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Monday, November 29, 2010

Window Mistreatments: Re-covering an Old Roman Shade

I've finally (well almost) finished the baby's room! Yesterday B Daddy took the Squirt on a very long errand and challenged me to have the curtains done by the time they got home.

Challenge accepted. And I must say I'm pretty stinking proud of my eight and three-quarters months pregnant self.

Since I'd already spent waaaaaaaay too long making Roman shades the old-fashioned way for these windows once, I was heartbroken at the thought of abandoning them and going through the same torture to make brand new ones that were more girly.

The solution? Make use of my new best friend Fabri-Tac. I had never realized such a fabulous thing existed until I used it on the Squirt's new bedroom curtains. I'm now addicted to the stuff.

The project took me an hour and a half total and 45 minutes of that time was spent getting up off the floor once I'd finished. The situation was complicated by this 38.5 week pregnant belly.

(Pretty sure this picture is not out of focus...that mirror just REALLY needs to be cleaned.)

Here's the easy-peasy-process in pictures:

1. Lay out your old curtain face-down on top of your new fabric. Cut to size, leaving a generous border on all four sides for "hemming" and folding over.

2. "Hem" the sides. Now I actually pulled out my sewing machine here because my supply of Fabri-Tac looked dangerously low. But you should buy a full bottle of the magic stuff and glue/fold your edges in for the same effect in 1/4 of the time.

3. Then fold your fabric around the edges of the old curtain and glue!

For $35 (cost of fabric) for two curtains, I don't think I could have done much better at Wal-Mart and I'm thrilled that this fabric works with our blue "boy" nursery but girls it up some.

P.S. This would work equally well to turn any Big-Box-bought Roman shade into something much classier!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thankful Heart

  • A healthy child
  • An easy pregnancy
  • A family who loves us and lives near us
  • A husband who leads
  • A home that is warm and comfortable
  • A car to take me anywhere I'd like to go
  • A checking account with far more in it than I need for today
  • Neighbors who can be counted on for meals, babysitting, fellowship and laughter
  • Friends who go out of their way to support and encourage us
  • A God who loves us and gave himself up for us

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Defense of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday EVER.

Therefore I'm understandably protective of it and each year I find myself getting more and more defensive of it. As in, "TAKE YOUR STINKING CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS DOWN AND GIVE THE TURKEY SOME RESPECT PEOPLE!"

Sorry. Had to get that out.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE me some Christmas. There is something undeniably wonderful about your home when it is decorated for Christmas and smells wonderful and feels merry and bright. The lights, the music, the meaning...Christmas has A LOT going for it. But here in modern day America it has also been hijacked by marketers and retailers and every year I inevitably find myself sucked into the game sometime between now and the 25th...spending more money than anticipated and meditating less on the birth of Jesus than on which cookies I'm bringing to the family exchange.

Thanksgiving is still so pure. Family, food, grateful hearts. So simple. I love love love it.

This year we are not getting together with extended family because I'm approximately the size of a hippopotamus. It'll just be the three of us and B Daddy's parents and sister at our house. I'm thrilled that we will have time to really connect with one another and enjoy food and fellowship.

May you enjoy this Thanksgiving in all its simplicity!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chicken Mystery

Sometime last year I had the brilliant idea that keeping chickens would be fun and educational for our little familia. Fast forward 6 months - we built a coop, bought some hens and began eagerly anticipating the feast of eggs to follow.

You'll remember the chickens were quite shy for about a month. As in, zero eggs. Cleaning up chicken poop and feeding the girls each day became quite a frustrating exercise. Where was the reciprocation!?

Then miracle of miracles we had a two egg day! Two beautiful brown speckled eggs. Followed by many many more one egg days. I assumed both girls were producing since the breeds we bought are only supposed to lay 3-4 times each week.

Wrong. Come October we suddenly found ourself with a two egg day again, only the two eggs looked very different. Aha! So our blond hen, Charlotte, lays cafe au lait colored eggs and our brown hen, Hester, lays brown speckled eggs.

Suddenly we were inundated with eggs. 10-12 a week to be exact. I was giving them away to neighbors, friends and family almost as quickly as they were laid. And then one day about two weeks back I went out to collect and nada. Nothing. And the next day, no egg either. The day after that, ZERO eggs. Finally on day four there was a lovely little cafe au lait egg. And ever since, some days one, some days none. Always cafe au lait though. It seems now our reliable little Hester is on strike. She's stopped laying altogether.

The chicken learning curve is steeper than I thought indeed.

So I'm stumped. Do chickens have boom and bust cycles? Should I consult a vet? The internet has shockingly done me very little good. If you know any chicken experts, I'd be glad of an opinion!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us

5 years today!

How is it that the past five years have passed by much faster than high school or college did? Tonight thanks to my favorite in-laws, we'll have dinner at a restaurant that doesn't have high chairs (for me) and then a date with Harry Potter (for him). It's the first time we haven't gone out for Italian on our anniversary to bring back honeymoon memories, but I am craving a big thick steak!

How long have you been married? Do you give gifts each year or prefer a date night out? I'd love to know what your anniversary traditions are!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Desk & Chair Re-do

No the room isn't completely put together yet, but we all know that it's likely never to be finished, and I want you to enjoy the fruits of our labor along with us.

Remember these?

Well now they look like this.....

It's starting to come together and with just a few more pieces/details we'll be done with this room entirely. I can't wait to share!

P.S. Have you noticed that I've just figured out how to put text on top of pictures?! It's my favorite thing ever and I'm bound to abuse the awesomeness in coming posts. Please ignore me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Before Baby #2 To Do

D Day is officially less than 4 weeks away now. I'm slightly terrified that Thanksgiving is only 15 days away. Which means that Christmas is like, tomorrow, right?

Here's my "must-do before she gets here" list in order of priority/urgency.

1. Buy crib and mattress
2. Sell old stroller on Craigslist
3. Purchase double stroller
4. Get the Squirt's old car seat down from the attic
5. Make curtains for #2's bedroom
6. Paint side table for #2's bedroom
7. Finish/install Squirt's new light fixture
8. Make decent headway on Christmas shopping
9. Decorate home for holidays
10. Pre-bake cookies for family cookie exchange taking place sometime shortly after #2's birthday

And these are my "it-would-be-nice-to-dos"

1. Finish Squirt's box shelves
2. Hang mirror in Squirt's room
3. Buy beanbag for Squirt's reading nook (since he's SUCH an avid reader these days...)
4. Host family for Thanksgiving Day dinner
5. Fry turkey and be on top of my game for said dinner
6. Complete Squirt's baby book
7. Finish Christmas shopping

It doesn't seem so overwhelming looking at it like this actually. The trouble is that I really like to nap these days, and I just started a really interesting book...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Crock Pot Applesauce

Note to readers: the following recipes are Squirt-tested and Squirt-approved.

Crock Pot Applesauce
12 cups of apples - peeled, cored and chunked
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
2 whole cloves

1. Throw everything together in your Crock Pot
2. Cook on low for about 3 hours
3. Pick out the cloves!
4. Mash into smaller chunks with a potato masher or the back of a fork if necessary. (You can also throw it in the blender and process until totally smooth if that's your preference or for younger kiddos.)

Note: you might want to check after about an hour to see how things are coming along. If the apples haven't started to breakdown at all yet, add another 1/2 cup of water.

Note 2: I have used Golden Delicious and Royal Gala apples to make this recipe. If you start with sweeter apples, no sugar is necessary, but you can always do a taste test half way through and add 1/4 cup of white or brown (yummy!) sugar if you want.

Crock Pot Butternut Squash Applesauce
2 lb(ish) butternut squash - peeled, seeded, chunked
3 lbs apples - peeled, cored, chunked
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water

Steps are the same as in the recipe above, minus the picking out the cloves bit. You could definitely adjust the spices to your liking, I think some pumpkin pie spice would be delish instead of cinnamon and nutmeg. I probably only used 1/8 cup of sugar and mine was plenty sweet. Depends on the sweetness of your apple variety.


P.S. If you are making this for bambinos, word on the street is that spices should only be introduced after 8 months. I'm pretty sure these would still be yummy sans-spices though.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Picture of the Week: 5

These shoes go on the feet of the men in my life.
I love these two men.
I love these shoes.
I love this life.

The End.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Apple Adventures

This year marked our second family trip up to Ellijay, Georgia for some old-fashioned apple-pickin' and apple cannon shootin'.

Check out the difference a year makes!

Apple Pickin - 2009

Apple Pickin - 2010 (note the belly in the background!)
This year I got wise to the apple orchard game and bought a small bag of apples (20 lbs) that we hand picked and then got a 1/2 bushel of "seconds." "Seconds" are the ugly apples. Some have bruises, some are funkily-shaped, most are the type you'd put back at the grocery store. But they are PERFECT for making applesauce! With one applesauce monster in the house already and a new kiddo coming who will be starting solids when apples are completely out of season, I thought I'd stockpile some by canning and freezing.

The cost of 20lbs of "purty" apples? $14+ $4 orchard admission
The cost of my 1/2 bushel (about 24lbs) of "seconds"? $6

So we're using the pretty picked apples for eating and I'll pop some of them into pies and crumbles (theoretically that is). I've already made two Crock-Pot batches of applesauce and it still looks like I've barely dug into my bag of!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat!

The Set-Up...
our little chick - how appropriate right?

Not so sure about this costume thing

House #1:
Not sure what Trick or Treat meant,
but very intent on saying Tank Ooo and Bah-Bye multiple times.

House #3:
Still confused, "Why are these people giving me candy?"

But by House #6 I couldn't keep up with my little chick...

Back at our place he assessed the haul with B Daddy

And may have enjoyed answering the door just as much as casing the neighborhood himself

Picking out one treat for the evening...

He's definitely come around on this holiday tradition!

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