Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dare to DIY Blog Party with the NewlyWoodwards: Week 6; Dare to Have Traditions

This is the last week of Kim's DIY Blog Party. I can't believe that the end is here, but I really can't believe that Christmas is just around the corner. This Christmas has come more quickly than any other I can remember!!

Christmas to me means being with the ones I love. Growing up that meant packing up the car/van and hitting the road. I have many fond memories of Christmas travels. There were the many, many books that my mom would read to us as dad drove. There were the fights over who got to sit where. There was the year one sister decided to brush her teeth in the van and when she tried to spit out the window it actually went into the back seat and landed on my other sister's pillow. There were the countless sandwiches (some with mayo and some without) that were made in the morning before leaving so that we wouldn't have to stop for fast food on the way. The Christmas decorations that adorned our hotel room the one Christmas. The family that we picked up off the side of the road after they hit a deer. The list could go on and on. Looking back I realize how truly wonderful it was to be able to spend so much quality time together. Getting there was really half of the trip.
This year as we celebrate our first Christmas with a child of our own, I wonder what traditions will emerge for our family. Will I read the same stories to my little girl as my mother read to me? As she gets older will she stay up late the night before a trip with the hope of being able to sleep in the car as much as possible? One day, will she have siblings to fight with over who gets to sit where?
In the end, spending Christmas with those near and dear is really one of the best presents of all.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Scrumptious Saturday: Chicken Broccoli Braid

It was one of those weeks where I really had no clue what day it was all week long. So Friday came and went and I didn't get this posted. I apologize to all of you for making you wait so long. You were all waiting, right?
I found this recipe at the blog Recipe Resource. It was very good and easy. I will definitely be making this one again.
-1 can crescent rolls
-2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
-1 c cooked broccoli (I cooked up some frozen, but I am sure you could cook some fresh broccoli as well)
-1 red pepper, diced
-1 can cream of chicken soup
-1/2 c sour cream
-1 c grated cheese

1. Mix all ingredients, except for crescent rolls, in large bowl.
2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Lay out crescent rolls with with point ends out and large ends overlapping to form a base.
3. Spoon broccoli mixture down the center of the dough. Fold the pointed edges over the mixture and seal.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Season Is It Anyway?

I bought a winter coat for Little Peachy today while shopping at Target. It was on clearance for 50% off. Hmm, the last time I checked we hadn't even reached winter yet on the calendar. What are people going to do when they need a winter coat in January and they have been replaced by swimsuits?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Getting My Craft On

You know you've got a lot of projects going when your pin holder is almost empty!! Better get that sewing machine cranking.

While I won't be able to show you many of the things I am creating until after Christmas, here are two creations I finished up this weekend that I can show you.

1) Little Peachy's Christmas shoes.

2) Christmas shoes that I made for a friend's daughter. (Hope they work out, Bekah!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dare to DIY Blog Party with the NewlyWoodwards: Week 5 Dare to Deck the Halls

I really didn't create any new decorations for our home this year. I have kind of adopted a less-is-more approach to Christmas decorating. Kim's challenge this week had my wheels turning. Do I quickly create something for the challenge? (Nope, too many other projects going right now.) Do I skip this week? (Technically, I already skipped one week. I didn't want to miss out on another.) So, I am recycling an idea from last year.

I love to send and receive Christmas cards and letters. My mom has always hung each card and picture that they receive up in the house. I can remember seeing the cards in different locations in the different houses that we lived in. This is a tradition that I wanted to continue for myself. In the apartments that I have lived in, I simply used good old masking tape and hung them right up. Once we moved into our new house, I didn't want to mar the paint job by sticking and un-sticking tape. Last year I came up with this idea to display our cards without using tape.

I bought some decorative metal stars from JoAnn Fabrics and hot glued ribbons to their points. Using Command Hooks, I hung the stars from the wall. When we receive a card I use sticky tack to adhere it to the ribbons.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Foodie Friday: Pizza Bites

We love pizza. M and I think that we could eat pizza everyday. There are so many varieties out there I really don't think that we would get sick of it. I found this recipe on the blog For the Love of Cooking I made sure to enter it on our December menu. After making it, I think that it will be making many menus after this month as well.

Start with my basic dough recipe. (I doubled it so that I could make two pans and we could have leftovers.)
While dough is rising, get your favorite pizza ingredients ready. I used Mozzarella, Feta, sliced black olives, and mini pepperoni slices.
Grab walnut sized pieces of dough. Flatten into your hand and place desired ingredients into the dough. Seal dough around the ingredients. Place dough rounds into a greased pie tin. Brush tops of bites with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil to taste.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 16-18 minutes. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.
This recipe would be great for kids to help out with. (They would probably have to be older than Little Peachy, though.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

7 Months

Today our little girl turns 7 months old. When people meet our daughter we usually get one of a few comments:
1) Just look at her red hair! (And then they normally want to know where she gets it from. Obviously my red highlights aren't fooling anyone.)
2) She is such a good baby.
3) What a good smile.
4) Look at those cheeks.
5) She is so cute. (But, what are they going to say to the doting parent?)

I have to say that I agree with all of their comments.

1) Peachy does have red hair. It isn't screaming red, but it does have a strong red tint to it.
2) She is such a content and happy little girl.
3) She loves to flash those gums and two teeth at anyone who will look her way.
4) Yes, she does have rather pronounced cheeks!!
5) I might be a bit biased (okay, lets be honest, their is no might about it, I am,) but I think she is a cutey patooty!

Some things that others may not realize right away is that Peachy is very determined. (This could prove to be problematic in a month or two, but it is a good trait to have.)
Going along with that determination is her physical strength. There are times I have no idea how she does what she does. She ends up in the craziest positions in her crib while wearing her sleep sack and having her arms swaddled. ( I would love to have a video monitor just to see how she does it.)
Peachy is always pretty excited about food. She eats three solid "meals" a day. (That is if you call pureed veggies and infant cereal meals.) When in her highchair being fed she often keeps her arms out and leans her body forward with her little mouth open. She doesn't want anything to get in the way of that loaded spoon. Between yesterday and today she learned the joys of feeding herself Cheerios. In that amount of time she went from the fist grab to using her index finger and thumb. (See, her determination is already getting her far in life!)
We love our little girl and I am truly blessed to be able to spend so much time with her!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


With Little Peachy looking on and Auntie Jo on the phone, I entered the names into the bucket. (You know, the names for the picture frame giveaway.) I reached my hand inside and randomly selected Rebekah J. B. (That's right, Bekah, I will be mailing picture frame #1 to you. Consider it an early Christmas/birthday present.)

Too Bad

Baby's first trip to IKEA!! (Too bad baby books don't come with that page.) Yes, Peachy and I made it to IKEA this past weekend. (It is also too bad when your hotel is a mere blocks from the happy blue and yellow shopping paradise. It was also almost too bad that I thought we would have to miss it because they didn't open early enough. Yeah for Holiday hours.)
Reasons why I love IKEA even more now that I have a child:
1. The family restroom. I was able to use the restroom when we got there and put Peachy down by a toy they had mounted on the wall. So nice!
2. They have so many fun things to buy for kids. (I loaded up on lots of fun and unique toys. You know that a soon to be 7 month old can't have enough toys.)
3. The family restroom. I was able to use the family restroom to nurse before we hit the road. (I even wheeled my cart in.)

Ah, yes, the first of many trips to IKEA.
(Do you notice how sleepy she is starting to look here? That made for one of the quickest shopping experiences, ever. Good thing I was able to fill my cart anyway. (Or is that too bad?))

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This Weekend Continued

Saturday morning, Peachy and I hit the road to meet up with a college friend, her two little girls and her mom. It was a quick trip, but so nice to spend the time together. I hadn't met either of her little ones and she hadn't met Peachy. We pretty much just hung out at the hotel. Peachy got to try swimming out for the first time. She loved splashing with her hands and feet. Although she was a bit surprised when the water would get in her face. You'll have to check back in tomorrow to see what other first Peachy got to experience this weekend.

Here are our two bathing beauties. They are only three days apart!! (And both chunky little monkeys!)

Here they are inspecting the pillows on the bed. They both sat there and contented themselves with this activity for quite some time.
Hanging out on the bed. (Unfortunately with three girls under the age of two, not much sleep was to be had in the bed. It seemed like one would wake up and just when that one would go back to sleep another would wake up.)

Monday, December 7, 2009


I had a busy and oh, so fun weekend. It started early when Little Peachy and I hosted playgroup on Friday morning. There is just something so fun about little ones scooting, crawling, and walking all over our house. Toys could be seen everywhere and laughs could be heard all around. That evening the moms in the playgroup went out for a night away from the little ones. Ah, the joys of moms' night out.

We started at the theater with The Blind Side. What a great movie. We all loved it!!

Next we headed over to the micro-brew next door for talk, laughs, drinks, laughs, appetizers, and laughs. I had to head out early (well, 11 p.m. really is quite late for me to be out these days, but it was way too soon) so that Peachy and I could get on the road for our next adventure Saturday morning. More on that too come.

These ladies are all awesome. I really think that we have to best playgroup ev-er! In addition to being wonderful moms, they are supportive, caring, and fun. Even though we have only known each other for a few months it seems like so much longer. (I mean that in a good way!) Thanks ladies for being such wonderful new friends to Peachy and I.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dare to DIY Blog Party with the NewlyWoodwards: Dare to Give Homemade Gifts

Its no secret that I love to give a homemade gift. Pretty much every year you can find at least one homemade gift leaving our house. This year is no different. However, I can't really tell you all of my gifts because they are secrets. However, I did create these fun little gifts that I figured I could share with you. I am not sure yet whose hands will be opening these at Christmas, but if it is you, please act surprised.

I got this idea (like many other ideas) from ETSY. Kim from TomKat Studios has the cutest ideas. I like how my frames turned out, but her frames are so, so, so much cuter. (Unfortunately hers are all sold out, so I had to make do with my own.) These were quick and easy and don't really require many supplies.
When I first set out to make these I looked for frames to cover that were more similar in size and shape to Kim's, but didn't have much luck. I thought that we may have to create them ourselves until I found these at Wal-Mart. (Yes, gasp, I shop at Wal-Mart.) I can't remember anymore what I paid for them, but I do remember that they were inexpensive enough for me to buy 8 in one shot. (They also come in black.)

1. Trim scrapbook paper to the size of your frame.
2. Decoupage the paper to the front of the frame.
3. Cut coordinating paper to the size of the inside of the frame and place inside where the picture would go.
4. Cut circles out of the coordinating paper.
5. Adhere paper circles to back of plastic windows. (I purchased mine through my Close to My Heart stamp dealer. I am pretty sure that you can find them at most craft and scrapbooking stores.)
6. Glue the circles onto flowers. (I also bought my flowers through Close to My Heart. Again, you should be able to find similar products out there.)
And speaking of sharing with you, this post is another giveaway! Simply leave a comment on my blog or on my note on Facebook with the number of your favorite frame by Wednesday at noon and I will enter you for a chance to win one of these flower frames. Make sure I have a way of contacting you if you are the winner.
1. 2.
3. 4.
5. 6.
7. 8.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Foodie Friday: Pancake Mix

Breakfast for supper is a common occurrence around the Bowl of Cherry House. It is easy and I usually have everything that I need on hand to whip it up. I have made from-scratch pancakes in the past, but I normally use Bisquick. (After all, the point of this dinner is to be quick and easy.) However, I recently mixed up a batch of Brown Eyed Baker's pancake mix and I am a convert. Her buttermilk pancakes are so good I eat them without anything on them. (Although occasionally some jam or peanut butter may find its way to a few.) It does take a little more work than the Bisquick method, but let me assure you that it is totally worth it. (Being that the original recipe is from Alton Brown, is there any wonder why?)

Mix Ingredients:
-6 c flour
-1 1/2 t baking soda
-3 t baking powder
-1 T salt
-2 T sugar

Mix Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a lided container. Shake to mix. Use within 3 months.

Pancake Ingredients:
-2 eggs, separated
-2 c. buttermilk (and don't forget that you can make your own buttermilk with vinegar or lemon juice)
-4 T melted butter
-2 c pancake mix
Pancake Directions:
-Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees and preheat oven to warm.
-Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl. Whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.
-Combine the buttermilk mixture and the butter mixture together in a large bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
-Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Whisk together until just combined. (Don't worry about lumps.)
-Pour batter onto griddle. Turn when the pancakes start to bubble. Cook another two to three minutes. Wrap in towel and place in warm oven until ready to eat.

Speedy Delivery

I have been amazed at the speed with which our online orders have been arriving here. Check SpellingWe ordered something from Amazon Thursday night and something from a hardware store Saturday. Both packages arrived on Monday! That was with standard shipping. I received shipping confirmation on an order I placed with JoAnn Fabrics yesterday morning. When I clicked on the link it said that it was in town and out for delivery. By 3 p.m. it was spread out on my living room floor!!
The postal service, UPS, and Fed Ex are doing Mr. McFeely proud, I tell you!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Techno Menu

I haven't been very good about menu planning lately. I have just been winging it. Sometimes it is just nice to take a break. I decided with the heckticness (is that a word?) of December it would be good to get back on the wagon. I was going to just type in the meals on a calendar on the computer and then print it out, when it dawned on me. If I was getting my recipes off the internet I could link the recipe to its day. That way when I need it, bam, there it is. We will see how it works out. There of course are some recipes that aren't online, but that isn't a big deal. Most of those for this month I know what I am doing without a recipe. I also added my cookie recipes to the bottom so that I have those where I can find them when it is time to find them.
While I was on the computer, I typed up the grocery list by category. I know that it may seem like lots of work, but I am hoping that it will really save time in the long run. We shall see.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Work It

When one has a reindeer hat, one must learn to model said hat with fierceness.

"Is this the look that you are going for, mom?"
"How about totally sweet?"

"Here is the money shot!"

"Enough already! You got your picture, what more do you want from me?"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CYO: Baby Shoes

I never thought that I would be one of those moms. I always thought that I would be practical and ultimately level-headed. But alas, I have become what I thought I would not. I am a mom who loves to play dress-up with her baby. I have way to much fun buying and putting together fun outfits for Little Peachy. Luckily for me and our bank account, I haven't gone completely off the deep end. I try not to spend too much money on outfits that will only be worn for a few months and will most likely end up with spit-up and poop on them. This means that I have to get creative in my clothes gathering. I have had very good luck through garage sales and Craigslist. It feels good to get a pair of jeans for $1 that would have originally cost 20 times that amount. I have also been getting into crafting clothing and accessories for Peachy. My latest obsession is in the footwear department. (Those of you who know me well, are not all that surprised by this.) I have bought a few pairs of Peachy's shoes from Target, but otherwise they have all come from garage sales and most recently I have made them. It is so much fun taking a basic pattern and adapting it to look completely different.

The first pair of shoes I made were for Peachy's Halloween costume. When I found this pattern on Etsy at Precious Patterns I knew her costume would not be complete without them.

Since they had a deal of buy two patterns, get one free at the time, I couldn't resist and ordered this pattern as well.
On the next pair, I decided to use the pattern as a suggestion and create my own pair.

(And yes the flower is removable. You know, in case it doesn't match her outfit.)

I can't wait until I find the time to make some more!!