July 26, 2012

Cooper’s Room – Round 2

When we moved into our house, just over a year ago, the very first thing I did was paint Cooper’s room.  I was determined to get it set up first thing.  Hahaha.  I think we can all take a guess as to whether that happened or not.

I’ll give you a hint, not.

I just finished it about 3 weeks ago!  Good grief.  While his bed and dresser remained the same (as the old house), almost everything else is new.

And here it is:

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I had a special helper that is obsessed with being both in front of, and behind the camera.  He had to run over and see each and every picture after I took it :)

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So.  Here is his bed.  Obviously.  Only it’s not a crib anymore :(  Wahhhh.  The letters are the same ones I made when I was pregnant.  His bedding is fairly new.  I bought the quilt and pillowcase from this Etsy shop a couple of months ago.  He needed a real blanket and pillow instead of just his little swaddling blankets he had been sleeping with.  The lady that made his bedding was awesome.  In true Ashley fashion, I didn’t want any of the fabrics she had so I found this green fabric that matched his (apparently difficult to match) existing stripes and dots, and she was SO nice to special order it for me.  And the quality is great!  It has minky dots on the other side, and Cooper loves his “sofe blanket”.

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This wall came together in bits and pieces.  I have had the book slings up for quite some time, but I couldn’t figure out what I wanted above them.  I tried a floating shelf like the Ohdeedo-featured nurdery in the tutorial for the book slings, but I wasn’t digging it in real life.  Lee was really happy to hear that I had changed my mind. He loves hanging things for me only to hear that I don’t like it and he has to take it back down.  Finally, after Coop’s birthday, I decided to do the little 3D-ish pictures. Yes, he sleeps with the humidifier and fan every night, so they are always on display.  They are a lovely addition to the decor.

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I followed this tutorial for these, except I used two different fabrics.  I am NOT an experienced sew-er.  I think I have used a sewing machine like 2 times before in my life.  But, these are seriously just straight lines.  Mine are by NO means perfect.  And you can hide your imperfections in the back.  Not that I would know about that…

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Here are close ups of the pictures.  I ordered the animals from Etsy, and made the other things with my silhouette.  They aren’t perfect, but I was happy with how they turned out, and more importantly, Cooper loves them.  You can see the anchors from the floating shelf.  Clearly I still have some spackling and painting to do.  I may do that in the next year :)

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I made the curtains following this tutorial, and Lee made the cornice box for the window with this tutorial.  I love it because it’s enclosed at the top, so no light comes through at the ceiling, and the curtains are lined with blackout fabric.  The one on the right bothers me because it’s a smidge too long, and won’t drape well because of the heavy blackout lining.  Oh well.

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Yep, that’s his birthday wreath.  I’m telling you he loves it.

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Close up of what’s on the wall with his dresser.  His newborn keepsakes.  I may have made Cooper hold up that onesie to see how small he used to be.  And then I may have cried multiple times while making this.

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I made the growth chart out of a scrap piece of wood and leftover paint and stain, so it was free!  I have his heights at various ages written down, but I haven’t taken the plunge and marked on his chart.  It make some nervous for some reason.  Cooper ran over real fast, and stood stiff as a board while I took this, haha!  So funny.

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For purposes of full disclosure, his room rarely looks like this.  His bed has a pool noodle under the fitted sheet (because he initially fell out on his face several times), there is sometimes a pallet on the floor because yes, we occasionally sleep on his floor.  Those books you see in the game room in the last picture are usually strewn all over his room, and his curtains are always drawn, with an extra blackout shade hung up behind the blinds.  But, it’s fun to pretend this is what it looks like on a daily basis :)

July 24, 2012

DIY Picture Holder

I had been wanting to make some type of picture/card/whatever holder for some time.  We have a stainless steel fridge, and the downside to it (other than constant fingerprints) is that it’s not magnetized, so we can’t display anything on it.  And it’s enclosed in cabinetry, so we really can’t use the sides, which are magnetized.

I got the idea of backing a large picture frame with chicken wire, and using clothespins to hang items from.  I just needed to go out in search of a frame.  Then a few weeks ago, I mentioned it to my dad, and he gave me this super old frame.  It used to hold his college picture :)  It was the perfect size for the area I wanted to hang it.  And it was free :)  I did have to putty the corners, as they all had big gaps, but it was nothing big.  They had all been reinforced on the back, so I wasn’t worried about it coming apart.


That red and gold was not our style, so I searched through our paint supply, and decided to go with navy.


But, I wasn’t feeling that at all.  So I ended up painting white over it, and distressing it a little so that the navy, and some of the wood were also showing.  Of course, I didn’t take a picture, but you can see it in the finished product.

We picked up some chicken wire from Lowe’s.  I think it was $13.  It was actually the only thing we purchased to make this.  Sweet.


I laid the chicken wire over the frame and snipped it with wire cutters to fit.  Then I just stapled it to the frame with a staple gun.

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Then I found some wire hanging thread-stuff (the technical name), and just stapled that to the top of the frame and hung it up.


Voila!  Cute, right?  I love it. The detail is slightly frilly for me, but I like that it’s different than anything we already have.

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For now, we just have some random things up.  Artwork from Cooper and a Christmas picture, haha :)  Coop LOVES that his stuff is hanging up, and he runs over all the time and looks at it with pride :)  Sorry for the blurry picture.


I just used these teeny tiny clothespins to hang them.  I already had them, but I think I got them at Hobby Lobby.  And they are tiny.  I can’t wait to start getting Christmas cards, although that’s a while away, haha.

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That’s it!  Super simple and a really fun way to display cards, birth announcements, pictures, anything really.

July 23, 2012

Weekend Recap – Photo Style!

This was one of those weekends where I captured pretty much everything with my (phone) camera.  We had a great weekend.  We were busy, but not too busy :)

This is what I came home to on Thursday night.  The boys vacuuming.  Too cute!


Friday Lee and I took the afternoon off so that we could tackle a couple of errands/chores kid-free.  Sadly for you, I did not take any pictures of me buying fabric and paint, or of Lee mowing the lawn.  I know.

Saturday morning cuddles with my sweet as pie boy.  He has been extra cuddly lately and I’m loving it!  Why yes, I am wearing mens athletic shorts with paint all over them.  Y’all would be embarrassed for me if you saw what I wore at home.


We also went to a birthday party at a bounce place Saturday.  Cooper was SO excited to go.  He kept saying “Bounce! House!” over and over and over and over….well, you get it.  So, when we got there, what did he do?  CLUNG to me like a monkey and refused to play!  Of course!  We finally coaxed him down, and he warmed up a little on the trampoline.


And once he got warmed up, there was no stopping him!  The rest of the pictures I took all looked like this.  A big blur!


Saturday evening, we had ice cream for dinner!  I mean, how can you argue with that smile?


Somewhere in there I made this.  A little card/announcement holder.  I plan to have a tutorial up this week, hopefully.  I did take pictures for it!


Cooper has been WAYYYY into reading books lately.  He will bring one to us and say (in a pretty demanding voice) “read it mama!  sit!  read it!”  Haha.  He has suddenly become very into Max and Ruby.  I have no idea why, because we have never read or watched them, but he knows their names when he sees a book.  He will say “Max..Ruby...Read it!”  We are working on the please part :)


Sunday night we went to dinner with my parents.  Oh lord.  And Lee and I were reminded of why we never go out to eat with Cooper.  He canNOT sit still.  Not for anything in the world.  Poor buddy.  I did actually feel badly for him, because he was standing next to me in the booth, and I kept telling him to sit on his bottom, and he seriously just didn’t understand why he couldn’t run around.  His lip started puckering out like he was going to cry :(  And then he saw a baby, and it was over.  He is obsessed with babies.  We almost left, but eventually my mom got him distracted with a cup of ice.  Boyfriend loves ice.


Watering Dada’s tree.  I mean, are you not dying over his cutoff shirt?!  I had never been a fan, but I got him some because it’s just so dang hot out, and now I want to get him 100 more!  His little chicken arms are so teeny and cute!


Giving his pirate a bath before his own bathtime.


July 19, 2012

Easy Beef Stroganoff

I thought I‘d share a recipe today :)  I don’t know why I don’t do this more often, we cook dinner at home every night, so we are always trying out new things and I’m always on the hunt for simple recipes for the work week.

I’m not a big meat eater.  I’d rather have carbs.  But, Lee is a major carnivore, so pretty much every meal I make involves meat.  Several years ago, he had been asking for beef stroganoff.  I’d never made it before, but I did have a recipe in my family recipe binder that I thought I’d try out, and it was a big hit!  Lee loves it, and even Cooper likes it!  Cooper does throw out the meat though.  I think Lee is nervous that he won’t have a fellow meat-lover in the house.  Anyway, I have probably made this at least twice a month, if not weekly, since the first time we had it. 

It’s pretty simple, at least as far as the recipes I usually make, so it’s easy for me to throw together after work.  Now, I will admit, it’s not the healthiest dish, but that’s probably what makes it so good :)



  • 1 package egg noodles
  • 1 lb. sirloin
  • 1/4 cup onion (about half of a medium sized)
  • 4 oz. mushrooms (half of a regular pre-packaged container)
  • olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. white cooking wine
  • 2 Tbs. cooking sherry
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • paprika

Fill a pot with water for the noodles. 

While you’re waiting for that to boil, chop the onions and mushrooms and saute in olive oil until tender.  Scoot them over to the edge of the pan to make room for the sirloin. 

Cut the sirloin into bite-sized pieces, and add them to the pan (you may need to add more oil).  Cook sirloin until browned and mix with the mushrooms and onion. 

Add the white cooking wine, cooking sherry, heavy cream, and cream of mushroom soup and stir to combine. 

Turn heat to low and simmer 10-15 minutes. 

By this time, the water should be boiling*, so add your noodles and cook according to the package directions, about 10-12 minutes. 

When the noodles are done, drain and add them to the sauce along with the sour cream.  Stir to combine.  DO NOT forget the sour cream!!  I am notorious for forgetting it, and at this point, Lee asks every time if I remembered it!  Haha :)

Sprinkle with paprika before serving.


*Often times, if the water comes to a boil before I’m finished with the sauce, I just let it boil and wait until I’m finished putting the sauce together, and add the noodles once I turn it to simmer.  That way, the noodles and sauce are done at about the same time.

July 16, 2012

Blogger Meet Up/Playdate!

Last weekend, I FINALLY met one of my very favorite bloggers ever.  And she is now one of my favorite people ever.

I don’t know how long I’ve been reading Sarah’s blog, actually.  If I had to guess, I’d say since about the time that our boys were born.  Her son, Manny, is just a few weeks older than Cooper.  They are both wild and crazy boys, and do a lot of the same funny (and sometimes frustrating) things, and we have been talking about getting together with them forever. 

Sarah lives just a couple of hours away from me, so Cooper and I hopped in the car on Saturday and drove down for a little meet up/play date.  Megan and Katie live close to Sarah and were able to come, too!

It was so fun to get together with these girls and watch the kids all play together.  Just as suspected, Cooper and Manny were two peas in a pod.  I wish we lived closer.  I’m sure they would be best buddies.


Story time with Miss Katie.  This was the cutest thing ever.  You can’t see her very well, but Molly is behind Manny.  I think he is sitting on her, actually :)


Don’t Chloe and Manny look like an old married couple here?!  Haha.  Manny had a lot of phone calls.  Clearly he is very popular!


All of the kiddos!


Of course, we had to include Maeva in a group picture!  Cooper was very into the baby.  He even got to hold her for a minute.  He also kept barging into her room while she napped.  Luckily she is a sound sleeper!


We should have gotten all of the moms in a picture too!  Maybe next time.  I had so much fun with these ladies and their kids.  I have met so many great people through blogging, and Megan, Katie and Sarah are some of my favorites!  I’m looking forward to more meet ups in the future!

July 12, 2012

Picture Dump

Sweet boy watching cartoons.  He has just recently started watching tv for more than 2 seconds.  He really likes Thomas the Train (“Thomas Choo Choo”), and after some persuading (because we were tired of Thomas and his gang of idiots), we have gotten him to like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (“Mouse House”). Oh, how could I forget his favorite, Pajanimals (“Jamas”).


He finally noticed the “tractor” at WalMart, and proceeded to say “tractor” approximately 3920057 times while we got groceries.  So he got to ride it before we left, and it was hilarious!  He had no clue what to do.  It started moving and suddnely he went still and didn’t move until it was over.  Haha :)


I made my wreath in time for 4th of July!


We went to the pedi the other day, and Cooper kept saying something, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.  Everything I asked him, he said no to.  Then after the doctor checked him out, he said it to her, and she said “sucker?” and he said “yes!”.  Silly boy.  That was one of the things I asked him!  He has only gotten a sucker there one other time before, so that memory is serving him right.


This makes me want to cry.  I wanted to keep him in his crib until he was 13.  But he had been consistently climbing out of it, and even started sleeping on the floor, so we went ahead and converted it.  He’s been doing a great job in it so far.


Currently obsessed with “ifream”


So happy before church last weekend!

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Waiting for an ENT appointment.  He had this look on his face the entire time we were in the waiting area, ha!


The Pickiest Child Ever likes Ramen noodles.  So random.


July 5, 2012

He doesn’t get it

This conversation happened the other day between Lee and myself:

Me: So, I was talking to a blog friend of mine who lives {not too far away from us}, and I was thinking of driving down with Cooper to meet her.  You know, she’s the one who made Cooper’s birthday invitations?  And she has a little boy Cooper’s age.  And he’s so cute and funny!  And he really likes to wear fedoras!

Lee: [looking at me like I have 3 heads] Huh?  Are you going to her HOUSE?!

Me:  [really confused about why he isn’t excited about this like I am] Well….yeah….She’s really nice and we talk all the time about how the boys would have so much fun together, and it would be so fun!

Lee: How do you know she’s not psycho?

Me: Umm, I read her blog.  And she’s on twitter. [frantically finding her on twitter] Oh, here’s a picture of her and her kids!  See, she’s so nice!

Lee: People can look nice and still be psycho.

Me: But! I have friends who are friends with her!

Lee: What friends?

Me: Er…..other friends….that I met through blogging and twitter

Lee: omg

Me:  No!  I promise she is normal and so nice and fun!

Lee: Okay, if you think it’s a good idea…..


If you don’t blog, you don’t get it.  And I know that.  But I often forget.