Chaos Ensues

Confession time.  I enjoy cooking.  I enjoy doing crafts.  No modesty here…I usually get pretty good results with both 🙂  I’ve let in the chaos though!  Well, that and laziness.  Even when there were no children in our lives, it was just easier to come home from work and get fast food or take-out.  I swore to myself that once I became a stay-at-home mom there would be no excuse not to cook dinner for myself and my husband (and my children once they were old enough to eat meals).  I went through phases where I would cook and craft a lot.  The desire to cook and do crafts seems to overcome me when I’m pregnant!

For whatever reason, when chaos was at an all-time high…newborn baby boy, 3 year-old son, 5 1/2 year-old daughter, holidays, birthday parties…I decided I would do homemade favors for my son’s baptism and homemade Christmas gifts and go crazy for my son’s 3rd birthday party and start cooking almost every night (I know a lot of you are thinking, “big deal…I have kids and cook every night” but this was new for me) and making breakfasts and desserts.  Oh, and why not start a blog? 😉

My husband is a huge help and works from home a lot and it was easy to get food prepared and do crafts on the weekends while he kept an eye on the kids.  Well, the holidays are over, the big group of birthdays in December have come and gone, my newborn is almost 6 months old, but chaos ensues!  I had an easy newborn.  He threw in a couple curve balls that the other two hadn’t – first cold at 2 weeks old (that’s what happens when you have two older siblings) and extremely fussy in the evenings and the only thing that calmed him was walking around the house or car rides – but he slept a lot and for long periods of time and by 2 months old he was sleeping for like 10 hrs. at night.  Then, teething started and he didn’t handle that quite as well as his sister and brother had and, recently, a growth-spurt that caused evening fussiness again and him waking up in the middle of the night.  Oh, we’re also trying to get him to sleep in his crib and it’s going alright but, well, I’m tired!

The crafting is like non-existent, cooking has fallen to the wayside and my participation in this blog has been lackluster.  The hubby hasn’t been home quite as much lately and dropping the kids off and picking them up from two different schools isn’t helping with me wanting to just be lazy when I am home.  My next blog entry will be less woe is me and will include a recipe from a friend and fellow-blogger, Saucy Mommy, which is easy to get together even when chaos ensues!

Advertisements

Let’s Get Crafty: Baby Nurseries!

When we found out that our first child was going to be a girl, wooden letters spelling out the baby’s name was just becoming popular…or maybe it had been but I wasn’t aware because it wasn’t something I had looked into.  I didn’t like the plain ol’ choices they had in stores so I went online (which I did a lot during my 11 weeks of bed rest) in search of pretty wooden letters for my baby girl.  Her room was lavender on the bottom part of the wall and a pale, sunny yellow on top so I wanted my husband to paint the letters the same lavender so they would pop off the yellow.  Through my search I found someone who sold different sizes with a lot of font choices and I chose a girly-looking one.  We painted them and hung them up with Command picture hanging strips.  I was so happy with what we had done!

For our second child, a boy, I could NOT decide on a theme for him.  Part of the problem was that we were living in a two-bedroom condo so he would be in our room, which was already painted a sage green.  I wanted to be crafty for him so I decided to buy one of those quilt panels that’s basically done besides sewing some binding around the edges.  He needed something to go with it though so I painted one of the animals for him to hang up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, when my son was 5 1/2 months, we put our condo on the market and went in search of a new home.  We decided on new construction with 4 bedrooms and now I had to decide how I was going to do his first, very own room!  My sister had given him a quilt when he was baptized from Things Remembered and I decided to go with that and blue and yellow paint for his walls…but I needed accessories!  I painted two simple canvases for him and found star hooks, which I also painted, to hang his quilt from the wall.

We knew that we wanted a third child and had thought that since we already had a boy and a girl that the gender of this third child could be left a surprise!  On my son’s 2nd birthday, I found out I was pregnant with our third child 🙂  We went along telling everyone that we were gonna leave this one a surprise and I really wanted to…until it got closer to being able to find out and I was stressing about how to decorate the nursery and what kind of clothes to get…so we found out – it was time to start planning for our baby boy!

I wanted to do wooden letters spelling out his name like we had done for our daughter.  The wooden letter thing has really taken off and there were a lot of sites selling them already painted and/or decorated but I figured, “hey, I can do that!”  I found someone on Etsy that had wooden letters at a great price, different sizes and different fonts…and she was fast!

I had decided on Carter’s Tree Tops crib bedding, so now that I had a theme, I had to pick out some coordinating scrapbook paper.  Once again, I scoured the internet and bought my supplies from this site.  It really is easy to make your own coordinating letters for your little ones room!

Here is what you will need:

  • wooden letters
  • paint (if you choose to, you can paint the sides of the letters with the wall paint or another coordinating color)
  • scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge (I used the gloss Mod Podge but you can also use the matte if you don’t want your letters to have a sheen)
  • small foam brushes
  • fine grit sandpaper
  • small scissors or craft knife
  • pencil

Here is what to do:

  • If you wish, sand the sides of the letters and paint
  • After they are dry, turn your scrapbook paper upside down and the letter you’re working with backwards and trace around the letter with a pencil (the paper and letter should be facing the correct way when turned over)
  • Cut out the paper just inside your pencil line using scissors or craft knife (I found it easier to use small, sharp scissors)
  • Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the wooden letter with a foam brush and line up the paper letter over it and press it on and rub, rubbing out any air bubbles
  • Work on your other letters
  • Wait about 15 minutes and if there is any paper over the edge of the letters, lightly sand it off
  • Next, you can put your first coat of Mod Podge over the paper.  Make it as smooth as possible with your foam brush.
  • I put 2 coats of Mod Podge over the paper, making sure to let the first coat dry thoroughly (about 30 min).  I like the “brush” strokes that the foam brush leaves but if you would prefer yours smoother, then lightly sand between coats.
  • The surface will remain very slightly tacky…I didn’t mind but if you do then just spray with a clear acrylic.

Just as we did with our daughter’s, we hung the letters with the Command picture hanging strips.  Have fun!

Quiche…Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner!

When my daughter was baptized, it was on a Saturday evening, so afterwards we all went to a restaurant for dinner to celebrate.  Then, when my older son was baptized, the church no longer had Saturday evening services so he was baptized on a Sunday morning and we followed that up with brunch at a restaurant.  Recently, for our baby boy, the celebration was held at our house.  We’ve been in our house for a little over 2 years now and it is more spacious than our condo was and we have a huge yard so we have enjoyed celebrating many special occasions here 🙂

I certainly didn’t want to return home from the church with a crowd of hungry people and have to stand at the stove and make them eggs and pancakes and bacon and other various breakfast/brunch goodies and not be able to enjoy the day with everyone!  I read various blogs to gather some ideas on things that I could make ahead and serve room temperature or heat up quickly.  One of the dishes that I made was quiche.  I had never made one before but had heard that it was easy and I figured I could cook them up in the morning before church and just reheat when arriving back home.  I made two different kinds, ham and cheddar and a spinach, feta and cheddar one…the latter was definitely the favorite and the one that I have made a few times since.

Once again, I turned to good ol’ www.allrecipes.com to search for a highly rated recipe.  As per usual, I found one with a lot of reviews suggesting variations and I took a bunch into consideration.  For instance, the recipe only called for cheddar cheese but I saw several people recommend feta, a cheese that I had not been a fan of in the past but I thought it would lend a nice flavor to this quiche.  You can find the original recipe here, Light and Fluffy Spinach Quiche and below is what I do (although, this recipe is very forgiving and easy to change up and I have never made it the same way twice).

Shelly’s Fluffy Spinach & Feta Quiche

  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 ounces shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta*
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry**
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion**
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced***
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (1) 9-inch deep dish unbaked pie shell (if you can find Oronoque Orchard pie shells in the frozen food aisle, they are soooo good!)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and milk until smooth. Whisk in eggs. Layer spinach, cheese, and onion in pie shell, making several layers of each. Pour in egg mixture. Place quiche on prepared cookie sheet. Cover quiche with foil sprayed with cooking spray (unless you want to lose the top layer of your quiche…yes, been there)
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover, and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until top is golden brown and filling is set.
* You can add more or less feta, depending on your taste.  The last time I made this, I used an herbed feta.  I also made this quiche once and didn’t have feta on hand so I upped the cheddar and it was still delicious.
** The first time I made this quiche, I used the frozen chopped spinach and raw onion – tasty!  After that first time, I started sauteing the onion in a bit of olive oil and adding in fresh baby spinach or frozen whole leaf spinach – YUM!
*** If you would like another layer of deliciousness, saute some minced garlic along with the onion and spinach