Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Week Off

Did you have a wonderful Christmas? We sure did! The day was one big blur and every minute of it was great. I couldn't help but feel very blessed to rock our little man to sleep Christmas Eve night and wake up to a very excited 3 year old on Christmas morning:) She was so grateful for everything she got and was even more excited to watch other people open their presents!

I love the week between Christmas and New Years. My husband gets the whole week off so we just take it easy and relax. We have taken road trips and stayed in our jammies till the afternoon and it's been wonderful.

I think my favorite gift this year was seeing this smile:

It gets me every time.

When my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas a few weeks ago I said, "A baby that sleeps through the night." and we both laughed. Well...I got my wish because this baby has started sleeping at least 7 (sometimes 8) hours a night for me! Woo-hoo!

Do you love to shop the Christmas clearance? I don't care for it much since I don't want to store any more stuff for another year. This year I did get my wrapping paper for next year. Target came out with these mini rolls of paper and they are the best! They easily fit in my Christmas storage bin for next year (no storing large rolls of paper) and are only $.50 the day after Christmas!

I did manage to buy one other Christmas item this year. I found these vintage ornaments and they will be perfect to replace a few ornaments that fell apart this year. The little old lady at the vintage shop didn't know how to take 75% off of $ she asked if she could just charge me a quarter! Ha!

Speaking of vintage finds...I got three gift cards to various thrift stores this year! Does my family know me or what?:) This year I want to slowly swap out my old (plain) dishes, pots, and pans, with ones that I love.

So far I brought home this "chicken pot" as we call it. Love it:)

This blue baking dish makes me pretty happy too.

I love having breakfast on these dishes each morning. Meals are so much happier when you love the plates you serve on:)

This is probably my favorite find yet. I have no idea what it is (it's made of thick cardboard) and I love it. It totally reminds me of something my grandma would have had in her home. It's funny how $.10 can make me so happy!

I also managed to whipped up a simple diaper bag with my favorite vintage fabric that I had been hoarding for a while...tutorial to come later this week.

I'm so excited for the new year! I love a fresh start and we have so many exciting things coming up. This was also the first year my husband and I made resolutions and goals together and I can't wait to accomplish them!

I hope you have a fun and safe New Years Eve (my husband is planning to barbecue and set up dinner outside for us after the kids are in bed...I can't wait!) and I will be back in 2012 with some new tutorials and a fun giveaway!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve. I love the anticipation of the day and waiting to open presents with family on Christmas morning. I love getting a phone call bright an early from my Dad every year asking when we are almost ready to come over (I am pretty sure he gets more excited about Christmas morning than anyone else!). I love the traditions and teaching my daughter about why we celebrate this time of year...reminding her it is not about what presents are under the tree with her name on them...but giving to others because God gave the gift of His Son to us.

I love my favorite vintage platter filled with mini red velvet cupcakes:

My husband loves the cookie tray filled with puppy chow:)

I love having a family of stockings hanging in our living room knowing that our family is now complete:

I love having ornaments on our tree from our first Christmas together:

And ornaments from my grandmother's tree and all the history that they have:

I love having a little man to make a tie onesie for:

Most of all I love taking time to spend with the people I love. I married my best friend and now we have two beautiful children to raise together. Life really couldn't get much better than that.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas tomorrow and that you take time to appreciate what you have. Presents and material things will only last so long so cherish what matters.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dated Wall Art

I'm really bad about decorating. I mean...I love decorating I just have a hard time finding things worth displaying in our home. I don't like knick knacks and you won't find wall shelves or vignettes in my house. It all seems like too much clutter. I am the "anti-hoarder" if you will. I get a high from cleaning out our closets and cupboards twice a year and donating what we haven't been using.

So, in order to not have completely bare walls I've been scouring Pinterest to find ideas for wall art. I came across this idea and I was sold. I found it while I was still pregnant with Baby J and so I had to patiently wait until he was born so I could make it. Then I had to wait until I had enough sanity, patience, or energy to craft:) Luckily this was something I could whip up on the computer in about 10 minutes in Photoshop and have ready at Sams Club in an hour.

I made the background gray and the type black. I also chose to print it out in a 12x16 size and framed it in an old 16x20 frame I had. I used white posterboard for the matting (which I have talked about more here) and I was done. Instant satisfaction!

I love it and I love that it tells a story about our little family:) Now I am off to finish my last Christmas gift. I crocheted my husband a new scarf and since I get about 25 minutes of alone time each morning (after the baby's feeding) took me 4 days to finish it:)

Do you have any more shopping to do?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Can't Sleep

Life has been interesting around here lately. We are finding our new groove as parents of two (why is the jump from one kid to two so intense and overwhelming at first??) and although our little guy has only been here for 4 weeks (has it really been a month already?) it feels like he has been a part of our family for so long.

This is the first moment I have had all week to sit down at the computer...alone. Normally I am browsing and catching up while feeding the baby and trying to blog with one free hand isn't the easiest;) I should be sleeping right now instead of typing...but I'm not tired. How come everyone in this house can't seem to get on the same schedule? As soon as I get the baby daughter has to use the bathroom (at 2am) then I get her taken care of and the baby needs me again. I swear they have radar that lets them know when the other child is finally quiet because each one seems to know when I might have a spare second to myself! Luckily my husband is awesome and helps me out SO much all while working the night shift at work.

So now I have both kids in bed...actually sleeping at the same time...and I am wide awake! I can't help but think how blessed we are. Even though I haven't had a full night's sleep in months ( I wasn't sleeping much the last few months of my pregnancy) and we have two children who seem to be needing so much attention right now that my husband and I barely get in a conversation or a meal together these days...I am so happy. Even when I am so tired in the middle of the night and falling asleep while feeding the baby...I feel so blessed that we got to bring home a healthy child. In the moments when I want to cry because I am so overwhelmed with this stage in our lives, I know it will pass and I will look back and wonder where the time went.

I have a couple of crafts to share later this week and even a giveaway so make sure to stay tuned for those! But for now I better get to bed before one of these kiddos needs something. Oh well, I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts. I won't be able to kiss and tickle these little feet forever...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Moving Slowly's been a long time since I was on here! Thank you to everyone who has commented and emailed me since my "maternity leave". Our little man arrived one week after his due date and he was worth the wait. We are all doing well and trying to find our new normal as a family of four. We move a lot slower these days but all the other things can wait...this little guy isn't going to stay this little forever:

Oh and he has one dimple...and it gets me every time.

I'm not sure how often I will be on here in the weeks and months to come, but I hope to be able to post a little more often soon:)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Still Waiting...

Still no baby boy here yet!! I had a false alarm at the hospital this morning and made an induction appointment with my OB this afternoon. If this little guy doesn't come on his own by the 17th (Thursday)...we are forcing him out! I hate to do that to him...but he started it:)

I'm thinking no more super yummy food and stretchy pants for him. Just salad and tight pants to make him uncomfortable so he wants to come out on his own:) I have been making life to easy for him with all this comfort food!

Oh well, at least we get to see him in a few days and that's all that matters:) The idea of being able to sit close to the table on Thanksgiving, not spill food on my huge tummy, not get heartburn with each bite, and even be able to sip some wine sounds uh-mazing!

Until Thursday...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

20 Projects for Baby and Nursery

There is still no baby in this house. I guess this little guy is going to make me wait it out till the end! My due date is Friday...which would be very convenient seeing as how it's the weekend and my husband already gets the day off. Maybe this baby is just trying to make his arrival as convenient as possible?

In the meantime, I went through my blog archives and rounded up some of the projects I have done for baby, mommy, and nursery and linked them back to their original posts:

You can customize a nursery in so many ways. Here are some really affordable ways to turn the space into exactly how you want it to be.

14. Handmade crib bumper pads and fitted sheets will save you money for sure.
15. No sew curtains are an easy option for the windows.
16. How about redoing an old dresser instead of using a traditional changing table?

Lastly, here are some fun ideas for wall art and decor for baby's new space:

17. Chevron wall art would be a chic addition to nursery walls.
18. Simple paper wallflowers add dimension and are easy to hang.
19. Alphabet wall art adds a personalized touch to the room.
20. A soft fleece ruffle pillow would be great in a rocking chair for night time feedings.

And finally...if you can't part with all those tiny little baby clothes once your little one has outgrown them...turn them into a baby clothes quilt instead of having them stored away in a dusty attic!

Alright...I'm off to wait patiently for the next three days...

Sunday, October 30, 2011


OK...I am now at the point during pregnancy when I want to be done. Like...I keep hoping that maybe my water will break every time I get off the couch! I am not "due" for another 11 days...and oh my that seems so far!

Don't get me wrong. I am SO happy and grateful to be pregnant and wouldn't change it for anything else in the world. I am so thankful I got pregnant shortly after my miscarriage and I can see now why this is the perfect time for us to be having a baby. With that said...I want the baby NOW and I want to be done being pregnant NOW. Oh my...I sound like my 3 year old during a tantrum:)

I miss wearing clothes other than two maternity shirts and two pairs of sweat pants. I miss wearing shoes other than tennis shoes (that I can barely lace up). I miss being able to breath deeply and without effort. I miss being able to get off the couch without wanting to puke or getting heartburn. I miss walking without hip pain. I miss my previously non swollen hands and face. I miss both of my ankles being the same size (notice how the left is bigger...what's up with that?)

Most of all I just want to see this baby. I want to hold him and see that he is safe and healthy and ours to keep. I want to bring him home and start living our lives as a family of four. I want to see my husband with his son and our daughter with her brother. I want to get to know him and watch him grow.

So here is to the next 11 days...or less...I hope:)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Motorcycle Onesie Redo

 I was productive today...and it was exhausting. I got 6 projects done and didn't realize how long I had been on my feet until I saw they had swelled to about three times their normal size. Oops.

One of my projects was this motorcycle onesie refashion.

I started with a small romper with a picture of a motorcycle on it that I got for $.99 at Goodwill and a plain onesie that I picked up for $.50 at another thrift store. The romper had a glittery heart on the top that said "biker baby" so it was not approved for regular wear by my that just means I got to do something crafty with it!

I cut out the motorcycle from the romper and turned it into an applique by using the same method as my daughter's Minnie Mouse shirt.

Then I lined it up along one side of the new onesie and sewed it into place. At first I wished I had a white onesie or at least a contrasting color...but once I sewed the applique on, I ended up liking the gray on gray after all. I did use white thread for contrast...and because it was already threaded into my machine and I was too lazy to change it:)

I keep thinking if I make more things for this baby...maybe he will come out already! Oh well, I am only 38 weeks, so I know, I chances of him coming out soon aren't great...but a grumpy swollen girl can dream, right?

I'm linked to:

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

My brother came in from out of state for the day this week and we went over to my parent's house so we could all have dinner together. My mom gave me "dessert duty" and I decided to make this recipe that I have been wanting to try for a while.

I changed up the cake and frosting recipes just a bit. Here are my versions:

Cake Ingredients:

1 box vanilla cake mix

12oz (1 1/2 c) diet cherry 7-UP
(the original recipe called for regular 7-UP)

1/3 c chopped (and stemmed) maraschino cherries
(I bought the whole ones already stemmed at Target since they were cheaper. I chopped some for the mix and used the rest as garnish)

2 Tbsp cherry juice from jar

1. Mix all ingredients together. It will be frothy at first but will settle as you mix.
2. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake per cake box directions.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 tub whipped cream

4-6oz cream cheese
(depending on how much of a cream cheese taste you want)

1 Tbsp cherry juice from jar

Just beat all ingredients with mixer and let refrigerate for about 10 minutes before frosting.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, Frost and top with left over cherries. To frost them, I used a pastry bag with just the coupler tip. I laid out the remaining cherries on a paper towel while I baked the cupcakes so they could dry out a little better...I didn't want them to make my frosting runny.

These are SO good! Using the cherry 7-UP made them taste exactly like cherry cake. Plus, who knew that putting cherries on top of cupcakes could make them look so darn cute? My daughter's next birthday will probably be an "ice cream shop" I can already see these with colorful sprinkles and little decorative straws sticking out of the frosting to look like ice cream sundaes:)

I'm linked to:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunburst Granny Square Blanket

I finally finished my daughter's granny square blanket! It was my last project that I really wanted to finish before we have the baby.

(And 3 year old is still in her crib...she absolutely loves it!  Oh well, we will tackle the issue before she turns 4 in the spring:) For now I couldn't care less...Mama needs her sleep!)

I ended up only using 72 squares. The blanket was heavy enough already so I didn't want to add any more. I used this pattern....but only rows 1-4 and then a single crochet row around each square. No square is the after 72 variations I was running out of ideas for color combinations:)

To assemble the blanket, I sewed each square together instead of crocheting them together.

Here is a view of the back of the blanket:

I also added a double crochet edge to the entire blanket once the squares were sewn together.

I love the way it turned out...and I also love that I am done with it! I am glad I went with a more random design. It's perfect for the little girl who's favorite color changes every day:) So, that was my last project to get done before this baby get here!

I'm linked to:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sausage and Spinach Manicotti

Manicotti is probably one of my favorite comfort foods. I decided to put a different spin on it this time by using Alfredo sauce and turkey sausage. It turned out to be one of my husband's favorite dishes! My 3 year old even ate an entire noodle herself!


1 package manicotti noodles (boiled and slightly cooled)

1 package ricotta cheese (15-16 oz)

2 eggs

1/2 can of Alfredo sauce (I like the light Parmesan version)

1/2-1 cup shredded spinach
 (you could use a thawed version too...I just used fresh because it's what I already had and use as little or as much as you like)

 1 c cut and cooked sausage (I used turkey sausage links)

2 c mozzarella cheese

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spread a little Alfredo sauce on the bottom of 9x13 baking dish.

1. Mix together ricotta, 1 c mozzarella, sausage, spinach, eggs, and salt and pepper in a bowl. I also mixed in just a couple of tablespoons of Alfredo sauce.

2. Stuff boiled manicotti shells with mixture. I actually cut a slit in the shells lengthwise, place some mixture in the center, and then roll them back up, placing then seam side down in the baking pan.

3. Top the shells with Alfredo sauce (just enough to cover them and keep them from crisping and burning in the oven) and then sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top of that. I also sprinkle a little more pepper and parsley flakes on top.

4. Bake (loosely covered) for 30 minutes and then remove the cover and back an additional 10 minutes (or until cheese is nice and melted).


I only made a half a batch last night (since that is normally enough for dinner and my husband's lunch the next day for work)...but we ate the whole pan! I guess I need to make the full version next time:) I am also going to try this with diced tomatoes next time too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10 Things I Have Learned

This is going to be a random post. Just a warning;)

1. I know there comes a time during every pregnancy where you can't see your feet anymore. However...I took this picture of my huge tummy while on a hay ride at the pumpkin patch this weekend....and I can barely see my KNEES! can lose your knees in the ninth month of pregnancy.


2. Make sure to watch your 3 year old around your husband's Playstation might catch her trying to shove one of her toy CDs into the slot. Then threaten her life if she ever tries it again gently correct her with love and never tell your husband what may have happened...

3. Do not attempt to paint your toenails at nine months pregnant. And if you just have to in order to make yourself feel less gross (newly painted toes make swollen feet look smaller...right?) then don't choose red. It will not be forgiving with your lack of flexibility.

4. Don't start an 80 square crochet blanket for your child with 4 weeks before you bring another child into the world. You won't want to get it done...but your mommy guilt will push you to crochet until your fingers hurt.

5. Sometimes just picking up the clutter in your house is as good as cleaning it. Your husband will just notice that everything is off the floor and will think you cleaned.

6. If you want your child to play alone in their room for about 20 minutes...set a timer. Then...stop the timer as soon as they get to the top of the stairs and wait until they ask if the timer has gone off...which may or may not be about 30 minutes later. Don't judge...

7. NYC mascara at Walmart for $1.72 is better than Cover Girl mascara that you have been using for years at $5 a tube.

8. Next time you are at the grocery store on a Friday...just buy a half dozen of donuts from the bakery. It will go against how you feel about bringing junk food into the house...but it will save you $12 when your husband goes to the donut shop the next Saturday morning by himself and it will save your a million calories since there won't be leftover donuts tempting you all weekend.

9. The next time you decide to take apart your toddler's car seat to wash NOT put all the pieces on the counter and then walk out of the room for a minute. Your toddler will take some off the counter and then you will have a fun time looking around the house for them...all the while asking the 3 year old to remember where they put the "shiny pieces".

10. Be content. Most of the time I can't wait for this pregnancy to be over. I just want to hold this baby and relax knowing that he is safe and healthy. But I am realizing that I will never be able to get back to this point in my life and I need to remember how it all felt and enjoy it. Don't wish away the days...but find happiness where you are...even if it's a hard place. Live in the moment. Dance when your toddler wants you to dance, pack a picnic for the park, and laugh a lot, and choose your can already have drama of it's own...don't add any more.

OK...time to crochet some more granny squares. Only 20 more!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Days

We have been trying to get the most out of our last days as a family of three before we turn into a family of four. This weekend we went up north and took our daughter to a pumpkin patch.

The day was filled with riding on Daddy's shoulders (I'm going to be so sad when she gets too big for that):

Inflatable slides and bounce houses:

Butterscotch kettle corn:

Walking through a field of pumpkins...looking for just the right one:

And being very happy when we found it:

Oh, and a Daddy ride back to the car because someone was too tired to walk.

I love the fall. It's hard to believe we will have two little ones running around the pumpkin patch next year! I can't wait:)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2 Step Steak Chili

I have a confession to make. I realized the other day that I have not bought ground beef from the grocery store in a year. One whole year. Don't get me wrong, we go out for burgers and such...but I have not used ground beef in one single recipe at home over the last year. Is that weird?

I figured it's because I got pregnant last fall and the thought of ground beef would have me gagging. Then I got pregnant two months later and same thing. With the cooler weather this week I decided to make chili. I went to the store and picked up a pound of ground beef. It squished and grossed me out...but I put it in the cart anyways. Then, the thought of cooking it up made me gag so I put it back and just picked up a package of thin lean steaks...which were actually only $1 more (and there was enough for me to use the rest for another dinner).

SO...that's how I got to steak chili:) I mean, really, aren't chunks of steak more appetizing than ground pieces of beef anyways? I know my husband wasn't sad about the new substitution at all:)


2 c steak (cut into bite size pieces)

1/2 c diced onion

1 can of kidney beans (I like the light red)

1/2 can of black beans

1/2 can of pinto beans

1 can diced tomatoes

1 small can of tomato sauce

1 chili seasoning packet

about 1/2 c of water or however much to acquire the consistency you like


1. Brown steak with onion on med-high heat.

2. Add rest of the ingredients and bring to boil for 10 minutes

Either serve directly from saucepan, or throw into a crock pot on low until dinner time.

This recipe can really be customized however you like. That's what I like about chili...add as much or as little of anything you want. Enjoy!


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