Thanksgiving and all the shopping

Good morning! Hope you had an amazing weekend! Even though it was pretty chilly over here with temperatures hovering at freezing or below, my family was over to celebrate Thanksgiving, so we were surrounded my good company all weekend long. They arrived on Wednesday night and it was non-stop until they left this morning. It was a pretty awesome weekend. 

On Thursday, we had plans to stay in, cook some food and watch some football, which worked great since it rained all day long. We made some party food and apps, like crownies (cupcakes and a brownie), wings, spinach artichoke dip and stuffed pimientos. We spent the afternoon watching football, and unfortunately seeing the Cowboys lose.


Friday, Ryan and my BIL left to go pheasant hunting pretty early. They went back to Ryan’s hometown and came back with four birds. In the meantime, the girls and my dad braved the cold and went out to the Amana Colonies. They had a small Christmas tree exhibition and a bunch of small little shops that we went in and out of and visited. Finishing the afternoon with lunch at the Ox Yoke Inn, which was pretty good.

Xmas trees

Then, we headed to the outlets to do some shopping after the Black Friday crowds were gone. So much better to do it this way. We all found some pretty good deals. Once back, we got a bunch of food ready for Thanksgiving dinner the next day. Finished the night by playing some games.


Saturday, mom and I woke up super early to put the turkey in the oven and after a quick nap, we got back to cooking and getting everything else finished for the big dinner. We all got dressed up in our ugly Christmas sweaters and were ready for dinner my the afternoon. Ryan’s parents joined us, which was pretty great having everybody together. (The whole group picture is in another camera, I’ll have to share later..oops)

First Thanksgiving

Ryan also had the honors of carving the turkey. It was a great dinner and we had plenty of leftovers, actually still eating them. Needless to say, it was a pretty lazy Saturday night after that.

Turkey Carving

Sunday, we hung out during the day until it was time to say goodbye to Karla, my oldest sister, and her husband. It was sad to see them leave, but I keep thinking of how good of a time Ryan and I have whenever we hang out with them.

with K

Then, it was time for some more shopping. Mom and Tania actually found some pretty good deals on some craft items which are hard to find back home. The excitement of the weekend was finally catching up to us and we were all beat by Sunday night. After dinner, we pretty much just laid around watching football.

Dropped them off in the airport early this morning and now it’s back to normal. Just a very tired normal. Can’t wait to see them all around Christmas again!

Hope you have a good week!

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 28 & 29

So, time needs to slow down. Only ten more weeks left until we get to meet our new little bundle of joy. With it being holiday season, I feel like we’ve been super busy and kinda behind on the whole baby planning thing. The nursery has come to a halt and I just haven’t put any thought into the when-baby’s-here details like maternity leave, pediatricians, day care, etc. When do I need to have my hospital bag ready again?

For my previous posts, just head on over here.

Baby Size

Belly growth has been constant, but I can’t really tell on a day to day basis until one day I try on a shirt that doesn’t quite fit me anymore. On my appointment on Monday, the belly measured 30cm, good growth form my last appointment according to my doctor. The baby went from being the size of an eggplant on week 28 to the size of a butternut squash on week 29. I am up about 19 pounds since before being pregnant. Sometimes I feel like I’ve gained the weight all over, but I think it’s mostly because my exercise routine is obviously not the same, so I have definitely lost some muscle definition in my arms and legs. But, I did get told this weekend that it doesn’t look like I’ve gained that much and that it’s all in the belly. So who knows?!?!

wk 28wk 29

Daily Activity

With the shorter days and increase in projects, due to family visits and holidays, my workouts have been pretty non-existent. I still try to do yoga once a week, but sometimes it’s pretty hard to motivate myself. Also, try to use up the sunshine in the weekends when I’m home and take Boone on a walk. I am still moving around a lot when I’m home and I’m able to keep my energy levels up without dying at the end of the day, so at least my stamina is still good. Haven’t gotten winded or tired yet!

Boone walk


Baby movements have gone from just kicks to all over movements. It’s still hard to see them outside of the belly, but I can definitely feel them. Baby seems to be more active after eating and right in the middle of the night. Just this week I woke up at 4am on Monday/Tuesday night and couldn’t go back to sleep because the movements were that strong. So, I just wrapped my arms around my belly and enjoyed the moment.

It also seems to favor the right side. Every so often, the baby decides to move all the way to the right, making that side of my belly super duper hard.

It’s been so dry here that I’ve been chugging water non-stop. My lips and face have been super dry, so moisturizers are my favorite things in the world right now. I’ve even gotten up in the middle of the night because I’ve been so thirsty. We need some humidity around here!


I’ve had a couple of cases of horrible heartburn where I had to sleep almost sitting down propped up by three pillows. Not the most comfortable thing in the world, but you gotta do what you gotta do.


Had my doctor’s appointment this Monday and everything went great. My blood pressure is good and the baby’s heart rate was at 150 and according to the doctor “couldn’t sound any more perfect”. So proud! It was my first appointment going solo, but it wasn’t a big one, so it was all good. We talked about contractions and how I haven’t had, which is a good thing. She did let me know that if my belly tightens, as long as it’s not something that takes my breath away, then it’s just my uterus practicing. We’ve got 10 more weeks and it’s practicing?!?! Hold on buddy!

After Thanksgiving this past weekend, Ryan’s family threw me a small baby shower. The baby got a lot of cute items and it’s just gets me more and more excited for the big day.

bear clothes

Look at this bear! It’ll be perfect for the cold in February.

bear suit


Having both sets of grandparents feel the baby move! After Thanksgiving dinner this weekend, I sat Laurie (MIL) next to me so she could feel the baby kicks. It usually gets shy right when I have someone put their hand on my belly, but once it moved she got really surprised and excited.

Most of my family came over this Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving at our house. Yesterday, after we were hanging out for a while, the baby really started moving, so my sister’s and my dad got to experience some intense baby kicks. Just look at his face!

It’s fun to be able to share these little moments with the soon-to-be grandparents.

Tomorrow, I’ll be hosting my first Thanksgiving ever with the help of my mom, which I deeply thank. It should be exciting!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving yesterday and an even better weekend ahead!

Nutcracker Holiday Wood Decor

Remember the nautical art I made not too long ago? Well, I have a secret to share with you.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor

I wanted to make it a multi-purpose artwork, so that’s what I did. On one side it has the nautical theme, but on the backside I stenciled some nutcrackers and I’m super excited about how it turned out.

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor

Materials needed:

  • 3 plywood pieces, 5”x14”
  • sand paper, course and fine grit
  • stain, Rust-oleum kona stain in my case
  • white and red acrylic paint
  • sponge applicator
  • image printouts
  • removable vinyl
  • pencil
  • Xacto knife
  • polyurethane
  • eyehooks
  • twine

The steps are basically the same as in the nautical wood ones, with the exception of the stencils being different. To prep the wood, cut out the plywood to desired dimensions (a), sand all sides with a course grit sandpaper followed by a finer grit one (b) and fill in any gaps or imperfections in the wood with wood filler (c).

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor wood prep

Next, stain the pieces of wood in a well ventilated area using a rag to clean off excess stain.

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor stain

This project is based on one I found on Lowes a long time ago and the site has the stencil downloads. To get your stencils ready, scale and print the images to size.

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor printouts

To transfer the graphic to the removable vinyl, rub the back of the image with a charcoal pencil (a), place the image charcoal side down on the vinyl and trace the graphic (b) making sure to mark the edges of the image to align stencil in wood cutout, and cut out the image with an Xacto knife or scissor (c).

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor stencil

Carefully align and transfer the stencil to each piece of wood, pressing down firmly.

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor stencil placement

With a sponge applicator, apply white acrylic paint onto the stencil. You do not want to use too much acrylic at a time, so it doesn’t smear or pool under the stencil. A few light coats are better than a single thick coat.

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor paint

Before the paint completely dries, carefully remove the stencils.

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor remove stencil

The surface on this side of the wood was pretty rough, so I ended up with a lot of runoff under the vinyl. To fix this, just go over the edges with a very fine brush with white acrylic or a contrasting color, like red.

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor red outline

Personally, I like the contrast with the red. To remove the excess white paint that bled quite a bit, I just carefully scraped it with the Xacto knife.

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor scratch white out

Once completely dry, seal the items with a coat or two of polyurethane.

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor seal coat

Attach an eyehook on either side of the wood pieces (a) and tie a 12” piece of twine to the eyehooks for hanging (b).

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor hanging mechanism

The two sided decorations can now be used year round.

Holiday Stencil Wood Decoration

You get two sets of artwork for just a little more effort and work. Love it!

Holiday Nutcracker Stencil Wood Decor

Happy Thanksgiving!

Holiday Stencil Wood Decor how to

Thanksgiving and Baby Shower

Hello! It’s Monday and we have a short week ahead, which I’m quite excited about. Plus, my family is coming over for Thanksgiving, so I’ll get to spend a lot of time with them this weekend and see their lovely faces. We have dinner planned for Saturday, which I’m both nervous and excited about. At least, mom will be here and she’s a pro at this.

This weekend was a great one. Even though we got some snow, we spent the weekend hanging out with Boone and we got to meet up with Ryan’s family. Friday afternoon, the snow started falling right when we got home from work and then it didn’t stop until the morning. Since it was the first snow of the season, I spent some time watching it fall with Boone. Looking out the window is one of his favorite past times.

Snow's coming down

Since, we originally had plans to leave Friday, I hadn’t planned anything for dinner so we tried another pizza place, Roscoe’s. The pizza had great flavor and Ryan absolutely loved it. On the other hand, I didn’t love that the veggies were cut up so thick, but it was still good.

Roscoes pizza

By early morning, the snow was coming to an end and we got about 8 inches total. Thankfully, our travel plans were a bit later, so the roads weren’t horrible by the time we had to leave.

a few inches of snow

On the other hand, it was quite pretty, even though we did see a ton of cars in the ditch. Don’t travel when it’s crappy out, people!


Even though we had some people missing from Thanksgiving due to travel concerns, we got to spend some quality time with the ones that did make it. It’s always great meeting up with the gang.

Family at Thanksgiving

After dinner, it was time for the Baby Shower. Since we were all meeting up anyways, they decided to throw a mini shower for Ryan and I.

Baby shower cake

It was mostly Ryan staring at the football games on TV, while I opened presents.

distracted husband

We did get a lot of great gifts and thoughtful ones as well. This family is definitely not shy about spreading their love.

baby shower presents

Once we got back home, Boone needed to inspect the gifts, of course.


Since we got back when it was already dark, we hung out in the basement so Boone could run around in the carpeted floors. He loves it down there.

cozy in the basement

Sunday was dedicated to family-in-town prep. I hit up the grocery store early and got most of the items I needed. One non-food item I got was an Aquaphor lip treatment. It’s been horribly dry here, so I needed to up my lip protection game. So far, it’s done it’s job very well.


Once back, I did some meal prep for the weekend. All the pie crusts are now ready.

pie time

After a quick lunch break, I treated myself to a piece of Baby Shower cake. It was delicious.

piece of cake

Boone and I also spent some time outside before it got dark. This dog loves loves loves to play in the snow. He just walks like a little old man afterwards cause he forgets that he has joint issues.

snow bunny

Then, it was back inside for dinner and some more meal prep. Boone also got a haircut and was super snuggly afterwards, so I ended my night on the couch with him.

meal prep

Definitely a good weekend and hopefully sets the pace for the week ahead.

Have a good one!

Painting Wood Furniture Without Sanding

Happy Friday! How’s it going in your neck of the woods? Winter has definitely decided to say hello over here. We’re supposed to get a few inches of snow tonight, plus this weekend the highs and lows will be in the 20s and single digits. Yep, 20s for high temperatures. I might venture outside a couple of times to get some necessities for Thanksgiving, but I’m definitely going to have my fair share of hot chocolate and warm apple cider. Plus, lots of cuddles with Boone. There’s a reason they used to stuff dogs in dresses back in the day; they’re the best personal heaters ever.

Another thing I want to accomplish this weekend? Finalize the layout of the baby’s room. This will definitely help me get more organized and start decorating. I can finally do this because we finished painting the changing table and it’s ready to take it’s place in the room. It was actually quite easy to do, and apart from drying time, it was a breeze.

How to Paint Furniture before

The first thing that needs to happen is to clean the item thoroughly. You don’t want any grease, dust or residue on the surface. Next, take out all the hardware. It might seem like a lot of work, but it’ll be better in the long run. Finally, it’s time to tape it all up.

How to Paint Furniture drawer prep

Using some Frog Tape, or painter’s tape, cover any surfaces you will be painting. In our case, we weren’t going to paint any of the unfinished inside, so we left that untouched. The drawers have a glass insert. I would have taken it out, but it was glued in place with wood trim on the inside. Instead of risking damage to the drawer, I just taped it up as well.

How to Paint Furniture  tape

The first coat the furniture gets is primer. The Cover Stain primer, same one we used on our dining table chairs, works wonders. Ryan did this part for me, since it has toxic fumes I have to stay away from.

How to Paint Furniture  primer

Every drawer, knobs, doors and sides got one coat of the primer. It’s alright if the finish is see through. Were not using the primer as paint, but as a way to cover the shiny surfaces so the paint can adhere better to the furniture.

How to Paint Furniture  prime details

How to Paint Furniture prime drawers

Once completely dry, you can move on to painting. We’re fans of Valspar’s Signature paint with primer because it covers surfaces like nothing else. For this project, I brought home a few, ok a ton, of gray paint cards to match to the crib color. We went with the Urban Sunrise shade. which matched the crib’s gray almost perfectly.

How to Paint Furniture Valspar paint

Another awesome thing we used, the Seal Pro paint tray. It’s awesome for projects that might take a few days because it seals the paint and roller/brush and doesn’t let it dry. Confession: Ryan and I are not the best at cleaning after painting and this tub still had paint from our last project in May. The paint and roller were still wet and I could’ve picked it right up and started painting. This thing is that good.

How to Paint Furniture paint tub

Ok, back to the project. Make sure everything gets coated thoroughly with that first paint layer. It’s always harder to find missed spots during the second layer. Let this coat dry completely before moving on to the next. If the paint doesn’t go on smoothly with a brush, go over it with a roller. We didn’t have to in this project.

How to Paint Furniture first coat

Make sure you go back to previous sections before the paint dries to check for any drips. With all of furniture’s nooks and crannies, it is very easy to get these and then have lumps if you forget to smooth them over.

How to Paint Furniture  one coat details

Next up, a second layer of paint. This coat usually goes on a bit faster. Let this coat dry completely.

How to Paint Furniture two coats

Now, you’re ready to reassemble the furniture with all of it’s hardware and components.

How to Paint Furniture without sanding

As an option, you could do a coat of polyurethane to further protect the paint job. We decided to forgo this step because I tried scratching the paint and it didn’t budge. We’ll see how it holds up!

How to Paint Furniture done

One thing that kept happening while working on this, was that I kept getting flash-forwards of a toddler covering this thing with stickers. Sorry mom for doing that to all my furniture!!!

How to Paint Furniture  with primer and paint

The final product looks great and I am in love. Plus, it goes great with the crib!

How to Paint Furniture  crib matching

Hopefully, soon I’ll be able to share a nursery tour. In the meantime, have a good weekend and stay warm!