Thursday, September 29, 2011

Smell Association...

Random, I know. Seriously though, today I was driving and got a huge whiff of fresh-cut grass. Immediately, I got a nervous pit in my stomach quickly followed by a rush of sentimental emotions. Why? Because whenever I smell fresh-cut grass it takes me back to track days in high school. The pit in my stomach is the result of meet days...the rush of sentimental emotions is obviously the memories of all the fun times with friends at track practice and on meet days. Smelling the grass started me thinking about all the random smells that I associate with certain memories/emotions and how strange it is that just a smell can cause such a physical reaction.

Herbal Essences shampoo ALWAYS reminds me of my first day of high school. I still remember being in the shower that morning, feelings of excitement and nervousness. Probably a little more nervousness...I was pretty intimidated. Luckily, I had an awesome big brother to show me the ropes of high school, and who also may have talked me through where my classes were the night before so I wouldn't get lost the first day.

Speaking of being in the shower, that shower was in my old house. My parent's old house in Rolling Hills. That house is my childhood home. I have so many memories attached to that house. I still make Nate drive me past that house almost monthly. I just want to see the outside and reminisce on my childhood. It still hurts my heart a little that strangers are in MY house. I'm 28 years old, and I'm jealous of the people who live in that house. Ridiculous? Maybe, but true. My first birthday parties were in that house. Slumber parties. Family home evenings on my parent's ugly blue couch (sorry Mom...I'm sure it was very in style at the time). Family Christmas performances (I was Mary? Kristin was the angel? "Scooter" was a sheperd? Tyler was Joseph? Is that right?). Pool parties in the backyard (my dad always tossed fresh apples from our apple tree into the pool for us). Fourth of July s'mores over the fire pit. Strawberries from the strawberry patch. Playing kick ball and basketball in the backyard with my brothers, who I'm sure did NOT want me playing, but somehow I nudged my way into their games. My hideous pink and green wallpaper in my bedroom that was still there when we moved (I was SEVENTEEN years old with pink dollhouse wallpaper lining my bedroom ceiling). Playing games across the hallway with my brothers all night even though my parent's bedroom was directly below my brother's bedroom? How stupid were we to think they couldn't hear us? ANYWAY, I could dedicate a whole post to this, but I won't since no one cares about this but me. My point with this big long paragraph was that my mom still has old clothes in her closet that smell like THAT house. I LOVE that house...can you tell?

Mold reminds me of my grandma.

Perfume makes me think...oh, should I explain the mold? Probably. So my grandma's house in Atlanta was pretty old and obviously had some mold issues because whenever I get a sniff of moldy or wet wood it takes me back to staying at my grandma's house. I loved that house and I love my southern grandma. She had the sweetest drawl, and always said, "give me some sugar". Yes, southern people actually say that. Well, she did, and I loved it. She also had a famous saying in our family. Whenever I or my mom would say, "I'm sweating...", she would quickly respond with, "Oh honey, horses sweat, men perspire and women get uncomfortable." Yep. Awesome. there you have it. Mold=Grandma. I'm sure she's not happy with that association.

So I have a perfume that will always remind me of our wedding day. Nate got me that perfume a week before our wedding and told me I couldn't wear it until our wedding day, so that he and I would always associate that smell with that day. It worked, and I LOVE wearing that perfume for that very reason.

Anyway, there are so many more random smells connected to so many memories, but I'll spare you.

Ok, one last one. Baby wipes. Baby wipes themselves don't smell bad. It's the idea that whenever I'm changing a poopy diaper, baby wipes are obviously involved, so somehow I have a disgusting association with wipes. If I smell baby wipes I want to gag. Sometimes the residue from the baby wipes is still on my hands, and I have to wash my hands because I feel like I have poop on them. Crazy much?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bath Time and a Pizza

This last weekend my friend Julie was here. We went shopping, ate lots of food, watched TV, and went to see The Help (LOVED it..."You is kind. You is smart. You is important." So great.). Noah was obsessed with Julie. He is pretty shy of strangers, but not Julie. The minute she walked in the door, he was all about her. Maybe it's because she brought him toys? Bribery? I don't know, but he loves the toys she brought. She got him some squeaky blocks, a onesie, and some bath toys (that we brought to the pool yesterday). Bath/pool...same thing right? Anyway, thanks Julie!!

Sunday we droppped Julie off at the airport, and when we got home Noah was a little antsy so I decided to put on my swimsuit and get in the bathtub with him so he could play with his bath toys Julie got him. He had so much fun.

Exhibit A

No Exhibit B, but you get the point. He was surrounded by toys in a bathtub. Cute.

After the bath, we made pizzas from scratch. Well, the dough was leftover from the calzones we made last week, so we just threw them together really quick. This dough is SO good. Nate and I both loved the dough for calzones, but for pizza? Delicious! No more delivery for us...well that's a lie...I just want you to know how good this pizza dough is.

Oooooo pretty....pepperoni, spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella. I'm drooling.

Finished product. Again, drooling.

Here's the recipe if you're interested...

From Two Peas and Their Pod

Pizza/Calzone Dough (Makes 4 calzones or 4 individual pizzas)

1 package of dry active yeast
1 1/4 cup luke warm water
Pinch of sugar
1 T olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour

1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water, sprinkle with pinch of sugar. Let stand for five minutes.
2. Pour yeast water into your Kitchenaid Mixer, add in olive oil. Mix briefly. Add in flour and salt. Mix until combined and switch to your dough hook. Let the machine knead the dough for about 4-5 minutes. Take the dough ball out and make sure it is smooth and not sticky!
3. Place the dough in a oiled bowl. Turn it over to oil both sides. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth/towel. Let rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
4. Divide the dough in half, place the dough in separate oiled bowls. Let rise again for about 20 minutes.
5. Now divide the dough into four portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into four circles. Have fun by tossing it in the air and stretching it.
6. For pizza, place pizza on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal then top dough with sauce and toppings that you want, brush the crust edges with olive oil and throw in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
7. For calzones, add sauce and toppings onto half of the dough, then fold over and pinch at the edges. Brush calzone with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal for about 25 minutes at 450 degrees.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Peach Shakes

With all the fresh peaches everywhere right now, this recipe was something Nate and I were dying to have, and it definitely lived up to the pressure we put on it. We had three peaches on the counter getting perfectly ripe for a couple days, and last night when I smelled them, I knew they were ready. While Nate was putting Noah down, I started peeling the peaches. You guys...they were PERFECT. They were juicy, without bruises, the perfect peach color and everything else perfect peaches should be. Nate kept trying to sneak peaches out of the measuring cup. (I might have snuck a slice or two myself). Anyway, the peaches combined with the fresh orange juice and ice cream was AMAZING after the heat wave we had in California yesterday. Love love love this recipe. Make it. You'll be so happy you did. (I took a really pretty picture of the shakes, but I'm too lazy to get it off the camera, and peach season is nearing it's end, so I opted to post without the picture)

Peach Shakes (from Our Best Bites)

Juice from 1/2 of an orange
3 cups ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
Enough ice cubes to reach desired consistency
2 tablespoons sugar (you may need more or less–if your peaches are very sweet, you might not need any at all)

Place the juice, peaches, ice cream, and ice in your blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. Add sugar as needed and serve immediately. Makes 2 large or 4small servings.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My favorite time of day

...right after Noah wakes up from his nap. He's rested. He's happy. He's ready to love on anyone who is willing to give him cuddles.

Look at those eyelashes!

My favorite picture ever. Holding Daddy's finger.

Giving Daddy kisses