Friday, July 29, 2011

{BabyBump} Week 23

Up to this point, I've felt completely cool and collected about everything we need to do before baby arrives. And then suddenly, it's like this silent alarm went off inside me and 23 weeks feels like we're almost there! Obviously we're not quite almost there, but with less than 4 weeks left of my second trimester, I'm worried my energy might start waning soon! So to compensate, I've upped the ante on our to-do list...

Which brings me to the one project completely consuming us-the NURSERY! It's coming along beautifully, with fresh paint, new baseboards, the large items purchased and a complete inspiration board together! My goal is to have it completely done by the end of August, which should give us plenty of time to refinish the beautiful antique dresser we just bought, find and install the perfect light fixture, attempt to make a crib skirt and put the finishing touches on it before our Sweet Pea arrives! And hopefully, once the nursery is complete, we'll still have time to finish up some other home projects before she gets here (fingers crossed!).

All-in-all, I'm still feeling fantastic, aside from the occasional leg cramps and swelling when I've been on my feet too much. And probably the weirdest pregnancy change yet, I can now feel where my abs have split, and it's strange to say the least! I knew it would happen, but to actually feel where my muscles are separating  is a whole new level of crazy. Sheesh-you gotta love how the body adapts to growing a baby!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Baby's First

Words can't describe the overwhelming joy that comes from your child being loved by those around you-and our little one isn't even born yet! Chris and I have been so blessed by the prayers, well wishes, excitement, thoughtful little gifts and the general outpouring of love we've received for Baby Girl. They truly mean the world to us!

Last weekend we received her very first care package, carefully hand-crafted by my step-mom, Rebecca! And it included her very first pair of shoes! I can't get over how precious these little guys are-perfect for precious little feet!

Just a little thank you to all of our friends and family who are {almost} as excited as us to welcome our baby into the world! You've made this experience that much sweeter!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

For Modesty's Sake

I am a full-fledged believer in breastfeeding. So much in fact, my freshman year of college I did a persuasive speech on why breastfeeding is so beneficial for my Communications final...And because of this fact, I have absolutely no problem with a woman nursing in public.

However, I totally understand and respect that breastfeeding is not for everyone and that it's a very personal choice. So, with respect to those who do not wish to see me nursing my baby, and for modesty's sake, I whipped up a few fantastically cute nursing covers (like these and these)!

I've seen them in several stores and drooled over a few lovely patterns, but once again my frugal side kicks in and I can't help but pull a, " I could totally make that!" when I see the $40-$50 price tag. Naturally, making them myself was my chosen alternative. And get this, I made both for only $18!!

After browsing a few patterns, I settled on this tutorial I found over at made by mama monster for her detailed and simple instructions and the fact that she included the wired top so I can see baby while she's nursing. I just love how they turned out! A full report on their usefulness after baby arrives:)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Snapshots of a Birthday Weekend

Yesterday was my mom's birthday, so naturally, this weekend was completely about celebrating her!

There was the obligatory Egg's Benedict (her fave!)

{Free} Starbucks treat before she was treated to a mani/pedi

Birthday flowers

Plus some shopping, The new Winnie the Pooh movie and an AMAZING dinner prepared by Chris' mom, complete with a beautiful Haupia cake (also her fave), a coconut-milk based Hawaiian dessert! All-in-all, a wonderful weekend celebrating an even more wonderful mom!

Friday, July 22, 2011

{BabyBump} Week 22

This has been quite a week in the Hansen household! To put it simply, I have gone completely crazy when it comes to cleaning every crevice of our house. You name it, closets, cupboards, drawers and all - de-cluttered, cleaned and organized. And that includes all the spaces that have been sitting idle since we moved in last November (yikes!). It almost feels like I'm getting ready for a really important house guest, only this "guest" is coming to stay permanently and I have a sudden urgency to get everything done that I know we won't have time to do once she's here. Look out, woman on a mission!

As my husband put it on Facebook yesterday : "My wife is in full-blown nesting mode. She is showing the house who's the boss and it's crying uncle."

I'd say that pretty much sums up week 22 of this pregnancy:)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sew Thrifty

Baby spit up? We've got that covered! We are officially stocked up on burp cloths, thanks to this little Tuesday night project. And the best part-they were super affordable to make! Thanks to plenty of leftover fabric I had from other recent projects, the only thing I needed was a 12-pack of Gerber cloth diapers (the old school kind), which I ended up finding at Walmart for $12. That brings each burp cloth to $1 a pop!

Everything I read about homemade burp cloths said cloth diapers were the most absorbent since they're made for baby's bottom. I love them to pieces, and hey, these might even make wiping up baby girl's mess a little more pleasant...maybe...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Sewing isn't a new hobby for me, though suddenly I have become a complete sewing fiend! I'm pretty sure I have a touch of "nesting fever" because these past few weeks it's all I can do to pry myself from the craft room and get some sleep. But I will say this, our little one is going to be well equipped with her fair share of ruffles! Can't wait to share what I spent last night working on...tomorrow:)

Have a delightful Wednesday!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One Frame, Two Ways

This little project started with an all too familiar trip to Goodwill a few months back. I was browsing the housewares when I spotted two hideous brass frames filled with two even more hideous prints. They were deplorable to say the least, but since the frames themselves were quite unique, I was sure they could be salvaged for something a little less, well, hideous! Especially since they were marked down 50% . 

Sadly, within a few weeks of purchasing them we bought our house and into the spare closet they went, completely forgotten about. Until a few weeks ago that is, when all things buried in the depths of the closet were discovered. It was then I knew exactly how I wanted to re-purpose them. I must thank my mom for convincing me not to put them back when I started second guessing my purchase!

So without further ado, I give you, my new earring holder and Baby Girl's hair pretty holder! I am beside myself giddy that one simple purchase was able to fulfill two crafts I've been dying to make!

{Of course, until Baby Girl gets her own hair pretties, mine will be proudly displayed}

And this couldn't have been simpler to put together! All you need to do this yourself is:

1 frame, any shape and size
1 can spray paint
Depending on the size frame, about 1-2 yards of pretty ribbon/lace
Hot glue gun

After gently popping out the glass and picture, I (actually, Chris) gave each frame a few even coats of white spray paint and waited 24 hours for them to dry. After picking out just the right ribbon and lace, I simply hot glued strips to the back of the frame, making sure each strip was pulled taut so there was no sag. After a few minutes, you're ready to load em' up!

Don't you love discovering treasure in your own mess?!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Fun

It turns out, we're creatures of habit, because this weekend last year we did the very same thing: had a garage sale and attended the state fair! And I'm happy to report that both were just as fun and successful this time around! Plus it feels so wonderful to have purged a bunch of old junk we no longer need and de-clutter our "extra" rooms! And now we have a little extra money to put towards the nursery. You can't beat that!

Hope you're having a merry Monday!


Friday, July 15, 2011

{BabyBump} Week 21

At 21 weeks pregnant, I'm pretty sure I have become one of those annoyingly optimistic woman who can't help but proclaim that I LOVE being pregnant!! Truth is, I know I've been extremely lucky and I know I still have roughly 19 weeks to go and several more pounds to gain before I start to feel uncomfortable, but up to this point I feel wonderful, healthy and energetic! Of course, I am not forgetting the spontaneous sob fests my poor husband has to endure every once in a while, but overall, pregnancy has been kind to me.

However, because these past five months have gone so easily, I have not been without my share of worries. Up until a few weeks ago, I found myself very anxious that I might feel too good. Was something wrong with me or the baby? Shouldn't I be feeling different? Sick? Something??

And then, our sweet girl started kicking regularly and suddenly, the anxious thoughts became less and less. I finally have tangible evidence that she's there-alive and kicking (literally!). And this past week her little acrobatic movements became so pronounced that most of the time I can see my belly move as she kicks! Of course, just like her daddy, she is most active and alert at night, making it hard for me to get a full-nights sleep since we are both completely fascinated with feeling/seeing her wiggle around in my belly! Though, I wouldn't have it any other way!

It should be said that Chris and I don't for a second take for granted how smooth my pregnancy has been! We are so thankful for a healthy baby and continue to pray that God would bless this little one as she grows and prepare us for her arrival in a few short months!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I'm happy to say, I've found my favorite recipe for stuffed peppers! And surprisingly enough, it came from Food Network star, Emeril Lagasse. His recipes don't usually strike my fancy, but this one hit the spot perfectly! I made a few tweaks of my own, like using all turkey instead of the combo of pork and beef he originally calls for and substituting green bell peppers with red, because, well, we just like their flavor better. You could also replace the brown rice for any grain you have on hand. Oh the possibilities!

Stuffed Bell Peppers
original recipe from Emeril Lagasse

6 red bell peppers, tops cut away and seeds removed
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups cooked brown rice
8 ounces tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and dry on paper towels.
In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and chopped bell peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the turkey, garlic, parsley, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Cook until the meat is browned, stirring with a heavy wooden spoon to break up the lumps, about 6 minutes. Add the rice and tomato sauce and stir well. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Pour enough water into a baking dish to just cover the bottom, about 1/8-inch deep. Stuff the bell peppers with the rice mixture and place in the baking dish. Bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nesting and Boppy Covers

Call it nesting to the tenth degree, but I spent last weekend purging, organizing and completely cleaning out our guest/craft room! All for the sake of having a clean room to complete the bazillion sewing projects I currently have on my list of things to make. With the insane amount of energy I've encountered lately, I figure I'll take advantage while it's here!

My first project was sewing my own Boppy cover. Since all the covers I was finding seemed crazy overpriced ($40-50 each!), I decided that making them myself was the route I wanted to take. Plus, I could customize with a fabric I loved!

With a little advice from my friend Taryn, who also went the DIY route, I was off to Joann's! And in a few short hours, I ended up with this:

Ahh, I LOVE this pretty combo of celery, blush and coral! It's so girly and chic!

 So glad I decided to make my own because not only was this a really simple project, but I saved a lot of money since I was armed with a few 40% off coupons for Joann's, which I constantly get in the mail!

p.s. - wouldn't these make a wonderful baby shower gift?!

For anyone interested in making your own Boppy cover, I used the Simplicity pattern 4225.

Here's the breakdown of what this little project cost me:

Nurture Nest Pillow insert: $17
3 yards of fabric: $18 (enough for 2 covers)
Piping: $5
3' velcro strip $.50
Total cost: $40.50

Next on my list: a nursing cover and burp cloths!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nursery DIY: Closet Craftiness

With a closet full of clothes in all different sizes, baby girl's walk-in needed some serious organization! Several weeks ago I found some cute closet dividers that were made of plastic so you could write the various sizes on the tags, which I loved! But with a price tag of $18, I was sure I could DIY something just as cute. And then I stumbled upon this wonderful little tutorial over at Fresh Crush, which was perfect because I already had everything I needed! A free project I can complete while watching a rerun of Friends? Sign me up!

Now my Sweet Pea's clothes are separated by size, making it much easier to determine what she might still need!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Simply Summer

This weekend consisted of a little sewing, a little baking and completing several tasks that have been on my to-do list. I only think it's necessary to reward such productivity with summer fare such as this...

I hope your weekend was full of sunshine and fun!

Friday, July 8, 2011

{BabyBump} Week 20

 Well, baby girl is officially half way baked! We're twenty weeks down and (theoretically) have twenty weeks to go. According to The Bump, I currently have a cantaloupe sized baby in my uterus...looks about right to me! She's growing like crazy and I've been feeling her kicks a ton the past few days. And it seems she's already a big girl! At my last appointment she was measuring a week later than my current due date, though because it's only a week, they won't officially change it.

In other developments, I have been sleeping like a rock lately! For a few months there, I was waking up twice a night on average. But these last few days, I wouldn't hear a train if it wrecked through our house! Not that I'm complaining, since I suspect sleep will soon be a rare commodity.

When it comes to dressing the bump, I'm finding myself most comfortable in dresses these days. Given the summer heat and my quickly shrinking wardrobe, they are the one thing that I can count on to look cute, accentuate the bump and avoid frustration in the morning!

This week we've made huge progress on the nursery! And when I say we, I mean Chris...since he is the super-protective husband who doesn't want his pregnant wife inhaling paint fumes. Such a good man! Of course, I won't be sharing any specifics until it's complete, but it is going to be lovely!!

No real cravings to speak of and I'm pretty much back to my normal eating pattern. Which I'm thankful for because baby's tastebuds are now fully formed and they say babys tend to be more comfortable with foods they experienced in the womb. Let's just say my desire for her to get a healthy start has made me more intentional with my own diet. And that means less dessert and more veggies. However, lately my sweet snack has been a few graham crackers spread with Nutella and I wouldn't be completely heartbroken if she came into the world with a soft spot for Nutella :)

And since I am 100% commited to natural childbirth, I am currently making my way through some books I recently purchased on the subject. Oddly enough, I'm getting really excited as I begin preparing myself mentally! As scary as it could be, I am completely amazed at the whole birth process and can't wait to bring our little one into the world!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One for the Road

Sweet friends, I have not forgotten my promise to share with you the pasta salad recipe from our road trip! In all honesty, I'm glad to share because I was afraid I might forget if I didn't write it down somewhere (that pregnancy brain will get ya when you least expect it!). Next time I make this, I will probably tweek this recipe a bit, though it is delicious as is. The reason is that I simply used what I had on hand. But I suspect a little bit of pesto would be a lovely addition!

Note: this makes quite a large batch, which would be perfect for a large summer gathering!

This pasta salad was based off of this delightful variation from my friend, Blythe.

Road Trip Pasta Salad

1 cup orzo (whole wheat if possible)
2 oz. peppered salami, chopped
1 1/2 oz. colby jack cheese, cubed
1/4 cup peperoncinis, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook orzo according to package
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Grandmas Gone Wild!

After several months of exercising a great deal of restraint, the Grandmas finally have the green light to shop for pink and ruffles! You have no idea what fun we've had this past week!

Right after we announced baby's gender, my mom surprised Chris and me with some wonderful gifts!

The first was the diaper bag I've been drooling over for months. It's from Vera Bradley and I absolutely LOVE it! I looked at so many different bags, but kept coming back to this particular one. Because I own several Vera Bradley bags, I know they are crazy durable, washable and always have tons of pockets for organization. Plus, the pattern is so girly and feminine!

And because I believe that my husband shouldn't have to carry around a "girly and feminine" bag when he and baby are solo, we looked into a bag he would like to have. Graciously, she also gifted us with the one he had his eye on. An ode to the Raiders, obviously! He actually may have been as giddy about his as I was about mine!

And a bonus, she filled them with a few diaper bag essentials:
Life Factory glass bottles (not pictured because they were on back order)

But it didn't stop there! Our little girl's closet is now well on its way to being full...luckily, the nursery has its own walk-in closet, so she's got plenty of room!

Grandma Joan always knows where to find the good deals. And because of this fact, she hit up the Carters big summer sale (along with several others) like it was nobody's business! And now, Sweet Pea, you've got the beginnings of a wonderful little wardrobe.

ps-the two pics above are the same row of clothes, just different angles :)

And of course, Grandma Jeannine made sure you were prepared to represent the Giants!

Darling girl, you are so blessed with two AMAZING grandmas who cannot wait to meet you and spoil you like only grandmas can!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Snapshots of a Holiday Weekend

My homemade triple berry pie, laying poolside sipping watermelon "margaritas", bison sliders with an assortment of handmade toppings and homemade vanilla bean ice cream to top off dessert made for a lovely celebration! If it weren't for the very expensive and scary emergency vet trip for Max, the weekend would have been flawless. But alas, life happens. Hope you enjoyed your 4th of July!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

It's official, summer is definitely here to stay! As evidenced by the glorious triple-digit weather (yes, I'm weird!), pool parties and these deliciously ripe tomatoes from our garden! Hope you're having a lovely holiday weekend!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

How We Spent Friday Night

Let's just start this post off with a simple fact: In my 25 years, I have never had meatloaf...

Until about five months ago, that is. And it was only out of courtesy because Chris' Grandpa had made it for a family gathering and I really didn't want to be rude. My whole life, I've had this horrible vision of a loaf of meat (and that in itself scared me!), stuffed with unhealthy fillers to make it flavorful. It didn't sound healthy or appetizing in the least! So I went along on my merry way, avoiding meatloaf and thinking life was grand.

But five months ago, all my feelings changed. I was only going to "take a tiny bite" from my husband's plate and hope I didn't gag. But then something crazy happened. I actually liked it! I was absolutely certain my taste buds were playing a trick on me, because it was moist, flavorful and quite delicious, nothing like I imagined it would be!

So after finishing off my own portion of meatloaf, I begged Pop for his recipe. And this was his answer, "It's not hard really. It's just a little ___ and a little ___." But being a girl who likes a clear recipe when making something for the first time, we decided he should come over for dinner and show me how to make it his way.

He was even able to convince me that it's quite healthy if you don't add unnecessary junk. So apparently, when it comes to meatloaf, simplicity is key!

Just as planned, we had them over last night and made Pop's famous meatloaf. It was just as good as I remembered, and so easy to make! I am now a believer that meatloaf can be delicious and healthy. I'm learning new things every day! And my husband is happy because he will be getting one of his favorites more often!

The recipe is below, but know that these measurements are rough, because when you have been making something for several years, you no longer need to measure things out!

Pop's Moose Meatloaf
Makes 2 loaves

2 lbs. ground moose meat (you can use any lean meat, though moose was amazing, lean and so flavorful! Plus he caught it himself)
1 can tomato sauce (preferably no-salt added)
1 yellow onion
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 shredded carrots (optional)
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
few tablespoons ketchup

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into 2 loafs and place in a foil-lined baking dish. Place in a 400 degree over for about 45-55 minutes, until done. Take out of the oven out about 10 minuted before done and add the ketchup to the top, place back in oven. Slice and serve. Enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

{BabyBump} Week 19

Okay, so I know I said that last week had been my favorite week of pregnancy so far, but I would like to cut and paste that statement to this week's post. Hey, pregnancy makes you emotional, why not add indecisive to the mix, right? Finding out that we are having a baby girl is by far the most elated I have, maybe ever!

On our way to our ultrasound appointment Wednesday, Chris and I were discussing how crazy exciting it was going to be to finally know who our baby is and decided that it might be the best surprise in life to hear those sweet words, " It's a boy!" or " It's a girl!". That knowledge allows your mind to wander to a whole new territory that you previously wouldn't let yourself think about. Things like, will SHE have my curly hair or will HE have his daddy's sweet grin? And now we get to imagine the endless possibilities of what her personality will be like and how we will raise her!

This week has opened my eyes to a whole new truth that I am about to be someones parent! Holy cow!! Talk about a major responsibility. Truthfully, it can all get so overwhelming, and so we are praying fervently that God would enable us to be compassionate, understanding and wise parents. I am humbled that He would entrust us with a daughter and am praying daily for grace as I learn to be her mother.

As for these next few weeks, we'll be busy with the nursery, discussing a few names we're considering and of course, Mama (ahem, and Grandma) will be doing some shopping for the little sweet pea! We cannot wait to meet this precious one!
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