Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sofi's First Birthday!

I know, this post is very, very late (Her party was September 8th) but here it is! (get ready for a lot of pictures!)

 Party Favor table. Clown noses
 Place to sign a piece of fabric for her memory quilt
 Party horns

 Animal crackers
 Birthday girl
 A tiny tantrum

 Opening gifts
 The birthday throne
 Apple spice cake with cream cheese frosting
 Chocolate cake with ganache 

 Eating the cake
Birthday banners.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pin tackle: Home made teething biscuits

I found this recipe for Homemade teething biscuits on Pinterest and just had to try them for Sofi! Here's how I made them:

1 cup of dry infant cereal (I used rice)

1 cup of flour

Stir together with 2 tsp cinnamon

Add 1/3 cup mashed bananas or other food (I used a jar of banana baby food)

Add 2 tbsp oil and 3 tbsp water and mix into a non-sticky dough 

Roll out, cut into desired shape and bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before giving to child.

Sand box fun!

Sofi has a new-found love for sandboxes and loves to play in the one at our neighborhood park.

I love how you can see the sand falling out of her hand in this one!

See her pants? She likes to scoop up sand and dump it on her legs.

This is when she stuck a rock in her mouth (Don't worry, we got it out and she was fine)

Messy baby!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Photo editing tutorial with Photo Pos Pro

I downloaded a free photo editor called Photo Pos Pro and it is fantastic! It doesn't have quite as many tools as photo shop or some other more advanced editor but it is really great for touching up a basic photo. Anyways, I am just going to post a little tutorial on how to edit with photo pos pro. (and I'm sure some of these tricks apply to photo shop, too)

Here is the original picture that I started with:
Good picture, but kinda grainy
  1. I used Noise Reduction twice on the picture to despeckle and make it look smoother and less grainy.
  2. Increased Brightness and contrast to desired amounts. (10 brightness and 5 contrast if you're curious)
  3. go to RGB and change color levels (R -2, G 5, B 5)
  4. Go to HSL and change Saturation and Luminosity ( S 5, L 3)
  5. Crop, if desired. 
  6. Use clone brush to cover up any unwanted places.
And here is the image with basic edits applied:
But I decided I liked it better without the under-eyes smoothed over, so I undid that:
Much Cuter, I think.

Now, I decided I wanted to make it look a little vintage-y so here's what I did:
  1. Go to Brightness/ contrast and turn the contrast up pretty high (I did 28)
  2. Then go to Effects - Colors - Fade to Gray
  3. Turn saturation down (-33)
  4. Go to Effects- Colors- Sepia - Advanced
  5. Adjust Tint, Level, and contrast until desired look is achieved (T 21, L 40, C 21)
  6. Lower Opacity until Desired amount of color shows through (I did about half)
Here is the picture with these edits applied:

Which do you like better?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Trip to the park

Yesterday, We took Sofi on a walk to the park. We do this a lot, but we usually go in the afternoon when the sun is blazing down and this time, we went around eight at night. The lighting was so beautiful in the park, that I took a few pictures.

Monday, August 6, 2012

30 day drawing challenge: Day 1

I know, I know I'm a few days late but I promise I did draw this on the day  I said I was going to start! Anyways, this is not the greatest drawing and I half-assed the coloring but it got me drawing, which is an accomplishment. Hand drawn and colored on Photo-POS pro.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

30 Day Drawing Challenge

I found this on pinterest and I am going to do it! Starting today, I am going to do each one of these drawing challenges. One each day for 30 days. Mind you, I'm no great artist, this is just for fun fun fun!

30 day drawing challenge

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Big ol' quilt project: Part 1

For the last week or so, I have been working on this lovely quilt-along-quilt from crazy mom quilts. I am planning on making this for my friend for her birthday. (don't worry, she doesn't even know this blog exists... I hope!) Anyways, I am using a lot of green and blue fabrics in my quilt. and a lot of floral patterns!

Here is what the quilt will look like when it is finished (but with my fabric, of course!) Isn't it cute?!
I'm so excited for this project! Currently, I am cutting all of the fabric for the nine-patch pieces and then I will begin piecing the patches together!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lemon butter shrimp with lemony rice - pin tackle

Last night for dinner I made this lemon and butter shrimp with a lemony rice. (shrimp recipe found on pinterest.) I did not take my own pictures because my camera charger is missing and my camera currently has a dead battery :(
But here is the picture from Pinterest:
Whoa... Melt a stick of butter in the pan.  Slice one lemon and layer it on top of the butter. Put down fresh shrimp, then sprinkle one pack of dried Italian seasoning. Put in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 min. Best Shrimp you will EVER taste:)
And here is the recipe: SO EASY!

  • 2 lbs. fresh, raw, medium or large shrimp.
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 3 baby lemons or 1 big lemon, sliced
  • Italian seasoning packet (But I used salt and black pepper)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with an edge with tin foil
  3. Pour melted butter into baking sheet
  4. Place sliced lemon in baking sheet
  5. arrange shrimp on top of lemon
  6. Sprinkle with italian seasoning packet (or salt and pepper)
  7. Place in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes
  8. ENJOY!
I also made some delicious lemon rice (no picture, sorry)
I just cooked 2 cups of rice in lightly salted water and then added the zest of 2 baby lemons and the juice of 1 1/2 of the baby lemons and about a table spoon of olive oil and mixed it all together. (I ended up squeezing the extra 1/2 lemon over the shrimp)

And here are the remaining recipes (I have A LOT more pinned now, but I am too lazy to put them all here, so I will add them to the list as I do them. Lazy, I know)

  • Jalapeno poppers with bacon and cream cheese in a crescent roll
  • Healthy Baked French Fries
  • Tie Dye cake
  • Buffalo chicken rolls    (I am about to do a post on these, but no pictures for this, either)
  • Vanilla bean cheesecake with chocolate crust and salted caramel topping (OH, YUM)
  • Make ahead breakfast burritos
  • Loaded potato and buffalo chicken casserole
  • Garlic Parmesan pull apart bread
  • Crock-pot apple sauce
  • Homemade pizza pockets
  • baked mozzarella sticks
  • Shrimp, pesto, and goat cheese pizza
  • Frosted soft sugar cookies
  • Soft pretzel bites
  • Buffalo chicken pasta salad
  • Baked apples with oatmeal streusel topping
  • Baked breaded mushroom caps
  • crescent rolls with spinach and feta
  • zucchini fritters
  • S'more filled chocolate chip cookie
  • crockpot mac and cheese
  • baked pumpkin spice donuts
  • cookies and cream filled chocolate cake
  • bacon wrapped smokies
  • Baked lemon butter shrimp
  • mac and cheese casserole
  • Chocolate chip oreo brownie cookie bar
  • loaded potato rounds
  • snowmen cupcakes
  • nutella cookies
  • Warm roasted potato salad
  • mango lemonade
  • waffle iron hashbrowns
  • iced coffee concentrate
  • baked strawberry donuts
  • baked donuts
  • pretzel chocolate chip cookies
  • stuffed pizza
  • mini meatloafs
  • pineapple banana pops
  • wonton tacos
  • cinnamon chile roasted sweet potatoes
  • shrimp and bell pepper quesadillas 
  • Friday, June 29, 2012

    Creamy, Delicious Southwestern Mac and Cheese

    Last night for dinner, I made probably the creamiest, cheesiest, most delicious mac and cheese that I have ever made! WARNING: this post contains a lot of yummy, mouth watering pictures that will make you crave some mac and cheese!
    Here are the ingredients you will need:

    • 1 Jar Salsa con queso (I used a jar and a bit)
    • 4 cups pasta of your choice
    • 4 tbsp butter
    • 4 tbsp flour
    • 1/2 cup cheddar jack
    • 1/4 cup mozarella
    • 2 cups milk, divided
    Step 1: Cook pasta in salted, oiled water until just under cooked. Drain into strainer.

    Step 2: In pan that pasta was cooked in, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir well. Pour in half of the milk and reduce. When sauce is thickened, add other cup of milk and cook down until sauce is thick and creamy. Salt and pepper sauce.

    Step 3: Pour in jar of Salsa con Queso and stir until it is well blended into the white sauce.

    Step 4: Stir pasta and cheddar jack cheese into sauce. 
    Step 5: Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese on top. 
    Step 6: Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
    Step 6: Serve up in a bowl and enjoy!
    (I am obsessed with black pepper, in case you were wondering what those specks on top are)

    Friday, June 22, 2012

    Tackling those pins

    Recently, I joined Pinterest and it has become a bit of an obsession for me. Currently, I have around 35 recipes pinned that I want to try and have tried none of them. So, Let's change that! I am going to try and make every one of these recipes eventually. Here is my list of recipes that I have pinned. I will post every time I try one of the recipes with a review, pictures, and an updated list!

    1. Jalapeno poppers with bacon and cream cheese in a crescent roll
    2. Healthy Baked French Fries
    3. Tie Dye cake
    4. Buffalo chicken rolls
    5. Vanilla bean cheesecake with chocolate crust and salted caramel topping (OH, YUM)
    6. Make ahead breakfast burritos
    7. Loaded potato and buffalo chicken casserole
    8. Garlic Parmesan pull apart bread
    9. Crock-pot apple sauce
    10. Homemade pizza pockets
    11. baked mozzarella sticks
    12. Shrimp, pesto, and goat cheese pizza
    13. Frosted soft sugar cookies
    14. Soft pretzel bites
    15. Buffalo chicken pasta salad
    16. Baked apples with oatmeal streusel topping
    17. Baked breaded mushroom caps
    18. crescent rolls with spinach and feta
    19. zucchini fritters
    20. S'more filled chocolate chip cookie
    21. crockpot mac and cheese
    22. baked pumpkin spice donuts
    23. cookies and cream filled chocolate cake
    24. bacon wrapped smokies
    25. Baked lemon butter shrimp
    26. mac and cheese casserole
    27. Chocolate chip oreo brownie cookie bar
    28. loaded potato rounds
    29. snowmen cupcakes
    30. nutella cookies
    31. Warm roasted potato salad
    32. mango lemonade
    33. waffle iron hashbrowns
    34. iced coffee concentrate
    35. baked strawberry donuts
    36. baked donuts
    37. pretzel chocolate chip cookies
    38. stuffed pizza
    39. mini meatloafs
    40. pineapple banana pops
    41. wonton tacos
    42. cinnamon chile roasted sweet potatoes
    43. shrimp and bell pepper quesadillas 

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    BEST Chocolate muffins ever!

    Last summer, I was craving some chocolate cream cheese muffins and could not find a recipe that looked like what I wanted! Finally, I came across this lovely recipe. It is so good! I didn't put the chocolate chips in the cream cheese but I bet that would be delicious, too!
    NOTE: When I made these muffins, it only made 12. not 20 like the recipe says.

    The Cooking Blog: Cream Cheese Chocolate Muffins Recipe

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Summer time! List of projects I must finish!

    Last day of school today! (yessssssssss....) so now, here are some projects that I would like to finish over the summer.
    1. Quilt for Nola's baby
    2. Pennant banner for Sofi's birthday party
    3. Romper/ dress/ or skirt for Sofi
    4. Small fabric/thread waste basket
    5. More clothes for sofi (specifics to come!)
    Also, I have recently discovered pinterest and it is great! I love finding new ideas on there and saving things that I have found on other sites!

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

    Must-haves for news moms

    Having an eight month old daughter, I have become very familiar with baby products over the past year and a half. Here's a list I composed of some of the best and most useful baby products I've come across.

    1. Bumbo infant seat.
    My daughter started using this when she was about 4 months old and starting to sit up with support. The chair provides full support for your baby's back so as long as they can support their head and neck on their own, this is a great way for them to practice sitting up and to feel like they are grown-up! And I know that there has been some controversy on the safety of these seats but if you WATCH your baby (like you're supposed to unless they are safely contained in a crib or playpen) then nothing bad will happen. Don't put it on raised surfaces, don't leave them alone, take them out when they get fussy, be a parent and it is fine to use this chair.

    2. Boppy nursing pillow.
    Not just for nursing! My daughter napped on this, practiced sitting up in it, and had tummy time in it. Not to mention, it is a GREAT nursing pillow! There are all different sorts of covers available for these and we have used ours countless times.

    3. Graco infant travel system.
     We have been using this travel system since Sofi was born. It comes with a stroller, car seat, and car seat base. The car seat easily fits into the stroller when the baby is newborn so that your baby faces you and can be comfortably reclined. Sofi just recently out-grew the car seat but the stroller is going to last a really long time! Oh, also the straps in the stroller separate so, if your baby falls asleep on your walk you don't have to bother them slipping their arms through the straps. You just unbuckle and grab them out of there!

    4. Halo Sleep Sack
    Sofi loved this as a newborn! She wasn't so much a fan of the swaddles but the sleep sack provided the snuggness of a swaddle while allowing her to wiggle around inside of it. And her arms were free, which she really enjoyed. The only thing is, you can't use them in strollers. But we never had much of a problem with that.

    5. Raz-berry infant teeth
    Sofi is a pacifier using baby so this teether is really great for her. It is shaped like a pacifier but has teething bumps on it and is more durable to stand up to chewing. You can also stick it in the fridge or freezer to  make it cold to help soothe the baby's gums. The sides and handle of this teether are also chewable and she plays with it and chews it. It is really nice to have a hands-free teether so that she can still play with other toys while soothing her gums. I read some reviews on-line of parents with babies who did not use pacifiers but their babies still loved these!

    I will post some more products later because trust me, I have more!