Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Palo Verde Blossoms



This little Palo Verde tree in our backyard has grown quite a bit. I don't really notice it too much most of the year, but when it blooms I think it is so beautiful. All the usually green, sort of stick-like branches get covered in teeny tiny leaves and these yellow flowers. All over town there are these brilliant yellow trees. I love how bright all the greens are this time of year, when all the plants and trees have little bits of new growth. Despite the heat, this time of year is when I appreciate Tucson the most. It gets so quiet in the summer (I mean, not so many people, not that the noise of the Cicadas could be considered quiet).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Getting Close

Yesterday we went over to Adam and Amy's for dinner and a little photo shoot. We had to make sure that we got some good photos of this huge belly. Here are a few of my favorites. Thanks Adam and Amy!
We rearranged our room again last night, and have some awesome furniture that I'm going to show off very soon. Chris has been gardening too, so we're looking forward to fresh tomatoes sometime soon (as always, Thanks Steve for the plants and gardening help!!).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

37 Weeks

An exciting day in our world. Some of our 'one day a year' cactus blossoms are blooming yesterday and today, and we're actually here to see them!



The colors are so bright that the camera can't really handle it.



Also, today we are 37 weeks, which means that Sesame could decide to come out and meet us whenever he chooses (even though we're still three weeks from our due date).



Chris is out gardening this morning despite the blazing sun. He has a big straw hat :)
I'm feeling a strong desire to go out doing errands today to make sure I have everything ready, just in case. Things like Recharge (like natural gatorade) and frozen dinners. Things are going great. The heat is making my ankles swell whenever I don't pay enough attention, which is a little annoying. I've been swimming a few times a week, which feels wonderful, and makes the swelling go away at least for a little while. So here we are, ready to start doing some more waiting, but with a slightly different feel...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lotions, Creams & Potions

Recently I posted photos (here) of some homemade belly butter and face creams that my friend Robin made for me. I loved them so much that she offered to teach me and Tasha how to make them. The recipe is from a really good book called "Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health"


(Elizabeth gave me a copy of this book for my baby shower, and I'm sure I will be experimenting with other great recipes in it). It's a little in depth for me tp write out here, but if anyone is interested I would be happy to pass on this lotion-making technique.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of pictures of the early part of the process. I think the kitchen was a little too oily for the camera at that point.

A peek into Robin's bag of goodies.



Basically, you need to have equal parts liquid and solid ingredients. The liquids are waters like rosewater and aloe vera gel, and liquid oils like jojoba, almond, grapeseed, and others. The solids are things like coconut oil, shea butter, coco butter, or beeswax in whatever combinations your skin prefers. The neat thing is that with the one recipe you can make any number of different creams by adjusting which ingredients you use (or don't use).

First we melted the solid oils, then added the liquid oils. That mixture is put into the blender, and the waters (with some sweet smelling essential oils) are poured into the center of the oils as the blender whirls them on high speed. What comes out looks like this:





We made a face cream first, and then another batch of belly butter. I've already used quite a bit of the belly butter since I have a lot of area to cover at the moment :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Shade in the Backyard

I can't resist anymore. I told Chris I wouldn't post photos of our new backyard oasis. He wanted to write an amazing blog about it, and I'm sure he will. But I'm just itching to show off what a great thing he built last weekend, with the help of his friend Adam, in just one day. I was very impressed. Also, kicking myself for not having agreed to build this earlier. So, just one photo preview:



The actual shade casting part hasn't been put on yet because it was terribly windy here all week. I'll post more (or maybe Chris will) when it's completely finished.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Open-Faced Egg Salad Sandwich



I've been really enjoying hard boiled eggs this week. A little self-contained protein-packed snack to throw in my lunch. Mmm. These open-faced egg salad sandwiches are delicious too. I just put a little mayo and mustard, salt and pepper in with the eggs, mush it all up, spread it on the bread, and sprinkle a little paprika over the top. They're delicious.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!


I said I would post photos of pretty colored eggs, so here they are. I didn't even have to dye eggs by myself! I was lucky enough to get to dye eggs with Amy and June this year, which was much more fun.





We used colorful crayons to decorate, and put vinegar in the dye to get the brightest colors. Today I'm looking forward to an Easter egg salad sandwich :)







This morning Chris is outside digging fresh holes in our backyard. We finally decided it was worth the money, time and effort to build a real wooden shade ramada in the backyard. This is probably one of the last weekends it will be cool enough to do it. We had a great spring rainstorm yesterday. It will be a welcome place to be as it gets warmer and warmer here, and will shade our back room and keep the house a little cooler too.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dyeing for Easter?



I love dyeing Easter eggs, and haven't done it for the last couple of years because somehow it's a little bit hard to justify coloring a whole dozen eggs without any kids to enjoy the process (although Chris and I probably would enjoy it just like kids :)
I plan to dye some eggs this year. I even have them sitting already hard-boiled in the refrigerator. But, this is not what you'll see here today. Today was another fun--Easter dyeing/getting ready for a totally hip baby--project.
So here it is: I got a lot of white onesies, t-shirts, and socks at the baby shower, colored beautifully by my friends and their kids, but still, as I said, ALL WHITE...

So.... I went to the fabric store and got some dye to start this project. Don't worry, you can still see most of the pretty artwork, it just has a more interesting backdrop now.



I didn't get to take any photos until the rinsing faze, since I had to wear rubber gloves to avoid staining my hands blue and yellow.







Once they were all washed, I hung them all together on the drying rack. I was so excited about the colorful clothing Sesame has to look forward to for the summer now.





Here is just one good example of how they turned out with the drawings and the color:



Look for my Easter egg colors in the next post!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to Tasha!!



Today is Tasha's Birthday. The year of Saturning returning for her I think, so it should be a great one! Wishing you a wonderful year!!

Happy Birthday Tasha!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Shower for Baby Sesame

We had a lovely baby shower this weekend with lots of wonderful friends coming to bless us and baby Sesame with gifts and well wishes.
Unfortunately, I did a terrible job taking photos. I guess I was too excited about everything to remember, but it was very pretty. Mina's yard had lots of flowers blooming, and all the kids had a great time "fishing" in her pool.
I made a fruit and cheese plate that I was very proud of, Juliana made some gorgeous cakes, Tasha made chocolate covered strawberries, and we had lots of other goodies.





Favors made by Juliana: Sesame bars with little tags that said things like, "we love Sesame" and "Sesame loves you." I love them.



Sesame has lots of handpainted T-shirts, onsies, and socks, thanks to a fun activity where people painted/colored/potato stamped their own designs. There were many very cool ones. One especially impressive sample is this one made by Elizabeth. Yes, she really drew it right there with the fabric pens!



My mom used to make beautiful quilts when I was a kid. She made this one for the baby. The light yellow squares of made of Chris' old favorite shirt that ripped a few weeks ago (photo here). It's made to be a mat to play on, with a thick, soft, durable feel that will be really nice for playtime.



One more thing. A very special part of the shower was this blessing cord. Many of our friends brought little things to tie to the cord, or chose little pieces to tie to the cord and give their hopes, blessings, and wishes for us and the baby. I didn't get a great photo of it, but you can see what it looks like.





My mom put a flower that her mother had pressed. Tasha put some Hopi corn, Robin put an eagle feather from near her house in Canada, Mina hung a seashell, Bethany hung a button, and many other neat things.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Trombone Serenade



I don't know how many people already know that Chris plays the trombone. He played in a very competitive high school marching band, and in jazz band, and I think maybe in some amateur garage bands. In the years that we've lived together he's probably only pulled it out two or three times. Yesterday evening we were lamenting the way some hobbies just get left behind along the way. We thought maybe Sesame would like to hear a lullaby played on the trombone, so Chris pulled it out. Hopefully it might come out more often.