Friday, October 28, 2011

Cupcake Surprise!

I love dessert! It is a weakness. I have tried really hard lately to have healthier eating habits. I think this is one reason why I have taken up crafting - to avoid making all the deliciously unhealthy recipes I have found on Pinterest. However, having a bowl of ice cream every now and then is fine, right? I mean...everything in moderation...isn't that what people say? Well, last night we had small group and I took that as my opportunity to make a new creation I have been dying to try. And I figured since other people would be partaking (at least I had hoped they would), that it would be okay to have one myself.

I have deemed this little creation as "Cupcake Surprise". Fitting title since there is a surprise inside - a reese's mini cup - YUM!

I started with this for the cupcake part of this little experiment. You can use any brand of cupcake mix you prefer and I'm pretty sure any other candy you prefer (haven't tried it though, so don't hold me to that).

Make the cake mix as directed on the box. Then, fill the cupcake holders about 1/4 - 1/2 full and then place the Reese's on top of the mix like so:

Next, fill the cups with the remaining cake batter.

Easy-peasy! Then bake! While the cupcakes were baking, I made my own frosting. I decided the best frosting choice would be peanut butter (what else would be better?!). This was my first attempt at making frosting from scratch (gee, someone was feeling ambitious).

Here is what you need for peanut butter frosting:

2 c Confectioners sugar
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter (room temperature)
3 Tbl milk or cream (I chose almond milk because that is all I had)

First, you want to cream the peanut butter and stick of butter. This is where you want the butter to be room temperature so it is easier. (Mine wasn't room temp so I softened it in the microwave for a few seconds). Then, add the sugar and mix. And finally, add the milk or cream. This is what it will look like

I was going to attempt making a pretty design on the cupcake when I frosted it, but the frosting was a bit thick for my make shift bag (frosting design tip and a plastic baggie). I guess that's what I get for being a bit too ambitious. Here is the final product

My husband helped me frost them as we were literally running out the door already 30 minutes late to small group. I think these made up for our tardiness though. :) Enjoy!

Dooley Pants

Ever since Derek Dooley began sporting his awesome orange pants I just knew I needed to get some for Connor. I searched for some that would work and not just look like every day baby sweat pants. To no avail, I was unsuccessful in my pursuit. (It's pure craziness that North Carolina doesn't sell UT paraphernalia.) I decided that I would make him some! Yep - I said MAKE! I found an amazing online tutorial that was perfect! It was especially great for sewers like me (you know...people who don't really sew but wish they could. Yeah...that's me).

Here is what I started with:

Well, I also had the obviously (sewing machine, thread, scissors, etc). After cutting the pattern this is what I had to work with:

What?! THAT is going to make pants? I was beginning to think the tutorial I found was defective. However, I continued to follow the directions and this was the final product:

VOILA!! And here is my sweet guy sporting his new look:

I think Dooley may have some competition!

*side note* - the pants are a bit big (what's up MC Hammer pants!?) but I made them that way on accidental-purpose. That way he can wear them with his cloth diaper (that makes him have a J-Lo booty) and he'll be able to wear them for a couple months as he grows.

Crazy Cloth World

I have decided to go full steam ahead into the cloth diaper world. I was honestly a bit hesitant at first - you know, venturing into the unknown. So, with some great advice from my friend Suzanne and lots of determination, I have fell jumped in head first into this crazy cloth world. I'm the type of person where I am either all in or not at all. I just can't make myself halfway do something. So, I bought some new diapers and made some of my very own wipe solution (all because I ran out of wipes one day before I could run to the store - oops!). I have also decided to use cloth wipes (made from baby washcloths or cut burp cloths). It is so much easier to use cloth wipes than it is disposable ones. The reason is because when I'm out and about with the little guy and I have to change him, it is much easier to roll up the wipe into the diaper than to look around for a trash can to throw away disposable wipes. I have also decided that since I'll be cloth diapering during the day, it only makes sense to cloth diaper at night. I may eat my words once I begin this new adventure and he wakes up in the middle of the night to be changed. Yikes! He's been sleeping through the night since he was 2 months old so I'm not sure I want to change that...Mama Liz likes her sleep!

Well, here is the recipe for the wipe solution. You can even use this one cut paper towels if you would like. It's super easy to make.

You will need:
1/2 c baby oil
1/2 c baby wash
2 c water
a container to put it in (I utilized the spray bottle they gave me at the hospital)

This makes a fair amount (way more than my little bottle would hold). So, if you have a smaller container then just adjustment the measurements accordingly. First put the water in, second the oil, and third the wash. Give her a good shake and voila! Congratulations, you now made your very own baby wipe solution for much less than you would have paid for wipes at the store.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I love working on my craftiness (what little I have). I already posted about a beanie I crocheted for Connor. Well, I made another one (it fits much better). Here's an adorable pic:

See, I told you it was adorable. I know what you must be thinking: "wow! She must have been crocheting for years!" Not true. I actually learned the basic single crochet during my freshman year of college. The girls in my hallway in my dorm would sit out in the hall at least twice a week and crochet together. My roommate and I joined them a few times. So, I owe my basic beginner skills to the girls of Lucy!

The only thing I've ever made (before now) was a scarf (that turned out terrible and I never wore) and a pot holder (which I still use). I should also add that I haven't made anything since then (so for about 9 years). I was very intimidated to make anything else. I mean, straight lines seemed hard enough without making them look like a 2 year old did it - making a circle seemed impossible for me. One of my friends suggested I check out Art of Teresa on Youtube. I finally did and this is the final product of my hard work :) It definitely took a few tries (and lots of undoing the rows) and playing with the stitches to get the right size for this little stud. I'm pretty proud of it, though. It also says a lot when my husband asked me to make him one. And no, he wasn't just being nice. Most of the women in his family are very crafty (somewhat intimidating for me at times) so for him to compliment my hard work meant the world to me!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Frugal Advocate

If you're anything like me, you love a good bargain - especially when it is FREE! I love finding activities that cost nothing (or close to it). When Keith and I decided that I would quit my job and be a stay at home mom when Connor was born, I immediately began to think of all the fun things we could do all day! (of course this will all be when he's old enough to actually stay awake longer than a couple hours) I really want to minimize his TV watching (just a personal preference) and fill that time with games and activities. I have found lots of fun stuff on Pinterest to do when he's a few years old. (check out some of my boards!)

Another idea is the public library. I went to ours last week to look for some Spanish on cds (brushing up for my trip to Cancun). Now, I am an avid reader - I LOVE it! I hold my parents responsible for my shelf-filling, keeping B&N in business, time-consuming habit (what?! Your parents didn't make you do book reports in the summer? That's odd...) However, I have not been to a public library since I was...well...doing summer book reports :) When I so carefully chose my Spanish cds (there were only two to choose from...hmm...other people must be brushing up on their Spanish too) and I took them up to the counter and proudly handed them my brand new library card I was completely thrown off when they handed my card and cds to me without asking me to pay for anything. I had totally forgotten that the public library owns books out for FREE! Not only that, but they also have story time for youngin's too! I am a HUGE advocate for public libraries and I think more people should take advantage of them.

A couple other ideas of fun activities are going to your local craft store. They will offer free (or for a small fee) classes or craft sessions for kids. This beats buying the stuff myself and doing it at home when I can do it much cheaper at the store! And, of course, there is always your local home improvement (I'm a Lowe's kinda girl, but I'm sure Home Depot has the same stuff) store that will have morning or weekend activities (like building a bird house) for the kids!

I am really looking forward to all the fun stuff Connor and I will get to do in the coming years. But, for now, I will cherish these moments - smiles, laughs, and small milestones like rolling over.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting crafty

I worked my last wedding for the season last weekend. I have now gone full force into craft mode. There are so many things I want to make! I started small and made a beanie for Connor. It's a little big, but he doesn't seem to mind. He's still cute as can be! (I swear I'm not bias) I have a few more DIY projects up my sleeve so keep coming back to check them out!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bigger Than a Box

One thing I constantly prayed for while I was pregnant was that Connor would have no problems breastfeeding. This was something I so badly wanted for him and me. Well...the Lord answered my prayer! Connor is a champ when it comes to eating. Not only has he not had trouble latching on, but he is very efficient. It literally takes him 10 minutes to eat. I was concerned at first because every book I read it said to feed 20 minutes each side - WHAT?! Well, Connor must be impatient like me and decided that he didn't have time for all that. The doctor says he is healthy as can be and that he and I are just a good team :) Well, in the midst of praying about this, I never once thought about the possibility of Connor having to take a bottle. I never thought about it until he had to take one. I started back to work which means that while I'm there Keith, or whomever is watching him, has to feed him with milk I left. This has not been going well at all. Friends have offered suggestions and after running to the store three or four different times for different bottles, nothing has worked. He just fusses and won't latch on. I was very worried about this since this past weekend I was working a wedding in Knoxville and I knew it would be an all day affair. I didn't want my poor baby to starve!

Well, as Connor and I were driving over the mountain, I was admiring all of the amazing fall colors on the trees (they are gorgeous!). I began thanking God for his beautiful art work and for all His promises. He immediately began speaking to me. He reminded me that He is much bigger than the box I constantly put Him in. He is bigger than any problem I face - even the bottle situation. I began crying as I drove and listened to God (not a good combination...driving and crying that is). I continued to thank Him for His constant pursuit after me even when I doubt Him, when I try to take control, and when I put Him in a small box as if to say that He can't take care of me or my problems. I know that no problem or trial I face is too big for Him - He just has to remind me of that sometimes. I cannot begin to explain the overwhelming sense of peace I had in my heart at that exact moment.

Now, did Connor take a bottle while I was at work? Not any better than he has in the past. But, I know that he didn't starve and that God was watching over him. If he were hungry enough, he would eat. The best piece of advice I got while I was pregnant was this - Connor isn't mine, he is God's and God is loaning him to me for this short time we're here on earth.

Thank you LORD for being bigger than the box I try to put You in.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anniversary gift

Our three year anniversary was back in August, but we're just now getting around to sharing our gift with one another. Why, you ask. Well, Connor was only 8 days old so we were a little pre-occupied and very sleep deprived. Don't get me wrong, we definitely celebrated. Keith's mom was here for the first two weeks when Connor was born (which was a HUGE blessing!), so she watched him for the evening while Keith and I ordered take out and had dinner together downstairs (while Connor and mother Teresa were upstairs). It wasn't much, but it was perfect for me! Since we were so caught up in the last few weeks of my pregnancy and then the birth of our precious bundle of joy, we honestly didn't even think about getting gifts for one another. So, we decided on the perfect gift for one another - tickets for the UT v. LSU game. This past weekend was the game so we were super excited to have some quality time together and with friends. 

Keith (who doesn't particularly enjoy planning), planned a tailgate with friends and then we went to the game. We wanted to take Connor to the game, but we found out that we would have had to PAY FOR HIM TO GO - WHAT?!?! We refused to pay $75 for a 2 month old to go to a football game. Luckily, our good friend Suzanne agreed to watch him for us last minute. (THANKS SUZANNE!!) This actually worked out for the best since it was blazing hot and our seats were in the direct sun until 4th quarter. However, Connor did come to the tailgate with us :) 

One of my favorite parts was Saturday morning long before tailgating. Keith and I got up early and got to campus to make sure we would have our ideal tailgate spot. We set up camp and then the three of us took off on foot around campus to get some breakfast and then to the UT store. It was fun to just hang out with my sweet family before everyone else got there. We had a blast with friends grilling, playing cornhole (on the boards Keith and I made and painted), and some old school 4 square. The game was a bust (we got killed by LSU) but we had fun nonetheless. Here are some pics of our fun-filled day:

The boards and bags we made!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Feeling human

So I will admit that the past couple days I have felt anything short of human. Monday, I barely made it out of my pajamas (you can forget makeup) in order to make a trip to the grocery store. And I shame-ly admit that I didn't even make it out of my pj's all day yesterday - sad, I know. Well, today I had to make quite a few trips around town so I decided that for the sake of the public's eyes I would put on something other than sweatpants and paint my face a little bit. It is amazing how great I felt all day. I actually felt human! I have decided that in order for my sanity I will make it a point every day to get out of my pajamas and put on even a little bit of makeup.

I mentioned a week or so ago that I am working on organizing my time better. Well, I have made a calendar and planned out my daily activities to get done. For instance, Mondays, I clip coupons, plan weekly menu all meals, and then go grocery shopping. Every other day of the week consists of me breaking up house work (ie: dusting and vacuuming, sweeping and mopping, laundry, etc). It has really worked well for me. I don't feel overwhelmed when I think about all the things I have to do because I remind myself that the only thing that has to get done today is cleaning the bathrooms. It has made my life nearly stress-free in the area of housework, taking care of Connor, and getting work done for my brides. Once I get the hang of it a bit more I'll be able to add some time in there for crafts and new things I want to try. I'm trying really hard right now to just focus on organizing the house work rather than micromanaging all my time in one day. I'm a planner...

Friday, October 7, 2011


This entire blog post is going to be me bragging on my husband. If this makes you want to gag, well...I don't apologize because my husband is pretty special. If you really know me, you know that I stress about pretty much everything. I have had people in my life that have told me that I thrive off being stressed out. It's true...I am not sure how to be other than stressed, panicked, and busy constantly doing something. Although I desire a chance to just sit and breathe, I am not sure I would know how to react. To be honest, I'd probably find something to fill that void. Keith is the exact opposite - so tranquil and calm in ALL situations. Let me just give you a few examples. One weekend we were in Knoxville and about halfway through the trip he realized he didn't have his cell phone. We looked everywhere for that thing (re-traced his steps to the mall and back and basically all over Knoxville) and could NOT find it. He remained calm and just figured he'd either find it eventually or have another sent to him (it is a company phone). I, on the other hand, was freaking out for him. I kept saying that if it were my phone (my lifeline), I would be in panic mode. Luckily, we found it at home when we returned. Another example is when he wakes up late for work (which doesn't happen very often). When I wake up late for work, I freak out, throw the covers off and stress out automatically flinging clothes out of my closet trying to find something to wear, put my contacts in, brush my teeth, and put my makeup on in the car while driving (and it never fails that I ALWAYS leave something at home that is important that I need for the day). Keith reacts by saying "oh shoot, I'm late." He then gets up and gets ready quickly but remains calm. He is honestly like this in ALL situations. And in those times when I am stressing about work, my forever long to-do list (I continue to add to it at least 3 times a day), running late, etc, he is always there to calm me down. He reminds me that it is never as bad as I think it is and it will all work out in the end the way it is supposed to. He also is there to remind me to take a couple hours to get some extra sleep so I am able to function and face my situations with strength. I can admit this on here (because I know he won't read this :) but in these situations he is always right. You'd think I'd be able figure this out by now, but I haven't. I am so thankful God put Keith in my life (for many reasons) but especially this one. I love the ways that God works and one of those ways is making Keith the way he is and putting him in my life forever :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back to Work

As you know, I started back to working weddings two weekends ago. I must admit, it was hard to leave little man at home while I was gone for hours on end; however, it also wasn't as bad as I imagined it would be either. This past weekend I worked a wedding that has been in the making for several months. It was a humble reminder as to why I love what I do - planning and coordinating weddings! The bride and groom were so sweet and everything went off without a hitch - well, for the most part anyway. And, the bridal party (all 16 of them) were the BEST group of guys and gals I have ever had a privilege of working with - honest! Needless to say, this wedding is making it a lot easier for me transitioning back to work. I have another wedding this weekend of the beautiful Jennifer Metcalf and Mike Burrell. I have absolutely loved working with this bride and am so excited to see it all come together.

Since my Saturday was filled with wedding extravaganza stuff, Keith and I spent some quality time together on Sunday. We slept in a bit and then went to late service at church. In the afternoon, we took Norah to the park where they were having a Boxer rescue event. It was sort of a letdown so we left after only an hour and stopped by the outdoor store on the way home and ended our day at Keith's soccer game.

On the home front...I'm working on making a schedule to organize my day better. I'll post this once I figure it out a little better.