a day for painting

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Today we decided it was a good day to let our creative juices flow and paint! Della picked out a cute little bird house to decorate and I had a project I’d been wanting to try out with her up my sleeve.

P1060269I think her birdhouse is the perfect addition to our Easter inspired table toppers!

P1060255And now onto the more time consuming (but fun!) project… A chevron painted canvas. I saw this on Hey Lauren Rene and thought it’d be a great activity Della and I could work on together. It looked simple enough, and all I needed to pick up was a blank canvas – I had all the other components at home. All you need is a canvas the size of your choice, painters tape, acrylic paint, sponges, scissors, and a ruler if you’re going to be precise. (Obviously I wasn’t – ha!)

So, yeah… I think I need a “How to Tape-Off a Chevron Pattern for Dummies” manual. Boy was THAT hard! Seriously. Our pattern’s not nearly as straight or perfect as Laurens, but I’m happy with the outcome nonetheless. It’s our kind of perfect 😉

P1060261I decided to go over the tape with a little flat white paint before sponging on the blue to help any bleeding that may occur. It kind of worked, but some of the blues still bled through the tape a bit. I can always go back with a tiny detail brush and some more of the flat white in the future, but for today, it’s good enough for me!

P1060262Now here’s where Della gets to join in – she had the fun part! I let her dab away with all the different shades of blue until the entire canvas was covered.

P1060266 P1060267 P1060277Like I said, it’s definitely not perfect, but it’s a little piece of art that Della and I worked on together and that is what I love most about it!

Amy, xo.

D-E-L-L-A

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To view this video larger, go here.

This afternoon while I was on the phone scheduling an appointment for Della, I had to spell out her name and give the receptionist some info. While I was doing this, Della was sitting right beside me mimicking everything I was saying – word for word, letter by letter. It was the cutest thing, so I thought we should sit down and work on her name and her letters.

Lately if we ask her to spell Della she’ll respond with “E-ew-E-E.” Not quite sure where she got this or what it means exactly, but I wanted to set the poor girl straight and help teach her how to really spell her name.

She got the hang of it pretty quickly! Now we just need to practice her writing…

Amy, xo.

{2.19.13}

 

Yesterday we woke up to rain, so we decided to spend our morning baking cupcakes.P1060176The moment I caught her sneaking the sprinkles. Picture her drinking out of the sprinkle container. Yep.

P1060192 P1060194The face I get when I ask her to give me a smile.

P1060200 P1060202We decided the girls next door might like a cupcake or two, so we wrapped some up to share and walked them over once the rain settled down a bit. Plus, 2 dozen cupcakes in a house with only 3 people = not good.

Amy, xo.

 

valentine’s day: past years & present

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One thing I remember growing up is how special and loved my mom would make us feel on holidays, birthdays, or just out of the blue. This is something I think back to often, and I want Della to be able to cherish similar moments when she’s older, too. Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to shower her with love and special treats. It’s mid-week and unexpected, and she can be reminded of how much her Daddy and I truly love her. Here’s a flashback of previous years with my littlest Valentine:

2011

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2012P1030614

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And of course, this year too…
2013
P1060137P1060142P1060139 P1060140P1060143 P1060144Hope your day is filled with lots of love and sweet treats!

Amy, xo.

{2.13.13}

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2-13-13Today it’s just me and her from when we woke up until bedtime because Daddy’s working late. We did a little shopping this morning where she picked out an obnoxiously large bubblegum lollipop, and then we spent the rest of our morning at the library for story time and playing.

She’s becoming so independent lately (as if she wasn’t already!) She won’t let me do ANYTHING without trying to do it herself first. If I say, “Can I help you?” forget about it. I might as well have told her “No.” Sheesh! She can now use the toilet all by herself from start to finish. Pulling down her pants + undies, to getting up to the potty, to washing her hands afterwards. She also HAS to put the toothpaste on her toothbrush all by herself, even though 9 times out of 10 she comes pouting to me because it won’t come out. It really amazes me how you can ask them to try something, but until they’re ready, they won’t do it on their own. Apparently this week she’s ready for it all! It’s a bit frustrating at times being the control freak that I am, but I’m really trying to be flexible.

No matter how how many times I want to pull my hair out though, she really is the sweetest thing and her cuteness just kills me these days. Why do they grow up so quickly?!

Amy, xo.

potty training :: a year later

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P1060105A year ago today, we started potty training Della and I’m thrilled to announce as of tomorrow, she’s been PULL-UP FREE (!!!) for three whole weeks without any accidents! Ya know what that means, right?! She’s completely potty trained!

Back in August, she was only relying on pull-ups during naps and bedtime – so, within 6 short months she learned to use the potty regularly. I still can’t believe how quickly it all came to her and how well she’s done since the beginning. I don’t even need to ask her to go anymore – she’s very independent about it and let’s us know when she needs to go. She’s so funny about *ahem*… #2, too… Every time she has to go she requests, (okay, more like demands) “a magazine! get out and shut da door!”

This couldn’t have come at a better time as we prepare for Baby Brother. I’m so thankful we’ll only have one in diapers and we can now invest our pull-ups budget into diapers for the little guy. What a relief!

So proud of my ever-changing and growing little lady!

Amy, xo.

marinated flat iron steak fajitas

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flat iron steak fajitasI mentioned on Twitter yesterday that I was experimenting with a marinade for some flat iron steaks that I wanted to use for fajitas for dinner. As you may know, flat iron or flank steaks can be super tough if not marinated or cooked properly – I always seem to find this out the hard way when gnawing my way through dinner. Well, this time I wanted to make sure these steaks not only avoided the trash can, but I wanted them to taste great too. I ended up marinating them in a container in the fridge for the majority of the day (8:30AM – 5:30PM, if anyone wants exact timing here) 😉 and they were the perfect consistency with so much flavor! Here’s what I came up with for the marinade:

1 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 cups mango juice (or nectar)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Just whisk all the ingredients together quick and throw in your steaks. I think marinating in a container seems more mess-free than in a ziplock bag, but whatever you prefer will do the trick.

When it came time to cook the steaks, I set my broiler on high and let a cast iron skillet heat up in the oven for about 20 minutes. Gosh I don’t know what I’d do without my cast iron skillet! We don’t have a grill, so I use this thing for steaks… burgers… pork chops, you name it! My favorite way to cook a nice piece of steak is to start it in a really hot cast iron on the stove top and transfer it to a preheated 400 degree oven to finish them off (Thanks Ina, for that tip!) …but that’s a whole other recipe for another day! So, back to the flat irons… Once the cast iron is heated, cook the steaks for 6-8 minutes on each side – not directly under the broiler, just set your rack in the middle of the oven – this way you’ll prevent the steaks from burning, but you’ll have a nice high heat similar to a grill. Once they’ve cooked on each side, remove the skillet from the oven and let the steaks rest for about 10 minutes. Slice them nice and thin and serve with sautéed peppers and onions.

Enjoy!

Amy, xo.