Friday, January 31, 2014

My 5 Fav Kitchen Gadgets

I'm linking up to share 5 things on this fabulous Friday!
Today I'm sharing 5 of my favorite kitchen gadgets.  Now that we're getting ready to move, I'm really excited to get some of my things out of "storage" since we don't have to have totally bare counters for showings!  We packed a lot away when we put our house on the market.  A lot of times when I want to use something I'll realize it's packed away or I have to get it back out from a hiding spot (like a shelf in our laundry room)!

Here are 5 things that I couldn't live without in my kitchen.  (Click the links or photos to get more info!)

{one} My stand mixer!  I don't have a fancy Kitchenaid like most of you, but I LOVE my Hamilton Beach!  I asked for a Kitchenaid and my wonderfully frugal husband did a lot of research and found that this mixer had great reviews and was very similar.  I love using it for all of my baking and I've also used it for cooking.  Did you know you can shred chicken in about 2 seconds in your stand mixer?!  Also, mine is black.  :)

{two} My Keurig.  Can you believe I used to have an old school coffee pot with FILTERS?!  Haha!  Seriously though, I love my Keurig for my hot beverages like coffee, mochas, and hot chocolate.  I even use the hot water to make things like oatmeal for Carson!  I also love using the reusable K-Cup because it saves a little money and if you can't find a certain flavor in k-cups, you can make your own!

{three} In case you haven't noticed, I bake a lot of cookies.  I love using my cookie scoop for this!  It's such a simple little gadget, but it saves so much time and it makes your cookies nice and uniform!

{four} I love my Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat for baking and cooking!  I used to always use parchment paper but now I'm addicted to my Silpat.  I used parchment paper for two reasons: 1.) less cleaning afterwards and 2.) it seemed to help my baked goods from flattening.  I got one Silpat for Christmas from my sister and I am already itching to buy more for my other baking sheets.  Hopefully I can hold off until my birthday!

{five} I really love my silicone steamer for steaming veggies.  I never had a steaming basket before this so I can't compare to metal, but this is so easy to clean and super easy to store!  I went with silicone because I can't stand the sound of metal against metal so I couldn't imagine using a metal steamer basket.  I prefer my veggies steamed and this makes the process quick and easy!

There are other things in my kitchen that I obviously couldn't live without, but these are 5 of my favs.
What are your favorite kitchen gadgets?


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nursery Inspiration

As some of you know, we've had our house on the market and recently went into contract (yay)!  I've been itching to start working on a nursery for Mason and/or a big boy room for Carson for months!  Since we aren't living in the house where we will bring Mason home, there isn't much I can physically do yet.  I really can't even buy much because it will just be more stuff that we need to move.

Thankfully Pinterest exists so I've been able to create an inspiration board with a lot of fun ideas I've found on different websites!  I wanted to do something different than Carson's nursery (obviously) but I love Carson's room so it was hard to think of something I would love just as much!  I decided to go with a color scheme of orange, gray, and navy blue.  Here is a little peek at what I'm envisioning.  Please be kind, this was my first time using Polyvore!

The orange is a little risky for me, but I think I'm going to love it!  I'm thinking I'll probably choose a soothing gray for the walls so that it can be easily transitioned into a big boy room in the future.  I'm working on a budget here so a lot of my finds are Target, Ikea, and Walmart.  I like the wall art in the collage (via Etsy) because it's cute and it's an easy way to bring in pops of orange.  Wall art is just so hard.  I know I want to incorporate Mason's name and/or initial in some way because I love Carson's name art in his nursery.

Let me know if you have any ideas of things I should add.  I need ideas for accents and I'm also on the lookout for an affordable blanket that would coordinate since I'm not buying a matching bedding set this time around.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Real Estate Update!

Back in November I shared a quick tour of our home with you all and also shared the news that our first home was officially for sale.  After a few really busy months with 20+ showings, we have officially accepted an offer!  Once we accepted the offer on our current home, we became much more serious with our home search.  We found one that we loved, made an offer, found out there were multiple offers, got super nervous, and then found out they accepted our offer!  We just had the inspection done recently so soon we'll be submitting a list of requests to the current owners.  Luckily there is nothing major so I'm feeling pretty confident!  Here's a little sneak peek of our future home:

We have been casually looking at homes since early September.  In the beginning we went and saw any house that remotely interested us.  This really helped us to narrow down our search after we found neighborhoods we liked and disliked.  Back in October we saw a home with this exact floor plan and I REALLY wanted to make an offer, but we had no bites on our house yet.  I was really sad to see it go so it was almost like fate when another house with the same floor plan came on the market when we were ready to buy!  This house even has some features the other house didn't have so we're really excited.  We also love the feel of the neighborhood.  I'm crossing my fingers that there will be some playmates for Carson since our current neighborhood was severely lacking in kids younger than 10!

It will be SO hard to say goodbye and leave our first home forever.  It's hard to believe we've been here for almost 9 years.  Finding a new home that we love will definitely help, but this home holds so many memories for us!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Bumpdate: 27 Weeks {3rd Trimester!}

I rolled over to 27 weeks on January 23rd.  I can't believe I'm officially (almost?) in my third trimester!  Some people say you aren't officially in your third tri until 28 weeks so I guess if that's true I still have few days left in second tri!  This pregnancy is FLYING by and it makes me a little sad!  I'm glad I've taken the time to document my weekly bump though!

27 Weeks!
Baby is currently the size of a RUTABAGA!

Next Appointment: February 21st.  It feels like it's SO long away but after that I won't have the 4-week waits anymore...thank goodness!

Gender: Adding another BOY to our family!  Check out our reveal photo.  

Total Weight Gain: At my OB appointment on 1/22 I found up I was +17 (at 26w6d)....eek!  I hate gaining weight, but who doesn't?!  At least it's for a good cause, right?  :)

Maternity Clothes: Yes.  Still wearing a lot of non-maternity tops but I'm finding that a lot are too short for my liking. 

Sleep: I toss and turn ALL night.  Every time I adjust, my back hurts so bad!  The sheets are currently in the washer so I think while they're off the bed I'm going to try to flip our mattress around to see if that helps.  Probably a crazy silly idea but I'll try anything!

Movement: Movement has picked back up!  Mason loves jabbing his knees/feet/elbows/etc. out on my right side now.  Carson used to to this too but I think it's funny that Mason pretty much always does it on my right side!  He must have found a comfy position in there.  :)

Food Cravings/Aversions: This week I've been loving peanut butter and jelly on toast.  I had it for lunch and dinner a few times this week!  I also still don't like meat but I did buy some chicken breasts at the store just for Nick.  We'll see if I actually can gather up enough courage to prepare them into a meal.  :/

Best Moment This Week: Hearing Mason's little heart beating away at my appointment!  (155bpm)  Even my doctor commented about his movement!  

What I Miss: I miss meal planning.  A lot of my meals include chicken or turkey and since I can't fathom eating those things right now, I have a hard time planning a menu for the week.  Luckily my sweet husband isn't picky and is happy with anything I make!

What I'm Looking Forward To: I'm already looking forward to our next appointment in February even though it's a LONG way away.  I'm also looking forward to planning Mason's nursery!  I have a color scheme picked out and I'll do a blog post about some inspiration soon!

Symptoms: Super sore lower back, peeing 24/7, round ligament pain, belly that looks like ocean waves.  :)

Extra Notes From the Week: I had an OB appointment this past week and got some updates and news.  I completed and passed my glucose screening test (yay!) so I got to have that lovely orange cocktail, YAY!  I also asked about my lower back pain (again).  My doctor wants me to check to see if my insurance covers physical therapy.  I'm kind of doubting they will but I'm going to call anyway and cross my fingers.  I also asked about my frequent bathroom breaks.  I wondered if it may be Mason's position thinking he might be putting extra pressure on my bladder.  My doc said that's possible but had me tested for a bladder infection just in case.  She said that pregnant women often get bladder infections with little to no symptoms so she just wants to rule it out.  I also found out I'm anemic so I'm going to be starting an iron supplement soon.  No big deal and I'm not surprised because I was borderline anemic when I was pregnant with Carson!

Here's my weekly bump pic with Carson.  This is what a real life toddler kiss looks sweet, right?  :)


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Carson Anthony: 20 Months

How is it possible that there are only 4 more months until my BABY is 2?!  I honestly can't believe it and as much as I hate him getting older, it is SO fun to watch him grow and develop!


What Carson Loves Right Now
-Carson still loves balls.  (Will I ever stop writing this?)  He loves playing and watching basketball ("buh-ball").  He even will bring me the TV remote and say "buh-ball!"  He's obsessed!  I'm so glad my mom got him this basketball hoop for his first birthday, it's definitely one of his most used toys!  He loves when Daddy "blocks" his shots!

-Carson loves magnets.  I keep a baggie of magnetic letters as well as those cheap company magnets you get free at your dentist or vet.  Carson LOVES to pull out the bag and stick them on the fridge or dishwasher.  He has even learned a lot of his letters by playing with the magnets!
-Carson has really gotten into coloring!  Last month he had fun exploring with his crayons but he has now started to get his crayons out of my desk and ask to "" (color please)!  At first he was just into breaking his crayons but now he really enjoys seeing the colors he puts onto the paper.  Sometimes we color on plain paper but he also has a coloring book with puppies that he loves.  He likes to give me a crayon so we can color at the same time.

Coloring some Christmas pictures for his Grandmas!

-Carson still loves books and has quite a few favorites.  He loves his bedtime stories and there are a few we read every night (see pictures can click on the book to see more info!).  He also has a basket of books in the playroom and loves reading throughout the day.  I love that he reads independently but also loves to sit on my lap while I read him stories.  :)

-Carson also loves music.  Nick uploaded a bunch of kids' music onto one of our old phones so we can use it like an ipod.  We have a blue tooth speaker in the playroom and Carson is always getting the phone and asking me to turn on the music.  He has learned the movements to so many songs by listening to his music every day (London Bridge, Wheels on the Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Ring Around the Rosie, etc.)

-Carson's favorite foods haven't changed a ton.  He still loves peanut butter sandwiches and would probably eat them for every meal if I let him!  He gets really excited about any food pouch but will specifically ask for "mm-bah" (apple) if I open the cabinet where we keep his food.  He still loves cheese and will chow down on grilled cheese or Annie's mac'n'cheese!  I've tried a few new things for snacks including dried apricots and he loves them!  He's also obsessed with cookies.  I let him have bites of real cookies very now and then but he loves his Annie's bunny grahams too!  Thanks to his Daddy he's also addicted to marshmallows but he gets SO hyper after eating them!
Carson tried ranch and ketchup on his chicken nuggets!  

What I Love Right Now: My favorite thing in the world is hearing him call me "Mama".  I waited SO long to hear him say it and every time I hear it, my heart melts.  It's seriously my favorite!  I also love that he's a Momma's boy but he isn't afraid of new people.  We had a few friends over the other day that he hadn't seen for a long time and he was a bit shy at first but after adjusting he was climbing on them, giving them high fives, and bringing them books and toys.  I have a feeling he'll take after his Daddy and have tons of friends!

Some of our Biggest Struggles: Carson is still picky about eating but I've decided if I stop forcing it, it's a lot less stressful for both of us.  As much as I hate making two meals every night, it's easier for everyone.  Especially since Nick doesn't get home until about an hour after Carson's dinner anyway!  Carson has quite a few foods that he really enjoys and I'm happy about that.  I still let him try new things but if he doesn't like it, I don't stress about it.  Another struggle is that he's getting quite attached to Mommy.  I'm not going to lie, I LOVE it!  However, the one time we run into a problem is bedtime.  He ONLY wants me to put him to bed.  I've done this ever since he was born and I love it, but I wanted to start taking turns with Nick so that when Mason arrives Carson won't feel a sudden change in his strict routine.  We have tried this a few times and Carson does not approve!  He cries and yells for "Mama" which breaks my heart.  It's funny because he's totally fine being alone with Nick for other routines like dinner, bath, etc.  Right now we have started doing the bedtime routine together and eventually we'll make it just Nick...a slow transition!  :)
The cutest sad face I've ever seen!

Exciting Milestones & Physical ChangesCarson has finally had his language explosion!  It is so much fun hearing him say so many new words.  He looks so proud when he sees something and can tell me the word for it!  I feel like we're on the cusp of sentences because he occasionally puts two words together (cookie please, bye-bye Dada, etc.).  He also learned how to say his name

Right before Carson turned 20 months he got his 8th haircut!  He hadn't had one in almost 2 months so he was long overdue but I'm a sucker for that shaggy look on little boys!  He did a great job until the stylist turned on the blow dryer to blow the hair off of his neck.  You would have thought she had a chainsaw...poor Carson looked so scared and tried to jump out of his cute little fire truck seat!  

20 Month Word List:
  • "all gone"/"gone" (always with upturned hands and a shrug)
  • "done" He hasn't been using this word anymore, he usually just says "gone"
  • "up" (sometimes sounds like "uhhhh")
  • "Ma"/"Mama"!!! Carson FINALLY started calling me "Ma" instead of "Bah" right before the new year.  I am thrilled he finally calls me something and it melts my heart EVERY time!
  • "Dada" and "Daddy" 
  • "duh" (dog)
  • "bird"
  • "book"
  • "ball"
  • "vroom vroom"
  • "duck"
  • "wawa" (water)
  • "shoooos" (shoes)
  • "puh" (pillow)
  • "tuh" (truck)
  • "trsssh" (trash)
  • "mm-bah" (apple)  Not sure where he got that pronunciation!
  • "yea"
  • "boo!" (are you surprised he learned this around Halloween?!)
  • "whoa!"
  • "cah" (car...with a Bostonian accent, haha!) 
  • "Ho Ho" (he loves Santa in books but not in real life!)
  • "bah-beh" (baby)
  • "cook" (cookie)
  • "pleh" (please)
  • "daank-dee" (Thank You)
  • bum (always said as a 2-syllable word: "bum-muh" and points to his bum each time)
  • "puh" (pillow) Carson has been saying this for a long time but I forgot to put it on the list!
  • "brrr!" whenever we talk about something cold
  • "caw" (clock) - He uses this word for watch too.  :)
  • moon
  • "/k/" (yuck)
  • "paw" (potty)
  • Hi
  • Bye-bye
  • Pa/PaPa (Grandpa)
  • "buh-ball" (Basketball/Football)
  • "Cah-dah" (Carson) - it's so cute he finally learned his name!
  • "co" (coat) - sometimes he says "co-uh"
  • "wee-wee" (while pointing to his boy parts...gosh, I'm so proud!)
  • "coo" (cool)
**This past month Carson started saying "Ma" when he sees me or needs me.  I LOVE it!  I've been waiting for this day for SO long, I seriously cried.  (Don't make fun!)  He finally had his word explosion this month and as you can see, he added TONS of new words! :)

Animal Sounds (14): Cow, Elephant, Pig, Fish, Duck (although it doesn't sound like a quack...more like "duck! duck! duck!"), Sheep, Chicken (which really sounds like he's clearing his throat for some odd reason!), Snake, Dog ("bow-wow!"), Owl, Cat (sort of sounds like he's saying "awww" in a high pitched voice, haha!), Monkey ("ha-ha!"), Lion/Tiger ("rah!"), Goat.

Body Parts He Can Identify (20): Head, Hair, Ears, Eyes, Nose, Cheeks, Mouth, Tongue, Hands, Fingers, Feet, Toes, Tummy, Belly Button, Knees (he usually thinks I say "sneeze" so he'll give me a fake sneeze and giggle!), Shoulders, Bum, Wee-Wee, Legs, Arms
*We're practicing elbows but it's very confusing!

Signs Carson Uses: eat, more, milk, all gone, help, "I love you" <--- TOO CUTE!
*We haven't been teaching new signs since he's starting to verbalize more!

Things We're Looking Forward To: Carson is currently enrolled in a gymnastics class and I'm excited to see how he interacts with the other kiddos and if he learns any new large motor skills.  We're also so excited to see how his vocabulary grows this next month!