The Adventures of Caroline and Catty Cat

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Well...this happened this past weekend....


Meet Catty Cat, or CC for short. Caroline and I were down in our driveway chatting with a neighbor Friday evening when this little one came wandering out of the woods across from our house. It is such a sweet little thing and took to Caroline right away. We of course pet it and loved on it. I say 'it' because we're still not positive whether we have a boy or a girl. It's a very small little cat, so I'm guessing not more than three or four months old. And sweeeeet. 


I didn't want to fool with the cat too much in case it belonged to someone. I felt pretty sure it didn't because I've never seen it around before and it was on the skinny side. When Catty Cat was still hanging out in our back yard on the deck come Saturday morning, to spite both of our dogs chasing it, it seemed pretty clear we had a new cat. The poor little thing was ravenous when I fed it some cheese and just kept drinking the dogs' water so I really don't feel like it had a home before. Well, it does now. I honestly can't believe Juston was on board with this. I'd take every dog or cat around if I had room to put them all, but Juston never had pets growing up and was definitely not a cat person. But he actually agreed on the condition that CC stays outside. 


CC discovered Caroline's playhouse in the backyard and has set up shop in there, napping in her camping chair most of the time when she's not playing or eating. Our black dog, Lucy, who is the least playful dog ever, chased CC once on Friday and has basically ignored it ever since. Dixie, our little Shih Tzu, has been another story though. I think she's slowly learning her lesson after a few swats to the nose from CC after getting a little too forward with it. 


The cat is unbelievable with Caroline. Love her heart, she just wants to pick the cat up constantly and doesn't want to hear that she shouldn't bother her all the time. To CC's credit, she tolerates the constant attention very, very well. We're trying very hard to teach Caroline the right way to deal with CC. She's doing fairly well for no longer than we've had it. 



So there you have it. The newest member of the Pate farm, CC. I foresee many. many memories in the making for CC and Caroline.

Ramblings on a Tuesday

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I hope everyone had a wonderful Monday. Caroline and I stayed busy running errands, making crafts, going to gymnastics class and cooking dinner while baking cookies for Juston's office suite mates. 

Last week, I had my regularly schedule bi-yearly dentist appointment so Caroline went with me and had her pearly whites checked out as well. It's the second time she's gone with me and sat in the chair, but the first time she really let them use the instruments to clean her teeth a bit. They told me while we were there that they wanted me to bring her back to put a sealant on one of her molars. She has the exact same deep grooves in them that I have because I had to have the very same thing done when I was younger as a preventative measure to keep from getting cavities. So we go back next month to have that done. She did so great letting the hygenist and my dentist check her out. She did everything they asked her to do and was pretty interested in the process of me getting my teeth cleaned. She asked Miss Heidi, the hygienist a million questions and kept holding my hand asking if I was going to be okay. I think it really helped that Miss Heidi sits behind us a church so Caroline recognized her already. 

 

One of our new weekly rituals is that when we grocery shop, Caroline brings her own buggy into the store and picks a few things to put in her cart. Yesterday, her picks were cheese cubes, a lime, mini golden oreos and her milk. It's quite the spectacle and such a conversation starter. I can't tell you how many people will stop her and ask her about her cart and she just talks everyone's ear off if her mouth isn't full of the free bakery cookie she hunts down every trip. We also had to pick up some cupcakes from the bakery per Caroline's request yesterday for my Dad's birthday. She said "We should make Papa a cake and some ice cream for his birthday." My mom usually makes his favorite German Chocolate cake, so we picked out cupcakes instead. 
She really does well when pushing her cart staying right with me and not getting in anyone's way most of the time. I should note, I never let her take this in if we HAVE to go to Wal-Mart. I say 'have' because it has to be absolutely necessary for me to go to Wal-Mart before I'll go there. I'd rather pay more at Kroger and not have to deal with some of the colorful clientele you find in our local Wal-Mart haha. I'm afraid if I let her take in there, she'd get plowed down. 


We drive a few counties over for Caroline's gymnastics class to the gym that I trained at for about fifteen years growing up. They were closed for two weeks for summer vacation and then it was our birthday week so we missed that one, but we finally got started back up this week. Honestly, I was a little weary of taking her. She had a meltdown at her last class before summer break. Caroline is not a child that cries unless she's hurt or really, really upset. She has a laid back temperment, so it takes a lot to upset her. But at her last gymnastics class before break, about thirty minutes into class, she just started bawling her little eyes out and wouldn't calm down to tell me what was wrong, so I took her and left. She has never done anything like that and I've been taking her to tumbling since spring. The only thing I can figure is that she was tired from having been in the pool that day or was just not as comfortable since it was a teacher she had never had before. Well, you'd never know today. She saw the gym owner and ran up to him and hugged him so big, then did the same thing when she spotted her usual teacher come out of the office. She had the biggest time and it was just her and two other kids. She hugged and thanked both of her teachers at the end of class without having to be asked and it made me so proud when I heard her normal teacher tell the other one that Caroline was "the sweetest child ever." I was so happy. 

When we got home, I threw together some chicken salad sandwiches and some spinach salad. It was quick and easy so I thought I'd share the "recipe".


Chicken Salad:

Cooked three thin chicken breast through, then shredded them once they'd cooled. To that I added probably 2-3 heaping spoonfulls of Duke's mayo, a handful of cut up grapes, a few tablespoons of dried cranberries, a small handful of pecan pieces (because they're cheaper than whole), 1 tablespoon of poppyseeds and salt and pepper to taste. I served mine over lettuce on whole grain bread. 

Spinach Salad:

Spinach, goat cheese, slivered almonds, avocado, dried cranberries. As much as you want of all of those things. Then top with poppyseed dressing and squeeze a wedge of orange overtop of it all. It's super easy, but I'm always looking for things to throw together fast for supper that I usually have on hand so I thought I'd share. 


We dined al fresco per Caroline's request on the almost finished table and benches Juston built for our deck a couple of weeks ago. I'll share some pictures of it once I get it stained. We've had it setting so that the wood could weather, the Juston sanded it last weekend and I'm going to stain it as soon as I have time this week. It looks really great so far. Anyway, back to dinner. Caroline said "Can we eat outside and have a dinner party?" A girl after my own heart ;)

Finally, I've added some new items to my Etsy shop :)  I'm working on some cute new SEC wrap headbands and knot hats this week, too that I hope to have up this weekend. 





You can find these items and other by clicking over to my shop here. Have a great Tuesday!



Zoo Day

Monday, August 24, 2015

With the last few weeks of summer quickly winding down, I want to make sure that Caroline is able to do as many fun outdoor activities and events as possible, so a trip to the zoo was definitely on the list of things to do while summer is still here. We packed up Friday morning and headed north to Cincinnati to visit their zoo. 

I just happened to park at the entrance that comes in right beside the carousel (that you have to pay $3 a pop to ride), so obviously that was our first stop of the day. Caroline just talked and talked about riding the carousel the entire trip up. We really did pick a great day to go because they were running a promotion where everyone's entrance was half price. I was pretty excited about that one. 



As soon as we got off the carousel, they had a man prompting people for face painting, so I asked Caroline if she wanted hers painted and she excitedly agreed. I was amazed at how still she sat the entire five minutes it took to transform my little cheetah. 


She was so cute. When the man finished painting her face, I told her to say 'thank you'. So she looked at him and said, "What's your name". He told her his name was Steven so she says to him, "Thank you, Steven." My girl may just be a people person. She gets it honest on both sides I believe. 


We just took off from there without any real plan in mind. I just pushed Caroline in the stroller and every time we came to an animal or attraction, I'd tell her what it was and she'd tell me if she wanted to see whatever it was. She really did a great job riding in her stroller, so that was a relief to not have to carry her around on such a hot day. She's never been keen on the stroller for longer than about fifteen minutes.


She is at such a fun age for this trip because she's so interested in seeing all the animals and watching whatever it was they were doing. Some were more interesting than others. Seems like all the big cats ever feel like doing is snoozing, but I knew that would probably be the case on such a hot day. Caroline wanted so badly to see a cheetah though, especially after getting her face painted. I have no idea where that fixation came from, but it was short lived. 


She absolutely loved feeding the giraffe. I couldn't get a good picture of her because I had to hold her so she could reach, but she had the biggest smile on her face. We ended up walking around for about three hours or so and while we didn't see everything, we saw all of what Caroline asked to see specifically. Before leaving, we had to get in one more carousel ride and get some Dippin Dots. 

I love doing little day trips like this just the two of us. Caroline really is such a sweet and joyful little girl and we have fun. I'm so grateful for these days with her because they are flying by so fast. I also felt like this was a really great practice run before our trip to Disney next month for me as far as organization and all of that goes. I hadn't carried a diaper bag in at least a year, so it was strange packing it up for the day, bit I got all of her snacks and drinks and my things in there and it's what I'll have to use for Disney, so it was a good dry run. Seeing how excited she was over the zoo makes me so look forward to her reaction when she figures out we are at DisneyWorld. My sister had already got our itinerary all lined out and our reservations/fast passes scheduled, so we'll be so ready when the time comes! 


Tomato Pie and Our Weekend

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What do you do when you have a drawer full of fresh picked tomatoes and a hankering for something rich with a good depth of flavor? Whip up one of these delicious tomato pies. I read through a few different recipes for tomato pie, but ultimately, I sort of made this up as I went along by combining a few different elements of multiple recipes and it turned out amazing. 


Now for this recipe, I'm including my grandmother's recipe for homemade crust, but you can easily use a store bought pre-made crust from the freezer section if you want to save some time and make a little less of a mess. 


Recipe:


Crust: 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup crisco 1 tsp salt 4 tbsp cold water. Mix all that up with a fork and roll out, press gently into a pie dish and up the sides. You can skip this step as I mentioned above by just using a pre-made pie crust from the grocery. Bake pie shell 10 minutes at 375. While it bakes, thinly slice up 4 medium ripe tomatoes, place them in a colander and sprinkle a little salt over top to draw out water and let set in colander for about 15 minutes or so. After that, spread them out on a paper towel and pat them dry to remove any remaining water. In a bowl, mix up 1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, 2 tsp dried chives (you could do 1/4 cup fresh diced scallions instead if you have them), 1 tbsp minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup of mayo (I used Duke;s), 1 cup shredded cheese and 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Once pie shell comes out, spread half the tomato slices over the bottom, then half of basil mixture. Repeat with other half of tomatoes and basil mix. Then top with mayo/ cheese mix. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

The photos I shared above depict the last paragraph of the directions if you're a visual person like me

Here's the finished product.



A lot of people will prepare this as a side to a meal, but we just had this as our main course and were completely stuffed afterwards. It was definitely a huge hit though. If you've never tried tomato pie, the best way I can describe it would be to say it's like pizza, but with amplified flavors. Using all the fresh ingredients really makes the flavors so much more powerful. 

In non-food news, we had a fun weekend around here. It started off with a crazy Friday night. See below...



I have seriously loved playing Super Nintendo for as long as I can remember and a while back, while we were traveling through North Carolina, Juston and I stopped at a big indoor flea market and hit pay dirt in Super Nintendo games. I even found my old favorite, Power Rangers. So we decided to play for a while Friday night before bed and had the best time. 

Saturday night, we headed downtown to have dinner and watch the dancers and band perform at our annual Oktoberfest. The town does a really great job with the event and it has grown pretty steadily every year since it's inception. We were invited to the dinner by one of Juston's business associates and decided last minute to bring Caroline, too since a lot of my friends would be there with their kids, there were bounce houses and it was just a laid-back event. She really loved watching the dancers, especially. 



This had the potential to be such a cute family selfie until Caroline slipped her "flower" into it. 




Any time we're downtown, we have to walk around and see all of the fountains. She still refuses to throw coins in and make a wish. Such a practical child, she is. She gets it from her Daddy. 


And how cute is our downtown!? I just love it. I used to have a small gift shop in downtown and just loved it. Truth be told, I may end up opening a business again one day when Caroline starts school. Who wouldn't want this view every day?


Sunday was just perfect. We started it with family breakfast, then church, hit the pool and ended it out on the boat cruising the river. It was a great weekend. 

Pink Monday

Monday, August 17, 2015

So how did y'all make out in the Lilly sale this year? I thought overall, the process of shopping and checking out was much smoother than it has been in years past. At first, I thought the whole virtual line concept was going to be a big ole mess, but it turned out okay. I got almost all of what I had on my wishlist that was available. I logged into the site just before 8:00 am and had to wait until about 8:45 to get into the site and shop.   Here's what I snagged...










There will be some matchy matchy going on next summer ;) No big suprise there I guess. I got myself and Caroline both dresses in the Big Flirt print and I got us both swimsuits in Scuba to Cuba. Those were two of my favorite prints from the spring/ early summer so I was super excited to snag them. 

I was really excited to snag the outfit pictured above as well. I like that it's not the typical Lilly bright patterns but still their trademark quality. You can't go wrong with callahan shorts. 



I was able to get the Valencia top pictured, but missed out on my size in the shorts I really wanted to go with it, the bright navy treasure pictured below. I guess I'll troll ebay and hope they pop up. 





One thing I particularly had my eye out for was the Seafayer one piece. I'm not typically a one piece lover, but this suit was just so beautiful! They were out of my size on the Lilly site, but I managed to grab it from In the Pink Online. I typically wear small in Lilly, but always size up when I order workout gear or swimwear. I had to get a small with this since that's all that was left, so I'm hoping it will work. Hope everyone got what they were hoping for! Have a great Monday.

Five on Friday

Friday, August 14, 2015

I spend more time that I care to admit browsing Pinterest. Sometimes it even results in me being productive and trying great new recipes, DIY projects, house sprucing and makeup tricks I'd never have figured out otherwise. Most of the time, it's more just daydreaming. One of my favorite things to look at on Pinterest is houses, so today, I've compiled my five on Friday and dedicated it to my top five houses that I daydream of living in some day. 

one.


I am a sucker for a red front door, I just painted ours a similar hue to the one pictured, and I think combined with the blue/gray color of the house and the white trim, this house is just gorgeous. That partial wrap around porch is such a dream, too. A huge front porch is a must in our next house, whether we build or buy. I grew up in a house with the greatest front porch. We'd eat breakfast out the many mornings, read books there on cool afternoons and just hang out as a family rocking or chatting with neighbors who'd walk by often, so to not have a front or back porch in our house right now is sort of a bummer. We have a deck, but it's just not the same.


two.

What's not to love about this beauty? Between the big white columns and the symmetry, this house has a lot of elements I'm typically drawn to in a home. I really like the subdued color palate and how it sort of just fits into the scenery around it. It;s just a timeless beauty. 

three.


More columns? You bet. I don't know if it's a product of my love of Tara in Gone With the Wind or what, but I am so drawn to plantation type homes. I really love that this house has the second level porch as well as the sprawling lower level porch. 

four.


This home just screams Lowcountry to me and I love all of the attention to detail on the outside. 

five.


I mean, who wouldn't love to live in this gorgeous home?! Notice a theme in my dream houses? Symmetry, front porch, columns, Southern. That about covers it for me. 


One more thing before I end this post. With my Facebook and IG feeds filled with back to school pictures of everyone's kids, I HAD to share this article from Buzzfeed on 34 things every 90's girl had to do to prep for Back to School. It is so spot on! Read the article here and be prepared for a blast from the past. I swear, I grew up in such a fun time. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I hope when Caroline looks back on her formative years, it's as fondly as I look back on my own.