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Friday, July 27, 2012

Feature Friday: Backsplash Review


After we got our modular granite put in in February, we knew we would install our own backsplash, but we wanted to wait for J's dad to join. He is the DIY guru and also a perfectionist, so we wait for him if we want an unknown job done right the first time.

However, the task was much easier than anticipated. Lay down your mortar, arrange your subway tiles with spacers as desired (renting a wetsaw and cutting some of the edge pieces was definitely the most tedious part). Apply tiles, wait for them to set. Add grout in the cracks and clean to sparkle.

The bulk of the project took about 3 hours. The tile setting and then grout application was done after. But it was so cool to feel like the job was done (from the looks of it) in such a short time. Here are some pictures.




Waiting for the tiles to set until we grout


















And presto, looks good!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Seeing pink

It's that time again....





















No, I'm not having a baby and it's not a girl. C'mon people, my kid is 10 months just today, BUT it is party planning time and my best friend here in NJ is having a girl.

If you came to my house right now, you might think I was kind of crazy cause I kind of have ALOT of party stuff everywhere. Because not only am I throwing Brandi's baby shower in a few weeks, but somehow (I can barely bare to say it) I will be throwing my little boy's first birthday party too. His of course isn't until September, but we are going to Italy for the first 18 days in September, so all the planning and prepping is being done now. And I won't spoil the surprise, but I have quite a fun and easy (but involved) idea for him, so needless to say there are a lot of pieces all over the place.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to throw a good party. Food, friends, family, laughs, pictures, memories, these are the things I live for. It can be SO much work, especially in our Pinterest inspired day and age, where everything feels like it has to be perfect. But at the end of it all, it's so worth to make someone's special day- extra special. So, forgive me for being a bit absent... I'm planning some parties. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

At 9 months

-You have a lot of personality, I feel like everywhere we go people are always saying how funny you are.

-You are very verbal, your gibberish actually sounds like talking and you have alot of funny noises.

-One particular noise is a growling noise, while at kids camp last month the kids discovered it, and got you to do it constantly, it's now your "go to" funny, I can get a reaction noise.

-You shake your head no all the time, a lot of times you do it when someone says no, but sometimes just cause you think you're cute.

-You wave hi and bye appropriately all the time.

- You say hi and you've said "bye bye" a few times, so precious!

-You are crawling. At first it was leap frog crawl, now it's sometimes bear crawl (legs straight, hands propelling you), regular crawl or a mix of all 3. It's actually still not your favorite thing to do, so that means for now I can still happily carry you without protest!

-You can be quite cautious or serious at times. Sometimes mister friendly to everyone in site, and sometimes people get the who are you stares instead.

- You are still sleeping great 10-12 hours straight.

-You have 5 teeth and your top ones are big, it looks funny on you.

-You still consume vast amounts of food, equal in size to toddler portions (in my opinion).

- We've discovered one thing you don't like-- watermelon, you want no part in it, except to mush it around your high chair top.

-You are really starting to let other people hold you without complaint, however if it's a total stranger, (someone you've never seen before) crying ensues.

- Because of Kid's Camp (we went for 4 days overnight) and July 4th, etc. you have stayed up past 10pm on numerous occasions. You were a champ! But also ready to be back to your schedule and asleep by 8 as soon as possible.

- When we call daddy on the phone while he's working, you always start to whisper "dada" over and over, but you never talk loud enough for him to actually hear. It's funny. You love him though.

-To sum this thing up, one thing that hasn't changed... You're still a mama's boy and I love it!

My boy at 9 months. Where has the time gone?





























From the beginning 1, 3, 5, and 7

Friday, July 6, 2012

Feature Friday- Subway Backsplash

So, as you all know Jake and I bought this house knowing we’d one day have to sell it (Coast Guard life). When we moved in, the house was move in ready, but also builder basic. So, we’ve been upgrading it along the way. We’ve been upgrading it first for ourselves, because we love a good Do It Yourself project to keep us busy, and we want to be proud of where we live, but also because we know one day soon when we move out, we need to be able to sell this baby. So, they always say if you’re gonna put money in the house put it in the kitchen, and so we have.

We have lived here officially for 2 years last month, and we have been upgrading the kitchen since the beginning.
-We brought in an island
-Painted the cabinets
-Tiled the floor
-Changed the lighting
In February we had modular granite installed for a great deal from a local company
And in June we finally finished off our kitchen redo when Jake and his dad put in white subway tile as the backsplash.

While we’d love to change the appliances, we know that’s not a smart investment, since we can’t take them with us, and they work great. So here you have it, the complete before and after pics.

Before and After





Check out some other kitchen posts here, and here

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Peas of Mind

There are occasional days when you feel like a genius. This was one of those days for me. In our local town we don’t have any of the “cool” grocery stores, Whole Foods, Central Market, Trader Joes. We have Shoprite and I will say how thankful I am for Shoprite and there excellent selection of gluten free foods, but a few times we drove an hour to go to Whole Foods.
At Whole Foods I found this brand in the “kids organic freezer section” yes they have a kids organic freezer section there, (ha) called Peas of Mind. They had these broccoli potato fries, that seemed to truly be made of broccoli and potatoes and they were certified gluten free, and so I bought them. Keaton loved them, and I made that one bag last like a month, by just giving him a few at a time.
I wanted more, and thought I could get them at another local grocery store, but upon checking I couldn’t find them. The Peas of Mind website tells you every grocery that has them, and even some Super Targets do, but nothing close here.

So, I started searching on google how to make them or something similar. I went 10 pages in on my google search clicking on every link, nothing. So, on my genius day- I decided to make them, I thought how hard could it be.

I knew they were fries, but I also could tell from the original item that they had been blended together. Both broccoli and potatoes are not easily blendable unless cooked, so I steamed the broccoli and boiled the potatoes and threw them in the food processor. I pulsed until combined, and the smell seemed similar to the original, but the texture was SOOO sticky. I really wanted to shape them like fries, but they were sticky. Normally you’d get flour and get to shaping. But since these had to be gluten free, I got out the gf oats, blended them up and then used them as a coating. This worked great to help shape them like fries.





But then I realized I wasn’t selling these babies, who said they needed to be look like fries, so then I just started plopping them down as is on a sprayed cookie sheet. I put them in the oven at 400 and let them cook probably 15 minutes, flipping once. They came out of the oven, and I have to say tasted almost EXACTLY like the Peas of Mind brand. Which is cool for two reasons, 1.) I made my own recipe, woohoo! and 2.) the original brand was genuinely made from potatoes and broccoli.


Of course there’s a catch though..... After I fed them to Keaton, I felt like he was breaking out a bit, how could that be? He’d eaten the other brand before. So, the next day we went to Boston Market and I gave him cooked broccoli and within minutes his chin had little red welts confirming he can’t eat broccoli anymore. I don’t know how he could before, maybe a smaller amount of broccoli in the fries or he just started showing an allergy. So, after all that. I had to throw the rest away. Ha! That’s my life. But maybe someone else will enjoy!
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