Fall Break

Have you missed me this week?  Did you even notice I haven’t posted?  I hope so.  Along with Cupcake’s school I took a fall break this week.  After spending the weekend out of town shopping, eating, and getting pampered with my best mom friends I was ready to tackle another week of stay at home mom life.  Recharged, refreshed and ready.  And good thing, too, because Cupcake didn’t have school all this week.

Pampering

On Monday we went to Stroller Strength, which is a big deal because Cupcake typically doesn’t like to ride in the stroller.  Unfortunately it meant I couldn’t run because I don’t have a double jogger.  But it worked out because it was legs day!  And we got a killer lower body workout in.  Afterwards we played at the park, ran an errand and headed home for lunch and a nap (for Pumpkin).  And Cupcake and I made a grocery list.  And then we put off grocery shopping on account of rain.  I went after the girls went to bed.

Tuesday I woke up so sore from legs day, but that didn’t stop me from taking my girls to the museum!

Museum of DiscoveryIt was a slow day at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery so the girls got to play a lot!  Without much sharing or waiting.  They loved the Discovery Zoo, the grocery store, the pizza parlor, digging for fossils, the water table, the color room and the tidal pool!  We had so much fun!  We had packed a lunch, which we ate there, and played some more.  We had to wait for the tidal pool to open so Cupcake could touch the starfish.  We then headed downtown to pick up some race packets.  That’s right.  Sore legs girl had a 5K on Tuesday night!

Despite my inability to sit down or stand up without feeling the sore muscles I managed to run that 5K and run it well!  So well, in fact, I PRed.

gngMy chip time was 27:07.  I was hoping to keep it under 28:30.  #nailedit  #andthensome  So, now I have a new goal for Jingle Bell Run in December (my original goal, last winter, was to finish under 30:00).

Wednesday we were off to play again.  We met up with some friends at an indoor play area that had fancy swingsets, trampolines, and inflatables.  We scored some free passes, so bonus!

Jumping

Pumpkin loved the trampolines.  Cupcake loved the inflatables.  Fun was had by all. And appetites were worked up so it was off to Chick-fil-a for lunch.  We love Chick-fil-a.  I don’t have to fight with the kids to eat.  The food is good.  The staff is so nice.  Total package.  We couldn’t stay long because we had to head back up north for Kiddie Kraft day!  We only have one more Kiddie Kraft class left and I know Cupcake is going to miss it.  Pumpkin won’t because it’s during her nap time…………

Back at home we settled back in, started some laundry, played, got dinner going and made cookies.

Baking cookiesCupcake played so hard earlier that she lost a ponytail and wouldn’t let me fix it and Pumpkin was grumpy from no nap so she got a piggyback ride.  5 minutes later she fell asleep.  We made roll out cookies and used our new cookies cutters.

The fun just kept coming and on Thursday we went to Stroller Strength again, still no running for me.  Made a quick grocery stop before heading home to prepare for a playdate.  Thanks to Thirty-One I get to meet new people and one of those people happens to just live a few minutes away and have two girls the same age as my girls.  And now we have playdates!  We had lunch, the girls played, we ate dinosaur cookies, played some more, cleaned up and called it a day so the littles could nap.  It was a lot of fun!

Cupcake worked on her art projects while I got working on Pumpkin’s Halloween costume.  Yeah, I need to get on that.  We had dinner, played outside and called it a day!

Tomorrow we’re off to story time at the arboretum and to return our library books.  And hopefully some real work on that Halloween costume.

So, it’s been an unusually busy week, but I promised Cupcake we’d have a ton of fun while she was on fall break.  Mission accomplished.  I’ll try to be better next week, but no promises, unless of course I get the last Halloween costume done.

Have a great weekend!!

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial

How about a little crafty inspiration for the weekend?  Know anyone having a baby soon and need a gift?  How about a self binding blanket?  I just whipped one up for a baby on the way and of course wanted to share.  So let’s get started.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorial

I picked up 1 yard of minky fabric for my backing (remnant score!) and 1 yard of cotton.  You could also use flannel for one or both sides or minky for both sides or even cotton for both, but it wouldn’t be nearly as snuggly.  After doing a little online shopping I learned that 30″ x 40″ was a pretty standard blanket size, so I planned for a blanket of that size.

I cut my (prewashed) cotton to 28″ x 38″ and my minky to 36″ x 46″.  I found the center of all 4 sides of the fabric by folding it in half and marking with a pin.  Do this for both fabrics.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialWith the right side up lay your minky fabric down.  Then with the right side down line up one side of the cotton with the coordinating side of minky, using the center pins as a guide.  Pin in place (use lots of pins if you’re using minky – it’s slippery).

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialRepeat for the opposite edge and stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance, starting 1/2″ inch from the end of your cotton…..

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialand finish stitching when you are 1/2″ from the end of the cotton.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialSew the opposite side, then repeat for the third side.  And for the fourth side leave a 4-6 inch opening for turning.

Your corners will look a little something like this.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialNow we’re going to finish off our corners. This is the part that can be a tad confusing. You want to pull our your corners.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialThen take a ruler and line it up at the end of your stitching and lining the stitching up on the diagonal.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialMark this line.  Then stitch down this line.

If you want to double check that your corner looks good, now is the time to do it.  If you are satisfied with your corner, trim the excess.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialRepeat for the other 3 corners and turn your blanket right side out.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialYour blanket is bound!  But there’s still work to do.  We need to close up the opening and keep the blanket from shifting.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialPin your binding in place all the way around the blanket, making sure your seam allowances go toward the binding.  If you are using flannel now would be a good time to press your blanket, but you can’t press minky.  It will melt and the dots will flatten.  Pin all the way around.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialTime to stitch.  You can straight stitch all the way around or try out a decorative stitch.  I went with a zig zag.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialAnd you’re done!  You have a cuddly, comfy blanket.  Perfect for covering a little one in the carseat or stroller on a chilly day.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialThis blanket will grow into toddlerhood, too.  What kid wouldn’t want to snuggle with that minky fabric?  I want to snuggle with that minky fabric!

Oscar wants to snuggle on the cotton fabric.  He’s weird.

Self Binding Blanket Tutorial #sewing #baby #blanket #gift #tutorialSo, run, don’t walk to the nearest fabric store and pick up some fabric for a self binding blanket!  And if you make one I’d love to see how it turns out!

p.s.  I used some of the scrap minky to make a wonky elephant to go with the blanket.

Have a great weekend!

Quick Kid Lunch: Cheesy Roll Ups

Cupcake has been in a bit of a PB&J phase. Like for a long time.  So I’ve been trying to get her to eat something new for lunch.  We occasionally do quesadillas, but those are looking their thrill, too, so we’ve started on a variation of the quesadilla.  A cheesy roll up!

Start with a tortilla in a skillet.  Toss some cheese on top.  Cheddar, mozzarella, pepperjack, a combo, whatever floats your boat.

Cheesy Roll Up #lunchTurn up the heat, but not too hot.  And put a lid on it.

Cheesy Roll Up #lunchThe objective here is to get the cheese melty without crisping the tortilla too much.

Cheesy Roll Up #lunchRemove your tortilla from the skillet and roll.

Cheesy Roll Up #lunchLet sit for a minute or two to cool down and serve.

Cheesy Roll Up #lunchPumpkin still dissected hers just as she does with any food that can be taken apart.  Cupcake dug right in.

Cheesy Roll Up #lunchShe couldn’t even be bothered to remove her goofy hat.  So, it’s nothing too super exciting, but if you’re looking to change up the lunch rut, there you go.

What are some of your lunch go tos?  Do you want to see more of this?  I have another idea up my sleeve……..

Brie and Cranberry Pizza

Last week hubby gave me a challenge.  Make something with leftover brie cheese.  You see, he had gone to a beer dinner and brought bread and cheese.  I made 4 loaves of bread which were gone upon his return, but the 28 oz. of brie he had purchased did not get finished off.  Who buys 28 oz of brie?

Brie and cranberry pizza Now I’m not a huge fan of cheese, so my plan was to try and mask the cheese with some other flavors.  Enter Brie and Cranberry Pizza.  Cranberries and pecans are nice and flavorful and perfect in this dish.  We had this for a meatless dinner served with a great big salad, but this would make a great appetizer or finger food for a party.

Brie and Cranberry PizzaThe brie doesn’t completely melt, but gets soft and creamy.  It was delicious!  Even the girls ate it!  How sophisticated are my 4 year old and 2 year old eating brie?  Ha!

Brie and Cranberry Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz) can crescent rolls (sheet)
  • 8 oz cube brie
  • 3/4 cup whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. Roll the crescent sheet out and press into pan. Bake for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove crescent sheet from oven and sprinkle with cheese cubes. Drop the cranberry sauce in dollops over the cheese. Top with pecans.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
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DITL: A Strangely Busy Wednesday

I set the alarm for 6, but didn’t actually get out of my warm, cozy bed until 6:18.  That’s two snoozes.  Can you blame a girl when she’s snuggling with a hot dog (dachshund)?  I knew I needed to get up before the girls, though, because I glazed some pumpkin cookies the night before and I needed to pack them up before they saw them and demanded them for breakfast!

The girls woke up a bit early (AKA before 7:00).  We had breakfast and headed upstairs to get dressed.  Everyone was strangely cooperative, so we even had time to play before school!

Morning play timeCupcake was then off to school and Pumpkin and I had about an hour to kill, so we went for a 5 mile run.

runI ran, she snoozed.  And was not happy to be woken up.  5 miles at a 9:42 min/mile pace and I felt great.  I could have kept going, but we had story time to get to!

Yeah, I was that mom at story time in my workout clothes.  At least I had actually worked out.  And I threw my long sleeved shirt back on to contain my sweatyness.  Pumpkin was in a much better mood after some singing and dancing at the library (really, though, she doesn’t sing and dance.  She’s a people watcher and lap sitter.)

snackWe then headed back to pick Cupcake up from preschool.  We ran home and had a quick lunch and checked out the goods from BOOK DAY!!!…..

Book Day

before we headed off again to Cupcake’s first day of Kiddie Craft.

kiddie craftIt was a fun program!  This week’s theme was owls.  She made two owl projects and they read two books.  It was a little hectic trying to help the big kid with her projects and keep the little kid from grabbing and destroying all the project pieces.  Next week I’ll be sure to pack an activity bag for Pumpkin.

It was a gorgeous day so we went exploring at the park after her class.  There is a cute nature exploring area where the girls could dig, find fossils, climb logs and catch bugs.  They had a lot of fun!  I was hoping while we were there to get a few portraits of Pumpkin for her second birthday, but the girls weren’t feeling the camera love.

Not camera happyWhen they’d had enough of the camera we headed back home.  It was a good thing it was book day at school!  I had ordered some books with read along CDs which Cupcake is loving these days, so I set the girls up with the books and discs while I got in the shower (you know, at almost 3 in the afternoon!) and got dressed.

The girls played while I got dinner ready.  I was excited to try out two new recipes from my new Skinnytaste cookbook.

Teriyaki Pork Chops with Pineapple Salsa and Vegetable Fried Brown RiceWe had Teriyaki glazed pork chops with pineapple salsa and vegetable fried brown rice.  It was really good!

We played for a little bit after dinner and then I had to rush off to spend the evening with my AOII sisters.  Our monthly meeting was wine and painting!  I don’t drink wine, though, so I just brought water.  And the pumpkin cookies I had made.  We had a lot of fun and everyone’s paintings turned out great.  I veered from the group instruction painting and made this beauty.

paintingAnd it was just a coincidence that it matched my sweater.  I like yellow.  It was late when I got home, so I took the dog out one last time, headed upstairs to watch an episode of Mental Floss with hubby before going to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink and toys all over the floor.

Phew! What a day!  I’m usually not running all over town like that!  It was an exhausting, but fun day.

 

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Dress Up Clothes Wardrobe

Pumpkin is my girly girl.  She loves everything princess and baby doll, bows all over her head, and playing dress up.  We have accumulated quite a collection of dress up clothes, so for her birthday I made her a Dress Up Wardrobe from an old TV stand.  This is a project I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but just hadn’t found the right piece of furniture.  Luckily one week before the big 2 I found exactly what I was looking for.

TV stand turned dress up clothes wardrobe #upcycle #diyWell, not exactly what I was looking for.  The size and shape were perfect!  Exactly what I was looking for.  The finish was laminate.  Not quite what I wanted.  and the price was a little more than I would have liked.  But it was a sturdy piece and I was on a time crunch, so I rearranged the carseats and hauled it home.

Upon arriving at home I realized that it had been in a smoking home.  As hubby and I were taking it out of the car you could just smell it.  (I didn’t notice in the great big thrift store or when the two guys from the thrift store loaded it into my car for me)  A lot of scrubbing ensued.

DSC_7993That’s not even the nastiest rag!  So, after spending almost 2 hours scrubbing every inch of this thing I hit it with the palm sander to rough it up and gave it a good coat of primer.  And then two coats of paint (with a few drops of Purify essential oil in it for good measure).  And I spray painted the hinges.  I found some clearance knobs at Hobby Lobby (marked down to $2 a piece).  And I made an insert to fit the back.

I started with two pieces of foam board, taped them together, then cut them to size.

DSC_8106I had also picked up a yard of fabric at Hobby Lobby, which I wrapped around the piece of foam board and taped in place.

DSC_8107I popped that into the back of the unit, attached a tension shower curtain rod that I picked up from Target for a few bucks and my wardrobe was ready!  (shoud out to my father-in-law for adjusting the door fronts and cutting down the knob posts for me while I was decorating the birthday cake).

Upcycled TV Cabinet turned Dress Up Clothes Wardrobe #diy #upcycle As you can see by the matchy matchyness the paint was leftover from previous painting jobs in the playroom such as the light switch and the jewelry box.  I love it!  The pink is perfect for a dress up clothes wardrobe!  And the gray and white stripes on the back looks so sophisticated.

Upcycled TV Cabinet turned Dress Up Clothes Wardrobe #diy #upcycle I kind of want to go back to Hobby Lobby and buy more of that fabric and do who knows what with it!  I also bought two packs of hangers.

Upcycled TV Cabinet turned Dress Up Clothes Wardrobe #diy #upcycle Which you can see was not enough.  The dinosaur tails aren’t on a hanger and we still have two outfits that haven’t yet found their way into the wardrobe.  Can you say dress up clothes horse?  And you can barely see that pretty fabric in the back!

Upcycled TV Cabinet turned Dress Up Clothes Wardrobe #diy #upcycle The lower area is accessories storage.  Shoes, headband, glasses, purses, Elephant & Piggie heads.  And the Thirty-One Littles Carry All holds jewelry.

I was hesitant to bring another piece of furniture into this room and hubby wasn’t too sure about it either, but we really had outgrown the clothes bin, so this dress up clothes wardrobe was much needed.  Pumpkin loves being able to see what clothes she has and both girls are good about putting things back in the wardrobe (even though they need a little more hanger practice).  In the end everyone is happy!

 

Pumpkin’s Birthday Brinner Pajama Party

What a fun weekend!  We celebrated Pumpkin’s birthday with a family trip to the pumpkin patch on Friday, but the real fun was at her Birthday Brinner party on Saturday!  When figuring out a theme for her party this year I kept coming back to a pajama party.  So when the time came to pin down the party theme and get the invitations printed Birthday Brinner (breakfast for dinner) and a pajama party was the plan!

Birthday Brinner invitation

I kept the menu somewhat simple.  Waffles (with lots of toppings to choose from), quiche, yogurt tubes and sausage.  We had milk boxes and orange juice to drink.

Birthday Brinner #birthday #party #breakfast #brinner #pajamapartyFor dessert we had donuts, Fruity Pebble crispy treats and a pancake cake.

Birthday Brinner #birthday #party #breakfast #brinner #pajamapartyThe pancake cake was my first venture with fondant and I was pretty excited about how it turned out. I read about 5 different tutorials about how to make it and dove right in.

Birthday Brinner #birthday #party #breakfast #brinner #pajamapartyFondant definitely has a bit of learning curve to using it, but I’m excited to try using it again.

To get the party started and occupy the kids while the last of the food was being prepared we set them up making Fruit Loop necklaces that they could wear and/or eat.

Birthday Brinner #birthday #party #breakfast #brinner #pajamapartyCupcake was a pro necklace maker, but Pumpkin needed a little help.

Check out the birthday cutie in the pajamas momma made just for the party!

Birthday Brinner #birthday #party #breakfast #brinner #pajamaparty

All the kids wore pajamas, too, and they were so cute!!

After filling up on waffles the kids played dress up and had balloon fights until it was time for cake!

Birthday Brinner #birthday #party #breakfast #brinner #pajamapartyShe was all smiles while everyone sang.  And then instead of eating cake we all had donuts!

Birthday Brinner #birthday #party #breakfast #brinner #pajamapartyShe opened presents and the kids tried to burn off all the sugar energy they had left!  And all the kiddos were sent home with a flannel pillowcase made to suit their interests/personality.

Birthday Brinner #birthday #party #breakfast #brinner #pajamaparty

And after playing with her new toys for a bit it was time to hit the hay.  Pumpkin snuggled up with her new pillowcase and her new and old babies and it was off to dreamland.

Birthday Brinner PartyWe had a wonderful time and are so thankful friends and family from near and far came to spend the day celebrating our sweet Pumpkin!

 

Happy Birthday, Pumpkin!

My sweet, little Pumpkin is 2!  How is that even possible?  Wasn’t she just born yesterday?

PumpkinWith her dark hair, her blue eyes, her chubby cheeks, so much sweetness.  She was such a calm and happy baby.  And even now, she’s a pretty calm and happy girl.  Yes, she has her toddler moments, but she is so quick with a smile.

PumpkinShe still has those gorgeous blue eyes, but that dark hair went light.  And she’s still rocking the cheeks.

Always wanting to “tuggle” this girl is a sweetheart!  She hands out hugs, kisses and ugga muggas like candy on Halloween.  And boy does she love that big sister of hers.  She wants to do anything and everything Cupcake is doing.  It’s so cute to watch them play together.  The way she looks at her.  Melts my heart.

She’s definitely getting a little rascally in her old age.   We pacifier weaned this week due to the destruction of her Bubba.  It went amazingly well.  It was like nothing ever happened.  She napped without issue and sleep has been normal since.  You know as long as she doesn’t catnap in the car or stroller, ruining any chance of an actual nap in her crib.

PumpkinSpeaking of crib she climbed out of hers this week, too.  All this activity, so much for one momma to handle in a week!  Luckily it seemed to be a fluke.  She hasn’t done it again since, so it doesn’t look like we’ll be making the toddler bed transition quite yet.  Apparently climbing is her new thing, though.

PumpkinAnd drawing on my walls.  She loves to draw on the walls.

She doesn’t have her 2 year check up until next week and I’m eager to find out her stats.  She’s a petite girl, still fitting into 18 months clothes (though they are looking a little short these days).  I’m certain when I mark her height inside the pantry door today she’ll be shorter than Cupcake was at this age.

We’ve got her big birthday bash on tap for tomorrow and I’ll be sure to share the details with you next week.

Happy birthday, Pumpkin!  Momma loves you so much!!

I Love Lamp

When I gave that outdated end table new life with a colorful coat of paint I knew I needed to reevaluate the lighting situation in that corner.  The floor lamp just wasn’t going to work behind that table.  And besides, the lamp was a little blah anyway.  So I’ve been on the hunt for a lamp.  I didn’t care if I DIYed one or bought one.  I just wanted a lamp.  There was one I had my eye on at IKEA, but it was too small.  I kept striking out at the thrift store.

Last week I found a few contenders at Goodwill, but at $10 I thought the price was a bit high for a secondhand lamp that I wasn’t even sure worked. Luckily I still had some time before preschool pick up so Pumpkin and I headed over to Salvation Army and found “the lamp.”

Salvation Army Lamp

Ain’t she a beauty?  No?  OK, well, the shade is all wrong.  And the brass doesn’t work for me.  But I liked the shape and the two tone look.  And it cost me all of $2.62.

Upcycled Lamp #DIYI grabbed some Frog Tape and while watching some New Girl on Netflix I taped off the edges of the ceramic part of the lamp.  I then grabbed some plastic bags and taped them around the rest of the ceramic part, the cord and the top to protect them from overspray.

Upcycled Lamp #DIY I hit it with some metallic spray paint (and sprayed a wooden letter for the living room shelves while I was at it).   Man, hubby loves when I spray paint in the grass without putting anything down.  But, well, we don’t subscribe to the newspaper so I had nothing to put down.

Upcycled Lamp #DIYI couldn’t wait to get her back in the house and dress her up with the new shade I picked up from Target (that cost a wee bit more than the lamp itself!).  Even in poor lighting.  But here it is in better lighting.

Upcycled Lamp #DIYIgnore the fact that I still haven’t figured out what to put next to the shelves.  At least I wiped off the red “artwork” Pumpkin scribbled on the wall before taking the picture. ;)

OK, ready for the side by side?

Upcycled Thrift Store Lamp #DIYI love lamp.  I’m so glad I finally found something that works in the space!  And I got to have a little DIY fun with it (yay for spray painting weather!!!).

Anyone else squeezing in some last minute spray painting before the weather is no longer cooperative?

Pumpkin Pancakes

“Hey, Cupcake!  What’s your favorite food?”  The answer, if we’re talking breakfast, is pancakes.  And sometimes even if we’re not talking breakfast, the answer is pancakes.

Usually I make sneaky wheat pancakes, but well, it’s fall and I had a hankering for pumpkin pancakes. Unfortunately when I went to Trader Joe’s last week they didn’t have their amazing pumpkin pancake mix, yet. I panicked for a moment, but then I remembered I had a great recipe for pumpkin pancakes!  And I had all the ingredients!

Pumpkin Pancakes #breakfast #recipe #pumpkinI’m not a big pancake fan, but mmmmm……these are delicious!  A little bit of pumpkin and a little bit of spice.  You might want to go ahead and make a double batch of these because they won’t last long!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar.
  2. In a small bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  4. Heat a griddle to medium high heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Cook until bubbly, then flip and heat until cooked through.
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And really, since canned pumpkin is not seasonal (would link to Joanna at Midwestern Bite, but she’s taking a bit of a hiatus) you can make these any time you want!

And even though we just had pumpkin pancakes for breakfast over the weekend, I’ve decided to make more this morning!  What a great start to the week!