Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In honor of a request:)

One of my lovely readers made a request that I fill out this survey type thing below.

So here goes.....

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 3 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person know when you've posted your answers...

1. Favorite ethnic food.-
My favorite by far far far is Mexican! Give this girl chips and salsa and some chicken or cheese enchiladas and she is a happy girl. Yes I am obsessed. So much so that when my husband, baby and I go to our favorite Mexican place they do not give us menus and just say "The usual?" Love it!
2. Something you've always wanted to do.-
Be in a movie. Not something trashy....but one of those amazingly written Jane Austen movies...being some strong woman character. Yes that would be a dream come true!
3. Favorite color-
Orange...no question!
4. Something you collect-
Nothing really, I am too practical in some senses to collect things...but if I did I would love (if I had the money and the space and the need for) to collect teapots. Not the cheesy ones that look like a hen or something strange....just really classy beautiful ones.
5. Something you do to relax-
A hot bath. I let the water run and run and run...and when the tub is filled I simply drain it and start again. I love a bath!
6. Bloggers I am going to tag Cates ( http://catieloveless.blogspot.com/), Ellie ( http://elliek.wordpress.com/) and Bekah ( http://thankfullythinking.blogspot.com/)

Thanks ladies....and if you do not get to it...NO WORRIES!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Grocery Shopping Makes Me Smile

Well today was nice and seemed to have a enough up and downs of energy to it that I am contently worn out. The day started out with my sweet sister Emily calling and asking if I would care to come over for tea and muffins. (she is a mother to 5 children the young ones being 6,4,3,1...she rocks!!) So she, same as me, love to have people come visit them and enjoy in a yummy treat and some talking. Sister talking is one of my favorite things! So Isabelle loaded up and went over. The tea was really yummy (some green tea) and the muffins were cinnamon and sugar something-good as well. We had tea in cute little teapot...the girls had set up for us and it was cute of them. We just talked about my time at my in-laws and some other things going on in my life. It was nice and as usual distracting with all our little ones around. But distraction is never annoying when it is sweet kids....and babies...who could complain? Then I headed home for putting Isabelle down for a nap and Nate to come home for lunch.

He arrived home just as Isabelle was getting up from her nap...she has been a little sick so she is very cuddly and extra needy. There is something very endearing about your little girl being sick and we both can never get enough of holding her anyhow:) We enjoyed some yummy burritos from Quedoba. And the best part was Nate was staying home for the rest of the afternoon because the gas guy was coming. So he graciously offered to watch Isabelle while I went to the grocery store with my mom.

Now, I LOVE grocery shopping. Who knows what it is? Maybe that food is so beautiful and artistic when laid out in such a way that makes you want to buy it all. Or could it be that I am inspired by food...I always say to Nate when we shop that first I need to just walk around until I am inspired with a meal and then I can pick things out. This is probably one of the reasons grocery shopping is not Nate's favorite thing to do....I can literally take hours if I so choose....he is sweet to have patience when I do. But today I could take as long as I wanted. I browsed the aisles and got some yummy, colorful, lovely veggies for a stir-fry I was inspired to make:) I also love buying fun foods and textures for Isabelle to enjoy....as well as myself. Does anyone have something at the store that I MUST try? Let me think if there is something I think everyone should nibble on.....well sugar snap peas are fun (and I am not a health goo-roo...they just are fun to eat) what else??? I love any funky fun granola mix I have a maple pecan one from Trader Joes that will be exciting to eat. Also, try making your morning latte with Soy milk not just regular milk....it adds a funky fun new twist to the morning need:) I do hope to hear some of your fun eats!

Anyway....I shopped and shopped and went down literally every aisle except the dog food one (it was making me nauseous just thinking about sick wet dog food in a can) and the frozen dinner aisle (I hate how cold you get just walking down it) So with my cart full and my day complete I headed to the check-out. Ever since I was a child I have admired that scanning thing....you know where it beeps when swiped past some laser...I love it...I envy their job in that one moment....perhaps that is why I LOVE the self-check out at my library where you can beep your own things.:)

I then arrived home and put all the yums away with sweet little Belle's help. Her helping is standing and holding one of the shelves of the fridge while she pulls out every bag of Starbucks coffee I have. What can I say-she is like her mommy...coffee has something fatally attractive about it!!

High Point: Being able to walk through the aisles of Jewel and not have a care in the world but what new things I wanted to toss into my cart
Low Point: Discovering some pureed peas I had valiantly made for Isabelle about 4 weeks ago in the back of the fridge...turning a new shade of green...yuck!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Games to Play

Alright miss cates...this blog is for you. My dear friend Catie asked that I offer her some fun vacation games-since really if you knew my family you would know we rock the house with games. I was not too sure if you wanted something like...a real board game type thing...or something the Seward/Clark clan has made up. So I went with the Seward/Clark clan made up:)

This game you must have a digital camera and people that are willing to make themselves look really unattractive (my guess is that little miss laura may have a hard time with this one;)) Then everyone sits in a circle...except the photographer. The photographer tells everyone to close their eyes and then goes to the first person and some "emotion/facial expression" is said (everyone takes a turn picking this emotion) and the first person opens their eyes...makes their best face and snap the photo is taken. This is done for everyone in the room. Then everyone can open their eyes, the camera is passed around and everyone picks their top two. Do this as long as you want....let it be known I peed my pants while playing this game-we had amazing players! Suggested emotions or facial expressions (constipated, extremely large, flirty, space cadet, nervous...etc.) I have included at the below a few pictures from one of our games:)

Everyone writes down on three slips of paper...an accent, a prop (found in the room) and a scenario. The papers are all put into three separate piles and everyone goes through and draws one paper from each pile....only right before their turn. Once their turn starts they must make it up as they go with the goal to completely entertain!
(when I went mine was a Pirate accent, a golf ball, and the scenario was selling something to someone in Windsor Manor-a retirement home) It was a blast!

Family Olympics:
Every member of the family comes up with some Olympic challenge....now it is far more amusing when it is NOT something truly athletic....rather strange skill. So lets say it is holding a spoon on your nose, or doing the worm the longest, or creating a unique break dancing move...anything. Then everyone competes to see who has the gold medal talent in that particular area. (to be honest when we played we did...sit ups, push ups, sit and reach and card squats...these were amusing however because everyone doing things this athletic brings out the humor in everyone:))

The Radio Game:
This is the best for car rides. The first person going makes some statement about what the next song is going to be....like....the next song will be what Joe and Catie think when they find out they are pregnant. Then you flip the radio to some random station...it must be playing music and you must wait for the chorus. After a few moments of listening it is the next person's turn. It may sound lame...but believe me it is very very very entertaining! Perfect for car rides and creative people!

Well those are the main picks for now...hope that helps. And any readers if you all have great family games please share them...I would LOVE to find new ones:)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Poker, Pastries, Patterns

I have just discovered that I really like to play poker. Now, for all of you out there already judging me for this let me just say that we do not play for money....just those fun red, blue and white chips. When I say we I mean my mom, dad, nate, brother james, sister in law karen. We have quite the blast. I always lose though-I air on the side of thinking people are bluffing and I go all out...only to discover they have a big hand and I lose all the chips I have been so boldly betting. Oh well...it still is fun. I played last night with that group until 11:15....we get going.

I also love pastries...though this is NOT a new discovery. I had homemade (by my lovely mother) scones with fresh whip cream and black raspberry jam. I should have taken a picture...it was scrumptious. Then today I just got back from having a lovely raspberry scone at Starbucks with Isabelle and my mom. Isabelle enjoyed a plain glazed donut. I love pastries....but really I think if I had to choose I would go for the eggs, bacon, hash brown meal in the morning...rather than the other. There is something feminine about having a pastry though-not sure what it is. I mean what makes that more feminine and meat and eggs more masculine? Something to think on. I love coffee but have been branching out into tea lately. Between having this really fun tea shop by me, called Serene Teaz, and finding this great tea place on Etsy.com called Tea Noir...I am having a blast trying new teas! If anyone is ever reading this and would like for me to pick up an order for them at Serene Teaz I would LOVE to...just say how much you want to spend and what tea you would like. Their little bags (which make quite a few pots of tea) are around five dollars. I could suggest some things for you and mail them out. Just think of me as your Tea Connoisseur. :)

I bought a book the other day at Tuesday Morning...all about needlepoint. Now it may sound dorky and do not picture me bent over a picture of a flower with the words...blooming stitched somewhere....no rather I am learning to stitch cute things that I draw and then can transfer to a pillow or bag or something else I am making. Does anyone have a good pattern for pillows? I keep making them and I can never get it cute on the portion where I leave it unsewn so I can add the stuffing....how does one get a nice closed edge?? I am open to insight my sewer friends!

I have also been in a drawing mode lately-I love to draw. I wish I loved to do laundry as much because we are going to Nate's parent's house on Saturday and I have so much laundry to do. I will press on though-it just is not as much fun as drawing.

I am trying to think of cute baby gifts...any cute, unique suggestions anyone has? I know I am asking a lot this blog....but come on...you all have proven yourselves to be very creative!! Keep the art projects coming and keep showing me! I love to see the creativity we all are blessed with (yes ALL are blessed with)
Have a great day and if you can squeeze in some poker, pastries and patterns:)
High Point: My mom being cute and swinging by to take Isabelle and me to Starbucks this early morning. Always lovely.
Low Point: How I looked at Starbucks...no shower...greasy hair....baby snot on my shirt...I guess this really was not a low point for me (since this is close to every day) but the day has not had too many lows yet...I mean it is only 9:37am!

Friday, July 11, 2008


This is a fun new series I just started....it amuses me quite a bit. Hope it does you as well:)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Coffee Date

This morning I woke up sad because I had no one to go to breakfast with me. I have been spoiled, I must confess, with going out to breakfast with either my mom or Nate this week. However, today no one was going out with me. Well, that is when it hit me-I have a car, I am a free woman....I can go out to breakfast with my little daughter!! (it is still weird for me to write that I have a daughter...who knows...maybe because I still do not consider myself a full blown adult) anyhow-I packed Isabelle up and we drove (after much consideration) to Caribou.

Now I know my Starbuck loving friends are dying right now...which is valid since I too am a Starbucks loving friend!! This is my summary on the two. Starbucks-amazing drinks...my favorite is a grande, nonfat, extra hot, caramel macchiato. Caribou-dessert drinks...everything is soooo sweet!! BUT they do have "free" refills when you get just their drip brew...unlike Starbucks...so I chose it for that reason alone!! (Starbucks has better scones!)

So Isabelle and I go to the downtown wheaton one (you know where it is if you are from there) and of course there is NO parking near by so we park a bit away and walk. I loved walking with her...I love that I can talk to her and no one thinks I am a weirdo they just think I am a good mom. Well, in reality they all probably think I am a good nanny since I swear people comment all the time to my husband and me that we do not look a day over 16. But yes, in fact I am 25! Anyhow. We waltz into Caribou, which was a sea of business men typing away and looking so serious about their jobs. Well...I was being serious about my job-I was seriously enjoying my little girl. We ordered a tall black coffee (oops, small...told you I am a starbucks die hard) and a blackberry and white chocolate chunk scone for me and a slice of banana loaf for Isabelle. We then got comfortable and ate, talked and started at people. Isabelle is the people queen. I LOVE watching her watch people. She is as in to it as I am. And it just makes me happy. So after two refills we went back home just in time for my mom and sister emily to come over with all the kiddos.

We all sat around and chatted...being distracted by all the little ones...but loving every one of them. I love kids with personality..and I love good moms...so the room was full of both:)

Then I tried to do some artistic things in the basement-but Isabelle decided she either wanted to be held or wanted to cry. So I held her. I didn't mind...she is my little love. Nate is my big love, Isabelle my little love. Nate got home and we did a pizza date with mom and dad at Caliendos (props to Bear's rehearsal dinner) and then went to their house until around 10:30. We talked about leadership-it was interesting and enlightening. I love my family.

Tonight when we got home we set up or new video camera and I realized something. I am a kid in a candy store when I have a video camera. I do not know why but something about seeing myself on screen is so fascinating...maybe it is that actress side in me emerging. Who knows. Anyhow I am sure we will have many fun nights with that...we already have planned to make dorky music videos and do commericals (funny of course) to our hearts content. (If you do not really know me in person I am sound like a total loser by that description...but I assure you I am not a total loser:))

I have cute pictures from the 4th of July and vacation...but they are all on my parent's camera and I do not have it. Well...one picture I want to burn!!! I am holding Isabelle on my shoulders and I look like Mama Cass (if you do not know who she look below for web address to discover beauty indeed!! pretty in pink I always say:))...it was depressing and I just shook it off as a bad angle...but that picture may not be posted on this site.


Anyway, sometime I should have a cute little set of pictures from the 4th of the family....but until then picture my cutie husband, cutie daughter, and me. In red, white and blue.
High Point: Staring at my daughter at Caribou and thinking to myself...she is all mine!! I love being her mom!!
Low Point: Probably that picture...the fatso white girl one of myself...those can cause low points for any woman....in fact maybe I should dedicate a whole post to having ugly pictures people send me posted. I would love that idea!! If you have an ugly unflattering picture of yourself...send it to abbyseward@gmail.com and I will post it on the blog....IF it really is bad. Do not even try to send me a cute one and say "Oh I think I look horrid!!!" Do not even try!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Vacation Causes Depression

I went on vacation starting on Saturday and going until Thursday the 3rd of July. It was AMAZING.....and therefore....I am in depression. Being able to be on a rockin vacation-where everything is as close to ideal as it could be-does not make abby a happy girl when Nate's first day back at work arrives:( So what does she do? She drowns her sorrows by writing in her blog.

Let me just give you a brief understanding of this vacation. This information will shed great light on my family's beautiful impulsive/random nature. As of Thursday no one in my entire family except my parents were going on vacation. Then, as of Friday night these are the people who are going....which yes is my ENTIRE family! (doug, emily, lily, evenlyn, simeon, charlotte, ruth, james, karen, ann, nate, me, isabelle, mom, dad) My parents somehow worked their magic and booked a Lakeside cottage for the O'Donnell's clan, a golf side cottage for James, Karen, Ruth, Nate and me and they stayed in their hotel room at the Inn at Bay Harbor.
I failed at taking pictures (on my own camera...I did shoot a few on my mom's) so I have nothing to show for it...hence me including a link to the location. It is amazing....though I knew this already since my parent's own one of the rooms, which means we can stay in the room for quite cheap (something Nate and I have done only twice...but SOOO worth it!)

So our lovely family spent our time up at the Inn...playing games, looking for petoskis with my dad, swimming in the pool, eating (big time:)) playing volleyball, drinking coffee, playing cards, and just really enjoying one another A LOT! I love my family!! Seriously it was an ideal vacation. So ideal that now I am in depression. What can you do?

While I was up there I went antiquing and found some more really great stuff...I also went to the Kane County Flea Market on Saturday and another antique place on Sunday. Needless to say, I have some really wonderful finds and I am trying to place them all in the house-or sell them on etsy. I will try to get some pictures from my mom of pictures...but until then I will just post a few of my darling daughter wearing some of my vintage finds:)

little dresses and one sweet hat on my little Belle

High Point:
I have more color on my face from being out in the sun so much...alright not color just freckles...but regardless it does make it easier to look at oneself without makeup on! This morning was a pleasant surprise.
Low Point: Nate having to go to work today....I love having him with me.