Thursday, June 30, 2011

{cupcake war}

I feel like I am in my own personal
"cupcake war."
My heart wants me to be a baker
of beautiful cupcakes.
Yet my brain always seems to 
this desire.

{read: I forget important ingredients while baking}

I might be way too ADD to bake.
Yet, I try, and try
and try again!

Here is my latest effort:
lemon raspberry cupcakes
{from scratch}

pretty cupcake liners are a must

two of my favorite flavors rolled into one cupcake

I was at least very happy with my fluffy lemon batter!
so far so good...or so I thought!

 True to form, I remembered AFTER baking them that I hadn't added the other half of the flour!  Doh!
I tasted one, though, and they seemed yummy enough, if not a little dense.
They looked pretty, which made me happy!
Oh cupcake, with only half the flour...
you were dense {like your creator}
but yet tasted rather good.

Um, at least according to my hubby.
Bless his baked-goods-loving

PS: {recipe can be found HERE} - don't forget the flour :D

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

nursery reveal!

This is my first baby.
Also, my first time "designing" {term used loosely}
a nursery.
I think once I've had a baby a while I'll know more
what to include in a nursery.
However, like most newbie mamas,
I kind of had to wing it.

After scouring magazines, nursery design websites,
Google, Pinterest,
other blogs,
anywhere with anything
vaguely baby-like
this is what I came up with.

It all started with the crib bedding.
 I found it at Land of Nod
after struggling to find boy bedding that fit my vision {aka modern, yet sweet, yet not too specific.}
I loved the turquoise, aqua and green colors, 
with some gray in there as well.

So we painted the walls pale gray {Notre Dame, Valspar}
went with white furniture
and when it came time to accessorize,
I went with lots of grays, blues and a bit of green...
circles, and some owls in there as well!
{lurve wise little owls}

Here is the tour, 
via photographs:
It is a pretty small room, with no closet.  However, with the wardrobe and dresser/changing table we bought from Ikea, we have plenty of storage space for teeny baby things. Also, there is storage in the ottoman and drawer beneath crib.
I fell in love with this owl pillow immediately!  The circles and the beautiful turquoise color coordinate well, and it is just dang cute!  Found it on Etsy, as well as the art prints in the room.
The crib bumper was my initial inspiration for the entire room.  The outside is a sweet, preppy plaid, the inside has lovely circles made of different fabrics/colors, which you can see below:
"C" is the only clue you will get about Baby Boy's name!
{Cannot wait to FINALLY reveal the name!}
These bookshelves are actually 3.99 spice racks from Ikea, which I painted white.  
The boy has to have books!
The changing station is pretty simple.  I had bought these Mason jars from a flea market a while ago, and thought the color was perfect!
The changing table cover I special ordered {since I cannot sew} from another Etsy shop, along with a matching Boppy cover.  The mirror is Ikea.  The "Keep Calm, Carry On" print is actually a framed greeting card.  
I hung a couple extra paper lanterns up above the changing table to give Baby another thing to focus on during the fun process of changing diapers.  Plus I wanted to bring a little of the green over to this area!
This owl that sits on the chair is from Pier1.
The paper lantern "immobile" I made myself using various paper lanterns I had already, and added some I bought on Amazon.  I was inspired by others I had seen on nursery design websites!  Plus, I couldn't find a traditional crib mobile that I liked at all.
Where the feeding and reading will happen!

Replaced the boring knobs on the wardrobe with some from Anthropologie.
Had to add a touch of country with this mini straw cowboy hat!   We are in KY after all. :)

Just for fun, here is the BEFORE:

Baby Boy's Room AFTER:
There you have it, my bloggie friends!
Now what will this mama do with herself before Baby arrives?
Could be any day now!
Linking up here:


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{barbecue salmon}

I am pretty sure the reason
 a pregnant woman is said to gain 3 pounds in the weeks before labor is due to the fact she is so exhausted she only wants to order pizza.
Not cook a healthy dinner.
Particularly not on a Wednesday night.

{read: have had pizza twice in the past two weeks
and Hamburger Helper twice in the past two nights}

Tonight I mustered the energy to make a dinner
with some actual nutritional value...
and it was simple!

{barbecue salmon with sauteed green beans and corn}

Healthy and so yum.  

I had snagged the recipe from an issue of Real Simple 
and had been meaning to try it for weeks months.

You will need:
1 lb of fresh salmon {cut in 2-4 servings, depending on your appetite!}
barbecue sauce {your favorite}
6 oz green beans {cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces)
1 cup frozen corn
4 scallions {thinly sliced, separating the white and green parts}
salt and pepper
1 TB olive oil

 For the veggies:  Heat your oil over medium heat.  Add the white part of scallions and the green beans and sautee for 5-7 minutes.  Add corn and heat an additional 3-4 minutes, adding the green scallion bits at the end.  Season with salt and pepper.

For the salmon: Heat oven to 500 degrees with rack on highest level.  Line a baking dish with tinfoil and set salmon pieces on skin down.  Season with salt and pepper and baste with desired amount of barbecue sauce {don't be stingy.}  Bake for 13-15 minutes.  Use a metal spatula to slide underneath fish to easily remove skin.  Or just buy it skinless buy having your "fish guy" remove it for you.
{tip: very important to be nice to your "fish guy"}

Sprinkle salmon and veggies with basil and serve!

Afterward, pat yourself on the back for avoiding Hamburger Helper 
for a 3rd night in a row...
I know I did.

Monday, June 20, 2011

{buddha with the cracked head}

Whenever I see a statue of Buddha I feel at peace.
For ages I have been looking for one to place
in my perennial garden,
to inspire me
to be more zen.

I found this piece at Pier 1.
It would have been $100 {too expensive for me}
but just my good fortune,
upon inspection, I discovered that
Buddha had a cracked head
which made him 
{b l i s s}

And now, some enlightening words from the Buddha:

"When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky."
"Your work is to discover your work, and then with all your heart give yourself to it."

Live purely. Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery.
Like the moon, come out
from behind the clouds!

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."

"Happiness never decreases by being shared."

Saturday, June 18, 2011

{dearest dad}

Dearest Dad,
I wonder if you know how much you shaped my life?
Many girls 
grow up to 
{consciously or unconsciously}
look for a soulmate 
resembling their father.
In my own life I 
searched for a man with amazing qualities 
modeled after you.
Your example of being 
a man of God,
follower of Jesus,
led me to look for another
believer in Christ.
Your patience and unending devotion
to my beautiful Mother
led me to look for a man
of patience and deep love and devotion 
to marry.
{and as you well know, any husband of mine would have to have a LOT of patience!}
I would not have chosen such a good man
without your strong example.

Many girls 
grow up with fathers who are not
present in their lives.
You always were there.
You were there to make sure we were safe... cheerfully wake us up
 at the crack of dawn
 on camping trips by peeking in our tents, singing "Rise and Shine"... walk your daughters down the aisle... preach your beautiful sermons at all the important events... take us on amazing adventures on mountain tops,
in your indestructible blue windsuit,
singing Rocky Mountain High, 
making sure we all made it to the top...
Many girls
don't get to have a lot of quality time with their dads.
Although you worked a lot of hours
at multiple jobs
 to make ends meet
and do what God had called you to do,
you also made sure 
we had time with you.
You made us breakfast every morning before school
took us cross-country skiing, hiking, 
and on many, many journeys
involving canoes!

I can always picture you in the green Old Town,
paddling contentedly,
singing Sunshine on my Shoulders
{or anything John Denver.}
Or in the BWCA,
on "our island"
snoozing in the afternoon sun 
on the rocks...

you raised four strong, healthy kids...
one of them being quite a tempermental handful!
{*cough, cough*}
Just know that this "tempermental handful"
is grateful for all you have done for me,
the time you have spent,
and all the love
you continue to give
to us and now to
your grandchildren.

I am blessed to have a Dad like you

and our Baby Boy will be blessed to have
you as a Grandpa.

I love you!

your daughter,
Greta Robyn

  *   *   *
 Happy Father's Day, blogger friends!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

thrifty find: beverage tub redo!

Sometimes as I wander aimlessly through Target
 I pass one of the end caps and cannot resist the red clearance tag.
Even if it is attached to something hideously ugly.
Like this...
Not sure what Target buyer thought this beverage tub might be a hot seller. It kind of gave me a headache to look at.  I mean...Is it a Rorschach test?

No shocker that a whole slew of them ended up on a clearance endcap at 75% off last summer.

Since I kind of have a thing for aluminum beverage tubs though...I thought I could find a use for this.
{Confession #1: I actually bought three!}
See how pretty the inside is?
{Confession #2: I am not crafty at all.  I cannot sew.  I cannot Mod Podge or Cricut or sling a glue gun. I can, however, spray a mean can of paint.}  

I knew I wanted a really clean, simple and versatile tub -- so I went all black.
I sprayed the outside of the tub black, then I sprayed a layer of black chalkboard paint on the front.
Easy project for the non-crafty, like me!
What will I use it for?  Not quite sure yet...but for now I wrote in white chalk one of my favorite words:
Then I filled the tub with wine bottles:

Sidenote: You may notice it is set on a chrome beverage stand.  You can get these most larger stores that sell home goods.  I got my for $10 at Target -- another thrifty find!

I am really excited to use this tub at the next gathering we host!

Not bad for $2.98! 

PS: One of the other beverage tubs I used in my laundry room to hold detergent, etc.  Click {here} to check it out!

L O V E -