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Baby Love Pinterest Inspiration.

Babies.

Apparently pinning baby stuff on Pinterest gets people talking…

I didn’t quite realize this until I went back East a couple weeks ago and was bombarded with a ton of baby questions. So, I figured I’d address these questions to the masses on here – NO, I am not pregnant. I just happen to love pinning baby stuff!

Time to calm down people… I don’t ask you if you are getting married just because I see your wedding board! Or if you’re trying to lose weight because I saw you pin a weight loss regimen! 😉

Anywho, I put a little collage together of how I imagine Baby Draper’s nursery when he or she does decide to join our family in this crazy world! These are all pins you can find on my Dreaming board on Pinterest.

Since I have always loved maps and would really like to be surprised with the sex of Baby Draper, having a map room would allow me to create a beautiful gender-neutral nursery! These are just a few of the pins I’ve been inspired by…

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So, mamas to be, how are you decorating the nursery for your lil’ one?  P.S. It’s nice to be back on the blog! I’m finally on break from school. Yippee!3name

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Paleo Oven-Baked Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga Fries.

…Are the best. No joke. I don’t think I’ll ever eat normal fries again. And the best part? Blair loved them too! Yippee!

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Yummy, Low-Carb and Healthy!

Since we started buying local organic fruit and veggies through a co-op where you buy a share or group of items for a set price, Blair and I have been challenged to try new things in new ways. This past week we found ourselves with a rutabaga on hand.

Neither of us had ever eaten this root vegetable that’s a mix between a turnip and a cabbage – so it was definitely a challenge!

You can mash them, roast them, put them in soup, and even hash brown them. We ultimately decided to make somewhat spicy garlic fries in the end – and they are delicious!

Here’s the easy Paleo recipe!

  • 1 rutabaga (will make a little more than 2 servings)
  • salt & pepper
  • minced garlic
  • paprika
  • rosemary
  • olive oil
  • cookie sheet
I didn't need any ketchup - These were perfect by themselves!

I didn’t need any ketchup – These were perfect by themselves!

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F
  2. Wash and peel the rutabaga, just like you would a potato
  3. Remove the ends and cut the rest into small french fries size slices – Try to make the slices the same size so they cook evenly.
  4. Add a dash of salt and pepper, along with paprika, rosemary, and minced garlic – You can personalize it here!
  5. Place the slices on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the “fries” halfway so both sides crisp up – Cooking times will vary depending on your oven so keep an eye on them!

While these aren’t the same as fast food fries, not only are you getting a healthy alternative, but also still able to fix any french fry craving you have! My “fries” fixed my garlic fry craving and went perfectly with my burger! They were perfect.

So… what will you put on your rutabaga fries?

Lauren

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How to Avoid Becoming Bitter in Life – For Military & Civilians

Bitterness.

I’m not really one to post things on the weekend. Typically weekends are all about Blair and me time, however the last few weeks have been different due to Blair’s squadron being on lockdown while out in the field… I originally wrote this post last Monday. I had just gotten home from school and was taking a much needed break – and this is what I wrote.

The second I got home today, I just sat on the couch thinking about life.

What exactly is bitterness?

Past memories, emotions, thoughts, feelings, actions and more flooded through my mind. And the more I thought about everything, the more bitterness started to seep into my veins and go start to my heart. It was at that point that I knew I had to stop myself from thinking such negative thoughts. In the matter of minutes, I had gone from being ecstatic about the “A” I had just gotten on my nursing test to feeling like I was stuck in the deepest of dark places…

Now, there are a lot of things that have happened in my life and relationships with others that made me become bitter at times. I’m by no means perfect… We all have been there or even are there at the moment.

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Seriously, it is time to stop bitterness from taking over our lives!

And this is what I’m going to tell you: It is time to stop bitterness from taking over our lives.

From Facebook, to Instagram, to Blogs, to School, and sadly even to Church, we, as women (and men), are constantly trying to one up each other. – Relationships, Engagements, Weddings, & Babies, Clothes, Hair, Makeup, Body Shapes, & even Cars – We are constantly publicly trying to make our life “seem” better than others’. And we are constantly NOT loving each other as brothers and sisters.

Yet, that is exactly what we need to do – love each other. Help each other. Support each other.

I know it may seem like I am ranting, but please understand I am not! I just want to explain how I got to the point today and how I eased myself out of the pool of bitterness.

So… the reason why I’m going into all of this stems from recent events in the Army. Blair was working out in the field on a “3 days on. 1 day off” ratio. Then something of extreme importance went missing. And that’s when this all started. Blair’s whole squadron was put on lockdown due to the missing item, and are on lockdown till it is found or until all means of finding it are exhausted. As crazy as that seems, I understand why the Army has to do this, and that my husband, as a soldier, has to follow those orders. But it was at the town hall meeting held a couple days later that I truly became bitter.

There were easily 50+ wives at the town hall meeting wanting answers.

When is my husband going to be home? I’m pregnant – what do I do if I go into labor? Why is my husband who works in MICO (Management Information Control Office), stuck out there when he wasn’t even in the field to begin with?

It’s that last question that got me on a roll. I instantly thought, “It’s not like your husband is more important than mine. Your husband has been out in the field all of three days. Mine has been out there for two weeks.”

It was a nasty thought – one I’m greatly saddened by and even embarrassed to admit. But I think it’s important for me to share because it is one vital step to kicking bitterness out of my life.

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“Stop and Smell the Roses” everyday.

So, I’m going to give you some tips to help combat bitterness. Be honest with yourself when reading these. And try applying them to your life. It’s not easy to do – and it shouldn’t be easy. I constantly struggle with bitterness because it is ingrained into who I am as a person. Society has taught us to be like this. Sin makes it habit. And it takes quite awhile to break habits…

Try to:

1. Recognize your expectations of others may be too high.

This is a toughie one. One that requires lots of internal digging and compromise. We all have expectations of others that we feel that they should be or act like. And, honestly, most of the time they are way too high…

2. Question any feelings of jealousy you have.

Stop and open your eyes to what’s important! We all take things for granted and become jealous when someone has something we don’t have, yet most of us have the same things right before us.

3. Be thankful.

We may not have everything, but we all should be grateful for what we do have. From the roof over our heads to even the pictures of past memories we have hanging on the walls, being grateful for the big and little things are vital.

4. Accept your flaws.

When personally attacked, I get bitter. Most of the time I don’t understand why someone might not like me. I try to be nice and friendly, so why don’t they like me? This is a huge flaw of mine and only one of my many flaws I have… Stop and truly examine yourself and the flaws you may have.

5. Pray.

I know all of you don’t pray, and I know I will probably lose a lot of you at this point, but hear me out. Prayer is powerful.

“There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.” ― John Wooden

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” ― Mother Teresa

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

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I love this! I’m thinking this is going to inspire a future craft project!

Below is an audio clip of Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll hitting on the topic of ending bitterness in our lives. It is an amazing audio clip that will definitely get you thinking and even crying. Blair and I heard this months back and it literally changed our lives. It makes you question yourself. I challenge you to go listen to it. Like I said, it is life changing, so be prepared. Here’s the link – Ending Bitterness

Just know that you can pick and choose what you embrace and bring into your life and what you can let go of immediately. Fall back on yourself. Emotions are a normal part of life. You might not be able to control the environment or happenings, but what you have is what you can do with the situation. You have to be strong. And that takes practice and wisdom, my friends…

Lauren

P.S. Blair was finally able to come home on Friday. It was a huge surprise and I was beyond ecstatic! He headed back out to the field today so I will see him in just a few days. I’m grateful I had this weekend with him and am thankful he is safe here in the states. On a different note, I just wanted to say thank you to all of the men and women who are still overseas fighting. And I wanted to tell the spouses that I’m extremely proud of you all! Stay strong! We are all here for you!

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Pump Up Your Box Spring – Just Add Legs to It!

Our Bed.

We FINALLY got our memory foam bed in… It took forever to get here, but all I can say is that patience is a virtue – and we definitely got to practice it while we eagerly awaited the mattress’s arrival!

Our originally idea and inspiration... Maybe someday! Either way, I can't wait to get that beautiful comforter below it on the bed!

Our original idea and inspiration… Maybe someday! Either way, I can’t wait to get that beautiful comforter below it on the bed!

Originally, I had grand ideas on what we would do for the bed frame. I wanted a beautiful solid wood platform bed so badly; I even found a free plan online and everything. But I had to stop and be practical… It didn’t make sense for us to make that right now. We are in Washington, in an apartment, and will likely be moving within the next two years or so. The more I thought about it the more it became a bad idea for us to make the platform bed. Then I was simply lost on where to go next. We had a King size bed on it’s way – just no bed frame… So, I went to Pinterest! 🙂

The next plan of attack? Simply add legs to your box spring! *Thank goodness for Pinterest!* The bummer though was that original pin went to a dead site, so it made me brain storm somewhat. I thought it would be easy – that’s usually where I run into trouble and see Blair rolling his eyes at me (lovingly, of course!) – and in the end, it was in fact quite easy. Yay for a Pinterest idea going easily! 😀

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Our bed is finally in!

We bought our box springs off of Craigslist… sounds shady, trust me I know… but I found someone who was selling their’s for only $60 still in it’s original packaging – never opened! Score! And, honestly, you’d be surprised at how many people are selling their brand new box springs on Craigslist. Most of them seem to buy platform beds and no longer need them. Just make sure they come from a smoke and pet free home!

Click on the photos below give for some more details, but basically all we did was:

  • Screw Heavy Duty Top Plates to each of the box spring’s corners. *We have a split box spring so we used eight of these.*
  • Twist the Legs into the plates. *Make sure you use sturdy legs that can hold weight. The ones we used can hold 200 lbs. each.*
  • Put your bed on top!

*If you have a King sized bed, you consider getting a block of wood to place in between the center of the two box springs to support the middle section of the bed.*

Since we were kind of rushing when we put this together, I didn’t paint or stain the legs. At the moment, it doesn’t bother me that they are unfinished, but I’ll probably paint them down the road.

In the end, it cost us around $110 to do this project and about 30 minutes from start to finish. I’m in love with it and can’t wait till Blair is home from the field to be able to enjoy it too! Until then, I’m sure I’ll try to take up the entire king size bed – if that is even possible!

The next To Do on the bed is to cover the box springs with fabric so they can’t be seen! I’m using canvas drop cloths, so stay tuned for that post!

Lauren

P.S. Check out Pretty Pegs for cute furniture legs too! They are a little bit expensive for my taste, but definitely gave me some ideas for what I could do to our’s later on!

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Part 1 – Redoing our Bedroom!

King Size Bed.

That’s where it all began. A Living Social deal too good to pass up came our way and we jumped on top of it. A memory foam mattress – king size- for $394? SCORE! And since then my mind has just been filled with endless ideas to make our bedroom some place we both truly love to be in!

Enter the inspiration – a platform bed inspired by Pottery Barn’s Teen Hampton Planked Platform Bed. When originally looking for ideas, I found this bed on the wonderful blog Crab & Fish and fell in love! And once I realized that the amazing Ana White had actually written up FREE in-depth plans for the bed, I knew Blair and I were in for a full on bedroom makeover!

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Below are some additional things I’ve gotten and done already in anticipation of the arrival of our mattress and making the platform bed.The bedroom makeover probably could have come at a better time, especially considering finals and block leave are coming up within the next week… But hey, a little procrastination never hurts!

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Already Home Depot, Big Lots and The Dollar Store have helped me spruce up our bedroom so much!

And the costs so far for our bedroom makeover have been:

  • Redoing the nesting tables: $20.21 not including our Home Depot Military Discount (which, by the way, is 10% off)
  • Curtains and Curtain Rods: $15
  • DIY Bedside Flowers and Accent Pillows: $$3.50
  • King Size Comforter: $70 from Big Lots
  • Spruced up Frame: $3.70 for the spray paint
  • King Size Memory Foam Mattress: $394
  • Platform Bed: TBA – thinking $100 or less!

Grand total including the platform bed project: $602.91

Not too bad in my books! Check out the beautiful DIY Bedside Flowers I’ve already done and stay tuned for updates on this little adventure!

Lauren

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Paleo 3 Berry Sorbet Recipe

Seriously Fresh & Seriously Yummy!

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Great summer treat too!

Blair and I have been trying to gradually switch our eating style over to Paleo – a.k.a. primal, caveman diet, no grain. So far it’s  been an amazing lifestyle change and one that we both have been excited to dive deeper into the more we are on it!

My only complaint right off bat was no sugar. Instantly I thought that meant no more cakes, ice cream, brownies, cookies and so on. The little fatty in me was devastated!

However, the more I read and studied what Paleo is really about, I’ve found that I can still enjoy the natural sweets God has given to us! That’s when I got to experimenting and made my first homemade all natural sorbet! A super yummy treat that cures my sweet tooth, while still being healthy! The steps are below!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Berries *I used some fresh and frozen berries I had on hand – strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
  • Water *1/3 for the berry mixture and 1 cup for the simple syrup recipe
  • 1 Cup of Honey

3 berry sherbetSteps:

  • In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of honey to create a natural simple syrup. Mix together on low/medium heat until both are combined, then place in a separate container to cool. *Don’t let it boil!
  • Using either a food processor or blender, mix together the berries and 1/3 cup of water until well blended.
  • Filter out the seeds by placing a sieve into a bowl and pouring the mixture on top of it. *This may require some work to make sure you get all of the juice! I just used a coffee filter to do this job.
  • Add 1 cup of your simple syrup mixture to the berry juice (there should be about 2 cups of that after filtering it). *Play with the amount of simple syrup you add. 1 cup may be too much or too little for your taste!
  • Let the mixture chill for an hour or so.
  • Put into your ice cream maker and get to freezing! *Make sure to follow the instructions for your particular ice cream maker. Mine took 30 minutes to properly chill and set up.
  • Place in an airtight container and keep it in the freezer!

And enjoy!

I’m excited to play with even more versions of this – today I saw a strawberry lime sorbet on Pinterest! Sounds heavenly to me!

Lauren