Monthly Archives: February 2013

Storage is King

As I’ve mentioned before, this room for two doesn’t have much space, so I really have to think through every thing that makes it in there. Today is a continuation of Phase Four by bringing in more color AND storage.

Without further ado, here are the shelves we installed to make room for special gifts Liam has received, some of our own childhood mementos, pictures, etc.

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They came from a tall, thin set of shelves, also from my in-laws’ kitchen (are you noticing a pattern?) that we cut in half and painted white to better fit the space in the room.

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These happy shelves sit above our “new” changing table (a Craigslist find that I intended to refinish and paint, but whose brass and worn charm grew on me).

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And, for practicality’s sake alone, the room’s previous dresser (one of my childhood dressers) moved into Liam’s closet.

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There are a few more things to hang on the walls, but the room is almost complete. For the time being, anyway. 😉

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A shot of Liam’s “big bed” that we are hoping to transition him to on his second birthday next month.

 

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Here’s Liam’s handmade elephant mobile hanging in the corner. Excuse the poor lighting…my camera and I really aren’t good friends.

 

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A Couple of Homemade Decor Projects

Well, it’s on to Phase Four of the nursery makeover! (i.e. getting some color on the walls) The kids’ room is finally shaping up with a few additions of sewing projects!

I debated between making a mobile or a wall hanging for the crib. Here were some of my inspirations from Pinterest:

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I knew I wanted the heart pattern, and then I decided that something on the wall rather than a hanging mobile would add more pop to my neutral walls.

In talking with my mom, she suggested something more 3 dimensional and made of fabric instead of plain paper. Her suggestion was fabric with batting in between.

My sweet sister-in-law came over and we got to work! I cut out a template from a piece of paper and then we traced it on the fabric. Next, we ironed the batting in between two scraps of fabric. I sewed around the traced heart and cut out the heart shape with pinking shears (so it wouldn’t fray).

Next, I arranged the hearts in a 4×5 pattern:

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I bought a wooden trim at Michael’s and cut it down to the width of the crib. We painted that with the same blue paint as the armoire.

Now, I needed to attach the hearts and trim together so it could hang. I bought some nylon thread, but regular sewing thread would’ve worked well in hindsight. I made a stitch at the top and bottom of each heart (and pulling the thread through the middle of the heart so that it wouldn’t show) and measured approximately 4 inches between each heart. Last, I tied the thread around the trim piece and used command strips to attach it to the wall.

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You can see the measurements weren’t perfect, but the beauty of homemade is that it doesn’t have to be perfect!

Next up was something to dress up the window! I wanted some bunting to bring in some color across the blinds instead of drapes, kind of like this:

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I opted for a different shape than the scalloped one (not even sure what it’s called). I made another paper template and cut out my traced scrap fabric. Then I bought some orange fabric binding (to tie in those cute little knobs on the armoire) and sewed it all together.

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I had to go back and add a few more scraps until I reached my desired length.

Here’s how she looked once I hung it:

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The really fun part is that all the of the fabrics used for the banner are a combination of ones Liam’s previous room/bedding and this baby’s heart wall hanging and quilt.

My mom made an absolutely precious quilt and little pillow for this little girl’s crib! She let me use scraps from that for both of my projects.

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I think it’s the perfect way to blend the different colors and patterns for a little boy AND girl’s room!

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Birthday (A Cheesecake Review)

My birthday was over a week ago. I turned 28 on the 28th of January (something I looked forward to all of my childhood) while I happened to be 28 weeks pregnant. I think it’s safe to say that will never happen again!

It was a really wonderful weekend full of planned celebration: an upscale dinner out, an evening in with dear friends, and a low-key family gathering. He even got me a retro desk fan for our room!

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He knows me so well…it’s beautiful and exactly what I wanted! And this thing is legit! The fan blades are metal and, as you can see, there is little to no protection from the encasement. Definitely not a fan that can go in the kids’ room. (It turns out it also might be dangerous when I’m sleep walking. This was not considered when purchased.)

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I’m totally thrilled!

Anyway, I actually wanted to dedicate a post to the unbelievable cheesecake that he made.

love cheesecake.

Because of this, I requested a traditional NY style cheesecake for my birthday a few years ago. Jonathan is a great cook, but more of a cook than a baker (not that he’s bad at baking). It was his first attempt at cheesecake, and while I thought it was just fine and totally edible, he was so disappointed with himself.

That’s why, when I requested a cheesecake again this year, he was hesitant. I knew it would be a great chance to redeem himself, though. I knew he had it in him.

This is what I chose:

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A Lemon White Chocolate Cheesecake. Oh my, my, my, my, my, my. Let me tell you, it was good.

Let me also put a disclaimer out there that while it may not be the quickest or easiest thing to make, it is worth it! This recipe has a five star rating.

The recipe is from Taste of Home, found here.

We did a little research beforehand and learned two things about making the perfect cheesecake:

1) Make sure the cream cheese and eggs are really room temperature before you combine them. (We set ours out the night before.) Apparently, it really is crucial for creaminess and preventing cracks. This may freak some of you out, but let me assure you that the cake cooks for quite a while. No one got sick…that’s all I’m saying. And creamy, it was.

2) Placing the spring form pan in a bath of water ensures even heat distribution and also prevents cracks. We wrapped the bottom and sides of the pan in double foil before placing in our broiler pan and filling it with about an inch of water (the only thing we had large enough for the pan to fit). It turns out, our recipe called for that, but we were planning to do the water bath regardless because of what we’d read.

Here’s how ours turned out (garnished with lemon rind, white chocolate chips, and blackberries):

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You all know by now that I’m not known for my photography skills, but it looked as perfect as a magazine in real life.

More importantly, it was soo good; everybody who tasted it loved it.

And as far as Jonathan regaining confidence in his cheesecake making abilities, I think it was mission accomplished! (Just glad I could help him out! Ha!)

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Filed under holidays, personal thoughts, recipes