Monday, September 30, 2013

Art Prize

 Two weeks ago Grand Rapids opened its doors to the worlds largest art exhibit and people from all around the country, and the world, came to show off their masterpieces. We are so lucky to have such an awesome event here in our back yard. Art Prize started a year after Brian and I got married and in its fourth year, it is always fun to go down and see all the cool art pieces. This year we took two separate trips with the boys downtown because their is just so much to see. Both days were absolutely gorgeous and we had a lot of fun exploring all the different types of art. Some pieces you wonder how it could be considered art, and others you are just blown away.
This Lake Michigan scene looks like a painting but in fact
it is all quilt work.
These were some beautiful paintings of Polar Bears that looked
like photographs.
This was one of my favorite pieces. You would have never
 guessed that it was all made out of sequins until you
 got really close to it.
This artist did all of his work using just spray paint and it took
less than 5 minutes to make.
These two Pandas were made all out of old tires.
This beautiful drawing was done by a
friend of Brian's.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Classic Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower

I wanted to share with you the Classic Winnie the Pooh baby shower that was given to me by my mom back in May. Everything about it was amazing! She put so much thought into every detail and I could not have asked for a more wonderful shower. She based it off of the nursery that Brian and I did for the boys and many of the decor pieces are displayed in their room.
She had two different desserts- one was a beehive cake, which she made using a very neat beehive mold. The other dessert, was cupcakes from a small ice cream and cupcake shop near my home called Sweet Mellisa's. They made a Lemon-Berry cupcake and a chocolate cupcake with a bee on top. I of course had to try all of them and they were all very good.
A fun detail she did was used glass milk bottles, which were Starbucks frappuccino bottles, for beverage cups. My mom had purchased a couple cases of the Starbucks beverage at Costco and since she does not drink coffee, it was up to my dad and sister in law to drink them and I think by the end they were pretty sick of frappuccinos. A couple other things she made were Tigger Tails and bars of honeycomb soaps, which were used as party favors. She found those fun ideas on Pinterest. I was so excited when she made a '100 Aker Wood' sign out of an old wooden pallet that we could put in the boys room. Also to my surprise and delight, she made another sign that said  'we made a wish and two came true.' I fell in love with this saying after we went through our IVF treatment and it was so perfect for our two little boys.
Another fun idea and game she did was scratch off beehive tickets. Every guest got one and which ever beehive revealed 'Pooh' won a prize.
This was so much fun for the guest to do during the shower and they were a fun thing to bring home for the boys to wear through out their first year. For a long time I had wished to be pregnant and to start a family with Brian. After such a long struggle, my mom wanted to give me a wonderful and fun shower; and she definitely did! I was blessed with not only an amazing baby shower, but also some AMAZING gifts. I could not of asked for a more.
For more photos and tutorials from my shower please visit

Saturday, September 21, 2013

2 Months Old!

I can't believe our little guys are already 2 months old! Time is really flying by and they are getting bigger each day. These past couple months have definitely had there hard times and sleepless nights, but it is all worth it when they smile at you for the first time. Connor was the first to smile, and Brian was the only one who could get him to do it. Then a week later Bryson gave me his first smile. It truly melts your heart the first time they smile at you and I think I shed a couple happy tears.

We are really excited and can't wait to see what these little hunks are going to do next. They have been getting very chunky these past couple of weeks and its so darn cute! It will be interesting to see what they will weigh in at next week at their 2 month appointment. For the most part, Bryson and Connor are on the same feeding and sleep schedule and do great during the night. Right now they are only waking up twice to feed. Some nights they spoil me and sleep for a good 5-6 hours straight! But that doesn't happen too often and it's a blessing when they do. Both boys are still breastfed so most nights they are sleeping in 3-4 hour increments and they do great at going right back to bed. I have to say my biggest accomplishment these past couple of months is discovering my ability to multitask. It's amazing how quickly you move to get things done when they take a nap. It's a great mommy superpower.

We are about to head into the first day of fall and we are excited for the change of seasons. We love summer but fall in Michigan is so pretty with the trees changing and cooler weather. Even though they are still very young, I still can't wait to head to the pumpkin patches and get their first fun fall photos.


 We are blessed with very happy boys who like to discover the world around them and both love to snuggle.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Top 10 Baby Products

Registering for baby products can be a very daunting experience. With thousands of baby products how do you know which ones to pick? Even after we did a ton of research, and thought we knew what we wanted, it still was an over whelming task. Since the the boys birth, I have come to love, and personally could not live without some of our baby products. Everyone will have different preferences on what they like and don't like, but I wanted to share with you my list and why I love them.

 In no particular order:

1. Fisher-Price Little Snugabunny Cradle Swing- This swing has been a life saver for us. When the boys first came home from the hospital they did not want to sleep in their cribs or the pack n' play. So we tried them in the swings and they love them! It has 3 different ways it can swing, plays music and other sounds, and also has a mobile that spins. The best part is that it plugs into the wall or can run off of batteries if there was a power outage.

2. Itzbeen Timer- An absolute must, especially if you have twins. It can be a real headache and very confusing trying to keep track of who ate when or how long ago a diaper was changed. This awesome little thing keeps track of it all. We accidentally left them at my parents house for a couple days and we were lost without them! I know its sad we couldn't keep track on paper, but we have been spoiled not having to keep track. The timers keep track of feedings, diaper changes, naps, and there is a miscellaneous button for anything else you might need to time.

3. Baby Bjorn- These are not only great when you don't want to mess with using the stroller, but also just using them when working around the house. There have been many days where one of the boys is fussy and wants to be constantly held. So I just strapped him in and did the work I wanted to do. Its definitely a great workout carrying your little guy around and picking up your house. They are easy to use and are quite comfortable.

4. Chicco Keyfit 30 Car Seat- We had debated between Chicco and Graco for our car seat. Chicco stood came out ahead for a couple reasons: It could accommodate a 4lb baby (just in case I delivered early), where Graco accommodated a 5lb baby. It had a little higher safety rating and they easily snap into car base and the Chicco double stroller.

5. Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water- I had no idea this existed until I received it at my baby shower and it has helped so much when the boys have an upset stomach or very bad gas. It works very quickly, has a pleasant taste (yes I did taste test it), and is all natural which is a definite plus.

6. Medela Freestyle Breast Pump- I was very fortunate to buy one from my sister in law. The double pump is amazing in saving time and it does a great job expressing milk. Since I bottle feed breast milk to to one of the boys, I needed a good pump to help keep up a good supply and I have not had any issue with this one. Plus you are able to move around with this pump because it has the portable motor that you can hook to yourself. It's on the pricier side for breast pumps, but it's worth it if you need to bottle feed and want to still feed your baby breast milk.

7. Angel Care Monitor- These monitors are definitely for the paranoid parent. The sensor pad rests underneath the crib mattress and monitors the baby's movement and breathing. It can detect if a baby stops breathing and alerts you. It truly is a great monitor for preventing SIDS. Although it does cost more than most traditional monitors, the piece of mind was worth the price tag. It has had some mixed reviews, but we have not had any issue with them and think they are great monitors.

8. Dr. Brown's Bottle Warmer- I currently use Medela bottles, but purchased this bottle warmer from a friend. It's a great product when you need a warm bottle very quickly. A hungry baby does not want to wait for a bottle to warm up and it can take it a little while if its sitting in hot water. The great thing about the warmer is that it evenly heats up the milk with steam and it fits most bottles.

9. Chicco Double Stroller- The Chicco double stroller was the only (that we know of) affordable double stroller that can accommodate 2 car seats at the same time. That was the biggest deciding factor for us in choosing the Chicco brand. Even though it is a little heavy (but what double stroller isn't), it is very easy to use and the car seats snap right into it.

10. Medela Hands Free Bra- I did not wait long after coming home from the hospital to get this amazing product. I was completely over having to hold onto the pumps so I made the small investment and got the hands free bra. It has definitely made my life easier and pumping a little less dreadful. It's easy to use and is machine washable.

Well there you have my top 10 must have items that have been so helpful for us these past couple months. I'm sure as the boys get older I will find new items that will be a life saver and a must have.

Friday, September 13, 2013

In Memory of Whites Bridge

Last summer Brian and I were kayaking on a river and we came across this beautiful old, and still in commission, wooden bridge. It was tucked away on a dirt road in a very quiet wooded area. You wouldn't have known it was there unless you used the bridge to get to your home, or you kayaked on the river. It was a really neat thing to come across on our trip. You may say its just an old wooden bridge, but in fact it is the oldest covered bridge in Michigan that is still in use. It was a piece of history so close to home.

 Sadly one year later that bridge was destroyed by a fire. They suspect it was arson, but no one was ever charged for it. During our most recent kayak trip we went back to where the bridge used to be. It's heartbreaking to think that someone would burn down such a  neat historical landmark. I completely forgot that I had taken  these photos of the bridge last year until I stumbled across them right after it burned down this past July. I am glad I took the moment to photograph it.

June 2012
August 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Little Adult Time

This past Labor Day weekend, Brian and I had our first time out away from the boys. It was definitely hard to leave them behind but they were in great hands of their grandparents. It may be horrible of me to say, but those few hours away were amazing and they were needed! Since we love to go kayaking, Brian and I decided to kayak a river close to my parents house. It started off pretty cloudy and quite depressing, but the sun finally decided to make an appearance and it was beautiful and perfect. It was wonderful to sit back and relax and not worry about the next feeding or diaper change. Being out in nature is so relaxing and it really rejuvenates the spirit and refreshes you. Brian got a chance to fish and we were even able to spot a Bald Eagle.  We hope to be able to go out again this fall when the leaves change. That would be a fun color tour!


Friday, September 6, 2013

They Are Here!

Please excuse my absence these past couple months.  I have been very busy! Brian and I welcomed our twin boys, Bryson and Connor into the world on Monday July 15th and life has been crazy ever since. We were extremely blessed to have two healthy boys who were born at 37 weeks and 2 days via a natural vaginal birth. They did not need to be in the NICU (an extreme blessing!) and we were all able to come home 2 days later. Since then we have been working on getting into a daily routine. Some days are definently better than others, but thankfully things are getting better each day and I am able to keep my sanity! I will work hard to keep you up to date on our fun filled adventure. I am also working on some fun posts from back during my pregnancy.  I have been working hard on re-organizing my blog and adding new and exciting things. Check out the twins birth story, our IVF experience, and coming soon: my pregnancy journey. I hope you enjoy them! I look foreword to sharing this exciting and crazy experience with you in raising our twin boys.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!! I hope everyone had a great holiday. Please excuse my lack of posts lately. I have been busy preparing for the boys arrival, which could be any day, and have just not had a moment to sit and write what we have been up to lately. Don't worry, I will bring you up to date, but I wanted to share some fun things we did to celebrate our nations Independence. We spent a fun evening at my parents house for a yummy barbecue and fireworks. They had a perfect view from their deck! It was a nice and relaxing time with family. I definitely needed it! We made these fun red, white and blue drinks that were pretty tasty.
July 4th Layered Drink Recipe
I was able to capture some fun firework pictures. It was the first time I was able to do this with my new camera and it was pretty exciting to get some of these cool shots. 

Have a great holiday weekend and I plan to update you on our recent activity as we wait for these boys to get here. 
If you are still planning on having a fun patriotic party this weekend, check out these other fun 4th of July themed foods.
Patriotic Oreo Balls

Red, White, & Blue strawberries

American Flag fruit display

Friday, June 7, 2013

Homemade Power Muffins

Lately I've been having a strong desire and craving to make food from scratch. It just taste so much better and it's definitely healthier for you! Knowing what goes into your food that you and your family consume makes you feel good about yourself and quite accomplished as an amateur cook. I have always been a muffin lover, especially blueberry muffins and with summer approaching fast there are plenty of fresh berries to choose from. I recently found a recipe for Blueberry Power Muffins made with Greek yogurt. Yes that's right, GREEK YOGURT! After making them once according to the original recipe, I have already been thinking of different ways to modify these yummy muffins. Who doesn't love variety?! Give these muffins a try and I bet you wont want to go back to the boxed muffins you find at your local store.

 What you will need:

2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Cup of plain oats (quick or regular)
2/3 Cup of sugar
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
12 Ounces of Greek yogurt or 1 1/2 cups ( I used Chobani vanilla flavor)
2 Large eggs
1/2 Cup of milk (you can skip the milk if desired; the mixture will just be thicker)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter- melted and slightly cool
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Cup of fresh blueberries (I used more than 1 cup, but you can have as many or as little as you want)

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Coat muffin tin with cooking spray or liners
Combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
In a second bowl combine yogurt, eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla extract.
Fold yogurt mixture into the dry mixture and stir until completely combined.
Gently fold in blueberries.
Spoon into muffin tins
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden and springs back when lightly touched.

For my next batch of muffins, I plan on using Chobani lemon flavored Greek yogurt and adding in some honey. Not a blueberry fan. Try using raspberries or any other fresh berry to this recipe. The possibilities are endless and you cannot go wrong. For us conscious calorie counters, these muffins come in around 125 calories per muffin. Not bad for our power booster that would go along great with our morning coffee or tea.

For the original recipe please visit

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Twin Boy Nursery in Classic Winnie the Pooh

It seems like this pregnancy has been flying by and now we are a few weeks into the third trimester and final trimester. The final countdown has officially begun! Although I am quite nervous about 'D-Day', I am also very anxious and excited to meet these two little guys. I wanted to share with you our finished nursery. We decided to do Classic Winnie the Pooh for the theme and its mostly thanks to my little niece who I bought a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal for when she was born. I fell in love with the soft toy and almost didn't want to part with it. So that is where my love for Classic Pooh began and wanted to have it as a nursery theme.

We were not planning on buying brand new cribs for the boys, but we found these two matching cribs and matching dresser at Buy Buy Baby. They had just been discontinued by the maker so they gave us an amazing deal we could not pass up. The crib bedding was purchased off Amazon along with the decals and mobiles.

After my first baby shower I received a lot of really neat things to decorate the room with, but we had  no where to put them. We found this awesome 9 square shelf system at Meijer and it worked out perfect for displaying everything. It really completed the room along with our favorite Pooh saying above it.
My husband found and bought this really neat 'Hunny' pot lamp off Ebay. I thought it was
so neat and just had to have it for the nursery.

I hope you enjoyed our '100 Aker Wood' nursery and I look forward to showing you the awesome Classic Pooh baby shower that was given to me and the twins.