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Archive for the ‘Coolness’ Category

Michigan has some sweet little towns… I’ve been meaning to blog about Fenton for a while now. I’ve been saving all these pictures and I decided you need to know about them now!

So here is downtown Fenton. I love cute little store fronts and brick buildings… It makes me feel like I’m in another time. Maybe even the time I would have lived in if I could pick.

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We walked around and stopped at 2 gorgeous antique stores and vintage store with beautiful chandeliers and funky clothes. Take a look!

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Next we headed to the Heavenly Scent Herb Farm. It is SO GORGEOUS here. We met the owner and his wife who started the whole thing as a place to have their sons wedding. It morphed into acres of trees and flowers, fairy gardens, green houses, and even a beautiful store full of magical home décor, candles, and specialty jams. Here is a little bit of the splendor… I’ll never quite do it justice!

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If you ever have the chance, please visit this gem! They also have classes and events you can check out as well. Visit their website at http://www.heavenlyscentherbfarm.com

We loved our Fenton Fun Day! Can’t wait to visit again soon. Wanna go?

Love,

Meagan

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So, I didn’t document the Halloween thru Christmas festivities as well as I’d planned, but I hear that’s what having a 1-year-old does to you. Here is an unorganized look at some “stuff” from our holiday season!

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Bentley had a blast playing in his first ever pile of leaves!

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This was my fall table and chandelier.  I LOVE decorating for each season.

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This photo was taken on Halloween just before Bentley went outside, fell, and cut his nose and lip… Poor baby!  Honey Child (our dog) went as a dinosaur.

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During the fall season I made these delicious treats!  Home made Marshmallows (Ina Gartens recipe), An apple tart in puff pastry (based on a Kelsey Nixon recipe), and White Chocolate Bark (also one of Ina’s)  They were all AWESOME!  The marshmallows are easy and so delish.  If you make them once, you’ll want to make them forever!  Get the recipes:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-marshmallows-recipe/index.html  AND http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/white-chocolate-bark-recipe2/index.html  AND  http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/kelsey-nixon/honey-glazed-apple-pear-tart-recipe/index.html  I hope you love them as much as we do!

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These are pictures from Bentley’s FIRST BIRTHDAY!  It was a cowboy themed party at Victory Ranch in Northville.  It was so much fun…. I can’t believe my sweet baby is a year old… wow….

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Somewhere along the way, I went dark!  This is my natural color.  I miss the blonde, but my wallet sure doesn’t… haha.  Brunettes have more fun because they have extra money ;)

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Christmas time in our nest began with this Refrigerator Snowman!  His name is Chilly Willy.  It’s his Christian name.  He’s made of construction paper and scotch tape.  Next year, I hope to make him out of felt and magnets.  He’s so darn cute!

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I made Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Gingerbread.  It’s AMAZING! You can find it here http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/guinness-gingerbread-recipe/index.html  I purchased mini fake evergreens and vintage plastic deer figurines on etsy and stuck them all over the bread.  Then I made it “snow” with some powdered sugar!  Kids LOVE to help put the deer on and its so cute when its done.

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Bentley visited with Santa, but he wasn’t so sure it was a good idea… I think we got his picture just in time to avoid some tears.

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Bentley got his first haircut!  A  fohawk just like Daddy… :)  My boys are too cute.

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Here is a centerpiece I put together for my mother in law’s table.  The bowl came from IKEA and I just filled it up with random Christmas bulbs.  Simple and lovely!

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A shot of our Christmas dining room.  I printed out the letters for my Merry Christmas banner from here: http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/  It’s an amazing DIY website that offers FREE printable banners and an entire banner alphabet.  I printed out my letters and then I taped them onto brown paper lunch bags that I had cut open and spread flat.  then I cut a border around each letter.  I clothes pinned the letters to some lines of jute that I bought at a hardware store and tied them to the back of the mirror.  Boom.  Merry Christmas!

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Night time shot :)

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Tree #2 is in our living room.  My fireman calls this the “Christmas Throw Up Tree”…. He’s just jealous of my vast ornament collection that spans almost 3 decades… I’m not 30 yet ;)

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Look who I found sneaking behind the tree…

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Christmas shopping with my little copilot!

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Christmas card picture!  Thanks Auntie Jeanette and Uncle Matt!

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Great Grammy and Great Poppy got Bentley some singing snowmen and a saxophone playing Santa.  To say he enjoyed them would be a gross understatement….  To say I enjoyed them after the hundredth time they were played would also be a gross understatement…

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My fireman had to work on Christmas… so baby and I (and Grandpa, and Great Poppy, and Uncle Joel) went to visit him.  Someone was asleep by the time we got there :)  Daddy carried him around and showed him off.

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I fell in love with the firehouse vintage Santa who stands between the truck and the engine… Sorry husband…

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One of my beautiful gifts from my love…. a ruby heart.

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I hope to spend more nights in front of this fire… after the hectic pace, I need to relax for a few!  I hope you had a beautiful and meaningful holiday season.  Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!  (the Mayans were wrong… bring it on 2013!!)

Love,

Meagan

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Glamping Trip 2012

As many of you know, I have always considered myself “in-doorsy” and my favorite kind of camping is the kind where I don’t go. I wasn’t raised in a camping family. In my house growing up, camping was definitely not a vacation… it was work! Then I grew up and got married. Once I was married I realized…. I married a CAMPER! Not only did he like/love to camp, but his whole family camped! Even his family’s extended family camped. And just when I thought everyone who loved camping was accounted for, I was told their DOGS camped too… I realized I was screwed. Camping was in my future and I could either like it or love it. Goodbye nice hotels with room service and cable tv, goodbye quaint towns filled with antique stores and restaurants, goodbye exciting night life and champagne in the jacuzzi…. Hello woods, and dirt, and bugs, and man-eating predators.

Since I knew I had to go camping, I tried to think of a way that I could make everyone happy including myself… there was only one solution… GLAMPING! Glamorous camping! I scoured the internet for a small vintage camper in need of some TLC and lo and behold… I found one! A little 60’s number that we rehabbed and affectionateely named “Gertrude”. I think every vintage camper should have a vintage name. I found that the more love I put into Gertrude, the more excited I was about camping… and my husband definitely appreciated my new outlook. Nobody wants to camp with somebody grumpy. It’s part of the camping code. I know about the code now becasue I’m cool like that.

In July 2012, I took my second ever glamping trip. We went in 2010, then in 2011 I was quite pregnant with our first child, and this year I had no good excuse! Not that I really wanted one… It’s so nice to see everyone. Like I said, everyone in my husband’s world camps so we end up with quite a large group. We call our little group “Camp La-koh-ver-no-rill-et” which is a funny combination of all our last names. Every family takes turns cooking meals, the kids play, nature hikes are taken, swimmimg is a given, and every night there are smore’s and adult beverages around the campfire. I’ve come to enjoy camping because I love and enjoy the people I camp with… and it goes to show you, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, just have fun while you’re doing it. Here are some pictures of our trip!

Here is our little Gertrude all set up on our site! Isn’t she adorable?

This is our beautiful view. We were camping at Taqhuamenon Falls in the UP.

I see God’s artistry in nature…

You can’t glamp without plastic flamingos!

Another view of our cute site and papaer lanterns!

A view of the bathrooms… not totally hideous…. but it still makes a girl miss the Holiday Inn!

This is my sister in law’s glamper! Jenny the Jayco! Too cute… love it!

I believe this is a late 70’s or early 80’s model? She has it so cute inside and her family loves it. They use it a lot more than we use ours because they’re super duper campers!

Salmon on the fire. Yum! Wish I had some now…

Potatos and onions in a tin foil package. Wonderful!

Pizza Hobo Pies! I was a hobo pie novice, but they turned out great! Thanks for teaching me Trish!

My husband and I did an oatmeal bar for breakfast. Tons of toppings, hot oatmeal in a crockpot, bacon, toast, mimosas, coffee, and juice. Phew!

Bentley and daddy taking a break. My two great loves…

In the small neighboring town, there had been wild fires ripping through. This was painted on a store front window. My husband is part of a fire fighter family all around the world. I thank all of them for what they do everywhere…this was so nice to see.

Our lovely (and safe) nightly bonfire. I do love that smell…

I hope you enjoyed my glamping trip as much as I did. Are you a camper/glamper too? Where do you go? What do you do? I’d love to hear about it. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon.

Love,
Meagan

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Last week we happily found ourselves in the small town of Ravenna, MI.  It’s barely a dot on the map but it holds some of the folks that my fireman and I love the best.  Ravenna is home to my dear mom-in-law Penny, my sister-in-law and bro-in law Trish and Mark, and my 2 adorable nephews Nolan and Wesley!  Mark and Trish live on 40 acres of land with 1 horse, 3 dogs, 2 barn kittys, 1 house kitty, and more chickens than I could accurately count.  From what I hear, they will soon be joined by a pig that my nephews will raise for their 4H club to sell at the fair, and my husband is doing his best to convince them they need a goat.  Mark and Trish refer to their house as a “hobby farm” but between the massive stretch of land, huge garden in progress, fresh eggs, and the impending pig situation I’d say it’s a slightly larger operation.  But that’s just my city slicker opinion…  We love visiting the affectionately named “VerMeer Family Farm” and I want to share some pictures with you of this little piece of paradise :)

Welcome to the Farm!

Bentley’s first time seeing a horsey with Auntie Trish!

“Hi Horse. Let me see your hairs.”

This is Buffy. She’s a sassy chick! haha! get it? Sassy…. Chick… because she’s a chicken… Yep.

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I forgot her name. Please don’t tell her. How embarrassing….

And here are some pictures of the loveliness around the farm…

Trish’s grape arbor. In the summer, the grape vines completely envelop this space and the bunches of purple grapes hang down around you. It’s the perfect place to relax with a glass of red while the kids play.

Barn Kitty named Hala. This is as still as I could get her to be :)

Barn Kitty named Kippy. Kippy was my cat who Trish graciously took in when I had to re-home him a few years back. He adjusted to country life beautifully… and I’m so happy he’s loved and cared for.

I have no clue how to spell this girls name! Its pronounced like this: Chew-boss-ka! Shes older than me but she looks fab!

“Smokey Joe” the house kitty has found the best thing ever!

A beautiful piece of Gods Country….

A special thank you to the VerMeers for letting me snap all these pictures! We love you and can’t wait to see you again! (we will actually see you Monday for garage sale heaven!) Thanks everyone for tuning in and I hope to see you back real soon!

Love,

Meagan

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Oh Baby!

Hey everyone!  I am just real sorry I haven’t been posting any recipes on here!  The thing is… I can’t do any cooking right now.  Why?  Because the smell of most foods, good or bad, make me take off running to the bathroom.  Why?  Because I’m having a baby!  Yep.  It’s true and I have the growing waist line to prove it.  (insert me crying…)  Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy to be carrying our first child.  It’s just been a little difficult so far. 

It’s not just the morning sickness (which by the way, is NOT just for mornings anymore!  introducing the new and not so improved “all day sickness” – insert me crying again).  I also suffer from a blood clotting condition called “Protein C Deficiency”.  This means that my blood clots too much.  Not good.  Especially when I’m prego.  SO… I have to be on blood thinners.  I can’t take pills because they would go to the baby and cause birth defects.  Since I can’t take pills, I must have injections.  My fireman has to give me a shot everyday for my entire pregnancy and then for 3 months after it.  365 days of 365 shots!  Yes!  They hurt and the blood thinner burns.  I can feel it every time.  Since my blood is now thinner, I bruise even more easily.  I am covered in purple and green bruises.  I have stopped undressing or dressing anywhere near a mirror because its so yucky to see my body like this.  The blood thinners make me extremely tired and that fatigue coupled with the pregnancy fatigue has been pretty overwhelming.

I also found out that I have whats called a “retroverted uterus” which means that my uterus is backwards in my body.  A normal one, would tip toward a womans tummy area .  Welp!  My uterus has dared to be different!  Its tips completely backwards toward my spine.  It won’t hurt the baby (thank God) and as the baby grows, it will get into the right spot.  Only trouble is, once the baby is out it will go back to its normal position which has caused me MAJOR problems over the years.  Lots of pain… 

So all this to say, I’m so sorry I have been so absent lately.  I miss blogging about recipes and projects so much!  I  hear that this mean ole first trimester will soon give way to the glorious peace of the second trimester where I will feel much more normal again.  I can hardly wait.  In the meantime, I would so appreciate any prayer you might think to say for me and any positive thoughts you can muster up!  I am certain that as soon as I start craving delicious food again, I will be back on here sharing the love!  Thank you all for your support!

Love,

Meagan

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GIVEAWAY WINNER ANNOUNCED!!!!

Drum Roll Please………  The winner is GINA VINSON!!

The winner was chosen at random by drawing names out of a hat by my co-worker and friend Samantha Johnson.  Now, it is a CRAZY coincidence that today is Gina’s birthday!  What luck!! 

Gina was getting a birthday gift from me anyway, so now she will receive a bounty of birthday swag!  Maybe she should consider playing the lottery today too!

CONGRATULATIONS GINA!  and oh yeah, by the way… HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM THE BLUEBIRDS NEST!!

Love,

Meagan

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Hello beautiful people, and welcome to The Bluebird’s Nest!  I’m really excited about today because I am channeling Oprah (on a very small-scale) and I am giving away some of my favorite things!  YOU get a car!  And YOU get a car!  YOU’RE ALL GETTING CARRRRSSSS!  Ok, ok not quite……  I’m sorry, I got a little carried away.  Please forgive me.  Not everyone can get something…. but one person will be the lucky winner of my mish mash bag of favorites!  Here’s the goods….

 I love me some Nutella.  It’s the stuff dreams are made of.  I would be lying if I told you I didn’t sometimes come home after a hard day at the office and eat a tablespoon of this right from the jar.  Deal with that.  Don’t judge me.

Next is a bottle of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.  I use this on most meats and even on veggies.  All kinds of goodness goes into each bottle and I want you to taste it!  Sprinkle it on pork shops, lavish it on chicken, dust it on broccoli, just don’t put it on the nutella.  Please.

Have you been to Trader Joes?  They have these wonderful fruit bars that are very reminiscent of a fruit by the foot kinda thing except they are all natural and have real fruit all smushed in to them.  Delish!

Every girl loves a good manicure right?  Well this color called “Bubble Bath” from OPI is my manicure color of choice.  It gives me what I like to refer to as “Cooking Show Nails”.  Seems like all my fave cooking show personalities have these great pinky-nude-ish glossy nails when they’re chopping up veggies in the close-up shots. 

I love Womans World Magazine.  It costs $1.79 at the checkout stand as opposed to the $3 to $5 range of some of its competitors!  WW is not as snazzy as some of the other magazines, but I like the rustic appeal of its simplistic construction.  You can easily roll it up and shove it on your bag and its full of awesome recipes, home tips, health/weight loss advice, and funny anecdotes.  In my giveaway, I will be including the most current WW Magazine.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am always chewing gum!  I’m like that little girl Violet from the Willy Wonka movie… I haven’t turned into a blueberry yet but that’s probably because my gum of choice is Orbit’s Bubblemint gum.  It’s the best of both worlds as far as minty and bubblegum flavors.  I know you’ll enjoy it if you haven’t tried it already.

Sometimes, I don’t have the time, energy, or resources to make a dessert.  Also, I often tend to talk myself out of having the dessert I am making because I have the time to think it through.  This can be problematic because sometimes you just have to go for it and tell your both your common sense and your Zumba instructor to take a hike.  Betty Crocker’s Warm Delights Chocolate Molten Cake is a little gift from the devil on your shoulder.  Listen to him whisper “You’re only one minute and thirty seconds away from heaven…”

Lastly, we ladies love great scents….  I love this total cheapie that you can find in most drug stores or even the health and beauty section of your grocery store.  It’s by Body Fantasies and it’s from their line of Sexiest Fantasy products.  The scent is called “Fireworks” and it smells AWESOME.  The lotion is really moisturizing and it smells just as strong as the spray.  The two of them together are a must have for any season.  My fireman loves this scent whenever I put it on!

Here’s how to win!

Post a comment on this edition of The Bluebirds Nest about your one very favorite meal or snack  for one of the 4 seasons, Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter.  I will choose a winner at random and notify them by e-mail.  I will also choose one of the winner’s seasonal favorites to feature on this site.  We can get shipping info and recipe details privately of course.  The winner will be announced on Wednesday, February 9th.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon!

Love,

Meagan

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