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Monday, January 30, 2012

Jake's nursery

I've had a ridiculous amount of fun setting up a sweet nursery for my little man. 
And while it's not totally complete, I want to share how things are going.


So come on in!





Since we really don't have that many practical items yet {just the cute ones!} the changing table is still a catch all. I hope to set up all those go-to baby items here later on.






And we've saved a couple of empty shelves and baskets. 
You know, for the things Jake might actually use!



I can't decide exactly what I'd like to put in these white IKEA frames. Pictures of J.B. and I? Ultrasound pictures? Wait and then fill with newborn photos?
Decisions, decisions.



Our sweet bedding came from Pottery Barn Kids. 
I love the Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar theme!







 
This cute little storage bench in the window alcove came from IKEA.
And the knit throw from a good friend. 
{why don't I know how to knit?!}

I stitched up that fake roman shade myself. Since this is the only window in the room, I didn't dare block any of the already limited natural light. But to leave the window blank looked icky. Some blue gingham with a little white stripe did the trick!




Yes. I'm brave. I have white furniture and a white chair and ottoman. Once I decided to get this set from IKEA, the decision to go with white was actually an easy one. The soft canvas covers are removable on both of these pieces, and I figured with white I could easily bleach out any stains that I needed to.
Here's hoping the white works out!


J.B. and I fashioned those book display shelves from just a few pieces of lumber. 
More on that project later this week!
Those prints on the wall are a bit of my own creation. 
I'll also show you this week how to save a bundle on artwork!
This globe was actually salvaged from my father-in-law's yard sale! 
I thought about repainting the trim white, but the gold accent just seems perfect.

And I love all my little Eric Carle stuffed animals throughout the room! It seems that these sweet characters are very in this year!

The details:
The changing table, crib and bookcases all came from Target.com
The 123 baskets, chair and ottoman, and storage bench are all from IKEA.
The dresser was a bargain from Essex.
 I made all the wall art myself {more on that later in the week}.
The paint color is "Homestead Resort Parlor Sage" {geez what a name!} from Valspar.



** To see more about the wall art in Jake's room, go here. **
** To see a tutorial for the wooden book displays, go here. **

Friday, January 27, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions



I love getting emails from you guys about things.

Sometimes it's a new idea for a project.
Sometimes it's a nice note about something you enjoyed here.
Sometimes it's to tell me how crappy I am about not using spell check. {dang it!}
But more often than not, it's to ask a question.

And here are some of the questions {and answers!} that you ask the most.



- I love your dogs! What kind are they?




My pups. My fur babies. They are my very best friends.

J.B. and I got Denver as a little puppy a few months before we got married.  He's 3 and is one of the happiest dogs ever. He's incredibly smart and loves everyone. Seriously.
To actually answer the question and stop bragging, yes, he's a chocolate lab.










Delilah, my princess. She rules the roust in our house. At any given time, she is doing one of two things: wrestling with Denver or sleeping. That's pretty much it. She loves to snuggle and be petted - which is incredibly convenient if you're looking for a giant pillow. That coat of hers is soft soft soft!
Ah, right, the question. She's a Great Pyrenees and is two now.

Both pups weigh in around 100 lbs.









 - Just curious, how old are you?

Well. I guess I haven't hit that stage in life where it's not polite to ask how old a lady is...
Ok ok, I'm kidding, I don't mind. 
I'm 25. Actually I'll be 26 in... {counting on my fingers...}... 11 days. 
So let's just go with 26, I suppose.





 - I've seen the jars on the counter in your kitchen. 
What do you keep in those?

Ido keep six jars on the counter of my kitchen. I originally put them there decoratively, but as I've begun to cook more and more, they've become incredibly convenient!



To the left of the stove there are jars containing granulated sugar, brown sugar, and then powered sugar.

To the right of the stove there are jars containing flour, corn starch, and dog treats {I obviously don't use those in cooking...}

These jars came from Old Time Pottery, but I've seen them at Pier One too. I made little vintage paper labels for them that are tied on with twine. I wasn't sure how well the labels would hold up, but its been over a year so far.
 - I enjoyed your Books of 2011 post. What are you reading now?

Well, I just finished two books by Caragh O'Brien, Birthmarked and Prized. Dystopia, go figure. Loved them both!

Next up, I'll be wading through What to Expect: The First Year since Baby Jake's arrival is getting pretty close. I was also sent a copy of a book that a friend of mine wrote {yes, a college friend of mine wrote a book - how cool is that?!}. I'll be reading and reviewing it soon. I'm excited!




 - I saw your stitched book pages and wanted to try them myself. I like the idea of changing them with the holidays, but haven't been able to come up with any simple designs. Thoughts?

Did you see the tutorial for the Stitched Book Pages that I did last fall? I'm still enjoying them!  But I do understand that coming up with a simple design to stitch on paper isn't always easy. I had a failed snowflake attempt myself during the Christmas season.

Here's what's in the frames right now:


My best suggestion would be not only to think on the holidays that you celebrate, but also on the seasons themselves. Instead of focusing on Christmas, maybe think just winter? If you're stuck on a March theme, think over to something about spring perhaps.





 - I saw a bicycle pillow in your living room that I just love. Where did you get it??

This one right? 
It's from the Pottery Barn Outlet.
I picked it up in October, but maybe you could find one online?






I hope I answered some questions for a few of you! Now I'm off to enjoy the sunshine this weekend with my hubby and fur babies. 

Be sure to check back in next week. I'm ready to show off Baby Jake's new nursery!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Duds for a Little Man

Buying baby clothes is the absolute most fun ever.
It's also quite addicting.

I've had a blast picking out the cutest clothes for my little fella' these last few months. 
With no real pressure to have any specific sizes at the moment, I can shop sales and pick up little things here and there to add to his closet.

And I have to admit, Baby Gap is usually my favorite place to go. Combine their sale prices with the 40% off the entire store sale and I can easily get Baby Jake all kinds of quality duds for next to nothing.

Plus, their clothes are adorable.
My husband, who usually looks like he fell out of a Gap ad campaign, is a big fan too. He wants nothing more than a little mini-me in sweater vests and loafers. 
Practical? Probably not. But a girl can try right?

Here's what I've been browsing lately...


Some sweet onesies for lounging around the house with Mom.


Some preppy clothes to look just like Daddy.



Some cute hats to keep his little noggin' warm.
{umm, Roll Tide on the elephant hat!}



Some adorably tiny swimsuits for fun days out on the boat!
{Baby Jake got the whale swimsuit for this summer.}


Socks {maybe a pair or two of shoes} for his little toes.



And comfy pajamas for snoozing.



 Even if his little closet fills up, I don't think I'll be able to stop picking out duds for my little man!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Baked Apple Chips

Look, I know that most of the recipes on my food page look like they came straight out of the Paula Dean cookbook. It's true, I'm a glutton for the good stuff. I love junk food, I think butter is manna from heaven, and a single day without a dessert makes me sad.

But I do try to keep all of this in moderation. I don't completely gorge on the foods that I know are unhealthy. And I'm no Jillian Michaels, but I do try to stay active. 
Especially now that I'm pregnant and nomming on goodies for two people, I do make sure that I'm eating all my leafy greens and dosing up on the health foods too.
{Pretty pumped about being up only 15 lbs in 31 weeks actually! Woohoo!} 

So yeah, other that just promising you guys that I'm really not a 600 pound grease ball, I wanted to say that healthy snacks are awesome too! They don't make the blog as much as they should.
Just to prove my point, I'll share one with you today.



These are a fantastic snack food.
They take no time to prepare {though they're awhile in the oven} and have just two ingredients.
I love them for a movie night or a lazy afternoon. 
{We're going with the latter this evening - Courageous from redbox if you're the nosy type like me}


Ingredients:

 - Apples
 - Cinnamon


If its just J.B. and I, I'll cut up 4 apples for us to munch on, but you can make any amount you want!

First, preheat your oven to 275. 
Slice up your apples. Make sure to remove the core/seeds.
Some folks like to peel them as well. I'm much too lazy for that myself.



Lay out your apple slices on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

Then sprinkle with cinnamon.
If you like a lot of cinnamon flavor, use more than you see here. I'm pretty moderate with it.




Bake for 40 minutes. Then turn the slices over and bake for an additional 40 minutes.
Feel free to experiment with the baking time dependent upon how you like the apple chips to taste. For a chewier chip, bake less. For a crispier chip, bake longer.






And then enjoy!
The added bonus is that they also make your house smell delicious!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stamped Tea Towels

I saw this super simple tutorial from Centsational Girl a little while back and just had to share. 

How cute are these?



And of course, incredibly easy. 




I'm a big fan of this project because it totally uses things that I seem to have an over-abundance of ...
white tea towels (thanks IKEA), stamps, and fabric pant. 

I love checking out all the great things Kate comes up with. See the full tutorial here



Monday, January 16, 2012

30 Weeks



I've been a little behind here on the blog lately. A round of nasty sinus/allergy junk has knocked me on my butt for the past ten days or so. It's stinks being sick and pregnant because there is pretty much nothing you can take to make you feel better. Major kudos to my hubby, who has patiently waited on me hand and foot while I've spent the last week in bed! I'm beginning to think that I just might pull through!

My little man is getting close to making his arrival!! I seem to flip flop back and forth between being super impatient for him to get here and completely freaking out about what I'm going to do when the time actually comes! 

I'm still feeling pretty awesome though {minus this bout of "sinus death" that I've battled recently}. Still no crazy food habits - which I'm kind of mad about! I mean, what other time are you going to actually want to eat pickles and ice cream or ketchup and rice? 
{It almost sounds like being on Fear Factor}
I was also secretly looking forward to a huge appetite and an excuse for an extra scoop of ice cream, but I actually eat less now that I ever did. I suppose that's probably a good thing for my relationship with the scale though. 

 Other than a few pairs of pants and leggings, I still haven't bought a lot of maternity clothes. But I'm thinking those days might be coming to an end. Darn belly. I guess attempting to pull off a mid-drift might not be super tasteful at this point...
What's on the docket the next few weeks?
Well, we're going to a couple of newborn classes at the hospital. 
And I have some pretty awesome girlfriends throwing me a baby shower {yay!}.

70 days left!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Books of 2011


I've always been a big reader.
Or at least I thought I was until I met J.B..
Now that boy is a Reader {with a capital R!}. He goes through about two books a week on average. He's one of those people that can read while doing anything - watching tv, doing the dishes, getting dressed, etc. He flies through a book and remembers everything about it years later.

Not me. I need silence, a comfy spot, and a drink to sip on to get into a good book. I forget a lot of what happens in even my favorite books after a few months has passed. It's actually not a bad problem to have because then I can go back and reread it again as if it was almost new to me!

But anyway, this post wasn't supposed to tell you what kind of nerds J.B. and I are. 
I was going to talk about the books of 2011. At least, the ones I read - the good, bad, and embarrassing.
Here's my list:


 


The Help - by Kathryn Sockett
The Hunger Games - by Suzanne Collins {twice}
Catching Fire - by Suzanne Collins {twice}
Mockingjay -by Suzanne Collins {twice}
Divergent - by Veronica Roth {twice}
The Kite Runner - by Khaled Hosseini
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - by Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Played with Fire - by Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - by Stieg Larsson
Delirium - by Lauren Oliver 
Something Borrowed - by Emily Griffin
Something Blue - by Emily Griffin 
                                  Heart of the Matter - by Emily Griffin 
Baby Proof - by Emily Griffin
Sundays at Tiffany's - by James Patterson
The Maze Runner - by James Dashner
The Scorch Trials - by James Dashner
The Death Cure - by James Dashner
Total Money Makeover - by Dave Ramsey






As you can see, I'm a big fan of fiction. And ever since I read the Hunger Games trilogy last spring {and again this fall} I've really been on a dystopia/alternate reality kick - don't confuse this with SciFi, which I'm not into. But if you liked the Hunger Games, I'd definitely suggest Divergent, The Maze Runner trilogy, and Delirium.





 Favorite Books I Reread This Year:
The DaVinci Code - by Dan Brown
Blue Like Jazz - by Donald Miller
The Glass Castle - by Jeanette Walls
Jane Eyre - by Charlotte Bronte





 

 Currently Reading:
A Thousand Splendid Suns - by Khaled Hosseini
What To Expect: The First Year - by Heidi Murkoff
Belly Laughs - by Jenny McCarthy








2012 Book List:
.....



Nope, that's not a typo. There's pretty much nothing on the reading docket for 2012.
This where I need your help!
I get so overwhelmed walking into a bookstore. So many options. And I hate being too bored to finish something so my expectations are always high.

So pretty please comment below or send me a note of some of your very favorites.
I'd love to have a big fat reading list this year!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls - recipe


**EDIT: Apparently, these cinnamon rolls are too good to capture. By that, I mean that somehow all of my "how-to" pictures for this recipe got axed. Poor pictures. But the recipe is still delish!!**


One of my favorite things about hanging out with J.B. on lazy days is that we get cook together. During our holiday time off together, we would sleep extra late and then get up and make something delicious for breakfast/brunch.
{sometimes he'd let this pregnant lady sleep super late and he'd bring me breakfast in bed!}

This is one of our go-to recipes for a sweet breakfast treat. 
I love it because its one of those recipes that calls for ingredients that I typically have sitting around my kitchen anyway - which translates into less money spent at the store!

I typically cut this recipe in half if its just the two of us, which means it makes 8 rolls.
{yes, we both eat four... hey, they're kinda small-ish!}



Ingredients:

2 cans of refridgerated crescent rolls
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup of white or brown sugar {I use half of each}
1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Glaze:
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Then combine butter, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix until it's nice and smooth.


Pop open and unroll your crescent rolls. Apply the cinnamon mixture generously to the crescent roll. 
Then roll them up in the traditional way.


Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and pop these guys in the oven for 12-15 minutes {until browned}.
While the rolls are cooking, combine your glaze ingredients in a bowl.


Drizzle your glaze over the hot cinnamon rolls when they come out of the oven.


And chow down!!
I don't think this version is super sweet or super cinnamon-y, but feel free to modify the ingredients however you'd like.  


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Look

Wow. Peace out 2011. I can't believe how time is flying by!
Probably one of the last pictures of the Wilders as a family of two, er... four?


You guys made 2011 a super fun year on this blog! I've had a blast making projects and chronically my life. Most especially, I love hearing from all of you. You send me tips and ideas, pictures and projects, praise and even a little bit of criticism {yes, I know I need to spell check more. I know!}.

And you've shared my blog far and wide this year! Thanks so much! I think this was definitely the year of Pinterest. It's doing crazy wonderful things for blogs all over and Live a Little Wilder is no exception. 

So new year and a new look! 
Hope you like it! I'm really into the black and whites right now. We'll see if it sticks...  
After seeing what you loved to share in 2011, I decided to add a new spot on the blog for the favorite posts. Check it out over on the right sidebar!


_________________________________


I'm so stinkin' excited about this upcoming year! 2012 is going to have a ridiculous amount of changes in store. Obviously, it's the year of Baby Jake!


Just a few more weeks to before we get to meet him! Here's hoping they go by quickly. 
{also, here's hoping that I didn't pack on 20 lbs over the holidays! Dr. appt tomorrow...}


I'm hoping to put together some fun things for next year. Obviously more tutorials and recipes {hello, fat pregnant lady here}. And I'm sure lots of news on my growing family. Should be a fun ride!
Thanks for sticking with me and here's to 2012!