Rosemary Gardens Neighborhood Yard Sale & Outrageous Outgrowns

This weekend there are two events happening that I’ve been looking forward to for months; the Rosemary Gardens Neighborhood Yard Sale and Outrageous Outgrowns.

For the last few weeks I’ve been in full on thrift mode; which I’m going to blame on my need to nest and have been stock piling clothes all the way to 3T for little Baby Rocky from all of our local Savers and Goodwills. With these two sales I’m not looking for anything in particular and I’m hoping that strategy pays off in the form of awesome deals on things I didn’t know I HAD to have.

If you’re interested in either of these events check out the links (above) for more information and HERE is a parking voucher for Outrageous Outgrowns that cuts the cost down from $8/car to $3/car. I’ve never been but it’s at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds on Friday, 4/10 Saturday, 4/11 and Sunday, 4/12 (Everything is 1/2 Price) from 9AM – 5PM.

Happy Hunting my fellow thrifters!

Yours Truly,

Mel


Slowing Down & Baby Crafts

As I get closer and closer to my due date I’m really starting to slow down.

Baking is no longer much fun for me since I’ve started to develop the dreaded…*gasp*…kankles, which means I’m pretty much limited to activities that involve a lot of sitting. I still get out for a few short walks a day and aside from the kankles I’m healthy but when you’re used to a rush, rush, rush lifestyle this is really a game changer.

I’ll try and post more crafting oriented entries but no guarantees; at this point I’ve got major Baby brain and it’s all I think about.

If anyone has any great Baby related crafts I’d love to hear about them. For now here’s a few I’ve come across that I might try out:

Alphabet Art by Mr. Printable

Alphabet Art

Photo Courtesy of Mr. Printable

Poopy Clutch Tutorial by Melissa EsplinScalloped Edged Clutch PDF

Photo Courtesy of Melissa Esplin

Numbered Baby Bodysuits by Martha Stewart

Baby Bodysuits

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Nursery Closet Organizers by Urban Jane

Photo Courtesy of Urban Jane

Yours Truly,

Mel


My 3rd Trimester “Keeping Busy” List

Now that I have 7 weeks left until little Baby Rocky’s due date, I’m running a little short on energy and that means that have become a huge homebody. On the plus side I’m saving money since I’m not going anywhere; which is a great thing if you’re prepping for a baby but it also means that I get bored easily so I’ve turned to Netflix and the internet for my entertainment needs and I’ve found quite a few things to keep me entertained. Unfortunately it also means I probably won’t be posting too many new recipes since being on my feet for that long is starting to get harder and harder.

Netflix:

I’ve always like period dramas and if that’s you these two are a must.

The Paradise: “An intoxicating love story set in England’s first department store in the 1870s.” -BBC

The Paradise (2012) Poster

North & South: “Set against the backdrop of Victorian England’s industrial north, it follows the fortunes of Margaret Hale [who] is a privileged, middle class southerner who is forced to settle in the northern town of Milton.” -BBC

North & South (2004) Poster

Blogs:

I’ve been a fan of blogs for years and it just so happens that two of my favorites bloggers just had babies so I’ve been a constant frequenter of both of their blogs.

Melissa @ Missy Sue: She’s from Utah and she’s mostly a beauty blogger (heavy on the hair and make-up tutorials) with a smattering of crafts sprinkled in.

Cohen-newborn-pics-8

Photo Courtesy of Melissa @ missysue.com

Emily @ Cupcakes & Cashmere: Emily is a fashion blogger from LA and she comes up with some trendy, fashion-forward outfits and share really tasty looking recipes.

Photo Courtesy of Emily @ cupcakesandcashmere.com

Music:

If you’ve never met me before it will become fairly apparent quite early on that I’m a music person. I play music in the car, at my desk at work and at home off of my jambox or the computer. It’s gotten me into accidents (no really, it has) and it’s always been a huge part of my life.

It’s become such a huge part of who I am that we even installed an old school CD player and speakers in the nursery so that Baby Rocky can get lulled to sleep by some of my favorite tunes.

Here’s a few of my favorite Pandora stations:

90s Were Great, Let’s have a Festival, 80s Pop Music, The Ever After Soundtrack & Emile Pandolfio Radio

Ever After: A Cinderella Story - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Nesting:

Since our house only has 3 bedrooms and they were all taken (Master Bedroom, The Husband’s Office & the Craft Room) one of them has to go and since the craft room was the biggest I got the short straw. This meant that all of my stuff need to be sorted into three categories (keep, give-away & donate) so that it could all fit into the new Office/Craft Room and that was no small task. Suffice to say “nesting” has been in full effect in our house since January 1st and no closet or drawer has been spared. More on this in a later post.

Baby Registries:

We started putting our baby registries together back in January since that’s when my Sister and Mother-in-Law sent out invites for our shower and I’ve been constantly and I mean constantly updating and redoing them.

Researching which item was the “best” has been a challenge in and of itself and I’ve turned to Lucie’s List & Cricket Circle for a lot of guidance. We’re trying to go the minimalist route and really cut back on any unnecessary baby items and both of these website have really helped me narrow down the need to have items from the nice to have ones.

I’ve found that between an actual store (Ex. BuyBuy Baby) and an online retailer (ie. Amazon) people are much more likely to purchase items off of the online store and BONUS Amazon is usually much cheaper than a brick and mortar store.

Pinterest:

Last but not least, in an effort to make Baby Rocky’s nursery as unique as possible I’ve been scouring Pinterest for the decor ideas.

From labels for his clothes to the ‘Best Books for Children’ Pinterest in a wealthy resource for any Mom-to-Be but it does take a bit of sleuthing to get to the truly useful items.

Free Artwork from The Handmade Home

Photo Courtesy of TheHandmadeHome.com

Baby Closet Hanging Dividers  from Posh Little

free printable hanger dividers for nursery, baby and kid closets. NB-6T

Photo Courtesy of PoshLittle.com

50 All Time Favorite Children’s Books from PopSugar

Read All About It! Our 50 All-Time Favorite Children's Books

Photo Courtesy of PopSugar

To all my pregnant readers out there, does anyone have anything to add to this list that’s kept them busy in their 3rd trimester?

Yours Truly,

Mel


Totoro Nursery Mural

When we found out we were having a baby it was pretty much a given that the nursery was going to be Totoro themed. If you have no idea what I’m talking about you’re not alone; both my Mother and my Step Mom gave me blank stares when I announced it and that’s okay. Not everyone is up and up on their Japanese movies and I’d hardly expect everyone to be.

Totoro is a movie from 1988 by Hayao Miyazaki (of the famed Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky) and according to IMDB it focuses on, “When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby”. Here’s the TRAILER and if you’re so inclines and want to watch the whole movie there’s a dubbed version below.

My Neighbor Totoro

The Husband immediately latched onto the idea of painting a mural and using four still images from the movie and Photoshop he was able to come up with a pretty kick butt image. From there he was able to pare down the colors to 10 and ta-dah, it was ready to be projected onto the wall and traced.

I make it sound easy but the hardest part of all of this was clearing out the Craft Room to make room for a nursery but that story is for another post.

Here’s the mural in the making.

It’s been a labor of love and it’s a true work of art. I’m so lucky to have this guy for a Husband and an awesome artist Friend who didn’t mind trading a few hours of his time for a home-cooked dinner and cookies.

Don’t you think the whole thing turned out phenomenal? This Baby isn’t here yet and already he’s got dibs on the coolest room in the house.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Irish Apple Cake

For St. Patrick’s Day most households might make corned beef and cabbage to celebrate the holiday but what about dessert? No one ever mentions desserts and that got me wondering what exactly is a traditional Irish dessert?

A quick search later and I had my answer; an apple cake. Somewhere between a crumb cake and a crisp this Irish Apple Cake from Sue of The View from the Great Island was fairly quick to put together (a sure fire way for a recipe to land in my regular rotation) and really tasty especially when you add a little drizzle of the custard sauce on top.

As separates they’re yummy but together everything is mouth watering.

Don’t fret, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t until next Tuesday so you have time for a trip over the weekend to the grocery store to stock up and make this. It’s worth it, I promise.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Baby – Gender Reveal

With two months left in my pregnancy I realize I’ve been rather remiss is posting any details about our little bundle of joy but I’m about to change that.

Right before Christmas last year, The Husband and I went in for our 80 point ultrasound check (which I know, sounds like a car check-up) and that’s where they make sure that everything is going as it should. The Technician measure the length of all of the Baby’s bones, makes sure all their vital organs are intact and the right size and after all that they ask you if you want to know the sex.

This was never a questions for either of us and we eagerly answered, “YES!” Apparently the kid had other idea because at this point the Tech had such a time getting the right angle that we almost didn’t find out. The baby was in a sitting position with it’s legs cross, arms over it’s chest and curled into a little ball. With a bit of persuasion the Tech finally got the angle she was looking for and The Husband and I got what we hoped for.

As a little extra present for our family we gifted each of them with a box and had them all open it at the same time Christmas morning.

This May, we’ll be welcoming a little boy and we couldn’t have been happier; even if the rest of the family was pulling for a little girl.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Chinese New Year – Almond Cookies

Once a year my Mother’s side of the family get’s together in San Francisco; (have I even mentioned that I’m half Chinese?) and we celebrate the Chinese New Year. We always go to the same restaurant, The Eight Immortals because my Grandparents love it and even though they’re gone my Grandma’s youngest Brother still keep up with the tradition.

The kids always get lai see (red envelopes), my Mom gives out little bags of candy with dried coconut (a personal favorite) and pineapple cakes and I always give out a little something to all of the Elders. This year See’s was out since our local shops decided not to carry any little boxes of chocolate in red paper and I was tired of giving ferrero rocher.

To change it up I thought it would be nice to make some Almond Cookies and give those away. It’s a little bit more of a heartfelt gesture and seriously who doesn’t love freshly make cookies in a sea of pre-packaged treats? After consulting my good friend the internet I decided upon THIS recipe, submitted by Member #610488 from Food.com since I had all the ingredients on hand and it promised to make a bunch.

Not only did my Mom tell me that this recipe was a keeper but several of the relatives, whom I’m sure have had their share of Almond Cookies, told me they were quite tasty. The Husband also gave his seal of approval and said that they didn’t have the almond meal/grainy texture of store-bought cookies and he’s happily munch on the extras.

I love it when a recipe knocks it out of the park, don’t you?

Gong Hey Fat Choy or Happy New Year Everyone!

Yours Truly,

Mel


Valentine’s Day

Say what you will about Valentine’s Day but for the last decade I’ve been a fan. Not because I buy into all the flowers, romantic dinner out for two or the chocolate but because I like to take one day and completely indulge myself and my love for baking.

It’s one of the few days a year when I can just ignore the guilt I usually feel when I get into one of my baking modes and I just go. Overboard, maybe but no one was complaining.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Yours Truly,

Mel


Seattle Trip – High 5 Pie

Last week The Husband and I took what will probably be out last flight before baby and visited my youngest Sister in Seattle. It wasn’t a long trip, just 4 days but it was chock-full of good eats and lots of walking and I finally, FINALLY got to try this pie place that she’s been telling me about since she started at Seattle University back in September.

High 5 Pie is a true pie lover’s paradise and the decor is kind of retro-chic. Not only are they pie slices very generous but each one is handmade and they’re super tasty; definitely worth my months long wait. They had your usual fare of banana cream, cherry, salted caramel pear but the minute I saw the Bumbleberry (a mix of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) I had to try it and it was spot on and berry heaven. Also, apparently the crust is the owner, Dani’s Grandmother’s butter crust recipe and I had no complaints; it was flaky, buttery and delicious.

The Husband and my Sister both went for the banana cream and it was so rich that both were hard-pressed to finish it and I was quite happy to swoop in and take one for the team.

Too bad we were just visiting because I’d be all over their crust making classes, seeing as to how that’s one thing that I’m very hit or miss with and probably a regular here.

If I have you salivating I’m sorry to say they’re only based in Seattle but according to yelp, Heidi’s Pies in San Mateo, CA is supposed to be renowned for their banana cream and blueberry sour cream pies.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Crazy for Peanut Butter

We’ve been a little peanut butter crazy at our house for the last few days and by we, I mean me. Blame it on the hormones but peanut butter and me have been BFFs since the beginning of my pregnancy. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter on toast, peanut butter with apples it’ll all tasty.

Of course I can’t ignore how wonderfully peanut butter pairs with desserts and that’s why I whipped up these two recipes last night.

I started with these Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies by Robyn of Add A Pinch and while they were baking I got to to work on these Traditional Peanut Butter Cookies from 12 Tomatoes.

I was a pretty huge fan of the soft and chewy texture of the cookies and The Husband gladly helped himself to a brownie with a side of milk so I’d say that the desserts were a success.

 

Try your hand at them and tell me which one you fancy more.

Yours Truly,

Mel