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Sunday, June 30, 2013

baby shower for Kasey

Last Saturday, my sister and I threw a baby shower for our stepsister, Kasey.  Her and her husband are expecting a baby girl this August.  Kristin and I kind of have our system down now after she threw me such a wonderful shower back in March.  Then we gave a bridal shower for Aubrey, and a very similar baby shower for my friend, Amy, just a few weeks later.  Such fun and exciting times!

We pretty much keep our menu the same because it's simple.... and at each shower people seem to enjoy the food.  At this shower, we had chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, cream cheese roll-ups with salsa,  fresh fruit, cheese and cracker tray, southwestern corn dip with corn chips, and ranch party dip with potato chips.

We used The Sister Studio for the invitations, stationary, cupcake toppers, place cards, and this adorable sign.  I highly recommend this shop!  They are very easy to work with, take custom orders, send proofs to make sure they have done exactly what you're wanting, and have a quick turnaround.   

I told Kristin that although our food is pretty self-explanatory...these place cards are just so cute and really add a lot to the decor and finished look of the table.

This 'dessert' table really turned out SO cute and I hate that this picture does not do it justice.  I ran short on time and so wasn't able to take better pictures without the kitchen light on.  These will do I suppose. ;)

Again- toppers from The Sister Studio.

For the clothesline...I made 2 sets of bibs and burp cloths.  

I also added the pink lace to the neckline of a onesie, and made the cute little circle skirt using this pattern (I highly recommend the circle took me about 30 minutes including cutting out the pattern and sewing).

We got these personalized wooden forks and chevron cups from When I Was Your Age.  This shop was also very easy to work with and had a quick turnaround.  This shop has the cutest stuff from cups to favor boxes, and food trays.  You'll want to use it all, but it can get very pricey!

These mini chocolate labels were also from When I Was Your Age.   They sent me a digital file and instead of printing on regular computer paper, cutting out, then using tape to attach...I just printed on sticker paper, cut, and attached.  So easy and so cute!

And for the party favors...(since they didn't already have these in their shop), I told them what I wanted.... and The Sister Studio designed these tags for me.  I also printed these on sticker paper then cut with my paper cutter and attached.

And now I'm excited and ready to start planning the shower for my sister (as soon as we find out if it's a boy or girl)!!  ;)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

a little meal planning

So I've been trying to get back into the swing of cooking since Nolan was born.
But much like before Nolan...I have a few goals in mind when deciding on meals to cook for the family.

1) Easy.
2) Good.
3) My kids will {read: probably} eat.
4) Easy.

If you're in a rut like me, I thought it might be nice to just share the recipes I've been using in case they might give you a little idea.

For the following recipes...I usually make the full recipe, but split it between 2- 8x8 aluminum pans.  We eat one that day, then freeze the other for another day.

-PW's Chicken Spaghetti
-Pasta Bake (if we have leftover spaghetti sauce from spagetti...I will layer in an 8x8 pan: spaghetti (or penne), sauce, cheese, then repeat)
-cheese and chili enchiladas

And here are a few other meals we've been eating:

Crispy Beef Tacos (I use the Taco Bell shells and seasoning)
PW's Sloppy Joes
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Crockpot BBQ Chicken w/ Baked Potato
a deli pizza from Wal-Mart and salad


For the Crockpot BBQ Chicken.....I just place chicken in crockpot.  
Mix together some BBQ sauce, a little white vinegar, black pepper, and a little brown sugar.  Then pour over chicken.  
Cook 3-4 hours on high, and 6-8 hours on low (it really just depends on your own crockpot though).  
Once chicken is cooked, I shred it all up.  We then take our baked potatoes and load them up with butter, cheese, and ranch dressing.  Then we pile the shredded BBQ chicken on top of the loaded potato.  It is so so good.  And Easy!  
For the girls, they will usually eat the chicken by itself...and then I take one of the baked potatoes' insides and make them 'mashed potatoes.'  But at least we're all eating the same thing!  :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Easy Graham Cracker Pralines

I first made these a few weeks ago when I had some of my family over for dinner.  Nolan was 5 weeks old at the time.....we were having cheese and chili enchiladas...and I wanted something easy and that kind of went with the Mexican food theme.  My mother-in-law first told me about these a few years ago after Grace was born.

All of this to say....I never made them 3 years ago when I first got a recipe.  And then a few weeks ago, when I decided to finally make them...I did some recipe research....and came up with my own recipe.  So I wanted to share it here because everyone loved them.  And because they are SO easy.  And because they are SO good, too.  You eat one and then you have to have another.  And another.  
Just sayin'.

What you need: graham crackers, 1 cup butter, 1 cup chopped pecans, 1 cup packed brown sugar, and 1tsp vanilla.  That's it!

Lay out your graham crackers on a jelly roll pan.  I'm not sure the size of this one, but it was my biggest one.  And I used 12 whole graham cracker pieces.

Place the butter and brown sugar in pan.  Melt and bring to a slight boil.  I pretty much stood there and stirred it the whole time (but I'm not sure if that's necessary, it's just what I did).

Some of the recipes I looked up said to let boil for 1 minute, some said 2 minutes, some said just as it gets to a boil.  SO.....I just brought to a boil and didn't wait very long....

.....then added in the vanilla and chopped pecans.

Then I took a picture of my {then} 5 week old baby screaming and ready for me to pick him up.  NOW.  (He was still in his car seat because he had been sleeping in the car and here...he had just woken up.)

Poor the hot buttery, carmal-y goodness onto the graham crackers.

Then attempt to spread it out evenly.

Then place in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Mine was very bubbly.  I'm not sure what you're looking for as to decide if it should be 8 or 10 minutes?  I did 9 minutes and I think they turned out great.

When it came out of the oven...the graham crackers head spread apart a I squished them back together some, just because I wanted all of that gooey carmal to be ON the graham crackers and not on the pan.

A lot of the recipes I had looked at said to only let cool for a couple of minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.  But for mine- I guess because of how much butter I use- I had to let them almost completely cool before breaking apart.

So- let bars cool (or even warm is fine, just when they are set)...then break apart.  They do so easy.

 And SO good, too!

Linking up with: Little Inspiration
The DIY Dreamer

Thursday, June 27, 2013

make it, wear it- 4th of july edition

It's been a while since I pulled out the sewing machine to sew for my kids with work...and then the new baby.  I started sewing 3 years ago.  And one of the first things I sewed- was 4th of July dresses for the girls.  From then on...I continued to sew for the girls various dresses, but always made a point to sew them something for each holiday {Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's, etc.)

So with the 4th of July coming up.  And having added a baby {boy} to our brew...I really wanted to get back into sewing.

I decided on this knot dress for Parker.  She has told me that she no longer likes to wear the dresses with a ribbon (the pillowcase dresses)!  I thought she might like this.  And yay- she does!   :)

For Grace...I really lucked out and she is wearing the outfit I made from last year.  (Love it when that happens!)  I made the circle skirt using the tutorial from Made.  And for the top, I just used a tank and sewed on 3 rows of ruffles.  She found this in my sewing room closet a couple of weeks ago and put it on.  She loved it and can't wait to wear it again (which I love!).

And for Nolan....I made this suspender tie onesie.  How cute is this??  I was nervous to sew on the oneise (because it's knit and small)...but it wasn't too bad.  There is definitely a learning curve to sewing on those suspenders (and it has its mistakes), but it will do for now.  (I used this pattern.)

Our firecrackers!



and with

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

the eye doctor

Parker had her follow-up eye appointment yesterday.  And it went well!
If you'll remember...(in a nutshell)....we went to the eye doctor in February.  She was only slightly farsighted, but because her right eye was turning in....we decided to try out glasses to see if it would help to straighten out that eye.  If the glasses did not correct the turning in, then we'd consider surgery.

Well- good news!  Her eyes are not turning in anymore.  Her prescription has stayed the same.  And the doctor said she could possibly grow out of this and not need glasses by her teenage years.  We go back in 6 months for another check-up. (Another added bonus is she did not have to have 'a squirt' (dilation) in her eye.)

And because we got such a good report.  
And because we were just down the street.  
And because i can't help myself.  
We stopped for Sprinkles Cupcakes before heading home.  ;)

And we ate them before dinner.  :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nolan @ 8 weeks

Sweet boy is 8 weeks old today.

We've had a pretty good week over here.  Little guy has had some nights where he has slept 8 (even 9 on one night!) hours in one night.  Then there was that one night where he woke up every 3 hours just to keep me on my toes. :)

I usually say that he eats every 2-3 hours during the day...but's mostly been every 2 hours.  I'm not sure what's going 8 week growth spurt or what?

Naps are getting a little better.  As in...I'm not holding him during every single nap.  I've actually been trying to lay him down while he's drowsy and somewhat awake....and it's kind of been working.  ;)

Sweet boy is trying to find his thumb.  He is still wearing 0-3 month clothes but they are getting tight....and he is already wearing some 3-6 month clothes.  It. Goes. Too. Fast.

And all of this picture taking that Momma does....sure does make this boy tired.

Friday, June 21, 2013


I didn't realize I took so many pictures this week!  All of these didn't make it onto Instagram.  I am really loving the app A Beautiful Mess because it lets me add the filters to pictures and give them a more 'finished' look, per se.... but then I don't have to share them- which I like having that option.

Still trying to get a good picture of his smile.  This is his half-smile and it's pretty sweet, too.  But that one where his whole face lights up and you can see his 1 dimple....oh I just melt.

a little tummy time..

I realize I have a problem taking pictures of him sleeping.  :)

Nolan @ 7 weeks!

His sweet feet.

Fighting sleep is his favorite game.  On this evening- I was trying to get dinner made and Geoff had taken the girls to the pool.  Not long after picking him up, he fell asleep in my arms like this.  He was out!  Drooling and, although it wasn't snoring, you could hear his breathing.  And as soon as I tried to move him....awake!  Ok- so he might be spoiled a tad.

Happy morning baby.  He had slept 7 hours straight the night before!  (Only.... one of his sister's was up 3 times!!!  It always seems to work out that like, huh?)

Me and my boy.

There's that smile!  (from the side...still working on a picture from the front)

This happens waaaay more than I'd like to admit.  The girls eating breakfast while watching a show on the iPad so I can scramble around and make breakfast, empty dishwasher, or feed/take care of Nolan.

When I was little- we used to put tape on the carpet and pretend it was our balance beam.  The girls are really into watching the move "American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars" and so while it's on they 'play gymnastics.'  So I made them a little balance beam, too.

And my favorite from the loves.


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