Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday

So, I never did post about my kitchen facelift, nor have I posted anything in almost 3 weeks....but I'm still here!  Life has just been a little busy - preparing for baby, moving Emmalee into a big girl room, going on vacation...oh, and did I mention preparing for baby???

But today is Friday, and everybody say "Praise the Lord for a 3-day weekend!"  So for today's Five on Friday, I thought I would post a few things that I am working on preparation of baby, which includes some of the project I want to do in Emmalee's new big-girl room!

We decided to leave the nursery as is, and move Emmalee to a big girl room because it was just an easier "plan," in my opinion.  But creating a whole new room on a budget is not the easiest thing.  The biggest problem I am running into with Emmalee's room is simple, but cute decorations, and I could use a few to spruce up the nursery, too.   Each of the ideas below are different things that I have now stuffed in my "book or ideas" for cute, but simple, craft or decoration ideas for the girls' rooms. 

So, without further ado, here is my Five on Friday!!


I am IN LOVE with this idea!  Let's be honest - paint samples are FREE!  You can get them at any home improvement store, and just a few of them gives you a ton of color options!  

This is also a great idea for holiday decorations!  Get a circle cutter & use hues of yellows, oranges, and other fall colors. Use some twine or raffia as your string, and you have an adorable Halloween or fall banner for any room of your house!  Heck, do the same for Christmas!  

If you have other paint sample projects that you have done, tell me!!!  I love these type of crafts because they are cheap and simple, but absolutely perfect for any room or occasion!  


This is another idea that I just love - button projects!  I actually plan on doing this on Monday with Em.  I thought it would be a fun project for her and I to do together for her new room.  On the wall with the window, the window is in the middle, but I need something on either side.  Since these projects can incorporate MANY colors, I love the idea of doing these (probably in a bit larger scale) on either side of the window.  I'll take pics and tell you how they turn out!!!

 I love this idea for an arrangement over a dresser.  Em's walls are light blue, and all of her furniture is white.  The dresser is long, like this pictured here, and I have been struggling with what to put above it.  I do have a mirror that I considered painting and putting up, but I'm worried about the scale of the mirror vs. the dresser.  So, I love the idea of making a wall arrangement like this one here.  


You may have seen something similar to this before, because I know I have seen this style of door-hanger done many ways, but I was thinking this may be a great door-decoration for the girls' rooms.  My local Micheals has started carrying the thick cardboard frame in all these great boutique styles for just a few dollars.  I think I'll get some, paint them, then get a big "E" and "M" and put them on the front of the frames.  Then I can hang them on the doors to give a little added "somthin'" 


I have fallen in love with this idea, too!!!  Emmalee has red curtains in her room, but they are simple and somewhat boring.  Madeline's are a little more "fru-fru", but they are still a solid pink, so I could do this in her room too.  But I love the pennant idea to put over the curtains just to add some pizzazz!  

I don't know about you, but each of these projects are so fun and simple, and I cannot WAIT to try them!  I promise to do a post next week of all the new things in the girls rooms!!! 

So what are your plans this weekend?  Can you guess what mine are????

Monday, August 12, 2013

Menu Monday

Since my new kitchen is finally finished, I am so in the mood to just get in there and cook my heart out!  So, this week I'm going out and making some {hopefully} great new dishes!

Monday:  Greek Slow-Roasted Chicken with side salad and pasta tossed in a lemon butter caper sauce. (The greek chicken will be cooked in the crockpot the same way I made my Greek Chicken pasta salad...find out how I did it here.)

Tuesday: Grilled steak & Georgia peach kabobs (recipe from last week's post)

Wednesday:  Chicken alfredo pasta with green salad

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner!  Peach and Sausage Breakfast Casserole with fresh fruit salad. (Again, another peach recipe from last week's post!)

Friday: Steak dinner in a crockpot!  If you've never heard of this, then allow me ot enlighten you.  Get your crockpot out & spray it w/ a nonstick spray.  Put your steaks (seasoned) in the bottom, then add backed potatoes wrapped in foil, then add corn on the cob wrapped in foil on top of that.  Put the lid on & cook for 7 hours on low!  Everything comes out perfect & tender!!!

And be on the lookout this week for a post all about our kitchen facelift on a budget!  I am in love with the way things turned out! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Let Me Be A Child, Again

A few days ago, Kelly, from Kelly's Korner, wrote a blog post about how she is always telling her girls to "hurry up."  Her post made me stop and think about how often I say those same words to my sweet 2 year old.

Then I saw an article in the Huffington Post titled The Day I Stopped Saying "Hurry Up."  The article is written by a mother who was over-taken by guilt one day when she realized how often she orders her children to "hurry up" and try to do things on her schedule. 

All I could do after reading this article is think about the past 2 mornings.  Brant has been very sick and in bed, so I have had to get Emmalee to her sitter every morning, which then makes me late for work.  I think I've told my child to "hurry up" more in the past 2 mornings than I have in the past 2 months.  I would be trying to walk out the door and Em would be putting Baby Girl (her favorite baby doll) in Madeline's swing and kissing her goodbye.  So out the door we try to go again, but Baby Girl needs her blanket in the swing so she doesn't get cold, and don't forget to tell Dax bye, and maybe we should give Daddy another kiss on the head so he can feel better...the list of things this child wanted to do before we left the house was exhausting, but then she had to go potty....and since we are in the middle of potty training, I immediately drop everything and rush her to the potty. 

15 minutes after I tried to leave the house, we were finally in the car pulling away.  My thought..."Praise the Lord we are finally in the car, but I am going to be sooo late."

Do you ever think back on times in your life and wish you could do them all over again?  Well I wish I could take back these past 2 morning and do them all over again.  I wish I helped my sweet child "mother" her Baby Girl, I wish I had encouraged her to kiss her daddy again so he could maybe feel a little bit better, I wish I had encouraged her to love on her puppy Dax....I wish, I wish, I wish.  I wish I had slowed down to see the beauty of life in those precious moments.

Children seem to "get it."  They understand that to learn and grow, they should take every moment of every day to see new things, to inquire, to enjoy the small moments of life.

This morning I can't help but think about Matthew 18. This is the parable where Jesus teaches His disciples that the greatest in Heaven are those with a child-like faith.  And unless we become like those children, we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Today this passage has new meaning for me.  Yes, I want a child-like faith - one that does not have to see to believe.  But I also want to become a child so that maybe I can slow down again.  I want to slow down and see everything the Lord has for me.  I want to see His truth, see His plan, see His power!  I want to enjoy the family He has given me and life He has provided for me.  I want to slow down and know Him more. 

So today, I encourage you to see the world through the eyes of a child.  Take those extra moments and hold your babies longer.  Take the time to care for those around you. Take a moment to play in the rain.  Slow down.  Don't ever hurry up.  Oh, how life would be different if we were like children, again.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

I don't know how many of you are like me, but I LOVE a good salad.  You know, the kind where you put anything and everything on it, with your favorite dressing, and just indulge yourself in the goodness? 

Well last night I decided to create my own little version of goodness. It was AMAZING!  I call it Greek Chicken Pasta Salad!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Perfectly Peach

 Well, I was going to do a typical "Menu Monday" post, but trust me, there is nothing special about my menu this week.  We're still having the finishing touches done to our kitchen, so I'm not cooking as much as I'd like to. So instead, I thought I'd post about what I WANT to cook once my kitchen is complete!!!

 If there is one great thing about summer, its the fresh fruit!  I love all the great deals you can get.  Our local market has fresh peaches for only $0.99/lb.  AWESOME!SO I've been looking at all kinds of new things that I can't wait to cook - all with fresh peaches!!!

Of course there is the typical peach cobbler or dump cake, but I want new things.  If you've looked over any of my recipes, you might has been this one:  Chicken & Peaches - its a Rachel Ray recipe and is absolutely delicious!  I want more things like it!!

So in my search, I found these:

Southwestern Chicken and Mango-Peach salsa

Grilled Steak Salad with Peaches, pecans and limes! (sounds like a little piece of heaven to me!)

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze

Or this - Beef Kabobs with Georgia peaches! Yes Please!!! 

Then I found these for breakfast.  I might be trying the pancake recipe this Saturday!

And of course, I do need some great new dessert recipes!  These are already making my mouth water!!!

Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce! 

Peach Mug Pie

Cinnamon Pound Cake with Stewed Peaches

Or maybe I'll even be daring and make my own peach jam!!!

What are some of your favorite peach recipes?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Five on Friday


My sweet, darling child was up from 1:21am - 4:58am this morning.  When you get up at 5:45am to start your day, this little interruption makes for a VERY rough morning.  

Bring in the coffee!!!!
Brant and I tried this coffee creamer from International Delight several weeks ago and it has definitely become a favorite.  We love it. You can definitely taste the sweetness and cinnamon of a Cinnabon.  


We are starting "Operation: Diaper Freedom" at our house this weekend!  We tried potty training in June, but it didn't work so well.  So we didn't force her to do it.  Well, now it's time!  So, I found this website that talks about fast and easy potty training.  I actually paid and bought the book because $17 is about the price of a small package of pull-ups!   And if we succeed at potty training, then it was well work it in my mind! 


This is definitely my new favorite paint - the Sherwin Williams ProClassic Interior Acrylic Latex.  This is what we used to paint our kitchen cabinets last weekend and I couldn't be happier with the results.  It just looks amazing and this dried so quickly. 

I promise to dedicate an entire post soon on our kitchen facelift and include all of the items we used, and our step-by-step process on how we managed to paint an entire kitchen in a weekend!


With Baby #2 on the way, I've been looking at different things to put into a special basket of goodies for Emmalee as her "Big Sister Basket."  But at the Rangers baseball game on Monday, I met a sweet older lady and we began talking.  She had 3 girls, and she said the best piece of advice she could give me was to make sure that the "Big Sister Basket" was a gift to Emmalee FROM Madeline!   I now consider this woman to be a complete genius! 

My idea for this basket was to make it have items that Emmalee can use on her baby dolls when momma is taking care of Madeline.  My thoughts are items like...

Its been somewhat of a slow week at work, so I've been watching a new show.  I've seen episodes here and there, but never watched a whole season.  But thanks to Hulu, I can actually see an entire season of....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Tears of a Parent

The past two years of being a parent has taught me more about my relationship with the Lord than I ever imagined it would. 

During my pregnancy with Emmalee I used to think "I want to be the most Godly woman I can be because that is what I want my child to be.  And how will she ever know how to become that woman if she doesn't see it in her own mother?"  I remember that during my pregnancy, my walk got deeper because I wanted to be stronger. 

Now, being a parent for the past two years, I don't see my walk getting "deeper," I see my understanding getting "stronger."

Emmalee has recently started battling us when its time to go to bed.  For her, this is completely unusual because she has always been so easy to put down. I've tried to blame is on the "terrible 2's", or my being pregnant, or her realizing that her world is about to change...but regardless of the reason, she has decided this is a battle she will fight...EVERY NIGHT!

One of the first nights we encountered this battle was last week.  We went through our typical routine, and I put her in her bed. She got out. I put her in again. She got out. And this went on for at least 10 minutes.  Then her daddy got involved. 

He went through the bedtime routine as well, and put her in her bed.  She got out.  He put her back in her bed, came out of her room, and held her door shut so she couldn't get out.  Which, she quickly tried to do, and when she realized she couldn't, she begged and sobbed for mommy. 

Can I tell you that it broke my heart into pieces.  I knew that my sweet little 2 year old needed to go to sleep, and by going into her room, I would make things worse.  So I was letting her daddy handle it.  But it still broke my heart, although pregnancy hormones were, I'm sure, playing a role. 

Brant went back into her room.  Five minutes later he emerged, feeling accomplished and exhausted because she was finally in bed, and he was certain she would not get up.  He was wrong.  About 5 minutes later, a figure emerged from her room and went down the hallway into the living room calling my name.  I could hear her from our bedroom, and after several minutes of hearing this tired little voice, I walked into the hallway.  My daughter turned to look at me and I looked at her.  I sat down on the floor in the hallway and she walked straight into my lap and buried her head in my chest.  She was exhausted.  I was exhausted. 

And  as I sat there on the floor holding my sweet baby girl, I let me tears fall.  They were tears of frustration, exhaustion, and pleading.  All I wanted was for this baby to understand she NEEDED to go to bed.  She needs rest.  Her little body can't "do it all" but doesn't grasp that.  I do.  And as her mother, I want only what is best for her, which was good rest. 

And as my tears fell, my mind finally began to understand our Father's love for us.  I can't "do it all", but sometimes I think I can.  But my Father wants only what is best for me, but how often do I fight Him?  If you're like me, I fight Him all the time. I battle with Him over what I think is best and what I think I need.  But He knows what is waiting for me on the "other side," just as I knew that a night full of rest would help Emmalee have a smile on her face in the morning light. 

So just as I cried over my child, how many times has He cried over me in anger, frustration, and as a simple plea to just trust Him?  And the honest answer is that I don't want to know the true number of times. 

So tell me, as a parent, how has your walk changed?  Is it deeper, do you have a better understanding of the Father's love?