Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Pirate's Room for Me (or rather, for the Baby Bear)

While anticipating the arrival of our Baby Bear, we put in a lot of work creating a cozy little nursery to welcome our boy. (I apologize in advance for all the nightime pictures in this post, I obviously can't always wait until morning to snap photos.)

Now that we have moved, we are taking the opportunity to make his room a little more like a "big boy" room. It will probably be of no surprise that we are giving him a Pirate Room. :)
Here's what it looked like when we moved in...

...and here is how it looks after I finally finished the curtains the other night:

The room is still very much unfinished. The "sail" above the bed needs to be painted and styled. The white shelves need to be mounted on the wall, and numerous other things need to be checked off my To Do list, but getting the curtains up does help to make it feel a bit more "moved in".

I made the curtains out of a drop cloth from Home Depot and a sheet set I got on clearance at Target. I split the drop cloth in half and then made a border from the striped flat sheet. The border is 4 inches on the side and 12 inches at the bottom.

I cut the borders twice as thick as I needed, then just folded them in half and sewed them to the drop cloths. Then I measured how long they needed to be, folded them over at the top, and clipped on the curtain hooks.

I love the nubby texture of the drop cloths contrasting with the crisp stripes!

I have another project in the works for this little corner. I'm hoping to have it finished by next Wednesday for the Pinterest Challenge but I will give you a hint by pointing out the ceiling hook in the top of the picture. ;)

Here is another peek at more details in the room.

How cute is this bedding from Olive Kids... (Thanks Nana!)

But my new favorite detail for the Baby Bear's room is the project that Poppa Bear did the other night. We had this white clock hanging in the nursery before.

Simple, effective, but nothing too fancy.
Poppa Bear came home from work with these little stickers he made...

...and did this:

He was so excited to "DIY" something that I made sure that he took these pictures along the way. :)

I can't wait to find the perfect spot for it in the Baby Bear's new Pirate Room. Now to get working on the rest of that To Do list!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Bucket List Update

I posted our Fall Bucket List in this post, and since we've checked off a few items I thought I'd share an update. Here's what we've done so far...

*Go to a Pumpkin Patch:
This weekend we actually went to two different pumpkin patches. On Saturday we took the Fillmore & Western Railway to their private pumpkin patch. Baby Bear loves choo choos (trains) and munkas (pumpkins) right now, so he was in heaven! It was great to ride the train, and I have a whole posts worth of pictures to edit and share, but the "pumpkin patch" was more like pumpkins lined up for sale.

Then on Sunday we visited a local pumpkin patch that was a more traditional large field full of pumpkins... Baby Bear kept gasping in awe and yelling, "Munkas!" while running all through the patch.

*Go on a hayride:
While at the pumpkin patch we also got to feed a goat...

play scarecrows...

ride in a wheelbarrow...

 and go on a hayride!

*Have a photoshoot in a leaf pile:
Who doesn't love crunching fall leaves!? He is such an active little guy now it's hard to get a picture of his face these days.

* Go on two dates:
I'm happy to say we've already checked this one off the list, even though I thought it would be hard to accomplish with our busy schedules.
While visiting friends one night in Santa Barbara we had the opportunity to leave the kids home with an aunt while we went on a double date. It is always a treat to go out to dinner with adults!
We also were lucky enough to have our niece stay with the Baby Bear while we attended the wedding of two friends at Union Station in Los Angeles. It was a great night; hanging out with good friends, celebrating love and commitment, having a few drinks, dancing, and doing it all in a beautiful vintage setting.

How cute is the happy couple out on the dance floor! (I stole this picture from Facebook. I unfortunately didn't take any pictures that night. It may have something to do with the fact that Papa Bear drove and they had an open bar...) ;)

Well, that's about it for now. So far Fall has been living up to all my expectations and I know it will only get better this weekend. Halloween promises to give us lots of opportunities to check off a few more items on our list.

What fun items have you checked off on your Fall Bucket List so far?

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Ghoulish Recipe

Last year around this time our local Trader Joe's was sampling a yummy, simple dish they were calling "Ghoulash". It has become a "go to" recipe for when I need the Baby Bear to get some iron rich red meat in his diet. It's also tasty enough for grown ups and simple to throw together on a busy weeknight.

I hesitate to even refer to this as a recipe, because it's basically just adding ground beef to a can of premade O's, but here is how I do it in our house.

1 lb lean ground beef (you can certainly substitute ground turkey, chicken, lamb, whatever floats your boat...)
2 cans Trader Joe's "Joe's O's" (Organic Pasta in Organic Tomato Sauce)

I generally use 1 lb beef to 2 cans O's to get the meat/pasta ratio that I like, but you can adjust it to your taste. Just know that if you do 1 can to a pound of beef you're basically gonna end up with a bowl of beef with some pasta in it. (If given the option, this is probably how Papa Bear would prefer it!)

In a large saute pan, brown the beef (drain, if needed). Add O's and heat on medium until heated thouroghly. I like to simmer mine on low for a bit to soften up the ground beef so it's a little easier for the Baby Bear to eat, but you can skip that step and eat it right away.

Baby Bear tested, Mama Bear approved! :)

This combination makes a large amount of ghoulash, so I like to portion it out once cooled into my favorite glass storage containers and freeze it to have on hand for packing in Baby Bear's lunch, or for the times when he isn't interested in what we are having for dinner.

Nothing better than not having to ask, "What's for lunch?"

I feel like ever since the weather changed I've had the urge to cook and bake a lot more. Anyone else inspired to bring out the crockpot or heat the house on a chilly night by baking cookies? For me it would be a toss up between a roaring fireplace or a hot pan of brownies as my prefered way to keep warm. Unfortunately we don't have a fireplace, so I guess I'd better go preheat the oven...