Thursday, September 8, 2011


I am the type that starts nesting REALLY, REALLY early. DD's room was done before I was even 15 weeks along. Since we have all the basics I only have a few things on my list. 1) cloth diapers 2) clothes (if it's a boy like we think it is) and 3) two dressers to replace DD's one.

I wanted two taller 4 or 5-drawer dressers hoping it would take up the same space as DD's short long dresser. I did a lot of internet shopping before I found the one I wanted. I had a few requirements. It had to have metal runners, it had to be sturdy, it had to be big enough, it had to be under $150, and it had to be white. Most of the dressers I found under $150 had bad reviews saying it was flimsy and cheap.

I found one at Shopko that had metal runners and a safety mechanism that only allows one drawer to be open at a time. LOVE that feature with little kids! (Does it drive everyone else nuts when they walk into your kids' room to find that the kiddos have been rummaging through the drawers and left them all open!?) This dresser was originally $260 but it was on sale for $130. I took hubby to see it and make sure he approved. Instead of taking a gamble on 2 dressers we decided to get one for DD now and make sure we like it. We've got 6 more months to get another (however I'm already accumulating stuff for the little one and I need a dresser keep it all in. We may be getting another sooner than we thought! DH will be so thrilled when I tell him...)

It took DH two or three hours to put together but it's very, very sturdy, and quite heavy. It's definitely not a Wal-mart piece of junk. Since it is so heavy I'm really glad it had the only-one-drawer-open-at-a-time feature.

I love it! The one down side has been that we've gone down from six drawers to four.

To give it a little more organization I went to Lowes and had them cut some poplar board down to the length of the drawer so I could make permanent dividers. Poplar board is so cheap, about $1.50 for 2 feet. I came home and debated what kind of glue to use to secure it. I thought about gorilla glue but it foams up so ugly. I thought about wood glue but then DH suggested silicone. It worked perfectly (and we lucked out that the poplar board is the same color as the inside of the drawers!

So instead of this:
We have this:

And DD's socks, misc stuff and panties are organized like this:
LOVE it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


After going through the torture of this past year it's been hard to believe that this is real. But we feel good about this and rather than worry, I decided to just have faith that this little one will be born healthy and strong. The Lord's timing has been a huge blessing. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after I found out I was pregnant. This pregnancy has given my mom something to look forward to and keep her hopes up.

We're so grateful for this huge blessing. It's been a good reminder of a quote I love, "Faith in the Lord includes faith in His timing."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birthday Plaques

For the sake of coming up with birthday gifts I am lucky to have my mom and my MIL's birthdays 9 days apart. And my dad's and my FIL's birthdays are also 9 days apart. Convenient, huh?

This year for my moms, I'm giving them birthday plaques. This is my mom's and MIL's is almost finished.

MIL's will have a totally different color scheme. *cough* Mickey Mouse *cough*. Now I just need to get the energy to make one for myself. Why is that always the hardest to do?

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies and Banana Bread

I found these red velvet cheesecake brownies on Pinterest and I've made them several times now. I can't describe how awesome they are! They come from this site

And they're really easy too!


  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 2-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
  7. 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  8. 1/4 tsp salt
  9. 8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
  10. 1/3 cup sugar
  11. 1 large egg
  12. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
  2. In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir until combined and very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Add flour and salt and stir until just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
  5. To prepare cheesecake mixture, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until smooth. Distribute the cheesecake mixture in 8 dollops over batter in the pan. Swirl in with a knife or spatula.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes (mine always take 45-50 minutes), until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
  7. Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack before lifting out the parchment paper to remove the brownies. (Hard to do but very important!)

Yields: 16 large brownies or 24 small brownies

I also had a craving for my mom's banana bread and these days, when I have a craving, I HAVE TO have it!NOW! :)


½ cup margarine

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup mashed bananas

¼ cup milk

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 cups flour

1½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

½ cup nuts (optional)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)


Cream margarine and sugar. Add eggs and beat. Add bananas, milk and lemon juice.

Sift dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Add nuts or chocolate chips.

Bake in well-greased 8x4x3 loaf pan for 1 hour at 350°, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Ruler growth chart

My sis-in-law had her little boy Malcolm about a month ago. As the due date approached I frantically worked on one more project, only to have it fail miserably and have to start again. Ugh. But the second one turned out just as I had hoped so I can't complain too much.

I love growth charts and I chose this style because I really love that it looks like a giant ruler. And they'll go with any decor.

They're really quite easy to make, if you don't screw up and have to start again. :)

Step one: measure out all your lines. My handy dandy sewing ruler was great for this since I could see through the plastic and make sure I was on target.


Step three: get your trusty wood burner and try not to burn yourself! I liked the tip you can see in this picture because it was really easy to make a straight line.

Step four: make a template of your numbers and lettering and trace them where you want them to end up. On a spare piece of wood try out the different tips for your wood burner so you can see what you like best. Curved number lines are much more difficult than the straight inch marks. Then CAREFULLY burn in your numbers and letters. BTW, I chose to go with their last name instead of the baby's name since I didn't think that years down the road they'd want 3 or 4 of these around their house. And I think it's fun to keep all the family's heights in one location.

Step five (optional) apply a wood stain to your wood. Then try to sand off the stain and realize it's useless.

Repeat steps one - four since the wood stain looked absolutely awful! :)

Step six: seal your wood with spray sealer.

Just to compare: the good and the bad.

DD with cousin Malcolm. Finally a cousin on this side of the family!

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