Friday, May 20, 2011

Strawberry Picking

When I read on Facebook that some of our playgroup was going to pick strawberries yesterday afternoon, I wrote that off as someone who is going to have a baby in one week would just have to skip. As the day wore on, however, both the idea of going outside to do something and the idea of eating a bunch of strawberries sounded better and better. (What really happened was, I was asleep on the couch, and Hannah woke me up to say, "Mama, could we turn off the TV and play?" I felt so bad, I knew we had to do something!) So I bribed my wonderful husband to leave work for an hour and come with us. This was because I knew, with absolute certainty, that I could not bend over and actually pick the strawberries myself!

We went to the Fruit and Berry Patch, where we infamously took a long hike - uh - picked pumpkins last fall. This time, we drove right to the strawberry easy!

It was a lovely day, and the kids had a good time, even though most of them didn't quite get the hang of choosing the "right" kind of strawberries. (Among the beauties were many over-ripe, unripe, and rabbit-eaten berries.) In the end, we all had buckets full of berries.

The plan for ours? Some freezer jam, pictures of which I hope to share with you soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Nursery!

At long last, and well before Little Sister is scheduled to make her appearance, her newly decorated bedroom is ready for her arrival! We put the finishing touches on the nursery today, and I'm so excited to share them with you!

In many ways, the nursery looks just like I'd imagined it. In others, it is quite different. I suppose this is like any large-scale project, isn't it? My original visions of lavender and pastel green turned into lavender and chartreuse. The plan for elephants everywhere became more of elephant accents. But I couldn't be more pleased with the way the room turned out.

The biggest thing we (and by we, I mean Jonathan) did this week was paint the walls. First went the lovely lavender of my daydreams - which these pictures do not do justice to, and then an ambitious striped pattern of a muted form of chartreuse. The taping for this was a beast.

Here's the room with all the furniture pushed to the middle to allow for painting (and a bonus for a nesting mom: I could vacuum under all the furniture!).

Today, we removed the tape, pushed the furniture back where it belonged, and had the fun of hanging pictures and accessorizing.

The futon (and this is where Grandma sleeps when she comes to visit), ended up in this room, so we tried to incorporate it with the rest of the room as much as possible. My original idea of some sort of elephant pillows turned into these green and white birds and vines. Not elephants, but I love them all the same!

The many elephant accessories are a collection of things from my own childhood, from Hannah's nursery, which was jungle themed, and from some general liking of elephants that Jonathan and share.

This mobile is something Jonathan and bought while traveling in Turkey before we were even married. To prove to you Jonathan's sentimentality, it was he who decided we should get this and put it away until such a time that we should need it. While not fancy, these little velvet elephants have a lot of charm. The hung over Hannah's changing table as well, and made diaper time fun.

Here's Jonathan's elephant mosaic in the foreground, and behind it, some carousel elephants from my past: a single elephant, and a small ceramic music box.

My grandmother was the original crafter, and this is one of the many, many things that she made. I don't know the technical terms for ceramic-making, but she had her own kiln, where she fired this. The animals turn round and round to the theme song from Sesame Street.

This wooden rocking elephant was a second-hand find of my mom's. It looks to be hand made, and is perfect for our elephant nursery.

The empty space above the crib is waiting the hanging of the baby's name banner. We even screwed in the hangers, hung the banner, and admired it for about twenty minutes before taking it back down and hiding in it its secret place. This will be the last detail added after Baby's name is revealed.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Our Cinco de Mayo Treat: Mexican Wedding Cookies

Hannah and I bake cookies about once a week (sometimes more often, if they're chocolate chip and we find the cookie jar empty), and this week, we made Mexican Wedding Cookies in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Here is the recipe we used, and some pictures of us making them.

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for garnish
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400.

Cream butter...

...and powdered sugar.

("Mama, can I taste some of this?")

Add vanilla. Mix salt with sifted flour.

Slowly add four to sugar mixture (about 1/2 cup at a time; stir well before adding more).

Stir in chopped nuts.

Using a teaspoon, roll into balls. Bake on a cookie sheet for 14-17 minutes.

We found that the cookies have very little spread, so you can put the quite close to each other. These are about one inch apart.

Cookies should be very lightly browned.

When cookies are cooled, roll in powdered sugar.

This recipe turned out dozens of tiny cookies, not very sweet, but with a wonderful toasted nut flavor. Beware: because they are small, it is very easy to unintentionally eat five of them while standing anywhere near the cookie jar!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baby Name Banner

After my online search for the perfect purple elephant fabric, I went to the local JoAnn store and bought some fabric. As it turns out, none of it has elephants (in fact, some of it has birds), and most of it is not purple, but green. But I'm very happy with...

This fabric is destined to be throw pillows to liven up the futon that somehow found its way into Little Sister's nursery.

And this fabric is for some to-be-determined crafts, including a very cute name banner I finished today. The pattern for the banner is from a lovely book called Winsome Baby by Nancy Halvorsen.

Since Baby's name is top secret, I will not show you the whole banner, but here's a look at one of the letters, so you can get a sneak peak of what it's going to look like. (Also for those of you who are trying to figure out what the baby's name is, this will give you a small hint. As a reminder, it's a name from the Bible. I chose the letter "A" because it is intentionally obscure; this will eliminate a couple of names, but you will find that most woman's names in the Bible have the letter "A" in them...)

Next up for the nursery is painting, so we're looking forward to big changes coming soon!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...