This Blog has Moved!

Thanks for following Project Momma. I have redesigned and moved to a self-hosted site. Please come check out the updated blog at!



Free and Easy Valentine Banner

Valentine’s day… such a quick little holiday. To decorate or not? To be honest in the past I have put out a little candy dish and that’s about all. Now that I have a kid in the house, I want to be more festive, but I don’t really want to spend a lot of money. Ok, I never want to spend a lot of money.

So as I was Pinteresting the other day… (I can use that as a verb right? Even though only my two fingers are moving as I scroll down through the pins?) Anyway, here are the pins that were inspiring me. (Click here for the links: 1, 2, 3, 4)banner CollageI loved the natural colors and deep red. Also oved the burlap and especially the sewn hearts! But, let’s be honest, I don’t have a sewing machine and I was trying NOT to buy supplies. The book pages were so clever, and they had me wishing I had picked up some old books while at St. Vincent DePaul for the Young House Love Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge. I was not about to rip up my books for Valentine’s Day. We heart books here at Schraeradise (#seewhatididthere). So, to stay on my budget of $0, I thought I might try to fashion something similar.

I started with newspaper. photoI cut out a shape that I thought would work for the banner.  I really just eye-balled it, figuring that I had a whole paper to work with if I messed it up. 
photoI did check the size with my mantle, tried to picture what it would look like… It had to hang high enough – higher than toddler hands could reach. The banner would stand no chnace against my Isaac George.

photoLooked good for me, so I cut out about 10 of these pennants and punched holes in them.


Now, I just needed to figure out how to hang them. I had 2 options: A white ribbed ribbon leftover from gift wrap and a plastic pearly-ball chain like thing. I have no idea where I got the pearly chain, I have had it for years. After trying them both through the holes, I went for the pearls. It is like they found their Valentine Destiny (#friendsreference). I thought they added a little bling to the newspaper and some texture against our painted wood mantel.


I strung up 8 of the pennants and this is how it looked!

photoNot bad at all. So this is where real life happens and  the baby wakes up; I have to pause. It did give me a little time to contemplate what I would put on the banner. My first thought was X’s and O’s maybe mixed in with hearts. Then I thought of Isaac… at 17 months I thought hearts would be best. So later that night, after he was tucked in and hubby was asleep in the Lazyboy at 8:30 on a Friday night, I finished her up. I did have plans with my galfriend, but we decided to cancel, and I was challenged to do some things for myself. (Read about that here). So, I enjoyed a decaf and biscotti, then back to the banner!

I originally was going to paint my hearts the newspaper, but because the paper was super thin, I thought it might make the paper buckle when it dried. So, I opted for the super easy answer!


I had a few colors to chose from and ended up choosing the red crayon and magenta marker for the colors of the hearts. I layed the banner on the floor and used a cookie cutter to make some perfect hearts. I thought the exact same heart might make the banner a little nicer.


Have I mentioned how easy this was? Time to hang it up.

photoCute right? I was please with how this little thing turned out. I thought the pearls were a great compliment to the paper. The colors on the hearts blended well with the other decor in the living room. I placed a few colorful books on the mantel to help the colors stand out.

I liked it and thought I would use the newspaper in a couple other frames that were empty. Why not? This large frame is in our living room and needs our latest family pics. I added a simple love quote. True.

photoAnd, in our kitchen I used my crayon and marker again to draw an XO on newspaper in put in this frame. There sits my pineapple and hiding in the back is my next DIY adventure #photobomb. So excited about that one. photoAnd since we are talking decor, here is some decor that I already had, so that was free to. This “love” sign I found at TJMaxx a few years back for $.70! That has to be the cheapest item I have ever bought there. 

In the dining room, some fabric from Isaac’s weekly pictures sits under a glass heart-shaped bowl. I’ve had the bowl for years; it was also a TJMaxx find. 


On the bookshelf in this room are some items that I let Isaac get his hands on. He likes to carry the pig around and hug him saying “Awww”. I guess I say that when he hugs me. The “A You’re Adorable” book was a gift from his Philly friends. He LOVES this book, I actually can quote it form memory and I recite it to him in tune.


We are more festive this Valentine week than we ever have been before. Lots of love to celebrate I guess. And, I have to admit I LOVE my banner. It is cute and it was free! Double win for sure. What are you DIYing for Valentine’s Day?

banner val final

Tooth, TV, and Throwing – Isaac at 16 months


Books: Go, Dog, Go, Curious George, Little People flap book, and One Fish Blue Fish
Finding the balls on his clothing
Letters in the bathtub, on TV, his clothes, etc. He says “Ay, Eh, Ay, Eye”
Singing the Alphabet (normal song, Superwhy version, and “A, You’re Adorable version”)
Singing Superwhy songs in the car
Watching Superwhy! (Gasps while running from the bedroom)
His juice (half water, half apple juice), only gets 4 oz per day.
Climbing on us while we lay on the floor (he points to the floor to start the game)
Saying hi to the monkey in the tree at church
His little people toys: barn, tractor, bus, airplane. Obsession!
Hugging Elmo and Scout
Walking in the snow
Dancing to the music on Superwhy and his little people toys
Raisins, teddy grams, pear, pancakes with syrup
Pretending to sleep on our bed making snoring noises
Running & climbing

When he cannot get his Little Tikes truck through the doorway
When the silo doesn’t stay connected to his barn
If I take keys away from him
Sometimes cries when Mommys leave on Thursday nights to teach
The TV being turned off after his show
Having an itchy, runny nose, and of course when it has to be cleaned

Lost his front right tooth playing peekaboo. (Story here)
Went to the dentist for the first time and got an X-ray
Pumping his arm and saying “Choo-choo!”
Puzzle pieces matching (advanced ones like animals, vehicles)
Some motions to Wheels on the Bus (swish, beep, & shh ones)
Throwing a ball – overhanded
First time at the Cincinnati Children’s Museum
First (bad) haircut by mom
Sitting at the table in his wooden chair
Saying “mommy”, “bible”, “uh oh”, “no way”, “go dog go” (kinda), “open” (kinda)
Signs “please”,”eat”, and “all done”. Nods his head “yes”.
Watching the cookies cook in the oven
Putting lotion on his face
Fell asleep sitting up during nap time at co-op
Pointing to his ears, hair, nose, eyes, toes, etc. (but gets bored after first few)
Using plates and bowls more often
Starting to give kisses

Working On:
Coloring -mostly likes to move the crayons around on the table & put them into container
He did try to do dots & lines like mom, though
Eating with a spoon – getting better, still messy (Not interested in fork)
Not whining so much, especially when Mom comes to grandmas
Not touching things (light, fireplace screen)
Keeping his hand out of the garbage

28 lbs and 2 oz at the doctor when he lost his tooth
Wearing his 6 wide shoes, just a little big
18 month PJs starting to be small
Sleeping 7:15 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.
Still napping 2 times a day, but sometimes taking 1 nap @ 12:30 for 2 hours
Still rear-facing in carseat
Wraps up his blanket around his neck while sleeping
Tooth number 9 is coming in…or is it 8 😦

Winter 10

Back in December, I drew a 6th grade looking artwork piece of things that I wanted to experience during the holiday season. I hung it up in the kitchen where I saw it everyday- reminding me of great times to be had (and the fact that I am not an drawer). It actually worked, we did almost everything on my picture-goal-experience sheet.

So, I thought I would try to do it again, only this time it would include my projects, some fun and some not as fun.  Maybe I will do this each season? And since I have been playing with PicMonkey, I decided to make my picture a little more graphic.

winter 10

They are all pretty self-explanatory, so I will save the details for later posts after they are done!

Wont you join me for Winter 10? Post a blog like this and link in the comments.

– – –

COMPLETED: click below to link to more info. on that project

1. valentine mantel

YHL’s Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge

I enjoy a good stroll through the thrift shop every now in then. And, by now and then, I mean more “then”. Since the little man came along I’ve cut back on real shopping. Shopping with a toddler consists of snack, songs, pointing, talking to strangers. I though I actually really enjoy being out with the baby… it’s harder with a kid. So when Young House Love encouraged me to get back out there, I took the challengeMy blogging bff HildaGotRocks was taking the challenge too.

So, there is this Thrift Shop song. Have you heard it? It’s silly. But, it is rather catchy. Consider yourself warned.

Oh and as you can see below, something about the challenge has me making weird-mouth-high-schooler-selfie pictures and throwing peace signs. I think that Sherdog’s RAP-piness is spreading like a virus. Got my dough, baby in tow, and ready to go.

thrift shop challengeStep #1. Go to a thrift shop with – just as the chorus of the song says – “$20 in your pocket”and take a picture. 

Step #2. Spend that $20 any way you’d like and photograph your spoils

Step #3. Find one item (or more) referenced in the song and snap a pic.

I went to Mt. Washington St. Vincent DePaul and here are some of the things that got my attention…

A pokey little pineapple. Something about this reminded me of Sherry. It opens too.
photoLotso lamps just dying for makeovers. I felt bad for them all wanting a home.
photoThere had to be 5987 baskets which had me thinking about Easter. My boy will need a proper Easter Basket and I would like to fashion one up for less than the Pottery Barn cost. photophotoThis dollhouse has so much potential, but needed some deep DIY love.photoThese clean white trays were so pretty, I wanted to take home all 6.photoThese duck bookends would look great in a kids room painted a bright color! photoThough Isaac enjoyed the stroll down toy lane, most of the items were too dirty to stop the cart. The only possibility was this bead maze in great condition.photoSo, I piled all my maybes into the cart then took a minute to contemplate my purchase.photoBefore I tell you what I took home and if I succeeded in my first YHL challenge, we have a little unfinished business of Step #3. Oh Step number 3, you have me taking more selfies! And…here comes another peace sign peeps, right next to a CASIO keyboard. Oh yeah points scored for a picture with a broken keyboard. (Lyrics: “They had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard”) 


More points for… stealing your grandpa’s style…the velcros!  (Lyrics: I’ma take your grandpa’s style, I’ma take your grandpa’s styleNo for real, ask your grandpa, can I have his hand-me-downs?…The sneaker heads would be like “Ah, he got the Velcros”)

And Isaac wanted to get in on the fun but I wouldn’t let him listen to the song. He thought the glasses were cool. Even tried on 3 different pairs.

OK, so let’s get down to business. Here are my spoils…


1. Bead Maze Toy – $1 (half off from $2)
2. Large ‘Easter’ Basket – $4
3. Silver Pineapple – $4.50
4. Mini Purse – $2.50 (half off from $4.99)
5. White Dish – $1
6. Mini Orange Skillet – $2
Grand Total: $15 + tax

So I didn’t spend exactly $20 bucks, but that wasn’t really the point. Here is how I plan to use the items.

The little orange skillet (that is half tacky half adorable) is living on my kitchen window sill. When I saw it I knew it would match my kitchen accents and be the perfect drop spot for jewelry while I cook or do dishes.
photo See? Perf. photo  After a thorough Clorox wipe down, the bead maze made it to the dining room shelf. Isaac  likes to sit and play in this corner while Doug and I talk after dinner. I am sure, though, that it will make it’s way around to every room in the house. photo The mini purse was too cute. It was like a canvas on the outside and bright pink lining – very clean! Once I saw it I knew that it would make the perfect gift bag for a little girl gift I already had to give. It is for a 2 year old, so I knew that she would love her own little thing to carry around. Isaac does this all the time my his lunch bag.

photo Just had to fancy it up a little bit. The strawberry footie PJs rolled up perfectly inside. photoThe white dish is currently on my night stand as another jewelry holder. Can you tell I am worried about losing my wedding ring? photoI think the basket will be a perfect Easter Basket. I love how high the handle is. It is clean, sturdy, and still soft to the touch. I’d like to fashion some kind of removable lining for the inside. Here I show a folded yard of fabric on the inside. I see Pinterest research and a project on the horizon. I will make sure to tell you how it turns out. photo Last but not least is the pokey little pineapple. It is sitting in the kitchen right now so I can see it often. I am sure that it will bop around the house until I find a good home for it. Doug hates it by the way. I think his reaction was “WHAT is THAT?!” And later in the evening he said, “How many treasures do you have hiding around the house?” to which I responded, “just a couple more.” photo

So, there you go. Done. Accomplished. Winning!

The challenge made me realize how much I miss shopping alone, including thrifting. I love getting a lot for a little. I think I will be going back out really soon….without baby. And, without silly rap songs in my head.

Just a little crooked…

Isaac had his first haircut back in October (3 months ago). His hair was starting to look straggaley (is that a word?). It was falling in his eyes and hanging over his ears, so I thought that I might try to give him a little haircut. Nothing major, just a trim. Hmm, Doug has the scissors, but I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.  

So, I googled it. Yep, that’s what you do in 2013 when you want to learn something fast. 

I came across a few videos: How To Cut Toddler Hair at Home, watched a few, then felt a little more confident. One video suggested looking at the back of his hair in three sections. Bottom, cut at one finger length, middle at two finger length and next section 3 finger lengths. That really helped me to envision how long the back should be.

My strategy was this:

  • Cut his hair during a prime happy time – morning!
  • Distract him with his current favorite thing – PBS show called Super Why.
  • Use 2 bibs (one of them backwards) to keep the hair off his neck.
  • Cut the bangs first, trim around the ears next, and if then trim the back. That way if he only let me complete one thing, his hair would be out of his eyes.

photoI had all the items ready to go, so as soon as his show started, I buckled him in his highchair.photoHere are the BEFORE PICS: (Notice the I love this show face?)

photo  photophoto

AFTER PICS: (Still liking the show… quietest 25 minutes of the day!)


photo photo

Overall I was pretty happy with how it turned out. A few of his bangs are too long and I might try to fix them up so they aren’t crooked. But, his hair is usually messy from playing and most of the time it’s pretty hard to tell.

Go Momma!

Anybody else tried to cut their kid’s hair? Go for it.

Chicken Fricasse Julia Would Be Proud Of!

Just another Tuesday. Time to try a new recipe!

I have a crush on America’s Test Kitchen. Yeah, I have a crush on this TV show. You know how it is, snuggle-up-on-the couch-with-a-warm-blanket-on-a-Saturday-afternoon-during-naptime kinda crush

photoFor Christmas I got Season 12 DVD and Cookbook. It is the best because you can watch the episode (over and over) before you even make it yourself. So before making this dish, I had really watched it about 10 times. Crush, I tell you.

Here is the recipe:
Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thights), trimmed, with salt & pepper
1 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 T all-purpose flour
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp lemon juice
2 T minced tarragon (or parsley)


1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with 1 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Heat butter and oil in 12 in skillet over med-high heat until butter is melted. Place chicken in skillet and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken and cook until browned on second side, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to plate.

2. Add mushrooms, onion, wine to now-empty skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add broth and bring mixture to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet. reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until breasts register 160 degrees (thighs – 175 degrees), 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken to clean platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Whisk sour cream and egg yolk together in a bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly stir 1/2 cup hot sauce into sour cream mixture to temper. Stirring constantly, slowly pour cream mixture into simmering sauce. Stir in nutmeg, lemon juice, and tarragon; return to simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, pour sauce over chicken, and serve.

My experience:

So first of all the video of this looked easy and tasty. And, it was called a “great Tuesday night meal” meaning that is was doable after a day at work. It seemed worth a try! I bought all the ingredients I needed; tarragon was the only thing that I had never cooked with. I found it near the mushrooms in the small packets of refrigerated herbs.

I admit… I watched the 10 minute video one last time for a little bit of motivation.

photoI took it step by step and it was all pretty easy and smelled delicious! photo


The book’s directions were simple!I whipped up some garlic mashed potatoes. The sauce paired well with them but may also taste fabulous over egg noodles. (I think I will try that next time).

banner.chickenfricasseBy the way, my husband said that it was “Excellent!” and he is a hard one to please when it comes to food. He even said, “It tastes like something would get at a restaurant!?” I have to admit that it was one of my best ever meals. It is a new staple here in Schraeradise.

Chicken Fricasse is a french recipe and I couldn’t help but think of Julia Child while I made this. I think she would be proud. If not her than Julie her stalk-blogger would!

Give it a try and let me know how you like it!