Chenille Burp Cloths

If you want some perfect burp cloths, this is how you should make them!  Nothing soaks up baby puke quite the same way as these chenille cloths.

A friend made me some of these when Baby S was recently born and I have loved them.  (thanks Lisa!)  When someone asked if I sold any burp cloths, these are immediately what I thought of.  The originals were chenille on one side and home decor fabric on the other.  The only problem I found with that combo is the selection of boyish patterns in the home decor section.  I decided to use regular weight fabric and they turned out great.  At least I think so.  :)
 I love that they are cheery, yet soft.  When I saw this fabric and Joanns, I couldn't pass it up.
 So so soft.  I would happily cuddle into this myself.
If you want to make these for your baby, a friend, or yourself :), here are the dimensions.  I cut 12x18 pieces of fabric, sewed wrong sides together (leaving a gap to turn them right side out), turned them right side out, sewed edges, and done.

P.S. You might see this same fabric as bow tie onsies...stay tuned because today I'm hosting a Bow Tie Babyshower!  It is going to be fun.  I can't wait to show you.

Transformation: Coffee Table

I found the perfect coffee table!  Best part is that it was already in our house and just needed a transformation.  Free and free.  Yes, please.
I had painted a different coffee table and didn't like it for several reasons: 1) it wasn't the right shape (it was oval) for our room and 2) the paint remained sticky on the top.  I was going to sand the top and try again, but it wasn't worth it if I didn't like the shape.  I am going to sand it down on the top and sell it on craigslist.  I could give a half project to someone...we'll see.

So you might recognize our coffee table as our previous yellow desk.  It was a great color.  The desk was peppy and served a good purpose.  Only problem is that my hubs really needed a place to work and I was a desk hog.  We have our new desk(s) in place and I'll show them to you soon.  (yea!)

With the yellow desk no longer in service, I didn't want to get rid of it.  It's old, it doesn't stink (like so many old pieces of furniture), and has great character.  

Welcome coffee table.  We cut off the legs so the total height of the desk would be 18" and I repainted it dark gray (Sherwin Williams "Backdrop" - if you really want to know).  Yes, this is now the 4th color it's been adds personality.

What it looked like before:

Mulligatawny Soup

Make today a soup day...and make this!  You can look up the name mulligatawny on wikipedia to see a brief definition.  Basically, it's a curry soup.  Sometimes I'm skeptical of curry flavored meals.  I love my curry chicken, but I'm not so sure of curry salad.  Anyway, this soup is to die for.

You can find the recipe for Mulligatawny Soup at allrecipes.
Notes on the recipe:
I was making it for a crowd, so I 2 1/2 the recipe.  I probably ended up with about 10 cups chicken stock (water with bullion) and 3/4 cup rice.  I doubled all other ingredients.

In addition to adding about 1 1/2 Tbsp curry I also added 1 1/2 Tbsp garam masala.  I would eat this soup for all three meals in a day.  It was that good.

Floating Mantel

I have seen so many floating mantels on hgtv, on blogs, everywhere.  Our fireplace wall needed some omph and I really wanted a rough hewn mantel to give it more of a presence in the room.  I found a great tutorial from Addicted 2 Decorating.  Anyone can do this!
I am now figuring out how to decorate it.  So if you have any good ideas, let me know or send me links.

If you want to know some details of how we did this, here you go!

We used 3 boards for the bulk of the project.  We got 1 extra long to have extra scraps for the ends of the mantel.

We banged the boards with hammers, screw drivers, and pliers.  Then I stained them with dark walnut stain.  After that dried, I put on a coat of poly to seal it.  I could have done more coats, but I wanted it to remain more "rough."

With the boards dry, we hooked 2 together with 3 L brackets.

Since it's impossible to use a power drill in the narrow space, we attached the L brackets on the other side first.

This included the end brackets to brace the ends.  Make sure to measure in the right distance for these ones.

We had to attach a bracket to the 2 boards already connected for the end pieces as well.

This is what the boards looked like screwed together.  Since we had connected the L brackets on the single piece, we just had to drill down to connect it to the bottom piece.

This is slightly fuzzy, but it's showing the end brackets waiting for the end pieces to attach to them.

And the Hubs continued his muscle-strength show and screwed those on.  I kinda like him.

So we didn't do a bracket for the bottom edge, but should have.  This was an easy solution using a screw to keep it from wiggling.
We had the kids write all over the inside of the "snake coffin" (it really did look like that) and then we took it inside.  

I totally forgot to take pictures of our wall during the mounting process.  We had no nice supports waiting for us to easily attach our mantel to the wall.

SO...finding the studs, we attached our own 2x4 about 4 feet long.  (Measuring the right place to put this is really important).  We drilled 2 long L brackets onto the 2x4 so the top of the mantel would have some support once it was in place.  (Am I making sense?)  

We lifted our "snake coffin," set it onto the 2x4, the L brackets resting on the inside top of the mantel, and drilled from the top of the mantel into the 2x4.  

Wow, I don't know if that made sense to you all.  But it's secure and I love it.

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Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

Salad for breakfast?  What!?  Yes, that is what I had this morning.  It might have been inspired by Born to Run, my new favorite book.
Buy it here

I don't care if you think you're a runner, or your horrible at running, or you hate running, or you can't run because of medical stuff, this is worth the read.  It will motivate you to get moving, no matter how you get that done.  

I've always loved running and now have a new passion for it after finishing this book.  It's good because it teaches a different form to running than I ran before.  Rather than heel-toe running, concentrate on landing on the ball of your feet.  Seriously, big difference in form, in pain, and in your calves.  

So, yes, I ate salad this morning for breakfast.  I know my mom will be telling me that I should have eaten several eggs and meat for breakfast, all about the early protein, but salad actually sounded really good.  A variety in meals is always more exciting anyway.

I gave you the Cilantro Lime Ranch recipe earlier, here's another good one to add to your books.  It is sweet, but a good combo with any salad.
Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
from Amy Bell (she's a pretty cool friend)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp poppy seeds

Mix all the ingredients together and chill.

I put this dressing over a mix of lettuce/spinach with diced tomato, red pepper, and pear.  Delicious!
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