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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

24 weeks, Spring fun, & an anniversary

Phew. We just finished up Spring Break here and I am beat.

It could have something to do with me being 24 weeks pregnant, but having the kids home for 10 days really took it out of me. 9 more weeks until Summer break and I'm already exhausted just thinking about that. I'm feeling huge, or at least bigger than I did at this point in my last 2 pregnancies. I'm also feeling the effects of being almost 30 and pregnant, rather than 20 & 24 while pregnant with my previous babies. I'm really tired, get winded easily, and I'm already getting really uncomfortable.
(this was actually last week)

We had a really great week of weather here, so on my husband's day off we decided to take the kids to the park downtown. The kids wanted to feed the ducks, and it wasn't until we had gone through a half a loaf of old wheat bread that we noticed the signs that read Please do not feed the water foul. Oops. Well, now we know. But we did made fast friends with some ducks, a lot of overly-aggressive geese, and even a few seagulls. The kids loved it.






On Friday my husband and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary. That makes it 11 years together, which is kind of crazy for me to think about sometimes. It definitely makes me feel a little old!

To see more of our fun Spring pictures, hop over & follow me on Instagram.
Did you do anything fun for Spring Break?

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bright & simple quilt for a baby girl

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw that I was a busy girl this weekend (And if you don't follow me on Instagram, you should, because you'll see lots of updates on there before you see them on the blog). 

Anyway, it started with a trip to Joann Fabric. I desperately needed to start working on a quilt for my unborn baby girl, and I knew they were having a sale on fat quarters. I use these a lot in quilting and these little babies make choosing fabric easy- you can just pick what you like and skip the cut counter altogether. Normally they are $1.99 each, but on this fine day they were $1 a piece so I grabbed anything and everything that caught my eye. Here's what I ended up with for the color scheme:
Lots of pink with grey, white, and teal blue. Fun, right?

I wanted the pattern to be simple. I didn't want to spend a lot of time cutting and piecing this thing together because, well, I'm lazy. This was the first time I would use my sewing machine in months, and now I'm pregnant and tired and just wanted to get it made. I decided on a simple square alternating pattern that I knew I could whip up quickly. No reason to over-complicate it.

Then I sandwiched my quilt layers together and straight stitched the layers.

Then I did my favorite part- the binding.

And here's the finished product.
{click to enlarge}


This is why I love straight stitching. It gives a quilted look on the back too.

The backing- white with pink polka dot snuggle flannel.

Can't wait to wrap my baby up in this.

A lovely friend of mine brought me a ton of baby stuff, including a crib.
I think it looks great with the bright colors.

I still have a ton of this fabric leftover, so I'm pretty sure I'll be making at least one more quilt for my baby girl using these fabrics. I'll just do a different pattern and then the two will coordinate together. I'll be using white crib bumpers and I'll just get some plain sheet sets to complete her crib set.

This was such a fun little quilt to whip up over the weekend!
Now to put the crib together...

What's the last project you worked on?
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Friday, April 4, 2014

How NOT to roast a whole chicken in the oven

Disclaimer: I do something really stupid in this blog post. Call it pregnancy brain, lack of sleep, or just a momentary lapse in thinking, but I assure you I am not really as dumb as I make myself out to be in this post...I promise.

OK, I have to tell you about a huge cooking mishap I had earlier this week regarding roasting a whole chicken in the oven. Oven roasted chicken is something I make a lot- probably two to three times per month. My family loves it and whole chicken is pretty inexpensive for the amount of meat you get from it. Sometimes I make it with stuffing and mashed potatoes and my kids call it our "mini" Thanksgiving dinner.

The only issue I have with oven roasted chicken is that it fills the house up with smoke. The oven is on at a high temperature for over an hour and the fat drippings from the chicken onto the pan create a lot of smoke. No matter how many windows I open it always gets smoky, and this particular day was rainy and windy, so a house full of open windows wasn't a great idea. I wanted that roasted chicken though.

So, what do I do? Turn to Pinterest, naturally.

Pinterest tells me to add a half a cup of chicken broth or water to the bottom of my pan to prevent it from smoking, and to help add flavor to the gravy I may want to make from the drippings. Fabulous. So I add the chicken broth to the pan. 45 minutes into the roasting process and the house is smoke free. Thank you Pinterest, you've saved the day once again!

Then I check on the chicken. I need to see how close to being done it is so that I can start preparing and timing the side dishes. I notice that the bottom of the pan is pretty much dry now, and the drippings are just starting to smoke a little. OK, I think Pinterest said something about how the amount of liquid you use may vary, because some will evaporate depending on how long and how high you are cooking. So I think "I need to add more chicken broth." I grabbed my chicken bullion, some water, and my measuring cup and mix up another half cup or so, not thinking anything was wrong with this. (Hint: warning bells should be going off in your head right now, because I'm using a glass dish to hold my chicken!) 

Again, not thinking, I open the oven, pull out the rack, and pour the chicken broth into the dish. And it exploded. I mean, the thing seriously made the loudest sound ever and shattered all over the place. I don't know how I didn't lose an eyeball or get a shard of glass impaled into my protruding, pregnant belly.

Of course, I immediately knew what I did wrong. You're not supposed to just pour water (especially cold water) into a hot glass dish. Obviously, the glass is going to crack and break. And I just dumped the whole thing in there, which caused it to instantly shatter completely, sending glass chunks flying everywhere and left a dripping, greasy mess in the bottom of my oven.

Let me tell you, cleaning out this bad boy was not fun. I was barefoot and had to first clean up the glass that was all over the kitchen floor. Then I had to pick up all of the glass chunks out of the oven. We're talking a 13x9 inch pan here, so there was a lot of glass. I couldn't just vacuum up the rest because the bottom of the oven was full of water and chicken fat. Gross. I picked up as much glass as I could, tossed the chicken in the garbage (because I couldn't turn the oven back on), and called it a night. I do believe we had Wendy's that night for dinner instead, and my husband barbecued for the next 3 nights (score!) He also laughed at me for the next 3 nights because he couldn't believe what I did.

When it finally came time to clean the oven for real, it sucked. I put it off for as long as I could, but eventually, I needed to use the oven again. There were still tiny pieces of glass stuck in all of the gunk in the bottom of it, so I had to be extra careful not to cut myself. I guess the silver lining is that I have a really, really clean oven now.

The job totally called for a head lamp.

So there you have it: how NOT to roast a whole chicken in the oven.
A great lesson in slowing down, thinking clearly, & using common sense in the kitchen.

What's the dumbest cooking mistake you've made?

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Instagram Blog Hop {I'm co-hosting!}

I'm super excited to be co-hosting the Instagram Blog Hop this week! Make sure to link up and follow some of these fabulous ladies



Rules:
1. Follow your hosts:



Katelyn- Instagram: @learningcreatingliving

Alyssa - Instagram: @alyssaleane
Blog Bloglovin - Facebook - Pinterest

Marisa - Instagram: @burlapandbananas
Blog - Pinterest - Twitter - Google+


2. Follow your co-hosts:

Melissa - Instagram: @MelissaSwenson1

Kendwy - Instagram: @mindofkiwi

Hilary - Instagram: @cutiecameras

3. Link up your Instagram web profile
Fill out the URL, Name & Email to link up your Instagram profile as shown below:
If this happens to pop up: "Error: The requested URL returned error: 500", that's totally fine! It simply means that it's unable to find a picture to use not that you have a link that is bad. Click on "Direct Image URL" if you have one or "Upload from Computer" and pick an image of yours to upload. If you still have trouble, you might be better off with using Followgram or Webstagram to upload your profile/picture.

4. Check out other Instagram profiles & make new friends!
After all, that's what this party is all about!

5. Share the Instagram Blog Hop & spread the party around so we can keep making new insta-friends!

If you're interested in guest co-hosting one week, email learningcreatingliving@yahoo.com

Link up






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