I Hate A Tease.

The weather gets nice, then goes back to nasty bitterness. I can see spring just up ahead, then winter is slapping me in the face again. I’m getting really tired of it. Not to mention that everybody in my house has some level of sickness and I’m sure the bipolar weather is not helping it at all.

Yesterday, the weather was nice again (today it’s pretty foul) so what did Rudy and I do? How predictable can I get: we went on a little walk. There, sadly, is just not much to post about right now. I’ll get more creative soon, I promise, once my foggy-winter-head clears up.

RMW

Birds.

Distant.

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Dreaming of Spring

In order to help me through this last dragging-on of Winter, I am trying to surround myself with Spring in whatever way I can. My lovely flower in the kitchen is one of my most cherished mood-lifters at the moment. My whole family has gotten the biggest kick out of watching this monster grow. It’s amazing, isn’t it, science and plants and growing and life?

Flower.

Top View.

And speaking of science and plants and growing and life, Rudy Mae’s 2nd birthday is right around the corner. I am having quite a difficult time with this. I never experienced this with the boys, I was always super excited at every age change, but I always knew there was the possibility of more children along the way somewhere. I think now that I know Rudy is our last, I am having a much harder time dealing with her growing up. She is getting so incredibly smart, and so silly (I love it!), and so loving, and so beautiful. I am excited to see the little person she’s becoming, for sure, but I just want to keep her my baby for just a while longer.

Waiting.

Cue nee!

Play Group.

I’m A Model, You Know What I Mean

I was looking through my “photographs” folder on my computer today, and I noticed that when Rudy Mae gets a hold of the camera, she tends to take a lot of photographs of me (well, that, and walls/ceilings). Apparently I am her muse ;)

I was getting a kick out of looking through her photos and I thought it would be cute to pick some of her better ones and make a post about them.

Pulling a face.

Blurrr.

Hair.

Underneath me.

Light.

Window.

A Brief Warm-up

Taking full advantage of the oddly warm weather yesterday, Rudy Mae and I ventured out for a (wet and mucky) walk. She was so happy to be out of the house in fresh air, as was I. We really had a lovely time.

Spikey

Happy.

Leaves.

Please hurry, Spring.

Chickpea Salad

I didn't think of taking photographs of it until I had nearly ravished it all.

I didn’t think of taking photographs of it until I had nearly ravished it all.

I was raised vegetarian and then somewhere along the way, I strayed into the meat-eating world. Three years ago, I decided that I was going to go back to my roots and the day I thought about it, was the day I started, having never looked back. It has been relatively easy, but I must admit, I still have a rough time when I see someone eating a tuna salad sandwich. That was one of my absolute favorite sandwiches of all time. I even tried to convince myself and my husband during pregnancy that probably my body needed that protein and if I only ate tuna and then stopped again once she popped out, it would be good for her. Thank goodness my level headed, non-craving filled husband helped me stay strong and vegetarian. (She was perfectly healthy without the tuna, by the way!)

Now, I am not a cook, so I have had a tiny bit of difficulty being creative in the kitchen. I started scouring the internet for vegetarian recipes to help me (and my poor, overly-fed-with-pasta family) and began a wonderful Pinterest board to keep everything I find in one place. I had seen a handful of recipes dealing with chickpeas/garbanzo beans and I adore hummus so I knew I would get on well with these. However, besides roasting them with a Mediterranean Spice mix (which is amazing), I never got around to trying any of the others.

Until today. Oh…my…heavens to Betsy. This was so incredibly mouth-wateringly delicious. I read a few recipes and then with those recipes and my personal tuna salad recipe as my guides, I came up with my own mixture. My friends, I give you… Erica’s version of a Chickpea Salad:

  • one 15 oz. can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • one large dollop of mayonnaise (to your liking- mine probably equaled about 1/4 cup)
  • a tiny bit of mustard (to your liking- mine probably equaled about 1/4 tsp)
  • one stalk of celery, cut up chunky
  • salt and pepper (to your liking)

I drained and rinsed the chickpeas and then poured them in a bowl. I had a wonderful helper, Miss Rudelle Mae, and she was rather enjoying eating them whole, so she got pretty upset when I started mashing them with a fork. Mashing then ceased so I would say mine was 50/50 mashed and whole beans. Next time I may use a food processor or mash them a little more with a fork, but the texture was not bad at all when it was still very chunky. I then added the rest of the ingredients and mixed it all up. That’s it! This is pretty much the exact same way I used to make my tuna salad. I ate it mostly just with a fork standing at the counter, but I did end up putting a little on a piece of bread and having it in sandwich form. Either way is delectable.

Garbanzo beans.

Other ingredients.

Extreme Close Up!

Those Winter Blues

I feel them starting: those nasty, wasty winter blues. I just want green. Warmth. Brightness. Sunshine. Fresh air. I feel kind of bad, I wish I could love all seasons equally, but I am really over winter. This one hasn’t even been particularly harsh or anything but it’s just making me feel blah. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’ve been ill. Either way, I was living vicariously through photographs earlier and I think we all could use a little dose of some August Gems. Maybe I can will warmer weather to start soon if I keep posting photographs like these.

Walking.

Digging.
Wouldn’t you know it, she found a hole in the road. She loves to dig around in anything that has to do with dirt/rocks/pebbles/etc.

In The Trash

Wood and nails.

We passed by a garbage can topped with naily wood while on a walk a little ways back. I know it’s not too cold to go out for walks now, but it’s just not as comfortable as when it’s a bit warmer. This photograph makes me long for spring.

Coffehouse Crouching

Rudy Mae

I have been a little under the weather, two separate occasions with barely any time at all between them. I have thus been slacking on anything “ericanichole” related and I was itching to get something up, but a) since I have not been doing much, there’s not much to post and b) since I have to go to work soon, I really think I ought to nap so I don’t feel like double crud before a long shift. So, I wanted to make this short and sweet. This photograph was taken a week or two ago when my husband and I went to our local coffee shop with Rudy Mae for a quick pick me up (chai tea for me, hot chocolate for him, and a blueberry muffin for all).

More Vintage Goodies

Recently at a thrift store during a quest to find a good, cheap, two-drawer filing cabinet, I found an absolute treasure. I really try hard not to fawn over “things”, but I could not get over how much I was in love with this vintage chunky needlepoint/crewel embroidery “tea scene”, as I call it, piece. (I do not partake in these kinds of crafts, so I have no idea what this is technically called, if anybody knows, please tell me!) I already had a very similar one at home of a Boston Fern so it was an absolute no-brainer to add this to our family. The very sad part about this story is that there was an amazing popcorn one, exact same style, exceedingly gorgeous, but it was without a frame. I tore that thrift store apart looking for it and came up empty handed. I decided not to buy it. As soon as I was home, I was enraged with myself for not getting it, knowing I could easily come across one of these frames at a thrift store some time or another, but I could not justify the 25 minute drive back out there the next day just for a $1.99 piece. The next time I am out there, though, on a hope and a prayer, you better believe I will be digging for it. (If you were wondering, not only did we leave with this lovely decorating piece, but we did, indeed, find a great filing cabinet!)

So amazing.

Side shot.

From underneath.

Boston Fern

From the side.

Up Close.

For better lighting and angles, I photographed these against my piano. They are lovingly adorning our walls as their permanent home.

Beatles Scrabble

Here in our house, we are a bit board-game-crazy. If there’s a special edition version of something we love of a game that we love (i.e. Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit) we are sure to play it. Caleab happened to get Beatles Scrabble as a Christmas gift and on a lazy afternoon while Rudy was napping and the boys were still away, we decided to give it a go. First of all, I never knew this existed. Second of all, I was perplexed; how can it be a “Beatles” edition? Scrabble is Scrabble, so I thought. Well there are a few differences, as a matter of fact. In general, if you play a “Beatles” word (predetermined by players) you get extra points. Then there are the “Help!” cards. Oh, those tricksy little “Help!” cards! You could use one per turn and they were for all different things that would basically completely bend the rules and get you more points: play a word backwards, make any other player give you a tile, get 10 extra points for playing a word horizontally on the bottom row, etc. It really was a lot of fun, and we had a jolly time playing. Caleab pretty much creamed me, but we won’t speak of that.

Beatles Scrabble

Just starting out.

Flying hands.

A "Help!" card.

Nearing the end.