Hand Made Valentine's

We are not usually big about Valentine's day around here.  I like the holiday and all but usually I forget.  Chris typically comes through with dinner and a card and this year was no different.  Although the best Valentine's present I ever got was the year he gave me my label maker.  I know, I'm wierd.

This year I had the idea that the girls would make his/our gift.  I got the idea off of Pinterest (of course).  It was one of the very first things I ever pinned and I thought that it would make a great Valentine's gift.

I had Claire stamp her hands and I did Susanna's feet onto pink construction paper using white craft paint.  Then I played around with the saying in publisher getting it positioned just right and then printing it on a piece of vellum.  Cut the paper to size, pop it in the frame and voila!  A precious gift!

I figured that he would leave it here and we would hang it in the living room but imagine my suprise to walk into the kitchen this morning and found it gone.  He had taken it to work.  What a good daddy!

~ Andrea


Floor Pouf

These things are all the rage because they are so versatile.  They can be used as a foot stool, a side table and even extra seating.  The down side is that they are crazy expensive.  At least for me they are.  My solution was to make one.

I found this pattern from Amy Butler and with a gift card to Hobby Lobby that I got for Christmas I was able to sew this little beauty together.

It was super easy to make and is the perfect size for putting your feet up on and Claire loves to use it as her own little seat.  She also uses it as a soccer ball and likes to kick it up and down the hallway.  Not really what I had in mind but she finds it entertaining.

I look forward to making another one to put around my coffee table that one day I will be able to put back in my living room.  Right now it is just open floor since the baby is down there and with no coffee table we have more room to play.

I'll leave you with Claire making funny faces.  Have a great weekend!

~ Andrea


New Etsy Items

I'm adding some new items to my Etsy shop!  Super cute Kindle cases that would make a great Valentine gift.  If you are like me you have to email your husband the link and say "buy me this!" or else you never get what you want.

Love it?  Want it?  Get it Here!

~ Andrea


Photography 101

Progress.  It helps that I have the cutest model ever!


Sunday Dinner - Pork Tenderloin with Blue Cheese & Pear

It may look fancy but it was super easy to make which always gives a recipe a gold star in my cookbook.  It was suppose to be rolled but I can never get the meat thin enough to actually roll it so I just cooked it flat.  Still tasted the same to me.

  • 1 pear (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts - I used pecans
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumb
  • 1 pork tenderloin (they usually come 2 to a pack)
  • olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Combine pear, nuts, cheese and breadcrumbs in a bowl and set aside

Cut pork lengthwise to the other side but not through.  Open halves.  Place between plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch (again I could not get it this thin so I improvised).  Heat oil in pan and brown pork on both sides about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a baking sheet and top with cheese/pear mixture.

Bake 15 minutes until cooked but slightly pink in center.  I took it out when it got to 165 degrees.

Cool, slice and serve with your favorite sides.  We had green beans and mashed potatoes.  This took about 30 minutes total so try it if you need something quick, easy and delicious.

~ Andrea


A Good Book, or two.

Last year I read 65 books.  I know!  I could barely believe it myself.  Anywho, I wanted to share a few that I really loved in case anyone is looking for something good to read.

Star-Crossed Series by Rachel Higginson
Book 1 - Reckless Magic (currently free for kindle)
Book 2 - Hopeless Magic
Book 4 - Endless Magic (out any day now)

A self-published author only available on Kindle.  This series is awesome!  If you liked Twilight you will really like these books.  A young adult book about a teenage girl who discovers that she is a witch and is introduced to an entire world that she never knew existed.  With love, betrayal and revenge these books have so many twists and turns they really play with your emotions.  You will find yourself torn on how you want it to end and who you want her to end up with.  Read the first one and I promise you will be hooked.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

So good!  A little slow in the beginning but once the mother starts telling the "fairy tale" I could not put it down.  I wanted to see how it ended.  A really good book about mother/daughter relationships.

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

This is the first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  Yes it is about vampires but it is VERY adult.  There were many parts that made me blush but such a good book.  I have also read the second book in the series and I can't wait to read the rest of them.

The Survivors by Amanda Havard

A book about the descendants of exiled witches from the Salem witch trials.  Complete fiction but I really loved the plot.

Page from a Tennessee Journal by Francine Thomas Howard

A little historical fiction which I always love.  This story is a glimpse at one event in the lives of four different people all with a different perspective. I was angry at the end because there was no real resolution but I quickly realized that it was the perfect ending because, as with any journal, the story is never over.

These are just a few of the books that I read last year.  The links go to their descriptions on goodreads.com so if you want a better description and more opinions go there.  If you ever want to know what I'm reading just look down the right sidebar at the Goodreads box.  You can click on any book and it will take you to its page.

So what have you read lately?

~ Andrea


2012, Here I Come

Another new year.  Another opportunity to set goals and become motivated.  At least for the first few months, then we can all go back to our normal lives and tell ourselves that we will do better next year.

My goal for this year is to simplify.  With less 'stuff' and fewer obligations I hope to focus on what I have and find happiness.  I tend to bounce from one thing to another and stretch myself to thin so I always feel unsatisfied and kind of lost.

This year I want to focus on just a few things and work at being really good at those. 

First, my family.  I have the awesome opportunity to stay at home with my baby this time around and I want to take full advantage of it.  Claire will also start pre-k this fall so I want to do all of the fun stuff I can with her before she is in the routine of going to school.

Second, crafting.  I love making things and I really want to see if I can turn my hobby into some extra income so that we can do more activities as a family.

Third, photography.  I have always been interested in photography.  In college I took photography classes as my art electives and since then I have been dying to get a digital slr.  Well, this Christmas I finally bit the bullet and purchased a Canon EOS Rebel T2i and I am so excited.  My goal this year is to learn how to use my fancy new camera and I plan on sharing my progress.  I feel like I have a fairly artistic eye and really want to learn to take beautiful interesting pictures.

So here's to 2012.  May it be a fantastic year!

~ Andrea