Baby Boy Update – Nursery

Hello!  This post has been in my drafts for three weeks – I started writing it on Sunday February 7 (when I was 2 days overdue by the way), and because it was so lengthy I decided to take a break and come back to it later, or tomorrow.

Well.  When I was in bed that night, I went into labor.  And just 8 hours later we had our beautiful baby boy!  We have been using our nursery non stop since he has been home so I am thankful that we were able to get it finished in time.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we are 🙂

Since I found out that our little baby bean is a BOY! I have been tirelessly (actually not, I’m spent all the time) trying to put together a super cute, masculine, youthful yet not too babyish (is that a word?) nursery.  I started collecting a few items here and there knowing that I wanted to go in the ‘woodland’ direction since my husband is very outdoorsy and it really fit us as a family.  But I also didn’t want it to be too predictable (ie. camouflage this, deers everywhere, etc).

I gathered inspiration from Pinterest of course, and posted some of my Pinspiration a few posts back. And as a result I think it turned out pretty much perfect.

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By the way, this is what I started with:

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Yup, we emptied out the room, gave it a solid cleaning and started fresh.  There were never any blinds even installed in here so it was a complete fresh canvas to work with.

And look at the difference!

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One of the first things that we bought for this little baby was the Jellycat fox. I couldn’t resist him!

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The next purchase were these curtain panels from Crate and Barrel so I used them and the fox as my jumping off point.

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Deciding on a wall colour – that was fun.  Not.  I wanted a warm white but because this room has north exposure the light can be a little weird and it made the whites turn out a bit darker than I wanted.  Oh and I didn’t want it to be yellow.  After many trips to Benjamin Moore we settled on Dune White (by we I mean I) and my handy husband painted it up nicely in one day.

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I LOVED this wall colour (Grey Mist by Benjamin Moore) and tried to make it work in the room but it turned out super yellow due to the light, so it was a big NO.

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Searching for a glider was also not much fun.  The majority of gliders that I liked were priced higher than I wanted to spend (if I am spending over $1000 on a chair I want to put it in my living room – right?).  So I found this one at Babies R Us.  It was comfortable and in my price range (under $500).  The poof and side table were both Homesense finds (the best part – I had pinned this poof in my Pinterest Nursery Board and didn’t even realize it until about a week after I put it in my nursery).

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We decided on the Tyssedal dresser from Ikea.  I was planning on using the Hemnes dresser but measuring it for the space it was way too long, forcing the diaper genie to be tucked in by the glider and I did NOT want to be smelling poop all the time while nursing.  Tyssedal was the perfect length and is super cute too 🙂

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We made the shelf above the dresser – using 2 $2 Ikea brackets that I quickly painted white, and a 2″ x 8″ board I had Home Depot cut for me, then stained.  Trophy husband then installed at my request.

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The antlers are all from my trophy husband, the books are vintage from family (the red ones are old machining books from my husbands late grandpa – my husband is a machinist by trade as well so its special to have them) and the fox print is from The Animal Print Shop – which I absolutely LOVE.

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I made this mobile out Christmas decorations that I found at Chapters and Home Outfitters.

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My husbands mom (Grandma!) made the deer cross stitch (in the bottom right of the gallery wall) for my husband when he was very little, and she had never done anything with it once she had finished it.  She asked if it we wanted it for the nursery and it worked perfectly, so we had it framed and now it gets to live in the gallery wall in the nursery.  His sister also painted the deer head in the centre of the gallery.  The rest were sourced from Homesense and from a local artist.  The arrow was a Michaels find (that I bought with a 40% off coupon) that I just stained with the same stain as the shelf.

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The crib was easy! Its the Delta Tribecca which I was able to get in stock, from Sears, in Edmonton!  No waiting, no shipping charges! Its convertible so as baby grows we can adjust it to suit his needs.

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 The orange and white blank has been wonderful for me – keeping me warm during my late night nursings.

I am so in love with this how this space turned out!

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Let me know what you think! ❤

Love you lots – April

The Best Banana Bread Ever

I am a HUGE fan of banana bread.

Huge.

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So is my husband, so much that we can barely wait until it cools enough to cut it when it comes out of the oven (often it ends up a bit crumpled as a result, but I don’t even care).  Its all steamy and warm, with the butter getting all melty.

Yum.

Last night I decided to whip up a quick loaf so I busted out my trusty recipe.  Weird thing though, I use a family members recipe and theirs turns out so different from mine and I really don’t change anything (other than adding a teaspoon of vanilla).  Theirs has a soft outside and super tender inside, while mine has a lovely crusty outside and a super tender inside.  Have you noticed that your recipe turns out different from the original even when following it exactly?

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Anyways, I digress.

Please enjoy this amazing recipe and I hope it turns out wonderfully for you.

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 Banana Bread

1/4 Cup Butter, 1 Cup Sugar, 1 Egg, 2-3 Mashed Bananas

1 1/2 Cups Flour, 1 Tsp Baking Soda, 1/4 Tsp Salt, 1 Tsp Vanilla

Cream butter and sugar, then add mashed bananas.  Add beaten egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add dry ingredients (I usually whisk them together in a separate bowl and then add to the liquids).  Add any nuts or chocolate if you are into that.  Pour into a greased loaf pan (I spray mine with Pam Coconut Oil and it always comes out easy) and bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle (usually for me about 50 minutes, but check on it periodically – the original recipe called for 30 minutes – which is super strange because my oven usually runs warm!).  Remove from oven and let cool (if you can) then enjoy!

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Seriously, so easy and so tasty!

April

Super Delicious Tomatoe Flatbread

Hello!  Remember me?

Get ready for a super delicious, super easy flatbread treat.  Be prepared to make a lot, because they are so good everyone will want their own and will be sad when its over.

I got this recipe from a girlfriend who is pretty magical in the kitchen, so magical that she just thought this one up one day.

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Ingredients:

1 White onion – Large, and some olive oil to cook with

1 container of grape tomatoes

1 Package of Naan bread (I like to get at least 3 naans)

Goat cheese (you will use some of the container, reserve the rest for the next time you make these!)

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First things first, start caramelizing the onions, cook low and slow.  As those are cooking down, I prep the grape tomatoes (washing, cutting in half), and lay out the garlic naan on a baking sheet. Then, spread the caramelized onions out on the naan, followed by the tomato halves and small pieces of goat cheese.  Then just bake at 375 degrees until the tomatoes are shrivelling and the edge of the naan is brown (about 12 minutes).

Pull out of the oven, cut into pieces and serve.  So So GOOD.

You can add if you want to get some meat, or different flavours happening (its really good with some fresh basil and a balsamic reduction drizzled on top) but it is so very good as it is.

Update – Home Tour – Living Room

So.

As previously discussed, my home is a work in progress (let’s be real here – everyone’s home is a work in progress).  Over the past few months I have been working on making my living room a little more liveable.  Lets all remember where we started:

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Gahh.  So naked.

And now:

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I have been shopping my house and combined with a few new items and some rearranging, this room is looking a little less drab and a lot more fab.

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We have been ‘looking’ for a coffee table since we moved in – by looking I mean casually looked and didn’t buy anything for 0ver 3 years.  So when we found this coffee table from Urban Barn we decided to take the plunge.  It was more expensive than I wanted (although still reasonable) but it was the only one my husband and I could agree on.

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This painting is one of my most prized possessions – it’s an Alex Janvier original that was gifted to my husband and I from my parents at our wedding.  It’s title is ‘Love Lines’.

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This area rug was a new acquisition from Homesense – I wanted an 8’x10′ for the space, but I was having a hard time procuring one (that I liked) in my tiny $200-$300 budget.  When I saw this one I thought it would coordinate well being neutral, but that it would also bring some dimension with the Ikat pattern.  And yes, I do see that there are some doggy crunches on the floor next to it, thats a regular occurrence in this house (and I am going to generalize here but I think its a regular occurrence to most people with doggies).

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We had the floral chairs in the living room before, but when we bought the carpet I though that there were maybe too many different patterns happening and that they were a little too pretty for the space, so I pulled the floral chairs to the kitchen and pulled two dining chairs to the living room.  I think it was a good move.

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Yes, that is a self portrait of my husband and I hanging behind out TV.  It was a recent gift from my brother (who magically found an amazing local portrait painter here in Edmonton on Kijiji – and I regret to inform that I don’t know who it is!).   We haven’t decided where it will live forever, but because its so funny we decided to hang it right there for now (full disclosure, there were some existing screws in the wall from when I moved the TV to that location, the frame behind it was too large and hidden so we moved it to another spot, and left that one naked – self portrait to the rescue!).

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My poor husband had to lose his hair for this portrait, but the likeness is amazing.

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Yes, that is a lounge chair in my living room.  Don’t ask, it’s not permanent.

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I am pretty happy with its current state.  Of course I have a long list of things that I want to change (new chairs, new couch with chaise lounge, lounge chair back to the basement, new window coverings etc.) but with spending just over $1100 my living room almost looks new.

Quick and Easy Decor Change Up

When we first moved into our house (3.5 years ago) our cousins gave us these brown things (they were going to put them up on their walls but they didn’t like them very much, so they came to us).  I’m not going to lie, I didn’t love them either – brown and just kind-of weird-looking, they weren’t going to work in our house.  That’s why they sat in our basement for 3 years.  I told myself that it was an easy project, but that didn’t stop my from ignoring them for an exceptionally long time.  In my effort to create a better looking living room, I decided it was time.

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Guess what I did to them… I sprayed them glossy black.  How original, I know.  BUT I think it made them look a hell of a lot better.

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My trusty purple painting blanket to the rescue.  I always try to elevate whatever I’m spraying to avoid a number of different issues, usually with whatever I have sitting (aka can find within 1 minute) around my garage/house.

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On a completely different note: Look how beautiful my grass looks!

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I just used the least expensive (a nicer way of saying cheapest) black paint I could find at Home Depot. This one sufficed.

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Once they dried, I decided to hang them on either side of the large window in my living room for symmetry.

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I used (and by I, I actually mean my trophy husband – thank god for men who are handy) my absolute favourite trick to hang these – 3M Command Hooks for no holes and if I want to move them I don’t feel guilty about having leftover nails/holes in the walls.  I posted about them earlier – you can read all about that here.

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Sneak peak of my living room make-over!  And my doggie coordinates!

Blueberry Cobbler

So its been a while.  I know.  Sorry!

I figured that I would make it up by sharing this beautiful recipe that I adapted from Kevin & Amanda (a Pinterest find by the way).

Blueberry Cobbler.  Hello!  So good – and especially since blueberries are in season, they are kind of affordable right now so you can make this without breaking the bank.

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The original recipe calls for only 4 ingredient – butter, vanilla cake mix, blueberries and sugar.  Well.  The first time I made this I followed the original recipe and it was WAAAAAAYYYYY too sweet for me and my family.  So I figured an adaptation would be easy.  And it was:

Blueberry Cobbler

3 cups blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup quick oats, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 of a cake mix.

First things first – pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.  I then followed the original instructions to make brown butter instead of just melting the butter to give the crumble a bit more flavour.  Once the butter has browned, I then add it to my mixer which had half the cake mix, about 1/2 a cup of flour and 1/2  a cup of quick oats, stirring until it was crumbly.  If its still too wet just add more of the dry ingredients (in my case I added a bit more cake mix).  To prepare the blueberries I just rinsed them and tossed them in the 1/4 cup sugar and a scant 1/4 cup flour.  Then just put them in a greased my Sophie Conran baking dish (because Sophie Conran makes the best stuff) and put the crumbs on top.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes until its all bubbly and delicious.

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And then you eat it.

I hope this makes up for the fact that I haven’t done anything new here in a long long long long time.  The entire time that I typed this post I made the awkward smile face.  You know the one:

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Super Easy – Cheesy Caprese Quinoa

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This is the best recipe that I have tried in a long long time.  And if you make it as well, I think you will agree – It’s good.

So good my trophy husband gobbled it up and asked for seconds, and if I had kids I think they would do the same.

Since I am always looking for ways to delete meat from my diet (and my trophy husband is not), it can be tough to create a meal that will work for both of us.  But this one does.

Try it:

Cheesy Caprese Quinoa:

2 Cups cooked quinoa, 1 1/2 Cups pasta sauce,  2 Tbsp tomato paste, 1/3 Cup parmesan cheese, 1 Cup mozzarella cheese – divided, 1 small package grape tomatoes, basil (as much or as little as you like), 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, pepper to taste.

Cook quinoa and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 C.  In a medium sized pan, heat pasta sauce and tomato paste until warm.  Then stir in red pepper, parmesan cheese and black pepper.  Next add your 2 cups of quinoa and half the mozzarella cheese, half the tomatoes (I cut them in half) and as much basil as you would like.  Spray or oil a baking dish – then pour the entire mixture in the dish.  Top with remaining cheese, tomatoes and more basil if you like.  Bake for 15 minutes, then broil for a few to brown the cheese.

Then serve.

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It’s that easy, and the trophy husband said it tasted like lasagna.  And we polished it off over the next few days as a quick leftover supper (just tossed back in the oven for 15 again and serve)

I found the original recipe here – but I tweaked it a bit.

Enjoy!