Monday, October 31, 2011

Coloring Portfolio

Recently I have been making coloring portfolios as birthday presents for Peachy's friends. I made this particular portfolio for a Cars loving 3 year old.
There are places inside for a drawing pad, stickers, and crayons or markers.
It is the perfect on the go organizer to keep little hands busy.

I am linking to these wonderful parties this week.
Today's Creative Blog

Friday, October 28, 2011

Foodie Friday: Upside Down Pizza

Here is another recipe that I discovered through Pinterest. (I love that site!) The original recipe is called Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Pot Pie, but I like the name Upside Down Pizza better. I have decided that we will have some form of pizza one night a week at our house and this delicious recipe was last week's pizza.

Upside Down Pizza

For the crust:
  • 1 pkg. yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour (you can use all-purpose, but bread flour makes a fluffier crust)
For the filling:
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • Pepperoni, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar pizza sauce
For top of crust:
  • 2 Tbs. melted butter
  • dried oregano and basil
Make the dough first.  Dissolve the yeast in the water.  Mix in the other ingredients until they are well blended.  I use a stand mixer with a dough hook, but you can also do this by hand.  Let the dough rest while you cook the sausage.
Brown the sausage with the onion and garlic.  Drain and rinse under hot water to remove the extra fat.
Heavily grease a 9×13 casserole dish.  Layer the mozzarella and then the sausage over the top.  Pour the sauce over the sausage, using a spoon the spread it out.
On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough with a rolling pin.  It should be about the shape and size of the casserole dish.  Carefully lift the dough and place it on the casserole dish.  Trim any dough that is hanging over the sides.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with oregano and basil, if desired.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.
You can flip the pieces upside down for serving. The cheese ends up on top. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Other Shoe

I really debated about whether or not to publish this post. Not because I am embarrassed or want to hide it, but more because of how personal this issue is. I use this blog to write about my day to day life, but I don't share many of my opinions and feelings on it. That is just the way I have gone about things. However, I don't want my experience to be for nothing. If one person reads this and understands just a little bit more about postpartum issues, then I have succeeded. It is not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Rather it is something that we should feel free to openly discuss and support each other through.
About a month after I had Peachy I started to realize that I just wasn't feeling myself. I was still super emotional. There were times when I would wake up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding unable to sleep. I would feel extremely anxious throughout the day for no apparent reason. At first I chalked it up to normal postpartum feelings. But soon I realized I might be experiencing something more. I talked to a doctor about it and started taking antidepressants and slowly started to feel more like myself.
I was waiting to experience the same thing after Cream was born. I reached the one month mark and still felt good. Sure I still had my moments, but what new mom  doesn't. Friends would ask how I was feeling and I told them that I was feeling good, but waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting to see if I would have postpartum issues again or if I would make it through this time.
Unfortunately I began to experience postpartum anxiety again around 5 weeks postpartum. Thankfully I could recognize it this time and talk to my doctor about it at my 6 week check up. He put me back on my medication. It has been two weeks now and I am starting to feel the medication at work. I no longer wake in the middle of the night with an overwhelming feeling. I can have more patience as I deal with Peachy in all her two year old glory. I am starting to feel a bit more like myself.
I know that it is different for every mom out there. For some having a child brings about feelings of complete happiness and fulfillment. For others there is more of a learning curve. And for some of us it just doesn't sort itself out. I consider myself to have a pretty mild case. Some are not as fortunate as I am and end up being hospitalized in order to sort everything out. A low dose of antidepressants is all that I need to control the hormones that are going wonky in my body. Others need to try different forms and dosages of medications until they find the right combination.
And medication isn't the only answer. I have been pouring myself into God's Word. Leaning on the support of friends and family. And talking about what I am feeling. Mr. Cherry is a rock as usual and has been a shoulder to cry on and an understanding ear to listen. And just because I am now on medication I am not automatically the mother I would like to be. There are still times of anxiety. There are still times I am not patient with my girls. There always will be. But to be able to feel a little more like myself and struggle a little less is a victory to me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Peachy on her first day of "preschool"
After retiring my teacher hat in order to stay home when Peachy was born, I have decided to put it back on for a very limited amount of time. This year I am running a once a week preschool out of the house for some of my friends. The kiddos head over on Thursday morning. One mom stays as my helper and we work on movement, singing, and letters. We have had two sessions so far. It is very casual, but also fun.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cream's Baptism Affirmation

Peachy enjoying some time with her cousin E.

In our family, we have decided to baptize our children in the hospital. We do this to avoid putting baptisms off while waiting for a convenient time for extended family to be available to come to the actual baptism in church.
Cream being cuddle by her aunt J.
We then acknowledge our child's baptism during a church service in an affirmation of baptism. We did the same for Peachy when she was born. (Funnily enough, that post about Peachy's affirmation is the post that gets the most spam comments in my inbox. Must be the combination of words.)
It was a nice enough weekend we could enjoy some time on the deck.
Several weekends ago the members of our families who could make it joined us for a quick weekend celebration of Cream becoming a child of God. It was wonderful to have house full of visiting family.
Grandpa with Miss Cream
And of course to introduce many of them to our newest daughter. Unfortunately Peachy was battling quite the cold at the time.
Cream with one of her great grandmas
She had a rough night of it before affirmation, but made it through the service with some extra cuddles.
Cream with her sponsors and aunties
Grandmas, grandpas, and great grandma with Cream
The best we could do for a family picture

Monday, October 24, 2011

Candy Corn Shirt

After seeing this shirt on Pinterest I was inspired to make some of my own candy corn shirts. Instead of using felt, I used cotton fabric and Heat and Bond Lite. I found an image of candy corn using Google and traced each piece onto the Heat and Bond and then ironed them onto the correct color of fabric. After cutting them out, I ironed them onto the shirt and stitched around each piece. I was going to add the googly eyes, but decided I liked it without. A simple and fun Halloween shirt!

I am linking to these wonderful parties this week.
Today's Creative Blog

Friday, October 21, 2011

Foodie Friday: Easy Fried Cheese Sticks

Here is another recipe I found form Pinterest. When I saw it, I knew I had to try it because I had leftover wonton wrappers just sitting in the fridge. And because they are so good for you. The original recipe is from Taste of Home.

Easy Fried Cheese Sticks
string cheese, cut in half
wonton wrappers
oil, for frying
pizza sauce, for dipping
1. Place string cheese near bottom corner of wonton wrapper. Begin rolling wrapper around cheese, folding side corners in as you roll. Wet top corner of wrapper to seal. Repeat with remaining cheese and wrappers.
2. Heat half inch of oil to 375 degrees. (I used a small sauce pan to contain the grease splatters.)
3. Fry sticks a few at a time for 30-60 seconds on each side until golden brown. Place on paper towel to drain. Serve with warmed pizza sauce.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Look Who's Talking

Just a little video I shot of Cream babbling at me from her bassinet. (Ignore the tone of my voice. Apparently that is how I get my babies to talk to me. :o)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sisterly Love

We've had a lot of crying going on in the house lately. Miss Cream is going through a crabby stage. It is hard to tell what is just normal crabbiness for this age and what is brought on by some sort of discomfort. She is especially crabby at the end of the day and when she is with her daddy. Poor Mr. Cherry. I really don't think that it is anything that he does or doesn't do, it is just that she would rather be with momma. I keep telling him that soon enough I will be chopped liver and he will be her hero.
Peachy is also going through a crabby phase. It is hard to tell with her what is truly crying and what is crying for attention. After all, when Cream cries we do something about it. Why wouldn't we do the same for her?
I told Mr Cherry recently that some days I just need a set of ear plugs. :o) Don't worry, I will still take care of my daughters, I will just do it in a world of silence.
So, when we are having one of those crabby moments, I have to remind myself that there are good moments too. That is when looking at these pictures or seeing Peachy go and talk to "Bream" (Peachy pronounces Cream's name with a "B" at the beginning) really helps remind me that these days are fleeting and soon my girls will be playmates and co-conspirators.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pop Beads

image source
Remember these? I had a set that I fondly remember playing with as a child. On a recent trip to Target I found the next generation of Pop Beads.
They are currently out of stock on the website, but you can find them here.
The B. brand Pop-Arty! Funky Pop Beads. These aren't our generation's pop beads. They come in fun colors and shapes and sizes. They come with rings and bracelets to be decorated. They are just plain fun. And the best part was that they were on a temporary price markdown for $8.50! 
Peachy has been loving playing with them and I have to admit that I have as well.

Monday, October 17, 2011

DIY Baby Playmat

Here it is, my newest creation. (Not the baby, she's been around for 7 weeks, the playmat.)
 Cream "needed" a playmat and I decided to try my hand at making my own. One hula hoop, several yards of fabric, batting, 9 buttons, and a yard of elastic later, she has her playmat. I didn't take pictures as I made it, so no real tutorial here, but I will give you a run down of how  I created it. I started by cutting a hula hoop in half with a hack saw. (Little did I know that a wave hula hoop means that it is filled with water. Good thing I did my sawing in the garage.) I then sewed fabric tubes to cover each hula hoop arch. As I sewed I inserted loops of elastic that could be used to hang toys off the arches.
It took me a while to figure out how I would attach the arches to the mat, I ended up using two half circles of fabric sewn together with button holes on each corner. So, I made a sandwich with the batting, backing, and top fabric and inserted the half circles onto each corner. Then I sewed two buttons onto each end of each arch.
In order to secure the arches when they are up, I sewed an elastic loop and button on one arch. I simply wrap the elastic around both arches and secure it with the loop.

While this playmat doesn't come with all of the bells and whistles that the store bought ones do, it should do the trick for the few months that Cream will make use of it.

I am linking to these wonderful parties this week.
Today's Creative Blog

Monday, October 10, 2011

F-A-L-L Letters

Another week and another Pinterest Project! The host decided that we would be decorating letters with buttons. There are so many great and different ideas for this out there. I decided to change things up a bit and decorate not only with buttons, but with some other items as well. My love of all things fall lead me to choose the letters F-A-L-L. While the project wasn't done during the palydate, it was completed! And here it is:

I wrapped the F in twine like I did for the S on my wreath.

I used buttons for the A. I ordered mine from Amazon. (Here and here.)

I used leftover wreath fabric that I tore into strips and tied on the first L.

I used a mix of fall colored beads for the second L.

I love:
I am linking to these parties this week.

Todays Creative Blog

Friday, October 7, 2011

Foodie Friday: Cinnamon Snack Mix

When this recipe, from Alli N Son, popped up in my reader, I knew that I would have to give it a try. I love a good snack mix and nothing says fall like a recipe with cinnamon in the title. I consider it a success, being that the bowl is already gone. Thanks for the great recipe, Alli!

Cinnamon Snack Mix

  • 5 cups honey graham cereal
  • 2 cups corn chex cereal (I used a honey chex)
  • 2 cups ramen noodles, crushed (this seemed like an unusual ingredient to me as well, but it adds a great crunchy texture to the mix)
  • 2 cup pretzels
  • 1 cup raisins, craisins or chocolate chips (I used Craisins)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the honey graham cereal, chex cereal, ramen noodles and pretzels.
  • In a small bowl stir together the melted butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
  • Pour over the cereal mixture, and toss to coat.
  • Spread the mixture on a large baking sheet covered with tin foil.
  • Bake 10 minutes, stirring once. Cool and store in airtight container.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Target = Happiness

Did you see the press Michelle Obama got last week for shopping at Target? While I don't get why that could be called a major news story, I do get the need to shop at Target. Target is my happy place. Our Target has double carts. (Unlike some stores!) Our Target has a Starbucks. (And really what can make a mommy of two happier than retail therapy with a side of caffeine?) Our Target recently added fresh groceries. (I love the convenience of one stop shopping and that is quite often why you would find me at the other place. You know, the blue one. This also makes Target a legitimate stop on my errands list, not just a fun place to visit.) There is just something about a Target that makes me feel happy and loved. I really think it is the layout and the displays, but maybe they pipe in some sort of addictive drug. I just don't know. I do know, however, that I totally get what Mrs. O was doing at her local Target. Just getting her fix of the double red rings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baby Cream: 1 Month

Our baby girl turned one month old last week. In some ways it is hard to believe that she has been a member of our family for an entire month already and in other ways it seems as if she has been here forever. It is neat how a new family member can fit right in.
Cream has been rocking the nights for me. She usually wakes up to nurse once during the middle of the night and then again sometime around 6 or 7. She is also a quick nurser and quite often goes right back to sleep. Like I said, "Rocking it!"
She has also been gracing us with a smile every once in a while. And sometimes when I am talking to her she coos and talks back to me. I really love it when they start interacting. It never ceases to amaze me that they can learn about social interaction so quickly.
Cream has started to have more quiet alert time as well. For a while Mr Cherry joked that she was either eating, sleeping, or crying. It is nice to have a little time to actually enjoy her company without having to try to calm her down.
Cream is a pacifier baby like her sister. I really like having babies that take the pacifier. It is so nice to have a way to calm them down when they are all worked up.

While she hasn't been to the doctor since her two week (she was already up to 9 lbs 11 oz), I can tell that she is still steadily gaining weight. She is a good nurser and takes a lot in at a time. She has really started to spread her nursing sessions out which is a bonus for me. We gave her her first bottle recently and she took it like a champ.
I can't wait to see what changes the next month brings for our little squirt.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pin It! Fall Wreaths

Our Pinterest group met a while back to work on wreaths. While we all made fall wreaths, two of us made rag wreaths and two made yarn ball wreaths.
Here is the rag wreath that I worked on:
I used a wire wreath form that I bought at JoAnn Fabrics. It had four wires so it took a while to tie all of the strips of fabric onto it. The original tutorial I followed said that she used quarter yards of four different fabrics. I ended up having to go back and get additional quarter yards.
I cut my fabrics into six by one inch strips and double knotted them onto the frame. I purchased the "S" from Hobby Lobby and wrapped it in twine.
Here is Jenna's original rag wreath.
Her "E" was also purchased at Hobby Lobby. She ended up painting it and sanding the edges.
Even though we complained about how long the wreaths took, she decided to make another one with a Halloween twist.
Here is Lori's yarn ball wreath.
And Lisa's with the leaves.
We were all commenting on how fun it is to see how the projects can turn out differently even with the same original concept.

Linking to:
Todays Creative Blog
I am linking to CSI Pinterest Project Link Up