Category Archives: Homemaking

Spicy Cranberry Meatballs

Every year my husband and I host a Christmas party for our neighbors, family and friends. I try to mix up the menu a little bit each year, but also stick to a few staples that our guests have come to expect year to year. Lucky you: I’m going to share TWO of my recipes with you!!

Spoiler alert on the first recipe; it’s the title of this post. Shocking, I know.

My spicy cranberry meatballs is my most requested recipe. It’s honestly just wonderful for feeding a crowd; easy, straightforward, and not terribly expensive- but most importantly: DELICIOUS.

It’s a crockpot recipe, so, you’re welcome.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags frozen Italian meatballs
  • 2 cans jellied cranberries
  • 8oz chili garlic sauce (I use Huy Fong brand)
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Dump meatballs into crockpot set to high heat. (See? Easy already)
  2. In a bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, and soy sauce. If you want to make it even easier, you can cheat and use 1 cup of sweet bbq sauce.
  3. Once sugar is somewhat dissolved, whisk in the jellied cranberries and chili garlic sauce.
  4. Pour sauce over meatballs and stir until meatballs are coated.
  5. Cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 5 hours.

Serves about 25 (at 4 meatballs/person).

Yes, it’s that simple. Enjoy!

**Stay tuned for another recipe next week! Don’t worry, I’ll have it posted before Christmas 😉 **

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Little Man’s Nursery

I was very intentional when choosing paint and furniture for our first nursery, as I knew we wanted to have multiple children, and I didn’t want to break the bank in order to change the theme every time we had a baby.

When E moved to her toddler room, I was left with gray walls (Sherwin Williams color matched to Behr’s “cathedral gray”), white trim, a white rug, a gray chair, and all white furniture.

The transformation was easy and I’m in love with the results.

I purchased:

  • One extra set of crib sheets (most I had were neutral)
  • A new lamp
  • A car wall shelf

I made:

Everything else I either already had around the house or was gifted! Pretty great, right?

Check out the links for tutorials if you’d like to know how I made the mobile and wall art.

Crib: Target | Chair: Target | Curtains: IKEA | Car shelf: Target | Cars: hubby’s childhood collection! | License plate: garage sale | Red and black truck: garage sale | Classic books: Estate sale | Lamp: Target | Rug: Target

Airplane Mobile

More apologies. I know, I know. I swear I’m going to start taking pictures of my projects WHILE I’m doing them. Probably.

So THIS project was fun. It adds just the perfect amount of whim and handmade charm to the nursery; I find myself staring at it regularly as it twists and turns when I rock my sweet boy late at night.

What you’ll need:

  • Card stock, poster board, or another type of sturdy paper
  • Metal or wood hoop (mine is 10″)
  • String and/or thread and needle
  • Metal hook (to twist into ceiling)
  • Template of whatever you’d like to suspend from your hoop.

How to:

  1. First you’ll need a template. I used THIS one I found on Pinterest to make a very basic 3D airplane.
  2. Trace and cut out your shapes from your paper.
  3. If your paper is not the color you’d like it to be, go ahead and paint or color it to what you’d like. I used gold sharpie for a handmade scribbled look. I liked the texture and handmade feel it gave it! (And it went well with the canvas art I made).
  4. Attach string to your ring to suspend it from the ceiling. I used two approximately 24″ strands tied on each end and balanced in the center.
  5. Thread string through your paper shapes and suspend from your ring. Use varied lengths.
  6. Hang your mobile!

Now, I may not have taken step by step photos but I did take some closer shots so you can hopefully grasp the details. I’m always available for questions, but I have to be honest: the beauty of creativity is not always knowing exactly what you’re doing! 🙂 (or maybe that’s just me- haha!)

DIY Wall Art

First, let me apologize. I should have taken way more photos when I was making these, and I just didn’t. My bad, everyone!! Luckily I did take a few. So work with me.

Sometimes I make things for my kid’s rooms. Not necessarily because I can’t just buy what I want, but because I enjoy making things that are unique and special for my sweet babes.

For whatever reason, canvas art has been one of those things that I make for both kids. This particular idea was an experiment; and quite honestly I wasn’t sure if they would turn out. Thankfully, however, they turned out better than I imagined! Don’t you love when that happens?

What you’ll need:

  • A canvas
  • Painters tape
  • Paint
  • Sponge brush or regular paint brush
  • A pattern or photo
  • Parchment paper

How To:

  1. Decide what you want your image(s) to be. The less detail, the better. I freehand drew mine off of several google shadow images to use as inspiration, but you can certainly print something off and cut it out.
  2. Line your parchment paper with painters tape, overlapping each strip (you want to be able to trace your image onto the tape).
  3. Trace your image onto the tape, and then cut out.
  4. Now you’ve essentially made your own “sticker”. Remove parchment paper backing, and adhere your painters tape shape to your canvas.
  5. Apply paint in random pattern. I went with a swirly effect. No need to be perfect; I love how mine turned out distressed looking!
  6. Allow to dry for about an hour, then peel away tape.
  7. Let dry overnight before hanging.

If you decide to try this DIY project, I’d love to see your results!

Zipadeezip Quick Guide 


As promised, another quick reference guide! 

Just like in my last post, I have received questions from several fellow moms on this topic, and they happen to have all asked the SAME questions! 

Today’s topic- the Zipadeezip! 

*this is not an affiliate or sponsored post*

If you follow any of my social media accounts, you know I love the Zipadeezip. Both of my kids have used it and it’s probably my favorite baby item. If you’re considering buying one or are troubleshooting the transition, here’s everything you need to know. 

What is a Zipadeezip?

The Zipadeezip (we call it the Zippy), is a type of sleep sack. Designed to make the transition from swaddling easier, it can also be enjoyed for years to come! 

What sets it apart from other sleep sacks?

The unique design of the Zipadeezip gives slight resistance in the arms and legs, which gently calms the startle reflex. Unlike other sleep sacks, it can be worn in baby carriers and car seats/strollers. When a baby becomes more mobile, they can even walk around in their crib in it, which means you don’t have to transition them out of it. *use caution when allowing child to walk around house in it as there are no grips for slippery floors. 

Because the Zipadeezip is so versatile, it can be worn well beyond the first year. This is ideal for the children who start to see their sleep sack as a source of comfort. After the Zipadeezip, the toddler /child version, called The Flying Squirrel can be used as well. 

What a Zipadeezip is NOT:

While it’s a life saver for some, the Zipadeezip is not a miracle sleep-through-the-night product. Yes, it can help everyone get more rest. Yes, it might be what helps your child sleep through the night. But it’s not a miracle worker. Think of it more as a comfort for your baby that will contribute to ideal long term sleep goals. 

Great! How do I transition? 

This will vary baby to baby. Between 3-6 months, the startle reflex will start to subside, but will still be present. If your baby is consistently breaking out of the swaddle, starting to roll over, and is in this age range, you’re ready to start the transition! 

Despite calming the startle reflex, the Zipadeezip does provide a significant amount of freedom in comparison to a swaddle. To familiarize your baby with this newfound freedom, start by putting the Zipadeezip on your baby during the day. Use it when baby is fussy, nap times, and car rides. After a week or two of daytime use, transition into nights. After the transition, you may find that just showing your baby the Zipadeezip or letting them hold it brings instant comfort and calming, much like a favorite blanket. This is one of the many reasons I love it! 

Do I really need to start with a small? Won’t I get more use out of a medium?

Yes and yes.  To both questions. Unless you’re making the transition at 5-6+months with a taller baby, start with the small. It will make the transition so much easier! I actually recommend buying two to start. A small and a medium. The small will make the transition easier; and the medium will get plenty of use later on, but will also serve as a back up in case your small is the wash- because let’s face it; blowouts. 

As an added benefit, buying two right away will save you the cost of shipping. (Free domestic shipping over $50). 

I checked on my sleeping baby and the zipper is folding up over their face! Should I be concerned?! 

I’ve noticed that this sometimes happens when it’s new. Push the ripple down if you see it happen, but don’t panic. The Zipadeezip is a tested and safe product! Don’t be shy about washing it frequently in the beginning as it will help the zipper relax quicker. In my experience, it stops happening pretty quickly. 

How should I dress baby in the Zipadeezip? 

This partly depends on your baby’s tendencies to be either hot or cold, and the temperature you keep your home- but we typically do regular pajamas during the winter, and just a diaper or a onesie during the summer. No complaints from the kids so far. 😉 

Any other questions? Comment or email me and I will add your question and my answer to this post. 

Happy sleeping!!