Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Randoms.

Hi! I have a couple of different blog posts rambling around in my big, fat head, but can't seem to get anything organized and on paper typed up.


I hate that feeling. So, for your Wednesday enjoyment, I'm just going with a ramble of some of the stuff on my mind. Mmkay?

Leap Day. Leap Frog. Froggie. Frog legs. 
How about a little free word association to kick things off? This is a weird day, dontcha think?

I'm currently eating popcorn with Cavenders seasoning on top. And a little chocolate bunny. (I like salty & sweet together). Do you guys put seasoning on your popcorn? Hubby introduced me to this treat and I must say, it's pretty delish.

I'm also currently watching this week's Bachelor. Hoping and praying he let that Crazy Courtney go. But I'm assuming he's not that smart.
Also? How crazy beautiful is Switzerland?? I might need to go there.

We have (finally!) been going to church on a regular basis again, and taking Evie. For a long time we would go alone and it wasn't as consistent as it should be. For lots of reasons. None of them good enough, though, you know? Anyway, I really want Evie to get used to going and enjoy it. So far it's going, oh.. okay. I think she plays and has fun while she's in there, but it's always so sad to leave her and when we pick her up, she's always either crying or starts to as soon as she sees us. :( Makes my heart hurt. But I know this is necessary and soon enough she'll love it. Hoping that's soon.

I'm trying to start up yoga. Basically, that means I've done about 2 or 3 Sun Salutations each day for the past 5 days. AND, I bought a $4 yoga dvd at TJ Maxx the other day, but I've yet to bust it out. (I am notorious for making impulse buys at the Maxx.) Fingers crossed that I can do the splits and a solid headstand by St. Patty's Day.

What is up with this weather? It's like, 70 degrees today! And those stinky, pretty trees (what are they called again?? The ones that smell like youknowwhat?) are blooming. It's crazy. I have a feeling we're going to get some sort of big freeze or winter storm at some point and everything will die.

I really want to have a party. Fun and yummy hors d'oeuvres, tasty drinks, music, games and good company. My main hangup is this dang housekeeper I have. She's about to get fired, frankly. 

Speaking of parties, we missed two friends' get-togethers this weekend. Both were on Saturday night, and my mom was in town, so it just wasn't in the cards. Which is fine, I'm just kicking myself now that we didn't plan a little more ahead and hit up both somehow! Hopefully they had a blast without us. :)

Have you seen that Cheetos commercial with the construction workers? Cracks me up.

 I almost bought a pair of flats that were 2 sizes too small yesterday at Target. They didn't have my size, so I shoved my toes in there and walked around, trying to convince myself that my fat right foot wasn't feeling smooshed. Thankfully I came to my senses, but they were so cute! Still can't decide if I made the right decision or not.

My baby girl is 15 months old! GAH! I may or may not do a little Tiny Dancer update this week. We'll see if I can score some good pics of the little booger. She is cracking me up these days.

I have no idea what's for dinner tonight. There is no meat thawing on my counter, so that's a problem. Crap. 

I started reading Water for Elephants last night. So far, so good. I haven't seen the movie, though, have you? It looked pretty good.

Last night I came home from Bible Study and immediately started going through my dresser to pull things out for the Goodwill pile. Twenty items later and I was feeling good. Why, oh, why do I hang on to old clothes? 

Anyone been anywhere fun in the Caribbean? We're trying to plan a vacation for our anniversary and just want to go to the beach and chill. We love Mexico, but are still trying to decide if we feel safe going there right now, with all the crazy scary stuff going on. Hawaii is out this time- too far and expensive. 

Done and done. Happy Leap Day! See you in four years :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

white pants

I don't know about you, but all of this nice weather we've been having lately has me more than ready for spring. I've never been a big fan of winter weather and truthfully won't shed a tear if we don't see one more flake of snow this year.

First on my springtime list? A new pair of white pants. 

Ahhhhh.... White Pants.

Like the elusive red panda, a solid pair of white pants that flatter and aren't see-through are hard to come by. 
But looooook. A girl can dream, right?






So what are you looking forward to this spring? 

Neon leggings? Adult tutus? Shoulder pads??

Do tell!

Full disclosure- I searched for these images while polishing off the remnants of two (!) donuts.. gah. Moral of the Story: baked goods + images of skinny gals in summery outfits is never a good idea. You've been warned.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Project 52:8 {Discovery}

thankful for... 

This one LOVES to be outside.

If you make any sort of move toward the front door, she starts saying "side, side" over and over. And heaven help you if you decide it's time to come back inside after playing for a while! :)

She likes to dig in the dirt, find rocks, wander off into the neighbors' yards, plop down in the grass and just be. Can't say I blame her. I love the look of discovery on her face when she finds an acorn or teeny little rock or spots a bird or an airplane and wants you to pick her up so she can reach to "touch touch".

Everything is on repeat at the moment.

I hope she always has sense of wonder and amazement at this beautiful earth God has created. I pray she is always fascinated by not just the big and majestic creations, like mountains and oceans, but also the the everyday rocks and blades of grass right outside our door.

Keep discovering, sweet girl.

"two two"

* * * * *
Sorry I've been MIA this week.. I came down with the flu or something that really kicked my rear, so motivation to get online just wasn't there. Feeling better now, though!

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

Linking my Project 52 with:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Evie's Nursery on Project Nursery (!!)

Happy Saturday everyone!

I would love for you to pop over and vote for us! All you have to do is "Like" her nursery, either on the Project Nursery site or on Facebook. You can vote through Monday at noon.

We have some stiff competition with Collin's nursery.. I love those striped curtains and huge map. :)

Thanks so much and tell your friends! :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Morning(ish) Thoughts

* BETHENNY is back! Cue my excitement and hubby's cringes and groans.

* My sister got some super exciting news yesterday and I could not be more excited for her! She is a make-up artist for MAC and will be moving away to chase bigger and better things a few states away..  we're going to miss her but I'm feeling very proud of her at the moment!
sister sister

* My menu plan this week went pretty well. Though I only did half of it. :)
Here's how it went down in the kitchen this week: 
  • Monday :: Chicken Pesto Calzones. Very good. Thumbs up and super easy.
  • Tuesday :: Ham & Cheese Sliders. YUM. We did both notice a slight tummy ache later in the evening, but that could have just as easily been the questionable chocolate covered strawberries. And nothing screams love and romance like ham and cheese.
  • Wednesday :: Meatball Subs. No, not on my original menu plan, but a special request from the hubs. And I aim to please. Plus, all ingredients were on-hand, so I didn't mind the curve ball. I use Big Mama's recipe and it's a staple in my cooking repertoire. HA.
  • Thursday :: Mexican joint up the road, aka, Mama's Night Off. 
  • Friday :: TBD. My parents are coming into town (yay!), so we may end up going out to eat.

* My daughter has a thing for buckles. Always has. "Buckle" was one of her first-ish words and she still repeats it over and over every time we get her in or out of her carseat, stroller or high chair. The girl's relentless. So imagine my delight and DUH moment when I came across this DIY buckle toy. This will be happening shortly. I feel like I won't be a good mom until I make it for her.

I like zippers, too.

* V Day Flowers from the hubs. A sweet, lone pink one for the girl and lots of big red ones for moi.

* We just got home from signing our life away on a new (to us) Tahoe for hubby!! Super excited.

Happy Friday! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Project 52:7 {bedtime stories}

thankful for... 
bedtime stories


She loves to read.

I have made it a point to read to Evie before bed and throughout the day from the time she was just weeks old. We were both hoping that she would love books as much as we do, and it has been a joy watching her little mind learn and grow as she listens and flips through a book on her own. I still find her on the floor of her room at times, surrounded by books she's pulled off the shelf, just quietly "reading" to herself.

Books offer so much.
Knowledge, imagination, fantasy, lessons, escapes.

I pray she always loves to read and spend time with a good book. I think that may become more and more difficult for our children, with all of the new technology and ways to find information from a screen. But there is nothing like a good book. And the offer from mama and dada to read with her before bed will always stand.

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

Linking my Project 52 with:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Hope your Valentine's Day is ooey gooey and filled with chocolate, roses, and a love letter or two.

I'll be smooching on this one most of the day. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kiddos.. the magic number

I have babies and kids and family on the brain today.

How many kids do you want?
Two seems to be the common answer, but for me, that was never enough. I have a brother and a sister, so I've always thought three or four. And honestly, four sounds like a "rounder" number to me, as far as little pairs and buddies and someone for everyone to play with. 

Older brother & younger sister = Middle Child Syndrome. 

Now, this isn't a done deal or anything at Casa Lovely. Hubby and I have had many discussions about how many kids we want to have. He has always said two, and frankly, after the dark colic days with Evie, I think he might have been happy to have just one, if I would have agreed. 

But, oh, the joy of this little girl.
I would challenge anyone to spend time with her for a day or two and not want another one (or two) just like her.

I want lots just like her. :)
I'm only silently hoping at least one of them resembles me in some way.

Lots of kids can be hard, though. I can only imagine. And expensive and possibly a little trickier to manage, as far as car seats, travel, bedrooms, college, weddings to pay for, etc.
And of course I think those are valid things to consider when deciding on your family size. 
Not to mention the very real, hard experiences so many have today, with fertility issues. I don't mean to gloss over that at all, but Praise Jesus, we haven't had troubles there. 

I just find it so interesting that these days, people think any more than two kids is a "big" family. When people ask how many you want, everyone seems to be surprised if you say any more than two. 

Here is my point. I've come across a few great, funny/inspiring/eye-opening blog posts recently, from some of my favorite bloggers. And I wanted to share. These ladies have really encouraged and inspired me in my desire to have a house full of babies and all of the joy and love that might follow. I want big family get-togethers at holidays, siblings as best friends, and our own little clan..

I love the way Firecracker calls her 3 older brothers "her boys".

This post at Jones Design Company really struck a chord with me. 
Emily shares (very honestly) how hard it can sometimes be with 4 little ones.. and hits the nail on the head with how moms should be encouraging each other. She handled herself much better than I might have!

And I love the way Emily of The Anderson Crew keeps things real and humorous with expanding brood of adorable kiddos. 
She has SIX. :) This post cracked me up.

So what say you? 
Do you want the American average of 2.5 kids or a gaggle full of little ones?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Meal planning, aka, Operation Eat With Intent

 Well, I did it. I stalked my yummy board on Pinterest this afternoon, weeded through my coupon pile (mostly just throwing out a million expired ones) and made a stinking meal plan for the week, patting myself on the back the whole way. Way to go, Aja! Kudos! Bravo! 

That's the hard part, right?? 


We then proceeded to hit up Target for groceries, only to find that half of the city was stocking up on their End of the World supplies and canned tuna. Seriously. We have had the mildest winter ever, and now the weather boys are calling for falling temps (and yes, it's flippin cold) tonight and a big front to hit us around midnight. Some snow and possibly ice for the morning drive. 

Why must everyone freak out over a little weather?? It's the same thing whenever it rains- everyone clams up like a teenager in driver's ed, going annoyingly slow and playing it fast and loose with the brake pedal. It's just water!! Yes, be careful, but you still need to drive!! 

I digress. After waiting in an 8 person deep line (I am blessed with being able to pick the shortest line and finding the best parking spaces. Always.Which should tell you something about the lines. Grr.), we survived the crazy-eyed alarmists and made it home. And if all of that doesn't kill the cooking mood for you, you're a Julia Child saint. Cause I'm certainly not cooking tonight.

But here's what I'll be making the rest of the week. In no particular order whatsoever:

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

via Pennies on a Platter

Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken

via Weight Watchers

Ham and Cheese Sliders

via The Girl Who Ate Everything

Chicken Pesto Calzones

via My Kitchen Addiction

Zucchini Cakes

via Life's Ambrosia

So there we go. The plan for the week. I may or may not switch up the taquitos with ground beef, since we're looking heavy on the chicken. No promises! Also, please with me luck on the zucchini cakes.. this is new territory around our house, so fingers crossed that it goes over well with the crowd.

So what are you cooking up this week? Were you the lady at Target who elbowed my baby trying to get to the last can of mixed nuts?? Fess up!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday thoughts. And such.

Well, it's not exactly still morning, now is it?


Photos are unrelated. Sue me. L-R: We Eat Rocks, 3 Amigos, Cookin in the Kitchen

Week two of Baby Learns to Swim is complete! I won't lie- the first class was rough. But my girl has rallied and is showing the other tots a thing or two about row, row, rowing your boat and how to execute the perfect swan dive. All in a day's work. Seriously, though, it turns out a friend of ours and her little girl are in our class! So fun to learn to dive for pennies with friends.

After a very mild winter thus far, we are expecting a cold front tomorrow. Boo. I could do without snow and freezing temperatures all together.

I finally finished this book this past week. I've had it since December, but got side-tracked about half way through. Seriously, a Must Read. He loves us so much.

For some reason, Evie has been waking up a few times a night all week. I have no idea what is going on.. teeth, maybe?? I feel so bad for her, because she wakes up and immediately goes from 1 to 10, yelling for someone to come and get her. But sheesh, I wish I knew what was wrong. And I really wish it would go away. 

Well, I entered the land of tweetsville and the jury is still out. I decided that I really needed an outlet for all of the thoughts and one-liners that pop in to my head throughout the day. Also? I need friends, so leave me your handle so we can be bff and share all our important and needless updates.

I am contemplating doing an entire post bragging about how smart my child is. Would that be wrong?? Because, dudes. She is And no, I am not bias AT ALL.

We have been contemplating both a new vehicle and a new home recently. Cue the anxiety. For those of you who know a little bit about it and have been praying for us- thank you, thank you. We just really want wisdom in our decision making and for God's will for our family. I think we have it about figured out and we're excited!

Any V Day plans? We are sort of anti-Valentine's Day, in the sense that the only time we ever went out to dinner to celebrate was right after we started dating. So he really had no choice. Now we stay home and avoid the crowds. Does that make us old, or what!? I've been lobbying for hubby to dress up as cupid (complete with loin cloth and wings) for years now, to no avail. I just really feel like that would be icing on my box of chocolates cake.

And last but certainly not least, I just got an email that Evie's Nursery will be featured on Apartment Therapy today!! GAH! So the rest of my day will be spent stalking the site until it shows up.

Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Project 52:6 {Little Surprises}

thankful for...
little surprises
Sylvester was hanging out with the baking tools and colanders yesterday.. typical cat-like behavior.

Nearly every day I find a little surprise left behind by my girl. A baby doll in my laundry basket... a froggy finger puppet in a bathroom drawer... a plastic carrot in my purse... a miniature cat in the pantry. And I love it. She has a penchant for finding little nooks and crannies to leave sweet little reminders for us that she was here. And each and every one brings a smile to my face.

My all time favorite was a few months ago. I let her play with most of our plastic and tupperware kitchen items and this particular day she had been playing with a spatula. I had on tall boots and hubby and I were going out to dinner while she stayed home with grandma. All through dinner my right boot was bothering me and I couldn't figure out why. Well when I got home and took them off, lo and behold, a skinny green spatula was tucked right into my boot! Stinker. :)

* * * * *

Read more about my Project 52.

Linking my Project 52 with:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bachelor Benny

Okay, I'm all caught up on The Bachelor, are you??

Let's discuss.

My hair products didn't make it through customs.

Numero Uno: Crazy Courtney.
Whoa Nelly. This girl makes me itch. I understand you have to be a little bit forward in this scenario, but for goodness sakes, keep your clothes on and dial it back a bit! Can't wait to see her dramatic exit. It better be memorable!

Dos. Rachel. 
Love this girl's hair! Her bangs are adorable. I am totally envious of her obviously cowlick-free hairline. And I was super excited that he kept her rather than Blakely. Good call Benji.

Holy awkward kiss with what'shernamethatwenthome (Jamie). I literally yelped when I was watching this, cringed and looked away. Unbelievable! She goes from talking about how "prude" she is to straight up straddling him and then giving him a play by play of how their kiss should go. GAH!

What else, what else?? Who do you like? I really like Lindzi. I think she's super cute and down to earth.
And did you catch Emily's little rap at the end!? Holy crap! I wasn't really sure what to think, but I like that it was totally off the wall and seemed to come out of nowhere. 

That's all for now. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Let's talk food. Again.

Have you seen my friend Katie's weekly meal plans? If not, you should. She's not a food blogger and she'll be the first to tell you she's not a gourmet chef. And I think it's only been in the last year or so that she's been trying to eat out less and spend more time in the kitchen. But each Monday, she shares her weekly meal plan. And it's not all hugely fancy or time consuming.. she likes things simple and delicious. And each week when the post pops up in my reader, I feel SO GUILTY. 


Guys. I need to be cooking more. Like way more.

I'm pretty sure my friend Sarah is doing meal plans, too. In fact, I know a lot of people plan their weekly dinners out this way, and it makes so much sense, as far as staying organized, saving some money at the grocery store and avoiding that dreaded "what do we have to eat??" question when you're two steps past starving.

In my defense, I do try to think about what we have on hand and mentally plan for a few dinners during the week. But seriously? We eat out or pick something up way more than we should. And I hardly ever make a full out grocery list of all ingredients, etc for multiple meals before heading to the grocery store, like I know I should.

Pinterest has definitely helped me find and remember recipes that I like or want to try. I just need to do it more. Because let's be honest here. I am home now. And while hubby knew cooking wasn't at the top of my hobbies list when he married me, he is always very happy and appreciative when I do cook- no matter what it is. And I really want to cook for him. And Evie. I want our kids growing up with favorite meals that mom makes, or loving Taco Tuesday, or for us to have some special dish that I make every MLK Day or some such. :) You get the idea. 

So I'm putting it out there. I WILL be cooking more.

And not to leave you empty-handed, here are two recipes that I tried last week and both got our stamp of approval in the YUM and EASY categories. Both were found on Pinterest (of course), and photos are from the original sources.

French Dip Crescents

via Mama Loves Food

Crockpot (Zesty) Italian Chicken

via The Girl Who Ate Everything

Okay, share time. What are you cooking for dinner this week? Any great blogs or sites that post yummy, EASY recipes I need to check out? OR have you found a great system for planning and organizing your meal plan? I need all the help I can get! Thanks friends!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Evangeline's Nursery

There's not a lot to say, folks. My baby toddler is 14 months old. 
I've kept you on the hook for this little old nursery for nearly two years. SHEESH.

So. Let's just get to it, shall we? :)

Evie's Nursery:

I really wanted this space to be light and airy.. lots of white and linen and neutral with fun pops of colors like turquoise and coral pink. Nothing overly baby or girly. I just love how it turned out and love spending time in the room with Evie Girl. 

There are a ton of DIY's in the nursery, including the painted stripes on the walls, the dresser/changing table, LOVE art, curtain panels, tissue poufs, Child of God art, ruffled crib skirt, hooks behind the door, printed Paris art, yarn-wrapped E, and spray-painted frames and mirror. I love making/changing things and pouring myself into a project. All of the projects in this room were extra special to me because of who they were for. :)

Some detail shots:

If you want a little background, you can check out some of my nursery progress posts from while I was pregnant. The scary BEFORE pictures are here, with some updates here and here.  I hope you guys love it as much as we do!

Some details/sources:
Crib - Pottery Barn
Rocker/Glider - Pottery Barn
Curtains - DIY/Fabric from Hancock's
Dresser - Craigslist find/ DIY
Rug - Pottery Barn
Floating Shelves - Ikea
Book Shelf - Old piece of mine.. Garden Ridge, maybe??
White Nesting Tables - TJ Maxx
LOVE Art - Reclaimed fence wood/DIY
Child of God Print - DIY
Tissue Poufs - DIY
Lego Airplane - Daddy :)
ABC Canvas - Gordman's (bday gift)
Marble Horse Head Book Ends - Thrifted

Linking Up:

Thrifty Decor Chick

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