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made in earlysville: March 2012

made in earlysville

our family, our home, our food, our life.. all made in earlysville

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Rag Wreath "Tutorial"

So I bought all of the supplies to make this rag wreath last year but really I think was a crazy person. Our house was still very much under construction and I had a 3 month old baby on top of my already demanding (then) 2 year old. Crazy person I tell you!

I think I saw my initial inspiration in a magazine and ended up googling directions somewhere. I don't exactly remember where those directions are and I suck at actually following directions so I didn't bother to look any up this time. How hard could it be to tie fabric onto a Styrofoam wreath? Really not that hard. I promise you, anyone can do this.

Here's how it turned out:

Pardon me holding Ellorie and taking this picture in the reflection...

And for your "tutorial" (you really don't need one, this is SO easy): I cut 12" strips of lots of springy fabrics that I bought from JoAnn's last year. I tied them on wrong side out and double knotted them on the front of the wreath. I scrunched them together and in many places my knots had to be one up, one down so you wouldn't see any of the green foam underneath. Super easy and super cute. I'm planning on making a red-white-blue version for this summer. 

I cut WAY too much fabric so here is what I did with the rest. I think it's cuter than Easter grass but I'm not sure I would go out of my way to create this look had I not had all of it left over. But if you're into the labor intensive Easter basket look I say go for it. Or better yet, make yourself a rag wreath and use the leftovers like I did!

Our JoAnn's is moving locations so the entire store is on a crazy discount right now. I bought a bunch of sparkly red felt for like 75% off (yay!!) in hopes of making this wreath for Christmas. SO CUTE!

My glass of wine is calling me...

I hooked up with House of Hepworths for this post! Check out the fun link party here.


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Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Weekend

So I was supposed to be cooking all weekend, remember?  That didn't happen. I got distracted when I saw this tutorial on making your own Ballard inspired trellis wallpaper. I may or may not have spent all of Saturday afternoon/early evening practicing in our kitchen.

We went to Lowes on Saturday with the kids and like usual came home with nothing but fed children who needed to nap. Kind of frustrating but then again we do have a 1 year old and a 3 year old. What were we thinking? The positive that came out of this fruitless trip was that we did decide where to focus our efforts for the next little while. I would be lying if I said we weren't bad about starting little projects all over the house and never really accomplishing much. So we decided that we are going to finish the kitchen to our liking and spend as little money as possible doing so. 

Here's the plan:

This pretty little light fixture is on it's way and will live above our sink where we currently have a plain old can light. I think it will look WAY better and really, who doesn't love Ballard Designs?

Ballard Designs

Currently we have funky tan laminate countertops and they're going to have to stay because replacing them is going to be expensive. We also have a ginormous laminate backsplash (like 6", ugh) and I'm still working on how we're going to remove it without creating massive damage to the wall behind it. It may also have to stay until we can afford to replace the countertops for real and I'm going to have to be ok with that. I think I can be if we have a pretty wall and shelves like these to look at instead. I think we'll only have room for two over the sink but I think I'll love it!

Beneath My Heart

And this is what got me so distracted all Saturday afternoon. I think I may be in love. 

Jones Design Company

I followed this tutorial based on the Ballard Designs drapes that I was already in love with. First I used this stencil and traced it on the wall with a pencil.

A better look at it up close. It's not perfect and it drove Andy CRAZY. I figured it would be fine, I was just practicing anyways. Notice the unfinished drywall patch below (that we've been living with for like ever...)? That has to be fixed before we do anything anyways and then we'll have to paint so really, if I screw it up no big deal. 

I didn't take a picture of my first try or at least I can't find it if I did. I'm not an artist and it really didn't look that great. It wasn't very even. So I went back and re-read the tutorial and realized that she just used a brush that was the size of line she wanted and just pushed down so it was the same width throughout. I'm not even going to try to explain what I did the first time. Looking back I'm wondering what exactly was I thinking? Her method is clearly spelled out (if I had taken the time to read it) and it works nicely and was way faster. So I followed the directions the second time and came up with this. Again, just practice, don't freak out. 

Here it is with the light on. The light that will be beautiful when the new one comes in.

And closer up, light still on. You can see it isn't perfect and you can also see the pencil marks in some places. Hers clearly looks better than mine does and her pencil marks seem far less visible than mine. I tried erasing them and it just smudged into the paint and looked worse. I'm thinking next time I'll just make sure to paint over them really well and then I won't have to worry about it. There are definitely a few spots that look a little funky but all in all I really like the design. What do you think? Feel free to tell me I'm a crappy painter and to stop. I'd rather know it now than after I paint an entire wall of this :-) 

Our kitchen island is going to get 4 new feet to raise it up to the proper height. It came with those ugly black and metal feet that looked as if they should be on a rolling metal shelf. Not really the look we were going for in the kitchen so we never put them on after putting it together. It's also going to get a coat of paint but we're not sure yet if we're going to go blue to match the hutch in the dining room or if we'll go white to go with the kitchen. I'm definitely leaving the butcher block top unpainted. I love the way it looks but I it will probably need to be refinished after a few years of abuse use. Maybe I can get some of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and paint the island and the kitchen table the same? I'm thinking Pure White and a little distressing? I'm trying to talk myself into spending that much money on a quart of paint...

And you already know my plans for our breakfast nook. I think it will all go together quite nicely if we can just get it all done. 

Jennifer Rizzo

And if that wasn't enough for one weekend, today I started on this project. This is my Grandmother's old dresser and we are repurposing it for Maddie's room. I sanded it today and filled nail holes. The plan is to paint it Pottery Barn White to match her other furniture. I'm also going to get some pretty glass knobs to finish it off. 

Now I'm just waiting for the wood filler to dry so I can either retouch again or start priming. This will be my first experience with painting furniture. I have all of the supplies and I am planning to follow Centsational Girl's instructions. Any tips?

How was your weekend?

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Friday, March 23, 2012

A not-so-typical Friday

Fridays at our house are usually rushed in the morning. Maddie has school at 9:00 am and that means Andy has to be out the door with the kids by 8:20 am to make it in time for drop off. Maddie does not like to miss drop off. If you miss drop off that means that your Mommy or Daddy has to walk you in to your class room and that just isn't cool enough for Maddie. And yes, I said Andy takes the kids on Friday mornings. His days off are Friday and Saturday and he gives me off on Friday mornings. It's glorious and he totally rocks! 

This Friday there was no school so we hung out at home. In our jammies. For most of the morning.

Apparently jammies were too constricting so Ellorie got naked and had snack in Mommy's nice chairs in the living room. Awesome.

Hey Mom, whatcha doing?

She may or may not be wearing yesterday's braids and eating snack in front of Doc McStuffins... I just love that she has a couch full of baby dolls and stuffed animals and is holding several while trying to eat snack and watch tv. She cracks me up!

We watched Daddy mow the lawn and weed eat. How 'bout those pink socks?? She went upstairs and go those to go with her outfit along with a pink sparkly bow and a Christmas bow. Gotta love a 3 year old's sense of fashion!

We shared some sisterly love. This just might be my all time favorite picture. Ever.

Ellorie was not sure about this...

Yea, pretty sure she does not want to be hugged/choked by big sister anymore, ha!

We modeled in the boot tray that Mommy was trying to photograph for the blog. Oh well, at least they're cute! Guess that post will have to wait for later!

Hope you had a good Friday, too!

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Dinner Tonight

There were lots of "mmm's" at the dinner table tonight. I tried a KRAFT FRESH TAKE Cheese & Breadcrumb mix that I got this week at the grocery store.  The kids missed out on this part but Andy and I liked it. I got it for almost free and Kraft First Taste is sending me a free one as well. I'm not sure if I would buy it at full price but for free I definitely had no problem making it for dinner. 

I made this to go along with it. The kids were SO excited when I put it on the table! Ellorie could live off of broccoli (don't ask me why, she'll even eat it frozen out of the bag!) and Maddie feels the same way about mushrooms (minus the frozen part, they don't freeze well...). She ate all of hers and asked for more! Throw in some pasta, spinach and cheese? I've got two happy girls! 

Veggies & Pasta

Box of whole wheat pasta, cooked and drained
1 head of broccoli, chopped
8 oz sliced mushrooms
couple handfuls of fresh spinach
1 tbsp minced garlic
pepper to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Put all of the veggies, garlic and olive oil in your pan. Sauté on medium until veggies are softened, maybe 3-4 minutes? I don't soften mine all of the way, I like them to still have a little crunch. Throw in as much of your pasta as you would like. I used about half and kept the rest for the kids' lunch tomorrow. You could use more if you had more people or less for less. Really, whatever works. Add cheese and stir. 

You can put in any veggies you want and this recipe would still work well. The girls thought bacon would have been good but they've also had that on the brain all day since Daddy made it for them for breakfast. Ellorie could live off of broccoli and bacon, it's a little ridiculous. Chicken would also be good or chicken AND bacon if your kids are little beggars like mine are. I swear they're like little dogs when it comes to bacon, ha!

I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine did!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Favorite Things

I've been an internet addict this week, big time. So I thought I'd make you a list of my favorite things. Maybe we'll make it a weekly event? We'll see if I can be that organized ;-)

I think this was probably featured in someone else's favorites week but I'm including it because I think it's awesome. You can download FREE fonts, including Pottery Barn (so cool!) here. If only I were cool enough to figure out how to use them in this post. Maybe next week.

This breakfast nook by Jennifer Rizzo (featured on The Lettered Cottage) was amazing inspiration for our breakfast table, especially since we have that same table! I can't wait to refinish it and pair it with a bench. I'm working on finding a mirror that works for our space. LOVE THIS!

And I guess if I'm going to be refinishing my kitchen table I should be reading Centsational Girl's Painting a Kitchen Table. Good tips on how to get it done right.

I have plenty of leftovers in the fridge and I have some round dinner rolls in the freezer that I think would be perfect for this Customizable Bread Bowl Breakfast. I love the idea of having everyone pick whatever they want to put in. I think the girls will love making this! Thanks, Kim @ NewlyWoodwards, for the great idea!

And who doesn't love Chocolate Muffins? I'm thinking these will be a huge hit in our house!

I love Weelicious (can we just note how cute that name is?). She has great recipes for kids (and adults) and she always tries to make them healthier using things like whole wheat flour, agave nectar instead of sugar and all sorts of other alternatives that I probably wouldn't come up with on my own. I haven't loved every recipe or substitution (sometimes you have to just use the real stuff!) but I have found quite a few favorites for our house. Check her out!

We made Pink Milk this week, yum! We added spinach on Caroline's advice and it was great! It turned our pink milk a little less pink and a little more brown but the kids didn't really care as they guzzled it down. We even made it again the next day and Maddie said, "Don't forget we have to add the lettuce Mommy!" She was clearly fine with it. 

I'm also thinking of trying the Carrot Ginger Sauce since Maddie is so into the ginger dressing at Sakura. She loves it on salad so I'm hoping they both love it on pasta? 

What are you up to this week? Apparently I'm going to be doing a lot of cooking....

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Office/Mudroom/Craftroom Rearranging

Yesterday was super productive day in our house and I'm just now getting around to blogging about it. I rearranged my office (again) and made Andy put up a few random pieces of artwork around the house (that may or may not have been sitting around for years...). I pillaged my in-laws house for old pictures and furniture and decorating ideas (thanks!!). I went to the fabric store and will be blaming Mrs. 5C for my new expensive addiction. 

I also made this last night: 

My inspiration came from this tutorial over at House of Hepworths. You should totally check it out! I used a cheapo bulletin board, almost identical to hers and just covered it with (I believe) jute since our store was out of burlap. I love how rustic is feels and smells. It was super cheap and I love how it fits into our space. I had plans to hang it on the wall above this table but I set it up there last night when I was done and I actually really like it leaned up against the wall. I think (know) I need to replace the basket but I was just throwing things up there to try out during my reorganizing. I'm going to look for a metal basket or maybe a small tray to hold our mail/whatever other crap we bring home. 

Here's how the entire table looks. I was thinking about getting some kind of mudroom-ish furniture to hide our shoes and have somewhere to throw my diaper bag but I think this will work nicely for now. And the best part is that all of the shoes are in those baskets and you would never know it. Or maybe the best part was that I already had this piece of furniture and didn't have to pay for a new one? You know I love free!

I think I'll get some of those little chalk board signs to put our names or just first initials on each basket. And I may even spray paint the baskets a darker color b/c they are a teeny bit too red for me. Has anyone had luck doing that? I'm worried the paint will just crackle off? 

I'm also going to get coat racks to put up so we can use the existing one at the bottom of the stairs for guests since we're lacking a proper coat closet. This is where I'm a little stuck. I was thinking I could put a mirror above in the middle and then maybe a coat rack on the wall on either side? Or I could do a coat tree on one side? I don't want to over clutter the wall but I also want it to look pretty and balanced. Any suggestions? I would love some help on this one!

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Did you wear your green today? You know we did (OK, to be honest, I think this is actually the first year I've remembered this holiday but whatever)! 

Maddie looked like this for school on Friday (attitude and all!). They had a St. Patrick's Day baking party. She says they baked a cake, fun!

Got her to smile a little for this one once she stopped posing like the super model she thinks she is.

We ate GREEN pancakes (with Aunt Sarah, yay!) for breakfast.

They were enjoyed by all (even if they were on turkey plates...).

Keeping one eye on Daddy as he makes more.

Even baby Katherine had some (she thought they were delicious, she did the delicious dance!) 

 And we had a nose picker, gross (could you at least wait until after you're done eating???), ha!

After lunch we had a scantily-clad toddler roaming the house performing many costume changes for her adoring audience. This was probably the worst of the bunch but Aunt Sarah insisted we send this to Rob. She actually insisted on a different version (b/c it was hilarious) but I opted for the PG version ;)

I had planned to make green chicken nuggets and edamame for lunch in keeping with our theme for the day. This plan was halted after some awesome 3 year old funness (and when I say I fun I mean awful ridiculous tantruming to the point where Mommy forgot all about making the awesome green lunch...). That NEVER happens at our house, we're always so well behaved ;)

 We had (not green) ham and cheese and Ellorie insisted on eating her entire lunch while holding her foot. 

Well, hello foot....

I forgot to take pictures of our awesome green dinner but I will post the recipes and you'll just have to suffer photoless. 

Green Chicken Nuggets

3 small chicken breasts, cooked (think I used 5 oz?)
1/2 box of frozen spinach, thawed
2 eggs
couple handfuls of mozzarella
3/4 - 1 cup bread crumbs, plus more for rolling

Throw all of this in your food processor and mix. The mixture should roll into balls easily, you may need to add more bread crumbs to achieve this consistency. Put some bread crumbs in a bowl for rolling, set aside. I used my small Pampered Chef scoop and dropped each ball in my bowl on top of the bread crumbs. Roll them in the bread crumbs until covered. Place on a baking pan, OK to be close as they won't spread like cookies do. Flatten out with your fingers. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes on each side. Let them cool a bit and serve! We had them with ketchup (because we have to have every meat with ketchup but I think they would be good with pasta sauce, too).

You can also flash freeze these by placing them on a baking sheet and in the freezer for 2 hours. Then throw them in a freezer bag and they're ready to pop in the microwave for next time.

Green and Gold Corn Casserole
adapted from Paula Deen

8oz reduced fat sour cream
1 stick of butter 
(bet you're thinking why even both with the reduced fat sour cream, ha!)
1 can cream style corn
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 box corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
some of the frozen spinach leftover from your Green  Chicken Nuggets
green food coloring, a few drops

Mix all of the above in a bowl. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and spoon casserole into your dish. Smooth out the top and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until it is set in the middle. I usually jiggle the pan to test for this. 

The grown ups in our house had spinach and red pepper stuffed chicken breast, mmmmm. I just used some of the spinach leftover from both recipes and mixed it with a little cream cheese and a bit of red peppers. It was yummy!

Are you drinking green beer tonight? Drink one for me!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Dad!

I'm so behind this week so please pardon the fact that this is a day late, as was his Happy Birthday call from the girls. Better late than never I guess? 

Happy Birthday to my Dad! I love these pictures and I thought it would be appropriate to share in honor of him. Love you Dad!

I spent lots of time up here as a kid. It's a good spot!

Check out the shorts! Classic Dad :-)

My kids do this to Andy now, something about feeding Daddy!
He's also a VERY loved Granddad to my two little girls :-)

 Ellorie calls him "Dandad," just like Maddie did.

 I hope you had a wonderful day! I love you Dad!

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Naked Pear Eating

Get your mind out of the gutter! It was hot and we had pears for snack. Naturally we had to eat them naked, or at least Ellorie did.

I somehow managed to capture this, which I find hilarious and I'm sure she'll hate me for later. But I had to share. It's one of those leave me alone I'm trying to eat faces possibly bordering on possessed?

Hope you're enjoying the warm weather as much as we are!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Free Life Savers Jelly Beans!

UPDATE: Apparently our Walgreens sucks and isn't participating in this promotion?? Yet another reason I don't shop there...

You can get free Life Savers Jelly Beans at Walgreens right now. This is a great deal and (if you're anything like me) will help you fill up all of those eggs that you have to send to school! And the best part is there is no clipping or printing required, just go to the store!

They are currently on sale 2 for $1. At the front of the store there is a little coupon booklet you can pick up, located near their weekly ad (mine is near the carts at the front door). In that book is a coupon for $1 off of 2 packages of Any Starburst, Skittles, Life Savers or Hubba Bubba Cluckers Easter Item. You get 2 free packs with your coupon!

Who doesn't like free jelly beans??

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Snow Day.... Late!

Better late than never right? I finally uploaded the pictures from the first snow day we had this year. The girls had a GREAT time in the snow!

Pardon me while I bask in the cuteness... 

I know I will treasure these pictures and so will she. She loves Nanny! 

She looks like a little pink Care Bear! Love it!

She was SO excited to get down on the ground and "run" around while the big kids made a snowman with Nanny. Little did she know she couldn't actually "run" in the snow. After a few wet face plants, she and Mommy decided to stay on the sidewalk where she could walk a little better.

Must feed little sister yellow snow while Mommy isn't looking, oh wait...

I love this one, it looks like they're trying to hide behind the snowman.

SO excited to be part of making the snowman, so she thinks ;)

I'm cute Mommy, take my picture!

And me too!

 Helping Nanny roll a ball to make the head for our snowman.

And it's a little heavy to lift but she's determined!

The head was a little small so we ended up having to pack on some extra snow.

He turned out pretty cute, even without a big carrot for a nose. His bottom half was the only remaining snow in our yard the following day. 

Her cousin teaching her how to make snow angels. She loved it!

So fun! 

She was very proud of her snow angel!

Couldn't resist one more pictures of the cheeks! 

We had a fun day in the snow!

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