Wednesday, March 27, 2013


We have been on the receiving end of kindness the past few days...

It snowed here in epic proportions this weekend.  When Ryan went out to shovel the documented 15 inches, he was met with our neighbor and his snowblower.  The driveway has never been cleared so quickly!    

How you know you have good neighbors!

Our friends grew wheatgrass for Easter and were kind enough to grow extras for friends.  The kids have enjoyed watching this green grass blossom! 

And this is not the first meal we have received, but one of many that our friends and family have kindly brought our way since Michael's arrival.  

Very grateful for these thoughtful gestures!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Everyday Chambray {Guest Post}

Happy Tuesday!  I'm so excited to be hosting my cousin Maria from The Style Letters today!  Her knowledge in fashion is way above my current sweats apparel!  You can be sure I'll be taking notes on this lesson in style...    

First, thanks to Tricia for having me guest post on making it feel like home! I read this blog every day and am incredibly inspired by my cousin's creativity, organization, and resourcefulness. I can't say this post will offer much in the latter two attributes, but I can show you how to get creative with your wardrobe!

From Old Navy to Madewell, chambray is everywhere! Over the past few months, I've found that the chambray shirt has replaced my dependable white button-down as the most versatile piece in my closet. I can dress it up or down, depending on what I pair it with, and no two chambray tops are alike...which may explain why I now have four of them in constant rotation. 

Inspired by this how-to guide on Pinterest, I styled three of my own favorite chambray looks.

(Image courtesy of The Average Girl's Guide)

First, I paired my light chambray button-down with a white floral dress. 


(Target Xhilaration Shirt, Gap Dress, J.Crew Belt, Ann Taylor Loft Clutch, Dune Wedges)

Perfect for early spring weather, the chambray top not only adds a little warmth, but helps transition the dress between seasons. In the fall, I'll belt a cardigan in an autumn hue over the dress and add tights, boots, and a scarf. Seasonless dressing at its best.

Next, I created a more work-appropriate look for the boardroom.

(Banana Republic Shirt (similar), Target Merona Skirt, J.Crew Bracelet, Tinley Road Pumps)

Although this top is a darker chambray blue, the material is actually linen and makes for a dressier option at the office. A bright orange-red pencil skirt and leopard-print pumps keep the look from being too serious in a creative environment; the button-down looks just as great with a black skirt or trousers for a more conservative workplace.

And finally, I threw together a casual weekend outfit.

(Primark Shirt, Madewell Jeans, Target Mossimo Kinley Boots)

I love how this chambray shirt feels (and looks) like it's been washed a few too many times. With my go-to black skinnies and wedge boots, I'm all set for a Saturday of running errands or brunch with the girls. And with a chambray this light, I can also wear it with dark blue skinny jeans and not feel like I'm channeling Jay Leno in all his denim-on-denim glory.

How do you style your chambray shirt? Share your favorite chambray looks in the Comments section below, or send me an email at!

~ Maria ~

Friday, March 22, 2013

Prepping for #4

Sharing with Jen and company how I prepped for Baby #4...


OK, and now we'll move on with the other practical ways...  

I worked double-time over the past few weeks by doubling some recipes and stocking the the freezer.  I assembled and froze some crockpot meals as well.  I have always done this before a new baby arrives and that was motivation in itself to have freezer meals on hand!

In addition to stocking the freezer, I stocked the linen closets in anticipation of post-partum-hood.  I don't like HAVING to run to the store all crazy with a newborn if I don't have to because we are out of anything.  So I did the same thing that I did when Ellen was born and have a small stock pile (I use that term very loosely) of shampoo, toothpaste, qtips, toilet paper, soap, diapers, wipes, rubbing alcohol, etc.  If Y2K hits, we are prepared.    

Ellen is well-adjusted to her big girl room and bed.  The transition couldn't have been any easier.  She's been VERY excited about her big girl bed.  I wish I could add that she's potty-trained, too, but let's not be too crazy!

My hospital bag was mostly packed and ready to go.  I also made a list of last-minute things to grab, which came in handy at 3 AM.  And of course there was an overnight bag ready for the kids in case we needed to grab that one, too.      

The kids' Easter baskets are d-o-n-e.  I didn't want to have to send Ryan to the store on Holy Saturday on a chocolate-bunny-goose chase, so I was the first to buy bunnies when they were on display after Valentine's Day.  Our jelly beans and other goodies are also in hiding, as well as a few other treats.

(Hope my post-partum brain forgets where I hid these until Easter...)

I'm sporting a "mom-haircut" accident.  There was some miscommunication between the hairdresser and me...but in the end it doesn't take me long to manage my hair because there's a lot less of it!  So that's least that's what I'm telling myself!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter with a glimpse of my day...

round button chicken
- and in this case delicious, too! -


We need to add "Michael" to our spelling list.
This seems to happen every time I'm nursing...which means it happens quite often.  I've lost all control...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cherry Layered Pudding Delight {Guest Post}

Happy Tuesday to you...I'm excited to have Fonda filing in for me today!  She is a very crafty lady who also shares some delicious recipes.  She was kind enough to share this southern favorite here today...and I'm glad she did because it.looks.delicious!  

Hi, I'm Fonda from Southern Scraps and I'm excited to be here at Making It Feel Like Home sharing a recipe with you today. Thanks Tricia! I'm a happily married southern girl with one fur baby. I work full time and crafting is very much a stress reliever for me. If you get a chance, please check out my blog and more of my ideas and projects. I blog mostly about crafts and cooking. I like to experiment with all sorts of mediums, so you never know what you might see at my site.

Today I'm sharing a recipe for an easy southern favorite- Cherry Layered Pudding Delight. You can make this in any flavor you like - just substitute a different flavor pie filling.

I'll go ahead and warn you- this is a sugar-filled, all processed food dish. But it's so good. My mother has made this for years. A little indulgence won't hurt once in a while. I did attempt a remake of this in chocolate with homemade pudding and real fruit on top that I'll be sharing at some point on my blog if you want to know how to make it a little healthier, (or less unhealthy).

Below are the ingredients:

14 whole graham crackers

1 package vanilla instant pudding (6 ounce)

2 cups milk

1 cup whipped topping

1 can cherry pie filling (21 ounce)

Prepare pudding with milk as directed on package. Let stand 5 minutes. Blend whipped topping into the pudding.

Line a 9 inch square pan (8 inch will work too) with whole graham crackers. Break some of them if you have to to fill the bottom.

Spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers.

Repeat with crackers and pudding.

The top layer is supposed to be crackers, but I ended up with pudding on top. It's just as good this way.

Spread pie filling on top of crackers (or pudding if that's where you stop).  Chill for three hours in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Yum!!  I don't think this will help my post-baby figure, but it does have cherries so it's kind of healthy, right?!?!  Thanks again for sharing, Fonda!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thought for the Day

"The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."  
- Frederick Buechner

Friday, March 15, 2013

7 Quickies for Friday

I'm linking up with Jen and company on this fine Friday...with a post I had originally written for last Friday, but baby Michael had other plans!  So here's last week's rundown...

First things first, Ryan wanted me to share his version of heaven:

The steak (complete with egg and bacon) he had while on a business dinner this last week.  Yumm-o, especially since I'm posting this on a Friday in Lent!

Clare and Jude finished up swimming lessons this week, and I let Ellen out of the house and took her to the pool in this self-dressed wonder:  

Was her mother 39 1/2 weeks pregnant at the time?  Yes.  

We tried to entice Michael to come out on his due date by getting a special after-school snack of slushies on Wednesday...  Fun for the rest of us!   

I'm in the process of making some new curtains for the loft.  And by "in the process of" I mean that I have bought the fabric....and that's about as far as I've gotten.  Regardless, the fabric came on two large reels and those have been enjoyed in many ways here.  Besides being robot arms and weapons of sorts, they make for great car tunnels!  (I prefer using them this was as opposed to having them touch the ceiling just because they can!)  

Ellen has been extra good the past few days (hoping I didn't just jinx myself!) and has been playing nicely and quietly by herself a lot.  When I was cleaning up the other night I saw this scene in her looked like grandpa had been kidnapped by a Disney princess sorority.

Happy Friday!  Happy Weekend!  Go visit Jen and wish her the same...  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Wishing Ryan a very Happy Birthday today in the words and phrases of his BFF and biggest fan Ellen:

I'm going to go check on Daddy.

Daddy be home aaaaaaany minute.

Daddy home!!!!!!

This is Daddy's bed.  This is Daddy's room.  (I'm chopped liver to this girl!)

He my best friend!

I snuggle with Daddy!

I go to Daddy's office and kiss him.

We love you very much and hope you have a wonderful birthday!!
Thank you for everything you do, especially for all of the ways you help and care for us!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser (Guest Post}

I'm happy to be hosting Kelley from The Grant Life today!  She's a proud Texan with many talents and actually did my blog design, which I love.  Without further ado, heeeere's Kelley...    

Hi y'all!  I'm so excited for Tricia and her family!  We have been bloggy friends since I first started blogging and it's so fun to see her family growing!  My name is Kelley and I blog over at the Grant life.  I share thrifty, crafty, food goodness and my life with two beautiful babies. 

Last year I made the resolution to spend only $20 per person on gifts for Christmas.  It went really well and I had a great time making all kinds of presents for my family and friends.  This year I'll do the same thing and I'm sure that everyone on my list will get one of these super cute mason jar soap containers. 

You'll need:
Mason jar
Washi tape 
Bakers twine
Hand soap pump
Paint markers

This was so easy to make that I didnt even take pictures of the process.  I put some washi tape on the jar, some bakers twine up top and doodled on it with a paint marker.  I then punched a hole through the metal part with my scissors.  

I added a whole bottle of bath and body works soap to the jar and it only filled it a third of the way.  Ooops.  I may need to downsize my jars come Christmas-time.  

All finished and ready to be used in the kitchen.  I cant wait to make some more of these for gifts in a few months!  

Thanks for letting me share a fun craft with your readers!  I can't wait to see pictures of your new little one!  If y'all get a chance stop by my blog and say hello!  I'm also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  I love social media and making new friends! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Three Cheese Manicotti

With Lent in full swing, I'm sharing one of the meatless numbers that we enjoy on Friday nights.  This recipe is easy and can be made while your children nap (**bonus**)!

12 manicotti shells
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 jar marinara sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
(1 tablespoon Italian seasoning - optional)

Cook manicotti in large pot according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water; drain again.
Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.  Mix 3 cups mozzarella with softened cream cheese and Italian seasoning.  Stuff the manicotti with the cheese mixture and place in prepared baking dish.
Spoon marinara over manicotti.
Sprinkle manicotti with remaining mozzarella.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes longer, remove and enjoy!

(Another option is to thaw and drain 1/2 cup spinach and add to the cheese in step 2.) 

Monday, March 11, 2013

He's Here!

It's a BOY! 

Michael Ryan
March 7, 2013, 1:41 PM
9 lbs., 20 1/2 inches

With his proud older sisters...



And the members of the "Best Guy Club!"

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Due Date Appearance!

Today is my due date...and to celebrate I'm over at the style letters!  Pop on over to see me and my lovely (and stylish!) cousin, Maria!  

the style letters

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Firmoo Review

I have used glasses since the 5th grade and worn contacts since I was 15.  I rely mostly on my contacts now, but always have a pair of glasses to use occasionally around the house in the morning or at night.  The pair I was currently using was from 5 years ago, from right before I had Jude.  And with a new baby (meaning sleepless nights) arriving, I wanted to update that pair of glasses knowing I would most likely be choosing glasses over contacts after long nights.  So when Firmoo contacted me about trying their product, I was happy to oblige.   

Firmoo is an online store for prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses (Ryan is a fan of this option!), and even fashion glasses (no prescription required!) at an affordable price.  In fact, they offer a FREE pair of glasses for new customers, you only pay shipping!  
(For more FAQ about Firmoo, click here.)   

I eagerly took my eye prescription, found a new set of (much more modern!) frames, easily entered all of the requested information onto the Firmoo website, and was wearing my new glasses within 10 days.

I love how lightweight and comfortable these are to wear!   

(Here are the new frames I chose.)  

To get your free first pair of Firmoo glasses (complete with hard glasses case, cleaning cloth, and glasses repair kit!) you can visit Firmoo here and be on your way to enjoying your own new pair of stylish eyeglasses!  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weekend Update

I hope you had a great weekend!  No baby news here, yet.  And that was a good thing because that meant Ryan and Clare were able to go to their much-anticipated Father-Daughter Dance on Saturday night.  Needless to say, Clare was very much looking forward to their date night!

And she was especially thrilled with her wrist corsage.  (I think she kept it on alllllll night!)

The happy couple.

Dancing the night away.

Jude, Ellen, and I enjoyed a cra-zy night of VeggieTales AND popcorn.  We know how to par-tay!

Here's to a great week!