Fudgey Goodness

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I've been having mildly chocolate-y skim milk for dessert most nights in an attempt to satisfy the sweet tooth AND get in some additional calcium for Bean, but last night, I was in need of much much more.  {Although my scale disagrees...}

I found a recipe for Fudge Revel Bars {via Mandy's Recipe Box} that looked drool-worthy so I decided to give it a try .  Couldn't have been easier and the results were so so delicious.  Here's a pic from Mandy mid-process that gives a really good understanding as to just how easy it is to put together.  I was just too exhausted to get out my camera.

Here is a crappy iPhone photo from me after it came out of the oven - just to prove it can be done.

And since I haven't actually cut mine into bars yet - they were still too warm, and I just wanted to eat a piece!  Here's a yummy pic of the final result courtesy of Mandy as well.  They really are as good as this pic conveys.

Fortunately, we're having friends over tonight for dinner and to watch So You Think You Can Dance - my favorite summertime tv show! I'm excited that I'll be able to offer these for dessert without having to make something special, and I'm super-impressed with my unexpected preparedness because I even pulled a lasagna out of the freezer so that we can eat that for dinner with an easy salad.  {I've been trying to get better at dividing meals up when I make them so that we have easy options for quick future meals and don't get burnt out trying to finish a 9"x13" pan of lasagna, for example, between two people.  By the end of the week, we're so sick of it and still have to throw out a good chunk.  So far, I'm still figuring out the best way to do this, but my one attempt at cutting my lasagna recipe into two smaller pans seems to have paid off.  And luckily, it's my FAVORITE lasagna recipe!}

[photo credit:  Mandy's Recipe Box and my own]


Can't. Stop. Watching. This.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oh jeez...I really can't.  I wasn't going to post about this because I would be posting yet another YouTube video that I found through i Suwannee {seriously, Carolyn, get your own material...}, but I literally can't stop watching it.  Perhaps it's because I'm pregnant?  I mean despite my love for adorable animals, I don't usually care about random online videos of them.  I really don't.  I just have other things to look at, ya know?  But this... I'm choke-sob-laughing.

And here's one more gratuitous adorable animal item for the day:

After seeing them at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, sea otters have surpassed penguins as my favorite adorable, non-pet animal...

Off to work!


Nursery Diaries #2 - Design Inspiration

Monday, June 13, 2011

As you can imagine, I've been looking for pictures of nurseries for quite awhile.  Initially, it was just random nurseries that I liked since we didn't know the gender of ours yet.  Then I was able to weed through for girl nurseries or at least those that have components I would like in a girl's room.  

Bottom-line: I don't want it to look like a stereotypical, themed girly nursery.  It's just not my style, and since we don't know yet what Bean's style is, she'll just have to stick with mine. :)

{I apologize in advance for the varying pic sizes - can't seem to get them resized appropriately.}

I've loved Arden's nursery from one of my favorite blogs - Copy Cat Chic.  It's elegant but simple.  And the blue coloring is unexpected for a girl yet so chic {fitting with a blog name like that...}.  I have always loved the spindle style of the Jenny Lind crib, and that Burberry dress is perfection!  Not to mention the gorgeous crib skirt in a non-baby material.

Here are three that I found on pinterest.com. I love the combination of the white, gray and coral in the first pic below.  If you can't tell by my blog header and button, I'm obsessed with the color.  And the modern style of these cribs are so appealing to me despite the fact that I generally don't tend towards modern styles.  Up until the end of last week, I was seriously considering the Baby Mod Olivia from Walmart shown in the second pic below.  At $299, it's a really decent price for such great style.  And the third pic has such great soft colors that whisper {as opposed to scream} girly. 

Super cute with the pom poms above the crib as a colorful mobile for baby to look at.

I love the variety in this room.  Still white, gray, and varying shades of pink/coral along with exciting pops of black and gold.  The gold is killer!

And now for the nursery that changed my life.  I found it through one of the excellent blogs that I read, and I can't seem to figure out which one it was.  If anyone knows, feel free to shoot me a comment so I can update this post.  Anywho. It's Sloane's nursery designed by Erika {proud mommy of "Sloaney bologna" - is that not the cutest thing you've ever heard!} at urban grace.  So not only did I find a new favorite blog, I found a DREAM nursery.  It's as though she designed it for me personally.  It's stylish and elegant, but it's also homey.  And although it was designed by an interior designer, it doesn't scream "professionally done". 
Oh how do I love thee, let me count the ways!
  1. Coral, black and gold accents as loved in pics above - check!
  2. Jenny Lind spindle-style crib also loved in pics above - check! {All those modern cribs mean nothing to me now...and I'm seriously considering gold as the color for the crib.  Otherwise, black or white.  Sadly, the black isn't currently available!!!}
  3. Not only does she have coral as an accent color and gray on her walls, but she actually has coral diagonal stripes!  {Let me refer you back to my obsession with my blog header/background mentioned above.}
  4. Drool-worthy cribskirt in a discontinued Oscar de la Renta fabric...
  5. Neutral rug & shades, white chair and ivory drapes and bumpers keep this room from going overboard.
  6. And finally, these lamps!  They literally make me swoon.  I mean the gold undersides of the black shades, the way the look like a lady with her hands on her hips {as described by Erika - didn't come up with that myself, but I can't think of it any other way now!}...sigh
The cutest bumpers around:
And I am definitely going to take Erika's recommendation to have two chairs in the room so that J and I can sit in there together for Bean's bedtime routine:

Ok, I think I have to rest now from all this excitement.

On an unrelated note, does anyone know how to get my signature to show up when the post is viewed on Google Reader?  It shows on my actual site, but it doesn't seem to carry through to Reader even though I have settings set to show the entire post.  As far as I know, the signature is set up in the html coding.  Any help would be appreciated.  My searches in blogger and google.com have been fruitless.


Nursery diaries #1

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I am finally in full-fledged nursery design {and resultingly, registry-planning} mode.  J is working on the nursery walls & ceiling, which need to be completed pronto so that there is sufficient air-out time before the baby {aka Bean because her first ultrasound pic looks like a bean} arrives.  Sadly, the dark wood paneling and crumbling plaster must be ripped down and new sheet rock put up so that we can have nice pretty, baby-friendly walls.   I need to grab a pic of the plaster for you to see what a disaster it is, but here's a pic of the room from when we purchased the house {gasp!}.

None of the furniture was ours so that's all gone, and I took down the curtains and shades to let in some light.  I want to change the light fixtures and perhaps get rid of the sconces altogether, but the ladder poses the biggest issue since it takes up critical space in the already small room (~11.5' x 10'), but it leads up to the attic, which is partially finished. You may notice in the pic above that the wood portion of the ceiling with the light fixture on it doesn't connect to the wall to the right with the window.  That's because the ceiling vaults upward. Just before the wooden section, the ceiling slants steeply up to the attic, which you can see here.

The break in the railing on the right is where the ladder connects.  The nice thing about said ladder is that it has a relatively slow progression upwards so it's pretty easy to get up and down without falling.  {Not to brag or anything, but I don't even need to hold on...just saying - balance like a cat. ;) }  But it's certainly not baby-friendly, and again - it takes up a lot of space needed for baby furniture. 

Since we don't go up to the attic that regularly, I'm thinking perhaps it's easy enough for now to put the ladder in the attic and purchase a temporary one that can be used quickly to go up and get the other ladder when necessary.  Not ideal since we do have an attic fan up there in the unfinished portion (behind a door that we'd keep closed) that helps cool down the house when it's really hot and humid.  That wouldn't be an issue until next summer when Bean is 8 or 9 months old.  And ultimately, if we stay in this house, we'd like to refresh the attic so that it's pretty and bright and usable; I think a teenager would love it.  But I'm getting ahead of myself...

So we've chosen this room for the nursery because
- it's not currently in use
- it's the smallest, which makes me think "nursery"
- it's at the back of the house so it's furthest from street noise
- when we have another baby {assuming all goes according to plan}, Bean can move into the larger room, which is currently the guest room, as her big girl room.

The other option is that we make our guest room into the nursery and the small room into the guest room.  But our new {free} full-size guest bed won't likely fit into the small room either with the ladder there so we'd have to purchase an alternative bed/pull-out couch for the guests.  {No - I suppose we only have a handful of guests per year when it comes down to it, but I do think we need a guest room option.} 

With this option, Bean would have a bigger room with more street noise since it's on the side of the house going from front to back.  Here's a pic from when we purchased it, and again, all of the furniture/decorations went with the former owners.  I don't have the exact measurements, but it's long and narrow - likely 23' x 12' with a radiator taking up the majority of the front end.

Any thoughts on how to make the ladder a non-issue?  Sigh...

{photo credit: from Coldwell Banker website obtained in connection with purchase of home, please do not use without permission.}


Back to the East Coast

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

So I know I've been MIA so soon after re-upping the blog, but I don't like to post that I'm going away {safety precautions...} so instead I'm here to post that I went away.  And I'm back.  Yay!  I'm working on loading up my pics and reviews of all the various places that we visited so I'll break it up into a few posts.  But till then, here's a clue as to where I was.  Ok, it's really obvious!

And just so you know, I'm working on creating a back-log of posts so that in the future, radio-silence will ideally be a rarity.

{photo credit: groundzero found on flickr}