Baby’s New Chair

This weekend, the glider for the baby’s room has arrived! We bought the floor model from a store here in Calgary called 4Living. It was by far the biggest splurge in this room at a whooping $900. We bought the floor model, the chair is regularly $1200! Lucky for us, we have generous family and have put gift money towards the purchase of the chair. 

photo (33)

The chair has clean modern lines and fits relatively well within the tight space of our nursery. I used the panoramic feature on my phone to give you an idea of how the chair fits into the space. 

pano

Next on the list is dealing with that dresser, jazzing up the curtains and picking out some art for the walls.

Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

Whenever I make cookies Eric complains unless they are classic chocolate chip. Earlier this week, I decided to make grapefruit sugar cookies. As expected, Eric complained about my choice of baking. After a few bites my husband ate his words. These cookies turned out to be so delicious that he loved them.

grapefruit-cookies

I am telling you, this little recipe may be one of my favourite cookie recipes of all time. I nearly had to whip up an extra batch because we ate them so fast, I barely had a chance to photograph the final product. Word of warning… these little cookies taste so delicious because they are filled with a crazy amount of butter. So much butter, that they should probably be called butter cookies. 

Do you have any plans for the weekend? I started started a new crochet project and a new t.v. show last night! I intend to spend much of the weekend watching Sherlock and crocheting my newest project. I started working on another baby blanket. I figured I should probably start making a blanket for my baby. 

I am also hoping to spend sometime working on my calligraphy skills! I am a total beginner, and here is a little taste of my progress to-date.

calligraphyLooks more impressive than it actually is! I am currently working on tracing a set of letters. Getting my hand used to the motion and the consistency of the ink. In a lot of ways calligraphy is more like painting than writing. 

Grapefruit Sugar Cookies
Yields 30
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 Tablespoon grapefruit zest
  6. 2 1/2 cups flour
  7. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1 Tablespoon milk
  10. 1 Tablespoon fresh grapefruit juice
  11. 1/4 cup butter, softened
  12. 1 package of light cream cheese, softened
  13. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  14. 2 cups powdered sugar
  15. pinch of salt
  16. fresh grapefruit juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in vanilla, egg, and grapefruit zest.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to mixer and combine. Add milk and grapefruit juice, and stir until completely incorporated.
  3. Roll dough into Tablespoon-sized balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to turn golden on the edges. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  4. To make the icing, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and well mixed. Add vanilla. Add powdered sugar and salt. Stir. Mix in fresh grapefruit juice one tablespoon at a time until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency. I used 2 tablespoons of juice.
  5. Spread cream cheese icing over the cookies once they have cooled completely and enjoy!
Adapted from Lulu the Baker
Adapted from Lulu the Baker
Big Box Detox http://www.bigboxdetox.com/

Project #5: Rainbow Crochet Crib blanket

I recently completed my first ever crochet project! I even added all the info to my Ravelry Notebook if you want the nitty gritty details like the colours of yarn I used and their dye lots. 

crochet 5I made this blanket for sweet baby Max who was born earlier in January. I used a pattern found on the Purl Bee for Bear’s Rainbow Blanket. The Purl Bee is an enchanted blog with the most divine knitting and crocheting projects. Many of the projects I post on my blog are inspired by the projects posted on this blog. 

I crocheted 16 squares with Blue Sky Alpaca’s Worsted Organic Cotton  and a size 5.5mm crochet hook. While I don’t usually like to knit or crochet with cotton, I made an exception for this yarn because I loved the colours it came in and how soft it feels to the touch. 

crochet 3

I liked this project so much, that there will probably be a next time! I really want to make this blanket for my own baby. I am even considering using the exact same colours because they look so great with the rug we bought for the baby’s room.

I found blocking and sewing this project together tough. Next time, I would block each individual square before sewing them all together.

Despite the setback that came with blocking, I am really happy how this project turned out. This was my first attempt at crocheting anything and the Purl Bee provided excellent directions and photos for this pattern.

 

Pin-Test: Homemade Peanut Butter

A few years ago, Eric and I switched to natural peanut butter. The switch came when I started to care about eating whole foods and knowing what was in the products we consume. If you buy natural peanut butter, you will probably know that it has the world’s shortest ingredient list. While looking at the ingredient list, I started to wonder if it would be easy to make my own peanut butter.

peanut-butter3Curious, I turned to Pinterest. I found a great pin from the Kitchn titled How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter. The article describes making your own peanut butter as “truly, incredibly, ridiculously easy”. With a claim like that, I bought bulk peanuts from the grocery store and attempted to make my own peanut butter on Sunday Morning. 

To make your own peanut butter, the Kitchn recommends roasting 2 cups of peanuts for ten minutes before throwing them into the blender. Next pulse your peanuts till they are grainy and start to blend them. Blend the nuts for three minutes, stopping every minute or so to scrape down the sides. At three minutes, the article recommends adding any extras to your mix. I added a tablespoon of peanut oil for a little extra creaminess and a tablespoon of honey for a little sweetness. Blend the peanut paste for another two minutes and transfer your finished peanut butter to a container for storage.

peanut-butter4The Pros

  • This recipe was actually super easy!
  • The times to blend listed the recipe were accurate.
  • I bought peanuts in bulk and the total cost was cheaper than buying pre-made natural peanut butter.
  • Amazing texture! This peanut butter is so smooth and creamy.
  • No need to do that initial mix which is necessary with store bought peanut butter. 

The Cons

  • The first time I opened the blender I nearly choked on peanut powder. Just be warned, the first time you take the lid off your blender, be ready for the puff of peanut particles/ air.
  • Cleaning a blender after making peanut butter is brutal. Lucky for me, I put my trust sous-chef/ husband to work.
  • This may be obvious to everyone but me, but hot blending roasted nuts creates hot peanut butter. We have a glass blender and it became so hot that it was difficult to handle.

Conclusions

Roasting the peanuts for 10 minutes creates a peanut butter that is a little too rich for my taste. Next time, I would roast the nuts for less time, or even try blending raw nuts. Despite the rich flavour, I would make this recipe again. Making your own peanut butter is easy and affordable. I also prefer the texture of the home made peanut butter to the store bought stuff.

Project #4: Triangle Wallpaper

This weekend, Eric and I made great progress in the baby’s room. In the span of 2 days, we put up wallpaper, rolled out the carpet and stripped wallpaper off the kid’s dresser. While there is still lots to do in this space, it is starting to come together!

baby-room-progressNot bad considering, this room looked like this last week:

crib1 And this last year:

both-desksThe wallpaper is in and it was not without drama. Eric made a mistake and thought we were going to have to order a new roll before the project could be completed. Luckily, he was able to solve the problem without doubling the cost of the project!

photo (30)I tried to take a few photos of the process but Eric was a grumpy pants. He still claims that wallpapering is the toughest DIY project he’s taken on to-date. He wouldn’t even let me in the room during the process, let alone snap a few photos. This is the best I could do…

photo (29)The wallpaper is designed by Lisa Congdon and can be found at Hygge & West.

While we’ve made lots of progress, there’s still much to do. Next, I think we’ll revamp the old IKEA dresser. I’m thinking about painting it a bright and cheerful gender neutral yellow. After taking off the wallpaper the dresser currently looks like this:

baby-room-progress2 At this stage, the dresser looks worse than it did before. Although it was pretty before, painting the dresser a bright and cheerful colour will bring its style more up-to-date. It will also help ties this old piece of furniture in with the rest of the room’s decor.

crib5While I love the carpet, I worry that it is a little on the pink side. Since we don’t know the sex of the baby, I was hoping for something that was a little more gender neutral. The small sample we initially looked at was not as pink.

photo (31)I am hoping that adding in art work, painting the dresser, and changing out the curtains will downplay the pink in the carpet. If we have a boy, he is just going to have to learn to love pink! Despite the pink carpet, I believe this unborn child now has a cooler room than its parents. What a stylish little fetus.

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