Friday, May 30, 2014

our first garden

Last summer when we moved in to our house, the garden was super overgrown. We were able to get plenty of spicy peppers, tomatoes, and delicious raspberries from what the previous owners had planted, which was awesome:

We’re looking forward to a similar harvest this year, hopefully :) At the end of the summer, we pulled out waist-high weeds and plants. But already this May—this was the state of the garden:

My wonderful husband worked hard to get it to this: 

Before we plant, we really need to reinforce the parts of the boxes that have shifted.

A couple months ago I bought some plant starter kits from the Target dollar bin. These are my sunflowers, which shot up very quickly indoors and I transferred them outside. I really hope they bloom!

And these are very tiny strawberry plants. I haven’t transferred them to the garden because they are super fragile.

Our rhubarb is growing quickly, and I’m excited to make some strawberry rhubarb pie in a few weeks!
I let my pumpkins from Halloween compost in the garden—and this is what has grown from them! We’re confused because they don’t look like typical pumpkin vines. They are for sure growing from the pumpkin seeds because we can see the seeds at the top of the plant. Does anyone know?

Weeds, but still gorgeous!

Another question: to compost or not to compost? I’ve wanted to get rid of this bin for months, but now I am wondering if maybe we should dive head-first into composting for our garden?

We can see these beauties from our kitchen window—love them!

I did some research to find out what veggies grow best in our northern climate. I found this helpful Planting Calendar on

We set out to Lowe’s to choose some veggies that would do well here. We settled on these eight: squash, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes (of two sizes), zucchini, sweet pepper, and green beans. We figure that if we choose a lot of things, at least a couple of them should actually work out!

I’m accepting any and all advice on best ways to grow these!! :)
The new tools that Steve got me for Mother’s Day :)

I heard that if you have tomatoes, you MUST try Mater Magic. I’m going to test out that advice :)

Nolan was playing with all the seed packets. I am going to LOVE teaching him about how we grow food! And he’s going to love eating the tomatoes and carrots!

Baby Ephraim keeping an eye out on the gardening :)

Linking up with Kelly’s Korner!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ephraim at 4 months

This is the little face that I get to look at all day, every day, and I am the luckiest girl!! He will search the room for me, and when his eyes land on mine, he gives me the most adorable smiles that melt my heart. Now that it’s summer, I can dress Ephraim in onesies and shorts and oogle over his chubby little thighs and sweet little toes. I will say this in every month’s post, but time is sure flying, and I am setting the goal right now to slow down and enjoy it! This next month is going to include Ephraim’s baby dedication at church (this Sunday), and our first major family road trip!

4 Month Stats

Weight: 15 pounds, 5 ounces

Length: 25 inches

Eating: Nursing exclusively—every 3 hours during the day. I am so happy that I haven’t needed to give him a bottle or supplement this entire time! At this point, Nolan was already on some rice cereal and some formula since he was skinny (though I would do a lot differently now).

Bedtime: We swaddle him for the night when we go to bed at about 11:30 pm, and he sleeps next to me in his Rock ‘N Play.

Awake: He wakes up at 6 or 7, but after I feed him, he’ll snooze until 9.

Naps: He is still having trouble napping by himself without me holding him, but I’ve had decent success setting him down in the Pack ‘N Play sometimes. He takes a morning nap, afternoon nap, and early evening nap.

Diapers: Size 2

Clothes: I just put away the box of 3 month clothes, and we’re now on to 6 months. I’ve been needing to collect more summer clothes for him because Nolan’s 6 month clothes are all very warm & wintery! I just bought him the large size velcro swaddles.

Favorites: He hasn’t quite discovered toys yet, so he LOVES his hands and putting them in his mouth. He needs his paci for naps, but doesn’t sleep with it at night.

Dislikes: The dog barking, Nolan crying, Mommy setting him down… He has started shrieking for me when I walk away from him.

Latest Tricks: Standing up, chewing on his hands, watching Nolan play, staring at Mommy, grabbing my face to pull it towards his mouth. He is starting to roll both directions (tummy to back and back to tummy). It is so ADORABLE how he laughs on the changing table when we tickle under his arms or kiss his tummy. The laughs are just my absolute favorite sound in the world! I put him in the Bumbo for the first time, and he enjoyed it. Pretty soon, it’ll be time for the Jumperoo!

So I still think my babies look alike, but this picture of Nolan certainly doesn’t show that! Nolan had so much more hair! Ephraim still has his brown hair from birth on the back of his head. I finally got rid of most of his cradle cap, and he’s getting some new fuzzy hair on top :) I love these boys!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

what i wore wednesday & mary kay

mary kay lash love
I am getting really into playing with makeup lately. I have always worn eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara. But recently I’ve been experimenting with blush/bronzer, lipsticks and lip butters, concealer, and eyebrow pencils. I feel like there is so much to learn about different products and the variety of ways to apply them! I was really excited when my friend Jennifer sent me a Mary Kay Lash Love mascara a couple of weeks ago. I’ve only had small sample mascaras for the past few years, so I love having a full-size one again! Jennifer sweetly included some samples for me as well, including some of the products from the amazing “Botanical Effects” line, which is made for sensitive skin, and the “TimeWise” anti-aging set.

If you need anything Mary Kay, Jennifer is wonderful! She can be reached at, or at :)

nautical dress
I call this dress my “nautical dress.” My favorite part about it are the little fabric flowers on my right shoulder.

Dress: TJ Maxx
Sandals: Crocs Sexi Flip
Earrings: Fossil
nautical dress   mary kay lash love I don’t have very long eyelashes—I would say they are medium length. (It is my husband and sons that have incredible lashes!) The Mary Kay Lash Love adds great length to my eyelashes. My favorite part about it is the wand because it allows for precision without clumping.

I am wearing Mary Kay mineral eye color in Moonstone, Silver Satin, and Sweet Plum. The blush is Bold Berry, and the lipstick is Whipped Berries :)
Nolan kept trying to get in my shots! He’s a natural :)

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Linking up with Lindsey, Alison, and Shanna.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

lemon blueberry cheesecake + memorial day photos

lemon blueberry cheesecake bars
A few nights ago, my friend Christina “Bootsie” recommended this recipe to me. She said they were a big hit with her friends, and she thought I would love them. Well, Bootsie—I definitely do! I don’t own a food processor, so I borrowed one and whipped them up yesterday morning. They are exceptional! The texture turns out so smooth and creamy, and the lemon taste is delicious!

For crust:
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
9 graham crackers (1 sleeve)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1  1/2 cups fresh blueberries
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x9 inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper.

In a food processor, mix up the sugar, cinnamon, and graham crackers. Add the melted butter, and pulse it a few times until it’s well-incorporated.

Spoon the mixture into the pan, and press it down firmly. Bake it for 12 minutes until it is golden. Let it cool completely.

While it’s cooling, put the cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and vanilla into the food processor. I blended mine for at least a minute until it became a really smooth consistency with no visible chunks of cream cheese.

Pour it onto the cooled graham cracker base and smooth it out evenly.

Cover with blueberries. Bake for 35 minutes or until the center has set. Let it cool completely, and then refrigerate it for three hours before serving.

I sliced mine into 9 square servings. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!!

We had a very nice Memorial Day weekend that sped by way too fast!

Uncle Josh taught Nolan how to roll down a hill :)

Nolan spent quite a bit of time playing outdoors in beautiful weather at our house and both grandparents’ houses.

I caught “The Lip” on camera last night! He mostly does it when someone else is holding him and he realizes that he misses his Mommy. :)

Or maybe it was because he wanted some lemon blueberry cheesecake… :)
But he’s a happy little guy!

Hope you had a relaxing weekend!

Linking up with Andrea for this month’s Recipe Club :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

favorite things May

I have recently become an aficionado of white spray paint. :) I am finding more and more things around the house that I want to give a quick and inexpensive makeover. I love how they turn out with a fresh coat of bright paint!

After we finished off our first can, Steve went back to Lowe’s for more white, and he surprised me by buying Valspar chalkboard spray paint too! I haven’t used it yet, but I am already dreaming up ideas for it! The Rust-Oleum white is $5.37 at Lowe’s, while the Valspar chalkboard paint is a dollar or two more.

The first things I spray-painted were frames from Goodwill. I chose very plain, wooden mis-matched frames—and they took the paint perfectly.

I also covered a couple tin cans to make pots for plants, or pen/pencil holders.

This was our mailbox a few days ago. It was a rusting mess…

In addition to the mailbox, I wanted to spruce up a jewelry holder that Steve made me a few years ago, a basket we found in the basement when we moved in, and some large wooden frames that I bought for cheap at a rummage sale.


And how they look now:

The white frames look really good against our all of our wall colors—blue, dark gray, purple, and even off-white.

What do you think?

Have you spray-painted anything at your home?    

I have one extra item to throw in for under $10—Candace Cameron Bure’s book Balancing It All for the Kindle. I was able to catch it on sale a couple weeks ago for $.99, but it’s usually $9.99. I’m really enjoying it so far. And I’m happy she got 2nd runner up on Dancing with the Stars! :)


Linking up with Andrea and Erika today! I tried to stick to the Red/White/Blue theme :) Happy Memorial Day!!

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