Monday, April 23, 2012

She will Have a Baby, Then Finish the Nursery!

Amelia Rachel entered this world at 7:48am on Tuesday, April 17th weighing 7 lbs 2 ozs and coming in at 19.5 inches.  We are so excited to add another little girl to our family and feel incredibly blessed that she seems to be very happy and healthy! Below is a pic of beautiful Amelia.
And below is a picture of her proud big sister, Morgan!
We were able to finish up most of the nursery while my parents were in town two weekends before Amelia's arrival, but the finishing touches (mainly, the crib wall) were put on while I was in the hospital.  As I have probably mentioned before, I LOVE bright colors so the walls of Amelia's room are quite bright.  I did get some questions on the color and for the life of me, I cannot find the paint chip and the paint can with the remaining paint has been placed too high for me to get down without some assistance (I forget to ask as I forget most things these days).  I can confirm that we bought Valspar paint and primer in one from Lowe's.  I have found that Lowe's seems to have the best color selection for our purposes. 
As mentioned before, I am not very good at taking pictures and always seem to take them when the light is horrible so I apologize ahead of time for the bad pics.  Above is a pic of the whole room.  Matt finished up the trim and baseboard a couple of weeks ago.  My dad helped Matt paint and install the white closet doors.  We finished them off with some pretty pink knobs my mom and I found at Hobby Lobby.  The rug was originally in Morgan's nursery and really brightens the room up.  I believe it was originally purchased from Babies 'R' Us, but I have seen it at Meijer as well.

Above is a picture of the crib that we have now used for both girls.  I wasn't sure what to put above the crib and knew the wall needed something.  I found these letters at Hobby Lobby for $2 a piece. 

This is a picture of the changing table and bird artwork.  You may remember a previous post regarding the bird artwork done on canvases (below)
Apparently modge podge and I do not get along, so applying the bird bodies to the canvases did not go as planned.  I probably did not use enough modge podge as some of the bird bodies did not stick entirely on to the canvas and I ended up with ripples on some of the bodies as well.  I still had some leftover scrapbook paper, so I created a smaller bird template using the baby blanket we bought from Baby Beulah on Etsy (below) as inspiration.
I found the white frames at Michael's with the mats already included.  I purchased light pink and light blue stock paper to use for the background and went from there.  I actually think the finished product looks even better and more professional than my original design.
As you can imagine, posts will probably be limited over the next couple of weeks as I won't be completing as many projects and I am lucky enough to have family here to help with the cooking.  My goal over the next couple of weeks is to get used to being a mom of two and learn to better manage our growing household!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

She Will Find Her Own Recipes to Try

I made two new and delicious recipes over the past two weeks and I am very proud to say that I found them myself!  I did end up pinning them after I found them, but I do enjoy the satisfaction of starting my own pin chain. 

The first recipe is from one of my favorite blogs to read: Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour

Crock Pot Pot Roast Sliders with Creamy Chipotle Sauce
Degree of Difficulty: 4
Mess Factor: 4
Taste: 7
As I have mentioned before, I really do love crock pot recipes that only require dumping in all of the ingredients, setting the pot to low, and coming back 6-8 hours later.  This is one of those recipes.  The pot roast sauce used a lot of powdered dip and seasoning mixes. 

The sauce was poured over a beef roast, set on high, and after 3-4 hours, I was able to shred the meat with a fork.  Normally I prefer to use the low setting for 6-8 hours, but I didn't get to grocery shopping until later in the day, so I had to go with the faster setting.  In the future I would definitely use the low setting for 6-8 hours instead because I do think the meat would be more tender and easier to shred. 

The real recipe suggests making sliders, but I only had leftover hamburger buns, so we had full sandwiches.  I used the broiler to melt pepper jack cheese on the buns and slathered on the creamy chipotle sauce. 
The end result was pretty tasty.  I used the leftover meat as pot roast with mashed potatoes and carrots for dinner the next night.  The leftover chipotle sauce was mixed with miracle whip and hard boiled eggs to make some tasty egg salad sandwiches!

The next recipe we tried out this week was inspired by a Taco Pie pin I found on Pinterest.  After pinning the picture, I clicked on the link but it didn't go anywhere.  Since I was already in the mood for Mexican, I ended up googling Taco Pie and picked/pinned a new recipe from Pillsbury.  Not only was this recipe really easy, but it was super tasty as well!

Superspeedway Taco Pie 
Degree of Difficulty: 5
Mess Factor: 4
Taste: 8
In order to make this recipe a little healthier I used ground turkey instead of ground beef and I really don't think we lost out on taste.  The first step is to brown the ground turkey, mix in 1/2 cup water, a packet of taco seasoning (low sodium of course), and a small can of sliced olives.

While the meat was browning, a package of crescent rolls was used to make the crust and topped with 1/2 cup of crushed tortilla chips.  The original recipe called for corn chips, but I think the tortilla chips worked just as well for the crunchy texture and didn't add as much salt. 

Once the meat was done cooking, it was added to the crust, topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, and another 1/2 cup of tortilla chips. 

The pie was then placed in a 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  It came out looking and smelling delicous.  We sliced it up, topped it with salsa and devoured our slices pretty quickly!  This has been just as good for leftovers this past week as well. 
This has probably become one of my new favorite recipes and will definitely be added to the rotation.  The Taco Pie is so good, I might even contemplate making this for company and that's not something I take lightly!  Prep time was pretty minimal and it was a great way to get rid of leftover tortilla chips, salsa, and sour cream. 

I'm in my last week of pregnancy, so not exactly sure what this week will bring in terms of getting projects done.  My parents were in town this past Easter weekend and they were a HUGE help in getting Amelia's nursery ready.  We just have a couple of art projects left to finish and hang up, then I will take the final pics and make the final reveal of her room!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

She Will Prepare for Baby's Arrival!

We have less than two weeks until Amelia's arrival and we are so excited!  Well, mostly excited and a LOT of scared.  I'm actually not worried as much about managing two kids but more worried about the lack of sleep we are going to get for the next year.  Morgan is a great sleeper and I'm really hoping we are able to get Amelia on a solid sleep routine by 6 months.  Hey, a girl can dream!

Speaking of sleep and dreaming, we have been working on Amelia's nursery.  The original walls in her room were painted with a football theme, yardlines and Green Bay Packer stickers included.  My adoring husband painted the walls a light green/moss color, but it looked pretty pukey (spelling?).  I picked out another color and this time we ended up with a brighter, light green.  While I liked the color, we both agreed something was off.  All of the trim in our house is the original oak and we had been talking about painting the trim white.  I suggested Matt try out the white trim and baseboards upstairs first, more specifically in Amelia's nursery.  While it took him quite a while (most of his projects do), I think he did an amazing job.  I am sorry I can't find a before picture, but below is one picture of the wall color with the white trim, the baseboard was added later.  Can you tell I love bright colors?
 After all of the baseboard was put up (I promise I will show more pics on a later post), Matt moved the crib and changing table/dresser from Morgan's room into the nursery.  The room looks really bright and clean, but it definitely needs some sprucing up.  We purchased the below blanket (with Amelia's name) on Etsy from Baby Beulah and we LOVE the way it turned out! 

I blew up the bird design so that we could create some matching wall art for Amelia's room.  First I painted four 12x12 canvases, two in light pink and two in light blue.  I then cut out the birds from 4 coordinating pieces of scrapbook paper.

I then painted on legs and beaks.

I still need to modge podge the bird bodies onto the canvases, but the below picture gives you the basic idea of how they will look.

Sorry for the poor picture quality, I took this one with my phone versus my camera and the lighting was not very good.  I think the pictures still need one more thing, but I will probably hang them up this weekend and hope the last finishing details will just come to me.  If you have any suggestions for finishing details, please leave a comment!

Now that Amelia's room is finally coming together, Morgan's room is looking a little bare.  Currently all we have in her room is her big girl twin bed (pic below) and some baskets of books and toys.  I need to work on a dress or something for her, but that is another project to be completed at another time!

I searched long and hard before finding a super bright and fun owl bedding from Target.  This is not the same owl bedding they sell in the stores as it was an online only deal.  Due to the rails, we can only fit the pillow sham but I started on a matching owl pillow long before I realized our comforter dilemma. 

I got the basic body pattern from here, but I added a more detailed and bright applique face because of the owls I saw sold on etsy here.  I have NEVER appliqued before and to be honest, I am not sure I really did this correct, but I had a lot of fun learning and I think the end result is pretty good.
After cutting out the front and back pieces for the body, I hand drew the pattern for the face.  I used a zig zag stitch to attach the whites of the eyes and the small triangle nose.  I am 99% positive this pillow would NOT last one wash!
I then used a zig zag stitch to attach the face onto the front side of the body and added black button eyes.  I was pretty much in major like with this project already but by the time I saw the cute face all put together I fell madly in love!

After sewing the front and back pieces (two different fabrics) together, I ended up with the above pillow.  I still need to get some batting and finish it off, but I am so darn proud of this little owl.  I think it turned out great and I know it will fit into Morgan's room really well.  I wouldn't mind making a bigger one, but it isn't too high on my to do list right now.

Next projects I want to finish up include a small birdhouse mobile for the nursery.  The bird houses are painted, for the most part, but I do want to add some black and white details to the bottom and do some little touch ups.  Still not sure how I will hang them, but I have faith something will come to me! 

I'll try to post again tomorrow as we did try out two new recipes in the past two weeks and they were delicious!  Thanks for the positive feedback and comments!