So, you’re having a baby. A sweet, warm little human to nurture and love and hold in your arms until it is time for him/her to go to kindergarten. At first, this is all you think about.
But, eventually you start to think about where you are going to put it down. And that leads to the crib. And the high chair. And the ergonomically correct side swinging chair that plays lullabies. And sooner or later you’ve pinned 1000+ pins on designing the perfect nursery. (If you’ve planned a wedding, you’ve experienced this, too. Just without the pregnancy hormones). With my first daughter, everything had to be brand new and fancy and perfectly coordinated. It felt like a reflection of me as a (bad) mother if it wasn’t. Plus, you have 9 months to shop. That’s dangerous.
This time around, I’m much more savvy. If it can be bought used and cleaned, I’ve gone that route (seriously, baby stuff is usually the best deal in town. It’s barely used before it’s outgrown, and most often is made to be hosed down because, frankly, kids are kind of gross). Even better is when you can inherit stuff from other mommy friends. By the second kid, usually the only thing you need to buy is diapers.
Even so, it’s hard not to get sucked into all the charming and crazy expensive baby things that start showing up magically in all your google ads on your computer screen from the first time you search “pregnancy symptoms”. So I’ve made a truly obnoxious baby registry of a few of my absolute favorites that I’d be clicking “buy” on if college tuition for two kids didn’t give me night terrors.
(If you feel strongly that my sweet baby deserves any of these things and want to donate to the cause, you can access my paypal account here).
2. Carolina Accents Ashton rocking Chair list price $843 but only $562.87 on Wayfair! There is something decidedly Adams family about this, and it looks fairly uncomfortable, but I’m in love with it anyway.
3. Petunia Pickle Bottom “Hampton Holdall” diaper bag $760 I usually place PPB diaper bags in the category of possible splurge, since most of them top out under $200. So why is this one so much more? It must be the Hamptons reference, and the fact that it doesn’t come with any of the standard baby accessories, like a changing pad or a place for bottles or diapers. I think this might just be a regular bag in disguise. One that you will put a dripping poopy diaper into someday.
4. Empire rocker $899 Just amazing. A rocker you wouldn’t want to hide in the baby’s room or set on fire afterward. It does, however, cost more than all my living room furniture combined.
5. Inglesina Classica Pram $1,499 The bugaboo has nothing on this. I’m smitten with these vintage style strollers. Something about the white tires sends me into a mommy tizzy. I bought a true vintage one on Ebay for $1,400 less than this.
Halloween is safely behind us, the weather has turned cold around here, the two BIG (eating!) holidays are coming up, and fitted skin baring outfits have made way for oversize sweaters and fleece (although in my case, I’ve been waddling around in comfy, slouchy clothes for several months now. Such is being 8 1/2 months pregnant. It does make for guilt-free Halloween candy eating, though). I’d say it’s safe to do a little indulging to get ready for the holiday season. I’m thinking we need just a little something to bridge the gap between fall and winter. Something to face the upcoming winter with a little equanimity. Is it too early for eggnog? No. No, it’s not. Especially not if we put a little pumpkin in it. I’m not over the pumpkin everything yet, are you? Now some eggnog purists may scream at their smartphones reading this, but the recipe I’m sharing is for cooked eggnog. Now Pete and Gerry’s eggs are about as good as you can get with eggs. They let their chickens run around outside instead of locking them in cages, they feed them hormone and antibiotic free feed, they use gentle handling methods to limit the chickens stress (I love that; it’s hard not to picture them giving little chicken massages. You can see some cute pictures of Pete and Gerry snuggling with their chickens here). But even using organic, antibiotic, gmo and pesticide free eggs won’t eliminate the risk of Salmonella, and being hugely preggers I can’t take the risk. I’m going to skip the booze, too, but I really think you should have it. Now I will admit to using the scary eggs in baked goods sometimes, especially if I’m in a baking frenzy. Sometimes for me, cost wins. But eggnog is all about the eggs. If you have scary tasting eggs, you’ll be able to tell. Just like when making an omelet. Bad eggs=bad omelet. So this is not the time to skimp. Plus, as a reformed vegetarian (15 years in, 6 years out), I do think about how the chickens are raised, and what the process is doing to the environment. And one of the only true measures of having your voice heard is through your wallet. Want nice farmers who raise nice chickens and don’t pollute the ground and water? You have to buy the nice eggs. Since Pete and Gerry’s were the 1rst certified humane egg producers and B-corp certified (that means they have been proven to be following ethical standards in their farming practices. More info here), you don’t just have to take their word for it. So, that being said, let’s get cracking (yeah, sorry).
1-2 c. spiced rum or brandy, depending on taste (optional)
whipped cream for topping (optional)
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring milk and pumpkin puree just to a boil. Don’t let the milk scorch. Take off heat and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and brown sugar together. While whisking constantly, slowly pour milk mixture into the egg mixture. Pour mixture back into the saucepan and add the cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. This is how you know the eggs are cooked enough (You can also use a candy thermometer. The mixture should reach 160° F). Once cooked, pour eggnog mixture through a fine mesh sieve, using the back of a spoon to push it through, into a clean bowl. Stir in cream, vanilla extract, and brandy or rum (if using). Chill for at least 4 hours. Serve cold, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. If you liked this post, maybe you’d like to see what else I get up to. You can follow me on bloglovin’, facebook, or see my latest pin obsessions on pinterest. If you like my pictures, you can see what else I shoot that doesn’t end up on the blog on instagram.
And now: PGO is giving away a $100 VISA gift card to one of my lucky readers! Just leave me a comment telling me why you love small family farms and you will be automatically entered to win. Sweepstakes Rules:No duplicate comments.You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.The Official Rules are available here.This sweepstakes runs from 11/10/14 – 12/31/14Be sure to visit the PGO & Nellies brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
Welcome to day 2 of the 4th Annual Handmade Holidays Blog Hop! A few years ago we were looking online for handmade gift ideas and thought it would be great if there was a resource dedicated JUST to handmade gift ideas. Enter the Handmade Holidays hop! We’ve gathered over 100 of our creative blogger friends in the craft industry as well as some of our fellow product manufacturers to bring you a plethora of inspiring gift ideas you can make now to give to your friends, family, and colleagues. Pin and bookmark these ideas for this holiday season and to use throughout the year! Each day of the hop features approximately 30 gift projects and you can “hop” from one blog to another to check them all out.
This past year I’ve become a total instagram junkie. It’s my first thing in the morning internet app. What better way to wake up than looking at pretty pictures while drinking coffee? It’s also fun to share photos that don’t have a place on this blog. And this past year I’ve shared a lot. So I thought it would be fun to turn some of these pics into holiday gifts.
I love these instagram magnets because they can be so personal and thoughtful, the supplies are easy to find in your local craft store, and they take less than an hour to make. If your holidays are as hectic as mine, fast is a big plus!
instagram shrinky dink magnets
shrinky dink paper for ink jet printers
instagram account or photos from another source
baking sheet for oven
First, you need to get the photos from your instagram feed. There’s lots of ways to do this. Here’s two:
1. You may already have them in the camera roll of your smartphone. In the instagram app, click on your profile (bottom right bottom that looks like an old radio). In your profile, click the little blue sun/wheel in the top right corner. Scroll down to “save original photos” and switch button to on.
2. If you haven’t been saving them using your instagram app, you can save them with your computer. Go to the instagram page, log in, and click on “view profile”. Once your photos come up, click on the one you want to save. Right (control for mac) click on “view background image”. Right (control) click again, rename your file and save to your desktop.
Open your saved image in photoshop if you have it, or you can get picmonkey, which is a free photo editor. (I use a mac, and had to first open my image in preview, then save as a jpeg to open it in photoshop).
Once baked, your magnets will be slightly bigger than one third of the printed size. I size my photos to 5.25 inches square in photoshop (do this in Image>Image Size), so they’ll be just about 2 inches square baked. Sounds good. That way I can also fit 2 photos per sheet of paper. I also increased my resolution in Image Size to 300 dpi.
I added a border to some of my photos. To do this in photoshop, Select>All. Then Select>Modify>Border> 30 pixels. Paint in your border (I used black).
*IMPORTANT* Once your photo is ready, you need to lighten it or they will be too dark when shrunk! I did this by going to Image>Adjust>Brightness and bringing it to between 75 and 100, depending on the photo. You want it to look washed out but still show details.
Once you have all your images ready, print them onto your shrink paper. Set your printer to high quality printing, photo paper (matte if possible) and best print mode. Trim the paper to your photo borders.
Place parchment paper on baking sheet and put trimmed photo on top of parchment paper. Put into a 275-°300 oven for 3-5 minutes. Watch your photos! When they have curled and re-flattened, give them 30 more seconds, then take out of the oven and smooth the top with a clean piece of paper til cool. Let cool completely then stick magnet to the back. Done!
TIPS: the shrinky dink paper I used can be printed on both sides, and when cooked becomes opaque, so if you change your mind about a print, just print on the other side.
A few of my magnets curled up in the oven and refused to go flat, so buy more paper than you think you need, just in case.
Oven temperature seemed to be a big factor in how well these shrunk. The sweet spot for my oven was 290°. So do a little experimenting one magnet at a time.
Some of my magnets cooked into rhombuses instead of perfect squares.
Are you ready for lots more creative handmade gift ideas and projects??
Follow along on our blog hop! Simply click on each of the links below to be taken to that post with additional information and photos on how to create a handmade gift project. Have fun and pin away!