Monday, June 30, 2014

Pinterest Mondays: Free Printables & a Preview

In honor of the 4th of July this Friday, I've decided to do some great themed posts that are sure to make your holiday week even more festive!

Often, I find myself on Pinterest looking at all the great quotes and prints that people make. I love finding words that inspire me, and actually have a board dedicated to it! I also have many different quotes for different parts of my house pinned to those various boards.

I tend to like to put my own spin on them, or even have a very hard time finding what I want or need for my house and style. That's why I decided to start an Etsy store with designed prints, and will be taking custom orders! I'm in the process of putting the final finishing touches on my prints and Etsy shop, and can't wait to share that with you soon.

Today, I wanted to give you all a little taste of what I'll be doing, with a couple free printables. They are great for decorating for the 4th easily and cheap (just some paper and ink!)

 This print is a great print for changing out in an 8x10 frame, sticking up with some washi tape, or even just sitting out! This will print best on 8.5 x 11 cardstock.  (link to printable PDF)
This mini banner will be adorable on a mantel or strung from twine or ribbon anywhere indoors. ( link to full PDF)

Check out Instagram later today for a picture of my mini banner. Stay tuned, I will be offering more free printables soon and I'd love to hear some feedback on the prints!

How will you be decorating for this 4th of July?

Friday, June 27, 2014

High Five for Friday

This week I will again be linking up with Lauren over at The Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday.

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I've had a great week, and I hope you have, too!

1. Last weekend I threw a surprise 30th birthday party for my husband, and luckily it went off without a hitch! I wish I had more time to take pictures and do tutorials of all the things I made for the party, but time just wasn't on my side. Here's the few photos I did get taken!

Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Icing-Recipe Soon!

2. Today is the first day I'm trying out our cloth diapers, and so far so good. I am going to be supplementing with disposables for a while until I figure out what works best for us, and then finish buying the rest of our stash.

3. I was able to go see my Grandma in the ICU this week, which was great. We haven't always had a great relationship, but I'm so glad I was able to go. She's been doing a lot better the last few days, and I'm so grateful that she has at least a little more time to spend with family.

4. Jay and I have been toying with the idea of moving again, so we went to go see a fixer-upper  with our realtor last night. Fixer-upper was more like total gut or tear down. It was awful! I couldn't even bring the baby in, it smelled so strongly of mold. It's amazing what pictures do not show. Just thinking about it, yuck!

5. I'm getting closer and closer to showing you guys what I've got going on for an Etsy shop! I'm hoping to have a sneak peek this weekend, so stay tuned!

How has your week been going? I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cloth Diapers-My New Momma Obsession

Life around here has been pretty busy, but mostly in the good kind of ways.

Juliet is starting to really get around now, mostly rolling but almost to the point of crawling, which will mean lots of work for this momma! That's ok though, I'm pretty excited about it :)

Lucky for me, she still really likes to bounce, which means I don't have to worry as much about her getting into stuff ALL the time.

Fairly recently, I've decided that since we are just now running out of diapers I had stocked up on and had gotten from our baby shower that I was going to cloth diaper. Juliet and I went to Sprout Soup yesterday for a one on one consultation with Alissa about cloth diapering. She was absolutely amazing! I honestly can't say enough good things about her.

She took the time to answer all my questions, and gave me some really great advice on what diapers would be best for our stash without any pressure whatsoever to buy anything. As a customer, I really appreciate that.

Even if you aren't in the Columbus, OH area, you can still visit their website. They have great prices that are very competitive with other diaper stores  and great customer service even over the internet. She will get right back to you with any questions or concerns right away. She's an awesome resource!

Diaper Detergent
I've also really like the Cotton Babies website for finding diapers and all the different types and brands there are available. They were very fast at shipping and bonus, it was free! I've also signed up to  be notified if there are "irregular" diapers, which will allow you to get perfectly good diapers for cheaper because they may have a mark or irregular seam. I'm looking forward to being contacted about that.

My diaper stash so far. still need a few more but a good start!
P.S. Think you can't afford cloth diapers? They definitely are an investment, but really we are only investing about 4 months worth of diaper budgeting to buy our whole stash. If that's not possible for you, though, there are plenty of diaper grants or evenly gently used diapers that are available. Don't give up if it's something you really want to do, there really is a way!

Any other mommas out there new to the cloth diapering realm? Or are there some veterans that have some advice for us newcomers? I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baked Falafel: Cheap, Easy and Healthy!

Since right now I am blessed to be able to stay at home with Juliet, I have been looking for healthy but inexpensive ways to feed Jay and I. Pinterest (of course!) has been a great help in finding different recipes that I can try, or at least adapt to fit our needs.

One of our favorites so far has been Baked Falafels. With no meat, this meal cuts down on the costs at the grocery store, plus it is super easy to make!

What You Need:

2 Cans Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
3/4 of medium Onion, chopped
1/2 cup Parsley
1/2 cup Cilantro
2 cloves Garlic
Pepper, to taste
Olive Oil
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Cucumber, sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. In a food processor, combine chickpeas, onion, parsley, cilantro, and garlic. I had to do mine in a couple batches because my food processor is so small. If you also need to do this, just simply keep even proportions of the ingredients when you process it.  You may need to shake the processor to get everything blended because it is very thick, but don't add any additional liquid or it won't bake correctly.
3. Pepper the blended mixture and pulse the food processor again.
4. Cover your pan with a light coating of olive oil, even if it is nonstick. Pat mixture into patties, about the size of your palm. Try to make it even thickness throughout the patty as possible.
5. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. The falafels should be browned on both sides when finished. Cooking through the entire falafel isn't completely necessary, because the chickpeas have already been cooked before they were canned.
6. Add your falafels to a warmed pita, some mayo and cucumbers and enjoy!

 What are some of your favorite meals to cook for your family? Let me know below!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pinterest Mondays: Mounted TV and Shelves

First off, we've had a pretty crazy week last week, and I really dropped the ball with posting! For that, I apologize. If you follow on Instagram, you've seen some pictures from the projects I was working on for my husband's surprise 30th birthday party. It took up sooooo much time last week,  and coupled with having a 7 month old, I just didn't find the time to work on the blog. But I'm back! I will be posting regularly. Thanks to all of you for understanding.

On this Pinterest Monday, I am finally able to show you a project that I've been DYING to do for a while now. My husband has wanted to mount our tv for a long time, but I personally hate the way a mounted tv looks with a console, or even nothing, underneath it. 

A while back I had found this picture on Pinterest and thought it was a great compromise! 

 Jay, my husband, finally got on board with it, and was able to do the majority of the work for this project.  Our bedroom and most of the accents to the very bold colors I've chosen for our house have been gray, so that's when I decided to paint the shelves gray. We also decided not to use the chain and hooks, partly because there weren't studs to drill them into, but also to cut down on costs. And honestly? I love the way they turned out without!

We discussed also doing decorative brackets, but it would have cut off space we had for decorations/storage. 

The bottom shelf obviously needs some decorations and storage, and I'm working on it! I will keep you updated on here and on social media as I get the final product done. The main thing with this project was having a place for additional storage and storage bins that could hold baby toys without making it look like a little kid had taken over our house, and I definitely think we accomplished it!

What Pinterest projects are you working on this week? For more projects I've done, or to see what's inspiring me lately, follow me on Pinterest!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Office Inspiration

I don't know about you, but there's something about having a designated place to create that helps get my juices going. Right now, I'm lucky enough that we have an extra bedroom we aren't currently using so my husband told me to use it as an office/studio. It's been a while since we started this project and I hate to say that it's become somewhat of a catch-all room. That's going to change very soon! So I've been trolling Pinterest for some great inspiration and here's what I've found. 

 I love this chair and the inspiration board! I love having things that are inspiring right in my work place.

 I love this idea for someone that doesn't have the space for a whole room to be dedicated to their office space. Right now I do, but I know in the future I want more kids, so I like to be prepared. Such a great space too!

 I'd love to do this in my office space now! We don't have the budget right now, but it would be great to have space for guests to be able to stay when they come, but still have my creative space when it's just us.
 Another great way to put together an inspiration board and I love the lights to add a little pizzazz to the room.

And of course, organization is key or I can easily destroy the room in no time fast. Love that they have quotes above the organizing products to still keep the juices flowing! 

For my of my office/studio inspiration, check out this board on Pinterest! 

What are you necessities for a great workspace? What things distract you? I'd love to hear! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

High Five for Friday

Hey All! Today I'm linking up with Lauren at The Lauren Elizabeth for her High Five for Friday series. So grab a coffee, and let's discuss our week :)

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This week has been full, but then again, when doesn't it feel like that with a little one in tow?

1. My wonderful husband is nearly finished with a great project for our living room! We hung the T.V. and started the shelving to go around it a while ago, but were are finally finishing it off tonight. I'm hoping to get it semi-decorated and have the tutorial on here Monday for Pinterest Mondays!

2. My grandma has been in the hospital at OSU for over a week now, mostly in the ICU. She's doing much better now, although still in the ICU, and they are getting closer to figuring out exactly what is going on with her. The good side is that my mom has been in town, so I've gotten to spend a lot more time with her.

Note how far she made it!
3. My little girl is mobile now! I'm not sure I'm to be proud of this or scared. She rolls all over the place, I literally thought in a moment of panic that she had been abducted yesterday when I walked into the room and she was no longer on her blanket. (I know, I think it's a mom thing. Well, that and a little too much of Law and Order:SVU.) When I saw her by the front door, I laughed at myself for being so ridiculous.

4. I'm in the works on getting my Etsy shop up and running, and I can't wait to share more details with you very soon.

Free Printable!
5. I've been working on meal planning, and although we've been a few days behind now, it's really pushed me to start cooking. I'm so looking forward to sharing some of the great recipes we've loved having over the past few weeks. Click the link above for the great monthly printable!

How has your week gone? I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Baby Picks: Newborn Essentials

So I know there are all kinds of lists out there, especially in the world of Pinterest, and they all have differing opinions on what is needed for a newborn. What I've found is they are usually full of multiple expensive things that a) not every expectant mommy can afford and b) that aren't really necessary to get through life with a little human.

There are a few things I'm especially grateful that we had, however, and definitely made our lives easier!
Boppy Pillow
 The Boppy Pillow has been great, I still use it to nurse my little girl! It's also been nice to have to prop her up on, and also to put around her now that she is sitting up. The only thing I may do different is try the 2 sided nursing pillow next time, because this one tended to slip when she was really tiny.

Solly Baby Wrap
 This wrap was a life saver! My daughter was 6 lb 5 oz at birth, so she was over a pound too light for all the other wraps and carriers that we had or looked into. When I saw Kate from The Small Things Blog have this wrap, I looked into and was pleasantly surprised that even tiny babies could be wrapped in it. She loved it and would promptly fall asleep when I put her in it. I was able to get my hands back while she happily napped against me.
Dr. Browns Bottles
 These bottles are made so that there isn't extra air that is sucked while the baby is eating. They are supposed to be great for breastfeeding babies, too, so that's why I tried them. And we love them! Juliet has had no problems switching back and forth from these bottles to breastfeeding.

Fisher Price Bouncy Seat

This seat was also great, because it has a vibration setting and music you can play for them. The vibration also made Juliet happy, and she often napped in the chair, too. An additional bonus, she loved it when she was able to make it bounce as she got older, so it has really grown with her.

These are the very basics that would have made my life very difficult to be without!  What are your favorite or baby must haves?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pinterest Mondays: Yarn Covered Wine Bottle

I feel like I've had this DIY pinned for so long, and just haven't gotten around to doing it. Can anyone else relate to that? Haha! I love the ones covered in twine, but since the only twine I had on hand was extremely thin, I decided to make my mom a vase with yarn to match their bedroom.

Materials Needed:

  • Wine Bottle (or any glass container to cover) 
  • 1 Skein Yarn or Twine
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Flowers or decorations to place in vase

1. Clean out wine bottle and allow to dry.
2. Put dot of glue and get yarn as close as possible to the very bottom of the bottle. Glue completely around the bottom row and next two wraps around the bottle to get the yarn started and staying well.
3. Push the yarn down ( I used my fingernails) so that there are no gaps between the yarn, which would allow the glass to show and make the yarn look sloppy.
4. As I continued to wrap, I only made about three or four spots with glue around the bottle and pulled the yarn tight so that it would lay flat against the yarn row below it. Also make sure you make the glue as thin as possible along the bottle, so there is no excess glue coming out between the rest of the yarn.
5. When you get to the tapered part of the top of the bottle, go back to gluing the entire piece of yarn down, or it will look gappy and separated.
6. Continue around the neck of the bottle, gluing the last two rows down completely, smoothing the end of the yarn down so it blends into the rest of the wrapped yarn. Clean off the glue strings and any additional pieces of glue that were missed during the wrapping process.
7. Find the vase a great home and enjoy!

Here's a few tips that I gathered from this little project:

  • Use thick yarn, the thicker the better. I used such thin yarn that not only did it take forever, but it was very difficult to get the yarn close together without the glue showing. 
  • You should wipe the extra hot glue immediately, or it will be very difficult to get off. I had thought that it might be easier to get it off once dry, but I was oh so wrong. 
  • Make sure you take the labels off, or you will have to be very, very careful when wrapping that it covers everything. Otherwise in certain lighting and at certain angles you will see the labels through the yarn. 
I will be working on a few twine covered ones for my dining room table, I will let you know how they go. Let me know below how your projects go! :)

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Plight of a Nursing Mama

I've had such a hard time putting together a wardrobe for nursing, especially now that I have lost weight and my belly isn't *quite* so protruding.

The biggest problem? Most of my options are boooooooring. Plain t-shirts, plain tank tops, and nursing camisoles that don't give nearly enough support. Now, I've also had plenty of issues of my own because I, ahem, ended up more well endowed than I had ever dreamed, making clothes shopping all the more difficult. Here's some of my top picks for summer and the nursing mother. 

I've had great luck with Old Navy, and the prices really are hard to beat! Most of these, of course, weren't actually nursing, but were easy enough to make work for nursing. 

No.1: I really love these two shirts, and they could even be layered over one another for the cooler evenings. I threw in the skirt also, because I am really loving the pencil skirts right now, since they can be dressed up or down and still make me feel put together. You could also pair either with a great dark wash jean, or navy or khaki shorts.

No. 2: I have something similar to this dress that I bought while i was pregnant, and it's been a great piece that I can still wear now! The crisscross front makes it great for nursing, but still looks really nice. Black is also great because you could make it work for a dressier occasion, or just being out and about. A versatile piece is a must for a nursing wardrobe on a budget! 

No. 3: One of the best places I've found for some nursing clothes is Etsy. There's some great handmade stuff that isn't super expensive, and not the exact same as everything you see at the stores and in the mall. I love this bold pattern!