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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 7 and 1 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



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Easy Stuffed Mushroom Caps

I am not usually one for mushrooms but as I have gotten older I have tried to be more open minded about them. I have come to realize that it is not a flavor issue, but more of a texture issue. I don't really like the sponginess of them however I do eat them more now than I used to. This brings me to stuffed mushrooms!

I made these for the first time a few weeks ago when I had family over for dinner. These white crimini mushrooms go on sale frequently at my local Aldi for only .79 so I couldn't pass them up to try a new recipe! I didn't really end up using a "recipe" but winged it and did my own thing. They were a huge hit so I am making them again today for a big birthday dinner.

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

2 packs 8oz crimini mushrooms
1/4 c Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c shredded cheddar
2 tbs grated Parmesan

Wash and dry the mushrooms. Gently remove the stems and keep most of them (about 3/4).  Put them in a food processor and pulse a few times until they are minced. In bowl add minced stems and remaining ingredients. Blend well with fork.
 
Using a small spoon, scoop a spoonful of stuffing and gently compress with your fingers into opening of each mushroom cap. Don't push too hard or the caps will break!


Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and caps are tender. You can also put in the fridge after you stuff them to bake later!

There are several variations on stuffed mushrooms but this was just a quick and easy version that I came up with for the ingredients I had on hand. A delicious dish for only $1.60? Yes please!


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Friday, February 21, 2014

TTC Update


It's not a big update, but an update nonetheless! You may remember from my last post about TTC that we are scheduled for IVF in August. Well I got the fever and called yesterday to bump it up to July! I was going to do June but it won't work since we will be out of the country for the first week of June.

The plan is for me to call next month with my day 1 to schedule a baseline US and blood work. I will start BCP and shots in June, then stims and IVF in July! I know it will be here before we know it so I'm trying to be patient. That gives us 3 solid months for nature to do her thing before we have to take the plunge and blow our savings on in vitro again......

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Preschooler

This post is all about my big boy and how much fun he has at school! He just loves school, and I love watching him learn something new everyday and interact with other kids. It has really helped him learn structure, communication, interpersonal relationships, and not to mention academics! He is already reading simple words and knows how to sound out many other. I know when he starts kindergarten and gets serious about reading he will pick it up in no time. I was a huge reader when I was younger and caught on very quickly. I would check out tons of books at our library, then stay up all night reading them by nightlight!

We got his class picture in his school folder last week and it is adorable! He is seated on the front row with a HUGE smile on his face.



Last Friday was his school Valentine's Day party and I was one of the helpers. Nick and I showed up early with cupcakes and pretzels, and helped the other moms get each setting ready for the little ones to come back from recess. Brad had fun filling out his cards before school.....


The kids got lots of yummy snacks at the party, and of course there was a lot of chocolate involved too!

 

I can't believe his first year of school will be over in just a few short months, then before we know it he will be starting full-day kindergarten! I know he will love it and learn so much. My, how the time flies!

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Life and Stuff


Things have been staying pretty busy around here. I am sooooo very glad our kitchen is done and everyone who has seen it in person just loves it. I am proud of the hard work we put into it! Now we can rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor--at least until our next project!

One big thing that is new is my job! No, I didn't change jobs, more like added on to it. I still work in the recovery room, but I have also started working a night shift in the ICU once a week. I do it for many reasons--extra hours, the experience, new environment, different routine. I did ICU at my old hospital for 5 1/2 years but I have been out of it for 2 1/2 years and was ready to ease myself back in. I don't have any intentions of relocating but I am keeping all doors open! It seemed like the manager of the ICU was happy to have someone with a lot of valuable experience among the new grads.

It is a little difficult switching from night shift to day shift but I would SO much rather stay up all night than have to get up before dawn and be gone all day. No thank you! This is also enabling me to FINALLY cut back on all of the call I take in the recovery room. For the last 3 years I have been taking up to 15 days per month of call--with most of those being weekends which are 24hr call days. Being on call for the recovery room basically means that I can get called in to work as many times as they need me, for as long or as little as they need. There have been days where I was called in 3 separate times! I drive about 50 miles roundtrip each time I go to work so that really adds up on my odometer and gas tank. I will happily pass the torch to all of the other nurses who want it! Starting next month, I am only signed up for 2 days of call :) I will have my life back!

I recently got a membership at a local gym with my mom (that was one of my birthday presents to her). We have been several times together and it is so much fun to work out next to each other! We can easily spend a hour and half trying out different machines and chit-chatting. They are opening a branch close to my house so I will be going with Nick occasionally also while Brad is in school.

We have gotten a few snow storms here in the last couple of weeks and the Pierces have really enjoyed it! Brad was very upset when his school got cancelled for 2 days, but he still had a great time playing in the snow and making snow angels. We drank hot cocoa, built a fire in the fireplace, and ate hot soup. We don't get very much winter weather around here so we enjoyed it while we could! My poor little chicken had to stay cooped up in our garage with a heating pad for almost 2 weeks because most of the nights were below freezing. Some nights had a windchill of below 0! It is warming up now and supposed to be in the 60s this weekend so the chicken is back outside and we are going to open our windows! Such crazy weather in Oklahoma.

In other news we are counting down to our big Europe trip! Only 3 more months!! I am very excited to go and can't wait to see all of the new places and people. I am a little intimidated since we won't have the comfort and security of a tour guide but I know we will be just fine.

Thank you for reading, and check back later!

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kitchen Remodel: COMPLETE! Before and After Pics + Total $ Spent/Saved

The moment of truth is finally here! Our DIY kitchen facelift is finished and it was a success! You can start at the beginning here and read about each step of the way. I am happy to share the official before and after pictures!

BEFORE
 AFTER
 


BEFORE
 AFTER
 


BEFORE
AFTER

Here is everything we did:
  1. Removed old oven and stovetop and replaced with ceramic top range
  2. Installed custom cabinet where old oven was
  3. Installed custom shelves for cookbooks
  4. Replaced microwave
  5. Replaced fluorescent light over sink with pendant light
  6. Replaced all knobs and drawer pulls
  7. Rebuilt vent hood over range
  8. Painted and antiqued all cabinets and drawers
  9. Relaminated countertops
  10. Tiled backsplash
  11. New outlet covers
I think that about sums it up! Now for the best part--how much did we save? I will break down the cost of each step followed by a conservative estimate of how much it would cost for a contractor to have done it instead.

Step 1, 2, and 3: My new range was $379 (on sale + coupon) and we payed Nick's dad $300 to help us with the custom carpentry and electrical wiring. ((contractor estimate apprx $1500))
Step 4: New microwave $65
Step 5 and 6: Pendant light and knobs/drawer pulls found online for $75
Step 7: Free! Nick did it. ((New vent hood was $400))
Step 8: The paint kit we bought was $150 ((contractor paint estimate apprx $1000))
Step 9: New laminate and glue was $400 and we paid Nick's dad $200 to help us. ((contractor estimate to replace counters apprx $1000))
Step 10: Tile and supplies were $240 ((contractor estimate apprx $600))
Step 11: We spray painted the existing covers with bronze metallic paint for $5 ((New outlet covers $35))

Grand total for DIY =  $1,814

Total *conservative* estimate for contractor = $4,675

I can happily say we have an modern and updated kitchen now for LESS than $2000. Thank you for following along our latest project!

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