Thursday, April 17, 2014

Here I go again, doing a demonstration of something that's more akin to common sense. Apologies but we're going for it anyway.

I've sprinkled this blog with these over the years (here / here wow, old), and thought maybe it was time to resurrect. This is one of my favorite tricks for house plants and old / pretty cups.

Get you a pretty teacup or coffee mug, put some rocks in the bottom, sprinkle in some dirt, and plant your succulent plant of choice (avg $2 at Home Depot or Lowe's).

C'est tout (that's it)!

I'll actually be at Wish/Langford Market in Cooper-Young this coming Monday night to host a little "craft night" and make some of these in honor of Earth Day Eve! Also they're running a cool promo where a portion of sales from 5-7 PM that night will go to benefit the Overton Park Conservancy.

 Pretty fun! If you're in Memphis, I hope you can make it.

on weaning and stovetop popcorn

Monday, April 14, 2014

I weaned Molly this past week. It was a hard decision. Around her birthday, we'd gotten to the golden stage of only nursing first thing in the morning and before bedtime. No more pumping. No more bottles. It was ideal. These were the some of the sweetest times of the day for me. And my snuggly girl loved it too--never showed any disinterest.

The tip of the weaning iceberg was our Nashville trip when she cut four teeth and eeeeowww. Biting. My poor little gal had a tough couple of days (we both did).

But real talk for a minute: the main reason I decided to wean was that I'm ready to have my body back. I think my body just holds on to the extra while I'm nursing, and I'm ready to get rid of it. I've realized that most of the time I feel like I'm dressing to hide in my clothes. That is dumb (and I know more of an attitude problem than anything). I don't want to be living in this waiting-to-feel-like-myself limbo anymore. It was a bit of a struggle feeling like vanity was beating down maternal instinct but ultimately, I just decided it was okay to stop.

I am so thankful for these past 13 months nursing my Molly. I realize this is not everyone's experience with nursing, and I'm glad to have been able to enjoy it so much. There are times (mornings especially) when I miss it so much my heart aches a little. On the other hand, Molly has done great with the transition, which has made it much easier. She's been content with a little bottle of thawed frozen milk at bedtime (3-4 oz), and a sippy cup of whole cow's milk in the mornings with breakfast.

In the meantime...who loves popcorn?

There's one hundred million of these popcorn instructions on the internet already, I know. Juuuuust in case you hadn't seen one of them, here you go.

We started making our popcorn on the stovetop about a year ago and have never looked back to the bagged stuff. Then my friend Lauren wrote a great post highlighting some of the health benefits of homemade popcorn, and that made us feel even better about things (always nice).

We try different variations depending on which one of us is making it and what our mood is, but here's the general concept:

- Get out your medium saucepan with lid and put it over high heat.

- Cover the bottom of the pot with some kind of oil. Tonight, I used a spoonful of coconut oil and let it melt in the pan, and then added a tablespoon of (real) butter or so. Sometimes we do olive oil or canola oil if that's all we have...just need some oil.

- Pour in 1/3 cup popcorn kernels (we use generic Kroger brand at this point) and kinda shimmy them so they cover the bottom. You could sprinkle on something like garlic salt on at this point if you like.

- Put the lid on and let it start popping over the high heat. You need to be pretty vigilant to make sure it doesn't burn. This amount of kernels fills up the pot to the top of the lid of my 2 quart pot.

- Remove immediately once it's done and transfer to a large bowl. Here's where we add salt to taste, sometimes a little black pepper, and sometimes shred parmesan or asiago cheese over it with my microplane zester. yum. I have yet to make kettle corn-type popcorn this way, but I know you could very easily. I just never want to give up my savory snack by the time it's ready!

Does everyone already make their popcorn like this? If you do...isn't it GOOD?

Ffffriday / packing away winter

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wrapping up a fun birthday week over here, and settling into my thirties...aaahhhhhh. Crazy to say that.

We are staring two days of gorgeous weekend weather in the face and I can't wait. Besides being outside a lot (with our new double jogger that we just bought through facebook!), I have a major date with the kids' clothes. I feel like we are swimming in little girls' clothes and something has to be done. Unfortunately, you can't organize the kids' clothes while they're napping. I can't envision it working well while they're awake either, so I may have to ship them off with their daddy for an hour or two while I can pack away the winter things and get out the spring stuff for little sissy (and their little cousin!). The natural shopper in me loves "having" to acquire new clothes for Juliette every season, but there is a twinge of sadness coming across things she'll never wear again. On the bright side, I think the girls' ages/sizes have finally caught up where Molly will be able to wear most of Jules' things from here on out (I hope, majorly hope). She's a little smaller in general, so I think it'll work. Maybe. The different-seasons birthdays were tricky there for a minute. Yay for cute clothes redux.

Related, but I am loving so much of what Tea Collection has put out for this spring! Their clothes are really great quality and the few pieces we've had have withstood tough days at school and on the playground (since I've put them on the girls every time they're clean!). I'm an absolute sucker for one-pieces/bubbles, isn't this ridiculous?

I also love this, and this for my oldest. (Can't resist also mentioning that one of the founders of Tea Collection went to my high school. Turkeys, represent!)

Not a giant golf fan, but there's nothing like watching the last round of the Masters on Sunday afternoon after a good nap. Looking forward to it. Happy weekend!

Little-Biscuits! and portrait door signs

Thursday, April 10, 2014

If you follow me on instagram or facebook, you may have seen my post about this already this week but here goes.

This is a big week for my friend and pen pal, the ever-talented Hannah Carpenter, who has launched her portrait site, Little-Biscuits, after months of hard work (and more hard work).

I am among the very lucky (I know!) to have had Hannah draw my children for her site... not gonna lie, it's pretty exciting going to her site and seeing my little chickies staring back at me!

Isn't Hannah's talent breathtaking? I am pretty obsessed with how she captured my little cuties.

There are really a million ways you could use your digital portrait! Little-Biscuits cleverly offers 8 downloadable templates when you purchase your portrait (I wanna get some of those dress-me notepads done for Jules sometime soon)! I have already used Molly's portrait for some cupcake toppers and on a banner at her birthday party, as well as on the invitation and thank-you cards.

But I was looking for a way to hang them on the wall and be able to look at them every day and thought of this door-sign idea.

Back-story because I can't help it: in typical first-time mom excitement preparing a nursery, I made a yarn wreath for Juliette's nursery. It moved with her to her big-girl room, but Molly's nursery door has sadly been blank her entire life (#secondchildprobs). I'd already been brainstorming how to remedy this, when I realized these portraits were the perfect solution!

When picking up a few supplies for the birthday party at Michaels, I grabbed these 5x7 frame-less frames (not sure the technical term?) for maybe $3.99 each (cheaper if you have the 40% off coupon on their iPhone app....or yeah, a paper coupon). (Please pardon the following iPhone pics, I was too excited to stop and get out the other camera at this point.)

Then I laid out the portraits in my design software at a 5x7 size, adding their names below and then printing on photo paper so it would look a little shiny.

Used my paper cutter to cut them out and frame...

And voila! Now that I've written all that out it feels silly because this isn't even really a craft it's so simple. Oops. 

We have hollow-core doors (boo), so I didn't want to attempt nailing them into the doors. I had some of these 3M command strips lying around, so I just stuck one to the back of each of the clips holding the frame together (4 total), and then stuck to the door with some force. They seem surprisingly sturdy on there.

This hallway has zero natural light so I wasn't able to get a good photo of them hanging side-by-side on their respective doors. Use your imagination. (And those ceiling fans...gah.)

I love how clean and simple they look on the doors. The girls love to point at them, Molly especially.

Assuming you utilize a 40% off coupon, you could complete this project for around $3ish/pop.

Thank you again to Hannah for capturing my "little biscuits" at ages 2.5 and 1, respectively. Such a sweet snapshot of them at this stage of life -- I know we will treasure them always!

Our 2012 Christmas card by Hannah / amazing Knight family portrait / more illustrations

The night before 30

Monday, April 07, 2014

March 26, 1984. That was my mother's due date.

Thirteen days later on April 8, through the aid of forceps, I entered the world.

So here we are: the eve of a decade change for moi. 30. Being an avid blog reader I've been reading turning-thirty posts for years (what does this say about my generation?)....and now it's my turn.

they got me birthday cups/swag!

Thirty had always seemed far away until all of a sudden it wasn't. When Jonathan started medical school, I would think to myself, "I will be thirty when he graduates." ie, that is so far away still. And here we are by gosh. Graduation is staring us in the face and so is the completion of my third decade on the earth.

Honestly I don't really care too much? I don't want to be 20 anymore. I know who I am. I don't need to be the youngest, or the skinniest, or the prettiest, or the richest. I'm over all the "-est"s in a lot of ways. I love the life that my husband and I have made together.

My twenties were for learning how to be an adult, how to be a wife, how to become a mother. I suppose I'll spend the rest of my life learning those things, but maybe without so many growing pains? I've had jobs I hated and learned how to be resourceful and move on. I've budgeted vacation days. I've learned (sort of) how to cook. I've learned how to get life insurance. I've GC'd a home renovation. I've gotten up every day and gone to work. I've grieved: loss of a dear friend and a close grandparent, mourned the loss of a pregnancy, had a major health scare with Jules. We've celebrated the birth of two healthy children, success at work, sold our first place and bought our first house, celebrated accomplishments, deepened friendships and made new ones.

Though not handling everything always so gracefully, I do recognize God's kindness to me in it all. This is something Im always learning too--it's all just grace upon grace.

I'm excited to be thirty (besides, Jonathan has been doing a great job blazing the trail, for several years now :) ).

It seems like the best years are ahead. Let's go.
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