Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Great Ideas, Pinterest inspired

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You can follow me on pinterest here.

And for some reading material for you... go check out Melissa's blog where I guest post on our "pregnancy journey" with E. Stay a while and say hello to her :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February Craft of the Month; Magnetic Board

I think many of you have probably seen this pin going around pinterest. I was inspired when I saw it over a month ago, and when one of my favorite mama bloggers AP had done one for her Carter man, I just had to finally make it for E. No ifs or butts about it. It was necessary

That's a good thing, because I was more than pleased with the end result.

I made sure to wake up bright and early this morning {Saturday February 25th} at 5:30 am. Got ready. And headed out to wally-world. If you are looking to go to wal-mart, I highly suggest going around this hour. You get a prime parking spot, and there aren't any crazies out {unless you include moms like myself who wake up when its still dark out to run errands. Ahem}.

There, I picked up my supplies. The oil drip pan. The magnetic stickers. And the wooden animals. I then went to Meijer to pick up the fabric, because this particular Wal-mart did not have it. And what made me think Meijer would? No idea. But they too did not have fabric.

So I compromised. I purchased a twin sheet set. Ha. Yes, I did. And off I went!

Now, I soon realized when I came home {of course after the fact}, that I could have very well just used a twin sheet, or any sheet for that matter, for this craft. But I didn't. Which is O-K because I loved the pattern that I had picked out.

So. This is what you would need:
1. ATP oil drip pan {can be found at wal-mart in automotive section for $9.98} 2. Hot glue gun 3. Fabric {or I used a twin sheet} 4. Magnetic stickers {1.98 at wal-mart for 18 pieces, or you can get a large roll for 3.99}  4. Wooden pieces, letters, or whatever you would like to make magnetic {The wooden pieces I purchased were 50 cents each at wal-mart}

1. Take the oil pan {image #1} and the fabric that you have chosen {or in my case, sheet, image #3}, and place the pan on top of the fabric, and cut accordingly so that it is completely covered, but so that there isn't too much fabric left over. I did it kind of like wrapping a present.

2. Then use your hot glue gun to glue down all the edges. Believe me, a child can do this.
3. Lastly, take your magnetic stickers and place them on the backs of the wooden pieces.

And it's literally just that easy. You are done. Cover your kiddos eyes and then reveal the big surprise! They will, i'm sure, squeal with joy and go at it.

That or they may just use it to bang bang bang stuff on it.

In that case, don't come knockin' on my door. That is the only risk factor of this project. 
Show us your craft of the month. Something green. I cheated and my "green" was the fabric had "leaves" on it, and the letters/ wooden pieces with green in it. And actually, it's not cheating because it does have something green. But, great news, next month... no theme! Any craft goes! 

And I am really happy about this link-up, because it really forces me to get all the crafts that I have in mind done! Hopefully by the end of the year, I will be a crafting pro.
Grab a button {html below} and link up!

Monday, February 27, 2012

25 things to do, before E turns TWO

I can't believe that my baby is on her way to 16 months already. And I realize now, more than ever, just how fast time flies with our babies. That being said, there is so much I want to do with her. So much I want to see and learn with her. Therefore I decided to make a list.

Why? Because it will hold me accountable. Serve as a reminder. Something to cross off the list.
Okay. So maybe its now 28. I had to add a few things on the list. A few MUSTS.  Pin It   

There are of course many many other things on the list. But I don't want to get too overwhelmed with a "list." I want this to be a fun family affair. And? We can document it along the way.
Maybe make a little book at the end. Because I am all about making books these days.

I'm really excited about it, and cannot wait to share all that we do. 

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Kind of Sunday Morning.

This morning... was a really really good morning.
I woke up at 630 am. Elliana must have heard me, because she woke up screaming at the top of her lungs {as she always does} just shortly after. She likes to get our attention... and she likes to get it fast.
I scooped her out of bed and carried her sweet little body downstairs. Poured her a cup of milk and turned on her favorite Baby Einstein. I have a special place in my heart for baby Einstein. Truly, I do.
She was more needy this morning, so I held her for a while, kissed her sweet cheeks and ran my fingers through her soft shiny blonde hair. We "talked" for a while. I told her how much I loved her. And she of course giggled like I was telling her a funny story or something.
After a little while, I placed her gently on the side of the couch and snuck away into the kitchen to clean up last nights mess. Threw in a load of laundry. And proceeded to windex, dust, and scrub.
Nothing makes me smile like a nice smelling clean kitchen. Or scratch that, home.

I started the Keurig {which I don't do very often} and brewed a french vanilla coffee. Again, I don't ever drink coffee, but something about today felt like it was a coffee drinking type of day
Opened up all the curtains and blinds, and let the sun shine in. And boy is it shining. You can almost smell the warmth. You can almost hear the birds chirping. In my head, I can hear the kids playing. Something about the sun shining seems to have this amazing effect on me. A good effect. 

E ate breakfast shortly after. Her usual, oatmeal, milk, and nanners. While I sipped on my amazing cup of coffee. Emphasis on amazing.
Andrew got up around 8, and his sister {who stayed with us yesterday and last night}, was up a half hour after that.
We then played, and chatted, and laughed. And watched E go completely nuts. Running around. Giggling. Knocking over her toys. Knocking over Carson. Taunting carson. Rolling on the ground. 
Being the happiest little toddler in the room. Well, the only little toddler. But definitely, the happiest.

Andrew made us breakfast. His special of course. Waffles and strawberries. And we gathered around the kitchen table, with our coffees and teas and enjoyed ourselves. E also. Her second breakfast. I let her be spoiled this morning and have a few bites of my waffle. She loved it of course.
Around 930 we put the munchkin down for a nap, and as usual, she went down without hesitation. Thumb in mouth, and eyes sparkling at me as if they were saying "thanks mama, night night."
God, I love this child.
Went back downstairs, and we chatted an hour longer with Andrew's sister before she had to head out.

Now, it's 1030. The house is cleaned. Quiet. The baby is napping. Sun shining through in every room. And this mama is ready to go shower. Get ready, and enjoy the rest of the day.

I can tell it's going to be an even better afternoon. How could it not after such a great morning.
We have some fun plans, just the three of us. 
And I'll be soaking it all in.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

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I know I have mentioned, on more than one occasion, my love for chicken noodle soup. Homemade chicken noodle soup. There is nothing out there like it. The best kind of soup. The best kind of combination of chicken, veggies, and noodles. The best kind of lunch.

And the great thing about it? E loves it too. LOVES. So naturally, I make it at least once every 2 weeks. At least. And when I make it? It's a large pot full. Large. Enough to last us a couple of days, plus I freeze it for later. Win, win.

Ingredients needed: {Fills 3/4 of a 3.5 gallon pot}

2 tablespoons of butter
2 medium size onion, peeled and chopped
8-12 carrots {I like carrots, so often times I use even more}, peeled and cut in small pieces {I like to pre-cook this}
1 stalk of celery {I like to pre-cook this with the carrots}
3-4 chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces {cooked... I boil mine in water} 
1 package of egg noodles {cooked}
2 49.5oz containers of chicken broth {or if you want low sodium, I like to just use 1 container, then fill the other one with just water}
2 tablespoons of dried parsely
2 teaspoons dried basil
2-3 bay leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Put butter in the 3.5 gallon pot. Once melted, put in the onion. After a couple of minutes, and the onion has been browned, go ahead and add the rest of your veggies {I like to precook my carrots and celery, so that they are already softened prior to placing them in the large pot... but you can do either or}

2. Now add your chicken broth. You can either add both large cans, or I substituted mine with just 1 large can and then I fill that can with water {less sodium for the kiddo}.  Sometimes I may go ahead and add another half a can of water, depending on how much of the chicken and veggies I use.

3. If you have pre-cooked your veggies, then you can now put in your cooked noodles and cooked chicken. If you have not, then cook on medium until the veggies are softened. Once softened, add your chicken and noodles {again, preferably cooked}. For the noodles, sometimes I use the whole package, sometimes 3/4 of a package.... just depends on how much you have of the other ingredients, and how "soupy" you like your soup. Either way, you can't go wrong.

4. Add your parsley, basil, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. {I don't add the salt, because again, I don't want added salt. I do however add a little salt to my bowl later on. So if you have kiddos, you can use that as an option. Obviously, E, can't tell the difference! And I've tried it myself... and as a salt lover, gotta say, it wasn't too bad. But mama loves her salt}

5. Change your heat to the lowest setting, cover with lid, and let simmer. I like to let it simmer for 3 hours. However, I have done as low as 30 minutes, and it's been just as good! Make sure to take out the bay leaves, do not eat them :)

This makes, I kid you not 20+ servings. We freeze a lot of it, and it makes for an easy lunch in the future!

We make this soup about once every two weeks... it's seriously a HUGE hit.

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Friday, February 24, 2012


Did I cover my bases? The home buying story. The before pictures. The after pictures
Granted, only half of the home has been seen {the other half to come later}... but did I leave anything out?

If so, heres your chance to ask away.
Want to know a paint color?
Where I purchased something?
Details. Ask away. And I will answer each and every question.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday Randoms, Recipe, Deals, and More.

The Help. Andrew and I rented this movie this past weekend on our "date night" Saturday night. This movie and 2 others, ha. Can I just say... I cried, sobbed, like a big fat baby. Honestly. And? It was throughout the whole movie. It really moved me. It was a great movie to watch with such a great story behind it.

So. I highly recommend it.
The other favorite movie of the night? The teacher. HI-larious.

I am pleased {not really} with the face that I finally bit the bullet and called to schedule my root canal. And? It's for next Thursday. And? I expect a lot of love emails that day.

I accept care packages as well. I prefer milk chocolate and BLL.

Thank you in advance. XOXO.

Speaking of BLL. What if I gave it up for lent? I'm not Catholic or anything, but I figured since people are giving up twitter, blogging, chocolate, cursing, and their left leg for this stuff.... I might as well join the party and give up one of my favorites.

I thought this over while drinking BLL, and quickly decided that that was probably not a good idea.

I would probably go through withdrawals.
And the Man upstairs would surely not want that.

Let's bring our attention to this girls hair. As I am browsing through the food and wine magazine, I come across these locks of perfection and immediately decided that I needed to get my hair done.

And I want that exact color and highlights. The dark hair with the golden locks. Maybe throw in some red highlights in there as well?

Have I ever mentioned that I got red highlights before my wedding day? Yup. True story. That was pretty ballsy of me. But? It was amazing.

Raise of hands for those that have started and completed their DIY craft of the month. Yes? Yes? I am not raising my hand. No worries. I have an idea brewing in my head, and I have the whole weekend off this weekend, so I will squeeze time to work on it. Also? I have some changes coming to the craft of the month. And? You don't have to stick to the theme. That stuff makes me think too much.

Recipe. I made this the other night. Crack-pot barbecue chicken. And it was really good. Easy. And good.

My favorite part was the fact that I had it started late morning, and come 4pm? I didn't have to worry about hurrying to start dinner.

Besides making the sides, I was basically done. Now that's my kind of cooking.

Recipe here. Only thing is I didn't use frozen chicken.

This is the picture that pops up on my phone when the husband calls. And each and every time? It pulls at my heart strings.

I mean, was E really that small. And did time really fly by that fast? 

And is my husband that sexy. Yes. Yes. And Yes.

The end.

Anyone know how I go about getting rid of this "captcha" box when people comment. I didn't even know that my blogger was set like this. And I'm just now hearing about it.

So. Someone. Help a girl out. {I have the newer version of blogger btw}

The case of the bed hair. E has it bad. Her hair is growing like crazy these days {and I'm loving it}. And one of my ultimate favorite things is baby girl in the morning, in her pjs, with the wildest hair. And those sleepy i-just-woke-up-mama eyes.

Oh my precious child, how much I love you.

My precious sleeping. It is just the sweetest thing in the world. Can you believe that she is getting so big? I know I can't. And I know I say it every day... but to see her in this crib, all sprawled out... makes me reminisce of the baby days. But, oh do I LOVE watching her grow.

Chicken noodle soup. It's an ultimate favorite in the house, and it is about the only way I can get E to eat chicken. She devours the bowl. Each and every time. No worries, I do too ;)

I make a whole pot full, and then freeze some for later. Win win. Recipe coming SATURDAY!

$17.00 dollars for 2 personalized books {including shipping}
New members, or 20 dollars for current members.
Heyo! Plum District is having this deal again. I bought these books for E and my nephew for Christmas. They were a hit with my nephew, and E just looks through the pages right now at all the pretty pictures.

Anywho, you personalize these books with their name, their "friend's names," or like mama, papa, grandma, etc. And their birthdate. And then the story includes THEM!

Freaking genius. So? Christmas shopping? Birthday. You would totally be the mom of the year. For sure. Plus, if you are new to plum district, click here and get 5 dollars off your order instantly. And? Use code: visa10 to get another 10% off.

FREE shipping on the books. Grand total?: 17 dollars for 2 books {including shipping}. GO HERE.

For your information. This post was worked on at 4am {after a night of drinking BLL}. Which brings me to the conclusion that  1. This stuff must have crack in it, since I become some sort of power woman on a mission the day after. and 2. I need to drink more of it.

The end.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Home Tour. The After. {part 3}

This is one of the first pictures I took of the outside of our home. The Landscaping has changed drastically since then {and will include the update with part II of the after pictures}. And obviously no curtains have been hung yet... looks kinda creepy.
Our beloved kitchen that opens up to the living room and dining room.
I spy a little TOT in her PJs. Yes. Our typical morning.
My favorite part? The backsplash.
Second? My Samsung stainless steel appliances. And the booze in the corner ;-)
This is definitely where the "Social Gatherings" take place
The back door here leads to our large deck {to be seen in part 4}
Our Pride and Joy for All to See
The wall color is so different. Bold. We were unsure when we painted it... but we ended up LOVING it!
Carson's favorite little corner

Hands down, our FAVORITE room in the house.
Nom Nom.

My dream has always been to be the mama that threw "dinner parties"
And I have made my "dream room" for it

Do you remember the before pictures? Complete gut

This will most likely be our future second nursery. Which makes me kinda sad because I love this room. There is also a canvas above the headboard now. And I'm too lazy to take a picture ;)

Of course our favorite room.
Living Room
1/2 bath downstairs
1/2 bath again- different view
Guest Room
E's Nursery
Rooms shown: Living room, Kitchen, Dining room, Half bath downstairs, Guest bedroom, and E's bedroom.
Rooms not shown {to be shown}: Family room, Deck, Office, Master bedroom, 2nd full bath, Master bath, overall Landscaping

Part One {home-buying process} Part Two {before pictures of rooms shown here}

So there you have it. Half of our home here. Our sweat and hard work was put in this home. And we have fallen in love with every piece, every room, and every change that we have made. We have completely made it our own, and it will always hold a very special meaning to us, as this was the home we first brought our Elliana home to. I can't wait to share the rest of our home as well :)
Also? Plum district has awesome deal going on. 2 personalized kiddo books for 17 dollars {including shipping} for new members or new email addresses. Use code visa10 to get additional 10% off at checkout. Go here.

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