Thursday, July 29, 2010

Craftastic!

So let me introduce you to my Shan-Cave, located on the ground floor of the Guest House. I am lucky enough, for now, to carve out a little piece of it for my craft room.

This room is pretty much a homage to Ikea. 'Cept for the curtains & chair pillow, I think every piece of furniture and storage came from the big blue mecca.  The curtains & pillow, which I freaking adore, were picked up on clearance from Pier One.
So mostly, this is home to my little scrapbooking business. At our old house, when I scrapbooked a bit more than I do these days, I used to keep things out in the open because if you can't see it, you forget it's there. I went with a little cleaner approach this time around. Before I start any scrapbooking project, I go digging for the supplies I may want to use and lay them on my desk. Then when I'm done, everything gets put away.  It makes for a very happy clutter-despiser Shannon.

Ikea is my most favorite place for storage.It's so freaking cheap, I don't mind picking up 8 or 10 different size boxes. And they're cute too, right? Nevermind the fact that they take 6 hours to put together...each. I've got all the time in the world and Ikea knows it.  So now I've got a place for everything...stamps, glues, inks, fabric. The big boxes store general craft supplies like glue guns and popsicle sticks and fishing line.
Organization makes my heart happy.

Don't you just want to go label something?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Giveaway...because I Like You

I just wanted to thank you guys for all of your expertise and opinions lately on all things baby-centric. A girl gets a little worried when she has a blog then has a baby, that people won't be into posts that focus on baby shizz. Not literally baby shizz, but you know what I mean. But not you guys, you are all about helping me make the decisions that will affect baby photos for years to come. And for telling me I'm funny. I like that possibly more than anything. So thanks. And because I go around promising prizes and not delivering, I've got a little giveaway. Nothing huge. Just something I bought for myself and decided one of you deserved a treat too.


But Shannon, what is it?
 It's a set of Jonathan Adler notecards silly! Who doesn't love that crazy bastard and his beautiful green greek key pattern? Plus, a little jotter pad too! Adorbs at home and on the go!

So, here's how to win:
1. Be a Follower --- mostly because I'm an attention whore
2. Leave a Comment --- feel free to tell me how funny I am...or that I'm an attention whore...or what you had for breakfast, whatever
3. Leave me an email address if it's not in your blog profile
4. Live in the US por favor

I'll shut'er down on Sunday night and pick a weiner!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pack Your Bags!

We're going to the hospital! Well not really, not today. Sorry. But a girl needs to be prepared in case I have this big dramatic water breakage and I need to yell to John, "grab the bag!" and in this comically-hilarious sitcom move, John grabs his bowling bag and not my hospital bag. And then we get to the hospital and have a baby and John goes to get the camera or something out of the bag and pulls out his bowling ball and looks at me and shrugs. I give him the disapproving sitcom wife look and then we all laugh. This is why it's good to have a pre-packed bag. To ENSURE awesome situations like this...right? Right.


Anyway, in the spirit of my pal Jackie, who showed off her adorable clothes and accessories for her trip to Sausalito, I thought I'd "show-off" the things I decided to pack for our upcoming stay at the hospital. A little less glamorous than Sausalito but I'll be getting breakfast in bed, can she say that? I think not.


First order of business is my comfort. Let's face it, hospital gowns? Not comfy. So I packed my own pj's that double as easy-access nursing gowns. Then I threw in a  nursing tank so that should I not want to bare it all for my visitors, I can still look somewhat appropriate and feed the kiddo at any time. And most important, clothes to come home in.  I have no misguided ideas of fitting into pre-maternity clothing. I also have gotten extremely used to elastic waists. Therefore, new yoga pants it is.

The next order of business is the one where I pack a bunch of embarrassing shit, like really big (yay comfort!) underwear and giant sanitary napkins. Oh and throw in some nip-soothing cream and nip gel pads and we've got ourself a party. I'm also bringing my handy-dandy little breast pump so that I can throw all modesty out the window and ask a stranger to show me how to be a cow. No offense to anyone, I can't wait to be one. I also packed mini toiletries and Chapstick, for when my lips get all dry during me hee-hee-whoooo breathing techniques.  Who am I kidding, I didn't pay one bit of attention to the breathing techniques during childbirth class. I was too busy trying to nap.Old habits die hard with this one.

Then came the baby clothes...which I'm sure you're all tired of seeing. But wait, the little green striped gown and hat? It matches my nursing gown and that's what John gave me for mother's day. It makes my heart hurt. Oh and contrary to my husband's opinion that no child of his will wear that blue star outfit for fear of being mistaken for a Cowboy's fan, it's still coming with us.
Squeal!
Got me some swaddlin' blankets and the baby book. I'm hoping to remember to ask the nurses to stamp Blink's footprint in here while they're inking him or her up anyway. Oh and now that I see that elephant blanket in photo, I realize that it looks like it could have been my baby blanket. I washed it once! What the hell? I'l probably swap that out for something a little less worn.

Well that's it folks. I decided to pack things in two seperate bags so that John doesn't have to lug 15 baby outfits and a breast pump (and a bowling ball) with him as he's rushing into the hospital, screaming "I'm having a baby!", meanwhile forgetting me in the car. I really do hope this whole thing turns out like a sitcom birth. And I hope Uncle Jesse shows up.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Indoor S'mores!

Target decided I was in the mood for s’mores this weekend. They dared me to just walk on by the endcap of graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey bars that they so thoughtfully arranged for me. Well I didn’t. I gave in. I got them home and realized it was effing hot as hell outside, how am I gonna cook these babies? No way am I lighting up a fire pit or a grill. Then I remembered the broiler! I never use the broiler, so this was pretty ingenious to me. I plopped the ingredients on a cookie sheet…

Left them for literally about 15 seconds...

And toasted them to freaking perfection.  As soon as you placed the top cracker on, you could hear the little crackling of the mallow being crushed. It's a nice sound.

From box to mouth in 30 seconds...delicious. Oh but my official taste tester husband had the cajones to complain that the chocolate was "too melty". So for the next batch (on a different day, I swear), I didn't put the chocolate on until the graham cracker and mallow came outta the oven. He was much happier. I kinda preferred the first extremely melty version. But only you know the level of chocolate meltiness that you desire, so adjust this recipe as needed.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Don't Like the Phrase "Little Man"

Just gettin' that outta the way...


Well at the risk of Blinky turning out to be Monsieur Blink (we pretend everything is French in our house, due to the cat), I had to go purchase some baby boy clothes for him to come home from the hospital. Let me tell ya, shopping for a boy is in no way whatsoever as gratifying as it is for a girl. I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know but for reals! I'm sure, if I have a boy, anything I put on him will be adorbs...but in the meantime, throw me a bone here!


Wait, let me back up a second. There are tons of awesome cute little preppy things for boys. They come in overalls and plaids and tiny polo shirts and they're perfectly cute. Except they look old to me. Old being 8 to 12 months, ya know. I want mah bebeh to look like a bebeh. Minus the whole baby blue thing. Is that so hard to ask? I know I'm being really picky here so please ignore everything I've just said.
Here's what I bought...

This one's from Target. I like the stars.

And this one's from Carter's. I love the eeeny weeny teeny track jacket.


And in other news, look what magically appeared in the Blink's closet???
The votes were close, my friends! I thought it was going to go to the periwinkle and white combo but at the end, the Gap outfit squeezed through and won. Best part? Huge sale at Gap that day. The tiny unnecessary ballet slippers? $5. Had to have. I also picked up a little white sweater so girly Blink doesn't get chilly. Mom of the year, right here!


So there you have it, the Blink's first outfit...
In other news, have you taken a dip in my baby pool? The water's warm...I think someone peed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gnocchi Yes, Risotto No

Once again, your ridiculously nice comments about the nursery gave me the warm fuzzies. John and I read each one over and over...because we're dorks. But for serious, thank you, youse are the best!


Sweet sassy molassy, this is a good one. I borrowed the recipe from Indigo's Sugar Spectrum. Don't go to her blog if you're hungry though. Or if you have a weakness for cute kids. Seriously, don't. Anyway, I've never made a sauce from scratch, I'm a the-jar-is-good-enough kinda girl. But this stuff is ridiculously good. I actually switched out the whole milk for 1% since whole milk is the devil. It turned out just fine too because I gradually added flour until it was a good thickness. This was easy to make but made me feel all cheffy and accomplished. And thats what I needed after a recent big freaking cooking FAIL.

Now I know I'm only in the beginning stages of being a good cook but I feel I've done a pretty good job in the kitchen since my vow last year to make domesticity my bitch. I haven't had too many catastrophes in the kitchen. Well, my friends, if only for posterity's sake and as a warning to you, do not make this recipe for Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto. Ok, my first clue should have been the fact that this risotto is made in the microwave. But I ignored it. And it turned out gross. See evidence below.

Nothing in this picture says creamy risotto, does it? And um, word to the wise, squash is kinda gross. Here I was, thinking I'd be all adventurous and whatnot and look what happens.  I should clearly stick to things involving delicious cream sauces and less vegetables, doncha think?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Nursh is Open for Business!

The day has come, my friends. Welcome to Blinky's room.


Here's a secret.  The "A" is a placeholder. Sort of. If it's a boy, I have to go find another letter.  If it's a girl, it stays.  The silhouette is also a placeholder until Blink comes along and I can do a real one.


There's entertainment everywhere, books on the right, Ipod dock on the left.



DIY cribskirt. It was kind of a pain in the ass. Just an FYI.
See that orange egg crate on the floor? You know where I got it? Kim sent it to me. Why? Cuz she's awesome.

Extreme doorknob close-up Wuuuahhhhhhh!!!
Tiny bathrobes? I die.
Limited clothing here, folks. Sad, isn't it?
Oh look, another placeholer.  The bulletin board is takng the place of some yet-to-be-completed artwork that I commissioned my best friend to make.
So yeah, that's it. I kinda love it. I'm sure Blink will too.

Here's where I share how cheap I am:

Crib & Mattress - Gift from Mom
Glider & Ottoman- $200 Craigslist
Dresser - $30 Craigslist
Placemat Drawer Liners - $24 BB&B
Armoire - Owned
Sidetable - $60 HomeGoods
Lamps - Owned
Curtains - $38 Burlington Coat Factory
Paper & Felt Poofs - $8 materials from Michaels
Pillow Cover - $5 materials from Target & Michaels
Bird Artwork - $20 materials from Michaels
Highchair - $18 from Antique store
Crib Skirt - $30 Fabric from Spool
Book Basket - $12 HomeGoods
Chalkboard - $20 HomeGoods
Bird Mobile - Free fom my bff's
Doorknobs - $16 from Anthro
Closet storage - $20 Ikea & Target
Materials - Paint Behr Cherry Tart and Sand Pearl from Home Depot $46



total - right around $550

ETA: I'm selling a bunch of these accessories here

Monday, July 19, 2010

You...Are Hilarious

When I asked my blog readers their thoughts on how to document the impending child's monthly growth spurts, I never expected the responses I got.  I keep going back and reading the ideas and seriously dying laughing thinking about the implementation of these scenarios. A few of my faves...

1. My friend Lisa suggested that I take a picture of Blink's face every week, then when he or she is 50, make a flip book. I'll be 80 when Blink turns 50...hope my flip-book making skills are perfected by then.

2. My husband suggested we put the baby on the back of the cat. And have the cat hold a sign in his mouth saying how baby is. This is only more hilarious if you know Sebbi.

3. Like, if you know Sebbi like my brother Josh does.  He suggested that when Sebbi dies, we stuff him so that we can continue our picture-posing.  Anything for a photo op, eh Josh? He knows me too well.

4. Meanwhile, Blinky's godmother, Kelly is planning on signing Blink up for a contortionist class so that he or she can form themselves into a number, saving mom both time and money.

5 And finally, my new blog buddy, kp, suggests photoshopping the whole damn thing so that I can add devil horns and mustaches to that preshus baby face. We are eerily alike. And once she finds out what Blinky's first Halloween costume will be, she'll find our similar thinking even more creepy.

Anyway, thank you all for your awesome responses. Don't think I'm an a-hole, or trying to wiggle myself out of giving away a super awesome prize, but I think I came up with my own idea. And it involves costumes.  Because if there's anything I like better than a costume photo sesh, it's a tiny costume photo sesh. So um, stay tuned to see what the hell I mean.

Oh and guess what! The nursery is pretty much done so I'm gonna reveal that shizz tomorrow! So come back! And bring your friends! I'll give you a prize! Or I won't! Find out tomorrow!

The Baby Files - Weeks 36 & 37

How far along? 37 weeks

Maternity clothes? We've reached an all-time low. I wore pajama pants to work. Granted they are gray and lounge-y and could probably pass for non-pj's but they are pajamas nonetheless. And it was good.
The belly:
Don't most babies drop in the later part of pregnancy? Why is mine going higher?

Sleep: I may or may not have taken my friend Alyssa's advice about picking up some Tylenol PM. I may or may not be drugging myself to get some sleep. And it may or may not have been the best decision I've ever made.

Cravings: Water and lemon-flavored things. Not lemon Pledge though. We do not need more Lemon Pledge. And I really need to stop linking up to family guy episodes every 10 minutes, don't I?

Best moment this week: Finding out the nickname for the awesome shooting pains that I've been experiencing lately. Do you prefer "Lightening Vag" or "Lightening Crotch" better? Either way, sitting for too long then standing up causes the owwies. TMI?

Movement: All kinds. IN fact, Blink is no longer breech. He or she went and flipped on their own, wasn't that nice of him or her?  Now I don't have to punish it as soon as it's born.

Gender: It's funny when John or I refer to the Blink as he or she and someone hears it and thinks they caught us. Like we've known this whole time and haven't told them. Um, I swear we don't know.

Labor Signs: A few little Braxton Hicks (or Toni Braxton Hicks, as we call em) fake-y contractions goin on.

What I miss: I tell ya what, in about 2 weeks, it's not gonna be work. The never-ending countdown to my actually leaving my job for good is finally on. We're talking 2 weeks people, can you imagine?

Weekly Wisdom: Request a table instead of a booth when you're out to dinner to avoid any potentially embarrassing situations. The kind where you can't fit in the booth. Or the kind where you fit in the booth but can't lean far enough over to eat properly. Stick with a table, you'll thank me.


What Stereotype I Embody: I was at my bff's 30th birthday party this weekend, and together, with the other pregnant chick there, we attacked the dessert table. That and the ginger ale. We went nuts.


What I Bought This Week: Thanks to some generous co-workers, we were finally able to go scoop up our Chicco Cortina Discovery car seat and stroller. We don't have to leave Blink at the hospital now! We can bring him or her home! Us: Making strides in parenting since July 2010.

What I Checked off my To-Do List: We attended childbirth class where the best part was laying on the mat, practicing breathing exercises. I breathed myself right into a couple short naps. Oh and it was awesome when the one bathroom broke. 10 pregnant chicks and one broken bathroom? Scary.

Friday, July 16, 2010

How Old is My Child?

Lots of high fives all around for your votes on what Blinky should wear home from the hospital should she turn out to be a girl. An outfit has been purchased and will be revealed in due time. But now I'm back with another trivial baby-related question and I need your ideas and opinions. And to make it fun, if I pick your awesomely clever idea, I'll send you a prize! (Obviously I don't know what said prize is yet since I just thought of this, but go with it. It won't suck.)
Anyway, like every other first-time mother out there with a decent camera, I'm planning on documenting the Blink's monthly growing milestones with pics. But I obviously can't just take a picture, put it in an album and write "3 months", can I? I have to make it hard on myself and get creative. Like these people...

Sherry and John from Young House Love use a different piece of awesome fabric in combination with a weekly/monthly (photoshopped) onesie to keep track of their daughter Clara's pics.


Nicole from Making it Lovely sits her daughter in her fancy chair every month with a pin telling us how old Eleanor is.

Or I can go with the ever-popular actual monthly onesies...simple but I'm kinda over that idea.

Give me something awesome. If you were about to birth a babe and wanted to do something like this, what would you do? I'll be home all day doing nothing but feeding and photographing my child so it can be as labor intensive as you want. Halp!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Confessional

1. Any song by 30 Seconds to Mars instantly transports me to a high school state of mind. But not my own high school experience, just "a" high school experience. Does that make sense? I didn't listen to music like that while I was in high school, so that probably explains it. I preferred mind-numbingly bad "artists" such as the Spice Girls and NSync, as well as safe-for-surburban-white-girls rappers Lost Boyz or Biggie while driving my friends around in my '87 Toyota Camry. But for some reason 30STM (I just made that acronym up, ya think it will catch on?) songs make me feel like I should be a high schooler and be hanging out in a convenience store parking lot, bumming cigs from people and writing on my shoes. Anybody with me?

 
2. Tattoos on pop-pops make me smile. Usually they're buried under old-man arm hair and have faded away since 1945 and have something to do with whatever branch of the military they were in. Or maybe it's a girl's name or a pin-up or whatever. It's a little reminder that they weren't always the grandpas they are today. They make me happy.

 
3. I'm a snob when it comes to my Real Housewives viewing. If there's a marathon of the Orange County or NYC version on, count me in. You'd think I had a thing for bat-shit crazy eyed blondes like Vicki and Ramona. But in actuality, it's that I prefer my cattiness and shit-talkin' to be a little more calm and behind the scenes. Those beotches down in Atlanta and over in Jersey are too freakin loud and up in your face for my taste. No class, I tell ya.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Open Letters

Hey! Pregnancy is almost over! Which means my weekly tirades against all things blood-boiling will soon become a little less socially acceptable. So let's get em in while we can, eh?

 
Dear Urban Decay,

I was so nice to you. I blogged about how awesome your Primer Potion was. It kept my eyeshadow in place all day long. And it still does. However, I, along with the rest of the internet, have a problem with your packaging. Google it, you'll see. Yeah it's cutesy and is all I-Dream-of-Jeannie-like but as far as packaging goes, it sucks. You have to realize how much product is left in the curves of the bottle that the applicator can't reach. There's even freakin you-tube videos on how to remove the leftover potion once the applicator comes up empty. So I cracked open my pretty purple bottle and came up with little container to hold my leftovers. However, after a few weeks in an airtight container, sealed in ziplock bag, the potion has pretty much dried up, rendering it useless. I paid $17 for this bottle of potion and I do believe you owe me at least $8 for the amount that is going to waste. I'll be waiting patiently at my mailbox. Kthxbye.

Dear Moms Who Let Their Kids Put Stickers on Their Car Windows ,

Ok, you forked over approximately 20 to 40 thousand dollars for that vehicle you’re driving. Besides your house, it’s probably the other biggest investment you've made. Why, oh WHY, are you letting your children put stickers on the insides of their car door windows? Don’t you know that 1) they've got to be freaking hard to remove but more importantly 2) they make your car look junky. And I swear, it seems like the cars I see with disney princess stickers all over it are Range Rovers and shit like that...not Hyundais. I just can’t fathom why a parent would allow this. They make books just for kids to put stickers on. They’re called sticker books. Treat yourself.

I realize I'm ranting about two car-sticker related issues here, but keep in mind, they are very different complaints!


Dear Dads Who Drive Mini-Vans with Stick Figure Decals,


Stick Figure Decals – Ohhh where do I start on these? Not only do I not care that your daughter is a ballerina or that you have two dogs, I definitely don’t need to be told in traffic by the stick figures you plastered on your back window. My favorite, and by favorite I mean laughing HARDER at you, are the ones featuring the “mom” figure but in a business suit with a brief case. Yes, let’s all be impressed that not only are you a soccer mom but you also work! Go you! Should I call you Melanie Griffith now? Are you rocking your 80's power suit and pumps? No one’s impressed, hon. People do that shizz all the time without needing to tell the whole world about it via the back window of their Honda Pilot. You’re not getting any pats on the back from me.


Anyway, my other favorite are the ones with the whole fam sporting Disney mouse ears. Uggghh, combine this with a mini van driven by the dad, and I’ve lost all respect for you, man. Ok, I can understand driving the mini van, it’s a practical vehicle I guess. But I would NOT allow my wife to strap mouse ears on my stick figure head. Could she emasculate you anymore? Do you love Disney just as much as she does? If not, get out the ice scraper and get that decal off your car. If you do happen to enjoy Disney as much as her, then look in your rearview mirrow. That’s me. Laughing at you. And calling you a d-bag. Sorry.
As always, thanks for listening.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Coming Home Clothes Conundrum

Let's face it, there's a 50% chance that Blinky is a lady Blink...which means life will now revolve around tiny adorable outfits. I decided that the first outfit my child greets the world in will be a proper outfit, not just a onesie or sleeper. This baby's coming home in style. And since we don't know what kind of bits Blinky has at the moment, that just means I have to buy two outfits and return the one that obviously won't work. But the pressure! Oh mah gaaahhd the pressure. What is the *perfect* first outfit? Let's go shopping!

Our first stop is at Gymboree where we find the Porcelain Doll collection. Numero uno, I love the periwinkle and white combo. Baby pink makes me vom. Secondly, I like the old-fashioned-ness of them all. Bloomers? Yes please. Ruffle butts? Fer Sure. Tiny coordinating hats and headbands? Sign me up.




Our next stop is at babyGap. I have a Gap problem. The problem is I NEED everything in it, especially the Lavendar Hill collection.  Look below, then at their website for the rest of it, then proceed to the squealing portion of the program. Now I know newborns do not require silver ballet slippers, but um, you tell me, how the effffffff do you NOT buy those?




Our last stop is at your fave and mine, Target, where I came across this little number, by DwellStudio. I know it doesn't scream newborn but it certainly screams "I AM EFFING CUTEST BABY ALIVE!", right? Dude, I really need to stop cursing so much in baby-related posts, not very maternal of me. Anyway, pair this outfit with the teeny weeny headband below from etsy and you've got yourself a superduperprecious ahn-sahm-blay.


So kiddies, what do you think? Do you think baby girls should only come home in pastel pink? Am I going overboard? Have an adorable outfit I need to see? Vote!

Oh and baby boy's clothes are a whole nother subject for another day. Ughhh.

Oh and you can see what happens whenI get bored on a Sunday night, I changed up the blog. This way my pics will be bigger, but all the fun crap gets pushed to the bottom. Not sure how I feel about that.

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