Saturday, July 31, 2010

Christmas in July: A Giveaway!

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

Yesterday I started working on some Christmas planning, shopping, list-making, and crafting. I know it's early, but I got really excited about Christmas all of a sudden, and thought I should put the energy to good use!

One of the projects I started working on is sewing little felt bird Christmas ornaments. I would love to make enough bird ornaments (this kind and several others too) to fill our whole tree this year. Fabric ornaments are very child(and cat)-friendly.
Today I am giving away one of these little bird ornaments to a faithful blog reader!

To enter this giveaway (mandatory for entry):

- Leave a comment on this post with a time-saving Christmas tip. This can be about anything from entertaining to decorating, or from crafting to gift buying. Just share a way you've learned to make the holiday season less stressful!
- Make sure your email address is visible in your profile (or leave it in a comment)

For additional giveaway entries (leave a separate comment for each):

- Tweet about this giveaway and link back directly to this post
- Blog about this giveaway and link back directly to this post
- Become a follower of Feathers in Our Nest through Google Friend connect

This giveaway is open to all residents of the continental U.S.

This giveaway will remain open until Tuesday, August 10 at 11:59PM. A winner will randomly be selected and announced later that week (unless I have a baby, in which case at some point in the distant future you will hear about the winner of this giveaway).

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***
Thanks for reading!

Parenting Lessons from Proverbs: Part 3

Click here for part 1 and here for part 2.

Proverbs 17:10
A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding
Than a hundred blows into a fool.
Lesson: Sometimes a rebuke can be more effective than a spanking.

Proverbs 17:21
He who sires a food does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy.
Lesson: There is no joy in raising a foolish child.

Proverbs 17:25
A foolish son is a grief to his father
And bitterness to her who bore him.
Lesson: A foolish child brings grief and bitterness

Proverbs 19:18
Discipline your son while there is hope,
And do not desire his death.
Lesson: Discipline your children.

Proverbs 20:7
A righteous man who walks in his integrity--
How blessed are his sons after him.
Lesson: Walk in integrity and righteousness as an example to your children.

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Lesson: Faithfully train up your children.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Week Thirty-Nine

To see last week's bump and compare, click here.

At my appointment earlier this week, I asked my midwife how much she thought our baby girl weighs, since so many people have been asking me. Her best estimate (which could be off) was between 6 and 6.5 pounds. She doesn't think she will be more than 7.5 when she is born. Baby girl still appears to be head-down and her heartbeat is strong. She is still active as ever!

I had three different women tell me separately on Wednesday night that I looked like I had "dropped" or was carrying lower than I was on Sunday. I definitely feel lower and more like I'm waddling!

I've been cramping a lot this week, so I trust that is a very good thing! When I wake up my abdominal muscles hurt (like after a good Pilates workout), so I know I'm cramping during the night. I've been timing these cramps/contractions, but they don't seem to be getting much stronger or closer together at this point. My lower back also hurts a good bit, which I think can also be a sign that labor is drawing near.

Hoping that labor begins naturally really soon! I went bowling tonight (youth group outing), so hopefully that will have helped speed up the process! I also read that eating pineapple (which I loooove) can help naturally induce labor, so I ate a can of pineapple chunks today.Andrea took this picture of me at the bowling alley. I'm holding a six-pound ball... the same weight as our baby!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Preparing for Baby

Here are some practical ways I have been preparing for the imminent delivery of our baby girl! (Not in any particular order.)

Hospital Bags
They're all packed and by the door! You can read about what I packed here, here, and here. Knowing that we are ready to leave at a moment's notice has given both Tad and I great peace of mind! There are a few "last minute" items I will have to grab before leaving, so I made a list of those and put it with our bags.

Freezer Meals
I already talked about this a little here, but I have been stocking the freezer with meals to enjoy after our baby comes (or, I just might break into them early if she's over a week late!). My mom brought me a bunch of meals when she came down, and I have been stashing leftovers and prepared meals (purchased) in the freezer as well. A lot of what I have is the main course of the meal, so I made sure I also have a supply of frozen veggies (quick to cook), rice (always a nice side), potatoes (we "bake" them in the microwave), and a few other easy (packaged) side dishes in the pantry. I made an inventory list to post on the freezer door so we can cross of items as we use them.

Laundry
I have been trying to keep up with laundry so that when I go into labor I don't leave a mountain of dirty clothes behind me! As soon as I have enough for a load, I wash a load. Maybe some people do this all the time, but I used to wait until probably a week went by before laundering everything all at once.

Housekeeping
In the same vein, I am trying to maintain a clean house as well, knowing that when we come back home from the hospital we won't feel like cleaning, and we will want our visitors and guests to feel welcome! I'm putting my "nesting instinct" to good use and straightening and cleaning whenever I get that spurt of energy. I've also tackled some more tedious organizational projects, such as sorting my jewelry into ice cube trays and arranging our gift bags by occasion and size.

Sleeping
Knowing that I won't be getting much sleep in the first few weeks after our little girl arrives, I am trying to "stock up" now! This has been a little challenging lately, as I haven't been sleeping too well at night, but I am trying to be wise about going to bed at a reasonable time and taking naps when I can.

Nursery and Baby Things
Our nursery is complete (read about the reveal here), we have a Pack 'n' Play set up in our bedroom, and we have the essential things we need to take care of our baby when we bring her home (diapers, etc.). The only thing we still need to do is install her car seat, which we are planning on doing this week.

Reading
I have been reading about baby care, breastfeeding, scheduling your baby, and other topics that I know will help make me better prepared for the first few weeks at home. I'm enjoying both books and magazine articles, as well as blog posts on these topics!

Correspondence
I wanted to make sure that some upcoming special occasions did not get "lost in the shuffle," so I went ahead and got the cards and gifts ready to give or mail off! I put the cards by the door with little post-it notes saying when to mail them. I also finished all of my baby shower thank-you notes since I had the time and grace to do so.

Blogging
I've been writing blog posts for the "hopper" so that you all will still have interesting things to read even when I'm not up for writing exciting new content! Though I will not be blogging while in labor, I expect to have new posts "comin' at ya" shortly after the birth, thanks to the drafts I have on hand! And of course, there will be lots of picture-only posts of our adorable little one!

We are, as you can tell, so excited for our baby girl's arrival! Though we know we can't be prepared for everything, we are thankful for the ways God has enabled us to be somewhat prepared for entering into this new phase of life called parenthood!

Photo source: stock.xchng

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parenting Lessons from Proverbs: Part 2

For part 1, click here.

Proverbs 12:1
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.
Lesson: Train your children to love discipline and reproof, knowing that it brings knowledge.

Proverbs 12:18
There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Lesson: Do not speak rashly towards your children

Proverbs 13:1
A wise son accepts his father's discipline,
But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
Lesson: Discipline your children so they may become wise.

Proverbs 13:14
The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
To turn aside from the snares of death.
Lesson: In wisdom, teach your children, that they may be kept from death.

Proverbs 13:24
He who withholds his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
Lesson: To truly love your children means to discipline with the rod diligently.

Proverbs 15:5
A fool rejects his father's discipline,
But he who regards reproof is sensible.
Lesson: Discipline and reprove your children.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CoverGirl Smoky Eye Look Giveaway: WINNER!

And the winner of the CoverGirl Smoky Eye Look giveaway is...

... A (commenter #4... who wanted to try the bold look)!
You have won the $20 Wal-mart gift card. I sent it off to you today!
The second place winner is...

...Haylee (commenter #34... who liked the glamorous look)!
You have won the CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara in Very Black. I will be sending it to you this week!

Winners chosen via random.org.

Thank you all for participating in this giveaway! If you haven't read my review of this product, you can read it right here.

CoverGirl through My Blog Spark provided me with three Smoky Eye Look kits to sample and review, as well as the $20 Walmart gift card for this giveaway. My opinions of the products are my own.

Turkey and Pasta Delight

I'm not exactly sure what to call this dish, as I started with a recipe but deviated slightly from it along the way. At any rate, it turned out well and definitely qualifies as "comfort food" in my book! I would make it again.Turkey and Pasta Delight

1 lb. lean ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
minced onion, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
1 can tomato sauce
1 can Italian diced tomatoes
basil, to taste (I used both fresh and dried)
whole wheat penne pasta (or other pasta of your choice) - I used 2/3 box

Brown turkey. Season with garlic, salt and pepper, minced onion, and Italian seasoning while browning. Drain. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and basil and cook on medium heat until flavors are blended. In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Toss pasta and meat sauce together and serve immediately. Sprinkle with a bit of cheese, if desired.

Enjoy!
Like this recipe? Follow me so you never miss a new recipe post!
For more of our family's favorite recipes, click here.

Linked to:
Tasty Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Tuesdays at the Table

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Cucumber Salad

This is one of my favorite ways to eat cucumbers in the summer! It's so easy and you don't really need a recipe to make it.

Summer Cucumber SaladPeel cucumbers. Cut into slices and quarter the slices, if desired. Sprinkle with a bit of salt (to take out any bitterness) and pepper. Season with basil (fresh or dried). Coat with zesty Italian dressing and toss. Optional, add slices of red onion or (ew) tomatoes. Eat right away or chill and allow flavors to mellow!Enjoy!

Like this recipe? Follow me so you never miss a new recipe post!
For more of our family's favorite recipes, click here.

Linked to:
Tasty Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Tuesdays at the Table

No-Sew Netbook Cover

I followed this tutorial here to make a no-sew netbook cover for my Eee PC. It was really easy to make and didn't take much time at all!

front sideback side

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nursery Project: The Big REVEAL!

Are you ready to AT LAST see the little bird nursery that we have been working on for months? We put the finishing touches on it today, and are happy to finally show you pictures of the whole room!

Here's what the room looked like when we first moved in.And here's what it looks like now!
This art and the corner shelf are immediately to the left when you walk in the room.
I love corner shelves! We just put this up today.
This is our changing table (a gift from my parents). We love the cute green changing pad cover! I also love how the art turned out!
Some of our cloth diaper stash.
This bookshelf is right next to the changing table.
Baby girl already has lots of great books!
I love how the bunting banner looks hanging in the corner. We just put up this wall shelf today!
We have a beautiful Dutalier glider and ottoman set (a gift from my parents), but the glider is downstairs at the moment. Tad wouldn't carry it up our long, narrow staircase just for a picture (can't understand why...), so you'll just have to imagine that it is there! We really like the soft, flowing curtains that add so much texture to the room.
Our beautiful crib (a gift from Tad's parents) and quilt (made with love by my mom). Oh, and our cute Boppy!
The quilt is just gorgeous and it coordinates PERFECTLY with our color scheme!
Purple bumper pads and cute pillows complete the look!

Note: We are completely aware of the dangers associate with loose bedding, pillows, etc. in a child's crib. When our baby girl is sleeping here, we will make sure there is nothing else in the crib with her! But doesn't everything look great in the pictures? :)
We hope she enjoys her little bird mobile!
We painted the closet the same color as the walls to give it more "pop." Yep, her closet is already packed full of adorable clothes! She is going to be one stylish little girl. Since we opted not to have a dresser, this hanging organizer is a lifesaver! It's how we store everything from socks to pacifiers to onesies and little toys.
Love this big wicker basket...perfect for stashing blankets, extra crib sheets, baby wraps, and more!Here is a partial-room shot (right side of the room) to give you an idea where the closet is in relation to everything else.
The other (left) side of the room. (It's really hard to get a full-room shot that isn't too dark because of the windows!And... finally... a little door-hanger I made.
Hope you enjoyed tip-toeing around our nursery with us! For more house tour photos, click here.

Source list:
paint (trim), Olympic No-VOC Semi-Gloss in Ultra White; paint (walls), Valspar Hotspring Green color-matched into Olympic No-VOC Satin; light switch plate, DIY; white frames, Dollar Tree, art inside DIY; corner shelf, Lowe's; birdhouse, Michael's (painted white); trash can, Big Lots; diaper pail, Walmart; wall art, DIY; changing table, Craigslist; changing pad cover, Target; white storage bins, Walmart; clock, Target; lamp, gift; lampshade, Target (ribbon accents DIY); bookshelf, thrifted; cloth cube, DIY; little birds, DIY; frame, Michael's (painted turquoise); birdhouses, Michael's (painted white); wall shelf, Lowe's; Dutalier glider/ottoman, Craigslist; bunting banner, DIY; curtains, Ikea; curtain rod, Big Lots; white wicker baskets, Michael's; sleep sweet sign, DIY; Baby Mod crib, Walmart; Boppy, gift; Boppy cover, Target; crib sheets, Target; bumper pads, Ikea, covered by my mom; quilt, made by my mom; pillows, made by my mom; mobile, DIY; hanging organizer in closet, Ikea; large white wicker basket in closet, gift

Want to see our nursery DIY projects from start to finish? Check out our posts on the fabric birds, cloth cube, bunting banner, light switch cover, and white frames, wall art, bird mobile, ribbon lamp, and sleep sweet sign that I made.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Week Thirty-Eight

Click here to compare with last week's photo. Do you think the shape of my belly has changed?

They say the average first-time mom's pregnancy lasts 288 days, which would be a little over a week past her due date. I do expect that our baby girl will probably be late, but I guess we will see! I'm definitely ready for her to come NOW (might have something to do with the crazy high heat and humidity), but I am trying hard to trust God's perfect timing in her birth!

I woke up to a strong contraction this morning (most likely a Braxton-Hicks). I've been experiencing lots of pressure, lower back pain, and cramping, which I believe are all good signs that things are progressing the way they should. I am most definitely waddling like a penguin, and even when I notice it and try to correct myself, I sometimes can't help it! It is very difficult to sleep now (mainly because of trying to get comfortable, but also because of how many times a night I have to get up), but I'm using lots of pillows and that seems to help. I told Tad that you're supposed to add a pillow each month during pregnancy... and that's how I justify my nine pillows! haha. (Just kidding... I am only using five.)

Last week I read (well, I read most of it and skimmed some parts) Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake (producer of the documentary The Business of Being Born) while sitting in Barnes and Noble. It was really helpful, as Lake strongly encourages women to make natural choices regarding their birth experience.

I'm sorry I still haven't posted pictures of our nursery! I still have a couple of small things I want to do in there before I take and post all of the "reveal" pictures. Hoping to do that this weekend! For now, here's a teaser!

An Organized Crafter...

...is a happier crafter!I recently organized some of my craft supplies in our office, and already I've done more crafting since I can actually FIND what I need for a project! You can buy these photo storage boxes at Michael's and A.C. Moore, and they often put them on sale (I've seen them as low as $1.50). In case you can't read my labels, they say: adhesives, ribbon, embellishments, stamping, stationary, and markers/scissors.
How do you keep your craft supplies corralled?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Parenting Lessons from Proverbs: Part 1

Lately I have been studying the book of Proverbs and seeking to find what God has to say about parenting in this book. Thought I'd begin sharing some of what I'm learning with you!

Proverbs 1:8
Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
And do not forsake your mother's teaching.
Lesson: Instruct and teach your children

Proverbs 3:12
For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
Lesson: Correct and reprove your children

Proverbs 4:1-2
Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father,
And give attention that you may gain understanding,
For I give you sound teaching;
Do not abandon my instruction.
Lesson: Instruct your children with sound (correct) teaching

Proverbs 6:23
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life.
Lesson: Command, teach, reprove, and discipline your children

Proverbs 10:13
On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found,
But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding.
Lesson: Use the rod to train a child who lacks understanding

Proverbs 10:19
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
Lesson: Exercise restraint with your words so that you do not sin against your children

Monday, July 19, 2010

CoverGirl Smoky Eye Look: Giveaway!

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

Have you gotten a chance to read my post about the new CoverGirl Smoky Eye Look kits? If not, go read it to learn more!

Today I get to host an awesome giveaway, thanks to CoverGirl and My Blog Spark.

One winner will receive a $20 Walmart gift card to use to buy their own CoverGirl Smoky Eye Look kit!
Another winner will receive a CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara in Very Black!

To enter this giveaway (mandatory for entry):

- Read my post about my experience trying the CoverGirl Smoky Eye Look kit
- Go to CG's site and decide which of the CoverGirl Smoky Eye Looks you'd like to try
- Come back and leave a comment on this post sharing which of the Smoky Eye Looks you like the best
- Make sure your email address is visible in your profile (or leave it in a comment)

For additional giveaway entries:

- Tweet about this giveaway and link back directly to this post
- Blog about this giveaway and link back directly to this post
- Become a follower of Feathers in Our Nest through Google Friend connect

This giveaway is open to all residents of the continental U.S., unless giveaways of this kind are illegal in your state.

This giveaway will remain open until Sunday, July 25 at 11:59PM. Two winners will randomly be selected and announced the following week. The first winner will receive a $20 Walmart gift card with which they can purchase their own Smoky Eye Look kit. The second winner will receive a CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara in Very Black.

CoverGirl through My Blog Spark provided me with three Smoky Eye Look kits to sample and review, as well as the $20 Walmart gift card for this giveaway. My opinions of the products are my own.

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Maternity Photos

Our friend (and pastor's wife) Andrea Wood took my maternity pictures last night! They turned out so beautifully, as always. Andrea took our engagement pictures not quite a year ago, then did our wedding photography in October, and then a little mini shoot for us this summer. Her work keeps getting better and better!




Don't you just love how these turned out? Visit her blog to see more from the shoot!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Week Thirty-Seven

To view last week's photo, click here.

Today Andrea took my maternity pictures! We had a fun time on the shoot, even though it was probably 100 degrees outside and I felt like I was sweating buckets! This photo is the only one she's put up so far, but I'll definitely link to her blog when she posts the rest.
This week is a very important milestone... our baby is officially (as far as development is concerned) full term!! I have a feeling she is going to "keep cooking" for quite a while longer. I haven't been having contractions or anything yet, so I imagine she will take her good 'ol time coming out!

Baby girl is still active, but I think she has found her "spot" that she has settled into. I can really feel her bearing down and putting pressure lower than she had been.

My nesting urge has continued to grow stronger. I have been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing lately! I am, however, trying to get as much rest as possible, since I know I won't be getting a lot of sleep once our baby girl arrives.

Thank you for your continued prayers for a healthy and safe pregnancy!

CoverGirl Smoky Eye Look: A Review

CoverGirl through My Blog Spark recently provided me with three NEW CoverGirl Smoky Eye Look kits to try and review. I love trying new makeup! I guess that goes back to my AVON-selling days... well, who am I kidding... I've been trying on makeup since I was two! CoverGirl makes it easy to experiment with a new look you might not otherwise try with their easy to follow three-step directions from professional makeup artist Molly Stern.

There are three kits: Natural Look, Glamorous Look, and Bold Look. Each kit contains a dual-ended eye shadow stick, an eye liner, and a mascara.I enjoyed trying the Natural Look set and found it easy to use. My hubby told me when I was wearing it (without knowing I had tried new eye makeup) that my eyes looked bigger. I would recommend blending the shadow with your fingertips for an even look.

Get your own kit at Wal-mart today... OR...

Check back here on Monday for an exciting giveaway sponsored by CoverGirl through My Blog Spark!
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