DIY: Baby Story Book

I am LOVING my time at home with Mason. He is so sweet and it's been a great bonding experience. I am also really excited to try our infant/child education program called Parents as Teachers. The program is designed to help parents educate and prepare children for school. More to com on that I am sure!

On of the fun things I have been able to focus on now that I am home is transitioning Mason to vegetables and fruits. Mason has really been enjoying his homemade baby food.  He loves butternut squash and pears too. He is not so much a fan of green beans though haha :) This morning I gave him a big spoonful of butternut squash and he decided to give me a big sneeze. Yup. A nice coating of butternut squash all over my face, glasses, arm, etc. It was cute none the less because he thought it was funny and gave me a little chuckle after!

See the spatter? Yeah he get too distracted to look at the camera now but I thought he was still cute with all that mess. 

Okay getting to my point! I recently ordered and received my son's baby book (finally now that he is 6 months... I know) and I am so excited about it. I turned the maternity journey and his birth into a story. One that we can read as he grows up.... Many kids like to hear about when they were born and this is an easy way to document his birth while telling a story in a book that we can read over and over. I stumbled upon a blog at some point in the last year with a story child's book (though I think it was for an older sibling when their younger sibling was born) but wouldn't you know I can't find that blog anywhere now. I like giving credit but maybe I just dreamed that up? That is why I pin things because I can't remember all these ideas and blogs!

So I have used a couple of photo book sites and so far my favorite is Mixbook. I first used it a couple years ago because there was a Groupon ($15 for $50) which turned out to be an AWESOME deal. I used it for my wedding book. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars through my photographer, I made my own through Mixbook and it turned out great. Plus it was less than $50 with the Groupon. Whoop! Love saving money. :)

So anyhow, here is a couple of snapshots of Mason's book and I have included a link for you to sign-up for Mixbook. If you use my link you will save $10 off your first book! Go here to sign-up and get your savings.

Here are the other pages!

Wondering how the next baby story book will go? :) Time will tell!

-> Kassy <-


DIY: Home Decor Accessories - Ropes & Maps

Here are a couple quick and easy home decor accessory crafts that I think you'll enjoy using two simple items: rope and maps! I have tried these projects and included a few of my own pictures and some of them I want to try when I finally get a chance.

I use Manilla rope for all of these projects and found it at my home improvement store for about $7 for 40 yards. 40 yards got me a rope bowl AND a rope vase! Not bad for $7, right?

Rope Bowl
This was a fun project and something easy I could do while relaxing in front of the TV. I followed this tutorial and found it was pretty easy when I used my pyrex bowl as a guide. I added handles to mine too. 

Rope Vase
I figured I could use the leftover rope from the bowl to cover a soup can to use as a vase, pencil holder, or to hold silverware at dinner party. One thing though is that it's a cute vase but not easy to clean with water once you have attached the rope. Aside from that mine is still going strong! I have used it for flowers and silverware.

I don't know what it is about maps that is so intriguing to me but I love the colors, the shapes, and the wonder of this wondrous world! I have a couple projects with maps that I recently completed. I found a book of maps on half.com for about $10, a large map on posters.com for $30, and some mod podge for these projects.

Map Trays
I thought this was so much fun though I am not sure what I will use the trays for yet.... I just enjoyed doing this craft project! I found some silver trays from the dollar store that were really neat and I also found some cool silver trays from goodwill for $1-2 each. Not too bad considering I already had the map book and the mod podge (well I always have this stuff on hand)! All in all for three trays it cost about $5.

Framed Art
This one is easy peasy... I simply found some neat maps from my book of maps cut them to size and put them in some matching frames with mats. I thought the mats gave it a little extra sophistication. In total this project cost about $50 and it is a nice addition to our office space.

Map Coffee Table
My sister's husband had a nice wooden table that had some spots and water rings so they wanted to cover it up and give it new life. My sister actually ended up doing this fun craft. I was going to help over Labor Day weekend but ended up having a baby. :) It turned out great though! Here's a few pictures... My sister did mention that at first there were big bubbles and they were nervous they would not go away but after a few days she said they disappeared and the table turned out great! They already had the coffee table and bought the map print off of posters.com (they always have sales and coupon codes so check them out and don't buy anything full price)! In total with the mod podge this project cost about $40. Not bad at all!

Lots of fun stuff in this post... do you have any other neat ideas for rope or maps? Please share!

<- Kassy ->


Healthier Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

It's been a really long break from my blogging but I am so happy to be back and to be a full time mom (big changes were happening in my time away)! Today was a snow day! Well, now that I am a full time mom I don't really have "snow days" but there was a lot of snow today. Mason spent some time watching the snow (in between bottles, playtime, and naps of course)..... I made some baby food for Mason too which I will be blogging about this weekend so be sure to check back.

..... and that really wore him out!

 But during his nap I was able to try out a new recipe. Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake... I could have  probably just stopped at buffalo chicken because, well, who doesn't like buffalo chicken?! Anyhow, I hate to say it but buffalo chicken anything isn't really healthy so I was hoping to make this recipe from Lentzed Life a little healthier or maybe just a meal that does less damage but still tastes like wonderful buffalo chicken. :) So here's my take on it with a healthier twist. I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you make it and like it or tried something different!

1 box fiber penne pasta, cooked and drained
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed and cooked
3/4 cup hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 packet of ranch dressing seasoning
2 cups fat free shredded cheese (Cheddar)
1 cup fat free shredded cheese (Cheddar)

1. Preheat oven to 350* and prepare a deep baking dish (I used two 8" x 8" foil pans and froze one for later :)).

2. Mix together yogurt and ranch seasoning.  Mix yogurt-ranch mix and hot sauce. In a separate bowl, mix chicken, pasta and 2 cups cheese.  Pour the sauce mix over the chicken and pasta; mix well.

3. Pour everything into prepared baking dish, sprinkle with 1 cup cheese (if desired) and bake for 20-25 minutes (I used convection at 350* and baked it for 20 minutes and that was perfect).

My husband said it was yummy so I have to know that it was actually good because he does not fake it just to make me feel good. Ha! :)

Hope you like it!

-> Kassy <-