28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

To celebrate the day, I thought I'd share our photo of the day:

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from me and mine.

Pssst. I'll be taking tomorrow off of Pinned It & Did It, but come back often starting next week to check out a whole lot of holiday-inspired craft projects during the month of December.

27 November 2013

Spontaneity lives!

Last Thursday at about 10pm, we decided to take a weekend trip to Oregon, and we left the next morning. This is the most spontaneous I've been in at least five years. Seriously.

George's brother, Heath, is visiting us and was keen to see the Spruce Goose, so we got right up in the cockpit. 

The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum was fantastic and surprisingly kid-friendly. Not only did it have a great kiddo section and kid-friendly volunteers, but it has an equally impressive, Madeleine-approved playground. I'm already itching to go back to explore a little more and check out the water park.

We took advantage of having a photographer with us to get a family picture.

Our favorite winery, Eyrie, was having a special tasting event, and we just had to stop in. It was Madeleine's second visit to Eyrie (third if you count in utero), and she was just as charming as usual, ducking through the wine barrels in search of "cheese, peeeeeeeez!"

{compare with our visit in May}

Unfortunately, Miss Madeleine woke up on Sunday morning with a fever, so we cut our Portland plans a little short and headed home with a sleepy baby in the back seat right after a delicious brunch.

Nonetheless, it was a fantastic weekend. We stayed in an immaculately clean rental house in McMinnville thanks to VRBO, where we saw a family of deer several times. And, wow, did we eat well! Our two visits to Bistro Maison blew us away; our standard for orange juice hit a new level at Crescent Cafe; and we got to meet THE mother while enjoying an amazing meal at Mothers. This weekend reminded me, yet again, why the Willamette Valley is one of my favorite places to visit.

What's your favorite weekend getaway spot?

25 November 2013

Snip. Snip.

It happened: Madeleine had long enough hair to need a haircut. 

She still doesn't really have that much hair, but the back was getting long enough that her wispy mullet had to go. 

Although she was relatively patient with the whole process, I found that it was much easier to get Madeleine to look down by giving her one of her favorite books ("babies!") than to ask her to look down. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that she was pretty curious about why sharp, cold scissors were going near her neck. 

While I should not pursue a career in cosmetology, I'm satisfied with the results. 

 So, who wants to place a bet for how long it'll be till she needs her next haircut?

22 November 2013

Pinned It & Did It: Four-Ingredient Pancakes

It's time to share my go-to pancake recipe, which I discovered via Pinterest. You're shocked - I know.

Pin. Original Source

I love that this recipe calls for items that are pretty much always in the house and can be adapted in about a million different ways. I pretty much always use honey Greek yogurt. If I make it without fruit, I tend to add some honey so that it's sweet enough for me. These pancakes are fantastic with blueberries, mashed bananas, or apples (and cinnamon!). Both regular and whole wheat flour have worked well, and I suspect that gluten-free flour would work well, too. The only time I managed to screw up this recipe was when I was careless with the baking soda and added way too much. That makes my success record something like 30-1. Not bad.

Here's the other thing I love about these pancakes: they freeze well and taste very nearly as good after being frozen and reheated as they do fresh from the pan. They're also pretty neat for toddlers to eat, which is why Madeleine gets fruity pancakes for breakfast in the car on the way to daycare pretty much every day that I work at the office. Minimal crumbs + no sticky hands = win.

The only downside to this recipe is that it makes a rather small quantity (roughly nine fist-sized pancakes). That said, the recipe doubles and triples very well and goes a lot farther as more and more fruit is added to the batter.

Pancake day comes at least once a week at our house thanks to this very simple recipe. Give it a try!

Madeleine says so.

20 November 2013

A Long Time Coming

A year or so ago, I mentioned to my mom that I was interested in a vintage school map. She was able to get one for me because most of the schools near my hometown have recently been rebuilt, leaving a lot of vintage school stuff floating around local yard sales and such. It took me a while to get the right hooks to mount the map and then a while longer to get the mount to connect the hooks to the wall.

Finally, this last weekend, we hung the map in our den. I grew up around maps and think that inspired my desire to explore all the places I studied on maps. I can only hope that Madeleine will do the same.

15 November 2013

Pinned It & Did It: Felt flowers

When you see flowers like this, don't they look complicated?

Pin. Original Source.

I'll let you in on a little secret: they're incredibly simple to make. Remember when I made the burlap wreath for the front door and mentioned that I would keep it up to get us through November? Well these little flowers were exactly what I had in mind.

I took photos of the process...and then discovered that my camera lacked a memory card. Doh! Let me briefly walk you through the process.

First, cut out a circle from a sheet of felt. You can trace something or just make it up. The more imperfections, the more character. Then, start anywhere along the edge and cut a spiral all the way to the middle, creating a 3/4-inch curled strip. Then, starting with the place where you started cutting, fold the felt in, rolling the felt into a flower. Add hot glue every so often. When you get to the end, glue it to the back. Ta-da! (The original inspiration source as photos of the steps and a little more detail.)

For the wreath, I ended up gluing my grouping onto a piece of felt and then gluing that onto the burlap. I would have liked to add more, but a certain little lady woke up from her nap, so I decided to call it good.

I'm still astounded at how simple it was to create these little guys, and now I'm looking for excuses to embellish with them. Watch out, world!

11 November 2013

Baby B's Nursery

I apologize for my recent absence. Last weekend, I skipped town and headed to Dallas to spend some QT with my bestie, Denaye, before she gives birth to her first born in a few short weeks. It was my first weekend away (and first night away, not counting the little surgical incident) since Madeleine's arrival. George was a trooper to go it alone with Miss M for the weekend, especially considering that he had to deal with a 20-hour power outage and only having an electric car at his disposal. As much as I enjoyed my time with Denaye (and briefly with David), it was wonderful to feel my girl leap into my arms and get a nice, tight hug from my one true love when I returned on Sunday night.

Denaye and I spent most of the weekend chatting up a storm and generally just enjoying each other's company while taking a yoga class, finishing baby shopping, and eating truly delicious food. As a result, I didn't take many pictures during the visit (not even a selfie with D - doh!). I did, however, snap some pictures of Baby B's nursery-in-progress on my phone. Apologies for the quality of the photos. 

Baby B's nursery is incredibly soothing and comfortable. As soon as you step into the room, you know that the baby living in this room is loved...even before he arrives. I love how the room is going to be a calm sanctuary for him as a newborn while growing into a really fun play space as he gets older.

I was glad to confirm what Denaye had previously told me: the colors of the quilt really did match the ones on the rug. Those colors tie the whole room together and give it such a serene feeling.

How cute are these prints above the changing area? I love the mustache men and the cheeky humor they bring to the space. This changing pad seems like a brilliant idea, and I can't wait to hear whether it's as comfortable but easy to clean up as it seems.

Yes, that is one of my divided baskets, lined with this fabric.

Baby B's book and toy collections are well on their way. I love the mix of traditional and non-traditional shelving.

This bunting, in the colors of the quilt, is going to be hung either under the window or in one of the corners.

I can't wait to see the final nursery and - more importantly - meet the star of the show! Speaking of, his big sister, Lucy (the most patient and gentle dog ever), is pretty excited for his arrival, too!

Ok - time for the favorite element game. I think my favorite is the rug because I can picture Baby B having his first tummy time there, learning to crawl on it, and racing his cars around the streets. What's your favorite part of Baby B's nursery?

08 November 2013

Pinned It & Did It: Framed Magnetic Board

Before we get started, I have a confession: I actually had this project in mind before I pinned the "inspiration" pin in this one. Here's the pin:

Pin. Sadly, this wasn't linked to the original source.

For me, this projected started with staging our old house. George and I both liked this metal travel-inspired piece that I bought to stage our old house, and we planned to decorate with it at our new house.

However, we haven't been able to find the right space for it. So, I decided it would be perfect for a magnetic board for Madeleine, especially since our refrigerator isn't magnetic. I sprayed it white and covered it with some cheap-o but super cute fabric that catches my eye every time I'm at JoAnns. I had better luck this time with spray adhesive (unlike the first time) and used hot glue to wrap the fabric around the back. Then, I popped the glass out of a frame and replaced the glass with the fabric-covered metal sheet.


It's time to get Madeleine some magnetic letters and to bust out the Tegu blocks Madeleine received for her birthday.

Do you ever envision a project and then find a pin that shows it?

01 November 2013

Pinned It & Did It: Hooded Toddler Towel

When I saw this pin come across my feed, I knew that I had to make it. 

Pin. Original Source.

The original tutorial provides the basics, but I'd like to pass along a few lessons learned: 
  • If you have a big hand towel, consider cutting it down so that it's not so huge on your toddler. 
  • Sew the top of the hood before attaching it to the bath towel, but, on the half of the hand towel with the tag, pay attention to its orientation. 
  • The binding on the top of the hood can be on the narrower end (2" for me) and sewn with a standard foot before attaching it to the center of the bath towel. 
  • The binding for the sides of the bath towel need to be larger (3.5" worked well, but as small as 3" would probably be fine) and sewn with a walking foot. 
  • The final product is cuter than you can imagine. 

This turned into a group project as several of my friends from PEPS joined me in this undertaking. It is really fun to see how the different bindings give each one a slightly different character.  

I made two for Miss M: the rainbow one (recognize the fabric?) for the pool/beach and the feminine one for the bath. 

Do you know the best use for a towel hood? Peek-a-boo!

You didn't think you were going to get away from this post without cute Madeleine pictures, did you?