Giggles and Gumbo.

Untitled I've been consumed with a whole bunch of this.  Giggles, squeals, clapping, "talking".  The whole nine.  Baby A is the best and she has transformed our world as we know it.

gumbo

I have New Orleans roots so gumbo is one of the foods I grew up on as a child.  I had never attempted to make it before, left that up to my mom.  Since we were going to most likely get a lot of snow this weekend, be stuck inside the house and I have had a hankering for some gumbo; I decided to try my hand at it.

Although I found a couple recipes to work from, I needed my mom to walk me through the way it's really done (thanks xox!).  I used king crab legs, shrimp, bay scallops and little-neck clams. Only burnt the roux once!  Raul had three bowls and when I brought over some leftovers to my parents, they gave it a big gold starred seal of approval as well.  I loved it too but it is a long process, won't be making that again for awhile.

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We went to Whole Foods for dinner and there was an illustrated sign for this Sumo fruit.  There was sumo wrestling fruit in the illo!  I had to try this citrus at this point.  It's pretty okay, a milder type of orange is how I would describe it.  They are only available for a little over a month, go try it too.

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We got more snow this weekend but these bird pics are from the weekend before.  Raul noticed the birds first and they were everywhere.  I love their little round fat bodies so I snapped some shots before they kept it moving.

Do Over

mama y bebe
mama y bebe

Happy New Year!  Since January was a wash for me, I am declaring a new New Year, right now.

I have fantastic news to share and it happened toward the end of last year.  My watercolor birdies are being used in the packing for a mother and baby products line in Chile.  :)  I think the end result looks beautiful, Carmen at Leon Del Monte did a wonderful job!

One thing I did manage to get done in January was to re-open my shop on Etsy, three new prints have been listed (Sweater Whales, Cool Cats and Slouchy Bird).

Since most of the house is organized and under control (ha ha), I 've been focusing on getting things organized digitally:

Feedly - working well for checking up on favorite illustration sites, beauty gurus, you name it.

Inbox Zero - the number of emails in my inbox is embarassing and crazypants so I am becoming a little ninja and anhilating them one by one.

sunset

Here's a sunset shot from December I wanted to share.

kale
kale chips

Thanks to Michelle Kondrich and her kale chips recipe, I was able to try them out.  Not bad for my first go but it still tasted very kale-y.  I'll try again though, Raul liked them too.

Kale Chips

Take one bunch of kale, tear all the leaves away from the stems.  Try to keep them on the small-ish side.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Drizzle with olive oil (go by instinct the more you make it), toss, then add salt and toss. Bake for 5-6 minutes, take it out and shake it around or use a spatula to flip it over and stir it around.  Bake another 5 minutes.  When you do it the first few times, keep a fairly close eye on it.  The best is when it's mostly crispy but still greenish.

juice
green lemonade

I made some of my Green Lemonade to go with the chips, delicious!

Green Lemonade

3 fuji or pink lady apples 5-6 stalks of kale 1/2 lemon 1 head of romaine bit of fresh ginger (to taste)

I cut out the apple cores and get rid of the seeds in the lemon. Toss all ingredients in a juicer and you're good to go.

bird visitors

We have no trees in our backyard and the deck has stairs so all the nature action is on ground level.  Found a beautiful bird feeder and this little couple has claimed it as their own already.

This post was random and all over the place but this is how January left me. Feel like I'm playing catch up.  Blowing the dust off of my goals and going at them full force again.