatile.  We have enjoyed it with chips, on a pizza, with pasta---soooooo yummy!  If you are in the Austin area and go to Costco, check them out!

I came across these Sonoma kitchen towels in my mom's kitchen and LOVE them. They are super absorbant and pretty! 

I came across a menu planning site that I adore.  It generates a weekly dinner menu with recipes and a shopping list each week for $5/month.  It's called eMeals (here) and it offers a handful of options to choose from.  We have been using it this month and I really really really really like it.  We chose the Whole Foods menu option and the recipes are delicious!

My mother-in-law gave me a set of this Italian stationery for Christmas.  It is like sending a piece of art to someone and makes letter writing a beautiful process.  It is probably my favorite stationery to have ever used.

A friend told me about these emoticons available for free download on iPhones. My sister and I have had so much fun messaging each other with their icons.  There are a few hundred emoticons ranging from a kissy face to a television screen, and everything in between.  David is less enthusiastic about receiving messages from me with a handful of emoticons... but it sure makes texting fun!

Tuesday, May 1

My Favorites - April

I thought it would be fun to list some things I have come across in the last month that I have liked and found interesting/helpful... Maybe you will like them too.

Baby Sign Language offers 50+ free printable flash cards for basic signs to teach a baby. I printed out a handful of them to teach to Gavin.

Produce Bags
I was inspired by Annie's Eats and considering that the City Council in Austin is working to ban plastic bags in grocery stores, I thought I may ease myself into the transition with these affordable and useful bags.

Battlefield Maps
I came across Smith's Map Studio at the Christmas Affair last year. The owner, Chris, draws EXQUISITE battlefield maps. The majority of his art is focused on Texas battlefields but he is also starting a new series on The Civil War. For David's birthday this year I gave him one of the maps and I can't wait to hang it in our home! (Who would have thought I would find a battlefield map to be pretty? Well, these are!)

X-Ray Photography
I've been looking for art to hang in our home and came across x-ray photography of flowers while looking for black and white prints. In particular I like this image of alstromeria flowers.

Donations Tracker
I bet you already knew about this site but I found it this tax season while looking at Turbo Tax's site. In the past I have created a spreadsheet of items we donated to local charities. Now, I just click on items from a list and enter the quantity. Then, the site assigns a value to each donation. It is SO much simpler than how I used to value and account for donations we made throughout the year.

For my birthday this year I asked D for a workstation area to be set aside in the garage for me. I have sketched out a plan for the space and it included an Expedit and Besta shelving unit. Last summer we bought a couple of the Bestas (like a pantry with a door) for our garage and a Expedit bookshelf for Gavin's room. Needless to say, I have loved both and have joined the Ikea bandwagon--for these 2 products in particular.

Nuby Cups

We are transitioning Gavin from the bottle to a sippy cup but he was not adjusting well to switching between a bottle's soft spout and the hard spout of a sippy cup. A friend recommended these soft spout sippy cups to me as an interim step and they are working WONDERFULLY! He loves this cup and drinks so much more water now!

Pacifier Labels
My friend, Danielle, recommended the Nuby Cups to me as well as these labels from Cherry Hill Designs. We use them on the bottles and toys G has in his diaper bag. I have soaked his bottles numerous times and the labels are still perfectly intact!

Peacemaking Women
A friend recommended this book to me and I LOVE it. Like the (original) book, it's purpose is to present a biblical guide for resolving conflict. This version is authored by 2 women and is tailored to issues women face. There is a wealth of wisdom and biblical principles woven through the text.

Baby Food
My sister shared this book with me and I am a fan of it. It's similar to a textbook and contains more recipes than I am choosing to use. But, it is very informative and has lots of recipes that are straight forward and match our family's lifestyle. There is also section dedicated to fun activities for young toddlers.

Curved Shower Rod
We installed this in our master bath recently and it works like a charm! It was a bit pricey compared to a $2 rod that you can find at a discount store but I decided to bite the bullet. Plus, with a 20% coupon to BBB you can get a little price break! Some nice things I appreciate about this rod are: (since it is screwed into the wall) there is no chance it will slip down like the cheap rods can. Secondly, compared to a less expensive rod that we installed in our guest bathroom it never catches on the rubbery length extender. And, because it is curved, it provides a noticeable amount of extra space in the shower. If you are updating a bathroom, consider this rod!

For those thinking about having kids...
I thought this article was pretty funny. In particular the part about feeding cherrios to a melon ;) For the record, G is the coolest thing D and I have ever experienced--but a lot of things in this article are also true.

Full Disclosure: I was not asked to endorse any of these items. They are just things I have come across and liked.