Friday, February 28, 2014

march pin-spired

pinspiredThis is a little recap of the outfits I’ve posted this month.
Linking up with Mel, Shay, and Sheaffer for March Pin-spired!

Pin-spiration #1:

It’s rare for me to find a fashion pin with items that I actually have in my closet, so I was happy to see this one! I like that cotton maxi skirts are comfortable enough to wear around the house, and still fancy enough for date nights or church.

Chambray shirt: Target
Skirt: Mix & Co.

Pin-spiration #2:

Floral and stripes look SO good together. I am drawn to the pink flowers on this girl’s scarf and her cute gray cardigan.
Shirt: JCPenney
Boyfriend cardigan: Mossimo at Target
Scarf: made by me
Jeans: Motherhood Maternity Super Stretch Skinny Jeans
Boots: MIA Heritage Knee High Boot

Pin-spiration #3:

I definitely have an eye for denim right now. I don’t like the jacket in the photo, but I was excited to bring out my Old Navy one for the first time since September. And it’s so pretty with a shade of coral! Someday, I dream of a light-colored denim jacket as well.
Shirt: Fruit of the Loom (husband’s)
Denim jacket: Old Navy
Skinnies: JCPenney
Earrings: One Little Belt
Necklace: Lia Sophia

Here are a few pins that I’m looking at for spring. Here’s to hoping next month, there won’t be snow in the background of my photos. :)

Thanks for visiting today!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

nine months

nine months

Three special photos to me:

1. May 24, 2013—the day I found out I was pregnant with baby #2.
2. January 22, 2014—six days before my due date (which became Ephraim’s birth day).
3. February 26, 2014—nine months and two days after finding out :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

chocolate peanut butter bars

chocolate peanut butter bars This recipe (found from The Vanilla Tulip) is a real winner. The chocolate is rich, the peanut butter is perfectly salty and sweet, and there’s a slight crunchy texture from graham cracker crumbs, Our family fell in love with this easy treat…


1 sleeve of graham crackers (9 full sheets), crushed
1 pound powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 sticks butter
12 ounces chocolate chips
4 Tablespoons butter (half stick)


Mix together the crushed graham crackers and powdered sugar.

Melt the peanut butter and 2 sticks of butter, then stir them into your graham mixture.

Press the mixture into a 9x13 pan.

Melt the chocolate chips and 4 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave, using short time increments so you don’t burn the chocolate. Spread over the graham cracker mixture (it’s a little difficult because the chocolate is thick).

Refrigerate until the bars harden. Then cut into squares and eat! Store in the fridge.

You’re welcome ;)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

life lately

This sweet little guy is quickly approaching his 1-month-birthday. Ephraim is such a joy to me, to us. I get to cuddle his little self almost all day long (and often in the middle of the night), and I’m not getting tired of it. He is starting to make eye contact with me—with those gorgeous little blue-gray eyes—and I just can’t wait to go through all of the baby stages with him this year.

These are from his first bath. He was not a fan. Do any newborns like baths?

A few weeks ago, I bought Nolan a “Cars” stool at Walmart so that we could wash his hands more easily in the bathroom. Little did I know that the stool would become his favorite toy. He drags it all around the house with him—especially to climb up to the kitchen counter, the pantry, and my highest shelves (much to my dismay). But my favorite use for it is when he stands on it to watch TV (for like thirty minutes straight!).

My friend Melissa brought me these gorgeous tulips! She didn’t even know that hot pink tulips are my favorite flowers :)

Wearing his shirt from Uncle Phil. Nolan’s starting to pick out the clothes he wants to wear. Oftentimes it’s pajamas or entire outfits of stripes.

We’ve been so thankful for more delicious meals from my MOPS friends. Kendall brought us dinner, and also a sweet breakfast.
We live so far away from the majority of my family and friends, and it’s rare that anyone comes our way to visit. Yesterday afternoon, my friend Bryan texted me that he was driving through our state on his way home to Chicago. We haven’t seen him in a year and a half, so it was so nice that he could see Nolan and meet the baby! We miss hanging out with him and his wife Stacey, but we just don’t get to Chicago enough.
Last night, Nolan pulled his Cars stool up to the changing table, set Mini Ivy down on her back, and “changed her diaper”. Sweet boy :) He is surprising us daily with all that he is learning and absorbing. For example, my friend Briana and her family gave him a floor-size alphabet train puzzle, and he can put it together himself up to letter K! Also. there’s a Youtube video we’ve watched several times that sings, “A is for apple”, “B is for ball” and so forth. Even when we’re not watching it, I can sing the song, giving him the letters, and he can tell me the words they stand for! I am so amazed.

Thanking God for my beautiful blessings!

Friday, February 21, 2014

free alphabet printable (in 7 colors)

free alphabet printable
I want to share a cute print I created for Ephraim's nursery. I still have to put a few finishing touches on his room before I post photos of it. As for now, he's sleeping in our room in a Rock 'n Play, so I have time to work on it before we move him.

The colors I chose for his room are dark gray and lime. I had seen similar alphabets around the internet, and I decided to make my own with those two colors. I found the wooden frame at Goodwill, and Steve spray-painted it white for me. :)

Just right-click the photo, save it to your computer, and print!
(I had mine printed on cardstock at Staples.)

And if you don't want green, I've also made blue, orange, pink, purple, red, and yellow for you!
Again, just right-click and save the image.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

french onion soup

french onion soup I had frequent pregnancy cravings for French Onion Soup—the sweet and salty flavor, and that thick melty cheese! I love ordering it at Panera or Applebee’s, but unfortunately those restaurants aren’t in my neck of the woods, so I had to put my cravings aside. Recently, I’ve figured out how to make it myself. It tastes just like the Applebee’s recipe, and it’s not even difficult!


5 sliced medium white onions
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
8 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2  1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
5 hamburger buns
10 teaspoons shredded parmesan cheese
10 slices provolone cheese

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot on medium heat. Saute the sliced onions for 15-20 minutes until they are soft and translucent (not brown).

Add beef broth, water, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, the reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for 45 minutes.

While it’s simmering, turn your oven on to 325 degrees. Separate the hamburger buns. Cut the crowns off of the tops of the buns so that tops and bottoms are the same size. Bake them for 20 minutes until they are golden brown—they’re your croutons.
Put one cup of the soup into each oven-safe bowl (makes 10 servings). Place a crouton in each bowl, and cover with a slice of provolone cheese. Sprinkle a teaspoon of parmesan cheese on top.

Turn the oven on to broil. Broil the soups for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

If you’re a French Onion Soup lover, this is the perfect recipe—give it a try!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

what i wore wednesday


As you can see, we’re still living in a winter wonderland.  I get depressed if I check the forecast, so to my surprise we woke up yesterday with six more inches of snow on top of the huge mounds we had already. I was worried about Steve and his hour-long commute to work, especially since the public schools were cancelled in both our town and the town he works in. When he got home safely last night, I asked him how the drive was on the two-lane windy roads, and he said the worst driving was actually in our neighborhood! (It’s really hilly.) I dream of warmer weather in March, wearing fewer layers, pulling the stroller out of the closet, and taking the boys out for walks. 

Having a newborn, one of the hardest things is—when do I find time to take a shower? If the perfect moment happens when my baby falls asleep, and my toddler is napping, do I shower or take a nap? Taking a nap almost always wins! If I can’t get that elusive shower, my goal for the day is just to put on jeans, a fresh button-down shirt, and my contacts. At least this way, I can be presentable, and feel good about myself, you know?

Shirt: JCPenney
Boyfriend cardigan: Mossimo at Target
Scarf: made by me
Jeans: Motherhood Maternity Super Stretch Skinny Jeans
Boots: MIA Heritage Knee High Boot

At least I can wear spring colors and patterns, right?


Linking up with Lindsey for WIWW, Alison, and Shanna

Feel free to stay a while, or follow along! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

favorite things

Linking up with Andrea and Erika again to share a few of my favorite things under $10 :) This is my food edition . . .
When I was in the hospital after having Nolan, I was super thirsty and craved a smoothie. My mom went to the grocery store for me and brought back this delicious strawberry-banana drink. I started drinking it in the middle of the night when I was feeding Nolan and eventually I couldn’t go a morning without it. I’ve been addicted for 2.5 years now. :) It’s really similar to “Naked”, but slightly cheaper. And obviously it has huge health benefits because it contains so much fruit.

This Land ‘O Lakes hot chocolate is wonderful. I’ve tried all kinds of cocoa—Swiss Miss, Nestle, Starbucks, even Ghirardelli—but this is the brand I prefer. I drink it nightly.

I’m not a big fan of cafeteria food, so when I was at the hospital after Ephraim was born, I sent Steve out to Sheetz (the convenience store) for some snacks. I wanted a meal replacement bar that was filling and healthy. This Clif Bar has 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and contains high daily percentages of calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin E, etc. I eat one every night when I wake up and feed Ephraim at 3 or 4. It gives me something to look forward to when my sleep is interrupted. And then I don’t get hungry before breakfast. Women still need to take in a good amount of calories when nursing.
My mom went grocery shopping for us a couple weeks ago and bought us these S’mores nut and granola mixes. I’m not a big fan of eating nuts, but these are like candy.

The prices I gave are all from Walmart. If you haven’t tried any of these, go ahead and pick one (or all four) up at the store. Let me know what you think! :)


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