Weekly Photo Challenge: ROY G BIV

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “ROY G. BIV.”

I know that this is actually a bit late, but I wanted to complete this challenge not just because I love finding interesting color in the every day but this was also going to be my first post with a “gallery” in it. I feel like galleries require a little more planning but I’m looking forward to adding more galleries into my blog.

Summer To-Do List – 2015

Each summer, I try to complete everything on my to-do list. Each summer, I accomplish some of the things on my list.

My list for this summer:

  • Work on the front yard.  So far Ryan and I have done a lot of work on the front yard but there is still more to do – most importantly, we need to remove the giant bushes.
  • Get back on track with my running/jogging/……walking.  It’s been hard to get back into my training. I think that it means that I’m going to have to get up early to get my run in before the girls wake up……and it’s really (!!!!!!) hard to get up early.
  • Read. Read. Read.
  • Work related: Pick a play for the Junior High spring production. I have read 1 out of the 5 scripts that I am debating.
  • Paint! We have a small stool in the bathroom that currently is the stopping point for magazines and catalogs and such. However, it needs to be painted as it still matches the bedroom furniture that we painted years ago.
  • Do at least one non-scheduled fun thing every week. There are a couple things that we will do each week because they are scheduled: story time at the library and dance class for big girl. Last week we went above and beyond by going to the Shedd Aquarium on Monday and Brookfield Zoo on Tuesday.
  • Read. Read. Read so more. I have so many books just waiting for me to start and/or finish them and it’s definitely time for me to take care of that.
  • Bake. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a lot of baking. I made blueberry muffins recently (and blogged about them here) but I definitely want to do more.  Baby girl has loved everything that I’ve baked recently (the blueberry muffins and her birthday cake) and I want to share more recipes with her.
  • Work ahead (as much as I can) on grad school projects. Thankfully, I only have one class this summer but I do want to get as much done ahead of the due date(s) as I can.

So, that’s the plan. We shall see how much I actually accomplish…..

Blueberry, blueberry muffins

We bought a huge container of blueberries from Costco. Yay! But, they quickly got to the point of use-them-or-throw-them-away. So, the search for a muffin recipe began.

I wanted to find a super easy recipe. Super, super easy recipe.

I found this one. I don’t often make Paula Deen’s recipes. But, this sounded so yummy. 1 stick of butter? Oh yea. A pile of sugar on top? Yep. Good idea.

I got ready to make the muffins and realized that we were out of baking powder. Ok. The next day, with a brand new package of baking powder, I got ready to make the muffins…..and we don’t have any eggs. Ok. Finally, day three, I made the muffins. Finally.

They came together fairly quickly. Since we had so many blueberries that needed to be used, I added an extra half of a cup of blueberries to the recipe.  Would that throw everything off? Only one way to find out….

Finished muffins.  And my in-need-of-a-manicure nails.

Finished muffins. And my in-need-of-a-manicure nails.

They taste pretty good and are full (!!!!!!!) of blueberries. I don’t quite understand the sugar on top.  I kept them in the oven a bit longer than needed to bake the muffins but the sugar didn’t do anything. It just sort of sat on top. I thought that the sugar would caramelize a little or something but that didn’t happen. The texture is a bit off.  The muffins fall apart very easily.  Perhaps that is because I added so many blueberries?  Maybe the added blueberries made the muffins structurally unsound.

But, the important thing is that the finished muffins do taste good and very blueberry-y.  And bonus: baby girl loves them! She loves picking out the blueberries and then eating the rest of the muffin.

Winnie-the-Pooh First Birthday

I can’t believe how quickly this year went by.  Baby girl is one year old! When beginning to plan her party, I decided to go with one of my favorite topics – Winnie-the-Pooh! I wanted to keep it simple while also making it super cute. But….yea….simple and easy to put together were the goals.

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This paper became a huge part of the party design. I found a template for pennants here. I cut out the pennant pieces and used a circle paper punch to cut out lots of circles.

Lots and lots of pennants

Lots and lots of pennants

I used the circles to make a little banner for the cake and as confetti on the table.

Cake banner

Cake banner

Finished cake banner. I attached the circles onto the ribbon with tape then used tape to attach the ribbon to sticks that are used for candy making.

Finished cake banner. I attached the circles onto the ribbon with tape then used tape to attach the ribbon to sticks that are used for candy making.

My mother-in-law noticed that the cake design was close to that of big girl’s birthday. I like that a lot of the design was the same but still different for each girl.

I hung pennants everywhere……until I ran out of pink ribbon.

On the fireplace....

On the fireplace….

On bookshelves....

On bookshelves….

After I ran out of pink ribbon, I had to improvise. (Hint – always buy too much ribbon.) I cut the top tab part off of the pennant pieces so that they were now just a triangle and taped them up as though they were a banner.

On the front door....

On the front door….

On the high chair....

On the high chair….

On the closet door....

On the closet door….

I didn’t want to go overboard with Winnie-the-Pooh so I picked accents of pink and yellow. There was also a lot of pink and yellow in the Pooh paper so it worked out well.

Pink and yellow napkins, utensils, and plates all from Target. The little yellow buckets were from the Target dollar section. Man....I love the Target dollar section.

Pink and yellow napkins, utensils, and plates all from Target. The little yellow buckets were from the Target dollar section. Man….I love the Target dollar section.

The sprinkles on the cake were also pink and yellow.

The sprinkles on the cake were also pink and yellow.

For the menu, we decided to have picnic-type foods. Sliders, brats, hot dogs. All sounds good, right? Except big girl won’t eat any of those things so I also made sure that we had the ingredients for PB&J sandwiches. I used a cute beehive cookie cutter to cut the bread. I’m guessing that the cookies would look better than the bread as the bread just looked like a weird triangle….or a letter A….

PB&J. Everyone's favorite.

PB&J. Everyone’s favorite.

After I settled on the Winnie-the-Pooh theme, I asked my mom to be on the lookout for Pooh bear stuff at yard sales or resale shops.  She found a cute vase/carafe that I added to the table decor. Unfortunately, the pic that I had of the vase refuses to be uploaded…..after four tries…..oh well.  Just know that it’s cute.

The food!

The food!

I think that the party turned out really cute. I did not spend nearly as many hours preparing this one as I did when big girl turned one but I wanted to be well-rested (or as well-rested as a mother of a 3 year-old and 1 year-old can be) for the party. Once I found the scrapbook paper I knew that the whole party would come together pretty easily.

Easy. Cute. Birthday party goals were definitely achieved.