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Friday, February 25, 2011

My Dream App

Have you heard about the iPhone app that will tell you where public restrooms are based on your GPS location? Well, I think it is perfect for a few groups of people: those who are pregnant, those who are potty training, and those who are getting too old to control their bladder.

I would love if it had a cleanliness rating entered by those who have used the restroom so you could choose based on other criteria t proximity if you have that kind of time. That would be great for the general population don't you think?

If you have been pregnant, or are a parent or even spend a lot of time with pregnant people, you can imagine that as I gear up for week 36, this is becoming more of an issue. Taking two trains to work doesn't help either which is why I am going to start driving in with my husband to avoid some of the bumps and ups and downs.

Do I have the app? No I do not because my personal phone is a phone only (nope no data plan). Before you scoff at my traditional plain old phone, I will tell you that my Verizon bill is only $40 per month and it is great. My phone isn't eligible for an upgrade until June and Verizon tried selling me another basic phone for $200 before that time, which of course I refused to pay for. A girl can great a nice selection of summer shoes and dresses for that price! My work phone is a Blackberry (so I am connected) but the app isn't available for AppWorld, yet it is also a web-based application which now has a spot on my list fo favorites. If you know it is, please let me know!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bakerella's Cake Balls

Years ago, my cousin Kate who doesn't cook, or at least she didn't used to cook, raved about a blog called Bakerella. I have been reading the blog regularly, getting all sorts of great ideas, but wndering when I, a young wife who doesn't regularly have large groups of people over, would be able to make some of these awesome creations. Well, I did it.

I will admit, I started with the basic cake balls, but it was a start. This past weekend we were having friends over with three young children who I knew would get a kick out of the bite size treats. I intended on using green and white chocolate, but my dear husband who picked up the ingredients for me, only found milk chocolate. Bless his heart, I didn't complain! So they went from St. Patrick's Day themed to basic with some decorations.

I already had cake mix and batter in the pantry, as well as some sprinkles and powdered sugar, so I only bought two bags of melting chocolates which was less than $5. I baked the cake according to the standard directions on the back of the box. Once it was cool, I broke up the cake and transfered it to a glass mixing bowl and started turning it into crumbs (my cat appreciated the bits that fell on the floor).

I gradually added vanilla frosting while mixing because I've read mixed reviews about using 1/2 can of frosting versus a whole can, etc. When all was said and done, I used a little more than half. Once it seemed pretty well mixed, I dug in with clean hands to "smush" it all a little more.

Then you start rolling. If you like making meatballs, you'll be good at this. Oh and it is nice that you are playing with cake, not raw meat. I probably could have made my cake balls a little smaller so they were more bite-size for children, but I learned for next time! I just lined two cookie sheets with wax paper to make clean up a breeze and started rolling.

I got three dozen cake balls out of my one cake. I put the trays in the refrigerator overnight, since pregnant ladies get so tired ;), so they would stick together.

The next day I melted the chocolate wafers and placed 3-4 balls in the bowl at a time to coat with the chocolate.

Once coated, I transferred to wire cooling racks and added sprinkles or powdered sugar while the chocolate was still wet. I did keep some plain, but I knew the kids would like the decorated version.

I put about half of them in the freezer so I have an easy way to satisfy my sweet tooth. My husband really liked them so I will be making them again...hopefully I will take on a more creative version that doesn't look like an elementary school student made them :). I can just see myself hosting birthday parties, playgroups, etc and serving up all sorts of fun treats!

It's a Keeper, HoH, Get Your Brag On, Somewhat Simple, Weekend Wander, I <3 Naptime, Weekend Wrap Up Party

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's All About the Bump

A few photos courtesy of my husband:

Sunday, February 20, 2011


My creative juices have stopped flowing. Okay, that's not totally true, but the projects I have in my mind are taking much longer to come to fruition. Today while my husband and I were out looking at "antiques"/rummage sale I actually turned down two reasonably easy project pieces because I remembered the projects in line upstairs in my craft room.

It isn't for lack of materials. No, I have already spent the money on the fabric, backing, paint, etc. It is just an issue of motivation which is unfortunate because I am not sure how much of it I will have once we bring a newborn home from the hospital.

I even have photos of a completed project and photos of another one in the works, but alas I haven't blogged about them which is shameful. I should be taking this time to create a backlog of posts for when baby arrives, but that hasn't happened either.

So my apologies go out to you, my followers, for the disappointment. I hope you continue to "follow" me because I will not let you down, but I just need a little extra time and some motivation.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stylish Stationery

I must confess: I love stationery. I also love writing thank you notes, which you may think is weird. I feel that a good thank you note shouldn't be cumbersome to the writer since the recipient obviously did something helpful or nice for the writer. If you took the time to select a gift for my wedding or baby shower, I believe you deserve a heartfelt thank you note from me.

I am in the throes of writing thank-you notes with a baby on the way. I figured, why not be cute about it and a little creative?! Back in the fall I was walking around Georgetown and stopped in Paper Source. While I was swooning over their selection, I wasn't feeling the same way about the prices since I was planning to purchase about 50 cards and envelopes. I headed to the clearance section and after some pondering, I left with textured "frost" colored A2 cards and textured "glass" envelopes which were all in the section with the big red sign that seemed to point at me and say "I love sales!" I bought three packs of 20 cards for $3.50 each and six packs of 10 envelopes for $1.88 each. My grand total = $22.46!! I did buy two "baby" stamps to personalize the cards with one or the other and used a black stamp pad I already owned. So, I wound up with 60 personalized, hand-stamped, high quality paper thank you notes for less than $35.

Can you believe that I actually didn't have enough?? So, I went to a small Crane and Co. stationery store in the District and was frustrated that their 75% off clearance was all Christmas...except for these, which worked out for me!!

These Crane and Co. cards are usually $14/pack of 10, but they ended up being $3.50 each so it was less than $11 for 30 additional cards. I have a good printer at home so I am going to personalize these with photos of me and the recipient at the baby shower or with the gift at the shower or with another appropriate pregnancy photo.

It may seem like even more work for someone in the eighth month of pregnancy, but I truly am thankful for the time people have taken to call and check on me, attend showers, etc. that it doesn't even matter!

Making the World Cuter Monday, It's So Very Cheri, Motivate Me Monday, Vintage Wanna Bee Talent Tuesday

Friday, February 11, 2011

Deal of the Day

If you are a mom or a mom-to-be and you haven't enrolled in Amazon Mom, shame on you! Amazon Mom offers discounts when you subscribe to receive items on a regular basis. The items that came most quickly to mind for me were diapers and baby wipes. As a subscriber you get free 2-day shipping and 30% off if you make the item part of your Subscribe & Save program.

Well, we have had two wonderful baby showers, plus a book shower and are very blessed to have one more at my office next week. But, two things I don't have are newborn diapers (okay, not completely true...I do have a few days worth from my diaper cake) and wipes. I went to Amazon this morning and selected the Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes which come in four boxes of 192 for a total of 768 wipes.

If you do one-time delivery, the item is $24.48, but with Subscribe & Save it goes down to $17.14, which is 30% off. I used a $10 off coupon from one of the free baby magazines I receive and then used a 10% off code. And remember, I got free shipping. So my total for the item was a mere $4.69!!!

This means I saved at least $19.79 because without Subscribe & Save I would have to pay for shipping too. My savings almost equal the original cost of the item -- I love when that happens :)

I will be buying diapers next (saving $11 with my selected brand using this program) but am hoping to find another $10 off coupon this weekend in my stack of magazines so I decided to split up the orders.

Did you know that diapers and wipes are pretty much priced the same across the board unless you use this program? That includes Costco and Sam's Club! yes, I did look it all up online last week comparing Wal-Mart, BabiesRUs, Costco, Sam's Club and Amazon Mom and the price difference was like a max of $4 for the same pack of diapers. I know it adds up, but for the value of my time, I'm not going to drive an extra 15-20 minutes to save $4. I know some stores like BRU offers a program where you buy XX number of boxes and get one free, but still, since our BRU isn't "right around the corner," I think the value for me is saving with Amazon!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

I received the "Stylish Blogger Award" from Emily at LaForce Be With You

I met Emily as soon as I started freshman year at Clemson and we are good friends who wish we had all of this creativity and resourcefulness while at Clemson because our dorm room would have rocked! Emily shares recipes, crafts, and thrifty DIY projects on her blog

To accept this award you have to follow these 4 rules:
1. Thank and link back to the blogger who awarded you with the award
2. Share 7 Things about yourself
3. Award 8 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact the bloggers and inform them of the award

Okay so on to the 7 things:

1. Within 72 hours of meeting my husband, I told my mom I would marry him someday. That's right, we met on Saturday, May 6th (photo on my sidebar) and on Tuesday, May 9th at the St. Louis airport on our way to Las Vegas to celebrate my 21st birthday, I said it out loud. And my mom almost choked on a buffalo chicken tender.

2. My "house" will be in the Smithsonian Museum of African-American history. We bought a condemned house/property in 2008 one week before our wedding (crazy right?) with plans to demolish the property and build a new house since it had been vacant and crumbling for several years. Well, the research showed that it was actually a historic home (not that the County helped care for it) and we, mostly my husband, worked with the Smithsonian and we donated the original log structure they were interested in. We didn't want to ruin history, but we did want to build our new home on this land :). By the way, our house is modular. Not sure what that means -- take a look at my video and this post.

during demolition

before moving in

3. I have my own small business, Memorable Designs. I started off about 18 months ago creating video montages from old/new photos and video clips for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. I have participated in two small bridal shows, but get most of my business by talk it up! Everything can be done remotely. I also do full color photo books which are great for vacations, baby's 1st year, guestbooks, wedding party, etc. My latest addition has been photo pendants which have been a hit! I wear one of my ultrasound image a few times a week. Let me know if you are interested!

4. Since 2007 I have been to the Dominican Republic, Malta, Germany, Belize and Hawaii. I also traveled in the U.S. to Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, California, Georgia, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Florida (three different cities) all for at least two nights. What can I say...we like going places!






5. I was a finalist in the Connecticut state spelling bee -- twice. Once in fifth grade and once in sixth grade. The words that got me were "prevalent" and "dilapidated" (funny considering the situation of #2).

6. I'm pregnant. if you read this blog you already know that, but I thought I'd include it anyway because it is a big part of "About Me" lately. We are expecting our lil' Squirt on March 28th which makes me just over 33 weeks into the adventure of pregnancy. This blog will probably get a little more photo heavy and less text/tutorials in the coming months once baby is born since I'm not sure how crafty I will want to be. Even when I do craft, they will probably be baby-related, so I'm sorry if that doesn't interest you ;).

7. I don't want to jinx myself, but I tend to have good luck on Friday the 13th. We got word on Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 that we passed all inspections and could move into our home. On Friday, Aug. 13, 2010 we went to the doctor and saw and heard our baby for the first time!

popping champagne on night #1

taken the afternoon of 8/13/2010

I am awarding the Stylish blogger award to these 8 online friends:
1. Ashley at Make It & Love It
2. Brooke at All Things Thrifty
3. Sherry & John at Young House Love
4.  Tasha at Dot.Dot.This
5. Tiffany at Making the World Cuter
6. Stevie at Moore Babies
7. Jill at Homemade by Jill
8. The Creative Mommas (who I see have already gotten the award, but I still think they deserve it!)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Snow Day Chili

I  have been working from home sometime because of the ice on our steps, the road, the car, etc. Obviously icy conditions are dangerous for everyone, but my husband and managers are even more concerned with me carrying this little thing we call a baby in my belly.

At lunchtime yesterday I made myself grilled cheese with tomatoes for lunch, but I also decided to make dinner while I was at it. Since I am banned from going outdoors, I looked in the pantry and decided the best option was crockpot chili.

Ingredients (based on what I had on hand):
1 onion, chopped
baby bella mushrooms, chopped (about the same amount as the onion)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, chili-ready
1 can diced tomatoes, plain
venison cubes (my husband hunts)

I poured all of these ingredients in the crockpot and started dinner at 12:30.

After about four hours I added some garlic powder, chili powder, oregano and cayenne pepper to season to my liking. At six I added in Texas Pete hot sauce because it wasn't spicy enough.

By the time my husband came home from work, dinner was ready!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This is definitely the easiest post I have ever written. This is a "So Easy a Caveman Could Do It" project.

Since I have less than two months until baby arrives, my mind is pretty focused on baby-projects, but I took a break for this one :). After having so many decorations up for Christmas, I decided I wanted just a little something for our table to get us through Valentine's Day. After that I think all bets are off when it comes to adding more decor around the house for a little while.

While creating our wedding registry about three years ago, I came across these glass pillars that have a place for a candle votive or sphere candle. The pillars are hollow so they can be filled or left empty. I have filled them with small green Christmas balls in the past and decided to do something for Valentine's Day.

For less than $5 I bought four bags of the classic conversation hearts in two sizes, regular and large. I poured different amounts into each pillar and clustered them in the center of our table. I do wish I had a seasonal tablecloth, but alas, I do not.

Since the candies are new, they also make for a sweet little treat as our weekend guests discovered. 
(I apologize for the partial candle left in the middle pillar. I have since popped it out.)

Handmade Tuesdays, Todays Creative Blog, Someday Crafts, Blue Cricket Design, Hugs and Kisses Valentines Party, Somewhat Simple, Hookin' Up w/ HoH