Friday, January 31, 2014

Post Nesting

The past week I've been analyzing our apartment and turning my nose up at some of the decoration pieces I once loved. As I go room to room I'm starting to realize how much stuff I'm truly starting to despise visually. We have so many pieces in our house that mean so much to me and the memories behind them are endless, and then there are some that are just very unnecessary and are collecting dust for no reason. So I've decided that within the next few weeks I'm going to part ways with some of this junk and get our house in gear and re organized.
We moved into this apartment a month before Lola was born. It was supposed to be a month and a half or so but my blood pressure didn't agree with that. We also battled with german roaches for the first two weeks which caused me to go through a mental meltdown because I was hormonal, crazy, and bugs were all over our stuff. It gives me the goosebumps just thinking about it. After the nasty bug problem got taken care of, that gave us two weeks to unpack and get settled before miss Lola came (unknowingly). Let's just say some things fell into the right places and slots and some didn't. And this nesting momma at the time was very unhappy, but too swollen to give a crap.
Six months later, things are still as they are, we have definitely decorated and it feels like home. It's just the organization isn't there, and I kind of feel like I'm going through another form of nesting, since I never really got to before she was born. Lola will be crawling around this house soon, so on my journey to re organize, I'm also going to be baby proofing. Yay for new milestones ahead! (Aka getting into anything and everything possible)
I'm going to chop it up, with a room a week. And within the next month-ish I should be fully nested and cozy and definitely will be giving any tips and tricks that are up my sleeve. Also pictures that may even inspire you to sneak a look around and realize things need a little rearranging.

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I've also been reading "Happier at Home," by Gretchen Rubin. I just finished the chapter on simplicity and that's what kind of inspired me to take a second glance at some of the un needed junk in my life. If I simplify the way we live than not only will I be visually at ease I will also be mentally at ease. Her other book "The Happiness Project," is also a form of inspiration and is just amazing if you need a helping hand in organization altogether. You should definitely check both of these books out, her books give the word "organize" a different meaning.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Birthday Brunch & a Chilly Day

Yesterday morning Ryan and I gathered all of Lola's goodies and trinkets and met at Stephanie and Kyle's house to make a breakfast feast for one of their many brothers, Travis for his birthday. The morning and the whole rest of the day was crisp and cold, the sun never woke up yesterday. The perfect setting for a cozy birthday breakfast or should I say brunch? I love our little get togethers with everybody so much because Ryan's family is so ginormous and time is so limited the majority of the time. So I'm glad that we always tend to make time for one another especially when really good munchies are involved. We made frenchy toast with Cinnabon syrup (which I highly recommend, I'll never use maple ever again) bacon, spicy potato home fries, bucket loads of orange juice and scrambled eggs.

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After stuffing our bellies the boys headed off to the shooting range and Lola, Stephanie and I had a field trip to Joann's. Going to Joann's isn't just a trip to the store when we go, it's like an all day event...not REALLY, but getting lost in the abundance of beautiful quirky fabrics is one of our favorite things to do. And of course catching up on the craziness going on in our lives. Lola had a blast of course, her new favorite thing to do when we are out anywhere is squealing with joy while I get nasty looks from others. I feel no remorse though, because when my hunny is having a ball I'm not going to scold her for it. So I gathered all the supplies I need to make my first applique quilt. I've never worked with applique before, so I'm starting off small and making Lola a mini quilt (like super mini) and it's going to have the alphabet on it. Stay tuned for the result on that in the next few weeks.
So overall a lovely Wednesday well spent. Sigh, how I love Wednesdays.

Monday, January 27, 2014


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*On the choo choo train, chugging through the mall on an adventure.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


For the last few Fridays, Ryan has been attending a class that specializes in MMA. Don't ask me what it's really all about because I don't have a clue. It's some sort of buff fighter deal mixed in with getting fit or something like that?  Not sure, but I know he really loves to go and it gives him an escape from the realities of everyday life as a breadman. At first I was like hm...okay what to do with this little bit of time once Lola is snug in her bed? I was at a loss honestly, but as I sat on the couch and listened to the complete and total silence of our apartment it hit me. Pamper yourself.
Fridays have now become an exploration of all the many things I can do to comfort myself with my very own alone time. Ever since Lola came along, alone time is scarce. I'm perfectly fine with it, but I am totally reveling in this new space for my mind to be at ease on its own for a change. I pamper myself in strange ways, but also very familiar ways. Baking new things and losing myself in the hum of my mixer. Catching up on my mental stack of books and escaping into whatever adventure is written on page after page. Finishing paintings and working on new creations for our walls. Sewing sewing and more sewing because my sewing machine and work area is my ultimate comfort zone when I need a break from the everyday hustle and bustle. I also like to lose myself in a bath acompanied by lavender oils and Yankee candles. And sometimes just plopping down on the couch and reveling in the sounds of my cats prancing around and the pure silence is just enough. It's the little things like that are just...enough.
I needed this and I don't feel guilty for this.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

4 Trusty Baby must haves

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Today I am introducing you to my magical list of baby must haves. Well at least they have saved my life numerous times when it comes to Lola's needs. These items have been my little assistants in helping with Lola's everyday life and they still to this day continue to be my life savers.
Let the magic begin!

Dr. Browns formula mixing pitcher

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This has made making formula bottles easy peezy. I really don't know what I would do without this thing...probably lose my mind in singular bottles filled with clumpy formula powder. All you bottle feeding momma's know what I'm talking about! This pitcher has spoiled me that's for sure, but that's okay because it's so cheap. Lola is on a four meal feeding routine. For two of the feedings we still use formula to make her oatmeal and cereal. So we make about four 8 ounce bottles, but instead of having to make a new bottle for every feeding, we just do the conversions and have all the formula in our pitcher for an entire 24 hour day. That saves us a lot of time and it doesn't make me cringe because of the formula powder clumps. In the center of the pitcher there's what I like to call and upside down windmill. This is the magical mixing mechanism that destroys all those nasty clumps and makes a nice smooth formula. 

NUK bottles

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I absolutely LOVE these bottles. Some people think a bottle is just a bottle, I disagree. Lola had really bad gas problems when she was brand new to this world. We researched so many different bottles and came across these. The nipple has an air venting system that helps prevent any excess air from getting into the bottle. Which means a happy non gassy baby and happy mommy and daddy. Because tummy tears can seem the worst especially in the beginning. Also, the bottles are freaking adorable am I right? I mean, they have bunches of different designs and colors. NUK also makes glass bottles which kind of blows my mind because that's super old fashioned and makes me fall in love with the company even more. Another thing, all you breast feeding mommy's out there, NUK specially makes their nipples to imitate the human nipple so transitions from bottle to mommy are made much easier. I don't breast feed myself , but I've read very good reviews on that little feature.

Lamb sound soother

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This little guy has been Lola's best friend since birth. White noise actually works people!! He has four settings, a splashy water sound, rain, a whale (which I'm not fond of at all), and a beach shore sound. In the beginning the splashy sound was the key component in Lola's bedtime routine. It had to be on immediately after she laid down and it calmed her into a deep sleep. It also worked when she was in her fussy modes as a little newborn, when nothing in the world calmed her down the lamb was there. He's a little pricey, but totally worth it. 

Munchkin Bottle warmer

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This comes in handy because Lola loves warm formula rather than the room temperature stuff and because we keep a pitcher in the fridge of cold formula so it must be heated. This is inexpensive and works like a charm. I also noticed that the same brand has come out with a digital timer version that I'm wowing over and wishing they had that when we bought ours. But any bottle warmer I'm sure works wonders because who really has the time to boil water and heat the bottle that way? Not me. It's also the perfect size for heating up baby food jars. I LOVE that feature. So a doubly doozy handy machine all in one. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos *Discovering her love for toy race cars and chalk drawings at cousin Maddie's birthday party.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nostalgic Chewy Sugar Cookies

When I was little I used to get dragged to Publix with my mom on her weekly shopping trips. What made it much more tolerable were the free cookies that I got to enjoy while aimlessly walking through the store for what seemed like eternity. One of my favorites had to be of been the sugar cookies with these little rainbow bead sprinkles. It always dyed my fingers with little rsinbow explosions and the cookie was so soft and chewy. The perfect recipe to keep me quiet and satisfied as my mom shopped. I still haven't uncovered Publix's top secret recipe book, which is a shame. I did find a way to make a very similar chewy, mouthwatering sugar cookie that makes me feel like that kid begging my mom to push the shopping cart.
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  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • about 1/4 cup of sanding sugar, the bigger crystals (for rolling)

How to make them:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together your butter and sugar in your stand mixer for about 3 minutes. You want it to look light and fluffy. Now add your egg and mix until combined thoroughly. 
  3. In a separate bowl, sift your flour, baking powder and salt (yes, I'm a sifting Nazi when it comes to cookie baking). With your stand mixer on low, slowly add in your dry ingredients and then your vanilla. Kick up your mixer a tad until your dough looks so puffy and fluffy that you could just lay in it.
  4. Now the fun part, take your oh so fluffy dough and spoon some out on your hand and form a ball. In a small bowl pour your sanding sugar (or whatever you may like to add that extra loveliness to your cookies). Take your rolled cookie dough and roll it around.
  5. Place your rolled sugar balls onto the sheet and lightly press down. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. A little longer, if you want a little more crunch in your cookie.

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Next time, I will definitely pick up a bottle of those rainbow bead sprinkles so I can fill myself with nostalgia from my childhood. You can pretty much use any type of sprinkle you would like to really pretty these cookies up. Maybe some heart shaped sprinkles for your Valentine next month? Or even blending up some food coloring with your dough to make multi-colored sugar cookies. The ideas are endless because although these babies are so plain, they can be unique in every possible way if you get creative.
Enjoy and Happy Baking!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

portals to mars and elbow patches

This morning I was pretty sure I was in some type of wonderland like state when I awoke.  My mind had once again conjured up a madness dream filled with zombies and portals to mars. It also involved me stabbing a zombie man multiple times with a nail file....what?? I pried my eyes open and the entire room was still pitch black and not a peep from the baby monitor. I rolled over to wake up a sleeping Ryan that ended up being my pillow and not him. I glanced over at the clock and it was past 8. Ryan of course has been long gone, except for helping me fight off zombies in my dreams and it was a rainy blustery day outside.
I love mornings like these. I love blurry eyes still adjusting to the real world. I love waking up to a dark blue room and thinking I slept in longer than normal (because we all know 12pm wake ups are a non existent thing with a 6 month old). I love the stillness of our house and peeking my head into Lola's room awaiting her giant gummy smile.

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So the best thing to do on a rainy morning is finally throw my procrastination out the window and take Lola's 6 month pictures. I haven't posted any of her series of monthly updates or pictures on the blog or anywhere for that matter yet. I'm simply waiting because I secretly want the surprise factor for myself of how much she has grown over the year. So as the end result each month will be placed in a page in a book I'm creating on my most beloved shutterfly, and then I will wrap it up and give it to her for her first birthday. She will thank me way later on :) Anyway, our 6 month photo update turned into a photo shoot because I could't help myself. I mean look at those mini heart shaped elbow patches! I was pretty much obsessed with her elbows all day long today and the itsy bitsy hair flapping on the zebra's head. If you haven't shopped at Crazy 8, check it out here. They have the most darling kids and baby clothes for ridiculously low prices. It's like a cheaper Children's Place, which says a lot seeing as how The Children's Place also has amazing deals.
Anywho, I hope all you bloggers had a lovely Tuesday.
Tomorrow I'll be showing you how to make giant sparkly sugar cookies that may look too pretty to eat, but you will anyway trust me. I finally mastered the art in making a chewy sugar cookie, so stop by, jot it down and try it out.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos So I have been having a huge mental blockage lately about going back to school. I kept reminding myself over and over again to apply at the end of last year for the semester that is in session now. As you can probably tell I never applied. Either procrastination got the best of me, or my unconscious fears and worries about the road ahead did. I would probably say a little of both.
I started attending SPC (a community college) directly after highschool. I was never one of those people that had my life mapped out ahead of me, I went with the flow. SPC offered an amazing Nursing program, and so after completing all of the general education and pre-requisites you could apply, pass and have your nursing degree...right smack dab out of a community college. 
What sounded the most lovely to me was helping and aiding others back to health. I remember as a kid lugging around my pretend doctor tools, wearing a lab coat and doctoring on my cat at home. That poor animal. I just loved the feeling of knowing I helped somebody that was in serious need, even though my cat was beyond healthy at the time. My stuffed animals were great patients too.
Mostly I was always fascinated by the human body and how each and every body ticked and tocked differently the other. And how all the systems inside worked as a factory simultaneously as one. 
So that's when I set my degree to Nursing. At this point where I stand now, I've finished all my gen ed and now have all my pre nursing classes to be focusing on, but instead I got pregnant in the midst of it all. It was a little bump, or should I say a "huge" belly bump in the way of my future as a nurse. But as time has slowly paced forward my future has become a little different than what I expected. My future is now blocks and crayons, learning how to walk and crawl, speaking and babbling baby talk and days spent at home nourishing and exploring with Lola. 
I love everything about being a stay at home mom. I actually had a horrible fear of hating it when I was pregnant. I can't sit still long and the thought of staying home and feeling as though I wasn't accomplishing anything gave me the chills. It's the TOTAL opposite of what I expected. I love knowing my baby is being brought up only by me and never having the worry of being in such a rush 99% of the time. I also love that I get to explore more of my hobbies in depth and let's be honest here I get to re-experience childhood all over again. Nothing gets better than that. 
And this is where the mental blockage comes from. I'm getting pulled in two totally opposite directions. 
So with that I decided I will take all my pre req's for nursing, which is about five more classes, finish those off and go from there. When it's all said and done, the time is still there. I came to the conclusion that right now I'm living one of my dreams, which is being a stay at home mom. My nursing dream will be in slow progression and I'm finally okay with that. Time will always be on our side, and will set the map for what is yet to come.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos *Our house is beginning to show traces of a little one, and we're loving it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

L+F List

This list is going to be my sidekick for the entire year. It's going to be whispering in my ear on those ordinary days reminding me of my progression and expereinces to come. This list is going to be a guide of some sort, no special order, just jumbled and rumbled so I can grasp onto my time a little bit longer or speed things up a bit if needed. The memories and successes that this list holds will travel with me for more and more years to come because I made them happen. And then there will be the other marks on the list that carry me softly through the wind unknowing of where we are going.

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I'm not sure why I never did a list earlier in my life. I suppose I'm at a different chapter in my life now. A chapter that is driving me to find and discover more out of 365 days than I ever have before. Making a list of things for each given year entrigues me. There are so many things I want to do, see, experience, feel, etc. that my mind could have exploded last year with idea palooza. Combining them all in a list, calms my soul and forces me to realize that the time is there, but it can also slip away in an instant. So be mindful. That's actually the number one on my list. Be mindful.
As the year goes on, and as a pencil marking strikes through a point on the list, I will make a post about it. 

The Lost & Found list

  • Be more mindful
  • Make Lola a felt book of the seasons.
  • Lose the weight I've been trying to lose for ages.
  • Make a jar of magical happenings in our house for us to read at the end of the year.
  • Make homemade pasta.
  • Throw a hungry hungry caterpillar birthday for Lola.
  • Develop a new style.
  • Keep learning sign language and teaching it to Lola and Ryan.
  • A four year anniversary celebration with Ryan.
  • Go on a road trip.
  • Finally get my drivers license.
  • Go back to school.
  • Bring my camera everywhere and I mean everywhere.
  • See snow.
  • Cut down our own christmas tree.
  • Breathe deeper.
  • Go to Ginnie Springs.
  • Take more naps.
  • Pamper myself more.
  • Go to the renaissance festival and bring Lola. 
  • See a play at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
  • Read at least 10 books.
  • Discover something new about myself.

Monday, January 6, 2014


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*learning how to fly, swing style of course. A beautiful Sunday made for toes flying through the crisp air.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mini Caramel Apple Pies

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Our winter has finally arrived...somewhat. We still have the ability to keep the air off completely and not have to turn the heat on, which is a high five to our power bill. So even though fall and all the holidays have passed I couldn't resist baking up some mini apple pies that fit perfectly in the palm of my hand and in my tummy. Today I'm sharing this tummy warming recipe with you guys! I was so very afraid of pie making until I finally surpassed my fear in November and made these little cuties. Someday I'll brave the mastery of making a large pie, but until then I have these treasures that hit the spot. Here's how you make your own little apple pie cuties:

You will need:

For the dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted cold butter 
  • 1/2 cup cold sour cream

 For the filling

  • About 2 cups of diced (teeny pieces) and peeled Granny Smith apples 
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ( I always add a tad more because well why not?)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
  • 6-8 store bought chewy caramel candies, diced (also teeny pieces)
  • Large flake sea salt (optional)
  • Egg wash (1 egg lightly whisked with a tablespoon of water)
  • Crystal sanding sugar, the thick and shiny stuff.

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Making the dough:

1. Add flour, salt, and baking powder to the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.

2. Combine the cubed butter slowly as the hook kneads the dough. You want the dough to start feeling and looking like wet sand. Then with a spoon stir in the sour cream until the fully combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead a bit with your hands, adding bits of flour as you go.

3. Once the dough is no longer sticky, roll out the dough so its roughly becomes an 8x10 square. Sprinkle flour over the top, flip it over and do the same to the other side. Fold the dough into thirds and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Now time for the filing my favorite part!

Making the filling:

1. Peel and Chop your granny smiths. (I use my apple corer to make life easier after I peel) You want the chunks of apple to be itsy bitsy.

2. Grab a small bowl and throw in the apple chunks, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour. Give it a few stirs and breathe in the aroma of soon to be apple pie.

3. Finely chop up your caramels and whisk up your egg wash and set both aside.


1. Preheat your oven to a whopping 425 degrees.

2. Take your folded dough out of the fridge and lay it on your floured surface once again. This time you're going to roll it out into a big 14x14 rectangle or until its thin, but not paper thin. Take a circle cutter of your choice, I used a wine glass. You just don't want your circles to be too small. Cut out as many circles as possible until you run out. Make sure you have an even number though because you need the top and bottoms circles of the pies.

3. Use parchment paper on a cookie sheet of your choice. Place six of the circles on the sheet. Next scoop some yummy apple filling onto each round. Sprinkle caramel bits onto the filling.

4. Grab your apple pie lids and place on top of each. Press each one all the way around with a fork to make a really pretty edge and to also seal it up. Make slits in the top with a knife and brush on your egg wash. Garnish with crystal sugar on top. 

5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the pies to rest before enjoying!

(Note: Using the stand mixer isn't necessary. You can simply knead this dough easily with your hands and come out with a just as tasty result!)
Happy Baking!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The First and Baby Food Making

There is something special to be said about the first day of the year. Our brains are filled to the brim with new challenges and beginnings. Our minds begin to overflow with goals upon goals upon goals. So what do you do when your brain is on motivational overload? Well for us today has been spent tucked away in our apartment letting our bodies and minds rest. And it just so happens Mother Nature decided it was a good idea, because she provided the rain and cool weather that just sets the mood for a couch day.
Wednesdays are apart of our midday weekend since Ryan is a breadman. He gets the whole day off, which is rather odd but it's one of my favorite days of the week. That might be why we named our little grey kitten after it, or I'm just a huge Addams family fan.
Anyway, we rung in the new year last night with an item I checked off my imaginary bucket list: making bagels from scratch. That's right, I mastered it and bagel egg sandys were made on this rainy morning. Lola is even in on the cozy day tradition, she's been napping for like 3 hours??? Madness.

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And then sleeping beauty woke up and I finally got a chance to try out my Peppy Purée. We tried avocado and Lola didn't hate it, but also didn't love it like her adoration of apples & blueberries. So we snuck it into her oatmeal and she was a bit suspicious, but we managed. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos You can make it too! Just grab a ripe avocado and scoop it out into your masher machine of whatever sort. I added a little formula, but you can also do breast milk of course! Next time I'm going to slice up a little bit of banana and mix it with it.