Nursery sneak peek: Holland's hide-a-way.

6:49 PM

It's simple, it's sweet. It is ready for our Holland.

Just a sneak peek for now.

Good news though folks, hubs and I are looking into getting a REAL camera. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully you blog readers will only have to suffer a short time more from my lack of quality photos.



Bump Watch: 33 Weeks

2:27 PM

Stripes and a baby bump.

Here we are! 33 weeks and counting. 7 more weeks. So far, but yet so close! We are getting eager to meet this little rockstar.

His nursery is finished. His laundry washed and hung. The house is baby proofed, well pretty much. All we have left to do is pack for our time at the hospital and wait for the little booger to make his grand appearance. What can I say? I couldn't procrastinate if I wanted to.



Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

10:32 AM

Today, I am back to baking. I'll admit it. It's been a while. I've been on a frozen fruit and whipped cream kick lately, plus it's been rather warm and the oven pretty much bakes us out of this little abode. Anyhow, this morning is cool and grey. A perfect bake day.

We love these cookies. A bit crispy, a little salty, and sweet chocolatey goodness. This recipe makes about 4 dozen plus, depending on the size of your cookies. I like to bake off two full sheets. I roll the rest of the dough into neat little balls and pop them in the freezer in an airtight container. Then, next time you want warm cookies, they are at your fingertips. Your frozen dough can be popped right into the oven. Just add a couple minutes to your bake time. Great for last minute guests too!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yeild: about 4 dozen

1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup teff or wheat germ (we love teff and tend to stick with that)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
12 ounces good-quality chocolate, chopped into chunks
coarse sea salt (optional but recommended)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Starting with the mixer on low speed and increasing until it is on medium, beat until the mixture is creamy and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract, then scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and mix to combine.
Add in the rolled oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, teff or wheat germ one at a time. Mix on low speed to combine. Once incorporated, remove the bowl from mixer stand, and stir in chocolate chunks.
Line the baking pans with parchment paper or lightly spray with oil. Use a large (2 1/2 ounce) or small (1 1/4 ounce) ice-cream scoop to form balls of dough. Place the balls of dough about 4 inches apart on baking pans. Flaten slightly. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. 
Bake until golden and just set, about 18 minutes for large cookies and 14 minutes for small cookies. Remove from oven; let cool on pan 4 to 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Serve with a big glass of cold milk and enjoy!


Holland's Mustache Bash!

1:55 PM

On Cinco De Mayo, my sister and a handful of lovely ladies threw Holland and I one fun mustache bash! They put so much hard work and effort into it and the result was one wonderful time! I am thankful for all who helped. We went a little unconventional and welcomed guys too, after all this little one growing inside of me is a boy after all, not to mention that I didn't make this babe on my own, so why shouldn't men be welcome?

On that note, I have to share the invite with you. How cute are these? And yes, they are totally like real tickets, perforated and all! Ours however were yellow and brown! Which I loved.  They can be ordered and customized on Etsy from thatpartygirl.

Luckily, for those who did come (which quite a few did, with their wives of course), we spared them of all the girly-foofiness of many showers. And no games. Instead, we indulged in good food, including some "man food". Pork sliders to be exact. And an array of desserts (the best part right?), as well iced coffees, sparkling waters, and lemonades served with mustache straws and cups. :)

We also had a scrap book area where my Fujifilm Instax camera was set up, as well as props. Each guest was encouraged to pose, then add their picture to Holland's scrap book with a note or prayer to him. My sister is still working on putting this together, but I cannot wait to see the outcome of it! Moms were asked to leave new mommy advice on "my mommy advice" notecards.

The activities didn't stop there. My favorite "station" of all we will call it, was the onesie decorating table. Friends bought and donated some used onesies (any mom has some laying around, I almost guarantee) in all different sizes, and my dad, bless his heart, used Rit dye to color some brown, others blue, so we didn't have a bajillion white ones. It apparently took him 3 hours! He's no crafter, but a good sport. ;) So we didn't have to fuss with a hot iron since the whole event was outside, we simply used a fabric glue that provides a permanent bond. Templates were available as well as a stack of fabrics to choose from. People designed, cut, and glued. Later, I took all the onesies home, and stitched around the edges so they wouldn't curl up or fray in the washer. I love every single one of them.

Mostly though, we just visited. And ate. And opened gifts. A ton of them! I enjoyed every moment of it and loved having my husband by my side at our shower for our Holland.

Great grandma-to-be even made an appearance in "great grandma" attire of course!! I sure do love my grandmother! What a sport. We all got a good laugh!!

From the decor, to the food, to the friends, it was perfect. Thanks again to all those who threw in a helping hand. I know many of you did! You have blessed us.

At the end of the shower, men were sent home with thrifted ties of their choice (used as decor), and women, chocolate. Chocolate dipped pretzel sticks and/or s'mores on a stick. The recipe for the s'mores can be found here.

It was a fantastic day,

He had fun, I swear.

Naturally, the men flocked together.

Ladies, hard at work. Onesie decorating.

As you probably noticed, these pictures are in no order. But you get the gist of our day.

Until next time,
Mal (and Holland too!)


Bump Watch: 31 weeks!

8:30 PM

Well, our little Holland's mustache bash was a success! My sister and a group of girlfriends worked so hard to make it all come together, and it really was great. I'm still waiting on photos to share. I actually took none. I decided to simply enjoy the event rather than photograph it, so I am hoping others got a few good shots! Everything was just too cute not to document, so I know somebody must have!  We are continuing to prepare for the little guy around this neck of the woods. :)

As for baby and I, we are still growing. I think I'm at the "I'm huge" stage. Or so I feel. 31 weeks and counting. Most of all we want a healthy, happy baby boy, but I sure wouldn't be opposed if this little guy came before the full 40 weeks! I think most mammas probably feel this way. We are eager to meet the little booger, but until then I will enjoy these last weeks with our boy just where he is.


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