Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cinderella, Belle, Sleeping Beauty

Awhile ago I wrote a post about my little Tryn who loves to pretend she is a princess. Nothing has really changed. One main difference is that Tryn is obsessed with wearing the flower girl dress that she wore for our friends Joel and Crista's wedding. Remember this dress?

Yeah, I don't think a day goes by when we can convince Tryn not to wear it for a any certain portion of the day. For a white dress I am surprised that it is still in such good shape. Especially considering this:

Understand that I really don't know what she is doing here. It has something to do with a princess, but I really don't know. My best guess? She is pretending to be Sleeping Beauty after she gets her finger pricked by the spinning wheel spindle and is laying there dead in a deep, deep sleep.

If you want to be friends with Trynica and don't know anything about Disney princesses, I would suggest brushing up on your knowledge of Cinderella, Belle, and Sleeping Beauty. You could be her immediate bff if you could knowledgeably converse about at least one princess or even be able to tell her which is your favorite.

Outside of the white dress there are other princess costumes as well. Besides the standard princess dresses that she got for her birthday and her favorite princess shoes that she got from her cousin Brendyn, she will make do with anything on hand. Including, but completely not limited to, any pair of my shoes and, in this case, a baby wash cloth. Here she is being Cinderella. Of course, when Cinderella is doing house work she wears a handkerchief on her head, don't you know?

We do, of course, also have a princess crown and princess toys and princess jewelry, oh my. I have been told by many parents with little girls that it is just a stage that they will some day grow out of. Although it often feels like my life is being taken over by everything princess, it will be a bittersweet day when Tryn no longer cares about princess things anymore. Because there is a little princess that is my favorite and I have grown very, very fond of her...

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I am home alone on a Saturday morning for the first time I can remember since Tryn was born. There have been a few times that I have been "alone" without the kids, but Steve has always been with me. Today the kids are with Grandma and Steve is in Brainerd and I am alone. I hardly know what to do with myself. I do finally have time to put out the recipe that I promised a few days ago though, so here goes!!

Stuffed Peppers

3 red or yellow peppers (or orange, I used red and orange)
1 tbls olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
50 g (1 3/4 oz) butter (I have no idea how much this actually is, this is a European cookbook. I just used like 1 tbls)
2 1/4 cups breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (since I forgot to put these in until the end I left the skin on, I don't think it really mattered. I did take the seeds out though.)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 tbls chpped basil (just realizing I totally forgot to put this in too, and they still tasted awesome!:)
3 tbls extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut peppers in half, removes seeds, and place on slightly oiled baking tray.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan, add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 mins. Remove from heat and stir in butter and breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add the egg, Parmesan, tomato, mozzarella, basil, and 3 tbls water. Stir well and season.

Fill peppers with stuffing, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 40-45 mins, or until the peppers are cooked through and the tops are golden brown.


Friday, August 28, 2009

The Eyes Have It!

So, I really am remembering to try and post that recipe for the stuffed peppers, I promise. I just keep forgetting while I am at home. I have been trying to squeeze time in with my girls because I have been gone the last two nights and tonight we are all going to be gone. Steve and I will be attending the bachelor and bachelorette parties of our good friends Rollie and Cait (who are getting married in a few weeks, wahoo!!) and the girls will be spending the night with Grandma and baby Jackson. I won't get to see my babes again until Sunday morning.

Anyway, I love eyes. They are so beautiful and expressive. I especially love the eyes of all three of my family members. I happen to think that my two little girls have some of the most beautiful sets of eyes I have ever seen. I also saw this photographer who had taken some eye pictures of her friends and it was really great because you could see all the tiny details in the eyes. Which I love to see on others. However, not many people love it when you get right up in their face to look at the details of their eyes. But, I made my family be my subjects...and it didn't really work. :) Berlin and Steve wouldn't hold still, which you have to hold extra still to be able to see the really fine details in a macro setting in lower lighting. They didn't. You can practically see Steve's distain for the whole thing below - which is why I love eyes, because you can see what a person is thinking just by seeing their eyes! It's like he is saying, "Come on babe, this is dumb." Can you see it? I can. :)

I hope this doesn't totally gross anyone out, maybe someday I will get better sharper pictures, but I thought these were fun anyway. (Also, excuse how tired and red my eyes look. Eye allergies.)

And just one more of Steve, since he thought I was silly for doing this whole thing :) He can do this really crazy thing with his eyes where they pop open like this:

On the radio station that I listen to they talk a lot about if you can see the whites of anyone's eye on either the top or the bottom that means they have a little bit of crazy in them...I can see a lot of the whites of Steve's eyes

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Good Food

For those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook you might have noticed that I made a comment about this really wonderful dinner that Steve and I made the other night. We had rosemary/garlic/balsamic vinegar marinated steak, corn on the cob (from the Farmer’s Market – so good), butternut squash risotto, and stuffed bell peppers. With white wine. It was a-mazing. I would have to say that it was one of the best tasting meals we have ever made together, we ate way too much of it because it was so tasty! One of the best things about it is that it was healthy! I love good tasting healthy meals. (For those of you who don’t already know, I am kind of all about healthy food. Not in a I-only-buy-organic-food way, but in a I-don’t-like-to-eat-fast-food-and-love-fruits-veggies-good-food-and-doing-good-things-for-my-body kind of way. Healthy living. My favorite thing to eat for lunch is a huge plate of fresh veggies. That being said, I also love dessert. Especially ice cream, dark chocolate, and Sweet Martha cookies. Ahem. Back to the story.) So, it’s a bonus to make something that tastes extra good, but it also good for us.

Each part of the meal was so good, but I think the best thing was the stuffed peppers. Steve got me an Italian cookbook for something, Mother’s Day maybe, and I have wanted to make these stuffed peppers since I first found them in the book. My intention was to post the recipe for you all so that you could partake in the fabulous goodness, but I forgot to type it out last night. So, you are going to have to be satisfied with this really yummy looking picture and check back to my blog over the next few days to get the recipe!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Farmer's Market

(Forewarning: Get ready for my longest post to date and a mother-load of pictures. Just sayin' so you can't say I didn't warn you.)

On a regular old Saturday morning in North Minneapolis, while a house was being torn down just a little ways down the block...

We had some friends over for breakfast. Yes, this might be the third or fourth consecutive post that I have mentioned our friends Ryan, Amy, and Paisley. We do have other friends too, really, we do. We just especially like these particular friends. Anyway, after bellies full of homemade cinnamon rolls, omelets, orange juice, and french pressed coffee, the seven of us headed off to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. I love going to the Farmer's Market. I think it is my most favorite Saturday morning thing to do (except sleeping in, which I don't get to do anymore, so this is the new favorite).

There are street musicians, some really good and some not so much, but it is always fun to stop and enjoy a little live music. Tryn and Steve especially like the music, Berlin...she doesn't really care yet.

You can sample a bazillion different flavors of balsamic vinegar. Okay, maybe not a bazillion, but I didn't even know that it came in different flavors, so this is fun.

There is jewelery (or beads, rather, if you are a princess), clothing, pottery, soap, tea, sunglasses, and toys - just to name what I can remember off the top of my head.

Then there is the really fabulous food like freshly squeezed orange juice, roasted corn on cob, brats and hot dogs, mini donuts, cinnamon rolls the size of Tryn's head, and really good roasted and flavored nuts. Again, just to name a few.

Of course, part of the best thing is just being together as a family. We like to do different things, explore, and just spend time together, even amidst hundreds of people.

Then there is the produce. There are, I think, six long open aired sheds (poles with a roof) with a few hundred vendors hanging out beneath them. They have any vegetable you could think of and then a few that you couldn't. Seriously, Amy and I asked about one small little purple thing the size of a walnut and either I didn't understand the answer correctly or I had never heard of it - and now I can't even remember what it was called. Anyway, I still have no idea what it was or what it can be used for. Just like I don't know what these little green and white things are, but they look pretty! :) There is also lots of fruit, though, besides the berries and melons, I don't think a lot of fruit grows in I am not sure where the bananas and other things come from.

Jelly Belly anyone? Just kidding. I couldn't stop taking pictures of the beans.

Poor little Paisley got so tired toward the end of our time that she could not stay awake. No better place to sleep than in mommy's arms!

There are also lots of plants and beautiful bouquets of flowers. I wish I would have had my camera when we went last weekend because they had some of the most beautiful bouquets I have ever seen - didn't see any similar sets this last time.

Best of all, the Farmer's Market is literally 1.25 miles from our house! If we were feeling especially rambunctious (or awake) we could totally walk there, or ride our bikes...but we don't. Cause we are not.

And that's it! Well, that's not really it. I took SO many pictures, really, so many. Probably way too many, but it was fun. I kinda want to go back again...maybe take some more!

Minnesota Nice

When Minnesota is nice, it is really nice. Fall is a really great time of year here, Spring is also very wonderful, and even the first few months of Winter are not so bad. It is nice to have snow and ice skating for Christmas - it's mainly just January through March that really are SO unpleasant. Summer is the best. Summers in Minnesota are golden. It doesn't get unbearably hot, if you live close to the city you don't get overwhelmed by bugs, and though it does get rather humid at times, it really is just so great. What is really so nice about MN is that no matter where you live you there is almost always a beach not to far away.

For instance, we live in Minneapolis, very close to actual downtown Minneapolis. Yet, there are two beaches within 10 minutes from our house. Maybe even more that I don't know about. It's great.

Since we have actually not had very many hot days this summer (sometimes, unfortunately, MN weather can be very weird and unpredictable) the girls and I skipped church this morning and went to the beach. It is the last week of August after all (yikes!! that makes me a little sad!) and this summer I have only been to the beach less than it takes me to count on one hand. An 80 degree day when I am not at work? Beach please!

We Haines girls love the beach. Pretty passionately I would say. So, we packed up and met our friends Amy and Paisley at Wirth Beach in Minneapolis. These pictures below are not actually from today, nor are they from Wirth, they are from Lake Calhoun, the other beach close to our place. But, that doesn't really matter, does it? The point is, Minnesota is nice and me and my beach babies love it. (Hugh *sigh*. Even though I love fall too, so sad that summer is almost over.)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chicago, Again

So, some of you may remember me mentioning that Steve and I went with our church out the Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Church in IL. Well, I did indeed bring my camera along and took a few pictures. I am very well intentioned when I take pictures. I always think, "Oh, I should put these on my blog!" and have every intention of doing so...then I take more, or don't have time, or forget, or whatever.

But I am getting around to it this time...eventually. I just won't mention how many days ago we were there. You can pretend like it was last weekend. Or yesterday for that matter!

A fine large building in the fine large city of Chicago.

The rare picture of me, looking very unimpressed that Steve is wielding the camera.

Cool city art.

This is the pizza place we ate at for lunch. We were just walking down the street and decided to stop at this random place. Nobody was there when we got there, we didn't even have to wait for a table. We totally second guessed our choice while we waited the forewarned 40 minutes for our pizza to cook. When we left, however, there was a line outside stretching almost halfway down the block of people waiting for our table. I guess we chose well.

The pizza was really, really good.

My cool friend Stacy with her cool green glasses.

A few flower pictures that I took while we were having dinner one night.

Almost as rare as a picture of me, a picture of me and Steve toghether!!

Also rare, because it has never been done before! A picture of me singing karaoke!!! Steve and I sang "If I Had A Million Dollars" and I sounded terrible. I forgot that the song is completely not in my range, too high or low for my normal range of I pretty much talked all the words. It sounded just as karaoke should, just terrible :)

And this is what I spent a lot of time looking at during all the driving around.

So, there you have it!