I made my own granola this week! we have been on a hunt for cheaper granola that is just plain, and isn't quite as pricey as the back to basics kind. after striking out on a number of different ones to try, I just made some from this recipe. alterations: I used peanut oil instead of vegetable, and I cooked for 10 minutes after I stirred. after taking it out of the oven, I promptly forgot about stirring it, and had to pry it all from the pan with a knife after it cooled. this did lead to some nice sized chunks, which I've been snacking on. it's really good. it reminds me of my favorite cookies while I was pregnant because of the cinnamon and oats and peanut oil(in the cookies, I subbed the chocolate out to use peanut butter chips to make the whole thing just that much more peanut butter-y. it was a good choice). it's made me want to try to find a way to turn this granola recipe into peanut butter granola bars. I'll have to play around some more to figure it out, but I think it should be doable. I read a tip somewhere that adding an egg before baking helps granola bars stick together, which makes sense. the granola is still slightly sweeter than we'd like for yogurt, but I can probably take away a bit of the honey and replace it with a little more oil.


painting a rug

in clemson, south carolina, one of the fraternities paints large paw prints on the streets leading into campus. it is surprisingly difficult to find photos of this (although a few do exist), so I recommend a trip down there at some point to see them for yourself.
I thought it'd be cute, then, to do something similar to the floor in the nursery. after purchasing everything I needed, I realized it'd have been better to use a runner leading into the nursery, but I need a rug in the nursery, and one in the short hallway outside would have been superfluous, so this is where we're at.

after reading a few different bloggers' takes on the process ( this one was the most helpful), I bought a woven rug from ikea. since the wall paint is acrylic, I figured I might as well use the stuff we bought so that it would match. I put down plastic between the rug pad and the rug itself, not sure if it would bleed through or not (depending on the tightness of the weave). surprisingly little seeped through to even the backside of the rug!

I drew a stencil of the clemson paw and cut it out of cardboard. I actually used the cut out version, for 2 reasons:
1. I didn't have to worry about lining up the different pieces just right, as the outline had it already.
2. any extra marks I would make accidentally would lie inside the part I was planning to paint, and therefore would get covered up easily.

using a pencil (stupidly; I don't know WHY I didn't think to use one of those sewing pens that disappears in 24 hours) I traced my stencil. I used a foam brush to paint and it went rather quickly, even at 7 months pregnant (though I wouldn't do it much past that; I was exhausted at the end!)

the top is a little bit rough, so ryan wants me to take some sandpaper to it, as suggested by a few of the bloggers, but I haven't bothered yet, as it really isn't that bad. I will eventually though, which has the potential to require some touch ups.


tigers should be common jungle animals

we always figured that if we had a boy, ryan and I would decorate the nursery with tigers for clemson. there's so much safari and jungle themed things out there, we figured that we would focus on tigers, but that it'd be an overall jungle theme.

typically when one hears the word jungle, I would expect one to think:
lions and tigers and bears; oh my!
you'd be surprised, then, as we were, that tigers are NOT central to a jungle theme.
apparently, the most common jungle animals are: elephants, giraffes, monkeys, lions. occasionally a zebra. more common than tigers? a turtle. this is particularly perplexing to me, because, as a designer, it is VERY easy to take a lion or a zebra and make some minor changes in the shape to create a tiger. so easy, in fact, that I did it.

we had been thinking about using the bedding "jungle tales", which DOES include a tiger, but something about the colors was a bit depressing to me, and the only way to get the quilt was to buy the whole set. this actually is often the case, but this set came with a whole slew of things I wouldn't be using, such as bumper pads and a diaper stacker.

so we settled on "nali jungle", which does not feature a tiger.

I managed to create a tiger to match, and he has been painted along the walls. this set comes with a rather plain window valence, so I'd like to applique (read: I would like to get someone else to applique!) my same tiger onto the right side of the valence. hopefully that'll put enough tiger into "nali" that no one will even notice that he isn't part of the original!


crib shopping made difficult

first I had a nightmare getting my crib. I spent a lot of time poring over the different choices for something that both ryan and I would like and researching various woods. after finding a bunch of options, I discovered that ryan actually liked a different look than I had originally been given the idea of, so I went back and spent more time finding possibilites.
we settled on one, I placed the order online at simply baby furniture and...
I got a call 2 hours later saying that it was discontinued unfortunately. as we didn't have one specific backup, they offered me 5% off a future order and refunded me. well, we picked from the previously rejected cribs, and now the same site was offering guaranteed christmas delivery if ordered by december 14. GREAT! I called them to be sure that this crib was in stock, and they had a stock sheet from only the day before—plenty of them. FANTASTIC! so, I placed my order on december 13, which said it would ship in 1-3 business days. when I didn't get a tracking number on day 4, I called them, and...
it had been discontinued, and between when checking stock and my order, they had sold out of it. wonderful. I complained loud and long about them ruining my christmas (they didn't know I'm jewish!) and that I deserved them to deliver a crib by christmas; otherwise, what the heck is guaranteed??? they laughed me off the phone. I dislike them.

not offered through this site, I discovered the same crib by the parent company, for $200 more. as nuts as it sounds, I actually considered it.

ryan and I found another crib we liked, though, and this one was available through buy buy baby, and they list cribs as "in store only" purchases. I like the idea of being able to walk into a store and walk out with your item the same day (and no one seems to offer that anymore), so I called up the closest one (45 minutes away) the week of christmas (yep, I was that customer) to see if they had it in either finish (virginia cherry or chocolate mist) if we wanted the cherry (which we did), we were in luck, they had one right then. if we wanted the chocolate, they'd have to order it to the store.
so I call the next day and asked them to place it on hold. being a reasonable person, I can understand if they had sold it as a christmas present, but the saleslady tells me that they don't have a cherry one, just the chocolate... and the cherry has been—you guessed it—discontinued! so who knows what the person the day before had been talking about. the finishes aren't really all that different, and I was starting to get desperate, so I wanted it. fortunately, they put it on hold, and though they only usually do that for 24 hours, they were willing to hold it until after the long weekend for us.
nervous that some other clerk would sell it out from under me, I sent ryan and his dad on a 45 minute drive on the friday before christmas after work to pick it up. they deserve a medal.

thankfully, it's all put together, and it's in our nursery. it's officially ours.