Wednesday, August 31, 2011

~Whatcha Got Cookin~

So we are going to be doing our bi-monthly grocery shopping within the next few days and I was going through pinterest recipes trying to decide what I wanted to make for dinner. All 35 recipes look delicious but I think I have it narrowed down to these (although I will also be getting stuff for our regular staples like spaghetti, tater tot casserole, and grilled chicken):

Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

Cheesy Hashbrown Bake

Mason Jar Chili and Cornbread

Enchilada Casserole

Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps

So these are the different meals I am contemplating about making... I love making casseroles because they they are super quick to make, and I can usually fudge the recipe a little to add ingredients that we like, or to make a slightly larger portion so we have some leftover for lunches. I also really like how easy the Chili Cornbread looks, so those are probably for sures... same goes with the Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese... so I guess its just down to the others. Maybe I'll just make all of them haha. Theres one other recipe that I want to try, but I'll save that for another post... dont want to make you too hungry :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

So I am finally tired of looking up room decor for the kiddos. Especially since we now have orders to NC, and with those orders we have found out that Hubs new unit will be deploying within a few months of us getting there. I went home during Hubs last deployment because all our friends were PCS-ing and leaving and I didnt want to be there by myself. I told myself that next time Hubs leaves I would stay put... but yea... thats not going to happen. It doesnt make sense to me to stay someplace where I barely know people, with two kids that rarely get to see their extended families, when I could be in Texas with said family.

So that got me thinking, Im putting all this time into looking for room decor but we are going to try to save as much money as possible before the deployment as well as during. So since we are only going to be in the NC apartment for about 3 or 4 months (depending on when we arrive) before he leaves and I head to Texas, we are thinking we are just going to try to get a really small two bedroom or if possible a one bedroom. Maddie can sleep in the pack and play and we can just use a blow up mattress for monk, and then me and hubs will sleep on our other blow up mattress. We plan to bring as little of the furniture into the apartment as possible. We know that TMO will leave your stuff in storage for a little while and Hubs is going to try to find out exactly how long. If possible we are going to try to have TMO move our stuff from their storage facility to our storage unit without ever having to move it into our small place. Our thinking here is theres no point to unpack and then repack shortly there after.

I mean we arent crazy we realize that we will have to bring stuff into the apartment lol. We figure that most of it should fit in my car since we will be towing that behind Hubs truck, but some of the actual furniture pieces we might have them give us a partial release of goods. Not sure the actual term the call it but we did it with this last move. We needed majority of our stuff stored since we were living in a motel but Hubs needed his uniforms because the movers had accidentally packed them in the wrong box. They released the correct box to us but let us leave everything else. They will only do that once though, and you arent allowed to give them stuff back to store. The only thing I have yet to decide is if we will live out of suitcases... That is a really long time to not have a dresser... but I figure thats one of those things that we will decide when the time comes.

Anyways all that, and all I really meant to put was that I dont need to worry about decorating because by the time we get back to NC to un pack Maddie will be a little over 1 years old and Nolan will be 3(!!!!!) so tastes may change... I doubt they will, but they might... or things might go on sale... yadda yadda yadda.

So since I havent had to look up decorations and room inspirations, I decided to start searching for quick and easy dinner ideas. Which brings me to yet another reason why I love Pinterest! I have been searching for three seperate key words: dinner, crockpot, and casserole. I have over 35 recipes pinned right now, and seriously some are sooo easy it makes me wonder why I've never thought to make it on my own. Also when looking up crock pot recipes I saw that several blogs said they use crock pot liners to make clean up a breeze. So pretty much its going to take me 10 minutes to prepare the food, and then 5 seconds to clean up afterwards... and I dont have to do a dang thing in between!?! Seriously I love crock pots! Another thing I found was a website where the girl batch cooks once a month. Her and a friend get together and let their kiddos have a play date while they cook a months worth of dinners. One afternoon of cooking, and then they each take home their dinners and freeze them. Well I dont have the money to buy all the groceries that it would take to make a months worth of anything... except maybe Ramen and well we all know that thats not healthy. But I was thinking and looking in my freezer and I probably have enough room for about 4 crock pot recipes in gallon freezer bags, and then maybe 4 or 5 meals frozen in those aluminum disposable cook trays. So I might try to batch cook all our meals when we get back from the grocery store that way theres no excuses... and it will get me used to doing it, so that when Maddie is born I can try to do a couple of batch cooking sessions and have plenty of dinners to last us a while...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rock - A - Bye Baby

So I have been looking at different gliders and rockers lately because we have decided not to use the glider we used for Monk. The arms were too low, and overall it just wasnt very comfortable for nursing. That and the glide was jerky... you would hit a "bump" and it always seemed to kinda jolt Monk awake. Anyways, my Momma was has been helping us look for something, and we both got really excited about BRU closing and the possibility that the rockers/gliders that they have in stock would go on sale. Well I dont need to worry about that anymore.

My wonderfully resourceful Mom started to look at real furniture places to see if she couldnt find us a rocking recliner, something that would work in our living room once we no longer need it for the nursery, and something that would be comfortable. Her search eventually led her to big lots where she found this chair:

Now I know it doesnt look like much, and that its not as pretty or as streamlined as most nursery rockers, but this chair is only 259, whereas most of the other gliders were closer to 389... this also has the recline function so when we are done using it as a nursery chair it can be a comfortable seating addition to our living room. The only thing is it doesnt rock and recline at the same time. But thats fine because I dont see that as something I would be doing a whole lot of anyway. We will be going to get this chair sometime within the next day or two, and then I will just need to find a reasonably priced nursing stool and I will be good to go!

Im really excited! We have been finding some great deals on stuff that we needed for Maddie (oh yeah I have to change the spelling because I got to choose the spelling for her full name, and hubs wanted to choose teh spelling for her nick name... Im choosing to pick my battles, and this is only a small victory for Hubs lol). We Maddie some bedding for 80 dollars off, and now we are saving about 100 dollars on a comfortable (and still compact) rocker, and I found a double stroller on Craigslist that is only 55 dollars and if we end up buying that, that alone will save us about 150 dollars. Im not cheap by any means but these were items I didnt mind saving on, because now I will have all that left over money for the fun stuff... the wall decorations! There are so many cute prints, and posters, etc. on etsy that I want really badly lol! Now Ill get to buy it all!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A New Direction... Not Really

So I kinda went in a different direction but not really on Madi's bedding. Friday I went to purchase the Lullaby Breeze bedding on the BRU site and guess what?!? They were no longer running the sale! I know! How dare they stop the sale right before I finally make up my mind lol. But its wasnt a total loss. I did find out that the facebook page for BRU had a coupon for its fans so I had the hubs like BRU and I liked it and then I printed out two 20 percent off coupons and we headed into the store. I had figured that the 20 percent off acutally gave me more of a discount when I purchased all the extras than the 40 dollars would have.

Anyways, Hubs and I head to BRU to buy the bedding only to find out they dont have it in stock! Good grief! But they did have the Happi Tree bedding, which I had seen online but had never been that impressed with. Well in the store, up close, you could see that the paisley print on the bumper actually had a lot of greens, blues, and yellows, and that the animals are somewhat textured. It is still really pink, but the bumper and the skirt or super cute as are some of the accessories. Also I might add that they had this one in stock (or so I thought).

So yeah, Im talking Hubs into this new pink explosion lol and I turn around and notice that they dont have any on the shelf. So I ask the guy who works there and he says that since the store is liquidating, that they can sell me the display for like 20 percent off and they will still let me use my coupon on it!!! YAY! So needless to say we bought the bedding. For the 6 piece crib set that was originally 189 we ended up paying 116! So Im excited that we got that so cheap, and I think I can make it less pink by purchasing a green and white polka dotted crib sheet, or aqua and white... you get the idea. Also since our BRU is liquidating the guy said that they will start doing markdowns on a lot of the items they have on display and the merchandise in general. So I need to call them and find out when exactly they will be closing, because they had a couple of cute gliders in there that I wouldnt mind having.

On the Monk front we have been playing with the idea of getting Monk a twin bed, but really we wont save that much space, so we decided to just go ahead and keep him in the queen bed. Its just too convenient to have that large of a bed ready to go when we have company over. Also if we end up getting a three bedroom at the new duty station the queen bed can always go in Madi's room and then we can purchase a twin bed for Monk. But for now we are just going to buy him the PB Kids truck sheets and let him enjoy all the room in his bed!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ho Hum, Im dumb!

So I have been stressing myself out a little bit lately trying to find the "perfect" bedding for Madi. I guess because I really loved the cowboy up set that I found right before finding out that I was having a girl and I kept expecting to find something that I liked that much for Madi. But I also changed in that the cowboy up set was going to be like 245 dollars and I really didnt want to spend that much on a crib bedding set if I didnt feel like it was going to be an heirloom piece.

I guess for Madi I wanted eclectic but I also wanted it to be a quilt. Something that would last, that I could put on a quilt rack and then eventually give her when she has her own kids... you know that kind of thing. And most baby crib sets just dont have that kind of lasting power. I found a gorgeous set on pottery barn kids that I LOVED! But Pottery Barn is just so darn expensive!!! For the 4 piece crib set it was going to cost about 280 dollars, and if I just got the quilt, and bumper it was still 200! Here's a picture:

I really liked all the bright colors and all the different patterns. And just FYI I love the way they styled the room! The dark letter words with the paisley behind it! Cute, simple, classy but still fun. So when looking for other bedding I was trying to find something that I liked as much as this set, but for a considerable less amount. And really I didnt find anything. I changed my mind on the "sweet stitches". Since I havent been able to see it in person Im just not sure if I really like the colors in it. I want something that has all different colors and I was worried that there was just too much pink in the bumper and skirt. So I have decided that I am just going to go ahead and go with the "lullaby breeze" set. They have a sale going on at BRU right now where if you buy any bedding set 159 or higher and then buy three coordinating pieces you get 40 dollars off. So with the 4 piece bed set, the diaper stacker, changing pad cover, and 4 recieving blankets and free shipping the total is only going to be 178! Thats a lot of stuff for really not that much money. Besides that by purchasing through BRU if I really decide I dont like it, or if I find something that I do love or whatever... I can return this to the store. So win-win!

Also, like I said earlier I like the idea of having an heirloom piece to hold onto and give her down the road, and I LOVE quilts, and I found this quilt on The Company Store/Company Kids:

These pictures make it look really pink but I think once you get it away from the super pink padded headboard you will be able to see all the blue, and green. My plan is to watch it and wait for the twin size to go on sale (and a couple of the throw pillows) and have that as my keepsake. Also I think the colors will go nicely with the lullaby breeze if I put the quilt in her room now on a quilt rack or something.

I was also worried about trying to get bedding that would blend/match/coordinate with Monks bedding. I have since decided that because there is a good chance that we will get a three bedroom apartment/house at the new duty station (which we should be at by late January), theres no point in stressing about that. So the bedding I have picked out for Monk is going to be truck/transportation themed. I have never been that crazy about this theme, but with Monk so obssessed with cars and trucks right now it made sense to put bedding that he would like. My hope is that it will be an added encouragement to sleep in his new "big boy bed". Here are the current options I really like. First is from The Company Kids:

I really like all the colors in this one. Its fun, and for the time being when the two kiddos will share I think it will go nicely with all the bright colors in Madi's bedding.

Next we have my FAVORITE from Pottery Barn Kids. Its expensive DUH! But I like that the colors are a little more subtle, which I think might last longer, as he grows up I think this set will grow up with him a bit better. I also think that this will make a wonderful keepsake quilt, and will look cute on a quilt rack, long after hes done using it. Also right now while Im waiting for the queen size quilt to go on sale, the sheet set will look super cute with Monks plain brown comforter. I can also always get one or two of the shams to put on the bed.

So thats what Im thinking right now. Im done looking at bedding lol. I figure theres no rush on Monks bedding really, although I really need him sleeping in his bed before Madi gets here, so maybe there's a little rush... sometime within the next 5 months. And Madi's well Hubs already thinks its a great deal so since that sale is only going on right now (sure it will come around again though) I think we will probably go ahead and get it... that also gives me plenty of time to return it if I need to. But since the bedding is pretty well picked out I can have fun making throw blankets, and picking out accessories! Yay!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Madi's Bedding!

So I'm still kinda looking but I have definitely decided not to make the bedding. All the designer quilt fabrics that I like would end up costing me more money than just buying something pre-made. I figured I can always just make lots of blankets and accessories to give it that home made look. That and I dont really want to spend upwards of $250 on bedding for a crib. Id rather spend that on clothes, or a double stroller, or a dresser, or the million things on my Treasury list on Etsy. I have found soo many things that I want, I actually cleaned it out today and got rid of 4 pages of "faves" and I still have 3 pages left lol.

Oh! But I have found some bedding that I really like! It is kinda between "sweet stitches" and "lullaby breeze". Really just sweet stitches though lol. I love all the different patterns, and textures, and the mix between sophisticated embrodiery and the kinda "country" look of the plaid. It feels very hippie/eclectic!

These are picture I found online because the one on the actual bedding sale on ebay wasnt very good. You couldnt see any of the details

And in case you wanted to see the Lullaby Breeze set, here's a pic of it

I like this set but i wasnt crazy about the "thin" look of the bumper, or the lack of details on the skirt... Overall it just looked a little cheap, with the exception of the quilt.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fun Times

So not a whole lot has been going on. I have been scouring Etsy for other bedding that I like, but really I just dont feel like paying that much! I am by no means a great seamstress but I feel like I could throw a few of these things together. I mean I've made blankets before, and I have learned quite a few new tricks since making my first ones so the chance of the seams popping open has gone down considerably lol. And if I made a simple straight, flat bed skirt that seems way easy enough. So right there without much trouble I can make the blanket and skirt. The bumper might be a little harder if I try to get fancy and put ruffles or binding, but really thats not harder just more time consuming. So I think I am going to go to some fabric stores and see what I can find and start on a couple of stroller blankets. That way if I do find pre packaged bedding I like Im not out anything and it will give me a chance to see which materials I like together and play with a couple of different quilt patterns I found.

On that same note I found some wonderful sites on Etsy that will package fat quarters together for you from your fave collections, and another site thats cuts all the fabric for the front, center, and back of rag quilts... she will even embroider a name, date, or whatever kind of personalization you want onto one of the squares for free... Her store is here Even though Im good at making rag quilts and can easily cut my own material for $30 bucks having her cut it for me and have a square customized I think is worth it. I dont think Ill go crazy buying kits up, but I will see what the big difference is between her bundle and the fabric I buy at Hancock or Hobby Lobby later on this week.

Hubs is leaving this week for a few days... Im not looking forward to it, but I figure it will be a good time to catch up on a couple of my shows that he hasnt wanted to watch. I would say that its good sewing time, but really its the opposite. Hubs usually watches Monk for me when Im sewing so that Monk doesnt try to play in my pins, or drive his cars over material I am trying to cut lol. That and Monk tends to want to hold the material as Im trying to sew it which can sometimes get in the way.

My mom found an awesome sewing table for me at Walmart. Its really pretty and I think it will fit nicely in our room. Hubs thinks we dont have room for it but if I can ever fit Monks toys into his room I dont think we would have any problem fitting it into our dining/play room. Here's a picture of the table:

Thats not a very good picture of it, if you want to see it bigger just go to the walmart page here.