Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pinterest Project Update

I’m serious about my Pinterest projects.  I have to admit in my past I have had all of these really great ideas.  Everything from small craft projects to some serious house renovations.  I mean I even thought about taking our ranch to a two story.  Ca-razy!  When I dream, I dream big.  It’s great to have these great ideas, but I really don’t follow through well.  Some of it is that I don’t make the time to actually start and finish a project.  The other thing is I’m really not that knowledgeable about craft projects.  I’m generally not a crafty person.  Let’s just add those reasons to my list of why Pinterest has been one of the best creations to the internet world for people like me. 

You’ll remember from my first Pinterest Project update that I’ve added some projects to my fall project list.  So here’s a snapshot of my Fall Pinterest Projects.


So my next project was the coasters.  Here’s what you’ll need:

4x4 white tiles at a hardware store – I got mine for .10 each at Lowe’s
Scrapbook paper – cut into 4x4 squares
Mod podge
Sponge or paint brush
Clear spray paint
Felt pads

Apply a thin amount of mod podge to your tile then carefully apply the piece of scrapbook paper.  You’ll want to make it as centered as possible.  Apply another thin layer of mod podge to the tile to completely adhere the paper to the tile.  You’ll want to make sure each tile dries fully before applying the clear spray paint.  Once the spray paint is fully dried you’ll add the felt pads.  Grab some fun fancy ribbon, wrap around the coasters and you've got yourself a quick Christmas gift for someone.  You could even apply pictures or other fun prints to the tiles to turn in to coasters.




You'll notice I only used one sheet of scrapbook paper to create 10 tile coasters.  I still have those other 2 sheets to create.  I'm also hoping to find some additional sheets with more designs.  The JoAnn's I went to didn't have much selection.

Want to see more of my pins on Pinterest?  If so, click the Pinterest button to the right.

Tasty Thursday - Country Breakfast Casserole

I love breakfast casseroles.  For dinner?  Why not?  So last night I whipped this together.


Frozen hashbrowns
Sausage – cooked
Shredded cheese
4-6 eggs
Splash of milk
Green onion

Spray casserole pan liberally with cooking spray.  Apply the first layer of frozen hashbrowns.  Then apply the shredded cheddar and cooked sausage.  In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and salt and pepper.  Add this mixture to the casserole.  Sprinkle with chopped green onion.
Bake for 30-40 minutes at 360.

Want to make this bake even tastier?  Make creamy sausage gravy to add to the top.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup sausage – cooked

Over medium-high heat melt butter and add flour to make a rue.  Very slowly incorporate the milk and whisk completely until the mixture has been combined and there are no lumps.  Bring to boil for 5 minutes and reduce heat.  Add sausage and simmer on low heat as casserole cooks.  Pour over cooked casserole.

Here's what you get...talk about Heart Attack on a Plate


 Don't ask about calorie content.  I did tell you it was a COUNTRY casserole.  :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Having a Ball Giggables Giveaway Winner

First, let me say THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to enter in the giveaway.  I'm very grateful to have a group of followers in each of you.  I want to say thank you to Bright Starts for giving me the opportunity to award one of my readers with the Having A Ball Giggables



And the winner is:



Congrats Elizabeth!  I'll be contacting you soon!

Even if you did not win, please be sure to check back frequently as we'll continue to have giveaways in the future.  When we hit 200 followers I'll provide another giveaway opportunity.

Check In: Fall Pinterest Projects

I set a small goal to complete several projects I found inspiration on via Pinterest.  If you'll remember back from this post I had a handful of projects to accomplish by October 31st.  So here's my first check in and a small update.  I've actually added to that original list because I've become so inspired and infatuated by several ideas I've found.  So first, let me talk about the project I decided to start first.  The first thing I probably ever pinned and first project I thought would  be easiest enough for me to accomplish is the button letter.


As luck would have it, my little ones name actually starts with the letter A so I was immediately down for this project.  I didn't take pictures along the way because the project really is that simple that it's not needed but here's a list of what you'll need for this project:

Cardstock
Craft Glue
Buttons
Pencil (to sketch out your letter)
Frame

All of these supplies were found at a craft store so you should have no issues finding any of them.  I started by  sketching my letter around a stencil.  Then you simply start layering buttons how you like them.  I let mine dry overnight before attempting to hang it.  I just popped the glass out since the buttons didn't fit with the glass.  So here's my finished product:


Not bad, huh?  I didn't think so.  Adalyn's room has pink and teal splashes of color so I loved the buttons I found.  Now that I'm thinking of it, this would have looked super cute on a canvas.

As I continue with my Fall Pinterest Projects I'll be sure to update you along the way.  How about you, have you completed any projects you found inspiration from Pinterest?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Recap

Last week I told you about my weekend plans so let's see how I did.

FridayMake Adalyn some more applesauce via this recipe
Visit Columbus' Oktoberfest event
Saturday
Clean house
Make something to take to the tailgate
Adders' first Ohio State Buckeye tailgate experience

Sunday
Mass
Laundry
Fall Project

Not bad, as you can see Friday was a total bust.  I plan to make the applesauce later this week since it's a really quick process doing it mid-week is very possible.  I really wanted to go to Oktoberfest as well and it just didn't work out.  We actually ended up having some close friends over for drinks so maybe next year we'll make it to Oktoberfest.

Saturday we went to breakfast at an Amish restaurant we love and stuffed ourselves.  We then rushed home and I threw together an apple cake recipe since I still have a lot of apples from our apple picking trip.  Addie did great at her first tailgate.  We were there for about 6 hours and she was the life of the party.

Sunday I started one of my fall projects but I'm not quite finished.  I have a few pieces to finish and then I'll give you a post specifically for the project. 

Next weekend I'm hoping to get more done though I have more going on so we'll see how next weekends planning goes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy First Day of Fall & Weekend Planning

Well here it is, today is the official first day of fall.  You may have noticed fall is my absolute favorite time of year.  The weather, the activities, the college football.  The boots, oh the boots!  So here's a little reminder on some of my fall related posts:

Pinterest Fall Items

My Fall Pinterest Projects

Apple Picking & Fall Recipes

This weekend we'll be doing some of my fall favorites so here's my Weekend Planning via my friend Molly over at My Happy House.

Friday
Make Adalyn some more applesauce via this recipe
Visit Columbus' Oktoberfest event

Saturday
Clean house
Make something to take to the tailgate
Adders' first Ohio State Buckeye tailgate experience

Sunday
Mass
Laundry
Fall Project

Here's a teaser of my fall project:

Via


 Don't forget to enter in the giveaway.  It's your last few days before it ends on Sunday night.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apple Picking & Recipe Bonus

You’ll remember from this post how much we love our local fruit farm. They have several ‘U-Pick’ opportunities throughout the year (apples, pears, blackberries, pumpkins, etc) so when I receive the newsletter from the farm letting me know several apple varieties were ready to be harvested I told Rick we were making a trip.
Addie's ready to go
We packed up Addie and the Ergo, picked up Rick’s brother Joey and his fiancĂ© Loralei and headed out to the farm. This weekend Jonathan and McIntosh apples were ready to pick. We each grabbed our bags and headed down the orchards rows to complete our mission, find the biggest apple we could find. I strapped Addie on me in the Ergo and the two of us lugged around together at our own pace.
Orchard Alley

Rick looking for the largest apple

Addie & me




We walked away with 20 pounds worth of apples.


We went home after a trip to the Farmers Market and I immediately whipped together an apple crisp for a party later that evening.  Also, because I wanted to make sure Addie had the opportunity to taste the yummy apples, I decided to make some applesauce that is both parent and kid friendly (no sugar added).  I've included both recipes for you to try out and, as always, both are so simple to make.

Apple Crisp (Too excited to snap a pic) 
6 cups apples sliced thin
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Crisp Ingredients
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c flour
1/3 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine first set of ingredients and pour into a greased 8" pan/baking dish.   In a mixing bowl, stir second set of ingredients until crumbly.  Pour over apple mixture and bake for 45 minutes.  Note:  If you have really juicy apples you may want to add a couple tablespoons of flour to the apple mixture.


Applesauce
4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
Cinnamon to your preference

Toss diced apples into crock-pot.  Add desired cinnamon and cook for 2 hours on high in crock-pot.  Stir periodically.

I hope you enjoyed our experience and I hope you all go apple picking at least once.  It might just become a tradition and an opportunity to bake!

Don't forget about our giveaway.

Tasty Thursday - Taco Corn Bread Casserole

I love cornbread!  I cannot tell you enough how much I love cornbread so when I stumbled upon this recipe I knew I'd love it.  As soon as I pulled this out of the oven I cut into it immediately, which is probably why the picture does not do it justice.  Next time I'll probably put some diced jalapenos in the cornbread.  Enjoy!


1 package (8 1/2 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
3 cups cooked
taco seasoned meat
1 can black beans
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup shredded lettuce (didn’t have this)
1 can sliced black olives (I didn't use – the hubs doesn’t like olives & I’m indifferent)

In a bowl, combine the corn bread, egg and milk until blended.  Spread into an 8 x 8 pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (will not be cooked completely like typical cornbread).  Combine taco meat and beans, spread over corn bread.  Combine sour cream, 3/4 cup cheese and onion.  Spread over meat mixture.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with tomato, lettuce and remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. 


Don't forget to check out our giveaway.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adalyn Month Eight

Today you turn 8 months old.  You’re another month closer to your first birthday and another month has passed since the day you were born.  I still remember that day like it was yesterday.  You’re learning so quickly this month.

 Stats: You haven’t been to the doctor since your 6 month well check.  We imagine you’re about 20 pounds; it seems your weight gain has slowed and you’re starting to grow taller.  This means you’re starting to lose those cheeks everyone loves.  You’re still in some 6 month clothes but are approaching the 9 month clothes.  I’m sad to see those cute summer clothes being put away but baby jeans are adorbs!

 Sleep Schedule:  Your sleep scheduled has come erratic.  I think it is due to teething but I also think you’ve learned to manipulate your mama.  I don’t know how I let you do it but you have.  Almost 2 weeks ago we attempted to begin CIO (cry it out) which is a brutal term and an even more brutal experience for your mama.  I prefer the term WIO (work it out).  During this WIO period you alternate nights between waking, crying for 10 minutes and self soothing back to sleep and waking, crying for nearly an hour, and then falling back to sleep.  Those nights of hour long crying is tough on me.  It’s so tough, I’ve stopped after 2 weeks of no improved sleeping pattern.  I’ve been told 3-4 days is how long it takes and you just don’t fit the mold.  You move to the beat of your own drum, which makes sense seeing as you’re an Aquarius.  We'll attempt that WIO period at a later time.  Your naps still vary throughout the day.  You usually take a long 2 hour nap in the morning about 3 hours after waking up.  You take another mid-day nap which is 45 minutes to an hour.  Another nap late afternoon about the same amount of time.  Occasionally you also take a nap just before bed.  You’ve started pushing back the evening nap to the point where you often eliminate it all together.  Mommy was excited about this thinking you would then sleep longer at night…no dice!  You don’t yet have a scheduled bedtime but you typically go to sleep around 8:30.


 Foods:  You are still eating approximately 30-36 ounces of milk every day.  You still haven’t figured out how to use the sippy cup.  The water still spills down the front of you which is why you lose your shirt while “drinking” your water.  You eat about an ounce of rice cereal or oatmeal a day and about another 2 ounces of fruits or veggies a day.  My instincts were right last month.  You’re not a fan of purees and enjoy more adult food.  You definitely prefer the baby led weaning approach which is a feeding habit where the baby gets soft more adult like foods and attempts to feed themselves.  This is a great approach for you since you’re so independent in this sense.  You haven’t yet learned your pincher grasp which makes these feedings a bit frustrating to you.  

 Your new foods this month were chicken, ground turkey, avocado, applesauce, baby pancakes, and cheese.  You love all of these except the avocado.  This makes mommy and daddy a little sad since we love guacamole.  I think you’ll learn to love this one with all of the seasonings.  Mommy made you applesauce after your first apple picking trip to Lynd’s Fruit Farm.  At first you weren’t sure of the consistency but you quickly changed your mind and now love it!

 Firsts:  Besides the new foods I’ve mentioned above, you had your first apple picking trip, your first corn festival, your first visit to COSI, your first labor day, and your first Ohio State party (though it wasn’t a pleasant one since we lost, boo).  You’re now taking several crawl movements forward.  You still prefer to worm your way across the floor.  You’re saying ma-ma-ma-ma and da-da-da-da still thought you haven’t fully put either of those together.  You’ve cut your second tooth which seemed to be worse than the first.  You had a rough couple of days there as the tooth worked its way through your gums but seem to be doing well now.  You’ve managed to bite your mommy several times now which is not a pleasurable experience.  Please don’t do that again! 

 Favorite Toys:   Sophie is still a front runner to you.  You love rubber duckies.  You’ve started to like some of your books too.  I think mostly to chew on them but you have a touch & feel book that you love to feel the sheepdogs’ fur.  This month we’ve retired your swing and you’ve not used your jumperoo in some time.  You have a Johnny Jump Up and Grandma & Grandpa Messmer’s house that you enjoy. 

You still love to swing outside, play in the grass and stare at and play with any plants/flowers/trees/leaves, you still love water and really enjoy your baths.  You still love your big sister Chloe and now worm/crawl your way over to her to pull out her hair play with her.  You still play with your own hair while drifting to sleep and still want to play with mommy’s hair to soothe you.  When I pick you up after work you see me and get the biggest smile on your face and started excitedly screaming.  You’ve graduated to your big girl car seat which you seem to enjoy much more than your baby carrier.


 I’m predicting next month you’ll have another tooth, probably 2 more teeth.  I imagine you’ll be crawling everywhere by this point.  I think you’ll be pulling yourself up much more often.  I hope you learn to put yourself into a sit from lying down since you get stuck lying down and fuss about it.  I’m still crossing my fingers that you learn to sleep longer at night!
Don't forget to enter in the giveaway.

Wind in Her Hair


Don't forget to enter in the giveaway.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Having a Ball Giggables Review & Giveaway - CLOSED

Bright Start was one of the first toys Adalyn had as a baby.  We attached a Chime A Long Friend to her carrier and it has always been a comforting sound to her.  

 I was so excited when Bright Starts offered me another opportunity for us to enjoy one of their great products, Having a Ball Giggables.


This product is geared toward little ones aged 6 to 36 months and “Delights toddlers with these cute, animal themed balls that make silly sounds as they wobble and roll across the floor!  With 6 different characters to choose from, your toddler is sure to laugh out loud!”  Each character is an animal themed ball that wobbles and rolls when pushed.  By pushing the balls along you hear silly sounds.  The product comes in an assortment of 6 character balls, each sold separately.

You can purchases the Having a Ball Giggables at Toys R Us for $4.99!  This is a great price point and would be a great idea for stocking stuffers this holiday season. 

Having a Ball Giggables Review
Adalyn is days shy of her 8 month birthday so she’s on the younger side of the age category for this product so I was interested to see how she would enjoy the Giggables.  We received the pig and the cow.


As soon as Rick popped the balls out of their package she was ready to play.  She’s an observant little one so she took her time examining both the pig and cow carefully.  She soon realized they both make some entertaining noises that Rick and I found ourselves laughing along to.  The balls glide easily across the floor and even vibrate when wound up quickly. 
The best part of this was when I asked Rick to take a video of A enjoying the product, the girl actually crawled finally!
Enjoy a few shots of A and the Having a Ball Giggables.


Having a Ball Giggables Giveaway!
That’s right, Bright Starts was kind enough to offer one of my loyal readers one Having a Ball Giggables.  In order to enter, please follow the steps via Rafflecopter below.  Also, check out the Bright Starts Facebook page where you'll find other great giveaways like this one!


Friday, September 16, 2011

"He's 48 Months"

It’s about to get real.  Like really real so this is your warning.  I’m about to talk about breastfeeding and I’m going to be as open and honest as I possibly can be.  This is why I’m giving you a warning.  Alright, this is your final warning to step away if need be.
So let me start where all good stories start, at the beginning.  J 
Before I was pregnant I knew I was going to breastfeed.  I didn’t know a lot about it except for its great health benefits for your baby.   That’s it.  I also knew I was down with nursing in public, or as us breastfeeding moms call it, NIP.  It just made me uncomfortable to see a woman feeding her child in public.  Not that she didn’t have every right to do it, but because I was embarrassed.  Embarrassed because how can you see a nursing woman and not stare for a few seconds.  I also thought, how will I, one day, tell my child what she’s doing.  Now, don’t get fired up just yet, stay with me here.
After I got pregnant I knew I had to sign up for a breastfeeding class if for nothing else because I literally knew one thing about it, which is what most of the rest of us know about.  I contacted my OB’s office since they have a lactation consultant on site who offers classes for women to learn more about it.  I asked them the basic question, like when is the class offered, how long should I expect to feel really uncomfortable talking about boobs and the milk they produce.  I also asked, ‘Should my husband come to this class with me?’.  The lady on the other end says, ‘Absolutely, it’d be great for him to learn how he can help when you’re nursing.’  Great.  So I sign us up.
Several weeks later, at 29 weeks, Rick and I show up for the class.  As we round the corner, I immediately notice the other 3 women in the room with the lactation consultant.  Missing from the room are the 3 men who knocked up these women.  My first thought, ‘S#*t, Rick is going to kill me’.  I turn to Rick and sure enough, he’s giving me some serious evil eyes.  He’s the only guy in the class, talk about awkward.  Fortunately for him, the LC and the other ladies were mighty impressed he was there to support me.  Haha!
During this class we learned a lot.  We learned about milk, mastitis, massaging the boob, letdown, positions to nurse, how often to nurse, pumping, storage of milk, drinking while nursing, etc.  The list goes on and on.  There are a lot of things to learn which can feel overwhelming.  I walked out of the class still unclear of what to do.  I think breastfeeding is just one of those things you just have to try to learn how to do it.  You pick it up as you go and the more often you do it.
When Adalyn was born that Friday morning in January, the last thing I was thinking about was breastfeeding.  Once I was moved from the operating room to recovery, the nurse immediately asked me if I was breastfeeding.  Without hesitation I said yes and she quickly picked up Adds, told me whip it out (not in those exact words) and start trying.  The sooner the better she said.  Luckily, Adds knew what she was doing.  You see, this is one of those things I didn’t know about breastfeeding.  Some babies have a terribly hard time latching and mothers often feel overwhelmed and give up.  Obviously I cannot speak from experience since my little one was a leech, but this is where I will tell you to contact a LC immediately.  They are very helpful and have helped hundreds of mothers through the process.

Those first few days in the hospital were rough.  After going 36 hours without sleep, 18 of those hours in labor, to suddenly being woken up every 3 hours to nurse is exhausting.  I had lovely blisters on the nips, bleeding, followed quickly by very full breasts and constant leaking.  Nothing at all could have prepared me for those first several days.  What I didn’t know was that the next several weeks would be harder than those first few days.  Attempting to keep a sleepy baby awake long enough to eat when I myself couldn’t stay awake while nursing her was draining.
I had read, prior to delivering, that nursing develops a special bond between mother and child.  I can tell you this is 100% true.  Those first few days when Addie was nursing I stared at her completely mesmerized.  It’s an intense feeling I cannot describe.  It’s also nice when have visitors holding your little one to use as an excuse to get some quiet time to yourself when you’re having some baby withdraws!  It doesn’t hurt that Aunt Flo hasn’t visited in nearly 2 years or that nursing burns a lot of calories so I have some freedom to eat what I want without worrying about gaining weight.
Nursing isn’t for everyone.  From what I’ve read, a lot of people have a lot of latching issues, supply issues, mastitis issues, etc.  I’ve been really very lucky that I have not had any of those problems to deal with along the way.  It has been a great experience for Addie and me.  I plan to breastfeed until she turns 1 and I’m already preparing myself for a meltdown when the last nursing session comes because of how much I’ve grown to love that special bonding time.  I don’t have much advice to offer you but I would offer this, give it a shot.  It is absolutely worth trying.  If you have trouble, contact a lactation consultant.  They’re there to help and know what to do to help you.  Stick through those first several weeks at home.  After that, it’s smooth sailing.  Who knows, you may enjoy it so much you find yourself breastfeeding your 48 month old son like Maria Bello’s character, Sally Lamonsoff, did in Grown Ups.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Early Tasty Thursday – Chick-fil-A Nuggets & Homemade French Fries


If you know me at all you know I love me some Chick-fil-a.  It’s bad they finally opened a free standing restaurant close to my office.  I’ve been at the restaurant once a week since they’ve opened a couple months back. My wallet and waistline are taking a beating.  When I saw the recipe for the nuggets and fries on Pinterest I knew I had to try it out.  So here are the recipes along with any variations I made and some tasty looking pictures.
Chick-fil-a Nuggets


Ingredients


2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts (cube chicken into bite sized pieces)
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/4 cups flour
2 TBSP powdered sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
oil (again I used EVOO, peanut would be best)
Directions

In a medium bowl whisk the egg and stir in the milk. Place chicken in milk mixture and cover. Let it 'marinate' for 2-4 hours in the fridge. This will make the chicken very nice and tender. In a gallon size resealable bag combine flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper. Seal and shake to combine. Place about 2 inches of oil in a medium deep pot. Over medium high heat (more towards the high side) heat oil until hot. If using a thermometer let the temperature reach 375°. If you don't have a fancy gadget like most people, I always test my oil by dropping a few drops of water into it. You want it to sizzle and not pop too much. Adjust your heat if necessary. Using a fork or tongs remove cut chicken from milk mixture and place in the flour mixture. Seal and shake until nuggets are completely coated. Place about a 6-8 nuggets into hot oil and let them cook until golden brown, turning half way through once the edge of your chicken starts to turn white. About 1 minute each side. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
Homemade French Fries


Ingredients:
3 russet potatoes (about 24 oz. total), peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
5 tbsp. oil (I used EVOO – peanut would probably be best)
¾ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste



Directions:
Preheat the oven to 475˚ F.  Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl.  Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes.  Put 4 tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet.  Tilt the sheet side to side to evenly coat the pan with oil (a pastry brush can also help with this).  Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper.  Set aside.


Drain the potatoes.  Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels.  Pat dry with additional towels.  Wipe out the now empty bowl so it is dry.  Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.  Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes.  Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge keeping them in a single layer.  Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 -15 minutes.  Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning.

Wordless Wednesday: I Love to Swing

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall Pinterest Projects

We all know how much I love Pinterest.  It's the best idea ever for those of us who have these random passing thoughts, never write them down and then forget about them 5 seconds after thinking it.  My memory is really bad so Pinterest is the bomb-diggity for me.  You've seen some posts recently about food I've made via Pinterest which have mostly turned out amazing.  The problem is I have all of these great posts of DIY projects I'd like to take on but I'm a procrastinator, and a bit of bum when it comes to getting off my butt and taking the initiative.  I'm also incredibly intimidated by a sewing machine.  I don't have one and never had one growing up which is probably why I have no idea how to sew with or without the sewing machine.  In order to become a bit more sewing savy I'm putting a sewing machine on my Christmas list this year.  So to keep me honest and to keep me motivated, I'm providing a sneak peek at the projects I'd like to tackle by the end of October.  If you're hoping to become more creative, follow me in my crafting journey.  I promise to these will be easy projects you can also complete and I'll give an update as I complete each project.  Without further adieu, My Fall Pinterest Project Inspirations:



Do you have any projects?  Tell me about them here.  Anyone have any suggestions on a sewing machine?  I'm taking suggestions.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Must Have Monday: Hands Free Pumping Bra

Alright, let me apologize in advance for any of you reading who have not yet had the pleasure of breastfeeding a baby or those of you who may be of the male species who are not at all interested in this.  What I can tell you is if you have a female in your life chances are they've breastfed or though about breastfeeding their child at some point.  When I found out I was pregnant I immediately knew I would breastfeed little Adalyn.  Luckily for me, she knew what she was doing and we had no problems along the way.  I spent 12 weeks nursing her at home while on maternity leave and as my leave passed and each day was another day closer to returning to work I knew I would be faced with pumping.  Any of you who have ever pumped probably despise it.  Not only are you literally attached to a machine for nearly 30 minutes each session, you can do nothing while pumping.  That is unless you have a hands free pumping bra.  You see, if you do not have a hands free pumping bra, you would be stuck holding or rigging the pump attachments to you leaving you stuck with 30 minutes to pass doing nothing.  I knew I had to get a nursing bra before returning to work or I'd go insane!  So I found one on the Amazon site and went for the cheapest I could find, because I'm cheap frugal!  I stumbled upon the Simple Wishes Bra that you can find below.


This bra has allowed me to sit at my computer and type up many a blog posts, like I'm currently doing.  I can eat my lunch, talk on the phone, paint my toe nails, etc.  You name I could be doing it while pumping with this product. 

I highly suggest if you're pumping to drop the 30 bones and get one, it'll be the best thing you've ever purchased. 

NOTE:  I was in no way paid for this post, I just love this product!

Weekend Recap

Thankfully this was a short work week so the weekend met up with us quicker than usual.  Friday, the hubs and I stayed in and watched The Ghostwriter, not so great a movie.  Saturday we got to watch The Ohio State University Buckeye football team play.  We had some great seats, thanks dad!  Saturday evening we had some friends over since our friend Dan was in town.  Dan is a med student currently on rotations so we only see him once ever couple months so when he's town we really like to get together.  Sunday was spent doing the usual, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. We went up to my parents to visit which has become a Sunday tradition.  We don't get to see my parents too often since they've moved a little further north.  AND, we spotted a tooth slowly poking its way through Addie's gums.  Here it comes again!

 So we told you about our weekend plans here.  To keep us honest let's see what we actually got accomplished versus our original plan.

Friday
Clean out fridge

Saturday
Run Laundry
Ohio State Football game
Mass

Sunday
Clean sheets
Vacuum floors
Rotate out Addie's clothes that no longer fit
Dinner with parents

I think I can be happy with this. The biggest thing I wanted to accomplish I, unfortunately, did not get to and that was cleaning out the fridge.  I'll be honest it's been months since I've done this.  Now I don't mean get rid of old jars of barbeque sauce that have been sitting in there unexpired.  I actually do that as I go which is surprising.  I'm talking about a serious scrub down which is needed more often than every few months.  You can bet you'll be seeing this task on Friday's weekend planning list.

So how did your weekend planning go?  Anything you didn't get to that you're really regretting not completing? 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekend Planning Blog Hop

Friday, Friday, Friday.  Love this day of the week!  Since it's Friday, I'm connecting up with Molly's blog My Happy House.  Let's see how much I can get accomplished this weekend.  I have an itch to deep clean the house so hopefully this motivation is still hanging around tomorrow and Sunday.

Friday
Clean out fridge

Saturday
Run Laundry
Ohio State Football game
Mass

Sunday
Clean sheets
Vaccuum floors
Rotate out Addie's clothes that no longer fit
Dinner with parents

Do you have any fun weekend plans?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tasty Thursday - Oreo Truffles

Seriously, I died and went to heaven.  I love Oreo's.  I could eat a bag of Oreo's to the point of vomiting and then start all over so the first time I had these I knew I was in trouble.  Possibly one of the easiest recipes considering how fancy they look in the end and all you need are 3 ingredients!

Not my picture

What You Need:
1 bag of Oreo's
1 8 oz block of cream cheese (softened)
1 12 oz bag of the chocolate of your choosing (I prefer white as it can get really rich)

How to Make:
Pulse Oreo's in food processor (Don't have one?  Throw them in a ziplock and beat them!)
Mix cream cheese into Oreo crumb mix.  I just got in there with my hands.
Roll Oreo mix into 1 inch balls and  refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Melt chocolate down and carefully dip each Oreo ball into chocolate. 
Place on wax paper and freeze until set.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

50 Rules for Dads of Daughters

I found this list for father's on From Dates to Diapers and whilst reading it I cried a bit.  I'm pretty even keeled when it comes to showing emotion.  I show very little, but ever since having Adalyn I cannot get through things like this without shedding a tear or two.  So I hope you enjoy as much as I did and grab a box of tissues!



1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. One day she’ll meet a boy.  This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

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