Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's celebration recipes

I thought I'd share a few things I'm making to help ring in 2013. Seeing as we have a low-key celebration planned, I'm getting super excited about the food (even more than usual!) We're not making anything fancy, but still yummy things are in store...

Tonight I'm taking these easy Peanut Butter Cookies to my friend's house. She's serving us brats, olives, cheese and crackers and a little wine, so I needed to add something sweet to the menu.

Tomorrow morning, we're having these at Chez Jansen, along with crispy bacon and fancy coffees with frothy almond milk, thanks to my new milk frother! I found this donut pan and am excited to put it to use! Hope you have a delicious celebration, too! 

365 day challenge

Are you up for it? I'm going to take the 365 day photo challenge. This, of all years, will be a hard one
to stick to, but I know I can find one thing a day to photograph. We are getting a new camera and though I'll probably use my iPhone a lot, this will also force me to get out the camera and be a better photographer. I'm not going to try to stick to one theme because I know that after May the theme will be Baby Bird :) So, I'll do a 'snippet of my day' photo challenge. This is a picture of Mattie 'enjoying' her new sweater, to get me going on this last day of 2013. Ready to start tomorrow with Day 1!  Will you join me?

2013 smart resolutions

I was inspired by Emma at A Beautiful Mess to create realistic, smart goals for 2013. We have a big year ahead of us, with baby coming in May, but I think setting some well-thought-out resolutions will still make sense for me to do. I don't typically do this and last year's goal was way too unrealistic for me (organize one thing a day...yeah...). Here goes:

1. Walk at least 3 weekday mornings per week. I put it on our calendar and we already got to this one today. We take walks sometimes during our free time, but if we take one in the mornings before we start our day we will both feel better!

2. Organize one thing a month. This is much more realistic for me. I need to sit down and make a list of things to organize for the year. 12 things is much less overwhelming than 365! Poor goal-setting last year :)

3. Get rid of at least 5 things per month. This could be anything...selling some of those things on eBay or at the consignment shop, recycling those things, giving them away to Goodwill or just throwing them away if they're not usable anymore. We've both gotten better at going through things, but this will keep it in the forefront of our minds and with a baby coming (and lots of stuff with her!) this will become even more important. It will make our next move SO much easier, too!

4. Be ok with sitting down and putting my feet up! This may seem like an odd 'goal,' but even though I'm 5 months pregnant, I still feel a bit guilty every time I sit down and I'm not doing anything. Making lists and goals of what I can do will help me feel better about actually relaxing a bit. This will become very important once Baby Bird gets here, too. For a while I will need to recover from child birth and will also need to soak in the loveliness of little one, so I need to stop feeling like a slacker for sitting, enjoying, being still.

I hope you'll be inspired to sit down and make some smart goals for yourself. Follow Emma suggestions of being specific and realistic. This was a great exercise for me! Happy New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Red Velvet visit!

Just before Christmas, my mom, SIL and I got to make a little trip from Bentonville up to Springfield, MO to check out the brick and mortar shop of one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess. Here we are in front of the shop.

We also (through the lovely blog) found an amazing lunch spot, Aviary Cafe and Creprie. If you are ever within a somewhat respectable distance from Springfield, you MUST go. Definitely get the brussel sprout appetizer and the Nutella crepes. Oh. My. I'm craving them already, but Portland is a little far to visit often, sadly. We had such a fun day!

Red Velvet in Springfield

Thursday, December 20, 2012

baby bird's nursery inspiration board

I've put together an inspiration board for Baby Bird's room. The blanket in the corner is one I've already started and is kind of the start of the color inspiration. Soft, muted, grey-pastels with small touches of other colors is what I'm going for. The "You Are My Sunshine" artwork I'll make myself in softer tones. Can't wait to get back home after Christmas and begin!!!

(links to all of these images can be found on my Pinterest board Little Ones. The fox pull is from Anthropologie- must get soon!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cowboy Cowl finished!

I finished my Cowboy Cowl last week and finally got around to taking a photo. I am loving it and you can never go wrong with Madelinetosh yarn. I used the 80/10/10 Worsted for this project, in color Antique Lace. It took just over 2 skeins. You could easily cut out one of the repeats on the cowl part and it'd probably still be plenty cowl-y if you wanted to stick to 2 skeins. This was really fun to make and fairly quick, even though it's a large piece. Happy Knitting!

Christmas hat

Just finished this cute Christmas/winter hat and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The pattern is Twinklebaum by Thea Eschliman on Ravelry. I used Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool worsted and I am in love with this yarn.

The pattern is great because it gives you many yarn weight options as well as 2 size options. I made the larger hat in the worsted weight yarn. It calls for size 6 needles, but I went up to 7's because of the color work. I find that even though I'm typically a very even knitter, stranded color work tends to bunch a little, so going up one needle size generally works great. I opted for only a 1 1/2" ribbing on the bottom instead of the folded brim like the pattern says. Just a personal preference.

I hope you'll try it out! It will be so cute to wear when we go here in January, too :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

gender reveal party for baby bird :)

Last night we had a party for my family to reveal the gender of our baby. Here is the fun table I set up with the voting board, reveal cake and banners...

Pinky wore a shirt given to him by a friend a few months back. :) is the cake! It's a girl!!!!!!

We couldn't be more excited. All of her cousins closest to her age are girls, so that will be so so fun. My family drove me nuts over the past few days between the ultrasound and the reveal party. We had to wait for Pinky to get to town Sunday night before we could share the big news though. What's exciting is that I had a dream very early on that I met myself as a little girl and it's fun to know my hunch was correct :) I guess having grown up with 2 brothers, I always saw myself having boys, and I would've been super excited about a little boy...but I must admit decorating for, knitting for, and dressing up a little lady will be SO much fun. It couldn't have been a more exciting time of year to share this news. I love Christmas time!! And now, the shopping for cuteness begins...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

found a lovely vintage book for baby bird...

Saturday morning glow

I think one of my favorite things about this time of year is waking up in the mornings to only Christmas lights illuminating our least for the first hour or so. The glow is so lovely as I start my day, especially on the weekends. I appreciate the overcast days here in Portland most mornings, as I can ease into the day with the soft grey light and I think the Christmas lights allow me the same courtesy. 

Above is the start to my Cowboy Cowl knitting project, using the Madelinetosh loveliness I mentioned in the previous post. I'm loving this project so far and can't wait to finish. It will be stylish coziness for my neck all winter long! I also indulged by using my rosewood needles for this project. I have a few pairs of them and they don't work for everything, due to the heavy cord, but the feel is SO lovely and they glide right along as you knit. Plus, they're beautiful...

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas around here. I usually put everything up in one day, but this year I wanted to update the tree decorations, so it's taking me a little longer. I did find these great felt snowflakes at Target the other day and I'm really happy with their addition to the tree. 

I know the smart thing for me to do is to wait until AFTER Christmas to buy new decorations...I'm trying my best! 

In baby belly news, I continue to see baby bird make more of an impact on the belly every. day. Whew. I'm still amazed at this process, and honestly a little terrified at it, but am in awe that I'm actually creating a life everyday. Oh the pressure! What a wonderful time of year to be at the most enjoyable part of pregnancy. I finally have energy and feel like a normal person, with a growing belly of course...We find out the gender on December 12. I think I've mentioned that, but I am SO excited! It's great that people wait to find out, but I cannot. imagine. doing. that! I'm beside myself awaiting the news. 

Happy weekend everyone and thanks to the Gatherings Magazine Linky Party Contributors! Looking forward to finding out about all of your wonderful blogs over the next couple of days. Thanks to Liz at LizlovesVintage for hosting the link party!