Monday, January 30, 2012

And the Walls Sang!

Something in me burst on Friday
and sent me into 
I started getting ideas like crazy...
and then ACTUALLY followed through on them
and begin decorating my house.

Over a year ago, 
we had placed our house on the market.
I completely de-personalized our home
in hopes that people would walk in and
visualize themselves cozied up in this little nest.
That did not happen.
We had quite a few interested lookers,
but no takers.

And then I just kept everything down,
because I had two crazy toddlers scurrying 
here and there throughout this small space.

And then I was pregnant...
and not much else went on in our home.

But now,
I'm excited.
I envision things on the walls...
pieces of our lives
actually ON the walls for us to gaze upon.
It's thrilling.

And then I walked out to our shed
where everything has been stored.
Boxes upon boxes of treasures 
were calling out to me begging to be displayed
in all their glory once again.
It was like walking into your favorite
Antique shop and finding
everything you love
and then getting it all for free!

I must capitalize on this momentum!!!
So, for now, here are a few sneak peeks:

Surely, you're on the edge of your seat
with a teaser like that!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baby Gourmet: Mashed Avocado and Banana

As you can see,
it's a hit!

Find a ripe avocado and a ripe banana and start mashing!

Avocados and bananas are great foods to start with 
when introducing solid foods to your baby.
Avocados are a great source of the "good" fats that 
babies need to aid in their brain development, 
and bananas have been known as the
"good mood food"
because of the serotonin and norepinephrine found in them.
Smart, happy baby?
Yes, please!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Old Faithful and The New Gal

Have I mentioned lately how much I love having sisters?
Let me just put this into perspective here:
I grew up with two younger brothers
and lived with my dad from 14 on.
Yeah, me and three boys.
I married the oldest of five boys...
five very BOYISH boys.
I love boys
(especially the snuggly little piece of roundness
who looks like a baby version of his daddy!).
I love brothers,
I mean LOVE them...
like I can tear up just thinking about 
HOW MUCH I love them kind of love.
But then sisters started coming along,
and a whole other world was before me.

I also REALLY love having my sisters on Pinterest.

So, a few months back I pinned this camera bag:


Isn't it so beautiful?

Yes, it is.
It's also $309.00...
slightly over what I'm willing to pay for a camera bag,
just slightly.
Oh my, but it IS beautiful.
I'd look at it every so often and just smile,
having come to terms that we would never be together.

And then it was my birthday.
At my in-laws house, we have birthday dinners
(birthday person gets to pick the meal, dessert, 
the birthday table cloth is put on the table,
everyone sings and it's a jolly good time)
and then we get to open our gift.

No one had asked for any suggestions this year
(which I was actually ecstatic about because I 
LOVE surprise gifts!)
so I was looking forward to seeing what they had come up with.
Oh mercy! They did not disappoint.

apparently searched high and low
and finally when the hopes of finding 
were almost gone,
my brother spotted this
(and it was on CLEARANCE!!).
My sister then MADE the form inside.
It is amazing.

Check out her blog for the full tutorial.

The strap that came on it was just a tad thin
so I added Old Faithful,
who has been gracing my shoulder 
since my very first 35mm.

Aren't they such a lovely couple?

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Said I Like Things Fancy.

I don't make cheeseburgers very often.
I like cheeseburgers... sometimes.
It has to be really good.
Or I have to be pregnant,
because then I want cheeseburgers all the time.

My husband, however, loves them.
So, every so often I get a little twinkle in my eye,
and one magically appears for him.
Too bad this isn't true
(and also too bad that he had to witness me
almost burning the house down tonight
trying to make us perfection...
oh yeah, because I'm a perfectionist
just in case you hadn't caught that yet.).

He did get his cheeseburger.
Butter-toasted wheat bun;
Pepperjack AND American cheese;
barbecue sauce and mayonaise;
caramelized onions.

I, however...
fancied mine up a bit.
Butter-toasted wheat bun;
caramelized onions and mushrooms;
Balsamic Vinegar drizzled over.

And, yeah, it was everything I had hoped it would be.

This picture does not do it justice.
Just believe me, alright.

Also, Day One of crossing things off lists... was awesome.

Have a most lovely weekend!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Just a few lists... no big deal.

I lived to tell of the organizational frenzy...
now to implement it.
Eee... yikes!
I consider myself a pretty efficient person 
in every aspect of my life...
except home keeping.
I don't feel like I was ever really taught
how to keep a home running efficiently.

This can be no more.
There are five of us nesting in a home
built more for two.
To motivate myself,
I checked out Martha
and read through "Large Family Logistics"
and put together some lists.

There are some MAJOR 
OC tendencies to follow,
so proceed with caution!
I know myself very well
and know that I need every single thing
listed out in order
for me to accomplish it.

So, this first list is a daily task list.
Each day has the tasks that I would like to be accomplished.
And it gives me an idea of how I can 
schedule things throughout the week.
Obviously, I can rearrange things as needed.

Oh, yeah also if my list looks pretty
I'll accomplish more.
I've printed these off and laminated them.
I'll keep them in a notebook
and each day take out the necessary one,
hang it up and use a whiteboard marker
(because obviously I also now have a whiteboard!)
to cross off the list.
If you'd like to join this madness,
you can use this PDF as a starting point for your own daily task list.*

On Friday's list,
there is a task that reads
"Cleaning Morning: see Weekly Cleaning List".
This is an actual list of EVERYTHING
I need to clean, dust, sweep, mop and scour
around our home.

I've laminated this one as well,
so I can cross off as I go.
You may also use this PDF as well.*

I'm also planning on getting a little whistle to use,
similar to that of Captain Von Trapp
but continuing to sing and dance more like
Fraulein Maria throughout the day.
Okay, not really about the whistle;
but, really, about the singing and dancing.

*Please only download and print these for your personal use.

Commence organizing, friends!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gourmet... Baby Style.

My little man baby just started eating food.
Actually, he's tasted it...
he's not quite sure if he's ready to fully jump in that boat.

I was excited for this stage again
because it gives me yet another outlet
to get creative.
I made all of the little ladies food when 
they arrived at this stage
and plan on doing it for this little guy as well.
The health benefits, the savings,
everything is a plus in my book!

Here is documentation of the first bite ever.
It was on Christmas Eve at Grandpa's house.

"Uh, what is this in my mouth?"
So, for his first set of meals
he's been feasting on
Roasted Carrots and Baked Apples
and Whipped Sweet Potatoes
(doesn't that sound so much fancier than
carrots, apples, and sweet potatoes??
Yes, it does.
And we like to fancy things up
any opportunity we get.).

This took me maybe 45 minutes one afternoon.
I already had all the ingredients;
so this cost me...
let's see...
oh, nothing.
I always like the sound of paying nothing
and getting exactly what I want.

Basically, I just roasted some carrots;
baked some apples;
and baked a sweet potato.
Once these were fully softened,
I added the carrots and apples to a blender
and pureed them adding a little bit of water
until they came to a nice smooth blend.
I did the same with the sweet potato.
Once pureed,
I poured the mixtures into an ice cube tray
and set aside in the freezer until completely frozen.
Once frozen,
I popped them out of the tray and put them in a bag.

(or Wha La... 
for those who don't fancy things up with French
every now and then.)

Okay, friends,
I've been working on some ways to implement some
around here.
Hopefully, I live through it and can tell you all about it!
Until then...

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Only Two There From The Start

Thirty-two years ago today I arrived... fashionably late.
(Oh my goodness! I JUST realized that I was BORN a procrastinator!)
My mom may not consider the two extra weeks
I took that fashionable,
nor the emergency c-section,
but I've never heard her complain.
And I've ALWAYS tried to be on time for her ever since!
(Seriously, you can ask my husband,
she's the only person that I'd go
 "mascara-lip gloss only/hair in a bun" 
for JUST to be on time.)
So, I didn't get her punctuality gene,
but I did get her smile,
including her straight teeth.
She passed on her confidence
and her encouraging words 
have molded and shaped me continually.
I could sell a ketchup popsicle to a 
woman wearing white gloves
because of her
(yeah... our long line of sales genes ARE that good),
and can strike up a conversation
with just about anyone,
also because of her.

I most certainly do not share this enough,
I know, I know...
but I do love you so much and
am so thankful for you
(and your crazy ways).
I wish I could be with you as you read this,
so I could laugh as you cry and wave me to look the other way.
It makes me smile just thinking about it
(also knowing that I'd do the exact same thing,
because I feel as though I received a double whammy
in the ole' emotions department,
getting that from both you and Dad). 

Oh, yes, and speaking of Dad...
though my mom claims I was perfect in every way,
he seemed to know different right from the start
as he tirelessly rocked me or 
drove around the neighborhood until I fell asleep
(however, he can't remember what happened two days ago,
so obviously I have to go with my mom on this one),
but then again he's always known me just as I am.
He looks at me as though I have a glass head
and knows every thought I think,
and then laughs with me as our imaginations take over...
because he's definitely the one that fed, watered, and grew
my imagination.
I'd say a good third of the songs in my itunes
are from the 70's because that's what we've listened to 
on every road trip he's taken me on.
Because of him,
I know that sacrifice is worth it;
suffering brings joy;
and love never fails.

there are times that I think of you
and my heart just about busts
because of the love I feel for you.
I could never thank you for all the tears
you've shed with me and for me;
for all the loving embraces;
for taking me to dinner every Saturday night for a good year
as my 21 year-old self figured some things out;
for just loving me so perfectly.
And even if I could find a way,
you'd just say, "Okay."
rather than "You're welcome."...
because that's just your way.

So, today I give thanks
to the One who knit me together, 
the Writer of my days,
for writing out my 32 years thus far
and placing me in the care of these
perfectly wonderful imperfect people. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gift Swap Treats

Remember the gift swap?
Well... I loved it...
and was introduced to some incredible creatives.

First up,
"Love what you do" print,
You can also find her here 
as she chronicles her 
adventures as a newlywed.

The colorful quilt was done by Jess Bridge,

The Instagram Calendar,
by Marilyn over at Passionista Presents
(where you will find and sample some of the best taste in music!)
can be purchased here.

The mug rug is a 
moxiemandie original,
and can be purchased here;
but go check out all her amazing-ness at

And last, but certainly not least,
the wax seal necklace (um...awesome!) by
Brook aka Ritzy Misfit,
and can be purchased through her shop.

Each piece is so unique... I love them!
Go check these people out
and show them some love
by buying their stuff...
in fact, buy two!
Then you can keep one and pass the other on...
and the circle of love continues.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Whoa, whoa, WHOA!!!

As a way of saying 
{thank you}
to all their
25,000+ fans,
is doing a 

Over $3000 worth of prizes,
but I've got my eye on that 1st prize a 
Nikon 85mm 1.4 lens OR Canon 85mm 1.2 lens!

And I KNOW there's a few of you out there that might as well...
I know you're not into giveaways, but c'mon!
This could be your lucky one!!
Julia @Writer's Block and Alina @My Yellow Umbrella,
I know you two are already in on this...
mainly because that's how I found out about it... heheee!

Okay, so go check it out.
And if you win...
well, I'll just have you know that my
is on Friday...
and I like presents...
especially surprise presents.

Here's to A New Year!

Here's to a fresh, clean slate;
here's to souls being awakened and renewed;
here's to immeasurable blessings 
through both joy and pain;
here's to hope springing forth!

May you be filled with hope
through this new beginning;
may your eyes be opened 
to the beauty around you;
may kindness and love overwhelm you
so that you may pass on the blessing.