January 31, 2010

Miss America 2010

Although, I was not in the audience this year to watch Miss America I sat at home with my usual scorecard in hand, narrowing down the delegates one by one, and making my predictions. It was an interesting year, a lot of my initial delegates didn't make it into the Top 15, which threw me off a bit. But after hearing some of them speak and go through the different phases of competition is was clear why Miss Virgina was named Miss America last night. I sat here with Hubby before the announcement, and said Miss VA is going to win!

The new Miss America 2010 is Caressa Cameron of Virginia. She's the 3rd Miss VA to be crowned Miss America. And, I have no doubt she'll do a fantastic job. Congrats!

Also, BIG congrats go out to our very own Miss Minnesota, Brooke Kilgarrif for being nominated as a Quality of Life Award finalist & for winning a Non-Finalist Talent Award! Both very huge accomplishments at Miss America!

Miss America 2010
Caressa is crowned by Miss America 2009, Katie Stam
In Evening Gown by Sherri Hill
Singing Listen from the musical Dream Girls
Caressa won a Prelim Talent Award for this performance earlier during the week.

photos via Miss America Organization

January 30, 2010

Design Inspiration & Ideas: Walls

Let's face it, walls can be boring sometimes [all the time] unless you dress them up and make'em pretty. Now, other than transforming your space through paint, which I always love and feel it's a great cost effective way to dress up your blank walls. Here are a few more great ideas & inspiration I found this week; take a look!

Wallpaper: who knew there was such great and fun wallpaper these days? I love the idea of doing one wall with a bold pattern and leaving the other 3 painted.

Plates: I love this idea, and it's perfect for someone who collects vintage plates & platters. A new way to use them. I've seen this idea over headboards in a bedroom too, and Layla @ The Lettered Cottage has some hanging like this in her kitchen.

Magnetic Paint: You've seen the chalkboard paint, now they have magnetic paint & dry erase paint too! You can pick any of these up at your local Home Depot or Lowe's. I like this idea for an office space, and the yellow in this pic is so fresh!

Frame It: This is my all time fave idea from these pictures. Simple frames spray painted black [or any other color for that matter] is chic & simple, I think anyone could do this. Black on pink looks awesome, reminds me of Baby G's nursery! But, I think this would be fab with a blue/white or grey/yellow palette as well.

Chalk It: Last but not least do a whole wall with chalkboard paint, why not! Mrs. B @ She's Star Crossed recently painted her pantry door with chalkboard paint. A great idea for grocery lists, to do lists, or writing messages to your kiddos!

photo credits: thenest.com

January 29, 2010

Friday Frills: Miss America LIVE!

It's finally here, the super bowl of all pageants; Miss America! This time last year I was in Vegas for the pageant. Such a fun trip with tons of lasting memories. Wish I was there again this year to cheer on our Miss Minnesota who I worked with when she was Miss Twin Cities. But I will be watching tomorrow night and hoping she makes it into the Top 15!
Miss America 2009
Katie Stam- Indiana
It was a lot of fun being in the audience last year getting to watch Katie's crowning moment. Who will it be this year?!!!!
Tonight, there's a special on TLC for Miss America and then Saturday night is the BIG event. Be sure to watch tonight and vote for your fave contestant to make into the finals.

Happy Friday!

photo credits: Miss America Organization

[DIY} Custom Nursery Art

Remember these frames, well I turned them into custom nursery artwork for Ava's room. Here's how: (click on images to enlarge)
1. I used napkins that I swiped leftover from my baby shower, but you could use anything you want [note cards, wrapping paper, wallpaper, etc.]
2. Next, I used card stock to put behind it as a backing, since my napkins were a little flimsy.
3. I tapped the napkins to the card stock and trimmed the excess.
4. We're done, and ready to put into the frames.
5. I slipped the finished card stock w/ the napkin attached into the frames.
6. Put the backing on the frames & secured it.
7. Finished, and all ready to hang on the walls.

Here's what they look like all hung above the bed in the nursery. Don't they look fantastic, simple and chic?! I love how they turned out, just like I pictured them.

Total Cost: FREE (since I already had all the items in my house)

Be Creative Challenge
Week #4

Next week's challenge hint: think rocking chair

January 28, 2010

31 weeks, 9 more to go!

31 weeks/ 7 months/ 3rd trimester
Only 9 more to go! Seems like those weeks will fly by, gives me 9 weeks to finish the nursery, get a car seat and feel settled. Because right now, while I can't wait to meet our baby girl I don't feel prepared just yet. And, for all that may or may not have questions about her name I'll officially announce that her name will be;
Ava Hadley Worley

Who knew that a name could be such a BIG deal, but it's been quite a conversation in our home about what to name her, or shall I say what the middle name would be. I've always loved the name Ava, I think it sounds beautiful, romantic and classic. I told Orion right away if this baby was a girl her name would be Ava, and he liked it too so that part was easy. Middle name however stumped us. Orion isn't into family names, and naming children after family members. He's fine with naming your children after yourself, but not other people. Me on the other hand all my family, brothers & sister are all named after family members. Orion thinks kids should have their own original names, I on the other hand see it as a way of honoring family. Either way, I don't think one way or the other is wrong or right. But, we decided that it would be ok if we named our girl something original and not after anyone.

We heard the name Hadley from a t.v. show we watched, and fell in love with it. It's very Southern, Orion is Southern so it's fitting! :) We think it sounds pretty together, and thus Ava Hadley!

I'm going to the doctor every two weeks now, which is fun cause it's kinda like a progression. It makes me feel like we're getting close! I go back on the 1st, and then again on the 2nd for my (hopefully) last ultrasound appointment to check my placenta! We'll see.

My family is making plans to come visit around the time of her birth, I'm having my last baby shower next month, and I'm busily trying to finish the nursery so that's it's done. We're almost there, just a few more things to add. Then I'll post pics!

How far along? 31 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: 14.8 lbs.

Maternity clothes? Yes

Stretch marks? none

Sleep: Sleep and I, we're not friends. I'd like to be friends again, but this might be the end of our relationship for a while.

Best moment this week: Getting maternity pics taken, can't wait to see how they turn out. My photog said that I'm very limber and lookin' good for being 7 almost 8 months along. That's always nice to hear!

Movement: Lots and lots. She moves a ton at night. But she's a little stubborn when I watch her to move for others she stops and won't let them feel her. Sorry everyone!

Cravings: Nothing really

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: none

Belly Button in or out? in, but it's starting to look as if it's coming out a bit more.

What I miss: Being able to get out of bed, without it feeling like an ordeal. :)

What I am looking forward to: Getting our maternity proofs in the mail, two packages from UPS w/ nursery stuff!

Weekly Wisdom: none

Milestones: Making progress on the nursery this week, and feeling like it's almost done!


pic: just a little self portrait & photo shop fun!

January 27, 2010

The Bump Fairy: 31 weeks

9 weeks to go! Getting closer.

Wordless Wednesday

photo: simply life photography

Where We Live: Bedroom, Living Room & Baths

I wanted this new space to feel different from our home in Minnesota, so switching out old paint palettes for a new one did just the trick. Of coarse you'll see the same usual suspects of our furniture and accessories but just in a different and new way. Here's a little tour of our new space:





Kitchen & Dining area coming later this week.

For questions about where something was purchased or came from, or paint colors leave us a comment or email us at andreaworley@live.com and I'll do my best to answer all your burning questions!

Getting Ready for Baby Worley

We're getting ready for Baby Worley entrance into the world, her nursery is beginning to fill up fast. I already washed and put away all the clothing and items from our first baby shower. Now, I'm waiting on two shipments from our second baby shower in Iowa to come in the mail. So exciting to see things coming together.
Little "first tooth" & "first curl" boxes with silver spoon & fork.
Her dresser is even beginning to fill up nicely.
Clothing, all organized by size of coarse.
We're taking maternity pics later this week, and more updates coming soon. I'm hoping to get the nursery all finished to show you soon as well! Stay tuned!

January 26, 2010

Re[Invent] the Apartment

More and more people are taking to renewing their leases and opting to rent longer than buying right now. I read a great article on why people choose to rent vs. buying, and what they feel the benefits of both are. We've been on both sides of this, and I can say that before we buy again there are for sure things that I would do differently. For now, we're happy & content renting our smaller space and having a lot of fun re inventing the apartment. I have lived in 6 apartments in my life, this is my sixth. They each have been different, period I just love making over a new space. Actually some world famous apartments have inspired many! Here's a peak at 3 famous apartments:

Carrie from Sex And the City:

Monica & Rachel's Chic NYC pad:
Jerry's bachelor pad:
For more inspiration check out Apartment Therapy & Beyond the Big Beige Box (this woman has lived in 10 apartments and currently making over her 11th!)

Later I will post pics of our new space!

photos: google images

January 25, 2010

Blog Roll Monday: SL Photography; Simply Life


It's Monday again, and that means another blog feature! This week's SL Photography- Simply Life. A company owned/operated by a good friend of mine Mel! She has three adorable kiddos who inspire her daily. She's an amazing photographer, we started our businesses around the same time so we've been able to bounce ideas of each other during this time in life.

Her images have come leaps & bounds and I'm excited always to see what she's come up with. Check out her site and if you're ever in the neighborhood of Hibbing, Minnesota look her up and have her take your photos!

Happy Monday!

January 24, 2010

{DIY} Picture Frame Makeover

I have an art project in mind that I want to do for Ava's nursery, that I needed white picture frames for. I decided instead of going out and buying new frames to makeover ones that I already had. Here's what I did:

What I used: Olympic Semi-gloss White Paint
Left over from painting the nursery. Here's what I LOVE about Olympic paint it's VOC free!
Two old picture frames, after I graduated college I decorated my first apartment with gold & cranberry hues. My style has changed and evolved since then so I decided to take these frames and paint them white for the nursery.

I did two coats of this paint, and let it dry completely.

Here they are all finished, don't they look great?!!
Next, week I'll add the artwork inside these pretties! Stay tuned!

total cost: FREE- used stuff we already had!

Be Creative Challenge
Week #3

January 23, 2010

Nieces & Nephew

video

I took this video while I was at home with my family. My brother Shawn, is feeding our nephew Collin ice cream and he really loves it we came to find out. There's also cameos from my two little nieces, they are silly but I like watching this and seeing their smiley faces!
Enjoy!

New Phone Please!!

I have this phone, it's ancient & dying. It rarely charges these days, sometimes stops working and freezes. I've had it for 4 years to be exact! I think that must be some kind of record for a person to have a phone that long, no?

It's time for a new one! Anyway, I get an upgrade in March and I'm in the market for a new phone. Hubby has the Palm Centro, which I like but don't love. I miss my Blackberry, like no one should probably miss a phone that much but sadly, I do.

I don't want a smartphone, I just want something simple, touch screen & one that has a full keyboard option. Is that to much to ask?

Anyone have any good recommendations for phones? What do you have, and why do you love it?

January 21, 2010

The Bump Fairy: 30 weeks

After being gone for the last 10 days, it's good to finally be home. I had a great trip in MN visiting friends, and a great time in IA being with family for my brother's wedding. Orion and I had a great trip. It was on that trip home that I realized I've hit the "uncomfortable" stage finally of my pregnancy. My back is killing me almost daily throughout the day, and I can't sleep due to this and getting up to use the bathroom multiple times during the night. I try to tell myself that we're on the home stretch and not that much longer to get me through. We only have 10 weeks left! That is crazy to me, I feel like this time has just flown by. It's gone by so fast, we still have a few more things we need to do/buy for the baby to feel really ready. So I'm thankful that God has a purpose for the 9 months that we have.


We went to the doctor on Monday, got to hear the heartbeat it's strong at 150! And she's in the 26th percentile for weight. I scheduled my next ultrasound for Feb. 2nd for them to re check again my placenta. I'm praying that it's either moved, or this is the last time they will have to check so we can finally get a date for our C-section or not. More to come on that.....


How far along? 30 weeks/7 months/3rd trimester

Total weight gain/loss: 14.8 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes, daily.

Stretch marks? none that weren't there before.

Sleep: Between bathroom breaks, and back pain nightly sleep is becoming harder and harder. I've been trying to get a nap in during that day though because at this point I'm not sleeping well during the night.

Best moment this week: Hearing a great report from the doctor. Baby Ava got 8 out of 8 on her growth & development ultrasound last month. So far they say we have a small baby, but she's at a good weight.

Movement: Lots and lots of movements.

Cravings: Ice cream, I made Orion take me during the night a couple nights ago to get some from the store in a rain storm!

Gender: Baby Girl!

Labor Signs: none.

Belly Button in or out? in.

What I miss: Sleep. But, I don't think I'm going to get much better at this point.

What I am looking forward to: Finishing the baby's nursery, we've got to get a few more things and I have a few more things I want to put on the walls for decor and then I think we'll be ready for the BIG reveal!!

Weekly Wisdom: none.

Milestones: Making it to 30 weeks, only 10 more to go!!

January 20, 2010

I SAY

.... comfort food has a way of making you feel good & feeding the soul.
.... seeing my house fill up with baby things, is a very surreal feeling but it's all very cute!
.... dreaming and brainstorming about new things for our home inspires me.
.... saving $30 on my grocery bill makes me happy & excited all at the same time.
.... I believe in coupons, nuff said.
.... my idea of a perfect night is a good dinner & cuddling on my couch with my Husband.
.... my perfect home feels light & airy.
.... I love mixing the new with the old and seeing it work.
.... sneak away to the thrift store every once in a while, you never know what you'll find.
.... thinking about how we're going to meet our daughter in just a matter of weeks makes me giddy, excited and nervous all at the same time!
images: realsimple.com

What's for Dinner: Artichoke Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

This is one of my favorite recipes, I've made it a handful of times and Hubby and I love it. We had it again last night for dinner, and so I thought I'd share it with you. Not only is it really simple, budget friendly but it's restaurant quality right out of your own kitchen. I promise your friends & family will think you're really fancy serving this tonight for dinner.

I've made this so many times I don't even use the recipe anymore, but for you I'll include the exact measurements w/ my notes in red. This recipe yields two servings, double if you'd like to make this for four people or more.

Here's what you'll need:
Potatoes & Chicken:
3 small red potatoes or 4 medium size russet potatoes
1 tsp. salt
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp. Rosemary Herb Seasoning Mix (I use Italian seasoning mix and it works just the same)
2 tsp. olive oil divided

Artichoke Topping:
1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts (about 2 hearts)
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 oz. Parmesan Cheese, divided
2 tsp. mayo

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut potatoes into quarter sizes, and arrange on baking sheet. I like to cover mine w/ foil for easier clean up. If you do this spray with non stick cooking spray to make serving easier. Season w/ olive oil and Rosemary/Italian seasoning. Place in oven and bake for 30 min.

Next, mix all the ingredients for the artichoke topping together listed above and set aside.

Flatten chicken w/ a meat tenderizer till 1/2 in. thick. Sprinkle both sides of chicken w/ seasoning mix (I like to salt & pepper each side as well) Add remaining olive oil to frying pan and cook chicken till cooked all the way through.

Next, turn your oven to broil and place chicken on the broiler pan. Add artichoke topping to chicken, and broil 4-6 minutes till topping is melted and golden. Watch closely because some broilers work faster than others, you don't want to char it. When done serve with potatoes, and you're done! Enjoy!

YUM!

Artichoke Chicken with Roasted Potatoes

From the 29 Minutes to Dinner Cookbook
by Pampered Chef

January 19, 2010

Ava's Closet

Week #2
Be Creative Challenge

For week #2's project I started working on new clips for my Etsy Shop: Ava's Closet. These clips are a preview of what's to come for the Spring. I'm hoping to finish a bunch and get them online before the baby comes.

Here's a preview for you:
Holiday ones for the Ava Holiday section
And, a few new bright & cheery ones for the Springtime.

[DIY} Custom Onesies

Week #1
Be Creative Challenge

I completed my first two projects of this challenge but due travels and being away I'm just now getting to posting these projects. So here's week #1:

Custom Onesies
1. I bought iron on transfer paper from Wal-Mart (you can buy this anywhere though) Then made my design and printed them.
2. I trimmed them down to square size and then again, around the words to get a close edge.
3. Placed them on the onesie, (I used ones that were given to me as a gift) and ironed them for 60-80 seconds.
4. Let them cool completely, till they are no longer hot to the touch.

After
Aren't they cute?!!! I love how they turned out! I'm excited for her to wear them with a cute matching headband I made for her with red flowers.

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