Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Morning Quiche

Several weeks ago when Brad and I spent the weekend at Mom's house sewing all of our nursery decor (a recap on this sewing loveliness is next... promise!), we had quiche for breakfast. I didn't realize just how much I love quiche until I've experienced it multiple times throughout my pregnancy. 

I love how flaky and buttery the crust is
I love how fluffy the light the eggs are
I love how its so easy to make
I love that you have plenty of left overs

Okay, so you get the point. I pretty much love quiche right now. Well Mom made us quiche for breakfast with asparagus and lobster bits. Can you say... YUM? (oh and we had a side of bacon, because I love bacon just as much even more than my new found love of quiche). She basically whipped up a few ingredients, popped it in the oven and vua-la! ...Amazing quiche was cooked and ready to eat.

Well, making a whole quiche pie seemed like it was too much for Brad and I to eat alone (I know, I know - too much food for this pregnant lady?). So, I decided I wanted to make my quiche in ramekins. Usually when we bake/cook pies, we like to bake smaller portions so that we don't feel forced to eat the entire pie in one day.

So, this morning I woke up and I decided I was going to make quiche! By the way, my ramekins were a little on the larger size - let's just say that they weren't "mini". Plus, I cooked a side of bacon :)

I bought pie crust from Publix and lined the ramekins with the crust.

Egg filling - per ramekin
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk (1 tbsp per egg)
sautéed mushrooms
sautéed asparagus
cheese - sharp cheddar
seasoning - I used Tony's, which we basically put on everything in our house

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine eggs and milk and whip until blended. Add additional ingredients, mushrooms, asparagus and cheese.
  3. Pour into ramekins
  4. Place directly in the oven and bake 25-35 minutes, this will vary depending on the size of your ramekin. Check the center of the quiche if it is still wet looking cook a few minutes longer until set.
  5. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Serve the ramekin on a plate with fresh fruit bacon!

...we plan to eat the other two tomorrow morning! Sorry, the bacon didn't make it to the photo :)

PS - the easy thing about this recipe is that you can pretty much mix any ingredients that you want. Making the ramekin size quiches allows you to customize your ingredients and let others be involved in the cooking/mixing process. 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

my first bluum box

Somehow, Facebook knows that I am expecting and continuously posts ads on my newsfeed about maternity and babies. I am convinced it's linked to the internet searching I do on my computer because the next time I login, I always have updated maternity and baby ads in my news feed specifically related to the items that I search. I feel like this is a good thing and also a bad thing. It's great to see new products advertised because the world of parenthood is new for my husband and I (and I am open to trying new things anything that will help us "survive" our first year)... but it's also scary that it knows what I search for on the internet and I become curious as to how this information is used publicly. If anyone knows how to turn this off, please let me know! Anyways....

I heard about bluum through my Facebook feed. bluum is a company that provides a monthly box of goodies from pregnancy to preschool and they offer a subscription service - 1 month, 3 month, 1 year, etc. I found a discount code and signed up to received my first box for $9.99. Right after I signed up, I read some not-so-good reviews about this company comparing it to another, Citrus Lane. I will probably give Citrus Lane a try too. But for now, this is what I thought about my first bluum box...

I signed up for the service back in July and it was very easy to do. I was glad to see that they advertised for during-pregnancy as well as items for after the baby is born. I entered our baby's due date, 9/25/2015 and was on my way. I received an introduction email letting me know that I can customize my box and it was very easy to do so when I logged into my account on their website.

Roughly 20 days after I placed my initial order and customized my box/account for the types of things I was interested in receiving, I received an email from bluum letting me know that my box has shipped. I received my box yesterday and I LOVE the color! :) I actually forgot that I would be receiving my box so when the doorbell rang, I was happily surprised (and yes... our doormat says "go away" ...haha). 

When I opened the box, I found some pretty tissue paper, some stuffing and a lovely little card. The card says that we are in the 3rd trimester (34 weeks!) and also has a quote:

"I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year."
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

I received 5 items in my box:

1. Brain rules for baby by Dr. John Medina

Honestly, I was mostly excited about this book - which focuses on early child development and effective parenting based on research presented by Dr. John Medina. It's received 5 solid stars on Amazon and its valued at $9.99. I will likely post a review of the book once I've had an opportunity to get through it.

2. Oh Sew Ready: Maternity 12-40 weeks

I thought these stickers were super cute. Although, I hadn't seen them for mom - only for babies each month as they grow. I feel like it's a little late in my pregnancy to start this (I'll be 35 weeks on Friday!), so I'll probably regift them to a pregnant friend :) this was valued at $10 on Amazon.

3. Playtex Baby VentAire Bottle

I was really interested in the bottle by Platex also. I plan to breastfeed and pump so I'm not sure which bottle baby Ganey will take best. Although I do have a #1 bottle already chosen (the Kiinde system due to their ease of pumping, storage and feeding straight from the bag), it's nice to have a back up option for her to try. This was valued at $6.50 on Amazon.

4. Playtex Baby VentAire Nipple Variety Pack

When I first received this, I thought how great is it that it's a variety pack! And then I realized that the flow is not variety (for those non-parents like me.. there is a different "flow" or size of the nipple opening for the different ages in months). This has a variety of shapes: breast-like, full-sized, natural latch, and angled. Well that just made it that much more confusing :)

5. Ellovi Vanilla Lip Butter

I couldn't find this on Amazon but this does glide on just like butter would :) Our birth-center teacher highly recommended bringing chapstick in our hospital bag because of all of the breathing that you do in-and-out of your mouth. Needless to say, I'll be packing this along!

Shortly after my box arrived, I received an email from bluum basically outlining what to expect in my box and their perceived value of each item. This was nice as a first-time mom to have more information on each item without having to look it up (although this shipment wasn't difficult to figure out the purpose of each)... I liked the overall idea.

I hope that the boxes continue to get better for the monthly cost of $29 (month-to-month subscription). Although there is a discount if you sign up for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. I probably won't be renewing the subscription and I'll give another company a try. I liked the ease of the system (I am an Amazon fanatic so anything delivered to my doorstep for cheap is my perfect relationship) but I didn't love all of my items. But again, maybe I have to give them another try for a few more months.

Have you ever tried a home-delivery system for pregnancy/mom/baby items? What was your experience like?

Soon-to-be "Mami"

Monday, August 10, 2015

DIY Nursery Dresser Restoration

Thirty something years ago, my husband's parents purchased a bedroom set for him (and possibly his siblings). That bedroom set lived a wonderful life until last year when I decided that I needed to convert our guest bedroom/storage room (which has only been used by 3 visitors in 4 years) into my home office. Working from home was becoming very difficult in our over-cluttered den.

So, I took the liberty (with the permission of my husband of course and his family members), to donate the furniture to Good Will. The only piece that remained was this dresser (lightly sanded and hardware removed):

Looking back, I feel pretty selfish in admitting that the dresser was only saved because it "lived" in our dog room and not our guest bedroom. We primarily used it to store all of our pet essentials and a few other random items. I'm afraid that if the dresser was also in our guest room, it's life with the Ganey family would have been over (because of the newest Ganey member - me! donating it) .... okay, guilt trip over.

When we started planning for our nursery room, I realized how little storage we had for all of the baby things that would be soon to come. Our linen closet is pretty full - and we only have ONE in the entire house. So, I decided that finding a way to include the dresser and its large, spacious drawers was a better idea than donating it. HAPPY LIFE = MORE STORAGE? ha.

First I had to decide what exactly I wanted the color of our nursery furniture to be in order to try and match the dresser to the new decor. So, we decided on an "espresso" finish for our new nursery furniture:

Then, I searched Pinterest for weeks until I found a restoration idea that:
a - was cute and mature enough for a baby to grow into as a child
b - had a old/worn look to it so it wouldn't feel like I was trying to match the new furniture exactly (I didn't want it to feel "matchy-matchy")
c - (most importantly) I thought I could handle with my lack of restoration experience

So, I ended up with this Pinterest goal:

Although the style of my dresser was much different, I felt like the dark top would match our new espresso nursery furniture and the chalky, white bottom would lighten up the room with all of our other dark furniture. Plus, this was gender neutral for our future children :)

Okay now for a little brag fest ... my mother is the DIY queen. She personally taught me that you can literally fix, restore, and clean anything to make it look ALMOST exactly the way you want to. Her and my father took on many home remodel projects over the last 25 years and I've always been proud of what they can accomplish - and what they have forced me to learn. I am incredibly lucky to have TWO families (Saravias and Ganeys) that have taught both my husband and I that we can do and fix just about anything ourselves with our own two hands (even if you have enough money to pay someone, you have enough confidence to do it yourself).... and we both think that is a very important thing to teach our children. /brag over

So first, she sanded everything down and it really brought out the natural grain from the wood. I didn't realize that all of the texture that was living underneath the 30 year-old clear coat that was previously on there.

Then, she stained the top of the dresser dark brown, she gave it multiple coats since that natural wood absorbed basically all of the stain that she applied the first time.

She applied two coats of the chalky white paint that I found from my Pinterest-inspired dresser.

And the last step was to apply the clear finish so that the paint and stain would be protected for another (hopefully) 30 years. And we ended up with this as our finish product... !

Although its not exactly as old and worn as the original Pinterest-inspired dresser - I really love how it turned out. You'll have to look at it closely in person to really tell the grain detail (which is my favorite part, the wood is not as smooth as the picture makes it seem). Although I may go back and distress the paint a little more with some sand paper, I don't think I'll be adding a "glaze" or anything else to make it look more like the other. The dark spots in the original actually make the dresser appear dirty to me, and I'm sure in time with children... that will occur naturally :)

Here is where I purchased the paint color - it was called "old white"

Oh, and we used the original hardware, Mami cleaned it and painted it "shiny" brown - paint purchased at Michael's.

Disclaimer: My mother (Mami) did almost all of the work associated with this dresser restoration project. Brad (my husband) did a little bit of sanding when the dresser was first taken apart and I did all of the supervising and planning :) my project team members are very hard-working individuals who did their best to please their pregnant daughter/wife <3

Stephanie, Project Manager

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Game of Thrones Themed Birthday Cupcakes

I am finally getting around to sharing my not-so-homemade-cupcakes experience. Since I came home from all of my July travel, I have been pretty much pregnancy-exhausted. The planning in me went a little overboard during the month of July (it was that second trimester energy I didn't realize would ware off) when I tired to fit in a theme-park weekend with the kids, plane travel to 3 states and a weekend trip to Miami (can someone please give me a cup of coffee?!).

Anyways, one late Friday night a week-and-half ago, I was making some "Game of Thrones" themed birthday cakes for my littlest cousin, Khaleesi. As you can imagine, she was named after a character in the books/movies (I never got into it but Brad says its not really child-appropriate). While my Uncle Migue and his wife (Marlene) were trying to plan her first birthday party, we needed to find a way to make it... child appropriate :)

I was in charge of the cupcakes/cake for her party and Marlene was the real creative one who made ALL of the decorations for the party herself. This is my Pinterest-inspired look I was going for:

I decided to cook half-vanilla and half-red velvet cupcakes in order to get a more "red" theme. So, I cheated and used the box stuff. I'm sure the only kids who really noticed were my niece and nephew who are "spoiled" (as my sister Gladys puts it) by my made-from-scratch baking that I normally do for them. So, I mixed up the batter and poured the red velvet mix into the cupcakes first, then followed it with the vanilla mix. I did use Mom Ganey's cream cheese icing recipe for the topper - who doesn't love some cream cheese icing?

I also made a mini-cake for Khaleesi to blow out her #1 candle.

I let those bad boys sit in the fridge over night and Gladys and I left for Miami around 5am Saturday morning. They survived the car trip and when we arrived, we needed to get all of the little flags ready for show. I downloaded the below file and printed all of the little flags on card stock paper:

Did I mention that I put Gladys and Marlene to work cutting out and stringing those little flags? We had 20 and they did an awesome job helping me get through those little suckers. Here is what our final cupcakes looked like... I was very happy with the outcome :)

And my taste-tester Vinny gave me the stamp of approval on flavor <3

We decided to take our creativity (and tiredness - Gladys barely slept the night before) to the next level when we turned a watermelon into a pirate ship. 

P.S. I do not recommend adding jelly beans to your pirate ship. This photo was taken shortly after we put the whole thing together, but the licorice jelly beans that I brilliantly added for "color" made the fruit turn BLACK which I'm pretty sure it one of the reasons why no one ate the fruit ;)

Here is a side-view of the bump at 31 weeks along - that dress was so comfy! Besides the fact that we were in 90 degree weather and all of my body parts were sweating :O

The party was a huge success! I wish I would have gotten more photos of all of her decorations, but I was able to get one of the birthday girl. 

I'm pretty sure that I forgot to mention - my sister Gladys is the first grandchild and oldest cousin in our Mom's family. She was born on the EXACT SAME DAY as the last grandchild and youngest cousin in our family - Khaleesi (only 30-something years apart). Here are the birthday girls on Sunday right after their birthday breakfast <3

We had a pretty awesome weekend with family, its just sad the trip was so short!

Until next time... I have a post lined-up regarding the nursery bedding/decor for Baby Ganey that Mom Ganey and I have been working on (mostly her).