Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Slade’s bedroom windows are located on the side of the house which receives the full afternoon sun. This means that his room is very bright and very warm. When we decided which room would be his when we moved into the new house, the location of his windows in relation to the afternoon sun was not something that crossed my mind. But it didn’t take us long to figure it out that it was going to be a problem. Like his mom, he is a very hot sleeper. My husband jokes that we both radiate heat when we sleep. So a very warm room is a problem.
First, we had 2-inch wood blinds installed throughout the house (already part of the plan when we moved in). I had hoped this would help in his room since the house only had very flimsy vinyl blinds when we moved in. But his room was still too hot and too bright.

Before curtains.
Next, I applied an extra strength window film (I believe the color was platinum) to his bedroom windows. This was in the fall, around the same time that daylight savings time ended. The window film made a huge difference with the temperature of his room and the end of daylight savings time made his room darker at bedtime.
But as we got closer to the beginning of daylight savings time and the weather began to get warmer, we realized that something else needed to be done. His room was again brighter and warmer than it should be. And Slade started having trouble with his daytime naps at home. And with longer days getting closer, and a baby with an early bedtime (between 7 and 7:30) I began to worry that the daytime napping issues would turn into going to bed issues which would turn into sleeping through the night issues. And no one wants that.
So we decided to add room darkening curtains. I will say that the hardest part of this process was actually locating the curtains that I needed. Of course, I didn’t want just any old curtains. I wanted room darkening curtains. But I also wanted them to be lime green to match his room. Apparently there is only one brand of curtains that met my requirement: Eclipse Twill Thermaweave Blackout Panels. According to the information I found on Amazon, these panels were supposed to block out 99% of outside light and reduce noise (i.e., the neighbor’s dogs). Sold.
Once I identified the ones I wanted, I was unable to find them in the correct size. Since this was for Slade’s room, I only wanted the curtains long enough to cover the windows, hoping that he won’t one day decide to climb them or pull them down. Curtains down to the floor would be way too tempting. I needed 52x63 but the only size I could find was 52x84. So I decided to get crafty. I bought iron-on hemming tape and ordered two 52x84 panels.
When I was ready to begin, I put one of the panels into the dryer with a damp towel to get any wrinkles out. While I was waiting on the dryer to do its work, I installed my curtains rods over each window. Then I measured again to be sure that I had the correct length for the curtains.
Once the panel was wrinkle free, I found a spot on my living room floor that was big enough and spread the curtain out on the floor. Then using a tape measure, I measured out the correct length of the curtain from the top of the curtain (adding two inches to my previous measurement to allow for the hem) and marked it on the curtain. After I had made several marks on the curtains (I needed a lot to help guide my cutting), I used my very sharp kitchen scissors to cut off the excess curtain along the marked lines.
Next, I cut off the appropriate length of the hemming tape to run the entire width of the curtain. Following the instructions for the hemming tape, I made the hem with the tape inside and used the iron to complete the hem. Once I got the temperature correct on the iron (very hot), this part was quite easy. Then I repeated with the second panel. Once both panels were completed, I hung them in Slade’s room. 


They aren’t perfect, but I am quite pleased with how they turned and how they look in his room. And they are definitely blackout panels. I am amazed at how dark and cool his room is even in the afternoon with the full sun on his windows.
Mission accomplished!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A simple dinner.

At least a few nights a week, my husband is working late or traveling for his job. When he’s home, I always try to prepare a real dinner for us. But when he’s away, and after my son has been tucked away fast asleep in his bed, I find it very difficult to will myself to make dinner for one.
On these nights, I prefer to have a very simple dinner which usually consists of roasted broccoli (which I am completely addicted to), a piece of gorgonzola cheese and a roll with butter.
These are also the nights I’m even more tired than usual, because I’ve done the Slade routine by myself. This means that I really want to be lazy. So lazy, that if I sit down, I would probably find it very difficult to remove myself from the recliner. 
So to cope with this very strong desire to be lazy, I make a deal with myself. The roasted broccoli takes about 25 minutes in the oven. I put the broccoli in the oven and then I make myself pack lunches/wash dishes/put things away/organize/fold laundry, whatever needs to be done, for those 25 minutes. Once my dinner is ready, I am free to be as lazy as I want.
I know that 25 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time but I am always amazed by what I can accomplish in that amount of time. Then I can sit back in the recliner, eat my simple, yet delicious dinner that requires no cleanup (thanks to the aluminum foil I use when making the roasted broccoli) and watch tv or pin things on pinterest knowing that I’ve done what I needed to do for the night.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


One of my favorite things about spring is fresh strawberries. It’s really hard to beat a fresh locally grown strawberry. And look at what my wonderful sister-in-law brought me yesterday-
Aren’t they gorgeous?!
After putting my son to bed, I spent an hour “processing” them and getting the majority of them washed and ready to go in the freezer. I mean, I like strawberries but there is no way we could eat all of these before they go bad. So I kept out what I thought we could eat in the next few days and put the rest in the freezer. I did eat more than I should admit last night, but that’s neither here nor there.
I’m looking forward to a lot of strawberry recipes in the weeks to come!

Monday, April 9, 2012

White Chocolate Bread Pudding.

This recipe is absolutely divine. This is my go-to dessert any time we are having people over or I need to take a dessert somewhere. Everyone goes crazy over it and it is really easy to make.
In fact, I wish I had a reason to make this tonight.

Surely I can think of something. Anything. Try it and you will understand.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter party.

Today is Slade’s Easter party at school. An egg hunt is planned followed by snacks. Each child was asked to bring 12 plastic eggs filled with candy (and taped shut). I have serious issues with giving candy to such young children so I opted to fill our eggs with animal crackers. Yes, I’m that mom.
I found some cute toddler friendly books in the $1 aisle at Target, so I got a book for each child in the class.
I wrapped each book in pastel colored tissue paper.
I wanted to make it Easter themed so I thought it would be cute if the “from” tag was an egg. I had limited time and knew I wouldn’t be able to make a trip to Michael’s so I had to make it work with what I could find at Target. As I looked through the crazy busy Easter section, I found some very cute paper plates with Easter eggs in the center.
I decided that I would cut the center egg out of the paper plate and use that for the “from” tag. The package had 12 plates and I needed 12 tags. Perfect!
I think they turned out very cute!
I also wanted to do something for each of his teachers. I got each teacher a box of chocolates that was shaped like a bunny. But I realized after I got home (and Slade was in bed) that I forgot to include them in my count for tags and I was out the egg plates. Luckily, I had some polka dot plates leftover from a baby shower I hosted last summer. I traced an egg shape onto the back and cut it out.
Aren't they cute? I used a different color bow on each one- light blue, pink and yellow.
I also used one of the polka dot eggs as a tag for Slade’s Easter basket. I used a hole punch to punch out two holes and tied it on with white ribbon.
I’m looking forward to the party this afternoon and hoping that he’ll like hunting eggs!