Curtains: The Only Thing a Newborn Really Needs (Obviously)

We are rocking this nursery progress thing. How do I know? Because in the two months since the room was painted, we’ve made and hung curtains.

Robert Allen Hand Motif PoolFabric from here

I know you are amazed at our speed and efficiency.

Really, though. A crib? Optional. Storage? Unnecessary. Diapers? Overrated.

But curtains? A must-have.


We are clearly 100% ready for the arrival of our baby girl. Soon-to-be parents of the year, right here.


In our defense, this summer has been a bit busier than usual…and we are waiting to set up the nursery furniture until the upstairs is carpeted so that we don’t have to move it all in and then back out again. And we have a list of exactly 46 things that need to be done before carpet can be installed. And by 46 things, I don’t mean 46 things things like “sweep the floor.” I mean things like “skimcoat the bedroom walls” and “install new trim.” You know, things that require a few more than 8 seconds of time on task and people who don’t take accidental 2.5 hour naps instead of cleaning the house.

baby 12 weeks ultrasound

I’m happy to report, though, that despite *someone’s* snoozing, 28 of the 46 things are DONE. The other 18 will be done in time to have carpet installed before school starts again in September. If I type it, it will come true, right? Here are the answers you may choose from:

A. “RIGHT Erin; you’re not delusional at all. But even if you are delusional, and the upstairs will never be done in that time frame, you can always have your baby sleep in a hammock hanging from that ladder.”

B. “RIGHT Erin; you’re not delusional at all. Let me come over with a fresh batch of brownies and finish everything for you.”

C. “RIGHT Erin; you’re not delusional at all. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.” (I will kindly excuse the poor comparison and largely misguided use of a cliché.)

Do let me know which answer you’ve chosen. ;)


Smile, I Made a Gold-Painted “Smile” Pillow

I participated in the following conversation last week:

Rick: Where did you get that from?

gold-painted pillow

Erin: I made it.

Rick: No you didn’t.

Erin: Um, yes I did.

Rick: But it’s so perfect.

Erin: Thank you?

painted pillow

This was my first attempt at painting fabric, and I just used regular white fabric and water-based acrylic paint I had left from this drippy watercolor dot painting. I know some people have mixed the paint with something called fabric medium or something like that, but I didn’t. This is mainly because I don’t know what that even is, AND it was not in my immediate possession. Smile, I am clueless. And impatient.


Aaaand then I stuffed it with fiberfill from a deformed pillow that came with an old comforter. Sometimes things just have to be sacrificed in the name of cheap.

gold painted pillow

Seriously, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner…instead of buying the sometimes-pricey bags of fiberfill from the craft store, buy the old ugly pillows that are on clearance because nobody wants them. And then destroy them, which technically should have been done before they ever hit the stores and/or homes in the first place. This one would be a perfect victim, for example:

ugly pillowSource

On that note…some things that make me smile lately other than the thought of burning that pillow:

  • Feeling my baby do gymnastics at all hours of the day.
  • Spending time with my brother who is home from Arizona for a bit.
  • Watching my dad beam with absolute pride and excitement as he directs the orchestra of Les Miserables…of which I am a (mostly) willing participant on the French horn.
  • The hilarious comments of the 5 and 6-year olds at summer rec arts and crafts (“I can see seven germs on my desk!”).
  • Watching Rick have three potential job prospects within two weeks of finding out that his pharmacy (at a long-term care facility) is going to be outsourced…and all within four days of applying for said jobs. That whole deal isn’t over yet--and definitely didn’t begin with either of us smiling--but we’ve cast our anxieties on the Lord and He is so clearly already showing His faithfulness. :) :) (That deserves TWO smiles.)

What makes YOU smile lately?


Stamped Packing Peanut Painting {Easy Art}

Making this art is easy. Saying the name with which I’ve christened it….not so much. I won’t recommend anything foolish like “say that 5 times fast” because you and I would both regret that and you would be embarrassed.

packing peanut painting

This simple 8x10 packing peanut art is officially the first decoration for baby’s nursery and was inspired by a giant bag of packing peanuts that I found in my parents’ basement. All you need to make your own is paint and…packing peanuts. You really only need a few, although I found it helpful to have one designated for each of the five colors I used.

stamped packing peanuts paintingOn an unrelated note, having a baby makes me want to swath our entire house in bright and bold and color. Byebye, “grown-up” neutrals. Did this happen to anyone else?

Also, packing peanuts come in different shapes, but the ones I used to create this painting are shaped like figure 8s. Some are shaped like an S (which could also be cool) and some are shaped like turds. If you have been secretly pining for a turd-shaped stamp and real turds are in short supply then make those your go-to variety of packing peanut. And also invest in some prunes. Okay, this just got really gross and weird. Forget I said anything about turds.

stamping with packing peanuts

No matter what shape you choose, you simply dip the packing peanut into your paint and stamp away to your little heart’s content. Like I said, easy. Kids could do it! While blindfolded! Using only their pinky toes!

stamp with packing peanuts

I plan to test my theory when baby is born. Surely infants are even capable of this level of crafting.


I’m actually 27 weeks now, but who’s counting? I definitely didn’t know that yesterday was 13 weeks from my due date. And I definitely didn’t know that Sunday marked 3 months until my due date. And Rick definitely doesn’t have a countdown on his computer at work. No, nobody’s counting. We’re actually not excited at all.*

*Biggest lie I’ve ever told.

Would you stamp with packing peanuts? Have you ever stamped with anything unusual? What are you *totally not* excited about these days?


In other exciting news, I cleaned our windows. {Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe + Printable}

Um, what? Cleaning windows is exciting? Why, yes. Yes it is. Especially when I’ve never cleaned them. Ever. Not in any of the spare minutes I’ve had while dwelling in this house for the past two and a half years. I’ve clearly had more important things to do.

DSC_1511 (2)

But I was relaxing in the living room the other day (like I said, important things happening around here) and noticed just how mortifyingly disgusting the windows were. There’s just something about smeary slimy dust and slimy cat nose residue that is not entirely endearing. “Welcome to our home; here is a cat booger for you to contemplate.”

To fix this problem, I followed the recipe found here for homemade no-streak glass cleaner, plus added a couple drops of blue food coloring to make it more official. Or something. Rick asked me why I didn’t make it pink. He said, “You had a chance to have pink cleaning products and you didn’t take it?” He’s right, of course. I blame my pregnancy brain for this unfortunate oversight.

no-streak homemade glass cleaner

Pregnancy brain didn’t totally conquer me, though, because I thought to make a printable for the spray bottle so that I know what the heck is in it, and a recipe for the back so I remember how the heck to make it again. And I will be making it again, because it was cheap. This whole bottle cost basically, I don’t know, twelve cents? Basically, I’ll never buy Windex again. (No smart comments predicting that this is because I don’t ever plan to clean the windows again.)

no-streak glass cleaner labels-page-0(1)Right-click to save the file for printing!

no-streak glass cleaner labels-page-1Right-click to save the file for printing!

Quick print + packaging tape=instant waterproof label.

no-streak homemade glass cleaner

Also, it works. Cleared away the grime and left no streaks behind. (Ooh, catchy. That could be the slogan for the product.) To prove my point like an infomercial, I’d show you a picture of the cloth after I wiped off the front of one window, but you’d judge me. And never come to my house again. And wonder how two people could possibly get so much dirt to cling to their windows. It’s an art form, probably. So you’ll just have to picture the grimiest, blackest cloth ever, then multiply it by disgustingest squared, and know that’s what came off of our windows.

What household chores do you procrastinate on? Do you have any go-to homemade cleaners that work? Please share the link if you do—I want to phase out some of our other cleaners, too! To be honest, with our snazzy easy-access windows, cleaning windows doesn’t appear to be the worst chore ever, so it’s a mystery as to why I’ve waited so long. I much less prefer tasks like cleaning the shower. Blergh.

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