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Friday, April 10, 2015

DIY Food and Drink Label Stands


I first made these food label stands for my sister in laws Duck Baby Shower. I wanted a way to label the different dishes and have those label be up high enough to easily see. All the stands I looked at online were kind of pricey so after some brainstorming with my mom, this is what I ended up with.



Materials

-wooden pieces that are flat on one side - mine were rounded but you could also use squares or another shape
-wooden dowels
-drill or someone willing to drill holes in the wood pieces for you
-cardstock, scrapbook paper or whatever paper you want your labels made out of
-scissors or punch
-marker or pen
-tape and glue
-twine for decoration (optional)

Drill a hole in the top of each of your wooden pieces or have someone do this for you. You may also be able to buy some with holes already in them. Make sure the hole is big enough to fit your dowel in and it doesn't need to go all the way through the wood piece (just most of the way) but if it does that's not a big deal.




Cut your dowels if necessary to the height you prefer. Mine are 12 inches but they can be a tad wobbly on a tablecloth and since I have big labels attached to the top so I think before I use them again I will shorten them by an inch or two.



Cut out labels or use a punch. I used a circle punch and a scallop punch so I could layer scrapbook paper behind the cardstock to make it more colorful. I cut a bunch of extra white scallops in case those are needed in the future. I glued a scallop cutout to a circle cutout and wrote the food item name on the white scallop. I tried to keep the names somewhat generic so they can be reused for multiple occasions and parties but whenever they cannot be reused, I have the extra white scallops on hand so I can glue a new one over the old one :)

You will need two labels for each stand so one covers the back and one covers the front. Attach the two labels to the dowel and to each other using little pieces of rolled scotch tape. I found this to be the best thing for attaching and wouldn't be too hard to remove an entire label from a dowel later should you need to. This is also when you can add twine or ribbon or some other decoration if you wish.




Then you can put your dowels with attached labels into your wood pieces and they are ready to be used! I have 12 of these on hand and they are great for showers, parties, and get togethers. They are great even for sometime simple like labeling which bowl of salsa is mild and which is medium or hot when you have guests over.



I reused the stands for my friend's Cute As A Button Baby Shower as well. These could also be place settings or have lots of other labeling purposes!



Monday, April 6, 2015

Nursery Closet Redo


After we painted the nursery aqua, my dad went to work on the closet. As you can see in the before photo, this closet is very narrow and having the hanging bar (or bars) at the back waste a lot of space.


My dad has put in a lot of closet shelving before (like some storage shelves he and Eric did at our last home - this has more detail about the shelving) and I really like the way the shelves don't use brackets which also get in the way and waste space. The shelves were already painted wood from Lowes and the wood pieces that brace the shelves were painted white by my dad to match. The shelves are about 15 inches apart.




The four shelves allow for so much storage and easy access. Plus there is space below the shelves to store things too. The rods on the very narrow wall on the right are able to accommodate baby and kids hangers with enough room but it would be a little too narrow for adult size hangers. They are 1 1/2 inch wood left natural and about 38 inches high (bottom rod) and 67 inches high (top rod). We could have painted these white too but that would have been more work and I think they look fine natural.



This layout definitely makes the best use of the narrow closet space when needed for hanging clothes and storing items. Definitely an awesome upgrade from wire shelves and rod! Thanks dad!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

31 weeks


I can't believe we are down to single digits weeks to go! Yikes!

I really love this maternity dress I found at a consignment store here called One Hott Mamma! There isn't a huge selection especially in small sizes but I found a few great items for a deal and I believe they are starting to increase their selection as they just recently reopened in late January.





How far along: 31 weeks
Baby Size: a pineapple, over 16 inches and 3 lbs
Weight gain: +16.5
Maternity clothes: Yes and ready for it to stay warm so I can start wearing some of the short sleeve tops and dresses I have
Sleep: Getting up twice a night to pee and occasionally have a harder time falling back asleep especially with munchkin’s hiccups
Gender: BOY!
Movement: Yes, all kinds of rolling around and big kicks and hiccups
Best moment this week: Eric reading munchkin a couple of Dr. Seuss books before bed
Looking forward to: Doing some more things for the nursery
Food cravings: Nope but enjoyed some delicious guacamole on our date night this past weekend
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Labor Signs: Nope
What I miss: I could really go for a delicious turkey sandwich
Symptoms: Some back pain and occasional tightening in the belly in certain spots… he's maneuvering into a certain spot (OB says baby is sticking his butt out haha) and occasional braxton hicks.
Nursery: Mom and I finished the curtains! They took a while since there are 2 windows but they look amazing!
Belly Button in or out? In only the slightest amount
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood: Happy and thankful… it feels like we are in the final stretch and I’m feeling munchkin moving all the time now.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sour Cream Noodle Bake


I made this Pioneer Woman recipe for friends that are new parents. It was listed as a freezer friendly meal which I think can be good if you are bringing someone a meal so they have the flexibility to store it and eat it another time if they wish. It is hearty, cheesy great comfort food so perfect as they are adjusting to their new lives!

The pictures aren't the prettiest since they were taken before it is baked and dished out due to it being a gift but you can see all the pretty photos Pioneer Woman took on her site if you want :)

I read a lot of the comments and some people said it was a bit dry so I made some adjustments (like not layering it like a lasagna) to prevent that.




Sour Cream Noodle Bake
Serves 8 with sides

- 1 1/4 lbs ground beef
- 15 oz can of tomato sauce and 8 oz can tomato sauce (Note: this is more than the original calls for and even a little more than I used but this is what I would use next time... extra sauce never hurts so go for 2 cans of 15 oz if you want)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- fresh ground pepper
- 8 oz egg noodles
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/4 cup small curd cottage cheese (you could also use ricotta)
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar (use a block and grate it - tastes much better than pre-grated!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (don't need to do this if you are making to put in the freezer or plan to bake it later)

Brown beef in large skillet seasoning with Italian seasoning and garlic powder to taste. Drain fat. Add tomato sauce and ground pepper to taste and stir.

Cook noodles according to package and don't forget to salt the water. Drain and set aside.

In medium-large bowl combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add noodles and mix. Add beef mixture and a 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese. Mix together well. Add more seasonings/spices if you want like red pepper flakes (Eric's favorite add). Pour into casserole dish. The original did not specify but it fit well into a the 9 by 11 inch foil dish I used.

Now is the point you stop and store it in the freezer or fridge if you will bake it later.

When you are ready, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through.



This would be great with a salad and bread but I gifted it with steamable mixed veggies and bread instead since that is easier to transport and save especially if they may not eat it right away. Don't forget to put a note on top for how to bake it if you are giving it to someone.



I also want to note that the original recipe says the prep time is 10 minutes. I don't see how that is remotely possible even if you had multiple people helping. The noodles alone take about 10 minutes just to cook not including the time it takes for the water to boil. I do find that many sites seem to underestimate the "prep time"... I guess to make the recipe seem simpler but I'd rather them just be honest :)  I'd say the prep for this is more like 35-40 minutes.
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