Monday, December 31, 2012

Winter Harvest Soup


This soup is perfect for a cold night! No added salt, no "cream of..." condensed soups.  Just chicken, wild rice, and broccoli.


Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 box Uncle Ben's Wild Rice
1 tbs butter (to cook the rice)
1 bag frozen, steam-in-the-bag broccoli
5 cups of chicken broth
garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper

Directions:
Cook the rice according to package directions, but do not let it cook all the way.
While the rice is cooking, steam the broccoli.
Combine the shredded chicken, broccoli, and rice into 5 cups of chicken broth.
Bring to a boil to finish cooking the rice and to soften the broccoli.
Serve with hot dinner rolls.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pita Pizza

 
 
 
So what do you do when you are craving pizza, but still trying to eat healthy?  Replace the crust!  Instead of using a crust made from white flour, I grabbed a piece of whole wheat pita bread.  It gave it such an earthy, hearty flavor.  I topped it with cheese, tomatos, and mushrooms after brushing it with a little olive oil.  So good!

Project Nursery Part 5

In order to add more storage to Parker's room, we maximized the closet space!

The closet had sliding doors on it, meaning you could open one side or the other, but not both at the same time.  And the rocking chair in Parker's room was nearly blocking one of the doors.  Using an idea I saw on Pinterest for inspiration, my husband totally made over the closet.

He removed the doors, which immediately made the room seem larger! He took out a bar from the left side of the closet, and raised the bar on the right side side.  We picked up two cheap bookcases from Walmart for $15 a piece.  On the bookcases, we put her books, toys, shoes, and hairbows.  There is still plenty of room for more.  The diaper boxes line the top shelf in the closet.  It really opens the room up, and frees the rest of the room from being too cluttered. And when she's older and ready to play, all her toys and books will be within reach =)

We are close to being finished with the nursery!! I can't wait to bring baby girl home to enjoy it!

30 weeks


I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! My husband and I were blessed to spend it with friends and family... and have 10 days off of work for Christmas break!! *Perks of teaching*

It's wild to think that this was our last Christmas as a family of two.  It's probably our last Christmas to get to sleep in until... ever?  As joyous as our Christmases together have been, I'm already so excited for next year's, when the THREE of us will celebrate together.

Parker is already so loved by everyone.  She's not even here yet, and I'm pretty sure she got the most presents =)  It was so neat to see presents with gift tags reading "To Parker, From Grandma and Gramps"

For our Christmas gift to each other, my husband and I decided to splurge for a 4D ultrasound. I highly recommend doing this! It was so amazing.  There she was: her little face, her squishy cheeks, her pouty lips... We are in love with our beautiful little girl. 

Blowing kisses =)

She loves having her hands by her face.  She's such a little model lol

Sweet face!
 
How far along? 30 weeks, three days
Size of baby: Just under 16 inches and right at 3 lbs (according to average).  I'm definitely feeling her weight now. I tried explaining it to my husband... Imagine that when you lay on your side, someone places a three pound weight on your stomach. 
Total weight gain: 22 lbs. I'm gaining about a pound a week which makes my doctor very happy =)
Stretch marks? Not on my belly
Sleep: Sleep? What is this "sleep" you refer to?  But seriously, it is getting more difficult.  I cocoon myself with pillows to try to prop up the growing baby bump.  She's so active at night! I love her dearly, but if she doesn't keep her knees out of my rib cage, she is going to start out her life grounded.
Best moment this week: Seeing her precious face at the 4D ultrasound. I mean seriously, have you seen those cheeks!!
Worst moment this week: Just trying to get comfortable.
Movement: All the time! She is a mover!
Food cravings: Nothing lately.  I've been getting heartburn more and more, so I've been trying to really watch what I eat.
What I miss: I'll miss toasting in the New Year, but sparkling grape juice will be just fine =) 
What I am looking forward to: Doctor appointment next week! Anytime I get to hear that sweet heartbeat, I'm happy!
Weekly Wisdom: A 4D ultrasound is totally worth it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Inspiration Spotlight #21

Dear Creatives, With all the holiday goings just a quick post with inspiration & shout outs! We hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday & wish you the best for this coming New Year! Thanks for taking the time in your busy schedules to link-up & share what you made over the holidays. We look forward to seeing all your creativity, recipes & crafting ideas in the new year! So lets see who is in the spotlight & get onto the link-up!
In the SpotLight
 
 
Mindy shared this creative way to transform a glass block into a Christmas Glass Block. This idea also got my mind thinking how easy it would be to fill it with other seasonal things. hearts for Valentines, something for baby showers....You get the idea. This entry was shared by Mindy of MyLove2Create Mindy is passionate about creating things especially on a small budget. DIY, thrift shopping, and re-purposing things are right up her alley.
   
 
What I love about this is the scrappy wreath is made with paper, so it would be such a versatile tutorial to switch up for an event such as a baby shower. Not to mention how cute it looks for a holiday wreath! I will have to make one for next year & you might like to also! Kelly is a mom to three boys & on a daily adventure. She shares about making her home healthy & happy at Eyes On The Source
Every now & then there is an occasion like New Years where the sparkle is necessary. This is a great idea on how to give a pair of plain black pumps that bling you might just be looking for! This entry was from Javeriya of BelieveInspire She is a student who loves diy and crafting. Fashion designing & equestrianism are her hobbies. Blogging can be fitted somewhere in between her hectic life and graduating with a pharmacy degree!
Now its your turn to inspire us! It may take a moment for linky to load!

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Inspiration Spotlight #20

Dear Creatives, Many of you were able to join last week with Inspiration Spotlight despite how busy a season it is! So many great entries, ideas & recipes. It really helps when looking for things to craft or even make with the kids during the holiday break. We are so happy that you joined in once again & are spreading the word so more people can join in & also see what you are making. Now onto some of our favorites from this past week's link-up. Be sure to join in if you haven't as we'd love to have you this week or any week you are able to participate! Thanks for all the great crafting ideas, recipes & holiday ideas that you shared!  
In the Spotlight!
This entry is what every mom needs to have her little ones sleeping soundly on Christmas eve! This recipe has added goodness. I know I am going to mix up some over here! Crystelle who pens Crystelle Boutique. Dreaming about the next funky, happy, and unique item to create, and in between play-dates, music and swimming lesson, 300 lbs of laundry, or the millionth trip to the grocery store ~ mind you ~ She looks to fabricate a cheerful, colorful item that will put a smile on your face!
Now who doesn't like simple? I know I do & finding projects that anyone can do. These adorable snowmen & gingerbread men were entered by The Pin Junkie. She also shares the template along with how to make them.She is one crafty gal!    
Susan at Organized 31 shared a great idea of re-purposing a sweatshirt that her son wouldn't be wearing anymore into a keepsake! If you have kids or even grand kids there are so many times they bring home items & looking at them in a new way so they can still enjoy the memories is a great idea! Don't forget to see her idea for re-purpose cards into gift cards & other great ideas. Susan has been a Air Force officer, to a Parent Educator, to a stay-at-home mom, with many other experiences along the way. She believes that life is better when organized. Susan is a mom to 3 & wife to active Air Force officer.  
   
Christmas Tree Advent Calendar
  You may not have time for this idea for this Christmas, but pin it for making ahead of time for next year! Mindi at My Love 2 Create shows you how! Mindy is passionate about creating things especially on a small budget. DIY, thrift shopping, and re-purposing things are right up her alley.
You can see all the participants entries archived under link-up in case you missed it!
Now it’s your turn to join in & inspire!
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Enchilada Layer Bake

Ingredients:
10 oz can Enchilada sauce
1 lb lean ground beef
~2 cups shredded cheese
taco seasoning
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown ground beef over medium high heat. Drain.
Add taco seasoning and a splash of enchilada sauce to meat. Coat evenly.
Spray a 9 inch round pan with nonstick spray.
Layer tortilla, meat, splash of enchilada sauce, and cheese. Repeat until out of meat.
Top with tortilla, enchilada sauce, and shredded cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes, until heated through and cheese is bubbly.
 
 


Friday, December 14, 2012

Inspiration Spotlight #19

It's beginning to feel more & more like the holidays with all the creative ideas that everyone has been linking up here on Inspiration Spotlight! We have been thrilled to have you enter your crafts, decor, recipes, ideas & tutorials! With the hustle & bustle of Christmas coming I hope you have time to continue to link-up & have your chance to be in the spotlight! When your done linking up if you would like to have a chance at winning a great creative prize of a Digital Software Program be sure to enter the My Memories Digital Suite giveaway & free printable gift tags from me to you! Entry not necessary to grab the freebie gift tags!! They are ready to print onto card stock & then just add your sparkle, punch a hole & ribbon to your gifts. Now onto this weeks spotlight! & then it's your turn to drop in your links!
In The Spotlight
Connie shared these wonderful pages she made & is sharing them for your scrap-booking or art work. Connie is the voice behind Family Home and Life. Connie is a wife, mother of 5 adult children (his and mine), grandmother to 9 and counting! Connie has learned to make do with what she has. She writes about what she is up to, sharing good things, and throws in a funny or insightful life story now and then. Connie believes life should be about making memories with loved ones, with good food and lots of laughter!
Kaitlyn @ Wifessionals
I don't think I ever tire of jar gifts whether making or receiving them. When they are easy to put together, have something you can make later & when it' s done you still have a jar for using. How can you go wrong? Kaitlyn from Wifessionals shares how to put together this yummy jar gift. Kaitlyn shares her life with her husband who is in the military, recipes & reviews. She has a degree in fashion design & merchandising, but is currently a domestic engineer.
Tiffany @ Vintage Marigold
We all love Pottery Barn don't we? I know I do. The best part of this project is the money saving & how much it looks like the original. Honestly $100. for a sign? Tiffany made hers for about $15. Thanks for inspiring us to make vs purchase! Tiffany is a Thirty-Something. Married to her college sweetheart & mom of two. Rebel. Alpha Xi Delta. Likes: Grilled Cheese, DIY Projects, Historical Fiction. Fast Cars. Bear-claws.
I had to give Sarah a shout out for such a simple, delicious looking candy treat for holiday time. I can't wait to give it a try! Sarah is shares recipes on her blog, lots of freezer cooking & baking, along with her family life.
Now it's your turn to join in & inspire!
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Monday, December 10, 2012

The Meaning of "Mama"


This is my favorite Christmas ornament. 

It was made by one of the special olympic athletes at the school where I work.  They were selling them to fund their field trips to and from the games.  The boy that made this was very insistant that I get one of his snowmen that he made. He saved this one for me inparticular. It's made of cinnamon dough and smells amazing.

I met this boy last year when he transferred from another school.  He was very shy. I would walk with him into the cafeteria and sit with him while he ate his lunch.  Whenever I saw him in the hall, I always asked how he was doing. He can throw a football farther and more perfectly than anyone I've ever seen, and he has the voice of an angel.

This year, he started calling me "Mama" I figured because I was pregnant.  Finally one day I asked him why he called me that. His answer made me cry.

"Any woman who loves you and takes care of you is your Mama."

I watched him perform with the Men's Choir tonight at their Christmas concert.  Afterwards, he came up to me and asked "Mama, did you hear me?"  I did. And it was the most beautiful sound in the world.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Spindle Snowmen


I saw these on Pinterest and knew I had to make a set. Living in Alabama, these may get to be the only snowmen I get to build all year! But they're cute =)

I went to Lowe's and bought three spindles from the lumber yard for about $3.50 each.  I had everything else at home, so total this project cost me less than $15!  They were already painted white, so that saved me a step.  I used paint pens to draw on the noses, eyes, mouths, and buttons.  Their hats are black socks and the scarves are strips of green felt cut and tied around the necks. Total, I maybe spent 15 minutes start to finish getting these snowmen made and put in the yard.  We have a snowman theme on the front porch, so these tie in really well =)

27 weeks



We're in the home stretch now.  Starting my 27th week means the start of the third trimester! Parker's due date is 88 days from today.  Wow! The time has really flown by. We still have so much to do!

Parker has really grown a lot in the last couple weeks.  She's starting to invade territory previously held by my lungs, so breathing has become a bit more difficult.  I'm becoming one of those pregnant people who huff and puff... and waddle lol

She's still kicking up a storm! She seems to kick the most around 10 am and then later in the afternoon and night.  My husband likes to "play" with her.  She'll kick a bit, then he'll kind of tap right where she kicked. Then she'll kick again. They'll do this back and forth several times. It's adorable. She is going to be such a daddy's girl!

I have a date set for a baby shower to be thrown by my mother-in-law and a very close friend.  I'm pretty excited.  At all of my wedding showers, we had severe weather. I'm talking tornados. Because of this, I didn't really get to celebrate at the showers. Kind of hard to when you're all hiding out in someone's basement with no power =) The baby shower will be better. I can't wait to celebrate our first child with family and friends!

How far along? 27 weeks, three days ( I did much better getting this post done on time compared to the last one!)
Size of baby: The size of a Rutabaga, apparently. Close to 15 inches long and over 2 pounds in weight.
Total weight gain: 19 pounds according to my last appointment. And it's all in my belly.
Stretch marks? None so far =) Keeping fingers crossed (and lotion applied!)
Sleep: It's been a little more uncomfortable recently.  I use a body pillow, but my hip will go numb sometimes.

Best moment this week: Hearing her heartbeat! She's still holding a strong steady beat in the 150s
Worst moment this week: I forgot to eat breakfast this morning (we were running late) and my blood sugar dropped during church =( I felt like I was going to be sick and/or pass out.  Lesson learned!
Movement: Lots and lots! We watch her move and feel her several times a day.
Food cravings: Still orange juice! Parker really likes it, too.  When she gets a taste of it, she kicks around =)
What I miss: Being able to cook without getting grossed out and tired.  I love to cook normally, but it's to the point now that I dread dinnertime. 
What I am looking forward to: We booked a 4D ultrasound!!  It will be December 29th, so by the next post, we should know pretty much what she's going to look like =)
Weekly Wisdom: Don't skip breakfast!!

And the bump grows on...




Thursday, December 6, 2012

Inspiration Spotlight #18

Wow! I am so excited =) Last week's party had almost 50 links. This week's? We were DOUBLE that with almost 100!! This little party is off to a great start!

That being said, with so many awesome projects, it was so difficult to choose our features.  There were so many great ideas and tutorials... Thanks for sharing! So without further ado, the features from Inspiration Spotlight #17 are:

I just love this little guy! It'sadorable in the daytime, too. What a great way to light up the night this winter! (And I love the name of her blog!)
 

Burlap and Chevron are two of my favorite things! This table runner is a perfect addition for anytime of year.
 

I need one of these for my front porch! Great tutorial!
 

Samm shows us how to recreate a designer vase for cheap! My favorite kind of craft =)
 
These features and those from the week before can be found here!
 
Be sure to link up again this week for your chance to be in the "Spotlight!"  Thank you to all the bloggers who linked up this week either hostess's sites. Don't forget to tell a friend so we can continue to grow this party!
 
Party Rules
  • Follow both hosts:  Dear Creatives and Accidentally Wonderful
  • Enter a craft, recipe, diy, decor, tutorial... inspire us!
  • Share the site button somewhere on your blog or link on your post back to us
  • Visit some other links and leave them a comment! 
  • Tell a friend about the party. The more the merrier =)

  •  

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