You guys already know that I just love me some Martha Stewart. Last year I used several pieces from her office supplies collection to create our family binder and was just floored not only by the quality of the supplies but the design of it as well… I mean what doesn’t look good in light teal? So while in Staples this weekend, I thought I would swing by her section of the store to see what my homegirl had shakin’. And boy oh boy did I find “a good thing” ….
That little beauty on the left up there is Martha’s custom Wall Manager and to the right you can see all of the pieces (in white or black) to build it. The display gives one option but there are several ways to assemble. I also checked out Martha’s section on the Staples website to see other options for assembling the Wall Manager, and found a really cool tool that lets you design your own.
So as soon as I got home and walked through the door into our mudroom, I knew exactly where this bad boy was going to go. Jer and I have been unsuccessfully using that old dry ease calendar to keep a handle on our schedules and were throwing letters or netflex returns on the wooden ice box hoping that the next person to leave would know they were ready for mailing. Speaking of that wooden ice box, please don’t judge that honey stained piece of old school beauty. She’s a diamond in the rough, which I’m planning to stain and spruce up with some new hardware in the next month. She came from the house I grew up in and just feels like home to me. I remember exactly what my mama use to keep in each of those cabinets and every time I open one, it smells exactly like I remember it smelling.
Ok so back to the Wall Manager. Now that I found the perfect spot, it was time to assemble. This is the part where I usually call in Jer for some help, but not with this piece, girlfriend. It seriously couldn’t be easier. Each piece has a plastic frame that easily detaches and sticks to the wall until you find the perfect spot to nail it in.
Check this out… it also has a built in level so that you know when it’s… well… level. What will she think of next…?
The frame also makes it super easy to detach the display piece. This comes in handy especially for updating the calendar! And yes, I bought the Martha Stewart fine tip dry eraser marker. I couldn’t resist!
So although there are so many options for assembling, I stuck pretty close to the Staples display as this just seemed like it would work best for us. Aside from important dates and reminders, this has also become our “inside mailbox” station. I dedicated one of the drawers to stamps, the large cubby to our outbox and the small cubby holds one of my favorite things – our super cute return address stamp. Paper Source makes the cutest stamp designs and the gift set stamper makes an awesome gift!
Anyone with a busy family knows the power of a good organizer, so fingers crossed this one helps us tame the mail clutter and crazy schedules. Martha hasn’t let me down yet!
A few weeks ago we celebrated Dylan’s first birthday and for months I planned, pinned and thought about this thing. I wanted Dylan’s first birthday to be unforgettable. I mean after all it’s his very first birthday and the start of a day that I want to feel magical, exciting and oh so very fun for him. Going in, I knew he was too little to really enjoy it but through my rose colored glasses (which I always seem to look at life through) I thought he would open his gifts, get jiggy with his smash cake and stay awake with a smile for 4+ hours. But no…hello… Earth-to-Jamie… he’s a baby and babies do what they want, when they want. The problem here was my expectations and what I like to call #firstworldproblems. Sure, my Pottery Barn Kids Catalog birthday party didn’t go as I expected but for the maximum amount of time possible, Dylan had a blast and got to celebrate with those that love him to pieces… what more can ya ask for…?
Maybe happy birthday pictures? Ok, I’m stopping now. Repeat it with me… “No expectations!”, “No expectations!”
Ok, back to the party. So I love feedin’ people, and sure I could’ve totally simplified this, but when friends and family drive hours for a 1 year old’s party, you just gotta feed them. So with a little help from my BFF who has no idea we’re actually best friends, Ree,… wait we’re probably not on a first name basis yet as she doesn’t even know I exist even though we hang out every Saturday morning. Weird, right? Ok, I’m rambling. Starting over now… So with a little help from the good ol’ Pioneer Woman recipes, I spent the entire morning cooking whipped up cheeseburger sliders, grilled chicken sliders, cheesy potato casserole (sans peppers), potato salad, pb & j’s + goldfish, corn on the cob, and watermelon. And if was deeeeelish, if I can say so myself. Always a good sign when people leave asking for a copy of a recipe.
In the party chaos, I took one picture of the food and it happened to be while 80% of it was in the oven warming. #firstworldproblems
Since I knew it was going to be hotter than Channing Tatum in Magic Mike out and that most of the party would likely happen inside and within our dining room, I decided to move some of my dishes from our china cabinet and use it to showcase Dylan’s monthly photo shoot and a time capsule for friends and family to write him a note with some life advice to be opened on his 18th birthday. I then took all of the notes and placed them in a envelope within his baby book. I think this is going to be really special to read when he is 18! I mean that is if friends and family wrote sweet and inspirational messages, which I wouldn’t know, because there’s no way I would read those before putting them in his baby book. I mean who would do that…?
But the party happening inside did mean that no one was able to enjoy the 95 degree day outside and this wonderful world of gingham I created. again, #firstworldproblems
On to the other highlights… there was one oh-so-sweet moment of this:
And 15 moments of this. So I ended up sitting in a toddler’s bean bag chair and opening gifts. This isn’t what you guys came here for? oh, my bad.
There was a lot of feeling the cake and not a lot of smashing. Perhaps it was the crazy helicopter parents circling him like hawks. Note to self… back the funk up. Yes, I just said that. It’s my 10 year old way of getting away with cussing. I kind of secretly miss that word.
And then finally while sipping a much deserved adult beverage at the beautiful tables no one sat at, I snapped this precious photo of my boy enjoying a birthday present, ahhhhhh
Ever since Dylan, who we’ve formally nicknamed “Mr. Pickles” (poor kid…) turned 1, he’s ironically hated vegetables. This kid use to gobble them down pureed, but outta no where baby food became about as uncool as nap time and bite sized veggies started decorating my kitchen walls. So I decided this weekend that I would get a little sneaky sneaky and hide as many of them as I could into something that he loooooves – muffins! I was one proud mama bear watching him inhale these healthy little snacks… my first of many “because I love you deceits” I’m sure.
This mini muffin recipe is oh so simple. I used zucchini for the veggie but you could easily substitute carrots, squash, or any easily grateable veg.
So I started the deception process by mixing the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground nutmeg, and cinnamon together. Ahhh… nutmeg and cinnamon. What doesn’t taste good with that sprinkled on it? Please don’t answer that…
I then grated 2 zucchini’s…
Beat 2 eggs together for a minute or so and then added in the milk, oil, and sugar. Once that was combined, I added in the good ol’ grated zucchini. As you can see I was very productive during naptime this morning.
Then using a handy dandy scooper, I dropped spoonful’s into the mini muffin tray.
I then sprinkled each top with a little bit of sugar (or in this example, because I was trying to also take a picture) a lot of sugar. Although the entire recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, these are really not that sweet, so this is a nice addition to the top.
I then baked these bad boys at 375 for 20 minutes and TADA…. 40 veggie packed mini muffins for my little love muffin.
Mama tested… little monster approved. He LOVED them!
I popped about half of these in the freezer for later.
So as you can see I’m on a mission to gets the goods in wherever I can. What recipes or tips do you have for getting toddlers to eat their veggies?! I’d love to hear them!
Here’s the recipe card:
I love my husband. He’s the bees knees, the bomb.com, the spaghetti to my meatballs, the …. ok you get my point. He’s amazeballs and I try to tell him everyday. Although we both totally mean it every time we say it, we’ve started auto-piloting the “I love you”, as we say it at the end of every call and every time we part.
So this year for our wedding anniversary, I decided to give us a quick way to go beyond the casual “I love you, bye” and tell each other why. Since Amazon Wishlist has also gotten us in a bit of a gift rut (i.e. we just get each other what we ask for), I thought this would be a fun surprise.
And to top it off, it was perhaps the easiest “craft” I’ve ever done. I typed some words in Photoshop, printed them off, and framed them. #easypeasy
I debated where to hang this but landed on the bottom of our stairs, as we pass this everyday. I’ve gotta admit that I check it often to see if Jer erased mine to write something (hint, hint, Jer!). I also sat a dry erase marker on top of the frame so we could quickly update (hint, hint, Jer!)
So to spread the love (literally!) here is the template I used. Just getcha an 8×8 frame (I love this gray one from Target), and then just frame & hang that bad boy. This also makes a great gift for friends and family. I made my mom one for Christmas and she loved it! My sister and I take turns writing on it every time we visit.