Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite holiday.  Get dressed up, hand out candy and see all the cute costumes for kids, what's not to love?  Next Halloween we'll have an 8 month old and I saw the cutest 'sock monkey' outfit for a baby.

My friend Natalie (see her blog here: Soiree Bliss Event Planner Blog ) had a small Hand Out Candy party at her house this evening and it was a great idea!  Here are the ingredients for a successful Hand Out Candy party for those of you who will be, well, Handing Out Candy next year!


  • Food for friends
    • She made a Curried Butternut Squash Soup with French bread (yum!)
    • Recipe for the Curried Butternut Squash Soup
      • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
      • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
      • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
      • 1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
      • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and cubed
      • 1 tsp ground ginger
      • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1 1/2 Tbs curry powder
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 2 cups chicken stock
      • 1/2 cup milk (low fat or fat-free is fine)
      • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
      • 1 tsp honey
      • 1/2 tsp paprika
      • Freshly ground black pepper
      • Sour cream or Greek yogurt, for garnish
      Melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and carrot and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.  Add the squash, potato, ginger, cinnamon, curry powder, and salt.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Add the stock, milk, cream, honey, and paprika and bring the soup to a boil.  Decrease the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the soup over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.  Add black pepper to taste.  If the soup seems too thick, add more milk or chicken stock. 

      Optional: Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Or mash the soup in the pot so there was still some texture.  Or eat  it as is.   Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt on top.

      Also, here is a picture play-by-play: Photo Play by Play for Curried Butternut Squash Soup
    • Have yummy sweet snacks for the friends 
      • We referred to this treat as "Ghost Poop" but it's generally referred to as "White Trash"
      • Ingredients:

        • 6 cups assorted unsweetened cereals (we used rice and wheat Chex)
        • 3 cups salted nuts
        • 2 cups pretzel sticks
        • 1 1/2 cups m&m's
        • 1 1/2 cups candy corn
        • 2 - 12 ounce packages (4 cups) white chocolate chips

        Preparation:

        Cover large surface with waxed or parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, mix together cereals, nuts and pretzels. In a microwavable bowl, melt white chocolate chips in microwave on 70 percent power for 1 minute. Stir. If necessary, continue to microwave in 10 to 15 second increments until melted. Stir melted chocolate into cereal mixture until well coated. Quickly spread out over covered surface. Once cooled, break-up and store in resealable containers or bags.
  • Buy a bag of candy every time you go to the store for a few weeks ahead of time so you have enough
  • Have a few Halloween movies on hand to watch before the kiddos get there
  • Have each guest bring a bag of their favorite candy to add to the 'stash'
  • Have a few cute masks or hats or crowns for guests to wear
We hung out on the porch for about 2 hours and handed out candy to all the cute kids.  We had so much fun and I really felt like I got to experience Halloween the 'old fashioned' way!

Casey and Leah masked up and ready to go!

My DIY pregnant costume and Katie the Rabbit!
What's your favorite Halloween tradition?

Next on Fabrycated Mom:  Are we roasting the pumpkin seeds now?

XOXO
-Lisa

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lisa's Chicken Ooopsala

Yesterday hubby decided to put together a bike so I decided to try making dinner.  I knew I had chicken and mushrooms and carrots.  So I started flipping through my handy dandy cookbook, "Favorite Brand Names Best-Loved Recipes".  I bought it for $3 at Half Priced Books!  This is the cover if you wondering:
There was a recipe for "Chicken Bistro" and another one for "Chicken Marsala".  I didn't have some of the ingredients for one and the other so I combined them!  Hence the name "Ooopsala".

I'm terrible with meat cooking in general, I have to have hubby check to see if it's done most of the time.  I was in one of those rare moods and really wanted to make him something yummy so I figured I would suck it up and use my 'women's intuition' to figure it out myself. Keep in mind that at 6 months pregnant my women's intuition has turned into preggo brain and I get distracted / stressed out easily!

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts filleted in half
1 tbls butter
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
4 large peeled cloves of garlic, cut in half
2 x 1/3 cup chicken broth (1/3 extra if you need it)
1/3 cup Marsala cooking wine (or leftover red wine)
  • Sprinkle seasonings onto one side of the chicken. 
  • Melt butter in large skillet on medium high heat.
  • Place chicken seasonings side down and cook for 5 minutes.  Do not turn over.
  • After 5 minutes turn over the chicken
  • Place mushrooms, carrots, garlic, 1/3 chicken broth and wine in pan (add the extra 1/3 cup chicken broth if you desire)
  • Bring to a boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is done
    •    If the chicken is cooked all the way through but the carrots are not, remove chicken, keep warm, continue simmering vegetables.
  • Serve over rice or pasta
Only about 350 each serving too. 

It just won't turn upside down!  Pretty yummy though!

Hubby's plate.  He must have hated it huh?
Next time: Finally roast those pumpkin seeds?

What's your favorite cookbook?

XOXO
-Lisa

Monday, October 29, 2012

Failed Muffins!

This post started out as How To where I walk you through making yummy muffins.  Well, I'm not going to lie to you, I have no business walking anyone through a brightly lit straight hallway since even I couldn't get these right!  It was a total 'user error' on my part, I admit, and I will be making them again, without changing a thing from the original recipe.  It was a pleasant way to pass the time before my friend Katie came over to make us lamb burgers before we watched the newest episode of Walking Dead.

I have had the same two packets of instant oatmeal in my pantry for a bit of time now and I wanted muffins.  I had recently purchased my first muffin tin and was raring to find a great, easy recipe for muffins.  (The muffin in a mug recipe was, well, not good.)

I came across this recipe online: Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal Muffin


Here is the photo of the muffins they supposedly made
Looks so innocent and tasty and trustworthy huh?  HA!  Ok, I'll be nice.  They actually do look pretty good, which is why I wrote down the recipe.

Here's their recipe:



 Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. Combine 3 tablespoons flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve.
  3. Combine 1 3/4 cup flour, white sugar, baking powder, salt, and the instant oatmeal in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; pour in the egg, milk, and oil. Stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Evenly sprinkle streusel topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes before serving.

















Seems pretty simple and delicious, if you followed the recipe.  I didn't.  

My muffins before baking time
This is what I did wrong, and I vow to you never to do it again!

  • I got tired of using the knives for the streusel topping and used the food processor instead.  A bit too fine of a topping, but that actually worked out in the end. 
  • Everything was going great until the egg, oil and milk.  That's where it went horribly wrong. 
    • I used Egg Beaters instead of egg
    • I used non-fat milk, may not have been the best idea
    • I used applesauce instead of oil
And the straw that broke the Quakers back was the paper cups.  I thought I was going to be so cute and bring homemade muffins to work in my cute little paper cups.  Did I spray with Pam? Nope.  I figured paper cups would come right off. 

They didn't. 

Trying to eat my muffins (pardon the expression...) was a mess.  I basically had to forsake 1/4 of each muffin to the cute and useless paper cups.  I made 12 muffins that tastes like a dense, bland, sponge with giant bubbles and a hint of paper.  I made Katie and Myles eat one and I ate two (I was hungry.) and threw the rest away.   This recipe as not seen the last of me!  I will make them again!  

What is your favorite muffin recipe?

Next on Fabrycated Mom: Simple Baby Shower Gift Tag

XOXO
-Lisa


Monday, October 22, 2012

Movie Monday!

I spend all weekend running around and just generally full of energy.  Laundry: Check!  Pumpkin Carving: Check! Dishes: Check! Spending time with my Hubby: Check!

Monday comes and with it comes my 8 hour data entry job.  The ankles swell, the eyelids flutter and I'm out for the count as fast as you can say 045127374567!  (Data entry joke...)  So I come home and I bring the tireds (as we call them) home with me.

I took a nap and my husband woke me up at 6:30 because he knew I'd be bummed if I slept through the day.  What did I do?  What grand plans for Monday did I enthusiastically fulfill?

I ate queso and watched The Lorax.

Yup.  I didn't even replace my pants.  I put on a nightgown, ate queso at the coffee table and watched a children's movie. All the while complaining that "I don't want to get up!"  My husband, sweet queso maker that he is, said, "You don't have to. Just lie down and watch your movies.You don't have to do anything."

*stomp*  

He's right though.  We are in the last week of the second trimester and it's only going to get weirder after this and lots of rest is needed.

The muffins won't, in fact, make themselves but maybe tomorrow I can give them a helping hand.

Do you have trouble getting motivated on Mondays?  What do you do to get out of the nap funk?

P.S. Be sure to check out The Feisty Organics blog.  You won't be sorry!  Chockfull of fun information and inspirational ideas!

XOXO
-Lisa

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lean on Me!

I met up with my Expectant Moms group this afternoon and it was simply lovely!  We're all due at different times (Thanksgiving, New Years Eve and Valentine's) so some of us are further ahead than others.  The amazing thing about having  a small support group is you get more than just information, you get to talk to other people who genuinely care about you and what you're going through and you're able to give that care right back.

It's a bit different than spending time with your close girlfriends.  There's a natural bond with other pregnant women that will most likely continue for quite a while to come.  I wish I'd met them sooner!

We went to a local park and I got to use my fancypants camera and some ideas I found on Pinterest to take beautiful maternity photos of these lovely ladies.  I hope they all come out ok!

I just can't say enough nice things about these ladies and I look forward to meeting their son/daughter soon!

What kind of groups are you involved in?

Next up: Making muffins with one banana and two packets of instant oatmeal, wish me luck!

XOXO
-Lisa

Pumpkin Carving Time!

It's fall.  My favorite time of year.  We may have some warm days but we all know it's going to be cool soon!  I love carving pumpkins and watching them glow after the sun goes down.

Boo!

We invited a few friends over and grilled chicken while we all got to town carving pumpkins.  Everyone had their own methods but here are a few tips to make sure your pumpkin looks it's best!


  • Buy a few packages of tea lights from the dollar store!  They don't last as long but at 16 for a $1 you can use as many as you want!
  • Make sure to sketch out what you want to carve first!  Remember, always carve the 'negative'.  I like to draw squiggles in the areas where I'm going to cut so I know what needs to be removed!
  • China markers or wax pencils make the best marks and clean of easily.
  • Feel free to use stencils that you print online.  Use an Xacto knife to cut out the stencil.  I found my favorite Owl stencil here. HGTV Pumpkin Stencils .  Be sure to keep the stencils you like for next year!
  • If you're going to use a stencil a bit of double sided tape along the top of the page will help keep it steady.  You can't just lay it flat against the round pumpkin so just do your best. You can always wipe of the mistakes!
  • Always be sure to cut the top at a 45 degree angle.  This will prevent the top from dropping into the pumpkin when it begins to dry and shrink. 
  • Use a metal spoon to scrape out the inside.  You don't have to scrape a lot, just enough to get the pulp.
  • The smaller the serrated knife the better for small rounded cuts.  The kits they sell at Walgreens, etc are actually worth the money, just be sure to wash them and store them properly so you'll have them for next year!
Most of all , HAVE FUN!  

I'm looking forward to next year!  We'll have an 8 month old and I'm sure she'll love to play in the squishy pumpkin pulp!

My cute owl pumpkin (Don't forget the stencil!)


My friend did this witch and cat freehand
 (well, he sketched it out first!)


A few glasses of wine, good friends and some large orange gourds!



Some funny, some scary but all had a good time!


What's your favorite pumpkin carving tip?

Next on Fabrycate Mom: Roasted pumpkin seeds!  (You must have seen that coming!)

XOXO
-Lisa

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Getting It Together!

I've got so many things I have to do and so many things I want to do. Then there are all the little things that need to be done but not until next week or next month. Being ME and loving to organize I went ahead and used a simple template on MS Publisher to create a calendar for the next few months.  Not something to keep in a binder but to hang on my office/nursery door and keep me up to date.

Things I put on my calendar:

  • Upcoming baby shower
  • Reminders to buy gifts for baby shower
  • Halloween plans
  • Exercise goals/ plans
  • How many weeks I am
  • Reminders to mail birthday cards
  • Reminders to work on Belly Book
  • Reminders to work on blog
  • Reminders for social events, etc.

I feel like I have so many things that are just dangerously floating around in this preggo brain of mine and I don't want to forget a thing!  Hopefully this will help me stay on track for when the baby comes. I found out while planning my wedding not to leave anything to my memory, just write it down, make a list. Nothing set in stone but at least it will keep me going steady and who doesn't like feeling a little less stressed?

My October calendar


How do you stay on track?

XOXO
-Lisa

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Laundry Tip

Being pregnant means some days I've got oodles of energy and others I just really want to sleep through the day.  But as they say, Laundry Waits for No Woman!

Our new apartment came equipped with a HUGE washer and dryer set which I love.  Our old apartment had nada, which of course, meant weekly trips to the laundromat.  Now let me tell you, laundry and few beers at the icehouse next door was kind of fun.  But now that alcohol is off limits it's just a chore!

I got into a habit here with our lovely in house appliances of throwing laundry in at night, drying and folding the next day. The only problem with that is the towels just couldn't wait to be dried and would end up smelly by the time it came to dry!

My current trend and hopefully, new habit, is to avoid filling the washer to capacity and just hoping that I have enough energy to finish the task.  One small wash/dry/fold a night and I think soon we will be on our way to having clean and clean smelling clothes and towels.

Wish me luck!

What are your laundry habits?  Anything I should try?

XOXO
-Lisa

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Eeek! Zombies!

Tonight was a new episode of Walking Dead, which, I've never seen. My friend Katie doesn't have cable and I was more than happy to have her come over and end a lovely weekend with food, friends and Zombies!  Or 'walkers' as I believe they are called to fans of the show.

I made Italian Chicken from Our Story Blog.  I had originally found the recipe on Pinterest.  


It turned out really yummy and I also discovered that I do NOT like artichoke hearts.  Thankfully it wasn't a main part of the dish so I just handed them over to Katie and Zoltan.  I used fresh basil from my garden and there was enough for Zoltan, Katie and I to all have some for lunch tomorrow.

Katie was super sweet and brought over Pumpkin ice cream and apple pie.  Two things I've been really wanting this time of year, and pregnancy.  :-)

After watching, and screaming at, Walking Dead we were still too full to eat dessert so maybe tomorrow we'll have to watch the very first episode and enjoy dessert!

How do you feel about zombies?  Love them or leave them?

XOXO
-Lisa 

Tickling The Keys

Recently Zoltan and I were talking about music and I made the comment that I'd always wanted to learn to play the piano but that now at 33 it's a bit too late.  I was always a Tori Amos fan and just love the sound of the piano.

Much to my supreme JOY he replied (a bit offhandedly) that he had a $2,000 fancypants (replace fancypants with the brand and specs) keyboard at his dads house and we could go pick it up this weekend.

Well readers, I'm now a proud owner of a fancypants keyboard, stand and amp!

  


You can't see it but I've put post it notes on the keys for C chord, Fmaj7 and F6!  I downloaded "Learn and Master Piano" and so far so good!  I have headphones so I can practice quietly but I mentioned to Zoltan that the baby should hear the sounds too.  Even if it's not quite music yet, it's stimulating sounds.  So he rummaged around and found an amp in a closet.  Voila!  Piano lessons begin!



Little By Little

It's a rainy day and I've decided to start organizing different parts of our life, starting with the grocery list.  We end up spending too much and buying things we don't always need.  "Honey, I think we already have 3 cans of diced tomatoes..."

I downloaded a terrific grocery list from Free Grocery List Template .   It's really easy to personalize so I found our recent shopping list / receipt and just added the things we buy most often.  We do tend to make the same things every week and this will help keep up from forgetting things!


I went ahead and printed 3 copies to keep in the recipe binder in the kitchen.  It'll be hard to train hubby to use it but I'm sure it will make my shopping life easier!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Follow Up Ultra Sound

video
We had a follow up ultrasound yesterday.  We could see the four chambers of the heart and the lower spine.  Everything looks great!  We have a different ultrasonographer every time and the one we had yesterday was wonderful, super lovely person!  She pointed out all kinds of interesting things, I felt like I was being educated about my baby!  It was a terrific experience.
I scheduled my regular OB visit right after the ultrasound.  I saw a different doctor (and man was he a hottie!) who noticed a tiny amount of blood in my urine.  He said that it was there before.  He didn't sound worried though. He asked if I wanted them to run a test and make sure everything is ok.  I told him to go ahead. I've been having an odd feeling when I pee so I figured it was better safe than sorry.  I keep wondering why my regular doctor hasn't mentioned it.  I'm sure that it really wasn't something to worry about and I have faith in my doctor but it's just nagging at me.  Thankfully I'm not the kind of person who dwells on things and I'll be ok with it in a few days.
The last week or so I've certainly been noticing a lot more kicks and wiggles and dancing.  I'm finally starting to feel pregnant and not just fluffy and tired all the time!
Coming up: Gender Reveal Party planning and Halloween Decor on a Budget
XOXO
Lisa

Monday, October 8, 2012

Grand mother load!

My mom went to a large community garage sale this weekend and came home with quite a bit of great stuff. A Boppy pillow alone would have been $50! She got it for $1!!

Mom's you've got to get to garage sales! Was that a lot of "g"'s or what?

I'll be able to check off quite a bit from my registry and maybe add some more fun cute girly stuff!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Greetings!

I've created this blog to help document the experience of becoming a mommy. Just a quick introduction to get this little ball rolling into something larger and squishier.

My name is Lisa Fabry.  My husband Zoltan and I are 33 years old.  We got married on 11/11/11.  In February we decided that I was going to stop taking birth control.  On his birthday, 6/5/12 we found out we were pregnant.  The first 5 months seem to have just crawled by.  No morning sickness, nothing really to make my new day to day life of a pregnant woman any different than had I just decided to stop drinking for no reason.

I chose the name Fabrycated Mom as a play on words.  Fabricated (the correct spelling) means, to make or create. I'm not the most emotional or maternal person I've ever met and I feel that becoming pregnant has really started to make me a mommy.

At 5.5 months pregnant things are starting to become exciting now.  There are plans and purchases and kicking and ultrasounds (it's a girl!) and all kinds of other little things that make looking forward to a new baby a bit more, well, Real.   It's amazing.  We had a gender reveal party and have had so many friends and family that are so happy and excited for us also.

I'm a nerd.  I'm a planner and an organizer.  But, I'm an Aries an can be a bit prone to starting new things and not finish them. I'm hoping that this blog will be something that will keep me in line, keep me in check.  We shall see, eh?

I'll be sharing the little triumphs, the free online printables, the crafty recipes for disaster and the general trials and tribulations of a first time mom.  I'm a fan of sharing knowledge and just all around fun things I find online.  Not to mention the random musings of an energetic and sometimes crazy wife.

I'm still currently working but after the baby is born I will be joining the ranks of the Stay At Home Mom. I'm excited about this because I'm totally built to be Household Manager!

So hang on to your hats (or parasols or loose change) and prepare to be entertained, informed and probably a little confused.

XOXO
Lisa

Due Date: 2-11-13