This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 8 and 2 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bradley and a Fancy Cake

Just an update on what we've been doing this week...but first, here is a picture of my boys snuggling!

Last Sunday we went to our niece's 3rd birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese in the city. Brad had a great time playing with all of the rides and of course stuffing himself with pizza!

I have been seeing this zebra cake on Pinterest so I finally looked up how to do it! The instructions didn't seem too complicated so I decided to try it out tonight. Basically you take a plain white cake mix, prepare it, then divide it into two bowls. You use food coloring to make one of them dark (mine ended up being kinda dark grey). The darker the better so that you can see the color definition after it bakes!

Then in a round (greased) cake pan you drop a big spoonful into the middle of the pan. You do it again but with the other color right on top of the first dollop in the middle. You just keep doing this and it will spread out and reach the edge of the pan. You do this with 2 round pans and use up all the batter:Then you bake according to the box and remove from pans to cool....

....then frost and stack like a basic two-layer cake...

...but when you cut into it it looks amazing!!!!

Mucho impressive. If you could get the colors dark enough, it would look great with green stripes, or red stripes...or any color really! Or if you wanted to make more than one cake at a time you could prepare 2 different flavor cakes mixes and alternate them for more flavor. I put cream cheese icing on mine. It was a big hit! I will definitely be making more in the future.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Party Planner

My little guy turns 3 in June, but his cousin Zoe turned 3 today! That really got me thinking about his birthday party. He hasn't had a favorite before so his previous birthdays were just cute but generic with no specific theme.

Well he has a favorite now! He just loves the cartoon "Cat in the Hat". It is on Netflix so he can watch any episode at any time. I ask him in the morning what he wants to watch and he says "Cat!". He would also watch WordWorld, Sid the Science Kid, Curious George, and Sesame Street but Cat in the Hat has become his favorite.

Naturally I decided to plan a Cat in the Hat themed party for his next birthday! I bought him the book....

...then found a party website where I ordered plates, stickers, favor boxes, and a tablecloth!

I have been pinning a lot of ideas for this theme on Pinterest also, so I will be looking through those links in the next few months to add several handmade touches to the party. I haven't decided if I'm going to do a cake, or cupcakes again. I really like the idea of cupcakes for a child's birthday because they can eat it with their hands, and you don't have to cut slices for everyone.

Sunday is our niece Zoe's birthday party at Chuck E Cheese in OKC, so that means tomorrow I will be wrapping all of her presents! Have a great weekend.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Latest Projects

Here is something I know I will cherish for a long time! You have heard of people "bronzing" their baby's first shoe? Well this is a take on that I had seen on the internet awhile back. It is a shadow box with different sizes of shoes that Brad has worn:

All of the regular shadow boxes with glass were not deep enough to accommodate the shoes so I had to get creative! I got an unfinished wood frame and painted it. Then I cut out a piece of stiff cardboard for the backing. I cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit the inside then glued it to the cardboard. Then I glued the whole back piece to the frame and used stickers for his name. I stuff the shoes with some paper for shape, then glued them to the backing and wrote his ages with marker!

Here are the embroidered bibs I have been working on for a coworker! They will be added to my craft website for examples:

That's about it for now! My brother's birthday is Monday, and our anniversary is Tuesday so we will be busy the next few days!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Catching Up

Not much has been happening the last few days, just life. I have been eating healthy however! I got some rice cakes and apples for work snacks, and have been eating a lot of salads. I'm going to the market tomorrow to pick up some sweet potatoes so that I can roast a bunch of veggies to eat on.

I have also been exercising and taking walks almost every day. Brad loves to get out of the house so I take him on walks with me. The exercises are ones that I pinned on Pinterest--mostly just a variety of jumping jacks, squats, crunches, pushups, etc. I could really feel it today! I am surprised by how many different muscles groups I worked without realizing it. Hopefully over the next few months I can tone up as well as lose a few more pounds!

Nick is still working away on the Mustang trying to get the kit parts to line up. He is making progress though! We are aiming to have enough body work done by Spring so that we can get it painted.

Our anniversary is next week! It will be our 9th wedding anniversary, and I am already in full swing of planning the big 10 for next year! It is going to be fun. Man how time flies!

We are planning to fly to Washington in a couple of months to see some family and check out the NW coast. No dates are for sure, maybe in early March. We have been itching to go on another trip though! It seems like about every 6 months we get the urge to make a break for it and go see somewhere new. It is too bad that we have already seen all of the good stuff within driving distance.

I have been working on some custom embroidered bibs for a coworker, so after I get those done I will take pictures. Otherwise, check back later on!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Juice Fast Day 5--Last Day

Yes, you read it right. I ended the fast tonight with a spinach salad. Why? Well partly because I am weak and love food. But mostly because I have been feeling pretty sluggish these last couple of days with sore muscles. Not the best when I have a busy 2yr old and a very active job. I always do better at things when I have a partner so when Nick had to quit that made it harder on me to go it alone.

We both weighed in the morning and neither of us had lost anymore. I am very happy with the 7lbs I lost and will try my hardest to keep it off by eating better and incorporating more veggies into our meals. I kind of feel like a failure for not sticking out the whole 10 days, but then again my body was telling me that it needed something else. It's not like I got weak and hit up Burger King!!

I actually have a pot of split pea soup cooking right now, and this weekend I have a bunch of veggies I'm going to roast in the oven.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Juice Fast Day 4

Remember how I said yesterday my muscles were sore? Yeah, last night was hard. I rubbed Icy Hot on my calves and basically writhed in pain until it started helping. They are still sore today but much better.

Brunch juice:
2 pears
4 apples
1/2 cucumber
This made about 20oz with a lot of foam on top. This was my first time juicing pear and it was a nice subtle flavor. The cucumber is pretty strong though so you could still taste it over the fruits.

Dinner Juice:
2 apples
6 carrots
1/4 beet
4 celery stalks
thumb size ginger

This made about 24oz and tasted ok. Nick of course did not like it, and actually ended up vomiting later in the evening. He had some soup and crackers after so he is no longer fasting...but he said he will juice in the morning with me. And then there was one! Now for weigh-ins!


I am still shocked by how quickly mine is coming off! Keep in mind that we weigh in the morning, but I don't post until evening. Nick will probably weigh in one more time tomorrow morning then quit after that since he is off the fast. I am doing surprisingly well and have developed amazing will power being around other people eating delicious looking food.

I did some grocery shopping tonight to get some more fruits/veggies and to start restocking my fridge for when the fast is over. We had eaten all of our meat and perishables to prepare for it so now I need to replenish the supply! I am definitely going to make an effort to cook healthier meals and use more veggies. I cooked pretty good before--using ground turkey instead of beef, cooking from scratch instead of box dinners--but we really do need to work on more veggies and whole grains. I heart pasta and I'm not giving it up so it will be whole wheat pasta now!

Tomorrow is my halfway point and I will be counting the minutes!! I really hope that when I break my fast I won't regain a bunch of weight all of a sudden. My major goal with this fast was to quickly get rid of those last few stubborn pounds that I have trouble losing, then modifying my lifestyle to maintain the loss.

Tune in tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Juice Fast Day 3

Today was a little rougher for multiple reasons. I went back to work so I was on my feet all day. We drank a breakfast juice around 11am but I only drank water until I got home from work around 9:30pm when I could have another juice. My muscles were pretty sore and I was pretty sluggish.

Our brunch juice:
5 oranges
2 carrots
2 slices of pineapple

This made 24oz and we both loved it! My son even took a few sips.

Nick had an upset tummy after this drink and for most of the day so he declined a dinner drink. I however needed something in my belly so I made one more suited to my tastes:

1 carrot
1/4 beet
2 slice pineapple
2 stalk celery
handful spinach

This was just right at 12oz and tasted pretty decent. I had been wondering how the pineapple and beet would be together and I was pleased with the outcome. The sweetness of the pineapple helped to drown out most of the strong earthy beet taste. Nick sipped it but said he didn't like it.

Now for the {cumulative} weigh-in!


I couldn't believe my eyes this morning when I weighed and had lost 3lbs in one day! It kind of makes me wonder if it will really slow down now. Nick is still staying strong after a pep talk from me earlier today about how we are doing this together and his body really needs the healthy break. I am off the next 2 days so hopefully it goes easier without being on my feet all day. Wish us luck and check in tomorrow!!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Juice Fast Day 2

Two days down, eight to go! I don't FEEL hungry but I still WANT food. It's tough, but it just shows how dependent our culture is on food. We use it for everything--reward, boredom, birthday, anniversary....but I'm staying strong and heading for my goal of 10 days. Nick is still hanging in there too I am happy to say!

Since we never really eat breakfast, we decided to just do two juices a day. I guess you could call this our "brunch" juice:

1/2 cucumber
4 apples
1/2 pineapple

It made about 24oz and I thought it tasted pretty good. Nick did not like it. Even with just half a cucumber in there I could still pinpoint the flavor. The pineapple was nice! I still have half of it plus another whole one to use.

Our dinner was:

5 carrots
2 apples
2 stalks celery
1/2 beet
thumb size ginger root

That beet is some potent (and staining) root! I never bought fresh beets before this, and I'm glad I only used half of one. This combination made 24oz and smelled like dirt. It tasted alright to me, Nick said it was the worst so far. HA!

As you may see, I am trying to do fruity stuff in the morning and more vegetably stuff in the evening. I sip mine slowly but Nick chugs his and is done. I drank about another 3 glasses of lemon water today. I haven't noticed any unusual symptoms, but Nick says his tummy has been rumbling...as for weight loss:


If that keeps up it will be worth it (to me)! We will see in the morning.

Here is a taggie blanket I finished tonight for a friend at work. I am also working on a 1st birthday bib for her.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Juice Fast Day 1

One day down! So far so good. I have been pleasantly surprised at the ease and taste of juicing. However I have been thinking about food (mainly pasta) way too much!

Our "breakfast" consisted of:
5 apples
5 carrots
1 cucumber

This made 32oz of juice which was a bit too much for our glasses. They were filled to the brim!

It was a nice smooth drink with a hint of cucumber taste. Nick didn't like it but I did. I am not drinking coffee on the fast, but I am drinking hot green tea.

Our "lunch" was:
1 kale bunch
5 carrots
2 apples
2 handfuls spinach
thumbsize ginger root

This made about 24oz which was just right. I was surprised how strong the kale taste was. Nick said he liked this one better, but appeared to have more trouble drinking it. I thought it tasted like apply grass. The ginger was a nice addition.

So far our Waring juicer has been amazing. Easy to use and easy to clean. I just can't get over how it turns everything into sawdust almost! I clean it right after juicing so that the food doesn't get a chance to dry and cake on.

We didn't do a dinner juice--Nick went to a friend's house and I didn't want to get everything dirty just for me. I'm not feeling that hungry right now so I will save it for the morning. I have had two glasses of my lemon water today but I'm sure I should drink more. Nick hasn't had hardly any. I don't think he is handling the lack of food very well...

Don't worry, I am still feeding Brad normal food! I'm not making him juice with us. I did make him a big batch of split pea soup to eat on but he has liked that since he was a baby. If Nick does fall off the bandwagon I hope he doesn't expect me to cook for him!

In other news I got my Christmas decorations down today and the house is almost back to normal! I don't decorate for any other holiday until the fall so all of the totes are going into the attic.

Tune in tomorrow for the results of day 2!

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