Friday, March 30, 2012

Fabulous March

Seriously you guys, where the hell did this month go?  I think someone is secretly taking days out of the calendar and hoping no one notices.  It's like some sinister plot to make me get older.  Dislike.  

That aside, a couple highlights from this apparently short month:

New. Favorite. Website.  Love this place.  I started noticing that a lot of my beauty pins on Pinterest were all from this website, so I decided to check out the site.  It has everything including fantastic tutorials for hair and make up.  Add in the fantastic Lauren Conrad and I am hooked-with-a-capital-H.

Swiffer Sweeper

Is it really sad that one of my favorite things about this month is a cleaning supply?  Lordy, how my life has changed.  Regardless, this thing is the shiznit.  Hardwood floors + cat = clumps of fur.  Huge clumps.  Everywhere.  MiniWinstons were too much for our normal Swiffer to handle, so I would use the Swiffer, and then have to pull out the vacuum cleaner to get the corners or the gaps in the floor.  Not anymore, my friends.  Now I pop on a cloth and a get my Swiffer on. Multi-tasking FTW.    It is so much easier then carrying around my big bulky vacuum from room to room, and it isn't as difficult to empty either.  The topper is Winston only hides under the bed for about 2 hours instead of his normal 5-24 hours when I would break out the vacuum.  

Warmer Weather

I don't know what weather forecast Punxsutawney Phil was looking at, but dude was wrong-- spring has sprung in Philadelphia.  The weather has been flirting with temps in the 70s (and even 80s) for most of the month.   With all this beautiful weather, we've really gotten use out of our stroller by taking Hunter out every chance we can get!

*sniff sniff*  is that bbq I smell?

Once Upon a Time

Are you guys watching this show?  JEGs and I love it.  The world stops at 8:00 on Sundays as far as I am concerned.   I love how the writers created a world where all fairy tale characters know each other and interact.  Can I get a 'woman power' for Snow White?  This chick isn't just sweeping floors in the dwarf's cottage; oh no, this bad-ass chick is living off the land and looking for revenge.  Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/ Mary-Margaret?  Perfection.  Lana Parrilla as Regina?  Even better.  

Normally I would give March the heave-ho and say April bring May flowers... however I believe the May flowers are already here!

Always & Forever,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nursery Re-do

Soooo I switched things around in the nursery.

I know, I know, you guys are tired of me constantly messing with this room, but I see it like this;  most people have nine months to prepare a nursery.  I had four, which means I got five months postpartum to mess around with it.  And dammit, I'm milking that as long as I can, he he.  

So anyway, the room just wasn't working for me.  It didn't feel cozy, and something was just not right about it.

I was called out  when someone noticed that in this post the wall decal was over the dresser.  One Sunday afternoon I had the place to myself and I decided to switch the room around

Mind-blowing, right?  I literally moved three pieces of furniture.  Someone submit me for a YHL Reader Redo.  

Sarcasm aside, I am much happier with this set up for a couple reasons.  And I shall list them in bullet form for your convenience (you know, in case you want to refer back to this post for the open book test.  Oh yes, there will be a test):
  1. In the old set up, the diaper pail and clothes hamper was right next to the closet and it made it difficult to open the closet door.  Also, we didn't have a space for a trash can for wipes, so we just had a plastic bag hanging from the door of the closet.  Super classy.  Now everything is tucked away: the diaper pail and trash can are on the back wall by the dresser, and the hamper is behind the door.
  2. We don't have one of those fancy schmancy video monitors, so if we ever wanted to check in on him while he was sleeping, we had to open the door all the way and walk into the room.  The 90-year-old hinges on the door tend to creak when it is opened and sometimes it would wake him up.  Now we can crack the door open a teeny bit and just peek in.  
  3. Although it was nice to look out the window while nursing, the placement of the chair was horrible.  It was so close to the radiator, when I would rock, the legs of the chair would rub against the radiator.  Also, if he spit up, it would be all over the radiator.  Heated spit up is NOT a good smell.  I can still see out the window, but now it is of my neighbor's roof.  I think I'll start leaving a magazine for myself.
I did make some other slight changes as well.  First and foremost, I replaced those hideous neon green leaves with leaves that actually fit my color scheme.  I contacted the seller and explained the situation, and she was very kind to cut new leaves for $10 shipped.  I ripped off the old ones and added the new  leaves in about 20 minutes.  

I added some new art as well.  JEGs' Aunt Marlene (who also sewed the pillow on the chair) gifted us a cute drawing of a woodland scene and the monster's name.  We hung it on the wall next to the dresser and flipped the collage frame to fit underneath.

The original art above the dresser was way too small for that area, especially now that the crib was one this wall.  I also needed something to really help define the theme for the room.  After scouring Etsy, I found a set of prints that matched the SkipHop Treetop Friends set, that I had used as my inspiration in the original moodboard.  I ORB'd a set of $2 frames I had picked up at a yard sale, and hung them.  I really love them and I love that I have moved from 'owls' to more of a 'woodland/owl' theme.

In my revamping of the room, I added a mobile.  Originally, I wanted nothing to do with mobiles because I had read that they were too distracting and kept the baby awake.  Well, since the monster is an awesome sleeper, I am not worried about that anymore.  I decided to add one because if I need to set him in the crib to put away laundry or even blow my nose, it is nice to have something to entertain him.

I had wanted to DIY a paint chip mobile from Pinterest, but it wasn't coming out the way I wanted it.  After fighting with it for weeks, I found a mobile in Babies R Us.  The colors were perfect, I loved the stripes and polka dots and there was an owl and hedgehog  that matched the wood lands pictures I had just hung.  I am not sure in what ecosystem a giraffe is chillin' with an owl and hedgehog (two of them, no less) but whatever.  I'm not being picky.

I tried taking this picture 15 times, and I couldn't get them to face forward.  They must be camera shy.

Ok, so I swear I am done for a little bit.  I confess, I want to add a new rug and one day build a cover for the radiator, but I am good for now.  Time to move on to some other rooms in the house.

Always & Forever,

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pinterest FAIL

I never really know what kind of art is appropriate for bathrooms:  fancy toilets?  Words?   Scenic views?  I am clueless.  But I wanted something to fill the blank spot above our toilet and of course I wanted to do it on the cheap.

Like so many other people in blogworld, I stumbled upon this simple puffy paint art project.  

I loved the simplicity of it, and I didn't want to have anything too busy in that room.  I had a couple canvases hanging around from forgotten projects, so I decided to give this a go.  

Again, I was stuck with the problem of  'what design goes in a bathroom?'  ( I know, my life is so rough).  I wanted something that didn't have a crap ton of detail.  I finally decided on a water lily for it's simple, curved lines.  I found a picture, made an outline in Photoshop, blew it up a gazillion times and printed it out in sections

Using the same method I used here, I transferred the image on to an 11x8 canvas and outlined it in puffy paint.

Looking back, this is where I should have called it a day.  However, Allison from Half of VAMH mentioned her version might have looked better with paint and a roller.  I wanted a pop of color, so I decided to give it a try.  I snagged a $3 sample of Valspar's Betsy Ross House Blue and rolled over the puffy paint.

This is what I got:

Snoozefest Twenty Twelve.  It's basically a blue square.

I lived with it for a couple weeks and tried to convince myself it was everything I wanted and more.  It was not.   In an attempt to 'fix' it, I went over the outline one more time with a light coat of white paint to make it pop

I still don't love it, but I'm going to get my $3 of paint out of it.  Consider it a place holder until I figure out what to put in this spot.

How about you?  Have you attempted something from Pinterest that was a big fail?  Or even better, care to share some of your successes?

Always & Forever,

Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

For each holiday, I try to bring in a festive baked good for my coworkers (or "the troops" as I call them). This year I searching around for something easy and different then the same-old-Bailey's-and-cake or Irish Potato routine.  

When I stumbled upon this recipe, it was perfect because A. it was a cupcake (my favorite) B. it had whiskey (what is more Irish then whiskey?) and C. there was coffee involved (which is a necessity in my line of work).

Irish Coffee Cupcakes


  • For The Cupcakes

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup boiling water
    • 2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
    • 1/4 cup whole milk
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
  • For The Frosting

    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
    • 1 tablespoon whiskey
    • Instant-espresso powder, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cupcakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour water over espresso powder; let cool. Combine espresso with milk. Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with espresso-milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour (batter may look broken).
  2. Fill 15 cups (of two 12-cup muffin tins) three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool; turn out cupcakes from tins.
  3. Make the frosting: Whisk together cream and confectioners' sugar until medium peaks form. Add whiskey; whisk until slightly stiff peaks form.
  4. Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons frosting; dust with espresso powder.
  5. Attempt to share.  Or keep them all for yourself.  Not that I plan on doing that (I totally want to)
Happy St. Patricks Day!

Always & Forever,

Monday, March 12, 2012

Still Alive

Hey guys, I am still alive.  I know I haven't been around much, but I have been dealing with some personal issues as well as my usual February sit-on-my-ass-and-don't-do-anything-ness.   We've also been dealing with this:

Teething.  Argh.

The good news is the weather has turned to spring early in the Philadelphia area, and I am SO READY to start on my house projects.  Including the one I am working on right now

this is taken at my office, hence the nasty floors and mismatched furniture
...curtains for the kitchen.  That's right crazy neon green, your days are numbered.  Mwa ha ha .

What have you been up to lately?  Are you feeling the need to spruce things up now that the weather is turning warmer?

Always & Forever,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hunter: Five Months

Holy hell, do I hate teething.  My sweet, precious little boy can turn into a screaming monster at any moment.  But it's cool, we shove a teething ring in your mouth and you are good. to. go.

Mornings have become quieter around the house because you don't wake up crying anymore.  Most of the time Daddy or I will walk in to you cooing and kicking in your sleep sack.  You are taking an interest in your toys now, and in all honesty, we don't have to entertain you nearly as much as we used to.  We introduced you to your Bumbo this month and you LOVE sitting up.  In fact, I think we might have to retire the play mat soon because it's not keeping your attention like it used to.

You haven't quite rolled over yet, but you are getting so close.  You do roll onto your side a lot, especially during diaper changes.

Your hand/eye coordination has exploded this month.  Not only are you grabbing things and passing them from hand to hand, but you are also putting things in your mouth on purpose.  Basically, you are a g.d. genius, Gump.

The down side to this is you try to put everything your mouth, including (and not limited to): your hands, all toys, your swing, a door knob, the back of the rocking chair, burp clothes, bibs and my nose.  The other day I was trying to have a snack at the desk while holding you and you grabbed the butter knife.  No sooner has I taken that out of your hand, you snatched up a pen.  I am realizing how un-baby proofed our house is.

At your doctor's appointment last month you weighed in at 15 lbs 5 oz and 27 inches long.  Twenty-seven friggin inches.  Do you realize that is the size of most 6-month olds??  And this is when you were 4 months!  I'm not sure what your stats are this month, but I'm pretty sure you are cresting the 17 pound mark and I tried to put you in a 6 month sleeper and you couldn't straighten your legs.

Love you so much, Bubbers

Always & Forever,