Friday, July 29, 2011

What Will He Remember?

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what kind of home I want to raise Ethan and future kids in. I'm not talking about the structure (because really, what does that matter?), but more about the atmosphere. When you think back on your childhood there's a certain feeling you get inside. Was it warm and loving, loud and busy, chaotic or structured, messy or clean?

I want Ethan to look back and remember eating family dinners together, everything being clean and organized, and growing up in a calm, loving atmosphere filled with family activities. Making that a reality is a big task though. It is going to take thought, planning, and some changing on me and my husbands part.

I know it doesn't bother him at less than one year of age, but I feel like this is my time to get my crap together so to speak. He already smiles when he sees Michael and I kiss or hug each other and shows concern if we are having a heated discussion. So I know it's time to start paying more attention to some of the things we do (or don't do) around here.

We are by no means living in chaos or without family values or direction, but I feel that we could do better. We need to focus on family dinners being more regular, some conversations between my husband and I should be kept behind closed doors, our faith needs to be more apparent in the household, and I should probably stop cursing.

It all sounds great in my head and I knew these were things I wanted for my children before we even had Ethan, but now it's time to focus on how we are going to get there.

I'm aware that this is a post without resolve, but it's just a way of showing where I am at in my thoughts. I'm sure there will be more to come on this matter soon. I hope at least it was thought provoking. What are some things that you and your husband do to make sure your family values are clear to your children?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Boil the Perfect Egg and Make Egg Salad

Growing up, my sister and I spent a lot of time over at my grandmothers (or Nini's as we would say) and one of my favorite lunches she would make for us was Egg Salad. It was one of the first recipes I asked my mom for and I love to make it from time to time.

Here are the ingredients you need to get started:

6 eggs (preferably close to the expiration date)
3 Tablespoons pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 Tablespoon mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons chopped olives

Now, I've always felt that one of the hardest things to do is boil an egg. It sounds simple, but a boiled egg can go wrong in numerous ways. Don't worry though, I finally found the perfect method and it never fails!

Place your eggs in a sauce pan and cover with cold water about an inch over top of eggs. Bring to a brisk simmer over medium high heat. As soon as it reaches a brisk simmer you need to start timing. 8 minutes is all it takes for a hard boiled egg. You have to keep an eye on the pot (pretty eggs don't come easy!) and make sure it stays at a brisk simmer, not a boil.

While your eggs are simmering go ahead and get your dressing mixed together. Just dump everything in and combine with a whisk!

Once the time is up dump out the hot water and run cold water over them until they are cool enough to handle.

I'm sure you were wondering why you needed almost expired eggs. Well, it makes them easier to peel! The older they are the less attached they are to the shell so you don't get that troublesome egg that falls apart as you are peeling.

Do you have an egg slicer? You should. It's the bomb! I'm pretty sure I stole this one from my mom, but you can purchase one through pampered chef. Okay cross your fingers, it's time to see if you have a pretty egg!

Look at that gorgeous yellow yolk! It's not gray, it's not rubbery. It's perfectly yellow and fluffy! See it works!

Now slice them all up (I slice one way on the egg slicer then flip it and slice the other). If you don't have an egg slicer just chop them up.

Add them to your dressing and mix again gently with your whisk. Ta-Da! Egg Salad.

Put it on some bread and you have a nice little sandwich. Or go ahead and eat it with a spoon. I won't tell.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I'm Loving At the Moment

I've been busy, busy, busy lately, but I thought I'd stop for a moment and share with you a little bit of what I've been up to and the changes I've been making around here with some of my favorite products.

Now that I'm back to a good weight, I've decided it's time to do a little mommy makeover. Besides the obvious of trying to dress a little nicer (aka not wear yoga pants everyday) I've also decided to paint my nails.

I've never gotten into nail polish on my finger nails. It's always looked weird to me, but here lately I've been loving it! They chip every single freaking day, BUT I am making it my mission to repaint them every night as a little treat to myself.

My current favorite color is OPI Red My Fortune Cookie from the Hong Kong collection.

I am a loyal OPI user. It's the only nail polish that doesn't leave my nails with those funky little bubbles. OPI goes on smooth every time for me! Yay!

I'm also in the middle of giving the front of our home a little face lift. One of my projects included buying a bench. I got a steal of a deal on one at World Market and purchased a not so cute bench pad that I am immediately going to recover.

I happened upon and am in LOVE! Soooooo many fabric choices! Now I need to pick something and order it. I'm thinking about going with a yellow and gray color scheme for the bench since those colors will blend nicely with the blue gray shutters.

Dwell Studio Indoor/Outdoor Fretscene Canary

And finally, probably the biggest and most time consuming thing I'm doing right now is getting organized. I purchased my Erin Condren life planner yesterday with an awesome deal from plum district. Check out my facebook page for more info.

2011-12 life planner -candy lace

Now that Ethan is a little older, I've decided it's time to really get things back in shape around here. I'll be sure to do a full post on all my reorganization once I have everything complete!

P.S. I've gotten really behind on my blog reading, but will hopefully get caught up soon! Please forgive me!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Balance is Key

I know this sounds odd to say, but I'm glad this weekend is over. It was crazy busy, nothing went according to plan, and both my children (Ethan and the dog) were driving me nutso. So, I'm glad it's Monday and things can get back on an orderly schedule around here.

Lately I have been full  (like over the top full) of creativity which is awesome! The only bad thing is that I'm the type of person where when I have an idea pop into my must be done immediately or it's gone forever or I might automatically combust.

Unfortunately this many ideas lead to a thousand and one errands, a very messy house and half finished projects laying around everywhere. I'm feeling productive though and at the moment, that's what matters most.

This is my first really creative moment as a mom though and I'm finding out it's not as easy as it once was. I can't just hop in my car when the mood strikes me and head out to the craft store and then go visit 5 other stores because the first ones didn't have the exact thing I wanted. It all takes separate days.

I've also found I can't be good at everything all at once. If I'm creative the house looks like a disaster zone. If I have a super clean house then nothing else got done. Life is definitely a balancing act these days.

Although I still have a thousand and one fun projects I want to do. It's getting put on hold this Monday so I can get our home life back in order. Today I'll be yoga pant wearing house keeper and cook. Tomorrow maybe I'll go back to feeding my creative bug because's fun and I really don't want it to go away!

Happy Monday Ya'll!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Simple Things

As adults, we are busy with so many things. Work, children, chores, budgets, parties, you name it we are busy with it and sometimes we are trying so hard to keep things together that we overlook the simple things in life. Having Ethan has of course made my life busier than ever, but he has also forced me to stop, slow down and take moments to appreciate the simple things in life.

Everything in his life is new and full of wonder. He is constantly discovering new things, especially now that he is on the move.

Figuring things out on your own is always satisfying.

Warm clothes from the dryer make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Fruit is sweet and best eaten first.

Possibilities are endless when you open a pantry door. 

Clapping is fun and makes people happy.

A dog can be your best friend and playmate.

A gush of wind through the hair always brings a smile to the face.

It's always fun to have and do things you think you aren't suppose to have and do.

Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to get out of a funk.

Going fast is exciting.

Singing and dancing makes you happy.

Sometimes the simple things that make you smile at 9 months...still make you smile many years later.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Eat Breakfast Outside

1. You might forget that you left the highchair and breakfast plates outside because someone figured out how to stand in their highchair and threw a temper tantrum because you wouldn't let them and had to be taken immediately inside and put down for a nap.

Of course I took a picture. Mixed message? Maybe.

2. You might not remember all these items until lunch time when again screamfest has ensued because you failed to pay close attention to the clock.

3. You might find that a hundred million ants have overtaken afore mentioned items. (This is only a slight exaggeration.)

4. You might have to bring out a dish towel to swat off as many ants as possible so you can bring the items inside and continue the blood bath in the sink.

5. You might find that the high chair doesn't like being left in 100 degree heat and the parts have become loose when you drag it in and a piece that holds the tray on might snap off.

6. You might have to attempt to put said high chair back together while a panicky baby tries to get your attention anyway he can.

7. You might get everything put back together then find the missing spring that makes it all work and also requires you to take everything apart again.

8. You might notice halfway through lunch that ants are now crawling in your sons hair which you immediately kill.

9. You might look down and find that ants are now crawling all over your kitchen floor.

10. You might call your husband to complain and he might tell you that it's okay....the ants just wanted to come in and play with the 20 flies that annoy the crap out of you all day long.

That's right ants. Come join the flies. Mama's got a little something, something waiting for you....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ethan's Bathroom Reveal

When we moved into this home, I was 3 months pregnant and not in the shape to be any home improvements. So to be honest, the only room we've completely done is Ethan's nursery.

Until now.

Ethan's bathroom certainly shouldn't have been the priority re-do in this house, but while I was walking around Target killing time I found a shower curtain that inspired I went with it.

Inspirational shower curtain from Target $19.99

I wanted to do something fun, but not too over the top kiddie since it is still a guest bathroom after all. I also wanted it to be cheap because it is a kids bath and will probably  be switched up in a couple years anyways as he grows.

Here's what the guest bath looked like before. And yes, there was a shower curtain (white) but I had already taken it down before I snapped these pics and was too lazy to put it back up.

Pretty basic...classic blue and white theme.

Cheap, ugly and badly placed towel bars.

Now for all the details....

I bought a white shelf at Hobby Lobby for $20 but it was a little plain for my taste. After considering some more costly options, I remembered we had a piece of bead board left over from a previous project.

I bought some trim at Lowes for $3 and the colorful knobs at Hobby Lobby for $2 a piece and used a leftover can of white spray paint and my husbands crafty skills to get this idea together.

I have to thank Etsy for inspiration when it comes to everything on top of the shelf. I wish I could have bought exactly what I saw, but I couldn't fork over $40 for a tissue cover box or $20 a pop for prints. So DIY I went.

The whale tissue box was an adventure for sure. I won't lie, this was a pain in the backside and I'm still not completely 100% happy with it, but for will do. After several previous attempts we decided to use yet some more left over bead board to make the whale body (we used the opposite side). I used foam board to make the tail, multiple coats of white primer and light blue spray paint then slapped a mouth and eyes on it with a paint brush to finish it off.

Ta-Da...whale tissue box complete with blow hole. Cost: total of $6 for spray paint and foam board.

Next I needed some prints. I found some awesome ones on Etsy but just couldn't fork over the money so I hit up Microsoft Word and created my own version. Not as pretty but works just as well and was FREE minus the total cost of $4 for BOTH frames from Hobby Lobby.


I used dots to help carry out the theme of the shower curtain. The bottom of the shower curtain picture is cut off due to the toilet but there are large dots at the bottom. The prints helped bring in some additional colors of navy, yellow and orange as well which I used on the knobs as well as on the counter top decor.

I found these clear canisters at Target the large was $7 and the small was $4. I used left over scrapbook paper from Ethan's birthday party stuff to make them a little more cheerful and help bring in some more of the yellow and orange. I labeled them to continue the "instructional" theme from the Etsy inspired prints.

As for the hand towels, I purchased a 4 pack of navy cloth napkins at Target for $7 and bought orange, yellow, blue and green ric rac at Jo Ann's. I borrowed my mom's sewing machine (and help) to get these together. I love how the ric rac mimics the waves of the shower curtain.

Finally I added some sweet bath pics of Ethan to the room to truly make it his. I bought these frames at Michael's for a total of $15 and spray painted them navy with leftover spray paint from previous nursery projects to help tie them into the rest of the room.

As for the paint color (and yes, we did's a lighter blue not that you can tell from the pictures) I got Valspar paint from Lowes in Ice Rink Blue for $30. The total room cost ended up being a little under $130.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Project 52: Weeks 27 & 28

I really need photo editing software...

Thoughts? Suggestions?

I'll take 'em!

Week 27: City Building

Week 28: Farmer's Market Flowers

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mommy Time Review in Pictures

I'm proud to say that mommy time has been extremely productive. Yesterday I cut, printed, and glued my little heart out. I can now say I have 1 out of the 5 million projects done for E's first birthday (only 3 months away). I know. I'm nuts. Here's a glimpse at his birthday banner.

I cursed myself for not buying a regular hole punch today. I bought this fancy Martha Stewart one which unfortunately for my fingers requires the use of a hammer. Have I mentioned I don't have very good aim? Let's just say you need a lot of rage to make a hole with this thing.

My husband arrived home with the oh so romantic single long stem rose. I feel bad, but I always immediately chop off most of the stem so I can get it to fit in a vase. Anyone else? Maybe I need to find a different vase...

I got all dolled up for date night in another sale dress from the Loft. We headed out to a local Greek restaurant. It was amazing. We actually got to have a conversation and taste our food! Sorry E. Sometimes you aren't the best table guest.

I can't have a big meal without ending with dessert so me and the hubby made a late night run to Publix to pick up two delicious slices of dulce de leche cake. MMM....I wish we had bought the whole thing!

We would have gotten excellent sleep, but the fur child kept us (mostly me) up all night running around our room looking under furniture for God knows what.

This unfortunately continued into this morning as she decided whatever it "was/is" made it's way under the oven.

Thankfully it's gone or she's just too tuckered out one to keep hunting it down. I on the other hand am highly disturbed that we still don't know what this mysterious thing is!

Michael and I enjoyed a quiet breakfast of cinnamon rolls and homemade iced mochas (thanks to Sherri Lynn for this recipe) before heading out for our second the eye doctor.

Yes, we had a shared appointment.

It ended up being quite fun although I felt a little silly. When we made the appointment 2 months ago I thought we would have E with us so I requested we have our appointment at the same time.

Oh well.

Now I am more than ready to go see my little guy. So I'm off to my moms with another project in tow. I'm hoping to get these hand towels for E's bathroom knocked out today and then enjoy some pool time.

I feel like a new woman!

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