Friday, November 25, 2011

A Visit from Nana and Grandpa

October and November have been busy with lots of action, travel and visiting galore! Some naps were required though, even during all that. I, Bryan, did not like my naps to start with, when Nana and Grandpa arrived, but I got used to having to take them if I was going to be any good at having fun.. and there was lots of fun to be had!

Nana and Grandpa came out to take care of me while Mommy did her field work season. We went to Greenville, NC and also to Charleston, SC. Grandpa took me all over the hotel grounds in my red car while Nana showered and geared up for my entertainment.
Sometimes we went in the stroller too, and he let me wear his fuzzy hat!

Then there was lots of goofy playing with Nana..
Nana and Grandpa also introduced me to the thrills of riding the coin rides at the mall!But at the end of each day, I got to see my Mommy and get some more spoiling!

And of course it was always great to see Daddy at the end of the week!
I also had my first birthday party to squeeze in there. I had a knight's party... but I was the only knight other than Daddy!

Mainly all the fair maidens came to my party, so that was good too.

There was so much that we did! No room to write the whole story, but we did have a great time!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pampered Chef in October

Not too many of you may know this but I am doing a few side "jobs" to subsidize my income now that I'm only geology-ing two days a week (and field work only twice a year now, as opposed to three weeks out of every four). I started a custom embroidery business called Teague's Embroidery with a website in progress specializing in children's embroidery called My other very fun part-time job is being a Pampered Chef consultant. It made sense for me because half of my kitchen is Pampered Chef, I love to cook/bake (although my baking stinks), and I very much miss waitressing and taking care of "my regulars".

So pardon my occassional bit of advertising that I'll write in blue in case you want to skip! This month is a very good deal for those of you, like me, that enjoy the stoneware from Pampered Chef. Stoneware is what got me hooked to begin with way back when I was 18 or 20, or whenever it was I decided I liked the kitchen and bought my first piece of stoneware. This fall they released a limited-time taupe glazed stoneware collection that is beautifully neutral and will go with any kitchen decor in my opinion. I ordered the deep dish pie plate and covered baker for myself.

If you are interested in earning some free product plus the host special of 60% off of stoneware items, plus discounted items and a 10% discount for a whole year after the show, please consider hosting a cooking show! If you live in Charlotte, I will bring my gear and do a cooking show for you and friends, neighbors, co-workers, family... etc. If you don't live nearby, you can host a catalogue show which is basically rounding up orders from anyone you know. Contact me for details at

I am hoping to get to making that zucchini bread today, maybe pulling out my tomato plants for composting and enjoying the beautiful weather here in Charlotte. Have a good day, people!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zucchini Bread Revisited

Over the past few weeks, I have received 3 zucchini bread recipes from helpful readers and I am so excited to try them out! The ingredients are all similar, but with varying amounts of spices added. Since I am a spice person, I am posting below the recipe sent from Liz in Vermont which includes all the fun fall spices, with a blending of Colin's recipe from England of added walnuts and honey substitution for the sugar:

Liz's Zucchini Bread with Colin's advice:

3 cups of flour
3 cups of shredded zucchini
1.5 cups of honey
1 cup of oil (I use grapeseed oil for everything, but canola or veggie oil should work too)
3 eggs
1.5 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of baking powder
2 tsp. of cinnamon
0.5 tsp. of cloves
0.5 tsp. of nutmeg
4 tsp. of vanilla
1 cup of chopped walnuts

Liz says to go on and throw everything in together and mix well with an electric mixer. She also suggests squeezing out excess water of the fresh zucchini. Bake in 2 loves or 3 small loves at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We're back in town!

We had such a good time and I think we saw just about all of the English portion of our family.. and friends too! And Mum, thanks so much for mailing my cell phone back to me! I'm looking forward to it's arrival.

Bryan's Great Uncle Don

Bryan's second cousins Tracey, Katie and Sandra

Bryan's great uncle Jon

Paul's long-time friend Robert

Bryan's second cousins Chris and Trish

Bryan's second cousin Steven and Steven's daughter Grace

Marjorie's friend Joan

Marjorie's friend Rosemary

Marjorie's friend Joy

Marjorie's friend Monica

The Birmingham clan: Auntie Alison, Uncle Barry, Cousins Craig, Adam and Sam

Friends Jools and Ian

Great Auntie Sheila

Second Cousin Colin

Great Uncle Michael and Auntie Andrea

Great Uncle Jim and Auntie Pat.

Bye for now! xoxox

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Enchanting England!

The south coast of England is one of the prettiest places I have been and every time we go to visit Paul's family, we go to Beachy Head where the chalk cliffs are at their best. Each time I see them I am surprised again at the depth of green of the grass and the color of the cliffs, because the pictures we take never look as green or striking as the cliffs are in real life.

We hiked two hours to Bell Tout and back along the cliffs

We spent a day in Alfriston, one of my favorite villages in the area, where the streets are too narrow for two cars to pass and the buildings are hundreds of years old. We stopped to have cream tea and scones (I had delicious fresh mint leaf tea from their garden).

One of the old houses that we picked as "our house" years ago when I first came here with Paul.

We walked along the Cuckmere River that winds through Alfriston.

For four days we were in Birmingham area visiting Paul's sister, Alison, and family

And we did more walks while we were there.

It took Bryan awhile to warm up to the family and friends that he met, but at least he warmed up to Mum quite well in the end.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Zucchini Abundance Solved!

There are a few solutions to not wasting the overabundant zucchini you may gather from a few plants in your backyard (see previous post). I have 4 zucchini plants and there are more than enough zucchinis to go around from just these few. The zucchini are the big-leaved plants in the foreground in this pic. Here were my solutions:

1) Snuck over to my neighbor Olivia's house and left a few zucchinis the size of baseball bats on her welcome mat (evil chuckle).

2) Steam them and puree for Bryan's babyfood dinners for the next 5 months (joking, but only half). He should have enough zucchini puree frozen in the freezer to last for some time.

3) Made zucchini bread which was a hit with husband, although I'm still looking for a better recipe.

4) Made zucchini pasta sauce which can be frozen for future use. The key thing with this trick is that it's tasty and also uses 2 lbs of zucchini for a single batch which is enough for Paul and I to have dinner with it and then leftovers for lunch tomorrow (so not a huge batch that feeds an army). So you figure: double or triple it and you use up 4 or 6 lbs of zucchini and have some good sauce frozen for those nights you don't want to "cook." Recipe is as follows:

2 lbs. of zucchini thinly sliced (use a mandoline or food processor if you have one - goes a lot faster)
1/2 cup of chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic with skin removed
2 tsp. of herb de Provence (I don't have this but it consists of many herbs. I used the ones I had but didn't have all of them on hand (missing savory). I used a combo of these herbs: rosemary, basil (heavy on this one), marjoram, fennel seeds, oregano, and thyme to add up to about 2 tsp.)
olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Saute the veggies and herbs and seasoning for about 3 minutes in a few Tbsp. of olive oil. Use a LARGE wok or saucepan or you will get zucchini everywhere. Add the vegetable broth and simmer for 7 minutes. Blend/puree in blender/Vitamix with a few more Tbs. of oil to make a sauce of desired consistency. Serve over pasta and enjoy! Now just a warning: the appearance isn't fabulous- husband thought it looked gross, but he loved the taste. I had to agree that the green slop didn't look so appetizing.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Summer!

Spring/summer has been a whirlwind this year with me doing field work in May (my mom came out to come with me on my trips and babysit Bryan in the hotel room - lots of adventures there) and gardening galore, keeping Bryan occupied and such. It's amazing how busy I am and how little I feel I have accomplished to show for it. And here we are, already at the 4th of July! Hope you all had a good one. We went to our neighbors' for a BBQ lunch.. Bryan loved watching the 'big girls' while he was eating.

We also went to a co-worker's BBQ party this weekend and Bryan chilled out in the Ergobaby carrier most of the afternoon - he was being a little shy.

What do you do when you have more zucchini than you can give away?

You play with your food, of course!

Simple, inexpensive entertainment for everyone!

I must remind myself to post this great zucchini pasta sauce recipe that I found. The zucchini bread recipe I have isn't so good.. on the prowl for a new one so send it along if you have one.

We've been taking lots of walks with the infamous tag blanket that Bryan adores.

and he's learned to love water like his mom...

.. and he's not so sure about the "new" high chair we found at a local garage sale on one of our morning walks.

Hope you are all staying cool and enjoying the summer!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

5 Months old

We've been taking lots of walks this month, even in the rain! I got some very nice cards too...
...and I FINALLY was allowed some rice cereal on my five month birthday!

I had my first road trip and weekend away. We went all the way to Williamsburg,Virginia and it took 9 hours to get there with all the stops to stretch and eat. Mom was amazed that we fit everything in the civic - I don't travel light!

I liked watching all the horse and carriages and people dressed up.

There were some nice parks there for our picnics

We also participated in the Corporate Cup 5k run/walk with Mom's company and we took the train to get there (Uptown).

I had my pre-race power drink...
.. and then we were off and walking! I was exhausted in the first 10 minutes and took a nap the rest of the way.

I've exploring my hands lots and learning to use them better, so I really love my tag blanket from Angeli!

I'm getting my vampire fangs in now rather than the top fronts, but I refse to show the camera my pearly whites.. camera shy.

See you soon! Love, Bryan