My Life of Travels and Adventures: November 2011

Organizing the Kitchen

30 November 2011

In my frantic hurry to get our house clean before we had guests and before the baby comes... I reorganized our kitchen.

Why not, right?

Besides moving all our tupperware containers around and storing some of our rarely used items above the fridge, I decided that my measuring cups and spoons needed a better home.

They used to be randomly thrown into a large bowl in the corner cabinet.  Not the easiest to search through a huge bowl for one tiny measuring spoon.

Enter a few unused items from the kitchen... A lazy susan and a couple bell jars.
I was able to fit three full sets of measuring spoons into the two jars I found. 
The measuring cups are stack nicely and because they all fit onto a lazy susan, all the measuring cups and spoons are within reach.
My "nice" set of measuring spoons and cups hang next to my "nice" set of spoons.
I also paired down our spice rack to only one rack.  The rest of the spices I do not use that often and are now stored above microwave.
Yeah, the kitchen does not look that different or even cleaner.  But it is.  Just check the inside of my stove!

The Alphabet

29 November 2011

The internet can be a dangerous thing.  Especially when it comes to cute baby things.  Yup, another baby room project. 

I love how this project came out.  Love, love, love it.  But while spending way too many hours of one weekend working on it, I was not loving it.  

Anyways, I stumbled across this post on an alphabet wall for the baby's room and decided it was a must for  Reid's room.  

Enter a huge pile of letters (Only $0.69 for two letters at Hobby Lobby - Score!l)
And a huge stack of scrapbook paper (50 sheets for $2.99 at Ross - Score!)
And a long day in store for me. 

First up was laying out the letters to fit in the space that I wanted in the baby's room.
Then on to figuring out the paper/color scheme for each letter. 

Next was my least favorite part.  Cutting out each individual letter.  So frustrating.  My hands were killing me after cutting 26 of these little suckers out. 

Do you know how hard it is with a belly to take a picture looking down without the belly getting in the way?  See.

About this time I took a break.  I was frustrated how long this was taking me.  I wasn't in love with how the letters look.  I was just frustrated. 

A few hours later, I came back to the pile of letters that were strewn across our kitchen table and painted the edge of each letter in a corresponding color. 

Then I used the mod podge (from the lego letter) to glue each piece of scrapbook paper to the wooden letter.  Frustratingly painful as well. 

I also used the mod podge to seal over each letter and give it a shiny finish. 

After a good nights sleep, I was up to tackling hanging the letters.  I again laid out my design.

Then used a random piece of a poster picture frame as a straight edge to hang them.  (Yes, I used the back of the poster picture frame to paint everything).

  This again was a frustrating process.

Neil helped apply the glue dots to each letter.  
I ended up using several elmer's glue dots on each letter.  I probably could have got away with one or tow glue dots.  Those suckers are sticky! But easily removable.  

Finally, hours and hours later there were 26 little letters stuck to a wall in the nursery.
I really love how it turned out.  It seemed like a fun little project that ended up taking forever but I am so happy I struggled through it.

Check out all my pregnancy/baby posts here.

Recipe - Butterscotch Brownies

27 November 2011

Apparently, out of all the guys that Neil works with, he is the only one who does not have his lunch made for him.

So being the good little wife (with a baby bump) that I am... I decided to start packing his lunch (that way he fits in with the cool kids).

Well I need some snacks for his lunch... so enter me baking some butterscotch brownies.

I probably committed the biggest baking no-no by making these.  I used a recipe from the back of the nestle butterscotch chip bag but used bag of kraft butterscotch chips.  Oh well.


2.5 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup softened butter
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
11 oz butterscotch chips

How to make them:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  
  3. Beat in the butter, sugar and vanilla.  
  4. Add the eggs and then gradually add the flour. 
  5. Stir in 3/4 of the bag of butterscotch chips. 
  6. Spread into a greased 8x8 pan.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining butterscotch chips. 
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes. 
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe: Apple Pie

27 November 2011

My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner was an Apple Pie.

Luck for everyone involved, I make one mean apple pie (Thanks mom!).


  • 10 medium/large apples (In my opinion cortland apples are the best)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp tapioca
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c crisco
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp butter

1. Peel & slice the apples.

2. Mix the sugar, tapioca, and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the apples. Make sure to save about 1 tsp of the mixture for later.   Mix thoroughly.
3. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt, crisco and water together for the crust. 
4. Split the dough in half.  Roll out half the dough and place it in the bottom of a pie pan.

5. Fill the pie with the apple mixture.

6. Roll out the remaining dough.  Rub a little butter along the edge of the crust in the pan and then place the the top onto the pie. 
7. Pinch the edges of the dough together and cut off the extra.  Add a few slices in the dough.
8. Rub the remaining butter over the top of the pie and then sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
9. Bake for 1 hour at 350F.
10. Enjoy!

Baby Name Basket

26 November 2011

A while ago, while wandering the internet,  I saw some wooden blocks with letters on them.  I decided that I wanted them for the baby's room.  

Well, after shopping around, I decided upon a wooden box with the baby's name on it.  
Another fun project for me. 

After deciding to paint the box the accent colors from the nursery, I went to town.  It seemed like an easy paint job but then I noticed the tiny little slot all the way around the box.  Ugh!
I also decided to paint the letters white.  (We got these 4" letters at hobby lobby.  They were on sale for $0.69 and the package included 2 letters.  Score!)
After super glueing the name on the box, it was all set.  
I wasn't sure where I wanted to box to go once it was in the nursery.  Here it is filled with another baby room project.
Ultimately, I decided the box should go on the dresser.   Neil noted that a box of baby wipes fit perfectly in the one opening.  I put the moose we bought in Alaska for the baby in the other opening.  
Not to shabby!  You can see the paper lanterns that we previously installed in this picture. 

Check out all my pregnancy/baby posts here.

A Lego Letter

18 November 2011

A while ago I found this adorable button letter idea for the baby's room.  Problem was that I did not have enough buttons laying around and that Neil said it looked to girly.  I would have to agree that it does look girly but in my mind I would you "boy" color buttons and all would be well.

Well Neil suggested using legos... Seeing that he has tons of legos and they are more boyish.
This project seemed like a simple craft for the baby's room.  Well it was not.  It took forever for me to finish it.  Two weeks to be exact.

We/I started on Halloween night.  While Neil was out handing out candy to trick or treaters I was digging through thousands and thousands of legos while sporting a cute pumpkin shirt.
Then it was a lot of sorting and sorting.
Eventually, Neil gave up on the trick or treaters and came in to "help" me.
Really he decided to make his own project and had some assistants as well.
So while I sorted and sorted, Neil completed the baby's name.
And I completed half an R.
A few nights later with my assistant in tow...
... I completed the letter R.
And Neil redesigned his name.

Once the R was complete, I painted the an old picture frame we had on hand.
And mod podge'd the R... both to make the legos stay together and to give the R a shine.
Next it was figuring out a background color for the frame.
This was a tough one for me but I ultimately decided on the gray wall color of the nursery.
Not to shabby, huh?
I just super glued the R to the painted canvas and it was good to go a few hours later.
So Neil was recruited to hang it in the baby's room.

After he held the frame in every possible position in the room, we agreed that it would look best next to the window.

Oh yeah, Neil's lego creation is also being displayed in the baby's room.

Yes, he also made a truck, trailer, boat and motorcycle.  What can I say, the man loves legos.

Check out all my pregnancy/baby posts here.
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