Pumpkin Everything!!

I can’t believe Halloween is LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!! I am so excited to trick or treat! Tonight is our annual pumpkin carving party. I’ll have that blog post up for you in the next few days. In the meantime, I have some pumpkin pictures for you! Turner has the cutest festive outfits, including his BOO U sweatshirt and Great Pumpkin shirt (both from The Gap). Here are some photos. Many more to come!



Not only does he dress the part, but he eats the part! I got these Halloween pancake molds from Williams Sonoma a few years back. Stew and I always eat Halloween shaped pancakes the weekend before Halloween. This year was no exception! The only difference was they were healthy! I used this recipe.


Stay tuned for more Halloween fun!

Baby Shower!!!

NOT MINE! Geesh, you scared me! My lovely friend, Cara, is pregnant! Cara, Kelly, and I became very good friends in our Hypnobabies class. Hey, you get close when you talk about giving birth for hours on end! Our due dates were all around the same time, so we bonded instantly. Cara’s baby girl was born last September. Kelly and I had our boys a day apart last November! So, needless to say, we’ve shared a lot of laughs, cries, and poopy diapers.

Since we didn’t know each other until later on in our pregnancies, we never got to share a baby shower together! So, I decided to throw one for Cara. I invited some of her friends over to my house. Her mom was in town too, which worked out perfectly! Actually, because of that, Kelly and I invited our moms too! It helped with baby care, that’s for sure! It was such a fun night filled with food, laughs, more poopy diapers, and even a few tears (babies, not us).

Cara is having a boy and is planning on doing a nautical theme for the nursery. I stayed true to the theme with my decorations! I made a Sail Baby Sail sign and framed it for the table.
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Since it was the afternoon, I wanted a light menu. I made a variety of tea sandwiches:
* BLT Bites
* Opened Face Caprese Sandwiches
* Herbed Cream Cheese & Cucumber Bites
* Veggies & Dip (courtesy of Cara’s mom)
* Fig Tart (courtesy of my mom)
* Lemon Curd Cake (courtesy of my mom)
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For the drinks, I did mason jars with name tags in blue tied around each glass. I also found the cutest blue and white striped paper straws to go with the nautical theme. I kept the drinks simple too:

* Citrus & Cucumber Water (2 oranges, 1 lime, 1 cucumber sliced)
* Passion Fruit Iced Tea (Tazo)
* Peach Iced Tea (Charleston Tea Plantation)
* Mint, Lemons, Simple Syrup to garnish

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Finally, I made a banner because everything I saw was so cheesy. It was super easy:

1. Print block letters for Sawyer’s name.
2. Trace circles to go behind the letters (make sure circle is big enough for EVERY letter) on thick tan paper and cut them out.
3. Use Mod Podge to paint glue on circle. Stick letter on and paint Mod Podge over whole circle (on top of newspaper). Let dry.
4. Trace triangles onto scrapbook paper that will go behind each circle. Paint Mod Podge on the triangle, stick circle on it and paint Mod Podge over entire triangle. Let dry.
5. Punch holes on either end of the triangles.
6. Weave yarn through holes and hang!

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I made sailboat sugar cookies (recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook) decorated with icing for the favors. I actually made the dough last week and kept it wrapped in saran in the fridge. I baked and decorated them on Friday and put them in their bags on Saturday.
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It was such a low key afternoon. The babies got to have their first play date in a long time! It’s amazing how much they’ve grown! It’s awesome to see all the different stages they’re at each time we get together.
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And we just HAD to get a picture of the three of us and one with our moms!
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It was such a fun shower. I enjoyed every second with great friends and family! Can’t wait to meet Baby Sawyer!

Tapas & Sangria Supper

We have a group of four couples that get together once a month for Supper Club. We have been getting together for almost two years, come hell or high water! Each month, we meet at the “host couple’s” house. They pick the theme and the entree. The other couples are responsible for drinks, a side dish, and dessert.

This month was at our house. Our theme was Tapas & Sangria. This was our post-cinco-de-mayo festival. John & Kirsten, who sadly couldn’t come due to a sick bambino, dropped off  drinks (Sangria & Mexican Beer), Missy and Jody brought dessert (Guava & Cream Cheese Empanadas) and Annie and Jeremy brought the side dish (Mini Salads in Parmesan Cups) Stew and I thought Tapas would be easy, but they turned out to be A LOT of work. It was definitely worth it! Lots of pictures coming up…

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Bedroom Wall Makeover

Last weekend was the Weekend of Projects. Our walls were in desperate need of a facelift! I’ve been on pinterest, looking for art ideas. It just gets so expensive to buy frames to cover the wall! So, I decided to paint stripes on one wall as an accent. Our walls are Pink Chocolate, which I love. So, I wanted to go with a light pink for the stripes. Valspar has this new line of colors at Lowes. I saw the Apricot Ice, and knew it was the one! So, over the weekend, Stew and I taped the wall. I wanted 6 inch horizontal stripes, starting at the ceiling. I measured 6 inches from the ceiling, made a pencil mark on each end, and taped below the marks. Then, for the stripe under that, I measured 6 inches from the TOP of the tape (where the pencil marks were), made pencil marks, and taped ABOVE the marks. I did this down the whole wall. That way, I knew to paint every other section going down the wall. We used a 4 foot level too. It ended up not being that helpful because our walls weren’t level, go figure! Taping took the most time. Once that was finished, I did two quick coats of paint and slowly took the tape off. It made a HUGE difference!
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Supplies:
painter’s tape
drop cloth
paint tray
brush (for edging)
level
pencil
ruler
paint roller
Apricot Ice paint

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Dresser Update

Everyone has this dresser! It’s either sitting in your parents’ house, or it’s in your house because they don’t want it anymore!dresser I have a set in my bedroom at my dad’s house. I do love them because they remind me of my childhood, but they definitely don’t match my decor!

This baby has been sitting in our closet for 3 years. We keep it because we need the storage! It never dawned on me to repaint it, because it has that thick shiny surface that nothing sticks to…until now! This primer is a miracle. You don’t even need to sand the piece you’re painting! It truly sticks to any surface! Once I discovered it, I went back to the store and bought their whole supply! This is what I did:
1. Lay drop cloth down on bathroom garage floor.
2. Remove all handles and throw away because they’re terrible
3. Place all drawers face up on the drop cloth.
4. Spray with primer and let dry (It took 1 1/2 cans for this piece)
5. Choose two colors of spray paint. This is what I used (primer on left and cream and gray paint on the right)IMG_1146
6. Spray entire dresser with base color (I used gray) and let dry.
7. Tape the dresser if you want a design. I chose to do stripes on the sides and top.
8. Spray with top color (I used a cream color).
9. Pull off tape.
10. Replace draw handles (make sure to measure!!).
11. Admire you’re amazing work!
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It’s missing a few handles. They only had one pack at Target, and I needed two! For an added touch, I found bins at Target that fit PERFECTLY into my top drawer. This helps everything stay in its place and look organized. Note** You don’t need to organize your underwear by color, I’m just a bit obsessive! :o)IMG_1145Supply List:
1. 2 cans Majic All Purpose Enamel Spray Primer-Found at Tractor Supply
2. 2 cans of spray paint (1 of each color you choose)
3. Drawer handles (make sure to measure from hole to hole)
4. Painter’s tape
5. Drop cloth
6. Bins to organize drawer (optional)
7. Face mask (this stuff stinks!)

Coffee Nook

One of our projects over the weekend was creating a coffee nook in the kitchen. We found this old piece at a consignment furniture store. It looked so beat up, but I had a vision. We used our amazing Majic Spray Paint Primer that sticks to ANYTHING. Then, we used 1 1/2 cans  of Valspar La Fonda Mirage Spray Paint. Once it dried, we took it in and set up all of our goodies! Slide1Here’s a close up of JUST the coffee bar, so you can get a good view.IMG_0801I am so excited to wake up and drink my coffee every morning! It’s amazing how simple and inexpensive changes can make such a huge difference!

 

 

 

Nesting Much???

Oh my word, I’m usually an organized person, but I’ve taken it to a whole new level lately. I’ve been in full on organize everything in my house/life/computer/office mode! I never really had the nesting instinct when I was pregnant, probably because I’m nesting every day of my life, but I would imagine this is what it feels like! I am determined to go through every single room in my house and have a basket/bin/jar/label for every single thing (hence my Target trip)!

This weekend, Stew and I went on a major organization/remodel spree! We painted the front porch floor, the fireplace, my dresser, a wall in our room, a kitchen hutch, a night table, and installed window trim and chair rail in 2 days! It started when I found this incredible primer spray paint at Tractor Supply that sticks to EVERYTHING (on left).IMG_1146 I’m not joking. It has changed my life forever. It literally takes 5 minutes to prime a piece of furniture! I am so excited to share all of my projects! I took pictures of everything. It’s just a matter of getting them up. Look forward to some home improvement posts in the next few days!

THE NURSERY!!

Finally, after all these months of doing little projects here and there, we’ve put the nursery together! Turner’s clothes are washed, his bed is made, his pictures are hung, and his library is all set! Now all we need is Turner :0)

Nursery Time…

I can’t believe that I only have 3 1/2 months until Turner arrives! It seems long, but I’m sure time will fly, especially as the holiday season approaches. I realized when I looked back at my pinterest board for nursery ideas, that I was mainly pinning pictures of girly nurseries!! OOPS. So I’ve been doing my research over the past few weeks/months on boy nursery ideas. I know for sure that the bedding I’m getting is the jungle friends theme at Pottery Barn Kids. I’m not, however, into the flying monkey painting on the wall!  My original nursery obsession was the photo below, but obviously I’d switch out the pink color for blues and greens! So I’m planning on doing neutral walls with big white crown moulding and window trim (similar to the photo below). Now, no matter what the room ends up looking like, I KNOW I need organization. I came across some cute organization ideas at Thebump.com. I love this idea of putting a thin storage container under the crib. That’s actually what I use under my bed for my shoes! Another idea I will use is putting small baskets in the drawers of my changing table/dresser. I will have to measure the drawers and get some baskets in different sizes to fit different things-onesies, bibs, socks, hats, etc. I’m so excited to get things organized and in place! I already have the furniture (except for my newco glider from Babies R Us), rug, walls painted, and moulding up. I still need to set everything where I want it and hang wall art. I also want to buy a bookshelf to showcase all of Turner’s books! It’s all so fun and exciting. His nursery will be so cozy! I can’t wait until HE’S actually in it!

Cake Pop Placecards

My husband and I have some friends who get together once a month for a supper club. The couple who hosts is responsible for the main dish and the theme. We have such a blast getting together with each other! Stew and I were the hosts this month. Our theme was “Cupid’s Calling” for Valentine’s Day. With a little help from Pinterest, I planned the most romantic Valentine’s supper! Our main course was pork tenderloin with a balsamic glaze served with whipped potatoes. Each couple brings either a side, dessert, or drink. This makes it less stressful for the host!

In my searching, I came across cake pop place cards. Now, I LOVE cake pops! They’re so fun because you can use them for anything! I made them for halloween and shaped them into ghosts. They’re super easy, and once you have a basic recipe, you can turn them into whatever you want. So I make a batch of the cake balls and freeze what I don’t use. Just take them out to sit at room temperature when it’s time to decorate! I start with a basic chocolate box cake recipe and bake the cake according to the package instructions. Then, let the cake cool, cut into chunks, and mix with 1/4 cup store bought cream cheese frosting in your standing mixer. You can add more icing if you need a wetter mixture. Remember, you can always add more icing, but you can’t take it out!

Melt about two tablespoons of the white chocolate pieces in the microwave. This will act as the glue for the sticks. Dip one end of the stick into the chocolate and push it into the bottom of the cake ball. Place the pops stick side up so the chocolate can harden. 

Then, spray a large plate with nonstick spray so the chocolate won’t stick to the plate. Melt 1/2 a bag of the white chocolate pieces in a microwave safe bowl for 15 second increments, stirring after each. Add in the food coloring to achieve the darkness of your liking (I use a toothpick so I don’t add too much at once). Dip the chocolate cake into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared plate to dry (If you were making cake pops instead of place cards, you would place the stick into a piece of foam so that they dry sitting upright). 

Once the chocolate hardens, melt about 1/2 cup white chocolate pieces in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each. Spoon into a piping back and use a small round tip to pipe tiny white dots onto the cake pop. Once the chocolate dots harden, place the pops into cellophane bags, stick side up. Punch a whole into the top of each name tag. Tie a piece of ribbon around the top of the bag, looping both ends through the whole in the name tag. Tie a pretty bow and voilà!

Cake Pop Place Cards –

This recipe makes about 45 cake balls, depending on the size. I only used 10 for my place cards and froze the rest.

1 box Chocolate cake mix

1 tbsp instant coffee powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

pop sticks

1 can cream cheese frosting

1 bag white melting chocolates

pink food coloring

10 cellophane bags

ribbon

name tags

Bake the cake according to the package instructions. Then, let the cake cool completely. Cut into large chunks and mix with 1/4 cup store bought cream cheese frosting in your standing mixer. You can add more icing if you need a wetter mixture. Remember, you can always add more icing, but you can’t take it out!

Melt about two tablespoons of the white chocolate pieces in the microwave. This will act as the glue for the sticks. Dip one end of the stick into the chocolate and push it into the bottom of the cake ball. Place the pops stick side up so the chocolate can harden.

Then, spray a large plate with nonstick spray so the chocolate won’t stick to the plate. Melt 1/2 a bag of the white chocolate pieces in a microwave safe bowl for 15 second increments, stirring after each. Add in the food coloring to achieve the darkness of your liking (I use a toothpick so I don’t add too much at once). Dip the chocolate cake into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared plate to dry (If you were making cake pops instead of place cards, you would place the stick into a piece of foam so that they dry sitting upright).

Once the chocolate hardens, melt about 1/2 cup white chocolate pieces in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each. Spoon into a piping back and use a small round tip to pipe tiny white dots onto the cake pop. Once the chocolate dots harden, place the pops into cellophane bags, stick side up. Punch a whole into the top of each name tag. Tie a piece of ribbon around the top of the bag, looping both ends through the whole in the name tag. Tie a pretty bow and voilà! You will have left over sticks, ribbon, and chocolate. But you can use these for the next batch of cake pop place cards!