Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Resolutions *Update*

Last year, the Henrys all made "resolutions" but really there were more like goals. Here is our post from last year...let's see how we did...

Rachel

1. Read 5 books. YES...technically. Here is how I did:

China Dolls by Lisa See: Loved it! I discovered that I love basically everything by Lisa See. I'm not obsessed with Chinese history by any stretch of the imagination...but it is quite fascinating and the journey that Lisa See takes us on through her historical fiction is quite enjoyable.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins: So this is where the "technically" fits in. This is technically three books...so I win. These were an easy read but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. I'm a big fan of young adult literature and it was proven with this set. I tore through these books in three days and loved every minute of it.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: This was a rough one...intense. If you haven't read this thriller and you like twists and turns, this book is for you. I'm really looking forward to reading more from this author.

There were a few books that I just couldn't muster the energy to finish this year: Inferno by Dan Brown (hoping to finish this one), Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (just couldn't get in to it) and Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts (the fourth of a quartet so it's sad that I just can't finish it!). I'd really like to finish these in 2015...plus more!

2. Being less negative. Failed...just plain failed. I would even venture to say I got worse at bottling up things inside and consistently putting myself in negative situations. I did become more aware of the consequences of this behavior towards the end of the year and made some relatively big changes...so there is hope for me yet.

3. Establish a balance. Again...failed...but those changes I've started to make at the end of 2014 look promising for 2015.

4. Kid's Suite. Eh...I didn't necessarily complete this goal but great progress was made. Lily's room has a theme and just a couple plain walls and Harrison's room is basically finished. Their bathroom is far from finished but it's functional. We have lots of goals for their little space to make it quite colorful and fun. I'm still head over heels in love with our home and neighborhood...it's just that damn backyard. Once that is functional...we will be living the high life! ;)

5. Being a better person, wife, and mom. I mean, I didn't fail but there is always room for improvement. I learned a lot in 2014 while making some big decisions and adjustments. I started a new job and our life was rocked by the arrival of our precious Captain. I'm really pleased with the journey we've started. I'm not perfect and I'm not ridiculous enough to think I can ever obtain perfection...but 2014 was a great learning year and I'm thankful for all the trials, excitement, and progress that was made!

Chris (by Chris)

1. Brew more. Semi-failed. I brewed about 3 batches this year. Not nearly what I would have liked but, considering all the stuff in this action packed year I feel okay about this looking back. I ended up brewing a Hefeweizen that I split into two batches. One fermented over cherries and the other normally fermented. I also brewed a batch of spiced winter ale for the holidays. My favorite was the chocolate vanilla porter with a touch of rum that I helped brew with my Iron Brewer team. Really tasty stuff. Right now I have two beers queued up for 2015, a brown ale and a session ale. I think my next plan is for some smaller more creative batches of homebrew and keeping the big 5 gallon batches pretty basic,

2. Keep in touch. Meh. I still feel like I was pretty caught up in our own little world. I was able to see some family and friends who I normally might not run into. Plus some extra Facetiming with people. I still need to do better.

3. Backyard. Small steps were made in the right direction to having our backyard become an oasis of play. Azaleas were planted, a loquat tree too, but overall without a lush carpet of grass that yard will remain the main priority for home improvement in 2015.

4. Become a handyman. Projects were definitely knocked around with in the Henry House. I'm still learning the ropes with some little woodworking projects and craftiness. Having a dremel is going to be a real game changer in this area for 2015. Big stuff for the new year will be building a workbench and a small storage shed for the backyard.

5. Notarize. Not a notary yet, Maybe one day, but now that the Masters is over I'll have a little more time to devote to this noble cause.


Lily

1. Potty train...yeah girl! She sure did tackle that potty in 2014 and is basically the winner! She still wears a pull up to bed...but that's my call...I'm not a fan of the inevitable accident in bed in the middle of the night. I'm so proud of the strides she made and still beam each time she tells me she needs to find a potty.

2. Love Purple. Yeah, this girl still loves the color purple! LOL!


All in all, 2014 was an unbelievably magical year for the Henrys. Each and every day I feel more lucky and blessed...can't wait to see what next year holds!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Very Merry Henry Christmas

Well, I'm a little sad that Christmas is over...but it is SO over. We finished taking down all the Christmas decor today and (hopefully!) watched Christmas Mickey for the last time this year. To recap, we had a truly special Christmas! We were able to celebrate with family...and it was awesome! It was a whirlwind and I didn't get as many photos as I should have...but enjoy anyway!

First, Christmas Eve...we had our "favorite things" dinner which consists of each of our favorite foods. This year, we enjoyed sushi (me), pizza & olives (Lily), green beans (Chris), and avocados for Harrison (which he hated and eventually switched to apples)! While the pizza was cooking, Lily wrote her letter to Santa...I realize this probably should have been done sooner...but it was still adorable!


She wrote balloons, doll, and her name..so sweet!


Man, this girl loves olives!



After dinner, we put on our Christmas jammies...Harry Potter themed, of course!




So, I had purchased Chris' set earlier than the rest of us. I had hoped to find some that matched his...but no dice. His words: "nothing says the noble house of Syltherin like a ladies' large tshirt" :)


The best selfie we could get! lol!


We then settled in with hot chocolate for a Christmas movie...which was, of course, Christmas Mickey. ;)


Then off to bed...but not before Lily's letter and treats were left out for Santa!


Da Boi patiently waited for everyone to turn their backs!



Dumb pre-lit Christmas tree!


Christmas morning was purely magical. Lily had consistently asked Santa to bring her pink and purple balloons...and that is exactly what he did. But he didn't stop there...she was adorable as she discovered her treats...and then helped Harrison discover his. He didn't get into the Christmas spirit really...but he was still amazing!






After presents, we enjoyed our traditional Christmas lunch...spinach lasagna (because it's red, green, and white...clearly!). It was delicious as always!


We just relaxed the day away and got ready for our awesome visitors that came the following day...the Henrys! Lily was SO excited about her first ever sleep over with her cousins...it was adorable! They played hard and Lily loved every minute of it!





Unfortunately, I didn't get any other photos of them but trust they were all adorable! The next day we were off to Leesville for more fun and love! We so enjoyed hanging out with family...so much so that I only took three pictures. Pitiful.




Outside of Harrison cutting a couple teeth, we had such a blast and loved every minute of the Christmas Season! I'll make sure to take more pictures next year! ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Have a Magical Christmas!

This Christmas Eve is just going perfectly! We have our shopping finished, our presents wrapped, our kiddos are napping, and we are gearing up for my favorite traditions! Every Christmas Eve, we put on our matching jammies, eat our "Favorite Things" dinner, bake Santa some cookies, and enjoy a Christmas movie while we sip hot chocolate. Don't worry....I'll document and blog that fun! But for now, I leave you with our very first "themed" Christmas Card...we may or may not be completely obsessed with Harry Potter...


Why yes, those are Weasley jumpers and we are reading the novels! 

But don't forget our year in review insert...


We hope you enjoy these as much as we enjoyed designing them!

May you and yours have a fabulous Christmas!!! Can't wait to blog all the fun that the Henrys have over the next few days!

Much Love from the Henry Burrow! ;)

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 UMPEA Holiday Program

So we get an email from Lily's class parent representative asking for a very random list of items for the Holiday Program. This list included a nutria costume, a Mr. Bingle costume, a robe/slippers...in addition to an assortment of other items. My interest was peaked! Since I'm not sure a nutria costume exists and I have no clue who Mr. Bingle is...we volunteered the robe/slippers and Lily was set to play a "little ol lady" in their "Night Before Christmas in the land of Who Dat!" 



To our surprise, she was also doing the welcome! Yay!




video

Just in case you don't speak whispered gibberish, they said, "Welcome to our Christmas Program! Sit back, relax, and pass a good time!"


When we get to her class presentation, I could hardly contain my excitement! Her teacher worked SO hard and it was adorable! The video was around 10 minutes long so we cut it down to her part:


video


I mean...of course she gets on stage and picks her nose! 


This was the finale with all the kiddos on stage...you'll see a Santa with a Popeye's fried chicken leg, a sleigh pulled by brown pelicans, a little boy with visions of beignets, an adorable "mutt", a po-boy, Mr. Bingle, a pot of gumbo, and a hurricane...along with the old lady! ;)


Once the program was over, she ran straight to Daddy and was just SO proud of herself! 



Love that girl!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

At-Home Hair Cut

When one is growing their hair out, they typically get to a point of "I'm going to shave my head". Well, I didn't get quite there the other evening...but I got close. I had this "awesome" ducktail/mullet in the back that was driving me batsh*t bananas. Chris jokingly asked if I wanted him to cut it...and to everyone's shock, I said yes. I just couldn't handle it anymore. So out came the scissors...




It was like a crazy trust exercise...thank goodness it worked out!

Thanks Chris!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

DIY Dog Shampoo

With a toddler and a 9 month old, our poor furbabies get the very last of our attention. Well, when Oliver, our cocker spaniel,  jumped in my lap this afternoon and I really took a second to love on him...my heart just broke. His poor ears are a mess and I noticed a couple little spots on his skin that have been itching him...funky allergies. So, I decided it was time for a puppy spa day!

Oliver got a good smellin' bath, an ear cleaning, a manicure and pedicure, with a mini massage. He is once again a happy and good smelling boy!

I'm not a big fan of how dog shampoos smell so I decided it was time for a DIY option. He needed something that would deodorize but also moisturize his skin. So I did a bit of research and this is what I came up with...enjoy!




1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
5 tablespoons of castile soap
10 drops of essential oil
2 cups of warm water

I put all the ingredients into an old shampoo bottle and mixed well.

Since my Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap was lavender scented, I also used my Young Living Lavender Essential Oil. Not only does it smell fantastic, but it's also a calming and soothing on his skin. I'm a big fan of how smooth and shiny his coat is and he hasn't been scratching since the bath...which is huge for our sweet Oliver!

My only complaint is that it didn't lather very well. I'm going to keep an eye on his ears and little hot spots, but so far so good! He smells delicious, looks fantastic, and seems to be a happy boy! We will definitely be trying again next bath time!

Next on our list is a DIY ear cleaner...stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Fun & Easy Christmas Card Display

Our Christmas decor is getting a bit of a facelift this year...with a bunch of DIY projects that I can't wait to share! Starting with this fun and easy way to display Christmas Cards.




Your family and friends work too hard on their Christmas Cards each year to just be tossed aside! Show off their beautiful work with a fun garland on a doorway or, in our case, a china buffet! I spray painted a bunch of clothes pins and as the cards come in, we clip them on!


For the sign, I just grabbed a blank piece of wood from my local craft store and painted away! I mean..."Merry Mail"...adorable, right!?! Thanks Pinterest! ;)

Can't wait to see what this looks like full! Stay tuned for an update a little closer to Christmas!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DIY All Purpose Spray


After several stomach bugs and a nasty ear infection hit the Henry House...in the same month...I lost my mind calmly reevaluated our operations and decided to toss the chemical cleaners. Clearly something was running a muck in our home and I was desperate to kick that sh*t to the curb! I started with an All-Purpose Spray...and one month later I'm still loving it! I feel healthier and it smells AMAZING...oh yummy lavender! Check out this easy peasy recipe!

DIY All-Purpose Spray

Empty and Clean Spray Bottle
3 tablespoons of vinegar
1 teaspoon castile soap 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
15-20 drops of lavender essential oil
2 cups of hot water

Mix well and get to cleaning! 

There will be a fuzzy reaction when you mix the baking soda and vinegar so just be warned. I used Dr. Bronner's  Lavender Castile Soap...because it's amazing. I also used Young Living Essential Oils...because they too are amazing. 

I've used this spray on a myriad of surfaces with no regrets! Enjoy!




Friday, July 25, 2014

Lily and Mommy's (Sick) Day

Poor pitiful Pea Pie...

She woke up on Wednesday with a low-grade fever and nasty gunk flowing from her eyes, ears, and nose. Just nasty. When this happens, we know immediately that an ear infection is in hot pursuit. She stayed home with Daddy for some much needed rest and relaxation. When she woke up worse on Thursday, it was Mommy's turn to stay home and love on Lily. Now, I am fully aware that this was not a vacation day or a Mommy-Daughter Day...but whilst sick her spirits were still rather high so I wanted to make the day as fun as possible for her. So, while we waited for her doctor's appointment...I broke out the paints and canvas...


There are a few art projects that have been on the back burner...so I decided to knock one out! Lily's big girl room still has some bare walls and my late night Pinterest searches led me to a quote that just defines our Pea Pie and just NEEDED to be painted on a canvas and hung on her wall! As I got the canvas prepped, Lily wanted to jump in...so I said YES!




Stage one of our projects was complete so off to the doctor we went.



Yes, Lily makes herself at home just about anywhere! Once the doctor confirmed that she did have a nasty ear infection...I thought some lunch would help! So, we ran to McAlister's for some sweet tea and a cheese pita pizza!


Outside of the ear infection, our lunch date was so much fun! 
We headed home, rested for a bit, and then finished our projects!



While my lettering is a bit rusty, I'm generally pleased with home these turned out! It was so much fun working on a project with Lily and she was SO proud! It was adorable! 

Although this was a "sick" day, we had so much fun! She is growing up WAY too fast so it's our goal to take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy life with our funny, beautiful kiddos! 

Now, on that note, please excuse me...I'm being beckoned to attend a tea party with a little princess! ;)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Creamy Caprese Quinoa Bake

If you heard a huge sigh of relief over the weekend, it probably came from Chris as I made my way back into the kitchen and gave him a break from dinner duty! It's been quite some time since I cooked dinner...like "can't remember where some items are stored" amount of time. But...I survived and (thanks to Pinterest) I think I made a tasty and very easy little quinoa dish! Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups of cooked quinoa 
1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
2 tablespoons of tomato past
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 cup of mozzarella cheese (divided)
1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
1 large bunch of fresh basil (loosely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
salt/pepper to taste

Directions

First, cook your quinoa. I tossed in 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa with about a cup of water to yield (close enough) to my 2 cups of cooked quinoa. This took roughly 10-15 minutes. Once done, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Now, let the fun begin! Heat your pasta sauce and tomato paste over low heat in a large sauce pan.


Once warm, stir in your heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper and season with salt/pepper.


Remove from heat and stir in your cooked quinoa.


Next, fold in half of your mozzarella cheese, half of your tomatoes, and your chopped basil.


Once combined, spray a baking dish and pour in your entire quinoa mixture. Note: I used a 2 quart dish and I wished I would have used an 8x8 or other size square! Top with the remainder of your mozzarella cheese and remainder of your tomatoes.


Bake for 10-15 minutes and then turn on your broiler for about 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is golden and 
bubbly! Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a bit more of your chopped basil.


Allow to cool and then serve! 


This was seriously delicious! Lily (and even GranZee) enjoyed it...but that might have been thanks to the crazy amount of cheese in this dish! Whatever works!