I’ve Moved!

16 Jul

My blog has finally moved! Come visit me at CreatingChaosBlog.com

Same blog, new location!

{Not so Fabulous} Food Friday | Maple Syrup

8 Jul

I have quite a collection of cookbooks, some of them I love and use regularly….some of them…not so much.

As I was perusing the pages of a local church cookbook, I couldn’t help but find myself laughing at the fact that some of these apparently needed to be put into writing and sold to poor, unsuspecting congregation members. Names will be withheld, for obvious reasons. Admittedly, when it comes to maple syrup I am a bit spoiled. Two years ago my Dad decided to start making his own syrup, this is nowhere close to his recipe. His calls for sap straight from the tree boiled until it actually is real maple syrup. Just to be 100% clear, this is not the real stuff.

Maple Syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/2 cup water

Combine in a small saucepan and boil. [Sryup] will be thinner than commercial syrup, but may be made thicker by boiling it for a few minutes.

Perfect for those Saturday morning pancakes. Personally, I would recommend putting it in a nice canning jar and gifting it to a neighbor that you don’t like.

 

Kansas is actually a fun place to visit.

6 Jul

We are finally getting back into the swing of normal life after two back-to-back family vacations. We spent 5 days driving to, and visiting family in Kansas, and then a week hanging out with family from Oregon in town. Yikes. That’s a lot of family time!

Thankfully, we had a great time!

I was a little nervous about the Kansas trip, it is a long car ride and the forecast was for HOT weather. It was a long drive (and it doesn’t go any faster when you have a baby kicking your bladder…) but the weather wasn’t quite as hot as we anticipated. Don’t be fooled though, it was still hot.

WHY KANSAS? Yeah, I know. Kansas isn’t exactly up there on my list of “Places to see before I die” but I guess my brother-in-law didn’t take my needs into consideration when he decided to go to grad school to get his PhD in history. Lawrence, Kansas is a surprisingly nice town and less than an hour from Kansas City. A few highlights were:

Downtown Lawrence

An eclectic street of chain and local retailers and restaurants. Everything from Starbucks and Urban Outfitters to Free State Brewing Company and Blue Dandelion, a cute children’s boutique where I could’ve easily spent all of my money. Thankfully, my Mother-in-law was along and bought this sweet dress for our little girl.

 

Kansas City

Apparently it is great fun to take a pregnant lady to a brewery, mainly because then the non-pregos can have her tasting tokens. Either way, Boulevard Brewing Company was a fun place to visit. They do have walk-on availability for many of the tours, so don’t let the need to register months out deter you. Unfortunately, they are unable to sell beer from the brewery (fun Kansas City trivia fact – they can only have one liquor license, so they can be a brewery, retailer or distributor, but not more than one) but you can easily find it at any local restaurant or retailer. There is also a lot of great shopping, including the Legends Outlet mall, The City Market (great Farmers Market atmosphere), and Country Club Plaza. With so many areas and options to choose from we could’ve easily spent the entire trip just window shopping. Although, I’m sure the guys were glad that we didn’t!

Another highlight in visiting Kansas City is the barbecue! We decided on Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, which is somewhat of an institution in the area. With two locations, we went for the original, right in a gas station! I recommend getting there early, because the line will be out the door and around the building. The food was wonderful! The diner style restaurant has been featured on Food Network’s Man vs. Food, along with winning numerous awards. I went with the Burnt Ends sandwich, which was the special for the day. Oh. my. goodness. If only I hadn’t been too busy eating to take a picture! Don’t let the gas station location fool you – this place is GOOD!

Don’t laugh – Kansas is actually a fun place to visit!

Nursery Inspiration

2 Jun

Before we found out the gender of our little one, I found this sheet at Target. I was happy that it met my decor criteria: No Disney characters or Winnie the Pooh. (Don’t get mad at me if that is your theme.) I love the brightness of the green, and of course, polka dots! So cute for a boy or girl!

Am I going to be one of “those” moms?

26 Apr

…You know, the ones who only wear sweatpants and just don’t care?

Crap.

Things aren’t looking good for me.

Let me tell you why. I slept in yesterday and watched the Today Show so that I can be up on important world events, such as the Royal Wedding. After my thrilling morning of television and chores (let’s just pretend I did some chores…) I was in need of lunch. Only there was a problem. I was still in my pajamas. Yep, 12:00 and I still haven’t managed to get myself dressed, and I really wanted a whopper jr.

So, I got myself “dressed” in the trashiest outfit I could find. No, not that kind of trashy…the kind that looks like I am wearing garbage.

Sweatshirt circa 2000 complete with large holes on the sleeve. Hair tied back with a headband. No makeup. Sweatpants (at least I chose a pair without holes!)

Hopefully this is just a phase, and once the weather warms up I’ll be able to dress myself like a normal human being again.

Help!

A Baby Announcement + A Giveaway!

15 Apr


*The contest is now closed”

Winners: Katrina – Credit for 50 free announcements

Alicia – Credit for 8×8″ photo book.

I’ll email you both shortly!

I have a fun announcement, and as much as I would love to send each of you a cute card in the mail, the fact that we are internet friends makes that tricky!

Dave and I are going to be parents!

(No, we aren’t getting another dog.)

Now, to answer a few of your questions:

  • Yes, we know how that happened. Thanks for asking ;)
  • The baby is due Oct. 14ish.
  • Nope, we aren’t getting a mini van.
  • We CAN have up to five people in the delivery room. I have no idea why we would want five people in there, other than the doctor and nurses!
  • I am aware that it will be hot being pregnant in the summer. I remember it being hot last summer too, so I kind of expect it.
  • Now that you know I’m pregnant you don’t have to stare at my stomach. Anyways, you probably won’t see the baby popping out of there yet.
  • Having a baby will change our life? Hmmm, we thought Dexter could just babysit while we go out to the bar…
  • I’m convinced it’s a girl. Dave thinks I’m being ridiculous ;) Leave it to an accountant to do the math!

Ok, so some of those aren’t quite serious, but if you’re a Mom I’m sure you’ve also had similiar thoughts! Seriously though, we are thrilled! It’s a little scary to think that in around six short months we’ll be bringing a tiny baby into our house, but apparently almost anyone can have a baby, so we should be ok!

Once we found out that we are expecting we started doing some serious camera research so that we can capture pictures from throughout the pregnancy and all the special firsts that we’ll experience once the baby is born. One way that I love to display and share these photos is through photo books and framed photos throughout the house. Our engagement photo book still sits out in the living room, and we have several photos from our wedding throughout our house.

I have several sites that I like to use for printing photos, but one of my favorite for photo books for non-professionals is Shutterfly.com. In addition to being very user friendly, they also offer great products. Their quality is consistently above some of the local ‘supermarket’ printers and their prices are very competitive!

Do you have a fun celebration to announce or photos that you’d like to easily print in a book?

Check out Shutterfly’s complete line of graduation announcements, birth announcements, save the date cards and photo books.

Are you a blogger, too? Click here to register for a chance at 50 free announcements!

AND, it gets even better! Leave me a comment below and you’ll be entered to win either a credit for 50 free announcement cards OR a credit for a free 8×8″ photo book!

Here’s the details:

  1. Leave a comment below, you can write anything from “Pick me!” to your life’s story!
  2. Winners will be drawn using a random number generator after 5 pm EST Monday, April 18.
  3. Winners will be notified by email on or before Wednesday, April 20.
  4. Your email address will never be sold, traded or made publicly available. It will only be used to notify contest winners.
  5. The first winner drawn will win a credit for 50 free announcement cards, the second will win the photo book credit.
  6. Coupon codes are generated by Shutterfly.com and will expire August 1, 2011.

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Upcoming Blog Changes!

7 Apr

Hi – I’m still here, haven’t forgotten about this little blog project ;) I will be making a few changes over the next few weeks, mainly in terms of hosting and getting this thing self-hosted! Woohoo! I will also start accepting some advertising. Email me at jen (dot) huizinga (at) gmail (dot) com for rates and site statistics.

Looking forward to sharing the changes with you!

 

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