Pimp Their Crib + Baby Grass

Just a quick post to share one of my recent projects.

Our friends, Curtis and Tiffany, who will be having a baby soon (and very soon), asked me to paint the walls of their nursery-to-be with a tall grass motif based on their crib/curtain set.

This is what we started with:


I transferred the design onto the walls with the help of an overhead projector. Tim came to help paint one day. We mixed up a few greens for some variety.

I took this picture with my phone, so I’d have proof that I’d actually done it.

After I finished the walls, the parents-to-be installed new bamboo flooring, shades (nice choice with the brown!), an area rug, pendant light, and a comfy glider/recliner. Nice job, guys!

I couldn’t resist including a picture of the family’s cat, Pepper.

Do not be fooled by her seemingly peaceful appearance. I put myself in harm’s way to get this shot. She is the queen of her castle, and ain’t nobody messin’ with that! Good luck, baby S.!

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In a semi-related note, our sod out back seems to be establishing itself. Yay! Plus, I over seeded the area with some old grass seed we had in the shed, and some of it has been popping up as well. So, it seems we also have some of our own baby grass!

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Our Mother’s Day Brunch

Growing up, our family tradition for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, was to bring the honoree breakfast-in-bed. Although we no longer do the “in-bed” part, we still continue the tradition of making a surprise special meal for the day. So, on Sunday, my sisters and I put together a Mother’s Day “brunch” for our mom. And I have to say, we did a decent job…although she probably won’t appreciate that I’m posting her picture here. Get over it, Mom, there’s another one further down, too. :P~

{ MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH MENU }

  • Mimosas
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Feta
  • Biscuits with Creamed Chipped Beef or Creamed Veggie Sausage
  • Turkey, Beef, and Veggie Bacon
  • Salad of Watercress, Spring Garden Greens, and Fennel with Orange Dressing and Almonds
  • Chocolate Mini Cupcakes with Coffee or Almond Icing
  • Biscuits with Berries and Fresh Whipped Cream

And now to the pictures…
pretty in pink hydrangeas and Tim’s painting, “Sheaf”

Momma: “Mmmm, I love cream chipped beef!”
Me: “Yes, we know. That’s why we made it.”

Timmy’s plate

Too busy eating to talk

Andrea’s diggin’ the veggie bacon

Tamarind, Amy, and Jamie gettin’ jiggy with the desserts

One can never have cupcakes too often…chocolate with almond and coffee icings

Biscuits topped with fresh strawberries, cherries, and fresh whipped cream. Yum!

Does your family have any Mother’s Day traditions?
Did you or your family do anything special for Mother’s Day this year?

Baby Shower Mini Cupcakes

Just a quick hello to share a few images of the mini cupcakes I made this past weekend for a baby shower in honor of our friends’ coming little one.


“Shoup” is pronounced like “shout”, but with a “p” at the end.

I made the mint (green) icing especially for Tiffany, but also made some vanilla for the boring people — sorry Curtis! ;) Haha.

I’m glad they were a hit. Yay!

Side note: These are the first images I’ve posted so far taken with my new-to-me camera! I got it from a friend, who, fortunately for me, got an itch for the next best thing, and thus, gave me a great deal on his hardly-used camera. Thanks so much, Kirk!

Irish Soda Bread

Okay, you can pick your jaw up off the floor now…
Yes, I posted Two. Days. In. A. Row.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program:

I’m 100% Italian. So, my family never formally celebrated St, Patrick’s Day. But I did grow up having corned beef with cabbage and Irish Soda Bread for dinner. My opinion is: good food, is good food, no matter your background.

So, on Wednesday, a whim of tradition won me over, and I decided to make soda bread. I did a quick online search for a simple recipe, and settled on this, aptly named, Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread.

I followed the basic recipe, making these adjustments:

  1. I used salted butter instead of margarine.
  2. I don’t know about you, but I don’t keep buttermilk on hand. Since most of my baking is on-the-whim, an “equivalent” is often necessary. The basic equivalent for 1 cup of buttermilk is 1 1/3 T. white vinegar + enough milk (cow, soy, whatever) to make 1 cup.
  3. I added 1 cup of currants or raisins (soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes, then drained) after the milk and egg are added to the flour mixture.

Our oven is a bit off, so after the stated 50 minutes, I found that the loaf was not done. Because the crust was sufficiently golden, I was afraid the crust and currants might burn (we don’t want that – burnt raisins/currants taste nasty). So, I tented the loaf with foil before returning it to the oven for an additional twenty minutes, checking periodically, until the center was fully baked.


Don’t even think about it, Moo!

That evening at small group, we enjoyed the bread (with a schmear of butter) along with our coffee and tea. Afterwards, I realized the loaf was pretty much a giant scone. Makes sense, I guess. I figure the dough can be divided into a dozen or so small rounds or wedges, and the baking time shortened, for a lovely brunch or tea-time snack.

I will definitely be saving this recipe for next year, but won’t be surprised if I pull it out much sooner.

Does your family have any St. Patrick’s Day food traditions?
I’m particularly curious about the non-Irish folk.