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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Personalized Pillow Cover Tutorial

Who doesn't love a good throw pillow? I personally can't have enough of them. So here's that tutorial I promised on the easy and inexpensive (ok pillow I made B Daddy for our anniversary recently.

What you'll need:
An old pillow you no longer love with removable insert
Enough fabric to cover insert (I used scrap drop cloth from my yet-to-be-finished slipcover)
X-acto blade
Freezer paper
Acrylic paint (mine was just the regular stuff, but special fabric paint is probably better, right?)

Step 1. Choose a design and print it off your computer.

Step 2. Trace design onto the matte side of your freezer paper (I think you may be able to print directly on freezer paper, but I'm no where near that clever.)

Step 3. Cut design out, making sure to save the little bits that serve as the inside of your Bs, Ds, Os, etc. (A Cricut or Silhouette would make this first part a breeze...)

Step 4. Iron freezer paper (shiny side down) onto your fabric.

Step 5. Paint! I did several quick coats to be sure I got full coverage.

Step 6. Pull off stencil while the paint is still wet and let your beauty dry.

Step 7. Sew up the sides of your fabric (I did an easy envelope closure because buttons and zippers scare me) and admire your crafty self.

P.S. I took a zillion amazing pictures of this pillow from all angles (including the front, imagine that!) but my computer and my camera are apparently not on speaking terms. I hope to remedy the problem ASAP, but use your imagination if you will. The K + B front is fantastic. :)

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Possibly the Most Stressful Morning of Her Life Thus Far

Also known as "Family Pictures in a Pasture in 40 degree Weather at 8am Whilst Pregnant and Wearing High Heels "

At 6:45am she and her husband woke their slumbering children and dressed them like porcelein dolls. By 7:15am they were rolling down GA-400 at 20 miles an hour with the rest of northern Fulton County towards the city of Atlanta. At precisely 8:00am on the dot they pulled into the (dirt) drive that led to the polo fields (read: dirt) on the far side of town. The car thermostat read 45 degrees. She rolled up her trouser jeans and delicately stepped out into the icy air to retrieve both her children, a diaper bag and her beloved red velvet peep toe high heels.

A lens-laden photographer greeted them as they made their way down the long drive (read: damp dirt road) out to the polo field itself where half a dozen thoroughbreds trotted through the morning haze towards them as if to say hello.

"How lovely," she thought, "what an enchanted place for pictures."

Her first mistake was the optimism. This being her first ever photo shoot with her family, we will chalk this up to naivety. A heart full of optimism and a purse full of Teddy Grahams would have better suited the occasion.

Her second mistake was the red velvet peep toe high heels. Polo Fields is not a place for heels, high or low. Especially not when the ground is quite soft from last night's rain. Some nice flats would be worn on future occasions. 

Her third mistake was the cream-colored leggings she had foolishly dressed her 10 month old daughter in. Putting a crawler down at Polo Fields in cream-colored leggings guarantees leggings that are quickly streaked with red Georgia clay. She would now be holding her daughter all morning long. 

Her final mistake was telling the photographer she would be happy to climb down into the creek bed if it would make a nice shot. She seemed to have completely forgotten she was in fact, quite pregnant. And wearing red velvet peep toe high heels.

If however, in spite of her folly, you'd like to see how the photo shoot unfolded, please visit Alea Moore Photography.

Bless your heart Alea Moore. May she learn from her many mistakes in the future. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

E-mealz Cyber Monday Sale

So are you all shopped out from Black Friday sales? We went out to a few stores on Friday, but I haven't even gotten started on Cyber Monday, which is how I've been getting the majority of my Christmas gifts in the past few years... so I'm feeling WAY behind and need to be planning my grocery run for when nap time ends.

But when I went to print off my E-mealz meal plan for the week I saw that they are running a Cyber Monday special and wanted to share it with you. 30% off any new subscription or gift subscription that you might be thinking of giving. I can't imagine any busy mom who wouldn't appreciate this kind of gift. You know what a fan I am.

Go here to get your discount!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Random Ramblings

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever. Has it been a while? I've been busy...and so have you I know. Because Thanksgiving is THURSDAY! Yeah for family time and fried turkey and football and the Georgia Bulldogs being the SEC East Champs. (Not that that last one has anything to do with Thanksgiving, but I am thankful for championship game to look forward to this year.)

So Saturday was our 6th wedding anniversary. Whoa. Did you know the median length of a marriage in the United States these days is 11 years? That is crazy. I feel like B Daddy and I haven't even hit our stride yet. We had the chance to go to Athens, where we met and were married, and were able to go out while my parents watched Sweet B (the Squirt was with B Daddy's parents.) Praise the Lord for willing and able grandparents - what a gift it was to go out to dinner and a movie all alone!

Us 6 years ago

Us now

And I made B Daddy a gift - here's a little peek. I'll be back later on with a tutorial. It only cost me $0.59! Talk about affordable.

In other news, we went for our 20 week ultrasound this week for Baby #3. What a miracle. Every time. We saw 10 toes, 4 heart chambers, 2 kidneys, 1 diaphragm, a zillion vertebrae and those little bits that happen to make this baby male or female. I'll spill the beans tomorrow once I can get some of the ultrasound pics uploaded. I swear I'd be a rock star blogger if loading pictures was less of a hassle.

I am just loving this week. My turkey is thawing in the refrigerator and I'll be making pie crust for a completely from scratch apple pie tomorrow... life is good.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Homemade Pumpkin Puree & Pumpkin Granola

It's two weeks after Halloween and we still have 3 un-carved pumpkins hanging out on our front porch. Until yesterday morning that was. I have contemplated cutting, roasting, scraping and pureeing raw pumpkins into homemade puree before - but it has always seemed to be such an unnecessary pain when Libby makes such a fantastic canned product.

But then I read Ashleigh's post and gave it a brief consideration. ...And then decided against it.

And then my sister bragged to the Facebook world that she had made her own pumpkin puree and it was amazing. And I just wanted someone to come make some for me.

But then Ashleigh posted this recipe and I was done for.

So I cut. (Into unnecessarily small pieces mind you.)

I roasted. (For a bit too long... 1.5 hours at 325 is the recommendation.)

I scraped, then pureed.

And you know, it wasn't the biggest pain in the world. I was able to freeze 8 cups of puree from one medium sized pumpkin, which makes doing this yourself a pretty good idea money-wise too.

Once I had my beautiful orange mush I made this Pumpkin Granola and oh my is it delicious! I don't think you'll be disappointed if you make the effort (even if you do use good old Libby's.) My munchkins loved it straight up, but I am salivating over a big bowl tomorrow morning with some dried cranberries added for good measure.

(Sorry for the horrid iphone pic.)


Pumpkin Granola Adapted from Lisa Thiele's recipe on With Style & Grace


4 cups rolled oats

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp


3/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup homemade pumpkin puree (or Libby's) :)

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 Tbsp maple syrup (I didn't have any on hand, so I subbed honey...B Daddy thinks maple syrup would be way better...)

1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, chopped nuts, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract and using a whisk or fork, whisk until smooth.

Add wet [sugar] mixture to the dry ingredients and with a spatula, mix until everything is coated. If it seems too dry, add a little more applesauce & maple syrup.

Spread the granola mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Carefully remove and mix for even baking. Bake for an additional 18-20 minutes or until the granola looks nice and golden.

Remove from the oven and let cool before stirring in the dried cranberries, if you chose or add in before serving.

Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Traditions

How is it possible that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK? Did that sneak up on anyone else this year? Y'all know by now that it is my favorite holiday. I love that there are only three things on the agenda: cook, eat, watch football.

This year my in-laws are traveling to Texas which sounded about as appealing to us as a root canal considering the not-yet 2 1/2 year old, not-yet one year old and achy-like-an-old-man preggo B Daddy would have to drive there and back for a total of 28 hours in the car. Not happening.

We'll spend the day with my parents and sister's family. They've asked us to fry a turkey (any other fried turkey addicts out there?!) and make an apple something for dessert. My mom and sister will handle the stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese and the ever important cranberries out of a can.

Besides the food, family and football, we don't have many established Thanksgiving traditions. I have been looking for a book about the first Thanksgiving (aka Pilgrims & Indians) that I can start reading to the kids each year. Since the Squirt still doesn't sit still for a book and Sweet B is rather oblivious, I figure I can pick one up on post-Thanksgiving sale and start that tradition next year??

Do any of you have Thanksgiving traditions I need to know about? Any food dishes that absolutely make or break your Thanksgiving dinner? Dish up!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful for Veterans

I didn't grow up in a military family and didn't really have friends who did. To this 1980s child, war was a thing that happened far away and in the movies. I had a soldier pen pal in 2nd grade who flew bombers over the Middle East. I wrote a few letters and sent a few care packages to soldiers serving overseas post 9/11. For the most part though, a soldier's sacrifice is hard to wrap my brain around and warfare is something that happens far far away.

Today I want to say thank you to the soldiers I have known. Both of my grandfathers - who served overseas in World War II and the Korean War. Thank you for leaving your families and the comfort of the known to defend the defenseless and offer your strength to those in need of it.

To my amazing in-laws Bill and Debbie who served for many many years and sacrificed time with their young children and the stability of living in one place in order to proudly serve in the Air Force both here and abroad, thank you so much. The values you passed along to my husband, so many of which were demonstrated through your service in the military have been and will continue to be a great blessing to our family.

And to all the military wives I have the privilege to know - I see you patiently enduring the home front. Getting the kids off to school by yourself, finding a friend to cover for "Donuts with Dad", Skyping late at night and early in the morning so your husbands can connect with your kids. You are the cornerstone of your family during these years...thank you for a sacrifice that so often goes unnoticed. 

It is something I think about far too little but am truly grateful for - to have never known war in my hometown because of soldiers willing to fight thousands of miles from theirs. Thank you for your courage, your honor, your sacrifice, your selflessness. Happy Veteran's Day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November is for Being Thankful

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, "BACK AWAY FROM THE PINTEREST CHRISTMAS DECOR BOARDS AND GIVE THE TURKEY SOME RESPECT PEOPLE!"

Sorry. Had to get that out.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas. There is something undeniably wonderful about a home decorated for Christmas with the wonderful smells and all the Merry and Bright. The lights, the music, the meaning...Christmas has A LOT going for it. But here in America it has also been hijacked by 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 making for the family exchange.

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

I'll be dedicating one post a week up until Thanksgiving to the things I am grateful for and would love it if you want play along in the comments/on Facebook. Here's to recognizing how blessed we are and ushering in the Christmas season with a heart appropriately full of gratitude.

Originally posted 11/24/2010

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Dad is the One

Today is my dad's birthday. It's hard to write a tribute post without taking up far too much of your time and without spending weeks perfecting the narrative, but I'm giving it the old college try. (No idea where that expression comes from...anyone?)

My Dad is the one who got Anna and me a rabbit for Christmas one year...and then told us it ran away after it bit me one day.

My Dad is the one who coached my tee ball team. Who taught me how to throw like a boy but let me cry like a girl when I got beaned with a 2nd grader's errant first base throw.

My Dad is the one who taught me how to whittle and gave me my first Swiss Army pocket knife.

My Dad is the one who all throughout my childhood would look a waitress in the eye after she asked, "Is Pepsi okay instead?" and would reply, "We'll all just have water then."

My Dad is the one who took me on dates throughout my girlhood. From breakfast at McDonalds before I went off to kindergarten to a premiere with the prince for my Sweet 16.

My Dad is the one who would sneak lessons from Proverbs in on a family road trip and who taught me that the Bible was more than a collection of old stories.

My Dad is the one who would show me his Family Finances spreadsheet, complete with the little boxes that showed what happened to my college fund when Coke stock went up. I attribute my love of spreadsheets and Diet Coke to Dad to this day.

My Dad is the one who never failed to show up on the soccer game sidelines in a suit and tie and run up and down shouting encouragement.

My Dad is the one whose job meant moving every couple of years...and who taught me that it never gets easy to say good-bye, but that it gets easier to say hello each time.

My Dad is the one who took me shopping for a prom dress and then secretly went back and bought it for me after he looked at the price tag and said we needed to go home and think about it.

My Dad is the one who taught me to love business and came all the way to Athens to hear a b-school presentation he knew I was making.

My Dad is the one whose opinion I sought when B Daddy and I first started dating. And who told me he was a great catch when I was still on the fence.

My Dad is the one who gave me my brown eyes and who spun me around the dance floor to Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl at my wedding.

My Dad is the one who taught me that you can only buy love for a small window of time in a child's life... which is the reason my little niece Kate and I get along so well.

My Dad is the one who continues to teach me and gave me stick-shift lessons for my 29th birthday.

My Dad is the one who sacrificed much of himself to train me up and provide well for me and words cannot say how very blessed I am to have been gifted a dad like my Dad. Happy Birthday Dad, I love you.

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