Saturday, April 19, 2014

Before I was a mom...

The words are not mine originally, but they say everything I want to say. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Baby Quesadillas

I have somehow managed to have the pickiest eater on the face of the planet. I choose to blame her "meat and potatoes" daddy for that one!

The biggest issue we are having is that she won't swallow her food. She also doesn't spit it out. She just holds it there. Gross. 

She will eat some things: peanut butter and jelly, fish sticks, mashed potatoes... But the list of what she won't eat? I'd need a whole other blog for that. 

We went to Moe's Southwest Grill a few weeks ago, and she liked the cheese quesadilla she tried. I think it reminded her of her crackers, which she loves! But a cheese quesadilla is not very nutritious. 

Parker won't eat chicken when we feed it to her. It's one of those foods she just holds in her mouth. What I did was take some leftover chicken from last night and chopped it very fine. I heated it up with about a half jar of carrots and peas baby food. I put that inside the tortilla with some cheese to make it stick and cooked it like a regular quesadilla. I cut it into sticks to be more like her beloved club crackers. 

Ta-da! I have managed to trick my child into eating something new and nutritious!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Easter Pictures

Working with Image 1:27 Photography, Ryan and I do a lot of on-location photo shoots. We do not have a studio (yet!), so it's been easier to find a beautiful outdoor location. Pretty easy to do living in Alabama! 

I had been scouring Pinterest for Easter picture ideas, and I fell in love with the shabby chic studio portraits. I have my backdrop stand, so I decided to take over my eat-in kitchen area and transform it into a mini-studio. 

I had the backdrops: a cream colored flat bed sheet and a lace curtain. I made some streamer garland with scraps from a jelly roll. The white basket is what we keep our shoes in by the front door. The pink blanket is one that my husband's aunt made. The box that Sweet P is sitting on and the adorable stuffed animals are from Ryan's house. I bought the eggs at Hobby Lobby. 

I have big patio doors that let in a ton of light. I took down their curtains to let in as much light as possible before the sun was shining in directly. 

And here is what I came up with!

Parker looked so precious in her Easter dress! 

I'll have to keep experimenting with different backdrops. This was so much fun!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cute as a button, and so much fun...

I hate to admit it, but...

I am THAT mom.

The one that planned her daughter's first birthday for six months prior to the actual event.

But you know what?

It was worth it!

I had the most fun ever getting ready for Parker's "Cute as a Button" themed party.  Everything was DIY- from the food to the decor.  It took a while to figure out what was going to be needed and just how to go about doing everything.  I realized though that if I could have any job in the world, it would be party planning.  I love this stuff.  I think I planned more for this party than I did for our wedding!

It all started with a picture that I found on Pinterest. It is from Hostess with the Mostess.  I fell in love with the idea- the gallery wall, the buttons... It was precious.  And I had to create my own version.

I began working on the items for the gallery wall first.  The button monogram was my first piece.  The frame is actually painted foam board cut out.  Much cheaper than buying a real frame! For the monogram, I printed off the "P" and simply covered it in buttons.  So easy.

Instead of buying a cake, I made cupcakes.  That way no one would have to spend any time cutting pieces.  Everyone could just walk by and pick one up.  I did want to make them cute, though, but I am not a cake decorator by any means.  Instead, I wanted them to be simple.  Rather than try (and fail) to decorate them, I decorated toothpicks instead.  Trust me, I am much better with a glue gun than with a piping bag! For these little guys, I bought a decorative hole punch, scrapbook paper, and tons of buttons.  I punched out my paper circles and hot-glued a button to the front center and a toothpick to the back.  Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? Just as much!

My next project was my "Cute as a Button" painting.  I liked the one from my inspiration picture, but I didn't want to just recreate what someone else had done.  Instead, I painted the canvas, made button flowers and hot-glued them to the canvas, and then hand-stitched (yes, HAND-STITCHED) stems and leaves under the flowers.  For those of you who may not know, I do not sew. At all. Ever. But anything for the baby, right? I used this technique to trace my words and filled them in.  It turned out so well!

I wanted to add some extra posters to the wall, so using the the left over foam board, I framed two small graphic designs that I created using

I bought frames from the dollar tree and covered them completely in buttons! These hung on the wall as well: her pictures from 3, 6, and 9 months.

I finished the wall with two big prints in fancy frames and some fabric flowers, and the gallery wall was complete! 

For the tables, I found some really pretty burlap and lace ribbon to use as a table runner. There was no sewing involved! On the runner, I put pictures of Parker from newborn to one year.   I found some beautiful, bright flowers and put them in my decorated jars.  I also made marshmallow pops for guests to enjoy as they sat around.  Those were so simple!

I had originally wanted to fill the jars with all button flowers, but after I realized that would take WAY to many buttons, I intermingled the button flowers with the real flowers.  It was the perfect touch!

The marshmallow pops were insanely simple! Dip half a marshmallow into water, let drip, and dip it into the sprinkles.  They held up very well for the party and all the kids loved them (and the adults too!)

I made a tutu for the highchair using this technique, but instead of putting it on elastic, I used yarn and attached it with tape.

Parker's party was as fun as could be! I still can't believe my sweet baby is one year old! I had a blast decorating and planning her party! I'm already looking forward to next year!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday morning breakfast

I got up with the one year old this morning while my husband slept in. It is ALWAYs the other way around. But today, she demanded "Mama!" So I fed her breakfast and realized I wanted some breakfast of my own. Not just a bowl of cereal, but real, southern, comfort-food breakfast. I had a box of hash browns in the pantry. I had eggs in the fridge. That'll do. 

These hash browns are super easy to make. Fill the container with hot water and let sit for 12 minutes. Then drain the water and pan fry until they are a nice golden brown. 

I put the cooked hash browns in my pie plate. I scrambled four eggs with cheese and bacon bits and pour them over the hash browns, and sprinkled more cheese on top. Baked for 24 minutes at 350, this dish came out deliciously! I had made pancakes earlier in the week and frozen the leftovers. I heated those up and we had pancakes and quiche for breakfast! My husband was so surprised and happy and FULL!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Philly cheesesteak pizza

Tonight's dinner was a little late, but I had promised myself and my husband that I was going to try to make Philly cheesesteak pizza. It was even easier than I thought! The pizza was ready before the oven had even preheated!

I used a pre-made pizza crust prepared according to package directions. While the oven was preheating, I spread two tablespoons of Alfredo sauce onto the crust. I cooked three slices of steak-ums steak, crumbled the meat, and spread it on the sauce. I topped it with sliced provolone cheese. My pizza crust baked at 450 for 9 minutes and came out perfect and golden brown. It was a fast and delicious dinner that I will definitely make again!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Decoupage Tea Light Holders

Look how much fun my kids had today! It was the Friday before Spring Break, and the kids were going stir crazy. There is nothing better to do with hyper kids than to give them an outlet for all that energy in a constructive way! An art project was the way to go. We sometimes struggle to find art projects that are easy enough for them but not babyish. 

I have been saving tons of Parker's baby food jars without really having a real purpose in doing so. I looked up baby food jars in Pinterest and tons I ideas came up! One idea I actually had all the necessary materials for. Decoupage tea light holders. 

I had the baby food jars, tissue paper, and glue. It's so easy and makes a really nice product. 

The kids ripped the tissue paper into small pieces, then coated their baby food jars in a mixture of water and Elmer's glue. 

Then they placed their paper onto the jar and revisited the paper with more glue. 

When the whole jar is covered, it is done! It takes a few hours to dry, especially if they are coated in lots of glue and many layers of paper. 

Once they are dry, place a tea light into the jar. The light looks really pretty coming through the colored paper. 

I love how excited the kids got making these! It makes me smile to see them so happy!