Photo Contest and a Workshop

I’m very excited!  I am doing two things to work towards my goal of getting more experience in this photography thing.  Today I took Rowan to the Botanic Gardens, it turned out to be a gorgeous day.  They are having a spring photo contest so I took a bunch of photos, in addition to some for my sister who is requesting some wall art.  I can’t decide.  Here are a few (I have a thing for black and white):

Regarding the photo workshop, my sister sent me a Groupon for a 3 hour workshop at the Chicago Photography Academy.  I’m very excited, hopefully, it won’t be too basic and I will learn something!


Neighborhood Find

We’ve been looking for the perfect baseball cap for Rowan.  The Detroit hat Brandon ordered through Amazon was too small despite being one size fits all (he has a large noggin).  I bought two generic caps from Wal-Mart for $6.00 total.  I was super excited to find this one at Marshalls for $3.99.  Perfect because his first baseball game will be Cubs vs. Detroit.  We’re still planning on getting him a Detroit shirt to wear as well.  His Grandpa is a White Sox fan, he will not be pleased.

Neighborhood Find


Got to love Payless!  White baptismal shoes online are almost $40 online.  I found these for $14.99 and they had a BOGO 1/2 off sale (can’t stand that word) so I bought another pair.

Dinner Last Night: Couscous, Artichokes, Feta, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Couscous, Artichoke, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Feta

Me: I liked it, thought was a little oily and could use either spinach or cucumber.
Rowan: Ate everything.  I chopped up the artichoke and tomatoes small enough for finger food.  He had both the chicken and chicken-less strips.
Brandon: He said it was a little oily, but he eat it all and took left-overs for lunch.


  • 2 1/3 cups water, divided (only used 1/3 for cooking the couscous)
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (already came in oil, ended up with one cup, I like lots of sun-dried tomatoes!)
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth
  • 1 3/4 cups uncooked Israeli couscous (used the whole box, but was only about a cup)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast and/or chicken-less strips (microwaved)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used dry because I didn’t have time to buy fresh)
  • 2 (6-ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (didn’t use any)


  1. Combine 2 cups water and tomatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high 3 minutes or until water boils; cover and let stand 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and chop; set aside. (I didn’t do this as I used tomatoes already in oil)
  2. Place 1/3 cup water and vegetable broth in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until tender. The couscous cooked very fast, watch it! Remove from heat; stir in tomatoes and remaining ingredients.  I added chicken to my husbands plate and chicken-less to mine, leaving the entire dish together
Notes: I did cook the chicken way ahead of time while Rowan was asleep.  When he’s up it’s very hard to get things done.

Random Tidbits

So proud of myself.  Not only did I make it to the produce store before 9am, but I managed to drop off dry cleaning, take Rowan to the park (nice & empty!) and stop by the bagel place to ask questions about a large order for the baptism brunch.  The cherry on top was that Rowan fell asleep in his stroller (which he never, ever does).  He stayed asleep while I took groceries out of the stroller, carried him upstairs, took off his shoes, hat & coat.

Jared Baby Food

I did something I didn’t think I would.  I gave Rowan jar food.  I was desperate, he was hungry and wouldn’t sleep until he had lunch.  It was in the cabinet, a gift from family and organic.  I figure, the kid is almost ten months and he eats everything, trying it won’t keep him from eating the good stuff.  The ingredients weren’t so bad, mostly natural.

It’s becoming really easy to feed him teething biscuits, puffs and teething crackers.  I did so well when he first started eating solids.  I pureed everything!  Now that I can’t turn to frozen baby food, if I’m not prepared and the kitchen is not stocked, it’s so easy to turn to whatever is most accessible.

Helpful Hints:

  • Buy mini tupperware containers
  • When cutting up fruit/cooking veggies/grains, etc. make more than baby will eat and put in containers for meals for the next two days
  • Excellent things to keep in fridge: rice, quinoa, pasta, couscous, chopped tortilla, torn up pieces of bread
  • When going out  on errands bring a little container of cheerios, puffs or Baby Mum Mums (these aren’t messy)
  • When in doubt a banana and a baby spoon travel well, you can just scoop the banana right out of the peal

Random Tidbits

Rowan actually let me sleep in!  I finally feel like I’m caught up on sleep after this long, stressful and emotional weekend.  Now I’m attempting to get the house back to order, but not succeeding.  Bridesmaid dress is ordered, TJ run is done.  Laundry, here I come and maybe I’ll add my weekend photos to the computer if nap time lasts as long as I hope (it never does!)