Monday, October 31, 2011

Our third Trimester! WHAT?

That's right.  As of Saturday we've entered our third trimester!  Woohoo!!! We are officially 28 weeks and in the last third of our pregnancy.  It goes by so quickly!  Even though pregnancy has not been super easy for me (between morning sickness and gall bladder attacks), I'm so thankful to be pregnant and really it's a great experience period.  I just enjoy having this little one growing inside of me.  However I can't wait to meet our little one. 

This morning, hubby had tutoring from 7:30-8:30 so I got up and had a quite time and got ready. When he got back we went outside to shoot a few baby bump pictures.  Unfortunately it was pretty cold so we stayed outside for all of oh, 5 minutes =P.  I still love our pictures anyway! And hubby was so sweet to take some time out of his day to do something special for me.  He had tutoring this morning, is now subbing for the afternoon until 3, and then he has an interview for more subbing opportunities at 4, and work at the dollar store at 5.  He'll be home around 11.  Yes, I am so super blessed to have this man as my husband.  I love him very much.  He's trying to work so hard so that I can stay home with our little one.  Praise God.

It is fall in Erie!  And this is the only tree we have left in our "yard" (it's technically beside our driveway, but we went from 5 to 1 recently).  We rent so it wasn't really our choice, but it looks nice in our backyard and they're doing it to add more parking. YAY!

Everyone say hello to our little one!

My husband kept saying goofy things to make me laugh. This was one of those times. (I should totally start a series called, things Aaron says.)

Our pretty little lonely tree! 

How was your weekend?  Aaron and I did a lot of laundry yesterday and I got to watch the Steelers win WOOT!  Saturday I crafted much of the day as Aaron had a lot of tutoring.  We're keeping busy!

Oh and happy reformation day! :) 


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Laura's 2 year Blog anniversary (GIVEAWAY)

My friend Laura,

Along For the Ride

from Along for the Ride, is adorable, and fun, and supportive, and a great woman of God and super sweet. 

Anyway, she is having her 2 year blog anniversary GIVEAWAY DAY!

Did you see that $600 worth of prizes.  She has giveaways going on from 29 wonderful handmade shops!!!

You should totally stop by and check it out! Way fun!

(Oh and you might get a chance to win store credit ;).)


Friday, October 28, 2011

Guest Posting: Tara Dara Made It Etsy Spotlight

Hey everyone, Tara, of Tara Dara Made It is spotlighting my shop on her blog today. 

Why don't you go over and take a peak???

She has her own shop with super cute things too! 

Oh and there may even be a discount code ;)

Did you see the new items for Christmas?  There will be more coming soon also!

And my personal favorite:


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Apple Pie: Follower's Fest

Today I baked an apple pie for my wonderful husband.  He has been working very hard this week and for that I'm super thankful!  He has been substitute teaching (yesterday, today and is scheduled again tomorrow).  He had work last night at the dollar store, tonight he had tutoring and tomorrow he's being paid to set up lazer tag at a local university.  Yup, haven't seen him much this week but wanted to reward him with the pie.  So I did =D.   Cause he's the best!

Shall we get started??? 
A few things you should know: 
1. I love to bake
2. I'm by no means a perfect baker (I piece my crusts together, my pies are messy)
3. We have a very small apartment with NO counter space.  Literally there are just 2" sections on either side of the sink.  No joke, and the dish drain gets one and the other houses our water filtration system.  So as a result, I just use our table as my counter. :)  It's small but we love it anyway!
4. I'm super excited you stopped by today!

Ok, here we go.

One Yummy Apple Pie coming up!
Let them enjoy their bath while you get the crust ready! 

I don't have a stand mixer so I just mix it all by spoon/hand.

See no need to be perfect with your pie crust.  Guess what!!! Someone will eat it anyway! 

I know, cider vinegar, in a pie??? That's what I thought too, but it works! Trust me!

Just use your hands for this part!  It's ok to get dirty!

Take a step back, admire your work and then drool wait for your husband to get home so you can share it!

I hope that if you have never made a pie from scratch before this gives you the courage to do it!  What are some of you favorite fall recipes? 

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Today I am linking up with: 

for the October Followers Fest.

Want to learn more? Want to jump in on it? Click the button below!


If you stopped by from the follower's fest, please say hello!  I'd love to get to know you more!

I'm also linking up with Laura for
And with Amy here:


The Day I spent baking: Whole Wheat Bread & Apple Pie

Yesterday, my husband informed me that we were out of bread.  That meant today's schedule was pretty much decided for me.  He's also been begging and pleading asking me to make him an apple pie for about 2 weeks.  Well we didn't have our pie pan back until Tuesday.  Yesterday I ran out of time to make it so today it is!

So after having a quiet time this morning, eating some breakfast and catching up on a few blogs, I started to work on the bread.  Our recipe makes 2 loaves at a time.  So today I made 2 loaves of whole wheat bread and 2 loaves of half whole wheat/half white flour bread.  Hubby prefers the former and I prefer the latter.  We cut each loaf in half and freeze what we can't eat right away. 

So today was interesting as I tried to take photos as I was baking.  I didn't get pictures of everything because well, my hands were sticky/covered in flour/gross sometimes. :) 

Here we go: 

Operation Whole Wheat Bread

And here's the actual recipe (since I didn't get everything photographed):

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
2 3/4 cup hot water
1/3 c olive oil
1/3 c honey
2 tbs molasses
1 tbs salt
up to 7.5 cups 100% whole wheat flour
2 tbs dry active yeast

1. Place the first five ingredients in a huge bowl and mix.
2. Add 2 cups of flour (to cool water and end up with a warm dough).  Mix.  Add 2 tbs yeast. Mix again.
3. Add 2 cups of flour and mix.  Add 2 more cups of flour and mix.
4. Mix until consistency is somewhat even.  
5. Continue to add flour 1/2 cup at a tie until dough quits sticking to the side of the bowl.  (Should be tacky to the touch). I usually add 6 cups total.
6. Don't over mix or bread will be tough.
7. Leave in bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  Let it rise 30-45 min. Dough will be larger but not necessarily doubled.
8. Grease & flour 2 bread pans.
9. Mix dough again to knock back down to about the original size.
10. Drop dough onto a floured surface.  Shape it with your hands to make a nice ball, getting enough flour on it so it's not sticky.
11. Divide the ball in half and repeat.
12. Shape loaves by turning dough under itself over and over.  When dough is shaped, the sides and ends will be sealed and dough will be oblong-shaped with smooth sides and top. 
13. Drop loaves in bread pans and let rise until doubled or almost doubled (cover with same plastic wrap as before).
14. Bake in preheated oven at 350 F for 36 min, 41 min if you forgot to preheat.
15. When finished turn bread onto a rack to cool.  Don't wrap until completely cooled.  Put in plastic wrap and tin foil and store on the counter.  Do not refrigerate. (However can be frozen)

***If you'd prefer you can use half wheat/half white flour to get a softer bread.  100% whole wheat is QUITE hearty.  

I hope you enjoy the bread recipe.  Let me know if you try it out.  I'll try and post the apple pie recipe/pictures soon! 

Hooray for fall! What are some of your favorite fall recipes?

**Oh, btw, we don't have counter space. Like at all.  2 ft on either side of the sink but that is occupied by other things and has ridges in it so our kitchen table is our counter.  Carry on***


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reaching a decision

Today I experienced my third gall bladder attach during this pregnancy.  Am I happy that it occurred? Absolutely not.  They are ridiculously painful.  However, I am thankful that our midwife provided us a method of treatment.  

I tried finding a comfortable position. Yah, no, I couldn't sit, stand, or lay without crying.  And crying only made it worse as it made it difficult to breathe. 

Up next, Cold compress on the area of pain.  Er, yeah still not working.  Trying very hard not to sob as husband is on the phone with midwife. 

Try taking a hot bath.  

Ok, so at first all it did was make me stop crying, THIS IS HUGE.  

Praise God. 

I was still having trouble getting comfortable, but finally I was able to find out what didn't work (lying on my side was the worst).  Then I discovered what did work, and I didn't move.  I sat in the tub for about 45 minutes.  

After about 15 minutes, I looked at Aaron and said, "we're having a water birth."  He concurred.  We had also learned at our appointment today that tearing is less common with a water birth. 

So thank you gall bladder attack for helping us make that decision! :) 

However, please don't return anymore.  K?  Alright great! Thanks!

Oh and can I say how much I love this man??? He's just the best.  He took such great care of me today! I loff him. He worked very hard to calm me and to try to make me laugh once I calmed down. He's the best. 

Photo used courtesy of Kat Ritenour Photography

Monday, October 24, 2011

Overwhelmed by Love

This past weekend Aaron and I were out of town.  When we came home, I found this box on our stairs. 

Elizabeth O. ??? I think I know who that is, I better send an email just to make sure!  Yup, yes this sweet, precious gift came from the lovely and thoughtful Elizabeth over at The Young Retiree.

Anyway, I got out my scissors and had to open up the box.  Look at how nicely everything was packaged. 
Pretty tissue paper (It was wrapped nicer but I didn't take pictures last night as I opened the gift.)

Lovely little card!

Our first official baby gift. 
Look at this beautiful blanket. Elizabeth's grandmother is so sweet! She made this beautiful blanket for us! 

I can't wait to get baby home in January and wrap him/her up this lovely little blanket!

Thank you so much Elizabeth!!!

Elizabeth also just started up an Etsy shop.  Make sure you stop by!
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Then today I received two more packages.  That just doesn't happen around here.  After being super excited.  I remembered to not just rip open the packaging, but rather got out my camera so I could take some pictures. 

I received this cute little package from Amy of One Artsy Mama.

I received this BEAUTIFUL necklace as part of a giveaway!  Isn't it precious!  I love it because the pearl represents our little ones due date (and hopefully little one will be born in January not February). Please don't be late little one!  We can't wait to meet you!  

I am sitting here wearing just a t-shirt, but I had to put my necklace on.  I love it!

Thanks Amy!!! 

Oh and did I mention she made my blog button to the right over there??? So beautiful! I love it!

Be sure to stop by her shop as well!

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And then, there was the package from Sarah from Twillypop.  Oh MY Goodness.  I opened this gift and cried.  Who am I that God should bless me so much??? I haven't met Sarah apart from our twitter conversations and she sent me the most beautiful package today.  I was just overwhelmed by her generosity.  God is just so good!

Ok, before I start bubbling over again with thanksgiving, take a look at these beautiful gifts. 
Isn't this packaging just darling???

Oh did I mention there was a very cute little matchbook notebook in there as well?  What a beautiful surprise.

I opened up the package and saw these beautiful necklaces.  (In my excitement, I forgot to take a picture of how nicely she had them packaged). 

There was this gorgeous peach colored necklace.  I think I might wear this to my baby shower!

Then there was this lovely Sky Blue necklace.  So beautiful.  The photo doesn't do justice to this beauty!

And then there's this one! Swoon!  Can not wait to wear this lovely pink and navy necklace. 

Sarah, Thank you so very much.  What a huge blessing to me. 

Please visit Sarah's Shop!

Thank you ladies so very much!  What a blessing you were to me today! I can not thank you enough!

Praise God for His love for us!


Weekend Recap: Family, Games, and Parties

This past weekend Aaron and I went to visit my family.  I had a baby shower on Sunday so we decided to just make a weekend out of it.  Our nephews were so happy to see us which is just a joy too me.  Unfortunately we forgot to take pictures all weekend.  However, we had a good time.  Friday we played Settlers of Catan with our nephews and they paid attention super well!  I was quite impressed. 

Friday night, however, was not so fun when the dog kept us up most of the night.  I was NOT a happy camper.  After I got up though I was ok.  

We had a big snuggle fest on my parents bed and watched some Daddy Day Care.  The boys and their mom went off to a football game, and my younger sister and mom ended up taking her car to be worked on so I made some homemade applesauce (as a gift for my uncle, whose b-day party was that night) and took a nap, and watched some DIY Network.  Professional Grade is a super cool show.  

Saturday night we went to my grandparents for my uncles birthday party.  It is always special for him so I'm so glad we were able to be there for it as we haven't been for the past few years.  Saturday night we spent the night with a different Aunt and Uncle.  We also went to church with my Uncle and 2 of his grandkids Sunday morning.  It was very nice. 

The baby shower was very nice on Sunday afternoon and the mom-to-be received many nice gifts.  The meatballs that were served were AMAZING!  We played baby bingo and watched her open up gifts.  It's neat to see what different moms-to-be register for.  

After that we went back to my parents house and our nephews wanted to play Apples to Apples so we played one round and then it was time to eat dinner.  We ate dinner and finished up watching the Steelers game with my family and then headed back home.  

It was a long, busy weekend, but it was also nice to get to spend time with my family.  

How was your weekend???


Thursday, October 20, 2011


Everyone has them.  Some people are better at executing their goals than I am.  I have many goals in my head but causing myself to actually accomplish them has been a bit of a different story.

Goal #1 
Being a better housewife
For me this has been very difficult.  I've never been one who particularly enjoys cleaning.  Ok, I've never really enjoyed it.  Usually I would much rather find something else that needs done.  I'm praying that God will help me to be a better housewife now so that when baby comes, I won't be so overwhelmed.  That means I have 3 months.  What are some of your tips to getting cleaning/organization done?  

I would love to have a craft room this organized, however don't have the space or the money to buy the supplies it would take to do this.  So for now, I'll stick with my egg cartons, baby food jars, and other assorted ways of keeping things sorted. 

Source: None via Julie on Pinterest

Goal #2
Cook More Meals
It's not that I don't cook meals, it's just that I'd like to cook more often for my husband. Especially since he's going to be trying to work 2-3 jobs here soon.  He is way more of the cook.  I'm a gotta follow the recipe exactly kinda girl, but he's really not.  However, I am getting much much better in this area.  Do you have any fun, relatively easy recipes you'd like to share with me?
We love some cheeseburger soup and have had it recently. Yum!

Goal #3
Make and freeze meals
This sort of piggy-backs off of the last one.  In case you didn't know, we are expecting a little one come January.  I've heard that you don't generally have the energy to cook the first couple of weeks home.  So I'd love to have some meals prepared ahead of time that I can just take out of the freezer and throw in the oven or in a pot on the stove.  Any ideas?

Goal #4
Participate in a real craft show
I have been wanting to do this for a while, however being pregnant I has had it's fair share of challenges in this regard.  One is that many craft shows that cost $$$ to participate and right now we just don't have it.  The other is that many craft shows are both Saturday and Sunday. Sunday is church for us and I hate to miss a service.  So that's been a challenge with wanting to go them. Also most of the craft shows have been on weekends where I already have something going on (baby showers as of late).  I would have loved to have participated in some over the summer, but was so nauseous that was just NOT happening.  
Hopefully after baby is a little older, I can find a craft show that's going on that I can participate in.  Until then, I'll keep looking at ideas on Pinterest of ways to display my items :).
I would love to do something like this to display purses, aprons, other items I create.  

So what are some of the goals that you have?  Have you had a hard time keeping your goals.  Please tell me I'm not alone on this one.

Also if you use the code: CleaningUp in the shop you will get FREE Shipping until October 25th.  Pass the word on please!  Trying to get out some old inventory to add some new! :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On This Day 2 Years Ago and a Surprise ;)

My husband, was only my boyfriend, and he was very sick.  Poor guy!  He had a fun filled day planned for us and he felt like he was run over by a dumptruck.  (One of the ways I know he loves me, he still went through with our day).  

A few weeks prior to this day, Aaron had called me to ask if this weekend was open because it was the last weekend to go to Panama Rocks and he had wanted to take me there for a while now. I said yes, and yes again, and 3 more times.  He is NOT usually someone who plans things out.  He's more of an on the fly type person.  So I knew something was up.  I wondered if he had planned on proposing when he took me to Panama Rocks.  I talked about it later that day to my employer and then kinda let it go for a while. 

A few weeks later, the weekend of October 17-18th came, and my poor Aaron was so sick.  He could barely get off the couch.  I asked him if we had still planned on going on Sunday.  He said, "I don't know if we should go I'm pretty sick."  His mom overhearing it said, "WAAAAAHHHHAT??????? Not go???"  Yup, that pretty much sealed the deal for me and I thought for sure he was proposing.  So I was pretty sad when he said we wouldn't go (although I thought maybe he was just trying to throw me off as well.)  

So the next morning we got up and got ready for church.  He came down the stairs, and I could see the outline of the box in his pocket.  Panama Rocks is a beautiful place for hiking, and he was afraid of losing the ring so he kept it in his pocket.  I was having a terribly hard time waiting for him to propose.  I had wanted to marry him even before we started dating (maybe I'm crazy, or maybe it was just one of those God things). 

We went to church, had a quick lunch at Arby's, visited a friend for a little (I forget why we had to go that day but for some reason we did).  The whole time I watched the clock, I knew that the place closed at 5 and didn't let you enter after 4.  Oh and it was about an hour away.  So at 2 o'clock I was near pacing.  HAHAHA

So we finally got to Panama Rocks and it was BEAUTIFUL!  Do any of you know about my love for snow??? No??? Well I love it.  Like a lot.  When I wake up on my birthday and there is snow on the ground I sing Happy Birthday to Me!  The day before, it had snowed, not a lot but just a dusting.  PERFECTION!  We took some pictures of the entrance area, went and bought our tickets, looked at the map and then started hiking.  Aaron was super sweet in helping me get over my fears.  Some of the places I was too afraid to climb down.  (I didn't grow up in the country like he did).  He would grab my waist to help gently guide me down.  Too sweet.  

After we made it about halfway through, we had to take a break.  Aaron being sick, could no longer really breathe and needed to rest for a bit.  Only he was resting for a long time.  He was making small talk.  I can't really remember it.  I asked if he was ready to continue.  He said no, let's talk some more.  Ok, I can be patient.  Then while sitting there on that log, he says, something to this effect (I can't really remember exactly because I was far too excited), "Amanda, you know that my motto is 'It's always an adventure with Aaron Wood' and today has been no different.  We've climbed over a lot of obstacles so far and I know that there will be more, but with God's help I know we can get through it.  We've been climbing over rocks. Let me show you the most beautiful rock here.  *gets down on one knee*  Amanda, I love you so very much, will you marry me???"

*Swoon*  He forgot to put the ring on, so I was like "Yes, I love you please put the ring on! Please put the ring on!" *freaking out*

Then we took some photos as we both cried.

It was just so beautiful!  We finished walking through Panama Rocks both of us talking about our future.  When we got home we told Aaron's parents.  Called my parents, and then started calling everyone else. HAHAHA

And then we couldn't wait and put it on Facebook =P.  Since then we've gotten rid of Facebook but back then we were just so excited!

Unfortunately I can't find the photos from that day, but all the photos except the flower and ring were taken by Aaron's Mom.  She does wonderful photography.

And you're reward for making it this far:

Don't forget that 10% of all your orders go to Project Hope for the next two months.  Read more here

Please share with me your engagement stories or direct me to where I can read them.  I'd love to hear the stories!  Hopeless romantic here. 


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