The Pie That Wasn’t

This is the first in a series I like to call Staples, which consists of recipes that I turn to time and time again. Today’s staple is near and dear to my heart, mostly because of its Irish (or English, depending on who you’re asking) origins…like my ancestors! Yep, I’m a proud Irish lassie and am known to blast an Elders CD while making this recipe.

Sorry for the cell phone pics. I literally had a child on my hip for every part of this recipe besides the chopping. Oh, and another side note: be creative with this, it’s half the fun. I’ve never made it the same way more than once, so suit it all to your own taste.

Shepherd’s (or Cottage) Pie
– approx. 1 lb. ground beef (ours was local, grassfed) or lamb; I’ve never used turkey or chicken, but it might taste yummy
– 1/2 medium onion or 1 small onion, chopped
– 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
– 3-4 stalks celery, diced
– 3-4 carrots, diced
– 2 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. thyme (to taste)
– 2 tsp. rosemary
– salt and pepper
– a couple dollops earthy mustard (I used a balsamic garlic mustard)
– a few Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
– 1/2 to full bottle hard cider, beer, red wine, or stock
– a few Tbsp. flour
– 1 c. (give or take) each of frozen peas, frozen corn and/or any other veggies you have on hand
– leftover mashed potatoes (depends on how much filling you’re making; I had ~ 4 c. leftover garlic smashed potatoes; it doesn’t have to cover the entire top, but if you’d like it to, make more potatoes)
– grated cheese for top, to taste (I used cheddar and parmesan)

At medium-high rown the ground meat in a couple Tbsp. of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent (you can add the salt and pepper now; the salt helps the onions sweat), then add the celery, carrots, and garlic and cook at medium heat until you cook the “bite” out of the veggies.

Add the seasonings, mustard, Worcestershire, liquid of your choice, and whisk in the flour (you can also whisk the flour into some of your liquid or water before adding it to avoid lumps, but sometimes I just throw it in and the whisk helps take care of that). Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to allow to simmer. The goal is to achieve a thick (but not TOO thick) consistency, which can take ten minutes or twenty, but you can really let it cook as long as you’d like. (I think I went the 20-30 minute range.) In the last 5-10 minutes, add the corn and peas (I forgot to do this and added them way early. They look yucky but taste fine.)

Use the free time to play with your helper.

Yes, his hair is “fluffy” and has a tendency to stick up like that.

That’s what I call bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Oh, right. Also use this time to heat up your mashed potatoes. You could avoid this step, but they’re easier to spread (and you may find you need to add more milk) if you just throw them in a pan and heat them.

When ready, put the mixture in the bottom of an oven-safe dish (I used a 9×13 casserole; if you make a smaller one, use a smaller dish; round ones are great for this and make for a more “deep dish pie”) and dollop mashed potatoes over the top. Then, spread the mashed potatoes (easier than plopping it all on at once), add shredded cheese and a dash of salt and pepper, and maybe some more thyme or rosemary.

I usually make this ahead then bake it off when I’m ready for it, so make sure it comes to room temperature before cooking it — I do 375 or 400 degrees for around 20-30 minutes. If you want it brown, go ahead and put it under the broiler for the last few minutes.

It may not look like much, but it’s not really supposed to, and I promise you ’tis tasty, especially with a few extra dashes of Worcestershire at the end. Plus, it provides leftovers for a few days’ worth of lunches (or more dinner, if you like). It’s a good way to take one meal (in this case, the hubby’s birthday steak dinner with garlic mashed potatoes and peas) into something equally as yummy. I suggest serving it with a side salad brimming with fresh greens and a light dressing, and perhaps a glass of whatever “liquid” you chose to use. Comfort food at its finest!

The Great Milk Switcheroo

Okay, so it’s not THAT great. The milk switcheroo actually wasn’t one of those clouds parting, angels singing, drop everything moments. I just kind of asked Dave (many moons ago) to grab some regular old organic 1% for me since, I believe, it was one of those “sick house” weeks (we’ve had a couple weeks in a row of that lately! Ugh) and it wasn’t worth driving out to Utica to get our usual glass bottle.

And it just kind of stuck. You know we LOVE the idea of reusable (GLASS!) bottles and helping local farmers. The fact that it reminds us of a time gone by doesn’t hurt. But, the milk we were getting wasn’t organic. As Dr. Oz says, you can’t wash your milk the way you can your fruits and veggies. (Not that I’m an Oz nut, but this one makes sense.)

We’ve landed on our “new norm” of Organic Valley grassfed organic 1%. I know a lot of folks say to drink whole…or raw…or unpasteurized…or not at all! There are a ton of thoughts on it, but for our family, currently, the fact that it’s grassfed, the cows are humanely treated, and it’s organic (AND with no GMOs) are the main points. When the Hadman is drinking whole one day, maybe I’ll just buy the whole and be done with it.

If I could find a local source of grassfed milk (I won’t say certified organic because organic practices are important to us; the rigamarole farmers have to go through to obtain it is bunk, especially considering what mainstream farmers DON’T have to go through to use steroids, low-quality feed or GMO feed, at that) that came in glass jars, I’d be one uber-happy mama! Still searching, but for our current “it’s a miracle I get a shower every 2 days” lifestyle, this works.

Much like the Great Butter Debate (and oil, for that matter), there are tons of schools of thought on the topic, and everyone seems to think they’re right. I’m not saying that we’re right; I’m just saying what currently works for us. Heck, everyone has their own interest — some are anti-waste (hence reusable glass bottles), some are raw/whole foods, others are anti-fat. Where do you stand?

On a side note, can I just say how totally bummed I am that one of our awesome local resources, The Foodshed Buying Club (God knows how long before that link doesn’t work), has closed shop? I’m even more bummed that Dave and I may be part of the cause. We had discussed signing up for it (paying $20 to sign up per year, then being able to order and pick up everything from grassfed meats and cheeses to seasonal veggies, etc) but there was never a good time as far as when we thought we’d be getting the most use out of it. Winter didn’t seem wise since there’s way less produce to offer, and summertime brings with it the fun of farmers marketing. Alas, we never got to share in the awesomeness. Plus, they offered some wicked classes, like for food preservation and cheese making. I’m hoping that wasn’t my only shot at such classes! Gotta keep my eyes peeled — if anyone has any leads, hit me up!

Get Smart?

I need to hitch a ride on the Dinosaur Train. (Yes, that’s a thing. Watch PBS much? Clearly, we do.) Here’s the sitch: I’ve got a regular ol’ cell phone. The hubs has an iPhone5, but because his contract is through his job, we can’t link up for a good, old-fashioned friends-and-family-fest. We only have a certain coverage in our area, and Verizon seems to be the only choice.

Here’s the offending monstrosity. (Yup, my plan’s up in March.)

It’s a flip phone riddled with dings and scrapes. I’ve been proud of the fact that I don’t have a data plan, but have started to wonder whether I’m missing out on the world of smartphones. Am I making my life more challenging by NOT having one, or would it just be one more worldly distraction I don’t need? We want to simplify our lives, so I hate adding any monthly costs (as it is, I hate the almost $60 a month…which I’m sure is peanuts) but with how little the phone does for me, is it really a value?

I’ve also heard about a prepaid option, but I’m pretty ignorant about it and think that the smartphone available through such a plan are limited.

So, I guess what I’m putting out there is — what do YOU think? What do you use? What works for you? And, if you’re willing to share, how much do you pay monthly? Everyone has a completely different lifestyle and experience here, so any thoughts are very much welcome; criticism, not s’much. 😉 Thank you, in advance!

Lunchy Lunch Lunch

It’s one of those vacation days that you find it to be a miracle that you got a shower (while popping your head out every 8 seconds to keep the baby from wailing) or O-N-E load of laundry folded or the baby to sleep for a brief nap. The “who calls this vacation? At least I’m not at work” kind of days. So, clearly, it was also a miracle that I ate anything that didn’t involve a spoon and a jar of peanut butter.

When such a miracle occurs, even if it’s a bowl of frickin’ cereal, you wanna brag. I, however, managed what I’m calling a burrito quesadilla. What makes it a burrito? Because it’s got leftover brown rice and black bean salsa (you could use re-fried beans but I wanted to get rid of this stuff).

Here’s the recipe:

Burrito Quesadilla (serves one hungry mama or two normal people)
– two whole wheat tortillas (wish I could find these with minimal ingredients)
– 1/4 c. corn and black bean salsa (Paul Newman’s, in this case)
– a few handfuls of leftover pre-cooked brown rice

– a couple of Tbsp. feta cheese
– 1/4 c. (+/-) grated cheddar
– dollop of plain Greek yogurt and regular tomato salsa for garnish

Build as you would a traditional quesadilla, smearing the black bean salsa on one tortilla, then the rice, then cheese. (I was going to sprinkle some chili powder and cumin on at this point but I was doing this with the baby in one arm, so…yeah. I forgot.) Place second tortilla on top and cook on an oiled grill pan for a few minutes on each side (medium heat). Slice and serve with salsa and yogurt (and guacamole or avocados, if you have them). Enjoy!

Call it the magic of silently falling snow (yes, meteorological friends, I know it’s science, not magic…and, yes, I know numerous meteorologists, don’t you?) or the baby mix I’m playing on iTunes, but let it be known that a person CAN write an entire blog post (including edited photo) with a napping baby on her lap (and left arm). I almost considered leaving “spoon” as “spoob.” And do not ask why I won’t venture to put him down or my eye may start to twitch.

Bathroom Update #2

Fully intended to post this Monday; sorry about that! We’ve got a smorgasbord of illness here — croup, sinusitis, bronchitis — take your pick! Set me back a bit.

See? I said I’d get back to you with a bathroom update before another YEAR goes by. Yay, me.

Last you saw, our bathroom was finally de-poopified (in the manner of using some semi-gloss white paint to banish the poop brown accents FOREVER!!!)…

After two coats of a low-VOC semi-gloss paint (the name of which I’m trying to hunt down; that’s the problem with never-ending projects), here’s what we’re left with…


Not a massive change; we’ve still got the ugly mosaic tile, mismatched floor, etc, but things are lookin’ up. Even the hubs is a huge fan of the color and, after the final coat, said that it really makes the space look larger. You might not expect that when you’re moving from white to, well, ANY darker color, but it adds depth to the room that wasn’t there before.

Next up will be a project I’m handing over to the men in my life — beadboard paneling to cover the tiles. Once we’re “ready”, they’ll also take out the sink (forever, we’re replacing it) and the toilet (temporarily) to lay the peel-and-stick tiles on the floor and finish the beadboard on the potty/sink wall. I’ve also heard something regarding painting the shower surround from my stepdad, but I’m not sure exactly what is meant by this plan; the liner seems to be torn as far as my knowledge takes me (which, admittedly, isn’t THAT far; my stepdad’s practically a master plumber). So, we’ll see! Then there’s nitty gritty stuff like the molding for the top of the beadboard, hanging a couple of hooks for towels, finding and hanging a couple of open shelves over the potty and some sort of window treatment, accessorizing (on the hunt for art!), making a mini curtain (you’ll see why)…oh, and hanging my favorite part of the room — a $14.99 shower curtain that adds a huge pop of personality (and even a bit of color).

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the curtain! I’ve hunted FOREVER to find one that I loved and I finally found this at TJ Maxx. All the other curtains were over $20, which isn’t a huge deal, but they didn’t pack THIS much style, I tell ya. I look at it and can already hear my mom telling me that it won’t help sell the house; if that’s the case, I’ll throw the white one back up (it’s not in horrible shape, but it has a few snags from *ahem* a couple of cat claws), but why not surround yourself with things you love? Besides, I texted Dave a picture while he sat in the car with the little buddy and he immediately approved it…which kinda surprised me.

Anyhoo, any projects going on at your joint? How do you feel about bathrooms? Decorate ’em to the hilt or just clean them since your time spent there is so…um…utilitarian? Up for quirky art (we have a friend with a nude print in their 1/2 bath, which fits their personality pretty well) or soothing, subtle stuff?

Solid, Liquid, Schmushy – It’s All the Same!

Wow. I just re-read that title and totally realized that it could easily apply to the little monkey’s diaper presents. Oops.

Anyhoo, in a recent post about the types of fat that we consume, I mentioned that I had purchased a buttload of coconut oil. For weeks, I just stared at the plastic jar of Crisco-resembling stuff, too intimidated to take the plunge.

Then, one morning I decided to make myself eggs. Since I wasn’t making them for my husband (I’m often fearful of making something he doesn’t like; he wouldn’t mind, I’m sure, but it’s the perfectionist in me), I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out. I threw a pat of it in my pan, tossed in our humanely-treated chicken eggs, seasoned and stirred.

They were fine. Well, they were really good, but not by any stretch exceptional. I wasn’t expecting anything extraordinary, so I was ultimately pleased that they didn’t taste like coconut (I like coconut, but don’t think my eggs should really taste like it) and it acted just like I would expect butter to act…albeit a tad more liquid. Well, of course — it’s oil, after all.

Since the eggs, I’ve used the stuff to make banana bread and for pancakes, and probably a couple of other lightly-fried stuff I’m not remembering. To use it as liquid oil (in both the banana bread and the pancakes), I melted it and just added in the amount called-for by the recipe. The coolest part is that coconut oil doesn’t get altered by heating and re-heating, so you can just throw any leftover melted oil back into the container and once it reaches room temperature, it hardens back up. (It may be a little softer than the rest of it, but it goes from clear back to white, which entertains me to no end. Wheee! So cool!!) Hence the weird title of my post.

When I made pancakes, I also threw it in the pan to fry them up, too, and it worked wonderfully. I’ve read in different places to use butter or vegetable oil, and over the years I’ve done both. The neat thing here is that it turns into a completely clear oil (even lighter than veggie oil), so it works just as well as the vegetable oil, but I know that it’s more healthful (note I didn’t say healthier; I’m happier with the health benefits I can get from something rather than focusing on fat content, etc — although this stuff is awesome for bettering one’s cholesterol :-)).

I know there’s a lot more that can be done with it, from salve on a wound to hair conditioner. You can use it in place of butter (which I should try with the rest of my banana bread, but need to get over the “this looks like Crisco…” feeling, LOL). Seriously, here’s 101 uses from Wellness Mama. Even if you don’t want to use it, read all the stuff you can do with it! I just read that it can increase a Mama’s milk supply…wonder if I have to take it straight or if cooking with it is enough of an intake. Either way, I’m becoming a fan!

Has anyone else taken the jump to try coconut oil? Whatchya think? If you’re considering it, what’s keeping you — I’d love to hear!

Yer Freakin’ Me Out!

Does this man freak YOU out?
Didn’t think so.

My husband and I have had a very strange unintentional running gag going on. I’m not a fan.

It’s downright weird. I’ll be cooking dinner with the baby nearby, knowing that Dave is upstairs in our office, when he suddenly (and silently) slips in through the doorway and suddenly speaks. I jump. My hand automatically grasps at my chest, presumably because I have to place my heart back in its original position. I am downright FREAKED OUT. He might as well have said, “Boo!” But, that’s the thing. He doesn’t intend to scare me. Seriously, he doesn’t! He’s not that type of a guy. We don’t pull pranks or do overtly silly things (unless it involves the baby or cats).

It can happen anywhere. In the middle of a crowded grocery store — there are tons of people around, but he appears from grabbing a coffee and *bam* I jump three feet then get a full-body shiver goin’ on. He comes back from the bathroom at a restaurant. He comes down cellar where I’m intently working on laundry. There have been so many examples, I can’t remember them all. Yes, that many!

Why am I writing about such a silly phenomenon? Well, because there’s a part of me that thinks it’s hysterical. But, more importantly, I’m hoping that by writing about it, it’ll be my cure; like holding one’s breath or taking sugar water for hiccups. Now that I’ve written it down and put it out there for the world to see, I’m fully intending to no longer be frightened by my hubs.

One can wish, right?

What the hell’s the matter with me, anyway?!?! Hee hee. Accepting responses in the comments below. 😉 Have a great day!

Locavore Challenges

I only wish we could eat and live as locavores, knowing that what we consume comes from within a 50-mile radius. Wouldn’t that be great? In theory, better for the environment, better for our wallets, better for our health (and, often, taste buds). Heck, the dream would be to grow and raise 90% of our food.

But we’re living with limitations. Not saying this as an excuse; just stating a fact. Time, money, space, and happiness (ie raising Hadley, loving on the kitties) are all important factors. Y’know. What they call “reality.” Damn you, Reality.

So, instead, we try to find locavore haunts whenever possible; restaurants that serve locally-grown and/or -raised food. Even those that just serve SOME locally-sourced foods works for us. We’re not picky.

It was pleasantly surprising to see how easy it was to eat almost completely locally when we were in Vermont (I heart the Vermont Fresh Network!). And it’s awesome to see more places that do serve local fare and support farmers and other local providers. But, in our neck of the woods, things are still…um…lacking. So, there’s one “challenge” as referenced by this post’s title. Clever, eh?

That being said, this makes it easier to “challenge” myself to try to review what locavore joints we DO have in the Mohawk Valley and surrounding areas. We eat out so infrequently, don’t expect this to be a weekly thing, but this should be a good way to push us to try out some establishments that we’ve heard about but haven’t put on our “go here next” list.

Plus, you know we love supporting places that follow this trend when traveling, too, so you never know what joint we’ll try next. Be sure to “like” Meg, Acting Out on Facebook if you have any suggestions of places we should try, be they in Utica or Cooperstown, Burlington or Boston.

Oh, and one cool point of my reviews? The hubs and I always order different entrees. You know I always steal a bite…or two.

Speaking of hubs, check out his blog about our little one’s night terrors lately. They’re no joke (but I like to think that he won’t be psychologically damaged in the long run…I hope, at least).

Animal Luhvahs

Why do you think we try to make a concerted effort to “green” our lifestyle?

Why do you think we check our consciences before buying meat? (Don’t get me wrong; we buy meat. We just prefer to buy from folks who treat the animals humanely and with the respect and honor that they deserve. Believe me, mentally we’re borderline vegetarian; in reality, we just can’t make that jump yet.)

Why do we hear at least twice a month in our household someone sadly repeat, “Humans weren’t meant to go this fast.” Or “If it’s going to storm, should I check the food in the garage now or will that scare the cats out if they’re already settling in?” (That’s not our cats ; it’s the stray cats we wish we could take in, or at least get spayed/neutered and maybe find a nice home for.) Or “Animals are so much more in touch than humans” or “kinder than humans” or “more thoughtful than humans.” Or “Good, Hadley, yes. Beardslee is your brother. We love him. We treat him nicely. We don’t pull his fur or ears or tail. We pet him with an open hand. Good boy, you love your boys, don’t you?”

It’s because we’re animal lovers. Luhvahs. Lovahs. Whatever. We love animals!

We’re not (I don’t think!) the crazy people who wear cat sweatshirts and give up human interaction for the sweet snuggliness of our boys. But we do cherish them for their uniqueness and for what each of them bring to the family. We had three fur babies before we had Hadley, and they taught us SO much about parenting that has helped us with our “human” buddy.

And this doesn’t just go for cats, although they happen to hold a monopoly in our household. We grew up with dogs, and I have some experience farming with cows (hate calling them cattle), and in general both have a deep-rooted compassion for furry and feathered creatures of all shapes and sizes. We both often shed a tear over roadkill, and if we have to drive past it several times a day it deeply affects us.

Dave’s a donator. If he feels strongly about something, he puts his money where his mouth is (and, although he works in the fancy-schmancy world o’ news, he by no means has an excess of the green stuff…I promise you). So, he donates to a couple of animal shelters.

His brother was raised with a similar love of animals; they, too, have three kitties to call their own. They donate their time, too, to an awesome place called Spring Farm Cares in Clinton, NY. It’s called an “animal sanctuary” — a place where animals aren’t killed just because they happen to have a particular number attached to them. I love that it’s a sanctuary, especially for the horses, who are unable to be adopted out due to age or other ailments. A place for a horse to live out its days in a caring, healthy environment and with hospice (yes! Horse hospice) when needed is an incredible thing, indeed.

So, when Dan and Tara came up with an idea to have a run to benefit the sanctuary, I was uber proud. As things moved forward, bureaucratic red tape and other issues popped up, but always remembering the animals and what they deserve, they stuck out their chins and continued on. With further evolution, I was glad to hear that the run had become a run/walk — so, yay, I could sign up and even drag a stroller-ridin’ baby along to support them!

If you live in the Mohawk Valley area and are free Saturday, May 4th, please consider signing up for the Spring Farm Cares Run/Walk for the Animals. You can find out more on their Facebook page or simply register directly at Early birds who sign up before April 1st pay a registration fee of $20 (and get a nifty, free T-shirt…or, if you don’t want the tee, let the money go back as a donation!).

Let’s just say I usually celebrate my May 1st birthday on the first Saturday of May, but this year I’m looking forward to use the day planting a seed with our son; a seed of compassion, responsibility and love. After all, why else would we work so hard at doing our tiny part to save the world if those who truly deserve a safe, wonderful place aren’t considered? It is our job to do for the animals and children, for they cannot do for themselves.

Sorry for the preachiness. I just care a whole heck of a lot about this cause. Please consider coming. It should be an awesomely fun, positive day for all.

Nursery Reveal – Devil’s in the Details

You’ve already seen a general nursery reveal here, but some of my favorite parts of the space are the little details. The personal touches that make it special. The room may not be perfect, but consider me smitten.

First, a reminder of the nursery as a whole…

Nifty, eh? Like I said — smitten! Now, here’s a look at some of the specifics that make my heart go pitter pat.

The “LOVE” over the crib is simply those papier maché (had to write it in the proper French format; hope to make Mrs. Turner proud!) letters that are available at any craft store. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to paint them — white? Bright orange? Plum, if Hadley had been a girl? When all was said and done, I just wanted the space DONE, so I figured I could always paint them if the urge struck. It hasn’t. I love them au naturel. Oh, and they’re being held up with the hubby’s packing tape. Use whatchya got! (And, yes, I have to occasionally “press” them back up, but they’re nothing that will crush the bambino in his sleep, so we’re not worried.)

Time to get artsy fartsy! Aside from the “LOVE” ‘installment’ above, we made a bit of a collage wall o’ stuff. Here’s the general gist of the thing…

(The picture on the bottom left is of Dave as a baby. I’m trying to track one down of me. Few and far between, my friends.) And here are some close-ups…

This is a lovely print that one of Dave’s co-workers had made for us when the little guy was born. How. Cool. Is. That?!

And, of course we want the buddy to learn his “brothers'” names, so what better way than to throw some pictures on the wall? It doesn’t hurt that they’re right above the mirror (which he stares longingly into before trying to pull off the wall. Must take after his mama.)

This is a hat that Dave got from his family that we think is just awesomesauce. I think it was his dad’s, but you know we’re trying it on the little guy when his head grows a bit more. Gotta love a 3-D effect in the midst of flat art, and some history/sentimentality is even better.

I’m pretty proud of these guys — two oval thrift store frames, a couple of sheets of scrapbook paper and two tiny wooden dudes taped to the front and you’ve got Hadley’s favorite thing in the whole room. He’s mesmerized by them. Serendipity!

Yes, you can see me in the reflection. I don’t care! My mom sang this to me when I was a baby, so it had to be included in the room. (I’ve tried to sing it but can’t get through without tears.) I took my inspiration from a print I saw online, changed the colors a bit, painted the frame, and voila!

Speaking of stealing, er borrowing art ideas from the internet, I downloaded a cool font and created this piece, too. Another thrift store frame and some cutting (you can tell that it’s a bit small; I need to find a larger mat or something, but it’s no hurry. Oh, and notice the yellow letters…

Here’s a different angle. You can see the pattern on the curtains (which I made (!) using this tutorial), along with a McCoy pottery teapot (I think my mother bought it for me; the fact that my maiden name is “McCoy” is not lost on me) and a couple of cheap (cheep!), cute ceramic birds (another craft store find) that help fancy up the place.

Here’s another online print that we LOVE. Sure, the owls are cute, but we prefer the irreverent Beatles quote (er, variation of a Beatles quote). It’s our favorite song and we want our son to hold that meaning dearly.

I wish this artwork worked better lately… It still makes me laugh a bit, though. And ya gotta love for getting juuuust the right font. (Run your virus scanner afterwards, though; ya never know.)

This art started life as a sweet baby shower card from a friend of ours. Strangely enough, giraffes have become the little man’s “animal,” but the colors and design just screamed “I need to be seen every single day!” Oh, and then there are a couple of antique blue glass bottles that I’ve had around forever, plus a basket for his toiletries. (This is high up, by the way.)

Speaking of high-up glass, here’s a place for us to keep some of our smaller toys, like blocks, an awesome organic wood teether (another owl) and the special musical turtle from Aunt Tara and Uncle Dan from their trip to Italy. I just love all of it!…which means, keep your glass-hating comments to yourself. 😉


And, last but not least, we have our rocking chair. It doesn’t get a ton of use (he’d rather be held standing up), but it came from my mother’s childhood home; God only knows how old it is. It’s got the best dark patina and helps make the place a tad more “serious,” playing off all the bright colors and modern prints.

So, these are just a few of my favorite details in the little man’s room. I’m hoping to do a bit of a source list/price breakdown of everything. Most of the items are hand-me-downs (or a gift, like the crib and the Ikea shelves), but I figure that’ll wrap up the nursery over-sharing.