Christmas Wish List

We made a list, even checked it twice,
and then realized we didn't get ourselves anything nice. 

We that isn't entirely true - you can find our family amazon wish list at the bottom of my far right sidebar. However this Christmas does pose a challenge for us. Mark and I are planning to give each other a joint gift for our household. A bit of a splurge, something we need, but wouldn't just go out and buy on a whim. Over Thanksgiving we gleefully learned that the piece of furniture we were going to "get each other" will be generously coming from my parents. Wahoo! Thanks Mom and Dad.

So now we turn to option two, which was only option two because it required more decisiveness and research that we weren't able to invest. Hence why I am turning to you. We need cookware. Ours is woefully old, falling apart, and often not suitable for the recipes we want to make. But then this leads us to what kind of cookware...there are so many options. We want this to be an investment purchase. Something we can build upon.

I think we need either

 a great big 12 qt stockpot maybe with pasta/steamer insert
I am leaning toward all clad, remember I said investment. Thoughts?

 - OR -
a french oven/dutch oven/cocotte - why does this thing have so many names?

and which brand do I get -  Staub?  Le Creuset?
or another that I haven't heard of?

and what size? 5 qt? 7 qt?
We tend to cook for groups of 6-12 frequently, so I want to say the bigger the better,
but I don't want it to be so big, that it isn't practical for every day use.


Help! 

What is your kitchen workhorse?
Any advice or recommendation would be greatly appreciated.

Also accepting recommendations for other fabulous kitchen items.
My french press cracked, and I need a new one. Do you have a favorite?
Two of my melamine mixing bowls have shattered in the past year, so those need replacing as well...


Thanksgiving 2011

Our farm table, set for seven. Diy flowers complete with fresh cranberries.


Snapshots from the weekend.  Behr was well loved.





Food was enjoyed.
The magic of a bottle surpassed the magic of tryptophan.

Games were played.
Shanghai, Ticket To Ride, Dominoes

Christmas crooners filled the air with songs of the season.

A wonderful Thanksgiving was had by all.


And now, if you'd like, you can see everyone up close and personal.
Warning: my voice is very annoying.  You may want to watch on mute.


p.s. this is the closest you will ever come to a house tour of our tiny apartment.

video

We are thankful.


The Littlest Mammoth Giveaway

 
Today's Giveaway is from The Littlest Mammoth. An online gallery of carefully curated children's artwork from international artists. These colorful prints brighten a room and expand imaginations. Like stepping into or out of your favorite fairy tale. What could be better to hang on the walls of your child's bedroom? I first featured this shop in my baby baby gift guide and have since fallen in love with nearly all of their prints!

The giveaway is for a 11x14 print of your choice
a $35 value

To Enter:
you must be a follower of my blog
visit The Littlest Mammoth and leave a comment below telling me which print is your favorite
be sure to include your email address!


Additional entries:
(leave a separate comment for each)
Follow The Littlest Mammoth @hellomammoth on twitter
The Littlest Mammoth just launched a facebook page, go like it
Tweet about this giveaway, feel free to use this or craft your own:
" @TheScribblePad is hosting a giveaway from @hellomammoth - incredible artwork for kids: http://bit.ly/vBKYcD "

This giveaway is closed.

And the winner is...comment #26, Christine


Congratulations!  
Send me an email and I will get you hooked up with the print of your choice.

Saturday Shoes: for Behr


Behr has acquired quite a collection of shoes.  It might sound crazy for a 10 month old, but his feet need to be toasty and warm too.  The two pairs on the left are favorites and the two on the right are on Behr's Christmas list.

The Favorites:

Every pair of booties from Little Friends on etsy.  We have purchased two pairs for Behr, and one as a gift for our friend Bella.  All three have become fast favorites!

Zutano Fleece Booties - Behr wore these almost every single day as a baby until the DC weather turned hot.  We even snuck in a few wears early fall before he out grew them.  The simple snap makes them adjustable and stay on wiggly toes.

The Wish List:

As the weather gets colder, Behr has been begging me to get him some warm shoes.  These Minnetonka Sheepskin Booties would do just the trick!

And who doesn't like knit items on babies?  The pair on the bottom right from Tane Organics would be adorable on Behr.

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Or a favorite pair of baby booties?
I would love to hear your top picks.

A few of my favorite things...

found on pinterest, but I cannot find the original source

As I have spent time this past week reflecting on what I am thankful for
it seems as though I have been channeling Julie Andrews
or should I say Maria?

This song has been running through my head, especially as I have been commuting in the rain. I have been screaming it at the top of my heart, because I don't actually sing in public, that would be offensive. And now that I am officially rambling, here it is, so you can listen along with me.

These are a Few of My Favorite Things by Julie Andrews on Grooveshark



my husband and son
and sisters and brothers
my parents
and my extended family too!

new music, great play lists, and someone else to make them for me.

the smell of comfort food cooking, and knowing that my family will be well fed.

time to giggle.

the girls in my life who often know me better than I even know myself,
who have encouraged me every step of the way,
and will be there when I fail, because eventually, I will take a leap too large.

fabulous packages {here is where Maria had it right} brown paper packages tied up with strings, bakers twine, crisp tissue paper, thick wrapping paper, untraditional box filler, and all other good things that come with packages, it makes me smile

for you, the fabulous blogging community.  
I love learning about you and seeing your children grown and homes come together and blogs boom.  
please keep writing.

white flowers. tulips, and peonies, and ranunculus.

getting crafty. working with my hands. creating art that will change someone's week or wedding, from calligraphy to stationery to a simple hand written note for a person I love.

and farm fresh produce overflowing in my kitchen.

{source}

what are your favorite things?

Gift Guide: Giving

In the spirit of thanksgiving, a gift guide to help us see beyond our own traditions and wish lists. Here are a few of the charitable organizations whose missions have stood out to me this year.  Perhaps you can find an organization that would also mean something to a gift recipient on your list this year.



One Sight states that its mission is to restore sight to the 284 million people who suffer from poor vision. You can help today by collecting and donating old glasses.




Based out of Seattle, Washington, 88bikes provides bikes to children in schools and orphanages across the globe.  For $44 you can purchase a bike repair kit and for $88 a bike, but the organization accepts donations of all sizes.  Bonus: 100% of the donated money goes directly to the local economy!



Part of the International Alliance for Youth Sports, the Global Gear Drive is working to enable sports by providing sports equipment to under served areas.  For more information about getting involved, watch this video.



The LCPL Jonathan W. Collins Memorial Fund was founded in honor of the Marine who was killed in action in 2004.  Among the various fund raisers, the memorial fund has partnered with build-a-bear to provide a message to the children of deployed military.  For $25 you can send a child a teddy bear with a voice chip message from their parent overseas. 



Helping to fight poverty, Krochet Kids provides jobs for women in Uganda enabeling them to begin providing for their families.  The women crochet clothing, hats, and accessories all available for sale online. Each individual item has the name of the craftswoman and you can look up their individual stories on the website. The organization offers several ways to get involved.


If there is an organization that you love and support that I have no included here {this is by no means a comprehensive list} please provide comment love for the benefit of both our readers and the organizations.  Happy giving!

Sister + Food = Joy


photo taken by Canisius athletics during their first home game on 11/14/11

This weekend I had the privelage of watching my baby sister play division one college basketball.  To say I am excited for her would be a gross understatement. I was jumping out of my skin {along with the rest of my family and friends that tagged along}. The team is on the road for games this week, bringing them much closer to us in DC.  We gathered a crowd for the game and formed quite the cheering section.  Brooke, #13, signed with Canisius and then shipped off for summer session.  For months, we have been hearing about the team, practices, and eargly waiting to see them in action. We actually watched the first game last week on line, but in person was much better!

It was wonderful to watch Brooke play and to have a few moments to catch up on her life as a college freshman.

After the game we followed the team to a local italian restaurant, Fazzini's in Cockeysville, Maryland.  For a seemingly small hole in the wall, this place was fantastic.  They make all of their pasta in house and serve up an incredible pizza. I attempted to document the food, but it resulted in total failure, as I was way to distracted by how good it smelled and the great conversation with family around the table! 

If you want to be super cool/creepy, send Brooke some encouragement via twitter.  Their third game is tonight, and they are hoping for their first win.  Feel free to copy and paste this message:

" @bangelos113 Good luck in your game tonight from an awesome @TheScribblePad reader! #gogriffs "


New Wardrobe | Saving Money While Shopping

So basically, I am realizing that the baby I gave birth to changed my body dramatically.  I have a whole lot of baby mama questions, but first a new wardrobe needs to be procured.  Totally wish I could pull an I dream of Jeannie nose twitch right about now.  And poof, everything in my closet would be new and flattering!

Ha, if you are dreaming with me, then you might like what I am talking about over here:


Have a fabulously affordable Sunday!

p.s. doesn't that "affordable" kind of dampen the mood?

if only affordable insinuated fabulous.






Oh, and I completely forgot to mention, you can find my {not always so affordable} baby faves here:



And while we are on the subject, are you interested in having me guest post on your blog?  I would love to join you and your readers.  Send me an email at: shannon.angelos {at} gmail.com

Saturday Shoes: by Maggy


Today's Saturday Shoes are brought to you by Maggy from over at Living Tall

I would like to say that I found these shoes...but really they found me... at a little boutique in San Francisco. They said "hey you thought you didn't like booties, but you just hadn't met the right ones." And you know what? They were right. Angels sang and my closet shone as I imagined stepping into this "won't they make my legs look big" trend. Before I knew it, the cash register was ringing and we were out the door. Only problem was that they were in my best friend's shopping bag and not mine. Darn you shopping budget. But that's ok...a girl can dream! Plus, they looked hot on her. I'm a good friend darn it! Just like Shannon. Thanks for having me over!


Here is Maggy and her best friend Becky
the one who actually gets to wear these shoes!


If you have a pair of shoes you love, are currently lusting over, find yourself searching for the perfect pair, or have a story like Maggy's and would like to be featured on Saturday Shoes, email me at: shannon.angelos {at} gmail.com

2011 Gift Guide: Baby Baby


There are so many great gifts for baby. Each year, I could easily create several gear guides for babies.  With a son about to turn one, four cousins under the age of four, and armfuls of other babies in my life between friends and cousins, Christmas shopping for babies has been on my brain.  Here are a few of the items that I keep circling back to:

1. Recycled ECO Fleece Bunting - a mix between Swedish and preppy, certainly cozy.  You can find this set by Polarn O. Pyret for $100. I want to buy it for Behr, even though he already has one.  Maybe they make on in my size?

2. Ukrainescape Red Print by The Littlest Mammoth - this print by Andrea Kalfas brings a worldly sophistication to any little one's space.  I have spent hours designing this gift guide around multiple prints found on The Littlest Mammoth, a perfectly curated collection of international artists. Prints start at just $20.

3. Gnome Bowling Set - I really want to get Behr into bowling.  It seems like the perfect mix of sport and destruction for a little boy who loves to knock things down!  This set by Green Mountain on etsy would be the perfect way to start, especially at $30!

4. Foil Bird Onesie - again, does it come in adult size?  Featured on Nonchalant Mom, this onesie could be yours for $38.  Be sue to check out the blog too!

5. Bunny Milk on the Rocks Onesie - the back of this cracks me up!  What little kid doesn't want to run around with a bunny tail?  Get yours from The Black Wagon for $48

6. Zippity Zany Mittens - Confession, Behr already has these. For only $16 I couldn't resist. As for being included in this guide, the colors were just too perfect to pass up.  I would give these mittens a top notch review.  They are just the right size for itty bitty hands and certainly brighten up our bike rides!

7. Eric Carle Animal Flash Cards - After searching high and low, these flash cards remain on the list of most pleasing to mom and baby.  They make a great gift for all ages and can be found for about $10.

8. Bright Blue Recycle Truck Print - One of my favorite new etsy finds.  Get this print for $16 or buy all four trucks for $34.

9. Wheely Bee by Prince Lionheart - Love this bee!  Can't you just picture the cuteness overload when this toy enters the scene?  Prices range from retailer to retailer, but it appears to be on sale for $50 in the link provided at the time I wrote this post.

A Giant Leaf Pile



We live in the city. We don't have a yard or leaves to rake, and our potted plants don't require "man-work." Every so often, we call up our friends, Phil and Kami, who live in the suburbs and ask if we can do yard work. Seriously. This year, the Mark and Phil had an incredible amount of leaves to rake, which I saw as a golden opportunity for a photo shoot.  And I would be lying if I didn't think about that when I dressed Behr this day.



Side note: Has it become ridiculously apparent that I force my child into photo shoots and continue taking pictures as he wails at me in protest?  Yes?  But this is a mother's right, no?  Okay, now that we got that out in the open, moving on...

Not only did I take advantage of Behr's first leaf pile, I also made sure we got a family photo.



First attempt was a lighting failure.  Last attempt, also failure, in spire of my greatest efforts to make Behr smile.  Do you see the stink eye he is giving me?  He even refused to play once we were safely inside the house.  Dad benefited from high quality time with Behr while he got over being mad at me.


At least my boys got to ride the "tractor."

Behr is wearing:
Orange Fleece - free, hand-me-down
Khaki Pants - free, gift from Carter's
Army Green Socks - free, gift from Old Navy
these socks stay on well if you are in the market!

Drumroll Please {Giveaway Closed, Winner Announced}

Dun...da...da....dun....

Are you ready for the exciting news?  The Scribble Pad is growing!  Wait, did you thing we were expecting number two?  Or getting a dog?  Nope, not yet.  But thanks for the great guesses on twitter. 

We have officially launched our very own, brand spanking new etsy site!

Check out the site for my first collection of hand-stamped holiday stationery. As my little shop grows, this will also be where you can find examples of my custom invitations and calligraphy.




The launch of the shop was timed to coincide with the holiday gift swap hosted by Freshly Picked and Ardor.  Five fabulously crafty blog readers will be receiving this pretty pink package on their doorsteps today. And you can get one too! To celebrate the launch, I am giving away:

one set of hand stamped holiday cards 
-or- 
one set of the custom embossed name cards

to enter:
 leave a comment including your email address

four extra chances to win:
leave a separate comment for each

favorite The Scribble Pad on etsy

visit The Scribble Pad on etsy and tell me your favorite card set + who you would send them to

tweet about the giveaway: "@TheScribblePad just launched an etsy site: http://tinyurl.com/c7vxz3p featuring her hand stamped holiday card collection"

pin one of the items in this post or on the etsy site - be sure to send me the link to your pin

This giveaway will close Friday.


UPDATED on 11/20/11:  Winner Announcement

Comment No. 13 - julie from Green Eggs and Hammes

Congratulations Julie!
email me at: shannon.angelos {at} gmail.com to claim your prize

2011 Gift Guide: For Mom



This is a gift guide geared to your mom, not the new baby mom's of blog land. How can you honor and cherish the woman who has spent the last 20, 30, 40 + years raising and supporting you? While there are countless personal choices, here are a few no-fail options for those special ladies in your life. Oh, and these gifts also work well for mother-in-laws, imagine that!

Gifts for Mom: 1. Silk Nelli Scarf from Roberto Roller Rabit, $135 each // 2. Leather Driving Gloves with SmarTouch technology from Isotoner for $54 // 3. Made to order Glass Butter Dish on Etsy for $40 // 4. Lisa Leonard Keepsake Bowl for $52 // 5. Boiled Wool Cuffed Slippers from VivaTerra for $75 // 6. Crepe Gift Set from Sur La Table for $50

10 Months Old


Behr is officially 10 months old. We celebrated with our typical sunday bike ride and Behr's first bad cold.     I am grateful that he lasted this long without a bad cold.  Despite a horrible cough that reduces him to tears, he has been resilient and he is old enough to eat up mama's chicken noodle soup.  The past month has marked many milestones, no wonder Behr got sick all of this work tuckered him out!

note: we hadn't started biking yet, but I was struck by what a big boy Behr looked like 
with his jeans and puffer jacket, so I wanted to capture a picture before I put his helmet on.  
we wear helmets.


tooth number 2 arrived

many modes of transportation:
Behr mastered the army crawl
Pulls up on all furniture, all the time
Cautiously scoots and side-walking around furniture
And just last, started week crawling on his knees

communication:
lots of new sounds in an effort to talk to us.
the words are all in there, he just isn't quite sure how to get them out.

play:
Behr loves knocking down stacks, blocks, cups, pots and pans, magazines and mail...you name it. If it is stacked, he will knock it down like a bull in a china shop.

Putting things on his head.  At some point over the summer we started playing a game where we put things on our head or Behr's and wait until the fall off.  This led to hilarious fits of laughter.  Now Behr jumps in on the action, placing items "on his head" (really he drops them over his shoulder behind his back) and laughs even harder than before.  He loves this game and will play for hours!

Table play.  Since he can now pull up, playing at the coffee table or his plastic table are new favorite activities.  He also uses his toy stage as an old man walker, lifting it up and lunching forward.  He seriously looks like a grandpa lurching across our living room in starts and fits.

We also play catch and pass toys back and forth.  Behr is learning to share.

faces:
Oh the faces.  He has so many new ones.  I wish I could show you them all, but he knows to smile for the camera, for now, and refuses to let me capture his "looks."

He looks like a boy.  I know this sounds a bit crazy, but as you can see in the bike pictures, he is really looking grown up.  All boy.  The baby features are quickly fading.  The pudge in his cheeks and his "jowls" are disappearing leaving defined BOY features.  So yes, I mean it when he says he looks like a boy.  He is growing up.

say hello to my creepy "happy 10 month birthday!" face.
poor Behr.


Oh Baby, I cannot believe you are 10 months old!  I am going to savor the moments when you still want to snuggle with me and when you need me to pick you up, even when I don't want to.  If only I could pause time right here.  But I think that every month, and the next one gets even better.  

Sunday Family Meal Time

Updated March 2014.  After years of regular rotation, this recipe has been updated more exact measurements for a 3 quart crock pot. New, more appetizing pictures are a bonus!

Sundays we try to establish a family routine.  Our church meets in the evening, so Sunday mornings mean pancakes and bike rides.  While our mornings are sweet, this schedule makes our evenings frantic.  We walk home from church, hungry, but needing to feed Behr and get him ready for bed and also get ready for the week ahead.  Thank goodness for slow cooking!  Here is our go-to meal for parties, to bring to folks, and also the occasional Sunday evening for us (and lunch all week).


*Kentucky style because the recipe comes from a friend who went to UK.  
As for whether or not it is truly Kentucky style, you be the judge.


Ingredients:
1 large onion thinly diced.
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbs. maple syrup
2 Tbs. yellow mustard
pinch of satlt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tps. onion powder
1/2 tsp. cumin (skip if you prefer)
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. tabasco sauce 
(more or less based on preferred kick) 

The ingredients ratios are flexible, so add or subtract to your liking.


Directions:
Put the diced onion in the crock pot first, then the chicken,  
and finally all the ingredients listed above.
Cook on high for 5 hours, or low for 8 hours.
While it is still hot, or nearing the end of cook time, shred in the crock pot with two forks.
if it looks like there is too much liquid, don't worry
the shredding process soaks it up.
Serve on sesame seed buns or potato rolls with a generous side of cole slaw.


There you have it, the perfect Sunday meal, sure to make the meat eaters in your life happy. This recipe makes enough for three meals. We generally eat some the same day, bring some to friends with a new baby and put the remainder in the freezer. It is quick and easy to reheat when we are low on time. 

This recipe multiplies well for larger crock pots or big events.



Leading and Chasing

This post was written last week.  Since then, I wrote my yia-yia post and realized that a lot of the emotion of this year is coming to a head as the holiday's approach.  But in an effort to be more open, here we go.

This year has been marked by ups and downs and sudden twists and turns. I have found myself full of confidence, feeling on top of the world and then wallowing in tears no doubt heightened by hormonal imbalances. Disclaimer: In case you haven't noticed, this post is about to get personal.

The times I feel like I am leading are the best. Dinners are made, the house gets cleaned, blog posts are scheduled, Mark and I have time to catch up, Behr and I arrive to daycare and work on time, and my anxiety level is low. Hint: when CSA inspired blog posts reach their peak, I am doing well and my family is eating healthy. When you haven’t seen one in a while it is because I can’t find the time to cook.

When I am leading, things just seem to hum along.

And then, without any warning I slip into chasing mode. Whether it is caused by exhaustion, or grief, or simply life’s challenges, I begin to chase. It is at this point, when I am feeling my lowest, that I begin to question why I blog. I catch glimmers of twitter updates and facebook statuses in fleeting minutes on my blackberry, wishing I had time to contribute, to be part of the conversation. This is when the self doubt slips in and I wonder if my presence isn’t wanted. I begin to chase after friends and other bloggers, begging for their acceptance.  All of this also happens with real life, but it isn't as clear to explain.

I am a people pleaser, yearning for acceptance in all of the wrong places.

I also chase people away.

Chasing makes me want to hurry up and get back on the horse and run away to the beach to spend hours counting sand all at the same time.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderfully supportive family and incredible friends, but everyone seems to be far away with never is time to fully catch up. So often it is me that doesn’t have enough time; that has an overly full schedule and won’t take time to rest.  I hurt the people closest to me when I slip into chasing mode.  And then, I blame them.

I am grateful that throughout this year of so much change, my faith has remained constant. My conversations with God are frequent, time I spend it prayerful reflection is fulfilling, but I am still so prone to stumble.

And so I feel caught in a cycle of leading and chasing.  Do you get caught in cycles too?

Forts and Tents and Games, oh my!

This past weekend, we enjoyed so much needed downtime.  Sunday was a lazy day {for me} in the Schreiber household, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.  We spent a lot of time in bed, soaking up our extra hour.  Mark took care of us with a pancake breakfast and let behr and I nap together while he cleaned the entire apartment.  Behr and I started making a tent with the bed sheets that quickly turned into a game of peek-a-boo fully of hysterical laughter.  As any good blogger would, I attempted to capture this moment on camera...you know with my old fashioned point-and-shoot with no fancy settings to utilize.  While a faster shutter speed would have definitely helped get the expression, the blurry haze of our activity sums up our lazy day quite well.  As for the three day weekend we have coming up, I am hoping for more of last weekend, family time in bed.  How about you?


This is my favorite. 
You can almost hear the laughter jumping out of this photo.


Behr is wearing a long sleeve onesie and blue sweatpants from carter's
both were gifts from the grandparents

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