Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Maternity Photos

The days are long but the years are short.  This phrase really embodies 2013 for me.  There were so many days that felt like an eternity trying to keep up with an active 2 year old while riding out waves of morning - rather, all day - sickness nausea. The overwhelming exhaustion that made it nearly impossible to stay awake through the bedtime routine - my husband found me passed out in my son's bed more nights than I care to admit.  But in the same breath it's like I blinked and a year had passed.  

In early January 2013 I got the feeling of "could I be pregnant?" and sure enough...

Baby's first photobomb?

This wasn't my first rodeo, so I knew what was in store for my body.

I was reluctant to have maternity photos taken because I felt like a cow.  But I knew that this was most likely my last pregnancy, and I didn't have them taken with my first, so I went for it.  And I am so glad I did!  EyeWonder Photography made me into a beautiful earth goddess mama. 

Like the dress?  I took inspiration from A Beautiful Mess and her adorable and EASY no-sew maternity dress. 

Naturally, I had pinned some inspiration maternity photos on Pinterest -- of course I did!  But I'm so happy that EyeWonder had this vision, and that I had the energy and ability to traipse around in the woods on a humid morning, because it turned out to be amazing. 

When I got the photos from EyeWonder, I exclaimed "I don't actually look like that!!"  They are magicians with cameras, for realz.  I'm so glad I went for it to document such a brief yet exciting and important time of my life.  

On September 9th, I gave birth to my second beautiful boy and life has been stuck on the fast forward button ever since.


I've returned to work, and life is crazier than ever.  But I have the creative itch nagging me, and I know I'm happier when I have my creative outlet open.  So hopefully you will be hearing more from me this year!

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2013: The Lost Year (aka I was busy!)

The good news: I'm alive!
The more good news: I had another baby!
The bad news: I was so exhausted in 2013 with working full time, caring for my 2 year old and growing a human in my uterus that I pretty much gave up on tackling Pinterest projects and writing about them.

But it's a new year and I'm determined to get back on the blog.  My first few posts of 2014 will cover in more detail what the heck I was up to during The Lost Year, so please stay tuned!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Craft of Christmas Past

October is almost over, which means I (and maybe you too) have only two months to get my crafting butt in gear if my loved ones are going to end up with anything handmade from moi.  Lucky for them, I've had my thinking cap and my crafting pants on and already have a headstart on the handmade craft of 2012.  But that's not what we are talking about today.  Today, I offer you a Craft of Christmas Past. 

There have been many Crafts of Christmas Past - the year I took a semester of Pottery ranked up there in handmade gifts, as did they year I took Sewing 1 at JoAnne's and made all my girlfriends some pajama pants.  But today's Craft of Christmas Past is truely my favorite so far - the Owl Ornament Craft.

I found this adorable idea on the Burda Style website which included a FREE PATTERN and directions.  I wanted my owls to be a little larger and longer than the original pattern, so I made the necessary alterations and set to work.

The most time consuming part of these little cuties was hand stitching the beaks, because I'm a perfectionist, and I had to get perfect little triangular beaks.  But with a Law & Order SVU Marathon to keep me on the couch for an afternoon, they were finished in no time.

I personalized the owls for my nephews.  I had grandiose ideas of making an annual ornament for them and embroidering their names and the years.  Well, they will always have 2009...

If you are new at sewing, this is a great project to enhance your straight sewing skills.  Super fast, super easy and super cute! 

Now off I go to work on Craft of Christmas Present!  Get it?  Christmas Present!  Because it's for the Present year!  And it's a Present!  And it's Christmas!  And scene.


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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Baked Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

It's mid-October, and the weather is just going to get colder.  This means it's grilled cheese and tomato soup weather.  And boots weather.  But today we are going to talk grilled cheese.

The one thing that frustrates me about grilled cheese is that I have to grill them individually (depending on the size of your pan/griddle) so they rarely are ready all at once.  So I either serve the sandwiches separately so each person gets their sandwich piping hot, or everyone waits until all the sandwiches are ready and they are lukewarm by then.

Enter the Baked Grilled Cheese method!  I about fell off my chair when I read about this on AllRecipes.  Duh!  They are cooked all at once!  Out of the oven and served up hot all at once!  Even better, they are super fast, easy and the variation possibilities are endless!  As a full time working mama, I need some easy, fast, no-brainer meals to fall back on.  These sandwiches fit the bill!

This Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese variation gets two thumbs up by my husband, and my 20-month old happily gobbles it up too.

Ingredients with very rough measurements:
Bread - 2 slices per sandwich
Cheese - I've used Provalone and Mozzarella.  Sliced or grated works.  Two slices or small handfuls per slice of bread.
Rotisserie Chicken - Small handful per sandwich
Classico Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce & Spread
Baking Pan

Step 1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2.  Butter one side of each piece of bread.  Lay bread butter-side-down on baking pan.

Step 3.  Open the Classico Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce & Spread and stir until mixed well.

Spread desired amount of Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce on the un-buttered side of the bread.  Note: A little of this stuff goes a long way.  Start with a small spoonful, and add based on preference.

Step 4.  Add cheese.  I was using shredded Mozzarella when taking these photos.  A single slice of cheese works fine too.

Step 5.  Add chopped chicken.  I used rotisserie chicken, but if you want to cook chicken breast and slice it up, that works too.  See -- so many variations!

Step 6.  Add another layer of cheese to cover the chicken.

Step 7.  Spread the Classico Traditional Basil Pesto mix on the other slice of bread (the non-buttered side) and place on top of the sandwich, buttered side up.

Step 8.  Place in your preheated oven and bake for 6 minutes.  After 6 minutes, flip sandwiches and bake for another 6 minutes.  Check them regularly on the second 6 minutes - my oven tends to start to burn the edges after 4 1/2 minutes on the second round.

Remove from oven and serve!  These kick your Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup nights up a notch!  Enjoy!


Keeping It SimpleNap-Time Creations
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