Sunday, December 28, 2014


This year for Christmas we decided to keep it simple and do the {Something You Want, Something You Need, Something to Wear & Something to Read}.
For the last few months Kensi has been asking where her kitchen is since playing with one at grandma and grandpas over the summer. She already has some play food and appliances, but we both feel she's ready and needs a kitchen. Plus her gentle reminders each day are also helpful, but also very informative as she explains why she in fact needs her very own kitchen.
We started looking for one we loved and of course it had to come from Pottery Barn and cost a freakin arm to buy. As much as I adore the farmhouse three piece kitchen from PBKids there's no way we could swing that this year. So the search continued and we got a phone call from my mom telling us about a one piece kitchen from Costco. It fit our budget, but I just couldn't handle all the color. It would literally drive me insane to look at it and yes I did consider painting it, but I wanted an easier project to work on. That's how we got to the IKEA Play Kitchen. It's adorable and simple. It just needed a little character. I looked to Pinterest for some inspiration and fell madly in love with SniderMoneyPit Blog’s white and gold kitchen makeover. No more looking was needed, this was a done deal.

I really thought this would be a challenge to work on with Kensi around all the time, but since we leave everything until the last minute we did all this the last few nights leading up to Christmas Eve.

For Christmas, Trish and Walt made her a mini Starbucks apron for all the times she plays barista. 

We used spray paint for the sink, stove rim and feet; swapped out the handles for real hardware that we also sprayed and added some fun knobs for the stove. We used white spray paint for the body of the kitchen that wasn’t already white and finished the countertop by sanding it down and using leftover stain. Our gold spray paint began chipping and scratching almost immediately, so I would suggest priming those pieces like SniderMoneyPit did to save yourself the pain of having to do it again later.

We set the kitchen up next to the tree on Christmas Eve. I couldn’t handle the excitement of giving this to her. She slept great, I on the other hand could not sleep a wink! When Christmas morning finally came Mike was ready to go with the video camera and captured her reaction. I really thought she would be over the top and just freak out, but it was the complete opposite. Kensi and I came downstiars and checked out the empty plate of cookies, Kensi understood Santa must have come. When we walked over to our tree she calmly walked closer and said, “Oh! My kitchen!” She was very matter of fact, like this is what I wanted and now it’s here sorta thing. She was very excited and immediately started making coffee and cookies for us. Of course Little Miss Protective wouldn't let either one of us touch her kitchen the entire day...not even after we made an awesome Santa with a 2 year old, sheesh!

Monday, December 22, 2014


When we found out we were expecting Finnley we knew we wanted to have newborn photos taken, but more importantly we needed something that included family photos. We haven't had any family photos taken of all of us ever, other than something quick on the phone. So now was the time. We chose a photographer who does more lifestyle photography and we just love how they came out! 

A huge thanks to Marla of Marla Lynna Photography for taking the time to capture some of our crazy and silly everyday moments, especially with our sassy Kensi girl. We couldn't have asked for anything more. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Last year we made homemade Christmas ornaments for our tree and to give as gifts. We used clear bulbs and Kensi filled them with glittered pom poms. They were a huge hit and very easy to do, especially for Kensi babe. 
I love homemade ornaments as they give a cozy feeling to a tree. This year we made a deer ornament to go on our trees. I saw a pin last year on Pinterest and knew we could re-create this little gem. 

I saved this project for Kensi and I to do after the baby was born. I try and set aside an activity of some sort each day for her and I to do together. I want to try my best to give her some one-on-one attention and not let her feel like she's been replaced by the baby. 
Bear with me when it comes to the photos, we did this at night and the lighting was terrible. 

Kensi gets so excited for projects and crafts, and this was no different. She felt like such a big girl since we were using the hot glue gun. She thinks it’s a very special project when the glue gun comes out :)
We purchased all of our supplies from Michaels and used tree twigs for our antlers.

We started by making two small dots using white paint for the eyes. You could use googlie eyes if you'd like. 
Then we cut our twigs down so they would fit into the hole on top of the spool and hot glued them in. 
We used twine to create our looped hanger and also hot glued that into the top. 
Lastly, we hot glued our little red noses on, used a black sharpie to finish our eyes and wrote our names and date on the bottom. 

These are so simple and cute, but definitely require some adult help with the glue gun. You can make them even more rustic by staining the spools before hand which I wish I had done, but that just gives me more ideas for next year! 

After making our ornaments, it reminded us to make our reindeer food. You can find how we make ours here. This time we pulsed it in a small food processor to make the confetti smaller. I was finding sequined Christmas trees in our front yard all summer long!

Thursday, December 11, 2014


This is one recipe that is ALWAYS made during the Christmas season. If this isn't made then it just doesn't feel like Christmas. Many people make Saltine Toffee and I have never been much of a fan, because growing up with my mom's graham cracker toffee always took the cake!
I adore this recipe because it's very quick and easy, but I have learned the hard way if you don't follow this recipe exactly you will get a burnt version and it ruins it completely. 
Yesterday, Kensi got then opportunity to make this with my mom for the first time. Of course Finn-Man was hungry as well so I didn't get pictures of the whole process, but it was pretty sweet capturing these two in the kitchen together. 

Graham Cracker Toffee
Makes 48 pieces

Unsalted Butter, room temperature for greasing the pan
1 box of Nabisco or Honey Maid Graham Crackers
1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter 
1 cup Brown Sugar 
3/4 cup Nuts such as almonds or pecans, chopped (optional)
3/4 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Use room temperature butter to completely butter the insides (bottom and sides) of a jelly roll pan (10x15x1). Line the entire bottom with graham crackers (then break into ¼ pieces with a knife so that the entire pan, including the corners and sides are lined with graham crackers). 

In saucepan combine the 1 cup of butter  and 1 cup of brown sugar. Bring to a boil for EXACTLY 5 minutes. Then, pour over graham crackers, sprinkle with chopped nuts (if using) and bake for EXACTLY 8 minutes.   

Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let it set for about 3-5 minutes and spread melted chocolate over graham crackers. 

Let it cool for about and break into random pieces. Keep in an airtight container or bag.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Thursday afternoon we welcomed our second baby into the world. I felt big and knew this baby was solid, often snuggling into a ball that sat low as it threw kicks and punches into my ribs and hip bones. I gained about five pounds more this time around, and expected to have a bigger around 8.5 pounds or so. That's what we thought.....thought. 
We were considered high risk due to a two-vessel cord which had our doctors not wanting us to go to our due date of the 5th. So they set us up for an induction on the 4th....seriously? I was nervous about forcing labor unnaturally, but with awesome prayer warriors my contractions started on their own once we got to the hospital and I was already dilated to 5 which meant no pitocin!! My doctor broke my water, but unfortunately that made everything go rather quickly. Within what seemed to be minutes my contractions were on top of each other. Only about 45 seconds between each one, I was unbelievably exhausted. I could barely keep my eyes open. My epidural was ordered too late and didn't have enough time to fully set up and numb me. It was barely 30-45 minutes later since I was given the epidural that I could tell I needed to push. I was devastated because I could still feel every touch on my legs. This baby came so quickly that with only four {very painful and intense} pushes out popped a very BIG baby BOY who instantly peed all over me as soon as I was holding him. After nursing for 40 minutes {super baby, right?} they took his stats that taught us I delivered a whopping 9lb 11oz baby.  Amazingly enough, I didn’t tear. I have no idea how I managed not to, but some of the nurses credited yoga. As upset as I was about the stupid epidural and dropping a few choice words as it felt like my insides were being torn from my body, I couldn't believe what I had just done and was now holding this beautiful baby boy who we instantly fell madly in love with. I give those mamas out there who choose to deliver drug free a standing ovation, you are very admirable...but I wouldn't want to feel that much pain again. Nope! Not even an ounce. 
We brought Kensington up the next day to meet her little bro. Beforehand our pedi suggested we bring Kensi into the room without me holding the new baby. He said she's really there to see me and may feel replaced seeing mommy holding a new baby. Kensi was excited to see me, but also very excited to see the baby. But more importantly she was excited to get a gift from her new brother, a new baby doll. That was the most exciting thing about the visit to her :) and that's okay because she was happy and not one bit upset. 
So today we'd like to introduce our newest bundle to our fam jam.

Finnley Michael
9lbs 11oz
20 3/4 in long

Monday, December 1, 2014


This baby is still cooking!
How Far Along: 39 weeks
Weight Gained: 30 lbs 
Nausea: None
How Am I Feeling: I've actually felt pretty good except for getting up from a sitting position or even out of bed in the morning. Everything is heavy and sore. 
Maternity Clothes: Pajama pants are my jam.
Sleep: I’be felt so much pressure at night, it's making sleeping and moving from side to side very uncomfortable. 
Cravings: Fruit, especially oranges. Now that clementines are in season again we go through about a box a week it seems like between Kensi and I. 
Food Adversions: Pork and brussle sprouts.
Movement: Baby movements fewer, but we still get some major kicks and punches. 
Belly Button In or Out: Out! It popped immediately around 8 weeks. 
Gender: Unknown. 
Names: We have one girl name that has been standing out for awhile, but we're stl not sure about boy names. 
What I'm Looking Forward To: I'm excited to sleep on my stomach again, this whole side sleep business is becoming very uncomfortable. 
What's Different With This Pregnancy: This nugget seems to really like it in there. It feels like he/she isn't coming out at all. 
What I'm Missing: Still missing my clothes especially now that its getting really cool outside. I feel at the point of not having literally anything to really wear that’s cute and flattering. 
How Are We Preparing: Our doctor visit last week told us they would be surprised if we didn't have the baby by Thanksgiving Eve, well...we're still baking away. They've set me up to be induced later this week since being labeled as high risk. I'm nervous, but know it's all in God's hands. 
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