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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Finally chose our baby girl's name!


Yesterday, I began my 29th week of this pregnancy. It has gone by SO fast! We've known for 10 weeks that our new baby was a girl, but I struggled with picking a name. I finally decided to lock one in :) Jason has liked this name for several weeks. So.....drumroll, please.....




Our baby girl is Ella Katherine! My mom REALLY wanted Ella and the more we said it, the more we liked it. I knew whatever the first name would be that Katherine would be the middle, named after my grandma and great-grandma's middle names. I was unsure about how popular Ella is, but I adore the nickname Ella Kate, if there is more than one Ella in her class. The picture below is our official facebook picture to announce our name pic. We had our friends vote from a list of our favorites on a neat site called Belly Ballot, and Ella was the number one name pick there also. We're excited for little Miss Ella's arrival in March and can't wait!



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yarn Christmas Decor

 Super Simple Christmas Decor
 My goal this Christmas season was to craft some new decor items for CHEAP! Pinterest has so many cute ideas! Some of the super easy, inexpensive ideas that I fell in love with all used yarn to make. I headed to Michael's and picked up some green, red, and white yarn (my decor colors) and the dollar store and was all set. Here are two of my favorite yarn projects.

Yarn Letters

I found this tutorial on how to make yarn letters and knew I wanted the word Joy in our living room. Instead of buying paper mache or wooden letters, I kept the cost down by using cardboard (free from work). I cut out the J and the Y from cardboard. For the O, I used a styrofoam wreath I already had. Originally, I was going to attach ornaments or bells to the O, but ended up using yarn as well (cost effective).

After each letter is ready, I got my hot-glue gun ready and started winding the yarn around each letter. I glued the ends and the areas that were tricky (the V part in the Y was a little hard). The O was simple, but time consuming. I wrapped it in white, but then used red and green to add interest.

After they were done, I just attached to our wall with command strips. At first, nothing was behind the O, but it looked plain. I had purchased an adorable round snowman from the Dollar Tree and placed him behind it. Problem solved and so cute!


Yarn Trees

Next, I found these adorable glitter trees on Pinterest. Hubby isn't thrilled with glitter around the house (it does get everywhere!) so I decided to use my yarn instead. The Dollar Tree had syrofoam trees and I already had the yarn. I began at the top of each tree, spiraling the yarn out and gluing the top so it wouldnn't unravel. Around and around I went until I got to the bottom, where a dab of glue held the yarn in place. All three trees took 10 minutes and are one of my favorite items in the house! How simple is that? 



Hope you enjoy these crafts and make them for your own house! I like the yarn letters so much I may make them for our nursery :)

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

Sopapilla (or Churro) Cheesecake Bars

Mmmmmmm! Cinnamon, sugar, cream cheese, and crescents....how much easier and delicious could a recipe be? I tried this recipe at my friend Jamie's house one day and it was heavenly! Hers was served warm (which I prefer), but I made these for a ladies outing and cold was still delicious (and prettier). Drizzle the top with honey for an added touch of sweetness. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients


 

Instructions

  • Unroll and spread 1 can crescent rolls on bottom of 9x13 pan
  • Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread mixture over crescent rolls.

  • Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture. Pinch seams together
  • Spread melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.




  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
  • These cut much easier when completely cooled and served cold. But, if prefer warm, go ahead and serve (just may not look as pretty!)
  • Drizzle with honey, if desired
*Note, in pictures above, I used too much crescents. I used 1-1/2 rolls in each layer instead of one (thinking it would over better). Still good, but a little too much bread vs cheesecake

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Maternity Halloween Shirt

DIY Maternity Shirt for Halloween



While searching for maternity costumes for Halloween, we stumbled across many DIY ideas on Pinterest. Some were very cute, some more gruesome, some just ridiculous! We decided that we liked the basic Maternity Skeleton shirt the best, and it was fairly easy and cheap to make. Searching for a template for our skeleton wasn't so easy. Many bloggers posted their great pictures, but didn't have a template to follow. When we found this wonderful blog, we were excited she had a great idea for the template!

To make the costume, you will need the following:

  • A black shirt
  • Fabric paint (White and pink)
  • Foam paintbrushes
  • Exacto knife
  • Freezer paper
  • Optional tulle, ribbon, or fabric for a tie (if a baby boy)
  • Iron
First step is tracing the template onto the freezer paper. We opened these pictures into Gimp (free online editing) and blew them up to the size we wanted.  So, just click on each one to make larger, save to your computer, and upload to the program you chose.

We taped freezer paper onto the computer monitor and traced each picture onto the paper. Super easy!

Next, was the most time-consuming part: cutting out the template. Using a very sharp exacto-knife, we were able to easily do this. It took awhile- the baby skeleton's fingers and toes weren't so easy!

 Once the template was all cut out, we were ready to begin ironing on the freezer paper. First, turn your shirt inside out and iron on a piece of freezer paper to the shirt. This will catch any paint that will bleed through the shirt.
 Then turn shirt back the right way and iron the template onto the shirt (shiny side down).
 Our original blogger didn't put the face on the baby. We cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth and put it on our baby. Once you paint, you can peel them off to expose the black.

 Once the stencil has cooled, you can begin to paint. We began by dabbing on paint, as you would a stencil.
 That technique worked well, but was rather light. We put two more layers on with this method, and it was still light...
We then decided to slather the paint on really thick.
 So here is where we messed up. I'm sharing this to save you the grief we went through the next day :) If you choose to slather it on, let it dry to just tacky and remove the stencil. Our mistake? We left it on overnight. Have you ever painted a room and left the painter's tape on too long? Same concept- the paint stuck to the stencil and removing it was so hard!! We couldn't tell where the stencil was and where the paint was.

After peeling, scoring, and guessing for awhile, we were able to remove the whole stencil. Several layers of paint ended up peeled off the edges. So, in the picture below, is how the baby looked. I thought some of the bones looked neat, like they were shaded. But the ribs looked horrible.

I then decided to take our fabric paint and trace the outlines of the bones, to fill in the missing parts. That worked pretty good.

Let dry (again) and Ta-Da! Shirt is all done! Our original blogger didn't know the sex of her baby, so the baby part was plain. We knew I was having a girl, so we "girled" it up :) Beth sowed a bow and tu-tu on from some tulle. This completely made the shirt even more awesome! Of course, if you are having a boy, you could make a little bowtie or blue rattle and that would be adorable. I love our tu-tu! I've seen these shirts with the hair bow, but never a tu-tu!
 Our finished product :) Ignore the lovely background (I was at work getting ready to take the kids to our church party)! I received so many compliments there and people couldn't believe we made this. So cute!!





Sunday, October 14, 2012

Melanie's Gender Reveal Party!!

Have you heard of the newest trend in pregnancy? It's the gender reveal party, and is all the rage on Pinterest! When we saw some of the ideas, we knew we had to throw one for announcing my last baby. With three boys already, the odds were we were having another boy, but figured it would be a fun way to find out! 
Not sure what a gender reveal party is? Basically, instead of the ultrasound tech announcing "Boy" or "Girl" at the ultrasound, she instead wrote the results down and placed in a sealed envelope. The parents-to-be then find out at a party or dinner, along with their family and friends. There are many ways to make the "announcement"- from having a baker design and bake a cake with the inside color either blue or pink, having older siblings open a box of clothes for the corresponding gender, to having a box of balloons filled in either pink or blue to float out as it is opened. We opted for the balloons, thinking it makes the best photo ops.
We had almost a week between the ultrasound and planned party date to prepare (although we started much earlier!). I was a good girl and never peeked at the envelope (I hate ruined surprises!). All of the crafting and planning made that week go by fairly fast :) We made almost all of the decorations (with the help of our sister Erin and her Cricuit!) and all of the favors. It was so much fun! 

So, enough with the chit-chat....on to the party!!

Our church teen area we used- all decorated :) 
Our table centerpieces- handmade lip & mustache chocolate suckers
 
 The beverage station- Blueberry Punch for Team Man and Strawberry Lemonade for Team Lady, complete with mustache and lip straws
 Adorable water bottles Beth made
 Fun favors for the guests to take
 Beth's awesome cupcakes. My camera didn't do them justice! She did a great job!
 Old Wives Tales List- I had a 50/50 chance!
 The food station- a Chili & Hot Dog Bar 

The "Cast your vote" station. Guests chose a lips or mustache pin, and had their pictures taken with their chalkboard ballot
 Beth's vote
 My husband Jason and my votes
 The ADORABLE reveal box! Beth and Erin did a great job on decorating it!
 Balloons hidden inside! Yay!
 Ready to find out!!
 Untying the ribbon....
PINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 I so was not expecting pink! My brain took a minute to realize it wasn't blue!
 And then it hits me......and I sob like a baby!!!!!!!!


 Our house of blue finally adds our pink princess <3

Happy to announce we are having our precious daughter!
A huge thanks to Beth and Erin for all of their hard work! It was a wonderful party and such a fun way to announce our baby's gender. So many people cried and were overjoyed! Thanks to all who came to celebrate with us! Love ya'll!!