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I just finished my first small project in Luca’s room and I wanted to share!

We didn’t find out Luca’s gender while I was pregnant which meant that his nursery was designed to be neutral. I had big plans to make it a boy nursery once he was born but never put the effort in- oh, and then we decided we wanted to move.

I was so excited thinking that I could make his room in our new house truly a boy’s room. First step was painting it (the walls were white- I mean, drywall aka never before painted). I wanted to do his whole room with navy walls but was shot down. Glad we didn’t do it in the end, since his room is kind of small and only has one window, so it would have felt pretty closed in.

As a compromise, I made one wall dark blue (Jay Blue by SW)Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 5.12.41 PM and the other three a light pale blue (Lauren’s Surprise by SW).

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We are really torn on the “theme” we want to go with for his room.  I don’t want it to seem too baby-ish, but at the same time, I don’t want it to be too old for him, either.  I also don’t want anything too typical. And Luca isn’t so into anything yet for me to go with that- plus I probably wouldn’t anyway, since their interests seem to change so quickly.

So all that said, we still haven’t quite come to a decision on his ‘theme’. But we both agree we love these comics!

We went to a local comic store and picked up a few kid-friendly comic books (about $15 total).

 

I then purchased 12″ cardboard / paper mache letters from JoAnn Fabrics at $2.50 a piece. I wanted them really big so they would take up the entire space above his crib. I wasn’t comfortable with anything heavy hanging above, but I also didn’t want to leave it empty and boring.

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Which I painted blue using acrylic paint. (The black and silver letters are for a laundry room project.)

I went through each comic book and cut out the individual strips. And then, using good ol’ Mod Podge, I kind of just randomly arranged the comics to the letter. I used only the same comics for each letter- so, the “L” was only Sesame Street comics.

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I used command strips to hang them up since they’re so lightweight.

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I’m sorry in advance- the lighting in his room is terrible. Between that and the gloss of the Mod Podge, I am not happy at all with these pictures! I’ll try to get better ones.

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My favorite part of these letters, besides how fun and colorful they are, is how much Luca likes them. He says “Wow! Cool!” every time he sees them. He loves for me to pick him up and bring him closer so he can look at the characters.

So, as you can see in that above picture, we still don’t have a clue what we’re doing with the space.  I’m hoping it will just evolve naturally over time- and that Luca won’t care too much to have a mismatched space.

 I can see this project completed in so many different ways! Use an old picture book, pages from a favorite story, magazine, family pictures, Toys R Us Christmas book… there’s just endless possibilities ;)

Listen, this isn’t a food blog. Not even close. I am also not a food photographer. Partly because I don’t have the skills and partly because nothing I really make is worth photographing. But I tried to find a similar recipe to this online and it didn’t seem to exist.  And because I can’t deny you all from the deliciousness of my most favorite meal on this planet (no exaggeration), I am sharing this family recipe with you, the world.

My mom has been making this meal for decades. I credit this recipe as a Tammi original, but who knows if that’s true. It is virtually foolproof, everything comes together in 15 minutes, AND it all cooks in one skillet. Is there nothing better? (No. The answer is no.)

Serve it with a side of garlic bread and a salad of your choice and you will not be disappointed.

Spaghetti and Clams

  • 1/2 box angel hair pasta / capellini
  • 8 oz bottle of clam juice
  • 10 oz can of whole baby clams
  • 10.5 oz can white clam sauce
  • 3/4 c. very hot tap water
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 chopped yellow onion (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Locatelli cheese, grated

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  • Break capellini in half and put in a large skillet.
  • Drain juices from canned sauce and clams into skillet.
  • Add bottled clam juice, 1/2 cup hot tap water, and olive oil to skillet.
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  • Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Boil 3 minutes, stirring with a fork 3 times to break up pasta.
  • Add remaining ingredients, including drained clams and sauce.
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  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer 3 minutes.
  • Stir in rest of very hot tap water (if sauce seems like it’s drying too fast- I don’t always add it).
  • Simmer until sauce is absorbed, about 2-3 more minutes.
  • Serve immediately and garnish with grated cheese.

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A couple of things to note- one, I already warned you that this isn’t the most eye-catching dish. Oh, and I’m not a food photographer. Just to reiterate in case the above pictures didn’t change your mind :)

Two, you really shouldn’t swap out a “healthier” pasta in this recipe, like a whole wheat or something. I’ve tried; it’s just not the same. (The Ronzoni Smart Taste is a total exception- it tastes exactly like white pasta to me.)

Three, and I don’t know if you’ll believe me, but I have to admit this. I hate clams.  Really! I actually pick them out of my dish and feed them to Tom. I can’t get over the texture of them. But the sauce and the flavor of this dish are so, so good that I couldn’t care less.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

 

 

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It’s no surprise to most that I’m a huge geek. Lauren often says I tricked her since I tried to act super cool in college when we met. Had she done her homework and interviewed family and friends she would have learned quickly how deep my knowledge of The Legend of Zelda is, or how many metal bands I listen to with lyrics about magic and dragons. Yeah, I guess you could say I pulled the wool over her eyes. Too late now, lady!

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I think there’s two types of people in this world- those than can only eat ice cream in the summer and those that need it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I am in the latter group, obviously.  I have a tiny little bit of self control, so I don’t eat it every day (even though I think about it every day…. and no, I’m not kidding).

I ate ice cream a lot when I was pregnant with Luca. It was basically the only thing I craved other than cheeseburgers (which probably has something to do with the fact that I still have not returned to my pre-pregnancy weight #oops).

Naturally, Luca loves ice cream too.  (For his first birthday, instead of a cake we went out for ice cream.)

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We limit ice cream to special occasions mostly now.  However, Luca has a total sweet tooth, so he does get something small for dessert most nights. And one thing I am comfortable giving him is a popsicle.

Most popsicles, though, seem to have added ingredients- real or “fake”- that I don’t think should necessarily be in a toddler’s diet. I have been able to find some more natural options if I search hard enough for them.  But I wanted to share another option with you!

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Nuby’s Garden Fresh Fruitsicles are an easy option to create your own popsicles.. I love that I can customize the ingredients using whatever I choose.

We’ve used these popsicle molds in three different ways: as a simple dessert, for teething comfort and relief, and when Luca had the stomach flu.

You can freeze pretty much anything! Luca’s favorites include: fresh juiced apple juice, chocolate milk, coconut milk (the kind in the can), coconut water + pineapple juice, and fresh juiced carrot juice.

I think I’ve mentioned before that Luca is cutting six teeth right now (all four molars and two canines). He can use all the relief he can get! He loves to gnaw on the cold pops and then suck out the juice.

I froze Pedialyte in the molds when Luca wasn’t able to keep any fluids or food down. This worked out really well for him in two ways- one, he was able to replace some of the electrolytes he lost and two, I believe it helped him feel “normal” by eating something he would eat when healthy.

I love these specific molds for Luca because of their chunky handle. He is still developing his fine motor skills, so holding on to a small, skinny handle would be difficult for him right now. These were designed with little babes in mind!

A bit more information from Nuby:

  • -Garden Fresh Fruitsicles
  • -Freeze & Feed
  • -Turn fresh fruit or juice into popsicles
  • -4 molds each holding 1 fl. oz
  • -Sized for little hands
  • -Wide curved base helps reduce dripping
  • -BPA Free
  • -Freezer, dishwasher, & microwave safe
  • -Available at www.amazon.com

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