Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chocolate-Covered Oreo Cookie Cake

Boy do I have a treat for you guys today.  Yesterday was my hubby's birthday and as you know, I would do just about anything for that man.  So when he asked me for my infamous "OREO CAKE PLEASE!" I couldn't say no.

And once we tried some last night, Liliana let out the biggest "YUM!!!!" that you've ever heard.  That's when I knew it was time to share the love.

Unfortunately I didn't snap a photo before we took a HUGE chunk out of the cake, but Evan took one with his cell phone (he posted it on facebook ... that's how much the guy liked it) and that's the best shot I've got to share!  You can still tell it's awesome though ... that inside is all yummy oreo frosting/ filling.  I tell Evan this cake is right up his alley because it's like icing with a side of cake. ; )


1 pkg. devil's food cake mix                                                               1/2 c. sugar

4 squares Baker's semi-sweet chocolate                                             2 c. thawed Cool Whip topping

1/4 c. butter                                                                                         15 oreo cookies, crushed

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cake batter as directed on box and bake in 2 9 inch round pans.  Cool the cakes in the pans for 12 minutes.  Then invert them on to cooling racks and allow to cool COMPLETELY (I wait about 10 minutes after they're on the wire racks and then start making the inner filling)

Microwave butter and chocolate in the microwave for about 90 seconds or until you can stir the two together and have the chocolate glaze.  Cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and cool whip with an electric mixer.  Then add the crushed oreos (I simply put them in a bag and crush them). 

Place one cake layer (top down) and top with the entire oreo cream cheese mixture.  Place the other half on top (top up) and pour the chocolate glaze on top.  Let it stand for 15 minutes.

IMPORTANT step:  PUT in refrigerator!  The cake is good when you finish after the step above, but the real treat is when it's cold.  Trust me, I'm a fan of warm cakes, but this one tastes AMAZING when the chocolate is hard and that cream cheese mixture had time to solidify with the cake.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ummm ... I have an Etsy Shop!

Evan and I had decided not to get each other birthday or Christmas gifts this year.  It just wasn't in the budget.  But on my birthday, I came home to a bouquet of flowers and an apple martini mix (wasn't pregnant at that time obviously), so since he cheated a little bit, I decided to cheat a little bit.

I wanted to do something romantic and something that I knew he'd love.  I am SO happy with how it came out:

The beautiful thing about this project is you can change it around without any problems!  You can have the picture on the left with lyrics on the right and the two don't need to overlap.  You could also do this for your children and have letters that you wrote them during pregnancy overlapping.  Another thought I had: why not do this with love letters you've written to each other over the years?  The possibilities are ENDLESS!

When I first thought of doing this project, I went to etsy, one of my all-time favorite websites.  I found quite a few similar projects but there were all MINIMUM of $30 for just the print.  Knowing that we had said "no gifts" I realized this was out of the question. 

Messing around with digital art like this has become a passion of mine lately and I decided to do something about it, for AFFORDABLE prices! 

Therefore, I'd like to introduce to you, my little and VERY newbie (like as of late last night) etsy shop, found HERE!   I plan on adding other things as time comes, but wanted to let people know because I'm pretty excited about it! 

Happy Birthday to my husband and thank you for being the most incredible hubby and Daddy around!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Gloria's Nursery: Bedding

Since I've decided on the theme for Gloria's nursery (pale blue, yellow, and pink) I've been scouring the internet for affordable, not too themey, pretty, baby girl bedding.

Turns out: IMPOSSIBLE to find.

I looked at Target, Overstock, Amazon, Walmart, Babies r Us, Pottery Barn (that one was out because of the affordable category), Land of Nod (look at same reason as Pottery Barn), etc.  I was feeling pretty darn discouraged.

Then I started thinking ... how about doing some of this myself?

I am by NO MEANS a seamstress.  Seriously people.  I haven't touched a sewing machine for nearly 15 years.  I don't even own one.  My "sewing kit" at home is pretty embarassing.  I got it at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.  My best friend is sewing her daughter's bedding.  I SO wish I could do that but I just don't have the skills nor the equipment, so I had to try and stay affordable while realizing that I wasn't as talented.  I could sew a blanket.  That's about as far as my skills go.

 The first thing I did was find fabrics that I liked.  I didn't know WHY I was necessarily looking for that but my guess was, it would at least be a step in the right direction.  I went on etsy and looked up custom baby bedding.  They are all quite out of my price range, but I knew it would at least let me know what I was thinking in terms of colors, what my taste was, etc.

That's when I found ...

The Kumari Garden collection.

What I like about it:  it's bright, not too overkill, has the colors I'm looking for, and looks unlike any other bedding set I've found.  Buying the entire set (skirt, bumper, sheet, and blanket) can run anywhere between $300 - $450 dollars.  They are BEAUTIFUL, don't get me wrong.

But I don't have that much money to spend on bedding.  Especially since the crib skirt only lasts as long as the crib is up and the bumpers aren't on there too long either. 

I found picutres on etsy that made me drool and noticed things I liked from each set ...

While I'm still not COMPLETELY decided on what fabrics I'll choose, I have been playing around with it some and landed on this for now.

The picture on the left is simply to see what the bumper fabric looks like.  I don't like the crib skirt being 3 tiered for our room since it's all modern furniture.  It's about piecing things together that you like and making it your own ... hence that "custom" word.

I found someone willing to do the bumper (top picture in middle) and the sheet for the combined price of about $103.  As for the blanket, instead of adding that for $65 from the same seller, I found another that was willing to make the picture on the right for $33.  Great!

Now for the expensive crib skirt.  I looked on youtube and found that even someone without any sewing expertise can use an iron!  A crib skirt for $20?  Sounds affordable enough to me!  This video show you how to make a crib skirt, with simply fabric, iron, and some adhesive tape. 

So that's where we are FOR NOW.  Sure, I'll probably change my mind in terms of what fabric I want and where, but I'm pretty sold on the fabric patterns and that blanket for now and apparently, that was a big time commitment, but totally worth it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

18 Weeks Pregnant - T-shirt Project

Yesterday marked being 18 weeks pregnant with Gloria.  It was, all in all, a wonderful pregnancy week.  I felt great, we got wonderful news, and it's just that stage in pregnancy where each kick is fun (and not too entirely painful yet).  The belly is growing, but not at a SUPER alarming rate anymore thankfully!

18 Week Pregnancy Survey

How Far Along: 18 weeks 1 day

Total Weight Gain: I'm not totally sure ... I think about 6 pounds.  This is 3 pounds more than I had gained with Liliana at this point, but I'm not worried.  I am SO much healthier this pregnancy and haven't been nearly as sick so that makes sense.  Even though I've gained more so far, I'm actually still fitting in to some pants without even unbuttoning them!  I am staying toned since I'm working out and eating healthier.  Happy about that.

Maternity Clothes:  Read above - pants and skirts are more comfortable if they're maternity but I can get away without.  Shirts are usually maternity.  I must be carrying higher this go around or something.  I, quite honestly, wish I could go buy some more maternity clothes because I don't have much that's compatible enough for work and accommodating to the weather.  But considering February is almost done I'm holding off and will soon be able to wear something other than my 4 sweaters and pairs of black slacks.

Stretch Marks:  Nope!  I hope I don't get any this go around.  I thought that since I got lucky the first time that meant I would get lucky this time too, but I've read some blogs that say differently!  EEK!

Sleep:  Not great.  I'm not sure if it's pregnancy related or if it's because we've just been so darn busy, but I wake up very often throughout the night.  For instance, last night I fell asleep around midnight and my alarm went off at 6:20.  I woke up 6 times last night.  This means I'm never really going in to my REM cycle.  No wonder I feel sleepy.  Hopefully the weekend will help me recover.

Best Moment This Week:  FOR SURE our ultrasound!  Everything, anatomy wise is perfect!  AND, my placenta looked great too.  We are hopefully smooth sailing until 37 weeks when I'll deliver Gloria! ; )

Movement:  Yep!  She doesn't move as much as her sister did though.  These movements HURT when they do come along, to the point that I stop dead in my tracks.  They're great to feel though. 

Food Cravings: Still fruit.  I like cold things, so cold cantaloupe is awesome.

Gender:  Still a girl!  I was glad to know it's for sure a girl because now we can start decorating that nursery.

Labor Signs:  I get a couple braxton hicks in the morning right when I wake up.  I've had some REALLY bad round ligament pains on the treadmill but I told my OB about them and he said just to stay hydrated.

Symptoms: I can't mention all of them here on this blog, but truly, I don't have many symptoms any more other than those round ligament pains and feeling sleepy.

Looking forward to: Painting the nursery!  I can't wait to see it come together.  I'm also looking forward to a GREAT friend visiting this weekend and for Evan's birthday on Tuesday.  Eventful and fun week ahead of us. 

Here's a comparison shot for you ... I'd say my belly with Liliana was smaller, but the main difference I notice is the difference in actual belly shape!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

BIG appointment & BIG nursery decisions!

I have been NERVOUS and BEYOND nervous for today's appointment.  If you recall, 2 weeks ago our OB/GYN told us he was concerned I had placenta previa.  While I realize that we can make that work, I obviously would rather not have it.  I'd rather deliver vaginally, I'd rather not be on bed rest, I'd rather not get a pelvic rest order, etc. 

In order to get a better view, he made the big anatomy US appointment for 8 this morning.  Last night Evan told me he had a feeling everything was actually going to be 100% a-ok.  Evan's always thinking positively so I couldn't help but think "sure you think that, but the Dr. said it didn't look right!"

Turns out ...


My placenta looks WONDERFUL and is an entire 5 cm away from my cervix.  In other words, I don't have placenta previa.  I don't even have a low lying placenta.  I just have a pretty perfect placenta with a VERY perfect baby girl inside!

The anatomy ultrasound was AWESOME.  I don't remember seeing so much detail with Liliana's.  They even sent us home with a video of the entire ultrasound.  We saw Gloria's fingers, toes, 4 chamber heart, etc.  Everything looked absolutely great.

The doctor took us off pelvic rest (WOO HOO!) and that did make us very excited, but the truth of the matter is we were ultimately most worried for our sweet Gloria and hearing that all was ok and that she is definitely a girl (just like Mommy's heart truly desired) was awesome. 

I don't go back for another month and in the mean time, I just get to keep feeling great like I have been.  I keep exercising a few times a week, my appetite isn't necessarily super great yet (though I did find a new bakery right by the house and got a little overboard excited about that), and I'm just at that stage of pregnancy where life is great! 

Evan and I decided not to buy too many gender specific things for the nursery in case they changed their minds at this appointment.  But, we were busy doing other things:

We tried out a few paint colors.  Truth be told, we didn't decide on ANY of these three on the wall!  Each time we put the paint color up, we liked it, but weren't sold. 

The pink to the left is "Cupid's Arrow" by Behr.  The blue is "Enamel" by  Martha Stewart.  None of them truly spoke to us. 

Instead of just picking one of them, we kept being patient.  We are only 18 weeks in to this pregnancy and have lots of time so we weren't in a huge hurry. 

So rather than paint last weekend, we spent some time putting Gloria's dresser together!  It took a couple tries before we got it perfectly put together, but the modern look of this Mandal Ikea dresser looks AWESOME in the room.

Back to the paint though.  I knew we were close to the OFFICIAL color, but we weren't there yet.  I started putting together a little folder of rooms that we were going to use for inspiration and found these 3 as some of my favorites:

Do you notice a repeating theme?  I found the paint color for all 3 and they were EXACTLY the same!  We got a sample and lo and behold, it is PERFECT!!!  We will, hopefully, be painting the nursery this weekend!

My entire inspiration and the print I'm going to order today?

Gloria's nursery progress has officially begun!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Home Renovation Project: Playroom Part I

It has been relatively slow going compared to others mini-home renovation projects, but considering that I work a full-time job, my husband literally works the equivalent of 2 full-times jobs, we have a 21 month old, and I'm 4 1/2 months pregnant, I am DARNED PROUD of the progress we've made with the Home Renovation Project.

Sure, we've really only done the livingroom, but we did it ALL for $100!  Can't beat that!

The next room on the agenda? 

I wanted to go to the playroom.  It's funny what happens when you have children.  Normally, the next bedroom would have been the master, but since we've had children, the master is used for loving, sleeping, and relaxing.  We spend the vast majority of time downstairs in our house and that's just the reality of it when you have kids.  When the kids are awake, you're playing with them! 

When we first moved in to the house, we put the playroom right off the kitchen.  It was a pretty small room but worked until we realized we hadn't put any seating in there.  That works for Liliana, not so much for us.

So we quickly moved everything over to the big room in the front of the house and put the study in the small room (see again how your house gets run over by the kiddos? haha!).  It has actually worked BEAUTIFULLY though.  Liliana ONLY has stuff in that one room and in her bedroom.  It makes our home feel like our home again, and not only her home.  I knew it was possible to manage that, and we did!  So proud of that.

Just because we moved the room though, didn't mean we were done.  The paint color on the walls was a dark green with TONS of scratches from the previous owners. 

So on President's Day, we painted.  And we painted some more.  We're still FOR SURE in the progress stage though. 

As you can see ...


We switched these two rooms around.  The alphabet wall room is now the study and vice versa.

On Monday night though, this is what my house looked like:

SEMI-PROGRESS (looks worse than the before huh?)

In order to paint the playroom, we had to take a ton of toys and put them in the now current study.  As you can see, we hadn't moved our alphabet wall yet.  And as you can also see, this is about 15% of Liliana's toys.  She has entirely too many for one child.  She's spoiled by family.

Here is the playroom all painted though!  We did the whole thing in a mere 3 hours, and that's pretty incredible considering this room is QUITE big and I only helped for about half of it since my pregnant belly kept getting light headed and had to leave the room twice.

Our couches (Walmart baby!) take up that entire back wall and are SO darn comfortable.  Now for the main Daddy event ...

My brilliant hubby had this great idea.  He took two book shelves that hold toys, faced them away from each other and bought a piece of MDF at Home Depot.  He primed them and I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some GREAT fabric to put in between.  It's going to be Liliana's little hide away and stage.  She's already been playing with it even though it's not done.

Best part of the makeover so far?  We've spent only $25!

The paint color (Oak Straw from Behr and trim) was left over from the living room.  The only money we spent was for the piece of MDF and for the fabric!

Stay tuned next week when I unveil how it all came together!  By tonight, those shelves will be full of toys, we'll have an official sitting area with bean bags, a more organized toy area, and a sectional to sit on to enjoy the view.  Can't wait!

PS Tomorrow is my BIG ultrasound!  It should confirm that baby #2 is indeed a girl and should give us more news on my placenta.  To say I'm anxious is an understatement.  Keep us in your thoughts!  I will definitely update as soon as I get a free moment.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Complete Living Room Transformation for $100!

Hello readers from Kelly's Korner!  We have been doing our home little by little since moving in a year ago and though we're no where near done, this is where we are now with the livingroom!  Check the "our home" tab and you'll see what else we've done! In fact, we just finished baby girl #2's nursery and the master bedroom is kinda in a state of chaos, so there's lots going on! 

Time for another installation of the ...

Three weeks ago I blogged about the start of the "Lacefield Home Renovation Project."  It has been SO much better than I expected.  I half expected us to either go totally overboard and get overwhelmed, or just to give up mid-project. 

BUT, we've taken our time.

We've made smart decisions.

Instead of jumping in to something, or putting up some random curtains, we buy 3, put them all up, and return the 2 that don't make the cut.

I've learned that taking your time saves money and headaches.

Just to help you recall, when we started with the livingroom it looked like this:


The walls HAD to change.  And we managed that quickly over the summer.  But things still weren't quite right ...

This was the "semi-after" that I blogged about 3 weeks ago.  The trim still needed to be done, and we wanted some curtains.  Also, turns out, we gave our carpet another look.


And here, for only $100 spent, we have our BIG transformation!


So let's go through the changes:

We added a chair and a "reading area" by simply moving the love seat further away from the main seat.  In other words, we lengthened the space of the living room.  By doing this, it freed up space for the reading area.  I took the chair from our master bedroom, took the lamp from our study, and the table from Gloria's nursery because it was sitting in that room by itself.   The little "lamp" on top of the table was sitting on a shelf that was in the livingroom but we took those shelves out to make room for the curtains.

The trim is now painted!  Doesn't it look fabulous?  The husband managed to do this in his VERY little time off this month.  He doesn't much like the idea of my being on a ladder while pregnant (even though I do it anyway!) so while it took him 2 weeks to complete it, I am just so thankful he does it without complaining.  He even painted the door to the backyard and to the garage so it would all match.  The walls are "Oat Straw" from Behr and the trim is whatever color is at the TOP of the "Oat Straw" card.

The rug is NEW!  And it was free because the MIL paid for it this weekend.  While the other rug is VERY pretty, it just wasn't big enough since we moved the sofas further away and it was also kind of hard.  Considering we'll be on the floor for hours again once Gloria comes, we wanted a softer and comfier rug.  The rug was from Home Depot and is an 8 * 10 while the old 5 * 7 made its way to our master bedroom and looks gorgeous!  It's all about working with what you have!

The MAIN change?  Those curtains that make the wall so noticeable now.  We got 2 short rods instead of putting one huge rod above the windows.  Each rod cost $9 at Target.  The curtain panels are from TJ Maxx.  We bought 3 to try them all out and go figure, liked the costly ones most, but they still weren't costly ... $10 each. 

So for a run down of the price:

- 1 gallon of trim paint: $30
- 1 gallon of wall paint: $30
- 2 rods above windows: $20
- 2 curtain panels: $20


Shall we take another look at what $100 did?



Next up: PLAYROOM!  We painted yesterday ... I'll have a "semi-after" look soon!

Linking to Serenity Now and Design Dazzle.

Linking up to:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

FREE Printable Art and Subway Art!

I first joined pinterst to put together a complication of free subway art printables that I found on the internet.  It grew in to a slight obsession.  I have a 5 * 7 white frame in our kitchen that often gets changed throughout seasons.  Right now?

Free Valentine's "so in love" printable art found here.

I  have this beauty in there for Valentine's.  And this got me thinking ... I scoured the internet for probably 2 hours to find my favorites.  Why not share the love?

Below each picture is a link to where you can print these off.  I print them off of Shutterfly if I have a coupon, or at Walmart.  The actual print is COMPLETELY FREE!  YAY! 

I like these and am going to print them out for our "alphabet and number" themed playroom!  Something like this is $20 on Etsy but at Walmart, $3.00!

Free nursery or playroom printable art "Count your Many Blessings" found here.

Free nursery or playroom "I love you" alphabet print found here.

How about some Holidays?

Free Christmas printable art found here.

Free Valentine's printable art "Be Mine" print found here.

Free "Fall" subway art found here.

This spooky one goes great for a Halloween party and is found here.

I have this one in a 16 * 20 frame in our hallway and it looks SO gorgeous:

Link to great quote found here.

Nursery "rain" printable art found here.

Wondering how people make some of these or want to put your own quote?  Here are tips on doing that!  I think I might just have to take a stab at it for Gloria's room!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Slightly (aka Totally) Freaking Out

I've said for weeks that we had a girl name picked out and not a boy name.  But then my other caveat was that we had a boy nursery theme and not a girl one.

No big deal right?  I could just do a few clicks of the handy dandy world wide web, and inspiration would hit.  Lord did it.

There are SO many beautiful things out there and I just can't decide which I like best and which one we should do and how we should arrange the furniture and how I should go about making these dreams a reality with a very tight budget and how I could even manage these dreams because I'm not a very creative person and how it turns out I like 0% of girl bedding and how on the other hand I like 100% of girl nurseries

Should I keep going?  Or do you catch my drift?

Just look at some of the lovely ideas out there:

this light pink, blue, and purple theme is awesome.  Romantic and yet not too overly girly.

I realize this board is for a party, but I put it in my "Gloria Isabel nursery" file (yes I officially have one of those on pinterest and on my computer.  I'm also too embarrsed to put them all on my pinterest because if people follow me they'll get inundated with my craziness next time they log on).  I digressed: I like the colors, the blue and red thoughts etc.  Sometimes for a girl it's done too harshly in my opinion, but they made this one work.

This girl nursery might just be the top rated one on pinterest and I can see why.  It's gorgeous.  Another thing I like about it is the two windows on opposites sides.  We have that in Gloria's room and it's awfully complicated trying to figure out how to arrange all the furniture without leaving a huge empty space in the middle.

Something about this  mood board made me happy.  It's probably the girliest of them all.  I think I'm leaning towards a slightly girlier edge because Liliana isn't a girly girl AT ALL and I wouldn't mind having some of that in my life!

I  had originally thought about making this the theme for Liliana's toddler/ big girl room and might still go that route.  Who knows!

I also like these colors and this phrase!  Like I've mentioned weeks before, I love the phrase Be Kind (like Ellen Degeneres) says and one of my all time favorite pins from pinterest is "You is kind, you is smart, you is important."  This comes from the Help which was a great book.  Heck, I enjoyed the book, the movie, and the quote so much.  I wouldn't mind having that in the nursery.  Or just this print alone.  Like I've said many times, I think something as simple as that can summarize my goal as a parent: tell my children to be kind to others, to strive to be intelligent, and to know that they are always important in our lives.

Thoughts and favorites?  I have no idea which one I'm leaning to for now!  I think a Home Depot trip with LOTS and LOTS of paint samples is in this weekends future.  : )

note: most of these boards were found on  I wanted to give her credit for her work because it's simply outstanding!