Ikea and Baby Toys

Of course I was just at Ikea yesterday and I find this tutorial today.
Aren't these lamps awesome!?!
I did however have a lovely time with Katie and did get a pot lid holder, some ultra cute nursing blankets, a set of adorable finger puppets - Thanks Katie!! - (pictures to come I promise!) And lots of ideas for making my house look fabulous.

I can hardly wait for Baby to grow up so I can buy them all kinds of great toys! Of course I'm so super excited to get them here all little and wonderful that I may change my mind about having them grow up, in any case, Ikea has some really nice fabric and wooden toys. I'm actually totally convinced that we can buy mostly fabric and wooden toys. We'll see how that plays out, but after my trip to Ikea and some wandering around Etsy I'm looking forward to trying. In fact, here are some of the things that I'd like to buy and/or make soon for Baby.

From Etsy seller The Willow Tree - a dinosaur tag toy! Awesome!
Developmental Blocks from Etsy seller Cookie Dough - they double as a matching game!
Also from Cookie Dough is an Elephant push toy - super cute!
There's even a seller on Etsy that makes teething rings! Sweet! Thank you Canadian Wood Crafts.

Getting Closer

I don't have any new pictures of projects to show you as Liz has had my camera for over a week on her vacation to Washington. Maybe she'll let me post some pretty scenery photos soon. I do, however, have a quick baby update for those of you keeping track.
If you average my two due dates then I'm about 36 1/2 weeks. 36 1/2! Baby's heartbeat is strong, they're very active and are head down in a really good position for birth!
I'm very excited and getting quite impatient!
Some of Chuck's coworkers threw him (us) a baby shower at work yesterday and they were so generous! We're going to make cookies tonight and write thank you notes. I wish I could have been there to thank them all in person but hopefully I'll get to meet most of them at the company picnic June 1st. It's so nice to know that Chuck is so loved - they even got a cake! :)
I'll have pictures for you all tomorrow and an update on my crafting and the nursery progress (or lack there of...)
Have a great day!

Cake Stands

Cake stands are one of those items that I really like the idea of, and usually really like the look of when I see them in stores, but then decide are too impractical and expensive to ever really buy. But what if I could make one out of an old vase and a really cool looking plate? That would be awesome. Of course I didn't think of that myself. I got the idea from another blog HERE - so you can check it out too! A tutorial with pictures and everything! And in case you don't want to make one yourself you can buy them from this girl's Etsy shop here!

*picture from Design*Sponge

Blogs and flowers

I enjoy stumbling upon new blogs that are wonderful. My newest find (and one of my all time favorites) is a blog called Pink Paper Peppermints. I would tell you all about the woman behind the blog but you should really read her "about me" page for yourself. What I will say is that she's currently doing "31 days of flowers" in different crafty mediums and the 7 so far are great! I'm going to try quite a few. I'm still enjoying making birds but why not add to the spring crafting fever? Yay for flowers!

Have a wonderful and blessed day!

Our Daily Bread

I don't read it everyday, but "Our Daily Bread" is a ministry that offers a free daily devotional. It's a wonderful ministry and I enjoy reading it every time. Today's has to do with the narrow scope we often have in situations where it seems God is far away. In truth He never leaves us, we just have to "Reframe the Picture" - Rather than cutting and pasting the whole mess here I'll just provide the link and then you can check out the other stuff on their website.
Have a great week!


If you haven't discovered it yet you should check out Google Reader. I began to explain it and then deleted all of the explanation as I realized I don't really know what I'm talking about - perhaps Chuck can blog about it's finer points, but I will say it's awesome. Instead of having to check out all the websites, blogs you like to read you just add them to your Reader and it pulls up updates when they happen.
Having said that and probably confused some people I'll get to my point -
While checking my Reader today I discovered two tutorials that I'm excited to try!
The first is how to make a repeat pattern without Photoshop or a similar fancy program and can be found here on Design*Sponge.
The second is how to screen print with contact paper courtesy or ThreadBanger and can be found here on CraftZine.com.

Both Design*Sponge and Craft are awesome websites and are worth checking out even if you're not interested in making your own patterns or screen prints.

On another note, check out Chuck's blog to see an updated belly picture (It looks like I shoved a basketball in my shirt but I didn't - that's really how big and round I am) as well as an old picture of me pre-preggers.

And here's the picture of the quilt I made for my cousin's baby shower. It's a bit dark and the pink looks more orange than it really is but my favorite part is the middle panel with the appliqued circles. The back is white and I sewed the front and back together with large squiggly S-shaped stitches in pink, yellow and white based on the block color I was stitching on so on the back you can see the colored stitches. And then the edge is trimmed in a thin yellow bias tape. I'll make another soon and post more pictures including details if anyone is really interested.Thinking of babies... I'm starting to get a bit anxious about having two due dates because they are 10 days apart meaning I'll only be 4 days past my second due date while at the same time considered to be 2 weeks late. Also, I was pretty set on having a baby at the end of June but the 8th is most certainly the beginning. So I definitely have to be ready for baby before the end of this month or I'll probably not feel ready or have enough energy to do much. We might get the crib painted tonight or tomorrow which will take a load off my mind and then it's little stuff like shopping and sewing.

Calico Beans

Suzanne and several others have requested my recipe (although I actually got it from my mom who got it from my aunt who probably got it from Betty Crocker) for Calico Beans. It may be weird but this is my favorite food. My mom made it all the time and would even make an extra batch so I could take some with me back to college when I was going to school in St. Paul. I've made it with or without the meat depending on whether or not it was the main dish or a side. So here it is!

Calico Beans
4-8 slices bacon, cut into small cubed pieces (omit for vegetarian or side)
1 lb ground beef (omit for vegetarian or side)
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. ketchup
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can lima beans, drained
1 can butter or great northern beans, drained
1 can pork and beans, un-drained (omit for vegetarian)

Brown bacon, set aside. Brown beef with onion, drain. Add all ingredients to 9x13 pan and mix well. Bake for 45 min. at 350 degrees (325 if using a glass dish)

You could really use any beans you'd like - the last time I made this I used three cans of an organic tri-bean blend instead of the kidney, lima and butter beans. You could also use your own soaked beans although I haven't done that yet. I suppose you would need about 1 1/2 cups each?? I'll let you know when I try that. I'm still getting the hang of soaking my own beans. Angry Chicken has been talking about that lately - she's very ambitious - but I haven't done much more than read her updates on it. Let me know if you try any interesting variations or have any bean soaking tips!!

So much to do!


Chuck is back from Scotland and life is getting back to normal. I've been pretty busy lately trying not to miss Chuck too much, then sewing a blanket for a cousin's baby shower, then studying for finals and getting ready for baby.
I'd post a picture of the blanket but the only one is on Chuck's phone so maybe I can do that later when he gets home tonight.
I have my last final tomorrow and am very excited to be done. I'm already registered for next semester but I'm not going to think about that for a few months. I have plenty of other things to do before then.

I had an appointment with my midwife today and I'm so very glad that we've chosen to go to the birth center here in Denton. It's wonderful that we have such a resource available to us. If you haven't heard of it you can check out there website here. They're monitoring two due dates for me, one based on my menstrual cycle and the other based on the sonogram so depending on what you go by I'm 34 or 35 1/2 weeks. Either way baby will be here soon!!!

I've still got lots to do although I'm making some progress everyday.
I checked out some prenatal yoga dvd's from the library yesterday (finally) and am excited to do that for the next month or so. And I've got lots of reading to do. Chuck and I decided not to take a formal birthing class so I'm just doing as much reading as possible, talking to women who have experienced birth before and being positive and relaxed about it. From what I've read, it's a natural thing and is going to happen regardless of my philosophy toward it or misconceptions about it. Here's the book that Jean reccomended to me today: Birthing from Within
I believe it's the book that she uses when she gives her birth classes

On a more fun note, here are two cool sewing projects I found online today- I totally plan to make them both.A reusable sandwhich carrier! Awesome! And when you unfold it it's a nice little eating mat. :)

A quick how to with pictures by Sarah from The Small Object.

And I'm really enjoying making little birds but am thinking about trying something a little larger, maybe doing a few different animals for baby. This one is from Flickr user superminx.