Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pages of Penrose: Books of February

This February I read three great books!
My favorite of the month was hands down, A Fifty-Year Silence.  

I wrote about my thoughts on this wonderful memoir here.  It is definitely worth the read!

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

It was an interesting read, my favorite parts were when Cheryl Strayed spoke about the actual hike on the PCT and the different stops that she had along the way. I tried to read this book and had a hard time getting into it, so I decided to listen to it on AudioCD and while parts were still a bit hard to get into, I liked it better when I listened to it.  I hardly ever say this, but I think I would like this story better as the movie instead of the book (although I have not seen the movie yet).

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

It seemed like this book was becoming so popular that I had to see what all the hype was about.
This was an interesting book, and I thought that the log-type of format worked well since the story is told from three points of view.  I am not sure if this book is being turned into a movie? The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking that this thriller could be a hit movie.  If you liked a twisting story like Gone Girl,  highly recommend this one to you!

Remember, you can friend me on Goodreads here and come back next month for my books of March!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Products of Penrose: Shopping the Sales - Toddler Girls

One of my favorite things to do is shop the clearance section of my favorite stores to get off-season deals on clothes.  This is especially great for fitting my $5 or less rule for children's clothing.  I just do not see the point in spending more than that on an everyday clothing item when kids grow so quickly!  There is a great sale going on now until March 4th at The Children's Place online!

Ryleigh has lots of t-shirts but needed shorts/skorts and tanks for summertime.  Everything above was $3.97 or less and I love that the items mix & match very well to create so many outfits.

We also scored a deal for a 3T warm winter coat for next year...
This Wisteria color probably would not have been my first choice, 
but for $12.25 and free shipping, it will definitely do!

And some sweet jammies for $7.25...

Another habit that I have is checking clothing clearance when I am purchasing anything from some of my usual stores, like Target, Nordstrom or Amazon.  Side note--since becoming a mom, about 95% of my shopping is done online, including groceries. It's called sanity, and I like to keep it.  
These stores have great shipping and returns policies to make that easy!

I found these cute chinos for Ryleigh at Target and thought the 3T's will work well for her this fall because her legs are so long.

After cleaning out Ryleigh's dresser and realizing many clothes that I thought she had for spring and summer were actually 24m size instead of 2T's, I was worried and knew we needed to add some items. These were the perfect finds!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

& just like that....TWO!

Just like that....Ryleigh is TWO!

She loves being turned around in her carseat now!
She will tell us "Oh mommy, I see green light!"

Ryleigh with her best buddy :)

I'd say about five months ago, her appearance really made some changes and she is such a little toddler now.

Height:   34-3/4"
Weight:   28lbs 

[favorite foods]
Chicken. Greek Yogurt. Strawberries. Waffles. Sour Cream & Onion Chips. Brownies.
Tortilla Chips & Salsa or Guac.  Cheese Pizza. Blueberries. Bananas. French Fries. lil'Crunchies. 
Peanut Butter Crackers. Yogurt Raisins. Cheerios. Hot Dogs.  Pancakes.

[least favorite foods]
Vegetables. Pasta. Bread. Eggs.

[growth & diapering]
Clothing sizes are pretty much following her age, although some pants are too loose at the waist.  She has used the potty but not consistently, so still wearing Size 4 diapers.

[favorite things]
Blankie is always with you! Riding the four-wheeler with Daddy. "Reading" books by yourself. Playing Hide & Seek. Counting (up to 20!).  Dancing and Listening to Country or Christian Music.  Your play kitchen & pretend cooking.  Using the Swiffer Sweeper.
Bubble Guppies & Paw Patrol.  Coloring.  Megabloks. 
Playing with your Melissa & Doug bricks.   Sidewalk chalk. Carrying your purses. 
Pushing your babies in the stroller.  Brushing your teeth.  Getting the Mail.
Helping with Laundry.  Playing & sharing with your dogs.  
Helping Mrs. Becky with the babies at Daycare.

I always heard, but never quite understood, when mothers said that "each new stage becomes your favorite" with children.  Ryleigh was a brand new baby and, once the fog of no sleep left, I used to wonder how that could possibly be--that I would find older ages as good as the cuddly, cute, always-new-firsts, baby stage.  But, I suppose now we are there with our ever-changing, strong-willed toddler and she tests my patience but makes me laugh and makes me proud every single day.  
I understand it now.  She is growing into the sweetest, funniest, most strong-willed little one and I am constantly surprised by new words or silly things that she says.  This is such a fun age!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Projects of Penrose: Foyer Lighting

A new home is always a process to decorate. I've been getting little bits and pieces of things done, tackling the necessities first, of course.  One small change that I have been wanting to make is the light fixture in our foyer.  Something that we did not anticipate when we decided to do the builder option of making the front 'den/office' area enclosed with double doors, was that the light from the bright, double-window in that room was now blocked from the foyer by the wall.  The light fixture that the builder installed in the foyer is really not adequate to brighten the area.  I hope to also alleviate this by installing a glass storm door so that we can leave our front door open during the day and let light in, but we will also be switching out the light fixture...

Our new pendant light was under $100, so it was an affordable way to solve the problem!

It just arrived today and I can't wait to see the change that it will make in the space.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Plates of Penrose: Superbowl Rewind

Well, our Panthers did not do so well this past Sunday, but luckily we still had a fun evening with friends, snacking on some delicious food!

Of course, we had some of the staple necessities for a good football party menu, like Buffalo Chicken Dip, a fresh Veggie plate with Ranch Dip, and some Smores Brownies for a dessert.

I made my first attempt at making guacamole and it was delicious! Ryleigh and I are big guac fans and this recipe did not disappoint:  Tab's Guacamole.  I switched some ingredients for convenience--instead of fresh cut tomato and jalepeno I used a drained can of Rotel and half a small can of diced jalepenos, and instead of crushed garlic I used a tablespoon of minced garlic.  It all turned out great!

Everytime I make my Crockpot Ribs they are a total crowd pleaser and my husband comments for days about how good they are :) So, I thought I would share the way too easy recipe:

1 or 2 Racks of Ribs (pork or beef)
Garlic Salt
Onion Salt
BBQ Sauce--whichever is your favorite!

Cut your rack(s) of ribs into individual ribs (this is pretty easy-just slice between the bones).  Try to trim off the bits of gristle if possible.  I also usually trim off some of the excess fat--a little is okay to keep on the ribs for flavor but I hate biting into a hunk of fat--yuck!  After you have everything cut apart, sprinkle a light dusting of garlic salt and onion salt on top of the ribs.  Then, sprinkle with a good dusting of Creole seasoning for a nice kick of flavor.  

(At this point, if possible I like to let the ribs marinate overnight in the refrigerator. 
If you don't have time, just continue on to the next steps...)

Get out your crockpot, pour about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of BBQ sauce over the bottom and then start placing your ribs inside.  Stand your ribs upright--this gets easier the more ribs you place in the crockpot.  I have found that I can fit two racks of ribs in my 6qt crockpot just fine. Once you have all of your ribs placed, drizzle a little bit of BBQ sauce on top of each rib. Then, cook on low for 7-8hrs.  If your crockpot seems to cook everything quickly like mine does--they could be ready in as little as 6hrs.  

Yall, these are always fall. off. the. bone. good!  As you can see from the top part of the picture above--they are seriously fall off the bone tender when they are done!

"Football foods" are always some of my favorites. I'd love to hear if you try these recipes and what your thoughts are!