Toddler Room

Once it was time for little man to take over the nursery, our sweet girl got to graduate to her toddler room; so, we packed up our guest room, sold the furnishings, put some fresh paint on the walls, and created a special space for our big girl. *insert tears*

E is feisty but she has such a sense of wonder, girly-ness and sweetness about her; I hoped to capture those personality attributes in her room.

We were also able to include some very special pieces;

  • Her bed frame was hand carved over 80 years ago by her great, great grandfather. My grandmother, my mom, and I all had it at one point or another. The rest of her furniture was based around the bed.
  • Her kitchen was built by my grandfather for my mom and her siblings. It was passed down to my cousins, and eventually to my siblings and myself; I’ve since painted it and bought new hardware and it shines like new! Both of the kids can be found playing in this kitchen daily and it brings me so much joy!

A lot of her decor was upcycled from her nursery. We updated her canvas art to reflect her interest in Minnie and Daisy, her flag banner is from her first birthday party, and her oversized unicorn was a gift from an uncle; it’s perfect for making sure she doesn’t fall between the bed and the wall.

*The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. All are items I have actually purchased.

Items and essentials that we purchased for her new room were: cozy pink sheets (seriously, they are SO soft!), a bow pillow, a round white rug, a toddler bed rail, and sheer white curtains from Target; a subtle Minnie Mouse comforter, Minnie and Daisy accent pillow cover (both from Amazon), a mesh canopy from Five below, silk peonies to use as curtain tie backs and ivy for the canopy from Michael’s, a small gray fur rug from IKEA for her reading nook, small crystal chandelier, and floral contact paper (Amazon) for her night stand to cover up some wear and tear. (My mom purchased an adorable Minnie Mouse piggy bank for her for Christmas as well- a perfect addition!)

❤️

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Apple Pie Red Eye

Food recipe? Check. Drink recipe? Coming right up.

Every year I make the same two “punches” in spiked and non-alcohol versions, along with some other basics to round out the beverage selection. Making a few of the same things every year makes it easy for me to get the recipes right (rather than experiment and fail- that happens a lot), and to plan for however many guests we’re expecting.

Alongside our sparkling cranberry punch, we always serve an Apple Pie Red Eye. It’s super sweet and smooth, but it’s STRONG; though it doesn’t necessarily taste like it is.

I found the recipe online about five years ago, and have referenced several others over time. That’s to say: there are a lot of ways of making this stuff. If you search for it online or on Pinterest, you might find it under Red Eye or Moonshine; but aside from slight variations most of the recipes are the same.

HERE is how I make mine:

Ingredients:

  • 8 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 gallon GOOD apple cider
  • 1/2 gallon apple juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 liter Everclear* (see note at bottom)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, bring cider, juice, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
  2. Once boiling, reduce to simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Remove from heat. Once it has stopped steaming, add Everclear.
  4. You can serve warm, OR:
  5. Allow to fully cool before transferring into containers (takes several hours- I usually make at night, cover, and let cool overnight). I usually transfer back into Everclear bottle and cider/juice containers using a ladle, small strainer (cheese cloth would work, too) and funnel. •I also remove cinnamon sticks at this point. This is optional•
  6. Serve!

*Note: I live in Minnesota, so I can only get my hands on Everclear 151. Traditionally, this is made with 190 proof (guys- it’s so strong). If you use 190, reduce to a 5th (roughly 750ml).

*Another note!! This is a general recipe, and honestly it makes quite a bit. I usually run out, though, so I increased my amounts slightly this year: I used 1.5 gallons cider, a gallon of juice, and 1.75 L Everclear. (Divided between two pots, used 1.5cups sugar in each and 8 cinnamon sticks in each) -I didn’t QUITE double it so it wasn’t an exact science. But hey- it tastes awesome.

*Wait- one more note! 😉 other variations (if you want to try them) can include any of the following and more: spiced rum, cloves, nutmeg, brown sugar, more or less sugar, pumpkin pie spice.

YUM.

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 😉 **

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!)

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