Friday, April 30, 2010

Takin' It Back Old School

If you've been here since the beginning (2007), then you'll know I started this blog to house my scrapbooking. I only blog-hopped to other scrapbookers and I got a little too excited over new releases of paper and glitter. My how times have changed. While I'm not as hardcore as I once was and can go months without touching my pretty paper, as soon as I sit down, it all comes back. So of course, in my never ending effort to make a quick buck, I decided that I was going to make books for other people. I just finished up a book of the entire first year of John's boss' daughter's life and thought I'd do some sharesies.





It never hurts when the subject is freaking adorable too. I want one just like her!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Want My Carnies Back!

The draw of funnel cake can make a girl do a lot of things. Luckily, I was able to get some by only hanging out with my mom and niece and nephew for a couple hours at a town carnival. Not a bad gig. These types of carnivals remind me of when I was a kid when every parish would have their own come springtime. And if you were lucky, your parents would take you to more than one. After my Friday night carnival adventure, I've learned :
The face-painting is done really well nowadays.
The cotton candy comes in bags and not twirled on sticks.
The rides actually look safe and like they were made sometime in the past decade. Oh and the ride operators? The "carnies" if you will? They were all of acceptable apparel and hygiene. The stinky bearded cigarette-smoking Tilt-a-Whirl operator of the past no longer exists.


The duck pond will always be my most favorite "game". It requires little more than having a hand to hold the scooper.
I need to ride the bumper cars as soon as this kid pops. I'm sure it will release all my pent-up road rage. Oh, who am I kidding? Pent up? I let my rage fly all day long. But still, they look fun.


Other notes of interest:

Carnival food is expensive.

Gangs of tweens roam the land with no regard for running directly into pregnant ladies.

Related note: 13 year old from the burbs with mohawks are hilarious-looking.

The lines might look really long but actually, it's just the parents and 3 sets of grandparents that are accompanying the one six year old child.

When the pretzel vendor decides to have her 4 year old daughter "run" the register, that makes for a very slow transaction and a line of unhappy customers who can't huff and puff at a 4 year old but can shoot the mother dirty looks.

Port-a-Potties --- No.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Monterey Chicken Rolls

Omg, you guys, make these. John was convinced I made them before but I hadn't. Apparently I make a lot of recipes that combine chicken, garlic and cheese. Anywho, these make the house smell fantastic and they had like 3 ingredients. Win-win.

Ingredients
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (8 ounce) package monterey jack cheese
Butter sauce
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 dash garlic salt
parsley
Bread crumb combination
1 cup breadcrumbs (4 slices)
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1 dash garlic salt
Directions
1. Pound chicken breasts flat.
2. Slice Monterey Jack cheese about 1/4" thick, roll chicken around cheese.
3. Dip chicken in butter sauce, then in breadcrumb combination.
4. Place seam side down in 9x13 baking dish.
5. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees in preheated oven.
6. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more or until browned.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Minimal Effort Makeover

We're back once again in my notoriously hard-to-photograph dining room. This room is my red-headed stepchild. It came with the house and I've blatantly ignored it for the past year. It is the dining room that sees no dining. The breakfast room sees dining and the couch sees a lot of dining, but the dining room? Nada. But I do walk through it every day, multiple times. This alone should warrant some attention. But I could never figure out what curtains to hang or centerpiece to use and what the hell do I put on top of my buffet? So I'm doing it in stages. And the first stage is done - the curtains.

You guys, I made them myself!! Jump up and down for me please. This is exciting news. No-sew! Stitch Witchery! My gem of a husband gifted me with some serious yardage of this gorgeous Amy Butler Midwest Modern Fresh Poppies in Linen fabric. I turned around and whipped these bad boys up. And by "whipped up", I mean sat around for 2 months staring at a pile of fabric.

Well when the curtains came in, I saw exactly how awesome the pink and gray and green looked together. Obvs. pink was my go-to accent color. How often do you get to use pink?


So I grabbed some accessories. The tray is from Target. The jars & moss are PB (I swear the most I'll spend in there is $20) and the lantern is Home Goods. Oh the runner? Made it my self.


Bowls are from Pier One. Adorbs striped plates are from JC Penney and the bird is frrom Michaels. Annnnnnd extra fabric sitting there because I don't know what else to do with it.

She's a beaut, Clark.

Stay tuned for more dining room improvements! The lighting fixture's gotta go. The buffet needs adornment and the white framed corkboard is begging for some DIY prettying-up. I am bound and determined to finish before the arrival of my very own curtain climber.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Nursery: Tidbits

Our crap-tastic weather this weekend gave me the opportunity to get some crafty projects for the nursery done annnnnd done. Ok well, maybe not quite completely done but done for now. At least until I decide to add, subtract or change something altogether.

First up was hanging 2 of the 3 Martha Stewart white eyelet lanterns I picked up for $2 at Goodwill. Then of course came the ubiquitous aqua paper flower. Finally, I added the two felt pom pom ball things. I saw the easy-peasy tutorial here and substuted felt for fabric. The felt was so much easier to cut and I had to use a lot less since it was thicker. It was also easier to poof out and make look fuller.  Downside? The limited color selection. So even though red is my main accent color, I know it looks a little rose wedding-pomander-ish. Oh well. My darling precious will love it no matter what. Right?  It's kind of a pain in the ass hanging these things without getting the spacing right, so I may be adding or substracting from this one in the future.

And who doesn't love bunting? Seriously. Who? Obviously the nursery needed a little bit of it.  I lurrvvve it. It's adorbs.
  




And finally, the antique highchair I picked up. We all know my love for all things teeny, so when I saw the highchair, had to have.  But it was in pretty crappy condition and while the red might have worked, it still needed help. So it became aqua. And it got a friend! We bought Blinky his or her first stuffed animal, a dog. Hopefully it won't go the way of Poochie who I was forced to get rid of as a child when I was diagnosed with asthma. In fact, they made me get rid of all my stuffed animals. Terrorists I tell you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Get This Kid a Godparent

Note: My blog is sick. It feels like crap. Pardon it's appearance. Send chicken soup.


When I got married years ago, to a (gasp!) Presbyterian in a (gasp!) Presbyterian church, I promised my devout Catholic mother that one day, when I had children, I would baptize them Catholic. I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic grade school and high school and sit here today, a “lapsed” Catholic. I don’t go to mass every Sunday. Hell, I don’t even get there on Easter Sunday, mostly because I remember mass around Easter being extra long and boring. And I’ve still got the patience of a 3rd grader, so nothing has probably changed in that department. Sure I don’t go to confession, nor do I receive communion, but when it comes down to it besides that pesky 4th commandment about honoring the Sabbath, I more or less follow along. Some people probably wouldn’t be cool with me picking and choosing the aspects of the Catholic church that I want to get behind. But that’s the great thing about religion, I can do whatever I want!

So now that the birth of Blinky is quickly impending, I had to face the promise I made to my mom about baptism. First, I had to clear it with the ol’ Presby in the house. I always *thought* he was okay with doing it but I’m not sure I ever really asked him outright. However, since he is about a “good” Presby as I am Catholic, the decision was not that hard. We would, if we could, baptize our kiddo Catholic. Enter mom, stage left, doing leaps and bounds, praising Jesus. Her future favorite grandchild would not be a heathen.

First though, I had to join a church. I was really worried they’d take issue with the heathen husband and the heathen marriage. Would they even let us in? Would they dunk our baby in that baptismal font? I asked every Catholic I knew, before actually calling our parish. Everyone had a different story/opinion. Apparently, whether or not this situation would “be cool” is up to the parish and its pastor. There doesn’t seem to be a faith-wide hard and fast rule on this kind of thing. So I finally bucked up and called my parish. Offfff course, the nicest ladies answer the phone. I don’t think you can work at a church and not be the nicest ladies. They assured me that our heathen-ism (not hedonism, ya freaks) would not be a roadblock. All I had to do was stop in and sign a few papers. So off I went. There I met the nice ladies in person, who once again assured me that baptism of our half Presby-half Cath kid wouldn’t be a problem. Oh! And here are some donation envelopes for you and your husband. We’ll have more sent to your house!

Annnnnndd there it was folks, the Catholic church that I remembered. As long as that donation envelope shows up in the ol’ collection basket each Sunday, they’ll baptize your mistress’ Wiccan dog. No problemo.

So a few days later, I get a call from the parish deacon, who is one of those guys who has a corny joke for every situation. He explained that they only hold 4 baptisms per Sunday so that he “doesn’t have to whip out the fire hose”. Hardy har har.

But the fun part of baptism is selecting godparents. In my family, godparents were one of your eight million aunts and uncles. The relationship was less about raising you in the faith and more about remembering your birthday and maintaining a special little relationship with them. And this is okay with me.

However, in the past few years, I’ve seen godparents fall out of their godchild’s life with no regret, which makes me pretty sad. I know kids whose parents chose their friends and family members, only to have them lose touch or fall into a rift. So I made sure that with the people we chose, there was the slimmest possibility possible of this ever happening. I had to be sure that the guy and girl we chose would always be around. So for Blinky’s godmother, the logical choice was my best friend Kelly. While she’s not lining up outside the confessional every Saturday with her rosary, she’s got a heart that never stops giving and has plenty to teach our kiddo. The godfather will be my cousin Chris, who is a year younger than me, and coincidentally enough, Kelly’s senior prom date. He’s always been the little brother I never had and when I asked him to be the godfather this past weekend, he teared up and told me he’d be honored. If that doesn’t tell you that you made the right decision, nothing will.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Baby Files - Week 24

How far along? 24 weeks - that's 6 months for you newbs

Total weight gain: down one so we're at 20 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes, as modeled below.

The belly:

Sleep: Kill me. Please. My lack of sleep is sucking my will to live. First I cut out the liquids after 8pm to help stave off the middle of the night peeing. Then I made sure there was no caffeine after 5pm so I wouldn't wake up with my mind racing at 2am. Next, I tried the $50 Boppy body pillow (a gift from my lovely husband after whining incessantly about my lack of sleep). Nothing is helping! Meh!


Cravings: Cinnamon Life cereal this week.

Best moment this week: Getting the glider for the nursery at an unbeeeeelievable deal! And getting godparents too!

Movement: Like clockwork about 15 minutes after every meal, this baby is doing backflips. Guess he or she likes ham sandwiches.

Gender: Who knows? But seriously, no one I know (in-real-life) thinks its a boy. I hope they're wrong because I looooooove the name we picked for a boy and really wanna use it. I hope they're right purely for the shopping opportunities.

Labor Signs: No but my friend Sarah's got them. I felt her belly during a contraction. Weird.

Belly Button in or out? Still in but according to John, it's becoming "more cavernous". Dude, # 1 get your finger out of my button. And #2, you're becoming more cavernous. Meh on that.

What I miss: I'll go with last week's answer: Sleeping normally. Not huffing/puffing/grunting.

Weekly Wisdom: Kill me.

Milestones: Apparently after 24 weeks, the baby is much more viable if he or she were to born right now. That's always good news.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday - Wedding Edition!

Thanks to the lovely LB for the reminder, I finally dug up some of my wedding pics from prehistoric 2006. I was a hardcore wedding DIY'er in a time when DIY meant print your own invitations on one of these 3 choices of paper. I swear it seemed like months after I got married, the DIY wedding industry exploded. I didn't know what a blog was in 2006 so it's not like I had access to the endless ideas out there. All of a sudden, DIY invites featured colors! And themes! I foudn out about things like paper flowers and parasols and pomander balls. This resulted in me wanting (and still wanting) to re-do my wedding several times over with various color schemes and whatnot. Same dude though. Definitely same dude.

So anyway, I started my wedding planning with a theme: black and white polka dots. I figured it would be classy and somewhat timeless. Somewhat. So you know what was covered in B&W polkas? Ribbon. I had tons of ribbon at my disposal. So I made it work.

Oh! And I was also on a meager teeny budget. I was making these things no matter what.

And 4 years later, I still love how they turned out.

I also printed and assembled the programs myself and of course, tied a polka dot ribbon on anything I came across.

Ok so I didn't DIY these but they were one of my favorite parts, the noisemakers. They were handed out in place of rice, or butterflies or bubbles or silly string as people exited the church. More importantly, I think I bought 150 for like $20.


Looking back, I think the only thing I would have changed about the decisions we made was our venue. It was a nice hotel with the most accomodating wedding planner ever. And the price was right. But the decor never wowed me. But what are ya gonna do?

So the tables were set in black and white with my DIY centerpieces in the middle. I may have mentioned that I could care less about flowers. I actually didn't want them anywhere in my wedding besides in my bouquet. So I wrapped up styrofoam cubes and stacked them to look like presents...with a big honkin polka dot bow. Not sure what I was thinking with those besides that it looked cute at the time.

Annnnd the cake. I didn't make that either. It came with the package. I asked for it to be covered in polka dots. This is what showed up. Ha. Proof that no matter how many hours you spend searching online for "inspiration" pics, things might not turn out like you plan. And it doesn't matter one freakin bit. All I remember is that the top of the cake was carrot and it was delicious a year later.

This past weekend my buds and I were all hanging out at David's Bridal, trying on dresses for Lisa's wedding in November. I mentioned that I wanted to have a do-over, possibly a 5 Year Vow Renewal, and have my bridesmaids wear the baby pink and black satin leopard mini dresses they had displayed. I'm pretty sure they agreed. So who knows, maybe next year, I'll be doing it up DIY Pink & Black Leopard style.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bite Me

I love books. I love reading. Always have. When I was younger, my dad built me one of those bunk beds where the bed's on top and underneath was my little hang out area. It had bookshelves wrapped around the inside and giant floor pillows. It was cozy and awesome and one of the best parts of my childhood. Oh and I had my very own phone down there in my bunker too...jealous? Anyway, back to books. I blow through them ridiculously fast, so when books come out in series, I'm pumped. It gives me the chance to go through and read every book up until the new one. One of my favorite authors just came out with a newb, so I went back and caught up on the two preceding books. This is the part where I tell you to go read these books, if you haven't already.

Christopher Moore, who I realize I just missed seeing in town LAST freaking week, is the weirdest author ever. I'm blown away by his imagination. I love his characters. And his sense of humor was made for me. I adore irreverance.

Plus, John loves these books too. It's the only author I think we've ever agreed on. So buying hardcovers isn't as painful because we know we'll both be reading them.

Bite Me is the newest book and it's sitting on my nightstand, waiting to be cracked open tonight. A new book waiting to be read, to me, is like the return of Lost, Glee or ANTM to the rest of youse. I want to have Christopher Moore-themed parties and invite people over, only to sit around on the couch with blankets and just read. Who's in?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Baby Files - Weeks 22

How far along? 22 weeks

Total weight gain: 21 lbs and I swear half of it is my rack.

Maternity clothes? I caved. After spending an hour or so searching for "cute, cheap maternity clothes", I almost gave up. Until I got to jc penney. Now, I had picked up a pair or pants or two in the store so I figured I had seen what they had to offer. But no, I was wrong. They had at least 6 cute shirts! So I bought em all!

The belly:

Sleep: Oh how the tides have turned. It's getting bad. Most mornings I'm waking up at least an hour before the alarm for no good reason. Not to pee! Not to eat! The other day, after going to bed at 11pm, I woke up at 2:30 am and laid there wide awake until 4:30. Then I decided that going to work on no sleep wasn't going to be an option and got up, called out "sick" and started my day. By 7am, the house was clean, laundry was started, dishes were done and I had breakfast made for John. Don't worry, I crashed later that afternoon and somehow got my schedule back to "normal".

Cravings: I'm gonna say water ice and act like it doesn't happen to me this time every year, regardless of being preg. Rita's gelati is where it's at.

Best moment this week: Getting some parts of the nursery together is pretty sweet.

Movement: All the time.

Gender: One or the other

Labor Signs: God, no.

Belly Button in or out? In. I don't think it's going anywhere.

What I miss: Sleeping normally. Not huffing/puffing/grunting.

Weekly Wisdom: Go ahead and try the virgin pina colada. It's *almost* convincing as an acceptable substitute for the real deal. And you *almost* feel like part of the crowd again.

Milestones: Well according to the be all and end all of pregnancy, thebump.com, Blinky is about the size of a papaya and weighs about 12 to 20 ounces. That's quite a range, bumpdotcom, way to narrow it down for me. Oh and Blinky can officially here noises and voices and finds mine the most soothing. Ha. So I've started apologizing and rubbing my belly after I unload a string of curses while driving. That's a milestone to me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

She's My Cherry Pie

So you may remember that I was in NEED of a red dresser for this baby's room. Well after patiently scouring Craigslist, I found her. She was cheap and close by (my two favorite qualities). So my friend Adrienne and I went off to get her. This is what she came home looking like.

Isn't she adorbs? Sure, she was old and crackly but I'm a big fan of her curves and tiny drawers...to hold tiny hats! The dovetail construction told me she was quality...old but quality. And I looooooved the hardware. In fact, during the two hours I spent scraping the paint from the hardware, John kept assuring me that I could go buy new handles if I wanted. Noooo, these will work! So while John spent the day heating off the 4 layers of paint that this baby was layered with, I chipped away at the hardware.

It was worth it. I love her.

And I even scored in the drawer lining department. I wasn't really into any of the liners I saw at Target or Home Depot and I couldn't even find a wrapping paper that suited my fancy. What's a girl to do? She can't put her omgsoprecious baby's onesies in old, wooden, unlined drawers! So the other day while I was in Bed, Bath and Beyond, I saw these flimsy, plastic placemats with the perfect little pattern. They were precisely the perfect width of the drawers and thin enough to cut with a box cutter. And a handful of 20% coups didn't hurt either.

I was extremely nervous picking a red paint and definitely breathed a sigh of relief when the second coat was done and dry. It's exactly what I imagined. Don't you love when a project turns out like that? Freaking perfect?
And in case you care, the red paint is Behr Cherry Tart and the sneaky peak of the nursery wall is Behr Sand Pearl. Both are from their Paint + Primer collection.
And voila, holy crap you guys, it's coming together!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Confessions

1. I spent a good part of my day yesterday researching the possible harmful effects of fake tanners (spray, lotions, etc.) on pregnant chicks. Somehow was not surprised to see pregnant women posting on message boards that they were in fact, still using the tanning bed. Conclusion: people are idiots.

2. I LOVE Millionaire Matchmaker on bravo. Why can’t that be my job? It’s not even a real job!
3. I *try* really hard to not talk in “weeks”. That annoys people.

This lame post comes to you by the makers of spyware, who are currently hijacking my laptop, thus making it nearly impossible to access any photos and whatnot. Pray that the local nerds come to the rescue tonight and I get my baby back. Baby back.



And for your enjoyment...bff Kelly's Easter Lamb Butter

Friday, April 2, 2010

Last One's a Rotten Egg


Buuuuutt, apparently it's only worth a 2-hour early dismissal. I'll take it. And don't you love how I still talk like I'm in grade school? And I mentioned Egg, so this counts as my Easter post.

Anywhooo, I feel like I'm the last one to know here guys. You didn't tell me about the gem that is Burlington Coat Factory. I hadn't been in one since I was about 6 years old when all they sold WAS coats. Now it's more than just coats. I decided to take a jaunt down to creepy Claymont, DE last night to check out the Factory (as I'll now refer to it), mostly because they also advertise themselves as Baby Depot. And face it, I'm in the market for some baby goods.

I walked in and made my way to the housewares dept. Oh sweet sassy molassy, I was in heaven! The curtain selection! The bedding! The random crap with cute patterns! I got real giddy and had to tell myself to calm down. I had to start at the beginning and inspect every section so that I didn't miss anything. I could have spent a LOT of money. But I only picked up a few nursery accessories and a pair of maternity denim bermuda shorts ($12.99!). I can't wait to go back. Do you wanna go? Let's go.

Dudes, this weekend it's gonna be 80 degrees. That's flip-floppin, day-drinkin weather. I'll take part in the flip-flops. And Easter is this weekend too. I'm a big fan of Easter meals. Not T-Giving or Christmas so much but Easter brunch is a meal I can get behind. I told you about my thing for ham sandwiches these days, right? And I'm also a fan of Cadbury mini eggs. So if a certain husband knew what was good for him, there would be a bag sitting on the kitchen counter when I come downstairs Sundee mornin. I hope you get some too. Happy Easter kids!

The Baby Files - Weeks 20 & 21

Well if my blinding white arms haven't burned your retinas by now, this here is a little pregnancy catch-up on weeks 20 & 21. Other than the big ultrasound and some nursery progress (pics hopefully to be taken this weekend), not much else has been going on. I had thought that the trouble sleeping thing hit you in the third trimester but apparently Blinky is an overachiever. We decided to start this week. Just this morning, I woke up at 4 am. Wide awake. No getting back to sleep. And weirdly enough, I don't want to kill myself. Heh, maybe this won't be *so* bad. Ha. Please feel free to save this post and make fun of me later for ever saying that.

Oh! This week also brought the first wearing of a maternity shirt. I only bought it b/c it was 6 bucks. The only thing good about maternity shirts is that they scream I'm PREGNANT! Just in case you were wondering why I was parking in the expectant mother spot. This shirt lets you know. BTW, I happen to think those spots are bull puckey and I don't park in them.

Dis is mah bellah. Ugghh, I hate pregnant girl poses. Why do I do this to myself?

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