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I can’t believe it’s been a month already since Alice was born!  We’ve been resting up and settling into a nice routine.  I’d hoped to do a little one-month photo shoot today, but she needed a more laid-back day and some TLC, so I took a quick video instead.  It was a nice happy moment in an overall fussy-ish day…    Bask in the cuteness!

Alice Fae – One Month Old

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The nursery is still coming together, and not a moment too soon.

We’re 21 days away from the due date!

This was the mountain of clothing and blankets we brought home from the baby shower:

Which magically morphed into this:

(after a long day of doing laundry, that is…)

And lets just gaze upon Ali’s shoe collection for a second.

Pretty impressive for an unborn child!

I’ve also been working on some DIY re-do projects:  fixing up a lamp from the thrift store, a table I found behind the dumpster, and an old wicker basket.  Here’s what it looked like mid-process:

And here’s the before and after:

I also finished up the wall “decal” I’ve been working on to go over the crib.  I found the idea online, but it wasn’t in the colors I wanted.  And.  Let’s be honest.  There was no way I was paying $60+ for a giant sticker.

So, this is the sum of the parts.  I just wish the lighting was better for pictures…

Things are moving along in the nursery!

I got the curtains made, painted, and hung.  Yes, I stenciled and painted these myself, because unfortunately this pattern doesn’t come in raspberry.   Could-a saved myself a lot of time and a manicure, but I’m really happy with how they turned out, and I used up some clearance white silk fabric I bought a LONG time ago.The storage units are now covered and much easier on the eyes.

I also covered the draft blockers I made last winter.

The owl fabric is one of the few things I’ve actually purchased new, and I really dig this little guy…

In other news, I found this little gem at Music City Thrift for 50 cents.

It matches!

If you’re wondering how I’m getting all this done, here’s the answer.

I have a great little helper!

Things are slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y, coming together for the nursery.  The baby will be sharing this room with Corey’s computer desk, so I’m trying to make it girly, without completely ruining Corey’s man-cave.  There are so many cute nursery items out there, but I’m trying not to spend a fortune since  #1 she won’t know or care, and #2 we’ll be moving to a bigger place within the next year or so.

I’m basically working with this wall:

These are bases I made for my work desk back when I was in college.  They used to hold my CPU, printer, and various office supplies, but I’m turning it into a changing table with storage.  I’m going to cover the rag-tag assortment of crates and bins with some “curtains” – just another excuse to use the owl fabric I ordered.

Here’s the convertible crib I bought on craigslist.

I also made a little baby quilt and some crib sheets.

My stash of baby clothes.

And some baby Puma sneakers (!!!)  Gotta love Corey’s job!

I’m currently working on some window treatments, a crib bumper and a crib skirt.  As soon as I make one thing, I think of something else I want!   I just want to get the nursery knocked out so I can make some dresses and other cute stuff!

I’ve been meaning to post an update on here for at least a month, but laziness and procrastination always seem to get the best of me.  My last post was back in February, and all I can say is I’m incredibly thankful that my computer saves login names and passwords!

I *do* have a pretty good excuse for my absence though…  You see, I’ve been growing this little bean:

About a month ago, we found out it was going to be a little girl.  We decided to name her Alice Fae after our Grandmothers (and my Mom’s middle name).  She is kicking me even as I type!

I haven’t been so great about documenting this pregnancy, mostly because I felt so constantly nauseous for the first 3-4 months.  Even now at 24 weeks, I’ve only gained about 6 pounds and barely have a baby belly.   Corey and I can certainly tell a difference, but most strangers aren’t saying anything yet.

There are lots of crafty plans in place and a tentative design for the “nursery”, but I seem to keep stalling out.  Mostly I’m just overwhelmed by the sheer amount of baby products on the market.  A lot of it just seems to be garishly colored, over-priced plastic crap, and I can’t bring myself to actually buy any of it yet!  As a crafty DIY-girl, I’m trying to find a happy medium between making everything myself,  re-purposing things,  buying used,  and buying new items.   Luckily, I still have 3 1/2 to 4 months to figure it all out!

My siblings and I weren’t big milk drinkers growing up.  Well, maybe my brother was, but I know my sister and I would only come near a glass of milk if it was brown and chocolatey.  Chocolaty?  Chocolate-y?

Anyway.

I still love chocolate milk, but I HATE high fructose corn syrup.  I’m convinced that it makes me crazy.  The first 3 ingredients of bottled chocolate syrup are high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and syrup.  The second syrup is undisclosed, and cocoa is the 6th or 7th ingredient.  So, if I’m going to continue drinking chocolate milk with my peanut butter toast, I’ve got to find a way to get rid of all that chemical junk.  I know its never going to qualify as health food, but at least I can try making it with some simple (normal) ingredients.  Most of my Google finds were a combination of cocoa, sugar, and water, but the recipe I chose also included a dash of salt and vanilla extract.

Chocolate Syrup

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of salt

Combine cocoa, sugar, and salt in a saucepan.  Add water, and mix until smooth.  Bring this mixture to a boil.  Allow it to boil for one minute, but be careful this does not over boil.  Remove from heat, and when it cools down a little bit, add the vanilla.

 

The Result:

Pros: This tastes really good!  Almost exactly like the stuff in the brown bottle from the grocery store.

It doesn’t seem to take as much of this syrup to get the same effect as store-bought.  Maybe 1 tablespoon as opposed to 2-3.

The consistency is a lot thinner than the bottled syrup, (probably due to the lack of chemical thickeners and stabilizers) so it stirs into the milk more easily!

And lets not forget, NO HFCS!  🙂

Cons: The consistency again, but for a different reason.  Since its so thin, it really can’t double as a topping for ice cream.  In fact, I can’t think of any other use for it.

Luckily, I really only want this syrup for chocolate milk purposes, so this isn’t a deal breaker for me.  I plan on making this from here on out.  And here is another tip – I’m reusing the syrup bottle from the grocery store, and I wrote the recipe on it in Sharpie so I don’t have to drag out the recipe when I need to make more.  (No, I’m not gonna use that cute glass bottle from the picture.  I decided that was a sticky mess just waiting to happen…)

It’s Friday!  And Friday at our house means I work at night, so Corey gets Taco Pockets to heat up when he gets home.  This is one of the first meals I made for Corey when we were dating and living in Greensboro.  He was suspicious at first, but tasted it and loved it!  I mean, its meat, cheese and bread – whats not to love?   Its total Man Food.

This is technically Pampered Chef’s Taco Ring, but I modify it so its easier to portion and freeze.  I don’t really follow a recipe any more because each pocket just gets a couple tablespoons of meat with cheese sprinkled on top.  But the basics are as follows:

 

1 lb ground beef, browned with 1 pkg taco seasoning added

shredded cheddar cheese

2 tubes of crescent rolls

paprika

 

Unroll the crescent rolls, and put two triangles together to

make a square.

Mash the seams together then roll out to a bigger rectangle shape.

Add a little pile of taco meat to one side of the rectangle.

Top with cheese.

Fold the dough over, and roll up the edges to seal.

Sprinkle a little cheese on top and dust with some paprika.

Bake according to the directions on the crescent roll package.  Usually at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes.  I usually bake them for the lesser amount of time if I’m making them ahead of time to put in the freezer.  From the freezer, reheat the pockets for about 15-20 minutes.

All the men in your house will rejoice!  🙂