Toddler Easter Basket Ideas

The LAST thing my one year old needs is chocolate or candy. He has enough energy to power our house, so I know he’s better off without the extra caffeine. I wanted to get my little man an Easter basket this year, since last year he was barely a month old, but I was determined to make it simple and practical.

Instead of using that messy grass stuff that would be found in my house until Christmas, or worse, in his mouth, I used green tissue paper to stuff the bottom of the basket. It still gave it the grass effect, but was fun for him to play with momentarily and WAY less of a mess. I also wanted it to be small so that it wasn’t overwhelming for him and didn’t break my bank. I stuffed the basket with plastic Easter eggs (which he hasn’t stopped playing with since he discovered them), books, yogurt melts, and a green frog stuffed animal that he gives precious hugs to all the time. Again, I wanted simple, cheap, and cute and I feel I achieved that. You can too!


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A few eggs in the basket to show the green tissue paper instead of the messy grass stuff.


He couldn’t decide what to play with…so all of it at once!

Birthday Party In a Box

Let’s face it, no matter how old we get, we still love getting birthday cards in the mail. Well, I know I do at least. What if you didn’t just get a card this year? What if you received an entire birthday party in a box? Feelin’ like a kid again, huh?

My sister is one of the greatest people I know. She lives 9 hours from me, so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be with her on her birthday this year. I decided to send her a party in a box, because I knew her three kids (ages 5, 3, and 2) would LOVE celebrating with her and it took a little less planning on her part and a little more enjoying! She deserves it!!

I tried to use all of the same theme of decorations. I found a wonderful colorful polka dot pattern so I used that as much as I could and then used other colorful patterns for everything else.


Here’s what I included in her box:

-Brownie mix



-A “Happy Birthday” Banner

-A table cloth

-Plates and napkins

-Party hats

-Noise makers

-A wrapped birthday gift and card

-A personal bottle of wine [her favorite part, I’m sure ;-)]

She loved it and had a fun party with her sweet little family! If you have a relative or friend you can’t be with on their birthday, maybe this is something you could do for them. Share your twists on this project, I’d love to see them!

Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth Photoshoot

I had so much fun taking these adorable pictures of my little man that will be sure to embarrass him when a future crush sees them. And she will see them…cause that’s what we do. Moms embarrass their children with stuff like this.

I was inspired by a cute picture of a baby with lipstick kisses all over him and decided to take it a step further…a kissing booth! I created this little scene using things I already had around my house.

See if you can handle the cuteness…I barely can.  DSC_0770




I made the hearts on the crate out of “candy cane” wrapping paper I had left over from Christmas. I thought it worked perfectly for this!


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

forest theme nursery.

As promised (even though it took me almost three months), I am posting pictures of Isaiah’s forest-themed nursery. It’s not like I’ve been busy lately or anything…

I got the inspiration for this theme from the material used on the crib skirt, valance, and bench pad cover. I fell in love with it when I saw it at Joanne’s. We actually got the last of it, because they are no longer making it. My husband and I enjoy the outdoors, so this theme seemed perfect for us, plus it’s gender neutral so if we ever have a girl it will work for her as well.


We went with all espresso colored furniture. I think it really brings the forest theme together. The dresser is from and the glider and bench are from Target.


My sister made the awesome clock. We made the side table tree stump (found here!) and the lamp (post coming soon for that). And of course I had to decorate with my favorite book as a kid, “The Giving Tree”.


An up-close look at the painting I did, which has the bible verse responsible for our baby name choice.


A better view of the book shelf bench. The pad cover was made by my wonderful mother. The middle cubby has a few small toys in it. It will be so sweet to see Isaiah sitting on the bench reading his books one day.


I absolutely love this part of the nursery. The crib is from a second-hand furniture store (we are proud of that too – not ashamed of saving money) The crib skirt was made by a family friend. She is a master seamstress, so she did that and the valance for us. The yellow crib sheet (found at babies-r-us) matches the yellow bunny in the material (it’s difficult to see in the picture). The breathable mesh bumper pad was from Target and the owl musical mobile is from Wal-Mart. I made the wall hangings above the crib.


An up-close look at the name plate I made with materials all from Michael’s craft store. I bought the letters, painted them white, hot-glued them to the tree stump, hot-glued the owl to it, and attached a wall hanger on to the back (one of those claw-looking things).


A closer view of one of the picture “frames” I made (again, materials all found at Michael’s). To complete this project, I bought the tree stump and a package of tiny cloths pins. I painted them green to match the theme and add some color and hot-glued them to the stump. It doesn’t get much easier to change out pictures. Once we get some professional pictures of Isaiah done we will replace the maternity pictures with those.


One more view of this side of the room to show the shelf my husband made with the monitor and picture frame. The wicker hamper was a gift from my sister. It goes perfect with the theme of the room.


Just another look at the wall hangings.


The shelf was extremely easy to make. We bought another one of those tree stumps from Michael’s and two shelf holders from Lowe’s. I stained the holders with a dark stain to match the furniture. My husband then cut one of the sides so that it would sit flat against the wall. He nailed the holders to the stump and then attached it to the wall. I plan to switch the picture in the frame out eventually as well.


The final side of the room is the changing table. I ordered the tree wall decal off of Etsy. The dresser is from, the changing pad and cover from Target and the fox diaper holder was a gift that went too perfect in the room not to use!


One part of the room I didn’t show is just the closet door (boring), BUT on the wall beside the closet is where this beauty hangs. I love it so much, because the tree was painted by a family friend, but then at my baby showers, everyone placed their thumbprint and signatures on it to create the leaves. It turned out so great and it is something I will always cherish.

Hope you enjoyed seeing Isaiah’s forest-themed nursery as much as we enjoyed creating it!

DIY Thank-You Gift Idea for Labor and Delivery Staff


I was days away from delivering our baby boy when I realized I had nothing to give to the staff at the hospital for all of the wonderful care they provide (at least from what I’d heard). I love giving gifts, so I came up with this easy, inexpensive gift. I know it’s not much, but it showed the staff their hard work was appreciated! And it really was!

I bought a big bag of the “fun size” peanut M&M’s and made cut-outs that read, “Thank you for taking care of our little “peanut” and taped them on each bag. I gave one to anyone and everyone that dealt with us while we were in the hospital, from L&D nurses, to recovery nurses, to my doctor that delivered the baby. They were all so excited to receive them.

Trust me, if you have time to do something like this before going into the hospital, do it. It will make their day just a little bit better just by getting something small like this. And they really do work their tails off with a smile on their face.

And who doesn’t love getting chocolate?! This is just an easy way to show your gratitude.

strawberry-banana pancakes

untitledWho doesn’t love a nice flapjack in the morning? My husband and I make breakfast for lunch almost every Sunday after church. We usually make chocolate chip pancakes, but this week we were heading home (with our 5 week old) and I suddenly remembered we were out of chocolate chips (gasp!). We didn’t want to stop at the store with Isaiah in the car, because he was hungry and, frankly, we were too . I thought to myself, “How can we make our pancakes flavorful with what we’ve got at home?” Because honestly, I hate plain pancakes. Sorry, but I was just not raised on plain. I remembered we bought strawberries at the store the previous day and we ALWAYS have bananas on hand, so I thought this would be the perfect combination AND make our usual pancakes a lot healthier! They were absolutely the best pancakes I’ve ever made!

I used a standard pancakes recipe and added in the fruit. If you have a recipe for pancakes that you use and is different from mine, use yours and just add the strawberry and banana puree to that! No hard feelings.

Yields: 10 medium pancakes

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 1/2 carton of strawberries (stems cut off, of course!)

  • 1 1/2 bananas


  1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to “sour”.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
  3. In a food processor or blender, puree the strawberries and bananas. Add the fruit to the pancake mixture.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
  5. Top with cool whip and strawberries.

So delicious. Enjoy!

“you know you’re a mom of a newborn when…”

Over the past few weeks I’ve had the luxury of realizing what it’s like to lose your mind…aka…have a newborn in your house. Here are just a few of the silly, ridiculous, embarrasing things I have done in the days since bringing our baby boy home. Welcome to my life as of late.

“You know you’re a mom of a newborn when…

you almost walk out of the house without shoes on.”

you are so out of it you put body wash in your hair while in the shower.”

you get excited when help (daddy) arrives home, because you realize you can actually take a shower.”

you almost fall asleep standing up.”

the diaper bag becomes your purse.”

you go to bed at 8:30 on a Friday night.”

you cry at least once a day (silly hormones!).”

you’ve become a pro at doing things one-handed.”

you’re pretty sure you couldn’t pass a field sobriety test/walk a straight line, not because of alcohol consumption, but due to extreme exhaustion.”

you get excited when the mail comes, because it means you get to leave the house for two minutes (because when there’s a polar vortex every other day, you don’t get out much!

love just took on a whole new meaning to you!”

forty weeks – Isaiah’s birth story.

HE’S HERE!! What a strange feeling knowing I’m a mom now. I still don’t think it’s fully sunk in!

We are so in love with this little guy and we are SO thankful to the Lord for allowing us to be his parents! He is such a joy and blessing in our lives. I would have been 40 weeks this week, but instead I have a six-day old!

My doctor ended up wanting me induced, because Isaiah was measuring small (according to the ultrasounds, which now we can tell how inaccurate they really are when it comes to weight and measurements with the baby) and they were afraid he wasn’t feeding well inside and thought it’d be best for him to come out and hopefully get to a healthy weight outside the womb.

We went into labor and delivery on March 19 at 6:30 AM. They started the pitocin at 7:30 AM and finally broke my water around 1 or 2 PM. I had about an hour of really intense and awful contractions before asking for the epidural. Can I just say how amazing that stuff is?! I felt like a completely different person after it kicked in. I didn’t even feel like I was in labor! About an hour later I was dilated to 8 cm and then another hour and a half later I was at 10 cm and ready to push! I pushed for about 25 minutes before our little bundle of joy made his entrance into the world at 6:09PM, weighing in at 7 lbs 1 oz and 20″ long.

It was so surreal to see him after having him in my belly for nine months. They laid him on my chest immediately after birth and all I could do was let out tears of joy and thank God for such a beautiful gift! A feeling I didn’t think would happen to me. I was not an emotional person before giving birth, but boy has that changed in the last week!

We are all doing great and healthy, thankfully. We had a great appointment at the pediatrician’s office this morning. He is eating well and his sleeping patterns have gotten a lot better in the last few days. I am sore and exhausted, but it is SO worth it. Just looking at him makes me forget about being tired. We are just so in love with him. I know I’m being a typical mom right now and going on and on about my baby, but I can’t help it!

thirty-nine weeks.

39 wks - jackfruit w txt

Sooo, I had a really hard time finding a jackfruit…I’ve never even seen one before now, but thanks to Photoshop it looks like I’m holding one. Could you tell? Of course not, right?😉 And I’ll go ahead and tell you that for last week’s picture I had to photoshop a pumpkin in too, because where can you find a pumpkin in the middle of March? Um, nowhere. So, there you go. You know all my secrets now. I promise the others were real.

But on to why we’re really here…one more week til our due date! Unbelievable.

We are getting to the point where I don’t have much to report, because nothing is really happening and baby’s pretty much done growing (other than weight gain). I still just can’t believe how close we are to meeting our boy. Although I’m still having periodic contractions, there’s not really any sign of real labor yet. There are quite a few “old wives tales” that can get labor progressing and you better believe I’ve tried some of them. Walking, spicy foods, pineapple, etc. Some are pretty humorous, but who cares at this point?! I’ve decided he’s gonna come when he’s good and ready no matter what I do,.

At our appointment this week baby looked healthy, but measuring on the smaller side. Doctor seemed a bit concerned, but doesn’t seem to think anything internally would be wrong with him. He thinks it might just be a feeding issue. Fluids looked good. The non stress test showed baby’s heart rate looked good and fetal movement was perfect.

At any rate, soon enough we will be holding Isaiah and loving every minute of it!

thirty-eight weeks.

38 wks - pumpkin w txt

I have finally reached the point of “What can I do to help this baby along?” I didn’t think I’d get like this, but I am really starting to be uncomfortable and just plain ready for him to be here. This waiting patiently stuff is hard! Especially when everything’s ready for him and we’ve been told he could come at any point. Come on, Isaiah!! Momma’s ready to meet you.

As you can see from a previous post, we got our maternity pictures back. I LOVE THEM! She did such a good job and we are so happy with them. I can’t wait until Isaiah gets old enough and we can show him what it looked like when he was in my belly. Such great memories captured!🙂

Update from our weekly appointment:
We went in yesterday and had an ultrasound to check fluid and everything looked great. We also had a non stress test done to track fetal movement and that went great as well. I am now between 2 and 3 cm dilated and about 75% effaced. So we did have some progression, but not a lot. It still could be any day now!

Now that he is pretty much fully developed, there isn’t much change going on with him. He is, however, shedding the skin-protecting vernix and lanugo, which we could see floating in the fluid on the ultrasound. He’s also producing more of this stuff called “surfactant”, which is a substance that prevents the air sacs in his lungs from sticking to one another once he starts to breathe. Pretty interesting stuff going on last-minute.

Maybe next week we’ll have our baby boy! Ya never know…