Hairbow Brain Power

I did it.

For the first time since joining Pinterest, I used my own brain power and came up with an idea.

I even searched Pinterest to see if there is anything like this on there and I found nothing.  Woo to the hoo!

You know those plastic diaper wipe containers that belong in your diaper bag but you usually feel too lazy to refill them so you throw them away?

Well stop throwing them away!  OK, at least keep one.
These things make excellent hairbow storage for roadtrips.

They stay in one spot and they don't get crushed!

You won't find a Pinterest tag on this post!

Pinterest - 273
Jamie - 1 (booyah!)

McKenna Rayne

Meet Miss McKenna.  This is Karen and Steven's sweet little girl. 
3 lbs, 6 oz, 16 1/4 inches long

Because of this tiny angel, I am an aunt for the very first time.

I love her already.

She came 7 weeks early so please pray for McKenna, Karen, and Steven.

So fresh and so clean clean

Now that the holidays are over and we're oh-fficially done travelling, we're trying to regain control of our house.  A holiday hurricane swept through and left behind dead fraser fir needles, scraps of wrapping paper, empty suitcases, mountains of laundry, and crusty food on dishes piled in the sink.  Slowly but surely we're crossing things off our list.  And as much as I miss our tree and my ruffled tree skirt, I love how big our living room seems.

As we were cleaning the kitchen, we decided to show a little tlc to our microwave.


We took a microwave safe bowl, filled it half-way with water, added 5 cap-fulls of lemon juice, and put it in the microwave on high power for 5 minutes.  

Things got nice and steamy in there and loosened up all the gunk.  When the 5 minutes were up, I sprayed a cloth with 409 and wiped everything away.  I had to put a little bit of scrubbing into it but it was a quick clean.

Now, in an effort to keeping things real, I'll show you what we did with that nice steamy bowl of lemon water.

That, my friend, is what we like to call calcium build-up.  Disgusting right?  To all those who eat at my house and just saw that...I am SO sorry.

We took that bowl of hot lemon water, added 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar, and make a nice little bath for our faucet.  We removed the faucet and let it sit in the lemon-vinegar water for a long time.  I forgot to time it.  Maybe an hour?  

When that hour(ish) was up, we used a scrub brush to remove all the calcium build-up and were left with this:

I was surprised to see what I thought was an orange squiggly line is actually gray!  Yikes.

JP and Jamie - 1
Calcium build-up - 0

DIY: Burlap Box

Alright all you moms out there.  I know you'll love this project because I certainly do!

I saw this pin on Pinterest and finally got around to doing it.

All you need is:
~ a really messy spot
~ a diaper box
~ some light colored paint
~ hot glue
~ around 1 yard of burlap
~ ribbon
~ embellishments (optional - it looks cute with just the ribbon)
~ a smart and sassy Brit (this is not necessary but I had one spending the night at my house the day I did this project and I really liked it.  She also gave me a manicure that's lasting longer than when I paint my own nails.  She deserves her very own blog post...I'll start working on that.)

Choose your messy area.  Mine was our hall closet.  We had gloves, hats, scarves, leashes, and board games thrown into a heaping pile on a not-so-level shelf.  It got to the point when something would fall, I would cram the fallen item on the floor behind our vacuum.  Outta sight, outta mind.

Start by painting your box so that any bright, multi-colored patterns don't show through the burlap.  I used white acrylic paint and it actually dried super quick.

Unfortunately my camera died in the middle of the wrapping process but it's easy peazy.  There's not really a wrong or right way to do this.  Just treat it like a present and wrap it up, using hot glue wherever and whenever you want.

I glued the first edge in the middle of one of the long sides, planning for that to be the back.  Then when I folded the other side over, I folded the edge down so it left a nice crease and no raw edges were exposed.

This is where my camera died.  You really just do whatever works.  And of course extra burlap on the top is good.  Glue it down inside the box so that you don't see the cardboard when it's holding your clutter.

I did cut the flaps off the bottom of the box so it sits a little flatter.

After you're finished with your burlap, take your ribbon and glue it down.  I started at the back of the box, at the seam.  I put a line of glue, pressed down one edge of the ribbon, wrapped the ribbon tightly around the whole box, and glued it down once it met up with the seam again.  To finish up, I added 3 felt flowers with pearl brads.

That's it!

I was able to finished this project during one naptime.  You ask any mom and she'll tell you that's a feat.

Parmesan Crusted Salmon

* Courtesy of

I haven't met a person yet who doesn't like this salmon.  Even our toddler eats it!

The original recipe calls for tilapia but we much prefer the salmon.  We also don't use the onion powder or celery salt so I wrote in the substitutions that we use.

~ 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I like to buy a block of it and grate it myself)
~ 1/4 cup butter, softened
~ 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
~ 2 tablespoons lemon juice
~ 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
~ 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
~ 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
~ 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
~ 2 lbs. salmon

1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, garlic powder and sea salt. Mix well and set aside.

3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

We like to serve it with sweet potato cubes.  For those we just peel sweet potatoes (usually one per person) cube them, toss them in olive oil, season with house seasoning (equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder).  Then lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put them in a 400 degree oven until tender, usually about 30 minutes.  We make these before the fish.  While the fish is broiling, we move the sweet potato rack to the bottom so they stay hot without getting scorched by the broiler.