Wednesday, October 26, 2011

There is a Christmas song in my heart today

I figure today is a great day to update the happenings in Casa del Owens. We had a beautiful day of 80 degree weather on Monday, and woke up today with 5 inches of snow. I love Colorado. Its so bi-polar and we get to enjoy all of the seasons in one week!
We are all doing well in these parts, anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby (girl) #3. We (I) am looking forward to not being pregnant. Currently I am 35 weeks and some change, but according to the Dr. am measuring about 2 weeks ahead. I have never gone early, late in fact, but here's to hoping and delusional thinking/wishing! Anyone want to make bets on arrival date?

To say I love these girls does not do my soul justice. They are my life. I feel as though I have not been doing all I can for them. As a person in the family way, I am not as kind, warm, and nurturing as I should be. The snuggles are not as often as they could be. The house is not as clean as it would be. I only hope they forgive my shortcomings. They are amazing little people. With amazing lessons for me to learn how to become a better person. 


And just for fun:


You're Welcome.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Random Thoughts and Happenings in the Owens Home

-It has been almost two months since I last posted. A lot has been happening and yet it seems that everything is staying the same all at once. Does that ever happen to anyone else?

-I am in my third trimester with my third child. I am exhausted. I am so over being pregnant.

-Emmory is doing okay in school. She is really showing her three year old personality. Who ever coined the phrase "terrible twos" was incorrect. My two year old Emmory was so much more pleasant than this three year old independent, spirited, stubborn (tenacious?) diva. What a challenge she has become, and I am too tired to fight it.

-Ellie is as delicious as ever. Her personality is really starting to shine. She is sweet and sensitive. I love watching her and Em bond together as sisters. It is a great bond that I am glad they will have forever.

-I guess that's really it around here. I wish the weather would cool down a bit. I can't wait to drive through the mountains and see the trees and colors. My favorite time of year is Autumn.

-Hopefully this all doesn't sound so negative. I am just so ready to have this baby already. We did come up with a name, now just to meet her... I still have two months. Gah!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is this when the Mental Breakdown Begins?

We just signed Emmory up for preschool.


At the risk of sounding totally cliche, I just don't know that I am ready. I know I need to be though. She needs it. I need it. We need it for each other. Here is where I struggle. Will she make friends? Will she be happy there? Will she feel comfortable? I hope so. I want nothing but happiness for my children. I know she will have times of struggle, but as of now, I have always been right there to comfort her tears. When she is away, she will have to learn how to do it on her own. A piece of my heart hurts knowing that. So I wonder; is this the time when parenting gets really hard?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Random Ramblings of a Tired Woman

Hello! I can't believe it has been so long since I have last updated this blog. To catch up, I am now currently 21 weeks pregnant. I have made it through the sickies, and am trying to now make it through the heat. We are doing a lot of swimming and drinking a lot of slurpees. Hopefully the heat will be gone before I get too big to stay comfortable, and start swelling.

I haven't been reading too much in the last couple of months. It is strange, whenever I am pregnant, it is like I just can't force myself to sit down and read. I get too restless or something. I am trying to finish Jane Eyre for the first time ever (don't judge), and just received The History of Love in the mail and am trying to wait to start that before Jane is finished. I don't know if I can wait that long though!

We have had a great summer so far. We spent 10 days in Mexico which was fantastic, and my sisters Monica and Melissa came to Denver for a week to visit with their kids. We had so much fun. As much as I love summer and vacations, I am really looking forward to the fall. There is something so cozy about the fall here in Colorado, I just love it. Plus the heat..... blech!

There are too many thoughts in my head right now, and at risk of boring you all to death with them, I will probably end. Maybe some book reviews in the near future, maybe not. I would also like to put some great recipes up that I have tried. We will see. Time and Energy seem to not be on my side too much these days.

Oh yeah, and baby boy? Turns out HE is a SHE!!  So that means three daughters for us? What are we going to do in about 10 years. Houston is in trouble!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Whip Up Something New Wrap Up and Winner

Thank you to everyone who participated in last months Whip Up Something New Challenge! If you still don't know what that is, please click the link and start participating!

We had some great recipes!

Margot over at Joyfully Retired made a great chili.

Brittanie from A Book Lover whipped up some Banana Almond Muffins (which I am currently waiting for my banana's to be just right so I can make them up!)

Elise from ::Whip Up Something New:: made a couple great recipes. Some easy granola, Curried chicken salad, and some delicious sounding orange ricotta pancakes with Strawberry sauce.

Uniflame from She Likes Bento tried a yummy Japanese Eggplant Stir-Fry as well as A Quick Macaroni with Mushrooms and Mascarpone, and get this ya'll, a great muffin recipe with broccoli! I can't wait to try this one!

The beautiful Krystal over at The Marks made a great Southwest Enchilada Bake, along with a Skillet Chicken Ziti with Broccoli.

Carol at There's Always Thyme to Cook made a great recipe for Spaghetti Squash with Lemon Garlic Sauce. Yum

Trish over at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity made a delicious looking (as well as tasting) Chicken Saltimbocca.

Judith from Leeswammes Blog made a couple tea time treats. Peanut Butter Cookies and Apple Spice Muffins. I am seeing a trend for muffins this month!

And Last but definitely not least. Kristina from Kristina's Favorites made some delicious Grilled Shrimp. Check out her blog as well for the Midweek Morsels. You will get some great recipes there!



Head on over to see Kristi Loves Books.  She is the Host for the month of May. Thank you all for participating. This has been a great challenge thus far and I can't wait to see some of the new recipes to come.

Now for the Winner chosen by random.org:

Carol from There's Always Thyme to Cook!



Congrats! I will be emailing you to get your address. Your prize is Gweneth Paltrow's new cookbook. Which is amazing by the way My Father's Daughter

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Three Years Ago

Three years ago, my life was forever changed. I had just been given a deeper meaning and purpose. I discovered a different realm of love; one I had heard of but couldn't fathom. I was excited and scared. My role in life would forever be different. From then on; I would be someones mother.

 I read every book. I bought everything on every list. But nothing can prepare you for the task you are about to embark upon.

The first time I laid eyes on my daughter, I was smitten. The feeling was intoxicating. Euphoric. Deep. And sincere.
1 year old
2 Years Old

Today, my Emmory turns three. This year she will go potty on the toilet (so help me....), she will go to pre-school, and she will learn how to ride her bike (with training wheels).

Thank you Emmory, for giving me the greatest gift of Motherhood. It has been an great journey so far. I love you more than words can say.  

Friday, April 1, 2011

Whip Up Something New: Links

Welcome! I am Michelle, and I will be your host this month for the Whip Up Something New challenge!  If you are not sure what this challenge is, click on the link and you will find all the info you need. It is pretty simple. Basically, all you need to do is pull out all the old recipes you have laying around waiting to be tried, and try them. One a month (or more), and blog about it. Don't forget to link up below so we can all see what you made. Pretty simple, no? I can't wait to try all of the fabulous recipes thus far, and I can't wait to see what you all will be making for this month. 

At the end of the month we will have a giveaway! The winner will be chosen at random. Wanna know what the prize is gonna be? Well, that is going to be a surprise! Grab a button and let's Whip up Something New!























Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Coming: 11-11-11



Isn't the due date perfect?!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Greatest Love Song






The Beauty of Who You Are
By: Marc Broussard

Sometimes you can't find the words and a song comes along and says what you've been wanting to say.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Review: The Love We Share Without Knowing


Title: The Love We Share Without Knowing
Author: Christopher Barzak
Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction;Short Stories
Rating:  5/5


From Goodreads.com:

"In this haunting, richly woven novel of modern life in Japan, the author explores the ties that bind humanity across the deepest divides. Here is a Murakamiesque jewel box of intertwined narratives in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked through love, loss, and fate.



On a train filled with quietly sleeping passengers, a young man’s life is forever altered when he is miraculously seen by a blind man. In a quiet town an American teacher who has lost her Japanese lover to death begins to lose her own self. On a remote road amid fallow rice fields, four young friends carefully take their own lives—and in that moment they become almost as one. In a small village a disaffected American teenager stranded in a strange land discovers compassion after an encounter with an enigmatic red fox, and in Tokyo a girl named Love learns the deepest lessons about its true meaning from a coma patient lost in dreams of an affair gone wrong.


From the neon colors of Tokyo, with its game centers and karaoke bars, to the bamboo groves and hidden shrines of the countryside, these souls and others mingle, revealing a profound tale of connection—uncovering the love we share without knowing."

This novel has some heavy topics. At times, I wondered if I should even keep reading. Not because it was boring, or gruesome, or anything like that. It was just... heavy. It made my heart hurt at points. Yet, it made me contemplative, and I am so glad that I kept reading. I hope you all give this one a try. You won't be sorry.

Some notable quotes:

     "She'll only understand the parts of me that she wants to see. Every other piece of me, she'll disappear."


     "The terrible thing about love that it takes away your safety net, your balancing pole. Even the tightrope you walk upon will disappear beneath you, yet love expects you to keep walking anyway, arms outstretched, one foot after another, or nothing more than air."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Recipe: Creamy Taquitos


Chicken Taquitos



It is so easy to overeat these suckers. Simply put, they are delicious. There are a few steps to get these right, but so worth it. I promise you, these will become a favorite. The best part, make a ton of these and freeze what you don't eat. Then you have an already prepared meal for when you don't feel like cooking.

I got this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I did adapt just a little. And since we eat Mexican food like 7 days a week, the crock pot shredded chicken recipe is what I will be using from here on out.

Crock Pot Shredded Chicken:

- 1 lb. frozen chicken breasts
- 1 juiced lime
- 2 cloves garlic; minced
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
-1/4 C. water

Cook on high for 5 hours.  Shred with fork. This can be made a head of time too. (This is the best/easiest/tastiest way to do shredded chicken.) If you don't like all the seasoning, just put it in your crock pot with some garlic salt and pepper. It is so juicy. Yum!



Once your chicken is cooked and shredded, make the mixture to go inside of the taquitos.

Taquito Mixture:

- Shredded Chicken
- 6 oz. cream cheese; softened
- 1/4 C. green salsa
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Cup shredded pepper jack cheese ( you could probably substitute any type of shredded cheese)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro





Mix together into a creamy mixture. Once you have your mixture made, you will need to prepare your corn tortillas. They will need to be soft enough to roll without cracking. The only way this has been successful for me is to lightly fry them up. Heat some vegetable oil on med. to med-high heat. Place tortilla in oil for about 5 seconds per side. They will be hot to work with. Scoop about 1 Tbsp. of chicken mixture into the tortilla, roll and place onto a baking sheet, seam side down. Sprinkle with garlic salt (or kosher salt). Bake at 400 F, for 15 minutes or until they become browned around the edges and crisp.

We eat these with homemade guacamole, Cholula, sour cream, or salsa. Serve with a side of homemade Mexican rice (recipe to come soon), and black beans.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review:Water for Elephants


Title: Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Pages: 331
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 5/5


Jacob Jankowski is in his ninties as he is recalling the events of his life surrounding him joining The Benzini Brother Most Spectacular Show on Earth.  After a life changing tragedy, Jacob finds himself in the world of the circus as a veteranarian. The story follows him through this journey of heartache, love, passion and hatred.

I loved this book. When I started reading it, I had no idea what the book was really all about, and didn't know what to expect. Obviously there was an elephant in the mix somehow, but that is basically all I knew. Some people loved the book and others were on the other end of the spectrum. When that happens I always take caution when reading, but I am so glad I finally gave this a go.

I finished the book in two days essentially. I am a terribly slow reader so that says a lot. I found the story to be captivating and very smooth moving even though it moved back and forth from past to present. I also loved the characters. It was very easy for me to "get lost in the book" so to speak.    

Do you ever feel like you have to justify why you love a book so much when others just thought it to be just okay?

Anyway, I am really looking forward to the movie coming out. I just love Reese Witherspoon, and I can tolerate Robert Pattinson. Although I would have prefered Jude Law, but really, who wouldn't prefer Jude Law? So here he is totally unrelated to Water for Elephants. And you can thank me in the comments.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recipe: Sugar Cookies

Please excuse the Sponge Bob Square Pants plate.



Last Christmas, I tried about a bajillion sugar cookies to get the recipe just right. Some were too soft, too crunchy, too bleh, too much whatever.  Last week Houston says "Why don't you just try my Grandma's recipe?"  hmmmm.....  now you tell me.

These cookies have that something that is different, unique and delicious. You really can't have just one.

Grandma's Sugar Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick) softened to room temp.
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter, and add sugar gradually. Cream until well blended. Add the beaten eggs, flavoring (vanilla and nutmeg), and milk. Sift dry ingredients and add to the wet. Mix well. The dough will be sticky. Wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake until just barely browned on the bottom. For me, it was about 5-6 minutes.  After cooled completely, frost with any frosting you desire. I used a basic cream cheese frosting that is my favorite.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese softened to room temp.
2 1/2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2-1 cup powdered sugar; depending on how soft you like your frosting. I used closer to one cup for mine. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

My Two Greatest Gifts



Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's Officially Official!!



Mr. and Mrs. Owens

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Recent Reads: A Review in Three Words

Title:  Girl With a Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Pages:  233
Rating: 2/5

Anti-Climatic. Disappointing, yet informative.


Title: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
Pages: 326
Rating: 5/5

Heart-Felt. Touching. Delicious.  I could go so much more into details about how I feel about this, but is so much better reviewed here, and here.

Friday, February 4, 2011

We've had a rough day

Sometimes the best remedy is ice cream for dinner. Have a great weekend!!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

365 Days Ago...

I met the most amazing person. She is pure, and trusting, and silly, and filled with emotion.

She filled a space in my heart I didn't even know existed.

She has these eyes that speak to your soul.

Perfection.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pozole


This recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma Cookbook.  This cookbook is the best.  Every recipe I have tried is a winner, and that is saying a lot!

Now, I don't know about you, but I love me some pozole. I had looked at this recipe every time I opened the book up to make something, but was always too intimidated to try it.  I am not sure why.  Maybe because I love pozole that much and didn't want to be disappointed.  However, this recipe does not disappoint.  It is Delicious.  With a capital D.  Why did I wait so long to make you?!

So, without further ado; the recipe...

Pozole


  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin; diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 Cups chicken stock (or chicken prepared chicken broth)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced fire roasted tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 can (15 oz. ) white hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Lime wedges; for garnish
  • Avocado slices; for garnish



In a soup pot over Med. heat, heat the oil.  Add the pork and saute until opaque on all sides but not browned, about 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside.

Add the onion to the pot and saute until softened, 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring to blend the spices evenly, for about 1 minute longer.  Add the stock, tomatoes, hominy, jalapeno and sauteed pork with any juices, and season to taste with s&p.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the pork is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Serve with lime wedges, avocado slices, and warm tortillas.  I like corn tortillas the best, but flour are good too.  Dee.vine.

Also, don't forget to link up if you are participating in the Whip up Something New Challenge!

Whip Up Something New: A Challenge



My gorgeous cousin, Trish, is the inspiration behind this oh so easy challenge.  All you have to do is look through your stacks of recipes, and try a new one every month.  Easy right?  I hesitated with joining in at first.  I am not sure why, but then I thought, why not?  It really is an easy challenge.  One I would be doing anyway, might as well participate in the festivities!  Joanna is the lovely host for the month, so hop on over, sign up, cook up a meal and blog about it.  You know you want to!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant


Title: The Birth of Venus
Author: Sarah Dunant
Pages: 391
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Alessandra Cecchi is fourteen when her father brings a painter to their home in Florence to paint frescoes in their family's chapel. She is immediately taken with this painter, as she has a talent and a love for art as well. Unfortunately in the Renaissance era, girls are not to paint, but to be married. When there is political changes from the death of Medici, everything changes. Her only option is to get married or move to a convent. She chooses the former, believing it to be the most freeing for herself.
Why I chose to read this: I purchased this novel as part of a box of books for $5.00. I didn't know anything about it, and so it sat on my shelf, untouched, for two years. I wasn't (obviously) that excited to read this, didn't know anything about Italy history, the Renaissance, and the fall of Medici. I pulled it off the shelf, dusted it off and started reading, pretty much because that is what was around me. Eek... Should I admit this?
My Thoughts: I love this book. I gave it 5 out of 5 smooches. From others reviews, I am wondering if my simple mindedness is why I love it so much. Like I said earlier, I really didn't know much about this time period. I became captivated with the description of the art and the political history that Florence as a whole became a character itself.
There is so much that happens and so much passion within each person. There are twists that I didn't see coming, and felt there was a lot of depth to the novel, and so delicious to read. I would definitely read more novels by Sarah Dunant.
*************************SPOILER ALERT**********************************
Who has read this? I would love to know who you believe the painter to be. I didn't find the answer to be clearly spelled out and I know there is some debate as to who he actually is. I have my theory, but would love to know your thoughts as well.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Test

This is only a test...

Trying to blog from my phone, as I am still without a computer.

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